How to Get Organized Part 2: Tools for Getting Organized

These tools for organization make getting, and staying, organized a lot easier.

I’m going to go ahead and say it: Getting organized and feeling less stressed allows us to be more productive and efficient. In Part 1 of this series on getting organized, I emphasized the importance of creating lists and how they can be the foundation of establishing order. But what about those nasty impediments? Continue reading…

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Wag a Little. Why We Love Dogs in the Office.

benefits of dogs in the office

Supes adorbs photo courtesy of Devin Edwards.

It seems that Lake Tahoe probably has a larger pet population than people population. We love our dogs and cats in Tahoe and the SJ Marketing team is no exception. As a matter of fact, we love our pets so much, we added them to our website. Just mouse over our photos and find our furry counterparts. Continue reading…

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How to Get Organized Part 1: To-Do Lists

how to get organized messy desk

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at work or in life. One way to calm these stressful feelings is to get more organized. But the big question is: how to get organized. As author Gretchen Rubin says, “Outer order contributes to inner calm.” The fact is when we are organized, suddenly staying focused and meeting deadlines becomes much easier. And getting organized (and feeling less stressed) kind of generates a snowball effect, because it also allows us to be more productive and efficient — and who doesn’t aim to get just a few more things done each day? Continue reading…

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The Best Answer to Any Question – Quora

It’s the best question and answer site out there. I might not read their digest emails everyday but am always rewarded when I do.
Here’s an example of a good Q&A but they have something for everyone.

Q: What things should I master/get really good at that will give me the best head start in any career?
A: Peter Nguyen, Private Personal Stylist for Successful Entrepreneurs
Great question.

Here are 8 things that accelerated my career recently (in my 30s) that I wish I learned in my 20s:

Carol Dweck, a Stanford Psychologist, studied and wrote about this concept of “Growth vs Fixed” mindset.

A fixed mindset believes that all our talents and abilities are something we’re pre-programmed, or born, with. People with fixed mindsets, then, believe that certain people are just “lucky” when it comes to their skills and abilities. So they avoid anything that could possibly help them get better because “it won’t matter in the end.”

A growth mindset, however, believes that most things are malleable. Almost anything can be improved through learning and work. Your physical appearance. Your social skills. The quality of your work. All can be better if you have a growth mindset.

A growth mindset is the key to improving in all areas of your life.

What You Can Do Next: Watch Carol Dweck’s TED talk “The Power of Believing You Can Improve”

Imagine walking into a huge grocery store for the first time, looking for bread. You ask a worker in the fruit section for help, and they reply “That’s not my section.” Then ignore you.

You walk a few steps to the meat section and ask a worker behind the counter the same thing. This time, they reply “That’s not my section. But let me find out for you.” And they go and help you.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, who will you ask for help if you need it? Who’s more useful to you?

Now imagine you’re the person behind the meat counter, and the lost person is your boss, a customer, or a VIP.

Schools (at least in America) train us to only solve problems we’re given. When we’re thrown problems that weren’t meant for us, our default mindset is “It wasn’t assigned to me, so I don’t have to do it”

Be the solution. Train your mind to “default” to searching for solutions, to take action, on anything you can. Business is a team effort. Even if you’re a solopreneur, the rest of your team are your customers. If you aren’t willing to constantly solve problems for them and go above and beyond, you don’t have a business.

What You Can Do Next: Start small. When you see a piece of trash on the ground that people are walking past, pick it up and throw it away. Overhear someone lost and asking for directions and you know the way? Jump in and help them. Don’t know and have your phone on you? Jump in and offer to look it up.

There’s a great video by Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk where he gets brutally honest with a guy he just met who asked Gary to give a shout-out for his company.

Everything in life comes down to the quality of the relationship – your family, friends, romantic interests, and yes, business network.

And the man in the video is a perfect example of how to approach relationships wrong. He tried to take / ask for something before he developed a valuable relationship. And to develop a relationship you have to give. And give a lot.

Picture meeting someone on the 1st day of college. You get friendly, talk about your majors, swap numbers to set up study times. The next day, they’re texting you, asking you if they can borrow $100. Would you give it to them? Probably not. But if your best friend of 5 years (who’s saved your ass a handful of times) hits you up, you’ll be sending him money before he could start telling you why he needs it.

Gary calls this “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hooking”. Psychologists call this The Law of Reciprocity. When someone does something nice for you, you have a deep, psychological urge to return the favor. Studies have shown that the return favor often far exceeds the original kind gesture.

To say it another way: When you do something (nice) for someone, they’ll repay you with interest.

Kelly Houston

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