Getting In On the Ground Floor to Grow a Business and Grow New Grad Skills

What a great opportunity to get your hands dirty in an entrepreneurial venture. During this time of change in our economy this is a life changing opportunity.

Ivy League senior Ethan Carlson recently turned down a job with a global-energy consulting practice and instead pledged to spend two years working for an entrepreneur, perhaps with a focus on renewable energy, in a struggling U.S. city.

“I want to make an impact not only on myself, my career and my finances, but also society around me, and my local community,” the 21-year-old mechanical-engineering major at Yale University says.

The project he plans to join, Venture for America, was founded by Andrew Yang, the former chief executive of Manhattan GMAT, a test-preparation company acquired in 2009 by Kaplan, a Washington Post Co.

Venture for America says it was inspired by Teach for America, which places recent college graduates at schools in low-income communities for two years. This summer its first crop of about 50 “fellows” will be placed at small businesses such as Drop the Chalk, an education-software firm in New Orleans, and Andera Inc., an online-account-opening firm in Providence, R.I.

The companies will pay participants $32,000 to $38,000 a year, plus health benefits. The program includes a five-week program at Brown University that mimics training for consulting and investment banking.

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Holiday Parties = Con-ne(c)tworking

Daisy Swan – Career Coach Guest Contributor for My L.A. Lifestyle They’re inevitable, right? The five or six holiday functions that we feel we must attend, like it or not. Well this holiday season, why not look at those holiday happenings in a different light? Use them to your advantage, to further your business or your career. Look at these functions not only as networking opportunities, but as a way to focus in on what you might want to be doing – or doing differently – in the New Year. Read the whole article here  … Read More

Interview with author, Vanessa Van Pettan

Years ago I met a young woman at a networking event and we exchanged phone numbers; she was just starting her new business and was interested in talking about what I was doing in my work, and what she was developing. We became fast friends and exchanged plenty of information about how our businesses were developing on and off line. Her name is Vanessa Van Petten and she has grown her new little business into an amazing online resource of services, teachings and now several books for parents all about what it’s like being a teenager from a teen perspective.  I recently spoke to Vanessa when she launched the sale of her new book Do I get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?, about the growth of her business and her experiences publishing three books – one self-published with a self-publishing company, one entirely on her own, and most recently with a big name New York publisher. Have a listen to this candid conversation about growing a business, and the changing challenges and demands of book publishing.

Listen to the audio interview here:

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Women For Hire on Fire in LA

On Tuesday morning, I had a great time meeting and conducting a workshop called Living in Transition with Aliveness and Courage at the Women For Hire Expo in Los Angeles. The women I met were so motivated and on top of their game. Paying attention to their strengths, they are leveraging what they’ve got to get out and start their own entrepreneurial ventures, while in the meantime are prepared to meet employers who need sharp and willing people who will get the job done. No whiners in this bunch. I was really impressed with their humor and persistence, two attributes we can all use when the going gets slow.  … Read More

What Kind of Optimist Are You?

I always encourage lifelong learning, but now is absolutely the time to stretch out of our comfort zone to embrace the possibilities that this time of change presents. Stepping into change stems from hope….

When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to Tel Aviv to Wall Street, it’s clear that something is happening globally that needs defining. There are two unified theories out there that intrigue me. One says this is the start of “The Great Disruption.” The other says that this is all part of “The Big Shift.” You decide.

Paul Gilding, the Australian environmentalist and author of the book “The Great Disruption,” argues that these demonstrations are a sign that the current growth-obsessed capitalist system is reaching its financial and ecological limits. “I look at the world as an integrated system, so I don’t see these protests, or the debt crisis, or inequality, or the economy, or the climate going weird, in isolation — I see our system in the painful process of breaking down,” which is what he means by the Great Disruption, said Gilding. “Our system of economic growth, of ineffective democracy, of overloading planet earth — our system — is eating itself alive. Occupy Wall Street is like the kid in the fairy story saying what everyone knows but is afraid to say: the emperor has no clothes. The system is broken. Think about the promise of global market capitalism. If we let the system work, if we let the rich get richer, if we let corporations focus on profit, if we let pollution go unpriced and unchecked, then we will all be better off. It may not be equally distributed, but the poor will get less poor, those who work hard will get jobs, those who study hard will get better jobs and we’ll have enough wealth to fix the environment.

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Horrible Bosses and Bravery Sometimes do Mix

It’s an interesting phenomenon – the issues my clients face seem to come in waves. Recently I’ve seen several people who are struggling with horrible bosses and really lousy work environments. It makes sense, right? More people are more stressed at work that ever. Doing more with less, less turn around time to get things done, more emails, texts, etc coming at us than ever.  But is this really unavoidable? Do you have to suffer in silence, take the abuse and then spread the negativity by talking it out with your friends and family; growling at the cashiers your encounter, drinking too much, or however else you deal with the nasty behavior of people who ‘control’ your working life?

You know what I’m going to say, right? No you don’t have to take it. Recently several clients of mine has decided that sticking it out in toxic work situations was not worth the risk of ruining their mental and physical health. They actually decided that, even without actual jobs to move to but with other options in the wings, to resign.  Making the decision was scary, certainly, all things considered. But all things were considered, so clarity reigned.  This is where the bravery lives.

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The Start-Up of You

I’m Mad As Hell and I’m Not Going to Take It Anymore!

As I read the newspapers last weekend I got really angry (remember the all important flick Network?). I didn’t read anything about the under employment or unemployment of thousands of people like you – smart, creative, talented in innumerable ways, yet unable to find a ‘real’ job. What is the Washington contingent thinking about unemployment? Doing? And what are we/ you doing to be heard? In the Great Depression there were bread lines, unemployed people seeing each other ever day. Now we have thousands scouring online job boards and sitting in cafes looking at screens but not connecting, not collaborating to be heard by those who do have key resources to start new initiatives that could create new ways of working for those with the education and mindset to do something meaningful.  We know that ‘right brained’ creatives have much to contribute to the changed marketplace…but how? We need help finding these answers.  Shall we band together to be heard? If you want your voice to be heard let me know. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

The rise in the unemployment rate last month to 9.2 percent has Democrats and Republicans reliably falling back on their respective cure-alls. It is evidence for liberals that we need more stimulus and for conservatives that we need more tax cuts to increase demand. I am sure there is truth in both, but I do not believe they are the whole story. I think something else, something new — something that will require our kids not so much to find their next job as to invent their next job — is also influencing today’s job market more than people realize.

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Entrepreneurship: What It Takes and Do You Have It

Join us for our June 8th Panel Discussion and Networking Event!   Scroll down to read about our panelists whose inspiring stories and tips will help you formulate ideas and new strategies to move forward in your own business and career!   Have you been contemplating striking out on your own, by starting a new business? But a little – or a lot! – hesitant to do so? Not even sure where to begin, or if it’s the right move for you? It’s clear that entrepreneurship is our way out of this recession – whether you head out on your own while working, or want to be a more innovative and proactive contributor in your current workplace – it’s essential to hold on to that bigger view of what’s ahead of you. Join us on June 8th to meet our five panelists who will be speaking… Read More

Tavis Smiley: If At First You Don’t Succeed, ‘Fail Up’

If you want to learn about success, talk to a successful person. If you want to learn about failure, talk to a very successful person. In his new book Fail Up, TV and radio host Tavis Smiley offers lessons on how to turn life’s setbacks into success.

2011 marks Smiley’s 20th year in broadcast — and that anniversary got him thinking: “The way I arrived at this place [of success] was failing my way — all the way,” he says. The book is sort of a Top 20 Worst-Of list: It details the 20 biggest mistakes of Smiley’s life.

Some of these mistakes were news even to Smiley’s close family. Before the Fail Up manuscript arrived at his parents’ house, Smiley called home to tell his mother and father they were about to read things they’d never heard before. Smiley was the first person in his family to go to college — but when he marched across the stage at Indiana University to get his diploma, he hadn’t really graduated. It technically took Smiley 16 years to get his degree; during college, he had been arrested and sent to jail for check fraud. “I couldn’t bring myself to tell my parents that I’d gone to jail while I was in college,” he says. “[Or] that I didn’t have a college degree.” 

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