The Only Three Steps You Need to Find Money and Happiness

I was asked to give a speech at the San Francisco State business fraternity last week. I’ve done it before, and since I happened to be in the Bay Area at the time, I was happy to oblige again.

However, I knew that my talk this time around had to be different. My last speaking engagement with the fraternity happened about two years ago when I’d just started my first company – which failed. Anyways, at the time I didn’t know it would fail, and I was pretty full of myself. Thought I was pretty hot shit.

I gave the students a bunch of fluff and bloviated about “dressing for the job you want” and other real gems like that. I’m sure they got some value out of it, but it wasn’t a valuable talk. I knew that this time had to be different.

What can I give these students that’ll help them post college?→ CONTINUE READING

Owning a Car Isn’t Always the Best Option

Alright, this week’s article is a little different. Normally, we dive into the deep unknown of the human psyche and how it relates to living a better life. Today, however, I want to challenge the status quo. I want to turn society up on its head.

I’m talking, of course, of the benefits and drawbacks of owning a car and not owning a car.

It may seem like it’s coming out of left field, but my interest in this comes from a desire to question “the traditional path.” Why does everyone own a car, especially now that there’s a multitude of available ride services and similar options? Why do people tell me that a car lease is a bad investment, yet most of the people I know lease their cars?

Questions like these ensure you’re living life the way you actually want. It’s important to question seemingly known truths to test their validity.→ CONTINUE READING

Why You’ll Always Compare Yourself to Others (And What You Can Do About It)

We live in an interesting time. Social justice warriors have taken over our media channels. Tweets get scrutinized, Facebook posts are seen as gospel, and sound bites are taken out of context.

We’ve all gone soft, to some extent. Now, I’m not saying that emotional vulnerability is a bad thing. On the contrary, I think being honest and congruent with yourself is mandatory.

But we’ve taken things a step too far. Today, equality and inclusion are at the extreme. Of course we want a more inclusive and equal society. Everyone deserves a chance to make something of themselves. But when comparative equality reigns supreme, we’ve all gone a little off our rocker.

Just ask the Soviet Union.

This is Why You’ll Always Compare Yourself to Others

Let’s conduct a thought experiment. How do you know if you’re successful? Seriously, try to answer the question.

For example, let’s suppose that your definition of “success” is a six figure salary.→ CONTINUE READING

Your Life is a Pattern of Failure and Success


Syndicated post originally written for The Life OS, an interactive tool that helps with personal development


A recent study conducted by the University of Scranton found that 92 percent of people who set New Year’s goals fail by January 15th. This creates a chasm between where a person is now and where they want to be in the future. They can see the other side, but for whatever reason, they can’t seem to get there.

Picture yourself standing on the precipice of personal growth with two potential paths to take. One leads down a road you already know. It’s a cycle of repeated past actions that have led you to the present. The other is a road you’ve never traveled. It’s a path of new activities that send your future into the unknown.

One is fueled by recurring patterns of past failures and the other is driven by new patterns of future successes.CONTINUE READING

Is Your Startup Looking for VC Financing?

Syndicated post originally written for Xcelerate Financial, one of my clients


Make sure you consider the items below when deciding on opening a new round of financing. Your business will thank you.

1. UNDERSTAND A VC’S REQUIRED RETURN

It might be the fallacy of conviction, but founders are quick to believe that their business idea is amazing. And it very well might be. But, there’s a huge difference between an “amazing business idea” and an “investable business.”

VC firms are looking to return value to the fund’s limited partners (LPs). They also are mandated to deploy all of the fund’s cash over a four-year period, after which they go through another round of fundraising in order to raise capital and invest again. This means that VC firms are looking to invest their cash quickly, and for a high return.

All VC firms look for a multiple times return on the capital they invest.→ CONTINUE READING

Five Ways to Measure the Quality of Your Life

How important is self-improvement to you? If you’re someone who believes a successful life is filled with continuous growth and learning, to you, self-improvement is important. And since you’re here reading this, I think it’s safe to assume that you, as well as I, view self-improvement as a priority.

Consistent improvement allows you to achieve your goals, find success, and realize happiness in your life. Self-improvement gives your life purpose and meaning and is always something to strive for. One thing I’ve noticed, however, is that when we focus on self-improvement, sometimes we end up feeling like our current life lacks quality. It’s almost as if we are so focused on future greatness that we become unhappy with our current situation.

We become so intent on being better tomorrow that we forget to be satisfied today.

As important as continuous self-improvement is, it’s always important to take a step back and measure the current quality of our lives.→ CONTINUE READING

How to Overcome Your Never-Ending Cycle of Depression

Depression is a heavy word. It’s easy to trivialize just how debilitating it can be for someone. Depression is a clinical condition, and I don’t mean to offend those who face dark thought-loops that can end in disaster.

But everyone feels some level of depression. It might not be maxed out at 10, but each one of us has a range. Some days we’re happy, and other days we’re a bit dejected and despondent. On those days, I think it’s fair to say that we’re depressed. Or at least having a depressing day, if nothing else.

It’s normal. In fact, not feeling depressed from time to time is extremely abnormal. So, if you’ve ever felt depressed in life, rejoice, because you’re a human and these things happen.

But it’s important to become aware of the fact that you’ll face down days. Times when you feel as if nothing’s going (or ever will go) right.→ CONTINUE READING

How to Deal with The Anxiety of Increasingly Less Time in Your Life

With my 30th birthday fast approaching (well, approaching as in I just turned 29), it’s hard not to think about time.

The time you’ve had, the time you’re having, and the amount of time you have left in the future.

And at the tender age of 29, I can only imagine how much one thinks about time when they’re 40, 50, and even sixty.

Because I remember when I was 18, and 22, and all the other ages I was before I became “conscious,” which, to me, represents the moment I realized that I wasn’t immortal and that my life-path was up to me and me alone. Success wasn’t guaranteed. I was 25.

Every year prior to that paradigm-shifting moment, I lived my life on impulse and emotion. I was unaware of the passage of time in that I didn’t realize how nonrenewable it was. I was going to live forever (obviously), so who cared if I dicked around for a year or five?→ CONTINUE READING

What to Do When You Haven’t Found Your “Thing” in Life

So I turned 29 last week. Yes, some of you might think that sounds old, while others probably think of me as a baby.

I think I fall somewhere in between…Haven’t figured out how I feel about exiting my 20s yet.

But 30 is right around the corner, well, in 12 months, at least.

Time marches forward and there’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t buy back time, and we can’t stop it from depleting. It’s truly our only non-renewable resource.

Which got me thinking.

How can we maximize the time we have? How can we find our life’s purpose and ignite our passion? Does life even have a purpose?

Ultimately, how can we find “the thing” that creates true joy in our lives? I’m taking answers, please.

The Point of a Fulfilling Life

Depending on who you ask, you’ll be told that life is either pointless or has a very obvious point.→ CONTINUE READING

Human Connection Comes From a Place of Universal Truth

People are different. It’s pretty apparent in today’s day and age.

But when you really think about it, how different are people, really?

We all have cells, skin, blood, a body, a brain (most of us, anyway), wants, desires and fears. Each one of us is the product of millions of years of evolution, from itty-bitty amino acids to single-celled organisms and bacteria to the complicated life form you see in the mirror today.

Are we really so different after all?

We’re born, we grow, we succeed, we fail, we laugh, we cry, we try to experience all this life and this reality has to offer, and then we die. No one makes it out alive (barring a Matrix-like computer consciousness).

Which got me thinking. Is there a way to connect and communicate with people from all different walks of life? Can someone in a developed western country empathize and understand a person in a developing country, or heaven forbid, a place like Aleppo?→ CONTINUE READING