San Jose Baby

“Sure ya are”

It’s cliché to move to California. A million people move west for a million different reasons, most of them outlandish. Expressing the desire to make such a move garners mixed responses from folks in the mid-west. Some of us live and die without residing beyond the borders of our home state or an immediate neighbor. As a result, intent to call the golden state home is often commended by mouth, but brushed off by the eye-balls. Southern hospitality at it’s finest!

2896131064_8533e53007_oWhat us “hopefuls” have in common is the unconventional belief that upon arrival the clouds will part, light will shine down, and the heavens will rejoice: “Welcome home,” at which point all of life’s problems evaporate into thin air. California brah.

I’m not entirely naïve, but it’s difficult to let go of the belief that California saves lives and all too easy to find proof that it in fact doesn’t. It’s stupid to consider the failures and successes that come out of California because they aren’t you. The statistics shouldn’t be ignored so long as they don’t prevent you from actually doing it. I watched too many peers sell themselves short because the “odds” were against them.

A comfortable life is what everyone around you is living. Those dreamers you’ve never met? They left decades ago, failed until they got it right, but live a bit more comfortable now and somewhere a little more scenic as well. It’s not about the material things or the view. Those are the rewards for overcoming what the rest of the world could not. Ultimately, you’ve become a better version of yourself, one that will never stop improving because he can.

“Valley of Heart’s Delight”

San Jose, CA. The third largest city in the state and the tenth largest in the country. Also home to the highest cost of living in the United States thanks to the big-name internet and technology companies that coined the term “Silicon Valley.” A high unemployment-rate and influx of job-seekers make San Jose one of the least job-friendly cities in the country. For whatever reason techies and entrepreneurs alike still flock to the valley. One day myself included.

I don’t plan to move to California for the sprawling urban metropolis, Hollywood, the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnight-life, or any of the typical motives. I do want the weather, but it’s just a plus. I’ll live in California for the people. I want to surround myself with people who think to the same extreme, but in entirely new directions. I want to engage driven people and have my thought processes challenged and refined.

If I surround myself with people who think as I do, and more importantly those who don’t, I know success is the only option. As great as that sounds, I recognize the enormity of such an undertaking and don’t expect everything to fall perfectly into place. Life’s challenges have shaped who I am today. Rather than avoid what life may have in store, I’ll tackle the biggest challenge I can think of.

Another year and I’m CA bound.

Featured Image

Prompt from Make It Anywhere

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Better Yourself and Others, Become an ‘Expert’ Today

Authors, journalists, biographers, reporters, bloggers, and columnists. They all have one thing in common (other than being synonyms). Each posses the burning desire to inform and influence the world around them; a unique motive behind the chosen target audience as well as every article published.

Here at WordPress bloggers dominate the scene. Most accredit their writing to one of two motives: a hobby or providing help/services. Unfortunately, countless bloggers lack the time, motivation, or whatever it may be, to impact a large and diversified audience. Helpful souls look no further!

The next best thing to managing your own successful blog is to contribute to one that’s already established a growing audience. Enter Lifehack, a “source for tips to help improve all aspects of your life.” Comparable in looks and content to the well-known Lifehacker, Lifehack provides the hungry mind with an endless supply of informative, concise articles guaranteed to help improve your lifestyle. With over 5 million unique monthly visitors, Lifehack has rightfully earned the endorsement of many major newspapers, magazines, and online publications. It’s incredibly large and diverse team of contributors provide tips on seemingly every subject imaginable with the goal of “just want[ing] to make your life as friction-free as possible.”

Lifehack doesn’t attract millions of visitors each month without continually adding talented individuals to it’s team of authors. If you’d like to know just how many talented people they employ, take a look at their Authors page. Now tell me that’s not impressive? Tell me you don’t think you’d at least have a shot at your own dedicated portfolio with Lifehack? The numbers don’t lie, and LifeHack certainly isn’t shy about recruiting new talent either. Check out this quote from their recruitment page:

“If you want to kickstart your career, you will need your own online portfolio. By sharing your skills and expertise at Lifehack, people will have a way to know you.”

 

By the looks of it they’re open to experts on any subject one can think of, especially those topics that have yet to appear on Lifehack. So, now that you know the gist of it, you should have an idea of whether this opportunity sounds like something you’d excel at. Here are the three things Lifehack looks for in an ‘Expert’:

  • Passion: “Our acceptance rate hovers at 30% or below. You have to demonstrate strong passion in improving other people’s lives to be a Lifehack expert.”
  • Experience: “We look for candidates who love writing. You have to make sure that your thoughts go into the text easily.”
  • Willingness to Learn: “We offer all sorts of support. If you want to hone your online writing skills, Lifehack could help you reach your wildest goal.”

Sound like you? I for one know I’d jump at the chance to reach such a massive and varied audience. Not to mention, owning the title of Lifehack ‘Expert’ can’t exactly hurt your current blogging endeavors. I’ve posted the link to the main contribution page, just scroll down to find the ‘Apply Now’ button.

Contribute to Lifehack

 

If anything, send an email to one of the three contributors listed on the linked page. I’d like to reach out to at least one just to get an idea of what it takes to be an expert. If/when I receive a reply I’ll certainly put it up for all you inquiring minds.

 

Making Cents of Ideas

One of my reasons for coming back was to share some of the ideas I come up with on a daily basis. I’ve been steadily filling the Notes app on my mac with every decent idea that comes to me. Maintaining a record of all my ideas is not only enjoyable, but essential to cultivating ideas in general. I’ve seen both the quality and frequency of new ideas increase since I started keeping a record.

Before I dive in, let me clarify what I mean by an idea. In most every context I use the word to mean a PLAN, rather than a CONCEPT or THOUGHT. While all three meanings are indeed similar, I tend to view them as having separate levels of complexity. In this sense the term is best suited for describing a goal, vision, or plan of action.

My ideas are essentially crude business plans that possess the potential for profit by attempting to capitalize on an opportunity in a new or original way.

The key word in the last sentence was ‘attempting.’ Welcome to the life of  my life as an entrepreneur. We all face the same grueling uncertainty day-in and day-out: “Is an idea worth the time, effort, and resources necessary to make it a reality?”

I consider myself an entrepreneur because hell, who doesn’t? It’s  THE go-to career choice for every unemployed, single man in the United States.

For a young entrepreneur like myself, the answer is found in the followup question: “Does it exist?” Determining whether a thought pre-existed elsewhere prior to its conception in one’s own mind is the most decisive test there is. A simple Google search is usually enough to kill even the best of them. Unfortunately, as I’ve yet to have an idea make it past this stage I have no further experience.

I’m no closer to the “big one” than an unborn child to its first steps. Fortunately, an awareness of the “big picture” ensures I remain grounded and focused on the task at hand. Better yet, I grasp that the success of an idea lies in its execution and far less in the idea itself.

Therefore I avoid investing too much into any one avenue of thought. I keep an open mind. I’m confident that an idea worth the risk will make quite an entrance when it finally arrives.

 

Featured Image: penny-wise Photo By [K.L. https://www.flickr.com/photos/kolix/2731237721/in/photolist-]