Get Lucky By Knowing Your Industry and Knowing Yourself

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a several conversations with my friends about risk, finding the right place for your personality, and how to get in early on emerging trends. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts in this post.

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10 Steps to Getting 100+ Guests to Come to Your Birthday Party

Growing up, I’d never had a lot of friends come to my birthday party because I was a summer baby. When you’re in school, it’s hard to celebrate a July birthday because everyone’s always scattered on summer vacation. (I’ve previously posted about spending my 18th birthday working and playing pick up basketball with strangers.) As an adult, one of the things I wanted to do to make up for all those missed opportunities was to throw a Really Big Birthday Party with lots of guests.

Instead I would celebrate my birthday with my parents and my sister which was pretty cool too. Here’s my dad cutting my homemade birthday cake.

Right before I turned 26, I sensed an opportunity to knock the Really Big Birthday Party off my bucket list.  Although I was a law student living in Chicago at the time, I would be spending the summer living in NYC–my hometown.  I saw it as the perfect opportunity.

When most people decide to throw a birthday party, they go about it in a relatively haphazard way. They tell a few friends and e-mails are circulated a week or so beforehand. For most birthday celebrations this is fine–in fact this is how I’ve organized my birthday parties in recent years. But that summer I really, really wanted to throw a Really Big Birthday Party, and was prepared to do whatever it took to get people to come.

I was lucky to be somewhat experienced in this area. A big part of my college experience was organizing and throwing parties. Instead of studying, I spent those four years studying promotions, hype-building, and producing big guest turnouts. I guess what I’m trying to say is that when it came to my own birthday party, I had some experience under my belt–which I used to convince over 100 people to show up to my birthday party.

This is how I pulled it off.


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How To Engineer Your Layoff Review

Are you unhappy at your job? Have you considered switching industries in a year or two? Do you think you’ll be laid off in the near future?

(Click Image for Link to Book)

If so, you absolutely need to read How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye by Sam Dogen @ Financial Samurai. If there’s anything I want you to take away from this book review it’s the following facts:

  • You don’t have to intentionally do a bad job;
  • You can retain your reputation for doing quality work;
  • If you’re considering leaving your job in the next few years, get your ducks in a row right now;
  • Executing this process successfully means tens of thousands of dollars in your pocket.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me explain why I highly recommend this book:


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3 Things I Learned From Losing an Election

In light of the Super Tuesday results this morning, I wanted to write about my personal experiences running for office. I’ve always loved politics although not the same way most do. I’ve always been less interested in the issues, and more interested in the art of politics (e.g. campaigning, maneuvering, etc.). Although I’ve never run for any elected political position, I’ve worked for and observed lots of local campaigns.

This picture is on Senator Cory Booker’s wikipedia page. (Click the image if you don’t believe me.) This photo was taken in 2009 when Booker was just a mayor of Newark, NJ. Here, he’s endorsing a lawyer named Cyrus Vance. Today, Vance is the Manhattan District Attorney. I hope this photo is still on Cory Booker’s wiki when he runs for president.

I’ve also run in many, many student elections. I’ve won more races than I’ve lost, but the losses are far more significant to me personally. I’ve written about the first race I lost when I was 16 years old and remember never wanting to go through that experience again. It’s really true what they say: you don’t learn much from winning an election but you learn a TON when you lose. If you’re able to overcome your feelings of failure and run again, those lessons make you a far stronger candidate.

Originally I wanted to write about my personal views on how the various Presidential campaigns are being run. But after glancing at some news articles I realized that I was out of my depth–there is just too much information to process and most of it focuses on stuff I’m not interested in. So instead I decided to write about the lessons I learned in one of my most painful electoral losses and leave you to draw your own conclusions on how they’re related (or not) to the on-going Presidential campaigns.

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How Donald Trump Used Corporations, LLCs, and Trusts to Protect His Wealth

The Wall Street Journal has an article out this morning about Donald Trump and his difficult relationship with debt. You can read about all the financial ups and downs of Trump’s career which in my experience is pretty typical for a real estate developer.

Because of all these troubles, you might be thinking that Trump’s ability to reach his current wealth is a miracle. How has Trump been able to retain so much of his wealth, even though many of his largest real estate and casino projects ended up in bankruptcy?

How was he able to protect his assets from creditors?

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