Staying Positive with a Positive Mental Attitude

The Power of PMA

We’ve all heard the term, “Positive Mental Attitude” at some point throughout our lives. Whether it’s getting ready to perform in front of a live crowd or preparing to face off against a rival team in an athletic competition, we have been told to try and keep a “positive mental attitude” at least once throughout out lives. If you Google the term, you’ll find that per Wikipedia, there is a certain book co-written by two authors where they define what PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) is as well as how they suggest it be applied to one’s mental attitude and daily life. Of course, as with any kind of self-healing/self-help practices, there have been controversies surrounding this philosophy. Full disclosure: I’m not here to sell you on the book, but rather, just talk to you about my definition of PMA and how I try and practice it throughout my day to day activities.

There are so many self-help or self-healing tactics out there. Each one is unique in their own manner and ultimately, it’s up to YOU on how you want to apply various tactics to benefit your lives. For me, it basically came down to applying whatever it is I define as a win for me personally. To be fair, that can mean a lot of things. Is it becoming super rich? Is it becoming a superstar in a specific field? After reading a lot and trying to mimic a certain tactics, I came to the realization on one thing: why not just think about PMA on a day by day basis and tie it to a daily goal. Here’s what I try to do:

  1. Wake up everyday and say ONE thing I want to accomplish for the day out loud.
  2. Say the same ONE thing again.
  3. Say it ONE more time.
  4. Go about my day and try to accomplish the ONE thing I said I wanted to do.

Sounds pretty easy right? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not perfect and mind you sometimes with a busy life and work, I sometimes have a hard time keeping up with my PMA. But as the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” My ONE goal I wanted to accomplish today, was writing this post. I’ve put off this post for a few days and just had it in the back of my mind as one of those “I’ll do it later” tasks. However, I decided to just say it out loud and just do it. Is this a huge accomplishment where I should be recognized? NOPE. But ultimately, it’s how I feel and to be honest, I feel proud that I accomplished the ONE thing I said out loud that I would accomplish for the day (OF COURSE I HAD TO A LOT OF OTHER THINGS TO DO OUTSIDE OF THIS BLOG POST) and my mental attitude is pretty positive. It’s the minor things that we take for granted that can make a big difference for our overall attitudes and perspectives. Not saying my method is the best or the right way, but give it a shot if you want. Try and just keep yourself in a positive state of mind through ONE simple goal you wish to accomplish for the day.

Korean Noodle House in Flushing, New York

For those who may not know me, I am a big foodie. I always enjoy exploring and trying new restaurants, especially if they involve 2 things: Korean Cuisine & Noodles! I’m a huge sucker for all things carbs, and this place I’m about to tell you about sure fits the bill (in a GOOD HEALTHY WAY). The restaurant I recently visited was called Daesung Korean Noodle, located in Flushing, New York. Funny enough, I was visiting a Buddhist Monk that I consider my mentor as well as someone who is like an Uncle to me along with my girlfriend. The Abbott, named Chung Ho, highly recommended this place and asked if we would like to join him for lunch. Of course, as soon as he explained more about the dishes the restaurant served, I immediately said ABSOLUTELY!

Upon arriving in front entrance of the restaurant, I thought the place looked quaint and interesting while peeking through its windows. As we walked inside, the atmosphere and ambiance of the restaurant was nice. Although it was busy, it did not feel like your typical bustling Korean restaurant (at least from the ones I’ve experienced), but instead just a place where they served good food. As we sat down at our table, I couldn’t help but sneak in some looks at other tables and see what dishes were ordered. Everything looked delicious and fit in nicely with the overall decor of the restaurant. If you Google “Daesung Korean Noodle Flushing” you’ll see that their description says:

Korean restaurant featuring noodle dishes, soups & pancakes in a little space with blond-wood decor.

The description definitely fits the bill. Their menu was a wide variety, ranging from spicy soup bases to vegan options (made me realize why Abbot Chung Ho recommended the place) as well as Korean Pancakes called Pajeon in Korean, a delicacy that is not an actual pancake but almost an equivalent. They seemed to pride themselves not only on their selections for their menu, but also the fact that all their noodles were hand pulled before being added to any main dish. I wanted something spicy so I ordered Bibim Noodles w/meat (mixed noodles in spicy Korean paste sauce with meat and vegetables) while my girlfriend ordered Cold Noodles mixed in beans that have been boiled and ground afterwards and Abbot Chung Ho ordered traditional Korean Kalguksu (knife cut wheat flour noodles) with vegetables and vegetable broth as its soup base. Although each of us ordered our own main dishes, I couldn’t help but also want to order some Korean pancakes aka Pajeon. The table next to us had a rather well sized plate that appeared to me as Seafood Pajeon.

After waiting for a bit while enjoying our conversations, the moment of truth finally came! The food arrived! Oh, of course if you’ve ever been to any Korean restaurant, you can’t forget about the side dishes they serve you first. YES – Daesung Korean Noodle was no different. They served us side dishes and also some amazing Kimchi! Turns out the restaurant makes their own homemade Kimchi and it’s a hit with all locals to the point they order in bulk batches to-go. Nonetheless, our food came and it was time to feast. My spicy Bibim Noodles was better than expected. The sauce was not too spicy and the flavors mixed in perfectly with the noodles themselves, and the noodles themselves were smooth and easy to chew on. After taking a few more bites from my dish, I then tried the Korean Pancake that we technically ordered as an appetizer. The pancake itself was a little crispy and cooked to perfection. If you’ve never tried Korean Pajeon before, everyone has their own style and preference. I like mine a little crispy and I really like to chomp on crunchy flavors and let my palate enjoy the richness in flavors. Ordering the extra dish was definitely worth it and for the overall price of the entire meal for 3 people, VERY reasonable. If you’re ever in Flushing, New York and are looking for a Korean restaurant that serves good noodle dishes, Daesung Korean Noodle is definitely a spot you should check out. I’ve linked their Yelp above as I felt pictures do way more justice than my words ha!

My Traditional Korean Temple Stay

An experience filled with nothing but Zen energy

I know I’ve written a few posts regarding my visits to a traditional Korean Buddhist Temple in the Catskills Region, New York, but there was something that I did not write about, which was the actual full on Temple Stay that I experienced (I’ve linked the first post here if you want to read about it).

Baklimsa Temple Stay Video

To be perfectly clear, I did not really know much about what a “Temple Stay” meant outside of just thinking that it was something where folks wanted to really get into the concept of “Meditation Practice” and try to get some kind of enlightening experience. Nonetheless, I thought it would be an interesting experience to try out as I’ve always had memorable experiences as a child visiting Korean Temples. Plus, if anything, I thought I would like to try getting a little more experience in minimalism and basking in nature for a day, versus living in the hustle and bustle of NYC which is always hectic. I won’t bore you with all the nitty gritty details of what I experienced upon first arriving and instead, fast forward to just write about what the experience was like, the amazing discussions I was able to participate in with the Head Monk and my overall emotions after spending a night.

First off, the actual Temple Stay was not what I had expected (this is from me just googling “Korean Temple Stays”). After arriving and casually “checking in” and walking around the Temple Grounds, we were asked by the Head Monk if we would like to join him and his colleagues for Tea. Tea with Monks? For some reason I had some bias that Monks did not converse with people often and just kept to themselves. I was immediately blown away at the openness and welcoming spirit the Monks showed us. My girlfriend was elated as well, as she wanted to see if we could potentially have deeper discussions about Meditation and maybe get some advice on how best to practice. By the way, when the Monk said “Tea,” I literally had the notion that it was simple drinking Tea from a cup via Tea Bags. BOY WAS I WRONG. The Monk and his peers gave us the true meaning of what drinking “Traditional Asian Tea” was like. It was more than just drinking, it was a form of art. From boiling the water, to cleaning out the cups and pots each time, each cup of Tea we were offered tasted different.

We learned a lot about Tea and what Seon (Zen in Korean) meant. We probably spent a good 2-3 hours just having various deep level discussions as well as casual everyday discussions as well. While all this was happening, I couldn’t help but think: Buddhist Monks are regular people, they just have a deeper level of understanding/patience for things. While we continued talking, I couldn’t help but ask a question to the Monks:

“Is this what a typical Temple Stay is like?”

To my surprise, they all said a Temple stay is what YOU define it as. They then began to explain how there are all sorts of Temple Stay experiences, ranging from the Traditional where you truly stay silent and go about your day as if you were an Abbot at the temple, to more modern stays where it’s less about Tradition but more about educating on the cultural aspects. However, the Head Abbot Gae San Hye Song Sunim (Sunim = Monk in Korean) said that his purpose is to provide a place of tranquility for anyone to come and enjoy, whether they know about Buddhism, are a Buddhist, or just someone who wishes to have a place to relax and detox from whatever it is they have been stressing about. This is what really struck a chord with me. Here was ONE man, who built this magnificent Temple along with its surrounding gorgeous lands, and he was not about preaching and converting to Buddhism. He simply just wanted to share what he spent his entire life studying and building, to anyone. Guess that explains why he offered the “guest house” where it was a little more comfortable than a traditional old school Temple. From there the Monk then asked us to walk with him towards what he called his “Zen Tea Garden” area. The name sounded intriguing and of course both myself and my girlfriend’s curiosity kicked in so we walked with the Head Monk.

As we walked about 5 mins from the Main Temple Grounds through the woods, we came to what appeared to be the Zen Tea Garden. There was this quaint little cute cottage-esque building surrounded by trees and a small little picnic area with tables, chairs and even a fire pit area. You could feel the calm soothing energy that was enveloping the entire area as it felt as if it was under the protection of mother nature. We soon were invited to sit down with the Head Abbot inside the small cottage, which he dubbed “White Forest Tea House.” It was such a beautiful little space, with a nice table, chairs and fine china in the form of various tea cups that had ancient Asian/Korean aspects to it. Even though we had been drinking tea prior for hours, we did not mind an additional (more like 10+) cups of tea as the Head Monk was open to discussing more about his many adventures of visiting Buddhist Temples around SE Asia. All in all, we enjoyed listening to his many tales as well as learning more about the various types of Tea leaves ranging from China to South Korea, and how each was different in terms of the way they are grown to how to pour properly at the right temperature settings.

Afterwards, we then were asked if we wanted to have a campfire with the Monks during the night and enjoy some dessert as well as additional discussions. Truly, not what I expected and the experience during our stay there was above and beyond. To be able to just have a place to relax, enjoy some good company, have fun and engaging discussions and more, was something that was much needed. The ability to come to such an open place that was welcoming and warmth, really helped rejuvenate both of us as we headed back into the real world after a moment of detox and head clearing.

KPOP is here to stay…It’s now on Broadway!

KPOP on Broadway Musical

Image from bestofkorea.com

I wanted to write a post about KPOP and how I recently got to experience first hand how it has evolved and grown so much here in the States. For those who do not know me personally, I am Korean-American. My parents immigrated to the States along time ago and thankfully, gave birth to me here in the United States. But enough about my personal biography, this post is about how KPOP has grown so much from my viewpoint and how I saw it even more first hand through a recent night out with my lovable Misses (maybe soon to be Mrs. 😍?) in the City that never sleeps, New York.

To be frank, I am proud to say I have witnessed the many endeavors of the KPOP industry trying to penetrate the covetable holy grail music market that is the United States. From JYP Entertainment (one of the big 3 record labels in South Korea) to the sudden explosion of one man that suddenly got over a billion views on YouTube for his song “Gangnam Style” named PSY, I have always followed any KPOP artist / record label that has tried to establish a foundation here in the States. Each and every time, I had always rooted for a win and have always been proud of the fact that my cultural heritage was that of being Korean.

Gangnam Style – PSY / GIF from GIPHY

As much as PSY was a hit breakthrough, there still seemed to be some stigma with KPOP and its entry into America. As the KPOP industry continued to evolve, I had always felt it would be a matter of time until it really makes its full entry into the States where it becomes more widely adopted. Maybe it was when BTS broke the global charts and became a worldwide phenomenon or some other artist that helped put KPOP further in the minds of the entire world? No matter what anyone may say, one thing I am certain of is this: it definitely has become a worldwide category. KPOP songs are played on national radio stations. Conventions dedicated to KPOP artists with concerts are held across the nation. Thousands upon thousands are fans across all 50 states, forming cliques and parties, arguing with one another on which artist is the best (of course in a friendly manner). I’ll still never forget the day when I was sipping coffee in Bryant Park a few years ago (PRE COVID) in NYC after grabbing some lunch. I was minding my own business when I randomly overheard a conversation between 3 women sitting behind me. They were talking about who their favorite was within BTS. I couldn’t help myself and just had to casually peek at them, as I just assumed they may have been Korean. WRONG – they were not Korean, in fact, they were not Asian at all. I literally could not help but be amazed at the fact that KPOP was being so broadly discussed in the open public.

BTS GIF courtesy of GIPHY

Now to the even juicier stuff. Fast forward to 2022. KPOP is NOW ON BROADWAY. Broadway…the world famous venue where stars, celebs and others alike gather to participate in musicals and theatrical performances. My girlfriend somehow was offered 2 free tickets to a performance of a Broadway musical. Turns out, that Broadway Show was titled “KPOP ON BROADWAY – THE MUSICAL.” To be honest, I couldn’t believe my ears. There was an actual Broadway Show dedicated to a story about KPOP? I’ll confess, I was intrigued. Not because I am KPOP fanatic, but more because I was interested to see what the general audience was going to be like. I was interested to see what their reactions may be like. Who was actually there to see the show. Would it be more fan boys/girls? Would it be more Koreans in attendance versus others? Either way, I was grateful to have the opportunity to see a Broadway Musical.

As soon as we arrived, I was blown away by the amount of people standing outside waiting to get their tickets. Were all these people here to see the same performance as we were? The answer: YES. The audience was diverse and the atmosphere was exhilarating. As we walked inside the venue and made our way into the main stage area towards our seats, I noticed how the entire stage was decorated a setup nicely. We then sat in our seats and got settled. I couldn’t help but notice how there must have been over 200 people in attendance and was just in awe. I won’t go too much into detail about the performance itself, as I highly recommend you watch it for yourself and come to your own conclusion. What I can say is give you my own personal perspective of the show. It was exciting, the actors & actresses were all truly skilled and performed spectacularly. What was even more inspirational and fun was that the performance itself had a mixture of English AND Korean for various lines and scenes throughout. It was truly a fun time to see the audience laugh and follow along and understanding Korean even if they were non-native speakers. By the way, if you are a fan of Korean Culture & KPOP, especially watching epic dance routines, this show will not disappoint you.

Overall, I really enjoyed watching the show and congratulations to the writer/producer of the musical! I truly couldn’t help but think – KPOP is here to stay.

Additional details about the Broadway Musical and ticket info can be found here.

Re-Visiting A Traditional Korean Buddhist Temple

Baklimsa Temple – Catskills, NY

This is a follow-up post to my previous blog where I wrote about my first experience with a Traditional Korean Buddhist Temple that was nestled in upstate New York in the Catskills Region. Previously, as mentioned, I had visited Baklimsa during the hot summer months (even though the Temple was located in a mountainous region – it still was HOT πŸ₯΅). Nonetheless, I am a sucker for seasonal change, especially when Fall approaches. Luckily, my counter-part and amazing partner enjoys seasonal change as well. In fact, SHE was the one who convinced me to go with her once more to visit and take in the breathtaking views of the Fall foliage.

The lovable Gumdong Temple Dog is taking in the amazing views of Fall 🍁

As Fall is here with winter around the corner from us, a return trip back to the Temple felt just right. The first thing we noticed was how pretty and immaculate the Temple grounds looked during the cool October day. The trees were mixed in colors as some of the leaves were still changing while others had changed completely and began to fall off their tree branches. As we stepped out of our vehicle, you could feel the pure energy flowing through the nature that surrounded the Temple grounds. It probably felt more harmonious as we were greeted by the sibling Temple dogs named Gumdong & Eundong. After we were smothered with kisses from the dogs, we then walked up towards the main Dharma Hall towards the Meditation Walking Path. As we took in the cool air while walking, we could hear the soothing sounds of birds chirping and other various sounds of nature. Being surrounded by mother nature herself made us even more excited and felt we made the right choice to re-visit Baklimsa.

You could definitely feel the Zen (Seon in Korean) atmosphere within the Temple Grounds πŸ§˜πŸ»πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

While continuing our walk, we were greeted by one of the Abbots (Monks) who basically was the caretaker of the temple. We later found out that the Head Abbot was visiting another Temple in South Korea. After we said our hello and got a warm welcome, we were given a sudden suggestion. The Monk suggested we take the “Walking Trail” while embarking on the Walking Meditation Road, as the weather was perfect for it. We inquired a little more as she was right about one thing: the weather INDEED was perfect for a nice stroll. The Abbott gave us a little more details, as she said that the overall trail is a little over a mile, and all we had to do was follow the “Yellow” ribbons that are tied throughout the trees once we reach the Walking Trail entrance. OKAY – a little over a mile, sounds feasible right? NO PROBLEM, Let’s do it! We thanked the Abbot for graciously greeting us and giving us a nice tip to walk up the Walking Meditation Road and then eventually walk the Walking Trail that’s part of the Temple grounds.

The Walking Meditation Road was immaculate and gorgeous. The Fall weather definitely was noticeable as we walked across nothing but fallen leaves while basking in the additional colors of mother nature showcasing her seasonal change. We continued our walk while taking in fresh air with each and every breath we took. As we passed by additional monuments, rocks, logs and more, we couldn’t help but be thankful for being able to enjoy such a peaceful and tranquil walk through nature. After sometime, we reached the end of the Walking Meditation Road and came to what looked like an open entrance. We saw yellow ribbons tied around some trees and began to walk the “Walking Trail” as directed by the Abbot. As we walked about 5 mins, we immediately noticed something: the yellow ribbons all of a sudden turned pink. We didn’t pay it much mind as we just thought maybe they must’ve ran out of yellow ribbons? Anyway, we continued to follow the pink ribbon path, only to later figure out (the hard way), the pink ribbon path was MUCH MORE difficult. It definitely was not some walk through the park.

As we continued on the trail, we basically had to walk up and over broken tree branches, stones, and more. It was slightly arduous but we felt it was worth it, as it felt like we were getting some much needed exercise through this “hike” NOT A WALK. The overall hike ended up being a little over half an hour. I’ll admit, at one point I started getting a little nervous, as I did not know if we were on the right path and knowing that the overall Temple grounds was situated on over 100+ acres, I was starting to sweat a little worrying about how much longer we may need to walk, ha! Fortunately, as we continued to follow the pink ribbons tied across various trees, we finally ended up finding an exit path. After a long journey, we ended up walking out of the exit onto another walking road that eventually lead to the back pathway entrance to the Kitchen halls of the Temple grounds. Although the walk was a bit longer that I thought, the “hike” was really worth now that I think about it. Having the ability to walk through nature and enjoy the various sites, sounds and smells of what mother nature provides for us, was well worth the “sweat” endured. Unfortunately, I was so caught up in trying to avoid branches and walking through stumps and rocks, we did not have the mindset to take photos deep inside the walking trail woods. MAYBE NEXT TIME now that we’ve taken the trail once…

My first Visit to a Traditional Korean Buddhist Temple

A hidden gem in upstate New York…

DISCLAIMER: This post is not about religion nor any sort of evangelism regarding religion. It is simply about a place that I visited a few months back that I wanted to share.

My cultural background is Korean and I will admit that I visited a few Korean Buddhist Temples back in the day as a child in the States. However, I never really paid any attention to them (can you blame me – I think I was only about 7 or 8 years old?) and never really got to fully understand and appreciate the atmosphere they provided. It was not until recently when I met my special someone (yes, she’s VERY special to me) that I was able to visit a Korean Buddhist Temple that was nestled in the mountainside of Upstate New York. After a long hiatus from anything regarding really exploring my cultural heritage, I got a chance to rekindle my love to explore my cultural background and visit Baklimsa Temple on the recommendation from my girlfriend and just to be open and transparent, it was more than I expected.

My first visit was back in Summer time, where the weather was hot and humid. Nonetheless, we made the journey via our vehicle and arrived mid morning while going through the mountainsides of Upstate New York. Upon our arrival, I was immediately awestruck at the vast area of land Baklimsa Temple was situated on. The Temple itself sits on over 80+ acres of land and surrounded by a sea of grass, trees, animals and all things mother nature. However, the first thing I noticed beyond all the mesmerizing scenes of nature was the main Temple itself, which was REALLY jaw dropping:

Main Temple at Baklimsa

After we parked our car, we walked up a slight hill to get a better glimpse of the main Temple as well as enjoy some fresh breathable air along with the soothing and calmness of the nature that was surrounding it. As we made the short trek up, we noticed a cute sign that read “Walking Meditation” or “λͺ…μƒμ˜κΈΈ” (in Korean) and was wondering why it was placed there.

Nonetheless, we continued to walk up the short hill and passed the sign. As we visited and saw the sights of the main temple, we noticed there were a few other traditional Korean Temple artifacts that made us curious to take a further look at. The first was a rather bell (and by large I mean, LARGE). My girlfriend had told me that it was common to see this type of Bell across all Korean Buddhist Temples in South Korea, as they are used to celebrate certain occasions such as ringing in the new year or celebrating Buddha’s birthday. However, I was informed the main reason that the bell is rung is send prayers to all who may be suffering as well (including humans & nature) and wishing all to achieve inner peace and enlightenment. I am a fan of giving back (not that I am anywhere near rich) as well as sending nothing but positive thoughts to everyone as I am a big believer in Karma.

With that in mind, I decided to ring the bell with a “slight” tap (NOTE: Usually you need to get permission from the Head Abbot(Monk).

SORRY FOR RINGING WITHOUT PERMISSION!

After enjoying the inner tranquility and sending our best wishes to everyone, we then decided to take the Meditation Walking Road as mentioned above to see where it would take us. To be honest, I was not sure what to expect but to my surprise, it was a peaceful and calming long walk (it really made me think about Meditation and what the exact meaning is). As we walked through the woods, we were surrounded by nothing but pure nature. From the long stretch of visible trees, various birds making their voices heard to the funny little squirrels trying to insert as many acorns as they could into their mouths, the entire walk was truly soothing and relaxing. It is definitely something I highly recommend anyone to try if they are ever in the Catskills Mountain area in upstate New York. This leads me to my reference about Meditation earlier. I’ve always known about Meditation, but never really paid much attention to it. It has always been one of those things where I have told myself “one day” I’ll make the time to try and practice but with a busy work life, never really took the time to sit down and start. To be honest, the walk really made me think it might be a good time to actually start. More on my attempted start to start meditating more for a later post.

Overall, my visit was amazing and really got to take in the beautiful sights as well as enjoy some peace and tranquility while walking through nature. The temple itself had a fascinating history, as I learned from the Head Abbot (Monk) the Venerable Gye San Hye Song Sunim (Sunim means monk in Korean) that he had immigrated to the US in the late 70s and eventually decided to build the temple and its surrounding grounds in 1983. It truly was an inspirational story to hear, to learn how ONE man, by himself, decided to dedicate his life further to Buddhism as well as create a magnificent place for all walks of life, to enjoy.

Until next time!

Networking Does Not Have To Be Hard…

Your network is your net worth…

Porter Gale

This post is specifically about networking. I wanted to write this because I feel it’s such an important topic for ANYONE. Whether you’re in the startup scene or someone who’s an academic, networking is an important terminology for all. Everyone has their own unique definition when they hear the term “networking.” For me, I think the one word that ALWAYS comes to my mind is RELATIONSHIP.

When it comes to networking, I value the term relationship before anything else. To me, networking isn’t about trying to grow your friends list or trying to gain an advantage to grow your business and make more money. Networking is about growing and building relationships. It has so much more in terms of meaning and value to me. If you google the word “relationship” – this is what shows up:

“the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.

The key terms from the definition about are: “two or more” and “the state of being connected. Networking is exactly this. It’s not a one-way street, but instead, an aspect of being connected together. By networking correctly, one can grow even more as a human being, whether it’s intellectually, spiritually, emotionally or something else entirely. For example, if you are in the startup game and just trying to get your new company off the ground, every single person you meet will most likely tell you that YOU MUST network in order to grow and scale. However, I feel that sometimes this can be a trap for some as they may not take the time to fully think about what his/her definition of “networking” really means to them. Instead of taking the time to think carefully, some may rush to just dive right in so they can quickly achieve success. Of course, I am not saying this cannot be obtained and I am sure there are a ton successful case studies out there, but this post isn’t about who is right or wrong, but instead, about my personal viewpoint on what networking is.

Networking aka building a relationship(s) doesn’t necessarily always have to be about achieving success. To build any relationship, requires commitment and building a human connection. I’ll try and provide an example. Have you ever attended any kind of event (whether work related or not) and met an individual where you just bonded right away? I can definitely say “YES” to this question. What usually happens afterwards? From my experience, it usually led to me continuing to build a relationship with that person through some form of communication (in my cases it has always been through email). I have always been a firm believer in that life is all about creating relationships and in order to do so, requires some form of follow through. Best thing that I’ve learned is you don’t have to spend countless hours focusing on how to grow your network or how to continuing networking in general. All it takes is simply finding time at your convenience and putting in a few minutes at most to focus on WHICH relationships you truly value the most. All it takes is ONE relationship. You never know how by building one meaningful relationship, can lead to several others, whether through a friend of a friend or simply through a flat out introduction, ultimately may lead to other surprises.

So to sum it all up: NETWORKING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HARD! Even a short hello/checking in message, whether via text or email or any other form of communication preference, can go a long way. Take the time to think about someone who you have always thought of just checking-in with or sending a brief message to see what they have been up to. Now, I suggest simply doing it (I will too!).

Never Give Up – Startups Are Hard, But That’s OK!

Make Mistakes Faster.

Andrew Grove, Intel Co-Founder

Been awhile since I wrote anything on my blog. That is totally on me for being so lazy. Crazy to think it’s been a few years since I actually wrote something on my blog that was coming from my mind. As I have been busy like the rest of us with work, managing a work-life balance, trying to fit in the time to exercise, ensuring my current relationship with my girlfriend does not falter and so much more – I decided to take the time to go back to writing blog posts on a consistent basis.

For those who are totally new to my blog (understandable as I feel I am pretty much starting fresh – my fault for not being consistent), thanks for stopping by. The TL;DR about me is: I’ve been in the startup game for some time (10+ years to be exact which still seems crazy!). Throughout the time, I’ve seen a lot and encountered so many highs and lows and the good and the bad. I’d like to say, I somehow have survived multiple battles and am still going strong. Nonetheless, I felt today was a good day to write about a few things I’ve learned along the journey, with one being the most important that I felt I should share while working at various startups.

STARTUPS ARE ALWAYS HARD

I put a quote below the title of this post, one that really resonates with me and I felt it also pertains to this post as well regarding working at startups. If you missed it here it is again:

Make Mistakes Faster.

This is 100% true and pertains to startups in my opinion. No matter what you’ve heard or what you’ve seen, startups will always be difficult and have their ups and downs. There is no “perfect” startup that goes from 0 to 100 upon inception. Every startup, starts from an idea – a foundation. It is from there, a startup founder or founders really dive in deeper, to take that idea and morph it into a reality. Once there is somewhat of a base established (i.e code developed, app launched, etc) then of course, comes the wild roller coaster ride of growing and scaling. This pertains to both external and internal scaling. This post will focus on the internal growth and whether you’re employee #1 or employee #500, startups will always be hard. Just an FYI – don’t let that deter you, life is about challenges and overcoming them.

Don’t Second Guess – Mistakes Happen. Learn. Grow. Be Better.

Whether you are a pro coder, held a high level position previous to your current position, or hell – even Michael Jordan (THE GOAT), we have all made mistakes. No startup expects you to be perfect. You’ve probably heard the common term with startups “Roll-up your sleeves and wear multiple hats,” which may sound cliche but throughout my career while working at various startups, this has ALWAYS been the case. This is what makes startups hard at first. They will ALWAYS be hard, but that’s what makes the end goal together that much more exhilarating. You will go through tough times and perhaps long hours (disclaimer: each startup varies). If you’re like me, you probably have made mistakes along the way as well. That is 100% natural and normal. No one is a “perfect” employee that never makes mistakes. With startups, sometimes making mistakes may feel a bit overwhelming. While working long hours, whether trying to ensure a code update goes out or trying to finalize and launch a campaign for a client up until the last minute, the work will be hard. But that’s the beauty of startups. With the tight knit community within your organization, you will have support, which will give you the opportunity to quickly lean on your colleagues to help fix an issue if a mistake occurred. It’s OKAY to make mistakes. It’s part of life and especially while working in a fast paced environment. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and make sure you grown and evolve so the same mistake does not occur again. I like to associate your first mistakes as always the “ah ha” or “gotcha” moments. These moments are pivotal as it is up to you to ensure you quickly catch onto them and remember to grow and not get caught twice.

I’ll end this post by referring to my quote above: “Don’t second guess – mistakes happen. Learn. Grow. Be Better.” Startups are hard but that does not mean the end goal will not be worth it. There will always be lows but that just means there will also always be highs as well.

Happy 2018!

Happy 2018 Everyone!

A lot has happened over the course of 2017. The tech industry itself had a lot of exiting news, and of course, there is the whole crypto craze that transpired :).

I truly believe that crypto has the ability to impact and disrupt a lot in the near future, and being in the Content/Digital Campaign Industries, I feel there will be some really cool and innovative ways where all worlds combine together for solid and meaningful experiences.

2018 will provide for a big year and I foresee a lot of new and upcoming entrepreneurs who may make a name for themselves. It’s up to us, who are part of the tech industry currently, to help any and all entrepreneurs. My goal for 2018 is to help as many entrepreneurs as I can.

Cheers to all and wishing you a prosperous 2018!

Woah it’s been awhile!!!

atHello All!

It’s been quite some time since my last blog post! Over a year I think. I’ve been so busy over the course of the year, I just never really had time to update my blog (I know that’s such a poor excuse). I shouldn’t make any excuses and I apologize for being so lazy. That’s EXACTLY what it was, I was lazy, and I will own up to it.

Going forward, I will try and write more often as it helps me relax as well as stay up to date on current trending tech news.

STAY TUNED!