Alex's Tech Thoughts

What Do You Want?

Asking for what you want gets results. Some people expect others to read their mind, but that’s not a good solution. If you want something from someone just ask for it.

I’ve noticed that successful people are really good at asking for what they want. They don’t sugarcoat it and are very straightforward. It allows both sides to understand what is expected of the interaction.

It is frustrating when someone expects the other side (whether significant other, boss, colleague, family member, friend, etc.) to know what the person is thinking, expecting, hoping for.

So you should ask yourself before you start talking- what do you really want? Now ask for it.

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How Successful People Get Help

The people that get the most help are the ones that make it the easiest for other people to help them.

I’ve written about this before, but was reminded again while talking to friend who is currently in need of help.

My friend is looking to break into the entertainment industry. One of the people who he sat down with told him how he can get the most help, by removing any barriers for people to help him. You can do this by researching well before meeting with someone. Try to figure out how they can help you. Don’t necessarily jump out and ask for the help. Asking for advice usually leads the other side to ask how they can help. But know that when a person does ask how they can help you, you need to be prepared to tell them.

I am a big believer that most people want to help others. However, people are busy with their own things— they have other commitments. Unless you make it really easy for them to help you, don’t expect them to have the time to figure out how they can help you AND THEN help you.  

Bottom line: The people who are the most successful at getting help are the ones who know exactly how the person they are meeting/talking with can help them.

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Living The Dream

If you are doing something you love to do, you are living the dream.

If you wake up every morning and are excited to go to work, you are living the dream.

If you work at night and on the weekends because you WANT to, you are living the dream.

Unfortunately, most people are not living the dream. This is sad, because life is so short, you might as well do something you love to do.

If you do happen to be “living the dream,” make sure you reflect and enjoy it to the fullest. 

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Having a Failure

I have had my share of failures in life and work.

I have started and been involved with a countless amount of companies that have not worked out.

Each one had a different problem and each one was a different learning experience. 

I believe that you need to fail, a few times, to become successful.

Just make sure you don’t get bitter about failure (hey, it happens). Take all the knowledge you acquire (from failure) and put yourself in a better position to succeed.

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Putting Yourself In A Position To Get Lucky

I hate it when people say “They aren’t/weren’t talented, they just were lucky” or “They were just in the right place at the right time.”

While this may happen on occasion, I don’t think it is the norm.

Something happened to me in the last few days that would be seemingly lucky, however I see it differently.

The way I see it is that I put myself in a position to get lucky.

What I mean by “putting yourself in a position” is the following:

1) Make sure you are going out to events

2) Talk to people and network

3) Follow up with everyone you meet

4) Reach out to people who you think might be interesting to speak with

5) Put together a digital identity 

6) Help out a fellow founder/friend/associate

and more.

You will never meet the right people to help build your company by sitting on your couch and watching re-runs of Kendra on E! all day. 

The point I am trying to make is that if you put yourself out there, put a lot of effort into your current situation (whether starting your own company, working for/at another company, etc…) you will be in a position for good things to happen to you.

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Rising Above The Rest

I heard a great quote a few days ago- but haven’t been able to post, due to a little outage dubbed Tumblr-pocalypse 2010.

"No one knows shit.

Everyone makes shit up.

 The trick is making the best shit up.

That’s what makes one rise above the rest.”

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Find Your Passion

Growing up, my parents always told me to figure out what I love doing in life and find a way to make it into a career.

They would say “Alex, find your passion.”

Maybe you love to analyze stocks, maybe you love cross-examining witnesses, maybe something else. Whatever it is, life is too short to not work in a field you absolutely love. If you are doing something “for the money” you will never be happy. 

I met a guy in LA last year who told me a great story. In 1998 he was laid off from an associate law position. The job market was tough, so he ended up staying home a lot and playing video games. He really loved playing video games, so he went on to build a video game company. Five years later he sold the company for over 30 million dollars (he took very little investment, so it was mostly all upside for him and the team).

That story always stuck with me.

If you love what you do, truly love it, you will be in a great position to be successful.

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Startups and Meritocracy

I could have been a lawyer. I could have been a banker. I could have worked at a big corporation. 

But I am not.

I work in the startup world.

Why do I do this?

There are a myriad of reasons why I love what I do. However, the biggest is the simple fact that the startup world is purely a meritocracy.

The startup world doesn’t care where you were born. It doesn’t care how wealthy your uncle is. And it definitely doesn’t care what your GPA in school was.

No, The only thing the startup world cares about is your ability and achievement. As long as you use your talent, intellect, and strengths you can achieve anything.

Instead of pushing paper around to make .001 on every trade or deal, you can create and add value to this world. You can change the world.

This is why startups are awesome.

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