Time-Block to Stay Focused and Get More Done

It’s no secret that this generation has a problem staying focused on one thing. With social media and texting, how can you not be constantly distracted? Whenever we are slightly bored or unstimulated, we turn to our phones for some mindless entertainment. This prevents us from not only enjoying where we are but from completing important tasks.

Time-blocking is a technique that can be used to ensure your most important tasks get completed. It helps create a distraction-free environment where you can intensely focus for a certain period of time.

time-blocking

You can use apps like Forest to set a timer on your phone and track your progress. This app even has a graphic of a tree that you can watch grow as long as you stay focused.

planting_en_phone

Obviously never click that “Give Up” button! It will take practice but you need to stick with it. It will become easier and easier as you do it and, more importantly, you’ll become addicted to the results.

How do you stay focused on your tasks? Do you use time-blocking techniques?

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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Finance Books Every Female Millennial Needs to Read

Finance. It’s a topic many young women do not like to discuss. It either makes them uncomfortable or they just simply aren’t educated enough to converse about it. However, it is something so important to our success and well-being in life. It is a topic we all need to start talking about. In “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Kiyosaki mentions that poor people are still poor because they refuse to talk about money. Talking about money opens us up to new ideas on how to make, manage, and grow wealth.

I have recently become fascinated by personal finance because of my friend Miki. She has opened me up to so many new ideas and books on the topic. It is so important to have friends who are open about these kinds of things and eager to share all of their knowledge. These are the kinds of friends that will help you grow and prosper. But more on this topic in another post.

I have 4 personal finance books for you that each serve a different purpose but are all so eye-opening and educational. Once you read them you will not be able to stop. Each book opens up a realm of new thoughts and ideas that will help change your outlook on money.

1. A book to change your money mindset


You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

This book is for anyone who views money as dirty or thinks they are undeserving of it. It is for those who grew up with a poor understanding of all the things money can do for us. If you think being rich is a bad thing and makes you an evil person, read this book. It will quickly change your negative thoughts about money into positive ones. Each chapter asks you different questions and fits your answers into a mantra that you can repeat to yourself every day. If you have a negative view about money then you will never be able to prosper financially. Before educating yourself on making your situation better, you have to change how you view your situation.

2. A book to change your viewpoint on wealth and how to grow it 


  1. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

    Are you a firm believer that working hard will make you money? Do you think moving up the corporate ladder is the key to your success? This book will explain to you exactly why this is the wrong way to think. If you want to build wealth you need to escape from what Kiyosaki calls the “rat race”. He discusses the difference between assets and liabilities and how you need to ensure that your assets are being invested in order to pay for your liabilities. Kiyosaki gave me a whole new thinking process of where my income should be going, opening my mind to the idea of real estate and stock investments. I even enrolled myself in a real estate investment course on Udemy!

  2. 3. A book to introduce you to finance for women and why it’s important

The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan

This book is perfect for women that love cute graphics and want to make finance fun. It gives you a basic overview on the different aspects of your finances that you should reconsider and review in order to improve your financial situation. It doesn’t use big words or fancy terms that you won’t understand. The book even interviews successful females about how changing their finances have helped them succeed or how they reshaped the way they viewed money. I loved it because it was an easy read with beautiful pictures that made everything simple to understand.

4. A book that gives you actionable steps to improve your financial situation

I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Last, but certainly not least, is the book that is the most actionable and will lead to the biggest change in your financial well-being. If you were to only read one book off this list, this would be the one. Each chapter discusses a different topic and represents a different week in a 6-week plan to improve your financial situation. Sethi makes it easy for everyone to put what they read into action by assigning a chapter a week and ending it with actual steps you can complete. If you listen to everything he tells you to do, you will be in the best financial shape of your life. The topics range from student loans to credit cards to IRAs to budgeting.

Don’t just read this blog post and think about all the ways you could use these books to improve your finances. Click one of the links and purchase AT LEAST one of these on Amazon. It only takes one click!

These books will truly help set you in the right direction for your future. If you care about affording that house 5 years down the line, sending your kids to college, or (if you’re like me) buying that Chanel handbag you’ve always lusted over, then read these books. The younger you are the easier it is to set yourself up for a successful financial future. Why wait 10 years from now and stress yourself out trying to fix all of the mistakes you made in your 20s when it could all be smooth sailing from here?

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5 Podcasts Every Millennial Female Needs to Listen to

Podcasts are my favorite way to start the morning. It is the first thing I do when I wake up. I find one in my library that interests me the most on that day and hit play. I listen to it as I wash my face, do my makeup, and get dressed for the day. I love listening to them first thing in the morning because it allows me to start my day off by learning something new. Shouldn’t we all start a new day with learning?

Podcasts ground me a lot more than music does. Music has the tendency to get me in the mood of whatever song I am listening to. And, I don’t know about you but starting my day on a roller coaster of emotions isn’t effective in creating a clear, positive mindset for the work ahead of me.

Please keep in mind that I love to learn about health and wellness and the best ways to take care of my body, so a lot of these podcasts are focused on just that. Each one of these is informative in its own unique way. Here they are.

  1. The Skinny Confidential Him & Her

skinny confidential him and her

There is something about Lauren Everetts and Michael Bostick that is real and magnetic. I love listening to their conversations with each other and the guests that they have on the show. They interview all different kinds of guests from entrepreneurs to media personalities to doctors. I can always expect to learn something new through their podcast since they ask the most unique questions. A few of my favorite episodes are #163: Dr. Steven Gundry- Are Vegetables Bad?, #160: Ed Mylett- Peak Performance, #144: Shannon Dellimore- Founder of GLAMGLOW, #143: Paul Fishman- How to Self Love, and #129: Rachel Hollis- Prioritizing Time & Maximizing Results.

2. Mind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth

Mind Pump podcast

This one may be surprising to many people since it is a podcast primarily aimed at males who lift weights and body build. However, the three men that run this podcast are not only highly educated in strength-building, but also economics and politics. I like to hear them discuss different current events in the first hour of the podcast before answering fitness questions for the remaining time. They are all libertarians, giving listeners a very unique and real perspective that isn’t left or right-winged.

3. Ed Mylett Show

Ed Mylett podcast

I actually discovered Ed Mylett from the Skinny Confidential podcast and had to subscribe to his podcast after hearing him talk on success and relationships. He is an extremely successful entrepreneur who brings inspiring guests onto his show and also talks about his own success. He gives real, actionable advice for every entrepreneur which is why I enjoy his podcast so much. If you want to become a marketing guru listen to episode “How to Market Like a Genius with Billy Gene” and take lots of notes!

4. The goop Podcast

goop podcast

The goop Podcast focuses on interviewing different celebrities, doctors, and female entrepreneurs. Everyone that they interview somehow connects to overall wellness or female empowerment. I particularly enjoy listening to the psychologists and therapists that come onto the show to talk about different meditation and mental-wellness tips. I recommend “Why ‘Doing it All’ is a Con”, “Gweynth x Chrissy”, and “What ‘Problem’ Kids Are Trying to Teach Us”.

5. The mindbodygreen Podcast

mindbodygreen podcast

Again, this is another wellness podcast which interviews doctors and entrepreneurs in the wellness space. I like listening to a few different wellness podcasts, even though the guests often overlap, because each interviewer asks different questions and offers a different point of view in response. Some of my favorite episodes include “Daily Harvest Founder Rachel Drori”, “Dr. Frank Lipman On The Mitochondria”, and “Max Lugavere on Brain Fog”. However, my absolute favorite episode is “Bulletproof Founder Dave Asprey About Why He Thinks Kale is Bad For You”. Asprey has such a unique view of health and the entire episode kept me so intrigued. His thoughts on health are unlike anyone else’s.

You may be wondering, why do I need to listen to these podcasts as a female millennial? I am a true believer that success and wellness are intertwined. You can’t succeed if you are mentally or physically unwell. Taking care of our body and mind is necessary in order to accomplish goals and move forward in life. As skeptical as you may be, you cannot run a business, succeed in work, or form meaningful relationships if you aren’t properly taking care of yourself.

I hope these podcasts help lead you towards success in some way, whether they spark a business idea, encourage you to make healthier choices, or motivate you to overcome obstacles life throws your way. Let me know what you think and be sure to leave me a comment sharing your favorite podcasts!

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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Affording a Designer Bag Right Out of College

So I did a thing. To some people it might not seem like a big deal, but to me it represents all that I’ve worked for the past 22 years of my life.

 

I bought a bag that I’ve been lusting over for months. As someone who has grown up admiring the large fashion houses and the beautiful creations that come from them, buying my very own piece from one of these designers has always been a dream of mine. Models in magazines wearing these designer items were more than just images or cliches to me. They represented something to strive towards. Not because I was a superficial little girl wanting to show off a designer logo but because of the impact these designers have had on the fashion industry and what it means to be able to afford such an item.

Harrod's Gucci

Of course not everyone regards a designer bag in the same way. Some people see it as any other bag with a big name and high price tag. Some people see the person wearing it and automatically jump to conclusions about their life and how they got that bag. Other people think it’s a ridiculous financial decision. I’m not going to argue with any of these opinions because they are mere opinions, and in some contexts, they are probably 100% valid.

Gucci Sylvie

However, to me, my bag will remind me everyday of the long hours of studying I put myself through in high school and college. And not only the countless hours repeating math equations or figuring out lines of code, but the countless resumes and cover letters I’ve written, hundreds of internships I applied to, and the extracurricular activities I participated in those 8 years. You don’t earn nice things by sitting on your butt, cheating off the person next to you, or going out to bars and getting wasted on weekends (unless you’re racking up credit card debt or have rich parents, but that’s another story). You earn them by waking up at 6am to catch a train into the city, working a full 9-5 day, running to a networking session right after, studying on the train home, tutoring for 2 hours as soon as you walk in your door, and THEN heading off to a meeting for one of your clubs. Yes, this is what most of my weekdays in college looked like. However, it’s also not just making the most out of your weekdays but also sacrificing your weekends to work on your own business or attend a weekend-long hackathon in order to broaden your coding skills.

So at the end of the day, why not treat yourself to something you truly earned? When you make sacrifices you deserve to reward yourself for them. I’m excited to tote around my bag knowing that I bought it with my hard-earned money. Unfortunately, lots of people do judge others for making expensive purchases like this. Everyone has different priorities with their money and it’s not anyone’s place to judge them for it. Sure, it is not a smart decision to purchase an expensive item with a credit card or sacrifice your retirement savings, but you never know the sacrifices someone makes in order to afford a luxury. They could be someone who put in blood, sweat, and tears to earn that money, just like me.

Gucci Sylvie

I wanted to write this blog post to show my readers what hard work can earn. Whether you’ve always wanted to buy a designer bag like myself, or maybe a dream European vacation, you can make it possible by sacrificing some things in the present in order to make for a more enjoyable future. I recently read “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan B. Peterson and rule number seven discusses how the successful sacrifice in order to succeed in the future. He says, “the successful among us delay gratification. The successful among us bargain with the future”. I could not agree with this more. In order to be successful we must give up certain things in the present, like choosing to study for an exam rather than go out to the bars, in order to thrive later on. While having a designer bag does not mean success, it certainly is a byproduct of it. I will continue to give up certain things in my life in order to create a successful future for myself. While sometimes it doesn’t always work out, you never know unless you actually try.

Let me know what business, financial, or fashion advice you would like to hear me write more about. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for frequent updates!

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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Land A Job You Love Right Out of College.

I’ve been wanting to write about career-related topics for awhile now, but have never made the jump. My career is something that is extremely important to me and drives many of my life choices. I love attending events, networking, and reading more about business and entrepreneurship. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years of college, and even from when I was a teenager and had multiple businesses. So why not share this knowledge I’ve gained?

In this post I want to discuss the proper and improper ways of landing your first job out of college. Or landing a job even if you didn’t attend college! The idea of graduating and moving right into a job can be daunting, and for most people it doesn’t even work out that way. Many people are trying to scrap together interviews months after graduating, hoping some employer will hire them. I’m gonna give you some advice on how to avoid that rat race because I don’t think anyone wants to graduate not knowing where they’re going to be, what they’re going to be doing, or, most importantly, how they are going to be surviving with minimal or no income.

I want to start off by saying something so important. YOU MAKE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITIES. This is the biggest lesson I have learned throughout college and the beginning of my career. You can’t just wait for people to come to you and hand you what you want. There are few people that are lucky enough to be recruited into companies, but for the most part you need to seek these companies out. By seeking companies out I don’t mean simply hitting “submit” at the end of a job application and attaching your resume. This is the biggest mistake people make when trying to get hired. When you simply submit your resume on LinkedIn or a job-hunting site, your resume is getting lost in hundreds or thousands of applications. Nothing you do can or will stand out. You’re leaving it up to an algorithm to parse through key words on your resume and possibly spit it back to HR, IF you’re lucky. So if you want to have a job when you graduate, DO NOT depend on applying for jobs in this manner. Just don’t do it.

The key to anything in your career is simple. It’s networking. It’s who you know and how you know them. After all, we are all humans and looking to form genuine relationships. For this reason, someone is more likely to hire you when they have a personal relationship with you and can put a face to a name. Your face and personality is more likely to be remembered than some random words squeezed onto a piece of paper. People want to hire people that they like and want to surround themselves with in a work environment. You really can’t pick up on this through words written in Times New Roman font. So even if you submit a resume to a job posting and have everything that employer needs, that employer is more likely to hire someone they’ve met before and know they vibe with rather than someone they only know through a piece of paper.

Auriens Hackathon London

Hopefully you understand what I mean by the importance of forming personal relationships. For this reason, when finding your first job, rather than putting all of your effort into applying to jobs online, go out and make your presence known. Attend local events in the area, job fairs, and even happy hours. I find all of the events that I attend on Eventbrite or Facebook. On Eventbrite you can filter through events by your city, keywords, and the range of dates. Sign up for events you are interested in attending, even if you don’t end up going. You are often added to the email list of the company hosting that event, a way to receive exclusive opportunities that could lead to a job. However, you should make an effort to attend most of these events in order to meet new people and grow your connections. You never know who you will talk to and what they could be looking for. When meeting new people at these events be sure to always follow up with a LinkedIn request and personal message. After forming this important connection, you will automatically come to their mind when they are recommending people for a position or hiring someone new.

So now you may be wondering, well, what if I HATE networking and talking to new people? I hate to tell you, but if you want to be successful in life then this is just something you need to get over. If you hate networking and avoid it at all cost, you are holding yourself back from growing in your career. This could mean never getting hired for a position that you love or never moving up in the company you currently work for. Believe it or not, going into college I also hated networking and introducing myself to new people. I would get so nervous that I’d make myself sick, but I stilled forced myself to do it because I KNEW I had to. 5 years later and it is much less daunting and has given me so many great opportunities (80% of them if we are being honest). Once you keep pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, it will feel normal and become second nature to you. I used to shake and stutter at these events because my nerves would overcome me. But never the less, I persisted in my networking endeavors and look where I am now!

With all great things in life, you need to work hard and push yourself past your points of comfort in order to achieve your goals. Do you think the woman who is CEO of her dream company stays inside, scared to go to industry events? Of course not! She is out pitching her business to investors, meeting top talent all over her city, and sharing her ideas with complete strangers.

Do you think the student who landed his or her perfect internship at a huge technology company earned it by watching Netflix every night? No! These successes take hard work and determination, and often cannot be achieved without putting yourself out there, talking to new people, and learning new skills.

So now for those of you looking for a job, specifically those still in college, start the hunt NOW. So many students wait until the last two months of school to start looking for jobs. This is a terrible move. Programs specifically designed for new graduates are already filled way before this point. The fall before graduation is the most critical time to be accepted into these programs. These post-grad programs are your best shot at landing a more-than-ideal first job. They are designed to slowly transition you into the company culture and expect for you to not yet be accustomed to the 9-5 life, leaving lots of room for you to learn from your mistakes. Not only this, but most programs are a guaranteed two years with many opportunities to network, grow your skills, and gain amazing experiences. Prioritize these programs when applying for jobs! 

Throughout college I had many different internships, ranging from internships in marketing to fashion to information technology. I landed my second internship at a social media company from my cousin’s girlfriend. Networking! I landed my third internship by attending an event hosted by my school’s Career Center and introducing myself to the speakers. Networking! I landed my fourth internship by attending my school’s career fair and introducing myself to the company’s recruiters and then following up by connecting with them on LinkedIn. Networking! See a pattern?

Lastly, I earned my current job as a software engineer in Capital One’s Developer Academy by attending a Women in Tech Demo Days sponsored by Capital One. I signed up for this hackathon on Eventbrite, paying the $10 required fee to participate, and showed up to the event for a few hours. I distinctly remember almost not attending this event because my cousin was also in the city that day and I wanted to meet up with her. However, I still went because I knew it would help me transition to a job in technology after college. Little did I know I would meet a recruiter form Capital One and she would introduce me to CODA, a program designed to train post-graduates with an interest in tech (but no coding background required) to become software engineers for the company. Shortly after meeting her I began the interviewing process and eventually was offered the job. If I had never attended this event and met this recruiter, I would not have the amazing job I do today. I am being paid a full-time salary to learn to code! Does it get any better than that!?

Capital One Developer Academy (CODA)

Not only did I not even know about this program before attending this event, but if I did, my resume would’ve just been sitting in Capital One’s system with thousands of other applicants. If I had not formed this personal relationship with this recruiter, I would’ve been surpassed for the position along with everyone else who simply submitted their resume through LinkedIn. Now I have an engineering job for the next two and a half years with an amazing company, being paid to learn and grow in my technology skills.

If you’ve taken anything away from this post, I hope it’s the importance of networking and forming personal relationships with people. You never know who you can meet until you put yourself out there. Nobody gets anywhere by closing themselves off from all of the endless opportunities available in the world. So go on Eventbrite, find some events that interest you, and take the initiative to go! You never know the opportunities that could come from simply showing up.

Dear 20-Something Girl (7)

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