Tag Archives: job

Documenting Our History Through Social Media

21 Oct

I wrote a blog post for the company I work for on the future of social media. I adapted the topic from one of my earlier posts and focused it more on business. Click on the link below and give it a read.

Documenting our History through Social Media

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Tacking to Complete Goals

13 Sep

I consider myself to be a “goal setter”. I set a lot of goals for myself in order to be more productive and complete the tasks I think are worth putting forth time and effort. Being of the goal setting type, I always have enjoyed hearing or reading about how other people accomplish their goals and what “tactics” they use in order to accomplish their goals. I think that setting goals can be a great practice for accomplishing tasks that are important to you and a great way of getting things done. Not everybody is a goal setter, but for those of us that enjoy setting goals, here is what I do.

I had set an aggressive goal in July to have purchased a house by September 1st of this year. While that goal was lofty, it was still very much achievable. As I said in my earlier post, I am currently unemployed and pursuing real estate investing in order to make the most of my time without a job. While trying to complete my goal of purchasing a house (or any goal for that matter) I ask myself one question several times a day:

“What can I be doing right now to be more productive and get closer to achieving my goal?”

Asking myself this question keeps me focused on the goal I have set and helps me determine the steps necessary to get closer to achieving that goal. This question also helps me break my goal into sections and forces me to think of what can be accomplished next. I like to break my goals into these sections because it takes away the feeling of being overwhelmed by a huge goal and keeps me focused on my set main goal.

Buying a house, for example, can seem slightly overwhelming when looking at the big picture. However, there are many smaller steps in-between where you are now and buying a house. One of my professors once used a great analogy between accomplishing goals and sailing. Let me explain. In sailing, you don’t go straight from point A to point Z in a straight line. Instead, you tack. You make many turns and go from point A to B, B to C, C to D, and so on until you reach your destination of point Z. The same is true with completing your goals. You have to “tack” and go through the necessary steps in between you and your final destination (or goal). With every turn of the boat you are moving forward towards your desired goal. Also, you always want to have your focus set on where you ultimately want to end up and through determination and “tacking” you will arrive at your goal. So, in my example of buying a house, it could look like this: Where I am now is point A and purchasing the house is point Z. One of my first “tacks” could be determining how much money I can invest, point B. Point C could be finding a real estate agent. Point D could be touring a house. These “tacks” continue all the way until you have reached your goal of buying a house. Now, I’m not saying it only takes twenty-six “tacks” to buy a house (could be much, much more) but, it illustrates my point. Thinking about how you can “tack” towards your goal can be really helpful as you determine the steps necessary to get there.

Also important, is the timing factor of goals. There are some goals that have a constraint of time and require a due date to be put into place such as turning in an assignment for school or your taxes, for example. I think setting due dates for all your goals is important because it adds some pressure and keeps you moving towards completing your goal. That said, what happens when you don’t achieve your goal by the time you had planned for? This just happened to me when I had not accomplished my goal of purchasing a house by September 1st. While this can be very frustrating and discouraging, what you do after the deadline has passed is more important than the due date. I knew I wanted to still pursue real estate investing, so I had to take a step back and re-examine my goal, and make a new timeline for my goal. I also had to ask myself “is this goal still worth pursuing?” The answer was yes, so I had to press forward, and continue tacking towards my goal. This takes tenacity and perseverance (two things I am actively working on) in order to continue towards your goal.

I hope after reading this you can set some goals that are important to you and that the analogy of tacking has helped you view accomplishing your goals as more manageable and less overwhelming. Now, go set some goals and be productive!

Unemployed College Grad

16 Aug

Graduation day. Full of excitement and unemployed.

My Current Project

I just graduated college in one of the worst economic climates of recent years. Just last month, 131,000 jobs have been lost in the United States. Now, hold on. I have a four-year degree from a well-respected private university, getting a job should be no problem, right? WRONG. Let me tell you from a person currently living in the trenches of this job-hunt warfare, it has not been a fun process. I have sent my resume to over fifty potential employers with only a fraction even responding with an email confirmation, let alone an interview opportunity. Now, every time I send my resume somewhere I have the feeling I am sending it into a blackhole never to see it again.  I’m not telling you this so you can feel sorry for me (although, if you know someone hiring, go ahead and feel sorry for me and refer that person to my resume). I’m telling you this to explain my current situation and what I am choosing to do with my spare time to make the most of it (other than writing this blog).

A Brief History

For several years now, I have been very intrigued by the idea of investing in real estate. Growing up, my Dad always told my brothers and I really interesting stories of when he was younger and would invest in real estate with his Dad.  I always thought that that sounded like something fun to do while learning a lot of important lifelong skills and making some money on the side. So, over the past couple of years I started reading real estate investing books, asking questions, and just imagining what that would look like specifically for me. Fast-forward to Fall semester of my senior year of college. I had been learning a lot in my business classes and I wanted to actually apply some of the ideas I had been learning in a real business environment. So, I bought a notebook, called my Dad and asked him how I could get started in real estate investing. At that time, my goal was to purchase a home within a short distance from my school and rent it out to fellow college students. My thinking was that there was a unique opportunity to be had there because I knew the area, I knew the students, and I knew that they would be willing to pay a ‘premium’ price per month because so many people live in one house.

After working seriously towards this goal and working closely with a real estate agent, I began to think what my post-college plans would be. I decided that I would be moving home to the Bay Area after college and with the time constraint of the end of the school year, I decided to hold off on my real estate pursuits until I moved back home. Although I didn’t meet my original goal of buying a house that school year, I learned a tremendous amount about what it takes to seriously invest in real estate: A lot of work. Although real estate investing can take on many different forms, when I say “real estate investing” I am more specifically talking about purchasing single family homes that are somewhat distressed, add value to them by fixing them up, and then selling them and, hopefully, if done correctly, making a profit. (Note: I stay away from the term “house-flipping” because that generally has a negative connotation to some and is significantly more risky and usually involves never actually taking ownership of the property.)

Today

Since I have moved back home, my friend Kyle and I met up and came up with a plan to purchase a house to live in while we fix it up and sell it within 12 months. We set an aggressive goal of being in contract to buy a house by September 1st of this year. Since that conversation we have been working hard to learn the market, find our target price, and working closely with a real estate agent. Our focus has been set primarily on bank-owned properties that are in need of some work and have the opportunity to add value to them. While I continue to job search, I spend a considerable amount of my day pursuing real estate investing trying to stay as productive as possible during this unique time of post-graduation-pre-career. So far, we have made offers on two different properties. The first property we made an offer on, the seller (a bank) was not willing to go down to the price we believed the property was worth. The second property we made an offer on we are still waiting to hear back from the seller. That is where Kyle and I currently stand on our current real estate pursuits. I will cover what this looks like on a day-to-day basis for me in a later blog post. For now, I wanted to explain my current situation and how I am trying to make the most out of my time as an unemployed college grad living at my parents house.

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