How To Be More Confident

Some people are born with it, some people aren’t, but confidence is definitely something that anyone can have.  It just takes some work and a positive attitude. Confidence can help you in all facets of life, from dating to professional settings, so that’s why we’re sharing a few tips on how to be more confident.

Identify self-limiting thoughts/actions

Whether you work through it on your own or with a professional, getting clarity on where you lack confidence is an important step in changing it. Whether it’s facing your fears or understanding where negative thoughts come from you’ve got to know where you stand to improve.

Know The Truth: You Are Great

We all have self-doubt, it’s part of life, but confidence starts from the inside out, and working on loving yourself and recognizing your own great qualities is a key point in becoming more confident.

Talk To Yourself

This might seem a bit weird at first but it really works. It can take many forms from mantras you say to yourself at the beginning of the day to just giving yourself a pep talk before a big date or job interview, putting yourself in the right frame of mind can really help you feel more confident.  

Practice

Confidence takes practice.  From consistently working your own processes to just interacting with people on a regular basis, practice makes perfect. The more you work on it, the better you’ll get.

Be Positive

Confidence also starts with a positive outlook. By cultivating a positive outlook on life, social interactions, work, etc. you’ll be able to focus on being genuinely happy with yourself and others

One final point, know the difference between confidence and arrogance. There’s a fine line between being confident and cocky.  Confident people are engaging and fun to be around, arrogant people come off as disingenuous and rude. Yes, it’s important to know your worth but you never want to think you’re better than anyone, projecting the right type of confidence will bring people to you whereas arrogance can just turn people off.

5 Conversation Topics Women Hate

Whether it’s in a dating scenario or socially at a party or event, small talk and conversation skills are things that take practice to master. Outside of feeling comfortable with yourself, knowing what not to talk about is super important if you’re going to hit it off well and just generally be someone fun and interesting to be around. So do yourself a favor, make sure you’re not bringing up any of these major no-no’s when chatting up the next women you meet.

Politics

Let’s not sugar coat it, we’re living in divisive times and no matter what side of the fence you’re on, bringing up politics on a first date or in a social setting is an absolutely huge “NO”. Just don’t do it.

Your Ex

No matter what type of dating scenario you’re in when you first meet someone, no woman wants to hear you go on an on about how great (or terrible) your ex was. Yes, there’s a time and a place to discuss past relationships but the first few dates or conversations is definitely not one of them.

Religion

Just like politics, we’re living in complex times and religion can be a very personal thing. You want your social and dating conversations to be light, fun, and interesting, not heavy and serious. Hold off on the religion talk until well into a relationship.

Work

Yes, of course, talking about what you do for a living is perfectly normal and natural. BUT, a minute or two is enough! We don’t want to hear you go on and on about your job, how you “crush it”, “close deals” or whatever else, it’s boring, move on.

Yourself

Yup, I said it. So yes, talking about yourself in the right way is critical, but it’s how you do it that matters. Do we want to learn more about what makes you unique and cool? Yes, absolutely. But do we want to hear you go on and on about your car, how much money you make, or how big your house is? Hell no. Confidence is great but being self-involved and arrogant is a huge turn-off.

10 Life Hacks Every Student Should Know

It’s back to school time again, so we thought we should share a bit of advice and wisdom for all you students out there.  School is a time for fun, sure, but it’s also time to start thinking about and working on your future. So with that in mind, here’s some of our favorite advice that every student should know.

Relax

The pressure you’ll feel is self or community imposed. All the decisions you think are completely life-changing are easily fixable if you keep your head about you and don’t fall for the trap that the major or direction you choose now is what you have to do for the rest of your life. Take your time, you don’t have to figure it all out at once.

Start good habits now

Good habits will absolutely carry through long past graduation day. So start taking your mental and physical health seriously. Work on things like eating better, getting enough sleep, reading more, and putting a productivity workflow into place (check out GTD, Pomodoro Technique, Bullet Journaling). Learn how to find your motivation and use it.

Learn how to be a good conversationalist

This skill is something that will be useful for the rest of your life. Be genuinely interested to learn about other people. Whether you’re making new friends or using your conversation skills for networking, being confident and comfortable making conversation is really important.

Internships

If you’re in college, even as a freshman – start looking into company internships NOW. They will show you what it’s really like to work for a certain type of company or industry. Use these as a try-out for potential careers. You can also talk to your guidance counselors and career centers and ask if they have any specific programs for this.

Learn money management

While it’s not taught in most schools, learning how to budget is huge. Look up personal finance (try Reddit) and how even putting $20 or $100 a month now will give you financial freedom much earlier in life – even if you’re working in a low-wage job. Don’t take on unnecessary debt. It’s easy to get sucked into putting things on a credit card, so don’t do it unless you have the means to pay it off everything month. Also, build credit as early and quickly as possible by getting a credit card and only adding 1 autopay item to it that you automatically pay off each month. If you’re worried about yourself, send it somewhere – parent, friend, etc. – if you’d be tempted to use it for unnecessary spending.

Evaluate your career/life goals

Think hard, do you actually need to be in school right now? Trades pay incredibly well and most don’t require college degrees. Your late teens and early twenties will see lots of changes. Not sure if school is for you? Take a gap year and go explore career opportunities! Education is important but school will always be there for you when the time is right.

Take responsibility for your decisions

You don’t get to blame your parents for your problems anymore. As you come of adult age, it’s time to be responsible for your thoughts and actions. You can’t blame anyone else for what happens to you from here on out. It’s up to you now to make your life as good or bad as you want it. If things aren’t going well in your life, start with numero uno and figure out what’s happening before jumping to blame outside factors. You dictate the way your life goes and you have the opportunity to make it what you want. The world doesn’t care about you enough to cause you to fail.

Evaluate all your friendships

The friendships you make during your school years will often impact your life in negative and positive ways you won’t foresee now. Toxic people can hinder you from being the best version of yourself and we talked about taking responsibility for everything earlier. Now it’s time to let that also dictate who you surround yourself with. As the saying goes, you’re the sum of the 5 people you hang with the most. So surround yourself with only good people.

Learn tact

Saying inappropriate things to people is something that’ll be harder to shake as you get older. Follow the 2-minute rule. Listen for approximately two minutes before interjecting into a conversation. You convey tact, have context of the subject matter, and understand the contributor’s style. Tact is a huge part of those conversationalist skills we mentioned earlier.

Get to know your professors

In your later years, good relationships with professors can lead to recommendations, research, and job opportunities. Don’t think your adjunct professors can’t help you, too. A lot of them actually work in the industry you’re interested in and teach as a side gig. Most faculty members are delighted when students visit them to ask about the readings, the course topic, or just to get to know them. Professors are required to hold office hours for students: your tuition is paying for that kind of contact. So use it!

You’ve entered an exciting and formative time in your life, so make the most of it! As we said, setting yourself up for success in the future starts now.

5 Things Every Man Should Have In His Bedroom

We’ve talked about the importance of home upgrades before and no matter where your relationship status is, having an inviting bedroom environment is important for every guy. Here are a few of our favorite easy upgrades and crucial items that every man should have in his bedroom.

Our Bedroom Picks

Sheets:

Parachute

Boll & Branch

Cloudten

Candles:

Anthropologie

Candles from Huckberry

PF Candle

Norden 

Square Trade

Reed Diffusers:

Jo Malone

Tom Dixon

PF Candle

Budget-Friendly Diffusers

Valet Trays:

Tanner Goods

Maxx & Unicorn

Scout Leather Co.

Affordable Picks

Bluetooth Speakers:

Anker

JBL

Bose

Pillows:

Tuft & Needle 

Tempur-pedic

Coop Home Goods 

Purple

8 Tips For A Better Morning Routine

Getting your day off to a great start with a solid morning routine is super important, and once you’ve set yourself up for the day in a good frame of mind everything else will fall into place. Sure, a good morning grooming routine is key, but it’s more than that. As the saying goes, “The morning maketh the day.” So wake up, let’s go!

 

 

#1 – Remove friction in the morning

A smooth morning starts with getting preparing the night before – set out your clothing, write down your to-do list, prepare your breakfast, whatever you need for a nice onramp into the day.  A little prep goes a long way.

#2 – Make your bed

It’s not just about being neat, this small act of routine helps create an early win and sets you up for mental success for the rest of the day. Yes, seriously.  Hey, this guy swears by it, and we think he knows a thing or two.  

#3 – Wake up early

Now we’re not advocating a 5 am wake up call if you’re not a morning person but it is important to set aside enough time to have a stress and rush-free morning.  Try adding 15-30 minutes for a few of these tips and see how well it works.

#4 – Meditation/quick journaling

Having some time for your mental health and reflection is a really overlooked aspect.  Whether you take a few minutes to journal like Tim Ferriss or remind yourself of what you’re grateful for like Tony Robbins, the success of these two entrepreneurs proves they’ve got the right morning routine in place.

#5 – Have a proper breakfast

Everyone’s ideal breakfast is different, from eggs to a protein shake, but starting solid, nutritious base wil fuel you both mentally and physically for the whole day.

#6 – Make a to-do list

Kicking off the day with an organizational exercise is a great way to starting thinking clearly and stay focused.  Create 1 to 3 MIT’s (Most Important Things) for the day and do those before you do anything else.

#7 – Take a tech timeout

Sure, we all do it, the alarm goes off and we immediately grab our phones.  But it’s time to break that habit and start with waiting to check your phone in the morning.  We’re on our devices all day and it’s important to start the day off with a break so skip the phone, email, and social media until after you’ve marked some MIT’s off your list or eaten breakfast.

#8 – Get the blood flowing

Whether you’re a morning workout person or not, getting the blood moving early on is great for your mental state. Hit the gym, go for a run, or even just do a set of pushups or jumping jacks, you’ll have a more productive day and start in a better mood.

Top 6 Habits Of Attractive Men

Sure, not everyone is blessed with flawless cheekbones, a superhero body, or a million-dollar smile, but attractiveness is much more than just physical appearance.  If you look at some of the most attractive men on the planet there’s a whole lot more that goes into what makes them attractive, and many of these things are habits and behaviors that you too can adopt to make yourself more attractive.  It’s more simple than you think and I’m going to break it all down for you.

#1 – Have a consistent grooming routine

Maybe it seems obvious, but a clean, well-groomed man is always going to appear attractive and it also shows you care about yourself.  It doesn’t have to mean a complicated routine and fancy products either, just put some effort into how you look, smell, and groom and you’re in great shape.

#2 – Cultivate approachability

How you present yourself physically to the world with your body language can convey a ton of attractiveness. So, stand upright, uncross your arms, smile frequently, and make eye contact with those around you, you’ll instantly appear more friendly, approachable, and people will want to get to know you.

#3 – A consistent physical regimen

Some of us have been blessed and some of us haven’t, but either way, taking care of yourself physically goes a long way, and well past just what your body looks like physically.  Proper exercise and fitness contributes to overall physical and mental well-being, boosts confidence, and helps with stress, all important factors that will boost your attractiveness to everyone around you.

#4 – Mental health routines

Cultivating a strong mind is just as important as working on your physique.  Confidence comes from a variety of sources and it takes work to get to a good place with yourself.  Everyone is different, but solid mental health habits based around proper sleep, meditation, journaling and even regular therapist visits will help you build and maintain a strong sense of self and confidence.

#5 – Be complimentary

Everyone loves to be complimented, it instantly disarms people and makes them feel good when they’re around you, and make no mistake, people always remember how you make them feel. Take care to make sure you’re always genuine though, nobody likes fakeness.

#6 – Be well-mannered

It’s a simple thing, but there’s a reason your mom always wanted you to remember your manners. People really notice when you say “please” and “thank you”, when you’re being gracious, opening the door for others, and not talking with your mouth full. You’ll become memorable (and attractive) for the right reasons and a pleasure to be around.

So, as you can see, everyone, and I mean everyone, can be more attractive, no matter what you look like.  It just takes the right habits, some self-care, and a genuine desire to be the best you can be.

How To Get & Stay Motivated

It’s the time of year again – when you make promises to yourself to change or do things that are good for you and then February rolls around and they’re nothing but a blip on the radar. In this part of The Better Man Series, let’s talk about getting over the hump to be motivated as well as staying motivated to action.

Motivation is like a muscle – it has to be exercised to avoid atrophying.

As a man, a major goal in life should be to constant improvement in whatever aspects you deem necessary. When you give up this journey of curiosity and improvement is when the verve for life goes away and you’ll basically be dead – figuratively and literally – if you’re in your twilight years. Obviously, depending on your age, your goals can vary, but the mechanisms for getting and staying motivated are the same no matter who you are.

Over the years, in talking to people of all ages about betterment, I’ve encountered a weird issue – they feel bad for trying to improve their lives and it stops them from trying or aids in quickly abandoning their goals. They say they feel:

  • Selfish
  • Like they’re not helping others enough.
  • Bad because their family or friends make fun of them.
  • Too old, young, poor, skinny, fat, etc to do anything.

I’d argue that in order to make others around you better, you need to improve yourself, first. Only then will you be in a position to truly help others.

While your friends or family may never say this, or even know why they do it – making fun of you is just a reaction to them being scared that your progress is going to make them look and feel worse. And it’s 100% true, but that’s their problem, not yours. Don’t let them drag you down so they feel better about themselves.

As for being too (insert excuse here) – that’s just an excuse you’ve learned to justify your lack of motivation. You know it’s B.S., too.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

Let’s get into actionable steps to get and stay motivated.

Find your triggers

Start thinking about the things you run into in your daily life that inspire you to action. They could be anything, but here’s some common ones:

Once you’ve established the things that motivate you, it’s now time to make them, in some way, part of your day. This is key to ensure that wonderful Pavlovian response is triggered multiple times a day. Think of it like a quick caffeine jolt for your motivational engine.

Be around people who inspire you

Being around motivated people is inspiring and it’ll absolutely rub off on you. So find a way to be around them – invite them out to coffee, give a call, schedule a recurring monthly lunch, join a co-working space, etc.

If that’s not possible, then you can try watching or listening to speeches of people you find inspiring. Just find a way to interact with inspiring and motivational people on a regular basis.

Define & Set Goals

As man without goals will achieve very little. So set goals and start hashing out what you really want to do. The one thing I’ll warn you against, though, is not setting specific enough goals. Wanting to be rich and famous is not a goal, it’s the result of a goal (of goals) achieved. Wanting to be more in-shape is not a goal, it’s too vague. So keep them specific, like:

  • Bench pressing 200lbs
  • Going on a monthly date with my significant other
  • Learning a new language
  • Getting a promotion to a certain position
  • Buying a house by the time you’re __ years old
  • Starting a business

Don’t know what goals you want to achieve? Put together a “Anti-Goal” list of things you’ve tried or thought about trying and absolutely don’t want to do. Then start whittling it down by way of deduction instead of addition.

Don’t beat yourself up

The common issue I see with people who lose motivation is not giving their goals enough time or flexibility. If a goal takes longer than you anticipated, or your goals have shifted, or you have a setback – don’t beat yourself up over it.

You are your harshest critic.

People often get discouraged and think about giving up when these things happen, but instead of feeling down about it, understand that this is part of the process and be thankful for how far you’ve come and that these are things every motivated person has encountered, as well. If it was easy, everyone would already be doing it.

Have a plan of action

Figure out a way (probably many ways) to achieve whatever goal(s) you have and then break it down into actionable, bite-sized chunks. Then, and only then, can you take that motivation and start working on achieving your goals.

Standing at the foot of a mountain and not realizing that it’s going to take many, many smaller steps to get to the summit will do yourself a disservice and you’ll give up because you didn’t set a plan of action to get to the top.

Coincidentally, the more smaller steps you achieve, the more motivated it’ll make you. Movement begets more movement.

There are some systems available, if you’d like to take a structured approach. Getting Things Done is a system I personally use and a bit of a companion or supplement to that system is called Bullet Journaling – which I also do.

It’s easy to be busy everyday, it’s hard to make progress everyday.

Set aside time for review

Over the course of working to achieve your goals, you’ve got to ensure you understand how far you’ve come and celebrate the small victories. Without that, it’s easy to get frustrated and lose motivation.

Your goal(s) will take a while (almost always longer than you thought) to achieve, so you’ve got to set aside time celebrate these smaller wins the to give yourself the motivation to keep working to the ultimate goal.

I like to take the natural breaks of seasons/holidays to set aside time for reflection and reorienting. During the Easter holiday, 4th of July weekend and Thanksgiving weekend, I sit down, look at what I’ve done and first, be thankful for al that I’ve achieved and then decide if directions or mindsets need to be adjusted. It’s extremely helpful and refreshing and I can’t suggest it enough.

 

That’s it! I hope it’s been helpful and you start working toward your amazing goals this year!

5 Books Every Man Should Read

I asked Dorian, who is an avid and varied reader, to share some of the books he recommends to his mentoring groups. His 5 books every man should read as well as descriptions and reasons for recommending them are below.

The Magic of Thinking Big

I fought reading this book for a long time because my bullshit sensor is very sensitive and it just seemed like a bunch of weird self-helpy trash. I avoided it for many years until someone I really respected said it was worth reading. I gave it a shot and was surprised at how practical and informative it was. I can credit this book with helping me to see outside and go beyond my current circumstances and expand my horizons in business and life.

How To Win Friends & Influence People

Let’s be honest: nothing happens in a vacuum. Walls, empires and lives are built and destroyed based on interactions between people. So why not be as good as possible in this respect? The book’s title sounds like it’ll teach you how to manipulate people to do your bidding, but that’s not the angle it takes, so don’t let it dissuade you. I credit this book with helping me get over my social anxiety and shyness and, dare I say, has made me a better person overall.

Tao Te Ching

The pitch for this book is tough. It takes at least a few times of goading people to read it before they finally acquiesce and understand how good it is. It was basically written as a manual for emperors about how to be good rulers. But that description, while accurate, is doing this really short and succinct book a huge disservice by implying it’s only for people who oversee countries or large corporations. I read this book at least once a year to keep my life in perspective and use it as a sort-of pep talk during rough times. The book will use some terms that Westerners would interpret as religious in nature, but take those with a huge grain of salt and define them how you want. There is no such thing as an Eastern religion, they are only philosophies, similar to the Golden Rule, that are meant to only be supplements to your personal beliefs – not replace them.

Getting Things Done

When I started my first company, I didn’t know how to manage all the responsibilities and tasks being thrown my way. I would literally go through my to-do list and calendar in my head each night while laying in bed and as the company grew and my responsibilities increased, my sleep went away with it. I was recommended this book to use as a system for managing my life and it delivered on that promise ten-fold. I can credit this book with keeping me, as well as Ashley when she started her first company, sane and in a position to grow and expand our business’ and lives. This book will work for you, no matter where you are in life and make you more productive and happier than you thought possible.

World Religions

Religions are important to understand because they’ve influenced our lives in ways you may not realize. So in order to understand the basis for most laws, societies and people in general, it’s important to understand the foundational elements of everything – which are religions. The only problem with this book is that it’s written by a religious scholar who sees everything through a Christian viewpoint, so his interpretation of Eastern philosophies are not accurate because he looks at them as religions – when they’re not at all. I will include another book in the bonus section below that contains a more accurate description of Eastern thought.

 

Bonus Books

1984

This book was written almost 75 years ago and it’s scary how accurately it portrays our modern times. This is a fictional-must read and a re-read if you haven’t read it in a while.

The Religion Of No Religion

This is a free youtube video of a lecture by Alan Watts, about the origins and details of Eastern philosophies that are a more accurate depiction than the other book about religions above.

The Naked Ape

If you want to have your head screwed on differently, read this book by a Zoolgist who breaks down the human species like any other animal in nature. It’s an entertaining and perspective-changing read.

Pale Blue Dot

This is a perspective-shifting book that will help you understand the place you inhabit in the literal universe.