Tag: lives

A CEO explains why everyone should have this group of people in their lives

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As an incredibly indecisive person, I’ve always relied heavily on other people’s input when making career decisions.

But the process by which I solicit other people’s feedback is pretty haphazard: Maybe I’ll call my mom, maybe I’ll do some research online, maybe I’ll draft an email to a former professor and then delete it because I don’t want to bother them.

In the end, I usually wind up just as confused as when I started.

Recently, however, I spoke with Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO of Likeable Local and author of “The Art of People,” who told me about a brilliantly simple strategy for getting trusted career and life advice: Recruit three to five people to serve on your own personal advisory board.

Kerpen got the idea from Dorie Clark, a personal branding consultant and a friend of his, who recommends that everyone — not just entrepreneurs or CEOs — form their own advisory board.

Kerpen said most everyone has people they consider mentors, either from school or previous jobs. These are the people you should ask to serve on your advisory board.

I was curious whether someone who’s successful, influential, and presumably very busy, would really agree to participate in something like this. Kerpen said they probably would: “Despite what people might think, I actually think the more successful someone is, the more they want to help and give back and help other people younger than themselves.”

Once you’ve found those three to five willing advisors, Kerpen says you’ll want to “get them together on a regular basis [three to six times a year] with the specific goal of helping you in your career, with whatever specific objective you have at the time.” Maybe you’re hoping to start a company, or maybe you’re a manager and you want to be a vice president at your organization.

“You want to find people that have succeeded in areas you’d like to succeed in one day,” Kerpen said.

At each meeting, present one or two challenges you’re working on and have everyone offer their insights.

Having multiple smart, accomplished people in the room “magnifies the power of each person’s experiences,” Kerpen said.

So what can you offer your advisors in return, other than free dinner or coffee?

When Kerpen was thinking about launching Likeable Local, he provided a leadership training exercise to his board of advisors, and told them he hoped they could network with each other. (He also compensated them financially, though he says that’s not necessary for a personal advisory board.)

In the end though, Kerpen writes in “The Art of People”: “I learned that it’s been my success that has made my advisors feel most rewarded.”

SEE ALSO: A CEO says this is the best question you can ask when you meet an influential person

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A 23-year-old Google employee lives in a truck in the company’s parking lot and saves 90% of his income

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When 23-year-old Brandon headed from Massachusetts to the Bay Area in mid-May to start work as a software engineer at Google, he opted out of settling into an overpriced San Francisco apartment. Instead, he moved into a 128-square-foot truck.

The idea started to formulate while Brandon — who asked to withhold his last name and photo to maintain his privacy on campus — was interning at Google last summer and living in the cheapest corporate housing offered: two bedrooms and four people for about $65 a night (roughly $2,000 a month), he told Business Insider.

“I realized I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the apartment I was staying in — and I was almost never home,” he says. “It’s really hard to justify throwing that kind of money away. You’re essentially burning it — you’re not putting equity in anything and you’re not building it up for a future — and that was really hard for me to reconcile.”

SEE ALSO: To avoid outlandish rent prices, one San Francisco woman moved onto a 136-square-foot sailboat

SEE ALSO: A Google employee lives in a truck in the company’s parking lot — here’s what his family and friends think

SEE ALSO: Here’s how much a family needs to earn to live comfortably in San Francisco while still saving money

He started laying the groundwork for living out of a truck immediately, as he knew he’d be returning to work full time in San Francisco. A school year later, he was purchasing a 16-foot 2006 Ford with 157,000 miles on it.

It cost him an even $10,000, which he paid up front with his signing bonus. His projected “break-even point” is October 21, according to the live-updating “savings clock” he created on his blog, “Thoughts from Inside the Box.”

His one fixed cost is truck insurance — $121 a month — as he doesn’t use electricity, and his phone bill is handled by Google.

“I don’t actually own anything that needs to be plugged in,” he explains on his blog. “The truck has a few built-in overhead lights, and I have a motion-sensitive battery-powered lamp I use at night. I have a small battery pack that I charge up at work every few days, and I use that to charge my headphones and cellphone at night. My work laptop will last the night on a charge, and then I charge it at work.”

The space is sparse and minimal, he says: “The main things that I have are a bed, a dresser, and I built a coat rack to hang up my clothes. Besides that, and a few stuffed animals, there’s pretty much nothing in there.”

As for food and showers, that’s all on Google’s campus. He eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner at work and showers every morning in the corporate gym post-workout.

Few expenses mean significant savings: “I’m going for a target of saving about 90% of my after-tax income, and throwing that in student loans and investments,” he says.

He graduated with $22,434 worth of student loans, and has paid it down to $16,449 over the course of four months. “As a conservative estimate (and taking bonuses into consideration), I expect to have them paid off within the next six months, saving thousands of dollars over the standard 10-year, or even 20-year plans,” he says.

Additionally, saving on rent has allowed him to dine at nice restaurants and enjoy San Francisco more than if he opted for living in an apartment.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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