Official Farewell

2 Aug

LifeAtTwentySomething.com

Hello all,

After months of not writing here, I feel that I should probably give my official farewell to this blog. This month, a year ago, I started this blog and I thought I would enjoy writing about events and marketing. Alas, I realized I did not want to be limited and I have changed so much in one year of the post-grad life that I think I have something different to offer.

EventMarketingRookie was a nice try but I have a better idea of what I want to write about…which is everything!

So, I’ve started a new site – lifeattwentysomething.com. I hope you’ll take a look at it and follow my journey as young twenty something who’s has a lot to learn, but is loving every minute of it! Well, almost every minute of it. :)

Thanks for all your support and I’ll hopefully see you at Life At Twenty Something!

Cheers,

- Kovie

Gone to the Beach….

7 Feb

Image

 

OKAY…haven’t really Gone to the Beach but I need a week off from posting today so thus I’m taking a week off. If you do ever take the time to read my posts, thank you very much! Have a great rest of the week and I’ll be writing soon :)

What Tim Tebow taught us.

3 Feb


Now that Super Bowl Sunday is upon us, I can openly confess that I was indeed part of #TeamTebow, if only semi-actively. As someone who is not the biggest fan of the sport, any usual commentary I make about the it ought to be taken with a grain of salt. But, if Tim Tebow can get me to actually CARE about professional football (other than bowl games), then the guy is worth a mention isn’t he?

For the record, I am a sports fan. A huge sports fan – the original football, (soccer ;) ), tennis and basketball are just the sports I generally am willing to spend time watching. (This is usually how people tend to know I’m foreign Ha) Still, I have been doing much better with football and have actually been watching ALL the 4th quarters of games J. I’ve also been paying attention to media about the game and for much of the season, Tebow seemed to dominate a lot of the talk. Of course, there is #TeamTebow and there is #antiTimTebow. Some people joined his bandwagon fan team (cough, cough) and some people joined his bandwagon hate team. But whether you hate or love the guy, one simply has to admit that Tebow is worth learning from.

THREE THINGS THAT TIM TEBOW TAUGHT ME:

  1. Sometimes it’s better to be the underdog. This is a guy who has achieved pretty much everything that he was told he wouldn’t be “good enough” to achieve. Putting your football bias aside – you must take something out of this. People telling Tim he couldn’t do something and be someone was a strong motivator for him, as it should be for all of us. Of course, many of us allow others to tell us what we can and cannot become especially when the odds are against us. Tebow shows us how best to react – succeed.
  2. Faith. Okay, Tim Tebow didn’t teach me a faith or how to have faith (I’ll thank my parents for this one) but he is a shining example of the quintessential  biblical “faith and works.” He wasn’t only willing to be the work to become great, he BELIEVED that he would be great.
  3. Dare to be different. Tim was often hounded for praying on the field or talking about Jesus (I mean God forbid….pun intended. Though the 1st Amendment still protected this?) Well, some people found all his “Jesus talk” annoying, to say the least. I’d be willing to bet that if he were to talk about “bottles and models,” it might be more acceptable in our pop culture. Funny enough Tim showed how different you could be simply by really being yourself.

Okay, so maybe Tim Tebow didn’t teach me anything new; I’ve been taught all of this since as a long as I can remember. And  of course this year, Tim won’t be at the Super bowl. Still, Tim to me is a shining example of many of the things I want to become – in my professional and personal life. So, as we all get ready for Super bowl XLVI, I just wanted to give Time Tebow one last round of applause and a note of gratitude: Thanks for all the #TebowTime!

SO let me know – what did you think of Tebow? Were you a fan or a hater? Did you learn ANYTHING from Tebow or did I just cause you to roll your eyes more with this piece? Let’s talk. 

Cheers,

Kovie

“People of Twitter”

31 Jan

This post is inspired by People of Walmart which is one of my online guilty pleasures. Whoever came up with the idea for the site deserves a very important award (if they don’t have one already). So I figure, why not tell some interesting stories about one of my favorite online places – Twitter. Why Twitter? Because twitter has the most interesting characters or stereotypes in my opinion.

1. “THE EGG” – Or better know as the person who doesn’t have an avi.  Really? There is this thing called a camera. Let me help you out – you probably have one on the device you’re using to tweet. There’s also this thing called Google Images. Notwithstanding copyright laws, you might be able to find a picture there that represents you or whatever your twitter handle is. My personal rule on this one is quite simple – UNLESS I KNOW YOU PERSONALLY, I will never “follow” an egg on my twitter. Simple as that.

2. “THE PARODY.” Some parodies are pretty “legit” to be honest. One of my favorite ones is  GrandadJFreeman and I think that’s about the only one I can stand. Granted, he can be inappropriate whilst being funny but if that isn’t the purpose of a parody I don’t know what is. Most other parodies are a obnoxious. They can be compared to a mean but popular high schooler who may be “popular” but is actually the most disliked person in the room. They say things just to get “retweets” and of course fellow “tweeps” indulge them. Actually the fact that parodies tend to have as many followers as they do is evidence that people are so darn unoriginal. (Pun intended…parody…unoriginal get it? No? Never mind then.)

3. “ENDLESS QUOTER” – I love quotes as much as the next guy but unless your twitter is specifically for this purpose, let me put this to you simply – I may have followed you out of the courtesy that you were not an egg or a loud-mouth parody but YOU ARE STILL ANNOYING. Tell me something that google searching “inspiring quotes” won’t. I bet you can’t. Give it a rest already, and tweet something real.

4. “NON-EXISTENT. You have 3000 followers, you follow those 3000 people, and have 0 Tweets?  Please get off twitter. NOW.

5. “FOREVER SUB TWEETING”. – I understand the need to get on twitter and vent, (though, I myself still prefer the good old fashion Eminem playlist on high volume) but people who spend 99% of their tweets complaining about something or someone in a passive aggressive manner really have to realize two things: 1.) nobody really cares too much and 2.)  you look really IMMATURE. Grow up.

So glad I got this off my chest. What stereotypes do you think should be on “People of Twitter?” Which people of twitter do you love to hate? I WANT TO KNOW!  

p.s. If you don’t have a sense of humor….well, I am not really sorry if you were offended. Sorry I’m not sorry I guess. Ha. ;)

Cheers,

Kovie

Motivation.

27 Jan

Motivation – get some.

What is it? It’s supposed to be the reason why we do what we do (in our lives, careers or community activities) –whether we want to do something or have to do something. Some people are motivated by having money, some people are motivated by the things money can buy and still, some people are motivated by a desire to make a difference. Perhaps, many of us are motivated by all three.  We’re also motivated by the desire to survival, and indeed we are motivated by the desire to take care of ours loved ones. Heck, we are motivated because we just want to succeed for the bloody hell of it!

Every once in a while, we become de-motivated, and then we begin to ask ourselves: what now?

De-motivation happens for all sorts of reasons.  We set a goal or goals and we attempt it a few times and we fail. Fruitlessness or not seeing ANY success in continuous labor is another obvious de-motivator. Then there are subtle things that de-motivate us such as the cynicism of the people we choose to be around, and even the general cynicism that comes as a result of the unfairness of society. What I consider to be the most important de-motivator, however, is losing focus – that is, forgetting “the why” in our goals.

SO HOW DO YOU GET OUT OF YOUR “MOTIVATION SLUMP?”

Well, I’m not motivational speaker (professionally anyway) but here is what has worked for me in what has been a very rocky post-grad period from not entering law school to being unemployed and underemployed, working on a start-up AND yes, still seeking a full-time position that sponsors internationals.

  1. Praying. Given that not everyone is religious or spiritual, I understand how this can be seen as irrelevant. (But it’s my blog and I’ll pray if I want to…) I like prayer, it keeps me grounded and focused, it reminds that I am human and not in charge of everything that I encounter and it simply makes me feel better.
  2. Being around ambitious people. My first year of college, I read a book with the quote – “you are the average of the five people you hand out with the most.” No matter how strong your character is, you are affected by the attitudes and opinions of others which is why I cannot stress the importance of being around people who are positive and “build you up.” Sometimes that may mean cutting down the amount of time you spend with “friends,” especially those that seem to have little or no ambition. (The truth hurts)  In the words of Tony Robbins, “when you see a negative person, don’t walk away…run away!”
  3. Goal-setting and goal-reviews. Goals that are in your head without process and constant evaluations are just wishes at the end of the day. Goals as we know, ought to be S.M.AR.T –Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Goals keep us focused. Additionally, reading your goals DAILY is a constant reminder of your WHY in your motivation. It’s corny stuff but it being corny doesn’t mean it’s not true! Furthermore, with life throwing curve balls at all every once in a while, it is necessary to review those goals ever so often and make necessary changes.  Furthermore, what you want today is not necessarily what you want six months from now.

Motivation is science to an extent but it’s not rocket science. The above mentioned are part of the elements involved in becoming and staying motivated.  Motivation is also an art, something that we have the power to create in our heads and with our hands; where we can see ourselves beyond what is actually visible and even we what we think is possible. Perhaps, the best way to sum this art and science is using Steve Jobs words – “stay hungry, stay foolish.”

How do you stay motivated? I want to know! Below is one of my favorite “motivational” songs too so if you need some encouragement today – take a listen!

Motivation – get some.

Cheers,

Kovie


The New Workout Plan

24 Jan

If you’re wondering if I stole that title from Kanye’s song…you’re absolutely right. I did. But now that I’ve given him credit, I am hoping not to be sued by anyone. Indeed, today’s topic is about working out – everyone’s favorite topic! Well, it’s not everyone’s favorite topic but alas, it is still a very important topic for all the reasons you and I both know such as :

Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy!

and

A healthy body is a healthy mind!

Exercise: via http://www.mylot.com

Okay, I’ll cut out the corny sayings (for now). Let us assume that you’ve been working out as hard as you wanted to when you made your New Year Resolutions a couple of weeks ago. (Yes, I know what assumption make me.) Still, we all need a reminder to “shake it up a bit”…our routine that is. I find that many people will do the exercise that a.) they like the most or b.) feel is the easiest. Still, it seems to me that many of us are cheating ourselves at of our workouts and not only when we do not commit to a schedule. Now, I do not take for granted that people have unequal bodies and suffer unequal injuries or discomfort in one body part or the other. Doing the same workout routine, week-in, week-out while IS better than doing nothing, is NOT the best you can do.

THE MAIN REASONS WHY YOUR WORKOUT NEEDS A SHAKE-UP:

 Your body is like your brain. If it’s not learning anything new…well, it’s not learning anything new. Which means you’re probably getting less and less out of your workouts. 

I compare it to reading the same book over and over again. Imagine if you read 1 book all year. At some point, you’d probably know everything about the book and as much as you love that book, you’re never going to learn anything else if you only read that book. Good analogy or bad analogy? You tell me.

The great thing about Chicago is that it is a very exercise-friendly city, though it is by no-means known for being an “in-shape” city. That said, there is a gym or an exercise studio on every corner so there is indeed an opportunity to shake-it up whether you have a gym membership or not! This month I tried out 2 awesome studios in Lincoln Park which I must commend for shaking-up the “workout-spehere” (Yes, I just made that up). Fit Lincoln Park is great for a very personalized gym experience with very small class sizes and by small I mean, 3-5 people for many of the studio classes. The trainers there also offer a personal training experience. The only thing I will say about Fit Lincoln Park is do not take their “RIPPED” class after a two-week hiatus of not working out. Trust me.

I also tried Barre Bee Fit which I must admit I have a personal bias because I have gotten to know the trainers there and they are awesome. Each Barre Bee Fit class is different and consists of dance moves and stretches, circuit and set-workouts and some yoga and pilates moves! It’s like an all-in-one stop that mostly targets women! In fact, to find out a little bit more about what a Barre Bee Fit Experience is like, here is a piece I wrote: After The Barre: My Post – Barre Bee Fit Experience.

Now, I am no EXPERT. Actually for legal reasons, let me make that a little more conscpicuous:

I AM NOT AN EXPERT. THESE ARE NON-EXPERT VIEWS from a girl who loves working out, trying new things and giving some local Chicago places a little love every now and then. What is something new you want to try out with your workout plan this year? Whether it’s running a half-marathon, spinning, taking a Zumba or kickboxing class, I say the more variety, the better! What do you think?

Cheers,

Kovie

3 Reasons why SOPA annoyed me.

20 Jan

I will start by saying this is not meant to be a Political conversation. Alas, it will probably end up being one. As someone whose second major was Politics and who was not so long ago, a potential law student, all this SOPA talk did interest me. I am fully aware that the law is not politics but it seems that in many ways, they go hand in hand, especially in our country. With respect to the fact that I am a non-citizen, I live here, I pay taxes here, I am still governed by the law and politics here, and in many ways I uphold many traditional American values (and I might add, probably more than some “actual” Americans do).

Upon reading the full text of the bill,  and articles titled  “Why SOPA is Dangerous,” and  “Why we need a law against online piracy,” I also watched a short video titled What is SOPA and PIPA and why youtube is Important. I decided that SOPA more than anything else, annoyed me and here’s three reasons why:

1.The Internet is the Wild Wild West or so it’s been called, so there is an argument to be made that maybe it does need regulation. But, it is precisely for this reason that I think if there is to be any regulation, it has to be minor, unlike the intent of the bill; and it has to mostly serve for the protection of intellectual property. Of course, this is difficult to do and in trying to enforce intellectual property regulations, the freedom that the internet gives may be breached. I think the internet is really the only source of true expression that many people have. Yes, we say we live in a democracy and we have the First Amendment, but it seems to me the only expression that people are not afraid of, (offline anyway) are the things that are popular in the mainstream or advocated by the media and popular culture. Perhaps the wild wild west that  is the internet needs regulation but in doing so, would we sacrifice a greater good for a lesser one? What do you think?

2. The Practicality of the Bill. It was quite nerdy of me to read the bill but I am a legal junkie. Still, I admittedly didn’t understand everything the bill was trying to communicate, and that is exactly the point. It’s not that I didn’t understand the language even though some of it is not my every-day jargon, and I do not have a law degree (yet ;) ), but I have grown up with the internet, I currently work in online marketing and social media, and these are things I use every day! And if I, as an educated person who grew up with the internet, and works in the field, cannot possibly understand the difference between right and wrong if SOPA were to be enacted as it was, how is an 11-year old who uses this mostly for fun, supposed to understand these differences? Essentially, as they were written, SOPA and PIPA appeared to turn us all into criminals or maybe I’m missing something. Am I missing something?

3. Does this really matter right now? This was my first reaction to the bill and it is by far the most annoying thing I found about all the SOPA talk, despite my interest. As I said on my facebook two days ago, “So instead of worrying about the unemployment rate, the increasing number of people below the poverty line, and the depleting education system…the gov’t is worried about the internet?”I don’t think this needs any further explanation.

In the end, I am glad that for now, it has been withdrawn from Congress. I think those who use the internet most, where we might disagree in our political stances, our belief systems, the way we view people, things and the world, it was kind of amazing to see many of us unite on something.

Cheers,

Kovie

How to be “that guy” at a networking event.

17 Jan

Hi all

It occurred to me that I haven’t written about events in a while and as I have many networking events coming up, I thought it might be good to touch base with the “events” side of my life. Furthermore, last week I attended a networking event and thought it was a great event.  For the first time in my post-grad experience, however, I felt like “that guy” at a networking event. Why, do you ask? Well, because I spilled MY WATER glass at the bar which enticed looks from both the bartender and one of the ladies working the event. I reiterate – I SPILLED MY WATER GLASS. Still, I started to feel self-conscious that they thought I was tipsy. Now, ordinarily I couldn’t be bothered with stares from complete strangers. But, I was at a networking event representing the business, and so no matter how much I don’t care what people think about me personally, I certainly care what they think about me professionally.

Over the next few days, I re-played the incident in my head and would do a slight head shake with a cringe at the thought of other people thinking I would be dumb enough to get tipsy at a networking event of all places. But then I thought, there are a few people who are dumb enough to do certain things (including getting tipsy) at a networking event. So, here’s my humorous take on all our favorite guys at networking events. (FYI – I use “that guy” to refer to both genders…shoot me.)

Kovie’s  MEET “THAT GUY.” (ALL OF THEM) 

1. THAT GUY who is Tipsy. (haha) Okay, I have to start with this one. This is just my personal rule, but especially if you are a “light weight” like I know I am, cut yourself off after two drinks. No excuses. Whether you are representing yourself as a freelancer, your employer, a service, etc, you’re there for business, and business etiquette applies. (Tip – if you do happen to accidentally SPILL YOU WATER GLASS, don’t try to prove anything to anyone by ordering more drinks; continue your networking as discretely as possible and when you get a window of opportunity, walk out of there with your head held high…)

2. THAT GUY who is Pigging Out. You are not at an all-you-can-eat buffet no matter how much food they are serving or how hungry you are, control yourself.  Eat as if your current or future employer is in the same room as you. There is just no excuse for this one.

3. THAT GUY who thinks they’re on Dr. Phil. I understand that sometimes it feels great to just talk about your feelings especially after a hard day at work. But talking about your life problems when you first meet someone is not a good way to make business connections. Period.

4. THAT GUY who believes it’s LIVE Match.com. Now, with respect to the fact that people meet people to date anywhere and everywhere, I don’t want to tell you not to “look for love” at a networking event. Still, remember that your professional self is being represented and would your professional self be checking people out and flirting like you’re on a dating show?  (If you answer yes to this question, we may need to have a chat about your professional self.)

As someone who has inadvertently been “that guy,” it’s not fun at all. So do try and remember what you want to portray when you are at a professional event. Still, sometimes you just have to laugh things of. Speaking of, does anyone have any good stories about “that guy” at a networking event? I would love to add to my list.

Cheers,

Kovie

Social Media and Self-Esteem

13 Jan

View image detailThis week I have been a little distant from social media. That’s not to say I haven’t been on it because I have. I use it for work so I don’t really get to take major breaks off social media even if I wanted to. What have I been distancing myself from? The wonderful and extremely exciting lives that a lot of people seem to portray. I wanted to test if there really is a correlation between social media and self-esteem (in my very unscientific way of course) and I wanted to see if I, personally was a lot happier when I paid less attention to what others are doing or say they are doing on social media. What are your experiences with taking time off social media? Do you think one’s self-esteem and use of social media can have a correlation?

Now, as I said, my findings and feelings are unscientific to a large extent but here are a few of my thoughts on “Social Media and Self Esteem”

1. Social Media and Depression. I did not do extensive research on facebook and depression but I did find some interesting articles saying that there is a correlation in teens. The hypothesis is that because reality is skewed on social media, teens who do not measure up to the “fun, happy and thrilling” lives of their peers on facebook may bring about depression.  (Read more about it here.) I think that while adults may be better able to rationalize that facebook reality is skewed, I don’t think they are necessarily excluded from the possibility of facebook depression. Furthermore, the lack of real live human interaction is something that most of us agree may not be good for our mental health, or our self-esteem. (Mental health and self-esteem are not the same thing but I still found this interesting.)

2. “The Pollyanna” and “The Liar.”  While there are people on my social media accounts who I look forward to because they always have something positive to say or are always encouraging people to look on the bright side, whom I lovingly term “The Pollyanna,” there is also “The Liar.” Who is “The Liar?” That person who is always trying to make-believe that their life is the stuff made of an exciting thriller or sappy chick-flick.  Seeing as most of my peers just graduated college, I happen to know, like me, you have a lot of things on your mind, including bills, making friends if you’re in a new city, keeping your old friends, whether you really love your career path, etc. Whilst The Pollyanna lifts Spirit, the Liar tries to prove to others (and even themself) that they are living the Hollywood lifestyle. If you are The Liar, I hope you realize that not only does that reflect that you may have self-esteem issues but that your fibs may well be doing damage to someone else’s especially those who don’t know that some people in fact do lie about how awesome their lives are. It’s not an either/or situation but I think we all need a little self-reflection in this respect.

3. Social Media Overkill. Now, I’ve been accused of tweeting too much so I’m not going to play innocent  (Well, I manage social media…sorry it’s part of my job). But I am referring to people who feel the need to tell every single detail of their life -what they are eating, when they are eating, why they are eating, how they gargled after brushing their teeth, etc (You get the point). For the most part, though I am an avid social media user, I maintain a private life on private matters, both online and offline, so maybe this is more of a personal irritation. Still, be it far from me to tell anyone what to do on THEIR social media, but I have to wonder, does telling everyone about your every thought, every word, every act,  make you feel  important? If you think it does, that’s when you have to re-evaluate your virtual life and turn the computer off (and call a friend and tell them about your day).

Now, some of what I say is harsh but I am not trying to sugar coat how I feel about this issue. If you can help it (i.e. you don’t suffer from medical depression or any other mental illness in which case you need to seek help if you aren’t already), take control of how you perceive yourself on social media and realize what it does to you or your self esteem, whatever that is. If you need a break, take it. If you need to delete some people from your timeline or newsfeed, do it. I have had a great time not paying attention to others this week because quite frankly with how hard this week has been, I do not need to know how extraordinarily wonderful anyone’s life is (false or not). It’s not that I’m not happy for you if you’re getting all you want; it’s that right now, I’m in the “trying to make it” phase, so sometimes things seem more tough than not. Thus, I can’t always relate to social media portrayals of  “its a wonderful post-grad life.” It’s that I know some of you are lying, because I happen to know some of you (and your friends) personally. It’s that I am blessed with a self-esteem (and intelligence) to not measure my real life with another’s virtual life.

In conclusion,  NO ONE really identifies with the perfect lives that some of you are trying to portray on social media. So if you really want to feel awesome, try being sincere. Self-esteem comes when that picture of how you see yourself and how others see you start to resemble each other…but that only comes from keeping it real, online and offline. My 2 cents.

Cheers,

Stuff of Legends.

10 Jan

Thierry Henry 1/9/2012

I will preface this post by saying I am a huge soccer fan (I prefer the term football but when in Rome….or America, you know how it goes.) Specifically, I am an Arsenal fan. To be honest, “fan” doesn’t really explain my love for Arsenal. I absolutely LOVE this team and unless you’re one of those people who  also LOVES a sports team, no words will really explain it. Yesterday, I watched an Arsenal Legend, Thierry Henry, score a goal; the only goal in the game, upon his return to Arsenal. (Technically, he is only on loan as he plays for the New York Bulls regularly but let’s not get caught up in details). To give you a bit of background about Henry, he is Arsenal’s record goal scorer, one of the most beloved players of the last decade, and a true legend. Why am I telling you this? Because I think we should all try to be legendary.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard another quote from one of the clients at MCG Media Inc who said something about another sports legend that we all know well. He said, “you have to to go to work every day like you’re Michael Jordan.” Why did he say this? Because Michael Jordan was the best. Like Henry, he is a living legend. But what does it really take to be a legend? What do you think it takes?

It seems to me that you have to have a top notch work ethic, you have to have a big belief in yourself to accompany that work ethic; you have to be disciplined and perhaps, most importantly, you have to be passionate. Why is passion most important? Because the last time I checked, nobody ever became a legend by doing something that they were not passionate about.

 It’s not so much that being a legend means you’re only doing what fulfills that passion; but that whatever you do, will allow you to live that passion or take you one step closer to it.

Now I want to be sure to clarify that when I say “do something legendary”, I don’t mean do something that will make you famous necessarily or rich necessarily, although there is nothing wrong with either one of those things (when they do not become a vice). What I mean is, though we have to pay the bills, though we have to be practical, I don’t think we’re here by chance; I think we get one life and I think even in the most anonymous way, we can be extraordinary.  We can use our gifts and talents and turn them into something good that is useful for others, in one way or another. I think we ought to make a difference, if only a small one. And in the end, that is the stuff of legends.

What do you think?

Cheers,

Kovie

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