Monday Motivation 11/28/16

Doubt Kills More Dreams Than Failure Ever Will


We’re in the home stretch of 2016. Bring it home strong!

Cranberry Apple Sauce

Sunday Shenanigans – Thanksgiving Recovery 2016

It is safe to say that the holiday season is officially in high gear. Thanksgiving has come and gone, which means it is acceptable to put up Christmas decorations and listen to Christmas music. Of course, plenty of stores (and people) like to blow past Thanksgiving and go straight into Christmas after Halloween. For the record, I love Christmas; I love the music, the decorations, and shopping for family and friends, but Thanksgiving deserves its time! In fact, I think it is appropriate that a holiday centered on being thankful for what already have falls before the mayhem that comes with this year’s hottest gifts and that gift that you “need to have.” Unfortunately, most people don’t take to heart what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about; it’s just the big meal they have before they rush off to buy the giant TV.

Cynicism aside, I’m sure you did not click on the link to hear my disappointment in the human race. So what is new in the life of this grad student? I am about half way through the material in my 4 week course and still a week ahead of schedule. I did slack a bit on the schedule I created for myself this week. One commonality between undergrad and grad school, maintaining focus on school around Thanksgiving is a monumental task. You’re tired of the semester already, you’re home with family who are off from work and not worrying about homework, and you are so close to winter break. It is tempting to neglect the school work you told yourself you would get done while you had the extra time. I hosted Thanksgiving at my house this year (check out that pretty homemade cranberry sauce in the header) which only added to the distractions, even for the small party I was having. Cooking all day and then decorating the house with my family is a much more enjoyable way to spend the day than listening to lectures or writing papers. Then of course you have the post Thanksgiving food coma, which eliminates any motivation that may have remained in your body. All hope is not lost though, there are tricks to making sure you achieve most, if not all, of the work you set out for yourself while still enjoying your holiday break.

First things first, take a breath, give yourself one day in your break to do nothing school related. If you want that day to be turkey day, perfect, be in the moment and enjoy family time. If you want it to be Black Friday, go for it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, balance is key in surviving grad school. You can force yourself through that lecture or reading, but if you’re burned out, you will not retain the material and will have to redo it. Save yourself the time and frustration and take the break. It will be better for your studies and mental health in the long run. School is important, but so is enjoying life.

Second tip, set aside one hour a day to chip away at the material you need to cover. If you need more time, or want to set aside more time, that’s fine, but make sure you make the commitment to dedicate at least one hour a day to your checklist. These small amounts of time will go quickly but will add up and leave you with far less to cram into your schedule once break is over. You may even be able to turn that study time into family time. Have a quiz coming up? Have a family member quiz you on the material. Need your paper edited?  A second set of eyes are a great resource when you have been slaving away over your computer. There are plenty of ways to make sure you enjoy your break while still getting your work done.

Speaking of dedicating time to your studies, I believe it is time for me to do exactly that. I’m off to immerse my self in the wonderful world of inbound marketing. Enjoy your Sunday!




First Day of School

Reporting for Duty: No Longer MIA

I’m here, I’m alive! I did not fall off the face of the earth, just the face of the blogosphere. The last month has been a whirlwind of school and work which left little time and even less energy to dedicate to writing. I won’t go into all of the details, because that would be a very long blog post, but here is a quick recap of the last month:

Grad School

  • 97% on my Corporate Finance midterm; was pretty excited about that. Followed it up with a 96% on the final and high scores on all of the group cases. Final grade: A. My 4.0 status is safe for now.
  • Inbound Marketing – 4 week course that technically started this week. The class material has been posted since September though so I have been slowly chipping away at it. The class applies directly to what I do on a daily basis so it is interesting, but also not too challenging. It is however, time consuming. There are two HubSpot certifications to complete, 3 blog posts to write,  a website consultation, and nearly 100 lecture videos to watch.
  • Class Scheduling – I am down to 4 classes before I complete my program. It is an exciting feeling. I will be cranking out 3 of those 4 classes in the winter semester; one 4 week class in January and two full classes that start in February. With any luck, I will be a MBA graduate by the end of next summer. The next few months will be one heck of a ride.

Work LifeI love Tacos Dallas

  • Made my first trip to Texas to visit my company’s Dallas office. It is a very cool city, and I was able to catch up with a friend from undergrad who is from there. I’d like to go back and explore the city more. My team was amazed at how many restaurants there were. We walked from Uptown back to our hotel in the business district and 90% of the storefronts were restaurants. We of course, did not eat at the same place twice for the duration of the trip.
  • Two days home after Dallas and then it was off to San Francisco to speak at my first conference! My panel was all about the value of consumer insights and how to use them to develop strategy. For those not in marketing or data, probably not the most interesting talk, but I received a lot of great feedback. The conference as a whole was well done, with speakers from all different industries and experience levels. There were even some fun keynote speakers with Ayesha Curry and stylist Jeannie Mai. I had major shoe envy when Ayesha walked on stage. Brian Solis, who I have seen at every conference I have been to this year, also made an appearance. NetBase was awesome enough to gift us copies of Brian’s latest book that I can’t wait to dig into. That wasn’t the only book I came home with; I won a golden ticket for a signed copy of Ayesha’s cook book. New recipe adventures will likely appear on the blog soon! It was a great trip, with a well done conference and some extra time to catch up with friends on the west coast.


  • It was a crazy few weeks, but I was able to squeeze in some fun and visit my sister in Charleston for Halloween. She started law school there this year and it was great to see her new home (and lie on a beach at the end of October).
  • One last bit of fun before the grind of this 4 week class kicked in; my dad and I took one final sail last weekend down the Detroit River. It was a little chilly (56 air temp), but we had great wind and a clear sunny day that seemed out of place in Michigan at this time of year.Sailing Detroit Detroit River

Now, it’s on to several hours of Inbound Marketing for me. I am a week ahead of the class schedule and I intend to keep it that way.