6 Signs You’re A Rebound

Think about the time when you had a crush on a special someone but they were in a relationship. We’ve all been there, right? You waited until the day your crush would (hopefully) break-up with their significant other so you would be able to approach them and ultimately, start dating them. In most cases, people who are new to dating tend to do this and become a “rebound.” When someone ends a relationship and uses someone else to get over their ex, they use someone else to recover, or rebound, from their previous relationship.

Here are five indicators of being a rebound:

  1. He/she calls and/texts you multiple times throughout the day
  2. He/she is very affectionate very early in the friendship/relationship
  3. He/she constantly mentions how special you are and how much you mean to them
  4. He/she often talks about his/her ex
  5. As time goes by, you two grow apart and become distant. He/she doesn’t call and/or text you as much he/she used to
  6. They’re not as eager nor willing to spend time with you

If you want to avoid to becoming someone’s rebound, your best would be NOT to date someone who recently ended a relationship. I know what it’s like: You want to start dating that special someone before someone else “scoops them up.” However, there may be consequences, such as becoming a rebound. Quite frankly, I’ve been a rebound myself and it’s not a good feeling. Initially, you wonder why that guy/girl used you to move on from their ex but eventually, you’ll realize it’s best to part ways with that individual.

Posted in College

Why You Should Stay Friends With Your Ex

Now, I know this is going to sound crazy but one of the smartest things you can do is stay friends with your ex. Think about it: You built and shared an intimate relationship with your ex, regardless of how long you two dated. By intimate, I’m not referring to getting underneath the sheets and displaying your “athleticism.” Therefore, he/she knows more about you than most of your friends and sometimes, your close friends. He/she has seen your strengths and weaknesses, good and bad habits, tendencies, etc. If you two ended the relationship on good terms, you can get some very valuable feedback and information on the people you date in the future.

I feel as though I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I used to be the person with the “There’s no way I can be friends with my ex” mindset. However, the more women I dated, the more I realized how awesome it would be to get their input on the women I date in the future. Again, only ask for feedback from the ex’s you ended on good terms. The last thing you’d want to do is talk to an ex who’s insecure about his/her self and steer you the wrong way because they don’t want to see you date anyone else.

I realize not all relationships end on good terms, as a lot of them end on bad terms for several reasons. However, out of all those relationships, there has to be at least one relationship that didn’t “crash and burn.” Therefore, you should stay friends with your ex if you haven’t done so already. If it seems awkward, you should at least make an effort because it might very well pay off down the road and you’ll be thanking yourself.

Posted in College

Fill Your Gas Tank & Build Credit

As a college student, one of the most intimidating things is building credit. We, college students, know how important credit scores are and we want to build credit, earn high credit scores but don’t know where to start. Having excellent credit scores and credit history is just as important as having a college degree, if not more important because you’ll need it to buy a car, house, etc. With so many credit cards available, which one should you choose?

In my opinion, the easiest way to build credit is to apply for a gas card because you don’t have to go out of your way to use the card and they’re fairly easy to obtain. They don’t expect all of their applicants to have top tier credit. I’ve seen a lot of college students, including myself, get approved for gas credit cards. Assuming you’ll make your payments on-time and not “max out” the card, this would be a great way to start building your credit and it’ll open doors to “bigger and better” credit cards. If you don’t have a car, that won’t be a problem! I’d still recommend applying for a gas card but use it to buy a drink, food, bubble gum, or something else for a few bucks and making a payment to the card to keep a $0.00 balance.

In my experience, many college students believe that they have to get approved for credit cards from big banks and with large spending limits. However, that’s not the case. We all have to start somewhere and starting with a gas card is perfectly fine. Also, I’d recommend spending as little as possible because the amount you spend on your gas card doesn’t matter but the amount you owe does.

Posted in College

Why You Should Use LivingSocial/Groupon on Dates

When it comes to dating, men are under the mistaken impression of spending a ton of money to impress a girl. Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT true. If you’ve made this mistake, don’t worry because we’ve all been there – myself included. Although financial stability is one of several factors to impressing and attracting a girl/woman, you don’t need to spend a fortune. As a matter of fact, some women feel intimidated when a man starts spending a lot of money on her because they either feel obligated to continue dating you, or even commit, or automatically assume you’re only motive is to “get in her pants.”  Therefore, I do NOT recommend spending your entire paycheck when you take her out.

Here are some reasons why you should use LivingSocial and/or Groupon deals when going on a date:

  • Wide variety of cuisine and restaurants: Asking your date to suggest a restaurant isn’t always flattering. Usually, women are attracted to men who take initiative and choosing a restaurant is no exception. With Groupon and LivingSocial, they’ll suggest/offer restaurants and therefore, 50% of the work is taken care of. Now, all you have to do is decide which restaurant you’d like to visit!
  • Discrete: You can print your voucher and present it to your waiter/waitress when your date steps out for a bathroom break, make a phone call, etc. This way, your date won’t get the impression that you’re all about using coupons to save money or cheap/greedy/poor.
  • Perception of spending more than you actually are: Most, if not all, deals on LivingSocial and Groupon give you a discount for “pre-paying” your meal. For example, spend $25 and earn $50 to spend at “ABC restaurant.” Now, this isn’t to fool nor trick your date into believing you’re rolling in cash but it will show her you can afford to take her out to a nice dinner every once in a while. Although she might think you spent $50 (or whatever the bill comes out to), you spent $25 (or whatever the deal was).
  • Food offers/deals are just scratching the surface: If you’re not sure where to take her on a date, LivingSocial and Groupon should be able to help you because whether you’re interested in go-kart racing or shooting bows and arrows, LivingSocial and Groupon offer deals on fun activities as well.

As a college student myself, I know how difficult and how tight money is during college years. Shoot, some of us have to eat ramen for lunch and dinner six days a week! Although dating can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to avoid going on dates just because you can’t afford them or assume you’re going to have spend a lot of money just to impress that special someone. Remember, if you’re dating a girl who decides whether or not you’re the one for her based on what’s in your bank account rather than what’s in your personality, you’re better off without her. Let’s just say she’ll be attracted to you but for the wrong reasons…

 

Posted in College

The College Bubble: Explained

If you’re currently a college student, take a moment to think about why you’re attending college and working towards a degree. If your answer is to “have a prosperous career” or something along those lines, you’re not alone. Most, if not all, young adults make the decision to attend college, earn a four-year degree, and ultimately, obtain a quality and comfortable lifestyle.

When people refer to the “college bubble,” they’re referring to the large number of students who graduate college but experience difficulty in landing a job. Although having a college degree isn’t required to have a successful career nowadays, it’s strongly recommended because most employers won’t acknowledge your resume or employment application if you don’t have a college degree. If you’re an entrepreneur and don’t plan to move-up the corporate ladder, you most likely won’t need a college degree. After all, you’ll be your own boss and the only person who can hire or “fire” you is, well, yourself.

With thousands of unemployed college graduates and insufficient number of jobs, many believe that the “college bubble” will eventually “burst.” In my opinion, there’s no such thing as a “college bubble.” Yes, there are more college graduates than there were a couple of decades ago but as long as you, the college student, are either looking for or currently working at an internship, you’re doing your part to stay competitive in today’s job market. Many of those unemployed college graduates don’t have any professional/employment experience whatsoever, as they’re convinced that their college degree is their “golden ticket.” However, that’s not the case. A college degree is one of the few things you’ll need to have a successful career.

Posted in College

College Is Like Eating A Burrito

For a moment, close your eyes and think about your favorite burrito (assuming you’ve eaten a burrito). Think about your first and last bite — they don’t taste the same, do they? The first bite is filled with anxiousness and curiosity, while the last bite feels bittersweet because although you enjoyed it, it has to come to an end and you must part ways. Your college experience is/was/will be not too different than this.

When it comes to carefully crafting a burrito, the ingredients you choose will shape your burrito eating excursion. Whether you order steak or chicken, – or vegan – and the toppings your taste buds desire, they will all taste differently. However, this doesn’t mean only one of them will taste good. Believe it or not but college is very similar to this, as the friends you choose to spend time with and the adventures you tackle will determine how your college experience will “taste.” In my opinion, a burrito doesn’t reach its maximum flavor without a sauce; it can make or break your culinary rendezvous. In relation to college, you have the choice of becoming a commuter student, who leaves campus after class, or participate in on-campus activities, join student organizations. If you ask me, this is the “sauce” on your college experience, as college is TRULY what you make of it…

I’m not sure how or why I compared “the college life” to eating burritos but I thought it would be a fun article to write since there are several resemblances between the two. Also, many, if not all, college students eat burritos during their college lives. Therefore, I’m sure many college students can relate to this. Hopefully, I didn’t sound too crazy!

Posted in College

How College Students Can Reduce Monthly Cell Phone Costs

When you’re in college, it’s no secret that you’re on a tight budget. Many, if not most, college students track their spending one way or another, including their cell phone bills. Now, some college students don’t have to worry about paying a cell phone bill every month, as their parents pay for it but for the rest of us, price usually takes the front seat over coverage maps. Here are some helpful tips to reduce your monthly cell phone costs:

  • Prepaid/Pay-as-you-go phones and plans: Nowadays, you can purchase a fully-functional smartphone for as low as $50 without signing a new contract. If you pair that with a prepaid plan, you’ll be saving a fortune! Most prepaid plans include unlimited talk and text and therefore, all you need to choose is your data allowance (based on your data usage). Best of all, you don’t need to sign a contract when you purchase a prepaid phone and plan because you own the phone; you can “shop around” and use your phone with the best possible option at the time, in terms of coverage and pricing.
  • Use less data: You can find a wifi signal at most, if not all, schools, libraries, and coffee shops nowadays. I’d highly suggest using a wifi signal wherever you can to significantly reduce your mobile data usage, which would allow you to purchase a cheaper plan with a lower data allowance
  • Always check for your wireless provider’s newest plans: Wireless providers are constantly coming up with new plans to earn your hard earned dollars and as a result, constantly check your wireless provider’s website for any new or updated plans. In most cases, they offer more value.
  • Employer Discount: If you’re employed, contact your wireless provider and ask if they offer an employee discount through your employer.
  • Used smartphones: If you have to have the latest smartphone, you should consider buying a used smartphone online, such as eBay, Swappa, Gazelle, etc. You can find quality, used smartphones from reputable sellers and fortunately, some of them offer money-back guarantees and/or extended warranties.

Without a doubt, owning a smartphone can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. If you can get by without having the latest and greatest smartphones, you can save a lot of money by switching to a prepaid plan and phone. Prepaid phones, phones are becoming more and more popular every day and as a result, there are a lot more choices for you, the consumer, to choose from.

 

Posted in College

Why Entrepreneurs Should Start in College

Entrepreneurship is growing very rapidly, as people of all ages are learning and realizing the benefits of being an entrepreneur. However, something I noticed is that many students are starting their entrepreneurial journeys in college. As a student entrepreneur myself, I thought I’d share the pros and cons of becoming an entrepreneur in college.

Pros:

  • Time: You don’t have to worry about supporting a family or raising kids, you’ll have more time to focus on your product/idea. Believe it or not but transforming an idea into a product and bringing it to market is very similar to raising a child.
  • Cash: You’ll most likely be living with your parents/loved ones or roommates and therefore, you don’t have the burden of paying rent, utilities, and other bills by yourself. You’ll be able to invest some of your income into your product/idea.
  • Learning curve: You’re young – you can afford to make mistakes. Entrepreneurship is all about making mistakes and learning from those mistakes. It’s a lot harder to go through that experience when you’re supporting a family and raising children.
  • Resources: Many schools, especially colleges known for their business programs, offer entrepreneurship guidance and mentorship. Usually, the mentors are entrepreneurs themselves and can offer first-hand experience. Best of all, it’s free!
  • Networking: You’ll have the opportunity of meeting fellow entrepreneurs and like-minded students who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs. Some of them are willing to work with fellow entrepreneurs to develop an idea and bring it to market.

Cons:

  • Grades: Since you’ll be investing more time into your entrepreneurial ideas than your classes, your grades might not be where you’d like them to be. Sure, you can always choose between the two.
  • Social Life: Again, since the majority of your time will be devoted to your entrepreneurial life rather than your social life, your social life might not be as “colorful” as your friends. It comes down to your personal preferences, in my opinion.

Just like any other job, entrepreneurship has its risk and rewards. However, it has more risks and rewards than the average 9-5 job, in my opinion. If you’re willing to make the leap and become an entrepreneur in college, I’d highly recommend it. Take your time and do it right!

Posted in Entrepreneurship

Why Start-ups Shouldn’t Sell Their Products in Retail Stores

Just about every entrepreneur’s dream is to see their product on their favorite retailer’s shelves. Frankly, I can’t blame them because I’ve dreamt of that as well. As a matter of fact, my first book, Reality Check: A College Student’s Survival Guide, is on the shelves of several bookstores across the country and unfortunately, it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be. Here are some valuable things I’ve learned so far:

  • Product Placement: When retailers decide to sell your product, they decide where they place your product, or product placement. It’s very difficult to get good product placement unless you have amazing media (TV, social media, blogs, etc.) exposure and/or deep pockets for marketing. I’d recommend placing your product(s) on an end cap but they’re not cheap. Therefore, develop a detailed plan before going into the retail market.
  • Marketing: On Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary and Mark Cuban claim that marketing is the black hole of every business. Honestly, I have to agree with them. If you don’t have a large marketing budget, it can be very difficult to create a buzz, or inform and educate consumers, about your product. Thankfully, there’s social media now and best of all, it’s free. Learn how each social media network works and use it to your advantage.
  • Refunds/Returns: Retailers are more than likely to return any unsold inventory to you within a certain timeframe. Most retailers won’t sell your product if you don’t allow them to make returns, from the get-go. If your profit margins are small, this could really hurt your business because in some cases, you’ll be making little to no profit, as processing returns aren’t free.
  • Distribution: In order to sell through some, if not most, retailers, you have to work with one of their distributors. These distributors sell to, or distribute, to these retailers. Here’s the thing: If the distributor doesn’t like your product or sales terms, it’s going to be very difficult to sell through those retailers, unless they’re willing to make an exception because they love your product so much and are confident that it will sell very quickly in their stores.

As you can see, many aspects involved with selling your product in retail stores is out of your control, including product placement and refunds. If you don’t feel comfortable with selling your product through retailers or don’t have a fully developed strategy, I’d recommend selling your product online only. Many successful businesses sell their products online and are very content with the results.

When you’re a start-up, you’re learning not only about your market and your consumers but about your product as well. As a result, I’d recommend starting somewhere but “starting small.” That way, you can make mistakes and learn from there without “burning bridges” with your retailers. Once things go sour with them, it’s very difficult to convince them to re-consider your product for their stores.

 

Posted in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs: Use Food Sample Strategy to Build Personal Brand

When you’re in the early stages of building your personal brand, it’s similar to throwing darts until you hit the bullseye, as you’re going to try a bunch of new ideas until you come across the one that works. If I’ve learned anything from building a personal brand, it’s this one: Give people a “taste sample” of what you have to offer. I’m sure we’ve all seen tables at Costco or food fairs, where food samples were being distributed. When you really think about it, food samples are given to consumers to introduce their taste buds to a new flavor. These food samples are used as bait to get consumers to buy the packaged food products.

With that, entrepreneurs should study the food sample concept and somehow incorporate it into their branding strategy. For example, if you’re an author, start a blog that’s related to your book and/or offer a free example to readers who subscribe to your blog/newsletter. Give readers and potential buyers a “taste” of your writing style and what you wrote about in the book. Put yourself in the shoes of the food buyer: Would you buy food without tasting a sample beforehand? Probably not. The same idea applies to entrepreneurs and their products.

Another example: Demo trials of paid apps. Usually, software developers offer a free demo to users. Again, they’re giving their potential buyers a “taste” of their software/app. They can’t expect potential buyers to pay for an app they’ve never used. Depending on the app and the value it presents to the user, the user may very well decide to not buy the app because they’re not willing to risk to their hard earned cash, even if it’s only 99 cents…

Now, none of the examples mentioned above are revolutionary, as they currently exist. However, many entrepreneurs, sometimes, don’t see the connection between offering something of value for free and the product/service they’re trying to sell. They’ve come across blogs, free app demos, etc. but take it for face value; they fail to see the big picture. They believe blogs and app demos exist to generate ad revenue. They believe that they’re standalone products, which that’s not the case. In reality, however, their purpose is to turn potential potential buyers into paying customers. In the business world, that’s referred to as “developing leads.” Don’t worry about the fancy terminology, though.

I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of this concept. If this is new to you, you’re not alone. I was in the same “boat” last year, as I didn’t offer a free sample or something valuable to potential buyers of my book. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t even started my blog! Therefore, don’t see it as a mistake on your part, as being an entrepreneur is a forever learning experience.

In essence, figure out what you can offer and how you can build value to potential buyers to try your product/service to turn them into paying customers. When they see value in your product/service and realize you have their best interest in mind, you will be able to earn their patronage – It’s that simple! Waiting is the toughest part, however, because it takes a very, very long time to build a brand. Make sure you’re in it for the long haul!

 

Posted in Entrepreneurship
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