5 Coffee Hacks You Haven’t Tried Yet

The word “hack” has become so overused, but it’s the best way to describe quick improvements—and my coffee has been in desperate need of hacking. I have loved coffee since I was four (thanks to my dad, who would let me sneak a sip or two from his mug as a kid), but for many years I was stuck in a rut that didn’t make me productive or satisfied from drinking it. I would order the same expensive drinks over and over, or use the same coffee maker without much satisfaction, and still feel crashes and jitters afterward. I claimed to be a coffee lover, but I could never truly love it.

I have employed some tricks over the years that help me enjoy my coffee, save money, and avoid crashes—and they’re just too good not to share. Try them and feel that glorious caffeinated glow.

Spending too much on coffee? Feeling jitters with your morning brew? Try these coffee hacks and get caffeinated without the crash! [Read more…]

How to Write a Killer Cold Email (with a killer example and a FREE template)

Once in a while, you’ll need something from strangers.

You might need to find out about a job opening, connect with someone important, get a quote for an article, or just get advice. And, if you’re like me and feel anxious around people you don’t know, a phone call or in-person conversation can bring out a case of awkward turtles.

Enter the cold email.

If you do them right, cold emails are the no-hassle way to get someone’s attention without the stress that comes with making phone calls. And while I was working on the first part of my capstone project for my MBA, I really needed some hassle-free help; living abroad meant that I couldn’t make a ton of calls, and I didn’t want to chat too much anyway since my son was asleep every time I sat down to work. Emails were the winning choice.

If the idea of talking to strangers on the phone makes you nervous, try this cold email strategy. Fewer nerves, more results. [Read more…]

3 Times When You Should Just Give Up

Sometimes the internet is a little too motivational.

I can find inspirational quotes, heartwarming viral stories, and articles that improve my well-being in a span of seconds (with time to spare for finding cat GIFs). Just about everyone in the web world thinks you should never give up and work really hard until you get the right outcome.

But you should give up once in a while.

Because sometimes we try to finish projects, pursue relationships, or make commitments for the wrong reasons:

1. We want to be right.

Seems easier to force-finish a project than sacrifice the tiniest morsel of pride.

2. We want equal rewards for equal work.

It’s called the “sunk cost fallacy” in the business world. The problem is that the rewards may not be guaranteed, and the work has already been performed—so we’ll keep waiting (and working) until we see the payoff, even if it never comes.

3. We can’t deal with loss.

In fact, we would rather produce a bad outcome than nothing at all (even if it means saving time, effort, money, or emotional distress).

Your “never give up” attitude isn’t as inspirational as you think—it’s inefficient. It burns you out. It keeps you from working on ideas that set your passion ablaze. And while you should still follow through on most endeavors in your life, you should just give up in these three situations:

People say you should never give up--they're wrong. Here are three times when you should call it quits. [Read more…]