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…]

What’s 13 Inches and Keeping You Up at Night?

The following is a post by my husband (aka Mr. Grad Girl). He’ll pop up on the blog once in a while to discuss health research and tips that you can use every day!

I’d always joke with my friends about passing out during the school breaks—but when the time came to sleep, you could find me wide awake and derping around the internet. A few med school classes and health blogs later, I found the source of my problem: my 13-inch Macbook screen.

It's not what you think! Too much screen time before bed can suppress your melatonin and keep you awake. With these 3 tips, you can prep for sleep without completely shutting down. [Read more…]