Joy is a choice. Wise words from a friend.

State of mind influences how you make decisions, how you interact with people, and how you view the world. Why not have joy be the foundation of how you control each of those events? I had a great conversation with a coworker of mine while out in San Francisco. He was telling me about how he learned about the fact that joy is a choice. It really clicked in my brain because a very similar statement fundamentally changed the relationship with my wife. The statement we read in a book together before our marriage was Love is a verb. Its not something you feel its something you do.

This statement about joy stuck to me like a magnet because I had seen such a success with the similar statement about love. I can’t wait to apply this new technique with joy. I want people to feel the joy emanating from me with every interaction. I want it to positively impact my life and the people around me. With this new state of mind I might be able to stay motivated and content at the same time. That is the ultimate goal for me. Currently My motivation stems from a constant pressure of unhappiness with my current situation. It is exhausting and I am excited to share it with you all in another post. Perhaps I am not the only person experiencing this tiresome but effective motivation.

Despite that, I think choosing joy is going to shape my life and I can’t wait to check back in and let you know how it all goes!

Help yourself by helping others!

Help yourself by helping others!

You don’t know what you are missing! Giving back is the most rewarding thing any human can do. I was given this opportunity through a professor, named Debby, that I had back in my community college days. Her and her husband started a company that provides challenging environments to promising kids. They do this to help unlock their potential and give them a perspective outside the cookie cutter public school system. 

She asked me to give a talk through either video chat or I could stop by if I happen to be in California. After thinking it over and talking with my wife, I obtained plane tickets and started planning. Then, briefly after getting the plane tickets, I confirmed with Debby that it would be ok if I actually stopped by. A little out of order but that’s how I operate.

I knew if I really wanted to influence these kids the best way would be in person. Video chat just doesn’t cut it! I wanted to actually try to make an impact and I sure as hell wasn’t going to half fast it. 

Fly in Saturday morning fly out Sunday morning. That was the plan! Without any more details than that, I got on a plane. I landed in LAX and had to decide how I was going to get to the air bnb which they were hosting this event. I got an uber to pick me up and the 30 mile trip did not take long. 

I was given new directions half way on the car ride and I redirected my uber driver to a shopping center in garden grove. There, with luggage in hand, I had him drop me off at a less than prestine Carl’s Jr. That’s when Steve, Debby’s husband, walked in and greeted me. He gave me the scoop on a crafty plan to hide my identity this weekend until the end, when I gave my talk. After a small scavenger hunt for some supplies for the day, we headed to the air bnb

I was able to participate in one of the tasks given to the kids. It was the process of quickly interviewing people to try to gain a small snapshot of who they were. It was basically speed interviewing. 

Then we headed to Laguna beach where I got to spend a lot of time taking in the ocean. Flew my drone around for awhile and then took a swim. There was some sort of crab migration going on but despite being surrounded by hundreds of crabs, they didn’t bother me to much. Caught some great waves and footage. 

The kids were assigned to play a card game that involves silly tasks that force you to interact with strangers. They spent most of their time at the beach attempting these tasks. They found great success and it was a pleasure watching them get out of their comfort zone. 

When we got back to the air bnb they had a project that involved meal prep. Watching them do this, I realized that even ordinary tasks can build team work, creativity, and challenge the problem solving skills of these kids.

Later that evening, I was able to give my talk. I told them about my story and some of the attributes that lead me to succes in my career. It was great sharing with them and I would love to do it again. 

I slept on the couch woke up and flew out at 7am. 

Moral of the story, giving back leads to great opportunities. It can enhance the moral fiber in your life and give you a great feeling of self worth. Take the leap and give it try, you won’t regret it!

How hard can you work?

How hard can you work?

I work pretty hard, but I really need to step it up. It is easy to get in a routine of letting your normal workload exhaust you, however that exhaustion isn’t enough to justify being satisfied at the end of the day. I’m talking about working every spare moment you have and making it second nature. 

A lot of times these blogs are written while laying in bed, feeling guilty that I didn’t produce enough content. I watched too much tv today, I rested on the couch too much, I spent too much time at dinner or simply I didn’t motivate myself to accomplish anything.

My day job is what pays the bills and I pour a lot of my energy and passion into it. I love what I do, but it’s not going to get me to the next level of succes. So I have to crush it at my day job and then have enough energy to make something worth a damn when I get home. It’s a lot of pressure, but I do my best work under pressure.

So why not just be under pressure all the time and then I will be putting out great work all the time? It sounds like a little overkill but it’s what has to be done to achieve the level of success I am looking for. 

Did I mention I have a wife and two kids as well? My version of succes includes not neglecting my family, so… there is some massive pressure for you. I am currently loving this new adventure I’m on and don’t want it to stop. I get excited every time I have something new to share with the world, and the reaction to it is instant satisfaction. 

With a renewed urgency to just work my brains out, I can’t wait to see what the next few months are going to lead to. 

Please follow me on my journey on my Facebook page which is the hub of all my content.

I would never spend that much on a XYZ

I would never spend that much on a XYZ

You cheap bastard! But really, why do we buy things that the majority of people considered financial lunacy? There is always going to be a certain level of bias coming from someone who likes expensive things, but here is my take.

We don’t buy them just because they are expensive……at least not all the time. Many of products including clothes, cars, watches, electronics, etc. have a much higher standard of quality when they are the top brand with the higher price tag. 

I’m not saying all name brand products do, because this world is filled with its share of rip-offs. You can tend to avoid the scam items by going with businesses that put extreme pride in their brands. 

I love being surprised by a high end product’s detail. Anything built by hand (not assembly line hands) should be considered a work of art these days. You can hardly find decent products built with any level care. In our consumer nation we tend to get wrapped up in the ability to dispose of everything. But with hand built high end products, they last longer, work better, and inspire more emotion than any discount item could ever dream. 

Of course, sometimes you just want to show off, but that in itself is a tribute to how a high end product can connect with you. You can start a conversation with it, be stopped on the street by strangers just for having it, develop a confidence that may not have been there without it. There is value added to your life that many people can’t see and they never will unless they experience it themselves. They will be unforgiving with their criticism, but that is part of the gig. If you are going to flaunt it then expect people to hate on it.

So do yourselves a favor: take a product that you are passionate about and strive to achieve the best of whatever that product is. Work the extra hours, make the sacrifices, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You only live until you don’t, so enjoy the shit out of it!

San Francisco the best city I would never want to live in.

San Francisco the best city I would never want to live in.

I recently took a short 3 day business trip to SF and it was great! It had been almost two years since my last visit and I had forgotten how beautiful the city was.

One of the benefits of success is being able to travel the world. When you travel and experience other cultures you can really expand your way of thinking. Use your travels as a learning experience to help understand how different people think.

Understanding a person is a key component in finding the best way to coloaborate or create a lasting relationship. These relationships can help lead you to success.

This city in particular is great to visit but the hugely inflated prices makes it ludicrous to live in. The status and talent in the city attracts some of the largest companies in the world, however it also spawns some of the most well funded startups.

I will be traveling to this city frequently this year for one such startup that was purchased by the company I work for. Expect to get more updates on this wonderful city.

I Would Do Anything to Be Rich if Someone Just Told Me How

When I was younger the title of this post ran through my head frequently. Now I don’t consider myself rich, but at my age I’m killing it. You should be, too. The way you think is the most influential factor to you becoming successful.

If you are thinking something similar to the title, then just like I did when I was younger, you’re probably making excuses. What your really thinking is, “I have great work ethic but still need to comfort myself with the excuse that I don’t know what to do.”

What you should be thinking is, “What can I do every single moment from this point on to become successful?” Since doing that can be a struggle itself, let me help you out. 

1. Be positive. Don’t just think you can become successful –  you have to feel it deep, to your core. 

2. Write down the top three things you enjoy doing the most. You will be your best when doing things you enjoy. Either find out how to profit doing the things you enjoy, or motivate yourself to profit so you can do them more! 

3. Stop making excuses. I did not want to write this post at this moment but I couldn’t stand the fact that I wasn’t being productive. Never get comfortable with being unproductive.

4. Never leave a job half complete. You don’t have to sleep every damn night. Stay up, finish it, and then you can move on to the next project. 

5. Make your own path. All the advice in the world is not going to match your situation. You need to build a portfolio of successes and failures! These experiences are going to be your true playbook going forward. 

Don’t forget that you can be successful. Work your ass off, be relentless, and get out of your damn comfort zone. 

Put down the self-help book and do something

I have found that completing projects has given me a euphoric feeling. Usually it is the projects that requires physical and mental work. When I am exhausted after a project, I feel amazing at the same time.  The best part of any large or challenging project is not the end result, but all the things you learn while completing it. This is what real self improvement is, not reading a book or going to a seminar, but completing real challenges and learning how to overcome obstacles by actually DOING THE WORK.

I just experienced this by doing some DIY repair on my Aston Martin V8 Vantage. I documented it mostly for the other Aston owners, but I realized while doing it that this feeling of accomplishment needs to happen more frequently. I want to complete more projects and feel more of this. It felt great diving into something I wasn’t sure I could do, overcoming the challenges, and finding success.

If you really want to improve yourself, find something you haven’t done before and don’t let one damn thing stand in your way! I challenge each of you to pick a project that you know you will encounter adversity and start it today. Begin the research, plan it for the next weekend, start the work, do what ever it takes to get it done!

Check the TimeMoneyLife youtube Channel for that video of me working on my Aston Martin.


Don’t Be You At Work and Join the Winners Team

There seems to always be that golden child at work that gets the great projects or can’t do anything wrong. That guy should be you. Let me tell you how.

The greatest and worst thing about humans is that we are emotionally driven. Most people make decisions heavily influenced by emotion. The control that emotion has over people is a powerful force.

You will lose at life if you can’t manipulate other people’s emotions. This is what people call building a relationship. Being personable is not a trait that all people are born with. It is a skill that needs to be excercised, tuned, and developed. 

You can do this by being less interested in yourself and be more interested in the people around you. Take extensive mental notes on personal interests, management styles, and emotional cues. Use this information to transform yourself into a friend or at least a well-informed equal. People are drawn to others with similar goals, hobbies, and temperament. They gravitate towards people that bring social engagement to them and provide a stress-free environment. Be generous and helpful to them outside of work, as well.

These are just a few examples but learn as you go and befriend as many people as possible. Be nice to every single person no matter what their position. When you become the well liked person in the office, you, too, can harness the benefits of being  “the golden child”.

Ps: Don’t be that guy that tries too hard

Tml time money life Alex Huthmacher career advice. 

Don’t forget to check out time money life’s YouTube channel in the menu bar.

The power of your own mental torture.

Do you ever feel like your own worst enemy? Do you find yourself stressing about very small and unimportant details of everyday life? Does the stress of these minor nuisances wear on you day in and day out? I know for me it’s been challenging just to accept and embrace my own chaotic and constant worry about little details of my life. Now that I recognize it, I can use this trait to my advantage and be proactive about managing the stress that comes with it.

To give you an example of what I am talking about I will share with you a daily stress that gets under my skin. In every location that I have lived, I have stressed about which route I would take to work everyday. No matter how obvious or simplistic the routes, I would always wonder, worry, and stress about the path I was taking. Usually the thought is dominated by the amount of time I might save if I were to tweak my route. When I walked to work I would literally count steps so that I could find the optimum path. Many times, while driving to work, I would stress about which route I would take up until some final definitive turn or intersection that would leave me without options. I could feel the anxiety melt away after passing such a point.

Although that is just one example of an everyday thing that can bother the living hell out of me, there are a plethora of things throughout my day that could torment me. Before learning how to deal with this anxiety, many of my decisions in life were being dictated by silly things like habit or convenience. Being mindful of the anxiety empowered me to start making decisions that would add value to my day rather than stress.

With the path to work example, I turned it into one of my most relaxing exercises of the day. I made a conscience decision to always take the more scenic route to work.  This free’s my mind of the dreaded burden of optional routes. It also gives me the opportunity to collect my thoughts and align my attitude so I can accomplish more throughout my day. I start my morning by driving through some twisty roads that put me through a tunnel carved out of the thick trees in the area. It forces me to pay close attention and gets me in a focused state of mind. On my way home from work I take the same route home, but often it is at a much slower pace with many more cars to compete with. This scenic route, at a slow pace, gives me the opportunity to take in the sights of majestic Lake Travis, and it melts the stress that I may have collected throughout the day.

Find the small things throughout your day that can lead to annoyance or anxiety and turn them into opportunities. Make the decision to improve your quality of life and find the positive in every situation you can. Its exercises like these that sets Elite individuals apart from the common person. If you prevent things from getting to you, you can make them work for you!

Keep your eye out for mental health blogs on Time Money Life #TML

Interviews Are Easier Than You Think

I love interviews, but when I first started they were very intimidating. Even now if I have an interview for a high profile position I get nervous. So how do I conquer these nerves and nail almost every interview? Let me tell you a few of the techniques that work for me.

1. Try to be personal.
Your personality can help you make the cut, but more importantly the wrong personality will get you cut in a heartbeat. Try not to come off as anti-social or awkward. Most job roles require confident, capable, and personable workers, simple being qualified is not enough. Being prepared and comfortable in the interview will take you a long way.

 2. Preparation is key.
I research extensively for every role that I apply for. I look for the people interviewing me on LinkedIn and try to discover their level of technical knowledge. You can often find personal information that can help you connect with the people interviewing you. Things like hobbies, family and location can all play into how well liked you are as a candidate. Always read and research everything on the job req, which you will find many people don’t take the time to actually do. I study all the common questions asked for network engineers. In most careers you can do a google search on interview questions. Try to find every question list you can and become familiar with the questions. You wouldn’t believe how many places just use a common list of questions to vet the technical skills of an applicant.

3. Interview experience.
This means do as many interviews as possible, especially when you are early in your career. When I first started, I did dozens of interviews. Now when I go into an important interview I have hundreds of interviews to pull experience from. This allows me to stay calm and almost never get caught off guard by certain questions or interview techniques.

4. Everything else!
There are common things to be aware of as well. Dress appropriately, arrive early, bring your resume, follow up after the interview, ask relevant questions and show interest in the company.

Remember, being a bad-ass in your field will usually get you most of the way. Then again, if you are a bad-ass in your field you should already know the advice above.

Keep an eye out for more career advice!