Read time: 10 min

Good morning. Can you believe that it’s the last Wednesday of August? This year has definitely been strange, to say the least.

INSPIRATION

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”

– Pema Chödrön

STAND UP EIGHT: Triumph & persevere

Andrew Carnegie’s Mettle (Other Than Steel)

Andrew Carnegie’s name is one of the most well-known in American business. Before becoming one of the world’s wealthiest men with his highest net worth $310 billion (adjusting for inflation) and one of the most charitable philanthropists of his time, Carnegie faced tremendous struggles.

An Immigrant

Carnegie was born of meager means in Scotland on November 25, 1835. His family borrowed money from his uncle to immigrate to the United States to find a more prosperous life.

First Job

In 1848, Carnegie landed his first job at a cotton mill. He worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, earning a starting wage of $1.20 per week ($39 adjusting for inflation). Carnegie became known as a diligent and hard worker.

Smart, Maybe a Little Dishonest

When Carnegie was drafted into the army to fight in the U.S. Civil War, he paid another man $850 to take his place. Although this seems unethical, it was actually legal: the Conscription Act made specific exemptions for those conscripted on payment of a “commutation” fee.

Risky Investments

At just 14-years-old, Carnegie’s mother Margaret mortgaged their home to obtain $500 needed to buy ten shares in the Adam Express Company from Carnegie’s previous boss, who he impressed. The dividends started coming in quickly, eventually helping Carnegie fund a series of other investments. Turns out, buying railroads in real life, not just in Monopoly, rakes in the dough. His hard work, risk-taking spirit, and the success of his investments turned his pity $1.20 a week to $50,000 a year by 30.

Carnegie used the funds from his investments to found the Carnegie Steel Company in 1892. Thanks to revolutionary production methods and his vertical integration strategy, Carnegie dominated the industry. Nearly a decade later, in 1901, he sold Carnegie Steel to banker John Pierpont (J.P) Morgan for $480 million.

Giving Back

In 1889, Carnegie published an essay, “The Gospel of the Wealth,” in the North American Review. He asserted that the rich have “a moral obligation to distribute [their money] in ways that promote the welfare and happiness of the common man.” He resolved: “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.”

By his death, Carnegie had donated $445 million of his $475 million personal fortune to charities and philanthropic endeavors. He helped fund more than 2,500 public libraries worldwide and created numerous trusts (charitable foundations) that have established many organizations still in operation today, including Carnegie Music Hall and Carnegie-Mellon University.

SELF-DISCOVERY: Unleash the Achiever within

Do More Of What Makes You Happy

I (Kyle) have a frame in my office that says, “Do More Of What Makes You Happy,” sitting right next to my computer. I see this phrase often on social media. It sounds great, but it’s a little more complicated than you think. After all, if I always did what made me happy, I would be too busy eating chicken wings and watching Netflix to write this newsletter.

This phrase is actually talking about discovering what brings you positive feelings in the various aspects of your life. For example, what makes you feel your best? Is it helping people or solving problems? Perhaps, you are at your happiest when you know you did your absolute best on something. Whatever it is, you should do more of it.

The same goes for activities and hobbies. If you enjoy working out, it should be a top priority when setting your schedule for the week. If seeing family and friends is essential to you, you should never let a busy schedule or being too tired, stop you from setting up and sticking to the plans you’ve made.

Let’s put this another way. Creating content that makes an impact makes me very happy. Therefore, I helped co-found this newsletter and started my own copywriting business. I am continually working towards creating a career where I can do more content creation than anything else. Why? Because it leaves me satisfied and fulfilled. Which is a different type of “happy” as opposed to the feeling I get when my DoorDash order arrives, and there’s a new season of Shameless queued up on Netflix.

ACHIEVERS’ ARMORY: Equip yourself with proven tools & tactics

Learning Remotely Before It Became Mainstream

Have you ever wished there was a skill you learned back in college? Maybe, a soft skill such as productivity or time management or a hard skill related to your profession. The bottom line is, you could achieve more if you developed this skill. Coursera has you covered.

Coursera is an on-line, on-demand platform that hosts hundreds of courses, certificates, and degrees created by world-class universities and companies. These courses are taught by college professors and designed to help you retain the information you learn through applied learning tactics. These tactics include self-paced quizzes and hands-on projects. This ensures you can use the knowledge and information you learn in real-life practicality.

What separates Coursera from similar platforms is their collaborative partnerships with companies like Google and IBM, and Universities such as Duke, Stanford, and Penn. They want you to consume the highest quality content.

To browse the courses they offer, click here.

MINDSET: Train your brain to win

There Will Always Be A Pond

You may not know it if you look at me, but I (Kyle) used to love to walk on my lunch breaks when I worked in the corporate world. These walks were often the best part of my days.

I remember when I was working at the worst job I have ever had; I was taking a lunch walk around a huge pond. It was March, and I distinctly remember looking at this pond and saying to myself, “If I am still here and walking around this pond during the summer, I am going to be very upset.” I HATED that job and convinced myself a new one would solve all my problems.

Two months later, I started a brand new job that quickly rivaled my old one for the title of “worst ever.” One summer day, I was exploring the area and guess what I found—a big pond with a walking trail around it. As I walked around this new pond, I realized something very important. The job may have changed, but my situation remained the same. I was still walking around a pond as I escaped my terrible job for one short hour.

The lesson I learned was that if you really want something (in the “can’t sleep, can’t stop thinking about it” kind of way), you have to go after it full throttle. If you’re unhappy, do not do something that will act as a bandaid or a temporary fix. For me, I knew I needed to leave corporate America and run my own business. Instead of going all-in on that idea, I applied for jobs that I thought would be better than my current situation.

If you want to improve any area of your life, you have to make big, scary, and uncomfortable choices and changes. If all you ever do is make small comfortable tweaks, you will never achieve the lasting change you need. Unless you go for what you REALLY want in life, there will always be a pond to remind you that you could have tried harder.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Master the soft skills

What Are Social Skills?

In terms of emotional intelligence, social skills refer to the skills needed to handle and influence other people’s emotions effectively. In simple terms, it’s the skills you need to understand how to communicate with specific people in certain situations.

Social skills in the Emotional Intelligence sense, include:

  • Persuasion and Influencing: This includes understanding the situation, the people involved, and knowing what to say and how to say it.
  • Communication: Having the ability to listen to others and provide appropriate and valuable feedback. It is also the ability to convey your ideas and feelings accurately.
  • Conflict Management: Be able to dissect a conflict, ensure everyone feels heard, and present a fair resolution to both sides.
  • Leadership: Leadership includes explaining your vision and motivate others to follow it.
  • Change Management: Presenting change as an opportunity and persuading others to be excited about it instead of stressed or anxious.

FUN STUFF – WEDNESDAY WORD

zhuzh

[ zhoozh ] | verb

to make (something) more lively and interesting, stylish, or appealing, as by a small change or addition (usually followed by up)

How should we zhuzh up our newsletter? Reply back to let us know. 

NEWS BREAK: Stay informed

1% BETTER: Improve each day

Invest in a bag of baking soda. It has so many uses​: from de-odorizing your carpets, fridge, and furniture to cutting through stovetop grease and soap scum. Ah, the joys of #adulting.