How to apply business principles for a better personal life

BA Expat

We’ve all heard stories about the workaholic corporate-type with no personal life, or the driven entrepreneur with a singular focus on business. But in reality, there’s a lot we can learn from the business world – ideas, practices, and philosophies that can be applied to lead an easier, more fulfilling, and more productive life.

I have a few favorites that I’ve raided from my entrepreneurial war chest and implemented successfully in my day-to-day routine. Follow along as we transform boring corporate jargon into Zen-like awesomeness.

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Are you happy? (My year in review)

BA Expat

For me, New Years Eve was never so much about resolutions as it was about drinking champagne. Sure, on December 31st I can’t help but think back nostalgically on the year that has passed, but I have always felt that the holiday was too public a time to really reflect. Besides, champagne has a way of…uh, narrowing your focus down to the moment at hand, rather than looking at the big picture.

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Product evaluation and negotiation skills

BA Expat

In my first post of this series, I wrote about some common myths that stop would-be entrepreneurs. This post outlines how to make a list of potential product ideas, determine which one is best, and get the ball rolling on finding a supplier.

Since you’re reading a blog post about starting your own business, we’ve already established that you aren’t satisfied with hate your job because:

  • your boss is an idiot
  • you don’t get paid enough
  • you work too many hours
  • you’re underappreciated
  • you’re bored
  • all of the above

I’m going to give you a crash course in idea generation and product development. It’s not the risky, dark art that “they” want you to think it is – once you know the key steps and some good tools, it’s as easy as…dealing with China.

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BA Expat

Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.”
– Dave Barry

You don’t fully appreciate the ability to communicate until you transplant yourself into a foreign country. I’ve been here for 3 weeks now and I can say that moving here has been the equivalent of becoming an absolute moron overnight. This story chronicles my quest to buy a blender.

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Previous Post

BA Expat

In my last post, I mentioned that I need a blender because buying groceries has been a disaster.

I’ll start by saying that the trend of putting your business into Google Maps hasn’t quite reached the tipping point yet in Argentina, so I have to rely on a combination of word-of-mouth referrals and wandering around aimlessly. Although my Spanish has improved since the blender blunder, the latter is actually quite a bit more productive at the moment. Verbal communication is still difficult, as I haven’t been able to hear out of my right ear since I fell asleep on the beach in Pinamar and woke up to a plane with a loudspeaker strapped to the bottom screaming at me about a “Motoshow MAS IMPORTANTE.” I don’t know what they were yelling about but it sounded like a mix between an American monster truck commercial and an episode of Sabado Gigante

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10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life Today

BA Expat

Changing or improving your life doesn’t have to be a long, frustrating, drawn-out process. I’m always in search of the smallest changes that yield the biggest returns, and below is my collection of quick tips that can make your life easier, more fulfilling, or just less of a pain in the ass.

Try one or two of these and tell me how great they worked.

Sleeping at the desk

Zack’s Not-So-Secret List of Simple Ways to Increase Happiness, Productivity, or General Awesomeness

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The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Learn

BA Expat

I’ve never really been one to follow the masses or participate in the rigid march of conformity. I sold candy on the black market in 5th grade, started an auto parts company when I was 16, skipped my senior year of high school, and was on a one-way flight to Vegas during my college graduation.

At age 23, I was making plenty of money and was only working a few hours a day. It was every guy’s dream – living in Sin City, improving my Call of Duty skills with previously undiscovered dedication, and embracing a general lack of responsibility that I hadn’t experienced since…well, college. So, after a year in Vegas, I took the next logical step – I moved back to New Jersey (where I grew up),  started working for the family business, and signed a 15 month lease with a new girlfriend that I met on Match.com.

Wait…

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