Why You Need To Dress Sharp

I’m in a bar in downtown Philadelphia on a Friday night in February. It’s snowing outside. It’s sweaty & popping on the inside.Ross-Dressing-Sharp

It’s the same drunken energy I’ve been experiencing for a month.

I sip on my Old Fashion (Makers of course).

I look first at my competition. Standard Philly crowd…baggy jeans. Over-sized shirts. Dirty shoes. Philly sports jersey’s are abundant. WEAK.

Then there’s the crowd of dudes you’ll see in every city… the ones that wear pinstripe button down shirts (untucked) and black pointy leather shoes. WEAK.

I catch myself in a mirror. Gray blazer. White oxford (tucked). Khakis that fit. Chukka boots. My $2 leather belt that gets complimented more than a Russian supermodel. In fact, the whole outfit cost me less than one of those Philly jerseys. But I look like a million bucks in comparison. It’s not hard to stand out in Philly. (It’s not hard to stand out in this world period…do you?)

Now I survey the field for what I’m really interested in. No. No. Maybe. No. BLUE EYES. No….back to BLUE EYES. JESUS CHRIST… YES.

It’s a stare-down and neither one of us is relenting.

I make my way through the crowd to her. We talk. It’s electric.

6 months later it’s beyond electric. This is a 1 in 6.75 billion girl (World population).

6 months later we’re at a whole different level… but she still remembers what I wore that night.

Why You Need To Dress Sharp

Now, I wont pretend to be the sharpest dressed man in every room. Several of my friends have the style ‘gene’ and haven’t had to make a conscious effort like myself. (Lesson: surround yourself with people who are ‘better’ than you)

I’m still capable and prone to mistakes and laziness.

But, I will say that I’ve been living out of a suitcase for close to 3 years and look better than most men with larger closets and wallets.

I took a flight from San Diego to Philly the other week. I had jeans and a t-shirt on. I looked sharper than every cat in coach. (I really should be flying first class… Soon enough.)

It really doesn’t take a lot to dress well… and the benefits are enormous.

  • More respect.
  • More self-respect.
  • More women.
  • More business.
  • (mo problems? probably not)

People automatically and instantly assess you on your clothing choice. No way around it.

There’s a study in Cialdini’s ‘Influence’:

Researchers had a man illegally jay walk against a traffic light several different times. Half the time he dressed in regular work clothes and the other half he wore a business suit and tie.

3 1/2 times as many pedestrians waiting at the corner followed the man when he wore a suit as when he wore regular work clothes.

Don’t underestimate the power clothing and a well dressed man has on influencing people.

…Of course you don’t have to play the game.

But it pays to play.

No man or woman is going to discount you for dressing well. But they’ll sure as hell discount you for dressing like a slob. Why give them the chance?

Obviously, life doesn’t come down to caring what other people think about you… And we all know there’s much more to life than clothes. (It’s not even about ‘clothes’… it’s about personal style.)

Sure, I like the ‘influence & power’ that comes from dressing well. But beyond that, I like the way dressing sharp makes me, personally, feel. I like to think of my life as ‘art’ and that my style is a reflection of that.

I like the direction my life is headed when I CARE about my clothing choice and how it fits and looks.

How To Start Taking Control

Take care of the way you dress. Start making an effort.

Most of us weren’t taught about style & fashion growing up. It wasn’t expected of us. We don’t know how to develop personal style… let alone the basics of dressing well, how clothing should fit, or even how to iron a shirt for God’s sake.

I’m just as guilty as the next guy… but the difference… I’ve made the DECISION to LEARN and to TRY.

If you want to start taking control of your personal image & dressing better (and thus getting more out of life), then check out my buddy Ross’ Dressing Sharp e-newseletter.

I’m helping him publish a new product for guys that lays out the essentials of what it takes to build personal style and an attractive wardrobe.

This guy knows his stuff, has an excellent personal brand himself, and has been teaching me since we were young bucks.

Check it here:

>>> DressingSharp.com <<<

(free sign-up, no funny business)

(he’s the suave mofo in that pic above)

How I Learned “Money For Nothing” On Guitar Fast – w/ Video

I used the spaced learning method to learn the complicated intro to “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits in only 2 hours and 48 minutes. Watch the video below.

The Song

The “Money For Nothing” intro has one of the most epic guitar solos that I have ever heard. And despite the fact that I started playing guitar specifically because of this song, I had never bothered to learn it.

Several years ago I attempted it, but was never able to get far. The subtlety in guitarist Mark Knopfler’s playing (staccato plucking and unusual harmonics on the 4th fret!) made it just a bit too difficult for me to fight through.

What’s Spaced Learning?

I first heard about spaced learning from my friend Clay’s article – How To Memorize Anything Fast. Clay writes:

Spaced learning is a simple system developed by memory researcher R. Douglas Fields, and is in use at Monkseaton High School in England.  It’s a relatively little-known system, but has worked very well for me.  It involves three eight-to-ten-minute sessions learning lots of information with ten minute breaks of unrelated material inbetween.

What Exactly Did I Do?

I studied the rhythm and the tabs 1 hour per day for 7 days. Each 1 hour session was broken into 8 minutes of playing and studying followed by 10 minutes of doing something completely unrelated (studying Spanish, writing, etc.) So each session had a total of 24 minutes of study and practice.

The Recording

I recorded the song on the 7th day using my FS100 video camera and then through GarageBand. I apologize for the tones. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time tweaking.

Conclusion

It had been awhile since I played electric guitar – about 8 months in Central and South America kept me away so my guitar fingers weren’t exactly ‘warm’. Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the speed in which I learned the song.

I definitely could have learned this song in fewer days. But I don’t believe I could have learned it putting in the same amount of hours. Spaced learning helped me utilize my practice time better. Pretty sweet.

Take The Location Independent and Digital Nomad Survey Because We Need Your Help!

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a growing community of travelers and businessman slowly taking over the world.

These are people like us. People who want to travel the world and get work done at the same time. People who want to live location independent lives.

Click Here To Take The Survey

So to gauge the community, the people over at Location Independent have created a survey. It’s for BOTH people that have a location independent lifestyle, and for those who would like to live that way.

Please do us all a big favor and take the survey because we need your help to make the community better. It only takes a few minutes.

Click Here To Take The Survey

When the survey is done we’ll let you know about the results.

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Pic by Tait Campbell

How To Tip Like A Real Man

By Sister72

If you’ve been following my business pursuits over at TalkMuse.com, you know that I’m currently working on an ebook for the James Bond niche. I thought I’d share a short section from the book on tipping like a real man.

I used to struggle to justify the money ‘wasted’ on tipping and never knew how much to tip to whom. That is until I did some research. I know tipping is something a lot of guys aren’t comfortable with. So I hope this might help.

Tipping properly is essential for living the James Bond lifestyle. Tipping not only shows that you’re a gentleman but also serves an important function in social dynamics. He who tips holds power.

In the beginning of the movie Dr. No, Bond is seen playing baccarat. After winning he casually tips the dealer. Then, as he’s exiting the casino, he slips the doorman a bill.

In nearly every movie James Bond is shown tipping very casually. Master this art and people will notice and respect you.

Tipping & Social Dynamics

In a study done in 1976, a university professor sent Christmas cards to a sample of strangers. The response he received was staggering—holiday cards addressed to him came pouring back from people who had never met nor heard of him.

The great majority of those who returned cards never inquired into the identity of the unknown professor. They received his holiday greeting card, and they automatically sent cards in return (Kunz & Woolcott, 1976).

This study demonstrates the power of reciprocity. If someone gives you something, you feel a strong urge to repay the favor. Tipping will spur reciprocity.

You’ll command the respect of people if you tip well. You should especially pay attention to this if you frequent certain places – i.e. restaurants, grocery stores, hotels.

Service workers will automatically think highly of you. And in the future, if you bring a date or friends around, the people you’ve tipped will treat you well and raise your social value.

Tipping is a symbol of status.

Tipping Rule: Always have small bills at hand.

Small bills aren’t just for strippers (and by the way, the best strategy for attracting strippers, if you’re into it, is not to give them any money at all and tell them that from the beginning – but I digress).

Always keep small bills on hand and easily accessible when you are out on the town. There are countless opportunities to tip and everyone who receives a tip will not only be grateful, but also feel differently about you.

Tipping Guide – How Much To Give To Whom

Remember that this is only a guide. Tipping is dependent on the service. If the service is horrible you’re not obligated to tip a great amount. Use your discretion. Just know people are always judging.

1. Restaurants
Tip at least 20% in restaurants. Don’t think about it, don’t take out a calculator, just divide the bill by 5 and tip that amount.
2. Coat Check
$1 or 100% of the bill
3. Valet
$5 depending on the car and your bill. If you tell him to take special care of it, obviously tip a bit more.
4. Washroom attendant –
Give him a $1. Most guys scurry out of the bathroom with their heads down trying to avoid contact. Don’t do this. Make some small talk, check yourself out, spray some cologne, take a piece of gum and tip the man.
5. Bartenders
Bartenders should get at least $1 per drink. If you want to make friends with the bartenders fast – which is a good idea if you frequent the place – then tip big. A bartender who likes you is a very powerful indicator of social proof to a woman because the bartender is the most popular person in the room. Start making friends with the service.
6. Club Bouncers
Here’s a trick I learned from a friend of mine. As you enter a club for the first time ask the bouncer if he wants a drink. This will create a relationship you can exploit to skip big lines on other nights. If the bouncer declines a beer on entry, try to chat him up as you leave, and then slip him $5 thanking him for everything.
7. Coffee Shop Baristas-
When you pick up your morning coffee make sure to leave a $1 tip in their jar. Make it discreet but noticeable so they’ll remember you in the future.
8. Hairstylists –
Go to a good hairstylist and give them at least $5 or 20% if the bill is over $25. The person working with your hair is always someone you want to keep happy. And make sure you talk about something interesting with your hairstylist. Don’t talk about the weather.
9. Cab drivers
Cab drivers get $1 if the bill is under $10. 15% if over $10. I always tip bigger to cab drivers who actually seem like they enjoy life and talk to me. Happy people are rewarded with happiness.

The point – just start tipping everyone well. Your wallet might be a little bit lighter as a result but your perceived status will go through the roof.

The money you spend tipping will come back to you in time. Generous people receive generously.

A ‘Case’ Study – Why A Digital Nomad Can’t Afford To Check Baggage

I took several flights in Central and South America in the last 8 months never checking a bag. But I decided to check my duffel bag on my flight back to the USofA and of course it got lost.

As a digital nomad you can’t afford to check your baggage. You can pack light enough to avoid it.

Checking a bag gives the airline an excuse to lose it and not compensate you properly. Jet Blue’s policy for lost baggage is $25 per day, but only after 48 hours of its disappearance. If the bag doesn’t show, you get a whopping $200.

My bag found its way back this morning to the house I’m staying at in New Jersey. If I were in a different country, I’m sure I would have had to wait around or go back to the airport to pick it up. Thank you US mail system.

But just because it showed up doesn’t mean all is well. The unmarked, black, plastic trash bag it was wrapped in was kind of like a metaphor for the general treatment of my bag. I wasn’t surprised to open it up and find the contents ruined.

I bought a bottle of Aguardiente from Medellin to torture my friends into drinking with me. I carefully wrapped and secured it in my bag but it didn’t make it through the process. As a result, my things now smell like black licorice death.

Along with several clothes being ruined beyond repair, some other gifts I purchased will not make it home either.

Checked baggage is treated with no respect. It’s thrown, kicked, and searched through. Employees simply don’t care and probably aren’t paid well enough to care.

If you absolutely must check your bag, then get a fragile sticker for it. All you have to do is ask. It should result in slightly above terrible treatment of your bag.

You have been warned. Pack light and don’t check.

8 Ways To Feel Amazing – Achieving Peak Energy Levels & Mental Capabilities

Photo by lepiaf.geo

I’ve spent the last 2 weeks traveling through Colombia like a proper backpacker. And as a result of travel, dietary practices, and lack of sleep, I haven’t felt a 100%.

But on an average day I feel great. I’ve compiled a list of things, that when done everyday, have made me feel at my absolute peak.

1. Eat blueberries

Blueberries have been shown to increase motor skills. They also pack an antioxidant punch greater than any other known fruit or vegetable. I can tell a difference instantly in the way I feel when I eat blueberries.

2. Take fish oil caps

I introduced fish oil to several of my friends and the results were hilarious. On two separate occasions, they came home from work and were like, “Dude, after I ate the fish oil caps I felt…happy!”

Read this article on the almost limitless benefits of fish oil.

3. Take a nap

Short 15-20 naps increase overall alertness and increase productivity. Also, In a six-year study of Greek adults, researchers found that that men who took naps at least three times a week had a 37 percent lower risk of heart-related death.

I find them to be extremely useful when under any sort of pressure. Napoleon is famous for doing this as well.

4. If you drink coffee, only drink about 16 OZ. throughout the day.

More than a cup or two a day makes me feel really good, then really awful. Try drinking tea in place of coffee if you need something hot.

I wrote about boosting energy levels with caffeine naps if you’re interested.

5. Don’t eat starches and sugar

They’ll just make you crash. i know how hard it is to eliminate these things from your diet but I have found a simple solution. I can control cravings by literally eating as much as I want besides starches and sugar. If you have to snack on beef jerky all day to keep your cravings at bay do it. Also, eating healthy fats, like raw mixed nuts, will help satiate your hunger.

Fat does not make you fat. Sugar makes you fat.

6. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise

The benefits of exercise can’t be overstated. Get your heart beating for 30 minutes everyday. You may not feel that great while doing it, but you’ll feel amazing after the fact. Exercise is stimulating for your mind. I often have my best ideas while working out.

7. Do some soft tissue work

Get 5 minutes of soft tissue work using a tennis ball or foam roller. Doing this helped me cure some lower back problems that had been ailing me.

Read a great article on the subject here.

8. Listen to music you like

Your mental state can be altered by listening to music that either soothes or energizes you. Athletes listen to pump-up music before playing. Closing your eyes and listening to soft music can be very relaxing.

I’ve found listening to appropriate music before and during work tasks to be extremely helpful.

Schedule doing all of these things otherwise you wont. Then, when you complete them, check it off a list. There’s something very satisfying about crossing off an accomplishment.

Warning: doing these things feels so good that it becomes an addiction. So when you go without doing them for awhile you might feel a bit crap – like I do now. Of course, overtime, I’d get used to living without and that would become my new reality. But, I feel like superman when I do this so it’s hard to stop.

Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

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In a future article I’ll write some tips and tricks for feeling great while traveling.

What Happens When I Don’t Masturbate

The title of this article makes me smile. My experiment with quitting alcohol and caffeine for a month reminded me of time in high school when I bet a friend that I wouldn’t masturbate for 40 days and nights.

It all started with the terrible film 40 days and 40 nights starting Josh Hartnett. In the movie, player Hartnett completes a bet that he can go 40 days without sexual contact. When the movie was over I turned to my friend Eric and said, “I bet I could go 40 days without masturbating.” Sexual contact with a female was rare enough at the time.

We debated for several minutes about whether or not it was possible. “I bet you 10 bucks I can do it,” I said. Eric gladly accepted the bet. I have no idea why I said 10 when I could have got at least 50.

But regardless, the ridiculous bet was on.

The first few weeks of the bet were difficult, to say the least. In the beginning, I considered just giving in and coughing up the 10 bucks. Later, I considered cheating without telling anyone. But I knew that was wrong. I had to win this bet for my manhood.

Things got interesting around the 30 day mark. I had already pushed through the hardest days – pun completely intended because I was I waking up every morning to Mount Everest under the covers. I knew I was going to make it all the way but I started getting some unexpected side-effects.

The bet took place in the heart of the basketball season. Our team began league play undefeated, as did our rivals, the Cougars.

I was having a pretty insignificant season at that point. Bad knees and plenty of excuses were hurting my performance on the court. But when it came time to face the Cougars for first place bragging rights, I was completely backed up, my tanks completely full.

The highly anticipated showdown got underway with me riding the bench. I waited, a little more anxious than usual, to get my chance to play. When the coach called my number near the end of the first quarter, I was ready.

The Cougars star point guard, a top college prospect who went on to play at SDSU, and might be in jail as I write this, licked his lips as he watched me enter the court. He was thinking he had fresh meat.

When the first shot left my hands, I knew this game was different. Nothing but the bottom of the net. I only took 3 shots in the first half, making 2 three-pointers.

The second half was a completely different animal. I suddenly became unstoppable. At first the Cougar’s star stuck to guarding the better players, but as I drained shots, he was assigned to me.

I thanked him for his efforts by hitting a couple turn around jump shots in his face.

I was pointing at people, slapping teammates asses, and enjoying myself for the first time in a long time. “Wow, basketball is awesome when you score.” But the real heroics were yet to come.

With under a minute in the game, I was still making shots, but I was getting winded. I never usually played this many minutes. But, with the ball in our hands, tie score, and chance to win the game, I knew I needed to step up.

In a timeout huddle, my coach asked everyone who should get the ball for the last shot. They all agreed to give it to the guy who was hot – me.

With less than 10 seconds I dribbled outside the three point line, my defender staring and anticipating. I remember the next few seconds clearly because they were the slowest of my life.

I dribbled the base line expecting someone to challenge me. The center stepped up but before he could block off the sideline I was around him under the basket, floating in the air.

In that moment I knew I was going to make the shot. I didn’t even need to look back to make sure it went through the net.

We won.

The next game, marked the end of the 40 days and nights challenge. I knocked down 16 points in a blowout of the Patriots. I had turned the corner.

But that night, I went against my better judgement. I decided I had waited long enough. The points I was scoring were just because I was finally playing well. I was finally living up to my potential. They had nothing to do with the bet.

2 minutes later, my life screamed back to normal.

Despite my inflated upper head, the deflated lower head was the winner. The next game I barely got off the board. I returned to the bench.

When we played the Cougars again, the coaches started me hoping to rekindle the magic. But it was gone. I scored 2 points in front of a disappointed home crowd.

Famous Deathbed Quotes

Yesterday one of my dad’s best friends died. His final words, “I’m going to croak.” I couldn’t help but smile when I heard that. If you’re going to go out, go out in style. He was the MAN until the end.

Here are some of my favorite deathbed quotes:

  • “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.”
    – Oscar Wilde
  • “Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.”
    – Ludwig van Beethoven
  • “I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.”
    – Humphrey Bogart
  • “I know you have come to kill me. Shoot coward, you are only going to kill a man.”
    (Facing his assassin, Mario Teran, a Bolivian soldier.)
    – Ernesto “Che” Guevara
  • “Why, I did not know we had quarreled.”
    (When asked by his aunt if he had made his peace with God.)
    – Henry David Thoreau

For a more complete list of famous deathbed quotes go here:
Famous Deathbed Quotes

I don’t have much to say about death. It’s real. It’s like gravity. It restricts what I can do but also allows me to live.

What would you like your last words to be? Please share below.

Rejected!

The last few times I’ve ventured out into the Colombian night life I haven’t been rejected. So, I know I’m doing something wrong.

Rejection is my friend. Rejection is instant feedback. Rejection lets me know I went for it.

If I’m not getting rejected I’m not trying.

The best thing about rejection is the more it rears its ugly head, the more success I have. I don’t get rejected every time. Rejection is the quickest route to success.

Go all the way and either get what you want or get rejected.

How To Live An Interesting Life

http://liveuncomfortably.com

Whether we realize it or not, the vast majority of us are following the same road. What troubles me is that a great percentage of people are average and don’t live fulfilling nor interesting lives. Where is the road that you’re on leading you?

Have the people that followed the road before you acheived a great deal of success? Are their lives full of happiness, fulfillment, and excitement. Or do they spend the majority of their time complaining, watching television, and waiting to die.

Just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t mean it’s right. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong necessarily, but we must realize what following the norm is going to mean. For a lot of us, that means a mountain of financial debt and life full of fear and worry.

How to Access The Road You’re On

1. Look At Your Boss

What is your boss like? Is he/she a miserable wretch who doesn’t get any fulfillment from his career or life? If you were in his position, what would your life be like? That’s where your career is headed. You’ll end up in his position or a similar one down the road. Is it worth the effort to get where he/she is?

2. Look at Your Friends

What are you friends accomplishing if anything? Are they happy? The people you surround yourself with day in and day out will have a big impact on where your life goes. Don’t abandon them, but also don’t let them detour your dreams.

3. Look At Yourself

Are you growing each day, or are you stagnant? Is your bank account growing, or are you spending too much. If you’re going backwards financially and mentally (growing more depressed), you’re probably on the wrong path.

What habits are you developing? Are you constantly thinking negatively? The actions you continually do will become ingrained habits. And habits are difficult to break.

How To Get Off The Road You’re On

1. Save Money.

Stop spending right now. Look for areas to cut back on all expenditures. Take the bus to work. Pack your lunch. You’ve heard all this before, start doing it! Once you’ve got a cushion in your savings account, then you can take on the world.

2. For The Younger Ones Out There, Don’t Buy A House Or Car In The First Place.

You’re jeopardizing your freedom. What happens if you decide a year from now that you want to see the world? You’ll never go because of a car or house payment that needs attention.

3. Screw The Trends, Be Yourself

Nice clothes and things communicate wealth and status. However, it also costs a ton to keep up with what’s hot. If you can shun the new without complaining people will respect you.

Let me give you an example:

I have a friend who didn’t get a cell phone until he was in his 20’s while most had their first phone at age 13 or 14. But my friend never complained and never expressed the desire for a cell phone.

Did anyone care? Well it was hard to get ahold of him sometimes, but overall people still loved him and respected him. They thought he was a badass non-conformist.

Stand up for yourself and people, especially women, will listen.

4. Know Your End Goal

Have a vision of what you want your life to be like and work towards it. If you don’t have an end goal in my mind then where you are now is where you’re going to be 5, 10, 15 or 20 years from now. A solid vision will motivate you and give purpose to your life.

5. Live Uncomfortably

Do something that scares you everyday. One little thing that makes your heart beat a little faster and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your life becomes interesting.

If you want to live an interesting life and be an interesting person, you have to live an interesting life. Read that again, it’s stupidly simple.

The problem is no one is going to make your life interesting. That’s up to you.