Job seekers, this one small change can improve your chances of getting hired.

This article is helpful for most people (employed or unemployed) on Linkedin as I see this mistake so often. The change is so simple and silly that most people don’t think about it. Yet, when you make it, you will notice the difference.

Linkedin is obviously a place to network and create new connections. Why do we want those? To increase our circle of influence, know someone who knows the someone we need to know, find a job, get a new client, …

In the regular world, we have about 30 seconds to one minute before the other person has a long lasting impression in their minds of the image we projected that very moment. We can change the effect we want to give depending on the person we meet.

In the fast pace social media world in which most of us live, we have about a fraction of a millisecond to make a good impression on that person. That impression is based on solely 2 criteria : your profile picture and your title. That’s it.

Imagine having a million books to read. You would not open each book and read its summary. You would check the cover, read the title. If those two appeal to you, you will try to find out more about the subject. On Linkedin, you need to be aware that you are your book cover, your own ad.

The worse for a job seeker is: to have no picture and write “job seeker” or “looking for new opportunities” in your title. Why?

1- The question about the picture is obvious : we are surrounded by scammers and the first step in trusting someone is seeing his face.

2- If you write “job seeker”, you appear as someone who lacks and not someone who offers anything. The first impression is “He has no job.”

Secondly, no one knows what you do. The person needing your services might not even look at your profile because they will not look at every “Job seeker’s profile.

If, on the contrary, you write “I am a deal closer and want to work for an outstanding real estate company”. “Experienced IT manager, contact to hire: with your email” ; ”Service is my middle name and I want to work for you”…

What does that say? Do you see how that changes it all?

Pay attention to those two small details and you will see a difference in the quality of people you connect with here. Remember your title is made for others to know you in a split of a second.

And lastly. Dare to connect. The more people you know, the better chances of giving what others need and getting what you want.

Please share this article so more benefit from it.

The gifts that lie in our scars

As a child, I was bullied. And this is why I believe it is one of the greatest gifts I received.

My parents immigrated from France to Canada when I was 8, reason being mostly the level of racism and xenophobia. My parents waited 17 years to get a French citizenship that would allow them to open a business. Instead, being Serbian, we heard “go back to your country” too often, but we couldn’t. Anyway, that’s besides the point.

When we moved, my parents wanted me to have the best education possible so they signed me up in a private school. When they tested my aptitudes and IQ, they told my parents I would have to skip 4 grades warning them it might cause sociability issues because of the huge age gap. My parents approved to have me skip 3 not realizing that it would still create a big problem in my capacity to be included.

Home equaled with violence, abuse and I was forced to shut up most of the time. I developed an almost pathological shyness. I would not talk much and would be scared to approach people I didn’t know. Imagine the fear I felt being in a new school, in a different country, with a language I had trouble understanding at the time.

In school, the age difference with some of the class mates was as high as 7 years, mostly 4 or 5. Still, when you are 9 or 10 and the others are 14 or 16, it creates a “grand canyon” gap in being able to develop friendships.

Because I didn’t jump 4 grades, I ended up being 1st in my class, especially in math. I solved most problems instantaneously in my mind which made the teachers love me and class mates despise me even more. I was a nerd wearing outdated clothes and thick glasses, incapable to stand up for myself or speak. The best victim there can be.

And so, you can image the rest. Yet, maybe not to this extend. My father had the thoughtful idea of offering me a camera, one of those small Kodaks. I loved it because it felt like a protection between me and the rest of the world. A way to express myself without words.

In school, I would take pictures of boys since I was not able to speak to any as I would automatically do something so clumsy, I would want to hide under the floor and vanish. That fear was intensified after a girl had ripped a photo I had given of me to a class mate I found very cute. An 18 year old “bad boy” who found it hilarious. Being dramatically mocked and humiliated in front of the class (which class mates stayed five years in the same school until graduation reminding me with nicknames of my stupid attempt) pretty much killed my reputation.

Because I took photos of boys, a tough girl became so jealous she decided to kill me. This could be a great movie but, at that time, she became a real threat to my life. Where was I going to complain? Not at home where I didn’t feel very welcomed. Not at school and be bullied even more by the others. I kept quiet. I kept quiet until I couldn’t keep quiet anymore.

She beat me up in hallways till I fell unconscious, leaving for dead. She threw me down stairs and as I laid bruised and beaten, I felt the feet of my classmates walk around me, on me. I was pushed in front of a car and thankfully survived. She ended up in a mental hospital.

I tell you all this ( the tip of the iceberg) not to claim some pity. On the contrary. It is to share the gratitude I feel of living such experiences. No, don’t worry. I am not crazy. Well, maybe a little, but aren’t we all?

Because of my shyness an inability to speak, I found the most safe reliable and trustworthy friends in books. I could escape the insanity surrounding me and travel, explore, think, become other people for a few pages. I could imagine living other lives. I could express all I felt through the voice of characters within the pages I flipped passionately. I read more than anyone I knew. I devoured books. A little over a decade later, I was a book critic and radio producer for 3 years, talking about something I knew more than well. Over 10 years of avid reading make me a book connoisseur at the age of 25. I never stopped.

Because of the camera my father gave me, I was able to analyse the world meticulously. Since I was not allowed to speak much, I tuned my listening skills. I silently observed and listened. Observed and listened.

I can honestly say that I love my life today so much, even I cannot find the words to describe the level of gratitude I feel when I am writing.

I still take pictures since I never stopped from when I was 8 years old. I continue observing and listening. All that accumulated information helps me create characters and stories. It helped me become highly empathetic and profoundly understand the “human condition”. It helped me help thousands of people thus far, and, more in the future.

I am not saying what happened to me is wonderful and should not be condemned. And of course, I would have perhaps preferred a different past. I am not saying what happened to me is wonderful and should not be condemned. On the contrary, measures should be taken to prevent children from suffering. And, of course, that different one could have led me to another profession that I might have loved as passionately. That being said, we can never compare something we are not experiencing. I truly believe that we cannot be wrong. We cannot get it wrong… If we follow our heart.

I still question what came first. Was I born a writer and needed these experiences to become better and find my purpose? Or did I find my purpose because of my past?

I was inspired to write this because I cross the paths of so many who blame the past scars and use them road blocks to accessing the realization of their hopes and dreams. When, in fact, if they would jump and follow their hearts, they would soon turn around and notice the connecting dots that made it all possible.

The biggest mistake people make is asking this question wrong.

Most people feel stuck because they don’t move forward. I know it seems trivial. Why don’t they move forward? Because they invert these two fundamental questions?

What do I want?

How can I get it?

It seems so basic and easy but think about it. How many times did you stop yourself because you first asked the question “How can I get it?” before the other.

Most people wait to have all the answers to the second question before deciding on the first. That is where we get stuck.

You can’t open your parachute before you jump off the plane. You can’t inflate your life vest before you jump off the plane either or you might die inside the plane (this tragedy actually occurred in one of the rarest plane crashes on water where passengers inflated their life jackets on board the plane and drowned a few hundred feet from shore).

I do struggle with it too, at times. Not basing what we want to achieve on the reality we see around us. Now asking “how” before we know what and why.

Hope it helps you get moving.

10 reasons why you fail

Many people say that failure is a part of success.. I disagree. They confuse failing and stumbling on the road to success. Failure sucks! I hate it and I wish it nobody. We might stumble, miss a step, fall and get up. But failing feels horrible especially when they are ways to avoid most failures.

I could easily write a book about this subject but it would take slightly longer. Here are my top ten general reasons why most people fail.

1- You don’t know what you want.

Wait! Before you skip to the next one. Most people say “yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what I want.” But when I ask them, “what do you want, what is your 5 top goals in the next 5 years, 3, 2, 1, 6 months, 1 months, tomorrow, they become deer caught in headlights. Most people answers to the question “what do you want?” by thinking in terms of “what do I think possible for me to get considering the current circumstances.” which definitely limits your horizons.

2- No clarity

Then, I get the 5-10% of people who have kind of an idea of what they want. Very vague. Like if I would ask you where do you want to live and you answer Florida. You might end up in the swamps of the everglades in Florida with alligators as neighbors. You need to be precise to the extreme. Most people hesitate here because they don’t believe it is possible to get “exactly what you want” therefore they never get what they want, exactly.

3- No action plan

“I want a million bucks.” Great, I reply. How do you plan on getting there? I get reacquainted with the deer. Planning every step lives less to the odds. But then there is a small catch, you also need to…

Know consciously that shit is going to hit the fan. And being certain that you are ready but unexpected events. That your self confidence is high enough to take the blows and get up again. The boxer knows he is going to get beaten up. He expects it and knows he will have to take them to get to the end. Also, it is about knowing that you can never be 100% ready. So it means to…

4- Remain flexible. You will get obstacles. Welcome them with open arms, challenge them to come in great numbers and you can take them on. Why? Obstacles spices up life (that’s one) and secondly you need them to grow into the person you need to be to support the level of success you desire. For those that don’t believe the spice analogy. Remember the last trip you talked about. What was the thrilling part. The surprise of the view. The car that was towed. The plane tickets that were found at the last minute? Spices!

5- You have a plan “B”. As Will Smith puts it. If you don’t have a plan “B”, you make sure you succeed in plan A. That is why you have to be absolutely certain what you want is REALLY what YOU really want. And that you will accept nothing else, nothing less.

6- You listen to your demons. They whisper in your ear “you will fail!”, “You don’t need to do this”, “You are incapable to succeeding”, “Who do you think you are!”, “You were comfortable”, “Everyone is going to make fun of you”, … Going in a new direction or attempting to have much more success than you are used to will lead you out of your comfort zone which will automatically create a re-action causing anxiety, panic attacks, fear… It is normal and you should be thankful. Created by the same system which helped our species survive, that fear based reaction is positive. Listening and buying into it, that’s another thing.

7- You can’t imagine it. It can’t see yourself past the success you planed, you will never get there. You will always fail right before you achieve it. Again, you cannot have an “end”. If your goal is the “ultimate goal”, your system will block you from reaching it to protect you because it assimilates the end as your death. You need to be able to imagine and feel as if you have already achieved that goal. In others words, the goal you seek so much must become unimportant and slightly boring.

8- You change your mind along the way. If you change your plans at every bump, that resembles deciding to live in Alaska instead of Florida because you got caught in traffic along the way. You need to give it time and stick with the original idea.

9- You don’t have a time frame in mind. I know people who have worked on a project for years. They delay it every month. Eventually, the project becomes obsolete or they lose too much energy along the way.

10- You were not ready to accept the other side of the medal of success. Becoming successful also means having more responsibilities, doing more, dealing with more people, saying “no” more often, being more vigilant, delegating more, serving more, helping more…. You need to be ready to take the whole package deal of success, if you really want it.

Hope this helps. If you need a coach to get you there faster, showing you the bumps so you can avoid them and help you solve problems, get clear, deal with your own limitations. fears… contact me at slavica(inc)gmail.com.

How one small change or resolution can have a significant impact and what golfing has to do with it

I remember watching Tony Robbins describe what it takes to change the overall performance of a golfer. Basically a millimeter different angle hitting the ball could make it curve and fall in a completely different spot. Therefore, even though the outcome seemed far apart, the element of change was minimal.

The moral of this story is that it doesn’t take a huge change in your life to make a significant change in your life. One small change can have significant repercussions on the long term.

For example, drinking 3 beers a night might not effect your life today but the repercussions in 20 years might be disastrous. Gaining one pound a year is insignificant unless you realize that it will add up to 30 pounds in 30 years.

In my case, I calculated the impact of coffee and I stopped drinking it. Mind you, I stopped alcohol as well (and cigarettes a decade ago).

Let’s take coffee as an example. I drank 3 a day (sometimes went to have on in a corner coffee shop, preferably at the Ritz, because of the view). Let’s calculate cost and effect of that single habit:

I used a single coffee cup maker, average a day = $3 + $5 (for the extra outside coffee a week) = $26 per week

Time to consume coffee spent (not being able to really multi task and focus on both drinking coffee and working) = 2 hours + 2 hours a week at the coffee shop) = 16 hours lost

Yearly, a cost of $1352 and 832 hours (35 days). With that saving, I could literally spend a  month on a Greek Island doing nothing and still be better off. Plus, it takes 32 cups of water to clear out the intake of one cup of coffee…

What about you? What are those small little habits that will have a significant impact in your life, on the long term. It can be as simple as your son’s missed soccer games, spending a hour too long on social media, watching a stupid show on TV, spending that $5 extra dollar a day for no reason.

In other words, you don’t need to make a huge resolutions and fail. Make a small change and keep it up on 21 days. After that, you will have incorporated it in your routine. The best way is to replace an old useless habit by a new helpful one. A habit for a habit. And you will get your whole in one!

Hope this helps. If you need counseling, coaching, help, contact me at slavicainc@gmail.com. My price ain’t cheap but the results aren’t either

2016 achievements

Before even writing next year’s goals, it is always very important to come back and see last year’s achievements. In my case:

  • 6 books published, one being for “the Dummies collection” which was felt as a great success. 2 books as 2nd editions which is always a good sign, one in Italian which feels great.
  • 5 books titles pre-ordered by my publisher which means I am in demand and that feels awesome.
  • 8 awards for my original screenplays. A great success since I started learning how to write them in June 2016 and my goal was to learn the process, do it and be successful at it.
  • Surviving an illness that almost ripped me from this life. I feel blessed that I was in good enough shape to live through it and come out of it alive.
  • Getting rid of 3 inches off my waist line, a great start to getting back in shape.
  • Approached by 4 literary agents. That is really a success as 6 years ago, I was refused by 400.
  • Moving to LA and back. I wanted to see how it felt to live in that big city. Now, I know.
  • Some fantastic trips. Starting scuba diving again after many years was really amazing in Key Largo. Spending one week in the Grand Canyon and visiting its beauty daily.
  • 6 months without any alcohol consumption. Wanted to get rid of that habit and now, it is done.
  • Reaching a goal of at least $30,000 income per month on one website.

Hope your 2016 was as successful as mine. And wish that 2017 is even more amazing!!!