Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ninja Time Management

So I've been recently trying to refrain from too many boring personal blog posts about this and that. In the early days, I was much more liberal with what I was blogging about (hence I was able to set a sizzling pace of 3 posts per week)!

Now a days, I only like to write GOLD! (obviously, this means all recent and forthcoming posts will be awesome).

That being said, I'm currently in the midst of the busiest time of my life.

I know what you're thinking: "Oh common ARUN! I know you! You're extremely handsome, you love going out, partying, writing blogs about how you are soooooo awesome, and general adventuring! You expect me to buy into all this 'busy-ness'??"

Well you are correct in your evaluation of me, but yes, I do expect you to believe me. In fact, everytime I get great ideas recently, I never have the energy/time to sit down and write out a quality post.

These things usually go through a couple of editing iterations before I'm happy enough to post.

In fact, as I'm typing this right now, I am taking a break from an absolutely insane schedule today. I just got off of a 1.5 hour conference call and needed to do something for myself (and your self) so here it is!

Truth be told, I'm kind of a time management ninja. You know I can't post without giving myself at least one pat on the back.

People never seem to understand how I have time to hang out and do fun things with the amount on my plate. I am involved in FAR more things than anybody I know. Here's a sample:

  • I'm enrolled as a full-time MBA student - I NEVER miss class.
  • I'm a teaching assistant for 1st year MBA classes
  • I'm the event chair for the San Diego Downtown Relay for Life
  • I work "full time" in internet marketing
  • I'm involved in a consulting project with a company making recommendations to improve their customer relations
  • I am doing a social media research project with food trucks in San Diego that is essentially like another job
  • I am a Rady School of Management Ambassador
These are all things that I categorize under "work." Of course, I probably have twice as many things I would categorize as "play".

The key to ninja time management is efficiency: I am probably 90% efficient on a day-to-day basis. What I mean is, I spend 90% of my time doing things that are either essential, or really fulfilling.

For example, writing this post would count as efficient. Surfing Facebook - not efficient.

School work, internet marketing, networking events, working out = efficient
Watching TV, puttering around = not efficient

Reading books, hanging out with friends doing fun stuff, playing sports = efficient.
Lengthy recreational phone conversations, internet chatting = not efficient.

Basically, I waste VERY little of my days. I would actually say that the average person is maybe 60% efficient but thinks they are 90% efficient.

I see it all the times. People go through the motions and think they're getting things done, but there is no output to show for it.

I know people who get together to study for HOURS but very little gets done.

Not my style.

I mean, I'm all for hanging out with people, but lets actually hang out. Doing so under the guise of "studying" makes both processes mediocre.

I'm serious when I say I think people I know in my position would have a panic attack.

Honestly, even I have moments where I'll feel totally overwhelmed. But that feeling is only fleeting and after taking a minute to organize things in my mind, its gone.

So that's what is up. Expect some really good posts coming up though. I've got a sort of break coming up so they'll be some hilarious stuff coming your way.

Thanks for your patience!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wedding Do's and Don'ts

I'll be the first to admit weddings are fun.

Who doesn't like a big party with food, cake, booze, and old people getting drunk and dancing their little tushies off?

I've been to several weddings in my time, and have partaken in a myriad of different styles. From the short and quick ceremonies, to the long and sleep inducing. From Christian, to Catholic, to Hindu. Indoor, outdoor, from California to Alaska.

Now I'm not getting married ANY time soon, but I've definitely learned a little bit about what to do, and not to do in wedding execution.

have a nice quick wedding ceremony so that the real reason we're all here (the reception) can start.

Allow the ceremony to extend beyond say 15 minutes.

First of all, weddings are usually in the summertime.

Summer = hot.

Now I'm no mathematician, but it seems to me, if you multiply the above equation with the coefficient of typical wedding attire, you end up with an answer that equals sweaty discomfort.

I've been to a couple of outdoor weddings where I'm sweating my well-dressed ass off waiting for the damn "I do's" so we can get in the shade. I'm adhering to dress code wearing my pressed suit jacket that somehow is not available with Nike moisture wicking technology. But when we finally get in the shade, the well-insulated suit jacket has got to stay on because pit stains are not exactly the "I'm single and awesome" statement I'm looking to make.

I know what you're thinking..."Arun you poor adorable thing! BUT, what if the wedding is indoors?"

Keep. It. Short.

Have you ever sat on one of those church benches for more then 5 minutes? As far as asses go, mine is decently meaty (although some might say "steel-like"), but even my booty starts going numb after sitting on that thing for more than a few minutes.

But this summer I was thrown a curve ball - an indoor wedding, not at a Church, seated in folding chairs, with ice-cream served during the ceremony.

Too good to be true, I know. So what was the catch?

Well, it was an Indian wedding....and the ceremony lasted over two hours.


Indian weddings are cool and all, but the novelty of the ceremony wore off on me after the first 15 minutes (by which point I was finished with my ice-cream). Ok, back to the Do's.

Get a minister who knows exactly what you want and what they are doing.

Allow the minister to forget to tell the wedding goers to "please be seated" after the bride gets to the alter.

This was a first for me. I was at a wedding last week, and after the bride made it to the alter, the ministress (what do you call a female minister?) FORGOT to tell the 170 in attendance to "be seated." So we're ALL standing during the whole damn the heat.

To boot, I meticulously directed chair setup the previous night to get everything lined up and staggered just right so everyone could see while seated.

Thanks to our absent minded ministress, the girls 5 rows back saw nothing but the backsides of the amazingly well-dressed and devlishly good-looking 6+ foot men in row 3 (Did I mention I was in row 3?).

Hire a DJ with a good, diverse music collection that knows you by name.

Hire the cousin of a friend of a friend whose entire music catalogue consists of Country's Greatest Hits and a few select disco numbers on his computer.

The wedding last week had another issue.

First, the DJ couldn't pronounce the Groom's (and new bride's) last name properly. It's a pretty simple name ("Haupt" pronounced like "Howp") yet he repeatedly announced "Please welcome Mr. and Mrs. Hopt!!!"

Ok, ok...honest mistake, he's a DJ not a linguist, so just play us some hits.

Or Not.

It's a wedding. I'm not expecting much more than some current hits as well as the old wedding favorites. I thoroughly warmed up my shoulders the night before for a little "YMCA" action, and I dusted off my dancing shoes for some Electric Sliding.


Instead, we got steady dose of Miley Cirus, and Cool and the Gang. Somehow, audience response wasn't quite as excited as usual when I busted out "The Worm of Wonder" during Miley Cirus' "The Climb".

Have an organized parking situation for guests.

Ask your brother to round up his friends to shotgun valet.

A few years ago, my buddy Jesse asked a few of us to valet for his sister's wedding. Ok no problem. I'm a good driver. I can parallel park. How hard can it be?

(Note to self: Anytime you think to yourself "how hard can it be?" its going to SUCK)

First, the wedding was at this house on top of a HUGE hill. They had the good sense to have it indoors because it was so damn hot, but we had to park each car in a dirt lot at the bottom of the hill and then sprint back up to the top as the queue of cars was growing.

Did I mention I was wearing a suit and tie...and it was hot....and it was a MAJOR hill?

So we managed to kill ourselves running up and down this hill and got all the cars finally parked. Aaaaaahhhh, re-lax-ation!...until the guests started to leave.

Four guys. We have neither ANY valet experience, nor are we organized. We have a drawer full of keys, and a dirt lot at the bottom of Mount-effing-Vesuvius full of cars. And now its dark and, of course, the lot isn't lighted.

Obviously a plan for success.

The process consisted of this:
  • Guest who is ready to leave asks for car. (So far so good. We are awesome!)
  • We jointly rummage through a drawer full of tangled keys to find the right one.
  • Its dark though so at least two cell phones are needed for light to identify one key from another.
  • Once key is found, one of us sprints down the mountain to retrieve car.
  • Arun eats sh!t on one such downhill dash through uneven terrain and dirties suit. Ego is preserved though because it's dark and no one sees.
  • We run back and forth through the dirt lot hitting the remote lock/unlock (and occasionally alarm) button to find the right car in the pitch black dark.
  • Guest wonders why he hears his car alarm in the distance.
  • Arun returns with car and guests ask why suit had become muddy and wrinkled. Ego destroyed.

And Lastly....

Act like you're involved (if you're a man) in the wedding planning and give opinions on things.

EVER make ANY decision without consulting the bride-to-be or say something ambivalent like "you pick what you like best!" if you want to live to enjoy your wedding.

I've seen many a good man go down for these over the years. It's a delicate balance. You need to "act" involved and provide an opinion that you should be ready to change depending on the bride's reaction.

Even though she's making the decisions, you've got to make her feel like its a joint effort.

And of course, if you try and make a decision on your own, you shouldn't be getting married in the first place because you obviously have no idea what you're doing. Murphy's Law necessitates that you WILL make the wrong decision and into the dog-house you go.

So I think its fairly obvious that I now know how to perfectly plan a wedding. I've always thought it'd be cool to be one of those wedding planners running around with the headset, barking out orders.

If you're interested in hiring me now as a "Wedding Consultant of Awesomeness" feel free to contact me. As for valeting, me and my friends will be no where near that department.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bachelors, Bachelorettes, and Arun

Last week was an entirely new experience for me.

So a couple of months ago, my friend Liberty invited me to a fundraiser for the Challenged Athletes Foundation here in San Diego. As you know, I'm all about participating in charitable events and was all set to participate, until I found out the catch.

It was a bachelor / bachelorette auction!

Ok, this sounds like the perfect Arun-esque adventure right? I mean, what better use of a the face of an angel and a chisled body forged by the hands of God himself, than to raise money for a charity?

(and when I say "chisled body" I'm not referring to the "loose muscle" surrounding my midsection)

Honestly, my hesitation had more to do with the fact that I had a feeling that the bidders would be old, aging women. In other words, I thought I'd be getting sold to uglies.

Material and artificial of me, I know, but at least I'm honest about it.

But alas, Liberty needed another person, so I relented. Hey, it's for the kids!

So when I arrive, I'm actually pleasantly surprised. Not only is everyone fairly youngish and good-looking, but there's a TON of food, and all the bachelors and bachelorettes are treated to an open bar.

Now HERE's a party I can get on board with.

So towards the beginning of the evening, people are a little gun shy about bidding. It's kind of a silent auction and our pictures are framed and placed on different tables (the picture in this post is the one they framed of me) and there's a bidding sheet and date description next to them. I start talking to a girl who is 25 and VERY attractive. Turns out she's actually one of the bachelorettes. We're chatting for a while and she comes up with a brilliant idea:

Hot Bachelorette Chick (hereon referred to as 'HBC'): "I've got a great idea to get this started!"

Me: "Oh yea what's that?"

HBC: "How about we each put $100 bids on each other. That way, its high enough where we'll raise serious money if someone actually outbids us."

Me: "Ok, sure"

I'm acting all nonchalant and cavalier about everything, but on the inside I'm thinking "Score! I may end up going out TWICE with this hot chick!"

Yes, even I can be an insecure goober sometimes.

So people start bidding and she ends up going for like $400 bucks. There's no way I'm spending that kind of change on anyone for a single date. Interestingly, for me, there ends up being a little bidding war between HBC, and a mystery lady.

BUT, in the end, the mystery lady wins over HBC. Unfortunate, considering HBC was probably the best looking girl in attendance.

When the dust finally settles, I meet this mystery lady...

She's probably like 10 years older than me. Of COURSE the cougar with money outbids the hot 25 year old.

I still haven't gone out with her, but now I'm getting nervous...she shelled out $200 for me, and who knows what she's expecting!

But there were a couple of other surprises too.

One of the other Bachelors was actually a soap opera star (Alex Musser) who played some guy named "Del Henry" on All My Children for a couple of years - he only went for I think $20 more than me, so the natural conclusion is that I should be starring on TV too.

At one point, I also was introduced to this good looking couple. They had weird names, and I joked that we should start a club of people with weird names ("Arun" isn't exactly run-of-the-mill in San Diego).

So I'm hanging out with this couple by the stage when Liberty announces that she wants to introduce the celebrities in attendance. I turn and semi-joke to the couple, "Step aside guys, I'm about to get my big introduction!"

They smile.

As Liberty continues to talk, I'm actually wondering who she's going to introduce. I turn to the couple and ask sincerely, "WHO the heck are these celebrities she's talking about?!"

They smile.

Liberty: "Please welcome to the stage, from ABC's The Bachelore, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor Pad, Kiptyn Locke and Tenley Molzahn!"

I'm standing their bewildered with egg on my face as said couple strolls onto stage.


Apparently, they were on all of those "Bachelor" reality shows and happen to be friends with my friend Liberty. Who knew? I've never seen the show (ok, ok...I may have watched ONE episode last season).

BUT, after chatting with Kiptyn and Tenley, I kind of want to try out! First of all, Tenley is good-looking, and apparently so are all of the girls on the show. Second, although I lack the huge muscles and 8 pack that all the guys sport on the show, I make up for it with quick wit and charm.

Not to mention, I think my antics and knack for innocently stirring the pot would make for good TV.

Watch out America...Arun may be joining "The Bachelor"???

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lateral Meniscectomy and Microfracture - The Road to Recovery

I know what you're thinking.

"Ok, Arun. I get it. You had knee surgery. But what's with all the jargon? What makes you think I have any idea what the thread title is even talking about!?!"

And you're right. A few months ago, I wouldn't have been interested either. BUT, I decided to deviate from my usual extremely witty commentaries and crazy adventures because, before I had this procedure, I was scouring the internet for Partial Lateral Meniscectomy and Microfracture info, and its a bit hard to find, and the treatment and recovery is all over the board.

So, now, when people search, with any luck they'll find a couple of posts by yours truly, and maybe have a couple of questions answered (and obviously discover the most amazing collection of witty writing ever amassed, by "His Humbleness"...ME).

So here's the how it went down.

Several months ago, I had an MRI revealing a partially torn lateral meniscus and lateral articular cartilage damage in my right knee. That didn't sound good, so I went to an orthopedist.

The first doc revealed I would probably need microfracture surgery which, for those of you who aren't familiar with it, is a relatively new-ish surgery in which holes are drilled into the bone such that stem-cell-containing bone marrow bleeds out into the area devoid of cartilage. The stem cells stimulate new cartilage growth, and in a few months, you're theoretically back in action.

There are a couple of caveats though: for starters, the surgery is not 100% effective and there's about 20% of people for whom cartilage regrowth doesn't happen.


Second, a number of professional athletes have never totally gotten back to their pre-surgery all-star form (ie Tracy McGrady and Chris Webber). This bummed me out until I realized A) Those guys are slightly better at basketball than me anyways, B) I'm exactly known for my extreme jumping abilities and C) If I return at Tracy McGrady or Chris Webber's basketball form, I will be 100 times better at basketball than I've ever been.

The biggest bummer of them all though is the recovery time she told me about: six weeks on crutches, no driving, physical therapy for 3 months thereafter.

There goes Arun's summer of awesomeness.

So I did what any sensible person who doesn't care for the prognosis does - I got a second and third opinion and elected to do the surgery with the last guy.

Here's where things get interesting. The last two orthopedists work together in the same practice and have a LOT of experience. They also proceed with recovery much more aggressively than most orthopedists as their experience shows identical post - op results while minimizing patient inconvenience.

So here's my recovery:
Procedure: Partial Lateral Meniscectomy and Femoral Microfracture

Post Op Days 1 - 10: Crutches and non weight bearing. On day 5, I started daily stationary bike with no resistance. Off of pain meds by Day 3 (and probably could have been a day sooner).

Day 10: Full weight bearing allowed while wearing brace. Physical Therapy begins.

Day 12: By now, my limp is pretty much gone and I'm walking without the brace with minimal discomfort.

So here I am now at day 22. My knee is certainly not normal yet, but there's definite improvement. Walking is for the most part, pain free. Occasional dull ache is the knee at both meniscus sight and microfracture sight (though not necessarily at the same time). I've started some light elliptical training and physical therapy is slowing escalating in impact.

Overall, I think I'm definitely headed in the right direction and am well ahead of schedule. Now I won't be running or playing sports for another couple of months, but hopefully I've provided some of you with some positive feedback and information if you're about to get microfracture.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming...

The Gift of Walking

It's interesting how taking the ability to do something that we do everyday makes you realize how important that ability is.

And no, I'm not talking about the ability to look at yourself in the mirror.

I'm talking about the "gift" of being able to walk...unassisted.

Last week I had knee surgery, and for the last two weeks I've been crutching around town. Along with the knee surgery came some other unforeseen minor complications:
  1. Since the surgery was on my right knee, and since the doctors orders were to basically not do anything with that leg, I haven't been alowed to drive. Boom - Independence gone.

  2. The main problem with crutches is that walking just a couple of blocks can be exhausting, so travelling long distances on foot (and by "foot," I mean literally ONE foot) is not an option

  3. A further complication with crutches is that your ability to hold anything while standing is gone. Just to get a bowl of cereal means I have to grab the bowl, set it on the counter, shimmy to the left, stop and move the bowl to the left, shimmy again, move the bowl, etc...until I get to the edge of the kitchen and within plopping distance of the couch where I can sit down and reach the bowl. Going to the kitchen to get food is such a pain that I've opted to just skip my normal snacking (probably good since my normal activity level is way down).

  4. The first 3 nights after the surgery, I had to sleep with this huge knee immobilizer brace thing on my leg which was heavy, uncomfortable, and hot.
Luckily, I'm now 10 days removed from the surgery and have gotten clearance to start walking again.

(In my best Braveheart voice) Freeeeeeeeeeeedooooooooome!!!

I will say this though...the crutches also had an unforeseen BENEFIT.

On Saturday, I went out for about an hour and a half for a friends birthday, and I tell you this: I was approached by four different women within an hour who were offering me their seat, asking me if I was alright, and generally showering me with attention and I was literally doing NOTHING.

Huh...maybe I should go back to the Doc and see if I can keep the crutches for another couple of weeks?

The attention however was unfortunately not just limited to those carrying x-chromosomes. I had a small encounter later that evening. I was hanging out with some friends at a lounge when a HUGE dude (I'm talkin like 6'8", muscles ripping out of his shirt, Jamaican dude) comes up to me. The encounter went like this:

Big Muscle Dude: "Hey Dude. I don't know where you're from, but you're F**kin Beautiful!"
Me: "Uhh....thanks man, I appreciate that"
BMD: "My name's Abdule. What's your name and where you from?!"
Me: "I'm Arun. My family's from India"
BMD: "Mmm Mmm Mmm! Beautiful name, country, AND body. What's it gonna take for you to let me buy you a drink?"
Me: "I appreciate the offer man, but I'm with some friends and I'm straight"
BMD: "Oh ok man, but if you change your mind, I'll be here and you won't have to buy another drink tonight."


I mean, I suppose its flattering. This type of thing has happened before, and I always try to be nice, but on this occasion I made sure to be particularly cordial because BMD aka Abdule could have kicked (or taken) my ass if he wanted! With my limited mobility, escape would have been impossible!

Oh, those crutches. Attention grabbing would be an understatement.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Finding Your Dream Job

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not exactly ultra-qualified to speak on the various aspects of different job industry's, functions, and finding work. I've had a total of three "real" jobs my entire life, along with whatever you would call what I do now.

But I will say this.

There's a common theme for most people who enjoy what they do, and it's probably the most important thing for me when it comes to enjoying what I do.

It's a huge reason I left Engineering.

It's the reason that I have the entrepreneurial bug (in addition to the fact that I want to be disgustingly rich).

And a lot of people who have it (in combination with success) are happy.

Job autonomy.

There's nothing better than feeling no personal obligation to have to be somewhere everyday. It's why most people with office jobs dislike what they do.

The minute you are granted freedom (providing you also bring success) things turn the corner.

One of the things I've been studying recently is the science of creativity and motivation. Studies upon studies have shown that intrinsic motivation and creativity are notably higher in a person when he has a high degree of autonomy.

Take Google for example. A lot of there employees work long hours. BUT guess what? None of them are constrained by the "8-5" model of working. Come in and perform quality work, hours be damned.

In fact, Google asks each employee to spend 20% of their work time working on "pet projects" of their own. Essentially, Google is giving their employees free reign to be mini-entrepreneurs within Google. In return, Google has earned billions of dollars from some of these ideas (and I'm sure the idea generators were appropriately rewarded as well).

Why every company doesn't attempt to operate at the highest level of personal autonomy possible, I'm not sure. Given, not every company can have their employees working from home everyday (ie, I'm not sure how the barista at Cafe 976 where I am right now would be able to provide me service from home), but they should try to maximize autonomy and creative freedom as much as possible.

Both the employees and the company benefit.

So a lot of people think they are doomed because they chose the wrong industry. But I actually think a lot of that "doom" could be turned around if they were able to find a job in the same industry, but with a high degree of personal freedom.

Lets look at me. I'll admit, I really don't have any substantial interest in engineering - hence the career change. BUT, looking back, I imagine that if I had worked at a company in which I felt a high degree of intrinsic motivation and enjoyed autonomy close to what I have now, I would have been far less motivated to change careers.

But I learned my lesson.

I don't think I'll ever be happy working an office job. That's simply no longer an option for me. I suppose it might be OK if it was MY office, but that I would mean I'm the CEO and thus have the ultimate authority on me and my work.

And I'll admit that there are a lot of people who go to an office and love what they do. But guess what? I bet they have a lot of control and responsibility when it comes to making decisions. They have a high degree of autonomy hence they love going to work.

Now I'm not trying to associate job autonomy with working less. It just means that you can work when and where you want. In fact, I work practically every day. I have deadlines that I need to meet, and meetings to "attend" (usually teleconferences) and I schedule accordingly. I frequently even work on Saturdays.

BUT, I also know that I can work whenever and where ever I want. Today, I'm at a coffee shop near the beach. If I don't want to work tomorrow, then maybe I'll hunker down for a couple of hours tonight, and do some more work.

Flexibility = Happy Arun.

The job market is tough right now, but do yourself a favor. If you don't have a job and are looking, then sure take whatever you can get. But just because you have a job, doesn't mean you should stop looking. Unless your really, REALLY happy, look for an opportunity where they trust you to be responsible for your work and your productivity, and where you don't need to put in the 8-5 office "face time."

And think about starting a business. Not every idea is capitally intensive to start. If you're risk averse, or simply don't have the means to invest heavily, there are still tons of ideas out there for the taking.

How much did Facebook take to start?

I was working as an Engineer when I developed and launched my ebook. Now, at this point, its nearly enough income to sustain me, but it's something, and it brought me a lot of opportunities.

More importantly, if you do have an amazing idea and are too scared or do not want to be bothered with bringing it to market, send it to me. I'll use it on my way to World Domination ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Starting a Blog Changed My Life

It's funny how one crazy little thing can snowball into a life-changing monster.

Take this blog for example. The decision to start writing a blog literally changed my life in some pretty big and awesome ways. But it all started very innocently. In the beginning I had no idea what was ahead...

It all started way back around 2006. I had moved to San Diego and was working at a (what I thought was) comfortable job. At said job, I had entirely not enough do, so I had some free time to do some internet cruising. At the time, I was relatively unaware of the existence of blogs. I knew a couple of people who had online journals, but those were boring and packed with mundane and trivial details of days activities that I didn't care about.

Somehow I stumbled onto a blog that was called at the time "Better Than Your Boyfriend."

Hmmm...a name I can relate with.

It was chalk full of wild and crazy stories of this guy Tynan who tried to buy a penguin and created an indoor swimming pool for it, moved to Hollywood on a whim to become a pickup artist, built a swing hanging off the balcony of his highrise condo, and climbed radio towers for fun.

Huh....Here's a guy who's adventures border on lunacy. Sounds like me (only not quite as devilishly good looking and charming ;)

One day I stumbled across a post in which Tynan mentioned monetizing his blog and making money.

Dollar signs in my eyes. At the time, since I had just started working a job in which I actually made somewhat serious money, I was reading all about finance and two words resounded with me:

Passive Income. Money coming in without doing anything in particular. Obviously this sounded like an unbelievably awesome plan.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how many adventures, stories, and rants I had to write about. Furthermore, I thought about how awesome I think I am and "why the heck wouldn't the whole world want to read about me!?"

Ok. So. Maybe I got a smidgen carried away.

But I started Your Daily Remedy. Your Daily Remedy was a way for me to tell stories, give advice that my friends didn't want to always here, and rant about things on a whim. My audience grew, and my writing improved. Everything was hunky-dory except for one little detail.

I wasn't making any money.

At the point I realized I wasn't really making much, I was already in love with writing so I didn't really care too much. However, I really wanted to expand on my audience.

So, I submitted expanded versions of this post as well as this post to a couple of local magazines here in San Diego. Low and behold, they got published.

Woot! A new career as a writer!???

Well, not exactly. You see, it turns out, writers do not get paid nearly enough. For the amount of time I was spending thinking up unique article slants and trying to make things perfect, the money was not exactly changing my tax bracket.

Then, I began noticing something. A post I wrote, The Power of Being Social, was blowing up. In fact, if you type the search terms "being social" in google, my post is actually the number one result.

This got the "Arun Brain Gears of Awesome Ideas" turning. A growing innovation on the internet was the idea of downloadable books - ebooks. Since being extremely social is something I know a lot about, why don't I just write about it?

Rule number 63 in "Arun's Guide to Lifetime Awesomeness": ALWAYS pursue ideas that seem awesome.

At the time when I made the decision to go full steam ahead, I really knew nothing about what I was doing. But, I figured I could either toil for a long time trying to figure out the best way to go forward, or I could go full steam ahead and figure things out as I go.

I chose the latter. And thus was born my ebook, The Social Charmer.

Now I will admit, because of my eagerness, I did a LOT of things wrong in publishing it. I've since fixed some of those things, but I still have quite a few things to improve on / add this summer that will improve the whole experience for customers and newsletter subscribers (I've been ridiculously bad about publishing newsletters) as well as increase my income.

So here I am, its 2009 and I'm working as an Engineer, writing a blog, writing for magazines, and getting some (kind of) passive income from an ebook all because I decided to start a blog three years before.

But I wasn't finished.

Soon thereafter a guy named Gabriel Angelo contacted me about doing an interview on being social for his customers. His website "The Social Natural, by the way has a lot great resources for becoming more social. I'm not exactly sure what happened to the interview but I believe he distributed it to his customers.

Then, in early 2010 I exchanged a few emails with a VERY well known guy in the "Pickup/Dating Community" who was interested in someone with my experiences of being social, writing, and internet marketing.

One thing lead to another and all of a sudden I became the marketing manager for his company. The best part was that I was working from home, whenever/where ever I wanted.

Now it was around February 2010, and I was making enough money where I could quit Engineering forever! Not only that, but as long as I am working remotely, why confine myself to San Diego? Why not Palm Springs, or Alaska, or France, or China, or Australia?

Suffice it to say, I went to all of those places over the summer, all the while "working."

Then it was time to start my MBA program. For me, this was the next logical step in my path to World Domination. Plus, I needed to get some more tools to feed my inner entrepreneur. The funny thing is, in all of my interviews, people were extremely intrigued with my whole story.

From Manager to Engineer to Blogger to Writer to book publisher to Internet Marketer and all of my other adventures in between.

I really can't imagine where I'd be write now had I not started this blog, but I can't imagine that I'd be in a better position than I am now. I never imagined things would happen as they did, but with a little ambition, a few crazy ideas, and some social savvy anyone can go far.

So in case you haven't done this already, your homework assignment is to start a blog (or, if you'd prefer, the "Arun Fanclub of Awesomeness Homepage").

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Clinton Global Initiative - Chillin with the President

Ok. So. I should probably preface this that A) "Chillin" might be a bit of a stretch in my interactions with Mr. President, and B) It wasn't Barack, but rather Bill (who, in my opinion is equally awesome to meet).

Last weekend, I was invited to an awesome event: The Clinton Global Initiative University. I, along with a couple of friends from school I am working on an idea that would integrate music with sick children.

I can't get too much into the details because at this point, we are still in the building process of the idea so shouting out our plan of World Domination may not be the best course of action.

Conveniently, this year the conference was held in San Diego. So on Friday, it all started with a big dinner/networking session. They must've know I was coming because if there's two things I'm good at in life, one is eating, and the other is talking. When performed in tandem, I am unstoppable!

So Mikey (my partner) and I entered the fray and started working the room. Aside from meeting a lot of people from around the country AND around the world (I believe there were 120 countries represented) it was awesome hearing about other people's amazing ideas, from incentivizing inner city youth education with sports, to building houses in Ghana, to inventing a soccer ball that can power an LED for 3 hours after just 15 minutes of play.

It's amazing the kind of networking that one can accomplish with a mouthful of meatballs and a cupcake in hand.

Across the room, I spotted a brunette bombshell (Yes, I'm here for charity but I'm still Arun). I quickly downed the cupcake and chased it with a shot of iced tea. I moseyed on over prepared to charm her socks off with my devilish good looks, witty banter, and gentle humanitarian soul. As I got closer, she started walking to the front of the room, then up to the stage.

"Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome Mandy Moore!"

Well, that would explain why she's so good looking. Suffice it to say, the recently married Mandy Moore seemed resistant to my charms (although, I'm SURE as soon as she spotted me, on the inside she was cursing herself for having already been married ;)

After the dinner thing, we got our first taste of President Bill Clinton. They introduced him, and he came strutting out on stage to a hip-hop beat. Yes, Bill Clinton has his own opening music that he struts out to.

Dude is a Baller.

It's funny because, everyone (including me) was so enamored and in awe of him on Friday night. But, by Sunday, we've seen Bill so damn much that its not a big deal anymore. On Friday, I entranced by him, but by Sunday, he's standing right next to me and he's just Bill - no biggy.

I've gotta say though, this event is awesome. It really gets you amped to "do well by doing good" and is pretty darn inspirational to see what other people are doing at such a young age. It's also cool meeting celebrities (Sean Penn, Drew Barrymore, Mandy Moore, and a handful of other actors/famous people/athletes were on hand).

In fact, Nnamdi Asomugha of the Oakland Raiders, one of the best defensive players in the National Football League, was extremely helpful and spent a good amount of time speaking with Mikey and I on reaching out to certain contacts to develop our business model.

Honestly, it pains me to say anything good about someone who plays for the Raiders, but Nnamdi was incredibly well-spoken, friendly, and helpful, and it's good to see guys like him taking an active role in helping others.

Now if he could just go a little easier on my KC Chiefs, then maybe we could be friends.

I'm definitely gonna try and go next year (where ever the event is held). I think our idea should develop enough in a year where I don't think getting a second invite should be a problem.

Considering Mandy Moore is a celebrity, she should be divorced by then.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why You Should Always Prioritize

At any given moment, I have a big list of things to do. Now, despite this huge and growing list, I make sure to fit in lots of fun, excitement, and of course (my personal favorite), ADVENTURE.

Rule number 22 in "Arun's Guide to Lifetime Awesomeness" - prioritize things so you get them done, but not at the expense of fun, excitement, and adventure.

I know what you're thinking..."Oh get real Arun and stop living in fantasy land! If you didn't expense fun, excitement, and adventure, you'd never get anything done! All this time away from
blogging has made you crazy you big (attractive) oaf!"

Well, you might be right about the slightly crazy part, but hear me out.

Recreation to me is not nearly as much fun when I have important things to do. I will admit that I'm pretty good at compartmentalizing things so I don't think about them when I don't need to, but I also enjoy my "off time" so much more when I've been productive and knocked tasks off my list.

So I mentioned that at any given time I have a list of things to do. In that list, I also have priorities - things that I absolutely MUST complete during the day. Sometimes they can be as simple as completing a reading for school, or queueing up emails for work, but I will make sure I get them done.

Let's take today for example. When I woke up, I had two things scheduled on my calendar: brunch with friends, and dinner with friends (tough schedule, I know).

BUT, I had things I wanted to prioritize which I am making sure to do, so that when I sit down for dinner at my friends house, I can enjoy it 100%.

Arun's Priorities for today:
  1. Cardio Workout
  2. Strength Training Workout
  3. Work on Affiliate Promo's (work)
  4. Set up web page headline test (more work)
  5. Complete readings for Strategy and Lab 2 Market (school)
  6. Set up Meeting with Dean (school / business idea)
  7. Admire self in the mirror for at least 3.6 hours
As of right now, I've finished everything but number 2 which I'll be doing as soon as I'm done writing this. (and obviously number 7 is a high priority ;)

Prioritizing is my way of never procrastinating. Honestly, I almost NEVER have to stay up late working on something with a deadline looming. At school, I put minimal time in studying for tests because I keep up to date with all of the readings and assignments. As a result, I never have to stress about things.

Obviously, the blog has taken a bit of a back seat recently. But I can explain.

I'm not a fan of short blurbs. I like my posts to be stories or essays that you can read through and find useful or interesting. As a result, these things usually take some time.

BUT, I'm really working on getting my posting frequency back up. The advantage of not having posted in awhile is that I have a backlog of awesome stories to post.

No. I haven't become a hermit. No I haven't lost my stories of awesomeness. Yes ridiculous things still happen to me. But somehow, the pieces always wind up in my favor.

More blogging coming.

Don't worry...I'll try to make it a priority ;)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Doing Vegas the Right (and Wrong) Way

Every time I get back from Vegas, I tell myself, "Arun, you amazing guy you - Vegas is fun, but instead of coming here every year, go somewhere new!"

In theory, this sounds like a brilliant plan each time I say this to myself, but every year, someone, or something comes up where I would be an idiot not to go. Generally, I make it a rule to avoid such situations of idiocy.

So this year, again I had no such plans of visiting Las Vegas. I've been four times, and sure each time has been filled with chaos and adventure, but how about saving my time and money, and doing something different?

Then I found out about the "Super Duper MBA Vegas Weekend of Madness"(not the official name, but I find this more descriptive) that happens every year in Vegas. Basically, Caesar's Palace puts on a huge poker tournament + festivities for MBA students around the world to come and enjoy.

I was skeptical at first, until I started getting emails from people who have been before:

"You HAVE to GO!"
"Event of the YEAR!"
"Can't MISS weekend!"

Ok, I'm convinced.

Rule number 212 in "Arun's Guide to Lifetime Awesomeness" states: "Thou shalt not pass up awesome opportunities or adventures when phrases like 'can't miss' are tossed around"

I'm not one to break my own rules, so as you can see, I had no choice but to book a flight.

So why is this weekend so great you ask? Well for starters, the deal is unbelievable. For $70, you are entered into a Poker Tournament on Friday (cash prizes for the top 20 finishers), a two hour dinner event with Open bar on Friday, and an open bar at a club on Saturday.

Yes, you heard that right. In the city with probably the most expensive drinks in the country, we are drinking for FREE both nights. Suffice it to say, no one was drinking anything less than Patron, Belvedere, and Jack Daniels for the entire weekend, and an hour into every event, no one felt ANY pain ;)

Seriously, it's worth entering an MBA program just for this trip alone.

On Saturday, while watching football at a sports bar in New York New York, we actually ran into the "Lingerie Bowl Girls" who apparently play football in, well, lingerie at half time during the Super Bowl. That's some of em in the picture up top.

But wait...if you've read the title carefully, you're probably wondering, "Gee Arun, this sounds like an amazing trip of awesomeness that I'm extremely jealous of, but what's this about the 'wrong way'?"

Good Question.

So the original plan was for a bunch of us to get this 2500 square foot suite in Caesar's palace. It would have been a bunch of us running amuck in this awesome suite having a lot of fun...But then, at the last minute, people started bailing for cheaper options. At that point, I thought the Presidential Suite might be a little much for me (but, then again, I have always thought of myself as rather presidential).

At that point, our options were limited and I left it in Jeff's hands to book us a room. Unfortunately, with only a couple of days before departure, there wasn't much in terms of selection.

Welcome to Imperial Palace - possibly (for lack of a better, more PG word) the luxury slum of Vegas.

So we walk in, and immediately I know I don't belong...lets just say the tenants of "I.P." (I refuse to call this place a "palace") aren't exactly lookers (yes, materialistic and judgmental, I know, but you weren't there, and we all know how amazing I think I look).

We are greeted by a broken automatic front door which meant all weekend, people were bumping into each other going in and out of the exit.
Check-in took forever, and once we finally checked in we made our way to the "Capri" tower which was not in the same building as the rest.

I got excited thinking the "Capri" must be the luxury tower of I.P. Maybe this place won't be so bad after all!

Welp, we make our way through some building with stained carpets and wreaking of cigarette smoke. Totally disgusting. We're searching for our room and finally see a sign that directs us through another door.

Now we are OUTSIDE. On one side is what looks like motel rooms, and on the other is a parking structure with car alarms resounding. At the end of the walkway, we see our rooms.

We didn't even walk in. We marched back to the front desk and "upgraded" to a room in the main tower. Of course, only one of the three elevators worked which means it took like 20 minutes to actually catch an elevator with enough space to squeeze a couple more people in.

The funny part is, during the initial check-in (before we had seen the room) Jeff was joking to our friend Carlos that we may have to "slum-it in the room next to them" to which the check-in clerk scoffed, "Huh! They are NOT slums!"

Au Contraire, mon frere.

Calling it a slum was probably a nicer term...these were more like "projects".

I was so embarrassed by our abode, that when people asked where we were staying I'd simply point in the direction of I.P. (which was conveniently located right across from Caesar's Palace), and respond, "We're staying at the Palace!"

But at least now I've seen another side of Vegas. Not everyone can afford the best of the best (including me) but if there's two things you should take away from this post, they are this: 1) NEVER stay at I.P. and 2) join an MBA program to go to this event next year.

And next year I'm definitely getting the damn suite.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2010 Evaluation and 2011 Goals

To be honest, I've been kind of dreading writing this post. Why? Well because as I've gotten older, I find my personal need for making resolutions gets less and less.

A big reason for this is that, at this point in time, my life is totally unpredictable. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what I'll be doing in three months, let alone the rest of the year. I mean, I have a vague idea, but the whole point of making successful resolutions is to be specific.

Also, my goals tend to change as the year wears on. January is just another month for me. I never look at the new year in terms of a "clean slate." To me, the symbolism of January is just the same as July (except for January symbolizes frigid cold and July symbolizes warmth, the beach, and summer vacation).

That being said, it is fun making a short list of goals and then going back and evaluating last year's goals to see how I've done.


1. Take an Amazing International Trip
Ok, I think it's pretty obvious that I deserve a 10/10 on this one. I traveled literally around the world and explored France, China, and Australia. One of the most amazing things I've ever done, and the trip definitely made me want to travel a LOT more (as well as never want to eat Duck Brain ever again).

2. Grow the Social Charmer
This was pretty much a total failure. In the last year, I've tweaked a few things and continued to send newsletters, but in all honesty, I didn't accomplish what I set out to do. I have TONS of ideas of features and products I want to add, but time has been a MAJOR crunch recently. I'll give myself a 1/10 on this.

3. Join More Activities
10/10! I'm back on the track of awesomeness (but let's be fair...when am I ever off the track of awesomeness ;) I think joining an MBA program is a pretty major activity. In addition, I started volunteering at the San Diego Braille Institute, joined a tennis club, and am a Rady School of Management Ambassador. I've made a ton of new friends this year and my social life has been MORE than fulfilled.

4. Develop Another Business Plan.
Hmmmm....probably 5/10 here. While I DO have a new business idea as well as an additional book idea that I'd like to get published, that's where the progress has stopped. The key is to move these ideas towards some type of fruition which I haven't done.

And now for this year:


1. Narrow Career Focus
I pretty much know the general direction I want to go in, but I am hoping to narrow this to something more specific, be it a commitment to a business plan, or a step towards becoming "Dr. Arun" (BTW, how awesome does "Dr. Arun" sound? I may have to get a PhD if for no other reason than having an awesome professional prefix). This is a tough goal to define, and an even tougher one to say "tomorrow I'm going to work on this goal" because it's something that requires experience to develop. Additionally, I know I NEVER want to work in a 9-5 corporate type job ever again. So I guess the goal is then to pursue experiential opportunities which will narrow my career focus.

2. Post More Frequently
This last year, I severely neglected posting on this blog. It's funny because this blog has actually opened up a LOT of doors for me personally which is something I never expected to happen when I first started it. This year, I am going to make sure I post at LEAST twice per month, and hopefully more.

3. Start Implementing New Cash Flow Ideas
This is basically a fancy way of saying "Get My Ass In Gear and Start My New Book Idea and Actually Develop a Viable Business Plan". I really want to realize these and I know exactly what I want to write's just a matter of putting pen to paper (or, in this case, finger to keyboard) and writing it. It's daunting because, writing a book is a hell of an effort, especially knowing that getting published is incredibly difficult. But, I need to look at the product as a personal accomplishment more than a purely monetary device.

And I think that'll do it! Again, because of the lack of regularity in my life, time is at a premium, and my goals are constantly evolving. I can't promise that I'll make it 100%, but I can tell you that every week, I'll work towards realizing each of these goals.

It's time to DOMINATE 2011 ;)