Monday, March 18, 2013

The Epstein Top 5 (or 10) Tips for Just About Everything

As part of my 40th birthday celebrations, the NFO asked my family to submit their TOP 5 OR 10 LIST for various things they either experienced with me, learned from me, taught me, or just had for me.  Herewith, the amassed knowledge of the Epstein family.
Jeremy’s Rule for Entrepreneurs
  1. 1. Never stop marketing
  2. 2. Never forget rule number 1
  3. 3. Leave it all on the field everyday
  4. 4. Be remarkable (positive when possible)
  5. 5. Nurture the network
  1. 1) Immerse yourself in the culture.
  2. 2) Talk to anyone, at anytime, about anything.
  3. 3) Study.
  4. 4) Believe that you can do it. This is a test of will.
  5. 5) Love the process.
Lessons from Living with Jeremy:
1) Passion is key. If it is not present, manufacture it.
2) Adventure exists in the mind.
3) Never give up.
4) You will always win the game if you make the rules.
5) If you are not in a position to make the rules, charm the hell out of your adversaries.
6) If you cannot charm your adversaries, give up and move on, or change.
7) If you cannot change, find someone who will make you.
8) If you cannot find such a person, find an offbeat adventure to re-energize yourself.
9) Never give up.
10) Even if you live life with unusual seriousness, be the guy who laughs loudest at the dumbest, most sophomoric movies around.


Top 5 ways to make a lasting, unique and positive impression
  1. 1. Every interaction is a chance to make a positive impression. Take the extra few minutes to draft a vivid, detail-filled email, note, or speech and use imagery in your language to help people remember you and your message ("there I was, standing in the rain, teeth chattering and mascara dripping down my face when I came up with the idea to invent the umbrella" is much more memorable than "Rainy days are wet. That's why I invented the umbrella.").
  2. Don't be afraid to add some of your own personality to interactions. Related to this: If you don't have any personality, try to get some pronto.
  3. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Being genuine builds trust and goes farther than being "impressive" but phony. For example, I can't drive stick shift but I'm great at parallel parking.
  4. Visualize your best, most confident, most relaxed self before entering any new situation; use that energy to help you make a positive first impression. In other words, imagine what you would do if you were Joe Biden, not Woody Allen.
  5. Never ask a woman when the baby is due.
  1. 1. Trust that you are working on their behalf and confidence you can do it
  2. 2. Knowledge about the market/their needs/their wants and even those they don't think about (if they are pregnant they don't want a walk up, but may not occur to them. Point it out, but they may not care.)
  3. 3. Referral from a friend they trust
  4. 4. Respond to all emails and calls in a timely fashion
  5. 5. Make the feel like they are the only client you have and arent too busy for them, but casually let them know you have others without bragging.

Top 10 Travel Tips
David Epstein
March 2013
  1. “Norway of the Mind.” The phrase I invented while in Oslo and traveling with an adult child to express the concept that what you know about the history and culture of your destination country is a key to understanding what you will see and the people with whom you will talk. Therefore, read books, e.g., history, literature, fiction written by indigenous authors about their society, and ask questions of its inhabitants initially extending on what you are learning by reading. Focus your reading throughout the trip on where you are, not elsewhere.
  2. Have one or several broad themes for your trip, e.g., Italy, the Roman Empire or the Renaissance; Australia, European colonization and interaction with Aboriginals; Soviet Union and the late, unlamented German Democratic Republic, totalitarian societies and those based on individual freedom; South Africa, new South Africa after the collapse of apartheid; Hong Kong, for the handover from the United Kingdom to China in 1997; Northern Ireland for its post-agreement elections in 1998.
  3. Let the trip unfold so you are flexible as to where you go and when. If you arrive at a capital city, stay overnight at a pre-reserved hotel, and then immediately leave the capital city to travel around the country, making choices as to what to visit and where you stay as you travel, saving your exploration of the capital city to the end. Use organized package tours only where conditions require.
  1. Do not have expectations or a long list of “must see,” so that you will not be disappointed. On the other hand, do not say, “I will avoid that site because that is where the tourists go.” There is a reason the site attracts visitors.
  1. Do not obsess about minor setbacks, e.g., lost luggage, bad meals, closed museums, or being overcharged.
  1. If traveling with an adolescent child, make visits to museum no longer than an hour or so. You are teaching curiosity, not overwhelming the child with content.
  1. If traveling with an employed adult child, he or she pays for the airfare to the destination. Thus, the adult child has a financial investment in the trip and is also discouraged from hoarding frequent flyer points. Parent can pay for ground expenses, defined as those expenses directly related to food, lodging, attraction tickets, guides, most but not all internal travel. This view will lead to delicious discussions in setting the boundaries.
  1. In a new city, first take a bus tour for the overview. Hire a good personal guide at an important site who knows the subject matter and does not tell lame jokes.
  1. All family travel is good, but your choices will be challenged within the group, as different interests are expressed. One-on-one travel for a parent with a teen age or adult child is the best, as you are then companions facing the challenges and joys of travel without the need to referee disputes.
  1. Use the trip as the opportunity for long and searching conversations. Have an ongoing dialogue with your traveling companion (s) both on what you are learning as well as on any other topic, personal or general.
5. Never do ONE thing when you can do three or four things simultaneously.
4. Remember the acronym F.A.T: FILE It; ACT on it; TRASH it. Only touch a piece of paper once.
3. Label your cables: (Jeremy knows all of this already)
Organize, store and buy computer cables wisely
by David Caolo on Jan 24, 2013
Step one: know your cables
1. USB to mini USB You’ll notice one end is a flat rectangle shape and the other is a small trapezoid shape. These are often used with digital cameras and often short, in the 1–3 foot range.
2. FireWire 800 These feature a squared-off end with a plastic“bit” in the center. FireWire 800 cables are typically used on high-end external hard drives and some video equipment. They transfer large files between machines and drives quickly.
3. Standard USB One end features a flat rectangle and the other a square with once side slightly rounded. Many printers uses these cables, as well as some external hard drives.
4. FireWire 400 Which, is also called “1394 cable” in some circles. Also used for storage peripherals like hard drives and some older video cameras. Transfer speed is slightly slower than that of its sibling FireWire 800.
5. DVI These cables end with a wide terminator with many pins and two screws to hold it in place. You’ll find that many computer monitors and projectors use these. Length can vary greatly, but most are around 3 feet long.
2. Get rid of Paper (Jeremy is almost Paperless!)
The latest model in the ScanSnap desktop line is the iX500 and it’s an impressive machine. I’ve been test driving one the past two weeks (thank you, ScanSnap!) and it’s amazing — it doesn’t require a desktop computer to launch, it will scan straight to a mobile device or an online storage location over Wifi (so I can save straight to Dropbox), it’s noticeably faster than the S1500M model we own, and I’ve been able to customize it to send scans automatically to whatever program I want, so items like photographs now import straight into iPhoto. I won’t upgrade permanently from the S1500M we already have, but if we didn’t have a scanner I would save up for this one. If you’re in the market for one, the list price is $495. They’re expensive, but they’re really nice. (Full iX500 product details.)
As far as shredders go, I’d recommend the Fellowes PowerShred 79Ci now. The thing is a monster at chewing up stuff you want to shred. And, as I referenced earlier, it’s on wheels, which makes it convenient to use and store. It’s also expensive, but the thing will last you a decade or more if you treat it well. OurPowerShred PS-77Cs is still rocking after seven years of service, and we use it daily. Unlike less expensive shredders, the PowerShred line is built to last.
The list of things to shred and not to shred is still accurate, though a lot of people greatly dislike my advice to destroy old passports. I probably should have written more clearly about waiting to shred the old passport until after you get a new one. Submitting your old one does speed up the renewal process. However, once you get the old one back, if you don’t need it for any legal reason, it’s safe to shred (just be sure to pop out the RFID chip first). My last passport, though used many times, didn’t even have a single stamp in it because so many countries have stopped stamping and my old visa had to be relinquished when I left the country that required me to have the visa. If you want to keep old passports, especially if they have stamps in them, do it but please keep it in a safe or safe-deposit box so it doesn’t end up in the hands of identity thieves.
Even with all of these products and systems, paper continues to be something we have to deal with daily in our home. We’ve unsubscribed from as much junk mail as possible, yet we still get some from businesses and services we use. The shredder, trash can, and recycling bin by our main entrance are essential in dealing with the junk immediately and not letting it come deep inside the house. But, the stuff we let in voluntarily —the bank statements, the receipts, the pay stubs, the contracts — still feels overwhelming at times. We’ve gone so far as to unsubscribe from all print magazines and now subscribe to these publications digitally over Zinio. The only way we’ve been able to keep from being overwhelmed by paper is to clear our desks each day as part of our end-of-day work routines. All papers filed, junk shred, receipts reconciled, documents scanned, etc. It only takes five or ten minutes, but it’s still a chore. I’m looking forward to the day when I only have to spend five or ten minutes a week (or less) dealing with paper clutter.
1. Hair is clutter (Jeremy also knows this!)
Eschew the trappings of our vain and materialistic culture by shaving your head. Did you know that you can replace the following items with a single razor and a can of shaving cream?
  1. 1. Combs
  2. 2. Brushes
  3. 3. Shampoo
  4. 4. Conditioner
  5. 5. “Product” (Gels, Mousses, Waxes)
  6. 6. Scrunchies (N/A to Jeremy!)
  7. 7. Barrettes (Ditto!)
  8. 8. Hairdryer
It’s a practical and stylish approach that is surprising versatile–it works whether you look like Natalie Portman or Telly Savalas. And with all the money you save on haircuts you’ll be able to buy cool white clothing lifestyle that most minimalists only dream of.
Here are my tips that got lost. Please enjoy them!!
Love, MOM
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