Monthly Archives: November 2011

NYC AWNY Career Conference

As some of you may know,  Dr. Tracy Tuten and Shelly Spear brought a group of 24 students to New York City to attend the annual AWNY Career Conference.  This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and I wish I could have gone! 

You might be wondering what exactly is the AWNY Career Conference.  The Advertising Career Conference was held at the Fashion Institute of Technology on November 11 and 12.  The annual event brought together about 700 students from around the country to learn about the various career opportunities in advertising, providing college students interested in careers in the advertising industry the following opportunities:

  • To be exposed to industry leaders in the field of advertising
  • To hear advertising case studies related to each major job area
  • To discover career planning techniques for landing the job they want
  • To network with advertising executives
  • To benefit from resume building workshops and hear suggestions from experts in advertising placement

In addition to resume building clinics, attendees were able to select different seminar sessions based on their career interests.  Sessions include such topics as:

  • Account management
  • The art of communications planning
  • Client services in the digital world
  • Helpful Information for the Aspiring Graphic Designer     
  • The Art of the Student Portfolio
  • Creative: From Strategy to Execution
  • Art, Copy And Shooting Yourself From A Cannon          
  • TV Commercials: From Script To Air   
  • Music In Advertising
  • Non-Traditional and OOH (Out-Of-Home) media
  • Go Where the Growth Is: Digital Advertising 
  • Interactive Marketing: Client vs. Agency
  • Breaking Into Ad Sales—The Best Kept Secret in the Business          
  • Minorities in Advertising
  • What’s Direct Marketing, And Is There A Career In It For You?   
  • Sports Marketing…What Is It, and How Do I Get In?     
  • Careers in public relations and events

Students not only got a chance to attend this awesome conference, but they also got an inside look at Dentsu America, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world.  Students had the opportunity to hear presentations from employees within the company- a strategist, 2 creatives, and 2 social media planners- about what exactly they do at Dentsu and they provided the group with great advice. 

Students on the trip had nothing but great things  to say about their experience at Dentsu.  I have heard everything from “very insightful” to “information relevant to social media and other creative strategies for marketing campaigns”.  I have also been told that the students gained valuable insight into the interview process.  A new employee of Dentsu shared how he got involved and hired at Dentsu and he gave tips about how to go about the job search.  Everyone has told me about the super cool lounge at Dentsu, a lounge that has a spectacular view of Manhattan.

From what I have heard, the students learned A LOT of great things and had a blast on the trip.  Let’s see what some of our own students have to say about their experience:

“I really enjoyed the weekend in NYC and had a great time. The Advertising Career Conference offered a great variety of workshops and presentations that were really interesting. At some point one of the AWNY representatives said that they would like to inspire us and I can definitely say I was inspired by the end of the conference. So many new impressions! And even if I do not end up working in Advertising this was an amazing opportunity that broadend my horizon and that I will never forget.”

            -Anna-Katharina Lohre

“I had an amazing time and found the AWNY conference to be extremely enlightening, and the Dentsu tour really gave me incredible insight into the marketing world.  The media workshop at FIT has encouraged me to pursue the media side as opposed to the advertising side of marketing, and hopefully I will eventually land a career with a company like Mindshare, Starcom, or Mediavest.”

            -Kelly McDade

“In every session I went to, the speaker talked about cleaning up our Facebook pages.  I untagged myself from every picture that I felt may affect my career as soon as I arrived back in Greenville.  The most informational session I went to was “Selling Yourself.”  I learned about how to answer interview questions in a more unique and less dull fashion.  I also learned that persistence and confidence is important.  However, the most important part was knowing how to communicate well with the people or clients you will have to talk to as an employee.  My career goal is to learn to be less nervous when communicating with others and to gain more confidence in myself. I met new people which is a start, and it was a fun experience.”

            -Morgan Grubbs

“I had a blast on this trip and found the conference very informative. The two workshops I found most beneficial were the ‘Big Idea’ and ‘Selling Yourself’ workshops. In the ‘Big Idea’ workshop he basically just broke down the thought process of the creative side of advertising. His main point of the lecture was simplicity is key. In the ‘Selling Yourself’ workshop she gave us pointers for future interviews and told us appropriate answers to the most common/difficult questions we would be faced with. She even supplied us with her email address and if we emailed her by 5:00pm yesterday with our resume she would enter us in the conference’s database which would allow us to email her questions for an entire year with a guaranteed response rate of 24 hours. My all time favorite part of the conference was being able to watch innovative commercials. I am so glad I went on this trip. I learned a lot and I feel like the whole group really bonded.”

            -Jordan Nowlin

I strongly encourage anyone interested in marketing and/or advertising to try to attend the conference next year.  It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are so lucky to have Dr. Tuten bring us!  Talk to her now if you are interested because spots will start filling up fast when the time comes!

Student Feature: Marisa Melchiorre Gives Helpful Tips for Finals

Hey Pirates!

As final exams and the end of the semester are quickly approaching, I thought I would share some of my helpful tips to get you through these next few weeks of classes and finals.

It is that time of year when we’re all anxious to get home for Thanksgiving and Christmas break and we’re all starting to worry about our final grades.  Many of our final grades will depend on how we do on our final exams so it is important to do well.  In between all of the studying, writing papers, group assignments and projects, it is important to eat and sleep well!  So my first tip is…


Anxiety from finals takes a toll on your body physically and mentally.  Personally, finals week is more physically exhausting. Instead of studying for 5 hour straight, it is a good idea to take a break from your work to get some fresh air.  Maybe you can take a walk around campus with a friend, sit outside and have a coffee, or just hang out with some friends.  For me, going to the gym is my relaxing time.  Plus, exercise gives oxygen to the brain which helps you think more clearly!

Another important tip is to eat well.  Try to avoid greasy foods that may upset your stomach.  Make sure to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits to keep your mind sharp.  Eating a big breakfast before your finals is a must!!  Also, try to avoid eating late at night.  Create a schedule so your body knows when to eat and you will know when you are hungry.

The absolute most important thing you can do to pass your finals and stay healthy is SLEEP.  Pulling all nighters during finals week is not going to help you do well on your finals.  For me, I make sure I go to sleep very early on the night before the final and instead of waking up 20 minutes before my final; I wake up about 2 hours before and study.  That way, the information is fresh in my mind and I got a good night sleep!


Have you ever heard of the PTC?  The Pirate Tutoring Center offers free tutoring in subjects such as Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, Math, Accounting, Economics, Spanish, French, and many more!  Make sure to check out the schedule during finals week to see if any of your classes offer review sessions before your finals.  It is a great way to talk to other students that have mastered the subject and may be able to give you helpful hints.


When it comes time to sit down in class, many students get extreme anxiety over actually taking the exam.  Before each exam I take, I always close my eyes and take a deep breath.  It is also important to stay positive during your finals.  Telling yourself that you can earn an A on your Accounting final to pull off that “A” overall in the class will go a long way.  A little positivity goes a long way!

Some other helpful tips:

  • Do not wait until the last minute to study
  • Make sure you are prepared the day of your finals (bubble sheets, pens, pencils, blue book, etc.)
  • Know where your rooms are located for your finals as most of them change from your regular class room
  • Be familiar with different ways to study: rewrite notes, make note cards, organize binders, reread important notes
  • Make friends with people in your classes and make study groups
  • If living off campus, check bus schedules before finals because the schedule changes during finals and they may be crowded
  • Use your on campus resources for study materials: Counseling Services and the Peer Mentors at the College of Business!

Good luck to each and every one of you!

You will do great!!

Perfect Promotions & more –

I wanted to share with you all a very unique and interesting story of a company that some ECU COB grads are involved with.  Some of you may have heard of or even visited in the past, but let me share with you the story of how our own graduates are involved.

Aliana McFadden graduated from ECU with a degree in Marketing in 2010 and Stephen McFadden graduated from ECU with a degree in Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship, also in 2010. 

Aliana and Stephen got married on July 11, 2009.

In 2002, Susan McFadden (Stephen McFadden’s mother) started Perfect Promotions & more (PP&m) after spending several years on the corporate side as an event planner for MCI-Worldcom.  PP&m is a family owned and operated company that sells promotional products and apparel (Everything from T-Shirts, Keychains, Water bottles etc…over 1 million products) to hundreds of businesses from Smithfield Chicken and BBQ, Cotton Cooperation, Red Hat Software, Duke Hospitals, and now…East Carolina University!

The company did a majority of its business in the NC Research Triangle Park area but began to branch out when Aliana and Stephen McFadden attended ECU.  Aliana and Stephen, who had been dating since High School, knew that they were going to be helping out with the family company so they both chose their majors based on what would be the most helpful to PP&m when they graduated.

While in college, Aliana and Stephen were a part of many organizations.  Stephen was active in the Resident Hall Association, Rugby, Student Government Association, Elite Pirates, Intramural sports, and Volunteer Service Learning while Aliana participated in Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Beta Gamma Sigma and Mu Kappa Tau.  Both Stephen and Aliana were RAs and active in Student Activities Board and the Pirate Club.

During Stephen’s Junior year he began going to the people that he had worked with and organizations he and Aliana had been a part of and shared information about his family’s company.  While Stephen and Aliana were involved in these organizations it was clear that people (students in particular) were paying too much for products and apparel so Aliana and Stephen wanted to help the groups that they had been a part of.

On the business side, PP&m realized the potential at ECU and applied to get their restricted CLC license to sell directly to the University.  By the time Aliana and Stephen were both Seniors PP&m had begun to dive into the ECU organizations, working with Campus Living & Dining, 8 Resident Halls, RA recruitment, Volunteer and Service Learning Center, Student Activities Board, Athletic Ticket Office, Student Government Association, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, ECU College of Nursing and many more.

Since graduation, Aliana has taken the role of Marketing Director and Operations Manager.  She is in charge of handling all of the accounts receivable and payable as well as managing all of the back office tasks (placing and tracking orders, talking with vendors, finding solutions, team cheerleader, etc).  Aliana also maintains the company’s Facebook page and helps to come up with new product and promotion ideas.  Stephen currently is the Vice President of Sales and handles the CLC account for ECU.

The ECU market has continued to grow and the requests for ECU merchandise have increased.  In the spring of 2011 PP&m started the process of becoming fully licensed for ECU merchandise and in August of 2011 PP&m became a full CLC licensee of ECU!  PP&m began to expand its reach into ECU and now provides many products and ideas to ECU Dowdy Book Store.

In the Fall of 2009 PP&m purchased an embroidery company, Royal Embroidery & more (RE&m).  Since PP&m now had its own production and embroidery facilities along with a full CLC license, the idea for customized and personalized ECU products developed and the result was! was created by Tom McFadden (Stephen’s father) and the products that are on the site are fulfilled through RE&m.  The idea with the site was to not only provide a place for inexpensive ECU gear but also a place to go for pieces personalized specifically for student and university organizations at ECU.

The site is broken up into 3 components: Apparel, Products, and University.

The “Apparel” section offers a selection of embroidered pieces that are fully custom.  You can pick the ECU logo of your choice and add personalization if you want, all of which are formatted to CLC standards.  You can get a discounted embroidered polo for only $12.99!

The “Product” section offer things like tote bags, aprons, hand towels and other items.  As with the apparel, you can choose the ECU logo that you like and add personalization if you want.  You can get a tote bag with the Arched Pirates logo and your name for under $20!

The “University” section offers a full service site where you can pick an item, choose your size, and type in the name of your organization. will then setup the logo for you based on University standards so all you have to do is relax and wait for it to show up at your door.  You can choose a black polo with “College of Business” on it and they will set it up with the University Arches emblem and your name and send it to you for $14.99! was kicked off in Greenville on 10/29/2011 with a tailgate kickoff.  They gave out Beat Tulane Buttons that had the company information as well as a free shipping coupon, a way to get people to check out the new site.  They also had former ECU Quarterback Patrick Pinkney in attendance to meet and greet with fans!  ECUStuff held a free raffle and gave away 15 prizes from cooler bags, polos, head rest covers, and autographed books.

The site will continue to add products that the ECU fans will like and PP&m continues to work with and expand in the ECU community!

Check them out today!

Would you like an inside look at jobs and companies?

Are you looking for a job?  Are you nervous about interviewing?  Do you freeze up during interviews?  Do you worry about the salary of a position you are considering? 

Would you like and inside look at a company you might want to work for after graduation?

Do you want to know some of the specific questions a company might ask you while you are interviewing for a job?

I have found a great website that allows you to do just that! is a free online service that allows anyone to view inside information on just about every organization. enables past and current employees at these organizations to describe their experiences working for their company.  If you visit the website and look around, you will see that there is a “Review” tab that shows not only pros and cons about the company,but also anonymous reviews by employees.  There is also a “Salary” tab that allows viewers to see the average salary and the salary range for each position in the company.

In my opinion, the best feature of the website is the “Interview” tab.   The “Interview” tab has anonymous review postings by candidates who have previously interviewed with the company.  These candidates rate the company on how difficult the interview was and give details about the interview.  Candidates usually post specific interview questions that they were asked by the company but they also will often post the answer to a specific question, or the answer that they thought was best.  The candidates will then post any details about the interview such as how they applied for the interview (i.e. in person) and what the structure of the interview was (i.e. one on one interview).


As students, it is important that we present ourselves to companies in the best way possible.  Taking advantage of ECU’s Career Center is a great way to help prepare yourself to interview with companies of interest to you, but online services such as are also available to us and we should definitely utilize services such as this one.  I recommend that everyone checks out this wesbsite before interviewing for a job to get an inside look at jobs & companies.  Having an idea of what type of questions might be asked during an interview will allow you to think through what the best answer might be and will allow you to go into the interview comfortable and at ease.

Check it out & let me know what you think!

Student Feature: Kate Nelson is back!

Hey Pirates!

When I left off last time I was mentioning how important it is to take a risk, face your fears, and embark on the unknown.

As a senior I am rapidly realizing how fast this semester is flying by and how before I know it, I will be walking across the stage to receive my diploma and leave East Carolina forever!  I remember every moment from my Freshman year like it was just yesterday and I am constantly thinking about how fast time goes by.  My biggest accomplishment is that I can honestly say I have fully achieved every plan I had upon entering college until now.  I told myself I would by involved in numerous clubs, speak Spanish, travel to Europe, and make a new set of life long friends.  I have not only completed all that I wanted but also gained such an insight to the world and prepared myself for the “big girl” life that waits ahead of me.  

If you sit here reading this as a Freshman, realize that time is short and even though you might think, “I can get it done next year”.. DON’T!  Do it today!  Get it done now because these years move fast and opportunities fly by.

If you have any interest in studying abroad, don’t hesitate!  Go to the office of International Affairs or send an email- just start looking into it!  Find someone that can give you an idea of your possibilities abroad and what type of experiences you can have.  Exploring the surroundings outside of what you have always known is the best way to broaden your outlook and enhance your skills and thought process for your future, especially with your career.  I’ve quickly learned that most employers focus on the part of a resume that discusses your time abroad more than any other job opportunity listed.  People are interested in what you learned and gained from that experience. 

Remember that you need to take college as an opportunity to better yourself, not only through academics but as a chance to grow as a person!

Considering Grad School?

Now that I am in grad school, I have been getting a lot of questions from undergrads that are considering grad school.  I thought a good post to help those that might be considering grad school and weighing their options would be to interview one of my peers that is in the MBA program with me. 

I interviewed Lindsey Thompson, a first year MBA student and a graduate of ECU, and I am hopeful that her responses to the following questions will help fellow COB students make their decision whether to attend grad school or not. 


What was your undergraduate degree and when did you graduate?

I graduated from ECU in May of 2011 with a BSBA in Management.

How did you decide to pursue an MBA?

I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do in business and I didn’t have any job offers so I decided to that going back to school and getting an advanced degree was a good option for me.

Did you work first or go straight into the MBA program?

I went straight from undergrad to grad school.  I considered going to work first but I weighed my options and since I didn’t have any job offers on the table I decided it was best to just stay in school while I was still in the swing of things.  I was also concerned that if I went to work and got used to a salary that I wouldn’t want to leave that to go back to school.

Why did you choose to return to ECU for graduate school?

I had the best four years of my life here as an undergrad, so when I was considering grad school I didn’t even think about going anywhere else.  I was familiar with the area, the faculty and staff within the College of Business, and I am comfortable here.

Did anything surprise you during the application process?

There was nothing surprising about the application process, it just felt like I was applying for college all over again!  It was actually somewhat easier than applying to undergrad, besides the GMATs!

Were the GMATs hard?  How did you prepare?

The GMATS were extremely hard.  I bought a GMAT prep book and used that to study for several weeks before I took the test. Although I did fine on the test, if I had to do it again I would probably take a GMAT prep class to help me better prepare.  If you are out-0f-state, doing well on your GMAT can make a huge difference.  The COB offers a limited amount of tuition remissions for out-of-state studenst that score high on their GMATs so STUDY STUDY STUDY and apply early!  The earlier you apply, the more likely you are to get “goodies” like tuition remissions, graduate assistantships, and scholarships.

How is grad school different than undergrad?

The biggest difference I have found in grad school is the times classes are offered. There are a lot less choices when it comes to signing up for classes and many of the classes are held at night to accommodate people who work. I’ve also noticed a wider variety in the age of my classmates. There are people right out of undergrad, as well as people who have worked for several years and decided to go back to school.  

What else is different?  Reading.  Lots and lots of reading.  Professors expect you to read the required material and come to class able to contribute to discussions.  There are exceptions, but for the most part, professors don’t make a lot of PowerPoints and study guides.   That brings me to my next point.  Tests.  A lot of them are stricly essay tests.  Obviously, the amount of work and the difficulty of work is a big difference from undergrad but it’s an advanced degree.  Things are supposed to be more difficult and require you to think critically.

Are you pursuing a graduate certificate or just a general MBA?  Why?

I am pursuing a sports management certificate. The reason I chose to do a graduate certificate is because I want to enter the sports management industry, but want to still have my MBA in case that doesn’t work out.

What do you like most about the MBA program here at ECU?

My favorite thing about the program is that although the work is much harder, I can still enjoy the college atmosphere that ECU provides.  It’s also nice to see familiar faces from undergrad in the MBA program as well.

What do you like least about the MBA program here at ECU?

I wish they offered more face-to-face classes.  Usually if you want to take a face-to-face class, you don’t have many options as to what time or day it is offered.  I had a lot  more choices when registering for undergrad classes.

Is there anything that you would have liked to know prior to starting the MBA program?

Fortunately it didn’t affect me because I did very well in my undergraduate career at ECU, but I think a lot of students could have benefited had they known that getting good grades in their undergrad classes could help them waive out of graduate level courses.  If you get A’s and B’s in 20 specific undergraduate courses, you have the ability to waive out of 10 graduate level courses.  I was able to waive out of all 10 classes and cut my MBA program in half!  This was definitely an added bonus of coming to ECU.

Are you glad you decided to pursue an MBA?

I am very happy with my decision to pursue my MBA.  The material is more applicable to the real world and it forces you to think critically. This is my first semester in the MBA program and I can already tell that I will be much more prepared for success upon graduation than I would have been with just an undergraduate degree.

What are your goals upon receiving your MBA?

After I graduate, I hope to find a job with a major league baseball organization as a special events or promotions coordinator.


Good luck in your decision to attend grad school & I wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors!

Stop Making Excuses!

We all want to become someone great, right?  So why do we make so many excuses for ourselves?

One of my professors, the wonderful Dr. Tracy Tuten, recently shared a post with me from, “106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great”, and it really caught my attention.  The post is by an online marketing strategist, Tommy Walker, and his purpose for writing the article was to help people realize that they often don’t allow themselves to reach their full potential because something is holding them back, and oftentimes it is simply an excuse. 

Tommy Walker goes into 106 of the most common excuses that you might tell yourself and he explains why they aren’t valid excuses.  I wanted to write a post to share some of the excuses that I hear most often (and probably use myself too often) and why they are no longer valid excuses.  I tried picking and choosing those that most of us students can relate to, and probably have said at some point in time.

I Don’t Have the Knowledge

You might often hear people say, “Google it!”  You can find almost anything on Google nowadays and if you can’t find it there, you can probably find a book about it on Amazon.  Information is more accessible now than ever before, and most of it is free.  You just have to spend the time to find it.

I Don’t Know the Right People

Nearly anyone you need to know can be found on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin.  With a little patience, and an awesome personality, you can easily connect with the right people.  It might not happen overnight, but it can certainly happen if you want it bad enough.  Be on a mission that they can’t resist being a part of and you’re halfway there.

It’s Too Hard

Anything worth doing is hard.  When was the last time “easy” had a huge payoff for you?

Someone Else is Already Doing It

Which came first, Dyson or Hoover?  Groupon or Living Social?  Does it matter?  Not really.

I’m Afraid of What My Colleagues Might Say

Peer validation is rarely the deciding factor in any entrepreneurial story worth hearing.  Don’t be concerned with what your peers will think.  Sometimes disruption is exactly what they need.

Nobody Will Care

Nobody will care IF you’re doing something for the wrong reasons.  If you are creating a product because you need the cash, nobody will care.  If you are promoting others simply to make yourself look good, nobody will care.  If you are sucking up to big names so they will promote your stuff, nobody will care.  Authenticity can’t be faked and selfish motives can be sniffed out from a mile away.  Be on a mission to make an impact and somebody will care.  Now it’s up to you to find them.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Imagine all your life you played it safe: you stay at your job and you did what you were told.  Sure, maybe you got promotions, but even at your peak you only made $60,000.  You had ideas, but you watched them come to life at the hands of someone else because you wanted to play it safe.  Why would you do this?  Get out there, share your ideas, make a difference- be known for what you did do, not what you didn’t do.

I Haven’t Done It Before

This excuse is such a cop out.  Think about some milestones in your life: you went to school, you had your first kiss, you learned to drive a car, you took up a new hobby, you learned how to read.  You hadn’t done any of these before you did it.  It’s simple, but it’s true.  This excuse is the fear of the unknown.  It’s okay to be afraid, but inexperience is by far one of the worst excuses.  Life is built on a series of “firsts” and making the choice to limit your experiences only leads to dissatisfaction.

I’m Not That Good

There are plenty of things people aren’t good at.  You can either learn and get better or you can find someone who is good and have them fill that role.  You don’t have to do everything alone.  The best joint venture projects are simply two people with complementary strengths.  So if you’re not that good, get better, or find someone who is.

I Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say

Being brash is sometimes exactly what people need.  Too many people try to “do it right”, so do it wrong just to stand out.  There are plenty of people who make a career out of saying the wrong thing- just make sure there’s substance behind your message.

Other People Are More Lucky

Pure luck is a myth.  If someone is “lucky” they’re doing things behind the scenes that you don’t see.  Take action and do something instead of making excuses- it will do wonders for your “luck”.   Other’s luck doesn’t directly impact you anyways.

My Gender Won’t Let Me

Gender roles are increasingly less relevant.  There are plenty of women CEOs and male nurses.  Men can start a daycare and women can start a design firm.  Blaming your gender simultaneously speaks poorly for your gender and empowers those who refuse to fit a mold.

My Parents Won’t Let Me

Really?  We are in college.  For the most part, we are old enough to make our own decisions.  Sometimes parents aren’t as rational, supportive, or open to new ideas as we would like them to be, but this is no reason to sacrifice your success and happiness.  If your parents would rather you give up on your dreams, maybe you need to weigh the consequences of giving up versus going your own way.  We each only get one life, and this one is yours.

I’ll Never Get the Right Exposure

Teenage pop starts are breaking into the entertainment business by simply using MySpace and YouTube.  If your exposure isn’t handed to you by the merit of your work, create your own opportunities using the tools available to you. 

There’s No Point

Not with that attitude.  The point is that you’re doing something.  The point is that you’re being productive and taking action.  Take an idea from concept to actualization- bring your ideas to the world.  Even if no one sees it, you can have the satisfaction of knowing you did something you believed in.

It’s Not Important Enough

If at some point you believed there was a need, there probably is.  Is it important enough to let it keep creeping up and nagging at you?  Just do it already.

I’ll Get To It Later

No you won’t, you never do.  Get to it now, or at least schedule it to get done, then do it.  You will be a lot more satisfied when you’re finished.

I Don’t Want to Be Boring

What’s boring to some might be addictive to others.  Everyone processes information differently.  It’s possible to find the right audience even if you typically skew towards boring.  If you typically skew towards boring and you don’t want to, however, find ways to become more interesting.  Take an improve class, go bungee jumping, spice it up!

If I Can’t Get it Right the First Time, Why Bother Trying?

Perfection is a myth.  Nobody actually “does it right”.  It’s not about “doing it right” so much as it about doing it to the best of your ability.  Giving it everything you’ve got, regardless of the outcome, it the only way to do it right.

I Can’t Commit Right Now

Fair enough, you have a lot on your place right now.  But when can you commit?  If it’s genuinely interesting, look at your calendar and decide when you can commit and put yourself on a productive path.  If you don’t want to do it, be honest and admit you’re not interested.  People will always respect honesty over being strung along.

There’s Too Many Obstacles

Can you think of one epic story where the protagonist doesn’t overcome too many obstacles?  The save the princess, you must travel the land, sail the ocean, answer the riddle of the old man at the bridge, and bring an offering to the king.  Only then can you slay the dragon.  It’s going to be difficult, but trust me, the princess (your freedom) is worth it.

I Tried Before and Failed

Dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and do it again.  Obviously you can’t go about it the same way, so find a new angle.  If it’s important to you, realize defeat is temporary.  Why every loss, you gain the experience you need to win.

I’m Too Tired

Put yourself on a schedule, structure your day, and get more rest.  If necessary and possible, take naps when you can.  Remain productive- productivity sparks energy.  If you’re chronically tired, improve your fitness and vitamin intake.  Sometimes a vitamin supplement is necessary, but sometimes you just need to suck it up and get it done.

It Just Doesn’t Feel Right

Is this instinct or an excuse?  Does it not “feel” right because it really isn’t right for you, or is it simply not convenient?  Be honest.  Don’t blame your instinct.  Eventually your instinct will go cold and your gauge for “good” and “bad” will disappear.  An entrepreneur’s deadliest weapon is instinct.  Keep yours sharp.  Don’t blame your instinct for things you don’t want to do.

I Did Everything I Could

Did you really?  Did you see where you went wrong?  Try again.  Who knows, you might be successful next time.

My Friends/Family Will Think I’m Crazy

If your friends/family think you are crazy, you’re likely to have a good idea on your hands.  The world was made on experimentation.  If everyone’s loved ones understood all the insane ideas people come up with, we would never have innovation.

I Deserve a Break

You only deserve a break if you have reached an acceptable goal for yourself.  If you’re not hitting your marks, you haven’t deserved anything.

I Don’t Work Well on a Team

You’ll only get so far on your own.  At some point, you’ll have to work on a team.  Some ideas require many minds and you will have to learn when to compromise and allow others to show their strengths.  I know it’s tough, but once you’ve mastered the group dynamic, you’ll wonder how you ever did anything without your team.

Nobody Understands What I’m Trying to Say

Become a better communicator.  Look for resources on remarkable communication and persuasive writing.  If people still don’t understand you, record yourself speaking and play it back.  What we say often makes total sense, until we hear it from someone else’s perspective.

There’s Nothing I Can Contribute

At the very best, your perspective is unique.  Even if you’re covering the same thing as 5,000 others, your perspective makes you valuable.  Learn as much as you can and share what you’ve learned in your own words.  Apply what you have learned and share your experiences.  If that’s all you can contribute, it’s better than doing nothing.

It’s Nothing They Haven’t Heard Before

People are learning new things every day.  If what you have to say is what someone is looking for, you might be the one to change their life.

I’m Too Young

No you’re not.  Age and willingness go hand in hand if you let them.  You youth allows you to see things from a fresh perspective than the older generation may have missed.  Let your youth be your most valuable weapon, not something that holds you back.

I Don’t Have Time

Seriously?  If you had the time to read this long post, you have time!  You have all the time, resources, and knowledge required to be great.  Being great, being excellent is a choice.  It’s a choice to never stop.  It’s a choice to view yourself as limitless.  It’s a choice to stop at nothing until everyone knows your name.

So what are you waiting for?  Go be great!

Overcome your obstacles, or make excuses.  It’s as simple as that!