Tag Archives: Personal Development

30 Things I Learned Turning 30



I’m sitting here in my apartment drinking a cup one of my favourite teas reflecting on my twenties and what I’ve learned up until now.

I originally intended this to be a journal entry but decided that insights and ideas should be shared. Why? Because so many of the things that I’ve learned came from great conversations, or things I read or an inspiring video. So I tasked myself with writing a list of 30 things I learned before turning 30 with a time limit of 30 minutes. This list is not meant to be a guideline or advice for anyone. Think of it more as some personal anecdotes that I’ve gathered over the years on the topics of creativity, business, friends, family, love, personal development, spirituality and community. Some of these thoughts are cheesy. Others are common among any basic book on personal development.  Continue reading

How To Develop Your Personal Brand – Part 2


In last week’s article “How to Develop Your Personal Brand – Part 1” I outlined ideas on how to build your personal brand using social media and professional appearance.

Today, I’m going to talk more about how your work and projects can strengthen your personal brand. A few days ago, I had a great conversation with an entrepreneur who runs a job posting website for marketers. One of my biggest takeaways from our conversation was the trend of specialization. Specifically, employers and clients are now looking for people who are experts in a specific area in their field and have results to show for it. For example, if you are interested in SEO, then you should focus on digging deep in this area and creating a reputation for yourself. If you are a photographer, you should define your niche and own that space. In marketing, we use the term “Unique Selling Proposition” or USP to define the differentiating factor of a product or service. The idea of a USP can also be applied to your what. The question you have to ask yourself is “What do you want to be known for?”.

Continue reading

How to Develop Your Personal Brand – Part 1


When I bring up the concept of “Personal Branding” to non-marketing people, they look at me like a deer in the headlights.

So what’s a personal brand? I’d describe a Personal Brand as the culmination of everything professional about you including your style, resume, reputation, social media presence and of course your work. Developing a strong personal brand is key to maintaining your competitiveness in the marketplace as well as giving the professional community an idea of who you are.

The first step in creating a personal brand is defining how you want the outside world to see you. Think of qualities that you exude as well as characteristics that would set you apart from others. For example, one of my key characteristics is that I wear a suit every day. A lot of people wear suits every day so what I do to differentiate myself is to have fun with it. As I’m passionate about style and men’s fashion, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to craft the perfect professional outfit that represents both my personality as well as projects confidence. When I walk into a room, I try to create an impression in not only my outfit but also in the way I carry myself. Some people will argue that it’s the person, not the suit that makes the man but I disagree. I think that while your work should speak for itself, the way you dress and carry yourself in professional situations makes a significant impact on your professional success.

The second step to creating a Personal Brand is to think about what comes up when people type your name into a google. Do pictures of your latest weekend bender come up first or is it your Linkedin profile? Social Media is a great way to start conversations, express your ideas online and create a living record of your life experiences. That being said, it can also be a powerful tool in building your personal brand. These days, most employers will conduct a google search of prospective employees. Even potential clients may do a search on you to get a snapshot of your background before deciding to move forward with that big contract. Using social media to create a strong personal brand is a great way to show off your work as well as give people an idea of who you are online.

Here are a few ways you can use social media to build your personal brand:

– Write a blog!
– Make sure your Linkedin Profile is up to date.
– Use Twitter to interact with your industry online
– Use Pinterest to tag articles and pictures
– Use Linkedin and Facebook to share great articles, videos, books and ideas
– Use Amazon.com to review great books you’ve read
– Record a Podcast!
– Comment on blogs
– Start an online portfolio and link your social media profiles to the site
– Post a photo gallery to flickr.

There are tons of other ways to increase your personal brand online. The idea here is to make sure that you tag everything and use SEO to make sure your name comes up within the first few searches in Google.

Remember that while you want to create a positive professional image, you also want to be authentic. At the end of the day, it’s not about how many times your name pops up on google, it’s about the quality of how you are being represented and what it says about you.

You should like the Pinstriped Suit on Facebook!

What Goes Through My Head When My Alarm Goes Off in the Morning

Alarm photo

6:00am – “Diiiiinnnnggg” – I hear the gradual sound of the Tibetan singing bowl alarm clock app.

(“Groan, Is it 6:00am already? You know, I used to like the sound of Tibetan singing bowls…..zzzz”) – I hit the snooze button

6:10am – “Diiiiinnnnggg” – I hit the snooze button again.

(“Aww Jeez, Time to get up. Okay, 5 more minutes. Seriously, I have to change my alarm clock app…zzzz”)

6:15am – “Diiiiinnnnggg” – I hit the snooze button again.

(“Okay, that sound is really getting annoying. I guess I should get up. If I pop open my email, i’ll feel more awake. Oh look J Crew Factory is having another sale…zzz”)

6:20am – “Diiiiinnnnggg” – I finally hit the Stop Alarm button.

(Okay, i’m getting up now for real. Time to check my reminders from yesterday. Oh and look, Kobo is offering another 10% off coupon”

6:25am “Yawn”, stretch” – I get out of bed.

“Sigh, I remember the good old days when I was a student and I bounced out of bed at 5:00 am after a night out on the town. Oh well, time for my morning Earl Gray.”

You should like The Pinstriped Suit on Facebook!

Lumosity Update – Part 1


A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the effectiveness of brain training games like Lumosity. At the time, I’d be using the Lumosity iPhone app on a daily basis to see if I could measure a noticeable difference in the key areas that the Lumosity games are supposed to improve.

I’ve been continuing to use the Lumosity iPhone app as well as the Lumosity website games to train my brain. So far, my scores have been improving on a weekly basis. At first, the scores increased dramatically, and now they are increasing incrementally.

So the real question is, how are the brain training Lumosity games actually helping me in real life? Well, first off, I’ve been using Lumosity in the mornings to exercise my brain before getting to work and I notice that my creativity and “awakeness” has improved. Some of the Lumosity games actually stress me out a little bit so that helps for waking me up.

I’ve also noticed a slight improvement in my focus, especially in brainstorming and project work. Another added benefit I’ve noticed is that I feel like i’m sharper in terms of thinking quickly on my feet.

Finally, my memory in terms of recalling facts from reading or conversations has improved as well. I’ve definitely noticed this as I’ve had tons of meetings over the last little while and there is often a lot of little details to remember.

I’ve only been using Lumosity for six weeks now, so we’ll see what happens at the end of 90 days. The challenge is that although I am noticing an improvement in the areas I mentioned above, I’m not sure if this can be directly attributed to Lumosity or to other factors that i’m not thinking about.

I’ll check back with you at the end of my 90 trial period!

You should follow Matt on Twitter!