When your boss offers you an opportunity to take on a new responsibility, don’t even think. Don’t even breath. Just take it.

Whether it’s speaking in front of a group or taking on a new task at work, the opportunity can reveal your skills, teach you new ones, and show your employer what you’re capable of. Even if you’re offered the opportunity last minute, if you mess up, at least you have the excuse that you had no time to prepare.

“But I get nervous, I get cold feed, what do I do?” Don’t get nervous. All your employer is going to think is that you’re not going to get offered another opportunity for a long time—you had your shot and blew it.

Stop with the excuses—you can’t rely on your boss to coddle you. Don’t lose the chance to take on a new opportunity: it’s going to get you a raise, or a promotion, and you’re going to be seen as bigger, better and greater.


Jamie Luu Photo

SHOW DATE: JULY 31, 2013

On this week’s show, Auntie Evan and Uncle David interview Jamie Luu, a nutritionist from Almased, who offers expert advice on simple ways to get active and avoid gaining weight on the job, and how Almased can help raise your metabolism, burn fat and retain muscle, even while you sleep.

Uncle David: Why is it so easy for you to gain weight at a desk job?

Jamie Luu: Despite working all day, you’re still sedentary at your desk. This slows down your metabolism and keeps you from burning fat. If you think about it, you work from 9-5, come home, have dinner, wind down by watching your favorite shows on TV, and then you go to sleep. To avoid gaining more weight, you need to get more active. Even if you have absolutely no time in your day to devote to exercise, there are simple changes that you can make that can make a difference.

UD: What are some small ways you can stay in shape?

JL: You have to get active, and to get active you need to make time in your day to move around. Small changes can accrete to make a noticeable difference. You can stand up when you’re on the phone, take stretch breaks, or circle your building during your lunch break. Cut out the technological middleman for at least five minutes: instead of emailing the office next door, deliver the message in person. You can also use technology to help you get active: you can set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and walk around the office.

Auntie Evan: So tell me about Almased.  What is it, and why is it different?

JL: Almased is a weight-loss supplement. What makes Almased stand out are the simple ingredients. There is so much junk in most weight-loss products on the market, that at the end of the day you don’t know if what you’re taking is helping or hurting you.

UD: So what’s in Almased? Now I gotta know!

JL: There are just three main ingredients in Almased—and you can actually pronounce all of them: soy, yogurt and honey, along with vitamins and minerals, and that’s it. There are no artificial flavors, fillers or preservatives, and no caffeine or hormones, so you won’t get that jittery feeling.

UD: But how will Almased help you lose weight?

JL: Even though Almased has only 180 calories, it’s high in protein and will you keep you satisfied and feeling full for several hours. Over time, your metabolism will be raised and your body will burn fat while still retaining muscle, even in the middle of the night while you sleep.

AE: Where can you buy Almased?

JL: You can purchase Almased at Almased.com, or at your local food store and GNC—the Almased website has a store locator that finds the closest shops near your zip code that carry Almased. The website also has a 14-day diet program you can download that will help you lose weight and improve your metabolism in just 14 days.

AE: Great! That’s phenomenal. Thank you so much.  



SHOW DATE: JUNE 26, 2013

Do you have a Paula Dean in your office? Someone who constantly whines about others’ problems, crying “poor me, poor me,” while never even considering others’ feelings? Worse yet, is it possible that someone is you?

You’ve worked and lived with “victims” your whole life—and at some point you may have even played the part and been the Paula Deen. The Food Network star, who was recently ousted from her show after the exposure of racial slurs she made years ago, made a vital misstep that greatly impacted her chances at rebuilding her reputation: she let her apology breathe. She allowed herself to fall back on an old apology and then proceeded to complain about her problems.

What Paula didn’t take into account was that it’s the injured party that gets to decide how much apologizing is enough. It’s the same in the office—you don’t get to apologize and say, “I’ve done it, it’s over.” Glazing over the problem will only put the injured party into a higher state of agitation and halt their productivity even further. To avoid this, there are two important factors you need to always watch out for in your office: how to avoid being a victim and how to deal with one.

So how do you avoid being a big, thumb-sucking victim at work? Stop with excuses! Whatever your trump card—a grave illness, hard times at home, working too hard—by making it about yourself, you’re putting your troubles and feelings above everybody else’s. If you are responsible, take responsibility; don’t pen it down to personal issues or others’ insensitivity.

It’s easy to just tell yourself to take responsibility, but the actual process requires several necessary actions that not everybody is clear on. Here are three steps to get you started:

1)    Don’t be stubborn, apologize: the first step to avoiding victimizing yourself when you’ve done something wrong is saying two magic words (well, not really magic): “I’m sorry.” And once may not be enough. You may have to apologize multiple times before the injured party will feel understood. Paula Deen neglected the fact that her apology was not enough. This only further corroded her career and reputation. Neglect the injured party at work and you may end up the same.

2)    Don’t let your ego get in the way: Does pride get in your way? Are you the higher-up or fellow co-worker who never stoops so low as to say a simple “I’m sorry” to your lowly underlings? News flash: this mentality is a flaccid ego trip. It will only result in unsatisfied, frustrated co-workers, and make you look incompetent because you can’t take responsibility. In the words of Marcellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction: “F**k pride.” (You can fill in the blanks.) Pride is just another deflection, another facet of the “victim” mentality. Pride is one of the reasons Paula Deen is still in a hot mess for comments she made years ago. Who can respect someone who can’t even own up to their mistakes? Learn from Paula everybody.

3)    Hey, LISTEN: the most important step is to listen. Say “I’m sorry” and listen to the affected party. It doesn’t matter if you believe what they have to say is rubbish. Rushing headlong through the problem, burying it in the sand, bulldozing through the truth—these post-apology deflections will only cause more discomfort and will keep people from performing their best around you. An apology is not a one-way street, and thinking this way will lead you into a cul-de-sac. In case Paula Deen hasn’t been made an example of enough in this article, here’s another parable: Paula thought you just had to apologize and poof, all your racist comments would go up in smoke. But Paula neglected to listen—the other, more difficult half of the apology paradigm. Paula didn’t listen to how the people she affected felt about her comments. Thus Paula’s apology never formulized into anything concrete and genuine. The moral is, turn a blind eye to how the injured party feels, and your apologies will be for naught.   

But what if you are the injured party? Is your supervisor letting you and your co-workers take the heat for something he messed up because he is afraid of looking bad in front of the CEO? Is a co-worker not doing the job he’s supposed to because of personal issues he takes with him to the office? Dealing with victims can be a giant exercise in frustration. You confront them about their responsibility and they mark it off to working too hard or family troubles or whatever—as if their problems are worse than anyone else’s in the office.

Relax. There are ways to deal with an office victim other than bludgeoning them to death with a stapler. Here are two steps to start you off:

1)    Mind your setting: will you confront the victim in front of all your co-workers and call them out on their selfish ways, or will you be smart and approach them in private when there is no social pressure that would cause them to raise their defenses? Setting matters. A victim is much more likely to deflect your criticism when others are around. Approach them in a low-stress, quiet environment where the two of you can talk—they’re more likely to listen this way. On a slightly different note regarding setting, keep in mind that when talking to a victim, you don’t have to dismiss their problems—they might be really struggling at home or internally. You can even try and help your co-worker – just do it after work. Part of what makes an office victim a victim is his tendency to bring personal problems into a place of productivity, thus brining others down with him.

2)    Yeah, you’re right—so what… kill them with kindness: this is a big one, get ready. So you approach your office victim and they use their flurry of excuse cards to deflect any criticism you throw at them. This is where you have to stop and consider: “Am I doing this to prove that I’m right?” First off, let’s get something out of the way: You’re right, they’re wrong. It’s true. But so what? Being right won’t help you run an efficient office. This is the part when you take one for the team: kill the victim with kindness (remember what Marcellus Wallace said?). It’s easier for the victim to hear you out when you don’t sound like you’re being confrontational. Tell them how you were affected by their actions and then ask them to apologize. After all, you’re helping them save their reputation. If you’re coming into the fray with the intent to be right and to prove the victim wrong, not only will your argument flail, flounder and fall upon deaf ears, but you will be adopting the mindset of the victim himself—in other words, you’ll only be doing something for your self-benefit.

Remember, you’re in it for the team, not yourself. Paula Deen wasn’t thinking about the “team” when she apologized—she was out to protect her self-interest and retain her pride. And you can see how far that got her.


By Aleksandr Smechov



SHOW DATE: May 8, 2013

Several recent articles suggest that there has been an alarming increase in workplace bullying over the past decade. A whopping 35% of Americans report being bullied at work.  And 64% of people who experience workplace bullying lose or quit their jobs.

But are you being bullied?  Even if your first instinct is to say “no,” it’s very possible that you are experiencing workplace bullying and don’t even know it—because you don’t really know what it is!  So let’s define it for you right now: Bullying is a non-physical, non-homicidal form of violence.  It’s an intentional campaign of personal destruction carried out by another person (or people) towards you. In other words, it is emotional abuse…and it frequently results in emotional harm.

Even if you have experienced some of the above behavior, chances are you think you can cope with it.  That’s because you’ve been raised to believe that it’s OK to get yelled at and demeaned as long as you get paid at the end of the day.  But that’s simply not the case. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and the right to be fulfilled by your job. You won’t love your career every day, but if your job haunts you and destroys your sense of self-worth, you need to do something about it.

The action you take depends on the nature of the person who is bullying you.  There are three different types of bullies, and each requires a different action:

1. Some bullies are merely insecure. These people bring you down because they are worried that you’ll outshine them. With people like this, you can often change your behavior to improve the situation (i.e., play to their egos, laud them publicly, become an ally, etc). While this might be a bitter pill to swallow at first, you can often transform an insecure person into a confident one over time.

2. Some bullies are just really bad managers. They’re not actually out to get you, they just don’t know how to manage people. If this is the case, you can work with HR to fix the issue.

3. Some people are simply mean and bully you for sport. If this is the case, you have to leave your job. You simply can’t work with or for this person.

It’s also important to determine something else: what is your responsibility in this matter? Many bullied employees stay in detrimental situations for the same reason victims of domestic abuse stay in marriages: they feel responsible to the well-being of the “family”. While this thinking is understandable, it is not acceptable. Your primary responsibility is to your own health and well-being. Don’t worry that you are “abandoning” your co-workers or clients; as great as you are, they can and will survive without you. It’s your own survival you need to be most concerned with.

Finally, if you decide that going to HR is the best path for you, make sure you follow these steps first:

  • Find an ally.  If you go to HR alone, it’s your word against the bully’s. If you know that others feel bullied, form an allegiance.  Your case will be much more powerful if others can corroborate the behavior.
  • Document the behavior. Begin writing down the offensive incidents when they occur. Just a brief paragraph explaining what happened, with the date. You may end up submitting these to HR, or you may only use them as notes when you approach HR. Either way, it’s important that you have specific incidents that you can refer to; otherwise, you risk sounding vague, which will not help your case.
  • Finally, when you go to HR, make a business case.  Don’t make a personal case (“my boss isn’t fair,” “he doesn’t deserve his job”). Instead, explain how the bully is bad for the business. Explain how the bully’s behavior has resulted in low morale, loss of productivity, increased turnover, dissatisfied clients, or a greater risk of the company getting sued, etc. Personal beefs sound like whining; a business case will show that you are the team player and belong at the job more than the bully.

Workplace bullying is a serious problem and a very difficult situation to navigate.  But if you follow the above advice and keep your own needs in mind, you will be able to make it through.



SHOW DATE: May 1, 2013

Sometimes you gotta cancel on someone. We get it, it happens.  But cancelling 30 minutes before an appointment is not acceptable. It says, “My time is more important than yours.”  Barring a life-threatening emergency, you’re able to give more notice than that. So be considerate and give as much notice as you can, or risk losing that sale/connection/contact forever.

Will Your Next Vacation Get You Fired—or Promoted?


While vacations sometimes feel like “playing hooky” from your professional life, the
truth is that they actually make you a better worker: When you have a healthier work-life
balance, you’re going to be a better, more productive employee. Companies like Google
are starting to acknowledge this fact by taking away their employees’ cell phones when
they go on vacay to ensure they really relax.

Despite this, chances are that you’re too scared to take all of those hard-earned vacation
days. A recent study shows that the average American accrues nine unused vacation days
every year. Well guess what—if you’re not going on vacation, then you’re completely
missing the boat (and the cruise ship). The fact is that, if you go on vacation the right
way, your vacay won’t put you at risk for getting fired—it could actually get you

How? Well, first, you have to develop what we call a boss mentality. This means that
you need to think and act like a boss, even if you’re on the lowest rung of the corporate
ladder. You might think you don’t have it in you, but you do—you’re the boss of your
house, right? You manage to cook, clean, get the kids to school, pay the bills, and keep
a roof over your head, right? That’s a boss mentality! Now you just need to apply it at
work. Here’s how:

1. DECIDE that you are leadership material. Again, you do it in your “home” life, so
you can do it at work.

2. BECOME the “go-to guy” in your position. When someone is having problems,
stay five minutes late to help them, whether you like that person or not. Be
proactive when you see problems instead of complaining about them. Suggest
ways in which you can help beyond your assigned duties.

3. BE COACHABLE. Be inquisitive and open to learning new things.

Once you have developed the boss mentality, you will naturally begin to excel in your
job in ways you never thought possible. But just as importantly, your coworkers and
your own boss will begin to see you as a leader—someone who deserves to be promoted,
because you already have the traits, skills, and knowledge of someone in a position of

So, how does this apply to vacations? Well, you just apply the boss mentality to how you
approach your vacation. Here’s how:

1. Make Your Vacation Request a solution, not a problem. When you’re thinking like
a boss, you’ll understand why boss’s don’t want you to leave: they’re nervous. So, if you
pitch a vacation as an apology (i.e., “I hope it’s not too inconvenient, but I really want
some time away”), you’re increasing your boss’s anxiety and he’ll see your vacation as a
nuisance. Instead, pitch your vacation as a solution:

When you ask for time off, present your boss with a plan for who will cover your
duties at that exact moment.

Tell your boss which projects will be done by the time you leave.

Determine who will take over your calls and emails

Provide a rationale for why the dates you want are actually GOOD timing for
your company/group/team.

2. Ensure everything at work and home is taken care of before you leave. Plan
who is going to pick up your mail, water your plants, and feed the cats. That will allow
you to enjoy your vacation instead of worrying about life back home. At work, don’t
just ask people to cover for you. Send an email to your boss and your coworkers with
this information in writing. This not only covers your butt if someone drops the ball,
but ensures the office can function without you. And, it’s a classic example of the boss

3. Make sure your boss can check in with you when you’re gone. Vacations are for
checking out mentally, but you want to make sure you can be reached if necessary. So:
Provide your boss with contact info for where you can be reached.
Set up an email a schedule for when you will check email (e.g. once every day),
and stick to it.
Before you leave, ask your boss and other coworkers if there’s anything they

If you follow all of these tips, you’ll be able to have a relaxing vacation, knowing that
everything at work is taken care of. But you’ll also show your supervisors that you have a
boss mentality—and that means that they’ll come to realize that you not only deserve that
vacation…you deserve a promotion!

Create Buzz Around Your Job Application


When you apply for a job, it’s not time to hope that fate steers you the right way. It’s time to take control. That means leaving nothing to chance and actively ensuring that you
create positive buzz around your application. After all, the job doesn’t always go to the most qualified person, it goes to the person who everyone is thinking and talking about.
So you need to make sure that you are that person—even before you set foot inside the

So how do you create buzz about your application?

By following these 4 guidelines:

1. You need a social media presence. Like it or not, people who get your resume are
going to cyber-stalk you. They’re going to look you up on Google and check out your
photos on Facebook (and if you think that’s inappropriate, too bad). If they can’t find you
in cyberspace, you’re sending a message that you are unimportant. So make sure you
are on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure your photos and profile info is appropriate.
And if you have a hobby or passion, showcase it through a personal website—send out a
message that you are active and engaged, and hiring managers will see you as someone
who gets things done.

2. Your cover letter needs to stand out. If your cover letter feels like a generic form
letter you use for every job you apply to, you won’t be taken seriously. You need a cover
letter that will grab your reader’s attention and keep it. So:

Be bold. Don’t waste anyone’s time with vague statements. Be confident, sell
your greatest strengths, and make it clear why you rock.

Be specific. Show that you have the exact skills, tools, and qualities that the ad
mentions. Mention the ad and the company to show that you wrote this cover
letter for them.

Tell them how you will make their lives easier. Give an example of an
accomplishment at your old workplace, and make it clear that you can do the
same for them.

3. Prepare your references. Don’t just hope that your references are still around and
willing to put in a good word for you. Call your references and tell them to be prepared
for a call. Not only will your references appreciate the warning, but it will give them a
chance to prepare their sales pitch for you—the very buzz you need.

4. If you get an interview, that means you’re 2/3 of the way there. They like you, so
you need to go in with confidence. But you also need to be who you really are. Don’t try
to be what you think they want to see. Be genuine, because you wouldn’t have made it this far
if they didn’t like the real you!