Keen to Be Newsletter: Luck Favors the Prepared

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” When it comes to anything in life that you really want, it’s imperative to be as prepared as possible. Whether it’s searching for a new apartment, negotiating a sale or interviewing for a job, you’ll always be one step ahead when you know about the competitive landscape and have an anticipated plan on how to handle the conversation. According to Ramit Sethi’s “Briefcase Technique,” it’s all about showing your level of preparedness by identifying key area problems and your plan to solve them. And if you’re doing an in-person meeting or interview, for theatrical flair, you can pull out your printed plan from your briefcase, purse, binder, etc, and BAM … you’ve suddenly differentiated yourself from the rest of the pack. TAKEAWAY: So whether you have an upcoming negotiation or simply going to an internal meeting with a supervisor, the key element you’ll always want to focus on is to be one step ahead. Not only will others be impressed, but it’ll lessen the amount of anxiety on your end as well. (ThoughtCatalog)

Having spent the majority of my career in media, specifically publishing, it’s been heartbreaking to see what’s happening to the print industry, especially magazines. I received an M.S. in Magazine Publishing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern. In the mid-2000s, working at a magazine was still a really glamorous job, and depictions like The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty only added to the mystique. When I was first trying to get my foot in the industry, I would regularly check out Ed2010 for advice and job postings. But I soon found myself on the publicity route which helped me land at Hearst as a PR Coordinator. I now work in books, but I still felt a pang reading Chandra’s letter about Ed on Campus chapters. As Chandra stated “The consumer magazine industry is no longer the vibrant, exciting industry it once was. And as much as it breaks my heart to say this: It is no longer a viable industry to build a career within.” How quickly the media landscape continues to change, and even for those who are in it, it can feel daunting and overwhelming to keep up. TAKEAWAY: Industries WILL continue to change. We all need to learn to be more flexible and open to learning and being pushed outside of our comfort zones. Even though those changes can be intimidating, they will ultimately put you in a position to expand both your knowledge and skill set to remain competitive. What challenges are you facing in your industry, and is it one in which you can see staying in for years to come? (Ed2010)

Donald Glover is giving the phrase “double duty” a whole new meaning. The actor will host Saturday Night Live on May 5th and then perform as Childish Gambino for the program’s musical act. Actor. Singer. Writer. Who says you can only be good at one thing? If there’s another area of expertise or an industry that you’re interested in exploring that’s currently a veer from your current career path, now could be the perfect time to take a course or webinar to explore your various interests (for example, I’m currently taking Yale’s online course about the Science of Well-Being). TAKEAWAY: There’s no expiration date on when, how or where you can learn something new and become more well-rounded in life! (Vulture)

Have you heard about the Amazon show Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? It’s gotten rave reviews, and to help it stand out from competitors as part of its Emmys campaign, the program has partnered with Hearst Magazines for special edition covers. The show takes place in the 1950s, and four magazines – Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day and Redbook – are all giving their covers a retro makeover by featuring the actress in 50s fashion on covers that resemble that era, down to the font. Certainly a creative way to target current fans of the show, possibly garner new fans, and give devoted readers a fun surprise when their subscriptions arrive in the mail. TAKEAWAY: In a lot of industries, it can be easy to implement the same strategies again and again. Try taking 30 minutes to do a creative brainstorm on potential partners for your business. Take 3 of those brands and then do another 30 minute brainstorm on how you could work together. Don’t give yourself any limitations on location or budget. It’s great to think big because you can always scale back. You never know what next great idea YOU might come up with. (Adweek)

Two black men were recently arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia when the store manager called the cops on them. They hadn’t ordered food or beverages because they were waiting for a friend to arrive first. Then another video released this week in which a black man was denied the bathroom door code when he asked for it before ordering. He asked a white man who exited the bathroom if he had ordered anything, to which he replied that he had not and was still given the door code. The Starbucks corporate team swiftly sent its executives to the Philly store to speak with the community, and to address this issue, they are closing ALL stores on May 29th for racial-bias education training (this is the 2nd time that Starbucks closed all its locations for the day. The first was in 2008 for espresso training). TAKEAWAY: In today’s climate, it’s important to not only listen to customers, but to listen to communities. Racial bias will not disappear overnight, and I applaud Starbucks for taking these recent incidents very seriously and actively responding (instead of simply releasing a statement and calling it a day). Take note of wrongs that you see personally and professionally and think of ways you can help rectify them. (Yahoo)

The Keen to Be Newsletter is a Round-up of Empowering, Informative & Motivational Stories that will Expand Your World to help you become More Productive, Confident and Creative. Sign up for newsletter alerts at

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