Tag Archives: dcdays

Day 695: Avenue Q

I finally got to see Avenue Q last night at the Lansburgh Theatre! It’s been on my to-experience list for quite sometime and I’m feeling pretty lucky that I was able to see it on the last night of its month-long run here in DC! I highly recommend it for twenty-somethings and beyond.

PS For a pre-show dinner I headed to Momiji (read my Yelp review), a sushi place in Chinatown, followed by a free sample of Rita’s Italian Ice as part of the Grand Opening of its 1012 H Street, NW location.

Day 255: Keith Ferrazzi asks “Who’s Got Your Back?”

On Monday evening, I went to hear Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, speak about his new book Who’s Got Your Back. A lot of the things he spoke about really resonated with me.

His message was that we, as a culture, have become isolated from each other yet it’s relationships that drive both professional and personal success.

(A sobering statistic: 50% of individuals believe that someone has their back. Of that 70% are married. That means that only 35% of unmarried individuals believe that they have someone looking out for them.)

During the talk, Keith had us do several exercises with the person sitting next to us.

In the first exercise, he had us identify an ultimate goal of ours – something that we longed for and fear we might never achieve. Those who know me well know that I ended up sharing one of my biggest fears with the Indian gentleman sitting next to me who I had just introduced myself to moments earlier.

In the second, Keith wanted us to think of something that was holding us back, a behavior that was detrimental to our success but we kept doing anyway (an addiction if you will). My “addiction” came to mind just as easily as my “ultimate goal”: My perfectionsim has fueled an aversion to answering e-mails.

I am horrible, horrible, at answering e-mails even though I have the best of intentions. The problem is that when I get a personal e-mail, I want to respond in kind. I want to really sit and write from the heart and be able to edit and re-edit until I get the flow and content just right. 

But in the end, the e-mail remains unwritten.

I know, I know, that my contacts would rather receive something than nothing. And yet, I always find myself in the same situation.

So, as of this Monday, which happened to be June 1st, (a nice round date), I vow to hold myself to a higher standard – or maybe to a lower one, as the case may be – and to really make a concious effort to respond to the personal correspondence I receive.

I haven’t yet read Who’s Got Your Back (although when I do it’ll be a copy signed by Mr. Ferrazzi himself), but from what I can tell, the next step in Keith Ferrazzi’s plan for happiness is to seek out two to four people who can act as a peer support system or a board of advisors. These are people who must exhibit: vulnerability, candor, generosity and be able to hold you accountable to your goals. 

So, if I actually go through with this whole thing and you get a call from me asking to be on my “team” I hope you won’t let me forget this promise I’ve made to myself.

Day 237: Ignite DC

A few weeks ago – on day two hundred thirty-seven of my living in DC, to be precise – I attended IgniteDC. The concept kind of blows my mind everytime I sit and think about it.

IgniteDC – all similar events around the country – feature 16 speakers who each have 5 minutes and 20 PowerPoint slides to present. This is where people to whom I’m describing the event get confused and ask: “What are the presentations about? Are they company / sales / product pitches?” And this is the part that gets everyone – There aren’t any guidelines or limitations to the subject matter.  

What I think is so incredible about IgniteDC is that:

1. There were no incentives for people to present, other than to have their voice heard. There were no incentives for people to attend, other than to hear what others had to share. And the whole thing was a success. It was a simple exchange of creative information and ideas and very cool thing to be a part of. (The event also took place in a not-yet-finished office building and the crowd was tech-y/artist-y which added to the vibe.)

2. The presentations themselves were extremely diverse. It was interesting to see what people wanted to share.

3. As a “business school graduate”, I am a master at PowerPoint slides. Almost every business class I took required at least two presentations to be given (one individual, one group). The PowerPoint slides I saw at IgniteDC certainly reflected the creativeness of the speakers and were used in ways I would have never imagined.

Where you at IgniteDC? If so, did you have any favorite presentations? What did you think of the event? If not, what do you think of the concept for this type of event? Would you attend a similar event in the future?

On a final note, I’d like to share my favorite three presentations with you (although all sixteen presenters did a great job):

Matt Billings (@easement) – Radiohead, Babies, and SMS Magic

The great use of PowerPoint slides I talked about? It was MASTERED during the presentation. I loved how the slides helped complement the story being told while being powerful and engaging.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyB0ToWRyI4

Erin Rooney Doland (@Erdoland) – The Desk Whisperer

I really liked how this presentation provided information that I could make use of. Seriously. I know that sounds silly, but the points made during the presentation are things that I can do – little things, non-grandiose things (grandiose things are overwhelming for a perfectionist like me) – to, simply put, improve my professional life.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blQqcZnukK0

Sam Nitz (@DCBadger) – Everyone Needs to Come Out at Least Once

This presentation was hilarious. And provided great advice. 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ShwVuax2Js