Restaurant Reservations: Returning to the Family Business

  In my favorite half-hour comedy, How I Met Your Mother, the characters Lily and Marshall had a series of long-term bets about the future. “Barney will watch the sex tape.” “Marshall will go bald.” “Ted and Robin will end up together.” This inspired me to keep track of my own bets for certain decisions in my life. I’d record the decision, write down a few sentences about my reasoning, and revisit it a year (or more) later.
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Taylor Swift’s Marketing Machine: Brand and Marketing Lessons from Reputation

  I can’t say Taylor Swift is my favorite songwriter. When it comes to conveying complex emotions, she doesn’t hold the beer of contemporaries like Sara Bareilles or Lorde. Take Red, where she uses colors to describe a former relationship. The color blue represents sadness. Red? You guessed it: love. And “fighting with him was like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there’s no right answer,” where she jams four additional syllables into a convoluted line. Or Gorgeous, the third single off Reputation. As one Swiftie (aka a diehard Taylor Swift fan) lamented, “she rhymes ‘face’ with ‘face.’” But
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How Did You Do In 2017?

  The first musical I remember listening to was Miss Saigon. My mother played the cassette on weekends, and we listened to it dozens of times. As a boy, I tried assembling the story by the songs alone: Why did Chris leave Kim so suddenly? Why did he marry Ellen? For years, for some reason, I thought she was stuck in a Vietnamese jail with her son Tam, not hiding in a village. A post shared by Christopher Ming (@christopherming) on Dec 8, 2017 at 11:06am PST A couple weeks ago, I saw the musical for the first time, and
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How I Would Learn Marketing If I Started Over Today

  My friend landed his first job in the marketing field. “Any books or resources or tips you’d recommend for marketing?” he asked. There are so many different philosophical approaches (e.g. direct sales vs. permission marketing), digital vs. traditional (email vs. direct mail), parts of the funnel (acquisition vs. retention), and channels (e.g. social vs. SEO)… Where should you start? Or, if I had to learn marketing from scratch, what would I do? I’d start with foundational material first.
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Cork, Ireland

What Nonresidents Should Know About Buying Your First Home in Ireland

  Note: We didn’t end up buying this property, but we learned a lot in a short time. I wanted to keep a record of lessons learned, as buying a house in Ireland is still something I’d like to do in the future. My in-laws have a family home they’re looking to sell, in Cork, Ireland. It’s a 3 bed, 1 bath in Douglas, Co Cork, minutes away from University of Cork College. It’s a rental home that brings in €1,200 per month. They wanted to sell for €250,000.
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What I Learned After 7 Years Of Working For Free

  “Can you endorse some of my skills on LinkedIn?” my friend texted me. “I’d be happy to do the same for you. Just let me know.” LinkedIn endorsements? I wondered. Do people look at those? A couple weeks later, I met this friend over breakfast, and he explained, “I’m having a hard time landing full-time work, so I’m trying to boost my LinkedIn profile.”
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How I Taught Myself to Bartend

  I saved the empty liquor bottles and filled them with water. When the restaurant was quiet (we opened winter of ’08), the start of the Recession — it was quiet often) I took the rail liquors out. Placed them on the ground. Replaced them with the dummy bottles. Then I practiced making cocktails. Over and over again. For hours, six days a week. That first week, I only made 4 cocktails, our most popular ones (Raspberry Saketini (it was a Japanese restaurant), Dirty Martini (for Tom, that’s all he drank), Cosmo, Mai Tai). I learned with the jigger pour
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Cool Things You Should Do in Mexico City

A few months ago, my wife and I took our first proper holiday together in over 5 years. It was the first time going away for longer than a weekend that it was just us (no other family members). We went to Mexico City, then Puerto Vallarta. Two days after we left, the earthquakes hit Mexico City. International tourism is a $13.3b industry in Mexico. I hope sharing these recommendations encourages people to continue traveling to Mexico City and discovering what an amazing city it is. Here’s what we did in Mexico City and my recommendations. Where To Stay in
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Ed Latimore’s Secret to a Happy Life

  My friend Susan introduced me to an interview with Ed Latimore on the Farnam Street’s Knowledge podcast. I finished listening to it while biking down 31st street in Astoria. I got off my bike, started the podcast over, and immediately listened to it again. Ed Latimore is a professional boxer with a 13-1-1 record, a chess player, author, and self-improvement blogger. His two books are The Four Confidences and Not Caring About What Other People Think is a Superpower. He dropped a lot of knowledge in this hour-long interview, but four of his principles really stuck with me, and
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