Summer Solstice is officially here, and it’s the perfect time to make sure your summer soundtrack is up to speed. To celebrate the season, we put together a few of our favorite hits in Cutline’s Sounds of Summer playlist, available on Spotify, which we'll continue to update! Here’s what we’re jamming to and why: Read more
Our New York office happens to be housed in the wonderful WeWork Bryant Park location, and we love all of the special things they do for us as members -- that includes celebrating one of my favorite days of the year, May 4, aka Star Wars Day! Among the perks today: Princess Leia cinnamon rolls, popcorn and snacks, and of course, movies streaming from a projector! It got me thinking about the Star Wars story and how there are so many things you can learn and apply to your career in PR (or any other field), as well as life in general. Here’s a few lessons that come to mind: Read more
In celebration of Earth Day tomorrow, we asked the Cutline Crew to share how they strive to be more sustainable and energy efficient, whether at home, during their commute or at the office. See below for some handy tips and tricks! Read more
International Women’s Day: The History-Making Women We Love
Mar 8, 2017
Whether it’s for International Women’s Day today, Women’s History Month all of March, or any other day of the year, honoring the trailblazing women who inspire us is one of our favorite things to do. Read on to find out which history-making women Cutliners admire most! Read more
“Brevity is the soul of wit” (Shakespeare). “Less is more” (Robert Browning). “Keep it simple, stupid” (Kelly Johnson). We’ve heard many things about brevity throughout our lives and in business, because sometimes you don’t need to say very much to communicate an idea or observation. That’s what makes haikus so fun to read -- and at the same time, so challenging to write. For last month’s creative challenge, Cutliners were encouraged to use haikus -- three-line poems with a 5-7-5 syllable structure -- to speak their minds. The results:
Going “Inside the Issue” with Fast Company and WeWork CEO Adam Neumann
Apr 8, 2016
When the CEO of a company valued at $16B speaks with the passion of a college-aged aspiring entrepreneur, it’s a rare thing to witness -- and it makes people listen. WeWork’s energy, soul and vibe are what has made it such a unique business concept, and when you hear Founder and CEO Adam Neumann talk about it, you can see why. That was what my colleague Hyeri and I got to experience at Fast Company’s recent “Inside the Issue” cocktails and conversation event, moderated by deputy editor David Lidsky and reporter Sarah Kessler.
As WeWork members ourselves (shout out to Cutline NYC!), we were excited to hear what Adam had to say about his highly buzzed-about coworking business that we get to experience day in and day out at WeWork Bryant Park. Earlier this month we got an in-depth look at the history and growth of WeWork from Sarah’s feature read in Fast Company; Adam touched on some of this during the event, and highlighted insightful learnings that had the packed audience’s full attention from start to finish.
Source: Hyeri Kim
Don't kill people’s dreams. When Adam first presented the concept of WeWork during his time at Baruch College -- what he called “concept living” -- he didn’t even make it to round two of a business plan competition. When he spoke about it to the dean, he was told, “There’s no 23-year-old, or any inexperienced real estate person, who will ever be able to raise enough money to do anything like ‘concept living.’" Adam stated: “You never know what someone is capable of.”
Ask people for advice -- don’t tell them. If you’re trying to grow your business, e.g. to gain a new client or expand to a new location, you have to adapt your model to theirs, because it’s their expertise that will allow yours to flourish. “Let the world, let your customers give you feedback. Listen to the sounds of the environment coming back to you,” Adam said. He spoke about their current expansion to India, and why it was important to ask what the people there are in need of, instead of the other way around; in this case, it’s helping to counter the country’s poverty, which is why WeWork is hiring all local employees. Part of Adam’s mission is to figure out how WeWork can help others. He noted, “Everyone wants to be part of something greater than themselves.”
“CEOs need to be agents of change.” When speaking to WeWork’s many acquisitions over the last few years, Adam emphasized how important it is to feel a sense of community on all ends. Do you like their moral standards? Will their company raise your own culture? If you say yes to these, that’s about half the battle.
Ask, “why?” Adam said, “Millennials will give up so much to be where things are happening.” There’s a shift happening in consumption, especially with millennials who are emotionally tied to products and experiences. So if you’re running a business, you have to ask yourself, “Why are you making his product or offering this service?” If the goal is to make money, that’s not enough.
Survey Says: Stock Market Investing is for Old, White Men…
Apr 1, 2016
...according to more than half of millennial women, as revealed by a new survey from *client plug* Stash and Harris Poll. Stash, a fast-growing investment app for millennials (available for Android today!), conducted a survey to gauge perceptions around investing. The findings revealed that nearly 80% of Americans age 18-34 don’t invest, and confirmed millennials still need -- and want -- education around how to start investing.
Not only do millennial women equate the typical investor to an old, white man (60%), but they find investing as a whole to be confusing (76%) and unrelatable (60%), suggesting they’re still in the dark about how to become an investor.
Millennials also believe it takes a lot to start. Seventy percent of millennials think they need at least $100 to start investing in the stock market, while 38 percent think they need at least $1,000, which shows us money continues to be a top barrier.
You might even say millennial men are more invested in growing their biceps than their investments! Sixty-five of millennial men don’t find investing in the stock market to be more fun than going to the gym. The same percentage of male millennials said it would be very important for them to decide which companies or funds to invest their money in, which suggests they crave choice when it comes to where their money goes -- and that automated investing platforms may be a turn-off.
Download the app now if you haven’t already, to see how Stash is finally breaking down the barriers to investing!
General Assembly: The Psychology of Productivity Recap
Mar 31, 2016
Procrastination is an area that I’m always seeking to improve in, so when I came across The Psychology of Productivity workshop being offered by General Assembly (my first GA class!), I knew I had to jump on the opportunity. It was led by local clinical psychologist Rachel Kozlowski, who shared an in-depth assessment of procrastination and its consequences, and different strategies to avoid counterproductive activity. Below, I outlined some of the takeaways that I found personally insightful from both a personal and professional perspective. Ultimately, you have to do what works for you, and be open to doing things differently, if you want different results!
What is procrastination? In the most concrete sense, it’s to put something off intentionally and habitually -- or, in a word, avoidance. Procrastination usually follows inspiration -- but without the follow-through -- which can account for all the times we start a project or task and deciding to move on to something else without completing it. Does it matter? YES. Procrastination impacts not only your work output, but time (loss of it), relationships (shifts of responsibility), mental and physical health (anxiety, insomnia, etc.), and more.
Emotion typically plays a significant role when it comes to procrastination because it delivers a short-term mood boost (think: watching TV over going to the gym) that triggers the “I don’t want to do it” feeling. This can be attributed to “temporal myopia,” (nearsightedness), or the inability for procrastinators to visualize the future outcome. Here are some of the different strategies Rachel offered up for combatting procrastination:
Mindfulness. Be honest with yourself and avoid self-deception. This includes saying things like “I work well under pressure,” “I’ll feel like working on this tomorrow,” etc.
Practice time travel. How will you feel tomorrow if you put off this task to check Facebook or watch TV? It’s important to have future-oriented visualization and picture what the situation will be in the long term. E.g. Deciding to opt out of happy hour with friends if you know you need to get something done for work tonight.
Dig deep. Get in touch with emotional factors that may be inhibiting your productivity: having unrealistic expectations of yourself, fear of failure -- or conversely, fear of success (i.e. the Jonah complex) -- or being tied to a sense of rebellion.
Ask “why?”until you reach a definitive answer. Examine your personal motivation and develop a plan of attack. Here’s how that would play out if your goal is to build a website: Why is that your goal? → To show off your skills → Why do you want to show off your skills? → To get clients. → Why do you need clients? → To pay your bills.
Set concrete, specific goals. I’ve been very focused on doing this in the last few months, thanks to the guidance of my wonderful managers, and I can personally say it’s helped guide my workload and made me more disciplined in how I manage my tasks.
Use implementation intentions. This means prepping yourself by saying “In situation X, I will do behavior Y.” E.g. If my manager asks for [a specific document], I will share it by [this time].
Behavioral and Environmental
Just get started / do it now. Making any kind of progress is an important first step, and will improve your mood and motivate you to see it through to completion. And if you can accomplish simple tasks quickly, there’s no reason to put them off.
Manipulate thresholds for activity. This is another way to say put costs in place to decrease the likelihood you’ll procrastinate or be less productive: Putting your workout clothes/running shoes by the door so you’re reminded to work out, placing your alarm clock on the other side of the room, or even putting a block on certain social media sites so you’re not distracted during work.
Reward yourself. If you’re struggling mid-assignment, tell yourself you’ll write one more paragraph and then take a break. Having an incentive is a great motivator (as evidenced by the current Cutline contest that has inspired me to write several blog posts in the last three months!)!