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30 Lessons I Learned in 30 Years

Entrepreneur Smarts: 30 Lessons I Learned in 30 Years
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Editor's Note: A version of this article previously appeared at

It was a warm night outside Caffe Dante, my favorite Gelato spot in New York's Greenwich Village. I usually go there alone. I walk through Washington Square Park, people watch and get my two scoops of gelato: one scoop of stracciatella, one of tiramisu. This particular time I sat outside at a table next to an older Italian woman and her little French Bull dog. I struck up a conversation.

We chatted about things like Italian culture, her grandkids and how her husband is an artist who has a gallery in the city. I was 29, about to turn 30, so I asked the woman if she could go back in time and tell her 30-year-old self anything, what would it be? Her response: "Don't worry so much. We create drama from nothing so often, but the things we think are major issues always pass, and we forget about them usually within a few months at most."

It's good advice. As I look back at my 30 years of life so far, I've come up with 30 simple yet important lessons I've learned — about being a better entrepreneur and a better person in general.

1.  Don't worry so much

She was right, there's been so much stress and drama I've allowed in the past that really doesn't matter.  There are ways to handle situations and instances in your life, but worrying about them never does much.

2. Be extremely grateful for what you have

I was a pain in the ass most of my childhood, always mad at the things I didn't have. Things shifted drastically in my 20′s where I started putting an emphasis in gratitude. Focus on the good you do have, not the things you lack.

3. Strive to be a better version of yourself every day

Each day we have the opportunity to learn something new, apologize for our mistakes, and become better.

4. Drop your ego

It's something I continue to work on because having an ego never did anything positive for me and it usually crushes people.

5. Eat clean

I used to eat whatever I wanted and it didn't matter as much when I worked out 6 hours a day.  I still love my gelato from time to time, but I'm all about eating as much organic foods, experimenting with cleanses, and drinking green juice as possible.  Focus on what works for you, but educate yourself on what you put in your body.

6. Sweat daily

Movement is important especially when so many sit at a desk for 10+ hours a day. This causes serious aging, illness, and physical pain when you don't move.  CrossFit, playing team handball for the USA national team, and street basketball are my weekly activities.  Do something you'll have fun with and focus on moving every day.

7. Give back

I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of countless people.  The support I've received from family, friends, teachers, coaches, mentors and so on are overwhelming. Find a way to help others and give back as it's the best form of gratitude.

8. Frame your goals

I started writing my goals down and framing the goal as if it already was achieved in my early 20′s.  I was amazed when I started reaching these goals by the date I had listed on them.  It was a daily visualization exercise, and it almost always works.  I believe the things you put your energy towards the most, will most likely come true over everything else.  Frame your goals.

9. Don't let others dictate your life

If you don't want to live a normal life where you go to a job you hate just so you can enjoy your weekends and get two weeks to vacation every year… then don't do it.  It's as simple as that.  Read The Four Hour Work Week  byTim Ferriss or other inspirational blogs about creating a lifestyle around a business you want to live.  No excuses, just do it already.

10. Follow your passion.

We only have one chance in this life.  If you aren't following what you love, then what are you doing?  Why show up everyday to live a life someone else wants for you?  Let them live theirs and you live yours.

11. Be enthusiastic about what you do

Vince Lombardi said, "If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you'll be fired with enthusiasm"

12. Focus on relationships

You can accomplish anything with the right relationships both personally and professionally.  People don't care as much about what you know as they do on how much you care about them.

13. Be open to trying new things

I've been an extremely picky eater my entire life, but the more I try if life, the more I learn and become a better version of myself.

14. Feel your fears and do them anyways

My friend and sports psychologist Dr. Jeff Spencer told me this once and it stuck with me.  Elite athletes feel fear just like everyone else, but they channel that fear to fuel their spirit and passion for competition.

15. Your childhood matters, but don't let it control your adulthood.

Don't let the things that happened to you as a kid control the rest of your life.  Shit happens to all of us.  Use it to your advantage, learn from it, and focus on gratitude and giving.

16. Be nice to your siblings and love your family.

I used to fight a lot with one of my sisters.  It was stupid.  My family has given me so much for a majority of my life and I wouldn't be here without them.

17. Invest in yourself

Grant Cardone once told me to spend all of my money on investing in myself.  Learn why this is important and why it's a major focus for me now in this interview.

18. Attract great coaches

I'd be an angry, messed up kid still if I didn't have amazing coaches and mentors. They knew how to get the most out of me and teach me about letting go of ego, working with a team, sacrifice, and so much more.  The world is a better place because of great coaches.  Find one for every aspect of your life and ask them to push you to get better every day.

19. Build a supportive team around you

I have a personal advisory board that I reach out to frequently.  These are people I admire, trust, and believe in.  I ask them to call me out on my shit and give me feedback when I need it.  No one achieves greatness alone, find the support you need.

20. Follow your dreams no matter what

It doesn't matter what age you are or how little experience you have with something. It's never too late to follow your dreams.  It will be the most fulfilling feeling once you do and you'll never regret going after them.

21. Forgive yourself and others

Man, have I made A LOT of mistakes and done some stupid things throughout my life. It's OK.  Don't worry so much.  Forgive yourself, and forgive others for making mistakes.  Focus on learning from it and not doing them again.

22. Don't let failure hold you back

"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed".  -Michael Jordan

23. Stay true to your word

Don't say you'll do something unless you follow through.  Learn to say "no" more often if you have too much on your plate and aren't able to follow through on everything.

24.  Pay off your debts

Some debt is good for building credit, minimizing risk, and so on, but there are some debts that weigh most people down from truly following their passion and living an amazing life.  Pay off the debts that weigh you down as it's an amazing feeling once you do. Read this book by Ramit for help on this.

25.  Learn outside the classroom

There isn't much I remember from textbooks in school.  The best part about school for me was learning people skills and building relationships.  Everything I know about business, marketing, and making a living has come from mentors and learning outside of the classroom.  Find the right teacher and take action.

26.  Surround yourself with people smarter than you

The only way to grow is to play against harder competition in sports, or hang out with smarter people than you.  I'm always the dumbest person in the room, and I intend to keep it that way.

27.  Be happy with nothing

It's not a fun feeling when you have no place to live, and can't afford your own food.  I don't recommend doing it on purpose as an experiment.  But having lived that way before makes me very happy living my life when everything can fit in a few suitcases.  I like luxurious things and experiences as much as the next person, but some of the happiest people in the world are minimalists.

28.  Learn from your relationships

People come and go, and so do intimate relationships.  Learn from the good and bad ones and stay true to yourself through each relationship.  Don't allow them to make you into someone you don't want to be.

29.  Do something great

You've got an opportunity to leave a legacy with your life.  What do you want to leave? Each day is an opportunity to do something great.

There you have it.

You're probably wondering what my 30th lesson is, right?

Well, since I always try to be the dumbest person in the room, I've learned to ask the right questions. The right questions ignite  innovation, solve problems, create marriages and powerful partnerships, and help us live a better life.

Since I learn from everyone, especially my readers, I'd love to hear your answer to my question.  It doesn't matter how old are you, what's one thing you'd tell your younger version of yourself?  You better believe I'll be getting some gelato on my 30th, but your answer in the comments section below would be the cherry on top.

​source: Thisone


Junaid Tahir

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Set the direction - Ralph Marston - The Daily Motivator

What you think of yourself has a major impact on what you do with your life. Think more positively about yourself and your world, and every area of your life will reflect it.

All day long, every day, your mind is active, with one thought after another. Instead of making those thoughts judgmental or despairing, choose to make them thankful, loving and accepting.

It's really ver
y easy to aim your thoughts in a positive direction. Just remind yourself to do it, and it's done.

Think more highly of yourself, and you'll soon find yourself living up to your improved self image. Expect the best in every situation and you'll uncover new value wherever you look.

Just one simple, positive thought can turn your life in a more productive, effective and fulfilling direction. Imagine what a continuous flow of positive thoughts can do for your day.

What you think sets the direction for where you'll go. Make the commitment to think the best, and enjoy reaping the rewards of a more positive, purposeful you.

Junaid Tahir

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When It Comes To Happiness, Simplicity Is Key

In our ongoing quest for happiness and contentment,
we often find ourselves accumulating ever increasing piles of
"stuff." However, the more "stuff" we accumulate, the more we
begin to realize that we don't feel happier at all; we feel
overwhelmed, crowded and scattered.

How easy it is to forget that when it comes to
happiness, simplicity is key! Even though we know on some level
that all this stuff won't make us happy, we still keep getting
pulled in by clever marketing and our own constant yearning for
something more.

But what if the "something more" we crave is not
more "stuff" but rather simplicity and order? What if, by
simplifying our lives we could finally enjoy a deeper sense of
freedom, peace and happiness?

If you're ready to stop living under the hypnotic
spell of "more stuff," here arethree easy ways to begin
simplifying your life
 and enjoying a happier, more
peaceful way of life:

1. Clear out your home, vehicle and

Are you surrounded by stacks of books you've already
read, DVDs or videos you've seen dozens of times and
miscellaneous clutter covering every available surface? Is your
vehicle a catch basin for trash and belongings you haven't put
away? Is your workspace crowded with old paperwork? Clear it all
out! When you start clearing out your surroundings, you'll
notice immediately that you feel lighter and less scattered.

2. Clear your mind.

Are you constantly burdened by worrisome or negative
thoughts? A chaotic life can increase anxiety and stress, which
can make you feel scattered and forgetful. Begin a daily
practice of clearing your mind through meditation. Set aside 10
minutes once or twice a day to let go of anxious thoughts and
focus on nothing. Sit in silence or listen to soothing music,
but focus only on your breathing and being in the moment. Doing
this on a regular basis will help you feel more centered, calm
and focused.

3. Achieve closure.

Do you have a lot of unresolved issues, unpaid bills
or otherwise unfinished projects? When did you last file away
old paperwork or kiss a bad habit goodbye? When we leave things
unfinished in our lives, we tend to carry them with us mentally
and emotionally until we "officially" release them. Over time,
you'll feel the weight of these situations if you don't resolve
them once and for all. Start by thinking about your old
relationships. Have you left things unsaid? Have you refused to
let go of someone emotionally even if you have moved on
physically? Write a letter and tell those people everything you
want them to know. You don't have to mail the letter so you can
easily use the process for people you no longer see or even
those who are deceased. Simply write out your thoughts and
feelings on the matter, then either burn the paper or rip it
into shreds and throw it away. As you do so, affirm that you are
releasing the situation once and for all, and you are now free
from any lingering emotional or mental burdens regarding it.

Also be sure to achieve closure on everything else

that you can, like canceling old memberships or subscriptions
you no longer need, filing away paperwork that is no longer
needed, and completing projects you've started. With closure

comes peace, and with peace usually comes greater happiness!


Junaid Tahir

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Tech Update: CryptoLocker is dangerous - Stay Safe

by Paul Ducklin on October 12, 2013 | 36 Comments

SophosLabs has asked us to remind you about a destructive malware threat that calls itself CryptoLocker.

Sophos Anti-Virus detects it by the name Troj/Ransom-ACP, because that's exactly what it does: holds your files to ransom.

Demanding money with menaces

Malware that encrypts your data and tries to sell it back to you, or else, is not new.

In fact, one of the earliest pieces of malware that was written specifically to make money, rather than simply to prove a point, was the AIDS Information Trojan of 1989.

That Trojan scrambled your hard disk after 90 days, and instructed you to send $378 to an accommodation address in Panama.

The perpetrator, one Dr Joseph Popp, was tracked down in the USA, extradited to the UK to stand trial, displayed increasingly shambolic behaviour, and was ultimately kicked out of Britain and never convicted.

Fortunately, his malware was similarly shambolic: it used simplistic encryption algorithms, and every computer was scrambled in the same way, so free tools for cleanup and recovery soon became available.

Sadly, the crooks behind the CryptoLocker malware haven't made the same coding mistakes.

The malware seems to do its cryptography by the book, so there is no way to recover your scrambled files once it has triggered. (You could, I suppose, try paying the ransom, but I recommend that you do not.)

What CryptoLocker does

When the malware runs, it proceeds as follows:

1. CryptoLocker installs itself into your Documents and Settings folder, using a randomly-generated name, and adds itself to the list of programs in your registry that Windows loads automatically every time you logon.

2. It produces a lengthy list of random-looking server names in the and .ru.

3. It tries to make a web connection to each of these server names in turn, trying one each second until it finds one that responds.

4. Once it has found a server that it can reach, it uploads a small file that you can think of as your "CryptoLocker ID."

5. The server then generates a public-private key pair unique to your ID, and sends the public key part back to your computer.

→ Remember that public-key cryptography uses two different keys: a public key that locks files, and a private key that unlocks them. You can share your public key widely so that anyone can encrypt files for you, but only you (or someone to whom you have given a copy of your private key) can decrypt them.

6. The malware on your computer uses this public key to encrypt all the files it can find that match a largish list of extensions, covering file types such as images, documents and spreadhseets.

→ Note that the malware searches for files to encrypt on all drives and in all folders it can access from your computer, including workgroup files shared by your colleagues, resources on your company servers, and possibly more. The more privileged your account, the worse the overall damage will be.

7. The malware then pops up a "pay page," giving you a limited time, typically 100 hours, to buy back the private key for your data, typically for $300. (The price point is suprisingly similar to what it was back in 1989.)

→ With the private key, you can recover your files. Allegedly. We haven't tried buying anything back, not least because we know we'd be trading with crooks.

What we have seen

SophosLabs has received a large number of scrambled documents via the Sophos sample submission system.

These have come from people who are keenly hoping that there's a flaw in the CryptoLocker encryption, and that we can help them get their files back.

But as far as we can see, there's no backdoor or shortcut: what the public key has scrambled, only the private key can unscramble.

In the clumsy but categorical words of the criminals themselves:

The single copy of the private key, which will allow you to decrypt the files, located on a secret server on the Internet; the server will destroy the key after a time specified in this window. After that,nobody and never will be able to restore files.

And that's why SophosLabs wanted us to write this article, since they're faced with the sad job of telling the victims that their files are as good as deleted.

How the threat gets in

SophosLabs reports two main infection vectors: via email attachments and via botnets.

Email attacks are fairly easy to avoid: take care with attachments you weren't expecting, or from people you don't know well.

Infection via a botnet is a little different, since the crooks are using the fact that you are already infected with malware as a way to infect you with yet more malware.

That's because most bots, or zombies, once active on your computer, include a general purpose "upgrade" command that allows the crooks to update, replace, or add to the malware already on your PC.

So take our advice: make it your task today to search out and destroyany malware already on your computer, lest it dig you in deeper still.

What you can do

Take this story as a warning, and don't forget that there are many other ways you could lose your files forever.

For example, you could drop your laptop in the harbour (it happens!); a thief could run off with your computer (it happens!); or you could entrust your filesto a cloud service that suddenly shuts down (it happens!).

The endgame is the same in all cases: if you have a reliable and recent backup, you'll have a good chance of recovering without too much trouble.

Prevention, in this case, is significantly better than cure:

  • Stay patched. Keep your operating system and software up to date.
  • Make sure your anti-virus is active and up to date.
  • Avoid opening attachments you weren't expecting, or from people you don't know well.
  • Make regular backups, and store them somewhere safe, preferably offline.

Don't forget that services that automatically synchronise your data changes with other servers, for example in the cloud, don't count as backup.

They may be extremely useful, but they tend to propagate errors rather than to defend against them.

To the synchroniser, a document on your local drive that has just been scrambled by CryptoLocker is the most recent version, and that's that.

Further information

For more information, including links to our support knowledgebase, our sample submission system, and how to find us on the IT social business network Spiceworks, please see this article on the Sophos corporate blog.


Junaid Tahir

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Story: Ahmed and Aisha - The Couple

It was their anniversary, and Aisha was waiting for her husband Ahmed to show up. Things had changed since their marriage, the once cute couple

couldn't-live-without-each-other had turned bitter over the course of time. Fighting over every little things, both didn't like the way things had changed. Aisha was waiting to see if Ahmed remembered it was their anniversary! Then the phone in the bedroom rang.
Aisha went to pick it up and it was a man. "Hello ma'am I'm calling from the police station.

"Is this Mr Ahmed's number?"
"Yes it is!"
"I'm sorry ma'am; but there was an accident and a man died.
We got this number from his wallet; we need you to come and identify his body."

Aisha's heart sank.!!! She was shocked! She lost her consciousness

How could this happen? !!!

Oh God, what has happened to me. How would I live my whole life. Ahmed has been so loving and caring although there has been little differences between us but overall he was the best !!! She rolled on the floor in pain. She lost her life Forever!

Suddenly Mr Ahmed stepped in the home and noticed her wife crying loudly.

Both immediately ran towards each other. Ahmed took her wife in his arms as she was crying terribly... After some time her senses restored and she told him about the phone from police station.
Mr Ahmed said: "Darling, I forgot to tell you my wallet got stolen today".

Flash !!!