BEING A LITTLE DIFFICULT

blog Nov 11, 2010

In the beginning of any professional or personal relationship, expectations are formed. Once those expectations are formed, some of them may become persistent for future behavior. For example, let’s say a man starts dating a woman and for the first couple months often takes her out for one hundred dollar dinners. All of a sudden, one night, they decide to order in. No matter how down to earth the woman is, she will be a little disappointed. Not out of any snobbery, but because she is too used to the precedence of going out to a lavish dinner every week.

In business, it’s the same issue. A manager needs to be a little difficult in the beginning to set the tone of their professional relationships. It’s a lot easier to loosen up after some time, but it’s much more difficult to tighten the reigns once the precedence has been set.

At the beginning of any relationship, we all want to be the nice guy (okay, maybe not everybody). We want to show off how cool we are....

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THE VASSEGHI FAMILY STORY Love, Luck & a 175 Million-to-1 Jackpot

blog Nov 04, 2010

This week I’m going to do something a little bit different on my blog. My good friend and collaborator Jay Lavender wrote an http://nspyr.com/post/1420159659/thevasseghifamilystory amazing piece about my family.

Jay and I met through Dean Ellis at USC, who was a professor of marketing when I went there. I expressed to Dean Ellis that I wanted to write a book and ten years ago next month he introduced me to Jay. Jay is an accomplished screenwriter who wrote the 2006 movie The Break-up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn.

So what happened to my family this summer? My mom actually won the California Lottery. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for the last few months. My friend Jay wanted to launch a company called "http://NYSPR.com">NSPYR.com to tell stories through different media. When I told him about my Mom, he called his friend and said, I guess it’s time to launch the website. Last week he did it with an amazing story of perseverance about my family for...

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STRAIGHT OFF THE BONE

blog Oct 28, 2010

I love ribs but to be honest they’re hard to eat for anybody, nevertheless someone like me who needs assistance eating. Whenever I feel like ribs, I ask the waiter or the waitress if they could take the ribs straight off the bone. Most reply that they can’t do it. There is only one restaurant nearby that will accommodate my quirky need--that is http://www.woodranch.com/restaurant_entry.html Woodranch Grill. (If I’m going to talk about a good experience, I might as well give them a shout out!) Once in Vegas, I went to the Excalibur Steak House and to my surprise, they cut the rib right off the bone. The next day, I won quite a bit of money and went there again, taking three other people. In subsequent trips to Vegas, I went there again and again. One time I went there and to my disappointment, they changed their menu and they no longer had ribs, but I didn’t care. I was bummed...but it was okay.

In 2007, I took a trip to Vegas with 15 guys. And where, do you...

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Patience

blog Oct 21, 2010

If you asked me a year ago what I thought of patience I would have responded that patience was overrated. I would then say that patient people are not in a hurry to live their lives, but in the last couple months I have reconsidered my answer. Patience is not standing around forever waiting for the perfect situation to present itself. Patience is about weighing all your options and sleeping on it for a couple days. In the past, I used to be a shoot-from-the-hip kind of guy. I used to choose emotion over logic to guide my decisions. I believe that one needs both, working together, in order to make the right decisions. When I used to get drafts of marketing materials back from my designer, I would immediately look it over for five minutes then call him back to make changes. Now, I look at it once, give myself two or three days, and then call him with my comments. One day I had a conversation with a consultant who I was thinking of hiring. She got me excited about working with her,...

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LESSONS FROM OUR CHILDHOOD

blog Oct 14, 2010

For some reason or another people don’t say please, thank you, or I’m sorry. These words are very powerful and can make a relationship stronger and can actually make anyone more successful in the long run. A couple years ago, Citibank had a campaign where random people would say thank you for mundane acts of kindness. Recipients of the simple thank you were shocked. People just don’t say thank you enough in this day and age. As a disabled person, I need a lot of help. I see getting help as a gift, not a right. In college, I had many assistants and often times I would just say, you know, your help means a lot to me, even though it was their job to help me out. That extra act of gratitude made much difference. I did not say thank you just to score points, I meant it, because without those people I could not get anything done. The same thing applies to the word please because the word please implies a sense of appreciation in advance. Even if you are the boss, it...

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THE ART OF COMPLAINING

blog Oct 08, 2010

After I speak or after someone reads my book, one of the most frequent comments that I get is that they are embarrassed of complaining. Now, do I believe them? Of course not. Complaining is a part of life. If you are growing as a person, or as a professional, there will be problems and issues that are going to tick you off. If you don’t find a way to deal with your feelings you will blow up.

For the sake of this article, there are three kinds of complaining and guess what? Two of them are actually healthy. (Imagine that! A motivational speaker that says complaining is OK.) Let’s start first off with the bad kind. This sucks and no matter what I do, this is not going to get any better. In this scenario, you are playing the victim. You’re not taking any responsibility for anything. You’re basically throwing in the towel and accepting defeat.

The second type is this sucks but here’s what I’m going to do to rectify it. One time, I got an email from a...

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MY PROCESS AS A WRITER

blog Oct 01, 2010

When I tell people that I wrote my first book http://www.amazon.com/Love-Your-Life-Will-Back/dp/0979136903/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1285952017&sr=8-2 Love Your Life and it Will Love You Back in two weeks, they respond, Oh...two years! To which I say, no, two weeks. You mean two months? No. Two weeks. The back story behind it is that I first did a lot of brainstorming with my speaking mentor, Frank. Now, at the time, I was working on my autobiography with my friend Jay Lavender, but he felt that it was too soon to put out an autobiography of an unknown. So, one day I was at his apartment and we decided that it would be a good idea for me to first write a self-help book. I started looking at the notes that Frank and I worked on for my speeches, then I started my process. Here’s how I write 90 percent of my work: I dictate my words to someone who types. In this case, my manager Kristi. That’s also how I wrote my papers in college, my book, my emails, and...

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SOURENA V.'s TOP TEN TWEETS

blog Sep 24, 2010

I was reluctant to start tweeting because I assumed that I would tweet stuff such as having dinner with my friend or it’s midnight and I can’t sleep.  While I’m sure those things must be fascinating, it’s been done. (One of my favorite Twitter stories about the underage football player who tweeted "I’m having beer!" and subsequently got suspended for it.)

I decided to mostly tweet quotes of my own as well as quotes from others who have inspired me from time to time.  Here are my <strong>top ten favorite tweets quotes written by me that I have shared thus far.  (And if you haven’t done so already, please be sure to follow me at http://twitter.com/SourenaV )

By the way, I DO often tweet going out to dinner with my friends or watching a ballgame  for example, just the other day I tweeted about the show The Apprentice with a stupid joke at the end.  To see that joke, I guess you have to http://twitter.com/SourenaV go to...

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DESTINY

blog Sep 16, 2010

The beginning of 1998 was a particularly difficult time in my life. It was in the middle of a series of events that brought me face to face with my disability. I started to ask myself, would I ever live a normal life? Would I ever have a career? Would I ever fall in love?  In the midst of my emotional roller coaster, I also wondered, is there a reason that I am disabled? Now, if you asked me these questions in my earlier years, I would have said absolutely not, but I realized that there were points in my life where every single situation I was in was a result of my disability. Outside of my family, I would probably not know anyone that I know now. My parents moved from Iran to America to get me treatment. I am not sure if we would have made that move or not. Since my father was educated in America and had all his family here, I would like to think that we would eventually have made the move. Even so, would we have moved to Agoura Hills, California? To recap, I probably would...

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ARE WE HANGING OUT

blog Sep 09, 2010

My mother Zahra went back to school to get her degree in the late 80s. Back then, my father Ben worked at his restaurant all day on Sundays. Saturday was family day. On Sundays, my mom would study the entire day and my sister Sanaz and I would rent a movie or just hang out. Sanaz would oftentimes put on her roller blades and we would go down to the market and grab something to eat. I would drive my electric chair and my sister would hold while I towed her. (By the way, my good friend in college got wind of this and for some reason he never wore his shoes, he always wore his roller blades around campus.)

One day, my sister and I grabbed a bite to eat like we always did. While we were eating, this older woman came up to our table and said, it's so nice of you to take your brother out. It stung a little. After all, I am the older brother and when you are 16 and 13, that is a huge age difference. (It's like 40 and 60.) I did not dwell that much about anything at that age. The only thing...

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