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Bullish Life: Starting a Business After a Break-up

December 28, 2012

Hi Jen,

So my boyfriend basically dumped me after Thanksgiving, and I have spent a lot of the week reading your articles, like (off the top of my head) the one on breaking free from terrible situations, the one about the 3 romantic mistakes young women make, responding to disappointment with awesomeness, motivating yourself to be motivated, and of course the one on breakups.

Thus, I am channelling all this energy, while I’m numb, to starting a pet project! That will generate cash! And since you just wrote a column about business ideas, do you have any in your bazillion list that will only involve a blog to start it off? And where I can remain anonymous-y? More »

Bullish: How to Make Yourself Do Your To-Do List

December 20, 2012

Here’s a question that could’ve been written by almost any of us.

Do you have any tips on how to trust yourself to get things done? I make all these work plans in my schedule but don’t follow through. So, when I make them I get stressed, scared that I won’t do them or wonder how to manipulate myself into surely doing them.

I feel like this is The Human Condition in a Post-Industrial Society. But we can do better! (See Bullish: How to Be a Productivity Unicorn.)

I assure you I am not made of magic, and — just like all mortal humans — I constantly write stuff on my to-do list that doesn’t get done. But the most important things usually do, and that’s what counts. More »

Bullish Life: What To Do About the Roommate From Hell

December 13, 2012

I once had a roommate who appeared to be drinking an entire case (24 cans) of Miller Lite every single night. One night, she threatened someone with a small knife. The next day, I asked her to leave.

When she was sober, she was totally reasonable. “Oh, I threatened someone with a knife! That is completely unacceptable! I’ll leave by Friday.”

I guess somewhere around the 23rd can of Miller Lite, it’s easy to forget society’s knife rules (cooking only!)

Here we have a letter from a writer whose roommate is a bit more troubled. More »

Bullish: Interview Advice (i.e., The Horrible Awkwardness of Phone Interviews and Skirt Suits)

December 6, 2012

I love questions from people in the UK, Australia, and Canada! They’re my favourite! (See what I did there?) Not just because I enjoy dabbling in the Queen’s English, but also because it’s so much easier to answer people’s career-related questions when I can sleep soundly knowing that nobody’s going to lose their health insurance. More »

Bullish Life: How Much Survivalism Should We All Engage In, Without Building Bomb Shelters?

November 29, 2012

I once went on a two-week hiking/camping trip over a stretch of the Appalachian Trail. I did not train for this trip. I did, however, make numerous trips to Asian grocery stores to buy dehydrated everything (vegetarian squid made out of yam flour, with tentacle-suckers painted on!), enough to feed three people for several days. More »

Bullish: Where To Get A Kickass Business Idea (Also: Whiskey And Knitting)

November 26, 2012

Where do business ideas come from?

I’ve got hundreds of them, like a pair of ovaries full of tiny, dormant ideas, some of them awesome and some of them terrifyingly defective — and many, many more than anyone could ever bring to fruition. (This is a pretty good metaphor, except that you’re actually born with all the eggs you’re ever going to have, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t born knowing that “Treelivery” would be the world’s best name for a Christmas-tree delivery business.)

In any case, here’s today’s question. More »

Bullish: When Your Male Partner is Not Exactly Helping Your Career

November 19, 2012

Here is a letter I received shortly after Hurricane Sandy. I had evacuated to my fiancé’s parents’ house and was going a bit stir-crazy (I did discover that you can make a pretty decent fake espresso with half a mug of hot milk and about ten times more instant coffee than the package suggests.)
More »

Bullish Life: When Men Are Too Emotional To Have A Rational Argument

November 14, 2012

What I want to talk about is how emotional outbursts typically more associated with men (shouting, expressing anger openly) are given a pass in public discourse in a way that emotional outbursts typically more associated with women (crying, “getting upset”) are stigmatized.

I wish to dispel the notion that women are “more emotional.” I don’t think we are. I think that the emotions women stereotypically express are what men call “emotions,” and the emotions that men typically express are somehow considered by men to be something else.

This is incorrect. More »

Bullish: Coping With Career Suckage You Have No Control Over (Or DO You…?)

November 12, 2012

Even if you have studiously avoided all religion and twelve-step programs throughout your life, as I have, you’re probably familiar with this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

The “God” part is sort of superfluous here, isn’t it?
More »

NietzscheDerp: A Highly Sane and Literate Idea Whose Time Has Come

November 11, 2012

Last month, I tweeted this.

Then, this happened:

Why, yes, “someone” can! (The HerpDerp plugin changes all the Youtube comments to “herp derp.”)

You can download NietzscheDerp here! Thanks, Tim Loudon!

I’ve been using it for weeks. So now, when I view, say, Justin Bieber’s video, “Baby,” I see this in the comments:


Bullish Q&A: When Your Success Is Based On Shadowy, Unspoken Rules

November 5, 2012

Today, we have two questions about underlying rules and structures that you have to figure out to keep from constantly banging your head into a wall.
More »

Bullish Life: Weight Lifting For Ladies And Unicorns

October 25, 2012

Dear Jen,

I just found Bullish/TheGloss and want to say thank you. I also want to say that when I read you were/are(?) a bodybuilder it made me that much more excited!

I’ve recently discovered weightlifting and want it to actually matter. Thank you for saying it’s okay (and GOOD) to lift heavy things.
More »

Bullish: Behind On A Deadline? Read This.

October 23, 2012

Are deadlines chasing you like fiery hell-demons? Do they thump from under the floor like Poe’s tell-tale heart? Do they watch you like the all-seeing eye of Sauron?

If you have an impossible deadline, here’s a quick read (it should be – you have a deadline, right?) with a few ideas, and some important questions to ask.
More »

Bullish Life: When To Cut Your Losses And Walk Away

October 18, 2012

The above is a still from the end of the 1988 classic Heathers, from right around the part when Winona Ryder blows up her boyfriend and declares herself the “new sheriff in town.”

Let’s see a letter from a reader who’s friend is stuck in a shrubbery-filled rut. More »

Bullish: How To Compete When You’re Young And Inexperienced

October 15, 2012

Today I’m answering two letters from women I’ve renamed Charlotte Whitton (she who said, “Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”) and Flo Kennedy, who once protested a lack of women’s bathrooms by holding a “Protest Pee-In” in Harvard Yard.
More »

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