Host the Perfect Sunday Football Party!

Football season is right around the corner! Do you know how to host the perfect Sunday Football party? Here’s a few things you gentlemen should know before you start inviting your friends over to your house.

Man the BBQ

It’s your party at your house; you are the grill master here. You’re going to want to grill some kind of meat. Hamburgers and hotdogs are a great staple, but if you want to switch things up a bit, there are plenty of other options. There are ribs, chicken, tri tip and wings. A lot of ribs come pre-cooked and make for an easy BBQ protein. Now do you pick charcoal or gas? If we were tailgating, I would suggest charcoal. Charcoal tastes a lot better but takes a substantial amount of time to prepare. Since you are at home, my vote would be gas so that you don’t have to miss out on any of the action. Make sure to provide some good sides like baked beans, potato salad and mac and cheese. Try to grill at half time so that you don’t miss any of the game!

NFL Redzone

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Photo by Adrian Curiel on Unsplash

If you’re a football advocate like myself, invest in NFL Redzone or NFL Sunday ticket. NFL Sunday ticket provides all of the games for you to watch on different channels whereas NFL Redzone plays the game most likely to score. Redzone is awesome because it will play all of the games throughout the day without commercials. This way all of your guests are happy because eventually their team will be in the ‘redzone.’ If there are several games in the redzone at one time, the channel will put them side by side for you so there is no missed action! NFL Sunday ticket is pretty pricey, but some providers will give you Redzone at a discounted cost.

Music

You brought everyone over to watch football, so keep the music low or play it on the down time. Music makes every party better, but be conscious of the games as well.

Munchies

Grilling is going to take you a few minutes and you need to have something on the table for your buddies to snack on. Grab some chips and dip and make sure the bowls stay filled.

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Photo by Natasha Kapur on Unsplash

BEER

The most important staple to any good football party. Get a variety of beer too. Grab some light beer like Coors light or Bud Light, but also provide some heavier stuff and let your guest decide what they want to drink. Here on the West coast we are spoiled with IPAs. Toss in some Sierra Nevada or some Lagunitas. Don’t worry, you don’t need to break the bank on beer. Your buddies will probably contribute some beer as well. Every good gentleman knows not to show up empty handed.

 

Now go out there and host your perfect Sunday Football BBQ and don’t forget the beer!

 

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5 Things a Man Should Know

There are few things that a man should know how to do on a daily basis. I have compiled a list of 5 things that every man should be able to accomplish with ease. If not, you should practice or take notes from another gentleman willing to teach you. Some of these may seem like a ‘no brainer’, but it’s mind boggling to me how many gents don’t know how to do the following.

Drive a stick shift

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Photo by Alok Sharma on Unsplash

Fellas, you need to know how to drive a stick. Nowadays, there aren’t too many cars out there that come in a standard transmission, but this is a necessary skill to have. If you operate machinery like fork lifts, these older models come in stick. I love driving stick shift! You get a lot more out of the drive and the vehicle is so much more responsive. Imagine this, you’re downtown having drinks with some friends and your designated driver gets a little carried away and now you need to drive. Uh oh, this guy forgot to tell you he drives a manual. No problem! You know how to drive this bad boy and you just got everyone home safe and sound after burning out at a couple red lights of course!

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Photo by Aral Tasher on Unsplash

Man the grill

One requirement to earning that man card is grilling up one bad ass steak. Everyone is over for your barbecue and you’re entertaining guests. It’s time to toss on some burgers, dogs and tri-tip. Make sure you know what heat and how long to cook all of these staples. The burgers and dogs are no big deal, but you have to make sure that this tri-tip is nice and red on the inside without making everyone at your party sick. I’ll share a secret with you when it comes to tri-tip, wrap it in aluminum foil and throw it on the grill and once it’s just about done, unwrap it and toss it back on to char the outside. The aluminum foil will keep all the juices in the meat. If you’re not comfortable behind a grill, try a few meals on your own before inviting everyone over. There are all kinds of videos and tips for grilling out there. Grab yourself a decent grill from Home Depot and a nice grilling utensil set and start mastering your craft!

Change a flat

Refer to my blog about how to change a tire for a ‘how to’ guide. Everyone has AAA nowadays, but this is a skill that a guy needs to know, regardless. Watch some Youtube videos and at the very minimum, know how to change the tires on the vehicles you own.

Negotiate

This one takes a little work and practice, but knowing how to negotiate will help you from getting scammed. You will never know if you can get something cheaper if you never ask. Most of the time if you just ask, the salesman will let you know of a discount or offer you a little money off the initial price. Start small and work your way up to bigger purchases. A great place to practice your negotiation skills is at the flee market.

Be chivalrous 

Chivalry is not dead gentleman! Hold the door for a lady, help an older lady with her groceries or just let some one have the right-of-way. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own life and put on blinders to the outside world, but if you take a step back and notice the world around, you will find endless opportunities to be chivalrous. Set the example and show the younger generation how to be a gentleman.

The Importance of Networking

Some guys are extroverts and some introverts, but one thing is for sure, networking is a staple among business professionals and everyone needs to do it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to seek help from someone I’ve met at a networking event or social gathering. Sometimes it can be taxing to constantly be on your ‘schmoozing’ grind, but you’re going to have to branch out and meet new people.

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

I have a ‘guy’ for everything. If I need something done to my car, I have a guy for that. If I need to get my taxes done, I have a guy for that. What’s nice about networking and building a trusted sphere of influence, is that you can intertwine your client base. I have friends that work in accounting and when someone I’m working with needs tax advice, I refer them. This works both ways and the more people you can get into that sphere of influence, the more money you will generate and the more people you will come in contact. Especially if your career choice requires you to sell or market, it’s a numbers game. You’ll need to put your face in front of as many prospects as possible.

One of my most recent examples of this was buying a car with my fiance’s grandparents. They were absolutely dreading the process of buying a car and were putting it off for months. I asked if I could help and I then called ‘my guy’ down at the dealership to put together a great deal for my soon to be grandparents-in-law. They were extremely happy with the outcome and ‘my guy’ now knows to send me some business if he ever overhears a customer of his talking about investing and retirement.

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

So go out there and meet new people. Ask them what they do for a living, exchange business cards, invite them for a round of golf. Nothing but good comes from making new friends and business relationships. So next time someone in the office invites you for a drink with one of ‘their guys’, go for it! You’ve just added another link to your networking chain and it will benefit you in the future. Make sure you build a list of ‘guys’ in all different types of industries that you can trust and count on. You will use this list frequently and you might end up being one of ‘their guys’ too.

Get your Fade On!

Let’s talk about grooming guys. Yes, it is okay to have a beard. No, it is not okay to have a beard that looks like you’ve been camping for the past year and a half. Let’s face it, in the business world, first impressions are everything. This means you have to be looking your best from your head to your toes. Having a bad ass suit is great, but with a mop and on your head, you’re not going to achieve that first impression you want. You don’t have to go with a crew cut and clean shaven face, but you do need to clean up your act a little bit and I’m going to show you a few things you can try out.

Clean up your beard

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Photo from Hairstyleonpoint.com

A couple of things you should do if you are rocking a beard. First, be honest with yourself. If you can’t grow a full-ish beard, maybe opt for a 5 o’clock shadow or stay clean shaven. I like to keep my beard relatively short to keep my face from looking too fat. If you can grow a decent beard, keep it clean. If your beard grows really full, fade the sides down so that your face doesn’t look too wide. Always maintain your neckline and random hairs. A good rule of thumb is to shave everything from your Adam’s apple down. You don’t want to start your neckline to high and you don’t want it any lower than the Adam’s apple. You’re going to want to line up the top of your beard as well. Just make sure everything has a nice pronounced line to it so that your beard doesn’t look like you just got off stage at a Slasher concert. A nice maintained beard shows discipline and self confidence.

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Photo from Hairstyleonpoint.com

Try out that fade

The generic business cut is a great way to make a good first impression, but nowadays you can switch it up a little bit with a nice fade. A fade and pompadour combination is a great business look with some style and you can switch it up quite a bit. The picture to the left is a common type of fade that most men would be able to wear without too much time getting ready in the morning. A lot of barbers will even fade your hair and beard making the whole ensemble look very well kept. Nobody says you have to look generic, but you don’t want to be looking like the beach boys on the job either. A nice haircut always compliments a nice suit, so make sure to take pride in your whole appearance.

I try to go to my barber about every 2 to 3 weeks to keep my hair and beard looking sharp at all times. In between visits, I make sure to keep my neck shaved and clip any randoms hairs that pop up. I suggest you find a barber you like and set up a standing appointment so that you remember to get your hair and beard done regularly. If you’re looking for some more ideas to get those creative juices flowing, check out some of these common men’s fades. Try something new and exciting!

If you’re in the local Reno area, check out my good friend Warren at World Star Cutz via his Instagram. He does a damn good job at a decent price. And as always, follow my blog if you like what I’m posting!

Knowledge is Power

Hey there fellas. I encourage all of you to pick up a book from time to time and put the television remote away every once in a while. Knowledge is power and you should continue to learn even after college. The great thing about learning on your own is that you get to learn about whatever you want! You no longer have to write research papers on the boring subject matter taught at the university. If you’re looking for a place to start, I have compiled a few of my favorites with some brief descriptions for you to see if it’s something of interest or not. I made sure to choose a little bit of everything for you guys.

The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone by Fredrik Eklund

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Photo by Mitch Mountain

This book is written by a gentlemen in the real estate business in one of the most competitive markets, New York City. Fredrik Eklund is a master of selling and time management. The guy manages to prioritize his career, health and time in a manner that is fun and easy going. He talks about self authenticity and how half the battle of selling anything is to first, make a friend. One of my favorite techniques he writes about is setting yourself apart from your competition. Like me, Fredrik loves his crazy colored socks. You have to have something for people to remember you by. You can be a well dressed gentleman and still have a little personality and Eklund shows you how!

Smart Cuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

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Photo by Mitch Mountain

This is an interesting read because the book compiles a lot of different stories with the same underlying tone throughout. Snow explains how you can accelerate your success by not working harder, but by working smarter. The premise of the book is that you can make decisions within your career where you can take a side step to advance further. He goes into saying that working your butt off can create success, but by shifting focus, sometimes you can take short cuts on your road to success. My favorite story in the book is about Skrillex, the EDM (electronic dance music) producer. Skrillex, or Sonny John Moore, has made a killing in the world of dance music. However, before Skrillex, Sonny was a struggling front man of a post hard-core band called ‘From First to Last.’ By shifting his focus to dance music, he was able to catapult his success in the music industry.

The Art of Persuasion: Winning Without Intimidation by Bob Burg

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Photo by Mitch Mountain

Bob Burg is a genius in the ‘Art of Persuasion.’ The guy makes you do want he wants, and the whole time, you think it’s your idea. He puts his ego away and connects with people in a way where everyone wins from the situation. By pumping another person’s ego or just leveling with them, he is able to persuade even the toughest of clients. He is able to see the other side’s perspective and uses it against them in a friendly manner without intimidating. His ability and technique is really quite impressive! If you work in sales or customer service, this book is an excellent tool for your career and I highly suggest reading it.

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Photo by Mitch Mountain

One of the most influential men in history and one of my personal favorite idols. He has  accomplished so much in his lifetime. The guy was a 7 time Mr. Olympia winner, Hollywood actor, real estate guru, California Governor and overall successful business man. Although a long read, his story of chasing the American dream is one hell of a ride. His mindset throughout is a great example for any aspiring gentleman. What I really enjoyed about this autobiography is that he puts everything on the table for you to see. He talks about all of his highs and all of his lows. When reading this book, you can see that it’s both the successes and the failures that make you into the man you aspire to be.

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head by Dan Harris

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Photo by Mitch Mountain

This was a book recommended to me by a friend. After a mental breakdown on live TV, Dan Harris, an anchor on Nightline, seeks to find the solution to happiness and mental stability. He seeks out self help gurus, religious icons and everyone in between. He keeps an unbiased tone throughout the book and finds his happiness in meditation. He goes through some life changing events and is able to really tame the voice in his head. With so many mental illnesses out there and people struggling on a daily basis, this book is extremely enlightening and a great read. You need to strengthen your mind just as you would your body and Dan Harris shows you an easy way to get started.

 

Thanks for reading and if you have any great books to recommend, please contact me and let me know! And as always, if you like the material I post, follow my blog.

Fix it yourself – It’s Easier than you think!

A lot of people nowadays don’t even look under the hood of their cars anymore. But why would you? There are maintenance packages with most new cars and some used models if you purchase with the right dealership. With that, there is not really a need to look under your hood. But what happens when that maintenance warranty expires, you have to purchase a vehicle private party or you’re just out in the middle of nowhere and need to change a flat? You need to know how to do some basic maintenance to your vehicle.

Changing a Tire

Photo from Familyhandyman.com

This is just something you need to know as a guy! Don’t call AAA, you can handle this yourself. Most vehicles come with a spare tire, jack and jack tools. You can find this in the trunk of sedans and SUVs. If you have a truck, you will need to lower the tire from under the bed. (the jack tools will assist your with this as well) Once you have removed the tire and jack, go ahead and put the jack together. Sometimes the directions are right there on the tools. If you have a truck, you will position the jack under the frame of the vehicle as displayed above. If you have a sedan, there is a little arrow next to each wheel underneath the body of the vehicle where you will position the jack. You will raise the vehicle up enough where the flat tire wheel is just barely touching the ground. (This will keep the tire from rocking back and forth when removing the lugs) Now loosen all of the lug nuts with your tire iron and jack the tire up so that it is completely off of the ground. Now you can remove the lug nuts by hand. Swap the the wheels and hand tighten those lug nuts back on. Make sure that your wheel is saddled up to the hub. If the wheel sits straight up and down, you know you’ve done this correctly! Once you have the lugs as tight as you can hand spin them, drop the vehicle down to that position where the tire is barely touching the ground. Now you will tighten the lugs with your tire iron, however when doing this, you will tighten them in a star pattern. (this allows the wheel to tighten evenly to the hub) You will want to go around a few times to make sure they are tight. Now lower that vehicle back down and put your tools and flat tire back in the trunk. Drive away with a smile on your face because you just proved that you’re at least manly enough to change a tire.

Photo from Tireguides.com

Stay tuned! There may be another ‘Fix it Yourself’ on the horizon. As always, feel free to follow my blog!

How to Beat the Dealership

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Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Let’s face it, Buying cars is one of the most annoying things in the adult life. It is one of those things that are really hard to do online and therefore, you have to go down to the dealership and deal with an over-aggressive salesmen trying to sell you something your don’t need. Well you’re in luck fellas! I used to work in the car business for five and a half years and I have some tips so that you don’t get screwed over. You should walk out of that dealership feeling like you’ve won the negotiation and I’m going to show you how to do it.

Know your credit score

One of the easiest ways to get screwed over at the dealership is by not being prepared. Before you head to the dealer, take a look at your credit so you know what you’re up against. Not only will you have a better idea of what your budget is, but it will save you time in negotiations. Finance managers will make it seem like you won’t be able to get into the vehicle you want because, ‘your credit isn’t good enough.’ A lot of times, you can actually get pre-approved by your bank prior to going to the dealership. By doing this, you will know the amount of money you qualify for which means you will know how expensive of a vehicle you can afford. Another shining light of the pre-approval is that your interest rate is disclosed right there on the front page. Another tactic the finance manager will use is by telling you that your credit doesn’t qualify for a certain rate. In the past, car dealerships used a method of holding gross called ‘holding points.’ For example if you qualified for a rate of 2.99%, your salesman would tell you that you only qualify for 4.99% knowing that you don’t know your credit. The dealer was able to get you approved for 2.99% and still charges you a rate of 4.99%. The two points between the two rates are profit for the dealer. There is more regulation nowadays with how many points a dealer can legally hold, however, they can still hold a point or two. Credit is a difficult thing to understand and if you’re not educated or prepared, the salesman will take advantage of you. If you get pre-approved through your bank, you will have a leg up on your salesman before you even test drive.

Know the value of your vehicle

Another way the salesman will try to make money on you is by undervaluing your trade. Yes, you will not get as much money for your vehicle by trading it into a dealership as you would selling it private party. This is because the dealer needs to keep a margin on the vehicle in order to resell it to the public for profit. However, you can go to KBB.com (Kelley blue book), put in your vehicle’s credentials and generate both a ‘trade-in’ price and ‘private party’ price. Print this out and take it to the dealership with you. The more you know, the better off you’ll be.

Know your budget

There is going to be several things that go into your total ‘out the door’ price. You need to prepare for this as well. The price of the vehicle is only the starting point. After that, you’re going to have taxes and fees. Do a little math prior to going into the dealership. Go onto the dealerships website before hand and pick out a vehicle that is a few thousand dollars cheaper than your budget and make a call to make sure it’s available as to not waste your time going down there for nothing. If you are terrible with money, have no down payment and just lost your job; be realistic! You’re not going to drive away with a new Porsche. You’ll be lucky to leave with a Geo Metro. In addition, don’t let the salesman sell you something you don’t need. All of those pretty bells and whistles are nice, but is it worth pinching pennies every month because your payment is $200 dollars more than you wanted to pay?

Know when to go

This is probably the best piece of advice I can give you. Go buy your new car on the last day of the month! A salesman’s bonus structure is usually based on how many cars they can sell in a month. Knowing this, most dealerships are going to be very aggressive pushing vehicles on the last day of the month to meet their quota, so take advantage of it. I promise that there’s going to be a very thirsty salesman and you might even be able to get your new car below invoice.

Know when to walk away

Another great way to keep the upper hand is to walk away. Ya, seriously! Get up and walk away. Tell them you can’t afford it and stand up and start walking out the door. I’ll bet you that salesman will come running out the door after you and right before you open your car door to leave, they will agree to your terms. This is called the ‘take away close’ and salesmen do it all the time. It feels good when you can do it in return.

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Photo by why kei on Unsplash

In conclusion

Now you know what to do at the dealership and how to prepare. Don’t be another ‘pounder’ for the salesman. (1 pound = 1 thousand dollars of gross made on the deal) If you have any other questions or would like some more information, contact me. And, if you have enjoyed this article, follow my blog and connect with me on my several social media platforms.