Today we begin with some new Snoop and end with some new Dre. Cheers to both these guys for still making great music into their golden years despite growing up during one of the most dangerous periods in hip hop history. Also, make sure to continually drop by and give love to my good friend Anthony Jones. I get to see him do sketches all day long (we work together), but his lunch sketches are special – mostly because they feature quite a bit more underboob than his "on-the-clock" pieces.
And now on to the advice...
If you want to get ahead in life, be reliable.
The first part of being reliable is helping whenever you can. I don't mean casually. People need to know that every time they come to you, they are going to walk away with a solution or at least a piece of mind. You want to be the person who people think of when they need a problem solved. There are several reasons, and they all relate to building your support base.
When you help people out, they tend to help you back. Simple gestures like assisting a friend carry a couch can pay off with dividends in the long run. When you volunteer your time and resources to help someone, you are not only investing in your own future – but also in the prosperity of a friend. For the altruists out there – the well being of a another is enough. But even for the uncharitable, it would be a folly to overlook the benefit you bring yourself by helping build of the wealth of a friend.
But help doesn't begin and end with lifting heavy furniture. When you hear a friend lamenting a difficult interpersonal relationship – if you can offer insight or even just a willing shoulder to lean on – it is in your own best interest to do it. That is because, when you help people out, even if the person you help out isn't in any position to help you back, you tend to end up as the center of many social circles – and this can only be good for you. The more people are talking about you (positively of course), the more likely you'll come in contact with opportunities which would have otherwise eluded your grasp.
However, helping people is only one part of making yourself reliable.
Another, very important aspect is Being On Time. It doesn't matter where you live, how your parents raised you, or what your busy planner looks like – when you are on time, people will learn to rely on your punctuality if you maintain a perfect record. Conversely, they will learn to not rely on your tardiness if you are often late – and this has dire consequences. If someone can't rely on you to arrive on time, then they wont call on you when the timing of something is important to them – which is very bad, because that thing you're missing out on could be important to you.
A simple example: Imagine that you are an aspiring actor and you'd do just about anything to meet the head of a large talent agency named Brookhouse & Mackres. You know that if you can get in front of the big wigs, you'll make your mark and get picked up right away.
Lets suppose your friend named Hayley invites you to a dinner with some friends at 7pm. You know that 7 pm usually means 7:30 in your town, so you don't rush to leave on time. When you arrive at the restaurant at 7:35, Hayley and the friends are already sitting down enjoying the meal.
“No Biggie!”, says Hayley, “we're just here to have a good time!”.
And you go on to have a great night with Hayley and her friends. But here's where it gets tricky...
The next day, Hayley gets a call from an uncle who happens to be having lunch with the head of Brookhouse & Mackres. The uncle invites Hayley to join the two, and even says Hayley should bring a guest! But, the uncle warns, the two only have an hour for lunch, so Hayley cannot be late under any circumstance.
Knowing that you take a liberal view towards time management, Hayley calls another friend to join in the lunch, and you unknowingly miss your big break!
Aside from general promptness, it is incredibly important to Communicate Dependably. In today's world, we communicate in a dizzying variety of mediums: Email, text messages, tweets, status updates, cell phones, and even old fashioned in-person conversations. For you to become the center of your own social hub, you need to be good at all of these things. More than that – you need to embrace new forms of communication as soon as you can. People need to know that when they reach out to you, they'll hear something back – and this means you must be both timely in your replies, and approachable through as wide of a communication net as a you can cast. The more ways you can show that you'll get back to someone, the better off your chances they'll feel comfortable relying on you for something else.
So basically we have a few simple ideas to keep in mind. Help people whenever you can, because it gets people talking about you, and makes it likely for them to help you back in the future. Be on time, because you people need to know that you'll be there when they need you. And email people back promptly when they email you, because they need to know that asking you questions gets answers right away. Most of these ideas are so basic that they are easy to forget about. However, if you want to get ahead, you have to practice on being reliable, and theres no better time to start than now!