A Sweet Last Day at Contract Live


As anyone who read my last blog post knows, Friday was my last day at Contract Live. Before I share pictures from my going-away party, I’d like to briefly explain the reason for my departure.

The short of it is that it just wasn’t the right startup for me. My bosses and I agreed that someone else would be a better match for the startup and the position, so we’re leaving on very good terms =]

This was a very interesting first experience working in France: I got a great introduction into French startups, learned a lot about how things work here, and had a very intelligent boss to learn all sorts of things from. It may not be the best place for me, but I definitely don’t perceive it as time wasted and will keep some nice memories!

So now it’s time to get back out there and look for work =] Do let me know if you hear of any Bay Area startups looking for someone to come in and help with comm., social media and e-marketing, amongst other things O=]

I’m still waiting on pictures (and videos ;D) to come in from coworkers, but here’s a sneak peak and I’ll update this post once I have everything.

I hid Kinder Surprise (Yum!) eggs all over our office for everyone to find in an early Easter celebration! There was one hidden in the printer O=D

Bowser laid an egg!

Project Happy: I have 2 moments to share from today.

1.) I had tons of fun riding on the back of a friend’s motorcycle all over Paris. We drove alongside the Seine River to go to the Eiffel Tower =]

2.) That same friend told me I seemed like an energetic, smart kid and that I’d be going places, so he’d like me to hit him up when I decide to start my own business (I’m sooo flattered he thinks I have so much potential and have what it takes to create my own startup <3)

What about you? Tell me about a nice moment you had today =]

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A Pre-Summer Night’s Adventure


It’s not spring yet, but the weather has been heavenly these evenings in Paris, and what better way to celebrate those glorious nights than with a nice, long walk and a tasty Japanese dinner?

Throughout the night, I somehow managed to meet Luigi…

Oh yes, he's real!

… and discover that even famous French macaron-master Ladurée can’t resist Hello Kitty’s charm.

If you've never had a macaroon, I highly recommend you do; they're delicious!! Especially the ones at Ladurée ❤

See, she agrees!

Project Happy: it felt amazing to quit my job today (more details to come later.) I had no idea I would feel THIS relieved, happy and free =]

The Happiness Project


The last few weeks have been rather stressful, and it felt great to get all that positive feedback on my last post so, inspired by the Delivering Happiess Movement, I’m going to start my own little Happiness Project.

It’s nothing much, just a small daily effort to notice at least one nice moment. Noticing those times has helped me keep a positive attidude the last few weeks, and I’d like to hear more about all of yours too, so I’m going to try to post a little blurb at the end of my blog post every day remembering at least one good thing from that day and invite you to share yours with me too =]

I’ve noticed that, since I started doing, I’ve become much more conscious of all the good things in my life. At first, I only noticed one thing each day, but now I notice several! I hope you’ll do this with me and that it’ll bring you more happiness too =]

So, for yesterday’s moment: while I was handing out badges for Startups for business (which went well–I’ll post something about it later), there were some lulls since most people arrived by the time the event was under way, so I got to hang out downstairs by myself for a few hours. During that time, a Chinese couple wandered in looking for Printemps, a fancy French department store. They were lost so I took a look at their map, showed off my complete lack of directions, and went outside to find someone who could help them. It turned out someone was going that way and offered to walk them there =D Now that was a great use of my time ❤

The Printemps store they were looking for

What about you? What made you happy today? What nice moment did you have?

Happiness Is In the Little Moments


Those unimportant, short-lived moments where you just live. Moments that help you forget your worries and keep track of what’s important =]

Nice weather and music do that for me! I had a pretty stressful day (an event I’ve been working on at work is happening tomorrow so it’s the last minute crazies, and one of my coworkers was pretty frustrating ><‘) but there was sunshine during lunch and the breeze made me wanna sing on the walk home, so it was still a good day =]

Plus, I saw a really big, happy dog in the elevator! He jumped up and hugged me =]

What did you enjoy today? What was your moment of peace and happiness?

Why Being Social Is Awesome (Check Out My Bike!)


I haven’t gotten my camera memory card back yet, but I couldn’t resist sharing one of the coolest moments from Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH conference with you.

One of the things my boss wanted me to do at the conference was to go around and find judges and somehow entice them to come to our booth (we were just one of dozens of startups in the demo pit, but if one judge found our startup really cool they could have brought us on stage to pitch in front of the whole conference.)

That’s not a very good strategy though. Have you ever been hunted? For anything… a favor, money, even a homeless person trying to get a few coins? It’s NOT an enjoyable experience. So I had the following thought process: if I was a judge, would I get sick of entrepreneurs chasing me around trying to get me to go check out their cool SoLoMo startup? Um… yeah! I would! Would I avoid anyone making a bee line for me? Heh, well… I would be a little cautious. So why the hell would I do that to them?

The way I saw it, our best chance at success (and at my actually enjoying the conference–the first day was pretty boring since all I got to do was stand at the booth) was to just be my usual social, cheerful self =] so that’s what I did. I walked around the stands chatting everyone up, trying on costumes (no joke! Pictures will go up once I get my camera memory card back) and taking pictures… and lo and behold, I ran into judges!

So I just kept going =] One judge I ran into had an awesome bike! So what did I do? I asked for a ride ^^ and I got it!! He let me do several laps around the conference! Yeah… I was proud =D He had me film a little schpeel about how the bike rode for his blog too ❤ (I’ll post the link once I’ve got it.) And we did end up stopping by the stand so I could grab my camera, so he learned about Contract Live too.

Told you that ride was awesome! Can you see the peddals?

The coolest part though? Bill Warner (the judge in question), a famous entrepreneur and Angel investor, asked for my opinion on an investment he was considering. Oh was I proud then! I’ll have to save those details for another post though ;D I want to see what y’all think about the startup he was considering.

So? Are you gonna be even more social and awesome now that you’ve read how awesome it can make your day? =]

*As if that encounter wasn’t cool enough as it is, he told me I should go into tv =]

Have You Been Delivering Happiness?


Just because I can’t use my camera doesn’t mean I can’t keep sharing cool stuff with you =]

Today’s pick: Delivering Happiness. I was researching the judges from last week’s Launch conference and got to Tony Hsieh, and boy is this guy awesome! He wrote a book called Delivering Happinesswhich became a full-blown movement dedicated to spreading happiness. See why I’m wild about it?

Picture taken from Nuno Barreto's blog (click for link)

It’s all about sharing the good stuff and making people happy! How do they do that? By inspiring people to do good =] to help each other, to plan events all about making people happy, and by spreading the word!

How can you get involved? Go right here.

And don’t forget to add their button to your website! 

Dream Job: International House Activities Coordinator


All this talk about living life to the fullest and finding a fulfilling occupation has made me kind of pensive lately. I’ve been dreaming up all kinds of ideal careers! Here’s the first one I’ll tell you about.

I volunteered at my university’s International House (i-house) this morning. It was tons of fun. I got to chat up students from Germany, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand… you name it! Today was the first day of a whole week preparing international students for their first semester in the U.S. and it got me thinking… I could totally work at a place like this =]

I love meeting people from all over the world, speak 4 languages, am used to dealing with cultural differences, have tons of experience working with foreigners and am used to planning sight-seeing trips/taking care of reception both for friends of mine who fly in and for interns placed in the Bay Area by AIESEC San Jose.

I drove all the way down to San Diego to take care of AIESEC reception for our Dutch trainee, Jeroen (first from the left)

AIESEC and my own love of traveling and making friends with people from the world over have prepared me for this kind of occupation pretty well…

Let’s look at the perks

  1. Meet students from all over the world (and make friends =] )
  2. Motivation to learn even more languages!
  3. Do work that is much more fun than being stuck in a cubicle all week long
  4. Plan and go on trips all over the Bay Area
Now for the cons
  1. Probably doesn’t pay very well
  2. Long hours
  3. Work on weekends
  4. Event planning (?)

Yeah… I don’t especially enjoy event planning, but I think I should specify. I don’t like to plan big, professional, time-consuming events (like the alumni mixer AIESEC San Jose put on last fall) but smaller-scale events for foreign students are different. Those are more laid-back and I’m used to setting them up so it shouldn’t be a problem.

All things considered, this would be a super-fun job! Now I have no illusions… the i-house’s coordinator was running all over the place and seemed pretty stressed out this morning. She was getting ready for a long week of activities! She also seemed very happy though, like she truly enjoys her job. Maybe I should interview her for a blog post–yeah?

I guess what I need to figure out now is whether there are “i-houses” at universities in Paris!

What do you think? Would I make a good international student activities coordinator?