Not Everyone Is A Winner (How It’s Affecting My Decision To Run A Company)

Recently I read an article by Daniel Negreanu, a world-renowned poker professional, who through his analysis of critiquing another poker player’s view on the game said,

Truth is, most of you reading this, will be lifetime losers at poker. You are unlikely to become successful professional poker players. It is available to all of you, and some of you will find success at the tables, but the truth is clear: most of you will fail. Sucks huh?”

Either it’s because I’m listening to alternative emotional rock music or my meds are not kicking in correctly, but I really resonate with that paragraph. The idea to hear a top poker professional tell the world that most of us… or in this case reminding me – that I AM NOT or will ever be a winning player – floored me in a position where I don’t want to gamble anymore. Why? because he’s fucking right.

I have / had this weird psychological fucked-up mindset where I could be a winning player in poker. I’m going to be honest, as I’ve said many times before – I’m not a winning play in poker.

I have an addictive gambling personality that I will keep playing for hours upon days upon weeks until I lose everything. I’ve said this before but gambling has ruined a big portion of my life.

I feel like crying. In fact I have cried about this already but I wish I never ever took up cards. It’s not even about the money, it’s just about the time of my life that I gave away in the process of playing cards. Anyway, I’m not here to repeat what I said in my gambling article. I want to tell you that “not everyone is a winner.” No matter how far you come, no matter how hard you work, no matter what you do… many times (sometimes) you just won’t win.

Here we go…
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Donated to ALS & Concerns About California’s Drought

Today I donated $50 to support the ALS Association. It’s for a great cause because your money will go to the research to find a cure against ALS.

Also, today I did my own Ice Water Bucket Challenge. You ready? Let’s get started…
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Competition

In terms of writing, these past two weeks have been very difficult. I would sit down and do my best to write an artciel for this blog, thought catalog, and even in my own private journals… with no success.

I attribute my writer’s block to a lack of reading and a lack of discipline:  i) a writer is able to write because he gets inspired and learns from reading other texts. ii) a writer must force himself in a room to write.

Thinking about the overall picture of the situation, I think the reason why I haven’t written anything is because I’ve been lazy. Laziness breeds inactivity, which triggers a loss of your  productive momentum that happens when you’re already doing something.

This entire concept also holds true for my YouTube channel: I haven’t published anything in weeks. The reason is because i) I don’t have anything good to publish and ii) I haven’t filmed enough to see if I have anything good to publish.

Today. Right now. It’s different. Something inside of me is screaming at me to write and film without hesitation. This means I’m not striving for perfection, I’m striving to gain the momentum necessary to start being productive again. I’ve allowed other distractions take over…

Why? What has led to this burning desire to start writing and filming again. It’s simple really, competition.

Let me explain.
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26 Rules To Live By From An Unsuccessful 26 Year Old

Hey Ya’ll. Even though I wrote this originally for Thought Catalog (you can see all my other type of writings there). I want to make sure you didn’t miss it so I’m republishing it here. I hope you enjoy this piece. 

This is inspired by one of my mentor’s post a year before.

I just turned 26 and I’m going to be honest with you. I do not have everything figured out. I’m still traveling, searching, struggling, and fighting hard to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself. I am not a millionaire, a hundred thousandnair, or infamous. Almost every great opportunity I have had has led to a downhill battle, or is still pending in results, due to my inability to make the right choices.

Simply, I’m an unsuccessful 26 year-old.
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Why I Made “Say Something Wonderful Surprise!”

I recently made this film to help cope with my anger management issue:

Last weekend I visited my family in San Diego to hang out with my 15 and 17 year old brothers. The youngest one is into film while the other is into music. I’m fortunate to have creative family members because that (this) weekend I wanted to film something for my YouTube channel.

I haven’t posted anything for about a week. But I didn’t want to film just anything, I wanted it to be good.

The first concept I had was to start off being sad and then actually crying. The background would change as my face would tear up while looking miserably downcast. This is how I actually felt at the time (I’m a negative person). Then, the camera would shift and a smile would begin to creep up on my face as I looked up to see… the Disnelyand sign!

The next sequence of shots would be of me having a ton of fun on Disneyland rides. I was going to call it: “The Happiest Place on Earth.” However, we didn’t film it because we realized that Disneyland is very expensive, almost three hour drive away, and their was something missing in the overall concept. I swayed back and forth until I made the decision that we needed to push the idea for a later date.

This got me into a very depressed mood.
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How To Get Into UC Berkeley

For how small this website’s community is (60 people a day on average) – I’m always surprised when someone emails me (jonathan.gaurano [at] gmail.com) asking me to write an article. I appreciate it and like when you all do this because it helps me write something on this blog. I’m writing for you.
Here is what this person had to say:
“Future posts on college would be cool…”

As much as I could tell you how to get into college, I’m going to be honest with you that in my senior year in high school I applied to six universities and then got rejected by five: because I came from an under-resourced economic community, I wanted to go to an elite university because I knew the network for these places would help me move up into society – faster. So, I only applied to elite universities – AND – I got rejected by five of them.

Those five universities were i) New York University, ii) Columbia, iii) Brown University, iv) Wesleyan University, v) Notre Dame. Yes, I got rejected by all of them.

Last minute I got accepted by UC Berkeley (it’s a story I will tell later). It is the only school in California I applied to because it was the furthest from San Diego & it was (and is) the number one public school in the world. I thought to myself that if I didn’t get into UC Berkeley, I would go to a community college and then transfer. I really wanted to go to this school & now I’m going to tell you how I got in – hopefully it’ll help you someway.

Here we go.

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Making & Connecting with Friends

A week ago a reader emailed me asking me to write a post:

I think it would be cool to hear more advice on making friends. I know you have a post on networking though. I love hearing about networking advice though lol. Personally though, I struggle with connecting with people and making friends, and you seem like someone who knows a lot about that.

I think this reader gives me a little too much credit in this department. I’ve been thinking about this subject and I’ve realized the one thing this reader has to understand is that making and connecting with friends are two very different concepts. I believe making friend is one of the easiest things one can do in life, it requires little or no effort. Connecting with a friend is harder because it requires more time and trust with both parties involved. However, the main thing to keep in mind is that for both things to happen you cannot go in trying to be friends with anybody: you need to let it happen naturally.

As you can see there are three concepts we’re going to analyze and go through. Let’s begin.

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When Something Punishes You. Push Through?

Here’s the story.

I left for New York on Wednesday, July 9th 2014. I was there with my startup buddies for a business event where we had a big part in the convention that was being held there. Sadly, the convention got cancelled last minute. So here I was, spending $500 for a flight to New York, traveling to the destination with no real goal in mind. The only logical thing to do was i) Vlog ii) Write for this blog & Thought Catalog and iii) have fun times with my New York Friends.

Long story short these are the events that took place. I’m writing this fast because I’m currently sitting in an airport lobby waiting for my next flight.
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The Power of Consistency

Consistency, regardless if it’s working out – to brushing your teeth, is a very important trait to have if you want to be successful in anything. For the sake of this article and for the sake of my own brand, I’m going to talk about consistency in relation to the examples of this website, my articles on other sites, and my YouTube channel.

Let’s start with articles on other sites.
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Jesus. Too Much.

What’s up ya’ll?

I understand I haven’t been writing much and the numbers are showing. It used to be that about 100 of you were looking at this blog and now, we’re averaging only about 50. I haven’t disbanded ya’ll completely. I like writing and will keep up with this blog, but right now I will tell you that I haven’t been in tip-top shape because I’ve been extremely exhausted in the last few weeks.

As of right now I’m helping my friend with his startup by managing his internal team and pitching in with his sales strategy for an upcoming convention in NYC. I have no idea why I’m pitching in, but I guess because I just like helping? I believe in his idea? It’s fun to solve problems that a company has? It feels good to be needed?

(Probably yes to all of these rhetorical questions).
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Making Things NOT Happen

“I want to stay busy.”

“I’m not doing enough.”

“I need to be productive.”

These are constant things I hear and also tell myself on a daily basis when it comes to the projection of my self-worth. If I’m not doing something productive or if I’m not busy then I feel like I’ve become a disgusting slob for that day. The more slob like days I have, the more I want to rip my shirt into many pieces: I hate not being productive.

But, in time I’m learning that there is a big difference between productivity, staying busy, doing enough, and actually making things happen. What do I mean?
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The Only Way Out is Through

The Only Way Out is Through – Robert Frost

I was talking to one of my (gambling anonymous) sponsors the other day and I was telling him that I was having difficulty getting through the day without thinking about gambling. Living with an addiction that you’re trying to get rid out of your system is very arduous. Not being able to gamble might be easy for others, for me it’s like getting a mosquito NOT to fly towards a bright light.

Almost impossible.

And -

Los Angeles has a ton of Casino Lights that seduce me while I’m driving to and from work on the freeway. My head and hands sweat as my brain is trying to thinking of excuses to exit the freeway and SPRINT into the casino.

I really want to stop Gambling because it’s not only going to ruin me financially, but it’s also going to ruin the potential I currently have: am I willing to risk the rest of my 20s – MY LIFE – on cards?

So I called my sponsor and began to tell him how I wanted to pounce to the casino: the URGE IS SO STRONG. It’s weird it was like the casino was calling my brain to visit her. I was actually in pain because I wasn’t visiting her. You could say it felt like a bad breakup. I was venting these thoughts to my sponsor when he said, “Jonathan – The Only Way Out is Through.”

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Marathon vs Sprinting

It’s strange.

In the past I’ve helped (or managed) YouTube channels whose videos have gotten hundreds / if not millions of views. And, recently I did a video that grew to around 2,000+ views (still climbing) organically – and I’ve never ever felt so excited in my life! It could be because i) I wasn’t expecting these amount of views. ii) It grew organically (didn’t do any spamming on other channels). iii) It’s my own.

If you haven’t seen the video, here it is:

Anyway, this post is about Marathon vs. Sprinting…
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Surround Yourself With Smarter People: For The Entrepreneur

Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, people who you can bounce off ideas with, and people who are there to motivate you till the very end.

It’s been three months since I’ve been out of a job and in the process I’ve been looking for other opportunities to keep me going. The time has been spent traveling from North to South California to even random places, like Utah. I’ve been able to interact with a variety personalities in the YouTube space and startups.

This whole ordeal has led me to one conclusion: I need to surround myself with people who will get me to work. This is basically my issue is that I’ve been able to get out of bed and start working. You can see this as a sad thing but I’m unable to work alone. I love working an office. I love working with people who I can talk to about my ideas and here the projects they’re working on – this keeps me on my toes. And, I’m taking this philosophy not only for my own personal work, but also to the people who I work with (interns).

For example, I’ve now left my girlfriend in Northern California (staying long-distance) because the peer group I need to be at is in LA. And, I just purchased a plane ticket for my intern so I can start working in LA over the summer.

I believe the biggest investment you can make are the people you surround yourself with: you can do things yourself, but it’s always great to get second opinions on things because it can only make your work better. Also, it’s always great to have people who also believe in your projects because that in itself will make you make more.

I’m saying that you should be doing the same thing.
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Celebrate The Small Wins: Analyzing Thought Catalog Pieces

I’m writing right now because I’m a little stressed at the moment. I think one of the biggest reasons I’m stressing is because I’m unable to complete my latest vlog.

I’m trying to figure out how to integrate a bunch of the days to make it not boring. It’s bothering me as I keep editing and re-editing scenes – trying to make a story of some sort.

The ability to not finish this task is making me realize all the other unfinished things I have at the moment. In addition, my lawyer just said today,

“Time flies really fast man, I hope you’re getting your shit together. You better not be homeless by the end of the year.”

Then, I have my family and my partner subtly breathing down my neck all because they’re going through financial strain (need help. I believe I’m the source to help). Usually in these circumstances I go out and I gamble because it’s just a way to relieve stress. However, it’ll just create more stress in the long run because losing money won’t really help my cause.

Therefore I’m writing.

This article will be what I need to feel like I at least got something done, which will just ease my mind and help me complete my other tasks (momentum). Yes, I’m writing that you too can help clear your own mind and de-stress from the craziness by appreciating your small wins.

What do I mean? Let me explain.
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New York’s Finest High School & Ramen Noodle Soup!

Today I finished editing and just published my new video: “New York’s Finest High School & Ramen Noodle Soup!” This post isn’t about a strategy to what I’m going to do to make people watch the video. I wanted to talk about the experience, the students, the lessons I learned, and other things involving teaching (education).

Before we begin, you can view the video below!

Alright, let’s get started.
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Happiness & Positive Reinforcement

I’m happy right now and reflecting on so many aspects of my life. I think I’ll talk about it tomorrow, but for now I’m reading a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I’m going to implore you to read it because it’s pretty life-changing. Anyway, I want to share an expert from the book.

It involves the power of being kind and enforcing positivity to your peers, co-workers, and anyone (if any) who works for you. And, how this power can drastically change your workforce for the better. Here we go…
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The “I Don’t Know What To Start. I’m Distracted” Complex

This is my 17th time trying to write today’s article for this site. It’s been tough because my mind has been wandering around trying to figure out what to do first: should I edit my next YouTube episode? Write the article for Thought Catalog (writing on another site to get exposure is beneficial for want-ta-writers like myself)? Finish this article for my site because I promised ya’ll I would write more often (almost everyday)?

In the past few hours I would bounce around from this task to the next – to the next – and then back to this task again. For example, I want to close this document and finish my half-started Thought Catalog article. But I know that once I get to “trying to write” the Thought Catalog article I’ll just stare at the blank document thinking about how this initial article isn’t done.

What’s even worse is that now little other things are popping up that are making me even more distracted: a facebook notification, a text message alert, the fact that I need to check up on my car outside before I get a parking ticket… etc.,

AHHH. My brain is spinning, but I’m controlling myself because I want to make myself an example: I can tell you honestly that once I started this article (after changing the topic to the one I’m writing now), I have yet to sidestep from completing this task.

I have a saying when my brain surges in so many different directions that you’re unable to get anything done, I call it the The “I Don’t Know What To Start. I’m Distracted” Complex. The complex ruins your creative output because it doesn’t leave your brain open to think of something new or creative. It’s a bane.

Sometimes it’s so bad that I end up NOT getting anything done and just running to the nearest couch or bed to sleep: instead of my day being productive, it becomes a wasted day of just me sleeping. Pathetic.

Do you have this complex as well? I’ve had it all my life and I’m going to tell you how I’ve been able to “kind of” get a hold of this complex.

I feel writing this is helping me more than you right now, but hell, the best way to solve anything or become an expert at anything – is to teach the concept. I’m here to teach.

Here we go.

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Loser. Unable to DGAF.

I’m unable to DGAF (Don’t Give a F*ck) about what people think about me. It’s difficult especially when you’re not doing well. In my case, me “not doing well” is the fact that my side projects are not going well and I’m a little lost in my life with my career.

For example, I only have about 4,000 views on my YouTube channel (out of like 8 videos) and I average 65ish unique visitors a day to this blog. 65! LOL. (The blog views are fine as I’m not expecting much due to the fact that it wasn’t made to be popular, but more so my outlet to write AND a place where people who really searched hard for me – could get a dose of who I was as a person – BUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL & other social networks… well I suck) I should just kill myself.

The place(s) I used to work at always laughed, snickered, joked about, and were highly entertained when someone they hated (or rivals) failed (didn’t do so well). Right now I can feel these types of people breathing down my neck with great satisfaction that I’m not doing well. And, I’m having a very tough time trying to DGAF.

They say that “success” is the best revenge. However, I don’t want to be successful because I want revenge. I think that mantra is the stupidest fucking thing to say. The best revenge is NO revenge. Period.

Personally, I want to (and will work my ass off to) be successful so I don’t kill myself. Literally, I succeeded in certain things in my life all so the fact that I wouldn’t take a gun, stick it into my mouth, and pull the trigger.

I’ve never been a point where I’ve gone through with or attempted with a suicidal action. I think I’m too conceited and it’s a big permanent solution for usually – temporary problems. [In addition, I think suicide, in my case, would be a very selfish act (vying for attention)].

But, it’s not like it’s not in the back of my mind – haunting me to succeed.

Let me explain:

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How To Make a Prank Video with LAHWF & Tim Ferriss: Video Strategy?

Today I finished editing and just published my new video: Making a Prank Video with LAHWF and Tim Ferriss. It was a fun one to shoot and edit. Now, all that is left is doing things to make people view the video.

Before I begin telling you what I’ll be doing today (hopefully it works) – you can first see the video here:

Alright, now let’s get started…
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