Two Stupidly Simple Actions for Extreme Success

Two stupid easy things you can do for massive success in college. As a student you should ensure you graduate and not only make everyone proud, but learn the skills to secure your dream career (or future). Click through to find out what separates the most successful students from those who flounder in college!

I’ve been thinking a lot about beliefs lately much they shape our selves and our experience of the world... your beliefs can determine your level of success... some students can do fantastically well in high school and totally bomb in college, while others (like me) can come from a garbage GPA and end up performing at an extremely high level.

When I left high school I had a whopping 0.0 GPA (it’s HARD work to get that low of a GPA...let me tell you). I had no idea what I was doing as far as school went. And that was high school. That’s when things were supposed to be easy.

Although I got my sh*t together in independent study to finish my high school education with a 4.01 I still didn’t quite get it.

Once I was in college for a few years, I began to realize what separates successful students from those who flounder their goals.

And it isn’t how intelligent a person is.

Or how organized.

(Thank goodness!)

It just takes 2 stupidly simple actions to produce incredible results. And the best news is, anyone can use them to achieve high levels of success.

Dying to know what they are? (Yeah? Good! You’re on your way to becoming a top performer!)

1 Finding the BEST teachers and strategies for YOU

You’re in college to learn valuable skills, right? And you’re getting the benefit of learning from some really great teachers (I hope!).

Well there’s two layers at work here: 1) you’re learning information from your profs and 2) you’re translating that information into stuff you can use to create a successful career on our own terms.

Part 1 is just check out your professor’s ratings on, or do some research to see if they’re top notch or not.

Part 2...that’s a little tricky.

How do you translate all that information and make sure that you’re becoming the best student and learning everything you need to know to set yourself up for a dream career?

How do you make sure you’re on track to gain everything that’s going to set you up for an incredible life after college?

You do you make absolutely sure you’re not going to waste your time and money and make your family proud when you graduate?

Easy answer. You get a coach.

You learn from your teachers because they’ve specialized in a subject and have enough experience to convey the necessary points to you so you get an education.

You learn from a coach because you want the best strategies for how to turn that information into value…. that when you graduate you’ve proven to everyone that you’re capable of succeeding in college and in your career.

If could have had someone to tell me exact strategies for succeeding in college, I would have saved $10,000 and 3 years of extra college time while I “figured things out.”

Some of you don’t have the ability to waste a ton of money and years trying how to figure out how to be super successful in college.

If you’re *serious* about becoming an elite student and ensuring your future success, and want to get your information from a coach who’s helped thousands of students perform at their highest levels (instead of sifting through dozens of articles on google that may never actually help you), then I urge you to snag any one of the 8 lessons I have up in the course video vault.

You'll be able to learn things like...

  • how to study LESS and learn MORE
  • biohacks for A grades without extra work
  • how to learn the right skills for your dream career
  • how to find friends who will keep you on top of your sh*t
  • and how to get your work done even when you're freaking out
  • how to create a massive action plan so you can still get work done when you're overwhelmed

Now, what’s the other essential component all successful students have in common?

2 They are confident in their ability to succeed

You don’t need more hours in a day. And you can’t blame a crappy professor.

What you absolutely DO need to succeed is more confidence in your ability to perform at an elite level.

That’s why you see those straight A students who seem to never study for tests. That’s why the really successful students seem less overwhelmed and stressed out than the rest.

In order to have complete confidence in your abilities, you need to know that you’re able to internalize all the information your professors are giving you and understand it well enough to apply it in the real world. You need to know that you can write papers that clearly communicate your ideas. You need to know that you can blast through an exam without staying up the night before to study.

And most of all, you need to know that you have the strategies in place to do all the work, even when it seems impossible.

When I first started college I was that student I mentioned earlier -- the one that scrambled to write papers, turn in the homework, and never once talked to a professor in office hours.

But eventually I realized that in order to totally crush it at college I had to change the way I thought about the work I was doing, dramatically.

Which is why understanding how to apply biohacks and neurohacks in order to get that confidence up is a major part of the lessons in the vault.

When you enter the vault you’ll be able to learn things like…

  • How to gain confidence so you can dominate at college without the overwhelm
  • How to befriend other elite students (because the best way to become the person you want to be is to hang out with the people you want to be like)
  • How to hack your body and brain so you can do better work with zero extra effort

Plus, you get exclusive access to one-on-one coaching sessions with me to talk about your unique concerns and figure out strategies for overcoming them.

It’s not a complete cakewalk, my friend, but you wouldn’t be here if you’re not willing to put in the work. That’s how I know you’re going to crush.


Hope I'll see you on the inside!

How to Choose Which College is Right For YOU

As I drive through the iconic Yosemite Valley, surrounded by the tallest rock faces I’ve ever seen, I think about what I’m going to do with my life.

I’m at a crossroads of sorts.

I love Portland more than any city I’ve ever lived in, but I’m feeling it.


But not only that. There’s a pull to be more, to do more. 

Which is a little weird considering I work a job where I make 3 figures an hour, and I live an incredibly rich life in one of the most beautiful places full of beautiful, awesome people.

But I'm craving to grow again, to be challenged by a project I'm passionate about (like this blog!) and that keeps me learning and striving.

As I’m driving I’m overwhelmed by a swirl of complex emotions and thoughts, like I know many of you are as you prepare to apply to your top choice colleges.

And the question is: how do you choose?

How do you choose the path that’s going to shape the rest of your life?

Gah! The responsibility of it!

You’re incredibly lucky if you already know what path you want to be on/what college you want to go to.

Even if you're already in do you utilize the tools at your disposal to ensure even greater success?

For those of us who feel a bit lost, a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of making a decision that will change our lives forever, I’ve got some ruminations for you that may help make the decision easier.

  Pin this lovely!

Pin this lovely!

And before I launch into specifics of how to choose the college that’s a best fit for you, let me first say that I firmly believe there are no wrong answers in life.

The decision you make will be the one you have to live with -- so it’s a matter of what you do with a good or right or bad or uncomfortable outcome. You always have the power to leave and do something different….you will always find growth and value in everything you do.

Ok, but now for the criteria that will help you make a more informed decision about what college to attend.

People don’t just go to college because “it’s a good school,” anymore. There are many factors that can play into the decision. I’ll lay some out here, and if you feel one of these reasons is more important to you, focus on that when you make the decision about what college to attend.

You can rank the colleges according to whether or not they meet several of these criteria to help you make a good decision.

College Programs

If you know you want to be a marine biologist, obviously colleges that specialize in marine biology should be at the top of your list. But aside from the obvious, there are other types of programs that can draw you to a specific college.

For example, if you know you want to practice psychology, there are going to be a lot of colleges in your pool. You can narrow your decision by looking at the types of programs offered, like if the college is known for a specific branch of psychology you’re interested in, or if it offers more research based learning which is something that interests you.

If you want to go to med school later down the road, look at colleges that aren’t necessarily in the top rankings for micro bio programs, but that have relationships with nearby hospitals or medical labs, so you can benefit from specific research units outside of the college as well.

UC Santa Cruz, as an example, offers a wide range of research programs within their division of physical and biological sciences:

how to choose the college that's right for YOU - programs offered

These, more than the notoriety of your college for a particular field, are helpful in directing your college decision, because these are going to be the more niche fields you can enter to develop a more specific skill set and compelling job resume or grad application.

Sports, music, theater, and other programs are also reasons for choose a particular college. If you want to study a particular academic and also do sports or something art-oriented in addition, those programs can drive your choice more than the academic side if you'd like them to.

College Professors

Choose which professors you’re going to be working with may seem like a more grad-school level decision, but the truth is, your professors can largely influence your success at your undergraduate school.

At UC Berkeley I knew I would be working with some of the most respected poets and critical thinkers in the world. I had been looking at UC Santa Cruz as an option as well, because I loved the town and the college ethos, but the professor list just didn’t do it for me.

And it was a great decision, because I was able to become close to some of the top minds of their generation and was able to secure scholarships and attend conferences I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to get or go to, because of professorial recommendation. And those names on your grad school application really do pull weight. Not to mention, after graduating I was able to publish a translation in a prestigious journal because my professor handed over my work to the editors.

So if a college isn’t necessarily known for your particular study of interest, but a prominent professor teaches there, you may consider adding it to your list for that reason.


Networking Possibilities

Networking is the reason Los Angeles or New York are a great locations for would-be filmmakers. You may be able to find a great program in terms of technology somewhere else, but the networking possibilities make LA and NY a no-brainer for the film industry.

Considering how many people there are you could be introduced to in a given location can trump a program’s other highlights, especially if you’re in a field that you can enter the job market in right out of college.

Berkeley was home to many famous poets and writers, as well as booksellers, small presses, and literary events. So it made a lot of sense to not only study with some of the world’s most revered writers, but to also immerse myself in the literary culture there.

That was how I published my first piece in a prestigious journal. Making friends with the right people. 

Networking is one of the more valuable tools in education.

Who you know carries more weight than your GPA on your resume. If a world class artisan can train you in cabinet’re already ahead of the 3,000 other students who studied the craft under a less-notable person.

If you want to make it big in the world, I suggest you do research about what kind of networking possibilities there will be in your field.

You can research things like:

  • Internships offered
  • Events catering to your major
  • Is the location known for a particular reason
  • Are there a lot of people who work in your desired field
  • Are there a lot of businesses around that want people like you


College Location

college location can have a bit impact on your happiness and success

As I drove past the twisting oak trees on a campus rich with ivy-climbed brick buildings I knew I’d found a college I could call home.

I had spent one year on the beach at Santa Barbara City College, but to be honest, I wasn’t really a beach person, or a party girl, which the school was infamous for. I’d lived a city over from Santa Barbara. I think I was intimidated to be in a city -- even one as small and laid back as Santa Barbara -- by myself, so I opted for a 15 minute drive outside of SB in a small, small town.

It was my first time away from home and I was a 6+ hour drive from my family. Those factors alone were enough to send me packing after the first year.

I’d chosen the wrong location.

So when I rolled past the forested campus of Santa Rosa Junior College, only an hour away from home and nestled in the familiar oak and ivy landscape of my youth, I breathed a sigh of relief.

And those years I spent at SRJC were incredible. I had a host of amazingly talented teachers, rigorous classes, and I opened my eyes to a lot of what college could be.

Going to these two colleges taught me about the importance of location.

Especially if you’re unsure about what to major in, choosing your college based on location can be paramount to your happiness and success.

Because the truth is, you can get a great education at any college. You can be successful having come from any program.

Where you end up spending the next 2, 4, or more years of your life can be really meaningful.

I know I would be absolutely miserable if I went to school in New York City, even though they have some of the best English programs there. I need my trees and mountains, sorry.

So spend careful consideration of your location. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in the place you choose. Choose wisely.


College Size/Type

There are certain advantages to the size of college you choose to attend. If you struggle with getting your work done, or if you’d feel lost in a huge class, maybe look at smaller liberal arts colleges, where the professor to student ratio is such that you won’t just be a face in a sea of faces.

This can often help you better turn assignments in on time or go to class-- if you really feel like your professor would notice, it’s a lot harder to skimp out on your responsibilities.

On the other hand, choosing a large school means more options for courses, and there are always ways you can stand out -- even in a lecture hall full of a hundred other students.

You can think too about whether or not you want to attend a private or public institution. Private colleges are often smaller, offer more individualized attention, but cost more than public colleges.

If you’re fresh out of high school and don’t know what you want to major in, or if you want to get a taste for what college and life away from home is like without a ton of pressure, community or city colleges offer the first two years of college as an intermediary before heading off to a 4 year university.

I’m a HUGE advocate of community college in that they allow you to figure out how to navigate college before heading off to “big kid school.”

Plus, community college classes are cheaper, so you can sample a lot of courses before settling down to a major!

If you’re not feeling quite cut out for academia, you can look at vocational colleges or trade schools, which will teach you a very specific skill set meant to help you in a career right after college.


College Ranking

This last factor in making a college decision is pretty self explanatory. If you know just what major you want, you can search colleges by their ranking.

Going to a highly ranked University in your area of study means that some census has measured graduation percentages and performance of graduated students, how satisfied students and alumni are/were, how selective a college is in picking students, and how much the financial packages are offered off the cost of tuition, to name a few.

Oh yeah, and it also means that the colleges have great professors in that program, and have proven to be influential outside the college bounds.

It’s nice to check and see if your college is ranked if you want to go for prestige -- and yeah, going to a top-notch University can greatly help your chances in a career later on.

One of the many factors in making the college decision!

It’s not an easy decision to make. Some people have a better time of it than others. I only wanted to go to UC Berkeley for undergrad, so it was the only college I applied to. Thank goodness I got in.

Same for grad school. I only applied to one school, gained acceptance, and that was that.

I chose both colleges based on location and ranking (also professors & type for grad school -- I ended up in a low residency MFA with one of my favorite authors...super cool).

Other factors ended up playing toward my success in those colleges (networking/professors), but my admissions decision was made based on only two factors in this list.

Overwhelmed by the application process?

Unsure about which schools you should apply to?

Don't know how to make your application stand out among the rest?

No worries! I've opened limited spots for one-on-one sessions to go through the process start to finish and land admission to your top-choice schools.

This package is perfect for you if....

  • You want guidance on which schools will be the best fit for you  (taking into account academic standing, extracurriculars, hobbies and interests, and your future plan)
  • You want to know exactly what to write to get noticed by admissions
  • You're anxious about writing a personal essay that needs to illustrate your awesomeness
  • You've got some essays written but they're lackluster and tormenting you as you sleep

Let's get to work!

Together we'll...

  • Determine your interests and experience and map out a magnificent plan for your future
  • Discover alternate routes for achieving your dreams so you have options (which are awesome and really help mitigate stress)
  • Make visible your unique and desirable qualities
  • Make a bullet outline to use for all of your applications
  • Write the essays start to finish and polish them until they're bright and shiny as gems

Let's make your future happen the way you want it to.

Package includes: initial one hour consultation, uniquely tailored questionnaires to get you started brainstorming, back-and-forth emails, pdf essay examples and how-to instruction, one hour phone/skype/gchat study session to get your essay in shape, and final email edits. 

How to Write an A+ Essay in a Day

This is the part where I confess.

The part where I’m supposed to feel shameful (strangely -- I don’t) and let you know that I’ve reformed my bad bad ways (I have).

There was a short period of time in which I worked for an essay writing company.

You know the ones. Where you can buy an original essay on your homework topic.

Yikes. Yep. That was me.

Needless to say, I got damn good at churning out A grade essays.

In a matter of hours I could turn around a highly-polished, thoroughly researched 5 page essay.

One dangerous myth about college everyone is telling you

Today I want to get a little bold & opinionated, because there’s a really dangerous myth that people are constantly telling college students that’ll end up making you waste years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars (and I want to prevent that!)

What’s the big myth?

It’s ok to not know what you want to do in college.

Why you're not getting the top grades you want (and how to fix that)

If one of your major goals this year is to achieve massive success in college (because that's how you get into grad school and/or land a premium career), I've got a free workshop for you!

This workshop is full of grade-boosting behind-the-scenes secrets from a highest honors grad & international college success coach. (<- that's me!)

So I'm bringing you a 5 part LIVE workshop series that will cover the 5 reasons why you should be getting better grades, but aren't.

Starting with the first, and one of the most important reasons: Poor Planning.

What Would You Do with $300k? (How to achieve your biggest goals)

This is a post about dreams.

Because we ALL have the capability of making our biggest goals reality.

My goal here is to help you keep your biggest goals sharp, and give you the strategies to achieve them, so that you’ll never say, “oh, when I was younger I wanted to be a neurosurgeon and discover new ways for people with disabilities to walk again...but now I work in sales at my father’s rug company, and it’s pretty alright.”

10 Quick Tips for Better Productivity

College finals are here and with finals week can come a serious breakdown in your productivity.

It's so easy to become overwhelmed by all the time you have to spend studying finishing projects, and writing papers. To stave off failure, here are some of my quickest tips to boost your productivity and ace your finals with ease.

Hint: You can also use these tips to keep your productivity and motivation strong all semester long.

How to Hack College for Crazy Success

Ever wonder why you start off a semester strong, and by the end of it find yourself struggling to keep up with assignments because you simply don’t uh, care anymore?

This post will show you why, show you how to change your goals to make your motivation stay strong all year, and comes with a bonus download!

Four Qualities Every College Student MUST Have (for MASSIVE success)

These are perhaps the weirdest sounding traits, but every college student who gets straight A’s with ease uses these to achieve massive success.

And the good news is, you can start using these TODAY to become a better student.

The even better news is, some of these hacks are so simple and easy absolutely ANYONE can do them and improve dramatically -- instantly.

How to Get A's and Keep Them (Motivation Mastery)

I used to stay up till 3 am, exhausted and full of anxiety, trying to finish an essay I should have started a week ago. Nothing but the most extreme procrastination-panic could induce me to get my work started. I hated studying for tests because it was hard.

But once I figured out how to trick my brain into rewarding itself for putting in the work, I was able to study, write papers, and complete projects without the anxiety and procrastination I was so used to.

What everybody ought to know about college (but no one will tell you)

7 Things You Ought to Know about College...but no one will tell you

The hacks and strategies I used to get straight A's at Berkeley while running 3 businesses. These will help you cut down on stress and give you more time to polish your projects and papers to make truly stellar grades.

The Ultimage List of College Resources to Help You Get and Keep Straight A's

Getting straight's A's in college is tough enough. If there are ways to make earning those A's simpler and easier, I'm all for it. 

So I've compiled a list of my favorite resources that help take the pressure of achieving and maintaining straight A's, so you can save the difficult work for the really difficult remembering where your backpack is or why you only have one pair of socks.

How to write an email signature that will WOW your Professors

I want to share the simplest trick you can do to stand out among your classmates and get noticed by your professors as a student who's something more than a student -- a doer, a go-getter, a professional.

It's your email signature, and it can do a lot of bragging for you and spare you the trouble. Want to ask for project extensions without dropping a grade? Want to be nominated for scholarships and speaking opportunities? Want to be a crazy college success? Read on...

6 Best Free Tools to Make You a Better Student With Zero Effort (+ a bonus worksheet)

Use these 6 free tools to improve your essay writing, track your assignments, and do better in college without having to spend extra effort. One of these tools will pretty much do you homework for you. Stop struggling and use these tools today to improve your grades and reduce your stress. Click through for the list of the 6 best college hacking tools. 

Can Your Internship Pass the Employability Test?

Will your internship get you hired?

Remember how in high school everyone told you you had to volunteer work to make your college resume attractive?

Well, everyone's been getting the same advice for years.

What happens is that soon everyone has a volunteer position. They start looking a lot like you on paper. Similar GPA, similar extracurriculars, similar SAT scores, similar volunteer history. 

When something becomes the status quo, you have to work extra hard to differentiate yourself.

It's bad advice to give high school students to blindly take on volunteer work, and it's bad advice to tell college students they "absolutely must get an internship or employers won't even look at your resume."

Because at that level, you no longer stand out.

Here's the solution.

How I Wrote 74 A-Grade Essays in 6 Months Without Going Crazy

One of my favorite copywriters of all time, the incredible Joanna Weibe of Copy Hackers, nicely articulated one of the most important lessons a college student can learn.

Only rookies write from scratch.

Don't be a rookie. Learn the formulas for writing winning essays, every time. No more stress. No more writer's block. Write essays with confidence, ease, and style.

Best Work Study Jobs on Campus

If you receive financial aid and get Federal Work Study, you can pick up some of the sweetest jobs on campus.

But I'm not here to just show you how to get a boring old campus job that pays you minimum wage. I'm going to tell you about the best jobs on campus - the jobs where you can build your career capital and the jobs where you can have time to study or catch up on your reading.

One Simple Trick to A+ Participation in Class (even if you're shy)

Today we're going to talk about how to participate in class (even if you're painfully shy -- like me!).

This awesome little trick is going to be crazy useful. Not just in class where you'll impress your professors and stand out among the other students. But in LIFE.

This post is both about how to overcome shyness and how to perform well in college.

Double win, yay! 

5 Myths About High Achieving Students (like, for example, they study all the time)

5 Common Myths About High Achieving Students That Are Totally Busted. Don't fall in the pit trap of assuming you can't be an awesome student because of these myths. Learn how to become a Straight A Student without sacrificing all your free time and social life.