Sunday, April 26, 2015

When the Coffee Machine Breaks

Idiotic Advice From An Unexpected Source

The editors over at are a bunch of god damn geniuses. Day after day they crank out new articles, many of them with numbered lists in the titles, all on the subject of how to succeed in business. And day after day people gobble this stuff up, in the same way those insatiable housewives read every issue of Cosmo for their fix of 10 New Ways to Drive Their Man Wild in Bed.

Sarcasm aside – a rarity around here – Entrepreneur’s cadre of contributors regularly come through with some quality advice. The only thing that is usually lacking is the electric shock reinforcement therapy for a certain unnamed person around here who forgets the advice faster than it takes to read the article. 

So when an article like the one I just read gets published I have to call it out. 18 Unusual Habits That Boost Your Energy More Than Coffee reads like an internal moral struggle on the part of the writer who can’t decide if he should give real advice or just go for the affiliate clicks. As most of us do when our conscience is at odds with itself, the guy tries to do both, hoping the good stuff will in the long run make up for the instant gratification of the bad stuff. Come on, I’ll make you breakfast in bed.

Question: Why 18 Unusual Habits?

Couldn’t think of two more for an even 20? Didn’t want to miss out on any affiliate clicks by rounding down to 10 or 12 or even 15?

Here’s what the author – and Co-Founder of Empact – had to say: “To understand unique and healthy ways to consistently and quickly boost energy daily, I interviewed the country’s top ambitious young entrepreneurs, honorees of the Empact Showcase…”

Nice self-promo there.

OK, let’s see what advice the 18 Empact Showcase honorees have for us in exchange for a link.

1.     The picture of our fearless, gravity- and sanity-defying chiropractor says it all. For increased energy, bounce on a mini-trampoline in your front yard while shouting ‘I AM HAPPY! I AM STRONG! I AM SUCCESSFUL!” We are left to assume we should stop when the neighbor says “I am calling the cops.”

2.     Open the door for someone. Or like, email a friend. These are just two examples of the random acts of kindness the hot girl in the picture says help her feel really peachy about herself (which energizes her almost as much as her daily selfie). Plus, she tells us, the ‘universe’s karma exchanges’ always pay her back. Actually, no that guy isn’t opening the door for you because you did it for someone else, karma girl, he’s doing it because he thinks you’re hot.

3.     “Meditate.” Okay. “Using this app.” Hold on, stop laughing, that’s not the funny part. Our EmPact honoree assures us that “The ideal place and time to meditate is early in the morning before starting any electronic media.” And he ends with “I advise using a meditation app.” Then of course comes the affiliate link. Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks this is just a tad ironic. And stupid.

4.     Have a teaspoon of bee pollen and coconut oil. Because, as silly-blouse girl tells us, “While getting your caffeine fix from another cup of coffee might give you a quick boost, it won't sustain your energy.” The bee pollen can apparently increase your stamina and focus.” Like, say, not being able to pay your bills Miss ‘All I Have in my Apartment is This Blue Chair’? As for the coconut oil, it is “made up of Medium Chain Triglicerides (MCTs), which your body can quickly burn as energy.” Like, say, a cup of coffee.

5.     Do headstands. Until the windfall from your EmPact honor and the subsequent affiliate links allows you to get a bigger office and a machine that can swing you around by the feet for some serious blood flow to the brain.

6.     Put coconut oil and butter in your coffee. Seriously? This is the best idea one of 'our country’s most ambitious entrepreneurs' can come up with? Instead of coffee, drink coffee with other stuff added!  The benefits include weight loss, decrease in cravings and a boost in cognitive function. It's an easy way to take in energy without a single processed carbohydrate.” Kind of like, say, snorting coke.

7.     Drink a lot of water. First piece of real advice. He also wanted to say we should breath a lot but ’19 unusual Habits’ would be such a weird title.

8.     Don’t get up on the wrong side of the bed. Focus, be positive, visualize the best possible outcome for the day. AND…”do this BEFORE looking at your phone, turning on the TV or talking to anyone.” Obviously the guy is not married with children.

9.     Do P90X ab ripper with work friends. Blatant affiliate plug. How stupid do you think we non-Empact-honorees are?

10.  Drink this on-the-go shake. See #9. Pathetic.

11.  Build a culture based on energy. “Hire based on a person’s energy. Play high-energy music. Bang a huge gong when someone makes a sale. Amp people up. (I don’t know either.) Inspirational speeches. Conclude every meeting with a loud team chant.” And of course, tell one new person every day about Amway.

12.  Take a catnap. This from a guy who says he naps for 26 minutes on the couch with his kids as they watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I’ll tell you what, if this guy can fall asleep to Mickey Mouse he needs more than a catnap. Ah yes, of course. Coffee.

13.  Walk 30 minutes or more every day. Second piece of solid advice. These guys should talk to Mr. 26-Minute Catnap.

14.  Use this device to track your steps. Give me an A! Give me an F! … AFFILIATE! This bit of advice, by the way, comes from a woman who works with the hot girl in #2. Breakfast in bed indeed, eh Mr. Article Writer?

15.  Cultivate a habit of gratitude. Good idea, for the apparent mental and emotional benefits. Then the guy ruins it by feeding us an affiliate link to a ‘gratitude journal’. Amazing.

16.  Breathe your way to health, wealth and willpower. Seriously. One nostril at a time. Se-ri-ous-ly. “The thumb is used for closing the right nostril and the ring and little fingers are used to close the left nostril.” Super, I’m left-handed.

17.  Use a standing desk. I honestly don’t know what to make of this. So after work we can be a slug on the couch in front of the TV? “Sitting for an hour is worse than smoking two cigarettes,” we are told. Wow. How many cigarettes does 8 hours of sleep equal?

18.  Start lucid dreaming with a dream journal. Sorry but this girl looks anything but lucid.

This article is dated November 21, 2014 so it is apparently not an April Fool's joke. Therefore I feel compelled to come up with an alternative explanation for this Confederacy of Entrepreneurial Dunces. But I can't.
Whatever. As far as I'm concerned the editors at just had an off day. Maybe their coffee machine broke.

Because their magazine generally kicks ass. It does. And I'm not even an affiliate.

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