i The Frugal Law Student | Personal Development

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Iron Your Shirt Like a Pro

Written by Brett McKay


You’re set for a big interview with law job of your dreams. You have the suit and your belt matches your shoes. However, you have a wrinkly shirt. Don’t think you can hide the fact that your shirt is wrinkly by putting your suit coat over it. People can tell you have a wrinkly shirt on, which means the person interviewing you can tell that you have a wrinkly shirt on. In interviews, details matter. If you want the job, you better look like you have your act together, which includes a well pressed dress shirt.

The Iron Prep

  • Set the iron temperature. For all cotton fabrics, set the temperature for high; lower for part (or all) synthetics. High temperatures can melt synthetics. You don’t want a melting shirt in addition to a wrinkly one.
  • Iron on a padded surface. It makes ironing easier.
  • Dampen the shirt. The key to good ironing is to have a slightly damp shirt. Take the shirt out of the dryer before it completely dries. If the shirt is already dry, spray a down with some water until slightly damp.

The Iron Plan

Don’t just iron randomly. It’s less efficient and less effective. Follow these 7 steps for ironing nirvana:

  1. Collar. Lay it flat, wrong side up, pressing from the points towards the center. Then press it on the right side.
  2. Yoke: The yoke is the panel that covers the shoulders. Lay it over the widest part of the ironing board to do the job.
  3. Cuffs: Iron the insides, then the outside.
  4. Sleeves: Smooth the sleeve flat with your palm and iron it, then flip it over and do the other side. Then do the other sleeve. Use the seams as a guide on how to flatten it.
  5. Back: Lay it on the wide part of the ironing board, too.
  6. Front panels: Start with the pocket, then do the panels. The little grooves on your iron help you press around buttons.
  7. Retouch: Retouch the collar and cuffs if they need it

The Iron Finish

Hang the shirt on a hanger. Don’t put it in your closet until it’s cool or it will just get wrinkly again.

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[tags]homemaking, clothing, ironing[/tags]

Negotiation Tips From the Donald

Written by Brett McKay


Negotiating is one of the best ways to save money. However, most Americans don’t know how to do it. You’d be surprised by the number of things you can negotiate. While you’ll probably have a hard time negotiating the price of a candy bar at the local supermarket, you should negotiate for big ticket purchases like major appliances, computers, and cars.

Donald Trump in the Experts Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do gives 1o tips on how to improve your negotiating ability. I think it’s safe to say that The Donald is an expert at negotiating. He’s made his fortune from negotiating.

  1. Know exactly what you want, and focus on that.
  2. View any conflict as an opportunity. This will expand your mind as well as your horizons.
  3. Know that your negotiating partner may well have exactly the same goals as you do. Do not underestimate them.
  4. Patience is an enormous virtue and needs to be cultivated for successful negotiation on any level.
  5. Realize that quiet persistence can go a long way. Being stubborn is often an attribute. The key is to know when to loosen up.
  6. Remain optimistic at all times. Practice positive thinking.
  7. Let your guard down, but only on purpose. Watch how your negotiating partners respond.
  8. Be open to change- it’s another word for innovation.
  9. Trust your instincts, even after you’ve honed your skills. They’re there for a reason.
  10. Negotiation is an art. Treat it like one.

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[tags]negotiating, frugal, Donald Trump[/tags]

How to Give an Impressive Handshake

Written by Brett McKay


As an attorney, I’ll be shaking lots of hands: clients, potential clients, other attorneys, and judges. During that brief contact with that person, they’re going to form opinions of me. My handshake could give them the impression that I’m warm person or cold and aloof. Maybe my handshake indicates that I’m an overbearing ass or a wimpy McWimpsalot. We want a handshake that creates a favorable impression. We’re going to talk about how to do that.

There are three keys to a successful [tag]handshake[/tags]

  1. How you do it
  2. When you do it
  3. Where you do it

How you do it

  • Make sure your handshake is firm, not a dead fish grip. However, you don’t want to crush the other person’s hand.
  • Make sure you don’t have food or grease on your hands. You want the person to remember you, not what you ate.
  • If your hands are sweaty, give them a quick nonchalant wipe on your pants.
  • When you off your hand, look the person in the eye and smile.

When you do it

Handshakes involve timing. Many people avoid offering handshakes because they’re afraid of being left hanging. If you’re not sure if someone will notice your offer, extend the handshake anyways. Most of the time people will notice your handshake offer and quickly grasp your hand.

Be aware of different social customs. Most cultures have different customs for shaking hands. Some find it inappropriate for a man to shake a woman’s hand and some cultures find shaking hands completely unacceptable. Be sensitive to these situations.

What if you’re left hanging?

I hate when this happens. I always feel dumb, especially when everyone but the person with whom you were trying to shake hands saw the rejection. Don’t feel embarrassed. The problem isn’t that the other person doesn’t think you’re important, you’re timing was just off.

  • Don’t offer a handshake if the other person is engrossed in conversation with someone else.
  • Don’t approach someone from the side with your extended hand. It’s hard to see.
  • Do audibly greet the person first to get their attention and then offer your hand.

Where to do it

Handshakes are good every where. Make sure to shake plenty of hands when you go to a social gathering. Make sure to shake the hosts’ hand when arriving and leaving the gathering.

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[tags]career, job interviews, personal development[/tags]

19 Traits of Successful People

Written by Brett McKay

Did you know that there’s a name for the study of maximizing human potential? It’s called Anthropomaximology. A few years ago, I received a list of characteristics that anthropomaximologists have put together of what makes a person successful. Here is that list. I think these traits are particularly helpful for law students to develop in order to maximize their success in school. However, they’re just as applicable to any person wanting to maximize their potential.

  1. Never be satisfied with your level of development; always try to better than you were before.
  2. Avoid comfortable situations. Do things even if you don’t like them, because you know they’re important.
  3. Set goals. Don’t just feel you SHOULD do something, but rather that you MUST do it.
  4. Don’t blame others. Resolve problems. Any setback is an obstacle that must be overcome.
  5. Take risks. But take them with wisdom. Don’t take risks without planning. Evaluate and proceed with confidence and without fear.
  6. Have vision. Develop the ability to foresee in your mind the results you want even before you start with your plan. Learn to see the beginning from the end.
  7. Don’t be a slave to work. Make time to rejuvenate yourself, so you can be more productive.
  8. Learn to handle yourself well under pressure. No one can have confidence in an individual who is always nervous and pressured.
  9. Be objective. Don’t take failures personally.
  10. Understand the nature of energy. If you apply sufficient force to a goal, progress will be made.
  11. Learn to nurture. Build up and nurture others. Always leave things better than how you found them.
  12. Become sociable. Enjoy being with others.
  13. Become self disciplined. Don’t let habits, desires and failures control you, rather learn to control yourself.
  14. Be courageous.
  15. Have FAITH in yourself. Don’t doubt. Demonstrate your faith with actions and works.
  16. Live in the present. Don’t live with yesterday’s laurels nor with tomorrow’s aspirations. Do your best NOW.
  17. Forget about past errors. Don’t base today’s decisions on yesterday’s mistakes. Hope and live for today’s success and in the future.
  18. Be quick to forgive, forget, and to keep going with on with life. This applies as much to yourself as with others.
  19. Learn to stand on the shoulders of predecessors. Build on what others have done. Don’t destroy what others have done just advance your own agenda.

How to Get Rich Quick Meaningfully

Written by Brett McKay

Everyone wants to be wealthy as quickly as possible. Most people, however, don’t know how to do it. Ben Stein wrote an excellent article at American Spectator on the secret of getting rich quick in a meaningful way. The secret? Gratitude.

Yep, gratitude. Start focusing on what you have and not on what you don’t have. Once you start doing that, you’ll feel like the wealthiest person in the world instantly. The funny thing about having an attitude of gratitude is that it might actually help you increase your wealth. By being grateful you tell others “Yes, I’m receptive! Send more my way!”

Here’s a short list of things you can do today start developing an attitude of gratitude and thus start your path to instant wealth.

  1. Make a list of all your blessings.
  2. Begin and end each day thinking of the things you’re grateful for.
  3. Tell others in your life you’re grateful for them.

Pretty simple, huh? But simple, doesn’t necessarily mean easy. Make it goal to start these habits. You’ll be much happier and much wealthier.

Hipster PDA Finger Labyrinth

Written by Brett McKay

In my post last week about, I discussed visiting a labyrinth in order to meditate. If you don’t have time to visit a labyrinth or one’s not near you, try using one the finger labyrinths that I’ve created for the Hipster PDA. Just print off the labyrinth you would like and add it to your stack of cards. Whenever you need a moment of reflection, bust it out and trace your finger along the path. Repeat a phrase that helps you focus. Enjoy.







Directions: All you need to do is print off the pdf, cut out the the 3×5 rectangle, and paste it to a card. I didn’t create a template that allows you to print directly to cards. I think it’s too much of a hassle.