Changella

Community to encourage student entrepreneurs to dream, design, make, and learn

3 Steps to Energize Your Work Day

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How was your day? Did you feel energized by your activities or work? For me, this is such a powerful question. We have no clue how long we will be blessed to live our lives. I consider each day a gift and treasure. I know that I feel energized when my life activities are aligned with my “why.” My “why” refers to my mission, my purpose, and values. As human beings, we thrive and get energized when we can connect to our purpose.

How was your day? Did we make a difference?

Was there a time in your life that you felt energized by your work? For me, I greatly enjoyed my life working in graduate school in computer science. I have admit it was an odd mix of activities. I worked for my first startup. It was a small Catholic church where I served as a minister of music. I also served our church in all aspects of technology. Since we held worship services in a school cafeteria, our teams needed to setup and manage sound and video equipment. Our pastor and my friend, Father Stephen was a great teacher with an eye for marketing and strategic planning. It was a pleasure getting to collaborate with him and other team members on website design and other marketing efforts. More importantly.. We built a shared vision for our family and community. We also had a great zeal for college ministry too. It was awesome to support students in their faith through music, education, and building community.

On the computer science side, I was learning how to contribute knowledge in a research area known as machine learning. This technology can be used to help keep spam out of your inbox, helps websites recommend products to you, or empowers cars to drive themselves. I love learning about artificial intelligence since it is ultimately a practical study in ourselves. How do we think? What does it mean to be self aware? How are we creative and combine ideas? How do we learn?

Today.. I know that I am actively working to steer my family activities and professional direction so that I keep myself faithful, service oriented, and curious about the world. I hope to encourage others to do the same.

I greatly recommend the following talk by Simon Sinek. He shares some awesome reasons why you should focus your energy and passions around a mission and purpose. Check out the video the here.

What are three things can you do to connect with your Why?

1. Give yourself quiet and space… In order to connect to your sense of significance, it is critical to give yourself silence. There is a great gift in creating space for quiet reflection. If you are a person of faith, consider taking your question of purpose to prayer.

2. Journal… In addition to quiet reflection, consider keeping a journal. Write about your dreams, fears, your wins, and reflections. There is a power in getting your dream and purpose on paper.

3. Build community… I love Jon Acuff and his teachings on fear. He would claim that a big enemy of living your life with purpose is fear. I believe it is easier to clarify your purpose in life my seeking out others who share your values and vision for life. If you talk about your mission and purpose, you are more likely to learn and take action. Positive friendships and community are a great way to defeat fear.

Life is too short to do work that lacks meaning and purpose. How was your day? I hope your tomorrow is bright!

Connecting Your Favorite Google Services Using Google App Script

Google App Script

Through Google Documents, Google provides amazing web based tools for students, businesses, and educators.   During a Google Developer Group meeting at Mercer University,  I was introduced to a cool programming technology enabling developers to customize Google App experiences using JavaScript.   Using Google App Script, you can automate tasks and connect Google products to together.   You can also connect apps to third-party data sources and API’s.

Why Would You Use Google App Script?

Dr. Robert Allen from the Google Developers Group shared his experiences in building a grade book application for his classes.   In the past, Dr. Allen would manually construct grade book spreadsheets based on a class roster.   His clever grade book application works in the following manner:

1) On the first day of class, students fill out a Google form with their name and gmail e-mail address.

2) After Dr. Allen captures the class roster from the students, he presses a “generate grade book” button that constructs his grade book.

3) Dr. Allen wanted students to be able to track their grades as he documented them in his Google Spreadsheet.  He, however, wanted to make sure students could not see the grades of another.   His Google App Script generated “read only” data sheets so that students can only see their data.   The data sheets were shared with the student automatically.

4) As Dr. Allen posts grades to his master Google Spreadsheet, he can press a “publish” button to distribute the updated grade information to the “readonly” spreadsheets.

In the example, Dr. Allen used Google spreadsheets, Google Forms, and programming functions to share data.

Using Google App Script, you can connect all of the following Google products together to solve a broad range of use cases and business problems:  Calendar,  Contacts,  Document,  Drive,  Finance,  Forms,  Gmail,  Groups,  Language, Maps,  Sites,  and Spreadsheet.

What else can Google App Script Do?

  • Google App Script can be used to create small web applications.
  • Create custom functions in Google Spreadsheet
  • Create Google Sites Gadgets
  • Check out the Google Developers Blog to learn more about how people leverage  Google App Script.

How do you get started with Google App Script?

The following video provides a nice introduction to Google App Script concepts.

Abstract:   This video is a recording of our Introduction to Apps Script.    Eric Koleda, a Developer Programs Engineer at Google, covers what Apps Script, use cases, code examples, and hold q&a. Check out https://developers.google.com/apps-script/ to learn more or get started!

Check out more videos from Google I/O conference here.

You program Google App Scripts using the popular language JavaScript.   If you’re interested in learning this language, check out the following links:

Google provides nice tutorials and learning resources here:

We love to hear from our readers.  Let’s keep the conversation going.  What types of tasks would you like to see automated? What tasks keep you away from the work that you really enjoy?

 

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Join Google Developer Group at Mercer University

Google Developer Group

Welcome To Google Developer Group at Mercer University
https://sites.google.com/site/gdgmerceru/

We extend a warm welcome to software professionals, students, web designers, web programmers, and people excited about technology.

Come help us plan the first year, hear about cool Google technologies, and see Google Glass. Proposed themes for the Fall:
Web application development using Google App Engine

When:

  • Tues, August 20th
  • 6:30 pm – Networking
  • 7:00 pm – Google Glass introduction

Sign up for the event!
We appreciate you joining Google+, adding us to your circles, and signing up for the event here by August 13th. This will help us plan arrangements for food and refreshment during our networking time.
Sign Up! https://plus.google.com/events/c0v3565uuav5kcvh471qnksug8k

 

Where:

Learn more

 

I’m really excited to be supporting the students and community at GDG Mercer University.   It’s going to be a great season of making cool software with Google technology.   What Google or Internet technology are you interested in learning?   Leave us a comment on this post.

 

Related Posts:

7 Blogs To Kick Start Your Next Business Venture

Blogs to help you start your college venture

http://www.college-startup.com: Started by Ben Bleikamp, this blog began teaching people how to make money from their dorm room.  Their community of authors now share insight to a broad range of topics of running an Internet based business.

http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/blog/ : ”Founded in 1999, YoungEntrepreneur.com has become one of the largest online forum communities for entrepreneurs worldwide.”

http://youngentrepreneurfoundation.wordpress.com/ : ”The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation (YEF) is a 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the nation’s leading small business association, the National Federation of Independent Business. The non profit YEF is building the next generation of small business owners and entrepreneurs by providing entrepreneurship education to high school students in the classroom.”

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ : My friend Scott Ross, recommended that I check out the book “Tribes”, a cool book on the power and opportunity of building community.   I greatly appreciate Seth Godin’s wit, wisdom, and craft for stories to motivate and teach.   If you’re interested in community management or marketing, Tribes is a very important book.   Learn to boldly share your passion for your ideas, connect people with communication, and start the journey of leading.

http://michaelhyatt.com:  My wife and I have been greatly inspired by the work of Mr. Hyatt.   In his New York best selling book Platform, he coaches leaders to “get noticed in a noisy world.”   I really appreciate that his blog and book aren’t just about the mechanical process of learning social media.   Michael shares practical steps on improving your character, leadership skills, in addition to his expert wisdom on social media marketing.

http://www.jonacuff.com/blog : Jon Acuff, author of the books Quitter and Start, is beyond fun and insightful.   His sense of humor rocks!   He has a great talent for entertaining you with funny and silly stories while coaching you on how to start your venture.   I believe his message of starting your business without taking on debt is VERY important.   He encourages his readers to start learning, exploring, and editing their dream as soon as possible.

http://www.daveramsey.com/entreleadership/podcast : This online radio program by Dave Ramsey’s team is an amazing tool for growing your knowledge on all aspects of business.   Dave’s teachings of “EntreLeadership” are grounded in principles and are practical.   His team has interviewed some of the best thought leaders in leadership and business.    In my work, we’ve been running a book club around the culture introduced by this book.   It’s influencing how we positively grow our team members, market our business, and grow relationships.

 

Looking for more blogs on starting a business in college? Check out the following resource:

http://oedb.org/library/beginning-online-learning/50-blogs-for-young-entrepreneurs/

 

 

We always enjoy learning from our readers.   What blogs inspire you and your work?

 

Other Posts from Changella

Photo taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/caro6302

 

 

 

 

 

What Do We Cherish About Being American?

US Flag

As I reflect upon the 4th of July, I believe it’s fruitful to recall the motivation for the day. On the 4th of July, we recount the adoption of the “Declaration of Independence” signed in 1776. I believe it’s interesting to see why organizations start. What are the motivations for a group of people to form a community? What do these people believe? From our very beginning when America was a start-up, what did we believe?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

My mother who came to the United States from the Philippines taught me and my brother to always pay attention to how special and precious the United States is. My mother came to the US after finishing college to find work as a medical technologist and chemist. Through her industry and work, she was able to send money home to the Philippines to her brother and three sisters so that they could afford to go to college and advance themselves. I share this brief story of my mom because it’s a lesson that I value in my life as an American. I think it’s an example of what makes America awesome. We live in a land of great opportunity. I cherish that my mom sacrificed being able to be with her family in the Philippines so that she could create opportunities for her family. I know that I often take my freedom and my opportunities for granted.

1. Opportunity to advance our lives through education and handwork: The US has always been a land where you can have a dream, study hard, and work hard to make it happen. While we’re not a perfect nation at all, we have endured some really bad times of economic decline and turned ourselves around. We have access to the best opportunities for education and opportunities for innovation. I am thankful for this.

2. Spirit of innovation: Looking over the history of nation, we can celebrate our great culture of innovating, creating, and hacking! What other nation has a cool rover exploring whether life exists on Mars?   Go NASA!    We can celebrate innovators like Ben Franklin, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs. We can celebrate great women in science like Admiral Grace Hopper, Sally Ride, Lillian Moller Gilbreth, Maria Mitchell, and many more. Innovation and exploration are central to the spirit of America.

3. Defending freedom: We can’t forget the men and women who commit their lives to protecting our freedoms in the United States and promoting justice. I have a friend named Andrew who serves in the US Army. It’s always moving to hear his stories of serving our country abroad. It’s a great sacrifice to leave your family and community to serve in the military. On the 4th of July, I like to reflect upon the men and women who currently sacrifice to ensure we enjoy our liberty. It’s fruitful to honor the men and women who have given their lives because they believed that defending our freedom was important.

4. Working toward justice: Our nation is not perfect. We live in a broken world with lots of issues like poverty, access to health care, challenges in education, and economic decline.  I am moved by our efforts as Americans to care for each other, to serve each other, and find ways to close the gap between the rich and poor. It’s part of the American spirit to create positive change in the world. And we are free to take up this mission.

 

Do you have any favorite stories of America in action? We would love to hear your story. Leave a comment below!

 

Photo From http://www.flickr.com/photos/54637956@N02/

Apps To Deal With College Stress

apps to reduce stress

Starting college can be stressful. Due to the costs of higher education, it is stressful trying to find deals on books, scholarships, grants and managing the other costs. For some, it can be a challenge to adjust to the new social climate of college. And then there’s school work and studying… How do you keep all your work, ideas, and demands on your time organized?

I wanted to share few free apps that I use to organize myself. For me, if I can keep things out of my head and organized, I am naturally less stressed. I hope it helps!

MindMeister: As a creative, I enjoy the mind map design of the tool. When I start my day, I make sure I document three mini-goals for the day. This tool helps me keep my goals visibile, break my goals into tasks, and manage my projects, tasks and ideas. Love it for tracking ideas for apps and games I want to write.

Google Drive: For file management and creating stuff, Google gives you resources creating documents, simple spreadsheets, and drawings. For some majors, I wonder if it will be possible to avoid buying Microsoft Office. :) Google Drive is a great tool for sharing and collaborating with peers.

Twitter: In graduate school, I enjoyed starting to use Twitter as a personal learning network. Try to follow people you admire or people who are interested in making you better as a person. Twitter is a great way to discover and connect to local events in your school too.

Evernote: Remember everything with the help of the computers, phones and tablets you use daily. Many students recommend this app for taking notes in classes or personal productivity.

Kindle: As I manage personal stress, I find that I need to toward a “low information” diet. Social networks are cool and insightful. It, however, is great to sometimes sit down in quiet with books that fill you up and helps you un-plug. Of course, Amazon and Project Gutenberg give you lots of free books too.

 

In researching this post, I found an infographic from Southern New Hampshire University talking about the challenges of college stress and apps to keep you balanced and charged up. I hope it helps!

Helpful Apps to Help Cure The Stress of College Life (Infographic)
Presented By SNHU.EDU Online College Programs

What are some of your favorite apps??

Other tools for finding apps for fun, helping you study and increasing productivity.

Photo by Josh Bancroft – Flickr source is here.

Achieve Your Dream By Learning Entrepreneurship and Leadership

launch

Hi! My name is Michael Rosario, one of the founding members of Changella.    This community has the mission of  mentoring student entrepreneurs to dream, design, make, learn, and continuously grow.   Why should you study leadership and entrepreneurship?   You may be thinking the following:

  1. I’m majoring in __________ . I don’t really see the point of learning business.
  2. To be honest, I’m not sure what I want to do with my life, but I don’t think it has anything to do with entrepreneurship.
  3. I really like bacon.  Where can I find more?
  4. Maybe you’re thinking about zombies.

Regardless of your perspective, I would assert there are some cool benefits to learning leadership and entrepreneurship.   These life skills can benefit you whether you decide to jump into making a start-up or look forward to contributing to the world in a traditional job.

On a personal note, I have been coaching some of my close family friends who have been struggling to find work.   It really breaks my heart to see my friends who have achieved academic success yet struggle to find work.  In an effort to help, I started reading books like Quitter by John Acoff, a great book about obtaining your dream job.   From that book, I became attracted to answering the question “How do we give people struggling to find a job meaningful options?”   My friends and I have done tons of research and learning around this topic.   We are excited to share some of our lessons with you.  Here are a few key benefits of learning to think like a leader and entrepreneur.   You can find more benefits from this post in Inc.com.

4 Benefits of Learning Leadership and Entrepreneurship

1.  Dreams and goals:  One of my favorite authors and business leaders, Dave Ramsey, promotes this simple idea of “starting with a dream and ending in a goal.”   As I think about the people who had the most impact on me as a person,  they were either a good leader or good teacher.   In general, successful business leaders who work in corporations or run their own company pay attention to dreams and visions.   It’s important to consider questions like the following.   What’s my dream? How do I want to design my life to maximize meaning and purpose?   What kind of stuff gets me excited to jump out of bed?  What are my strengths?

2.  Mission: Good business leaders learn how to identify dreams(fuzzy as they are) and convert them to baby steps of action.    I believe our generation cares deeply about doing work that matters, has a purpose, and belongs to something bigger!!  At some point, entrepreneurs learn to convert their dreams and aspirations into a mission.   Missions feel smaller than dreams, but are still important.   They help us remember our focus.   What one word would represent your mission for this year?   You probably have fears about moving forward with your mission.  That’s great!  If you’re doing something that matters, you will face fear.   Entrepreneurs and leaders learn to manage and face fear.

3.  Influence: All organizations are composed of people.   All organizations serve people.   If you work in a corporation, you will need to learn the craft of convincing someone to take action.    This might be an act of marketing or sales.   At some point, you may need to give a proposal to your team leader.   I believe it’s important for our generation to value the craft of leadership and use it for positive change.

4. Learning the art of great communication and relationship building:   I’m a computer science geek.    I love to write code and build meaningful software.   There were times of my youth where I believed I could completely ignore my writing and speaking skills and just focus on my thing.  (writing code.)    As I’ve grown, I have learned to value the craft of speaking and writing well.   In our culture dominated by FaceBook, Twitter, blogs, and media, it becomes more critical to learn the craft of persuasion and communicating with clarity using technology.  Learning to share ideas and inspire action with clarity is a critical skill whether you work for someone else or you are marketing your own start-up.

The college experience is an amazing and exciting time.   We learn to become a balanced person who masters a craft.    What’s your dream? What baby steps do we need to do to explore this dream?

Photo by DLR German Aerospace Center .