Jiu-Jitsu Styled Interviews

You have probably heard the phrases “knowledge is power” or “as you know more you can achieve more.” Society praises the studious and the well read because they are often the ones who obtain the most success. But is the goal just to fill the mind with knowledge for knowledge’s sake? Is life a perpetual competition to be the best trivia contestant? I think not. The goal of our habitual knowledge absorption should not be the sheer amount of knowledge obtained, but the quality and application of that knowledge. Enter the magical possibilities of Interviewing for Information.

Interviewing for information (IFI) is the practice of meeting with a mentor and asking specific questions relating to something you are trying to improve in yourself. This technique can be used to learn a language, a sport, financial sense, business skills, general life advice and any other aspect of the world that interest you. Let’s deconstruct this skill into five different parts: research, preheat, introduction, discovery, and close.

The Research

Research is the first and possibly the most crucial step in the IFI process because the better research, the better the questions. Voltaire, an eighteenth century philosopher and figure of the French Revolution, once said “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” Simply put, questions are the key to personal growth. Research requires you to learn enough about whatever you are trying to learn to have a productive conversation with an expert. For example, if someone was trying to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the most efficient ways to train, then their research will look something like this:

  • First, they would read and watch videos about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to develop a basic understanding, learning the key components of the martial art and the training outliers. Outliers are those people that should not be world class because of their genetics, their circumstances or some other factor, but somehow they still are. These people are the best teachers and the best mentors because they have excelled without an innate advantage. For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, find a mentor who has no genetic or socioeconomic advantage and who is largely self-taught. This way you avoid most of the formal handicaps and anachronistic training methods that hamper efficient learning.
  • Second, it is time to write some initial questions. Here are a few of my favorites to get you started:
    1. What is the single most common mistake beginners make?
    2. What three lessons do you wish you had learned earlier?
    3. If you could start all over, what would you do differently and why?

After you have found your mentor, done your research, and formulated some initial questions, it is time to move on to the next step: Preheat.

The Pre-Heat

The concept of the pre-heat can be summed up in one statement: people believe more what they hear from others about you, than what you tell them yourself. Basically, if you want to speak to a potential mentor you’ve never met, it’s important to have the proper pre-heat. Your first step in making a connection is sifting through your network of friends, family, and co-workers. When you find a contact who can connect you, have them properly pre-heat the mentor. Your contact can pre-heat your mentor by informing them with this information: how the recommender knows you, what you’ve accomplished, and a personal endorsement of you. In addition, your recommender should pass along your brag book to whom you wish to speak. A brag book is like a resume but has the power to catch the attention you wish to grab (click here to learn more about brag books).

Essentially, the pre-heat is more than an introduction. It is an opportunity for your future mentor to learn about why you are interested in speaking with them, and what you hope to get out of the conversation. Without adequate preheat, the mentor relationship will not be as fruitful. Always, always use preheat.

The Introduction

The Introduction must take place immediately after preheat. Once you get the mentor’s attention, have someone introduce you (preferably) or introduce yourself to set up a meeting. Be polite and be interested. Mentors are often very willing to spend time with someone who shares their passion. Be confident, be bold, and just ask.

The Discovery

Next, is the holy grail of learning: the discovery portion of IFI. Now that you have done your homework, found a mentor, and created an opportunity for yourself to meet with them, you can reap the rewards of all your hard work. So, here a few tips for the discovery portion.

  1. Make sure you have questions prepared. Your preparation conveys your passion and your respect for the mentor’s time.
  2. Listen to the answers your mentor gives so you can be prepared to ask follow-up questions. Don’t worry about “sticking to the script!”
  3. Show up early, dress appropriately, and bring a notebook to record all the valuable insights. If you’re interviewing the person over the phone, the same rules apply.
  4. After your interview is complete, thank the mentor for their time and ask if they have any questions for you. They might be curious about why you are interested in this subject, they might have a job opportunity that you would be perfect for. It never hurts to ask.

The Close      

Lastly, the IFI process is never complete without a close. Closing out the interview is like putting the icing on a cake. It allows for closing remarks, one final thank you, and most importantly it keeps the door open for a future relationship. Imagine if you had a meaningful conversation with someone, and then you never heard from them again. How would that feel? Probably not very good. Within a few days after your interview, send the mentor a short note (bonus points if it is handwritten), thanking them for their time and establishing a periodic time to contact them. This is optional, but personally, I contact most of my mentors on a monthly basis or bi-monthly basis. Just a quick note and a question. To organize this, develop a mentor contact schedule, which is basically a blank page numbered one through thirty. Write the names of each mentor on a different number and make a commitment to contact them on that date every month.

Congratulations. You have discovered the most powerful resource for learning any skill and mastering any topic, but it does not stop there. Information is only as good as its application. So, try to apply what you learned in your interview as much as you can. Application and learning go hand in hand–If you neglect one, you discount the other. Good luck and happy interviewing.

Written by Christopher Chambers

The Key to Getting Along with Everyone

Have you ever wondered why you didn’t get along with someone? Maybe it’s a colleague at work or school, a teacher, or maybe even your parents. Well, I do. Throughout middle school and part of high school, I would come home and complain everyday that I disliked one of my teachers or that one of my peers in my class was annoying. This was, until my sophomore year of high school when I attended Eagle U and learned a skill that would help me better understand and get along with others.

DiSC is a personality assessment that allows you to better understand yourself and others. Each of the four letters represents an aspect of a person’s personality.

Here are a few traits found in each of the personalities.

D: Likes to take charge, strong-willed, likes things to be to the point.

I: Extremely outgoing, loves meeting new people and isn’t shy of the spotlight.

S: Loves to make sure everyone gets along and is a people person.

C: Analytical, likes structure and is very organized.

As for myself, I discovered that I have the traits of the D, the C, and the I personalities. This knowledge has helped me not only understand myself better but has helped me read the personalities of others and adjust accordingly.

When I began my freshman year of college, I was excited to meet new people and was excited to have a roommate. When I learned that I would have not only one, but two roommates, I was even more excited. However, my excitement fell a bit after I actually met them. One of my roommates was very closed off. When I asked her questions, she always gave me a straightforward answer and I realized she had the character traits of a “D.” My other roommate was at first very nice and was very friendly. I realized this roommate held some of the personality traits of an “I” and an “S,” and because of this, we clicked. But I soon discovered that my other roommate didn’t appear to like us. I quickly remembered how she had the traits of the “D” personality and that she liked to be the leader and likes answers that are to the point. Because of this, I was able to change how I interacted with her and our friendship grew immediately. After this, I was able to change the way I was interacting with her and our friendship grew immediately. Knowing DiSC has not only made my living situation better but it has made being away at college much easier and honestly, more enjoyable.

Learning about DiSC not only made my living situation better but has made college much easier and more enjoyable.

Written by Jocelyn Spitz

How To Live Your Dreams In 2017

You are about to read the words of a 19-year-old girl who didn’t graduate high school and isn’t going to college. So if you’re looking for the norm or correct grammar and spelling, this isn’t where you’re going to find it. But if you’re looking for how to get what you want in life? Then buckle down and listen.

My name is Abby Anderson. I’m the second oldest of seven kids. I’m 19-years-old, didn’t graduate high school, and I have no plans to attend college. But one day I’ll be the top selling musician/artist of my time.

Now, I know exactly what you’re thinking because when I tell people this goal of mine, most of them give me that “yeah okay kid” look, pat me on the head and walk away. And that’s totally cool, I get it, most people don’t even go after what they really want in life anyways so their reaction makes perfect sense to me. But it brings up an interesting question; “WHY?” Why is it so uncommon to do what you love? To follow your dreams or heck to even dream at all? Where along the line do we stop believing in ourselves like we did when we were five? I don’t know the answer to that, but what I do know is that if you really want something, and I mean really want it, then there’s only one starting place to get it, goals.

When I was fifteen, I stepped into my Dad’s office and told him I would not be going to college because I was moving to Nashville when I turned eighteen. Well, I moved when I turned seventeen, started writing with some of music city’s top songwriters and producers, had a billboard charting song, opened for Kelsea Ballerini and Marie Osmond, and now, a year and a half later, I’m about to sign my first record deal. I have friends in this town that are ten years older than me, have been here 10 years longer and haven’t tread that kind of ground. That said, I still have a long way to go and a whole lot more to learn. But I’d say I’ve done pretty well for a kid – and I did it with goals.

Here’s what they don’t teach you in school; You can get whatever you want whenever you want it. Just set a goal, review it every single day, visualize it with the intensity of seeing it as reality, and then work. work. work.

Here’s the formula:

1) Your goals must be first person, present tense, and positive. For example, I wanted to open for Kelsea Ballerini from the first moment I heard her on the radio. So, I wrote down, “I open for Kelsea Ballerini the summer of 2016”. I had no idea how I was going to do it because at that point in time I was just an intern at a demo recording studio. But I made it happen.

2) Make it specific. Put a date on your goals. Notice I didn’t just say “I open for Kelsea Ballerini”, I also added, “the summer of 2016”. It makes it real, and it makes you hustle. If you don’t reach your deadline, make a new one.

3) Review them daily. Put them somewhere you will see them every day and carry them with you. I personally have them all written on my bathroom mirror and as my phone screen saver. Easy.

4) Make more goals. Set goals for this year, five years and ten years from now. It’s kind of like fortune telling except you’re the teller. You have control of where you want to be ten years from now.

5) Believe. Set goals for yourself that you truly and honestly believe you can reach but also push yourself. Set the bar high and rise to the occasion, you’ll surprise yourself at what you can really do.

This new year make your dreams a reality. There’s no reason why you can’t do anything you want to. God gave us a brain and the freedom to choose what to do with it. So go get ‘em.

Written by Abby Anderson

How To Soar Through Life

Who do you want to be like when you grow up?  I wish I was asked this question at a young age instead of the more popular “what do you want to do when you grow up?”  I can name plenty of people who inspire and set an example for me, but naming one job I would be happy doing for the rest of my life is a difficult task.

Find Direction

Figuring out which direction to take in life is hard, but becomes easier when you surround yourself with the right people. Dory from Finding Nemo is a great example of this. Though easily confused and lacking a sense of direction, she encircled herself with sea creatures who were willing and able to help her find her way.

A couple of years ago, I learned a principle from a mentor of mine that has helped me find those that can help me succeed. He told me that “if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” From this I’ve learned that if you know more than everyone you hang out with, you gain nothing from hanging with them.

Find the Eagles

This same mentor depicts this same principle using two types of birds: a turkey and an eagle. The turkey is flightless, aimless, and is preyed upon. The turkey isn’t the smartest bird in the bunch. For example, when it rains, they turn their beaks to the sky and drown. On the other end of the spectrum is the eagle. These strong birds soar high above the others, lead the way, and are the birds you want to flock with.

When I learned the difference between these two birds, I decided I wanted to be like an Eagle but quickly realized I needed to drop the two turkeys that were in my life. Although hard at first, my friends understood my decision to move on and began to follow suit by dropping the turkeys in their own lives. In a way, I was a trendsetter. As I chose to hang out with more eagles, I realized that these people built me up, made me feel good, and were role models for my life.

Find the Future

In 1, 5, 10 years, where will you be, and who will you be standing with? The relationships you choose to have today mold you a little bit each day.  Choose wisely, because it’s your choice to make.  You control your future.  You may not have a defined path to walk on or swim down, but if you surround yourself with those who build you up and make you stronger, you will find what you are looking for and get to where you want to go.

Remember, if find those eagles you want to be like and seek after new ones each day you’ll soar through life.

“Birds of a feather flock together, and flocking together makes birds of a feather.  Be careful whom you flock with.”

—Steven J. Anderson

Written by Timmy Conlin


Alumni Spotlight: Lesley Lentz

Lesley Lentz

Lesley Lentz first heard about Eagle U when she was 19 from her father who encouraged her to go. At the time she thought to herself “I don’t need this-I have good grades, good friends, etc…” After her first year in college and a traumatic event, her GPA dropped from a 3.5 to a 0.5. In her own words she says that she “decided to stop showing up for life”. After making the decision to leave college for the time being, she decided to give Eagle U a chance…

First Impressions:

Lesley walked into Eagle U like most students do–without knowing anyone  and not knowing what to expect. She says that she never felt like she was in the back of the room and that the attention she received made her feel special. She felt like each presenter was speaking directly to her.
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Lessons Learned:

Lesley’s favorite topic from Eagle U is the Law of Attraction. “What you are seeking is seeking you!” For this reason, Lesley sits with her vision board to the left of her office desk so she can see her goals all day long. Put simply, Lesley says, “IT. WORKS.” She also believes very strongly in having a 10 mentality and the importance of surrounding yourself with positive self talk. To this day she encircles herself with positive self talk around her house with notes and reminders. 

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Favorite Memory & Quote:

Lesley’s favorite Eagle U memory is the friends she gained. She says she has friends from coast to coast and loves how she has a community outside of her regular life. A particular quote that sticks out in Lesley’s mind is “People will forget what you said but they will never forget how you make them feel”. This taught her the importance of being genuine and sincere with the people that she has met throughout her life.
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Where is she now?

After attending Eagle U Lesley was motivated and confident in her ability to succeed in school. She gave college another shot and earned a 4.0 her first semester, and graduated in three years with honors-all while working two jobs! One of the most valuable things Lesley learned from Eagle U is the power of ASKING. Fast-forward a few years later and she landed a job at Edward Jones. When her husband got a job offer in another state, Lesley didn’t hesitate to ask her employer if she could work remotely. The company was great at accommodating her not only because she asked, but also because of her hard work ethic. Lesley says that she has been able to achieve the “stress free life at work” she has always wanted by just asking! Lesley now lives in North Carolina with her husband and 15 month old daughter, loves her job, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Are You Oscars-Worthy?

The Oscars, the red carpet, the flashing lights, the awards, the dresses, the winners.

What does it take to be an Oscars winner?

During his acceptance speech for Best Actor, Matthew McConaughey’s said that his “HERO” was him in 10 years. Matthew McConaughey saw who he wanted to be in the future and made the decisions that would get him there. So, who do YOU want to be in a month, three months, a year, or ten years? How do you plan to get there?


Your top 20 list is an action plan for your goals. The top 20 list is based on a research study done by Dominican University on goal setting. The results of the study were that 70 percent of the participants who sent weekly updates to a friend reported successful goal achievement compared to the 35 percent of those who kept their goals to themselves, without writing them down.

The objective of the top 20 list is to write down your goals and find a friend, mentor, or family member to report your weekly progress.


IDEA/GOAL FIrst Step/Action
Get straight A’s Put my phone in a “parking spot” while studying so I can focus
Manage my time wisely Spend 10 minutes every morning planning my day
Make Eagle friends! Talk to a new person everyday and make them feel important
Become a leader Read a “self-help” book every month
Build my professional network Interview a mentor every week.

The Top 20 list gives you the action plan to accomplish your goals and get you on your way to becoming your own HERO.

Action Item:

Identify & ASK someone to hold you accountable for your TOP 20 LIST!

Alumni Spotlight: Brittany DiCello

Here at Eagle U, we decided that it would be fun to interview some of our Eagle U alumni to find out where they are, what they are doing, and what they have accomplished!

And so without further ado we would like to introduce,

Brittany DiCello432668cb-621e-4560-8e79-8f44557dc521

Brittany was born and raised in North Carolina and is happily married and has dog named Winston. She attended High Point University and graduated with a degree in Human Relations. She came to Eagle U at the age of 15 after learning about the program through her days as Miss North Carolina Teen. After coming to a few more sessions she then became an Eagle U team leader. Over the years, Brittany said that she had attended somewhere between 15 to 20 programs! When she first attended Eagle U, she said that she didn’t know what to expect, but after the first session she decided she was hooked! One of the most valuable things Brittany learned was to have a “recess attitude”, meaning, keep learning, raise your hand when no one else does, and always ASK questions.

EaIMG_2193-1gle U Applied:

Brittany recently started her own consulting company called The Finishing Touch, where she teaches the skills she learned at Eagle U to her beauty pageant clients. She even has each of her clients make “vision boards” of all of their goals! Brittany works hard to ingrain the same networking, interviewing, goal setting, self-discovery, and positive self-talk skills that she learned years ago from Eagle U into the minds of the girls she coaches.

Favorite Eagle U Quote:


Brittany emphasized the impact this quote has had on her life not only as a teenager, but also throughout adulthood. She says that hearing this as a 15 year old young girl made her think about the types of friends she had and the kinds of people she wanted to hang out with in order to accomplish her goals.n682744612_295896_2049

BEST Eagle U Memory:

One of Brittany’s favorite activities from Eagle U was the game “Bigger or Better” where her team was given a paperclip and they had to go around and practice ASKING people for something “bigger or better” than what they had. She was proud to say that her team ended up with an entire living room by the time they were done!

IMG_2206Eagle U Advice:

Brittany’s advice to anyone planning on attending Eagle U  is to have an open mind and be ready to learn!IMG_2202-1


Embrace Your Attitude Of Gratitude!

By Emma Anderson, Eagle “U” Alum and Team Leader

With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s the perfect time to think about gratitude. It seems that in the excitement over food and family, the effort to be thankful is not so great. We tend to list a few things (family, friends, food) that we’re grateful for before rushing to carve the turkey.

Then what? We move on with our lives, seldom pausing to be truly thankful for all we have. This is fine, it’s normal. Everyone does it! But what successful people understand is that sincere gratitude is a powerful tool and nothing should be taken for granted. Because most people are happy to accept life’s gifts without a second thought, real thankfulness stands out. People are impressed by it and when you are appreciative for what they give you, they are likely to give more in return.

One of my favorite parts of attending Eagle U was the “I Appreciate” notes. At the beginning of the week we were each given a pad of papers reading “I appreciate _______ Because ________.” Right off the bat, Steve emphasized the importance of gratitude and challenged us to hand out all of our “I Appreciate” notes. At first, I was skeptical. I thought this gratitude would be forced and insincere. As the week progressed and I looked for things to be thankful for, I realized something BIG: All around me there were people, services, events, and even objects that I was thankful to have.

Using “I Appreciate” notes was an opportunity for me to see everything I had to be grateful for, and I still have every note I received from all of the past Eagle U programs I attended. When someone gave me a note, I felt loved and acknowledged-like I was “doing some good” in the world. Receiving these notes made me want to know the people who gave them to me even better and help them in any way I could. In a similar way, those I delivered my notes to were impressed and overjoyed with my gratitude towards them. I have applied this concept outside of Eagle U by writing thank you notes to mentors and others who have helped me in various ways. The times I have forgotten to do so, I have really regretted and the times I remembered I was blown away by the positive repercussions.

Gratitude truly is powerful and implementing it regularly will change you life!

Professional Dress Code Cheat Sheet

Got an interview coming up? A networking event at your university? Or maybe a holiday party at work?

The way you present yourself in the business world is important and may seem like common sense. However, folks mess it up all the time! 

For that reason, we put together a quick cheat sheet for you to refer back to whenever you need! In fact, you can download it and even print it if you want!

Remember: dress for the job you want, not the one you have. 


  Also, here are some good articles for further reading if you really do have an interview coming up:


Eagle Vision With Tyler Roeller

This week, we got to catch up with Team Leader & Eagle U Alum, Tyler!

  1.   Why did you become a team leader? “I became a team leader because I believe that everything taught at Eagle U will change your life. I wanted to be a part of that transformation for other young people. “
  2. What Eagle U principle do you use the most? “I use the principle of “ask” everyday. The greatest opportunities and most valued learning experiences that I have had in my life, only came because I asked for them. People miss out simply because they don’t ask for what they want. 
  3.  “What “natural laws” have made the biggest difference in your life? “The compound effect has made the biggest difference in my life. By that, I mean small daily tasks like reading and exercise. As I look back, the impact that those “little habits” have made on my life is huge. 
  4.  What advice would you give to students about success? “You will never be happy if you do things you’re not passionate about.”
  5.  What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced and how did you conquer it?  “My biggest obstacle was learning that I couldn’t be happy doing what everyone else does. When it comes to how you will leave your impact on the world, you have to decide alone. Doing what you love everyday will make life much more enjoyable.”