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How to Increase Conversion Rate: Top Tips in Designing Your Website

You only have 8 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention.

If you’re planning on making it big on the internet, you need to make sure you get that 8 seconds right.


The answer is to keep your site’s visitors as engaged as possible. Make sure that your website is eye-pleasing, easy to navigate, and highly usable.

Based on a research done by Stanford University, over 46% of visitors stated that design is the most important factor they consider in deciding whether they’ll stay or leave a website. But how can you ensure that?

Here are 6 ways to increase conversion rate.

Establish a Visual Hierarchy

visual heirarchy website

Establishing a visual hierarchy helps users find the information they need to make a decision. You can apply the right visual hierarchy to your site to influence users and make them react positively to your call-to-action.

Here’s how you can create a powerful visual hierarchy:

  • Perfectly placed conversion forms
  • Call-to-action buttons need to be bigger, clear, and simple
  • Use of high-quality images
  • Brief and benefit-driven headline
  • Use of power words to make your copy catchy and compelling
  • A good layout that seamlessly moves eyes from one point to another

These design principles can improve the overall experience of your website in a way that users just don’t accomplish goals but also enjoy their visit to your site.

Use the right color combinations

Different color combinations convey different meanings and evoke different emotions. You can play with colors to get people to do exactly what you want.

For example, you can apply contrast psychology to highlight call-to-action buttons and to make headlines and texts noticeable and readable. Other important elements that you want to highlight should stand out from the rest of your site, too. Use the right color combination so that people can see them easily.

Use negative space effectively

Negative space is referred to as white space on a website.

In simple words, positive space has all the elements on your site whereas negative space refers to the empty space between paragraphs, sidebars, and texts.

Despite the name, negative space is valuable to the design of your website. Without it, your site will look cluttered.

Effective use of negative space is necessary to keep your website user-friendly and easy to navigate. So, avoid stuffing your website with too much information.

See Also: Web Design Strategy: How To Give New Life To Your Site

Good typography is critical

The right typography can enhance the readability of your content while optimizing your UI design. A good typography often goes unnoticed because it just makes sense. So, go for a simple yet bold typography that presents your content in a user-friendly way.

Here are some essentials of a good typography.

Consistency- Consistent use of kerning, typefaces, and formatting is essential to give your content a professional look and keep your users focused.
Hierarchy- Creating hierarchy is important to guide users through the content. For example, in web design, it has to be heading followed by subheading and then main copy.
Alignment- Alignment is important to keep the look of your web page unified. You can either settle for flush left alignment or flush right alignment to provide readers a stronger edge line to follow. As much as possible, refrain from choosing a centered alignment.

F Layout is the safest

A user’s natural pattern when browsing the internet follows the ‘F’ pattern. That makes it the safest and most effective website design to follow.

When visiting a site, visitors move their eyes from left to right, starting at the top of the screen. Next, they scan the page downwards to find the information they need. The bottom right of a web page gets the least amount of visibility.

Thus, to boost your site’s conversion rate, you need to place all the important pieces of your website along with that “F” pattern. This will encourage users to take specific actions, like completing a purchase, signing up for a newsletter or downloading an e-book.

Make it mobile-friendly

mobile friendly website

A lot of people access the internet from their handheld devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, then you’re way behind.

If you want to increase your conversion rate, your website needs to be able to provide a seamless experience to users. Moreover, Google also prefers mobile-friendly websites. You can end up in a higher spot in the search results if Google likes you.

With that, optimizing your website for mobile is no more just an option but a must-do.

See Also: The Essential Elements of Modern Web Design

Final Thoughts

Lastly, remember the K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) rule for your web design. Keep it simple and make sure there are fewer distractions. The more aesthetically pleasing your website is, the higher its conversion.

The post How to Increase Conversion Rate: Top Tips in Designing Your Website appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Make Homemade Pasta (Without a Pasta Maker!)

Homemade Pasta Dough No Pasta Machine

I’ve been making pasta from scratch for about eight years now, often with a child standing at each hip, and all without using a pasta maker.

Sometimes gadgets can be barriers to experimentation in the kitchen, but a small kitchen or a lack of funding shouldn’t prevent anyone from making delicious homemade food. I find that most meals can be made with a few simple tools that serve multiple purposes.

In the case of my homemade pasta, my rolling pin doubles as my pasta roller.

Continue reading “How to Make Homemade Pasta (Without a Pasta Maker!)” »

How To Ace Your Apartment Hunt

Finding an apartment to move into is an exciting experience. Well, that’s if you’re fully prepared.

In the same way that you go shopping for clothes, you will want to find an apartment that will fit your lifestyle. Knowing the size that you need, the amount you want to pay, and where to look are the key factors that make an apartment hunt go smoothly.

To make sure you enjoy the experience, here are 8 tips to help you in finding an apartment.

Make a List

writing a list

Before you even begin your search, we advise you to make a list. Make sure that it includes two categories: your wants and your needs.

Be realistic with your list and be willing to bend.

For example, not being able to find an apartment in your chosen location is alright as long as the apartment is big enough to accommodate all your things.

See Also: Here’s What Millennials Want When They Buy A Home

Prepare a Budget

In the same manner that you made your previous list, you should now prepare your budget. Determine the highest amount you can afford, including the cost of utilities, parking, public transportation, and Homeowner Association (HOA) fees. You should also determine the highest amount you can afford without those fees included.

Then, outside of your budget, you will want to set aside some money for the extra fees. This includes the security deposit and the registration fee for your pet.

Finally, depending on where you are looking, you may even need to set aside some money for a broker’s fee. A broker is necessary when a landlord won’t deal directly with tenants.

Take note that a broker’s fee can be quite expensive. In some cases, it’s equivalent to a month’s rental fee.

One good tip you can use to lower that fee is to find an apartment in a newly constructed building. Most developers will want to fill in all the empty apartments fast that they are willing to cover the broker’s fee. Looking for a place during the winter season can also lower your rental cost.

Narrow down your preferred location

Before you begin looking at rental properties, you may first want to select one or two neighborhoods to begin looking in.

Do you have a friend or family member who already lives in the area? Or are you selecting a neighborhood because it sounds like a great place to live in?

Try and do some quick research beforehand so that you’re not running all over the city.

Create a checklist

Being ready with an apartment hunt checklist will help you keep track of what you are going to see, especially if you have scheduled multiple visits in one day. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, consider bringing a friend. Chances are he or she will want to have input on your place, too.

Second, have your previous wants and needs list attached to your checklist. Include an area where you can write down your comments.

Check off the features you are getting, such as washer, dryer, and easy access to public transit. Acknowledge the things you won’t be getting, too.

As you take a look around, make sure to also take pictures. Otherwise, when you get home, all the apartments will start to blur together and you won’t remember which one was which.

See Also: Changing Trends in the Way Families Buy Homes

Feel free to snoop

When you are looking around the apartment you want, it’s important for you to know that you’re getting your money’s worth. So, push those buttons on the dishwasher, run all the faucets to check how long it takes to get some hot water, and don’t be shy to check out each closet.

If this is going to be your next home, you don’t want to be caught off guard when you move in. And while snooping, feel free to talk with the tenants next door about what it’s like to live in the building and with the current landlord.

Know how much space you will need

Do you have a king-size bed and a large dresser? If that is the case, you’re going to need a bedroom that will fit them both.

To make sure you don’t end up guessing, include those measurements on your checklist and be sure to bring a measuring tape with you. Don’t be afraid to pull it out to verify the measurements of a room.

Sometimes, a room might look big but with the location of the window and closet, you will find that there isn’t enough wall space for you to fit all of your furniture. While you’re at it, make sure that your large couch will also fit the door.

Arrive prepared

property manager

Just because you believe that you are simply looking for an apartment doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared and be presentable. In a sense, the landlord is interviewing you in a similar way that an employer would.

It wouldn’t hurt to create a resume or file of all the necessary details your possible future landlord would need. Even if the property manager requires you to fill up a lease application form, having your resume to add to that will highlight your good character.

You will want to include all your up-to-date information, such as your contact numbers, employer information, previous landlord, and even checks for security deposits.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate a better rental price either if you think you can give the landlord something in return, such as a long-term lease. You might even be able to negotiate the security deposit if you can prove that you are a good tenant.

Get it in writing

If your apartment hunt progresses swiftly and you end up finding a place that you like, take a moment to write down the details. Make sure that it includes the rental fee, security deposit, and any visual damages that they’ll repair for you for free.

Remember to secure copies of everything that you sign. Confirm that you can make the changes you want, such as painting the walls or updating the floor. Wait for him to sign the agreement before initiating the changes.

Make it count

Being prepared is only half the battle when finding an apartment. Hopefully, this list of tips can help make the process a lot easier for you.


The post How To Ace Your Apartment Hunt appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Clear Your Thoughts And Why Do It

Our thoughts are helpful. We need them to make sense of the information around us and to take action.

I used to believe this wholeheartedly, but is it really true? Is the stream of words in our heads really necessary?

As far as we know, animals don’t talk to themselves and they seem to manage. Some of our actions are prompted by our thoughts but most of them are the results of outside stimuli and our feelings.

Your Mind in Action

mind in action

When something triggers a response in us, our subconscious tries to come up with a proper course of action. Its final decision is reinforced by feelings and thoughts that leak into the conscious. These 2 combine to form the motivation for your response.

For example, let’s say you found a mountain of dishes in your sink.

Your brain (the subconscious) analyzes the situation and comes up with a solution (leave them). Your feelings guide you towards the couch and you start thinking about your favorite show.

Again, your thoughts worked against you.

But this is not always the case.

Sometimes, the subconscious comes up with the decision to clean your dishes and so do your thoughts.

Also, you are not at the mercy of your subconscious. You can say no to certain “solutions” by recognizing the feelings and thoughts that are rejecting them.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Don’t Argue with the Mind

When you feel like doing something you shouldn’t, become aware of this fact. Take a deep breath, relax your body, and start focusing on your task.

Most of us try to argue with our minds and the brain always wins.

Stop arguing.

When you’re feeling and thinking something you shouldn’t, simply ignore it.

If you think you can’t, you are wrong.

You’ve done it before. At one time or another, something triggered a messed up thought in you, like murder, suicide or rape. It happens to all of us.

We cannot control the thoughts we have, as they are simple reactions to the outside world.

If you watch enough news about murder and rape, these thoughts will inevitably end up in your mind. But they are disgusting, so we reject them immediately.

That’s what keeps us sane.

However, we do not reject thoughts of donuts and coca cola which make us fat. We do not reject thoughts of television and YouTube that keep us mediocre.

So, how do we do it?

How to Control Your Thoughts

To fully understand how this works, I recommend reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.

the power of now eckhart tolle

An incomplete summary of what he speaks about is the following:

  • Thoughts come and go but you don’t have to accept and ruminate over all of them.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Open them and become deeply aware of your surroundings. Become present.
  • In this state, you have no thoughts. You enjoy being. When one comes into your head, make a quick decision: Is this thought useful/necessary or not? If it’s not (most of them aren’t), eliminate it and return to the present.

These steps will not only remove the pointless thoughts in your head but they can also force your subconscious to come up with better, superior ideas. What you’ll basically be doing is analyzing your thoughts, keeping only the good ones, and terminating the rest.

See Also: The Secret Mind Hacks That Can Change Your Life Today

Thinking vs. Being

Most people are stuck in their heads. Instead of admiring the sunset or having a moment with their friends and family, they’re busy thinking about nonsense.

Are you doing the same?

If you are, accept it and start working on it. You can try it out right now or when you’re taking a walk or a shower. If there’s nothing useful going on in your head, simply focus on the now and the present.

By training yourself to get rid of the useless thoughts in your head, you will build the discipline you need to succeed at work and your daily life. The more you do it, the easier it will be to remain in the present.

So, stop thinking. Just listen. Just see. Just be.

The post How To Clear Your Thoughts And Why Do It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The 7 Biggest Mistakes That College Students Make

So many great things can happen in college. It’s essentially your launching pad.

This is the time and place where you meet people, have your ideas and perceptions challenged, and get prepared for your next steps in life. It’s also a time where you can make some pretty costly mistakes and miss out on some great opportunities.

Here’s a quick list of the 7 things not to do in college.

Going Out Too Often

For many students, college is where you can make spontaneous plans. You can make your own schedule without the need to ask for your parents’ approval.

That, however, isn’t always a great thing.

You may face pressure from friends and roommates to go out and enjoy yourself. They’ll encourage you to stop reviewing and just go out for a night of fun.

When students give into pressure and temptations to go out too often, they usually end up low on cash, sleep-deprived, and behind on their studies.

Fortunately, a solution is available.

Rather than randomly going out on half-baked nights with pals, pick a single night each week or month where you can truly enjoy. This will make it much easier to stay in.

Skipping Classes

Let’s be honest.

If you ever attempted it, you know that skipping class in high school is a real challenge. Now, what happens when you skip class in college?

Well, nothing. There are no phone calls, lectures, and warnings.

But, that doesn’t mean there are no consequences.

Missing lectures, labs, quizzes, or simply not being there to take notes can put you behind very quickly.

So, how do you avoid the temptation?

First, avoid getting overwhelmed and exhausted. Get enough sleep and give yourself plenty of time to do your homework. Try to find other ways to give yourself a mental break when you need it.

Finally, if you must, give yourself one day per semester to take the day off. Just be prepared to get your notes ahead of time and make up for any work.

Not Reaching Out For Help

No college experience is perfect. One of the only certainties is that, at some point, you’re going to struggle with something. For some, that struggle may be academic.

You may find yourself struggling in a particular class or just unsure of where you’re headed in terms of your major.

On the other hand, you may do wonderfully with academics but struggle with homesickness and depression.

Sadly, many students make the mistake of keeping their problems to themselves rather than asking for help.

Keep this in mind.

There are people who are willing to help you if you are having troubles. There are tutors in your student learning center that are waiting for people to come to them for academic help. Your academic adviser can help you stay on the right path and your instructors can help if you are behind. There are also counselors if you are struggling mentally or emotionally.

None of those people will be annoyed or bothered if you approach them. Instead, they will be happy to apply their talents to help you.

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

Taking Classes That Contradict With Sleep/Awake Patterns

You know you aren’t a morning person but if you take that 8 A.M. class, you’ll have all of your basic credits in. That means you can take the summer semester off.

But should you sign up for that class?

You might want to think twice.

How tired will you be and how much sleep will you lose?

Too many students sign up for early classes and then have a really hard time. If you commit to an early class and coffee isn’t enough to keep you going, your grades can really suffer.

Know your sleep patterns and energy levels. Be honest with yourself. Getting in one more class won’t do you any good if you lower your overall GPA or fail a class.

Missing Out on Student Discounts

Your student ID card might just be your ticket to tons of discounts around the campus. Restaurants, movie theaters, clothing stores- there’s a good chance that you can receive a pretty nice discount from those places.

Pay attention to your local banks and credit unions as well. Many of them offer free or reduced price checking accounts and other perks just for college students. This is a great way to establish yourself as a local banking customer and get into the habit of saving.

Ignoring Your Health And Wellness

Poor health doesn’t happen overnight. It comes incrementally.

You go to school sick when you should be resting. Skipping breakfast becomes a habit. You eat too much junk food and you indulge in a few too many beers each week. You rarely visit the gym, too.

Before you know it, you’ve put on weight. You’re depressed and anxious and you feel awful.

Don’t procrastinate.

If you’re sick or experiencing pain, deal with it immediately. Commit to eating right most of the time and always include some form of exercise in your day.

See Also: 4 Habits That Will Improve Your Focus And Destroy Procrastination

Overspending Student Aid Checks

Your tuition is paid. Now, you’re waiting for that awesome check from the school bursar. It finally arrives and you have visions of a flat screen television and the latest gaming system in your eyes.

Before you go spending, be careful!

Remember that this money is supposed to cover your expenses for the term. Even if you’re sure you can make it and earn extra money, there are a lot of things you can do with your windfall.

You can consider:

  • Pay off or avoid credit card debt.
  • Get needed maintenance done on your vehicle.
  • Put money aside for savings.
  • Start an emergency fund.
  • Pay your student loan interest.

If you make it to the end of the semester, then spend the leftover money on something fun and frivolous.


Save money. Stay healthy. Get the most out of your education.

Isn’t that what most college students want? Avoid these seven screw-ups and you will accomplish those goals.

The post The 7 Biggest Mistakes That College Students Make appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Reduce Expenses When You Live In An Expensive City

Living in a high-cost area has its perks. There’s a lot of high paying jobs, which means you have a lot more opportunity to earn. And since things can cost more, you’re less likely to consume them. This translates to lower living standards. Of course, those ideas don’t apply to everyone and not all people can live well in an expensive city. Whether you’re looking to pinch pennies or you’re struggling to make ends meet, here are some tips on how to reduce expenses when you live in a high-cost area.

Saving on your housing

rental sharing Of course, your rent will be one of your highest bills. If you live in a city like New York City, expect the average rental rate to be around $3,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. While this number is nothing to sneeze at, you can bring this cost down by doing the following:

  • Renting with friends or a co-worker- Consider finding a roommate to slash your rent by 50%. You can ask your friends or co-workers. If you can’t find one, try Craigslist or post on your local Facebook marketplace. Just be sure to screen for your security.
  • Avoid the flashy areas– In most large cities, the rental opportunities are endless. And since they are in-demand, they are likely to cost more. Try to avoid those “flashy” areas and try to find a place that’s a few blocks away.

Saving on transportation costs

Transportation is a cost that can easily exceed $8,600 annually. The costs are derived from car payments, insurance, interest, repair costs, maintenance costs, gas, auto club fees, and more. When residing in an expensive city, the amount you pay out of pocket can increase every 6 to 8 months depending on the size of your vehicle and the length of your commute. The following are a handful of tips that can assist you in cutting or eliminating this (non-essential) expense:

  • Carpool/Ride-share– This option allows you to decrease the wear and tear and fuel costs of your vehicle. The cost of ride-sharing (Lyft, Uber, ZipCar) is a mere fraction of the cost of owning a vehicle of your own.
  • Utilize public Transportation– If you are in an area where public transportation is available, use it. It’s far less expensive than driving a vehicle around town.

Start decreasing your debt

You can decrease your monthly expenses by reducing or eliminating revolving debt. As you pay off your debts, you’ll receive fewer monthly bills and you’ll have more money to save. The following will show you a few ways to reduce debt and increase your savings:

  • Use balance transfers– If a debt that you’re currently paying is attached to a high-interest rate, consider utilizing a balance transfer. It offers perks, like an 18-month APR of 0%. You can also try rewards programs but be certain to factor in all transfer fees. It is also best to pay the transferred balance during the introductory period (if plausible).
  • Refinance– Contact your auto and homeowner insurance company and see if you qualify for a lower interest rate. A reduced rate can save you money over the life of your loan and this can make living in a high-cost area more affordable.
  • Consolidate loans– Consolidation can provide you with a lower interest rate and a greater chance to pay off the loan quicker.
  • Reduce credit card rates – You may be able to negotiate with your credit card company to reduce your current rate/s.
  • Use auto debt repayment plans– This will keep you from missing payments and incurring late fees or rate increases.
  • Spring clean and purge – Go through your home and gather unused or rarely used items. Once you have gathered them, sell them. This will give you some added income, no matter how small the amount may be. You’ll also be able to free up space.

Think about decreasing your energy costs

On average, American households spend approximately $2,200 annually on energy bills. Fortunately, advances in technology are making it easier for energy expenses to be slashed. Below are some ways to decrease your monthly costs for energy:

  • Seal your home– This will prevent drafts which is a common issue with energy efficiency. The loss of heat or cool air can increase your costs.
  • Use LED or CFL bulbs– These bulb types are (on average) four times more efficient than standard incandescent light bulbs. This simple change will save you $0.66 per month and (plausibly) $40 annually.
  • Reduce the temperature of your hot water heater– 14% of your home energy cost is from your hot water heater. By reducing the temperature to between 125 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit and installing a water heater blanket, you will drastically decrease that cost.
  • Install a thermostat that is programmable– This will allow you to decrease energy use when no one is at home, saving you money throughout the month.
  • Unplug– Any electrical devices that are not in use should be unplugged. Whether on or off, they are still drawing electricity and adding to your monthly bill.

Decrease your entertainment costs

decrease entertainment cost Most people think of entertainment as dining out, heading to a movie theater or concert. Those are not your only forms of entertainment. Remember, you’re living in an expensive city so there are probably tons of low-cost entertainment options such as local museums or parks. Here are some of the things you can cut out to reduce your monthly expenses:

  • Cancel Club Memberships
  • Eliminate or reduce your cable/satellite bill– Utilize streaming services, such as Netflix or the PlayStation Vue. There’s no reason to pay $100+ per month for cable TV purposes.
  • Cancel magazine and newspaper wubscriptions– Read and view your favorites online for free.

Living in a high-cost area is doable and you can still successfully live in one if you’re smart with your money. Hopefully, by applying some of these tips, you can slash a few dollars off of your budget.

The post How to Reduce Expenses When You Live In An Expensive City appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Things to Do Without Internet: How to Make Your Internet Snow Day Better

Remember snow days?

You’d wake up, turn on the television, and wait to see your school’s name scroll along the bottom of the screen. Seeing your school’s name followed by “Closed” or “2-Hour Delay” was probably the best feeling.

It meant being able to lay around in your pajamas, play video games or go out with other neighborhood kids.

Now, as an adult, snow days usually mean working from home if you can, or losing out on a day of pay if your kids are out and you don’t have that option. Adulthood can be a real bummer sometimes. But one thing that can still save you is an Internet snow day. What do you do when the Internet goes out and you can’t work?

The Internet Is The New Office

internet office

What did people do all day before the Internet and even before there were computers?

There were physical letters that had to be typed on a typewriter, physical filing cabinets where things had to be properly stored, and do you remember Rolodexes?

My goodness, the Rolodexes.

There’s so much in the office of yesteryear that most people today would not even recognize. Today, people in offices report:

  • 78% of people who work in offices say the Internet is crucial to work getting done
  • 60% of workers say they lose the majority of their productivity when there is an Internet outage
  • 65% of office workers choose their location based on the Internet signal there

The Internet Is In Near Constant Peril

Solar flares and sharks can cause Internet outages.

Yes, real sharks can attack the undersea lines that connect the Internet between continents. Solar flares can knock out communications satellites, too.

The biggest threat to the Internet, however, are hackers. DDoS attacks have been responsible for many outages, including one that seized the unsecured WiFi connections of things like cameras and IoT to overwhelm Dyn, the system that routes traffic on the Internet. This knocked out access to popular sites like Twitter and Netflix for nearly a day.

For ordinary consumers though, sharks and hackers take a backseat to frustrating ISPs.

Things To Do Without Internet

Congratulations, you are embarking on your very own Internet Snow Day! If you are fortunate enough to work with really fun people, you could:

  • Go for a walk in the park
  • Check out an art museum
  • Head to the nearest thrift shop to rummage for interesting stuff
  • Have coffee from somewhere other than the break room

have coffee

  • Play a trivia game

And if you are still stuck in the office waiting and hoping for the Internet to come back on, there are still a few things you can do without Internet access:

  • Play the jumpy dinosaur game on Chrome
  • Pop a DVD into your drive and watch a movie or show
  • Write out your next blog post or social media post and just upload it once the Internet is back up

Will Internet Outages Soon Be A Thing Of The Past?

With great technology comes great frustration when it fails. That’s why ISPs are trying to improve the reliability of their service whenever possible.

Fiber Internet is one option for making the Internet more resistant to outages. It is physically stronger and lasts longer than cable. It’s also faster and this can decrease outages caused by traffic overloads.

Until the world is covered by Fiber, you should have a plan for your next Internet snow day. What will you do the next time there’s no internet?

You don’t get many snow days as an adult, so a little preparation can help you make the most of it. Learn more about the best things to do without internet from this infographic!

How to have the best Internet Snow Day

The post Things to Do Without Internet: How to Make Your Internet Snow Day Better appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Choose the Best Site for Online Casino Games

Online casinos are fun. They can help you pass time, double your money, and earn points without the need to spend on gas and drive all the way to a casino. They can even lessen your anxiety and stress.

Now, despite all the great things you hear about online casinos, not all of them can give you the best experience. In fact, if you fail to find the right one, you can end up falling victim to identity theft and fraud.

To make sure none of these things happen, check out these best tips on how to find the safest and best online casino.


Since you’ll be depositing money into the online casino, you have to make sure that you can rely on it in keeping your money safe. The last thing you’d want to happen is to find all your money gone even before you start betting.

One good way to verify a casino’s reliability is to check its licensing company. You should also verify if its random number generator is legit. Otherwise, the casino could be swindling its customers and that’s not legal.


As much as possible, stick with online casinos that have a proven track record for treating their clients fairly. AskGamblers, named one of the best casino portals, is a great example.


Now, how do you check?

You can do a quick search online to see what others are saying about the online casino you like. Take the time to read each review so you’ll know what to expect.

You can also try asking your friends about which sites they trust and how long they have been using them. Having lots of long-term users is a sign of a good reputation.

Take note that searching for and reading reviews isn’t a foolproof way to determine a casino’s reputation. However, they can give you an idea about which sites are trustworthy and which ones are shady.

Remember, try to stay away from sites that are plagued with negative reviews.

Selection of Games

Once you know your money and information will be safe, it’s time to get to the fun part.

In choosing the best online casino, you need to find out what makes it great and that includes the game selection. You’d want to have as many options as possible if really want to have fun.

Imagine this:

If you sign up for an online casino with a narrow selection, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself searching for another online casino in just a few days. That isn’t only time consuming but frustrating, too.

So, before you start playing, make sure that the online casino you’ll be playing in is offering all the games you’re after.

Check if the site offers all types of games as well. An online casino that has about 40 types of video poker and only 5 table games won’t give you the best experience since it can force you to play the same type of game over and over again.


Of course, you want your games to give you the best experience. And for that to be possible, you need to make sure that the online casino you choose uses the latest technology and graphics. You also need to make sure that it offers the latest games.

Excellent customer support

customer support

This might not sound that important but once you experience a problem, you’ll find the true benefit of having an excellent customer support. It won’t just help solve your issues quicker and easier but it can also make problem-solving a lot less stressful.

Now, testing a casino’s customer support isn’t that hard. All you need to do is send them an email with a few questions. Check how fast they’ll respond and how helpful their answers are.

If there’s a live chat support, try using it. Don’t wait until you have an actual problem before you test it out.

If you encounter a problem and that live chat support don’t work, you’ll have a hard time fixing your problem.

Deposits and Withdrawals

If you prefer a particular method for funding your account, you might want to check a casino’s depositing options. You should also check if you need to pay any additional fees to process your money.

Now, remember:

Most sites allow players to withdraw money from the same method they deposited their funds. This means that if you are going to use the bank method, make sure that your account allows deposits and withdrawals for the site you’re after.

Verify this before you deposit any money into your playing account.

Apart from deposits, you need to check the casino’s withdrawal process, too. Not all casinos process cash-outs at the same speed. There are casinos that follow a range of processes and that can delay your cash-outs.


Online casinos usually post their rewards and bonuses so you can easily spot them the moment you visit their sites. In fact, they are the first things you’ll see.

Now, here’s the thing:

Although big bonuses and rewards look attractive, not all of them are great. Some of them can have hidden terms and conditions you need to keep an eye out for. Others require a higher wager which can make the rewards not that valuable.

If you are an occasional player, a welcome bonus is something you should look forward to. However, if you a regular gambler, try to find the best rewards for your wagers. The list includes reload bonuses, leaderboard contests, cashback deals, and VIP clubs.

See Also: Top 5 Strategies To Maximize Your Online Casino Profits


Playing online casino games are great as long as you can find the best sites to play. If you aren’t careful, you won’t just waste time and money but you can also end up compromising your security.

So, do your homework and use the factors above in choosing the best online casino. It may take more time and may require more effort but the peace of mind and sense of security can make your gaming experience a lot more enjoyable.

The post How to Choose the Best Site for Online Casino Games appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Decorating With Area Rugs: How to Spice Up Your Bedroom

An area rug is a great way to bring out the best in any room. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and can be picked up relatively cheap, too. You don’t need to have lots of money to start decorating with area rugs. There are plenty of DIY ideas that you can do at home. If you are wondering where you can find some inspirations, here are some really handy tips.

Add some stripes to the room

Choosing a rug that’s stripy will automatically make the room look bigger. Stripes also give the room a very contemporary modern feel. However, if you’ve already got a striped duvet cover or walls, a plain area rug would be a better choice.

Fluff it up a little

fluffy area rug There’s nothing more comforting than getting out of bed in the morning and stepping on a nice, fluffy rug. As well as adding extra warmth to the room, fluffy rugs also make a nice contrasting feature against wooden floors.

Minimalism is the key

Another popular choice is minimalism. You don’t need to have a bedroom packed with lots of objects and loud colors. Plain colored walls with a basic, plain area rug are all you need to pull this look off. It’s very minimalist yet very effective.

Break up the colour

bright colored area rug Some people tend to go a little overboard with the same color when decorating their bedroom. Adding an area rug to the room that’s a different shade breaks it up a little.

Wall to wall effect

People sometimes choose wall-to-wall area rugs as opposed to carpeting. It has a really nice effect and is certainly a much cheaper option. You can get them in just as many designs. They look just as good and they’ll save you a whole lot of money in having to fit the carpet.

Blend in the greys

When you first think of grey, you may automatically think old-fashioned. That’s no longer the case. In fact, grey is making a comeback! Grey on grey is a very popular look at the moment, particularly in the bedroom. Having different hues of grey on the walls mixed with a different hue of grey on the floor makes for a very nice look.

Create the mood

Not everyone has the same taste and not everyone will want the same mood for their bedroom. So, choose a rug that matches the mood you’re trying to create. Solid colors or classic pattern rugs work well for a traditional style bedroom. They will make you feel instantly at ease. On the other hand, adding stripes and dots will make the room look more upbeat.

Careful positioning

The positioning of a rug can make all the difference to the look your room portrays. Offsetting an area rug will give it maximum visual appeal and can be done by placing the bed on just a third of the rug. This works well with heavily patterned area rugs.

Double the fun

If you have quite a large bedroom, having two distinctly different but complementing rugs in the room can have a nice effect. It can help break up the monotony in such a large area. Just make sure they are different, as too much of the same is never a good thing.

Cozy it up

bedroom area rug Laying in a warm bed in a cozy little room is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. And while you may feel that a small bedroom is already cozy, adding a nice wool area rug can make it even cozier. It will also give the room a nice, rustic look. Now that you have some ideas as to how to decorate your bedroom with area rugs, all that’s left for you now is to go and find (or make) that perfect rug!

See Also: 6 Decor Hack to Make Your House look Pretty

The post Decorating With Area Rugs: How to Spice Up Your Bedroom appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Your Camera

Cameras are incredibly expensive. On top of that, their gear is also expensive. With that, you need to take the necessary steps to make sure that you can keep your camera working for as long as you can. But, do you know how to clean your camera? Now, to ensure longevity, you need to take proper care of your equipment and learn to clean it properly. This post will teach you some of the basics.

Don’t Use Your Shirt to Clean Your Lens

This is one of the most common mistakes made by anyone learning to use a camera. They look through the lens and see a speck of dirt and they wipe it off with their shirt. Yes, it technically gets rid of the smudge, but your sweater absorbs dirt and sweat throughout the day. That gunk transfers over to the lens. Your shirt can even scratch the glass, too. Instead of using your shirt, you need to use a special cloth, like a lens tissue or microfiber material, to clean your glass.

Always Use a Lens Cap

camera lens cap A Lens caps keep your camera and its lenses free of dirt, gunk, and scratches. Whenever your camera is not in use, you should have a lens cap on it. Whenever you take a lens off your body, a lens cap should go on both the body and said lens. You’d think this would be second nature, but tons of photographers forget to do this.

Take Care of Your SD Card

SD cards store all the photos and videos you’ve taken. They’re necessary to transfer that data over to a computer for editing and properly caring for them is essential. Your camera has a blinking light near the SD card slot. When blinking, that means data is being written to the SD card. Too many users rip their SD card right after turning the camera off. This is wrong and it can ruin all the shots you just took. Make sure to wait at least five seconds after turning the camera off to eject the card.

Cleaning the Rear Area of The Lens

This part gets overlooked a lot but it’s a big deal when it comes to keeping your equipment working. The rear area of your lens is the part that attaches to the body of the camera. Any dirt or gunk on it can get into the sensor and ruin the body of the camera. The best way to address that is to use compressed air or a cotton tip with a small amount of alcohol on it.

Cleaning the Camera Body

Take a clean paintbrush and run it through the outer body of your camera. Once done, take some compressed air and puff it around as well. Make sure not to let the dust blow into the body. Cameras such as Nikon or Canon make it simple to clean. Both companies have manuals and videos to guide you.

Camera Sensor

Your camera’s sensor is the most expensive part to replace and an essential piece of your camera. Shooting outside almost always guarantees getting something stuck in the lens. That lens then transfers the dust over to the sensor and those specks of dirt can ruin every single photo. There’s almost no way to clean it when out and about, either. Sensors need special care, though there are a few ways to do it by hand: Auto Clean: Every single DLSR on the market comes with an auto-clean function. This option “shakes” the sensor with the intention of knocking the dust off. However, this only works with very light specks and will do very little to a very dirty sensor. Swabs and Fluid: You can purchase swabs designed to clean your sensor without damaging it. Pairing them with a specific cleaning fluid means you can wipe it clean almost instantaneously. You can even get swabs that are the exact size of your sensor so you can get it done in one swipe. If your sensor is still dirty after all of this, you need to bring the camera body to a cleaning expert. They have the tools and will take the time required to clean your sensor correctly. Also, be careful not to overexpose the sensor whenever you’re switching lenses. When changing lenses, do it as quickly as possible. Remember to face your camera downwards when making the switch.

In Usage

camera usage When using your camera, always make sure to hold it securely. Using a strap helps keep the device safe and holding it with two hands ensures that even more. This prevents it from bouncing around when walking and it also makes for a steady shot when capturing images. If you invest in cameras and extra equipment for them, it is vital that you go the extra mile to take care of them. Spend on cleaning equipment. Read about taking care of the device and make sure to take all the steps necessary to prevent damage. In doing so, you’ll have a camera that stays working for years to come.

See Also: 7 Tips For Amateur Photographers You Need To Know

The post A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Your Camera appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Safety Tips for Natural Disasters: A Quick Guide On How To Secure Your Property

Accidents and natural disasters can happen anytime. If you aren’t prepared, they can end up ruining your property and taking your loved ones’ lives. To ensure protection, take a look at these 8 severe weather conditions and safety tips for natural disasters.


If you live in an earthquake-prone area, hire an engineer to conduct a seismic evaluation. This way, you can be sure that your property can resist damage. This may cost a little more than you like, but keep in mind that earthquake damage is a whole lot more expensive.

Additionally, furniture, walls, fixtures, and vents should all be properly anchored or braced. If an earthquake hits your building, evacuating all residents and shutting off electricity and gas switches should be a priority.



Wildfires are unpredictable and often destructive. If your building is situated in an area where wildfires are a reality, there are several things you can do to prevent devastating damages.

Using fire resistant materials in the construction or modification of your property is a great way to prevent damage. Another area to assess is landscaping. Make sure that there aren’t any bushes that could lead the fire right to the structure.

Keep on top of all fire prevention systems. Sprinkler systems, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers can not only save lives but belongings and buildings, too. If you have any questions, contact your local fire department.


Flooding or flash flooding can happen almost anywhere. In fact, each of the 50 states has had one of the two occur.

To protect your property, consider raising wall sockets, switches, and other electrical elements to above-predicted flood levels. Take a look at the grading outside as well. Chances are you may need to have the grading re-sloped to provide you with the most flood defense.

Consider relocating your HVAC system to a higher floor as well as anchoring fuel tanks. Assuring your building has a sewer back-flow valve will protect against sewage backflow as well. Keeping gutters and drains free from debris allows water to flow properly and reduces the risk of severe flooding.

Severe Heat

Preparing your property for heat comes down to installing and maintaining a good HVAC system. Consider systems that clean and reuse air for green solutions that save 20 to 30% more energy.

Maintaining all systems during hot months is as important as replacing air filters. Consider having a backup generator on the property to ensure cool air in the event of a power outage.

Blizzards/Extreme Cold

blizzards extreme cold

Structures built to withstand cold weather are well-insulated.

To ensure your building will stand the test of blizzards and chilly winter air, check out the insulation situation first. Next, take good care of your heating source by keeping it well-maintained and by changing filters in your HVAC.

Insulate plumbing pipes and be sure to drain any outdoor exposed pipes before the cool weather comes. Burst pipes are a property owner’s nightmare.

Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed. It also doesn’t hurt to have a backup generator for the worst case scenario — power loss.


For drought, consider all the little things you can do to help reduce water consumption. One simple task to stay on top of is the plumbing. By making timely repairs and routinely checking your property’s plumbing, water conservation has already started. Replacing regular fixtures with low-flow versions and adding smart water meters are two additional ways to save on water.

Tornadoes and Hurricanes


Although these two weather conditions are slightly different, they are both capable of causing severe damage quickly. With tornadoes, you have almost no warning.

If your property is in a tornado-prone area, investing in roof clips, cable ties, and reinforced external doors should be considered in building modifications. As well, designate a safe place to get to and stay throughout the storm. Looking at FEMA regulations is a great place to start.

The best ways to prepare for hurricanes include boarding up windows and removing and safely storing outdoor furniture and other unsecured outdoor items. Clear drainage areas and gutters and collect sandbags in case of flash flooding.

Although prevention does not mean assured protection, with these modifications and procedures in place, you will have the best chance of minimizing damage to your property. Always follow your local building codes and contact the right people before starting any work on your property.

Severe Weather Preparedness Tips for Your Apartment Community

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How to Get Over A Bad Day

It starts with spilling your coffee, then you lock your keys in the car, and now you are late for work. It’s not even 9 a.m. and you have already told yourself that you are having a bad day. At this point, it would almost take a miracle for you to see this day any other way.

Sound familiar?

The negative thought pattern that gets created when a few things go wrong can blister into a long-term, self-fulfilling prophecy if you aren’t careful. It can be very difficult to break that cycle. Left unbroken, it can leave you feeling depressed and overwhelmingly unhappy for days.

So, how to get over a bad day?

Recognize the Thoughts

It’s easy to take a series of unfortunate events as signs of a bad day. And once you give in to that thought, you have effectively taken away any alternative and your day will surely be bad.

It can take some work, but try making a conscious effort to recognize the tone of your thoughts. Are you thinking in negative terms?

There are physical cues that can go along with this as well. For a minute, consider what your body is doing.

Are your shoulders tensed? Are your brows furrowed? Is your jaw clenched?

These are all physical manifestations of the tension that negativity breeds. If you recognize these signs, stop yourself and force those muscles to relax. You will feel an immediate difference.

Consider Your Feelings

consider your feelings

Negative thoughts trigger negative emotions. Anger, frustration, irritation, anxiety, and sadness can consume you when you are thinking negatively. Those feelings have a way of pushing happiness and satisfaction to the back-burner, leaving you an anxious, angry wreck.

Ask yourself what you are feeling.

Identifying your emotions gives you control over them rather than letting them have control over you. Once you have identified what you are feeling, you can start taking actions.

Identify Your Behavior

If you have already decided you are having a bad day, then you are likely to be anticipating all the other things that could go wrong.

How can this affect your behavior?

Quite possibly, you’ll be walking in an aggressive manner, responding defensively to those around you, and becoming inordinately irritated with everything you encounter. If ever you find yourself behaving in such way, stop.

Take a deep breath and recognize your thoughts. Think about your feelings and make an effort to change them. For sure, your behavior will follow.

Even just forcing a smile and saying something nice to someone can have positive effects. Purposefully changing your approach to those around you and making a direct effort to be positive can reverse your negative thinking and cycle. Additionally, acts of kindness toward others can release endorphins, which can help you regain a positive outlook.


Take a deep breath and give yourself a do-over. Get a fresh cup of coffee or tea and find the positive things in your environment. Smile even if no one is looking and move forward. If you need to, remind yourself that a couple of bad moments do not make up a day. By letting them color your entire day or week, you have given them too much power.

See Also: Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life

When All Else Fails, Talk

talk to someone

Sometimes we just need to vent. If you are having a hard time putting yourself back into a positive space, try talking to someone. A friend or a family member that you trust will likely understand how you are feeling.

Bad days happen to all of us. They are fairly normal experiences for most people. The problem is that many of us get sucked into a negative way of thinking, which can be hard to escape from. Following the suggestions above can help you avoid getting stuck in that depressive cycle.

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

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5 Common Mistakes When Apologizing

Do you really know how to apologize?

In some cases, saying sorry isn’t enough. Instead of smoothing things over and making the situation better, it just leads to an even bigger explosion and mess. Often, we just put our hands on our hair and wonder why the other person doesn’t seem to appreciate what we’re doing.

Why do other people always have to see what you’re saying in the worst light?

Well, it might not be their fault.

It’s possible that your apology isn’t coming over as sincere or as well-meaning as you intend it to be. That’s because many of us make mistakes when we apologize. We say and do things that don’t help what we’re doing.

For that reason, here’s a helpful guide on how to apologize.

Including the word ‘but’

In Game of Thrones, they compared everything before the word ‘but’ to horse manure. Well, that’s true, particularly when you’re apologizing.

If you say “I’m sorry, but it’s your fault, too”, then what your audience will hear isn’t the “I’m sorry” but the “it’s your fault” instead.

The best advice when you apologize is to focus on actually apologizing and leave the quibbling for later. If you’re finding it hard, just remember this: Apologies wouldn’t mean much if they were easy.

The golden rule

Do you know what the norm of reciprocity is?

It’s the one where we do unto others what they have done unto us.

For example, if you go to somebody’s house and he gave you a bottle of wine, you should do the same. If someone sent you a postcard or messaged you on your birthday, then you should do the same thing.

Often, if you want an apology to run smoothly, you should apply the same idea.

You apologize and the other person returns the apology. If you don’t do that, then things can easily get out of hand. The person who apologized first will feel that he put himself out there only to be ignored.

You’re not sincere

unsincere sorry

Apologies only work if you mean them. Often, people will say ‘I’m sorry’ and then insist that it’s not really their fault.

That’s not an apology. That’s just saying ‘I’m sorry’ before complaining.

Focus on being sincere and taking responsibility for your actions. Later on, when you’ve repaired the breach in your relationship, you’ll have time to deal with the unfairness of the world.

You’re not recognizing the other person’s feelings

Yes, it’s you that’s apologizing. All the same, that doesn’t mean it’s all about you.

To apologize effectively, you need to not just accept responsibility for what you’ve done, but also take the other person’s feelings into account.

Things like ‘I can only imagine how this makes you feel’ or ‘I understand that this wasn’t nice for you’ will demonstrate that you’re considering the other person’s feelings. It will show that you’re capable of showing empathy which can really help soothe the other person’s anger.

You’re hurrying through

Rushing through the apology and not leaving enough time for the other person to decide if the apology has satisfied him creates a bigger problem.  He can end up feeling like he’s been cheated, leading to all sorts of resentment.

So, how to apologize?

Say ‘I’m sorry’ and then give the other person enough time to respond. Practice active listening and pay close attention to what he’s going to say.

When you do this, you’ll be able to understand and respond to the actual issues you’re dealing with. It will encourage the other person to accept your apology and see it as sincere.

im sorry

See Also: 5 Ways to Say Sorry

Last words

Apologizing is a fact of life. We all screw up. Nobody is perfect. Heck, sometimes it is even a good idea to apologize when we’ve done nothing wrong.

For example, a very useful apology when you’ve done nothing wrong but the other person is still angry is to say ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’. This shows empathy and can help mollify another person’s anger. It puts you closer to fixing a problem and moving on from it.

The post 5 Common Mistakes When Apologizing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Complete 2018 Step-by-Step Guide On How To Write A Press Release

In order to ensure the maximum effectiveness of your press release, you will want to make sure that they conform to certain generally accepted formatting practices. By following the press release format guide below, you’ll increase the reach and popularity of your company.

But first, what is a press release?

A press release is defined as “a public relations announcement issued to the news media and other targeted publications for the purpose of informing the public about company developments”.

Simply put, a press release is simply your ticket to publicity.

Whether you are planning on having a startup or you already have a company, here’s a handy guide on how to write a press release.

write press release

Step One

As a first step, you’ll want to alert whoever is reading the press release when the news is “officially” available. Often, companies will send out press releases a day or two in advance of an event in order to give media outlets some time to prepare a story.

In the top left corner, you’ll want to use either “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” (in all capital letters) or “HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL [DATE]”.

Step Two

You’ll also want to pay a lot of attention to the headline and sub-headline. The headline needs to clearly communicate the story of your press release and it must include the name of your company. The sub-headline can be longer and should provide some additional facts and information that will attract the attention of journalists.

Step Three

Every press release will list the location (including city and state) and date of the story. The inclusion of those pieces of information is important because many media outlets consider news on whether it is a local, regional or national event. A local media outlet is only interested in covering stories that are of relevance to a small geographic area.

Step Four

Now that you’ve completed the first three steps, it’s important to come up with the text for the press releases. As a general rule of thumb, you will need to limit your press release to 300-500 words. Your goal is to tell the who, what, why, when and where of your story as succinctly as possible. It’s best to divide the body text into a series of short paragraphs of no more than 2-4 sentences each.

Step Five

When writing the press release, you will also need to observe certain norms within the industry. For example, it’s customary to include at least one quote from someone involved with the story. This helps to bring your press release to life. Also, you should always use the third person when writing about your company . Avoid the use of words like “we” or “I” or “you.”

Step Six

You will also need to include relevant contact information of your company at the very end of the press release. This is called the “boilerplate” and will often consist of one very brief paragraph. It includes details about your company and specific contact information, like web, phone or email.

Step Seven

It’s still customary to mark the end of a press release with the word “END” and the inclusion of “###” at the very end. This is a long-time practice. In fact, back then, press releases were sent out over the wire and people receiving them wanted to make sure that they had all the necessary information.

Final Words

press release

What’s fascinating is that the modern press release looks almost identical to the first-ever press release which was sent in October 1906. That press release had a headline, a sub-headline, a date, content, geographic information, and entirely similar structure. It also used short block paragraphs to tell the story.

When it comes to sending out a press release, you want to make sure that it looks just right.

Above all, press releases that are formatted based on the traditional structure will definitely do well in increasing the popularity of your product or story. Remember, a press release can change the story and outreach of your company.


The post The Complete 2018 Step-by-Step Guide On How To Write A Press Release appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating

Finding out that your partner has betrayed your trust is completely devastating. You begin to question the entire relationship, struggle with feelings that you’re not good enough and, above all, wonder whether or not the damage can be repaired.

One thing that can offer you at least a sliver of comfort?

If you’ve been cheated on, you’re not alone.

In fact, in 1/3 of marriages, one or both couples have committed some form of cheating during their relationship.

While there are countless articles encouraging you to dump your cheating partner, there are also resources to help you out in case you decide to give your relationship a second try.

After all, if Beyonce and Jay-Z were able to do it, then why can’t the two of you?

If you’ve decided to stay with your partner after being cheated on, then you need to know what it really takes to heal.

Read on to find out how to rebuild a relationship after cheating.

Take Some Time Apart

cheating time apart

Finding out that you’ve been cheated on can lead to some serious fights between you and your partner.

These fights quickly stop becoming productive. Once that happens, they will start to take cruel turns that can make it a lot harder for you to move on. If you’re still living together or spending time together in the same environment, consider moving out. It will be impossible to resist the temptation to cut your partner down or to beg for forgiveness.

Whether you’ve been cheated on or if you’re the one doing the cheating, you owe it to both yourself and your partner to spend a few days away from each other.

First, you’ll be able to clear your mind. Secondly, you’ll be able to seek the support and advice of your friends. It will also help you remove yourself from a toxic environment.

So, book that dream Airbnb or just spend a few nights crashing on your friend’s couch.

Consider Counseling

Improving communication with your partner after being cheated on is one of the most important things you can do in order to heal.

To ensure that both sides are heard and that the difficult questions are addressed honestly, it’s a good idea to have a therapist to play as a mediator and to offer objective advice.

To find local counseling therapists in your area, you can search online or ask your friends if they know someone who can help.

Remember, cheating is often caused by underlying issues in your relationship. It can even be a consequence of the emotional imbalance of your partner. It’s important to tackle these problems head-on if you want to rebuild trust.

Resist The Urge To Snoop

20% of men go through texts and pictures while in a relationship.

If you’ve been cheated on, the desire to spy on your partner can be incredibly strong. While it might feel satisfying or offer a sense of relief if you don’t find anything, it’s important to think bigger.

Remember that spying on your partner indicates a serious lack of trust. If you truly want to move on after infidelity, then you need to learn how to trust your partner again.

This starts by resisting the urge to check their messages on social media.

Remember, It’s A Process

relationship process

When things are good with your partner, it can be tempting to throw the past out of the window and return to your previous routines. It can also be challenging to stick around if the changes you want to see aren’t happening fast enough.

Give your partner a chance to improve and give yourself the time to heal. Remember that recovery after infidelity is a process. If you treat it like a race, you’ll both end up losing.

The post How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Enjoy Traveling Solo

“But, don’t you get lonely traveling solo?”

This is a very common question for a lot of people who have jumped on a plane or a train and set off on their own little adventures. After all, spending anything from a week to a month away from a familiar environment and without the people you know can be a little more than nerve-wracking.

Even on our best days, the thought of traveling solo either for a break or to start a life elsewhere can be daunting. However, traveling alone has some significant benefits, like pushing you outside of your comfort zone.

Now, before you go ahead and fulfill your dreams, take a look at our tips on how to enjoy traveling solo. This list can help make sure you get the most out of your next trip.

Stay In A Suitable Place

If you’re new and nervous about traveling solo, booking in at the best hotel you can comfortably afford is probably the best bet. While you may want to save money on accommodation and put your hard-earned money towards unforgettable experiences, in order to enjoy traveling solo, you need to prioritize your comfort.

If you can, try and find a hotel with a bar on site or close enough to walk to and restaurants you’ll be happy to go alone. This way, you won’t feel disconnected from the world.

The Room

Once you have found a suitable place to stay, politely request a room that suits your needs. For some, a room away from the noise of the elevator is the best while others prefer staying in a room with a magnificent view. No matter what your needs might be, don’t be afraid to ask for them.

And if you’re unhappy with the room you have been given when you arrive, speak up and politely request to move to another one. After all, this is your traveling experience. You should do what you need to do to be comfortable and enjoy yourself.

Splurge On One Adventure

solo travelling adventures

If you don’t have the budget to do everything you want to do when traveling solo, then try and make sure to splurge on at least one adventure.

For example, if bungee jumping off the Air Boingo Tower in Dallas, Texas doesn’t appeal to you, why not try dining in a fancy restaurant with a glass of bubbly instead?

Don’t feel embarrassed about experiencing things alone. That’s exactly one of the great things about traveling solo.

See Also: 10 Wonderful Benefits of Traveling

Plan Your Days In Advance

Plan your days in advance to avoid spending unnecessary time wondering where you should go or what you’ll do on your vacation. Now, although planning everything can help make your trip go smoother, you should still be open to other opportunities.

Spontaneity can help make traveling solo a lot more exciting. Don’t forget to indulge yourself in all the glorious treats your destination has to offer.

Ask People To Take Photographs

solo travelling tips

One of the big downsides to traveling alone is that you have no one to take pictures of you. Photographs can serve as reminders of your adventures so don’t be afraid to ask other people to take your pictures. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a collection of awkwardly-angled selfies!

Remember that there is always the risk of strangers fleeing with your camera. Consider your safety first so you don’t end up with regrets.

See Also: 6 Ways Traveling Alone Makes You Stronger

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A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly

Blood is one of those substances that are tricky to clean up. It can seep through porous materials, bind to anything it comes in contact with and stain fabrics and surfaces. Apart from those things, you also have to worry about the things you can’t really see.

Blood can carry disease-causing microorganisms that can put everyone in danger. Because of this, it’s only essential that you know exactly how to clean up blood.

Blood Spill on a Non-Carpeted Floor

blood spill on non carpet
Via brooksremediation

The most common place for a blood spill to occur is on a non-carpeted, hard surface. The list includes cement, wood, metal, linoleum, vinyl, ceramic, and tile. It can also happen to any type of non-absorbent flooring, like a pool deck.

It is easier to clean up blood as well as other types of body fluids from those surfaces compared to absorbent surfaces. However, there are still some important steps that you need to take into consideration.

A spill on a hard surface will frequently spread over a larger area, so the spill needs to be contained right away. The following are the procedures that should be taken for cleaning spills up on those surfaces:

  • Block the area off until the disinfection and cleanup process have been completed. No one should be allowed to access the area, particularly unprotected staff members or visitors.
  • Put disposable gloves on.
  • Wipe the spill as much as you can with an absorbent material, such as a paper towel.
  • Pour a bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach) to all contaminated areas.
  • Allow the bleach solution to soak those areas for around 20 minutes before wiping off any remaining bleach solution.
  • All non-disposable cleaning materials, like rags, brushes, and mops, should be disinfected by saturating them with a bleach solution and then letting them air dry.
  • Take your gloves off and put them and any other dirty cleaning materials into a garbage bag.
  • Double bag and tie the garbage bags securely.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap.

Blood Spill on a Carpeted Floor

blood spill on carpet
Via aftermath

Due to its absorbent nature, a blood spill on a carpeted floor is one of the hardest to clean up. Most buildings have at least some carpeting which is why it’s essential to know how to clean up blood on such surface.

Since there is no way for you to completely disinfect your carpet, you need to know how you can thoroughly sanitize it as much as you can. Here’s how you can do that:

Work Fast: Blood and other body fluids can quickly set or harden on carpeting and that can make them harder to clean. So, respond fast and make sure that all safety precautions are followed.

Use The Right Products: Bleach and other types of decontamination products may destroy or damage carpets. Using manufacturer-approved carpet cleaners and shampoos is the best way to get the contaminated areas clean.

Steam Clean: Depending on the size and nature of the spill, it is recommended to steam clean the carpet. A steam cleaner can clean, sanitize, and remove debris from carpets more thoroughly than conventional washing can. Although there are added expenses with steam cleaning, it’s the best way of preventing blood-borne pathogens.

Now that we got those things out of the way, here’s how you can clean blood from carpets.

  • Put Disposable Gloves On: No matter what kind of surface you are cleaning, you should first put on gloves.
  • Contain the Spill: Following a spill, it is critical to keep the affected area as contained as possible to prevent it from spreading further.
  • Initial Disinfect: After the area has been contained, spray it with the proper carpet detergent to help kill pathogens.
  • Blot Excess Fluids Up: Use disposable rags or towels to blot as much excess fluids as possible. Then, secure your soiled rags by placing them in a sealed bag.
  • Extract Any Absorbed Fluids: Carpet does absorb some fluid so the next step is to remove it. Use a wet-dry vacuum and wet the carpet thoroughly before applying suction. Repeat the process as necessary.
  • Re-disinfect: After you have vacuumed, re-saturate the area thoroughly using the right disinfectant. Repeat this step twice.
  • Let Sit: Let the disinfectant sit and work for around 20 minutes.
  • Rinse: After completing the final disinfecting round, rinse the area a final time so that any remaining disinfecting solution or detergent is removed.
  • Dry: Thoroughly dry the area with rags so that any remaining moisture is drawn out.
  • Wrap: Once the area is clean, secure all your PPE and rags in a bag.

Blood Spill on Furniture

The material of your furniture will determine the method you can use to clean up a blood spill.

For example, if you have an upholstered furniture, you need to treat the affected spots like you would treat a blood spill on a carpet. You have to disinfect it, allow the disinfectant to sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe everything off.

However, if you have a piece of fabric covering your furniture, the best thing to do is take the fabric off and wash it on a warm wash cycle using the right detergent. Check your furniture for any stains that may also need to be cleaned.

Outdoor Blood Spills

Cleaning blood spills from grass or dirt is much more difficult than cleaning stains from your furniture at home. One good reason is its accessibility. Anyone can get into the contaminated area, so you have to work fast and be strategic in cleaning up.

You can begin by blocking the affected area off. Make sure that no children can get near the contaminated area until you are done cleaning and disinfecting it. If there are children playing nearby, find another spot for them.

In disinfecting the area, make sure to disinfect as thoroughly as possible. You can use a bleach and rinse it thoroughly with water after. Remember to wear the right PPE when cleaning up.

See Also: How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents

The post A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Quick Guide On How To Choose A Website Name

Whether you are starting a new business or you already have a brand and want to create an online presence, you are going to need a website and a good domain name for it. But, do you know how to choose a website name?

After launching your website with responsive WordPress themes, like Genesis or TemplateMonster, you should think about your brand name. Naming a website is not a small fit. In fact, it is an extremely important decision.

Domain names have a huge impact on the success of your business. It can influence click-through rates, referring links, type-in traffic, online advertising, and brandability.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is this: Changing a name, later on, is a huge hassle that is sure to hurt your brand and search rankings. So, you have to choose the perfect name from the very start.

You might have some name ideas already, but is there something important you have to keep in mind when registering the name? Are there things to avoid? What name is sure to make the most impact on the web?

In this article, we will answer these questions, share some useful tools, and essential tips to help you choose the best domain name for your business and finally register it.

You Want a Brandable Name

You want your domain name to sound like a brand name.


Well, do you really want to end up with a name that is generic, indistinguishable, easy to forget, and not related to your business? If you want to be successful, choose a website name that is memorable, unique, and stands out.

You Want to Avoid Numbers and Hyphens

Hyphens and numbers in domain names look and sound generic and strange. They definitely do not make good brandable names. They are also often misunderstood.

For example, if you hear a website address with a number in it, you won’t easily know if it’s a numeral (3) or if it is spelled out (three).

And hyphens are easy to forget or misplace.

If you choose a domain name with a hyphen because the one without a hyphen is already taken, you will end up sending your potential customers straight to the competitor. Hyphens are also often used in spam domains and you definitely don’t want to be associated with those.

You Want to Avoid Doubled Letters

Domain names with doubled letters in them have more chances to lose traffic to typos and misspellings.

You Want It Short

When it comes to domain names, the general rule is this: the shorter, the better.

The shorter the name is, the easier it is to remember, type in, pronounce, and share with others. It is also less shortened on social media and search results, which is good for branding.

You Want It Pronounceable

While it is true that most people will type your domain name in or even click a link, psychology makes it important for the name to be pronounceable.

People are more likely to remember and have positive associations with things they can easily say or think about, including pronouncing it in their minds. If the domain name cannot be easily said out loud, the domain is more likely to lose a lot in terms of memorability and brandability.

You Want It Easy to Type

A name that is easy to type is critical to your success online. Words like “u” instead of “you” and words with multiple spellings are easy to forget, misspell and mix up. They can make you lose lots of leads and traffic.

You Want It Intuitive

A well-chosen domain name gives people a clear idea of what the website is all about. If the name of your choice tells people that your business is producing exactly what it is producing or offering exactly what it is offering, then you’ve won big time.

You Want to Avoid Trademark Violation

Try to avoid words used by well-known brands as much as possible. This is not about your domain name being confused with theirs; it is about the possible legal actions they can take against you. If you have any doubts regarding the name you have in mind, better consult with a legal professional to be safe.

You Want to Use Broad Keywords

It used to be imperative to find a domain name with the target keyword in it, but Google does not give any privileges to such domains anymore. They tend to have a negative association, both with the end users and the search engines.

If you can get a domain with a keyword which makes it clear what the website is about, you most definitely should grab it. But, try to use broader keywords instead of the target keywords you want to be ranked for.

You Want to Stick With .com

It is very true that finding a domain name with .com extension is very hard in 2017 as it’s been around for too long. There are plenty of new extensions to use, not only the top-level domains(TLDs) like .com, .net and .org, but such niche specific ones like .pizza and .photography. And while it is easier to get such a domain extension, .com is still the most credible one. People simply trust it more.

Besides, .com domains are more memorable. A lot of users even type .com automatically after every domain name.

If you can’t find the name of your choice with the .com extension, try to stick to the established top level domains. Here are the most established ones and their proper uses:

  • .net – Mostly technical sites, Internet infrastructure sites.
  • .co – Usually stands for company, community, and commerce.
  • .info – Informational websites.
  • .me – Blogs and personal pages.
  • .org – Nonprofits and non-commercial organizations.
  • .biz – Business and commercial websites.

And don’t forget about country-specific domain extensions if your business is centered in one particular country. These are the domains like .it for Italy, .de for Germany, and .uk for the United Kingdom.

The Best Domain Name Generators

All the above recommendations might have scared you off. And yes, it is not an easy task to get a great domain name these days, especially considering there are about 331.9 million domain name registrations in the top level domains this year so far.

But, don’t fret! There are dozens of tools designed to help you out. They are called domain name generators and we will introduce you to the best of them below.

Lean Domain Search

lean domain search
Via startupstash

Created by team Automattic, the people who are responsible for the WordPress platform, Lean Domain Search is really easy to use, including country-specific. You will need one seed keyword and we recommend one that defines the niche you work in.

The generator can generate tons of name ideas based on your keyword and chances are – some of them will be available with the .com extension.  Lean Domain Search can filter the results by popularity and length. You can save your favorite ideas, track the history of your searches and share the results with your team if you want.

This is a great tool to use if you don’t have any ideas but you have a couple of keywords that define your business.


Via data roots

NameStall is an awesome generator that provides amazing flexibility. It allows you to choose if you want your keyword placed at the end or at the beginning of the name. It allows selecting TLDs, including country-specific ones. You can also choose from various groups of words.

For example, there is a word group named “1500 popular last words” or one named “500 popular first words”. By selecting one of those groups, you will allow the generator to add the popular words to the keyword you specified. This is an awesome search customization feature.

NameStall is a good choice if you do not have a specific name in mind, but want to have more ways to customize your search.

Name Mesh

name mesh
Via mashable

Name Mesh is a versatile tool. It searches for domain names based on more than one keyword. As a result, you get a huge list of names, which can be divided into such categories:

  • New
  • Common
  • Similar
  • Short
  • SEO
  • Fun
  • Mix

There are also filters you can use which will sort the results based on extension, unregistered domains, and length. Name Mesh can also suggest other keywords for you if you can’t find a name.

Name Mesh is the tool for you if you are not opposed to spending more time on looking through more choices.

Check Your Names for Availability

Most of the name generators check the availability of the domains automatically. Simply put, there shouldn’t be any unavailable names in the results the domain name generators provide.

But if you want to double check or forgot to check in the first place, GoDaddy is the best tool for it. And if you want to check the availability of your name across the social networks you are planning to use, the best tool is Namechk.

Where to Register Your Domain Name

There are two ways to go about registering a domain name. The obvious first route is to register a free domain name when you get your hosting. And you will need hosting to launch your online business anyway, so why not use all the benefits it provides?

The most trusted hosting providers on the market are,, and

If you’ve already got your hosting and did not register a domain name with it or you’ve already used your free name for another project, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of domain name registrars out there. There are both free and paid options. We will show you the two most popular and trusted registrars here.


GoDaddy has been around for a really long time. It is the go-to name registrar for a lot of professionals. Their prices are not the cheapest on the market, but they often offer promotions and deals.

If you need to claim a name fast, GoDaddy is the best tool for you.


NameCheap is another popular registrar. It is slightly cheaper in the long run than GoDaddy. If you are sure you will run your online business for a long time, we recommend registering a name for 5 years as that is the cheapest option.

Both these websites offer hosting as well, so if you haven’t got your plan yet, check out their hosting offers, too.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to choose a  website name and getting a domain name are very important tasks. They can be really challenging, particularly if you are doing it for the very first time.

However, it doesn’t always have to be a complete hassle. In fact, you can make it a fun and an educating experience.

To get an even deeper understanding of how to choose a website name, make sure to read this free ebook.

The post A Quick Guide On How To Choose A Website Name appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment

A lot of organizations deal with challenges like maintaining productivity and quality of work. Employees constantly complain about the increasing chaos that hampers their productivity and this directly affects the business. Because of that, managers are quite pressed to find a solution that can motivate their team members while boosting their productivity.

In this article, we’ll share with you few essential tips on staying focused at work.

Prepare a To-Do List

prepare to do list

Half the battle is won once you prioritize your tasks. Make a master list of what needs to be done.

For example, you can put all tasks that require urgent attention under “A”.  Create a list “B” for things that are important but not urgent and List “C” for tasks that can wait for a while. Complete all tasks under “A” first before you move on to “B” and “C”.

Plan your day through these lists and set realistic deadlines to accomplish each one of them. Once you’ve completed everything, don’t forget to reward yourself to keep your spirit up. When you start prioritizing, you won’t just be focused but efficient, too.

Start With Cognitively Challenging Tasks

After preparing your to-do list, start with cognitively demanding tasks. Suppose your List “A” has three tasks. Start with the most difficult tasks before moving on to the easier ones. Do the same thing for the “B” and “C” lists.

Once you complete the difficult tasks, you are all set for the rest of the day. Now, you can relax and take care of the other tasks that aren’t as mentally draining.

Schedule Your Work

Don’t overstretch yourself with your work. Rather, split your work into segments and sub-segments. Try working within a 2-hour window and then take a break. Don’t sit for more than two hours at a stretch or else you’ll feel exhausted. Even a leading study suggests that “Sitting is the New Smoking”.

To avoid such burnouts, take a walk to revitalize your brain, allowing it to concentrate better. Though breaks are essential for a healthy workday, you must learn to take them with a pinch of salt. Frequent breaks can be addictive and can hamper work.

To draw a line, you can optimize your breaks by doing the following:

  • Schedule your breaks
  • Keep a track to ensure you are not overdoing or under doing your breaks

Learn to Set Priorities

Responding to each and every request of your co-workers can immediately affect your focus, preventing you from doing deep work. If you have a habit of entertaining every request, you are most likely to lose your value. On top of that, tackling on-the-fly requirements can also deplete your focus.

With that, you have to make others understand that their requests will be entertained but only once you are finished with your priorities. For better focus and results, it’s also important to avoid indulging in non-work related discussions or “grapevine.”

If there are sudden urgent tasks, you can deal with them with a simple project management tool. Simply make a note of the new task, assign a deadline and you are good to go. Once you’re done with your current task, start finishing the others one at a time.

Desist Multitasking

It might feel tempting to do multiple tasks simultaneously to enhance your productivity. But, honestly, it just makes things worse.

Multitasking drains your mind and it can cause a significant decline in your mental sharpness with time. It can prevent you from achieving your most important goals and make you more vulnerable to work errors.

Avoid Distractions

Nowadays, being online on various social media platforms is a trend. Several notifications pop up every now and then, commanding your attention. If you are constantly attending to such notifications, how are you supposed to do meaningful work?

One of the greatest tips in staying focused at work is to identify distractions and just get rid of them. While working on an important project, put your phone on silent or switch it off. If you really want to stay updated with your social media accounts, you can designate dedicated time slots to check your phone.

Be an Email Ninja

Though emails are important, they can be distracting, too. They have the potential to divert your attention from your work to something that can wait.

So, lay down personal rules and follow them religiously. Set specific times for your emails and stick with them.

Pay Attention to Chat Status

More often than not, people take your chat status wrongly. If your chat status says “available” all the time, they’ll think of it as a sign to forward more requests.

When you are doing a task that demands a razor-sharp focus, set your chat or email setting to ‘busy’ mode. Needless to say, you can change the chat status after you’re done.

Cut Outside Noise

avoiding noise distraction

Managing your focus in an office environment can be quite tricky. Until you do away with noise, you won’t be able to focus.

Limiting auditory distractions is crucial in increasing attention span. You can use noise-canceling headphones for that. If you still feel distracted, you can move to a quieter place, such as a conference room. In case that doesn’t solve the problem, opt for remote work for a day or two to regain your lost focus.

Manage Stress

Working on a crucial project with close deadlines? Growing expectations, increased competition, and pressing deadlines can increase your stress at work. This can make your productivity suffer.

To solve this, try turning on a soothing music to lower your stress and calm your mind. Apart from that, you should also pay close attention to your diet. As much as possible, avoid the following:

  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Don’t forget to exercise regularly and sleep well.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

Declutter Your Workdesk

Visual clutter can take away your focus, preventing you from doing any meaningful work. Therefore, you must declutter your office desk to increase work performance.

Keep everything that’s essential to your work, like your pen, notepad, marker, and files, on top of the table so you can easily get them when needed. Lock all other unnecessary things inside your drawer.

See Also: 12 Desk Hacks To Make You More Productive At Work

In Summary

Focus on bringing tranquility to your workplace, so the whole environment undergoes a positive change. You can add positive images to your work desk or you can write down quotes to boost your focus. Practice a simple routine of keeping a clean desk and make sure that you don’t leave food or other things lying on your desk.

Keep on practicing these positive habits and you’ll surely see a noticeable improvement in your productivity level at work.

The post Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Organize Your Gmail In 20 Minutes (And Keep It That Way)

Do you feel overwhelmed every time you look at your Gmail inbox? Well, you’re not alone. A lot of people actually struggle with this and they spend a lot of time searching for tips on how to organize Gmail inboxes.

If you are doing the same thing, stop and check out these easy and fast strategies on how to keep your email more organized.

Archive Emails You’ve Seen But Don’t Want to Delete

One significant thing that’s probably making your Gmail inbox seem a little scary is that you aren’t using the Archive feature. It’s ideal once you’ve read an email and want to save it for reference.

Archiving a message removes it from your inbox but makes it searchable in Gmail. It’s a great method of stopping your inbox from getting out of control and losing an email you don’t want to get rid of.

With your inbox open, click on a message to highlight it. Then, look for the icon that looks like a file drawer with a downward arrow. That’s the Archive button. Simply click it and you’re done.

Get Organized With Labels

Gmail also has a cool labeling feature that groups all current emails into categories that appear on the left of your screen.

Open a message in Gmail and notice the button on the top with an icon that looks like a tag. Click it to add a label to your message or create a new one.

You can use broad categories like Work or School or use very specific ones like Receipts For Online Orders or Emails From My Sister.

Create Rules for Email Management

email management

Consider those emails your sister sent you. You can create a Gmail rule or filter that automatically sends her messages to that label so that you can read them all at once.

First, type her email address or name into the search box at the top of the Gmail interface. Then, click the downward triangle at the right corner of the box. It brings up other search parameters to try.

See the Create a Filter With This Search option in the right bottom corner. Click it to bring up a dialog box that offers various filter-related preferences. The Apply The Label option near the middle of the options relates to what you’ve just learned.

Notice how the first option (Skip The Inbox) relates to archiving. It’s useful if you want to keep emails but never see them.

To apply a filter to a certain message in your inbox, click the checkbox to its left. Then, choose the More option along the top. Click Filter Messages Like These and enter your specifications.

Use Aliases to Manage Future Junk Mail

Ever sign up for something online and feel sure you’ll get a slew of unwanted emails later? Take control by using Gmail aliases. They also work for blocking emails you receive after registering at a site and getting your details sold to a third party.

Gmail ignores emails with plus signs and periods in them. In other words, if your real email is, you’ll still get an email addressed to

That’s why it’s a good idea to use an alias and then set up a filter to automatically delete any messages addressed to that email. To keep track of what you’re doing, register at a site and provide an email alias with the [Gmail user name] + [Name of website] structure.

Make sure to keep the plus sign between the two portions. Then, immediately make a filter that deletes emails associated with that address.

Receive All Subscription Emails in a Daily Bundle

If emails you subscribe to overrun your inbox, there’s an app for that. It’s called The free service compiles all subscription emails into one message, allowing you to read them at your convenience. Even better, you can also unsubscribe from the lists with one click, taking a step further in the quest to make your inbox more manageable.

unroll me

A message from the app is called a Rollup. It groups subscription-related messages by category for easier perusal. Also, you can look more closely at individual emails by going to a dedicated, secure folder in your inbox.

As you can see from these efficient tips, knowing how to organize Gmail inboxes is within your reach. And yes, you really can make progress in only 20 minutes.

The post How To Organize Your Gmail In 20 Minutes (And Keep It That Way) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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4 Bad Online Habits That Are Killing Your Work Productivity

Productivity is an interesting thing.

Some people keep themselves busy all day and consider themselves productive. In reality, however, they focus on so many different things that the end result isn’t satisfying.

Others prefer to analyze their behavior closely so that they can see what they’re doing wrong and what can be optimized. That’s the right approach if you want to ditch some bad practices and succeed with your ventures in all aspects.

Our online habits make a great example.

What you do while working on your laptop or when you’re just using the Internet can kill your focus. To change that, you first need to define those time-wasting activities that affect your work productivity and start doing something about them.

Browsing without a purpose

online habits

It’s a common scenario to have many tabs open in your browser while working. Every now and then, you’d open a new one, read something and then distract yourself. After some time, you’ll find it hard to get back to what you were doing. That leads to hours of wasted time when you review what you did each week.

How to fix that?

If you really want a quick solution, then install and activate a software that blocks access to certain platforms. You can also do that to your browsers if you want to do some work that doesn’t require research.

There are plenty of tools out there that can do this for you and even notify you when you’re using certain websites too much. Some tools will even let you set limits as to how long you want them to block things so that you can focus on more important tasks.

Not being selective enough

If you don’t know what you need to do and why you’re doing it, you’ll end up indulging in many unproductive activities. Watching random YouTube videos, clicking spammy links, reading newsletters, and checking unimportant notifications in your social media can eat away your focus, energy, and time.

It’s time to get rid of the unnecessary things so that you can concentrate on the essentials. This will help you double your results when working. Apart from that, taking the steps below will also help you have more peace of mind.

Here’s what you should say ‘no’ to when online:

  • Unsubscribe from any site or service sending you their newsletters or offers. From now on, if you need anything, simply type the web address yourself and see what’s new.
  • Block ads from appearing on websites. You can do that by installing an ad blocker as an add-on. These differ depending on your browser, but each is effective enough.
  • Turn off notifications on Facebook and other social media networks you’re using daily. Go to the Settings tab and see what you can block, disable or remove. This way, there’ll be no more pointless news in your feed and you won’t hear alerts from your phone all day.

See Also: 7 Mentally Damaging Habits You Need To Let Go

Letting email become a distraction

Email is a powerful communication tool. But, if you don’t manage your inbox well, it might cost you time and compromise your focus on a daily basis.

To change that, set some limits. You can choose not to open your email first thing in the morning and do it twice a day instead. Open it right after you’re done with your most important tasks for the day and check it again in the late afternoon when your mind is clear.

Not knowing when to unplug

bad work habits

You can’t be productive online when you’re connected 24/7. Your mind needs a break from technology and the best time to do that seems to be around two hours before bedtime. That means not just ditching all devices from your evening ritual, but also not thinking about them. This will take some discipline and time.

In the beginning, you might crave checking Facebook when in bed or using your laptop right before that. Remember that devices can keep your brain activated long after you’ve put them away, making it harder for you to fall asleep.

To change that, unplug every evening after you’ve done all that you had to. In addition, don’t grab your phone or start checking sites first thing in the morning. Be distraction-free in the morning, so you’ll experience the solitude of the early hours. You should get online only when it’s time for work.

These practices will help you change not just your online habits, but your whole daily schedule. You’ll have more time for yourself as a focused mind gets things done in a shorter time.

See Also: 6 Simple Habits For More Productivity, Happiness And Fulfillment

The post 4 Bad Online Habits That Are Killing Your Work Productivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Best Tactics to Improve Your Self-Control

How do you improve your self-control?

For most of us, this is a work in progress. Self-control, at its most basic, is the ability to control our emotions and actions. Having the ability to do this effectively has been tied to being successful in all areas of life. It allows us to achieve goals and accomplish tasks that may seem daunting or even impossible.

For example, self-control in the financial arena can help you make wise buying or investing decisions. You may deny yourself frivolous items, opting instead to save that extra dollar or two for more worthy choices. As a result, you are more likely to find yourself feeling secure in your finances and creating the life you desire.

Self-control in relationships is also important. Everyone has found themselves feeling strong emotions, both positive and negative, in a course of a relationship. If we are not able to control how and when we express these feelings, we can destroy a relationship needlessly.


Just because you think it does not mean you need to say it.

With self-control, you create a grace period to determine whether what you are feeling is really something that is worth saying.

So, what do you need to do to improve your self-control and set yourself up for success?

Check out these 6 tactics.

Set a goal

Setting a goal is one of the best first steps toward improving self-control. With a goal in mind, you can determine which actions are needed in order to achieve it and which could be detrimental. This may mean that you have to control certain desires and emotions along the way.

Take getting in shape, for example. In order to change your shape in any fashion, you have to make a number of choices. Many of those choices require a great deal of self-control. It would be far more pleasurable to eat a doughnut than a carrot stick. But, if you want to get closer to your goal, you have to control that impulse to indulge in a sugary treat.

See Also: 4 Powerful Ways To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals Through Tough Times

Understand the ‘Why’

five whys

If you know why you are doing something, you are far more likely to work hard to achieve it. If you are a person who is prone to emotional outbursts, understanding why you need to work toward controlling them will motivate you to focus on that control.

Knowing that an unchecked emotional outburst can hurt someone you love unnecessarily, jeopardize your position at work, or cause people to lose respect for you can be a strong motivator. This is WHY you need to exercise control over the impulse to speak before you think.

Change your environment

If the things that test your control are always in front of you, consider modifying your environment. This is not a sign of weakness but, rather a sign of control and strength. When you proactively alter your access to temptation, you are helping yourself and practicing control at the same time.

A smoker who is trying to quit knows to get rid of cigarettes. However, if he really wants to be successful, he may also want to make changes to the places or people he spends time with. This change of environment not only improves personal control but also strengthens one’s ability to control the other aspects of life as well.

Keep a journal

If you are working on something continually, it can be hard to see your daily progress. If you jot down the time you said no to the doughnut, held your tongue or chose not to spend that $10, you will be better able to see your track record of success.

And success breeds success. If you can see what you have already achieved, you are more likely to push further.

See Also: Writing Therapy: How It Can Make Your Life Easier


practice meditation

Meditation is a form of self-control. You are forcing yourself to quiet your mind and focus. This simple act can be far more challenging than it seems.

Finding time to stop, be still and explore your own thoughts requires a certain amount of discipline and self-control.


Studies show that the simple act of routinely moving your body and raising your heart rate will help improve your focus and clarity. The act of physically exhausting yourself can give rise to mental calm and it requires you to actively control the impulse to stop and sit.

Mastering self-control can be difficult. Many of us work toward this every day in different ways. More important than any tip you can be given, however, is the personal knowledge that you have the ability to do whatever you set your mind to. After all, the only behavior you can truly control is your own.

The post 6 Best Tactics to Improve Your Self-Control appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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4 Types Of Stress At Work And How To Deal With Them

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Work is meaningful and essential. Work is a part of life. It’s utilizing our talents in order to get something in return. It is a give-and-take process that benefits both parties for the betterment of society.

Through work, you get to feed yourself and your family, pay the bills and get to buy your wants and needs. It is a comfort to the people who have it because it is the answer to their needs.

Unfortunately, not all jobs fit everyone. Some are unfortunate to land a job they dislike while others simply fall out of love from their jobs. This makes it harder for them to work efficiently.

The Common Factor That Makes People Hate Their Jobs

There are a lot of factors that make people hate their jobs.

For some people, it’s the imbalance in their work and personal life. For others, it’s the overwhelming workload and the toxic people they need to work with. The list can get long but one thing is present in all these factors- stress.

Stress is the body’s natural response to pressure or danger around you. It produces hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, that activates the ‘flight-or-fight’ response of your body. Every day, we encounter stress. However, too much stress can have negative effects on your health.

Here are the common types of stress at work and how to manage them.

Time Stress

time stress

This is the most common type of stress at work. You usually experience this when you think there’s not enough time for you to finish a task. Panic sets in and you struggle to finish as many things as you can. You rush until you get burned out, do all of them half-way or, worse, not get any work done at all.

How To Manage Time Stress

When facing time stress, it is important to manage your time and get your priorities straight. Filter your tasks so you can easily see which ones you need to do first. You can use the Eisenhower matrix for this.

Here’s how:

Do First. Tasks in this category should be your first priority. Anything that is placed here should be done as soon as you’re able and not later than the day after tomorrow.

Schedule. This could be important tasks but are not so urgent. These kinds of tasks are either important scheduled meetings or an article with a set deadline.

Delegate. Tasks in this section are not important but still urgent. It could be a follow-up call to a client or a request for your presence for a presentation. These can be transferable to people you can trust, though.

Don’t do. Tasks in this category are neither important nor urgent. You can either do it when you have nothing else to do or not do it at all.

You can use this method if you like prioritizing things the traditional way. However, with today’s technology, you can use apps like Evernote and Toggl to boost your productivity and manage your ideas and time easily.

Anticipatory Stress

anticipatory stress

This stress is associated with the feeling of anticipating the future a little too much. You anticipate so much that uncertainties of what could happen in the future overwhelm you.

Here’s How To Deal With Anticipatory Stress

Be Positive. The best way to deal with anticipatory stress is to not let fear get the best of you. Positive visualization of outcomes helps by cutting off the negative stream of thinking. Meditation and calming yourself down can also help you from stressing yourself out.

Be Prepared. Face the unknown and tackle it head on by visualizing both the best and worst case scenario. If you think that something is going to go bad in the near future, be prepared and formulate back-up plans that you can use.

Be Brave. Anticipatory stress is mostly caused by the thought of failure. In order to combat failure, prepare yourself by visualizing possible obstacles in your path. Take those obstacles as challenges and see failure as a chance to learn and grow.

Situational Stress

situational stress

Situational stress happens when everything starts to go out of your control. It appears suddenly and you will have no clue on what to do. It is the time when you think that everything is going smoothly but suddenly, in a blink of an eye, everything goes downhill.

It could be a time when conflict suddenly erupted near you and you are caught in the middle of it. Or it could be the time where your boss suddenly mocked you in front of many co-workers.

Getting Over Situational Stress

Everyone reacts to situational stress differently. You can act out based on your behavior or on how your automatic response work in specific situations. In a sudden eruption of conflict, you either join the conflict or back away.

Be Self-Aware. The most important point is to be self-aware in whatever you will be doing. Being aware of yourself, your actions and with everything around you, will help you think of a solution despite the stress you are under.

Be Calm. Keep hold of your cool and use your head instead of your temper or emotions. Keeping calm lets you assess the situation before doing something that can negatively affect you, your reputation or your job.

Be Patient. Be patient by hearing each side of the conflict before deciding how to solve it. Meet them halfway in order to come up with a peaceful end to it. If you are dealing with situational stress with your boss, hear him out before reacting.

Encounter Stress

encounter stress

This stress involves the feeling of being overwhelmed by meeting new or too many people. All of us can be overwhelmed by a lot of people, whether we are introverts or extroverts.

It might be because you don’t like them or they don’t like you, but you have to interact with them. It might also mean that it’s the first time you’ll meet them and you worry about how they will react or how they will perceive you.

Handling Your Encounter Stress

Practice People Skills. In order to be able to manage a lot of people well, practice or even perfect your people skills. Be confident with interacting with them, so that you can take control of the situation. You’ll be calmer knowing that you can handle any problem that can arise.

Be Emphatic. Empathy is understanding another person from their point of view. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes will make you understand them deeper and feel what they are feeling without judging them. It’ll avoid possible conflict and strengthen relationship bonds at the same time.

Breathe. Whenever stressed, it is important to breathe. Deep breathing has the ability to reduce stress in the body. This signals the brain to calm down and the brain sends the message all over the body.

Other Stress Management Techniques

Write. Studies show that writing about your feelings or anything that makes you happy reduces stress. Take time, relax and write anything you can think of.

See Also: Writing Therapy: How It Can Make Your Life Easier

It is very important for you to be able to take care of your well-being in order to continue doing what you love and sharing what you can do to everyone. Equipping yourself with a healthy body, engaging mind and a positive attitude will make you go a long, long way.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work


The post 4 Types Of Stress At Work And How To Deal With Them appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Increase Business Efficiency In Print Marketing

When all businesses are moving online and making it their prime source of business, print marketing gets left behind. People have been putting too much effort on technology that sales and marketing in this niche have been ignored for long.

But, let me ask you this: Don’t you think it’s time to reconsider print marketing? After all, it’s still one of the best businesses around.

Technology is very important for any online business but your business growth starts with your customers. If you do not have customers, how are you going to run the business? A web to print solution’s success depends entirely on customers. Here customers are of two types- a) your existing customers and b) customers you wish to acquire.

To target both these customers, you need a planned marketing move or strategy. Think of this as a “new service” you wish to market. You could pitch the features to your staff first and then your customers to see what they have to say about your “new services”.

Here are a few web-to-print solutions marketing tips you can use to make your business more efficient.

Using Target Marketing Strategy

When you plan a marketing strategy, you also plan whom you are going to target. You need to define your audience in advance in order to achieve the best results. Using target marketing gives you a clear picture as to whom you should target and how.

Most web-to-print solutions marketing strategies fail because they are not sure who to target and they end up pitching to the wrong group. This wastes both money and time.

Once you have defined your audience, you need to know what you want to pitch to them. Not all customers will want every service or product you sell, so you’ll have to do research to find out what interests them the most. The way you segment your customers will allow you to market your products in the best possible way.

After that, you need to set your business goals. They need to be realistic for you and your team. Like keeping a track of the first order in the system, this will keep your team on their toes to get their first order in the system.

Marketing success is way different from technical success. Here’s how:

With technical success, it means you have successfully implemented the system. If your marketing strategy is a success, then it means you and your business is growing.

Using Branding as a Marketing Strategy

brand marketing

Every business has a name, so choose one that can easily make you and your business more popular. A smarter way to choose a name is to pick something from your internal projects.

This is called Branding. It’s a type of marketing strategy that will let people know about your business and what it can do for them.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness

Don’t Sell Without a Story of Your Business

How you started, when you started and what made you start your business is very important. What you sell and what you do not sell are things that are necessary for your sales and marketing team, too.

As much as possible, never let your sales team go out without a story because they might end up making one of theirs and this can get you in trouble. A story is a good way to market your business and the services it provides.

In addition to that, you also need a plan on how you can tell the story. You need to say it in a way that matches the demands of your target customers. Therefore, you need to play a clever and smarter game here. You need to do branding in a way that you tell them how your solution is going to benefit them. Never tell them what features your business have. Instead, tell them how those features are going to help them.

Like most customers, I would not be bothered to know about you or your business. My prime concern will be how your solution will benefit me. That has to be your focus when you are creating a brand.

Know Your Customer

You should know your customers before they know you. You have to identify their needs and understand the solutions they are looking for. Apart from that, you also have to know when they’ll need you and you must have offers ready by that time.

Using Social Media as Marketing Strategy

social media marketing

A third of the world uses social networks regularly. Hence, it is one of the best marketing tools around. This is why most marketers are expanding their business widely using social media.

Why should you focus on Social media marketing? The stats below will give you a clearer picture.

See Also: The 5 Internet Marketing Trends That Will Dominate in 2017

Some Facts

  • Around 72% of people who use Facebook are adults.
  • 74% of people use Facebook for professional use.
  • Facebook has the most engaged users with 70% daily log.
  • 59% of Instagram users are on the platform daily, including 35% who visit several times a day.
  • In the past two years, people who use LinkedIn has increased 21%.
  • Instagram has 500 million monthly active users.

In the print industry, the same ideas follow. You can target group of people from different regions and different age. You can attract customers by creating attractive ads on these social media platforms.

Your marketing move is very important. You need to decide how and what has to be your next move to achieve your customers’ goal.


Print Industry is huge and when you take web-to-print solution, then you need to have a proper marketing strategy in place so that you can collect more customers. Your prime goal needs to match the customers’ demands.

Promoting something you know the customer has been looking for will fetch you results that are more positive. Hence, keep your target audience in mind, use branding and sell solutions or features while keeping in mind what your customers want. This will be a great success for your print business.

The post How to Increase Business Efficiency In Print Marketing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How Not To Give Up When Your Head Tells You to Quit

Most people have to work hard in order to live their dreams. However, all we see and celebrate is their success because the hard work is usually not done in public. So, when you are struggling in the shadows, wondering why success is not coming fast enough, it’s easy to want to quit.


The successful people you admire are there because they resisted the temptation to quit.

Before looking at the tips below on how not to give up, let’s get one thing out of the way:

No one is suggesting that you stay in a dead-end career which takes you nowhere. If you’re quitting because there is a better opportunity, then, by all means, go ahead. The quitting that does not help is the one where you leave just because you’re not getting results instantly.

Every time you want to quit and take the easy way out, just tell yourself that success doesn’t come overnight.

Things Don’t Get Easy Just Because You Switch Places

There is a misconception that if you don’t like something, then you can switch places and things will get easier. This is a fantasy. If you quit without introspecting and looking deep inside yourself, you may actually be moving with the problem.

In the beginning, you will enjoy the instant gratification which comes with moving. However, as time goes on, you will realize that you’ve solved nothing. The same problems you thought you ran away from in the last situation will suddenly appear.

If you quit just because of the instant gratification you feel when you move into something new, you’re sacrificing your long-term goals. The reality of life is that wherever you go, you’ll always be faced with challenges. It’s better to work on the challenges of something you have already started, rather than quitting and starting on a new set of trials in a new goal.

See Also: 5 Barriers That You Need To Cross To Achieve Success This Year

See the Bigger Picture

not giving up

Every time you want to quit, tell yourself that if success were easy, everybody would be successful. Most people quit because they forget to draw the bigger picture when they start on a goal. Some have drawn the bigger picture, but forget it in the face of challenges.

Always remember that journeys leading to success are often long and grueling. Take the disappointments you meet along the way and if you fall, stand up, dust yourself off, and get moving.

One thing you will have to accept is that success comes at different times for different people. Admit that you’ll see people you know reaching their goals before you do.

While this can be difficult sometimes, you should always try to celebrate with them. Instead of seeing their success as highlighting your failures, take it as proof that achieving your goals is possible.

See Success as a Journey, Not a Destination

Success happens in incremental steps. It is a result of everyday small, smart choices. If you do this consistently and never quit when the going gets tough, you’ll start to see the results of your perseverance.

Making smart, small choices every day starts by taking big tasks and breaking them into smaller units. Working on smaller tasks will help you to see your progress. Take reading a large book, for example. Breaking it into chapters seems more doable than finishing the whole book right away.

You’ll also see incremental results if you are consistent. A good example here is your daily exercise routine. Consistently working on your fitness for twenty minutes every day is better than trying to do a two-hour workout once a week.

Successful people are patient. They understand that progress takes time. For example, if you decided to write a book, writing just two pages a day results in 60 pages a month. That makes over 300 pages in half a year. That’s a very long book by any standards.

successful people

No one has ever said that success is easy. If it were, everyone would be successful.

See Also: Stumble, Success, Stumble, Success – 11 Simple Steps to Improve Your Life

The post How Not To Give Up When Your Head Tells You to Quit appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Study Better – Tips and Tricks from Famous People

Most young people dream of professional success and glorious careers. What they often neglect in that regard is the importance of good studying and self-development.

Some of the biggest authorities in all fields of work emphasize that consistency in learning is what made them so productive and outstanding.

One of the best football players in history, Brazil-born Pele, cleverly noted: “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

A vast majority of famous people are well aware of this fact and they nurture all sorts of daily habits to help them achieve their objectives.

A long time ago, Nelson Mandela stated: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

So, in this article, we will show you the best study tips of famous people you can use for your own success:

Daily routines which increase odds of success

What keeps you going and gives you the motive to study depends on your personality. However, the general goal is to secure a fruitful future through learning, making knowledge your personal capital for the future.

According to John F. Kennedy, the goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth. But, how do you improve knowledge and the results of your studying?

Some daily routines are common to many famous persons and we decided to present you our top 5 picks. Let’s take a closer look here.

Get up early

People often say that the early bird catches the worm.

If you get up early, you have more than enough time to plan the day, determine your short-term goals and schedule your activities. Doing so, you will enhance the quality of studying because the brain is always fresh after sleep.

It is not a surprise to discover that many famous persons get up very early. The list includes Apple CEO Tim Cook, the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.

All of these people know that they have to seize the day and use it only to complete important duties. Just like Tim Cook once said: “You can only do so many things great and you should cast aside everything else.”

Read a lot

reading habit

Reading is the essence of the learning process and some extremely successful individuals claim that it sets the cornerstone of their career achievements. Billionaire Warren Buffett, TV host Oprah Winfrey and extravagant scientist-businessman Elon Musk are some of those who strongly believe in the power of written works.

Allegedly, Buffett used to read as much as 600 pages each day in the early stages of his career while Musk claims that he literally learned how to build rockets from the books. Needless to say, this is an essential suggestion for all students, teachers and young business people.

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

Work overtime

It’s a widely known fact that Mark Cuban, the owner of Dallas Mavericks, didn’t go on a vacation during the first 7 years of his private business. At the same time, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer used to triple her weekly working hours while she was a member of Google’s team. These people know that they cannot replace hard work with intelligence, talent or intuition.

Sometimes you just need to unplug and do what you have to do. Michael Jordan, the best basketball player of all time, knew this very well as he used to take thousands of jump-shots each week even in-between seasons.

His famous quote precisely describes the principle of hard work: “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.”

Exercise regularly

exercise regularly

One of the most popular Latin phrases claims that a healthy mind is in a healthy body. This couldn’t be more accurate because training gives people physical and mental strengths to deal with the most difficult challenges. Young people should know this just like Hillary Clinton, Haruki Murakami and Richard Branson know it.

These and many other famous persons conduct regular daily exercises and never skip training sessions. They do all sorts of exercises to remain healthy and in a good shape. They do yoga, swimming, jogging, cardio training or weight lifting.

Body fitness is simply a prerequisite for professional success and that is why you should follow these examples and exercise regularly.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Work gradually but steadily

Some people don’t want to nurture the “all or nothing” approach in their lives. Instead, they prefer incremental work processes in a long period of time. This is especially characteristic for famous writers like Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway or Stephen King. They all had a writing routine that kept them fruitful and productive.

For instance, Hemingway used to write for a few hours in the morning and then he would stop just to let the ideas flourish inside his head until the following day. On the other side, Twain and King used to set the minimum number of pages they ought to write each day and they would do it without exemptions.

The most important thing in this model is to force yourself to start again on a daily basis. Just like Twain used to say: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”


Success doesn’t come easy. It’s the product of dedication, talent, hard work and a lot of learning. Some of the most famous people in the world often emphasize how passion towards studying enabled them to become successful.

Through learning, you gain valuable knowledge and also create the habit to work consistently. These are the basic preconditions of success, so do your best to follow these 5 study tips and find out which one suits your character the most.


The post How to Study Better – Tips and Tricks from Famous People appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How NOT To Breathe When You Feel Anxious

‘If you feel nervous, just take a few deep breaths. In, then out. In, then out.’

This feels like an obvious advice. Everyone knows that slow, deep breathing can calm the heart rate and lower feelings of anxiety. You may have tried this breathing technique to calm your nerves at a job interview, a presentation or a date.

It’s also obvious how to breathe. It’s intuitive, after all.

As you breathe in, the intercostal muscles expand, the ribs rise and the shoulders rise and spread. Then, as you breathe out, it all relaxes. You inhale up and then exhale down. Breathing expert Belisa Vranich says that 9 out of 10 people breathe this way, using what she calls ‘vertical breathing’.

The Bad Things About Vertical Breathing

Unfortunately, vertical breathing happens to be tremendously inefficient.

It uses enormous muscular effort. The rib cage is heavy and your neck and back muscles take most of the weight. The effort of hiking up the rib cage on inhalation can cause neck and back pain.

That extra effort stimulates the ‘Vagus’ nerve, the ‘wanderer’ nerve that travels from the gut to the brain. The brain uses the wanderer nerve to check up on how the body is feeling. When you’re breathing vertically, the body sends up ‘danger’ signals to the brain.

vertical breathing

So, just breathing badly can elicit feelings of anxiety.

Vertical breathing also robs your brain of oxygen. Think of the shape of your lungs. They’re pear-shaped, with the large parts at the bottom. Raising the ribs fills the thin, narrow parts of the pear, leaving the oxygen-rich bottom unexpanded.

Oxygen energizes your brain, blood and muscles. Visitors to London’s ‘oxygen bar’ -UK’s only licensed vendor of oxygen- can attest to that.

If your friend feels anxious, tell him to ‘take a deep breath’. Their shoulders rise, their ribs expand, their neck strains, their vagus nerve pings ‘danger’ and their brains de-oxygenate. Most likely, they’ll feel more anxious after that.

So, what could you tell your friends to do differently?

See Also: Suffering From Anxiety? This Is How I Deal With Mine

Diaphragmatic Breathing

When in doubt, trust Sesame Street. In 2012, they released ‘Belly Breathe’, featuring a rabid ‘monster’ Elmo assisted by Common and Colbie Caillat. In it, they place Elmo’s hand on his belly. He breathes, his belly moves and he returns to his normal self.

Breathing from the belly is otherwise known as diaphragmatic breathing. As you breathe in, the belly expands and this creates an internal cavity for the diaphragm to drop into. The bottoms of the lungs fill with oxygen. The ribs stay still, relaxing the neck and shoulders. Also, the Vagus nerve sends calming signals to the brain.

As you breathe out, the belly deflates inwards. The movement is horizontal, not vertical. This is good breathing.

But, I have a small critique of the Sesame Street method. Their lyrics go: ‘put your hands on your belly and you slowly breathe in’. This seems perfectly innocuous on the surface, but good teaching can sometimes be about changing your wording.

The instruction to ‘breathe in’ is dangerous. Watch the kids in the Sesame Street video. Their hands are on their belly, but they’re breathing with their shoulders. A producer told them to ‘breathe in’, and their brain went ‘Oh, I know how to do that!’ and they breathed badly. In my sessions, most people do the same.

So, it’s not enough to know the technique. We need to reframe how we think about breathing and that’s where I’d like to make my contribution.

When you feel anxious, don’t take a deep breath in. Breathe out first.

In Summary

Breathing out is very hard to get wrong. Your belly always deflates. You’ll feel it going back towards your spine if you breathe out firmly enough. Some people say “But I need to breathe in first. There’s no air in my lungs!”.

That’s not true. Only puncturing the lungs can empty them. You have a little bit of air in them all the time. It’s called the Resting Expiratory Level and you can use it to breathe out.

And when you’ve breathed out all of your air, don’t think ‘breathe in’. Just think ‘relax’ and notice the air passively returning to your lungs. Notice the belly relaxing back outwards and keep the shoulders still. Yes, that’s diaphragmatic breathing.

  1. Breathe out.
  2. Relax.
  3. Repeat.

See Also: 3 Healthy and Inexpensive Ways to Cope with Anxiety


The post How NOT To Breathe When You Feel Anxious appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out

You know what they say—applying for a job is a job in itself. Albeit a little negative, the saying is correct—it does take a lot of energy and effort to search and apply for jobs. In this day and age, it’s likely that you will be submitting at least 20 or more applications in an average job search. And when each job requires your resume, an online application (complete with questionnaire), plus a stellar cover letter that’s tailored to each and every job listing, it’s easy to see why the process gets exhausting.

Although it might be tempting to just write a generic cover letter for each of these job listings, you could be sabotaging your job search. The average number of people who apply for one position is around 118. So, how do you put your name at the top of the stack out of the dozens of people applying for a job? Although there’s no surefire trick that will help get you each and every job, having well-written and tailored job materials will always increase your chances of getting a call back for an interview.

So, what are the key components of a cover letter and what should you say in them? How exactly do you write a great cover letter?

Here are a few tips on writing an effective cover letter that will help you land your dream job.

What Does a Good Cover Letter Consist Of?

A good cover letter will accomplish the following four things:

1. Have correct formatting.
2. Tell your prospective employer who you are.
3. Tell your prospective employer why you’re qualified for this job.
4. Tell your prospective employer why you’re more qualified than other applicants.

See Also: 16 Worst Resume Mistakes

Now that we know what the components are, let’s break down each section.

Get in Cover Letter Formation

First things first, you have to make sure that your cover letter format is correct. You will need to have your name and contact information in a centered header at the top. The first line will be the date you’re writing the cover letter and will be left-aligned. Underneath your date, you will put a space, and then you will address the person you are writing the letter to (the person listed in the job ad) and put their position name if known, company, and address.

See the example below.

In addition to your name and your prospective employer’s name being correctly formatted, you also want to be sure to keep your cover letter all on one page. If your prospective employer sees more than one page, it’s likely they are not going to read it. So, even if you really want to mention that you won the sixth-grade science fair, you probably won’t have the space to do so. Be sure to sign your letter with a “Sincerely,” add a space below, and then put your first and last name.

Tell Them Who You Are

Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself to your prospective employer, and, if you’re lucky enough to get the job, then this will be the introduction to people you could potentially work with for years. You definitely want to make a good first impression, and to make a good first impression you need to properly introduce yourself. In the first paragraph of your cover letter, say your first and last name and write exactly what position you are applying for (there could be several positions open in the company).

After that, you will want to give the employer your “elevator speech” on paper. The HR team or the hiring manager will be blazing through these cover letters to see whom they can eliminate right away so it’s crucial to stick to the important facts quickly. Say why you’re qualified for the job right away. Name your years of relevant experience, your string of internships, or anything else that is relevant. Be brief and professional. You want to be as succinct as possible.

Write Why You Are Qualified

cover letter

After you’ve introduced yourself, the next one to two paragraphs are going to be about why you’re qualified for this position in particular.

It may be uncomfortable, but this is your time to brag. You don’t want to come off as too much, however. For example, something like this would be fine: “I believe that my experience working on several different types of publications, experience editing in both AP and Chicago Manual of Style, and my ability to collaborate with writers make me qualified for this copyediting position.” But something like this might come off as too braggadocious: “I believe I would be able to enter your position with relatively no training as I have already mastered everything that was listed in your qualifications on the job ad.”

If you can also put your achievements in quantitative terms, do so. An example would be: “As Sales Manager in X Company, I was able to raise our annual profits by a total of 20% for 2016.”

Key tip: Use language directly from the job ad in your cover letter. If the job description says that you must be an expert in using Specific Program XYZ, then specifically state that you are an expert in using Specific Program XYZ.

Write Why You’re Most Qualified

So, you’ve already established that you’re qualified for the position. Now is the time that you need to write about why you’re more qualified than anyone else.

Why would you be good to work with? Have you never missed a deadline on your own account? Do you go above and beyond? Are you always the first one at the office? What is it about you that sticks out above all the rest? Write that in a short paragraph and then you’re ready to close it out.

At the end of your cover letter, you will need to add just a sentence that says something along the lines of, “If you have any questions about my work history or would like any more information, please contact me at _____. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

And then you write a signature and you’re ready to send that letter off.

Be Sure to Proofread

resume proofreading

Lastly—and this can’t be overstated—it’s so important to have someone give your cover letter a read and ensure that it is 100% grammatically correct and doesn’t contain any spelling errors. It’s really difficult to catch your own errors, and you don’t want to re-read it after you hit send and discover that you misspelled something in the job title or accidentally wrote the name of the wrong company.

Do yourself a favor and have a trusted family member or friend read over your letter, or consider hiring the services of a professional editor to do the job.

Writing cover letters takes a lot of time and effort, but once you get that call that says you got the job, you will be glad you took the time to do it correctly.

See Also: What I Learned From Reading 1,000 Resumes


The post 5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries

Personal boundaries are limits we set for other people regarding their behavior towards us. Establishing personal boundaries means stopping other people from pressuring us to do what we don’t want to do or put up with things we don’t want.

There are people in our lives that can violate our personal boundaries and make us feel uncomfortable, used and emotionally drained. Many of us put up with poor treatment by others because we are afraid to make them feel angry or lose their friendship. We might also feel guilty for standing up to other people and telling them no.

If you often feel like that and have difficulties building and keeping personal boundaries, there are a few things you need to practice.

Get Comfortable with Negative Emotions

Standing up for yourself and saying no to people very often gets a negative reaction from them. That is something to be expected and you need to realize that them getting mad is not your problem and that you cannot allow your boundaries to be violated just for the sake of avoiding negative emotions.

Even though people may get angry at first, they will soon realize they were asking too much from you. And if they don’t realize that and still hold resentment, that is not your fault. You should feel free to let them go.

Don’t Reward Poor Treatment by Giving People What They Want

When people learn that they get what they want from you even when they treat you poorly, they will be encouraged to continue doing that. By standing up for yourself and not giving them what they want, you’ll be teaching them that their behavior is not only unacceptable but also doesn’t get them anything positive. We have the power to guide how other people treat us by our reactions to their behavior.

Feel Free to Say No

say no

You may be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or appear selfish by saying no. However, you need to realize that saying yes when you mean to say no causes you to hold unnecessary resentment towards other people. That isn’t healthy for you and your relationships.

Saying no to someone doesn’t mean you are a bad or a selfish person. It means you are being honest about your feelings and desires.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Make Yourself Unavailable

You can stop other people from violating your boundaries by making yourself unavailable physically or emotionally. Don’t answer their calls and messages or tell them you are busy. Don’t react when they try to get something out of you and don’t participate in conversations that make you feel bad about yourself. Often, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

Know What You Want

To be assertive and to establish clear boundaries, you need to know what you want from people and what your values are. You need to be in touch with your own wants and feelings to be able to communicate them and recognize when they are being hurt or violated. Be introspective and ask yourself if there are things that make you feel bad or uncomfortable but you do them anyway because you feel pressured by other people.

Don’t Try to Change People

People who violate other people’s boundaries usually lack self–awareness and that’s why it’s difficult to make them change their behavior. They see nothing wrong with it.

If someone can’t understand that their behavior is unacceptable even when you explain why, there’s nothing you can do about it. Trying to make them change is a waste of time and energy.

Practice Self-Care

practice self care

Practicing self-care involves taking care of your health and body, taking alone time to relax and pursuing activities that make you feel happy.

When you practice self-care, you become more tuned with your own feelings. You learn to value and cultivate your own well-being. The more you practice self-care, the less likely you are to put up with people and behaviors that are not healthy for you.

See Also: Neglecting Self Care: The Biggest Mistake I Made (And How You Can Avoid It)

The post How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Unlock Fat Burning Mode: The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight

I was always an obese dude….

The type that couldn’t fit into any clothes comfortably and started to sweat after walking 10 steps.

Now, this always sucked and it’s something I suffered from since I was a kid. I didn’t know what to do, so I continued to live this way for the first 24 years of my life.

I think I was actually starting to get comfortable with this odd figure. But then, I entered the professional workforce and things started to change very quickly.

I immediately realized how important it was to be in shape and not because of health or anything like that. It was because overweight people were treated differently.

I’d heard studies of this in college, about how overweight people were less likely to be hired because they were viewed as lazy. It’s something I always laughed about and never took seriously…

Until I started to witness these observations first hand.

I can’t say that didn’t suck but I’m honestly glad it happened.

Not because I like being viewed as lazy, but because it forced me to start my journey of losing weight and helping hundreds of others along the way.

The Start of My Journey

I knew I had a lot of work to do all around, but I first started with my diet.

I grew up not really knowing what “healthy” food was, but I knew enough to realize that it wasn’t Taco Bell and Mountain Dew.

So, I started searching around for healthy diets and finally settled on one that followed the traditional “low calorie” approach.

I liked this diet because I knew low-calorie diets were the best way to lose weight and this diet was also pretty flexible.

It told me certain foods to stay away from and as long as I stayed under my calorie limit, I’d be good to go.

After that, I took a test that they’d created, telling me how much to eat based on weight and goal. Then, I went to the grocery store right after.

I immediately stocked up on fruits and veggies, along with a bunch of Weight Watcher’s Meals that would serve as my breakfast, lunch and dinner.

fruits overload

See Also: Five Incredibly Easy ways to Add Sprouts to your Diet

I figured this was the best selection for me as the meals tasted pretty good and they’d help me keep my portions in check.

So, I started on this diet the next day. I set a deadline of 30 days before I was going to weigh myself. I don’t know the exact reason why I picked 30 days, but I knew that weighing yourself everyday would do more harm than good.

During the first 2 weeks, things weren’t really that bad. They were kinda nice actually.

I immediately realized an uptick in energy and started to lose some pounds around the midsection.

I was excited and wanted to weigh myself everyday, but I stuck to the plan and continued to stay away from the scale. However, days 15 to 21 hit and I noticed a huge shift in my mood and willpower.

I had really lost all my energy and I was absolutely hangry.

At first, I thought this was just a normal “correction” as I’d been making changes to my body, but the symptoms kept getting worse and worse.

I tried my best to plow through them and hit day 30, but I was noticing a significant decrease in my work. So, on day 25, I finally caved in and went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of BDUBs, but I’ve never eaten as much as I did on that day.

I completely destroyed a large serving of boneless wings and then had some chips and queso to top it off.

Needless to say, I was absolutely miserable the rest of the day. However, as sad as it sounds, it was still better than being “hangry”.

Then I “Yo-yo’ed”.

Even though I’d had a very large cheat meal during that day, I still wanted to go home and see if I’d made any progress over the last 3 weeks.

Right when I got home, I jumped on the scale and to my surprise, I’d actually lost 11 pounds!

Now, that felt amazing. I’d never been able to really lose weight before and you’d think that would be enough to keep me going. But, like many other “yo-yo’ers”, I told myself I’d jump back on the diet soon. I just wanted to recollect my thoughts before going at it again.

So, I continued to eat “normal” for the next 4 weeks and after that, I was ready to jump back on my diet kick.

I decided to weigh myself on a Sunday before I was going to start. To my surprise, I’ had gained all my weight back…plus 10 lbs!

I couldn’t believe it. I was actually eating a little better than I had in the past so I figured I’d stay a few pounds under my normal weight. Instead, I reached an all-time high.

This was extremely depressing and I thought this was just a “me” problem.

I figured that my slow metabolism was out to get me and that I’d never been able to lose weight. Then, I started to dig into this problem and realized many others were having similar difficulties.

The most publicized examples were actually “The Biggest Loser” contestants. During my research, I came across a lot of articles where they were losing weight during the show. Then, months after the show was over, they were gaining it back and then some!

Now, this obviously intrigued me as I was having similar issues. That’s when I discovered the concept of “ghrelin’ and “fat burning mode”.

We’ll talk about these two concepts throughout the rest of this article, but as a quick overview:

Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” because it helps control your appetite. This obviously has a lot of importance with dieting and can be a good thing. However, when you use the typical “low calorie” diets that are being preached today, then it does the exact opposite.


Because this style of dieting doesn’t lower your ghrelin levels, meaning you have the same appetite as you did when you started losing weight.

Now, that’s bad enough. But, on top of this, your metabolism actually decreases when you start to lose weight.

There are some fancy words for why this happens, but in short, it decreases because you’re smaller and don’t need as much energy….

And that means you have the same appetite but with a slower metabolism, a dynamic duo that essentially guarantees weight gain, whether that be in 1 month or 1 year.

This was an important discovery for me when I came across the concept of fat burning mode. These two are what really helped me kick-start my journey.

What Is Fat Burning Mode?

So, like with everything medical, there’s a lot of geeky terms that go into it. But, in the simplest form:

Our body has two different sources of energy- ketones and glucose.

Ketones are produced when fat is burned and glucose is produced when carbs are burned.

Since we have 2 different sources of energy we can burn, that also means we have 2 different “modes” that we operate in- glycogen burning mode (glucose) and fat burning mode (ketones).

Now, to be 100% accurate, we are technically always in both modes at the same time, but there’s always a primary mode and a secondary mode.

The secondary mode always uses minimal fuel, almost to the point of non-existence. From what I understand, we keep this secondary source alive just so our body knows that the backup source is still available.

Okay, that’s easy enough. But, how do we determine which one is primary and which one is secondary?

That’s actually the easy part of the formula. Glycogen burning mode always trumps fat burning mode.

It’s not because it’s a better source of fuel or anything like that, but because our body has to regulate glucose very closely.


Because glucose is sugar and our blood can only handle so much sugar at one time. Once our blood sugar hits the limit (which doesn’t take much), then insulin has to kick in and start removing sugar from the bloodstream.

Now, this is a good thing but that only leaves so much energy left in our system. That’s why we’re supposed to keep eating small meals while in glycogen burning mode.

Makes sense? Alright, here’s the true kicker.

Guess what happens with the excess sugar after insulin removes it from the bloodstream?

That’s right. It gets converted into stored energy- a.k.a body fat.

Now, that’s bad enough and shows how easy it is to gain body fat. Here’s where things get worse.

The typical western diet is full of carbs and that means we’ve pretty much been stuck in glycogen-burning mode our entire lives.

See Also: 5 Science-Proven Health Benefits of Low Carb Diet

This is also why people work countless hours to deplete the glycogen in their body and start burning fat or, even worse, starving themselves while doing so.

And to show you the full cycle, that means it’s extremely easy to gain body fat but then you have to work your tail off just to access this stored energy.

Starting to see the problem here?

Alright, so I know that sounds depressing, but here’s the good news.

I’m a minimalist and I wanted to find ways to enter fat burning mode without living in the gym, starving myself or losing muscle along the way.

After years of research, along with the help of some unconventional doctors, I finally found that way.

And in the remainder of this article, I’m going to show you how you can benefit from this research as well:

How to Enter Fat Burning Mode Without Living In the Gym Or Starving Yourself

Step 1: Drink Exogenous Ketones

I actually came across this concept in my earlier days of researching the two different energy burning modes. Through that research, I kept seeing the phrase “exogenous ketones”.

At first, I thought the word sounded extremely fancy and it was some complex subject. However, as I soon learned, I realized that it’s really just a way of saying ketone supplements.

Anyway, when I was doing this research, I came across a story of an individual who started drinking these ketones and began to notice a great reduction in belly fat within a month after she started.

Now, she liked the results. However, she was drinking the ketones for energy and wasn’t quite sure why this was happening. So, she went to the doctor to make sure everything was okay.

It took her a few weeks to find a doctor that actually understood this subject. Once she finally did, he explained to her that by drinking these ketones, she was telling her body to burn fat.

Now, this makes sense as ketones are the source of energy that’s created by fat burn. To be honest, I was a little skeptical to think it was this easy.

So, I decided to test it out and sure enough, within 4 weeks, I had lost 7 pounds- without doing anything different!

Now, that felt great and I’ll show you how to further amplify these results in the next steps. First, you need to make sure you enter fat-burning mode by drinking ketones, so here’s what I advise:

  1. Buy exogenous ketones. I personally recommend KetoCaNa by Ketosports. Those are good enough by themselves but if you really want to crank it up, buy MCT Oil Powder by Quest Nutrition along with it. This works well as KetoCaNa is exogenous ketones and MCT Oil creates ketones once it hits your liver. So, you’re pretty much getting a military grade dosage when you do this. Helpful hint: might be best to start with just KetoCaNa before moving to the full 1-2 punch.
  2. Make a ketone shake every morning with a blender bottle full of water along with your preferred ketone source and drink it. I personally use 2 scoops of MCT Oil along with one scoop of KetoCaNa. But, again, it’s going to differ by person.
  3. Try not to eat breakfast as this ketone shake will be more than enough to get you going.
ketone shake
Via beautynutrition

And that’s it. That’s all you need to enter fat-burning mode.

This trick can work for anybody. However, if you’re diabetic, please consult with your doctor before trying anything out. Insulin sensitivity or restriction can do some funny things with glucose and I want to make sure your body is able to handle both modes before you try it out.

Step 2: Keep Carb Intake Under 20g Per Day

Now that we’ve entered fat burning, it’s important to keep this going.

Technically, you would lose some fat if you just drank a ketone shake every morning and waited to eat until lunch time. But, since we’re already getting into fat burning mode, why not keep it going. And on top of that, the process really isn’t that complex.

As I mentioned earlier, carbs create glucose and that’ll put you into glycogen burning mode. So, the only way to get around that and stay in fat burning mode is by keeping your carb intake low.

Now, everybody is a little different and there’s really not a one-size-fits-all answer, but the one route that does work for everybody is keeping your carbs under 20g per day.

So, why does this differ for everybody then?

Well, because the only time your body turns back into glycogen burning mode is when glucose hits your liver. Some of the glucose that you consume is used up by your muscles, so that’s really where most of the flexibility comes in.

In other words, if you just finished a serious workout and used all the glycogen in your muscles, then you could probably afford a little more than 20g and still stay in fat burning mode.

If you don’t eat carbs, that’s fine, too. Your body can create glucose out of protein. I’m just letting you know why you can have some carbs and still stay in fat burn.

The last thing I wanted to point out is that when I mention 20g of carbs, I mean in general- not any of that “net carb” stuff.

If you’re not familiar with “net carbs”, a lot of people will use the formula of total carbs – fiber= net carbs to determine their daily carb intake.

The logic behind this is that fiber doesn’t turn into glucose and shouldn’t be included as a carb. To some extent, I do agree, but I’ve also seen a lot of people get kicked out of fat burning mode by eating too many carbs in general.

I’ve done a lot of research on this and I can’t really find an exact answer. But, from what I’ve gathered, excess amounts of fiber can turn into glucose.

Again, don’t quote me on that, but I’ve seen what it does so I know it’s important to stay careful with it.

Alright, so since we’re restricting carbs, then what types should you eat?

I always recommend green and leafy vegetables, like broccoli.

It’s important to consume these types of carbs as they’re full of nutrients (like fiber) and they don’t turn into glucose that fast, giving you even more leeway on your total intake.

And that’s really everything you need to know about staying in fat-burning mode, well from a carb standpoint. We’ll cover the rest in the next section.

As a quick recap:

  1. Keep your daily carb intake under 20g (to start).
  2. Try and spread carbs throughout your day/meals. Try not to eat all of your daily carbs at once, but if you’re starting at 20g, you’re probably fine either way.
  3. Get your carbs from healthy sources like leafy vegetables or avocados.

That’s how you stay in fat burning mode. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but once you start to feel the effects and see the results, staying away from carbs gets pretty easy.

On top of that, you don’t have to starve yourself either, you just have to…

Eat A Lot of Dietary Fat (High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb Diet)

Now that we’ve entered fat burning mode and learned how to stay out of glycogen burning mode, it’s time to take care of everything else.

And by everything else, I guess I should just say ghrelin.

Remember that hunger hormone that I talked about earlier? The one that forces everybody to yo-yo diet?

Yeah, that’s never going to go away and if we don’t control it, we’re at an uphill battle.

That’s where this next step comes into play. It’s highly important to not starve yourself and, instead, eat a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet.

Why exactly does this diet work so well? Let’s break it down into sections, starting with fat.

High Fat

The first thing I like to mention with fat is that it absolutely has nothing to do with making you fat.

Well, I guess if you ate an absurd amount of it, like to the point of vomiting, then maybe. But, as we discussed earlier, body fat is nothing more than stored energy.

And since it’s stored energy, then there’s no reason why we should believe fat is what causes fat (unless you eat excess amounts).

On the other hand, remember when we talked about how glucose is quickly converted into body fat? And not because it was a lot of calories, but because our body can only handle so much sugar in the blood at one time?

Yeah, that’s also the reason why it’s so easy to gain weight while in glycogen-burning mode. You could easily eat 3 big meals and gain some extra body fat with every meal.

Fat, on the other hand, lasts a lot longer and really doesn’t create any metabolic issues. This is why you’ll hear a lot of people eat a high-fat diet while they’re intermittent fasting, because the sustained energy can last them all day.

In other words, don’t worry about the constant small meals that you’re supposed to eat while in glycogen-burning mode.

Then, in addition to this, fat also helps control ghrelin.

This is helpful for curbing your hunger, but it’s also helpful as it lowers your ghrelin levels as you lose weight. This means you won’t run into the high appetite and slow metabolism problem that most yo-yo dieters incur.

So, how much fat should you eat then?

I’ll give you ratios in a second, but from a practical standpoint, just eat fatty foods until you’re full. Don’t worry about counting calories, weighing out food or any of that junk- there’s no need to do that with high-fat meals.


Because the body is really good about self-regulation when in fat burning mode and it’ll let you know if you need food or not.

At the same time, I realized ratios are easier to follow in the beginning. We’ll get there soon, but, first, I wanted to cover exactly what “fat” is.

I do this because when most people hear fat, they instantly think of snickers and candy-things that make us fat.

When I say fat, I mean healthy fats, like:

Grass-fed beef (any beef is okay, but grass-fed is always better)
Fatty fish (sardines, salmon, etc.)
Pork (pork chops, pulled pork, even bacon)
Butter (just make sure it’s real butter)
Full-fat sour cream
Full-fat cheese
Cream cheese
Coconut oil
Olive Oil
Avocado Oil

In all honesty, the only fats you really need to stay away from is trans fat and “seed oils”.

I think most people are aware that they need to stay away from trans fat, but here’s the problem…

Food companies are able to hide the fact that their food contains trans fat by titling it “hydrogenated oils” which is the exact same thing.

A Big Fat Recap:

  1. If you’re counting calories, try and make sure 75% of your calories are from fat.
  2. Make sure you’re eating healthy fats.
  3. Avoid trans fats or “hydrogenated oils”.
  4. Avoid seed oils like vegetable oil, sunflower oil and canola oil as these oils are highly inflammatory and not good for you.


We’ve talked a lot about carbs and fat, but we haven’t mentioned protein yet.

And that doesn’t mean protein isn’t important. That just means it’s a little more flexible than the other two.

Before jumping into the specifics of protein, it’s important to remember that protein’s main function is for muscle repair and growth, not energy.

This is also why bodybuilders love it so much and the exact reason why it’s been so severely misunderstood over the recent years.

Now, people think they can just eat protein all day and make muscle, when that’s simply not the case. Muscle has to be created from somewhere (i.e. breaking down muscle from lifting and repairing it with protein), so please keep that in mind.

The second thing I want to point out is that when you consume too much protein (i.e. more than your muscles need), then the excess protein will turn into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.

Now, this is also a highly debated issue. Some health bloggers make it sound like one bit of chicken creates glucose in the blood while other bloggers offset this by saying 100% protein will keep you in fat burning mode.

And I’m here to tell you they’re both wrong. I’ve tested both analogies and both strategies have kicked me out of fat burning mode.

Here’s how you can cut through the noise and avoid this.

Protein is important and something you should consume. Unless you’re lifting every day, then you probably don’t need to eat 300g of it.

Like everything else, the amount will vary by person. As a 6 ft, 175-pound male, I try and stay under 100g per day.

With all that said, from a practical standpoint, if you can eat at least 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein, then you’re probably okay.

I know this can be hard at times, especially when you’re eating a lot of meat-heavy meals. So, to offset that, I’ll usually melt a bunch of butter and dip each bite of meat into it- problem solved!

Protein Recap:

  1. Try and consume 20-25% of your calories from protein.
  2. Too much protein can be a bad thing, but it takes a lot to get there.
  3. Just try and eat at least 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein, and you should be okay.
  4. Protein is important, but not the saving grace that many think it is.


We’ve already talked about this subject and I don’t have too much more to add. But, there are some other things I wanted to relay for the purposes of clarity.

As we discussed earlier, we can only convert back to glycogen-burning mode after glucose hits the liver. That can only happen when the muscles don’t use all the glucose that you’ve put into your body.

In other words, if you eat some extra carbs right after lifting heavy weights, then you’ll probably be okay as the muscles will soak it up.

On the other hand, as we discussed with protein, your body can also make glucose with protein so you really don’t need to eat carbs. That’s why there’s no such thing as an essential carb.

But, if you are going to still eat carbs, just try and eat them from healthy sources, like berries and veggies.

These foods will help provide other nutrients and be helpful overall. Just make sure you’re careful with how much you eat. Some foods, like apples, can add up in a hurry!

Carb Recap:

  1. Try and stay under 20g of carbs each day.
  2. Try and get your carbs from healthy sources.
  3. You really don’t need carbs, just up protein if you don’t.
  4. These amounts will vary by person and how active you are.

Feel the burn…

And that is your complete guide to burning fat.

If you follow these simple steps and stick with it for a few months, I absolutely guarantee you’ll love your results and keep going.

As with any hard changes in your diet, it might feel weird at first. But, with the help of everything I’ve put in this guide about the best way to lose weight, I have no doubt that it’ll help you progress with your weight loss goals.

The post How to Unlock Fat Burning Mode: The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Boost Your Business with Influence Marketing Chatbots

The growing popularity of chatbots goes without question. We are all familiar with a rule-based chatbot that is quite easy to distinguish from a human being. It demands exact command input to respond, so this form of communication isn’t that new.

However, AI-powered chatbots make a different story. In addition to the information-providing bots, like Echo by Amazon or Apple’s Siri, that has almost no influence on marketing and sales, online stores get their loyal assistants represented by branded chatbots.

These chatbots are taking a firm position in modern marketing. In 2016, a lot of retailers started using chatbots to foster brand awareness and personalize customer experience.

It was the right decision for both sides. Modern clients are less responsive to old marketing techniques; they appreciate advanced approaches to communication.

Why chatbots?


A chatbot is a form of software that’s able to hold a conversation in audio or text format. This is a robot copying human behavior. Due to artificial intelligence, chatbots can imitate real communication with a human being.

Machine learning presupposes that chatbots can study and enrich their knowledge. The more they communicate, the smarter they become. However, it will still depend on who they talk to, as the case with Tay Twitter bot by Microsoft.

Nevertheless, social networks and media, like Facebook and CNN, are still interested in chatbots.

After Mark Zuckerberg had presented the first Facebook-Messenger-based chatbot, brands were very fast to adopt the technology. For instance, 1-800 Flowers gave its customers an opportunity to write a name of a friend in its app to order a bouquet for this person.

Chatbots are easy to set and this feature makes them a perfect tool for e-tailers. The similar personalized approach to promotion is applied to one more popular trend called influence marketing.

What is influence marketing?

Influence marketing is a type of marketing aimed at delivering a brand message via industry leaders. Instead of communicating with your customers directly, you hire an influencer. Thus, the target of such companies is not a whole market but a group of influencers.

The main idea of influence marketing is establishing mutually beneficial relations. Such cooperation brings better reach both for the brand and influencer.

Influence marketing is widely spread on Youtube. There are a lot of popular bloggers working with well-known brands to promote their products.

See Also: How Online Blogging Is Influencing Business Trends

Tarte, for example, organized Trip with Tarte campaign for beauty-bloggers with 1 million+ followers covering all their expenses. The only condition was to shot a video about the trip and share it with the #tripwithtarte hashtag. As a result, millions of internet users learned of the brand. Quite a wide reach, isn’t it?

Takumi made a research showing that brands are interested in working with influencers than with celebrities. But, according to another survey, if an influencer’s post isn’t original enough, it won’t have a strong impact on women.

See Also: 5 Instagram Tools That Can Boost Brand Performance

What will you get by combining these two trends?

The answer is simple- you’ll become a marketing wizard.

At the end of last year, two companies combined efforts to create the first influence chatbot for the American brand Cover Girl. Marketing platform (The Amplify) and chatbot developer (Automat) turned Kalani Hilliker, a Dance Moms’ celebrity and an influencer, into a chatbot. Based on Kik messenger, the chatbot mimics the star’s personality to promote Cover Girl coupons.

What kind of marketing magic happens there?


You have only 7 seconds to make the first impression. It concerns not only real-life meetings but also online behavior. People spend on site 10-20 seconds on average so the faster you start reacting, the more chances you get to interest your potential client.

Cost effective

How much time do you spend daily to answer identical questions of your customers? Sooner or later, you’ll get tired of writing the same responses so you hire a person to do this for you or you buy additional equipment for that. Chatbot can do it all for free.


Imagine an influencer talking to you like a friend who knows all your tastes and needs. Sounds like a dream, but now it’s a reality. Speaking about Kalani’s case, the bot managed to generate 14% higher conversion rate than an average Kalani’s post in social networks with striking 91% of positive feedbacks from its users.

Can I create my personal chatbot?

The easiest way out is to hire somebody to do the job for you. But first, you need to know that AI development is rather expensive. Why so?

The technology is comparatively new and there are not many top-level specialists. Lack of skilled programmers can boost the price of the process. Even hiring a junior AI developer will cost you more than $1000/mo, let alone seniors who will demand at least $8,000/mo. Some forums even suggest addressing development institutes to find a future employee there.

But, do you need to hire a programmer to build a chatbot for your marketing campaign? The answer is no. You can find a lot of various tools for building your own chatbot. Even having no skills in coding won’t stop you from getting one. Platforms like Chatfuel don’t require any programming experience and allow you to create an AI chatbot for Facebook or Telegram.

computer programming

By combining chatbots and influence marketing, you will discover a wide range of opportunities. You don’t necessarily have to be a developer. The only limit is your imagination, so don’t be afraid of mixing new strategies to become more efficient.

The post How To Boost Your Business with Influence Marketing Chatbots appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Become A Social Media Influencer

Celebrity endorsements are nothing new. Even as far back as the 1700s, the Royal Family was singing the praises of Josiah Wedgwood’s pottery. To this day, Wedgwood is still a household name.

Building a brand takes a lot of work and until very recently, the best way a brand could build a customer base was by paying a celebrity to endorse a product. This created a shortcut to word-of-mouth advertising as a celebrity served as a stand-in for all the small person-to-person recommendations that would ordinarily be used to build buzz around a brand.

There was a time when people trusted celebrities, but that time has passed. Now people rely on regular people to give them recommendations about goods and services. This has led to a rise in a brand-new phenomenon: the social media influencer.

Social media influencers have a few common traits

social media influencer

  • The social media influencer is a person who was not famous initially but may become famous.
  • It is a person who built a social media following around a particular topic over time.
  • Influencers are typically seen as more authentic and trustworthy than celebrities.
  • Influencers are more likely to interact with their audience than celebrities.

Whereas celebrities are handed down from Hollywood and we don’t generally get much choice about which ones become or stay famous, social media has given rise to a new democratic way to decide who gets to become famous. Influencers aren’t made famous by being discovered by Hollywood – they become famous by being genuine and building up a following over time.

This, of course, means that you can set out to become an influencer as a job. That’s right. The next time your mom tells you that you are spending too much time on your phone, you can tell her that you are working on your next career as a social media influencer.

See Also: The Millennials’ Mania Over Social Media

Here’s how to get started

be a social media influencer

Decide what you are passionate and knowledgeable about and start building your following online within that community. If the community does not yet exist, all the better- that means you get to guide it!

Stay authentic and always interact with others when possible.

Once you have built a significant following on a topic, look for brands in that space that may be open to influencer marketing. Pitch them an idea on how you would market their product on social media.

Of course, it’s not a traditional career path and it is constantly changing. This means you will need to be able to change directions whenever you discover something isn’t working.

When social media influencers first came on the scene a little over a decade ago there were basically no rules. That meant that you could take a payment to say something nice about a brand or a company and never have to disclose it. These days, there are rules in place that prevent that from happening.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to make sure that viewers know when they are seeing an advertisement. This is why when you are scrolling through twitter, you will often see #ad or #sponsored. Influencers must make it clear when they are in a contract with a company or with a brand so that there is no confusion about the fact money has changed hands.

Following the rules is only one part of the equation, though. You also have to remain authentic and believable in order for your services to be viable as a form of advertising. One of the major changes that has taken place over the evolution of social media influencers is that advertisers are no longer moved to write a check based on your follower count – they are looking for actual quantifiable results. That means you will have to be able to turn your Instagram #ad posts into an actual pipeline for sales.

See Also: Five Easy Ways To Make Money From Social Media

As you embark on your new career as a social media influencer, remember to be authentic and to always follow the rules. Nearly three quarters of teens think that YouTubers are more relatable than celebrities, and 88% of people trust online recommendations as much as in person ones. There’s a lot of room for the role of the social media influencer to grow. How will you take advantage of the evolution of the social media influencer ?

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How to Cover your Unexpected Round-the-World Travel Expenses

No matter where you go, how you go or how many days your stay will be, you can easily spend more cash than you thought you would when traveling. Unexpected travel expenses can cost you more than you would spend if you just stay at home.

Expenses for airplane tickets and hotel rooms are obvious. But, what if you end up losing your baggage? Or someone gets sick?

There are several unexpected travel expenses that can fast spike the total price of your trip to an uncomfortable height. Thankfully, there are some effective and easy ways to cover them. Below are great tips you can use when planning your next trip.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is not really common among people. But, it only takes a bad fall on your trip or a motorbike accident to make you regret your decision of not getting a travel insurance.

Policies are available for a cost as low as a night’s lodging. If you have more money, you can consider increasing your deductible and just use your insurance for real calamities.

Unplanned Upgrades

travel expense

There will be times when the train you expect to take you from one spot to another gets delayed for 12 hours. There will be times when you miss your bus and have to buy a nicer class ticket so you can stay on your schedule. In some cases, getting tour buses will be so difficult that you’ll need to spend your last $50 to buy a one-way flight back instead of waiting.

The best way to cover such unexpected travel expenses is to find reasonable offers online for cab or taxi services or get cash advance online.

Baggage problems

A lot of travelers just do not pay attention to their free checked baggage allowance once they find tickets with amazing prices. They’ll only realize the problem when they are hit with excess baggage fees.

To avoid this, always double check your airline’s website before packing your suitcase. This will keep you away from extra charges.

Lost luggage problems are a very common scenario today, too. If your baggage doesn’t show up, go to the airline counter to file a report. They may provide you a bag of essentials and ask you to share your contact details. Remember that the longer your luggage is lost, the more compensation the airline will provide. A payday loan could cover this travel problem.

See Also: Things You Didn’t Know That Occur While Traveling

Medicine and doctors

doctor consultation

When traveling, your routine changes tremendously. You’ll eat and drink a lot of new things, too. So, you have to go see your attending physician and consult him about your travel plans. If you don’t, you can end up spending tons of cash for expensive medicines, like antiseptics, sunscreen, and allergy pills.

To cover these expenses, you can pack a few medicines in your baggage. If your airline won’t allow it, look for discounts and buy extra packs whenever you see a good deal on your way. A small town without any drugstore can sell these essentials at a high price.

Lodging Fees

And finally, you should be ready for certain fees connected with lodging that are frequently hidden and unexpected for many travelers. Before signing your final payment, ensure that you have a clear understanding of how much you are going to pay for the whole stay.

Ask the hotel management to provide the list of extra payments that are not included in your stay rate. Also, be ready to cover extra charges, like open bar, internet, and room service fees.

To avoid all those inconveniences and prevent awkward situations during the arrival, include those expenses in your travel budget.


Every time we plan a trip, we often forget the smaller, less pressing stuff. Just keep the above-mentioned points in mind next time you are planning or saving for an overseas trip.

When taking a trip anywhere in the world, you must be prepared for unexpected travel expenses. This way, if something comes up, you won’t end up feeling stressed, frustrated and broke.

See Also: 5 Important Tips Before Traveling Overseas


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How To Get Rich Quick

Money is a part of life. Whether we love it or hate it, money is a necessity. It provides food, shelter and health care. It also gives us freedom, opportunity and decision-making flexibility. In addition to those, money allows us to pursue our passions or philanthropic desires.

As much as we may wish it weren’t the case, money plays a huge role in our lives so the attainment of wealth is often on our radar.

During my own journey to wealth, I learned a few distinctions that deepened my relationship with money and allowed the idea of getting rich quick to be a real possibility. Of course, with these terms, there are qualifiers.

Getting rich quick can often refer to a scam or gamblers mentality. That’s not what I’m referring to. Becoming rich is not an event that happens to you. It’s a process that takes place over time. Whether that time period is short or long, that depends on your approach.

I became rich quickly and I was the most unlikely candidate – a high school dropout, blue-collar mechanic. I had a light bulb moment when I realized people could get rich on purpose- not by accident or luck, but by educating themselves how. If they could do it, so could I. And I did.

Let me clarify by saying nobody can tell you how you are going to achieve it. This is an entrepreneurial step and you need to take personal responsibility for it. But, yes, you can learn how to get rich quick and there’s a process you must go through.

You must change how you think about money.

The average person looks at the average income around them. They work hard to earn that because it is their obtainable reality. They believe that to gain greater wealth, you must have to work harder, be smarter or luckier. But, working hard is not a determining factor at all.

The fundamental ingredients of how to get rich quick are: believing, purpose, knowing for yourself and following through no matter what.


how to be rich

When you make the mental leap of believing that getting rich is possible, your mindset has shifted. Once you know great wealth is obtainable for you right now, THAT is the golden first step. Every person who has ever obtained wealth quickly has accomplished this belief first.


HOW you choose to obtain your wealth is the responsibility of every entrepreneur. There are so many different types of business vehicles and you have to pick one that aligns with your passion, that excites you and that motivates you. You must be working towards a vision.

Know for yourself

Most importantly, you have to see the numbers from any venture and know for yourself that there is an opportunity for wealth. You don’t have to invent the opportunity.

I was a mechanic working crazy hours to barely make ends meet when I saw a presentation for a Network Marketing opportunity. I didn’t know the industry at all but I saw beauty in the product offering AND the business model. It ignited something in me and I knew that it deserved my time and would absolutely lift my income. I did the math and saw it for myself. A couple of years later, I was a self-made millionaire.

Following Through

how to become rich

To become rich quick, you must believe it’s possible, keep your eye on that goal, follow through and it’s yours. If you’ve already decided it’s too hard to make a lot of money or you believe you don’t have the time to invest, then you’ll never see the opportunities that are right in front of you.

The number of times I’ve seen people give up right before I know they’re about to crack is so frustrating. You must be steadfast in your focus and productivity. Otherwise, you’re not really in it to win it. Commit half-heartedly and you will achieve half-hearted results.

There’s not a right or wrong way to make money. At the beginning, I didn’t have the idea, the means or the knowledge to create a venture of my own. I just had the mind shift that I COULD and the opportunity I saw wasn’t a mass produced product with a small profit, requiring huge sales. I saw a high-value product, offering high-profit with great leverage and I made a killing.

To me, that’s a great way to make money quickly in business. It’s not the only way or right way, it is just ONE way.

With lessons I learned from that business and a fire in my belly, I later went on to create my own business venture which was valued at US $170 million in its fourth year. And again, it was based on a high value, high profit product which was loaded with leverage.

That is a great equation for a successful business that has the possibility of creating wealth quickly.

See Also: Five Steps To Turn Doing What You Love Into A Successful Business

Part of the fundamental process of getting rich quick is to understand that thoughts create things. Believe it can be, find the opportunity, do the sums, follow through and you will achieve it.

See Also: You Can’t Miss Your Boat


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How And Why To Work On Your Emotional Intelligence

Parents and educators have done a serious disservice to many people by leading them to believe that IQ is everything and that your grades actually matter once you are out of school. Learning is good and getting good grades can certainly open a lot of doors, but your IQ is basically set for life in childhood. So, if you are going to depend on that for the rest of your life, it will just be a losing game for you.

There is good news, though.

Your emotional quotient, or EQ, can be developed throughout your life and can have a greater impact on your career success than anything else. How to work emotional intelligence? Read on.

What Is EQ?

Your emotional quotient, like your IQ, is a measurement of your emotional intelligence. The more you develop different areas of your emotional intelligence, the higher your EQ climbs.

These are things like:

Social skills – How well do you interact with people and get along with your coworkers?

Empathy – Can you put yourself in other people’s shoes to really understand their point of view? Are you in the habit of doing this regularly?

Motivation – Are you passionate about your work or your hobby? Are you motivated by money and power?

Self-regulation – Are you able to accept things that are out of your control and think before you act?

Self-awareness – Are you aware of your own personal strengths and weaknesses? Can you acknowledge these and admit your mistakes?

How Are EQ And IQ Different?

Your IQ is consistent throughout your entire life. It basically measures your ability to learn. There are no major differences between men and women.

Your EQ, on the other hand, is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with a little effort on your part. There may be some differences between men and women in general, but it is unclear whether they are biologically or socially driven.

Typically, 70% of the time, a person of average intelligence will outperform someone with high intelligence and EQ is likely the reason behind that.

Some Of The Most Successful People Have High EQs

oprah winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is so well known for her emotional intelligence that it has its own name: Oprahfication. She has used her ability to get people to open up to build a television empire.

Matt Damon has also used his emotional intelligence to build and maintain relationships with fellow actors as well as to launch the H2O Africa Foundation. Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi once wrote to the parents of 29 of her employees to tell them they had raised good kids.

Emotional intelligence traits like these have allowed each of these people to accelerate their professional lives much more than if they were completely reliant on IQ.

Why Work On Emotional Intelligence?

People with high levels of emotional intelligence earn on average of $29,000 more per year than those with low levels of emotional intelligence. In fact, for every point your EQ rises, you can expect to earn an average of $1300 more a year. The majority of top job performers have high emotional quotients. Clearly, increasing your emotional quotient is something you can’t afford not to do.

See Also: The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence For A Leader

How Can You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

There’s no one way to improve your EQ and there’s no magic class or text you can take. It comes from hard work and perseverance. You will have to do some hard work and some introspection.

Here are some of the things you can start on:

Practice empathy – Putting yourself in another person’s shoes is something you have to consciously do. It won’t come naturally at first but once you do it enough, it will become second nature.

See Also: How To Develop Empathy By Understanding Subjective Hardship

Admit your own faults – Know your limits and admit to them. If someone else is better at something than you are, acknowledge it!

Listen – Don’t shut someone down because you think you know more than he does. Listen and try to understand where the other person is coming from.

Deal with your stress in a positive way – If you notice it building, take up yoga or meditation to keep it under control.

yoga mental health

Give honest feedback nicely – Sometimes, tough things need to be said. Learn how to do it in a constructive way.

Look at failure as an opportunity to learn

Check out this infographic to learn more about emotional intelligence.



The post How And Why To Work On Your Emotional Intelligence appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Fail-Proof Your Business From The Beginning

Building a business from the ground up is not easy. There’s a whole culture surrounding startups these days and you’ll often hear about the “lean startup” or how you only need to work 2 hours on your business and still make money. The reality is, you’re very likely going to be working a lot more than two hours a week for a very long time, and even then you aren’t guaranteed success.

One of the hardest lessons in life is that you can do everything right and still fail. Nowhere is this more evident than in the failure rates of small businesses in the United States. Approximately 20% will fail before their first year, more than a third will fail before two years, half will fail by year 5, and 70% will fail by year 10.

Sometimes the circumstances are truly out of your control, but there are still a lot of things you can do to fail-proof your business before you even get started.

Make A Business Plan

business plan

Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail, as the old saying goes. And, apparently, it’s one of the most common reasons why businesses fail.

You shouldn’t just be picking out office furniture and paint colors during the planning phase. In fact, those things should come later.

Primarily, you need to plan what kind of business will do well, where it will thrive and who would be the best people to help you run it. Among the things you should consider carefully are the following points:

Location: Are you in a location where there is an abundance of talent, relatively low business taxes, enough infrastructure for your needs and room for business growth?

Competition: Can you withstand the competition or are you in a sector that is highly competitive when it comes to market share?

Team: Are you choosing the right people for the job or just taking anyone with a resume and a pulse?

Cash Flow Management: Can you deal with the ups and downs of cash flow when customers don’t pay you and you still have to pay rent?

Flexibility: Are you able to turn on a dime if you catch a hint of a shifting market?

The above is where most businesses fail and thinking about how to mitigate these problems at the outset is the first step in building a business that lasts.

See Also: How Awareness In Business Can Predict Your Future Success

Know Your Strengths, But Also Know The Strengths Of Your Community Or Sector

business location

Four of the top five worst places to start a business in the United States are in California, Stockton, Modesto, San Bernadino and Santa Rosa and it’s because of the high poverty rate and low education in the areas.

If you are in any one of these places, you have to carefully plan your business strategy.

Location is important, but so is industry. Healthcare is one of the most successful types of businesses to start while construction and transportation are some of the worst.

Does your town have good infrastructure? It’s going to be hard to start a tech business if you’re somewhere that still uses dial up. Shipping things out? Hope you have access to a major shipping company hub, like UPS Worldport in Louisville, Kentucky.

Having access to top talent is another concern when you are starting a business. If you are starting a business in a place that doesn’t have a university, you’re likely to starve for talent as your company grows. If you’re setting up shop in a place with high poverty, chances are the folks who need jobs the most aren’t going to have the education needed.

Take a look around as you are planning your business and determine what industry would fit your location. Don’t be afraid to move if you can’t get what you need in your current community.

See Also: 4 Key Ideas To Help Your Passion-fuelled Business Take Off Fast!

Businesses Fail Frequently, But Yours Doesn’t Have To

A little extra planning can go a long way when starting a business. Learn more about why businesses fail from this infographic and then do a serious audit of your business plan or current business.

Have you built something that can last or something that will barely survive the next major market shift? Is your team up to snuff? You owe it to your business to ask the hard questions.




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How To Make The Gig Economy Work For You

Fifty years ago, the expectation was that you would be in the same job until you retire. Today, 34% of the U.S. workforce are freelancers and that number is expected to reach 43% by 2020.

The shift is being driven by a few different factors.

First, the economy has been slow to recover since the Great Recession that started back in 2007. People have had to figure out how to survive in a terrible job market. But, now that the economy is recovering, people are finding that they prefer the flexibility and independence that comes with being their own boss.

According to Forbes, there are lots of reasons for the projected growth in the freelance lifestyle:

  • Workers who enjoy pension plans in private companies in the US have declined alarmingly from 60% in 1982 to a mere 14% today. That’s much less people getting their retirement money and financial security from private US firms.
  • Average rental costs increased by 13% in the US and yet median family income went down by 8% from 2000 to 2012. This means less buying power despite increased cost of living.
  • According to the popular platform LinkedIn, the average length of time that people are unemployed is more than 25 weeks. This has propelled people looking for jobs into the freelance market.
  • A study by two Oxford professors showed that developments in automation and computerization will put approximately 47% of jobs in the US at risk in the next 20 years. This is projected to affect workers in transportation, logistics, office and administration, and production.

Freelancing is an attractive option for people in all stages of life.

For younger workers, it can give you the flexibility to work whatever schedule suits your lifestyle. Older workers may find that they can have more creative control of their careers. Parents, on the other hand, can schedule work times around family needs.

The freedom and flexibility that come with freelancing have numerous benefits to people in all stages of life.

benefits of freelancing

Freelancing is not without drawbacks, however. Getting and keeping clients, meeting deadlines and paying the bills is all on you:

  • You’ll have to pay your payroll taxes, an additional tax burden above what you pay as an employee of a firm.

  • With no matching funds from an employer, you’ll have to save for retirement.

  • You’ll have to purchase and pay for your own health insurance.

How To Succeed As A Freelancer

There are lots of habits you can put into practice if you want to be successful in the gig economy. Here are a few examples:

  • Maintain a current portfolio so you aren’t scrambling to put together work samples when a potential client asks.

  • Maintain a website and social media presence so you’ll look like an engaged professional.

  • Keep your professional business cards handy because you’ll never know when you might meet a potential client.

  • Always complete work on time as agreed. Your reputation is at stake!

  • Create contracts so that all terms are known and agreed upon.

  • Maintain relationships with past clients. They are more likely to give you repeat business and recommend you to other potential clients

See Also: 5 Freelancing Tips That Will Make you Successful

benefits of gig economy

Forbes points to the rapid rise of part-time freelancers as a big contribution to the rise of the gig economy. LinkedIn has seen a 100% increase of members adding freelance work to their profiles in the last 5 years.

Says Walker: “This is a way for (professionals) to take matters into their own hands and proactively have more control over their professional lives.”

Even if you have a full-time job, with wage stagnation, chances are you are still struggling. Working part time in the gig economy has become a popular option for many people, supplementing their incomes, giving them real world experience and allowing them the freedom to pursue creative jobs they otherwise might not get to do.

Freelancing isn’t for the faint of heart, but it can be a totally liberating experience if you put your mind to it. There are many benefits to the lifestyle and they can really make all the difference in your life. Cutting your commute, for example, could prevent you from having a heart attack or stroke, according to some studies! Learn more about the rise of the gig economy from this infographic!

See Also: 10 Ways Your Life Improves When You Become a Freelancer

Freelancing in the Gig Economy

Inforgraphic by JOBVINE

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How To Control Negative Thoughts: A Practical Approach On How To Suffer Less

It is well-known that thoughts create emotions. But, the full consequences of this fact are largely misunderstood.

Thoughts create emotions. Then, those emotions guide our behavior. For example, the thought “I’m never going to succeed at school, why should I even study?” creates emotional distress. That emotional distress can easily trigger coping behaviors, like binge-watching House of Cards or mindlessly refreshing Instagram every five seconds.

That’s just the beginning of the spiral, though. That where learning how to control negative thoughts become difficult.

After you’ve been binge-watching TV or staring at your cell phone for an hour, you’re going to have a new thought, “Damn, I shouldn’t have wasted an hour on my phone. I’m so stupid. I’ll never pass that class.”

These thoughts create more emotional distress and that leads to more coping behaviors.

But, wait a minute!

Shouldn’t that thought help motivate you to study? Isn’t calling yourself out in an honest way helpful? Don’t you have to fight your way out of stress? If we were completely logical creatures, you’d be right.

Our thoughts don’t directly lead to behaviors. They create emotions which lead to behaviors. This creates a trap that is exceedingly easy for us to fall into.

The first step in this example is the thought, “I should be studying right now.” This creates the sense that we aren’t being productive enough and that we are screwing up. The emotion we feel because of this thought isn’t motivation, but distress.

What do humans do when they feel distressed? Cope. What are the most common coping behaviors used in 21st-century life? Electronic media, food, and drugs.

This is a counter-intuitive idea, but it has very important implications.

In her best-selling book, The Upside of Stress, psychologist Kelly McGonigal writes: “When I speak with physicians, I sometimes ask them to predict the effects of showing smokers graphic warnings on cigarette packs. In general, they believe that the images will decrease smokers’ desire for a cigarette and motivate them to quit. But studies show that the warnings often have the reverse effect.

The most threatening images (say, a lung cancer patient dying in a hospital bed) actually increase smokers’ positive attitudes toward smoking. The reason? The images trigger fear and what better way to calm down than to smoke a cigarette? The doctors assumed that the fear would inspire behavior change, but, instead, it just motivates a desire to escape feeling bad.”

This pattern is a lot like psychological quicksand. As soon as we have a negative thought, like “I should be studying or I shouldn’t be eating this pint of delicious Cherry Garcia Ice Cream.”, our instinct to fight it gives that negative thought more emotional charge. That emotional charge is expressed as an increased feeling of distress which makes us think even more negatively. And, before long, our head is beneath the sand and we’re suffocating from what was originally just a relatively benign negative thought.

Break Free

break free

Negative thoughts create negative emotions and that leads to negative behaviors.

This is an extremely frustrating pattern that can easily affect our behaviors and the quality of our lives. The solution isn’t to learn how to think more positively or to learn how to control your emotions. The solution is much more obvious than the traditional approaches, yet it is also more elusive.

To escape the vicious cycle of negative thinking, you must accept the negative thought as it is. Just like in a quicksand, to stop sinking, you must stop fighting it and be still. With negative thoughts, you must learn to compassionately accept them as they are.

Once you learn to accomplish this effectively, you will still have negative thoughts. However, they will drift away like clouds on a gentle breeze instead of darkening into a storm of emotional suffering.

See Also: 5 Steps To Release Bottled Emotions And Live Happier

The root of our suffering is our belief that we can (or even should) eliminate negative thoughts and emotional pain. The thought that suffering is ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ is already a negative thought by itself. This way of thinking makes stress a trigger for more stress.

To escape this spiral of stress and suffering that we get trapped in, we must learn to relate to our thoughts differently. Modern psychologists have developed effective strategies to accomplish this.

In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, cognitive fusion is a state in which we become entangled with our thoughts and we lose the ability to distinguish between thoughts and objective reality. Author Russ Harris says, “In a state of fusion, a thought can seem like: 1. the absolute truth 2. a command you have to obey or a rule you have to follow.”

The solution to cognitive fusion is learning cognitive defusion. According to Harris, “This is where we can observe our thoughts and see them for what they are – just products of our busy minds.”

There are numerous strategies that can help us achieve cognitive defusion. Here, I’m going to focus on one that is both easy-to-use and highly effective.

Labeling is a mindfulness technique that allows us to defuse from our thoughts. It helps us identify our thoughts as subjective opinions, instead of objective facts. I recommend practicing labeling as a dedicated daily meditation practice (5-15 minutes to start). This will help you build it into a natural thought habit.

How to practice labeling

practice labeling

Either during a sitting meditation or anytime throughout the day, notice your thoughts. For example, you might notice you have the thought, “I don’t want to be meditating right now, I have more important things to do.”

To label this thought, simply tell yourself, “I am having the thought that I don’t want to be meditating right now.”

If you are having the thought “I am too tired to work right now”, label it by telling yourself, “I am having the thought that I am too tired to work right now.”

Labeling also works with sensations and emotions. For example, “I am having the sensation of tightness in my neck,” or “I am having the feeling of anxiety.”

The practice is fairly uncomplicated and making it into a habit won’t take long. Of course, the more you practice this during dedicated meditation, the more you will naturally label your thoughts in your day-to-day life.

Labeling won’t eliminate your negative thoughts or emotional pain and it doesn’t have to. The point of labeling is learning to become aware of your thoughts so that pain does not need to become suffering.

Have your efforts to eliminate negative thoughts or emotional pain ever panned out? After years of struggling against pain, has it become clear that the traditional approach of coping through escapism or self-punishment doesn’t work? Maybe fighting pain just creates more pain.

Experiment with this technique and notice if it affects how you relate to your thoughts. Do they become louder or quieter? More invasive or easier to manage?

You may find that once you start to create distance from your thoughts (without trying to change them), that they affect you less.

You may notice that you still have the thought, “I’m never going to succeed in school, there’s no point in studying,” and that thought may still be painful. But, the thought isn’t you now. It’s just a thought and the pain is just pain.

You may notice that you are now able to accept stress as something that happens. Now, you can experience it without needing to avoid it through coping. You may notice that your thoughts and pain no longer spiral into stress and suffering. As a result, the quicksand no longer sucks you in. You’re able to surrender to it and you can finally be free.

See Also: 3 Simple Steps to Balance Your Emotional State

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The Reason Days Feel Like They’re Flying By And How To Fix It

A lot of people often find themselves wondering why time flies.

Well, time isn’t what it used to be. It seems just yesterday that I started writing this article and yet it was three days ago. At this rate, I fear I will awaken at an elderly home tomorrow morning. And I’m just 26 now.

It wasn’t always like this.

I remember each of my childhood years as lasting an eternity. Unlike the other kids, I never wanted to grow up. It felt like a scam and I was right.

Upon reaching legal adulthood, everything sped up. Days mix with each other to form an indistinguishable blur of events and I don’t like it. I can’t seem to remember what this past Wednesday felt like or what decisions I made on Tuesday that lead me here. Moments like this often make me wonder why time flies.

Three weeks ago, I returned from a trip to Rome for three days. At the end of the first day, I laid exhausted in bed from a thrilling time in the city. That day felt as if it lasted more than 24 hours. The second day felt exactly the same way and so did the third. They were days full of excitement, joy, stress and learning.

As I played back the days in my head while flying out of Rome, those three days felt like twenty. I could recall each past activity in detail. I felt like I lived more in those three days than I had in months before the trip.

The Science

Intense moments, good or bad, feel as if they lasted longer. This is because the brain remembers much more when the information is relevant or if it causes a strong emotional reaction. I’ve washed dishes a million times, yet I can only recall one or two occasions. I would hate to remember the color of every dish soap I’ve ever used.

the_feel_of_timeWe spend more time doing yellow, but we only remember yellow. The varied experiences in colors feel as if they last longer.

In the beginning years of our lives, most experiences are new and important. The brain remembers most of these pieces of information in great detail throughout the day. Remembering days in their entirety creates the illusion of living longer, both during real-time and when accessing memories.

In contrast, as we age, few experiences are new, more mundane and less relevant. Days seem like they fly by that we can’t even remember past eve.

Holding On To Slippery Time

Understanding why time flies or what we can do about it isn’t hard. Intuitively, if our time feels like it’s going by too fast, we need to slow down.

I am aware of two types of feel for time.

Type one is how long each day feels from the moment I wake up. Going through a stressful moment at work would make my day feel longer as I count the hours ahead. Type two is how long the past days feel relative to today.

It is vital for me to have a good control over these two types of time. As often as I could, I try to get out of my comfort zone in an attempt to seek new powerful experiences — a great solution for both types of “time feel”.

I join local groups to talk and share and this often results in an exchange of powerful moments. I travel monthly to absorb new places and their culture.

Every day, I take some time to break the routine and monotony of my daily tasks by replacing them with new activities. I talk to strangers, hear their stories, eat my lunch seating under a different tree or share my stories through the web.

having fun

See Also: The Call for Change: Time to Step Out of the Comfort Zone

Time Halt Summary

Here are your key takeaways in making each day special and different.

1. Get out of your comfort zone as soon and as often as possible. Take risks as they are healthy in mild amounts.

2. Visit new places. Have you been to the broom closet in your job?

3. Share with people and hear their stories. People appreciate unloading their emotional baggage and an engaging story might be the tipping point in your day.

4. Break your self-imposed discipline. Don’t repeat the same tasks every day.

5. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s not always healthy to feel safe in your daily decisions or the type of clothes you wear. Only with mistakes will we know what works and what doesn’t.

See Also: 7 Ways to Get More Comfortable With Feeling Uncomfortable

The post The Reason Days Feel Like They’re Flying By And How To Fix It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Choosing The Perfect Handmade Diamond Ring For Your Engagement

Knowing how to choose an engagement ring is tricky and buying it is quite a challenging task. You would not like to go wrong on any count since it has a lot of emotional significance. It is a symbol of your deep love, dedication and bond with your life-partner-to-be.

Before stepping out to buy the best engagement ring ever, you must have a crystal clear idea of exactly what you are looking for. As a guide, here’s how to choose an engagement ring.

Determine Your Budget

You need to consider several important factors when buying an engagement ring. One of these factors is your financial capability. As much as possible, do not go overboard.

Apart from that, you should also choose the ring style that will perfectly complement your partner’s personality and lifestyle.

Start by Browsing the Web

You could browse the Internet and go through the latest collections online to draw some inspiration. This way, you could visualize the ring style and diamond shape that’s just right for you before getting your diamond ring customized.

By going through an extensive collection online, you’ll be able to find out if you are attracted to square or round shaped diamonds. You can check out multiple stone settings, contemporary designs or vintage ones. You could choose from a stunning collection of handmade rings that are designed to perfection.

Look for Real-Life Inspiration

You could solicit advice from your friends and family. You could draw inspirations from utter strangers, too. Many of them would be happy to let you try out their rings. This could be a great way to start your engagement ring shopping.

Check Out the 4 Cs for the Best Diamond

If you want to know how to choose an engagement ring, you must learn how to check the clarity, cut, color and carat of the diamond.

The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance. A diamond with a better cut would dazzle more. If your diamond seems to be more colorless, it would imply higher quality grade. Color grade depends on the actual lack of color.

Almost all diamonds are known to have some imperfections. Diamonds that have negligible or no imperfections are given the highest clarity grades. Carat, on the other hand, refers to the real measure of a diamond’s exact weight. It is, however, not the only factor that determines the brilliance and value of a diamond.

Keep these 4Cs in mind while choosing the diamond for your engagement ring. Examining the certification is important, too, so buy a certified diamond.

Choose the Right Shape

The shape refers to the form of a diamond from the top view. Rather than the cut, it identifies the genuine geometry, edges and features of the stone. You could get a diamond that has a round, emerald, princess, square, pear, oval or heart shape.

Choose the Best Metal

There are endless metal options. You could choose from the usual yellow gold or the popular rose gold. You could also get your ring made with a platinum, silver or palladium metal.

Choose a metal as per your own personal preference. If most of your ornaments are made from yellow gold, you could stick with the same material. If you are more used to silver accessories, you could opt for platinum.

Choose a metal that looks great on your specific skin tone. With regards to the band, you have an assortment of metals to pick from. One prominent decision is platinum as it’s strong and particularly immaculate. It makes a great decision for ladies and grooms with delicate skin.

There’s gold, too. It typically comes in an assortment hues, including white, yellow and even green. Past platinum and gold, you may likewise consider palladium, which has a grayer shade than platinum. You can also consider a reused metal band, which may incorporate a blend of platinum and gold.


Apart from your personal preferences and unique specifications, you also need to make sure about the ring’s size. It needs to fit your finger snugly and comfortably. Choose a perfect fit so that you could flaunt your engagement ring all your life.

The post Choosing The Perfect Handmade Diamond Ring For Your Engagement appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Mind Exercises That Will Teach You How To Build Self Confidence

Are you a confident person? Do you know how to build self-confidence? How can you tell?

Is it because you value and love yourself? Is it because you make sure you have all your ducks in a row all the time so you know what to expect?

Back in the day, if you had asked me, I would have said “Hell, yes! I’m smart. I know my worth and I know I’m an awesome person so yep… I’m confident.”

But, like most folks, I would have been confusing self-esteem with self-confidence.

See, self-esteem is your evaluation of yourself and your worth. I knew who I was, and I didn’t allow any man, woman or child to treat me any less than I deserved. So, self-esteem? Yep, I had tons of that.

But, self-confidence is a whole different story.

It’s not bravado or cockiness as those relate more to insecurity. It’s not throwing your weight around or talking over everyone in a ‘look at me, look at me!’ type attitude.

Confidence is quiet and more subtle than that. It’s that trust in yourself and your abilities that move you to action.

And I didn’t realize I was missing that until I punked out on a chance to be the registered badass expert during a system outage at my job. All the big wigs and my peers were trying to solve the problem and I had a possible solution.

But, I froze.

“What if they think it’s stupid?”

“What if they think I’M stupid?”

“Better to have no opinion than having a wrong one and look like a fool, right?”

I’m wishing I could tell you that I stood up and spoke my idea, but you already know how that ended.

I kept my mouth shut because I was scared to be wrong. I doubted myself,  knowledge and abilities. And I felt like a jackass for being scared to open my mouth- like I’d die if I did.

Maybe this has happened to you, too, and you can relate to the missed opportunity of greatness because of self-doubt. Or maybe you already know that your confidence can use a boost.

Wherever you are, know that this doesn’t have to be you. It doesn’t take much to stop doubting yourself. In fact, it just takes a few tips and constant practice so you can get to the place where you can let your badassery fly and just trust yourself and your ability to blow the mind off those around you.

Here’s how to build confidence.

Get Physical

1. Spend a day being decisive

Try spending one day where everything you say is prefaced with a decisive tone.
For that one day, banish unsure phrases, like ‘I’m not sure’, ‘I think’ and ‘Maybe’ from your vocabulary.

Removing such wishful tones from your speech is incredibly powerful, positive and affirming. It forces you to be sure of your decisions, opinions, and choices. Even if you aren’t totally convinced, saying something out loud with a commanding tone helps convince you of your own ideas.

This isn’t some fake-it-until-you-make-it trick. It’s removing your fear of what others may think- a common cause of self-doubt.

You already know what you want and what you think. Sometimes, we just need a cheerleader to tell us that our idea isn’t too crazy. This exercise will teach you to become more decisive and your own personal cheerleader.

2. Take care of your body

When you work out, feed your body well and get good sleep, your body gets flooded with endorphins. You know, those feelings of accomplishment that flood over you when you do something kickass and your body is feeling happy, relaxed and unstoppable.

back pain exercises

When your body is running at its optimal level, you are more productive, able to absorb more experiences around you and more capable of proving to yourself that your body can accomplish more today than it did yesterday. And that’s what builds confidence – collecting successful experiences and believing you can do more than you did yesterday.

3. Rock a Gangster Lean

Did you know that certain poses, like standing with a wider stance, are argued to increase testosterone, lower cortisol and make you feel more powerful and confident?

Sometimes you just need a little nudge. Just like speaking with power and decisiveness, you just need to ‘deliver’ with boldness so you can stop worrying about the impression you’re making on others.

And there is real science behind it. Harvard Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, teaches that power poses can help liberate us from fear in high-pressure moments. They can help us perform at our best and connect with and empower others to do the same.

So, try smiling, standing up straight with your shoulders back and chin up and with a more open relaxed pose to help put on more confidence.

Change Your Motivations

4. Aim to fail every day

Most of the time, we never try anything because we are afraid that we’ll fail. We worry what people will think and what they’ll say. We fear that we’ll be ridiculed.

But, here is a little secret.

No one is watching you or waiting to see if you are going to fail. No one is waiting to laugh at you.


Because people are worried about the exact same thing! They are too busy worrying about themselves, chasing their own fears and running their own insecurities in their mind.

So, what would you try if you knew that no one would be watching you? The best way to overcome that fear is to aim to fail every day. Aim to fail at least once every day because failure is the real evidence that you’ve tried something new.

Order that Tai Latte from Starbucks you’ve been wondering about. Wear heels to the office or call about that house you’ve been eyeing. Walking around with little fragile hearts avoiding failures means we are avoiding action and life in general.

Failure and mistakes are needed and expected if you want to move on with life. They are lessons that can teach us to look inward, refine our goals and affirm our desires.

5. Reach your bliss point

Ever notice that when you are in a good mood, everything seems to fall into place? It’s not that suddenly the universe opens and people want to give you good things.

When you’re happy, your perspective changes. You become more positive and, instead of seeing difficulties in opportunities, you see opportunities in difficulties.

Your boss asks you to work on a project outside of your given skill set? While others see that as a frustration, you see it as an opportunity to learn.

Think about your bliss point and try to reach it. It’s your sensory profile where you optimize your ‘feel good’ vibes.

The way to do that is to give yourself little pleasures. Stop waiting for the weekend, your success or retirement and start giving yourself a taste of what’s to come.

Whatever you like that can change your perspective, do it.

De-clutter your space, add a fresh coat of paint to your walls, rearrange your furniture, wear a new scarf, get your hair done- whatever blows your skirt up and makes you happy, do it.

The sillier or more frivolous, the better. Happy people are hopeful people. Hopeful people are fearless people.

6. Build your competence

If you want to stop doubting yourself, then you need to have a reference to draw your knowledge from. You can’t speak on what you don’t know. And if you aren’t sure, you are less likely to speak anyway.

So, if you want to build your confidence and improve the delivery of your message when you interact with others, then you must have competence. Go deep spending time studying your craft and go broad when improving yourself.

Whether it’s parasailing, candle making or outdoor hiking, develop new interests and skills that can improve your life and make you interesting.

We are not binary individuals that have natural strengths and weaknesses. We can grow and improve in anything at any stage of our lives.

If you are uncomfortable with public speaking, then read a book, take a class or join a club. Continue working on improving yourself and that’s one of the best ways you can start learning how to build self-confidence.

Mold Your Mind

7. Disappoint your parents

If you are wondering when you turned from fearless to fearful, then look at your childhood. Try to recall how your parents or guardians responded when you did something great or when you failed at something.

Seriously, you can totally pull the ‘blame your parents’ card for this one.

In their effort to protect us from sadness and disappointments, they taught us what they knew and how the world works by their standards. It is usually to lower your expectations and avoid risks.

Years later, you probably noticed that little voice in your head, giving you all the reasons/excuses why you can’t do or try what you want. That is a clone of your parents.

But, don’t be fooled! Your beliefs are incredibly powerful!

If you always wanted to be a writer and the people around you all told you that you can’t write books because you were too young or too dumb, then you might believe that and never even try to write the book of your dreams.

But, what if you hear the stories of J.K. Rowling, Oprah and Les Brown who are wildly successful despite facing difficulties, you might start changing your own beliefs and exploring new experiences.

Think of all the reasons why you ‘can’t’ do what you want and reflect on whether it’s true or not. If it’s not true, then choose to change your thinking and create a new narrative. If it is true, then determine what you need to do to change that.

So, how about we plan to disappoint our parents by dumping many of their teachings to form our own beliefs? Don’t worry, you have my permission.

8. Be child-like

When you were a kid, anything was possible.

Chocolate milk comes from brown cows. The moon is made of cheese and if you climb a ladder high enough, you can get there and see for yourself.

Get that mindset again and adopt the attitude of “why not”.

What’s the worst that can happen if you give it a try? I mean, really?

Most of the things we imagine won’t happen and, if they do, it won’t be as bad as we think.

So, take the pressure off. You don’t know and can’t control what anyone might think, so why not just see how far you can get? Instead of spending your energy thinking of why something won’t work, focus on gaining experiences.

You literally cannot go wrong, because, no matter what the outcome is, you are on the right path to where you need to be.

See Also: Why We Should Look at the World as a Child Again

9. Ride the rainbow

When you succeed, bask in the awesomeness that has occurred from your hard work.
Smile, think about it and remember how hard it was to get here. Post it on Facebook or just tell your friends. Whatever you do, don’t underestimate your success or shrug it off as luck or chance.

Like Spencer Johnson says in Who Moved My Cheese, “Smell the cheese and celebrate the cheese often!”

Each victory helps you to win another and is a testimony you can use to renew your spirit when doubt creeps back in. It also provides evidence that you can achieve if you stay persistent.

10. Renew your mind daily

Confidence isn’t built in a one-time activity. That’s because doubts and fears are likely to creep in all the time. They are like weeds you must pluck every day.

So, bear this in mind:

Continuously taking risks, learning from failures and reaping rewards is how confidence is made.

Get Ready for Awesome

Just imagine not being shy about voicing your ideas – even if it’s not fully formed. Imagine never feeling fearful of what people think and doing what you want because you want it. Imagine waking up tomorrow morning feeling empowered as your feet touch the ground, looking forward to the day ahead and not dreading it.

Sound impossible? No, they’re not.

These simple tips on how to build self-confidence have dramatic effects on your belief in yourself. Do the work, try a new tip every day and flush out the stories that say you are any less than awesome.

You’ve got your road map. Now, all you need to do is follow it. Your new life of being a badass awaits.

The post 10 Mind Exercises That Will Teach You How To Build Self Confidence appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Maintain Your Privacy Online

Threats to online privacy seem to grow every day so make sure you know how to protect yourself. There are a lot of things you can do to stay safe online. Unfortunately, not all of them are guaranteed to work.

Clearing your browser history, for example, can’t really do anything. Installing an ad blocker won’t get the job done, too. If you really want to protect your online privacy, here are the things you need to do.

Use secure passwords and usernames

It seems so convenient to just use the same usernames and passwords for every site. That way, you can remember them even without writing things down.

But, consider this:

If you use an easy-to-guess password for your social media and use the same one to log in to your bank, you’ve just made it super easy for someone to gain access to your bank account.

To protect yourself, choose passwords that are at least eight characters long and make sure they contain different types of characters. Use numbers, capital letters, lower-case letters, and symbols. Change your password for every site you frequent, too.

Writing with Computer

Use a password manager

The next step in password protection is to use a password manager. It’s an app that can generate crazy-long passwords that you couldn’t possibly remember. It encrypts not only your password but also your security questions and their answers, your credit card numbers and their PINs and other vital security information.

Now, all you have to remember is the password to your password manager.

Don’t click on the link

You know better, right? So, why do you click on those links you get on your email?

Usually, it’s because the email came from someone you trust. However, what if your friend clicked on a malicious link? Your friend’s entire address list could have been hacked and that includes you.

As much as possible, don’t click on suspicious links, even if they came from people you trust.

Lock down your social networks

Sure, those warnings that pop up on Facebook every month or so about how the platform is going to steal all your data are indeed trollish. But, even though they’re fake news, they actually have a point.

You need to lock down your social media privacy settings which are often defaulted to Public. This setting means everyone can see everything on your wall.

For your online privacy, change your settings to Friends. If you should unlock a single post to Public, make sure you haven’t inadvertently opened up your whole account to the world.

The bonuses here? Real life bad guys can’t see when you’re away from home to break in and steal your non-virtual stuff and your bosses and ex can’t see what you did on the weekend.

See Also: Don’t Get Your Identity Stolen – Here’s How

Look for a secure connection

When you’re about to log on to a site, take a look at the URL. Does it say “http” or “https”?

That “s” stands for “secure” and it means that your data (including your username and password) are being encrypted as they travel back and forth across the web. This is particularly vital when you’re making online purchases or handling other financial transactions.

Often, you’ll see a padlock icon next to the URL to confirm the secure connection. While you’re at it, secure your own devices by setting and actually using the lock screens on each device.

Block cookies

It’s so cute when a brand you’ve shopped with sends you just the perfect ad, isn’t it? Except, it’s not so cute after all.

That brand or advertiser found you by attaching cookies to your browser and now they’re following you — and not in a good way. In some cases, they can even follow you from all your devices to keep track of your online behavior.

Block those third-party cookies. The advertisers will still be able to track the pages you visit, but they’ll have to work a whole lot harder to do it.

Use a VPN

A VPN or Virtual Private Network is probably one of the best and simplest ways to protect your online privacy. With a VPN, your data is encrypted so your internet service provider can’t see your internet usage — and neither can anyone else. VPNs provide protection against hackers and they keep your surfing safe when you’re using Wi-Fi.

Photo credit:

Use Tor

Head to Tor to anonymize your IP address automatically. With Tor, your browsing experience becomes private — well, as private as you can be, given that you’re still on the internet. It can hide your information from hackers who want your identity, corporations that want your money and data and government that wants who even knows what.

There are a lot of dodgy people on the internet. Don’t let them into your virtual home. Take these basic steps today to protect and maintain your online privacy.

The post How To Maintain Your Privacy Online appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Deal With People: Little-Known Secrets To Make People Like You

“The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you” – Rumi

When I was younger, I often questioned why people did not treat me nicely. I would doubt why they did not communicate with me, even though I was such an interesting and well-versed person.

Probably, I thought, because they are not at my level of education and are just interested in simple things.

Later on, I wondered why men aren’t courting me or showing signs of attention, even though I always acted as a very nice and loving person and tried to always look good. Later, in business, I was also perplexed why clients were not choosing me among others. That is even though I always communicated professionally and did my best to understand their needs.

In situations like these, I was tempted to think that the people around me were wrong, that they did not understand the depth of my nature, the value of my presence or the accuracy of my offers. Though, while such thoughts helped me to feel better, they did not make the people around me nicer.

Until one day, I realized the secret which fixed all the “wrong” people and made them very “right”.

The secret is very simple:

I am responsible for everything that is happening in my life. I am responsible for creating the way other people treat me. And I came to realize that the way I acted in the past, even though it seemed right for me, was not a “winning strategy”. It was simply not the right way!

Here are some of the things that helped me learn how to deal with people.

I thought that being smart was cool

I was always smart and the people around me just didn’t have the opportunity to show they were actually smart, too. The lesson for me was to learn how to be “unsmart” or “foolish”.

I learned to show my vulnerability, ask for advice and reach out for help and support as often as I could. Being able to be smart and unsmart at the same time is such a beautiful combination. It allows me to pour my knowledge when others need it or to empty myself for receiving new knowledge when I need it.

I was always loving

love yourself

What was I doing wrong by being loving? What could be better and more desired by men than that? Why were men still treating me bad?

For sure, something was wrong with them. At least, that’s what I thought to myself. Mistake!

Intelligence is a lot like love. If you are always full of it, then the people around you wouldn’t have a chance to add to it and this makes them very confused. The real winning strategy here is to be attentive whether the love you give is accepted and well perceived.

If you come to the point when you give so much out of your full heart but you receive no response, then it’s a clear indicator to switch off your flow.

For example, every time you think of sending another love message to your partner, send it to yourself and show love to yourself. Every time you want to suggest something fun and entertaining, suggest it to yourself and do this exclusively for yourself.

Do not be afraid to lose your partners. It is just not possible to not love a person who loves and respects herself/himself. The quality of your partners will go up.

Start with making small experiments with this new strategy. Building up this balance between loving your partner and loving yourself is a jewel addition that can promote self-development. I guarantee you will love the effects.

I was so professional

being professional

Why would people not want to work with me? Again, it is not about me being cool, but about how they feel next to me. I realized my strong stand made them feel threatened, low and tightened. I also realized that professional business is not only about the uniqueness and greatness of my product, but about whether people feel comfortable, appreciated, respected, fulfilled and honored next to me.

I learned that maximizing professionalism and maximizing empathy and care go hand in hand.

This is how I approach “inconvenient” people now:

  • When someone is too aggressive – I know they want my modesty.
  • When someone is too manipulative – I know they need my sincerity.
  • If someone is too smart – I know they ask for my appreciation.
  • When someone is too stupid – I know they need my faith.
  • If someone is too untidy – I know they are thirsty for my inspiration.
  • If someone is too depressed – I know they want my naivety.
  • When someone is too negative – I know they need my love.
  • When someone is too egoistic – I know they ask for my vulnerability.

See Also: How To Develop Empathy By Understanding Subjective Hardship


The bottom line is simple:

I came to realize that those people who seemed nasty or “bad” to me came to my life as teachers.

They taught me things I once considered wrong or inappropriate. However, looking more deeply into the issue, I found some brilliant lessons that helped me learn to love myself as well as others. Those lessons helped me give freedom to others and to set the rules, to know how to let go and to appreciate what I have. I also learned to keep my mind flexible and open.

I understood that when I got irritated about someone, that was exactly the opportunity for me to identify and correct my rigid beliefs. Enlightening these “gray” areas of my mind helped me to gain more clarity about all the situations of my life and to become much happier and reasonable.

When life teaches you through other people, do your best to understand the lessons it presents and work on achieving that perfect balance in your personality. Thank these people for making you more aware, skilled, and happy.

People are not bad. All people are, in fact, good. Each of us is born from a divine sparkle and everyone has some goodness. You just have to know how to deal with people and how to bring out the best in them.

See Also: 12 Stressful Things To Let Go Of If You Want To Live A Calm Life

The post How To Deal With People: Little-Known Secrets To Make People Like You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Get Out Of A Rut: 5 Ways To Move On

You may have no idea what your reason for being is. You’re annoyed, dissatisfied and unexcited by everything. It’s monotonous, tedious and frustrating.

And if you think you’re alone, think again.

In fact, you’re part of the largest group of people on Earth. You don’t know what to do with your life and, worse, you don’t know how to find out.

People are not born knowing their role in the world. In fact, we’re all born with endless possibilities and therein lies the problem. How do you even begin and, if you begin, how do you choose?

Can you move past the idea that there must be so much more? What are the ways to move on?

The Future is Yours—You Just Can’t See It

helping others

Life has many things in store for you. Family, friends, health, work, society—all of them change considerably during your lifetime. It’s unlikely that you will enjoy all these changes as not all of them will be positive.

Know this: your life’s journey is your masterpiece.

As you work in life, your purpose unfolds in front of you and your role in the world becomes clearer. Stop trying to meticulously plan your life. Planning is the antithesis to the adventure and improvisation that life requires. You’re in charge and that’s a great thing. A little scary maybe, but still a great thing. Remember that the best way to plan your future is to go out and create it!

Your default mode should be action. Doing [things] is honest philosophy. Stay positive and avoid criticizing others. Above all else, avoid negativity. Work to be helpful and try to look for ways to help other people.

At your job, help your boss. In your community, help your neighbors. For the rest of the world, help those less fortunate. Don’t enter the ugly fray that’s become so prevalent in our society. Always be on the side of positivity.

When you approach life this way, people seek you out and opportunities find you. It’s the law of attraction.

See Also: 12 Mind-blowing Tips for Increasing Your Overall Positivity!

Don’t Do What Makes You Happy

“Do what makes you happy” is a terrible advice from well-intentioned parents and teachers.

In fact, you should embrace discomforts and frustrations and move beyond your comfort zone. This is the only way to learn. To focus only on that which makes you happy means you avoid a great deal of life and the learning that comes with it.

Every time you move outside of your comfort zone, you learn more. Your role in life and your true happiness become clearer and you have more focus. You find out who you are and everything that you can endure. Each period of great discomfort teaches you about your preferences and that your limits are probably lesser than you imagined. Push your mind and body and then adjust. Do that again and again for that is the journey.

See Also: The Call for Change: Time to Step Out of the Comfort Zone

Investment In Your Mentality

ROI or Return on Investment is when you get back what you put in.

You already know about moving beyond your comfort zone – that’s the fun, adventurous part. However, sacrifice is tougher. It is the boring and frustrating part where most people choose to stop.

Note to self: “Don’t stop here.”

You need to understand that there is a long road to travel and that life is a marathon. Chances are you’re just beginning.

Humans are hardwired to want things now. It’s called immediate gratification and it’s a very powerful force. You should be smarter than everyone else, so think! invest in your future and reap your returns as you move forward.

Creating your future most often means sacrificing time with family and friends, working for long stretches in jobs you don’t enjoy, studying and saving your money. We all have limited time, energy and funds, but you must invest those limited treasures so that you can create a future of greater abundance.

Teach Yourself

teach yourself

Stop waiting to be trained! The truth is that you can’t gain knowledge without seeking it. Nobody can teach you anything anyway. They can only help you learn so understand that going through the process alone is one of the effective ways to move on.

When you don’t know something, read about it, work at it or ask questions. Read about new places, research careers that interest you and speak to people with more experience.

The more you explore, the closer you come to understanding who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty because that’s the only way to know if you’re enjoying something. Keep in mind that you are your best mentor.

Big questions that can be helpful:

  • What are you most passionate about?
  • How can you give back to the world?
  • What would you prioritize if money and time were no objects?
  • Can you speak another language?
  • Is travel important to you?
  • What professional experience do you want to gain?

Today, hundreds of companies all over the world will allow you to travel, learn and give back while you continue to explore your passions, develop new skills and discover new interests. Start by helping in disaster relief abroad through All Hands Volunteers, offering your time to provide a better future to the kids in Latin America with Maximo Nivel or help orphaned and abandoned children in Africa and Asia through Orphfund. Your role in the world and your preferences continue to evolve over time, so continue teaching yourself and keep learning!

There Is No Right Time

Time waits for no one, so utilize the time you’ve been gifted. As much as possible, avoid falling trap to time wasters, like TV, social media, people who don’t like you and being negative. Instead, try reading, traveling and being with the people who like you.

Your path in life and your role in the world are only discovered as you work at it. So, work hard! A lot of people miss the idea of fulfillment and happiness because opportunity always looks like hard work.

Instead of thinking that way, engage your mind and body in creating your life’s journey. It won’t be easy and it won’t be perfect. That’s completely fine as it’s not supposed to be.

Thinking about it, waiting, being nervous or scared—these are all personal choices. If you want to move out of a rut, move beyond those choices. You will never regret your adventures if you’re learning new things.


The post How To Get Out Of A Rut: 5 Ways To Move On appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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3 Good Reasons Why Planning Just Isn’t For You

Planning. Simply the sound of this word is enough to give me a rage fit and a subsequent migraine.

Whether you want to start a business, do well at college or just become good at any kind of activity, one of the most frequent pieces of advice you will get is to plan everything. Even when it comes to relationships, planning is still considered to be essential.

At first, I became really angry and frustrated when I read all those articles because I am terrible at planning– really. The only thing I have managed to plan so far is my shopping list.

I have a bright memory from childhood. It’s when I decided it was time to get all fancy and organized and created a schedule of the entire following day. I was so serious that I even used an A3 sheet of paper for my schedule and I’m not kidding you.

And now, you can try to guess how much I lasted on my schedule.

I managed to do only one thing from the list and that’s to wake up. The rest of my day went haywire, as usual.

After years of struggling with my hectic and disorganized self, I started to question the premise and had anti-planning thoughts.

Can planning really do miracles to your life? I highly doubt that. I believe that, like everything on Earth, it has its downsides. Here are some of them.

Plans make you frustrated

frustrated planner

I’m a perfectionist- yeah, that’s weird for someone who hates plans- and it backfires so much when it comes to crossing out items from my to-do or even shopping lists. If I can’t manage to find something or if I postpone a tiny errand to the next day, I will feel dissatisfied with myself. No matter how many tasks I do that same day, that one uncrossed thing will bug me.

What to do instead?

If you’re like me and “1 pound of sour cream” in your shopping list can ruin your day if uncrossed, try creating lists of things you actually DO as you go on with your day. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence. At the end of the day, you’ll be looking at a list of things you actually managed to do and not those you didn’t manage.

Plans don’t make THAT big of a difference

A lot of people expect to become time-management gurus the moment they start creating plans. But, guess what?

That doesn’t happen in a snap. It has to be learned much like any other action and habit out there. More than that, though planning helps you become more organized, the main point is that you need to do things. Planning alone won’t get you anywhere, except the fact that you’ll become incredibly good at creating lists.

What to do instead?

Try the immediate action strategy. Planning is preparation, and preparation is usually good. But, let’s be honest. Most of the time, we start making plans to procrastinate and to feel like we are actually doing something good about our lives.

So, instead of indulging into writing another list, choose a tiny action. Let’s say, clean a small section of your working table or finally move all the clothes from the chair to your drawers.

Plans can increase your anxiety

anxious planning

Life goes by its own rules with little regard for our plans. People forget to return a call or even show up, cars break and bad weather strikes unexpectedly. Life is haywire and that’s probably the reason we like plans so much. They help us make a little sense of the mess that’s constantly going on.

When something unexpected and unavoidable intervenes with your perfectly designed plan, it can make you feel like you are out of control and this adds more stress. You have a lot of things to deal with and now you have another issue to solve. In essence, it means less time for more things to accomplish.

What to do instead?

Choose a couple of pivotal actions and make them vital for you. See, there’s a lot going on with our lives, but we don’t forget the basic things anyway. We eat, sleep and drink.

Choose a couple of simple actions and make them an absolute must of your day. Soon, you will be used to them that you won’t need a plan to remind you anymore. You won’t beat yourself up for not sticking strictly to your schedule.

I’m not saying you should totally forget about lists and to-dos completely. They can be useful when you are packing for a trip or having a really hectic time. However, I don’t believe you need a to-do list for every day of your life. To me, they are more of a play-pretend game than of real usefulness.

What do you think about planning and to-do lists? Are they overrated or do they really make a big difference?

Share your insights below and maybe you can help me and other people who are all about anti-planning change our minds.

See Also: Todo List Apps for People Who Don’t Like Todo Lists

The post 3 Good Reasons Why Planning Just Isn’t For You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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4 Dating Mistakes You Could Be Making (And What To Do With Them)

Whether you are dating in hopes of finding your first love or are back in the game after healing from a breakup or divorce, dating is a whole world of its own. There are unspoken rules and plenty of personalities in the mix that make the waters less than clear for all of the players involved.

Dating has changed a lot in recent years with the development of online dating sites, apps, and matchmakers. I am often counseling people recently separated or divorced who want to re-enter the dating scene. Faced with these new options, they tell me that a process that used to be intimidating and overwhelming has now also become very confusing.

Beyond the ‘how-tos’ of finding a date are the ‘how-tos’ of behaving on a date. In an area where self-doubt and insecurities can get the best of you, fostering some level of self-confidence is crucial to finding dating success.

To increase your odds of success, take a look at these four common dating mistakes and evaluate yourself. If you might be making any of them, then follow the tips on how you can avoid them.

Putting on a show


What you’re doing: We all feel the need to present the best of ourselves to a date and, in a way, perform for them. We understandably want to make sure that we come across as likable and leave a great first impression. With this, it is easy to cross the line and give a false representation of who we truly are.

How to stop: Rather than focusing on how you are coming across to your date, just try to be present in the moment with them. Be yourself, listen to your date and be engaging. This will help you to be able to decipher how you feel about your date instead of just wanting them to like you enough to go for a second date.

See Also: 5 Ways To Keep a Conversation From Coming To a Dead-end Standstill

Being superficial

What you’re doing: Putting too much emphasis on a person’s looks or income won’t build a lasting relationship. Superficial things will eventually fade away and the relationship won’t have enough of a solid foundation to stand on.

How to stop: Take the time to learn what your date’s core values and morals are. Being able to have a great conversation, along with similar goals and life ethics, will set a better groundwork for a mutually enjoyable and lasting relationship than most other qualities.

Ignoring warning signs

What you’re doing: In the beginning, we tend to ignore the obvious red flags about our date, either because we really like that person or because we really want it to work out. However, it is important to pay attention to their behavior and trust your instincts when dating.

How to stop: If your date is rude to the waiter, talks about himself the entire time or gives you a bad feeling in your gut, trust that as a warning sign and don’t continue seeing them. If something bothers you on an early date, it will really irritate you later on in the relationship.

Putting too much emphasis on chemistry

dating chemistry

What you’re doing: If sparks are flying, then that is great, but don’t equate chemistry to love or compatibility. Things like physical attraction and charisma can all lead to chemistry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the two of you will make a good pairing in the long run.

How to stop: Take the time and ask questions to find out more about the person you’re dating. It’s great to laugh and have a physical connection. Just make sure you are also getting to know who the other is as a person and that the things he cares about are also things you care about.

Early dating should be a fun and a pressure-free experience. The purpose is simply to get to know the other person and learn if the two of you could connect on a deeper level. Don’t worry too much about ‘the rules’ of dating such as when to call the person or the right way to ask for a second date.

Focus on just being yourself and having good conversation, and you’ll make yourself a much more attractive date and potential future partner.

See Also: The Dos and Don’ts of a First Date for Men

The post 4 Dating Mistakes You Could Be Making (And What To Do With Them) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Killer Tips For Planning A Las Vegas Wedding

Planning a wedding is a wonderful and memorable thing but, beyond the emotions, it is also rather stressful. From finding a perfect wedding dress to booking a reception venue, it can be a real challenge for everyone involved. However, if you are getting married in Las Vegas, this process may become even more complicated.

The good news is that planning a Las Vegas wedding means having no limits at all. Want to tie the knot underwater or get married during a rock concert? The Entertainment Capital of the World can easily provide you with such an opportunity! With so many options, it is always better to have a Las Vegas wedding checklist at hand.

Whether your big day is an intimate one or you want to celebrate in style, here are 7 killer tips that can make the process of planning a Las Vegas wedding much easier:

Vegas wedding dress ideas

You can certainly travel to Las Vegas with your carefully chosen elegant wedding dress. But, actually, there’s no need for that. Since Las Vegas is home to spur-of-the-moment weddings, you can find lots of stores where you can buy or rent any bridal gown, tiara, veil, jewelry, shawl, gloves and crinoline you like.

Most of them are open late so that even those who are planning to have night weddings can have plenty of Vegas wedding dress ideas. If you still don’t have a perfect gown for your special day, you are sure to find it in Las Vegas.

Choosing a date

One of the first tasks that should be in your Las Vegas wedding checklist is choosing a date. There are two important things you should pay your attention to.

The first one is the weather. Don’t forget that Las Vegas is in the desert, so if you want to have an outdoor ceremony or reception, consider getting married in the spring or autumn time. Traditional wedding months (June – October) may turn your big day into a nightmare.

Besides that, keep in mind that Vegas is a popular destination for conferences, meeting, concerts and vacations. Thereby, to check a convention calendar beforehand is never superfluous.

Marriage application

If you are planning a Las Vegas wedding, you don’t need to wait long to receive a marriage license. You can apply for it no more than sixty days before your set date. Besides, you can speed up the process by filling out a marriage application form online.

Please note, however, that both people getting married in Las Vegas should appear in person at the county clerk’s office to receive the license. It will cost you about $60.

Hotel chapel

las vegas wedding chapel

If you want to save some money, a hotel chapel can be a good option for you. The fact is that almost every hotel in Vegas has its own wedding chapel, which gives you and your guests the opportunity to stay in the same place for your ceremony and reception.

Furthermore, any hotel chapel can provide you with a variety of wedding services, including live broadcasting of your ceremony online, limousine transportation, professional photo and video shoots. Most of them offer fresh floral decoration and even a honeymoon helicopter flight. If you book your chosen wedding package beforehand, you are guaranteed to get a good deal.

Venue location

Las Vegas offers plenty of themed, fun and casual wedding venue options for a wide range of tastes and budgets. From sky high weddings and cocktail parties to the ultra-chic nightclub buyouts and wedding venues for animal lovers, everyone can find something to their liking.

However, if you are planning a unique Las Vegas wedding, keep in mind that most popular and unusual venues and vendors get booked up early, so it is better to do everything in advance.

Hair and makeup

Finding hair salons and makeup artists doesn’t have to be a hassle in Las Vegas. Lots of hotels, casinos and spa centers offer these services to those who want their makeup and hair done professionally for the wedding day.

The only problem is that these services usually come at a rather high price. If you are on a budget, you can save some money if you go to a local salon located somewhere off the Strip.

Day-after photo session

las vegas photo session

One more thing to include in your Las Vegas wedding checklist is a day-after photo session. Talk to your photographer beforehand about organizing a creative and funny shoot somewhere in Downtown Vegas or in the desert. Thus, in addition to your beautiful wedding photos, you will also get plenty of awesome Vegas pics to enjoy for years to come.

As you can see, getting married in Las Vegas may require a bit more preparation compared to a local wedding. However, who said you cannot elope without proper preparation and planning? if that’s the case, just make your way towards Las Vegas Boulevard. You will find there everything you need for your perfect Vegas wedding! After all, this city is not called the Marriage Capital of the World for nothing!

The post 7 Killer Tips For Planning A Las Vegas Wedding appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Be Successful: The Surprising Tip You Might Not Know About

Different types of people achieve various levels of success. While some seem to be lucky enough to be successful in an instant, there are people who have to work really hard to achieve their desired status in society.

It all comes down to the Hierarchy of Needs, how you approach each tier and how you can make the Law Of Attraction work for you. Once you understand these things, crazy levels of success can be yours!

The Hierarchy of Needs breaks down human nature into these five facets:

  1. Physiological Needs

The first requirement for humans is our physiological needs. They are the basic things we need for survival, like oxygen, shelter, and food. Once we meet these needs, we can then move on to seeking the second tier.

basic survival

2. Security and safety

This tier includes employment, money and being able to proactively provide for yourself and your family. If we fail to achieve the first two needs, we, as humans, can bend our morals and values to obtain them. Take, for example, stealing food so your family can eat.

3. Love and belonging

This level involves love, intimacy, family and friendships.

A lot of us have our physiological and security needs handled most of the time. Once those things are obtained, we’re free to go for the next need in the hierarchy.

4. Self-esteem

This includes gaining confidence, achievement and respect.

This is where gaining recognition for your work and what you do play a big role. This is where you achieve real wealth which you can freely enjoy as you go higher in the hierarchy.

5. Self-actualization

The top part of the hierarchy is self-actualization. This is the full expression of your creativity, where everything you do is an expression of your deeper self.

self actualization

Before you can reach the top tier, you have to go through the lower levels first. You’re not really going to be worried about self-actualization when you can’t feed yourself.

The hierarchy of needs explains a lot about life.

Today, we live in a world where we can easily find like-minded people who can lift us up and allow us to be who we really are. This has made tier 3 much easier to obtain. No matter where you live, you’ll find other people you feel connected to.

But, culturally, our thoughts and behaviors are still stuck in the past and they won’t make progressing that easy. This is where those bold, driven and extreme people surpass many in their pursuit of their pie-in-the-sky goals.

There’s a hidden system within this structure that, once known, can allow you to transform your life. Once you apply the Law Of Attraction in relation to the Hierarchy Of Needs, you’ll attract circumstances, people, and opportunities that will allow your life to go where you desire.

My tip: Skip tier three, focus directly on those top two levels and let the Law Of Attraction go to work. Once you put this life hack to work, everything else will be easy.

By shifting your attention to the self-esteem and self-actualization levels, you’ll instantly start attracting the people and vehicles that will help you be successful.

Be bold, driven and a bit crazy as you focus on gaining self-esteem and reaching self-actualization.  The rest of the hierarchy will fall into place for you in the most wonderful way. Knowing how to be successful is only a part of the process. You also need to put in a lot of work to reach the top of the hierarchy.

See Also: 4 Things Highly Successful People Do Differently

The post How To Be Successful: The Surprising Tip You Might Not Know About appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Start Reading More Books In Just 30 Days

Reading is one of the most common pieces of advice you’ll get when it comes to life improvement. Just think about Mark Zuckerberg. We often hear about how he devours dozens of books per month and how successful he has become for that.

To tell you the truth, there were many times I felt motivated to improve my reading habits. Unfortunately, that kind of resolution never seemed to stick.

Then, I moved into a new apartment and my roommate happened to be a real-life bookworm. I mean, I have never seen a person own SO MANY books just because she liked all of them.

It was astonishing to see how her drawers were full of books, and even more when she said they didn’t fit that she had to place them in two or even three rows. Amazed, I asked her to share some of her secrets.

Everything turned out to be simpler than I thought. So, here’s what I found out in my odyssey trying to read more books, based on both our experiences.

Forget the “Top 100 Best Books” lists

Though finding a good reading list advertised by popular magazines sounds like the best way to start your reading adventures, it is actually not. Most of the books on those lists will contradict your taste and (take it from me, I’ve tried) you’ll end up feeling unmotivated. You may even feel disappointed in yourself because you’re not able to get through the books deemed as the world’s best reads.

To start with, such lists are subjective, especially the modern books. Only time will tell how great a book is. Secondly, if you want to try a reading list, figure your taste in literature first.

It could be about fantasy, science fiction, realism, non-fiction or memoirs. After finding out your genre, do a quick search for the top ten books in that genre. This will heighten your chances of finding books you will genuinely enjoy.

See Also: 9 Ways Reading Fiction Can Jump Start Your Career

Drop a book if you are reading it forcefully

This is vital at the start of your journey. If you did the most reading in your school and college years because you were too diligent, then you’ve developed a certain aversion to reading because you did it forcefully.

If you feel like you are not enjoying a book, just close it and forget about it. Knowing that you don’t have to reread every chapter of a deadly boring novel twice because your professor will give an intricately difficult quiz is truly liberating.

Forget the idea that books should educate

reading for fun

The idea of books being educational is one of the reasons why a lot of people quit reading books after graduation.

When we come to college and start reading difficult books, we had the idea that they were meant to educate us. Some teachers and researchers believe that at the time those books were published, they didn’t have any educational purpose and were purely written for entertainment.

So, brush off the idea that books are all meant to be technical and educational. Curl up in a blanket and enjoy your favorite book about elves, battles, love and magic.

As a kid, I enjoyed reading fairy tales. I could read the whole evening without even noticing the time because I picked stories I really liked. I read for fun.

Find someone with shared taste in books

Once you meet someone who has the same taste as yours when it comes to books, you’ll find yourself too eager to start reading the book he’s just finished. You’ll feel eager to share your views and hear his opinion.

This approach works better than any motivational quote on how to read more books.

A Few Obstacles You Might Encounter

As I struggled on my journey to start reading as much as my incredible roommate does, I made the following realizations.

You won’t love books overnight

Although I would love to get as excited about new releases and upcoming books as my roommate gets, the truth is I don’t always feel that way. This, however, doesn’t mean that I won’t be able to enjoy a good read and finish more books.

Remember, aversion can have deep roots and overcoming it can take some time.

Recently, I’ve read a book in three days, two of those days were work days. The book wasn’t big, but I still stayed up to 2 AM because I wanted to know its ending.

If you can’t bring yourself to finish a book you’ve started, then that is the wrong book for you. This doesn’t mean that you’re a failure, lazy or unmotivated. You just don’t have the right book in your hands.

Find a challenge if you are an A-type person

reading is fun

I actually started reading books when my roommate told me about a book challenge she was in. It’s a challenge where you need to read a book starting with every letter of the alphabet. That’s a total of 26 mandatory books per year.

Although I failed drastically, I won at one important thing: I actually started reading. Though this was little compared to my enormous plans, I was still able to conquer it.

Aim for the process, not for the aim

If you often think about how your friends are going to react to the books you’re reading, then you’re thinking about the aim. If you feel good just because you are curled up with a new amazing book, it means you genuinely love the process. The habit is more likely to stick.

Experiment with timing

If you are genuinely bad at sticking to new habits, try to trick your brain by setting tiny goals. You can make it as tiny as you want.

When you set and accomplish small goals, it becomes easier for you to feel motivated. After a month, you’ll be surprised that you just can’t stop adding more books to your list.

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

If you are horrified by the idea of having to read tons of books, don’t worry. All you need to do is find the genre of books you truly love and you won’t even find yourself complaining about how much reading you have to do.

The post How To Start Reading More Books In Just 30 Days appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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