Success

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Two Reasons to Stop Striving Towards Perfection and Instead Be More Creative

“I need to be the perfect student”. “I must be the perfect employee”. “I have to be the perfect parent”. Many people with high anxiety strive towards perfection. I have been known to be a perfectionist in school, always trying to get straight A’s and being disappointed with any grade lower. You know a perfectionist when you see them and you might be one yourself.

Being detail-oriented and super organized can be helpful in getting good grades, meeting work expectations, and raising children. However, striving towards this idea of perfection is only hindering you. Worrying and walking a path towards being perfect has two main downsides.

The high bar ignores many accomplishments

overcome perfectionism

Perfection is a ridiculously high bar and you would have to go through many obstacles to get there. This can take years and the obstacles include making sacrifices such as your time and energy. Every time you have an accomplishment, you are comparing it to the high bar you have set for yourself. At that point, any success is not as significant and does not bring you as much joy and pride as it should.

The student who strives to be extra excellent often misses out on fully celebrating their good report card. Some perfectionists do not take the chance to jump up and down with joy after graduating with a degree. We ignore these accomplishments because our ‘perfect’ plan is not yet complete. It can be scary to realize there are still years to go for that certificate, degree, license, etc. I mean, does it ever end? If your journey in academics is long, you might as well enjoy it.

Perfection makes you stuck

The other downside is that you might reach perfection and then get stuck in, what I like to call, a snow globe. If you become the perfect employee, you often become stuck in that position because you are perfectly filling the role. You are doing what the boss wants you to do and why would they want to move you from a position that you fill perfectly? It is easier for the powers that be to watch you in your snow globe, performing a set of tasks consistently. They will put the globe up on the shelf and that is where you will sit, likely beginning to collect dust.

When you reach perfection, you prevent yourself from becoming the most creative version of yourself. We can only become more creative by brainstorming, taking risks, and failing. The word ‘fail’ is making all perfectionists cover their ears and close their eyes because it sounds like nails on a chalkboard. I beg you to please hear me out. Everyone fails and failing helps us learn how to do something better than the last time.

Every time we look at something from a different angle, try a new approach, and fail, we learn something about ourselves. What we learn then helps us grow. People who are entrepreneurs, trailblazers, and super creative take risks and have failed. Although these people can reach great success in their career and relationships, they still are not perfect.

Be more creative

how to overcome perfectionism be creative

So how do you slip out from underneath the heavy pressure of perfectionism? Allow yourself to create, even if you need to push yourself to do so! Write down your hopes, interests, and dreams to help you contribute something unique to the world. Design a new system, invent a new product, compose a song, or write an article about what you know to be true.

If it is hard to create out of thin air, focus on something that you already like and change it. Add your flair to the dress, mix beats in the song, or deconstruct the model to reassemble it into something new. You might like what you created or you might hate it. Either way, you took a risk and absolutely learned something. Some lessons are small, tiny even, but they all add up to making big changes in our life. These changes make you a more unique person and not a perfect one.

Perfection can seem great, but remember that there are downsides. Consider ending your path towards perfection in order to grow beyond it. Instead, grow into someone who is more creative.

The post Two Reasons to Stop Striving Towards Perfection and Instead Be More Creative appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Invaluable Tips To Help You Improve Your Self-Confidence

A good number of people go through life having doubts about who they are and what they can achieve. Many fail to believe in themselves, and in the long run, this affects their productivity and achievement.

One constant attribute of highly successful people is great self-confidence, and this article is going to give you simple tips on how to improve your self-confidence so you’ll become more successful and productive in what you do.

Understand your strengths

The first and most important thing to do if you want to grow your self confidence is to understand what you are good at. It may be a piece of cake for some, but for others it may be a great deal to figure that out.

I once asked someone what he was good and he told me he couldn’t think of anything. That made me realize it could be really hard for some people to find out what exactly they are good at. But, as hard as it may be for many, it’s still a very simple thing to do if you relax and take your time to do it.

You are a unique individual. The question is not whether you can fly a chopper, or read complex coordinates. The thing is; what is it you do effortlessly? Single it out! Those around you can also help you figure it out. It can even be things like the ability to make people laugh, or the ability to offer good counsel.

The reason we are not talking about the areas you are not good at is because focusing on them will be anti-productive. But, knowing the thing(s) you are good at gets you started in the self-confidence journey.

You know you’re important. You realize there is something you have, something you can contribute to your world, and something you can change.

When you get hold of what you are great at, it gives you a sense of identity and improves the way you feel about yourself and what you do.

Take your time; take yourself out. Ask yourself the things you have a flair for. Put down areas you’re passionate about, and areas friends have pointed out you do greatly. Those will help you decide about your strengths.

Accept yourself: Stop unnecessary comparison

self acceptance

Every person with great self-confidence has mastered the art of accepting themselves. After knowing who you are, and understanding your strengths, the next and most reasonable response is to accept who and what you are.

“I am a jazz singer,”, “I am a fiction writer,”, “I thrive at counseling people,”, “I am a stand-up comedian,”, “I am a serious-minded thinker,”, “I am an academic nerd.” These are just a few of those things people realize about themselves.

Many realize these things, but some never accept who they are. They are attracted to who they are not and want to be jacks of many trades. People who always think there is something better about what someone else is, often look down on themselves and, as a result, lose confidence in themselves.

Self-acceptance is indispensable in the school of self-confidence. It doesn’t mean to stop making progress at what you do. But it means to accept who you primarily are and allow it to create your mental, then physical identity.

Stay on your strengths

Your strengths are those areas you are expert at. They are those things you’re talented at, or have a flair for.

Focus on them. Invest in them! Become a pro in those areas. Let them define who you are. This way you become a pro at what you do and gain others’ respect.

When you become a pro at what you do, you naturally have a sense of responsibility and importance that adds a long chip to your self-confidence.

Take on new, tougher assignments

improve your self confidence

Sometimes, you need to prove yourself and achieve new things as a way of building your confidence. Go for new things. Try to reach new milestones that people think are difficult or impossible.

Stand up from where you’ve been, reach for something higher. Aim to break a record – to push beyond your limits. It will require a lot of sacrifice and commitment, but it will yield a fantastic result, building your confidence.

You can prepare to break a sports record, an academic record, or a health record. It may be finishing your first book as a writer or making your professional career debut.

New achievements create a level of fulfillment. When you are fulfilled on the inside, it makes you feel great about yourself and trust yourself. By doing so, you improve your self-confidence admirably.

Don’t bite yourself; know that you’re in a process

A lesson everyone should learn is that of not staying on and taking their mistakes too personally. It’s easier for many people to forgive others than to forgive themselves.

You are in a process, whatever you do. It’s okay to make mistakes, and everyone should make room for mistakes in their lives. That you realized you made a mistake means you are a smart person. Instead of staying where you fell, the wisest thing to do is stand up, dust the mistake off your mind and body, and head towards greatness.

For most people in the prime of their career, their greatest confidence sapper is their mistakes. The right mental attitude that should follow a mistake is, “I accept I’ve made this mistake; it’s just a blip in my career, I’m going to figure out how to make amends and perform better, and I move on, and refuse to stay my mind on my mistake.”

One must never allow a mistake to define them. Every great person you can think about once made a mistake somewhere along their career. What defined them was not their mistake, but the attitude they put on after such a mistake. A winner forges ahead, but a loser stays where he fell, and I’d rather you be a winner.

The post 5 Invaluable Tips To Help You Improve Your Self-Confidence appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Tips To Take Actions On If You Want To Leave A Legacy

At some point in our lives, we start thinking of how we’re living it so far; whether there are certain matters that require more of our attention and efforts. We begin reflecting on whether we’ve done our best to live a life we can be proud of – the kind of life that leaves a great legacy.

Most people don’t see resolutions as something that could change their lives, probably because they fade out quickly. They also happen to be short-term goals. In most cases of resolutions, you tend to fall by the wayside and go back to previous habits and enjoyable patterns.

Rather than thinking about resolutions, you should think about your legacy. It is the life you can look back with pride, something you would love to leave behind. How can this be accomplished? First, we get inspired. We all have a few personal role models, those with larger than life charm that have made a positive impact on our lives. We tend to get inspiration from those people whose journey we admire and respect. Then comes the work.

This article offers 5 tips you can take action on if you want to leave a great legacy behind.

Assess Yourself

tips on how to leave a legacy

Take quick thoughts about your past and pinpoint specific ways you intend to leave a legacy. Imagine what those who know you best would write about you once you’re gone. If you have got these things in mind, it will give you reasons to see what’s holding you back from being what you really what to be.

You Should Think Bigger

We didn’t just come to this life to eat, sleep, work, and die. We are all destined to be great. We were created with special talents to do something different and leave it better than it was found. The act of thinking beyond extraordinary is a key tip to leaving a legacy. You shouldn’t just think about what you can get for yourself, rather think of what you can come up with and belong to as well.

You Should Be Dedicated

You should be ready to think outside your comfort zone. In most cases, people never get past thinking concerning something. All they do is think rather than doing. Don’t just leave your ideas in your diaries, your thoughts; you should move your ideas into attested actions. However, you shouldn’t over-dedicate yourself to something, instead go for something small and go with it.

I’d advise you on taking relevant ideas which you’re enthusiastic about and make further findings on how you can get involved. Make sure you choose the action which you can take in-person and focus on the action that is kind of bigger outside of oneself.

You Should Have A Personal Role Model

leaving a legacy

It is very advisable that whenever you got the hang of things, you must relate and share your knowledge with someone else. Having a personal role model is quite important. They are people you can always rely on whenever you need help one way or the other. They should inspire you positively. A role model isn’t about making someone like you or creating someone in your image. Rather, a role model should be someone who allows other people to become the best versions of themselves.

You Should Be Consistent

At a point, our passions might change, which is fine. You should evolve yourself and try new things. You should not be scared to start something new, remain consistent until you reach your goals. Look for ways you can evolve yourself and even push your barriers.

The post 5 Tips To Take Actions On If You Want To Leave A Legacy appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Ways To Increase Your Value In The Post-Pandemic Marketplace

Why you should increase your value

You need a competitive edge more than ever in today’s uncertain and overcrowded marketplace.

With the global economy inching towards a recession, organisations are laying off staff faster than you can say the word ‘sack.’ For example, in the UK, there were 600,000 fewer employees on payroll and 342,000 fewer jobs in May than in March. Freelancers are also feeling the pinch as contracts are being cancelled, payments delayed, or even withdrawn.

And the question on most people’s minds is: How do I survive in this economy?

In my 15+ years of experience as an employee and freelancer, I’ve found the key answer:

Create a demand for yourself.

This means that one of the most useful investments you can make is increasing your value to the marketplace.

Albert Einstein once said, “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” I’ve found out that success is a natural result of investing in and promoting your value.

Have you been applying for jobs without success? Are you eluded by promotion at work? Think about it for a second: you’re losing out to people who provide more value or are perceived as being more valuable by the organisation.

You earn money based on your value to the marketplace. And if you learn the habit of constantly investing in the value you bring to the marketplace, you’ll thrive in and out of season.

So here are five tips on how to increase your value in the marketplace right now:

Think of yourself as a problem-solver

You’re not paid because of your needs. You’re paid because you can solve an issue a business or customer is facing. The bigger the problems you can solve, the more successful and fulfilled you will become.

This is the thinking behind how I progressed from earning pennies from online surveys to raking in thousands a month as a freelancer.

Why is it important to think this way?

A problem-solver mindset helps you to easily spot opportunities to supply value at work and beyond work.

For example, I received a prestigious endorsement recently from the UK government because of my contributions to IT that have nothing to do with my day job.

Know your strengths and limitations

Extremely effective problem solvers have a powerful awareness of their strengths and weaknesses. We are successful to the degree we know our strengths and weaknesses.

For example, I won’t be caught dead in a role that requires significant time on the phone. Telephone-based roles are my kryptonite. I’d rather be cooped up in one corner with a PC, dead to the rest of the world, and churning out content for days.

I heard of a guy that just resigned from his well-paying job because he wasn’t having enough human contact (insert ‘double-take’ meme). Guess who probably shouldn’t touch remote working jobs with a barge pole in the future?

This shows how some people can chase a paycheck – not their strength and skills – and eventually run themselves down with frustration.

Put into action:

  • Know yourself better. There are various personality tests like the MBTI or Big Five that can help you learn about your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Constantly challenge yourself. How would you know if you don’t try hard?
  • Practice self-awareness.

Keep educating yourself

There’s always a shortage of talents with the skills organisations need. Someone once said: “The problem often isn’t a lack of employment; the problem is unemployable people.”

Do you know that only the top 2% of applicants are selected for interviews?

Get in the habit of always asking yourself: What skills do I need now to solve relevant issues in my career? When you solve relevant issues, you stay relevant.

For example, due to the pandemic, many organisations are making a lot of operational changes to survive. Change is usually a messy process and change management is a super-hot skill in demand right now. I have friends whose employers are currently fighting to keep because they used this tip.

Put into action:

  • Learn new skills. Certified skills from recognised course providers put you on the radar of potential recruiters.
  • Build expertise.
  • Stay up to date on trends in your industry.

Be super clear about what you bring to the table

increasing your value in the marketplace

Recruiters receive thousands of CVs each day. They often can’t spare more than a passing glance for some CVs. The questions that should always be at the fore of your mind are:

How do I distinguish myself above the noise in the marketplace? How can I be clear about the value I offer?

Clarity shows a candidate’s sense of confidence and ability to potential employers.

Put into action:

  • Format your CV to be clear and concise. A good CV writing service can help.
  • Ensure your CV, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile are updated with the same info.
  • Tailor your CV specifically to the roles you’re applying for.
  • Use an Applicant Tracking System to check how your CV measures up to a job description.
  • Ensure the job title on your CV matches the job title on the job you’re applying for.

Work with mentors

I can’t stress how important it is to have a mentor! A mentor is a person that supports your growth and development with practical wisdom, over an extended period. For example, I once had two job offers and my favourite offer paid more, was more in line with my career but required quite some travel. After discussing this with my mentor, I realised I would have to go with the less palatable option. But it’s a decision I’ve never regretted.

Put into action:

  • Look for mentors at your workplace.
  • Look for mentors online (social media, LinkedIn, etc).

I’m pretty sure some of you may know – and are already applying – some of these tips. Others might just be learning about them today. In either case, if you’re not experiencing the level of success you wish to, assess yourself by these tips and see how you measure up.

The post 5 Ways To Increase Your Value In The Post-Pandemic Marketplace appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Here’s How You Can Successfully Change To A Work-From-Home Career

Most companies have transitioned to remote work because of the pandemic. Employees embraced this move. However, the excitement was short-lived because working from home may seem fun, but it is not as simple as most people thought it would be.

Truth be told, working from home is challenging. It’s difficult to be productive when the television is staring at you, snacks are within reach, and family members are consistently hovering around your work station. You need more than willpower to reach your daily goals.

So, how do you transition smoothly into remote work and ensure maximum productivity? Well, that’s the mystery I would love to unravel in seven steps.

Step 1: Choose Your Work Space

home office ready

When you are working from home, you may be tempted to curl up and work from your favorite couch. Other times working from your bed may seem like the lifetime opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Trust me, these places are cozy and will give you the comfort you crave, but they are not ideal for office work.

It is important to create a designated working space, which isn’t the kitchen table or dining area. If you have a secluded corner in your living room or an extra room, you can set up your home office. Invest in a comfortable chair and a table. Imitating an office setup helps you rise to the occasion.

Make the space as comfortable and welcoming as possible. You want an environment you can warm up and enjoy. A comfortable space boosts your mood and enhances your productivity.

Step 2: Establish an Exercise Routine

When you are working in the office, your morning routine prepares your body and brain for work. While working from home, the schedule is different. You don’t have the privilege to do a simple exercise like walking to your car. In fact, you can end up indoors the whole day.

Thus, it is important to workout every morning before work to clear your mind and reinvigorate your body. You can go for a jog, skip rope, or find a workout routine on YouTube. Online CPT can be a sound option if you want to take your training to the next level.

Exercise fires up your energy, improves your mood, and keeps you motivated. It helps with physical and mental health. It’s a perfect way to start your day.

Step 3: Dress the Part

What makes working from home enticing is the fact you can wear absolutely anything. Right? I don’t think so. That’s the fantasy we all have when we hear working from home. However, to be productive, you need to dress up for your job just like you would when going to the office.

Dressing up prepares you for work. It changes your attitude and supercharges you for the tasks ahead. Looking professional while at home sends a message to everyone that it’s time for business. Do not distract.

Step 4: Stick to Office Working Hours

Given the distraction you may experience while working from home, it is important to have a specific start time and finish time. Your working hours should correspond to the office working hours. Create a work schedule that outlines your daily tasks. Stick to this daily routine to avoid procrastination and forgetting some tasks.

Plan all the tasks beforehand, such that you know exactly what to do when you sit on your desk. Focus on tackling demanding work when you are most productive. Relegate returning your calls and responding to emails to the afternoon.

Ensure you incorporate breaks in between work to relax your muscles and re-energize. It is also important to have a specific time to eat as you may get too absorbed into work and miss meals.

Step 5: Minimize Distraction

work from home distractions

This is the greatest challenge when working from home. The key is knowing what distracts you the most and coming up with measures to minimize it.

Social media is the main culprit. Disable your social media accounts when you are working. Make sure your phone is off or on silent. Otherwise, you’ll have unnecessary social breaks that reduce your concentration and, ultimately, your productivity.

Your pets, kids, and the TV can hinder you from reaching your daily goals. A separate room with a door can help you work with minimal disturbance.

Another culprit is the fridge. Have regular eating hours to avoid the random bites every time you step out of your office to freshen up.

Step 6: Commit to Specific Goals

Now, having a schedule is one thing, but committing to accomplish your goals is another. Unlike working in the office, where your supervisor may monitor your work, here you are your own boss; though your manager might check on you occasionally.

Some tasks may take longer than expected, but you must strive to have a concrete list of accomplished tasks at the end of the day. So, overestimate the duration it takes to accomplish your tasks.

Create your reminders and events in google calendar or your preferred app. This way, you’ll get notifications when it’s time to tackle the next task.

Step 7: Leverage Technology

Working from home can make you feel like you are separated from your team. The simplest way to break this physical barrier is by using technology. When working on team projects, Google Docs makes it easier for each team member to edit and comment on documents.

You can manage and prioritize your tasks using project management applications such as Trello. Have team discussions on Slack, where you can give instant feedback. Modern technology has made it easier to conduct office meetings and to connect with colleagues in real-time.

Bonus Tip

Transition to working from home needs commitment and motivation. You can easily adjust to the home atmosphere when you have a strategy in place. Your productivity shouldn’t change because you are working in the house. The comfort of being close to your family should push you to reach your potential. Remember to take care of yourself to maintain your productivity continuously. Lastly, take time to go out and interact with other people.

The post Here’s How You Can Successfully Change To A Work-From-Home Career appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Self-Development Tips for Every Entrepreneur

Anyone can start a business, but not everyone can succeed with it. That’s a fact that every aspiring entrepreneur should understand when planning to open and start their own company.

In fact, thousands of people have opened a business only to find it failing at the end. The truth is, success isn’t a sure-fire thing in business. You, as an entrepreneur, should be prepared to face some changes along the way and learn how to adapt to them.

When you run a business, you’re required to develop personality traits that will help you stay resilient through tough times. As you go through self-development, you’ll learn to become a better entrepreneur. The more you grow, the better your decisions will be and the higher your chances are of succeeding in your industry.

With that said, here are some self-development tips all entrepreneurs can use to ensure the success of their business:

Read Books

self development tips for entrepreneur

Books are the hub for learning – whether in school or real life. They exercise your mind which improves your focus, concentration, creativity, and expands your vocabulary. These attributes are important when running a business since you’ll be constantly speaking with and dealing with different people. Your creativity will also help you in creating solutions to problems, as well as increase your business’ profitability.

According to Rockefeller Habits, entrepreneurs should read at least 24 books in a year. Half of them should be business-related that deal with topics such as marketing strategies, finances, or anything related to a particular skill in an industry. The remaining 12 should focus more on personal development. This includes topics related to culture, politics, or anything along those lines.

Take a Break

Did you know that 50% of most business owners don’t take time off work, at all? Many may not even realize it, but even the most successful business owners need a vacation. Most entrepreneurs are too hesitant to take one because they fear their business would fall idle without them. This can lead to burning out or worse, you might lose your passion and give up on your business dreams, entirely.

Once your workday is at an end, step away from business emails or calls, unless it’s extremely urgent. Push pause, and try to forget about the stresses of running a business. As you may have heard, great ideas come from when you’re relaxed and doing nothing at all. Be sure to take a break sometimes. You’ll be surprised at how relaxing and renewing you will become.

Determine Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Entrepreneurs have their strengths and weaknesses. Many of them, however unintentionally, make the mistake of improving their weaknesses. With the number of resources available today, you can easily hire an employee and delegate tasks that you’re not an expert in, and begin to focus on doing the things you excel in.

For instance, if you’re not good at accounting, you can hire someone on a retainer basis to do your company’s numbers for you. This way, you won’t be left with the burden of doing something you’re not good at. Besides, it’s also not advisable to stretch yourself by trying to do everything yourself.

Learn or Improve a Skill

self development tips

Learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from college. It goes on forever. This is especially true when it comes to running a business. Many business owners make it a top priority to brush up their skills or learn new ones relevant to their industry. Many find it helpful to enroll in courses relating to marketing, finance, or other areas of study that are relevant to their business.

If you don’t have the time to attend physical classes, you can always sign up for online classes. Many schools offer online classes that are specifically designed for people with day jobs or busy entrepreneurs.

Lead but Learn to Listen to Your People

When you run a business, you automatically become a leader. However, acting like a boss all the time will affect your relationship with your people. Sometimes, you also have to step down, listen, and learn from your employees. In doing so, there will be times when you get a measure of insight into how you’re doing as a leader. Even if you receive criticism, take it and learn from it while using it to create a better version of yourself.

Have a List of Things You Need to Improve On

Believe it or not, there’s an endless list of things you can do to develop yourself as an entrepreneur. You have to work on yourself continuously if you want to count yourself among the best in your industry.

If you discover something you need to improve, put it on your list and start working on the solution. Do it one by one, step by step so you won’t lose track of your goal.

Be a Better Entrepreneur and Lead Your Business to Success

Improving and developing certain characters is critical to the success of your business, regardless of the industry you’re in. If you are not constantly striving towards becoming a superior entrepreneur, you’ll miss out on many new business opportunities.

The self-development tips you have discovered in this article will help you develop your relationship with customers, suppliers, and even financing institutions, if and when you’re looking for extra financing.

Always remember, taking action is what will bring your business to success. Knowing what to improve will not ensure success. You need to actually take action and devote yourself to incorporating these improvements within yourself.

The post Self-Development Tips for Every Entrepreneur appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Beat The Competition: Self Discipline For Business Success

How would you describe the business landscape in today’s time?

Would you describe it as competitive? Ruthless? Cutthroat, aggressive, or maybe a dog-eat-dog world? Well, all of the above are accurate discussions of how the business world truly is. Indeed a world full of ambition, it is still a world where simple hard work won’t be enough to guarantee success.

Once it was easy to prosper with your business ventures, simply some common sense, a good balance between spending and saving, and the thirst for success. Today it is not that easy. Just like you, there are a hundred thousand young minds out there, with their own ideas and a thirst for success. And competing with all of them is not going to be easy.

Why So Competitive? A Quick Analysis Of The Business World Competition

According to statistics — only 40% of new businesses become profitable after a certain point. And if you are thinking that you can easily make it into that 40% club, then you’re not only ambitious but also a tad bit arrogant.

The truth is that everyone out there is thinking the same. But after a certain point, they are all going to be losing money. No matter how client-specific services you have, or how much of a good businessman you are, it is going to be very hard for you to beat the business world competition.

This increasing competition can be the result of the increase in internet usage and the rise of smart device users. People today have a bigger pool of resources they can dive into and find the one solution that works for them. They are willing to conduct hours of research just to find the perfect match of a solution for them. This can be problematic for your business.

One of the main reasons why businesses might fail can be the lack of self-discipline among business owners. And no, when we say self-discipline, we don’t mean military-style discipline that requires you to wake up at 6 am every morning. We mean the kind of discipline that drives positive growth and success, and sadly enough, in this “live fast die young” world, businessmen are lacking in it.

The rise of big corporations resulted in a very limited amount of space in the market for startups. If you want to take that space for yourself, then you have to find some kind of strength and self-discipline in yourself. And if you are still wondering what kind of self-discipline I’m talking about, you should check out the list below!

Self Discipline: The Key To Business Success

The growth of your business depends on your personal self as much as it does on the market. Having no sense of discipline in individual life can lead to an ultimate business disaster. So, what kind of personal discipline do you need to make it into the world of business?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn and go for a run. The kind of personal discipline we are talking about sustains personal growth and positivity. With this, you’ll feel the positive effects of the business in your personal life as well. Here are a few personal disciplines that are going to help you on your way to business success despite the cutthroat competition.

Think Outside The Box

self discipline

The first thought in everyone’s mind when starting a corporation is what the majority is doing.

We look at our contenders, how they are solving the client problems, and try to imitate them, but only in a better way. But THIS is not the secret to success.

We have discussed how clients today have a larger pool of resources to pick their solution provider from. During this research period, they would basically compare you along with all the other competitors out there and decide whether investing in your solution is going to be worth it. In order to be successful, you have to break this chain of comparison.

To be unique is one of the most common thoughts today, and yet it is incredibly useful. To be truly successful, not only do you need to think outside the box, but you also have to reinvent the box completely. The key here is to come up with a solution that makes all the other available solutions in the market completely obsolete. When you do THAT, you’ll know that you have started on the path of business success.

Be Patient — Things Take Time

In this world of instant gratification, patience is truly a virtue, especially when you are looking to succeed in the business world.

Let’s try to understand this with an example — both Joe and Dan started a software development company around the same time. After a while, they both made the same investment decisions to increase the annual revenue amount. The investment decision, however, was not effective immediately. While Joe lost his patience and scratched the investment idea fast, because it was not giving him results, Dan stayed patient and stuck with his decision, which ultimately brought him more revenue than he was expecting. In the end, Joe’s business failed, while Dan’s business flourished.

You see the problem with Joe’s decision, right?

The truth is that when controlling a business, you have to be patient with the decisions you take. The world of business is not a food delivery app where your results will be ready after 30 minutes of making decisions. Good business decisions take their time to come to fruition. And that’s why if you’re a business owner, and feel impatient when a business decision is not working out, you have to give it time. After all, all good things come to those who wait!

Plan, Plan, Plan, And Then Plan Some More

Whether you are spontaneous or a planner in your personal life, it doesn’t matter. When it comes to your business, you need to make sure that you know the value of planning ahead of time.

Sure, all the variables that affect the success of your business can not be controlled. But having a plan for all of these variables and their fluctuations can prove to be more than useful.

Let’s think of the present situation, shall we? The global pandemic situation has definitely affected the entire world and businesses around it. Now there are some businesses that planned ahead and already had a remote work from home policy in place. As soon as the self-isolation/quarantine measures started in effect, these companies executed their plan. And now they are working smoothly from home, without any hitches and slowdown in their productivity levels.

Now, what happened to the companies and businesses that didn’t have any plans in place? Well, they had to scramble around and try to make sense of the situation before making a plan, which means delayed action.

Having a plan in place helps you to make the right decision at the right time, which means there won’t be any kind of slowdown in your business growth. Planning and executing the plan at the right time will help you to prepare for anything.

Be The Master Of Your Own Thoughts

We all have around 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts every day. All these thoughts in our head can seriously impact the success of the business venture.

For this reason, controlling the thoughts in our mind is more important than we think it is. Being able to capture all the thoughts and ideas and turning them into action is important to achieve success in the competitive market.

Controlling and channeling the thoughts in our mind is one of the most important self-discipline we can use to achieve business success. Without it, we won’t be able to conduct any kind of business decision with the much-needed clarity.

Leave Some Room To Breathe

Calling oneself a workaholic may seem trendy, but in reality, being a workaholic is actually more harmful to you and your business than you think.

Working for hours might seem like the best way of beating the competitive market. But at the end of the day, it affects both individual and business life. Too much work stresses us and makes us question if all this is worth it.

Not to mention, the long work hours will affect your personal life as well, which in turn will affect your business. So, do yourself a favor and leave yourself some room to take a break.

See Also: 5 Effective Tips To Maintain A Healthy Work-Life Balance

Stay Healthy For Success

self discipline is success

We have all grown up hearing the phrase “health is wealth”. As children, it sounded silly, but as adults and business owners, this phrase seems too real.

Being healthy is definitely key to success. If you are sick and bedridden for days because you did not take care of your body, then you will be nowhere near being successful. Hence, fostering good and healthy habits, along with a positive mindset is crucial for your business success.

The tough competition of the business world demands business owners to be at the prime of their health. They have to keep up with healthy and happy habits that lead to better success for your business venture.

See Also: The 11 Most Important Rules For Healthy Eating

Believe In Self Sufficiency

For a business to be really successful, you have to ensure that it is self-sufficient.

It is important for the organizations to have the right kind of investments, that is true, but the more outside investment you have, the less of control you have on your business. That’s why today’s startup methodologies such as Lean startup and Bootstrapping are becoming popular. With these methodologies, startup owners can start with as small an amount of investment as needed, and then eventually grow their companies from the revenue earned.

These methods are not spoofs, but the real deal. Developing a self-sufficient business that does not need any other investment to run itself is the key to beating the competitive market. If you’re still skeptical, then read up on the benefits of bootstrapping your organization.

So What’s The Last Thought?

The matter of self-discipline has always been portrayed as something we HAVE to practice, not something we need to in order to succeed. However, with a little bit of personal and professional discipline and, along with positive and practical thinking, we have better chances of really succeeding in the competitive market landscape!

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9 Essential Tips to Become a Successful Student Entrepreneur

We all want success in life. Some want academic success while others may want success in their business ventures or marriage life. But in general, we can say that all of us desire to be successful in whatever endeavor we are putting our time and efforts into.

For so many years, we have been taught that success requires a lot of hard work but you might be surprised to know that most of the successful entrepreneurs nowadays like Vishen Lakhiani, the founder and CEO of Mindvalley, calls it a huge lie.

Lakhiani, together with other phenomenal individuals like Jim Kwik, Jay Shetty, Marisa Peer and Emily Fletcher, to name a few, are constantly shaping our society in a more positive way by teaching people to awaken their consciousness. This then allows us to be able to unleash the fullest potential of our mind, body, and spirit.

The story of success of the power couple Jon and Missy Butcher may even inspire you to be successful in your marriage life, career, and in life in general.

Becoming a successful student entrepreneur

The first lesson of success that Bill Gates, CEO and founder of Microsoft taught us is to “start as early as possible”. He was only 13 years old when he started working with computers. He taught us that starting a business venture at an early stage in life helps us become molded to it.

Not only that starting early with your business venture gives you the opportunity to become successful sooner than most people of your age, but it also lessens your chances of giving up since younger generations tend to be more enthusiastic and driven towards achieving their goals than most adults.

Education may be the cure to ignorance but certainly, achieving a degree cannot guarantee your wish of financial freedom to be fulfilled. Most of us daydream about having a beautiful house of our own, a car, a business, and a luxurious lifestyle. We are silently praying for the day to come that we, too, can savor the extravagant lifestyles of the business tycoons we are looking up to. But have we asked ourselves, “Are we putting in the efforts to make our dreams come true?”

Getting inspirations from success stories of student entrepreneurs

Coming on top of our list is Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Founder and CEO. He was only a college student when he and his friend/roommate Dustin Moscovitz created Facebook, which has since instantly stormed the internet with the surge of users from all over the world.

Another inspiring story of a successful student entrepreneur is Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian. They are the founders of Reddit — the leading digital bulletin board platform for entertainment and news sharing. Though they have faced several rejections before getting their big break, still, they were able to pull it through. In 2006, Reddit was bought by Condé Nast for about $20 million.

There are so many other inspiring stories out there that can motivate you and give you enough courage to put up your own business and be a successful student entrepreneur, too.

Let your passion burn. Believe in yourself. This article will guide you through your future success. Read on to learn more about the nine essential tips to become a successful student entrepreneur.

Identifying what to prioritize

The first step in your journey to a successful path in business is brainstorming ideas about possible business opportunities. Make a list of the different business ideas you have, then rank them based on the importance of each idea to you. In choosing the best business idea from your list, make sure to choose what your heart really desires. It’ll be easier for you to work on your business if your passion aligns with it.

Once you have decided which business idea you want to venture into, you would also need to learn how to find a balance between your business and your studies.

Choose the course that will compliment your business idea

It would be a huge help for your business if you have enough knowledge about the in and out of it. It would be even better if you can start learning more about your business by choosing the course that complements it. For instance, you want to venture into a computer-related business, you might want to take computer programming or any computer-related courses.

We all know that having a firm foundation or having learned the basic knowledge about your business is very important, which is why you need to carefully choose your course.

Be resourceful

A true entrepreneur is someone who can make use of whatever resources that are available in his/her immediate environment. Part of your tuition fee as a college student includes copy and printing services, access to WiFi and other online resources, use of library materials, and other resources. You can utilize these resources to start and even escalate your business.

It is quite understandable that you may not have enough money to be used as capital for your own business, which is why it is essential that you learn how to be resourceful and use these indispensable tools at your advantage while they’re still free!

Build up your connections

be a student entrepreneur

The success of your business often depends on the quality of the connections you build with people. Doing business does not only evolve with you having a good connection with your customers, but you also have to build rapport with your business partners and other people. As a student entrepreneur, your first customers are your classmates, teachers, and friends. You can make them buy your products or try your services if you have a good relationship with them.

Be inquisitive

A businessman knows how to ask the right questions to help him know what is good and what is bad for his business. It is also the most effective way to gather brilliant ideas on how you can make your business even better. A wise businessman also knows how to accept suggestions and ideas from other people.

Look for some funding options

College offers various scholarships and financial assistance. You can apply for loans, federal grants, scholarships, and fellowships. You can also look for specific funding options for student entrepreneurs from government livelihood programs. This will not only help you put up your business but also helps you establish connections to prospective investors and business partners. You can even take advantage of reaching out to a large and unique school community in which you can promote your products or the services you offer. This might even give you an opportunity to create a crowdsourcing event on your school campus.

Organize your schedule

to be a student entrepreneur

This is to reinforce the first item on this list. Once you know what to prioritize, creating a schedule that works for you will be a lot easier. In organizing your schedule, you must always remember to find a balance between your studies and managing your business. You can create a simple to-do list to help you achieve your goals more efficiently. Being systematic and organized can help you stay more focused and maximize your ability to manage your time and resources in both your studies and business.

Know your limitations and boundaries

It’s easy to say “yes” but oftentimes, saying “no” is better than making promises to your customers and not being able to satisfy it or deliver it on time. Remember that the art of satisfying your customers is promising them less but delivering more. It is also important that you are honest with your customers at all times because that’s what will make your business grow with integrity.

Learn from the experts

One of the best ways to expand your knowledge about your business is to learn from successful business entrepreneurs. Your teachers can also mentor you in some aspects of your business. It will also be helpful if you can get a chance to attend business expo and conferences where you can either endorse yourself or get endorsed by your mentor to prospect, investors, customers, or business partners.

Becoming a successful student entrepreneur is not as hard as you may think. Our current educational system even encourages and supports high school student entrepreneurs to develop their entrepreneurial skills at a very young age.

See Also: Entrepreneurship: A Better Career Choice For Generation Z?

Commissions on higher education even give away plaque of recognition and financial grants to best entrepreneur ideas for college students, which you can basically take advantage of. If you need help in writing a comprehensive business plan, you can ask help from professional writers from online essay writing services.

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5 Keys For Being Successful In A Long Distance Relationship

All relationships have their challenges. But when you are in a long-distance relationship, the challenges you face are very unique and sometimes difficult to overcome. Difficult but not impossible, nonetheless.

Most people wouldn’t choose to be in a long-distance relationship. But sometimes circumstances can’t be helped and, if you don’t want to end things, that’s the reality. So, although absence can make the heart grow fonder, it can also mean that you’ll need to establish a few ground rules and learn some new routines in order to be successful.

Coming To Terms With The Distance

maintain a long distance relationship

One of the hardest parts of living with a long-distance relationship is the psychological aspect. Yes, there are many new behaviors and practices that you need to consider, but before you can do that you need to be mentally and emotionally ready to make them work.

Being successful with the new dynamic of your relationship means accepting that the distance is real, and things will be different. It’s easy to live in denial and pretend that nothing will change, but the truth is that they will. Both you and your partner will need to be realistic and open about this. If you’re not, you will set yourselves up for disappointment. There will be a disconnect between the two of you, and likely failure.

So, how do you do this?

The short and sweet answer is to talk about it. Be honest with each other about your concerns and fears regarding the challenges and time frames associated. Maybe it’s a work assignment with predefined times, or perhaps it’s a permanent move for one of you.

Whatever the reason, discussing ahead of time the expectations for how long you’ll be apart is important for establishing the right psychological approach to your situation.

The same can be said for discussing your fears about the new dynamic in your relationship. No matter how strong your relationship is, you should each have questions and doubts about the impact it will have and how you will make it successful. It’s not a sign of weakness to admit that.

In fact, not asking can potentially create a situation where those fears will come true. But by discussing them you add the strength of your partner to your own strength as you work together to make sure things stay healthy and strong between you.

Be careful not to be too naïve or overly confident. Underestimating the impact is an easy and tempting thing to do. Being optimistic is great, but you have to be realistic and honest about the potential negatives as well.

Once you and your partner have committed to making things work, you then need to make a plan for how that will happen.

Best Practices For A Strong Long-Distance Relationship

There’s no surefire formula for making a long-distance relationship work. Each circumstance will be a bit different and each couple will have to adjust as necessary. The one certainty for every couple in this situation is the uncertainty that it will cause on a regular basis for each of you. With that said, there are some best practices that can help make the success more likely.

Agree on a goal

A permanently long-distance relationship isn’t realistic for most. While there’s always exceptions, physical proximity eventually becomes a crucial factor for a happy and healthy relationship. The time you plan to be apart may be long, short, or subject to change, but along with that understanding you need to agree upon a goal for your relationship in general.

Are you married? Do you want to get married? Do you want to eventually live in a specific area together? Are you working toward saving a certain amount of money to get to the next step? Leaving things too open-ended can lead to a lack of commitment.

Make talk dates

You may need to be flexible with this as life has a way of altering schedules, but making phone dates or FaceTime dates can give you each something to look forward to and help keep you connected.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but because you each have a life and your normal daily activities can take over, it can become easier and easier to allow these things to slip. So, treat them like a regular “date” and make a plan to “get together” on a set schedule.

Pre-plan visits

long distance relationship

This can be harder for some than for others, but try to plan ahead for visits. This may mean going to each other, or it may mean meeting in the middle, but seeing each other is an important way to keep things strong.

Word to the wise – surprise visits should be thoughtfully considered before initiated. Because of hectic schedules or set plans that can be hard to alter at a moment’s notice sometimes, a supposedly fun, surprise visit can actually backfire by causing stress and difficulty despite the good intention.

Keep things romantic

Physical romance and intimacy can be exponentially more difficult when you’re apart, but you should still make an effort. Send little mementos, romantic texts, and make sure you are open about your feelings of love and desire. And, when it’s appropriate, there are ways to create intimacy using technology. Just be smart and avoid taking pictures or doing things that leave a permanent digital record and could be harmful down the road.

See Also: 12 Tips on How to Celebrate Anniversary in a Long Distance Relationship

Trust, trust, trust

This can be especially difficult. When you’re apart it can be easy to let your imagination get the best of you and feel convinced that your partner is betraying you. This, unfortunately, is one of the biggest killers of a successful long-distance relationship. But there is a big difference between checking-in and checking-up on your partner. So, accusing them of anything without proof can put a quick end to things.

Today, more than ever, the world feels both smaller and more accessible. This means that at any point the possibility that you or your partner may have an opportunity beyond your current geography always exists. It can seem scary to consider a long-distance relationship, but people do it successfully every day. If you find yourself in this situation, you can, too, if you’re smart about it.

The post 5 Keys For Being Successful In A Long Distance Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How AI Makes You A Better Photographer

Once upon a time you needed to carry camera equipment around with you if you wanted to be able to document anything throughout your day. At first, cameras were reserved for still, seated photos only, but over time camera technology improved so that cameras were easily portable.

By the 1990s and early 2000s, cameras didn’t even require film and there was no developing of pictures as everything had turned digital. As digital camera technology improved, digital cameras began to be added to cell phones, and eventually smartphone photography became commonplace.

This gave rise to all kinds of apps like Instagram, which is basically a diary of photos online. Cameras on smartphones have become highly sophisticated pieces of equipment, and part of the reason we’ve all turned into such great photographers is the technology inside those cameras.

How AI Improves Smartphone Photography

Regular cameras have automatic features that still motion and adjust aperture for the right shot. In your smartphone, this is all done with artificial intelligence, which allows a tiny camera to be packed with powerful features. The AI in your smartphone camera can detect faces, blur the background, adjust lighting, and more. Different effects create different outcomes, but in many high tech cameras the AI will take the best features from multiple shots and combine them into one perfect photo.

The artificial intelligence in your smartphone camera works by mimicking human sight, filtering out the excess information that your brain would and creating one unified image. It makes split second decisions about all the variables in your view in order to produce the best possible results.

In addition to perfect photos every time, the AI in your smartphone camera can also add fun and interesting effects to your photos and videos, change out backgrounds, create different effects, and more.

Apps Make Smartphone Cameras Even Better

present ai photography

If you want to achieve different results than your standard camera can produce, there are apps for that. Cymera Camera can help you retouch photos or add stickers for social media. The VSCO app allows you to mimic the effects of old-school films like Agfa, Kodak, and Fuji. Filmic Pro can help edit for focus, exposure, white balance, zoom, and more. Moment Pro allows for professional-grade photo editing on your smartphone.

For editing and enhancing there’s also:

  • Prisma – filters that make your photos look like paintings
  • FaceApp – lets you edit your photos to look younger or older or otherwise change your appearance
  • Adobe Photoshop Camera – swap out the background of your photos and more
  • Doublicat – put your face in a meme
  • Polaroid Lab – print your photos right from your phone onto Polaroid paper

New Hardware Turns Your Phone Into A Professional Camera

You can use your phone to create professional photos and videos for a blog or business, too. There are lots of hardware add-ons that can help you generate high quality photos and videos. If you want to shoot video for a vlog, you’ll need a gimbal. It’s a device that stabilizes your phone. You’ll also need a microphone to improve sound quality. With all the enhancements available it won’t be long before someone starts shooting movies on smartphones.

Light rings and different lenses can also enhance your photography. Light rings are fairly inexpensive and use ultra-efficient LEDs to give your photo a sense of professional lighting. Different lenses can be snapped right on to your phone for different effects. Fish eye lenses can make fun and whimsical photos, while macro and micro lenses can help you achieve specific photographic tasks.

See Also: Pictures and Pennies: How To Make Money From Photography?

Smartphone Photography Becomes Next Level

ai photography today

You can take the cover shot for a magazine with your smartphone, and even journalists are using smartphone photos in reporting on their stories. While there will always be a need for regular cameras, for our daily lives smartphone cameras have more than filled that void. Just think about all the baby pictures you see on social media on a daily basis — it’s easier than ever to document every moment and milestone.

Learn more about the high tech software and hardware that allows you to take stunning pictures with the same device you call your mom on from the infographic below. Where will this amazing technology take our smartphone photography next?

Please include attribution to https://www.ubreakifix.com with this graphic.

Smartphone Cameras: How AI Makes You Look Like a Pro [infographic]

 

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The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Doer

Sometimes, we spend an inordinate amount of time talking about our ideas, dreams, and aspirations. It is easy to content ourselves with simply having lofty ideas and not realizing their sheer abundance.

Anyone who has taken a breath has likely had an idea that could have literally changed the course of his or her life in a revolutionary way. Unfortunately, such ideas rarely get implemented. According to Mark Twain, “the secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

If you are tired of inactivity robbing you of your potential, then here are 15 ways to be a doer.

Dreams and Mental Preparedness

Cultivate Your Dream

achieving goals

What would you attempt to do if you knew that you could not fail?

In so many cases, your answer will account for a mere fraction of your potential. This is important.

In order for one to unlock such potential, he must be able to move past mental barriers. Accordingly, meditate on what winning will feel like for the next 30 days. Saturate your mind with the next level, but don’t stop there. Write the vision. Make it plain. Unlock your dormant dreamer and doer!

We tend to move in the direction of our most dominant thought.

Don’t be contained by limited thinking. Your dreams should inspire you to move beyond your comfort zone and into action. Your dreams should also inspire awe from observers.

Whether your dream is prosperity and wealth, helping thousands of people, fitness or a phenomenal career, cultivate your dream. Remember that the dream is the fuel and your plan is the map!

Relinquish Regret

Regret is usually a waste of time – Thomas Crown.

Languishing in regret and despair over past mistakes is counterproductive. It will just rob you of your joy. The energy expended on regret could be put to much better use, like realizing your dreams.

Everyone makes mistakes or missteps occasionally, but the key is extracting the lessons from mistakes and minimizing or even evading future losses. To err is human, but to forgive is divine.

Forgive yourself today.

See Also: How to Avoid The Regret of Yesterday And The Fear of Tomorrow

Let Go of the Stigma of Failure

Similarly, you should not let the fear of failure stop you from working on your goals. John F. Kennedy said those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.

Dave Ramsey, Robert Kiyosaki, Suze Orman, and many others have tasted what many would characterize as failure, only to later achieve extraordinary success. The key lesson is that there is another act to your life’s play.

In How to Appreciate the Pain of Financial Problems, I discussed how failure can be instructive and how it’s just often temporal. It’s simply a matter of opinion that can unleash your creativity.

Don’t let the stigma of failure stop you from achieving your goals, even if you experience an initial setback. If you made a mistake, you are in great company.

Know Yourself

Knowing yourself is so important to getting the maximum return on your efforts. You are unique and have tremendous value. Sometimes, we begrudge our differences from others rather than embracing them.

For example, when I was in pharmacy school, I discovered how I preferred to learn. Sometimes, it was different from the others in my classes.

However, knowing my learning preferences ended up being a great benefit to me because I began to cater to them. Had I not understood and embraced my individuality, content that I now devoured readily would have continued to take me a long time to understand, analyze or evaluate. It is important that every doer honor his differences and use them to his competitive advantage.

Goals and Planning

Plan to Win

To Type-A personalities, it may seem intuitive that making a plan dramatically increases the odds of achieving. However, so many of us fail to systematically plan our finances, careers, health, and our relationships.

Failure to plan is planning to fail.

What’s your success plan?

Often, what is lacking is a plan of action specifying precisely what we want our lives to look like in the next three years and what 6 steps we will take to achieve our goals. A goal without a plan of implementation is a pipe dream. Decide on a course of action today.

Prioritize

Attempting too much is just as dangerous as not attempting anything. Focus is blinding. By focusing on your priorities, you can block out distractions. Sometimes, that means putting down something that is important for a passion that must happen.

Thomas Edison said that he has more respect for the guy with a single idea who
develops it than the person with 1,000 ideas but does nothing.

We shouldn’t unnecessarily dichotomize everything into “good” or “bad” when it comes to goals. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of “now” versus “later”.

Harness the power of focus to unleash a determination and passion for your dreams that will make you unstoppable.

See Also: Do You Have Too Many Goals? Here’s How to Prioritize Them

Start Small

Don’t despise small beginnings.

How do you eat an elephant?

The answer is one bite at a time. Just because your goal is to lose 40 pounds this year doesn’t mean you are a failure for losing 10 pounds in the first three months.

In fact, even if you only loss five pounds but have improved your cardiovascular conditioning, diet, and muscularity, you have made significant progress.

Don’t be discouraged by the need to tweak your plan to account for life. Instead,
acknowledge your progress and continue moving in the right direction. Remember, people
cannot always be what they are not, but they can become what they are not.

Set a Time Limit on Preparation

I love preparation as much as anyone, but doers often set a limit on preparation time.

The downside with spending too much time preparing is that you may never get started. In Poke the Box, Seth Godin argues that it is easy to fall so in love with starting that we never start. If you truly are progressively moving towards your goals via preparation, go for it.

There are some things (and even certain professions) that require years of preparation before they are achieved. However, make sure that you are not using preparation as an excuse to avoid action.

Setting realistic expectations on how much time should be allotted for laying groundwork is a great way to keep preparation time reasonable.

Admit the Joylessness of Over-reaching

While I love setting audacious goals, I also have to caution you regarding goal-setting fatigue. If you are constantly over-reaching, then you risk burnout.

You can still stretch yourself and have phenomenal goals without being perpetually miserable because your goals are so huge that they require miracles to accomplish.

Don’t allow your motivation to wane because you set yourself up for disappointment. Treat such stretch goals as just that: goals designed to push you out of your comfort zone.

Know that they are a part of your overall success plan, but don’t despair if your plans sometimes take longer or go in a different direction than you initially expected. By pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, you are often still better off than the alternatives, provided that your ambitions don’t rob you from experiencing any contentment in the process.

Relationships

Banish Eeyore

Dream-killers, aka “Eeyores”, are some of the most dangerous people that you know. They function as saboteurs to productivity. Regardless of whether they act with the intent of maliciousness, banish (or limit) such disastrous relationships if you plan to be a significant doer.

People providing constructive criticism are fine, such as those providing advice on being objective with your projections. However, those who primarily hinder your progress due to their limited vision need not be included in your elite team.

Network With Achievers

meeting importance

If you want to move beyond your comfort zone, one of the fastest ways is to network with achievers. In fact, while I’m writing this, I have just returned from spending a week with people in my industry who are rock stars.

Being immersed in that environment compelled me to take my game to the next level faster and grander than I had initially planned. When you network and become accustomed to interacting with the next level, it makes you uncomfortable with where you are currently at. Strategically, place yourself in situations that stretch you.

Get an Accountability Partner

While “head knowledge” is good, part of the secret to successful transformations, such as those seen by popular diet programs, is accountability. Your relationship with partners is powerful in achieving your goals. This is because good partners have already gone through the same journey, can see through the lame excuses, and will encourage you during the down times.

Everyone is not suitable to be your accountability partner which is fine. Find the person who will empower you to push past the common to achieve the impossible.

Delegate

Not everything requires your core competencies, so it is not always advantageous to do everything yourself. The ubiquity of businesses such as Elance, Angie’s List, and Fiverr makes finding reasonably-priced freelancers and contractors to delegate to much easier.

It’s one thing to do tasks that are not central to your focus because you enjoy them or lack the finances to hire help, but it is another issue entirely if you are stuck doing something you hate simply because you haven’t inventoried the resources available to you.

Delegation can be a powerful practice. It’ll allow you to develop your strongest areas while relinquishing distractions and increasing your overall productivity.

Deal With Barriers to Motivation

Create an Action Environment

Your environment matters to your productivity, often more than you realize. It’s important that when you sit down to work, you are not bombarded with distractions. It is sometimes difficult to get motivated to do anything productive in the first place.

Thus, the last thing one needs is to get started only to have his or her time wasted on something that’s unimportant.

Creating an action environment may mean shutting off the automatic notification feature on your phone or email at certain times during the day. It could mean removing the candy jar from your desk or logging off of Facebook.

Regardless, create an environment that encourages you to get things done.

Record and Celebrate Your Progress

Acknowledging and celebrating your triumphs can serve as tremendous motivation to continue in your endeavors. Achievers don’t just work hard; achievers play hard too.

When I became debt-free, I threw a huge party just as I would have celebrated a milestone birthday or a graduation. Big hairy audacious goals require time, so when you are victorious, why not celebrate your successes?

The law of recognition says that what you fail to recognize will not be properly
acknowledged. What you continually fail to acknowledge will eventually leave your
life.

If you value your successes, celebrate them!

Closing Thoughts

Inactivity is one of the greatest thieves of opportunity. Don’t be content with simply having a great idea. After all, an idea is often just a small fraction of the journey. It’s what you do with your ideas, dreams, and passions that count.

Remember, as your thoughts become more, you become more. Therefore, commit to thinking on a higher level, develop high goals and plans of implementation, establish and maintain relationships that add to your life. As you apply these steps consistently, you too will be a doer.

Written by Roshawn Watson, a writer at Watson Inc. on eliminating debt, investing money, and building wealth. Get my free eBook Your Foundation to Wealth by signing up for my email updates (no spam I promise). Get my RSS feed and connect with me on Twitter @roshawnwatson too.

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A Guide On Career Advancement for Male Nurses

You can land a great job as a nursing professional, but it helps to know a few things about the field before you start your journey, particularly career advancement for male nurses.

Male nurses face many obstacles in the field. Every day, they must deal with preconceived ideas and misjudgments about their role as nursing professionals. Unfortunately, these misconceptions are not only harmful to male nurses but also the entire nursing profession. Despite these obstacles, however, most male nurses enjoy successful careers.

Male Nurses: You Are Not Alone!

Male nurses make up less than 10% of the nurse practitioner talent pool. Still, as in many other fields and industries, they’re paid more than their female peers.

Research shows that full-time women nurses earn around 90% compared to their male counterparts. Male nurses earn a little over $60,000 per year. Female nurses, however, earn a little over $50,000 every year.

Showcasing Your Skills for Patients and Peers

career advancements for male nurses

Nursing is one of the last fields in the world that’s dominated by women. As a result, many men feel outnumbered and underrepresented. They worry about career advancement for male nurses.

Because many people feel as though nursing is a woman’s job, male nurses face many kinds of biases in the workplace. Some people believe men aren’t as compassionate as women. Others simply believe that nursing is a woman’s job and that men shouldn’t work in the field.

See Also: Men in Nursing: The Challenges of Men in a Female-Dominated Profession

It’s impossible to accurately predict the character of every patient that comes through the door. You’ll never make all patients happy, although it’s more than likely that you’ll try. However, every patient is different.

Nevertheless, you should remain confident in your abilities. By taking the time to get to know your patients, you will eventually understand their wants and needs.

Instead of worrying about what people think, stick to the basics. Focus on remaining compassionate. Compassion is your ticket to success in nursing and probably the reason why you entered the field in the first place.

You shouldn’t feel uncomfortable because you’re inherently different from your female peers. Men have a different build compared to women. As a result, your female coworkers may often ask you to lift and move heavy objects. Sometimes, they may even ask you to move patients.

Also, if you have a particular skill, tell your patients about it. If your patients know that you possess exceptional skills, it will make them more confident in your ability.

Nursing Jobs That Are Outside the Traditional Nurse Role

You don’t have to work in a hospital to land a job in nursing. For example, forensic nursing is a specialty that is expanding faster than the national average. The field emerged in the 80s, as the need for healthcare professionals with experience in both law and medicine increased.

Shows such as CSI have made forensic nursing extremely popular. However, as a forensic nurse, you’ll do more than what you see on TV. Also, you will find yourself working in a variety of settings – not just at crime scenes.

Additional Nurse Specialties Worth Considering

Forensic nursing, however, isn’t the only specialty that’s on the rise. For example, there’s a growing need for nurses who work in the mental health field. Alternatively, some healthcare professionals opt to become well-paid nurse anesthetists.

No matter which specialty you choose, nursing is a phenomenal career. As a result, many millennials and Gen Z healthcare professionals are curious about a career in nursing.

Do You Have to Quit Your Current Job to Advance Your Nursing Career?

career advancement for male nurse

No. You don’t have to quit your job to pursue a career in nursing. Thanks to the internet, today’s capable nursing programs can extend the classroom into your living room. You can take your nursing career to the next level by entering an MSN online degree program.

Online nursing programs employ highly skilled educators who will provide you with an exceptional learning experience. They will teach you the latest nursing best practices based on feedback from peers in the field. In the virtual classroom, you’ll learn the critical thinking skills that you need to succeed as a skilled nurse practitioner.

Once you graduate, you’ll enjoy a salary that exceeds the national average. With no more than a laptop computer, you can immerse yourself in a flexible learning environment that will allow you to pursue the career of your dreams.

Even if you attend online classes, you’ll benefit from bonding with a tight-knit community of healthcare professionals. Your online class will serve as a foundation for building a long-lasting professional network of peers. These connections will help you expand your understanding of the nursing profession and pursue career opportunities that you may not have had access to otherwise.

Upon graduation, your training will prepare you to deliver the highest quality of healthcare service possible. Now, you can enter a successful career in nursing with authority and confidence.

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Women in Sports: How Female Racers Are Changing Car Racing Forever

For the majority of history, motor sports have been thought of as a man’s sport. Little room was ever given for women to try and take part in it. Comparisons are often made of the greatest men in racing, but why is there such little conversation about female racers?

To understand why there is so little history and what the future may hold for women in racing, we have to take a look at the past and see how it has led to the brave women of racing today.

The Past

Back in the early days of motor racing, it was an exclusively male sport. It never allowed a woman to compete.

When rights among men and women were split quite drastically, it would have made no sense to allow women to compete in such a dangerous and intense sport. Women were very rarely even let into the pits, let alone near the cars.

The general consensus among drivers was that racing was meant to be a man’s sport and that women were simply not suited for racing.

Famous Female Racers

We all know of Michael Schumacher and Senna, but these racing heroes are just the tip of the iceberg of racing legends. Often forgotten are the surprisingly large number of female racing drivers who went against the status quo to go on and do what they felt was right.

They faced fierce competition and backlash. Without them, racing would never be what it is today.

Camille du Gast

camille du gast
Via speedqueens.blogspot.com

In the year 1901, cars were just beginning to come into existence and racing was an idea created just a few years back. Camille Du Gast was an affluent widow, so she had enough access to funds to allow her to take part in a large race from Paris to Berlin. Being a woman, the race officials placed her at the back of the race to start, but she didn’t care.

At the end of the race, she finished 33rd out of 122 racers and showed just how capable she was. Du Gast is widely regarded as the first female racing driver and has been an icon ever since.

Dorothy Levitt

dorothy levitt
Via eandt.theiet.org

Just four years later in 1905, Dorothy Levitt broke the record for the fastest woman in a car by reaching 80 mph. Levitt didn’t just like to break records, she also liked to find new ways to race.

In an attempt to help see the cars behind her, Levitt raced with a handheld mirror. It was regarded as the first instance of a mirror being used in any form of racing. That unique and tactical tool has been evolved and adapted to the cameras and sensors we use on cars today.

Odette Siko

odette siko
Via alchetron.com

In the 1930s, racing was beginning to grow closer to the vision we have of motor racing in the past, but drivers like Odette Sike are seldom remembered.

One of the most famous races anywhere in the world is the 24 hours of Le Mans. This intense endurance race is considered the pinnacle of motor racing. It’s something many drivers dream to reach one day.

However, not many know that Siko came in 4th place overall and first in her class at the 1932 race. This is an impressive feat for any driver. She still holds the record for best finish of any woman at Le Mans to this day.

Maria Teresa de Filippis

maria teresa de filippis
Via nytimes.com

Formula 1 has been around for almost 70 years and it has been adapting and growing ever since. It is one of the most watched sports around the world.

In 1958, Maria Teres de Filippis made history when she became the first woman to race in a Formula 1 event at Belgium. She finished a respectable 10th. However, due to the aggression towards her participation in the sport, she was not allowed to race again.

Danica Patrick

danica patrick
Via maxim.com

Skipping ahead into the modern era, we see a very different type of female racing driver.

Unlike many women of the past who got into racing in later life, Danica Patrick began racing at the age of 10. Since then, she has dominated every series she raced in and set numerous records for women in racing.

Danica is not only an icon to female racers, but she’s also considered as one of the best American drivers of all time. She inspires young girls to go racing and has led to more fostered support for women in racing.

Women in Racing Today

Just as Danika Patrick has been setting records and making history for women in racing, many other women have been breaking down barriers and inspiring others to start driving.

In 2019, new ground was broken with the formation of the first all-female racing team. The Giti Angels formed in 2019 and set themselves apart from the competition with their team made up of all women.

The Angels have broken records by just existing. They went on to win several races and compete in major events with great success.

The Future of Female Racers

With the Angels breaking ground as the first all-women team of racers, there are many new opportunities for women to get involved in racing. Now, the world has more options and wants young girls to be more confident behind the wheel and aiming for the podium.

Conclusion

It’s not very often that female racers of the past are brought up. However, by remembering what they did, we can look forward to the future. We can inspire a new generation of female racers.

See Also: How to Be Successful In Sports: Career Management Tips From Female Athletes

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3 Ordinary Steps on How to Live an Extraordinary Life

We’ve all been sold the dream that our life will play out like the stories we consumed as a child. A place where everything works itself out at the conclusion of a 30-minute TV episode.

Not every road to success looks as glamorous as it does on a Friday night’s silver screen.

So, if we want to live extraordinarily, we have to ask ourselves:

How we do get there? How do we really, I mean really, start to achieve a life that we can look back on and say “I lived”?

Define Success

What does success mean to you?

Does it mean hopping from city to city and rubbing elbows with start-up founders at roof-top parties?

Or maybe it means watching your children grow up and spend time with them on your terms?

how to live an extraordinary life

Maybe your goals are somewhere in between or you might not even know your goals.

That’s okay. That’s why I love Brian Tracy’s method.

My man Brian knows how to get the human mind to be honest with oneself. He found that in 30 seconds, you pretty much know what your goals are as if you spent 3 hours on the topic.

Visualize what you want in each area of your life 5, 10, 15 years from now. Although that’s hard to do, try to do this for each area of your life. And be honest with yourself when you think about the following areas in your life:

  • Business/career
  • Family/relationships
  • Finances
  • Health
  • Social life/community

Literally, take 30 seconds for each area. Write your top 3 current goals. Write them as if you’d already accomplished them. Do it on paper, in present tense, in the first person.

The key thing is, identify the goal in each area of your life that has the biggest impact.

See Also: 20 Qualities for A Successful Life

What Are You Willing to Lose?

To pick something up, you must put something down.

Let me say that in a different way.

If you want to start something different, you will inevitably spend less time doing something else. One cannot ‘create more time’ without shaving time down from something else.

I’m willing to listen to a man who gives away 97% of his wealth to charity and can still be a multi-billionaire. I’m talking, of course, about Warren Buffet.

His method is simple.

Take your top 30 goals. Now, cut them down to 5.

It’s hard, right? Those other 25 goals, those are your secondary goals that come in a close 2nd place, right?

Not at all.

Warren Buffet suggests that these are your ‘avoid at all cost’ goals.

I’m not going to lie. This exercise hurts for me to even attempt. So I combine Brian Tracy’s method and do top goals for each area of my life.

The point being, realize that you will never have enough time to do everything you want to do in your life. And that’s okay.

Because living intentionally (having a laser focus on a handful of things) will create more happiness for you. More happiness than lulling around, attempting a basket-full of things in your life.

See Also: Do You Have Too Many Goals? Here’s How to Prioritize Them

The Actions You Can Take Daily

live an extraordinary successful life

The next step is to start breaking down those big ideas into actionable steps.

It needs to be dead-brain simple. Your goal may be to climb Mount Everest. But you sure wouldn’t slap that on your to-do list. It may look something like:

  • Write out why I want to climb Mount Everest.
  • Read first-hand accounts of people who have climbed Mount Everest successfully.
  • Watch documentary about failed explorations and what went wrong.
  • Find local mountaineer group to get more general knowledge.
  • Hike local mountains to understand scale of difference.
  • Maintain exercise regiment targeting muscle groups needed for climbing.
  • Set date for Mount Everest excursion.

I’ve never climbed a mountain. I am guessing that it’s better to take action than to hope that one day a Mount Everest excursion will waltz itself into your life.

The real question is this:

What kind of life are you going to live from here on out? Are you ready to live an extraordinary life?

The post 3 Ordinary Steps on How to Live an Extraordinary Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Ways to Build A Culture Trust In A Large Remote Team

Working remotely is quickly becoming on-trend globally for companies big and small. Technological advancements, in terms of connectivity speeds, as well as feature-rich project management tools, are allowing companies from a range of industries to enable remote work settings.

This shift from working in physical offices to working remotely increases the need for companies to raise trust levels among their work teams. This means better collaboration efforts could arise and positively impact company culture, as well as drive overall business performance forward.

Not having a culture of trust in your company typically increases turnover rates and creates an atmosphere of uncertainty.

This makes employees more hesitant to take ownership of their work. It also decreases the chances of asserting ideas that can lead to innovative business solutions.

Harvard researcher Paul J. Zak has discovered, after over two decades of studying, varying trust factors in companies that employees at high-trust organizations are 74% less stressed compared to those who work at low-trust companies.

While asserting the neurological connection between trust levels, leadership, and organizational performance, Zak indicated that there is a direct link between the level of trust and the amount of oxytocin produced in someone’s brain.

Oxytocin, also known as “the love hormone“, is vital in forming social connections between humans. Higher oxytocin levels mean increased empathy. Greater empathy means deeper and more meaningful relationships. This results in greater harmony and cooperation among colleagues.

The established neurological connection could be the reason why employees that work at companies with high trust levels are 29% more satisfied with their lives. They can manage work stress better as they were reported to experience 40% less burnout.

Having a genuine trust-based connection is especially important for large teams working remotely. Everyone could perform optimally even without seeing each other face-to-face.

But how do you start building trust and collaboration in a virtual team?

Here are five ways to build a culture of trust that could raise empathy and boost overall organizational performance in your remote team:

Start creating a trust-based culture rooted in professional transparency from the top.

Any organization will thrive with strong and professionally transparent senior leaders. CEOs, directors, and senior management should be able to come up with a set of ethical principles that are tied to business processes. This will encourage professional transparency.

Renowned leadership expert and author Doug Conant, who is known for transforming toxic company cultures as president of food company giant Nabisco and as CEO of Campbell Soup, came up with a no-frills, two-question survey meant to assess and improve trust in companies.

The survey asks:

  • How employees would rate the level of trust in their companies on a scale of 1–10 (1 being the lowest, which translates to always being on guard and untrusting and 10 being the highest, which means they could be safely vulnerable and freely ask for help whenever needed)
  • What would specifically and observably need to change to raise the rating to a 10?

After gathering the survey data, management must break down the input into categories and come up with action steps to deliver the necessary changes.

Do not shy away from difficult conversations and speak with employees one on one or as a group, if needed, to fix issues that arise. Aside from conducting a company-wide survey, genuinely listening to your employees and following through, showing some vulnerability as leaders will allow you to connect emotionally with your team.

Recognizing when you need help by allowing your employees to sweep in and find solutions when necessary and admitting when you have committed mistakes will strengthen your working relationship with them. Leading by example will signal your team to do as you do.

Get to know each other beyond the professional realm

building trus in a virtual team

Research by LinkedIn says that nearly 50% of working professionals find that having friends at work is essential to their overall happiness.

Sadly, working remotely means that you do not get to have actual “water cooler talk” on interesting, trivial things.

Since there’s no bumping into the office pantry to exchange jokes or pleasantries, working remotely often means that there is a low chance of getting to know your colleagues beyond your designated roles in the company.

This could be remedied by intentionally creating interactions among teammates. One solution is to include weekly newsletters that include a few fun facts about certain members of the team. Another great idea is to set up virtual meeting spaces in your company’s main virtual communication channel. It could function as chat rooms for non-work-related topics.

Having in-person meetings are also great to solidify professional relationships. You could implement retreats once a year. There, everyone could share meals and do team building activities. Having remote employees work together in-person for a set number of days will also allow them to bond over many other things aside from work, strengthening ties as a team.

Develop good communication habits

Being responsive and consistent when it comes to communicating with your team builds trust and reliability. Research shows that unpredictable communication patterns directly affect confidence in globally distributed teams.

According to a large-scale study that surveyed 2.5 million manager-led teams in nearly 200 countries, daily communication, coupled with direct reports, actively enhanced employee engagement.

Using collaboration and schedule-sharing tools with optimized calendar features is absolutely necessary, especially for large teams spread across different time zones.

Calendaring makes it easy for everyone to be up to speed when it comes to availabilities and work requirements.

For remote teams working full-time, managers checking in closely twice daily can work wonders: once at the beginning of the workday to encourage a motivational mindset and once at the close for employees to give a full report on accomplished and ongoing tasks to help maintain accountability.

If you find that daily contact is unnecessary for the workload or type of job that your team is handling, you should at least stick to a scheduled check-in with them. It could be weekly or semi-weekly. Just make sure that your project management platform comes with recent status reports right on your set deadlines so that everyone remains motivated and accountable.

Employees would also naturally want to know how the business is doing, how the situation influences their role, and how their work impacts the organization’s current standing. Brief updates along these lines through official newsletters, weekly, monthly, or quarterly meetings will also help bolster engagement.

Give your employees the agency to do the job according to their work habits

collaboration in a virtual team

In a remote work setting, giving your employees some level of autonomy in terms of how and when they do their work makes them more trusting of their employers. According to a survey by LinkedIn and Citigroup, nearly half of employees surveyed say that they are willing to skip a 20% salary raise if they are allowed more flexibility in how they do their work.

Employees also appreciate it when superiors and company leaders actively hear what they have to say when it comes to their tasks, as well as how they could accomplish the projects given to them.

This kind of open communication allows them to maximize their strengths as individuals and employees. With this, they could pursue work projects that are aligned with their skillsets. Giving team members the agency to do the job according to their rhythm also raises their level of accountability, which enables them to take full ownership of their work.

Show appreciation for a job well done

Recognizing excellent work immediately boosts employee morale and performance. Publicly commending an employee after they have achieved or gone beyond specific goals will make them feel good. It will also inspire healthy competition among other team members.

Along with public commendation, rewards in the form of bonuses or other incentives like free days off could also be given based on professional merit.

Conclusion

Trust is highly critical to achieving success, whether it be in a physical or virtual workplace environment. Real, lasting trust is built over time, and it takes hard work and commitment from business leaders to make it happen.

A company that puts a premium on professional transparency has team leaders who are dependable communicators. It also has solid management that is consistently in tune with its remote team’s needs. Thus, the company is at a great advantage when it comes to building trust and collaboration in a virtual team.

Having a culture of trust raises empathy. This makes it easy for employees to stay healthy in the workplace, gives team members a sense of purpose, and empowers the whole group to perform better—allowing your business to soar to greater heights.

See Also: Top Remote Working Trends You Should Know More About

The post 5 Ways to Build A Culture Trust In A Large Remote Team appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

12 Mind-Blowing Tips for Increasing Your Overall Positivity

Positive thinking has been often used in a wrong connotation. People abuse the power of this great practice and suggest that it will attract you money, wealth, and abundance.

“Be positive and you’ll have anything you want!”

No, you will not.

That’s nonsense and that’s not the purpose of exercising your mind to think this way. This is exactly one of the main criticisms for the movie The Secret. Just by feeling good, you can’t have anything you want.

The benefits of thinking and feeling positive emotions, however, are actually very beneficial and they will trigger other positive phenomena in your life. You’ll put both your spirit and body in a phenomenal vibration.

Happiness and joy will radiate from you everywhere you go. Life will seem much better. Your attitude will improve immensely and in turn, it will improve the world’s attitude towards you.

The reward is a blissful life full of enthusiasm and inspiration.Also, it will certainly help you in your financial endeavors. However, just the positive thinking alone won’t earn you any money.

These are some of the great practices that will put you on the right track in life:

Start Singing Even If You’re Bad Singer

Whenever life hits you hard or you experience a disappointment, start singing. Pick a song that really makes you feel great and start playing it in your head until all worries and stress go away.

The song can be one which makes you feel happy. It can be one which provokes laughter and joy in your heart.

Is there any song that you can think of which simply puts a smile on your face every single time you hear it? Probably a song you used to love when you were young child?

Good music has always been and will always be a great tool for changing the mood. It will never fail to make you more positive so consider singing whenever you can.

Turn “Belly Breathing” Into a Habit

Did you know that our consciousness is highly connected to our way of breathing?

Yogis and monks have discovered a long time ago that our thoughts are directly connected to the way we breathe.

When we start breathing slowly and deep in our belly and by exploiting 100% of our lungs capacity, our thoughts seem to slow down and we become more relaxed. Therefore, this is used in almost every meditative technique. Life simply slows down, all stress leaves both the mind and body, and the individual who breathes this way gains clarity and mindfulness.

This practice will not only calm you down, it will affect your health and your overall blood circulation, too. It will boost the activity of your brain and it will never fail to improve your mood.

Breathing is the essence of life, so start doing it properly.

Simply start exercising this until it becomes a constant habit. Breathe deep in your belly and fill it like a balloon. Instead of inhaling shallow breaths in the chest only, expand your belly as much as you can.

The longer you practice this technique, the deeper and more effective your breaths will become. Your consciousness will clear and clarity and inner peace will take place.

Smile and Laugh More Often

Assuming that smiling and laughter are the opposite of crying and feeling bad or negative, just by forcing this into your life, you can’t avoid not feeling good.

Our body is the instrument of our mind. However, it it is also true that our thoughts and attitude are very much related to our body because of the way we operate. We tend to think and feel by what we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch.

So if you smile, you can instantly feel it and your mind will respond to this. You will start feeling good and positive. It will not only lift up your mood, but it will also affect everyone else that comes in contact with you.

You can decide to smile just for the sake of it or you can think of a situation, an event, a person or literally anything that puts a big smile on your face. Either one of them will work very well.

You can just go over to your mirror, look at yourself and force yourself to laugh. This works extremely well. Very soon, it will become contagious and you won’t be able to stop it.

Let’s try this right now…

Think of a little toddler trying to walk. He is learning to walk outside in the yard of his parent’s house and there’s a little puppy waiting for him just a few meters away from him.

As he is walking, he is pointing to the puppy with his tiny little fingers and he suddenly falls like a ball on the grass. He tries to stand up but he simply keeps falling down again and again. Everybody laughs and enjoys the picture.

Finally, our little toddler manages somehow to stand on his tiny feet and starts walking like a penguin towards the puppy. The moment he comes to him, he tries to kiss him with his little lips. Again, as he bends down, he loses control and falls on the ground next to the puppy. The puppy even gets scared and jumps from fear.

Now, I just totally made all that up. I couldn’t think of anything else that could make me smile at the moment. If you’re like most people, you’d probably smile when having the picture of the little toddler learning how to walk.

After thinking about this, I feel very good and very positive. You can do the same.

Smile more often and your positivity will keep increasing more and more every time you do it.

Make Your Surroundings Highly Positive

have fun with friends

What are your friends and the people you associate with like? Is their nature positive? Are they being fun and humorous or not really?

Good company always helps!

If you happen to be around negative and depressive people, you can afford to change your lifestyle. It is very important that your surrounding is highly positive, because you will receive this energy.

It will affect you every single time!

Engage in Meditation and Yoga

These two activities will never fail to boost your positivity. They will help you to gain control over your thoughts and your awareness will be heightened.

You will become aware of the present moment and what’s going on in your mind. Positive thoughts will become natural as you practice these skills.

See Also: Yoga and Health: From Better Mental Health To Improved Sleep Quality

Make Walking Outdoors a Habit

Although very simple, the effect of this single activity can be powerful. I am working from home and most of the time, I am in front of my computer.

Sometimes, this can get overwhelming and the first thing I do is go outdoors.
I walk for 40 minutes in the nearest park and just observe the people, birds, trees and so on. When I come back, I am a completely new person.

I have two times more energy and I am working 3 times more productive. Just do it and see the results!

Be Helpful To Others

You know, it’s not all about you. I realized this not very long time ago. While I’ve never been too much egoistic in nature, I always cared for my feelings and my interests.

When I tried for a moment to completely shift my attention to other people’s needs and really try to help them (from the bottom of my heart), what came back to me was quite shocking.

Help other people and truly care. Don’t do it just for the sake of it, but really show some empathy and compassion. Try putting yourself in their skin and view the world through their perception. Then, do your best to help them.

You have no idea what this can do for you…

Some ideas to help you get started can include:

• Visiting the orphanage and do something special for the kids. Make them happy and prepare some intriguing surprise.
• The next time you go to the subway or when you’re on a bus, be kind and give your seat to a person that needs it more than you do.
• Go to the local supermarket buy some bread, some salami and cheese. Get some fruits and bottles of fresh water and perhaps some extra ingredients you’ll need. Prepare some tasty sandwiches and then go to any shelter with homeless people and give it to them wholeheartedly.

Express Gratitude 3 Times a Day

Create your gratitude journal or simply write on a sheet of paper 10 things that you’re grateful for. Then, read this list 3 times in the day – in the morning, at noon and at night.

The more things you can include in the list, the better. These things should make you feel good and positive about yourself and life in general.

Gratefulness is the secret to a peaceful, happy and positive lifestyle.

Understand that You’re Responsible for Everything That Happens To You

You cannot blame others for the results you get in your life. All our results come as a direct result of our actions and behavior in life. Our actions and behavior, on the other hand, is the direct result of our thoughts and feelings.

Only you have the power to control your attitude. You choose what you give your attention to. So instead of whining and complaining, stop blaming the circumstances, the government, the economy and God knows what else not.

It is your fault that you’ve let these things, people,and events influence you.

The good news is that you can stop it. Take full responsibility and your life will become much more positive.

Make a Contribution and Start Volunteering

Think of the ways you can improve your community. Perhaps help in cleaning the streets in your neighborhood? What about helping individuals in the local library?

This one will be bizarre but certainly interesting:

How about you visit prisoners and just help in making contact? Perhaps you’ll befriend them and make their day better?

Remember,  the more you give in life, the more it comes back. Life will always reward you tenfold for every good thing you do. Decide how you can give back to the community, and then just do it!

Positivity will become your natural mindset that seems to make you company at all times.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

Give Compliments On a Regular Basis

If criticizing makes people feel bad, then the opposite which is giving compliments has to make them feel good. Not only will it make the person you compliment feel amazing, it will come back to you as well.

When was the last time you gave a sincere compliment to someone which comes straight from the heart?

If you can’t remember it, maybe it is about time to consider doing this the next time you see someone on the street.

Remember, if you’re looking for the good sides in others, this is a reflection of the good sides in you. And please don’t do this just for the sake of it. Be really genuine and honest when you compliment people.

Exercise and Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

partner to exercise

Yes, this is important. Pick any activity that you love and exercise regularly.
You can run, hike, go to the gym or take classes in martial arts. Your imagination is the only limit.

Not only will you be more fresh and energetic, but your mood will change accordingly as well There’s no way how this activity cannot make you feel positive. Just do it!

To Conclude

Most of the time, we are being surrounded with a ton of negativity in our lives. We’re constantly being bombarded with pressure and stressful situations, but it is our choice how we are going to respond to them.

We can choose to take responsibility and decide to be in full control over our attitude or we can live day by day and let the waves of life take us wherever they want to go.

I certainly won’t recommend the second option!

Choose to live your life the way you want to live it! Stop being a victim of outside circumstances and decide to gain a positive outlook on life.

And remember, it is the small things that make all the difference! So take a deep breath right now and say how grateful you are for everything in your life!

The post 12 Mind-Blowing Tips for Increasing Your Overall Positivity appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Essential Tips for an Effective Budget Plan

Money makes the world go round. We work for money so we can afford a high quality of life; that’s just how it is. Given money’s importance, you don’t want to be blind to your own financial realities.

With proper planning and budgeting, you can get the most out of your hard-earned money, and you can attain a certain level of security where you are aware of your revenues, expenses, and general financial situation.

This quick guide will help you better understand how to create budget plans that work for
you.

Time and Money

Typically, you’ll want to budget on a monthly and yearly basis. Income and expenses are likely to change after a year, so longer-term budget projections aren’t very useful for much other than getting a very general idea of what the future may look like.

A budget plan template is a great way to visualize the complexities of your budget over time. Tools like budget planner books can help organize your monthly and yearly budgets in a way that makes sense.

Benchmarks of a Realistic Budget

Obviously, you want to earn more than you spend and save something, but that’s not as simple as it sounds. As you put your budget together, it is necessary to be brutally honest with your expectations.

At the very least, a realistic budget satisfies all of the following:

  • Accounts for all costs and revenues
  • Is not overly generous
  • Dedicates a certain amount of money to savings
  • Accounts for potential emergencies and surprise costs
  • Includes plausible costs for food, shelter, and utilities
  • Determine Your revenue

What are your income sources, and how much do you expect to receive? When and how often are you paid? Your boss may have promised you a raise in a month, but until that actually happens, you should not budget for the future as if you’re certain to get that raise.

Do you work full-time, part-time? Are you a salaried employee? If you work hourly and are not a full-time employee, assume that you won’t get the best hours at any job you work at. This way, you’ll have budgeted for the worst-case scenario.

If you end up getting more hours, that’s great! Just be sure to quickly cycle any extra money into your budget and put it towards something productive. The best way to get ahead is to invest in yourself by clearing your debts and adding to your savings.

Figure Out Your Costs

budget planning

To put it simply, your cost is your expenses. In order to better understand your costs in the context of your entire budget, it’s important to break your costs down into fixed costs and variable costs. With this information, you can better understand your cash flow and identify points where you can save.

Fixed Costs

Your fixed costs are the costs that are recurring and consistent.

Major fixed costs include:

  • Rent or mortgage payments
  • Health insurance payments
  • Vehicle payments
  • Property taxes
  • Car insurance (barring accidents or changes in rates)
  • Internet bill
  • Student loans and other loans

Your fixed costs are unlikely to change in the short-term, but may in the long-term. For a yearly budget, it’s safe to assume these costs will be stable. If you rent on a monthly lease, then your rent may change over the year, so budget for an extra 20% for your total yearly rent just in case.

Variable Costs

These are the costs that are set to change each month.

Variable costs are made up of essential and non-essential costs. Essentials costs are the things that you really need, and non-essential costs are the extra things that you can securely live without.

Essential costs include but are not limited to:

  • Gasoline consumption
  • Home heating
  • Phone bills
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Home maintenance
  • Food and groceries
  • Medical treatment and copays

Here are some examples of non-essential costs:

  • Subscriptions
  • Extra clothing
  • Entertainment
  • Eating out
  • Snacks
  • Vacations and trips

See Also: How to Budget Using the 50/20/30 Rule

Don’t Forget to Budget for Emergencies!

No one prays for an accident, but accidents happen, and you want to be in a position where you’re financially covered. After initial and essential expenses, put at least 20% of your income into a savings account. If you total your car or get injured and can’t work for a month, you’ll be glad that you have some savings to fall back on.

See Also: 5 Financial Emergencies Everyone Must Be Prepared For

Cutting Costs

effective budget plan

Your non-essential costs probably bring you a lot of joy, but these things cannot take priority over your essential costs. It’s easy to cut some of these costs without sacrificing your quality of life.

Trying to save money? Instead of dining out twice per week, try dining out once every other week and cooking a luxurious meal at home. You’ll save money, and you’ll have a great culinary experience in the comfort of your own home.

Groceries are an essential cost, but by making adjustments to your habits and consumption, you can decrease these costs. Instead of buying canned soups and premade meals at the grocery store, you can cook these things cheaper. Instead of going for the name brand, buy the store brand. They’re almost like the exact same thing, but it costs less.

Streaming is all the rage, but those services can add up. Oftentimes, people have so many services that they go for days, weeks, or months without using them, but all the while, they’re still paying! Honestly examine your app and subscription use. If you find that you hardly use that streaming service, unsubscribe. That $15 per month will really add up.

Those are just a couple of examples, but you can use the same logic to cut most of your non-essential costs and some of your essential costs

The Bottom Line

Cutting costs is good, but try not to cut costs that will lead to poor health outcomes. You can reduce your grocery expenditures, but you shouldn’t starve.

If you’re cutting all of the costs that you can, but you still aren’t making enough money, it’s time to look at your options. Some government-assistance programs may be able to help. Family members, charities, or food pantries can ease some of your food costs if you’re in a rut.

Your finances can help you get the life you desire if you plan. What useful tips and tricks help you budget towards your life goals? Let us know in the comments.

The post Essential Tips for an Effective Budget Plan appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Making A Financial Plan: How to Set Financial Goals To Live Your Best Life

Financial planning is a crucial part of adult life, yet 40% of Americans have never had a budget.

Sticking to a budget can help prevent you from falling on hard times. It can also help you achieve your goals in life.

However, contrary to what most people are thinking, financial planning and budgeting aren’t just for retirement. It’s not just the practice of foregoing the occasional latte.

Making a financial plan can give you peace of mind and, eventually, the life you’ve always wanted.

Why Is Money So Stressful?

make a financial plan

People who have a financial plan are two times as likely to meet their financial goals as those who do not have such a plan, yet two in five people have never had a budget. More than one in three people spend more than they save, and two in three say they easily overspend when using a credit card.

But it’s not all bad news. 48% of Americans say they save at least 5% of their income, 65% say they have emergency savings, and 79% are either debt-free or they are actively paying down their debt.

Of consumers who report having a budget:

  • 62% say they are in control
  • 55% say they feel confident about their finances
  • 52% say they feel secure about their financial situations

Of consumers who do not have a budget:

  • 19% feel out of control with money
  • 18% are constantly worried about their finances
  • 17% report being stressed about money

When it comes to retirement, even though many people are saving, they still don’t know why or how much. In fact, 75% of Americans aren’t sure how much they should be saving, while 40% of those with retirement savings have no idea how their money is allocated. It’s no wonder the thought of budgeting and saving money is so stressful for so many people – even when we know that we are supposed to be doing it, we still often have no idea how.

See Also: GenZ and Money: How GenZ Faces Their Financial Fears

Setting Financial Goals And Sticking To Them

how to make a financial plan

If you are at a point in life where you are able to save money, congratulations!

Now, it’s time to ask yourself why you are saving money in the first place. Sure, everyone should be saving money for emergencies. But once you get past your emergency savings, there are all kinds of other savings you should be doing, from retirement to enhancing your quality of life.

So how do you want to live and what financial goals can you set to get to that point?

Sometimes, setting financial goals starts with reinventing yourself.

What kind of career would get you out of bed every day? How would you spend spare time if you had it? Is there something you would like to learn or a new educational goal you’d like to meet?

Last year 39% of Americans said they wanted to save more money and for many, that means making a career change.

Setting goals for yourself helps you to understand what steps you need to take to meet them. 97% of parents say they want to pay all or part of their child’s college tuition, yet few understand just how much money that is or how much they should be saving right now in order to accomplish that goal. Currently, only 27% are on track to meet those goals.

Setting goals and then figuring out what action you need to take now in order to achieve them is critical.

Once Basic Goals Are Met, Make Your Life Worth Living

The main reason for financial planning is that someday you will want to be able to live life on your own terms. The better your financial planning, the sooner you will be able to live the life you want because of it.

Once you have enough to cover all of your financial goals, it’s time to figure out how to buy back some of your time. There are apps and tech gadgets that can take over your daily tasks like cutting the lawn, cleaning the pool, and hiring a handyman. Using these services can help you feel like your hard work has been rewarded when you are able to do the things you want instead of having to do the things that need to be done.

Financial planning is an important first step toward the life you want. Learn more about freeing up time, reducing stress, and living your best life through financial planning below!

The post Making A Financial Plan: How to Set Financial Goals To Live Your Best Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month

“Payment Successful”

That’s it. Gone forever.

Your last $50 spent in grocery bills and you think “Where does all my money go?” .

You wonder how your co-workers can afford all the glitter and gold while you end up without a dime to pay for the piling bills.

In fact, you always have this nagging feeling that you’ll end up spending your next paycheck with nothing to show for it.

And you can’t help but think:

Is it normal to feel like I’ll lose all my money even if I won the lottery? Will I always be dead broke or pretty much close?

Deep down, you know you are NOT on the right track.

Things must change.

Step 1 – Commit to mastery

Five thousand four hundred and seventy five…

The days it took for ancient Chinese monks to master the art of Kung-Fu. Guess what they were doing for all those hours?

Practicing Kung-Fu.

But more importantly, they vowed to dedicate not only those hours, but their entire lives to the Art.

The Monk’s Guide to Saving

You’re probably wondering what Martial Arts have to do with your money. Well, here’s the big secret:

Although learning to save doesn’t require hours of vigorous training, like Kung Fu, it does require a fair deal of practice and discipline.

Why?

Because more than an ingrained habit, savings must be a mastered skill. Granted, that takes sustained effort, restraint, patience, and time.

Once you make an unwavering commitment to set aside a specific amount every month, you are well on your way to quadrupling your savings in no time.

So, adjust your mindset and commit to practicing all the steps.

WARNING:

Most people take this step for granted and make a fickle decision to sparingly set aside “some money, somehow”.

And guess what?

They end up with zero in savings and bitter with life.

Obviously, that’s a recipe for disaster and you want to avoid it at all costs. It will sour your taste buds and empty your pockets, literally.

Step 2 – Record all income

how to save half of income

Quick Question:…

Do you know exactly what you earned last month?

I mean with 99.99% precision.

Cracking your brain yet?

When planning to save, it is not uncommon for people to become absorbed in monitoring their expenses while completely ignoring the essential piece. It’s tracking their income every day.

Determining the exact amount you receive in daily earnings is a crucial step that provides the basis for the following:

  • Means to identify your primary and secondary sources of income
  • Scale to measure an increase or a decrease in your earnings
  • Guide to track all of your expenses
  • Road-map to monitor your progress towards savings
  • A Reference point for making informed future investment decisions

See how this gold mine of useful information can improve your overall financial well-being?

The ridiculously easy way to keep track of your income

Tracking anything isn’t easy, especially your income. You have no idea what those cryptic bank statements mean and you have no clue what ledgers are. You have zero interest in the term “deductibles”.

Not to worry, you don’t need to know all those boring accounting jargon.

In fact, all you need is to record every dollar bill you earn every day and translate that to your weekly and overall monthly earnings.

Here is a simple sheet to illustrate the concept a little better:

Source : Hours – Pay Per Hour – Daily – Weekly – Monthly
Salary :     8    –        $10       –  $80  –     $      –   $
Business :               $100       –  $100 –    $    –    $
Other – – – – –
Total:                       $180     –      $   –     $
Date: Today

Don’t worry, you can adapt it to your particular situation.

Why the slightest changes to your money matter

The total of your monthly earnings is like a mini-map that guides you to your saving goal by informing you about your current position, destination, and journey.

Hence, tracking the slightest changes in your daily income with precision is key to ensuring your mini-map is accurate. Use the format above for guidance. Copy it into a jotter and practice every day for the next month.

Note: You would prefer to write your earnings with pen on paper because it excites your senses and provides you with a handy reference point.

Step 3 – Spend it all

Pour all your money down the drain!

Yep, you heard me right. Spend every penny you make, but do it the right way.

Before you think I am a financial Frankenstein speaking in tongues and desperate to make you my lab rat, allow me to explain.

Every day, for the next 30 days, you’ll be spending your recorded income as usual but with a little tweak.

How to tweak your spending for maximum results

You will take note of every little expense- like down to .99 cents.

Because again, you probably have no clue what your previous month’s expenses were. And to improve your saving habits, you’ll need to identify the areas you spend money the most and make adjustments.

A surprising lesson from billionaires

You would think that billionaire Warren Buffet owns a luxurious fleet of custom Rolls Royce Coupes delivered directly from the factory to his Garage every year.

Well, that isn’t the case.

He actually drives a $23,000 Cadillac DTS and he bought a used one.

Shocking?

Most mega-rich people like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg understand and apply a timeless and effective financial secret.

The simple saving technique that never fails is that they live below their means by prioritizing needs over wants.

In other words, whatever isn’t a necessity is eliminated. And you’ll be applying the same principle to fast track the process of saving half of your income or even more every month.

Take note of your spending every single day, preferably for the next 30 days.

Within a month, you would have recorded your earnings, drilled down on your spending habits, and produced a clear (most times shocking) picture of where you are throwing away money.

Only then will you be in a better position to prioritize your needs and eliminate your wants.

Step 4 – Hone your skills

save half of income

At this point, you’d be halfway towards saving half of income and ready to hone your newly acquired saving skills by applying some effective tips.

Ready?

To proceed further down the rabbit hole, it is crucial to learn this lesson:

Set a savings and spending goal for the next month.

Example:

  • January savings goal: 50% of monthly income
  • January spending goal: 50% of monthly income

If the expense tracking exercise reveals that you are capable of living on 50% of your income (or less), then increase your savings by using the tips below. If, not, then use the following tips to lower your monthly spending.

10 Ideas for Saving Effectively

  • Stay organized by dividing cash into envelopes with categories like “food”, “rent”, and “transport”. When an envelope runs empty, stop spending in that category.
  • Reduce the discreet flow of energy (Phantom Power) by unplugging cell phone chargers, TVs, and computers when you’re not using them.
  • Walk, bike, use the subway, ride the tram, bus or commute to easily save more than $100 per month on gas.
  • Leave your wallet when you head out so you won’t be tempted to grab coffee or go on a mini shopping trip.
  • Save at least $500 a year by canceling cable TV and switching to alternatives like Netflix which costs $8 per month.
  • Buy items in bulk to save money on unit price.
  • Sleep, exercise, and eat healthy to prevent incurring expensive medical bills.
  • Reduce impulse purchases by sticking to a shopping list when going to the grocery store.
  • Save spare change in a piggy bank.
  • Eat in, not out.

Note: You can add more to these tips. Be creative. When reducing your monthly expenses, focus on every possible angle and don’t leave any stones unturned.

Step 5 – Test Run, Rinse, and Repeat

The rubber meets the road here…

Time to test your new set of acquired skills. Use this effective testing template:

  • Month 1: Apply steps 1 to 3 every day
  • Month 2: Apply steps 2 – 5 every day

What happens after Month 2?

Tweak your progress and repeat. From the second month onward, two things can happen.

It’s either you fail to act and end up back in square one or you commit to applying all steps and save half of your income or more.

Final Thoughts

Being broke sucks, particularly when you know you are throwing money away.

But simple changes to the way you spend can have dramatic effects on your saving habits. Just imagine ending up with every dollar saved at the end of the month.

Imagine waking up every day with absolute financial freedom that comes from being penny-wise. Think about being able to afford that nice Mercedes or that chateau in Cannes or perhaps, that comfy corner couch you have been interested in for a while now.

Remember, success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.

To begin your successful journey, apply the first and second techniques above, starting now. Commit to practicing the rest of the process every day, for the next few weeks. Keep track, make changes, and improve as you go along.

You could be saving half of income or more next month.

See Also: HSA or FSA: Which One Do You Really Need To Maximize Your Savings?

The post Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month

“Payment Successful”

That’s it. Gone forever.

Your last $50 spent in grocery bills and you think “Where does all my money go?” .

You wonder how your co-workers can afford all the glitter and gold while you end up without a dime to pay for the piling bills.

In fact, you always have this nagging feeling that you’ll end up spending your next paycheck with nothing to show for it.

And you can’t help but think:

Is it normal to feel like I’ll lose all my money even if I won the lottery? Will I always be dead broke or pretty much close?

Deep down, you know you are NOT on the right track.

Things must change.

Step 1 – Commit to mastery

Five thousand four hundred and seventy five…

The days it took for ancient Chinese monks to master the art of Kung-Fu. Guess what they were doing for all those hours?

Practicing Kung-Fu.

But more importantly, they vowed to dedicate not only those hours, but their entire lives to the Art.

The Monk’s Guide to Saving

You’re probably wondering what Martial Arts have to do with your money. Well, here’s the big secret:

Although learning to save doesn’t require hours of vigorous training, like Kung Fu, it does require a fair deal of practice and discipline.

Why?

Because more than an ingrained habit, savings must be a mastered skill. Granted, that takes sustained effort, restraint, patience, and time.

Once you make an unwavering commitment to set aside a specific amount every month, you are well on your way to quadrupling your savings in no time.

So, adjust your mindset and commit to practicing all the steps.

WARNING:

Most people take this step for granted and make a fickle decision to sparingly set aside “some money, somehow”.

And guess what?

They end up with zero in savings and bitter with life.

Obviously, that’s a recipe for disaster and you want to avoid it at all costs. It will sour your taste buds and empty your pockets, literally.

Step 2 – Record all income

how to save half of income

Quick Question:…

Do you know exactly what you earned last month?

I mean with 99.99% precision.

Cracking your brain yet?

When planning to save, it is not uncommon for people to become absorbed in monitoring their expenses while completely ignoring the essential piece. It’s tracking their income every day.

Determining the exact amount you receive in daily earnings is a crucial step that provides the basis for the following:

  • Means to identify your primary and secondary sources of income
  • Scale to measure an increase or a decrease in your earnings
  • Guide to track all of your expenses
  • Road-map to monitor your progress towards savings
  • A Reference point for making informed future investment decisions

See how this gold mine of useful information can improve your overall financial well-being?

The ridiculously easy way to keep track of your income

Tracking anything isn’t easy, especially your income. You have no idea what those cryptic bank statements mean and you have no clue what ledgers are. You have zero interest in the term “deductibles”.

Not to worry, you don’t need to know all those boring accounting jargon.

In fact, all you need is to record every dollar bill you earn every day and translate that to your weekly and overall monthly earnings.

Here is a simple sheet to illustrate the concept a little better:

Source : Hours – Pay Per Hour – Daily – Weekly – Monthly
Salary :     8    –        $10       –  $80  –     $      –   $
Business :               $100       –  $100 –    $    –    $
Other – – – – –
Total:                       $180     –      $   –     $
Date: Today

Don’t worry, you can adapt it to your particular situation.

Why the slightest changes to your money matter

The total of your monthly earnings is like a mini-map that guides you to your saving goal by informing you about your current position, destination, and journey.

Hence, tracking the slightest changes in your daily income with precision is key to ensuring your mini-map is accurate. Use the format above for guidance. Copy it into a jotter and practice every day for the next month.

Note: You would prefer to write your earnings with pen on paper because it excites your senses and provides you with a handy reference point.

Step 3 – Spend it all

Pour all your money down the drain!

Yep, you heard me right. Spend every penny you make, but do it the right way.

Before you think I am a financial Frankenstein speaking in tongues and desperate to make you my lab rat, allow me to explain.

Every day, for the next 30 days, you’ll be spending your recorded income as usual but with a little tweak.

How to tweak your spending for maximum results

You will take note of every little expense- like down to .99 cents.

Because again, you probably have no clue what your previous month’s expenses were. And to improve your saving habits, you’ll need to identify the areas you spend money the most and make adjustments.

A surprising lesson from billionaires

You would think that billionaire Warren Buffet owns a luxurious fleet of custom Rolls Royce Coupes delivered directly from the factory to his Garage every year.

Well, that isn’t the case.

He actually drives a $23,000 Cadillac DTS and he bought a used one.

Shocking?

Most mega-rich people like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg understand and apply a timeless and effective financial secret.

The simple saving technique that never fails is that they live below their means by prioritizing needs over wants.

In other words, whatever isn’t a necessity is eliminated. And you’ll be applying the same principle to fast track the process of saving half of your income or even more every month.

Take note of your spending every single day, preferably for the next 30 days.

Within a month, you would have recorded your earnings, drilled down on your spending habits, and produced a clear (most times shocking) picture of where you are throwing away money.

Only then will you be in a better position to prioritize your needs and eliminate your wants.

Step 4 – Hone your skills

save half of income

At this point, you’d be halfway towards saving half of income and ready to hone your newly acquired saving skills by applying some effective tips.

Ready?

To proceed further down the rabbit hole, it is crucial to learn this lesson:

Set a savings and spending goal for the next month.

Example:

  • January savings goal: 50% of monthly income
  • January spending goal: 50% of monthly income

If the expense tracking exercise reveals that you are capable of living on 50% of your income (or less), then increase your savings by using the tips below. If, not, then use the following tips to lower your monthly spending.

10 Ideas for Saving Effectively

  • Stay organized by dividing cash into envelopes with categories like “food”, “rent”, and “transport”. When an envelope runs empty, stop spending in that category.
  • Reduce the discreet flow of energy (Phantom Power) by unplugging cell phone chargers, TVs, and computers when you’re not using them.
  • Walk, bike, use the subway, ride the tram, bus or commute to easily save more than $100 per month on gas.
  • Leave your wallet when you head out so you won’t be tempted to grab coffee or go on a mini shopping trip.
  • Save at least $500 a year by canceling cable TV and switching to alternatives like Netflix which costs $8 per month.
  • Buy items in bulk to save money on unit price.
  • Sleep, exercise, and eat healthy to prevent incurring expensive medical bills.
  • Reduce impulse purchases by sticking to a shopping list when going to the grocery store.
  • Save spare change in a piggy bank.
  • Eat in, not out.

Note: You can add more to these tips. Be creative. When reducing your monthly expenses, focus on every possible angle and don’t leave any stones unturned.

Step 5 – Test Run, Rinse, and Repeat

The rubber meets the road here…

Time to test your new set of acquired skills. Use this effective testing template:

  • Month 1: Apply steps 1 to 3 every day
  • Month 2: Apply steps 2 – 5 every day

What happens after Month 2?

Tweak your progress and repeat. From the second month onward, two things can happen.

It’s either you fail to act and end up back in square one or you commit to applying all steps and save half of your income or more.

Final Thoughts

Being broke sucks, particularly when you know you are throwing money away.

But simple changes to the way you spend can have dramatic effects on your saving habits. Just imagine ending up with every dollar saved at the end of the month.

Imagine waking up every day with absolute financial freedom that comes from being penny-wise. Think about being able to afford that nice Mercedes or that chateau in Cannes or perhaps, that comfy corner couch you have been interested in for a while now.

Remember, success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.

To begin your successful journey, apply the first and second techniques above, starting now. Commit to practicing the rest of the process every day, for the next few weeks. Keep track, make changes, and improve as you go along.

You could be saving half of income or more next month.

See Also: HSA or FSA: Which One Do You Really Need To Maximize Your Savings?

The post Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month

“Payment Successful”

That’s it. Gone forever.

Your last $50 spent in grocery bills and you think “Where does all my money go?” .

You wonder how your co-workers can afford all the glitter and gold while you end up without a dime to pay for the piling bills.

In fact, you always have this nagging feeling that you’ll end up spending your next paycheck with nothing to show for it.

And you can’t help but think:

Is it normal to feel like I’ll lose all my money even if I won the lottery? Will I always be dead broke or pretty much close?

Deep down, you know you are NOT on the right track.

Things must change.

Step 1 – Commit to mastery

Five thousand four hundred and seventy five…

The days it took for ancient Chinese monks to master the art of Kung-Fu. Guess what they were doing for all those hours?

Practicing Kung-Fu.

But more importantly, they vowed to dedicate not only those hours, but their entire lives to the Art.

The Monk’s Guide to Saving

You’re probably wondering what Martial Arts have to do with your money. Well, here’s the big secret:

Although learning to save doesn’t require hours of vigorous training, like Kung Fu, it does require a fair deal of practice and discipline.

Why?

Because more than an ingrained habit, savings must be a mastered skill. Granted, that takes sustained effort, restraint, patience, and time.

Once you make an unwavering commitment to set aside a specific amount every month, you are well on your way to quadrupling your savings in no time.

So, adjust your mindset and commit to practicing all the steps.

WARNING:

Most people take this step for granted and make a fickle decision to sparingly set aside “some money, somehow”.

And guess what?

They end up with zero in savings and bitter with life.

Obviously, that’s a recipe for disaster and you want to avoid it at all costs. It will sour your taste buds and empty your pockets, literally.

Step 2 – Record all income

how to save half of income

Quick Question:…

Do you know exactly what you earned last month?

I mean with 99.99% precision.

Cracking your brain yet?

When planning to save, it is not uncommon for people to become absorbed in monitoring their expenses while completely ignoring the essential piece. It’s tracking their income every day.

Determining the exact amount you receive in daily earnings is a crucial step that provides the basis for the following:

  • Means to identify your primary and secondary sources of income
  • Scale to measure an increase or a decrease in your earnings
  • Guide to track all of your expenses
  • Road-map to monitor your progress towards savings
  • A Reference point for making informed future investment decisions

See how this gold mine of useful information can improve your overall financial well-being?

The ridiculously easy way to keep track of your income

Tracking anything isn’t easy, especially your income. You have no idea what those cryptic bank statements mean and you have no clue what ledgers are. You have zero interest in the term “deductibles”.

Not to worry, you don’t need to know all those boring accounting jargon.

In fact, all you need is to record every dollar bill you earn every day and translate that to your weekly and overall monthly earnings.

Here is a simple sheet to illustrate the concept a little better:

Source : Hours – Pay Per Hour – Daily – Weekly – Monthly
Salary :     8    –        $10       –  $80  –     $      –   $
Business :               $100       –  $100 –    $    –    $
Other – – – – –
Total:                       $180     –      $   –     $
Date: Today

Don’t worry, you can adapt it to your particular situation.

Why the slightest changes to your money matter

The total of your monthly earnings is like a mini-map that guides you to your saving goal by informing you about your current position, destination, and journey.

Hence, tracking the slightest changes in your daily income with precision is key to ensuring your mini-map is accurate. Use the format above for guidance. Copy it into a jotter and practice every day for the next month.

Note: You would prefer to write your earnings with pen on paper because it excites your senses and provides you with a handy reference point.

Step 3 – Spend it all

Pour all your money down the drain!

Yep, you heard me right. Spend every penny you make, but do it the right way.

Before you think I am a financial Frankenstein speaking in tongues and desperate to make you my lab rat, allow me to explain.

Every day, for the next 30 days, you’ll be spending your recorded income as usual but with a little tweak.

How to tweak your spending for maximum results

You will take note of every little expense- like down to .99 cents.

Because again, you probably have no clue what your previous month’s expenses were. And to improve your saving habits, you’ll need to identify the areas you spend money the most and make adjustments.

A surprising lesson from billionaires

You would think that billionaire Warren Buffet owns a luxurious fleet of custom Rolls Royce Coupes delivered directly from the factory to his Garage every year.

Well, that isn’t the case.

He actually drives a $23,000 Cadillac DTS and he bought a used one.

Shocking?

Most mega-rich people like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg understand and apply a timeless and effective financial secret.

The simple saving technique that never fails is that they live below their means by prioritizing needs over wants.

In other words, whatever isn’t a necessity is eliminated. And you’ll be applying the same principle to fast track the process of saving half of your income or even more every month.

Take note of your spending every single day, preferably for the next 30 days.

Within a month, you would have recorded your earnings, drilled down on your spending habits, and produced a clear (most times shocking) picture of where you are throwing away money.

Only then will you be in a better position to prioritize your needs and eliminate your wants.

Step 4 – Hone your skills

save half of income

At this point, you’d be halfway towards saving half of income and ready to hone your newly acquired saving skills by applying some effective tips.

Ready?

To proceed further down the rabbit hole, it is crucial to learn this lesson:

Set a savings and spending goal for the next month.

Example:

  • January savings goal: 50% of monthly income
  • January spending goal: 50% of monthly income

If the expense tracking exercise reveals that you are capable of living on 50% of your income (or less), then increase your savings by using the tips below. If, not, then use the following tips to lower your monthly spending.

10 Ideas for Saving Effectively

  • Stay organized by dividing cash into envelopes with categories like “food”, “rent”, and “transport”. When an envelope runs empty, stop spending in that category.
  • Reduce the discreet flow of energy (Phantom Power) by unplugging cell phone chargers, TVs, and computers when you’re not using them.
  • Walk, bike, use the subway, ride the tram, bus or commute to easily save more than $100 per month on gas.
  • Leave your wallet when you head out so you won’t be tempted to grab coffee or go on a mini shopping trip.
  • Save at least $500 a year by canceling cable TV and switching to alternatives like Netflix which costs $8 per month.
  • Buy items in bulk to save money on unit price.
  • Sleep, exercise, and eat healthy to prevent incurring expensive medical bills.
  • Reduce impulse purchases by sticking to a shopping list when going to the grocery store.
  • Save spare change in a piggy bank.
  • Eat in, not out.

Note: You can add more to these tips. Be creative. When reducing your monthly expenses, focus on every possible angle and don’t leave any stones unturned.

Step 5 – Test Run, Rinse, and Repeat

The rubber meets the road here…

Time to test your new set of acquired skills. Use this effective testing template:

  • Month 1: Apply steps 1 to 3 every day
  • Month 2: Apply steps 2 – 5 every day

What happens after Month 2?

Tweak your progress and repeat. From the second month onward, two things can happen.

It’s either you fail to act and end up back in square one or you commit to applying all steps and save half of your income or more.

Final Thoughts

Being broke sucks, particularly when you know you are throwing money away.

But simple changes to the way you spend can have dramatic effects on your saving habits. Just imagine ending up with every dollar saved at the end of the month.

Imagine waking up every day with absolute financial freedom that comes from being penny-wise. Think about being able to afford that nice Mercedes or that chateau in Cannes or perhaps, that comfy corner couch you have been interested in for a while now.

Remember, success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.

To begin your successful journey, apply the first and second techniques above, starting now. Commit to practicing the rest of the process every day, for the next few weeks. Keep track, make changes, and improve as you go along.

You could be saving half of income or more next month.

See Also: HSA or FSA: Which One Do You Really Need To Maximize Your Savings?

The post Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month

“Payment Successful”

That’s it. Gone forever.

Your last $50 spent in grocery bills and you think “Where does all my money go?” .

You wonder how your co-workers can afford all the glitter and gold while you end up without a dime to pay for the piling bills.

In fact, you always have this nagging feeling that you’ll end up spending your next paycheck with nothing to show for it.

And you can’t help but think:

Is it normal to feel like I’ll lose all my money even if I won the lottery? Will I always be dead broke or pretty much close?

Deep down, you know you are NOT on the right track.

Things must change.

Step 1 – Commit to mastery

Five thousand four hundred and seventy five…

The days it took for ancient Chinese monks to master the art of Kung-Fu. Guess what they were doing for all those hours?

Practicing Kung-Fu.

But more importantly, they vowed to dedicate not only those hours, but their entire lives to the Art.

The Monk’s Guide to Saving

You’re probably wondering what Martial Arts have to do with your money. Well, here’s the big secret:

Although learning to save doesn’t require hours of vigorous training, like Kung Fu, it does require a fair deal of practice and discipline.

Why?

Because more than an ingrained habit, savings must be a mastered skill. Granted, that takes sustained effort, restraint, patience, and time.

Once you make an unwavering commitment to set aside a specific amount every month, you are well on your way to quadrupling your savings in no time.

So, adjust your mindset and commit to practicing all the steps.

WARNING:

Most people take this step for granted and make a fickle decision to sparingly set aside “some money, somehow”.

And guess what?

They end up with zero in savings and bitter with life.

Obviously, that’s a recipe for disaster and you want to avoid it at all costs. It will sour your taste buds and empty your pockets, literally.

Step 2 – Record all income

how to save half of income

Quick Question:…

Do you know exactly what you earned last month?

I mean with 99.99% precision.

Cracking your brain yet?

When planning to save, it is not uncommon for people to become absorbed in monitoring their expenses while completely ignoring the essential piece. It’s tracking their income every day.

Determining the exact amount you receive in daily earnings is a crucial step that provides the basis for the following:

  • Means to identify your primary and secondary sources of income
  • Scale to measure an increase or a decrease in your earnings
  • Guide to track all of your expenses
  • Road-map to monitor your progress towards savings
  • A Reference point for making informed future investment decisions

See how this gold mine of useful information can improve your overall financial well-being?

The ridiculously easy way to keep track of your income

Tracking anything isn’t easy, especially your income. You have no idea what those cryptic bank statements mean and you have no clue what ledgers are. You have zero interest in the term “deductibles”.

Not to worry, you don’t need to know all those boring accounting jargon.

In fact, all you need is to record every dollar bill you earn every day and translate that to your weekly and overall monthly earnings.

Here is a simple sheet to illustrate the concept a little better:

Source : Hours – Pay Per Hour – Daily – Weekly – Monthly
Salary :     8    –        $10       –  $80  –     $      –   $
Business :               $100       –  $100 –    $    –    $
Other – – – – –
Total:                       $180     –      $   –     $
Date: Today

Don’t worry, you can adapt it to your particular situation.

Why the slightest changes to your money matter

The total of your monthly earnings is like a mini-map that guides you to your saving goal by informing you about your current position, destination, and journey.

Hence, tracking the slightest changes in your daily income with precision is key to ensuring your mini-map is accurate. Use the format above for guidance. Copy it into a jotter and practice every day for the next month.

Note: You would prefer to write your earnings with pen on paper because it excites your senses and provides you with a handy reference point.

Step 3 – Spend it all

Pour all your money down the drain!

Yep, you heard me right. Spend every penny you make, but do it the right way.

Before you think I am a financial Frankenstein speaking in tongues and desperate to make you my lab rat, allow me to explain.

Every day, for the next 30 days, you’ll be spending your recorded income as usual but with a little tweak.

How to tweak your spending for maximum results

You will take note of every little expense- like down to .99 cents.

Because again, you probably have no clue what your previous month’s expenses were. And to improve your saving habits, you’ll need to identify the areas you spend money the most and make adjustments.

A surprising lesson from billionaires

You would think that billionaire Warren Buffet owns a luxurious fleet of custom Rolls Royce Coupes delivered directly from the factory to his Garage every year.

Well, that isn’t the case.

He actually drives a $23,000 Cadillac DTS and he bought a used one.

Shocking?

Most mega-rich people like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg understand and apply a timeless and effective financial secret.

The simple saving technique that never fails is that they live below their means by prioritizing needs over wants.

In other words, whatever isn’t a necessity is eliminated. And you’ll be applying the same principle to fast track the process of saving half of your income or even more every month.

Take note of your spending every single day, preferably for the next 30 days.

Within a month, you would have recorded your earnings, drilled down on your spending habits, and produced a clear (most times shocking) picture of where you are throwing away money.

Only then will you be in a better position to prioritize your needs and eliminate your wants.

Step 4 – Hone your skills

save half of income

At this point, you’d be halfway towards saving half of income and ready to hone your newly acquired saving skills by applying some effective tips.

Ready?

To proceed further down the rabbit hole, it is crucial to learn this lesson:

Set a savings and spending goal for the next month.

Example:

  • January savings goal: 50% of monthly income
  • January spending goal: 50% of monthly income

If the expense tracking exercise reveals that you are capable of living on 50% of your income (or less), then increase your savings by using the tips below. If, not, then use the following tips to lower your monthly spending.

10 Ideas for Saving Effectively

  • Stay organized by dividing cash into envelopes with categories like “food”, “rent”, and “transport”. When an envelope runs empty, stop spending in that category.
  • Reduce the discreet flow of energy (Phantom Power) by unplugging cell phone chargers, TVs, and computers when you’re not using them.
  • Walk, bike, use the subway, ride the tram, bus or commute to easily save more than $100 per month on gas.
  • Leave your wallet when you head out so you won’t be tempted to grab coffee or go on a mini shopping trip.
  • Save at least $500 a year by canceling cable TV and switching to alternatives like Netflix which costs $8 per month.
  • Buy items in bulk to save money on unit price.
  • Sleep, exercise, and eat healthy to prevent incurring expensive medical bills.
  • Reduce impulse purchases by sticking to a shopping list when going to the grocery store.
  • Save spare change in a piggy bank.
  • Eat in, not out.

Note: You can add more to these tips. Be creative. When reducing your monthly expenses, focus on every possible angle and don’t leave any stones unturned.

Step 5 – Test Run, Rinse, and Repeat

The rubber meets the road here…

Time to test your new set of acquired skills. Use this effective testing template:

  • Month 1: Apply steps 1 to 3 every day
  • Month 2: Apply steps 2 – 5 every day

What happens after Month 2?

Tweak your progress and repeat. From the second month onward, two things can happen.

It’s either you fail to act and end up back in square one or you commit to applying all steps and save half of your income or more.

Final Thoughts

Being broke sucks, particularly when you know you are throwing money away.

But simple changes to the way you spend can have dramatic effects on your saving habits. Just imagine ending up with every dollar saved at the end of the month.

Imagine waking up every day with absolute financial freedom that comes from being penny-wise. Think about being able to afford that nice Mercedes or that chateau in Cannes or perhaps, that comfy corner couch you have been interested in for a while now.

Remember, success is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal.

To begin your successful journey, apply the first and second techniques above, starting now. Commit to practicing the rest of the process every day, for the next few weeks. Keep track, make changes, and improve as you go along.

You could be saving half of income or more next month.

See Also: HSA or FSA: Which One Do You Really Need To Maximize Your Savings?

The post Saving Half of Income: 5 Steps to Effortlessly Save Money Every Month appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Navigating The Job Market Before Earning Your Degree

It’s never too early to prepare for your future or consider the steps you’ll need in building a successful career. We’re asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up,” from the time we enter primary school. However, the system isn’t quite set up to guide us to where we envision ourselves. It’s no secret that the job market comes with a rigorous map to navigate. To put this into perspective, in 2017, 53% of newly graduates are underemployed and having a tough time finding the right job.

It’s your career

You are the one going to work everyday. The job is yours. Timing and preparation for your future career is completely in your hands. To ease your scares, there are simple ways to start building a successful career for your future right now.

“College students are enjoying the longest run in job growth since the late 1990s,” Phil Gardner, Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute says, “but that doesn’t mean navigating the job market is easy.” Available wages for young college graduates has been on a steady incline since 2012. This year, graduating seniors were offered 1.10 jobs on average. It’s considered a 12-year high.

build a successful career

Understanding your options

From 2000 to 2018, college graduates experienced a 1% increase in unemployment and a 4% increase in steady underemployment. 2014 to 2018 brought on the difficulty of college graduates finding successful internships. This meant that there was a 5% less chance of students being offered a position upon completing their internship and a 6% less chance of students being hired on full-time.

See Also: Can Vocational Training Help In Redefining Success?

Moving forward, deciding your future path comes with understanding the job and college markets. When picking a major, keep in mind that 4 in 5 employers look at applicants with a wide knowledge of liberal arts and sciences. About 93% of them find soft skills really important.

Considering investing in a liberal arts education will provide you with the critical thinking, communication, and problem solving skills to help you succeed in the workplace.

Furthermore, you’ll need to select a major during the decision-making process. 88% of 2017 high school graduates considered the in-demand jobs before making a decision regarding their major.

17% of high school students planned to chase the business path, 87% planning on a STEM career path. Although 8 in 10 of the fastest growing jobs for college graduates are in STEM, many graduate-level STEM programs do not require a related bachelor’s degree. STEM careers do require the soft skills learned through liberal arts.

See Also: Top Jobs You Can Get With A Math Degree

What you can do

On the other hand, there are simple steps for a high school student to take in the beginning phases of building a successful career. For example, if you are interested in the arts and medicine fields, consider seeing a career counselor or visiting a job fair. Business minds could benefit from collecting letters of reference and building an online portfolio to let employers see your creative work by hosting your projects digitally.

building a career successfully

Upon graduation, it can take about 6 months for you to find your desired field. Building experience in the field beforehand is always a great step to take. The same goes for applying for positions 3 to 4 months before graduation. You can do this by looking online. Handscape, WayUp, and Indeed are great platforms to job hunt on.

If you have a passion for going to great lengths, you may benefit from starting a professional network on LinkedIn. It’s what I consider “social media for professionals.”

Don’t let this frighten you, however. Essentially, everyone is qualified to be a professional. LinkedIn is a great platform to network on since nearly 9 of 10 recruiters use it when conducting an online search for job candidates.

The initial step in establishing a successful career begins with oriented planning. Continue down to the infographic below for specifics on how to find key influencers on Linkedin, what a professional headshot looks like, how to create meaningful content, stay memorable, and maintain a professional presence.

64% of American graduates are employed or engaged in further study. Don’t let yourself be a potential victim to the 36% of graduates struggling from under or unemployment.

College to Career
Source: Bellarmine University

The post Navigating The Job Market Before Earning Your Degree appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Can Vocational Training Help In Redefining Success?

For decades, the advice was the same:

Get an education, graduate, get a job, get married, buy a house, start a family, work until you are 65, and then retire comfortably.

Over the last 30 years, each stage in life has been under attack, however. Housing prices have surged out of control. The cost of getting a college education has gone out of hand. Student loan debt has become a household staple.

Pensions are disappearing and the stock market is proving too volatile to support private retirement accounts. People are even discovering that it’s too expensive to get married and have children. The cost of living is soaring faster than wage growth can keep up.

These factors are putting people in difficult positions. But what if there’s a way to beat the system by redefining success?

What Is Success, Anyway?

redefine success

Different generations have different criteria for what it means to be successful. Baby boomers overwhelmingly tie their families and their upbringings to their sense of identity and success, but that is starting to shift. The younger generations tie their sense of identity to their schooling and careers. It links their sense of accomplishment to the greater economy.

This means that the sense of reaching adulthood is also tied to the economy and the job market for the overwhelming majority of younger generations. People are seeing student loan debt and dependence on their parents to get a head start in life not just as an obstacle to their independence, but also as a barrier to entry for adulthood.

Many people agree that things like buying a house, getting married, and starting a family are milestones that signal adulthood. However, the difficulty of accomplishing these things in the current economy is actually preventing working adults from feeling like adults.

75% of people say that financial independence is the biggest marker for adulthood, but it seems that reaching that goal is taking longer than ever.

See Also: What Is Your Success Meter?

Is It Time To Start Redefining Success?

Graduating with a crushing student loan debt load is no longer going to work if people want to achieve success and financial independence. Going to college just to get a job that will pay back your student loans isn’t altogether helpful. But there’s one path that has been overlooked by many and that path is vocational training.

Trade and vocational school graduates are finished with their education in a fraction of the time it takes to complete a four-year degree. While they do often start out making less than a college graduate, over a decade, their earnings become almost identical to those of college graduates.

Trade and vocational school students spend a quarter of the money in total that college students spend on their tuition. The average vocational or trade school student graduates with a third the student loan debt load as their college peers. What’s more, vocational and trade grads have half the unemployment rate of college graduates.

All this translates to getting into the workforce sooner, paying off student loan debt quicker, and moving forward with their lives quicker than those who choose the college route.

While a college grad may take 20 years or more to pay back student loans, that first ten years of higher earnings doesn’t provide them with the ability to actually get ahead.

Vocational grads like plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors, and more are in a much better position to start their lives and work toward success at an earlier point. After paying student loans, college graduates are actually making less money than vocational grads.

There Is A Shortage of Tradespeople

how redefining success

As the Baby Boomer generation retires, contractors are having difficulty finding HVAC, electricians, plumbers, roofers, and more. Hospitals are having trouble finding LPNs, CNAs, and lab techs. Metal workers say that a shortage of qualified talent is the biggest threat to their workforce today. Skilled tradespeople are all but guaranteed a path to success in the current economy.

Are you ready to redefine success and take control of your life?

Stop listening to what society tells you it means to be successful and create your own path in life. Learn more about the benefits of a vocational school education from the infographic below!
How to Become Successful
Source: Vocational Training HQ

The post Can Vocational Training Help In Redefining Success? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Ultimate Success Tips For College Students

Going to college is a fun and exciting time for many people, and it’s usually the first step for complete independence for young adults. However, there is also a great responsibility that comes along with this, and our success tips for college students can help.
We’ll outline the best things you can do to start and keep your college career on track.

Take Control

For many students; they experience culture shock when they transition from high school to college. In college, there’s no one to hover over you and tell you what to do. Whether you do well or poorly falls entirely to you. Getting to class on time, doing your homework, and turning everything in before the deadlines are something you have to do without a teacher or parent there to remind you. Step up and take responsibility from the first day. This can stop you from getting overwhelmed halfway through.

Delegate Your Writing Projects

If you take a full course load, the papers you have to write can seem endless. If you get overwhelmed and behind, consider hiring a professional essay writer to help you. They can take on some of your smaller essays, and this frees up your time to concentrate on the longer and more in-depth essays you have due dates looming for. This ensures that your quality doesn’t slip and your grades don’t suffer from scrambling to finish them all at once.

Go to Class

college students success tips

This one may seem like common sense. You’re paying for your classes, so you should make an effort to go to all of them. Many students think that they can miss a set number of classes without a problem. They miss four, five, six, seven, or eight classes over the course of a semester and think that they can just get the notes. But, if you only have 35 classes per semester and you miss 7, you’re missing 20% of the content. This can hurt your grade and GPA.

Make an Effort to Study

When you go to college, be prepared to study. Most of your work will take place outside of the classroom. The general rule is that you’ll have two hours of studying to do for every hour of lecturing you sit through. As soon as the semester starts, find yourself a quiet area and block off time to study. Getting any e-readings, copying notes, and listening to the lecture again isn’t studying and shouldn’t count for your study time.

Take Tests Twice

Pre-tests are a big part of college life, especially if you use them like you would an actual test. If your instructor doesn’t give you a pre-test, you can draw one up using your course materials. Once you have it, take it like you would a normal test under the same conditions. Have a time limit, don’t look at the book unless you can on the test itself, and grade honestly. This will outline where you need to improve before you take the test again for an actual class grade.

Take Advantage of Office Hours

Most professors offer generous office hours during the week and even on weekends. They also have teacher assistants (TAs) on hand to help. At the very least, universities and colleges require professors to be available to students at least two to four hours every week. Email them, drop by, or use Skype to get answers to your questions. They can also use this time to give you extra guidance about the course in general.

Always Answer the Exact Question

Always answer the exact question on a test or paper. More students lose more points by deviating from the question and failing to answer it than giving the incorrect answer in the first place. Your professors go to great lengths to write out exact questions and sub-questions. They expect exact answers to the question rather than generalized answers or a rambling explanation of everything you may know about a topic.

Make a Point to Participate

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of students, especially if you go to larger lecture halls. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself. You want to make a point to participate during lectures. Ask questions if it pertains to the subject or class in general. It’s very likely that other people wonder the same thing. If it’s not directly related to the class material, send your professor an email. or visit them during their office hours.

Turn in Everything

Even if you hand an assignment in late, docking a few points instead of getting a zero is much easier on your GPA. If you find yourself struggling, you can talk to the profession, talk to the TA, or take advantage of your college’s tutoring services. Try to do this in advance, so you don’t turn in your assignments way past the due date.

Learn How to Cite Sources

Plagiarizing content can be grounds for immediate disciplinary actions if you get caught. No matter if you’re writing out a paper or giving a presentation, you have to cite your sources. You can run your paper through Copyscape if you’re worried about plagiarizing, and make sure you ask before you turn it in if you’re not sure.

Improve Your Writing

college students success tip

Even though you’re in college, your professors can still rate you on your writing quality and style. Learn how to use semi-colons and commas. Your college usually has a writing lab that you can drop by and ask if you have questions. You want to make a point to learn to use homonyms correctly because they have very different meanings even if they sound the same. Also, take time to proofread everything once or twice before you turn it in.

See Also: Effective Tips for Writing Assignments You Probably Didn’t Know About

These 11 quick success tips for college students can help to make your transition easier. You won’t get so overwhelmed, and you can have a seamless experience from the first to the last year.

The post Ultimate Success Tips For College Students appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Sleep Hacking: How to Optimize Your Sleep for Success

We spend a significant portion of our lives sleeping. Recharging, dreaming, and restoring are parts of everyone’s life no matter where you live or who you are. So, why do so many of us struggle with our sleep? And how can we change the way we think about sleep for success?

‘Sleep hacking’ has become a buzzword in the world of startups and entrepreneurship.

Essentially, sleep hacking is where you try to streamline your sleeping pattern. By reducing the time spent falling asleep and reducing the amount of sleep in general, you can free up some crucial hours in the day… well, crucial for those that run multiple businesses or have demanding careers.

But there is consternation when it comes to sleep hacking.

Is it advisable? Is it good for you?

We’re going to explore this subject a bit more and see if we can answer some of those questions.

Famous Sleep Hackers

Some of the most famous people in the world have had unusual and demanding sleep patterns.

Is this really feeding into their success? Or is it an unnecessary measure against a busy schedule?

After all, sleeping well is incredibly important for performance and even dreaming can be extremely illuminating. Some of the world’s greatest creators, inventors, and innovators have had world-changing ideas in their sleep.

So, who among us is able to get by on very little sleep? Some famous ‘sleep hackers’ include:

  • Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO. Jack splits his time between two of his startups, Twitter and Square. This means he can spend up to 20 hours a day at work. Jack gets by on four to six hours of sleep a night.
  • Marissa Meyer, Yahoo CEO. Marissa can often work up to 130 hours a week, leaving just 5 hours a night to sleep.
  • Barack Obama, Former US President. Obama’s presidential schedule only allowed for six hours of sleep a night. And when you’re running the largest economy in the world, that sleep is very liable to be interrupted by a myriad of crises.
  • Martha Stewart, President of Martha Stewart Omnimedia. As the president of a media company that’s responsible for four major publications and more, Martha was often reduced to just four hours of sleep a night.
  • Nikola Tesla, Famous Inventor. A man who truly changed the world, Nikola Tesla’s diary suggests that he would sleep as little as two hours a night.
nikola tesla sleep hacking
Via interestingengineering.com

Sleep Hacking and Your Health

While it’s ideal to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, the idea of sleeping just half of that seems preposterous. The reality is we’re all wired up differently when it comes to sleep.

Some of us will really feel sleeping less than 8 hours of sleep the next day. Some of us can probably get by on around 6 hours without any noticeable difference.

And it is true that 8 hours of sleep is optimum but not essential to everyone. And it’s up to you to figure out if you’re able to cope. Trying to jump in at the deep end and sleeping only 2 hours like Nikola Tesla is very likely to backfire and is not recommended in any way. But you can start phasing down your sleep if sleep hacking is something you think you can do and would benefit from.

The actual benefit of sleep hacking is also key here. For these famous sleep hackers, it’s quite a stretch to say that by having a few extra hours in the day (in some cases just two or three), it’s enabled them to reach the lofty heights they have. And we’re not saying for one second that if you start sleep hacking, you’ll become a famous CEO. There are also plenty of ways to perform better in life while still enjoying 8 hours of good sleep every night.

If you are time-poor, then sleep hacking can create a few extra hours of crucial time for you. But you have to be willing to use that time effectively.

If you know that you really can’t handle that amount of sleep, then you can look at other tactics and changes you can make in your life. Think about your time management and your lifestyle. Maybe a reduction in sleeping hours isn’t what you need, but rather a change in sleeping times.

Are you more productive in the morning? Get up earlier and ride the crest of your productive morning waves.

Are you more of a night owl? See how you can use that to your advantage.

How Can You Start Improving Your Sleep Today?

sleep hacking tip

There are a number of steps you can take to start improving your sleep before you venture into the world of sleep hacking:

Supplements – Supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals is one step on the way to better sleep. Vitamin D, Magnesium, and oils with Omega 3 are your friend here.

Diet – What you eat also ties in to how you sleep. Your brain is the organ with the highest fat content in your body. So, high-quality fats will feed your brain the right way and can help improve your sleep.

Sleeping Position – The way you sleep can make a big difference. For instance, sleeping on your back can create tension on your hips and lower back. It’s also linked to higher instances of sleep paralysis. Sleeping on your side is better and even sleeping at a slight incline can help improve quality, too.

Invest in it – Invest in your sleep with things like a weighted blanket or sleep trackers. There are high-spec apps that can tell you more about your sleep and sleep quality. You spend roughly a third of your life asleep, investing in it is welcome!

Reduce Your Exposure to Light – In a world of screens, the light emanating from them can later affect our sleep, especially when you’re scrolling your timeline in bed waiting to fall asleep. A good rule of thumb is to try and not look at any kind of screen for at least 20 minutes before going to sleep. Another good tip is to go for a walk when you’re done with your phone. Avoid interacting with any kind of screen when you’re back.

Meditation – Mindfulness meditation techniques have been shown to improve sleep. If you can create the right conditions of your sleep and then engage in some mental exercises that allow you to let go of your day and focus on your breath, this can naturally lead to a good, deep sleep.

See Also: Questions and Answers: A Beginners Guide to Meditation

Sleep Cold – Heat wakes up at night and humidity interferes with your sleep. Although a cold shower generally wakes you up, having one before bed isn’t a bad idea to reduce your body temperature. Alternatively, lower the temperature in a room if you can.

While sleep hacking isn’t for everyone, there are definitely some concrete and simple measures you can start enacting today that can help. Another thing to consider is whether your sleep is what you should be focusing on.

Would you be better off streamlining other parts of your life? We would say that looking to reduce your sleep should be one of your final resorts. What good is sleep hacking if you’re going to be tired and well below your full performance capacity all day?

The post Sleep Hacking: How to Optimize Your Sleep for Success appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

What Is Your Success Meter?

What does success mean for you?

Here’s an interesting story.

In 1983, a young talented guitarist was kicked out of his dream band. He was delirious with joy even just before the manager called him at his office to kick him out. It happened just three days before he was about to record his first album.

No reason, no complaints, no fight, just shown the door. For no reason.

So, as he sat on the bus from Los Angeles to New York, you know what he did?

He cried.

What did I do wrong? Just, how did this happen? I have worked so, so hard to get here and now, this. Let me jump from the roof of this bus. I would never go home.

But he went home. When he stepped out of the bus, his tears were evaporated by the heat of his anger. How dare they fire him? Who are they? Just a crappy band with a dozen songs and 1000 fans?

Blah.

He was over his self-pitying and he was definitely not that guy who’d quit playing guitar. He would build his own band and throw concerts in New York in front of them. He’ll become more famous than them.

And he was right.

His name was Dave Mustaine.

He founded the band Megadeath.

Later on, Megadeath toured the whole world and  has sold  over 25 million albums. Today, Mustaine is considered as one of the most brilliant and influential musicians in the history of heavy-metal music.

young dave mustaine
Via rockandrollgarage.com

But, unfortunately the band which kicked him out was Metallica. It has sold over 180 million albums worldwide. Metallica is considered by many to be one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

So this man, Dave Mustaine was a success freak. You can just guess how successful he was. He has billions of fans and had no guitaring background. From crap, he had made a billionaire of himself. His anger made him successful.

Normally, people would say, “See? He believed in himself and he always sought revenge. That is why he is who he is now. He was overtly successful.”

Or, was he?

In a rare interview in his old age, he said with tears that he has never tasted success. Even with so much money and many fans, he was not successful. For him, success meant one thing and that’s to be more famous than Metallica.

Since he was not, he didn’t consider himself successful.

dave mustaine
Via youtube

Now, you and I will laugh at his condition. But to him, he had worked so hard, but his life was a failure.

Our success is determined by our own success meters.

Someone’s success can be your failure while someone’s failure can be your success.

Dave Mustaine was:

a) A failure (according to his success meter)
b) A success (according to my success meter)

We like to determine other’s success and failures by our own success meters. If you ask what success in life is, many of us would say it’s getting a nice job, getting paid good money, having a car, and having a selfie-ready spouse with two cute kids. These are high success meters but not for everyone.

That is why your parents often tell you that your cousin is a total failure because he dropped out of school to pursue his singing career even though he has concerts regularly and gets 10k likes on each song in YouTube.

So, you define what is successful, either consciously or unconsciously.

Don’t get fazed by other’s success meters. Maybe your dad is a lecturer at a university and wants you to do the same.

Just think, would you be happier if you become a lecturer and get paid nicely? Or would you be happier if you build your business and it collapses and you’ll be poor?

Your answer tells something about your success meters. Do what you think will make you successful. Forget career stereotypes — be a lecturer if you want to, otherwise start your dream business.

See Also: 20 Qualities for A Successful Life

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7 Really Common Habits That Are Holding You Back From Success

Success is gradual, not spontaneous. It is a collection of thousands and thousands of good life choices, marred with many regrettable choices. To succeed, regrettable choices need to be minimal. That is why you must assess your daily habits at all times to ensure that you don’t pile up too many errors and know which bad habits to give up.

The greatest challenge with taking stock of your habits is that they’re mostly deeply ingrained in your life. They are part of you. Sometimes, you will call out other people on their bad habits without knowing that you suffer from equally disgusting, if not more, disgusting habits.

However, working on your daily habits is the first step towards success and prosperity. If you wish to change for the better, you probably should consult with a life coach to challenge your habits and get advice on where to rectify.

That is why you will benefit greatly by reading this article, as it gives you 7 of the most common bad habits to give up for success.

Seeking unnecessary approval

Parents have the tendency of training their young ones to seek approval from elders at all times. For every small step they make, they expect a tap on the back for a job well done. Every bad comment they get, their self-esteem goes down.

Regrettably, this habit of seeking approval from others on every single thing in life never goes even after we grow up. Adults will always feel underappreciated because the boss doesn’t compliment them often enough, or because their life partners do not seem to appreciate their effort. In the long run, this habit hinders productivity and growth.

Encouraging the feeling of overwhelm

Maybe you are feeling stagnant on your job because you spend less time on yourself. After all, your job is too overwhelming to even afford an hour in the gym, right?

You would be wrong.

The most successful people dedicate a significant amount of time to themselves. Taking vacations, reading motivational material before work, working out regularly, and doing generally everything to remain healthy and happy. That enables them to be happy and productive at their workplace and in life as a whole.

Procrastination

The day to ask for a pay rise or quit that oppressive job is today. The day to start your business is today.. And today is the day to make your financial plans.

Many people fail because they wait for the “right” time to act on their plans. Don’t be like them. Take action and grab opportunities as they come. If you fail in one venture, you surely will succeed in another.

Perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist?

If you are, then it’s time you drop that habit. It is important to appreciate that you are human. Your employees and everyone around you are humans, too. We all have our limitations.

Don’t expect too much from people because you will be disappointed. There isn’t a perfect job, business, career, family or a perfect life. The key to success is doing your best and asking other people to fill in where you come short. Then, leave what cannot be fixed to chance.

Dwelling too much on non-priorities

What are your priorities in life? Are you thinking of going back to school? Do you wish to save time for a side hustle? Or are you watching too much TV and neglecting your loved ones?

You need to discard whatever is preventing you from accomplishing your top priorities. You can start by determining those bad habits to give up. If it is your computer or phone, keep it away. If it is your habit of drinking or partying too much, control that.

Overworking

Do you see that the department you work too hard to “save”? Well, it probably doesn’t need you to “save” it.

Don’t overwork to make things run smoothly. They will somehow sort themselves out even without your intervention. Always do your best and then delegate the rest. Remember that if you die today, someone will sit in the desk you’re sitting on today.

So, stop overworking and create time for some other things.

Know-it-all attitude

You are well-educated and connected, but that doesn’t make you the custodian of all knowledge. Giving people a chance to challenge your knowledge and advise you occasionally is important for your growth. Even if someone is your junior in terms of career or age, you should never shoot them down when they try to air their opinions.

See Also: 5 Habits Of Successful People You Should Be Following Today

The post 7 Really Common Habits That Are Holding You Back From Success appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Take Your LinkedIn Profile to the Max: 4 Tips to Get More Jobs

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on a killer opportunity to get flooded with job offers.

Worse, you’re giving your competition the edge because 40% of recruiters won’t interview you if they can’t find you online.

So, having a LinkedIn profile isn’t a matter of choice; it’s a must.

But a blank LinkedIn account doesn’t cut it. If you want to wow recruiters and get showered with job opportunities, you need to optimize it.

This guide shows how you can start improving your LinkedIn profile.

Get a Custom URL

improve linkedin profile

First things first.

When you create a LinkedIn account, your profile URL has a nauseating mix of characters and numbers that don’t roll off the tongue.

Which would you rather choose?

linkedin.com/in/Aasfjhw27482xaA291 vs. linkedin.com/in/max-woolf/

Exactly.

Also, a custom profile URL gives a much friendlier SEO look that helps you rank better in LinkedIn search. And it looks 10x better in your resume’s contact info section.

So, go ahead and learn how to get a sweet customized URL.

Help Recruiters Find You

This one might sound obvious, but we don’t want to take chances.

If you want recruiters to know you’re open for a new job, navigate to the Career interests bar and flip that switch from Off to On.

Perfect.

Get ready to bathe in job offers!

Make Your Profile Hulk-Level Strong

Alright, done with the basics.

It’s time for some advanced LinkedIn optimization techniques.

Head over to your profile. See the big circle titled Profile Strength?

When you provide as much information, that circle will read ‘All Star’ and that’s where you want to be.

Why?

Users that fully complete profiles are 40x more likely to get job offers.

How to reach the All-Star level?

Fill out all the sections with your info:

Pen a summary, provide volunteer experience, add certifications, etc. Leave the skills section for now—we’ll cover it later.

Pro tip: Use keywords in the headline to up your chances of popping up in search. E.g., instead of Max Woolf, write Max Woolf, Career Advice Writer.

Make Your Skills Drip with Expertise

linkedin profile

So far, so good.

Now, it’s time to take care of the skills section.

LinkedIn allows to add up to 50 skills, but you can only prominently feature ten. The rest will hide under the ‘Show more’ button.

Make sure those ten skills are (1) keyword skills and (2) are your core strengths.

Pro tip: When adding skills, pick the ones suggested rather than typing skills manually. The suggested skills are what recruiters search for.

If you did your homework and made a list of skills with the highest impact for your resume, copy-paste them to your LinkedIn profile.

If you need help, here are five most demanded hard skills (according to a 2019 LinkedIn study.)

  • Cloud Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Analytical Reasoning
  • People Management
  • UX Design

What fun is it to have a boatload of skills if you can’t prove you have them?

That is when endorsements kick in. They come from people you worked with and can prove your expertise.

The good news?

Getting your skills endorsed is as easy as ABC.

All it takes is to scratch someone’s back and wait for them to scratch yours.

So, what do you think? What are your tips to make a LinkedIn profile pop?

Drop your insights in the comments below.

See Also: Using The New LinkedIn For Personal Branding And Career Success

The post Take Your LinkedIn Profile to the Max: 4 Tips to Get More Jobs appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Life-Changing Magic of Giving Up

‘Giving up’ or ‘quitting’ on something has mixed connotations.

For one, giving up smoking is widely applauded.

Giving up on a marriage, on the other hand, well, it depends on who you speak to.

In my life, giving up has not been equated with praiseworthy behavior. To give up or to ‘throw in the towel’ is to be defeated.

I’ve seen myself and others be reprimanded for behavior like this. Giving up my ballet lessons, in favor of Saturday morning cartoons was my decision, age six. I thank my parents for having the grace to let me make the choice, but it was clear to me I’d made the wrong one in their eyes.

Despite the cloud of judgment that hangs over the realm of giving up, I’ve been an active quitter throughout my life. I feel like I’ve earned my stripes in the art of quitting, and now I’m on a mission to advocate for the life-changing magic of giving up.

My Best Quit Ever

My job, age 23.

I was in a position that any fresh graduate would be grateful for. I had landed a role as a junior designer in a digital agency, based in the heart of London’s West End. My colleagues were pleasant, we were always allowed to leave on time, at the crack of 5 pm. On paper, I had nothing to complain about.

job quitting

Inside, however, I was screaming. For some people, the open plan office environment with its bright lights and background drone isn’t for them. The commute wore me out, and I wondered every day how everyone else seems to be coping just fine.

But are they? Or are those other poker-faced commuters also screaming inside? Do we all just agree to this lifestyle, just to pay the bills and live in an apartment within walking distance to the cool cafes and good public transport links?

The Courage to Quit

Maybe some people really don’t mind it so much. But I did. So I quit.

I started freelancing, working from home and built my online business. The work was more challenging, the paychecks less predictable: but I was happy.

My most recent quit has been my home, I suppose. I traded that in for a nomadic lifestyle, taking my laptop and Aeropress on the road and gently stepping off the path that should, society tells us, lead to a happy home, 2.4 kids and a nice man to rub my feet.

Since then my eyes have been opened to the true generosity of many, many humans. I’ve seen first-hand the kind of incredible regeneration work is happening in the forests of Portugal. I’ve hiked in the Cascade Mountain range. And I’ve helped build a mini-golf course. Needless to say, I don’t regret my decision one bit.

why quitting is not bad

These decisions take courage. They are full of risk and uncertainty. When I quit my safe, well-paid agency job I didn’t know what would happen next. I didn’t know how to get my own clients or start an online business. I had to choose to trust myself to figure it out.

Now, I’m reminded of the bravery that takes. To say, ‘yes’ to uncertainty and to gather the strength to move forward into the unknown in spite of the risks, both financial and emotional.

The Stigma of Quitting

Quitting doesn’t have to be applied to something as dramatic as a job or home; it could be quitting sugar or late nights or speaking to that grumpy neighbor. These little decisions we make to put our foot down and say, ‘I quit’, and stand by that even if we’re scared; are life-changing.

If someone tells me they left their marriage of 35 years, I won’t cast a judgmental eye. I know that the courage that must have taken is worth applauding alone, whether or not it was the ‘right’ decision. After all, who are we to judge whether something is the right decision? The best we can do is acknowledge what comes our way and learn from the events we wish had gone differently.

I wonder if dropping our judgment around giving up is something that would actually help more families stay together or more employees stick around for the long haul. If we strip away the stigma attached to quitting, maybe we could talk more openly about that pull we have to bolt.

The conversation can then open up. We can ask ‘what can I do to help?’ In some cases, maybe the decision can be turned around altogether, simply because the person on the edge of leaving is met with compassion and understanding.

In some cases, it won’t. Giving up the past may be the best and only decision for many of us and the only path to a brighter future. Either way, I believe it’s time we drop the judgment around giving up and maybe even celebrate its life-changing magic.

Is there something in your life you can give up?

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10 Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively Under Pressure

Do you ever feel the need to be more productive and organized in order to accomplish much more than what you are doing right now?

Time management is one of the most important skills that you need to develop in life. With effective time management, you enable yourself to become more productive at achieving the goals and objectives assigned to you at work. You also get better in achieving the ones you assign to yourself in daily life.

In this particular article, you will find 10 useful and effective time management strategies that will boost your productivity dramatically.

Conduct a Time Audit

To acquire the skill of time management, you need to figure out where you spend most of your time and what you accomplish in that particular time. Track all your activities for a week and evaluate them to find areas that need improvement.

For example, if most of your time is utilized in unproductive meetings and low-priority tasks, try to reschedule your agenda. That way, you’ll bring more positivity in your daily routine so that you accomplish more than what you are currently doing.

Prioritize your work according to the weight and importance that each task carries. The most important and heavy tasks should be performed first so that you can relax your mind whilst performing the less important tasks.

Prepare for Meetings in Advance

When going to a meeting, be clear in the points that need to be addressed in the meeting. This will help you save precious time which you can use in other productive tasks.

In addition to this, share the meeting agenda with your colleagues and subordinates. This will help make sure that they know about the topics that would be discussed in the meeting.

Set Time Limits

Before you start performing a task, make sure that you set a timer for that particular task. This will let you know how long it will take to complete it.

By setting time constraints, you will focus more on your work and you are more likely to complete it on time. In case you still fail to complete your tasks in the given time, examine the workflow. Eliminate the unnecessary breaks to complete the tasks in a timely manner.

Plan Your Week

time management strategy

Plan your week on a Sunday so that you know your priorities. Make a full-fledged plan regarding the activities that you have been assigned so that you don’t forget anything.

After completing the tasks, mark them done in your notepad. This will allow you to simplify your assignments and you will have a better idea about the time you need to put in to complete your work.

Create a Daily Plan

Before starting with your daily routine, take a few minutes to make an outline of the tasks that are lined up for that day. This will enable you to know how much time you can spend on each individual task.

Moreover, knowing the time will help you gain motivation for the day and you will be able to perform better.

Most people find the first hour of their day more productive. If you are one of them, use this precious time to complete the most important tasks of your day.

Block/Ignore Distractions

When working on a high priority task, make sure that you enable the “Do Not Disturb” function in your smartphone and laptop. You can also go offline by logging out of all social media networking sites.

It is worth mentioning the fact that you should not consider multitasking when doing something important. When you multitask, you are dividing your attention into several other tasks and you lose focus.

Don’t Wait for Inspiration

Instead of waiting for inspiration, create the perfect environment for yourself to work. Waiting for inspiration is a waste of time and businessmen do not have time for such things because time is money.

Keep your mind busy and stay away from daydreams because these emotions also tend to waste your precious time. Similarly, instead of striving for perfection, strive for your best performance and perfection will automatically follow you.

Organize Your Messengers

Keep your inbox organized at all times because, with everything classified, you will be able to find the right email without wasting any time. People with cluttered inbox usually lose important information at the time when they need it the most.

In order to organize your messengers, you should:

  • Keep your inbox clean
  • Archive messages that are important but do not require immediate action
  • Store the files attached in the messages in order to access them later when needed
  • Use filters to assign labels to all the incoming and outgoing messages.

Use Your Calendar

time management strategies

Keeping a calendar at your office desk is always a good idea to keep track of your upcoming meetings, routine tasks, and events. Mark the tasks that are done and complete the ones that are left so that you can enjoy your leisure time doing fun activities.

You can also download a calendar app in your smartphone in order to know when exactly a certain task is due.

Balance Your Life

Take full responsibility for your work and take some time out to relax your mind. Research shows that relaxed and peaceful minds perform better than the ones that are always tensed up about work.

The key to a stress-less mind is a balanced life. Have a great time with your friends and family when you are not at work because you deserve it.

See Also: How To Increase Your Productivity By Harnessing Dead Time

Conclusion

Your time belongs to you

Therefore, instead of wasting it in unproductive tasks, utilize it to accomplish the goals that mean something to you. Delegate some tasks on your subordinates and teach them how to perform better. That way, you can spend your precious time doing something that others are not capable of learning and executing.

The post 10 Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively Under Pressure appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Rules For Effective Packaging Design

Your packaging choices can make or break your brand. After all, your product’s packaging design influences consumer behavior and brand perception.

If you want to start right with design, check out the following rules to follow.

Be honest with customers

Honesty can go a long way in package design. It must be the true reflection of your product or brand.

Do not attempt to under-deliver or over-promise. Otherwise, you’ll disappoint your customers by tricking them into something that does not exist or that they don’t expect.

Speaking of honesty, strive hard to depict your product in the best way possible.

For example, why would you put a cookie in melted chocolate if you were just selling chocolate-flavored cookie? Or why would you include many strawberries in the design of your fruit yogurt if yours has little strawberry content?

Just be honest. Don’t depict your product five times better than it is. Otherwise, you’ll mislead and disappoint customers who won’t attempt to buy from you ever again. In all cases, don’t use a misleading package design.

Keep it simple

simple packaging design

Simplicity and clarity go hand in hand.

For one, customers have nothing against inexpensive products, so you don’t have to put many unnecessary elements in the design. It will just mislead customers.

Simplicity is the key to helping customers easily recognize what your product is for and what the brand behind it is.

For example, avoid listing tons of benefits without a clear brand name or try to make your packaging look great on the outside without clearly explaining what’s inside it.

It’s one of the main rules of package designing – it must be clear about the product and the brand.

Make it useful

Think about the footprint of your product’s packaging and factor in transportation and/or international transit cost.

Make sure your box, can or bottle is moderately small. Before the actual manufacturing of your product’s package, deliberate over it along with your product’s shelf life.

With usefulness of a product’s packaging design also comes practicality. It deals with the actual functionality, shape, and size of the jar, bottle, box or container and not just of the wrap or label.

The more sales your product might be getting if it’s indeed a practical product.

Remember Heinz?

heinz upside down bottle

Its sales went up when it turned its bottle upside down because that design simply makes ketchup dispensing much easier

At the end of the day, ask yourself:

  • Does my package feature conveniences or innovations valued by customers?
  • Can it solve a problem?

Finally, you must adhere to the law and ensure that your packaging is recyclable.

See Also: Why The Right Product Packaging Is Essential to Your Business’ Success

Create a WOW customer experience

Another rule for an effective packaging design lies in customer experience.

What kind of impression do you want to leave consumers? How would you make them remember your brand and product while browsing different other products in the grocery shelf with your package design?

That’s why you have to express a unique and clear reason to exist in the first place. If you’re good at this, you’ll create a deeper relationship with your customers because they feel good about your brand.

One way to do that is to appeal to them with your package design. Make equally great packaging choices. Don’t embellish too much or else, you won’t make an accurate representation of your product.

You should also not exaggerate things by making your product seemingly loaded when it is not. As again, you have to be honest with your customers.

Make eco-friendly packaging

Go green with your packaging and show customers you sincerely care for the environment. Make sure that your packaging design has a lower carbon footprint to help you create a positive image for your brand.

And again, ensure it is recyclable and your materials are sourced locally. By using eco-friendly packaging, you can improve your brand’s image, too. This will favor consumers who are environmentally conscious.

Final Thoughts

Remember that your choices influence how consumers will perceive your brand and product. It’s your last chance to convince them to choose you over competitors.

If you want to make an impact — not only on the shelves but also in the minds of consumers — think about the best packaging design that shows honesty, eco-friendliness, usefulness, and simplicity. Finally, it should create a WOW customer experience.

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10 Unstoppable Entrepreneurs Share Their Advice For Success

Being an entrepreneur is never about the end result but the journey you embark yourself on. If you really want to succeed, you must look past your failures and pursue your goals with persistence.

Unfortunately, staying motivated on this journey isn’t easy. Whether it’s online trading or any other business you are running, always remember that there is nothing in this world you can’t do.

Ever wondered how successful entrepreneurs survived and still managed to thrive? Well, it wasn’t easy for them, either. Hear it from themselves.

Here are some words of advice from 10 most influential and unstoppable entrepreneurs:

Elon Musk – Keep Questioning Yourself

elon musk

Founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla, Musk is a game-changing innovator. He is the real-life Iron Man. It’s amazing how he keeps running so many projects despite his previous failures.

Musk admits that he hasn’t read many books on time management. Still, he has some great advice to share. He says, “It’s important to have a feedback loop. It will let you think about what you have done and how you can do it better. So, constantly think about how you can do things better. Keep questioning yourself.”

Sheryl Sandberg – Be Yourself

sheryl sandberg

Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, is a role model for women and men alike. She has learned so many lessons from her journey of becoming the first woman to sit on the board of the social media giant – Facebook.

She believes there is no professional self from Mondays through Fridays and a real-self during the weekends. This kind of division has never worked for anyone. She has cried at work so many times. She has talked about her hopes and fear and asked people about theirs. In the midst of it all, she tried to be herself.

J.K. Rowling – Believe in Yourself

j k rowling

J.K Rowling, the best-selling author behind the Harry Potter series, has a success story that’s an inspiration for all of us. It’s amazing how she wasn’t always a runaway success.
Rowling says that “You will face rejections but you must dare to believe in yourself. If you can’t do that, then find someone who will believe in you while you work on your ideas.”

Arianna Huffington – Be Comfortable with Failure

arianna huffington

Arianna Huffington, famous politician and founder and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post says you must learn to be comfortable with failure. It is something her mother taught her when she was young.

She said, “Failure isn’t the opposite of success. It is, in fact, the stepping stone to success.”

Arianna has a fair share of professional and personal setbacks. There was even a point in her career when she was tempted to change her profession. Despite that, she kept going with the belief that the best things come from the biggest heartbreaks.

See Also: 5 Women Entrepreneurs Who Failed Before Becoming Millionaires

Steve Jobs –Focus on Quality

steve jobs

Steve Jobs may not be with us today but this genius left a very sound piece of advice for young entrepreneurs. He has always given attention to detail and placed quality above quantity.

Let’s hear from Jobs himself – “Quality is better than quantity. One home run is better than two.”

Mark Zuckerberg – Move Fast

mark zuckerberg

Zuckerberg is one of the most successful young entrepreneurs. His advice for all newbies is to move fast and don’t hesitate to make mistakes. When you try to be perfect and move slow, you mess things up. As you move fast, you break things. And if you are not breaking anything, you are not moving fast enough.

Remember when Facebook received negative feedback on redesigning its news feed? The company then chose a middle ground by offering its users to retract to old newsfeed along with keeping the new one. When they rolled out the timeline, they used a similar strategy.

Jeff Bezos – Put Customers First

jeff bezos

The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has so many businesses under his belt. What’s his secret to success?

Keep your customers above everything.

He says, “The most important single thing is to focus on your customers. Amazon’s goal is to become the most customer-centric company in the world.”

He’s right simply because customers make or break your business.

Tony Robbins – Psychology Makes or Breaks You

tony robbins

Who doesn’t know Tony Robbins, the famous bookseller, entrepreneur, and philanthropist?

He is best at negotiation, leadership, and organizational turnaround.

What’s his secret to success, you ask?

Robbin says, “Business success is 80 percent psychology and 20 percent mechanics.”

Mark Cuban – There’re No Shortcuts

mark cuban

The owner of Dallas Mavericks says that best advice he would give to someone is to “Do the work. Outthink and outsell your expectations. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success.”

His father was the one to give this advice when he was in high school.

Daymond John – Save Money

daymond john

Daymond John is the founder of FUBU and an investor on Shark Tank.

When he came into the fashion business, an older salesman shared a piece of valuable advice with him. “You must save money in this business. You never know when you would have to invest it back into your business.”

Final Words

There’s always something to learn from the journey of successful people. Make sure you remember these pieces of advice as you move forward.

The post 10 Unstoppable Entrepreneurs Share Their Advice For Success appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Top 7 Ways To Achieve Legendary Level of Leadership

You must’ve had the pleasure of leading a team or a small group of people at some point in your life. Be it a project or a small campaign, you know how difficult it sometimes get to keep all of your team members on the same page and make them working toward your (common) goal.

Human history is filled with so many great leaders who made the whole world follow them without being distracted or having double thoughts. So, how did those people achieve that legendary level of leadership?

Here are 7 tips on how to improve leadership skills:

Connection

Being a leader, you definitely want your team to understand you better. But don’t you think that you need to understand your team members first?

The key to being a good leader is how good can he or she connects with his or her people.

Yes, your team members are your people. They should be as close to you as your family and similarly, you should be as close to them as their families. You need to know them (not just their names and bio), understand them, and connect with them.

Start talking to your team members or followers more often. Talk about not just about future goals and work-related stuff but also about personal things. Make them feel that you are a friend to them instead of a person who orders them. Share your personal stories first so that they can be more comfortable talking to you. Have fun with them.

Once they start feeling that you’re fun like their friends and caring like their families, you’ll see the difference in their way of working. They’ll start putting their faith in you. They will see you as a leader instead of a boss.

Motivation

Working continuously toward a common goal is what you and your team should be thinking and doing — always. But constantly doing so creates exhaustion due to our limited mental and physical capabilities.

This exhaustion later leads to a decreased level of morale and lack of motivation toward work. Now, it is your job to boost your people’s morale and their level of motivation.

Delivering motivational speeches frequently during meetings is one of the best ways to cheer up your people. If some individual is feeling hopeless, then you have to talk to that person individually instead of calling a team meeting.

For more information on how to deliver a killer speech, you can check this article by John Corcoran on Dumb Little Man.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

Teamwork

As they say, “With great power comes greater responsibility!”

Being a leader, you might have a very diverse group of people who are very different from each other. This diversity is good for the exposure and scope of your team as it can bring new ideas as well as creative insights.

However, this diversity also creates conflicts when two or more people don’t agree with each other or their beliefs clash on some topic.

In that case, you need to come up with a solution on how to create harmony in your team while avoiding conflicts. It can be achieved by taking those people for a coffee or dinner to talk things out.

If your people can become friends, they’ll be better at working together. So, you need to introduce this friendship to your team members as it encourages solid teamwork.

Be more active in case a new member joins your team. It can be hard for a newbie to find his place in the team as well as in the social sphere. Introduce your newest member to the team and make him feel good by proudly announcing his achievement among your team members.

You need to keep checking the cohesiveness in your team as it is highly fragile. One conflict or misunderstanding might lead to a collapse.

Greater Goal

greater goal

To keep everyone on the same page, you need to keep reminding them about the greater goal. It is okay if everyone in your team works for their own progress and success. But you need to tell them how important achieving your common goal is.

Connect your goal to a greater good. Shout proudly in your speeches or casual talks that achieving this goal will be crucial for the development of society and also beneficial for mankind.

Hearing this will definitely make your whole team proud of themselves. It is necessary for their self-esteem as it’ll increase their scope of thinking. Knowing that they are working for something bigger will give them the boost they need.

Be Loud and Clear

You know that they don’t call the lion ‘the king of the jungle’ for nothing.

You are their leader and you have the responsibility for everything. So, you need to be loud whether it be a motivational speech or a regular talk with your team member.

You cannot afford to stumble while talking. You need to keep a lion-like image among your team. They should look up to you whenever they need any help.

You should also be clear and straightforward. It is your team so you better clearly assign work and give tasks to your people. Since you’ll be responsible for anything good or bad that happens to your team, better be loud and clear always.

Always Be Humble

Being loud and clear doesn’t give you the right to be rude or arrogant even for once. It simply is unacceptable. The moment you start behaving negatively, you’ll be dragging the entire team down.

Even when your team members are not so humble to you all the time, you need to act in such a way.

Being humble shows a positive attitude. Plus, it encourages your people to practice humility as well.

I understand that you are also a human being who has emotions. Yes, you can be angry but you need to control your negative emotions.

Control your anger by using specific techniques, like counting 1 to 10 in your head. Now, once you have enough self-control, try to be humble as much as possible.

See Also: The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence For A Leader

End on A Good Note

leadership skill

If you’ve ever delivered a speech or did a presentation, you’ll know how crucial it is to end things on a good note.

Just think of someone who is delivering a motivational speech to a crowd and suddenly says ‘Thank you’!

Ending your talks or speech is as important as any other steps of being a leader. You can include any inside jokes which only you and your team can understand. It’ll help ease up any awkward situation and introduce subtle humor.

You can also include any quotes by famous personalities, such as the one below:

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope” – Martin Luther King Jr.

What do you think a leader requires to be legendary? Leave in comments down below.

The post Top 7 Ways To Achieve Legendary Level of Leadership appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Creating Great Habits Through Self-Improvement

When you realize you’re not happy in the situation you find yourself in, it’s time to take action. If you’re unsure about where to start and how to make that change, there are two options you can take: a sudden, dramatic overhaul of your life or gradual change that leads to a permanent improvement.

While the former might offer a short-term hit, the latter is where you need to go for longer-term gains and where you will find the most improvement.

Below, take a look at some of the most effective habits to improve yourself:

Be The Early Bird

It’s easier said than done if you’re a night owl but it’s true. The early bird really does catch the worm.

Getting up even an hour earlier will make your day a lot productive. Whether you spend that hour working, meditating or exercising, it will be an hour that sets your day up. Incorporating this great habit into your daily life will lead to self-improvement in your mind, body, and soul.

Be disciplined, set an alarm, and get into the habit of getting up over several days.

Bite Size Goals

You may feel frustrated at your lack of progress in your job or how your dead-end relationship is panning out. However, making a drastic change may not be the answer.

To improve your situation and set up the right habits, you need to consider your goals.

Get Into The Sleep Habit

Such a basic but necessary habit.

Think of all the benefits you take on board by getting sustained, deep sleep. Your brain function improves, your physical and mental well-being is enhanced and you generally feel more capable and ready for action.

Consider you in your sleep-deprived state — always dozing off, finding it hard to concentrate, and feeling strung out. Getting good sleeping habits will lead to huge improvements in your day-to-day life.

hypnosis for sleep disorders

Start by setting your own bedtime routine. Make sure all screens are off at least an hour before bedtime. Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary for sleep with a cool, dark, quiet environment. There should be no distractions, such as phones or television.

If you find your room is too light, consider blackout linings on curtains. If your environment is too noisy, then think about investing in earplugs.

Stay Reading

Making reading a habit can seriously change your life for the better. Reading books and magazines takes us away from the phone screen and transports us into a world of pure imagination and fantasy. It gives our weary brains a break from dealing with social media and business, allowing us to tap into areas that often lie dormant.

For personal growth, try and read things that you wouldn’t usually pick up, such as a historical novel or self-improvement book. Open your mind to new experiences and knowledge and this reading habit will quickly lead to a new, improved you.

Practice Meditation

A habit that has tangible improvements, quickly.

meditate regularly

Physically, meditating helps by improving blood circulation and bringing oxygen into the body more efficiently. You might also find that it lowers your blood pressure and gives you an enormous sense of calmness.

Mentally, a meditation practice like mindfulness, for example, will help to calm your thoughts and fight against stress and anxiety.

In many ways, it doesn’t matter which kind of meditation practice you follow as long as it’s one that is sustainable and can be incorporated into a daily routine with little or no extra stress.

Evaluate progress

Taking time to step back and seeing how far you’ve come is an invaluable part of any self-improving habit.

You’ll be amazed and encouraged at how much closer you are to achieving your life goals. It’s worth taking the time to regularly check in with yourself.

Don’t Waste Time

Procrastination is the thief of time and will rob you of forming life-changing habits that can lead to a better you.

writing goals

Instead of spending hours in front of the TV or your computer, you need to concentrate on your goals. Allowing yourself a set time every day to check out screens will help, but only if you have the discipline to follow it through.

The real key to success in this area is two-fold: to make it a habit and to replace those wasted hours with tasks that are fulfilling and useful.

Conclusion

Changing your life for the better is not an easy task and requires great discipline and sacrifice. However, this change is not impossible.

Write down your goals and dreams and believe in your vision. Take time to plot how you will get there and set about incorporating new habits into your life that can help meet these self-improvement objectives.

Don’t be distracted by unimportant things that will stop you from your dreams. Avoid being your own worst enemy by letting poor discipline let you down.

Instead, grasp the nettle and work towards a better, more fulfilled you. Start creating healthy habits that’ll make you even better than before.

See Also: 10 Simple Self Improvement Hacks

The post Creating Great Habits Through Self-Improvement appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Accomplishment Journal: A Yardstick Against Your Life

Have you ever gathered all of your professional and personal accomplishments into a single document?

An accomplishment journal isn’t equal to your CV, credentials or acquired skills. It’s a simple bullet list of your achievements that you’ve completed throughout your life or over the recent years.

Whether you are about to change careers, set stretching goals or just need a yardstick to measure where you are now, an accomplishment journal will let you address tough questions.

Let’s jump in and see what an accomplishment journal can offer and how to create one.

How do I keep an accomplishment journal?

accomplishment journals

It was a course I took on Coursera―one of the largest online learning platforms―when I first came across the idea of the accomplishment journal (credit to Charles Duquette and the Coursera community). I quickly embraced the concept and scheduled a one-on-one meeting with myself to create one.

Then, I faced a painful experience. It dawned on me that, despite my degrees, credentials and almost 10 years of work experience, I could hardly put any measurable accomplishments onto paper. Still, I persevered and finally hammered out a nice list of accomplishments. Well, it’s not so easy to get everything measured, but once you get the idea, it will be a lot easier and fun.

Your accomplishment journal should be composed of accomplishment statements. Begin your statement with an action verb and use the simple past tense. Be as specific as you can. Name things by their names and underpin your statements with exact numbers wherever possible. The key here is to be measurable. No place for rambling here.

For example, you could put an accomplishment statement like this: “Authored 13 guest posts in top-ranking productivity magazines with a total number of 152 comments.”

As a backup of your statement, articulate the antecedents, the steps you took to move things forward, the competencies you needed, and the deliverables. You could then make use of all these pieces of information as you will see later in this post.

Your journal can be a physical bullet journal. A note-taking app like Evernote or even a mind mapping tool will do the trick as well. Whatever platform you use for journaling, keep it simple and easily available for future references. The latter is the subject we continue with.

How do I harness my accomplishment journal?

writing accomplishment journal

Let’s assume you’ve gathered all your accomplishments and put them in a journal. The next step is to claim your benefit.

Have a look at your list and ask yourself the following questions: What are my enjoyable accomplishments? Are there any? How could I build on them? What steps could I take to get more enjoyable accomplishments done?

Maybe, it’s time to change careers, harness your dormant skills or negotiate with your boss for more deep work.

If you’re preparing for a job interview, it’s mandatory that you consider your accomplishment journal first. It’s very likely that you’ll meet some tough questions about your accomplishments and a list can help you with that.

Carefully selected accomplishment statements would perfectly fit into your CV as well. If you keep your accomplishment journal updated, you no longer have to spend hours updating your resume. You would just pick up those accomplishments that are in line with your targeted position and fine-tune them if necessary.

Your journal will best serve you if you keep it fresh and to the point. I suggest that you schedule a regular update of your accomplishment journal. I would prefer a monthly update, but a quarterly update is highly recommended. Group, rethink, and rephrase your statements as frequently as you need.

See Also: Inspiring Journaling Prompts To Help Re-Shape Your Life

Final thoughts

I found that an accomplishment journal takes minimum effort to assemble, but it really pays off in the long run. It can assist you when applying for a job or building your career further.

More importantly, it may serve as a yardstick against your life. It may point you in the right direction and keep you on track.

Give it a try and schedule a meeting with yourself now to put all your accomplishments together.

See Also: 5 Benefits of Journaling To Inspire and Motivate You

The post The Accomplishment Journal: A Yardstick Against Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Foolproof Ways to Refine Your Professional Life

Sometimes, we feel that a new job will diffuse us with happiness we have always longed for. At times, however, we feel that staying away from toxic people and jobs can improve our lives.

There are a number of things that can make you unhappy at work. This includes feeling unfulfilled, lacking direction, being ignored by superiors, performing repetitive tasks, and not being considered for promotion or appraisals.

The good news is that you don’t have to feel that way about work. With these tips on how to improve yourself professionally, you’ll be able to develop a better perspective about your career.

Decide what you want from your career

career choice

It’s time to stop complaining and walking in circles. Think about your existing status and where you want to head in the future. Craft a plan or roadmap focusing on what you want to achieve. Then, start working on your goal one step at a time.

The entire journey won’t be consistently paced and smooth. Some days you will feel like running. At times, you will struggle to even jog. It’s okay as long as you are moving forward.

Take care of yourself

A human body is a machine. Just like any other machine, we need to tune it each day. Eating, exercising, and getting a proper rest is crucial for your well-being. Having enough physical, mental and emotional strength is mandatory if you are to stay laser-focused on your goal and achieve it. Furthermore, being strong enough also makes us more resilient in the face of never-ending obstacles.

Always embrace new ideas

Everyone is advised to keep their minds open to new idea. There is always some learning in every communication and idea we share. You never know what insights the colleague seated next to you holds that might boost your career like never before.

Cut out toxic influences

It is impossible to eradicate all the negative and toxic situations and people around us. However, we have the authority and power to decide whether to fall under their influence or not. If you uncover a certain aspect of your life that’s particularly negative, an instant action is required to protect your emotional and mental well-being.

At times, some negative influences are difficult to discover. Consider an example of sharing a college dorm with a particularly pessimistic, unhealthy roommate. The person might have been quite intolerable, but he might also be fun at times. In fact, his dark side only protrudes when you start to spend a considerable time with him continuously.

Toxic people and circumstances at workplaces are great examples, too. Your colleague might complement you now but right in the next meeting, he/she will try to discourage and contain you in front of your manager or badmouth you to others.

In order to get away from such craziness, you must first learn how to refuse to cater to such false pretenses. Keeping your interactions polite and distant is another great way. And if you think your negative colleagues need to hear how their behavior and vibes are affecting others, then explain it to them.

Furthermore, try to replace negative interactions with positive, healthy ones. People who aren’t judgmental and narcissistic can help bring out the best in you.

See Also: 5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People

Unplug and get out

People who spend most of their time behind a desk are more irritated and cranky. Every employee, ranging from an office boy to CEO, should understand that unplugging themselves from the never-ending work and going outside is downright beneficial physically and mentally.

Spending time with others, staying away (for a while) from your system’s screen, and making the most out of your break times are great things you can do to elevate your spirit and re-energize your mind. If your manager expects you to be a genuine workaholic who put extra hours at work, then you need to stand up for yourself. Politely let him know that you have a life out of your office, too.

Even small acts like a high-five over a short humorous conversation, applauding someone over a job well done, and hugging your colleague-turned-close-friend on special occasions can be a mighty boost in uplifting your mood.

Start participating in community work

community work

Quite an extension of the last point, you should consider getting out and becoming a part of communities working for the betterment of society.

Whether it’s spending time with kids in an orphanage, teaching useful life skills or even forming groups to clean the neighborhood, you are using your free time productively and contributing well to great causes.

Participating is similar social causes which will make you understand that true happiness doesn’t only lie in living and earning for yourself. Instead, it’s more about stepping out in the harsh realities and helping others acquire the comfort they have always been deprived of.

See Also: The Power of Volunteering

The post 6 Foolproof Ways to Refine Your Professional Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Stay Strong and Extremely Resilient In Chaos

Despite avoiding the news and mainstream influence 90% of the time, I’m still aware that the world is in a state of chaos and that people are having a hard time finding peace in chaos. Especially in the United States’ political climate, we see ongoing negativity, reactivity, and ignorance.

We typically see chaos as a negative concept while order is preferred. With order there’s stability and predictability, thus we know we won’t be challenged. But of course, a challenge is important to an individual’s growth and most of us know that deep down.

The same goes for societies – they must be challenged to either grow or dismantle.

In nature, chaos is generally what happens before growth and change. While yes, chaos can cause an organism to die. However, it is stagnancy and repetition of old patterns that lead to death.

So, what does this mean for the individual who’s trying to stay sane in the midst of (what is often) other people’s chaos and pain?

Here are what I’ve found to be the two most useful actions to take:

Disconnect

disconnect

NOTE: This does not mean give up. Disconnecting isn’t the same as becoming apathetic and complacent.

Disconnecting is an act of self-preservation and restoration. It simply means you are choosing to disconnect from the things that you know to be false. It could be anything that goes against peace, authenticity, etc.

This will probably include a lot of media.

You will need to take long breaks from the news, social media, and maybe even social events in which your friends/family relentlessly complain, argue, etc. By disconnecting, you claim back your power and separate yourself from the endless barrage of negativity – a lot of which is inflated and false.

You get comfortable in your own energy, without the TV blaring or a friend listing all the horrible things that happened that day. This is an especially critical practice for empaths who have trouble holding their own energy around others. Disconnecting doesn’t mean you don’t care. It means you care enough to make a change.

Act from the Center

staying strong

Once you’ve disconnected from the mainstream thought process, you can then have a genuine, positive impact. This is HUGE.

Why?

Because everyone else is so caught up in the struggle – the bickering, the wallowing, the insistence that “my way is the best way.”

In this state, chaos, inequality, and violence will continue to flourish indefinitely. The only thing that holds society together is individuals who step outside the thought stream and say, “here’s what I’m going to do to benefit people today.”

Period.

They act from their center because they’ve disconnected from the outside enough to hear their own voice. These people go on to start businesses, volunteer projects, fundraisers or even just bring their own families back to a place of stability. As a famous musician wrote, “they hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds.”

So, if you’re uncertain of what to do and wish you could have an impact during these times of chaos, try this and see what comes out of it. You might be surprised at how stepping back can actually save time and allow for greater productivity.

The post How to Stay Strong and Extremely Resilient In Chaos appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Crush Uncertainty And Realize Your Dreams

You know the feeling.

You have a dream or maybe a plan. You’ve been at it for quite some time now. Weeks, months or maybe years.

And yet, the dream hasn’t come true yet. In fact, you feel farther from your goal than ever before.

Doubtful thoughts mess with your head in an infinite loop.

What is it that you’re missing?

Are you not smart enough? Is it about luck? Are you too young/old for this?

You feel you know what it takes to make your dream come true, but what if you’re wrong?

Maybe you’re wrong in thinking that you know how to do this.

And that’s exactly what is holding you back.

The Hidden Failure Of Conventional Wisdom

You’ve heard the advice.

Believe in yourself.

Focus.

Keep a positive attitude.

Never give up.

Whatever your goal is, if you follow all of those, you should be able to achieve your goals, right?

Wrong.

Here’s why.

Imagine you’ve come to a new city. You do not know what places to explore. So, you use a map to guide yourself.

Except, it’s the wrong map.

No matter how much you search for a place, the map will always mislead you. You can keep a positive attitude, reaffirm your self-belief, and try as hard as you can. It wouldn’t get you any closer to your destination.

Unless you realize you have the wrong map, the only place you’ll reach is frustration.

Why Most People Fail To Achieve Their Goals

achieving goals

You learn from life experiences. Take a moment and think about all the things you know today.

If your father is a software engineer, you probably started to code at a very young age. If your uncle is a professional painter, you would know the different color combinations and brush strokes.

In short, your life experiences have been a source of knowledge.

But here’s the problem.

Your life experiences are limited. So, the things you learn are also limited.

What happens when your goal lies outside your life experience?

What if you want to build a business when everyone in your family has had traditional jobs? How to be a creative writer when the only people around you are corporate buddies?

How to make up for what you do not know?

You do the obvious.

You guess what will work and hope that you’re right.

Usually, you’re wrong.

See Also: Your Ability To Fail Without Fear Is A Requirement To Reach Your Goals

What Does It Really Take To Succeed?

Two reasons why the successful achieve their goals:

  • They know things that you don’t know.
  • They do things that you don’t do.

If you study the methods of successful people, it becomes obvious that their approach is unique and counter-intuitive.

More specifically, it’s counter-intuitive to your guesses, because you don’t understand things the way they do.

Here’s a personal example.

Years ago, I started a blog without knowing much about it.

I guessed that I should start a WordPress website and write as well as I can. The readers will happily show up on their own.

What I just described is the fantasy of every blogger on this planet.

Unfortunately, it’s merely a fantasy. It never happens this way.

Today, we have hundreds of thousands of blogs. With so many options for a reader, I’ll probably get lost in the crowd of average bloggers, even if I was really good.

It wasn’t just about writing good content and hoping people to show up. I needed to find my readers and bring them to my blog. I have to learn about them and produce my best work that actually helps them. Apart from that, I should do this consistently and exactly in this order.

See Also: 5 Habits Of Successful People You Should Be Following Today

How To Not Waste Years In Making Silly Mistakes

The real reason you fail at goals is that you have no idea of what it takes- at least initially.

And if you rely on personal experiences, you’ll have to make tons of mistakes and take years to learn what works.

How to learn about things that you’ve not experienced?

“Proactive Learning”.

You learn how to “avoid” making mistakes. You realize the common pitfalls ahead and prepare in advance.

Why wait to learn from mistakes when you can find and avoid them in advance?

You may feel that avoiding all mistakes is not possible. We all falter and that is true.

However, do you really have to make all the mistakes that most people make all the time?

Instead of making 100 common mistakes, would it not make sense to avoid 90 by being proactive? Just because a person walking ahead of you fell into a hole doesn’t mean that you should, too.

Simply walk around it.

Go Back To First Grade

I know what you’re thinking.

“All this sounds great. Sure, it would be great to avoid mistakes instead of making them. But we realize our mistakes after we’ve made them. How to predict mistakes before making them?”

To answer the above question, you need to answer this first:

Who knows more about building a profitable business?

A businessman earning huge profits or an employee of an organization?

It’s obvious.

It’s the businessman.

He knows how to build a business. He’s done this for years now. He made some mistakes along the way but finally, he is successful.

He knows this game.

If you seek his help, he will show you the right way. He’ll tell you what steps to take. He’ll explain what mistakes most beginners make and how you can avoid them.

His lessons can be the difference between your business thriving or turning to dust.

This question points to an important truth.

99% of people never do much in life. So, when they hear about your dream, the best they can do is discourage you. They’ll call you mad for believing in something big.

But there’s also the 1% that actually make progress, achieve dreams, and realize their aspirations.

These people want you to trust in your dream just like they did. These people don’t want you to give up just like how they didn’t. They want you to succeed just like they did because they know it’s possible.

Your job is to become deaf to the 99% and learn from the 1%.

Not everyone’s opinion matters.

Become A Zen Student Of Success

By now you must have realized:

  1. If you chase your dreams on your own, it’ll take you years before you make it (you can still do it though).
  2. You can save years of effort and time if you learn from successful people.

But, you may still be wondering.

How to learn from the successful?

These people are extremely busy. Bill Gates isn’t sitting close to his phone, waiting excitedly for your call so that he can teach you his Microsoft secret.

The answer.

You live in the Information Age.

There are books, interviews, audio podcasts, and so much more out there. You can sign up for premium courses. A little research can find you plenty of resources to help you understand their methods and philosophies.

You want to understand what they know and how they act based on that knowledge. You’re looking to avoid the mistakes which they’ve made when they started out. You’re looking to succeed without falling into the traps that kept them stuck.

As you pursue proactive learning, you’ll begin to see the following benefits:

  1. Stronger self-belief – Learning from the successful will give you success stories affirming that you’re not crazy in chasing your dreams. Their stories prove it’s possible.
  2. Better Focus – When you’re unsure of your plan, you keep wondering if you’ve made the wrong plan. Proactive learning gives you better focus because you know it will work.
  3. Better Planning – You know you’re learning from the best, so your plan is bulletproof. It has worked earlier and will probably work for you, too.

Rise Of The Superhero In You

rise of the superhero

So, now you know.

You know exactly how to find what it takes to succeed.

Like Luke Skywalker, you will blast the Death Star of self-doubtful thoughts. There is “A New Hope”.

You’re free.

It’s not about being smart, lucky or having the right age. It’s about finding what actually works in real life and then doing it.

You no longer have to guess. By learning from the successful, you will know exactly what to do and what mistakes to avoid. No way are you falling for those traps again.

Like an expert driver avoiding most bumps on the road, the way to your dreams will be one pleasant ride.

Buy that book on business principles. Sign up for that writing course. Book that coaching session with your ideal teacher.

Your goal is no longer lost in some distant future. It’s coming true right now. Every action you take is in the right direction.

You’ve found the right map.

Now, your beliefs, attitudes, and focus will skyrocket your growth.

Go live your dream.

The post How To Crush Uncertainty And Realize Your Dreams appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Golden Rules for Successful Project Management You Need to Know

Project management is pretty straightforward – you find the requirements, create a realistic plan, assign the right people on the job, set a deadline, and most importantly, get work done. However, when it comes to the real world, project management is never that easy. The situation often gets too complicated and the team gets confused managing multiple tasks at once. As a result, deadlines are missed and the project faces absolute failure.

So, what can you do to make a project successful? How do you ensure that your project gets completed on time and on budget? Where can you start mastering how to manage a project so that it becomes successful?

Well, it’s your lucky day. Here are a few golden rules that you can use to guarantee your project’s success.

Ensure you have a detailed project scope

The scope of a project comprises of the complete project details ― key milestones, deliverables, deadlines, the overall budget, and more. Now, before a project starts, it is extremely important that you and your team have access to the detailed project scope. If something is missing, don’t hesitate to ask your client or stakeholder to provide the necessary information.

Create a flexible strategy

create flexible strategy

When it comes to project management, you never make assumptions. In order to ensure the success of a project, you need to have a plan for everything. Furthermore, it is also important that you are able to mold your plans and strategies according to the evolving needs of your project. Basically, make sure you are prepared for every situation.

Have the right team

A major factor that decides the fate of a project is the kind of talent you have on your team. That’s why it is important that you hire the right kind of people. Make sure that their skills and expertise are a perfect match for your project and its requirements. Also, don’t involve too many employees. Limit the size of your team to perform more productively.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

Set clear roles and responsibilities

set roles and responsibilities

When many people are working on the same project and deadline, confusion and conflicts may happen. This is why it is important that a project manager clearly defines everyone’s roles and responsibilities at the start of a project. Consider using project management and task management tools for this purpose. These tools can make it easier for you to make each team member understand what is expected of them and what tasks they are responsible for.

See Also: Avoid Decision Fatigue: Learn The Steps for Effective Delegation

Never micromanage

If you want to see your projects succeed, you will have to let your team members make their own decisions whenever needed. Don’t over-control or micromanage your projects. Give your team some space and empower them to bring the best results.

Celebrate

Last but not the least, make it a habit to recognize and reward people for their great work. This is a great way to keep everyone motivated and track overall team productivity from time to time.

Managing and delivering projects is a stressful job. However, it won’t be challenging if you keep the above rules in mind. Try to follow them as closely as possible and you’ll soon know how to manage a project successfully.

If you have a rule that helps you manage things better at work, share it with us in the comments below.

The post Six Golden Rules for Successful Project Management You Need to Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Alternate Life Commandments

Most humans are in challenged pursuit of (near) universal desires and setting and achieving their ultimate life goals.

Religions, societies, cultures, and individuals apply varying classifications to each. But distilled to their core, most of us lead a life-long pursuit of the following:

  • Physical well-being
  • Clarity of the mind
  • Passion
  • Success
  • A positive legacy
  • Continuous self-improvement
  • Love & acceptance

Commitment to each should come easy in theory. Physical well-being supports a long healthy life. Success generates status and financial wealth to purchase incredible things. And passion infuses elusive meaning and fulfillment into our lives. You get it…sign me up!

So, why do people struggle so mightily to sustain diets, a driven work-ethic, exercise routines, and hobby generation/practice?

Life is remarkably difficult

It’s dynamic as hell and pulls our attention in every direction imaginable day to day. And when we’re not distracted by external forces, hard-coded mental and physical habits (many undesirable) dominate our daily routine.

On autopilot, we often make decisions that are not aligned with the intentions of our “ideal self”. We, as humans, are painfully shortsighted when it comes to our ability to consistently find present-moment motivation to embody a lifestyle that leads us towards the attainment of long-term aspirations.

I fancy myself an expert on the matter. Not at all because I’ve cracked the code and am the self-actualizing master. No, kind of the opposite actually. My specialty to date, rather, is in committing to, starting, stopping, and ultimately missing lofty goals. I’m like a spark factory without anything laying around to catch fire.

I adore self-help materials and philosophies that address the tricky science of habits. I aspire to join the front-line ranks of the biohacking self-optimization movement that’s swelling in popularity around the world. But, as with my unreliable meditation practice, my commitment is spotty. I remain largely unchanged at age 28 despite having what I thought were all the right intentions…

Time to radically shift my mindset. I know that habits form in response to a consistent reward. So, I considered how I can tweak the Action-Reward relationship to tap into “purposes” that are more inherently motivating to me. To create rewards that are attainable in the short-near term. To enjoy rewards that are more consistently tangible and that fortify the richness of my personal legacy. The Alternate Life Commandments represent where I’ve netted out on this thought process. According to these, I defined a clear purpose that holds me accountable to aggressive self-actualization goals:

The Alternate Life Commandments

Exercise to activate deeply memorable experiences

exercise

  • Strong fitness allows us to consistently pursue and conquer life’s epic “summits”.
  • Many of the most memorable places/experiences on earth are far off the beaten path. Never allow physical shortcoming to hold you back from greatness.
  • Anecdote: Fatigue thwarted my first summit attempt of Mt Shasta. Not only did I forfeit the experience, but it weighed negatively on me for years. Last year, I trained hard and blitzed it a decade later. Redemption was so sweet.

Exercise so your body is not a physical limitation to experiencing your dreams.

Meditate to fully internalize life’s wonderful moments

  • Mindful peace and presence gift-wrap our memories. Inversely, a hyperactive mind or addiction to social media spoil them.
  • We cannot fully appreciate a beach chill, sunrise summit or a simple walk in the park unless our minds are engulfed in the present moment.
  • Mid-experience meditation may amplify a moment’s serenity, but we must practice mindfulness regularly to win the battle against our subconscious.
  • Anecdote: When training for a triathlon 2 years ago, I biked across Golden Gate Bridge to Hawk Hill regularly. Every morning, overlooking an identical view, I pulled out my iPhone to capture a few SnapChat panos. This habit was a result of my weak mindfulness. It literally pulled the world into my personal moment, tainting the experience.

Practice mindfulness so your life experiences are pure and deeply memorable.

See Also: How to Meditate When All The Other Techniques Don’t Work

Create career success to pursue and master amazing hobbies

  • One of my favorite quotes, from Jerry Seinfeld, frames the importance of owning strong hobbies: “A person’s coolness is determined by the extent to which they’re about what they’re about.”
  • Success, managed properly, generates leisure time and disposable income to support hobbies and continued learning.
  • We earn days off. We’re promoted to the role that calls the shots. We’re permitted to work from home and we build a business (or team) under our success that is self-sustaining.
  • Success-enabled-passions ultimately generate fulfillment in life.
  • Anecdote: I’m exploring the world for a year while maintaining my job because I earned it through dedicated grinding.

Work hard to ultimately spend more time doing the things you genuinely love.

Purge social media to fortify relationships with those you love

  • Research suggests that humans can maintain 5 intimate relationships at once. This limit is dependent on the time an individual has to invest in deep and consistent connection.
  • Psychology experts confirm that relationship quality is far more important to our well-being than relationship quantity.
  • Next time you pick up your phone to troll social media, call a loved one instead or a friend that feels increasingly distant. The time needed to otherwise check in on 1000+ “friends” across 3+ networks is ample, trust me.

Trade poisonous time spent on social media for relationship-enriching moments with those you love.

Practice frugality to reduce stress

  • Notorious BIG had it all wrong… at least for the consciously frugal. It should absolutely be “mo money less problems” or perhaps corrected to ”mo things mo problems.”
  • Everything we buy/own is something to damage, lose, regret, or neglect. All of which creates a combination of stress, disappointment, and more spending.
  • Focus on the essentials and make select quality purchases (from your basic black T to your first home).
  • Build a rainy day fund to easily brush off the flight rebooking fee, phone dropped in the pool or taxi from the airport because you just want to get home.

Be frugal to simplify life and eliminate crippling financial stress.

Travel adventurously to break the habit of being you

travel

  • We love to travel because it forcefully turns our tired routines inside out.
  • Fresh sites, cultures, and perspectives paired with experiences that push the limits of our comfort zone put us in personal growth mode.
  • Time away from the rat race gives us moments to reflect deeply on the status of our lives and set a corrected course moving forward.
  • Introduce yourself to the local, join the expat couple going on a mountain bike, and chart a course far off the beaten path. Push the boundaries of your habitual self.

See Also: 6 Ways Traveling Alone Makes You Stronger

Pursue international adventures to accelerate self-actualization.

Eat well for a healthy body and mind. Fuel success in each practice.

Drink less for alcohol poisons the well of each practice.

Finally, there you have it, the Alternate Life Commandments. Which, if any, resonate most strongly with you?

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3 Really Crucial Steps To Help You Solve Any Problem In Life

These days, everyone is busy. And with lives overburdened by hectic schedules, people are no longer able to see through their problems. They feel so weak that they just give in to the situation and don’t exert effort in knowing how to solve any problem. They feel overpowered by the challenges that come their way.

Some people attempt suicide when they see no way out. In such situations, they usually seek motivation from others. However, they do not understand the true meaning of that motivation. They believe in others, instead of themselves.

That’s where they are wrong. Motivation is not something that can be given. Rather, it is something we have to accept and believe in ourselves.

The key to solving any problem lies within us. So, we have to believe in ourselves. We have to believe that there’s always a way out. We just have to keep trying and eventually, a door opens up and leads us out.

Here are some steps to solve any problem:

Acceptance

People usually try to avoid their problems. Either they run away from the situation or deny it.

However, they have to understand that the only way to solve any problem is through acceptance. Even mathematicians say that “the first step to solve any problem lies within the problem itself”.

Instead of denying your weak point or running away, accept the situation. It will make the problem a lot easier to solve. Also, we have to accept the fact that we are lacking somewhere so that we can figure out a way to improve that lacking point.

Belief in oneself

Whenever a problem arises, people usually trust others more than themselves. Either that or they simply believe that the problem is quite big for them and that it would be tough to get through it.

Positivity and self-belief can lead you out of the problems. There is nothing in this world if not hope and belief. We have to trust ourselves that we can succeed and surpass even the worst situations.

People usually give up, thinking of their limitations. However, what they should also believe is that those limitations can be overcome.

Thus, believing in ourselves is the second step to solve any problem. If it is not taken into consideration, then we are bound to let any bad situation prevail.

Motivated hard work

motivate hard work

Hard work can help us succeed but it’s not always easy. To reduce its toughness, motivation is required. Fortunately, we can motivate ourselves.

If someone criticizes us, for instance, you shouldn’t let that discourage you. Instead, use it as a fuel to become better. Motivation can make you stronger and more effective.

Conclusion

Motivating oneself can be a tad tricky at first. After all, it’s hard to maintain that ardent belief that things will turn out great in the end. However, trust that you won’t have a hard time understanding how to solve any predicament once it becomes a habit. You need to make it a habit — only then will you able to outperform yourself and continue to grow.

By using these three tips, we can overcome any problem in our lives. So, next time a problem comes up, you’ll know what to do.

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5 Habits Of Successful People You Should Be Following Today

Ever wonder how successful people are so successful?

Habits play a crucial role in shaping our lives. According to a psychology study at Duke University, 45% of everything we do on a daily basis factors in daily habits.

We all know that bad habits can be detrimental to your mental and physical well-being. They can hinder your road to achievement and success. Good habits, on the other hand, can help you rise above others and be at your best.

The concept of success differs with each person. To some, it may mean earning more money. To others, it can mean happy relationships or a simple sense of achievement.

So, what are the common habits of successful persons that set them apart from the rest of us?

Let’s try to dig deeper to find the answers.

Reading as a habit
reading habit

Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett reportedly once said that reading is the most important habit he’s picked up.

Tom Corley works as a financial planner and accountant. He conducted a survey that involved 233 participants with most of them being self-made millionaires. The results of the survey depicted interesting patterns.

Among the participants, 88% claimed to spend half an hour or more each day to reading. Most of them prefer reading non-fiction pieces that include history, self-help books, and biographies.

P.J. Worsfold, head of product for FTSY (“footsy”), an artificial intelligence platform for matching people to shoes, claims to read one hour mostly about his industry and other events related to his niche. Plus, whenever possible, he shares useful articles and a small piece of his opinion.

That helps him remember the significant sections of a piece and gives him the opportunity to explore and use them to view other things.

See Also: Best Business Books: The First-Time Entrepreneur’s Reading List

Be an early bird

About 50% of the participants Corly interviewed stated that they get up around 3 hours before their actual workday starts. It gives them ample time to get additional things done, which may include finishing side projects, working out, or just planning ahead.

Other examples of early risers include Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who is known for getting into the office at 7 a.m. Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor-in-Chief heads out to playing an hour-long tennis match on a daily basis as early as 5:45 a.m.

This shows that although getting enough sleep is very important, you might want to schedule your sleep cycle so you don’t have to keep hitting snooze until the last minute.

After all, the early bird catches the worm.

Work out and stay fit

We have all grown up knowing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, especially working out and staying physically fit.

James Parrelly is the managing partner of Paw Pods that provide eco-friendly pet caskets and urns made from 100% biodegradable materials. According to Parrelly, successful entrepreneurs require mental and physical fitness. He further adds that clearing your mind and challenging yourself physically with a tough workout daily helps you stay ready for the daily challenges of a business.

To sum it up, a strong body carries a strong mind.

Work on communication skills

communication skills

Communication plays a key role in building constructive interpersonal relationships on a personal as well as on a professional level. Working with data, facts, and figures is important. However, if you are unable to convey the right information and message in a timely manner, you are less likely to achieve your objectives.

As Richard Branson, one of the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders states: “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.

As with other skills, it is important to continuously work on improving communication to help you stay more efficient while interacting with anyone on any level. Emphasizing the value of proper communication further, Branson once shared a quote from the popular author Brian Tracy who said this:

“If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.”

Use technology

Whether you are a professional just starting a career or a CEO, it is important to keep yourself organized especially when it comes to daily tasks. Especially for people who have a lot on their plate, be it running multiple businesses or trying to balance work-life routine, a to-do list is highly mandatory.

Kris Snyder is the CEO of Vox Mobile, a Cleveland-based organization that provides enterprise mobility solutions. The company has an annual growth that trends above 30% and enjoys consistent inclusion in Gartner’s MMS Magic Quadrant. Snyder also happens to be the founder of the Global Enterprise Mobility Alliance (GEMA).

Snyder advocates for using technology to attain strategic objectives and initiatives. For instance, scheduling a weekly agenda with important clients through a PRM tool. This allows for real-time prioritization of relationships and interactions on a daily basis.

See Also: 5 Top Technology Trends That Will Shape 2018

What’s your take on success and how do you manage to achieve it? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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4 Really Simple Yet Highly Effective Ways To Achieving A Goal

Setting a goal is one thing that we must all consider in life. Whether you are a professional, a service provider, a student or an entrepreneur, you need to be able to set clearly defined goals. It encourages you to pursue and work harder.

But what exactly is a goal?

A goal is something you intend to achieve at all cost. It could be to increase sales, boost income or to reduce weight. Whatever that may be, you need to know exactly how to achieve your goals and dreams.

The tips below can help you get started:

Clarify your goal

Before you can achieve your goal, you need to be clear about it.

For one, goals are different from mere wishes. Wishing to get more money isn’t a goal as it is just a wish. It will only become a goal when you are definite about the amount you want to make.

For you to get more money, you must ask yourself questions such as these:

  • How much do I want to make?
  • What can I do to increase my financial base?

For instance, I may have to work extra hours to add to my income or I may need other streams of income to increase my earnings.

I know of a young man who works in an agricultural research institute. Although he has a monthly income from his job, he still anchors events during the weekends. Aside from the monthly salary he gets, he also makes money during weekends. This is an example of how a person can increase earnings.

You must write down your goals

writing goals

Most people don’t write down their goals. They only rely on their mind to focus on what they want to achieve. Unfortunately, that isn’t a good idea.

When we write down our goals, it becomes easier for us to know exactly what we are aiming for. Clearly written goals can help you to ponder and reflect on what you need to do or work on.

Every time you see the goals you have stated out to pursue, your subconscious mind instantly generate ideas on how to forge ahead and make them a reality. Written goals can encourage you to control the direction of your life.

See Also: 5 Ways Writing Can Lead You to Mindfulness

Constantly evaluate your goal

This is a critical aspect of goal setting. A man does not put yam on fire and immediately go to sleep. He must constantly check it. Otherwise, it will burn. The same applies to goal setting.

You must constantly review your goals. You can check it on a bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. This will help you determine whether you need to change your strategies or continue with what you are doing.

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

Set a deadline

set goal deadline

 

Whenever you are pursuing a goal, also set a deadline for it. Setting a deadline puts you on your toes and drive you to work extremely hard to hit the target. When you don’t set a time frame for yourself, you’ll find it hard to focus and feel motivated.

Knowing how to achieve your goals and dreams isn’t that hard. In fact, just by following these tips, you should be able to work on your goals and conquer the challenges you’ll encounter along the way.

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How to Be A Great Best Man

So, your best mate is finally getting hitched. He has already popped the question to his girl and has now asked you to be his best man.

The feeling is pretty eccentric, isn’t it? After all, we rarely get to be the ‘best’ anything in our lives. Not to forget, knowing your mate values your friendship enough to choose you as his go-to guy during the most important time of his life is truly special.

Now that he’s chosen you, do you know how to be a great best man?

Being a great best man involves more than just throwing a party and crawling through a speech. In fact, experts on the topic say that you should assume that you’re the co-host of the marriage ceremony.

To give you a clearer idea, here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know and do in order to excel as the best man to your best mate:

Before the big day

Your responsibilities as the best man start well before the wedding.

Make sure everyone is on time for suit fittings

best man duties

This might not sound important to you, but it is an indispensable part of your responsibilities as the best man. Not only do you have to help the groom select his tux, you have to make sure everyone shows up on time to get fitted for their suits.

Organize an epic stag party

This is probably the reason why most men are excited to be the best man- the stag party! However, keep in mind that organizing one is easier said than done.

To begin with, make sure you talk to the groom about how or where he wants to spend his last weekend as a single person. Additionally, it is your responsibility to ensure the party fits the budget of everyone involved and that everyone will have a great time.

In case you find these things overwhelming, it is a great idea to involve professionals.

Help out with the wedding prep

Helping out with the wedding preparations doesn’t stop at picking tuxedos. It is also your responsibility to help pick the right vendors, venue, and honeymoon destination.

Whatever preparation involves the groom will probably involve you, too. That includes the rehearsal ceremony and the rehearsal dinner.

On The Big Day

best man dutyThis day is extremely crucial for the groom and it is imperative that the best man executes his duties perfectly so that everything happens seamlessly.

Travel to the venue with the groom

It is natural for the groom to be nervous on the day of the wedding. If the groom allows it, plan to get ready with him. Take a few beers along and simply spend some time with him.

The best man is the groom’s confidant. It’s his job to listen to and calm the groom when he’s questioning every life decision he has made so far.

Bear the ring

Cute little ring bearers are one hell of a crowd pleaser but please, don’t give a diamond ring to a kid! Give them a knock off to carry down the aisle and keep the real thing safe inside your jacket pocket.

Make sure the ceremony goes down smoothly

As mentioned earlier, you are the co-host of the ceremony. Make sure all vendors are doing their jobs and deal with any issues that may arise.

In some cases, the best man is required to pay the officiant. If that is the case, the groom will provide you with a sealed envelope for that.

Sign the marriage license

The maid of honor and best man sign the marriage license as witnesses to the marriage.

During the Reception

Once again, it is time to play the co-host.

The best man speech

Probably the most daunting part of being the best man, delivering a great speech is not something you want to take lightly. Here are a few tips that will help you deliver a great speech:

  • Start preparing and practicing early, unless you want your speech to turn into drunken rambling.
  • Make sure your speech is a toast and does not revolve around the groom’s humiliation. It is also a good time to remember that mentioning any ex-girlfriends or crazy night adventures is strictly off limits.
  • Keep in mind that children and elders will be hearing your speech. For this reason, it is better to go easy on roasting the groom. Keep things tasteful and your speech will be remembered for all the good reasons.

Be the life of the party

It is your job as the best man to make sure the reception party keeps going. If you feel like the guests are being hesitant, get on the dance floor and inspire them to let loose. Aside from that, don’t forget to dance with both moms!

Decorate the getaway car

This is probably the final thing you have to do as the best man. Make sure you don’t get carried away with the decorations. If you are the designated driver for the bride and the groom, make sure you stay sober till the very end.

Conclusion

Being the best man is not easy. However, it is a tradition that must be upheld with ownership and responsibility. If you have done everything perfectly, it is time to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!

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How to Stop Smoking For Good

Everyone knows that smoking’s a bad habit. It costs a lot of money and it’s unhealthy for those around you. It’s also one of the leading causes of cancer.

It’s safe to say that there are plenty of reasons you want to quit. But, to actually tackle such a feat is as difficult as you imagine.

Nicotine is the most common substance Americans are dependent on and it’s been claimed to be as addictive as heroin.

Of the 35 million people in the U.S. who attempt to quit a year, around 85% relapse- usually within a month. With that, here are some of the most effective tips on how to stop smoking for good.

Allow Withdrawals Symptoms to Take Their Course

One of the hardest parts of quitting is the withdrawal symptoms. Many who experience them find the experience miserable. This is due to the flu-like symptoms that the body must go through in order to rid the brain of its nicotine dependency.

Though your withdrawals aren’t going to be easy, they don’t have to be as bad as some make it out to be. It’s remarkable when you consider how it’ll take less than a week to physically undo all that smoking has done to your body.

As you go through this week, keep in mind all the good that will come out of it and all the benefits one little week can bring you. If you can keep yourself open-minded through this process, you’re less likely to get those miserable cravings.

Distractions

coffee distraction

It’s only natural for your body and brain to want more nicotine. The best way to make sure you don’t give in to the temptation is to keep yourself distracted.

It’s different for everyone. Some find a cup of coffee during break helpful. Others find puzzles like Sudoku keep them more focused.

Try anything that works for you. This might take some experimenting but I promise, you will find something. You may even just find a new habit you didn’t expect yourself to enjoy.

Avoid the Substitutes

There are a variety of nicotine substitutes that are meant to ease you off of the substance. These include electronic cigarettes, nicotine gum and patches, and nasal sprays.

However, it’s greatly recommended you avoid them at all costs. At the end of the day, they’ll only be giving you the craving you’re trying to avoid. They’ll only push back your withdrawals.

With substitutes, there’s also the idea that you’re making a sacrifice. By consuming nicotine in smaller doses, you’re making the chemical seem precious.

Never forget that quitting is a choice and you’ve made this choice for a very important reason. Remember why you made that reason and let it ease you through your cravings.

Relax the Body and Exercise the Mind

effect of meditation

Many smokers often find themselves wanting a cigarette break after doing a laborious task. Usually, it’s a means of unwinding. When this becomes a habit, you’ll find yourself associating moments of relaxation with nicotine.

Just as with the distractions mentioned above, you’re going to need new habits which can make you feel at ease. Some find meditation to be a great technique while others prefer deep breathing exercises.

Just as with cigarettes, both methods are a way of loosening up your muscles and allowing your head to feel more present at the moment.

See Also: Spiritual Pointers for Quitting a Bad Habit

Don’t Be Afraid to Explore

The good majority of Americans run on a fixed schedule week in and week out.

With the same environment and routine playing over and over again, you might find quitting more difficult.

Exploring new places in the area you live in is another way to keep your mind off of smoking. Whether this is a new restaurant, park or a new street, the change in environment can do a lot for your brain.

If you can take a trip somewhere far, that’s even better. A new place will offer you a sense of excitement and might just take you out of your comfort zones.

Seek Out Support

The most efficient way for you to stay on track is to keep looking at those you care about the most. Not only is a support team a great way to keep yourself from smoking, but they’ll also provide you with assistance when times seem low.

It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine out there. There’s no better source for it than those who’re already around you.

You’d be surprised how far a simple conversation can go. Many who have quit claim that just talking to someone helped distract them from reaching for another pack.

In instances where you are at work and on a break, a phone call can be the difference between sufficiently quitting or going back to the same habit.

See Also: Where to Find Friends and Support During Addiction Recovery

Pick the Date

You have a goal and want to make it a reality. Don’t wait until the moment feels right. Pick the date you will no longer be a cigarette smoker.

With a specific time frame in mind, you’re creating an objective for yourself- something to look forward to and work towards.

Some people need up to a month while others only need a couple of weeks. Regardless of your preference, figure out a plan and a deadline for yourself.

In Conclusion

Whether that be easing off cigarettes or finding the right people for support, this whole process relies solely on time.

It’s going to take time for the withdrawal symptoms to go away. And it’s going to take time for your brain to understand that you’re no longer a smoker.

Studies show that the majority of people relapse within their first month after quitting cold turkey.

That’s because your brain is hardwired on expecting cigarettes during certain moments of your schedule. Even after physical withdrawals, your mentality anticipates another burst of nicotine.

As I’ve mentioned above, you need to find new habits in order to get over this mentality.

However, simply starting these new habits isn’t enough. You need to work on them and push yourself in ways you might not have expected.

It’s one thing to find distractions. It’s another to act upon new habits.

This is something you might want to plan out before the arrival of the date you’ve set for quitting.

With that, I wish you the best of luck and congratulate you on your decision to quit.

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How to Successfully Get Back Together After A Break Up

Karen felt hopeful when she and her ex-boyfriend initially got back together. After a stormy breakup and a painful month apart, they gradually began to communicate with one another. It was healing for her to be able to finally get all that was unsaid out into the open.

For the first time in a very long while, Karen felt listened to. It also seemed that her boyfriend was open, honest, and that they were figuring things out.

Now that they’ve settled as a couple again, her hopes and positive attitude about the future of her relationship are fading. While a few of the agreements that Karen and her boyfriend made to bolster trust and healthy communication have continued, many of their old and disconnecting habits have resurfaced.

It’s starting to feel like “business as usual” and Karen doesn’t like that at all. She’s beginning to wonder if getting back together was a big mistake.

Reuniting with your ex can be a joyous time, but it can also bring with it doubts, fears, and more of the same dynamics that tore you apart in the past.

The Extra Baggage

We all bring emotional baggage to our relationships.

When your emotional baggage is from your past relationship with your current partner, things can get confusing. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself reacting to your partner in a more intense way because of something that happened long ago and before you broke up.

Aside from these expectations and the baggage from the past, there is a good possibility that you and your partner will fall into habitual patterns. Humans tend to do what we’re most accustomed to doing– this happens in relationships, too.

When we get triggered, tense or tired, we revert back to those habits that we know so well- even those that have not been in our (or our relationship’s) best interests in the past.

Before you consider a reunion, here are the best tips on how to successfully get back together after a break-up.

Identify what makes you two apart

identify relationship problem

At first glance, it might seem obvious to you that your partner’s dishonesty, inability to communicate, blocks to intimacy, flirting, and jealousy are what’s ripping you two apart again.

It’s best if you take a deeper and broader look. It’s probably your partner’s or your habits that are causing the problem. However, there’s most likely a lot more going on, too.

Set an intention to be an observer and not a critic. Then, pay closer attention to how you and your partner interact on a day-to-day basis and when stressful or triggering situations arise.

Notice what happens to communication, intimacy, trust, and more. Think about what happens when your partner appears to have closed down to you.

For the moment, try to understand the dynamics between the two of you. Your goal is to figure out what leads you to move further away from one another so that you can make some changes.

Own your share of the disconnecting habits

Once you have a clearer and broader picture of what’s potentially taking you and your partner away from one another, take responsibility.

Let’s be clear here.

We’re NOT encouraging you to take the blame or to let your partner “off the hook.” This won’t help your relationship. What you have the most control over is what YOU think, say, and do. That’s why this is such a powerful place for insight and action.

Be the observer for a little while longer and notice how you’re contributing to the problems in your relationship. You may not be the one starting the arguments but you’re probably making things more heated.

Stepping back and watching your own behaviors can be transformational to you and to your relationship.

Stay focused on what you DO want

focus on relationship wants

This is a time to clear up your past and let it go. Holding onto resentments and allowing unresolved conflicts to build is only going to hurt your relationship in the long run. Do what you need to do to be more present and aware of your relationship.

Be honest with yourself. If it has become apparent that staying together is unwise and that it would be better for you and your partner to end your relationship and remain apart, honor that.

But if you and your mate are truly willing to do what it takes to create the kind of relationship you both want and you see signs that changes are happening, here’s what we urge you to do…

Make sure you are orienting yourselves toward what you DO want.

Instead of hiding the truth, make a genuine promise to speak honestly and openly and do it.

Rather than telling one another that you will stop yelling and arguing, set up some “ground rules” that are reasonable for how you WILL communicate respectfully as you resolve conflicts. Then, put them into practice.

This kind of a shift in perspective can be subtle, but the effects make a big difference.

See Also: 5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship Is Worth Fighting For

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How to Become Successful: The Real Secret No One is Talking About

Hustle. Work harder. Sleep less, do more. Quit whining and get to work! All of these lines are terrible pieces of advice. I know because I’ve tried them all for myself. I worked 16 hours per day, killing myself to try and grow my business. At the end of the day, my only accomplishment was massive burnout and exhaustion. And then something happened… I discovered the real “secret” to high performance. No one’s talking about it while others laugh at it. For me, however, it helped me transform from being stressed, anxious, and on the verge of bankruptcy into a joyful, happy, and a 7-figure business owner. So, what’s this secret? Read on to find out.

Your Life is a Race Car

race car life Have you ever watched Nascar or Formula One? If so, then you probably noticed that these high-performance vehicles are forced to stop several times over the course of a race to refuel and replace their wheels. Those cars are some of the most finely tuned, high-performing feats of modern engineering our world has ever seen. Yet, they are forced to stop dozens of times over the course of a race to refuel! This is obvious to most people, but when applied to life, most people would think, “Bah, I can sleep when I’m dead. Life’s for the living baby!” If that’s your attitude, then I want you to listen carefully to what I’m about to say. If you want to perform really well, then you need to get serious about refueling yourself. Just ask any bodybuilder you know. Unless they are hopped up on steroids, they will tell you that proper nutrition, high-quality sleep, and the right supplements are just as important (if not more so) than lifting heavy weights. So, how can you apply the “secret” of refueling to your life? It’s actually pretty simple. Focus on the “Three P’s” of high-performance refueling. Physical, psychological, and personal.

Refueling Yourself Physically

The first part of the “Three P” equation is also the most commonly practiced. Physical refueling. Whether you want to or not, every single one of you reading this has to spend time each day eating, drinking, and sleeping. It’s a requirement if you want to continue living. However, few people fail to do that. So, over the next month, I want to challenge you to do three simple things.

Sleep More and Sleep Better

sleep benefits Sleep deprivation can kill you. If you want to perform at the highest level, then you must take your sleep seriously. Here’s a checklist to help you get better sleep tonight.

  • Stop drinking coffee by 2 p.m.
  • Take 500 mg of Magnesium before bed.
  • Turn off all the lights.
  • Put the thermostat at 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Take a cold or hot bath one hour before bed.
  • Drink one cup of chamomile tea with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey.

If you will do these tips, I promise that you will sleep better than you have in months!

See Also: Get Strong, Sleep, Repeat: The Importance Of Sleeping

Eat More Greens and Less Meat

Many of you might hate me for this one (and I understand) but one of the changes that had the biggest impact on my physical health was reducing my meat consumption (specifically red meat) and increasing my fruit and vegetable intake. I’m not saying that you have to go vegetarian or vegan. I haven’t either. What I am saying is that the quickest way to boost your energy, reduce fatigue, and generally feel better is to eat more whole fruits and vegetables and less meat, dairy, and processed foods.

Practice Weekly Self-Care

It’s amazing to me how many of my friends will spend $997 on a brand new business course promising to transform their lives but they won’t pay $45 to get a massage after a long week of work. The final part of the physical refueling trifecta isn’t more exercise (although that’s important); it’s to find small ways to care for yourself weekly. Whether it’s a massage, a salt bath, 30 minutes in a steam room, or simply a long nap, you need to prioritize taking care of your body and doing things that add energy into your life.

Refueling Yourself Psychologically

While many people excel at refueling themselves physically, they still end up feeling stressed, burnt out, and exhausted (just like I did) because they don’t prioritize refueling their psychological tank. Just because your body is firing on all cylinders doesn’t mean that your mind is keeping up. Here are a few quick tips to help you overcome brain fog and refocus your mind.

Work in 42 Minutes

Although many experts suggest working in the traditional Pomodoro blocks of 50 minutes, I’ve found that I’m more productive when I only work for 48 minutes. Give it a try for yourself and see how effective you are during the day. First, write down your #1 priority for the next 42 minutes. Then, use e.ggtimer.com and set a timer for 42 minutes. Put your head down and work as hard as you can and then, when the timer buzzes, get up and take a break for 18 minutes.

Learn Something New Daily

Ironically, I’ve found that some of the most rejuvenating mental activities are also the most challenging. For example, if I sit down in front of the TV and watch Family Guy reruns for two hours, I will leave feeling drained and mentally sluggish. However, if I used those same two hours to read a good book, practice a new language, or toy around on my guitar, I leave feeling inspired and motivated to take on the day. Commit right now to learning or practicing something new and I promise that, 365 days from now, your life will look completely different.

Take a Morning and Evening “Braindump”

One of the simplest yet most profound techniques that I’ve ever found for clearing mental fog and refueling your psychology is to build a morning and evening “braindump” ritual. The practice is simple. Take a pen, a notepad, and your brain. Sit on the couch, set a 10-minute timer, and then write down everything that comes to your head. Whether it’s to-do list items, angry feelings about a fight you recently had with your spouse, or inner frustrations about a situation at work, get it out of your head. If you do this every morning and evening for a month, your brain will never feel the same.

Refueling Yourself Personally (or “Spiritually”)

Before you check out on me and roll your eyes because I used the “S” word, realize that I’m not referring to anything esoteric, religious, or “woo-woo”. I use the term “spiritually” very loosely, referring to those activities that recharge your “higher self”. Here’s what I mean.

Get Out for 30 to 60 Minutes Every Day

This one simple habit has the power to significantly reduce stress and rejuvenate your mind and body in ways you probably can’t imagine. We evolved to live in harmony with nature. In our fast-paced world, we often forget this and spend days, weeks, or even years without reconnecting to our roots and enjoying the great outdoors. Make it a priority to do something that you enjoy outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day.

Do Only One Thing

This might sound like an odd practice but you’d be surprised at how effective it can be as a refueling activity. In our day to day lives, we’ve seemingly lost the ability to focus on a single task. We’re never just doing one thing. We’ve always got something else going on in the background. So, I want to challenge you to take 15 to 30 minutes a day and just do one thing. Whether you sit and enjoy your morning cup of coffee in complete solitude, enjoy talking with your partner without distractions, or even just do your work without notifications going off in the background, learning to focus on one task at a time will help you conserve your energy and live a more fulfilling life.

Volunteer and Spend Time with Other People

volunteering work The final way to recharge yourself spiritually is to spend time every month in service to others. Go volunteer at a local soup kitchen, clean up the trails near your home or sign up to build a house with Habitat for Humanity.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

Just do something that will help you remember how much you have to be grateful for in your life. You won’t regret it.

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How to Be Successful In Sports: Career Management Tips From Female Athletes

When women find work in sports, they tend to face a lot of obstacles. After all, the sports world is particularly male-dominated. In fact, an April 2017 Glassdoor study found that significant gender gaps exist in several areas. For example, men earn nearly 10% more than women in exercise science. The study also found that 9 out of 10 highest paying majors are dominated by men. On the other hand, 6 out of 10 of the lowest paying majors are dominated by women. This is why female athletes can teach you a lot about career management. They’ve overcome so many challenges and many have found mainstream success. If you’re wondering how, let’s turn to some of the world’s best female athletes. Their stories can teach you a lot about how to be successful in sports.

Redefine Your Industry (Ronda Rousey)

ronda rousey
Via sportsrageous

Many people consider the world of mixed martial arts to be ‘anti-woman’. This is a view that Ronda Rousey, one of the most celebrated athletes in recent years, doesn’t subscribe to. “There are so many ridiculous arguments that MMA is somehow anti-woman,” she explained on Good Morning America in 2015. “Fighting is not a man’s thing, it is a human thing.” Her rise in popularity shows that MMA is an ‘everyone’ sport and her empowering message is hard to ignore. She further explained how she was celebrated as an American hero when she won Olympic medals in judo and that she sees MMA as a form of art. She worked with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to change how women are perceived in pop culture. Her involvement helped introduced women as fighters and champions and not as ‘women’s bantamweight champions’. Just as Rousey did, you can redefine your industry. Find a career where you can succeed and prove the status quo wrong.

Consider Other Passions (Serena Williams)

serena williams
Via nydailynews

When someone thinks about tennis, Serena and her sister Venus are often the first athletes to come to mind. Both women are among the greatest tennis players of all time. Serena, for example, holds countless achievements, like 23 Major singles titles in the Open Era. However, her career isn’t always championships and celebrations. In fact, she’s been plagued with injuries on and off for years now. In 2011, she had to withdraw from the Sony Ericsson Open due to abdominal injuries. Despite her various injuries, she climbed back to being one of the best. This shows you the value of learning how to rebound when you’re faced with major career obstacles. However, be aware of your limitations and determine the next step for you and your goals. Just last year, Serena was sidelined again but she didn’t rush her return. Instead, while she’s recovering, she pursued another passion- her fashion line. Don’t always force yourself to continue down a path just because you think it’s all you know. If you face setbacks, look at some of your other passions and strengths. You may have another career path worth pursuing.

Become Bigger Than Your Current Role (Mia Hamm)

mia hamm In the world of soccer, Mia Hamm continues to build her legacy. She was the face of the United States women’s national soccer team and she was actively involved in different roles. Following her retirement, her work in sports included being a co-owner of Los Angeles FC and a global ambassador for FC Barcelona. She is also on the board of directors of Serie A club A.S. Roma. Despite retiring from playing soccer, Hamm is always finding new ways to stay engaged. You should do the same in your line of work.

See Also: 4 Things Tom Brady Can Teach You About Career Management

Think beyond your current role and determine how you can contribute to your industry in bigger ways. Plan for long-term success by determining how your strengths and skills can be applied to other areas of your industry.

See Also: 4 Career Management Lessons You Can Learn From Playing Golf

The post How to Be Successful In Sports: Career Management Tips From Female Athletes appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Secrets To Help You Make 2018 Super Successful

There are many ways to be successful. As we move into the new year, you are starting to think about how you can make this your most successful year ever.

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

You’re going to learn seven practical tips for reaching your goals and improving your life in 2018. Each of these tips will focus on the following aspects of your life:

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Soul
  • Relationships
  • Business and career
  • Personal finances
  • Personal limits

One of the most important keys to goal setting and goal achievement is to take a holistic approach. You are not simply composed of a body and a brain. You are a complete person, with a mind, body, and soul.

When you focus on only one aspect of your life, it becomes too easy for it to become unbalanced. Achieving success in one area of life at the expense of the other areas will cause frustration and will eventually make you miserable and unhealthy.

So, learn from these seven tips and discipline yourself to build a balanced life. Choose goals that are in harmony with one another. When your goals are in alignment, your progress will advance at a rapid rate and your life will improve faster than you can imagine.

Feed Your Mind

Everything begins with your thoughts and your mental health. Successful people think positively. They bring a good attitude to everything that they do. They are optimistic and practical and they have hope for the future.

What does your future look like? When you project yourself five or ten years forward, do you like what you see? What do you want your life to look like a few years from now and how will you make that happen?

Your future life will be determined by the actions you take right now. If your present course will not get you where you want to be, then you must change course.

You must learn new things. You must develop new skills. You must expand your education in order to create new opportunities for yourself. The internet has created a revolution in self-education and you must take advantage of this.

Did you know that you can get a free Harvard education?

We’re not just talking about scholarships here. But any average person can audit online college courses for free.

Just think of the possibilities and check out the free courses available today. See which of them align with your goals.

If you don’t see any classes you want to take, you can still expand your knowledge in other ways.

When was the last time you visited your local public library?

Every topic you could possibly want to learn about can be studied in-depth at the library.

It is said that top business executives read one new book every week, on average. If you want to gain new knowledge in your field, you shouldn’t stop yourself from feeding your mind.

Feed Your Body

healthy meals

To achieve higher levels of success in 2018, you will also want to feed and care for your body. Did you know that your physical condition can affect your mental health, your job performance, and your relationships?

See Also: 10 Brain Damaging Activities You Need To Stop Doing Now

Think about it.

Your brain requires a variety of nutrients and proper blood flow to perform at its best. Mental sluggishness goes hand-in-hand with physical sluggishness. So, let your physical condition support your mental, financial, and spiritual goals.

Begin by only putting quality foods into your body. Man-made, processed foods cannot supply all the nutrients you need for optimum health and peak performance. Instead, spend more time shopping in the grocery aisle.

Purge your kitchen and pantry of junk foods and stock up on fresh vegetables and fruits. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds should make the most of your grocery list.

If you live a busy lifestyle and are pressed for time, cook your meals in large batches. You can just divide them into individual storage containers so that you can simply grab one from the fridge as you head out the door to work.

Slip in a little physical exercise every day as well. If you don’t have the money for a gym membership or if you have difficulty carving out time to go there every day, then just park a little bit further from the entrance when you go to work or to the store. The added walking distance can accumulate throughout the week.

You can also take the stairs instead of the elevator or try spending half of your lunch break walking around the office building instead of lounging in the break room and watching TV.

Feed Your Soul

yoga love yourself

There are so many ways to nourish your soul. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Religious practice
  • Prayer
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Nature walks
  • Music
  • Art

All of these activities are good for the soul and they can reap great benefits in your life with only a few minutes per day. The secret is to make them a part of your daily routine. Forming new habits may seem difficult at first but with daily practice, you’ll find your soul craving for them.

Nurture Your Relationships

You are not an island. Your life is greatly hindered or enriched by the relationships you build. But despite being surrounded by hundreds and even thousands of people every day, you’ll find that limiting your interactions to a few key people can be greatly rewarding.

You can’t nurture 100 relationships at once. So, take some time to identify those people who matter most to you. Commit to engaging with them a little more each week.

In order to spend more time with these key people, you may have to spend less time with others. Think about the other people in your life and identify any toxic relationships.

Do some people seem to drain your energy and happiness? Do you feel more stressed out after hanging out with certain friends, coworkers or family members?

If so, recognize that your happiness matters. Start weaning yourself off of those people to free up more time for those who actually enrich your life.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

Build Your Business

Your business or your career takes up a huge part of your life, so it only makes sense that you set goals for achieving higher levels of success there. Your career can affect other areas of your life, too. Before you spend another decade climbing the corporate ladder, you need to make sure that this ladder is leaning up against the right building first.

If you are unhappy with your job, change it. If you can’t stand your boss, fire him. This is not the 2018 BCE. You have freedom and you have choices. Use your freedom to choose the life you want and that starts with your job.

And if you seem to hate every job you’ve ever had, then maybe it’s time to create your own job by starting a business. With the internet, it’s now easier and cheaper to start a business from scratch.

Protect Your Finances

You work hard for your money but does your money bring you more freedom?

It can and it should.

The problem many people face is that they are stuck in the work-spend-work cycle. They work harder to make more money. Then, they spend all the money they make and more, thanks to credit cards. Once they spent all their money, they work even harder to keep up with the credit card bills.

It’s an unending cycle.

This year, you don’t have to live that way.

Begin setting aside a little money every week into a savings account and don’t touch it. If you need to cut back on your spending, then do that. Remember, nobody is stopping you.

If you cannot discipline yourself to save money from every paycheck, then you will never reach your financial goals.

Push Your Limits

This is the year that everything will change for you, but the changes cannot take place if you are continuing to live your life the same way you’ve been living it for the past few years. To get different results, you have to do things differently.

If you want to achieve more, you must become a new person. The old you is stuck in a comfort zone, and that is what is holding you back. To achieve the life you want, you will need to push out of your comfort zone.

This will not be easy, but it will be totally worth it.

As you attempt to make changes in your work life, your body, your relationships and your spiritual life, you will encounter discomfort. Pay attention when this happens! This is good! This is your opportunity!

To achieve the breakthroughs in the life that you desire, you must learn to love the discomfort. You must embrace the uncertainty that comes with trying new things. Everything you want is on the other side of that discomfort, so do not give up and do not give in.

Push through your limitations to create the new life that you envision. Those are the best ways to be successful.

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