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10 Powerful Bob Marley Quotes

10 Powerful Bob Marley Quotes

1) On Relationships:

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for”

2) On The Key To Life:

“love the life you live. live the life you love.”

3) On Love:

“The biggest coward is a man who awakens a woman’s love with no intention of loving her”

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Empowering Les Brown quotes

Empowering Les Brown quotes

1. Other people’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.

2. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.

3. Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.

4. Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.

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Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes

Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes

Here are 30 powerful Bruce Lee quotes that will challenge you to live an incredible life:

1. Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Willing is not enough; We must do.

2. Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.

3. Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.

4. Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.

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Women’s Health: What to Look Out for Over 40

Women’s Health: What to Look Out for Over 40

As a woman, your health risks change with the passing of time. What was a concern at twenty may not necessarily be a concern at forty. That’s okay as long as you know what to look out for. Here are the top ten health risks facing women over 40. With knowledge comes power, so read on and become more powerful!

Heart Disease

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women over the age of 40? This is a serious issue ladies! We need to know the signs and causes of heart conditions to be able to prevent this from being a major risk. Factors such as poor eating habits and smoking can cause heart disease and greatly increase the risk of heart attacks! To learn more about women’s heart health and preventive care, check out Go Red for Women.

Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin deficiencies can be an issue at any age, particularly with the common American diet. However, as women age, vitamin deficiencies become even more common and can be the cause of many symptoms and conditions. Vitamin D deficiency is particularly prevalent, and can contribute to increased bone-mass loss (over the age of 40, this happens to women naturally but a deficiency in vitamin D accelerates the problem) and osteoporosis. Low vitamin D has also been linked to depression and seasonal affective disorder. Other potential deficiencies include iron, riboflavin, and vitamin B.

Breast Cancer

The risk of a woman developing breast cancer increases dramatically between the ages of 30 and 40. Many factors such as diet, overall health, and environment can contribute to the likelihood of developing breast cancer, but age is also a factor. At age 30, the chance of a woman developing breast cancer is significantly lower than at 40. In only 10 years your risk grows by leaps and bounds. This means regular breast exams either that you perform yourself or that are performed by a doctor are very important. Beginning annual mammograms can also reduce your chances of developing breast cancer, and can aid in early treatment if it does develop.

Accidental Pregnancy

Yes ladies! You can still get pregnant over 40! Many women believe that once 40 hits, birth control is not necessary anymore. Not true! Every woman’s body is different and there is no set age when a woman can’t get pregnant. Though pregnancy over 40 is possible, it’s not always advisable.

Women over 40 need to be aware of the risks to themselves and their developing child. Labor problems, exacerbation of preexisting conditions (diabetes, heart problems, and high blood pressure) or even pre-eclampsia can occur. Not to mention that the risks of the child having genetic abnormalities is greatly increased. If you don’t want to get pregnant, use protection! And if you do, consult a physician so you and your child will be as healthy as possible!

Blood Clots

Again, blood clots can be an issue at any age. Women over 40 have a greater risk of developing them, and many of us don’t recognize the signs until it is too late. If you have swelling or pain in your calf, you should get it checked out as soon as possible. Especially if there is redness and warmth to the touch as well. If this is the case, get to the E.R. or the doctor as soon as possible just to make sure. Better safe than sorry! If you wait and it is a blood clot, it can be life threatening!

Diabetes

The risk of developing diabetes has increased exponentially in all age groups in recent years. However, women at 40 or older have an increased risk. Weight and diet also play a role. Diabetes is the number 6 killer in women 45 to 54, so get tested! And get active! A healthy diet and regular exercise can help reverse the effects of prediabetes. Getting tested is easy, so don’t wait too long.

Menopause

This one is pretty well-known. At some point over 40 all women go through menopause, and we also go through perimenopause (pre-menopause). Perimenopause can affect your body in many ways and it is important to know what you can do to help with symptoms. Also, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis can all develop in conjunction with menopause so pay close attention to your body, and talk to your doctor regularly to ensure that you do not have any serious medical concerns.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is by and large a woman’s issue. Of all osteoporosis cases in the United States, 80 percent are in women. Bone loss is a part of getting older for women and immediately following menopause can be at its peak (up to 20 percent bone loss in less than a decade). The key is to take good care of yourself going into menopause, make sure your get your vitamin D, exercise and eat right, and if you have risk factors get your bone density tested.

Adult Onset Asthma

Most people think if you have asthma, it developed during childhood. This is not the case! Hormonal fluctuations (like those occurring during perimenopause and menopause) can contribute the onset of asthma. If you have a nagging persistent cough, get winded and cannot catch your breath for a long period of time after or are wheezing, seek medical attention. Asthma is treatable and once diagnosed that cough and shortness of breath will be manageable or gone entirely.

Stroke

Women have more strokes than men. And most women are not too worried about having a stroke. Sad but true. Women over 40 are at a greater risk especially if they have HRT (hormone replacement therapy such as taking estrogen) during and following menopause.

Just remember the warning signs of stroke known as FAST.

Face: If one side of the face droops when asked to smile, it is most likely a stroke.

Ask: Ask the person to lift their arms if one droops or drifts downward and can’t be held up, likely a stroke.

Speech: if asked to say a simple phrase and the words are slurred or speech is strange, it may be a stroke.

Time: Call 9-1-1 immediately if you observe any of these symptoms!

There is a “golden hour” in stroke treatment and treatment within that first hour of symptom onset is most effective for survival and recovery!

These are ten of the biggest health risks women face over the age of forty. Keep in mind, they are not the only risks. Remember to take care of yourself and to consult a medical professional if you notice anything out of the ordinary. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

Basic Overview of Forming a Limited Liability Company

Basic Overview of Forming a Limited Liability Company

When you go into business for yourself, you have options when it comes to the type of business structure you choose. You might be a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation. Which you choose will affect factors such taxes, liability, and required paperwork.

If you’re thinking that a limited liability company (LLC) is the right choice for you, here’s what you need to know about this option and five things you’ll need to do to form your company.

Background on Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The benefit of an LLC is that unlike corporations, LLCs aren’t taxed as separate business entities. All members of the LLC report profits and losses of the business on their personal federal tax returns. The business does not pay federal taxes. Therefore, if the LLC incurs a debt or is sued, your personal assets are generally exempt.

Under an LLC, the IRS treats your business as if it were a sole proprietorship (if you are the only member) or a partnership (if there are multiple owners), unless you choose to be taxed as a corporation. However, the federal government automatically classifies and taxes certain LLCs as corporations.

Either way, you’re taxed on your share of the profits as part of your personal tax return (Schedule E). Though not required in most states, your LLC may have an Operating Agreement, which discusses financial decision-making, such as how to distribute profits and losses.

Under an LLC, you are self-employed and aren’t subject to tax withholding. Therefore, you must pay estimated taxes and self-employment taxes quarterly. However, an owner not actively involved in the LLC may be exempt from paying self-employment taxes. Talk to your accountant.

As a small business owner, you must assess, collect, and submit sales tax to the appropriate state authorities. In addition, you must pay state taxes (if applicable in your state) through your individual tax return.

Forming a Limited Liability Company

Each state has its own guidelines on the steps you need to take to form an LLC. However, here are five things you’ll need according to the Small Business Administration:

Business Name. Choose one that doesn’t currently exist in the state, include LLC in the title, and avoid restricted words, such as ‘bank’.

Articles of Organization. This includes information such as your business name, address, and the names of members.

Operating Agreement. This is not required in many states; however, it is a good tool for structuring multi-member operations.

Licenses and Permits. Find out what federal, state, and local business licenses and permits you need based on industry, state, and locality.

Employees. There are a variety of good sources to help you learn what you need to know about hiring staff, such as your state Chamber of Commerce, Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), and the Small Business Administration.

Additionally, some states require new businesses to publish a statement in the local paper about their LLC formation. Check with your state small business development center.

While small business owners have options beyond forming an LLC, it is one of the best choices available. If you’re still unsure whether to incorporate, talk with your attorney.

Make That Million Dollar Pitch

Make That Million Dollar Pitch

A pencil
Yes, you read right: a pencil. I’m sitting here at my desk in mid-suburban Toronto staring at a pencil. “Why?” you might ask. I’m sitting here staring at my pencil wondering who gave this company the financial backing necessary to pump out millions of pencils a year. I’m wondering who had the guts to stand up in front of a board of directors and say “you know what we’re missing, besides a cappuccino machine? Pencils!” I’m wondering… you get the picture. Today, we’re discussing the business pitch.

The Pitch
There is a certain excitement about making a million-dollar-plus pitch. I know: I’ve just come out of such a meeting and we got everything we asked for. I don’t write this article as a guru in million dollar pitches, but more as someone who has learned a few things that I would like to pass on to those of you who may one day go into such a meeting. The principles outlined in this article are not exclusively for large project pitches, though they are essential for them.
There are 3 key elements to any large pitch (after the donuts and coffee, that is). Firstly, you must approach it as a team, both in numbers and in that you are partnering with the people on the other side of the table to fulfill a dream. Next, your attitude must be successful and you must never blush at the mention of the word “million”. And the last important piece to securing that 7-digit check is the presentation.

There’s No “Hey It’s My Turn” In “Team”
Whether you’re pitching to your own boss, or to clients who aren’t quite sure that they want to spend X amount of dollars on you or your idea, it’s essential that you approach it as a team.
It’s critical that more then one person from your end of the table be involved in the meeting, as well as in the presentation. By playing to the strengths of your team members you not only involve them, but you can bring those who know how to answer the questions in to bat at the appropriate moments, thus improving your odds of a home run.
That said, you and your team mates are not the only team at the table. Whether you’re presenting to your own company or to someone else’s, you want to establish right up front that they’re part of the team as well. You need to give them something to own as they walk out of that meeting. They must walk out with a “we” attitude, otherwise your dream of that pretty Christmas bonus might as well be a dream of walking penguins in Manhattan.

Check Your Attitude at the Door!
Attitude is everything. This cannot be stressed enough. Attitude is everything. Oh, did I already say that? Attitude is everything. When you go into a meeting where serious players are talking serious money there are two types of attitudes that will kill you: “The Meek” and “The Owner”.

The Meek
This is someone who doesn’t really belong and who knows it. He has never in his life received a ten dollar tip, let alone asked for serious cash. If you wear this attitude the people at the other end of the table will feel superior, they will perceive you as asking for favors and they will think you weak. We want none of this. We want an attitude that says the expense is justified and that we as a team should undertake this project for the betterment of the world as we know it.

The Owner
The antithesis of The Meek is The Owner. This is often the person who’s idea the project was originally. If this is you, drop this attitude now. If you walk into a meeting owning an idea you will walk out owning that idea, and this is one of the worst things that can happen. If I could typify an attitude that would be ideal it would be The Contagious Pencil.
You need to convey to everyone involved that you realize you aren’t creating the next writing wonder, that you aren’t Coca-Cola and that you realize this, but that what you have is better. It may not revolutionize the world, but it will definitely be worthwhile.

D-Day
The final and often talked about part of your pitch is the presentation itself. There are 5 elements that must be covered in any successful presentation:
1.    a summary of the goals and vision for the project,
2.    identification of at least 3 methods and time frames for achieving that goal,
3.    prototypes (either that your team has completed, or that are taken from working examples) of important concepts,
4.    hard data proving to the group the validity of the idea and its possible market perception, and finally
5.    a recommendation as to a course of action and a next step.

The Pitch Summary
Because not everyone has been working lawyer hours trying to put this presentation together, they’re not likely to be intimately acquainted with the socio-economic changes your project will generate. In reality they may have forgotten or may not know anything about what you’re proposing, in spite of your masterful memos and emails.
So take the first five to ten minutes to accommodate the less fortunate in the group — those who haven’t already climbed aboard your gravy train. Lead them through the reason that the project came to be, who’s been involved, the goals and vision for the project, and summarize what has been accomplished so far.

The Three Plans
It’s essential that management have at least 3 options, and no more than 5. By presenting them with alternate timelines, goals and costs, you ensure that any idea they pick will remain theirs, if only in their minds. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have a slow and cheap, a medium and preferred, as well as a fast and costly plan. Most management groups will play it safe and pick the medium method as it means that everything gets done, without over-the-top costs.
One of the best summaries to this section of the presentation is a First Year Costs & Returns document that outlines what will be spent on, and generated by each of the models. In this way management can see the effects of your SMART (Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) plan.

Prototypes
Everyone must walk out of your meeting with a true vision for what you are proposing. So you have 3 alternatives. You can mime your project, you can bring in a Star Wars 3-D Holograph Display, or your can show them prototypes. In spite of the fun it would be for me to receive pictures of thousands of Instant Mimes around the country, I recommend the prototype route. By exemplifying the true ingenuity and thoughtfulness your team has put into the project, as well as showing the money and time saving effects of what you will be doing, you should easily be able to grab the “wow” factor you need.

Cold Hard Data
Nothing is more worthwhile than taking the time to prove to any detractors that the project you’re proposing is worthwhile. To satisfy the number crunchers, you must have cold hard data that illustrates the increases in sales, market interest levels, return on investment, etc. of your proposal. This also gives the other side of the table something that they can take with them and analyze after your Broadway Spectacle is done.

The Recommendation
Though it’s ideal that everyone involved sees things your way — after all that is the goal of your presentation — sometimes they won’t realize the genius of your idea. So to keep everyone on the same page I suggest that you make a cautious recommendation as to the path to be chosen from those you’ve highlighted, as well as recommending a next step. This is also the time to firm up any financial commitment required, and to set down a date for a next meeting if it’s required.

You Are The Pencil
Though walking into the CEO’s office and asking for a million-plus dollars may seem like a walk in the park to some of you, for others it is at least twice as bad as asking the boss for next Monday off so you can go to Disney World for the long weekend. This article is not intended to cover every aspect of presenting or to serve as a checklist to a multi-million dollar request meeting. The main purpose is for all of us to realize that if someone can get millions for a pencil, surely your idea is worth no less.

By Jeremy Wright

How to Develop Leadership Qualities

How to Develop Leadership Qualities

Good leaders are hard to find in any field. You can boost your career prospects and social life by taking the initiative and guiding others. This article offers helpful advice on how to become an inspiring leader who is looked up to by others.

Lead by Example
Let your behavior and life be an example for others. Be disciplined and honest, and carve a reputation for yourself as a model of integrity. Act in a convincing and assertive manner, and take full responsibility for your decisions.

Be Enthusiastic
Infect others with your cheerful and passionate attitude towards work and life. Be a go-getter who leaves no stone unturned in meeting deadlines and targets. Your troops are sure to follow suit and lead the team to victory.

Speak and Act Positively
Motivate others with your positive speech, and back up your words with appropriate action. Do not point fingers at others for any reason. Instead of blaming somebody, think deeply about mistakes, and take the initiative to resolve them in the best manner possible.

Inspire Your Mates
Stimulate and encourage your mates to do their best. Be generous with compliments and rewards to boost their motivation. Make your teammates realize that everybody stands to gain when the team wins.

Back Your Buddies
Trust and back your friends to the hilt in tough times. Extend your full support and resources to help a colleague or teammate in his or her hour of need. This will make your team think of you as a trustworthy all-weather ally. In case of disputes, do not take sides, but try to resolve the conflict fairly and to the satisfaction of all parties.

Create a Happy Atmosphere
Crack plenty of jokes to enjoy yourself on the job, and encourage your mates to do the same. They will look forward to working with you and accomplishing everything in a fun atmosphere. Work will become play, and you will have no trouble leading your team to the set goals and targets.

Use Your Resources Smartly
A clever leader is good at delegating tasks to competent people. Stimulate them by ensuring their deeds and achievements get due recognition and reward. Make good use of all the available resources to put your team ahead.

Try Innovations
Keep your mind open and encourage innovations that improve productivity. Brainstorm with your teammates to generate useful fresh ideas and concepts. Do not stick to routines, but try something new now and then that could make a difference.

Be Flexible
Do not adopt a strict and rigid approach to work and people. Change your outlook and tactics to suit the situation and person. Adopt the most appropriate method to resolve any problem and to improve your team’s performance.

Learn and Improve Constantly
A good leader looks to improve himself and his skills constantly. Learn from the best in your field to get ahead. Take some time off to think deeply about each day and project, and imbibe valuable lessons from them.

Conclusion
A good leader infects and inspires his team with his vision and commitment. Your friends and colleagues should come to trust that you will stand by them in any situation. Your success as a leader lies in stimulating your mates to do their best for the greater good.

20 Easy Ways to Make Money Online

20 Easy Ways to Make Money Online

Working from home can be a great way to either supplement your income or earn a full- time living. Most work from home jobs only require a computer with a high speed internet connection and a phone line. With a bit of research and precaution, it is possible to find legitimate work from home jobs that can provide you with flexibility as well as additional money on the side. Here are 20 of the top ways you can begin earning money from home.

1. Telemarketing
Do an online search for telemarketing positions from home. Most positions require that you have high speed internet and a dedicated phone line. Telemarketing can be an easy way to begin building your paycheck at home.

2. Order Fulfillment
Many businesses will pay you to process orders by email from home. There are many companies that will also hire you as a typist to process orders. You can charge a flat rate per order or even request to be paid per hour.

3. Blog for a business
Offer to create and manage a blog for a local business. You can charge a flat rate to create the blog and then charge an hourly management rate. Many business owners know that they need a social media presence but simply do not have the time for it.

4. Blog for yourself
Creating your own blog is super easy and fun to do! Blogging about your passions and hobbies can be a great way to build a main source of income. The most common ways to earn money through a blog include: selling products, paid membership access to premium content, and speaking at workshops.

5. Affiliate Networks
Once your blog is set up, join as many affiliate networks as you can. Affiliate marketing can help you make money by selling other people’s products on your blog, which can be an easy way to earn a passive income.

6. Write articles for other bloggers
If you have a good grasp on grammar and punctuation, offer your freelance writing service to other bloggers. This can be an easy way to earn extra money while you are building your own blog.

7. Sell your unused items online
Selling your unwanted items online can bring you an easy part-time income. You can even check out local yard sales for extra items to sell.

8. Etsy
If you have a knack for handmade or special homemade items, consider selling them online. There are many people who make a full-time living selling their hand-crafted items.

9. Create an ebook
Everyone is knowledgeable about something and people will pay for your knowledge. If you have helpful advice that can assist people in their own lives, write about it and create a website!

10. Email marketing
Create and sell a webinar to a list of email contacts. There are literally hundreds of techniques to build an email list. This can be an amazing way to earn a steady stream of recurring income.

11. Create an upgrade package
Offer your email list an upgrade package in addition to your ebook. You can offer a DVD, podcast, or a special report for a flat fee.

12. Tutoring
If you are proficient in math, science, or history, offer to tutor students online for an hourly fee.

13. Translation
If you can speak another language, offer translation services online. You can charge a fee per document or even per word. There are many companies who require large volumes of documents to be translated, so this can be an easy way to begin making money online.

14. Transcribing
If you have a knack for data entry and can type 50 words per minute or more, offer your transcribing services online. Many companies are inundated with the amount of transcribing work to be done and they would happily pay you to take that work off their hands.

15. Virtual assistant
Virtual assistants work remotely to handle a business’ bookkeeping needs. You can charge a flat fee for taking care of accounts payable and receivable.

16. Personal shopper
Do you love shopping? If so, you can offer to take the chore of shopping off people’s hands for them. Invite your friends and family members to use your service and ask for referrals. You can earn money by charging per item or by the hour.

17. Online jury duty
Online jury duty is a new concept that allows you to review court cases from the comfort of your home. If you are chosen, you can make anywhere from $20-$50 for your time.

18. Forex day trading
Trading currencies on the Forex market is an exciting way to earn extra money. Once you gain knowledge of the market, day trading can become a lucrative full-time job.

19. Take surveys
Online surveys are super easy to complete and can be a quick way to make a few bucks. While you won’t get rich taking surveys, an extra $20 here and there can definitely add up.

20. Photography
If you are skilled with a digital camera, you may want to consider selling your pictures to a stock photo company. You probably won’t make enough to earn a living, but selling your photos online is a great way to monetize your skills.

If you are determined to earn money online and desire the flexible lifestyle that can come with working from home, the best way to succeed is to treat your online business as you would any other business. Creating a home office and setting business hours will set you on a path for success.

6 Steps to Take Before Starting a Business

6 Steps to Take Before Starting a Business

Discovering a great idea for a business can be exhilarating.  Unfortunately, many people struggle to turn their idea into a successful business.  It is easy to make silly mistakes that cost both time and money.  With a little forethought, those mistakes can be avoided and you can begin running your successful business sooner.  Here are 6 essential steps you must perform to turn your dream into a profitable business venture.

Define what do you hope to achieve with the business
It helps to set your expectations for the business early on.  As you plan the business, you can test its potential success against those expectations.  If you want the business to provide enough money so you can quit your current job, make sure that it has the financial viability to do so at the planing stage.  Some people might want a business that only involves three hours of work per day.  As you write the business plan and assess the business’ viability, make sure that your goals remain viable.

Will your product or business be viable in the market?
You must ascertain if your offering will be viable in the market before you open your doors.   The first step here is to define your product.  What exactly will you offer in the market?  How will your offering benefit potential customers?

The next step is to understand your potential market.  Will you be selling over the Internet to a specific demographic, or will you have a storefront where anyone can wander in?  The more you know about your target demographic, the better you can understand your offering’s viability in that market.  To gain a better understanding of the market, talk to people who may be interested in your product.  Test the idea on family and friends to see how they react as potential consumers.

At this stage, it helps to have a rudimentary price structure for your offering.  When doing any testing of consumers within the market, make sure you include the price.

You should also consider who the main competitors are in the market.  Are they providing a stronger offering than you already?  You must be able to directly compete against them or create a niche in the market that has not been filled.  Ensure that competitors in the market are actually successful.  There is no point entering a market if there are four or five main competitors that are already struggling with sales due to low demand.

Create a business plan
Now it’s time to create a solid business plan that brings together your business idea, market analysis, competitor analysis, marketing strategy and financial analysis.  This is when you collect hard data to test the viability of your business.  A business plan helps you focus your intentions into action.  Additionally, a business plan is essential if you are seeking finance or a business partner.  It is also critical for keeping the business on track.

Determine if you have the willpower and money to finance the business
If your business plan shows the offering is viable within the market, it’s time to test yourself.  Assess how much time, money and work it will take to bring your product or service to the market.  There will be start-up costs, significant amounts of time, stress and lots of work involved.  Are you driven to make the business work or is it just something you want to try when you have spare time?

The idea might be great, but you might not have the resources to commit right now.  If you don’t commit yourself to the project, it will inevitably end in failure.

Consider how long it will take to make the first sale.  Do you have the money to spend many weeks or months establishing a business, then waiting for it to become cash flow positive?

Train yourself to sell this product or service
Once you have committed to making the business work, it’s time to become a master seller of the product or service.  Become better at sales and train yourself to sell this particular offering in this particular market.  You need to be able to clearly express why your business is better than other competitors and compel customers into taking action.  Sales do not come naturally to some people.  However, if you have committed yourself to the business, you will do what it takes.

Sort the financial aspects of the business
If you require money to get the business started, now is the time to find finance.  There are many sources of finance for a new business including banks, family, friends, product pre-sales, crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, home equity loans and venture capitalists.  You could also raise the money yourself by simply selling assets.  Unfortunately this is where some businesses fail — they simply can’t get the finance together.  By having a very well thought out market offering and business plan you maximize your chances of obtaining funding.

Secure the assistance of experts and meet legal requirements
Make sure your business has all of the necessary legal and financial requirements.  Set up a corporation, sort out insurance, patent any inventions and trademark your business name.  Make sure your business does not infringe upon the trademarks or patents of other businesses.

Don’t assume you can make your business safe by yourself.  Obtain expert advice from lawyers and accountants to make your business secure.

Start selling!
Now is the time to see if your business can make it in the market.  Your business has the highest chances of success if you are committed and willing to put in a lot of hard work.

Keep your eye open for changing market conditions and don’t be afraid to adapt your business to suit them.  Some businesses start out selling one product or service, then completely shift direction when they see another opportunity.  Stay alert to any opportunities and your business will thrive in the coming years.

Successful Blogging: How to Be the Best

Successful Blogging: How to Be the Best

Blogging is sometimes a personal hobby but, oftentimes, it’s serious competition. You’re trying to make your Weblog the most visible among all the ones that deal with your area of interest, which requires work and dedication. These tips will help you turn that corner and make your Internet home a popular place visitors want to revisit often.

Pick a Great Site Name
Blogs can be re-named if you didn’t get that right the first try; check the settings section on the blogging service or software you’re using. A boring, generic name doesn’t stick in visitors’ heads, but something catchy and smart will keep them coming back.

Make Your Blog User Friendly
Clutter is a turn-off; if people have to scroll through obnoxious elements to get to what they want, they’ll look somewhere else. Make sure your blog is clean, easy to navigate, and appeals to a wide range of readers. They’ll keep coming back if they have good user experiences.

Pick One or Two Themes/Subjects
A personal blog, which is interesting only to people who know you, can focus on many topics. To get lots of followers, which leads to popularity (and, in many cases, advertising dollars), you need to narrow your focus. People who visit your site for your entries about being a home baker aren’t likely to show much interest in posts about other subjects, like your pets or your exercise regimen.

Consistency is Key
If readers expect you to post twice a week, you need to post–you guessed it–twice a week. Blogging services let you schedule posts in advance so, when you have lots of good ideas, you can “write ahead” in anticipation of the occasional dry spell that most writers/bloggers experience. Stick to the schedule and readers, whether they subscribe to notifications of new posts or not, will check back on those days, at those times, to see what you’ve posted.

Quality Matters
Produce top-quality content–the very best you can create–all the time. This may mean cutting back your posting schedule: for example, going from two posts a week to one. That’s okay, though, because most visitors would rather see one solid post than two mediocre ones. Give people the best experiences and they’ll visit your site before they go somewhere else for similar information.

This also means that, to attract followers, your content must be original. Boosting another person’s writing, artwork, or other creation is only going to harm your search-engine results and reputation among people who share the interest you’re blogging about. It’s best to create fresh, new content from your original perspective.

Be Different
So you love the one or two subjects you blog about. What sets your site apart? Your expertise? Your perspective? Your life experiences? Check out your competition and see what you do differently. That may be the unique angle you need to attract, and keep, readers. Maybe you’re one of few knitters who was in the military and made scarves while you were deployed? That’s certainly an angle worth considering.

Keep Up with Trends
Today’s advice may be different from tomorrow’s. Which social-media accounts should you link your blog to? Which search engines are the most popular, and how do they index/rank your content? How do visitors want you to interact with them, if they want that in the first place? These things change regularly, so stay on top of industry news, and keep in touch with your visitors, to make sure you’re offering only the best.

Successful bloggers are devoted to the craft. If that’s you, the aforementioned tips will give you advantages. Be aware, however, that success is not immediate; keep the day job while you work on the blog so that you can maximize your opportunities.

By Sarah Marie

Manage Your Time to Increase Business Development

Manage Your Time to Increase Business Development

When it comes to business development, proper time management is a must. Without this key component and discipline, both businesses and individuals are set up for failure. This article will focus on time management from the individual’s standpoint and outline some effective strategies for getting more done faster and with greater results and productivity.

First, one absolutely must prioritize goals. Prioritizing goals sets the stage for tasks being accomplished. In order to accomplish more in less time, it is critical to determine the order of importance of tasks. While this may sound simple in theory, it is seldom followed. The 80/20 rule applies. 80 percent of our productivity will be a direct result of 20 percent of our tasks. These are the tasks that must be prioritized. One can prioritize tasks on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Doing so on a daily basis will ensure that one is getting the most bang for the buck on a daily basis and always moving closer to his or her goals.

One must get in the habit of addressing the most difficult or daunting tasks first. Tasks can be like a throat culture-it’s not pleasant but sometimes must be done. By simply focusing and getting it done, however, one will find more often than not that the task wasn’t so bad. More importantly, completion of large or difficult tasks can build a great feeling of accomplishment and momentum that will spill over into the rest of the working day. This sense of accomplishment and seeing tangible results will create a sense of being unstoppable and will allow one to do even more. A simple way to do this is by creating an upside down task pyramid where tasks are listed from most important and difficult at the top to less important and difficult at the bottom. This is once again following the 80/20 rule. In order to achieve the best results and highest level of productivity possible, one must get into the habit of structuring their day in this manner.

One must be disciplined in follow through and execution. It’s one thing to list tasks and goals but another thing entirely to get them all done. Self-discipline is very important when it comes to time management. One must be willing to get into the nitty-gritty immediately upon beginning work. It is amazing how much time the average worker wastes spending time on breaks, getting coffee and chatting with co-workers. If one is able to eliminate these distractions, productivity is increased dramatically.

Time is a precious commodity. There is only so much in a work day, week and year. If you are trying to develop a business, make sure you acquire the necessary habits to use your time wisely and efficiently. Effective time management and execution can help you achieve your dreams and business development goals faster and with more success than you ever imagined!

Improve Your Productivity

Improve Your Productivity

Whether you work a 9-5 office job, are a stay-at-home mom, or a business owner chances are you are eager to find ways to get more done each day. There are so many distractions bombarding us throughout the day. Social media, television, email, and unexpected breaks and visitors can all impede productivity. This article outlines four ways that everyone can improve their productivity.

1. Create a schedule
A schedule can be very helpful in making sure you get things done. If you decide that every Wednesday is laundry day and every Monday you’ll vacuum, you won’t have to worry about when you’ll fit those mundane chores into your week. It doesn’t matter if you work inside or outside the home, finding the time to get chores done can be a struggle.  Scheduling can take the stress out of finding time for them.

2. Stop checking your email and social media
Constantly checking your social media and email is a bad habit that will suck hours out of your day if you allow it. Check your email and social media only a few times a day. Don’t leave them open all day because seeing them will cause you to constantly hit the refresh button. Check them, reply to anything that needs attention, and log-out until after you’re done. When you get into the habit of checking these things less often, you’ll find yourself with more time to do other things.

3. Stop feeling obligated
How many people have expectations of you that you just don’t want to fulfill? Just because other people have expectations of you doesn’t mean you have to play along. If someone expects you to be on the phone for two hours straight every afternoon, don’t answer the phone. You’re not obligated to talk to anyone. You might rather spend your lunch hour catching up on the book you’re reading. If someone is constantly asking you for favors they can do for themselves, learn to say “no.” Giving in to these expectations of others will suck up the little time you do have.

4. Create a to-do list
You can help yourself be more productive by creating a to-do each night. When you wake up each morning, you will know exactly what you have to do that day. Choose at least one very important task you need to accomplish that day along with a couple of smaller tasks. Don’t overwhelm yourself with an extremely long to-do list.

5. Stop trying to multitask
Very few people can multitask successfully, but don’t assume you can. It’s hard to divide your attention between two or more activities. If you’re working on the computer to finish something for work, turn off all chat messengers, close social media, and just focus on your work. You’ll finish it in quicker time than if you’re trying to chat with your friend at the same time.

6. Set your timer
Some things you occupy yourself with during the day can suck up more time than you intend if you’re not careful. When you chat with a friend online or on the phone, set your timer for fifteen or twenty minutes and then say you have to go. Have you ever stayed in a conversation long after it’s gotten boring? We have all done it. Even if the conversation is still interesting after twenty minutes, move on to something else. You don’t get things accomplished by talking on the phone for 90 minutes.

Getting things done is possible without rushing around all day or arming yourself with a ten foot long to-do list. Improving your productivity begins with prioritizing the way you spend your time. You don’t have to cut out fun or ignore your friends to be productive.

Three Ways to Make the Most of Life Right Now!

Three Ways to Make the Most of Life Right Now!

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you have been, or what you plan to do. It doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have. It only matters that you want to be happy here and now. You can achieve this without adding anything else to yourself or your repertoire of experiences.

Here’s how:

#1. If it’s in the past, leave it there:

Stop reliving those old moments, memories, and torn regrets. You are not them. If you can move forward successfully (most think they have, but fail to actually do so), then life is yours. Your experiences have served to bring you to the here and now, but they can only help you. They can only make you smarter and wiser.

Today is a new day. Enjoy a new smell, a new flavor, a new anything. Make big plans, or better yet, try to reinvent yourself.

#2. Reinvent yourself:

Take all of your love, all of your hate, and every other emotion and let them turn you into something greater. Just up and reinvent yourself. Change jobs. Change wardrobes. Fixate on different foods, drinks, and hobbies. Clean out your house from top to bottom. Spend your time differently. Change routines, and in so doing, find new ways to access the joys of others. You’ll appreciate this because it won’t be long doing it until you start to forget the old you and absorb your affections in totally new outlets. You will feel like – and be – a different person. The change can be so wonderful that it will scare you!

#3. Start today:

Don’t put off a thing. Don’t even wait until you finish reading this article. Resolve to forever move forward. As soon as you get up, you will approach life differently because the enemy has always been procrastination. The ugly head of waiting is what has always been a thorn in your side, and it always will be. This is true in every discipline and in every field of study or occupation. Strike. Attack. Lash out. Move. Don’t sit still! Don’t lose opportunities, for in so doing, you will someday find regrets.

What do you want to do? Write a book? Manage a grocery store? Become a firefighter or teacher? It doesn’t matter. Start on the journey of whatever is possible, taking satisfaction today in whatever you will be tomorrow. If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, then the joy of arriving can (at least in part) be had the moment that first step is taken.

by Zach Henderson

9 Tips for Mastering Small Talk

9 Tips for Mastering Small Talk

Striking up conversations with people you don’t know can be difficult. If you aren’t good at chatting up strangers, you might dread going to parties, conferences or other social events. But once you get good at it, small talk is a lot of fun. It opens up opportunities for you to meet new friends and business partners. So, if you’ve been dreading small talk all your life, let’s talk about some things you can do to get over your fear.

1.       Remember that you’re not the only one in the room who is nervous.

When you look out at a room full of people, it is easy to assume that all of them know each other in some way or another. This is rarely the case. Without a doubt, there are many people in any given social situation who share your social anxiety. Reminding yourself of this fact will ease the jitters in your stomach. If there’s someone you really need to talk to, go ahead and say “Hi”. If not, don’t sweat it. You’ll have other opportunities for socializing. Try to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

2.       Always introduce yourself.

At parties or conferences, don’t wait around until your contact introduces you to other people. If you see an opportunity to introduce yourself to someone, just walk over and do it. Your casual acquaintances might have forgotten your name, so it’s your responsibility to get the ball rolling.

When the person you are talking to tells you their name, you should repeat their name back to them. For example, if the person you’re talking to tells you their name is Bill, you can say “Hey Bill, pleased to meet you.” Once you’ve got the introductions out of the way, the conversation usually flows naturally.

3.       Introduce your friends or someone else you know.

Introducing other people to each other is a great networking tactic. If you know someone else at the party or conference you are at, you can introduce them to your new contacts by saying something like “Hey Bill, this is my friend Steve. Steve is a fantastic cook and he has an amazing blog!”

4.       Work on your body language.

Some studies say that more than 90% of all communication is nonverbal. If your body language isn’t congruent with the attitude you are portraying through your words, it will be obvious to other people. Crossing your arms, slouching and fidgeting are all signs of nervousness and will make other people uncomfortable around you.

When you’re talking to someone, hold your hands behind your back or down to your sides. Stand up straight and look them in the eye. This kind of body language shows them that you are listening and interested in what they have to say.

5.       Do not discuss religion or politics.

Polarizing topics like religion or politics should be avoided like the plague, especially when you’ve just met someone. If your views offend their sensibilities, they might come away with a negative opinion of you. The only time you should discuss politics is if you’re at a political event with people who ascribe to the same ideology. Even then, you should be careful.

6.       Ask questions that encourage conversation.

When you’re talking to someone for the first time, asking them questions is a great way to get them to open up. If you find out that they’re from a particular state or country, you might ask them how life is back home. You can even compliment them on something they’re wearing and ask them where they got it. Most of the time, people will ask you similar questions in turn, and this will get the conversation going.

7.       Bring other people into the discussion.

If you’re talking to a group and you find that one or two people have been silent for the entirety of your conversation, try to get them into the fold. Extend a hand towards them and ask them casually what their opinion is on the topic of your discussion.

On the flip side, when you’re at a networking event or a party, you should try not to limit yourself to one conversation. Excuse yourself naturally and go around to meet some other people. You can always come back later and continue your conversation.

8.       Be prepared for awkward silences.

Conversations have a natural ebb and flow, and sometimes a topic runs its course, leading to uncomfortable silences. In such a situation, you should always have a list of things to talk about so that you can reignite the conversation. TV shows, movies and local sporting events are usually safe topics to bring up if there’s a lull. If you’re new in town, you could ask for recommendations for things to do or places to visit.

9.       Have an airtight exit strategy.

Sometimes, casual conversation runs its course and you have to exit the situation. You should always depart the scene gracefully. If you’re in a group, you could say something like “Hey guys, I’m going to head over to the bar for another drink.” If you’re having a one-on-one conversation, you could say “Hey Bill, it was really nice to meet you. Stay in touch.” Shake hands, offer them your business card or phone number if the situation demands it, and walk away.

In summation, small talk is an art that can be learned even if you aren’t any good at it currently. Using the aforementioned tips will have you striking up casual conversations effortlessly.

 

by Rohit Raut