Here’s How To Bounce Back After A Financial Crisis

The ability to bounce back after being financially sucker punched is a necessity in today’s volatile financial climate. It’s safe to say that at some point in your life, you are going to face a financial crisis. It could come in the form of a job loss, an unexpected pregnancy, a health crisis, divorce, death of a loved one, identity theft, a global recession, the stock market tanking, an act of God … you get the picture. And the most troublesome thing about a financial crisis is it is usually unexpected and beyond your control.

The ability to survive and recover from a significant financial setback depends on how well you are prepared before disaster strikes and how flexible and proactive you are during and after the event. While you can’t predict, control, or prevent financial catastrophes, there are a few things you can do to increase your financial resilience. Read more.

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30 Podcasts Every Entrepreneur Should Hear

Podcasts, similar to wide leg pants and Mohawks, are experiencing a huge comeback. Popularized by the iPod in the early 2000s, these short-form audio files experienced huge (albeit short-lived) success. Originally, the files were too large and painful to download and a lot of the topics were a bit abstract and obscure for the average taste, so the podcast slowly died — until now.

The Podcast is back and better than ever! Apple reported that podcast subscriptions via iTunes eclipsed the one billion mark. Technology has changed the face of this audio file. Downloading is no longer necessary, they can be listened to anywhere, and within their niches the topics are mainstream. Best of all, they are free!

Top 30 Podcasts Every Entrepreneur Should Hear

Gone are the days when we had to learn things the hard way. Experience may be the best teacher but having access to critical information can save time, money, and a ton of aspirin. Being an entrepreneur is tough. It can be lonely and a ton of work if you are doing it right. Having access to solid information at the right time could mean the difference between your startup exploding into a huge success or slowly fizzling out and joining the ranks of the 90 percent that fail.

An easy, efficient, and portable way to get great information concerning all things entrepreneurial is by listening to podcasts. We’ve assembled a list of 30 podcasts that should be on the playlist of every entrepreneur:

1. The Dave Ramsey Show

This podcast is a must for every small business owner. The Dave Ramsey Show is a no-nonsense, savvy, innovative approach to all things financial. Dave gives advice, tips, and resources to help manage your personal and business finances well. His unique approach to business and finance has made his business a huge success and his perspective is well respected in the financial sphere. His podcasts come from his live radio show which is also available in video. During each show he tackles a topic and answers questions live on the air.

2. StartUp

This podcast gives advice to young entrepreneurs who are newbies to the startup game. This one tackles topics that are critical to a new business such as naming your business, building your brand, how to value it, and how to bring in partners and investors.

3. Mixergy: Startup Stories

Mixergy is hosted by Andrew Warner and features his interviews with some of the most cutting-edge, relevant business people of today. What is especially unique about his interactions with his guests is that some of the more engaging topics morph into business courses taught by the interviewed business experts. Not only do you get to hear some advice and personal stories, you are also given the opportunity to learn from the masters themselves.

 4. School of Greatness

If you are looking for a bit of inspiration and the motivation to keep going, this is the podcast for you. Hosted by former professional arena football player Lewis Howes, this podcast focuses on helping you be the best version of yourself. It wakes you up and challenges you to live intentionally.

5. Entrepreneur On Fire (EOFire)

This award-winning podcast airs seven days a week and features incredible stories, advice, and a fresh perspective on creative ways to run your business by industry heavy hitters. Host John Lee Dumas ensures that you have an actionable take away from every show.

6. Powderkeg: Igniting Startups

Just the name alone should have you fired up and ready to listen. The website bills Powderkeg as “The untold stories of entrepreneurship beyond Silicon Valley.” These are stories of successful startups in the tech industry. The host, Matt Hunckler, delves into some of the top minds of this market including investors and innovators. It is tech focused but there are principles discussed that can be applied to any business endeavor.

 7. EntreLeadership

This is another Dave Ramsey project. This one delves into the dynamics of creating, owning, and operating a business empire, in addition to building your brand and learning how to operate with integrity. He uses his own experience and offers tips from the likes of Mark Cuban, Simon Sinek, Set Godin, and other heavy hitters.

8. Profit. Power. Pursuit. 

This podcast is a must for creative types. It offers lessons on the mechanics of running a business while leveraging the tactical and strategic components necessary for success in the highly competitive creative marketspace.

9. HBR IDEACAST

HBR IDEACAST is the Harvard Business Review’s podcast. HBR is the premier resource for business news and research. According to their website, their podcast provides analysis and advice from leading minds in all things business. While HBR does require a membership fee to access some of its articles and information, the podcast is free.

 10. THE $100 MBA

The $100 MBA is a daily podcast that is quick and to the point. This 10-minute podcast is hosted by Omar Zenhom and gives practical, real-world actionable advice by a leading industry expert. This is great for those who don’t have a lot of time or want just the information without a lot of chitchat.

11. THE ENTREPRENEUR’S RADIO SHOW

If you are looking for a bit of inspiration and are interested in the stories of how others climbed to success, The Entrepreneur’s Radio Show is for you. This show is all about self-made millionaires and prosperous entrepreneurs who started with nothing. The show’s topics cover the entire spectrum of business, ranging from harnessing ingenuity to how to create an emotional experience for your customers.

12. BBC BUSINESS DAILY

BBC Business Daily is a podcast that focuses on global business news. It examines big issues facing the global economy, demystifies the world of money and international business, and explains trends. It gives a broad perspective of business and is great for those with international business interests.

 13. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ON SMALL BIZ

The Wall Street Journal on Small Biz is a weekly podcast that primarily focuses on all things small business. This podcast provides a wide array of topics that keep you engaged and intrigued. The topics which range from lying on a resume to how sports logic applies to business are captivating and provide a unique perspective on business issues.

14. Self-Made Man

“Forge your Destiny” is this website’s tagline. This podcast is not necessarily entrepreneurial. It’s more geared toward teaching you how to be your best self. It is motivational with a plethora of self-help content.

15. The Broad Experience

This quick 20-minute show hosted by Ashley Milne-Tyte tackles some of the big issues facing women in the workplace. The discussion explores topics such as race, communication styles, being a professional woman with or without kids, and how to survive sexism in the business world.

 16. Jocko Podcast

Named one of the best podcasts of 2016 by Apple, this inspiring podcast offers life lessons on work ethic, leadership, discipline, and even fitness. The show is hosted by retired Navy Seal officer, Jocko Willink and his ability to turn any story into a teachable moment makes this podcast worth your time.

17. The Action Catalyst

The Action Catalyst podcast is all about productivity and building momentum. The host, Rory Vaden, is a New York Times bestselling author and Co-Founder of Southwestern Consulting, a multi-million dollar global consulting practice. He gives real answers to tough questions such as “What’s the fastest, cheapest way to recruit amazing people?” (Visit his website for the answer!)

18. DUCT TAPE MARKETING

This podcast, hosted by John Jantsch is a monthly or bi-monthly broadcast. John covers primarily marketing and sales topics. He answers questions and touches on subjects like Chatbots, interpreting body language, keeping pace with changing SEO tactics, and so much more. If you are looking for ways to enhance your marketing strategy this podcast is definitely for you.

 19. 500 Startups Podcast 

This relatively new podcast airs weekly and features interviews and talks with startup founders, influencers, and entrepreneurs. 500 Startups is a Silicon Valley seed fund and accelerator and focuses on how to get your startup off the ground and keep it growing at a manageable pace during its infancy.

20. The Tim Ferriss Show

The Tim Ferriss Show is the top-ranked business podcast with over 100,000,000 iTunes downloads. Tim is a New York Times bestselling author and investor extraordinaire. What makes his podcast so popular and engaging is that he interviews successful people in a multiplicity of genres, fields, and art forms. He translates their strategies into business practices and finds ways to incorporate seemingly unrelated topics and fields into successful business practices.

Youpreneur, hosted by Chris Ducker, is dedicated to helping you create, enhance, and revamp your brand. He tackles everything from digital storytelling to using Instagram as a marketing and branding tool. He offers a fresh look at branding and leveraging all the available tools to effectively communicate your brand.

 22. This Week in Startups

This podcast is for those who want to know what the exciting new trends are in the world of technology. Each week, host Jason Calacanis interviews a guest entrepreneur to find out what’s happening right now in the tech industry. This podcast is cutting-edge and is a mix of current events and trends, company profiles, and insider gossip. This is the podcast for those techies who need to be in the know.

23. The Full Ratchet 

This podcast is “Investing 101”. It is designed to teach entrepreneurs how investors think, how to market to them, and how to entice them to buy into your company, your brand, and more importantly, you. Host Nick Moran ensures that you walk away with clear and actionable information on how to be a savvy investor and how to attract investors.

24. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast 

Andy Stanley’s podcasts focus on leadership and how to cultivate your vision and develop others around you. His content is culturally relevant and provides practical insights for life and leadership. Last month’s podcast was a conversation on how to create a culture of continual improvement. He knows that any business is only as strong as its leader and he shows how to lead with passion while avoiding burnout.

 25. a16z Podcast

According to Andreessen Horowitz (a.k.a. a16z), “Software is eating the world.” Horowitz wants to teach tech companies how to leverage technology without becoming slaves to it. He interviews and engages tech experts and business leaders through spirited discussions concerning this this “devourment” and helps tech companies devise a plan. His chats focus on tech news, industry trends, and the future of technology. If you want to keep pace with trends and survive the future, this podcast is for you.

26. The Twenty-Minute VC 

This short and sweet weekly podcast hosted by Harry Stebbings is geared toward venture capitalists. Each week two experts in the world of venture capitalism share their wisdom, insight, and predictions in a concise and informative interview. This podcast is suited for investors but it is also a wellspring of knowledge for business-minded individuals, novice investors, and entrepreneurs.

27. Social Pros

This is a podcast every entrepreneur (or anyone looking to market anything) should hear. Jay Baer of Convince & Convert and Adam Brown of Salesforce are the tag-team co-hosts of this podcast. This show is an insightful and intelligent look into the essential world of social media marketing. They get advice from experts associated with global icons such as Dell, ESPN, and IBM concerning the trends and how-tos of social media marketing.

 28. The #AskGaryVee Show 

The #AskGaryVee podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, CEO, investor, vlogger/social media personality, and public speaker Gary Vaynerchuk. Each show is a Q&A with Gary in which he answers questions concerning everything he’s into. He gives tips, tricks, and secrets of the trade. This show has something for every entrepreneur. Whether you are starting a YouTube channel or a high-level tech startup, Gary can teach you something.

29. Smart Passive Income Podcast 

Earning a passive income is the new financial trend currently sweeping the globe. It is also every entrepreneur’s dream. Making money while you sleep — who wouldn’t want that? Pat Flynn is an expert in this area. He has built his online empire almost entirely through the use of passive income. He shows you how to target your energy and efforts now so that you can relax and reap the rewards long after you’ve quit working.

30. Unemployable Podcast

This podcast is for those who — like host and creator Brian Clark — find it impossible to stick to the mundane, mediocre lifestyle that traditional nine-to-five offers. This podcast encourages those who have a phenomenal work ethic but were built to march to the beat of their own drums and are destined to forge their own paths in this world. Brian teaches you how to follow your passion in a very intentional and methodical way. This podcast is not for the lazy, the trifling, or those who give up easily.

 Listening to podcasts is a quick and efficient way to increase your knowledge base, maximize the use of downtime, get motivation and insight, and learn from industries’ top leaders. Spending your time doing things that matter, sharpening your skills, and learning from the masters is one of the best ways to solidify your success. These podcasts are a great place to start.

Featured image courtesy of maxpixel

Top Five Financial Moves Every Single Should Make

The number of Americans who wait to get married — or never get hitched — is growing. In fact, for the first time in history, the number of unmarried Americans almost equals those who are married. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there were 110 million unmarried adults (age 18 and older) in 2016, which is 45 percent of all U.S. residents over the age of 18.

Living a Sex in the City lifestyle may be alluring, but it also comes with hidden financial pitfalls. This is especially true for singles who have never been married. While divorcees and widows have distinct challenges, there are resources and services out there to assist them through their transition. However, if you are someone who has never been married, you’re pretty much on your own.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top things that every single person should do with their finances. Read more.

 

Contemplating Selling Your Small Business? Here Are 4 Signs That It’s Time

Owning a small business is a labor of love. In addition to investing your money, resources, blood, sweat and tears, you also invest a small part of your soul. You love it. It’s your baby — you’ve nurtured it from nothing to the success it is now. But every now and then, a thought flashes through your mind: Should I sell?

Or, maybe someone else has seen, appreciates, and is willing to pay for what you’ve done. They offer to buy you out. Should you accept?

Selling your business is a tricky endeavor. It’s tough to know when you should take the money and run. Here are a few telltale signs that it’s time to cash in your chips and call it quits. Read more.

Here’s Why You Should Make Your 5-Year-Old Pay Rent

A young mother named Essence Evans recently posted on Facebook that she charges her five-year-old daughter $1 each for rent, utilities, food, water, and cable out of her weekly $7 allowance. The remaining $2 is the child’s money to spend however she wishes. The $5 that Evans takes for “bills” actually goes into a savings account she’ll give to her daughter when she turns 18.

The internet went berserk. Some people loved this idea, while others thought it took things too far. Whether you agree or disagree with the method, something has to be said for the initiative Evans is taking to teach her young daughter money management and the value of a dollar.

Should you follow her example and charge your little ones “rent?” Here are five important lessons you’d be teaching them by having them “pay bills.” Read more.

Featured image by Steven Depolo

The Secret To Our 22 Years Of Marriage

Shortly after meeting my (now) husband and we began dating, he was called away to participate in a week-long training exercise at Camp Lejeune. He was in the Navy at the time and the training was a part of his job. Before he left, he stopped by my apartment to say his goodbyes. He said the usual–I’m going to miss you and I’ll see you as soon as I get back–or something to that effect.

And then, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the keys to his car and his bank card. He gave me the pin number to his account and told me to spend whatever I needed for gas and any other shopping I wanted to do. I was stunned. I weakly tried to protest but he just kissed me on the forehead, said goodbye and strolled out the door.

When he returned from training, he didn’t even go home. He had his friend drop him off at my place as we were so eager to see each other. When I greeted him at the door he scooped me up in his arms and held me in a long embrace. We made dinner plans and I gave him back the keys to his car and his bank card…

Years later, while reminiscing about how we first met, I asked my husband when he knew for sure that he was in love with me. He said when he returned home from his trip to Camp Lejeune and saw his car and checked his account. “When I saw that you had completely detailed my car and had added money to my account–I knew you were the one. You returned everything to me in better shape than I left it.”

We were married one month after that trip.

We had known each other for three months.

How to make a marriage work

When moving forward in your marriage you will face challenges and obstacles. It is inevitable. There are so many prevailing theories, teachings and schools of thought on how to make a marriage work. The reality is there is no one single recipe leading to marital bliss. You have to take a few very basic and fundamental principles and tailor them to meet the needs of you and your spouse.

The most critical of these basic principles is: Put your Spouse First

“If both of you are putting each other first then no one comes second.”

This quote goes against every selfish instinct that we as human beings have. Ego-centrism comes naturally. We all tend to focus on ourselves and our own selfish needs. However, the very essence of marriage and relationships center around the fact that it is no longer about you as an individual but about the marital unit. The goal in marriage and relationships should be to move from being selfish to selfless.

It’s incredibly difficult to put someone’s wants, needs, hopes, dreams and happiness ahead of your own.

Granted, this is easier to do when we’re blinded by passion  — as tends to happen during the “honeymoon period.” But doing it on an everyday basis isn’t easy. And that’s what love should be. It should be making the love of your life a top priority — day in and day out.

When two people in a relationship care more for each other than they do for themselves–they are on their way to finding true happiness. True happiness–I mean the deep down feeling of contentment, solitude and peace–comes from making others happy.

 Hills_the kiss

What does selflessness in a marriage look like?

Let’s be clear… Putting your spouse first, in no way means totally neglecting yourself and becoming a blind puppet. Sometimes to ensure the ultimate happiness of your spouse gentle push back on bad ideas may be required. Especially on things that may cause them harm and more headaches in the end. You may have to encourage them to have better eating and exercise habits and walk alongside them through the process. It is loving them enough to always do what is best for them–and sometimes that causes conflict.

One of the most significant rules my husband and I live by is to always treat each other better than we treat others. What this means is the same courtesy, kindness and tolerance we extend to friends, family, associates and strangers, we extend to each other on a much higher level. When you are angry with your spouse, before you speak, ask yourself “would I say that to my mother, best friend or boss?” If it’s not appropriate to say it to anyone else it is definitely off limits for your spouse.

Find small ways to make your spouse feel cherished and special. Go out of your way for them every chance you get. Make them your number one priority–always. Marriage takes sacrifice and putting your spouse first is how to make a marriage work.

Wage Garnishment: Here’s What To Do If This Happens To You

The concept of wage garnishment is frightening. And while having your wages taken to pay off a creditor is considered an extreme “last resort” to collect on a debt, it is more common than you may think.

A 2013 report by ADP Research Institute found that approximately 7 percent of the 13 million employees assessed in their survey had experienced wage garnishment that year, the majority of which were workers aged 35 to 44. The most common reasons for this drastic form of collection were unpaid taxes, child support, consumer debts, and student loans.

If you have fallen behind repaying what you owe, and creditors are threatening to or have already garnished your wages, here are the things you should do. Read more.

Featured image by Pictures of Money

Working to Pay Off Debt? Doing These Eight Things Will Speed Up The Process

In order to get and stay out of debt, you have to shake things up. You need to change your thought patterns, financial habits, routines, and in some cases, your circle of friends. It requires intentional effort, diligence, and sacrifice. If you seriously want to get out of debt, here are eight sacrifices that will expedite the journey. Read more.

Featured image by Chris Potter 

Are You A Cry Baby? Research Proves You are Mentally Stronger Than Those Who Aren’t

Why does one person get choked up over those heart-wrenching SPCA commercials, while another will barely shed a tear for the death of a loved one – if even then? Does the exhortation “Have a good cry” carry any physiological or psychological merit?

Researchers have begun studying the science of crying in an effort to help us better understand what human tears mean from social, psychological, and neuroscientific perspectives. Recent studies show that crying is not only perfectly healthy but is also critical for good mental health and stability.

Crying is good for your mental health

Crying is part of our human emotional package. Crying provides an effective channel and filter for worrisome thoughts and disturbing events. Frequently bottling up your emotions and withholding tears can lead to long-term psychological damage.

Here are four reasons why you should let the tears flow:

1. Crying relieves stress

Tears are therapeutic, and crying is cathartic. Thirty years ago, a biochemist found that emotional tears carry more protein than non-emotional tears (e.g. tears from chopping an onion) indicating that important psychological and physiological changes occur within the body when we shed tears.

Experimental psychologist Alex Goetz, founder of General Health Inc., put it this way:

“Tears serve an important purpose. Emotional tears, shed in moments of intense feeling, carry stress hormones and are a way of getting rid of them. Even if crying embarrasses you, it signals that you’ve reached a level of stress that’s detrimental to your health.”

The physical process of deep, emotional crying involves muscular spasms, rapid intake of breath, and tears, all of which crescendo and then gradually subside. During this process, the body tenses and then relaxes, providing a feeling of release – and stress and its physiological symptoms dissipate.

2. Crying builds mental toughness

Crying is a way of acknowledging your emotions and facing them head-on. Avoiding or ignoring negative feelings can be detrimental to your mental health and could lead to anxiety and depressive disorders. Or, in lieu of crying, you may find yourself employing other, less productive, coping mechanisms including alcoholism, drug abuse, or other kinds of unhealthy compulsive behaviors.

Facing and embracing your emotions and allowing yourself the opportunity to weep for the sake of your own mental health is important and requires courage.

3. Crying helps you cope and heal

Professor Roger Baker from Bournemouth University believes that crying is the transformation of distress into something tangible, and the process reduces feelings of trauma. The implication here is that when you cry for emotional reasons, you initiate an emotional healing process.

Tears allow you to externalize and symbolize psychological hurt in a physical form. Your tears jump-start your recovery.

4. Crying fortifies relationships and fosters community

Tears are a positive representation of who we are. Our tears demonstrate our deep emotional connection with our world and shows that we care.

Crying in front of people exposes your vulnerability and allows others to see that your emotional guard is down. Crying in particularly difficult or sad situations where multiple people are impacted, obliterates emotional walls and affords others the freedom to express themselves. Bonds are forged and strengthened when true friends weep together.

Crying has been scientifically proven to make you feel better. No, it doesn’t solve your problem, change the situation, or bring people back into your life. But it does provide you with an emotional outlet that begins the healing process, relieves stress, makes you mentally stronger, and fosters community.

So go ahead… let it out.

The Key To A Long-Lasting Relationship Isn’t Communication, Romance Or Even Love. It’s This

Most relationship experts will tell you that after love, communication and attraction (a.k.a. chemistry) are the keys to establishing a healthy and long-lasting relationship. But are they really? Granted these two elements are vital components of any relationship and definitely speak to surviving the highs, lows and constant change all relationships must endure. However, there is one underlying element that fuels and facilitates effective communication and trumps chemistry and that is respect.

Respect is king

To understand how and why respect is so pivotal to a relationship we must first understand what respect is and what it looks like. Respect is the fundamental understanding that your partner is not you. He or she is not an extension of you, not a reflection of you, not your toy, not your pet, nor your project. Your task is not to control the other person or try to craft him or her into your version of the ideal mate.

In a relationship, your task is to understand and accept the other person as a unique individual. Respect allows you to see the other person as an equal and valuable team member. You learn to work in tandem with that person to meet the needs of the team and accomplish the team’s goals.

Any successful relationship must be rooted in love. However, love is not enough. Love brings bliss in the early stages of relationships, but it only grows and blossoms if it is tempered with respect. Respect dictates and shapes behaviors, frames communication and contextualizes how we view and interact with our mate.

Using A Wedding Loan To Pay For The Big Day Is A Bad Idea. Here’s Why

Imagine standing at the altar on your wedding day. Staring deep into your beloved’s eyes, suddenly, you are struck by the thought that this one “priceless” moment is costing you over $30,000. And that doesn’t include the five-day, four-night honeymoon in Cancun. What have you done?

According to The Knot, the national average for the cost of a wedding in 2016 was a whopping $35,329. And since most couples don’t have that kind of cash upfront, many turn to loans to finance all or some portion of it.

Technically speaking, there’s no such thing as a “wedding loan.” A wedding loan is just an unsecured personal loan where the interest rate is based on the creditworthiness of one or both potential spouses. But kicking your marriage off with debt is a recipe for unnecessary stress and hardship. It can set you back financially before you even gain any momentum in what should be a new, exciting chapter of life.

If you are contemplating using a wedding loan to help you pay for your big day, here are three key things you should consider… Read more.

Hate Your Job? Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Quit

Life is a journey filled with conundrums. An unwritten rule of thumb is that in order to gain something, you have to give up something. And the place this truism is experienced the most is in the area of finances.

One of the biggest dilemmas people face at some point in life is should you sacrifice quality of life and personal happiness for money? And if so, for how long?

Working a job you hate to gain financial independence is a sacrifice worth considering. However, before you sell your soul and doom yourself to a life of misery for the almighty dollar, here are a few reasons that choosing a paycheck over passion may not be worth it. Read more.

 

Thinking About Having Kids? Here Are 7 Signs That You Are Financially Ready

There are no two ways about it; having kids is expensive. The USDA estimates the cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 to be an astounding $233,610. This figure includes food, housing, transportation, healthcare, clothing, child care and education, and miscellaneous costs. And anyone with children knows that they remain an expense far past the age of 17.

Understanding that having children is a lifetime commitment both emotionally and financially is a great first step in the process of deciding when to start a family. But what comes next? How do you know that you are financially ready to handle the responsibility of starting a family?

There is no definitive answer to this question because there is no magic income or savings number that can dictate when you are ready for a family. However, there are some benchmarks and indicators that can assist you in making this life-altering decision. Here are seven signs that you are financially ready for kids. Read more.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job! Here’s How To Build A Business While Working A Full-Time Gig

The saying, “Don’t quit your day job,” has become all but obsolete. We live in an era of entrepreneurship. Being your own boss is the chic new trend. But while throwing caution to the wind and only having a Plan A is tempting, keeping your day job while turning a side-gig into a business is a great way to mitigate risk, learn your market niche, and test ideas and business models.

However, building a business and a brand while working a nine-to-five is tough. Here are a few tips to help you ease your way into doing both. Read more.

Having Trouble Making New Friends? Try Using The Friendship Formula

Let’s play a game. It’s called How to Get Noticed.

Pretend you are at a crowded party or social gathering and you see a cute guy/girl that you want to talk to–how would you go about getting his/her attention? Do you:

A. Make a loud noise such as clearing your throat, coughing or sneezing?

B. Walk straight up to your crush, interrupt the conversation and introduce yourself?

C. Linger in the background listening to the conversation and then at the perfect moment interject a witty comment or expound on a point made in the conversation showing how intellectual you are?

D. None of the above. You freak out and hide in the corner all night.

For most people, the method depends on personality and level of intro/extroversion. However, the truth is that all of the approaches listed above won’t net you a smooth interaction and can actually hijack your attempt at connecting with an unknown person.

Research shows that there is a systematic method for approaching and engaging new people.

The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over

Dr. Jack Schafer, author of The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over, believes the key to being noticed and befriended rest in reading and responding to cues.

The foundation of the Schafer’s theory is  what he calls “the friendship formula,” which involves:

  • Physical proximity
  • Frequency
  • Duration
  • Intensity

He begins by explaining the value of nonverbal friendship cues, which he calls the “big three”:

  • The eyebrow flash
  • The head tilt
  • A genuine smile

Next, he tackles body language and what it reveals about a person’s intentions, regardless of what he or she might be saying aloud. He also advocates “speaking the language of friendship,” which involves keeping one’s ego in check, and what he calls the LOVE Method, which includes:

  • Listening
  • Observing
  • Vocalizing
  • Empathizing

Schafer’s approach to observing human nature is practical and useful in a variety of situations, from romantic meetings to interviewing or working the room at social gatherings.

 Switching your focus will improve your technique

When you think about meeting someone new what initial thoughts enter your mind? Are you thinking about what you should say? Are you worried about your breath, your clammy hands or trying not to saying something stupid?

While these are natural fears, focusing on you is the wrong perspective and makes new interactions even more awkward than they have to be. Dr. Schafer believes you should shift your focus from you to your object of interest. You should focus on reading and interpreting body language and subtle signals. Remember the key to attracting the right attention is your ability to effectively read and respond to cues.

If you walk up to a stranger and try to engage them immediately, you tend to appear aggressive and you break two of the unspoken “friendship rules”–proximity and intensity. You can take on an air of hostility as you unwittingly invade their territory. Walking up and bombarding a stranger with conversation can make you seem aggressive and the interaction becomes too intense too quickly. It can make others feel uncomfortable and can lead them to form the wrong impression of you. And when that happens, they will actively avoid you.

It’s all about the eyes

The first and most important step in making friends is to read signals. Some people are unapproachable. You can tell by paying attention to their body language. Look for things like lack of eye contact, folded arms and what Dr. Schafer calls, the “urban scowl.” His friendship model encourages you to look for nonverbal friend cues, including the aforementioned “big three”: the eyebrow flash, the head tilt, and a genuine smile.

1. Establish eye contact

When you are thinking about approaching a stranger, the first thing you should do is attempt to establish eye contact from a distance. This allows you to catch the person’s attention and simultaneously assess the situation.

To send a friend signal, establish eye contact by catching and holding his/her gaze for a quick a second (staring can be perceived as aggressive, threatening or just downright creepy). When the person catches you looking, see if they look uncomfortable. If so, drop your eyes and abort the mission.

2. Use stolen glances to articulate your interest

If they don’t appear put off by your glance, continue engaging in quick glances to ensure that they know that you are intentionally looking at them and that the eye contact wasn’t inadvertent.

3. Slowly build intensity

Once you have the individual’s attention and you’ve clearly expressed interest with your eyes, check to see if he/she is sneaking glances at you. If so, and you are fairly certain that the person is interested, it’s time to turn up the heat a little.

Dr. Schafer suggests that you then avoid initiating eye contact for a few minutes and wait for them to initiate. When the person does, he suggests that you don’t return their gaze. He believes that this will create a bit of tension and intrigue. It makes the person wonder why you aren’t engaging with them anymore. If done correctly, this subtle teasing heightens intrigue and interest.

4. Make your move

Once you’re certain that your interest is reciprocated it’s time to raise the stakes again.

Look him/her directly in the eyes and flash a little smile. If your smile is returned and his/her body language appears open–then you’re in and are free to approach. You want to walk over slowly and then engage in small, non-aggressive chit-chat.

If he or she doesn’t return your smile or looks away quickly, they may be shy and need a little more time to warm up, or you may have misread the interaction. If that is the case–cut your losses and move on.

End Game

Capturing the attention of a stranger–especially a crush–can be an awkward and unpleasant experience but it needn’t be. Using tricks and wild antics to gain attention will get you noticed but not in the manner you would like.

Remember to take your time and shift your focus away from you and onto the other person. Try to avoid over thinking what you are going to say or using corny or fake pick- up lines. Then employ your technique: establish meaningful eye contact, build intensity and then approach slowly once you are sure your interest is appreciated and reciprocated.

Featured image by Tom Edgington on Flickr

Thinking About Starting A Business When You Retire? Consider These 5 Things First

Retirement is a time to kick back, slow down, and do all of the things you didn’t have time to do during your “clock-punching” years. But for an increasing number of retirees, becoming an entrepreneur is the new thing to do after leaving the workforce.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2015 the self-employment rate among retirement-aged workers (65 and older) was the highest of any age group, at just over 15 percent.

However, before diving headfirst into the pool of startups, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before starting a small business in retirement. Read more.

3 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs An Emergency Fund And How To Start One

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately one-third of all businesses fail within the first two years. Half fold within five years. And of the businesses that fail, a banking survey showed that 82 percent do so because of cash flow issues.

These numbers are not meant to keep small-business owners up at night or deter new entrepreneurs. They’re simply a statement of fact and should serve as a reality check for all small business owners: Having an emergency fund is not optional.

Three reasons your small business needs an emergency fund

In business, the term used to describe emergency or rainy day funds is “retained earnings.” Retained earnings are cash supplies that are kept on hand to enable your business to continue operating in lean times or in an emergency. These funds allow your business to keep providing services while making payroll, paying bills, and purchasing supplies, and they allow you — the owner — to continue sustaining your family’s income.

Most businesses fail due to a lack of preparation for the inevitable. Here are three major reasons your small business needs an emergency fund. Read more.

Using The ‘Ben Franklin Effect’ To Deal With Haters

Haters are a part of life.

Hate comes in a variety of forms and can come from friends, family members, coworkers, classmates, associates and random internet trolls.

Haters are the tag-a-longs of success. If you have anything going for yourself, you will experience hate. If you are intelligent, charismatic, creative, thin, rich, a good cook, in a relationship, single, have kids, have a big booty, love your job, or have good hair you are a prime candidate for hate. You hear the snide comments, see the random side-eyes, read the hateful comments under your social media post. And you feel the tension when you try to discuss a recent win with a friend…

Since success is a hate magnet, it would seem that the only two coping options you have are to either embrace the hate or become a loser. And since becoming a loser isn’t an option for truly successful people, most choose to embrace it and use it as fuel. They ignore it when possible and address it when necessary.

But there is a third option…

The Ben Franklin Effect

The quickest and easiest way to turn a hater into a friend is to ask them for a favor.

Sounds crazy right?

It’s actually a well-researched psychological technique called the Ben Franklin Effect. When you ask people who dislike you to help you out, it shifts their perception of the relationship and makes them view you as a friend instead of an enemy. Ben Franklin used this technique to finesse a foe and gained a friend for life.

 Ben’s Story

Once upon a time, Benjamin Franklin had a hater — someone he considered a “gentleman of fortune and education” and who would later become a political powerhouse and influential in government.

In order to recruit the hater to his side, Franklin decided to ask the man for a favor. He asked the gentleman to borrow a book from his library. The man was flattered and obliged the request. Franklin returned the book a week later with an eloquently worded thank-you note.

The next time the two men saw each other, the hater ‘s entire demeanor had changed. He was suddenly extremely friendly with Franklin. Franklin recorded the episode and noted that they remained friends until the gentleman died.

The Franklin Effect’s magic

The Franklin Effect creates cognitive dissonance. According to cognitive dissonance theory, there exists an internal subconscious need for people to establish consistency in their beliefs, values and opinions. When attitudes and behaviors become inconsistent dissonance occurs. The brain hates dissonance and will seek to resolve it.

Dissonance occurs most often in situations where an individual must choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions. So, when it comes to requesting a favor, the reasonable belief is that favors are for friends. When you ask a hater for a favor you create dissonance and the hater has to alter their perception in order to perform the ask and eliminate the inconsistency.

Favors are for friends

Soliciting a favor is a subtle and very effective form of flattery. Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” suggests that requesting a favor allows the hater to feel that they have something you don’t. It levels the playing field in their mind. It also makes the hater feel admired and respected. Then, not only do they want to help you but they will also begin to see you differently. The hate dissipates.

Asking a hater for a favor requires humility and a bit of thought. The favor should be something small enough that it is easily performed but not so trivial that it seems more of an insult than a favor. This means that you should consider the strengths, weaknesses, intellect and ability level of the person you are asking.

If its someone you don’t know, keep the ask simple. Borrowing some change at the vending machine, asking them for assistance with an app on your smartphone or asking for a restaurant recommendation are quick favors that are easily performed by most people.

When you make your request, remember to ensure it sounds like a legitimate need and that you truly value the person’s help. Keep your tone humble and your body language open. And be sure you express your appreciation and gratitude for their help.

Turning every hater into a friend isn’t a plausible goal. In the end, some people aren’t going to like you know matter what you do. You have to learn how to be ok with that. But for the ones who may dislike due to a misconception or prejudgement, you can open the door of friendship with this one act of humility.

Gotten Off Track With Your Debt-Reduction Goals? Here Are 7 Things You Can Do To Quickly Recover

You’ve been diligently working to pay off that pesky credit card and get your finances in order. You’ve cut back on spending, quit eating out, and you drive for Uber and Lyft twice a month. Yet after all that hard work, you still didn’t pay the card off within six months like you planned.

Missing a milestone can be disheartening and demotivating. But just because you didn’t meet your debt payoff goal in the allotted time, doesn’t mean it’s time to quit. Consider this quote from Michael Jordan, arguably one of the greatest basketball players of all time:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And this is why I succeed.”

Failure and falling short are risks in any meaningful endeavor. Here are several things you can do to bounce back after missing your credit card payoff goal. Read more.

Featured image by lemonjenny on Flickr

Think you have a good handle on your debt? Here Are Five Signs You’re In Over Your Head

Dave Ramsey once said, “Debt is dumb, cash is king.” Truer words have never been spoken.

According to data from the U.S. Federal Reserve, the average amount of credit card debt per U.S. household is over $16,000. And even though debt and consumerism are the American way, staying up at night worrying about money doesn’t have to be the norm.

The ability to make the minimum payments on all your debts each month doesn’t constitute financial stability. Your credit card bills may not be keeping you up at night yet, but if you analyze your financial situation, you may find that you are closer to the edge than you think.

Here are a few warning signs that you have way too much debt: Read more.

Featured image by Jason Rogers on Flickr

Here’s How To Make A Big Decision And Get A Perfect Outcome Every Time

You’ve got a huge decision to make. What do you do? There are pros and cons, consequences and outcomes, potential profits and losses that must be properly weighed.

Do you play it safe or take the risk?

Big decisions are hard to make

What makes making big decisions so tough is that your brain isn’t wired to make one large jump. It prefers shorter easier steps. When you try to make a big decision, you expend a lot of time working and reworking an idea. You work to perfect it. You attempt viewing it from all angles and seek to avoid any negative consequences.

Aiming for the perfect solution can actually delay and hinder the decision-making process. Very few decisions are perfect–without any negative consequences. Striving for a no-consequence solution can lead to you not making a decision at all. And when no decision is made, nothing’s executed, and nothing gets accomplished.

The Art of Decision Making

Decision making is an art. It involves intricate analysis, synthesis and evaluation of ideas and possibilities.

Big Decisions are the result of several smaller choices

Let’s use Henry Ford’s car business to illustrate how this process works:

Most people believe that Ford’s decision to mass produce the Model T is the lynchpin of his success. However, what we fail to see are all the tiny choices added together that resulted in his massive success such as:
  • Reducing the standard workday from nine hours to eight.
  • Doubling workers’ pay.

These two decisions reduce employee turnover from 370 percent to just 16 percent. And even though he reduced the workday by an hour productivity rose from 40 percent to 70 percent.

His decision to focus on employee morale and invest in and improve the lives of his workers made him the world’s greatest automobile maker and a billionaire. And his success came after steadily and systematically reducing the price of the Model T from $800 to $350 over a nine-year time period.

These smaller decisions–reducing the number of hours worked per day, doubling worker’s pay and lowering the retail price of the car seems counterintuitive and should have made him lose money. But by making smaller decisions that impacted people is what made the decision of mass production the success it was.

Your brain is programmed for simplicity

Research shows that the human brain is hard-wired for efficiency. It seeks and finds the most efficient and energy saving method to do everything.

Every movement and action is an intricate maze of staggering complexity. Scratching your nose requires your brain to choose which of your body’s hundreds of muscle fibers should be contracted and in what order. There is an infinite number of ways that task can be completed but the brain chooses the path of least resistance.

Conscientiously, you are unable to comprehend and understand the process our brain undergoes to do the smallest tasks. You are only aware of larger tasks and processes which are an aggregate of millions of tiny decisions your brain undergoes every second.

This process and logic should be applied to making larger decisions. You must make multiple small choices that culminate in one major decision.

Small choices lead to small mistakes that are easily fixed

Once you’ve made a big decision it’s hard to go back and undo what’s been done. When you hang all your hopes on one big decision you are setting yourself up for a huge victory or a massive disaster.

The greater the risk, the greater the consequence. A bad decision can alter your future, ruin your business, cost you money or even a relationship. And when you expend copious amounts of time and effort in making a large decision, you are more apt to blindness concerning the holes in your logic that lead you to make a poor choice. You’ll stick with what you decided and defend it. You are also less likely to change course which can end up costing you, even more, time, energy and resources. It’s hard to cut your losses when you make one large decision.

A big success is an aggregate of tiny choices

Most successes are not the result of one big decision. Instead, success is constructed from a slew of tiny decisions. Smaller decisions are more flexible and fixable.

Making smaller decisions also allows you to mitigate risks. You don’t usually make a huge mistake from a small decision. Good small choices create small wins. One small win leads to another and another. They form a chain of good decision-making.

Big decisions are burdensome and heavy. You are more apt to put off making a decision when a big looming consequence is hanging threateningly over your head. Breaking a decision down into pieces and steps makes the process easier and much less daunting. You progress quicker and build confidence.

If you decide to change your lifestyle and eat healthy, it’s better to start by deciding which small actions to integrate into your lifestyle first. In lieu of going completely vegan all at once, you may want to start by drinking one more bottle of water per day and replace your normal, unhealthy snacks with fruit.

However, if you completely change your entire lifestyle all at once, you will become discouraged. And when you do, it’s hard to shake it off and keep going. Adapting to drinking more water and eating healthier snacks is easier to adjust and stick to. When you become demotivated and fall off the wagon, it is so much easier to get back up and resume. The risk of failure is smaller which is far less burdensome than trying to cut all meat, dairy and eggs out of your diet in one swoop.

How to make a big decision

When you are faced with having to make a big decision, break it down into bite-sized chunks.
  • Think about of the smaller components of this decision
  • Determine what steps you need to take and what resources you need
  • Make small decisions about these things first. Each small decision adds to the larger one and before you know it, you’ve reached your intended goal

Think about Henry Ford and the small adjustments he made. By using the step-by-step process of making small decisions that built upon each other, he changed the entire manufacturing industry forever. He impacted the lives of his workers, made the Model T affordable for the common man and became a billionaire and icon.

Featured image by Wesley Nitsckie on Flickr.

Retirement May Be Closer Than You Think. Here’s How To Plan For A Forced Early Retirement

Every working adult dreams of the day they can retire and take it easy. But for some, retirement is forced upon them sooner than expected. When this happens, a world of financial stress can follow.

LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute found that 51 percent of workers retire between ages 61 and 65, while 18 percent retire even earlier than that. It may not have been in your plans to retire so soon, but life doesn’t always go accordingly — things like declining health or caregiving for a loved one can force people to leave the workforce earlier than they anticipated.

Retirement experts advise that in the face of this new trend, your retirement plan should include early retirement options and safeguards. Below are six things you can begin doing now to prepare for an unexpected early retirement. Read more

Your Parenting Style Could Be Making You Depressed

In the age of Tiger moms and helicopter parenting, it can be hard to gauge how much time you should spend with your children.
Parents, today spend way more time with their kids than in years passed. A recent study of 11 wealthy countries estimates that in 2012, a mother spent an average of 120 minutes per day directly parenting her children. In 1965, a mother only spent 54 minutes directly parenting kids.
 women child rearing times
And while men, on average, still spend far less time than women caring for children, the time they do spend caring for their kids has jumped from 16 minutes a day to 59 during the same time period.
Father time caring for children

These numbers may seem underwhelming but you must keep in mind that the numbers have doubled during a time when childcare options have nearly quadrupled. In our current society parents work longer hours and employ the help of nannies, au pairs, nurseries, daycare, afterschool programs and the list goes on… but they still find the time and a way to stay tethered to their kids.

Let’s face it, overparenting is the new trend.

The problem with over-parenting

It’s safe to say that every parent wants what’s best for their children. Most, if not all of your lifestyle and parenting choices are centered around trying to provide the best opportunities for your kids. As a parent, you are preoccupied with trying to ensure your kids are healthy, safe, have access to the best education and are set up to be successful adults.

You don’t mind going the extra mile to make sure their kids are doing okay. You drive 14 hours in a blizzard to pick your son up from college because he wants to spend the weekend at home. You insist that your daughter discuss every decision with you–no matter how small–in order to help her avoid making mistakes of any kind. And though your intentions are honorable, your methods could be doing you more harm than good.

If your child isn’t doing well, our culture has a way of making you feel as though you’ve done something wrong. You are pressured into feeling that your child’s successes and failures are a direct reflection of you. Consider the following questions:

  • Do you think that your children’s accomplishments are a direct reflection of good parenting?
  • Does your child’s bad behavior signify a failure of some sort by you as a parent?
  • Do you allow your children to fail? Why or why not?

The answers to these questions can help you determine if your parenting is more about you and your issues than it should be. The better your kids do, the better you feel about yourself as a parent. Your value and worth have become directly tied to the success and/or failures of your children. This creates a mountain of unfair stress and pressure on you as a parent and on your kids. 

Research shows that parents who over-parent and hover are more susceptible to depression than parents who don’t. Overparenting can cause:

Loss of identity

Your world shouldn’t revolve entirely around your kids because during the process you can cause you to lose your own identity. All of your likes, dislikes, hobbies and interest become driven by your children’s interests and needs. You no longer know what you truly enjoy doing, who you are and you don’t take time for yourself. 

Relationships to suffer

Always allowing your children to be the number one priority and the center of your joy is unfair to others in your life. This is especially true if you are married. Your relationship will begin to suffer and you may be tempted to put your marriage on the back burner. Over time, as you continue neglecting your spouse the relationship deteriorates and the only thing you have in common is the kids. This is a path to a stressful and unfulfilled marriage which could end in divorce.  

A lifetime of codependence

You may think that once your children are grown, then you will focus on yourself a bit more and reignite the romance with your partner. But the truth is that once you’ve established a pattern of co-dependence it doesn’t end with the kids becoming adults. You will continue to worry, over-parent and allow your kids to rule your universe for the rest of your life.

Stunted growth for your child

Your child learns how to function, handle relationships and deal with failure by watching you. They will be ill-prepared to deal with life’s inevitable setbacks. They will either believe the world revolves around them or will always put themselves last. It will be hard for them to establish and maintain balanced and healthy relationships.

The key to good parenting? Relax…

Your kids are going to make mistakes. In fact, they need to make mistakes. Shielding your children from failure shields them from valuable life lessons, robs them of the tenacity and fortitude failure provides and it tampers with their destiny.

The litmus test of good parenting is not determined by the successes and/or failures of your children. Preventing your child from making mistakes is an exercise in futility and counter-intuitive. Your role as a parent isn’t the prevention of failure but showing your child how to get up and recover when they do fail. It is your job to demonstrate how they should handle mistakes and cope with missteps with integrity. This is how you truly impact and shape their character.

As a parent, your job is to love unconditionally, guide and gently correct your children. You are not your child’s savior, force-field or life’s compass. So, relax, stop hovering and have a bit of faith in the process. You are a great person and an awesome parent. Your kids will be just fine.

Take A Vacation From Your Normal Vacation. Here’s How

When you hear the word “vacation” what images come to mind? Do you envision an exciting location where you spend time indulging and pampering yourself? Or maybe, for you, it’s a time to simply relax, catch up on sleep and take it easy. Either way, most people view their vacation as a time to unwind, recharge and escape work and the daily stresses of life.

However, the reality is that far to many vacations end with vacationers feeling even more stressed and exhausted than they did before going on vacation.

How is this possible?

Vacationing Gone Wrong 

A common misconception people have as it relates to vacation is that you must make the most of your trip. And in an effort to make the most of the trip, you end up doing “the most.”

While you do want to make the most of your time away–especially when visiting exotic locations–you don’t want to over-pack your schedule and overwhelm yourself with busyness. Your vacation shouldn’t end with more stress and less rest.

Here are a few of the most common vacation mistakes you should work to avoid:

Overscheduling

You have been wanting to visit Italy for the longest time and you finally have two-weeks and enough cash to do so. You methodical research every blog and travel website available and find the top 101 places to visit while in Italy. You pack 98 of those suggestions into your itinerary.

Your vacation days begin early in the morning and end in the wee hours of the following morning. Every day you wake up early, go to sleep late and are walking or running around the entire day…

Making your travel schedule too tight

Another mistake you made is booking the first flight available, which left at the butt-crack of dawn. And then you’ve planned to catch the very the last flight home and only give yourself a couple hours to spare before heading to work the next day…

You return to work an exhausted, frazzled and unproductive mess.

Getting lost in the world of social media

The saying, “if you didn’t post about it, did it ever really happen,” drives our current culture to document and share EVERYTHING.

Soooo, in an effort to prove you had the time of your life in Italy, you Instagram all your meals, snap chat every moment of your time on every tour and check into and post every “it” spot on Facebook. You wind up spending more time taking the perfect selfie at every stop than you do actually participating in the activities.

Failing to disconnect

During your vacation, you are constantly checking and responding to work emails and completing tasks. Not only are you ruining your vacation, you’re ruining the trip for your companions as well. You are not fully present. You are failing to live in the moment and continue perpetuating the very stress you are trying to escape!

You also spend copious amounts of time snap-chatting, facebooking and Instagramming– showing off for all of your friends and followers– and miss so many beautiful moments. Because you’ve bought into the “if you didn’t post it, it didn’t happen” mentality you end up overbooked and sacrifice the quality of the trip for the quantity of posts you make.

Picking the wrong kind of vacation

Your intent was to take a break and to relax and recharge but you’ve decided to hike Mount Etna and participate in a marathon during your trip. You don’t sleep in, go to the spa or spend time taking in and enjoying the serenity and calm nature provides. You’ve neglected to include any tranquil activities in your itinerary.

You are mentally drained and have completely counteracted your unwinding process.

Vacationing done right

Learning to appreciate time away from life and adulting is the first key to actually enjoying your vacation. You have to be intentional. If you need a chance to unwind, you must ensure that the planning process and your choice of activities align with your goal.

You shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with planning and trying to create the perfect vacation.  It’s a great idea to enjoy the recommended hot spots, attractions, restaurants and activities, but understand and accept that there will be more activities than you have time for–don’t try to do it all.

Plan a vacation that provides you flexibility. Eliminating the pressure of having to do it all will leave you feeling refreshed and motivated when it comes time to head back to work. You will perform better, be more productive and combat feelings of fatigue and burnout.

Here are a few key things to keep in mind that will ensure you appreciate your vacation time:

 

Plan a vacation that suits your needs

 If the purpose of your time away is to recharge, don’t over-crowd your schedule with late night and early morning activities. Make sure you rest and get plenty of sleep. It’s okay to schedule a lazy day during your vacation where you can sleep in and not be bound to an itinerary.

On the other hand, if you are an adrenaline junky and need copious amounts of action and adventure in your life to help you de-stress–you definitely need to plan accordingly. A tranquil few days at a quite resort would drive you bonkers and leave you restless and bored. Plan something that gets your heart racing and leaves you feeling rejuvenated and revived.

Come home a day early

It’s always a good idea to give yourself a full day to recoup before returning to work after a vacation. This allows your body and mind to adjust to being back home and get back into the groove of your work routine.

Coming home at least a day before going back to work also allows you to settle in, unpack and do some catching up with work before going back into the office. This gives you room to breathe and reduces the anxiety and stress associated with the impending workload.

Be fully present

The purpose of a vacation is to relax and enjoy yourself. So when you finally get to take that trip you’ve been looking forward to, take your time and work to be completely present during every experience.

Take a break from social media. If you can’t eliminate it altogether, set limits on the number of posts and time you will spend on social media. Allow some portions of your trip to be sacred and keep some experiences private–shared only between you and the ones you are with.

Accept the fact that there will always be more to see and do than you can possibly fit in your vacation. Relax and have fun.

 

 

5 Key Things You And Your Financial Advisor Should Consider When Developing Your Financial Plan

All financial advisers are not created equal. And all financial advice — including advice recommended by top economists and financial experts — may not be the best advice for you.

Your financial plan should encompass your complete financial picture, including your goals and priorities. It should include planning for your children, your spouse, aging parents, long-term care, death, loss of income, and so much more. But just because these things should be included in your plan doesn’t mean your adviser is automatically doing so.

Here are five key things your financial adviser may skip over or omit telling you while developing your financial plan: Read more

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