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76
Now that we know how beneficial positivity can be to our health and happiness, let’s look at some ways of building a habit of being positive.

1. Prepare your environment
Leo Babauta always has great advice on building habits, and this is one of my favorites. The environment we try to build new habits in (or break old ones, even) has a huge effect on how successful we are. Environment in this case includes the people we spend time with and the messages we hear or tell ourselves, as well as our physical environment.

The trick here is to ensure your environment is as conducive to you continuing your new habit as possible. Here are some of Leo’s suggestions for how to achieve this:

Hang out with people who are doing the habit you want to do.If there are people around you who don’t do the habit you want to do, talk to them about what you’re trying to do, and ask for their help. Ask them to support you, and not rag on you all the time for changing.Join a supportive community online who are doing the things you want to do.Read blogs and books that inspire you to do the habit.Have reminders all around you.Create a public challenge for yourself, to create accountability.Have a habit partner you report to each day, and make a vow never to miss.
In terms of being positive, you could find a friend or family member to do this with to keep you accountable, or set a daily reminder so you don’t forget. Filling your work space with positive sayings or images could help, and reading books that encourage positive thinking will reinforce this.

2. Start smaller than you think – The “floss only 1 tooth” – approach
Another of my favorite pieces of advice from Leo’s blog Zen Habits is to make your habit so small that you can’t say no. If you do this to start with, you can focus more on building a habit, rather than on results or how big your habit is.

Here’s Leo’s explanation of why this works:

Another common habit that too few people actually do is flossing daily. So my advice is just floss one tooth the first night.

Of course, that seems so ridiculous most people laugh. But I’m totally serious: if you start out exceedingly small, you won’t say no. You’ll feel crazy if you don’t do it. And so you’ll actually do it!

That’s the point. Actually doing the habit is much more important than how much you do.

Right now I’m just taking note of one great moment I noticed, at the end of each day. Sometimes it only takes a few words to share this, sometimes it’s two sentences. I’ve incorporated it into my daily practice of sharing what I got done with the Buffer team, so it’s easy to remember and easy to do.

Starting small has helped me to incorporate the practice into every day so it’s becoming a habit, without worrying about what a big task it is.

3. Take note of 1 positive moment every day
Noticing the positive things that happen in your everyday life has been proven to be a successful method of increasing your positive thinking. This doesn’t just happen when you’re doing the exercise: the effects can actually last much longer.

A study of 90 undergraduate students had one half of them write about positive experiences for three consecutive days. The second half wrote about control topics that didn’t affect their emotions. After three months, the study found that the students who had written about positive experiences still had better mood levels and fewer illnesses. If your best ideas and reflections of positive moments always happen in the shower like they do for me, not to worry, you can take notes there too with something like Acqua notes:

Shower paper notepad and pen

One activity that’s often said to improve positivity is to write down (or share with someone) three things you’re grateful for at the end of each day.

4. Try to Meditate – 2 minutes is enough
Meditating is beneficial for the body and mind. It not only improves mindfulness and positive thinking while you’re doing it, but it has been shown to decrease illness and improve mindfulness and feelings of purpose in life up to three months after being practiced daily for a short period.

Starting small works for meditating, as well. Leo Babauta recommends just 2 minutes to start with, which is easy to do and helpful in developing a strong habit. After establishing the habit for several weeks, you can slowly increase the length of your meditation sessions to an amount that gives you the most benefit.

Filling my head with more positive thoughts has made a huge change to how I see things. Have you experimented with any of the above before? I’d love your thoughts on building a positivity habit below. Or you can Tweet me @bellebethcooper anytime to chat.


77
Before we get into building positivity into your life, let’s look at why we would even bother. What are the real benefits of being more positive?

The first thing I realized is how negative emotions affect us: they have proven many times to narrow our focus and scope of work. It’s one of the most powerful ways shut our minds off to opportunities or new ideas. This is why this post about listening with intent to agree is so great—it encourages listening with a positive emotion (agreeability) in mind, so that our minds will more naturally open up to what the speaker is saying.

We know that the effects of negative emotions are biological instincts programmed into our brains to help us survive. For example, if we were to come across a dangerous animal in the wild, the negative emotions of fear and anxiety would narrow our focus so that all we could think about was not becoming that animal’s dinner. This helped us to more efficiently direct our energy and mental functions towards that objective, without wasting our resources on unnecessary actions like working out which direction we’re going or thinking about what to have for dinner when we get home.

Of course, modern life doesn’t often put us in life-and-death situations like this, so allowing negative emotions to narrow our thinking can be harmful. It can make us less open, more hard-headed and more difficult to communicate with.

1. Negativity doesn’t work – Literally – Our subconcious brain can’t handle it
The other thing about negativity is that our brains can’t process negative words according to the latest studies. So when we hear phrase like “don’t smoke” or “don’t touch that,” our subconscious skips over these negative words and simply hears “smoke” or “touch that.” Our conscious mind can obviously process these words, but it’s the subconscious that makes a lot of our decisions without us realizing.

For young children, this can often be an issue because they haven’t learned to use their conscious minds to process those negative words and take control of the subconscious to make sure they follow instructions correctly. It’s no surprise why children decide that way if you look at the split between conscious and subconscious mind according to psychology:

Conscious mind versus subconscious mind

What this means for us is that we struggle to change our habits or thought patterns when we tell ourselves negative phrases, since only our conscious minds can take those in. We can make this much easier and let the subconscious do its job by using positively-framed phrases like “refrain from smoking” or “walk away from that.”

2. You’ll improve your outlook of the future
Positive thinking can actually improve our overall happiness. I’ve written about this before in terms of noting down things we’re grateful for on a regular basis and how that can improve our happiness.

A study at the University of North Carolina also showed that positive emotions are more likely to encourage people to plan ahead and think of actions they would like to take or activities they’d like to participate in the future. Negative emotions, on the other hand, led to participants being less inclined to think positively about their future.

3. You’ll be more healthy
Yep, positivity has shown to directly affect your physical health. Another study from the University of North Carolina used the ancient practice of loving-kindness meditation to test how cultivating positive feelings like love, compassion and goodwill towards others could affect the emotional and physical health of the participants.

Compared to the control group who did not participate in the meditation, the meditators showed increases in positive emotions like amusement, awe and gratitude during the research period. They also reported feeling more socially connected and closer to the people around them.

Physically, these participants showed improvements in vagal tone which is linked to cardiovascular health and a general indicator of physical well-being.


78
Alumni / সব বন্ধুরা কই ???
« on: July 02, 2017, 05:25:02 PM »
আমার সব বন্ধুদের সাথে এখন আর যোগাযোগ নাই? সবাইকে অনেক মিস করি। কখনো কি সবাইকে একত্রে আবার পাবো?
অনেক-কেই হারিয়ে ফেলেছি................................................।।

79
You know that good communication skills are essential to rise to the top in business. Communications skills can endear you among your peers, raise your value among your superiors, and cause you to be admired among those subordinate to you. So, how can you develop them to meet your true potential? Here are some helpful tips for improving your business communication skills.

1. Practice Your Listening Skills (and Your Paying Attention Skills Too)
Business communication
Listening requires a bit more than not talking while someone talks.
When others are speaking, are you really listening? We often confuse ‘listening’ with ‘being quiet’ but just because you aren’t talking while others are talking doesn’t mean you’re really listening. Learn to turn off your own internal dialogue and truly tune into what others are saying. It often helps to repeat what you’ve heard so that you know you’re paying attention and they know it too.

2. Collaborate, Don’t Dictate
Lectures, monologues, and ramblings don’t belong in business communications. If you find you’re speaking more than a few moments (except when giving a presentation or leading a demonstration), stop. Simplify what you’re trying to say as much as possible. Allow others to offer their input on the issue. Communication is about give and take, not dictating how things are going to be or how you think they should be.Vmoso Mobile Collaboration ad

3. Pay Attention to How You Spend Your Leisure Time
You probably didn’t expect this to be on the list. What do the TV shows you watch, the things you read, and your hobbies have to do with business communications? Well, the answer is twofold. First, they have the potential to expose you to new perspectives and important current events that help you grow your business intelligence. Odds are people who watch an hour of reality television daily aren’t going to be as capable of carrying a business-oriented conversation as well as those who spend their free time reading business journals and networking with successful mentors. Second, you will glean tremendously useful ideas and insights from more intellectual pursuits than from watching or reading less helpful material during your off time.

4. Invest in the Right Communication and Collaboration Tools
If you’re depending on email and social media for your communications, you’re probably receiving a lot of useless and redundant information and perhaps missing out on the most important conversations. A collaborative tool like Vmoso is the ideal way to streamline communications, collaborate on important projects, and build meaningful business relationships.

5. Don’t Wait Too Long to Bring Up Sensitive Issues
Allowing a situation to build and fester is a recipe for a breakdown in communications. It’s much easier, effective, and more professional to address an issue as soon as it pops up, while it’s still in its infancy, than to wait until it grows into a big, ugly, angry monster. Most of the time, a quick, direct discussion can resolve any interpersonal or professional issues without negatively affecting the relationship.

6. Learn to Have and Use a Good People Memory
Business communication
Dedicating time and energy toward remembering important bits and pieces of your coworkers’ lives can pay off big time.
Is Sheila a morning person, or is it better to approach her with a problem later in the afternoon? Does Samuel prefer a bagel when you swing by to pick up breakfast, or is he more of a sausage biscuit kind of guy? Is it Tuesdays or Thursdays that Becky has to leave as soon as possible to get her child to his orthodontist appointment? Do these little details seem meaningless to you? People are important. When you can remember details about their personal lives, it shows that you care for them beyond their work. This fosters a deeper, more meaningful relationship that will spill easily into a better, more rewarding business relationship.

As you can see, becoming a better communicator sounds a lot like becoming a better person. Any personal improvements you make in your own life flow readily and steadily into your work life. Now, take your skills to the next level with an audit of your communications tools in 10 Ways Your Current Communication Tools Are Wasting Your Time.

By - BroadVision Admin

80
Whether you have high hopes of being the next renowned CEO or just preparing for an upcoming job interview, it’s important to learn how to communicate like a professional.

Envisioning yourself working in a big office or other corporate setting can seem daunting. How do I talk to my coworkers? Am I being too informal in my emails? Is there phone etiquette I should know about?

The corporate culture has evolved immensely with the emergence of social media and increased reliance on electronic communication. There are a few new best practices to follow in order to be seen as a professional.

We enlisted some experts to share 15 business communication tips to help you have the confidence you need to conquer the corporate world.

1. Proofread emails
“Always check your emails and messages for grammar, spelling and style errors before hitting send,” says Julie Titterington, managing editor at Merchant Maverick. In her opinion, there’s nothing more unprofessional than an email written in all caps or all lowercase letters.

2. Be confident
People who take ownership of their work are perceived differently than those who wait to take direction, according to Daniel DiGriz, director of digital strategy at MadPipe.

“In an age of automation and cheap labor, we're not looking for more 'yes people,'” DiGriz says. Instead, he says employers are seeking individuals who can pick up an area of company operation with energy, excitement and eagerness.

3. Be conscious of on-verbal communication
“Present yourself as open and inviting. At many companies, including my own, there is a focus on collaboration between different teams,” says Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.

Sweeney also says that having an ego will kill any opportunities for others to help you: “Humility is a great asset to have if you want effective collaboration.”

4. Silence the cellphone
“If you're engaged in a conversation or meeting, leave your cell phone in your pocket or face down on the table,” recommends Jake Messier, Vice President of Client Services at Callanan & Klein Communications. He believes there’s nothing more impolite than checking texts or emails in the middle of a thoughtful discussion.

5. Work life & social life don’t always mix
Titterington urges professionals to refrain from discussing job details or coworkers on social media sites. Companies can monitor the Facebook or Twitter activity of their employees and it can come back to haunt you.

6. Don’t exclude colleagues
It’s important to keep colleagues in the loop about projects or conversations they are a part of.  “Everyone touched by a process needs to be in the dialogue. When a discussion starts, ask yourself who else should be involved and get them involved any way you can,” says Dan Strongin, founder of Manage Naturally.

7. Say what you mean
“Do not beat around the bush when you are in a workplace. Effective communication will lead to less confusion,” says Lisa Chu, CEO of Black n Bianco. Rather than complicating things with confusing jargon, do your best to keep things simple and understandable.

8. Keep emails professional
You might be wondering if it’s appropriate to use a smiley face or other emoji’s within an email. Is it ok to use abbreviations and slang?

“Don’t use emoticons or text speech until you know the culture and people - keep it professional until you know what is suitable - err on the side of caution,” says Richard Newton, managing director of Fresh Learning.

9. Keep your ears open
“Listen more than you talk. Be genuinely interested in your coworkers,” says Chris Martin, marketing coordinator at Charity Republic. Even though it doesn’t involve speaking, he believes listening is the most undervalued communication skill out there.

“Become an expert listener and everything else will fall into place,” he says.

10. Don’t complain
This tip is simple yet important for having a professional image in the office: don't nag and complain. It’s ok to want to vent about work, but save it for after you leave the office (and refer to #5!)

“Everyone has bad days so the occasional complaint is understandable but if you are a serial complainer, people will simply want to avoid you,” says David Erickson, VP Online Communications for Minneapolis PR firm, Karwoski & Courage.

11. Call people by name
“Use people's names. Everyone likes the sound of their own name and it will ensure that you remember each person and their role in the office. It will also make sure you don't confuse names,” says Martin.

12. Some things are best said out loud
It’s simple to shoot someone a quick email – sometime too simple! But don’t always take the easy way out. Information that can be easily misunderstood or messages that are personal in nature should be delivered face-to-face when possible, according to Strongin.

13. Avoid controversy
There are certain topics that just don’t need to be brought up around the water cooler or in the break room. Politics, religion and office rumors are a few at the top of the list.

“Try not to engage in controversial topics in the workplace. It may be hard to say ‘excuse me, I have to get back to work’ when the gossip starts to fly, but you can't get caught up in that,” says Ryan Hulland, president of Netfloor USA Access Floors.

14. Write clear & concise emails
In a business setting, people don’t want to spend as much time reading your email as they do reading a novel, according to Brooks Doherty, dean of the Rasmussen College School of Business. “You want to get to the point and get your message across quickly so you know it’s being read,” he adds.

For more specific rules and guidelines for writing a professional email, as well as free information and lectures about professional communication, check out this free online course on Professional Communication Essentials.

15. Just be nice!
It’s the golden rule we all learned growing up: Treat others as you wish to be treated. The office is no exception. Having trouble finding a conversation topic? Find some common ground.

“Be friendly but remember that you are in the workplace. Try to find things in common with colleagues such as the football team they support or vacation destinations,” says Newton.

Communicate like a professional
Now that you’re equipped with these handy business communication tips, you should feel more confident about making a good impression in your office. Conducting yourself like a professional will take some practice. Once you get out into the workforce, learn from those around you.

81
There have been thousands of books written about what it takes to be successful in business, and a thousand more about achieving success in life as well. You can find another thousand articles on the web that discuss the topic, and a thousand more will be written tomorrow. With such a broad subject and with so many things that can play a role in making us happy, it can be difficult to boil it down to a short list of things that anyone can read and apply in their lives.

However, across those thousands of books and articles, among the countless legends and stories, you'll find some common themes woven throughout. You'll find principles about us as human beings that many of us think about but never try hard enough to achieve. You'll hear about ideals and decisions that we all wish we could aspire to but often fail to understand. Here are ten of those things you'll find among the tales of those who achieved success in business (and in life) - which ones do you currently have and which do you need to obtain?

1. Be Fearless
Want to know why becoming successful in a business venture is considered such a daunting feat by society? While there are obvious hurdles to face, one of the biggest challenges is in overcoming the fear of jumping into a business in the first place. Most people dream all day about launching a successful business while watching the clock tick at their mundane day jobs. The reason they never quit the security of a paycheck is because they are too scared by the unknown that comes with starting a business. If you want to separate yourself from that crowd, you need to learn how to manage your own fears. Don't worry, you're not alone. When I quit my job to start my business, I was making double my salary outside my day job than I was inside working my eight hour job. I still had that huge fear of failure.

However, this is only the beginning of the road for those who want to be truly successful in business. Overcoming your fears and getting started is noble, but the true tests of a fearless entrepreneur will be constant, from initiating a conversation at a networking mixer, asking for the sale on a major deal, severing ties with a partner who is causing harm to the venture, and perhaps the most frightening of all situations - watching a business fail (it happened to Henry Ford twice before he designed his famous assembly line!) One who can fail miserably and not be scared to dust themselves off and try again and again until they are successful is truly fearless.

2. Understand Finance
Now, people all the time will talk about how a well known business brand started at one time in someone's basement or garage, so much that it's become a romantic notion of sorts that going from rags-to-riches is what really identifies a true entrepreneur. The reality of most successful businesses ventures couldn't be farther from the truth - if you want to make it, you're going to need money. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you need to have a lot of it when you're just getting started, but more importantly understanding how finance works and how to use your money to grow in the smartest way.

Robert Kiyosaki is most famous for teaching the world about the importance in how financial literacy plays such a crucial role in the lives of successful entrepreneurs. Those who live from paycheck to paycheck are also those that fill their lives with liabilities - car and house payments, credit cards, and other materialistic things that cost them money. Those who are financially literate, however, understand the importance of building assets - things that make them money instead. Once you start having a positive asset column, you can then learn how to make even more money through investing. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to know how to take money and make it work for you.

3. Grow As A Leader
Once you harness your fears and make the leap to starting a business, you've already begun the journey of becoming a leader. As we'll discuss shortly, your ultimate success will have a lot to do with how you help others find their own. Many of us hold successful entrepreneurs on a pedestal much like football fans hold a star quarterback or wide receiver in high regard. However, there's always a team that these individuals lead that ultimately leads to their success. You must learn how to be a leader on some kind of level in order to motivate others to join you in your venture, believe in what you preach, or give you money for a product or service that you offer.

Just because you need to possess leadership qualities does not mean that everybody successful in business has to be the CEO, face of the company, or person "in charge". When Google started to really grow, the company's founders brought in a successful CEO in Eric Schmidt to come in and run their company - they were engineers, not CEOs. The ability to lead a team or lead the masses can sometimes come down to just having the right charisma and message to get the right people to do the things that need to be done in order for the entire thing to just work. A great soldier may be good at leading troops on the field, but not managing the entire war. An amazing product designer may also be a lousy salesperson. But a great leader will discover what they do best and where their weakness lies, and know who to put where in order to ensure that their company is one that achieves real success.

4. Use Your Leverage
One of the greatest challenges that will stand in the way of an entrepreneur from getting what they want is understanding what "to do" with the opportunities that fall in their laps along the way. This is where leverage becomes such an important concept that people going into business need to understand, and it takes a certain kind of mind to think "outside the box" in situations to find the value in a new relationship or circumstance. The same people who are too scared to quit their day jobs are also the same people who do not know how to leverage the assets and relationships in their life. A successful entrepreneur, on the other hand, is constantly finding ways to create profits and new opportunities each and every day.

The simple adage "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade" is a great example of using leverage to move your business forward. Many people will make the lemonade and drink it themselves. A true entrepreneur will make lemonade and sell it to those without lemons, and use the profits to buy more lemons or move into another business. While today a polarizing political figure, Donald Trump is a great example of an entrepreneur who time and time again used leverage to acquire crucial pieces of real estate or strike very lucrative business deals. Love him or hate him, his book The Art of The Deal is a great resource on how leverage can make someone mega successful.

5. Acquire Partners
We talked earlier about how becoming a leader is one of the most important qualities one needs to "move the chains" in the game of business. In order to achieve greatness as a leader, one must then have a team of individuals who believe in the mission in order to move forward. That's where assembling a great team of partners plays such an important role in any profitable business. Many start out alone and the wearer of many hats, but a business can only scale so far if there is only one source of energy, of inspiration, and of the actual sweat equity it takes to keep the lights on.

As we will see in understanding the meaning of success both in business and in life, a true "business owner" is one who does not need to be a part of the day-to-day operations in order for the business to run and stay profitable. The classic book "The E-Myth" is a great story of how many try (and fail) at running a business all by themselves. Instead, you need to take those leadership skills and motivate others to take their own specific skillsets and apply them together as a team for the greater good of the company. This doesn't just include employees, but also includes knowing who to shake hands with, how to create strategic partnerships, and how to use that leverage we previously discussed to convince others to have an interest in your venture. And once you reach a certain level of success, it will be an even greater feeling when you get to share it with all who helped make it possible.

6. Having the Right Attitude
So far we've discussed some of the most important concepts you need to understand in order to achieve success in business - but how do you exactly justify what is true success? Is it money, or sales, or the influence your actions have over the environment around you? Ultimately real success in business only matters if it also equates to success in life, and that all starts with having the right attitude towards it. Nobody cares about those who are rich but hate the world they live in. Everyone knows the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, the jaded old man that had all the money in the world but did nothing but create misery for others.

To have a truly happy and fulfilling life, it's important to know what's really important and to develop values around what you can do each and every day to make that world a reality. Sure, many who start a business venture want to achieve a certain level of financial independence. But what does one do with those riches once they finally have them? Those with the attitude that having money means they can buy more "things" to surround themselves with in order to feel superior to others will never be successful in their life. The entrepreneurs who focus on how they can create wealth that can help others and solve problems have the right attitude needed to obtain true happiness and be seen in a positive light by their peers and partners, and are the true embodiment of the word "success".

7. Showing Gratitude
We live in a world that is changing each and every day, at a speed that any of us can really truly appreciate. Technology over the last 30-50 years has altered the way we communicate not only with our neighbor and loved ones but our business contacts around the world. The generations that have grown up with this technology often take it for granted, never once stopping to "smell the roses" and to realize that they live in an amazing time in history and that much of what they have in their lives - everything from the electricity powering their lights, the cars that help them get to their next meeting, to their smartphones in their pockets are all things they should very much be thankful for.

Those who are happy in both business and if life are those who are grateful for the world they live in. These are the people who make sure to thank the barista for their coffee in the mornings, who open the door for others, who actually listen to those who they have conversations with. Successful entrepreneurs should never forget all the people, places and things that have played a role in their lives that helped them get from their humble beginnings to where they are today. The next time you're flying on a plane, remember the comedian Louis CK's amazing observation that you're "sitting in a chair in the sky", and be grateful for all the wonderful things we get to experience every day.

8. Staying Healthy
Your money and success isn't going to do you any good if you're not around to use it - so why would you live your life so dangerously that you would sacrifice your health? What good is all the passion you have for your business dreams if you're not going to be around to see them come true? Too many of us get caught up in the game of life that we never think about the damage we all do to our bodies along the way. As entrepreneurs our days are so full of work and juggling projects that are lunch breaks become mere small breaks in the day where we shove fast food down our throats to get rid of our hunger. I personally inhale my food.

Our nights turn into a time where we sometimes burn the candles at both ends, turning the stress of the day into an excuse to ease the pain with alcohol and drugs. While we worship the celebrities who died before their time, is that how we define success in life? Our obsession with money and material things makes us greedy and insecure of who we are and how others perceive us. Without our health, we can never truly achieve success. A leader needs to be strong, and we're not just talking about a lean body or muscles here - your mind has to be healthy in order to persevere through the day and not only achieve the success you're looking for, but to be able to enjoy it as well.

9. Keeping the Right Friends
We've discussed the importance of not going it alone along your path to building your business, and this same ideology applies to your personal success and happiness. What's the point of doing anything if you don't have special people in your life to share it with. No one wants to be the Bruce Wayne of their city, the quack who owns the huge dining room table with no one to dine with.

People are social by nature, and it's important to have a life outside of those you work with. Your friends are people to share your experiences with, who will be there to high-five you with every victory and also pick you up after every failure. Make sure they are also the ones who have the same attitude, give back gratitude, and remain a positive force in your life. Those who feed off of negative energy are the ones you can bring the whole house crashing down around you.

10. The Importance of Family
We've discussed in detail why we become entrepreneurs in the first place, and the importance of deciding what goals we're trying to achieve. Most will begin the journey with dollar signs in their eyes, or seeking some level of power. Many times these things are personal and selfish, but one who is seeking true success in their lives will be doing so not just to share with their friends, but more importantly their families.

Not everyone has the greatest of childhoods, and no one is expected to share wealth with their siblings just because of blood. Not every entrepreneur has a soulmate, not will we all have children. It is important, however, to think about success beyond just the material or power one might ultimately yield. Real success lies in having a positive influence on those who you call family and those who will eventually remember, and hopefully continue, the legacy you leave behind.

By - John Rampton
Entrepreneur and investor

82
BBA Discussion Forum / 9 Tips For Growing a Successful Business
« on: July 02, 2017, 04:23:37 PM »
To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they'll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money, only to find that making money in a business is much more difficult than they thought. You can avoid this in your business ventures by taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps you need to achieve success.

1. Get Organized
To be successful in business you need to be organized. Organization will help you complete tasks and stay on top of things to be done. A good way to do this is to create a to-do list each day. As you complete each item, check it off your list. This will ensure that you're not forgetting anything and you're completing all the tasks that are essential to the survival of your business.

2. Keep Detailed Records
All successful businesses keep detailed records. By keeping detailed records, you'll know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Just knowing this gives you time to create strategies to overcome those challenges.


3. Analyze Your Competition
Competition breeds the best results. To be successful, you can't be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. After all, they may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to make more money.

4. Understand the Risks and Rewards
The key to being successful is taking calculated risks to help your business grow. A good question to ask is "What's the downside?" If you can answer this question, then you know what the worst-case scenario is. This knowledge will allow you to take the kinds of calculated risks that can generate tremendous rewards.

5. Be Creative
Always be looking for ways to improve your business and to make it stand out from the competition. Recognize that you don't know everything and be open to new ideas and new approaches to your business.

6. Stay Focused
The old saying that "Rome was not built in a day" applies here. Just because you open a business doesn't mean that you're going to immediately start making money. It takes time to let people know who you are, so stay focused on achieving your short-term goals.

7. Prepare to Make Sacrifices
The lead-up to starting a business is hard work, but after you open your doors, your work has just begun. In many cases, you have to put in more time than you would if you were working for someone else. In turn, you have to make sacrifices, such as spending less time with family and friends in order to be successful.

8. Provide Great Service
There are many successful businesses that forget that providing great customer service is important. If you provide better service for your customers, they'll be more inclined to come to you the next time they need something instead of going to your competition.

9. Be Consistent
Consistency is a key component to making money in business. You have to consistently keep doing the things necessary to be successful day in and day out. This will create long-term positive habits that will help you make money over the long term.

By - Chris Seabury

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“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” –Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.

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Mobile Banking Offers Greater Ease, Better Deals

(NewsUSA) - It seems that almost anything can be done with a click of a mouse or a downloaded app these days -- including your banking.

Online-only banks are gaining popularity for many reasons, as more people become comfortable with managing their finances online.

According to the Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016 report from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, "forty-three percent of all mobile phone owners with a bank account had used mobile banking in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 39 percent in 2014 and 33 percent in 2013."

Although checking one's account balance is the most popular mobile banking activity, mobile banking offers many other advantages, including:

-Greater efficiency. Mobile banking with an app allows consumers to bank 24/7, without the hassle of having to locate and visit a brick-and-mortar bank.

-Greater savings. Consumers who open a checking account with Republic Bank & Trust Company's MemoryBank can earn up to 1.50 percent Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on their deposits, so long as they meet a monthly minimum of one direct deposit and five debit card uses, and receive online statements, as detailed by visiting MyMemoryBank.com/info.

By contrast, rates at typical brick-and-mortar banks range from 0.04 percent to 0.06 percent. The reduced operating costs of a branchless bank allow MemoryBank to pass the infrastructure savings along to its customers.

-Fewer fees. Many brick-and-mortar banks still charge a monthly maintenance fee for accounts, as well as fees for using non-network ATMs; MemoryBank charges no maintenance fees for its EarnMore Checking account and offers access to more than 85,000 ATMs worldwide with no fee.

Although privacy and security remain concerns for consumers, most are taking steps to protect themselves while enjoying the benefits of mobile banking.

The Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016 report, which includes survey results from approximately 2,500 adults in the United States, finds that 84 percent of consumers use mobile banking install updates, 70 percent use password protection on their phones, and 58 percent use customized privacy settings.

Today's consumers use smartphones to inform financial decisions, according to the report. For example, 43 percent of mobile banking users in the survey who received a low balance alert moved money into the account.

For more information about the benefits of mobile banking, visit MyMemoryBank.com/info.

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5 steps to creating happiness in your workplace


(BPT) - Each workday, the average American spends 8.8 hours at work or on work-related activities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s even more time than people spend sleeping. And because we spend so much time at work, it's in your and your employer’s best interest to make workplaces the happiest environment it can be. Workplace comfort and happiness is highly impactful in retention and recruitment, as well as an individual’s productivity, satisfaction and ultimately, a company’s or business’s ROI. It’s not just free snacks, pizza or bagel Fridays, big windows or colorful conference rooms and ping pong tables. In fact, there’s a science behind what drives happiness in the workplace and what can be done to achieve it, through light, furniture, ergonomics and movement.

To ensure both employers and employees can create and maintain an ideal workplace environment, Dr. Mike O’Neill, lead global researcher of workplace strategy and market analytics at Haworth, a leading furniture company based in Holland, MI, shares five tips to improve the happiness of your work environment:

* Bring order to the chaos. If you have an important meeting coming up or you’re under a lot of stress, cleaning your workspace can help. A clean workspace allows you to arrive and immediately get to your most important task without wasting time. Plugging devices in to charge, color coding your files, even filling or cleaning your water bottle the night before can help. The more organized your workstation, the more organized you’ll be to start your day. For employers, ensure your employees have streamlined and legible space. Workstations tailored to individual and group tasks help to promote legibility in the workplace, with clear indications of space designed to promote certain activities.

* Adjust your workspace to fit you. Whether it’s a height-adjustable work surface, an ergonomic chair or even a wrist base for your keyboard, simple comforts can have a monumental impact on your productivity. Take the time to adjust your workspace and posture to fit your needs instead of “making do” month after month. And don’t be afraid to ask your employer for solutions to help. The tools you need may already exist, you simply need to raise the question. For employers, be cognizant of employee needs in seating and the functionality of their space. Not all employees or tasks require the same template. Consider seating options that promote ergonomic health, desks and stands that compliment required privacy or sharing, and structure that encourages movement and healthy habits.

* Let in the light. Everyone values the corner office or space closest to the window — and that’s not coincidence, as natural light is proven to provide renewed energy and vitamin intake. If your workstation leaves you lacking some sunlight, take a little time each day to find some natural light. A quick 15-minute trip to the office atrium or even a simple walk outside can leave you feeling rejuvenated. Make a quick coffee run or take your computer outside to catch up on emails — you won’t regret it. As an employer, it can be challenging to ensure daylight options depending on real estate availability. If there is minimal natural light in the office, consider expanding to incorporate outdoor workstations, or simply encourage remote work or brief breaks to increase sunlight exposure.

* Master your technology. We all recognize and understand the frustrations faulty technology can bring. And while you may have little input regarding the types of printers or computers your office uses or in who the conference call provider is, improving your technical knowledge will lower your frustration and your anxiety. Take any training sessions offered by your IT department and/or watch available videos to learn how to use any given technology more efficiently. Run that system upgrade you’ve been putting off — provided you have IT approval. Your machine will run more smoothly and so will you. For employers, it’s critical to understand the day-to-day technologies that impact employee productivity and happiness, for both individual and group tasks. Ensure costs have been allocated to optimize technology and training in areas that are most impactful, and cut costs in areas of least impact (or perhaps frivolous add-ons that can be eliminated). Ensure employees understand training and troubleshooting that is available to them.

* Stand up for storage. Adding storage solutions to your workspace is about more than simply clearing the clutter; it’s about taking ownership of the area where you spend so much time. A natural place to put your personal belongings or hang your coat makes your workspace feel more like home. As an employer, it’s important to empower employees with the control over their workspaces. Oftentimes, organizational tools and tactics can provide this — from designated compartments, shelving, cabinets and drawers. Customizable organization and storage can be critical to feeling control over the workspace and happiness in the workplace.

Until the day you retire, your workplace will be an integral part of your life, so as a reminder, make it the happiest it can be. For more whitepapers, case studies, infographics and shareable ideas on improving workplace happiness for yourself and your co-workers, visit www.atworkhappiness.com.

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How to Use Social Media to Build Your Career

(StatePoint) Seventy-seven percent of American women want to be their own boss, a new survey from Avon finds. While their reasons vary -- from scheduling flexibility to more control to less office politics -- now it’s easier than ever to start living like a boss or simply to advance in your career.

In the digital age, getting ahead begins with your social media accounts, which are literally at the fingertips of the people and companies with whom you would like to work. Experts say that having an engaging presence on sites like LinkedIn and Instagram can help you make connections, spread your expertise, and show potential employers and partners that you’re a good fit.

Indeed, 78 percent of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who are not using social selling. Whatever your professional goals are, take steps to hone your online presence.

Avon, a company with a 130-year track record empowering women to be their own bosses, points out that today, social media plays a big role in the direct selling model. They are sharing proven practices to build your brand sales opportunities through social media.

• Go in with a strategy. How would you like to be perceived? Make sure the reality of your online presence matches this vision, as well as your professional field. You may also consider strategically using privacy settings on certain channels to ensure your public-facing persona remains professional and on-message.

• Be genuine. It’s important to be genuine, so use social media to be yourself and celebrate what you love. “I blog about the things I am actually wearing and doing, not what I think other people want me to say. Your readers want to hear your authentic voice and that is what they will respond to best,” says Alicia Hessinger Dias, an Avon representative and entrepreneur. She started her blog about a year into her Avon business and uses it as an opportunity to share deals, steals and tips that let her express her artistic and fashion-forward side.

To learn more about becoming your own boss at Avon, visit Avon Insider at avon.com/blog or sign up at sellavon.com.

• Play into your strengths. Spend the bulk of your energy using the online platform that works most naturally for you. For example, if you agree that “brevity is the soul of wit,” spend your time on Twitter. If you’re a visual storyteller, focus on Instagram.

• Be consistent. Stick to the topics you are passionate about, and remember to post regularly. Consider using a hashtag that speaks to your personal brand. Lastly, don’t just post content and then disappear. Remember to engage with followers in positive ways.

• Give shout-outs. Connections come more easily when you give shout-outs. Use the event hashtag while live tweeting an industry conference. Add those you admire to your blogroll. These actions will help you earn high-quality followers.

These days, having a savvy digital strategy can be the most crucial step you take professionally.

“From the start of my blog, it has been an essential sales tool,” says Hessinger Dias. “The soft sell of showcasing product is much more effective than a direct sales pitch.”

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7 must-know tips from successful entrepreneurs

To give your company a hand, we've gathered proven tips from successful entrepreneurs.
Did you know that, according to the Small Business Administration, only a third of new businesses survive 10 years or more? What can you do to make your small business one of the thrivers? To find out, we asked entrepreneurs who have succeeded.

1. Love what you do.
The road to success is a hard one. But, according to Lisa King, owner of Brownie Points Inc., which sells gourmet brownies and holiday gift baskets, it's a lot easier if you're passionate about your business's purpose. "If you don't [love what you do], it's hard to be successful," she says. She adds that this helps you stay positive: "You need to maintain your optimism. Once it's gone, you're done."

2. Build a team immersed in your vision.
"For me, it's more than just hiring experienced people. It's important to demonstrate the type of organization we want to be," says Mike Mondello, president of SeaBear, which supplies fresh and smoked wild salmon directly to consumers. To bring to life the vision of building a seafood brand based on world-class, sustainable wild salmon, Mondello used a team meeting to showcase a fisherman whose way of catching fish resulted in a better end product.

3. Come up with innovative ways to solve problems.
Necessity really is the mother of invention. Just ask Robin Brocklesby of Creative Coverings, which rents specialty linens for formal events. When customers were having difficulty returning the linens they had rented, Brocklesby turned to UPS for a creative solution. The result was out-of-the box innovation: Return the linens in specially designed bags (with an estimated life span of 300 uses) rather than larger boxes.

4. Create a delightful customer experience.
Several components come together to win customers, and everyone at the company needs to know their own role in retaining customers. "It's mission critical that everyone on our team understands how they fit into the brand and what they bring to the value chain that delivers a successful customer experience," Mondello says.

King notes that shipping plays a vital role in her customers' experience, particularly since Brownie Points provides a perishable product. "You need to know that you're partnering with someone who can manage your shipments and make sure your packages arrive on time," she says.

5. Quickly learn from your mistakes.
Mistakes are inevitable. The key is to learn from them – fast. A decade ago during the holidays, SeaBear outsourced its call center. Customer orders were soon riddled with errors. "When a customer had a need outside the norm, the call center couldn't handle it with the customer care our own professionals could," Mondello recalls. The solution? SeaBear immediately stopped outsourcing and personally contacted all the customers who were negatively affected. Also, the company has learned to test any new process during a quiet time of the year.

6. Rely on people smarter than you.
You can't know and do everything. You must rely on others. "Surround yourself with people who know more than you do," King advises. "I was a schoolteacher [prior to going into business] and there were a lot of things I had to learn," she recalls. To fill in the gap, King selected vendors or has hired people who had the knowledge or skills she lacked.

7. Never sacrifice quality.
"The key to the success of any business is to establish a philosophy and have everyone in the business buy into it," says Larry Sweet, founder and president of Save-A-Load Inc. The company manufacturers load bars for truckers and delivery companies for the cargo area to hold items in place during transport. Sweet's philosophy of putting quality first has resulted in double-digit revenue growth since the company's founding in 1993. The manufacturer stands behind its product quality by providing a lifetime warranty and relying on UPS to deliver its best-in-class product to customers worldwide.

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25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Regardless of your definition of success, there are, oddly enough, a great number of common characteristics that are shared by successful businesspeople. You can place a check beside each characteristic that you feel that you possess. This way, you can see how you stack up. Even if you don't have all of these characteristics, don't fret. Most can be learned with practice and by developing a winning attitude, especially if you set goals and apply yourself, through strategic planning, to reach those goals in incremental and measurable stages.

The Home Business Musts
Like any activity you pursue, there are certain musts that are required to be successful in a chosen activity. To legally operate a vehicle on public roadways, one must have a driver's license; to excel in sports, one must train and practice; to retire comfortably, one must become an informed investor and actively invest for retirement. If your goal is success in business, then the formula is no different. There are certain musts that have to be fully developed, implemented and managed for your business to succeed. There are many business musts, but this article contains I believe to be some of the more important musts that are required to start, operate and grow a profitable home business.

1. Do what you enjoy.
What you get out of your business in the form of personal satisfaction, financial gain, stability and enjoyment will be the sum of what you put into your business. So if you don't enjoy what you're doing, in all likelihood it's safe to assume that will be reflected in the success of your business--or subsequent lack of success. In fact, if you don't enjoy what you're doing, chances are you won't succeed.

2. Take what you do seriously.
You cannot expect to be effective and successful in business unless you truly believe in your business and in the goods and services that you sell. Far too many home business owners fail to take their own businesses seriously enough, getting easily sidetracked and not staying motivated and keeping their noses to the grindstone. They also fall prey to naysayers who don't take them seriously because they don't work from an office building, office park, storefront, or factory. Little do these skeptics, who rain on the home business owner's parade, know is that the number of people working from home, and making very good annual incomes, has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.

3. Plan everything.
Planning every aspect of your home business is not only a must, but also builds habits that every home business owner should develop, implement, and maintain. The act of business planning is so important because it requires you to analyze each business situation, research and compile data, and make conclusions based mainly on the facts as revealed through the research. A business plan also serves a second function, which is having your goals and how you will achieve them, on paper. You can use the plan that you create both as map to take you from point A to Z and as a yardstick to measure the success of each individual plan or segment within the plan.

4. Manage money wisely.
The lifeblood of any business enterprise is cash flow. You need it to buy inventory, pay for services, promote and market your business, repair and replace tools and equipment, and pay yourself so that you can continue to work. Therefore, all home business owners must become wise money managers to ensure that the cash keeps flowing and the bills get paid. There are two aspects to wise money management.

The money you receive from clients in exchange for your goods and services you provide (income)
The money you spend on inventory, supplies, wages and other items required to keep your business operating. (expenses)
5. Ask for the sale.
A home business entrepreneur must always remember that marketing, advertising, or promotional activities are completely worthless, regardless of how clever, expensive, or perfectly targeted they are, unless one simple thing is accomplished--ask for the sale. This is not to say that being a great salesperson, advertising copywriting whiz or a public relations specialist isn't a tremendous asset to your business. However, all of these skills will be for naught if you do not actively ask people to buy what you are selling.

6. Remember it's all about the customer.
Your home business is not about the products or services that you sell. Your home business is not about the prices that you charge for your goods and services. Your home business is not about your competition and how to beat them. Your business is all about your customers, or clients, period. After all, your customers are the people that will ultimately decide if your business goes boom or bust. Everything you do in business must be customer focused, including your policies, warranties, payment options, operating hours, presentations, advertising and promotional campaigns and website. In addition, you must know who your customers are inside out and upside down.

Related: Keeping Your Customers Satisfied -- It's All in the Details

7. Become a shameless self-promoter (without becoming obnoxious).
One of the greatest myths about personal or business success is that eventually your business, personal abilities, products or services will get discovered and be embraced by the masses that will beat a path to your door to buy what you are selling. But how can this happen if no one knows who you are, what you sell and why they should be buying?

Self-promotion is one of the most beneficial, yet most underutilized, marketing tools that the majority of home business owners have at their immediate disposal.

8. Project a positive business image.
You have but a passing moment to make a positive and memorable impression on people with whom you intend to do business. Home business owners must go out of their way and make a conscious effort to always project the most professional business image possible. The majority of home business owners do not have the advantage of elaborate offices or elegant storefronts and showrooms to wow prospects and impress customers. Instead, they must rely on imagination, creativity and attention to the smallest detail when creating and maintaining a professional image for their home business.

9. Get to know your customers.
One of the biggest features and often the most significant competitive edge the home based entrepreneur has over the larger competitors is the he can offer personalized attention. Call it high-tech backlash if you will, but customers are sick and tired of hearing that their information is somewhere in the computer and must be retrieved, or told to push a dozen digits to finally get to the right department only to end up with voice mail--from which they never receive a return phone call.

The home business owner can actually answer phone calls, get to know customers, provide personal attention and win over repeat business by doing so. It's a researched fact that most business (80 percent) will come from repeat customers rather than new customers. Therefore, along with trying to draw newcomers, the more you can do to woo your regular customers, the better off you will be in the long run and personalized attention is very much appreciated and remembered in the modern high tech world.

Related: Why You Should Never Prejudge a Sales Prospect

10. Level the playing field with technology.
You should avoid getting overly caught up in the high-tech world, but you should also know how to take advantage of using it. One of the most amazing aspects of the internet is that a one or two person business operating from a basement can have a superior website to a $50 million company, and nobody knows the difference. Make sure you're keeping up with the high-tech world as it suits your needs.. The best technology is that which helps you, not that which impresses your neighbors.

11. Build a top-notch business team.
No one person can build a successful business alone. It's a task that requires a team that is as committed as you to the business and its success. Your business team may include family members, friends, suppliers, business alliances, employees, sub-contractors, industry and business associations, local government and the community. Of course the most important team members will be your customers or clients. Any or all may have a say in how your business will function and a stake in your business future.

Related: Why Teamwork Should Be Your No. 1 Sales Tool

12. Become known as an expert.
When you have a problem that needs to be solved, do you seek just anyone's advice or do you seek an expert in the field to help solve your particular problem? Obviously, you want the most accurate information and assistance that you can get. You naturally seek an expert to help solve your problem. You call a plumber when the hot water tank leaks, a real estate agent when it's time to sell your home or a dentist when you have a toothache. Therefore, it only stands to reason that the more you become known for your expertise in your business, the more people will seek you out to tap into your expertise, creating more selling and referral opportunities. In effect, becoming known as an expert is another style of prospecting for new business, just in reverse. Instead of finding new and qualified people to sell to, these people seek you out for your expertise.

13. Create a competitive advantage.
A home business must have a clearly defined unique selling proposition. This is nothing more than a fancy way of asking the vital question, "Why will people choose to do business with you or purchase your product or service instead of doing business with a competitor and buying his product or service?" In other words, what one aspect or combination of aspects is going to separate your business from your competition? Will it be better service, a longer warranty, better selection, longer business hours, more flexible payment options, lowest price, personalized service, better customer service, better return and exchange policies or a combination of several of these?

14. Invest in yourself.
Top entrepreneurs buy and read business and marketing books, magazines, reports, journals, newsletters, websites and industry publications, knowing that these resources will improve their understanding of business and marketing functions and skills. They join business associations and clubs, and they network with other skilled business people to learn their secrets of success and help define their own goals and objectives. Top entrepreneurs attend business and marketing seminars, workshops and training courses, even if they have already mastered the subject matter of the event. They do this because they know that education is an ongoing process. There are usually ways to do things better, in less time, with less effort. In short, top entrepreneurs never stop investing in the most powerful, effective and best business and marketing tool at their immediate disposal--themselves.

15. Be accessible.
We're living in a time when we all expect our fast food lunch at the drive-thru window to be ready in mere minutes, our dry cleaning to be ready for pick-up on the same day, our money to be available at the cash machine and our pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it's free. You see the pattern developing--you must make it as easy as you can for people to do business with you, regardless of the home business you operate.

You must remain cognizant of the fact that few people will work hard, go out of their way, or be inconvenienced just for the privilege of giving you their hard-earned money. The shoe is always on the other foot. Making it easy for people to do business with you means that you must be accessible and knowledgeable about your products and services. You must be able to provide customers with what they want, when they want it.

16. Build a rock-solid reputation.
A good reputation is unquestionably one of the home business owner's most tangible and marketable assets. You can't simply buy a good reputation; it's something that you earn by honoring your promises. If you promise to have the merchandise in the customer's hands by Wednesday, you have no excuse not to have it there. If you offer to repair something, you need to make good on your offer. Consistency in what you offer is the other key factor. If you cannot come through with the same level of service (and products) for clients on a regular basis, they have no reason to trust you . . . and without trust, you won't have a good reputation.

17. Sell benefits.
Pushing product features is for inexperienced or wannabe entrepreneurs. Selling the benefits associated with owning and using the products and services you carry is what sales professionals worldwide focus on to create buying excitement and to sell, sell more, and sell more frequently to their customers. Your advertising, sales presentations, printed marketing materials, product packaging, website, newsletters, trade show exhibit and signage are vital. Every time and every medium used to communicate with your target audience must always be selling the benefits associated with owning your product or using your service.

18. Get involved.
Always go out of your way to get involved in the community that supports your business. You can do this in many ways, such as pitching in to help local charities or the food bank, becoming involved in organizing community events, and getting involved in local politics. You can join associations and clubs that concentrate on programs and policies designed to improve the local community. It's a fact that people like to do business with people they know, like and respect, and with people who do things to help them as members of the community.

19. Grab attention.
Small-business owners cannot waste time, money and energy on promotional activities aimed at building awareness solely through long-term, repeated exposure. If you do, chances are you will go broke long before this goal is accomplished. Instead, every promotional activity you engage in, must put money back in your pocket so that you can continue to grab more attention and grow your business.

20. Master the art of negotiations.
The ability to negotiate effectively is unquestionably a skill that every home business owner must make every effort to master. It's perhaps second in importance only to asking for the sale in terms of home business musts. In business, negotiation skills are used daily. Always remember that mastering the art of negotiation means that your skills are so finely tuned that you can always orchestrate a win-win situation. These win-win arrangements mean that everyone involved feels they have won, which is really the basis for building long-term and profitable business relationships.

21. Design Your workspace for success.
Carefully plan and design your home office workspace to ensure maximum personal performance and productivity and, if necessary, to project professionalism for visiting clients. If at all possible, resist the temptation to turn a corner of the living room or your bedroom into your office. Ideally, you'll want a separate room with a door that closes to keep business activities in and family members out, at least during prime business and revenue generating hours of the day. A den, spare bedroom, basement or converted garage are all ideal candidates for your new home office. If this is not possible, you'll have to find a means of converting a room with a partition or simply find hours to do the bulk of your work when nobody else is home.

22. Get and stay organized.
The key to staying organized is not about which type of file you have or whether you keep a stack or two of papers on your desk, but it's about managing your business. It's about having systems in place to do things. Therefore, you wan to establish a routine by which you can accomplish as much as possible in a given workday, whether that's three hours for a part-time business or seven or nine hours as a full-timer. In fact, you should develop systems and routines for just about every single business activity. Small things such as creating a to-do list at the end of each business day, or for the week, will help keep you on top of important tasks to tackle. Creating a single calendar to work from, not multiple sets for individual tasks or jobs, will also ensure that jobs are completed on schedule and appointments kept. Incorporating family and personal activities into your work calendar is also critical so that you work and plan from a single calendar.

23. Take time off.
The temptation to work around the clock is very real for some home business owners. After all, you don't have a manager telling you it's time to go home because they can't afford the overtime pay. Every person working from home must take time to establish a regular work schedule that includes time to stretch your legs and take lunch breaks, plus some days off and scheduled vacations. Create the schedule as soon as you have made the commitment to start a home business. Of course, your schedule will have to be flexible. You should, therefore, not fill every possible hour in the day. Give yourself a backup hour or two. All work and no play makes you burn out very fast and grumpy customer service is not what people want.

24. Limit the number of hats you wear.
It's difficult for most business owners not to take a hands-on approach. They try to do as much as possible and tackle as many tasks as possible in their business. The ability to multitask, in fact, is a common trait shared by successful entrepreneurs. However, once in a while you have to stand back and look beyond today to determine what's in the best interest of your business and yourself over the long run. Most highly successful entrepreneurs will tell you that from the time they started out, they knew what they were good at and what tasks to delegate to others.

25. Follow-up constantly.
Constant contact, follow-up, and follow-through with customers, prospects, and business alliances should be the mantra of every home business owner, new or established. Constant and consistent follow-up enables you to turn prospects into customers, increase the value of each sale and buying frequency from existing customers, and build stronger business relationships with suppliers and your core business team. Follow-up is especially important with your existing customer base, as the real work begins after the sale. It's easy to sell one product or service, but it takes work to retain customers and keep them coming back.

James Stephenson is an experienced home based consultant with more than 15 years of business and marketing experience.

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তেলাপোকার উপদ্রব থেকে ঘরদোর রাখুন মুক্ত খুব সহজ ৩ টি উপায়ে
 
তেলাপোকা সৃষ্টির শুরু থেকেই ছিল এবং আজও রয়েছে। তেলাপোকাকে এমনিতে অনেক নিরীহ ধরণের পোকা মনে হলেও তেলাপোকা অনেক বেশি ক্ষতিকর। তেলাপোকার মূল আবাসস্থল নোংরা আবর্জনা। কিন্তু এই তেলাপোকাই রাতের বেলা নোংরা আবর্জনা থেকে উঠে আপনার পুরো ঘরময় হেঁটে বেড়ায়। হেঁটে বেড়ায় আপনার খাবার এবং হাড়ি পাতিলের উপরে যার কারণে এর গায়ে থাকা জীবাণু আমাদের সংস্পর্শে আসে। নানা রোগের উৎপত্তি এই তেলাপোকার কারণেই হয়ে থাকে। তাই ঘর থেকে তেলাপোকা দূর করা অত্যন্ত জরুরী। তাই জেনে নিন তেলাপোকার উপদ্রব একেবারে বন্ধ করার খুব সহজ কিছু উপায়।

১) চিনি ও বেকিং সোডার ব্যবহার
বেকিং সোডা তেলাপোকা একেবারেই সহ্য করতে পারে না। সমপরিমাণ চিনি ও বেকিং সোডা একসাথে মিশিয়ে ঘরের কোণে এবং তেলাপোকা আসার সম্ভাব্য স্থানে ছড়িয়ে দিন। চিনির ঘ্রাণে তেলাপোকা আকৃষ্ট হয়ে বেকিং সোডা মিশ্রিত চিনি খেয়ে মারা পড়বে তেলাপোকা। আর আপনিও ঘরকে রাখতে পারবেন তেলাপোকা মুক্ত।

২) তেজপাতার ব্যবহার
তেলাপোকা তাড়ানোর সবচাইতে সহজ ও সস্তা উপায় হচ্ছে তেজপাতা ব্যবহার করা। তেলাপোকা তেজপাতার তীব্র গন্ধ একেবারেই সহ্য করতে পারে না। তেজপাতা গুঁড়ো করে তেলাপোকা ঘরে আসার সম্ভাব্য সকল স্থানে ছিটিয়ে রাখুন, দেখবেন তেলাপোকার উপদ্রব থেকে চিরতরে মুক্তি পেয়ে যাবেন।

৩) বোরিক পাউডারের ব্যবহার
বোরিক পাউডার মূলত একধরণের অ্যাসিডিক উপাদান যা পোকামাকড়ের যন্ত্রণা কমাতে বিশেষভাবে সহায়ক। ১ টেবিল চামচ বোরিক পাউডার, ১ টেবিল চামচ কোকো পাউডার এবং ২ টেবিল চামচ ময়দা বা আটা একসাথে মিশিয়ে নিন ভালো করে। এই মিশ্রণটিও একইভাবে সকল স্থানে ছিটিয়ে রাখুন। তেলাপোকা এই মিশ্রণে আকৃষ্ট হয়ে বোরিক পাউডার খেয়ে মারা পড়বে। ২ সপ্তাহ এই পদ্ধতিটি ব্যবহার করুন একেবারে মুক্তি পাওয়ার জন্য।
মনে রাখুন জরুরী কিছু বিষয়
   - ঘরবাড়ি পরিষ্কার রাখলে তেলাপোকার উপদ্রব এমনিতেই কম হবে। বিশেষ করে রাতে খাওয়ার পর তা ধুয়ে রাখুন। এতে তেলাপোকার যন্ত্রণা অনেক কমে যাবে।
   - প্রতি সপ্তাহেই ঘরের কোণ বা আলমারির ভেতরের খালি বক্স বা বাক্স ধরণের জিনিস পরিষ্কার করুন।
   - বাথরুম নিয়মিত ভালো টয়লেট ক্লিনার দিয়ে পরিষ্কার রাখুন এবং কিছুদিন পরপরই গরম পানি ঢালুন। এতে তেলাপোকার যন্ত্রণাও কমে যাবে।

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Life Style / কাপড় থেকে দাগ তুলতে
« on: July 09, 2015, 03:16:50 PM »
কাপড় থেকে দাগ তুলতে
দ্রুত দাগ দূর করার উপায়
সুন্দর পোশাক পরে দাওয়াতে যাওয়ার পর অনেক সময় অসাবধানতার কারণে কাপড়ে সুপ বা খাবার পড়ে দাগ লেগে যেতেই পারে। এতে দুশ্চিন্তা করার কিছু নেই।
হাতের কাছে ক্লাব সোডা বা সোডাপানীয় থাকলে তাতে একটি পরিষ্কার কাপড় ভিজিয়ে দাগের উপর ঘষে নিলে দাগ অনেকটাই উঠে যাবে।
ঘাসের দাগ
মাঠে খেলাধুলার করতে গিয়ে বা বসে আড্ডা দিয়ে ওঠার সময় খেয়াল করলেন কাপড়ে ঘাসের দাগ বসে গেছে। এই দাগ দূর করতে বেশ কসরত করতে হয়। তবে একটি পুরানো টুথব্রাশ এবং সাদা পেস্ট ব্যবহার করেই এই দাগ দূর করা যায়।
প্রথমে দাগের উপর কিছুটা টুথপেস্ট নিয়ে ভেজা ব্রাশ দিয়ে দাগের উপর ঘষে নিতে হবে। যতক্ষণ না পুরোপুরি দাগ উঠে যাচ্ছে ততক্ষণ একই প্রক্রিয়ায় চেষ্টা করে যেতে হবে। এরপর সাধারণভাবে কাপড়টি ধুয়ে ফেললেই দাগ চলে যাবে।
রক্তের দাগ
হঠাৎ কেটে গেলে বা কোনো ক্ষত থেকে কাপড়ে রক্ত লাগতেই পারে। যা শুকিয়ে গেলে ওঠাতে বেশ বেগ পেতে হয়।
ওষুধ বা কেমিকলের দোকান থেকে থ্রি পার্সেন্ট হাইড্রোজেইন পারঅক্সাইড যোগাড় করুন। প্রথমে দাগ লাগা কাপড়টি হাইড্রোজেন পারঅক্সাইডে ভিজিয়ে রাখতে হবে। এরপর নখ বা মাখন লাগানোর ছুরি দিয়ে দাগের অংশটি ঘষে নিতে হবে। এরপর আরও খানিকটা হাইড্রোজেন পারঅক্সাইড দিয়ে ধুয়ে নিতে হবে। রক্ত শুকিয়ে যাওয়ার আগে ধুয়ে ফেললে ভালোভাবে দাগ উঠে যাবে।
এছাড়া আরেকটি উপায় হচ্ছে, দাগ লাগা কাপড়টি পানিতে ভিজিয়ে দাগের উপর লবণ ছড়িয়ে দিন। ভালোভাবে ঘষে নিলে লবণ দাগ দূর করতে সাহায্য করবে। এরপর সাধারণ সাবান বা ডিটারজেন্ট দিয়ে কাপড় ধুয়ে ফেলতে হবে।
কলারে দাগ
ঘামের কারণে শার্ট বা টি-শার্টের কলারে হলদে দাগ হয়ে যায়। এই দাগ দূর করতে দারুণ কার্যকর শ্যাম্পু। যেকোনো শ্যাম্পু নিয়ে কলারে লাগিয়ে ভালোভাবে ঘষে নিতে হবে। এরপর ভালোভাবে কাপড় ধুয়ে ফেলতে হবে।
লিপস্টিকের দাগ
মেইকআপের সময় অসাবধানতায় কাপড়ে লিপস্টিকের দাগ লেগে যেতে পারে। এরজন্য একটি সাদা রুটি নিয়ে ভিতরের সাদা অংশ গুঁড়া করে নিন। তারপর রুটির গুঁড়া লিপস্টিকের দাগের উপর ঘষে নিতে হবে। একটা সময় লিপস্টিক পুরোটাই উঠে আসবে। উঠে গেলে কাপড়ে লেগে থাকা গুঁড়া ঝেড়ে ফেলুন।
গ্রিজের দাগ
কাপড়ে গ্রিজ লেগে গেলে দাগের উপরে কর্নফ্লাওয়ার ছড়িয়ে দিন। কিছুক্ষণ এভাবেই রাখুন যেন কর্নফ্লাওয়ার গ্রিজ শুষে নিতে পারে। তারপর কর্নফ্লাওয়ার ঝেরে ভালোভাবে ধুয়ে ফেললেই হবে।
তেলের দাগ
মাথায় তেল দিয়ে ঘুমালে বা খাবার খাওয়ার সময় কয়েক ফোঁটা তেল পড়ে সাধের বালিশের কভার বা কাপড় নষ্ট হয়েছে। চিন্তা নেই। আছে সহজ উপাদান।
বালিশের কভারে লেগে থাকা তেলের দাগ দূর করতে সাধারণ শ্যাম্পু দিয়ে ধুয়ে ফেললেই হবে। পোশাকেও তাই।
এছাড়া মাথায় তেল দিয়ে ঘুমানোর সময় বালিশের উপর আলাদা একটি কাপড় দিয়ে ঘুমালে বালিশের কভারে তেলের দাগ লেগে যাওয়ার সম্ভাবনা থাকবে না।
কালির দাগ
কলমের কালি কাপড়ে লেগেছে! এই কালি দূর করতে অ্যালকহল ঘষে নিন। তাছাড়া একটি স্পঞ্জ দুধে ভিজিয়ে স্পঞ্জটি দাগের উপর ঘষে নিলেও কালির দাগ উঠে যাবে।
চায়ের দাগ
অসাবধানতায় কাপড়ে চা পড়ে যেতেই পারে। তবে খানিকটা চিনি ব্যবহার করেই এ বেপরোয়া দাগ দূর করা যায়।
খানিকটা পানিতে বেশি করে চিনি গুলিয়ে, এই পানি কাপড় বা টেবিলের যেখানে চা পড়েছে সেখানে ছড়িয়ে কিছুক্ষণ ভিজিয়ে রাখতে হবে। যতটা বেশি চিনি ব্যবহার করা হবে তত জলদি দাগ উঠে আসবে।
এরপর সাধারণ সাবান বা ডিটারজেন্ট দিয়ে কাপড় ধুয়ে ফেলতে হবে।

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