Boosting Your Confidence by Finding Your Niche

Posted April 26, 2018 By Frank Strona

Finding the Power of Self

With the stresses and hardships of everyday life, it seems like our confidence and self-esteem are among the first feelings to suffer, along with overall happiness and wellness. We all have those moments when it seems like whatever you do, someone else does it better. Or worse, it feels like we are a “day late” to the party. Sometimes we make a decision at one point in life professional that moves us away from a place of confidence, for good reasons, only to find out along the way, a part of “you” got lost. I know it happened to me when I moved from being more of an independent educator and facilitator to working from within the system of some organizations.  In my effort to be the best I could be “at work”, I forgot how to keep the best of who I was in private.

But there’s no need for despair, finding your own self-worth is a journey that takes time. Learning how to trust in yourself is the part two of that journey. But for now, let’s consider some ways to get back in touch with the parts of us that inspire, bring joy and a sense of fulfillment.

stuck in a circle

It’s all too easy to get stuck focusing on getting to the “goal” and miss the moments of the journey.

Luckily, there are quite a few simple strategies you can use to boost your confidence and find success. It all works the same, once you are finally realize you are in a place in your life when discovering a fun hobby, beginning a new career, or finding your niche in something new and exciting. It is the process of that discovery which leaves us with the lessons, that are the best confidence boosters available. From completing crossword puzzles and sketching landscapes, to woodworking, and taking online courses, trying a new craft, doing stand up or even joining a book club. If you search thoroughly enough, you are bound to find your niche. And remember – you don’t have to lock yourself into any one of them. Take the time to try several out for size.

 

Artistic Mediums

Sketch & Draw It

If you enjoy doodling and drawing, something in the art field may already appeal to you. This can include anything from pursuing a career as a cartoonist or illustrator to a tattoo artist or skin painter. You can use your passion for art in a variety of different ways. One easy way to start is to get yourself a journal or notebook and just begin doodling. Try committing to doing something in it once a day. Small or big, original or just a “copycat”; it won’t matter for now. Just start to get in the habit, and get your hand-eye coordination in a creative mood. Some time back I posted about some journals and notebooks that I suggested – go ahead and reread that post here on some of my fav books. Don’t underestimate the power of “doodling” either. Sometimes those random sketches is a person way of working things out in your brain. I often keep a doodle pad at my desk exactly for that reason.

Write It

If writing is one of your passions, there are countless writing opportunities online alone, many of which you can complete remotely, from the comfort of your own home. Producing pieces of art and writing can, not only increase confidence but cause feelings of accomplishment and even pride in one’s hard work. Start simple – remember, no one has to even read them. But after you write something – pay attention to how you felt during and after. Remember some of us, no matter how tech we are, still are drawn to the old school pen and paper. While others gravitate to e-journals & blogging. Getting an account on Medium.com is a perfect way to start slow and also read how others do it. You don’t always have to publish your work right away. But I found over the years, its always better to save it.

Picture It

A favorite shot from Boston Summer 2017

Photography is another way to express yourself, view the world, and use visual art to better understand yourself. If you’ve dabbled before, try photographing something new. It could be close-ups of nature, long shots of landscapes, or maybe candids of the people you love. Try doing a selfie just to see what you do or don’t like about the medium. You don’t even need a fancy camera to get started, just try taking simple shots on your phone camera. Our smartphones have amazing capabilities to capture what the most expensive equipment can and it’s something you can start anytime.

Design It

Artspace in Atlanta

Interior design could be your niche if you enjoy the visual arts. Decorating your home or office can help give you artistic passion an outlet and improve your own living space. There are many different resources here as well, from staging and house flipping programs to online reviews and decoration advice forums, you’ll find many different ways to explore decoration and arts in your own home. Remember – you can always start small and help those of your friends who need a new look. It’s good practice for you and they are paying for the materials so it’s a win-win for both. 

Craft It

Crafting is not only a good way to pass the time but can be a real challenge for your brain. Whether you start by creating jewelry, knitting, or scrapbooking, crafts offer an opportunity to use your mind in new ways and find solutions to tiny problems. Using crafts as a form of artwork is also a great way to express your inner self and find more meaning in the smallest things. You can use these talents for years to come and will continue to find practical uses for your crafting. This holiday season, for instance, I started making a bunch of bookmarks and journal “keepers” for friends that has now ended up as a little side project. You read more about them in my blog post about them at BiteTheRoad.Com.

Physical Challenges

Me letting go and getting out

Maybe you prefer exercise or sports to improve your mood and self-esteem. Routine exercise, whether you walk, run, swim, lift weights, practice yoga, or play badminton, not only improves your physical health but your emotional health as well. Exercise increases serotonin levels and other feel-good hormones, which help to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, improve mood, appetite, and sleep, and boost confidence, self-image, and self-esteem.

Exercise programs like CrossFit help to encourage beginners by giving them actionable goals and motivated friends and mentors. You can find a gym, class, or program that turns into a great community of support and friendship.

Get “Edumacated

Online learning makes anywhere you are the classroom

ok – I mean “educated”. Another way to boost your confidence is to explore new learning opportunities. Nothing is better nor more powerful than knowledge. Do you have any college credits? Are you ready to learn something new that could easily develop into your perfect niche? You could attend a physical university or take online courses from your own home, and on your schedule. The possibilities are endless. The best part “learning for the joy of learning” is it is often less tethered than the demands of grades. That lack of pressure can actually allow being in school again feel like a fresh experience.

There are thousands of schools spread across the United States and countless fields of study from which you can choose. You can earn a degree in botany, biology, business, accounting, literature, education, music, art, history, medicine, or real estate.

Share Yourself

Give back. When you find yourself, you have the opportunity to share what you’ve learned and the skills you’ve gained with others. Sometimes volunteering and outreaching with different programs is actually the best way to discover yourself and your own worth. Mentoring, speaking in classes or forums and sharing your know knowledge

 

Whatever sparks your interest and becomes your niche is certain to improve your confidence, especially when you begin gaining momentum and achieving success. Use these ideas as a jumping-off point to find what sparks your interest.

 

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What Mentoring Does in The Long Run

Posted April 23, 2018 By Frank Strona

Mentoring is crucial for success

Yes, I said that. Whether it’s in school, on the job, or in any other hobby or other organization, mentoring can be mutually beneficial for the mentor as well as the mentored. From having someone whose advice can be trusted to watching a person take one’s advice and grow into an excellent employee or student, mentoring can provide benefits neither person ever imagined. To learn more about what mentoring can do in the long run, here are some important points to consider.

 

Multi-Generational Connection

Since most mentoring arrangements involve a more seasoned person offering to provide a setting for someone as an informal protege. Some combinations are because of technical or trade experience, other times it’s building on a multi-generational connection can result from a mentoring partnership or even based on cultural similarities and shared challenges. For example, while the more senior mentor can bring a strong work ethic built from years of showing up on time for work, the new to the workforce mentee can bring a level of passion and enthusiasm that may have escaped the mentor over the years. By combining their talents, both can learn something new, and perhaps recapture something lost along the way. This is especially compelling for establishing inclusive cultures in the workplace especially for women, people of color and those who are LGBT.

 

Lessen Stress and Anxiety

Particularly important for students, including those who are struggling in school, mentors can play an important role in reducing stress and anxiety. Whether working with an inner-city student who worries about making good grades to get into college, or a law school student hoping to do well enough to work in the office, mentors can be living proof that while they were in a similar position, hard work can pay off in a successful personal and professional life. Sometimes these mentoring relationships even crop up without prompting. Many a criminal defense lawyer, social worker, or nurse have taken on more than their position requires and truly befriended a client or patient. Mentoring is often a natural and open way to communicate and learn new skills in a new kind of environment.

Learning New Skills

In any mentoring relationship, both parties come out of the relationship learning a variety of new skills. For the mentor, they may learn new technology skills, since the mentoree will likely be younger and more accustomed to using today’s technology.  How do you think many of the top organizations got on social media so fast – yup the mentorship and internship programs. However, the mentoree can learn the importance of establishing a network of personal and professional connections, which can pay off handsomely in the long run. By watching and listening to their mentor, mentorees can learn that nobody makes it through life entirely on their own and that it’s fine to ask for help now and then.

By having the mentor and mentored take their partnership seriously, great things can happen. An older individual can feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle the challenges of today’s world, while a young mentoree can see that by listening to their mentor, they too can achieve a level of success that may have been unimaginable only a few weeks or months earlier. In doing so, mentoring indeed becomes a win-win situation.

In fact, some workforce data suggests that having a mentorship program in place can improve the onboarding of new staff, discover new leaders from within your own organization and reduce turnover rates.

Making It Happen

Back in the fall last year I got to take to the stage and talk some about mentoring and diversity. It was my first time with this group but you can read more of the details here and get a peek at my presentation below. Not having a mentorship program in the workplace is no excuse. Advocate for one if you feel you have more to offer and want to share. If your workplace won’t – then explore other ways you can mentor people. Many school and organizations are looking for placements for participants. If you have a program in place already, take some time to assess it. Do some program assessment to see if it is still relevant and reaching the goals that fit with today’s workforce. Here is a great read on transforming mentoring programs or seek out a program you know of and get some networking time in and share strengths and experiences.

 

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How to Use Your Daily Look to Create Inner Confidence

Posted April 17, 2018 By Frank Strona

Inner Confidence

The way you present yourself to the world says a lot about your personality and your inner confidence. When you think you look good, you feel good too. It doesn’t always matter how others think you look, but knowing you like how you look goes a long way. Our confidence levels have a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves. So how we feel when we see ourselves is a part of our confidence both in person and in the workplace.

Depending on your perception I could be cool and trendy or distant and scary here of me taken on a break from a meeting

There are so many fun ways to make your look unique and fun. Fashion and clothing are great tools to use to express yourself and boost your confidence. Looking amazing means feeling amazing, too. To learn more about how to use your daily look to build inner confidence, continue reading. For some of us, being unique is also apart of developing who we are as a person. This is especially important to those that have a strong community, cultural and ethnic tie to how we are perceived. Understanding the impact we have in how we present ourselves, and knowing when to blend or shine is a skill.

 

Dress to Impress

Taking the time to put together a really nice outfit and putting some effort into your appearance can pay off in a number of ways. Whether we like it or not, other people often form opinions of us based on the way we look. While it is easier to just throw on a pair of sweatpants, this can give the impression you don’t care or aren’t invested in the people you meet. When we really put effort into our clothing choices, we not only look more presentable, but we feel better about ourselves too. You will probably find that you have the confidence to approach others when you are feeling good about your look. In addition, a lack of inner confidence can cause you to miss out on a lot of opportunities. But remember “nice” does not mean “expensive”. It means a well thought out, clean and fit outfit. Sometimes it means bumping it up a bit. This could mean adding a suit jacket to your business pressed untucked dress shirt, casual jeans, and boots or swapping out flats for a more modest heal.

 

Accessorize

Accessories are a fun way to really spice up an outfit. A bland look can be transformed into some unique and stylish jewelry, such as Bohemian or boutique-style jewelry. Purses, ties, bags, hats, sunglasses, and shoes are also a great way to accessorize and make your look stand out. The great thing about accessories is that they can easily be paired with neutral or subdued clothing pieces. A beautiful necklace or striking tie can really pull your whole look together and bring your personality to light.

Umm, yeah even as a kid, Mom made sure I wore a clip-on for those pictures.

Another easy way to add some impact is your watch and socks. Need a pop of color? Look for watch bands with a bright contrast trim, even better if you can swap them out. I think socks are a great way to show your style and unique, so while it’s a subtle thing, it can add a touch of whimsy and is a great icebreaker.  Another way you can add impact is with a touch of vintage/retro and use one of those original “grandma” pins on your blouse or jacket.

I know for me – its watch bands and ties all the way – I love vibrant and rich colors in a tie on those rare occasions I wear them.

 

Wear Flattering Clothes

Learning how to dress in a way that is flattering to your body is important. Certain styles and fabrics look good on particular body shapes but can be unflattering to others. In addition, some colors are more complimentary to certain skin tones. Much of your confidence comes from how good you feel in your clothes. If you feel like your blouse or shirt makes you look top-heavy or your skirt accentuates your hips too much, it can knock down your confidence significantly. Experiment with different cuts of clothing and see if you can get tailoring done for a better fit. Many times tailoring is less expensive than you think.

One tip I learned last year was even as a big guy, not to shy away from “trim” fit shirts. I was finding those dress shirts that fit my neck all hung too long and baggy. Then I found that a “trim” fit was not as “skinny” as I thought. Instead, I ended up with a more tailored look.

Using fashion as a way to express yourself and gain confidence is an exciting part of self-presentation. There are so many styles and fabrics to experiment with, and a good look will really make you feel good about yourself. Much of our inner confidence comes from the outside, so have fun with fashion and dress in a way that makes you feel good.

So, what about the clothes we can’t see? Well, it makes sense to pay attention to what you wear under your outfits as well. New blends and fabrics now can make lines disappear, can adjust for those of us who run warm (and want to avoid wet stains) or run cold. Knowing your fit is important, nothing it worse that constantly tugging on that pair of underwear that is creeping up or finding out that bra isn’t holding up the way it should. For many of us, we are hesitant to recycle old undergarments, “because they feel good still”,  well save them for your off days and keep your workday ones fresh and in good shape.

 

My Secret Weapon

My Dad impressed on myself and my sister’s many things as we were growing up and giving us opportunities to be all that we could be. One tip I hold to this day is the importance of taking that extra time and making sure my shoes are always polished and in good shape. I am not someone who is going to spend thousands on my shoes, but I will pay out a few extra bucks for a good standard dress one. Then sometimes I break down and buy a pair simply for fun!

No matter how much they cost, here are a few extra tips:

>> Wipe them down each day

>> Polish as needed, that includes the sides of the soles and heels. (note – Ladies your shoes need to get polished too)

>> Have your soles checked and fixed if they wear unevenly

>> Don’t wear the same ones each day. By switching them out you will get longer life from them.

 

 

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Read? Who has time to read these days?

Posted April 13, 2018 By Frank Strona

I do… In fact, I read a lot.

And when I say a lot, I mean I average 2-3 books a week sometimes in addition to work required reading and newspapers. I will read anywhere. Always have, even as a child. My Dad used to value reading and it was the one place we always connected on. It’s not always the lofty social or political stuff. Sometimes it is just fun stuff. For instance, I just finish the series Sky High Pies Cozy Mysteries by Mary Maxwell  This mystery-themed series is based on the concept of Cozy mysteries; accordingly to Wikipedia a cozy is a “subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community” (think “Murder She Wrote”). While not Shakespear – they are a perfectly fun way to spend a quiet afternoon in the sun or rainy weekend reading. Of course, when this type of genre won’t do, I tend to default to my classic horror genre (don’t judge) with an occasional mash-up of horror and cozy my writers such as Michael Todd and his “Protected By The Damned” series or Michael Anderele’s (who coauthored with Todd on the Damned series) “The Kurtherian Gambit” series with it’s mash-up of vampires, werewolves, and sci-fiction space travel all packaged in an adventure setting. Remember.. don’t judge me, I need the mental break sometimes.

In May I Read…

But I also make an effort to read at least one book a month that explores ways to engage myself for the better – not so much in the self-help fashion as James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy, rather more in a “what if I considered doing something or thinking and acting differently” kind of way. Last month I spent some time with Edward Hess & Katherine Ludwig’s “Humility Is The New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age”.

I can’t say I loved it. I had to struggle with some language nuances that I found judgemental and minimized some. professional skill sets, but when I let some of that go (I suppose that was one of the book key lessons is the “quieting of the ego” as they call it) I did find some interesting ways of looking at the very trending theme of mindfulness.

While mindfulness as a tool for personal development  is not something new, and I had been of fan of it as a method many years ago when I worked in substance use treatment programs, this take encourages the reader to see it as a professional skill set that some organisations are even implementing as part of a commitment towards workforce staff development as a way to inspire new ways of leading and collaborating both in the work setting and externally with consumers and clients.

What About This Month?

So this month I jumped feet first into Manoush Zomorod‘s “Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self”. I came across this one, from recommendations from a pal who was also reading it and heard the author speak “about the ways to “unlock your, most productive and creative self“. I actually started this one in March, but then life took over and I didn’t get very far until I added it to my “to do” list for this month.

No really.. I am reading.. I was just reflecting a moment..

So far I am just into it a few chapters in and already find that I am liking it. I tend to not like to highlight in my books (maybe it’s my upbringing that books were important and not to be written in) but I am a huge fan of post-it tabs! Even if my journals and notebooks look like a crazy man sometimes. I even made myself a special bookmark (I make others using vintage jewelry as a hobby – you can read about those here) for it!

So far into  “Board and Brilliant”, I have to say it is hitting me in all the right? wrong? places. I am someone who is always on the move. Last month alone, I worked my traditional full time job, had more clients generated here for mentor and coaching, taught two online classes all while being the full-time nursemaid, cook, cleaner, laundry person, bottle washer, driver, dog walker, etc for the last 6 weeks while my partner has been recovering from unexpected foot surgery. So my creative time has been stretched at best.

I did manage to make and design some new bookmarks with a stash of vintage leather buttons as well as several of my favorite journal keepers to submit as auction items (You can read more about them on my personal blog BiteTheRoad.com and the extras will get added to the Etsy store later this week) But my mental creativity has definitely been lagging and the thought of just “spacing out” made me feel guilty and unproductive.Especially problimatic as I have scripts for a storytelling event here in San Francisco in April and my first lisceneced TEDx Talk in Provincetown this summer due.

But The Reading Will Continue

Well more to come as I work my way through Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self” and I plan to share any insights I glean along the way. For now, I will leave you with this page shot right from page 13. Really, folks – you should check this book out.

Note to readers: All book reference links are affiliate links to Amazon, more as a point of navigation. You are more than welcome not to use them if you prefer to do your own search manually, please do so. Affiliate links allow for a tracking mechanism to see what material I share about sparks interest with readers, inspires them to purchase etc. Yes, I do get a small percentage of each sale, but it also means I don’t need to create a MentorSF bookstore and worry about inventory, markup pricing etc.  

 

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How Important is a New Hire’s First Day?

Posted April 5, 2018 By GuestSpot
How Important is a New Hire's First Day

“Half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first 120 days,” according to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). That eye-opening statistic is the reason managers and human resources professionals take a proactive approach toward onboarding and retention. If you want to promote your company’s brand, maximize revenue, maintain positive morale and decrease cost, you will make your new hire’s first day builds a foundation for a long-term career with your company.

What is Onboarding?

Onboarding is a process that means more than new hire paperwork completion, orientation and a tour of the facilities. It is pivotal to the success of the new and your business. It sets the tone for what employees can expect. SHRM reports, “Organizational socialization or onboarding is a process through which new employees move from being organizational outsiders to becoming organizational insiders.” It eases fear and builds trust.

Importance of New Hire Training

SHRM’s report, “Onboarding New Hires,” states, “The faster new hires feel welcomed, the quicker they can contribute…” Happy employees are productive employees in every aspect of your business,e.g., customer service, marketing, sales, and management. Recruiting and selection are priorities, but strategic onboarding is also vital.

Types of Onboarding

You need to determine whether a formal or informal onboarding plan works best for your company. A formal strategy requires a written set of policies and procedures that help employees adjust to a new job. Tasks and socialization entail weekly, monthly or quarterly activities. Team members openly support the new hire. Self-service onboarding software like this may be used.

An informal plan does not include structure. Employees learn by on-the-job immersion, a kind of trial-by-fire approach that can end in ambiguity. It should be noted that performance will suffer if expectations are not clearly defined. Studies reveal that employees in the United States and the United Kingdom lose $37 billion because employees do not understand their jobs (MarketWired).

Initiatives for the New Hire

Effective onboarding requires the active participation of the new employee. Stay engaged in small talk, meet with team members for lunch, volunteer for company functions. Establishing a relationship with his supervisor and assuming additional responsibilities are also key.

The bottom line for a well-developed Onboarding strategy is simple: long-term success. All employees can be brand ambassadors. A great first day resonates with new hires, not just on that first day, but for years to come.

        

5 Tips for Getting Hired as a Person in Recovery

Posted April 2, 2018 By Frank Strona

Recovery from addiction is a process.

As I was working remote recently, I had several people ask for insight on transitioning back into the workplace after time away to get some priorities in order. Previously in my career, I did a lot of work those in recovery and I still commit to supporting those in that process. But like any process, being in recovery has crucial milestones along the path for you to rediscover your sense of worth. One important way may be by finding employment.

You have had the courage to overcome the hold on your life that mind-altering substances (alcohol and other such drugs) once had. part of this process of recovery is also getting back into the workforce. There are employers who will value your journey and embrace you as the positive contributor you yearn to become. Here are five tips to help you obtain and keep a job as you transform your past struggles into a story of success.

Be Honest in Your Interview

When you interview with potential employers, hiding the truth of your past can be a liability, not an advantage. This is especially the case if the interview process includes drug testing; hair strand tests can be especially revealing of a drug history. Although your previous decisions and actions were far from trustworthy as you spent your days satisfying destructive habits, a heartfelt description of your recovery gives you instant credibility. Share the things you learned in rehab. The supportive reaction you receive might include the words, “You’re hired!”

Reflect on Your Accomplishments

Once you have been hired, give yourself repeated pats on the back. Take pride in the accomplishment of following through with all steps of the application and landing the job. Any successful completion of a task, big or small, helps fuel your self-improvement.

My Journal style

This is the actual journal that I use to plan holiday gatherings.

After each shift, spend a couple minutes recounting your achievements through journaling, meditation, positive self-talk, whatever works for you. This will keep your spirits flourishing and inspire you to leap out of bed the next day.

I liked Ms. Gimes post so much I even shared it and my grizzly self, holding one of my favorite notebooks.

If journaling is not something you do routinely, it may be due to the fact that you haven’t the found the right type of journaling” style that fits you. I often struggle to find a style that worked until a read the post “A new (to me) concept for keeping a notebook” by writer Shaunta Grimes writing for BetterHumans.coach about the use of “notebooks” and realized I was confining my thinking to what I perceived was journaling and needed to expand it to fit me. Many versions of notebooks and journals exist, from old school pen and paper (which I still do) towards more tech-focused ones. Check out a few variations here with suggestions from a former blog post of mine or my “Tips to Make Yourself More Marketable post. 

For types of notebooks, I tend to lean towards, the Moleskine Classic Notebook, Extra Large, Ruled, Black, Soft Cover (7.5 x 9.75) or the 200 page “big boy”, Zequenz Classic 360 Soft Cover Notebook, Soft Bound Journal, Medium, 5″ x 7″. I also and a huge fan of “tabbing” so invest my favorite sticky tabs as well as an additional pen holder.  These are linked to Amazon (as an Amazon Affiliate) but mostly for suggestions to give you an idea.

Make Friends with Your Co-workers

Finding quality people to befriend at your new job is a free resource to help you stay on the right track. Friends offer encouragement. Good ones offer an ear to let you openly vent when you are frustrated at work. When you return the favor by offering to listen to their issues, it puts your problems into perspective.

Replace Negative with Positive

40-60% of addicts in recovery find themselves in danger of relapsing (The Recovery Village). Even going to rehab makes no guarantee. Keep your mind free from relapse urges by filling your days with healthy replacement “highs.” For instance, going for a walk on your lunch break provides a boost to your mood by connecting you to nature, as well as adding a physical accomplishment you can be proud of. Other healthy pick-me-ups include gym classes, community clubs, or nurturing a hobby.

Create Emotional Checks and Balances

Shield yourself from emotional pitfalls. When you are stressed, remind yourself of the struggle your life became when you masked stressful situations with drugs. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Take pride in the perseverance you have developed. But as I said earlier – a new career isn’t the type to toss out all the lessons and tools you learned to get your recovery in place. That extra effort you take to make it to a meeting or call a sponsor may, in the end, is as important as the gym. So balance your time.

Winners are just former losers who listened to the lessons from their losses. Your past might be loaded with disappointment and addiction. Utilizing your tools and seeking support, you can supplant that past with hope and work to make a future swelling with accomplishment.

If you are still struggling to get help. Several months back I posted about different options that exist, you may find it useful to revisit that post. Written initially for those trying to move past anxiety or an accident, some of the same resources apply. You can read the post here.

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The Power of Talk

If you are looking to start a business, you do a lot of thinking. But you always need to remember to talk. Yes, it can all get to be overwhelming. After all, there are many issues to think about. You need the right tools and resources, or you could fall into common pitfalls and risk losing your momentum early on. From the traditional “Informational Interview” to professional networking, engaging and talking to other professionals in and out of your area specialties is important. Here are a few crucial professionals when starting your business to ensure you have the best profits and least amount of expenses possible:

Accounting and Taxes

Taxes are nothing to play around with when it comes to your business. There could be significant consequences if you don’t have the right tax and business structure from the start. Get tax help from a pro, such as a CPA in Cleveland if you are based in that area. No matter where you are, make sure your tax professionals and accountants know that area.

They can also advise you on the best structures and accounting methods. You might need to write off inventory at the end of the year to catch a loophole or even have overseas parent companies if your situation is the right one for it. Don’t pay more than you have to, instead have additional cash to invest the way you want to by being smart from the start. According to J. Donohoe Associates, accountants help “provide solutions for businesses to efficiently manage, minimize, comply and plan their state and local taxes.”

Marketing

Marketing is the most crucial part of your image. If you don’t create it with the right branding, then the media will do it for you. And if you leave it up to them, you might not like what you say. Have active social media campaigns by hiring those who are the best at what they do. You won’t regret it.

Marketing professionals will show you what your brand needs in order to improve or appeal to your audience. It is this brand that will keep customers coming back. Don’t do anything to hurt that brand. Do all you can from social media interaction to digital marketing, and even contributing to fundraising efforts for various platforms. Positive reviews and outlooks toward your brand will make a huge difference for your business. If you aren’t sure how to bridge the emerging and changing social marketing landscape – check out my post “adopting the use of social media platforms in small business”  or the MentorSF Bootcamp and other sessions or contact me for help.

Product Creation

Without a great product, you won’t be able to increase sales, organic traffic, and revenue. Products that are inspiring will sell themselves by having customers want to share them with others. If you have a weak product but great marketing, then you are merely scamming people. So for the interest of higher profits and responsibility, seek the experts on how to make the best solution for your market. They can even help you design it in a way that reduces costs.

When it comes to starting a new business, it is not easy. It is essential that you speak with the right professionals so you can put your business in the best position to succeed. That way you don’t make mistakes that set you back regarding time and money. Instead, you can enjoy dominating your market by having the ear of experts in key fields.

 

        

What Your Smile Says About You

Posted March 20, 2018 By GuestSpot

“Smile! It increases your face value”

— from the movie “Steel Magnolias”

Your smile is one of the first things other people see. A beautiful smile can portray a person who is outgoing, friendly, likable, and approachable. It can show the world that you take care of your teeth and take pride in your appearance, but it also shows people that you “see” them with a more open perception. In our society, a beautiful smile says a lot about the person. Also, an unpleasant smile (or in many cases the lack of ever smiling) can often have a negative impact on an individual’s life. in a society where the first 3 seconds of meeting people make an assumption of you – a smile can be an important start to most things. To learn more about what your smile says about you, continue reading.

Are You Trustworthy?

Those with healthy, white teeth are often seen as more honest. People are more likely to trust you in relationships and business endeavors when you have a friendly smile. Part of the reason for this may be that people who take care of their teeth and appearance are often more likely to be more hardworking and ambitious.

How Friendly Are You?

A gentle smile often portrays an individual who is friendly and kind to others. People are much more likely to approach those who take care of their teeth. A beautiful smile can often mean more friends and better relationships with the people in your life.

Are You Happy?

People with healthy smiles are more likely to live happier lives than those who are unhappy with their appearance. Not only does a sweet smile boost your self-esteem and confidence, but it also impacts other aspects of your life such as relationships, jobs, and friendships.

How Healthy Are You?

Your dental health represents more than just the way you look. Good oral hygiene is linked to better overall health. Those with beautiful smiles tend to live longer lives and are less likely to suffer from conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and reduced immunity.

How Outgoing Are You?

Having a friendly smile and self-confidence often go hand in hand. Those who are more confident with the way they look are much more likely to be outgoing and have more friends. A gentle smile will help you feel more comfortable with approaching others, which can often mean better relationships and job opportunities, too.

Your smile is an essential part of your outward appearance and can significantly impact your life in various ways. Good dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist are crucial to maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile. According to Sabal General Dentistry, “improve the health and look of your smile with comprehensive cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments.” Visit a dentist today to book an appointment and obtain the beautiful smile you want to achieve. Don’t let the fear of visiting the dentist get in the way of your moving forward. Today’s new technology has greatly lessened the discomfort and time to give you a fresh new look.

 

        

It takes an effort to be a person.

Whether you are starting out in life as a high school graduate or running a company as a CEO, or have put your time in and getting life in order to enjoy a busy retirement, making efforts to become the best person you can be is going to pay off. This quick reminder is meant to give you extra motivation and leadership skills necessary to be triumphant along any stages of life’s journey.

Most modern philosophy and age-old wisdom point to the importance of having a well-rounded lifestyle as one of the best ways to be the best you, you can be. It’s important to remember the process of being your best person, is a journey. That means you have to come to grips with the fact that you will have plenty of starts, stops, breaks and even a few “oh that might not have been the best road to take” moments. In fact, those can lead you to some of the best moment of self-enlightenment. So if you think this is a linear process like your old school days, think again!  This is all about creating the “VIP Ticket ride” to being an engaged person.


Below are my favorite ways to start your journey to becoming a more well-rounded you and becoming more self-aware.

  1. Read: Subscribe to a newspaper or online news site. Keep informed of current events in your community. Also, there’s nothing wrong with taking time to dive into books, both fiction and nonfiction. Reading is proven to help improve your vocabulary and ability to concentrate. You can stay old school and use books or adapt to the new e-readers. In either case, keep at it. I tend to do both and with readers being less expensive now, keep my Kindle Oasis from Amazon for my backpack and poolside because of the extended battery built into the cover, an older Kindle Paperwhite reader by the bed, a Samsung Galaxy tablet for lunch breaks at work and one
  2. Listen: The more that you can focus on what other people are saying, the more interesting their stories will become to you and my “go everywhere” 9.7′ iPad Pro for the rest of the time. Yes I know that is a lot, but then I have them always synced and charged no matter where I am and when the moment strikes. Take pride in being a good listener, and people will want to talk to you and confide in you.
  3. Culture: Go outside of your comfort zone of who you are to understand the world around you. Take steps to learn about history, culture, and art. Doing this will help keep you feeling connected to the world. Gaining this type of insight is crucial if you want to be equipped to deal with your problems and the problems of other people. A good way to start this is getting creative. Try cooking or art. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to get you to try. For me, I launched my personal blog BiteTheRoad.com and often post about my new projects such as reusing old jewelry as Bookmarks and Planner Keepers.
  4. Come Up For Air: You can’t live your life online or in a book. Get your nose out of your smart device, book or other “prop” when at the coffee shop, or in public transit. Allows yourself to be part of the moment. Look around you. See whats around you. Say hello to people! Several easy reads are available including “The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone: How to Live Fearlessly, Seize Opportunity, and Make Each Day Memorable” and “#DoTheThing: Because comfort zones are boring“. Then once you read them – TALK about what you read, and think. Use #’s 1, 2, and 3 and 5 to make the reading real.
  5. Question: The true art of change is the ability to discover. But to discover, you have to learn to “question” what you see, hear and read. Being inquisitive isn’t about being nosey. Rather it’s about discovering the art of inquiry for the true sense of wonder and information. Take a read through “The Art of Finding Yourself” and see how to enrich your inquiry of yourself and the world around you.

Working Hard to Achieve Goals

Before you can work hard to achieve a specific goal you need to have a goal in mind. Having a goal is an essential part of being satisfied in life. For some people, merely having an intention to focus on can enliven creativity and hone in energy to focus more on the task at hand.

Sometimes, during this adventure, you may stumble, or a roadblock may appear. Remember, this is part of the plan. It is part of the hard work you have to put in to be successful. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are goals achieved in a day. Keep pushing forward and use those difficult times as growth opportunities to find new ways to accomplish your goals.

According to a study done by Krueger, actively pursuing goals in life can lead to a more satisfying lifestyle overall. This study claims that identifying a starting goal increases life satisfaction by 19 percent. So try to keep a goal in mind to live a healthier life.

As someone who has had the privilege to often work on projects that align with my passions even, I still need to take time to imagine and discover what goals and new achievements I see on the horizons. One book I am currently reading towards that is “Board and Brilliant” written by Manoush Zomorodi.  A new read that a friend had posted about his reading last month and his having had a chance to hear the author speak about the ways to “unlock your, most productive and creative self

Benefits

As you move forward in life’s journey, taking an active role in becoming the best person you can be while working hard to achieve goals in life will provide multiple benefits. One of the secrets to living a happy life is finding contentment. Understanding that the art of the successful journey, is “1 part staying in the moment, 1 part taking a risk, 1 part forgiving who you are and were and 1 part appreciating the experience of the end, is only the start of a new journey!

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Do I really need a call center?

If you are looking to improve your business, in addition to pushing past your comfort zone and looking at your marketability, another one of the areas you need to look at is how your communications system is laid out. For small business – we often forget to consider the process that clients reach out to us. Especially when they call your phone which for many people today usually doubles as a mobile phone. For the small businesses, you have to be prepared to act as the “call center” or consider getting one. Most large-scale operations need telephone operators for inbound and outbound calling. Call centers can be an efficient way to accomplish this need while playing into your overall philosophy. If you don’t take advantage of it, you might be missing chances to grow.

Message context and social content awareness

Here are some tips on how a call center can play into your overall business philosophy.

Not only are call centers good for large-scale operations, they are beneficial to small businesses, as well. The center can improve productivity which leads to increased profits. It is hard for someone to be in two places at once. Thus, when a customer wants to place an order, the call center is there to help so that the product can get sent out quicker. It is important to know what kind of call center you want to have. There are two basic types: customer service and sales. And with the implementation of a call center, one general purpose is that the call center is the primary point of contact for a business. Interacting with customers, building the brand, and showing that you care, can help your small business grow into something special.

Time

Quite simply, it takes a lot of time if you try to run a call center yourself. Not only do you need to deal with the employees, but their managers as well. Every little thing that goes wrong has to be dealt with. In outsourcing your call center operations, you enjoy more time for other things in your business.

Systemization

If you don’t have clear-cut systems in any business process, things are going to get lost in translation. Call centers have protocols that ensure your customers get the best service possible. And it today’s day and age, with digital technology like the internet connecting almost everyone through social media, blogs, and apps, it pays to have a company that you can trust to deliver a consistent experience that will generate a lot of goodwill in the marketplace.

Energy and Focus

A great call center will have the ability to do everything for you so that your energy and focus can remain on your highest strategic objectives. The last thing you want to do if you run a company is getting down in the trenches too often and lose sight of the bigger picture.

Cost Savings

With call center outsourcing, you get some cost reductions. You don’t need to have insurance and other benefits like vacation time. You also don’t have to worry about liability costs or the actual center itself like electricity and property taxes.

When it comes to overall business philosophy, there is the concept of defining an outcome and doing whatever it takes to get there. If you use call centers, you can enjoy some benefits. A call center can take a load off of your operations so you can be freed up to focus on the higher level things in your business. It also lets you automate the process and avoid paying higher costs for in-house employees. So don’t miss out on the opportunities that call centers have to offer. Consider how you can start implementing this plan in your company today.

Sources

https://roicallcentersolutions.com/service/call-center-outsourcing/

https://www.allbusiness.com/the-benefits-of-outsourcing-for-small-businesses-2-1084-1.html

http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/small/Op-Qu/Outsourcing.html

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