9 Traits of a Great Leader

A true leader can be defined by many qualities, but nine traits stand out as being especially important. Some of them may be new to you while you might agree instantly with the rest.

To help you grow into the leader you are meant to be, here are 9 traits of a great leader you should learn to internalize and adopt.

Demonstrates Trust

traits of a leader

Trust is the building block of effective delegation, effective teamwork and a happy and productive organization.

Having faith in your team is what makes you a leader and not the kind of micromanaging, look-over-your-shoulder type of boss that everyone hates working for.

To be effective, one of the first things you need to do is demonstrate trust in your team. You should let them learn rather than watch their every move.

Creates a Motivating Environment

leadership attributes

A motivated employee will always work better. That’s why great leaders find ways to keep their teams excited about their work.

Depending on your style and your staff’s needs, a motivating environment can be about fair pay, office snacks or letting them leave early if the day’s work is done.

Just make sure to learn the difference between motivating employees and babysitting them. If you want your company to operate like clockwork, then every member must learn to stand on one’s own two feet.

Sets and Communicates Clear Objectives and Goals

leadership quality

A leader is the bridge between the organization’s goals and the team’s actions. As the person who understands the big picture, it’s your job to make sure your team stays on track by relaying clear, specific objectives on an ongoing basis.

This way, your employees will always be in-tune with your organization’s goals and vision. Just make sure that what you’re asking for is fair and realistic to avoid stressing out your employees.

Supports and Empowers Others

good leadership skills

The more power your team members have, the stronger you are as their leader. That’s why it’s important to empower and support your subordinates so that they can rise up to challenges whenever necessary. Not only will this make your team better, it’ll also free up your time for more complex tasks.

And as you lend your support, they’ll pay you back in kind. This is the key to forming a symbiotic relationship that fosters motivation, collaboration and dedication to the team’s goals.

See Also: Helping Women Succeed In The Workplace

Commits to Follow-Through and Completion

good leadership qualities

Nothing is worse than working under a leader that leaves projects unfinished and throws words to the wind. Even a bad leader is better than an irresponsible one.

Don’t make this mistake. Be meticulous with your word and commit to seeing everything you start through—even if you have to force it. This way, you’ll lead by example and create a culture where everyone feels responsible for what they’re supposed to do.

Listens Attentively

leadership style

As a leader, you need people to listen to you. However, the best way to be heard is to listen when it’s their turn to speak.

Remember, team members don’t just look at you for orders. They also want support, attention, and feedback. In order to provide these things in a useful and constructive manner, learn to lend an ear to your subordinates.

Furthermore, a true leader understands the value of being a lifelong learner. Other than internal insights from your company, you can also learn a lot from the content of thought leaders, such as Tai Lopez and Jeff Bullas.

Remains Vision-Oriented

leadership traits

In addition to sticking to the company’s long-term goals, a great leader should always have a vision that’s motivating, simple and inclusive to other employees.

The latter is particularly important. No matter how great you are as a manager, your employees will never function at their fullest potential if they don’t buy your vision.

Fosters a Team Environment

leadership skills

Strong leaders don’t only have good relationships with their employees, they also encourage the entire team to cooperate in a constructive manner. This ensures that they will continue to work together when you’re not around.

Without a team-oriented environment, your staff is just a collection of people reporting directly to you. Fostering cooperation is, therefore, necessary if you want people to work as a single unit and thrive together towards the same direction.

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

Focuses on People, Not Tasks

traits of a great leader

Many early marketing theories treated team members like cogs in a large mechanism. Today, we know better than that. We understand that no two people are the same. Different individuals need different approaches to do a great job and it’s your duty as a leader to understand that.

When you need something done, don’t just focus on the tasks at hand. Give a careful thought on who’s going to do it and how you can encourage them to do their best work. This is the last but definitely not the least attribute of a great leader.

Great Leaders Are Made; Not Born

Vince Lombardi, a 6-time NFL Champion, 2-time Super Bowl champion and 2-time NFL Coach of the Year, once said that great leaders are made “by hard effort; the price all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

Remember that there is reciprocity in the corporate world. You receive what you give. Lead by example, work hard, and dedicate yourself to your team. Doing all these will inspire your employees to do the same for your organization.

 

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How To Get Funds For Your Mobile App Development Project

One major reason why some people cannot turn their great ideas into reality in the app industry is the lack of funds. Hiring a mobile app developer, testing iterations, and deploying a mobile app is very expensive and so many mobile app developers, especially start-ups, find it difficult to raise the required funds. As a result, many ideas that would have been turned into apps to better our lives never become reality.

Is it possible to raise funds for your mobile app development project like you can for most business ventures? Are there platforms that can provide funds for app developers?

If these are the exact same questions on your mind, you need to keep reading.

As a developer, keep in mind that apps under the following categories typically have access to more funds:

a. Apps for social networking or communities

b. Big budget games

c. Apps that are unique and original.

As to how to fund an app, here are some of the things you can do:

Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping means raising money through your present job, savings, investments or an alternate business. It is the most dependable source of funds for your app development project because you do not need to convince investors with proposals and presentations for them to fund you. Also, you do you need to relinquish any control of your business.

App Contests

Are you certain that you have a unique app that can change the world positively? If you are, participate in mobile app contests.

Many investors in the industry, including universities and technology companies, organize app contests where the winning idea gets funded. Though the contests are highly competitive and will require you to make a presentation of your idea before trained judges (who are mostly investors), it offers you the opportunity to ‘sell’ your idea to investors.

Friends and Family

One easy way to get funds for your idea is through friends and family. Before you approach investors or take a loan, meet your family members and your friends who believe in your idea. Orient them about your well thought-out business plan and offer them a stake in your profits, if possible. Funds from family and friends could act as equity when you want to take loans.

Loans

business investment loans

Taking out a loan is another option open to app developers for raising funds. With a great idea backed up by a promising business plan, banks can fund your idea.

Unfortunately, banks will not just give you money as easily as your friends and family would. You will have to prove to them that your product is unique and there is a ready market for it. Do not forget that you’ll have to repay those loans with interest.

See Also: 5 Ways Business Investment Loans Can Help Your Start-Up

Angel Investors

Angel investors are wealthy individuals and organizations who invest in ideas they believe in. They can easily give you seed funding to start your app development project. These individuals can fund your entire project if your app idea is achievable and your plan is detailed.

Before funding your idea, they may want to know the total amount of money you will need, your monthly expenses, your go-to market strategy, promotion plan, your technical and business capabilities among other things. Every year, angel investors invest $20 billion.

Venture Capital

Just like angel investors, venture capitalists can help you fund your app idea. It is strongly advised that you don’t approach venture capitalists at the early stages of your app development. As a matter of fact, you should wait until you require more than $1 million before seeking venture capital. Venture capitalists can offer you the capital you require in exchange for control of the business and ownership equity debt in the future.

Your Colleagues

asking colleagues

Asking your colleagues (who may have experience in the industry) to fund your idea in return for a share of the project is a great way to get money for your mobile app. It is a win-win situation for all parties as your colleagues, being shareholders in your business will be compelled to assist you, especially in marketing the app.

Your colleagues can also act as co-founders for the app. This, of course, will make them more committed to the growth and development of the business.

Partnership

Another way to fund your mobile app project is via partnership. You would need to find people who are interested in your idea so much that they are willing to fund it. After drawing up a partnership agreement, your partner will provide the financial support required for the execution of the project.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a new and effective means of accessing funds for your business. It involves making a request to targeted members of the public to invest in your project. You will be required to pay a service fee to the platform and a transaction fee to the payment processor.

Even though crowd funding is a good source of funds for your app, the disadvantage is that your idea could be stolen, since it involves sharing it with the public.

Sponsors

There are a few organizations that can fund your mobile app project in exchange for ads. You’ll agree to advertise their brand on your app project and receive funds in return. Sponsors will not have control over your app and their activities will not disturb the user experience.

Find a Major Customer

Some customers will be willing to bankroll your mobile app to be able to buy your product before the rest of the world does. They control the development stage to ensure it meets their requirements and also offer dedicated support for your app.

Raise Funds on your Website

If you have a popular blog with a loyal following, this is another option for you. On your website, describe your proposed app to your readers, ask them to make donations towards the app and, perhaps, offer them a gift. It can include the pre-order of the app or some monetary reward when the app is developed and launched.

Grants

You can get grants for your app development from government, local authorities, business links and others. To access these funds, you must, however, meet the eligibility criteria.

Build a Prototype

Another important way to raise funds for your app is to build a prototype or a first version of the app. Using funds from savings and family and friends’ contribution to build and launch your app will show investors that you are serious about the business. It is always easier to get funds to expand your business than to get funds for your ‘startup’.

See Also: 7 Smart Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Develop Their Own Mobile Apps This 2017

Conclusion

There are so many ideas on how to fund an app. The challenge is in finding what will work for you and your idea.

While some are simple and without strict conditions, others have implications. The entire process can be time-consuming and energy-sapping, but the results will be worth it.

 

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Seven Tips For Buying Cheap Appliances for New Homeowners

Home ownership is on the upswing for new couples and an important consideration that comes with house ownership is appliances. Without the right ideas, purchasing appliances can easily burn holes in any couple’s wallet. According to financial expert Howard Clark, just upgrading old appliances will cost an average of $1,033.

Fortunately, there are some valuable steps a new couple can take so they can get reliable but cheap appliances to meet their needs- without breaking the bank. Listed below are six of them.

Know What Features You Need Before Buying

Today’s technology can make it easy and tempting to spend money for features you don’t even need. Do you really need a stove with a built-in computer console or an ice maker on your refrigerator that can cube ice six different ways?

You probably don’t.

The hard truth is that the functionality between very expensive and cheap appliances is the same. Most of the time, they only differ in the extra features they can offer. When buying appliances, decide which features you truly need and compare them with the ones that are only nice to have.

Take Advantage of Holiday Sales

cyber monday

Appliances are often greatly marked down during holidays, like Christmas and Labor Day. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also great opportunities to save a lot of money.

Most new appliance upgrades are rolled out in September and October, making for great deals on older appliances. Refrigerators, however, are the exception as new models roll out in June.

Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate

Cars aren’t the only big-ticket items with negotiable price tags. Many items, including appliances, are negotiable as well.

Financial guru Howard Clark claims that only 33% of Americans are willing to haggle the price on appliances. Around 75% of them are able to save an average of $100 per appliance. For others, they get discounts when they pay cash. In some cases where discounts aren’t offered, customers can get free delivery and installation. Some even get free haul away of the old appliances

You’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Buy Pre-owned Appliances

Often, when people want to upgrade to more features, they sell their old appliances on Craig’s List and other venues at greatly reduced prices. These appliances usually have a lot of life in them and are perfectly functional. People just want to get rid of them so they can upgrade to a model with more bells and whistles.

Don’t Overlook Scratch and Dent

Dealers will sell “scratch and dent” appliances at large markdowns. This is a chance to save anywhere from 10 to 50% off of the retail price.

Don’t worry about getting damaged appliances. Those scratches and dents aren’t that noticeable unless you’re really looking for them. Plus, they don’t affect the functionality of the appliances.

Don’t Forget Security

home security system

While you’re getting new appliances, don’t forget to invest in a good home security system to protect them. Most systems come with a convenient app for your security and peace of mind.

See Also: 10 People in Urgent Need of Smart Home Security Systems

Do Your Research

This is one of the most important things you should do when looking for cheap appliances. Compare different brands, prices and features when you visit dealers and you’ll be surprised at the price differences same items have. Use the information you collected in deciding which features you really need and which are mere luxury items.

Buying cheap appliances may seem like a daunting task. Modern technology has made everything more complicated in many ways, but most appliances still have the same basic features that they have had for the past 40 years. Hopefully, this article is able to give you some ideas to get the best deals for your money.

 

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4 Powerful Ways To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals Through Tough Times

Have you ever gotten excited about your New Year’s resolutions only to have them fizzle out mere weeks after? This is a common enough story and we’ve all been there. When the “fresh start effect” fades away, your determination falters and the first bump on the road often signals the end of the journey.

So, what can we do to keep our motivation high for the longer run? Here are 4 great ways to stay motivated.

Listen to your heart

goal vision

If you want to feel motivated in the long term, choose a goal with your heart. When an objective comes from your heart, it will be easier to stick with it through tough times. You will make sacrifices more readily when it is clear what you are making them for.

Dig inside yourself and get in touch with the vision that you have behind your goal. If your objective is to eat healthy or exercise, what is your underlying vision? Maybe a vision of yourself in good health, fit, slim and happy.

Whatever that vision is, take a moment to visualize the person you aspire to build. It will help you see meaning in everything you do.

For example, why would you put your sneakers on and go for a run instead of watching a TV series? The sofa might be more tempting than the effort. However, if you go back to your vision, the choice will come effortlessly.

Go after goals which are genuinely yours and you will find plenty of motivation to make them happen.

See Also: How to Set Personal SMART Goals To Succeed

Align your habits with your long-term goals

One day, I checked my own goals and tried to determine what the difference was between those that I achieved easily and those I seemed to struggled with. And I found a clear pattern.

I have a few long-term goals, like maintaining a certain weight or getting a new degree before I reach 40. I realized that I do well with the first one, less so with the second one.

Why do I seem to have a two-speed motivation?

I’m not less motivated in getting a new degree. The problem is that I have nowhere to start from. My weight goal, on the other hand, is linked to short-term goals or habits, such as eating 5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day, eating fish twice a week and exercising at least four times a week. These daily and weekly habits help me reach my long-term objective.

I haven’t set any corresponding habit for my degree goal. And I’m not going to achieve it just by looking at it…

The secret of success lies in the things we do regularly, like our daily and weekly habits. These habits must be aligned with the vision we have.

Having a vision is not enough. It must be translated into small daily steps. If we only have a vision or a long-term goal, we will feel overwhelmed by the mission and we won’t know where to start from.

Sometimes, it’s the other way round and we struggle to ingrain new habits. In that case, the long-term goal may be missing. For example, it’s much easier to find the motivation to go for a run when you have registered for a race or when you aim at getting your beach body back in time for the summer season!

The alignment between habits and a long-term vision works both ways. Having habits that are aligned to a long-term objective gives us the motivation to reach the end goal and sustain good habits.

When you struggle with one of your goals, check whether it’s a habit or a long-term goal. If it’s a habit, make sure that you have a corresponding vision. Why do you want to ingrain this habit?

If it’s a long-term goal that you struggle with, try and set up a daily or weekly habit that will help you get there.

See Also: 7 Habits I Started Last Year That Dramatically Changed My Life

Reward yourself

reward system

We all know that we are more motivated to do something when there is a reward at stake. The pleasure induced by a reward reinforces the activity which helped get the reward. This is called extrinsic motivation. It can be helpful to kick-start the process when intrinsic motivation is a bit low.

A simple way to introduce rewards is to plan/get/offer the rewards yourself. You need to set the bar properly. You need to do a decent effort to get it.

It can’t be too difficult or you may end up feeling discouraged. It can’t be too easy or you’ll get the reward without the need for motivation.

You also need to define a goal or reward system that makes sense. Eating junk food for a week if you manage to lose three kilos is probably not the best choice! Ideally, the reward and the effort should be somehow aligned. This will help create a virtuous circle.

Buying a smaller dress when you lose a few kilos and getting a massage after a few weeks of physical training are good examples. These rewards will help you build milestones on your path to a better you. They’ll become the symbols of your positive behavior change.

Reassess your goals over time

We can also keep motivated to reach our goals by changing goals!

Goals must be alive and reassessed regularly. It’s important to realize that because monotony is a big motivation killer.

When we set a new goal, we generally improve quite rapidly at the beginning. If you start exercising two or three times a week, you’ll be able to notice progress session after session. Then, it’ll get harder to improve and the progression curve gets less steep. This can be a little demotivating.

We can introduce excitement by having a few stable goals combined with some temporary ones. I want to lose weight, wake up early, exercise and read regularly. These are my core goals which I’m keeping for the long run. In addition to these core goals, I’ll try other things, such as journaling for a month, then learning chess, or cooking, etc.

You may sometimes adjust your goals down. If one of my goals is to play the guitar for 2 hours a week while I barely manage to play more than 30 minutes for a few weeks in a row, I may lose my motivation to eventually hit the target. In such a case, I may be well inspired to target 1 hour instead.

When the target is a little higher than what we are already doing, it pushes us to take a small step and fill the gap. When the target is too high, it becomes counter-productive. Why would I do an extra step if I stay so far anyway?

You can also give up on a goal when you don’t feel like pursuing it anymore or when you have already ingrained the habit and don’t need to monitor it any longer. Our aspirations evolve over time.

When a goal doesn’t make you dream anymore, it’s often better to let it go than drag it along painfully. You shouldn’t feel guilty about giving up goals as it’s natural. But, that doesn’t mean we should stop as soon as the first difficulty arises. It’s a matter of balance.

Take a break

It is also a good idea to take breaks at times, hit the pause button and do something else. It can be very beneficial. Even professional athletes take a break between two seasons in order to recover physically and mentally. They get back to training all pumped up for the new season.

Do the same when you feel tired. It will help you get refreshed and hungry.

Don’t forget to set a date for your come back though!

Once a month or every other month, try and take an “appointment with yourself” and review your goals. Assess what works well, update your goals and refine your strategies. These are some of the best ways to stay motivated and reignite your desire to go ahead.

 

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3 Easy Ways To Stay Positive When Dealing With A Difficult Boss

“It’s impossible.”

“It will cost too much money and time.”

“Your ideas always sound stupid.”

“Your plan is going to fail. Your last project failed and this will, too’.

If your boss is always making those statements, you probably have a negative boss.

The truth is, there are different types of bosses. There’s the good, the bad, the crazy and the ugly. A negative boss ranks somewhere between crazy and ugly. Bosses in this category never believe any good will come out of your ideas, plans or projects at the firm.

Well, the real problem isn’t just the boss’ negativity, but the probability of you becoming less productive and more pessimistic.

Now, here is the good news. You can always say no to negativity.

Below are three easy ways to stay positive when dealing with a difficult boss.

Feed Your Mind

feed your mind

“Be cautious of what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.” – Steve Maraboli

The stress of a negative boss should propel you to feed your mind constantly with positivity. There are so many ways to tap into positivity. You can take up meditation, prayer, or strongly tell yourself words of affirmation. The main deal is making the positive outweigh the negative in your head.

This simple method helped my friend Nick stay positive at his job. Nick had a negative boss who tended to get abusive. There was a time he called Nick daft in a meeting and ordered him to shut up and sit. Despite that, Nick never lost his smile and his secret was positive affirmations.

He started telling himself that he was brilliant. He reminded himself that he graduated at the top of his class and he called himself world-class material. Six months later, Nick resigned and joined an international organization as a team leader.

While your boss reminds you constantly of your weakness, remind yourself constantly of your strengths and harness them. Your mind is your greatest tool, so sharpen it with positive thoughts always.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

Be Realistic

“Never assume that every critic is a hater. Not everyone is hating on you. Some people are telling you the truth.” – Harvey Specter

Although your boss is a cynic, his views may sometimes be honest criticism. To maintain a positive mindset in spite of constant criticism, you should be your first critic. Always find and fill the loopholes in your idea before presenting it to your boss.

A negative boss will look for all the reasons why your idea cannot work. Instead of feeling bad about it and letting the criticism snowball into negativity, beat it by stating the potential problems of your plan and offer solutions.

Imagine a case where your boss points out to four problems with your idea and you immediately give four solutions. The boss would have no choice but to agree with you and that would be your win.

Limit Interaction with the Boss

limit interaction with the boss

 

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Negativity spreads very fast and before you can say “Trump”, you have become a pessimist. To prevent this, limit personal communication with the negative boss. Do not let him get into your mind. Ban him from bringing down your self-esteem and don’t get all cozy and personal.

Your boss probably spent years becoming negative and it would take an even longer time for him to become positive. While talking positively may help brighten up your boss, his own thoughts may drag you down. It is better to recommend a psychologist instead of becoming an emotional punching bag.

Conclusion

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is always easier to run from negative bosses than stay positive in the same work environment. However, you never know what annoying habits your next boss may have. So, take the tough route and build some emotional muscle in dealing with a difficult boss while you’re looking for better opportunities.

See Also: 5 Simple Lessons to Break the Shackles of People’s Negativity

 

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How To Fail-Proof Your Business From The Beginning

Building a business from the ground up is not easy. There’s a whole culture surrounding startups these days and you’ll often hear about the “lean startup” or how you only need to work 2 hours on your business and still make money. The reality is, you’re very likely going to be working a lot more than two hours a week for a very long time, and even then you aren’t guaranteed success.

One of the hardest lessons in life is that you can do everything right and still fail. Nowhere is this more evident than in the failure rates of small businesses in the United States. Approximately 20% will fail before their first year, more than a third will fail before two years, half will fail by year 5, and 70% will fail by year 10.

Sometimes the circumstances are truly out of your control, but there are still a lot of things you can do to fail-proof your business before you even get started.

Make A Business Plan

business plan

Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail, as the old saying goes. And, apparently, it’s one of the most common reasons why businesses fail.

You shouldn’t just be picking out office furniture and paint colors during the planning phase. In fact, those things should come later.

Primarily, you need to plan what kind of business will do well, where it will thrive and who would be the best people to help you run it. Among the things you should consider carefully are the following points:

Location: Are you in a location where there is an abundance of talent, relatively low business taxes, enough infrastructure for your needs and room for business growth?

Competition: Can you withstand the competition or are you in a sector that is highly competitive when it comes to market share?

Team: Are you choosing the right people for the job or just taking anyone with a resume and a pulse?

Cash Flow Management: Can you deal with the ups and downs of cash flow when customers don’t pay you and you still have to pay rent?

Flexibility: Are you able to turn on a dime if you catch a hint of a shifting market?

The above is where most businesses fail and thinking about how to mitigate these problems at the outset is the first step in building a business that lasts.

See Also: How Awareness In Business Can Predict Your Future Success

Know Your Strengths, But Also Know The Strengths Of Your Community Or Sector

business location

Four of the top five worst places to start a business in the United States are in California, Stockton, Modesto, San Bernadino and Santa Rosa and it’s because of the high poverty rate and low education in the areas.

If you are in any one of these places, you have to carefully plan your business strategy.

Location is important, but so is industry. Healthcare is one of the most successful types of businesses to start while construction and transportation are some of the worst.

Does your town have good infrastructure? It’s going to be hard to start a tech business if you’re somewhere that still uses dial up. Shipping things out? Hope you have access to a major shipping company hub, like UPS Worldport in Louisville, Kentucky.

Having access to top talent is another concern when you are starting a business. If you are starting a business in a place that doesn’t have a university, you’re likely to starve for talent as your company grows. If you’re setting up shop in a place with high poverty, chances are the folks who need jobs the most aren’t going to have the education needed.

Take a look around as you are planning your business and determine what industry would fit your location. Don’t be afraid to move if you can’t get what you need in your current community.

See Also: 4 Key Ideas To Help Your Passion-fuelled Business Take Off Fast!

Businesses Fail Frequently, But Yours Doesn’t Have To

A little extra planning can go a long way when starting a business. Learn more about why businesses fail from this infographic and then do a serious audit of your business plan or current business.

Have you built something that can last or something that will barely survive the next major market shift? Is your team up to snuff? You owe it to your business to ask the hard questions.

Source

WhyBusinessesFail

 

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You Can’t Miss Your Boat

I know quite a few people who spend a fair bit of time thinking about all the might have beens, what-ifs and opportunities they’ve missed. They spend their lives constantly feeling like they’ve missed out on something big.

Their boat has sailed.

They’ve missed their one and only opportunity to be rich, famous and do something really amazing.

I know someone who used to enter the same numbers in the lottery every week. One week, she was too busy to get the ticket before the agency closed.

And her numbers came up.

There were no winners that week and the jackpot money rolled over to the following week: 10 million pounds.

She’s never forgiven herself. The lady that used to go halves on the tickets with her never forgave her either.

Since then (this happened more than 20 years ago), she’s lived her life feeling like she’s missed her boat, the only opportunity she’ll ever have to be happy. It’s gone and that’s it. She lived like she must be miserable, bitter and twisted because she failed to do something. She felt like she didn’t deserve to be anything else.

I suspect most of us would be pretty upset if that happened to us.

Now, the question is, would we allow it to rule the rest of our lives? Or should we consider the possibility that it happened for a reason?

What if, instead of spending more than 20 years beating herself up, that lady had said to herself:

“Isn’t it interesting that THAT happened? I wonder why it happened THAT way? Since I KNOW that everything always happens FOR me and not TO me, this happening can only be for my good. So, although it looks like a major setback, it’s neither a mistake nor a missed opportunity. Ooh, I wonder what life does have planned for me.”

Now, I’ll admit that I’d have a VERY hard time saying anything along those lines for quite a while if something like that happened to me.

But, if I knew that I was putting every effort into being wealthy or happy, then I would also know that just because something didn’t happen the way it OUGHT to happen, everything will still be alright. I will be able to relax and let it go.

Nothing ever happens TO me, but everything always happens FOR me.

Just because I can’t see how something can possibly be moving me towards my goals doesn’t mean it isn’t. So long as I’m keeping my eye on my goals, everything that happens is the Universe moving me towards my goals.

It’s definitely easier said than done, particularly at first.

But it is doable.

It’s simply a choice. You haven’t missed your boat. It just wasn’t the boat you thought it was. Your boat is still there.

Your boat is still waiting.

But, if you’re standing on the dock, staring at someone else’s boat, feeling miserable because you think you’ve missed out or you think someone else’s boat looks better or because you think your boat should look like that…

Then, you’re never going to get on your own boat.

waiting goals

 

You’re never going to live your own life.

Stop looking at someone else’s life and wishing yours was like that. Be present to what it is YOU want.

See Also: 4 Sure-Fire Ways to Motivate Yourself to Reach Your Goals

Tips On Achieving Goals

writing goals

  • Write about how you want your life to look in great detail.
  • Keep writing it weekly at first, then monthly.
  • Write a bucket list.
  • Write about how your day is going to go EVERY DAY.
  • Tell yourself how your life is going to go.
  • Look for evidence that it’s going that way and ignore all evidence that contradict it.
  • Focus and put energy into what IS working.
  • Notice what ISN’T working and write about how you DO want it to look.
  • Don’t waste time beating yourself up because things aren’t going as you think they ought to.
  • Keep your eyes on the goal and move towards it.

See Also: Writing Therapy: How It Can Make Your Life Easier

Remember: Everything happens FOR you, not TO you.

Your boat is waiting for you. Don’t waste your life crying over someone else’s boat. Step onto your own.

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3 Ways Your Circle of Friends Determine How Far You’ll Go in Life

You’ve heard it countless times.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

The reason why so many people are unsuccessful today or haven’t begun their journey to success is that they take the said statement too lightly.

Are you one of those people?

Maybe you’ve been keeping your fingers crossed and hoping your current friends would wake up and change. You keep giving them chances, yet nothing happens.

Newsflash: People rarely change. If they do, it usually takes a tremendous amount of consistent effort to change their habits.

But, did you know that your circle of friends could determine where you’ll be in terms of success?

You might not notice it yet, but take a moment to reflect on your friends’ attitudes, words and actions. It’s best to write them down or type them on a screen so you could see and cast proper judgment.

How do friends influence your life? Observe these three things and you’ll get a clearer idea.

You Start Thinking the Way They Do

watching anime

More often than not, we start to mimic people who surround us. It’s Biology.

We use it as a bonding method and to encourage social interaction with people who we want to like us.

How do friends influence your life?

If your friends are always complaining, chances are, your mind will be filled with complaints daily and you won’t even know it.

And this is exactly why I asked you to carefully reflect on your encounters with your friends.

In high school, I remember spending time with a group of people who were fans of Anime movies and TV shows.

Nobody I’m related to watches Anime and I didn’t grow up being too exposed to it. However, after being with that particular group in high school, I started to watch Anime TV shows and movies as well.

Of course, today, I no longer hang out with that group and my interests have changed. This strengthened my point further.

The good news? You always have a choice.

If you see yourself growing with your current circle of friends, good for you! If not, take action to change that.

Remember, everything starts out with a thought. Right now, if your thoughts aren’t already gearing you up for your dream life, take a closer look at the environment you’re in.

We can’t change how you got here, but you can steer yourself to where you want to be by first changing the way you think and the ones who influence your thoughts.

See Also: How To Design Your Circle of Friends

You Act the Same Way as Them

anime influenced by friends

Like my example earlier about the Anime group, I started to act like them.

I learned words I’ve never heard of before and went to events I never thought I’d be in. I even started cutting my hair similar to the characters I watched!

Did you notice this about yourself?

Even in subtle ways, our friends’ behavior could influence the way we act. It could be the way they flip their hair or how they play with their fingers.

What more when it’s toxic habits?

There are still people who have REALLY good willpower.  But, the general rule is we tend to act like the ones we spend the most time with.

One of my sisters used to have a weight problem. She was obese the first fifteen years of her life. On the year she turned seventeen, she lost over sixty pounds.

One of the people she hangs out with the most is a friend from the gym.

My sister would come home with different kinds of healthy food recommended by her friend and tells me about new workout places that we could go to. Never in a million years did I expect this to come out of her mouth before she started losing weight.

She was the sister who couldn’t stop eating all the time and would just disappear whenever you started talking about exercise.

Her biggest factor? Her friends!

They had similar goals and aspirations, so they helped bring her to the direction she wanted to be!

Whether it’s losing weight, creating more networks or building your startup, your friends will be your guide and support group.

Besides, whenever they’re doing their own thing, you can’t help but be inspired and challenge yourself to new heights.

They Could Expand Your Network and Give Valuable Connections

It’s not about what you know; it’s who you know.

Who you’re associated with can either increase or decrease your value to another person.

Let’s say, if you’re associated with Bill Gates, you’re more likely to be viewed as a VIP.

If you hang out with friends who are known in the business field, you’ll most likely be introduced to like-minded people and even be associated with their traits.

And you shouldn’t limit yourself to offline friends either!

You can have online friends with whom you can exchange ideas and insights with. You can even attend activities, like webinars, together.

Picture yourself living exactly the way you want. You’ll thank your family, relatives, mentors, coaches and supporters.

Do you think you could say the same to your friends?

See Also: Making Friends and Increasing Business Contacts is Easy If You Know These 7 Secrets of Socially Successful People

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Changing Trends in the Way Families Buy Homes

Owning a home gives families a sense of independence and security. However, in buying a house, numerous factors influence the family’s choice. They may face economic, socio-cultural, psychological, demographic and personal issues.

In the past, all decisions related to buying a home were primarily made by the male members of the family. However, in today’s times, the same decision is now unanimously taken. All family members can voice their opinions and all needs and preferences are taken into consideration, irrespective of age or gender.

Let’s look at the some of the changing trends affecting the way families buy homes.

A Shift from Joint Family Set-ups to Nuclear Lifestyles

nuclear lifestyle

In earlier times, most family set-ups were joint, with closely-related members living in their ancestral home. But, as the population and economy of the country grew, this previously popular lifestyle saw a major shift.

Today’s nuclear family set-up created radical changes in the family’s process of buying a house. There are fewer members in a nuclear family and buying decisions have aligned in the same direction. One good example is space. Fewer family members won’t need as much space so houses tend to be smaller.

Placing children’s needs at the forefront

While making any property-related buying decision, parents and grandparents tend to consider the needs of their children to a great extent. They opt for houses which are airy, well-lit and which have a positive impact on their children’s growth, health and well-being.

Parents also put sufficient thought on their kids’ safety. They take into account the community’s recreational amenities, like parks, pools or playgrounds when buying a house. Additionally, families tend to prefer residential properties which have good schools in the vicinity along with options for extracurricular activities. Parents are more than willing to compromise on their own needs as long as they meet their children’s needs.

Compact homes over out-sized properties

Nuclear families these days prefer compact and self-sufficient homes. This justifies the large number of families opting for space-efficient apartments and flats over sprawling properties.

One good reason families prefer flats over stand-alone properties is because of better social interaction. In addition to that, maintaining a large property can also be quite a hassle, especially when the family is small. Apartments are also more secure and homey for such family size.

Accessibility and proximity

school accessibility

Most apartment complexes today offer convenience to attract more families to buy them. Malls, clubs and sports facilities are all within walking distance of these complexes so families won’t have to spend any time or money on transportation. A lot of them offer basic needs, too. Grocery stores and dry cleaning services are usually just a few feet away from them.

If a housing complex just offers apartments, then families will look for flats that are in close proximity to important facilities, like schools, healthcare, medical stores and retail outlets for added convenience. With the basic amenities within a stone’s throw from their homes, efficiently managing day-to-day activities and maintaining a good work-life balance becomes much easier for smaller families.

Properties with resale value

Families tend to move to larger homes in better locations as their financial status improves. Job changes or increase in the number of family members are also plausible reasons why families look to upgrade to a larger or better home. Thus, families prefer buying homes in prime locations that have a good resale value in the future. For instance, according to a Knight Frank survey, home buyers prefer to move to newer projects with better facilities and those that are closer to the city.

See Also: 10 Important Home Features That Home Buyers Want

To sum it up

With improvement in job prospects, purchasing power and lifestyle, families have undergone a shift in terms of how they invest in properties. There has been a considerable change in the past two decades and families have started weighing in many factors which were earlier considered unimportant while buying a home.

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Do You Know What To Do In A Ride Sharing Accident?

Ride sharing and ride hailing are often lumped together, but the two services are completely different. One is more like a taxi while the other is more like a bus. What’s not different about the two is that there is still a lot of confusion about who is legally responsible if there is an accident.

Because drivers don’t usually need commercial insurances even though they are performing a duty for which they are getting paid, insurance companies are often reluctant to pay up in the event of an accident.

To clear things up, here’s what you need to know.

Ride hailing is common

ride sharing

Over half of adults in the United States have heard of a ridge hailing or ride sharing app, but only about 15% have used one. This brings a lot of confusion about what it is, what the legal ramifications are as well as its regulations.

Most people who use these services are affluent and between the ages of 18 and 49. 29% of college graduates have used these services as well.

A little over a third of all adults believe that ride sharing services should be treated like commercial taxi services, while about the same percentage of frequent ride sharing users believe the same thing. Even though the liability is the same, most people don’t believe ride hailing drivers are no different from taxi drivers.

More states and municipalities are starting to realize the legal gaps that are occurring with these services and are making attempts at patching them up. It’s likely that more regulations will be passed in the future to protect both driver and passenger.

If you are a driver, you may not be covered

Driving for a ride sharing or ride hailing service can be risky if you don’t pay extra for commercial insurance. Unfortunately, this is a catch-22 because most companies pay so little that you would pay more for commercial insurance than you would end up making in fares.

Currently, New York City requires drivers to carry commercial insurance, which is as much to protect the drivers as it is to protect the riders. What if you are in an accident on your way to pick up a fare and your insurance doesn’t want to pay up? Or worse, if they do pay up and end up raising your rates for the next several years?

It’s definitely worth checking into your coverage before deciding to work a side hustle. The coverage provided by the ride sharing and ride hailing services might not be enough to protect you.

If you are a passenger, you might not be covered, either

Between 2014 and 2016, for-hire vehicle accidents more than tripled. As more and more people are using these services, there will understandably be more accidents.

A ride sharing insurance coverage can fill in the gaps when the driver’s insurance doesn’t want to pay out. However, as lawsuits involving these services are also on the rise, you could find yourself caught up in the middle.

If you are a ride sharing or ride hailing passenger and you are in an accident, here’s what you need to do:

ride sharing accident

  • Get help at the scene

Getting a police report ensures that the facts won’t change after you leave the scene. Getting medical attention is the first step in documenting any injuries you may have.

  • Get information from the driver

Again, gathering the facts at the scene is the best way to ensure they don’t change. Get as much information as possible, like contact information, insurance details and data on the ride hailing service you got.

  • Have your injuries treated

You may think you are fine, but car accident injuries can become more serious over time, particularly if there’s no prompt treatment.

  • Keep track of medical bills and expenses, including any lost work

From day one, write down any work you missed because of the accident and any bills you accrue. Keep receipts whenever possible as this will help you get reimbursements.

See Also: 5 Financial Emergencies Everyone Must Be Prepared For 

  • Decide whether you will need to hire a lawyer to recoup your costs

Sometimes, insurance companies are happy to pay up right away just to close the case. Other times, they may not be as willing and you’ll need help to get reimbursements for your expenses.

See Also: Timeline Of A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Coverage requirements vary based on location

From state to state and even from city to city, coverage requirements can vary widely.

The state of California requires an additional $1 million in liability coverage when drivers are en route and while they have passengers. Minnesota requires an additional $1.5 million in coverage for the same situation. In some places in the world, like France, ride hailing and ride sharing drivers need to be licensed professionals.

Knowing a little about the risks now, do you think these services should be treated like professional driving services or are you OK with taking the risk?

Learn more about what to do if you are involved in a ride sharing accident from the infographic below.

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