Fantastic Business Opportunities During Recession Will Make You Rich

Introduction

Any recession brings with it heartache and misery, we’ve been through it many times before. But for those with foresight, strong management discipline, and dare I say, “balls”, there are always business opportunities during a recession that can provide decades of wealth to follow.

The smart prosper and get rich in times of recession. The money may not turn up for a few years, but it is an incredible opportunity to build the foundations of future wealth.

OK, so this seems to be going in the face of all the doom and gloom that is common, but isn’t that just the point?  If you do the same thing as everyone else, you’ll get the same results as everyone else.

“Fortunes are lost in the boom and made in the bust” JP Morgan

If you want to break above the pack – you need to be brave, adventurous, opportunistic, and disciplined. Keep the long term in sight and don’t be blind-sided by short-term problems – even if they do appear to be very deep and likely to be prolonged.

Here are some guiding thoughts to keep you focussed and positive.

The Fan is Now Covered in the Proverbial

Well, as of early March it’s officially here – pandemic and pandemonium! It is inevitable that the world will now experience a recession – possibly a really bad one.

The only question now is how deep and how long?

Naturally, you’re concerned about staying at home for extended periods of self-isolation with the associated social impacts. That’s taking up most of the press and social media space these days.

But what about my business you ask? Can I survive? How will we cope? Will we get to the bridge to the other side? Or even if we make it to the bridge, will be able to cross?

The reality is that not everyone will. Large numbers of businesses will go bust and never reappear. Whole industries will be devastated. These are irrefutable facts.

But if you have a strong business, and are prepared, this is an incredible opportunity. If you keep the long game in sight, there are fantastic opportunities that will make you rich. This can provide the foundation for decades of future wealth.

Fundamental Recessionary Truths

Firstly, we need to get your eyes out of your ar**, and out of the sand and get focussed on the opportunity.

Let’s look first at what we know from previous downturns and recessions. Yes, we’ve been there before, so looking backward helps to give us some much-needed perspective.

The weakest businesses will inevitably go broke, and business failures will then move up the chain to the stronger.

But why do they go broke?

The first impact of recessionary times is that spending dries up. When the media is full of bad news, it is natural for people to panic and start developing a siege mentality. Note the hoarding of essential supplies like toilet paper and canned food.

Cash is guarded and simply doesn’t move through the economy anymore.

It’s normal in recessionary times for unemployment and insolvency to increase faster than the drop in demand!

Cash flow is the number one cause of business failures. It begins to look very different as payments are delayed and collections slow. Cash flow cycles can double, and firms with weaker margins struggle to maintain their finances and eventually go broke.

For every firm that goes under, its customer base is forced to find a new supplier. So the survivors get more business!

But this is not an evenly spread reallocation! Some do not have the strength to seize the opportunity.

At the deepest part of the recession, you find many firms that are treading water, they are like rabbits in the spotlight – they give up and just wait for the inevitable, or limp through to the other end.

If 20% of the weakest competitors have gone broke, the remaining 80% that are left now have more work than they had at the start in the good times before the recession, and are ready to benefit from the recovery.

The panic subsides; the talking heads wake up and the now record profits being earned by the survivors begin the start of the next boom.

Industry Lessons From the Past

Whether caused by an epidemic, pandemic, or financial crisis, only one recession in modern recorded history has lasted long. The Great Depression lasted several years, but almost every other recession in the developed world was over within 6-9 months.

The global effort being thrown at COVID-19 is phenomenal – from trillions of funding support for business, employees, infrastructure and the like. As well as the concerted effort of the world’s pharmaceutical companies to find a vaccine and improved testing regimes.

When we come out, it is likely to be with a bang, but also most likely in a two-speed economy, as we recover from the psychological shock of the pandemic.

Wealth Building Secrets

There are four ways in which stronger companies in each industry can gain during a recession:

  1. Increased market share gained by picking up sales from weaker competitors that no longer exist;
  2. Increased margins as with fewer competitors, customers, and clients have fewer options.  This is even more valuable than increased sales;
  3. Ability to recruit the best personnel – top quality staff that had been working for weaker competitors. This is an opportunity to build knowledge and skill base at a rapid rate; and
  4. Acquisition of weaker competitors at bargain prices – giving a jump-start on customers, capacity, supply lines, and market reach.

Cash is King

Cash is important for two reasons. To protect your business, and to be in the best position to take advantage of the business opportunities that present themselves during a recession.

Manage your cash. Make sure you owe little or no bank debt and that you treat cash as more precious than your competitors. Wherever possible, reduce or eliminate your debt.

Replace fixed costs with variable costs to give better pricing and margin flexibility.

Reign in your Accounts Receivable – don’t be slack in collecting debts. Remember credit is a privilege, not a right. It might be too late in the cycle by now, but try to maintain a war chest – have funds available to take advantage of opportunities as they arise – liquidation auctions for equipment as an example.

This will immediately elevate you up the chain of strength in your industry and put your competitors at more risk.

As you experience an increase in demand following competitor failures, it will mean increased spending on raw materials, funding accounts receivables, and the like. Get good at forecasting or the expansion might overwhelm you.

Expand your borrowing capacity with a line of credit. Generally, you want to reduce your gearing (debt to equity), but having access to cash gives you the ability to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. And they will!

Decisive Action Steps

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There are several business opportunities for growth during a recession. We have touched on some of them. Here is a list of specific actions you can take to become a stronger player in your industry.

Build on Your Advantages

Continually develop and maintain your competitive advantage. Understand why customers select you and reinforce these strengths, highlight them against weaker competitors. During a recession, people revert back to basics. If you have the best solution for their problem, need or want, then they should increase their visitation to you at the expense of others.

Target Weaker Competitors

Watch to see which competitors are struggling and actively target their customers. Help to drive them out, so you can take over their customers, or make an offer to acquire the business at a bargain-basement price.

Actively seek to greedily take advantage of your competitors in a downturn in your sector.

Get the Best People

As your weaker competitors struggle, start poaching their best people with promises of better job security (and/or conditions).

Also, improve your benefits and pay structure to keep your current employees happy even when other companies aren’t doing as well

Acquire Suitable Competitors

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Look for opportunities to buy out your weaker competitors once you identify any prospects worth buying, rather than simply leaving them to close down and stop competing.

This will give you a larger customer base, increased economies in purchasing, advertising and marketing, administration and overhead, production capacity, and so on.

The Return on Investment from such acquisitions can be terrific, especially at a time of such low interest rates. This is one of the best strategies for business growth opportunities during a recession.

Increase Margins

Lastly, use the reduced competition that comes with a recession to increase your margins so that your business becomes increasingly stronger as the recession continues.

If you have successfully built and defended your competitive advantage, use it to increase margins: only this will ensure you’re the strongest player in your industry. 

Diversify your Customer Base

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Market downturns are a good time to expand your market spread. Increase your market share and broaden your focus to include existing and new customers that will be strong during a recession.

Be strategic and make the short-term investments required to attract them, which may include volume or length of contract-based discounts or specific promotions. Get creative.  

Maintain a Winning Psychology

Be brave. Develop a positive, winning attitude rather than being caught up in the doom and gloom that pervades society and business circles in these times.

Be opportunistic and keep an eye open for possibilities. Look at this as a once-in-a-lifetime chance – the business opportunities during a recession can be leveraged to build long term wealth creation. Wealth that will last for decades.


Reposted with permission from www.transitioncapital.com.au – original article by David Shelton


20 Tips on What is the Key to a Successful Business?

In this post we provide an insight into what the key to a successful business is. We cover a number of tips for achieving success in business.

It doesn’t matter whether you own a business, want to own a business, or play an important managerial role, there are certain traits and habits that you can adopt that will determine whether or not you can be successful in the long term.

The tips I am giving here are more about state of mind and attitude than business financials. It would be easy to include the importance of cash flow, managing stock levels, constraining costs and return on assets etc. but this is not the purpose of this post.

The tips have been grouped are grouped into 4 categories – which we think are the most important personal considerations:

  1. Expectations;
  2. Customers & competition;
  3. Activity Focus;
  4. Getting the Most From Your People

1.      Expectations

This section is about how you expect to achieve success. One of the keys to a successful business is the fact of perseverance and the ability to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

#1 – Create Opportunities—Don’t Wait for Them

Many people who have not achieved success in business are under the impression that opportunities arrive passively. All they have to do is wait for one to show up on the front door; and then grab it. But, in fact, successful business owners and managers know that opportunities are usually created, not stumbled over. So make an effort to create opportunities in your daily work.

Keep your radar tuned to possibilities. If you’re not looking out, you might miss out.

#2 – Don’t Hang Your Hat on Delusional Visions of Overnight Success

While it can be comforting to dream big about your future, having delusions about your success is purely detrimental. It will cause you to set unreasonable goals and attempt to live up to unrealistic expectations.

One of my favorite stories is that of Picasso when he was asked for an autograph. His reply went something along the lines of – “Yes, butt that will be $50,000.” The autograph hunter was astonished – “But it will only take 5 seconds”, to which Picasso replied – “No, it took over 50 years.”

The Beatles “overnight” success came after several years playing 3 sets a day, 7 days a week at a club in Hamburg. Success takes time, be patient.

#3 – Be Persistent

In business, as in many other fields, one of the main keys to success is persistence.

Persistence will determine whether you push ahead or give up altogether. And persistence will determine whether you eventually break through as a leader in your field; or whether you allow everyone else to walk over you to get to the top.

2.      Customers & Competition

#4 – Create a Product that People Actually Want to Buy

One thing you don’t hear often from successful people is how they swindled a bunch of people into buying a low-quality product for a high-price. To the contrary, they will usually regale you with stories of how they beat competitors by offering a lower price or a better product.

Providing your customers with the best value is one of the most effective business strategies you can adopt. It works brilliantly when times are tough – as you’ll outlast your lower value competitors.

#5 – Differentiate Yourself from Competitors

Whether you are competing for a promotion at work or competing with another business, differentiating yourself from your competitors is usually a good idea. Now, if you’re friends with the competition, then this is a more delicate task.

However, your goal should always be to spell out to either your boss or your customers (whichever case is the relevant one) that you have certain qualities that are desirable. This will often be sufficient, even without saying anything additional about other businesses or your co-workers.

#6 – Keep Your Customers’ Best Interests at Mind

Following the general theme of the previous tips, keeping your customers’ best interests in mind is vital. It will not only keep you focused on creating products that they’ll appreciate and use, but it will also keep you satisfied with your job.

#7 – Find Out Which Forms of Advertising Generate Revenue—And Which Do Not

In business, marketing can do a lot to transform your business. It can expand the audience for your product, persuade the existing audience, or it can provide no benefits at all while incurring massive costs.

One of the fathers of modern marketing – David Ogilvie, once said “We know that half of our advertising doesn’t work – we just don’t know which half.”

Those who are successful in business pay attention to their advertising, so they can determine which forms are beneficial and which forms should be discontinued. A more effective campaign is better than a larger one.

3.      Activity Focus

#8 – Stop Doing Things that Don’t Work

From time to time, you will determine that things don’t work—or at least they don’t work as well as they should. When this happens, you can take one of two paths. The first path ignores the problem and hopes that things get better. And the second puts an end to it by modifying your approach or discontinuing to do the thing that isn’t working. If you want to be successful, you will learn to have the courage to do the latter.

#9 – Take Action Immediately

Thoughts and actions are two very different things. And this is something the successful know very well. They know that coming up with a good idea is completely useless if you cannot implement it—or cannot give it to someone who can. So get in the habit of not only thinking of new things, but of taking action swiftly.

#10 – Create Networks with Other Business Owners

Another important part of success in business is networking with other managers and business owners. Find out how they run their businesses; and see whether you can learn from them or work with them in some complementary fashion.

It’s lonely at the top, and having other heads to consult with outside your own business is invaluable. As well as networking with other business owners, the establishment of Advisory Boards is becoming more popular.

#11 – Always Improve Your Business Processes

Along with being a continuous learner, you should try to be a continuous improver, too. Wherever your business is lacking, make it better. And wherever you see room for improvement, make an improvement.

No matter how efficient you think your business is managed, there are almost always opportunities for improvement. It’s just a matter of finding these opportunities and exploiting them to streamline how your business functions.

In business, efficiency is prized. It’s not enough to simply do something well, you must also do it well and fast. Successful people do this; and you should, too.

#12 – Keep Things Simple

Simplicity is often underrated. In fact, many business owners are prone to believing that if something is simple, then it cannot be true. After all, the world is a complex place, so it cannot be the case that a solution to a problem in business can be simple.

In fact, many of the more successful innovations in business are simple. So, think twice before you taking things up a notch in terms of complexity. Instead, think about using solutions that are simple, elegant, communicable, and likely to work.

4.        Getting the Most From Your People

#13 – Take Control of Your Role in the Business

When it comes to business, staying in control means a lot. It means that you not only prevent other businesses from dictating an agenda for you, but it also means that you firmly seize control of your own density. If you want to be successful, then you must be willing to take control.

#14 – Delegate Tasks to Others

If you ever want to match the success of some of your heroes, you will need to learn how to delegate tasks to others. Often, the most important trait that makes people successful is that they are willing and able to break down and a large task; and efficiently and intelligently allocate its pieces to employees.

#15 – Do Not Ask too Much of Your Employees

You might be tempted to squeeze every last cent out of your employees, but instead consider what the successful often do: they try to keep costs low, but at the same time, when they need talent, they pay for it. Keep this in mind when hiring and when giving raises.

#16 – Do Not Compete with Your Staff; Help Them and Learn How They Can Help You

Being successful means being secure. And being secure means that you don’t feel the need to compete with your co-workers, but instead focus on competing with other businesses.

Seek to inspire confidence in those around you. Rather than tearing down your fellow co-workers, make every attempt possible to build them up. Having a confident staff around you will multiply the returns you reap from your own efforts.

#17 – Facilitate Discussion

Another important trait of business leaders who are successful is their ability to facilitate discussion. Not only do they have good ideas themselves, but also they find ways to tease good ideas out of otherwise quiet co-workers.

Thick skin is a valuable asset in business. It means not only having the ability to listen to and assimilate praise, but also to brush off direct insults and valuable, but critical comments. If you want to be successful in business, you must have thick skin and you must always ask for comments—be they good or bad.

#18 – Avoid Getting Irrationally Defensive

Becoming defensive is a natural response to getting cornered. Instead of opening up to criticism and assimilating suggestions, we start shooting down any comment directed at us, be it useful or not. If you want to be successful in business, you must learn to resist the urge to become defensive.

#19 – Do Not Allow Your Personal Life to Interfere with Your Business Life

No matter what is going in on your personal life, remember to keep work at work and home life at home. Don’t allow a stressful situation with a friend or a relative spill over into your work and prevent you from being effective.

#20 – Do Not Make Questionable Decisions that Will Prevent You From Sleeping at Night

In business, opportunities abound to make questionable decisions from which you can profit. This might involve lying about your product or tricking your co – workers. In general, successful people know not to go this route, but instead to focus on making money legitimately and in a way that doesn’t harm or trick others.


These 20 Tips on What is the Key to a Successful Business are really not much more than short notes to get you thinking along the right lines. Any one of these tips can be expanded. into whole topics. We recommend continual learning and reading to build your skills and competencies. Remember, this is not a short sprint – you are in business for the long haul. You are building your future.


Brian Tracy’s Business Package – How You Can Start, Build, Manage or Turnaround Any Business.

20 Tips on How to Be Financially Independent

Financial independence gives you the key to a fuller and more satisfying life. It can have different meanings at different stages of life. For instance, as a young person leaving home, it is about having sufficient income to support yourself away from the protective cocoon your parents had provided. Later on, it might mean the ability to take out a mortgage and buy a house. In later years it is about having sufficient income to live on after you have stopped working.

At any age, we think of it as having sufficient income to cover your living expenses without worry. Being financial independent implies income, but it really means building an asset base from which to derive your income, and not be dependant on your job.

There are 5 steps to financial independence:

  1. Goal setting and planning – knowing where you want to get to;
  2. Budgeting and daily spending discipline – spending less than you earn and having investment funds available;
  3. Knowledge and understanding of risk – considering different forms of investments and their associated risks;
  4. Tax Strategies; and
  5. Investment Portfolio.

1.   Goal Setting and Planning

#1 – Think Long Term, Set Longer Term Financial Goals

Don’t just dream about your finances getting better. Set longer term financial goals and commit yourself to accomplishing them. Financial goals won’t be realised in the short term – they take persistence and time.

An example of a suitable longer-term financial goal is how much passive income you need to cover your living costs at retirement. Passive income is income derived from investments, not from your job. When you stop working – be it at age 70 or age 40, this is what you will live off. Exclude pensions and government support – the objective is to be financially independent, so you can live the life you want to lead.

#2 – Translate Longer Term Financial Goals into Specific Objectives

A more detailed example might be a desired income of $50,000 per annum, enough to cover a comfortable lifestyle. This is the basis of a simple equation – divide the income wanted by the percentage return expected from your investment assets.

If we assume a low risk return on assets of 4%, this means you need to accumulate $1.25m of income producing assets (i.e. $50,000/0.04).

If we assume a higher income goal of $200,000 and a higher level of return of 6% (higher risk), the asset goal becomes $3.33m.

Your goal should include desired income, target assets and return and of course a time span – 5, 20 or 50 years.

The retirement income formula is quite straightforward and has 4 components:

  • Your desired income – e.g. $50,000 a year, $200,000 a year etc. The amount will depend on your lifestyle and your regular spending commitments such as mortgage, car repayments etc.
  • Income producing Investment assets – non-income producing assets such as artwork, bullion, classic cars end the like don’t count, as you would have to sell them to generate any income (although they can provide a type of insurance buffer).
  • The return you earn on your income producing assets – e.g. many treasury bonds today is in negative territory – i.e. they earn -1%. Term Deposits may return 2 or 3%, equities may be in the range of 3-5%, commercial property 6% and so on.
  • Your tax liabilities – unfortunately income has a habit of being taxed, so you need to be thinking about your after-tax return. This is where it can get much more complicated, but we’ll leave that complexity for now.

The simple equation to remember is that – the lower your desired income, the fewer assets you need to cover it, and the lower return (lower risk) needed from them.

The more you can pay off things like your housing mortgage, cars, household equipment and the like, the easier the task becomes.

#3 – Accumulate Income Producing Assets

The goal of financial independence is having sufficient income to live the life you wish to live. Longer term this will mean passive income. To generate passive income, you need to have income-producing assets. Your plan should be about how to acquire these. The first rule is to reduce your spending to below your income, so you have some left over to begin accumulating income producing assets.

#4 – Keep Track of Your Progress in a Spreadsheet

Instead of hoping that your finances will work themselves out, stay on top of your financial future by keeping track of everything in a spreadsheet. This is often the difference between success and failure in personal finance.

Your goals will alter over time – as you become more successful, your lifestyle is likely to change (and become more expensive). It is useful to keep track of these changes and continually update.

There are a number of useful metrics we recommend:

  • Current passive income level
  • How many years can you live on that without reducing capital?
  • How many years left at current income before you reach your goal?
  • What if analysis – e.g.:
    • How many years if current income (or available income) increased by 10%, 20%?
    • How many years if desired income reduced by 10%, 20%?
    • And so on.

These, and similar metrics have the advantage of getting you focussed on your goals and your future, together with your current investment strategy.

#5 – Keep the Big Picture in Mind, But Stay Focused on the Short-Term Process

The big picture is important. It tells you where you are and where you’re going. However, in some situations, it can distract you from the task at hand. If you want to attain true success, then you have to know how to stay focused and effective on short-term problems, while also working within the greater framework of the big picture.

Short term issues you want to stay focussed on is how to increase your available income, reinvestment of current passive income, how to what returns you are getting from your assets and the like.

#6 – Understand the Miracle of Compound Interest

Start saving early. Investing $10,000 at age 30 will yield you much more in retirement than $10,000 invested at age 50. This is because you earn interest on both the capital amount AND on the interest you have previouslyy earned.

$10,000 at an annual interest of 5% reinvested, becomes $15, 513 in ten years (an increase in value of 55%). But in twenty years it becomes $25,270 (an increase of 153%). In forty years it becomes $67,048 (an increase of 570%).

At an annual interest rate of 6% – that $10,000 becomes worth $97,035 in forty years time!

2.   Budgeting and Daily Spending Discipline

#7 – Spend Less Than You Earn

Continually revise your cost of living and make efforts to cut your expenses. For instance that daily cup of coffee on the way to work – might give you $15 a week to invest (assuming 5 x $3 – I know this varies from place to place). That’s $780 a year! Doesn’t sound like much – but these little things all add up.

If your expenses are too high, then cut them. Move into a cheaper apartment. Buy bargains at the grocery store. Use coupons. Cut back on entertainment expenses.

When you’re poor, thriftiness is a virtue. If you’ve fallen on hard times, you would be wise to be thrifty, rather than delusional about the state of your finances.

If you’re currently over-budget, consider cutting your expenses by 10%. Even if it seems hard to do initially, figure it out and do it.

#8– Get in the Practice of Creating and Following Budgets

Budgets can play an important role in stabilizing financial outcomes. If you currently have no budget, you should start making one on a weekly basis. Try to keep your expenses and income flows under control, so you don’t get behind on payments.

Don’t waste money on expensive toys. Keep frivolous expenditure to a set proportion.

But don’t forget to live your life. One early boss of mine put aside a 10% fun factor into every project quote we did. This is a useful dictum for everyday budgeting as well.

As a general rule, we think that aiming for a regular investment fund equal to 10% of your net income is an appropriate level for longer term asset accumulation, and should be manageable for most people.

Obviously, the more the better. It also depends on your stage of life and the assets you have previously accumulated.

#9 – Pay Down Debts

Your first priority should be to pay down debt. It cannot be emphasized enough: unless you are young and are planning to get a number of very large raises in your lifetime (or are temporarily ill), then you shouldn’t be accumulating debt. You should be paying it down and saving for retirement. Successful people know and practice this.

#10 – Pay Your Bills on Time

When you miss a bill, you get charged fees. So, instead of paying your bills on the last day, pay them first. If you have money left over, then use it for other purposes, but don’t do so until you have paid the bills.

#11– Manage Your Credit Cards

Try to keep your credit card balances under 30% of the total allowable limit. If there is some emergency, you will have a backup reserve of credit that you can use to get through it.

If you can, pay your credit card balances in full each time. This will prevent you from ever paying interest on the debt you are servicing. Try moving from a credit card to a debit card – it’s a much better piece of plastic to be using, and will stop you from accumulting expensive credit card debt.

#12 – Shop Around for Major Cost Items Like Mortgages, Insurance

When it comes to car insurance, there’s a good chance that you might not be using the best place. Instead of being complacent and sticking with your current plan, consider shopping around to find a better one.

Another thing that people who are successful in personal finance generally do is shop around for a mortgage. Instead of simply taking the first that they are offered at the first bank they go to, they test the waters with a number of different companies to try to get a lower interest rate.

Visit a mortgage broker. Even if you ultimately do not use one of the companies she suggests, you can get a feel for what is out there in terms of payment sizes, interest rates, and other important features.

In addition to shopping around with different banks, you will also want to shop around for different mortgage product types. For instance, if the size of the mortgage payment will be high relative to your monthly income, then you may want to consider looking for a fixed rate.

3.   Understanding Risk

#13 – Avoid Putting Yourself in a Precarious Financial Situation

The successful know that some risk is unavoidable, but where it is avoidable, it should be deal with intelligently. If you are constantly putting yourself in precarious financial situations, it may be time to rethink your finances and your approach to money.

How long it takes to recover lost, money – i.e. – lose 10% of $10,000 = $1,000 loss. Capital base is reduced to $9,000. To return to $10,000 you need to make a return of 11.1%.

If the loss was 20%, you need to make a return of 25% to recover. Always look to protect your capital.

#14 – Avoid Unnecessarily Risky Investments

Instead of picking stocks, put your money into a mix of high-yield and low-yield bonds. Or into a fund that is well diversified and offers a reasonable, but low-risk return.

Instead of putting money into individual stocks, put your money into index funds. Successful investors know that, over time, you cannot consistently beat the market without taking on a significant amount of risk in the process.

#15 – Seek the Help of a Financial Advisor

When you first start to invest, seek out the help of a financial advisor. The successful know that it is not possible to know everything; and that getting the advice of a professional is always a good place to start.

4.   Tax Strategies

#16 – Seek Professional Financial Advice

Dependant on your level of income and investments, it is likely that at some stage alternative investment structures will give you better tax treatment. Tax is like any other expense, where it can be reduced (legally) you should do so. This can become very complex and will vary country by country, state by state and even by county or town.

5.   Investment Portfolio

#17 – Don’t Buy a Big House if You Cannot Afford It

Locking yourself into a big mortgage payment is a very bad idea—especially if you have a shaky income. Instead of risking the possibility that might not be able to make the payments, settle for a smaller house or an apartment until you have financial capacity to make the payments on time.

#18 – Buy Quality Assets That Have Longevity and Look to Accumulate Rather Than Trade

Property transaction costs are usually quite high (as much as 10%), and they can have a deleterious impact on the accumulation of wealth. Adopt a long-term investment horizon. Don’t waste money on transaction costs which will delete your capital base.

#19 – Negotiate Selling Prices on Large Purchases

One stark distinction between the successful and the unsuccessful is that the successful are always willing to bargain. Even if it means that they’ll have a much less pleasant buying experience, they’ll spend hours haggling if it means they can cut hundreds or thousands off of the price tag.

#20 – Build a Diversified Portfolio of Assets

A diversified portfolio spreads overall risk, and leaves you less exposed. As a general rule, stocks and equities should be traded for capital gain, properties held for longer-term income (commercial is better for this that residential, but again a mix is recommended), bonds used to provide lower returns but with capital security, but many now have a negative return.


To Sum Up

If you wish to be financially independent, it will take some work. It’s a long game, not a short sprint. in any long game, discipline is a skill (habit) that pays off bigtime. We recommend Brian Tracy’s course if you need some help here.

The Miracle of Self-Discipline - 8 CD Set Plus CD workbook - Brian Tracy (Compact Disc)

Are You A Team Leader? – Do You See Their Potential?

How Do You See Your Team’s Potential?

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This is a guest post from Tom Lawrence at highlyeffectiveleader.com who publishes interesting and useful material on influence, leadership and personal growth.


If you treat a person as if they were already what they strive to, or potentially they could be, then they will become that person. If you treat a person the same as everyone else, then they will not become that person.

In most of the organisations, and the ones I’ve worked with, it was very rare to see the managing director visiting the teams. Or, walking around the different departments, and talking to the staff. The same goes with the other directors, or the heads of departments. I find it strange because people are people.

There should be no barriers because of your position or title. Whenever I led a team, most of them didn’t know what the managing director looked like. Some of them didn’t know his/her name.

I would have preferred for those barriers to be broken down. I think it would have been appreciated to see the directors visiting our offices, or the other departments of the organisation more regularly. By having these barriers or walls, people get very comfortable with just being with their peers and teammates.

It is good to network with other members of the organisation, and build relationships so that you can increase your influence with them. When insecure leaders interact with different leaders or teams, they feel inferior. They see themselves as the boss, so they are supposed to be in charge all the time.

When they interact with other leaders, they start to feel even more insecure.

Highly effective leaders are the opposite. They love to meet new people outside of their team, or department. They love to build relationships, be humble, and connect with people. A highly effective leader would see this as time well spent, interacting with other leaders. They would value those sharing ideas and advice.

They see networking as a massive learning opportunity. They know that whoever they connect with, they will be learning and growing together. When networking, highly effective leaders ask lots of questions, as they love to do.

They also encourage their team members to do the same. They show them how valuable networking is, and how they can learn and grow with more people.

Insecure leaders will not encourage their team to do any networking, or seek out learning opportunities. The reason for that is they are not focussed on them or their potential, so they will not develop their team.

I have discussed book studies in earlier articles, and an insecure leader would never take their team through a book study. If they did, it would be developing their team and unleashing their potential. That is a huge no-no for an insecure leader as it goes against everything the insecure leader believes in.

Highly effective leaders see their team as equals. They are equal to themselves, to the directors of the organisation and the heads of department. So, they are looking for ways to unleash their team’s potential, and opportunities to network with other highly effective leaders.

Insecure leaders focus on themselves and do not develop their team. They are very narrow minded, and when things go well they will credit themselves, when things go badly they will blame their team. Highly effective leaders focus on the team, and want to develop their team.

They are open minded, and when things go well they will credit their team. When things go badly they will accept full responsibility for it. More importantly they are demonstrating to their team that they care about them, and want the best for them.

How do you demonstrate to your team that you care about them and that you want the best for them? What message do you send to them on a daily basis? Do you boost morale or do you decrease it? Do you increase your influence or do you decrease it?

Do you encourage them to work better together as a team? Do you inspire them to become more, do more, and want more?

When you start to apply the principles I am sharing in my articles throughout this site, your behaviours towards your team will change and improve. You will start to show them that you do care for them, and want the best for them. You will do this through how you act, and not what you say.

When you do this, the team will feel a lot more engaged, and encouraged to do and be more. They will feel empowered by you. You as the leader will be a lot more secure and open minded, so any barriers will be broken down.

Trust between you and the team will increase, and they will want to start helping you too. Your influence with them will increase, and they will follow you because they want to, not because they have to.

If you had the choice tomorrow to choose between two different bosses to work with, which one would you choose? Would you choose the boss who didn’t show you that he/she cared for you, didn’t encourage you, and didn’t develop you or empower you?

Or, would you choose the boss who showed you every day that he/she cared for you, wants the best for you, encouraged you to be more, encouraged you to do more, and developed you and empowered you? The choice is obvious.

How does your boss deliberately develop you? Do you feel cared for by your boss and that he/she wants the best for you? How do you feel when you are around and talking to your boss? How are you going to start deliberately developing your team?

How are you going to demonstrate that you care for them, and want the best for them? How do your team feel right now? How are you going to make them feel better?

I talk a lot about growing and developing your team, and by doing that you are showing them that you care and want the best for them. However, there are more ways you can demonstrate to your team that you care. Here are some ways that I have shown the teams I have led that I cared for them, and want the best for them:

  • I asked their opinion on non-work related things.
  • I always tried to find ways to leverage them and be noticed by leaders.
  • I asked each member of the team what their ambitions, goals and dreams were.
  • I gave them work that they could make a success of, that would be noticed by the other leaders.
  • I gave them networking opportunities by introducing them to the leaders of the organisation.
  • I talked to them every day, even if it had nothing to do with the job.
  • I always thanked the team every day for their contributions.

To make your team feel like you care for them is not difficult at all. You just have to want to do it, and not see it as a chore, or that thing that you have to do each day. If you feel like that then you will not sustain it. You really do have to truly care for your team.

The more you do it, the easier it will become, and your relationships will build and build every day. This is another part of your journey of personal growth, and working on yourself EVERY DAY.

If you look at the list above of how I made my team feel cared for, is your boss doing the same, or similar things with you? If they are not, but they started to do those things, how would your relationship feel different? What would change? Would you feel cared for? Would you feel better or worse?

If I asked your team if you did the things on the list above, how would they react? Would they agree that you do all or some of those things? Would they feel cared for if I asked them?

If one of your team members felt that you didn’t care for them, or that they mattered to you, the simple truth is that you don’t care for them, and they don’t matter to you. If that is the case, how are you going to change? Do you even want to change?

If you start to forget about certain team members and focus on the few, then you have forgotten your purpose as a leader.


CEO’s Top 15 Tips on How to be Successful at Work and on the Job

We spend so much time in our jobs that it’s natural to want to get some tips on how to be successful at work.  No matter what your job, chances are you would like to get a promotion, a pay-rise or even a better job.  This post passes on 15 tips from the boss’s perspective. After all, it’s the boss who has to make the decision you’re hoping for.

As CEO of a mid sized firm I had over 200 people reporting to me, and through my Senior Management team. Every hire or fire, promotion and pay decision came across my desk.

These 15 tips on how to be successful at work come straight from the horse’s mouth, a real life CEO.  When I first took over as CEO the company had a pretty poor culture and HR issues were at the forefront of my turnaround strategy.

Eventually I delegated more authority to my Senior Managers, but in the early days I oversaw everything very closely. This experience provides a useful insight into why some people get promoted or given more responsibility and more pay – and others get left behind, or asked to leave.

I have distilled this experience into these 15 tips on how to be successful at work and on the job.

Background

Before we proceed, a little personal history might help to give these tips some perspective. They have been derived from personl and proactical experience.

I was a Non-Executive Board Director with this company which had appointed a new CEO (not me).  At the time, this CEO tried to implement an internal performance-management program that had received some positive press.

Unfortunately it was an inappropriate program for our needs and failed miserably. The result of this was a shift from profitability to mounting losses and a badly damaged reputation. It was a near-death experience for the company.

The Board asked me to take over as CEO to return the company to profitability, restore its reputation and build a more positive culture.

The failed performance program was derived from a manufacturing assembly-line environment and featured specific tasks and performance monitoring. This was a sort of up-dated 1950’s time and motion approach, totally unsuitable for a human services company. The resultant impact on the company’s culture was devastating, turning it very negative. It also created processes which were at odds with the needs of our customers and service delivery.

Consequently, it was not uncommon for staff to be talking with external people in their towns about the oppressive (and sometimes bullying) management approach. This of course is not only very bad PR, but also very destructive from a customer perspective and the team’s morale. It also diluted our ability to recruit new personnel.

The following 15 tips are distilled from my experience in transforming this culture. Critical in this transformation was the evaluation of prominent team members, and the weeding out of negative influences and the reinstatement of more positive ones who were aligned to a more open and responsive culture.

Tip # 1 – Be Positive

I place attitude above all else. A positive attitude not only gives you the energy and enthusiasm to tackle your job and do it well, it also inspires others and builds a real sense of team spirit that is invaluable.

The influence that a positive person has in inspiring and motivating others cannot be overstated. Good managers are leaders. Leaders lead with inspiration and confidence, and you simply can’t give that to your team if you don’t have a positive attitude.

One of the most difficult things about being a leader is the need to constantly positive and optimistic – even when you don’t feel that way. Your team relies on you to provide the backbone and strength to continue in all circumstances.

Public positivism is essential for any leadership role, as doubts or negative views are compounded within the team, and this has a disproportionate effect on performance and results.

Tip # 2 – Make Productive Suggestions That Solve Problems

One of my favourite sayings is that “unless you have a solution, you don’t have a problem.” It goes to the heart of what I refer to as the “whinge culture”, where people simply like to complain about things not working as they would like. Well guess what – there’s not many things in this world that don’t break, or fail every now and again, or that could be improved on.

A key suggestion for success at work is to propose solutions, not simply whinge about things. What I admire in people (and especially my staff) is the ability to see an issue, think it through and propose a way to improve it. This is problem-solving, and is a key role of management.

Successful companies operate this way. Recognising problems is essential, they cannot be simply dismissed. After that, it is in the realm of the leader to come up with solutions. I valued these people in my team, and put them obove others.

If the proposed solution involved hefty expenditure that couldn’t be met in the short term, it did not make the proposal any less valuable. If it is the correct (or best) solution, it can be assessed and planned for in future budgets.

Tip # 3 – Be a Team Player

Teamwork is an essential component of success in any business endeavour. This is why it is essential that you learn how to collaborate with your peers and colleagues and practice it regularly.

The most important people on the team are those that work to bring the team together, rather than working in isolation. This ranges from the type of problem solving we just discussed, to building efficiency within the team.

If you have good ideas, then share them with others. Let your co-workers and bosses benefit from your insights. Occasionally, you might get no credit for this, but over time, the praise you receive here and there will help to improve your profile within the company.

Sharing with others rather than competing with them will do more for your career prospects than trying to hoard good ideas and exclude others. Successful people don’t fear scarcity, but instead they have a worldview of abundance.  They see opportunities and are happy to share their knowledge and skills with others, in the expectation that they will in turn become important allies in the future and together they all grow and prosper.

Every boss knows who is contributing the most, both in terms of personal results, but also in building and supporting the team. Playing your role in the team is an important element of being noticed and valued.

Tip # 4 – Be Time Conscious

Another insightful saying is that “Timeliness is next to godliness”.  This is certainly true in the workplace.

The culture I walked into was one with numerous meetings. Not only were there too many to be a productive use of time, they weren’t run efficiently. It was standard practice to arrive a few minutes late, spend a few more minutes with coffee-talk amongst colleagues, with the result that most meetings actually started about 15 minutes after the proposed start time.

To combat this, I started every meeting strictly on time, regardless of who had arrived or not arrived.  It didn’t take long for the message to be received.

There is a lot to get done in a typical working day, so it is best to maintain a sense of urgency.  Bosses appreciate those who demonstrate a commitment to getting things done. Show that you are hard working, attentive, and alert. And show that you won’t become complacent simply because things are going well.

Tip # 5 – Be Invaluable

Assessing individual staff is always on a boss’ mind, as they know that a better company performance as almost guaranteed if you can weed out the negative types and the underperformers.  They will be noted on a mental list somewhere.

You want to make sure you are not on this list, because believe me, there always is one!

The best way to avoid the list is to make sure you are always available and that your boss knows you can be relied on.  Don’t try to “game” the company by doing as little as possible in return for your paycheck. That is not the way to be successful at work.  Go the extra distance and prove that you are willing to make a sacrifice.

One good way to do this is to volunteer for projects – even if they are a bit difficult, or less attractive. This garners respect from those above, and you’ll quickly become recognized as an invaluable asset for the business.

Remember that if it is easy to see how the company could replace you, then your boss probably can too. The more you make yourself indispensible, the better your chances of promotion or a pay-rise, and the less likely that you be replaced.

Tip # 6 – Use Initiative

One of the most annoying things about being in charge is when the people who report to you sit back and wait for instructions.  It makes the boss’ job very tiresome if every last detail of how to proceed has to be spelt out. We’re working with adults for crying out loud, not children.

Prioritize your work. Try to determine which projects are “urgent,” which projects are “important,” and which projects are both. And then attack them in the correct order. Remember the Pareto Principle – 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. Focus on the important 20%.

Mastering your job won’t be enough to get you a promotion, but it is without a question the best place to start. So, if you think there is significant room for improvement, then get working to master your job.

At the end of the day, the quality of work that you produce will determine whether your boss thinks that you are barely fit to carry out your current job; or whether you are over-qualified and should be promoted.

Everyone should know what is required, so use initiative to deliver the goods. People who can self-start are appreciated, so make it a habit to take action immediately and accomplish tasks on your own.

If your company doesn’t let this happen – consider moving to another where you can get more job satisfaction and be better able to shine.

Tip # 7 – Look After Your Boss

As a CEO, I truly appreciated the assistance given to me from not only my Senior Managers and fellow Board members, but also people in various roles throughout the organisation. A good company runs a team, and whilst you may have a team leader, it is the collaborative effort that determines success or failure.

People who helped me to look good were never forgotten. My trick was to use bonuses to recognise over performance. Those who had been of most direct use to me tended to get the bigger bonuses.

Successful people know how important it is (and how) to make the boss look good. This is especially true if you can do it in public (e.g. – supportive comments at a Board meeting, or Management Meeting). Your boss will appreciate this; and will want to keep you around.

If there is something important that your boss needs to know, try to be the first to tell them. This builds your personal position and makes you more indispensible.

Most bosses will appreciate it if you are kind and respectful to them, but if you go out of your way to suck up to them, it will usually be perceived poorly. Instead of respecting you, they will see you as someone they cannot trust for a straight answer.

Tip # 8 – Act the Part

When I was considering who to promote or reward, it’s not always purely work performance and contribution. When considering whether to promote someone to a leadership position, I wanted to know that they would be accepted and followed by other team members.

There are a number of traits that most bosses like myself consider:

Honesty

Honesty is important. I wanted to k now I could trust the people reporting to me. If they were misleading me, I wouldn’t really know what was happening, and be less able to do my job properly. The same goes for those reporting to the individual. Being honest with your co-workers and your boss means that they can trust you and come to you for advice in the future.

Handling Conflict

Avoiding negative conflicts is another trait that comes to mind. There’s a good chance that you’ll end up locking horns with a few people from time to time. This is not only largely unavoidable, it is often useful to clarify issues or resolve problems.

The dispute is not the issue, but rather the way the conflict is handled. If you take these disputes personally and make them larger than they need to be, it demonstrates that you might not be suitable leadership material.

When it comes to petty, intra-office disputes, always be the one to take the high road. Don’t focus on getting revenge or supporting an argument that is clearly wrong. Instead, just admit fault and move on with your life.

When it comes to contradicting your boss or a co-worker, you might decide that it is not a good idea to stand up for yourself, but instead to back-down. However, if you have good reason to believe you are right, you should stick up for yourself as long as it is reasonable and respectful. Ultimately, your co-workers and boss will respect you more for it.

Empathy

Empathy for others is a critical element of any group situation – work or social.  You know how important it is when others make it clear they understand and sympathise with you. It makes you feel wanted and cared for. And so it goes in reverse. Being supportive and caring towards others will improve your status within the company. It will show people that they can come to you if others do not understand their position.

Look the Part

Another important part of getting promotions is dressing for the part. For instance, if you dress down compared to everyone else in the office, it is less likley you will have the respect of your peers. This of course is very situationally dependant.

However, it is true that f you don’t look presentable on a daily basis that may factor into your boss’s decision not to promote you. So dress for success.

Stability

Stability is an important quality for leaders, especially if given a lot of responsibility. If you appear to be unstable, it suggests that you could make bad decisions that jeopardize your team’s performance, or even the entire business. For this reason, you should push very hard to demonstrate your stability to the managers above you.

Sensibility

Acting appropriately is another no-no. Making jokes is a popular social strategy which can endear others to you. However, making offensive or inappropriate jokes can permanently eliminate you from the running for upper management jobs. Next time you go to make a joke, think twice about your audience; and don’t do it if you think it might offend someone.

The same commentary goes for sexist or racist comments, or those that are in any way personally demeaning to an individual. Good managers simply don’t do this.

Tip # 9 – Emulate Your Superiors & Successful Co-Workers

As a CEO, I knew I had a handful of really talented and reliable people reporting to me. I spent time talking with these Senior Managers about how they could groom some of their people for future leadership roles.

These managers had achieved success due to their skills and the way they conducted themselves. If you want to be promoted you can do worse than use them as role models.

Pay attention to co-workers who are especially good at their jobs. What is it that enables them to be so efficient? And what is it that elicits so much praise from upper management? Learn from this, copy their qualities and you should see similar results.

All of the above tips on how to be successful at work will position you as a candidate for consideration, but there is some positioning work that helps to put you in the frame for promotion, or pay-rise.

Tip # 10 – Be More Visible, Practice Self-Promotion

Being seen is part of the game; so don’t be afraid of a little self-promotion. Get others to notice you and to appreciate what you do within the company (but don’t go overboard – it can do more harm than good).

Presentations are a vital part of communicating ideas to employees and business partners.  If you are the one to give a presentation, you are more visible and valuable. Many people have a fear of public speaking or giving presentations, so this strategy not only makes you more visible, it builds your positioning as a potential leader.

Volunteer to take on a public role – e.g. industry presentations, working parties and the like. This demonstrates your broader abilities to communicate and network – both important skills for a leadership position. Not only does this build your profile internally, it gives you industry connections and reputation, should you consider a change.

Volunteer at charity events, help co-workers who are in need, and generally be available and helpful. As your profile improves within the company, so will your chances of getting promoted.

Don’t sit passively at meetings. Instead, take charge and make comments. Be prepared and have useful comments ready. Listen and be involved in the discussion. This will help you to get recognized, and show your true worth.

Tip # 11 – Signal Your Readiness to Your Superiors

Let your boss know that you are keen to advance. The most probable chance for this is during the annual (or semi-annual) review process, but it can be at any time. 

Any good boss is keen to advance their people, it ensures a better team. This in turn creates better group performance, as the calibre of the team rises. But opportunities may not present themselves within the company (often it is not possible in a smaller organisation).

In this instance, any good boss will be glad to support you find a leadership role elsewhere in the industry. I found that developing people beyond our ability to promote them provided a very positive support group within the industry. This also helped enormously in our recruitment as we developed a reputation as a good place to work.

Once you have let your boss know about your desire for further advancement, you can jointly put together a plan to further develop your skills – through special training, or expanded job responsibilities.

When it comes to getting a promotion at work, few things are more important than timing. Being in the right place at the right time and saying the right things is vital. And so you should pay careful attention to your timing, to when you actively put your hand up.

If you advance too quickly – before you are really ready, you may fail. This will do untold damage to your career, so it is better to be patient and thoughtful about your career.

Make sure that someone else can do your job. Whilst you want to be indispensible, you don’t want it be at the cost of a promotional opportunity. If the no one else can do your job, then you cannot be replaced; and therefore cannot get promoted.

Tip # 12 – Listen for Opportunities

Always stay alert for important information about promotions and job openings. When these come up, you may find an advantage in being able to move quickly. This can improve your chances of getting promoted, especially in a larger organisation.

It is always worthwhile to make a friend in human resources. Next time there is a job opening in the works, you will be one of the first people to find out about it. They may even be in your corner pushing for your chance.

If you work in a larger company, there can be several opportunities for promotion – even if it means in a slightly different part of the company.

Keep an up-to-date resume that highlights your skills as much as your roles. Skills are often transferable to different roles. Don’t just passively wait for a promotion, but apply for within company jobs, and don’t be afraid of pushing for them.

Tip # 13 – Consider Why You Want the Promotion

Being prepared is important. For instance, next time you’re in the elevator with your boss or with a higher-up, you will want to be prepared if your boss asks you something about a new job opening or a possible promotion. Have reasons ready for why you want the promotion and why you would fit well in the position.

Getting a promotion can be a difficult process. This is why it is important that you spend some time thinking about and rationalizing why you are worthy of a promotion. When the going gets tough, you’ll have reasons that you can use to reinforce your choice.

One strategy is to find jobs outside of your company that look promising. It might give you some leverage for a pay-rise or promotion, but be careful. It might be taken positively, but it might be seen as disloyal and self-serving. If I thought someone was trying to blackmail me into a raise or a promotion, I might go along with it in the short run, but would not forget. The result could be that in the longer term it limited that that person’s opportunities.

Conversely, you might be better off with a job elsewhere. It may be a more senior role, or one with better advancement opportunities. Or maybe it might just pay a bit better, or have better benefits. A thoughtful consideration of all factors is worth it.

Tip # 14 – Invest in Your Career

Just like any other investment, an investment in your career could pay off considerably down the line. If you think you are currently missing the education or the training you need to move forward, then put some money aside to invest in your career.

Consider going back to school if additional skills or knowledge will help move you up the ladder. Any improvement in your resume will pay dividends down the line and is never wasted.

Maybe you think a change in direction is called for – test the waters and figure out what it is that you want to do, or have an aptitude for; and then try again with a different career path.

Tip # 15 – Learn New Things or New Skills

The more you learn about your job and your company – the more valuable you will be. Not only does this apply to your current employer, but also to other employers. Recognise how important and valuable on-the-job training and experience is, and make the most of the opportunities your workplace provide.

If there is an opportunity to developing new skills, this will not hurt your career prospects. On the other hand, if you don’t develop new skills, then you cannot expect that your boss will suddenly believe that you are capable of taking on a new job with different requirements.

In the same vein, scrappiness is an important trait of successful people. No matter how badly the road to success treats them, they take their lumps and then return to the path. Ultimately, they prevail because they refuse to do anything else.

Concluding Remarks

In conclusion, I hope that these 15 tips to be successful at work will give you the tools and motivation to get the promotion or raise that you are hoping for. There is no reason you cannot plan out a successful career without giving up your inner values, or feeling like an imposter.


6 Simple Ways to Get More Stuff Done at Work

Ever notice how successful people just seem to get more stuff done at work? How can you increase our own productivity to achieve more? How come the list of things to do seems to always expand beyond the working day – starting earlier and finishing later just doesn’t do it. And who wants to sacrifice their life anyway? There has to be a better way – right?

The answer is to learn a few tricks to manage your time wisely and efficiently. Here are 6 simple tips. Make these a habit, and you’ll be amazed at just how much more you can achieve – success beckons!

1. Stay Organized

Keeping everything in its place will save a lot of time searching. It’s a greatly underrated productivity booster. Not only will you save time and wasted energy looking for things, it’ll make your workspace look neater and better to look at it. The boss will be impressed and the sense of order it brings is a major stress-buster, so you’ll feel more able to deal with everything. Look good, feel good.

2. “5 By 10”

Pick a few less stressful things to get your day started. Get rid of a couple of quick fixes that won’t take too much time but could cause more work if left unattended. This will have the twin benefits of reducing the size of your list and give you a sense of achievement and accomplishment that can carry you through the day.

Aim for 5 done by 10 am. If you’ve got some bigger fish to fry – try breaking them down into smaller steps and get one or two of these done early to get you on your way. This reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed and lost under files, memos and deadlines. A quick start will give you the momentum to achieve more.

3. Go for a Walk

Instead of eating lunch at your desk, scrunched over more paperwork, go for a walk outside. Getting some fresh air will help you clear your head, give you some perspective and a more positive outlook.

Plus, it’s great physical exercise, and a change of scenery will do wonders for your creative juices. If you absolutely can’t leave your work area, go for a walk indoors. Studies prove that going for a walk, even a short one, can boost efficiency by 60%.

4. Stop Multi-tasking

Some people think that juggling multiple things at once means they’re boosting their work rate. But studies have found that multitasking can do more harm than good, as tasks do not get the time and effort they deserve. If not done well, they may require rework – not only a mental killer, but will soak up more of your precious time.

Distractions like that impact negatively on the quality of your work, and leave you feeling drained and frazzled. Try giving each task the attention it needs and enough time to complete it before moving onto something else.

5. Give yourself self-imposed deadlines

In general, the word ‘deadline’ is enough to give you heart palpitations, headaches, dizzy spells. But when you’re the one setting the deadline for yourself, you won’t feel the pressure in a negative way. But you will feel obligated to respect the deadline you’ve set.

We’re creatures of habit, so go easy on yourself at first. The point is to acknowledge that you have a set time after which you’ll be held accountable for your work. When you do meet your deadline, give yourself a pat on the back and a reward for getting the job done on time.

6. Beautify your Surroundings

Attractive furniture and office decor, such as candles, plants, vases, can be pleasing to look at. Moreover, they turn a boring space into something beautiful and functional with an added personal touch. They can also help increase productivity, as studies show, by up to 15%.

Choose whatever makes you feel happy and comfortable, as long as they meet office regulations. By surrounding yourself with things that are aesthetically pleasing, you’ll be boosting production rate, creative outlet, along with your ability to focus on the task at hand.

Getting More Work Stuff Done means working smarter, not harder. So, try to resist the temptation to stuff your calendar with more work-related commitments or put in longer hours at the office.  If you learn these habits, you will be more productive, but don’t fall into the trap of taking on more work because you think you can. Learn to say no selectively and assess which tasks are the most important for you to achieve your goals.


Avoid the Job You Hate! Live Life With Passion!

Live a Life of Passion

Do you live a life of passion? What does this mean? Let’s look at what it isn’t first.

Do you have a job you hate? Do you have to clock in every day, feeling dispirited and broken by the drudgery of it all?  If you do, and you hate your job, chances are you find the work mundane and unrewarding. You probably feel the daily commute is too long, your bosses are uncaring or unappreciative of the efforts you put in.

Do you have a BullS**t job? Do you feel that it doesn’t really mean much, and there’s little sense of achievement that comes from it?

A Life of Passion

So what is a life of passion?

While we all have to make money to survive, how much better would it be if you left work feeling fulfilled and invigorated? Sure, we may receive a paycheck at the end of the week, but does that really make up for all the unhappy moments? Surely, the answer to that question is a resounding no. No real rewards in toiling away in a job you hate! Is there an answer?

There is an answer. It comes in finding your passion, and then working at that. It means you may have to be prepared to make short-term trade-offs for longer-term happiness and satisfaction.

Success and passion are interlinked. Success follows when we pursue our passions. It is unlikely to come from perseverance in a hated job.

We call this living a life of passion. In order to really live a life of fulfillment and walk in your truth, you must follow your passion. Many think this to be not very realistic, that it sounds a bit far-fetched, but it’s actually quite attainable. All you need is a willing attitude, a bit of determination and a positive spirit. Those, along with consistent hard work will help you live a life of passion and avoid the job you hate.

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Let’s consider how you can live a life of passion.

Determine Your Passion

Do you know what your passion is? If you want to start living a more fulfilled life, you must firstly identify what drives you. When you know what drives you, what motivates you, you will easily determine you purpose. When you know your purpose you are able to set goals, the achievement of which provides satisfaction, confidence and happiness.

To find your passion, ask yourself, is there an activity that gives you excitement? Do you find yourself daydreaming about a particular field of interest? What is it that motivates you to get up in the morning?

The underlying answers to these questions will help you determine what your passion truly is. Once you uncover that, you’ll be able to make the necessary steps towards achieving it.

Learn Your Passion

Once you have identified your passion, you need to become expert in it. This is not a short-term fix, but a long-term commitment.

Maybe your passion is to become a chef. Before you blindly pick up the pots and pans, it is important that you learn your craft before you can start to make a living from it. Study from the greats and imitate their actions. Read and soak up as much information as you can on your particular interest.

This will help you improve your skills and train you to the be the best. The better you are, the more financially rewarding it will be. When you are highly skilled and knowledgeable, you’re more likely to succeed, to find employment or start a business revolving around your passion. Remember, you can dream all you want, but it takes practice and hard work to turn the dream into reality.

Take Steps

After you’ve determined your passion and gathered enough information and skills, it’s time to start pursuing it as a career. This will involve different steps to take you into your new career or business.

The start might be to take up an internship or shadowing job. Perhaps change your resume to reflect your new venture. Then, begin applying for the jobs that’ll get you one step closer to your passion. When you put in the necessary work, it’s imperative that you get out of your comfort zone and really try to find your place. This will help you to lay the foundation for your future career. 

Or it may be to start a new business that is based on your passion. Continuing with the example of a chef, it may lead you into starting a catering business, a product-based business such a cup cakes, or a restaurant. The possibilities are indeed numerous.

Be Passionate

Following your passions will make you a happier and more fulfilled person. Although we’ve focused primarily on employment, and business opportunities, developing your passion doesn’t have to be purely financial. If your passion is to be a better artist, person or writer, then follow those dreams even if they’re just for your own personal development. It will make you a lot happier and more contented with life.

One of the best pieces of advice one could hear is to do everything with passion. From the smallest gesture to the biggest action, acting with passion will make you stand out in the crowd. in turn, you’ll live a happier, more fulfilled life.