Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You to Grow

Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You to Grow

Featured, Improvement
When it comes to planning our careers, we carefully choose our companies and jobs. But rarely are we deliberate about selecting the advisers and confidantes who help us succeed. Cultivate a support group for your career by thinking about whose advice and expertise you wish you had on speed dial. Consider who you feel inspired by, whether they’re colleagues, senior leaders, or peers in your field. Seek these individuals out, and be candid about why you admire them and why you want to connect. Focus on building a relationship that will benefit both of you. As you get to know each other, don’t be afraid to explore big life questions: What do you want to do with your life? What motivates you? What are you doing that you really don’t…
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The Balance Between Learning And Doing

The Balance Between Learning And Doing

Featured, Improvement
To achieve success it is crucial that you continue to learn. Whether you are learning new skills, reading to keep up with changes in your industry, or simply continuing your education learning is crucial to achieve your goals. However, that learning must be balanced with actually doing tasks and following through. Aside from the obvious reason that you have to get things done, there is a big difference between practical application and learning. There is an old saying, "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." Someone who studies something will never have the proficiency of someone that studies AND does it. Someone who understands how an internal combustion engine works is not necessarily able to fix one. The other major reason to move…
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The Importance Of Living Within Your Means

The Importance Of Living Within Your Means

Featured, Improvement
With the recent government shutdown, a startling statistic has been stated over and over: 77% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Living paycheck to paycheck has a ripple effect that causes people to miss out on opportunities and contributes to a negative mindset on money. It also highlights the need to live within one's means. Despite depictions in the media, one thing that rich people (who manage to stay rich) have in common is that they live within their means. Obviously it is easier to live within your means when you have more money, but those who amass wealth tend to live within their means before becoming rich. Limiting debt ad not overspending are key to building wealth. Here are some key ideas to help you along the way. Are…
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Learn Something New to Relieve Some Stress

Learn Something New to Relieve Some Stress

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Improvement
Many people handle work stress by buckling down and powering through. But that’s not a great way to actually relieve your anxiety. Instead, Harvard Business School recommends that you try reframing the stressful situation as a learning opportunity. Learning something new adds to your skill set and knowledge, and helps you develop feelings of competency and growth, which can alleviate feelings of stress. You can also learn with others. For example, rather than just wrestling with a challenge in your head, get input from colleagues. Discussing a stressful situation with them can reveal hidden insights, either from their backgrounds or from the questions and perspectives they’ll offer. And don’t think of learning as an additional layer of work; think of it as a break from the hard work of getting…
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The Problem With Your To Do List

The Problem With Your To Do List

Featured, Improvement
To do lists and schedules are valuable time management tools. They help you keep track of what needs to be accomplished and when things need to be done. However, they have a major drawback that limits your success. It is very easy to get stuck in your to do list and schedule. You do what you have determined to be important. What made it important? Was it because your boss said it was necessary? Is it because you do these tasks every week? To do lists and schedules lock you in to a set number of tasks. Usually any left over time is spent putting out fires. To make these tools more valuable include blank time. Put aside time to explore different ways of achieving your goals. Evaluate whether or…
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Unsilo Your Knowledge

Unsilo Your Knowledge

Featured, Improvement, Innovation
It is common for people to try to stay up-to-date in their chosen profession. I.T. people study up on the latest technology, marketers keep up with the latest marketing techniques, etc. The most successful businesspeople go beyond their silo. They learn things unrelated to their work. By doing so, they take their abilities to a new level. Taking knowledge from other fields and jobs allows you to innovate in your own. Knowing how other people in your organization work, allows you to make project transitions seamlessly. Knowing what challenges other people face can give you ideas on products or services to solve those problems. Read up on history, programming, design, science, art, engineering, or any other topic that captures your imagination. You never know where your next big idea will come…
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A Tale Of Two Customer Service Calls

A Tale Of Two Customer Service Calls

Communication, Featured, Improvement
Bad customer service is ubiquitous. Recently, I dealt with two companies. One who was a perfect example of what not to do and one who blew me away. The first company is Adobe. I have used Adobe software for over twenty five years. Periodically they institute anti-piracy solutions. These solutions have always had a fatal flaw. When you make a change to your computer (i.e. updating your system software) their system flags your software as pirated. After a recent system software update, it happened again. I called customer service to have them reset the account so it was correct. This is something I have done dozens of times. This time my call was routed to a customer service rep in India. Not only was English not his first language, he…
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How Clean Is Your Bathroom?

How Clean Is Your Bathroom?

Featured, Improvement, Process
The bathroom tends to be one of the most overlooked areas in a business. This also makes it one of the most telling places. Your bathroom tells a lot about how you do business. The bathroom represents the attention to detail. Is it clean? Is it pleasant to be in? What about the storeroom? The coat closet? These aren't areas that people think of as having to be presentable to customers, but it says a lot about your business if they are. If you are paying attention to all the little things, the big things are done better. If your filing system is impeccable, when a customer calls with a problem, you'll be able to find all the information they need quickly and effectively. If your customer feels secure that…
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In Times Of Trouble Be A Buffalo

In Times Of Trouble Be A Buffalo

Featured, Improvement
by Eric Lopkin In the book "Take The Stairs" author Rory Vaden talks about the difference between cows and buffalo when a storm hits. Cows instinctively run from a storm. When the storm overtakes them, they continue to run in the same direction, maximizing their exposure to the storm. Buffalo, on the other hand, run directly towards the storm. They run through the storm at full speed, effectively minimizing the time spent in the storm. Unfortunately, most people act like cows when trouble comes. We try to avoid the trouble and prolong the time we are dealing with it. In an effort to minimize the impact of a problem, we end up having damage inflicted over a longer period of time. When a problem arises, face it head on. You…
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The Key To Success Is Action

The Key To Success Is Action

Featured, Improvement, Process
For many years, books like The Secret have popularized the idea of the law of attraction. The idea that putting your thoughts out into the universe to create results is a compelling one. It is also an important way to maintain a positive mindset. However, despite what many books and coaching programs would have you believe, it is not a complete solution. It is the starting point, not the end point. Putting your thoughts into the universe is useless if it is not followed by a strategic plan to achieve your goals and the action necessary to implement that plan. You can think that you want more customers all you want, but if you don't let people know about your business, no customers will come. Your positive mindset and visualizations…
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