Posts Tagged ‘Tips for Success’

5 Realistic Steps to Increasing Your Wealth in 2013

Written by Sam on . Posted in Personal Finance, Retirement. 7181 views.

How to increase your wealth in 2013Wealth is not about making money, it’s about saving money.  Good habits are what separate a wealthy individual from a bankrupt one (and independence from dependence) .  In the consumer-based society we live in it’s easy to judge one’s wealth based upon the toys they have in their garage, the size of their house or the exclusivity of their country club membership. 

The reality is that those “rich people” who are leveraged out the wazoo are no more wealthy (nor happy) than those living paycheck to paycheck.  Here are some realistic first steps to increasing your wealth in 2013:

  1. Make your nuts smaller.  Pardon me?  Thanks right, you need to decrease your fixed costs for 2013.  Write down exactly how much you’re spending per month on fix payments such as mortgage, car, utilities, school debt, etc.  Chances are at least one of those items will be paid off this year.  Instead of getting a new car as soon as your old one is paid off, keep driving payment free for a year or two.  Instead of getting a bigger house when you payoff your school loan, direct those payments to savings.  Look back on 2013 as the year that your payments decreased and your savings increased.
  2. Let your material possessions go…  If you’re like most Americans you have way too much crap in your house.  By crap I mean material possessions which you’re not using, which are taking up space, and which you probably purchased as an impulse rather than a real need.  Start the new year differently this year by making a list of what you can get rid of – not what you want to accumulate.  Shrinking your basis of material possessions will free up both your mind and your wallet.  Living a substance based life is one of the 18 Financial Tips I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was 18.
  3. Reverse your buying cycle.  Most of us run up our credit card to then pay it off when we get the money.  Start the new year by reversing this cycle.  Try delaying your spending by one pay cycle so that instead of putting your purchases on credit, you put them on your debit card.  By spending the money you already have, you’ll force yourself to think twice about impulse buys.

20 Ways to Simplify Your Work Life

Written by Sam on . Posted in Career Advice, Inspiration. 3479 views.

Ways To Simplify Your Work LifeWe all get a little crazy on the job every now and then.  From moms at home to on-call response teams, there are ways to limit the craziness and typical work day stress.  Once you trade the temporary high of battle scars and constant adrenaline, you may find that you actually enjoy your job more than you realized.

Feeling overwhelmed at work today?  Try some of these 20 Ways to Simplify Your Work Life:

  1. Know what you’re capable of. If you’re confident in your ability to do your job, even emergency meetings can’t stress you out.
  2. Don’t repeat any gossip you hear. If you can detach yourself from the gossip chain, you cut the majority of the drama out of your work days.  This is also one of the 25 Things to Stop Doing Today at Work.
  3. Create an enjoyable lunchtime ritual. Listen to music, read a book, picnic on the grass, or just enjoy your leftovers.  Let your mind calm down and mark the day’s halfway point.
  4. Keep contact information easily accessible. Any phone numbers that could be urgent should be kept close at hand in a single location.  Day planner, cell phone, Outlook contacts, or index card: do whatever works for you, but keep that information available to avoid turning routine calls into desk-tossing panics.
  5. Clear your desk of anything that’s not necessary, like stacks of catalogs, outdated correspondence, and yesterday’s tea mug.  Keep a personal memento or two on your desk, but make sure the items add meaning to your life, like a family picture or an object that makes you smile or reflect.  Read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.
  6. Always have an update for your supervisor. Always.  Even if it’s something trivial, be ready to answer the “What’s new around here?” or “What’s going on in your department today?” question.  It’s a great way to build trust.
  7. Shorten your task list.  I like to keep two task lists, one for ongoing things that need to be handled at some point and one for what’s on the docket today.

50 Ways to Be Smarter With Your Money While You’re Still Young

Written by Sam on . Posted in Inspiration, Retirement. 9750 views.

Be Smarter With Your MoneyThe personal finance habits you develop when you’re young will determine the standard of living you enjoy (or regret) when you’re older.  Take it from me, adding just a couple of these to your financial routine can make a big difference at the end of the year when you look at your bank statements.

How many of these 50 ways to be smarter with your money do you commit to (most admit to less than half):

  1. Maintain only two forms of debt:  Mortgage and (minimal) car payment.
  2. Donate your time, not your money.  Getting involved is far more valuable to yourself and the organization.
  3. Don’t panic when good investments go down.  Investing should not be based on emotion, stick with your strategies.
  4. Avoid any fees – they take from principal and reduce compounding.
  5. Get your spouse involved in family finances – it’s better for your marriage and for future financial decisions.
  6. Renting is cheaper than owning – we have a good 10 years of this staying true.
  7. Have a 3 month cash reserve for unexpected emergencies.
  8. Save up for your big purchases, don’t put them on credit – helps determine what you need/want and what was just an impulse buy.
  9. Lend family members your time and expertise, not your money – sorry.
  10. Max out company matching/contribution to 401(k).

12 Reasons Your Boss Should Be Begging You To Work From Home

Written by Sam on . Posted in Career Advice. 9424 views.

Just the fact that you came to work today means you’re going to get less done than you could have.  That’s right I said it, you’re less efficient working at the office than at home.  More and more businesses are coming to the realization that it’s not just a great fringe benefit, it’s in everyone’s best interest to allow an employee to work remotely.

Both employers and employees should consider these 12 reasons to cut loose from the company office building:

  1. Add time to your day.  The average employee commutes 1 hour per day to and from work.  That’s 20 hours a month of wasted time.  Just think what else you could accomplish if you had an extra hour per day added to your life!
  2. Increased creativity from better surroundings.  Having the choice to work in a park, coffee house, library or from the comfort of your own home helps to relax and inspire you.  Most design firms have already realized this and encourage their employees to experience new surroundings.  Working from your deck is a lot more stimulating than your cubicle.
  3. Avoid distractions.  Escaping chatty coworkers and office politics will help you to recapture a significant portion of your work time.  Most of us have become so used to distractions that we don’t realize how debilitating these constant interruptions can be.  Anyone who has had the opportunity to work remotely knows just how much more they get done in a shorter time.
  4. Work harder and smarter.  Those who work remotely have to make it a point to show their productively.  Now ‘working’ is transparent.  There’s no room for manipulating perception by simply showing up early, leaving late or running around with your hair on fire – now your accomplishments/actions/results will define you.  This is a good thing and one of the 7 Ways to Be Seen As An Expert In Your Industry.
  5. Global Reach. Now even small businesses are able to have ‘offices’ worldwide. Forget about just the local potential, imagine the perspectives (and resources) that employees located throughout the state, county or globe could bring to the company.  Pretty neat if you think about it.

7 Ways to Be Seen as an Expert in Your Industry

Written by Sam on . Posted in Education, Inspiration. 8675 views.

Ways to be seen as an expert in your industry

Being perceived as an expert in your industry is one of the Financial Tips I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was Younger as well as a great source of job security and profitability.  As someone who has become an expert in a specific niche, having sold a successful information based resource website to a Fortune 500 company, I’ve seen the benefits of expertise first hand.  I’ve also seen others expand upon their own expertise to create phenomenal entrepreneurial opportunities.  Follow these initial steps to start down the path of becoming an expert in your industry:

    1. Be organized!  I’m a huge believer in organizing your resources and information.  To be perceived as an expert you don’t have to know every answer immediately, you just need to be able to access information in a timely manner.  Throughout the day I have no problem telling a client that I’ll have to call them back – I’ll then review my notes or do additional research and formulate a focused and intelligent response.
    2. Ask for help.  Experts become experts by learning from other experts.  Mistakes can be good, but avoiding them can be better.  Associate with people who share your same level of passion, even if it’s a different niche, and you’ll be inspired to achieve more. Excellent Read: Outliers: The Story of Success.
    3. Get your knowledge out there.  This may be the most important takeaway – get your expertise out there in the marketplace.   I have seen great results, including job offers,  from non-monetized websites, twitter posts or Facebook pages.  Volunteering to speak at a company seminar, submitting a guest article for your industry newsletter or writing an eBook will all work to get you recognized as an expert.

    14 Ways To Trick Your Customers and Co-Workers Into Liking You

    Written by Sam on . Posted in Education, Inspiration. 6029 views.

    Business relationships matter.  It’s the relationship that keeps your clients coming back and not going across the street to your competitor. The key to starting (and maintaining) a successful relationship is being likable.

    Whether you’re already likeable or a real SOB, if you want to be successful in business you’re going to need to be liked.  For some of us, that means playing dirty.

    Here are some sneaky ways to trick people into liking you:

    1. Jump on a crisis.  People never forget when you help them out in their time of need.  Even small tasks like helping a busy co-worker make copies or filling in when they’re on vacation will make you stand out (and appreciated). Better yet, help a coworker or client who was recently laid off – I guarantee it will solidify a relationship for life.
    2. Bypass technology.  Email is the enemy of effective communication.  With everyone being so damn reliant upon email, most of us have become afraid to meet in person.  A face to face lunch, an impromptu meeting at the office, or even just picking up the phone will go further than years of email communication.
    3. Open up personally.  The more you share your passions, hobbies, and family stories the less likely you are to get fired and more likely you are to get the sale.  People are suckers for a good “My kid started walking for the first time this weekend” story.  Your life is interesting, I promise. Excellent read: “Rework”, by David Heinemeier Hansson.
    4. Show your sense of humor.  Don’t be afraid to tell a cheesy joke or play a prank.  Loosening up a client or coworker can help cut through inefficient formalities and accomplish what you want quicker.   Humor is obviously a sign of tremendous intelligence.
    5. Grow a mustache.  Just kidding…or am I?

    18 Financial Tips I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was Younger

    Written by Sam on . Posted in Inspiration. 25602 views.


    Sooner or later most of us will be caught saying or thinking “If I only knew then what I know now”. I started diving into specifics, but eventually settled on a list to get us thinking. Look for the series to continue with expanded topics upon each of the following 18 tips:
    1. Work smarter, not harder.  Follow an interest or passion.  Focus your efforts on working to develop a way of life, not just a job or position.  There will always be a company willing to trade you dollars for your time – pursue your interests and work toward making that your way of life.  Excellent read:  “Rework” by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson.
    2. Surround yourself with good people.  Good people are inspiring, trustworthy and ultimately great for business.  Not everyone fits into this category, but don’t be afraid to reach out and build relationships with those around you.
    3. Develop the habit of saving.  Much like brushing your teeth or wearing your seat belt, saving should be a habit.  You should feel guilty when you don’t do it  - it’s one of 10 easy things to increase your net worth in 10 years.

    8 Ways Financially Successful People Start Their Mornings

    Written by Sam on . Posted in Inspiration. 4612 views.

    Beginning the day with a purpose and a plan increases your chances of success.  Here are 8 ideas to start your day with (how many are you doing?):
    1. Get an early start.  Most markets and businesses open by 9 A.M.  Whether you work from home or commute to an office, the more time you’ve had to digest the day’s news, goals and obstacles, the greater advantage you’ll have over your competition.
    2. Get in the habit of exercising.  Other than the obvious health benefits, movement increases brain function and decreases stress levels.  Developing a consistent habit of exercising is a discipline which will carry over into your business day – Apple CEO, Tim Cook, is in the gym by 5 A.M. every morning!  Excellent read: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.
    3. Make a to-do list.  Lists are a great way to keep yourself on track and visually aware of your goals for the day.  Getting in the habit of prioritizing key tasks and identifying less urgent matters is a great way to decrease stress and increase your efficiency.  Literally crossing matters off a list will help to put issues behind you and move on to the next task at hand.
    4. Stay informed.  Whether you prefer National Public Radio or the Wall Street Journal, start the day by hearing about what is going on in the world.  Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just conversation points for clients and co-workers, being well informed is always a positive.  Staying informed is a key contributor in achieving the 10 Easy Tricks to an Increased Net Worth in 10 Years.