How to Stop Business and Money Stress from Hurting Your Health

In a CNN money report, money was quoted as a greater stress inducer than politics for millennials. The reasons for stressing about money included worrying about not having an investment plan to how to fund one’s retirement.

For small business owners in particular, stress sources range from juggling one’s work and one’s personal life to low-income months and cash-flow difficulties.

But stressing about money can lead to financial troubles on a different scale. For instance, many studies have focused on the connection between driver stress and accidents on the road.

According to West Coast Trial Lawyers, an accident attorney in Los Angeles, “Millions of Americans are injured every year in motor vehicle accidents. […] The cost of medical care associated with treating car accident injuries can be extreme, and in many situations the injured individual may not be able to return to work for a long period of time, if ever.”

So money worries can cause stress. And stress can cause accidents and harm one’s health. Which results in steep medical bills, which further creates more money worries. In short, stress can kickstart a bad money cycle with repercussions that widen as the stress and bills accumulate.

How can a small business owner keep stress from doing a double whammy to your health and your money?

Here are the strategies you can put into place to zap stress before it comes knocking.

Look at staying healthy as part of your business

You can’t run a business efficiently on 4 hours of sleep. Nor can you be an effective entrepreneur from a hospital bed. Maintaining your health is an essential aspect of you being able to run your business. You come first. Without you, there would be no business.

Taking care of yourself should always be at the top of your daily to-do list. This means that whatever you need to do to stay healthy should be done first and foremost.

Get enough sleep. Don’t pull all-nighters. Figure out an exercise plan that works for you. Strategize on how you will eat nutritious meals daily. The healthier you are the more you will be able to work.

Have a support system

It’s likely that running a business is not the only hat you wear. You might be a parent, raising a couple of kids. Or a daughter, caring for elderly parents. Or perhaps you have more than one business that you are running.

No one is going to give you medals for attempting to do it all on your own. Get help as soon as possible. Create a support system that you can lean on when needed.

Your support system can pick up the slack for you. For instance, with children, work out an arrangement with your close friends or family for babysitting duties. And be sure to return the favor when they need help.

Or in the case of running a couple of businesses, train someone to take care of the duties that you won’t be able to get to on certain days.

Get comfortable with saying no

Establish clear boundaries and practice the art of saying no, kindly but firmly. Small business owners are often faced with many demands on their time. And without clear boundaries, they can get roped into agreeing to something that they do not have the resources to carry out.

Know your limits. Pushing past your limits might be advisable in certain cases when you deem the payoff worth it. But only when it’s you deciding to push your own limits. Not when others make that decision for you.

Worried that you could be losing clients and alienating people you need on your side? There is an art to saying no. A flat out “no” with zero explanation will do more damage than good.

One easy way to do this is to explain your boundaries as rules that you have put in place for your business. For example, “I have a rule about not working after 5PM.” Or “I have a policy about accepting X type of work.”

The bottom line to cut stress from your life? There are strategies you can enact that will make your life as a small business owner a lot easier. It only takes small daily steps to keep stress in check. But the payoff will be worth it. Not only will you be safeguarding your finances, but you will be able to enjoy both your life and your work once again!

Image: energepic

Remote control — 3 child-friendly home careers for mums

When your maternity leave is drawing to a close, it’s natural to consider whether you really want to return to the same job you’ve been doing for years.

Having a baby might make you reassess your career and decide that doing something completely different would make you happier and your relationships more harmonious.

But picking a new path can be a bit of a brain-teaser — so here are three child-friendly home careers for mums.

1 . Virtual PA

If you’re a natural organiser with good communication skills, becoming a virtual PA like Anna Burton could allow you to earn a decent living offering your polished services to stressed-out corporate high-fliers.

For those who have already worked as an executive assistant, working remotely lets you pick hours that fit around family commitments — while ensuring your hard-earned experience doesn’t go to waste.

But PA newbies can take an online diploma to get a solid foundation in touch typing, shorthand, bookkeeping and the most common office software applications.

Once you build up a loyal clientele, you might eventually need to hire your own assistants to share the workload.

2 . Digital marketing

Digital marketing is a broad field that covers everything from web development to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), web analytics, social media and account management.

But most roles are suited to home work — and if you’re a mum working for a digital agency like Attercopia, you’ll thrive in a flexible, family-friendly culture where remote teams are tightly-knit.

If you’re new to the sector, you can possibly adapt existing skills in writing or project management — but studying for an online digital marketing qualification can provide you with the basic knowledge needed to get started.

If you don’t feel ready to work exclusively for an agency or brand, cut your teeth as a freelancer who helps SMEs establish their digital presence or provide basic training at government-funded workshops — there are several possible income streams to tap into.

3 . Immigration consultancy

With Britain withdrawing from the EU, immigration rules that are already tough to get your head around are set to become increasingly complex for people from Europe and beyond who still want to come to the UK to join family, work and study.

So if you’ve already got Home Office visa decision-making experience, starting an immigration service like de Prey Consulting lets you work from home and apply your insider knowledge to help applicants successfully navigate the system.

You’ll need to sit your OISC level 1, 2 or 3 exams, depending on the immigration rules categories you want to specialise in — but once you’re qualified, it’s simple to communicate with clients worldwide via phone or video link.

Choose one of these three child-friendly home jobs for mums and take remote control of your new career.

Are you a mum who works from home? Share your story in the comments section.

Image: Pixabay

You Did the Work: Why Wage Theft is Such a Serious Crime

Wage theft is a serious crime. In effect it’s no different from any other form of theft or robbery, minus the violence that sometimes comes with these crimes. In fact, because wage theft is heard of so little in comparison to other crimes, it’s believed to be becoming an epidemic within the United States.

How Big a Problem are Lost Wages?

The Economic Policy Institute estimates that stolen wages are costing our national workforce up to $50 billion a year! This is significantly more than the $14 billion lost to traditional types of robberies and thefts combined. Let that sink in for a moment – combining all robberies, thefts, auto thefts and burglaries gives a figure which is less than 1/3rd of what lost wages cost the population! Is it any surprise this being called an epidemic?

How Does Wage Theft Happen?

There are many ways wage theft can occur. The number one tactic used in employer theft of wages is to get you doing unpaid work. So many workers don’t even realise how much cash this costs them!

For example, the law requires you to have a break after a certain amount of hours, depending on which state you’re in. Often times this will be an unpaid break, as you are supposed to be on break from working during it. However, to get your workload completed and keep the employer happy, you might end up working through this break. That could be a half hour of unpaid work each day.

Perhaps to keep on top of your workload this still isn’t enough. Maybe you need to stay behind or start a little early each day, adding another half hour total on top of your day. This is now an hour per day of extra, unpaid work! Add to this any special requests for help from your employer, and you could end up doing an entire day of extra work each week, without any pay for it! Not to mention how many employers expect you to clock in and get ready for the day before your shift starts, or to clean up only AFTER your shift has finished.

Would you be okay with somebody stealing a days wages from you if it was taken as a cash amount after you’d earned it? Of course not! As the United Steel Workers have already said – this magnitude of crime deserves jail time!

What Can You do About it?

The simple answer is to find a good, experienced lawyer in this field. There are many specialists out there who know what approach to use to get the best results in your industry, or even with your specific employer.

In an age where many employers opt to simply change their business name/location or other details to avoid payment, an experienced lawyer is key. These people know how to best enforce a claim and make sure that you get paid. Using inexperienced lawyers has seen many people win cases yet still fail to claim any actual compensation or payment from their employer because of tricks like leaving the city.

Don’t risk this happening to you, go for a reputable attorney from the start and you can rest easy knowing you will receive what you’re owed.

Image: Artem Bali

Finding Office Space For Balancing Business and Babies

As a mother and a businesswoman, we just want to say it now; you rock. Not only are you doing the hardest job any woman could, but you’re also building an enterprise. Most of us struggle to do one, but you’re juggling both like a pro. If anyone has ever deserved a pat on the back, it’s you.

While we’re fully aware that juggling business and baby are never easy, they are usually possible if you’re willing to push yourself when working from home. The chance to stop and start as baby needs you is invaluable. What’s more, your home office doesn’t have a cut-off point. You can keep working until the early hours of the morning, and no one’s there to tell you otherwise.

Image: ThoughtCatalog

But, as your business starts to grow, you may find that it’s harder to juggle motherhood and work. And, no; that’s not just because your to-do list will get longer. More, you’ll find that you can no longer keep things afloat at home alone. As orders pile in and profits soar, you’ll have to employ others, and take your business to a commercial space. And, when that happens, keeping on top of your two responsibilities could get harder. At least, it will unless you consider the following things during your office hunt.

Look for proximity to playschool

Even if your baby isn’t in playschool yet, it’s worth your while to rent office space within walking distance of decent options. While you’re at it, take a look at any schools in the area. This may seem a little far in the future, but the last thing you want to do is establish your company here and then move. Relocation is best avoided at all costs. So, you need to make sure that your office space suits your needs as a mother above all. And, that means being close by your children in case anything should happen. Pick an office in the right spot, and even a sick call at nursery won’t take too large a chunk from your day. As well as being reassuring for your kids, this is one of the best chances you have to manage both your business and motherhood responsibilities. And, that can ensure both aspects of your life keep ticking along nicely. Oh, and the other mothers on your team are sure to appreciate this, too.

Consider whether you could have children onsite

Any mother will tell you that taking the kids to work for the day is NOT the recipe for productivity. But, there may come times when you have no choice. If they’re sick or off playschool for whatever reason, you at least need the option of taking them in with you. Sadly, not all offices out there allow for this option. A unit in a large business block, for instance, is unlikely suitable for screaming babies at any time of day. The other businesses around certainly wouldn’t appreciate your child zipping up and down in the elevator. As such, it’s worth looking out for offices which stand alone from other units. If you can’t find anything suitable, at least look for a first-floor unit which will save those cries ringing out across the floors above and below you. As well as making your life easier, any mothers on your staff are sure to appreciate this effort. If there are a lot of you on board, you could even consider setting up a day-care room for these situations. But, that just won’t be an option if you don’t consider this beforehand.

Image: Kurt_Niemans

Ensure you can work remotely if you need to

If you can’t or simply don’t want to take your kids onsite, you could always put remote plans in place. These will ensure you can stay productive if you’re at home with them. Old filing methods mean you have to be in the office to stand any chance of getting things done. But, by taking your storage to a Cloud computing system, you stand to get tasks done no matter where you are. This could be a real lifesaver for those sick days we spoke about. Not only will your kids get to stay in their own beds during illness, but you won’t have to worry about concentrating with them next to you. Instead, you can sit downstairs in silence, and get on with the work which needs doing. All you’d need is a computer and an internet connection. That’s magic mothers like you could put to good use.



Improving Your Outlook: Creating Your First Resume Does Not Have to be Difficult

One of the most daunting tasks of job hunting is also one of the most important tasks any job seeker will have to do. In this day of high-speed internet in our pockets and HD graphics everywhere, the tried-and-true resume is still the most used tool for any job hunter out there. While the methods of delivery may have changed over time, the importance of getting your fine-tuned resume in the right hands is still of the utmost importance.

You Are Never Alone

We’ve all heard it from someone at sometime. The truth is, we are told we’re not alone so many times because we are truly never alone. Even when we are working on that dreaded resume for a new position or job, someone out there has our back.

One important thing to keep in mind throughout your whole job search is that those in charge of hiring are generally busy people with limited time and resources to find the right person. A resume template is the best way to give the person in charge all of the information they will need in an organized manner. Don’t try to reinvent the resume with a crazy design and layout, just keep things simple with a well-designed resume template. Let’s go over some tips as an introduction to creating a resume with a template to help you land that next job.

Keep It Simple, Seeker

Again, hiring managers and others in charge of hiring are busy people with limited time to weed out the good from the mounds of bad they receive all day. Keep this in mind as you write up sections and carefully choose wording to get to the point without losing effect. The key to remember here is that a resume should not be more than one page long.

Job descriptions are another place where resume writers can get a bit wordy. Instead of stretching out a job description to make it seem more important, use more action words to get a stronger effect. Thankfully, there are great action word lists out there that can help you find just the right words to make each description sound fresh and exciting.

Simple Does Not Mean Boring

While you need to keep things succinct on your resume, you also need to keep things engaging and stand out from the possibly hundreds of other resumes sitting in the same pile. This is where you can show off your creativity a little bit. The use of verbs will help keep the reader engaged, but a little flair can help you stand out. Many resume templates allow for a little splash of color in their design. This can be subtle yet effective. Another idea is to incorporate some of you into your resume. Editors and proofreaders can include sections corrected in red to lighten the mood, or include a short list of desired traits but relate them to something entirely different than the job.

When you’re creating your first resume, things can seem scary. Remember, using a resume template makes things much easier and gives you an organized way to present yourself to future employers. You got this, now go get it.

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