Archives for January 2015

5 Ways Business Leaders Can Change the World

Since the first days of the barter system, humankind has had the capacity to change life for the better within communities. Unfortunately, many business leaders have found comfort in amassing wealth over helping the needy. It is the person’s position and wealth that can impact life for the better in society by promoting organized growth and education. People like Glen Gonzalez have the capacity to give back to the world in order to enlighten others. How can business leaders alter the path of humankind’s future?

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Supporting Education

Knowledge is a key factor in promoting efficiency and sustainability. Education regarding various subjects can enhance a community by allowing it to develop alternative measures to existing problems. Although supporting education can be done by helping schools, you can also support it by providing courses for the employees. Those that have extended knowledge regarding their tasks are more likely to have an increase in productivity. This supports the business infrastructure while helping someone acquire additional skills and education.

Supporting Healthier Lifestyles

Some insurance companies will provide discounts on company-wide premiums if the business promotes healthy lifestyles and practices. This benefits the company by keeping employees healthy and productive. These measures could influence personal decisions for the better improving lifestyles for many others. For example, offering a quit-smoking program can improve the health of the employee while putting more money in his or her pocket for other purchases. In this situation, the impact could cause a ripple effect as money is saved from buying cigarettes and he or she could influence the decisions of another to quit as well.

Exploring Potential

Don’t set employees up to fail. By assigning tasks tailored to an individual, you enhance success while allowing the employee to feel pride from accomplishments. This can directly affect his or her mindset and give the staff member confidence for future projects. His or her confidence can be expressed in the employee’s personal life influencing those nearby. As confidence is a key component in self-esteem, it can enhance the overall lifestyle of the individual.

Charitable Events

Giving to charity is a simple task that many companies partake in regularly. However, actual participation in the event can go far beyond name recognition on a plaque for just writing a check. This is especially true in the social setting as potential customers can see your commitment to helping others. For many people, this act of selflessness is more than enough reason to use your company for future purchases or services. Although it can be a great marketing tactic, the capacity to involve the business in a charity can help others far more than what a personal donation can accomplish.

Influencing Others

Depending on the size of the business and the recognition you have among your peers, you may have more influence in decision making than you realize. By using your connections, you can possibly sway others to help build a sustainable community. If more businesses banded together for any particular cause, funding would no longer be an issue for various charities.

A single business owner can make a profound difference within his or her community. Even the small business can make an impact in the future by helping a family or encouraging benefits for society. Without the proper well-being of the supporting classes, there is no business income. What can you do to improve life in your area?

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Out of Your Comfort Zone: Taking Risks in Business

Going into business is a big risk. Yet some people look for business opportunities that they are comfortable with. They operate at a pace that keeps the money rolling in slowly but surely. There really is nothing wrong with this picture – except that it does not bring in enough money fast enough. Those who want to grow by leaps and bounds in their business will have to be willing to go out of their comfort zone and try new things. This does not mean shucking their old products or old processes altogether. It simply means being open to taking calculated risks in business.

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You should not be afraid to make changes and to innovate. When taking these risks in business, you need to have a carefully planned strategy. You will increase your chances of succeeding if you are fully prepared for the risks that you are about to take. You should also have a fall back plan that you can switch to in case your original plan does not go as you planned. This will mitigate whatever negative effects it could cause your business.

It would also help to bring your key personnel into your plans. Keep everyone informed of what you want to happen. Give them the chance to share their inputs on how such risks will affect their own operational areas. Allow them too to draw up their plans of action to handle such risks. Engaging your entire employee force and making sure that everyone is working towards the same goal will make it easier for you to face the risks that you are about to take.

When you do succeed, don’t forget to reward those who worked with you and were brave enough to share the risks with you. Taking risks in business does not happen with one person alone. Through collaboration and cooperation, you can be assured that your business stands a better chance of succeeding no matter what risks you take on.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Group Study

Studying as a group can be a really great way to share resources and knowledge with your fellow students and prepare for exams and assignments. Below you’ll find the ‘unwritten rules’ that can help make sure you get the most out of a study group session.

Don’t: Use it as an Alternative to Tutoring

Everybody should be contributing to the group study session; it’s not a chance for everyone to just pick the brain of the smartest person in the class. If you feel like you need more intensive, individual support to understand the subject, speak to your lecturer. Some colleges, such as Evocca College, provide support services like a weekly check-in phone call from a tutor. Even if you’re not lucky enough to have something like this in place at your school, there will be resources that you can find on campus if you need one-on-one support.

group study

Do: Collaborate

If you’re all just sitting there silently focusing on your own work, you miss out on the chance to share information and comprehension of the subject matter with one another. Have a plan and structure to the session and make sure you communicate and contribute to ensure you’re getting the most out of the group setting. It can help to assign roles and set an agenda for what you’re hoping to get through in the session.

Don’t: Assume Something Is Right Just Because a Classmate Said It

No matter how much conviction someone makes a claim with, remember these are your fellow students, so they may not be right. Talk, share and collaborate, but if somebody has a different understanding to your own on the subject, make a note to do your own additional research or discuss with your tutor rather than just assuming that what they’re saying is correct.

Do: Take it Seriously

Be on time, bring everything you need along with you, and be present. If you’ve gotten a group of friends or fellow students together to study, give them the respect of your full attention to the subject matter. During the designated timeframe of the study session, try not to deviate from discussing the classwork; if you want to catch up and socialise, organise a coffee date for before or after the session.

Don’t: Forget That Location Matters

Ideally, see if your campus or local community library has meeting spaces you can reserve. Not only will you have access to reference materials, but there are usually internet connections, whiteboards and printers. If you can’t get a meeting space, somewhere quiet (where conversation is allowed) with plenty of space for everyone to set up will do.

Getting together to study as a group can be a really effective way to gauge your understanding of course material and get ready for tests and assessments. You just need to make sure you have some goals and a structure to the sessions to make sure everyone is getting what they need from studying together.

What’s your advice to help students get the most out of a group study session? Share your tips in the comments below.

Image courtesy of vadymvdrobot – Fotolia

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How to Handle Hazardous Materials

Do you handle hazardous materials in your day to day life or job? If so, you should know the basics of safety when working with dangerous materials. The following tips are great for you to find out today and will start off your education in hazardous materials.

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1. Pay attention during training! Even if you’ve worked with chemicals before, you can always use a brush up. Or, you may need to know new information about chemicals you’re not used to working with.

2. Pay close attention while you’re working with the chemicals. If hazardous materials are a common part of your job, it’s easy to get lax and simply go through the motions. However, it’s just as important to be extra safe the first time you handle chemicals as it is the hundredth time you handle them.

3. Before handling the materials, make sure that what’s inside the container is the same as what it’s labeled. If you find that something is labeled incorrectly, report it before doing anything else.

4. Read the MSDS (material safety data sheet) before using any materials.

5. Only use chemicals and materials for the purpose they’re intended for.

6. While handling chemicals, don’t eat or drink, use makeup, or handle anything that you’re going to be on your face or body. Even if you think your hands are clean, there could be traces of materials that could make you sick or hurt you. Always make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after working with hazardous materials.

7. Always store chemicals in dry, cool areas that have good ventilation.

8. At least one time every shift, clean all work surfaces to keep the risk of contamination as low as possible.

9. Even if you handle hazardous materials with as much care as possible, accidents still happen. Make sure that you know the proper emergency procedures so that you can respond to a problem right away.

Since safety precautions vary depending on what types of chemicals you’re working with, always make sure to follow the specific guidelines for exactly what you’re handling.

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Apps for Improving Personal Finance in 2015

Building your personal wealth today is one way to secure your future. Anyone who is capable of earning money on a regular basis has the potential to create more wealth for himself. It is a matter of having a financial goal and the determination to achieve it.

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Financial goals can range from reducing debts, having a positive net worth, or increasing the value of one’s asset. Setting a financial goal is the easy part, seeing it through can test one’s determination to improve personal finance. Here are some tips and apps to help you get a move on building personal wealth for 2015.

The road to improving your personal finance starts with learning how to budget, save, and invest your money. Budgeting involves managing your cash inflow and outflow. The simple rule here is never spend more than what you earn. List down your fixed income vs. fixed expenses and get the difference. If you end up with a positive result then you can use extra funds to build your future wealth. However, negative results mean that you have to find ways to either cut down on expenses or earn extra income.

Smartphone apps like Mint, My Budget Book, and Expensify can help you track earning and spending habits to help you manage your budget efficiently. There are also apps like IOU Debt Manager and Ready for Zero that may be used by those who have negative net worth due to debts.

Negative or break even cash flow can be improved without necessarily taking on an extra job. One can take advantage of discount deals to stretch their budget or find ways to eliminate unnecessary expenses. Coupons app and Stores app can help you find the latest discount deals so you can buy more items with less money. The extra funds you save can be used for investments.

A surefire way to build your personal finance is to put money in investments with higher yield than the inflation rate. Investments can range from bank placements, stocks, real estate, forex, etc. You may want to consult a financial advisor first before diving into these investments especially if you are not familiar with them.

There are also smartphone apps like Learnvest, Sigfig, Personal Capital, Bloomberg, and ACTEC Wealth Advisor that can help you learn more and manage your investments.

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