5 Pieces of Money Advice No One Ever Wants to Hear From Me

You know how adults always told you to “eat your veggies” and greens when you were a kid? Well, that nagging advice doesn’t necessarily stop in adulthood. As a financial planner, I’m constantly giving people good advice they don’t want.

I know no one wants to hear this kind of money advice. But those who do listen — and more importantly, implement these ideas — tend to have better control over their cash flow, higher savings rates, and more financial power.

You might not like it, but much like eating broccoli and kale, taking it in is often for your own good.

1. Don’t buy so much house

Buying a home is rarely a data-driven decision. It’s an emotional one, and for good reason. For many people, homeownership represents stability, security, and even status.

These are not unimportant things, but too many people use their emotions as excuses to throw financial reality out the window when it comes to house hunting.

Set a budget and stick to it. We often recommend keeping your total annual housing costs to no more than 20% of your gross annual household income.

This helps ensure you retain flexibility in other areas of your cash flow so that you can own your home and keep pursuing other important goals or have money available for your other priorities.

2. And don’t assume your house is a good investment

I often caution people against thinking of their home as an investment. Again, that doesn’t mean buying is a bad idea or your house isn’t worth as much as you think it is. But an investment should provide a return.

A single-family home that serves as your primary residence (and does not provide rental income) may be an excellent utility. It is not, however, what I would consider a good investment.

Home values do tend to rise over time, but the cost of ownership, maintenance, and upkeep often erode most of the “gains” you might see when just looking at the transaction of buying and then selling your home on paper.

A reasonable, real return on single-family homes runs about 2%. That’s not nothing, but it’s also not something you can assume will fund your full retirement, either (especially when you have to live somewhere, retired or not, and most people put the equity from a home sale into their next purchase).

3. Save more than you think you need to

It’s really important to me that I help my clients strike a balance between enjoying their lives in the present while also building assets and future financial security. This would be much easier to do if we had a crystal ball and could accurately predict what life would be like in 10, 20, even 30 years.

We’d know your budget. We’d know what kinds of emergencies you’d have to deal with, and prepare accordingly. And we’d understand what your life would look like (including how long it would be).

With that clarity, it would be possible to say, “you need $X. Save just that and feel free to spend the rest.” That is, obviously, not how life works.

The solution? Save more than you think you need to, because then you give yourself a margin of safety. By saving more than you necessarily must save to “be OK,” you can better:

  • Handle emergencies
  • Take advantage of opportunities when they come up (either to spend on an unexpected trip, for example, or to use money on an investment you feel passionate about)
  • Incorporate new goals into your planning over time

Saving more that you think you need today also buys you more choice and freedom in the future. The usual guideline I give to clients to help them achieve this is to save 25% of annual gross income.

4. Have a backup plan

It might sound like a doom-and-gloom approach to finances, but I preach about always having a backup plan — or those margins of safety, or wiggle room, or contingencies.

No one wants to imagine a worst-case scenario, but if something actually went sideways in your financial life, you’ll be glad you had multiple levels of safety net built into your overall plan.

You can do this in a number of ways, including some we’ve already talked about, like saving more than you think you need to save.

Other ways of building in backups is by maintaining an emergency fund, using conservative assumptions around income, and overestimating your expenses when you do any kind of long-term financial projection, and not counting on any kind of windfall (from bonuses and commissions to inheritances) to make your plan work.

5. Stop trying to time the market

It is so tempting to think we can successfully time the market. Why? Because drops and spikes in the stock market look stupidly obvious with hindsight.

It’s very easy to look back at something like 2008 (or maybe even the spring of 2020 at this point) and feel like you know when the best times to buy and sell would have been… because they already happened. 

Guessing what comes next without the benefit of knowing how things played out is not the same thing. Data shows us that even professionals fail to time the market repeatedly. You may get lucky once, but repeating that performance over and over again for the next few decades is virtually impossible.

Build a strategic investing plan — and then stick to it, regardless of current events.

It’s probably not as fun and may not be as sexy as bragging about your stock picks on Robinhood, but it works a whole lot better in the long run.

By:

Eric Roberge, CFP, is the founder of Beyond Your Hammock. He helps professionals in their 30s do more with their money.

Source: 5 Pieces of Money Advice No One Ever Wants to Hear From Me

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Mental Models: How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways

You can train your brain to think better. One of the best ways to do this is to expand the set of mental models you use to think. Let me explain what I mean by sharing a story about a world-class thinker.

I first discovered what a mental model was and how useful the right one could be while I was reading a story about Richard Feynman, the famous physicist. Feynman received his undergraduate degree from MIT and his Ph.D. from Princeton. During that time, he developed a reputation for waltzing into the math department and solving problems that the brilliant Ph.D. students couldn’t solve.

When people asked how he did it, Feynman claimed that his secret weapon was not his intelligence, but rather a strategy he learned in high school. According to Feynman, his high school physics teacher asked him to stay after class one day and gave him a challenge.

“Feynman,” the teacher said, “you talk too much and you make too much noise. I know why. You’re bored. So I’m going to give you a book. You go up there in the back, in the corner, and study this book, and when you know everything that’s in this book, you can talk again.” 1

So each day, Feynman would hide in the back of the classroom and study the book—Advanced Calculus by Woods—while the rest of the class continued with their regular lessons. And it was while studying this old calculus textbook that Feynman began to develop his own set of mental models.

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What users *think* they know about your system will determine how they interact with the design. Understand users’ mental models to design something that’ll work well in practice. #UX #mentalmodels #userpsychology #HCI

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“That book showed how to differentiate parameters under the integral sign,” Feynman wrote. “It turns out that’s not taught very much in the universities; they don’t emphasize it. But I caught on how to use that method, and I used that one damn tool again and again. So because I was self-taught using that book, I had peculiar methods of doing integrals.”

“The result was, when the guys at MIT or Princeton had trouble doing a certain integral, it was because they couldn’t do it with the standard methods they had learned in school. If it was a contour integration, they would have found it; if it was a simple series expansion, they would have found it. Then I come along and try differentiating under the integral sign, and often it worked. So I got a great reputation for doing integrals, only because my box of tools was different from everybody else’s, and they had tried all their tools on it before giving the problem to me.” 2

Every Ph.D. student at Princeton and MIT is brilliant. What separated Feynman from his peers wasn’t necessarily raw intelligence. It was the way he saw the problem. He had a broader set of mental models.

What is a Mental Model?

A mental model is an explanation of how something works. It is a concept, framework, or worldview that you carry around in your mind to help you interpret the world and understand the relationship between things. Mental models are deeply held beliefs about how the world works.

For example, supply and demand is a mental model that helps you understand how the economy works. Game theory is a mental model that helps you understand how relationships and trust work. Entropy is a mental model that helps you understand how disorder and decay work.

Mental models guide your perception and behavior. They are the thinking tools that you use to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems. Learning a new mental model gives you a new way to see the world—like Richard Feynman learning a new math technique.

Mental models are imperfect, but useful. There is no single mental model from physics or engineering, for example, that provides a flawless explanation of the entire universe, but the best mental models from those disciplines have allowed us to build bridges and roads, develop new technologies, and even travel to outer space. As historian Yuval Noah Harari puts it, “Scientists generally agree that no theory is 100 percent correct. Thus, the real test of knowledge is not truth, but utility.”

The best mental models are the ideas with the most utility. They are broadly useful in daily life. Understanding these concepts will help you make wiser choices and take better actions. This is why developing a broad base of mental models is critical for anyone interested in thinking clearly, rationally, and effectively.

The Secret to Great Thinking and Decision Making

Expanding your set of mental models is something experts need to work on just as much as novices. We all have our favorite mental models, the ones we naturally default to as an explanation for how or why something happened. As you grow older and develop expertise in a certain area, you tend to favor the mental models that are most familiar to you.

Here’s the problem: when a certain worldview dominates your thinking, you’ll try to explain every problem you face through that worldview. This pitfall is particularly easy to slip into when you’re smart or talented in a given area.

The more you master a single mental model, the more likely it becomes that this mental model will be your downfall because you’ll start applying it indiscriminately to every problem. What looks like expertise is often a limitation. As the common proverb says, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” 3

When a certain worldview dominates your thinking, you’ll try to explain every problem you face through that worldview.

Consider this example from biologist Robert Sapolsky. He asks, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Then, he provides answers from different experts.

  • If you ask an evolutionary biologist, they might say, “The chicken crossed the road because they saw a potential mate on the other side.”
  • If you ask a kinesiologist, they might say, “The chicken crossed the road because the muscles in the leg contracted and pulled the leg bone forward during each step.”
  • If you ask a neuroscientist, they might say, “The chicken crossed the road because the neurons in the chicken’s brain fired and triggered the movement.”

Technically speaking, none of these experts are wrong. But nobody is seeing the entire picture either. Each individual mental model is just one view of reality. The challenges and situations we face in life cannot be entirely explained by one field or industry.

All perspectives hold some truth. None of them contain the complete truth.

Relying on a narrow set of thinking tools is like wearing a mental straitjacket. Your cognitive range of motion is limited. When your set of mental models is limited, so is your potential for finding a solution. In order to unleash your full potential, you have to collect a range of mental models. You have to build out your decision making toolbox. Thus, the secret to great thinking is to learn and employ a variety of mental models.

Expanding Your Set of Mental Models

The process of accumulating mental models is somewhat like improving your vision. Each eye can see something on its own. But if you cover one of them, you lose part of the scene. It’s impossible to see the full picture when you’re only looking through one eye.

Similarly, mental models provide an internal picture of how the world works. We should continuously upgrade and improve the quality of this picture. This means reading widely from the best books, studying the fundamentals of seemingly unrelated fields, and learning from people with wildly different life experiences. 4

The mind’s eye needs a variety of mental models to piece together a complete picture of how the world works. The more sources you have to draw upon, the clearer your thinking becomes. As the philosopher Alain de Botton notes, “The chief enemy of good decisions is a lack of sufficient perspectives on a problem.”

The Pursuit of Liquid Knowledge

In school, we tend to separate knowledge into different silos—biology, economics, history, physics, philosophy. In the real world, information is rarely divided into neatly defined categories. In the words of Charlie Munger, “All the wisdom of the world is not to be found in one little academic department.” 5

World-class thinkers are often silo-free thinkers. They avoid looking at life through the lens of one subject. Instead, they develop “liquid knowledge” that flows easily from one topic to the next.

This is why it is important to not only learn new mental models, but to consider how they connect with one another. Creativity and innovation often arise at the intersection of ideas. By spotting the links between various mental models, you can identify solutions that most people overlook.

Tools for Thinking Better

Here’s the good news:

You don’t need to master every detail of every subject to become a world-class thinker. Of all the mental models humankind has generated throughout history, there are just a few dozen that you need to learn to have a firm grasp of how the world works.

Many of the most important mental models are the big ideas from disciplines like biology, chemistry, physics, economics, mathematics, psychology, philosophy. Each field has a few mental models that form the backbone of the topic. For example, some of the pillar mental models from economics include ideas like Incentives, Scarcity, and Economies of Scale.

If you can master the fundamentals of each discipline, then you can develop a remarkably accurate and useful picture of life. To quote Charlie Munger again, “80 or 90 important models will carry about 90 percent of the freight in making you a worldly-wise person. And, of those, only a mere handful really carry very heavy freight.” 6

I’ve made it a personal mission to uncover the big models that carry the heavy freight in life. After researching more than 1,000 different mental models, I gradually narrowed it down to a few dozen that matter most. I’ve written about some of them previously, like entropy and inversion, and I’ll be covering more of them in the future. If you’re interested, you can browse my slowly expanding list of mental models.

My hope is to create a list of the most important mental models from a wide range of disciplines and explain them in a way that is not only easy to understand, but also meaningful and practical to the daily life of the average person. With any luck, we can all learn how to think just a little bit better.

James Clear

 

By: James Clear

 

Source: Mental Models: How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways

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Warren Buffett Says You Should Practice the 4 Habits That Separate The Best From The Rest

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, turns 91 in August. Remarkably, at an age where most people’s cognitive functions have entirely regressed, where many are now at the hands of caretakers, Buffett still captures the world’s attention as the fifth richest person on the planet.

The greatest investor of this generation has amassed a following of millions who’ve learned, like Buffett, that long-term success is achieved by making smart decisions — in investing and in life.

Here are four Buffett lessons that will yield good returns when you choose to act on them.

1. Master the practice of “boundaries”

With all the demands on him every day, Buffett learned a long time ago that the greatest commodity of all is time. He simply mastered the art and practice of setting boundaries for himself. That’s why this Buffett quote remains a powerful life lesson. The mega-mogul said:

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.

Buffett’s advice is a bull’s-eye to our conscience. We have to know what to shoot for to simplify our lives. It means saying no over and over again to the unimportant things flying in our direction every day and remaining focused on saying yes to the few things that truly matter.

2. Invest in your personal development

What assets should you be investing in the most? In a 2019 interview, Buffett said: “By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.”

As Buffett has repeatedly taught us, it means to never stop acquiring knowledge — the kind of knowledge that betters yourself as a whole person, not just as an investor.

Buffett’s lifelong pursuit of learning, which he shares with his longtime Berkshire Hathaway partner and colleague Charlie Munger, is the secret sauce of his success.

3. Model the leadership behaviors of the best managers

In Buffett’s 2015 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, he summarized how one arrives at leadership greatness in a few words:

Much of what you become in life depends on whom you choose to admire and copy.

The quote was in reference to Tom Murphy, who taught Buffett everything he learned about managing a company. Murphy, who was Buffett’s biggest admirer, gave plenty of lessons on the best management practices that Buffett has adapted for his own companies, including:

  • Give autonomy to workers.
  • Delegate your authority effectively and wisely.
  • Hire for integrity.

4. Build a positive reputation

Buffett’s reputation is founded on his principled and level-headed approach to his personal and professional life. When it comes to building a good reputation, these are some things worth prioritizing:

  • Establishing trust, transparency, and fairness
  • Offering good value and high-quality products and services
  • Treating people with dignity and respect
  • Communicating clearly and promptly
  • Providing a service to the community

You should treat your business practice as a reflection of yourself, and that means being thoughtful and considerate of how your decisions affect others. If you embrace professional opportunities as a chance to add value to your community, your reputation will reflect your own personal growth.

Source: Warren Buffett Says You Should Practice the 4 Habits That Separate the Best From the Rest | Inc.com

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“Poor People Should Do This!” Warren Buffett ***SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS*** – http://bit.ly/2jVoXRb ►If you struggle and have a hard time, consider taking an online therapy session with our partner BetterHelp. https://tryonlinetherapy.com/dailymot…. We receive commissions for referrals to BetterHelp. We only recommend products we know and trust. ►MOTIVATIONAL CLOTHES Be a Dreamer http://onlydreamersallowed.com ____________________ 👉Follow us on: https://twitter.com/dailyM_channel https://www.facebook.com/dailyMOTIVAT… https://www.instagram.com/dailymotiva…
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Millionaire Mindset: 6 Steps to Think and Act Like a Millionaire

6 Steps to the Millionaire Mindset

Why I don’t make Millions?

Steps to Think and Act Like a Millionaire

Millionaire Lessons

Rules of the Millionaire Mindset

1. Invest At Least 10% Of Your Income In Yourself

The next step

The Lesson

2. Invest At Least 80% of Your “Off” Time into Learning

Millionaire Mindset: Becoming more productive

3. Don’t Work For Money, Work to Learn

How to have a millionaire mindset when you have a average job?

Don’t Focus on the money.

4. Don’t Learn For Entertainment, Learn To Create More Value

Nurture the passions you make pay.

Get rid of hobbies that are bad.

5. Invest At Least 10% Of Your Income Into Vehicles That Will Generate More Money

Advantages of Investing

6. Shift Your Motivation From Getting To Giving

Ethics of the Millionaire Mindset

Contribution is the ultimate purpose.

Now I have the Millionaire Mindset:

Joseph Brown

 

Source: Millionaire Mindset: 6 Steps to Think and Act Like a Millionaire | by Joseph Brown | The Startup | Medium

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I think you’ll agree with me when I say that everybody wants to know how to become a millionaire and get rich. Unfortunately, some people just don’t know where to start. Would you be surprised to learn that you can get rich in your own way, starting today? http://bit.ly/2ZBFdpX The following 6 tips will help you visualize the road ahead of you and enable you to set goals to make more money than you ever dreamed.
Learn how to think like a millionaire with my FREE download. Click the link above! ___ Learn more: Give me a follow on Clubhouse! @briantracy — see you there! Subscribe to my channel for free offers, tips and more! YouTube: http://ow.ly/ScHSb Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrianTracyPage Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrianTracy Google+: +BrianTracyOfficialPage Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BrianTracy Instagram: @TheBrianTracy Blog: http://bit.ly/1rc4hlg

Productivity Tips to Help You Work Smarter in the New Year

Here are some highlights from Amy Landino‘s appearance on Agorapulse’s weekly Facebook Live show. You can also view the entire show if you like (and which we recommend!).

Onward to the productivity tips!

1. Broaden Your Creativity

“See what you can make fly, so that you can observe the results of it and then any success that you have, duplicate that or figure out what that looks like.”

Establish a steady (not frantic) pace

“When you have a content goal, and let’s say it’s to have a weekly show on YouTube, which is industry standard. If you started weekly, you’re doing really well. As a matter of fact, YouTube would tell you to start with once a week. Don’t do more than that!”

Try new things

“I like to compare it to carpool karaoke on the set. On these night shows that we start to see on YouTube that work, it’s because you test them on the show. That’s their testing ground, and then what ends up flying ends up being their huge success online.

“That could also be true for the actual show itself, like what they become known for …

“Maybe you become known for a segment, but you have to build that segment out.”

2. Write Out Everything  

“The procedure for that for me is we have to write everything.

Embrace documentation

“Obviously, everything has to be documented, from all the talking points that we need and any other basis we have to cover it or sponsor it or stuff like that.

Establish deadlines

“And then we’re reverse-engineering what the deadlines are. When is the video to go out? When does it need to go to certain approvals? What days are those approvals? When do you film? When do you edit?

“Everything is just a reverse-engineering of a deadline.”

3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

Reverse engineer deadlines to avoid feeling overwhelmed

“And so I do like to look at what are all the deadlines for a month and then reverse engineer the filming. If I can do at least two videos in one day to make the most of hair and makeup, it pays off for me because I don’t have to go crazy and get ready to film so many times in a month.

“That takes a lot of careful planning and making sure that you’re covering your bases and making the time.

free trial of agorapulse social media management tool

Use your time wisely

“Scheduling is a very big passion in my life. I believe we can all make better use of the time that we have.

“And so if you want the content to be good, I do think it needs to be timely.

“It’s amazing how even a video that’s very well-planned, sometimes just when it’s made too far in advance, even on my channel, it just doesn’t fly the same way as it would if it was like this idea that we came up with and got out like traditional YouTube culture.

Give yourself enough time

“But you do need to give yourself enough time to create it.

“So maybe not looking too far in advance but looking at a monthly level or from a monthly viewpoint of what are we trying to get done and when are we going to do it, especially if you’re hiring people to get this kind of stuff done for you.

“You’re definitely going to want to schedule that as well. So it’s pretty obvious that you would then have to schedule whatever you have to do as it pertains to that content.

“But going on a week to week basis with those videos would be really difficult if you’re thinking, we’re going to do this again, I gotta do this, again, I gotta do this.

“Again, if you can kind of knock out for marketing and content creation, just a certain period of time in that month, and then all the other logistics to follow, just have to get done in time for the deadline, you’re in pretty good shape.

“So I do a lot of batching whenever possible.”

Bonus Materials: Free SMART Goals Guide

4. Take Notes and Outline

“The places I spend my time are Evernote for a lot of outlining and note-taking.

Amy Landino productivity tips for social media managers

“But Instagram and Twitter and YouTube are like my main situations because absolutely everything that I’m doing has to do with the feedback that I’ve been getting from my community.

“There’s no reason to write a book unless people want it. There’s no reason to create a video unless there’s some way to convey a message or a tool or a tactic that people wanted.

Practice the art of listening

“And so I have to be listening to all the time. Otherwise, I’m just creatively dead because I specifically make my videos for a specific person and for a specific community, so I need to go to them a lot, especially when a video goes out.

“You watch and see, like, what spawned from this conversation like, Where do we go from here? What follow up questions are to be had? Because that’s probably a great follow-up to this video.”

5. Embrace Talking About the Same Thing a Lot

“I think one of the hardest things for people when they’re creating content is getting out of their head about talking about the same thing all the time.

“I actually love getting that comment from like the random troll every once in a while, like, Oh, my gosh, you talk about the same thing all the time.

“My answer to that is: Yeah because I’m an expert.”

Cultivate your expertise

“So if you are feeling that you’re talking about the same thing a lot, you’re an expert.

“And people usually need to hear what you’re saying a lot for you to make a change if that’s the type of content that you create.

“No matter how many times I feel like I’ve said something, there’s always another way to put it. Because I still get the same types of questions all the time.

“The reality is everybody thinks that their problems are different from everybody. We all think our problems are special and different. But when you really break it down, we’re all talking about the same issues.”

source

6. Give Yourself at Least 15 Minutes Every Morning

“At least allocate 15 minutes to start your day on your terms. You’re going to be better off for the rest of the world because they’re going to be pulling at you for the rest of the day.

“So I’m unbelievably passionate about having my ‘me time’ in the morning. I’m an introvert; I just need that moment because I know that I have to be on the rest of the day. It’s just a part of the gig. And so I take that for myself.

You just have to find what works for you and that was probably the final passion behind this book was everything online is really outlining what you should be doing in the morning. I don’t like the word ‘should.’ I shut down when people save them.

“And so to me, it’s what works for you, and just covering the bases.

“Get that little bit of time it might just take for you to feel like you’re up for that day, and make the work around what your season of life is at that moment.”

By: Veronica Jarski

In Conclusion

Social Pulse Weekly brings you incredible marketing experts and today’s latest social media news and developments. Tune in every Friday at 2PM ET to keep your finger on the pulse of social media.

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Want more helpful, actionable content like this? Subscribe to the Agorapulse newsletter, and get the most recent blog posts and news about the social media channels you use most.

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Brian Tracy

The most successful and wealthiest people all practice the habits I am about to share with you on a daily basis. Adding these daily success habits to your own routine will contribute greatly to your achievement. http://bit.ly/2wHVsEs If you want to set yourself up for success, you must create an effective to-do list. Use my ABCDE Method Checklist to plan your days and weeks more efficiently than ever before. Click the link above to download my ultimate prioritization tool for free. “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” @BrianTracy (Click to Tweet: http://ctt.ec/9bdah) ___________________ Learn more: Subscribe to my channel for free offers, tips and more! YouTube: http://ow.ly/ScHSb Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrianTracyPage Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrianTracy Google+: +BrianTracyOfficialPage Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/BrianTracy Instagram: @TheBrianTracy Blog: http://bit.ly/1rc4hlg

10 Efficient Ways to Save Time So You Can Follow Your Dreams

Time is something we all need more of, but how can you get more of it when there is only 24 hours in a day? Sadly there is no way to put more hours into each day, but what you can do is be more efficient with your time so you can follow your dreams. Here is how I was more efficient during my college years, which allowed me to run a business at the same time.

  1. Watch television on the web – the problem with television is that you had to watch TV shows when they want you to watch them. Now with the technology advancements most entertainment channels like NBC, FOX, CW, and even a few cable networks let you watch your favorite TV shows online. It is free, you can watch the shows when you want to, and an hour show usually ends up being 45 minutes because there are a lot less commercials.
  2. Sleep more – if you learn to take power naps, you will have more energy throughout the day. Although you may lose some time from napping, you will be able to work more efficiently, which will give you more time.
  3. Eat healthy meals – changing your diet maybe hard at first, but eating balanced meals will affect how you do your daily tasks. It will give you more energy so you can get your work done faster.
  4. Do less work – a lot of the things you do on a daily basis, don’t need to be done. Think about your daily routine and cut out anything that isn’t essential. You will be surprised on how much time you are wasting.
  5. Tell people what’s on your mind – being honest and to the point is a great way to accomplish things quicker. When you beat around the bush things don’t get accomplished as fast. Just think about boardroom meetings, people are hesitant to say what is on their mind, which causes meetings to drag on forever.
  1. Have some fun – all work and no play is a good way to make you feel depressed. Get some fun into your life, it will make you feel better, work harder, and hopefully make you want to accomplish your dreams.
  2. Adjust your working hours – many companies are very flexible on what times you can start and end work. If you work in a heavy traffic city such as Los Angeles you can easily spend an hour or 2 commuting to work during rush hour. But if you adjust your working hours you can cut back on driving time drastically.
  3. Cut down on your communication methods – cell phones, email, and instant messaging are just a few tools you probably use to communicate with others. The problem with some of these methods is that they can easily be abused. For example if you log onto AIM, you may waste an hour talking to others about junk. Try and use communication tools like AIM only when you need them.
  4. Don’t multi-task – when you mult-task you tend to switch between what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t. By single tasking you are more likely to do what you are supposed to be doing.
  5. Get rid of distractions – things you may not be thinking of can be distractions. Whether it is gadgets or even checking emails every 5 minutes, this can all distract you. By getting rid or distractions or controlling them, you will have more time on your hands.

Saving time creates time to focus on you and your goals. But finding time is only half the battle. You need to remain as productive as possible with the time you have to make the most of it.

Need help? Here are 51 free productivity apps that can help you out.

Source: https://www.quicksprout.com/

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4 Ways Gratitude Helps Entrepreneurs Right Now

In business, the return on investment (ROI) for your money is valued in terms of the ratio between your net profit and the cost of investment.  A financial analyst quickly calculates this value which generally reflects success, failure and or progress on the part of an entrepreneur or investor. 

The ROI for health and well-being, for entrepreneurs, investors and us all alike, is not as easily calculable. There is plenty of research in health and medicine that discusses how to improve health, regain health and sustain good health. A clear takeaway from the research on gratitude is that gratitude supports well-being in terms of physical, mental, emotional and social health, especially in the time of coronavirus.  In other words, the ROI for well-being from expressing gratitude is particularly strong at this time.

Related: Why Gratitude Makes Leaders More Effective

What are the benefits of expressing gratitude?  There are at least 4 perks of expressing gratitude that promote health and well-being.

1. Expressing gratitude strengthens our relationships

In a study demonstrating that gratitude strengthens relationships, the researchers write, “Relationships with others who are responsive to our whole self — our likes and dislikes, our needs and preferences — can help us get through difficult times and flourish in good times.”

Gratitude’s ability to strengthen relationships leads to strong support systems that boost overall well-being.  The next time you think of a close friend, consider showcasing your gratitude for them!  

2. Expressing gratitude improves our mental health

Gratitude has a positive impact on mental health, encouraging inspiration, motivation, wonder and satisfaction.  Looking for a boost to get your days started?  Expressing gratitude can help you feel inspired by scouring for things big and small to be grateful for.  Inspiration, in turn, leads to motivation which can help reach your goals. Regularly feeling gratitude about nature and connection helps reignite our sense of awe.  

3. Expressing gratitude helps relieve stress

Gratitude helps lower our levels of cortisol — a stress hormone — by about 23 percent, helping to prevent the health problems that stress can lead up to. What does that mean? You can help avert the negative consequences of stress including weight gain, anxiety, headaches, and even heart disease through mindfulness strategies such as a regular gratitude practice.  

Related: The Biological Reason to Practice Gratitude

4. Expressing gratitude curbs anxiety

The ROI on expressing gratitude includes help with anxiety.  A 2015 Italian study in Self and Identity showed that “being grateful renders individuals more prone to show kindness, comprehension, support, and compassion toward themselves when setbacks and frustrations occur.”

Related: How the ‘Gratitude Effect’ Can Reshape Your Life and Its Direction

By promoting self-compassion and self-understanding, gratitude helps reduce unbeneficial self-talk.  In turn, this alleviates anxiety, which 40 million American adults face. 

The ROI for expressing gratitude is real and tangible. Try three strategies to get started on your gratitude practice: 

1. Make a list of three things you are grateful for each day.

More specifically, pick out three different parts/things in each day that you can be grateful for and enjoy them. For example, you appreciate the peacefulness of the sun rising in the morning. Or you like taking your shower and feeling ready to start your day.  These could be regular things you savor or something different each day.

2. Write a thank-you note to someone you care about

Share with a friend why he or she is so meaningful to you.  Or, tell a loved one thank you for them just being who they are.  It might feel awkward, but the bonds you strengthen will leave you feeling satisfied.

3. Write and share an uplifting and inspirational social media post

Post an uplifting quote about gratitude with your friends on social media. Or, you celebrate a friend or loved one’s birthday with a loving and heartfelt status post on a friendly and uplifting app or platform. Enjoy these moments.

By engaging in gratitude regularly,  your ROI for well-being will be multiplied many times over.  Your relationships and stress and anxiety levels will improve.  Invest in gratitude today to see the dividends both now and later.  Coronavirus may have us socially distanced, but our gratitude for living and each other can bring us closer together in meaningful ways.


By: Najma Khorrami / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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The One Thing Every Successful Entrepreneur Does

Talking about how to handle failure as an entrepreneur might seem easy from a distance. But once you find yourself in that ugly rut, you might wish you never trundled the entrepreneurial path. Many compare the feeling to a bad break up, which is what it is.

I remember back in college, my project supervisor talked to me about the wonders of failure. He said failure is a ladder through which an entrepreneur can attain the next phase. As a naïve entrepreneur, I never really grasped the concept or realized how tormenting it would be.

Related: 10 Strategies for Entrepreneurs Dealing With Failure

I had an idea — a business model that I was convinced would be my ticket to financial freedom. It started with a formidable plan, a map to guide me to my dream. I remember the sleepless nights and how passionate that dream burned within me.

Every morning, I would wake up with a sparkle of hope and expectation, ready to play my part in this vast world. To me, time was the only barrier to my dream. If I could remain consistent and focused, I was confident I’d hit the gold, or so I thought.

But then I woke up one morning and discovered that my business had been hit. An algorithm update affected my website’s ranking, causing me to lose over 80% of my traffic in a week. My business was like a baby to me, and I was watching it go down the drain.

Years of hard work, resources and effort materialized to nothing. No doubt, it plunged me into the most profound depression I’ve ever known. I felt worthless, broken, hopeless, and, most of all, I felt like a failure.

Learning from failure

Every failure comes with a lesson, and it is up to you to identify these lessons and do things differently. By learning from each failure, you’re able to tell what works and what doesn’t. Through this new insight, you become wiser and more intelligent.

Related: 5 Ways Fear of Failure Can Ruin Your Business

Almost everyone knows the man that invented the light bulb, Thomas Edison. As you might have already known, he failed 10,000 times before finally pulling it off. In his words, “I have not failed 10,000 times – I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”

When you think about it, it sounds insane. When others see failure as failure, some people see this frightening monster as their ladder to success. You must understand that failure doesn’t make you a failure. You only become a failure the minute you decide not to try again.

Getting back up

If you’ve never failed as an entrepreneur, you will never truly understand what it means to. It isn’t about reading tons of self-help books or listening to motivational speakers. If you’ve not dined with failure, your first time dealing with it won’t be pleasant.

At that moment, you will feel beaten, hopeless and depressed. Worst of all, you might lose faith in your capabilities as an entrepreneur. Doubt is most likely to creep in and you’ll start wondering if this path is really for you. 

When you get beaten down by failure, you might consider an easy alternative — giving up.

According to Henry Ford“Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

To get back up from blaming and feeling sorry for yourself, understand the role of failure. It is like you’re being told to try something different, to start again more intelligently.

There is always a reason for failure and a fix for it. Perhaps you didn’t pay attention to your business, finances, team or competitors. Or maybe you’ve been focused on quantity instead of quality.

When you successfully learn from failure, you will get back up like a fearless lone wolf with an undying dream. Try to remember why you choose to be an entrepreneur — that will compel you to keep going.

Related: Why Embracing Failure Is Good for Business

Understand it never ends

I’ve failed numerous times, and I have continued to fail to this day. While you can’t defeat failure, you can change your mindset about it. Instead of seeing it as a hideous monster fighting to end your dream, envision failure as your guide.

It is there to guide, groom, and teach you about what works and what doesn’t. In each failure, there are lessons to be learned and adjustments to make. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs neglect the lessons.

When that happens, you find yourself in a loop, making the same mistake without making headway. But when you learn and get back up, you become an unstoppable force ready to translate your dreams to reality.

By: Henry Ibeleme / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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4 Dirty Little Secrets You Need To Know About Successful People

There is no shortage of disappointment and pain in the world. No shortage of helplessness. No shortage of regret. No shortage of failure.

If you’re feeling down because you got fired yesterday. So what? You didn’t get the promotion. So what? You hate your boss, and your business failed. So what? You never got to graduate from high school. Maybe you didn’t graduate college. So what? You graduated college but aren’t happy in your career? You made it all the way to the C-suite but don’t feel fulfilled. So what? If this is your reality, what are you going to do about it?

You can fall into despair and complain about how miserable life is. I have been there and done that. You can go to work every day and whine about your job, your colleagues or your boss. You can settle for a life and career of mediocrity and spend 40+ hours a week on a job you hate. Lots of people do this.

You can continue to gripe about Mondays and wish your life away rushing to Friday, or you can put in the work – and make the sacrifice – that success demands. That’s the rub though – sacrifice. People don’t just wake up successful. They work for it. They trade for it. They sacrifice for it. Are you willing to do the work and go through the pain necessary to achieve and sustain success?

Here are the four dirty little secrets that you need to know about successful people if you want to become one.

1. Successful people trade one pain for another.

“We must all suffer one of two things in life: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

Years ago I read this quote by Jim Rohn, and it hit me. I realized that I’d have to struggle and go through some hard stuff in my life and to build my career. I realized that there was no such thing as a pain-free life. Since there would be no way to avoid struggles, I decided to buckle down and stop looking for one. I decided I’d rather suffer the pain of discipline and began my success journey. I suggest you do too.

Contrary to popular belief, successful people don’t get to escape life’s pains. They just trade one pain for another whenever and wherever possible. Successful people trade the pain of regret with the pain of discipline. They trade the pain of stopping with the pain of starting. They trade the pain of failure for the pain of consistency, and they trade the pain of saying yes too often with the pain of saying no in an effort to protect and focus the most limited resource they have – time.

Successful people fear failure just like everyone else, but they don’t let it stop them because they know that regret causes more pain than failure ever will. If you want to be successful, you really can be afraid to fail, but you can‘t be afraid to try.

2. Successful people take risks and lose.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

This quote by Michael Jordan revealed a lot to me about risk and losing. When you run from failure, you inevitably run from success. Successful people put it all on the line. They risk humiliation and embarrassment. They risk disappointing others. They risk it all – including their careers – to achieve their goals.

If you want your career to soar, you must be willing to see it plummet. And though this may cause extreme discomfort and anxiety, success goes hand-in-hand with risk so you need to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. Successful people lean into ambiguity and uncertainty because they know that in order to achieve the greatest heights of success they have to be willing to experience despair.

If you want to be successful, realize that nothing ventured really does mean nothing gained. Successful people have to take risks – financial and career risks and personal and professional ones as well.

3. Successful people want to give up.

“You have to fight for what you want because what you want won’t fight for you!”

Demarjay Smith, Ellen DeGeneres’ favorite kid trainer, hit it on the nose with this quote. It may seem like it will never happen for you. You may feel like you are sinking when you aren’t. The difference between losing and being a loser is giving up. Successful people want to give up sometimes just like everyone else, but they don’t, and you shouldn’t either.

Take it from 12-year-old Demarjay, and fight for what you want. While his goal is to get an education and develop physical strength, that is not the point. Your goal is your goal. Maybe you want to start a business, get a promotion, change careers, become a manager, be a teacher, make it to the C-suite, write a book, become a famous singer, actor, director, etc. What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? The message is the same regardless. Successful people get up each and every day and fight for what they want.

If you want to be successful, learn to reach deep for the power that’s within you so you don’t give up. Successful people have breakdowns sometimes, but they muster up everything they have within themselves to ultimately reach a breakthrough. And the breakthrough is amazing! I know from personal experience.

When you get back up after falling, when you fail but still push to succeed, when you cry, but still find a reason to laugh and when you thought you had nothing else to give but you still manage to get up and put one foot in front of the other. That is you showing that you have the power within yourself to make it across the line and not give up.

4. Successful people get rejected.

“Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.” – Harvey Mackay

The first thing I think about when I hear the word rejection is that every single syllable hurts. I hate it. I’ve been rejected for so many things that I now just consider it a normal part of the success journey. Still, I hate it. But if the choice is between being rejected or never going for what we want; never asking for what we want; never reaching for our dreams, then rejection it is.

Successful people get rejected, but they don’t let it stop them. They take steps to limit the power that rejection has over them by doing these three things.

  1. expect to be rejected
  2. stay true to yourself and
  3. get away from small-minded people

If you want to be successful, you need to expect rejection. Sometimes people can’t see your value. Sometimes they can’t appreciate your brilliance. They can’t understand your goals. They don’t dream like you do, and this is okay. Surround yourself with people who will support you. Instead of trying to persuade small-minded people, I recommend you build a different support system and connect with new friends who will believe in you and cheer you on.

Get up and own your power.

Are you willing to do the dirty work required to achieve and sustain success?

If you want a different job, a different boss or a different career, what are you going to do about it? If you want to change your life, you have to get up. Get up and put one foot in front of the other. Get up and believe in yourself. Get up and do something to create the life you want. And don’t ever let anyone – including yourself – cause you to be defeated. You have the power to create a better life, a better career, a better you. You have what it takes to achieve success.

Never forget this. There is pain in everything. To get different, you will have to be different; to accomplish more, you will have to do more. And the dirty little secret is that successful people don’t get to escape life’s pains, risks, failures and rejections. Quite the contrary. Successful people actually embrace them, and this is how they achieve success in the first place.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am a strategist, management consultant, executive coach and international speaker and have delivered meaningful results for executives and leaders in 43 states and 6 countries across 3 continents. I serve as CEO for ARVis Institute, a strategy, change, performance and human capital consulting firm. I have committed my research, education and professional talents to transforming governments, corporations, nonprofits and educational institutions and develop leaders and managers who have the capacity to create high-performing organizations and the competence to affect positive change.

Source: 4 Dirty Little Secrets You Need To Know About Successful People

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The Upward Spiral Of Doing The Right Thing

Have you ever noticed that you eat less junk during the weeks when you hit your target of working out four times? And when you are eating better, you pause before ordering that next drink? And then as you’re working out a bit more, eating better, and drinking less, you get to bed a bit earlier and wake up more readily?

This is the upward spiral of good habits. The same effect can be observed for work habits, financial practices, or any other element of our lives. And it also happens in organizations. Let’s consider the example of Ellevate, a community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed, and a certified B Corp.

First, a word on B Corps: these are for-profit companies that have been certified (and re-certified every three years) by the not-for-profit organization B Lab, which created the B Corp certification. B Lab’s B Impact Assessment (BIA), on which the certification is based, is a rigorous set of standards for how a company operates, with about 200 indicators in five areas (customers, community, workers, environment, and governance).

Companies must earn at least 80 points on these questions, which range from the training and benefits they offer employees to ratio of the lowest and highest salaries, ethics policies and procedures, and whether you’re working with the landlord to improve your facility’s environmental performance.

Ellevate was established as a strongly mission-driven for-profit company in 1997, by women who worked at Goldman Sachs and called the group 85 Broads, in reference to their employer’s corporate address. As other women expressed an interest in the peer support offered by the group, it expanded to include others beyond the GS network. In 2013, Sallie Krawcheck acquired the company and rebranded as Ellevate to capitalize on the business opportunity of helping women advance in leadership, which has been shown to have great economic benefit to employers and the communities around them.

The mission of Ellevate, then, has been the same for over 20 years. It may have become more newsworthy in today’s #MeToo era, but it’s no more or less important now than then. What has changed is the way that Ellevate executes on that mission. The group certified as a B Corp in 2016, earning a score of 88 on the 200-point BIA.

Perhaps Ellevate’s identity as a mission-driven company made this transition to B Corp more likely, but many of the other 3,000 certified B Corps are very standard businesses, selling cleaning products, ice cream, branding advice, or even electricity. Whether or not a company’s ‘what’ is inherently good for the world, in an increasingly transparent world, Ellevate isn’t the only company thinking more about not just what they do, but how they do it.

And this is where B Corp certification comes in, as Samantha Giannangeli, Ellevate’s Operations Lead, said: “It’s worth it for the introspective take on your business – not just what you hope to achieve, but how.“

Regardless of what they sell, all companies have myriad opportunities to create less harm and ultimately generate benefit to the people and planet around them. The BIA offers 200 very specific such opportunities, such as including social and environmental performance in job descriptions and performance reviews; managing customer data privacy; and sharing resources about best environmental practices for virtual employees. CEOs are generally assigned the most direct responsibility – and credit – for how a company operates. Indeed, Giannangeli said that Wallace, “is a driving force behind our work with B Corp. She leads by example every day, and we’re lucky to work with her.”

But the upward spiral that you’ve felt during those healthy eating weeks kicks in quickly once a CEO states or signals that they support operating the business in a way that’s good for the world. After all, CEOs do very little of any company’s day-to-day operations. Decisions about fair hiring practices, good environmental practices, and customer support and protection are made by middle management and executed (or not) by frontline employees.

Giannangeli described how Wallace’s commitment to improving Ellevate’s operating principles engages and reflects employees, saying that Wallace “listens to us, and takes the time to understand the challenges we bring to the workforce – and the challenges we want to solve.”

The vast majority of us want to make a positive contribution to the world through our work, whether by improving a single person’s day or making a system more equitable. So getting permission from leadership and learning best practices for doing business that’s good for the world (from the BIA for example) is enough to activate a team to improve the pieces of a company’s operations that they’re responsible for.

Ellevate’s team “drastically increased our energy efficiency, launched a series of trainings on cultural awareness and anti-discrimination and harassment, and developed an internship program focused on first generation college students.” These initiatives have nothing to do with the company’s core business of supporting women at work – they would fit equally well in a cleaning products or ice cream company.

As a result of these efforts, Ellevate’s BIA score rose from 88 to 115 when they were re-certified in 2019. They became a Best for the World honoree, indicating that their score in the Workers category falls in the top 10% of all B Corps. Giannangeli pointed out that the practices that earned this recognition “were employee-driven, and employee-led.”

What’s more, during recent testimony to the House Committee on Small Business, Ellevate CEO Kristy Wallace said: “I’d also like to note that our business revenues doubled during that time period illustrating that being good for society is also good for business.” This understanding that doing well by doing good is not only possible for businesses to attain, but increasingly a mandate from customers, investor, and employees. And there’s nothing like revenue growth to drive an upward spiral of being good for society.

So regardless of your position, industry, and function, check out the BIA. Find one or two indicators that you or your team participate in or influence. And think about what small step you could take to improve your company’s performance on that one small factor. You could stop buying individually packaged snacks in favor of bulk purchases that go into reusable containers to reduce your waste.

Or institute a team-wide afternoon stretch break to improve employee well-being. Or start a Slack channel for online articles, podcasts, videos, and courses to offer low-cost, self-scheduling professional development that helps colleagues stay on the cutting edge of your industry.

These are all small and very low-cost initiatives, but they’re much more likely to get your colleagues and leadership thinking about other ways your company could be better for the people and planet around you than doing nothing. And these and similar small actions can also be taken in your home, informal communities, or even just your personal habits, like the gym and healthy eating we started with. So what will you do in 2020 to kickstart an upward spiral?

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am the founder and CEO of Inspiring Capital, a certified B Corp. We help employees connect their work to its impact in the world, increasing engagement, innovation, an…

Source: The Upward Spiral Of Doing The  Right Thing

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** Please Like the Video and Subscribe, Thanks ** We’re just going to talk about what is employee engagement, what is the definition of employee engagement? Let’s start with what it’s not. See, a lot of people think employee engagement is the same as employee satisfaction, but satisfaction doesn’t raise the bar high enough. See, I can be satisfied as I clock into work at nine and satisfied as I take my breaks and lunch and clock out at five o’clock. I’m satisfied and I do what is asked of me. More importantly, I’m satisfied but I’ll take that executive recruiter phone call that says, “Kevin, are you interested in that job opening from the competitor across the street?” “Ah, I’m pretty satisfied here, actually.” “I can get you a ten percent raise.” “Oh, well, okay, I’ll take that job interview.” Satisfaction just doesn’t set the bar high enough. Others will say, oh, what it’s really about is happiness. We’re trying to create happy workers, a happy workplace. I’m not against happiness. I hope everybody is happy, but just because you’re happy doesn’t mean you’re working on behalf of the organization. I’ve got two teenage daughters who I had to take to the mall to go clothes shopping recently, every parent’s worst nightmare. We went into one of these trendy teen clothing stores with the cool-looking young people working everywhere and the music blasting through the speakers. I noticed, we walked in, the workers seemed pretty happy, looking down at their smartphones, but nobody greeted me as we came in the door. They were laughing at one point in the corner, all talking with each other. Not once did they come over and ask me if we were finding everything we needed. When we were checking out, the young woman behind the cash register, she was happily bopping her head to the beats blasting through the speakers, but she didn’t try to up-sell me. She didn’t offer me the company credit card. The workers there, I really noticed it right away. They sure seemed happy at work. They seemed like they were having a fun, good time, but they weren’t necessarily doing the behaviors or performing the way their company leadership probably wanted them to. If engagement isn’t satisfaction and it isn’t happy, what is it? Basically, employee engagement is the emotional commitment that we have to our organization and the organization’s goals. When we’re engaged, when we’re emotionally committed, it means we’re going to give discretionary effort. We’re going to go the extra mile. That’s the secret sauce. That’s why engagement is so important and so powerful. When we are engaged, we give discretionary effort. That means if you have an engaged salesperson, she’s going to sell just as hard on a Friday afternoon as she does on a Monday afternoon. If you have an engaged customer service professional, he’s going to be just as patient with that irate customer at 4:59 at the end of the shift as he would be at 9:30 in the morning. If you have engaged factory workers, they’re productivity is going to be higher, the quality is going to be higher, fewer defects and mistakes, and most importantly, they’re going to get hurt less often. Your safety record is going to improve as people are more mindful and aware. Discretionary effort leads to better business results no matter what your job role or responsibility in an organization. Now this is a shame, because the C-level executives, they would care more about engagement if they understood the differences. What they care about, the C-level executives, they really care about investor returns. They care about their stock price. Employee engagement is the lever that can move that needle. I call it the engagement profit chain. Engaged employees give discretionary effort. They’re going to sell harder. The service is going to be better. Productivity is going to be higher. That means customers are going to be happier. The more satisfied your customers are, the more they’re going to buy and the more they’re going to refer you. As sales go up, as profits go up, inevitably your stock price is going to go up Shareholder returns are going to go up. Employee engagement, so-called soft stuff leads to a hard ROI. Several years ago, the Kenexa Research Institute did a study and they found that companies with engaged employees, their stock price was five times higher than companies with disengaged employees, over a five-year time period. I hope that you will help me to spread the gospel of engagement, and it starts with making sure that everybody is on the same page with what engagement really is. I invite you to just forward this video to friends and colleagues, get us all on the same page. -~-~~-~~~-~~-~- Most Recent Video: “How To Talk ANYONE Into ANYTHING | Negotiation Tips From Former FBI Negotiator Chris Voss ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jqj3…

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