5 Reasons You Should Focus on Creating Passive Income

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No matter what stage of life you’re at or what industry you work in, you’ve likely heard the term “passive income” before. Many people are already generating passive income, but might not refer to it in that way. Passive income can be a variety of ways you make additional money, but the general idea is that it’s something you worked to put in place or create so that you’ll regularly get money back from it with little to no effort on your part. Passive income could be anything from a book you’ve written that you receive royalties from, a program or webinar you created, or something else that people are regularly purchasing. Real estate is also a common source of passive income, as are stock investments. If you’re still deciding about whether you should pursue a type of passive income, here are a few reasons it’s something you should focus on in the near future.

Your time is valuable

First of all, one of the biggest reasons you should push for generating passive income is because your time is valuable. When you’re spending time working in order to make more money, you’re spending a significant amount of time doing something you’re probably not really passionate about in order to make ends meet. Consistent, passive income means you have to spend less time working to make money and actually invest your time in more valuable ways.

Focus on other goals

Once you have more of your valuable time back, you can begin focusing on other goals. Whether passive income accounts for your entire income or just part of it, you’re giving yourself more time to focus on pursuits you actually enjoy. Teach yourself a new language, start a project you’ve been putting off, or travel somewhere exciting. Even just relaxing and spending time with family is a good idea!

Additional income

If you’re still working full-time, passive income gives you the chance to generate additional income. Having some additional income makes it easier to pay your bills or save for a larger purchase you want to make. You’ll appreciate this extra income, especially when you’re putting in minimal work to generate it. You avoid having to get a second job to generate more income and can instead rely on your passive income.

Financial security

If you put enough work into creating your source of passive income, it’s likely that you could meet or exceed what you make at your full-time job. Working toward the goal of generating passive income that you can live off of gives you financial security and peace of mind in case you’d ever lose your regular job.

Freedom to travel

Finally, passive income provides you with the freedom to travel whenever and wherever you want. Maybe you don’t love traveling, but you also have the freedom to live somewhere different and not be tied down to whatever your full-time job is. You can find a place you’ve always wanted to visit or live and head there. If you’re generating enough in passive income, you don’t have to stress about finding a new job that pays enough for you’re living expenses; you’ll cover those in passive income.

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5 Ways to Create a Strong Remote Team

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There’s no doubt that it can be incredibly challenging when creating a remote team for your company. While there are plenty of benefits for remote workers and they can still be incredibly productive, it can definitely be an issue to make them feel connected to in office workers and even to other remote workers. By ignoring cultivating strength in your remote team, you risk losing these employees or having them not be as productive and collaborative as they could be. Here are some concrete ways you can create a strong remote team for your business.

Foster communication

The best way to create a strong remote team is to give your remote workers the tools they need to communicate with each other and with your in-office workers. Creating an easy channel for communication makes connecting as a team much simpler. Let them know that you expect them to communicate with one another and collaborate on projects. Using apps and other features online to make chatting, video calling, and screen sharing as easy as possible, and encouraging this behavior, helps you strengthen your remote team.

Share responsibilities

You need to show all of your employees that they’re on an equal playing field and whether or not they’re in the office doesn’t affect how much they’re responsible for. If you foster communication successfully, it’ll be easy to assign a project to your remote team and let one of them take the lead on it. Make sure the team shares responsibility so no one is slacking off or being left out.

Schedule check-ins

When you have remote workers, it’s important that you regularly check-in with them. You might already have weekly check-ins, but it’s also a good idea to schedule extra time with them. Anyone who works in the office can simply grab you when they have a question, but those working remotely may find it harder to connect and ask a question for a quick answer. Let them know the best way to reach you throughout the day and even share your calendar with them so they know whether or not you’re in a meeting.

Utilize team building

Try to incorporate team building activities into your team. Do online activities, videochat in remote workers when something’s happening in the office, and find times you can all meet face-to-face. Even if you have remote workers in another state or country, consider finding at least one time throughout the year that all employees can have travel expenses covered so they can converge in one location. Even simply meeting your remote team in person can help strengthen them.

Give them trust

While it can understandably be difficult to trust workers you cannot monitor throughout the day, you need to give your remote team your trust. Avoid checking in on them constantly or micromanaging them; if it isn’t something you’d do to someone working in the office, do not do it to your remote team. Give them ample opportunities to provide feedback and trust that they’ll get their work done, until they give you a reason to not trust them.

What is the Role of a Community Engagement Officer?

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There are plenty of career options when it comes to working in philanthropy and nonprofits. For most people, the extent of the experience they have in a nonprofit is volunteering, whether at a single organization for a significant amount of time or at multiple charities over time. However, there are lots of other ways to be involved with a philanthropy and it can even be your full-time job. One role vitally important to a successful organization, though not all charities have utilized this role, is the community engagement officer.

What is a community engagement officer?

Much like the name sounds, a community engagement officer is responsible for getting the community involved with the philanthropy. This purpose can show itself in various ways, such as finding volunteers or raising donations or simply making the community aware of the work the organization is accomplishing. The community engagement officer can also focus on spreading news about the organization to a larger community, such as the county, state, or on a national level.

Why is this position important?

Most charities rely on the surrounding community to help keep them up and running, often by providing volunteers, donations, or other vital services. Without someone focusing on engaging the community and spreading the word about the charity, it’ll be difficult for the nonprofit to achieve success. For many philanthropies, it can be difficult for people in charge to focus on also engaging the community when they’re trying to raise donations, fill out proper forms, organize fundraisers and other events, train volunteers, and various other tasks that fill a charity’s day-to-day responsibilities. This excessive activity is exactly why it’s important for organizations to have a single person dedicated to engaging and connecting with the community.

How can it be implemented elsewhere?

A few charities already utilize this position, but it should be done at more organizations as well. Many nonprofits may feel like they do not have the funds to make this position full-time, but it can slowly be implemented. Starting it as a volunteer or part-time position can work out if the person is talented at what they do. The position will eventually pay for itself as the community becomes more engaged with the philanthropy and funds are increased. Taking small steps toward having this position full-time can be beneficial and make for long-term success.

Tips for current community engagement officers

If you’re a current community engagement officer or are new to your position, it can be daunting to approach this position and attempt to achieve immediate success. It’s okay to start small and work up to larger events or goals. Focus on first getting the word out about your organization; many community members may not even realize your nonprofit is located in the community. Use social media to your benefit and advertise events and opportunities for people to get involved. Get out and talk to community members at local businesses and events and generate a buzz about your philanthropy.

6 Reasons Improving Education Should Be a Priority

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No matter what your thoughts are on the education system, everyone can admit that there is room for improvement. While there is no clear answer about how best to accomplish this goal, there are many benefits that follow a great education system. As cliche as it sounds, children are the future and we must treat them as such. Focusing on their education needs to be a priority because it helps out everyone and makes the world a better place.

Future job prospects

The clearest reason education is important is that it helps students future job prospects. Most jobs require, at minimum, a high school degree and many more require a college degree of some sort. Providing children with the opportunity to get a quality education allows them to pursue better jobs and makes them better equipped to enter the workforce. Whether it’s going to a trade school or teaching more practical skills in class, education that directly helps future career goals is a must.

Financial stability

Studies have shown that increased education often leads to higher earning capability. General education on personal finance is also incredibly useful because it helps students make responsible financial decisions as they become more independent and begin their lives outside of their parents’ homes. Financial stability makes life much less stressful and helps people work toward their passions.

Good health

Refreshing your mind and learning new concepts has a proven benefit to your health. Whether it’s while someone is still in traditional education or if they’re continuing their education in less traditional ways, quality education leads to better health. It boosts your brain power and can reduce stress and also gives you the tools you need to take better care of yourself.

Better innovation

A quality education often provides the tools necessary for great innovation. As time goes on, innovation becomes even more important as we try to improve on the current methods in various industries. Students with great educations have the tools necessary to come up with innovative ideas and implement them.

Increased independence

When students have access to great education and it leads to better jobs and financial stability, it also allows them to be more independent. Many young adults live at home with their parents and struggle to pay off debt or find a solid job. Better education allows students to get the best jobs and make good financial decisions that allow them to become independent more quickly. The sooner students can become independent, the sooner they’ll begin to take leadership roles in society instead of relying on their parents. They can focus on solving important issues and improving the world instead of worrying about debt or finding a job.

Improves society

Finally, a quality education leads to societal improvements. When students receive a great, comprehensive education, it helps motivate them to find solutions to society’s issues and make a better future. Educating people about the issues in the world around them helps motivate them to find solutions to these problems.

4 New Ways for Philanthropies to Raise Funds

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For philanthropies, raising more money is always an important part of what the organization is focusing on throughout the year. While many philanthropies are fortunate enough to receive grants and large donations from people who support their cause, others are not so lucky. While it’s important that charities find ways to raise enough money to continue functioning, it can sometimes seem like they’re running out of ideas on how to do so. It’s normal to see various fundraising events every weekend, asking people to participate in a 5k run, buy some product, or some other common fundraiser. However, there are actually plenty of other ways to raise these funds; here are a few creative tips you can utilize in the coming year.

Ask for monthly donations

A method of fundraising that’s become increasingly common is having donors sign up for monthly donations. Instead of receiving a one-time donations, people are becoming more likely to set up automatic giving each month. Make sure your charity has this option available and advertise it in any mail you send out, online, and on your website. People want to donate, but often forget to send a check each month, so giving the option of donating a customizable amount each month after giving their information once is a great way to increase giving.

Use social media

There are plenty of websites and apps out there, like GoFundMe, that make raising money for various causes easier than ever before. People want to be able to donate to causes they care about as easily as possible and doing it online takes a couple of minutes, if not less. Another benefit of using social media for raising funds is that it also makes it easy to spread awareness of the cause your organization focuses on. You can share information on your website and other social media channels and include a link for people to donate.

Focus on Facebook fundraising

Social media in general is a fantastic resource for fundraising, but Facebook in particular makes this process simple. More and more often, you probably see people posting links for others to donate to a specific organization, often for the poster’s birthday or some similar event. These fundraisers can be organized through Facebook Fundraisers, a method that’s increased in popularity and made it incredibly easy for nonprofits to get donations. Facebook is also a great way to engage with supporters of your organization and spread news and events.

Take advantage of mobile opportunities

Another newer way to increase fundraising efforts is by utilizing mobile networks. Many charities allow people to simply text a number and donate a certain amount of money that’s added to their phone bill or through their accounts connected to their phone. People love convenience and having a simply way to donate, so being able to send a text and donate is an attractive option.

6 Tips for Attending a Business Conference

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Attending a business conference can present a tremendous opportunity for you to meet new people in your industry and successfully network. However, if you’re not normally an outgoing person, you may need some tips on the best way to network. By following a few suggestions, even the most timid professional can have a fun and productive time at their next business conference.

Volunteer at the conference

Even before the day of the conference, there are things you can do to help yourself make the most of the experience. For instance, you might consider volunteering in some way. By contacting the event organizer and volunteering to act as a presenter or greeter, for instance, you can stand out among the other attendees. This will help you meet the other guests.

Reconnect

Additionally, this is the time to reach out to past business acquaintances. If you know they’re going to the conference, use this opportunity to reconnect. They may be interested in meeting for coffee or drinks.

Attend sessions

Once the conference begins, there’s much to do, starting with the orientation. Even if this isn’t your first conference, it’s a good idea to attend the orientation, because it will help you manage your time more wisely. You won’t be able to attend every session, so it will be important to pick and choose the lectures that most interest you. Don’t forget to schedule in some breaks or you may stretch yourself too thin.

Talk to speakers

While you may be eager to learn, taking notes on every lecture you attend, don’t forget that networking is just as important. If you’re unsure where to get started, begin with the guest speakers. These individuals were chosen for their knowledge and expertise, so don’t be afraid to approach them. Mingle with the other guests, too. You may come across some conversations that will let you express your own expertise. By engaging in various conversations, you’ll meet more people and others will remember you at the next conference.

Follow up

Even after the conference has ended, there are still ways you can continue benefiting from the event. Reach out to the new contacts you made at the conference. Send them an email, connect on a social networking site, or give them a call. This can help you develop new business relationships.

Share with coworkers

You can also share the experience with co-workers who didn’t get to attend. Show them your notes and share your photos. This may convince them to attend the next event, or they may come to you with challenges that the conference prepared you to handle. Either way, using your new knowledge will help your organization and show management the value of a business conference.

The Importance of Being a Role Model to Your Employees

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There’s no doubt about it; when you provide a good example of what it takes to be a quality worker, your employees are much more likely to follow your lead. A company only benefits from having a leader that talks the talk and walks the walk. When you decide to be a role model for your employees they will take notice. Here are some things you can do to make sure you are providing the best example possible for your employees.

Hold yourself accountable

If you accept responsibility for your actions, your employees are likely to as well. This creates a trust between them and you, and if a mistake has been made they feel more comfortable confiding in you because they trust in your ability to handle situations accordingly. If you’re having an off-day, apologize. If you made a mistake, own up to it. If the company hits a rough patch, don’t resort to blaming others, lift them up instead. If someone is busy trying to hide a mistake the business will suffer.

Pay attention to others

Service leadership is a type of leadership that focuses on the needs of others. This makes your employees feel like they matter and that transfers to excellent customer service and a more dedicated work ethic. If they like working for you and feel valued, they will do what they can to support the growth and maintenance of a successful business.

Stress management

During a crisis, it is important to handle your stress accordingly. If you present yourself in a calm manner, your employees will reflect it back to you making it much easier for everyone to recover and get back on track. Stress drastically impacts productivity and harm people, so it’s important to instill stress management in your employees.

Get creative and inspire

A leader can be a positive role model by being open to coming up with and hearing innovative ideas. If you promote creativity but proceed to micromanage, you may make your employees uncomfortable with sharing their ideas as they might not feel confident enough to suggest something out of the norm. Inspiring them to think out of the box can lead to positive breakthroughs, not only personally, but for the business itself. A great leader knows that strength resides in numbers and can pull a team together to have a productive and positive experience.

Use These 6 Tips to Limit Distractions While Getting Work Done

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Thanks to technology, there are more distractions than ever before while you’re trying to get work done. Many people do most of their work from computers, from which they can access the internet, chat with coworkers, or browse interesting articles. Most people also carry smartphones, which are constantly ringing with emails, phone calls, texts, and app notifications. If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to lose entire hours to these devices and realize you’ve accomplished nothing. However, there are some great ways you can face as minimal distractions as possible while working.

Schedule your day

The first step you can take to minimize distractions when you need to get tasks done is carefully scheduling out your day. Set aside time at the beginning of the week to plan out your schedule for each day. You may have to adjust it as other priorities come up, but planning out your day as specifically as possible helps you focus on what needs to get done every hour.

Ditch the smartphone

One of the biggest distractions is your smartphone. Know when it’s time to set it aside and focus on what you need to accomplish. Instead of keeping your smartphone on your desk, put it away in a bag or drawer or somewhere else that you won’t be tempted to look at it every few minutes. Even if you’re just checking a single message, you’ll likely also check any social notifications you have, some emails, and plenty of other distractions. Avoid using your smartphone as much as possible when trying to concentrate on a task.

Utilize extensions

There are plenty of extension available on your browser, especially if you use Google Chrome, that can help you stay focused. Some extensions block specific websites for set amounts of time or won’t let you access sites until you complete whatever you’re currently working on. Other extensions keep track of how much time you’re spending on each task, so you know if you’re completely your work efficiently.

Ignore email

Thanks to technology, you can check your email at all times and often receive push notifications while you’re focusing on something else at your desk. Avoid the temptation to check your email while doing something else; if it’s an email, it can wait. Consider turning off email notifications and closing the window so you only check it at set times. Encourage people to schedule calls with you instead of sending multiple emails back and forth to discuss something.

Change your workspace

Many people can get bored by where they’re trying to do work and become distracted since they do not have fresh scenery. If possible, move to other locations to get work done. Investing in a standing desk and using it intermittently is also helpful when trying to regain your focus. Take time to invest in decorating your office space in a pleasing manner and regularly change it so you have new views and surroundings. If you work at home, make sure you have a quiet, designated area to work in so you do not get distracted by home responsibilities.

Minimize socialization

When you’re working, it can be incredibly tempting to message your coworkers, friends, or family. You might find yourself chatting to the person sitting next to you or running into someone in the hallway and spending a considerable amount of time discussing your weekend with them. While these socializations are important to a healthy social and professional life, it’s also important that you recognize there’s a time and place for them. Keep long conversations to breaks or outside of work hours. Focus on work while you’re there.

4 Unusual Ways You Can Help Yourself Achieve Success

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There are the usual lists of ways to achieve success and be productive in your daily life, career, or whatever pursuits you’re focusing on at this point in your life. You always hear people mention the importance of putting in extra hours, creating a solid personal brand, or some other buzz word. While these pieces of advice are good, there are other, more unconventional ways you can achieve true success.

Get rid of bad habits

The first step you need to take in truly achieving success is doing away with your bad habits. While procrastination is something everyone can recognize as bad, there are other habits that may not seem as serious, but can still erode your path to success. Small issues like not getting enough sleep or not taking care of yourself. You might also suffer from self-doubt or be in denial about a bad habit. Take time to truly evaluate what you do and be honest; identify your bad habits and work on getting rid of them.

Create milestones

People always talk about the importance of setting goals and working toward them. At this point, for most people, goals do not mean much. We’ve heard the word “goals” over and over and it’s easy to tune it out. However, if you plan out milestones you want to accomplish, your future plans begin to look a lot different. Plan out what you want to achieve and how you’ll go about doing so. View your milestones as small steps to make along the way to an end result instead of some large overarching goal.

Take small steps

Like I mentioned above, creating milestones means starting a series of small steps to take as you work to accomplish these milestones. Carefully plan out each milestone along the way and what you need to do every day to get where you want to go. View these milestones as a journey toward something great. The experience you gain along the way is invaluable and can benefit you in plenty of ways.

Pursue unusual opportunities

Finally, take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, even if they don’t seem conventional. You never know how a decision or choice you make can affect your future, so taking every opportunity that comes your way can help you move further along your milestones. If there’s something you find interesting, but it doesn’t necessarily align with your career, go ahead and try it out. You might take a path you never expected or make invaluable connections.

5 Sustainability Tips for the Office

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Now more than ever there is a growing desire to embrace more eco-friendly living and thankfully businesses are looking to do their part as well. It can be a little overwhelming when trying to figure out how to get started so we’ve put together a list of the best tips for creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly workplace.

Start a team dedicated to maintaining a sustainable office

A group of people designated to maintaining a sustainable office can get a lot more done than just sending out a memo. The team should be assigned projects such as putting together a recycling program, stocking up on green cleaning supplies, and making more energy-efficient options available for appliances. They can also engage other employees hands-on, providing them with the information they need to do their part in creating the most efficient office environment possible.

Create a challenge for everyone to participate in

Introduce a monthly challenge to the office to get everyone in the spirit. A type of challenge could include going a month without using plastic utensils and offering a small gift card as a prize. Or, you could encourage employees to use reusable coffee mugs when getting their caffeine fix.

Turn off all electronics at night

This includes lights, computers, and any appliances that could use energy while no one is using them. Make sure that the last person who leaves the office turns off all the lights. Better yet, set everything on a timer so you don’t have to worry about someone forgetting to turn off something that takes a lot of power.

Invest in office products that are better for the environment

There are all sorts of products that can have less of a negative impact on the environment from recycled office materials to more energy efficient computers. There are options for everyone no matter the size of the budget and any switch is better than no switch at all.

Research green power sources

Solar and wind energy are more available now than they ever have been and businesses both small and large can make the switch. If this is out of budget you can look into your energy provider and see if they offer a more sustainable energy plan.

There are many other ways to make the office more sustainable such as going paperless, adjusting the thermostat to run less, and even adding office plants and utilizing natural light to clarify the air and conserve energy. Don’t be afraid to get creative and applaud your employees for doing their part!