5 Great Books About Philanthropy


Every philanthropist is all too aware of the intense competition for limited resources; there are only so many donors to go around and philanthropies need large amounts of funding to successfully run and achieve their goals. Regardless of the amount donated, everyone wants to know their money is being spent wisely and achieving the desired results. There are many aspects that go into successfully running a philanthropy, so you need to be informed as a philanthropist.

The following books should stand front and center on every philanthropist’s bookshelf.

Give Smart: Philanthropy That Gets Results: Thomas J. Tierney and Joel L. Fleishman

Tierney and Fleishman give practical guidance to both donors and organization leaders. It addresses central questions for every philanthropist on executing strategies and gauging success. Case studies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provide valuable insight.

Wealth in Families: Charles W. Collier

Collier, once Harvard’s senior philanthropic advisor, addresses sharing family values through philanthropy. He discusses the role of philanthropy in teaching family values and in passing both values and assets to succeeding generations and how this tradition can benefit the world at large.

Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity: Mario Morino

Morino’s book is an essential read for nonprofit leaders and donors alike, providing valuable, hard-won insights into measuring success. It covers the importance of clearly defined aspirations, gauging progress, making mistakes, adapting quickly, becoming more effective, and always remembering the goal is improving lives, no matter what specific cause you’re working toward.

Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great: Jim Collins

Collins’ monograph counsels the social sector, following his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t. Many social sector readers of Good to Great had specific questions on applying his advice. Collins concludes the crucial difference isn’t between business and nonprofits, but between great organizations and good ones.

The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker’s Essential Writings on Management: Peter F. Drucker

Drucker is well-known as a management guru for both for-profits and the social sector. This compilation includes 26 of Drucker’s core writings on management and effective execution, as essential for social change as for business success.

Each book deserves multiple readings and careful thought because they can benefit you in various ways. Whatever the social issues that most concern you, being able to judge and perhaps even improve the effectiveness of those implementing those changes is primary. Incorporating the principles outlined in these books with your values will improve the effectiveness of your philanthropy.


4 Ways to Reduce Stress at Work


When most people think of stress, they think of their jobs. The workplace is the largest single source of stress in the average person’s life, likely because you spend so much time there and it impacts the rest of your life. While work is a necessity, there are some things that a person can do to reduce the amount of stress that they experience at work and feel more relaxed.

Take breaks

One of the simplest things that a person can do to reduce stress is to take a break. Whether it is going outside to stretch for 15 minutes or taking a weeklong vacation at the beach, everyone needs to take the break time their employer offers. In fact, studies show that employees who take breaks are more productive than those who do not. Those who take breaks are more productive as they are more relaxed and better able to work steadily than those who sit continuously at their work site.

Take action

A person may not be able to control the amount of stress they experience, but they can work to reduce the impact of that stress on their body. Regular exercise, preferably daily, can help to burn the stress that life provides. In addition, a healthy diet that features a mix of nutrients from every food group keeps the body energized to fight stress. Getting plenty of sleep at a regular time can also work to improve mental and physical health. Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to manage stress.

Set limits

One of the largest causes of stress is feeling like there is not enough time to get everything done. However, the simple truth is that many times there is not enough time to do all the things that are needed. People need to learn say ‘no’ to tasks they cannot handle. Though it can be difficult, a person needs to set boundaries at work and at home. If a job constantly presents more work than can be completed, he or she needs to look for a new job.

Seek help

Dealing with stress often makes a person withdraw from others. However, staying in contact with others is a helpful way to deal with stress. Whether it is talking to a supervisor about a problem, having dinner with the family, or hitting the gym with a workout buddy, social connections are key to dealing with stress. Praying, meditating, and attending religious services also can serve as a calming influence for those who are dealing with large amounts of stress.

How to Create Positive Relationships Between Your Coworkers

People Looking Choosing at Colleagues Photo

Positive working relationships are imperative in any workplace. When coworkers get along and respect one another, they work well together and the office is that much more productive. Establishing and maintaining healthy relationships in the office requires effort and these tips can help anyone foster a positive relationship with the people they work with at their job.

Recognize a job well done

When people recognize the hard work their coworkers put into a job or a project, it makes their coworkers feel good. They feel appreciated and valued and that benefits everyone working in the office in numerous ways. The first is that it makes people continue to work hard so they can earn more appreciation. It also helps people realize their coworkers want them to have credit for their work rather than trying to take it for their own benefit.

Encourage teamwork

Collaboration is the best way to ensure people are given the opportunity to work together and appreciate what their coworkers bring to the table. Each person is different, and it’s one way to teach people to learn to appreciate the talents and skills everyone in the office has so that they can work together for more success.

Set goals

When an office sits down together and discusses their goals, they bring themselves closer together. Putting the entire office in a room to share their goals with one another helps everyone. When one person shares their goals, their coworkers can help them figure out how to achieve that goal, and the same goes for anyone who works in the office. Everyone is different, but they are working to achieve the same thing and motivation works no matter what your end goals are.

Create fun

The workplace is often serious and busy, and the demand to produce great work and make positive changes in the lives of everyone connected to the business is sometimes overwhelming. It’s easy to forget to have fun and focus on just getting the job done, but coworkers who have fun together are more likely to enjoy working with one another. Create time for employees to unwind and have fun, such as an office dinner party or quarterly party to celebrate a job well done.

Fostering a creative and happy workplace is as simple as taking a little time to make people feel good about their role in the company. Good manners, a happy work environment, and recognition when it’s warranted is all it takes to foster healthy relationships in your workplace.

How to Write a Top-Notch Business Plan

My Plan

There are many people who are interested in owning their own business. Owning a business is a lot of hard work and it requires the owner to take on numerous financial risks. Writing a business plan before getting started is also critical. However, writing a business plan is not easy to do. There are numerous areas of the company to focus on when writing a plan and plenty of thought that must go into your business plan.

Start with goals

Before writing a business plan, it is critical for a business owner to understand the goals of the business. Writing down goals is one of the best ways to have success in life. There are numerous studies that show the impact of having strong goals in a business. When starting a company, it is difficult to find time to plan for the future, which is why writing a business plan is so critical. If you plan out your ultimate goals before you even start your business, you’ll find it easier to focus on and achieve them.


One of the biggest issues with starting a business is getting the required capital to invest in a business idea. There are some people who try to raise money from investors. Other people would rather borrow money from a bank. In the business plan, the financing plan needs to be carefully outlined. Some business owners get into financial trouble because they borrow too much money in the beginning and do not understand how to budget or properly use this money. This issue can be avoided through proper planning and fundraising before opening your business.

Be realistic

As a general rule, starting a company is harder than many people realize. Although there are success stories of business owners who have become millionaires, this is not the normal experience. When writing a business plan, it is critical to be realistic. Some people have lofty goals and get discouraged when they do not reach them. By writing down realistic and attainable goals, a business owner can have a plan to follow over the course of time.

Focus on customers

Some business owners never spend time interacting with customers. It is critical to understand the customers who could be purchasing products or services from the company because they’re the reason your company will succeed or fail. By understanding customers, business owners can design marketing plans that improve sales and profits at the company.

With the economy improving, many people are considering starting a company. Although it is hard work, owning a business is one of the most rewarding things that anyone can do in life. Writing a solid business plan can greatly increase the chances of managing a successful business.


3 Habits Any Great Entrepreneur Must Possess


The life of an entrepreneur requires high levels of physical energy, mental focus, emotional strength, motivation, and productivity. To perform at their best, many entrepreneurs rely on daily habits to guide their behaviors on autopilot, allowing them to accomplish much more than the average worker on a daily basis. Developing habits that make you more efficient are beneficial no matter what your career is.

Below are three key habits that the best entrepreneurs put into practice every day to help them achieve their goals and lead their companies to success.

Focus on high-value tasks

One of the most important abilities that every successful entrepreneur possesses is the habit of focusing on high-priority tasks at all times throughout the day.

High performers are constantly asking themselves, “Is this the best use of my time right now? Is this activity moving me toward my most important goals?” This habit ensures that the entrepreneur is always doing the work that only he can do, while everything else is either delegated or ignored completely. Being able to push lesser tasks to the side and focus on what’s most important is invaluable.

Follow a daily routine

Leadership expert John C. Maxwell has said, “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

High achievers are known to follow daily routines, whether in the morning, in the evening, or both. There might be several reasons why following a daily routine is important. One of them is that people have a finite amount of energy and creativity from which to draw upon every day. If every decision made throughout the day taps into this finite supply, then it makes sense to set up systems and routines that minimize daily decision-making. This allows the entrepreneur to save that limited creative energy for the truly important decisions of the day.

Include daily health practices

There are many healthy habits that successful entrepreneurs incorporate into their lives. Some of these include eating fresh fruits and vegetables, minimizing consumption of processed foods and junk food, meditating, walking, running, and lifting weights.

Activities and habits such as these promote high energy levels, mental focus, emotional stability, and proper body weight. It is impossible to be productive when the body is unhealthy and the mind is sluggish, so adding healthy habits is a smart move for everyone who requires high levels of work performance.

Successful entrepreneurs use good habits to increase their effectiveness at work and in daily life. Anyone who is looking to achieve their best results in their business should follow entrepreneurs’ leads and develop habits that help them accomplish their goals as well.

2 Ted Talks You Need To Watch As An Entrepreneur

ari-monkarsh-ted-talkEntrepreneurship is both a rewarding and potentially isolating way of doing work. A lot of people desire to work for themselves, but the reality of doing so is sometimes more of a challenge than what people had bargained for. This is why those who do this kind of work need frequent bursts of inspiration from others who have done the same or similar types of projects before them. A great place to find some of that inspiration is through Ted Talks.

How I Became An Entrepreneur At 66

Age really is just a number if you are asking Paul Tasner. He went on to defy social stereotypes that someone who is well into AARP membership age could not start their own business or be an entrepreneur. He didn’t become one until the age of 66. However, at that point he took it on with a passion that most of us desire for the things we do in our lives.

He had worked for other people for more than forty years, but he was not ready to hang up the hat and contribute nothing more to society. Rather, he took the experience that he had gained through all of those years along with some of his own ideas about business and mashed them together to form his own ventures. His talk is definitely one to check out.

There Is No Shame In Taking Care Of Your Mental Health

Scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed one of these days and take note of the number of people describing mental health issues that they are having. They might be trying to laugh them off, but in reality there is a desperate cry underneath those jokes saying “something is not right here!”.

This particular Ted Talk helps explore the issues of how we treat mental health, and how we sometimes brush it aside in our own lives in order to avoid taking time away from our work or other responsibilities. This talk makes the argument that doing so is more costly than whatever work we are missing out on in the meantime. This talk is definitely one to watch for anyone suffering from mental health issues, but also just for those who know someone who may have these kinds of struggles as well.

4 Tips for Business Travel


Many up-and-coming executives find they spend excessive amounts of time traveling from city to city and meeting to meeting. In fact, some will admit that they often have trouble remembering what country they are in as they jet across the world, especially if they work for a large corporation. They have learned the tricks and tips of surviving business travel, and they are willing to share them with other travelers.

Avoid checking bags

Business travelers on a full flight may see appeals to gate check their bags. Unless they are on a very small regional carrier, this means that they will have to go to baggage claims to get the bags at the final destination. Instead, try to be in one of the first groups to board the flight. Additionally, divide belongings into two different bags. The one placed in the overhead bin should be extremely flexible allowing the traveler to cram it into any available space while the other one should be more sturdy allowing the traveler to place it under their seat. Even if you’re traveling by car or train, plan on packing as lightly as possible.

Wear simple clothes

Both men and women should consider taking along simple clothes for business trips that look professional, fairly versatile, and require minimal maintenance. Generally, sticking with neutral-colored clothes allows the traveler to wear clothes more than once if it becomes necessary. Wearing the same-colored bottoms allows the traveler to wear a single blazer during the entire trip. Choose shoes carefully so that they can be worn on multiple occasions and are also comfortable if you need to do a lot of walking. Additionally, business travelers should try to wear their heaviest clothes on the flight as this will save room in luggage.

Organize bags

Travelers should have a designated spot for everything in their briefcase, purse, and baggage. This organization allows them to see at a glance if they are leaving anything behind. Since many gadgets use the same cord, do not take multiple cords where it can be avoided. Make sure to take along an electrical plug adapter if traveling to foreign countries where they use a different type of outlet. Travelers may also want to take along a small surge protector to protect expensive gadgets. Organizing your bags keeps everything organized so you know where your belongings are.

Use mobile phone as a hotspot

Eliminate the need to pay for the expensive internet at hotels by using a mobile phone as a hotspot. Travelers should contact carriers before leaving to ensure coverage where company business takes them. If you use a business phone, it’s even easier to create a hotspot. Talk to your company beforehand so they approve you using a hotspot and make sure it’s less expensive than paying for WiFi somewhere else.

Following these tips will certainly make business travel less stressful. You’ll soon find that traveling for business is much less stressful and you might even find traveling to new places enjoyable.

5 Best Productivity Apps

Minimal work space - Creative flat lay photo of workspace desk. White office desk wooden table background with open mock up notebooks and pens and plant. Top view with copy space, flat lay photography.

Technology can greatly improve your productivity both at work and at home. It doesn’t matter what task you have to complete; there is probably an app out there that can seriously help you out. If there’s a way to get something done more efficiently and make your tasks easier to complete, you’ll likely want to use this resource. We’ve taken the liberty of reviewing the top five productivity apps so you can find the right one for you and see the difference it makes in your productivity.

  1. RescueTime

RescueTime is a time-tracking app that helps you track your work habits and patterns. The app measures the time you spend on your computer and the time when you get distracted by some other task. At the end of the week, RescueTime creates reports on your productivity rating. It also produces charts and graphs with information you can use to adjust your behavior.

  1. FocusList

FocusList is an app that helps you plan your day, track your time, and stay focused on your daily activities. The app is based on the Pomodoro technique. Once you select the task you want to undertake; you’ll get to work on it in 25-minute sessions separated by five-minute breaks. Later in the day, you can review the time you spent on every task to track your productivity.

  1. Doodle

This mobile app takes the pain out of scheduling events and meetings. Here’s how the app works; you set up an event, propose potential times, and invite your colleagues. They then select the option that works for them, and the app finds the time that works for everyone. For easier scheduling, you can sync Doodle to your Outlook or Google calendar. No more email threads trying to find the best time for a quick meeting or call!

  1. Buffer

Buffer is one of the best tools for scheduling posts on sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The platform is straightforward; all you have to do is link your business accounts to a single email, and you will be able to push out status updates and tweets instantly. Buffer is available for iOS and Android. Users can also use the app on the web if they prefer working on a desktop.

  1. Todoist

Todoist is a powerful task management app for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, Windows, and various internet browsers. This app enables users to create tasks and subtasks, add priority labels, share items with colleagues, and set up recurring events.

Have you interacted with any of these productivity apps? If yes, how does the app you use help you manage your day-to-day life? Let us know in the comments below.

Being an Entrepreneur Gives You Superpowers


As an entrepreneur, you’re going to need to learn a lot of important lessons in a short time. There are many skills necessary to being an entrepreneur; if you want to succeed, you need to develop these as soon as possible, if you don’t already possess them. Whether or not you remain an entrepreneur your entire life, the lessons you learn while doing it are going to be skills you carry with you the rest of your life and benefit you no matter what you’re doing.

Planning is vitally important

This trait is true for nearly any industry, but it’s especially pertinent to entrepreneurs. When you’re running your own business, you need to be on top of everything and stay informed. There are endless deadlines and responsibilities and careful planning is the only way to survive. In any aspect of your life, planning is incredibly beneficial and helps you stay organized.

Failure isn’t the end of everything

If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s a large risk that you’ll encounter failure in one way or another. No matter how confident and experienced you are, any kind of failure is daunting. We’re often terrified of failure. As an entrepreneur, you learn that failure frequently occurs, but you also know it isn’t the end of the world. You can encounter failure in any part of your life, but knowing how to learn from it and move on is invaluable.

Learn to focus on what you’re doing

If you want to be productive, you need to learn how to focus on the task at hand. Far too often, we procrastinate on what needs to get done and end up making life more difficult for ourselves. Learn to tackle one important task each day and prioritize your to-do list. Then, focus on your day’s most important task and avoid distractions.

Embrace creativity and learning

Entrepreneurs understand the intrinsic value of creativity and continued learning. No matter how busy you are, find time to learn something new as often as possible and express yourself in a creative way. Maybe it’s simply reading a few articles about a new topic and writing down your thoughts or going as far as to take official classes to get a degree in something. No matter what learning you’re doing, it’s helpful.

Find what you’re passionate about

To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be passionate about your business idea and what you’re pursuing. If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, you won’t have a solid idea of where to direct your life. Passion is what makes life interesting and fun; find out what yours is.

Understand how to communicate

No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have to communicate with other people. Entrepreneurs constantly hone their people skills and learn how to talk to others. Far too many people lack strong communication skills and don’t understand how to relate to others. Being an entrepreneur forces you to learn to communicate well and this skill will benefit you in every other area of your life.

Manage Your Time Like a True Champion


Far too many people catch themselves falling behind on deadlines or work they need to get done. Maybe you knew about a project a few weeks ago, yet you find yourself a week away from your deadline and realize you’ve barely made progress and have no idea how you’ll find the time necessary to devote to getting everything done. Learn how to actually manage your time so you can enjoy the free time you’ll have!

Identify time wasting

The first step to getting time management under control is learning where you’re wasting time. You might not realize how often you check your phone throughout the day or get distracted by a website or something else. Set your phone away from you when you need to focus on something at hand and consider looking into apps and extensions that block certain sites during specified times.

Decide what’s most important

At the start of each day, take time to figure out what tasks you need to get done for that day. Prioritize these tasks by importance and tackle the most important/difficult task first. We often avoid a looming task because we know it’ll take a significant amount of time and effort, but this approach ends up harming us much more in the long run. Once you get that big task over with, you’ll find everything else much easier to handle.

Say no to unnecessary tasks

For overachievers, it’s all too common that you often say yes to things you just don’t have time to take on or even really want to do. Instead of always saying yes, consider whether or not what you’re trying to do is actually necessary. Do not feel bad telling someone no, especially if it’s not a pressing issue or you have something that seriously needs your focus.

Take care of yourself

Self care is an incredibly important aspect of life that many people overlook. You could be the busiest person in the world and have multiple businesses to run, but you need to take some time to focus on yourself. Take a little bit of time at the end of each day to meditate, exercise, read, or anything else that helps you unwind. This small amount of time helps decrease your stress and makes focusing much easier throughout the day.

Plan out your entire day

Whether you do this step every day, once a week, or both, you need to take time to plan out what you’re doing at all times throughout the day. You don’t have to go overboard and plan out every single minute; in fact, you should allow yourself some buffer time in case something comes up that throws off your schedule. But, it’s incredibly helpful for time management to set deadlines for yourself and keep track of everything you need to accomplish each day. Use a physical planner, your phone’s calendar, or both, and you’ll feel much more organized.