Tips for Creating a Successful Morning Routine

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It can be difficult getting up in the morning without the aid of a helpful routine to get you started and motivated to get out of bed. Feeling tired and slightly moody isn’t uncommon. The temptation to crawl back into bed and get more sleep is certainly real and often overwhelming. Before you give into it though, you can try these special tricks for establishing a successful morning routine and jumpstart your day.

Prepare your body

For some, rolling out of bed is deemed a huge success. Once this has been accomplished, it’s time to take a nice, slow stretch. This is believed to increase blood flow in the body and will have a person feeling wide awake within minutes.

These days, cereal with milk is a popular breakfast choice. The problem with this food is that the focus is on dairy, rather than on protein. A couple of pan-fried eggs or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are both good options instead of, or in addition to, cereal. Because of their high protein content, they’ll give a person the fuel and energy he needs to get through his busy day.

Besides these, an exercise routine comes in handy. During a workout, the body actively engages in various, quick movements, and a person will be left feeling more awake and energetic.

Get the mind ready

Drinking water is good for bodily health, but the simple act has exceptional benefits for the mind, too. It can improve a person’s mood in no time. A grueling, drawn-out morning routine that leaves much to be desired, can make an individual feel like he’s practically homebound. He can skip his usual morning shower and take it the night before instead. Also, he can save a few extra minutes in the morning, by setting the timer on his coffee maker then, as well. That way, the coffee will be brewed and ready to go the moment he gets out of bed.

That innocent looking snooze button on the alarm clock is supposed to be a friend. In reality, though, it’s the enemy. Not only does it interrupt your sleep, it makes it more difficult to accept the fact that the day has, indeed, begun. The snooze button is like the part of the brain that keeps trying to deny it.

By changing the usual, tedious morning routine, anyone can become a morning person. Getting the mind and body both on board may just be the key to the new one’s chance for success. It doesn’t hurt to try.

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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.

Financing

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.

 

A Day in the Life of a Philanthropist

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Not all philanthropists are responsible for running a charity, but all those who successfully run charities should be considered philanthropists. Running a philanthropy is a huge undertaking and involves a lot of hard work; it really isn’t that different from running your own business. Being the head of a charity can be incredibly rewarding, because you’re helping people gain better lives and showing others the importance of helping out those in need. Here’s an inside look into what it’s like leading a philanthropy and what is required of a philanthropist each day.

Plan new ways to raise funds

Many philanthropies receive government funding or grants from other sources or can rely on regular donations from a benefactor. However, rarely do these sources of funding cover all the necessary costs for a philanthropy, especially when the organization is working on solving a major problem. Philanthropies rely on donations to achieve their mission, so the head of a charity needs work with their team to find new ways to increase fundraising and donations in order to keep running the organization and helping those in need.

Strategically use current resources

If you’re in charge of a philanthropy, you’re responsible for deciding how to use the resources you do have. For larger philanthropies, this means you need to figure out how to use significant amounts of funds and large groups of people to best meet the needs of the cause you’re working for. For many philanthropies, a natural disaster means it’s time for them to mobilize volunteers, goods, and money and use these things where they’re most needed. Once a philanthropy is established or if a trip or event if planned far ahead of time, figuring out how to use resources becomes a little easier. However, there are always new needs to be met and many causes evolve over time.

Manage volunteers effectively

An important part of managing a philanthropy is recognizing how to effectively manage volunteers. Depending on the size of the organization, there could be just a few volunteers or there could be hundreds and it’s up to you to make decisions on where they’re most needed. Larger philanthropies may have other people who oversee volunteers, but whoever is leading a philanthropy should still be aware of what’s happening and make sure volunteers’ help is being used the best it can.

Evaluate where help is needed

Like I mentioned above, the causes philanthropies work on often evolve and can change in various ways. When overseeing a philanthropic organization, it’s important that you stay up-to-date with these changes and make decisions within the organization in relation to said changes. If your philanthropy significantly grows, it’s the perfect opportunity to expand your focus to a broader cause. Or, if a natural disaster occurs, you might want to divert some of your resources toward helping those affected and cut back in some other area.

One of the most important parts of running a philanthropy is being responsible when it comes to making decisions and using resources; learn to be innovative instead of sticking with a routine.

Learn Why You Should Spend Less Time Looking at Your Phone

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Billions of people have cell phones and use them every day. Smartphones are capable of doing virtually everything a computer can and you can use them nearly anywhere. Many of us claim we could never live without our phone, yet it often brings unhappiness. People feel like they need to have a phone that they can connect to all of their social media accounts, stay up to date with the news, and play games on, but recent statistics show that people are spending hours of time on their phones and often feel less fulfilled. Why is this and what can we do? A recent TED Talk from psychologist Adam Alter provides interesting information on the subject and helps reach a conclusion on how to stop this problem.

Industry views

Alter begins his TED Talk with some intriguing information. Steve Jobs created Apple and rained praise on Apple products, considering them “revolutionary.” However, Jobs once stated during an interview that he does not allow his own children to use iPads and instead carefully monitors how much time they’re spending using tech. The same holds true for many others who work in the tech industry; they try to limit their children’s access to screens until they’re well into their teenage years.

Time breakdown

During the TED Talk, Alter flashes an interesting infographic on the screen. He takes statistics from 2007, 2015, and 2017 and breaks out days into time spent doing certain tasks. Each day, the majority of our time is spent on work, sleep, and basic tasks, leaving us with only a few hours to dedicate to bettering ourselves and focusing on our hobbies.

Alter then adds in the amount of time staring at screens takes up during our free time. He focuses mostly on using smartphones and those apps and isn’t counting time during the average of eight hours spent at work. Since smartphones became popular around 2007, the amount of time spent on them has greatly increased to 2017, when nearly all of our free time is taken up by staring at a screen as opposed to doing something else. While this data is certainly not true for everyone, the average amount of time people spend looking at a screen when they have free time is shocking.

How apps affect us

Though it isn’t good to spend so much time looking at a screen, Alter acknowledges there are incredible benefits to technology. Without current technology, we would never be able to instantly connect with other people who live across the country or on the other side of the world. Families can stay in touch even if they live in different countries and it’s easy to reach someone during an emergency. However, the majority of time spent on smartphones is not for these purposes, which is why we need to re-evaluate our usage of these incredible devices.

Different types of apps have various effects. Research has shown that apps that help you better yourself can directly contribute to happiness. Apps that involve exercise, education, readings, or focusing on your physical and mental health will increase happiness, but a small portion of screen time is spent using these kinds of apps.  Instead, much more time is dedicated to those apps that make us feel negatively, such as dating, social media, news, and gaming apps. People also frequently aimlessly browse on their phones, which leads to a sense of unfulfillment and leads to a significant amount of time wasted.

Possible solutions

This information isn’t exactly anything new, which means people are actively working on finding solutions; we’ve known for a while it isn’t all that great to stare at a phone instead of doing more productive activities. Some companies have taken drastic steps to help disconnect people from technology, such as not having any emails sent to someone’s account while they’re on vacation or cutting the power to computers at the end of the workday to avoid having employees spend many extra hours at work. While these methods may seem a bit extreme, there are other solutions as well, especially when it comes to smartphones.

A big issue with wasting time staring at a screen is that smartphones have no stopping cues. A stopping cue indicates that it’s time to move on to another task, such as the end of a television show on cable or reading to the end of an article or magazine. People can continue using their phones endlessly without realizing how long they’re doing so. You could attempt to not use your phone after a certain time of day, but something may always come up and schedules frequently change. A good place to start is to simply avoid using your phone when you’re eating. Set it somewhere far away from you so you completely cut out the temptation to look at it.

At first, it might be difficult to not have your smartphone with you and you’ll feel like you’re missing out on events and important information, but you’ll eventually make it a habit. As you cut back on your aimless smartphone use, you’ll realize how much more free time you have and you’ll notice your mood improving. It provides you with the opportunity to cultivate deeper relationships with actual people. Smartphones are incredible technology that can benefit us in a multitude of ways, but we need to learn how to properly use them in order to maximize our own happiness.

Support Rising Entrepreneurs to Ensure the Future of Business

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Entrepreneurship has significantly risen over the past few years with more and more people deciding to pursue their passion and become their own boss. Entrepreneurs continue to strive to change the world and make things better for everyone. In order for innovation to occur, entrepreneurship needs to be encouraged, allowing people with great ideas to share them with the world. Here are some rising entrepreneurs to keep an eye on moving forward.

Shradha Agarwal

Agarwal co-founded Context Media (now called Outcome Health) to help people with chronic diseases manage their health. Agarwal assists millions of patients every month. Agarwal has even been honored by the White House and the United Nations, among other prominent organizations.

Kayla Sanders

Sanders is the CEO of ReMyHealth, a cloud based solution that automates compliance and regulatory activities for health insurance providers. Sanders also assists with non-profit organizations that have the goal of building a healthier community.

Hope Horner

Horner is the CEO of Lemonlight, a company that works with clients to create high-quality videos for digital marketing. Horner has been featured in a number of different media publications. She has also opened three businesses in the Silicon Beach Community the past few years.

Anthony Smith

Smith is the CEO of Insightly, which provides cloud based software to millions of people around the world. Smith created Insightly using his past experience of constructing and implementing CRM software.

Neil Patel

A conversion expert and marketer, Patel is the founder of multiple businesses, including Quick Sprout and Crazy Egg. President Barack Obama has honored Patel as one of the top young entrepreneurs in the world. Patel has contributed to Forbes and Techcrunch, along with various other publications.

Jonathan Long

Long is the co-founder of the teeth whitening company, Sexy Smile Kit. Long is also the CEO of Market Domination Media, an agency that helps companies improve and utilize search engine optimization and online marketing.

Roger Bryan

Roger Bryan has run many successful e-commerce businesses. His most recent venture, Enfusen, uses analytics to help marketing agencies increase traffic for their clients. Bryan has become one of the top young entrepreneurs in the world.

Chalmers Brown

Brown helps businesses receive and send payments in the most efficient ways possible. He relies on blockchain technology and partnerships with different leaders to create one of the best payment solutions on the market.

Ramon Ray

With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Ray speaks to aspiring entrepreneurs around the world about marketing and branding and helps them improve these aspects in their business or on a personal level. Ray is also a best-selling author.

Elise Mitchell 
Elise Mitchell has helped her firm, Mitchell, become one of the fastest rising communications firms in the world. Mitchell has received numerous awards and continues to ascend.

7 Top-Notch Podcasts for Entrepreneurs that Push You Toward Success

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As an entrepreneur, it’s likely you’re always looking for opportunities to enhance your skills and knowledge. Podcasts are a perfect way to achieve these goals, because they allow you to learn while playing them in the background. You can multitask while listening to a podcast or listen to them during your commute. In the last few years, podcasts have become increasingly more popular and now you can find one on basically any topic you could possibly imagine. You should aim to continuously enhance your skills and learn more, so here are some of the best podcasts for entrepreneurs to help motivate and inform you.

Startup

The company Gimlet Media produces this podcast, known as Startup. The CEO of Gimlet, Alex Blumberg, and Lisa Chow, a former editor, run this podcast. It follows the lessons they’ve learned along the way in business. It’s an incredibly personal podcast that walks listeners through the more detailed parts of starting a company.

This is Your Life

If you’re a brand-new entrepreneur, this podcast will be a fantastic resource for you. Michael Hyatt gives you detailed podcasts on various topics that help you get a taste for what it’s like being an entrepreneur.

She Did It Her Way

If you’re a female entrepreneur or just want some perspective from one, this podcast is a good option to check out. The podcast features a successful female entrepreneur each week, from a variety of backgrounds and industries.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss, the author of The 4-Hour Work Week, also has a podcast. The podcast has over 100 episodes and is highly ranked. Ferriss talks to various entrepreneurs who are leaders in their industries and shares their tips for success with listeners. It offers quality advice, but is also really fun.

Social Pros

A major part of a successful business strategy is understanding how to market the company. Jay Baer and Adam Brown lead this podcast. They interview the social media strategists of large companies in order to gather advice to share with listeners. It’s particularly useful for keeping up with social media trends.

Entrepreneur On Fire

Entrepreneur on Fire offers a wide-range of topics for listeners. If you like variety, this podcast is perfect for you. Some episodes are incredibly informative, while others are simply entertaining to listen to.

Mixergy

Andrew Warner leads this podcast and features experienced entrepreneurs on his show who can offer quality advice to more novice entrepreneurs. Warner asks his guests in-depth questions that lead to interesting conversations and genuine interactions.

6 Guaranteed Ways of Keeping Volunteers Happy & Making Your Philanthropy Succeed

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When your organization utilizes volunteers to remain in operation, it is essential to keep the individuals happy with these tips. I’ve written before about the importance of keeping your volunteers happy, but now I’d like to share some tangible ways to actually accomplish this goal. When you have happy volunteers, your philanthropy is much more likely to achieve its goals and succeed.

Tip 1: Provide training for your volunteers

To help your volunteers feel more confident, make sure to provide training for them. For example, if your volunteers are helping out in an assisted living center, then teach them about emergency first-aid procedures. When you are training volunteers to work in a crisis call center, teach them how to remain calm while talking to someone who is having suicidal thoughts. Make sure to update the volunteers’ training occasionally in order to keep them abreast of the best developments in the field they’re working in for your philanthropy.

Tip 2: Have group meetings for your volunteers

While it is possible that your volunteers don’t work at the same times, it is important for them to know each other. Have group meetings on a routine basis so that your volunteers can communicate with one another. This is a good time for your volunteers to make suggestions to you concerning any changes in an organization as well as share their experiences and ideas with other volunteers.

Tip 3: Get to know your volunteers

Take time to talk to your volunteers to understand their knowledge. It is possible that a volunteer has specialized education and experiences that will make them more valuable for your charity. By knowing more about your volunteers, you can place them in the best positions in an organization and both of you get get the most from their volunteering.

Tip 4: Offer rewards to your volunteers

Reward your volunteers to make them feel more valuable at your philanthropy. At least once a year, have a reward dinner to give out certificates or plaques to your volunteers for things such as having excellent attendance or providing extra services to a client. This step also helps you retain great volunteers who can continue to help the charity.

Tip 5: Permit volunteers to choose their own schedules

To make volunteers happy, permit them to choose their own schedules. Many individuals want to volunteer, but they must have an open schedule that works with raising a family or working a full-time job. Some volunteers may only have a few hours available each month, but if they’re dedicated to your cause, they can still help make a difference.

Tip 6: Treat your volunteers with respect

Volunteers aren’t getting paid for working for you, and they also don’t get health care insurance or retirement benefits. Make sure to treat your volunteers with respect by acknowledging how valuable they are to your organization. Determine how a volunteer wants to help you with your philanthropy so that you can place them in the correct role that suits their interests.

6 Blogs to Help You Kill the Philanthropy Game

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As a philanthropist, you might not think of reading blogs as something that can directly benefit your work. However, whether you work for a philanthropy or are just heavily involved as a philanthropist, reading up on blogs about philanthropy can be incredibly beneficial. It’s important to stay up with the latest trends, so you can see what philanthropies are doing well and which ones could use some more help. You’ll also learn about new methods philanthropies are using to raise donations or spread awareness about their cause. Staying up-to-date with the latest philanthropy news keeps you informed, which makes you a more responsible philanthropist. Also, if your philanthropy has it’s own blog, it can be helpful to see what other people are writing about and what’s currently trending.

Nonprofit Pro

Nonprofit Pro is a great resource for people to learn more about managing a nonprofit and developing quality strategy to help it succeed. Beyond the blog, you can access webinars and various other helpful resources, which can definitely be used to your benefit as you strive to become a better philanthropist

Guidestar Blog

Every day, you can get new content from this blog that is extremely informative. If you like thought leadership pieces from well-known philanthropists and speakers, definitely check out this blog. You’ll learn so much from these interesting people.

Passionate Giving by the Veritus Group

Fundraising can often be tricky for nonprofits, so it’s beneficial to seek out any advice that you can. This blog helps by offering detailed information regarding major donor fundraising, which is hugely beneficial to nonprofits.

Beth’s Blog

Beth Kanter runs this blog and focuses mainly on how social media can help out philanthropies. Kanter has over 30 years of experience working in the nonprofit industry and this knowledge is certainly helpful to readers. This blog is one of the longest on philanthropies and definitely something you should check out.

The Storytelling Nonprofi

For nonprofits, storytelling is a vital aspect of attracting donors and raising awareness of the cause. You need to learn to effectively tell the story of your philanthropy and why you care about that specific cause. This blog helps you learn how to tell your story and draw attention to your nonprofit. This blog also has consulting tools you can use to help develop your story.

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

In order to be a successful nonprofit, marketing is a must. No one will know about a nonprofit if it’s not properly marketed. This blog teaches you how to utilize your resources and make people see your nonprofit. These nonprofit marketing tips are especially important if your philanthropy is relatively new and unknown.

Content Marketing Can Make Your Philanthropy a Quick Success

No matter what kind of organization you’re running, you’ll need to market it. As a nonprofit, you should be using some sort of blog and creating your own content; any organization can benefit from the creation of original content that draws people in to learn more about the organization. A philanthropy is no exception to this rule. As you create content, you need to work on how you market that content to benefit the organization. Content marketing can be tricky if you do not know how to do it, but there are also simple basics to it that nearly anyone can learn. Here are some of the top tips on how to market content for your nonprofit in a way that’ll help you get volunteers and donors, along with necessary exposure to spread the mission of your organization.

Regularly post content

A mistake many organizations make when working with content is that they don’t post enough. Make sure you post at least once a month, though more than that would be ideal. Consider finding a volunteer to deal exclusively with the marketing (and mainly content marketing) for your nonprofit. Creating quality posts is the foundation of your content marketing, because it’s what you’ll be sharing.

Craft & tell your story

The best step you can take when creating content is utilizing your story. Share how your philanthropy came into being and why you felt called to run it. Let readers know what your mission is, share challenges with achieving your goals, and share your victories. Storytelling draws people in and helps them become invested in the organization.

Share it on other social media

The next step to take is to share your content on various social media channels. Create accounts for your charity and regularly update them. Add pictures and make sure the sites are as optimized as possible; the last thing you want is it to look like you slapped together your online presence. Create unique blurbs when you share content and interact with your followers.

Utilize forums

Forums are a great way to spread the word about your philanthropy and content. Find a group that’s related to marketing or the cause you’re supporting and share your content. Invite others in the forum to take a look at your content and give you feedback and do the same for them. Forums are a great way to find ways to improve your content marketing strategy and charity as a whole.

Ask for testimonials

Getting testimonials from volunteers, community members, or people your philanthropy has helped is a fantastic way to market your content. Encourage people to provide feedback and leave testimonials then share those on your social media. It gives you content that other people are creating and it also provides a genuine sense of your organization and what it does.

Learn How to Take Your Charity to the Next Level with this Simple Step

It can be a challenge to find stupendous volunteers for your philanthropy. There are lots of people out there who want to donate their time to an organization, but far too many of them are only doing it to put on their resumes or meet a requirement for something. You want to find the best volunteers for your organization, which means you need to put a little extra effort into locating them. While you do not want to be too picky when it comes to volunteers (most charities need the free help in order to continue running and further their causes), you should be slightly selective in choosing volunteers and what tasks you assign them.

Ask for a resume

First off, most volunteer opportunities ask for basic information on their volunteers. Usually, volunteers have to fill out a short application, but receiving a resume could be more beneficial. It’ll save both parties time because it gets rid of the need to fill out a separate application, and it lets you see if the applicant has any former volunteer experience or seems to have a good work ethic. While a sparse resume isn’t a reason to count someone out, it can help you identify great volunteers.

Conduct an interview process

Some philanthropies just don’t have time for this step, but if you do, it should be something you prioritize. Just taking a few minutes the first day someone volunteers, you’ll be able to get a better idea of who they are as a person. Ask why they wanted to volunteer with your charity in the first place and what they’re hoping to get from the experience.

Determine what they can handle

Before assigning tasks to volunteers, ask them what experience they have and what they’d like to work on. You could also have new volunteers try out different tasks and see what they excel at the most. The longer volunteers are with you and the more adept they show themselves to be, the bigger tasks you can trust them with at your philanthropy.

Match them with a mentor

If your organization has been around for a few years, you can match new volunteers with those who are more experienced. Giving new volunteers a mentor provides them with a chance to get thorough training and it also helps you gauge what kind of volunteer they are. If you choose to conduct a mentorship program with your volunteers, make sure you aren’t giving seasoned volunteers too much to do and preventing them from helping the organization.

Give back to them
When you finally do find fantastic volunteers, make sure you keep them happy. Provide them with a meaningful experience and offer to be a reference when they look for a job or apply for something. You might also want to consider giving your loyal volunteers some kind of gift around the holidays or just make it a point to recognize those who are doing a great job.