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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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 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.

3 Ways to Get Your Team to Work Together

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Teamwork is a skill that is sadly neither taught nor practiced well enough in the modern workplace. Some might argue it isn’t taught well enough to children in school either, which leads to issues in the workplace. This is an odd state of affairs given the obvious and proven benefits of good teamwork and the well understood principles of teaching and practicing it in all areas of life.

Unless you’re dealing with a group of wildly dysfunctional people, it is not difficult to get a group to work together, especially professionals who are being paid to do a job. Teaching teamwork is a combination of knowledge, leadership, basic psychology and will. Once you instill these ideals in your team, you’ll see a drastic improvement.

Camaraderie

Anyone who has watched an inspirational film or read a story about one or more characters facing difficult circumstances has likely experienced camaraderie. Those who have participated in any kind of ensemble activity like a team competition has as well. The battle cry of “we’re all in this together” is designed to inspire people to realize they won’t make much progress alone.

Instilling this sensibility in a group of people is the first step towards building a team.

Leadership

Selfish instincts must be replaced with regard for the people around the individual. The fastest way to make this happen is to identify strengths in each individual and require every person to teach their strengths to the others. This egalitarian approach to leadership forces team members to rely on each other instead of wandering off to look for a solution on their own. Teaching also encourages the natural leaders to step forward.

Rebuilding

One needs to only look at the armed forces to see this dynamic in action. A new platoon of recruits is broken down by the drill sergeant and then built back up. The key to the process is the fact they are all experiencing these dynamics together. They get stronger and more capable together. They earn the opportunity to take charge of the barracks, the gear, the weapons and the uniforms. Each recruit gets a chance to lead. This brings camaraderie and leadership together into a powerful mixture.

The measurable result of great teamwork is indisputable. There are decades of stories in team sports, military victories, and even academic settings that prove there are few things more effective in any environment where goals are set and achieved. Teaching teamwork is therefore one of the most generous and powerful things anyone can do.

7 Questions to Ask Before Changing Careers

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If you are considering a career change, you are not alone. Many people change careers more than once in their lifetime and for various reasons. However, if you want to make sure you make the right choice, there are seven questions you should be asking yourself before making this major decision. If you do not take these questions into account, you might make the wrong decision and waste time and effort in a career that doesn’t satisfy you when you could have been working toward something better. So go through the steps below before jumping ship and then decide what path you’d like to take.

What

You have to define what it is exactly that you want. Without this, you will be fluttering in the wind without a direction. What is the ideal outcome that a new career will bring you? Evaluate the types of tasks you enjoy doing and figure out what you definitely do not want to do. Then, search for careers and jobs that best fit your preferences.

Why

Once you’ve defined what you want, it’s time to hone in on why you want it in the first place. If you want more autonomy for example, it might be because you want room to grow. So therefore perhaps a company that is young and rapidly expanding would be a good choice. Understand the reasons behind why you want to change careers or why you’re looking for a specific job can help you determine what steps are the best to take.

When

Without a timeline, dreams die. Don’t think you will do it “someday.” Schedule your move and stick to it. Learn to manage your time effectively and force yourself to work hard and get through the monotonous steps to finding a new career. Do you need more education or to speak with a mentor? Give yourself clear steps and deadlines and it’ll  be easier to transition.

How

Now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get there. What actions do you need to take? Do you need to upgrade your resume? Buy a new suit? Answer this before the next step and you’ll be better prepared to move to a new career.

Who

There is probably someone who has done what you want to do. Try to get their mentorship. At the very least, read about their story for clues. Talking with someone who has more knowledge and experience than you can be incredibly beneficial and help you avoid any major missteps.

When it comes to changing careers, it can be overwhelming at first. After all, you are completely shifting gears. Your old routines need to change. And most of all, you have to ask yourself the seven questions above which can take some time and energy. But don’t worry, if you go through the right process you will be able to find your ideal career and succeed in a way that fulfills you for the long term.

Being an Entrepreneur Gives You Superpowers

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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

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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.

Wisely Choose Your Business Partners

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Becoming an entrepreneur offers special freedoms and opportunities that an individual can pursue on an individual basis. However, as a company grows, the option of hiring a business partner is often considered, and in many cases, necessary. While assistance in running a business may seem desirable and advantageous to the company, a partner should be carefully selected to ensure the best match for professional success; not anyone can succeed at this job.

Look for company-oriented compatibility

A partner should share the same degree of interest in the company as the owner, although their interests may vary. For example, one person may prefer the day-to-day operational tasks, while the other enjoys handling the creative side of things, such as marketing and community relations. If one person has only a casual interest, the other will probably be burdened with most of the work, which creates animosity.

Divide the duties

Write a company mission, strategic plan, or business plan to organize the operations and goals. Make sure it clearly spells out who is responsible for what. The plan should also specify how disagreements or conflicts will be handled. Profit-splitting and other financials should likewise be addressed. Never assume anything in running a company, and put everything in writing, updating as needed.

Keep it professional

Some experts recommend social activities with your business partner, and perhaps even taking vacations together. While this works for some individuals who knew each other before their joint business venture or who automatically get along perfectly, it can backfire. Spending too much time together could lead to relaxing the rules at work by allowing the partner to arrive late or leave early, or take a pay advance if that is not the usual practice. Some partners may expect perks or not fully understand how to conduct business professionally. While it is okay to have fun out of the office, be careful that it does not jeopardize company operations or the work environment.

Don’t expect perfection

If your business partner has less education or experience than you do, he or she may need some time to adapt to the job. Special training might be needed to get your partner up to speed. While you don’t want to necessarily relax the rules or lower your expectations, a degree of patience could be needed while your partner adjusts.

Have a back door

Agree up front on an exit strategy if the partnership doesn’t work out. Keep interactions amiable and respectful, no matter the outcome because you never know when you may have to work together again in the future. Make sure you have an agreement that protects you and your business, no matter what happens.