They Did it and So Can You! 4 Real Life Budget Success Stories

first_imgOnce you find yourself in a financial hole, it’s hard to climb out of it.In fact, you usually end up digging deeper and deeper when you do.Where do you start? What do you focus on? And how do you avoid making things worse for yourself?As difficult as transforming your financial situation can be, it’s not impossible.Many have done it, and they didn’t need to make millions on the stock market or build a multi-billion dollar business to do so.No, these are people just like us, with limited funds, no expert knowledge of the stock market, and a whole bunch of bills that need paying off.Here are some awesome success stories that prove anybody, with a little hard work and preparation, can climb completely out of that hole, and fill it with dirt so they never fall into it again.Krissy Schwab’s Experience with Mint.comKrissy Schwab was having trouble keeping track of her expenses; especially the part where every little swipe of her debit card meant another set of numbers to remember.Keeping track of every receipt and entering every purchase into Excel got real tiresome, real fast.Luckily for her, she discovered Mint.com’s budget setup system, where all you need to do is enter your basic financial information (bank account, monthly bills, loans, income etc.), and the site configures the rest, telling you how much you should have left over at the end of each month, and offering helpful guides as to how your spending compares to others.Thanks to Mint’s expert organization of her financial situation, Krissy ended up saving thousands of dollars, streamlining her spending so virtually all of her bills get paid off in one paycheck, leaving several more checks a month free to help her live a life, rather than simply pay for one.How Carrie Rocha Paid Off a $50,000 Debt in Under 3 yearsCarrie Rocha of Pocket Your Dollars was over $50,000 in debt. In two and a half years, she had paid her entire debt off, even while being laid off from her job.Her secret weapon: coupons. She and her family meticulously clipped coupons, but not just any coupons.Too often, people buy up everything that has a coupon attached, even if they don’t need it. And then they wonder why they aren’t saving any money.Rocha instead focused on necessities, especially ones already on sale, and found herself saving a lot of money, very quickly.The great thing is, even if you don’t buy a newspaper anymore (kids, ask your parents if the term “newspaper” confuses you), there are plenty of online coupons that you can take advantage of.Just find the ones that help you most, print them out, and get to saving!Geoff Lennon Learns the Middle Way Method of Saving MoneyGeoff Lennon was having trouble balancing his budget and saving any money. He tried micromanaging every little penny and found it too confusing.He then tried a laissez-faire approach, which was more lazy-faire than anything, as he stopped keeping track of anything he spent at all. Not shockingly, he lost control quite quickly.Finally, Lennon discovered a happy medium: the Balanced Money Formula championed by the website Get Rich Slowly.This middle-of-the-road approach doesn’t keep track of every last tiny thing you do with your money, but does structure your budget in such a way that, ideally, less than half of your money would go towards “needs” (bills, food, gas, etc.)The remaining half would be split between things you want (toys, games, trips, music, electronics, etc.) and savings for the future.Adhering to this method has helped Lennon finally cut down on expenses and start saving money, and it could very well work for you too.Doug Nordman Knew Nothing of Finance, Still Retired EarlyAfter having a child, former career military man Doug Nordman decided he needed to spend less time working and more time fathering. This would mean less income and more saving.So, despite admitting to not having a lot of financial savvy, and making a ton of mistakes along the way, Nordman and his wife managed to save in every way imaginable.They embraced any form of free entertainment, such as the beach or library, and cut out as much needless spending as they could. Any home improvement or maintenance project that they could handle themselves, they tackled.Finally in 2002, after decades of scrimping and saving, as well as finally finding a portfolio that worked for him, Nordman took early retirement and has never looked back.He fills his day with fun and, while he absolutely could take a job just about anywhere, he chooses not to. He’d rather have fun and, thanks to finding a financial solution that worked for him, he absolutely can.These stories prove once and for all that, if you truly want to save money, balance your budget, climb out of debt, and possibly retire early, then you absolutely can.It just takes a little work, a lot of focus, and a ton of dedication.And while your story will ultimately be different than the ones you just read about, it’s very possible that one or more of their tricks could work for you.So give it a shot; the thousands of extra dollars in your bank account will thank you.Mary Hiers is a personal finance writer who helps people earn more and spend less. Post navigation Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Relatedlast_img read more

American Family Budget: 3-Month Checkup

first_imgGetting physically fit takes discipline, effort, and more than a little energy to get to where you want to be. Regularly moving your body and sticking to a fitness plan isn’t easy, and doing so is certainly commendable—and comes with… Full Story,Table of Contents Benefits of Working During Retirement Phased Retirement Types of Employment Recommended Jobs for Seniors  Resources for Seniors  Retirement looks different for everyone. Some people dream of playing golf and visiting their grandchildren, while others see it as… Full Story,A study conducted by Charles Schwab just last year found that three in five Americans live paycheck to paycheck, yet only one in four has a written financial plan. In fact, the majority of Americans are hesitant to receive any… Full Story,Life is unpredictable. Some days aren’t all sunshine, like when your car breaks down or your house needs a repair. These situations happen to everyone. That’s why it’s important to save while things are going well, so you can cover… Full Story,Structure is the key to growth. Without a solid foundation – and a road map for the future – it’s easy to spin your wheels and float through life without making any headway. Planning allows you to prioritize your time,… Full Story,Car accidents are not only scary but also a monumental hassle. That’s largely thanks to what comes after the accident itself.   After an accident, you’ll likely have to spend ample time on the phone with your insurer. Then there’s dealing… Full Story,If you’re a furloughed government employee, you are likely feeling a good deal of stress and uncertainty about how to manage your finances during the government shutdown. While missing a paycheck is a financial moment no one wants to experience,… Full Story,Buried underneath paying bills, digging out of a debt hole, and saving for your kids’ college is the marathon of money goals: retirement. Cue the fantasies of spending your days at a leisurely pace, working on The Great American Novel—at… Full Story,When I’m on top of finances, I’m all up in my money management apps, checking my balances and the swift progress I’ve been making on my savings goals. But when things aren’t going so hot? I’m like an ostrich with… Full Story,With all of today’s home-based tech gadgets and virtual personal assistants, smart homes are quickly becoming ubiquitous. And with high demand for connected products, so too comes ease of use, accessibility and affordability.   But as with all expenses, it’s important… Full Storylast_img read more

What Causes Ectopic Pregnancy–and How Do You Know If it’s Happening to You?

first_imgIn a normal pregnancy, an egg is fertilized in the fallopian tubes and travels to the uterus, where it grows and develops over the next several months. But in an ectopic pregnancy (also sometimes called a tubal pregnancy), the fertilized egg either stays in the fallopian tubes or travels somewhere other than the uterus. This means the pregnancy is not viable—and because it can cause serious complications, surgery or medication is required to terminate it.About 2% of all pregnancies are ectopic, which means “out of place.” Some women are more likely to develop them than others, but the condition can also happen randomly, to women with no risk factors at all. Here’s what all women of childbearing age should know about the symptoms, causes, and implications of ectopic pregnancies.Ectopic pregnancy causesAbout 50% of all ectopic pregnancies happen for unknown reasons. “Many times, we have no idea why they take place; the patient has no risk factors and there’s nothing she could have done differently,” says Jenny Jaque, MD, assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.The other half of the time, doctors can point to specific factors that may have contributed to the likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy. If a woman has had pelvic surgery or a history of sexually transmitted infection (STI), for example, she could be at higher risk of having an ectopic pregnancy.“These things can lead to inflammation and scar tissue in or around the reproductive organs, which means there’s a chance for distorted anatomy,” Dr. Jaque says. “That scar tissue can physically get in the way and make it harder for the egg to travel down the fallopian tube and into the uterus.”Ectopic pregnancies can also be caused by a birth defect that affects the shape and function of a woman’s fallopian tubes or can occur if a woman gets pregnant after having a tubal ligation surgery, also known as having her “tubes tied.”Ectopic pregnancy symptomsThe first sign of an ectopic pregnancy is often sharp and persistent lower abdominal pain. If a woman has tested positive for pregnancy and begins experiencing this type of pain, it’s important that she get to the doctor right away, says Dr. Jaque.“The uterus is meant to stretch to accommodate a growing embryo, but your other organs, like your fallopian tubes, are not,” she says. “If an egg implants in the wrong place and starts growing, it could damage or even rupture those organs, which can cause severe pain and bleeding and send you to the emergency room.”It’s normal for a woman to stop getting her period when she gets pregnant, and that’s true of a normal pregnancy or an ectopic one. But women with ectopic pregnancies may also experience some spotting, or light bleeding. If an organ becomes damaged or ruptures as a result of the ectopic pregnancy, it may cause heavy blood loss and related symptoms, such as dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.Sometimes, an early ectopic pregnancy can be diagnosed at a prenatal doctor’s visit, before any obvious symptoms occur. “If a woman has a positive pregnancy test and her hormone levels aren’t where they should be, or what we’re seeing on the ultrasound doesn’t match up, then we start suspecting that it may be an ectopic pregnancy,” Dr. Jaque says. Additional imaging tests–typically ultrasounds of the fallopian tubes and elsewhere–are used to confirm an ectopic pregnancy diagnosis.Ectopic pregnancy risk factorsResearch suggests that a woman’s risk of having an ectopic pregnancy may have to do with her age: In one 2014 Iranian study, the risk of ectopic pregnancy for women ages 27 to 32 was 3.9 times higher than for women ages 26 and younger. That number rose to 4.3 times higher for women 33 to 38, and 9 times higher for women 39 and up.It’s unclear why older women have a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy, the study authors wrote in their paper, but some experts believe they may simply be more likely to have scar tissue in their fallopian tubes, a history of STIs, or age-related changes in tubal function.Women who have pelvic inflammatory disease—often the result of an untreated STI, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia—are at higher risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. So are women who have had previous pelvic surgeries. “Even something as seemingly unrelated as an appendectomy could lead to scarring and complications,” Dr. Jaque says.Some studies have also suggested an association between prior abortions and ectopic pregnancies, but others have found no link between the two.Endometriosis—a condition in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus—can also lead to the development of scar tissue in the fallopian tubes and increase a woman’s risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies can also occur if a woman becomes pregnant while she has an intrauterine device (IUD) implanted, although this complication is extremely rare.Studies also suggest that women who smoke—or who have partners who smoke—may have a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. The relationship between smoking and ectopic pregnancy isn’t fully understood, but animal studies have shown that inhalation of cigarette smoke may impair the muscle contractions that facilitate movement through the fallopian tubes.Ectopic pregnancy treatmentsVery few embryos that implant outside of the uterus are capable of surviving—and if the embryo does continue to grow, it can put the mother’s health and future fertility at risk. That’s why prompt treatment is so important, Dr. Jaque says.If an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed early, when the embryo is still very small, a woman can be treated with methotrexate—a medication also used in chemotherapy treatments to destroy fast-growing cells. After the drug is administered via injection, a patient’s hormone levels are monitored over the next few days to ensure that her pregnancy has ended.Sometimes, laparoscopic surgery (also known as minimally invasive surgery) is required to remove the embryo. If an ectopic pregnancy has damaged or ruptured a woman’s fallopian tubes or other organs, she may need more extensive, emergency surgery.Women who are treated for an ectopic pregnancy can conceive again and carry a pregnancy to full term, although their risk of another ectopic pregnancy is higher than the general public. It’s important that they talk to their doctors about specific risks that may have contributed to their ectopic pregnancy, Dr. Jaque says, and carefully plan their next attempt.“You should be on contraception until you’re ready to conceive again,” she says, “and have a plan in place with your gynecologist, so you can make sure you’re getting the proper care and monitoring as soon as you get that positive pregnancy test.”Sourcelast_img read more

WRI India’s Jamshyd Godrej – Building a Sustainable Legacy

first_imgGodrej is literally a household name in India. In a vast nation of more than 1.2 billion people, where differences of creed, language, caste and class are an enduring challenge, hundreds of millions of households either own or aspire to own a Godrej cabinet to store the family’s most precious possessions.When I told Indian friends I would be interviewing industrialist and philanthropist Jamshyd Godrej, the chairman and leading benefactor of WRI India, many responded by sharing an affectionate memory of a high-quality Godrej product in the home of their childhood. Try thinking of a U.S. brand that inspires a similarly fond emotion. I can’t.Next my friends told me about the Godrej family’s philanthropic activities, especially their preservation of vast tracts of mangrove that protect Mumbai, India’s financial hub and home to 22 million people, four out of 10 of whom live in flood-prone informal settlements, from coastal storms that would otherwise take an even greater toll in the low-lying city.Some also mentioned that the Godrej family are Parsis, members of a tiny Zoroastrian community that has played an outsize role in India’s economy, entertainment industry, armed forces and the independence movement to end British rule. I learned from a Parsi friend that Jamshyd’s wife, Pheroza Godrej, is co-editor of several books, including a landmark 2002 volume of more than 700 pages titled “A Zoroastrian Tapestry – Art, Religion and Culture.”Mangroves and Clean Tech InvestmentFinally, I learned from Google that the 2012, Forbes listed Jamshyd and his cousin, Adi Godrej, among the world’s 10 billionaires with the largest investments in clean tech companies or an environmental preserve (those mangroves again!). Jamshyd is also chairman of Ananta Centre (formerly known as Aspen Institute India) and president of World Wide Fund for Nature – India, as well as being a past president of the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association. I was starting to get a little nervous about the scheduled interview.I had imagined our meeting in Mumbai would be atop one of the city’s gleaming new skyscrapers. Instead my car stopped at a modest six-story building that I would soon learn has been upgraded to meet LEED standards and has a tree-studded green roof with sweeping views of the Mumbai skyline.The modest reception area, where two assistants tapped on laptops and occasionally answered a cell phone, had none of the trappings I expected for a man whose day job is serving as the chairman of Godrej and Boyce Mfg. Ltd, the holding company of the Godrej Group.Jamshyd arrived precisely on time and ushered me into his modest office, where three large black-and-white photos of the Godrej Group’s founders hung on one wall. In the center was Jamshyd’s great uncle Ardeshir Godrej, who at the start of the 20th century laid the foundations for the family fortune by manufacturing high-quality locks in response to expensive but low-quality British products.“The high-quality, made-in-India locks were more than just a useful product,” Jamshyd told me. “They were an early assertion of India’s rising ambition to be economically free.” Today the Godrej Group is a diversified India-based multinational with annual revenues of $4.1 billion in industries as diverse as real estate, consumer products, industrial engineering, appliances, furniture, security and agricultural products — and 25 percent of its business outside of India.”Sustainability Is A Business Opportunity”WRI India’s Mumbai offices are located in a former Godrej lock factory in the city’s former industrial center.“Sustainability has been at the core of our thinking and operations for many decades,” he said. “But in recent years we have taken a more formal approach. This is based on our belief that sustainability is a business opportunity rather than an additional cost.”“If we are to provide for today’s and tomorrow’s needs without environmental degradation, new processes that use fewer natural resources and produce markedly less pollution or waste per unit of production have to be developed,” he said.Next day in the product display room at a Godrej compound on the outskirts of Mumbai I saw a Godrej-built rocket of the type that successfully launched India’s Mars Orbiter—the first Mars mission by an Asian nation. In the adjacent Godrej Design Center I chatted with two young inventors at work on a solar-powered mini-fridge cold enough to store heat-sensitive vaccines during their delivery to rural villages.Before leaving, I was invited to visit the mangroves, often called the “lungs of Mumbai.” Looking across the mangroves, we could see the Godrej Industries compound in the distance. This juxtaposition seemed a fitting symbol for the Godrej approach: proof that development and protection for the planet can indeed go hand in hand.Want to know more? Listen to the audio podcast of my interview with Jamshyd Godrej.last_img read more

114 Companies Commit to Set Science-Based Emissions Targets

first_imgCalculation methodology Assumptions and calculation approach for absolute targets: (1) assumed a fixed baseline emissions level equal to base year value; (2) assumed actual emissions levels will decrease linearly with time from the base year value to the target year value; (3) calculated reductions for any 1 company as the total of the annual differences based on (1) and (2). Assumptions and calculation approach for intensity targets: (1) assumed that production levels would increase each year between the base year and target year by a constant percentage amount. In order of descending preference and depending on data availability, this amount was the percentage value specified by a company, the IEA sector-specific growth projection, or the average real GDP growth rate increase over the past 50 years (3.8%, source); (2) assumed a fixed baseline intensity equal to base year intensity; (3) assumed that actual intensity levels will decline linearly over time from the base year value to the target year value; (4) calculated reductions for any one company as the total of the annual differences in emissions based on (2) and (3). Data sources: Data supplied in companies’ target evaluation forms, in addition to the sources noted above.Exclusions: Reduction calculations focus on SBTs and therefore only scope 1 and 2 emissions, unless scope 3 is explicitly part of the SBT. ↩︎ Life as we know it depends on the world limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F). Exceeding this level of warming will bring increasingly severe and disruptive climate impacts.Today, businesses took a big step forward in helping the world meet this temperature goal. The Science-Based Targets initiative announced that 114 companies, representing $932 billion in revenue and 476 million tonnes of annual CO2 emissions, committed to set a science-based target, meaning they will align their emissions-reduction goals with what climate studies say is necessary to keep warming below 2 degrees C. Of those, 10 companies have already set science-based targets, which will avoid 799 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of preventing the burning of 1.86 billion barrels of oil.1 These companies recognize that setting ambitious reduction targets is in their own best interest, and a key part of good corporate strategy.A Look at Some of the CommitmentsTen companies have already set their science-based targets, which were reviewed and approved by a panel of climate experts. Some of the plans include:General Mills commits to reduce absolute emissions 28 percent across its entire value chain, from farm to fork to landfill by 2025, using a 2010 base year.NRG Energy commits to a 50 percent reduction of absolute emissions by 2030 from a 2014 base year (scopes 1, 2 & 3). The company also has a long-term target: a reduction of 90 percent absolute emissions by 2050 from 2014 levels (scopes 1, 2 & 3).Enel commits to reduce CO2 emissions 25 percent per kilowatt hour (kWh) by 2020, from a 2007 base year. The target includes the decommissioning of 13 gigawatts (GW) of fossil power plants in Italy, and is a milestone in the long-term goal to operate in carbon neutrality by 2050.Get InvolvedSetting a science-based target is not only good for the climate, but for companies themselves. As we explained in an earlier blog post, setting a science-based target can help businesses improve their financial performance, drive innovation, prepare themselves for changing regulations and public policies, and more.Visit our website for more information on how to join the initiative and set a science-based emissions target.last_img read more

Building a Sustainable Guitar: Mahogany

first_imgWhile mahogany has a long colonial history, its sharp decline started in the 1950s as demand from the growing American middle class skyrocketed. At that time, guitar companies saw their market grow exponentially, but they also saw their costs rise as high-quality mahogany became even scarcer.Between 1950 and 2003, over 70 percent of the world’s genuine mahogany was cut. This prompted CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species – to finally protect mahogany by restricting trade. In light of this regulation, manufacturers took two approaches to meet demand:Use more plentiful alternatives to genuine mahogany Support sustainable community forestry in Central AmericaAfrican Alternatives?Today, the term “mahogany” encompasses a wide range of tree species that span the globe. Each of these species is equally equipped for instrument making. Woods from the Khaya genus, native to the Congo Basin and Western Africa, are now as common on guitars as genuine mahogany from Central America. African mahogany is relatively cheap and abundant, and the available wood is often equal or superior to the Central American trees that remain. These woods resemble their Central American counterparts in both form and function, but grow so quickly that they can meet demand without severe threats to the environment. Likewise, plantations in Fiji are now supplying large amounts of quality mahogany, but at a sustainable pace.A mahogany guitar neck typically houses a metal “truss rod” for added stability. Photo by Boyd/Flickr What Is Mahogany?Genuine mahogany (Swietania macrophylla) is native to Central and South American rainforests, and is central to the colonial history of that region. Designers like Thomas Chippendale brought fine mahogany furniture to Europe, and the exotic timber caught the world by storm. The wood became such a part of Central American history that the flag of Belize still features two loggers underneath a mahogany tree.Many slave ships were made from mahogany, and the word mahogany stems from the Yoruba language. Photo by Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix)/Flickr Making the Future in GuatemalaMany guitar makers have taken a stand to support sustainable community forestry programs in Central America as well. Bedell Guitars, for example, sources its mahogany exclusively from a well-respected concession in the Peten Region of Guatemala. Since their founding over 15 years ago, these areas have had a deforestation rate of nearly zero. Taylor Guitars relies largely on cooperatives in Honduras for sustainable and legal mahogany. Selective harvesting from community forest concessions in Guatemala and Honduras enables the production of fine guitars while contributing to local livelihoods and combatting illegal logging.Martin Guitars supports sustainable mahogany from several concessions, and has embraced Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Rainforest Alliance certification. Martin even offers instruments that exclusively use FSC-certified woods. These external audits help Martin maintain high environmental standards while also reassuring consumers about their purchase. Gibson Guitars is also a large proponent of FSC-certified mahogany as an effective tool for businesses to promote sustainable use and impact local livelihoods.The Peten region of Guatemala contains this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo by Adam Jones/Flickr Welcome to the final installment of WRI’s six-part blog series on the future of tonewoods, the woods used in guitars and other musical instruments. In each installment, we look at a different species of tree used for a certain part of the guitar. Each wood presents its own challenges and possibilities surrounding sustainable harvest.A guitar is useless unless it plays perfectly. Even the most beautiful woods can’t make up for poor construction, and the materials chosen ultimately have to serve a practical use. One of the most important parts of the guitar is the neck, which has to stay absolutely stable over years. If the neck bows too far in one direction or the other, the instrument becomes unplayable. The best guitar necks are made of mahogany. The reddish-brown wood has an interlocking grain that makes it especially resilient to changes in humidity and temperature, which would cause other woods to shift over time. The guitar industry has set a great example with mahogany. Manufacturers are taking serious measures to harvest sustainably and to combat illegal logging. In the process, they are increasingly helping local communities build industry and wealth. Illegal logging is ultimately bad for everyone, and guitar manufacturers are investing in long-term solutions to the problems that cause it. As consumers, we can show our support for forests through our purchases. Luckily, mahogany has success stories in the making, but now the onus is on consumers to make informed choices when they buy instruments.Forests around the world — including those that provide tonewoods for musical instruments — face threats of illegal logging and overharvesting. The guitar industry has already proven its ability to shift supply chains and to offer a more sustainable and transparent product. Now, the pressure for change must come from informed, conscious consumers.last_img read more

How Traditional Industries Are Adopting Inbound Marketing [Marketing Update]

first_img Topics: Switching to Inbound Marketing Special guests Brian Whalley and Janet Aronica hosted last week’s episode of Marketing Update. Brian and Janet discussed new LinkedIn company features, Steve Jobs, rooftop QR codes, the state bar of Wisconsin encouraging inbound marketing, and how few marketers target US Hispanics with Spanish-speaking Facebook pages. New LinkedIn Company FeaturesBrian and Janet explained how the newly released LinkedIn company status updates are useful for B2B companies to engage with their networks. Now businesses can control which employees are able to post updates that appear on their company LinkedIn page. This is a great new method of sending updates and content to fans and friends without requiring them to join a LinkedIn group. Remember that your company’s LinkedIn profile should have its own unique personality and presence to help it stand out from competitors on LinkedIn.  Marketing Takeaway: Start increasing your company page’s LinkedIn following so you can reach more members of the LinkedIn community with your updates. Learn how to get started using LinkedIn’s company status updates for marketing here.State Bar of Wisconsin Encourages Inbound Marketing Many law firms and lawyers are creating free online content that informs potential and existing clients of important changes in the law, and at the same time promote these specific lawyers. These law firms understand the importance of updating their audience with content that they’re searching for online. This strategy will definitely help law firms get found by potential clients if the timing is right and the content is valuable and accessible.  Marketing Takeaway: Creating content and utilizing inbound marketing strategies can benefit any business, no matter what industry. Even industries that have been slow to adopt new inbound marketing tactics are finding that they can be a powerful business marketing tool. If you’re not using inbound marketing already, get started today. The internet is your oyster. Originally published Oct 10, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

How to Create Content That Actually Resonates With Your Readers

first_imgMost content creators have probably felt like that puppy to the right … you try so hard to get a point across, but your audience just doesn’t seem to “get it.” Or maybe they just don’t care.What’s the deal, guys? Y U NO LIKE BLOG POST? (I won’t turn that into a meme; we’re on a strict 1-meme-per-post diet.)The task of not just creating content, but creating content that resonates with your readers, is a critical but difficult task to master. In fact, MarketingProfs’ newly released B2B Content Marketing benchmarking report cites that 52% of marketers find producing the kind of content that engages is their biggest challenge — it was the most frequently cited challenge, second only to producing enough content.But the content that tickles a reader’s fancy is the stuff that gets shared socially, forwarded, and linked to from other sites. It’s the stuff that keeps people reading ’til the end, driving conversions. It elevates your marketing from mediocre to monumental! We’ve got to create this kind of content, marketers.But … how do we do it? This post is going to break down what seems like an art — connecting with readers through your content — and turn it into more of a science. Because there are certain elements that, if you infuse them into your content, will make it more relatable and impactful for your readers. Here’s what you can do to create content that resonates within the deepest, darkest recesses of your readers’ souls (or something a little less intense).Develop PersonasThe first step to creating content that resonates with readers is getting a better understanding of who your readers are, especially the ones you want to convert into leads and customers. That means if you haven’t developed personas yet, now’s the time. We’ve talked a lot in the past about how to create buyer personas — you can read a comprehensive guide to conducting the research here, and download a free template to fill in that research and actually compile your buyer personas here.But in addition to buyer personas, consider also creating reader personas. Because while you probably care most about appealing to your readers who will convert into leads and customers, there’s also a segment of your readers who will probably never buy from your business, but will continue to read and share your content. In an ideal world, you can understand and appeal to both segments. Conducting that persona research now will give you the information you need to infuse the rest of the elements discussed in this blog post into your marketing content.Deliver Content in the Right FormatYou know how people get into debates about which is better — reading a book on a tablet, or reading a real-life book with pages you can actually flip through? That’s the kind of debate you should have about all of your marketing content. Whenever you set out to create a piece of marketing content, ask yourself:1) What content format type is the best way to get this message across?2) In what content format type will my audience most like to consume this content?Here’s an example from just the other day that nicely demonstrates the importance of choosing the right content format for optimal reader experience. Yesterday, we published a blog post, “12 Revealing Charts to Help You Benchmark Your Business Blogging Performance.” The graphs came from a new ebook, Marketing Benchmarks From 7,000 Businesses, which contained benchmarking data about business blogging … as well as landing pages, social media, and website analytics. Why use a blog post to highlight 12 charts just about blogging, and an ebook to highlight the dozens and dozens of other charts about all those other areas of marketing?Because a blog is better suited to short-form content, while an ebook — particularly because someone had to fill out a form with their personal information to redeem it — is going to have a more captive audience, interested in scrolling through dozens and dozens of charts. The right content format, for the right type of content.Whether it’s deciding to create an infographic instead of a blog post, a video instead of an owner’s manual, or a blog post instead of a checklist, determine what content format will help you get your message across in 1) the clearest way, and 2) the way your audience will most enjoy to read it.Paint a PictureLet’s say you’re about to write a blog post about how you should optimize your marketing for mobile, and you want to write an introduction that’ll hook the reader. Which introductory line is more likely to grab readers’ attention?Intro Line 1: Mobile devices are very important.Intro Line 2: You know when your alarm goes off in the morning, and the first thing you do is fumble around all groggy-eyed for your cell phone?Both statements get the point across — people are really into their mobile devices — but that second one paints a picture in the reader’s mind that he or she can relate to. “Yeah, I totally do that in the morning!” Or, “Yeah, my husband/wife totally does that and it drives me crazy.” When you find some common ground with the reader, and use that common ground to craft a story they can relate to, your reader becomes an active participant in the story you’re trying to tell through your content. Use words to paint a picture that tells your reader this piece of content was written just for them.Literally, Paint a PictureOr make a meme, embed some video, create charts and graphs … do something visual! There’s no person alive who looks at thousands of words of text and thinks, “Man, I’m so glad they didn’t include any pictures.”Images not only break up the monotony of text; they also help you tell a story better than words often can. Or at the very least, more succinctly. Take this content visualization that explains how different types of offer content align with different stages in the sales cycle:Explaining this concept is a huge pain in the butt. I know, because the reason this visualization was created was due to several hours of struggling to explain this complicated concept in this very long blog post about content mapping. If visuals can tell your story better than the written word, then go for a visual format — or at least incorporate visuals alongside your written content. The easier you make it for readers to understand your content, the more impactful it is.Plus, you know what they say about the picture to word conversion rate; I hear it’s somewhere in the thousands ;-)Use Data to Show ImpactSometimes content creators need a little help from their old friend (or foe) mathematics to convey the impact of a point. That’s one of the reasons I think infographics are so powerful … they combine words, numbers, and imagery to display just how monumental something is in terms everyone can easily understand. For instance, check out how this snippet from a GetResponse infographic displays data about the percentage of email marketers who include sharing links to a specific social network. Way more impactful that just writing it out, right?But data doesn’t necessarily need the backing of a designer to pack a powerful punch. Sometimes, the numbers just speak for themselves. Take one of our most successful blog posts of all time, “LinkedIn 277% More Effective for Lead Generation Than Facebook & Twitter.” That data point could have been positioned differently — but saying “LinkedIn Has a 2.74% Visit-to-Lead Conversion Rate” doesn’t exactly resonate as strongly. That’s because most people don’t really know what the benchmark is for an amazing visit-to-lead conversion rate. People do know, however, that 277% more effective is waaaaaay more effective. As such, it’s waaaaaay easier for people to care about the content.Solicit Audience OpinionWhen you actually ask readers to get involved with your content, they have a vested interest in it because they were a part of its creation. Ask your readers, commenters, social media followers, customers, the whole lot, to participate in the content creation process. For instance, in a blog post about overcoming crippling blogging challenges, I took to Twitter to ask people what their biggest challenges and solutions to those challenges are. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Even if you can’t find a real-life example to help bridge the gap between theory and application, you can write out a “for instance” of your own that helps your reader understand how your suggestion would play out for them. Again, practicing what we preach, here’s an example of just that from a recent blog post about generating leads from your business blog: We made up the example of a unicorn breeder trying to blog about his business, so that any reader could see him or herself in those shoes. An all-encompassing example like this resonates with everyone!Use the Right ToneThis is probably the most nuanced element of creating impactful marketing content. It takes not only experimentation to get it just right, but also an in-depth knowledge of both your personas, and how writing elements like grammar, tone, and punctuation affect your persona. This includes things like:Sentence structureSense of humorWord choicePunctuation usageContent formattingAll of these elements can dramatically change the way a sentence reads. Here’s an example to demonstrate what I mean by this.We recently published a blog post about how to prioritize your mobile optimization efforts if you don’t have the ability to optimize for everything — mobile website, mobile SEO, mobile emails, SMS, apps — all at once. Here’s what the first couple sentences of the post looked like: The flippant tone coupled with several short, abrupt sentences, one after another, help convey the feeling of annoyance many marketers face at constantly being told to optimize for mobile, even when doing so is a really overwhelming endeavor. Compare that to an introduction that reads like this:You probably understand that mobile optimization is important.It says the same thing; the reader knows mobile optimization is important. But it doesn’t really strike a chord. It doesn’t press that button with the readers who are sick and tired of being told to mobile optimize when they have no idea how to get started, and don’t have the resources to do it all. The first variation is tapping into both a fact, and a feeling. The second variation? Fact, with no feeling.A content creator that makes purposeful stylistic choices is ensuring their content reads in a way that resonates with their readers, and makes it easy — even enjoyable — for them to consume that content.What are your tricks to make your marketing content resonate with your readers?center_img Originally published Oct 24, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Getting Kate involved in the brainstorm process got her inherently involved in the blog post — seeing whether her problem and solution was featured, and what problems and solutions were addressed in the post. If you take this approach, be sure to reach out to those who participated in your crowd-surfed content after it’s published to increase the likelihood that they share it with their networks, too.Provide Real-life or Theoretical ExamplesExamples not only make you a better teacher — and content that teaches something is often naturally more engaging — but it also helps you connect with the reader by bridging the gap between theory and application. I mean, how often has “theory” really razzled and dazzled someone, am I right?After you explain a concept, bring it into the real world for your readers by providing an example of that theory in practice that they can relate to. These examples can be real-life examples, showing instances of real brands doing exactly what you’re talking about, or they can be theoretical examples, a la “imagine you’re a lawyer who’s trying to …”To practice what we preach, here’s an example of this very thing. In a blog post about how to make your customers feel all exclusive and VIP, we suggested partnering with relevant businesses so you can offer exclusive deals to your customers. Instead of just … telling you that … we found a brand that does it, and showed that tactic being executed: Content Creation Topics:last_img read more

The Top 20 LinkedIn Pulse Articles of All Time

first_img Career Development Views: 1,536,671Likes: 12,683Comments: 4,527 Views: 1,850,236Likes: 9.948Comments: 3,123 Views: 1,593,501Likes: 10,423Comments: 3,016 Views: 1,738,515Likes: 682Comments: 86 Views: 2,867,000Likes: 27,655Comments: 3,345 “People spend what they make. If your salary increases $5,000, you spend an extra $2,000 on features for your car, you have an affair, you buy a new computer, a better couch, a bigger TV, and then you ask, ‘where did all the money go?’ Even though you needed none of the above now you need one more thing: another increase in your salary, so back to the corporate casino for one more try at the salary roulette wheel. I have never once seen anyone save the increase in their salary. In other words, don’t stay at the job for safe salary increases over time. That will never get you where you want — freedom from financial worry. Only free time, imagination, creativity, and an ability to disappear will help you deliver value that nobody ever delivered before in the history of mankind.”Read the rest here.#16: Stop Using These 30 Phrases at Work, Bernard Marr Views: 1,351,228Likes: 3,808Comments: 7,626 “Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state, your emotions overrun your behavior.”Read the rest here.#5: The No. 1 Career Mistake Capable People Make, Greg McKeown “It is important to show any prospective employee that you are the type of person who is ambitious and is looking to move their career forward. No one wants to take on an individual who is going to be content to coast and you need to show that you are not coming along just for an easy ride. Any ambitious and forward-thinking company will be looking for like minded individuals.”Read the rest here.What do you think of their ranking? Leave your favorite in the comments — especially if it didn’t make their top 20. Yet. Topics: “Literally the biggest lesson I’ve learned in business is that success is all about relationships. It’s truly about who you know, and how they feel and think about you (and how you make them feel). I’m not saying that your amazing talent and skill aren’t important. Of course they are. I am saying that we don’t thrive and succeed alone. We need other people. And these people are not just our former bosses — they are people who reported to you, teamed with you, shared coffee and drinks with you, took training sessions with you, got yelled at alongside of you, and weathered tough times with you.”Read the rest here.#18: How I Hire: Focus On Personality, Richard Branson “All time” here is like a year or so. Pulse isn’t that old.But that’s been plenty of time for the platform to enjoy a veritable landslide of digital musings from ninjas and gurus from here to world’s end. As with any open content platform, there’s going to be some hogwash to sort through, but LinkedIn does a nice job at surfacing the good, relevant stuff into your News Feed.And luckily for me, they also make it pretty easy to sort through the entire archive of Pulse articles based on their popularity. How convenient for a blogger writing about the top Pulse articles of all time. Heh.So, here are the top 20 LinkedIn Pulse articles “of all time” as ranked by LinkedIn Pulse, themselves.#1: How Successful People Stay Calm, Dr. Travis Bradberry “People are toxic to be around when they believe that everything that happens in life is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them. The reality is that what people say and do to you is much more about them than you. People’s reactions to you are about their filters, and their perspectives, wounds, and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, it’s more about them. I’m not saying we should be narcissists and ignore all feedback. I am saying that so much hurt, disappointment, and sadness in our lives comes from our taking things personally when it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of others’ good or bad opinion of you.”Read the rest here.#3: 11 Simple Concepts to Become a Better Leader, Dave Kerpen Views: 1,350,900Likes: 6,804Comments: 2,474 Views: 1,287,366Likes: 7,170Comments: 1,987 “You could argue that every experience of failure increases the hunger for success. The truly successful won’t be beaten — they take responsibility for failure, learn from it, and start all over from a stronger position.”Read the rest here.#9: Stop Using These 16 Terms to Describe Yourself, Jeff Haden Views: 1,744,502Likes: 7,360Comments: 3,329 Views: 1,873,362Likes: 9.686Comments: 3,196 Views: 1,533,591Likes: 10,160Comments: 2,420 “You don’t wait to do the work until you get the dream job — you do the work in order to get the dream job.”Read the rest here.#8: The One Thing Successful People Never Do, Bernard Marr “The details underlying the accomplishment are what’s most important. This is what real interviewing is about — getting into the details and comparing what the candidate has accomplished in comparison to what needs to be accomplished.”Read the rest here.#20: The 3 Questions People Always Forget to Ask in an Interview, James Caan “Are your meetings buzzing with so much management lingo that you find it hard to get to the real meaning of what is being said? The problem I have with these phrases is that they sound so pretentious and often are counter-productive because they irritate people so much and deflect from the real meaning.”Read the rest here.#17: The Top 5 Things You Should Never Do At Work, Kathy Caprino “Do you describe yourself differently — on your website, promotional materials, or especially on social media — than you do in person? Do you use cheesy clichés and overblown superlatives and breathless adjectives? Do you write things about yourself you would never have the nerve to actually say?”Read the rest here.#10: Affiliate Marketing: Grow Your Sales, Monetize Your Traffic, Frank Ravanelli Views: 1,242,923Likes: 3,805Comments: 1,307 “He says a shareholder has to act as if he owns the entire business, looking at the future profit stream and deciding what it’s worth. And you have to be willing to ignore the market rather than follow it, because you want to take advantage of the market’s mistakes — the companies that have been underpriced.”Read the rest here.#7: 10 Things to Do Every Workday, J.T. O’Donnell “A good rule of thumb is one page of resume for every ten years of work experience. Hard to fit it all in, right? But a three or four or ten page resume simply won’t get read closely. As Blaise Pascal wrote, ‘I would have written you a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.'”Read the rest here.#13: 9 Qualities of Truly Confident People, Dharmesh Shah Originally published Nov 7, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Views: 1,924,957Likes: 11,641Comments: 4,368 “The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, and so today’s leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.”Read the rest here.#4: Caffeine: The Silent Killer of Success, Dr. Travis Bradberry Views: 2,023,066Likes: 12,360Comments: 4,809 “No matter from which perspective you approach affiliate marketing, you need to remember its golden rule: SUCCESS = Traffic * Conversion Rate * Earnings.”Read the rest here.#11: 9 Things Successful People Won’t Do, Dr. Travis Bradberry “When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from comparing yourself to others, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take that away from them.”Read the rest here.#12: The Biggest Mistakes I See on Resumes, and How to Correct Them, Laszlo Bock Views: 1,464,370Likes: 8,271Comments: 2,736 Views: 2,721,388Likes: 26,915Comments: 7,498 Views: 1,325,996Likes: 14,992Comments: 4,497 “Some managers get hung up on qualifications. I only look at them after everything else. If somebody has five degrees and more A grades than you can fit on one side of paper, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right person for the job. Great grades count for nothing if they aren’t partnered with broad-ranging experience and a winning personality.”Read the rest here.#19: The Most Important Interview Question of All Time – Part 1, Lou Adler “Besides increasing your risk of heart disease, depression, and obesity, stress decreases your cognitive performance. Fortunately, though, unless a lion is chasing you, the bulk of your stress is subjective and under your control. Top performers have well-honed coping strategies that they employ under stressful circumstances. This lowers their stress levels regardless of what’s happening in their environment, ensuring that the stress they experience is intermittent and not prolonged.”Read the rest here.#2: 6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How to Recognize Them in Yourself and Change Them, Kathy Caprino Views: 1,597,550Likes: 12,447Comments: 1,486 “First things first: Confidence is not bravado, or swagger, or an overt pretense of bravery. Confidence is not some bold or brash air of self-belief directed at others. Confidence is quiet: It’s a natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard.”Read the rest here.#14: 8 Things Productive People Do During the Workday, Ilya Pozin Views: 2,791,840Likes: 3,995Comments: 923 Views: 2,073,439Likes: 5,391Comments: 2,677 “Capable people end up doing lots of projects well but are distracted from what would otherwise be their highest point of contribution, which I define as the intersection of talent, passion and market (see more on this in the Harvard Business Review article “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”). Then, both the company and the employee lose out.”Read the rest here.#6: Three Things I’ve Learned From Warren Buffet, Bill Gates “While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the No. 1 contributor to lost productivity. In fact, a number of time-saving methods — take meetings and emails for example — are actually just ways to get out of doing real work. “Read the rest here.#15: 10 Reasons You Have to Quit Your Job in 2014, James Altucher Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The Top 3 Ways to Use User-Generated Content in Ecommerce

first_imgSocial proof is essential to any marketing strategy. User-generated content (UGC) in the form of customer reviews and pictures addresses the ecommerce pain point of uncertainty that affects shoppers and store owners alike, while providing social proof. Shoppers sometimes hesitate to buy online because it can be difficult to gauge information about the fit and quality of items without seeing them in person. Conversely, ecommerce store owners are challenged to build trust with site visitors and communicate the sense and feeling of tangible products through the barrier of a digital screen.Customer opinions and experiences give shoppers the information they want and the confidence they need to convert into buyers, while providing online brands with a gateway to build relationships with their audience.This is where UGC comes in. Here are three of the top ways that you can leverage UGC to grow your business: 1) Build Relationships With Your CustomersCustomer reviews and pictures build a shopper’s confidence in a brand by providing relatable information and authentic answers to questions that may otherwise keep someone from buying.Including user-generated content throughout ecommerce stores—such as on the homepage, checkout page and product pages—makes the online shopping experience more dynamic by addressing specific pain points with genuine customer experiences.Enabling a conversation between interested shoppers and past buyers builds a community around a brand, providing social proof for the products and for the brand as a whole. Such communities break down barriers between individual online shoppers, which in turn creates an emotional connection with the brand and leads to conversions.Asking customers for reviews is an effective way to engage with your audience and increase retention by making them feel appreciated and valued.2) Increase Effectiveness of Social AdsUser-generated content is a powerful tool for building social proof and one of the most effective ways to build trust on social media.Social ads are a way to broaden your reach and influence shoppers while they are not actively shopping. To people scrolling through social media, a often times a brand-sponsored ad sticks out like a sore thumb and is easily ignored.Reviews increase social commerce by providing immediately visible social proof by including authentic customer reviews and photos in social ads allows you establish a relatable brand image and brings more shoppers to your site.Yotpo data shows user-generated content increases click-through rates for Facebook ads by 300% and leads to a 50% drop in both cost-per-click and cost-per-acquisition.3) Boost Visibility in Search Engine MarketingCustomer reviews differentiate your company and products from all of the other search results that come up.They not only attract shoppers’ attention, reviews lead to more sales and in turn to more reviews.Using UGC in your paid and organic search engine marketing activities such as product listing ads and rich snippets enhances your search listing and makes it more enticing for shoppers to click through.When shoppers see customer reviews in the research phase of the buyer journey, it gives your product an edge over other search results and encourages them to go to your site.TakeawaysHappy customers are one of your most valuable marketing resources. Encourage them to provide user-generated content, which you can repurpose throughout the buyer journey, by making them feel valued, engaged and appreciated. Originally published Apr 19, 2016 10:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 User-Generated Content Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The Definition of a Corporation in Less Than 100 Words [FAQ]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Ever since the Great Recession, the word “corporate” has had a negative connotation. The leaders of major corporations dismantled the world economy during the events prior to the financial crisis, and the wreckage sparked harsh animosity toward big companies that had an “Inc.” at the end of their name.But contrary to popular belief, corporations aren’t just made up of a bunch of unethical executives who wear thousand-dollar suits to work everyday. Corporations are actually legal entities of their own, separate from the people who run it.Download Now: Free Business Plan TemplateIncorporating a business or organization is incredibly beneficial for owners, employees, and, ultimately, the economy. Some of these benefits include shareholder protection from corporate liquidation, tax benefits, raising capital more easily, establishing stronger credibility, and easily acquiring health and financial benefits for stakeholders.If you want a more concrete understanding of a corporation, here’s a formal definition:What is a Corporation?A corporation is a business or organization created and lead by a group of people, but is legally considered a separate entity from its stakeholders. It has most of the rights and responsibilities of a regular person, like the right to buy, sell, and own property, enter into contracts, hire employees, own assets, loan and borrow money, and be prosecuted. The state that issues a corporation their charter gives them the right to exist and do business. Corporations can choose to issue stock or not, and if they want to be for profit or not-for-profit.Since they aren’t dependent on anyone, corporations can outlive any of their owners and leaders, enabling them to exist indefinitely. This distinction also offers shareholders limited liability, which legally protects them from being held personally responsible for the corporation’s debts, if creditors sue the corporation for unpaid debt. Creditors can only collect the corporation’s debt payments by seizing and selling its assets. Originally published Aug 3, 2018 7:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2018 Business Growth Topics:last_img read more

How to Use Transferable Skills to Change Careers

first_imgChanging careers can be daunting without the right skills. The great news is that you probably already have the skills you need, you just don’t know it yet.Your career path can take an unexpected turn. Maybe you’re bored with your industry and looking for a fresh start. Or maybe you’re just hoping to find something new to challenge you. Whatever the case, making a significant career change can be tricky.Download free resume templates to create a killer resume.What’s the secret to successfully changing careers? Using your transferable skills.How Can You Use Transferable Skills to Change Careers?The first step to using your transferable skills is to understand exactly what transferable skills are. What are transferable skills? Originally published May 29, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated May 23 2019 Transferable skills don’t have to be acquired on the job. They can be skills you learned through volunteer work, your hobbies, or even being a parent. Your transferable skills are the culmination of your life experiences. When considering what transferable skills you have, it’s important to keep an open mind and be creative.That may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve put together five quick tips for understanding and using your transferable skills. Check them out:5 Quick Tips for Using Transferable Skills1. Identify the Skills That Set You ApartBefore you can decide which of your skills are transferable, identify all of the skills you have. When people think of transferable skills, their minds tend to gravitate toward the same examples: teamwork, leadership, or people skills. The problem with relying on those skills is that most other job candidates have those abilities as well.To make a successful career change using transferable skills, pinpoint what makes you unique. Take an hour out of your day to sit down and create a list of the skills you have, and place those skills into two different categories:Hard skills – Skills dealing with data and technologySoft skills – Skills dealing with people or communicationEach skill is significant at this point in the process, even those you think won’t matter. It works to your advantage to write down anything that might be relevant to your job search — you can always edit later. Once you’ve created your list, narrow it down to your four strongest or most unique skills. This will leave you with a few skills to focus on during your job search. Always be sure to use a mix of both hard skills and soft skills.2. Understand How Your Skills TranslateThe next step is understanding how your skills translate to a new industry. Human resources professionals evaluate people with linear career paths. That’s both an advantage and a disadvantage for anyone looking to change careers.It’s a disadvantage because you’re not the typical candidate, and that might make an employer wary. It’s an advantage because you have skills other applicants don’t, and that can set you apart.If you can connect the dots for the recruiter or interviewer, and show them why your skills are valuable, you’ve already cleared the toughest hurdle.Companies are hiring people to fill existing gaps; show them how your skills can solve for that gap. If you can show someone why your transferable skills make you the best person to solve their problem, it won’t matter what industry you’re coming from.For example, after working as an elementary school teacher for 20 years, Molly decided she’s ready to move into a second career. She’s always wanted to work in marketing, but fears she doesn’t have the right experience.After reviewing the skills she acquired as a teacher, Molly’s decides her top four transferable skills are:Curriculum CreationLesson PlanningClassroom Management SkillsTutoringUsing these skills as a base, Molly decides that targeting project management jobs would be a good fit for her. Molly has experience creating complex lesson plans and leading a group of more than 20 people (her students) in completing daily tasks.She also has experience working with several external teams (parents, school faculty, and the school district) in accomplishing set goals and meeting expectations (i.e., student test scores).By understanding how her skills as a teacher translate to a project manager role, Molly is able to target new career opportunities and a new career field.Taking the time to understand how your transferable skills can work across industries, and explaining that during your job search, will take you far.3. Rid Yourself of Industry-Specific JargonEvery industry has its own buzzwords and jargon. Those buzzwords can be crucial in signaling to others in your industry that you know what you’re doing, but they can be a hindrance if you want to change careers.When targeting a new career path or industry, rid yourself of your industry jargon. If you don’t, you run the risk of alienating your interviewer or confusing them. Keep the message simple, and focus on your skills and how they can benefit the company.The same goes for your resume and LinkedIn account as well. Remember, human resources managers and recruiters might not understand why you’re applying for a job outside of your current industry. Packing your resume with unrelated buzzwords will only confuse them more.Your resume is probably going to be read by an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) before a human ever sees it. If you use too many unrelated industry buzzwords in your resume, it may get thrown out before you even get the chance to talk to the hiring manager.4. Use the Right Resume FormatThe traditional reverse-chronological resume format is good, but have you considered that there might be a better way to highlight your skills? There are three different resume formats, and each one has its advantages. As someone looking to make a career change, the functional resume format is an ideal choice. Here’s a look at what a functional resume format looks like:The functional resume format focuses more on your transferable skills and less on your career experience, making it perfect for anyone who wishes to make a career change. It places the focus on the skills you have, not the experience you lack5. Use Your Cover Letter to Your AdvantageThe final step for using transferable skills to your advantage is to write a convincing cover letter.Remember, a cover letter is not a regurgitation of your resume. It’s your introduction to the company and your chance to explain why you’re looking to change careers. Your resume can only tell the story of what skills you have, while your cover letter tells the story of why those skills are valuable to the company.Take time to talk about your transferable skills and explain why you’re changing careers. Focus on the positive, and explain how your unique skills can help the company solve its problems. You are a unique candidate, and a cover letter is your chance to pique their interest.If You’ve Got It, Flaunt ItYou’ve got mad skills; it’s just a matter of knowing how to use them. Remember that finding a clear way to communicate how your transferable skills work across industries is key for using transferable skills to change careers.Looking for more career advice? Check out the HubSpot Careers Blog. Don’t forget to share this post!center_img Resume and Cover Letters Transferable skills are expertise, abilities, or proficiencies that are relevant across different industries. These skills are usually acquired over time and can be gained from any life experience. Topics:last_img read more

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 67 Shane Richards

first_imgThe subject of our next installment focuses on a former junior college transfer who’s facing one final year to make his mark at OSU.How he got to OSURichards came to Stillwater as part of the OL-heavy 2016 signing class by way of New Mexico Military Institute. The 6-foot-8 and 325-pound tackle was born in Jamaica and raised in Canada, where he was a three-time Calgary High School All-Star. After two years of steady production at New Mexico Military Institute, Richards became one of the top junior college prospects in the 2016 class and chose Oklahoma State over offers from Louisville, Illinois and Southern Miss, among others.AdChoices广告What he’s done in StillwaterRichards saw spotty action in four games for the Cowboys last year. While OSU’s running game saw new life, Richards found himself just outside the rotation.Role in 2017With the turnover at OL coach, Richards could see a path to more playing time if he impresses this fall. Ahead of him at tackle are mainstay starter Zachary Crabtree and incoming Cal transfer Aaron Cochran. Richards should be in the mix for a backup spot with redshirt freshmen Teven Jenkins and Dylan Galloway. You can also include 2017 JUCO-transfer (and the sole linemen in the class), Arlington Hambright.Noteworthy stats and highlightsRichards is yet to realize his potential at Oklahoma State but 2018 should be a big year for the Cowboys and could be a big year for him as well. Here’s a look at some of the film that impressed OSU coaches from his time a New Mexico MI. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Women Can Gain Election Skills at Campaign School

first_imgSTATUS OF WOMEN–Women Can Gain Election Skills at CampaignSchool Women are greatly outnumbered in every elected decision-makingbody in Nova Scotia, but change begins this fall. Atlantic Canada’s first campaign school for women will be heldNov. 19-21 in Halifax. It will give women who are thinking ofrunning for elected office an opportunity to learn more about theprocess and to gain the skills they need to campaign. The non-partisan school is co-sponsored by the Nova ScotiaAdvisory Council on the Status of Women and Mount Saint VincentUniversity (MSVU). It follows a series of political involvementworkshops hosted by the council over the past two years. “Far too few women are involved in political life in Nova Scotia.We’re half the population, one-fifth of municipal councillors,one-fifth of Atlantic region MPs and one-tenth of MLAs,” saidDoreen Paris, advisory council chair. “We need more women, andwomen from all walks of life.” “Political candidates need many skills for an election campaign.They need to know how to build a team, raise funds, work with themedia, and build rapport with voters,” said Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Status of Women Minister. “This program develops thoseskills.” Women are often excluded from participating in politics right atthe start, by candidate recruitment and selection processes. Whencandidates are invited to offer through informal networks, thepool of potential candidates is limited, and often limited tomen. The school will help overcome this barrier by giving womeninformation on how to secure a nomination in the first place. Participants will explore their motivations for getting intopolitics, plan a campaign, campaign door to door, practiceworking with the media, and learn about fundraising and budgetingduring the two-and-a-half day program. They will work withexperienced journalists, politicians and campaign planners. “MSVU is strongly committed to women’s education, so thiscampaign school is a natural fit for us. I believe this weekendwill help new women leaders emerge on the political scene,” saidSheila Brown, president and vice-chancellor of MSVU. Participants can apply the skills and knowledge they gain tomunicipal, provincial, federal or First Nations elections. The school will accept 30 applications from women. The sponsorswill work to make sure that participants represent rural andurban communities and diverse backgrounds. Tuition will be $395 per person, with a limited number ofbursaries available for applicants who demonstrate financialneed. Fees include campaign school sessions, training materials,snacks and meals. Transportation and accommodation are theresponsibility of participants. The school will take place on the Mount Saint Vincent Universitycampus. Applications are due Friday, Oct. 22 by 4 p.m. They are availablefrom the Advisory Council on the Status of Women office and onthe website at www.gov.ns.ca/staw . The advisory council is located at Suite 202, 6169 Quinpool Rd.,Halifax. The council can also be reached by telephone at 902-424-8662, or toll-free at 1-800-565-8662. Completed applications canbe faxed to the office at 902-424-0573.last_img read more

Article 370 different Centre will not touch Article 371 says Amit Shah

first_imgArticle 371 of the Indian Constitution is a special provision which will not be altered by the BJP-led NDA government, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Sunday. Addressing the 68th plenary session of the North East Council in Guwahati, Assam, Shah said that while Article 370 was temporary in nature, Article 371 is about special provisions in the North East. “After the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, there were attempts to misinform and misguide the people of North East that Article 371 would also be scrapped by the Centre,” PTI quoted Shah as saying. “I think it is important to clarify the difference between the two. Let me make it clear that the Prime Minister and the BJP government respects Article 371 and 371 (A),” he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “I have clarified in Parliament that this is not going to happen and I am saying it again today in the presence of eight chief ministers of North East that the Centre will not touch Article 371”, Shah added.The government has asserted it has no intention of removing Article 371 of the Constitution, which includes “special provisions” for 11 states, including six states of the Northeast. Fears over its removal surfaced after the government revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated the state into two union territories. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Articles 370 and 371 have been part of the Constitution from the time it was adopted on January 26, 1950. Articles 371A-H and 371J, however, were incorporated into the Constitution by Parliament through amendments under Article 368. This Article describes the “power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure therefore”. The special provisions laid down in Article 370 (before it was modified by the Presidential Order of August 5, 2019) were, however, much more farreaching than the special provisions for other states, described in Articles 371, 371A-H, and 371J. The reason for this is the unique circumstances in which Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India, and the specific guarantees that the Government of India gave to the state during the negotiations at the time. On the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Home Minister said, “Questions are being raised about the NRC by different sections but today I just want to say this that the BJP-led government is committed to ensure that not a single illegal immigrant enters the region.” The NRC has also been completed within the stipulated time-frame, he added. Shah’s visit comes just days after the publication of the final NRC in the state on August 31. Pointing out that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi there has been a “drastic decline” in terrorism and militant activities, Shah said, “I do not want to quote statistics but the entire country and the world knows that we have been able to control it.” The miguided people who take up arms are “our own but are tools in the hands of vested foreign forces”, he said. He further pointed out that border dispute between the different states of the Northeast is a major issue which must end. “If Indo-Bangla border dispute can be resolved, why not disputes among our states in the region? Rise above border disputes and support each other, so that the region can develop together,” Shah added. “Modiji has given top priority to the development of the Northeast and he was the first Prime Minister in 40 years to attend a NEC meeting at Shillong”, he said. “No Congress Prime Minister had attended a NEC meeting and though I do not want to make a political statement but among all the eight Chief Ministers present at the meeting today, none are from the Congress but all are North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) constituents”, Shah said. (Inputs from The Indian Express)last_img read more

Top court set to weigh in on rapeshield law amid concern over

first_imgTORONTO — The Supreme Court is expected today to clarify the limits of Canada’s rape-shield law.At issue is just how far the law should go in protecting sexual-assault complainants from scrutiny of their sex lives.In the case before the top court, a man was initially convicted of sexually assaulting and impregnating a teenager.Ontario’s Appeal Court quashed the verdict on appeal.It found the trial judge had blocked the defence from asking the complainant relevant questions about her sexual activities.That made it impossible for the accused to show someone else might have made the teen pregnant.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Pau Gasol Honored With Kia Community Assist Award

first_imgLos Angeles Lakers forward-center Pau Gasol is the recipient of the first-ever season-long Kia Community Assist Award in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work, the NBA announced yesterday.Kia and the NBA are honoring Gasol in part for his ongoing support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The pre-medical-student-turned-NBA-star has been a hospital champion for the past several years. In addition to frequent visits with patients, Gasol facilitated a new partnership this year between the hospital and Grifols, a Barcelona-based global health care company. The company has since donated a Phocus RX machine to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which enhances safety and efficiency, and plans to donate an inventory management system to the hospital’s pharmacy. Gasol’s passion for supporting children’s health also compelled him to serve as a Hoops for St. Jude ambassador to benefit the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In his third consecutive year as an ambassador, Gasol spent time with young patients battling cancer and other deadly diseases at St. Jude and filmed a public service announcement to help increase awareness and funding for the hospital.

”I am honored to receive the 2011-12 Kia Community Assist Award and thrilled that it will benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles,” said Gasol. “Supporting children’s health and wellness is my passion, and Children’s Hospital does a tremendous job of giving children with serious illnesses a chance to grow up and become healthy adults.”Understanding the importance of providing children access to education, Gasol has also served as a UNICEF Ambassador for the last nine years. His efforts include the launch of Pau’s Project in 2010, an initiative that supports UNICEF education and nutrition programs in Africa. This season, Gasol dedicated a significant amount of time to raising awareness and funds for UNICEF, including participating in UNICEF’s Beyond School Books podcast series to highlight the importance of early childhood care and education. He also narrated a storybook app titled “Give a Day” in three languages, with proceeds benefitting UNICEF through Pau’s Project, and conducted a “text to donate” campaign, which gave two lucky teenagers from Madrid an all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles.As the 2011-12 Kia Community Assist Award recipient, Gasol will receive the David Robinson Plaque with the inscription, “Following the standard set by NBA Legend David Robinson who improved the community piece by piece.” In addition, Kia and the NBA will donate $25,000 on Gasol’s behalf to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.Kia Motors has been an NBA Cares partner since 2010, highlighted by their participation in the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service. This season, Kia has expanded its NBA Cares partnership by serving as title partner of the Community Assist Award.The league presents the Kia Community Assist Award monthly throughout the season as well as a final award at the end of the season to recognize players for their year-round charitable efforts. The award honors the NBA player who best reflects the passion that the league and its players have for giving back to their communities.To learn more, please log on to www.nba.com/kiacommunityassist.Source:US Fund for UNICEFlast_img read more

Drilling forecast cut due to lower expectations for 2019 oilpatch spending

first_imgHe says Alberta’s decision to curtail oil production by 325,000 barrels per day as of Jan. 1 has added to uncertainty levels, leading to more delays on spending decisions by producers.He says his members are laying off workers and struggling to stay solvent with current active rig levels below 40 percent, down from over 50 percent at the same time last year.The forecast reduces the number of wells expected to be drilled in Alberta by about 580 to 2,950, and in Saskatchewan by about 450 to just under 2,000. CALGARY, A.B. – The Petroleum Services Association of Canada is cutting 1,000 wells from its 2019 drilling forecast due to what it calls deteriorating investor confidence in Canada.The industry group says it now expects 5,600 wells to be drilled in Canada this year, down from its November forecast of 6,600, and 19 percent behind the 2018 total of 6,948 wells drilled.PSAC CEO Gary Mar says a lack of market access continues to discourage investment in oil and gas exploration and production in Canada.last_img read more

Morocco Follows Situation in Venezuela with Great Concern

Rabat – The Kingdom of Morocco is following the internal situation in Venezuela with great concern, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. “The Kingdom of Morocco deplores the fact that the peaceful demonstrations that took place this week in Venezuela have resulted in casualties, including deaths among the young people taking part,” the Foreign Ministry said in statement.“Venezuela’s wide-ranging protests are the result of the deep deterioration of the political, economic and social situation in the country,” the ministry noted. The same source added that this situation is inconsistent with the country’s large hydrocarbon resources, which, unfortunately, remain monopolized by a minority oligarchy in power.“The Kingdom of Morocco strongly condemns the violation of political, economic and social rights in this country and is calling on the Venezuelan government to peacefully manage this crisis and comply with its international obligations,” the statement concluded.Protests in the country were triggered three weeks ago, following a decision made by the Supreme Court to divest congress of virtually all its remaining authority. After a slew of international protest, however, that situation was reversed.The tone of the protests has become increasingly violent since then, resulting in the deaths of nine people. According to the Associated Press (AP), at least five protestors were injured on Thursday night in a disturbance near Caracas’ main military base. As well, a maternity hospital was forced to evacuate mothers and their newborns after the area was saturated with tear gas.American auto giant, GM, announced Thursday it was closing its Venezuelan plant after it was confiscated by government authorities on Wednesday. This has brought the US State Department into the mix, announcing they have begun an investigation into the matter. They have also made a formal request to the Venezuelan government to resolve the situation swiftly and peacefully.The government, however, is keen to hang on to the power it has recently seized. President, Nicolas Maduro, appears to be using all his resources to rid himself of his opponents. On Wednesday alone, 565 protestors were arrested across the country and 334 were still being held Thursday.Protestors are equally determined in their response, announcing plans for a new demonstration on Saturday. Participants have been instructed to wear white for a silent march intended to honour the protests’ victims. Sit-ins will also take place on Monday to block Venezuela’s major highways. read more

UK regulator casts doubt on SainsburysAsda merger

LONDON — British regulators say the proposed supermarkets merger between Sainsbury’s and Walmart’s Asda unit would push up prices and reduce quality for shoppers, casting doubt on a deal that would create the country’s biggest grocery chain.The Competition and Markets Authority, in a preliminary report, said Wednesday it would be “difficult for the companies to address the concerns it has identified” and that a significant number of stores would probably need to be sold before it gains approval.Stuart McIntosh, chairman of the independent inquiry, says “shoppers could face higher prices, reduced quality and choice, and a poorer overall shopping experience across the UK.”Sainsbury’s shares fell over 12 per cent. It says it will continue to make its case to regulators who “misunderstand how people shop in the U.K. today.”The Associated Press read more