Secret Every Entrepreneur Should Know: Be Comfortable being uncomfortable

Each entrepreneur is unique and goes about attaining goals in their own unique fashion. But even in their individuality, entrepreneurs all share a powerful secret recipe that facilitates business success.

Most entrepreneur guides offer the same advice – work hard, don’t give up, be creative, and other similar pearls of wisdom. But most of these guides often fail to point out some harsh truths about attaining success as an entrepreneur. One such truth is becoming a successful entrepreneur is hard and uncomfortable work, and staying a successful entrepreneur is even harder.

But the life of an entrepreneur being an uncomfortable battle with many fresh foes popping out of unexpected corners isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is because fresh obstacles that block your path to success make you creative as you seek solutions, and can even inspire you to accomplish bigger things that you thought yourself incapable of. So instead of fearing discomfort, here’s how you can spin gold from straw by being comfortable while living the uncomfortable life of an entrepreneur;

  1. Your customer should always be priority.

As uncomfortable as it may sound, your customer should always be your priority. This means sacrificing your time, energy, and much more to ensure the perpetual satisfaction and happiness of your customers. Remember that each customer that is dissatisfied is a potential customer for your competitor. Prioritising your customers all the time with little time and resources for yourself might seem tasking but fortunately there are recommended productivity resources out there you can use to achieve some balance between work and life.

  1. Keep a close eye on your finances

Start-ups think they are only ones who are short on finances. But that’s not true. Even entrepreneurs who have made a name for themselves run into financial issues every now and then, and a lot of entrepreneurs have fallen of the ladder of success due to financial mismanagement at some point in their career. Thus, rather than celebrate your first success by getting comfortable and spending big, keep a close eye on your finances and try to minimise your expenditure.

This might seem harsh especially since most people become entrepreneurs because they want financial independence, but keeping your spending lean is actually a secret to success. You can keep your spending lean by evaluating your business and identifying which costs are necessary and which aren’t. Those that aren’t can be deferred or simply altogether dropped.

  1. Be open to fresh input

With all your qualifications and no matter how high you rise, the fact still stands that you don’t know all it takes to be successful. The day you know it all is the day you stop growing as an entrepreneur. So don’t be close minded. Rather, accept advice, feedback, and other input from all available sources – especially more experienced entrepreneurs as well as your customers.

In conclusion, the life of an entrepreneur is always unpredictable and this can throw your plans and budget out of whack. But rather than break under such pressure, get comfortable with being flexible and adapt to the circumstances. By operating this way, you are more likely to find a silver lining in every circumstance that you can exploit in your favour.

6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Wedding Reception

One of the beautiful advantages of a modern wedding is how you can update it to reflect your beliefs and share them with the attendees. And you can integrate both ethical living and environmentally friendly habits into your reception. Here are 6 tips for an eco-friendly reception. Note that all of this advice is practical for anyone with any budget.

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Pick the Right Location

One of the popular tips for hosting an eco-friendly wedding reception is holding it at an eco-friendly location. Outdoor gardens and especially those that use your funds to save local plants are one option. If you want to host the reception outdoors, hold it in a pavilion with fans instead of a tent with artificial air conditioning. Holding it indoors in local museums or art galleries is another option. Wherever you hold the reception, have it close to the wedding venue, if not part of the wedding venue to minimize travel.

One issue often overlooked when planning the reception is the location of the ceremony. For example, destination weddings where you expect everyone to fly to Hawaii or Bermuda so you don’t have to travel after the ceremony to the hotel are incredibly wasteful. Conversely, holding the wedding reception near your home or a centrally located facility within easy commuting distance of all attendees is the ideal solution.

Select the Right Food and Drink

Select locally sourced wines instead of something that comes from abroad. Choose seasonal foods where possible. You don’t have to go overboard on organic food, since much of it is overpriced for a green-washed label and isn’t really better for people or the environment. Conversely, asking for homemade food gifts in place of appliances you won’t be using anyway is an excellent way to secure food and drink for the wedding. Another factor to consider is food waste. Don’t plan a massive buffet if most of it will be thrown away. If there is food left over, think about how you can donate it at the end of the event before you start placing orders. Composting is a slightly better choice than throwing it all away.

Plan for Hygiene and Health

A common mistake for planning eco-friendly receptions is failing to take hygiene into account. They plan to bring many people into a facility and a few end up going in the bushes instead of using the bathroom. You can solve this problem by renting Satellite restroom trailers. Aside from properly collecting and disposing of waste, you’ll give everyone proper facilities for changing clothes and washing their hands, reducing the risk of illness after the event.

Waste Not, Want Not

Another factor to consider is the waste your event generates. You can reduce this by serving food on small reusable plates instead of paper plates guests throw away. Consider giving out compostable plates and cutlery. An ideal situation is giving away keepsake beverage glasses as gifts to your guests so they don’t have to throw it away. However, hiring a caterer to serve food and drink before taking up dishes they’ll wash and reuse is certainly better than throwing away everything people ate with once.

Think of the Flowers

Consider using artificial flowers that guests can take home instead of living plants. If you want to use flowers, arrange for sustainably grown flowers. Don’t go for the upscale imported Peruvian roses.

Consider Your Vendor Selection

Try to find local service providers who in turn rely on local sourcing. You’ll certainly help the environment if the band is local instead of someone driving in from 300 miles away. This should include caterers in the area if you’re not going to buy items in the area to use for the event yourself.

Having an eco-friendly wedding is all about making the right decisions. You don’t have to rearrange your whole reception in order to do so, just keeping waste at a minimum and having the proper installations in place to manage both human and material waste is already a step in the right direction.

How Much Money Can You Safely Borrow?

Almost everyone carries at least some form of debt. In the first quarter of 2017, consumer debt in America hit an all-time high of $12.73 trillion. Household debt continues to grow every year, alongside federal and corporate debt. In other words, the country is swimming in borrowed capital.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Debt of any kind can actually be beneficial if it’s used responsibly. Borrowed money can help save you time and effort in several situations, from buying a house, getting educated, or starting a new business. A quick loan from Cash Stop can help you meet your monthly expenses, buy that new car, or purchase a new piece of tech. Debt can certainly be useful in moderation.

By borrowing a sustainable amount, you can fund your dreams and complete important projects without messing up your credit score or your personal finances. Here’s how you can figure out how much money you can borrow safely:

Total Net worth

In order to borrow safely, it’s important to estimate your ability to pay back the loan. A crucial factor is your net worth. Your personal net worth is the estimated value of all your assets, minus the estimated value of everything you owe. In other words, it’s the net value of everything you possess.

When total debt is measured as a ratio against your net worth, it provides a clearer structure to your personal finances. As a rule of thumb, the lower the debt-to-net worth ratio, the more sustainable the debt.

While a debt-to-net worth ratio of less than 1x is ideal, any ratio below 2.5x would be considered relatively safe.

Interest Coverage

Another, and more precise, way to calculate debt sustainability is the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. By measuring gross monthly income against your net debt expenses you can accurately estimate your ability to service the debt load.

Experts disagree on the ideal ratio of debt expenses to income. However, a good place to start is the recommended ratio for qualified mortgages.

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, lenders, banks, and financial institutions can offer borrowers special protections and terms if the debt expenses or monthly interest payments are less than 43% of monthly gross income. This means a debt expense-to-income ratio of less than 0.43 would be considered safe. For home loans and mortgages, financial planners recommend keeping this ratio below 0.30.

In short, spending less than one-third of your pre-tax income every month on all your interest payments is financially sustainable.

Final Thoughts

The wealthier you are the more you can borrow. Your total wealth and gross income are important factors to consider when estimating how much money you can borrow. Banks and lenders have specific ratios in mind when they offer to extend a loan. Sticking to these ratios makes it more likely that your debt will help you grow, rather than put you in a detrimental, stressful position.

Other Home Improvements for a Sustainable, Energy-Efficient House

In the previous article, we discussed solar panels and how you can use them to turn your house into a sustainable, self-sufficient property. The prices of solar panels and supporting hardware are becoming more affordable by the day, which is why it is even more appealing to invest in a good solar panel system for your house.

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Solar panels aren’t the only upgrade to add in order to make your property more energy efficient and sustainable. There are other great home improvements to consider, and we are going to look into them in this article.

LED Lights

LED lights are among the best things to pick up if you want to boost your house’s energy efficiency. They consume much less power than conventional bulbs and investing in them will immediately lower your energy bills. LED bulbs are up to 80% more efficient than CFLs and neon lights. The cost of LED lights is also much more affordable than it used to.

This is a home improvement that practically pays for itself. You may have to pay for the LED lights yourself at the beginning, but you can expect to save a lot on your electricity bill that the savings will cover the purchase in just a few months.

Energy Efficient Windows

The cost of heating and cooling the interior of your house is usually the major part of your energy bills. Changing the interior temperature to the right level is even more expensive when you have cracked windows and bad insulation.

Investing in energy efficient windows is the first step towards solving that problem. Once you get the windows installed, you will find cooling or heating your house to be a lot easier and much more affordable. You can also add additional window treatments to boost energy efficiency even further.

Insulation Upgrades

Upgrading your home’s insulation is the next thing to do. Aside from wall insulation, it is also important to look into ducts, especially if you use central heating and cooling. According to the EPA, a fifth of the air forced through ducts in residential properties leaks. This results in poor energy efficiency.

Similar to the previous home upgrades we discussed, insulation for pipes and ducts is much improved and very affordable these days. Skipping this step would be a mistake, especially if the goal is to make your house more energy efficient in the long run.

A Smarter Home

Last but certainly not least, consider turning your property into a smart home. Use a programmable thermostat and install a smart home hub such as Google Home to further improve energy efficiency. These smart devices can be remotely controlled and programmed for maximum efficiency.

With a smart thermostat installed, for instance, you can have the interior of the house kept at a comfortable temperature just 30 minutes before you arrive home after work instead of all day long. Imagine the amount of money you can save from this feature alone.

Paired with solar panels and clean energy, these home improvement options are even more valuable. The next time you want to upgrade your property, consider the improvements we covered in this article to get started.

Investment ideas for beginners

Are you letting your money work for you? If not, you are missing a great opportunity to increase your personal wealth. Keeping money in a low interest account isn’t going to accomplish this. By choosing to invest your money in stocks, bonds or other options, successful investments will generate more cash for your future goals. Consider some of these potential investment alternatives.

Bitcoin

Different than other investments, bitcoin is a currency that can be used in a number of ways to help increase one’s wealth. The most common method is simply to purchase the bitcoin currency, anticipating it will increase in value. The currency is very popular with online websites including online casinos and at mobilecasinocanada.ca, they are considering the use of Bitcoin with other online banking methods.

Certificates of Deposit

CDs permit investors to invest their extra cash. This particular investment can vary in terms. Some CDs are short term with only three months while others can be as long as 5 years. Of course, one’s specific needs will determine the better term option. However, generally the longer the investment, the better your return on investment will be.  Shop around when looking to purchase CDs as banks do vary in regards to their rates.

Peer to Peer Lending

While this is a relatively new idea, peer to peer lending bypasses traditional banks and connects consumers looking to invest with those needing a loan. Notes are purchased by investors from websites. Borrowers must go through a thorough vetting process which helps reassure investors of repayment. Each month lenders will receive a payment consisting of principal repayment along with interest.

You may choose to try one of these investment ideas or perhaps another way to let your money work for you. No matter what you decide, one important thing to remember is that you must be diligent researching any investment prior to making it.

Types of Insurance

When going to purchase life insurance, it is important that you know there are different types out there. You will need to explore all of the types to find what is best for you. Even if you have a policy, it is important that you read your policy and understand what you have. Below is a brief outline of what types of life insurance are out there.

Term

Term life insurance is when you purchase a policy that provides you with coverage for a defined period of time. You pay a premium during that time. If you pass away before the time period elapses than you can receive the benefits, but if you claim after the time period than you can not receive the benefits. Term life insurance is known to be inexpensive and also easier to understand, making it very popular for the masses.

Whole

Whole life insurance pays a benefit for as long as you’re paying the premium. Along with the benefit, you also accrue a cash value through the years. The cash value can be used as an investment and can be withdrawn for things such as education or emergency situations but will not be distributed if not used at time of the death benefit. This type of policy is more expensive than term.

Universal

Universal life is similar to whole insurance but is more flexible because you able to increase or decrease the death benefit and cash value throughout the time period. Because of this, it is more expensive than whole insurance.

Group

When you are employed, Group Life Insurance is often a benefit offered. Group Life is basically a contract with a life insurance company which contains a group of people. This is a benefit that can cover your needs or sometimes people have supplemental policies in addition to what is offered by their company. The convenience of this policy can’t be beat. It is typically free to the employee so they get the benefit without having to do anything.

 

Advantages and Disadvantages

Each type of insurance has its advantages and disadvantages. What you think is best is based on personal preference and opinion. Many families choose to hold multiple policies of each to cover their bases. You can have more than one policy

Uses

People use life insurance for many different things. Life Insurance uses include investment, cash flow, loans, chronic illness, tax shelter, supplement retirement, enhance income, and college tuition to name a few. It is best to speak to a professional about how you can use your policy to help you.

Hopefully this information allows you to understand life insurance and the types of policies that are out there.

Health During Pregnancy

When you find out you are pregnant, there are so many things to worry about and consider. The main one being your health and the baby’s health. It is important to do your best to fuel you body with the best so that the baby gets exactly what it needs. Everything from what you eat to what products you use, and even what is in your home can affect you and the baby.

FOOD

Everything that is put in your mouth is shared with your unborn child. It is important to think twice when eating because you are sharing with them and building a human being. You may not be a believer in organic food purchases but now is the time to change your stance. When pregnant it is imperative to give your baby the most quality food and avoid chemicals at all cost and make the best choices. The food you consume and purchase should come from a reliable source and give the vitamins and nutrients your child needs. There are products that are proven to be helpful during pregnancy.

There are many foods that pregnant women are asked to avoid. Things such as lunch meat, unpasteurized cheeses, raw seafood, shellfish.

Another element that is important during pregnancy is vitamins. It is important to take the proper prenatal vitamins to ensure that your baby is getting the right nutrition regardless of your eating habits.

BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Every human being uses toiletry products and think nothing of it. What everyone should know is that there are a lot of chemicals in our products. It is so bad that the US allows the use of certain chemicals that are banned in other countries. Do you want to use that on your body, and most importantly do you want your baby to be exposed to that as well? Everything from lotions, face wash, toothpaste, body wash, makeup can be found in safe/non-toxic formulas to allow everyone to be safe.

CLEANING PRODUCTS

Just like your food and toiletry products, cleaning products around your home often contain harmful chemicals. It is best to choose the products at the store that say they are chemical free or free from dyes and fragrances. All of those things can seep into your system and affect the baby.

EXERCISE

Exercise and keeping your body at a healthy weight is extremely important during pregnancy. At the beginning of your pregnancy, your doctor will tell you what a healthy weight gain for you is and it is important that you follow it. A lot of people think pregnancy is the time to eat what they want but that just isn’t true, consuming dead end calories can be harmful. Too much weight can put stress on the mom and in turn stress on the baby. Later in pregnancy it is hard to stay active so a lot of people turn to yoga or walking that is less high pace. There are certain circumstances that may cause a mom to gain more weight, such as gestational diabetes or a twin pregnancy. Even then there are still ways to be healthy and exercise.

Overall, your health as a pregnant woman is very important to you and our baby. It is best to read up and research all of the ways you can do your part.