No.1 Relationship Killer: Your Good Intention to Advise Your Partner When They're Upset

Posted from http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/jM4fuDomYvg/relationship-advice-ask-for-permission-if-you-want-to-advise-your-partner

Imagine that after an extremely difficult day at the office, a man comes home to his significant other. All he wants to do is relax and get some of the stress off his chest. When he’s finished talking, however, his partner starts going on and on about what he should or shouldn’t have done throughout the day.

Or what about the situation where a woman buys herself a new outfit that she loves. She took a lot of time picking it out and feels really good about the way she looks with it on. So, she wears it out one day with her family. Her significant other notices the new dress and offers this critique: “It makes you look fat.”

Both of these situations happen far more frequently than they should and neither one is healthy for relationships. You can only imagine how the rest of those stories went, and all because of some unsolicited advice.

Most of the time, your significant other just wants someone to listen to them.

As you go about your daily life, try to avoid giving criticisms or offering feedback to people that haven’t asked for it. Especially with your romantic partner. Looking for some relationship advice? Unless they specifically ask for your opinion, they probably just want you to listen to them. Most of the time, your partner turns to your for comfort.

Giving unsolicited advice can be damaging to your relationship.

How do you think it feels to be hit in the face with criticisms when all you really wanted was some understanding? Not good, right? Every time you offer up your advice without being asked, it’s called giving “unauthorized feedback”. All of those moments of unauthorized feedback between the two of you is slowly eating away at the solid foundation of your relationship.

Giving advice is hard, even with the best intentions.

The problem is, giving feedback to our loved ones is hard. We think we can be direct with our friends, family, and romantic partners because we share really close relationships with them. So with all of the confidence in the world, we go about our days making small comments and offering our opinions about the things they have done, the things they are doing, and the things they will do.

We don’t mean anything by it, we’re just trying to help the people we love. Instead, our little comments and opinions can actually end up hurting other people. This hurt may not be in a big way, not at first. But over time, all the little pieces of unsolicited advice and all the little feelings of hurt that they cause start to add up, chipping away at the relationship little by little. Before long, we’ve created a big ball of pain – an obstacle to happiness in our relationship.

The way you give advice always matters.

Does this mean you should stop giving advice and keep your opinions to yourself? Absolutely not. Every bit of relationship advice out there tells us that clear and honest communication is the key to a healthy and happy relationship.

What’s important is how you talk to your partner and give your opinions. Advice should be given so that it gives each person the opportunity to grow. The last thing you want is to cause disturbances between you and your partner.

Before giving feedback to your partner, ask for permission.

You can change the vicious cycle of unauthorized feedback by simply asking for permission first. According to relationship advice from Margie Warrell, one question can make all the difference in the world: “Can I share some feedback with you that I hope will be helpful?”[1]

Think about when your partner talks to you about a difficult professional relationship with one of their coworkers. While you’re listening, they tell you about something they said or did to their coworker and you think it may be the cause of their problem.

Now, imagine you just come right out and say, “Well, you shouldn’t have said ___.” What did you just do? That’s right, you instigated an argument by putting your partner on the defense or making them feel bad. Now take that same situation and imagine you say, “You know what, I noticed something about what you said. Do you mind if I give you my opinion on the matter?” Once you have your partner’s consent, you can proceed with your feedback. You’ve opened up the lines of communication in your relationship.

Don’t focus on what “should have” happened, focus on what should happen.

Remember this relationship advice: When giving your partner feedback, don’t focus on what you think they should have done. Instead, offer feedback about what they could do in the future. This way, you’re giving your partner more than just an emotional opinion that could damage your relationship. You’re giving them information that could help them become a better person in the future. And that’s what romantic relationships are about, helping each other grow.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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By |June 30th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

7 Ways to Brighten Your Horizon Forever

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You're reading 7 Ways to Brighten Your Horizon Forever, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

  1. Read Books that Make you think Outside the Box!
Brighten your horizon by realizing that everyone is your teacher. Gradually, you’ll gravitate to books - reading them will shape and mould your character brick by brick. Over time, they’ll help carve out a masterpiece of an inner canvas, making you consider possibilities you would have never otherwise considered. One idea has the potential to change your life forever if you act on it.“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Sometimes, the most profound insights you have in your life will come through reading one sentence, one quote, in one book.
  1. Invest BIG in Yourself
Countless people similar to you have made mistakes and often pass on their decades of experience — so that you don’t have to learn things the hard way. Warren Buffett, the world renowned and famous investor, once said “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. But it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” Whether it’s through an online course, seminar, or a three-day event (related to skills you’re passionate about improving) — you’ll usually come back with an upgraded toolkit. Having the willingness to let go of your ego, by investing in yourself, will cut your learning curve and allow you to get the skills that some people have taken YEARS to learn. Just because you’ve finished your degree doesn’t mean your life education is over. In fact, it’s always just getting started. Remember: if you don’t invest in yourself, then who will?
  1. Reflect on your Direction Regularly!
You only ever have so much energy to give, and every once in awhile; you need to make a pit stop. That can take the form of a public blog, a written journal, or simply a conversation with a friend to reflect on your year so far. Reflecting on your journey, is one of the most important things you can do for your direction and self-awareness in the long term. The active recovery will give you the clarity needed to act on hard truths — so that you can make wise improvements in both your personal and professional life.
  1. Save BIG Money Every Month
If you don’t have money under control, you don’t live free. If you don’t save money every month, you’re not preparing for the future. Making a saving plan doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need to calculate how much you automatically spend every month, and then create a comfortable monthly standing order for an amount that you can easily commit to. Brian Tracy, one of the most prominent self-improvement gurus, in his book, the 21 Secrets of Millionaires, wrote: “if you don’t save money, the seeds of greatness aren’t within you. By saving for the future, you show that you understand that a little money saved each month, will end up going a long way towards your freedom. And freedom is something you value tremendously.
  1. Mostly Eat Healthy Food!
Anyone can eat a couple of fruits and vegetables per day. Anyone can eat one protein-rich meal per day. Anyone can skip the soda and make sure they drink enough water. Eating healthy is not a pursuit of perfection, it’s just about feeding your body more of what it needs, and less of what it doesn’t. Companies are spending billions of dollars on marketing processed foods so you can’t be too harsh on yourself if you eat unhealthy on occasion. Yes, you’ve probably grown to love cookies, ice cream, and the like — but by feeding your body more nutritious foods most of the time, you’ll disable part of the lure processed foods have over you.
  1. Exercise Regularly!
Exercise isn’t just about improving your physique or your health; it’s about improving your mentality and physiology. Similarly to fine-tuning a car, your body needs the right intervention to operate at its best! You only ever end up getting one body in your lifetime, so you do what you can to take care of it! Whether you go to the gym three times per week, jog once a week, play sports with your friends — you were built to move! Having an xercisee ritual is a gateway into a higher state of energy and focus. And with that state, you can experience more rewarding days = a more rewarding life.If you’re exercising in some form regularly (even if it’s just taking a long walk), then you’re leveraging all the areas of your life closer to their full potential!
  1. Be Mindful of your Media Consumption!
One of the easiest ways to relax and stimulate yourself after a long day at work is to turn on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or whatever’s trending now. With a flick of your fingers, you can get access to a whole variety of entertainment. The average person in America consumes an average of five hours of Television per day! Zig Ziglar, in his book, How to Stay Motivated, mentions that the average Chairman of a board only consumes four to eight hours of television per week. Be the chairman of your life — by being mindful of the quality and quantity of information you allow to flow into your consciousness. You decide whether you want to experience the better part of the thrills you seek, through a screen, or your life... With time and application, these seven different components of your life will start clicking into place, as they continually serve to brighten your horizon! My Last Words If you work on a PC and you're interested in learning how to brighten your path to its full potential, read my free book on Spiritual Productivity.
  • You'll learn about how to split up your day into four chunks, so you worry less about external influences.
  • You'll discover the small hacks that will take your productive work on the PC to the next level.
  • And much more…

 Samy Felice is a writer who brings meaning to words. His Free Book explores how to make success easier. 

You've read 7 Ways to Brighten Your Horizon Forever, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


By |June 30th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

How To Start A Cat Hotel

Posted from https://www.dumblittleman.com/cat-hotel/

“I really just want to quit my job, move somewhere gorgeous and open my own B&B.”

That’s the secret dream of countless executives and “worker bees” alike. Chances are, they’re thinking of a luxurious inn that’s a peaceful, upscale retreat for humans – not a smaller facility filled with often-yowling and often-demanding cats.

Then again, those dreamers are probably not “cat people.” They can’t understand how fun it is to tend to a building filled with adorable, playful and trouble-making feline guests. That could be an ideal situation for cat lovers, though.

If this describes you, here’s a look at how to start a cat hotel.

The Basics

basic cat hotel
Via pinterest

Let’s get this out of the way up front: you’re not going to make millions of dollars running a cat hotel. You can, however, make a decent supplemental income or even develop a viable small business by providing a reliable, safe and comfortable home for cats whose owners are out of town on holiday or for business travel.

Before taking any concrete action, research and planning are essential. Here are key questions to ask yourself.

Are you really up for this?

A cat hotel isn’t just a facility that has lots of cats to play with when you have the urge. You’ll have to spend hours cleaning, preparing and serving food, grooming and administering meds. Plus, there’s the administrative work you have to do on a 24/7 basis- with no vacations.

In fact, normal holiday periods will be your busiest time. A staff under your supervision can do much of the work for you. However, if you’re not actively supervising them, you may be at risk of losing everything you’ve built.

Is there an underserved market?

Many areas already have numerous cat or pet boarding facilities. Trying to take away their business is a lot harder than opening a cat hotel where there’s a demand for one.

Do you have the experience and knowledge?

Training or certification isn’t required in most areas. Just as running an inn is very different from having house guests, running a cat hotel is much more demanding than taking care of your own pets. Consider training courses or working in an existing facility before starting your own.

Do you need government approvals or permits?

You will, in many areas. You’ll also have to check zoning regulations to find out where cat hotels are and aren’t allowed.

Do you have the necessary funds?

You’ll need to acquire a suitable building, purchase everything from housing to food and market your service extensively. You’ll have to do all those things before revenue can start rolling in.

The Logistics

luxury cat hotel
Via pinterest

Still interested in taking the plunge after answering all of those questions? Here’s a brief guide on how you can start a cat hotel.

1. Find a proper location, ensuring there’s plenty of room for expansion if your business takes off. Don’t purchase or lease, though, until you’re sure that it meets all zoning requirements and you acquired all of the necessary permits.

2. Talk to a lawyer and accountant to set up the right business structure for your business. Be sure to obtain all tax IDs and permits, including employer ID numbers and sales tax permits.

3. Build suitable housing for your guests. It should be spacious, comfortable and safe. Build play areas, too. There are companies you can hire to do this for you.

4. Obtain liability insurance to protect against accidents and potential client lawsuits. Better safe than sorry.

5. Purchase the food, toys, play structures or other essentials you’ll require.

6. Hire staff members, if you have the need and the funds.

7. Build relationships with local vets, so they’ll be available in the event of emergency and (hopefully) recommend your facility.

8. Market, market, market. Start by giving away fliers and brochures at pet-related businesses and local stores. Advertise in local “coupon” magazines and build an online presence. Once you have a regular, satisfied clientele, you’ll have a regular income.

Conclusion

The old cliché says “Do what you love.” Running a cat hotel is a lot of work, and it will never generate enough income to let you retire to a tropical island. But for a true cat lover with a solid business plan, it’s a great way to reap financial rewards while doing what you love. And, it will definitely keep you busy!

 

The post How To Start A Cat Hotel appeared first on Dumb Little Man.


By |June 30th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

How Not To Turn Meaningful Discussions Into Arguments By Keeping This 1 Thing In Mind.

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When in the midst of a discussion, all we really want is to be heard, and for our point of view to be considered. But sometimes in the heat of the moment if a conversation isn’t going our way, we can get defensive; escalating a friendly discussion into a full blown argument.

A lot of the time this happens without us even meaning to, and we lose control of the situation. We want our views to be understood. But sometimes while explaining our stance we might not realize that we are offending the other people involved in the discussion, turning it into something ugly and running away from the initial point.

The most volatile environment that this could happen is in the work place. You want to appear to be informed and articulate, so you engage with your coworkers about a politically inspired debate. This is an incredibly touchy subject regardless, so approach with caution when flinging your hard-pressed beliefs out in the open. (I don’t agree with the following example but bear with me for a moment). Say that you don’t believe that women should get equal pay in the workplace, because men have to spend more money to please their women. You could have been half-joking when you said it, but now every woman in the office probably hates you, along with many feminist empathizing men. There’s nothing wrong with shaking things up a bit, but think before you speak.

The same goes for friends and family. You don’t need to be as cautious because it’s not going to affect your professional career, but you also don’t want to offend those closest to you. Let’s suppose that you came from a small town, but moved to the big city to find your place in the rat race. When you return home, you view everyone as just doing the same old thing. While that may be true, be careful on how you word things if you decide to bring this up. Don’t use words like, “towny,” because now you’re offending even the people you returned home to see.

The original issue has now turned into a huge conflict.

Now not only do you need to backtrack to get your original point across, but you have to do some damage control to alleviate the situation that is now getting blown out of proportion. The original issue is now no longer relevant, and what should have been a friendly discussion is turning into a huge mess.

When people feel that they are being attacked or judged, they will immediately become defensive and retaliate. The conversation will shift into justifications for their behavior or beliefs that they feel you have been insensitive to, and the remainder of the discussion will consist of you trying to calm them down to realize what you actually meant, and return to your initial point.

It’s not a very good look for you, coming across as judgmental and not accepting of other’s point of view. That may have not been your intent at all, but because of poor word choices, you appear to be that way. Now others are judging you for being judgmental. Exhausting, isn’t it?

Emotions are on the rise and have taken control of the situation. Now all of your efforts are directed at diffusing the situation, and you may not ever get a chance to explain yourself.

Why do we get so defensive?

I think we all know that one person that is next to impossible to speak to, because we know that any little thing will put them on the defensive and shut you out. If you don’t know anyone like this, then maybe it’s you. But why does it happen?

1. Not feeling respected, or that you’re being heard.

Sometimes we react impulsively, or don’t realize the weight of our words until we’ve already said them. Then the recipient of our comments doesn’t exactly take it so well, and the original point has been lost.

Example: You’re unhappy with your boyfriend because he doesn’t seem to have any time for you. You try to talk it out with him, but your first point is that he makes you feel like he doesn’t care. Now, all of his efforts have been belittled, and he feels like you don’t appreciate all that he does for you. It blows up into an argument of accusing each other of not caring, and the original issue doesn’t get resolved.

2. We directly make judgments without explaining ourselves clearly.

Our brains are hard-wired to switch gears into our Self Protective System if we feel that we ar e being attacked verbally, physically, or mentally. Our brains don’t only react to situations instinctively, but reasonably as well to preserve our physical and psychological well-being. What’s interesting about our self-protective systems is that they are not learned. They are genetically manufactured, along with the other facets of our DNA and personality traits. From early childhood we will exhibit this instinct to protect ourselves.

Example: As a small child, you are trying to finish a puzzle before the end of playtime. Now the teacher is saying playtime is over, and you need to put the puzzle away even though you haven’t finished it. In your small developing mind, you feel that the teacher is undermining your ability to finish the puzzle, so you throw a temper tantrum that will nearly drive the teacher to tears.

How to diffuse an issue before it escalates:

1. Mirror the other person after they speak, to let them know that you are listening.

Example: If you’re in the workplace and your coworker suggests an action that you don’t agree with, you can respond by saying that you understand their idea to (reiteration of suggestion) although you think it might be helpful to look at it from another perspective as well, and perhaps find a solution that encompasses both.

2. Avoid using the word “but”.

The word just has a negative ring to it in the midst of a discussion. For example: “I hear what you’re saying, but-“ with just that one word, you have completely undermined the other person. By adding the word but, you are saying that what you are about to say next is more important than the point that they already made.

3. Don’t make judgments or speak about your own emotions without explanation.

Which of these sentences sounds better to you?

“You never take my suggestions seriously.”

“I feel frustrated because you haven’t responded to few of my previous emails, is it because you don’t find my comments to be useful?”

The first sentence is incredibly accusing, and will immediately put the recipient on the defensive. In the second example, the sender fully explains their feelings on the matter, and give the recipient a chance to explain themselves as well.

4. Invite them to give comments so they feel respected.

After voicing your opinion, ask the other person or people in the discussion to voice their opinions on the matter as well, so they know that their thoughts are valued.

Featured photo credit: criticallyrated via google.com

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By |June 30th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

How Changing Your Personal Life Can Help You Succeed at Work

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Being successful at work is never easy, but it’s definitely much harder if you’re constantly distracted and aggravated. In other words, whenever you have a problem at home, you won’t be able to do your best at the office. Therefore, you need to organize your personal life first and only then can you expect your […]

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By |June 30th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

Top 10 Most Epic Motivational Speeches of All Time

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The most valuable thing an experience person has is their experience. People make mistakes, learn from them, and adapt their life around them to become better people. Those people would then tell tales to others to help teach those lessons so that others would not have to make the same mistakes. Speeches articulate a wonderful […]

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My Week Long Experiment and the Benefits to my Mind and Body

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You're reading My Week Long Experiment and the Benefits to my Mind and Body, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

In almost all health and well-being articles I’ve ever read, there’s always one tip that reoccurs every time.  It’s the simplest of things, the easiest advice to follow, and I’m just surprised that more people don’t do it.  It’s not rocket science, it’s not expensive (in fact, it’s pretty much free) and is available to us all. Drink water. I know, I know!  It can be the most boring thing you can think of when it comes to thirst. First thing in the morning when I’m still on autopilot, I’ve usually made and drunk a large cup of strong coffee before I’m properly awake – I need that rocket fuel to get me going!  But with the warmer weather now upon us, I can have a tendency to feel sluggish, for my feet and ankles to swell when I sit at my office desk for too long, and to suffer with far more headaches than is really acceptable. Talking to my colleagues (who all sit with a sports bottle filled with water on their desks) they all told me I should drink more water.  I could still have the coffee, but I should add drinks of water in-between coffees, or replace one or two of those coffees throughout the day. Biting the bullet, I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own.  It couldn’t hurt, could it?  A week out of my life?  I pledged to my work colleagues, that for one week, I would drink nothing but water, document my findings as I went, and then give them an honest account of my well-being at the end of the week.  Here’s how I got on… Day 1 I had to try really hard not to make that coffee.  I really needed coffee.  BUT… I had hot water instead - a little compromise in my mind, as I’m used to having a hot drink.  I won’t lie, it certainly didn’t hit the spot like my usual coffee does.  Throughout the day I consumed the recommended amount.  By the end of day one, I’d drunk over 2 litres! Day 2 Still craving that early morning coffee!  It was a little more difficult during the day, because I work part time, and this was one of my home days.  I was busy with chores, and so I fell slightly short of the two litres, but I didn’t count it as failure.  If anything the opposite – I’d done 2 whole days without coffee! Day 3 Woke with a thumping headache!  I put this down to a little caffeine withdrawal. I persevered with the hot water, instead opting to add a little lemon juice. By the end of day 3 I had consumed over 2.5 litres of water! Go me! Day 4 The temptation of coffee was still there, but I didn’t feel like I ‘needed’ it in the same way as a couple of days before.  Drinking water was almost becoming a habit.  At home I made sure that I set myself little reminders to drink by programming my phone’s alarm to go off every hour, on the hour.  By the end of day 4 I’d consumed another 2.5 litres.  I noticed too that my visits to the bathroom were far more frequent than the days before.  My system really was flushing through! Day 5 I tend to work all day on a Friday, which means I’m sat on my bottom from 9-5!  I made sure I drank plenty, and got up and moved about at least once every hour.  Leaving the office, I was surprised that my feet were normal size, and that only one of my ankles were ever so slightly puffy.  What a difference!  Toilet visits were more frequent, but I started to feel physically better.  I was getting to sleep earlier, which in turn made me feel brighter in the morning. Day 6 A Saturday.  Fail!  Not only did I not consume my target 2 litres, but I also went off plan.  I was out for the day, and didn’t prepare adequately.  The craving for something sweet and fizzy got the better of me and I gave in to it and had a lemonade.  Still, once home I stuck to my liquid plan, and got straight back on to water. At least lemonade is a clear liquid, right? Day 7 Mission complete!  Target consumption met!  I could really see a difference in my overall well-being.  I still peed for England, and not only did I notice a difference in my bladder behaviour, but also my bowels.  Things were ‘easier’.  My headaches became almost non-existent, and I was actually feeling like I had a bit of energy!  My mind-set was more positive, and on the whole, I couldn’t believe how good I was feeling! I’ve added a day 8 because I just had to share this amazing benefit with you… Day 8 The day I stepped on the scales.  Perhaps drinking more water had suppressed my appetite a little as I am 3.5lbs lighter! I put it down to water being calorie free!  Whatever the answer, I know that from now on I’ll be carrying on with the water drinking.  It’s not permanently sustainable, as I like a social drink now and again, and I will allow myself the odd coffee – just not to the same extent as before.
Jane works part time, and is also a freelance writer and blogger, who currently writes for Cooleraid. In her spare time she enjoys reading, travel, and chocolate!

You've read My Week Long Experiment and the Benefits to my Mind and Body, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


By |June 30th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

6 Easy Ways to Amplify Your Optimism and Become Successful

Posted from http://addicted2success.com/success-advice/6-easy-ways-to-amplify-your-optimism-and-become-successful/

You crave it, the high of success. You’ve become so obsessed it keeps you up until 2:00am, and you do everything in your power to obtain it. You stalk your idols, thinking if you watch them long enough, you’ll be like them. You’re hanging onto their words, like a castaway on an island, waiting for his radio to pick up the slightest frequency of a nearby ship.

Despite your desire to succeed, you feel fed up, your motivation has evaporated and you want to throw in the towel. You can’t help wondering why you aren’t successful after working so hard.

The harsh truth is it takes much more than that because you cannot rely on your desire to succeed. With all the drive in the world, you still need fuel. Your fuel is optimism, and without it, you cannot push when conditions get tough. 

Optimism is like your bicep, it can get stronger. Acknowledge that and you’re already optimistic. I know it is an overused analogy, but think about it. Believing you can get better will make you look at the positives in every situation because you know they’re there. Hardships aren’t menacing figures anymore because you know they can be overcome.

This is a great start to adopting optimism, but you can’t rely on this. Your optimism needs to be strong, so below I share with you 6 ways to quadruple your optimism and help you achieve the success you yearn for.

1. Crack jokes at the worst times

If you can find humor during times of adversity, not only will you propel your optimism, but others will be magnetised towards you. I remember making a mistake in a company I was working with, which led to the owner saying: “Do this again, and our relationship is over.”

To calm my nerves, I went for a walk and ended up cracking my ankle, needing a cast. Then, I ate a combination of meals resulting in food poisoning. My day was going great    (see what I did there).

In my weekly meeting with the owner, I joked around asking if he voodooed me as revenge, which he laughingly replied no. He praised my humor, saying any other person would crawl in a ball and hide from the world. Jokes bring laughter, and if you can laugh through your problems, not only you boost your optimism, you inspire others. That, is success in it’s own right.

2. When a problem rises, slap it in the face.

We tend to dwell on our problems instead of finding solutions. We overlook them, focusing on ‘more important’ matters, and the problem just looms at the back of our mind, stressing us throughout the day.

When it rises, instead of letting it pester you, drop everything and solve it no matter how long it takes. Stick to this mentality and you will spearhead your problems on autopilot without sweating or shaking over them for hours.

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” – Duke Ellington

3. Carry a notebook with you 24/7

The alternative to slapping your problems is writing about them and saving them for later. You might think this contradicts the above point, but it doesn’t.

Writing your problems down not only makes it easier to find solutions, subconsciously it also removes them from your mind, since you transfer your negative thoughts on paper. As a result, your mind is clearer and your optimism is boosted so keep a notebook handy!

4. Kick your feet up and relax

Nothing drains your optimism faster than being overworked without breaks in between. How can you be positive if all you’re looking forward to is work?

You won’t achieve your dreams tomorrow, and you won’t be a failure if you take a breather. Schedule breaks and engage in activities you enjoy. Your optimism will skyrocket as a result. Remember, like a car, you can’t be in sixth gear forever, go down to first, and back up again.

5. Have a kickass morning routine

Thinking of work from the crack of dawn won’t make you succeed faster and will crush your optimism. Beat up your mind, and it will beat you back. Instead, nurture it. Have a shower, exercise, read a book, have breakfast. Give yourself a few hours of preparation before you dive into work. Your mind will reward you with limitless optimism and you’ll accomplish all your tasks for the day, since your morning routine has primed you for success.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive; to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

6. Stop surrounding yourself with Optimists

Surrounding yourself with optimists is great at the start, but when you get used to optimism, pessimism hits you harder. I remember meeting someone after a long time. We greeted, followed by monologue of him complaining about everything negative in his life. This shocked my system, so I just clocked out, waiting for the encounter to end.

This is a bad approach. You can’t just lock yourself away, protected by the optimists bubble. You need thicken your skin and realize the world isn’t filled with optimists, so surrounding yourself with them may make you frail.

Instead, help other individuals improve their mindset instead of pushing them away. Be the optimist they needChallenging pessimism will only strengthen your optimism because optimism is the backbone of your success so don’t neglect it.

Acknowledge that optimism can be trained and slowly improve it in a way that suits you. Don’t let my list intimidate you, pick one habit at a time and master it. Stick to this and you will be an unstoppable force. You will develop unbreakable focus and infinite hunger to succeed, your positivity will shine through adversity, but most importantly:

You will be successful so what are you waiting for? Train your optimism and go, feast like never before because the world is your oyster.

How do you maintain a positive mindset in order to succeed? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com


By |June 30th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

How To Move from a Good to Great Content Marketing Strategy

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It’s just not good enough to have a good content marketing strategy because with all the competition, you need to find a way to really stand out. Next, with social media marketing growing, bloggers are finding it very easy to get their content in front of people quickly with so much more ease. However, it’s NOT too difficult making the transition from a “good” to “great” content marketing strategy. Over the years, I’ve been able to experiment with different marketing strategies utilizing PPC, banners, email, and content marketing. It’s important you test and tweak along the way to ensure you get the highest conversion rates. For example, what good is a content marketing strategy if you’re NOT able to convert your readership to obtain your bottom line? If you have a content marketing strategy that is simply “good”, then implement these following changes to make it great.

Let’s jump right in and explore some of these options.

Be a Clear Leader

Many of you are probably wondering what I mean by this statement and the explanation is very simple. First, it’s important to observe who is responsible for your content because these will be the people who will be implementing your vision. Personally, I write my own content but sometimes I do hire writers to implement my vision into my content marketing strategies. I’m a great writer, but lack the conversion part so will work with people to make sure everything is done correctly before publishing. Next, as your business grows, you’ll have less time to write content so it’s important you’re a “great” leader, able to express your thoughts to the people you work with.

Here’s what you need to understand…

For you to make the jump from “good” to “great”, you have to be able to manage a team through strong leadership skills. You have to help them feel comfortable when working with you so you can communicate your thoughts openly. The more people are clear about your vision, the harder they can work at making it come true. Know what you want so you can share it with the people you work with and are responsible for creating epic content.

Know Your Objective

I can’t count the number of times I did a poor job simply because I didn’t know my objective. No matter how good of a writer you are, it won’t matter if you aren’t clear about what you want to achieve. Imagine how many times you’ve sat down to write content without doing any research and when you finished, the article lacked substance. If you’re NOT clear about your objective, you’re NOT going to take the necessary steps to create epic content. Here’s an example,

I wanted to publish a complete guide on guest blogging, making it epic with no other resources like the one I was about to create. However, I knew it had to be different and I needed to put a twist on it so it would stand out compared to others online. In the end, I did research for 2 months, skimming through all my competitors so I can add elements to my guide NOT available anywhere else. The guide is over 10,000+ words, but there’s nothing like it anywhere on the Internet. You can check it out here. Here’s the point…

I was clear about what I wanted to achieve and this allowed me to take the necessary actions to create something epic. If you want to transition from “good” to “great” content, then be clear about your objective so you have guidelines you can follow going forward.

Know Your Audience

Content can only be GREAT when you have people to critique once published. Think about how and why products are labelled as “awesome”, “epic”, “great”, etc. They are only labelled because experts within your niche have put their stamp of approval on your content. However, I’m NOT referring to getting experts involved because in the end, you’re writing for your audience. You’re writing for people who trust your expertise and want to learn from the content you provide. In this day and age, we have a solid system to designate our content as GREAT starting with…

  • Visitors will leave comments
  • They’ll share with others through social media
  • They’ll link back to it or even reference it in their content

Here’s my point…

Before writing, you have to know your audience so you have a system in place to label your content. If you don’t know your audience, then you can’t guide your content writing, which leaves you with an empty room after publishing. Know your audience then write your content so people are around to give you credit and praise your expertise.

Always Provide Value

Think about the content you find useful and you’ll notice it’s always provided you with substance. If you want to make the transition from “good” to “great” content, then consider finding ways to improve your content before and after publishing. First, always write content keeping your audience in mind and some of the concerns they have in your niche. Next, make sure your content is the ONLY one people need to read to find a complete solution. For example, start by researching problems in your niche then offering a complete solution using text, videos, images, and infographics.

Google, over the last year, has put a lot of emphasis on the “freshness” update in their algorithm. Going forward, Google will reward websites that regularly update their content because it enhances the user search experience. You should take advantage of this change and always update your content so you stay ahead of the trend. The more you update your content, the higher engagement you’ll notice through your readership. Great content is NOT created in one day and it takes time to publish something of value so keep your content fresh while making it as relevant as possible. You’ll know you have great content simply by the reaction of others.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!


By |June 30th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments

5 Ways You Can Use Facebook Groups to Benefit Your Blog

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5 Types of Facebook Groups for Bloggers

When you think of using Facebook for your blog, what comes to mind?

Declining organic reach? Pay to play? Sharing endless memes just to get engagement? Posting your latest blog post only to hear crickets?

But hang on, didn’t all the conversation move from our blog comments to Facebook? Well, yes, that’s where a lot of conversation is happening because that’s where a lot of our audience hangs out now, somewhere among the 1.28 billion people who login to Facebook daily to spend their (on average) 20 minutes.

3 days ago Facebook ticked over the major milestone of 2 billion monthly users, over half of whom use Facebook groups. That’s right, more than 1 billion people are using Facebook groups. That’s where the conversation and community is happening and it’s something you can easily create for your blog.

Here’s how you can move to where the conversation is and develop community for your blog in 5 different ways with Facebook groups.

1. Groups for your eCourse or other Education

One of the most common uses of Facebook groups by bloggers are ones set up to support a course or an event. Before Facebook, many bloggers used private forums on their blog, or used comments following the course content for any conversation with participants.

Now, most bloggers use Facebook to set up a group where their course participants can ask questions and support each other as they move through the course.

One of the main considerations is what to do when the course ends.

Do you close the group?

Do you step out and let the participants stay in touch and manage the group themselves?

Do you keep the group and add new intakes of course members to the same group?

The latter is a great way to manage a group for those courses that have a definitive start and end date with the blogger providing a lot of input during each course intake. In between intakes the blogger can pull back a bit and let the conversation be more self-sustaining.

This is how blogger Nicole Avery (also our productivity expert for ProBlogger) manages her Planned and Present course, which is great for members who may not have completed the course at the same pace as it was delivered. Nicole provides evergreen access to the course materials and having an ever active group of members means you can jump back in at any time for the support you need.

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An alternative is to close each group as the course ends, or move the members to more of a self-managed alumni group. Consider this if you feel like managing a group full time may burn you out.

For an evergreen course where people can join and start the course at any time, or for a free group like the ProBlogger Community which has an education focus, be prepared to be ‘on’ all the time. Having a structure and content plan for your group will help you manage it. As it grows you may need to consider asking moderators to help you as admins for the group.

2. Mastermind and Membership Groups

As bloggers we are usually flying solo, or working in virtual teams. Gone are the chats around the ‘office water cooler’ and Friday night office drinks. You can’t just stop by desk of a colleague or set up a brainstorming meeting in the boardroom.

In recent years, blogger masterminds meetups have become really popular – either as a component of an event like Chris Ducker’s Tropical Think Tank event (where Darren spoke a few years ago) or as events themselves. They give bloggers the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and use the collective experience at the table to help advance each member.

With the cost and logistics of getting together on a regular basis being a barrier, many masterminds are now organised online through the use of regular group video calls like Skype or Google Hangout. A Facebook group is a great way to organise the group and provide opportunity for interaction between mastermind sessions. I’m part of a small self-organised mastermind group of bloggers that has started using a Facebook group to supplement our regular calls. It’s far more interactive than contacting each other via email.

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Another type of Mastermind group that works well, without the structure of video meetings, is a larger collection of members who pay to be part of the group. A good example of this is Dan Norris’ Mastermind Group (above) which started as the 7 Day Start Up group. Dan initially started a free public group, which grew quickly and became very busy. Dan then offered a smaller group which members could join for an annual fee. This has resulted in a group of quality members with a breadth of experience who are there to learn from and help each other. The difference is that they have skin in the game, they’ve paid to be there and are not just dropping in and out to promote themselves or solicit.

3. Create a Support/Community Group for your Readers

Blogging Facebook groups don’t have to be about blogging and for bloggers. This type of group is less about you and more about your audience. Starting a group for your subscribers or readers helps to bring the conversation back to your own turf. When comments started migrating from our blogs to Facebook posts (which quickly disappear into your feed history), many bloggers mourned that shift. Conversation was fleeting, and if you looked at the blog it didn’t look like there was a community anymore.

A Facebook group for your readers creates a new home for conversation, and as a closed group, often a more honest and transparent interaction both with your readers and between them. When the Facebook algorithm reduced organic reach of pages, many bloggers started groups as a way to promote their posts and salvage traffic to their blogs.

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Stacey Roberts of Veggie Mama started her group thinking it might fill the gap of falling organic reach, but it evolved into something much better. The Veggie Mama Gang is less about her blog and more about her readers supporting, entertaining and generally hanging out with each other. Sure, the talk occasionally reverts to recipes, but it has become so much more than that. For Stacey it has allowed her to get to know her readers in a much more real way, and she enjoys the connections being made between readers too – a hallmark of great community.

Stacey doesn’t actively promote the group – it’s a secret group which her readers can join by emailing her.

4. Groups for Reader Feedback

Closely related to a community group for your blog, is a group with a more specific brief. One that helps you garner feedback from your readers on something you are creating. Kelly Exeter from A Life Less Frantic has used Facebook groups to help her write her books.

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Kelly Exeter is currently working on her fourth book, Overthinkers Anonymous. This group is for fellow overthinkers (she is one too) who are interested in the interesting things she turns up during the researching for and writing of the book.

Kelly invite her regular readers to join the group and provide feedback on things like concepts that she’s trying to articulate through to preferences for book cover artwork. It’s a great collaboration and her readers feel a part of the development of the book, and therefore the final product. It’s both crowdsourcing and marketing perfection – creating something based on what people actually want and is relevant to them.

Similarly, you could create a group to invite readers to be beta-testers of a new course you are creating, or to discuss ideas for posts that you can write for the blog. There really is no limit on what you could ask your community for feedback on. At the end of the day, involving them in the process is the most valuable part.

5. Groups to Grow your List

Back in the day, your blog was where people discovered you, either via a search, social media or a referral from a friend. These days the way someone first discovers you is just as likely to be a Facebook group. When someone finds a community they feel a part of, they’re more likely to invite others to join. With the bonus of Facebook suggesting groups to other friends, a Facebook group is a great way to curate potential subscribers to your blog and email list.

Jill and Josh Stanton from Screw the Nine to Five use their Facebook group as the top of their funnel. Instead of driving people to sign up to their email list, Jill and Josh actively promote their group. You can see here on Twitter where they’ve created a domain which is forwarded to their Facebook group.

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Their rationale is that you’re more likely to warm up to them and what they offer in a group, as part of an evident community, than being solely on the receiving end of an autoresponder email series. The next step is to earn your email address, once you’re already warmed up and engaged with them in the group. You can learn more about how they’ve done this via this great interview with Natalie Sisson.

 

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Nikki Parkinson from Styling You also uses a group to grow her community and facilitate her popular #everydaystyle challenges. Whilst you can join it directly via the Groups button on her Facebook page, she also uses the group as an opt-in for her email list. If you stumble on her group you’ll be prompted to sign up to her email list via one of the questions available to group admins when people request to join.

Both the Screw the Nine to Five and Styling You Everyday Style Community pages are sizeable, thriving communities. Darren interviewed Nikki on the podcast recently where she revealed there is a comment every 5 seconds in the group and she has 3 personal assistants moderating and managing the group. The Screw the Nine to Five group has grown to over 45,000 members and has become so noisy that Jill felt it ‘lost the magic’ because of people using it as a platform for their own self promotion, rants and research. So Jill and Josh are closing their group and starting a new one on July 1.

One of the biggest issues for them was the amount of “admin time required to delete all of the ‘bullsh*t’ posts” (Jill is quite sweary!). So, if you’re considering a larger group that isn’t gated by purchasing a product or course, then you will want to ensure you have firm rules and expectations set about how you want the group to run. You can check out the new rules Jill has put in place for their new group here. Facebook has also announced new tools for admins to manage their groups, including Group analytics, membership request filtering, removed member clean-up, scheduled posts and group-to-group linking.

So, are you ready to start a group for your blog? What type? Maybe you already have a group? Tell us about it in the comments below.

The post 5 Ways You Can Use Facebook Groups to Benefit Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.

      


By |June 29th, 2017|Commercial|0 Comments