Political Palm Cards – What are they?

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Political Palm Cards: Empowering Politicians to Press the Flesh in a Memorable Way in 2020

Both sides claim they are under attack by “fake news”. The digital silos we live in are reinforcing our pre-conceived notions instead of informing us. So, politicians are going old-school with political palm cards.

What is a political palm card?

A political palm card is essentially a business card designed for politicians and activists to hand out to people they meet. You’ll find that political campaign palm cards are slightly wider than an average business card. This provides more space for campaigns to insert their messaging.

The palm card printing business is booming right now.

I first learned about this growing trend from a friend who handles order processing for a national printing company. She showed me a few of the more popular palm card designs. She said her small printing company was surprised when the palm card printing orders came flying in last year.

Her printing shop is expecting a flurry of orders in the next election cycle as politicians look for ways to make their time spent with the electorate more memorable and impactful.

Political Palm Card Examples

Here’s what you can expect to receive the next time someone stops to shake your hand and tell you how they can better represent you in government. Election palm cards come in many shapes and sizes, so they probably won’t easily fit in your wallet. Political campaigns don’t want their message getting lost behind your credit cards. 

Political Palm Card Examples

Some politicians choose a palm card design that features their head shot, a slogan and a blurb that summarizes their key campaign promises.

Others add a QR code to their political palm cards that takes readers to a campaign video like this one that went viral today:

Key Palm Card Design Elements

UV Coating Many political palm cards end up in a voter’s car. Extended exposure to the sun can fade cards – preventing voters from reading your message when they pick them up later. UV coated palm cards are resistant to fading.

Writable Side Many politicians and activists take the opportunity to add specific web addresses, social media tags and phone numbers for future reference based on their conversation with the recipient. It’s best to order campaign palm cards that have a backside that can be easily written on.

If you’re a political junkie like me, you’re now fully up-to-date on this new trend in offline politicking. For online marketing strategies, I recommend reading my post on Social Grow. If you have questions or comments, don’t forget to leave them in the section below!

How to Update Your Computer for Maximum Performance

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How to Update Your Computer for Maximum Performance

Learning how to update your computer is an important skill if you want to enjoy everything your computer is capable of. Keeping your device updated ensures that you are running the most secure version of your operating system.

I recently published an Apple computer vs Windows 10 comparison based on my extensive experience using both platforms.

No matter which device you prefer, keeping them updated is key. Keep reading for easy to follow instructions for updating both Apple and Microsoft Operating Systems. I promise, this isn’t difficult and it makes all the difference in the world.

How do you update your windows computer?

For the 90 people that search “How do you update your windows computer?” on Google every month, this section is for you. If you have an iMac, Macbook Pro or Macbook Air, scroll down to the next section of this computer update tutorial.

  1. Open the Windows 10 Start Menu

Windows 10 Logo - Update Your Computer

Click on the Windows Logo at the bottom-left of your screen to open the Windows 10 Start Menu. The Windows Logo looks like a small group of four flags waiving. Alternatively, you can press the Windows Logo key on your keyboard to open the Windows 10 Start Menu.

  1. Launch Windows Update

Open Windows Update in Windows 10 Start Menu

Type “Update” using your keyboard. Click “Check for updates”.

  1. Check for New Updates from Microsoft

Check for updates - Update Windows 10 PC

Even if you see the message “You’re up to date”, make sure you click on “Check for updates”. If it finishes checking and still says “You’re up to date”, your computer does not require an update from Microsoft.

If your computer does download and install updates, restart your computer once the process is complete (it may do this automatically). When the computer turns back on, complete these steps again. Many Windows 10 Updates will only become available if their prerequisite updates are already installed.

Run CCleaner for Windows 10 (Free)

CCleaner for Windows 10 is a free program that cleans up cached files, removes cookies and fixes Windows registry errors. In my opinion you do not need to upgrade to the paid version.

Running CCleaner for Windows 10 is kind of like changing the oil in your car. Removing cached files (pre-loaded versions of the webpages you visit) can recover valuable hard drive space. Fixing Windows registry issues (the record of where your books are on the shelf) helps your computer more efficiently run commands. And removing cookies (tracking files left behind by websites you visit) help enhance your personal privacy on the web.

Install CCleaner for Windows 10

Run “Easy Clean” – CCleaner for Windows 10

Easy Clean - CCleaner Windows 10

Click on “Easy Clean”. Then click on “Analyze”.  If you’re asked to close running applications, click on “Close All”.

Next you’ll be told how many “Trackers” (Cookies) and “Junk Files” (Cached Content) they’ve identified. Click “Clean All” to improve the speed of your Windows 10 PC.

Clean the Registry of Your Windows 10 PC with CCleaner

Fix Windows 10 Registry Errors - CCleaner for Windows 10

Remember, the “Registry” of your Windows 10 computer is a record of where every file is located on your hard drive. This is just like the way books are organized in your local library.

When files are deleted or moved, sometimes old Registry entries remain. This means that the librarian has to search multiple locations for a file that may or may not be there. It really slows things down.

CCleaner for Windows 10 will scan your registry and delete inaccurate entires – allowing your computer to get right to the files it needs when you click on something.

Okay, that’s it for Windows. Next I’ll cover how to update your Apple computer.

How to update your computer (mac).

If you Googled “How to update your computer mac”, you aren’t alone. Apple has made it very easy to keep your MacBook, iMac and MacBook Pro computer running the latest version of Mac OS.

  1. Click on the Apple Logo in the top-left corner of your screen (drops down).

Apple Logo to Update Computer (Mac)

  1. Click “About This Mac”

About This Mac - Update Computer (Mac)

  1. Click “Software Update”

macOS Software Update Button

Yep, it really is that simple. The Apple update window will tell you if your computer has the latest version (macOS Catalina Version 10.15.1 as of this publication).

I recommend ticking the box next to “Automatically keep my Mac up to date.” When a macOS update is released by Apple it will automatically download in the background. A notification in the upper-right corner will alert you when it’s ready to install the latest update on your computer.

How to install and run CCleaner for Mac (Free).

Another good step to keep your MacBook, iMac or MacBook Air from slowing down: Install and run the free version of CCleaner for Mac.

Free CCleaner for Mac - Update Computer (Mac)

I try to remember to run the cleaner once a month, but if you forget it’s not the end of the world.

Run Cleaner to Speed Up Computer (Mac)

The cleaning process identifies and removes files that have been created to help webpages and other services load faster. These types of files are called “cache”. They are quickly regenerated when you visit a website or run a process on your computer. Over time your cache will explode in size – eating up valuable hard drive space. Think of this step as an oil change for your computer. The fewer excess files your hard drive has to fight through in order to get what it needs, the faster your computer will function.

Have a question about updating your Apple or Windows computer?

Leave a comment below if you run into trouble. I’ll receive an email alert and provide the best answer I can. Maybe someone else has the same question, so don’t be shy!

Mac vs Windows: Everything You Need to Know

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Mac vs Windows - Everything You Need to Know

Considering the switch between Mac and Windows? You’re not alone. As many as 1 in 4 Windows users plan to jump ship to a Mac in the near future. But Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, publicly admits that Windows 10 remains ten times more popular than Mac OS. Right now the OS war is heating up and you might be tempted to switch teams.

Let me help you figure out the pros and cons so you can make a fully-informed decision. I personally use a 2019 Macbook Pro for work and an HP Omen gaming desktop for fun. I’ve previously built multiple custom windows rigs. If you ask my parents and grandparents, I’m their go-to tech guru, so you can trust me too!

Windows 10 vs Mac OS Catalina

As I write this article, Statista provides a near real-time Windows vs Mac marketshare report: 77.6% of computers run Windows and 13.17% of computers run Mac OS X.  Apple has kicked Windows out of the mobile arena, but Microsoft is maintaining PC dominance.

Most tech writers agree that Windows 10 brought Microsoft toe-to-toe with Apple in the OS software war. But software is just one piece of the puzzle. We’ll go more into hardware in a second.

Brick Wall with Windows 10 Logo

Windows 10 Pros (Software)

  • Compatibility with broad selection of legacy enterprise applications.
  • Strong Office 365, Onedrive and Skype integration.
  • Huge selection of games and enthusiast entertainment.
  • Popular with Fortune 500s – modern workforce needs to be familiar with it.
  • Support for touch-screens and Windows Hello (Facial Recognition Unlock)
  • “Pick Up Where I Left Off” – Easily get back to previously open files and applications with a comprehensive timeline.
  • Far more opportunities for end-users to customize and personalize their experience.

Windows 10 Cons (Software)

  • Huge code overhead to preserve legacy compatibility.
  • Major privacy concerns.
  • More vulnerable to viruses and malware.
  • Can’t easily respond to text messages and phone calls.
  • Windows updates regularly cripple systems.
  • Inconsistent experience based on which computer you purchase.
  • Far more phone calls for tech support from my parents and grandparents (admittedly anecdotal).
  • The Windows app store falls flat.
  • Most system manufacturers install a truckload of bloatware out of the box.

 

Apple Mac Desktop

Mac OS Pros (Software)

  • Slick integration between iOS (iPads and iPhones) and Macs (Easily answer texts and calls, for example.)
  • Relatively less susceptible to viruses (Most viruses are coded for Windows.)
  • Apple’s stellar customer support experience.
  • More energy-efficient OS means that your battery lasts longer. (When comparing, remember to take battery capacity into account.)
  • Killer mouse gestures that always work as expected.
  • Intuitive interface for users unfamiliar with technology.
  • Having software and hardware developed / controlled by the same team delivers a better user-experience.
  • iTunes, iMessage, Facetime and Apple TV+ integration.

Mac OS Cons (Software)

  • If Apple doesn’t want you to do something with your machine, good luck.
  • Lack of touch-screen or pen support.
  • Siri is Artificial Un-Intellgence compared to Alexa, Google and Cortana
  • Very limited virtual reality (VR) support.

Internal Computer Hardware

Mac OS vs Windows Hardware

Mac OS vs Windows laptop and desktop debates are incomplete without an honest look at their drastically different approach to hardware. Apple has a strong track-record of releasing extremely sophisticated and polished hardware, even if the classic Macbook’s style is growing stale. Microsoft has entered the hardware arena, but they’ve maintained their OS licensing deals with an endless list of PC manufacturers. There are clear pros and cons to opening the garden up to everyone, versus walling it off.

Mac OS Hardware Pros and Cons

  • Hands-down the best laptop trackpad experience on planet earth.
  • OS is perfectly married to the hardware.
  • Incredible screen resolution and color-calibration.
  • Less powerful hardware than similarly priced windows PCs.
  • Stuck with shiny, glare-stricken screens.
  • Inconsistent keyboard experience.
  • Macbook Pro Touch Bar is neat but takes getting used to and sacrifices critical function keys.
  • Dongle-gate: You’re going to need an adapter to plug-in something that isn’t USB-C.

Windows OS Hardware Pros and Cons

  • Endless combinations from a variety of hardware manufacturers.
  • Purchase a Windows License Key and build your own system to meet your needs.
  • Serious gaming hardware configurations.
  • XBOX Gaming Controller compatibility.
  • Many PC manufacturers cut corners in ways that aren’t obvious when shopping for a PC. (i.e. cheap components and generic drivers)

Bottom-Line: Mac vs Windows 10

When a friend or family member asks me whether they should save money by purchasing a Windows PC or spend a little more on a Mac, here’s what I tell them:

If you aren’t interested in gaming and you’re looking for a hassle-free user experience, go with a Mac. If you are willing to deal with a few extra tech headaches here and there, you want to game with your friends and you want to use the world’s most popular OS, go with a Windows PC.

Of course, in my case, I use both. I’m a geek and enjoy the latest and greatest tech. I run X-Plane 11 on my windows gaming rig, but spend my workday on my Macbook pro. I love them both for different reasons. Hopefully, this unbiased and open-minded review helps you make your next computer purchase!

Understanding How Sleep Impacts Entrepreneurs

Sleep Cycle Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week in order to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else. It’s a crazy bargain, but entrepreneurs do gain more freedom and control over their destiny in life.

Sleep Cycle Entrepreneur
Pixabay

So, if you’re working 80+ hours a week – dealing with stress as an entrepreneur – how does sleep impact you?

Quite frankly, I chose this topic because my sleep cycle has been all over the place the past few weeks. Working as a freelance writer gives me the freedom to work during the hours I feel most productive. And, as a natural night owl, that means writing until the first glimmers of morning sun hit my desk.

But the demands of life change. Missing morning and afternoon messages from clients can be a challenge. Being awake while friends and family are sleeping also hurts your ability to achieve some semblance of work/life balance. So, I find myself in a constant push and pull between working late and waking up early. Only one can win in the end.

Night Owls vs. Early Birds – Who wins the battle for increased productivity?

If you interview Fortune 500 CEOs, you’ll have a hard time finding one that isn’t up at the crack of dawn. Sir Richard Branson, for example, has an infamous sleep regimen. He prioritizes healthy sleeping habits that allow him to reliably get 5-6 hours of rest. What’s interesting is that he utilizes a strict nighttime and morning routine.

He argues that having a consistent pattern at the start and end of everyday allows for him to be most productive. He also emphasizes the importance of making dinner an opportunity to gather with thought-leaders and toss around ideas for improving how Virgin operates.

Since he’s up at 5am, that places him in the early-bird category. But that doesn’t mean you have to be an early riser in order to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Are night owls more intelligent?

There is some evidence to suggest that your natural sleep cycle
could have something to do with your intelligence. The London School of
Economics
commissioned a study to better understand the link between
intelligence and your sleep cycle.

The study involved more than 20,000 adolescents from a variety of schools across the United Kingdom. They were given an IQ test at a young age. Then, five years later, they were interviewed regarding their sleeping habits.

Even when you factor in demographical variances, the night owls consistently scored higher on IQ tests.

Anecdotally, I’ve found that the vast majority of full-time freelancers that I’ve worked with are night owls. And the vast majority of corporate clients are early risers.

But you need more than intelligence as an entrepreneur. A hard-working, driven entrepreneur will outperform a smarter entrepreneur with poor work-ethic every day of the week.

Embrace your natural sleep cycle whenever you can.

I think a fair conclusion is that we adapt to what we need to accomplish. For a corporate executive at a Fortune 500, you’re going to finely tune your sleep cycle to allow you to be awake when the rest of your team is operating. Being the first in and the last out of your office is one way to differentiate yourself from your peers and improve your chances of being recognized, promoted and better compensated.

I’ve worked in retail sales. I could push for shifts later in the day, but if I was on the schedule, I was on the schedule.

One of the reasons I’ve embraced the freelance, digital nomad lifestyle is that I’m free to work when I choose to. I’m able to stay up until I’m tired, and sleep in until I feel well-rested.

This means my sleep cycle is constantly shifting. But it also means that I’m better able to listen to my body’s needs.

I think the jury is still out on whether it’s best to be a night owl or an early bird. There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs that like to work into the early morning hours and sleep into the early afternoon. And there are endless Fortune 500 CEOs that treat their sleep cycle as a fundamental building-block for maximizing personal effectiveness in their management of complex organizations.

The key is to find what works best for you. Every job is different. If you can embrace a career that supports your natural sleep cycle, I think you’ll be happier and more productive. But I can only offer that opinion on the basis of personal experience.

Social Grow is How Big Brands Generate Digital Relationships with Consumers

Social Grow

Social Grow is a trendy marketing term thrown around by hip marketing executives in the boardroom. Social Growth is so two-thousand and late. Social Grow is rising in popularity because it encapsulates the constantly evolving world of social media marketing – it sounds more like an action than a boring analytical term.

Are you looking for a way to boost your brand’s social grow? Do you need to connect with consumers in the same way that influencers build digital relationships with their audience? You’re in the right place. Let’s dive deeper.

Social Grow – The Platform

I’d briefly like to point out the Instagram marketing agency that has built a brand around Social Grow. They offer monthly packages and promise to help you become instafamous. I have not personally used their service, but they have more than a few verifiable testimonials and offer a money-back guarantee.

From the outside looking in, it appears that they use their algorithms to promote your Instagram account to real users that follow Instagram profiles that are similar to yours. Although their pricing seems really, really low for a “24/7 managed” service. So, if you do give them a try, you do so at your own risk.

They aren’t the focus of this article, but I wanted to acknowledge that some of you reading this might be looking for information about them. So, now that we have that out of the way, let’s dive into some strategies you can deploy to grow your social media audience.

Social Grow Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

Let’s start with the basics. At minimum, your brand should have a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Leverage your logo to create custom-sized profile icons that fit the requirements for each social media site. Don’t just upload generically sized icons. It’ll look sloppy.

Here are the recommended icons sizes for each social media platform:

  • Facebook Icon Size: Square 720px by 720px or 960px by 960px
  • Facebook Cover Photo Dimensions: 851px by 315px
  • Instagram Image Size: 1080 px by 566 to 1350 px
  • LinkedIn Image Size: 522px by 368px
  • Twitter Image Size: 506px by 253px

Social Grow is a Way of Life for Successful Digital Brands

Social media is a medium that is evolving and shifting 24 hours a day. As a result of the constant barrage of digital content hitting our screens, the modern human has an attention span of just eight secondswe’re being outdone by goldfish.

If you want to connect with an audience on social media, you have to make it part of your daily life. You can’t post three to five times a week and leave everything else on autopilot. It’s probably a good idea to assign the role of Social Media Manager to someone in your organization. Stretched too thin? Hire a Social Media Manager.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that we’ll see 22,900 new Public Relations Specialists between 2016 and 2026. A significant chunk of these new jobs will involve managing the social media presence of domestic and international brands.

A Social Media Manager is responsible for delivering social media grow for your brand by:

  1. Crafting a comprehensive social media calendar that outlines which topics will be discussed and when. This creates a timeline for digital collateral to be produced to support your social media initiatives.
  2. Engaging with consumers that engage with your posts and send direct / private messages to your social media accounts. Your ability to appear in your target audience’s news feed is tied, in part, to how quickly you respond to inbound messages on social media.
  3. Monitoring your competition for opportunities to outperform them on social media.

Leverage Personalization and an Authentic Connection to Boost Social Grow

For entrepreneurs, building a company from scratch can feel like a reenactment of David vs. Goliath. You’re competing for consumer attention with Fortune 500s, other startups and current events. The way that you punch through the noise is by offering a personal connection between your brand and your audience.

Forget the stuffy, corporate marketing campaigns of yesterday. You need to put yourself out there. Nine out of the top ten Twitter accounts represent individuals. On social media, authenticity outshines corporate spin everyday of the week.

Social media giants like Facebook know this. That’s why Facebook, in response to a string of scandals, is shifting attention to the personal connections between friends and families on their network. [Video Below]

Need help getting your social grow mojo on? Here are some tips for leveraging a personal, authentic connection to grow your social media properties:

  1. Clearly share your vision for the future of your brand. Who are you? Why should someone else care? How are you going to achieve your vision? Answer these questions in a quick video that you post across your social media profiles.
  2. Engage with commenters. Ask them for their opinions and thoughts.
  3. Document your journey with at least a post or two each week covering your progress towards your goals. This should be in addition to the other posts your Social Media Manager is posting, in accordance with your social media calendar.
  4. Find ways to highlight your customers. If you’re an early-stage startup, this is super important. Encourage your early customers to send in videos of them using your product. Offer discounts on future purchases in return for their submissions.

If you can find a way to turn your customer base into a tribe of loyal social media followers, you’ve made a ton of progress towards building an authentic social media presence.

You can leverage the fact that you’re a small team of dedicated enthusiasts in the early days of your launch. Showcase your enthusiasm. It might be scary to let down the stuffy, corporate curtain. But your social grow depends on it.

How to Secure Your Digital Identity Following the Latest Facebook Data Breach

Over the past 24 hours social media and tech sites have been inundated with reaction to last week’s Facebook data breach. The digital shrieking started after Friday’s announcement that nearly 50 million Facebook accounts were recently breached. Hackers leveraged vulnerabilities in new features that Facebook rolled-out in response to the prior Cambridge Analytica data collection scandal.

For Facebook, this is a PR nightmare. But that’s their problem. I’m more worried about how this impacts me and the millions of other Facebook users.

If you have a Facebook account, you might be asking yourself, “What steps can I take to secure my Facebook account and prevent unauthorized access to all of the other tools, programs and services that let me use my Facebook account to login?

Keep reading to learn how you can minimize the damage to your digital identity following the latest Facebook hack…

Change Your Facebook Password

This should be obvious, but this is the internet. I’m not taking anything for granted. Facebook stated that they forcefully logged 90 million of their users out of their accounts in an effort to minimize the damage from this breach.

Regardless of whether or not you were logged out, it’s time to change your password. Here are step by step instructions to reset your Facebook account password:

  1. Login to your Facebook account on your computer.
  2. Click on the dropdown arrow in the upper-right hand corner of your screen.
    Reset Facebook Password
  3. In the menu that appears, click “Settings”.
    Facebook Settings
  4. On the left side menu, click “Security and Login”. Scroll down to “Change Password” and click “Edit”.
    Facebook Password Security

Oh, and before I forget – PLEASE USE A RANDOMLY GENERATED PASSWORD!!!

I personally use Keeper Security to generate and store hyper-secure passwords and sync that information across all of my devices. Other solid alternatives include LastPass and RoboForm.

Create a List of the Places where You use Facebook to Login

Facebook makes it easy to login to your favorite services – from Spotify to Instagram – by entering your Facebook account details. Remembering a single username and password is convenient, but it’s no longer a secure option.

Facebook has proven, time and again, that they cannot be trusted with your digital keychain. Their data privacy policies have been criticized in Congressional hearings, and their growing track record of breaches should concern anyone that relies on Facebook to login to other sites online.

It’s time to brainstorm a list of all the places you use Facebook to login. Once you have your list, it’s time to set unique usernames and passwords for those services by unlinking your Facebook account.

The steps required to complete this will vary, but you can usually find an option in the “User Profile” or “Account Settings” area of the services you wish to update.

In conclusion, there are two key steps you can take after Facebook’s data breach. First, reset your Facebook password. Next, opt-out of using Facebook to login to third-party services. If/when Facebook is breached again, you do not want your other data at risk.

Hopefully this helps! If you need any additional help, feel free to comment below.

6 Stress Killing Strategies

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stress can be toxic. If you’re suffering through a financial difficulty or a personal loss, it’s important to remember that in this moment you are in control. You can’t change what happened, but you can change how you respond to it. You choose what you focus on, how you react and what you communicate.

Here are the steps you can take to take control and begin recovering from a major setback:

1. Start thinking on paper

Your brain is rattled. During a stressful time, it can be difficult to focus and set priorities. Do you feel like you’re running around in circles? The best thing you can do is pause. Tony Robbins once said, “When you get in your head, you’re dead.”

Instead of trying to keep everything bottled up in your head, let your thought process out. Create a visual representation of what you need to think through. All you need is a pen and paper, or even a laptop with Notepad, Google Docs or Microsoft Word.

If you’d like a head start, use my Destress Sheet. This Word document can be downloaded and saved in your own storage location of choice. I recommend using Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive so that you have access to this document on every device you use.

Once you’ve filled out your Destress Sheet, you should start to feel the heaviness of the situation become lighter. Your brain isn’t jumping from emotional state to emotional state. You’ve engaged the action-centered part of your brain, minimizing emotion and engaging your logical capacity.

You can take the sheet a step further by breaking down the specific steps you need to complete for each action item. This allows you to create a visual representation of your needs. Having the ability to quickly review and make changes to your Destress Sheet will serve as an anchor during a stressful time where you might feel you’re being pulled in too many directions at once.

2. Feed your mind during short breaks.

The best thing you can do is give your brain the right kind of influence during downtime. If I’m about to face a particularly stressful day ahead, I pull up YouTube and find a 20-30 minute motivational montage. These compilations include speeches from business leaders, professors and motivational speakers.

Here are some of my favorites:

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, one of the best things you can do is unplug and recenter. For some people, meditation is the answer. For me, I find a space where I can be alone. Maybe I’ll do the dishes or throw the ball outside with the dogs. In the background, one of these videos is playing on my smartphone. This enables me to come back to a difficult task with a fresh mind and the right mindset.

3. Stress is reduced when you keep track of your time.

Have you ever noticed how time flies when you’re having fun, but seems to almost stand still when you’re working on something you don’t enjoy doing? It’s important to keep things in perspective – and part of that is knowing exactly how much time we’ve spent working on something. It might feel like I’ve been working for hours and need a break, but a quick glance at the clock can remind me that it’s only been 45 minutes, and I can definitely keep going.

I use a program called Toggl. This free tool allows me to keep track of what I’m working on, and how much time it’s taking. It’s really handy if you need to send out invoices based on time. But, anyone can use it to keep time in perspective – empowering you to keep pushing and keep mental fatigue at bay.

4. Go for a walk to reduce stress.

Exercise is a well-documented tool for reducing stress. Even a 15 minute walk in the middle of the day can boost mental energy, enhance focus and improve your mood. Steve Jobs was infamous for his walking meetings – it was his favorite way to think through complex problems.

We spend so much time sitting, that medical researchers claim that sitting is the new smoking. Our bodies were meant to go out and forage for food – and I’m not talking about the 11 steps from the couch to the fridge. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air. You’ll return to your project with a fresh perspective and a better mood.

5.  Chart progress towards a clearly defined goal.

The struggle is real. You deserve credit for all of the hard work you’re doing, especially when you’re experiencing stress. The best way to give yourself credit is to track your progress. You don’t need a fancy excel spreadsheet. All you have to do is decide what your goal is, and measure your progress towards that goal everyday.

Here are some things you could choose to track:

  • The number of minutes spent attacking your goal.
  • Word count for projects involving a lot of writing.
  • The number of deliverables processed in a given time-period.
  • The amount of billable revenue generated as a result of your efforts.
  • The number of things marked off of your list.

The most important thing is that you keep making progress. Keep Martin Luther King Jr.’s words in mind.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

If you’d like to set your desktop background / wallpaper to this inspirational quote, you can find a few great options here.

6. Find someone you can trust and share with them.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, one of the best steps you can take is talking to someone. Sharing allows you to unpack some of the drama and gain an outsider’s perspective. But be careful. Sharing with the wrong person can cause problems. This should be a trusted family member or a closes friend. The information you’re sharing could be really hurtful if it got into the wrong hands.

Amazing things happen when you share. Your stress level will go down. And the relationship with the person you’re sharing with will begin to evolve. The more genuine you are, the more someone is willing to invest in a relationship with you. Trusting in the right person can mean all the difference in the world.

And the world is a happier place when you have friends and family you can count on. Don’t forget to nurture these relationships. They represent a safety net that can help you when you’re struggling. It’s the type of medicine that money can’t buy.

Pearls of Wisdom

Getting through life’s toughest battles is HARD. But, through pain you will grow. Adversity will either shape you into a more resilient person, or knock you on your ass. If you’re struggling through a difficult chapter in life, keep some of these truths in mind. They’ve gotten me through some pretty difficult chapters, and it’s funny how accurate they are.

  1. You’re either moving forward or moving backward in life.
  2. The things you mentally focus on will define your future.
  3. There is no substitute for taking action. All of the planning in the world can’t replace action.
  4. Things will almost always take longer and cost more than you think. Plan accordingly.
  5. Human relationships are one of the most valuable assets we have, yet they don’t show up on a balance sheet.
  6. Debt is a tool that can kill your dreams. Be careful.
  7. Social media is a fake world. Don’t be fooled by someone else’s highlight reel. They’re experiencing shit too.
  8. Nine times out of ten, the person holding you back is looking back at you in the mirror.
  9. Don’t limit yourself. Push and push until something external holds you back. You’ll be surprised at how far you can go if you just stop asking for permission.
  10. That little voice in the back of your head is usually right. Don’t ignore intuition.
  11. Live on a written budget. When you control your money, you control your destiny.
  12. Admit when you are wrong. Be open to other people’s thinking. Give credit where credit is due. Ego is fatal.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful. Whether you’re an entrepreneur struggling to overcome an obstacle, or dealing with the loss of a loved one, you are in control of how you react to the situation. Take personal responsibility and own your reaction.

 

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

With shows like Shark Tank and The Profit, entrepreneurship is more popular than ever. But what is an entrepreneur? Is a Lyft driver an entrepreneur? What about a contractor that helps homeowners keep thing in working order? Could a hardworking corporate leader be called an entrepreneur?

What is an entrepreneur?

Merriam Webster defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.”

Here’s my super simple definition of entrepreneurship:

“An entrepreneur bucks the system and carves their own path to achieve their goals in life.”

I’ve purposely kept my definition for the word “entrepreneur” open-ended. Which goals are you achieving? What is the system? How do you carve out your own path?

There’s even a type of entrepreneur that risks everything in order to solve social problems and make the world a better place. This type of individual is called a “social entrepreneur”.

The end-goal doesn’t have to be financial gain, but it does need to be a meaningful goal that involves creative efforts to solve problems and build a sustainable organization. Entrepreneurs and business owners take great risks to accomplish their goals – far from the air conditioned comfort of a corporate cubicle farm.

Usually an entrepreneur is chasing a financial goal. Still, the best entrepreneurs have a mission that goes far beyond financial success. Steve Jobs said it best, “…You have to have a lot of passion for what you do…because it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up.”

In other words, the amount of bullshit that you have to fight on a daily basis as part of an entrepreneurial venture is ridiculous. This is on top of choosing to be someone that assumes the risk of providing for the financial security of employees and their families.

Assuming Risks Instead of Enjoying the Safety of Mediocrity

The reason people stay in systems that provide a safety net instead of choosing to start a small business is because a lot of the bullshit is deflected or spread around the organization – your HR department handles your benefits enrollment, the company provides a pension or 401(k) to help you plan for retirement, the customer service department deals with crazy customers. The list of bullshit goes on, and on, and on – killing even the best business idea in its tracks.

Entrepreneurs (oftentimes called a business owner) break loose from the system because, while it provides more safety and security, there are also guardrails that keep you on the path that the system deems most productive. If you’re working in product development and a customer gives you invaluable feedback, you probably can’t offer that customer a voucher for free services without getting approval from a manager. If a co-worker screws up and causes a bunch of extra work for everyone else, or treats a customer poorly, you probably can’t just get up and terminate their employment. In fact, you might even be limited in the coaching that you can provide.

I witnessed this kind of situation time and again when I worked at Fortune 500 companies, serving as a cog in the machine. My relationship with customers and co-workers was dictated by the man. Entrepreneurs are willing to give up the insulated security of a 9-5 job in return for the freedom to operate as they see fit, grinding to bring their own product or service to the market.

But remember, when you are your own boss, you are also the only one to blame when things go sideways. The freedom to choose is also freedom to fail, or succeed. Over 75% of startups fail. Entrepreneurs have to be able to white-knuckle their way through the roller coaster ride. You can secure your largest contract and get hit with a kidney stone in the same week. Painkillers are out because they cloud your judgement. So, suck up the pain and get back to work. Or, tell your new client that you’re too sick to work. Both are pretty awful options.

When things hit the fan, a serial entrepreneur takes their licks and finds a new way to apply their unique skills and experience. The journey is never-ending for those that have tasted entrepreneurial freedom and refuse to turn back.

In the image above, you can see a visual representation of a successful entrepreneur’s life-cycle. It’s a bumpy ride. And sadly, so many would-be successful entrepreneurs give up before experiencing their breakthrough.

Do you have to be rich in order to be an entrepreneur?

What is an entrepreneur? Do you need boatloads of cash? Money is a wonderful tool. It can also be a heavy burden. You do not need money in order to be an entrepreneur. You need to be resourceful and self-sufficient. If you can get things done, find solutions to complex problems and keep pushing forward, you can be an entrepreneur.

Many entrepreneurs are wealthy. This is because they’ve experienced success in their career. Having financial resources at your disposal can make the entrepreneurial journey much easier. But having money does not guarantee success. In fact, too much money can lead you to outsource too much and lose control of your project. Entrepreneurs need to be heavily engaged in their startup. Your fingerprint should be on everything that you do, even if you need to bring in experts to help you move more quickly and avoid common pitfalls.

I’ve personally worked with someone that proudly claimed the title of “entrepreneur”. They put it everywhere – on their social media profiles, on PR releases and even a bumper sticker on their car. This individual had come into a multi-million dollar inheritance in their mid-twenties. It was an exciting time. They pulled me in with their enthusiasm. And because of my naivety, it took me a long time to realize this person wasn’t an entrepreneur. They were just someone with too much money and not enough life experience. Shortly after I exited the project, this person was broke and looking for a place to stay after being evicted from their luxury apartment.

Entrepreneurs don’t need money or big-shot connections. These things can help, but they can also rob you of the hard-earned experience you need in order to succeed in the long-term. If you hire and leverage connections in order to build something, your project will die as soon as your money runs out. Self-sufficient individuals with the tenacity to find creative solutions to the challenges they encounter are the entrepreneurs that survive the roller coaster.

Freelancing is a great way to slide into the world of entrepreneurship.

Some of the most impactful and successful entrepreneurs I know started with a side-hustle. They had a 9-5, or they were pursuing higher-education when they decided to dip their toe in the water. They leveraged a skill or talent and found people willing to pay them for their time. Sites like UpWork and Fiverr are excellent marketplaces to start. If technology really isn’t your thing, TaskRabbit is a cool offline marketplace where you can connect with people in your neighborhood that need help with offline tasks.

The really important takeaway is that you need to start taking action. You don’t need a business plan, although it will help you organize your thinking. You don’t need a business license, although talking to a lawyer and understanding how to legally protect yourself isn’t a bad idea. And you absolutely do not need someone’s permission to try something. We grow up in a system that tells us how we scored on the test, what grade we’re in and what prerequisites we need in order to take the classes we are actually interested in.

Entrepreneurs don’t ask for permission. They take action and make progress towards their clearly-defined goal with every ounce of courage, strength and ingenuity they can summon.

6 Stress Killing Strategies

If you’re experiencing a hardship, you need to read today’s post. The six strategies outlined here can help you deal with stress without feeling overwhelmed. When stress is reduced, life get’s easier. So, take 2 minutes and give this one a read. I look forward to reading your comments!

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What the heck is this?

Welcome to Centered Right. My name is James and I dove into the world of freelance writing in 2012. I’ve spent countless hours producing thousands of articles for clients around the world. The more I wrote about interesting topics, performing in-depth research and drafting engaging articles, the more it hurt to see my good work be published under someone else’s name. That might pay the bills, but this website is here to feed my soul.

When you help someone, you’re igniting a spark that can make the world a brighter place.

I love helping people. it’s my sincere hope that you stumble across this website when you have a question. If I can help you figure something out, then I want to write a reference article that can help you move forward. Thank you for taking the time to read my content. Some of it will be in the form of a tutorial. Other content will range from political to current events. I’m not going to limit the scope of this site, and I hope that keeps things interesting for those that choose to bookmark it.

We’ll be covering every topic under the sun. And we encourage civil conversation.

If you agree with my thoughts, awesome. If not, that’s okay too. In fact, I really enjoy conversations with people that disagree with me. So, feel free to comment on my content. Let’s spark a civil dialogue. Don’t be a dick. I’m sure this journey of a million keystrokes will have its ups and downs. Who knows, maybe we’ll have millions of readers. But regardless of where this adventure ends, I plan on having fun getting there. And I hope you do too!

Feel free to help us out with some of your own content. We’ll give credit where credit’s due.

By the way, if you’d like to contribute your own content to this site, I’d love to read it. Shoot me an email. Don’t forget to attach your content. I’ll give it a read and let you know if we can use it. I can’t offer you payment for your work, but it’s a special feeling knowing that your thoughts and experiences are published online for everyone to read.

I think that’s enough for now. Time to start writing!