Turn Your Blog Into a Startup Business


Turn Your Blog Into a Startup Business

We are often told that it’s difficult to make money from blogging, but there are more opportunities than ever before to turn your blog into a viable online business. The key to success is to focus your efforts on multiple income streams for your blog and to frame it as a business instead of a passion project.

Affiliate Marketing 

The most straightforward way to turn your blog into a startup business is through affiliate marketing. This is a business model that’s been around for hundreds of years but has found its groove with the Internet. It involves using your blog to market third party products and services.

You will need to have a sufficient number of followers to be accepted by an affiliate program, but if you meet the criteria you can start earning passive income right away. Search for affiliate programs in your niche and reach out to them with an offer.

Advertising 

The Internet is an advertising machine in many ways it’s how most businesses and brands profit. This has always been the case but it’s even more successful in the digital world. Grab a slice of the pie and turn your blog into a startup with advertising.

First, decide what levels of space you want to share on your website then contact Google Adsense or a similar online advertising agency. Again, you will have to fulfil certain criteria to qualify, but if you do it is another checkbox you can tick.

Ebooks 

After you’ve been blogging for a while in your niche you should have a strong understanding of the topics you cover. You repeat the same subjects so often that you have no alternative but to go deeper with them. This knowledge has a monetary value.

Take some time to compile your ideas and turn them into a comprehensive ebook. An ebook about restaurant tablecloths will not only be a source of direct income, it will also be a potential marketing tool. You can use it to reach out to other bloggers and help drive traffic. This supports your other income streams.

Podcasts 

Like ebooks, podcasts are an effective revenue stream and marketing tool. You can advertise on your podcasts and bring in revenue, but you can also drive traffic, add value to your blog and disseminate the content in other areas.

The Internet is changing and so is content. It’s no longer enough to rely solely on the written word, you need to also bring in video and interactive content. Running a podcast is one way to add a new dimension to your blog and generate content that will enhance its value.

Services 

To turn your blog into a business you need to take advantage of all the income streams listed above. It is not just about creating quality SEO content. One further option you have is to offer your knowledge in the form of services that assist people to follow your same path and avoid the pitfalls.

You can create an online course for this and publish it on Udemy. This is a great way to generate active and passive income. Another option is to offer your service as a consultant or mentor. This can be offered one-to-one or in group sessions.

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5 Steps to Financial Independence in 2021


5 Steps to Financial Independence in 2021

Do you want to get financial independence in 2021? A lot of people do, as the coronavirus pandemic has really illustrated how scary financial dependency can be on anything. Financial independence is definitely a desirable prospect right now.

Being able to achieve true financial independence, which is living without any debts, and being able to do so entirely of passive income streams and savings does require a little bit of effort at work. With that being said, here are five steps that you can take to reach financial independence in 2021.

  1. Planning

If you’re going to achieve financial independence, you have to make sure that you have planned to do so. Unfortunately, financial independence is not something that you can just get up and decide to do one day just like that.

Instead, you have to go through a rigorous process of planning and preparing. What does financial independence look like to you? Is it living without any debt? Is it being able to live off your own savings? Every person will have a different picture of financial independence according to what stage of life they’re at.

The first thing that you’re going to have to do is make sure that you plan. Think about what financial independence means to you, how this is all affected by your current situation, and what you need to do to get things done properly.

  1. Budgeting

Budgeting is a very important part of financial independence because you have to start saving and putting money away. You can’t do this unless you have a clear understanding of your own budget and financial situation.

Basically, this involves sitting down, looking at how much you make every month or year, and then looking at what your expenses are for that same period. You need to know exactly what you need to buy, how much it’s going to cost, and what’s available to then put away at the end of all of it.

  1. Get Rid of Debt

If you want to be truly financially independent, then you have to make sure that you pay off any outstanding debt you might have. The problem with outstanding debt is that it becomes a massive issue and prevents you from becoming financially independent because you have to pay what you owe to people. Whether it’s student loans, credit card loans, or a purchase that you’ve made on credit, you need to make sure that you pay it off quickly.

Ultimately, however, you do need to consider that there are sometimes charges for paying back too much too early, so instead, try and find the maximum that you can pay back every month without incurring a fee for early payments.

  1. Be Frugal

Living cheaply doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to skip out on the nice things, or even that you have to go without things, but there is something to be said for frugality.

Ultimately, it’s all about making sure that you live a frugal lifestyle as possible because this is the fastest way to start saving money. You have to really stop and think about what you’re doing, and the way in which you intend to do things, because otherwise, you may find that you don’t necessarily get access to what you want or need.

Ultimately, you just have to stop and think about how much you spend, what this means for your overall budget, and if you could spend a little less from time to time. It means you can put more away, which means you’re one step closer to being financially independent.

  1. Think About a Career Change

Ultimately, your plan for financial independence may require you to think about getting a career change. You may love your job or business, and you may love where you are, but you may also not be financially independent.

Changing up your business model or career may well find you looking for a job which pays more, or is going to give you assets that are laid to cut back on some of your spending.

Closing Thoughts

Becoming financially independent can be quite a challenge for people. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, especially if we are living in such challenging circumstances. However, most people will have come from this entire pandemic with the resolve to become financially independent, because the idea of having to keep on living in the way that they did is no longer appealing.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be financially independent, it’s just how you go about doing this. Obviously, you have to be safe and sensible with your finances, because you should never put your home or your career into jeopardy unnecessarily. But, there are steps that you can take to achieve financial independence in 2021.

Primarily, you have to think about what financial independence means to you. It’s important to take a look at all of the different options that are available, in order to find what works. You’ve got quite a few choices, which means you can do whatever you need to do to make it all work out in the best way possible. There are many different things to consider, multiple choices to explore, and a broad selection of other options to think about.

Ultimately, reaching for financial independence is no bad thing. It’s all about making sure that you want the very best of options, and that’s completely understandable. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of people are going to be reassessing their financial priorities, and you will just become one of them.

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5 online side hustles that will help to boost your income ahead of Christmas 2020


5 online side hustles that will help to boost your income ahead of Christmas 2020

For most families in the UK, Christmas will always be a particularly expensive time of year. But, in 2020, you might be more worried about the cost than ever before. A lot of families have taken a financial hit over the last few months due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — for example, you might have lost your job, or been forced to take an extended break so you could look after your kids while they attended school online.

You’ll still want to make the festive season as exciting as possible for you and your children, though, which might mean you’re looking for some ways you can make a bit of extra money in December. Here, I’m going to outline five side hustles that you can make money from ahead of Christmas, without even having to leave your home!

Completing online surveys

Filling out online surveys is a very easy way to make some extra money on the side. Most of these are conducted as market research, so companies can get more information about what the average person or a particular demographic might be looking for in a product or service. A huge benefit is that you can sit down to fill out a few surveys whenever you get the time, which is great if you’re only ever free when the kids go to sleep at night.

Websites will typically offer you money or vouchers in exchange for your time and insight. The reward will depend on the length of each survey, so it might be worth choosing longer quizzes if you really want to see the money stack up.

It’s a good idea to set up a new email address specifically for your online surveys, so it’s easier to keep an eye out for opportunities and your existing inbox won’t be inundated with offers. You should also keep a note of every survey you’ve filled in, and how much you’re expecting to earn from them, so you can make sure you always get paid.

Sell items you no longer need

You’ll probably be preparing to surprise your kids and the rest of your family members with new toys, clothes, and other exciting gifts this Christmas. So, it’s worth thinking about having a clear out in the weeks leading up to the big day. Not only will this give you the chance to get rid of any unnecessary clutter in your home so it feels much more organised and relaxing, but you could also sell some of your belongings on to make some quick cash.

It’s very easy to sell the likes of furniture, clothing, shoes, and toys online. There are certain platforms that specialise in particular items — for example, Depop is most typically used to buy and sell clothes, footwear, and jewellery. Or there are more general options, such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace, where you can advertise a wide array of items you’re hoping to make some money from.

Create an online course

It’s becoming increasingly popular for people to create and sell online courses, which will help others to develop a particular skill. So, if you have a specialism, this could be a fantastic move for you.

Perhaps you can create video tutorials about the basics of web development, or put together an e-book all about growing your Instagram engagement. Think about what you’re best at, and what you tend to get the most questions about. Then consider how you could package up your knowledge and sell it as a product.

Give dropshipping a try

If you like the idea of running your own shop but don’t have the time, space, or resources to do all of the packing and posting yourself, dropshipping could be a great middle ground.

With dropshipping, you can set up your own online store, but you won’t need to have the actual stock on hand. Instead, you can partner up with a third-party supplier, which will usually be a wholesaler or manufacturer. They can then handle all of the logistics when it comes to fulfilling your orders.

Working in this way will help to keep your overheads low, and it will also require less time and energy than managing everything on your own. You’ll only really need to focus on the marketing and customer service side of things, while all of the heavy lifting will be done for you.

We’re just a days away from Christmas and, if you’re worried about finding the money to make it a day to remember, picking up a side hustle will help. Any of these ideas will give you the chance to make a bit of extra money fast, so you can go all out when it comes to presents and putting on a festive feast for your nearest and dearest. What are you waiting for? Grab your laptop and get started today. 

Author

Peter Watton, from the matched betting platform OddsMonkey, shares his five best ideas for picking up a side hustle that will bag you some extra pocket money in time for Christmas.”

3 Ways to Get More Sales Online


3 Ways to Get More Sales Online

Generating sales online can be difficult. You have to make sure you have the optimum kind of sales strategy in place in order to get the best possible results. Understandably, this is quite difficult if you’re never done it before which is why you may need to get your hands on a couple of pointers.

If you’re not sure what to do for the best, then don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best and most interesting sales tips that we can come up with.

Promote Your Products

Now obviously, you can’t do anything if you don’t promote stuff properly. You have to make sure that you promote all of your products to give yourself the best possible options.

Product promotion can take the form of advertisements, social media connections, telling people about it, and making sure that everyone knows that you’ve got something yourself. If you do this, then you’re going to have a much better chance of getting your products out there and increasing the number of sales you have.

Network

If you want to try and promote the products that you have, you have to make sure to network. Networking is so important because it gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience in a brand and exciting way.

Go to sales conventions, join social media, do what you need to do, but the important thing is that you talk to people. You build relationships, your network well, and it means that when you want to get something sorted, you can do so easily.

Networking is a pretty vital skill, and definitely, one that you need to have in your arsenal, so you should get the hang of what it’s all about.

Experiment

Experimentation can often be a big part of getting something right. There are a lot of instances where you’re going to have to experiment to find out exactly what it is that you want to do.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with a lot of options to figure out what’s for you. Eventually, you will hit on the ideal action to take that will promote your product in the way that you want it.

Experimentation can often take time, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run, which means you need to stop and explore all of the different options in order to find what works for you.

In conclusion, improving sales online often takes time and effort. However, the results can be definitely worth it if you take the time to examine all of the options that you have. It’s definitely a case of making sure that you experiment with what’s on offer in order to find the ideal combination of details and ideas to work for your specific business. There is no guaranteed blueprint for any business that wants to promote their products and improve their sales, it just takes a lot of figuring out what works for you, because you have to run with your own unique angle

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7 Working From Home Tips For Those With Children


7 Working From Home Tips For Those With Children

When you’re working from home, and your children are around, it can be challenging to stay productive and focus. First things first, create yourself a designated workspace that allows for maximum concentration. Once you’ve created a suitable working area, try taking on board these seven simple tips.

      1 . Start your day early

When you’re working from home, and your kids will be around, it’s helpful to start your day early. Wake up before your kids and try to get as much done as possible before they get up! Having a quiet period where you can totally focus will do wonders for your productivity levels. It might mean going to bed a bit earlier or a few more cups of coffee, but ultimately, you’ll benefit from a head start on your workday!

  1. Create a task hierarchy 

It’s a wise move to create a task hierarchy, listing the most important tasks first to those tasks which can wait. Tackle the most critical tasks first, meaning you’ll be working on these, for the most part, before your kiddies wake up. When you’re creating a task hierarchy, it can help to set time-frame goals. Remember, don’t be too strict on yourself with your deadlines. It’s unlikely that you’ll get as much done as you did at the office. Be kind to yourself, accept the transition, and work with it the best way you can.

  1. Establish your boundaries 

When you’re working from home, and your children are about, it’s helpful to establish clear boundaries. Ensure that your children know the times that they can and cannot interrupt you, establish the situations that are valid and emergencies, etc. It can be useful to use visual clues to help them. For example, make a rule that a ‘closed-door’ means they cannot enter (unless it’s an emergency). You might also like to use signs or color-coded door hangings to represent various situations. Signs can be beneficial if you are working in an open space without a door.

  1. Improve your child’s room 

If you want your children to be able to entertain themselves, it’s worth spending some time improving their bedroom. Invest in practical Nursery furniture and storage units, so they can reach everything they need without help. Create them a cozy corner for reading and relaxation, using a tee-pee tent or a cute armchair. Ensure that they have plenty of toys and technology items to keep them busy. Invest in the perfect bed to make sure that they get the best night’s sleep or can nap easily during the day time.

  1. Build a support network

You may need a little help now and then to look after your kids, which is why it can help to build a support network. Call upon the help of relatives and friends to supervise your children during your busiest workdays. Multi-tasking your work and your children can be a real challenge. With a solid support network around you, you can share the load and de-stress.

  1. Try productivity software 

Staying productive when working from home can be tricky, especially with kids around. To help you to work more efficiently, you may like to check out the following productivity software tools:

  • Rescue Time: Rescue Time is a time management tool that tracks active windows, websites visited, and computer activities. The app provides you with a visualization of your tasks, how much time you’re spending on each. You can create a schedule and attempt to boost your productivity levels.
  • Trello: Trello is an organizational tool that can help you to create a workable schedule, manage your projects, and prioritize your tasks. It’s simple to collaborate with your team or use Trello independently as a freelancer.
  1. Create stations for snacks and drinks

Help your children out by creating self-service snacks and drinks stations; this way, they won’t need to bother you each time they need something. Teaching your kids a little independence is a worthwhile pursuit, and working from home is the perfect opportunity. The sooner your children learn a little independence, the sooner they’ll become more mature and improve their problem-solving skills. Spend a little time teaching your children how to safely get their snacks and drinks (Without making a mess)!

Hopefully, these seven ideas will help you to improve your work-from-home routine. With the right attitude, you’ll create a daily schedule that works for both you and your children. Balancing work and family life isn’t straight forward, but with a little trial and error you can improve your routine.

 

 

How to Increase Sales Using Pinterest


If you are running a business, you will know the importance of social media marketing, and Pinterest is one of the platforms you may want to consider using to increase the sales of your products or services.  Successful social media marketing relies on finding the key channels, that is the places where your target audience hang out naturally, as this is the best way to reach them and get them actively working for you just by doing what they do socially.

Pinterest Users

The first thing to do is establish whether this is a platform for your line of business. Statistically, it is worth knowing that approximately 69% of the people using Pinterest are female, and of that group, over half are parents. The brand engagement on the website comes from these users rather than the brands themselves, so you are looking to appeal to their interest, giving them a reason to want to share and pin your stuff. The most popular categories of pin on Pinterest are those that feature food, fashion, arts and crafts and home. So, these demographics should give you a good idea as to whether this might be a viable platform to invest time and effort in and whether you will be able to find prospects.

How to Get the Most Benefit

Assuming you have decided to use Pinterest, there are a few things you need to be doing, and some of these start on your website rather than the Pinterest site. Firstly, you need to ensure that you use the ‘Pin it’ button on your website. By doing this, you are increasing your chances that Pinterest users will come to your site through referral traffic. By using the button, you are also able to access statistics so you can see the pages on your site that performed the best.

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms, so assuming you already have a presence on there you should look to add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook which will show your boards as you add to them. Cross promoting on social media is a good tactic as it not only helps raise awareness of your brand but opens up to new audiences depending on their preferred platform.

When you are creating a pin, it is essential to use the rich pins feature, and this includes the product pin which gives you the ability to add the pricing information, and availability in real-time and points users in the correct direction to purchase. If you change the price, the pin will automatically update.

Finally, you need to incorporate your pins on the website. This is perfect for making an impact at specific times of the year when your products are likely to be in demand, so for Christmas or Mother’s Day. You can create a board for your website that adds pins and enables you to again cross-promote between your website and Pinterest.  You can also add specific Pinterest promotions such as a free shipping code specifically for Pinterest users, and again this will also give you some valuable analytic information about how your site and pins are being used.

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How Are Small Businesses Staying Afloat Through COVID-19


How Are Small Businesses Staying Afloat Through COVID-19

Business owners are struggling right now. The lockdown left many companies with massive losses in terms of profits and revenue. Some even struggled to open their doors again once the lockdown ended. This is why it’s important to explore the key ways that businesses are staying afloat through the continuing health crisis.

Leaning On Loyalty

One of the first ways that businesses are keeping their doors open is by relying on the loyalty of the customers that they already have. Right now, you might want to consider doing more of this, rather than trying to win over new clients. Winning new clients is going to be more expensive and more time consuming than falling back on customers that you have already claimed. There are lots of ways to gain the interest of loyal customers to your business. For instance, you can use email marketing to provide value directly to them and remind them why they chose your business in the first place.

Credit Options

Next, you might want to explore different credit options for your business. If you are struggling to maintain revenue levels then it’s possible that credit is going to be the only way that you are able to keep the lights on. You might be wary of borrowing to keep your business going. However, it’s going to be a calculated risk. Under the right circumstances, payday loans and similar credit options can be the lifeline that you need. You just need to make sure that you are aware of the interest and when you will need to pay the money back.  The government also provide support for businesses you can view here the Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to businesses.

Downsizing

Other companies are surviving simply by reducing the size of their business. One of the ways that you can do this is by cutting down your team of staff. No business wants to reduce staff numbers, particularly when it’s nearing the end of the year. However, there’s no denying that this is ultimately going to end up saving you a lot of money. You might also want to consider operating from home with your business if you are not already exploring this option. It will immediately cut all the costs that your business office brings.

Reinvention

Finally, you might want to consider whether there are any ways that you can reinvent your business this year to ensure that it’s a better fit for the current climate. The obvious example of this would be home deliveries. A lot of stores on the high street are now putting a stronger focus on ensuring that they can deliver to the homes of their customers. While you might not have the team in place to do this, there are logistics solutions that can help. Approached correctly, you can increase your profits, even as you pay for the services of another company.

We hope this helps you understand some of the key ways that you can keep your small business afloat even during this tumultuous time for industries and different sectors. With the right strategies in place, you won’t be one of the next companies forced to close their doors.

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The retirement triple-threat facing women


The retirement triple-threat facing women

Why health, wealth and longevity are the three factors putting women
at a disadvantage in later life

Having been a working mother (my children have all flown the nest now), I know how strong our focus can be on the contributions that we need to make to our families. From ensuring they have the latest football kit to saving for our children’s university education – we often place our family’s needs before our own. Yet, there’s a very big reason we should be looking more closely at the contributions we need to make to ourselves to protect our long-term financial future. Women typically live longer than men and may have a smaller pension pot, therefore we need to plan accordingly to make our money last.

While longevity sounds like a blessing, we wouldn’t want to be unwell and struggling financially during our later-life years or become a burden on our children who we had prioritised earlier in our lives. But many of us run the risk that this will be our future. A 40-year-old woman has a one in four chance of living to age 96, and a one in ten chance of living to 1001. Better healthcare and positive lifestyle changes have helped to raise life expectancies across the board, but as women, we are still likely to live longer than men. And with several studies finding that more men than women have died from COVID-19, the life expectancy gap could widen further from here.

The gender pension gulf 

With this in mind, we not only need our pensions to last longer, we also generally have smaller pension pots which is a bad combination. We already know that women typically retire with one-fifth of the pension wealth of men2. New analysis from the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that, when life expectancy is taken into account, the gender pensions gap could be as much as £108,130 for single women, and £186,120 for women who are married or in a relationship3.

Because we tend to live longer, women are also more likely to end up in single-person households later in life. This could add further to our financial pressures because it can be much more expensive to run a household of one, covering all bills alone.

Will you be healthy enough to work longer? 

Adding to this, the State Pension age is rising, which means many people who will rely on this government payment will have to work longer before they can claim it. With this, there’s no guarantee your health will support you working into your later years.

For example, some women may have taken their first job at 16. If you’re planning on working until your late 60s or early 70s, that’s a lot of years in the workforce – you might well be feeling burnt out or struggling with health issues. As early as your mid-40s or early 50s, you could be suffering from symptoms of the menopause, such as ‘brain fog’, which can make it tough for some women to continue working at the pace they once did.

You may want to drop to part-time hours or get a job with less responsibility to take some of the pressure off, even if it just for a few years. But will you be able to afford this flexibility?

Same-sex couples face triple whammy 

For women in same-sex relationships, you may think that your joint longevity will give you a long and happy retirement together. But in fact, you could actually face a triple whammy of challenges. For example, if you both take a period of maternity leave, this could impact your earning power and pension contributions. You may actually need to work longer and face the risk of health conditions spread over a longer length of time.

Luckily, there are things that we can all do to increase our chances of a financially secure life, however long you live. If you do nothing else, have a think about what you want your future to look like. Do an appraisal of all your long-term savings plans, rounding up any small savings pots you may have forgotten about over time. Sit down and have a chat with a financial adviser to see how things are actually looking for your retirement years. Taking into account the money you’ve already saved, and your capacity to save over the coming years – an adviser can model a likely outcome.

For more information or advice on planning retirement, please visit https://www.sjp.co.uk/products-and-services/retirement

1 ONS life expectancy calculator, accessed 7 September 2020
2 Securing the Financial Future of the Next Generation, Insuring Women’s Futures and Chartered Insurance Institute, 2018
3 Centre for Economics and Business Research, September 2020

About the author

The retirement triple-threat facing women

Sharon Bonfield, Commercial Research Specialist, St James’s Place Wealth Management (https://www.sjp.co.uk/)

 

Curating Your Professional Image In The Best Possible Light


Curating Your Professional Image In The Best Possible Light

To the extent that you can, it’s important to curate your personal brand in a manner that helps you feel enthusiastic about what you have to offer. Most of us feel this if it has been left unattended for too long, mostly when attending a job interview. Then all of our skills are laid bare – how well we sell ourselves, how smart we can dress for work, and how personable we may be.

Curating your professional image in the best possible light is a means in which to refine who you are, and how you present yourself in a professional setting. You don’t have to be perfect, of course. A little bit of style and substance is much more important than thinking you have to fit a particular mold. That being said, curating your professional image also means becoming more digestible and impressive to other people.

It’s not about status and blowing people away. We mean to say that a good handshake and confident eye contact is more important than pulling into the driveway in an expensive Mercedes.

Let’s consider what else is important in this setting:

Clothing & Accessories

To be seen as professional you must look professional. This often means that wearing smart clothing is important. From investing in good, well-fitting (this is the most important part) clothes that help you showcase yourself as someone who knows how to put an outfit together is worthwhile. No matter if purchasing shirts, trousers, skirts, ties, blazers, or smart-casual sports jackets and excellent glasses from eyeglasses.com, make sure your arrangement is tasteful, and denotes how you wish to be seen as a professional person.

Stature, Presence, Confidence

Of course, it’s not all about how you look to others through your clothing choices. It’s enough to stand up straight with your shoulders back and greet people forthrightly. Having some presence and confidence about you can seem like a nerve-wracking necessity at first, but this practice is actually quite enjoyable once you keep it up. Learn how to keep eye contact, hold a proper handshake (after Covid-protective norms cease), and to address people by the name you have done your utmost to remember. Little tidbits like this really do matter.

Correspondance & Portfolio

Of course, image is more than just clothes and how good your posture is. We may consider how our website looks to others, and what our portfolio shows. Curating a website with instances of your work, your testimonials, and maybe even a list of the people you wish to be known for residing next to can be a fantastic use of your time – and it may even push you forward professionally. Furthermore, curating your correspondence is a good idea, because it helps you come across more professionally to others. For instance, brevity, that is speaking with import but without using too many words, can be appreciated by those you have to talk to often.

With this advice, you’ll no doubt curate your professional image in the best possible light.

This is How Goals Get You to Where You Want to be in Life


This is How Goals Get You to Where You Want to be in Life

If you have ever set goals but somehow not managed to achieve them, you are not alone. What tends to happen is people don’t bother to set goals again as they stopped believing it can help. However, once you learn how to set goals correctly, you will discover that actually, they are a vital step for helping you to get where you want to be in life.

A Road Map

Think of goals as a road map, if you are going somewhere you’ve never been before, you would either get a map or in the modern world use sat nav. Now, there is no such thing as a sat nav for life, no little automated voice telling you where to go next, it’s all on you. But you can certainly make a paper map by setting goals and learn how to use your goals to achieve and reach your destination. The mistake people make is to make generalised sweeping statements such as ‘I want to buy a house by the end of next year’, ‘my business needs to grow three-fold in six months’. While these are perfect end goals what often gets missed are the steps you will need to take to actually get there.

SMART Goals

It might be an old acronym, and some people roll their eyes when they see it, but SMART goal setting does work because it reminds us not to skip steps and helps with keeping a focus.

S: Specific

M: Measurable

A: Achievable

R: Realistic

T: Timely

So, going back to the example of purchasing a house within a year, if that is as far as you take your goal, it can be quite disheartening and remain out of reach. The months tick by and before you know it, you’ve reached your deadline and still don’t own a property. Using the SMART method, you would define your goal and then break it down into measurable, achievable and realistic steps that all come with a time limit. So, maybe you will need to get advice about a mortgage, work out where your deposit is coming from, look at clearing down any long-term debt that may affect the amount you can borrow, and various other steps. Standing at the foot of a mountain looking up may leave you feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Adding smart goals is equivalent to carving steps into the side of the mountain that make it much easier to climb. Ensuring each step is something you can achieve and manageable means you will be more likely to hit your target rather than pushing it to one side because it seems totally overwhelming.

Goals Are Important

In the current global climate, goals are even more important than ever, and they are teaching us that we have to think outside the box when we hit a roadblock. No one saw the pandemic coming, and no one is prepared to deal with it, but gradually we are finding ways to work around and still make progress in our lives. So, if you’ve ever failed with goals, why not try again using the smart methodology?

Parents in Biz hub

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