Category: Personal Skills

As a Mompreneur, you get used to “making” things happen. Orders need to get filled, diapers changed, calls made, teens to understand, and the list goes on. Letting things slide seems unheard of however we know deep down often we have to let some things slide to enjoy a little peace.

But have you ever considered it’s not letting things slide when you give people space and things the time to work themselves out? Actually at times being still and not responding is the very thing that you are supposed to do. It allows you the time to process and make sure your course of action is what’s really needed or not.

To get to the point of not always responding it takes a total change of mindset. For example, I’ve had a very successful career. Partly because I used to jump through hoops to attend to everyone’s needs. Now I work at my own pace and allow others the space and time they need to work things out for themselves all while still getting my work done and being of service to my clients.

Everyone close to me has noticed this change. At first, I thought everyone would reject the new, more laid back, let it go Quiana. But I see that because I am more relaxed (not to mention happy) those around me are benefiting too.

Everyone’s life I touch benefits from a more attentive, relaxed, and focused person. This is truly enjoyable for others because they have the space and room to talk, learn, and grow. Could your family, friends, and clients benefit from this too?

Think about it; people like to be heard and truly understood. Slowing down allows you to truly hear people because you’re not always moving, reacting, solving. Believe it or not, it’ll feel like you’re a new person and it’ll be fun to reconnect with others (even those you’ve known for years) on a whole new level!

Here are 6 surefire ways to help you change your mindset, so you don’t feel the urge to save the world:

  • Don’t take life so seriously. Things (good and bad) are going to happen no matter what you do.
  • Take a step back and avoid reacting to anything that is not an emergency.
  • Don’t take on anything new for a few weeks and avoid over-doing anything you have to do right now.
  • Focus on getting things done not perfect.
  • Give those around you space to solve their problems their way.
  • Allow others to make mistakes and learn from them like you did. You are who you are because of what you learned along the way.

Everyone around you will benefit from a more relaxed you. You’ll definitely be happier and be able to enjoy life more!

Try this assignment, write down every time someone comes to you to help solve their problem. Then write down all the times you want to solve someone’s problem without them asking for your input. Compare the lists after a week. Write down what you learned from this assignment.

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Summer is here and now is the perfect time to evaluate progress on those resolutions that kicked off the New Year. Just as we make fitness commitments and resolutions – often with summer as a target goal – getting financial fitness goals into shape is also an important and timely exercise!

First, focus on your larger financial muscle groups. In other words, look at where you spend the most money as that is where your changes can have the biggest impact. For many families, the three largest monthly expenses are housing, childcare, and food. (In fact, these may comprise 80% of your entire spending plan!) If you’re trying to save money, I always recommend that you seek ways to reduce your spending without making big changes in your lifestyle. Reducing your housing costs is a great example of this, and mortgage rates continue to be near historical lows, so if you have not (or have not been able to) refinance, be sure to take another look at any options that may be available to you.

Next, it’s time for some interval training. Getting your finances in order can feel overwhelming, so break goals and tasks down into manageable pieces and dedicate an hour each week to getting on track. For example, if you want to transition to an online money management tool, it’s easy to procrastinate gathering all of your statements and bills together. Instead, just take what arrives in the mail each week and set those items up in a new account. Put in just a little time each week, and in just over a month, you’ll be fully up and running.

Next, remember to take regular breaks to recuperate and recharge. Taking control of your finances is like exercise, and sometimes we all need to take a day off from the gym. You need to give yourself a break in order to stay focused and feel ready for the next steps. Schedule rewards for steps taken and goals reached – a dinner out or a local day trip that doesn’t break the budget. Create incentive to stay on track, and your finances will be in much better shape by summer, fall or whatever your timeframe is!

Some financial areas – like education and retirement planning – require more exertion and can be easy to avoid because of that. That’s why you really need to give these your best effort and take care of them before you run out of energy. If you start by funding these goals first with automatic paycheck deductions or bank account transfers, you’ll have the harder exercise out of the way when you have the most energy. Decide what your targets are and make savings the foundation of your financial fitness routine.

Finally, work with a professional to help you achieve your goals by hiring a personal (financial) trainer! Just like a fitness trainer, a financial planner can design the right program for you, make sure you are taking the right steps, and help you achieve your goals.

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Having some savings to lean on in times of duress is an integral part of creating your own safety net. While preparing for an emergency isn’t as fun or glamorous as preparing for a vacation or new home, it is a vital aspect of financial responsibility which ensures that unforeseen circumstances don’t derail the work you’ve done to build the life you’re currently living. Emergencies happen in an instant, and lack of preparation can cause disastrous financial effects that can last for years, slowly degrading the overall strength of your savings.

A financial expert recommends these top 10 tips you need to consider when saving for an emergency. In addition, you will get clued into the one thing to never do when planning for an emergency. These tips will help guide you toward preparing for possible crisis, and their implementation will safeguard a post-crisis future.

1. Give yourself a preparation assessment

In order to define what steps you need to take to prepare for financial emergency, you first have to take a no-holds-barred inventory of your present state. Doing so will help you draft a personalized preparation outline. There are a variety of questions you can ask yourself, including:

How long could I get by if I lost my job tomorrow?

What would my financial life look like if I needed significant surgery and recovery time?

What are my total assets?

An honest self-examination isn’t always easy but it is crucial to see where you’re really at in your level of preparedness.

2. Draft an emergency plan

Thankfully, financially preparing for an emergency isn’t a new concept. There are many resources you can use to help you build a framework that works for you. A good starting point is this emergency plan outline.

3. Save

Insurance shouldn’t be your only option. In the event of a natural disaster or large-scale emergency, insurance agencies are overwhelmed with claims and it can take months to even get started on your own claim, at which point you may have drained your resources significantly. Start an emergency fund at your bank. Begin with whatever amount is possible for you. Make a deposit plan and stick to it.

4. Buy a comprehensive home-owner’s insurance package

It seems obvious, but home-owner’s insurance is often considered a grudge purchase. The reality is that there are many options for homeowner’s insurance that account for emergencies of all kinds – natural disasters, floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes. Know your area’s natural dangers (tornadoes in the Midwest, earthquakes on the West coast, etc.), and design your insurance accordingly.

5. Know your options

In the event of a medical emergency, bills can pile up fast, leaving your financial life in ruins. It is possible in certain circumstances, however, to withdraw money from your IRA without penalty. There’s a lot of paperwork involved, but hardship and disability are eligible. Do some research into what your options may be.

6. Remember, cash is king

When disasters or emergencies occur, it’s tempting to begin charging things to credit cards or taking out outrageous loans to cover the costs. Resist this temptation. Excessive borrowing in times of crisis can exacerbate your state of emergency. Now that you have emergency savings, use it. Pay for what you can while you can, and you’ll be surprised how far it will go. Don’t go for the quick fix that will only make things worse.

7. Invest in preventative measures

As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. If you know certain risks about where you live, your line of work, or your family’s health history, use that information to your advantage. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, reinforcing your home could save you thousands of dollars should an earthquake occur.

8. Have a backup plan for your backup plan

Contingency plans are crucial in the event of emergencies, which cause events and circumstances to change quickly. Draft plans, backup plans, and backup-backup plans, and you’ll sleep easier at night knowing you aren’t banking on a single solution needing to work.

9. Commit to disciplined sacrifice

If you want to have a certain amount of money put away for emergencies and your current job or career isn’t making that possible, it may be time to take on a second job in the short-term so you can secure your long-term future. Working a little extra will grow your savings quickly, and later down the road, should an emergency occur, you won’t be scrambling.

10. Fire-proof your important documents

In the event that a fire engulfs your home, will you know where your important documents are? A fire-proof safe will ensure that in any event your documents will emerge unscathed. A large fire will be disaster enough without having to reproduce all your important paperwork, so fire-proof your documents as soon as possible.

The one thing to never do when preparing for an emergency

The one thing to never do when financially preparing for emergency — stashing cash! Avoid keeping a “stash” of cash in your closet, mattress or glass jar at home. Although you are taking a step forward in saving for an emergency, that money is not gaining any interest, plus it is at the mercy of floods, fires even robbery. If you do want to hold on to some extra cash just in case, keep it locked in a fire-proof safe.

Recent research shows that one-third of Americans are one paycheck away from homelessness. If an emergency were to occur, the results in these circumstances would be truly disastrous. Ensure your future today by planning ahead for the unthinkable. You’ll thank yourself later.

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Trying to get a job is really all about the interview part and how well you answer the questions. Most people will admit that they get very nervous during an interview and certain questions will be tougher than others. Though you should feel relaxed, it is actually natural to feel nervous, but you should not allow this to stop you from answering correctly. The best way to be able to feel confident is to come to the interview fully prepared. This means that you should have practiced several questions beforehand so that you will have a few ideas ready before you answer.

Common Interview Question – What is Your Biggest Strength?

One of the most common yet most difficult questions that you will be asked is “What is your biggest strength?” In order to answer this question, you will need to first take these things into consideration.

Be Creative

If you want to stand out from everyone else, you will need to be creative. This means that you simply cannot say “I work hard and I want to be the best.” Try to be as detailed as possible and to outline what your strengths truly are. Depending on what the interview is for, you will be able to prepare beforehand what your strengths can be and how they will help the company out. The interviewer will only have one thing in mind and all they are thinking about is what you can do for the company. If your strength is something that can truly help the company, they will surely consider hiring you. The trick is to figure out what it is you can bring to the table and how you will be able to tell them.

Be Honest

The most important thing to do during any interview is make sure that you are honest. Lying will lead to more problems and it will certainly not do you any good. When you are trying of your strengths, remember that you must not over estimate what you can do. This can often be tough for some people who truly want to get the job but it is very important that you stay honest. Remember that when you are honest, you will be able to speak clearer and you will not stutter during your interview. Some people will get into the habit of lying during an interview but even though you get hired, you will then be expected to perform those strengths.

Be Sincere

Being sincere during the whole interview is very important. The people that conduct the interviews have seen thousands of interviews and so they know exactly when a person is being sincere or not. This is why it is very important to practice as much as you can beforehand so that you will be able to simply repeat what you will be doing. As easy as this may sound, it really just depends on how you deliver the words that you are going to be saying. It is also very important that you do not want to sound arrogant when you are talking about your strengths and you simply want to state them as humble as possible.

Common Interview Question – What is Your Biggest Weakness?

Another of the most common interview questions is “What is your biggest weakness?” This is a question that a lot of people have trouble with, and so it is a good idea to prepare for this question beforehand so that you will be comfortable answering it when you are in that position. If you are serious about being able to answer this question perfectly, take these simple things into consideration.

Identify Your Weakness

Though this might seem like common sense, it is a good idea to first have your weaknesses laid out on paper. Look through your weaknesses and figure out which weakness is the worst. This is very important because you simply do not want to stutter during your interview without a clear answer. Remember that answering “on the go” is simply the best way to mess up and ruin your interview. Focus on first identifying your weaknesses and then choose which one to share.

Avoid Telling The Whole Truth

Though this may not seem like the best advice, it is a good idea to avoid saying a weakness that will hurt your chances of getting the job. This is because a company looking to hire a manager will not want someone that is “unorganized and lazy.” You will need to pick your poison and choose a weakness that you know you can improve on. Most people will make the mistake of saying a weakness that will truly ruin their chances and so you will need to choose wisely.

Choose A Weakness That Can Be Fixed

When you are trying to figure out what to say, you must remember that it should be something that you can reassure will be fixed. When you say something like “my biggest weakness is that I often read instructions correctly” then you should reassure them that you will double check everything and that you will read everything thoroughly. Remember that you need to still let the company feel comfortable with hiring you and still being able to tell your weakness.

Be Honest

The last thing that you need to remember is that you cannot lie about anything. Though you can choose what to say, remember that you cannot simply say that you have no weaknesses. Often times a company will be more open to someone who is completely honest and they will sometimes commend this. When you are being honest, you will realize that it is also very easy to speak and you will not stutter at all. This is because you are not making anything up and you will be able to simply answer their question.

Before your interview day comes, you need to feel prepared. Remember that it can be tough to practice what you will be saying repeatedly but it is the only way. Once you feel confident about what you will be answering, nothing can really go wrong. The goal is to simply walk out of the interview feeling like you did your best. Whether you get the job or not, remember that you will be going against a lot of other people and you can just chalk it up as experience. With just a little patience and hard work, you will surely be able to get that job easily.

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If you find changing jobs difficult, then do it slowly. It’s important that you know your strengths and try and be flexible. Even if you have suffered a redundancy (one of the less desirable effects of constantly changing workplaces), there are steps you can take to safeguard your chances of remaining employable.

When it comes to employment diversity, it’s definitely a case of ‘times have changed’. Most employers now expect to see candidates who have moved between careers and industries. To some employers, a diverse employment background demonstrates flexibility and the capacity to adjust to a new role, company culture and different management practices. The days of ‘jobs for life’ are well and truly behind us and changing jobs is no longer seen as a way of committing employment harakiri. Taking the occasional risk and branching out into new areas can also add to your value as an employee. Likewise, working overseas or making lifestyle changes can reveal a candidate’s enthusiasm for new challenges and the ability to take decisive action.

More and more people have taken the jump into free lancing, working from home or subcontracting as an alternative way of working. Some people refer to this as ‘creating your own job, and in fact for many, particularly older workers, this might be their best option. A word of advice, though, think carefully before jumping head-first into the unknown, into a total career change – it can backfire.

At the same time, never take too lightly the value of experience. Experience is crucial in establishing and maintaining useful  contacts straight into a role because they already have the required skills and information are valuable. One way of making a career change is by moving into a job that shares some common ground with your existing occupation. This is a lower-risk option that allows you to explore new career options by combining your old skills with new skills. For example, a writer could move into publishing or a politician could move into used car sales.

Education – stick with it

The surest way of maximising your chances of being able to adapt in this changing world is by investing time and energy in your own education – and to continue this process throughout your life. What’s more, it doesn’t much matter if you forget some of what you’ve learn or can’t use it directly in your work. The beauty of ongoing education is it keeps your skills up to date, your mind alive and trains you to think, to question, and to find solutions to problems.

Also, by completing an educational course you achieve something tangible and have a document to prove it. Not only does this boost your self-esteem, confidence and skills levels, it demonstrates to an employer that you have the grit and ability to see something you’ve started through to a successful end, a quality all employers value and seek.

Job searching

When hunting for a job, your first port of call will probably be the classified section of the major metropolitan newspapers. Local papers also carry hob advertisements. If you are open to the possibility of relocating, you might like to consult regional classifieds or ads from interstate newspapers.

Another great way to look for jobs is via the Internet. Some handy websites to search include:

  1. Indeed.com. This features a comprehensive list of links to other sites which you can use to search for jobs.
  2. SimplyHire.com. This site will email you jobs suited to your requirements. It can also help you to create a resume online.
  3. The Monster Board : Monster.com. Abiding by the principle that practice makes perfect, this site features a virtual interview page asking some questions that are sure to test the most experienced of interviewees. This site also lets your search for jobs overseas.
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