Ownership is a horse of a different color

Man hugging a dog.
Man hugging a dog.
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

President Ronald Reagan liked to tell a joke, part of which involved a psychiatrist treating an overly optimistic child:

“Trying to dampen his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. …


The right programs stop people from walking out the door

People meeting around a table.
People meeting around a table.
Photo by Fauxels

Organizations struggle to provide the right benefits for their workers. Many leaders and managers don’t understand the basic wants and needs of rank-and-file employees, which is likely different from that of the top echelon.

Coming from different professional and personal backgrounds, companies large or small can’t rely on managers or executives to know what everyone in the organization desires.

“Your organization probably invests a lot of time, energy and money to retain top employees,” said Meghan M. Biro, analyst, brand strategist, podcaster and TalentCulture chief executive officer. “Yet, at least occasionally, you still wind up losing them to competitors.”

She wondered about how to put an end to that unproductive cycle. …


Your credit score boost could be only a utility bill away

A hand sliding a credit card through a reader.
A hand sliding a credit card through a reader.
Photo by Mark O’Flynn on Unsplash

Simply put, having good credit determines whether you’ll qualify for a loan. Depending on the interest rate of the loan you qualify for, it could mean the difference between hundreds and even thousands of dollars in savings.

Those are the facts from the global information services company Experian. “Follow the money” is a catchphrase popularized almost 50 years ago. In today’s world, a credit score could decide if you have any money to follow.

Experian brought together credit expert and personal finance blogger LaToya Irby and Rod Griffin, the company’s senior director of consumer education and advocacy, to talk about credit scores and how to improve them. …


Ultimate marketers reveal their tricks of the trade

Hand holding coffee mug next to a laptop.
Hand holding coffee mug next to a laptop.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Productivity and marketing experts abide by the 80–20 Rule. Formally known as the Pareto Principle, the notion is that 80 percent of your results come from only 20 percent of your efforts. The rule has been applied for 100 years as a guide to efficiency.

Top marketers such as Rebekah Radice, Christina Nicholson, Bershan Shaw, Ben Parr and Chelsea Krost are huge fans of 80–20, or as they like to say, “Work smarter, not harder.” The entrepreneurs gathered in Krost’s #MillennialTalk Twitter chat to say how they succeed at business without trying as hard.

Mindset is important, particularly being able to reset it when needed. …


Small businesses benefit from embracing Twitter

Hand holding cellphone showing Twitter.
Hand holding cellphone showing Twitter.
Photo by Freestocks on Unsplash

Twitter is a great social media equalizer. This is especially good for small businesses that often face an uphill climb to compete with the big boys on the block.

One example of the small making it big is Melinda Emerson. Renowned as the Small Biz Lady, she readily acknowledges how Twitter inadvertently led to her handle, which jump-started her online presence.

“In my case, I tried to get my name back in 2008, but another Melinda Emerson beat me to it,” she said. “So, I had to create a nickname.

“I can honestly say it is a privilege to be @SmallBizLady and regarded as America’s №1 Small Business Expert,” Emerson said. “Twitter really launched my whole career as an influencer.” …


Putting everything in its place boosts productivity

Wooden storage boxes on top of each other.
Wooden storage boxes on top of each other.
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Organizing aids productivity at home and on the job. There are many budget-conscious and practical solutions to give space for organizational makeovers without breaking the bank.

Marybeth Hamilton inadvertently discovered many of these concepts when she shifted from eight years of corporate ladder climbing to become a stay-at-home mom to her two children — which she readily proclaims as “the best decision of my life.”

“When I was pregnant with my first baby, I found out very quickly that, despite nearly everything I had heard and read, having a baby just wasn’t that expensive,” she said. “When I shared my realization with other moms, friends and relatives, nearly everyone said, ‘How can you say that?’ …


Core values need to be relevant to and reflect employees

Yellow rubber ducks in rows on shelves.
Yellow rubber ducks in rows on shelves.
Photo by Joshua Coleman on Unsplash

Even in the best of times, entrepreneurs are guilty of overthinking. Add a worldwide crisis, and heads spin with ultimate solutions that look good on paper but fall short in practice.

Amid the turmoil, work cultures are at risk. No one knows that better than Natalie Baumgartner, chief workforce scientist at Achievers. The company is a leader in employee recognition and engagement.

“We give employees a voice through pulse surveys, frequent check-ins and networks that allow them to learn, grow and contribute to our communities,” Baumgartner said. “It’s our culture, and we’re proud of it.”

That attitude comes particularly into play when many companies have enabled a loose operating system around remote working. …


You’ll miss out on a lot unless you use your social ear

Man wearing headphones looks at a cellphone.
Man wearing headphones looks at a cellphone.
Photo by Ilias Chebbi on Unsplash

Call them missed opportunities. Ninety percent of brands have a presence on social media. Yet, only 37 percent are listening closely to what their audiences are saying. That means almost two-thirds of businesses are turning a deaf ear to their competition.

A customer-centric person such as Olowo Ayodele Joshua can only shake his head.

“It is imperative to track and analyze all conversations related to your brand,” he said, speaking with the knowledge of a digital marketer, digital strategist, and copywriter.

In Ayodele’s eyes, the majority of marketers risk unnecessary failure simply by passing up on social media listening.

“That gives brands the opportunity to analyze, track and respond to conversations on social media,” he said. “It can help you track social media platforms to discover mentions and engagement related to your brand in order to analyze…


An easy-to-use feature increases productivity

A hand holds a cellphone displaying tweets.
A hand holds a cellphone displaying tweets.
Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

Productivity is the hallmark of a successful business. Anything to stay organized gives entrepreneurs more time and resources to devote to the nuts and bolts of their companies.

For those on Twitter, creating and tapping into lists keeps them current on conversations and what their competitors are doing.

Account strategist Warwick Brown and digital marketing expert Madalyn Sklar talked about using Twitter lists like a pro.

“There are so many ways to use lists,” Sklar said. “You can create them based on your favorite content creators to keep track of their latest work.

“You might even want to have a private list for potential clients who you can work on connecting with over time,” she said. …


Income from hobbies is a godsend when funds are tight

Woman stirring a pot on a stove.
Woman stirring a pot on a stove.
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Whether it’s writing, photography, gaming, cooking or another pastime, there might be money in the offing. Profitable hobbies could be the answer for tight family budgets.

Beverly Harzog, credit card expert and consumer finance analyst for U.S. News, and certified public accountant Michael Moe joined with consumer credit reporting company Experian to give advice for those who want to start a business but don’t know where to begin.

Hobbies come in all types. When people are sheltered at home, they have lots of opportunity to perfect their skills.

“I’ve spent a lot of time gardening,” Harzog said. “I love to cook with fresh herbs. I’m also learning Spanish, and I’ve been reading a lot. …

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Jim Katzaman - Get Debt-Free One Family at a Time

Helping Americans shave years off of debt, cut thousands of dollars in interest, increase lifestyles and save for secure #retirement. largofinancialservices.com

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