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10 Skills You Need to Succeed at Almost Anything

What does it take to succeed? A positive attitude? Well, sure, but that’s hardly enough. The Law of Attraction? The Secret? These ideas might act as spurs to action, but without the action itself, they don’t do much.
Success, however it’s defined, takes action, and taking good and appropriate action takes skills. Some of these skills (not enough, though) are taught in school (not well enough, either), others are taught on the job, and still others we learn from general life experience.
Below is a list of general skills that will help anyone get ahead in practically any field, from running a company to running a gardening club. Of course, there are skills specific to each field as well – but my concern here is with the skills that translate across disciplines, the ones that can be learned by anyone in any position.

1. Public Speaking

The ability to speak clearly, persuasively, and forcefully in front of an audience – whether an audience of 1 or of thousands – is one of the most important skills anyone can develop. People who are effective speakers come across as more comfortable with themselves, more confident, and more attractive to be around. Being able to speak effectively means you can sell anything – products, of course, but also ideas, ideologies, worldviews. And yourself – which means more opportunities for career advancement, bigger clients, or business funding.

2. Writing

Writing well offers many of the same advantages that speaking well offers: good writers are better at selling products, ideas, and themselves than poor writers. Learning to write well involves not just mastery of grammar but the development of the ability to organize one’s thoughts into a coherent form and target it to an audience in the most effective way possible. Given the huge amount of text generated by almost every transaction – from court briefs and legislation running into the thousands of pages to those foot-long receipts you get when you buy gum these days – a person who is a master of the written word can expect doors to open in just about every field.

3. Self-Management

If success depends on effective action, effective action depends on the ability to focus your attention where it is needed most, when it is needed most. Strong organizational skills, effective productivity habits, and a strong sense of discipline are needed to keep yourself on track.

4. Networking

Networking is not only for finding jobs or clients. In an economy dominated by ideas and innovation, networking creates the channel through which ideas flow and in which new ideas are created. A large network, carefully cultivated, ties one into not just a body of people but a body of relationships, and those relationships are more than just the sum of their parts. The interactions those relationships make possible give rise to innovation and creativity – and provide the support to nurture new ideas until they can be realized.

5. Critical Thinking

We are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of times more information on a daily basis than our great-grandparents were. Being able to evaluate that information, sort the potentially valuable from the trivial, analyze its relevance and meaning, and relate it to other information is crucial – and woefully under-taught. Good critical thinking skills immediately distinguish you from the mass of people these days.

6. Decision-Making

The bridge that leads from analysis to action is effective decision-making – knowing what to do based on the information available. While not being critical can be dangerous, so too can over-analyzing, or waiting for more information before making a decision. Being able to take in the scene and respond quickly and effectively is what separates the doers from the wannabes.

7. Math

You don’t have to be able to integrate polynomials to be successful. However, the ability to quickly work with figures in your head, to make rough but fairly accurate estimates, and to understand things like compound interest and basic statistics gives you a big lead on most people. All of these skills will help you to analyze data more effectively – and more quickly – and to make better decisions based on it.

8. Research

Nobody can be expected to know everything, or even a tiny fraction of everything. Even within your field, chances are there’s far more that you don’t know than you do know. You don’t have to know everything – but you should be able to quickly and painlessly find out what you need to know. That means learning  to use the Internet effectively, learning to use a library, learning to read productively, and learning how to leverage your network of contacts – and what kinds of research are going to work best in any given situation.

9. Relaxation

Stress will not only kill you, it leads to poor decision-making, poor thinking, and poor socialization. So be failing to relax, you knock out at least three of the skills in this list – and really more. Plus, working yourself to death in order to keep up, and not having any time to enjoy the fruits of your work, isn’t really “success”. It’s obsession. Being able to face even the most pressing crises with your wits about you and in the most productive way is possibly the most important thing on this list.

10. Basic Accounting

It is a simple fact in our society that money is necessary. Even the simple pleasures in life, like hugging your child, ultimately need money – or you’re not going to survive to hug for very long. Knowing how to track and record your expenses and income is important just to survive, let alone to thrive. But more than that, the principles of accounting apply more widely to things like tracking the time you spend on a project or determining whether the value of an action outweighs the costs in money, time, and effort. It’s a shame that basic accounting isn’t a required part of the core K-12 curriculum.

What Else?

Surely there are more important skills I’m not thinking of (which is probably why I’m not telling Bill Gates what to do!) – what are they? What have I missed? What lessons have you learned that were key to your successes – and what have you ignored to your peril?


10 Small Changes Can Make You a Multi-Millionaire

Saving for your retirement, your children's education or just improving your standard of living can be impossible unless you know what to do. Small changes in your spending can achieve $1-2,000,000 over your lifetime.
10 Small Changes in your Spending Habits: 
  1. Save your change - this can be as much as $50 a month.
  2. Stop buying soda, coffee, and junk food when out - $50-100 per month.
  3. Take your lunch to work - $250-350 per month.
  4. Cancel your cable TV - $50-150 per month.
  5. Use coupons at the supermarket - $50 or more per month.
  6. Shop at discount stores for clothes - $50-100 per month
  7. Use the Internet to shop significant purchases - savings up to 40-50%.
  8. Increase insurance deductibles - $200 per year.
  9. Lower thermostat in winter and raise it in summer - $25-100 per month.
  10. Pay bills online/automatic bill pay - $15-20 per month postage.
You may look at these suggestions and say, no way can I change or live without it! Your next step is to find something else that yields the same or more savings. For example, I cannot give up cable, so it is part of my entertainment. I use group discount movie tickets to achieve similar savings and more selective how often we go to the movies. Remember the goal is saving $750.00 or more a month, the specifics are up to you.
By conservatively investing the approximately $750 savings monthly in 30 years it could grow to $2,000,000.


Sorry about the lack of posts lately!

I've been really busy with college. essays, projects, homework .. ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I will get to yall tomorrow and friday

Have a nice day!


Smart Select Your Next Car

Just the thought of owning a new set of wheels is exciting enough to get carried away for a bit. While it’s natural to want to explore the market to see what all you can squeeze around a loosely estimated budget, there are more practical ways to go about buying your car so that you don’t lose too much money on it, or end up being dissatisfied in the long run.
Assess your needs before hand - This is probably one of the most crucial factors while looking out for your next car. Consider carefully what you want to use your car most for, to arrive at a right fit. Do you want it for small local trips or long outdoor runs; will it be used by a single person, or multiple drivers; how many passengers and how much luggage will it be carrying mostly?

Decide whether you want a new or a used car –This is completely dependent on your savings. While a new car may last you longer and require less immediate maintenance, an older car will set you back by a lesser amount initially and if maintained properly over the long run, maybe a more economically savvy decision. Is there an old car that you plan to trade in and how much more will you need to put in from your personal funds, are some important factors to consider here.

Research on models and prices – We all usually have a “dream car”, and this is where all practical thinking stops. Every vehicle will have many unique features which differentiate it from the others, however research shows that 90% of the time, we shortlist a car based only on one or two features. Obviously, it’s practical to research all options built around our needs in the market and then take an informed decision. With the Internet making research so easy, use websites that give you information on different models, features, comparative studies and car prices to shortlist cars that fit your budget. 

Check cars for comfort, performance and on-road safety – Anything that’s a small irritant at the time of buying your car, might turn into a major grievance once you start using it regularly; so it’s important to check the car you are interested in for factors like performance, comfort, economy, appearance, dependability and car safety .

Consider long term costs – Though economy has been mentioned earlier as a checkpoint while considering a car, it’s important enough to discuss in greater detail. The money you spend on your car will not be a one time expense. Consider factors like ongoing maintenance and spare parts, registration and car insurance costs. Many websites compare these factors on various car models to give an average cost of maintaining a car. You can have a pretty good idea about what you should expect to spend on your car on a regular basis before you decide to buy it.

Do you plan to finance your car? Research options on finance and dealer discounts – This may involve some legwork on your part but is definitely worth it. It’s important to shop for money, BEFORE you start shopping for your car. If you’re looking for a loan, your credit union might be the best place to start. It’s easy but not really smart to go with the dealership finance options as you might not get the best deal there. If you can get a preapproved loan, that will help you negotiate better for your car. 

Finally, Stick to your price - Don’t get carried away with “I’ll throw these mats in for free” pitch by your dealer. Stick to your price, especially if you’re not trading in your old car. Because of a weak market, it is often easier for a dealer to sell you a car for a slimmer profit than get loaded with an old car, which he may not be able to dispose off easily.

All You Need To Know About Credit Cards

In current times, credit card has become an integral part of everyone’s life. People use these plastic cards for nearly every financial transaction today, from paying their phone bills to purchasing items in grocery stores. No matter where a person goes, credit cards serve as a substitute for cash. Often these cards are referred to as plastic money. 

Having a good card allows you to enjoy a large number of benefits. Firstly when you have the card you do not have to carry a huge amount of cash with you when you go out shopping. Sometimes people find something while shopping which they need. Unfortunately they are not carrying enough cash to pay for it. When you have a card you can simply buy using the card and pay your dues later. While shopping online the easiest way to pay is via card. For most travelers and tourists the card has come as a boon since in foreign countries the card takes care of the trouble of converting travel funds to local currency. 

Credit cards are issued by various banks to its customers. When the holder buys something with the card he actually borrows the money from the bank and later pays it back. You do not have to pay interest on the borrowed money if you pay it back within a stipulated time. Beyond this time you need to pay interest at defined rates. Each card has a credit limit which is the amount of money you can borrow and a mandatory minimum amount, based on your total purchases, which have to be paid every month.

Before you go ahead and get yourself a card you should be clear about a few things in your mind. How much can you borrow using the card before you run into serious debt? For what purpose are you taking the card and how will you use it? 

There are innumerable card providers in the market, each offering a different package regarding credit card rates and various other benefits. You are to decide which the card most suitable for you is. A friend or relative maybe happily enjoying a card which has certain benefits but this does not mean that you will need the same card since your requirements maybe different. If you do not get the card which is most suitable for you, there is a chance that you can incur a financial loss.

Well there are business credit cards which are tailor-made for people who are running their own business. They have a higher credit limit because usually business overheads are paid using them. Zero interest credit cards have zero interest in the introductory phase and then later switch to normal rates. The introductory phase can stretch from 6 months to one year. Low interest credit cards have the lowest possible interest rates but they do have certain drawbacks like an annual fee or a very low credit limit. You may get a huge number of benefits for using Reward System cards like airline mileage points, gasoline points and hotel reward points. These are just some of the various types of cards which are available.

You can compare the benefits of each type of card from various banks at their Websites based on their interest rates, balance transfer rates, annual fees and other added benefits.


3 Helpful Ways To Become Successful In Your Career

Becoming successful in your career takes so much effort. Here are three helpful ways to achieve it:

1. Have the passion - Being successful in your chosen career requires you to have the passion for it. You need to love what you are doing and what you are in to. You need to be consistent and know what your true desires are. When you have the passion for your career, you would always want to make and give out all the best for it. You put in much effort because you know you want it. Your passion and desires would lead you to take risks. If you really fight for what you know makes you happy, then it is very possible to become successful.

2. Have goals - You should know how to make goals. Make plans and aim to achieve something. Your goals serve as your inspiration and motivation to make your career a successful one. You must have a clear vision and aims on what you want to see in your life and in your chosen path. You efforts and character defines your future and the success of your career. Characterize what you want, when you want it and learn the effective ways on how to achieve it.

3. Be futuristic - It is important to be futuristic. Have an advanced thought on what you want in your life and career. You should know how to foresee your life in the future. Think about it and view it in different time frames so that you will know how to deal and cope with some unexpected changes you might encounter. Although you are not the ultimate author of your life, it is still necessary that you have some visions of your life in the future.

Not everyone succeeds in his or her chosen career. It is not as easy as it seems, but it is not impossible to make it happen. Be guided with these three helpful ways and be successful!

How To Save Money On Your Electric Bill

Your home energy cost can at times be one of your highest bills. The cost of electricity at certain points of the year gets so high that you can run up hundreds of extra dollars in cost if you are not careful. There are a wide variety of ways that you can save money on your electric bill many of which are very easy to do.

First of all upgrade your lighting. There are many bulbs that can put out lots of light with little wattage. This might not seem like a huge change but it can save quite a bit of money for you in the long run. Also get into the habit of turning lights off so they use energy when it's not needed.

Try doing things like drying your clothes outside. Doing this even a few months of the year can save a family quite a bit on electrical costs.

Be sure to maintain your refrigerator. This would include making sure the cooling coils in the refrigerator and freezer are clear. Also go to the bottom and back of the unit so that you can clean out the vent which will help it run better.

Get a wattage meter that can measure how much electricity that the things you use around your home are using. These are normally less than $20 and plug into the outlet letting you measure what you are using. This will help you focus on the things that might need to be changed because they use too much power

Unplug everything you can when not in use. Many electronics especially draw phantom power even when off. This means they are using electricity even after turned off. This can gradually add up.

When you can use cold water over using hot water. Heating hot water uses quite a bit more energy than just using the cold water which doesn't require any of this electricity.


Facts! (Yes, they are back!)

Average Cost of Raising a Child

Having your own family is a blessing that many of us do not acknowledge. Having a kid is one of the most beautiful experiences a person can have. Seeing your kid take his or her first step, giving you their first smile or seeing them off to school for the first time are memories that you will cherish all your life. However, in today's day and age, having a kid and raising him or her can be an expensive affair.

Many people actually put off having kids because they feel that they are not financial secure to take on the burden of rearing a kid. Raising a kid is not a joke. One needs to be prepared both financially and mentally to take on this great responsibility. Initially, parents will spend a lot of money on food, clothing and healthcare. Then more expenses get added.

The average cost of raising a kid from birth until the age of turning into a major is different in different countries. In fact, it can vary from city to city, depending on the cost of food, healthcare, education, housing, transportation and childcare. However, based on certain estimates, it has been calculated that on an average a single household spends about $222,000 each year. A family that is clubbed in the middle income category will spend about $11,500 - $13,500 each year and this amount will increase as the child keeps growing. Usually parents spend about 17 percent of the cost on childcare and 16 percent on education.

It may sound strange, but families that have more children tend to spend less compared to families that have one child. The reason for this is actually quite simple. If there are more kids in a family, they can share things like clothes, toys and even the bedroom. Also, the family saves money by purchasing food items in build. There are some schools that offer discounts if all siblings study in the same institution.


How to Save Money Every Month - Coffee Savings Tip

Every month, coffee drinkers spend a lot of money on coffee without realizing it. The amazing fact is that by simply eliminating your $3.50 latte and putting it in the bank, you could save over $700,000 in your savings account! How could that be? It's all about saving and earning interest over the years and letting compounding interest multiply your savings. Here are the three tips to help you do that:

Tip #1 - Put the money in the Bank
Save money on coffee each month, and you could be closer to being a millionaire. Imagine that instead of spending that $3.50 on coffee, each month you diligently deposited that money into your bank's highest interest savings account, term deposit, savings bond or certificate. Suppose that you find something that pays 5%. That's a little high right now but historically, 5% is a reasonable 
number to use.

Tip #2 - Use Inflation
Next, we save money each month by using inflation. We can assume that the price of that coffee will go up by 5% every year. Next year that same cup of coffee will cost $3.68. So on the second year of this savings program, we use the idea of inflation to convince ourselves to deposit $3.68 every day instead of last year's deposit of $3.50 every day.

Tip #3 - Use the Magic of Compound Interest
And now we let the magic of compound interest take over. Each month as you save your coffee money, the total you save annually, grows to $1,277.50 (365 days x $3.50 = $1,277.50) and the bank pays you 5% on that money. The next year, you increase your deposit by 5% (365 days x $3.68 = $1,343.20) and the bank pays 5% on that year's deposit and the previous year's balance. If you do that same calculation every year, here's how much money you would save over the years:
  • $20,809 over 10 years
  • $67,692 over 20 years
  • $165,638 over 30 years
  • $359,743 over 40 years
  • $732,480 over 50 years
You could save $732,480 over 50 years by just depositing your coffee money each month!

How to Save $1 million in just 30 years
But wait a second, 50 years is a long time to save money each month! Fortunately, you can save a million dollars in 30 years by finding $20/day to save each month and increasing that by 5% each year. You already have $3.50/day from your coffee money. All you need to do is find another $16.50/day. Here are the savings from just $20/day:
  • $118,909 over 10 years
  • $387,381 over 20 years
  • $1,026,958 over 30 years
Isn't that amazing?


3 Simple Tips to Save Money

Have you ever thought of why you should save money?

Are you trying very hard to save money?

Saving money is one of the most important preparations for your financial future. It helps to prepare you for any emergencies such as unemployment, illness or disasters. In addition, it also helps you to plan for the future such as money for your children's education, buying new car or for retirement. These can cost a lot of money if you never save money. Therefore by having a good savings account can help you pay and lessen your loan obligation.
Saving money is not difficult as long as you have the determination and dedication to do it. So, if you are ready, you can try out the following steps.

#1- Make a Budget

Making a budget is one of the ways to save money because an accurate budget will help you to identify all your necessary expenses. In order to make a budget, you need to start by deciding the time frame that you will use. For example: monthly budget, quarterly budget or yearly budget. The next thing is to figure out how much income is coming in, the amount of money you spend and calculate the surplus. Remember to keep a record of it so that you can refer to it and make improvements.

#2- Start a Savings Plan

Once you have a budget plan, you should start to develop a plan on how you are going to save the money. The first step is to set your goals and figure out how much you want to save. After that, you should keep track of your own finances. By keeping track of your own finances, you should keep a close eye on your spending.

#3 - Spend Less

In order to spend less, one of the ways is to eat out less. Eating out can be fun and delicious, but it can seriously bite out your wallet. Therefore, you should try eating in more often or making your own food.
Besides eating out, you can also spend lesser by buying used or non-branded name products. I know the temptation to purchase the latest product can be strong, but if you save by buying used and non-branded products, it can be more substantial.

Saving money is possible because it is within your control. All you need is to learn and take time to develop and it will definitely benefit you for the rest of your life. So, start saving money today.

McDonald’s Happy Meal resists decomposition for six months

Vladimir Lenin, King Tut and the McDonald's Happy Meal: What do they all have in common? A shocking resistance to Mother Nature's cycle of decomposition and biodegradability, apparently.
That's the disturbing point brought home by the latest project of New York City-based artist and photographer Sally Davies, who bought a McDonald's Happy Meal back in April and left it out in her kitchen to see how well it would hold up over time.
The results? "The only change that I can see is that it has become hard as a rock," Davies told the U.K. Daily Mail.
She proceeded to photograph the Happy Meal each week and posted the pictures to Flickr to record the results of her experiment. Now, just over six months later, the Happy Meal has yet to even grow mold. She told the Daily Mail that "the food is plastic to the touch and has an acrylic sheen to it."
Davies -- whose art has been featured in numerous films and television shows and is collected by several celebrities -- told The Upshot that she initiated the project to prove a friend wrong. He believed that any burger would mold or rot within two or three days of being left on a counter. Thus began what's become known as "The Happy Meal Art Project."
"I told my friend about a schoolteacher who's kept a McDonald's burger for 12 years that hasn't changed at all, and he didn't believe me when I told him about it," Davies told us. "He thought I was crazy and said I shouldn't believe everything that I read, so I decided to try it myself."

Some observers of the photo series have noted that the burger's bun appears at different angles, and therefore aired suspicions that the Happy Meal may not in fact be as "untouched" as the project's groundrules stipulate. Davies says there's a simple explanation for the mobile-bun effect. "The meal is on a plate in my apartment on a shelf," she says, "and when I take it down to shoot it, the food slides around. It's hard as rock on a glass plate, so sure, the food is moving."

Davies' friend was the person who should have done the additional research. Wellness and nutrition educator Karen Hanrahan has indeed kept a McDonald's hamburger since 1996 to show clients and students how resistant fast food can be to decomposition.
As for Davies, she said that she might just keep her burger and fries hanging around for a while as well.
"It's sitting on a bookshelf right now, so it's not really taking up any space, so why not?" she said. It ceased giving off any sort of odor after 24 hours, she said, adding: "You have to see this thing."
In response to Davies' project, McDonald's spokeswoman Theresa Riley emailed The Upshot a statement defending the quality of the chain's food. Riley's email also blasted Davies' "completely unsubstantiated" work as something out of "the realm of urban legends."
"McDonald's hamburger patties in the United States are made with 100% USDA-inspected ground beef," Riley wrote. "Our hamburgers are cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else -- no preservatives, no fillers. Our hamburger buns are baked locally, are made from North American-grown wheat flour and include common government-approved ingredients designed to assure food quality and safety. ... According to Dr. Michael Doyle, Director, Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, 'From a scientific perspective, I can safely say that the way McDonald's hamburgers are freshly processed, no hamburger would look like this after one year unless it was tampered with or held frozen.'"

More pictures here: http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/180-Day-Happy-Meal-Art-Project/ss/events/lf/101210happymealart

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