All posts by Hunter Meine

Think Outside of the Box When Marketing Your Brand

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marketing your brand

Marketing  is an endless battle trying to win over new customers to give your brand a try. But, for new businesses especially, marketing your brand is how you get the word out about your products and services to close those first sales.

There are several tried and true marketing approaches that you can and should try. However, thinking outside of the box may provide access to more success by setting you apart from competitors. Here are some examples you can consider:

Host a Live Stream

Video has been crowned the king of content for the past several years. Video has proven to be quite successful at capturing the attention of consumers through the use of humor, graphics, or cinematography. In addition, videos contain many elements that can’t be captured in other forms of media.

One type of video many companies have yet to latch onto is live streaming. Instead of directing and shooting a scene that can be edited later, a presentation or event is held in real-time for viewers. A live video can be a daunting task to undertake, but the benefits can be astounding. Your Calendar will help with the scheduling, and some creative thinking will master the execution. In addition, you can gain confidence for live video work with practice.

T-Mobile’s former CEO, John Legere, is an excellent example of using live streams to promote a brand. He hosted a “Slow Cooker Sunday” show where he would share recipes with viewers while talking about the latest in T-Mobile news and promotions. By combining an entertaining hobby with his business, he built up both his personal brand and that of his company.

Encourage User-Generated Content

User-generated content is great for three reasons. First, it’s free content production! Your design team can take a well-deserved break to restore their creativity and let consumers handle the task instead. Second, the more participants you have, the further your UGC campaign will reach as well.

However, user-generated content is worth so much more than free labor. This approach gives customers a chance to express themselves and even earn prizes for the best contribution. In addition, your brand will seem much more personable as it connects with customers commending their hashtag ideas and merch photoshoots.

Last but not least, customers can develop a community around your brand by sharing content. The camaraderie that forms will boost retention rates as customers tie in friendships, followers, and memories with the UGC campaign you put together.

Customize the Details

All brands try to be unique, and yours should be no different. Making yourself and your brand unique is how you set yourself apart from the competition, after all. However, to really think outside of the box, you need to customize the details of your business that would typically be overlooked.

Take a simple business card, for example. You can spend hours on the color palette, font, and layout of your business cards, but these tiny details will essentially go unnoticed unless you really make them pop. How about focusing on the shape instead? A bait and tackle shop handing out business cards in the form of fish will easily be remembered.

Instead of stressing out about making your website or social media page completely original, think about the more minor details that customers usually wouldn’t notice. For example, a pediatric office can turn its lobby into a magical kingdom to make kids more comfortable before their appointments. A local restaurant can hand out crazy straws that are perfect for dinner selfies, and so on and so forth.

Try Out New Socials

When startups look to gain traction over the internet, they often look to social media. Unfortunately, more often than not, these companies focus on only one or two platforms where they’re most comfortable. While this is a great start, every brand should try out every available platform, even with many unknowns.

Just look at Tik Tok. The video-sharing app has seen explosive growth in recent years, and those who jumped on the platform, in the beginning, grew along with it. So even today, if your brand can produce content for the platform and escape its comfort zone, there’s a lot of exposure to be found.

When you try out new social platforms, you can find the winning competition for your brand. You might find out that Tik Tok just isn’t the app for you, but you will be surprised by how much traffic you’re getting by posting on LinkedIn. You never know until you try.

Put Your Name Somewhere Eye-Catching

Every business puts its name on social media, billboards, bus stops, and in front of buildings. Think of some different ways to get your brand name out there. For example, if you have a blank wall on the side of your building, commission a cool mural with bright colors that will be impossible to miss.

There are other marketing options available such as sponsoring a local sports team. You can get involved with a fun part of the community and get your name on a banner hanging in the arena. In addition, you can sponsor local activities such as the county fair, Thanksgiving fun run, and a holiday food drive.

Most publicity is good publicity, especially if it’s for a good cause. For example, if you see a blood drive coming up, volunteer to help in exchange for your company name to be displayed as part of the event. As a result, your brand will be associated with a good deed which will get more community members to check you out.

Remember that not every marketing campaign will take off. There will be some trial and error before you find what works well. Just keep thinking outside of the box, and eventually, you’ll figure out the best strategy for marketing your brand.

Image Credit: fauxels; Pexels; Thank you!

Think Outside of the Box When Marketing Your Brand was originally published on Calendar by Hunter Meine.

Planning for Retirement With Calendar

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Planning for Retirement With Calendar

It’s never too early to start planning for retirement! In fact, it’s encouraged to begin planning for the day you retire as early as possible. The sooner you begin planning for retirement, the more contributions you can make to ultimately live out your dream.

It’s also ok to realize that it’s not too late to start making retirement plans. If you don’t know where to start, let’s work through some of the basic steps you should take to begin creating your retirement plan and turning it into a reality:

Start to Visualize

Picture in your mind the ideal retirement scenario. Do you find yourself in a house on the beach or a cabin in the mountains? Do you go golfing every week, or is your time spent woodworking in the shop? Ironing out these details allows you to create goals to work for and implement into your retirement plan.

Make sure you write down your retirement goals somewhere. You can refer to these goals over the years and adjust them as needs and interests change. You might have to change your overall retirement plan to match your new trajectory. Regardless of how often you change your mind, you’ll always have a set plan to work toward.

Your goals and aspirations will need dollar signs attached to them. How much money will you need each month to live out your dreams? An estimation of your cost of living will give you a tangible target goal for your retirement fund.

Set Money Aside

Retirement isn’t cheap. It takes quite a bit of money set aside to live the life you want without earning a steady paycheck. Fortunately, if you start setting money aside now, you should be able to retire comfortably by the time you’re in your 60’s.

Between paying bills and shopping on Amazon, people tend to forget to make contributions to a retirement or savings account. Your Calendar can help with that. Set a monthly reminder to move some money into one of these accounts.

The day you set aside money doesn’t matter as much as making sure you have committed to the process. Your day could be the day you receive your paycheck so that you always make that contribution before spending it on something else.

Be sure to note that retirement accounts such as a 401k have limits to which you can contribute each year. But for most of us — we don’t have $58,000 to drop in our 401s — so just make sure you contribute to your fund.

Be sure to get a tax person to look at your info. Even the Forbes article says $57,000 ($63,500 for those 50 and older) after it tells about the limit being $19,500 — plus another catch-up of $6K.

Nonetheless — getting as close to that savings maximum limit as possible gives your account a greater ability to accrue interest over time, so it’s a good goal to reach if you’re living within your means.

Take Advantage of Company Plans

Most companies offer retirement benefits to their full-time employees. If you qualify for such a plan, take advantage of it while you can. With the help of your employer, you can significantly expand your saving and investing potential over the years.

The benefits you’ll typically get are employer contributions to your retirement account, usually in the form of a 401k. The contributions made by your employer stack on top of the contributions you make on your own up to a certain percentage. You set aside much more money, which generates a more significant return as interest piles up over the years.

Choosing retirement benefits may even impact where you decide to work in the future. A typical employer contribution is 50 cents on the dollar up to 6% of your income. Don’t worry; they’ll do the math for you, but this is a good benchmark for deciding which retirement benefits package you lean toward the most.

Get a Grip on Your Time

You only have so long to prepare for retirement, so there’s no time to waste. However, by improving your time management, you can do more to work toward retirement before it’s too late.

For instance, using an online calendar can help you plan out your days better to get more done in the same eight-hour shift. Getting more done can lead to entrepreneurial advances, promotions, or other career jumps that augment your income. Proper time management can also open doors for side hustles and other forms of income to be added to a retirement fund.

Be sure to remember that you should enjoy life leading up to retirement as well. Time management with your Calendar allows you to get your work done while spending quality time with family, pursuing hobbies, and getting proper rest. These aspects of life are just as important now as they will be when you ultimately retire.

Find Alternate Sources of Income

Speaking of additional income, this is a great time to address the need for more than one source of monthly stipend. The reality is that many Americans don’t make a great deal of money from a single paycheck to pay their expenses, keep up a healthy savings balance, and save enough for retirement. Many have found success by generating additional income through a variety of means.

Investing is one way retirement dreams have become a reality for many Americans. Unlike a 401k or IRA account, investment portfolios don’t have a contribution limit. You can invest as much money as you’d like and withdraw it at all. Make smart, calculated investing decisions on stocks and bonds, and you can watch your money grow from year to year.

Starting your own business is another excellent way to increase your income. You can do some freelance work on the side using one of your skills or look at getting into real estate and collecting rent on a couple of properties. Each option has risks and labor involved, so choose wisely the paths you wish to take.

If you want retirement to be everything you hoped it would be, start preparing now. Draft out some preliminary plans in your Calendar and begin taking steps forward, and by the time you wish to retire, you will have the resources to do so.

Black Thumb? Your Calendar Can Help You Keep Indoor Plants Alive

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indoor plants

The cold weather isn’t just getting you down. With less sunlight, your indoor plants will also struggle this time of year. You’ll need to be more proactive in caring for them to help them thrive until spring.

If you don’t have any indoor plants, consider getting one. Having a plant at your desk can spur productivity while working from home during COVID-19. It can even help ward off seasonal depression, a major concern this year when compounded with extended quarantine.

To aid you with your indoor horticulture, use an online calendar. This tool will help you organize your efforts and help your plants to stay strong through the winter. Here’s how it’s done:

Let the Light In

You need to take advantage of every hour of light to give your indoor plants the best chance at success. You can set all sorts of reminders in your online calendar to let the light shine on your indoor plants.

You can rotate window placements to follow the path of the sun, or even just set a reminder to make sure all the curtains are open. If natural light is hard to come by, consider setting up some grow lights and putting them on a schedule.

Set a Watering Schedule

Everyone knows that plants need a good amount of water to survive. What you might not be aware of is that overwatering during the winter is a serious problem. Many plants go dormant during the colder months, reducing their growth and their need to be watered.

Use your online calendar to create a watering schedule to make sure your plants are staying hydrated. Just be sure to remember not to overdo it with enthusiastic watering.

Cycle Through Pots

Just as your home needs to be cleaned regularly, so do the homes of your indoor plants. The pots and containers you keep your plants in grow old over time and can build up waste at the bottom which needs to be cleaned out.

Cycling through pots keeps plants fresh. At the very least, make a schedule for some regular maintenance. Your plants will be very thankful. Again, be reserved; too much potting and repotting can damage your plants.

Do a Little Dusting

As odd as it may sound, dusting off your plants is a helpful trick for helping them through the winter. Keeping the leaves clean and clear allows them to absorb more light, improving their overall health.

If you already use your online calendar to schedule housekeeping, leave your plants for last. The other bits of cleaning you do will stir up dust in the air that will settle on your plants. Dust those at the end and you’ll ensure they stay nice and clean.

Monitor Temperature

Plants can be a little finicky about their preferred temperature. Too hot or too cold and you can lose them fast. For this reason it’s important for you to monitor the temperature in your home both day and night.

If you happen to have a smart thermostat in your home you can set an automatic schedule to adjust temperatures. If not, use your online calendar to develop a schedule and stick to it. Make sure it doesn’t get too cold at night or too hot in the afternoon.

Check for Bugs

Winter is prime time for sickness, such as the flu and the common cold. These “bugs” as they’re called are frequent in humans, which your plants don’t have to worry about. What is a concern, however, are actual bugs who’ve made it inside your house for warmth and are looking for their next meal.

Set reminders in your online calendar to check for signs of pests. The sooner you spot signs of nibbling or crawling, the sooner you can start treatment. Research some products that can be used to prevent and rid your plants of insects so you can stock up and be ready to nip it in the bud.

Use a Humidifier

Some areas of the world get very dry in the winter. Most indoor plants prefer to be humid, so the dry spells of the winter months can rustle them up a bit.

You can purchase a small humidifier to set next to your plants to keep them comfortable. To ensure it’s running properly, schedule times in your online calendar to refill it and make sure your plants are benefiting from the mist.

Prepare for Travel

Got holiday travel plans in your online calendar? Chances are you aren’t planning on your plants tagging along. Plant sitters are expensive, so add some time to prepare them for your absence before you hit the road.

Bunching your plants together will help them to stay humid and warm even when you’re not there to check on them. Giving them extra water before you leave will also prevent them from drying out over the duration of your trip.

Track Warm Days

Some winter days will be surprisingly warm, especially at the beginning and end of the season. When there’s more sun than usual and the temperature is high enough, let your plants out for a little outdoor time.

Don’t forget to bring them back in at the end of the day! Your online calendar will remind you to bring plants back inside so they don’t freeze out in the cold.

Play Some Music

The debate on whether music actually helps plants to grow might never end. Regardless, it’s still worth a shot if you’re a new botanist enduring your first winter. Some soothing music just might do the trick.

If you do plan to play music, you can use your online calendar to rotate through playlists. Line it up with your day and you might be able to enjoy it as well.

Cultivating a green thumb in the winter is no easy task. You’ll warm up to the idea as you plan the process in your online calendar. Soon your plants will be looking as good as they do in the warmer weather.

Image Credit: sohail nachiti; Pexels; Thank you!

Black Thumb? Your Calendar Can Help You Keep Indoor Plants Alive was originally published on Calendar by Hunter Meine.

Being Cold Can Hurt Your Productivity

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Being Cold Can Hurt Your Productivity

These final months of the year keep getting colder and colder. Of course, some people love the cold, especially after a blazing hot summer. However, no matter how you feel about the cold, it’s essential to understand that being cold can actually hurt your productivity.

When you’re cold, your body expends more energy trying to keep warm. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to focus and maintain energy and power throughout a long shift. Cornell University performed a study that showed that employees committed 44% more errors in their work in a cold setting instead of a warmer one.

Here are some tips for warming up your body and your brain so that cooler weather doesn’t compromise your seasonal productivity:

Grab a Space Heater

It’s understandable if you don’t want to crank up the heat throughout the entire building if you’re just a little bit chilly. Not only might this inconvenience others, but it can also run your utility up considerably. A small space heater can do the trick in this scenario.

Space heaters can be set to target temperatures so that they aren’t constantly running but will quickly flip on when things get chilly. However, leaving a space heater on for too long or unattended can be a fire hazard, so be sure to unplug it when you leave the room. Additionally, keep the surrounding area around it clear, and you won’t experience any problems.

If you want a more focused heating experience, try a heated blanket. You can wrap the “blankie” around your legs or shoulders to warm up key areas of your body. Just make sure the heat and comfort don’t make you drowsy, causing you to lose productivity.

Bundle Up

Shorts are so comfortable, but you’re going to need to start bundling up a little bit more. Just look on the bright side; winter layers offer many more opportunities to show off your style and fashion sense. Besides, you can always peel off extra layers when you’re feeling too warm. You can’t conjure up a jacket if you leave it at home.

For at-home workers, bundling up presents an interesting dilemma. The outfit of choice during the latter half of the year often includes a pair of cozy sweatpants. While it’s essential to keep warm, make sure your clothing isn’t putting you in the wrong state of mind for a productive day.

If you get cold hands but need to type all day, try on a pair of fingerless gloves. There are all kinds of typing gloves on the market to keep your digits warm while retaining dexterity.

Do Some Exercise

If you feel the cold making it difficult to focus, get up and do some light exercise. A few small exercises will get your blood pumping to warm up your body and reactivate your mind. Of course, there’s no need to hop on the treadmill to warm up; just do something simple at your desk.

For example, you can set a recurring reminder in your Calendar to stand up and do 15 jumping jacks every hour. The people in our office do all kinds of exercise during work. Jumping jacks, situps, running in place, or going up and down the stairs in the building, stretching, and a variety of other activities to keep the blood flowing and the mind awake.

These short activities won’t make for much of a weight-loss routine, but they will help keep you warm and active during the fall and winter months. In addition, coworkers can join in on exercise fun, leading to a fun office tradition.

Watch What You Eat

What you put into your body can help regulate your temperature or make matters worse. You might love ice cream more than anything in the world, but that’s certainly not going to help you focus on productivity on a chilly day. Your best bet is to try something warmer. Coffee, a little green tea, hot chocolate — there are many options.

Coffee and tea are popular drinks, especially at this time of year. Sipping on a hot drink will warm you inside and out. Not to mention that these drinks also contain properties that are designed to perk you up even on the earliest and chilliest of mornings.

Be wary of the effects of these drinks — and watch to see if they’re helping more than hurting. For example, some people are sensitive to caffeine, so while you might enjoy getting warmed up and energized, your hyperactivity might make it difficult to concentrate on project details. You also need to stay hydrated even when it’s cold, so be wary of drinking too much of something that’s not doing the job.

Get Some Sun

Not only does the sun help warm you up, but it’s also an important ward against seasonal depression. Sometimes the cold and dark affects you more mentally and emotionally than it does physically. Shining some extra light in your life will help on both counts.

During times and regions where the sun doesn’t shine in too often, look at compensating with some artificial light. For example, a small desk lamp can be strategically placed to light up your workspace when outside is nothing but dark and gloomy. You can even alarm clocks that simulate the rising sun, helping you start each morning on a more positive note during the colder months.

Spend Time With Others

Time spend with other people isn’t a suggestion to huddle together with your coworkers like penguins. Instead, try to make time for healthy social interactions. Sharing a laugh with others is a great way to keep seasonal depression at bay and warm up your emotional state.

Different challenges such as Covid-19, remote work, and even social anxiety make this challenging for some. So get to your Zoom calls a minute early and chat with your team or join online groups with people sharing similar interests. A little social interaction can go a long way when the winter woes are pulling you down.

Baby, it’s cold outside,– but that doesn’t mean your productivity has to freeze over. Instead, keep yourself nice and warm, and you won’t have a problem making the next months just as purposeful as the rest of the year.

7 Football Funding Ideas for Your Kid’s Team

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7 Football Funding Ideas for Your Kid’s Team

Football season is in full swing, and many teams need funding. Jerseys and equipment aren’t cheap, and numerous youth coaches are volunteers. So, to finance an entire season for your kids team, parents and kids band together to do some fundraising.

Fundraising requires equal parts hard work, creativity, and generosity. Some people will donate no matter what, but putting together a good fundraising campaign can help you get enough for not one but two end-of-season pizza parties for your kids team. Here are seven ideas you can try out this season:

1. Car Wash

There’s no fundraising method more classic than a car wash. A car wash provides a nice service to the community while also doubling as a fun team bonding activity for the team. Likewise, a Calendar event will make it easy to coordinate with other team parents and share the event with family and friends hoping to attend and lend support.

You don’t always have to run a car wash to run a successful fundraiser, especially if other teams do the same thing. The team can mow lawns together, hold a bake sale, or even paint fences. Use your imagination to develop the best fundraising event for your team and community, and use your Calendar to make it happen.

2. Sponsor Banners

There are plenty of local entrepreneurs who would love to support a team and advertise their business simultaneously. These banners can be placed around the field at games or will sometimes even be printed on the back of the players’ jerseys. Spectators will see these logos and be prompted to support the businesses that support their team.

Sponsor banners typically follow a tier-based system. The more money a business donates, the larger its logo will appear on the banner. This incentives more significant donations but also allows anyone to pitch in, even grandparents who want to put their name on the banner along with $10 in support. This is a great way to raise money for your kids team.

3. Discount Cards

Another common youth football tradition is the discount card. These cards contain coupons and deals for dozens of local businesses. A single card can be purchased for a reasonable price, with hundreds of dollars in potential savings waiting to be grabbed.

For example, a discount card might have a deal that can be used for one dollar off of every movie ticket you purchase. A one-dollar discount isn’t a big deal, but with unlimited use, the savings can really add up for the summer. Of course, movie discounts can be stacked on top of buy-one-get-one deals for restaurants and any other discount the card offers.

4. 50/50 Raffle

A 50/50 raffle is simple. Spectators can buy any number of raffle tickets for a chance at 50 percent of the pot. The remaining half is used to fund the team.

You can hold a 50/50 raffle at every single game. Many teams require funding before the season starts, but by running 50/50 raffles throughout the season, you can stockpile funds for the following year. Some generous parents will even donate their winnings from the raffle to the team for twice the fundraising.

5. Halftime Games

Looking for a way to entertain the crowd during halftime? Run a couple of fun games. Parents and siblings can enjoy participating in some carnival-type games while they wait for the action to resume on the field.

An example of a game you can put together is a baseball toss. A radar gun and a backdrop are all you need. Charge five dollars for five baseball throws and track the speeds. You can keep a daily leaderboard and give a prize to the hardest thrower of the night.

After selecting a game or two, you can rotate the responsibility, so one family doesn’t carry the burden all season. Use your Calendar to keep track of each week and which families volunteer to run the halftime booth. If you have extra volunteers, you can even run some activities during the game for those kids who are tired of watching football.

6. Fun Run

Put the fun in fundraiser by putting on a fun run. A fun run will bring the whole community together, and the team can even participate in the event. Fun runs are widespread, so it shouldn’t be challenging to get sign-ups. This is a great way to raise money for your kids team.

The challenge will be putting together a solid racecourse, but a local park with a walking path should do the trick. Put together some music, mile markers, race packets, and some prizes for the winners, and you’re good to go. The first time you put on an event of this magnitude, you’ll feel understandably nervous, but every following event will be a piece of cake.

7. Merchandise

Who doesn’t love to feel like a superstar? Your kids certainly will love it when parents and friends can buy jerseys and t-shirts to support the team at games. In addition, customization options such as last names and numbers will be a huge hit for families looking to get gear for the whole crew.

If you don’t have a t-shirt press handy, there are dozens of websites and even local businesses that can help out. You can even invite a local company out to games to make the merchandise on-site and give them a percentage of the earnings. As a result, they’ll be able to boost their revenue and increase their brand recognition while helping your team raise funds for the season.

If you like more than one fundraising idea, use one now and keep the rest for the years to come. You can use these ideas for other sports as well, providing support to every child in their sport of choice.

Image Credit: sides imagery; pexels; thank you!

7 Football Funding Ideas for Your Kid’s Team was originally published on Calendar by Hunter Meine.

Productivity Lessons Learned From the Olympics

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Productivity Lessons Learned From the Olympics

It’s 2021, but they’re calling it the 2020 Olympics — a year later than scheduled. It’s an exciting time for athletes and sports fans around the world. Even though fans cannot be in attendance due to lingering concerns over Covid-19, there have been plenty of memorable moments and incredible performances to remember. In addition, there are productivity lessons that can be learned from the Olympics.

The Olympics are often an inspiring event for global citizens of all ages. Kids become interested in trying new sports, and adults get a burst of energy to get up off the couch and exercise more often and better than better. All the while, citizens cheer on their countries in a display of unity and patriotism.

You can take many lessons from the Olympics and apply them to your everyday life. So watch a few events the next couple of days and tune in before the Closing Ceremony’s on Sunday, August 8th. Here is a list of the lessons we would like to take home from these Olympic games:

It’s OK Not to Be the Very Best

A lot of people will tear themselves down when they notice that someone else is better at them at something. That’s easy to see while watching the Olympics from home. You might ask yourself, “Why should I continue to pursue swimming if there’s always going to be someone who’s faster?” That sort of feeling will get you stuck in a deep rut rather quickly.

Keep watching the games and you might notice something peculiar. You’ll see athletes jump for joy with tears in their eyes after winning a bronze medal. Two people bested them, but they didn’t care. The way they saw it, they were still one of the best in the world and now had a medal to commemorate all of their hard work.

Seek to find that joy in what you do even if you’re not the best at it. Play the guitar because you enjoy it, not because you’re going to be the next Jimi Hendrix. You will be a lot happier and more fulfilled when you make that mindset shift.

Learn From Your Failures

While watching the world’s greatest athletes compete on TV, it’s easy to think that they’re superhumans that rarely make mistakes. But, in reality, the opposite is true. The athletes you see have actually had countless failures, but they learned from every single one of them.

Learning from your failures is hard. It’s much easier to curl up in a ball with some Netflix and ice cream and admit defeat instead of pushing through. Nevertheless, its greatness occurs when you rise from the ashes, and you use the experience, however bitter, to become better than you were before.

Musicians are another great example of learning from mistakes to become better. While practicing a piece of music, they commit numerous errors in the early stages. You’ll experience this when taking on a new job or trying to learn a new skill. When those mistakes come, look at how to avoid repeating them instead of letting them conquer you.

Get a Good Support System

While tougher to notice in this year’s Olympics, you’ll often notice athletes run to celebrate a victory with someone special. Family members, friends, and coaches the athletes have grown close to are the first to bask in a win with the victor. This support system knows just how hard the athlete has worked to get where they are today and was there to guide them for most of the journey.

Friends and family can and should make up part of your existing support system. If your loved ones are a bad influence, consider expanding your circle to include some more positive friendships. Spend time with those who uplift you and support your goals, and you’ll be amazed by what they can help you achieve.

Another way to build up your support system is through networking. By networking, you can find valuable mentors who can teach through experience and lend a helping hand. While you’ll most likely find mentors in a professional capacity, the advice and support they can give can be applied to almost every facet of life.

Preparation is Everything

The Olympics are only every four years (switching off between summer and winter games). While there are regional and even some global competitions in between each Olympics, there’s nothing quite like having an Olympic medal draped around your neck. That’s why those four years are filled with intense focus and preparation from every athlete.

Just think about the runners in the 100m dash. Their races only last for about ten seconds. Yet, they spent years training for those ten-second races. That sort of dedication is quite admirable. It should put a lot of your personal goals into perspective, like going back to school or changing career paths. It will take a lot of Calendar events, planning, and execution to reach your goals.

Discipline is Required for Greatness

Let’s circle back to that Olympic work ethic for this last section. While it’s true that most, if not all, of the Olympic athletes you see, are naturally gifted, none of them made it to the world stage without their fair share of hard work. It takes gallons of blood, sweat, and tears to become an Olympian and even more to make it to the podium.

When the going gets tough, just remember that discipline is required to be great. Many professional athletes are used to getting up early and working long hours to achieve their goals. You should expect to do the same, especially for the goals most worth pursuing.

At the end of the day, the Olympics make for entertaining television. However, let us not let the lessons that can be learned from the various sporting events we watch — be lost on us.

Everyone has it within themselves to become someone or something magnificent (or at least better than we are now) with a ton of hard work and focused determination.

6 Tips for Getting a New Job

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6 Tips for Getting a New Job

There is a major labor shortage happening in the United States right now. There are many reasons why this might be the case, but regardless of the circumstance, this could be an excellent opportunity for many working Americans. Thousands of new job openings mean that this could be the perfect window of opportunity to chase a dream job or change careers.

Tips for Getting a New Job

Getting a new job can be just as daunting for seasoned workers as it is for college graduates. There are a lot of factors to consider when applying for a job that could ultimately lead to success. This article aims to guide you through the process so you can take the next step in your professional career no matter where you are now.

1. Review Your Resume

Your job résumé is your first impression when applying for a new position. That being said, it’s one of the most important resources you have when searching for a job. As a result, most candidates are sifted out based on the contents of their résumés.

Different hiring managers look for different things in a résumé. Of course, they’ll want to see relevant experience and a work history that shows you’re reliable. Try and keep your résumé concise no matter what and have the most important information in clear, bold lettering. There are plenty of formatting guides and templates that can aid you in your résumé design.

If you. have a complicated or complex resume — consider hiring a service that can give your resume the polish it deserves.

2. Brush Up Your Interview Skills

Almost every job you’ll ever apply for will have some sort of interview process. Some smaller companies will hold a single, semi-casual interview, while others have applicants undergo a more extensive screening process. Others still might meet with you over the phone and call that good. So you need to be prepared for anything.

Every interview will be different, so you can’t memorize a list of questions and the answers you’d like to give. You can prepare for basic questions, however, such as “why do you want this job,” “what do you know about this company,” and “why do you feel like you’re a good fit for this position?”

Get a trusted friend to pepper you with questions, hop on YouTube and watch interviews, listen to some podcast interviews, watch a few TedTalks for good speaking with clarity tips, and don’t forget to stand in front of the mirror and ask questions.

Don’t work yourself up too much. You don’t have to be a master negotiator in order to nail a job interview. Most employers just want to ask a few questions and get to know you a little better. Team chemistry and job fit can be a big deal, so coming across as respectful and eager to learn is often better than acting arrogant and overconfident in your abilities.

3. Flood the Mailbox

Don’t just apply for a single job and wait to hear back. Who knows how long this can take. Moreover, while you’re patiently waiting for a single response, you could be missing out on dozens of other opportunities. Instead, take a shot at a position you don’t feel qualified for yet; you might surprise yourself.

Set a goal to send your resume to a variety of different companies.  You could aim to send out one new application each day or a set amount of 10-20 by the end of the month. Job posting website Indeed recommends you send even more than that, up to 10-15 applications a week or 2-3 per day.

Even if they don’t have a job posting listed, send them your resume in an email just to reach out. Then, you might hear back from an organization that is at least willing to guide you in the right direction.

4. Take Advantage of Networking

That segues nicely into this next section. Networking is your best friend when looking for a new job. Having reliable connections can get you to people and places you had no idea existed or couldn’t find independently.

For example, you might inquire at a local hospital if they have any job openings available even though none are posted. Even so, you might be able to connect with someone who has a friend running a local clinic that is hiring. Without networking with the hospital, you might have never found this job opportunity.

Another great way to network is through social media. Websites such as LinkedIn provide a great platform for connecting with industry leaders and professionals from around the world, not just in your local community. You can get great advice from here as well as access to certification courses to advance your education and career.

5. Take an Internship

Sometimes you just need to find a way to get your foot in the door. An internship can do just that, giving you training and networking opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to you. For example, it’s a lot easier to get an internship at Google than to become employed there without a previous relationship.

Unfortunately, many internships are unpaid or pay a lot less than regular employment. This can be a tough situation for someone looking for a job to pay the bills. However, a part-time internship at a more promising company or in a new field you’re interested in might make for a bountiful long-term investment.

6. Steady the Course

Don’t let your job search impact your work performance at your current employer if you do, in fact, have on. Many companies will contact former employers to inquire about you as a worker. But, of course, you want them to say only good things about you, so don’t cut the slack even if you’re planning on making a move.

Also, don’t give up. Job searches can get exhausting quickly when applications are sent back, and doors seem always to be closing. Instead, keep working on improving yourself, networking, and seeking out opportunities and eventually, you’ll find an opening.

Best of luck on your job search now and any time in the future you look for a change of scenery. Keep these tips in mind and bet on yourself. You’ll be amazed by what you’re able to accomplish.

Life’s a Beach: 6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Summer

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Life’s a Beach: 6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Summer

Life’s a beach is a light-hearted phrase that reminds us that there is still so much good in the world to be enjoyed. Slip into complacency, and you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities for both fun and personal progression. With your Calendar, you can take advantage of both the productivity and fun these summer months have to offer. All you need to do is consciously manage your time to make sure that every day contains a moment to remember before the season ends:

1. Plan a Trip

Summer is prime time for vacation, especially for families with children who don’t have school to worry about. The wonderful weather also enables various pleasant trips, from weekend camping trips and day hikes to a week-long vacation on a tropical beach.

Don’t feel pressured if you can’t fit a big family vacation into your budget every year. You can make just as many memories and have a lot of fun doing something smaller. For example, plan a campout in the backyard or take a day trip to the lake as your summer trip. You’ll be glad you did something, no matter how small.

2. Chase Down Some Goals

Not sure how to spend all of your summer downtimes? Set some goals to pursue during the season. These goals will give you something to work toward instead of spending every afternoon in a backyard hammock (which is perfectly fine every once in a while, it’s important to rest).

The beauty of a summer goal is that it can be anything you want it to be. Want to learn a new skill? Schedule some classes and practice time in your online calendar. Want to tackle some home improvement? Your online calendar will help you work out some time to build that new deck or repaint the basement.

It’s important to note that summer is short, typically containing fewer than the 104 days Phineas and Ferb get to enjoy. With that being said, set realistic goals that are within your limits. You’ll only have a few months to complete a summer goal, and setting your sights too high can leave you feeling discouraged when fall arrives and your goal is left incomplete.

3. Get Your Tan On

The sunlight is oh so good for you, and it will do you well to catch some rays throughout the summer. Sunlight is known for helping people stay healthier and more positive. But, unfortunately, not getting enough rays is part of why seasonal depression is so prevalent; the cold weather and shorter days make it more difficult to get sunshine in your life.

Just 15 minutes of sunlight can have a positive impact on your day. If you spend all day in an office, you can squeeze in a little outdoor time during your lunch break. Filling your online calendar with outdoor activities over the weekend will also get plenty of Vitamin D into your schedule.

Of course, there’s always the concern that too much sun can be a bad thing. Just be sure that you have on some sunscreen and some covering to reduce your risk of skin cancer and sunburns. This is especially important for kids with more sensitive skin.

4. Attend Every Event

When kids don’t have classes to attend, parents will often fill their schedules with other activities to don’t spend every day glued to their electronic devices. So whether they’re participating in sports, dance classes, or music lessons, make time to attend every one of the events.

Even if your kids decide they don’t want to participate in whatever extracurricular activities they’re pursuing, they’ll be happy that you were always there to support them. So add any recital or match into your online calendar, and do your best not to miss a single event supporting your family.

5. Limit Your TV Time

We get it; electronics are awesome. Sometimes there’s nothing better than watching your favorite TV show at night or playing video games all weekend. However, if you’re not careful, those electronics can take away your entire summer and leave you wishing you did a little more.

To make sure you don’t waste your summer on the internet, use your online calendar to monitor your screen time. You can designate specific blocks of time to try a new video game or set a consistent bedtime, so you don’t stay up all night binge-watching movies, messing up your entire routine.

Helping your kids stay off of electronics will be quite the challenge as well. When schedules and routines fall short, a few incentives might do the trick. Have them spend some time outside or doing some chores to earn their screen time. Looking back on their summer, they’ll be glad that they were able to experience more than just their electronics.

6. Get Involved in the Community

Your town or city will be putting on a number of activities and events this summer. Getting involved in your local community will be one of the best decisions you make this summer. Besides, it won’t take a lot of planning to fill up your online calendar when you import the city calendar over.

Few experiences will be as memorable as a Fourth of July parade, a summer reading program, and outdoor theater nights at the park. You’ll be able to meet new friends, visit new places in your town, and try a lot of new things that can become traditions for years to come.

Summer is almost over, so get started today to make sure you have no regrets once fall arrives. Then, start making plans for next summer to make it even bigger and better than the last.

Should You Bring Work On Your Vacation?

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Should You Bring Work On Your Vacation?

Summertime is a popular time for vacation-goers. Sometimes when I’m headed on vacation with friends, it’s easier to get off work at other times during the year. But when you want to head out of town with the kids, summer is the best time because they are out of school for the next few months.

Parents still have to take time off work, which can be a bit of a logistical problem at times. For this reason, many working parents debate on whether or not they should take some work with them on vacation.

The obvious answer to some might be no, that ruins the point of a vacation. However, there is some merit to taking a little work with you on a trip if you play your cards right. This article will dissect both the pros and cons of such a decision for your upcoming family trip:

Why You Should Take Work on Vacation

There are some scenarios when bringing work on vacation with you can actually be a good idea. For those who really struggle with the stress of taking off work, bringing a few assignments along may provide an ideal balance:

Take More Time Off

When you take work on the road, you might be able to squeeze in some more time off. In addition, the ability to take on a few tasks and assignments even when you’re out of the office means that you’re not needed back as quickly, buying you some more vacation time.

Let’s say there’s a simple project that you need to get done by the end of the week. By picking up that task and taking it with you, you can fulfill an obligation with work without the need to show up at the office. In addition, with this project getting done, you can feel better about the time you’re spending away from the company.

Keep Up With Deadlines

What happens when you want to take a vacation, but you have some deadlines coming up? Trying to jam them all into your online calendar before your trip is extremely stressful and can really damage the quality of your work. On the other end of the spectrum, pushing all of your deadlines back until you get home from your trip can fill your entire vacation with dread.

Instead of trying to alter your schedule too much, just plan around your vacation to include a few deadlines throughout the duration of your trip. A deadline or two sprinkled into your online calendar won’t take up too much time and will help ease your concerns about missing work for an extended period.

Stay Fulfilled

There are a lot of people in the world that work hard every day. Sometimes people do extra work because they crave the sense of fulfillment they get from a job well done. Taking a week off to relax, however beneficial for them, can be a challenge when they’re not checking off boxes or turning in assignments.

If you’re one of these people that gets a little antsy without your work — taking a bit of work with you on vacation can provide the relief you want. Whether it’s the fulfillment you need, or something else, you don’t need to feel guilty about bringing along your diversion. You also don’t need to worry about kicking back.

This concept also applies to anyone trying to pursue some lofty goals this summer that are work-related. Completing some tasks even while on vacation helps ensure you stay on the right track toward completing the goals you set for yourself, like qualifying for a promotion or a pay raise.

Why You Shouldn’t Bring Your Work Along

While we applaud productivity here, oftentimes, a vacation needs to be just that. Trips are to explore the world, experience new things, and take a break from your daily stress and responsibilities. Bringing work along can end up being counterproductive in that sense. But you can slowly work toward the goal of working less and less on vacations until you hit your best compromise.

Lose Time With Family

When you’re on a family vacation, your highest priority should be spending quality time with your loved ones. Nothing should get in the way of that, especially not work. So what’s the point of even taking a trip with your family if you’re not going to be participating in the trip with them?

If you plan to bring work with you on a trip, use your online Calendar to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of quality time with family. Block off time, specifically very early morning or later at night when vacation activities aren’t scheduled, and people are in bed. In this way, you’re not missing out on the family fun. Correct scheduling is the way you can have the best of both worlds.

Builds Up Stress

Vacations are meant for relaxing. It’s a chance to forget about work and relish in a life free of worries. So why bring work into the mix when it can easily mess up that chemistry?

Of course, not bringing work with you might be the source of your stress. Stress can eat away at you, especially if you have just started your business or are a true entrepreneur.

Until things are set up in certain ways, maybe with a few more employees, it may only be you who can make the business running smoothly when while. You’re on vacation.

Whatever the case is for you — if you have a team, just make sure you set your team up right and only respond to emergencies as needed. Then, they’ll be able to do the heavy lifting while you take a much-needed break away from it all.

Increases Burnout

Taking a break from work is meant to reduce the risk of burnout. However, when burnout strikes, it strips you of motivation and drive, leading to a sharp decline in productivity and quality of work. This can be costly when it comes to staying in good standing with your current job.

If you truly feel like you need to take some time off to forget about work, make your number one priority. Let your company know that you need this time so you can return an invigorated and energized employee. If they start sending you calendar notifications for meetings and assignments, let it be known that you plan to decline every single one of them until you return.

In the end, it’s up to you whether or not you bring work with you on vacation. Consider what you hope to accomplish and let the pros and cons help you make the right decision.

Host a Successful Yard Sale With Your Online Calendar

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Host a Successful Yard Sale With Your Online Calendar

We’re back in the office and we need to dejunk to get a fresh start. Most homes need a little dejunking too. Yard sales are an American staple. They’re a fun way to get rid of some excess belongings while turning a quick profit. However, yard sales are hard work and require a fair amount of time and effort to pull off.

Using an online calendar makes organizing a yard or garage sale that much easier. Planning things out will help them run more smoothly, leading to a more successful experience. This guide will help you put together the best yard sale in town:

1. Schedule Your Dates

The first step toward a successful yard sale is pinning down your dates. This will get your plans in motion under a set time parameter. Everything else will be so much easier if you know exactly when your yard sale will be.

Weekends are generally the best time for yard sales because more people are free to come and visit. The summer months have a little more flexibility, as families with kids out of school will be looking for extra activities through the week to fill their time. Once you’ve selected the days and times you want, it’s time to move to the next step.

2. Organize a WorkForce

You need manpower to run a successful yard sale. The larger the sale, the more help you’ll need. Using an online calendar you can schedule shifts for friends and family to help make sales and manage merchandise for your own little pop-up shop.

For those outside of your household or your office team who are pitching in to help, you can share your online calendar. Your Calendar will let them know the exact times of the yard sale and when you’re hoping they can come help out. With an online calendar, your scheduling is a smooth operation.

3. Leverage Social Media

Getting the word out about your yard sale is key to its success. After all, without customers, your efforts will be in vain. In today’s world, one of the easiest ways to reach people is through social media.

Use your online calendar to plan out a content calendar for social media posts advertising your yard sale. Schedule posts throughout each day of the sale to maximize exposure over as many platforms as possible. People scrolling through news feeds will see your post and be prompted to make a visit.

4. Include the Neighbors

To ramp up the scale of your yard sale, ask your neighbors if they’d like to be included. Even if they only have a few items to contribute, they can provide an extra set of hands and can further spread the word about the event. The bigger and better the event is, the more worthwhile it is for customers to stop in.

Once again, you can share that online calendar to sync schedules with anyone who’s interested. Even just making them aware of the yard sale can be of benefit, as word of mouth can lure in more prospective buyers.

5. Allow for Prep Time

A yard sale doesn’t set itself up. Before you open your doors, or lawn, to the public, everything needs to be in its proper place. Otherwise, the early birds who select you as their first stop of the day won’t be able to fully participate in your yard sale.

Schedule preparation time in your online calendar. You can prepare a lot of things in the days leading up to the sale, and will also need some time the day of to get everything arranged. Decide how much time you need and use your online calendar to make it happen.

6. Plan a Cleaning Day

You might already have a pile of stuff dedicated to your yard sale. If not, or if you want to expand your inventory, plan a deep cleaning day. Throughout this clean, look for other items you don’t mind letting go of to add to the pile.

Periodic deep cleans get rid of the clutter that so frequently fills American homes and offices. This will not only help your current yard sale efforts, but it will also help you feel like your home and office are much more open and clean, making it a more comfortable living and working space.

7. Provide Refreshments

For the most memorable yard sale experience, provide refreshments to all your guests. You can offer some simple free beverages, or let the kids set up a lemonade stand or snack shop to earn a little change themselves.

Providing refreshments will require some prep of its own. Make sure you have all the ingredients you need for whatever you supply. Then, use your online calendar to remind you to restock throughout the yard sale so there’s always something available for customers.

8. Scope Out Other Yard Sales

If you’re still looking for a way to set yourself apart, scope out some other sales happening in your area. You can look for postings in the newspaper and online to find places to go. Seeing a yard sale from the perspective of a customer will help you know what you should include in your own.

Plan a day or two to go sale hopping. Add the times and locations of sales into your online calendar so you can make time for the trip and plot the best route. You can learn a lot from what you see, so be sure to take notes.

9. Schedule a Day to Donate

When it’s all said and done, you probably won’t have sold every single item from your yard sale. Instead of packing these things back into storage to sit for another year or throwing them out, seriously consider donating them to charity. There are plenty of individuals and families that would be grateful for such a gift.

Research local charities and organizations in your area. Once you’ve selected one, plan a day in your online calendar to drop off the remaining items from your yard sale. This will be the perfect end to your hard work and efforts.

A successful yard sale will depend on the work you put into it. Follow these tips and get excited for a great time and you won’t be disappointed.

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