Category Archive: Self-care & Personal Development

How to Separate: Sometimes it’s Easier Said than Done

~by Elizabeth Stephenson~

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how to separateIt’s that time of year for Spring cleaning, and sometimes that may include cleaning op your personal life and relationships. That may mean refocusing on your current relationships and moving forward together, or realizing that it’s time to move on separately. If your decision is the latter, wanting to separate from your spouse is sometimes easier said than done. There are a myriad of issues you need to consider before either of you physically leaves the marriage.

1. Somebody’s gotta go.  Even when both parties are unhappy and want to separate, many times neither wants to leave the marital home. You may have a great emotional attachment, you may want to stay for stability for the children, or sometimes, you just don’t want the other spouse to be able to live in what used to be “y’all’s” home. No matter the reason, in order to be legally separated in North Carolina, one of you must vacate the marital home.

2. But I don’t wanna leave.  Now you may have a problem. You can’t force your spouse to leave. If there is domestic violence, you can seek a protective order and be awarded possession of the home and your spouse is not allowed to return. You could seek a divorce from bed and board – in essence a judicial separation, where the court could order your spouse to leave because his/her behavior or treatment of you is so intolerable. If neither of these fit your situation and you want to separate, you may be the one who has to leave.

how to separate3. I’m outta here!  Although you and your spouse may own the home together or both be on the lease, once you leave with the intent to remain separate and apart, you no longer have a right to come and go as you please. You still have ownership rights to the home, but you’ve “abandoned” the property, so if you return without your spouse’s approval, you could be cited for trespassing. If you didn’t take all the personal property you wanted when you left, you’ll need your spouse’s approval or a court order to get what’s left. The spouse remaining can also have the locks changed.

4. Whoa Nelly… not so fast. Her or she may be a jerk and you want out now, but if you leave and you have no court orders in place or a signed separation agreement, then neither of you are legally obligated to provide financial support to the other. Sounds crazy, right?! But it’s true. Even if your spouse leaves you with the marital home, he/she is under no obligation to financially contribute to the household bills unless a court orders them to do so or you can come to a mutual agreement.

5. So, now what?  If you are not in danger of domestic violence and you can tolerate one another (perhaps living in two separate bedrooms or floors of the home for example), make a plan and set a timeframe to physically separate. If you’re not working, you may want to get a part time job and stash that money away so you can have some funds in the event you have to support yourself or your children for a couple of months. Run your credit report, and if you don’t have your own credit card, open one so you can begin to build your own financial history. Plan on selling your home? Many couples stay in the marital home until the sale of the house. Then they use the proceeds to set up their own separate households.

James R. Sherman once said, “You can’t go back and make a brand new start, but you can start now and make a brand new ending.” Keep that in mind when considering separation. Deciding to end your marriage is the first step. Finding out about all your legal rights and options BEFORE you separate can help you put a plan in place so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family’s future.


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Meet the Author: Elizabeth Stephenson

New Direction Family LawElizabeth has extensive experience in a range of different family law legal proceedings, including mediations, arbitrations, litigation, and appeals. She is the person you want by your side when you’re facing divorce, separation, child custody, property division, domestic violence, or any other family law issue. She understands the emotional upheaval and stress experienced by families facing separation and divorce. Using expert knowledge of North Carolina family law and 17 years of practice in the field, she is dedicated to providing steadfast support and guidance to each and every client.Family Law


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4 Skills That Will Make You an Invaluable Asset

~by Dixie Somers~

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When you’re starting out in the real world and looking to make a great living, you’ll need to be better than the rest of those in your field. Although this is easier said than done, becoming a valuable employee at your company — no matter where you work — is possible. Below are several skills you should consider gaining to help boost your value in the eyes of your employer in regards to certifications and pathways.

1. Graphic Design

skillsPretty much every business will need a graphic designer at one point or another. Whether it’s designing logos, business cards, letterheads, or something else, a graphic designer is always in demand. If you’re an especially talented designer, that makes you that much more valuable, especially for small businesses who might not be able to budget for an expensive freelancer. A company with a talented in-house designer will not be letting them go anytime soon, and a designer with certifications and experience is always a plus.

2. Journeyman Skills

If you have skills as an electrician, carpenter or plumber, you’re instantly sought after. Even if your current profession is nowhere related to those skills, if you prove to be valuable when there is a plumbing or electrical problem, you have earned your keep. This is especially true if a company doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on repairs. This can also save you money when home issues arise.

3. Nursing

skillsHighly skilled nurses are more in demand than ever today. The nursing field has a shortage of qualified nurses which makes them even more valuable to companies and clinics. If you’re considering going into the nursing field, then you may want to consider getting a Master’s of Science in nursing online. Earning your degree online will make it easier for you to pursue other goals while you go to school. When you’re finished, you can look forward to a lucrative career in the medical field.

4. Sales and Marketing

Understanding the basics of marketing and sales can get your foot in the door at some places, but having a degree in any one of these areas will set you above the rest. Those who understand marketing and are gifted at sales become crucial assets to a company. These people are the ones that bring in the dollars and keep the company above water. If you’re one of these people who the company relies on to make sales and bring in customers, you’ll have a bargaining chip that you can use if your company hits troubled waters.

There are many more pathways you can take to prove your worth, but the above areas are some of the most useful. Understanding the basics of just one of these will set you apart, and you could have much more career potential than your coworkers.


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Dixie SomersMeet the Author: Dixie Somers

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, and those with an entrepreneurial spirit. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.


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Employee Education: The Importance of Improving Your Workers’ Skills

~by Kara Masterson~

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Education is the key to the futures of your workers and the company in general. Workers who educate themselves are able to think more critically and increase their performance rates. When they perform better, they contribute to the growing success of your business. There are many reasons why education is an important asset to have in the workplace.

Employers Promote Continuing Education

employee educationContinuing education is a common term in the workplace. Continuing education in the workplace is essential to success for many reasons. Many professionals can only keep their licenses by taking continuing education courses. Even though they have graduated and are no longer enrolled in school, they retake certain courses to stay up to date in their industry. Nurses retake certain science courses to refresh their memory about parts of the human body. Licensed professionals who apply for renewal must retake classes in fields such as management, marketing and math. Many courses are provided online for free or at regular cost.

Education Ties into Financial Security

Keeping your employees informed means keeping the company safe. Many e-commerce companies are involved in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), which is designed to protect credit cardholders’ information. There is no use being a part of the system if your employees are not fully trained in its practices. Whether you hire cashiers or accountants, order that they undergo quality PCI-DSS training. The main purpose is to protect sensitive credit card information that passes through the data system. When it is time for an audit, know that your employees understand the main compliance requirements without any concerns.

employee educationEmployees are Made More Aware

With education, employees are made more aware of the competitive world in which they live. Many employers do not consider job applicants who do not meet certain educational standards. When they hand out promotions, they tend to favor workers who are better qualified with more credentials. Gaining skills is the only way to move forward in the workforce. Education is a boost to the resumes of all working individuals. They are better able to do their jobs and have more opportunities open up for them.

When workers think about improving their skills, they dread the thought of going back to school. Employers should remind them of the many benefits associated with education, such as improved work performances and advancements to higher positions. In the end, maintain the efforts to improve your workers’ skills and create good, long-lasting results for your business.


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Kara MastersonMeet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family.


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3 Strategies to Help Reduce Stress So You Can Work Efficiently

~by Emma Sturgis~

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reduce stressThe phone call with the cranky client. The lunch meeting that goes until four. The last-minute project that gets dumped on your desk before the weekend. All these situations and more represent just some of the stresses you’re likely to feel at work. Unfortunately, it’s usually not possible to work without at least some stress getting you down. However, it doesn’t have to knock you out.

Here are 3 tips that will help you reduce stress, relax and work more efficiently.

1. Be Sure to Unplug

While it’s tempting to just eat lunch at your desk or to skip that workout after work, you shouldn’t. Finding ways to exercise and move around may help break up your day, give you time to take a break from stressful tasks, and lower your stress levels. If you have time, take a run at lunch or catch that spin class at your local gym after work.

Or if you want a more low-key way to spend your down time, take up yoga, meditation or even adult coloring books. These activities get your mind off of your work stresses and on to more pleasant things. Many of them you can even do while you’re at work. Don’t discount how much a 5-minute walk or a few minutes spent coloring can brighten your day and relieve your stress.

2. Eat Right

You probably got tired of your mom telling you to eat your vegetables when you were a kid, but mom was right. Sound nutrition does more than just build the body. It helps us combat stress and helps to rebuild your cells. Cellular health determines how we handle stress, how fast our body repairs itself after illness, and how well we perform when we’re working at peak level.

Your cells rely on redox signaling to work correctly. If you’re feeling run-down, chances are very good that you’ve been heading toward a crash for a while. Supplements that rejuvenate redox signaling get your cells back up to par. In the process, you’ll be better able to manage your stress levels at work and at home.

3. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

reduce stressCaffeine can jazz you up when you need it. It can also make it nearly impossible for you to keep your stress levels down when you’re already stressed. Consuming caffeine may help you stay awake, but it also leads to crashes later that may mess with your body’s natural relaxation schedule. If you notice that your stress levels at work go up instead of down after that cup of coffee, it might be best to reduce your caffeine intake or eliminate it all together.

That said, you’ll want to reduce your caffeine intake gradually, or you may end up with side effects like headaches. You could try switching to beverage options that are lower in caffeine and gradually wean yourself off of them. You’ll also want to read the labels on your meds, as some automatically include a small dose of caffeine. Finally, make a note of any symptoms like headaches or nausea. You may be trying to reduce your caffeine intake too quickly. Slow and steady wins the race in this case.

Last Thoughts On Reducing Stress At Work

Stress can be a real brain zapper. It also breaks down your body, making you susceptible to illness. Learning to manage stress is the key. That said, many jobs are inherently stressful, which means that your stress levels will remain high. Taking steps like practicing meditation, eating right, and reducing your caffeine intake will help you manage your stress levels. The best chance you have to combat stress is to be aware of its triggers and come up with a plan ahead of time to alleviate it before your body breaks down.


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Emma SturgisMeet the Author: Emma Sturgis

Emma is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. When not writing, she enjoys reading and rock climbing. Say “hi” on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.


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How to Achieve and Maintain Balance in Everyday Life

~by Jenn Bovee~

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Since about the early 1990’s I have been infatuated with the concept of balance. Sometimes it feels as mystical as a unicorn. You know, the very minute you think you have grasped it, POOF, you are overwhelmed and overcommitted to things again! The experience I have just described is only magnified when you throw in parenting and working and other obligations. It is also my belief that women struggle significantly more with achieving and maintaining balance than men do as a whole.

maintain balance

My experience in working with people over the last twenty years, is that there is no one right way for everyone to achieve balance. As such, I am a firm believer that each individual has to find a philosophy and formula that works perfectly for them. We are all different, so I will give basic suggestions for how to achieve and maintain balance. However, please feel free to personalize these in ways that work best for you.

1. Outsourcing: I’m a big fan of outsourcing things that I either haven’t made time for, or that bring tons of stress with it. The two things I outsource in my life are my QuickBooks (because I’m NOT an accountant) and housekeeping. I literally pay someone to come in and clean my house. Not because I don’t want to clean it or can’t clean it, but because my time is better served working with my clients versus cleaning my house.

2. Grouping: I love this concept. The way it works for me is I don’t go to the bank or the post office with just one thing. I wait until I have several things to take, and then I make a trip. I was once giving a talk on achieving balance and a woman shared that she sets things on her stairs to conserve her energy. Then, when she’s making a trip upstairs, she takes it all with her. I do this in so many different areas of my life, and it’s been a huge time saver.

3. Use a Schedule: I have a great brain which supports me in so many ways. However, if I don’t write things down on my calendar it will absolutely get missed. I even use alarms to remind me to call in refills for pharmacy stuff. Whether you prefer paper calendars or electronic calendars, the result is still the same. Put everything you need to do down in writing so that you can look at it objectively.

4. Say No: I realized many years ago that I wasn’t serving anyone else well by attempting to be all things to all people. The result was that I got burned out and felt unappreciated. It’s okay to say no. Currently, my practice is if it’s something I won’t enjoy or don’t have time for, I say no. Saying no is very healthy for us and establishes that we have boundaries.

5. Be Realistic: It is neither healthy nor realistic to expect ourselves to be committed to activities 20 hours a day. It’s essential that my expectations of myself are as realistic as my expectations of other people. If I wouldn’t expect another person to be able to accomplish this, I can’t expect that of myself. I am so realistic in my scheduling of things currently that I schedule clients during my ideal functioning times.

maintain balance6. Ditch the “Shoulds”: In my experience, “should” is a very shame based concept. It implies that whatever you did somehow just wasn’t good enough. I think the best antidote to this is acceptance. Acceptance of the fact that through each and every situation, you have done the best you could. None of us are perfect, and therefore we need to create an atmosphere in which we are much more kind and gentle towards ourselves.

7. Make Sure to Have Fun: When’s the last time you really laughed? Like, from-the-belly laughed. It’s such a healing experience to laugh. I have literally watched people who were carrying with them a significant amount of stress, allow that stress to melt away by laughing. Laughing allows us to temporarily disconnect from the stress and strain of life and just let it all go.

8. Drop the Guilt: Women, specifically, struggle with unrealistic expectations of themselves in combination with superwoman syndrome. We believe that we should be all things to all people at all times. And if we can’t be all things to all people at all times, we instantaneously feel massive amounts of guilt. My recommendation is for you to ask yourself, “How is this guilt serving me?” If the answer to this question is not positive and amazing, I encourage you to release the guilt.

9. Disconnect Often: I’m a huge proponent of down time! I have begun scheduling one weekend a month to simply have downtime. No appointments, no obligations, no expectations, and I nurture myself during these weekends. Here’s the deal though: it doesn’t need to be an entire weekend. Many years ago I had a very wise woman tell me that I needed to take one night per week just to myself. And during that one night I was not allowed to clean, pay bills or do any other obligatory activity. It was time to feed my soul.

I am committed to empowering other people to achieve balance. I would love to hear from you about how you maintain balance.


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Jenn BoveeMeet the Author: Jenn Bovee

Jenn Bovee is a Psychotherapist and Intuitive Life Coach. She has specific training in both subconscious and conscious mind tools. Jenn helps people all over the world step out of their fear and doubt and into their power and knowing.


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3 Tips to Help You Get Ahead in Your Career

~by Mila Sanchez~

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It often seems like women in business have a hard time getting ahead. As much as we would like to believe that there is equal treatment of women in the workplace and in entrepreneurship, women often get looked over for opportunities like promotion in favor of men. We have to work just a little bit harder to show that we are more qualified and more driven.

get aheadThere are several things you can do to pad your resume and add to your overall knowledge in ways that are bound to make you stand out and get you the opportunities you want. No matter what career path you are trying to get ahead in, this guide will help you on your way.

Make sure you are educated

While it can be argued whether real work value lies in education or experience, nearly every person with hiring and opportunity-giving power is going to be looking at your education. This is why, according to Arizona State University, power in the workplace can be gained through education. When comparing your experience with that of someone with similar experience, your education could be the thing that tips you over the scale when the choice is ultimately made.

Being more educated is also going to help any woman who is looking to spearhead her own business. You will have critical thinking skills and practical knowledge to apply to your ventures, something that others may be lacking. It’s nice to have an idea, but without the know-how to initially back it up, the process for getting your business started is going to take much longer than it needs to. Opportunities in entrepreneurship wait for no person, so the faster you can get started, the better your odds are of being successful.

Keep up with technology

get aheadTechnology is so prevalent these days that it’s being used and integrated into every aspect of our lives. With things like cloud-based data, technology is changing the way we do business. And you no longer have to be in a STEM field to have a need for keeping up with the ever changing technology trends. Knowing your technology stuff will help you to make innovations in your workplace by integrating technology that will allow your company to thrive, and set you out above the rest.

If you are starting your own business, you definitely need to know your stuff. Technology has changed the way we pay for goods, and if you don’t know the various payment methods people are using these days, you may miss out on some sales. You also need to know how to use the internet and social media to advertise your business. With DVR and streaming services, a paid advertisement on TV is no longer an effective method for reaching an audience. A creative and well executed social media campaign is much more effective at reaching people these days, especially younger people who are new consumers.

Be a Thought Leader

Ultimately, the thing that is going to make you stand out and be successful is to be a thought leader. It combines education and keeping up with trends, making you the best and most knowledgeable in your field or position. Using this knowledge with a little inventive and critical thought, you will no doubt be looked to for information and guidance by your peers and be spotlighted for promotion and opportunity.

Entrepreneurs as thought leaders are what make the difference between mildly successful and wildly successful. Take these five inspirational women leaders who are killing it with their businesses. They took their knowledge and combined it with their passions and beliefs and created viable businesses that have been very successful.

We may have to work just a little harder, but there is no reason why women can’t make it to the top of our chosen career paths. With education, technological knowledge and becoming a thought leader in your industry, you can get ahead and lead the way.


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Mila SanchezMeet the Author: Mila Sanchez

Mila Sanchez is a writer with a BA in English Linguistics living in beautiful Boise, ID. Her ambitions include traveling the world, studying languages and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram!


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The Right Office Decor Can Inspire Productivity

~by Alex Williams~

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We are not fully aware of just how much our working environment can affect our productivity. We usually notice things that annoy us and believe that they are the reason. But even some seemingly meaningless things can lower our productivity. Whether you work from home or in an office, you need to have an environment that will keep you focused and relaxed. In order to create such perfect surroundings, you should consider adjusting a few things.

productivity

Proper Lighting

Proper lighting can help you focus better. However, when there’s even the smallest thing wrong with it, you may get distracted more easily. If the lighting is bad, it can cause eyestrain, headaches, fatigue and make you feel annoyed or depressed. To improve the lighting in your office, bring your own lamp that fits your needs and creates a better working environment. For a home office, you should let in as much natural light as possible, and use various lamps in different places to make sure that every corner is well lit.

Comfortable Chair

The most common reason for low productivity is the very thing you sit on. If the chair doesn’t support your back properly, you’re bound to have issues with it. Such pain and discomfort can significantly affect your productivity. That is why you need to find an ergonomic chair to provide you with the proper support for your entire body. Additionally, you should be able to adjust the height of it so that your feet can rest comfortably on the floor. If your chair provides enough support and lets you find a comfortable position, it will only motivate you to work harder and better.

Adjustable Desk

Is it even possible to have an office without a desk? No, of course not. Your desk should be functional and provide you with enough space. However, your ordinary desk might not be as comfortable as you would like it to be, so consider updating your office a bit. Opt for desks that are adjustable to various heights. There are various standing desks you can choose from, and you can easily match their design and material with any office. Plus, since they are completely adjustable, they allow you to stretch your legs and straighten your back without having to stop working.

Motivating Colors

productivityThe colors in your office affect your mood and brain functions. They can evoke both emotional and physical responses, so choose colors that have positive effects on your productivity. For example, blue and green are said to create a soothing atmosphere and encourage productivity. However, you have to keep in mind that too much of such colors can also disturb you on many levels. Therefore, paint your office in such hues, but try to create some sort of a contrast with neutral shades, such as white or beige. Also, you can introduce another colour through some details and ornaments, or you can create an accent wall behind you which will emphasize your design.

Scents

The scents in your office matter just as much as its visual atmosphere. Our sense of smell can drastically affect our mood and productivity, which is why you should aim at introducing calming scents wherever you can. You can easily create a pleasant atmosphere by adding a few scented candles or oils and arranging them into glass jars around the office. The most powerful and encouraging scents are pine, cinnamon, peppermint, lavender, and citrus. Each of these scents can lift your spirits, improve your mood and increase productivity. Not only that, but they will transform the office into a better place and elevate its design.

Personal Touch

Keep the things you like on your desk and shelves no matter what they are. If you need more office supplies, don’t hesitate to get them because they will contribute to your organization and productivity. Get items you like such as colorful sticky notes, fancy pens, funky pencil holders, or any other item you wish to have. Also, photos of your family, friends, pets, or anything else that reminds you of happy moments, will help you focus better and lower your stress levels.

We all need something to push us forward from time to time. However, that nudge shouldn’t be something that irritates us, but rather something that will motivate and calm us.


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Alex WilliamsMeet the Author: Alex Williams

Alex was born and raised in beautiful Sydney. She is a journalism graduate and a rookie blogger. A regular contributor at BizzMark Blog, Alex showcases her expertise and gains recognition and a wider audience by blogging on numerous other blog sites.


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Is it Okay to be Dating While Separated?

~by Elizabeth Stephenson~

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D.W.S. (Dating While Separated) — Can I date after I separate from my spouse, but have not officially divorced?

This is a question a lot of people ask once they are no longer living as a married couple. Legally, the answer is yes. There is no criminal law that prevents someone from dating after separation and before they are divorced.

dating while separated

Whether you were unhappy in your marriage for a long time prior to separating, or as the months have passed after your separation and you miss the companionship of another person, it’s a reasonable question to ask. Many people enjoy having a special “someone” to share their free time with and waiting the “year and a day” from your date of separation to file for divorce can seem daunting without companionship and support. Therefore, you may have good reason to want to date.

The more tempered and reasoned answer to “Can I date after I separate?” is yes, BUT, it’s best to consider any legal consequences it could have on issues related to your separation, such as negotiating a separation agreement, spousal support (post separation support and alimony) or child custody. 

  • dating while separatedSpousal Support. The court can consider marital fault in a spousal support. Evidence that you are in a relationship with someone after you separate could be used to support that the relationship occurred prior to your separation. This can also apply to alienation of affection or criminal conversation tort claims.
  • Child Custody. Although you may be ready for a new relationship, your children may not be. Remember, the life your children knew prior to your separation has changed drastically. They may not want to share your affection with another person or they may resent, be defensive or angry about your new relationship. They are just coming to accept that you and the other parent are no longer together, and that can take time for them to accept and process. This is a time to focus on providing as much stability, love and support as you can for your children. It’s best to be overly cautious when introducing someone new to your children. Be certain they hold your same values, and that they are stable and open and accepting of your children.
  • Negotiations. Consider the consequences that dating someone may have on the negotiation process. It’s always best to try and come to an agreement with your spouse without court intervention whenever possible. If your spouse knows that you are in a new relationship, will they become defensive, hurt or angry? This could impede the settlement process.

Generally, if you’ve met someone for the first time AFTER you separated, it’s probably okay to date (but see above), and if your spouse is dating someone, it’s generally acceptable (but see above  :-) ).

Talk with your family law attorney if you are considering dating after you separate. Be honest and upfront, and talk with them about your options and the possible consequences.  And remember, a year in the grand scheme of things is a relatively short time. So patience may be your best option.


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New Direction Family LawMeet the Author: Elizabeth Stephenson

Elizabeth has extensive experience in a range of different family law legal proceedings, including mediations, arbitrations, litigation, and appeals. She is the person you want by your side when you’re facing divorce, separation, child custody, property division, domestic violence, or any other family law issue. She understands the emotional upheaval and stress experienced by families facing separation and divorce. Using expert knowledge of North Carolina family law and 17 years of practice in the field, she is dedicated to providing steadfast support and guidance to each and every client.

New Direction Family Law


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10 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Business

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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It’s normal to want our businesses to grow without having to hustle to get them to start growing. In the beginning it takes a lot more energy to get a business up and running and off the ground than it does to keep it going and growing once it is more established. Sometimes we think we’re doing the right things, but instead, we are inadvertently sabotaging our businesses.

Here are some common mistakes that could be sabotaging your business.  I see these all the time, and I’ve made almost every one of these mistakes myself.

sabotaging your business1. Not being consistent. It’s not easy to show up, and keep showing up, even when you feel invisible, no one is talking to you, and you’re not making the progress you need to be making in your business. You just have to keep showing up consistently.

2. Not building relationships. It almost doesn’t matter what your business is, you simply have to build relationships.

3. Trying to copy someone else. You can and should learn from others, but at the end of the day, your business is yours. You need to make it your own and have your own brand of authenticity. The more your business reflects you and your personality, the better it will do.  

4. Spending money on every bright, new shiny object. You can easily spend your way into a hole and take on way more debt than you intended. There might be a fantastic tool or program that comes along. So you sign up and pay a hefty amount  for it. Then you don’t do the course work, and you find yourself even further behind.  Resist the urge to sign up for new programs or courses or products unless you really need them for your business.

5. Trying to do too much. There really are only 24 hours in a day. It takes time to build your business and to build social media platforms and a following. It has taken me many months to grow my Facebook Group to its current size. It took me a year of consistent, focused effort to add 16,000 Twitter followers. You have to choose the things that you can do in a reasonable number of hours in a day. I have yet to figure out how to bend the space-time continuum or how to add more hours to a day.  

6. Not taking care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of your business or your family. Sleep, food, exercise, and other forms of self care are absolutely mandatory for the health of a business. 

7. Not putting in the time. If you want a business to grow, you have to put in the time. Even if it’s only a few hours a week, you have to dedicate that time to your business.

8. Not doing what you say you’re going to do. This one is the kiss of death. If you don’t do what you say you’re going to do, you are going to develop a lousy reputation.

9. Focusing on too many different things. If you start splitting your attention 23 different ways, it’s going to be hard to build anything. I see people who so many times start  picking up new projects out the wazoo. That is just a recipe for failure, because if you keep losing focus, you’re never going to gain traction.

10. Not having a good support network. Being an entrepreneur can be very hard and very lonely. If you don’t take the time to cultivate a really good support network, you will struggle. There is an African proverb that is particularly relevant here: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


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Permanent link to this article: http://www.leadershipgirl.com/10-ways-sabotaging-your-business/

Career Skills You Can Learn from Women Leaders

~by Katie McGregor~

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It’s shouldn’t be news to you that there are more male leaders than female leaders. This is an issue on its own that can be discussed in length, but the gist of the argument is that by having an equal mix of men and women, their unique gendered abilities will bring more growth than a male-dominated work force.

What specific qualities can women leaders teach to others to help bring success?

women leadersCommunication

If we go back to the origins of humans, we began as hunters and gatherers. Men upheld hunting roles since they had more physical strength. Women’s roles were gathering and upholding the community, which required a lot of communication to create and maintain relationships. This learned behavior is deeply ingrained in our genes and can be seen in the modern world of work today. Males tend to be short and purposeful in communication while women are general and two-way communicators.

By this way of thinking, it makes complete sense that when you think of a male boss, he is issuing commands and communicating in a direct, one-way manner. As for women leaders, you can learn a lot more about how to have inclusive communication to create a more successful company culture.

Many post-World War II studies have suggested that women are generally better at getting longer-lasting results because they have an open and more communication-friendly leadership style. While women tend to be participatory and interactive, men tend to have a commanding and controlling approach to leadership. By being an interactive communicator who is open to other’s ideas, you will gain more success in your leadership.

Teamwork

women leadersSince women are inclusive communicators, they are naturally great at teamwork. A study from MIT found that the most efficient groups were those that were made up mostly by women. They concluded that since women are designed to read and interpret people’s feelings through nonverbal signals, women have higher levels of emotional intelligence, which is extremely beneficial in a team-like setting.

Men tend to have a competitive goal when it comes to teamwork, while women focus more on maintaining the synergy of the group by being attentive to others. This is something we can all learn from in order to be more successful in our teams, especially since most work environments are set up in teams. By actively paying attention to your group members nonverbal and verbal communications in an inclusive manner, the team will thrive and be able to tackle any challenge as one unit working together instead of in competition.

Role Models

The best thing to learn from powerful women leaders is that any young woman can reach the pinnacle of any organization. A woman’s views on leadership begin in early childhood from the values she learns and her exposure to leaders. And with so few female leaders to look up to, it is hard for girls to have someone relatable to look up to. On a more personal level, the same can be true about mentors.

Confidence, the encouragement of positive role models, and the presence of a strong professional network can help shape a woman’s view on leadership in the workplace. Women leaders can be excellent role models for others who have similar dreams, teaching young women that they too can become a leader.


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Meet the Author: Katie McGregor

Katie McGregor, a PMP course expert, is a contributor at Crush, the PM Exam where you can find all the tips and tricks for all things Project Management.


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