Category Archive: Work-Life Balance

Career or Family Time – Which is More Important? Is There a Way to Balance?

~by Brandon Greene~


Many small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals struggle with balancing their family life and achieving their career goals. Some people get frustrated and give up on their dreams altogether, while others push their families to the wayside in an effort to further their careers.

Neither one of these situations is ideal or completely beneficial in the long run. Without a balance of both family and career, you will most likely end up with one or the other — not both. I think it’s important to have both in your life in order to be truly happy and fulfilled.

family time

Family is Important

Family is important because it’s what keeps you going. Good relationships with your spouse, kids or friends will make you happier and more productive at work than you could ever be without these relationships. I’ve always found it ironic that so many people are career driven in an effort to provide a better life for their families and end up neglecting them in the process.

This is particularly true in the industry that I am most familiar with: public accounting. Like all industries, public accounting has its slow seasons and busy seasons, but most businesses’ busy seasons don’t compare to tax season. This four-month grind of business and individual tax deadlines is enough to suck the life out of anyone.

During tax season, it wasn’t uncommon for me to work 80-90 hours per week. Couple this with an hour commute to and from work each day; it left me with little time or energy to spend with my family or maintain an actual social life. This type of schedule isn’t healthy or sustainable. This might be why the average public accounting career only lasts a few years.

After a few tax seasons of never seeing my family, it really started to wear on my attitude at work. I dreaded tax season so much that November and December turned into a count down to the end of my life instead of fun with the family around the holidays. I was less productive at work and less enjoyable to be around outside of work.

The lack of balance in my life really affected my output, creativity and motivation at work. This isn’t a phenomenon unique to public accounting though. You can experience the same thing in your business as well. A lack of balance in your life could be making you less productive and holding your business back.

Your Business is Important

Your business is important for many reasons. Obviously, it’s a means of supporting you and your family, but it is much more than that. Building a business gives you a sense of accomplishment and feeds your competitive drive. It’s also a lot of fun.

After growing tired of tax seasons, I decided to leave public accounting and start my own business. I quickly fell into the same dilemma of running my business or spending time with my family. Knowing that I didn’t want to make the same mistakes that wore me out in public accounting, I decided to implement these three practices in my business to ensure my work-life balance and grow my business.

#1 Delegate Unnecessary Tasks

Being a control freak is a recipe for stagnation and failure. Not to mention, it takes up a ton of your time. I realized very quickly that I can’t do everything and don’t want to do everything. Thus, I sat down and analyzed my business to identify the activities that didn’t really require me. Most of these were simple administrative tasks that could easily be delegated to one of my employees.

By removing unnecessary tasks from my schedule, I was able to focus on the things that mattered, and spend less time at work and more time with my family.

#2 Build Family Time into My Business

This concept sounds very unproductive, but it really isn’t. I looked at my schedule and made time to spend with my family during busy weeks. For instance, every Tuesday I meet my wife for lunch. This doesn’t take any time away from the business operations, but it helps maintain a balance in my life.

#3 Work from Home

family timeWorking from home isn’t an option for every small business owner, but I’m sure you can find some tasks that can be done from home. For instance, answering customer emails or sending out purchase orders can easily be done on the couch while watching a movie with family. You might argue that this isn’t “quality” time since I’m still working, but it does beat the alternative of me being at the office.

Both are Important

In short, both family and work are important. Having great relationships in your life will make you more productive at work and more motivated to take on the competition. On the flip side, not letting your business take over your life will allow you to make and keep great relationships. It goes full circle.

Take a look at your business and see if there are any areas that you can adjust to improve your work-life balance. It’s more than worth the effort.

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Brandon GreeneMeet the Author: Brandon Greene

Brandon is a public accounting survivor and the founder of the AIS CPA exam home. He uses his experience in accounting and knowledge of the CPA exam to help students with their certification classes and start their careers in accounting.

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More Than Work: 4 Ways to Help Employees Through Hardships

~by Brooke Chaplan~


Everyone experiences life hardships from time to time. These circumstances are just a natural part of life. Unfortunately, many employees feel they must choose between keeping their job and handling their business during times of hardship. As a business owner, it’s important that you show concern for the health and well-being of your employees, rather than contributing to their stress.

employee hardships

With employee hardships, there are a few ways you can show your support in a professional way:

1. Offer Counseling Services

One way to show your support is by offering an employee assistance program. These programs are designed to help employees through personal and emotional issues in a confidential and cost-effective way. Most programs offer a wealth of online resources as well as a call center for immediate and 24 hour support. Many programs will even offer a certain amount of counseling sessions at no cost to the employee. Consider incorporating this benefit into your overall benefits package and communicating this option to all of your employees. It’s a feature that can make all the difference to a struggling staff member.

2. Create Time-Off Policies

Another successful strategy is to create a policy permitting time off for mental rest, grief or other life trauma. This policy should outline a consistent, fair and manageable process for requesting time off for dealing with personal matters. Your policy should outline the amount of time off, the process for requesting it, and a clause about the employee’s job security during this time off. These parameters will help ensure the policy is not abused. Your staff will appreciate this considerate and understanding gesture.

3. Create a Culture of Confidentiality

employee hardshipsConfidentiality is crucial to an employee’s trust and relief. You’ll want to design an overall culture of confidentiality within your group. Provide training to your human resources staff and take measures to ensure this confidentiality is being honored. Your employees will feel much better about bringing pertinent issues to your attention if they know the information will be held in confidence.

4. Develop a Wellness Program

While you may not always be able to offer advice or time off, there are other ways you can help combat stressful life situations. Exercise has been proven to improve mood, reduce blood pressure and alleviate stress. Offering employee discounts at a local gym or encouraging healthy habits through a corporate wellness program may help your employees naturally manage some of these challenging circumstances.

These are just a few of the many ways you can help your employees through hardships without crossing any boundaries. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, divorce matters or illness, your workers’ well-being in times of hardship is important to their success. Employ one of these strategies today, and your employees will be pleased with your consideration and care.

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Brooke ChaplanMeet the Author: Brooke Chaplan

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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3 Strategies to Help Reduce Stress So You Can Work Efficiently

~by Emma Sturgis~


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~


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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Business Trip: 4 Ideas to Make Yours More Comfortable

~by Rachelle Wilber~


business tripIf you have to travel for business, there are certain things that you can do to make your trip more comfortable. Just because it’s a business trip doesn’t mean that you should have to sacrifice a lot of comforts or a sense of enjoyment.

Here are a few of the best ways to enhance your business travels.

Save Time Going Through Airport Security Lines

Airport security lines are often long and disorganized, and this can create another burden while you’re trying to travel for business. One of the best ways to avoid these lines is to sign up for a TSA pre-check membership, which will allow you to go through a separate security checkpoint. You won’t have to wait in a long line or worry about removing your shoes, jacket or laptop from its bag at this security check. For a nominal fee, your pre-check authorization may be valid for up to five years and can prove to be a smart investment if you travel for business frequently. If you do end up having to go through one of the standard security lines, try to find a line that doesn’t have a lot of families with small children or people with oversized luggage.

Bring the Right Electronic Accessories

business tripYou’ll likely be using your laptop and other mobile electronic devices while conducting your business, so it’s important to bring along the important accessories. High-capacity external batteries and micro-USB chargers can help you keep your electronics powered at all times. You may also want to invest in a power converter and streaming stick for additional convenience. There are even electronic accessories on the market that allow you to keep track of any luggage pieces that you have checked for a flight.

Choose to Rent an Apartment or a Home

Instead of staying in a hotel, you can try renting a vacation home or an apartment for the duration of your business trip, if your budget allows. Staying in a house or an apartment will allow you to enjoy the comforts of home and a more personal experience. Plus, you’ll be likelier to stay in a quieter environment where you can accomplish more work-related tasks.

Take Time for Sightseeing

Even though you’ll want to focus mostly on business, you should still take a little time to go sightseeing while on your trip. This will give you the chance to learn more about the local culture and help you get recharged, which can make you more productive when it’s time to return to working. Carving out just an hour from your day, if possible, from your business activities can make your business trip a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

You should still put forth the time and effort to make your business travels as comfortable as possible. Doing so may actually help you stay on task and may just make you look forward to your next trip.

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Rachelle WilberMeet the Author: Rachelle Wilber

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.

Follow Rachelle here:

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3 Surefire Ways to Make Your Corporate Events Excellent

~by Brooke Chaplan~


corporate eventsWhile the world of business is usually one that focuses on work above all else, it’s important to take time out during the year to celebrate. Your teams have worked hard and your investors have kept the faith even during hard times – so it’s up to you as the person in charge to reward them. If you want to create great corporate events, you’ll want to take the three tips below into consideration.

Make the Space Special

One of the best ways to make an event special is to use a special space. If you have a large company, for example, it may be possible to have your event at a large event like a sports stadium. It may sound strange, but venues like Metlife Stadium have plenty of time and space available in both the on and off seasons for corporate events and parties. If you look around, you may be surprised by what types of venues are available for rent. The better the space, the better the overall event will be, so try to book the best spot in your area. It’s amazing what a good venue can do for your event.

corporate eventsDon’t Cut Corners

When you go into the planning of a corporate event, make use of your budget well, but don’t cut corners. Your employees and other guests will certainly appreciate the fact that you don’t have an infinite amount of money to spend on the event, but they will also notice when you have been cheap. As such, it’s better to do less if it’s high quality than to do more with obviously cut corners. Put on the best event you can with what you have instead of trying to fake your way through the night.

Put Fun First

Perhaps more than anything else, try to make sure that your corporate event is fun for everyone. While it’s certainly a good idea to push your brand and to make the relevant remarks to your team, don’t use your event as a chance to conduct business in an overt way. If you must have a speaker, make sure that he or she is both effective and entertaining. A memorable corporate event will be an event that puts the corporate side of things second and the human side of things first. Make sure your guests have fun and their memories of the event will be hard to forget.

Taken together, these three tips will help you to create a corporate event that is both fun and memorable. When you celebrate, make sure to do it well. This kind of event will engender good feelings throughout the rest of the year, so make the most of it.

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Brooke ChaplanMeet the Author: Brooke Chaplan

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. Contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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How to Fill Your Business Trip with Maximum Luxury

~by Anica Oaks~


Just because you’re traveling on business doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself and make your trip as comfortable as possible. There are many ways to add luxury to any business trip. It just takes some creative planning before you leave home. Let’s look at some of the best ways to make sure your next business trip is more like a vacation.

Combine Business and Pleasure

If your business trip is to an exciting or scenic destination, you may be able to plan a vacation around it. After the business part of the trip is over, you could stay a few extra days and turn it into a pleasure trip. This saves you money, as you’re already at your vacation destination. This also takes some planning, but it might be a good strategy to plan your next vacation around a business trip.

business trip

Take Advantage of Convenient Travel Programs

If you travel on business frequently, it’s advantageous to use the same airlines as much as possible. This lets you accumulate travel miles so you can upgrade your flights, and even get free flights. It’s also worthwhile to join travel clubs that give you access to airport lounges. Choosing the right credit cards also makes a big difference when traveling. Identify credit card deals that provide generous travel miles and lounge access.

Stay in a Luxury Apartment Instead of a Hotel

business tripA luxury furnished apartment gives you more of a homelike experience while you’re staying somewhere. If you’re visiting New York on business, for example, consider staying in a furnished corporate apartment in New York City rather than a hotel. Places like Corporate Habitat offer fully furnished apartments with housewares and appliances, conveniently located in great neighborhoods.

Get Through Security Faster

It’s hard to enjoy your business trip when you have to wait in long TSA lines. It’s worth the trouble to join programs such as TSA Pre-check, which allow low-risk passengers to get through security much faster. This program has a fee, but it’s less than $100 for five years. If you travel internationally, apply for Global Entry, which provides expedited entry into the United States.

When planning your business travel, don’t miss any opportunities to make your trip more enjoyable. Frequent travelers should take advantage of as many helpful travel programs as possible. Research your destinations and make sure you leave time for some sightseeing and fun along with your business responsibilities. Arrange for accommodations that are not just functional, but also luxurious. These steps will transform your business trips into excursions you’ll actually look forward to.

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Anica OaksMeet the Author: Anica Oaks

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean and anything outdoor related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

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10 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Business

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


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.”

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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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.

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Money or Happiness: Which is More Important with Your Career?

~by Jason Galaif~


Do I want a job that brings me happiness or a big paycheck? It’s a question we all must ask ourselves at some point, but it’s not one that often brings about good answers or results.

Ideally, a job that can do both would be great, but in today’s economy, getting a job in the first place is an accomplishment. The choice is ultimately up to you, just make sure that it’s one with which you will be satisfied when you are looking back on your life.

money happiness success

What is Success?

Everyone’s personal definition of success changes depending on their values, yet in America, there seems to be a connection between success and wealth. Merriam-Webster defines success as “getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.” While financial success might seem like the mainstream American goal, individuals are no longer associating their success with money.

Surprisingly, most Americans believe success is associated more with happiness than power, possessions or prestige. In fact, according to the “Success Project Survey” performed by Strayer University, 90% of Americans associate success with happiness, and 60% said success is loving what you do for a living. It looks like Webster is going to have to update its definition.

Success is so much more than being fiscally wealthy, and about 90% of Americans would agree. It’s difficult to pinpoint just one definition of success since everyone has his or her own unique experience and personal view. But if I was to suggest an updated definition to Webster that can mold to each person, it would be “finding happiness through your endeavors.” So no matter what you set out to do, if your accomplishment leads to happiness, then you have found success.

But what if your accomplishment is to get rich? A common goal for many, but I think it is important to debunk the myth of money buying happiness.

How Much Happiness can Money Actually Buy?

money happiness successNow I know what you’re thinking — it’s a lot easier to be happy with money. And to some extent, this is true. However, it is more accurate to say that money decreases sadness instead of creating happiness.

According to a thorough study, there’s somewhat of a magic number when it comes to money and happiness. The study concluded that an income beyond $75,000 a year does nothing for happiness, enjoyment, sadness, or stress, but you have to reach that point. Basically, money can help take away the misery that comes with financial stresses, giving you a greater sense of control and opportunity. But, once you exceed the financial level of no stress (which is $75,000/year, according to the study), money can no longer buy a sustainable happiness. Money is a tool better used to reduce sadness. So what can increase happiness?

The Big Picture

So ultimately, the choice is up to you whether you want a career that brings more money or more happiness. Of course the dream is to go to work and do the things you love while knowing you are paid well. There will be some give and take here, but I believe that you should be constantly taking little steps toward a life where you are doing something you love. As you can see, money alone is not going to bring you happiness that will last throughout your life. For that, you will need personal fulfillment.

You can find fulfillment in a number of ways, and as I said before, each person will have their own version of personal success. The worth you feel being in a family, the love you can share with a person, the companionship of a pet, the joy of helping those in need, or the happiness you receive from doing work you are passionate about can bring you happiness that will last over a lifetime. Now that is worth so much more than money. But, making a lot of money to give you the best possible option for all of the above isn’t too bad either!

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Jason Galaif

Meet the Author: Jason Galaif

Jason Galaif, aka The CPA Exam Guy, is an accounting all-star who saw more of the exam than any prodigy would ever want to — he failed several sections and had a couple of passed exams expire. He now uses his extensive experience and knowledge to help people find the best cpa review course for their needs so they can pass the CPA with as little effort and time as possible.

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Core Reasons for Low Levels of Employee Productivity

~by Chloe Taylor~


A company can have the best modern technology, strong relationships in the business world and a number of other resources, but if it doesn’t have a productive workforce, it all falls apart. Employee productivity is the amount of work they manage to perform during their working hours. On average, an employee will spend about five hours at their desk, but very often the results of the work they’ve done vs. the time spent sitting at the workplace don’t match up. Since, in the business world time is definitely money, every lost hour carries serious consequences. To solve this problem, entrepreneurs have to go to the very core of the issue, so let us find the causes of low productivity and address them properly.

Happy = Productive

employee productivityResearch suggests that satisfied workers will work 12 percent more creatively, effectively and collaboratively when they are happy. But we didn’t need scientists to figure that out. It is obvious that people will work badly when they dislike their jobs, feel sad and unmotivated, and when they count the minutes until the end of the workday. Not only does the unhappy employee have low productivity, but their bad attitude drags the rest of the team down. Some of the fail-proof ways to boost employee happiness are:

  • Respectful treatment of all workers
  • Proper compensation for their work
  • Job security
  • Trustful manager
  • Recognition of job performance
  • Overall benefits
  • Private life/career balance
  • Opportunities to use and enhance skills and abilities at work

Horrible Bosses

We can blame the workers for everything, but as the good old adage says, “A fish rots from the head down”. If the immediate supervisor doesn’t give credit when it’s due, fails to keep promises, gives inappropriate negative comments, or blames other for the mistakes they’ve made, the workers won’t feel very motivated to do their best at the workplace. A good supervisor should motivate, inspire and reward good performance, as well as correct the workers after they make a mistake with proper advice and guidance.

(Un)Healthy Dose of Productivity

Imagine this: Hannah comes to work at 9 a.m. She feels tired. Her eyes are tearing, she has troubles breathing and she feels generally fatigued. What do you think, is she going to be productive during a day like this? Probably not. Sometimes employee productivity is beyond our control, since it is affected by an illness or some physical problem, but in Hannah’s case, there could be something we can do – improving the air quality in the office and creating a healthier working environment. Here’s how to do it.

  • Introduce plant life
  • Ventilate frequently
  • Equip each room with a quality super quiet commercial air purifier
  • Ensure access to drinking water
  • Offer gym membership
  • Include sit/stand desks to minimize the negative effects of prolonged sitting

employee productivityLack of Tools

You can have all the feel-good approach and techniques in the world, but if you don’t equip your workers with appropriate tools for the job they should be performing, they will be unsatisfied, nervous and inefficient. Make sure you upgrade your tech tools regularly, from smartphones to notebooks and other 21st century tools. Wireless technology is more than just a fad in the business world, it enables workers to move through the office, and perform their tasks at various locations, instead of just sitting in their boring cubicles.

Poor Office Design

Speaking of cubicles, one of the most neglected factors impacting worker’s productivity is the office design. This doesn’t mean that every employee should be allowed to design their office space (we would end up with Legally Blonde inspired décor, right next to Die Hard cubicle), but that the workspace should be thoughtfully designed to match the worker’s needs:

  • Use color psychology
  • Create zones and hubs (social hub, relaxing nook, brainstorming zone)
  • Introduce layered lighting
  • Give workers comfortable (ergonomic) chairs and desks
  • Collect input from your employees about the office design

If you don’t want your workers to have “a case of Mondays” every day, all day, you should do your best to boost their productivity by creating a working environment where they can thrive.

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Chloe Taylor

Meet the Author: Chloe Taylor

Chloe is a young blogger and a huge fan of social media. She enjoys learning and writing about design, business, psychology, and productivity related topics. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. You can find Chloe on Facebook and Twitter.

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