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7 Life Saving Steps to Optimizing Your Mental Energy

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7 Life Saving Steps to Optimizing Your Mental Energy

Studies show that people have a limited amount of mental energy to spend each day. Therefore, as an entrepreneur, you should pay close attention to how you are using yours, because it is one of the most valuable resources you have.

So, what is mental energy? It is the principle that powers mental processes, which includes perception, memory, and thinking. Our brains are constantly working at many different levels. And every time we exercise our mind, we are consuming some of that mental energy.

As qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist, and Western Medical Herbalist, Renée Leonard-Stainton recommends, one of the best ways to boost your energy levels and prevent burn out is to “listen and respond to your body’s cues for rest”.

This is because sleeping is the only way we can recharge our mental energy.

 

7 Steps to Optimizing Your Mental Energy

How we administrate the energy that is available in our minds will be crucial to enabling us to work more efficiently. As an entrepreneur or a busy professional, you may want to follow these seven tips, to help optimize the use of your mental energy and improve your work-life balance when growing your career:

 

1. Train Your Brain to Practice Single-Tasking

By doing one thing at a time, you will not only be more productive, but you will also save the energy consumed when refocusing. There is an actual metabolic cost to multitasking. As neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explains,

“It turns out that switching back and forth between jobs burns more oxygenated glucose – your brain’s fuel – and leads to mental exhaustion more quickly than focusing on one task at a time.”

 

2. Put Into Practice the ’80/20 Rule’

The 80/20 Rule is based on a simple principle: 20% of the tasks, deliver 80% of your firm’s profits.

So how can you apply this rule to optimize the use of your mental energy?

Identifying your most crucial activities and focusing most of your mental strength on them will be essential for success. Put your mental energy in the 20% that really matters, then work your way down to implement the other 80% of the work that is still important, but doesn’t have as big an impact on your overall success.

 

3. ‘Eat That Frog’ in the Morning

Author of the best-selling book ‘Eat that frog: 21 Great ways to stop procrastinating’, Brian Tracy, explains why the first thing you should do each morning is to eat a live frog.

And your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task.

But, how can you identify that duty every morning? As Brian Tracy explains, it will generally be that one job you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. You probably know what that is now, right?

 

4. Build Habits & Routines

Routines are critical to be productive and get more done, but also to conserve energy and maximize it. Once we repeat the same task enough times to interiorize it, a minimal amount of energy is required to perform it.

You have experienced this in many areas of your life without realizing it: when you have a shower, when you eat, or when you drive to work for example. It is sometimes even hard to remember how you did these things.

A good practice to optimize mental energy is to pay attention to what works better for you and build daily routines that, once you interiorize them, will save you a considerable amount of psychological energy.

 

5. Avoid Making Use of Your Willpower

At first glance, this may seem like a contradiction, but willpower actually uses up a large sum of mental energy. This is why, once again, interiorizing routines in your life will help you save mental energy. In other words, if you do not have to use your willpower to avoid a temptation, you will be keeping more mental energy to use in other important issues.

 

6. Set Up the Right Working Environment

Environmental factors in your workplace will also have an effect on your mental energy levels. Some essential aspects such as having natural light or listening to the right type of music, after often overlooked, but will have a significant impact on the amount of daily mental energy you consume.

 

7. Unsubscribe from Email Lists

You have probably subscribed to many different newsletters throughout your career. But how many of those do you actually read? Look through your last emails and unsubscribe from those newsletters you haven’t opened for a long time.

Instead of doing it manually, you can use tools such as Unroll.me to unsubscribe faster. If you manage to reduce your distractions by receiving less irrelevant emails, you will be keeping more mental energy for what really matters.

 

Summary

Overall, if you work for yourself, it is crucial to take control of your time. Using your daily mental energy wisely, you will be more efficient. And getting the right things done in less time will lead to more free time and a more satisfying work-life balance.

Here is a quick recap of the 7 steps to help you optimize your mental energy available for the day:

  1. Train your brain to practice single-tasking
  2. Put into practice the ’80/20 rule’
  3. ‘Eat that frog’ in the morning
  4. Build habits and routines
  5. Avoid making use of your willpower
  6. Set up the right working environment
  7. Unsubscribe from email lists

How do you optimize your mental energy? Leave a comment below.

Maria Onzain is a journalist and digital entrepreneur. She writes for Open Colleges about entrepreneurship, education and productivity. Maria also runs Travel for Food Hub, an online magazine for young foodie travellers. She is passionate about all things digital and loves technology, social media, start-ups, travelling and good food.

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Entrepreneurship

Can You use a Credit Card to Start a Business?

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Can You Use A Credit Card to Start A Business

It’s not unusual to think about credit cards when it comes to setting up a new business;

They’re a quick, easy way to get money and can be paid back at a reasonable rate when you may not quite have the cash flow.

It’s a move that’s being made more and more often as banks make it more difficult to take business loans. It’s now thought that the majority of small businesses use credit cards to help finance their business. And with good reason too.

One of the main reasons is that most people looking to start up a business won’t necessarily have business credit meaning a loan is out of the question.

This means that people turn to their personal credit cards to get things off the ground. While this isn’t a bad move, in fact, you can earn some pretty hefty rewards by doing this. You will be personally liable for any debts that may amount.

 

How to Get Great Deals on Credit Cards

However, you can get some good deals with credit cards.

There are a number of sign-up bonuses available with certain credit card companies; while you’ll also pick up things such as air miles. Which may come in handy for your business further down the line.

Tons of companies are now offering this. So for many who are looking to fund a business, it makes perfect sense to look towards a personal credit card. You can find more out by visiting a card’s website and is becoming one of the first port of calls for start-ups these days.

That’s because it’s so hard to find capital. If you’re new to business, it’s unlikely you’re going to qualify for a bank loan, so a credit card at least offers some form of protection.

 

Shop Around

One major thing to do if starting up a business is first finding a credit card with the lowest possible interest available. If a person has generally gone through life with good credit, it stands to reason that a good interest rate will be negotiable.

This is ultimately vital because, while a personal credit card can be great for starting a business, it can also affect your life. A large sum of money on a credit card may damage credit scores and even if bills are paid on time, it can stop the acceptance of mortgages or other loans.

That’s why it’s key to get the best possible deal, and only fund a business with credit cards if in a good position to do so.

Ultimately, if you need to get your business off the ground though, it’s going to be by any means necessary.

While a bank loan may be a better option or things such as crowdfunding or investors; if none of these options are available, there’s no reason why your great idea for a business should suffer.

If it’s ultimately going to make money in the long run, using a personal credit card to fund a start-up is a generally accepted way of going about it.

It has its perks and you can pay the balance back over time, just as you would any other loan or money lending. It could be just the sort of small investment needed…

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Entrepreneurship

The Jet Set: How to Make Money from Your Travelling

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How to Make Money from Your Traveling

There’s something widely appealing about just packing everything up and jetting off into the sunset. Leaving the job behind, the rent, the utility bills and exploring what the world has to offer. One problem, money.

It’s one of the main things holding people back from exploring the world for six months, and it really doesn’t need to. More people than ever before are making money as they go, and that doesn’t necessarily mean just getting behind a bar a few nights a week either.

We’re talking digital, laptop in on your lap, mojito in your hand, overlooking the beach.

 

How to Make Money from Your Traveling

So, don’t let the thought of money ruin the chance to travel the globe, take one of these pretty simple steps and make your dream a reality. Your boarding pass awaits…

 

1. Work Freelance

One of the most common ways to make money while on your travels is to simply work freelance. So many jobs these days lend themselves to working remotely, while you may also be able to transport your business to all corners of the world.

Careers such as graphic design, writing, even consultancy jobs can be done electronically, while the likes of Skype, email, and Whatsapp make communication available instantly.

Most jobs will allow you to work on the go in at least some aspect. You can fit your earnings around your rest days traveling, while if you’re a creative and make arts and crafts, you can spend your downtime building and making, and spend the weekends selling at local markets and craft fairs.

Markets all over the world are generally open to welcoming new stalls, particularly if you’re offering something different to the usual, and you can make some serious money.

Setting up a stall at markets popular with tourists is usually a good way of making money, so it’s worth searching for your local market once in a town.

You can then pack up and move on to the next one during your travels.

 

2. Spend Wisely

Of course, to make and save money you also have to spend wisely. Most of us would rely on a credit card while traveling, so get one where you can maximize your rewards.

There are dozens of cards out there tailored towards travel, so make sure you check out a rewards calculator to estimate how much you can likely earn from a card.

Ensuring you can pay the money back is key though, so it is worth combining this method of making money with one of the others on this blog. Earning air miles will certainly enable you to save money on any flights you might take further down the line on your travels.

 

3. Create A Blog

There are tons of fantastic travel blogs out there which offer fun and informative information on where they are in the world. Think you can do better? Then start a blog and see for yourself.

There’s money to be made from blogging, with businesses often keen to feature. You may not be offered money, but rather a product, which will at least save you money further down the line when needing to buy the items in question.

Advertising and promotions can make you serious money, all from telling people exactly what you’re up to in the world. It’s easier said than done though. Monetising a blog requires hard work, persistence, and regular posting – again, easier said than done!

Success won’t happen overnight, so it’s important to start working on a travel blog well in advance of heading out on your adventures. What’s more, if you can find a niche and make your blog stand out, even better.

 

4. Sell Your Snaps

If you’re snap happy when away from home, you may be able to make some money from them. There are dozens of sites on the market that will give you commission for photos you submit that sell.

For example, Alamy allows users to upload photos to the site and if anyone, or any business, was to purchase the photo you’d earn 50% commission. Likewise, sites such as Fotolia, Bigstock, and Shutterstock will also give you a commission for any photos sold via their sites.

It’s becoming more and more popular for business to use images like this instead of regular stock photos, as they’re a little more personal and give consumers a consumer side of the coin.

In some cases, a business may then contact you directly having seen your photos and commission you to do some work independently, then the big bucks really come rolling in.

 

5. Teach the Language

One of your greatest assets is your language and many countries are crying out for teachers of English as a foreign language.

If you’re planning on spending a significant amount of time in a country, you can organize to become a teacher and make money while you discover a whole new world.

So many people have found teaching the English language fulfilling while traveling, whether that be one on one tutoring or to entire classrooms.

Before you head off traveling, you’ll need to get an accreditation and of course, the sooner you research where you can teach, the more likely you are of getting a position. You can make some good money from this, although there are also other avenues you can take when it comes to teaching.

If you’re particularly sporty, you can take your knowledge to other parts of the world and teach youngsters how to play various sports.

Soccer is naturally one of the more popular coaching roles, and many who have played the game as a youth themselves will take up this in the likes of China, USA, and African nations.

Other teaching opportunities include art, computing and specific trades such as building, plumbing, accounting and more. Essentially, if you’re trained in a particular area which would benefit other parts of the world, there may be opportunities to teach it.

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Entrepreneurship

6 Mistake to Avoid When Launching An Email Marketing Campaign

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6 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching An Email Marketing Campaign

When it comes to launching an email marketing campaign, there are loads of potential pitfalls to watch out for. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us simply have to learn by a process of trial and error and hope that the mistakes we make don’t prove to be too disastrous.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled some of the most common errors made by those piecing together an email marketing campaign – take a look at where so many people fall down, and try to avoid making these mistakes in your own efforts!

 

1. Failure to Identify an Audience

This is a mistake made all too often in the world of marketing in general. No matter what it is that you’re promoting – be it a product, an event, a course, or anything else whatsoever – there must be a target audience in mind.

The demographic you’re aiming for should inform pretty much every aspect of the marketing campaign, and it’s something you’ll have to keep in mind from the first draft all the way through to the completed product.

When you’re putting together your marketing campaign, think carefully about who you’re targeting. How old are they? What’s their income? What are their hobbies – all of these sorts of questions (and a whole lot more besides) should be constantly at the forefront of your mind?

Once you’ve identified your audience, you can tailor your content to suit the demographic. This means adopting the right tone of voice, utilizing appropriate imagery, color schemes, and much, much more.

Failure to identify an audience will mean that your campaign will lack structure and direction, and probably won’t end up striking a chord with your ideal customers or recipients… so think carefully, do your research, and get it right!

 

2. Incorrect Grammar & Spell Check

Nowadays, it is hard to imagine how you can miss a grammar mistake, having so much correction tools. Grammarly is a good example of this field instant improvement.

But, honestly, it’s really naive to think that apps and tools can polish up your letter so qualitative as the professional writers could make.

Lots of young entrepreneurs and business newbies used to hesitate with their written letters proofreading (or rewriting) by experts, without taking into consideration the fact, that these services make a huge difference.

When it comes to e-mail marketing, being creative sometimes is not enough. And remember, if you think that your primary letter is perfect, it is the first sign that you extremely need it to be revised by professional.

 

3. Making Your Message Too Impersonal

Another common error when it comes to a marketing campaign is all about the tone and wording you use in your messages. Nobody likes to feel as though they are being spammed by online junk mail, which simply flies into their inbox and doesn’t speak directly to the recipient.

Conversely, personalized, customized and tailored content pretty much always delivers far more effective and positive results… so you should absolutely be bearing this in mind when working on your campaign.

There are plenty of tools you can use to make sure your emails utilize the name of the recipient you’re targeting, and this can make a significant difference to how the mail is received (and whether it gets opened at all or tossed into the trash folder).

Also, small customization techniques such as setting up separate mailing lists for potential customers from different regions, backgrounds, or age brackets also leads to higher conversion rates, too.

 

4. Being Too Clever

When it comes to launching a successful email marketing campaign, often less really is more. Make sure your pages are clean, concise, and not overloaded with data, images, or things like unnecessary videos.

The main reason for this is that today’s web users prefer uncluttered spaces which allow a message to come across clearly, and people have only a tiny fraction of the patience they once had for loading times.

Even a lag of a couple of seconds is more than enough to get the average web user to lose patience and click that ‘back’ button, so keep your campaign simple, speedy, and easy to receive.

 

5. Not Being Creative Enough

On the flip side of the previous point, it’s all well and good keeping things simple, but unless your campaign stands out from the crowd, it’s not going to make the impact you want.

There are tens of thousands of campaigns doing the rounds at any given time, and if you want your potential customers to sit up and take notice, you’re going to have to think a bit outside the box.

This could be as simple as coming up with a memorable tagline or kicking off your email with an image that will stick in the recipient’s mind.

Get your creative team to work on something which immediately grabs the attention, and keep honing the imaginative aspect of your campaign until you get it right.

 

6. Lack of a Follow Up

Gaining new customers and a wider clientele is the entire reason you’re running an email marketing campaign.

As such, when the responses started flooding in, make sure you have systems in place to deal with them efficiently and with the same tone and warmth, you established in the initial contact.

A good follow-up is vital for your conversion rates, so don’t miss the opportunity to make it all worth your while.

 

Summary

Here’s a quick recap on the mistakes to avoid when launching an email marketing campaign:

  1. Failure to identify an audience
  2. Incorrect grammar & spell check
  3. Making your message too impersonal
  4. Being too clever
  5. Not being creative enough
  6. Lack of a follow up

Have anything to add to this article? Leave a comment below.

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