Blog, Business, Paul Saunders

How To Be Financially Successful In Your Personal Life

Becoming financially successful doesn’t happen overnight. Increasing your net worth and succeeding in your career requires plenty of hard work and learned habits. If you want to learn how to be financially successful in life, there are a few steps to take that will prove to pay off.

Live Below Your Means

Although you may have the mindset of a successful individual, it doesn’t mean that you should live like one. Don’t invest your money in items you can’t afford or don’t need. That means be frugal with your money and don’t worry about impressing others with physical objects that will lose their novelty over time. Investing your money in items that don’t offer anything in return will lead to temporary satisfaction instead of long-term stability. Instead, put your extra earnings in the stock market, a 401(k), or your savings account.

Set Financial Goals

Obtaining financial wealth will require setting goals to ensure that you have a plan of action and that you understand the necessary steps to implement your vision. The goals should be realistic to ensure that you stay motivated and don’t become discouraged. When you have a huge goal, break them down into milestones so that they are in easy to reach steps. You can also celebrate each time that you have a small victory to ensure that you reward yourself and continue to stay on track.

Ask for Help from Experts

When you ask questions or get help you are expanding on the knowledge  you have. The more you get into the practice of asking questions the more financially literate you become. Getting help from successful professionals is necessary to ensure that you can avoid mistakes and obtain guidance. Ask questions, find a mentor, and get different opinions to ensure that you can become more knowledgeable about how to grow your money over time.

Create an Emergency Fund

Most financial experts will tell you to save at least $1,000 for an emergency fund, which will allow you to pay for unexpected costs. Costs that could range from car repairs to medical expenses, an emergency fund will offer peace of mind. If you don’t have something created, you could end up opening credit cards, or taking loans to cover the cost. When you have the funds already established, you won’t need to go into debt. You should also save at least three to six months of income to use if you suffer from a job loss to ensure that your bills can continue to be paid until you secure employment. The biggest goal here is to have enough money for those emergencies so that you aren’t panicking for additional funds.

Being financially successful is a challenging, time-consuming process. You will reach that success sooner if you start now though.

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Blog, Business, Paul Saunders

How To Influence Others At Work

Getting ahead in your workplace can be difficult if you are not in a leadership position. However, if you use the right approach, you can influence others in your company and position yourself for more success. This will allow you to grow connections and be better prepared for when you want to become a leader. Here is what you need to know:

Connect With Others

Seek out others in your office that you can form a bond with. It doesn’t have to be your manager or anyone above them. Instead, you want to create connections with others. By doing this, people will be more likely to hear out your idea, or may even be willing to bring you in on a project if they need help. Sometimes, just making friends is a great start to your career.

Listen First And Speak Second

You should hear others out before rushing to talk. Take the chance to give someone else the power to be heard. Don’t interrupt them if they are in the middle of a thought even if you think you are going to help them. By allowing them to talk, you will be able to get a better idea of what they are trying to tell you, and you can base your response off of that.  If you are trying to persuade another, you can tailor your answer so that it targets their needs or what they are valuing. This will make them more receptive to your idea. Once you get into the practice of listening first, it will become a habit, and you will acquire a reputation as someone who gives sound advice. So use this to your advantage at every turn.

Develop Expertise

If you do not have an official title of influence within your company, take the chance to become an expert in a skill.  Take more classes or get additional credentials. When your coworkers need help, they know they will be able to go to you. Use this opportunity to not only help your coworkers but also to teach them, so that next time they won’t have to go to you. While this may seem counterproductive, it is not. You will be perceived as someone that is always willing to teach, and help others.

Volunteer

Take the chance to volunteer for more responsibility, or to take part in a new project. When you do something with no expectation or payment, you will stand out more. You are showing that you are just as committed to the mission and the future of the company. In the future, you will be considered for more work, because you showed that you were willing to put in the effort.

Take Charge Of A Project

You can’t expect everyone to be interested in the same initiatives as you. Map out a plan to enact a new strategy that could improve some aspect of the business and offer to do the hard parts. You are showing that you want to take the first step to better the organization and that you aren’t afraid of the challenges that come with it.

Influencing others is not easy. If it were, everyone would be the leader of their group or company. However, with practice and attention on getting better at influencing your peers and coworkers in the ways above, you can carve out a solid reputation and bubble of influence for yourself.

Blog, Business

How to Prevent Burnout in Your Employees

There is no doubt that work can be stressful. Mix in the toll of one’s personal life and the risk of burnout is very real, and the impact even more so. Paying attention to the warning signs and taking action will make it easier to curb burnout and still allow for the motivation to make the necessary changes to get back on track.

With that in mind, let us highlight some effective ways you can help your employees if they are showing signs of burnout.

There is a loss of control

Individuals that start to lose control over aspects of scheduling and time management inevitably begin to feel helpless and hopeless, thus running the risk of major burnout. Therefore, it is important that employees do not have structures and policies that are inflexible, as such constrictions can make them feel trapped. Encourage employees to take 10-15 minutes every morning to outline the goals they would like to accomplish so they can regain a sense of control of their day.

There is a lack of transparency

When employees feel as if they are being overlooked for a promotion, are not being properly compensated for the work they are doing, or feel as if they are not getting the full story from upper management, they run a much higher risk of experiencing negative feelings and, ultimately, burnout. As a supervisor or manager, it is best to be open and honest with employees when communicating about decisions and giving reasonable explanations. Offering workshops and other resources to help employees cope could greatly curb burnout as well.

There is a shift in overall attitude

When employees are stressed, emotions can be difficult to control and it is easier for them to get angry or upset in a matter of moments. Burnout contributes to moodiness, negativity, and an overall lack of motivation. Talk to employees and offer support. Suggest taking up a new hobby and encourage disconnecting from work when out of the office.

There is a loss of confidence

When employees experience burnout, they often begin second-guessing themselves and the quality of their work. If an individual feels that they are not able to confidently do their job, they fully disengage and do not actively contribute to the task at hand. To mitigate such a situation, make a point to check in with your employees and help set a few reasonable personal goals to help regain their confidence. Also set small, achievable performance goals to help get them back on track.

Burnout has become a pervasive issue in Western societies, especially since the advent of mobile devices. Ensure you are doing all you can to set your employees up for long-term success. After all, their triumphs are also yours.

Paul Saunders is a founder and principal of James River Capital Corp. and its affiliated companies. In addition to those roles, Paul also serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of James River Captial Corp. and James River Financial Corp. To learn more about Paul Saunders and his professional pursuits, please be sure to visit his website.

Blog, Business

How to Create and Maintain Strong Mentor Relationships

This blog post originally appeared on Paul Saunders’ website.

Success is very rarely achieved alone. Instead, it is a product of multiple interrelated factors, such as support, advocacy, and receiving advice from the right people at the right time. More often than not, these above qualities are best found in mentors. Unfortunately, as more and more young professionals flood the workforce, the idea of finding a more experienced shoulder to lean on and glean insight from is quickly fading into the background.

However, we must shift our focus from encouraging these fresh faces from actively seeking mentors. Instead, we ought to encourage those with professional experience to step into such roles more freely, as they will not only be able to teach the next generation, but learn from them as well.

With that in mind, let us explore how one can effectively create and maintain strong mentor relationships.

Search your existing network

It is likely that you already work with, or at least know of, one or more young professionals in need of support. Therefore, the first step to becoming a mentor is getting to know each of these individuals. Take the time to discover their aspirations, goals, and learning styles. Once you have a better understanding of their long-term direction and goals, it will be much easier for you to engage with those you feel your expertise would benefit the most.

Be yourself

As a mentor, it is imperative you demonstrate every day that you are exactly who you say you are, rather than putting on airs and puffing up your previous experience to garner more awe and respect. This feat is achieved simply by being yourself. Behave, emote, dress, and speak exactly how you would normally. After all, authenticity and transparency are two key components to earning another’s trust.

Hold each other accountable

Sometimes, it is all too easy for these professional relationships to dissolve into average friendships. While this shift may be beneficial in interpersonal ways, it can seriously deter your ability to do more than simply pass advice back and forth.

Therefore, it is imperative you strive to maintain a strict balance between friendly banter and holding each other accountable for your actions and pursuit of professional development. Otherwise, your time and efforts leading up to this point may seem as though they served no purpose.

Clearly, there are plenty of stipulations to becoming a mentor, as it is not simply about forming a bond with another over work-related matters. Instead, mentorship provides a unique opportunity for mutual benefit and growth, meaning it ought to be treated with the utmost respect and seriousness.