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

5 Ways To Stay Motivated When Your Business is Struggling

This blog post originally appeared on Paul Saunders’ website.

Staying motivated as an employee when things are not going well is hard, being the head of the company only makes staying motivated harder. Getting yourself through those tough times are going to be crucial in whether or not your business is going to be able to succeed. Here are five ways to not lose focus when everything seems to be going wrong.

Get your passion back

When your business is hitting a rough patch, it can be hard to remember why you decided to open. Self-reflect when that happens, and think of all the good that your business has done, and how much it has succeeded since it first started. Think of why you decided to open your business, and the passion that you felt when you first started will come back. When you can bring passion back to your work, it will reinvigorate the way you look at the situation you are in. If you can do that, you will be able to keep pushing yourself in those tough moments.

Have a good support group

Who you associate with does change who you are. You may not notice it at first, but who you keep company with changes how you think, what you say, and how you act. With that knowledge surround yourself with positive people you feel are successful. They will help you when you are down because they want to see you succeed. If you surround yourself with negativity, you will become negative in the process. You will begin to think you are going to fail no matter what you do, and you will stop trying to help your business. This won’t reflect on your behavior in significant ways, but it will show in the small things you do. You will give your customers poor service, or you will stop trying to fix things your business needs. When you think your business will fail, it will. If you stay positive, you will be able to look at what you are doing right, and still give the customers what they want and need.

Break up your goal with milestones

When you have a big goal in mind, it will look like a daunting task. If you break the goal down into achievable milestones, it won’t seem impossible. When it does get tough, you can look at how much progress has been achieved since you began. Understanding the development of something you have created will make you feel accomplished. Feeling accomplished will make you want to continue that feeling. It will give you the encouragement you need to keep moving forward. You will also be able to see what the next milestone is, and seeing that will let you know what you have to do next to reach it. It helps develop your business when you lose your way.

Have your own mission statement

All businesses have mission statements that guide their actions. It’s what they are trying to accomplish so that they will be successful. If you have a mission statement, it will guide you when things get chaotic. This self-reflection will give you the chance to think of what you want to do, and what you value. Your mission statement will remind you of what you are aiming to achieve while helping you not lose focus on what is important.

Look toward your mistakes

While focusing on your mistakes when you are already down, may seem counterintuitive, it isn’t. As long as you are focusing on how to improve yourself from the mistakes. Looking at what you can do better, and learning from them is a skill that everyone needs to have. Knowing that you have a solution to a problem that brought you down will give you confidence, and you won’t feel as stressed if the problem shows itself. Not only that, but as you learn from your mistakes you become a better leader, and problem-solver. All skills that you need to run a successful business.

When you lose motivation, it can be hard to get back on track. Staying motivated is a fight between your mind and yourself. Don’t let it tell you that you can’t accomplish something, keep preserving until you get back on your feet. If you need to force yourself to become motivated, then you need to do it, because it won’t always feel forced.

Blog, Business

Simple Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Contrary to popular belief, becoming an effective communicator is a skill set that is learned, not something embedded in a person’s DNA. While there are certain personalities that have easily obtained the qualities of astounding communication, there is no communication skill that cannot be learned through hard work and dedication.

With that in mind, let us review a few fundamental skills that will help improve one’s ability to effectively communicate and influence others as a leader.

Think outside of the box

To become an effective communicator, think creatively and do not immediately dismiss an idea because it seems outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes, the most inspiring ideas evolve upon reflection and adaptation. Therefore, smart leaders know they need to stretch their creative bounds to inspire and influence others.

Practice makes perfect

Organizing thoughts and ideas into a polished outline will not only keep them in order, but also allow for a more natural message conveyed in real-time — a trait that is especially imperative in large meetings and other professional gatherings.

Once one has completed this step, it is imperative they practice all they have put into place. Read each point of conversation aloud, as this will allow for the discovery of content that needs to be adjusted or re-worded. Rather than reading from a slideshow or stiffly reiterating lines on a sheet, the message will be confidently and naturally delivered to the audience.

Be an active listener

A speaker best communicates when they are actively listening, which ultimately allows for a more organic response and expands their understanding of the dialogue at the same time. Keep in mind that real communication involves an exchange between all parties involved, not just by one individual.

Engage in organic dialogue

Leaders that engage in organic and interactive dialogue will establish a trust and rapport that cannot be formed from an audience that is being talked at. When a speaker reads from a slide with little to no emotion, the experience is dull and most will not take anything away from the message. Engaging and connecting with the audience will convince them to show empathy and pay attention to the message.

Avoid using certain words

Using strong, effective words will contribute to better communication as a leader. There are words that should not be used often and some that should be avoided entirely. There are situations that are more cavalier, but profanity should be avoided.

Other slang words like “dude” and “guys” are informal and can come off as being immature. Words like “actually,” “but,” “assume,” and “fine” lead to a negative connotation immediately. Therefore, it is imperative you adapt your language accordingly, as co-workers and peers do not want to hear excuses or sugarcoating.

Finally, always be constructive, respectful, and positive when communicating with individuals inside and outside of the workplace. You may be surprised how small, seemingly meaningless changes will garner results.