Advice from an Old man

1. Have a firm handshake. 2. Look people in the eye. 3. Sing in the shower. 4. Own a great stereo system. 5. If in a fight, hit first and hit hard. 6. Keep secrets. 7. Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday. 8. Always accept an outstretched hand. 9. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. 10. Whistle. 11. Avoid sarcastic remarks. 12. Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery. 13. Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out. 14. Lend only those books you never care to see again. 15. Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have. 16. When playing games with children, let them win. 17. Give people a second chance, but not a third. 18. Be romantic. 19. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know. 20. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life- and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. 21. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for our convenience, not the caller’s. 22. Be a good loser. 23. Be a good winner. 24. Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret. 25. When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go. 26. Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born. 27. Keep it simple. 28. Beware of the person who has nothing to lose. 29. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. 30. Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets 31. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did. 32. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them. 33. Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you. 34. Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you. 35. Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes. 36. Begin each day with some of your favourite music. 37. Once in a while, take the scenic route. 38. Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’ 39. Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice. 40. Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed- side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m. 41. Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job. 42. Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later. 43. Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you. 44. Become someone’s hero. 45. Marry only for love. 46. Count your blessings. 47. Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home. 48. Wave at the children on a school bus. 49. Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people. 50. Don’t expect life to be fair.

Imagine What this Islamic Cleric said About Female Terrorists

This is what Palestinian-Jordanian islamic cleric Mashoor Bin Hassan Aal Salman said

“Terrorist Women In Heaven Will Have A Man With A joystick That Never Bends”

watch the video to hear many other nonsense sold by these people

video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI9JYbfcPFU&feature=youtu.be

The 10 Biggest Productivity Killers and How to Overcome Them

Procrastination is no one’s friend. While some people are more prone to it than others, even those who strive to be as focused and productive as possible can find themselves navigating an obstacle course of workplace distractions.

Job site CareerBuilder recently surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers to identify the most significant office productivity killers. The results include everything from trying to get your inbox down to the mythical zero to engaging with overly chatty colleagues.

Read on for more about how to stop those time traps in their tracks.

10. Sitting in a cubicle

Working in a cubicle can feel downright claustrophobic. If you start to feel like the walls are closing in a bit, get up and go for a walk. Go around the block and get some sunshine or if you are working on deadline, even just a lap around the office can do you some good.

9. Noisy co-workers

Though space can be limited, managers can help their employees by being flexible. Not everyone can work at the highest level in an open floor plan, so set aside private spaces or conference rooms for your colleagues to pop into. If they are most productive working part of the week remotely or working out of the coffee shop downstairs, let them try it out. And if all else fails, there are always noise-cancelling headphones.

8. Smoke breaks/snack breaks

Stepping out to puff a cigarette may feel like a release, but it can also disrupt your flow. It’s the same with raiding the snack table or fridge – the procrastinator’s favorite pastime. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be snacking, but make sure trips to the kitchen aren’t just a way of you putting off work. Also, since what you choose can affect your energy, be sure to snack smart.

7. Meetings

If it feels like your meetings aren’t getting you anywhere, stop and reassess. Before any meeting, make certain that everyone who is involved is in the know. Be certain what you need to discuss and accomplish going in and make sure your colleagues feel comfortable asking questions and contributing ideas. Start and end the meeting on time and make sure you finish the meeting with an actionable plan.

6. Co-worker chitchat

It’s good that you enjoy chatting with your coworkers. In many cases, you spend more of your time with them than your friends and family. Catching up on the weekend while waiting for the coffee maker or taking a few minutes to talk about a favorite TV show or book or ask after a family member is fine. Cracking jokes can make a time-intensive project go a little faster. Just make sure you aren’t blabbing too much.

5. Email

We could all be better at emailing. The time we spent managing our inboxes could certainly be used for other more pressing activities. But how can we make the seemingly insurmountable daily task work for us? You can set aside the same amount of time every day to focus just on responding to e-mail. In writing your emails, being brief and direct is best. And unsubscribe to any newsletters or spam mail that just clogs your inbox. And if the request is a small one, it might just make sense to walk over and talk to your colleague.

4. Social media

Social media is fun and can be a great way to connect with other people in your industry, but there is a time and a place for it. If you’re working on a project, ask yourself whether it’s really necessary that you be perusing your sorority sister’s birthday photos on the side. (The answer is likely no.)  For those who can’t help themselves, perhaps a site blocker is necessary.

3. Gossip

Office gossip can be a real drain on morale; no one wants to come to work and feel like they are back in high school. Good communication starts at the top. As an employer, be transparent about what’s happening with your company and any changes that could be afoot to avoid panic or misinformation.
Read more: How to Prevent Office Gossip From Ruining Your Business

2. The Internet

If you find yourself clearing your search history more than a few times during the course of the work week, you might want to rethink how you’re using your work computer. Save the online shopping or paying your credit card for your personal time. For managers, depending on the needs of your business, you can always consider blocking sites that could be distracting or harmful, but you must be upfront about your rationale. You can also ask that your employees keep the personal errands to the lunch hour. Just make sure you’re clear and consistent in your expectations.

1. Cell phones/texting

Researchers have actually found that people get legitimately anxious if they are away from their phones for too long, so it’s no wonder that this one tops the list. What can you do during the workday to cut down on the habit and restore your focus? Etiquette expert and founder of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month Jacqueline Whitmore says if a personal call is truly urgent, step away to a more private space and address the issue without resorting to “cell yell.” You can also disable your push notifications on your phone so it doesn’t buzz every time you get a retweet or “like” on Facebook. And if a project requires all your attention, switch it off or put it in another room.

By Nina Zipkin

A romantic couple that is always completing projects together by creatively dividing and conquering what needs to be done may have what it takes to translate a romantic partnership into a business partnership. Fundamentally, if two people don’t already bring out the best in one another when organizing a dinner party or coordinating a family vacation, then they may not really be suited for adding a business partnership into the mix of a romantic relationship. Some couples cannot imagine ever working together, while others can’t imagine a better way to live life. In the US, family businesses where couples are both involved in the business date back to the early farmsteads of the pioneers. Today, some research has estimated that there are approximately 4 million “copreneur” or couple entrepreneur businesses. My spouse and I have been involved in copreneur businesses for the entirety of our lives together, which is now more than 20 years. A few ways we have our great romantic relationship work in business are: 1. Differentiated roles. Know and love your roles. It doesn’t really work if the roles overlap too much. At home it is simple for us — he does the laundry and the dishes, I cook most of the meals and pay the bills. Romantic partners who have only a little overlap in what they like to do make better business partners. This is important because it handles issues of ego. My spouse can’t imagine spending his day speaking to partners, investors and employees, and I can’t imagine spending my entire day staring at code, but we agree about business and software development, so we trust we are each moving the needle in ways that are good. He doesn’t worry about me promising features on the product we can’t deliver, and I never worry about him prioritizing the product roadmap in ways that inconsistent with the business and customer needs. Related: 5 Things to Consider for Entrepreneurs, and Their Spouses, to Have a Healthy Marriage 2. Appreciating the best in one another. It’s important to praise each other for the individual contribution each partner makes. Romantic relationships flourish when people recognize they have different yet complementary skills. Partnerships thrive when we remind each other what we are good at and thank the other for the contribution. At home this sometimes looks like a simple “thank you” or hug for cleaning up in the kitchen or it can be a more profound acknowledgement. I regularly let my spouse know that his influence softens me and makes me more accessible to people in all areas of my life, including business. He reminds me to be kind when I might otherwise be fixated with efficiency. Taking a moment to appreciate each other and celebrate the victories goes a long way to re-energizing each other and moving the business forward. Related: How to Keep the Marriage Strong When You Work Together 3. Trust and straight communication. Trust is key to both romantic relationships and business partnerships. Though many people will say they trust their spouse, it isn’t that simple. Do you trust them to love you? Do you trust them to put you and the family first? Do you trust them to balance the checkbook? Do you trust them to cook a meal you want to eat? Do you trust them to listen to you and do things that are in your best interest, even if it isn’t something they enjoy doing? There are many levels of trust but to be both romantic and business partners there must be a fundamental trust to always communicate, even when it is really hard. If you know that your partner will tell the unvarnished truth (as they understand it) and will stay in a conversation that may be difficult until a mutually acceptable resolution is reached, then you likely have what it takes.

By Mary Camacho

A romantic couple that is always completing projects together by creatively dividing and conquering what needs to be done may have what it takes to translate a romantic partnership into a business partnership.

Fundamentally, if two people don’t already bring out the best in one another when organizing a dinner party or coordinating a family vacation, then they may not really be suited for adding a business partnership into the mix of a romantic relationship.

Some couples cannot imagine ever working together, while others can’t imagine a better way to live life. In the US, family businesses where couples are both involved in the business date back to the early farmsteads of the pioneers. Today, some research has estimated that there are approximately 4 million “copreneur” or couple entrepreneur businesses.

My spouse and I have been involved in copreneur businesses for the entirety of our lives together, which is now more than 20 years. A few ways we have our great romantic relationship work in business are:

1. Differentiated roles.
Know and love your roles. It doesn’t really work if the roles overlap too much. At home it is simple for us — he does the laundry and the dishes, I cook most of the meals and pay the bills. Romantic partners who have only a little overlap in what they like to do make better business partners. This is important because it handles issues of ego.

My spouse can’t imagine spending his day speaking to partners, investors and employees, and I can’t imagine spending my entire day staring at code, but we agree about business and software development, so we trust we are each moving the needle in ways that are good. He doesn’t worry about me promising features on the product we can’t deliver, and I never worry about him prioritizing the product roadmap in ways that inconsistent with the business and customer needs.

Related: 5 Things to Consider for Entrepreneurs, and Their Spouses, to Have a Healthy Marriage

2. Appreciating the best in one another.
It’s important to praise each other for the individual contribution each partner makes. Romantic relationships flourish when people recognize they have different yet complementary skills. Partnerships thrive when we remind each other what we are good at and thank the other for the contribution.

At home this sometimes looks like a simple “thank you” or hug for cleaning up in the kitchen or it can be a more profound acknowledgement. I regularly let my spouse know that his influence softens me and makes me more accessible to people in all areas of my life, including business. He reminds me to be kind when I might otherwise be fixated with efficiency.

Taking a moment to appreciate each other and celebrate the victories goes a long way to re-energizing each other and moving the business forward.

Related: How to Keep the Marriage Strong When You Work Together

3. Trust and straight communication.
Trust is key to both romantic relationships and business partnerships. Though many people will say they trust their spouse, it isn’t that simple.

Do you trust them to love you? Do you trust them to put you and the family first? Do you trust them to balance the checkbook? Do you trust them to cook a meal you want to eat? Do you trust them to listen to you and do things that are in your best interest, even if it isn’t something they enjoy doing?

There are many levels of trust but to be both romantic and business partners there must be a fundamental trust to always communicate, even when it is really hard. If you know that your partner will tell the unvarnished truth (as they understand it) and will stay in a conversation that may be difficult until a mutually acceptable resolution is reached, then you likely have what it takes.

9 Ideas to Make a Side Income While Growing Your Business

By Darrah Brustein

Being an entrepreneur is synonymous with being financially unstable at times. While you’re growing your company, it’s important to be focused. But what if you could get a side hustle that would help bring in a healthy secondary income to alleviate some of that financial stress? And, best case, what if this side hustle could also help you grow your core business?

The good news is that there are a lot of companies that create opportunities for entrepreneurs that don’t require full-time work and can become a great companion to the work you’re doing. Better yet, they take out the hassle of having to create a second company to supplement your income because they do the legwork and allow you to plug in your skills and time.

Here are nine examples of opportunities that might be the perfect side hustle for you as you continue to grow your company!

1. Invest in real estate.
There are a lot of methods for making money in real estate, many of which don’t require your full time effort. Josh Dorkin, CEO and founder of BiggerPockets says you should consider land lording, flipping houses or wholesaling. His company’s website will help you manage and understand all of the different state laws and regulations, as well as leverage the largest worldwide network of real estate investors who come to his site to ask questions and help one another.

Related: Create Side-Hustle Income by Teaching What You Already Know

He also recommends finding people in your area with skill sets and expertise that you don’t have, and to partner with them or use them as a place to park your investment cash. You can join BiggerPockets for free and he recommends reading its Ultimate Beginner’s Guide, a free eight-chapter book on real estate investing for novices.

2. Drive a taxi.
Most of us are familiar with Uber and Lyft, the companies that took limo and town car services and gave them riders in their down time, and then expanded into recruiting regular citizens to utilize their free time to become taxi drivers. Have you considered being one of them?

I’ll never forget one of my UberX rides where the driver told me that he uses his spare time to make money driving as well as to leverage the networking he can do with each of his passengers as he grows his new business — genius!

“One of the greatest things about the Uber platform is that it offers economic opportunity for a variety of drivers — full time, part time, teachers in summer, full-time students, military spouses, etc. — in more than 260 cities around the world,” says Molly Spaeth, an Uber spokesperson.

So if you’re in one of the 260 cities, you could be making your car into a money-generating experience and a networking opportunity on wheels!

3. Host the next-gen of tupperware parties.
There are many companies that do at-home parties and trunk shows where you can utilize the company’s products, marketing and operations infrastructure to build a side income by plugging in your network.

One that has proven to be very successful is Stella and Dot, where you become a jewelry consultant and host parties at friend’s homes, local boutiques or events. Other popular brands include Rodan + Fields and Pure Romance.

4. Outsource your skills.
Can you do graphic design, data mining, website development, video editing, software development or customer service? Then you can parlay those skills by signing up on sites such as TaskRabbit or ODesk and get hired by their members to do jobs in any of these areas. You can pick and choose how often you want to work and what jobs you take!

5. Be a temp.
Long gone are the days of temp agencies and scouring the Internet for part-time or short-term work. Enter Wonolo, which helps people “work now locally.”

“Wonolo is a company that allows anyone to work for a few hours or a day at real companies doing real work,” says AJ Brustein, the company’s co-founder. “Want to help an ecommerce company fulfilling orders when they are busy, help out at a conference taking tickets, or a conference taking tickets, or assist in data entry at a wealth management firm? You can get numerous career experiences around the flexibility of your own schedule.”

You can get alerted of jobs available in your area immediately via Wonolo’s app. Sounds perfect for a busy entrepreneur!

Related: Do the Side Hustle: 5 Better Ways to Earn Extra Cash

6. Rent out your pad.
Are you traveling for a business meeting and leaving your home empty? Do you have a spare room or guest house? It’s time to put them to work and list them on Airbnb or VRBO and make money on your property when you’re not using it!

7. Rent out your car.
If you can get on board with renting out your home, you’ll certainly understand the model created by companies such as RelayRides and FlightCar, which allow you to rent out your personal vehicle to their users.

I recently used RelayRides during a trip in San Francisco and had a great experience that didn’t require me to find a rental car center, and the cost was right. I even was able to get acquainted with the car’s owner, to whom I offered to help find a job.

It’s another way to make money and network when you’re not using your car (like when you’re parked at the airport thanks to FlightCar)!

8. Don’t just buy on eBay, sell there.
You can simply sell your own items, or you can make it into a side business.

“I run an eBay franchise in which I teach people how to run a re-sale business on eBay,” says Garrett Brustein. “I do one-on-one training to show them where to get their inventory and how to list and ship items the same way I do so they can emulate the process and take all of the guess work out of the business. They are then able to do this as a part-time job in their free time.”

Just think — you can unload the stuff you don’t want and go shopping to resell items all in the name of making money!

9. Get paid to network.
I know this one from personal experience! After founding my first company, a credit card processing brokerage, I began to organize networking events in my city to help young professionals interact in an environment where they wouldn’t fear getting sold to or hit on. I quickly realized the events were not only helping those in attendance to make valuable connections, but that there was real money to be made, as well.

Over time, I packaged the operations of Network Under 40 to enable entrepreneurs in other markets to bring the events to their cities. By becoming the epicenter of the network, it naturally parlays into building their full-time businesses as well as creates a healthy side income.

If you’re looking to make some money on the side and/or find channels through which you can build your primary business, it’s time to look into some of these options.

Linda Ikeji Million Dollars Mansion

Linda Ikeji is a 35 years old single lady who has amassed wealth through blogging. She is a professional blogger. She recently acquired a mouth watering edifice worth over 4 million USD in the luxurious banana island in Lagos Nigeria. She now has Forbes billionaires as her neighbors e.g Aliko Dangote. It is of no doubt that blogging could be one of the ways to amass wealth. Congrats to the Nigeria born blogger

Switzerland and Britain promise to return Nigeria’s looted funds

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

ABUJA—British and Swiss governments, yesterday, pledged to return looted Nigerian funds stashed away in various personal bank accounts in their countries.

The two countries also promised to work with Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other anti-graft agencies in the fight against official corruption and theft.

The new British High Commissioner, Mr. Paul Arkwright, and Swiss Ambassador, Mr. Eric Mayoraz, made the promises at separate audiences with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during the presentation of their letters of credence.

President Buhari, however, called for the speeding up of the processes of investigation, prosecution and repatriation of public funds stolen by past corrupt public officials and their accomplices.

Buhari said: ‘‘Switzerland and Britain have been very helpful, indeed, in the recovery of our assets. But we must build on what we have started.

‘‘It is also important to send a signal to the elite that it is no longer business as usual. I appreciate the efforts of Prime Minister David Cameron on this issue.”

Also, Mr. Arkwright assured the President of Britain’s preparedness to give Nigeria the fullest support and assistance in the recovery of its looted resources.

“We are most ready to help. We have a good team at the National Crime Agency, NCA, working with your Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Tell us where and how we can help and we will provide the assistance.”

Buhari told the new Swiss Ambassador, Mr. Eric Mayoraz: “We will get our Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with you to ensure that all the stolen funds are returned safely to government coffers as quickly as possible.”

President Buhari also received the letters of credence of the ambassador of the State of Palestine, Mr. Saleh Fhied Saleh; ambassador of Myanmar, Mr. Tha Aung Nyun and that of Slovakia, Mr. Peter Holasek.

4 Ways to Keep Employees Motivated and Productive

In a startup, productivity is the lifeblood of the company. Unlike enterprise level corporations where there can be a little more flexibility, startups have concrete milestones that must be met in order to succeed. Getting work done and meeting deadlines is critical and at a startup you have much more at stake.

Often, management will try to increase employee productivity by cracking the whip, upping the pressure and encouraging long hours, but this will not boost performance or effectiveness. As the founder of three startups, I’ve come across this challenge several times and have picked up a few tips on motivating employees in what can be a stressful, fast-paced environment.

1. It’s not a ‘sprint’ if you don’t stop running.
It’s simple: Employees can’t be effective if they are never able to let up on the gas — they will inevitably burn out. There needs to be slower periods to ensure success in the long run. Take time to celebrate successes between sprints, even if as a leader, the successes aren’t exactly what you would want them to be. Success for a startup CEO may mean exiting but for employees that simply represents future risk. You have to celebrate the things important to the team. You need to celebrate building the product, selling it, updating it and awards for it.

2. Treat your employees like investors.
Another way to increase productivity is to make your employees feel valued by sharing the same information with them that you share with investors. This level of transparency enables employees to be more connected to the company, builds trust and gives employees more of a vested interest. Everyone likes to feel like they are making a difference and you’ll likely see employee productivity rise if you highlight employee impact on the business rather than the numbers of hours logged and reports completed.

3. Don’t plan to capacity — change is good.
In a rapidly changing business environment, startups need to be able to pivot on a dime. To do this, you need to leave enough space when planning to allow for flexibility. If your employees are swamped, it makes it very difficult to react to new opportunities and can make you lose sight of priorities. What’s the point of your staff working hard if you can’t redirect that energy into more fruitful ventures?

On a separate note, you will need to train your organization to think of change as a positive. I have seen so many companies self-destruct, because they thought change was a sign of weakness or redoubled efforts. If your staff is confused or concerned about the direction the company is taking, their work may suffer.

4. Use a timeline instead of a dashboard.
Make sure you are using timeline-based tools to communicate with employees. Tools like HipChat and Skype for Business give employees a more holistic view of the workflow. They provide an idea of what is happening now and what has changed, in the same way we consume information on social media. Dashboards generally provide a static snap shot of a single event while timelines enable personnel to get a better feel for the overall dynamics of a particular project. When working with teams, timelines can be particularly effective, enabling everyone involved to have a better understanding of the process.

In my experience, there’s no magic bullet to create a more productive workforce. Everyone has their own management style, but it has been proven time and again that high-pressure environments are inevitably toxic, as we recently saw at Amazon. Employees need to be motivated and inspired — to feel like their hard work is building the company’s future.

By reshaping your staff’s perceptions around effectiveness and implementing the right methods of persuasion along with the best tools to streamline the process, you can be successful. You can foster a productive mentality among employees, not based around fear, but rather around their own drive to do something great.

By Todd Vernon

7 Lessons From Entrepreneurs Who Kept Their Day Jobs While Starting Their Businesses

Keeping your day job while starting a business has its advantages. Aside from the steady income and free coffee, reliable full-time work helps you flesh out your résumé and portfolio and extend your professional network. Even better, working for someone else gives you a front-row view of the best (and worst) ways to run a company, from managing time and money to handling customers and employees.

We asked some successful entrepreneurs who founded companies while holding down a 9-to-5 to share the lessons they learned.

1. First, prove your concept.

Holding down a day job means having only so many waking hours to devote to your side venture. That’s why validating that your idea will work—and that people will pay for it—should be priority No. 1, says Shara Senderoff, co-founder and CEO of Career Sushi, an online marketplace that connects young professionals with employers.

Senderoff was fortunate that her former employer, a Hollywood TV and film production company, agreed in 2011 to fund and incubate her startup in-house. But because she didn’t need to bootstrap, she mistakenly spent more time than she should have on Career Sushi’s branding, web design and minute platform details, proof of concept be damned.

“I probably spent six months doing that,” says the Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, whose site now serves 15,000 employers and 150,000 job seekers. “In retrospect, that was a wasted six months.” Of course, the typical startup can’t afford such indulgences, lest they run out of cash before going live. Lesson learned, says Senderoff: “Don’t try to build a Porsche when you just need to build the wireframe and test whether the car will ever drive.”

2. Let the big goals shape your calendar.

Wrangling your schedule won’t necessarily be easier after you leave your 9-to-5. Between the shoestring budget, lean staff and avalanche of action items, deciding which tasks to tackle each day at your startup can get overwhelming.

For Allyson Downey, co-founder and CEO of baby-product review platform weeSpring, working at an educational nonprofit provided valuable training in organizing and prioritizing.

To stay the course, Downey relies on a chart on her desk, a carryover from her previous job, showing the day’s top goals. “I have a column called ‘user growth,’ a column called ‘revenue growth’ and a column called ‘development,’” says Downey, who is based in New York. To prevent herself from “going down the rabbit hole of fixing little things and building new features,” the development column is half the size of the other two, she says.

This means that less-pressing tasks like updating weeSpring’s About Us page take a back seat. “That has been on my to-do list for two years, and it probably will continue being on my to-do list for another two years because I need to keep my head down and focus on the stuff that’s going to move the company forward,” Downey explains.

3. Document processes.

Before Guy Baroan began running his Elmwood Park, N.J.-based IT firm, Baroan Technologies, full time, he spent several years managing an indoor amusement park. The facility employed 80 teenagers and hosted about 135 children’s birthday parties per week.

“There had to be a specific method for the hostesses to go in and run the birthday parties,” Baroan explains. Employees needed a process road map—from the timing of the cake presentation to the sale of game tokens—to keep parties running smoothly and guest meltdowns to a minimum.

Baroan was a one-man show when he left his job in 1997 to focus on Baroan Technologies. Determined to hand off some of his workload as soon as possible, he took a page from the amusement park operations and began documenting all his business practices—everything from scheduling appointments and making service calls to training workers.

“The best way to delegate is to create processes and systems,” says Baroan, who now employs 18 people and brings in $3 million in annual revenue. “Then you have a consistent method where, no matter who’s doing a task, it’s going to be done the same way.”

4. Catch problems early.

Before devoting herself to her business full time in 2012, Katie Stack spent a decade working in the costume departments of regional theaters. Often it wasn’t until the final fitting that a designer would decide on a different color or fabric for a costume and want a replacement. Between overtime and last-minute shipping costs, “suddenly the cost of that new garment was around six times what the original cost of the garment was,” says Stack, who now runs Stitch & Rivet, a design studio and retail boutique in Washington, D.C.

In selling her own handmade totes, handbags and belts, Stack ensures that the quality of the materials she orders from vendors is up to snuff before making each product. Because if she isn’t happy with a particular fabric or zipper, her wholesale customers might not be either.

Stack’s advice: “If you need to change what you’re doing, change it in the prototype stage instead of in the final stage, when you’re up a creek and can’t really backtrack.”

5. Plan for financial fluctuations.

Heidi Andermack became intimately familiar with the fluctuations of small-business cash flow during the seven years she managed her husband’s custom font company. So when she co-founded Chowgirls Killer Catering in 2004 in Minneapolis, she and partner Amy Lynn Brown set some fiscal ground rules: Limit the amount of personal credit used to float the company during lean times; avoid draining their retirement funds; seek out a bank loan as soon as they qualified.

They also relied on their business’s peaks—summer wedding season and year-end holidays—to sustain the valleys. “Learning those patterns of your business is really important,” Andermack says. “You can expect slimmer times.”

You also can expect cost overruns, adds Stack, who began padding Stitch & Rivet’s budgets for worst-case scenarios during her theater days. “Always have a contingency budget,” she says, noting that she allots 15 to 20 percent more money than she thinks she needs for website overhauls, trade shows, printed materials and product development. “If you don’t use it, that’s great. But chances are you’re going to need it.”

6. Invest in employees.

Making workers feel valued has always been a primary concern for Chowgirls’ Brown, who was paid handsomely by the multinational media company that employed her for nine years before she turned her full attention to catering. “Being treated and compensated well and receiving great benefits taught me how important that is for staff loyalty,” she says.

Chowgirls, which makes more than $2 million in annual revenue, offers its full-time staffers competitive pay and generous benefits, including four weeks of paid parental leave, three weeks of paid vacation (after three years on staff), free massages and grocery discounts. “We have a really high retention level,” Brown says.

7. Treat customers like gold.

When Baroan started his company in the late ’90s, “IT people thought they were gods,” he says. But he had no desire to build a team of smug techies who would be too arrogant to treat customers with respect. Instead, he cribbed the service philosophy of his former employer, the amusement park: “We had a major focus on treating everyone like a guest in your home rather than just somebody off the street that you’re doing a favor.”

For his IT crew, this means showing up on time, addressing customers by name, answering questions and checking whether customers need anything else before wrapping up jobs.

“People judge you by what they can relate to,” Baroan says. His customers may not know much about network configuration data, but they know when someone is courteous and reliable. Baroan credits these traits with earning his company referrals and repeat customers over the years. “That’s how the business grew,” he says.

Cutting corners is not in Kevin Jordan’s DNA. His six years as a commercial airline pilot instilled in him an unshakable discipline. Skip the required preflight inspection, and you could jeopardize lives. Now owner of Redpoint Marketing Consultants, which he opened in 2012 in Farmville, Va., Jordan applies those same standards to each project he accepts, even those involving chores he’d rather avoid—and chores that his clients may not even know about. One such task: interviewing clients’ customers for their take on the business. “Some of those things are a pain,” he says. “It’s hard to get people on the phone.”

But for Jordan, having the discipline to go the distance when no one’s watch-ing is part of the job. “Just like with the preflight inspection, the client may never realize that you did a lot of these things,” he says. “But it will make a difference in the long run. And that’s what distinguishes me from other people who do what I do.”

By MICHELLE GOODMAN

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10 Practices for Becoming a Self-Made Millionaire

Becoming a self-made millionaire is no easy task. Yet, for the individuals who have accomplished this major feat in the past, the process involves following a few set rules like these or guidelines that have proven to help self-made professionals, no matter what industry they may be in. If you have your sights focused on a life as a self-made millionaire then consider these rules to live by.

1. Do it for the challenge.

If you ask any self-made millionaire why they got started in the field they did, chances are they will not just say “to make a million dollars.” The true story behind most people’s success is that they wanted to accept the challenge of following their dreams and becoming successful on their own terms.

2. Never get too comfortable.

There should never be a time in your journey to the top where you stop and think “Ok, I’ve done enough, I can stop working so hard.” If you’ve met your goal and made a million dollars, set another one. You should never be comfortable, you should always be working for more.

3. Study and work harder than anyone.

No matter how talented you are, you will never reach your full potential success unless you are willing to study and work harder than anyone else. This is the only way to truly achieve your goals.

4. Learn from failures and mistakes.

You are going to make mistakes and you are going to fail. How you react to those failures is what makes you successful. If you fall, don’t get down on yourself, but look at why you failed, take it as a learning experience, brush it off and move on.

5. Read every day.

This rule cannot be emphasized enough — you need to be reading all the time. Never stop reading and never stop finding new topics to read about. You need to keep aware of the cutting edge movements within your industry to stay ahead of the trends.

6. Keep your mind and body healthy.

Exercise along with mental health breaks are all an important part of being the most successful version of yourself that you can be. Work out daily, eat right and always get plenty of sleep.

7. Surround yourself with successful like-minded people.

Surrounding yourself with the wrong people can be a major drain on you. Make sure that you are around people who share your same goals and visions, who are motivated and are true peers that also want financial success. Being around these individuals will motivate you and help you stay focused. Avoid people who don’t care about work. People who spend all of their time partying are not good for your success.

8. Give to the less fortunate and take care of loved ones.

We’ve talked about taking care of your mind and body, but it is also important to take care of your soul. Never lose sight of the world around you and those who are in need. Taking care of your loved ones is one of the best ways to enjoy your financial success.

Give back to those in need. I started my Timothy Sykes Foundation to help those who are less fortunate. It has really made a difference in my perspective and work ethic.

9. Be honest and transparent.

Lying and being deceitful will never get you as far as you think. You need to always be honest, straightforward and transparent with people. This is a truly important and undervalued practice that will help you earn the long-term professional success you have always wanted.

10. To succeed think long-term, not short term.

So many people are focused only on their short-term success and have goals like “I want to make X amount of money in the next year.” Don’t focus on short-term goals, focus on the long-term big picture of where you want your life to be. These are the types of goals that will get you motivated to being truly self-sufficient and building actual wealth for you and your family.

While there undoubtedly is a certain amount of challenge that comes with becoming a self-made millionaire, if you keep these rules in mind and learn from the success of those who have accomplished this goal in the past, then you will be armed with the insight you need to help make your financial goals a reality.

courtesy of Timothy Sykes

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