Mompreneurs, business ladies, women with ambition, or simply those who just have an idea waiting to be realized – you know the many troubles of kick-starting your own business in this modern-day climate. It’s fast-paced, hectic, and very crowded when it comes to competition, so in addition to being original and true to your values, you need to come up with a whole slew of solutions to preempt problems in the first place. While some of them are simply common-sense, others are known only to those who’ve already dipped their toes in the entrepreneurial pond of innovation.
However, if you’re not familiar with the current business eco-system, keep reading to get up to speed and prepare yourself in order to overcome those obstacles with more resolve and knowledge!
Master the art of funding
Women-owned firms tend to have a harder time finding investors due to prejudice, but this doesn’t mean you should EVER give up. On the contrary, when you start hunting for the perfect source of funding, you should widen your net and keep it diverse. From angel investors, bank and independent loans, all the way to crowdfunding platforms, make sure to do your homework and look for various ways in which you can give your business a stable financial backbone. You can even talk to your friends and family and see if they’d be up for pitching in until you start turning a profit.
Get practical with your budget
Once you’ve found the best possible way to fund your business, you need to allocate your budget wisely in order to support optimal growth. For starters, that may mean you need an office space, and to cut costs, you can work in a shared office space instead of committing to a more costly rental contract. On the other hand, you can consider working remotely with the rest of your team.
To add to that, you may need to be on the go very frequently to conduct meetings, presentations, reach out to clients, and work with your partners such as manufacturers or web developers. In that case, finding cheap car hire options can make much more sense for your budget than purchasing a vehicle of your own. You’ll save on maintenance fees, upkeep, and various unforeseen issues that tend to pop up.
One of the most common issues so many business folk face in the early years of their journey is balancing their personal and professional life. That’s a difficult task even with a steady job, let alone when you’re struggling to find clients or deal with a website crisis every week. Who has time to think about cooking or hitting the gym, right?
Still, by investing time in essential self-care, you’ll actually invest in your business, too. You’ll have much more energy every day, fewer sick days ahead, more confidence for those tough negotiations, and better focus to muscle through those difficult tasks.
Find the right teammates
A one-woman operation is an excellent choice as long as you can handle the workload without it affecting your wellbeing. As soon as you notice your life is literally turning into work, you should take a moment to see which tasks you can delegate, and which portions of your business (such as bookkeeping or SEO campaigns) you can outsource to experts.
Whether you want to expand your local team or you’re open for working with freelancers from all over the world, you need to be careful to find people that will match your values and your brand identity. They might be an excellent hire from a professional perspective, but if they don’t have the soft skills you need to keep building your company, then you need to look further.
On that note, much like you need your future employees and business partners to be able to keep up with the market changes and customer needs, you also need to make room for personal growth. In fact, you need to invest in yourself in every way possible as you build your business, so that you can always have an innovative edge with your brand.
No matter how busy your life may get, take some time to develop your own interests, visit conferences, take courses, learn something new, or talk to new people. You’ll transfer all of that knowledge into your business mindset and allow it to utilize your skills in all the best ways!
Claire Hastings is a wanderer and a writer. She writes as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.
The reading nook. Every home deserves to have one in this chaotic day and age. When the day is done and the stress of the outside world starts to slowly dissipate into the unknown, the last thing we want to do is to try to relax by once again staring at a smartphone screen or watching TV. Instead, you need to rest properly on an emotional, physical, and psychological level.
A good book can help you achieve this and so much more. Whether it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon just for you, or a quick reading session before you turn in for the night, letting yourself go to the comfort and serenity of a romantic reading nook with a book in hand can be a truly restorative experience. Here is how to create such a setting in your own home.
Start with the lighting
Aside from mere illumination, lighting in interior design is used to set the mood in the room, accentuate certain features, and help the right kind of vibes imbue the space with that romantic homey vibe. When it comes to designing the perfect reading nook, lighting will play a vital role.
You could just read under the base overhead light that’s already in the room, but that would be a terrible waste of your riding nook’s aesthetic potential. Instead, turn off the chandelier and introduce dedicated lighting for this area. When you’re reading in the daytime, natural light should gracefully fall onto the seating area without making it too hot and without producing a glare from the windows and the surrounding decor, so be sure to balance the light beams with beautiful curtains or natural blinds on the windows.
The setting area is your focal point
Of course, the main spot in the reading nook is the seating area, and this can be anything from a cozy armchair with an ottoman, or even an entire couch other family members can enjoy with you. No matter the arrangement, this piece of furniture should be designed for maximum comfort – meaning that it should not only be fluffy, but supportive as well.
Choose sturdy leather upholstery for skeletal support, and then accentuate with throw pillows and cozy blankets later on. Complete the seating area with a wooden side table where you can lay down your book and other reading necessities.
Cozy up the setting with layered rugs
They are key to creating a reading nook of ultimate coziness (go ahead and write that in stencil on the wall behind it), lies in leaving no surface uncovered, especially the floors. There is a distinct difference between a reading nook with bare hardwood flooring, and one that enjoys the cozy vibe emanating from the fluffiness of the surrounding carpets.
With that in mind, consider positioning your armchair and ottoman on a soft Moroccan, and then layer strategically by putting accent round rugs right beneath your feet to create a cozy landing spot. It’s little accents like these that will make a beautiful, romantic reading nook come to life.
Surround yourself with books
Whether or not you will be able to truly surround yourself with books will depend on the amount of space you’re working with – sometimes, a reading nook is just a chair, a free standing lamp, and a corner. Nevertheless, there is always a way to strengthen that “intimate oasis” feel.
For instance, you can mount floating shelves on the walls next to you and put the books on your reading list on them so that you always have a good read close at hand. If you have plenty of space, on the other hand, then go ahead and position your seating arrangement right next to a grand bookshelf.
Don’t forget about pillows and throws
Now is the time to add the finishing touches to your romantic reading nook. Your lighting scheme is spot-on, the upholstery is not too soft or to rigid, the floors are radiating coziness, now you only have to add pillows and blankets to the mix.
This might seem like a simple task, but bear in mind that these additions can easily clutter up the look, so be frugal in your approach and only add the pieces that will enrich the reading nook in aesthetics and comfort. This can be a single chunky-knit blanket complemented by two accent pillows – one to support your lower back, and one to support good head posture.
The reading nook doesn’t get the praise and recognition it deserves in the modern household, and it’s time we brought this amazing restorative piece back into our daily lives. With these tips in mind, you will have no problem creating a romantic reading nook the entire family will love.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”
Do you feel pressured by deadlines, responsibilities, and complex projects at work?
Unless you’re superhuman, you probably do. Work-related stress is an all-too-common issue the vast majority of professionals across all industries cope with – not to mention entrepreneurs.
We’ve sort of learned to accept it as a matter of fact – we manage the daily operations and keep the stress under control, but every now and then the workload expands (somewhat dramatically) and that fine balancing act we’ve maintained masterfully for weeks, maybe even months, goes to pieces. Pair it with responsibilities and circumstances outside your work life, and you’ve got yourself feeling like a hot mess.
That’s when we feel anxious, overwhelmed, and desperate to grasp some resemblance of order, both internal and external.
If this sounds all too familiar to you, it’s important to know that you’re not alone – and that there are ways you can manage these overwhelming pressures. Here are some helpful tips for fighting work-induced anxiety and finding balance.
Acknowledge your co-workers as teammates
When faced with an overwhelming workload, many people create a barrier between themselves and their co-workers, trying desperately to deal with their anxiety all on their own.
But what if you didn’t push back the people who are most likely going through the same thing at that very moment and who have the clearest insight into your situation at work?
Perhaps your company doesn’t promote a team culture, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bond with your co-workers and foster the team spirit. When things get tough, team members help each other by providing empathy, motivation, and energy, or they may even quite literally step in for each other and help out with certain tasks.
So, the next time you feel anxious and overwhelmed by your workload, don’t internalize it. Tell a co-worker what you’re going through, ask for help, don’t eat lunch alone – lean on your team for some support.
Ask for support from friends and family
Your co-workers are not the only ones who should know what you’re dealing with – it’s important to create your safety net, which can’t be complete without your friends and family. Tell them what you’re going through and what’s troubling you the most about the current pressures. And don’t think you’re burdening them – after all, that’s what friends and family are for.
It’s better to vent right away and let them know the issues you’re dealing with than to let the anxiety build up, suffer in silence, and lash out at some point. That’s how you’ll avoid turning work stress into home stress. When loved ones are clued in to what’s going on, there will be no misunderstandings on both sides – only then can they give you the emotional support and the space you need.
Take care of your body
When tensions rise, it’s more important than ever to take care of your body. This wonderful mechanism, where all the pieces are closely intertwined to form your physical and mental wellbeing, needs to be nurtured so it can help you push through.
Any kind of exercise is great for relieving stress, so dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to an activity you like to get your blood pumping. Trust me, you’ll feel better for it, and yes, you can find 15 minutes in your busy schedule. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoid alcohol and other stimulants, and try to get enough sleep.
Sleep can be an especially tricky issue when you’re fighting anxiety, but if the stress is keeping you tossing and turning at night, try to avoid sleeping pills. It’s always better to find a natural solution, such as plant-based stress support supplements to promote healthy sleep because unlike sleep meds, they have no side effects. These types of products can provide you with stress-relief by managing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, with the help of natural ingredients known as adaptogens.
Set boundaries and find your relaxation rituals
You need some serious you-time, otherwise you’ll burn out completely.
First things first, set clear work-life boundaries to the best of your ability. If boundaries are something you’re especially having trouble with, it’s okay – start small and you’ll get there. For example, dedicate a 100% work-free hour each night.
Take that time to reset both mentally and physically. A relaxing daily routine that you truly enjoy helps you maintain a sense of order and calm amidst the chaos. Maybe it’s pursuing a hobby that you love, watching your favorite show, doing a relaxing beauty routine, or taking a hot bath each night before bed – whatever works for you.
When you think about the overwhelming workload and you have no idea how on Earth you’re supposed to get all that done on time, the panic is bound to settle in.
Take a deep breath and step back. Not everything is urgent.
Grab a pen and paper and write it all down, one by one, then assign priority rankings to each task. Think in small steps, focus on time management, and develop a day-to-day plan for tackling the monster project. You’ll feel a lot calmer when you have a battle plan and when everything is put on paper rather than swarming around your head.
Work inevitably gets overwhelming from time to time, but the only way to handle this anxiety is by maintaining your perspective. Remember that this will pass and use these tips to help you get through it. Lastly, although humor may be the last thing on your mind in uptight situations, do try consciously to find a bit of it every day – it really heals.
Caitlin is a bookworm and recreational dancer. She is also a medical student in love with science in all its forms. Her fields of expertise could be summed up in psychology, productivity, and well-being related topics. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and Universe, Caitlin is researching and writing about various health-related and well-being related topics. She is happily addicted to art in all its forms, grilled tofu, and hiking. To see what Caitlin is up to next, check out her Twitter dashboard.
7 Valuable Ways You Need To Invest in Yourself
Even though it’s always wise to maintain a thrifty mindset, some aspects of your life are worth all the time and money in this world. Since we already spend the majority of our time working, no matter how rewarding and wonderful your career may be, you truly deserve to invest in yourself. After all, when we don’t learn how to practice self-care, chances are we will not lead fulfilled, happy lives in which we can do good for others to our full potential.
To help your mind and your body thrive, there are several key ways in which you can invest in yourself. Some of them will instantly impact your life, while others will take time to show their influence, as they predominantly rely on building healthy habits for your long-term well-being!
Read a chapter a day
Or even just a page a day, it doesn’t really matter as long as you strive to invest more time in reading. It’s a simple, yet powerful way to widen your horizons, open your mind to new ideas, let your imagination run free, and on a more practical note, enrich your vocabulary. Try various genres, look for books of substance, but also the ones that will do great for a relaxing Sunday afternoon with their humor and light-hearted stories.
No matter how old you are and what sort of education you’ve had, it’s never too early or too late to rekindle your love for mastering new skills and perfecting your knowledge.
There are so many online courses you can take free of charge to learn more about the world, but you can also take classes, from dancing, cooking, sewing, all the way to subscribing to YouTube channels with fun tutorials.
Follow the travel bug
There’s nothing quite like globe-trotting that teaches us to appreciate the world so much, embrace new and different cultures, and expand our views.
Whether you’re a fan of solo traveling, you prefer to look for exciting offers by various cruise lines, or you’re a spontaneous soul with a preference for road trips, consider the world your oyster. The more people you meet and the more places you see, the richer your life becomes.
Create a healthy routine
If you’re not a morning person, then perhaps a healthy, uplifting ritual when you rise and shine could help you associate the time of day with a wonderful experience – and add to your wellbeing!
For example, a cup of tea of different flavors for (almost) every day, meditation to fill your mind with positive thoughts, followed by a morning exercise routine to instantly elevate your mood. Whatever helps you lead a healthy life and makes you feel good in your own skin, do it!
Grow your confidence
Through moments of pure gratitude, conversations with yourself, or through an empowering activity that makes you feel on top of the world, you should begin to celebrate the fact that you and your life have value.
Start expressing gratitude for your virtues, and for the challenges that help you become a stronger, better person. All the friends and family in your life, everything you’ve accomplished, remember that you’ve earned it and worked for it. It will put your life in perspective, so that you can truly feel that you matter.
Less digital, more social
Even though it’s wonderful to stay in touch with your loved ones from abroad, social media platforms are no excuse to stay stuck staring at a screen and not really connecting with people. Make a weekly date with your friends, where all phones are off, or at least you’ll promise only to respond to emergencies.
Make it your goal to spend more time offline and truly bond with the people who matter in your life, as opposed to looking through Instagram photos of puppies. As cute as they may be, what gives meaning to your life are the people who make you happy!
Set your goals
While we’re on the subject of goals, setting them helps you get a firmer grip on whatever dreams you may have, as it puts them in a realistic timeframe. Make them attainable and measurable, and you can even divide them into milestones for daily tasks that let you get closer to the most important goals in your life.
No matter in what stage of life you currently are, there are always incredible methods to improve and better your existence through consistent investing in yourself. Make it your number one priority to “fund” your health and well-being, and the quality of your life will soar!
Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
Lower The Risk Of Cancer With Cancer Prevention Diet
While there is no magic diet or foods that can guarantee to prevent or cure cancer, lifestyle factors which include your diet can make a huge difference in lowering your risk to develop the disease. And if you are battling cancer at present, by adopting the right diet you can maintain your strength and boost your overall emotional well being as you undergo treatment. By eating the foods that support your immune system and avoiding cancer-causing foods, you can better protect your health and boost your ability to fight cancer and other diseases.
The Link Between Cancer And Your Diet
Though some of the risk factors for cancer such as genetics and environment are uncontrollable, about 70 % of the cancer risk is within your power to change including diet. Limiting alcohol, avoiding cigarettes, reaching a healthy weight, healthy diet and getting regular exercise are great steps to prevent cancer. There are certain dietary factors that can have a major influence on your risk. For example, eating a traditional Mediterranean diet which is rich in vegetables, fruits and healthy fats like olive oil lowers your risk for a variety of common cancers. If you have a family history of cancer, just by making small changes to your diet and behaviors you can make a big difference to your health.
Building Your Cancer-Prevention Diet
To lower the risk of cancer, you must include antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, beans, nuts, whole grains and healthy fats in your diet. You must also try to limit the amount of fried and processed foods, sugars, unhealthy fats and refined carbs you consume.
Lowering the risk with antioxidants
Antioxidants are found in plant-based foods and these are known to boost your immune system and protect against cancer cells. Fruit rich diets lower the risk of stomach and lung cancer. Vegetable containing carotenoids – carrots, squash, and Brussels sprouts reduce the risk of mouth, lung, larynx and pharynx cancer.
Non-starchy vegetables like spinach, beans and broccoli help protect against esophageal and stomach cancer. Oranges, peas, berries, bell peppers, dark leafy greens protect from esophageal cancer. Foods containing lycopene, like tomatoes, watermelon, and guava may lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Add more veggies and fruits to your diet
It is recommended to have a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. In breakfast, you can add fresh fruit, seeds, nuts to a whole grain, low-sugar breakfast cereal like oatmeal. For lunch, you can have salad filled with your favorite peas and beans or other veggies like tomato, lettuce, or avocado.
For snacks grab an apple or banana. Dip celery, carrots, peppers, cucumbers in hummus. Keep a trail mix made of nuts and dried fruits handy. Add fresh veggies to your favorite rice or pasta dish. Top a baked potato with sautéed veggies, broccoli or salsa. In dessert choose fruits instead of sugary desserts.
Fill up with fiber and choose healthy fats
Fiber also known as roughage is found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and plays a major role in keeping your digestive system healthy and clean. It helps keep the carcinogenic compounds moving through the digestive tracts before they can cause harm. High fiber diet can help prevent colorectal cancer and common digestive system cancers of stomach, mouth, and pharynx.
Avoid unhealthy or Trans fats found in cookies, muffins, cakes, pizza dough, French fries, etc. Also, limit saturated fat from dairy and red meat to less than 10 % of your daily calories. Add more unsaturated fats from olive oil, fish, nuts, avocados. The omega-3 fatty acids found in tuna, salmon, and flaxseeds can fight inflammation and support heart and brain health.
Other Lifestyle Tips To Prevent Cancer
Though your diet is central in preventing cancer, other healthy habits can also lower your risk further. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight. This is because obesity increases the risk of a number of cancers, like breast, bowel, pancreatic, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney and ovarian.
Be active for at least 30 minutes every day as it reduces the risk of endometrial, colon and postmenopausal breast cancer. Healthcare product development has resulted in several innovative medical devices that can help you keep track of your activity and help plan your diet.
Limit the consumption of alcoholic drinks to no more than two drinks a day for men and one a day for women. Post-treatment, the cancer survivors must follow the recommendations for diet, physical activity and healthy weight from a trained professional or your doctor.
Shuchi Sankhyayan is a Mumbai based Content Specialist who has spent 15+ years romping around the healthcare, medical device, manufacturing, content and software industries. She is currently a Content Specialist at Technosoft Innovations, Inc. where she documents and presents the latest researches and innovations of the company in medical devices industry. She holds a graduate degree in Science and Post-Graduation degree in HR. In her spare time she is an avid reader, hobbyist and enjoys sharing medical product development knowledge and experience via her posts and articles.
What Strongman Has Done For Me
Before Strongman I was in college living a very typical college girl life (parties, class, stress). I was also living with some serious insecurity and uncertainty. Fitting in was important and peer pressure seemed to be the only motivation I had for social activities. In essence I was just going through the motions. Then, my junior year, I found Strongman. I was desperately trying to find myself and was at the point where I’d do just about anything anybody told me for some attention. When I first started Strongman, I didn’t intend to compete or really take it anywhere, I just wanted to get strong and do something different. It was my way of turning my back on the normal, and climbing out of what felt like a prison that society had put me in.
When first starting out in this sport it never occurred to me that I was one of the only females in my state training this way. It didn’t matter to me, because there was this awe and power in getting strong that I soon became addicted to. There wasn’t this male dominated vibe either. In fact the men in this sport have only ever been encouraging, motivating and inspirational.
What has been the most surprising to me has always been the reactions I get from other women who are not in the sport. A typical response is bewilderment and disbelief as they cannot fathom that a small woman (5’2” 140 lbs) is involved with strongman. They just can’t believe that I’m capable of such feats and that I have enough confidence to do it without apology. This reaction seems to implode in on them as they go onto to say, “I could never do that”, “I’m too weak for that type of thing” or “aren’t you afraid of getting too big?” My passion now lies in helping these women truly understand that being strong is not about the males or the competition. It’s about you and it’s about putting yourself out there enough to do what it takes to get strong and leave all the doubts behind. Of course that means taking care of your body, working hard, and being disciplined when training gets hard and life is pouring down the rain.
For me, being female in a male dominated sport has never actually bothered me, on the contrary, it’s helped me. You know how you always hear motivational quotes about surrounding yourself with people who you want be or the people you want to be like? Well that’s exactly what I did when I started Strongman. All I have ever wanted to do was be the strongest version of myself (mentally and physically) possible. By surrounding myself with the people who are strongest (and that has mostly been men up to this point) I have gotten really strong and am well on my way to fulfilling that potential in myself.
As a woman in a man’s world, I’ve been more inspired to work harder than ever. The strength world has exploded and now more than ever females want in on what strength is and how it can change their life. So for me, being in strongman I don’t look at it as a “male dominated sport” I look at it as an opportunity for women to see my journey, and want in on how amazing this experience can be.
Before strength training and Strongman I had no idea what it was like to be strong. I was self conscious, worried about what the guys in the gym thought and would never go in the free weight area. When I discovered what strength training could do for me, I was no longer concerned with the opinions of others. This journey was about ME and it didn’t matter how male dominated it was. I wanted to be strong and nobody was going to take that from me.
Again, no men in the strength community has ever discouraged me from training, competing or accomplishing my goals. In fact, most promoters I’ve met have been ecstatic that there are females willing to compete. The Strongman world has been pretty awesome to me. Sure you’ll always have the dudes outside of Strongman who will say something negative, but it’s not something I let phase me. To me, strength will always matter, and excuses will not. I will not allow someone else’s opinion become an excuse for me to deny myself.
For me it is more about building women up and wanting them to get into something that pushes their limits and changes their lives. It is not about being a female in a male dominated sport. It is about getting strong, being resilient, staying consistent, learning discipline, working hard, and then taking those qualities from the weight room and applying it to your daily life.
Through Strongman I have not only become confident, but I’ve become the person I used to dream about. I worry much less about what people think and I’m more comfortable in my own skin than I ever thought possible. I look at myself as a fierce Shieldmaiden crusading for my cause that has brought me so much happiness and gratitude! This weekend I’m headed to compete at the Arnold Sports Festival for the largest strongman competition in America. Strongman has taken me places that I never conceived possible and this is just the beginning for both of us.
Hannah has spent the last ten years in the weight room being as an athlete and coach. The last few years she has become a champion powerlifter and Strongwoman. Holding several state records and placing in the top 7 at at the 2018 Arnold Amatuer Strongman World Championships. Hannah has been putting her love for lifting to good use. In addition to lifting heavy weights, she also holds a Masters degree in Coaching and Sport Education. Hannah continues this journey through her writing where she educates others on how to build strength through Strongman training. Her passion is to share with the world how lifting weights-specifically competing and training in Strongman-has changed her complete outlook on life. Hannah’s goal is to help women gain confidence, strength, and build healthy mindsets using strength training.