Wonderful Ways to Stand Out as a Wedding Supplier

Being in the wedding industry is hard work; you work long hours, weekends off are a myth and you can’t always guarantee clients at all. You are always looking for ways to stand out from your competitors, but your ideas so far haven’t quite played out as you’d like them to. You may be planning on heading to a wedding exhibition or fair, but you know that you’re going to need to be prepared. There are so many stand out suppliers in your industry, so here are a few worthwhile tips to take on board.

Head to Wedding Showcases and Fairs

One of the best ways to stand out in the wedding industry, is by attending wedding showcases and fairs at local venues. Choosing local ones rather than huge national shows can really play in your favour. People want to see suppliers that are close to them geographically as it builds more trust. If you are in any doubt about standing out then you should definitely consider 10×10 trade show booths. If you have your brand name, your color scheme and your range of products on display, there is no doubt that potential passersby will spot you.

Network With Other Industry Professionals

Whether you’re at a wedding fair or at home, there are so many ways you can network and build those all important contacts. Join a Facebook group for local wedding suppliers and talk to people who are in the same boat as you. You could even collaborate together on a styled shoot to showcase each other’s work. Building others up instead of feeling like you’re head to head with them can often play in your favour.

Observe Your Competition 

You don’t necessarily want to copy what your competitors are doing, but you do need to keep a firm eye on their strategies. If you see that something is working really well, then you need to go ahead and try it for yourself. Market research will also help you to stay in tune with what your clients are looking for; the market will be changing constantly, so it’s good to stay across this as often as you can.

Hire a Copywriter to Assist With Your Blog

There are a number of specialist writers out there who have a tonne of experience in writing for wedding industry professionals. If you don’t have the brain power or time to start up a blog, there are excellent writers who can help you. Blogging not only established your authority in your industry, but it also helps you get discovered on Google too!

Becoming overwhelmed as a wedding supplier is completely natural; not only are you trying to book clients but you’re also super passionate about what you do. Creating something beautiful for a couples’ wedding day is what you love doing, so it can be disheartening when you don’t get that booking you have been eagerly anticipating. If you take some of these ideas on board, you will soon have your own, workable strategies to keep you motivated. It may take time to see the result you’re looking for, but you will get there in the end.

Branding Ideas That Will Impress Your Industry

As an entrepreneur, you most likely know that your company’s brand is important. That isn’t news to you. Every business owner knows this. Yet, some businesses have much better brands than others. And if your company is struggling, you might be wondering what improvements you could make to your business. The goal is to build a better reputation for your company. This is how to turn heads in your marketplace. As a result, you’ll be able to gain customers and grow your business. These are some branding ideas that will impress your industry.

Give something back to your community.

Giving something back to the community could really benefit your brand. It would show that you and your team members care about more than your company’s profit margins. It would show that you care about other people, and this would remind your industry that your business is comprised of people with caring ideals. The goal is to add a human element to your company’s brand identity. Maybe you could donate to charities which mean something to you and your employees. That would demonstrate the human side to your business and its brand.

Care for your employees.

You should care for your employees, too. That goes without saying, obviously, but you could always take things further to impress your industry. A company that takes care of its workers will create a team full of motivated employees who want to deliver a kind and charismatic service to their clients. Additionally, your business will get a name for itself as a company that looks after its staff members. So, caring for your employees will help your brand on many levels. You could take inspiration from businesses such as Cynthia Telles. They have great benefits for their Latina workers. It’s about more than adhering to workplace laws regarding equality; it’s about caring for each of your employees and making them feel valued.

Conduct extensive research.

One of the most important ways in which you could make your brand better is by conducting extensive research. If you want to develop an identity for your business that impresses your industry, then you need to know your industry. Market research will give you the information necessary to develop solutions which appeal to your current and potential clients. You should aim to find out what your target market is missing by talking to consumers in your marketplace.

You should talk to your customers about their opinions on your service. Request feedback, and come up with ideas which solve the issues in your market. You might want to post polls on social networks, such as Twitter, to get a general consensus on each aspect of your products and services. Once you know what your current and intended customers like and dislike about your business, you’ll be able to make the right improvements. This will help you to catch the attention of your target market. By listening to consumers, you’ll also get a reputation as a kind and caring company. That should help your brand name, too.

Shuffling Off This Mortal Coil: Practical And Personal Ways To Prepare For Death

It may cross your mind every single day or it may not. As we get older there could be a fear of death that starts to become a part of who we are. But when we truly start to think about this in the round and what we need to do before we shuffle off this mortal coil, is there anything we should prepare for? Not just practically, but personally as well.

Preparing Your Will

This seems to be the obstacle that many of us think that is a sign we should prepare to die soon. In fact, preparing a will is just common sense regardless of how old you are. It’s purely a way to stop anybody that inherits your goods or debt from fighting over it. Consulting a probate attorney will give you the information that you really need to know. Preparing your will can be, believe it or not, quite therapeutic. It can make you think about your life but also how your funeral is going to be. Some people consider this to be a very grim way of thinking but when you start to look at preparing your funeral it’s all about it being a celebration of your life. Some people love the idea of the relatives wailing in the aisles but others want it to be a colorful and vibrant affair. And preparing your will is essential from a legal standpoint but it’s something that can be quite fun!

Fixing Your Debt

From the perspective of anyone who thinks that they haven’t got long left on this planet, it can seem incredibly futile to sort out debt and bills. But the reason to do this is purely to make sure that nobody inherits your debt. Fixing your debt doesn’t have to be something that takes up all of your time. In fact, when you pass on, your estate could be used to pay off certain debts. But you’ve got to keep on top of your will in this respect. If you can fix your debt early on in life, as well as your assets, you can enjoy everything so much more. As they say, you can’t take it with you when you go.

Understanding How To Make Peace

When you consult any of those lists that show people’s regrets in life, the main regret is always not having the courage to be true to themselves. It’s something that we all know deep down after so many years on this planet. We all know that we have to be true to ourselves but we find ourselves avoiding this for whatever reason. When in school we look at making an impact on our peers. This then translates later in life into fitting a certain social construct. But if we can start to make peace with ourselves, this is when we are ready to move on. Some of us spent so long trying to please others that the moment we let it all go is when we are ready to shuffle off this mortal coil. But peace is something that we can all attain within ourselves. Part of it is about being forgiving rather than holding onto anger or bile that makes us unwell. It’s also about realizing that making peace is a key to life.

You Only Have One Life

We don’t listen to our elders. In fact, a lot of us think them a nuisance but when we realize that we only have one life to lead and we spent the vast majority of it focusing on pointless things we could do something about it and turn our lives around or we can think that it’s too late and continue down the path that we’ve already trod. The fact of the matter is that it’s a cliché that we only have one life to lead but when we start to think about this journey they call living it’s amazing how many people decide to live a life of sheer misery. Perhaps part of preparing to leave is about understanding those regrets that people have later in life and using them right now. One of the main regrets of people that are dying is that they didn’t let themselves be happy. If we can give ourselves permission to feel happier despite our circumstances we are preparing to go on our terms.

It’s hardly something that can be encapsulated in a handful of thoughts but when you hear so many of those clichés about regrets in life and preparing for death the same things continue to come up time and again. Surely this means that we’ve got to just pay attention to those things and implement these pointers into our lives?

Smart Ways To Make Money Playing Video Games

Gaming is an incredibly fun past-time, allowing you to escape the stresses of everyday life. From board games to video games, and even role-playing games, playing is among the best parts of life. Turning this hobby into a full-time income is countless people’s wildest dream. Thankfully, making money from video games is more than possible. In fact, you could even earn more than a traditional job. With that in mind, here are six smart ways to make money playing video games.

1.Test New Video Games

A video game must survive many development stages before you find it on the shelves. An O.G. idea for making money with gaming is to play it during these stages. Game developers must make improvements to the game, so pay game testers to try it out. While doing so, the tester has to look for bugs, glitches, and other issues. This might sound fun, but it can be quite boring.

2. Stream All Gameplay Live

Rather than playing for yourself, you should try streaming any gameplay for the entire world to see. Streaming sites, like Twitch, allow you to do so easily. However, that doesn’t mean that making money is necessarily simple. An issue that many games face is building up a large audience. Having only a handful of viewers watching your content won’t make you much money.

3. Win At Online Casinos

There are various platforms that pay you for playing online games. Nonetheless, the biggest potential winnings come from online casinos. With Monkey Casino’s live gaming promo, you can get set up and start playing blackjack or roulette in little to no time. Although you could potentially win hundreds, you must remember that gambling is a risk and doesn’t always offer any reward.

4. Become A Gaming Coach

While gaming skills come naturally to some, other people struggle to get the hang of it. If you consider yourself an experienced gamer, you could offer services as a gaming coach. Whether you recruit students privately or use gaming coach websites, people will pay for your advice. Before they do, however, they will want to see your skills, so streaming gameplay is helpful.

5. Write Video Game Guides

Having experience gaming doesn’t mean you want to teach students one-on-one. Thankfully, there are other options to consider. Starting a gaming blog would allow you to publish guides for specific skills, levels, or games. This would put some distance between yourself and your audience, but could still earn you an income. Having ads on your posts is one way to do that.

6. Make Game-Inspired Merch

Enjoying gaming doesn’t mean you’re good at it. If you would like to make money with video games but aren’t the best player yourself, you could make merch instead. Etsy is a brilliant platform to start your own small business. Whatever game or games you choose, there are many products that you could create, including t-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, and figurines.

Gaming offers unlimited fun, but with the advice above, you can make money with this hobby too.

What’s Next For Empty Nesters?

When you have spent so much of your life raising and supporting your children, it can leave you feeling anxious once they have flown the nest. Your big house might suddenly seem unnecessarily big, your life suddenly has gaps where taking the kids to various activities used to take up time. Many parents go through a strange period, almost like mourning, as their life changes.

But this is not a time to give up. As we are living longer, the chapter after children can be just as fun and exciting as the chapter leading up to them. Indeed, many people choose to move to residential areas like 55+ Communities in Johns Creek so that they can be around their peers, almost like going back to college.

So, what are your options?

Move to a New Community

If you need a change of scenery, selling your house and moving on could be a good option. However, don’t make this decision hastily. Consider where your friends are and what you are looking for in your new area. Moving from your current home because you are bored isn’t a good enough reason to go. Aim for something positive instead.

So, if you are looking at a new community, think about the sort of place you are looking for. Communities specifically for people who have retired often offer a broad range of entertainment options. However, you might not want that just yet. In this case, think about what sort of amenities you want to have within walking distance such as cafes and shops. Do think about the long term implications of moving as well – the older you get, the harder it will be, so there is a balance to be had.

Make the Most of Your Time

Having an empty nest can leave you with a lot of time on your hands and when you retire, that time expands even further. In years gone by, people retired because they simply couldn’t work anymore but you have the luxury of being able to do things without having to worry about money. This is one of the best opportunities modern life provides and you would be mad not to make the most of it!

Adult learning courses mean that you can go back to college if you want or you could take a short course and learn a new skill. Going to classes is a great way to meet people of your own age and make new friends too. In fact, lots of people in their fifties and over are now going back to their education.

Of course, learning isn’t the only option. You might decide that this is the perfect time to travel the world or maybe you are quite happy to settle into a new routine of dinner parties and golf. Whatever you choose to do, you have an opportunity to fill your time with activities and people who make you happy. Don’t sit around at home – you still have years ahead of you and they are likely to be some of the best of your life.

A Bit, Or A Lot, On The Side? Looking After Your Side Hustle

It seems that so many of us need an extra income. As we start to look at the various options out there, a side hustle becomes one of the most alluring. But ask anyone who has tried to keep a business afloat and they will tell you that there is a lot to take into account. Looking after any business, regardless of its size, is about a sufficient amount of protection. How can you protect your side hustle so it can give you the income you need but also make sure you don’t let it fall short of the mark?

Arming Yourself With The Right Tools

The name of the game with any business is productivity. If you are able to improve your productivity you can potentially earn more by doing less. When promoting yourself via social media, there are plenty of tools to take advantage of like Hootsuite. But you must also remember the importance of protecting yourself in a technical sense. If you are promoting an online business you might not think that you are are going to be the victim of a cyber attack but if you are hopping from cafe to cafe doing your work online it’s important to get a virtual private network like the ones TorGuard provide. The right tools will give you that foundation to progress.

Understanding The Market Need For Your Product

Because everybody seems to set up a side hustle now, you’ve got to find the right type of products for your passions but also see if there is a demand for it. Everybody is setting up an Amazon Affiliate account now to go with their blog, but does this mean that it’s already an overcrowded market that we are jumping into? Think about what you can realistically achieve with your spare time and then address if there is a demand for the product. It’s always a good idea to branch out to a specific niche because this is what will keep you competitive in the larger market.

Making Sure It Doesn’t Impact Your Life Negatively

You should look after your side hustle and it should look after you. If you find that you’re dedicating too much time and it’s not having a positive impact on your life, you have to ask yourself, is it worth it? A side hustle is something that we should do on the side and while we have to put adequate time into it, if it gets to the point where we are doing too much for very little return it might be time to bid it goodbye. Or at the very least, you should find something that you can fit in with your life. The side hustle needs to work for you rather than you putting your heart and soul into it.

A side hustle is a fantastic way to acquire an extra income if we do it right. But you must remember that in order to make it worth your while you have to look after it properly and make sure it fits in with your life in the right ways.

4 Ways to Ensure Your Business Doesn’t Stagnate

A business needs to find ways to diversify their brand, introduce new products and grow their audience. If they fail to do one of these things, they risk becoming stagnant and falling behind the competition. This is never a good position to be in as it can seriously hinder your growth potential.

So what should be done about it?

1. Get on social media

One of the best ways to stay relevant and keep up with trends is to get yourself on social media. Social media will help you keep track of what’s going on in the industry, but also gives you a way to keep in touch with your audience. It’s fantastic for networking as well and you’ll definitely want to focus on creating a presence on multiple social media platforms if possible. The use of social media as a marketing tool is incredibly powerful, but you need to use it in the correct way or else it could have a negative effect on your business.

2. Think outside the box for revenue opportunities

Growing your revenue requires that you think outside of the box now and then. This will ensure that you’re diversifying your sources of income and gaining extra capital to assist in your business’s growth. There are many ways to diversify, such as renting out your employees on a contract basis or even renting out your private land and property to other companies. Companies like Vertical Consultants specialize in the renting of your private land to attract telecom companies who are looking to raise cellphone towers in your local area. The goal is to use your resources in an efficient and effective way in order to create more income streams.

3. Don’t do everything yourself

Make sure you don’t try to do everything yourself in your business. This is a common problem that a lot of entrepreneurs face because they’re worried about the costs of hiring an employee. They might also be fixated on quality control, unable to trust others when it comes to communicating with clients or creating products to sell. This is a bad habit to get into and it’s vital that you open up a bit and consider hiring employees. To start, you could also look into freelancers that help you remote with things such as website and logo design.

4. Use modern technologies when possible

The use of computers is essential to be competitive today, but it’s not the only form of technology that you should be looking into. There are plenty of hardware and software solutions that can help you speed up your tasks so that you’re more productive. Even something like accounting can be simplified with the help of cloud accounting software. However, this can quickly become an expensive money sink and it’s essential that you consider how much money you’re spending and how much return you’re getting on your investment. Saving a couple of hours each month could be worth your money as long as the time you save helps you grow your business and generate more revenue.

15 Hobbies That Could Change Your Life

If you’re feeling inspired this year and motivated to do new things, then perhaps a new hobby is for you. However, a hobby isn’t just good because it provides you with and enjoyment, there are many benefits to trying new hobbies that can not only improve your life and your health, but it could even help you in your career. Having a decent hobby can help you relieve stress, build your self-confidence, become a more exciting person, find a new passion, give you new skills, create new social connections and even earn you additional income.

So, what could your new hobby for 2020 be?

Upcycling

Crafting is both a fun hobby, and it’s also therapeutic. Not only this but upcycling means that those things you still have but no longer use for can be made into something useful and something you love again. Find things in your house, that you no longer love. Do you have some old shelves that could do with a bit of attention? Even a glass jar that is just sitting around gathering dust, you could spray paint it and make it into a modern vase. There’s loads of inspiration for this kind of thing online.

Fishing

Whether you fancy wading through a river in search of trout or relaxing by a river, fishing can be as exciting or as laidback as you make it. There are different types of fishing and so many different places to fish, you can make a weekend of it, take lessons, go to different countries to do it, the options are endless. This is probably the best online fly shop and has a great fly fishing starter kit, so check it out. One of the most exciting things about fishing is that it can sometimes result in a delicious dinner too.

Blogging

Everyone’s a blogger these days, but there’s a good reason for it. If you’ve got something to say, blogging can be an excellent place for you to express yourself. Whether you want to blog about mental health, food, lifestyle, books or films, there is a place for you online. Even though so many people are blogging, there’s always room for more. Of course, you need to start writing for yourself and about something you are passionate about, and then once you’re in the flow, you could look into monetising it and turning it into a potential career or just a side hustle.

Drawing

Even if you think you are no good at drawing, have you ever been to a class? Drawing can be very therapeutic, and you can learn how to do it. There are simple techniques to get you started so that a few drawing lessons could get yours on the right track. It’s good to have a challenge, learn something new and you might make new friends too. Also, if you end up drawing some lovely things, then they make great gifts for friends and family, or you could even try and sell a few.

Photography

Another fantastic skill to learn and can be so useful when it comes to taking photos of your family and family occasions. You could take a course as there’s plenty about and you can learn the different types of photography.

Learn A Language

If this is something you’ve been meaning to do for a while, then why not make 2020 the year you finally do it. With so many apps and online courses to learn new languages, there is no end of resources to teach yourself, all you need is a little discipline. Or you could enrol yourself in a course which will be a great way of meeting like minded people too.

Writing

They say everyone has at least one book in them, is this true for you? If so, then maybe now is the time to start putting pen to paper. Start slow, take it one step at a time and if you want to get out and about then sign up to a writing class or meetup group as this will also give you the discipline you need if you find it a struggle to motivate yourself. Writing can be great therapy and like other hobbies, could help you in your career too.

Cooking

If you can’t cook, then this is something that you should learn how to do. It will expand your mind, your palette, your taste buds and your weekly menu. When you learn the basics of cooking, you realise the possibilities of what you can make. You find that making soup isn’t hard at all, that you can put a roast dinner together on a Sunday and a homemade lasagne is a doddle. If you sign up to a cooking class, then you’ll meet lots of people and come home with exciting dishes each week. What’s not to love?

Birdwatching

Birdwatching is a great hobby to take up, and that is because there is so much more to it than you might think. For one, birds are all around us. No matter where you live, you can always find birds, so it’s a very accessible hobby. Two, it is a hobby that gets you to connect with nature which is very good for us humans and something that we seem to do less of in this day and age. Also, birdwatching is a very economical hobby as no expensive equipment is necessary to enjoy watching birds. All you need is a good field guide and a decent binocular, and you can do this hobby all your round.

Archery

Despite what you might think, Archery is one of the most peaceful experiences you will find; it is genuinely a form of meditation. It is also good for improving hand-eye coordination, and as your body must be held in a constant position while you’re setting up your aim and taking a shot, this improves balance too. It is also a sport that results into muscle development as it builds strength in your arms, hands, chest, and shoulders.

Running

Most people associate running with pain; however, if you start small, and run in different and beautiful places where you won’t get bored, then you’ll fall in love with it. Running won’t just be a sport that keeps you fit, but a hobby that you will love and become passionate about. You’ll soon find yourself running marathons.

Join A Book Club

If you enjoy reading, then why not opt for a hobby where you can incorporate your love of books? A book club where you can meet other people who have read the same book, and you can discuss it with is brilliant for book lovers, and you’ll learn so much more listening to other people’s opinions.

Computer Programming

Learning to program computers can be not just a hobby but something that could really open doors for you. It’s nice to learn how these things that we have become so reliant on, actually work but also could really help you in your career or to get a new one.

Coding

A hobby that lets you build something is definitely a hobby worth having. Coding is something else that could unlock doors for you as well as being a really interesting hobby. If you’re not sure if it’s for you, then you could try taking a free class at Code Academy to start with.

Volunteering

Volunteering can be hard work, but it can also be seriously rewarding.  There are loads of places you can do it; you can go for an animal shelter, a homeless shelter, volunteer to help and work with children. If you have some hours to spare and want to make a difference, then volunteering could be the perfect hobby for you.

Get Out! Reasons To Embrace The Outdoors Now And Again

Do you find that there are times where you feel that you need more adventure in life? If you are feeling like you need something different in life, getting out in touch with nature is a fantastic approach. When we spend so long indoors consuming Netflix and pop culture it can be quite difficult to get outside and truly be at one with nature. And even if you don’t go for something so hippie-like, there are some great reasons to get outdoors.

It Could Spur You Onto A Whole New Career

Working out in nature isn’t just about being a tree surgeon but if this piques your interest, you can look on centaurtreeservices.co.uk to see if it’s your type of thing. Being outdoors isn’t necessarily about feeling at one with nature because there are things you can do to help in terms of industrial processes. We can work in the construction industry or farming, and these types of outdoor jobs can give us a whole new meaning to life. You could even start a business! And it’s these little things that can make you consider a whole new direction in life. Working outdoors doesn’t have to be boring or miserable. You can make it what you want. It’s always important to note that with the construction industry or farming that there are unique components and machinery that you need to consider, such as red diesel which is used in off-road machinery; and you can check out fuelbox.co.uk to find out more information about red diesel. Starting a whole new career can certainly reinvigorate us just as long as we have the right atmosphere.

That Different Sensation

Being outdoors is good for us. When we are working in a career that doesn’t give us the opportunity to go outside we can feel hemmed in. Going outdoors is good for us and this means that if we start to find ways to get out more, we will feel better. It’s such a cliché, but going out for walks and getting more oxygen in your system is really good for you. We have to remember that we can spend a lot of time being barricaded indoors, and while we love video games and watching Netflix, we need to get outside and truly get some sort of different sensation. Being outdoors is a different type of feeling, and when you start to crave this feeling of healthiness and happiness you will continue to chase it. You will then possibly start to think about joining a gym or exercising more. Once you start to go outside it can open up a whole new world for you, literally! Start to think about what going outside can do for you as a person. Yes, it’s great exposure to oxygen but going for a long walk is your opportunity to contemplate things. But it’s also a great way for you to meditate without doing it in the most hippie of ways.

It’s certainly worth thinking about going outside now and again, especially if you don’t do it much. Give it a go!

Is 2020 Going To Be The Year For Mental Health?

In recent years the global mental health crisis has finally started to take center stage and more people than ever are now aware of the importance of looking after their mental health and the services available to them if they are struggling. In 2019 there were more mental health awareness events hosted than ever before and the wave of mental health activism doesn’t seem to be stopping with 2020 lined up to be the year that mental health finally gets the recognition it deserves. But what’s currently being done doesn’t seem to be making the drop that it needs to in the mental health ocean, so what can we do to make sure that 2020 is the yeat for mental health?

What is the problem?

It is estimated that 1 in 5 people globally suffers from a mental disorder at any given time with depression and anxiety ranking as the two most prevalent mental health disorders. Although mental illness has no gender bias statistics show that women are more likely to suffer from a mental illness than men and both education and employment have been found to be intrinsically linked with the prevalence of mental disorders, though of course, mental illness can strike anyone regardless of their employment or education status. Living with a mental disorder can be debilitating taking a serious toll on the quality of an individual’s life which in some cases can be too much to bear leading to attempts of suicide. Every year approximately 800,000 people choose to take their own life, with many more attempting suicide but ultimately being unsuccessful. Suicide and suicide attempts can have devastating effects on not only the individual whose life is in question but also their friends, families, colleagues and peers and no one should feel that suicide is their only way out from mental illness. So what is being done?

What is currently being done?

In recent years the world has come a long way in recognizing the prevalence of mental illnesses and has begun to break down the stigma surrounding speaking out about it. Some of the things that have been put in place to improve mental health awareness include:

  • Awareness days
    Awareness days such as Mental Health Awareness Week, Time To Talk, Self Injury Awareness Day, World Bipolar Day and World Suicide Prevention Day to name but a few, have helped to raise the profile of mental health issues around the world whilst encouraging individuals who suffer from mental illnesses to speak out and get the help they need. With the help of social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter these awareness days are now able to reach more people than ever, spanning oceans and getting into the heart of homes to reach those most at need. Awareness days have also provided charities with a valuable means to gain funding and donations, contributing to life-saving mental health research and the funding of important charitable mental health services.
  • Education
    Alongside awareness days, some schools are now electing to teach their pupils about their mental health in an attempt to break down barriers and remove stigma in the early stages of childhood development. Children face some of their most difficult challenges in the school environment from bullying to exams and understanding their mental health, how these challenges may make them feel and who they can turn to for help can help many of them to navigate their problems and steer clear of more serious mental health issues.
  • Coverage by the media
    The media has also had a big part to play in breaking down mental health barriers with shows such as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why making controversial issues such as suicide, rape and depression mainstream. TV presenters and celebrities have also begun doing their part, sharing their own mental health journeys and promoting mental health charities and awareness days to their far-reaching audiences.
  • Online counseling
    Not so long ago the only way to speak to a professional about your mental health was in person or at best over the telephone which led to many people avoiding accessing their local mental health services. Now, thanks to the internet, a new age of online counseling is available enabling more people to access mental health services whenever and wherever they need them, even if they do not feel comfortable sitting down with someone in person. One such online service is Better Help, offering free online therapy to those that need it over the internet.

New Laws
The last few years have also seen the introduction of new Extreme Risk Protection Orders in the USA designed to prevent a mental health crisis from turning into a tragedy. An Extreme Risk Protection Order, or ERPO for short, enables family members or law enforcement agents to ask the court for permission to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms if they are thought to be likely to either cause harm to themselves or others. The ERPO laws have the potential to save many lives in countries where firearms are legally carried especially in states such as Oregon where over 83% of deaths by gunshot are suicide. Removing an at-risk individual’s access to firearms can help stop them from acting impulsively in their time of need.

What more could be done to help?

Although the chatter around mental health has grown significantly in recent years mental health statistics have failed to dramatically improve and in some countries, statistics have even continued to rise. This lack of improvement shows that yet more still needs to be done to support people who suffer from mental illnesses and to prevent mental illnesses from occurring in individuals in the first place. If 2020 is to be the year for mental health then here are some areas that need to be focused on.

  1. Access to mental health services in developing countries
    A lot has been done in recent years to give those with the internet better access to mental health services but this does nothing to help the millions of people across developing or third world countries who do not have access to technology or the internet. For these people, mental health issues can still be isolating resulting in higher suicide rates To help those without the internet gain better access to mental health services there needs to be a greater prevalence of mental health drop-in centers and people on the ground to offer mental health support.
  2. Wider education in schools
    Despite the proven importance of providing early mental health education to children many countries, states and schools still choose not to teach pupils about mental health issues, mental health services, and coping techniques leaving them vulnerable in a very challenging part of their lives. For 2020 to be the year for mental health we need to see that mental health is spoken about in every school and at every age group, giving the next generation the tools they need to not only tackle their current challenges but those they may face in later life.
  3. Education in adults

Although providing education to the next generation is vital for improving future mental health statistics we also need to educate the adult population on the importance of open mental health communication in an attempt to help them break down some of the stigmas that they have encountered over the years and to come forth about their own mental health challenges. Although the media is doing a lot to make mental health a more approachable subject there are still more ways that it can be incorporated into daily life, making mental health as easy to talk about as having a common cold.

  1. A greater focus on mental health in the workplace
    The workplace and the challenges people face at work are some of the biggest causes of workplace stress and mental health problems. To combat this, employers need to take mental health more seriously providing their employees with the tools they need to look after their own mental health whilst also being more understanding that in high pressured jobs employees may need a time out to focus on themselves. Mental health needs to be seen on the same level as physical health and treated with the same respect by employers and employees need to understand the pressures that their careers can put on their mental health and how best to combat this.

Continued removal of stigma
Despite all the work that has been done to remove the stigma surrounding mental health a significant amount of work still remains. As mental health issues are often not immediately visible they can easily be swept under the carpet, labeled as falsities or disregarded and sadly these age-old ways of thinking still remain in parts of society across the globe. More work needs to be done for mental health to be treated with the same respect as physical health which will enable people to speak up about how they are feeling and gain access to the services they need. For this to happen we must all continue to speak about mental health, to support mental health awareness charities and events and to educate the next generation on the importance of their own mental health.

New Year. New Dreams

Dreaming big in the New Year is what everyone should be doing. We should all have goals and ambitions that make this year the best one yet. We know that in a few weeks time the motivation of the New Year will have drifted away, so now is the best time to think about what you’d like to achieve before another year flies by. Because that’s exactly what the years are doing at the minute. Before we know it, it will be summer again. And then Christmas will be in our faces quicker than we ever expected. So now is the time to dream big, and we’re going to help you to do that. We want to show you some of the biggest things that you can achieve this year, all of them being achievable if you work hard enough. Keep on reading to see what new dreams you can come up with.

Dreaming about the stars

Your Dream Body

This is one that so many people can relate to at this time of year. After going through the festive season and eating your body weight in food, you’re more than motivated to start back in the gym and on a healthy diet. But that often fades towards the spring, if you even make it to there. So to keep that dream in mind, you need to do six weeks training and eating. Experts say that after six weeks of drinking and eating well, and training however you do it, your body and mind will be in a routine. Rather than being a chore and something you have to work at, it’ll be something that becomes second nature to you. Having someone to get into the swing of things with you will usually help to keep you on track for longer. Body insecurity is one of the most common insecurities, but it can quickly be changed with the right motivation.

Your Dream Home

Everyone dreams of a home that’s most likely going to be out of their reach. If we had it our way, we’d be living in a mansion with a private pool, cinema, and supercars lining the drive. But being realistic, you can get the home of your normal dreams so easily. Whether you’re moving out for the first time, or selling your old home to buy a new, good planning will get you where you need to be. All you have to do is look at homes for sale, find one that ticks all of your boxes, and figure out pricing. It may be a little harder if you’re selling a home to buy a new one, but if you do so at the right time, you’ll often end up making more money from your old home. We’re a firm believer that you can have anything you set your mind to, even a new home!

Your Dream Job

Your dream job is a stones throw away, the only thing that’s holding you back will be your own mindset. People prefer to stay in a job where they feel comfortable within the role, even if it bores them to death. But we think the New Year should be about finding a job that drives you to get out of bed in the morning, not leaves you there until you’re late and rushing out the house.

Everything Drivers Need to Prepare for in 2020

The world of modern driving these days is one that you need to familiarize yourself with. There is no question that having a car is a huge advantage for a lot of people, and it can have a profound impact on your life. But, you need to be clear about the different rules and regulations that will affect you as a driver, both right now, and in 2020. As we’re in the holiday season, it seems like the perfect time to broach this topic.

If you want to stay safe and sound on the roads and make the most of life as a driver, you are going to need to know what to expect. And this means planning and preparing as much as you possibly can. Think about the different elements of the process of driving, and understand what you have to expect from 2020. Here are some of the considerations you are going to have to make to help you prepare for life on the road in 2020.

Is Your Car Roadworthy?

One of the things you need to look into the most when you are a driver is to check how roadworthy your car is. There is a lot you need to consider here, and this is going to be essential when it comes time to improve your vehicle and make a difference to the safety and longevity of it. You want the car to be as efficient as possible then it is important to make sure you check how well it runs on the road, as well as what you can do to improve performance.

How Can You Stay Safer?

Being as safe as possible on the road is also really important, and there is a lot you can do to assess this. Make sure you think about what it takes to stay safer and more secure on the roads, and one of the best ways of doing this is to make sure you drive more sensibly. There are a lot of things that make a big difference to the way you drive when you’re on the road, and making sure you drive more carefully and follow the rules is hugely important.

Understand the Rules

So this brings us neatly to our next point, which is that you need to make sure you understand the rules of the road. There are a lot of things you can do that are going to help with this, and it’s vital that you look at the right way of achieving this. Familiarising yourself with the laws of the road is essential for ensuring you stay safe, but it’s also hugely important for making sure you stay on the right side of the law too!

Protect Against Bad Weather

Protecting your car against bad weather is one of the most important things you can do to look after your car and protect it against adverse weather conditions. This protects the aesthetic appeal of the car, as well as helping to keep it in great shape and ensure it’s running as well as it can. There are plenty of things you can do that are going to help you protect the car, and thinking about how you store it is one of the key factors here.

Reconsider Your Insurance Premium

Your insurance is a must when you are a qualified driver, and the new year is the perfect time to assess and reconsider your existing premium. There are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind if you are serious about doing this, and you are going to need to think hard about the different premiums available. You might well be able to get a better deal by shopping around a bit, and this is important to keep in mind.

Drink Driving is Still an Issue

It is important to know the reality of the situation as a driver, and the fact is that drink driving is still a very real issue. In fact, this is something that is important to understand and learn more about so that you can be prepared. You can find out about the topic here, and make sure you improve your knowledge in the right way moving forward.

How is Technology Making a Difference?

There is no question that technology is having a massive impact on the future of the automobile industry, and will continue to do so. There are a lot of things that you need to think about when it comes to achieving this, and there are a lot of aspects you need to factor in. In many ways technology is making the roads safer, and this is important, but it is also improving and increasing the efficiency of automotive travel, and this is important.

Maintenance Ideas

It is also important that you do as much as you can to look at improving the car as much as possible, and this means you need to look at maintenance tips and ideas. Come up with a strategy to look after your car more effectively; one that doesn’t always have to involve taking it into the garage to be serviced. If you can do a bit of work yourself to improve and maintain the car, this is most definitely something you need to keep in mind, and it is important to make sure you think about this as much as possible. If you can work on your vehicle and look after it as much as possible, you will be able to save money in the future.

It is important to make sure you look at what you can do to make the most of your time as a driver. There are a lot of elements that you are going to have to consider when you’re looking at improving the way you drive, how you are on the roads, and the ways you look after your car. If you can get this right, you are going to need to think hard about the different factors that play a role in taking things to the next level and doing things that will allow you to improve your vehicle.

A Short Guide To Buying Abroad

The choice to buy a new property is always a big one, but when it comes to buying a property abroad, you’ve got some decisions to make! You may not have any idea where to begin, except that you know you want to buy a dream holiday home. It’s a significant decision to go overseas, especially if you aren’t aware of the rules of buying a property in a new place. The greatest importance is doing as much research as possible and getting the right advice. You want this to be a successful purchase, and you can make this happen with the correct people by your side.

There are a lot of questions surrounding what to do when it comes to buying abroad. So, let’s take a look at some of the tips that you need as a potential buyer who is going for a property abroad.

Step 1: Know It’s Use

Do you know what you want this property for? Most people buy abroad as a holiday home option, but then there are others who are buying abroad for the investment opportunities. Checking out properties at Rumah is going to help you to make a decision about what you want to use the property for. You want to make sure that there are amenities close by regardless, and you need to know how you intend to spend your time socially, too. You may choose to use the house too, which is another consideration if you are planning to rent it out.

Step 2: Pick A Location

It’s important to know the location of the property that you want to buy. You can choose this based on experience, or you can choose it based on knowing where you will get the most hits for your property. If you know you’re going to get more interest in Bali than Jakarta, for example, then you’re bound to buy a property along the Bali beaches, right? You want to make sure that you also choose somewhere that you like, and not just somewhere that you know you’ll get bookings for. After all, it’s your property and you would want to use it at some point!

Step 3: Can You Afford It?

There are some complicated steps to buying abroad. There are costs that are involved that won’t be involved if you were to buy where you are right now. You need to consider the price of the property, sure, but the other costs involved are:

There are more than enough costs to be getting on with, and that is before you even break the barrier of insurance! Getting to know your costs before you even get started is going to help you to realize your dream of owning property abroad.

Step 4: Are You Hoping To Let It Out?

It’s a big question for every homeowner who owns a property across the world. Renting your property can be a big deal; especially as you are miles away! You need to work out whether you’re going to benefit from renting it out. Most people do benefit from it, given that renting a home is a fantastic way to offset those yearly costs and make a little cash along the way. It’ll be here that you decide whether a property manager is a good idea, or whether you want to go it alone and manage the process yourself.

Step 5: Consider Accessibility

This is quite an important step. If you love the house you found in the mountains it’s good news – until you realize that no one can get up there to stay! And what about you? If you buy a house in Australia and you live in England, how many times a year do you plan to make that 24 hour trek? You want to be able to afford to visit your own house when you need to, and you want to make sure that other people can, too!

Step 6: Know The Legalities

Every single country has their own laws regarding property purchases. You need to know what the legalities are of the country of your choice. It’s important to work closely with a lawyer who can advise you properly about buying a home abroad. They will be able to give you sound advice, but a word of caution: always work with a lawyer from your home country who knows the system. This way, someone is on your side and registered in your own country, too.

Step 7: Learn The Language Basics

If you are planning to buy a home in Bali, you should also plan to get to know a little of the spoken language in the area. Not only will this be a good experience for you, it’ll be easier for you to enjoy any interactions with locals when you stay in your property. Always have a translator with you when it comes to firming up the meetings that you are going to have with local lawyers, too. You want to make sure that you’re getting the right deal and you understand 100% what you’re getting yourself into.

Step 8: Are There Tax Implications?

Living abroad, or buying a property that you plan to let out, is a huge deal. So, know the tax implications of such a huge decision. You want to make sure that you are going to pay any taxes for which you may be liable. It’s far more preferable to educate yourself than get lumbered with a hefty tax bill. Seek independent tax and legal advice here, because if you skip this step it could shoot you in the foot later on!

Buying a property abroad requires thorough research and time spent talking to the right people. You are investing in yourself and your future when you buy abroad, even if you don’t plan to use your property right away. Good luck on your new purchase – make it work!

Hiring The Right People: Do You Know What You’re Doing?

Owning a business is a big deal, but hiring people to help you to keep that business afloat is an even bigger deal. You want people to help you on your way to success, and that means getting it right when it comes to hiring people. You don’t want to hire the wrong people and put any piece of your business into the hands of those who cannot help you. Doing this will only cause unnecessary disruption to your processes, and this could set you back.

Whether you are hiring an IT consulting firm to act as an advisor, or you’re bringing in the big guns and hiring in a manager to help you to run the place, you need to get this right. Hiring the right people takes work, and you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing. So, let’s talk about how to ensure that you are hiring the right people from day one.

Go For People Who Know Better Than You

It can be a frustrating time to try and fill a role that you are desperate to fill, but it’s important to aim high. You want to hire people who have skills that you don’t have; they’ll be able to teach you a few things. This is meant in the best possible way: you should hire those on your level, not just subordinates. You need your company to progress, and that means hiring equals.

  • Pay People More

If you cannot afford to pay people what their job is truly worth, then you shouldn’t be hiring them in the first place. This is the long and short of it. You need to show people that you recognize their value, as these are the people that will help you to grow. So, pay people more. Pay them so they are loyal and pay them because you respect their craft.

  • Go For Variety

It’s important for you to establish a culture in your business, and this culture is one that celebrates diversity. You want to be able to have a mixed bag of people with varied abilities, so that you know that the tasks will be done. You need people who will complement each other’s skill levels and bounce off of one another. It’s worth it!

  • Hire On Talent, Not Personality

Someone insanely likeable can come into your office for an interview, and it can be so tempted to hire them because you like them. But wait: what does their resume say? Hiring on personality is a waste of your time and money. You need people who can do the job, not people who know how to joke around.

  • Get Prepared

You need to have a list; like Father Christmas. You want a list of good traits and bad that you want to attract and avoid. This will help you to score off those who aren’t worth your time as well as those who are. Be prepared for interviews so that you’re not caught short!

Hiring the right people is vital for your success: don’t mess this up!

3 Money-Saving Upgrades For Your Home

Those blasted utility bills!

With rising gas and electricity prices, many of us have been burdened with added expenses in recent years.

Of course, we don’t have to put up with them. As we suggested in our article on slashing the family budget, we can switch to cheaper energy suppliers. We can also form better habits around the home, perhaps by making the effort to unplug charged devices, and by turning off the lights in rooms we aren’t using.

Another way to lower our utility bills is to add money-saving upgrades to our homes. Within this context, we have a few suggestions below.

#1: A smart heating thermostat

By connecting one up to your boiler and wifi, you have the ability to control your heating at the touch of a button on your phone. You can time it to come on when you need it in the morning, and you can time it to turn off when you know you won’t be at home. You can also set heating zones in your home, so you can heat your rooms separately. With such control over your heating, you need never run the risk of wasting energy again. While the price of a smart thermostat is relatively expensive – you’re looking at around $200 – experts suggest they can knock around $250 a year from your annual bill, so the cost is more than worth it.

#2: A ceiling fan

Many of us have the tendency to turn the aircon on to the max when trying to stay cool in the summer months, but this, of course, has financial consequences. Thankfully, you can reduce your energy bill by using a ceiling fan to keep you cool instead. You can even buy dual ceiling fans, so on those very hot days, having one of these bad boys turned on will keep you twice as cool! Follow the previous link for some very attractive examples, and choose something that will not only reduce your energy bill but that can match your home’s decor as well.

#3: LED light bulbs

LED light bulbs cost a few dollars more than the traditional incandescent bulbs that many of us use, but they use around 90% less energy when they are turned on. They last a lot longer too, with an approximate lifespan of 25 years. So, as well as the reduction in your energy bill, you will have less need to fork out on new bulbs every year, so further savings can be made. And if you have an Amazon Alexa in your home (or similar smart device), you could go one step further, and buy remote controlled LED light bulbs. When they are hooked up to your wifi, you can easily switch them on and off when required. This is especially useful if you leave your home and realize you have left your lights on!

Finally

We have only mentioned a few home upgrades here, but there are plenty of other products that you might want to consider. From water-efficient showerheads to reduce your water bill, to smart plugs that turn off automatically when devices are charged, continue your research online for more money-saving ideas.

Thanks for reading.

Escape Rooms

An escape room, also known as an escape game, is a game in which a team of players cooperatively discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in one or more rooms in order to progress and accomplish a specific goal in a limited amount of time. The goal is often to escape from the site of the game. Escape rooms are inspired by “escape-the-room”–style video games. This is also the likely source of their name. It is also referred to as Room Escape, Escape Game, Exit Game, Live Escape, to name a few. In spite of the name, escaping a room may not be the main goal for the players, nor is the game necessarily confined to a single room. The participants in an escape room normally play as a cooperative team ranging anywhere between two and ten players.

Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons, and space stations. The player’s goals and challenges they encounter usually follow the theme of the room. The game begins with a brief introduction to the rules of the game and how to win. This can be delivered in the form of video, audio, or a gamemaster. After this, the clock is started and players have 45 to 60 minutes to complete the game. During this time, players explore, find clues, and solve puzzles that allow them to progress further in the game. Challenges in an escape room lean more to mental than physical, and it is not necessary to be physically fit or dextrous. If a team gets stuck, there is a mechanism in place for the players to ask for hints. These hints can be delivered using paper, video, audio, or a gamemaster in the room.

If the players are unable to solve the game’s puzzles within a time limit, the team is typically notified by the game’s operator and escorted out of the room. If players achieve the goal within the time limit, they win the game. Sometimes, teams with fast times are placed on a leaderboard. Most escape rooms have clues and codes to unlock other areas.

And we have atleast one in Kochi! I was surprised. So last Friday during a meeting, the director of our department said that the quarterly R&R program will be held in an Escape Room that is run in Kochi, called Escape The Room instead of the usual hotel hall and buffet dinner. After that we would go to a nice restaurant nearby for dinner. The day is tomorrow and I am excited. I will let you know how it is.

Could You Claim Compensation For Slipping And Falling?

Slipping and falling as a result of the negligence of another individual can leave you with significant injuries and costly medical bills. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) has found that the chance of a person slipping and falling increases with every ten years of their life with those over 65 having as much as a 1 in 3 chance of slipping and falling. That being said a person of any age can slip and fall due to improper safety procedures and floor maintenance leaving them with medical debt they can’t afford, lifelong debilitating injuries and a lack of confidence.

The top four causes of slips and falls

Slips and falls are frustratingly common and can often have been prevented with simple adherence to health and safety protocols. Although slips and falls can occur for many reasons the top four causes include:

  1. Food or drink on the floor
    In supermarkets and restaurants, spilled food or drink can pose a serious risk. Staff members are supposed to be diligent and clearly signpost and then clean up any spillages quickly to avoid their customers from slipping and falling, however, this is not always the case and they can be left for many hours until they are reported.
  2. Unclean restrooms
    Spilled water, toilet roll and other spillages on bathroom floors can make them very hazardous which are why public restrooms are supposed to be monitored several times a day to ensure that they remain clean, tidy and safe. Public toilets are supposed to keep records of their toilet maintenance to prove that they are regularly serviced.
  3. Wet cleaned floors
    Many establishments mop and clean their floors daily to keep them clean and tidy however this can leave them wet and slippery. Stores and offices are supposed to erect wet floor signs to warn their employees and customers that the floor may be wet and to treat carefully but many fail to do so.
  4. Badly maintained parking lots
    Another common area for people to slip and fall is in the badly maintained parking lot of a shop or grocery store. Parking lots can quickly develop cracks and potholes which can be hazardous to those walking in them.

In addition to these 4 common causes of slips and falls people may also fall due to improperly maintained stairwells, poor lighting, stray electrical cords, overgrown sidewalks, and poorly positioned rugs.

What to do if you have slipped and fallen

If you have slipped and fallen as a result of someone else’s negligence then you could be owed compensation by the company or organization who failed to keep you safe. In this situation, the best thing to do is to contact a reputable slip and fall lawyer for the area in which you slipped and fell so that they can hear your case Your slip and fall lawyer will help you to gather evidence, acquire witness testimonies, determine how long the issue was present for and build your case so that you can work with you to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Retirement: Why You Should Plan It Now

It doesn’t matter how young you are; planning your retirement will be one of the smartest things you decide to do. You may wish to make changes along the way of course, but as long as you have a basic plan in place and a strategy for achieving it, you should be able to rest easy knowing that you have your future under control. Getting ready for retirement takes years of saving and investing, so it’s not something you should leave until the last minute. What if you have to retire early, too? Wouldn’t you like to be prepared for any outcome?

Read on and you’ll find out more about planning retirement:

Early Retirement

Even if you intend to keep on working later on in life, there may be circumstances that prevent you from doing that. Your company might close or downsize and you may be forced to leave. You may fall ill. It’s no good to dwell on these situations, but you should be ready for them.

It’s also important to consider that you may actually want to retire early. You may feel burned out from work and decide you actually don’t want to work for as long as you thought you did. As the average life expectancy rises, the age people are working to is also rising, so the option to retire before then is important.

Compound Interest

Compound interest is only something you can truly make the most of if you start saving and investing right now. This way, you’ll get more interest on the money you save, and better yet, compound any and all investments you make. The earlier you begin your investment portfolio, the better. Savings won’t do much for your wealth, but investments will.

Retirement Is The Best Time To Work Through Your Bucket List

Although you’ll probably work through it somewhat while you’re young, retirement can be the best time to get out there and enjoy the world. You could go snorkeling in Mexico, buy a condo in Costa Rica, or hiking in the mountains of Switzerland. Consider all of the things you would like to do and make sure you can afford it. Figure out how much you’ll likely need and how much you should be putting away each week/month.

You will probably come up with more things you’d like to do as you age, and you may even change your mind on a few things. However, as long as you have a rough idea of what your dream retirement looks like, you should be able to start working towards it.

Resisting The Temptation To Dip

You may have to overcome the temptation to dip into your savings every so often. You should have an emergency fund so you can turn to that in times of crisis, rather than go into your retirement fund and take money away from future you.

How does your future retirement look to you? What do you plan on doing? Leave your thoughts and advice below.