Why you should respect your money


Respect your moneyRiches have wings. ~English Proverb

If you live in the UK, then in the last couple of days you might have read about the lucky couple who scooped £115 Million on the EuroMillions lottery. If you’re like me then you probably thought, “Wow, how lucky they are.”

In theory they should never need to work again. Although really they’ve just swapped one set of problems for another.

Winning money is one thing; keeping hold of it is quite another. There are plenty of examples of people who’ve won large sums of money through lotteries, or other gambling, only to lose it all within a few years.

As the English proverb above suggests, money can disappear easily if you’re not careful with it.

You have to look after your money; you have to manage it carefully.

Money can be like a bird with wings; it can fly away if you are not careful.

Too many people spend their money far too freely on things they really don’t need and things they could live without. And plenty of professionals will be offering them help, only then to help themselves, if you know what I mean?

Today’s message is that you should respect your money and look after it. Otherwise you won’t have it very long.

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Why you must spend some time learning the art of negotiation

Learning the Art of NegotiationYou have to ask for money because there’s always more money and they won’t give it to you because you’re a girl. ~Claire Danes

A new year is often a time when people decide that it’s the right time to change jobs. For whatever reason they decide it’s time to move on.

That’s fair enough; if you’re not enjoying doing whatever you’re doing or you no longer feel challenged by whatever you’re doing then it’s important to find something that really does get you feeling energised again.

However whilst finding a new job is one thing, getting fair recompense for the value you will add is quite another.

As a hiring manager I’ve always been amazed by how many people settled for the first figure offered to them. It’s surprising just how many people have little or no sense of their own worth relative to their skill-set and the real market value of jobs.

Now it’s important to remember that hiring managers work within budgets obviously and they have a duty to their employers to keep costs as low as possible.

When hiring managers are recruiting they’ll know the market rate for the job on offer, or at least the HR department will and they will have advised the hiring manager accordingly.

Nevertheless dear reader you must recognise that the market rate for any job is not a single figure. The market rate falls within a range and it’s the range that will have been supplied by the HR department.

So when the hiring manager decides that you’re the person they want to hire then in negotiating a package with you they will have that range in mind.

Naturally they’ll want to minimise the impact on their budget and so they will attempt to recruit you at the lower end of that range if that’s possible.

Yes, they’ll recognise that they have to offer you a premium on your current salary if it’s to make sense for you to leave your current employer. After all you’re always taking a degree of risk when you change jobs. And so a risk premium must be paid by the hiring manager.

That premium typically will be an uplift of around 10% – 20% above your current salary.

Beyond that, for the hiring manager, it’s all about securing your services for the lowest rate possible within the market rate range. And from a business standpoint that’s fair enough.

It’s the nature of business after all. If fact in our daily lives we’re all trying to purchase products and services for the lowest rate possible; so why should we expect businesses to be any different?

However as a jobseeker, you should be trying to sell your services for the highest price possible. That too is fair game. You must always look after your own interests because if you don’t then no one else will, that’s for sure.

Think about it. In selling products and services, businesses are trying to sell at the highest price the market will stand so they can generate the highest margins possible for their shareholders.

So why shouldn’t you get the best deal possible for yourself, relative to what the market will stand? You must know your own value and you shouldn’t just accept the first figure on offer.

Essentially it’s all a game of horse-trading. The company almost always makes a low offer, so you must try to negotiate a better offer.

To do that, before going into any negotiation, it’s important that you have some idea of the market rate for the role.

That means you need to have done some research to establish the likely range the hiring manager will be working within.

You also need to have a sales pitch available so you can highlight your own unique selling proposition and why you are worth a bit more.

The key message here is that you don’t just accept the first offer.

In today’s quote, originally recorded in the British newspaper the Financial Times, actress Claire Danes reminds us that there will be more money available and if you ask for more you might just surprise yourself.

In making this observation, modestly Ms Danes said that this was what she had learned from older actresses.

It’s a useful tip for every jobseeker, female or male.

Never be afraid to negotiate and when you leave the table make sure you’re taking away as much as you can within reason.

Once again I cannot emphasise this point too much. You must know your own worth, always.

Don’t be bashful; be business-like and make sure you get a fair share of the pie.

As I said earlier, if you don’t look after your own interests, no one else will.

In the year ahead I recommend that you spend some time learning the art of negotiation. It really is a very useful skill to develop.

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Habits of Success

Habits of successHave you ever wondered why some people are successful and others are not?

In this video Brian Tracy provides some useful advice on the habits you will need to develop if you really do want to be successful.

As always Brian provides us with some great insight into how successful people behave and the structured way in which they work towards turning their goals into achievements.

Whether you’re a fan of Brian Tracy or you just want to be successful, this video is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Watch and learn.

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Why your time is valuable

Time is valuableDo you want to make money from Facebook? It’s easy. Just go to your Account Setting; deactivate your account; and go to work! ~Author Unknown

Dear reader, if you’re not currently successful, would you like to be?

Many readers will answer in the affirmative of course but then they don’t quite know how to realise their dreams. You may be one of them, perhaps?

Well today I offer you one tip that will be useful to you whatever it is you’d really like to do with your life.

If you’re not sure how to become successful then start by looking closely at successful people and you’ll find at least a few clues there.

However allow me to offer you one of those clues now. And that is that if there’s one thing all successful and wealthy people have in common it is that they don’t waste their time.

They know that time is a precious and limited resource and they recognise that they must use it wisely. And in using it wisely they avoid ‘time sucks’.

The biggest time wasters by far are television and social media. People waste hours of their time on both, particularly on social media nowadays.

Now don’t get me wrong, social media can be a very useful tool as a vehicle for communication both professionally and with friends and family.

However it can also be a distraction. And if it’s a distraction then it might just limit your earning power.

Social media really is just a tool. It might be a useful tool but it’s still just a tool.

Use it by all means but be disciplined in your use of social media.

Your time is precious and, if you want to be successful and make serious money, then you need to use your time wisely. That is today’s underlying message.

Spending your time on social media might be entertaining and informative but it’s unlikely to be profitable.

You can spend your time on social media or you can work hard, with a sense of purpose, on realising your goals and your dreams. The choice is yours; and the consequences will be too.

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Why you must know your why

know your whyIt’s the first day of a brand new year and our lives are full of possibility once again.

No matter how bad the old year proved to be for you dear reader, it’s gone now and so you start afresh.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably come up with a few resolutions already. And if you’re serious about your resolutions then perhaps you’re serious about being successful too.

However, what’s the real secret of success?

Why is it that some people are successful and others will never be?

In the embedded video, Hollywood legend, movie star, two-term Governor of California and former Mr Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger shares his five secret steps to tackling life and achieving success.

Essentially these are his five rules to excel at whatever you choose to do.

He has an interesting story to tell and his story proves that no obstacle is too big to overcome and no vision, too big to achieve, if you’re determined enough and you’re prepared to work hard.

Change the world:

To summarise Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rules, they are:-

  1. Find your vision and follow it;
  2. Never, ever think small;
  3. Ignore the Naysayers;
  4. Work your ass off; and
  5. Don’t just take, give something back.

However if you listen to Arnold’s story, his burning desire was to move to the United States and become a big star. This was his reason why.

Initially he has no idea how to achieve that goal but a little piece of good fortune came his way.

Arnold happened to read an article in a magazine about a man just like him who achieved just what he wanted to achieve. The article explained how the man did it and Arnold used that success template as the basis for pursuing his own goal.

Identify successful people and do what they did:

Once he knew his why, Arnold Schwarzenegger just needed to work out a way to get there. Knowing your why will always, eventually, lead you to your how.

Once Arnold knew his purpose and his passion, he was always going to find a way. His determination and his willingness to do whatever was necessary saw to that.

Had he not been lucky enough to identify a role model through a magazine article, something else would have guided him because that’s the nature of life. When you’re searching for something you’ll tune in to all the little clues you need.

Once you know your why, you develop a keen sense of that subject and everyone else involved.

Trust yourself:

If you know your why then you’ll have the drive and determination to pursue your goal.

Nothing happens by accident of course. You must make it happen.

So figure out for yourself what it is you really, really want. What would make you happy? What would you regard as a real achievement?

Then find a role model.

Someone who’s done what you want to do. Identify how they did it and copy what they’ve done. If their approach worked for them, it can work for you.

Avoid distractions:

If you want to be successful then don’t allow ‘time sucks’ to throw you off course.

Television and social media are the biggest time wasters of all.

Time is a precious resource and successful people don’t waste it. So if you want to be successful, don’t waste yours. Put every minute to good use.

Know your why

The key message today, both from this article and the embedded video, is that you must know your why.

That’s the starting point for success.

So if you’ve yet to do that then I suggest that’s where you start in this brand new year if you want to be successful.

And remember this; if not you, who? If not now, when?

Other people achieve success and so can you. Good luck.

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The importance of saving for a rainy day

Saving for a rainy dayWhen I bought my boat, a Fairline Squadron 55, it cost me about £2,000 in fuel every time I filled it up. I don’t have it anymore. ~Gavin Henson

The former, Welsh rugby star Gavin Henson provided us all with a useful underlying message when he made this comment originally quoted in the British newspaper The Daily Express, albeit a few years ago now.

In making this comment he was talking about the most money he’d blown in one go. I used the word blown rather than spent to emphasise the questionable nature of this expenditure.

When you’re enjoying a little success in your career, and the financial dividend it brings, then it’s easy to think it will all last forever. So you start spending your money on expensive luxuries and enjoying the finer things in life.

That’s fair enough, to a degree, because there’s no point in being successful if you can’t enjoy some of the fruits of your success. That’s what it’s all about, surely?

The problem is that when the big money starts rolling in it can disappear just as quickly as you get it, if you’re not careful. Then, if you can’t sustain your success, before you know it you have nothing at all.

So if you’re lucky enough to earn big money then make sure that you put some of it away for a rainy day. It will rain one day, it always does.

Never underestimate the importance of saving for a rainy day. You need to make sure that you can weather the storm when it comes. It really is a good idea to be prepared.

Enjoy your success of course but never be foolish with money. It’s as important to life as the air we breathe. Make sure you can cope with a change of season.

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Lifestyle or people? Which is more important?

Lifestyle or peopleMoney, past a certain point, cannot buy you anything worth having. ~Giles Coren

I wrote a post recently about the importance of money versus life and I received some interesting feedback from readers. Some agreed with my underlying point that your life matters more than obsessing about money.

However others thought that their quality of life was in direct proportion to the money they’ve got. Essentially money equals lifestyle and so ultimately they thought it mattered more.

So I think it’s worth reflecting on this issue again.

Yes, having money is nice insofar as you can live in a nice house, drive a nice car, wear fine clothes and eat in the best restaurants. All of that is wonderful no doubt.

However money can’t buy you love and it can’t buy you the wag of a dog’s tail.

Money simply cannot buy genuine affection from others, whether that’s your partner, your children, your family, your friends or your pets.

If you could only have either the finest things money can buy or strong, well-balanced relationships with the people who matter most to you, which one would you really choose?

I don’t know about you but I think people matter most. If push comes to shove I can live with very little money but I couldn’t get by without my loved ones.

All of the most memorable times in my life have had other people at the core.

It is people who’ve made the difference to me. It’s people who’ve made me smile. It’s people who’ve been there for me when life’s been a challenge. We all need people more than we need things, surely?

Having money is very nice of course, but having people in my life has been much nicer.

Money is like oxygen, we can’t live without it. That’s true.

We must ensure that we’ve got some money, but we shouldn’t pursue money at the expense of our loved ones.

I would rather be poor than lose those people who matter most to me.

Then again, that’s just my point of view but what do you think?

Would you agree with me? Perhaps for you lifestyle matters more? Let us know via the comments below.

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How to make money from investing in stocks and shares

How to make money from investing in stocks and sharesOnly buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years. ~Warren Buffett

Arguably, Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors of all time. Certainly he has delivered an above average return to investors in his company Berkshire Hathaway consistently over many, many years.

And when people are successful we should listen to them. If their approach has been successful for them, it can be successful for us too. So it’s a good idea to listen and learn.

Warren Buffett’s investment philosophy is essentially quite simple.

If you’re buying stocks and shares then the ideal investment is a company with a range of good quality products which everyone needs; with strong cash-flow and little or no debt; broad international exposure; and which pays solid, sustainable dividends.

Buy the asset at fair value and you will have an income stream you can rely on regardless of any short or medium-term market volatility.

Choose the right stock and you should enjoy some capital appreciation over the long term as well.

Too many people are speculators rather than investors. They hope to time the market to gain a quick buck. However that’s hugely difficult and most amateurs will lose money with that approach, unless they are very, very lucky.

Whereas invest in good companies at fair value and over time you’ll have an excellent chance to make very good return.

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Which is most precious your money or your life?

Which is most precious your money or your lifeThere are no pockets in a shroud, so I love to spend and be generous when I can. ~Laura Tenison

In life there are two resources which require careful management. One is our time; the other is our money.

With respect to money, we must take care of it, protect it, manage it carefully and we shouldn’t waste it.

Ideally we should be building wealth and acquiring assets that will generate an income for us.

In that way we create a private income and then what we do with our life depends only on what we want to do with our life. And for me that’s important.

All that said, it’s important not to become obsessed with money.

The quote above from Laura Tenison reminds us that we cannot take our wealth with us when we die.

Clearly Ms Tenison likes to share her good fortune with others. She’s right I think but, as always, it’s about striking a balance.

In creating the maternity clothes retailer JoJo Maman Bebe, Laura Tenison is clearly a smart lady, so my guess is that she will always strike the right balance. So good luck to her.

If success is your goal then I hope the year ahead proves to be very successful for you Dear Reader. It can be, so keep going until you get to where you want to be. However make sure you get the balance right too.

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If you found this article useful then please share it on social media with your friends. When you share, everyone wins. So please share now. If you do, I will be ever so grateful. Thank you.

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5 truly inspirational quotes

Truly Inspirational QuotesWe can all use a little inspiration occasionally, I’m sure you’ll agree dear reader. So here are what I beleive to be 5 truly inspirational quotes.

Truly Inspirational Quotes:

Before you speak ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid. ~Bernard Meltzer

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~Helen Keller

In a president, character is everything. A president doesn’t have to be brilliant. He doesn’t have to be clever; you can hire clever. You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks. But you can’t buy courage and decency. You can’t rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him. He needs to have, in that much maligned word, but a good one nonetheless, a vision of the future he wishes to create. But a vision is worth little if a president doesn’t have the character – the courage and heart – to see it through.  ~Peggy Noonan

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down. ~Mary Pickford

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them and every day begin the task anew. ~Saint Francis de Sales

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