How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes

HOW TO KNOW YOUR LIFE PURPOSEHow to know your life purpose in 5 minutes? Now there’s an interesting question. If you ask yourself five simple questions, you can identify your purpose, and with that knowledge, you can succeed.

If you speak with successful people, they’ll usually have a strong sense of their life purpose.

However, most people in life don’t know anything about their life purpose at all.

Far too many people in this world are unhappy with their lives because, for whatever reason, they feel they haven’t made the best use of their natural talent.

Too many people that I meet in their 40s and 50s seem to feel their lives have been mostly wasted so far.

Now, I’m not referring to complete losers here.

I’m talking about people who actually appear to have what we all crave, i.e. an affluent lifestyle and well-paid jobs.

However, just because they’ve made some money doesn’t mean they feel they’ve made the best of their lives.

Money’s important for living, of course, but having a sense of purpose and a feeling that we’re making a difference to other people is also very important if we want to be happy with our lives. And surely we all want to be happy?

Do you know your life purpose, dear reader? Would you say you’re happy with your life?

I strongly believe that we’ve all been put on this earth for a reason.

We all have our part to play, and we all have a unique contribution to make.

Certainly, we all have a unique set of talents.

So surely, if we know what we have to offer, we’re closer to knowing our life purpose?

If what we do is congruent with our life purpose, then we can make a real difference to the world around us and to other people too.

How to know your life purpose:

The question is, where to start?

Well, if you have absolutely no idea what your life purpose is, then a little self-analysis is a good place to start. However, what questions should you be asking yourself?

In the video below from TEDx Talks Adam Leipzig, he offers some inspired thinking on how to find your life purpose.

In the video, Adam suggests some simple questions to ask yourself that will quickly lead you to a sense of what your life purpose should be.

I found this video inspirational and really useful, and I recommend it to you.

Recommended Reading:

Finally, as Adam Leipzig suggests in the video, Amazon offers an enormous range of books on this subject.

Hopefully, the video will have helped you without the need for further reading.

However, maybe you feel the need to explore the topic further. Perhaps you would like to purchase some books on the subject to add to your personal reference library.

If so, then here are two books you might consider. Just click on the links to check them out.

The Life Purpose Workbook: A 5-Step Guide to Find Your Purpose and Create the Life You Want by Avis J. Williams

Life Purpose: How To Find Your Reason For Living by Claire H Perkins

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How to love your job when you hate it

How to love your job when you hate itHow to love your job when you hate it? A question I’ve been asked numerous times. My response is always the same. The best way to appreciate the job you have is to imagine your life without it.

That starts with taking a closer look at what’s good about it.

Life’s too short to hate your job:

Do you hate your job, dear reader?

Do you tell everyone, at every opportunity, that you hate your job?

By telling everyone you hate your job, do you imagine they’ll be impressed or, in some way, feel sympathy for you?

Maybe you think that by doing this, your fellow workers will regard you as someone unafraid to speak their mind.

Perhaps you think that in the eyes of your fellow workers, this approach will make you look good.

Hold that thought, and then consider this question. How do you feel about working with someone else who’s always moaning about how unhappy they are at their job?

Do you admire that person?

Do they impress you with their negativity?

I guess that your response to my question will be negative. I’m sure you’ll be unimpressed with such people. After all, most of us are.

Everyone hates a moaner:

If you imagined that moaning about how unhappy you are was the best way to get people on your side, then seriously, you need to think again. Everyone hates a moaner, whatever indications you’ve heard to the contrary. Let me tell you this: no one’s impressed.

Your colleagues may not say so, but they’ll find your negativity irritating at the very least. It’s probably driving them all nuts.

Life’s short, and it’s hard enough for most people. So having some moaning Minnie constantly bringing them down just makes life harder.

Constant negativity is just a pain in the rear for most people.

Imagine your life without your job:

If your current mindset means you hate your job right now, then the first thing to do is start changing that mindset. Start by looking at your job differently.

How?

Well, imagine your life without your current job. What would that be like? Think about that question carefully, and be honest with yourself.

Without your job, you’d have nothing to do; no reason to get out of bed; nowhere to go; no sense of purpose; nothing to challenge you; no money; and you’d be without the camaraderie of your fellow workers. You’d probably feel lonely and lack any real social life too.

How would that make you feel?

Would you feel better about yourself without those things?

I’m sure if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realise that work gives us far more than we realise. I don’t think you’d be happy without all those things mentioned above.

So the best way to begin appreciating your job is to imagine your life without it.

No job is perfect:

Most jobs come with an element of frustration and a spoonful of tedium. That’s life.

No job is perfect, but no job is all bad either.

It’s just a matter of how you choose to look at things.

If you focus on the bad things, then everything will seem bad. However, if you focus on the good bits, then your job can begin to look very different, and you’ll start to feel more positive about your work.

The fact is, we all need to do something with our time, surely?

Even millionaires need something to fill their time.

There are only so many holidays you can take and so much shopping you can do.

Eventually, everyone needs a sense of purpose, and we all want to feel that we’re making a contribution to the world around us.

Life’s a short movie:

Life’s far too short to be unhappy.

So if you hate your job, then you have two choices:

  1. You find another job, or
  2. You start looking differently at your current job.

And before you start searching the vacancy columns or the job websites, think carefully about what you might be throwing away should you leave your current job.

Moving to another job doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be any happier.

Neither will it guarantee that you’ll find the perfect job for you.

So it’s worth thinking seriously about your current job first. At least it’s the devil you know.

Can you begin to look at your current job differently? Perhaps you need a little help.

I really hate my job:

Here’s a great motivational speech from the one and only Zig Ziglar that you might find very useful.

It’s full of great advice and well worth a few minutes of your time.

If you don’t like your job right now, then you really should watch it.

Even if you do like your job, watch it anyway. I found it truly inspirational. So take a look at it now.

Further Listening:

I’m a huge fan of Zig Ziglar but I recognize that he had an evangelical presentation style that’s not to everyone’s taste.

However, if you can get beyond that presentation style, then his words are inspirational and informative.

I particularly like his audiobooks, which I listen to constantly when I’m driving.

One audiobook I can recommend is:

The Born to Win Seminar

Listen to this, and I promise you it will help you discover your untapped greatness and guide you towards greater success in life.

I bought my own copy of this audio program for my own personal library, and it was well worth the price. I listen to it over and over again, and I always find something new in his words.

You can check this audio program if you just CLICK HERE.

DISCLOSURE: This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links to Amazon included here and then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. However, there will be no additional charge to you for making that purchase. Nevertheless, these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure that this resource can remain available free of charge to readers. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

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How to stop worrying and start living

How-to-stop-worrying.webpWe all tend to worry a bit more than we should.

Worrying is natural, but it is rarely helpful. It just adds to our stress levels. And what’s the worst thing that can happen anyway?

And even if it did happen, would worrying have stopped it from happening?

Life’s too short to stress ourselves out with worry.

The question is, how do we stop ourselves from worrying? Well, consider this idea.

Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is a very useful guide. This book is a great personal development text and it’s well worth reading. I can strongly recommend it to you.

How to stop worrying:

However, until you have the chance to read it this animated video provides a useful summary of the key ideas in the book.

So I can recommend you watch this video now and then read the book whenever you get the chance.

Further reading:

Readers serious about their own personal development will be keen to establish their own small library of motivational resources I’m sure.

Dale Carnegie’s book would be an essential addition to any personal development library and it can be purchased HERE.

Go on, check it out now whilst it’s fresh in your mind.

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How to find and do work you love, now and forever

How to find and do work you loveHow to find and do work you love? A great question for all you very intelligent readers to contemplate today.

Now not everyone will find the answer of course but most people frequently ask this question in my experience.

Job satisfaction:

How many people would say they get job satisfaction from their work, in percentage terms?

Apparently, it’s only around 20%.

That would suggest that 80% of all people hate their jobs.

If true, I think that matters and it’s especially relevant to society if you think about it. Why?

Quite simply because it suggests that most people will not be quite as productive as they might otherwise be. Let’s face it, you can’t really be at your most productive if you’re not happy in your job.

A sense of purpose:

So dear reader, which side are you on?

Does your workplace you in the 20% who enjoy job satisfaction or are you one of the 80%?

Essentially job satisfaction comes as a result of doing work that gives us a sense of purpose.

If we have a genuine sense of purpose, we’ll have a strong desire to do our work well. And we can only do it to the best of our ability if it really matters to us.

Doing our work well matters because that’s how we make a difference.

Hence that’s how we make a contribution and leave a legacy behind us.

So in that sense job satisfaction certainly matters.

Consider your work:

Does your work really matter to you?

And does it give you a sense of purpose? Perhaps it’s simply the means for paying your bills?

Do you get out of bed each morning looking forward to the day ahead?

No job is ever perfect but, given work takes up a third of our lives, it’s essential that we enjoy what we do and derive at least some job satisfaction from it.

Maybe there’ll be some elements of a given job we dislike but mostly we should enjoy our work because that way we’re better placed to do it well.

In the inspirational TEDx Talk video embedded below, Scott Dinsmore explains how in the early part of his career he was encouraged to do any job just to build up his resumé.

However, he very quickly realized that this approach was unwise and resulted in no job satisfaction.

He makes his point with an excellent quote from Warren Buffett who said, “Taking any job just to build your resumé is like putting off sex until your old age.”

Now, why would that make sense?

Experience is important of course but work should not just be about building your resumé.

Work should be about adding value and making a meaningful contribution to society.

It should be about using your skills and natural talent to make a difference to the lives of others.

So, if success is your aim then the work you do must matter to you.

If you find work you enjoy then job satisfaction will follow.

Put simply, if you like the work you do you’ll do it well. And if you do it well people will notice. And once people begin to notice you then you’re on your way to achieving real success.

Knowledge required:

The trick is to find work that you can’t not do.

Something you’d happily do for nothing if you couldn’t find someone to pay you to do it.

That’s the basis for real job satisfaction.

All of this is more easily said than done of course.

Perhaps you’ve no idea about what matters to you in terms of work.

If you’re relatively young and new to the world of work how could you possibly know? In that case, you need to start improving your basic knowledge and awareness.

1. Know yourself:

A good starting point for improving your knowledge is becoming a self-expert. Knowing just what you have in your arsenal.

  • What are your unique strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What fills you with enthusiasm?
  • What fills you with dread?
  • What do you love to do?
  • What do you hate doing?

If I asked someone you knew well to tell me what you’re good at what would they say?

  • For what activity do they regard you as the ‘go to’ person?
  • What do they regularly thank you for?
  • What would you do for fun if you couldn’t do it for a living?
  • On what activity can you lose yourself for hours at a time?

By answering these questions and others like them you’ll get a better idea of what you’re looking for. And let’s face it, if you don’t know what you’re looking for you’ll never find it.

2. Know your values:

What do you regard as your set of values? What moral framework matters to you when you’re making decisions?

What would you not do simply because you wouldn’t want to disappoint your family? What would make you feel proud if you were to tell your family that’s what you’re doing?

Anything you choose to do should be congruent with your own set of values.

3. Know your experiences:

The most powerful lessons in life come from the mistakes we make. The lessons we learn from our own mistakes and the things we’ve done are collectively known as experience. And experience is a valuable commodity.

Pay attention to your experience. Think about the things you’ve done right. Think about the things you’ve done wrong.

When have you felt completely in control of a situation regardless of the challenges you face?

When have you felt completely out of your depth?

Think about the things you’ve enjoyed doing. Think about those activities you really hated.

4. Know what matters to you:

In crude but simple language the underlying question here is, “What is it that you actually DO ‘give a shit’ about?

We tend to do stuff because other people suggest it’s what we should be doing. However, it really should be about what actually matters to us.

Identify what it is that makes you come alive and makes you feel energized.

John Lennon’s Aunt Mimi famously said, “Playing the guitar is all very well John but you’ll never make a living at it.

Fortunately, John didn’t listen to her and his guitar helped him to make a very lucrative living because he really enjoyed writing songs and playing music.

In fact, his creative output continues to generate millions of dollars for his estate 40 years after his death.

John Lennon did well because he did something he enjoyed doing and he didn’t allow himself to be influenced by those who thought he should pursue a different line of work.

Confidence compounds:

By working to your strengths your confidence will grow.

Each success you have will improve your confidence. And as your confidence grows, one success will lead to another. It’s a virtuous circle.

Environment matters too:

Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Personally, I think this is true.

The people around you really do matter.

They influence you and their attitude rubs off on you.

Human beings are social animals and we exist within groups. We also have to fit into the group otherwise we’re very quickly ostracized by other group members.

Hang around with people who inspire possibility. People who lift you up and not pull you down. Mix with people who will influence you in a positive way. Find role models from whom you can learn.

How to find and do work you love:

Scott Dinsmore’s mission is to change the world by helping people find what excites them and build a career around the work only they are capable of doing.

If you can find the work you are compelled to do then you can add real value to your fellow human beings.

Discover what you’re really meant to do and you’ll be on to a winner.

You’ll also get maximum job satisfaction.

Therefore in conclusion, if you’ve yet to find what you’re looking for then keep looking until you do.

In the meantime, I recommend that you watch the video. It is thought-provoking and compelling and it will be a good use of your time.

Recommended Reading:

There are plenty of good books that will help you identify your true strengths, as well as help you home in on the work you should be doing.

In the video, Scott Dinsmore suggests Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath as a good book to help you in your quest.

Certainly, it is worth your time, it’s very useful and I have a copy of it in my own personal reference library.

However, allow me to recommend another three excellent texts you might also consider. They are as follows:-

The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose Dan Millman

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore

Find what you were born for: Discover your strengths, forge your own path and live the life you want by Zoe McKey

I have all of these books in my personal library and I’ve found them all extremely useful and helpful and I use them as reference texts all the time.

You can check them out by clicking on the links.

I strongly recommend you take a closer look at them all. You won’t regret it if you do decide to buy your own copies. Check them out now whilst it’s all fresh in your mind.

DISCLOSURE: 

This website is an Amazon affiliate. Should you click on any of the links included in the text above and then make a purchase, you should be aware that this website will receive a small commission. However, there will be no additional charge to you for making that purchase. Nevertheless, these commissions do serve to cover the cost of maintaining this site, so you’ll be helping to ensure that this resource can remain available free of charge to readers. Your understanding is truly appreciated, dear reader. Thank you.

Please share this post with your friends:

Did you find this article and video interesting and useful dear reader?

If so, then please share it on social media with your friends. When you share, everyone wins.

So please share it now. If you do I’ll be ever so grateful and you’ll be helping a keen blogger reach a wider audience.

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15 truly inspirational quotes that are thoughtful and deep

TRULY INSPIRATIONAL QUOTESWe can all use a little inspiration occasionally, I’m sure you’ll agree dear reader. So here are what I believe to be 15 truly inspirational quotes.

Certainly, I think they’re thought-provoking and worth a few minutes of your time.

Enjoy them all and feel free to pass them on.

Truly Inspirational Quotes (1-5):

  1. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead
  2. 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
  3. It’s really important for children to have good morals and good manners, and that they’re thoughtful of other people and that they learn the consequences of their actions. ~Jerry Hall
  4. Gay people are the sweetest, kindest, most artistic, warmest and most thoughtful people in the world. And since the beginning of time, all they’ve ever been is kicked. ~Little Richard
  5. 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

Truly Inspirational Quotes (6-10):

  1. 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
  2. We must protect the very things that make America so special – most certainly including our civil liberties. But we cannot do so without strong national security and thoughtful and informed discourse. ~Mike Pompeo
  3. 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
  4. I used to hear on the radio people like Jack Benny or Bob Hope, but I never had any interest in their type of humour. I thought that I could do something more substantially meaningful with significant, thoughtful, analytical reflections on real-life situations. ~Jackie Mason
  5. 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

Truly Inspirational Quotes (11-15):

  1. My guiding principles in life are to be honest, genuine, thoughtful, and caring. ~Prince William
  2. Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself. ~Robin S. Sharma
  3. This year, I will be more thoughtful of my fellow man; exert more effort in each of my endeavours professionally as well as personally; take love wherever I find it and offer it to everyone who will take it. ~Duane Allman
  4. We are losing sight of civility in government and politics. Debate and dialogue is taking a back seat to the politics of destruction and anger and control. Dogma has replaced thoughtful discussion between people of differing views. ~James McGreevey
  5. There are many who are not guilty of doing anything wrong but very guilty of sins of omission – the things they neglect to do – the good things – the kind, thoughtful words, compassionate thoughts, and hopeful attitudes they might have had towards their neighbour. ~Mother Angelica

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How will your life be measured? Here’s what matters most

How-will-your-life-be-measuredHow will your life be measured? A philosophical question perhaps but an interesting one nevertheless.

Some time ago, I attended the funeral of someone whom I’d known quite well professionally but not at all socially. Someone I liked and respected but I wouldn’t claim to have known them well. Nevertheless, funerals are a time to reflect on someone’s life. A time to consider the impact they’ve had on other people throughout their lives.

The funeral service was held at a large, traditional church in London and it was absolutely crowded.

Listening to the eulogy and associated readings I began to appreciate just how much my late colleague had meant to so many people. It’s fair to say that she meant a lot to many people. The lives of so many people had clearly been blessed by her presence in them.

This experience really made me think.

So in life, what really matters most?

As human beings, we’re all driven to achieve and leave our mark on life before we pass on.

However, we do tend to measure our impact on life in terms of careers and money. With those things it’s fairly easy to keep score, wouldn’t you agree dear reader?

Obviously, careers provide tangible evidence of achievement, or so it seems.

So climbing the greasy pole and increasing our wealth tend to be the measures we use when we consider the idea of success. Nevertheless, as I sat there listening that day I had to ask myself, are these things the most appropriate measure of the lives we lead?

Anything we do that only has a long-term payoff we tend not to measure because there’s no immediate evidence of achievement. We can’t see the immediate impact of the small things we do, so we don’t believe they matter much.

However, I realised that day that they do matter. In fact, they matter a great deal.

It’s all in the little things we do:

A random act of kindness might not mean much to us but to the recipient of our action, it could mean the world. It could have had a profound effect on that individual. And it might prove to be a life-changing experience for that person.

So, how will any of us be remembered?

When our lives have passed, how will they talk about us at our funerals?

People won’t talk about the size of our house or our car but they will talk about how we made them feel. They won’t talk about the importance of our jobs but they will mention how we helped them at a difficult time in their lives.

Perhaps they’ll talk about how we mentored them and how they’re a better person because of the impact we had on their lives. Maybe they’ll say they enjoyed our company and they’ll talk about how they looked forward to seeing us whenever we were around. Perhaps they’ll just mention how we made them smile.

When you think about it, why would we want to be remembered in any other way?

Material possessions are meaningless:

Let’s face it material possessions are meaningless. Equally successful careers are as much a reflection of good fortune as they are of anything we actually did to justify them.

That’s not the case when it comes to the impact we have on the lives of others.

The help we give; the kindness we show; that’s all down to us and our own actions day-to-day.

So how many people we’ve helped seems to me like a much better measure of success than the size of the car we drive or the size of the house in which we live.

Real success in life comes down to the difference we make. How we’ve touched the lives of other people.

Certainly, that’s how I think we’ll be remembered by those who knew us, however much we’re focused on careers, money and material possessions.

How great would it be to be remembered fondly and with respect by all who crossed our paths during our lives?

How will your life be measured?

I remembered my thoughts that day at the funeral when I stumbled upon this video of a presentation given by Clay Christensen at TEDxBoston.

It offers a great perspective on how your life will be measured.

I recommend you watch this video as it’s well worth a little bit of your time.

And after you’ve watched it, I would suggest you reflect on this question, “Should the measure of our lives be just about money and achievement or should it be more about the lives we’ve touched and the people whose lives are better for us having been in them?”

How do you want to be remembered, dear reader?

For me, life’s measure should be in terms of how I’ve touched the lives of other people and not money, career and the size of my house.

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3 things you need to know about money

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MONEYToday I’d like you to think about some things you need to know about money, dear reader. In other words, think about what it all really means.

It’s natural to dream about being rich, of course.

Most people dream about being able to buy whatever they want and go anywhere and everywhere they’d like to go, possibly even in a private jet.

The attraction of having that pot of gold is why a lot of people will chase every rainbow.

However, whilst money is necessary for sustaining life, there are some things you should really understand about money.

Here are three of them:-

Things you need to know about money:

1. Having money brings its own pressures:

A great fortune is a great slavery. ~Seneca

It’s reasonable to want to create wealth and build a fortune. As suggested above, you want to feel financially secure, don’t you? Why wouldn’t you?

However, being financially secure doesn’t mean you’ll have a life without problems and worry.

You’ll just have different problems and different things to worry about.

No one goes through life without problems. Dealing with problems and challenges is an inevitable part of human existence.

Put simply, having money brings its own pressures.

Once you’ve got money your biggest concern will be to ensure that you hang on to it.

Inevitably that means you can become a slave to managing your money, preserving its capital value and protecting your fortune.

Being wealthy may be a nice problem to have, but it’s no less of a problem for that.

So keep it all in perspective.

Things you need to know about money2. Money can never be more important than people:

We love to earn money, who doesn’t? It gets you things. ~Katie Price

Earning money is great and it does allow you to buy things you want and things you need. However money won’t take care of you when you’re ill.

Yes, it might enable you to buy in some hired help.

However, that’s not the same as having someone around who genuinely cares about your well-being. That someone for whom you matter much more than money ever will.

In my experience, whilst money is important, nothing in our lives matters more than friends and loved ones. Human beings are social animals. So only people matter to us really.

Never focus on money to the point where you neglect the people who should matter most to you. Forget about them and eventually, they will forget about you.

You can have all the money in the world, but you’ll have nothing at all without friends and loved ones.

Go out and earn lots of money by all means, and enjoy it too.

However, always maintain a sense of balance in your life and make sure that you allocate some time for the people who matter most to you.

An investment of your time in the people you love is an investment that will pay dividends.

3. Money is a precious resource so use it wisely:

A penny saved is a penny earned. ~Benjamin Franklin

I make no apology for repeating Benjamin Franklin’s money mantra, repeated frequently by generations of well-meaning parents to their profligate children. It’s as valid today as it was in his day.

Whether Franklin was referring to money saved when making purchases or money saved from income is not obvious in his statement but that doesn’t matter.

The underlying point is that you have to be careful with your money because saving money is the key to building wealth and becoming financially independent. No one ever got rich by wasting their money.

Money like time is a precious resource, so use it wisely.

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5 funny short story jokes you’ll just love

FUNNY SHORT STORY JOKESToday I offer you some funny short story jokes, dear reader. I’m confident they’ll make you smile and I’m sure you’ll just have to share them with your friends.

If you enjoy funny short story jokes, you’ll enjoy these.

So grab a coffee, relax and take a few moments to brighten your day.

And please feel free to pass them on.

Funny Short Story Jokes:

1. Billy wants to get married:

Young Billy returned home one evening for dinner, after spending the afternoon playing with his little friend Mary who lived next door.

Naturally, his parents asked him what he’d been doing all afternoon.

We played soccer for a while and then I proposed to Mary,” he said.

Not wishing to belittle him, his mum and dad went along with the idea but his dad thought a little fatherly advice might be appropriate at this point.

Billy you do know that being married is an expensive business, don’t you?” said his dad, “How will you both manage?

Well,” said Billy, “with the $5 I get from you for pocket money each week and the $5 she gets from her folks, I think we’ll manage. And I can always take on a paper route to earn extra cash.

Suppressing a strong desire to burst out laughing, his mother said, “That’s all very well Billy but how will you and Mary manage if you were to have a baby?

Well”, said Billy, “we’ve been lucky to avoid that so far.

2. Ben goes to the pool:

Young Ben and his friends went to the local swimming pool for the afternoon.

They were playing around as kids do when the lifeguard shouted at Ben, “Hey kid, you’re not allowed to pee in the pool!

But everyone pees in the pool”, Ben responded.

Maybe so kid”, said the lifeguard, “but not from the high diving board.

3. Knock, Knock:

An elderly man was walking down the street one day when he observed a small boy struggling to reach the doorbell at one of the houses.

The kindly old man said to the boy, “Can I help you with that sonny?

At which point he smiled, and placed a comforting hand on the boy’s shoulder whilst pressing the doorbell firmly with his other hand.

There”, said the old man, as he stepped back from the door. “Now what do we do young man?

We run like hell mister”, the boy replied.

4. Washing the dog:

Little Johnny went into the store and after some searching around he picked out a large box of laundry detergent.

Having been observing Johnny for a few minutes, the store assistant asked him whether he had a lot of laundry to do.

No”, said Johnny, “I’m not doing any laundry. I’m going to wash my little dog.

The store assistant frowned at him and said, “Listen, sonny, that’s a powerful detergent and far too strong for washing a small dog. It could make him ill or perhaps even kill him if you’re not careful.

Undeterred Little Johnny said he’d take the detergent anyway, and then he paid the man and left the store.

A week later Little Johnny was back in the store to buy a Hershey bar. The store assistant saw him and said, “Hey Johnny how’s your little dog?

Oh, he died,” said Little Johnny.

I’m sorry to hear that son but I did warn you about that detergent,” the store assistant replied.

I don’t think it was the detergent,” said Little Johnny.

Really?” said the store assistant, “So what was it then?

“He looked like he was coping very well until the washing machine went into the spin cycle,” Little Johnny replied.

5. The Budgie:

Geoffrey sees a budgie in the window of a pet store and feeling a little sorry for the bird he decides he’ll buy it.

However, he’s quickly disappointed when, despite his best efforts, he can’t get the budgie to talk.

So he decides to go back to the pet store to complain.

I purchased this budgie a month ago now but I can’t get him to utter a single word”, said Geoffrey to the store assistant.

Try him with a mirror”, the store assistant suggested. “Budgies love to look at their own reflection and you’ll soon have him saying, who’s a pretty boy.

So Geoffrey purchased a mirror from the store assistant and returned home with his budgie.

Once again he was disappointed, as the budgie still wouldn’t talk.

So once again Geoffrey went to the pet store to complain.

Try him with a ladder”, said the store assistant. “Budgies love climbing and I’m sure he won’t stop talking once he’s got a ladder.

So Geoffrey purchased a little ladder from the store assistant and returned home with his budgie.

Yet again not a word was spoken by the budgie, so a week later Geoffrey was back in the pet store again with the budgie.

Try getting him a bell”, said the store assistant. “The sound of a bell will encourage him to talk I’m sure. At the very least he’ll try to imitate the bell’s sound.

So Geoffrey bought the bell and returned home only to be disappointed yet again.

Two weeks later Geoffrey’s back in the pet store.

How’s your budgie?” asked the store assistant. “Have you got it talking yet?

Finally he did say something”, said Geoffrey. “He looked in the mirror, climbed the ladder, rang his bell, uttered a few words and then dropped off his perch and died.

Oh dear!” said the store assistant. “What did he say?”

He said, doesn’t that damn pet store sell birdseed?” Geoffrey responded.

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5 FUNNY SHORT STORY JOKESSo dear reader, was this post amusing and worth a few minutes of your time?

Did these funny short story jokes really make you laugh? Did they really make smile? If so please share this post with your friends on social media.

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8 Top Business Tips for Success Today

Top Business Tips for Success TodayBusiness tips for success:

I read an article recently about a guy with a college degree who was feeling disillusioned because he couldn’t find a job. At least not one that met his expectations relative to the type of job and income he felt his degree merited.

Well, it’s a tough world out there, as I’m sure you know only too well dear reader, and despite what some people may think, the world doesn’t owe us a living. The world owes us nothing and it’s down to us to make a life for ourselves.

Work is just doing stuff for other people in return for money and there will always be people with stuff that needs doing. So rather than seeking a job, perhaps we’d all be better off if we focused on seeking customers for the services we could provide.

That’s at the heart of what business is all about, providing people with solutions to their problems for profit, and there’s much to be said for becoming an entrepreneur.

So today let’s explore some business tips for success for entrepreneurs.

The advantages of self-employment:

There are many advantages to being self-employed.

For instance, not having to deal with office politics is a big advantage for a start.

And of course, being the beneficiary of all of the proceeds of your hard work is another good reason.

Instead of making a lot of money for other people, you could be making it all for yourself. The harder you work the more you make for yourself too.

Unless you’re a lawyer or an investment banker, the chances are the only way you’ll ever make serious money is through building your own business. Building a business that one day you’ll be able to sell for a lot of money.

However, remember this; you might think that if you’re self-employed then you’re your own boss. Well, that’s not true. The customer is the boss, always.

Serve customers badly and you won’t be serving them for very long, that’s for sure.

The first rule of business is that you must know thy customer.

You must gain a deep understanding of the products, services and marketing that will appeal to your target customer.

One size will not fit all and each market will require a different approach.

Now going into business is not for the faint-hearted. You must be prepared to work very hard, at least in the early days, when you’re trying to establish your business.

However, if you can provide your target customers with real solutions to real problems then you can make serious money.

If someone else is already offering a solution to the target problem then your solution must be better or cheaper than theirs in some way if it is to sell.

Creating great products and offering great customer service is the route to business success.

However never forget your reputation and image. These things matter too.

Make sure you create an image that will appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Running your own business will be a challenge but it can also be extremely rewarding, both financially and in terms of a sense of achievement.

Remember also that running a small business is not a whole lot different to running a large business. The only real difference is one of scale. The key issues are always the same.

So here are some top business tips for success for would-be entrepreneurs:-

Top business tips for success today:

1. Control your costs:

Of the many business tips for success I could suggest, none can be more important than keeping an eye on the money.

Money comes into your business and money goes out. It’s that simple.

However, if you fail to ensure that the former is always greater than the latter, at least for most of the time, then trouble will follow at some point, whatever the size of your business.

A bigger business might be able to weather the storm a bit longer but the consequences of expenditure consistently exceeding income will be the same. Keep losing money and eventually, your business will go bust.

Take every opportunity to maximize your revenue and always keep your costs as low as you can. And never, ever lose sight of cash flow.

Don’t spend money unless it is absolutely necessary.

Ask yourself, do I really need to spend this money? What will I get in return? Can I achieve the same result at less or even no cost?

It might surprise you to learn how frequently it is possible to avoid the cost, whilst still doing all the things big businesses do.

The key message here is that you must keep an iron grip on costs and you must manage cash flow carefully.

2. Do your own market research:

Every product should solve a problem for your customer and you should have some idea of what that problem is and how your product will solve it relative to other products offered by your competition.

Just because you think you’ve got a great product, doesn’t mean customers will see it that way. Your opinion means nothing if there are not enough people willing to buy your product at the price you’re trying to charge for it.

If your product won’t sell then potentially your business could be in trouble.

Perhaps you think you’ve spotted a gap in the market?

If it’s a genuine gap then you might be on to a winner. However, a gap in the market doesn’t always guarantee that there is a market within that gap. Maybe there’s a reason for the gap which you’ve yet to understand.

In business, the trick is to find out what people really want and then offer it to them.

How do you find that out?

One very good way is simply to ask them yourself.

I’m not referring to your family and friends here. They’ll be far too polite to give you any meaningful feedback.

You must talk to real customers, if and when you have them, and potential customers.

You can conduct some of your own market research in your local shopping mall or wherever you think your target customers might congregate. And don’t be shy. Only by actually talking to people can you confirm whether your ideas have real potential.

So, identify some basic questions, stand there with a clipboard and just start asking people, as politely as possible.

Often they’ll be far more helpful than you might expect.

And don’t forget you can always use the Internet too.

Search engines like Google have keyword search tools that are free to use. These tools allow you to get a ‘rough and ready’ measure of what people are searching for and how frequently.

And don’t forget social media. Facebook and Twitter, for instance, can be great channels for asking questions, so you can gauge what people think.

Market research doesn’t have to be expensive. As a small business entrepreneur, it is possible to do it yourself. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this activity but it’s essential that you do it.

Your results might not be quite as scientific as those produced by professional market research people, but they will provide you with a rough guide and that’ll probably be good enough in the first instance.

3. Advertising costs money: is there a better way?

Another of the most important business tips for success has to be visibility. I cannot stress highly enough that visibility matters, both for your business and your products. It’s absolutely crucial.

Your products might be the best in the world but they won’t sell at all if potential customers have no idea they exist. Surely that much is obvious.

The question is, how does any business ensure that customers have visibility of its products? The obvious answer is advertising of course.

However, media advertising can be costly, and it’s a cost that new businesses often cannot afford.

One small advert in the back of a glossy magazine can cost you a lot of money and yet you have to ask yourself whether that would be money well spent.

How often do you notice the small advertisements on the back of a magazine? In my case, the answer is not very often.

With so many advertisements competing for my attention, I tend to filter them all out. I’m willing to bet that you do too dear reader.

So, if you’re not careful, money spent on advertising can be money wasted in my experience.

A better approach might be to use some creative thinking with a focus on public relations.

Smart entrepreneurs know that business is show business. It’s all about getting noticed.

For example, the entrepreneur Richard Branson is a brilliant exponent at getting media attention at little or no financial cost to his business.

It helps that he’s a likeable guy of course but he’s also clever and creative in his approach.

If you have an interesting back story perhaps the local press, local radio or even television might be willing to run a story on you and your business and the products you have to offer.

Social media can be a powerful medium for gaining attention for your business too.

Social media is also a useful way of driving traffic to your company’s website, particularly Pinterest which is an incredible tool.

Then there’s using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques on your website content to ensure you drive traffic to your site from the search engines.

Let’s face it, you do need to appear on the first page of a Google search if there’s to be any chance of anyone noticing you and your business through search queries. So, if you can optimize your website for SEO, then you can get enormous amounts of traffic from Google and other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo.

Make sure you offer visitors to your company website the opportunity for signing up for a regular email newsletter. And give them the incentive to sign up.

This could be a free report or perhaps a discount code for one of your products.

How about running a competition using your company’s fan page on Facebook or your company website?

The price of say a smartphone or a Kindle or other desirable electronic device as a prize would be cheaper than the cost of a small advert in a glossy magazine but it’s more likely to get noticed and it’ll probably generate a lot more excitement.

If you have a car or van; don’t forget that it can be emblazoned with your company logo, your website details and product information on the back, sides and front. Even on the roof.

It would be free advertising as you’re driving around.

Park your vehicle at a big event attended by thousands of people and you’re beginning to master the art of guerrilla marketing.

The bottom line is that creative thinking and public relations can produce powerful results in your quest for visibility at a fraction of the cost of advertising. The key message is; be creative.

4. Don’t make yourself indispensable:

The biggest mistake any entrepreneur or business manager can make is to think that every decision should be made by them.

If you’ve started a business from scratch you tend to form an emotional bond with it. It becomes your baby and you become very protective of it.

That’s natural of course but as the business grows you’ll have so many things to do that you couldn’t possibly do them all.

You could try, of course. However, if you try to do everything you’ll find yourself falling behind in key areas like product sourcing, sales and keeping your accounts up to date.

Fall behind, and it becomes very hard to catch up. Potentially it is also very damaging for the business.

So you have to learn the art of delegation.

A good start would be to document every task and process within the business and then create an Operations Manual. This can include everything from the preferred method for answering the phone to completing invoices and dealing with complaints.

It can also include the degree of flexibility which you are delegating to staff, so they can get on with basic tasks allowing you to get on with those activities which are much more important for achieving business success.

No business should be dependent solely on one person.

If it is and that person gets seriously ill or has an accident then obviously the business would be in trouble very quickly and it would struggle.

Delegate basic activities to your staff and you can be sure that the business will continue to function even when you’re not around.

It will also give you a bit more thinking time for steering the company towards bigger and better things.

The key message here is that you must delegate. Never delude yourself into thinking that only you can do a particular task.

5. Charge sensible prices:

If you’re to earn a decent income then any list of business tips for success must stress the importance of knowing the value you can add and know your worth too.

It’s easy when you’re a small business to undervalue your products and your time. The result is that you undercharge for what you have to offer.

This is particularly true when professionals are selling their expertise and time on the basis of a consultancy arrangement.

It’s common for first-timers to lack the confidence to charge what they might perceive to be a high rate for their services.

The problem is that selling things cheaply can be counter-productive because customers then think they’re getting an inferior product or service and can be put off.

It is a fact that price can often be used as a proxy measure for quality when your business is being judged.

You have to be very business-like when considering the pricing of your products and services.

So look at what your competitors are charging and then analyse where you think your products and services fit into the market.

If you struggle with that idea then you can always seek guidance from someone else, like a fellow business owner or your accountant.

However, you must always remember that you must believe in your products and services. If you don’t then why should anyone else?

You must project confidence.

If you don’t have the courage of your convictions then the chances are that your business will never succeed.

Believe in yourself and charge what you’re really worth. Sell yourself on the basis of the value you bring and the value you can add.

6. Make the best use of technology:

Sometimes small business owners think that because they are small they can only act in a small way. However, that can be a mistake.

Don’t be afraid to invest in your business. For instance, investing in up-to-date technology like the right phone system and websites do not have to be expensive but they can be the difference between a customer contacting you or not.

These days no business, large or small, can operate without a website.

And that website needs to be as user-friendly as it possibly can be.

Make sure your website provides customers and potential customers with the opportunity to sign up for a regular email newsletter. And as suggested earlier, offer them an incentive so they do sign up.

Ensure also that your telephone system allows customers to reach you at their first attempt. Certainly, customers won’t make too many attempts to call you before they’ll simply go elsewhere.

If you don’t know how to do all this yourself then go on a course or seek guidance from someone with the right expertise.

Good communications will pay handsome dividends over time.

7. Set goals:

Another in this list of business tips for success, that I want to really stress here, is the importance of goal-setting.

You have to know what it is you’re trying to achieve if you’re to have any chance of successfully achieving it.

Never set your sights too low either. Set yourself a challenge and then put all your energy into achieving it.

Once you’ve set a goal then you need to establish a plan as to how it is going to be achieved.

For instance, if your goal is to achieve a certain level of turnover over the next year, you have to break that down into the small steps you will need to take for it to be achieved.

How many sales will you need to achieve each day, each week and each month?

What implications will those sales targets have for production?

Do you have enough sales staff to generate that amount of business?

And so on.

Always create a plan and review it regularly making adjustments as and when necessary.

8. If you got a great idea then do something with it:

How many great ideas never see the light of day because the person with the idea fails to do anything about it?

And how many times does someone with an idea see someone else come along with the same idea and beat them to market?

Let me give you an example. Two years ago I thought up a great idea for a tee shirt slogan. However, I was busy and so in the end I didn’t do anything about it. Fast forward two years, and the other day I noticed one of the best-selling teeshirts on Amazon was one bearing the slogan that I’d thought up.

Someone else had the idea too, but they actually did something about it. And they’re now benefitting from the income generated. From my standpoint, a great opportunity was missed.

Procrastination stops many entrepreneurs from cashing in on a great idea. Don’t let this be you.

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to do anything you will be waiting for the rest of your life.

Now is always the perfect time to start.

Don’t wait until you think the economy will be better or your children have left home or some other arbitrary barrier.

The right time to start your business is right now.

So go for it. Yes, you’ll make mistakes. You won’t get everything right the first time. You won’t become an instant millionaire either.

However, by getting started you’ll be heading in the right direction and you’ll learn along the way.

Hard work combined with implementing good ideas will get you there eventually.

Business Tips for SuccessConcluding Remarks:

I hope these business tips for success prove useful to you dear reader.

However please note, this blog post was not intended to be a comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs.

You’ll find many excellent books on the subject and I recommend that you make a point of reading as many of them as you can because educating yourself is always a good idea. It doesn’t have to be formal education. Self-education can be just as good in practice. And then, of course, you can start creating your own list of business tips for success.

And the best form of education in my experience is to learn by doing. You will make mistakes but the lessons learned from those mistakes will be far more valuable to you than anything anyone can teach you in a classroom.

Being an entrepreneur can be a roller coaster ride but it can be a fantastic and enriching experience too. So if you fancy it, go for it.

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How to handle criticism at work effectively

HOW TO HANDLE CRITICISM AT WORKHow to handle criticism at work? That’s a question most of us ask ourselves, at least occasionally.

Think about it. You’ve been working hard and trying to do your best but someone still thinks it’s necessary, with a critical tone, to offer you some words of advice about the work you’ve just done.

Not a thank you; no recognition of the effort you’ve put in; just some caustic words about why they think your work is less than perfect.

Naturally, that makes you feel a little unloved, a bit defensive and probably slightly irritated too.

Perhaps your critic lacks sensitivity?

Perhaps he or she fails to appreciate the value you’ve been adding to whatever you were doing at the time.

And of course, your critic may not have had visibility of the constraints you were working under or the pressures you faced at the time.

Regardless of the circumstances, it’s natural if you feel hurt when all people can do is point to something they believe is wrong, incomplete or not as good as it could have been. If it doesn’t actually hurt, certainly it is irritating. It can also seem overly harsh at times.

The importance of criticism:

The problem when hearing criticism is that our defensive barriers tend to go up immediately. And once we’re on the defensive we don’t tend to listen to the feedback we’re getting. We just concentrate on how we’ll respond in order to dismiss whatever’s being said.

This is unfortunate because if we did listen and reflect on what is being said, it’s just possible that our critic may have a valid point.

The importance of criticism is that it provides us with valuable feedback.

And how we react to any feedback depends on our attitude and how we choose to look at it.

We can get all hurt and defensive or we can choose to give our critic the benefit of the doubt and assume that they’re genuinely trying to be constructive.

In other words, we can embrace criticism positively and seek to use it to our own advantage. Certainly, this is the mature and grown-up way of dealing with any criticism we receive.

Honing our skills:

We must recognize that none of us is perfect and we’re all prone to making the occasional mistake. That’s human nature.

However, if our aim is to succeed then we have to become masters of our chosen craft or profession. We have to be very good at whatever we’ve chosen to do if we’re going to stand out in the crowd. In fact, we have to be the best.

Being the best requires the constant honing of our skills. That means we must learn from our mistakes and any inability that might prevent us from delivering the results required of us.

Learning is a lifelong process and we should be constantly practising and developing our skills and improving on the results we deliver.

In order to do that then we must learn from our mistakes.

Some mistakes will be obvious to us of course but sometimes we’ll fail to recognize them. Fortunately, others won’t.

Criticism is feedback:

The underlying point here is that criticism is simply feedback and feedback is essential if we’re to improve our skills and become masters of our craft or profession.

That’s why it’s important to listen. If we know where we fall short then we can do something about it.

How to handle criticism at work:

If you find yourself on the receiving end of criticism, the first thing to do is to remind yourself that feeling hurt is quite natural. That’s simply an emotional response to a negative situation.

However, don’t take anything personally. Criticism is rarely groundless, though it’s often exaggerated.

Give your critic the benefit of the doubt and assume their intention is simply to provide you with some valuable feedback.

Welcome that feedback. Don’t interrupt your critic with excuses. That will just make you look defensive. Don’t glower at them either because you might stop them from sharing that crucial insight with you.

The truth may hurt, but the sooner you hear it, the sooner you can fix whatever it is you’re doing wrong, assuming you are doing something wrong.

Listen and focus on hearing everything being said. When your critic has made his or her point, say thank you. That will show confidence, dedication and grace too.

Then ask yourself honestly, is the point being made by your critic a fair one?

And you really do need to be honest with yourself here.

If your conclusion is that your critic has a fair point then you must embrace the lesson. Learn from it; resolve to do better next time, and be determined to improve.

That way you’ll go from strength to strength. You’ll gain the respect of other people too for your willingness to listen and learn.

However, remember this also, critics are not always right.

If honest reflection leads you to the conclusion that your critic is being unfair or is just plain wrong then just ignore the criticism.

Smile and move on. Never take it personally and never let anyone discourage you from the pursuit of your aims.

Conclusion:

Criticism is just feedback. Feedback is your friend. Embrace it; learn from it; use it to your advantage, but never take it personally. And if following honest reflection you think they’re wrong then it’s perfectly reasonable to ignore it and move on.

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