Why I care for the Millennial

It’s a slow and lazy Saturday afternoon in Dubai, just like most of the week that went by. And yet there is much to look forward too as I receive the last of my amazon shipments. I’ve finally taken the step forward to get my take my side hustles to the next level. A New HP Pavilion Laptop, The Canon M50 with Rode microphone and a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud, that's pretty much all you really need to start vlogging and or blogging. While I unpack my new equipment I’m reading an article from the economist, titled a recession is unlikely but not impossible. https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2020/03/05/a-recession-is-unlikely-but-not-impossible


At this stage in 2020, it doesn’t really instill fear the way it did in 2008 or 2012 or 2015. I’ve rather become apathetic to it’s plight and consequences. All a person can do is always be prepared. Then again when you are reeling from a decade of constant economic downturns you’re probably knee deep in debt or paying off other liabilities. 

I like many other Millennials have had a tumultuous relationship with the effects of globalization and constant economic downturns. In a lot of ways my generation has had a lifetime of life experience thrown at them within a decade. My Generation being the 1985 to 1990 born millennials. I graduated in 2009 from the Asian College of Journalism, as a Broadcast Journalist accredited by the BBC. We were called the “Batch of Recession”, a year earlier in 2008, fancy lads in fancy suits played bingo with the world’s economy leading it to the most severe economic downturn the world had ever seen probably the year of my birth 1987 (Which was another year, marred by a iconic stock market crash) . One of the biggest differences between 1987 and 2008, of course, was that the world wasn’t globalised enough. So an Indian in Bombay really wasn’t too worried about the panic attacks the investors in Wall street were facing. 2008 of course was another story altogether and my peers and I were learning it the hard way. Low and behold when it was graduation time in 2009, placements had properly dried up and the premium paid for that BBC accreditation didn’t really have much to show for it. 2005 to early 2008 was the age of Television boom in India. Up until 1997-98 India had just one Government run English News Channel, the next 6-7 years saw India’s English News market monopolized by NDTV the only private player in the space. 2005 to 2009 saw the emergence of 5 new players and English news found its Bloomberg and CNBC Equivalents. ACJ, as my college was often called, was the premier journalism school in the country with a very respectable alumni. And so when ACJ’s batch of 2009 had no takers, the severity of the shock finally recognized. The only people who were hiring were business news channels who were the need of the hour to decipher the mess that was the Global Financial Crisis. Being the arrogantly charming camera savvy guy that I was, allowed me to be placed as a business news reporter, landing a job with a new Start-up News Channel; unlike a majority of my peers who weren’t as lucky at the time. As luck and destiny would have it, startups would end up becoming my calling  by a stroke of chance rather than the well planned path to becoming a political reporter, which was my subject of interest until then. Unfortunately, my job came with what was perhaps a well below market salary than I had anticipated. This was my first real experience of life as an earning adult. The limitations and opportunities suddenly became very real. Since then there has been no real respite, every few years brought with it unfavourable working conditions and worse yet lay-offs. Lay-offs which until 2008 had been a part and parcel of the structure of capitalism was a completely different beast post 2010, it’s been rapid and rampant across sectors and no one has been completely immune to it. I’ve been part of the churn twice in my life once which came as a complete surprise and once when pretty much everything was going to the shits. This theme of constant economic downturn when juxtaposed into a world of rapid strides in advanced technology and huge proliferation in knowledge and information, creates a kind of cocktail that no one is sure how it would taste. The dynamic nature of employment today has drastically changed the old rules and traditions that were once sacrosanct as recently as 2015. Questions like “is a college education and degree really still relevant” “Is the gig economy the way forward” “Is it now the norm to always have a side hustle” “What is professionalism in the 21st Century” “How do you cope with being laid-off” “Is being fired still Taboo” How do I find my passion in Life”. Answers to all these questions seem to always be conflicting. Does anyone have the answers?  

I don’t have all the answers, but I’m committed not to be another opinionated facebooker, sharing someone else’s viewpoint as my own. This 11 year journey hasn’t been easy at all. The trade off for me acquiring a wealth of both professional and life experience was having to go through very hard and rough challenges some self invited and some as a consequence of dynamically changing world around us. And that right there is the theme of Voice Author. I want to talk about the things I’ve learned so that you can approach the challenges we face with a better perspective. I want to discuss new ideas that dominate our minds, with the decision makers of tomorrow. All in the hopes that I can live upto the motto of the Voice Author “Voice your vision, Author your Life”. I couldn’t get anywhere until I had a vision of what my life would be until I could say it succinctly. Now that I know where I’m going, I need to write my own narrative, my own journey, I need to be the Author of my own story. And that’s what I want for you too. The world of the Voice Author revolves around five key themes. 

  1. Professionalism
  2. Mapping Passion
  3. Embracing Mechanics
  4. Leadership
  5. Starting Up.


So if you’re going through tough times professionally, then know that I’m here for you. Stick with me and I’ll get you through.

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How to get the best out of your Team

How to get the best out of your Team

Seven ways to get the best out of your team as a Manager

With conflicting priorities, mixed skill sets and increasingly busy workloads, as a Manager sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to get the best results from your team. Here are our top tips to ensure your team performs at its best.

1. Insist on excellence

Monitor your team’s performance, as a whole and on an individual level. Do not overlook mediocrity but rather communicate with your team members to identify problem areas and establish strategies to overcome these and maximise performance.

2. Establish trust

A team relies heavily on trust – trust in the skills of each other, trust in their Manager to guide them to success and trust in the processes and systems to help them get there. If one team member is unreliable the trust between an entire team can become fragile. Address individual shortcomings or poor performance directly in order to promote and maintain trust in your team.

3. Develop strong relationships

Building rapport between team members as well as between yourself as a Manager and those you lead is a critical success factor. Recognise the importance of personal lives, provide regular feedback and organise team building activities to promote strong internal relations.

Try to be flexible. Be accessible and make yourself available to hear feedback, discuss ideas and solve issues with your team members. Rigid management styles too often lead to heavy handedness and not all teams thrive in that type of environment.

4. Be organised

People perform better when they know what they’re aiming for. Set clear long and short term goals for each employee, which will in turn aid your team in reaching collective goals and organisational goals. Enforce deadlines, track performance and analyse each team members’ progress, providing them with tools and support if they need help to achieve their targets.

An effective team is more powerful than any one individual. Identify each employee’s strengths, establish clear lines of communication and delegate freely to ensure all team members are working at their optimum productivity. Delegation also stops Managers from doing too much of the day-to-day tasks, freeing up more time to invest in strategic planning, team management and professional development.

5. Mix it up

Establish a team that compliments each other’s strengths. A team does not function as effectively if it lacks diversity. Different personalities, key skill sets and individual strengths must be considered when assembling and optimising a team, as these all contribute to overall success. It’s important for each team member to understand their unique role in the group.

6. Exploit potential

Empower your employees by delegating tasks aligned with their strengths, and try to give them a bit more than what you know they can achieve in order to challenge, motivate and encourage them to perform to their true potential. Also spend time developing and overcoming each employee’s weaknesses, as it’s important to have a well-rounded skill set.

7. Reward and recognise

A sense of accomplishment is a large contributor to job satisfaction and everyone likes to be told they’re doing a good job. Recognising achievements sustains high performance and inspires the rest of the team to go above and beyond too.

As a Manager, there’s a lot you can do to maximise your team’s efforts. Equipped with these tools, hopefully yours will achieve even greater success.

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Passive vs Active Sources of Revenue

The Differences Between Passive Income and Active Income

Income falls into one of two categories: passive and active income. While most people have heard about passive and active income, many are unsure of the difference between the two or how to earn passive income.

Many believe that understanding how to create passive income is the key to building wealth and financial freedom. As Robert Kiyosaki (author of the bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad) once said, “The key to financial freedom and great wealth is a person’s ability or skill to convert earned income into passive income and/or portfolio income.”

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of passive and active income and the benefits of earning passive income from real estate.

Key Takeaways

  • The two main types of income are passive and active.
  • Passive income includes money earned from interest, dividends, and rental property.
  • Active income includes hourly wages, salaries, and commissions.
  • Real estate investors can generate both active and passive income, depending on the investment strategy used.
  • Passive income from real estate receives preferential tax treatment, with more opportunities for reducing the amount of income tax paid on passive income.



What is Active Income?

Active income is money received for performing a service, such as working a full or part-time job and receiving a salary, commissions, or tips. Earnings generated from self-employment or materially participating in a business and getting paid are two other forms of active income.

For most people, active income is earned before passive income can be generated.

Oftentimes real estate investors work a full-time job to earn active income, then reinvest as much as possible to begin building a passive income stream from things like rental properties.

Let’s review some examples of active income:

Hourly wages are a common way of receiving active income, whether from part-time or full-time employment. One of the potential advantages of being paid by the hour is that an employee may have the opportunity to earn extra income by working overtime, and on weekends and holidays.

Salary is a fixed amount of money received for working a regular schedule such as 8 to 5, Monday through Friday. Employees who receive a salary are effectively trading 40 hours of their time per week in exchange for a guaranteed amount of active income.

Commissions are another form of active income, although the amount of money received can dramatically vary based on the work. For example, real estate agents normally receive a commission ranging from 3% to 6% for selling a house and a leasing commission equal to one month of rent. However, people working a straight commission job often see their income streams rise and fall depending on the time of year and the deals that get done.

Tips are active income received based on the level of service provided. People working in the food service and hospitality industries often receive a fixed salary or hourly wage in addition to earning tips from satisfied customers.

Freelance fees and consulting income are two other types of active income. People with marketable skill sets that are in high demand, such as graphic designers or software developers, often start a freelance business and work for clients as independent contractors.


what is passive income

What is Passive Income?

Passive income is generally earned from an income-producing asset that the investor is not actively involved with. Often, that asset was purchased with savings from active income sources, like wages, salaries, or other compensation.

In addition to not having to spend hours a day generating passive income, investors do not pay Social Security or Medicare taxes on passive income and they can reduce their income tax liability with an array of potential tax deductions.

Now let’s review some examples of passive income:

Interest income can be earned in a number of ways, such as depositing savings in a certificate of deposit or owning a bond.

Unfortunately, the interest rate that many investments pay is less than the rate of inflation. That means an investor can actually lose principal by investing in an asset that pays passive interest income

Dividends from publicly traded stocks are another potential source of passive income. Some well-known blue chip companies paying dividends include Apple, Nike, and Mastercard.

However, as with interest income, dividends paid by companies can often be low. In fact, the S&P 500 Dividend Yield is currently 1.35% (as of June 2021), and has declined from 1.93% compared to the same time last year.

Limited partnership earnings from being a silent partner in a business or real estate investment can be a more profitable way to earn passive income with higher potential returns from recurring income plus a percentage of the profits if and when the business is sold.

Of course, higher returns often come with greater potential risks. Investors placing capital in a limited partnership as a silent, passive partner may run the risk of losing their entire investment.

Rental income from real estate can often offer attractive risk-adjusted returns by generating passive recurring net income along with potential profit from property value appreciation when the home is sold.

According to the Federal Reserve, the median sales price of houses sold in the U.S. has increased by nearly 67% since the last recession in 2007 – 2009. Single-family rents have also been growing as well.

As the most recent Single-Family Rental Investment Trends Report from Arbor Realty Trust reveals, rent growth in vacant-to-occupied single-family homes surged by 8.3% in January, the latest month of data availability.

However, real estate markets historically go through both up and down cycles. For example, home prices decreased between 2007 and 2009 from the market peak, prior to the beginning of the last recession. During that time, many people lost their homes to lender foreclosures and real estate investors buying short sales and REO property from the banks.


How to Generate Income from Real Estate

Real estate can generate active or passive income, and sometimes a combination of both. The type of income generated from real estate depends on an investor’s strategy and whether the investment objective is to generate potential income over the short term or long term:

Active Income from Real Estate

Investors involved in flipping and wholesaling real estate aim to generate income from real estate over a short period of time.

Home flippers purchase a property in need of repair for a below-market price, make any needed updates, then resell the home for a profit to a buy-and-hold rental property investor or a buyer looking for a primary residence. Flippers make repairs as quickly as possible, then resell before market conditions change.

Wholesalers are experts at identifying undervalued property, getting the home under contract, then assigning the purchase contract to an investor in exchange for a small wholesale fee. Networking with a real estate wholesaler can be a good way for finding off-market deals that may have instant equity once escrow closes and needed repairs are made.

Generating active income from real estate usually involves a high level of risk in exchange for the promise of a high reward, and can be similar to working a full time job. If property stops getting flipped or wholesale opportunities dry up, active income from real estate declines as well.

Passive Income from Real Estate

Passive income from real estate is generated by buy-and-hold investors in two different ways: Recurring net income after tenant rents have been collected and the bills have been paid, and from the potential profit from appreciation earned when a home is sold.

Many investors describe passive income from real estate as making money when you sleep. In fact, the political economist John Stuart Mill has been quoted as saying, “Landlords grow rich in their sleep without working, risking or economizing.”

To be fair, earning passive income from real estate does require some work, even when the day-to-day details of managing a rental property are delegated to a local property manager.

For example, a passive real estate investor regularly reviews financial reports such as an income statement and cash flow report, periodically visits remote investments owned out of state, and identifies new opportunities to scale up and grow a rental property portfolio.

One of the best things about owning passive real estate is that an investor can spend as little or as much time as they wish on their business. On the other hand, when active real estate investors stop working, they also stop getting paid.

That’s why many real estate investors seek to generate passive income through real estate.



How Passive and Active Incomes are Taxed

Another big benefit of earning passive income from real estate is the preferential tax treatment that passive income receives.

Active income earned from working a job or fixing and flipping real estate is treated by the IRS as earned income. Earned income is subject to FICA taxes of Social Security and Medicare taxes totaling 15.3%, up to a certain level of income.

Short-term capital gains made from wholesaling real estate or flipping homes are also taxed at the investor’s normal income tax rate when property is held for one year or less. In general, people earning active income also have limited opportunities for using tax deductions to reduce the amount of income tax paid.

Passive income isn’t subject to FICA taxes, and there are a number of ways an investor can potentially shelter passive income from higher effective tax rates. For example, common rental property deductions a passive real estate investor can claim include depreciation, repairs and maintenance, property management fees, mortgage interest payments, and property taxes.

Long-term capital gains tax paid when an investment property is sold is either 0%, 15%, or 20% based on the investor’s taxable income level and filing status. So, even if an investor is in the 32% federal income tax bracket or higher, the maximum capital gains tax paid would be capped at 20%.

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The Failures That Helped Me Become a Better Leader

The Failures That Helped Me Become a Better Leader

Years ago, I was thrust into a position where I had absolutely no experience. It would’ve been easier if I'd had a mentor to guide me along the way. But sometimes, the best way to learn is by making mistakes… or even failing.

Here are some examples that helped me become a better communicator, manager and leader.

Assuming Expectations are Met or Understood

Just because information is communicated does not mean that the message has been received. Was the communication too broad or not direct enough? Were expectations assumed?

Case in point: A third party was hired to develop new software and I was assigned to oversee its implementation. But things quickly began to fall between the cracks. The third party seemed extremely overwhelmed and became reactive instead of proactive. Stakeholders were frustrated that their questions were not being addressed in a timely manner and they did not know the current state of the project. Internal managers began to question my ability to lead the effort.

What went wrong: Team roles and responsibilities were not clearly defined up front. Assumptions were made on all sides and I could not provide the attention the project needed to be successful. It was an all-around communication failure.

How to prevent: A project kickoff meeting is an absolute must for any project, whether large or small. Communicating the goals/objectives—as well as scope, timeline, team roles and responsibilities—to all team members and stakeholders is critical. Also, having a candid dialog with your manager about your workload will prevent you from biting off more than you can chew.

Making Reactive Decisions Under Pressure

Have you ever been in a situation where you were asked to deliver a project within an impossible timeframe? Instead of panicking, I chose to round up as many people as possible to help meet the deadline. But it didn’t turn out well.

Case in point: I was asked to manage a team of engineers who were assigned to develop a new product within a tight timeframe. We quickly put together a project plan, scheduled status meetings and began working on the new product.

But after a few weeks, it became clear that the team would not be able to deliver the product as expected. Tasks were not being completed on time and stakeholders had their own ideas on how the product should be designed. Because we were under such pressure to deliver, I began recruiting other engineers to assist.

What went wrong: Decisions that were made in haste ultimately led to the cancellation of the project. Throwing more resources at a project in hopes that it will get done faster will not end well. Taking shortcuts will cost the company money and crush team morale.

How to prevent: Planning is crucial for project success. Taking the time to understand requirements, design the best solution and ensure that you have enough resources with appropriate skill sets will increase your chances of delivering a quality product that satisfies customer demand—in a realistic timeframe.

Making the Transition from Team Member to Team Manager

Transitioning from team member to team leader can be a challenge. In moving into a management role, my first concern was to preserve the personal relationships I’d already established. Big mistake.

Case in point: After being promoted to a leadership role over a team that had become friends, I noticed a shift in behavior. I was no longer being included in certain conversations for fear of reprisal.

I scheduled meetings with each team member and assured them that nothing would change and I wanted to be treated the same as before. I would simply be there to help resolve issues, answer questions, and achieve success. As a new manager, I thought this was completely reasonable.

What went wrong: My desire to be treated as a peer rather than a manager led to many authority challenges. There was an expectation of special treatment and a lack of urgency toward assigned tasks and deadlines. I also made the mistake of sharing too much information in hopes that it would help gain respect.

How to prevent: When moving into a management role, know that you were selected for your skills, leadership and drive and accept that existing relationships will change. Effective managers have to make difficult decisions and can’t be everyone’s friend. Your job is to support and develop your team and ensure that efforts are aligned with company goals and objectives.

There will always be roadblocks, setbacks and even failure during the course of your career. Just don’t let them deter you from achieving your career goals. As author J.K. Rowling once said: “Failure is so important...It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success.”

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Are passions Flexible?

Are Passions Flexible?

‘Flexible Passions’ is the Key to Overseas Career Success: Psychology

The latest study by Psychologists has revealed that the key to Overseas Career Success is having flexibility for passions. There is immense pressure on fresh graduates and professionals to identify the ‘Dream Job’. This implies a career that you value and are passionate about.

However, at times, everything does not fall as per our plans. The career that you pin your future happiness does not prove to be equally fulfilling.

Yale-NUS College and Stanford University Psychologists have said that such feelings arise out of the idea of fixed passions in life. Some people are flexible to develop fresh areas of interest and expanding skill sets. Meanwhile, others are rigid with a defined area and reluctant to explore beyond, as quoted by the Study International.

A student with fixed passions realizes that in real passion is a black and white myth. While managing their finances as a business intern or creative freelancer, they are saddled with jobs beyond the job description. Thus, the feeling that their career is going beyond fixed passions can make them feel at loss.

The fact of the dynamic job market today is that positions are rarely confined to niche responsibilities. Automation evolution in the workplace is rewriting the job market now.

It has been estimated that 85% of the jobs that will be present in 2030 are yet to be created. This is as per DELL, the tech powerhouse. Thus, there is a risk that the passions of students could die out in the changing scenario. This is especially for those with fixed passions and struggling to explore beyond.

The report encourages students to accept a mindset of growth. This is accepting the ability of everyone to learn passions and interests. It discourages to view these as innate ideas.

Being flexible instills students with the elasticity to adapt to an unpredictable and dynamic economy. This will also enable to think out-of-the-box for their industry.

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Motivation: Training the Mind

Motivation: Training the Mind

More Motivated in Minutes: 5 Science-Backed Tricks To Get You Going

Got a few minutes? Get ready to get more done.

Researchers have discovered some quick ways to get you more focused and motivated at what you do so that you can work smarter, not harder.

Some of these motivation tips take only seconds to do. Others require that you get out of your chair for a few minutes. All of them are derived from the results of recent scientific studies.

For some simple tips and exercises to increase your motivation, we’ll start right now.

1. Strike a high-power pose for a jolt of confidence

Time it takes: 2 minutes

Body language may be a lot more important than you imagined. It affects not just how you’re perceived by others, but also your internal body chemistry.

That’s right, holding your body in a certain position literally changes the way you are.

Amy Cuddy, a professor at the Harvard School of Business,  gave a TED Talk in 2012 on the significance of body language. Her premise is that non-verbal communication (i.e. body language) may be just as important as verbal communication. And one of the ways that you can communicate non-verbally is with a “power pose.”

There are two kinds of power poses: high and low. A high-power pose usually means having your body open rather than hunched up. That means chest out, arms spread, no slouch. Most simply, it means that you try to take up a great deal of space.

Here’s an example of what that looks like:


And what does a low-power space look like? Anything that makes you small and bunched up, like this:


The researchers found that simply holding a high-power pose for as little as two minutes increases your testosterone levels, which are associated with confidence, and decreases your cortisol levels, which are associated with stress.

This is a no-tech lifehack that you can do while you sit or stand, while you’re alone or with others: Holding certain poses gives you more confidence and helps you to work better.

Stop slouching and strike a high-power pose. Lean back, put up your legs, and if you have space, make a V with your arms. You can do these while you sit or stand.

Don’t want to look weird with co-workers around you? Do this in a bathroom, or grab a meeting room and close the door.

In addition to striking high-power pose, you can focus on the position of your feet, smile more, align yourself better with your conversation partner, and lower your voice with deep breathing.

2. Tell yourself that you’re going to have a fresh start

Time it takes: 3-5 minutes

Have you ever wondered why everybody chooses January 1 to make commitments?

Yes, it’s a new year. But it’s also an arbitrary point in the lives of most people. January 1 may be a good date to set new commitments, but it’s not much better than July 28.

Here’s the thing: You can give yourself a fresh start anytime. By doing so, you’re going to have a burst of energy. That’s one of the findings from a study by the Wharton School of Business.

The researchers found that these “intertemporal markers” encourage us in two ways: by making people disconnect from past failures, and by promoting a big-picture view of life.

These factors make us more motivated to sequester away our failures and get things done.

So think of a recent event, be it a promotion, a breakup, some other special occasion, and contrive a fresh start. You’ll find it more believable than you think.

Try sitting yourself down to craft a message. Write it down and make it concrete. Here’s an example of a note that you can write, typed or by hand:

“Gosh, I complain of being busy all the time, but how much of it is spent wasted, unproductive? From now on, I’m going to make the most of the minutes every hour, and deliver my work with time to spare.”

Or, try this out:

“I’ve been putting this off for way too long; it’s long past time for me to start the business I’ve been dreaming about. I’ll start slow as a side project for now and see where it takes me. Today I’m going to make things happen.”

Believing it helps make it true.

3. Eat some chocolate – or some other dopamine-releasing reward

Time it takes: 1 minute

Here’s another low-tech hack to increase your level of motivation: Eat some chocolate. Not only is it delicious and easily available—the effects of chocolate on the brain are well-studied.

Here are some of the things that happen when you eat some:

  • It increases both serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes calm, and also phenylethylamine, which promotes stimulation. White chocolate does both even more intensely.
  • It triggers a release of dopamine, which will elevate your heart rate and significantly increase motivation.
  • It also results in a mild antidepressant effect, literally because your brain responds to the stimulants by promoting blissful emotions.
    healthy foods

    Other dopamine-inducing foods that can help maintain a healthy diet: blueberries, spirulina, and fish high in Omega-3 fats.

    healthy foods

    4. Write a contract – and donate the proceeds to charity if you lose

    Time it takes: 3-5 minutes

    Have you ever visited stickK.com?


    Never miss an update from us. Join 100,000+ marketers and leaders.

    Join for free

    It’s a platform for writing informal contracts that help achieve goals and form new habits. Put down a concrete goal, on say losing weight or on becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business, then ask a friend to monitor that you’ll get it done. Put up some money, say $50, and if you succeed, you get your money back; if you fail, then your friend donates the $50 to a charity of your choice.

    StickK is an example of a commitment device, and it’s a remarkable mechanism for getting things done. Rather than a loose determination to make an abstract goal in the future, you have a concrete task to work towards on a specific date, and you lose more than your pride if you fail.

    The founder of stickK is a professor of economics at Yale University who used a commitment device himself when he was a grad student. He promised to pay his friend $10,000 if he did not lose 38 lbs by a certain date. Fortunately he succeeded in shedding weight, not dollars.

    Why do commitment devices work?

    The logic of commitment devices is based on psychology and behavioral economics.

    People tend towards hyperbolic discounting, which is a fancy way of saying that they overvalue the short run relative to the long-run. The examples are obvious: Do you sit and watch TV or go out for a run? Do you grab the fruit salad or the cheesecake for dessert?


    All of us know that what’s good right now isn’t necessarily good for the long run. Commitment devices try to change this up so that choosing what feels good in the short run gets more costly.

    In addition, it requires that you set a concrete goal. Instead of saying that “I’ll lose weight this year,” you’ll have to say something like “I’ll lose 20 pounds by June.” Having something specific makes the task more concrete and more actionable.

    And if you don’t make it to your goal after all, you can feel glad that at least a charity of your choice is going to get a donation.

    5. See some green

    Time it takes: 10 minutes

    Certain colors make us think of certain things. Ever wonder why all sales signs are red, for example? It’s because people react faster and more forcefully when they see the color. People tend to associate the color red with a danger cue, and that attracts attention.

    Guess which color provides the biggest boost in motivation and energy?

    The color green.

    Researchers have found in two studies that surrounding yourself with a bit of green provides a boost in motivation; and also that a glimpse of the color green sparks creativity.

    The first study was published in 2012 in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology via six researchers at the University of Essex.

    They asked subjects to perform three cycling exercises while watching a video of a rural cycling course. The videos were randomly selected to have green, gray, or red filters.


    The green filter made the cyclists happier and less tired. Simply seeing lots of green made them more motivated.

    The second study asked subjects to write as many uses for a tin can as they could think of in under two minutes, and graded them for creativity. Before each test they showed the subjects quick flashes of green, blue, white, and gray. The color that was most associated with encouraging creativity? Green.

    A researcher hypothesized that seeing green makes people think of growth. It’s taken as a cue that we can improve task mastery and that we have room to grow.

    How can you get more green in your life? Go outside! Take a stroll in a garden, or anywhere with shrubs and greenery. Is there a local park that people around you like to have lunch at? Are there lots of trees that you can walk around? Are there at least a few patches of grass by your workplace?


    Go out and walk in these places. In addition to seeing more green; you’ll be a lot more motivated after a brief physical exertion and some fresh air.

    Over to you!

    Can motivation be hacked? These studies that draw from psychology and neuroscience suggest that there are at least a few things that you can do to boost your motivation right now, whether that’s putting yourself in a certain frame of mind or finding a quick, no-tech way to boost your body and mind.

    So take a break at a natural point and try one of these five tricks to boost your energy. Your work will thank you for it.

    Now, over to you – What tricks and tips have you discovered to increase your motivation or give yourself a big boost in energy? Have you discovered that any of the ones offered above work particularly well for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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Building a Work Ethic

What is a Work Ethic and how do you build one?

What is a Work Ethic?

Adherence to Discipline, depending on the result.

What is a Work Ethic? It is a set of values based on an ideology for achieving the desired result.

Work Ethics changes with the result you require to achieve.

Professionalism is a type of work ethic.

Jugaad is a type of work ethic.

Start-ups have and require a changing work ethic.

Work Ethic focuses on the reliability of deliverance

Work ethic is a state of play without supervision/without a deadline for delivery.

How do you build it? By Forming a Habit

Here are some tips for forming the focus habit:

  • Timebox – Give yourself 60-90 minutes to work on a particular task. During that time you can’t rest or engage in any distractions.
  • Accelerate – It can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to build up a concentrated focus. Give yourself time to accelerate into a focused state.
  • Cut Distractions – Practice the habit of turning off all outside noise. Phones, e-mail, RSS, Twitter and visitors should be shut out while trying to focus.


Define your Personal Goal & the Professional Goal/result.

Define your parameters for Efficiency.

State your work ethic.

See if it clashes with a define set of ethics which are already in play.

What is Work Ethic?

Work ethic is a person’s belief that the effort they put towards something will lead to a benefit and cause them to strengthen their character and abilities.

It is an internal drive that influences their actions and how much of themselves they will give something to reach an objective.

Having a high work ethic is often part of a person’s identity. It’s not surprising that employers assess employee performance based on work ethic.

A strong work ethic is considered favourably than a weak one.




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What do employers think of Employees with Side Hustles

What do employers think of Employees with Side Hustles

By day I work in marketing. By night and on weekends I write for the internet. It's a side hustle that I've been doing for the past decade now, enabling me to put a little extra money in my pocket and pursue my passion.

A recent report by CareerBuilder found that 29 percent of more than 3,200 workers have a second job. The trend is more popular among Millennials, 44 percent of who hold down multiple gigs.

Most companies used to frown on moonlighting, but that shouldn't be the case. According to the study, 71 percent of the workers polled said they had no intentions of turning their side jobs into a full time career, Additionally, employees with side hustles are often more productive, have characteristics employers want, and think creatively.

Here are some other reasons why workers with side gigs excel at their jobs.

They Gain Skills Off the Clock

Building their own empire gives employees real-world, hands-on experience that they can use in their day jobs. The accountant that moonlights as a web designer can bring some of that creativity to the table of his 9 to 5er, offering creative solutions to otherwise stagnant problems.

Entrepreneurial Employees Make the Best Workers

Self-starting, innovative and proactive workers help a company to thrive. These traits are generally what employers are looking for in qualified applicants. Given that side hustlers often experience challenges of running their own business, they are problem-solvers and a real asset to any type of business in any industry.

They Won't Ask for Raises Constantly

Folks with side hustles aren't necessarily motivated by money; they're driven by passion. Despite this, their side job gives them the extra income that they need, so there is a high chance that they won't be asking for that biannual pay hike.

They Think Outside of the Box

Entrepreneurial employees are often creative thinkers and thrive on a challenge. At its core, entrepreneurship is about creating something brand new. So if your business needs a fresh take on a stale product or marketing plan, a side hustling employee may be able to enlighten you.

Though there is multiple perks of a side hustle worker, employers still must protect themselves from any risk that may pose a threat for their business.


An employee with a side gig should feel comfortable enough at their workplace to declare that they have a side job. This omission is meant to provide transparency and that the employee has nothing to hide. Also, the worker should make it clear that they are not performing their side hustle during company hours.

Noncompetitive Side Hustles

The employer should make it crystal clear that the side gig shouldn't pose a competitive threat to their core business. This means that the employee should not be doing any work for direct or indirect competition.

Working in the evenings and on weekend mornings has definitely made me a better employee. I can better relate to my employer's struggles of running a thriving business and it makes me a more well rounded individual. The passion I pour into my writing gig energizes me, and energy in turn flows back into my day job.

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How To Build A Positive Company Culture

How To Build A Positive Company Culture

How To Build A Positive Company Culture

Company culture is an integral part of business. It affects nearly every aspect of a company. From recruiting top talent to improving employee satisfaction, it’s the backbone of a happy workforce. Without a positive corporate culture, many employees will struggle to find the real value in their work, and this leads to a variety of negative consequences for your bottom line.

According to research by Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct corporate culture is important to a business’ success. Deloitte’s survey also found that there is a strong correlation between employees who claim to feel happy and valued at work and those who say their company has a strong culture.

There’s a reason why companies who are named as a Best Place to Work see so much success. These organizations tend to have strong, positive corporate cultures that help employees feel and perform their best at work. Research gathered by CultureIQ found that employee’s overall ratings of their company’s qualities – including collaboration, environment and values – are rated 20% higher at companies that exhibit strong culture.

But why is corporate culture such an important part of a business? Take a look at some of the benefits of a positive company culture:

    • Recruitment. Many HR professionals agree that a strong company culture is one of the best ways to attract potential employees. A positive culture gives an organization a competitive advantage. People want to work for companies with a good reputation from previous and current employees. A company with a positive culture will attract the type of talent that is willing to make their next workplace a home, rather than just a stepping-stone.
    • Employee loyalty. Not only will a positive culture help recruitment efforts, it will help retain top talent as well. A positive culture fosters a sense of employee loyalty. Employees are much more likely to stay with their current employer when they feel they are treated right and enjoy going to work every day.
  • Job satisfaction. It’s no surprise that job satisfaction is higher at companies with a positive corporate culture. Employers who invest in the well-being of their employees will be rewarded with happy, dedicated employees
  • Collaboration. Employees are much more likely to come together as a team at companies with a strong culture. A positive culture facilitates social interaction, teamwork and open communication. This collaboration can lead to some amazing results.
  • Work performance. Strong company cultures have been linked to higher rates of productivity. This is because employees tend to be more motivated and dedicated to employers who invest in their well-being and happiness.
  • Employee morale. Maintaining a positive company culture is a guaranteed way to boost employee morale. Employees will naturally feel happier and enjoy their work more when they work in a positive environment.
  • Less stress. A positive company culture will help significantly reduce workplace stress. Companies with a strong corporate culture tend to see less stressed employees, which helps boost both employee health and work performance.

One great example of a positive company culture comes from Sweetgreen. This fast-casual health foods restaurant believes that the most important ingredient to success is a positive company culture. Sweetgreen promotes a positive corporate culture by offering special perks that help boost positivity and morale throughout the company.

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (2nd L) and Representative George Miller (D-CA) (L) order food at... [+] a Sweetgreen restaurant June 16, 2014 at Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. to discuss minimum wage. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Some of Sweetgreen’s hallmark initiatives that have helped create a positive company culture include:

  • Family Fund: Sweetgreeen provides emergency financial support for employees during times of need. It’s funded through voluntary paycheck deductions from corporate employees. The Family Fund has assisted team members in paying for temporary housing due to a fire and has also helped assist an employee who needed to travel to care for a sick loved one.
  • Notes of Gratitude: Employers host a “Gratitude Night” to thank employees for making a positive impact on their customers. The corporate office reviews letters sent in from happy customers and writes personal, handwritten notes to employees who have helped these customers. This type of event highlights employee achievement and gives them some public recognition for their hard work.
  • Working with Impact Projects: Sweetgreen offers employees the opportunity to get involved with impact projects to support the community. Sweetgreen recently partnered with the LA Food Policy Council to revamp a small, family-run grocery market.

Sweetgreen is just one example of the many forward-thinking companies that are dedicating their time and resources into building a positive company culture and supporting the well-being of their workforce. Other companies would greatly benefit from following the lead of these companies and building their own unique, positive culture.

One of the best things about building a positive culture is that it can be done with any budget, at any size company and within any industry. As long as employers take the time to genuinely invest in the happiness and well-being of their workforce, a positive culture will grow and thrive.

Employers can use the following tips to help build a positive corporate culture at their workplace:

Emphasis on employee wellness. No organization can expect to foster a positive culture without healthy employees. Employees need to feel their best – physically, mentally and emotionally – in order to contribute to a positive culture. In many ways, employee wellness is a foundation for a positive corporate culture. Leaders should ensure that employees have the resources, tools and on-site healthcare opportunities they need to live their healthiest life – inside and outside of the office.

Grow off your current culture. Building a positive corporate culture doesn’t mean employers should completely scrap everything their company currently stands for. Rather than expecting employees to do a complete 180, employers should work on enhancing the current culture they have. Ask employees what they do and don’t like about their current culture and work environment. Leaders should use these suggestions to help create a positive corporate culture that’s appropriate for their workforce.

Provide meaning. Meaning and purpose are more important in the workplace now than ever. A majority of employees crave meaning and purpose in their work. Without it, job satisfaction takes a major hit. And a company certainly can’t build a culture without any meaning behind its work. Create a mission statement and core values and communicate these to employees. Give employees specific examples of how their roles positively impact the company and its clients.

Create goals. No organization can have corporate culture without clear goals in place. Employers should gather with their team to create goals and objectives that everyone can work towards. Creating a company goal brings employees together and gives everyone something specific to work towards – other than a paycheck.

Encourage positivity. In order to build a positive culture, employers need to start by encouraging positivity in the workplace. It’s essential to promote positivity on a daily basis. Employers should lead by example by expressing gratitude, smiling often and remaining optimistic during difficult situations. Employees are much more likely to engage in positive behavior when they see their employers doing so.

Foster social connections. Workplace relationships are an essential element to a positive company culture. When employees barely know their colleagues and rarely interact, there’s no possible way for a strong culture to grow. Leaders need to provide employees with opportunities for social interactions in the workplace. Consider weekly team meals, happy hour excursions or even a book club to get things started.

Listen. Being a good listener is one of the easiest ways employers can start to build a positive culture. According to research gathered by CultureIQ, 86% of employees at companies with strong cultures feel their senior leadership listens to employees, as compared to 70% of employees at companies without strong culture. Listen to employees, and make sure they feel their voices are heard and valued.

Empower “culture champions.” Similar to “wellness champions,” culture champions are employees who embody the values and missions of a company. They are excited to promote a company’s aspirations and encourage others to do the same. Identify these employees and encourage them to keep spreading the cheer.

One of the most important roles a leader has is creating a positive culture. Be sure to cultivate a positive culture that enhances the talent, diversity and happiness of your workforce. Building a unique, positive culture is one of the best – and simplest – ways to get your employees to invest their talent and future with your company.

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Why is Passion Overrated?

Why is Passion Overrated?

Why Passion is Overrated (instead, here’s what you should do)

I often hear people say if they only had a real passion, they would be able to follow it, break free from their mundane job and create their dream life.

But what to do when you don’t have a passion? Are you just supposed to wait until it one day magically drops from the sky to rescue you?

I feel there’s this mistaken belief, that some people ‘have a passion’ for something, which enables them to live a fabulous, meaningful life, whereas others don’t and thus are stuck in the hamster wheel.

When I look back at my last business, an innovative health product, it all started because I was desperate to get out of my first business, which at the time was a luxury franchise in India. What do I love doing I asked myself? I felt completely blank and confused. It didn’t help that well-meaning family member and friends just told me to follow a different passion. What if I didn’t have one?

This is where a lot of people get stuck.

I was certainly stuck until I realised that doing something is better than doing nothing. You learn a lot from doing something. Anything is better than nothing.

I went into the kitchen, with the sole aim to lose myself in the creative process of baking a cake. I like baking as it relaxes me, and I enjoy it even more when I manage to make a cake which is healthy AND delicious.

Never for a moment did I think my pursuits in the kitchen would result in a new career direction (which, for a while, it didn’t.)

Here’s the best part:

What I didn’t know at the time, was that I had sparked my own curiosity. I started experimenting with unusual and obscure ingredients, such as ‘superfoods’ from exotic countries. Although many of my creations bombed (spirulina cake, never again please), some were edible, and a few even delicious. Now I got even more hooked on finding weird ingredients online, and this is when I for the first time stumbled upon cricket flour. Roasted, pulverised, insects.

Why would anyone add ground up insects to a cake you may ask? Well, first of all crickets actually taste a bit like roasted nuts, they’re healthy (high in protein), and second, farming insects is extremely sustainable.

What if I could mix some of this cricket flour into a healthy snack, and sell it to health and environmentally conscious people? I got hooked!

THIS was the point where I can truly say the project became a passion.

But this was 6 months after looking for a new ‘passion’, not finding it, and instead showing curiosity in what I’d call my ‘mild interest in baking’.

This is the word I want to emphasize – curiosity.

It’s like a milder, more accessible version of passion. Passion can seem intimidating and out of reach, only available to a lucky few. Curiosity on the other hand is available to everyone. You just need to follow one, small clue, and see where it takes you. Then follow the next clue, and the next, and the next.

This is how you can eventually expect to discover amazing new things, including passions.

Look at it this way – having a passion means giving all your attention and energy to whatever is in front of you right now. Not only does it feel exciting and meaningful, it is certainly more worthwhile than doing NOTHING but waiting for passion to fall into you lap.

I’d love to know if you have ever been in a situation where your initial interest in something turned into a full-blooded passion?