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Career and Work

We all have those times when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Between juggling work responsibilities, being there for the family, and maintaining relationships with friends, life stretches us thin. Spending time on personal and professional development can feel like a luxury that we simply cannot afford.

But in reality, most of us know that some luxuries can be worth the cost. Time spent in support of our personal and professional growth is not wasted, but rather an investment. Doing something you love is good for your emotional well-being. Plus, having a breadth of skills and interests can open professional doors, too.

The good news is that you can drive your personal and professional development, no matter how crunched for time you may be. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Whatever you’re doing, commit to it.

You’re the person that cares the most about your own development and growth. So, if you really want it to happen, you must be committed. No one else is going to do it for you.

It’s easy to spend your time worrying about failing to develop, instead of using that time to invest in getting started. Take a small step today and see how you feel.

Hack it:

  • Make a small goal to start off and build momentum, or it’ll quickly become overwhelming.
  • Use a habit-tracking app like coach.me to help you manage your daily goals. By checking in daily and using reminders, it’s easy to stay on course.
  • Use a public commitment app where you create a commitment contract — and put your own cash on the line if you quit. Try Stikk, the app which lets you create a commitment journal and share your progress with friends.

Prioritize and plan

Some development activities are just for fun. Others will be more professionally focused, and might even be a prerequisite for your job. To stay motivated, you need to understand what you’re getting from each experience.

If professional development is your goal, talk to your boss and others in your field for ideas of the activities and qualifications that really count in your industry. Prioritize these for greatest effect.

Hack it:

  • Balance personal and professional projects to keep it interesting.
  • Some activities, such as volunteering in a related field to your current work, can offer both professional and personal development
  • Keep records as you go of the development activities you have undertaken. These are a great personal diary, but also help you to keep your resume updated over time.

Use tech

These days, professional and personal development is often accessed at the touch of a button. Information is everywhere, and easier than ever to tap into.

Even if you only have a few minutes, you can read an article or a book online to access the latest ideas in your field. If you’re thinking of taking up a new hobby for fun, you will find a community of like minded people online. You can also discover ideas and support to get you started.

Hack it:

  • Do you see things you would like to read but never seem to have time? Create a reading list for later, using an app like Pocket or Safari’s Bookmarking tool. Then hit it up when you’re on public transport or have five minutes to kill waiting in line.
  • Look at book summary sites to get a feel for which books might be interesting to you. Or sign up to Blinkist for canned versions of non fiction books you can get through in 2-15 minutes. Their curated lists (like ‘Essential reading for job seekers’) are especially good.
  • Podcasts and audiobooks are a perfect way to access information if you don’t have time to read, but spend time driving or walking places. Services like Audible make downloading and accessing easy, and often offer free books.
  • By following the right people (leaders in your industry, for example) on Twitter and other social media, you can get leads on what is new in your field.
  • Try Google alerts to get articles on topics relevant to you, direct to your inbox.

Hook up with others

There’s a reason that weight loss groups are popular. The psychology of working in a team towards a shared goal means that everyone progresses faster — and often, has more fun with it.

If you’re lucky enough to to have a mentor or coach, or a ‘ready made’ group to work with, then use them well. But even if you don’t, there are other ways to find groups of active people looking to develop.

Hack it:

  • Make a public commitment to develop a certain skill or achieve a certain thing. Tell your friends you’re working on your development, and ask for their support. Maybe they’ll join you in your journey.
  • Look up like-minded people. They’re out there! Find a group in your city using Meetup, or go online to hook up with others using social media, special interest forums, and blogging groups.
  • The coach.me community has active groups working on a wide range of goals. You can hire a coach for a small fee, or simply join the discussion forums. Here, you’ll get ideas and advice from others doing the same as you.

It doesn’t matter what you learn

It sounds counterintuitive, but what you learn is not half as important as the simple fact that you are pushing yourself to learn something new. Anything you undertake — even if not connected to your job — stretches you outside your comfort zone. You’ll develop crucial coping skills for work and home.

Hack it:

  • Got a friend who goes to life-drawing classes? Attends cooking school? Or maybe you know someone who is learning computer programming? Join them! Most adult learning environments are happy to let their students bring a friend along to try the class out, so you have nothing to lose.
  • Get online with a site like Khan Academy. You’ll get free access to learning materials on topics from economics to programming, chemistry to history.
  • Learning a language is a great way to improve your employability, and is something that can be done in bite size chunks. You progress when you have the time, and continue practicing what you’ve learned in the interim. Try a site like lingvist or babbel for example, to carry your classes in your pocket wherever you go.

Look after yourself

A final note from me: look after yourself as you seek out new personal and professional development opportunities. It is an adventure which can get pretty addictive.

Don’t try to do too much or you’ll end up stretched thin and unable to do anything well. Pace yourself, do what you enjoy, and find what brings the greatest personal and professional rewards. By starting small and finding ways to expand your horizons — without having to drastically alter your lifestyle — you’re investing your time wisely in your own future.

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A reader recently wrote in asking about part-time, work-from-home jobs. The good news is that these jobs are easier than ever to find. The bad news is that they may also be more competitive than ever!

Telecommuting is becoming easier, as technology advances and businesses see the advantages of hiring a remote workforce. In fact, a Gallup poll from last year showed that telecommuting is up 37%. While many workers telecommute only some of their full-time work days, plenty of companies are also offering part-time jobs that are exclusively telecommute.

Whether you’re looking for a side gig to fill out your income or a job you can do while staying home with the kids, here are some part-time, work-from-home jobs and where to find them.

General Work-From-Home Jobs

First, let’s talk about general work-from-home jobs. Many of these can be turned into part-time jobs, if needed, or ramped up to full-time. You typically have some flexibility. These include positions like writer, editor, translator, web designer or developer, software developer, marketing or PR professional, virtual assistant, social media consultant, and more.

The pay for these jobs varies greatly, as do the requirements. However, since most can be worked on a contract basis, they can also be turned into part-time jobs. Plus, many companies looking to hire employees in these areas will offer part-time employment options.

If you’re interested in building skills to create a career working from home, check out jobs like these to begin developing your skillset.

Companies Often Hiring Part-Time Telecommuters

Specific job listings will, of course, vary from day to day. However, many companies today work exclusively with work-from-home employees, often part-time or with flexible hours. These companies may be looking for specific expertise, but many will hire you without much experience. Here are several worth checking out:

1. Sykes Home

As with many of the companies on this list, Sykes Home hires individuals to work in customer care jobs at home. Most of their positions are full-time, but they do offer part-time options, as well. Even the full-time options often come with flexible hours that allow you to set your own schedule.

2. Alorica @ Home

This communications company offers call center-type jobs that you can work at home. Jobs are both full-time and part-time, but agents are able to set their own hours.

3. TeleTech

This employer offers jobs in a variety of areas, including technology, customer care, technical support, and sales & marketing. Many of the jobs are full-time, but some are part-time.

4. VipDesk Connect

This company specializes in providing customer support for other larger companies, and it offers many at-home jobs for at-home customer service representatives. Again, some of the jobs are full-time, and others are part-time.

5. iQor

Yet another company the manages customer service for other enterprise-level companies, iQor is known for promoting from within. Some positions are part-time, and many are work-from-home.

6. Edmentum

This company offers educational software and solutions to school districts around the country. It hires many flex professionals, including part-time telecommute teachers for those with credentials.

7. Appen

This language and technology company hires part-time telecommuters from all over the world. Many of its current listings are for web search and social media evaluators, though many of these positions are freelance rather than employment.

8. Connections Education

A K-12 education company, Connections Education provides online schooling in a variety of areas. It hires full-time and part-time licensed teachers who telecommute and teach exclusively online.

9. Chamberlain College of Nursing

Have nursing credentials, but don’t want to work a 12-hour shift away from home? Chamberlain College of Nursing hires many full-time and part-time online nursing instructors, as well as instructors in other areas.

10. Expert Global Solutions

This customer service and financial care company provides finance services, healthcare reviews, logistics services, and more for enterprise-level companies. They hire full-time and part-time telecommute jobs for a huge variety of skillsets.

11. Brigham Young University Idaho

BYU offers a variety of online courses, and hires telecommute adjunct faculty to teach these courses. Many of these jobs are part-time, and BYU hires in certain states. The University does give hiring preference to those who align with its statement of faith.

12. Grand Canyon University

This regionally-accredited private university offers mainly online degree programs. They hire professors and adjuncts in a variety of areas for part-time, work-from-home positions.

13. DVMelite

This company provides web design and marketing consultations to veterinary clinics around the world. It offers a variety of development, marketing, and customer service positions on a part-time, work-from-home basis.

14. AbilTo

A behavioral health company, AbilTo offers patients telephone or video conferencing therapy sessions. This is a great company for licensed therapists and social workers looking to work part-time from home.

15. Sitel

This outsourcing company offers a variety of work-from-home positions in collections, customer care, and technical support. Many of their offerings are part-time, though some are full-time.

16. Walden University

Got a Ph.D. but want to stay home with the kids? Consider working for Walden University, another online university hiring part-time, telecommuting faculty in a variety of subject areas.

17. Rosetta Stone

You probably know Rosetta Stone for its language-learning software. However, it also offers personalized services, including video conferencing lessons for language learners. Many of its jobs for fluent bilingual speakers are part-time and work-from-home.

18. Worldwide 101

This company provides services in transcription, web development, project management, marketing, and more. With such broad offerings, it also hires individuals from a variety of backgrounds for telecommute positions.

19. Maritz CX

This company focuses in market research, and hires individuals to conduct phone research, as well as higher-level marketing directors for telecommute jobs.

20. LanguageLine Solutions

Offering phone and face-to-face interpretation services, this company hires mainly bilingual interpreters. It offers positions in many different language areas with part-time and full-time offerings.

21. LiveOps

LiveOps hires customer service representatives in a variety of areas, including technical support, sales, and roadside service scheduling. Many of these jobs are work-from-home and involve flexible hours with full- and part-time options.

22. Study.com

Want to help students, but don’t want to teach full-time? Study.com offers telecommute positions for lesson writers, as well as instructors.

23. Hilton Worldwide

The famous hotel management company offers a variety of telecommute positions for booking and reservations.

24. Xerox

Not just for copy machines anymore, Xerox offers a number of part-time telecommute positions, including customer service specialist options.

25. Elevate K-12

This tutoring company allows you to tutor students online in a variety of areas, including math and English. Most of its positions are work-from-home and allow you to set your own schedule.

26. Social Career Page, LLC

This social media company hires industry professionals to run social media channels for large companies. If you have experience in content marketing and social media, consider a part-time telecommute position with this company.

27. VoiceLog

This company hires work-from-home individuals to verify calls for telephone companies and service industries. It offers flexible shift options and a minimum hourly rate.

28. Reasoning Mind

If numbers are your passion, consider a work-from-home position with Reasoning Mind, an online tutoring company that specializes in math.

29. VirtualBee

Have mad typing skills? VirtualBee specializes in data entry jobs, which are work-from-home and can be part-time.

30. ClickWorker

This company hires people on a contract basis for translation, data tagging and categorization, editing, and web research positions.You can decide when you want to work and which tasks you want to complete.

31. Rev

Rev hires transcriptionists, captioners, and translators with some experience. You can choose your own projects and schedule, so this can be a part-time position.

32. Learnlight

This online learning company offers positions for trainers in a variety of areas, including language learning. If you’re bilingual but don’t have teaching experience, they also offer conversational positions.

33. U-haul

This moving company hires many sales and customer service positions on a work-from-home basis. These jobs pay minimum wage, but can include bonuses, and are highly competitive.

Where to Find the Best Work-From-Home Gigs

While the above companies are known for hiring part-time work-from-home employees, they’re certainly not the only ones. So where can you find a part-time work-from-home job, whether a contract-based freelance gig or actual hourly employment? Try these places:

1. FlexJobs.com

This website is known for providing leads for all sorts of flexible jobs, from full-time telecommute positions to onsite seasonal options. It lists a variety of part-time telecommute jobs and also allows you to search by your job requirements.

You do need to pay for a subscription to FlexJobs.com, but if you find a job within two or three months of paying for the service, it’ll be worth your money. An annual membership may be worthwhile if you’re looking at shorter-term gigs or freelance jobs to fill out your schedule.

2. Other Job Search Sites

More and more traditional online job portals are allowing users to search for part-time and telecommute job offerings. Companies such as Monster, CareerBuilder, and other popular online job sites may offer listings for part-time, work-from-home jobs, as well.

3. Company Websites

And, of course, you can go straight to the source by keeping an eye on the job listings at the companies listed above. Or compile your own list of potential work-from-home employers, especially companies that specialize in outsourcing jobs that are within your skillset.

When shopping around for work-from-home jobs, be sure to check company reviews online to ensure that the company is legitimate. You also want to be sure that it pays its employees and contractors well, and on time. Avoid jobs that require hefty fees and setup before you actually start working, as well.

Have you worked from home on a part-time basis? What was your job?

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Accumulating money is not a real goal for anyone’s life. Growing wealth is not the point. People don’t work hard because they want to see their bank balance grow; those of us who track our finances and chart our net worth over time aren’t trying to compete in some financial competition.

I imagine there are individuals who do have an approach to money wherein the increase of the bank balance is the ultimate goal. But this approach misses the point. Perhaps these savers and earners haven’t given enough thought to why they want to grow their wealth, other than believing that society dictates that they do so — or they idolize people in the media who flaunt their wealth.

Money exists to be used in some kind of transaction — that’s all. So there’s no point in accumulating money just for money’s sake.

This is a concept I’ve covered on Consumerism Commentary in the past, but I bring it up again because it’s always relevant, and maybe it’s good to have reminders once in a while.

I don’t write about my own business much on this website. My business is based in the act and process of blogging. Consumerism Commentary has been my business. And while I think it would be fun to write about it more, as any business owner would like to write about his own business, I wanted to avoid that. If my business was a store I had planned with a friend, I would write about that here.

Writing about blogging as a business just didn’t seem right for this website, because I’d be “blogging about blogging.” The only people who may be interested in that are other bloggers, and Consumerism Commentary reaches a much wider audience than “other bloggers.”

Therefore I’ve stayed away from writing about how I earned money from my business, how I built that business, and how I eventually sold that business for an amount of money that would be potentially life-changing. And it’s a shame I’ve avoided the topic, because it’s really interesting, and I think other people, both those who consider themselves bloggers and those who don’t, would like to hear more about it.

I took the opportunity to write about my experiences and what I’ve learned from turning a hobby into a business for the new Plutus Awards website.

(For those of you who don’t know, The Plutus Awards is an award ceremony I founded. The awards highlight the best in financial media and products. It was born from my own enjoyment of running awards ceremonies, something that started in college with my creation of awards with superlative and funny awards for members of my university’s marching band, with the ceremony at an annual banquet.)

This epic article was influenced by questions I get all the time from other bloggers who want to find a way to earn consistent income from their websites. Of course I’m happy to answer any questions privately, but I haven’t had an outlet in which I’ve felt comfortable sharing all the details.

And the massive more-than-4,000-word article just touches the surface — I could write a book about what I experienced over the past twelve years with my unintentional business.

I expected to receive some criticism from the article. I wrote about how I focused primarily on this hobby-turned-business and didn’t seek work/life balance between my work and social life. One reader felt sorry for me, as if I had missed out on something in pursuit of the almighty dollar. I probably took more offense to the reader’s remark than I should have.

There are probably some things that I’ve missed out on in life. I guess I could have spent more time watching movies with friends. I guess I could have tried harder to start a family. But I don’t think my life is any less whole right now.

But for me in the year 2000, earning a tiny salary from a nonprofit and living in one of the most expensive areas of the country, I had to do something about my financial situation. Life wasn’t about the money, but I needed to start paying attention to my finances, and I needed to figure out how to get my life moving in the right direction.

When you have no money and you begin thinking about what the future consequences will be, money starts to plays an important role in your life. The trick is being able to prevent yourself from seeking money above all else. You can prevent that by keeping larger goals in mind, by thinking about what the point of having money is. It’s more than just “freedom.” What would you do with “freedom” if you had it?

For me, it was starting a foundation. In 2000, I knew that if I had enough money, I’d start a foundation that focused on arts education. It might have been a little naive to have that as my plan, but the idea isn’t too far-fetched.

And if you’ve read How I Built a Seven-Figure Blog, you know that I didn’t start a business to reach that goal. I didn’t start a business at all. I focused my blogging, something I had already been doing for years, on a topic I wanted to learn more about — personal finance and money management. All I wanted to do was get better at managing the money I had.

After several years as an adult ignoring my finances, I had to make my life about money, at least a little bit, in order to improve my situation. Having been born into a middle class family in the wealthiest country in the world, I had been failing at maintaining that level. My situation, goals, and needs would have been different had I been born in poverty or to a wealthy family.

Now that I’m in a different financial situation, after seeing that hobby turn into a successful business that I later sold, perhaps it’s easy to say that life isn’t about money. When you have enough in the bank to be secure — you don’t have to rely on income from an employer, for example — it’s easier to focus on the grander goal.

Speaking of which, I’m happy that I’m able to reach some of my bigger goals before the age of forty. Remember that arts foundation I’d dreamed about? Well, I’ve changed my approach, but I’m still in the general vicinity.

I’m establishing a scholarship at my undergraduate university for music interns. Did my music education degree relate to how I’ve built my “career” over the last decade? Not directly, and that’s why it might not make sense to people why I want to give back to my university. But my experiences at my college did shape me and my approach to life.

But more importantly, I was required to take an internship for my minor that got me started with the organization that allowed me to get into a financial mess in the first place. The stipend through my scholarship should help students be able to afford to take the best internship opportunities without having to worry about how they’re going to earn a living while working for little or no money.

This will help level the playing field, so the best internships can go to more than just the wealthiest students who can afford avoiding work for a semester.

In addition, I’m also starting a foundation — but this will be related to financial media, like the Plutus Awards. I’ll be announcing more information about that soon.

So I’ve written quite a bit about the work side of my life, and lest anyone thing I don’t have perfect balance between work and non-work aspects of my time on this planet, there’s been a lot going on. Last month, I mentioned my apartment received storm damage. The landlord is still trying to repair the apartment — this is over a month after the incident — and I decided to exercise a clause in my lease that allows me to leave.

There is a world of choice available to me right now. I could do virtually anything. But, I made a commitment to work with a music group based in Princeton, New Jersey throughout the rest of the summer, so I won’t be leaving. I am signing a seven month lease, moving just over the border to Yardley, Pennsylvania, to an affordable but smaller apartment.

I’m downsizing, getting rid of some furniture and other items I’ve accumulated over the years. The lease will get me through this year’s Plutus Awards, and once that is over, I’ll be ready to think about leaving the area, spending the winter on the west coast with my girlfriend and family, and giving myself the opportunity to travel more.

Of course, I’ll need to “balance” these changes with working on my new projects.

Unless I decide to stop and live off my investments for the rest of my life. I’m just not ready to retire, though.

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How much is your time worth?

This is a terrible question, and it usually begets a terrible answer. It’s a question that motivational speakers use to encourage people to make sure they’re optimizing their ability to earn an income. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but it leads to some poor conclusions.

For instance, if someone earns a salary that works out to $2,000 a week and works 40 hours a week, the immediate conclusion could be that this worker’s time is worth $50 an hour. It’s a simple way of looking at a financial equation and neglects to incorporate important aspects of compensation like benefits and job security, but it’s usually the baseline that employees use when trying to determine how much money their time is worth.

Calculations like these lead to bad conclusions. You might avoid certain tasks, like household cleaning, because the task isn’t worth your time and you could hire someone to do the same work for less money. Your hourly rate for work may be $50, but that doesn’t mean that all your time is worth the same amount.

In my first main job out of college, I was working for a nonprofit with a salary of about $2,700. It worked out to about $550 per week, or $11 an hour. But wait — I actually worked closer to 80 hours a week most of the year, so the value of my time, using this calculation, would have been $5.50 an hour. The minimum wage in New Jersey at the time was $5.15.

For an Associate Director of a far-reaching program with a lot of responsibility, that’s probably not a fair rate of compensation. But I believed in the organization’s mission — and prior to being an employee, I was an unpaid intern with the same organization, and I wouldn’t believe that the value of the value of my time was $0.

Unpaid internships are like slave labor. Even though there are strict rules that govern whether an unpaid internship is legal, there’s a fine line, and companies seem to have a lot of leeway. Unpaid internships are practically necessary in some fields, taking the place of entry-level jobs, and this is especially true in nonprofit.

(That’s why I’m in the process of establishing a small stipend at my undergraduate alma mater for students in the arts who need an internship to complete their degree. Not all students are able to spend a semester or summer working for free.)

But once you’re established in a field, there should be no reason you are expected to work for free.

This is true for employees. Business owners, on the other hand, have a different approach to compensation for time and effort.

After I started Consumerism Commentary, I began working really hard to build this website from the ground up. I usually worked about eight hours a day, writing, conducting research, building some of the technology, communicating with colleagues, and eventually dealing with advertising clients.

For a long time, there was no money involved. I was essentially working for free, but I was doing something I really enjoy: building a fantastic community of people interested in personal finance. It didn’t feel like work, even though I spent more time and effort on the project that I put into my day job.

I eventually realized that I was building something, something of value. And that helped me focus on growth and working hard even when I started to make some of those calculations. When advertising revenue from the website was approaching $2,000, I started to see major potential, but I was still concerned. Even working 40 hours a week to build the site (in addition to 40 hours at my day job), the work I was doing was “worth” only about $11 an hour.

But I was creating an asset. I was creating an asset that had an important feature: cash-flow. I was building something in my own name, something I could own. I was working for a what was effectively a small wage, but it had the potential of paying off for me in the long-run.

When you work for a small wage for an employer, the only way to use that to build something for the future is if the low-paying job helps you move forward in your career. There are no guarantees that will be the case. And there are no guarantees that spending a lot of time working for yourself will result in something of value, but chances seem to be better. You have more control over your destiny.

In the nonprofit world, privileged employees, those who retired from a lucrative career and don’t really need the income or those who come from wealthy families and are supported by their wealth instead of working, ruin the industry for everyone else. If nonprofits can keep finding people who don’t need money to work practically for free, those of us who want to work in that industry but need to make a living will never be able to find good work.

There’s a lot of correlation between nonprofit work and early work at a tech start-up. Usually, the company’s leader, with a vision, encourages people to take a chance on an emerging business, and those at the beginning of a budding company are highly motivated and generally don’t care too much about salary. Again, that’s really only possible with a good amount of privilege or a willingness to live in a slum.

But there’s a key difference. When you join a start-up at that point, there’s usually a promise of later compensation. Early employees are often given equity, which encourages workers to increase the value of their equity by doing fantastic work for making the business an early success. A bootstrapped company has not a lot of cash from profits to work with, so equity is a way to fairly compensate employees.

The picture changes abruptly when that start-up receives capital, whether from angel investors, venture capital firms, or an initial public offering on a stock exchange. That equity now has some real value, and the company now has cash. And when attitudes at that company don’t change inline with their multimillion dollar funding, it creates a significant conflict, especially when the company prefers to partner with individuals through good will rather than compensation.

Here’s when it makes sense to work for free, whether you’re an employee, self-employed, or a business owner.

Work for free as an intern if it’s the only option you have for getting into the field you want and it will lead directly to a paid job. It’s usually not the only option, and many times interns are turned away when their trial period is over. If there are so many people who want to work for a company or an industry that they’re able to take advantage of a large number of interns, the benefits of being in that field better be worthwhile, and they better be almost guaranteed to those who survive.

Work for free if you’re building your own asset that will provide you a good life in the future. There are no absolute guarantees, but this is the kind of free work that has the best chance of really paying off. Your working for free, but the work you’re doing directly benefits you.

Work for free if you want to help an emerging company whose mission you believe in. But don’t continue working for free once the company can afford to pay you for your work. And this doesn’t include working for free as an employee, where you should be compensated always, at least with equity.

If you are a freelancer or a consultant, you can build some relationships by working for free, but only if that leads to something of value once the work you do contributes to the company’s success.

Work for free if you can afford it and the work gives your life meaning. If you don’t need to earn money from how you spend the bulk of your time awake, then why bother pursuing compensation? If you can spend your time doing work for something meaningful and something that you enjoy while still meeting or exceeding all your financial goals, the added stress of a job — of working for money — seems unnecessary.

Have you ever worked for free? What did you see as the benefits? Do you regret it, or would you do it again? Has working for free ever paid off in the long run for you?

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New Jersey Business Filing Services: Scam or Not?

by Luke Landes
New Jersey Business Filing Services

Update: I can’t believe this. I received a second notice from these hustlers — asking for even more money! Read the details at the bottom. Here’s an idea for all you people who like to “hustle” to come up with ways to earn extra income. This has happened to me many times, and it comes […]

5 comments Read the full article →

Hard Work and Practice Can’t Guarantee Success

by Luke Landes
Children Playing Chess

I’ve written extensively about taking control of one’s own finances. My life changed for me when I realized I had more control over my personal situation than I previously believed. Every human has the power to make every decision based on a future benefit. One can choose to use a pay raise to pay off […]

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Tipping Housekeepers: Whose Responsibility Is It to Pay Hotel Staff?

by Luke Landes
Hotel Room

The prevalence of tipping is simply a fact of society. On several occasions, a friend of mine bemoaned the perceived necessity of tipping a specified amount to restaurant servers while dining out. He would ask the rest of our friends eating together at a restaurant, “When did the expected base tip go from 15 percent […]

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Beware the Inspirational Story or Your Wallet Will Suffer

by Luke Landes
Story

Storytelling is powerful, and is the smart marketer’s tool for separating consumers with their money. Watch out for inspirational stories.

3 comments Read the full article →

How Does a Company Care About Its Employees?

by Luke Landes
Building

I’m in the middle, well probably the beginning, of a long-term organization project. I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the years, particularly since moving into a larger apartment seven years ago. If I want to live a more mobile life, I need to downsize somewhat. In this process, I came across a plaque I […]

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Microsoft to Lay Off 18,000 Employees: How an Acquisition Affects Your Job

by Luke Landes
Microsoft

Over the next year, Microsoft’s executive management plans to lay off 18,000 employees, including factory workers and those in professional positions. Redundancy. As Microsoft acquired new companies, at least according to the news reports that tend to take a company’s press release and spokesperson responses at face value, they have the potential to take advantage […]

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