Escape To The Country: Why People Leave City Life Behind

Escape To The Country: Why People Leave City Life Behind

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When people live in cities for a long period of time, the idea of leaving the hustle and bustle behind is either very appealing or totally unthinkable. Depending on which side of the argument you fall down on will determine whether or not a life in the countryside is for you. Whatever your reasons for contemplating a move, it is worth considering the top reasons that people decide to escape to the country, so here are a few of the top reasons why people up sticks and leave city life behind.

A Chance to Get More Affordable Housing

Right near the top of the list, life is simply much cheaper when you move out to the countryside. Property prices fall significantly, with estate agents such as www.prh.com.au specializing in rural housing. Rather than spending a huge amount of your monthly paycheck on renting a tiny apartment, you could end up with a whole house for the same price if you do decide to rent rather than buy.

A Less Stressful Pace of Life

Between crowded streets and overflowing public transport networks, life can be pretty hectic in the big cities. One of the main reasons that many people dream of getting away is because

everything tends to move a lot slower. Being surrounded by nature and greenery has been proven to reduce your levels of stress and depression. Rather than waking up to the sounds of car horns, you are much more likely to wake up to birds singing.

A Sense of Community

Whereas some people complain that city dwellers tend to be unfriendly, community life is a firm feature in a lot of rural locations. As people settle in rural locations for longer periods of time, there is much more of an opportunity to get to know your neighbor. If being in a place where everyone is curious about your business sounds like your worst nightmare, then this may not be the type of lifestyle for you! But you can also be rewarded by making lifelong connections and feeling very much like you are part of a community.

A Place to Start a Family

A huge number of people decide to move away from city life as they decide that the countryside is a better place to start a family. We have already talked about how housing tends to be much more affordable, but as well as this, people like the idea of having plenty of space where their kids can play safely in the great outdoors and lead a more active lifestyle.

A Sense of Adventure

There is something about the countryside that evokes incredible images of days gone by. Simply the act of discovering what is in and around your home can provide you with endless pleasure and adventure. After a while, you start to choose which are your particular favorite spots and your most treasured countryside walks. Soon, you will start forgetting why the city ever appealed to you in the first place…or you won’t be able to stand it any longer and you will hightail it back to civilization!




Also co-founded leading business site zenruption

How To Get Your Child Hooked On Sports

How To Get Your Child Hooked On Sports

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Every parent knows how difficult it can be to get their child out of the house and active. With so much entertainment going on inside – think the internet, Playstation, and television – it’s a hard sell to say to your child, ‘why not go out into the cold and throw a ball around’ and then expect them to agree to it. If you’re able to get your child interested in a sport, however, then there won’t be a battle – they’ll go out there and play because they want to. And isn’t that the dream?

  

Source: Pexels.com

Let Them Decide

But of course, you can’t hand your child a football and expect them to take to it instantly. You have to let your child decide on their own which sport they’re naturally drawn to. If they express an interest, then sign them up for a taster training session. It might only take an hour before they realize they’re hooked, or they discover it’s not for them, and there’s been no great loss.

Introducing Slowly

When they do find a sport they like, don’t instantly rush to buy all the equipment or make that sport their whole life. Start slow. Think of a passion for a new sport as a planted seed; it needs to be watered and given time and space to develop. If you get ahead of yourself, you might find that any interest they had in the sport has been quickly erased before it even began. Essentially you should adopt a cautious, casual approach until you know they’re interested in it.

Make It Fun

At the beginning of their sporting journey, the best thing you can do is to make it fun for them. Regardless of what the sport is, you should forget about making it competitive – save that for later, when they want to test their skills against others. On warm summer days, you can host silly games between the family, in which the objective is to have fun playing the game with just a hint of competitiveness. For example, if they’re a budding cricket player then look at buying cricket trophies and hand them out to whoever wins. Nothing breeds passion more than having a good time!

The Right Encouragement

In the early days you’ll be taking a backseat and letting the sport get its grips into your child, but eventually there’ll come a day where you need to offer some gentle encouragement. How you handle this might affect your child’s sporting future, so tread carefully. Come on too strong and you run the risk of sapping the fun out of the game; don’t offer enough robust encouragement and it’s possible they’ll let the sport drift away when really they should still be playing it.

  

Source: Pexels.com

For Everyone

If you have multiple children, then a good tactic is to introduce a game that everyone can play. If everyone enjoys it they won’t even see it as playing sport – they’ll just be having fun with their siblings; only you will know how active they’re being!



 

Also contributor at leading business site zenruption

eSports: Big Business, Big Brands, Big Marketing

eSports: Big Business, Big Brands, Big Marketing

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The term eSports still hasn’t made it into the mainstream vocabulary just yet. It’s getting there, and some outsiders have heard about people sat in gaming chairs, headphones on, controller’s lodged in their hands. Oh, yeah, your computer can do more than just browse stuff. Don’t worry, with eSports set to break the $1Billion mark in the next couple of years, the mainstream will start hearing a lot more about this huge business.

If you work in marketing, however, well, you’re most probably sick of the word eSports because it has been buzzing around the industry for a little while now, and it is a buzz that is only getting louder. There are no two ways about that. That’s because eSports isn’t new, it isn’t a fad, it isn’t one of these easy come, easy go trends like Pokemon Go. No. It is a full blown disruptive phenomenon.

It is proving to be a mega-business, far bigger than anyone could have ever expected, and it is single-handedly changing the face of both entertainment and culture thanks to the growing popularity it has among young people. It has grabbed their attention, shaken it with both hands and refused to let go.

What’s more, big brands are now getting involved because they’ve seen what an influence it has. Intel was the first big name and that has had the longest running sponsorship deal, but other brands, like Taco Bell, are also getting involved too. But before we get into why and who, let’s get stuck into some facts first.

  

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What Is eSports?

In its most basic form, eSports is competitive video gaming being broadcast to a live audience. The first part of that statement, the gaming competitions, is nothing new. What is, however, is the size of the audiences that watch these competitions, which has radically exploded thanks to the growing sophistication of Windows VPS and the advancements broadband streaming.

How Big Is eSports?

In a word, huge. The fact it has managed to stay under the radar of mainstream entertainment is somewhat shocking because the leading eSports streaming site, Twitch.tv, snatches more peak traffic than any other online site, bar Google, Apple, and Netflix.

Yup, Twitch.tv stands at number four in the rankings, ahead of YouTube. Way ahead of YouTube,

actually. To give it a figure, Twitch.tv commands 45% more views than YouTube with users watching 420 minutes of competitive gaming each and every month. That’s the average. When it comes to the big game days, things like League Of Legends, all we can say is ‘wow’ because the only event that commands a larger live audience is the Super Bowl.

  

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What Is Attracting Marketers To eSports?

The thing that has marketers rubbing their hands together is this idea of co-creation. It is something that live streaming has that makes it more attractive to those brands that are looking for places in which they can market themselves. Let’s take the popular site of Twitch.tv as a prime example.

When you open up Twitch in your browser and watch a game, you’ll see gamers sharing a screen that is being streamed by the broadcaster, you will also see a video of the broadcaster, which is usually made up of a pretty emotive and hysterical experience. But what makes the whole thing super important to a marketer is the live chat window. This is where the real action is; questions, answers, debates, suggestions, discussions and reactions. This is where the idea of co-creation comes in.

By having a live chat stream allows users to interact with the other fans and the other viewers, and from this, they can learn. That’s pretty cool. That’s where a streamer really gains in popularity because they take the time to explain a decision, what they did and why they did it. What’s more, though, the live chat also allows users to influence the decisions made by the

streamers. That’s the key.

The ability to influence decisions is what sets eSports apart from other forms of entertainment. It is this idea of social involvement that makes it active consumption, and that is is what makes it a co-creation experience.

  

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Which Are Brands Already In?

This is somewhat similar to those life experiences where you and your mates are totally up for doing something, you’re just waiting for one of you to go first. Like you’re all sat at the top of a vert pipe on your skateboards, you’re just waiting for one of you to drop in. Saying that there are some big names already attached to the world of eSports.

Intel has been on board since 2006, and throughout that time it has focussed on sponsoring the Extreme Masters, which has a bunch of different titles playing in this tournament. In fact, it’s reach and influence in this industry has become so successful in terms of marketing that they get hundreds of thousands of people coming to their stage events every time they hold one.

Coca-Cola has been a major sponsor of a League Of Legends for a few years too, and through this, it has organically built a healthy reputation. This includes the Twitter handle @CokeeSports

becoming the brand’s second biggest social media account after @cocacola, not to mention the brands venture into a collaboration with IGN, together launching eSports Weekly.

These aren’t the only two big name brands that have seen the potential of eSports, though. Red Bull, Taco Bell, ESPN, and loads more are building their brands through their involvement within the eSports community.

Which Startups Should You Be Watching?

Okay, we have mentioned Twitch.tv, and from what we have said it is to think that this is already an established business, but it is still booming. It is still growing and expanding and breaking down walls of what is considered to be eSports.

Reddit is another one, given that it is a hub that is cherished and celebrated by communities that have mutual passion-points. That is where it’s eSports bridge comes in because hundreds of thousands of people spend hours each and every day discussing their favorite games, videos, live streams and more.

The last one on our list is Kamcord. In essence, what Twitch has done to desktop gaming, Kamcord is trying to do to the world of mobile gaming. What’s more, all early signs seem to be good because there are millions and millions of users already enjoying this platform, with the average stream time per person per day standing at around the twenty-minute mark.




Investing In Early Stage Startups-A Beginner’s Guide

Investing In Early Stage Startups-A Beginner’s Guide

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There’s something of a rock and roll atmosphere surrounding startup investment these days, And it’s not much of a surprise. Get involved at the earliest stage possible, and you could buy in cheap and earn a mint in five or ten years time.

But with everyone looking for the next Facebook or Google, not every startup company is going to make it that big. And the bare fact is that most startups fail miserably, which can make it an incredibly tough job to pick a winner.

That said, spreading your risk around and limiting your spending can make a big difference. And with careful planning, all you need is that one big win to make it all worthwhile. With this in mind, here’s how to get started with investing in early stage startups.

  

Via – pexels

Be a founder

Got a great idea? Then why not make it happen you? If you have the fund available, you can pay for web developers or software programmers to create anything you want – and you will have full control over the success of your company. As long as you have the right management experience and surround yourself with a good board, why not make your money through your ideas?

Grab some penny stocks

Penny stocks are incredibly popular these days as they require little initial investment and – potentially – could give you huge returns. Imagine buying penny stocks in the likes of

Facebook all those years ago, and you could get some idea of the levels of profit you can make. But before getting started, it’s important to understand what have been the best penny stocks of all time. It will give you a good overview of the type of business that tends to climb to the top and could bring you the best returns.

Become an angel

Angel investors are at the deep end of the startup industry, seeding early stage startups at the very first stage of funding. It’s angel investment that gives startups the money to get their products out there into the wild, and without angels, many startups would simply never take off. The sums of money involved can be variable – one startup might only need $10,000, while another could be asking for a million. And you will need to balance that amount with a percentage of control in the company, of course. But with a few different companies on the go and sensible exit plans, it’s possible to get excellent returns on the stock market as an angel within five or so years.


Funding services

Finally, why not take a look at investment opportunities in services like CrowdCube? These types of service offer online investing, equity crowdfunding and business finance opportunities. Essentially, you look at early stage companies on a list, choose the ones you like, and add your money to their funding for a return at a later date – assuming they are successful, of course. As with every other type of investment, there are no guarantees, of course. But if you have a nose for a good business idea and evaluate the team that intend to make it happen, there is not much stopping you from making real money through these platforms.



Brian McKay is the co-founder of zenruption

If You Stop Caring Your Employees Will Stop Trying

If You Stop Caring Your Employees Will Stop Trying

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One of our favorite life lessons is that perception is reality. It is as simple as that. But this issue of perception is a very real issue for business leaders. You see, every employee has an opinion of their superiors and, more often than not, that perception is carved out by the superior. They have to make a conscious effort when it comes to how they want to be viewed, and this is where a lot of problems tend to stem from.

Most leaders don’t realize the importance of having a personal connection with their employees, but by making your employees feel valued and appreciated you are encouraging them to go above and beyond the requirement of their role. A personal connection increases happiness, and happiness can be held accountable for productivity.

Where does happiness come from? Simple. Being valued and appreciated, and here is how to do that

Be There For Them Personally

A good manager makes sure they are there for their employees in every aspect of their working life. A great manager makes sure they are there for their employees in every aspect of their life. Full stop. End of. What better way is there to show you care than helping them through whatever personal issues they may be battling with. There is a word, sonder; which is the recognition that every passerby has a life as complex and vivid as your own. Recognize that and make sure your

employees know that you would go above and beyond to personally support them. It is a sure-fire way to create an unbreakable bond.

Be Creative With The Perks

Employee perks are part and parcel of having a job, but what will set you apart is your ability to get creative with these perks. It doesn’t have to be anything over the top of expensive. It could be something as simple as surprising them by upgrading the office furniture, getting some desks that have a splash of color, or more ergonomic chairs. It could be book tokens that set them apart or better yet giving them a Kindle, which will encourage them to read up on your industry too. Have a fridge full of beers that can be enjoyed every Friday afternoon. Encourage vacations. Bring in a masseuse. There are so many ways to get creative, it is just a matter of doing it.

Be Interested In them

One of the best ways to become known as a great and caring conversationalist is to listen and take a genuine interest in their lives. Everyone has a hobby or something they love, and by taking an interest in this area of their lives you are proving that you don’t just view them as worker bees. So get to know their families, ask about their honeymoon, tell them you bought some new tech based on their recommendation, find out what the score was at their kid’s little league game, decorate their desk in the theme of their holiday for the two days before they go away. All of these things are so little but it shows that you have a genuine interest in them as people and that is a great way of making them feel valued and appreciated.




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