Creativity And Business: Balancing The Yin And Yang

Creativity And Business: Balancing The Yin And Yang

There are many people that are staunch believers in that business and the arts do not mix. They are too different and that having a business temperament hampers your creative processes. Likewise, having a sense of creativity in business may make you veer too far off the beaten track. These are both far from the truth, and in fact, one can help the other! So if you are working on developing a business in the creative sector, or you are looking for ways to increase your sense of creativity in running a business, take heed from these pieces of advice.

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Encourage Opinion!

How can you expect anybody to work with a creative flair if they don’t feel they are allowed to express themselves? Good art is all about that, and it is very hard to accomplish. You may reinforce the notion that your employees can express themselves freely, but it doesn’t mean that people will actually do it. The key is to create the best environment for ideas and opinions to flourish. A lot of workers are used to the idea that they could be punished severely if they express an opinion that is too candid, or if you, as the leader of the business, will appear too sensitive to criticism. So the first place to start is with you. Learning to take criticism and ideas that may be a bit too much for you to bear is the first step to getting everyone in the organization to be on side. You will find some people that are too forthcoming with their opinions also, and this is a great thing to encourage. Another way to encourage this would be to have days where people are giving notes. Pixar does a notes day, where people are doing just that, and this may be a way to get people who are not so keen to express their opinions to give honest feedback on the company. It’s a difficult thing to get the ball rolling, but once people feel comfortable in revealing their true opinions, it will improve the company, and it will get people to work together with more zest.

Outsourcing Is Not A Bad Thing

Depending on where your business is in the development stage, outsourcing may be a very necessary thing to do. It all depends on what skill sets you have in your midst. Running a creative company with the type of contacts that may only specialize in the arts means you may be stuck for accountants and IT specialists! There are many IT services for smaller companies that you can call on to help install a basic network and give you advice on what systems are suitable for the type of work you do and if you need any additional programs. For example, accountancy packages or programs to do the back office functions, such as automatic email responses.

There are many who feel that outsourcing is something that detracts from the permanent members of staff, which is why it is viewed as a bit of a bad word in some circles. But if your business needs the help to get on its feet, then outsourcing is the help you are very unlikely to survive without. Luckily now, there are many outsourcing websites that showcase people who have very specific skills. If you need someone to do a certain line of code that builds your website a certain way or you need someone to translate some very technical text into Swahili, you are able to find these people who you can pay for their services. If you are in a tight spot and need to get something started very quickly, it means that based on your budget you can pay them accordingly and you don’t need to take anybody on permanently for those tasks. As soon as they are completed, it has been a useful help for you to get onto the next stage of unveiling your business.    

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Praise Your Employees

A creative culture is not one where everyone works by themselves. It is dynamic and requires a lot of collaboration. As a result, give praise where praise is due. Some people like to be actively praised in front of colleagues, while others prefer to be given feedback in a private way. Find out from your staff what method they would like and when they have exceeded expectations you can congratulate them in a manner befitting of their personality. It entirely depends on the workplace culture. If people work in groups, public praise will work well in front of colleagues, but people that work individually may not appreciate being singled out for praise, especially if one person receives praise while others may get a haranguing which could upset the apple cart! Nor is it handy to dish out praise at every turn, you want your workers to work hard, not rest on their laurels. Of course, being encouraging reflects well on its leaders, and you need to strike a right balance, especially when it comes to working with creative types who may be of a sensitive nature. But this is something to apply in every type of business, not just creative-based ones.

As a way of encouraging creativity, managers need to be agile themselves in order to get the best out of their employees. Flexibility is of the utmost importance when dealing with a group of creative types, and each challenge needs to be met head on. Personal and professional challenges can clash heavily when trying to develop a creative environment because people may invest much more of themselves into an artistic role than they would, say, an admin role. And as creativity thrives on the generation of ideas, you may want to allocate your time to factor in opportunities to have brainstorm sessions and have a shorter period of time later on to refine these ideas. The old adage in writing is don’t get it right, get it written, so this may be an approach you would wish to take on board. Creativity and business do work together well; it is more about the right balance that suits your workplace. The yin and yang can be balanced!


Peaceful Hobbies To Take Up Before The Summer

Peaceful Hobbies To Take Up Before The Summer

The summer? It’s a time of peace and relaxation. Stretching out on a nice chair in the sun with a cool drink? There might just be no better feeling than that! Summer gives you the perfect opportunity, and the perfect weather, to be able to try new things. Here are a few peaceful hobbies that you can take up in the summer!

If you want to get a little bit fitter, but don’t want anything hectic – badminton might be the way to go. Badminton is the perfect peaceful summertime hobby – it’s easy, and it’s fun! To get started, you need a garden and a badminton net along with a number of badminton racquets and a few ‘shuttlecocks.’ It’s not a hard sport to get into and has very few rules. It’s rather cheap and isn’t as raucous as other sports. Plus you can enjoy it in pretty limited space.

Badminton still might be a bit much for you though; it might not be peaceful enough. In that case, you might consider fishing. You want to be close to a fishing destination, a river or a lake for fishing to work – and you’re also going to need equipment. From any number of baits right through to rods like the Redington path fly rod. You can’t fish without this gear. Then you’re going to need seating (fishing is a long hobby where you have to wait a lot), some coffee – a lot of coffee and maybe a good book. Fishing is all about the technique, but thankfully there are plenty of learning materials and tutorials available in book form and on the internet. It’s never too late to learn, and fishing is pretty relaxing, easy to get into and hard to master. It’s a very fulfilling hobby and perfect for the summer months.

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Golf is a great game to enjoy on a hot summer’s day. Of course, like fishing you are going to need some equipment! You’ll namely need your clubs and some balls to hit. You’ll likely need to pay your way onto some sort of golf course as well. Driving ranges are a fun way to perfect your swing. Golfing is a super social sport and great to perform as a group, so get out there with some friends. Peaceful? of course it is. Hitting a hole in one is pretty zen, anyway!

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If you really want to achieve peace in the summer, then get reading. Reading is an amazing mind-expanding hobby that requires pretty much zero movement apart from a flick of the fingers to turn a page, and a lunge forward to grab your drink, of course. Reading can not only help you learn new things (you might read about golfing or fishing tips, for example), it’s a great way to transport yourself to some amazing words through some great writing. If you don’t like books, give them a try as you bask in the sun.

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It’s the perfect time to take up some new hobbies before the sun turns it up a notch, so get out there early and perfect your craft. Whatever it is!


The Best Careers For Helping Others

The Best Careers For Helping Others

If you feel that you would like a career change, and you want to find a job which enables you to help others, then you probably have plenty of choices. The truth is, finding a career which enables you to help people should not be too hard. In all likelihood, your main difficulty will be in deciding between the many options that you will have in front of you. Nomatter what kind of skills or knowledge you are keen to pass on, there will be a role to suit your needs. In this article, we are going to look at some of the best jobs for those who want to help others in whatever way. Let’s take a look and see what we can find in this area of work.

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Professor

If you have always wanted to be able to lecture to rooms of people, then becoming a professor at a university might be the job for you. One of the real major perks of this job is that you will be encouraging and helping the younger generation to learn about their chosen fields of passion, and there is something really engaging and enlivening about that in itself. But if that doesn’t convince you, it is worth bearing in mind too that professors do tend to earn a fair amount of money, and you also have the benefit of having good hours, with most of the summer off as well. As long as you feel confident speaking in front of a room of people, you should find that this is a great job for you.

Teacher

Similar to a professor, being a teacher means that you get to play a vital role in the development of the country’s children. This is an important job, and one which should not be understated, and if you are someone who wants to help people in a profound way then teaching could provide you the opportunity to do just that. In general, teachers earn a middling income, but you can increase it over time, and there are many other advantages besides the money. What’s more, teachers are in demand at the moment, across many different subjects across the country, so there is a good chance you can land a job before too long. If you take a look at sites such as Simply Education, you will find that there are plenty of jobs to choose between. Teaching could be a fantastic job for you if you are keen on this kind of way of helping others.

Coaching

Coaching is similar to the others, but a little different in that you can coach someone on pretty much anything. It could be within the world of business, for example, in which case you might be coaching people on their various skills and abilities within their own job. To do this kind of work, you need to be already highly skilled in the area that you are specializing in – but as long as that is the case, you should find that this is a rewarding and possibly even lucrative job which stands the test of time.


Pushing Brand Identity: 3 Real-World Concepts For Small Business

Pushing Brand Identity: 3 Real-World Concepts For Small Business

Small business owners will want to push their brand as much as possible. That is how you make consumers familiar with your company, and encourage them to spend money. Ideally, you want to become a household name that everyone recognises. If you achieve that goal, people will always come to you when they need a relevant product or service. That is because your firm will be the first thing that pops into their minds. I’ve listed some excellent real-world concepts on this page that could make a difference to your efforts. Most people focus on the digital landscape these days. However, you don’t want to overlook these tried and tested ideas.

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Invest in printed products that contain your branding

Lots of business owners refrain from spending cash on printed products these days. That is because they think their money is better spent on digital promotion. However, it’s still possible to get amazing results from posters and flyers. You could even think outside of the box and try something like a Z fold card. That is especially useful if many of your potential customers live in the same area. You could pay a local delivery firm to push them through doors. So, you just need to search online for a reputable printer who doesn’t charge the earth. Most professionals in that industry will also handle the design process for an extra fee. With a bit of luck, you’ll see excellent outcomes.

Sponsor local charity events

You should always try to create a positive impression of your business. Sponsoring local charity events is a wise move for a couple of reasons. Firstly, people will know that you care about the local community. That means you will gain a lot of respect amongst people who attend the occasion. Secondly, the charity will place your company logo all over everything. If the press choose to participate in the event, you should notice your branding in the background of some of their photographs. The same goes for situations in which local news crews might turn up.

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Create publicity stunts

The process of setting up a publicity stunt if often a lot of fun. However, it can take some time to think of the right approach. So, it’s best not to rush into anything. Your goal is to get as much attention for your brand as possible without anyone knowing you’re advertising. So, try to think of something funny that newspaper readers and internet users won’t be able to ignore. For example, maybe you should claim that your workplace is haunted by a ghost who does something silly? Perhaps he keeps scaring the postman every morning? The tabloids love stuff like that because it increases their website views. You get the idea, right?

If you try to put those suggestions into action this year, you should manage to increase brand awareness. With a bit of luck, thousands of people will know about your company in twelve month’s time. So, make a decision regarding what you want to achieve, and begin creating your plan right now. There is no time to waste! If you hesitate, a competitor will beat you to the mark.


Creative Hobbies For Guys

Creative Hobbies For Guys

Has life got a little boring? If it feels like all you do is sleep and work, it’s time to find a new hobby. Not only will you learn new skills, but you’ll improve your confidence and have something fun and productive to do with your time. And what better than something creative. There are tons of creative hobbies for women- that’s not to say men can’t enjoy knitting, cross stitch or baking too but if that’s not your kind of thing, here are some hobbies you could try out instead.

Gardening

Gardening is one of the most fulfilling hobbies you can do. There’s something incredible watching something grow from seemingly nothing. It’s hard work and definitely one to get your hands dirty, but you can enjoy the fruits of your labor and might even save yourself some money on your food shopping too. Invest in a good greenhouse which will allow you to extend the growing season. If you only have a small garden, consider hiring out an allotment. It’s something you can tend to each weekend and watch your produce spring to life, you’ll probably meet some likeminded people in the process too. If growing fruit and vegetables isn’t for you, how about landscape gardening? You could install a pond or water feature, add decking or slabs to your garden. You could even set up a side business working on other people’s gardens at the weekend. Gardening is hard work, so you’ll get a good bit of exercise in there too!

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Wood Turning

Wood turning is incredibly satisfying, and you can create some amazing pieces out of simple blocks of wood. You could check out something like CNC lathes to get your main equipment, and from there source various pieces of wood for different projects. There are loads of tutorials on Youtube to give you ideas for things to create. Again this could easily become a side business if it’s something you enjoy and you’re making a lot of pieces. If you like working with wood, how about brushing up your carpentry skills and making some items from scratch? You could even try whittling with the leftover pieces of wood.

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Beer Brewing

Brewing beer needs surprisingly few pieces of equipment meaning it’s cheap and easy to get started. If you’re a fan of drinking beer, making your own to enjoy with friends can be a fun hobby to start. You’ll need to purchase some basic homebrewing equipment and the ingredients and then carefully follow the instructions. If you have a large garden shed it’s the perfect place to set all of this up. Otherwise, a well ventilated spare bedroom will do the trick. While brewing beer doesn’t usually smell bad, some lagers can produce sulfur compounds which can be a bit whiffy. While anyone can of course brew beer, it’s definitely quite a manly hobby and you get to be creative and produce your own blends in the process.

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Do you take part in any creative hobbies? Have you tried any of these?


Jerry Mooney

Freelancers: Are You Protecting Your Finances?

Freelancers: Are You Protecting Your Finances?

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Many freelancers out there don’t see themselves as proper businesses. But from the second you start charging others for your services, you have to see yourself as one, and failing to do so can be a fatal mistake.

It’s vital to have the right protections in place that will ensure that, in the event of a serious issue, you have the cover you need for your business to survive. A small accident here or an illness there and your potential to earn money could disappear overnight and be replaced by huge legal fees and a massive compensation bill to another party.

With this in mind, here are some of the protections you might need for your freelance business.

Commercial or general liability insurance

Commercial or general liability insurance will cover you in the event you are responsible for accidents to contractors, clients, customers, suppliers, or anyone else that comes into contact with your business. This type of insurance also covers you against equipment damage. It doesn’t matter whether you are a freelance IT consultant, a real estate agent or a web developer – all freelancers should have this liability protection if they want to avoid nasty scenarios destroying your business – and personal finances.

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Errors and omissions

In some cases, you might need to consider errors and omissions liability insurance – or E&O insurance. It covers you for any oversights or negligence that you do that might cause harm to your clients. However, if you are working as a freelance doctor, nurse, or another medical profession, you should seek out specialist medical malpractice insurance.

Health insurance

While we are on the subject of healthcare, freelancers should also get health, disability, and life insurance. As a freelancer, you don’t have the benefits of things like sick pay, and if you can’t work, you won’t earn. And if something serious happens – a chronic illness or disability, for example – it could cause severe financial damage. If the accident or illness is someone else’s fault, you might be OK. As hastingsfirm.com point out, it might be that you can claim for medical negligence and personal injury. But, ultimately, these cases can last a long time, and you will still need to cover yourself – disability and health insurance should give you enough to survive until you get your compensation.

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Auto insurance

Do you drive to work for your business? Perhaps you work as a freelance driver for Uber or Metromile, or one of the other new breed of cab companies. According to Forbes.com, while you might have auto insurance, the chances are that you won’t have the correct level of cover – or liability – if you hit someone. Clearly, this could result in incredibly serious financial implications for you, as any compensation claim made against you will need to be covered by your own money. Your ride-sharing company will be highly unlikely to take any responsibility, and it’s something you will need to face alone.

There are, of course, many different types of insurance out there that can cover your freelance business for any eventuality. Make sure that you investigate all your options and never leave anything to chance.  


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