2018 Scholarship Winner

Vanessa Ramsaroop is our 2018 Scholarship winner.

One Word: Passion

We asked Vanessa a couple of questions so our readers could get to know her.

Tell us about yourself?

I’m a 24 year old with a heart of an adventurer.  I love and am open and receptive to new adventures and experiences to learn, innovate and grow.  Currently I’m a Customer Representative at a local brewery and I love my Job!  I get to meet people, hear stories and use them as inspiration and learn new perspectives, understand the psychology of people and just have fun.  Plus since I work in service, it helps my intuition as an aspirational author.

What do you plan to do with the $500 prize?

I plan to go on a trip with my best friend for inspiration and some much needed me time…plus donate $50 to church as God is my life.

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Thanks to all of our entrants and congratulations to Venessa!

5 Things to Know if You Want to Become a Real Estate Agent

How to Become a Real Estate Agent
How to Become a Real Estate Agent

A career in real estate can be challenging yet rewarding. Some real estate agents earn a six-figure income per year; others, only a few thousand. It’s important to note that while this career can be exciting, it is not for everyone. To help you decide whether this field suits you, we will discuss five things you should know if you want to become a real estate agent.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

1. Have a cash reserve.

Real estate agents can’t expect successful deals with prospective buyers all the time. Expect slow periods where clients are few or you will not be able to close any sale at all. For this reason, you should set up a cash reserve to cover 3 to 6 months of living expenses. It is important to be prepared for all kinds of scenarios. This way, you won’t find yourself in a situation where you don’t have anything to spend for your basic needs.

2. Put in time and effort.

Some people think that being a real estate professional is an easy job, but in reality, it’s not. Only a fraction can be called successful. In fact, it is estimated that only 20% of new real estate agents will make it in this field. In addition, only a small proportion will get the “lion’s share” of the business.

Those who are not as lucky go back to their previous jobs. So what do you need to become a successful real estate agent? You need perseverance, hard work, dedication, and of course, a little bit of luck. Treat it as a business and put in extra hours if necessary.

3. Take real estate courses, get a license, and find an employing broker

Aspiring agents should take real estate courses so they can know more about the real estate industry. These courses can come in the form of traditional or online classes. Cost vary from $200 to $900, including the learning materials.

After completing the courses, you need to take the state licensure exam and pass it. Requirements may vary from state to state. Inquire with your state’s Department of Real Estate or local Board of Realtors to know the requirements for obtaining a license.

After you pass the licensure exam, you need to find a broker. Real estate agents usually work as independent contractors under a broker’s supervision. Do your own due diligence and look for a broker who will provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to help you succeed in this field.

4. Undergo continuing education.

To be up to date with the latest development and trends in the industry, real estate agents have to undergo continuing education (professional development). These courses are meant to enhance your knowledge and skills, but more importantly, you need it to keep your license active.

5. Develop a business plan

It is important that you view real estate as a business, not just a job. And one thing successful business people do is to have a business plan.

• Set up goals that are both achievable and measurable.
• Select a segment to specialize in: horizontal (house and lots) or vertical (condominiums). You can also decide to concentrate on a particular geographic area.
• Choose a target market (affordable, middle income, high end) and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
• Set a budget and determine how to achieve it.
• Make plans to promote yourself as a real estate agent. You need to build your network. Join groups, clubs, or organizations in your local community. Who knows, the person you’ll bump into may just be your next client.

Conclusion

The tips mentioned above will help aspiring real estate agents get off to a strong start. If you don’t close your first sale right away, don’t be discouraged. The more interactions you have with leads and clients, the more experienced you’ll become. As they say, experience is the best teacher, and real estate is no exception. If you put in time, effort, and the right approach, chances are, you’ll soon have a place in this industry.

How to Become a Stockbroker

How to Become a Stockbroker
How to Become a Stockbroker

If you know what the featured image in this article symbolizes, chances are, you are familiar with the stock market. It is a dynamic marketplace where people buy and sell stocks in the hope of making money. Trades are especially heavy during a bull market, where optimism prevails and prices of stocks keep going up. A bear market on the other hand, is the exact opposite: the sentiment is pessimistic and prices of stocks keep going down. In this article, we will discuss how to become a stockbroker.

What Is a Stockbroker?

Stockbrokers are licensed professionals who buy and sell stocks for retail (individuals), or institutional (business entities) clients. They have a deep understanding of investments and capital markets. First, stockbrokers communicate with their clients to determine what their financial goals are. Then, they give recommendations what stocks are good to buy that will likely provide a gain in the future. Lastly, they buy or sell stocks on the client’s behalf and handle the transaction.

To help clients make money in the stock market, a stockbroker must be able to analyze the financial reports of companies listed in the stock exchange and provide timely advice. Failure to do so can mean potential losses on the part of the client. Aside from the financial performance of companies, the stock market is affected by such factors as the country’s overall economy, monetary policy, as well as geo-political risks.

The better advice a stockbroker can provide, the more money a client can make. Satisfied clients will mean more trades, and this will subsequently lead to more commissions. Simply put, the more clients and trades, the better. Being a stockbroker can be a fun job, but it can also be stressful, as the job involves other people’s money.

How to Become a Stockbroker

How to Become a Stockbroker

1. Take mandatory exams – There are 2 basic tests you must pass before you can become a stockbroker:

• The Series 7 – The Series 7 or General Securities Registered Representative Examination is given by FINRA or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It usually lasts 6 hours and is probably the most difficult test an aspiring stockbroker will take. If you pass this test, then you will become a “registered representative” or stockbroker. You will have the authority to sell all types of securities and investments, except real estate, commodities futures, and life insurance. At present, the Series 7 test costs $290.

• The Series 63 – This test is about conducting business and the different laws that govern transactions. It is much easier than the Series 7 and only takes about 75 minutes to finish. Currently, the Series 63 test costs $96.

2. Complete the paperwork – After you pass the required exams, you need to complete your registration with FINRA/NFA. You must also register with the Securities Commission of each state that you wish to work in. Here is a rundown of things you must accomplish:

• Pass a background check
• Get a fingerprint card
• Complete paperwork at the state and federal levels

3. Meet quotas – Now that you are a licensed stockbroker, you have to meet the expectations of the firm you are working for. Depending on the company, your employers will probably give you six months to one year to prove to them that you have what it takes to become successful stockbroker, i.e., to get and maintain a large enough number of clients.

4. Take continuing education courses – To keep your license, you need to take continuing education classes and attend seminars. Usually, the brokerage firm you’ll be working for will facilitate this for you.

What Course Should You Take Up in College If You Want to Become a Stockbroker?

Although there’s no specific course that students should take to be a stockbroker, some are more advantageous than others. For example, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration is one of the most popular courses for stockbroker hopefuls. This is because this course covers topics that are relevant to companies in particular, and the stock market in general.

Among the things you will learn are how companies raise capital, why they issue shares of stock, and how they pay dividends to shareholders. You will also learn other aspects involved in running a business. Other college courses you can take if you want to become a stockbroker include Accounting, Finance, or Economics.

How Much Is the Salary of a Stockbroker?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for stockbrokers in the US is $63,780 per year (based on 2017 data). But the actual income of a stockbroker is influenced by many factors such as years of experience, what firm they’re working for, and the commission they get from trades.

Conclusion

If you want to be a famous stockbroker on Wall Street, start reading books, find a good mentor, and follow the latest developments on the stock market. After reading this article and knowing how to become a stockbroker, now is a good time as any to take your interest in stocks to a higher level and make a career out of it.

How to Get Your Dream Job

Maybe you’ve just graduated from college or already working a 9 to 5 job but still feel unfulfilled in your current position. Getting your dream job may seem far-fetched, but with motivation and persistence, it can be done. You just need to focus and take notice of the following tips on how to get your dream job.

1. Find a job that matches your interests.

The first step to finding your dream job is to figure out what you’re really interested in. It is easier to learn knowledge and skills when you are doing something that you like. Prospective employers prefer applicants who are passionate about their chosen field because they are motivated and are more likely to perform well.

Let us say you want to apply for a job because it pays well, but you’re not really into it. You got hired. But how long can you force yourself to do a job you have no interest in? Chances are, you’ll get bored and start hating your job sooner or later. Furthermore, if you don’t like that job, you won’t have the motivation to improve.

What are your interests? When you like what you’re doing, it will be easier for you to be better at that job. And the better you are, the more job offers will come along your way, not mention the higher salary that goes along with it.

2. Make your cover letter personal.

When you’re applying for a job, you are competing with others who probably have more skills and experience than you. The importance of a good cover letter can easily be overlooked, but sending one that is poorly written makes it likely that your application will be ignored.

Sometimes, all it takes is to make your applications personal to have the edge over the competition. But how you can do this? The first thing to do is read the job post thoroughly. Pay attention to the details and follow the instructions carefully. Then, do your research. Learn more about the company. After putting all these things into consideration, write a cover letter that explains why you are a good fit for the job.

3. Submit a complete resume.

You can’t blame a hiring manager ignoring your application if you have barely or incomplete information on your resume. How can you earn an employer’s trust if you don’t give them a clear picture of who you are, your skills, and your qualifications? If you want to get your dream job, give employers the information they need so they can make good hiring decisions.

The photo in your resume should be of good resolution. Make sure you are wearing business attire in the photo if you’re applying for a corporate job. Also, it’s not enough to just list down your work experience. To make your resume stand out, enumerate all your accomplishments while holding previous positions or jobs.

4. Make your social media profiles more professional.

Don’t be surprised if employers would want to check your social media profiles. They do this to confirm your identity and to know more about you. Social media can be used to verify what’s on your resume. It also provides a glimpse of your interests, personality, and character.

Make sure that information posted on your social media profiles is consistent with what you indicated in your job application. Additionally, be more careful with what you’re posting on social media, as it can sway the perception of the employer about you one way or another. You wouldn’t want to get cut simply because you posted something “bad” on social media.

5. Be honest.

One top tip: Don’t lie or overrate yourself. If you get caught, it will damage your reputation. Even if you got hired, you would lose that job once the employer finds out that you’ve been dishonest. This may also affect your chances of landing a job in the future.

If you’re a fresh college graduate and lacks work experience, it’s easy to underrate your skills. To counteract this, list your current skills and indicate in your application that you are willing (and eager) to learn new things.

Conclusion

Job applicants can spend lots of time sending resumes without getting a response from an employer let alone land an interview. Getting your dream job requires careful thought, research, and strategy. Take note of the five tips mentioned above to put your career path on the right track.

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Salary for Workers

Which countries have the highest salaries in the world? You may be asking this question if you’re planning to work abroad to have a better life for yourself and your family. Keep in mind that countries have their own cultures, languages, industries, policies, and working conditions. Depending on your skills, work experience, and personal preference, you can choose among the list if you want to get a high salary. Average annual incomes are expressed in US dollars.

Countries with the Highest Salaries in the World

10. Iceland

Iceland only has a population of 348,580, making it the least populated country in Europe. The United Nations’ Human Development Index ranks Iceland as the 9th most developed country in the world. This country runs almost entirely on renewable energy, specifically geothermal and hydropower.

Average annual income: $46,074
Top industries: tourism, fish processing, geothermal power, hydropower, aluminum smelting, ferrosilicon production

9. Belgium

Belgium has very high standards of living, healthcare, and education. Additionally, it ranks as one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world. Dutch and French are the major languages; a minority speak German. Belgium is famous for its waffle, chocolate, beer, and french fries with mayonnaise (french fries are claimed to have originated here).

Average annual income: $47,702
Top industries: processed food and beverages, engineering and metal products, transportation equipment, motor vehicle assembly, chemicals, scientific instruments, textiles, glass, petroleum, base metals

8. Canada

Canada is highly urbanized, with 82% of the population concentrated in large and medium-sized cities. Internationally, it ranks high when it comes to quality of life, education, economic freedom, government transparency, and civil liberties. Its land border with the United States is the longest in the world, stretching 8,891 kilometers.

Average annual income: $47,843
Top industries: petroleum and natural gas, transportation equipment, chemicals, food products, fish products, wood and paper products, processed and unprocessed minerals

7. Denmark

Denmark is located in Northern Europe. The weather is characterized by mild winters and cool summers. This country has the highest minimum wage in the world, due to the fact that there is no minimum wage legislation and the strong influence of the trade unions.

Average annual income: $50,024
Top industries: steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, food processing, transportation equipment, textiles, electronics, construction, furniture, shipbuilding, windmills, pharmaceuticals

6. Australia

Australia, a.k.a. “the Land Down Under,” is a country known for its kangaroos and koalas. The world’s largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef, lies a short distance off Australia’s northeast coast. English is the de facto national language, characterized by a distinctive accent.

Average annual income: $50,167
Top industries: tourism, financial services, mining, industrial equipment, transportation equipment, chemicals, steel, food processing

5. Netherlands

Netherlands, also known as Holland, ranked as the sixth happiest country in the world in 2017, based on the United Nations World Happiness Report. This country has good public education, infrastructure, and universal healthcare.

Average annual income: $50,670
Top industries: agro-industries, electrical machinery and equipment, metal and engineering products, chemicals, construction, petroleum, microelectronics, fishing

4. Norway

Norway has the fourth highest per capita income in the world according to the IMF and World Bank. This country also occupies the top spot on the World Happiness Report and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

Average annual income: $50,908
Top industries: petroleum and gas, shipping, aquaculture, fishing, food processing, paper products, shipbuilding, chemicals, metals, timber, mining, textiles

3. Switzerland

Switzerland is famous for its watches, chocolates, and of course, the Alps. Aside from precision instruments, other exports include chemicals, machines, and electronics. This country is also home to large multinational corporations such as Nestle, Novartis, Credit Suisse, UBS AG, Glencore, Tetra Pak, and The Swatch Group.

Average annual income: $58,389
Top industries: machinery, watches, pharmaceuticals, textiles, precision instruments, chemicals, tourism, banking, insurance

2. United States

The United States accounts for approximately 25% of the global GDP. It is the third largest and third most populous country in the world. In the international scene, the US is a leading political, cultural, and scientific powerhouse. With its very diverse population, the US is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and values.

Average annual income: $58,714
Top industries: consumer goods, electronics, petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, telecommunications, food processing, aerospace, lumber, mining, chemicals

1. Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a small country situated in western Europe. But don’t let its small size deceive you; this is a country with an advanced economy and has one of the world’s highest GDP per capita. Luxembourg shares land borders with three countries, namely France, Germany, and Belgium. The official languages are Luxembourgish, French, and German. Foreigners account for nearly one-half of the 576,249 population.

Average annual income: $60,369
Top industries: banking and financial services, real estate services, construction, steel, metals, glass, aluminum, information technology, telecommunications, engineering, cargo transportation, chemicals, biotechnology, tourism

Work from Home Jobs – How to Become a Virtual Assistant

Technology has been changing the world in the past decades. Even in employment, working from home has been the trend in the last few years. For example, virtual assistant companies like Virtual Helper 247 offer a wide variety of services at reasonable rates. The biggest advantage of work from home jobs is the fact that people no longer need to drive to work or even dress up. They can work even in their pajamas at any time of the day.

In-demand Work from Home Jobs

Among the jobs that are available online is a virtual assistant. When we say virtual assistant, it can be anything – graphic designer, writer, web developer, secretary, etc. Depending on the job, the pay can be rewarding. But one thing is for sure; you can do more things at home since you have the liberty to do so than doing an 8 to 5 day job.

The following are the most popular work from home jobs:

• Customer service representative
• Writer
• Web developer
• Graphic designer
• Secretary
• Data encoder
• Transcriptionist
• Video editor
• SEO professional
• Online English teacher

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

While many think that working as an online assistant is an easy feat; well, it isn’t. You must meet all the requirements of the prospective employer. For instance, you need to have a stable and strong internet at home, able to follow instructions, and most importantly, have the necessary knowledge and skills. If you are contemplating of working from home, here are some tips on how to become a virtual assistant.

• Be skilled – It is true that skills can be learned, but you need to have it first before applying for work from home jobs. You can at least have one to start and the rest, you can learn them as you go along being a virtual assistant. Make sure that you do not lie that you are skilled with this and that because employers are also choosy in picking applicants. They would give tests or trial periods; so if you do not fit, you will end up getting fired anyway.

• Be flexible – You need to be flexible to succeed in this type of career. Since the clients you will be working for need you to do things for them, you must be open to learning new things. For example, you have no knowledge in Photoshop, yet you are asked to do it. You might as well study and learn it. Working hours are also flexible. Some clients may require you to work extra hours or be online most of the time to ensure that you do not miss important emails and messages.

• Be patient – there is no easy to say it, but becoming a virtual assistant is not for everyone. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you cannot learn any skill; hence, you need to be patient. If you get a virtual assistance job, do not expect to have a very high salary. Learn to be patient by starting from the bottom and work your way up. If you are patient and very good with your job, you will surely have a higher salary soon.

Conclusion

Working from home is the preferred option for many parents, so they could be with their kids and attend to their needs. Many skilled professionals and freelancers also opt to become virtual assistants, to have control over their time and earn a decent living at the same time. If you want to work from home and become a virtual assistant, you have to be dedicated and focused in order for you to succeed. So what are you waiting for? Upgrade your knowledge and skills, and start looking for an online job now.

Careers in Information Technology

Information Technology or simply known as IT has become the latest trend especially when it comes to employment. Schools have been offering different IT-related courses, which have been clamored especially by the millennials. Information technology is so broad that it has highly specialized fields. That’s why careers in information technology require a high level of training.

What Makes an IT Career Great?

The best thing about careers in IT is the pay. Given that the technology is evolving and advancing each day, jobs in the IT industry is getting vast; hence, there are more options and opportunities for job seekers to get into. If you want a career in IT, take note of the following jobs:

1. IT Consultant

When you say consultant, it may be perceived as unclear or just too broad. Perhaps, it is. However, a consultant is someone that knows how to evaluate the systems that nobody else can. He is also someone that can help figure out solutions for system problems that may arise. According to CNN, this career is ranked number 13 in the world and pays about $96,440 per year. It really pays a lot, and start-up companies are eager to get these consultants to help them out.

2. Computer Forensic Investigator

This must be exciting just like CSI without having to encounter blood and corpse. The computer forensic investigators are also known as computer crime investigators. The evidence they find is often used in court trials. On average, this job pays $69,000 a year.

3. Cloud Architect

The cloud architect is someone who takes care of the cloud computing of a company, which means he should have a thorough knowledge of the components and subcomponents for cloud computing. He also manages and organizes all the cloud activities. According to reports, the annual income for a cloud architect is $112,000.

4. Mobile Application Developer

Smartphones/tablets have taken the world by storm. It has similar functions as that of personal computers and has replaced traditional point and click cameras. Given all these functions, the development of mobile applications has been so high and fast. This is why mobile application developers are so in-demand today. According to reports, a mobile application developer earns about $90,000 per year.

5. Web Developer

In today’s digital age, having an online presence is a must for most businesses. Due to increasing demand, web developers are hired to put up web pages, web content and web applications. It is also very important for the web developer to have a great understanding of how an operating system works. Web developers earn about $90,000 per year.

Conclusion

If you want information technology jobs, you might as well get a course that is related to this field. But if you want to have a career shift, you can take courses as well to be highly proficient in information technology. This way, you have something to offer to your future employers. If you are focused, organized, and possess good problem solving and analytical skills, then a career in information technology may be just the right one for you.

Five Ways to Master the Pre-Employment Personality Test

The hiring process has become more and more competitive with each passing year. There are an increasing number of steps involved in getting your dream job. Gone are the days of a simple job interview. Today, a popular practice among employers is using personality tests as a screening tool. Personality tests help companies to find the most suitable candidate for an open position. Employers want to see how well you work with others and if you fit in with the company’s corporate culture.

Here is an inside tip: employers assume you don’t know anything about personality tests. They believe that you will come into the exam unaware and answer the questions instinctively. The problem is, answering randomly without proper preparation can paint a disorganized personality profile. I am here to outline some helpful hints for mastering the pre-employment personality assessment.

Keep It Strictly Business

Keep in mind that all the personality questions you will be asked are focused on your typical behavior in the workplace. This means you must ensure you are answering every question professionally. Do not factor in your personal opinion.

Strike a Balance

Personality tests are usually untimed. So, what does this mean for you? Make sure you work at a steady pace, but don’t spend too much time on any one question. Overthinking a question can ruin your test-taking groove. Personality tests are usually lengthy, so you want to make sure you don’t tire yourself out.

Prepare in Advance

Gather as much information as you can about the interview process before going down in person. Ask which personality test you might face. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the directions and the types of questions you will encounter on exam day. Review and take practice tests at home. The bottom line is that stress can greatly affect the results of your personality assessment. Thus, you want to be as a cool as a cucumber on test day. Advance preparation can ensure this. Check out this free practice test to get a picture of what to expect.

Try Not to Overanalyze

I know what you’re thinking—easier said than done. It is best when taking a personality test not to read too much into the questions. Avoid getting stuck on trying to figure out what the test is asking. If you prepare in advance, you will easily be able to parse out the different types of questions. This will ensure that on test day you don’t get stuck looking too deeply into any one question.

Be a Strong Decision Maker 

When you answer the personality test questions, try not to respond with the “I don’t know” option more than five times. It makes you seem indecisive. You may be tempted to answer questions in various ways, to show you are a well-rounded person. Fight that temptation! Make sure you are consistent in your responses. Research shows that employers across various professions are looking for confident candidates.

This article was contributed by Jennifer Feldman. She is a speech and language expert and blogger at JobTestPrep. She specializes in writing about the employment hiring process.  JobTestPrep is a market leader in preparation for job assessment exams. It has helped more than 500,000 people achieve their academic and career goals.

How To Launch Your Ecommerce Career For 2018

source: pexels

2018 is as good a time as any to break into the world of ecommerce. More and more people are doing it these days, and if you have the dedication and marketing knowhow to stay ahead of your competitors, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t succeed as an ecommerce entrepreneur.

That’s not to say there’s no risk to starting an ecommerce career. No business venture is a guaranteed success. Nevertheless, you can go a long way toward protecting your investments by planning ahead, doing your research, and choosing an ecommerce niche that you will enjoy working within.

To help you get off on the right foot, here are some quick tips on planning out your ecommerce venture, and finding success in this growing industry in 2018.

Set Your Budget

Before even looking at what you plan to do with your ecommerce business, you should set your budget. Do this using only verified sources, as you don’t want to fall short because you were relying on funds that were never delivered. Remember to plan both for scalability and for emergencies. Any business can be caught short by unexpected events, so it is vital to have backup funds to cover this eventuality.

Once you know how much you can afford to spend on your website, it’s time to select your niche, and go searching for the perfect acquisition.

Choose Your Niche

Finding a niche is extremely important as it enables you to target your marketing far more effectively, and even influences your ability to rank successfully in search engines. Your niche needs to be something that you have an interest in, and for which there is demand – but little supply.

This means you can cater to the needs of that specific demographic, while not having to worry about direct competition. Alternatively, if there is competition for your niche, you can explore what they are doing well, and learn from them to boost the success of your own marketing campaign.

Finding the right niche can take time, and it is worth using tools such as Google Keyword Finder to help you figure out which keywords you can viably rank for. From there, you will be able to build your website according to the keywords and niche you have chosen. While this does narrow your audience to some degree, it also means that your message is more relevant to those remaining, making them far more likely to visit your site, and even make a purchase.

Source Your Products

Depending on whether you are creating your own products, dropshipping for another company, or simply sourcing items wholesale, you will need to figure out where your stock is coming from.

Services like Oberlo Supply are great for sourcing stock, particularly if you plan to act as a dropshipper. However, you might decide to work with local craftspeople, or even sell non-physical goods, such as ebooks or consultation services.

Whatever you settle on, make sure it is relevant to your niche, that you can source it regularly and reliably, and that there is some degree of demand for it. It is also important to think about where you will store your stock, and how much it will cost to process orders and make deliveries.

Be aware that some types of stock can become outdated or redundant, so this is another factor to keep in mind when purchasing stock in large quantities. You don’t want to lose money on your investment just because a new version was released or the trend has passed.

Spread the Word Before Launch

It’s all very well marketing your website, but it can take time to gain visibility and build your audience. One way to counteract this problem is to begin building interest long before your launch. This means day one will be a bigger, much more profitable event, and will provide you with a great opportunity to really impress your early customers from the word go.

Talk about your business often, especially to friends and family who can help make the early days a success by showing an interest, sharing content, and posting comments. Publicize your launch on social media and in your local area, and consider hosting a launch event.

Plan out some launch day offers and be sure to spread the word, so interested individuals have a reason to visit your site and find out what it’s all about.

The more you can boost visibility before launch, the better position you will be in thereafter. It may seem like a lot of extra work to begin with, but it can save you significant time and effort in the future.

Purchase An Existing Website

One more thing to consider is that you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch to launch your ecommerce career. Instead, you could buy an established ecommerce website and build upon it to make it your own.

Some good places to start are Flippa, which is a more general website marketplace, and Exchange, which lists premade Shopify stores available for purchase. There are a few other similar sites you can explore, or you can even make a private purchase.

Of course, buying a website is not a decision to be taken lightly, and it is vital to carry out extensive research before deciding whether to buy a store. You will need to check out the history of the site, look at its traffic and audience, and verify whether it has a stable revenue stream.

However, if you can find a viable website within the right niche, this is a great way to break into the ecommerce market without having to expend time and effort on designing a site, and building its initial audience.

Related reading: 7 Tips on How to Achieve a Work Life Balance.

 

 

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and how writers can hone their craft. She is passionate about using her experience to help other writers improve their skills.

5 Ways To Get Through A Stressful Workday

A stressful workday can be crippling. We’ve all been there before: something just isn’t going right, or perhaps you’re just not in the mood, and from there everything seems to snowball. Small challenges can seem big, basic productivity can become a challenge, and you can become exhausted or irritable. It’s perfectly natural that this should happen occasionally, but it’s also a good idea to have some tools in your back pocket as to how you can go about dealing with it. SO without further ado, here are five tips for how to making things better during a stressful day at work.

1. Stop & Write A List

Writing a list might sound a little bit stressful in and of itself when we’re talking about the idea of feeling overwhelmed. But it can actually be helpful. An article on “mastering the art” of the to-do list described it about like we would: as an age-old productivity tool, valuable even if they often wind up not being completed. When you’re feeling stressed out or too busy at work, consider literally sliding your chair back, turning aside, and writing out a list, either on paper or your phone, of what your top priorities are to get through the day. It serves two functions: first, you get to disengage for a few moments from the actual work and catch your breath, and second you can give yourself a minimalist, sensible plan of attack for the remaining hours of the day.

2. Take It Home

This might not be an option, depending on your job. That said, more and more occupations and industries allow people to work from home, at least some of the time. Even if you don’t make an ordinary habit out of it, this can be a great way to change up a rough day at work. Note: this isn’t a suggestion to merely take the day off (which can lead to more frustration later on). Rather, it’s just a chance to get away from the office, decompress, and resume work at home in a more comfortable environment.

3. Try Breathing Techniques

This is a common idea, and it’s one that may have been best explained in a piece written just last month about how gamers can stay focused. That piece quoted a poker psychologist commenting on frustration and anger, noting that anger can prevent us from making logical decisions. The solutions that followed involved various breathing techniques (such as deep breathing, Sama Vritti, and the increasingly popular “alternate nostril breathing”). These techniques really can help us to ease away from the anger and frustration that come with high-stress situations, such that we can avoid those issues with logical decision-making.

4. Treat Yourself

There was an article by Bustle that listed tips for surviving “a super long work day,” and we couldn’t help but notice two of them basically involved getting away from the desk and having a treat. One was to bring snacks, and the other was to schedule in coffee breaks. Together, these speak to the idea of getting away from your desk when you start to feel stressed, and possibly getting out of the office altogether. Head to a common area or walk to a café down the street, have yourself a coffee and/or small snack, and make your way back. It’s a reasonable break, and it can totally recharge you.

5. Let It Out

You don’t want to complain too much – and probably not at all to your boss or any other superiors – but there’s no harm in letting it be known that you’re having a rough day. Maybe you can vent to a co-worker over lunch, or if you’re allowed to have a chat up on your computer or use your phone to text, you can even talk to a friend and let out some frustration. It can be cathartic, and in fact can even make the situation feel a little more amusing and a little less permanent. You could be back in a productive mode in no time.