Staring Down Small Business Reality

By Rhonda Campbell

realities of running a small businessSmall business reality may not always be a pretty picture. Talk with a small business owner, especially if they’ve only been operating their small business for a few weeks or months, and you might think running a company is the easiest way to get rich. You also might think by owning a business you can work fewer hours, perhaps put less effort into your work than you’ve done while working any other job.


If you don’t do your research into small business reality, you could start a small business with your eyes wide shut. Should this happen, when you experience your first small business sales slump you might spend needless dollars to rev up customer sales or you might contemplate throwing in the towel.

The facts are that most, if not all, businesses experience sales slumps. It’s a reason entrepreneurs learn about and manage their cash flows. It’s also a reason smart entrepreneurs who own a small business refuse to practice self-delusion, a leading cause for getting harpooned by small business reality.

Instead of burying their heads in the sand and telling themselves sales will magically pick up, smart entrepreneurs face small business reality head on and take steps to turn the tide. For example, they might survey customers to discover what they like most and least about their business or they might survey employees to see if their company has developed silos or is experiencing employee engagement or management issues.

To discover why sales have slumped entrepreneurs might also implement market and industry research to learn about growth trends and new products and services they can develop, patent and put on the market to stimulate sales. What they won’t do is act as if what’s taking place right in front of their eyes isn’t happening.

What they won’t do is let their business die a slow death because they deceived themselves into believing magic was going to sprinkle stardust on their business, magically sending people rushing to purchase their small business products without their having to make any inner and/or outer changes.

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Finding Teens Summer Jobs

By Rhonda Campbell

finding teens summer jobs that they will loveFinding teens summer jobs may best be left in the hands of teens themselves. After all,, teens are responsible. Proof is in the numbers. A whopping 97% of young adults between their teens and early twenties has worked a job, according to Child Trends. Due to child labor laws, many of these employment opportunities come in the form of summer jobs.

Fortunately, finding teens summer jobs has improved over the last several years. The challenge comes when teens apply to the same few summer jobs. Restaurants accounted for 32.5% of teens summer jobs, while retailers accounted for another 22.5% of the jobs, according to Pew Research.

Finding Teens Summer Jobs that Reward Beyond a Paycheck

Finding teens summer jobs takes innovation, especially if teens want to work jobs that stretch their abilities, give them a real feel for the adult working work, align with their passions and put them in contact with employers they may want to work for after they graduate from high school or college. Teens should consider the type of career they want to work. By working summer jobs that allow them to use their passions and talents, they could reap rewards that extend beyond a paycheck.


In addition to local restaurants, hotels, youth centers, beaches and retail stores, other places to find rewarding summer jobs for teens include museums, law offices and grocery stores. Teens who are in college can land summer jobs with major corporations, including Fortune 100 firms, by applying for internships. Many corporations start recruiting for these spots as early as December and January.

Great Contacts for Finding Teens Summer Jobs

Parents can search their firm’s human resources internship criteria. If their child fits the criteria, they can reach out to a college recruiter and find out what they need to do to submit their teen’s application for an internship. College career counselors are another great resource that students can contact to find out about internships that their school is participating in during summer months.

More places to search while in the process of finding teens summer jobs are:

• Golf courses or country clubs
• Summer camps (may be a good fit for teens who are interested in entering training, leadership or coaching careers)
• Landscaping companies
• City government agencies (Local TV stations may have details on some of these jobs)
• Libraries
• Amusement parks
• Airports
• Zoos
• Charities
• Designers
• Magazines and newspapers (could be great to teens who want to enter writing, journalism and editing careers)
• Radio stations (any future DJs or talk radio hosts out there?)
• Florist shops
• Photography studies
• Flea markets
• Event planning companies
• Book publishers
• Tutoring companies
• Dance studios
• Content marketing companies
• Web designers
• Animal training organizations
• Horse stables
• Churches and other worship centers
• Construction companies
• National parks
• Movie theaters
• Insurance companies
• Recording studios
• Pet farms
• Staffing agencies
• Fishing organizations
• Local tourist organizations

Places that list summer jobs for teens include:

• Hire Teen (www.hireteen.com)
• Camp Resource (www.campresource.com)
• Summer Jobs (www.summerjobs.com)
• Snag a Job (www.snagajob.com)
• Groove Job (www.groovejob.com)
• Teens for Hire (http://www.teens4hire.org)
• Summer Camp Jobs (http://mysummers.com)
• Job Monkey (http://www.jobmonkey.com)
• Local online newspapers job listings sections
• Employment agencies


Finding teens summer jobs is only the start. At the end of summer jobs, teens can ask their employers for their contact information and if they would be agreeable to serving as a reference when teens apply for other summer jobs or full-time jobs in the future. By volunteering for projects, they could also increase the chances that they will stand out in employers’ memories, a great plus should teens want to return and work for certain employers after they finish school.

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Daylight Savings Time Facts

By Rhonda Campbell

daylight savings time pictureDaylight savings time (DSL) started in 1908. It was first used in Canada. In the United States, DSL starts at 2am on a Sunday.

Never mind that daylight savings time was started to save energy. Adjusting to the one hour time shift is not as easy as it seems. And rolling out of bed late, forcing yourself to have to skip breakfast to make it to work on time, is just one of the drawbacks that people experience due to daylight savings time.

Daylight Savings Time As An Idea

benjamin franklin starts daylight savings time
Scientists like Benjamin Franklin and George Hudson were proponents of pushing clocks forward an hour when temperatures rise, then back an hour when temperatures cool. Benjamin Franklin is credited with coming up with the idea in 1784. However, studies have shown that springing clocks forward in March then back in November, doesn’t save much energy. Scientific Journal reports that, “But recent studies have cast doubt on the energy argument—some research has even found that it ultimately leads to greater power use.”

The thing is that while daylight savings time may reduce the numbers of hours that people use human-made lighting to light their residences, higher temperatures increase demand on cooling systems. People living in areas like “Hotlanta” get it.

Countries That Recognize Daylight Savings Time

More than 70 countries observe daylight savings time. Check out this chart to see when different countries observe thdaylight savings time around the worlde “energy saving” event.

European countries started using daylights savings time during World War I. America started using daylight savings time in 1918. It wasn’t without difficulties. A year later, the United States abandoned the use of DSL.

Daylight Savings Time As Law

The second world war brought the United States back into the game. Yet, DSL hadn’t come under federal law yet. That didn’t happen until 1966 with the passing of the Uniform Time Act, according to Snopes. DSL was extended August 8, 2005 when President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act into law.

Time Change Cons 

driving in the dark
Drawbacks to daylight savings time include people heading out to work and children heading to school in the dark. According to The Week, 100 people would not perish in auto accidents due to darker commutes.

 

Tired Of Daylight Savings Time

tired of daylight savings time
Darkness also invites people with criminal mindsets to engage in illegal behavior. Less sleep has had a negative impact on memory, mood, insomnia, injuries and brain disorders like depression. As reported in The New York Times, depression symptoms generally rise during the fall, when countries set their clocks back an hour.

But, there are upsides too. In the spring, you can actually hang out (out-out, as in outdoors) after you get home from work. You can enjoy exercising outdoors more. And weekends can feel longer, a lot more fun.

Posted in Staying Motivated and Inspired | Tagged | 1 Comment

Sanford and Son, a True TV Classic

By Avery Baxter

sanford and son tv pictureSanford and Son is a true television classic. Few TV sitcoms focus on the relationship between a father and a son, let alone spotlight such a relationship. Made to be a comedy, Sanford and Son pulls off another rare feat for television. Sanford and Son developed well rounded characters. Who doesn’t feel as if Fred and Lamont, Esther, Bubba, Rollo, Julio and Donna could be real people, maybe someone in the neighborhood?

Sanford and Son Famous One Liners

Thankfully, TV One keeps introducing Sanford and Son to new television watchers while treating baby boomers to one of America’s top sitcoms. Remember the one liners like “you better shut your double breasted lips,” “fish eyed fool” and “oh-oh, this is the big one”?


As quick as Fred was, Esther was just as quick, at times quicker. Her one liners were hilarious, digging at Fred. And who knew that so many interesting experiences could take place at a junk yard?

Sanford and Son Esther TV characterOne of my favorite Sanford and Son episodes was when Lamont bought two coffins in the house. Fred absolutely refused to sleep in the house as long as the coffins were in the house. Macho bravado would not allow Lamont to give in. Then, night came. Cats meowed, dark settled down throughout the house and Lamont’s courage started to shrink. It was Lamont’s attempts to feign courage that made this one of the show’s funniest episodes.

The day that Lamont brought an old rifle home is another Sanford and Son favorite. Lamont paid fifty bucks for the rifle, a deal that Fred thought was a rip off. But, when didn’t Fred think that Lamont had made a bad deal?

Sanford and Son’s Fred is a Rare Character

As usual, Fred exaggerated wartime exploits. Only this time, Fred didn’t boost his military experiences. Instead, he raved about his cousin. Walking from one spot to another in the house, Fred showed how his cousin had made his way through a war zone, taking aim at would be attackers.

Too bad, Fred had recently argued with Lamont and his neighbor, Goldstein.

The rifle went off and a bullet flew through the front door and blasted through Goldstein’s window. No one could tell Fred and Lamont that Fred hadn’t shot and killed Goldstein. The two worked up a scheme to find out what happened to Goldstein. Their desperation pushed them to make a move that turned out to cost them $1,000.

sanford and son junk yardSanford and Son ran for five years. The first three seasons were the best, if you ask me. Redd Foxx brought Fred to life in a way that maybe only he could have. Who knew that a 1970s TV classic would still be entertaining viewers more than 40 years after the TV sitcom first aired?

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5 Easy Ways to Market

Bymarket online and market offline Rhonda Campbell

If you’re like me, you thought that there was something to the fact that millions of people were on the internet. Pros operating software, companies or social networks hailed how easy it was to market to the world. It didn’t matter if you used giveaways, affiliate websites, newsletters or press releases to market your products or services with.

Numbers were on your side.

Remember those millions of people on the internet?

What I’ve Learned After 15 Years

More than 15 years in, I know that numbers are not necessarily that big of a deal. Besides, if numbers is the most important factor when it comes to the effectiveness of a marketing technique, then it would make better sense to market to the 7 billion folks offline.


To successfully market, you have to go where the people who want your products or services are. Finding these folks is more important than finding out how many people are on the internet, in your town or in a club or association that you are affiliated with.

Demographic reports are a good start. Magazines, newspapers and websites that accept advertisements, often know the demographics of the people who read their periodicals or visit their websites. Ask for this demographic data before you pay for ads. If websites, magazines or newspapers don’t pull in your target audience, move on. Other doors are waiting for you to knock on them.

Easy Ways to Market to the Right Buyers

Although that’s not one of the five ways to market, it’s a must first step. You must know your target audience. You must know how and where to find your target audience. If you’re the type of person who buys the types of products or services that you make, think about the places where you hang out and the places that the people you are close to frequent.

See if you can hang flyers or stack giveaways or postcards at these places. Get approval before you start to market at other businesses. If your target audience visits or attends colleges, universities, restaurants or libraries, ask if you can speak at these locations or offer freebies or giveaways.

Consider working with ethical companies that develop software that pushes graphic sales pieces, including book covers and CD covers, out to hundreds or thousands of people in a matter of minutes. If you use content marketing platforms like Outbrain, Percolate or Contently, review reports and analytics, ensuring that traffic to your websites mainly comes from your target audience.

More Ways to Market

Add your websites to relevant directories, online and offline. To get in print directories, you may have to pay a small fee. An advantage that print directories have over online directories is that, unless recipients toss the directories in the garbage or shoves them in a drawer, the directories stay in eyesight. Get on the front or back flap of a directory, and your business could get repeated attention.

Organizers of festivals, vendor market days and cultural events create directories that you could add your products, services and website URLs into. You can get into some directories for $10 to $25.

There are also free online directories that you can add your business to. Make sure that you include your website URL.

Reach out to colleges, local organizations and associations. Ask if you can speak about important topics that tie into your products or services, topics that can benefit people who attend the colleges, organizations or association events.

Start interviewing on radio stations, both online and offline. Gebbie Press lists radio stations and the types of information that the stations focus on. Your local radio stations are great places to start as well. Don’t assume that local radio stations won’t want to interview you. Stations want and thrive on great, engaging guests.

Another way  to market include writing and distributing press releases. Data to add to your press releases include pictures of your products, your website URL and keywords that your target audience uses to search for products and services like yours.


Stay consistent. You may not always realize the results that you want. But, if you stop, you’re almost guaranteed to generate zero results and if you’re serious about reaching your target market, zero results is not an option.

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Accepting Change

 

By Rhonda Campbell

accepting change saying

 

 

Change is a component of this world. We start dealing with change beginning in infancy. Yet, accepting change is not always easy.

Our resistance to change manifest in different forms, including body illnesses, depression, inflammation, heightened stress levels and, perhaps most of all, fear. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that factors that influence stress include coping skills, genetics, personality and support.

Accepting Change Means Relinquishing Control

A root cause of stress is often change. That change could come, for example, as the departure of a loved one, a new job, a relocation, a child leaving home or a marriage or breakup. Fortunately, change can lead to greater learning, awakening, increased awareness and dream fulfillment.

Gaining from change may require that we lower or remove our expectations and relinquish control. If there truly is a Source behind everything, that created everything, then each thought and/or action impacts every other thought and/or action. We’re all connected. if that’s a fact, that alone could be cause for the constant change that occurs in this world.


Relinquishing control is one of the toughest actions to complete. When we’re comfortable, we often feel in control. Let enough change enter our experiences and we may not only feel that we are no longer in control, we may feel abandoned, forsaken, separated from others and alone. We may feel like it’s us against the world. Expectations are another factor that come into play when accepting change.

Our expectations are generally personal, revolve around what we think will benefit us the most. Few of our expectations may focus on others as much as they focus on us. The Tiny Buddha shares that less expectations can keep us open to “come what may”. This single decision could eliminate or reduce frustration, anger and sadness.

Be Honest About Change

Admitting that change is occurring is another way to gain and truly learn from change experiences. If we find ourselves seeking distraction (i.e. burying ourselves in reading books, working what seems all-the-time, partying incessantly, sleeping incessantly), we may not be willing to admit that we are in the midst of change.

We may not be willing to admit that we are not in control of everything. However, we do have the power of choice. We can choose to speak and think positive thoughts or affirmations and we can connect with people who encourage us (even if these connections are kept via the telephone if friends and family do not live nearby).
Should we fear that we are incapable of accepting change or of managing our way through change, there are steps that we can take to strengthen our confidence. Among these steps are creating a list that lays out specific changes we have processed through already, particularly changes that we didn’t think we would make it through.

We can also talk with others about changes that they have come through. It can help to listen to others share their concerns about change. This alone can cause us to feel “normal” and like if other people are not only accepting change but also managing through change effectively, so can we.

Keep Moving

accepting change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep moving. Realize that change is a part of this world. We may experience periods of constancy in this world, but, those times don’t last. Accepting change could reduce stressors.

Practice awareness and catch yourself if you see that you’re slipping into old patterns. The slip could be resistance to a current change. The resistance to change could be an attempt to keep things from changing.

Accepting change means that you practice awareness and catch yourself should you start retreating in even one area of your life. Pursuing passions and dreams can motivate you. So too can eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising. Getting outdoors for at least one hour a day could do wonders for your system.


Love yourself. Be patient with yourself. Ask for help if you feel you’d benefit from it, and, again, keep moving. Regularly connect with others. For example, you may join an in-person discussion group, join a hobby group or attend movies with friends one to two or more times a month.

Posted in Staying Motivated and Inspired | Tagged | 1 Comment

Paycheck jobs aren’t enough

By Belinda Johnson

jobs you love that pay good

Found at Black Naps

Paycheck jobs are great for paying bills. But, there’s a catch. Because these jobs leave you feeling flat, you may buy-buy-buy to give yourself emotional rewards. Pile on debt and don’t be surprised if you start working longer hours at a job that you hate just so you’ll have more money to buy more clothes, shoes, technology gadgets, furniture and more.

It takes more than money

Why? To be truly rewarding, work has to pay off in more areas than the bank. Good jobs strengthen your personal and career confidence. You can see how good jobs connect to higher levels within an organization. For example, if you work as a human resources recruiting coordinator and you love helping people connect with profitable, growing jobs, you could step into human resources specialist jobs then get promoted into human resources recruiter jobs.


Stick with it, and you could head up an entire human resources department one day. But, that’s only if you love helping others to excel on the job. If that’s not your passion, a big salary won’t be enough to graduate the gig away from being a paycheck job.

Finding the right jobs

It really is up to you to discover with jobs are best for you. Think about your hobbies, your passions. Consider your dreams, the activities that you think about engaging in during your free time.  For example, if you love building home designs, jobs in the furniture industry might be a good fit. Keep advancing. You could end up owning a chain of furniture stores.

On the other hand, paycheck jobs don’t excite you. Not only would you quit these jobs if you could had the money to do so, you may not find any jobs that are related to paycheck jobs that you work appealing. Feeling flat and lacking the desire to advance at work aren’t the only drawbacks to working paycheck jobs.

Downsides of working paycheck jobs

Additional drawbacks to working paycheck jobs include fatigue (it’s hard to feel energized when you’re spending eight or more hours a day doing what you hate), sleeplessness and headaches. Paycheck jobs could also find you:

  • Easily irritated
  • Dreaming about the future instead of enjoying living in the NOW
  • Complaining about nearly everything at work
  • Lowering the vibes and the morale of your colleagues
  • Believing that your life is never going to get better
  • Living paycheck to paycheck (as you buy products to try to fill up the empty feeling that seems to be controlling you)
  • Aligning the lack of zest that you feel for paycheck jobs with how you feel about your friends, relatives, neighbors and other people around you

Keep going


The answer may not be to walk out on jobs that use your gifts and stir your passions. You could start looking for jobs that inspire you, that bring out the best in you. Keep searching until you find the right jobs for you. You may even decide to launch a new business in your passion field.

Stay open to change. You’re going to need to accept change to continue to advance in your chosen career.

Posted in Employment and Finding Jobs | Tagged | 1 Comment