Mobile Apps for Charity Big impact with little change Thu, 13 Jun 2019 13:49:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mobile Apps for Charity 32 32 Social Impact Statistics: Consumer’s Influence On Business Success Thu, 13 Jun 2019 13:49:44 +0000 Social Impact

Information is in the palm of the hands of every company’s consumer. It can be easily accessed and shared with repetition, making major waves in the community. Social media has paved the way for user-generated content to reign over advertisement campaigns and marketing strategies. This means consumers are building company reputations through their opinions posted on social media. Consumers care about social impact; as a business owner, you should too.

64% of consumers choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues. Edelman’s 2018 Earned Brand Study

According to Edelman’s 2018 Earned Brand Study, consumers make strong decisions about whether they do business with a company, or not, based on its stand on societal issues. Whether your product is top quality, or you have the best price, unless you stand with your community, they’re not going to stand with you. Social Impact is a strong ingredient in your community. People want to feel a connection that’s deeper than transactional. They want you, the business owner, to be like them, the consumer.

28% of U.S. adults have stopped using a brand because of something negative they learned about in the news. Critical Mix’s 2018 Spotlight on CSR

Consumers want to make a difference. Learning about issues in their communities from local news stories will inspire them to take action. If your brand is associated with a cause they don’t support, there’s a 28% chance you will lose them as a customer. It’s essential for a business owner to conduct thorough market research, determining personal preferences of their customer, understanding which social issues are important to them, and taking action to be of support.

Nearly two-thirds of millennials and Gen Z express a preference for brands that have a point of view and make a social impact. Kantar’s 2018 ‘Purpose 2020’ Report

As of 2020, Generation Z will officially be the largest consumer. Combining forces with millennials, these two demographics have major influence over the success of businesses and corporations. They’ve mastered the art of social media, spreading their opinion far and fast. They have a voice and demand that it be heard. In Kantar’s 2018 ‘Purpose 2020’ Report, two-thirds of millennials and Gen Z want to get behind a brand that’s making that difference.

Your company’s reputation in regard to social issues plays a much bigger role than in past times. As a business owner, your choice to take a stand or stay silent is going to affect the success of your company. It’s imperative that you understand the views of the market you wish to target. It’s crucial you know where their interests lie, beyond the product or service you provide. Consider your Social Impact! Share your beliefs and values with your customer by supporting social causes in your community.

3 Innovative Social Media Fundraising Ideas to Boost Your Nonprofit Wed, 08 May 2019 15:46:04 +0000 social media fundraising

Although old-fashioned bake sales and charity cake walks still possess their charms, there’s a whole new frontier in fundraising, and it comes largely in the form of the World Wide Web. These days, you would be hard-pressed to find any person born after 1999 who could even fathom what life would be like without a smartphone in their hand and a constant connection to the internet. The overwhelming success of the infamous Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS is the proof in the pudding of the internet’s positive impact on fundraising. Wondering how to take your nonprofit fundraiser to the next level? These three social media tools could help you not only reach your money-maximizing goals but far surpass them!

Add A Donation Button

If you’re planning on using social media platforms to boost your nonprofit funds, stick to the three major moguls who rule over all the rest: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Facebook and Instagram have recently allowed for a donation button to be added to a nonprofit page or within an Instagram post. The button is designed to link users directly to your charity’s donation platform. Approaching fundraising via Twitter is a little more circuitous, but no less effective if you have the right connections. Just check out the astonishing amount of money one campaign raised in 2009 via Twestival (Twitter+Festival) for charity: water

Post An #Unselfie

While you’re in the process of directing donors to your social media pages, maximize your approach by encouraging them to share an #unselfie featuring your charity’s unique hashtag. The #unselfie movement takes the camera’s focus off of the user and highlights your nonprofit’s key motives on a sheet of paper strategically placed over their usual peace sign and duck lips selfie.

Keep the Fun in Fundraising: Don’t Forget To Smile!

One major tool that surprisingly few people are aware of is Amazon Smile. According to TechCrunch, Amazon sales currently comprise 49.1 percent of all online retail sales. With Amazon Smile, the retail giant will automatically donate 0.5% of the price of each purchase to your cause, simply by directing donors to shop via It’s the same shopping experience users are already accustomed to, with the added bonus of helping a deserving cause!

For more helpful tips and advice on how to improve your nonprofit fundraising, contact us today!

Identity Theft: Why You Should Consider Restoration Services Sun, 07 Apr 2019 00:00:42 +0000 identity theft

The idea of identity theft provokes nothing less than abject fear for many people, which is pretty understandable. Being the victim of identity theft can be a life-ruining event. It can take years to truly recover from the damage wrought, not to mention a whole lot of time and money. Indeed, some people never fully recover.

A Growing Problem

The unfortunate truth is that millions are impacted by identity theft every year, and it only seems to be getting worse. Identity theft has increased as much as 6,000% in just 5 years! There are many reasons for this, but they mostly boil down to the fact that it is becoming easier and more profitable than ever to hijack someone’s identity.  

This is why restoration services can be so critical. Many people already use security plans that are supposed to protect them from having their identity stolen. These are the plans that tend to monitor credit reports for fraudulent activity.

The Difference Identity Theft Restoration Makes

The problem is that these plans can only do so much in the case of actual identity theft. This is why it can be beneficial—and in fact imperative—to secure an identity theft restoration plan that also protects you in the case that your information has already been stolen.

Identity restoration services offer many things that aren’t offered by identity security plans. Identity security plans offer:

  • Monitoring of your social security number for fraud
  • Alerts to threats regarding your identity
  • Alerts for credit card inquiries and data breaches
  • Emergency assistance

Restoration services do all of this and more! They also offer you consultations with a licensed private investigator, help to restore your identity, a limited power of attorney and an unlimited service guarantee. In the case that your identity is stolen, you would receive access to a dedicated private investigator.

You can see why restoration services are a great service. They go the extra mile to make sure both your identity and peace of mind are secure.

Consider what you should be doing to protect your identity. Then ask yourself, “should I be doing this today?”

Medical Identity Theft-A New Threat Sun, 31 Mar 2019 21:36:09 +0000 identity theft

When people hear the term identity theft, more often than not they think of scammers phishing for financial information, emails, and stealing information given out online. It’s a serious matter when it happens, and results in a lot of financial pain and anxiety. Medical identity theft can be equally as devastating.

What is medical identity theft? Why does this happen?

By definition, the theft of your medical identity is the theft of personal private health information for the sake of receiving treatments, services, or goods such as expensive medicines. The perpetrator of such crimes is usually trying to gain access to another person’s health insurance policy, prescription drugs, or government benefits. Their illegal gain comes at the expense of someone who legally has such benefits, and needs them for themselves or their family.

This is a growing problem, especially in the U.S., where, as recent as several years ago, one in three Americans were affected by breaches of their health information. The reason why so many fraudsters are trying to snatch others’ health care information is that it lasts a lifetime, as it is not as easily changed as a name on a credit card.

Isn’t our medical information supposed to be secure? 

It’s supposed to be! However, some of the fraudsters are from the medical industry themselves, and have access to such records, while the public does not. That being said, there are actions the public can take to prevent such disasters from happening.

  • Keep all medical cards and copies of records in a safe place. Insurance cards need to be protected, much like any bank card or social security card.
  • Don’t give into threats given over the phone or online with claims that your account has been hacked, and “information is required from you for your protection”. Legitimate companies never ask you to give out your information in such a manner.
  • Get a protection plan from companies who specialize in stopping all forms of identity theft. Make sure they will also restore your identity if you ever do have a problem!

When it comes to giving out information to a doctor or nurse, try to vet them beforehand. Make sure they are trustworthy and, if possible, come highly recommended by others you know personally. It may feel like a lot of extra legwork on your end, but you will have a better sense of who is and isn’t trustworthy. 

Moving forward…

Identity theft is enough of a struggle for those affected by it, and the medical variety can be even worse. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to defend yourself and your family from those who make it their mission to steal and use your medical information. Again, the key is to protect your own and your family’s information at all costs. Do not give out information over the phone or via the web. Research and make certain the person or company you are dealing with is legitimate. Doing these things will help your information remain protected.

Identity Theft: Why Social Media Monitoring is Vital Thu, 21 Feb 2019 16:00:48 +0000 identity theft

In this day and age, social media is everything.  It is through channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms that we are able to communicate and connect with others around the globe. Unfortunately, that connection can leave us vulnerable to identity theft.

Whether sitting in a coffee shop, hotel lobby, doctor’s office, or airport, some users spend hours a day posting information into many different screens and have no idea the level of opportunity they give thieves who are waiting for exactly that type of information. 

Because of how savvy bad actors in this field are, you can rest assured that at least one person in the establishment will fall victim to fraud faster than they can type the dot on their exclamation point and hit send.

Nonetheless, while the benefits and use of social media have grown tremendously over the last 15 years, there is no question that the need for increased security has grown with it.

Criminals have become quite sophisticated in the way they infiltrate and manipulate the internet to extract our PII (Personally Identifiable Information) as it travels across networks.  For this reason, it is imperative that we protect our data as much as possible.   

The starting advantage would be never to assume any public Wi-Fi is safe and secure.  Public Wi-Fi is more unsafe now than most of us are even aware, yet, we consistently enter our personal information into the cybersphere believing it will reach it’s destination safely before being hacked and stolen, but often that is not the case.

In 2018, more than 45,000 persons per day submitted claims of identity theft to the FTC.  That’s approximately 16.7M victims annually, who have had their information stolen and lives turned upside down due to fraudulent activity.

So, how, then, are you protecting you and your family’s information?

In this digital age, complacency is not an option – which is why having a comprehensive security plan to monitor your social media accounts is key to protecting your privacy, alleviating worry, and ensuring peace of mind for as long as you are using these platforms. 

A solid security service will watch for vulnerabilities and any unauthorized use of your PII (such as your name and email, passport number, driver’s license, medical ID, payday loan info), and alert you immediately.

Take action to keep your family safe from Identity Theft.

Providing a defense around your family’s privacy is essential, yet simple.  It only requires you to perform the necessary due diligence to find an extensive identity theft security service that includes social media monitoring, and that will work well for you and your family.

Perhaps, one that is affordable, easy to set up and that provides a way for you to stay in constant contact with an advisor, even in the event of an emergency. Most important, consider the identity restoration services offered. If your ID is stolen, this is how you will get it back. Make sure you only work with a company with FULL identity restoration services.

Here is a list of available options and what they offer. If you would like our personal recommendation, please contact us here.

Then, pick one, sign up, subscribe, and that’s it!

Most importantly, DO NOT forget the extras.

A few other tips that are vital to keeping you and your family safe while posting in social media are:

  • DO NOT geotag your location! Keep in mind, at the same time you are letting your friends know where you are, you are letting the criminals know where you are not.  The thieves will now know that you are not home.  So giving your location over social media may not be the best piece of information to broadcast.
  • STOP OVERSHARING! While there is a strong tendency to overshare on social media, many go overboard and tell too much, inadvertently, giving extra detail to scammers, thieves, and trolls who are paying close attention and using that detail to invade your privacy further, and possibly ruin your reputation.  Remember, there are some things better left off of social media.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO WHO IS FOLLOWING / FRIENDING YOU! Keeping tabs on who is following or friending you may seem unimportant or perhaps an impossible task to perform, but a quick look at the type of content they are posting or responding to might serve you well in the long run.  Because in an identity theft investigation, who is following you might be the answer to identifying a suspect.
Serve Others to Lead in Small Business Thu, 31 Jan 2019 13:54:39 +0000 business

Drawing Business Lessons from History

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.  In between, the leader is a servant.” – Max de Pree

Being a leader is not always easy, rather you must show strength to gain the respect of others as well as humility. The delicate balance of leading and serving sets the foundation for a great business. According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, 52% of the 6,000 non-profits surveyed were unable to meet their financial needs. These are the organizations that assist our citizens and community.  What better way to thank your neighbors than to help lead local charities to success?

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person.  You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos

What is your brand? When a company is founded, of course, the end goal is to be profitable and reputable.  A crucial step is finding a way to brand the business by building a company that employees and community members are proud to support.  About 82% of consumers in the United States consider corporate social responsibility when choosing which services and products to purchase.  When you put the community first, it can create a lasting trust for your business as well as a sense of security for employees. Building a strong brand can also build a strong employee base WHILE benefiting the community.  

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank

These words came from a girl in grim circumstances, yet she was a beacon of hope and wisdom.  What could we change if we all thought this way? The fact is, giving helps the person who gives as much as the recipient.  When a community is strong and the residents are thriving, so are the businesses that have become part of it.

You can be the leader that is a trailblazer by supporting those around you who form your community.

Marketing Your Clients And Community Really Want Fri, 25 Jan 2019 16:28:47 +0000 Cause Marketing

With the advent of social media, we are more visible than we have ever been. Despite the anonymity of the internet, nothing we say or do online ever goes away. Our history in our communities is now up for public scrutiny, and this is not unique to the individual internet user. This awareness of our cumulative impact extends to organizations of all shapes and sizes as well.

Bottom line: if you want people to interact with you, you need to prove to them that you’re benefiting them in return.

What is Cause Marketing? 

The way you go about earning that trust is the same way we do in our personal lives. We connect with others and do nice things for them. In the case of cause marketing, a small business connects with a nonprofit to address an issue they both care about. While the partnership between the small business and nonprofit is ongoing, make like a romantic and spread the news far and wide. This is cause marketing.  

Should My Small Business/Nonprofit Be Involved?

If you’re asking whether this is necessary for your business, you may be behind on the times. Evidence suggests the era of shared moral responsibility between the organization and the individual alike is here. We often expect individuals to engage in service in the community in some way, and we are culturally extending the expectation to businesses. Not rising to the occasion will simply result in a loss of business, and the nonprofits will find other businesses who want the moral competitive edge.    All you need to do is find an organization that helps out in a similar facet of society your industry is in. You also want to make sure you want your reputations to be associated with one another because they will be. Do you make soap? Partner with a skincare-related nonprofit. If you are a restaurateur, partner with a local food bank. If you are an auto dealer, consider partnering with an organization that helps with a mobility-related social issue, like transporting meals to seniors.   

Give Them the Chance to Join Your Cause.

People want to be part of creating good communities, and they are already getting involved. Cause marketing allows people the opportunity to contribute to their communities in meaningful ways that may not have been as accessible to them before.

An example of this is Givling, a trivia app funded by ads and shoppers that pays off the student loans of the participants. Here is an example of using advertising to rally resources around a specific cause while also generating revenue for the sponsors. Givling is a potent example because it does not require the traditional donation model. The fact that it takes place entirely through an app means nearly everyone can join in your partnership, creating awareness, funding, and business. All you need to replicate this is an app.

Bottom line: if you want people to interact with you, you need to prove to them that you’re benefiting them in return.

In addition to fundraising success, you can also use it as an opportunity to reduce waste and turn some old goods into tax-deductible, charitable donations. Small brick-and-mortar businesses can use these donations to also promote their commitments to reducing waste. With targeted advertising based on interest, you can share the multiple benefits of your contributions to those who care about each of them. ThirdLove donates gently used bras that customers return. Bombas donates socks when customers purchase a pair. These donations need to go somewhere, so find a local organization to partner with.

We all know there are plenty of problems in the world that need solutions, attention, and honest effort. With such overwhelming issues, we need large-scale cooperation, and small businesses and nonprofits are positioned to lead their communities together.  

Quotes to Help Grow Your Small Business Sun, 11 Nov 2018 16:10:40 +0000 grow your small business

Quotes to Help Grow Your Small Business.

We often turn to quotes from great thinkers in order to better our lives and our spirits. Why can’t you do the same to grow your small business? When we look back at the words of well-known leaders within the business world, we give ourselves the chance to build upon their collective knowledge. After all, the advice of giants like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford is timeless. It does any small business owner well to learn from what they have to say.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” —Steve Jobs

This Jobs quote demonstrates that if you hope to grow your small business, it’s important to create a solid team between yourself and the surrounding community. How does one do this? Here are a few simple ways: Hire within the local area in order to boost the local economy. Get constant feedback from your consumers on your goods and/or services. Partner with local nonprofits to boost your sales and their causes. This way, you aren’t the only one working towards the growth of your business. If your community forms a tight-knit team behind you, all of them will be rooting for you, and they will all aid you as you move towards success.

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”—Henry Ford

As a small business, your customers will turn to you for certain comforts that larger companies simply do not have because of their size. Oftentimes, these comforts center around a certain degree of personalization—your customers want to know that they are not just customers, but community members. By paying attention to the unique qualities of your surrounding community, you can ensure that your small business becomes important to your customers beyond a simple transaction. Even something as simple as remembering a regular’s name or sending them a birthday card can ensure their loyalty and give you a glowing reputation.

“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”—Zig Ziglar

Trust between your business and your community is imperative. Larger companies are often riddled with scandal and shadowed in corruption, which is often why customers choose to shop locally. Every customer is on the lookout for businesses who cut corners, so strive not to be one of them. There is no way around this: stay transparent, give your customers your best effort, and communicate with them effectively. In return, they will give you their business. It may seem obvious, but in your worst moments, hold on to that. It will pay off.

We’d love to hear how you are putting the wisdom of others into practice to grow your small business.

Benefits of Cause Marketing in Your Community Sun, 14 Oct 2018 23:06:48 +0000 Benefits of Cause Marketing

Benefits of Cause Marketing in Your Community.

When a local business partners with a charity it can be a wonderful way to help both entities gain positive exposure and funding. This type of collaboration between entities is known in the marketing industry as “cause marketing.” As you will see, there are HUGE benefits of cause marketing in your community.

If you aren’t sure what this type of partnership can look like, there are many successful, large-scale examples right under your nose, like Red Nose Day, organized by Comic Relief, which is an organization that strives to end child poverty in the United States and around the world. The group partnered with Walgreens, which shared in-store signage; online and televised advertising; and offered red clown noses for sale at checkouts to get the message out about the organization’s yearly fun-raising event. Last year the sale of over 12 million red noses at Walgreens stores raised $18 million. Customers participated not only through monetary donations but also by wearing their red noses in social media pics tagged with #rednoseday.

A smaller scale approach does not need to be as multi-layered and high-profile as Comic Relief’s campaign to be successful and have an impact. Durty Bull Brewery in Durham, North Carolina, partners with a different local charity each month and donates Thursday Happy Hour sales to the chosen organization. The brewery helps to spread publicity for the non-profits through advertising the weekly event on their website and social pages and makes it easy for their patrons to contribute to a good cause. The charity groups also publicize the goodwill efforts of the brewery to their network of supporters, bringing new customers to the business. Professional and community groups are also encouraged to host gatherings at the brewery on Thursday nights which is another way to increase exposure and donations.

Cause marketing is a relatively cheap way to spread positive publicity for each entity involved. If you’re a small business owner wondering how to get started, first consider any causes that you or your employees are passionate about and see if there are charities around you that align with those passions. If you are a non-profit, think about which businesses you interact with most in your community, personally or professionally, and which seem open to a partnership. No matter which side you are on there are benefits of cause marketing.

When you are beginning your cause marketing plan, make sure someone from both parties is involved. As Jessica Bosari of Forbes magazine’s Money Wise Women recommends, “It is important to let the public know what the cause is, then give them a time frame during which your company will build support for the cause.”

Social media can be a key part of getting the word out to current followers and their friends about events where their participation can help. This is a great help in showcasing your company and help you recognize the benefits of cause marketing. Once your event is organized or another type of participation is established and communicated you may begin to see new benefits for your business or community and gain insight to future marketing ideas for your organization through interaction with fans and followers.

Cause Marketing and Helping My Small Business Sun, 07 Oct 2018 15:36:53 +0000 Cause Marketing

What is Cause Marketing and How Can it Help My Small Business?

There is a widely successful marketing tool that you’ve surely come across in your shopping experiences without realizing it. It’s called Cause Marketing, or Cause-Related Marketing, and it is an example of how a symbiotic relationship between business and nonprofit can create ripple effects of good in the community. It occurs when a for-profit business partners with either a general cause or with a specific not-for-profit organization. The nonprofit and the cause are beneficiaries of funds and increased awareness. The for-profit business gains and keeps customers who value corporate social responsibility. It’s a win-win!

Cause Marketing Examples

On a large business scale, we’ve seen examples of this. McDonald’s and the Ronald McDonald House Charities have partnered for decades, a partnership that has helped thousands of children and has been a positive force for the McDonald’s brand. The Red Nose Day campaign affiliated with Walgreens has been hugely successful for Walgreens and for the foundation which aims to lift children out of poverty. Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign is a noteworthy example. The company is able to relate their giving campaign directly to their product, an extra bonus for the cause and for the brand because it is even more memorable and powerful.

Cause Marketing and the Small Business

It’s obvious that large corporations find success with cause marketing. The question is, is it just as profitable for community nonprofits and small businesses to jump on the bandwagon? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Small businesses have many local nonprofits and causes to choose from, and partnering with one can be an incredible way to get their brand out to the community. In a 2011 global study, it was revealed that a whopping 93% of consumers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand if it supports an outside cause. This is true for large corporations and small businesses alike.

Cause Marketing Best Practices

The great news is that all of the strategies that large corporations use can be directly applied to small businesses and local nonprofits.

The first step is to consider the causes that you personally care about, and that your staff can get behind.

Is there a cause that has directly affected your community, such as, recent devastating wildfires that would stir up a passion for supporting firefighters or burn victims? Or, is there a cause that is directly related to your brand and product/service?

This coffee company in Massachusetts has created a “Birds and Beans” campaign to educate consumers on the connection between coffee farms and the declining songbird population. The easier it can be tied back to what you are doing on a day to day basis, the easier it will be for customers and employees to engage in the cause.

Another great resource that both large and small businesses have is social media. Get your community involved on social media and make an even greater impact.

Lastly, do your best to partner closely with the nonprofit you’ve chosen so that both entities are participating in the campaign. It’s a great thing to donate money to a cause. It’s another thing, and a step forward for your business to have an active and vibrant cause-related marketing campaign that shows that both parties are excited about the partnership.


Cause marketing is an exciting and fresh way to connect to your community and get people involved in your business. Get involved today and watch your business or nonprofit reach new heights in your community.

3 Must-Watch Motivational TED Talks Tue, 02 Oct 2018 23:30:01 +0000 Motivational

3 Must-Watch Motivational TED Talks for Your Small Business or Nonprofit!

Having your own business comes with many perks, but there are also many challenges to navigate. An important element that’s often overlooked is motivation. Whether your business is already established or you’re ready to get started on one, motivational improvement will help you to be more productive and innovative. Good news! TED Talks are here to deliver new and creative ideas that you can incorporate into your business practices. Here are some great TED Talks from successful business owners themselves:

1. What Nonprofits Can Learn from Coca-Cola – Melinda Gates

Speaker Melinda Gates, philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, talks about how such a large company like Coca-Cola impacts the entire world and what approach they take to succeed. This knowledge can directly be applied to small businesses and nonprofits. Her research on Coca-Cola’s methods of expanding their brand while helping people everywhere to make a living is particularly interesting and inspiring. She also focuses on health care accessibility and other issues developing nations are facing.

2. How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek

Speaker Simon Sinek, author and leadership expert, talks about some of the world’s most successful people and the one trait they all share that led them to be so successful. In our opinion, Mr. Sinek is also a motivational expert. He delves into how the mind works when it comes to marketing your product or idea, and how to use this to your advantage in growing your small business. If you enjoy his TED Talk, be sure to check out one of his books, Start With Why.

3. Creative Problem-Solving in the Face of Extreme Limits – Navi Radjou

Speaker Navi Radjou—author, scholar, and innovation strategist—talks about the importance of ingenuity to solve everyday problems. He goes on to mention some amazing inventions that have been created with little resources available, specifically in developing nations. Topics that are covered include health care, basic human needs, and the differences between the economic classes and how that difference affects businesses.

So, whether you’re searching for just a spark of motivational inspiration to get you back on track in your business, or you’re in need of a bigger shift, these TED Talks will be sure to motivate and inspire you—and hopefully even help your small business flourish!

How to Help Employees Feel Appreciated Sun, 23 Sep 2018 13:58:17 +0000 feel appreciated

How to Help Employees Feel Appreciated.

Common wisdom dictates that “a person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected.” All of us want to feel like our work matters, but it’s hard to feel that way if the people in our workplace don’t support us. People communicate in different ways, so it’s important to extend gratitude to your team in a variety of ways. It’s important to help them feel appreciated.

Here are some of our favorite ways to show appreciation for your team on a day-to-day basis:

  • Give thanks in specifics. A general “thank you” is a good start, but what exactly are you grateful for? “Thanks for being so thorough” or “thanks for making that follow up phone call” can go a lot farther. When people know that their hard work is being seen, they tend to want to go the extra mile.
  • Give rewards. Rewards are something that helps everyone feel appreciated. Aside from rewards like giving your team extra time off or bringing in breakfast, there are other free and low-cost rewards like thank you cards and certificates that team members can hang above their desks. Be creative!
  • Be positive. A positive environment makes people want to come to work. Staying positive—even when times are challenging—shows your team that you believe in them and that you’re grateful for all of the work they’re putting into the organization.
  • Encourage feedback. A team that communicates well does their work more efficiently and more thoroughly. When you create a workplace culture that encourages feedback, you show your teammates that their opinions are valuable. Ways to encourage feedback can range from setting aside time for feedback during team meetings and check-ins to having team members post feedback post-its on a whiteboard.

Have other ideas? We would love to hear about the things you do to show appreciation to people in your business life. Please feel free to share how you help your employees and coworkers feel appreciated.


Achieve Success by Following Tinker Bell’s Advice Sun, 16 Sep 2018 14:39:01 +0000 success

Achieve Success by Following Tinker Bell’s Advice.

Positive thinking is the key to success. This belief makes many of us scoff or roll our eyes so far back in our heads that we almost pass out. Can something as simple as thinking happy thoughts really have such a profound effect? Can a person really change their life or trajectory of their career by simply thinking everything is sunshine and rainbows?

While it is easy to be skeptical, there is a reason why the power of positivity has been mentioned repeatedly by titans of industry, world-renowned artists, and every major religion – it works!

Our life is the creation of our mind. – Buddha

There has been a constant stream of research which has shown that happy people are more productive, efficient, and creative. According to a study by the University of Warwick in Britain, happy employees are 12% more productive. The 700-person study also found that happy employees use their time more effectively while still maintaining the quality and integrity of their work.

These kinds of studies reinforce the idea that successes in life are greatly determined by our mindset. Positive thinking is directly related to happiness. Being happy has been shown to improve performance. And nobody would argue that better work leads to less success.

Companies are fully aware of the correlation between happiness and productivity and are investing more resources to boost employee happiness. This is great news because company policies and culture certainly affect you. However, at the end of the day, you are the only one in control of your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. To reach your full potential, it is essential that you are relatively happy.

Happiness starts with positive thinking. Good fortune will come and go, but the power of positivity is always available.

How do you react when your project proposal is rejected or you get passed over for a promotion?

Do you pout, become despondent, and lose your drive?

Or do you learn from the experience, find ways to stay upbeat, and keep working hard because you are confident that there will be more opportunities for success down the road?

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. – John Milton from Paradise Lost (discussed in The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt)

Positive thinking gives us more control in a chaotic world. We can see opportunities where others see only dead-ends. We see learning experiences and stepping stones where others see only failure. We have greater endurance and perseverance because we have faith that our hard work will pay off.

Positivity does not come naturally to everyone. Some of us must constantly remind ourselves that being alive is an amazing thing and not every failure or unfortunate situation is the end of the world. Keeping a book about positivity on your desk, putting a simple post-it note on your wall, or keeping a picture of loved ones nearby is usually enough to get the job done.

Take a moment each day to remind yourself why you are lucky. Find silver linings in difficult situations even when there seem to be none. Smile and try to find humor wherever possible. These simple things make life so much more enjoyable but also increase our chances of realizing our dreams.

At the very least consider this:

“A positive attitude may not solve your problems — but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” – Anonymous

Houston, We Have a Growth Opportunity Sun, 09 Sep 2018 15:52:20 +0000 Growth Opportunity

Houston, We Have a Growth Opportunity

What is the one thing in the world everyone has that no one wants? If you answered “problems”, most people would agree. Problems are, by definition, detrimental to progress and well-being.

That said, Tony Robbins is not most people. Many would say he knows how to define a growth opportunity. Daniel Marlin, a guest writer at Entrepreneur, quotes Robbins as having the following to say about dealing with problems;

“Every problem is a gift. Without them, we wouldn’t grow.” – Tony Robbins

The Meaning

Robbins’s mindset is two-pronged:

  1. Problems are gifts, and,
  2. They are catalysts for growth opportunity.

Out of the mouth of a famous motivational speaker, this mantra certainly has a “feel good” vibe to it. But can this style of thinking really transform a negative into a positive?

The short answer is yes, depending on the mindset of the individual handling the problem. For Robbins’s thesis to work, the problem solver must recognize the silver lining inherent in whatever situation they are going through.

The Application

If you are having trouble personally applying this mantra, perhaps due to overwhelming odds, no respite, or even the real possibility of utter loss or failure, you would not be alone. Problems are bad, or at least, that’s what we are taught.

But consider this; even in the direst of straights, bleak outlook and all, one logical rule will remain true; it could always be worse.

If there is nothing else to hold onto, hold on to that. Anything else is a plus.

See? We’re getting the hang of this.

It is your duty as the problem solver to negate your respective problem in the simple action of facing it.  Take this stand. Find an angle. Use it.

Whether or not Robbins’ philosophy works is dependent on the individual utilizing it. Can you see the silver lining of your scenario? Is the growth opportunity recognizable? Do you possess the strength to grow through this trial?

Problems are universal, unavoidable, and quite rampant in the business world. It takes a strong leader, with a positive mindset to take a problem, and turn it into a gift that can be used to spearhead development and growth.

The Takeaway 

The next time someone asks you what you’re thankful for, give them an answer that might surprise them. Show them how your “gifts” have helped you grow into the type of person who knows the value of a good problem.

We would love it if you shared some of the gifts that helped you grow!

Corporate Social Responsibility Is Here To Stay Mon, 03 Sep 2018 15:32:38 +0000 social responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility Is Here To Stay.

Are you familiar with this quote? It is more accurate today than ever. And, the concept is more important in today’s business climate than it has ever been.

We need government and business to work together for the benefit of everyone. It should no longer be just about typical “corporate social responsibility” where the “responsibility” bit is usually the realm of a small team buried in a basement office – now it should be about every single person in a business taking responsibility to make a difference in everything they do, at work and in their personal lives. Richard Branson

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as well as environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), may have begun in a basement office but has now evolved into a global movement. Companies have generally done very well promoting their philanthropic endeavors or charitable contributions. But it is almost a requirement now for companies – small and large – to commit to authentic responsibility efforts. How can you leverage your company’s CSR and ESG for long-term success?

Promote your company’s commitment to responsibility and lure the quality millennial talent.

Attract Millennials

The truth is, having a CSR policy can impact more than just your brand image. The workforce is comprised of millennials who are looking to align their talents with organizations which make significant contributions to the world. You can leverage your CSR efforts in recruiting the millennials. Promote your company’s commitment to responsibility and lure the quality millennial talent.

Being transparent about your company’s structure and policies can inspire trust and confidence in your customer base and increase loyalty.

Increase ROI

Many do not often correlate social responsibility with direct ROI, but in many facets, it can have an impact. For many industries, implementing socially conscious processes can project long-term ROI. Attracting the right candidates to contribute to your company culture can reduce turnover and provide career-building platforms for the long run. Being transparent about your company’s structure and policies can inspire trust and confidence in your customer base and increase loyalty.

If your communities are healthy, so will be your future workforce.

Community Investment

Community contribution and participation show your organization’s willingness to invest in the markets in which you thrive. Companies are supporting their communities in multiple facets, including education, healthcare, and workforce development. If your communities are healthy, so will be your future workforce. All these commitments can directly affect your business’ ROI in the years to come.

Mr. Branson makes a great point that can be conversation prompting. The big picture here is learning that not only individuals look to make a positive impact, but companies also bear the responsibility of committing to a significant contribution to social responsibility. If we all, government, business and individuals alike, focused more on our social, economic, environment and charitable efforts, imagine how vibrant the world would be. How nice it is to be moving in that direction.

The Wrong Problem Sun, 26 Aug 2018 14:38:11 +0000 wrong problem

The Wrong Problem.

It’s an interesting fact that many people look at a problem and think “there’s no right answer.” There are, in general, three reasons for this response: the person doesn’t have all the available information, there really are no right answers, or the person is looking at the wrong problem.

A young man knows that he’s failing a class, and needs extra credit to achieve a passing grade. In order to get extra credit, he’ll need to talk to the teacher. The choice is obvious: ask the teacher and possibly be declined the extra credit he needs or he can say nothing and fail the class.

“We fail more often because we solve the wrong problem than because we get the wrong solution to the right problem.” – Russell L. Ackoff

The real problem with the above situation isn’t the student, his work, his grade, or his teacher. It’s the way he looks at the options. One is a potential failure and the other is certain failure. So of the things in this situation that can be changed by the student, what should be addressed first is the options he’s choosing between. Both of the options above are based on the student’s fear, rather than on passing the class – hence the look at the wrong problem.

The choice is obvious: take action to pursue extra credit, or do nothing and hope someone offers unsolicited help.

Nothing about what he can do has changed, but he has successfully faced his fear of bias, which makes the real problem more obvious.

It’s easier to accept failure when you can say “well, I wasn’t really trying.” To have tried and failed is frightening from the perspective of going into the attempt, but is it ever scary looking back on something you tried to do and didn’t succeed? In general – no.

When you next find yourself facing a problem that seems to have no “right” answer, ask yourself if the problem you’re looking at is the problem you’re actually trying to solve. Is the problem that the weed-eater is out of cord, or is the problem your unfamiliarity with how to load the cord onto the stupid machine? (We’ve all been there once or twice.) In a lot of cases, you’ll find that both problems are solvable, and solving them will be much easier once you know which problem you’re addressing first.

How To Inspire Others: The Easy Way Sun, 19 Aug 2018 16:59:09 +0000 inspire others

How To Inspire Others: The Easy Way.

In a chaotic world, seemingly overwhelmed by negativity, so many of us want to take action and work for a positive change. Problems may seem urgent at times, and we may not always know what to do to help.

There is a small, but very powerful way we can endeavor to inspire others as individuals on an interpersonal level. It’s something so basic that most people overlook its significance. But, it can be easily done on a day-to-day basis. And, it has the potential for a monumental change in your life and theirs.

The Simplest Way to Change the World

The simplest thing we can do for one another is to smile. That’s right, go ahead and grin. It’s contagious and will inspire others to do the same. At the risk of frivolity, we stand by the assertion: smiling people can make a big difference.

Smile at your loved one. Your neighbor. Smile at the grocery clerk and smile at your co-worker.

It doesn’t have to be an extended moment, just a genuine act of friendliness in a largely unfriendly world.

A smile expresses joy and acknowledges another person’s presence. It’s a basic human interaction, containing within it a potential for long-lasting bonds. It’s fast, free, and some even say it takes less effort than a frown. Imagine if everyone was doing it. Would conflict arise so readily then?

You Could Be That Person

Like a pebble dropped into a pond, you never really know how you’re affecting another human being. We are not privy to an awareness of our personal ripple effect, or how far our influence may travel. A smile could restore a stranger’s faith in humanity. It could talk someone down from the ledge. Or it could inspire that person to smile at another person in turn.

Have more ideas about how you can create everyday change and inspire others? Please feel free to share a comment with us.

No Problem is Superior to Your Power Within Sun, 12 Aug 2018 11:59:31 +0000 Power

No Problem Outside You is Superior to Your Power Within.

Life is a series of solving problems. Now, while this thought may seem tragic, it all depends on how we look at problems. Consider this from Bob Proctor: “There is no problem outside of you that is superior to the power within you.” Mr. Proctor is a great motivational speaker who has dedicated his life to teaching others how to believe in the greatness of their minds. He is also one of our favorite authors! In this quote, he speaks about the power we each have within. The following are four ways we can powerfully change the way we see problems as they arise. In each case, YOU have the ability to master your emotions and take more control of your life.


When we take control of our reactions, we are able to remain level headed and clear minded during times of crisis and misfortune. Reacting out of haste and impulse can lead to more problems or destruction. Taking a pause to calm emotions and think clearly allows us to rise above any obstacle to see a solution.


Being mindful of the thoughts we entertain is a powerful way to steer your life’s ship. What we focus our mind on will gain momentum, which leads to manifestation. If you’re steady thinking about your problem, a solution will never be revealed. Your ability to shift focus can bring victorious rewards to any circumstance.


Simply making a decision can eliminate a majority of problems. Often times, problems occur due to a lack of decision. We don’t always have to know how something will work out, but by making a decision, we put a certain quality in the air that pulls the how to us, like a magnetic force.


Our emotions are a powerful force. We can learn to control our emotions, rather than letting them control us, by seeing them as a tool to identify how we feel, not who we are. We get ourselves stuck when we define ourselves by our problems because we identify with the feelings they bring. Because our emotions are so powerful, use them, don’t become them.

No matter how well we master life, problems will always surface. There is no problem we will face that doesn’t come with a solution. By taking hold of the knowledge and ability we possess within, we are guaranteed to find a way out of any setback. Now, that’s power!

Talk Less, Listen More Sun, 05 Aug 2018 20:07:59 +0000 talk less, listen more

Talk Less, Listen More!

It is 7:30 AM on a Monday morning. You look around and see that everyone in your office has the Monday blues, or so you think. Bob from accounting has barely made eye contact with anyone, Sheila from HR looks ready to walk out of the front door. Everyone else seems to be barely alive, so it’s time to be motivational, right? “Pep up everyone, it’s not that bad!” you say, pouring a cup of coffee in the break room. For some reason, you are met with stony silence, even a few glares. What the heck is going on here?

“Solving problems means listening.” Richard Branson once said. It’s implied that you should talk less, listen more. Instead of trying to be motivational, it would be more appropriate in this situation to figure out what the problems are by asking questions. Listening is such a powerful tool, people who feel listened to are much more open to solving whatever issue is making them upset or unhappy.

You run into Sheila later that day and decide it’s time to find out why she is so unhappy. She tells you that she is feeling unsupported by her supervisor over an HR issue and simply cannot talk to them anymore about it. In fact, she has decided to start putting her resume out on the web so that she can find another company to work for. The problem here is that Sheila is feeling undervalued and dismissed which would make any employee upset! While you may or may not be able to solve her problem it will probably help her to verbalize her feelings. If she is open to suggestions, and here you really need to pay attention to her cues, you may even be able to help her brainstorm ways to solve her problem with this supervisor. In the process, you are sure to talk less, listen more.

The same thing could be done with Bob or any other employee at your company. Solving problems means you need to understand what the problem is. If you don’t listen to the problem then how can you even know what it is? So take into consideration that you need to listen in order to understand and solve whatever issues you may face. Talk less, listen more and be awed by the benefits you receive.

Simple Advice On Inspiring Others Tue, 31 Jul 2018 23:28:16 +0000 inspiring others

Simple Advice On Inspiring Others.

When we’re conducting business or in a professional setting, it’s generally a goal to portray the best version of ourselves and our business. We talk about our successes, why our solutions are the best and how important our model is to our clients. But what if we opened up more about challenges, adversity or failures we’ve experienced? Today we’re going to discuss how to inspire others in your own way.

You Have A Great Story, Tell It!

Think back on your career and make a list of the lessons you learned. Chances are, each one of those business or life lessons came to you in a moment of weakness or failure. These make for great stories. Maybe it was the time you lost a client or tripped in the lobby on your way to an important meeting. By exposing your moment of vulnerability with a story, you’re soliciting an authentic conversation. You’ll find people will naturally want to respond to your story with a similar experience. Now you’re talking! Watch as your connection with people can open a new line of dialogue. Now you’re inspiring others.

Take Off Your Mask

We are often forced to wear ‘masks’ in our professions. We have to overcome stereotypes and gain respect in an arena that may not welcome our expertise. This sometimes hardens us, and after years of wearing our mask, we forget to tap into what we really have to offer and who we are authentically. Don’t be afraid to connect with people as a person. Know that for every hardship you’re attempting to overcome; there is another professional trying to do the same. Talk about your successes and challenges in your profession. Watch as your connection with them grows and you begin inspiring others.

Ask, And You Will Be Asked

Anytime you find yourself with an opportunity to ask questions of another professional, do it. Having a student mentality will ensure that you will always be learning. It also presents the opportunity for others to ask questions of you. By asking questions, you’re setting the tone of the conversation that you’re willing to learn and share. Sharing leads to more authentic conversation and inspiration.

Inspiring others requires a deeper connection. Relationship building is the core requirement of any mentoring opportunity. Tell your story. Take off your mask. Be a student. Be inspirational!