“Jump & Kick!” How to Set-Up a Start-Up Right

Start-Up Business

Startups – they’re all the rage in today’s business world. And why wouldn’t they? With the million-dollar successes of Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat, it’s not a surprise that a lot of people have joined in the hype.

But not everyone who ventures into the world of small businesses make it big. It’s only right that you should be careful with every move you make. Here are a few steps you can take if you want your budding entrepreneurial idea to boom:

Begin With A Passion

There’s no better way to get yourself started with your business than to get involved in something that you’re truly passionate about. After all, if you’re passionate about something, you’re going to pour your time, energy, and other resources into it.

You can always choose to build a business you’re not really into, but you won’t have the same drive for it as compared to something you really want.

Solve A Problem

Now that the niche of your business is something related to your passion, try to think of what your business will be offering to the table. While it’d be much better if your business will tackle a previously unsolvable problem, it doesn’t have to. Then what should your startup focus on? Simple – a commonly encountered problem.

For example, if you’re into photography and you think carrying stands and tripods can be quite a hassle, why not come up with a way to easily transfer them from one place to another? Like, say, a tripod strap? Get a good idea of the kinds of problems you should be finding a solution to.

Plan! Put It in Paper

It’s not enough that you have an idea in mind; you also need to write it down. First, the sheer amount of information needed for your startup will be too much for you to fully remember. Second, you’ll need to allot enough time, money, and other resources for your startup, and you won’t be able to do that from the top of your head alone.  And third, when you begin consulting people for your plan, they won’t be able to understand you by merely talking about it.

Therefore, when you finally get a Eureka moment for your startup, start writing, drawing, typing – anything just to make sure that it’s documented.

Consult an Expert

If you’re a total beginner in small-scale entrepreneurial endeavors, you’re going to need a lot of good advice. However, it can’t come from just anyone. If you – and you definitely will – want to know if your business plan will prosper, you’ll need the opinion of experts, especially those who have a lot of experience in the field, as theory alone will never be enough to cut it. After all, charging blindly can cause you to lose a lot of precious time, money, and effort.

So, there you have it. Now, what are you waiting for? Start thinking and get started. Who knows? Maybe your one-minute idea will become the next million-dollar hit.

 

The Working Man’s Guide to a Career-Focused New Year’s Resolution

Career Focused Working Man

It has only been a few days since 2015 began. There are 357 days to look forward to, and they are more than enough to change your career life for the better. However, how will they be able to make a difference if you don’t know what to do with them? Well, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for.

If you still haven’t joined in the bandwagon, then check out these resolutions that will do a lot of good for your career

To Always Be on Time

This seems like a very basic resolution, so much so that it’s probably seen by a lot of people as more of a developed habit. However, even though it’s usually belittled and overlooked, it can actually make a positive change in your career life. Punctuality is a highly valued trait in the corporate world, for it reflects a person’s discipline and value for other people’s time. If you weren’t too big on this quality last year, then that has to change this year.

To Save Up

Look back at 2014 and try to remember how much money you spent on things that you don’t really need. Are the memories of all those lost bucks making you either cringe or regret?  Can you even actually recall where you burned all your money on? If your answers are respectively a yes and a no, then 2015 is the perfect year to rethink the when, where, and what you spend your hard-earned cash on.

However, it’s not enough to cut on your expenditures; you also have to save up. Aside from not spending on frivolous and unnecessary things, you also have to allot a particular amount to set aside every payday. Nobody’s saying that you shouldn’t enjoy your money, it just means that you should value it more and save up on the rainy days.

To Learn what it Takes to be a Good Leader

A leader has responsibilities that are of greater number and magnitude as compared to a regular employee. And included among them are the people you have to lead and influence in order to get the job done. Now, how are you going to perform such a function if you don’t have the capability to do so? Thus, as early as January, you better start finding out the tips, tricks, and tools of the trade that is leadership. This is important, as everyone, save those who are content with being an employee in the bottom rung of the corporate ladder, will become a leader at one point in their lives.

To Go the Extra Mile

If you were a punch-in punch-out kind of employee last year, or even worse – a punch-in punch-out boss, then you need an overhaul with that mindset. While there’s nothing wrong with going home on time and achieving a perfect work-life balance, you need to do a little bit more. Brush up on your knowledge about the job, make sure your presentation is brilliant and creative, organize your work – these are just a few of the little things you can do that can go a long way.

Although you can always turn your career life around any time, there’s no better time to do so than the start of the year. And if you stick with these suggestions, then success will come sooner than you think.

 

“More Fun in the Philippines!” 5 Timeless Tips in Surviving Heavy Traffic

Traffic in the Philippines

Have you experienced just sitting in the car, stuck in a nightmarish traffic, just ruminating on what you could have been doing at that moment? Such is an unavoidable experience if you reside in the Philippines, which is especially true for you if EDSA is between you and your workplace.

See the image above? Some say that those cars are still stuck in that very spot to this day. Here are some tips to help you get through the dreaded Philippine traffic.

Fix your Driving Schedule

It might be complicated to totally adjust your daily schedule, but you know it’ll be worth it if you’ve experience the peak of rush hours. Leaving home half an hour early can be the difference between cruising through the streets and being frozen in time and space.

Manila Traffic

Know When and Where to Re-route

This is when you realize that the smartphone and GPS are the most awesome inventions of all time. Follow accounts or download apps that can give you real-time traffic news. Have your GPS ready to point you to an alternate route with less vehicles. If you don’t have access to these, taking a quick glimpse at the news before going out will help a great deal, too.

Find a Way to Entertain yourself

Sometimes, attempts at thwarting traffic just won’t work. Your next best move? Stock up on snacks, ready a long playlist, bring a book, or download a bunch of games. Having these at the ready helps keep your mind off the traffic and somehow relaxes you – until you realize how late you already are.

Remain Vigilant on the Road

While everyone is rushing on the rod and distracted by cars cutting and overtaking, you have to keep a clear mind. Be both an offensive and defensive driver. There are times when you just want to badmouth the other drivers for being reckless, but don’t give in; don’t get into a fight. You have to keep yourself together even if everyone else has lost it. Otherwise you might not make it to work in one piece.

Don’t Ruin your Own Day

Patience is definitely a virtue, and kindness goes a long way. Everyone driving along the busy streets of Manila is just about as stressed as you are, and expressing your frustrations will not help you one bit. You will eventually get to where you want to be, so don’t ruin your day by being angry and acting out on it.

These are just some of the more important things to be mindful of when you’re in stuck in the middle of traffic. Don’t get the stress get into you and you’ll be just fine.

“Take that, Santa!” Here are 4 of the Greatest Philanthropists of All Time

Christmas is the time of giving. And when it comes to giving, there’s nobody better than Santa, right? Well, not exactly. Not to belittle his generosity or anything, but the guy only gives toys to children once a year. These people, on the other hand, give millions of dollars for worthy causes on a regular basis.

Be inspired with the greatest philanthropists of all time. These men and women, aside from having incredibly fat checkbooks, also have a heart of gold.

Gordon Moore

Gordon Moore – $6.8 Billion

Because of this guy, we have powerful Intel processors that allow present-day computers to run at extra-fast speeds and perform difficult processes with relative ease. Also, because of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, higher education and environmental conservation has been greatly improved. And lastly, it’s because of this guy that the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawaii, the biggest optical telescope in the world, was constructed. Mister Moore, you truly are a giver.

George Soros

George Soros – $10 Billion

When George Soros immigrated to London from Hungary after the Second World War, he had to balance between his studies at the London School of Economics and his two jobs – waiting tables and being a railway porter. His hard work has definitely paid off, as he’s now one of the world’s richest men and a leading expert in the field of economics.

As a man who has seen the importance of education himself, he has funded African-American students who lived during the apartheid in South Africa during the 1970s. Aside from that, Mr. Soros is also a man who values human rights, and it is because of this conviction that he founded the Open Society Foundation, a grant network that fights for social reform and democracy.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett – $25 Billion

One of the best financial experts in the world, Warren Buffet is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the biggest holding companies in the world. He’s also considered as the most successful investor of the 20th century and has been labeled by Time as one of the world’s most influential people. However, despite his successes, Warren Buffett remains a frugal yet generous man. He and fellow philanthropist Bill Gates created the Giving Pledge as a nod to the current world economic crises.

Bill and Melinda Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates – $28 Billion

Move over “Brangelina”, these two are the real power couple! Of course, you know Bill Gates – co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, the company responsible for Windows, the world’s most popular operating system. Together with his wife Melinda, Mr. Gates has been giving a lot through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to alleviate poverty and improve healthcare, education, and access to information technology. Who’d have thought that the one of the world’s greatest minds also has one of the biggest hearts?

Don’t you wish you can have as much money as them so you can make the world a better place in your own way? With hard work and a good heart, you definitely will someday. Happy Holidays, everybody!

6 Bizarre Job Interview Questions Every Fresh Grad should Prepare for

Job Interview Questions

“Tell us more about yourself”, “Why would you like to work for us?”, “What can you contribute to the company?” – These are but few of the many questions usually asked when you go to a job interview. Such questions are so common and mundane that you can have a single fixed answer for each one of them.

However, some interviewers don’t like throwing the same predictable inquiries over and over again. Instead, they have chosen to get creative and ask questions that not even the best pageant contestants can prepare for. Here are some of these queer queries that range from the unorthodox-but-sensible to the headache-inducing absurd.

Bed Bath & Beyond

“If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?” – Asked at Bed Bath & Beyond

If you’re the type who skips breakfast or prefers bread, oats, or rice, then don’t expect to be accepted. But seriously though, if you’re stuck for an answer, just choose Koko Krunch because you might just poof and become a bowl of chocolate after hearing this question.

LivingSocial

“Can you instruct someone how to make an origami ‘cootie catcher’ with just words?” – Asked at Living Social

The only safe answer to this? “Well Sir/Ma’am, if the person I am to instruct knows basic origami, has excellent visualization skills, and can flawlessly follow commands, then I might just be able to come up with such an object through the power of teamwork and vocabulary.” If you’re able to deliver this line with utmost confidence, then you should be one step closer to that job, buddy.

“If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you, and why?” – Asked at Living Social

This is more like a question from an app instead of a formal interview. Still, be wary when you answer this even though it seems that they’re simply judging your taste in movies and celebrities. They say that you can tell a lot about a person by their favorite movie. So tell me, would you really hire someone who get his life’s inspiration from the mind-numbing, soul-sucking brain-draining Transformers Series?

Dell

“Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?” – Asked at Dell

Last time you checked, we’re no longer in the Stone Age. But you have to answer this ancient question, unless you want your chance of working in a technology-based company get dashed against the rocks. Choose the latter – it has less occupational hazards.

Urban Outfitters

“You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?” – Asked at Urban Outfitters

If you’re a logical person, you’d first ask about the capacity of the box as it is what determines the colors that will be included in it. Should you answer ‘fuchsia’ be ready to spell it out for the interviewer. But seriously, don’t just go for a random color. Choose one that somehow represents one of your traits. For example, you can answer with the color green since you like to travel and be one with nature.

Norwegian Cruise Line

“Do you believe in Big Foot?” – Asked at Norwegian Cruise Line

This is a very important existential question. Some say there are evidences of Big Foot while the rest say they’re hoaxes. Maybe the interviewer wants to find out if you’re an optimist or realist. Or maybe he simply just want to mess with you and see how you’d react. Doesn’t matter. The secret is to be sincere and treat each question seriously.

Truth is, you can never be fully prepared for a job interview, but one’s things for sure though: if you really have what it takes to excel at the position you’re aiming for, you’ll get it one way or another. So stay positive and keep applying and learning. You’ll land your dream job sooner or later.

“Suit Up!” 5 Quick Tips on How to Wake Up Early for Work

Harvey Specter

What a beautiful morning! The sun is up, the birds are singing, and jumping jellybeans! Work begins in just an hour! And you’re still rubbing your eyes! You no longer have any time to figure out what went wrong, so you execute your morning routines at the speed of light, but to no avail – you’re still as late as the night owl is for the worm.

If you no longer want the same thing to happen ever again in this life and the next, here are essential tips you should take to heart.

Sleep Early

It’s a basic rule of thumb that everyone with common sense knows. Unfortunately, it’s so basic that people have taken it for granted or disregarded it completely. While it’s definitely possible to wake up early despite catching Zzz’s way past twelve, it leaves you weak in the morning. Aside from that, there’s also the likely chance of your body trying to make up for the lost hours. And if the body direly needs sleep, it won’t care about the alarm clock or the meeting you’re going to miss.

Set that Alarm Right

Whether the contraption that wakes you in the morning is a brand-new iPhone 6 or an actual, physical, mechanical alarm clock complete with a hammer and two bells, remember one thing – set it right! And if you’re using the digital alarm clock on your phone or tablet, make sure the AM/PM setting is correct; better yet, use military time. After all, the office punch clock won’t count a failed alarm clock as an excuse for tardiness.

Have Someone Wake you Up

For some unexplainable reason, your alarm clock didn’t go off even if the settings were accurate.  Don’t worry though, because unless you are living alone, you can always ask someone you’re living with to wake you up – if it’s not too much of a hassle for them, that is. Just cross your fingers that they’d remember to do so.

Don’t Stay in Bed

You’ve probably experienced waking up just in time or even earlier than expected. And whether it’s the former or the latter, you probably bargained with yourself for a few more minutes of sleep, and next thing you know you’re already running late! The scenario is too familiar, huh? Yeah, we’ve all been there. So when you start to convince yourself that you have five minutes to spare, jump out of the bed and prepare a hot cup of coffee.

Look Forward to Tomorrow

Remember your birthdays and Christmases? Even if you slept quite late, you still get up even before the sun starts to shine. Why? Because you’re excited. Now, imagine if you can do the same thing for work – that’d be wonderful, wouldn’t it? The night before, picture out a good, happy, and productive day when you wake up, and you’ll be catapulting out of your rocker. And since you woke up early, you’re more likely to have a beautiful day.

Mornings are opportunities to begin again. So instead of thinking they’re such awful drags, why don’t you wake up, drag yourself out of bed if you must, and enjoy the gift that is the present.

Harvey Specter

“Everybody Dance Now!” 4 Tricks in Throwing a Cool Halloween Party at Work

Costume Party

Some say Halloween is just for children, but a lot of us would respectfully disagree. I’m sure that even though the thoughts of ghouls and goblins no longer keep you up at night, you are still very much into the creepy crawly fun. Heck, I bet your friends are too, including those in the office.

So, if you’re in charge of the Halloween party or just want to pitch in a few suggestions, here are some tips to help those timeless trick-or-treat traditions come alive in the office.

Steve Carell

Get your Freak On

Halloween without costumes would be like Christmas without gifts, so costumes are pretty much standard for all the fun-loving yuppies out there. Those who aren’t feeling it, on the other hand, will think they are too old to wear one. Of course, you want everyone to join in, but it’s wrong to coerce people if it’s not their thing.

In order to persuade more people, you can turn the whole thing to a contest, and the one with the best costume will receive a prize. The reward doesn’t have to be monetary; opt to give out awesome incentives instead! And if there are those who still don’t want to sleep in a spooky suit, then it’s cool as long as they’re partying with you.

Decor Horror

The fewer the minds, the fewer the ideas. So if the party will be on the office building and it’s just the Halloween party committee who will be doing the sprucing up, don’t expect them to get too creative.

Instead, why not have the entire office help out? Just like with the costumes, turn the decorating into a contest wherein each project or department will be competing against each other. With bonuses at stake, everyone’s creative juices will be flowing. The best part? The office will become a house of horrors, even just for a day.

The Office Halloween

Fright Food

There’s no such thing as a party without food. And since it is Halloween, why not give the goodies some ghastly properties? Serve sausages that look like severed fingers by (1) making slices that look like wrinkles and (2) placing a nail-shaped yellow bell pepper near the tip.

For the thirsty vampires on the floor, you can have blood-colored punch that’s kept cool by an ice hand, which you can form by freezing water inside a glove. You can also have dentures for desserts! Just get two slices of apples for the gums and white mallows sandwiched in between them for the teeth.

Fear Play

Find out which employee is the biggest fan of Halloween by setting up a horror film trivia contest! You’re pretty much guaranteed a spot on the Top 3 if you got most of the references from the 4 “Scream” films.

Another good idea would be “Guess How Many Candies Are in the Jar?” Since candy is one of the reasons for the season, everyone will love this. And since scaring is in, why not have tests of courage? Turn one room in the office into a really creepy spot and make the participants retrieve an item; the fastest one wins! Its heaps of fun with flashes of horror.

With these tips, your Halloween party can be fun and creative without being frighteningly pricey. Have a wacky witching hour, everyone!

Need a Boost of Creativity at Work? Munch on these Foods!

Liz Lemon

We all know that food can contribute positively or negatively to our physical well being. And even though we are more concerned with what it can do to the waistline, food can actually help support brain function. Creative juices on a low? Here’s a list of foods that can help boost your creativity at work.

Just a disclaimer though: We’re office geeks, not nutritionists. So before you alter your diet completely to boost your brain power, make sure that you’re on the safe side. Try not to go overboard, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions. Remember, too much of anything can be bad for your health.

Liz Lemon Cake

Tuna

Tuna is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, perfect for boosting your brain’s power. Think of your brain as a muscle that you need to build through quality food. The more you feed it, the sharper it will be. Tuna also makes a great meal for those who are trying to watch their weight because it packs in so much protein. Already feeling a bit sluggish in the middle of the day? Time for a tuna salad sandwich!

Liz Lemon Quote

Lentils

Though not the most appetizing food on the list, lentils are definitely the richest source for folic acid. Studies show that adults who take folic acid supplements regularly demonstrate better cognitive function. This serves well in areas that require memory power and loads of critical thinking. So next time you have problems troubleshooting a new system at the office, whip up a batch of hearty lentil soup for reinforcement.

Liz Lemon Funny

Milk

Not just good with cereal, milk is also great for those days when you just can’t seem to remember the next thing on your to-do list. It contains a nutrient called Choline, an important ingredient that helps ward of senility. If you need to improve your memory, have a cool glass of milk.

Liz Lemon 30 Rock

Chocolate

Feeling bored and uncreative in the office? Then you have a great reason to munch on some chocolates. According to studies, chocolate has a ridiculous amount of antioxidants that can put red wine and green tea to shame. Sure, getting your dose of antioxidants from fruits and veggies may be better for your weight, but where’s the fun in that?

Liz Lemon Food

Blueberries

Creativity’s worst enemy may very well be the common cold. How are you going to come up with amazing business strategies if you’re feeling under the weather? Fend off the sniffles and keep your immunity in top shape by snacking on some blueberries. These delicious berries are packed with enough vitamin C to protect you from a flu attack.

Liz Lemon Pretty

Green Tea

Did you know that people who choose green tea as their go-to drink age better, both mentally and physically? Green tea not only helps in keeping your weight down, but it can also boost concentration. So next time you’re feeling out of focus at work, have a cup of green tea and let the creative juices flow.

We want to know! What’s your favourite food to snack on when you’re feeling a bit slow in the office? Let us know by commenting below.

5 Proven Practices in Building your Business Brand

Personal Brand

If your brand immediately comes to mind whenever someone mentions a particular product, then you can safely say that you’ve succeeded in building your brand. This is exactly the case for the Coca-Cola brand, which has been the flagship of the soda industry for over a century now. Achieving this level of success is the result of solid practices that has shaped the biggest brands in one way or another. Here are five of them:

Think Out of the Box

Don’t be afraid to experiment and take risks! If product poses some subtle similarities to other brands, make sure to make yours stand out! Invest in features that will show consumers that you are a visionary who strives for excellence more than profit. Do you think that the owner of Nokia hates the fact that the word “indestructible” is associated directly with his products? Of course not! So while all other mobile phones are generalized as fragile, Nokia has made a name for itself for being uniquely durable.

Hire the Right People

Making it big is practically impossible if you plan to go solo all the way, which is why you eventually have to distribute tasks to people who have the necessary skills. Not only will the manpower be multiplied, but you’ll also have a roomful of brains to bounce ideas with. You’ll never know how much innovation you can attain until you hear your employees out. Although this doesn’t mean you can slack off! You still have to do your part as the boss and owner.

Package your Product

Marketing your products/services plays an important role in building your brand. Make an impression on your target market by starting off with bazaars and social media platforms. Nowadays, social networking services makes things a lot easier for starting businesses. If you can get artists or bloggers to promote you, then that’s even better!

Think Ahead

Set a goal and run to it. Never start with just the purpose of earning money. Always think bigger! It may be as simple as “I want to export my goods” or something more ambitious like “I want my brand to be bigger than Starbucks”. It doesn’t matter really, as long as you’re working towards your goal. Always move forward, don’t stay at a certain level too long and get comfortable just because you think you’re doing well. Remember that there will always be room for improvement.

Quality Control

Never let the quality of your product or service slip. A lot of people willingly pay for expensive Nike shoes even though they can buy an equally nice pair for up to a fourth of the price. This is because customers know it’s worth every penny they pay. An unsatisfied customer will most likely refuse to make a repeat purchase; therefore, never think twice about investing in quality control and customer care.

Finance 101: Qualities to Develop to be Financially Literate

Math Kid

Aside from the knack to read and write, did you know that there’s another literacy most people are lacking? It’s called financial literacy, which is the ability to consistently make the right decisions in managing your personal finances.

In order to be financial literate, you need a set of skills and knowledge to help you make informed and effective verdicts regarding your money. Here are five qualities you need to develop in order to achieve that state of financial security.

A financially literate person is familiar with his household expenses

Keep track of how much money you have coming in, going out, and where it goes. Otherwise, you will surely make poor investments. Credit cards can be dangerous, so be sure to note how much you averagely spend on a monthly basis, them simply adjust wisely according to your spending pattern. This way, you’ll avoid, and I’m quoting “Fight Club” here, buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like.

A financially literate person has a vision for his or her finances

It is easier to discipline yourself with your finances if you know that you’ll eventually be rewarded for it. Having a goal in mind will make you focused in money management. It can be in the form of a new car, a fruitful business, or a dream vacation with your family. Doesn’t matter really as long as the goal will give you fulfillment. So now it’s time to ask yourself: “What am I saving for?”

A financially literate person is disciplined

A person may have good track of his earnings and a clear vision for his savings, but if he doesn’t have proper discipline, financial literacy will still be out of reach. This is why you’re next step is to a budget and stick to it. Get rid of unnecessary things and highlight the essential ones. Now, construct a budget for your daily, monthly, and yearly spending. You’ll be surprised how much stress will be lifted from your shoulders once you accomplish this.

A financially literate person looks for mentors

When it comes to money management, a lot of people offer a variety of opinions. Some of them can be useful, but the majority haven’t got a clue to what they’re talking about. For the most actionable cash advice, listen to those who practice what they preach, and to those who went from rags to riches because they knew how to handle the little money that they had.

Financial literacy is something that you don’t develop in days, weeks, months, and even a year. It is a lifelong journey grounded on risks, mistakes, perseverance, and the will to succeed. Look up to great business leaders and learn from their lives. It’s time for you to take that first step on that road to security.