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4 Basic Habits that Will Help You Relate to People with Disabilities

Whenever you see the word “disability,” there’s a good chance you immediately think about someone in a wheelchair. However, disability is a much more complex condition than the wheelchair stereotype suggests. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 56.7 million people in the United States who live with a disability. This number represents 19 percent of the population or nearly 1 in 5 Americans. People who have disabilities suffer from a variety of debilitating conditions beyond physical infirmity. Disability generally includes any kind of impairment which either limits or restricts a person’s capacity to perform routine activities with ease. For example, disability can include conditions such as visual impairment, hearing impairment, mental health issues, speech impediments, and so on.

Be an Ally

Depending on whether a disability is visible or easily recognizable, people who suffer from disability often feel pressure to hide their condition if they can get away with it, especially in the workplace. This is because disability tends to provoke inappropriate language or mistreatment from insensitive able-bodied people. Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act paved the way for fair treatment of the disabled, there is still a lot of societal ignorance about how to interact with the disabled respectfully. The bottom line is that people with disabilities are people. That means they deserve to be acknowledged as equals and treated with dignity regardless of what disabilities they may have.

Here are a few tips on how to socialize graciously when you encounter people with disabilities:

  1. Put Yourself in Their Shoes – The golden rule never fails – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you ever find yourself struggling over what to say or how to connect with a disabled person, imagine how you would want to be treated if you had that same disability, and extend the appropriate courtesy in kind. Relax, and remember that you’re dealing with a human being. Talk to the person, not their disability.
  2. Choose Your Words Carefully – Use neutral language when talking to, or about, people with disabilities. Only refer to their disability if it’s relevant to the conversation, and avoid characterizing their disability as a weakness. If you know a particular word or expression is considered controversial or demeaning to people with disabilities, then, by all means, eliminate that vocabulary from your speech.
  3. Ask First Before Offering Help – People with disabilities are often the targets of well-meaning good Samaritans who actually undermine dignity rather than provide beneficial assistance. Don’t automatically assume that a disabled person is vulnerable or helpless if you see them in a dilemma. If you’re compelled to offer assistance, confirm whether they actually need your help with a polite request first.
  4. No Pity Parties – People have a natural instinct to feel sympathy when they see others suffer. However, if this sympathy makes you show constant or disturbing amounts of pity, you’ll only end up belittling people with disabilities. Pity is insulting to any human being with self-respect, so remember not to assume the worst of people with disabilities.

Disability is not the same thing as inability. People with disabilities might do things at a different pace, or in a unique way, but they are still perfectly capable of accomplishing the same outcomes as able-bodied people. All it takes is a little accessibility and accommodation. If you ever have the opportunity to engage or work with the disabled, choose to focus on their abilities rather than disabilities. Practice the golden rule, and treat them in the exact same way you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes. The less you stigmatize disability in your own mind, the more opportunities you will have to form meaningful relationships with people of many backgrounds.

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Quick Guide: How to Choose Between Leasing or Buying When Your Business is Ready to Expand

So, you’ve been in business for a while and things are looking up. Customers can’t get enough of your product, and you’re running out of space to manufacture and distribute. You have no choice but to expand by looking for larger premises, and bigger equipment. Every successful manufacturing business eventually finds itself at this very fork in the road, they have to figure out how to scale up with new equipment in order to make more gizmos and gadgets. Considering that it takes strong sales to arrive at this milestone, the decision to buy new equipment sounds like it should be a no-brainer. Except… it never is, because scaling up is usually expensive.

Don’t Take it Lightly
Figuring out how to expand and invest in new equipment is challenging because it almost always involves financing. If you finance your operations the wrong way when your business is still young, you could end up incurring costs that place a detrimental burden on future growth. Financing new equipment ultimately boils down to two choices – should your company lease its new equipment, or should your company buy its new equipment? Each one of these alternatives has its own advantages. Making the right choice depends on what your business environment is, and what your overall company objectives are.

When to Lease Equipment
The best time to lease equipment is either when the expansion is going to put serious pressure on your budget, or if you have a lot of equipment to acquire at one go. Leasing deprives you of acquiring any equity in the equipment you purchase, but it gives you access to the equipment’s utility anyways, so it’s still possible to expand your operations with a lease.

The most strategic benefits of leasing equipment are:

  • Leases don’t require a lot of upfront capital.
  • Leases let you give the equipment a test-run without keeping it forever.
  • Vendors usually offer to perform routine maintenance on leased equipment at minimal costs to you.
  • Leasing for short-term periods costs less than buying.

When to Buy Equipment
The best time to buy equipment is when you have absolute confidence in the utility of your choice, and your ability to guarantee sales. If you have no doubts about the revenue that your company will generate, then there’s a strong possibility that you can afford to buy new equipment in order to claim it as a company asset.

The most strategic benefits of buying equipment are:

  • The equipment belongs to your company so you can delete it at will.
  • Buying equipment outright costs less than leasing in the long-term.
  • Depreciation on the equipment can be offset as an expense when filing Taxes.
  • The equipment will add to the company’s value as an asset listed on the balance sheet.

Making a choice between these two options is a matter of being efficient. If you’re completely stumped about what to do even after considering the pros and cons for both, then choose the alternative which allows you to maintain as much cash in your working capital as possible. At the end of the day, cash is king. The more cash your company holds from one fiscal period to the next, the better positioned it is to withstand unexpected problems or events in your business cycle.

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(English) 4 Important Steps to Follow When Making a Co-Parenting Plan

According to research conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 39% of marriages in the United States end up in divorce. Not only do married couples separate this way in the millions, but unmarried cohabiting partners also suffer similar rates of separation. In situations where estranged couples had kids while they were still together, separation automatically creates the need to confront one of life’s most challenging dilemmas – co-parenting. Simply put, co-parenting is a formal agreement made between former spouses, or partners, to cordially share the responsibility of raising any children they had together as a couple, regardless of being separated.

Co-parenting Takes Work:
As you can imagine, coming to such an agreement mutually isn’t always an easy thing for people to do. If there’s been any animosity built during separation, resentment can trigger conflict and neglect between the parents involved, and the fewer parents get along, the more kids will suffer from their parents’ acrimony. No matter how complicated the situation might be, however, it’s important for separated couples to set aside their differences in order to act in the best interests of the kids. After all, children have no choice but to rely on their parents’ care and discretion.

Here are a few tips on how to create a solid co-parenting plan.

  1. Make a Calendar – The first thing to iron out when co-parenting is how to divide the time spent with the kids. Each household has its own unique circumstances that influence how much facetime parents will eventually get, but, the ideal arrangement would be a 50/50 allocation of time for each parent. Sit down together with a calendar and meticulously decide each day or week you should each receive custody.
  2. Choose How to Communicate – You and your co-parent should establish an exclusive channel of communication that allows you to get in touch with each other at all times. For example, purchase a unique phone line that you can designate as a binding way to talk when necessary. Designated communication channels guarantee that co-parents can share important information with each other without confusion or delays.
  3. Set Boundaries on who can Meet/Watch Your Kids in Your Absence – One of the most controversial flashpoints of co-parenting is when a former partner meets someone new. In the event that your co-parent decides to date other people, make it known whether you want to be introduced to the first or whether you object to your child getting in contact with them at all. It’s a tough conversation to have, but don’t sweep it under the rug. Ignoring this conversation can lead to big fights down the road.
  4. Pick a Neutral Place to Exchange your Child – Setting up custody-swaps at your residence sounds like a convenient idea, but emotional baggage from the relationship might not always make this possible. If it’s difficult for you to allow your co-parent back into your physical space, or if you’re likely to move-house anyways, pick a neutral place like a restaurant where the two of you can meet without feeling invaded.

Whether or not you live with your partner, raising kids is a lifelong commitment that can never be abandoned. Your kids don’t just need you to feed, shelter, and clothe them, they need you to create a sense of stability and security in their lives. This is the spirit that should guide the decisions you make as a co-parent. Show your kids that there’s no conflict or obstacle so big that it would tear you away from them – even divorce. Co-parenting might not always go smoothly, but it makes a difference if you stay determined to make it work. Do everything you can to make sure your kids know you’ll be there, no matter what.

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3 Things to Consider when Choosing a Location for your Business

If you’re looking to start a company of your own, chances are you’re already familiar with the infamous mantra, “Location, Location, Location.” This phrase is used to emphasize one of the most fundamental principles of business, that is – a company can experience tremendous profits or devastating losses purely because of where it’s located. Most entrepreneurs associate this principle with the concept of foot-traffic since locating your business in an area with high foot-traffic increases the probability of sales. However, choosing the right location involves many more variables than passers-by.

Here are a few tips on how to make smart choices when selecting a location for your business:

  1. Know Your Customer’s Psychology – Before you gamble everything on settling where there’s heavy foot-traffic, think about whether your clients are likelier to make impulse purchases or planned purchases. If you sell a product that requires planning, such as bridal-gown design, chances are foot-traffic won’t gravitate to you just because there’s a crowd at your chosen location. On the other hand, if you sell a product which can be consumed spontaneously, such as food, foot-traffic is a great advantage for revenue.
  2. Research Zoning Ordinances – Municipal zoning laws and policies place restrictions on who can do business and where. Depending on whether you want to rent a premises, build a premises, or operate from a portable vehicle like a truck or a van, zoning restrictions can either limit or prohibit your plans if you set up shop in the wrong area. It’s a much better approach to learn what zoning laws you should adhere to long before your business has commenced operations.
  3. Make Friends with Uncle Sam – Taxes are another factor that can end up costing a business significantly over time. Explore all the alternatives available to you in terms of both state, and federal taxes, in order to pick a location with as little a tax burden as possible. Some states deliberately create tax-environments that are friendly to certain industries. There’s no need to swim upstream if you have an opportunity to reduce what your business will spend on taxes throughout its lifetime.

Location is critical when opening a business, however, don’t confine your understanding of location to thinking about customer-base only. Assuming your business grows, compliance with zoning and tax laws will eventually start to matter much more than how many people you can attract to the cash register. Having a long-term view is the key to making good choices about this, and all the other formative decisions regarding your business. No matter what, do your research, execute efficiently and keep your eye on the prize.

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4 Practical Ways to Enhance you Leadership Skills

Leadership is a word that gets thrown around so often that it almost loses meaning. There are so many perspectives on what leadership is that it’s actually difficult for most people to describe it in a uniform way. No matter how versatile public perception of leadership might be, the fact remains that leadership as a concept is an essential component of professional success. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an ordinary employee or an officer in charge of an organization, leadership skills mean the difference between getting things done and treading water. So, what does it mean exactly to be a leader?

Here are a few tips on how to strengthen your leadership qualities:

  1. Be Passionate About What You Do – As previously defined, leadership is all about setting a good example for others. So, no matter what it is you do, if you want to be viewed as a leader, care about the things you do with sincerity and perform your work with integrity.
  2. Be Empathetic – If you expect to influence other people as a leader, you have to be capable of understanding their point of view. To this end, you should develop a strong ability to see things from others’ perspectives, especially when others might not necessarily agree with your own personal approach to things.
  3. Listen – Leadership is all about staying grounded with the people you are accountable to. That’s why you should take the time to routinely assess how others perceive the decisions you make and the way you engage with them. If you notice anything that interferes with your reputation, take steps to improve on criticisms.
  4. Take Initiative – Leaders have to be pioneers when it comes to making proactive decisions. If you don’t have the bravery to do the right thing first, that means you’re a follower and not a leader. Always be prepared to follow through on good judgment and good opportunities.

The English dictionary defines leadership as the action of demonstrating authority in a way that sets an example for others or shows direction. In this sense, leadership is a social trait. It’s having the ability to impact the environment around you by engaging with others in an influential way. Because leadership and power are usually intertwined, people tend to view leadership as a coercive privilege. However, leadership has nothing to do with imposing your will on others. On the contrary, leadership is about winning hearts and minds to your own point of view through legitimacy and articulation. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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5 Easy Guidelines on How to Practice Strong Time-Management

Nothing in life is more precious than time. In fact, time is the single most important resource a person can possess. The more efficiently you use your time, the more productive and fulfilled you will end up being in the long term. On the other hand, the more you waste time, the more you’ll end up having to play catch-up on the goals you set for yourself every day. All it takes to gain control of how you spend your time is some planning. This might sound elaborate, but even the most basic planning can make a huge difference by adding structure to your day.

Here are a few tips on how to become a prolific time-manager:

  1. Do a Self-Assessment – Strong time-management can only be implemented successfully on a foundation of self-awareness. If you want to change how you spend time, create a journal of your activities, then review your findings in order to identify specific areas that need change.
  2. Use the Right Tech – We live in a digitized world but this doesn’t necessarily mean that all technology is helpful. Unwitting reliance on inefficient technology actually consumes time rather than saving it. Get rid of any technology that only offers style over substance.
  3. Set Realistic Goals – Setting out to accomplish any ambitious task without defining clear objectives either results in wasted effort or meaningless exertion. Make sure to constantly keep your most important goals in mind as a way to stay focused on why it is you need to use time wisely.
  4. Be Flexible – It’s easier to plan on doing something than it is to execute. This simple fact leads many people to draft schedules for themselves that are way too ambitious. Avoid stretching yourself too thin by arranging to do too many things at once.
  5. Take Breaks – Just because you’re trying to save time doesn’t mean that all of it should be used on work. Rest is also an important part of productivity. If you push yourself too much, you’ll end up working at a gradually slower pace till you burnout.

Time management is more about productivity than effort. Try to organize your schedule in a way that allows you to accomplish multiple tasks in sequence and to completion. The more you leave things unfinished or procrastinate, the harder it is to stay focused and achieve the various short-term goals you set for yourself. Regardless of how you configure your schedule though, try as much as possible to follow through on your to-do list. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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5 Rules to Follow if You Want Good Credit

According to research conducted by the United States Federal Reserve, almost half the country is now dependent on credit card debt as a component of household budgeting. 43% of Americans carry over a credit card balance every month, whereas 57% of Americans use credit cards purely for convenience without carrying over a monthly balance. Either way, using credit cards is fast becoming an unavoidable skill in life. The good news is that when used efficiently, credit cards are a great way to govern routine expenses and soften the blow of inflation. The bad news is that using credit negligently can plunge people into overwhelming debt.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid financial catastrophe when using credit cards regularly:

  1. Remember – You Have to Pay it Back – Credit cards are not bank accounts. Nor are they money. Credit cards are tangible representations of a loan. Like any conventional loan, if you don’t pay your debt back, that makes you a thief. Unless you want to become a thief, your highest goal when using credit cards should be paying back the balance.
  2. Distinguish Between Wants and Needs – Spending money on things you don’t need is the quickest way to burden yourself with mushrooming credit balances. If a spending decision won’t have any impact on your health and well-being, pause to evaluate whether you can actually do without it.
  3. Record Your Card Balances – No matter how many credit cards you open, make sure you keep track of their balances at least once every three months. Design a spreadsheet and update it routinely with records of your outstanding debt. This encourages you to be mindful of whether things are getting out of hand.
  4. Don’t Settle for the Bare Minimum – Paying back debt has nothing to do with making minimum payments, and everything to do with clearing an outstanding balance in its entirety. If you choose to pay back a loan strictly through the minimum payments that are due, you’ll end up paying excess cash via interest charges.
  5. Focus on One Card – Opening multiple credit cards might give you more transactional flexibility, but using several credit cards at the same time also compounds your monthly payments. If you can, choose to transact with a single credit card that has a high credit limit. Simplifying always works when it comes to money.

Money-management is one of the most common challenges that people face in life. Good money-management leads to upward social mobility whereas bad money-management leads to hardship and poverty. Unfortunately, human nature tends to be more inclined to practice bad money-management thanks to selfish emotions. It’s easier to make greedy or reckless decisions with your cash than it is to be disciplined and tactical. However, it’s impossible to ever achieve financial freedom without deciding to practice good money-management, especially when it comes to maintaining good credit and servicing debt. So, no matter where you are in life, or how much sacrifice it takes, start being responsible and efficient about your finances today, if you want to have a brighter tomorrow.

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5 Steps to Transform Yourself into a Good Decision-Maker

Making good choices sounds like a skill that should come easily to everyone. After all, what’s so difficult about figuring out the difference between good or bad, then choosing good every time? If it were that easy, humanity wouldn’t be plagued by any of its social problems. Whether it’s something as innocent as eating too much junk food, or something as consequential is doing drugs, every living breathing person struggles with the frustrations created by occasional bad judgment. There’s good news though. Just because you’re capable of making mistakes doesn’t mean you’re condemned to failure. Good decision-making is just a matter of practice.

Here are a few steps to follow if you want to evolve into a good decision-maker:

  1. Identify the Dilemma – Every single decision is nothing more than an ultimatum between multiple alternative outcomes. Before picking a course of action, identify and describe every possible outcome first.
  2. Research – Even if you consider yourself a knowledgeable person, nobody truly ever has all of the answers. The more complex the decision you’re presented with is, the more important it is to gather and analyze information about the options available to you.
  3. Weigh Your Alternatives – Once you have an informed understanding of the different approaches you can take, compare them to figure out which one is most beneficial. Try as much as possible to minimize your exposure to risk, and maximize your gains through this process.
  4. Execute – If you know you’ve taken the time to evaluate how to make an efficient choice in order to address a given dilemma, then carry out your plan of action conclusively. Don’t allow yourself to start second-guessing the work you’ve put into assessing the situation.
  5. Learn from Past Mistakes – Preparation might be important for good decision-making, however reflection is imperative for it. If something you have ever done in the past produced bad outcomes, then don’t repeat that task or behavior again. Always do the opposite of everything you regret.

Some people just seem to have everything figured out. They know exactly what their goals in life are, they solve problems easily, and they’ve never caught off-guard by surprises or uncertain situations. It’s easy to call such people lucky, or geniuses, but the truth is their success has less to do with extraordinary fortune, and more to do with good decision-making. Every choice that we make in life has consequences. So, if you see someone living the good life, it’s mostly because they made a series of choices in the past that eventually reaped the rewards they now enjoy today. If they could become a success, then so can you. It’s just a matter of making a few good decisions of your own.

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Quick Guide: Get Your Kids Vaccinated Against the Measles

The United States is currently dealing with the worst outbreak of Measles on record since 1994. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 880 individual cases have been confirmed in 24 states from Jan. 1st to May 17th, 2019. Even though measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in the year 2000, the illness has seen a resurgence thanks to an increase in the number of travelers who contract measles abroad, and communities with pockets of unvaccinated people. States which have reported cases of the Measles to the CDC include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.

This is a Serious Problem
The fact that Measles has managed to reemerge and spread across the country is a red flag about the state of vaccination in the United States. It’s a sign that parents haven’t been diligent about vaccinating their children against such preventable illnesses. Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person either coughs or sneezes. This airborne nature is why the Measles can spread so easily across a given population. Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States. Out of these millions of cases, an estimated 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 developed encephalitides (brain swelling) from measles. After the discovery of a measles vaccine however, the widespread use of the vaccine eventually led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases compared with the pre-vaccine era.

Get Your Kids Vaccinated Immediately
Measles can easily be prevented with an MMR vaccine. This vaccine actually protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.
The CDC particularly recommends that children should get two doses of the MMR vaccine:

  • A first dose should be administered at 12-15 months of age
  • A second dose should be administered at 4-6 years of age.
  • Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.

The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of the MMR vaccine as previously prescribed are about 97% effective at preventing measles, whereas one dose only is about 93% effective. Health experts say that the current outbreak of Measles has particularly spread amongst school-age children whose parents intentionally declined to get their kids vaccinated. This is problematic because the MMR vaccine doesn’t just prevent the disease after vaccination, it diminishes the severity of symptoms on people who contract the Measles despite having been vaccinated. Any information being circulated about vaccines being linked to autism is false. Numerous scientific studies have been published disproving this argument about why children shouldn’t be vaccinated. So, if you are a parent who cares about the health and safety of your kids, please ensure that they are up to date on their MMR, and all other vaccinations as well.

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How to Find Happiness at Work in 3 Easy Steps

Careers aren’t always neat and orderly. Sometimes when people pursue a chosen line of work, everything falls into place and it’s easy to accomplish desired goals. Sometimes though, work can become unpredictable and chaotic. Everything you think should happen doesn’t, and you’re left treading water in an ocean of confusion. Sadly, the latter is exactly how millions of professionals feel about the jobs they do every day. According to research conducted by The Conference Board, 49% of American workers are dissatisfied with their jobs. Almost half of the country’s workforce is either discontent or discouraged about their performance at work. They struggle with negative feelings and frustrations which are directly attributable to their jobs.

If the work you do makes you feel anxious and inadequate, here are a few tips on how to find a silver lining and build more job satisfaction:

  1. Do Your Homework – One of the biggest reasons why people feel miserable at work is because they’re overwhelmed by their responsibilities. There’s only one solution to this, developing stronger expertise. Regardless of what your line of work may be, reading up in order to bolster your relevant skills will help you develop more aptitude and confidence.
  2. Meditate and Reflect – If you work in a fast-paced environment, it’s easy to lose yourself in busy schedules and big expectations. This is where striking a balance becomes essential. Instead of allowing work to take over your life completely, make some time for rest, reflection and meditation. Step outside of yourself every now and then to avoid becoming obsessed with your job.
  3. Take Some Risks – Fear of failure is one of the biggest hurdles to happiness at work. People are so averse to making mistakes that they don’t allow themselves to think outside the box or be creative. However, some of life’s greatest lessons actually come from mistakes. Instead of restricting yourself with caution, take a leap and do something wild or different. Allow yourself to be human and be innovative.

A lot of the stress that people feel from work is a product of how hard we are on ourselves. We get so caught up in following strict rules and meeting expectations that we confine ourselves to a rigid concept of happiness and success. Better performance isn’t necessarily the key to more job satisfaction. Sometimes you just have to step outside of yourself and commit to developing a more flexible frame of mind. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.q

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