Remember the holidays when you were little? Lots of hugs, kisses and breath taking squeezes from relatives, not to mention that one aunt who always wore bright red lipstick and left an impression on your cheek for all to see. Navigating the holidays with small children can be difficult, especially when they appear shy or snub the advances of loved ones. Sue Shellenbarger for the Wall Street Journal offers a variety of ways to help both your children and the relatives connect and enjoy their time together.
Ever gotten a bad gift and wondered if it was meant to hurt your feelings? Deborah Y. Cohn, associate professor of marketing at New York Institute of Technology explores the many reasons people select certain gifts for others, often to the detriment of relationships. Are we really that mean? Apparently so, or we find that gifts are an easy and quiet way to tell someone what you really think. Food for thought when shopping for next Christmas!
As much as we all dream of companies who serve the greater good, supply amazing products and make money, it’s an almost unachievable business plan. Started as a marketplace for vintage arts and crafts, Etsy went public in 2015 and slowly began shifting its focus away from original tenants and toward making money.
We often see social media rants about products, but do they actually represent how we feel about the brands or are they really just a way to blow off steam? Janet Morrissey for the New York Times explores this question in her article, Brands Heed Social Media. They’re Advised Not to Forget Word of Mouth and reminds companies what studies show. Even when we put things out for the world to see, the words from our mouths the next day may be a very different story.
What will the new tax bills mean for you? At the moment it’s not quite clear. Accountants and tax advisors everywhere are watching with bated breath as we approach the current tax season where these new laws will take affect. The best advice in the article? Schedule your tax professional appointment early this year.
How do you feel about essentials oils? Ever given them a try, just to see? What do you think about Multi-level Marketing businesses? Young Living and DoTerra, the two leading essential oil companies share a deep and ‘colorful’ past. Rachel Monroe for the New Yorker offers an in-depth history of the men who started both groups, as well as a personal look into what the people who sell their products actually gain from being part of these marketing schemes.
We all need a little levity at one time or another. Just like we need to unplug from our devices. Getting ready for the holidays? Check out these creative and humorous email, auto-replies in Tim Herrera’s article, Your Best Ways to Say ‘Sorry, I’m Out of the Office’.
Do you dream of retiring at 55? Ever thought about what it would take to actually make this a reality? For many it means cutting all extraneous costs such as meals out or travel, but there are other ways to help take a few years off your career. Maya Kachroo Levine for Forbes highlights these strategies to begin in your twenties:
–Don’t start spending more because you’re making more
–Start saving more, and maxing out multiple retirement accounts
–Look for side work that you can sustain in the long term
–Focus on owning your home outright
–Find a sacrifice that you’re willing to make that most people deem, “necessary”
–Set up passive income streams.
For more, read her complete article, 6 Steps You Can Take In Your 20s To Help You Retire Before 60.
When investing, do you consider the company’s impact on the environment, production of harmful products, or questionable business practices? Many would prefer to support groups with a positive mission but often feel that the returns are greater from so-called, “bad boy” companies. This may not be true. Chris Tomlinson for the Houston Chronicle sites financial data from two firms showing that focusing on ESG (environmental, social and governance factors), portfolios can actually outperform those loaded with stocks from corporations known for their cavalier business practices.
–Start by looking backward
–Decide what ‘meaningful’ means to you
–Build a personal “board of directors,” a financial cushion, and take time to reflect
–Find a sponsor, not just a mentor
–Collect experience and be generous
In the article, 5 Tips to Help You Figure Out What to Do With Your Life, Tim delves deeper into each of these categories, defining the roles of a sponsor verses mentor and gives insight into ways to construct your own group of trusted confidants. A recommended read for anyone currently pondering their future.