It’s Business, Not Personal

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.

Inside the Revolution at Etsy

Word of Mouth

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.

Tax Confusion?

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.

Confused by the Tax Bills? Be Glad You’re Not an Accountant

 

Are You Oily?

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.

How Essential Oils Became the Cure for Our Age of Anxiety

 

A Little Auto-Reply Laugh

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’.

Early Retirement?

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.

 

ESG Portfolios Can Outperform Tradition

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.

Good returns don’t require ‘bad’ investments

When I Grow Up…

Have you ever reached a crossroads and wondered what you should be doing with your life?  Tim Herrera for the New York Times offers these five tips to help you along the path.

–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.

Are You Prepared?

Are you prepared in the event of an emergency?  Many people fail to realize that true readiness takes detailed planning prior to the actual event.  If you had to evacuate, would your valuables be secure?  Or would you have enough water and food to sustain your family for 72 hours?  All these are good questions posed by Ronda Kaysen for the New York Times in her article, Preparing Your Home for a Disaster.  The thought of disaster preparedness can be overwhelming, but if you allow time for the various parts, it becomes a much less daunting task.

Interview Questions

Ever had an interview that felt like an interrogation?  Most managers agree that this time should be a way to learn more about the prospective employee and to offer them a safe space to ask questions about the company.  Often, similar questions are used in this process but they might not always mean what you think.  Rich Bellis for FastCompany, offers his advice for what interviewers  actually hope to hear when they ask these questions.  The Secret Meanings Behind Four Of The Most Common Interview Questions.