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Crash-landing, deafening silence, impossible solution, autopilot, plastic glasses, jumbo shrimp…What do these all have in common? Well, their respective literal meaning is an oxymoron, but they have transcended vocabulary. Recently, a Glassdoor article was shared with me and as soon as I saw the title, I had an internal sarcastic laugh which only lasted a couple seconds, just before I opened the post. Yes, it is natural to think of an entry-level job as work that pays significantly less but truly, it’s not always the case. Since it’s graduation season, I decided to do a quick Google search and see what the career are out there that might help millennials get out of their parents’ home right out of school.

Well-paying entry level job is not an oxymoron. Don’t get me wrong, cost of living should be considered before a salary is assessed as high or low so a ‘high paying entry level’ job is subjective. We know that in 2017, the average college grad starting salary was $50K. If you live in Iowa, you’d be comfortable whereas a DC resident may cringe on that number.  

For new college grads and really for anyone, I highly recommend doing some research and having a clear idea of what you deserve as a salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website is a great resource.

So, without any further do, here are a few careers to consider for your independence from mom and dad.

  1. Graphic Designer

If you’re the creative type and want to put all that creative juice to good use, then you should consider coming up with creative solutions in the form of graphic design. But it’s not just the median base pay of $43,500 that makes this an attractive proposition, it’s the scope of projects you’ll get to work on and the chance to go freelance if you so choose. At $43,000 per year, you may not be able to accomplish a lot. This is an opportunity to develop good discipline habits. Share an apartment with a roommate if you’re single and most importantly, establish your budget.

  1. Marketing Associate

If you are looking for a fast-paced job that juggles the need for creativity, empathy, and selling, you need to join a marketing team, and that means going through the entry-level door of marketing associate. Sure, there might be a lot of coffee-making, but that’s where some of the greats started, working their way up to project management, budgeting, event execution, and branding. As for money, you can expect a cool $48,500.

  1. Farm Assistant Manager

Are you get-your-hands-dirty-outdoorsy-type? If so, then you might want to check what agriculture jobs are out there, not only because the potential to earn $100,000+ is high, but because with some hard work, you can climb that ladder fast. There is also an immensely wide scope of jobs. It could be accountancy, dairy management, energy, feed or any number of things. Whatever you decide, you can expect to be on $47,000 very early on in your career.

  1. Paralegal

Yeah, we’re talking about that job Meghan Markle had in her role in Suits before she became the Queen (or whatever her royal title is). Paralegals are responsible for interacting with both internal and external constituents and play a seriously crucial role when it comes to managing the legal function. Once again, the average salary is around $47,000 and the range of options within this field are so wide you will be sure to find something you enjoy.

  1. Software Engineer

With no surprise, jobs in the tech field pay more than other careers. If you’re the tech-savvy type that wants to be compensated for your technical knowledge, you will not be disappointed when searching for software engineering jobs because the median pay is a cool $86,000. As a software engineer, you will be working closely with product owners, senior engineers, designers and programmers. Moreover, there are chances of being part of an innovating team.

Here is a video that gives you many more options to consider when evaluating entry level salaries.

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Across the country and all over the world, thousands of students are celebrating their accomplishment in graduating college. The praises pour in, the encouragement is overwhelming and for some the gifts are still flooding the homes. What a great feeling!? If you have just finished a 4 year degree, a graduate program or higher, I want to personally congratulate you. You have attained an important milestone in your life.

So, why did you pursue that college degree? I would guess that at some point in your life you’ve probably heard a statement similar to this: ‘Go to school, get a good education to get a good job and you’ll be set and successful’. Does that sound familiar? You’ve probably also heard that those with a college degree earn significantly higher than workers who did not attend higher education or did not graduate from high school.

The questions I like to pose are ‘What do you consider successful?’ and ‘How do you want to live?’ Your response to those questions drives your viewpoint on the two statements I mentioned above. Plus, how you want to live may not line up at all with what a college degree can offer you and you would end up wasting 4+ years and thousands of dollars by attending a university. And trust me, a lot of people figure it out too late.

The goal of Money-Smart Millennials is to provide you with information that would help you make wise decisions. If you plan on getting a higher education degree, expect to spend at least $57K for a public institution. In 2017, according to Time magazine, the average 4 year degree salary was just under $50K. I have a bachelor degree and it has served me well. However, I know many individuals who are doing very well in life and financially without having to go to college. So the bottom line, it is your decision to make considering your desired outcome. But what exactly is education for us millennials?

Traditionally, when we think about education, we tend to think of a classroom, a professor, a degree. Yet today, because of technology and the nature of the global economy there’s a growing need to keep up with the latest trends and expand the knowledge beyond that of a formal education. Plus, education should continue after the college years in all areas of life, especially communication and leadership. To succeed, you should embrace the principle of Kaizen (which means never ending improvement). The world is a much more competitive marketplace today regardless of geographical locations, which means you must always to the extra mile.

The trend of online learning has revolutionized the way we learn, and today, there’s a focus on more practically applicable courses such as those offered by the Training Connection that have a direct impact on our ability to create value and earn money. See, the paradigm where you go to school and get a good job for 40 years seems to have gone out the window a long time ago. Counting on such a system is like keeping your Blockbuster ID and hoping that a store pops up one day. An academic education no longer guarantees financial stability let alone financial success. There’s a popular saying that goes something like the “more you learn the more you earn”, but learning should not be applied only to the classroom.

There’s a lot of psychological power in learning, in that people feel best when they are achieving things and making progress with a specific endeavor. In fact, physiologically speaking, it produces a psychological boost in the form of an endorphin rush… similar to a runner’s high, the energized buzz we get from doing exercise. Then, there are the financial benefits. In today’s world, most people would benefit from improving their earning ability and keeping up their knowledge in such a competitive market. If you’re not the entrepreneur type, you should aim at rising above the pack of employees. In fact, when you consider the fact that people are ultimately compensated in direct proportion to the value they create (not what they learned in school), any education that helps boost your value to the marketplace is worth the investment. If you want to earn more or even get a job, you need to create more value in terms of the end result you are providing because a job is not simply given to you; this is why specialist surgeons get paid much more than general practitioners, at least a capitalist environment such as the USA.

In short, to make more money, you have to find ways to create more value. The economy of today requires people who find solutions to particular problems and in return, those people are rewarded proportionally to the problem they fix.

In summary, education in the 21st century is no longer just the equivalent of a diploma. Just like your health, it should be maintained and even improved at all times. Today, education is and must be is a way to expand your mind, increase your earning potential, improve your self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence… but it needs to be focused on something that will create more value to the marketplace. Remember, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates never finished college.

***The best book on education I’ve ever read***

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When Thursday rolls around, the foot is slowly taken off the accelerator? Why? Starting strong is great but finishing the week stronger is even better. Those who go the extra mile get the extra reward. It’s that simple. So today, let’s press on and receive inspiration from great minds. Thursday is for TENACITY…

Never give up. There are always tough times, regardless of what you do in anything in life. Be able to push through those times and maintain your ultimate goal – Nathan Chen

You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb a little himself – Andrew Carnegie

No matter the circumstances that you may be going through, just push through it. – Ray Lewis

I grew up where, when a door closed, a window didn’t open. The only thing I had was cracks. I’d do everything to get through those cracks – scratch, claw, bite, push, bleed. Now the opportunity is here. The door is wide open, and it’s as big as a garage. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

I thrive on obstacles. If I’m told that it can’t be told, then I push harder. – Issa Rae

I guess I just like to challenge myself and push myself harder to do things that I don’t think I can, to do things that other people do not think I can. It pushes me. I push my own personal limits. Bethany Hamilton

Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds. Larry Bird

YouTube Video: Keep Going

Don’t tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. ― James Ling

The last thing you want to do is finish playing or doing anything and wish you would have worked harder. ― Derek Jeter

The high cost of greatness is better than the low cost of mediocrity. ― Matshona Dhliwayo

Starting strong is good. Finishing strong is epic. ― Robin Sharma

The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. ― Robert Frost

Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment. ― Thomas Carlyle

YouTube Video: Finish Strong

No matter who you are or what you do, embrace the challenge to first start with the goal to finish strong. – Andy Andrews

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. – Neale Donald Walsch

***Get some encouragement to keep fighting***

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This blog aims at providing you the best l advice that you can utilize to attain financial stability. From establishing a budget to venturing into the entrepreneurial world, I try to share with you my experience and the experiences of people who have succeeded both in their lives and in their career. I usually say that reaching financial stability is a simple and easy process, but I must admit that that statement is conditional. Based on your situation, it may take you less or more time to reach your goal. The reality is that there are many other factors involved and they revolved around life. So, let’s step back and look at ways to get out of the slump first. The slump is not always financial.

It’s all too easy to fall into a rut. I live in the DC area and it is fast pace all the time. If you have young kids who are now entering the phase of organized sport, you no longer have weekends. Between hectic schedules, work, chores around the house and diverse commitments, some people tend to easily burn out. Well summer is almost around the corner and it may be time to recharge. Here are four ways to change your life this summer.

Start with your health

Exercise, exercise, exercise. The benefits of physical activity are endless, and we will not start making a list here. You get the point. I exercise regularly and truly, nothing comes close to the sense of freedom I get when I’m physically active. For me, it is a great de-stresser.

Did you know that junk food can upset the chemical balance in your brain? The additives that are in junk food have serious effects on our bodies, but nobody ever talks about the brain. The chemical imbalance will lead to a feeling of constant tiredness and melancholy. If you are one to fall for fast food all the time, commit to making some changes to your diet so that you can give your brain the best chance of pulling itself out of the slump that it’s in. opt for healthier alternatives and treats like crisps and healthy chips. Eating healthier will also make you feel and look fitter, which will give you a confidence boost and yep, you guessed it –  help bring you out of your slump.

Take a break

When I get very excited about a project, I get lost into the work and usually forget to take breaks. This can last for months. Focusing on a project or for work with intensity is not a bad thing. In fact, confidence is boosted when you are working hard toward accomplishing a worthwhile goal. Intensity in a short period of time will increase the outcome of any task. Nonetheless, it is important to slow down, take a break and enjoy what’s around you as well. This is not about taking a 2-week vacation and traveling to some exotic destination. If you have the means, got it. But for most millennials trying to their finances in order, it is a luxury they do not have access to. I recently discover onlyinyourstate.com. For a quick and inexpensive option to getaway, enjoy nature and find hidden jewels in your area, it is the perfect tool.

Take up a new hobby

Taking up a hobby can immediately make you feel better and just like taking a break, it allows your brain to focus on other things for a while. A hobby is an activity that you enjoy, not one that your friends invite you too. Find something that you would look forward to doing. For many people, it’s sports. It doesn’t have to be. By the way, watching TV for hours is not a hobby. In fact, it simply numbs your cognitive abilities. You never know, your new hobby might turn into a side business, or even something that the whole family can get involved with!

Enroll into a class

No, I am not referring to courses toward a degree. This could be a drawing class, maybe a DIY repair class, voice lessons, yoga class, etc. These could fall under the category of taking up a hobby or getting healthier. Whatever it is, it is a way to engage your brain and learn a new skill.

Do something selfless

A fantastic way of dragging yourself out of a dark point in your life is by doing something selfless. Head to an animal shelter or volunteer at a cancer center, help in a senior community or at a soup kitchen. The goal is to make a difference in someone’s life.

Securing your financial stability

I worked in the banking industry for a few years. Having messed up finances, debt or unexpected high bills can cause a lot of stress to some people and even depression. I was a youngster when I started my career in banking and it was incredible to me (and sad) how so many clients’ lives would be turned upside down when they had a financial fire to put out. My goal was always to help those clients find ways to remove financial stress. Much easier said than done.

You can start by thoroughly going through your bank statement and canceling any unwanted or unused subscriptions, establishing a well thought out budget that allows to cut frivolous spending, save a bit more. At a certain point, looking into some type of insurance may be what you need. Although it doesn’t apply to everyone, a home warranty policy may be a wise choice for you. In some cases, I would recommend to my clients a home equity line of credit. Again, I want to make sure here that you understand that taking up debt when you can’t repay it is irresponsible. If you’re unsure, get assistance from someone capable of making a wise decision. But if you decide to consolidate some debts for example to reduce your total monthly payment, a company such as personalloan.co offers several loan options. Just remember to make sure you can afford to repay your loan!

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3 out 10 workers in America are freelancers. Working as a freelancer is not just a fantasy anymore; it’s becoming a popular choice for a lot of millennials who feel they can get a better chance at maintaining their work/life balance this way. Office work, while it provides stability doesn’t always meet the need of a modern, fast pace and dynamic workforce. Flexible working options, a peaceful working environment and less pressure from either office politics or even colleagues are some of the main requests of millennials. That’s precisely why the independence and freedom of the freelance lifestyle seems so appealing to this generation. However, remember that as a freelancer, you are essentially a business owner. To make it, you’ll have to work harder than an employee. Technology and remote work spaces seem to embellish that type of work but do not be deceived. Freelancing poses also a lot of challenges for newcomers who may not be trained in the art of making a living as an entrepreneur. After all, most studies are designed to shape you for future corporate roles. How do you approach an independent career for success when there is support platform to provide guidance?

Finding your niche

Freelancers have to deal with a lot of competition, coming both from other freelancers and from corporations. Needless to say that if you want to enjoy the warmth of a roof over your head you need to differentiate yourself in such a way that you can get noticed. To refer to the business jargon, you have to define your niche, the area where you can stand out as an expert. Ultimately, it’s fair to say that ‘average’ would not make the cut. Targeting a specific audience is key to establishing your niche. From a client’s perspective, a niche expert is someone who understands their needs and their market. While it limits your clients to a sector, it also means that you are less likely to struggle with overwhelming competition. 

Creating a recognizable brand image

Your niche is only the tip of the iceberg. You also need to be distinguishable in the marketplace. You need a brand and an identity that differentiates you from other players. When it comes to your visual image, depending on your approach to freelancing, you can choose to create your logo or you can find a designer to do the hard work for you. A lot of freelancers in the technology field for instance exercise their uniqueness by building their designing skills through tools such as frequent InDesign training because the process of branding is tightly connected to their business strategy. They say that you don’t truly understand your business idea until you begin to create your brand, your culture, your identity, your image. So, it’s fair to assume that a hands-on branding project could be an essential part of a business launch. Considering a slogan? Take a look at Ubersuggest, a keyword research tool that can help you to perform granular searches.

Understanding how business works

Did you know that in the UK 70% of SMEs harness freelance talent (SME=Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) in Europe? You can find similar trends in the US too. Small and medium companies prefer to work with freelancers for projects that require skills they don’t have in-house. Yes, technical skills and expertise are essential but your ability to negotiate, communicate and sell your brand is what will bring in the high dollars. As a result, it’s crucial that you understand how to handle a business conversation with these SME managers to get your profile on top of their list. It’s not only a matter of showing them that you’re a good fit, but you also need to show that you are ready to PARTNER with them. A partner is much more welcomed than a contractor. 

You can’t to do it all on your own

Let’s be honest. You’re an entrepreneur. While this means, you don’t have an employer, it doesn’t imply that you should do everything by yourself. As your business grows, you will find that an accountant is better suited to keep you in line fiscally. You definitely do not want the IRS on your tail. A lot of freelancers forget that they don’t have to do everything on their own. Do you need help to design an elegant, attractive and professional website? Reach out to an expert within your means. Outsourcing lets you focus on what you do best so that you don’t waste time on other tasks.

Dealing with the stress of being self-employed

Last, but not least, freelancing is a stressful life where there is no guarantee that you’ll find your next client. In fact, freelancers are under as much if not more stress than employees. And you don’t have the luxury of taking a sick day to relax. You need to define your own coping mechanism. Spend more time in nature – a countryside walk can do wonders to the mind – and schedule regular exercise, read daily as these simple changes can help you maintain your mental health.

There is no magic formula on how to make money as a freelancer. But it’s fair to say that getting in the right mindset before you launch your freelance business can make a great deal of difference in the long term. If you think like a successful entrepreneur and make the right decisions, you’re more likely to become one.

This article is a collaborative post, it may contain affiliate links.
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When it comes to money, it’s always good to know that you’re in control. No matter how much you earn or what kind of financial situation you’re in right now, you’ll always want to be sure that you’re making the right decisions to be confident and financially stable. But let’s be honest, it’s not just that easy. Whether you’ve never properly been educated on finance or you just don’t know how to maximize your current position, it may take you time to get there. When you’re in your twenties and even early thirties, that’s tolerable. You have time to learn and get things right. But ideally, you want to be there as soon as possible. And there are ways to do it.

Being in a good place financially should be something you aspire to. And the best news is that it is simple to attain. You don’t have to wait years to be in the position you want to be in. Instead, you can start working on it today. Start acting confidently and as you are in control and you will start exhibiting the skills you need to be financially stable. These skills aren’t difficult to embrace. Yes, you do need to change your mindset, but if you really want this to work, you will find that it’s relatively simple to do. And here are the techniques to help you.

Start with a budget

Is it sound judgement to acquire home insurance after you’ve had a serious damage to your house? Obviously, no. Similarly, it does not make sense to establish a budget after your bank account is in the red for weeks and you’re struggling for money. What if you simply want to cut back? You still need to have a clear picture of your expenses. A budget is the solution. Truly, budgeting is just a smart way to manage your money. When you learn to budget, you have more control over where your money goes, instead of wondering where it’s gone. Struggling with discipline and organization? You’ll be surprised at home much just simply establishing the habit of following a budget contaminates other areas of your life.

Reduce your cash outflow (expenses)

As you take the first steps with a budget toward financial stability, you’ll realize that you may be spending too much money in some areas (or on things). As a smart and responsible millennial, this is where you need to implement discipline. Could you cut back on the 250 channels robust cable subscription that you pay for? Could you manage your time more efficiently and set aside some time to pack a lunch before you head out the door? I know how good Starbucks and Chipotle are but stop by those establishments a few times a week and you will easily dig a $100 or more hole in your finances every month. Delay your gratifications now so you can enjoy peace of mind later. It’s so easy and tempting to swipe your card because you can. But if you want to turn things around, you need to make sure that you’re working on conscious spending and controlling how much you spend on a daily basis – particularly on purchases that don’t bring value to your life.

Save on your household expenses

Next, let’s evaluate the household expenses. You won’t always be able to cut these expenditures out entirely, but it doesn’t mean that you must overpay. So, think about using these household savings tips, be creative but wise, and try saving to bring your costs down overall. Regarding household expenses, saving may not literally mean modifying your service. Consider ways to save energy in your home which lead to lowering your bills.

Increase (Diversify) your income

Now that you’ve managed to control your spending, the next area that you’ll want to work on mastering is your income. If you’ve followed Money-Smart Millennials for some time, you’ve realized that diversifying is a key component of my mentality. I favor putting your efforts towards a venture that generate an increasing residual income but to start with, here are a few ways Forbes suggests you could  increase your income. Remember that your job is your primary source of income. Committing to other ventures and decreasing your contribution at work is not ethical. Do the best job you can so that when or if you decide to leave, they’re sorry to lose an exceptional employee.

Explore other areas

Financial stability also means securing your assets. Many people get a home warranty insurance policy when they move into a home that’s rather old. It is a smart move. When I worked at the bank, one of the wealthy clients kept delaying getting an insurance policy because his two daughters who were lawyers could not agree on the terms. Such behavior can be disastrous. Simply put, it is important to be safe. As millennial, we tend to think that we are bulletproof. The truth is that one day, you may need personal injury law assistance, who knows. Anything that affects your financial life should be considered here, especially if it helps you to gain more control in the future.

Give investing a try and plan for your future

Next up, you need to make sure that you’re looking to grow what you’ve got. The best way to have full control over your financial situation is to know that you’re making the most of it. Having savings is one thing, but if you know that you want to improve and multiply, investing will help.

And while we’re on the topic, it is imperative to think about the future. Being in control of your money isn’t just about being in a great position today. It’s more about planning ahead and being sure that you will be in the best position in ten years or for your retirement.

Stick with the new Mindset

Finally, implementing these good habits is worthless if you don’t maintain them. When it comes to making this work out for the long-run and being able to really take back control of your situation, mindset is everything. Don’t underestimate the power of a positive mindset. Even if you’re in a poor financial situation right now, you don’t have to be there forever. So, have faith and stick to your goals.

***

What do the rich teach their kids that the poor and middle class miss?

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***Guest Post***

I’m sure the video about millennials working from all over the world has come across your feed sometime in the past few months. What was once impossible is now reality because of technology. And of course, millennials are embracing the lifestyle. Moving away to another to country is becoming a normal practice, especially for single millennials. As long as a laptop is available and a good internet connection allows you to stay connected, the world no longer has barriers.

But to drop everything and move to some exotic country is not that simple. Since I’ve never done it, I am not in a position to council you on such a move. Thankfully, an expert in the field was gracious enough to enlighten us. – Lionel Hounkanrin

About the author:

Boaz Aviani, Founder and President of International Sea & Air Shipping, has 40 years of professional experience in the moving industry with specialization in international door-to-door packing and shipping. Aviani oversees a staff that services clients worldwide, and he works tirelessly to ensure his company maintains the highest level of quality moving services, customer relations and competitive pricing in an ever-changing market.

One of the best parts about the early phases of your adult life is that you’re relatively free to take chances. Because you’re not tied to a long-term career or a family, you have the luxury of being able to throw caution to the wind somewhat and try something most people aren’t able to do. For a lot of young people, this includes the opportunity to travel abroad and experience parts of the world they may not otherwise have the opportunity to see. For the truly adventurous, however, now might be the perfect time to move to a foreign country. Whether you’re choosing to attend school overseas, taking an exciting job opportunity, or simply making a fresh start in another part of the world, the decision to live overseas is major. Even though you may be at the time in your life when making such a decision is possible, there are still some steps you should take to make sure that when the time comes, you’re ready for the change.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do before moving to a foreign country is spend some time there as a visitor. This can help you get used to the culture and the customs as well as help you answer more practical concerns such as where you’ll live and how you’ll do your grocery shopping. Doing some homework about the part of the world you’ll be living in also is a good idea.

Once you arrive in your new home, making the adjustment to living in a foreign country may be difficult at first, no matter how prepared you are. That’s why it can be extremely helpful to stick to a routine for the first few months to help you acclimate yourself to your surroundings psychologically. Finding other expats, you can talk to for support or just to hear a familiar accent can help you feel more at home, too. Planning a trip home also gives you something to look forward to and helps you feel less homesick as you adjust to living overseas.

Living overseas is a life-changing decision. The following guide contains some tips that can help you prepare yourself mentally for the move. Take a look and get ready for what could be the biggest adventure of your life.

How to Mentally Prepare For Living Overseas

***Since you are adventurous, how about keeping one of these on your shelf***

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FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. Over and over again, this statement proves to be true. Every day, thousands of millennials venture into entrepreneurship, facing and beating their fear regardless of the potential failure. Spend a night in Washington DC and you would easily attend a dozen of networking events with excited, ambitious, bold and courageous young entrepreneurs. Times are different and millennials have embraced this lifestyle.

I had the honor and the pleasure of meeting Chrissy Martin, a young entrepreneur who is breaking barriers just like our previous features in this series. After working for three years in a promising engineering position, Chrissy discovered a new passion and went after it. I would bet that many of us experience that feeling but never take the leap of faith. Chrissy did, assuming some serious risks. But it was all worth it.

Like any smart entrepreneur, Chrissy Martin realized that progress means change and improvement. She recently re-launched her website emeraldearthyoga.com and Money-Smart Millennials decided to have a chat with her. This short interview is full of an incredible mindset any budding millennial entrepreneur should embrace. Enjoy!

So, tell me a little bit about your background and how you got here

I grew up in NJ and I think very early in middle school I decided that I wanted be an engineer. I was obsessed with space and I was also really into physics and math. I went to University of Maryland College Park for engineering and I got my degree in aerospace engineering. I did the space concentration because merging my love of all things space-related and engineering was the best fit.

I had been an intern at the naval base out in NJ when I just graduated high school. So, I had a foot in the door and eventually they offered me a position as a systems engineer. It was just a little bit different from working on satellites but I enjoyed the work. After a while of growing up and coming to know myself better, I started realizing that life was passing me by and every day was going by so fast and I didn’t have anything to hold on to. I struggled a bit with that for a while, and that was when I went to my first yoga class.

I was so confused by how good I felt; I’ve never felt like so calm, so happy and euphoric after an exercise. I learned later that yoga is not just about exercise, it’s about calming the thoughts that are constantly running through your mind, allowing you to really appreciate the present moment. I was just hooked.

How did you turn it into a business?

I then started a home yoga practice. It was convenient for me to come home from work and put on yoga tutorial online and do yoga class and that was how I built my practice. After some time, I realized that I wanted to start teaching this to other people and [you know] long story short I wanted to take what I’ve learned and the things that I’ve enjoyed about having a yoga practice and teach it to other people. Maybe show them how it can change your life in a lot of ways.

What was the big turning point?

I wanted to get certified to be a yoga teacher and I took a leap of faith and went to Costa Rica for 21 days. I ended my job at a nonprofit in DC and I went and got certified all at once and that was definitely crazy. However, it solidified it for me. I knew that I wanted to teach yoga to others. My idea was to take what I’ve learned as a student and add my own unique spin on it and put my personality into it. It’s like a double whammy because I can feel fulfilled and earn an income while helping other people get more connected and improve their lives even just a little bit.

How did you get your first clients?

I got my very first clients (members) by reaching out to friends and family and asking if they would be interested in being active on my website so I can get really honest, constructive criticism.  I’ve really been enjoying creating content for them because a big reason why I created my site is to be very personalized to my members’ needs. This was also a helpful strategy for new members to feel comfortable joining a group of people who are already enjoying and benefiting from my membership content.

Along the way, you must have encountered obstacles and people telling you that you shouldn’t risk so much (your career as an engineer). How did you deal with it and what do you recommend to the budding entrepreneurs out there?

I’ve definitely encountered obstacles and people telling me that I shouldn’t risk starting an online yoga business.  Fortunately for me, though, the people in my life who were initially very skeptical and worried for me ended up becoming very supportive after seeing how dedicated I am to what I love.  In terms of encountering obstacles, what’s been working for me is to remind myself that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and there will always be “good days” and “not so good days” in business but the key is to be consistent and stay positive.  My goal is to work the problem and move on with as much enthusiasm as I can muster! My biggest two recommendations to new entrepreneurs out there are to:

1) Create a very clear vision for your business / passion project

2) Always keep that vision in the forefront of your mind – – *especially* when the going gets tough.

You will be working a full-time job while building your business. How do you manage it all?

I’ll manage working a full-time job while building my business by working towards being very efficient at:

1) My full-time job; I say this because I want to avoid any distractions at work that would cause me to have to stay late at work.  I will be using my off time for my business so if I’m not efficient enough at my full-time gig to get to work on time, get all my work done for the day, and leave work on time, it’s not going to leave me with much time for my business.  On days that are necessarily busier, like big reviews or when I travel for work, I will adjust accordingly.

2) My online yoga business; I want to streamline as many processes like blogging, email marketing, etc. so that I spend my time wisely while working on my business tasks.  I’m also planning on researching and hiring a business coach to help me with time management and efficiency in running my business. I believe this will help me not feel so overwhelmed with having a full-time job, a growing business, and family that I want to spend lots of time with.

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Doesn’t it seem like the older you get, the more you realized you were not so smart in your youngers days? It sure does for me. Sometimes it feels as though I am a brand-new person. For the countless times when you’ve heard your parents or grandparents tell you that ‘you could be a bit wiser”, now you have an explanation. After high school, we enter the phase of college and its requirements. So many students think their lives are chaotic while pursuing a higher degree until they enter the professional working world. Then the game is taken to a whole new level when you settle down and get married and eventually have kids. Well, ok, maybe no kids yet for many millennials. Nonetheless, [try not to get offended by it] but it seems that so many of us simply do not think about the future and its practicalities in the present. In my twenties, I really didn’t care much about the future and I’m not alone. Did you know that 66% of millennials have not started saving for retirement? This is for a very obvious reason; compared to previous generations, it appears that the cost of living has significantly increased. The majority of us does not have much in the way of finances to play with now, so we may as well enjoy our lives. It is a scary thought considering that this generation has already lost about 10 years in retirement savings while the nation and the whole world was recovering from the economic downfall of 2008. For so many millennials, the thought of planning for the future doesn’t enter our minds, because it seems so far away. It really isn’t. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best attitude to have, because it will sneak up on us sooner than we think. So, even though you might have a full-time job, the perks may not be beneficial, so now is the best time to start thinking about planning for your twilight years in a financial sense…

Diversifying your sources of income

Things have changed. We can’t deny it. The traditional path of working one job for one employer for 40 years no longer works. I believe in finding ways to diversify your income. But, while it’s beneficial to have an extra income, a side hustle can take out more time than you physically have. Entrepreneur gives us some great ideas, but it’s down to you to weigh up whether you can physically manage this. I recommend looking for ventures that are stable, credible and which can lead to a residual income. Of course, if you’re desperate for money now, becoming a virtual assistant may help but, in my opinion, it cannot be sustained long-term.

A Proper Insurance Policy

Now, we’re really getting into the ‘old people’ stuff. You now have to hold the conversations your parents used to have that you totally walked away from. But trust me, a career in banking taught me that this is very important for the average person. Security isn’t just about having enough cash in the bank; it’s about ensuring you have the support in place. Due to unforeseen events, your ability to produce may be reduced. What happens if you are unable to support yourself and your family? It is easy to do a Google search and find answer to financial questions that you may have but here It’s beneficial to consult a professional with regards to planning for care in your old age. And if you have family, friends and acquaintances who are well into a phase of their lives where they need serious and credible advice, elderneedslaw.com is one such law firm that specializes in Medicare that can provide adequate support in relation to supported living. In addition to this, if you have dependents, it’s important to have your affairs put in place so they are provided for if something should suddenly happen to you.

The Gamble of Investing

While investments like the stock market are always going to be a gamble, the earlier you get on this train, the more you will learn about the whole process. Lots of people are reticent to embark on this because they cannot fathom the idea of losing. Keep in mind that your 401k is just another gamble. However, if you play it right, there are many ways to earn a lucrative side income. Some people are comfortable managing their investments themselves while others reach out to professionals.

It doesn’t have to be stressful to plan for your twilight years, but the sooner you do it the better. Of course, it can be argued that there is plenty of time to get this right. In actual fact, time flies by so quickly, that you don’t want to end up financially struggling during the most relaxing years of your life. Instead, start thinking about the best financial decisions right now.

***A book to consider***

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When times are hard, some people run to credit cards. There was a time when one needed to drive to a bank branch, wait in line to meet with a banker and then fill out an application for a credit card; only to wait 24 hours to get the results. Oh, have things change!? Nothing is easier than applying online and having the balance available the same day. Within a matter of hours, your fears can become a thing of the past. That is, at least, until the card bill arrives and you wonder how you’re going to pay it. Wait a minute – what about another piece of plastic? And, so the cycle goes on and on mounting more debt each day. Using multiple credit cards is only recommended as long as you have the cash to pay it without incurring interest and most importantly, you understand the dos and don’ts. For example, you DO need to look at the advice below and you DON’T have to worry.

Do: Pay on Time
As simple as it sounds, managing three or four different accounts isn’t straightforward. Indeed, one way to incur fines and lose money is to forget about the payment due dates. Financial stability cannot be attained without discipline. So, book to your calendar a monthly date and time to review your account and pay it. Logically, this date should be prior to the end of your statement cycle. Let’s face it, we’ve all been in the situation before where we omitted to make a payment on time and it isn’t pretty. The great news is that online banking has changed the game. Nowadays, you can set up a direct payment which covers the interest without paying manually. Because it’s automatic, there’s no need to remember to pay on time.

Don’t: Carry Balances
Almost half the population of the United States of America lives paycheck-to-paycheck. Consequently, not carrying balances on credit cards is hard to accomplish for so many. However, it is possible to eradicate balances by using two trusty methods. The first one is to tackle the smallest debt first and close out the account. The alternative is to target the largest balance. The latter is a money-saver because it reduces the amount of interest you will pay each month. Whichever plan you choose, be sure to hack off large chunks of the debt to get rid of it as quickly as possible. While this is happening, pay off the minimum of the other cards.

Do: Consolidate
Are you looking for a way out but can’t get on top of your debts? If this is the case, then https://debtconsolidation.loans/credit-card-consolidation/ is a good place to start your research. The trick is to merge the balances into one so that there is less responsibility and more ease of access. Consolidation is very easy and works for a lot of people. But, please note that you must meticulously review the data before you go for it. Otherwise, it may cost more in the long-term. In fact, consolidate your debt in a way that your total monthly payments save your money and allow to extend the life of the loan without additional interest. 0% credit cards with 0% balance transfer fees may be the solution for you. Why do people do this? It’s a less complicated plan of attack.

Don’t: Apply for Annual Fees
You want a card, not a subscription. Companies make money by charging annual fees, some as high as $75. This resource has an explanation as well as tips to avoid this trap. Nonetheless, keep in mind that each case is different and based on your personal situation, a credit card with an annual fee may be the best option for you. If your credit card company offers cash rewards, you may allocate those to your annual fee. For instance, a $75 fee may be tolerable to you if you get an airline ticket worth $250. Just ensure the rewards that you get are higher than the annual fees. Here, American Express offers a comprehensive list of cards with no annual fees.
Now, you are well equipped with tips and tricks to manage several credit cards. Skip the ‘Don’ts’ and practice the ‘Do’s’.

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