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self development

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All successful women seem to share a particular innate quality. They all carry themselves with a kind of confidence that matches with their level of success.

They all know there is a need to invest in certain not-so-secret things and they also show that acquiring and attaining these characteristics won’t buy you success. But it will give you the confidence to be the woman you dream to be and show you that it’s not someone you need to transform into, but someone you’ve been all along.

So here is how you can become the best version of yourself as a woman by investing in these 6 things.

1. Education

Sheryl Sandberg has openly admitted that one piece of advice she would tell her twenty-year-old self would be to create an 18-month learning plan.

Alongside your goals, you need to plan out exactly what you want to learn over that period and improve on the things that scare you the most. Because the successful woman knows that in order to succeed she needs to commit herself to education.

More importantly, she knows that it doesn’t finish when University does – the process of learning does not stop there. It’s up to you to further your education and build your knowledge. It’s a choice and it’s a choice you should make for yourself every day.

Your day should consist of at least one hour of personal development. And this can be as easy as signing up to coursera and learning a new skill in an hour.

2. The tools you need to get things done – such as a personal computer, a tablet, a journal.

Oprah famously keeps many journals to get her through, she keeps a health and wellness journal to track her growth so she can look back on it and reflect.

But it’s not only her, no successful career woman can get through any day without her planner. It’s her right-hand man and it goes wherever she does.

A journal helps you keep tab of things and a planner helps you note down things you need to do at particular times. And no, it’s not just about keeping up with a to-do list.
You need one for every area, finance, fitness, business plans.

3. Your wellbeing.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge wellness advocate and has even built a brand around it – and there’s no wonder she looks so good. But it’s not only her on that’s on a wellness mission, Arianna Huffington also boasts that yoga is the best thing she can do to achieve and maintain balance in her life.

Because if you look after your body, in turn, it will look after you. It’s your wellbeing that will help you become successful, it goes hand in hand! Without it, you’ll struggle, but with it, you’ll be bigger and better.

This concerns your health, what you eat and put into your body (make sure to only eat for energy) and how you switch off at the end of the day.

4. Mindfulness.

If you want to become successful you have to start taking mindfulness seriously.

Take a leaf from Victoria Beckham who uses crystals to keep her grounded, or Gwyneth Paltrow who is very holistic. It’s about clarity and keeping your mind clear.

By doing this you’ll be ensuring that you’re well looked after and calm of mind, which will help you not only to perform better at work but be more present daily.

5. Your self-development

Growth should be one of your top goals always. And it’s something you need to always remind yourself to do.

What makes you different from six months ago? If you reply with nothing then it means you’re not progressing.
Finding the time can be difficult, but that’s where you need to make the time because it will only help you in your career.

Read and buy books you usually wouldn’t, expand your horizons, attend those classes you never get around to – just do it.

Make a list of the areas of your life you want to progress in and then come up with a plan that will help make this happen.

6. Proper Organization

I could talk about organization for days. It’s something that excites me and helps me operate at my best. I cannot think clearly if it is not tidy around me, which means it’s essential that not only my work life is organized by my home life too.

Emma Watson, for example, said she swears by multiple notebooks to get things done. “I keep a dream diary, I keep a yoga diary, I keep diaries on people that I’ve met and things that they’ve said to me, advice that they’ve given me,” she revealed.

Keeping multiple notebooks is no bad thing, it’ll allow you to organize your thoughts and keep everything in the right place. Invest in stationery that’s designed to help your life run smoother.

 

Knowing how to network successfully can help you tap into a hidden job market and present your skills and experience to potential employers. More than half of jobs are filled through networking contacts and more employers are turning to social media tools for help with hiring.

Using network referrals to get a job can lead to 6% higher annual income and most networkers stay in their jobs for two times longer than direct job searchers.

Benefits of Networking

Whatever your reason for diving into the world of networking, the benefits can be huge. 96% of employees at Adobe feel that networking strengthens their creativity. The benefits of a strong network extend beyond work, as having a strong social network may lead to fewer symptoms of dementia and other diseases.

More than half of people get word-of-mouth referrals from networking contacts. It has always been a tool for job seekers but today, it’s a skill that can help many other professionals advance their careers.

Scientists use networking to help secure research grants. Contractors and construction workers network to find new contracts.

Business leaders network with their employees to build relationships, foster creativity, and get to know each other outside the office. Artists and musicians use networking strategies to build followers and get discovered.

Building Your Network

Professionals can develop casual contact networks by participating community service organizations or the Chambers of Commerce. These networks are a great place to discuss local business and legislation and meet people from other professions. Casual contact networks can improve your business’ reputation in the local community and increase the likelihood that contacts will patronize your business.

Strong contact networks are more focused on sharing referrals within a small group of professionals. This is where developing a strong, long-term relationship is key to successful networking. Contacts made through the Business Network International (BNI) have resulted in 9.8 million referrals worldwide.

Networking can also be a tool to learn and share ideas with other professionals within your industry. Professionals can attend events and meetups to get to know other professionals and make connections. Professional conferences are a great opportunity to network while learning new skills and solutions for your business.

Now that you know why networking is so important, here are some tips that can help you learn how to network successfully:

  1. Personalize Your Profile

Whatever social media platform you’re using, personalizing your profile is key to standing out from the crowd. On LinkedIn, including at least 5 skills on your profile can create 17 times more views. Take the time to fill out everything in your profile and write summaries that show some personality and style.

2. Keep Updating

Once your profile is filled out, you have to keep it up to date. Regularly updated profiles get more views and more searches. Keep updating your profile, writing posts, and changing your profile picture.

3. Stay Professional

When networking on social media, always be polite and courteous. You might even want to create separate accounts to keep your personal life away from your professional life. However, don’t focus only on business. It’s important to build relationships by asking others about their lives and not just work.

4. Use Photos

Social media is driven by pictures and professional networking sites are no different. Profiles with photos get 21 times more views.

Other users form an impression of you in only 1/10th of a second. So, pick your photos carefully.

5. Move Offline

Networking is about building relationships and it’s always best to do that face-to-face. When you make a contact online, follow up in person or at least with a phone call. Always make the effort to keep in touch with contacts. Few strong relationships are better than a lot of mere acquaintances.

Tips & Tricks for Networking In Person
  • Have your business cards ready to go.
  • Listen to others and see what help you can offer them.
  • Share promotions from other companies and ask them to share yours.
  • Meet outside the office for a better opportunity to get to know co-workers and other professionals.

 

As an entrepreneur or startup owner, you will agree that a major concern you face is financing your business.

With minimal experience and no business background, entrepreneurs find it very hard to get the money at the initial level. Be it working capital or provision for the troubled times, you need money to run and grow your business.

Here are some ways you can raise funds to fund your business/ideas.

Generally, there are two known ways you can fund your business – Equity and Debt.

The equity option enable entrepreneurs to fund their business by providing an ownership stake to an investor. Here, there is no obligation of repayment. But then, you need to give up a part of your ownership in the business. And you can also make you lose control over the company in the long run.

The debt option is likened to taking a loan for a specific period. You have to pay interest on the amount. Here, the ownership of your company is not at stake. But, if for some reason, you fail to repay the loan, the lender can take your company into liquidation. In such a scenario, you lose your company. The debt option is worth only when you have a strong financial backup.

Let’s get into the different funds available.

Equity-based Funding

  • Self-funding

This is the safest way of funding for your startup. You can either use savings, personal debt, or both for your business. Also, you can consider selling assets like a second home or a property to generate cash for your company.

  • Friends and family

This is a source of both equity and debt funding. Though this seems a handy source of funding, you need to remain cautious while assigning part of your business among friends and family members. Many businesses fail because key parts of business go into the wrong hands. Also, when the capital erodes, it hurts feelings and ruins friendships.

  • Angel investors and Crowdfunding

Affluent investors can bring capital in the startups. They are known as angel investors as they are always willing to invest in ideas they find lucrative in the future. Angel investors can also form a group of investors to spread risks and assist you to do extensive research. Local angels and the Chamber of Commerce are also good sources for funding your business at the initial stage.

Crowdfunding is also a concept similar to angel investors. The only difference here is that there is a large number of people or investors who contribute to your startup idea as per their wish. Crowdfunding has certain norms and its success rate is lower than that of angel investment. Crowdfunding is based either on equity, debt, or rewards. You can select the most suitable platform from hundreds of crowdfunding platforms.

  • Partnership

This is one of the strongest sources of funding for your business. Strategic partners can not only bring investment but also give new thoughts to take the business to the next level. Partners can also help your business by managing key processes. Let’s take the example of a property management company. A strategic partnership with a property maintenance company can help this company to provide 360-degree solutions.

Debt-related Funding

  • Lenders

Many lenders and organizations lend money to small businesses and startups. They lend money either at higher interest rates or ask for assets as security. Here, the interest rate is a bit tricky. For example, if the interest rate is 3% and the term is one month, then the actual annual interest rate is 36%. This is quite high as compared to a 3% rate.

Lenders are of two types- Traditional and Government lenders.

Traditional lenders can be the first choice. Banks and credit unions are included in this type. This type of lenders, however, do not fund any innovative or experimental ideas.

Government lenders work with the government arms to get more funds with some risks.

  • 7a Loans

It is a type of loan that assists startups or businesses that have no collateral. Entrepreneurs with no personal or business assets are the most eligible candidates for this type of loan. However, a common man may not get this type of loan. What makes this loan attractive for entrepreneurs is the fact that the 7a loan has simple T&Cs. Entrepreneurs need to give a repayment guarantee of 85% to take this loan.

  • Banks

Both government and private banks lend SMEs and startups. But they need a track record and want to secure their loans by some of your assets. Banks are, however, not much friendly for SMEs and startups. Many entrepreneurs tend to stay away from banks at the initial stage because they have issues of both working capital and initial funding. In today’s time, banks have quickly become out of focus for entrepreneurs.

  • Venture Capitalists

They are basically the innovators of the business world. They’re constantly in search of entrepreneurs with lucrative ideas. If your idea is capable of working at a small level, you can easily convince a VC (Venture Capitalist) to support your business. VCs provide funds in two ways — equity or debt. Venture capitalists can lead your business to succeed at the international level.

Some venture capitalist companies invest in businesses by offering scholarships to entrepreneurs. Techpreneurs can leverage the benefits of these scholarships and become owners of small companies or startups at a young age. What’s more, your company can get money along with qualified business mentors through such venture capitalist companies. Simply put, VCs can assist you to launch your products while guiding your company at the initial level.

The SBA (Small Business Administration) is also a considerable debt option. It has many options but these options need a guarantee of repayment.

In Conclusion

Many options are available to fund your business at the initial level. If you have a unique idea that you think it is worth investing, you can certainly explore various options and find the ideal one for your startup. But first, be sure you have a solid business plan in place and you have done all to be sure your business is profitable and will scale.

 

Nowadays, if you’re not on social media, you feel like you’re not truly living in the 21st century. Everything from businesses to personal and professional relationships, social media has a strong presence—and with that, a luring temptation to spend even more time using its features.

So, how do you take back the reins of your life and curb your time on social media (and stop social media addiction)? Here are some steps to get started.

1. Think About Why You’d Like to Be on Social Media

Everything we do in life is about intention: why do you want to do something? What will it bring you? The same goes for social media use. It may be silly to ask this question when thinking about a Facebook or Instagram account, but if you want to truly control your social media (instead of the other way around), asking this question may truly be eye-opening.

Do you want to just keep in touch with friends, or do you want to promote your business? Getting to the crux of why you’re online will help you clearly mark your time on social media effectively and eliminate everything else.

2. Be Meticulous About Who You Follow and what you post and share

Attention is your greatest currency. Read that again.

Everything that you click on or “like” becomes a thread in the tapestry of what comes back to you on social media newsfeeds. You want to create the kind of information spread that works for you, your needs, and your time. So, often, we impulsively follow people who may not be serving our best interests.

Give yourself permission to clean those contacts out every once in a while! It’s okay to disagree with someone. Instead of plummeting into a rabbit hole of social media thread arguments, unfollow anyone who you don’t connect with. It’s much better for your mental health and helps you get rid of social media addiction.

Likewise, be meticulous about what you share. Are you posting misinformation yourself? Just like you are planning on cleaning up your contacts list, someone who follows you may be thinking of doing the same. Make it a priority to share and post things that not only have significance to you but also serve others.

3. Curb the Time You Spend Online

If you have a laundry list of things to get done but have spent the last three hours scrolling your newsfeed, it’s time to close the app or the computer. Set a timer on your phone, if that’s what it takes to solve your social media addiction.

Once you begin the practice of detaching from being online so much, you’ll notice that you get so much time back! This time has always existed, but you were just using it poorly. It’s not that you don’t have enough time—it’s just that you spend too much time scrolling online instead of being productive.

4. Change Your Notification Settings

If your productivity is suffering because you’re constantly distracted by the pings from your notifications, there are ways to turn those notifications off in your settings. Better yet, you can always delete the apps from your phone and devices and resolve to check your social media notifications on your desktop. This way, you can get back to finishing your work without facing the temptation of checking your messages.

5. Not Everything Has to Be Posted and Shared

It often feels like we’re in a perpetual case of “FOMO” when it comes to posting on social media. If the Superbowl came and went and you didn’t post anything at all, will the world continue to spin? Of course.

We don’t have any social obligation to our followers to keep them abreast of every single event that happens in our life. These are choices that we must make consciously and in alignment with our desires.

Think about the last concert (in the pre-COVID world) you went to—did you immediately post bits of the concert to social media or snapped and uploaded a selfie of you and your friends?

These are habitual things that we don’t even think about, which brings me to the final point…

6. It’s Okay to Put Your Phone Down and Enjoy Life

In fact, this one very simple point could truly help you cut that social media addiction! Precious moments of your life are one in a million—like seeing a shooting star or catching the smile of your favorite person. These moments are so fragile, and they never happen the same way twice in your lifetime.

Don’t run towards your phone to capture that moment. Capture it instead with your eyes and with your heart. Let it become a sweet memory. Enjoy the moment  you’re so keen on sharing with others and instead, prioritize sharing it with yourself.

Final Thoughts

Social media addiction, when left unchecked, can lead us to depression and lack of self-worth and authenticity. If we “follow the flock” in search of creating a perfect online life, we’re stepping further away from being ourselves. This brings about a slew of consequences, which can snowball over time and lead to worse obstacles in our lives.

When we finally learn how to use social media, to what extent, and with what intention in mind, we can take control over it before it takes control over us.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people suffer from depression globally.

Symptoms of depression can include sadness, lethargy and a general loss of interest in life.

There are a number of ways to combat this and a diet for depression can help not only your mental health but your well-being as well. In fact, a 2017 study found that the symptoms of people with moderate-to-severe depression improved when they received nutritional counseling sessions and ate a more healthful diet for 12 weeks.

Just imagine having higher levels of optimism, energy, positivity, focus, and a greater interest in life. Well, you can.

Making some adjustments to your diet can help with your depression. Not only are there foods that you could eat to help with your depression but there are foods that you should avoid.

Foods That Help With Depression

1. Oily Fish

Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, light tuna and mackerel are a healthy source of Vitamin D.[3] Research has shown that Vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression.[4] Other health benefits include reducing fatigue and improving heart health.

If you run low on energy it can increase your chances of becoming irritable which could lead to a number of other negative behaviors. And this is not the emotional path that you want to go down, especially if you are struggling with depression.

We obtain most of our vitamin D from the sun but dietary sources are also important. Other sources include egg yolks, beef liver and fortified dairy products. When it comes to egg yolks, be sure to check the national label as there can be variances in the amount of Vitamin D.

2. Vegetables

It had to be said. Remember those days when you were told to eat your vegetables?

Well, turns out there was a very good reason. Eating vegetables can help if you struggle with depression.

 

Darker leafy greens contain folate[5] and people that have depression have been found to have a lower dietary intake of folate than those without depression.[6]

They also contain vitamins A, C, E, and K. Which will supply you with a number of healthy benefits such as maintaining brain function and strengthening your immune system.

Injecting some spinach, kale or arugula into your diet could help improve your mood. If you’re not a fan of any of these then you can use lettuce, broccoli or asparagus.

3. Walnuts

Omega-3 fatty acids are a great source of protein to keep a healthy balance of blood sugar levels.[7]

They are also called essential fats, because unlike some other substances, they can’t be manufactured within the human body, and therefore it is essential that you take them in through your diet.

Walnuts are bursting with Omega-3 and they are commonly known to support brain health and lower blood pressure.

In fact, one study conducted between 2005-2014 found that depression scores came in 26% lower among those that consumed about ¼ cup of walnuts per day.

As you can see, incorporating a source of Omega-3 like walnuts enhances a diet for depression.

4. Poultry

Chicken and Turkey are important for a number of reasons. Not only do they contain lean protein to maintain health but they also contain Tryptophan.

The body uses tryptophan to help make melatonin [10] and serotonin.[11] Melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin is thought to help regulate appetite, sleep, mood, and pain.

You may have even experienced a healthy boost of melatonin levels, in the form of a nap, after you have eaten a turkey dinner.

And while you don’t have to eat a turkey dinner everyday, incorporating chicken or turkey into your routine can give you a healthy balance of rest and energy.

In fact, just 3 ounces of roasted chicken breast offers 123% of the recommended daily intake of tryptophan.

Foods That Worsen Depression

When coping with depression, it’s important to be aware of foods that could have a negative impact on you. If you limit or, in some cases, eliminate these foods altogether you will increase your chances of feeling better.

5. Alcohol

It’s important to mention this because unfortunately a lot of people turn to alcohol when they are having a bad day. However, it is best to limit or eliminate alcohol altogether.

Alcohol is a depressant. When you drink too much, you’re more likely to make bad decisions or act on impulse.

This could lead you to make bad decisions that will further your depressive state.

Not too mention, the energy and effort that is put into drinking could be used to make healthy choices, like preparing a healthy meal.

To decrease your chances of drinking alcohol you could refrain from visiting the wine and spirits store, avoid the section in the grocery store that has alcohol, or put a halt to eating at places that serve alcoholic beverages.

It can be too easy to convince yourself that alcohol will fix everything, when in fact it could cause further damage.

 

6. Sugar

An excess of sugary foods can have long-term implications on your health. And while it’s not realistic to eliminate sugar entirely, you should pay close attention to the amount of sugar you consume.

The American Heart Association recommends adults eat no more than 25 (women) to 36 (men) grams of added sugar every day.[12]

Foods like cakes, cookies and pies are high in sugar and can alter your mood. It may make you feel good temporarily but it’s just that, temporary.

Cutting back on sugar will help you keep your blood sugar levels more balanced which will help your mood stay more evenly balanced.

Since sugar offers very little nutritional value, it actually has a drastic impact on the B vitamins.[13] In order for the body to convert sugar into energy, it uses up these important mood enhancing vitamins. In particular vitamin B-12 and B6.[14]

When the body runs low on these vitamins it leads to a lack of energy and poor brain function. This makes it easier to slip into a more depressive state.

7. Fast Food

Refined foods like fast food burgers and fries are loaded with ingredients that should be avoided in your diet for depression.[15]

A study confirmed that the consumption of hamburgers, sausages, and pizza as well as muffins, donuts, and croissants may have a detrimental effect on depression risk.[16]

This is because these foods are high in trans-fat and trans-isomer fatty acids. And these are fatty acids that are non-essential to the human diet.

There is very little national value in these types of foods. You would be better served if you were to replace those foods with fresh fruits and vegetables.

 

 

Source: Lifehack

Let’s be real, money can be overwhelming, period. Add to that a society built on consumerism, aesthetics, and status (Instagram can literally target you based on your conversations) and you have a recipe for anxiety. It seems like we’re all working harder and harder just to live and to be honest, financial independence can seem like a pipe dream to many of us. While getting there isn’t always easy, it is possible.

Building wealth and getting clarity around your finances doesn’t have to be daunting or stressful. In fact, with the right practices instilled, it can be liberating.

If you want to be one of them, then read on to educate yourself about debt, value-based spending, the best saving habits, financial freedom, and the key components that lead to financial success. It won’t be easy to implement these new habits, but you certainly won’t regret it.

ONE- Pay Off Your Debts.

Not all debts are bad. Debt with a plan can actually be really good for acquiring assets. These are ‘good debts’ as they are spent on investments and assets that are valuable and can be liquidated in the long run.
‘Bad debts’ are those debts you use on consumption.

When you have a million naira personal income and you have a debt of 500 thousand naira that is due or will be due, it is advisable you pay off your debts first before you calculate how much you really own.

If you have more than one debt, pay off the one with the highest interest rates or the one with the highest balance first.

TWO – Determine Your Priorities.

When you prioritize debt, think about high interest versus low interest. You can build emergency funds simultaneously while paying off your debts because if you do not have an emergency fund, you may slip back into that debt if real emergency happens.

Being in debt is stressful so you will feel more compelled to rid yourself of that burden. High-interest debt steals from your wealth; values-based spending helps you get in alignment with building wealth, and an emergency fund protects your wealth so that you don’t slide back into high-interest debt.

THREE- Practice Value-Based Spending.

The first step is awareness – know what you’re spending.
Look back at the last three to six months of your spending and analyze how much you’re spending on your lifestyle.

It is easy to often assume that you are just paying for rent and food but our brains want to rationalize that we’re on our best behavior, so it doesn’t allow us to think about all of the subscription boxes.

Value-based spending is a lot easier than budgeting. Setting a budget can feel restrictive, like being on a diet.

You spend within your budget for a week and then you see that dress on Instagram and you click.

But if you have values, you will see that that instant gratification won’t be gratifying for long because it’s not aligned with our values. Once you determine three values that really matter to you, you’ll find that they can function as a filter. An example would be equity, family, and leverage (when you’re willing to spend money on things that help make life easier). Buying the shoes doesn’t align with any of those pillars, so it needs to be a preplanned choice.

FOUR – Open a High-Yield Savings Account.

Saving is the inverse of spending. Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Basically, any one thing can shrink or contract to the size of its container. In relation to money in a bank account, the reason you end up spending what you should be saving is that it’s right there, visible, in your checking account.
Open a high-yield savings account and automate transfers on a monthly basis. That recurring act will give you accessibility to only what you should be spending.

Consider investments as well, but make your research so you are investing in what you are knowledgeable about.

FIVE – Understand the Definition of Financial Freedom.

Financial freedom is an equation: enough passive income to outpace your expenses. When you have financial freedom in your life, work becomes an option instead of an obligation.
Financial freedom allows you to enjoy your wealth because time is no longer a finite resource.
When you go to work, even as an entrepreneur, you are trading time for money. But, if you can buy assets to create additional income, then you are trading money for assets that bring you more money.

If you get on this train and educate yourself, you will find that you don’t always have to rely on yourself and your body to make money. It takes a lot of time, effort, and sacrifice to get up every morning and go to work.

SIX – Instill the Key Components That Lead to Financial Success.

Six qualities that every wealthy woman should try to encompass:

  1. Planning: Determine your financial goals, write them down, and find an accountability partner. You can’t get what you want if you don’t plan for it. When it comes to money, you have to be goal-oriented.
  2. Frugality or Intentionality: Commit to saving more, spending less, and sticking to a plan. This formula leads to an ability to have a passive income because if you spend all of your money then there will be nothing left to invest it.
  3. Confidence: In order to gain financial confidence in managing your money and investing, you need financial education. We didn’t learn this in school. You have to go and find it, otherwise, you will stay in a state of stress. Inaction is terrible for your finances.
  4. Responsibility: Accept your role in financial outcomes and take action to make financial changes in your life.
  5. Focus: See your process through to completion one step at a time. Accountability is crucial.
  6. Social indifference: Don’t succumb to buying the latest thing as a means of feeling good. If you practice this, it will change your life. Women are the targets of consumerism. But, if you appreciate how you look and how you are inherent, you will save yourself a lot of time, money, and energy.

It’s not everyday you come across a qualified accountant who’s now a creative and independent artist – this is the story of Onyi Moss. Born and raised in Nigeria, Onyi grew up surrounded by inspiration from the likes of Onyeka Onwenu and Tracy Chapman whom her parents would have playing on the radio and television over and over again.

Speaking to Onyi it would appear she always had a passion for the arts as she reminisced about her mum’s rose gardens and tie and dye projects which she got to experience as a kid. But the practicality of succeeding socially and financially back then in the creative industry seemed quite farfetched to her hence her decision to pursue a career in accounting.

Having gained a BSc in the subject matter, she successfully took on a role in one of Nigeria’s top leading banks after completing her NYSC. Two years in her banking career, she chose to seek out more for herself unbeknownst to her what the future had in store.

At the age of twenty-two Onyi caught a flight from Abuja International airport to the UK to begin her studies to qualify as an ACCA chartered accountant. Something she was able to achieve within a couple of years. However, things didn’t go as smoothly as she anticipated as she struggled to get a job in finance which saw her unemployed for over a year. It was in that time that she decided to expand her horizon and reconsider her love for the arts.

Stuck at home with very little to do, Onyi began drawing inspiration from other women on her television screen just as she did as a kid. Only this time, these women were self taught photographers who told beautiful visual stories. Rather than pay her rent that month, she took what I can only describe as a bold step to purchase a camera to begin teaching herself photography. She had seen her dad document their family life as a kid using his film camera. Something he was eventually forced to give up when it got stolen.

That was the extent of her experience with photography. But as I got to know Onyi while chatting to her, I realised she’s not one to shy away from what one might class as a scary decision. She took on the role quite literally and began taking self portraits. She learnt about photography and editing by watching YouTube tutorials and made sure to put her new skills to practice. And even when she eventually got a job in finance in a bank, she still carried on with her photography. Sometimes staying up until the early hours of the morning, editing images she had captured after a long day at the office.

Her hard work and dedication didn’t go unnoticed as big name brands began discovering her work on social media and offered to pay her to shoot editorial campaigns for them. Eventually she left her role at the bank even after doing very well there. She managed to gain three promotions in her first eighteen months. But she knew if she didn’t take a chance on herself to see where her new creative passion led, it wouldn’t sit well with her, especially giving the opportunities that had come her way. It turned out it was another great resolve as she puts it.

Onyi went on to win multiple awards for her work and even became a brand ambassador for a top leading UK jewellery brand. She felt the need to not just focus on still images but also delve into film by telling visually pleasing stories. You can truly see the passion in her work. Some of her short films have gathered hundreds of thousands of views on social media. In creating film, she rediscovered her love for writing music as she knows that music plays a key role in storytelling. This is what led her to begin working on her EP.

Her debut single ‘In Your Eyes’ was released a few weeks ago and is currently being played in radio stations across the UK including the BBC. When I asked her what the song was about she described it as “the glimmer of hope that can sometimes be found in loss”. Onyi is very much a dreamer and a romantic at heart. Something that is visible through her work. The meaning of the song does hold true to her. Her music has been very much inspired by the likes of Tracy Chapman and Asa. ‘In Your Eyes’ has an acoustic introspective foundation with elements of folk blues.

Onyi is unsigned and intends to remain that way. She’s the sort of creative who wants to stay true to her soul in her own words. She doesn’t want to get wrapped up in other people’s dreams but instead share hers with the world. She believes not many women have been able to succeed independently in this industry on their own terms and if she can be one of the few examples of women who manage to do so, then hopefully it paves the way for others to take charge of their creative career how they deem fit.

When asked if she had any final words for our readers, she said and I quote “it is important to tell your story because if you don’t, others might do it for you and you might not like the character they make you out to be.”

Source: Guardian

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeal to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic.

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

2. Listen.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

3. Become an Expert.

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

4. Lead with stories.

If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail.

5. Be Effusive with Praise

Celebrate the unique abilities and skills of people. Be quick to celebrate people’s accomplishments, no matter how little.
Lavish praise on people when they do something right. Don’t always be that person who points out the faults in people.

6. Be Kind Rather Than Right

For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

Prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position.

7. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced.

8. Understand Your Work.

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

Siblings bickering and arguing can be frustrating and mentally exhausting for parents. Although disagreements between siblings may drive parents crazy, it teaches our kids how to deal with and resolve conflict at an early age. This will, in turn, help them handle conflicts in relationships outside of their immediate family as they become adults. Nevertheless, when it seems like your children can’t get along even for a minute, then you can try these tips:

Look after each child’s needs

Children feel valued if you make it clear that it’s not okay for younger children to mess up older children’s activities, and vice versa. Also, take time out to bond individually with each child, and, most importantly, try not to compare children with each other.

Praise their good behaviour

Notice and give positive feedback to your kids when they’re well behaved. When you tell children clearly and specifically what they’re doing well, you’re likely to see more of that behaviour.

Show children how to get along

You are your children’s number one role model. Your children will notice if you iron out differences without fighting. If you would like your children to figure things out calmly and respectfully, they have to see you doing this. If you would like them to be ready to apologize to others, they have to see you apologising too.

Coach your children

You are your children’s problem-solving coach. You should teach them the way to handle disagreements and guide them toward skills for managing angry feelings, negotiating, and playing fair. This is much better than having to step in when they’re brewing or even worse, being a referee who breaks up fights.

You can also try these tips whenever they start fighting:

Hold hands

Whenever you notice your kids fighting, call them to sit together and hold hands till they solve their issues. Before you know it, they’ll laugh and forget that they were fighting.

T-shirt co-operation

The idea is that you simply have an extra-large men’s t-shirt that the kids must wear together until they stop bickering. Older kids can even be made to do chores while crammed within the t-shirt together. While the shirt is on, speak to them about how things work better once they agree to work together (trust me, if they need to try to do anything while wearing one shirt, they have no choice but to work together.)

Job bottle

Think of about a dozen chores. Write them on small strips of paper. Laminate them or cover with tape so that it can’t get mangled. Explain to your kids that each time a fight breaks out they all have to pick a job out from the job bottle. They don’t get to choose, they only grab one. When the squabbling starts, just calmly say, “job bottle.”

Hug it out

One time, I made my kids hug and told them they had to continue to hug each other until they stopped being mad at one another. I found them laughing at their situation because they were physically locked together. After that, ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ would follow.

Give them a problem to solve together

You can try giving your kids a puzzle to solve together to stop them from arguing. When they finish that, give them a harder one. Solving puzzles together encourages them to get along, rely on each other, and help one another.

Finally, it may help to remember that a certain amount of bickering and fighting is normal and even healthy in your children’s relationships with each other. Try some of these ideas and see if one works for you.

Remember, consistency is key. When you find a solution that works for your kids, continue with it. I’m confident that you’ll see a marked improvement in how your children get along.

Do you have any tips to ensure your kids get along? Feel free to share.

Teaching is the one profession that creates other professions. It is the fuel that drives education and make our wonderful Teachers  heroes.
Ericka is one of such heroes, especially at a time like this when the school system have been greatly affected by the pandemic.
She is passionate about her chosen profession, and determined to see her students succeed in Life.
Meet Ericka
Ericka Taylor began her teaching career in 2011. During that time, she came across one 2nd grade student who was struggling with reading. To meet this need, and that of many others, Ericka opened E. Denise Tutoring Services in March 2018. Since then, E. Denise Tutoring Services has grown to include many students, ranging in both grade level and scholastic ability.
Inside the classroom, Ericka’s motto is “Be fair, Be firm and Be fun.” When she tutors her motto is, “Take a breath, the student is learning not reviewing.” This is important because oftentimes scholars are expected to quickly retain information, when in fact, scholars need time to develop their learning and understanding.
Ericka created this company to meet students where they are academically. If a student is in 4th grade but is reading at a 1st grade level, that’s ok because with the correct instruction, the academic gap can be CLOSED. Ericka is certified to teach in the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and is reading endorsed to teach grades Pre-K-4 by the state of Ohio. Being reading endorsed is a fancy way of saying she is state certified to teach children how to read. While she is reading endorsed, Ericka loves to teach math concepts to children in grades K-8.
Although E.Denise Tutoring Services was begun to assist struggling readers, all students can benefit from tutoring, struggling or not. Tutoring helps to bridge the learning gap for all students at all learning levels. Ericka’s ultimate goal in life is to show students that reading is more than a chore; that reading will give them more opportunities and take them more places than they could ever imagine.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, all sessions are held virtually via the Zoom platform. Ericka prefers for her tutoring clients to call her Ms. Ericka.
You can follow her on her social media accounts below
Ig- @edenisetutoringservices
Fb- E.Denise LLC