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Don’t Wait Anymore! 20 Websites To Help You Start Your Own Business

Don’t Wait Anymore! 20 Websites To Help You Start Your Own Business

It is easier than ever these days to start your own business, especially with all the resources at your fingertips. Starting a new business is fun, exciting, challenging, and overwhelming all at the same time! I should know because I started a business 15 years ago from scratch, and let me tell you everyday is a new adventure.

Although there are more resources than ever to get your new venture started, combing through them to find the best can be a maddening experience. So, what I have done is come up with 20 websites that will not only help you get it started, but keep it running!

Complete A-Z Resources

SBA

This is my number one draft pick! The Small Business Administration is a must for anyone thinking about starting or currently running a company. They have more resources than anyone I know. SBA should be in your speed dial while starting and running your business.

SCORE

SCORE, who works with SBA, is a great resource as they offer mentors who have been there, done that, and it is free! They’re people who have done what you are trying to accomplish. So, don’t try and invent the wheel, get some guidance from professionals who know and SCORE is the place to do that!

My Own Business

I wish this site was around when I started my first business in 2000, fortunately we live in a time when resources are abundant, and this is a great one! They even have classes you can take for free that get you ready for your successful venture.

BPlans

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Although it sounds like this site will just help you with building your business plan, which is one of the most important steps in starting a business, it also helps you with pitching your idea, funding your business, how to get it started, managing it once you’ve got it up and running, as well as many other business tools.

StartupNation

Startupnation is a website I was unaware of until writing this article, but I am glad I stumbled upon it. It has everything you need to start your business including a community platform that involves groups, forums, and even a radio show.

AllBusiness

Whether it is a home based business, online business, franchising, buying or selling business, this site has ebooks and guides along with many other resources that will get you going in the right direction.

Business Know-How

This site is great. It takes you from ideas, to startup, to marketing, to HR, to financials. With worksheets, checklists, and ways to find money, it is a great resource for every stage of starting a small business.

Small Business News, Trends, and Ideas

Entrepreneur

Great articles on how and what it takes to start your own business from writing business plans to what it takes to be your own boss. Entreperneur is an industry leader with top articles in every avenue of becoming your own business owner.

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Inc

Inc. is one of the industry leaders in small business ideas and resources for entrepreneurs. This website is great for ideas and learning about what other successful entrepreneurs have done.

The Huffington Post

Great website to get ideas and general information for people running a small business. It has a ton of current small business news, which is essential to keep up with small business trends.

For Entrepreneurs

This site is done by David Skok, who is a serial entrepreneur turned VC. He writes for this site and provides entrepreneurs help with starting their companies. No better place to learn than from someone who has done it time and time again.

TheSelfEmployed

This site was created by the bestselling author Steve Strauss, who wrote The Small Business Bible. In Steve’s words, “The site aims to be your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know to have a fun and successful entrepreneurial journey. At the site, you will find relevant articles, how-to videos, podcasts, forums, and special offers that are all deigned specifically for the self-employed.” I couldn’t put it better myself, so I didn’t.

Social Media

Facebook

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When it comes to starting a successful business, marketing is at the top of your priority list. This site helps you understand some of the social media benefits and how to gain customers right away and increase your customer base as you grow.

WordStream

Wordstream is your all-in-one social media manager. Although it has a monthly fee, it can be well worth it. The site itself gives you a great helicopter view of how to manage your social media even without paying.

Legal

Shake

Just as marketing is vitally important to creating a successful business, without the right legal strategies your business is at risk of crumbling because you did’t have the right document signed. This site helps you understand the legalities of operating your own small business. From terminology to contracts, this site is a must!

Startup Company Lawyer

Are you looking for some legal advice, but don’t have the cash to pay the overpriced attorneys? This site gives great ‘legal” via posts. It answers many of the common questions anyone starting or running a small business needs.

Funding

Fundable

Depending on what type of business you are starting, funding can sometimes be an idea killer. Fundable is a great choice for those looking to raise funds when family, friends, and personal options are exhausted.

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Fundera

Another option for funding when all others methods are out of the question is borrowing. After filling out a single application, Fundera will then match you to up to three compatible lenders. Don’t waste time going from lender to lender. Fundera does it for you.

Onevest

Are you looking to do some crowdfunding to get your business started? If so, Onevest may be the way to go. You can raise up to five million from investors with proven results.

Gust

Gust is a cool site where you can upload your pitch for investors to see exactly who and what they will be investing in. A great way to get your mission and passion across to potential investors.

You now have 20 websites that will get you from idea to startup to successfully running your own show. No more excuses! Begin with SBA and before you know it, you will be in business!

Featured photo credit: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet by Maurizio Pesce via flickr.com

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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