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4 Websites to Help Quit Your Job and Start a Business

4 Websites to Help Quit Your Job and Start a Business

Are you feeling trapped by a hum-drum job that leaves you unsatisfied and short of cash at the end of each month? Do you love solving problems, being creative, and being a hard-working, dedicated self starter who’s not afraid to get their hands dirty?

If that sounds like you, then it’s likely that starting a new business might be just the thing to inspire you to greater heights and ultimately put you in control of your own destiny. But starting a new business is not all that easy, and often comes with substantial financial risks that can leave you penniless, or even in debt.

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    Luckily, there is plenty of great advice out there to help guide you through those all important first steps. By empowering yourself with the insights, creativity and knowledge provided by our top 5 list of sites for entrepreneurs, you’ll be able to:

    1. Reduce the amount of time it takes to find and validate a fantastic idea
    2. Research and build a top class business plan
    3. Build a cutting edge, responsive website
    4. Promote and market your business like a pro
    5. Know which software, tools & services are available to increase productivity and cut costs
    6. Understand tax, financial, legal and industry rules and regulations
    7. Work efficiently with your money

    Sound good?

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    Each of the sites listed here has a focus on at least one, sometimes more, of the above listed points. It’s important to remember that almost no single website will give you all the answers you need in one place. I suggest spending some time browsing through all of them to build up your own broad and deep understanding of the challenges that lie ahead.

    Bplans

    Bplans offers free business plan samples and templates, business planning resources, How-to articles, financial calculators, and industry reports.

      Bplans offers an incredible range of business plan templates, advice about how to research and create plans, and insights into finding funding, selling, and pitching during the startup phase.

      Have it bookmarked from the time you have an idea, until the time the business is established and out of the startup phase.

      Along with their vast selection of free downloadable plans and templates for virtually any type of business imaginable, they also have a decent blog and lots of in-depth, useful guides on a range of startup related topics. In particular, you’ll find the following guides of great use:

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      ThePennyHoarder

      The world's largest personal finance blog with 5+ million monthly readers.

        ThePennyHoarder, unlike the other sites in this list, is not really focused on business per se, rather on personal finance. But, what they do bring to the table is a huge variety of creative money hacks and advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

        Ideas to stretch or save a dollar that you wouldn’t think of in a million years are part of their daily routine, which is super useful if you’re having to bootstrap a startup without funding or loans to keep things afloat.

        In addition to plenty of information focused on working from home, they also have lots of budgeting tips and even coupons available to help save money when it counts the most.

        Here’s where I recommend you start:

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        SBA

        An electronic gateway of procurement information for and about small businesses.

          The SBA (Small Business Administration) is a U.S. government run resource aimed at helping small business owners and entrepreneurs navigate the complex world of tax, finance, grants, loans, contracts, commerce, government rules, and business legislation. Basically anything you might need to know about your business and industry’s regulatory environment.

          Use this site as a companion from start to finish. It’s not only useful for learning about complex rules and regulations, it can also help you find tax breaks and incentives, make connections with other entrepreneurs and business people, and make full use of the local, state and federal resources available to you.

          For my money, the most useful aspects of this site are the following:

          Entrepreneur

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          Advice, insight, profiles and guides for established and aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide.

            Entrepreneur is arguably the world’s leading online resource for entrepreneurs because, in addition to all the standard guides and advice you would expect from a leading business resources, they also offer something more… real-world insight. Their reach and reputation is such that they can get the inside scoop on news, developments, leaders, influencers, and trends that allow them to get valuable business related insight into your hands earlier than other sites.

            If staying on trend is vital to the survival of your business, then Entrepreneur is the site to bookmark right away.

            Entrepreneur’s site is also so massive that it likely covers every bit of information you could possibly need. The downside is that because much of their content is contributed by third parties, it isn’t always easily discovered or presented in a uniform manner. With that said, there are a few stand out pages that you definitely need to check out:

            So those are my top 5 sites that will help you realize your dreams of leaving the rat race and taking control of your own destiny by building the business of your dreams. Of course, these sites aren’t the only game in town. What resources do you find useful? Share your suggestions in the comments.

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              photo credit: Pinterest

              Featured photo credit: Christian Dembowski via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on November 5, 2019

              How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

              How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

              Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

              But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

              The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

              Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

              But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

              As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

              Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

              There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

              The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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              • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
              • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
              • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
              • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

              But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

              How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

              When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

              I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

              Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

              However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

              Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

              While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

              Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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              By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

              How to Use Visual Learning for Success

              Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

              1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

              We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

              While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

              I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

              2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

              Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

              Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

              As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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              And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

              3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

              Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

              With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

              Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

              It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

              Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

              Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

              4. Add video streaming to meetings.

              What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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              When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

              For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

              Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

              No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

              You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

              The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

              More About Learning Styles

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

              Reference

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