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6 Tips For Creating Your Dream Job

6 Tips For Creating Your Dream Job

We live in an information age. We are the founders of the future. We have so much information  constantly at our fingertips, and the capability to reach an amazingly immense amount of people at any time, it is no wonder that people have discovered how to utilize this capability to create innovative career opportunities.

In 2015, 45% of U.S. employees were able to work from home, and that number continues to rise. It is an ideal situation for many, whether you are a young entrepreneur or a stay-at-home mom. The flexibility is valued. From one business owner to another, here are some basic startup tips for anyone looking to begin an online business while striving to be able to work from home.

1. The Why

This is the most important aspect of any business. If you do not go into creating this business idea with a firm, objective purpose then it does not matter how much time and effort is put into the company. It will dissolve. Your team and yourself will have no direction and the company will fall to the wayside. People don’t necessarily buy the product, they buy the ‘why.’ What does your company stand for; what makes your product or service fulfilling?

2. Building & Design

Now that you have the why figured out a general business idea/plan it is time to start building. The tech industry has grown exponentially, especially in city centers like New York. Tech based startups are creating new jobs and opportunities at a rapid pace because the need is there. Everything is online now, so a business needs to be embracing things like social media, marketing, and analytics. These are all necessary platforms for a business to succeed and acquire new clients/customers, as well as monitor what is working and what is not.

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Things as simple as the time of day that something is published or shared can make or break a sale. Creating a website that is easy to navigate, showcases the product or service, creates a platform for added interaction with the customer through social media and is grounded in the analytics that will help guide future decision making.

Some of us are not artistically gifted, so creating a website that looks professional and will attract the customer we have in mind may not be doable without help. If so this will be your first real purchase, and it is extremely worth the time and money. It does not matter how good you are at what you do or how amazing your product might be, if the platform you are showcasing this on does not portray just that customers are not going be interested.

A well designed website goes a very long way. You have 5 seconds to get a user’s attention or you’ve lost them so make it count.

3. Marketing

Marketing is a process that takes time and can involve hours of research for a plan to be effective. There are so many different marketing avenues you can take, and each are more or less effective depending on the business using them. This is yet, another example of how analytics will help you navigate what works for your business. This is all trial and error.

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Just because the tech industry and online business is blossoming does not mean that it is easy. There will be failures, try, try again.

Your brand along with goods and/or services is a key feature that you will be marketing. Your online presence will work while you’re asleep, while you’re on holiday, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Maintaining a solid, persistent online presence is the key ingredient to a successful branding. Once a marketing strategy is in place, advertise.

4. Advertising

Being timid when it comes to self promotion will not get you far. Promoting yourself online requires some finesse. You can easily hit the wrong note or appear arrogant if all you’re talking about is yourself, so be sure to involve others in the conversation.

Once your product/image is developed and your marketing strategy is in place, present your product or service to your audience. Social media is the most common and inexpensive route to take, but there are also so many others.

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Communicating your brand with potential customers can be done through print, radio, internet ads and even television. The price varies and the reach varies as well. Like with everything else being, aware of who your audience is through analytics and marketing will help you make the most educated decisions as well as trial and error.

Every step of the way test and measure everything. You can’t grow if you don’t change what isn’t working. If you are not faithfully testing, measuring and tracking your results then you will never know.

5. Legal and Financial Considerations

If you plan to advertise online (which you most likely are and SHOULD be), whether you’re buying ads on search engines or direct marketing through email understanding some basic rules is important.

Understanding the federal advertising laws to Internet advertising and marketing, complying with the law when developing online ads, things like CAN-SPAM that creates criminal prohibitions against those who knowingly transmit spam through others’ computers without authorization as well as help with navigating sales and eCommerce and utilizing those resources.

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Do your research on what works and what doesn’t, what is legal and what is not and what you can afford to make happen right away considering both time and cost.

6. Drive

What it all comes down to is the drive and ambition of all of those involved, the ‘why’ has to be united. Start ups lose money often before making any, so keep in mind that you won’t always be able to monetize all of your projects even though they were successful.

It may seem backwards, but if you are going into building your business, your brand, in an avenue that you find fulfilling–looking at money as a resource instead of a goal may be the best way to approach your endeavors.This “goal” creates a space that keeps the drive behind the initial reason for starting the business. The fulfillment stays the focus.

There are no foolproof books on how to build a successful online business, especially with the pace of change. The best way to learn is by doing so take the necessary steps and do. The opportunities are endless.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

You may have heard someone say they are “totally right brained” or that they’re “a left brained person.”

There is a pervasive myth that’s been making its rounds for over a century: people have two hemispheres of their brains, and if they have a dominant left brain, they’re more analytical; and if they have a dominant right brain, they are more creative.

Before we go debunking this theory and then giving some tips for how people can access their creative brain centers, let’s first take a look at where the left brain/right brain lateralization theory comes from.

The Left Brain/Right Brain Lateralization Theory

In the 1800s, scientists discovered that when patients injured one side of their brains, certain skills were lost.[1] Scientists linked those different skills to one side of the brain or the other. Thus began the left brain/right brain myth that continues to this day.

Then, in the 1960s and 70s, Roger W. Sperry led 16 operations that cut the corpus callosum (the largest region that connects both brain hemispheres together) in order to try to treat patients’ epilepsy. Sperry wrote about the differences in the two hemispheres as a result of those surgeries.[2]

Sperry’s work was popularized in 1973 with a New York Times article about his lateralization theory—that people were either right brained (read: logical) or left brained (read: creative). From here, Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his work and numerous other publications spread the right brain/left brain myth.

Debunking the Right Brain/Left Brain Myth

If anything, the lateralization theory of the brain is a gross exaggeration. It is true that people have two hemispheres of their brains. It is also true that there are differences in the composition of those two hemispheres.

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However, the hemispheres are actually much more interconnected than Sperry’s work initially made it seem.

In a 2013 study,[3] scientists scanned over 1000 people’s brains, checking for lateralization. They confirmed that certain brain functions occur predominately in one hemisphere or the other but that, in reality, the brain is actually much more interconnected and complex than the right brain/left brain lateralization theory makes it seem.[4][5]

A New Metaphor for Right Brain/Left Brain

How do we get past this right brain/left brain myth?

First, let’s look at what contemporary cognitive science says about brain regions, and creative and logical modes of thinking.

My background is as an improviser and improv researcher. I wrote Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition and think looking at improvisation and the brain can shed light on a new model for talking about unlocking the brain’s creative potential.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans have shown that while trained improvisers improvise (musically on a keyboard, rapping, and comedic improvisation) an interesting shift happens in their brain activity. [6]

A region called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex decreases in activity and creative language centers such as the medial prefrontal cortex increase in activity. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is linked with conscious thoughts—that inner voice that tells you not to say something or criticizes you when you do.

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The medial prefrontal cortex is among the brain regions linked with creativity. So, instead of thinking about right brain and left brain, perhaps it’s more current and correct to think about more specific brain regions instead of hemispheres. Perhaps, it’s more useful to think about which activities and strategies will allow us to inhibit our dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes and allow our medial prefrontal cortexes to flourish.

How to Enhance Your “Right Brain” — Creativity

Whether we’re talking about right brain versus left brain, creative versus logical, or medial prefrontal cortex versus dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, we still know enough to talk about strategies to tap into your creative brain’s full potential.

So, now that we’ve dispelled the right brain/left brain myth and looked at a more contemporary, cognitive neuroscience theory of brain regions and creativity centers, let’s look at how to tap into the potential of your creative brain.

1. Performing Arts

One way to tap into your creative brain centers is to participate in the performing arts. Whether you improvise, act, or dance, the performing arts allow you an embodied experience that will help you snap out of your habitual, logical thoughts.

Another benefit of the performing arts is that it changes your attention. Attention and creativity are inextricably linked. When we improvise, act, or dance, we have to focus intently on our fellow performers. This means we are forced to focus less on our conscious, logical thoughts. This frees us up for more creative thinking and expression.[7]

One of the conclusions of my research on improvisation is that focusing intensely on fellow improvisers and the task at hand makes it more likely that we experience a flow state. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi,[8] a Professor of Psychology and Management defines flow as an optimal psychological state when our skills match the difficulty of the task at hand. Our perception of time is altered as we get into the zone and become more present and in the moment during our chosen activity.[9]

A flow state is a creative state. It’s the opposite of crunching numbers and forcing ourselves to work out a problem with the conscious regions of our brain. So, get up, improvise, act, or dance to access your creativity.

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2. Visual Art

Art teacher Betty Edwards[10] wrote a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Here again, we see that a shift in our attention can lead us to an increase in our creative thinking.

Edwards’ book gives art students tricks to shift the way they see the world. For example, one exercise encourages students to literally flip whatever it is they’re drawing upside down before they draw it. This forces budding artists to literally see the object in a new way. This shift allows them to focus more on the individual components and patterns of the object, which allows them to draw it better.

Shifting how we see things is another way we can access our creative brain centers. Take an art class to shut off your conscious, critical thoughts and start seeing things from a new, more creative perspective.

3. Zone Out

If there’s one thing creativity doesn’t like, it’s being coerced.

I think we’ve all felt that awful feeling of trying to force ourselves to be creative. When we force it, we’re really trying to force our logical brain regions to be creative. It’s like asking your gardener to perform your appendix surgery. It’s just not what she does.

Instead, stop forcing it. Take a break. Take a long walk or a relaxing bath or shower. Let your mind wander.

Whatever you do, stop forcing it. This break lets your creative centers rise to the surface of your attention and get heard.

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4. Practice Mindfulness

The final trick to start accessing your so-called right brain is to practice mindfulness.

Now, there’s a lot of different ways to go about mindfulness. You can take a more physical approach with a yoga class. Or you can try meditating to become more aware and in tune with your thoughts and feelings: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

You could also try to incorporate fun mindfulness exercises[11] into your everyday routine like forcing yourself to go on detours or pretending you’re a detective who needs to examine people and places closely.

Any way you do it, mindfulness exercises and training can help you become better versed in how your brain works and what your normal thought process is like on a day-to-day basis. If we’re ever going to reach our optimal creativity, we have to become an expert in how our individual brain functions. Mindfulness is one way to become your very own brain expert.

Mindfulness also has added benefits like calming us, slowing our breathing, and helping us become more observant, which are also great ways to start tapping into our creative potential.

Final Thoughts

So, it may not be correct to say that our right brain is our creative brain, but it is still a valid pursuit to try to optimize our creative brain centers.

The key to do so is to relax, become observant, shift your perspective, move your body, try something new, and, whatever you do, don’t force it.

Creativity can feel slippery. It can abandon us when we need it most, but by slowing down and looking at things from a new perspective, we can give ourselves a better chance of tapping into our ultimate creativity, even if that doesn’t exactly mean our “right brain.”

More Tips on Boosting Creativity

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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