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10 Signs You Will Be Able To Retire At An Early Age

10 Signs You Will Be Able To Retire At An Early Age

For many people, the dream of an early retirement seems far fetched. Worries about how you will live, what will you do, and what others will think can obscure the reality that is right in front of you. But early retirement may be more viable than you think. Take, for example, the story of Brenton Hayden who made himself a goal to retire by age 27 and succeeded. By strategically building a business that could run itself when he was ready to walk away, he did the seemingly impossible and now lives a life of complete freedom.

So we have compiled 10 signs you could be capable of the same.

Being able to identify the 10 signs that you can retire early can be the first and most important step to setting your own course. As you read the list, you may be pleasantly surprised at how many of these elements apply to you right now.

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1. You Believe That Opportunities Exist Everywhere

Hayden’s belief that he could find the positive in any situation and turn it to his benefit is what allowed him to become self-sufficient and able to meet his goal of retiring at 27. Opportunities can be all around us, we just have to look to see them.

2. You Feel That Your Daily Life Is No Longer Fulfilling

Sometimes being productive or successful in a position still leaves a spiritual and emotional void. When you reach this point, the best cure is often to walk away and follow that “road less traveled” to reawaken that desire to build something new – perhaps even in a new location.

3. You Want To Share The Skills You’ve Learned

When you’ve mastered a skill or trade, the greatest satisfaction is often gained by sharing that knowledge with others. Not only is this a great way to “pay it forward,” but it also empowers those around you and enables them to carry on with what you’ve taught them, freeing you up to focus on the things that will help you achieve your early retirement goal.

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4. You Aren’t Afraid Of Risk

The old saying, “no risk, no reward” is particularly important in knowing if you are ready to retire. Walking away from the relative security of a known existence (i.e. job, daily routine, etc.) to step into an uncertain future is a profound choice. Yet if you feel that the only thing worse is to remain stagnant, then the time may be right to make that move.

5. You Want to Control Your Destiny

Recognizing that being able to dictate how and where you spend your time is truly life affirming and can be a major step in the retirement process. If you find yourself wanting to take control of your own future and live life according to your own terms, then you may just have what it takes. The key is having the courage to take the first step.

6. You Don’t Believe In The Traditional Definition Of Retirement

Retirement no longer means just sitting around the house, playing golf or tennis, and watching the time go by. Believing that retirement today can mean working (or not) when you want, traveling when you want, and not being held to someone’s else’s agenda is a major indicator that you are ready to retire on your terms.

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7. You Believe That Retirement Isn’t The End, But Instead A New Beginning

Being freed from the yoke of job deadlines, a daily routine and demands on your time marks that start of a whole new existence. You can now work hard (or not) and play hard. It is up to you how to take this next chapter in your life and make it your own.

8. You Accept That Money Is Not The End-All And Be-All

Monetary status is like the weather; it can change without warning. By embracing the fact that you can live cheaply for now – if need be – in order to achieve your goal of early retirement, you are already prepared to handle the ebb and flow that retirement and investing while retired, can bring.

9. You Don’t Measure Your Life Against Others

One of the most profound benefits of retiring on your own terms is that you no longer have to measure your life achievements against what others have (or have not) gained. Success and failure are both just chapters. Some of which fall short of a goal and may ultimately lead you to end up reaping more rewards than if your original plan had succeeded. Life is funny that way.

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10. You Know That Age Is Just A Number

Nowhere is it written that you have to reach a certain age in order to be “ready” for retirement. True, some financial situations, such as pensions, 401k’s or Social Security have a mandated legal age, but the idea of retiring and beginning a new life is not bound by those same numbers. That is why people like Hayden could choose to retire at 27, while others continue to work through their 70’s and 80’s. Knowing that age is just a number means that you are not bound by the societal barriers that dictate what the “right” age for retirement should be. That choice is uniquely your own.

So What Questions Should You Be Asking?

Every journey starts with the question: What do I want to discover? No matter what your age or status, it is never too early to start asking yourself some serious questions about retiring. As you look within, these 10 signs will stand out as beacons showing you that the only obstacle to meeting that dream is yourself. Dare to take that first step today.

Featured photo credit: barca-couple-soledad-wholesale-473854/Montaplex via pixabay.com

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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