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Want to Enjoy Business Success? Ensure Your Appearance is Up to Scratch!

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“Never forget that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression – with investors, with customers, with PR, and with marketing,” said fashion entrepreneur and journalist Natalie Massenet, and statistics certainly back her assertion. As an entrepreneur, you have just seven seconds to express who you are and indeed, some studies indicate you have even less. Recently, Princeton scholars Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov conducted a series of tests, finding that it takes as little as one tenth of a second to for an impression of a stranger from their physical appearance. Moreover, longer exposures don’t necessarily alter this quick initial judgement.

Appearance is a Key Element of Your Brand

If you have invested in your logo, colors and website, remember that your physical appearance – and that of your office – should be viewed as an extension of your brand. Appearance covers everything from the suit you wear to a formal meeting, right through to the interior design of your meeting room or reception room. Acing this aspect of your branding strategy is a complex task because no two businesses are alike. Moreover, depending on the nature of your business, innovation or tradition may predominate. Getting your branding strategy right involves researching into industry expectations. Your competitor’s website and social media is a great place to start, but don’t be afraid to go a little ‘above and beyond’ what is expected.

Breaking New Ground

There are certain basics that all entrepreneurs and premises should obey. These include tidiness, cleanliness, and professionalism. If you work in fields like law or accountancy, a good suit is key when attending to clients or holding business meetings. However, if you work in an industry like media, aeronautics, or technology, your attire and business premises should be anything but traditional. Google, for instance, is famed for its passion for color, innovation, and collaborative spaces. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, meanwhile, dazzles with its own onsite museum, coffee shops, and moving Mars rovers. Your office should be suitable to your employees’ uses but also appealing to your clients. Thus, luxury jewelry and haute horlogerie shops often contain cosy yet luxurious features like double glass fireplaces, dark cherry Chesterfield sofas, and Edwardian desks. The key is to exude tradition and modernity at once, since these values are key to these high-end sectors.

Expressing Yourself through Clothing

Regardless of whether or not business suits are a must in your day-to-day life, you shouldn’t be afraid to express your creativity. A dark navy business suit, for instance, can look über sleek and sexy when it is slim cut and paired with a good pair of brogues. Your necktie, pocket square, or glasses can show off a little more color than expected, as well as a different, contemporary design. Even a cool Hermès belt looks fantastic worn alongside a casual day suit.

Functionality and Practicality Should Weight on Your Decisions

You should always aim to impress, without sacrificing an iota of practicality. It was interesting to read news stories about Apple employees revolting against the glass-filled office design of the $5 billion Apple ‘Park’. The problem? Numerous employees were walking into the glass walls, making for more than one headache and bad mood. Similar criticism has been levelled at open plan offices, with recent research finding that they aren’t for everyone. Indeed, many employees who are forced to work in open-plan spaces claim that distraction and lack of privacy wrests from their efficiency and focus.

Your appearance (and that of your office) is key because it can make or break important connections with your clients. It is also key to building a sense of trustworthiness. The more professional you look, the more likely clients are to choose you over competitors. However, getting your strategy right often involves innovation, so don’t be afraid to show off a little sartorial flair while wowing your clients with your skill and experience.

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3 Strategies for Lifelong Learning

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Strategies for Lifelong Learning

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

Famous American author Mark Twain once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing you can do is keep your mind young.”

What’s interesting about this quote, and many others from Mark Twain about learning, is that the author didn’t go to college. In fact, he dropped out of school in fifth grade to work as an apprentice to a printer. Today, he’s recognized as one of the most famous authors and lecturers of all time. We can learn a lot from Mr. Twain’s quotes about lifelong learning and its importance.

Lifelong learning isn’t just about having a formal education. The “school of life” is an endless wealth of knowledge just waiting to be grasped. Thankfully, there are different strategies you can use to continue learning for the rest of your life, so you never become stagnant, and according to Mr. Twain, you’ll keep your mind young.

Let’s look at a few of those strategies and how you can implement them into your own life to consistently learn and grow.

1. Understand Your Learning Style

Everyone learns differently, and at different paces. Learning at your own pace is called asynchronous learning, and it’s an important concept to grasp if you want to keep learning new things throughout your life. Asynchronous learning allows you to pick up on things in a way that works best for you, so you don’t feel forced into understanding loads of information right away.

When you’re able to learn at your own pace, you’re more likely to take in continuous information and understand it.

It’s also important to understand your individual learning style as you go throughout life. There are several different types of learning styles, including:

  • Visual
  • Aural
  • Verbal
  • Physical
  • Logical
  • Social

Everyone learns differently, and one style isn’t necessarily better than another. If you give two people the same piece of information, how it’s presented to them can have a strong impact on what they remember and how well it sinks in. For example, if you tell them something verbally, an aural learner might have a better understanding than a logical or physical learner. Some people are even multi-modal learners who use more than one learning style to digest information. Understanding more about your style can help you to put yourself in situations to foster it.

2. Taking Care of Your Body to Sharpen Your Mind

There is an incredibly strong connection between your body and mind. While you absolutely need to “exercise” your mind, you can also keep it sharp by keeping yourself physically healthy and active. Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

You can’t keep learning if you’re not properly taking care of yourself. It’s no one else’s responsibility but your own to treat your body with respect. Doing so can actually improve your focus, cognitive function, and memory.

So, what can you do physically to give your brain a boost?

First, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Your body sorts out and stores memories while you sleep, and not getting enough of it can keep your brain from storing new information properly.

It’s also important to make sure to exercise and eat right to boost brain function. Healthy fats and dark, leafy vegetables have been shown to improve brain function, and regular exercise can help to increase the size of the hippocampus. That is the part of the brain responsible for verbal memory.

You can also “exercise” your mind and improve your memory with things like mnemonics. Mnemonic devices can be acronyms, rhyming phrases, groupings of numbers, or visualizations that help you to remember certain things. You can use them to remember anything from people’s names to what’s on your grocery list for the week, and using them regularly can help to keep your mind and memories sharper.

3. Set Learning Goals for Life

One of the best ways to keep yourself motivated for lifelong learning is to write down some of the things you’d like to learn. Then, find the resources that can help you accomplish those goals. If you want to break into a specific career or industry, you may not necessarily have to go to college to learn the right skills.

Consider whether what you really want to do requires a college degree or not. In many cases, you can learn what you need from your local library or by always having a book in hand. Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” While Lincoln did go to college for a legal degree, it’s easy to argue that much of what he’s known for today happened by learning through experience, even when he was faced with impossibly demanding situations.

Lincoln’s quote can also motivate you to put your learned skills into practice. If you do have goals in mind, you’ll continue to learn more about them when you start doing them. You can read a thousand books on how to fix a car, but you’ll likely end up learning more when you get under the hood and look at the engine, yourself.

Continuous lifelong learning is about immersing yourself in as much knowledge as possible. That knowledge will come from books, other people, and personal experiences. You don’t have to follow a specific educational path in order to be a lifelong learner. Instead, you have to have a willingness to keep growing and expanding your mind. If you’re able to do that, as Mark Twain suggested, you’ll be able to keep your mind young.

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What Is Imposter Syndrome and How Could It Be Affecting Your Leadership?

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Imposter Syndrome

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Have you ever felt like you aren’t worthy of your achievements? You constantly find your family, friends, or team looking up to you for advice even though you feel like a fraud giving it?

If so, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is an extreme case of self-doubt that has reportedly affected 70 percent of millennials. This self-doubt stops you from chasing after your goals and let you feel proud of those you’ve already nailed. But guess what? You’re worthy of the achievements you have earned. You are worthy of your place no matter what stage of life, or your career, you are in.

This syndrome may deter you from reaching your biggest career goals. If you think you may be experiencing imposter syndrome, Mint created an infographic explaining the different types, how each type may affect your finances, and tips to overcoming it. Keep reading for tips to pushing past and achieving your biggest goals.

What Is Imposter Syndrome + How Much Its Costing Us

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Guide to Buy Foods in Bulk for Your Restaurant Business

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Guide to Buy Foods in Bulk for Your Restaurant Business

Image source: Pixabay

So you’ve opened your own restaurant for the very first time? Well, congratulations at first! It sure is a big achievement and a very wise decision too, considering that the food and beverage industry is one of the most rewarding businesses today. People are always on the lookout for newer tastes and better dining experience and any new entrant in the market is always welcome.

Yet, the task can be quite daunting as well, especially for first-timers. There’s lots to take care of – seating, décor, ambience, and of course the most important of them all, food! It’s the prime substance upon which your restaurant is going to thrive. Interestingly, it’s also one of the major cost-generators of your business because you’d always be in need of it.

And since you’ve opened new, you wouldn’t ever want to fall short of supplies lest turn customers away from your restaurant at any time. Now, with rising food costs, it’d only be wise to start thinking about stocking up food supplies at discounted rates to help cut down on costs. You’d need help in doing so and we’re here to help. Here’s a short guide on bulk restaurant food supply for your business.

Tips on Buying Bulk Food for Restaurants

The prime advantage of buying in bulk is that only when you manage to get a good price for your supplies can you afford to offer food to your customers at competitive rates. This in turn means more business for you in the long run. Here’s how you can intend to achieve this goal:

1.

Consider opening an account with a trusted broadliner. They’re engaged in the business of restaurant food supply in large quantities. Opening an account with them would kick-off regular delivery of the required food items for your restaurant – everything from fresh produce, meat and seafood, to even pre-prepared items. You can choose the frequency of delivery – daily, weekly, or monthly – depending on your individual requirement.

You can find some of the best reliable broadliners in the area where you operate your business from leading restaurant magazines, professional associations, and trade shows. You might be required to submit proof of running an established restaurant and proof of enough funds to ensure timely payment of bills, for opening an account with a broadliner.

2.

Become a member of a retail warehouse. The latter differs from conventional grocery stores or supermarkets such that they sell food in relatively higher quantities. Besides, any food service business, including restaurants, can make bulk purchases to meet their food requirements by becoming a member. It’s that simple.

This method is particularly helpful to new restaurants, some of which aren’t able to secure credit accounts with big broadliner groups. Retail warehouses enable these restaurant start-ups to buy food in bulk.

3.

Contact local farmers and food manufacturers – they’re a vital component of the food supply chain too. You can get all your fresh produce, including fresh meat and dairy, from the farmers. Local manufacturers, such as bakeries, can help you with bulk supplies of breads, rolls, buns, and the like.

4.

You can also consider making bulk purchases from food catalog firms, which act as middlemen between the farmers or manufacturers, buying supplies directly from them and supplying in bulk to wholesalers or retailers. Most catalog companies generally work with canned food distributors for supply of dry consumable items such as beans, nuts, or coffee, and usually offer discounts on large purchases.

5.

If you like to keep your bulk shopping restricted to a single stop for ease of convenience, we recommend purchasing supplies from national wholesale food suppliers. They are truly your one-stop shop for everything you need – meat, fresh produce, dry consumables, dairy products, or desserts. These groups work in collaboration with a huge network of farmers to obtain a large variety of supplies for restaurants.

6.

Organic suppliers are also worth considering, particularly in light of increasing awareness among consumers over the multiple health benefits of organic food. By serving food prepared from organic ingredients and supplies, you’d only be giving a boost to your restaurant business in no time. Organic suppliers can range from large national-level wholesalers to local farms too.

7.

For your bulk fresh meat supplies, you might want to stick to collaborating with local butchers as well, just as you work with local farmers and local markets for fresh produce and dry goods, respectively. They can be your single source of purchase for fresh cuts and even guide you on where the meat’s coming from. Passing on this information to your consumers would speak a lot about your repute.

8.

For supply of beverages like wine and beer, getting in touch with beer and wine suppliers is a good idea. Again, beer suppliers may vary in size – from nationally renowned brands to local craft breweries – and you might want to keep both the sources to offer variety to your customers. Besides, greater the variety, better the price discounts too.

Not to forget, a large number of bulk beer suppliers would happily provide free stuff for your restaurant too – from table tents and pint glasses to umbrellas, coasters, and menu boards – all branded with their logo for promotion but cost you nothing at all!

Similarly, for your wine supply, you may need to make a choice depending on your requirement. For instance, if your restaurant intends to sell more of wine, then you’d be better off working with a sommelier who’d already have established connections with several wine suppliers. Also consider the newer technology of serving wine on tap which is fast gaining popularity among customers and can also help you cut down on costs.

Conclusion

Restaurant business is a great idea provided you have the right connections with the right people who’re reliable to deliver on time, offer bulk supplies at discounted rates, ensure the best quality of produce, and are also able to provide the right guidance on newer products and varieties in the market.

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