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What happens when you hit a roadblock…what do you do? Below, I’ll talk about what keeps us from moving forward – and how to navigate to higher levels.

Be Honest With Yourself

One of the strategies I often recommend to help you achieve your goals is decluttering. This is a great first step you can take to create the space necessary to actually organize your goals, prioritize your life, and move forward with your vision.

Now it’s time to go deeper…Are you de-cluttering just because you think you should? If so, you’re more likely to give up because you’re not associating the practice with a tangible goal you have. Instead of going through the motions of this or any exercise simply because you think it might be effective, figure out why you’re doing it – try to tie it in with a goal you have.

For instance, if your friend finally convinces you to try yoga, ask yourself why you really want to do it. Will it help you reduce your stress levels and ultimately contribute to greater wellbeing? Is greater flexibility or a toned body a fitness goal you have?

Don’t do anything because someone thinks you should – or because you believe someone thinks you should – do it for you. You’re far more likely to succeed at achieving your goals when you know why you’re doing it – and that “why” has real meaning for you.

When the unexpected happens

You’re moving right along, making great progress towards achieving your goal, when out of nowhere, the unexpected happens. Sound familiar? Most everyone is faced with this scenario, because change is perhaps the one constant in our world.

Things change; life happens. We can plan all we want, but sometimes, life throws us a curveball. It’s how we deal with it that counts. If you’ve been caught off guard, take a time out to become “present” again. This will allow you to give your full attention to the situation so that you can consider possible solutions.

In a Forbes article, author Paolina Milana recalls the sudden death of her sister and how she dealt with grief at the office. She says that death, especially when it’s unexpected, “has a way of wiping away the filters we’ve put on our lives and giving us a fresh perspective about where we are and where we may be headed.”

Gain a Fresh Perspective

No matter who you are or where you’re at in your journey, you will face unexpected events that put a temporary stop on your plans. Some will be minor – a conflict at work, a squabble with your kids, trouble with your car.

Others will rock your world and leave you questioning the meaning and purpose behind life – the sudden death of a loved one, as Milana experienced, a serious illness, and a tragic accident.

Instead of letting resentment, anger, or hate build up and take over, see the experience as an opportunity for learning and growth. Accept whatever it is that you’re feeling in the moment, but understand that like everything, it’s only temporary and will change.

Have an honest, supportive conversation with your mentor or even a trusted friend or colleague. Talk about your feelings and be open to a fresh perspective. The new perspective you gain might be better than you could have ever imagined, and what you once saw as a roadblock might prove to be one of the most transformative experiences you have.



Starting Your Own Hair Salon

Posted by Marcel Sim in Starting Up


If you’re a hairdresser, or you’re thinking of becoming one, then the idea of owning your own salon could be the dream that you’re aiming for. Read on for tips on how to start a successful hair salon.

Who’s Suited to this type of Business?

You need to have experience in hairdressing yourself (about five years at least), before you go into owning your own salon. It won’t be the biggest money maker, so you need to make sure that you’re doing it because you love it.

You’ll also need business skills as well as the skill to cut hair. This may mean that you have to go on a management or book keeping course, for example.

Starting a Business

As with any business, you need a certain amount of money behind you. If you’re setting up from scratch, you’ll need some money for premises and equipment before you can even open.

You need a business plan. Think about the responsibilities of each of the people involved, what kind of clients you want to attract, etc. Find more information on formulating an effective business plan here. There is a wide variety of different types of salon out there, from those that target young professionals to older customers who can’t do their own hair.

The Rules and Regulations

A salon will typically contain a wide range of electrical items that have the potential to be dangerous, so you need an electrician to check items every two years.

When it comes to hair dyes and shampoos, you need to adhere to the regulations known as Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH).

Staff need to be trained and qualified to GNVQ Level 2 to cut customers’ hair.

Tips for Success

  • A good location can make all the difference. Make it easy for yourself and pick a location that will mean that you’ll have plenty of people walking past your shop door. The salon premises is the biggest outgoing that you’ll have so make sure that you can afford it!
  • Save money on the initial fit out and only get the essentials. When you begin to make a profit, you can invest in higher quality equipment or more services.
  • Invest in software like this from Phorest to help you keep the customers that you have coming back for their next haircut or salon treatment.


The cost of starting a small business has never been lower. In 2009, the Kauffman Foundation, an organisation that campaigns to help individuals attain economic independence by advancing education achievement and entrepreneurial success, estimated the average cost of a new business start-up at $30,000.

The actual cost of starting a new business in 2015 is potentially much lower. With the surge in e-commerce and ‘bedroom businesses’ the average cost could be as little as $1,000 – $5,000. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one of the more famous examples of a successful entrepreneur that started working on what turned out to be a million-dollar idea from his bedroom, Forbes magazine even put the cost of starting a new business online as low as $500.

But even with start-up costs low enough for just about any budding entrepreneur to take advantage of, that first round of business funding can still be hard to come by, and so quite often we turn to a lender that overlooks weak points, provides flexible terms, and offers a dream-come-true interest rate: the Bank of Mom and Dad.

Without an established track record, start-ups often have trouble getting a traditional bank loan or funding from venture or angel investors. This often means turning to friends and family members which can often lead to strained relationships with those close to you.

Research conducted by AXA Business Insurance shows that almost a quarter (24%) of small business owners rely on friends and family for finance, with 39% of those surveyed saying they feel uncomfortable about asking their nearest and dearest to bankroll their business aspirations and 63% admit to feeling guilty.

So what is the best way to borrow money from friends and family for your next million-dollar idea?

  • Talk about it – Have an in-depth discussion with your potential lender before you take their money. Make sure they understand what you need it for, how you’ll use it, how you’ll pay it back and when. Explain your business plan as best you can and discuss any risks involved for both of you.
  • Set boundaries – Be realistic about your expectations and understand the unsaid assumptions made on either side. Does your lender think they have a right to a say in your business? Do they expect some kind of a ‘thank you’ they haven’t mentioned.
  • Prepare the proper paperwork – Take professional advice and draw up a contract that covers the amount borrowed, the repayment period, the interest if any and the other obligations on both lender and borrower. Online services, such as Prosper Inc. and Virgin Money, offer to structure arrangements between borrowers and individual lenders, who are often relatives or friends.
  • Involve others – Having a neutral person to review and witness the agreement is incredibly beneficial to protect both parties.
  • Protect yourself and your investor – You can’t predict the future but it is important to take logical steps to protect yourself from unforeseen circumstances. Double check you are meeting all your contractual obligations and are covered should the worst happen. Research and have the correct business insurance to make sure you are doing all you can to look after your business so both you and your investor are protected should you need it.

Signing up with a credit card processor is a big step for small businesses. It allows small business owners to accept more forms of payment, which in turn drives revenue by making it easier and more appealing for customers to shop in the store. Before signing an agreement with a credit card merchant service processor, however, it is important to get all of your questions answered so that you know you are putting your business in the best position moving forward.

Start by inquiring about and understanding any contract requirements, as well as any processing rates as they relate to various types of cards. Get these rates for all cards, including corporate and rewards cards, in writing, so there are no surprise increases down the road. In addition, talk to your processor about American Express transactions, as well as the procedures for fee deductions from your account and if they offer next day funding. Finally, research a potential processor and consult other small businesses about their merchant solutions so you do not get stuck in a situation that does more harm than good.

 10 Questions Every Small Business Must Ask Their Credit Card Processor”
10 Questions Every Small Business Must Ask Their Credit Card Processor


Being the owner of a small business, it’s not an easy task to maintain everything perfectly, when the aim is to keep growing and expanding under any circumstance. In today’s era, various financial and management tools are available at affordable prices, which can help any business manager or analyst to maintain or manipulate the data and statistics. Here are the options that every small business owner should look for to ensure efficiency in work, while making any task easy and seamless.

Social Media Marketing Tools: With limited resources at their disposal, it may be difficult for many businesses to either hire a social media manager or maintain their social media presence themselves. Business owners can look at multiple tools available today which allow scheduling posts and tweets in advance. A well strategized media plan, with the help of tools and correct monitoring can go a long way in creating awareness and reach for a small business.

Employee Management: While being burdened with workload, many business owners may not be taking stock of what their employees are feeling about the company and what their thoughts are on the work environment. It is very important to ensure that the employees are feeling appreciated, comfortable and secure in their work environment, allowing them to work efficiently. Employees are not only the foundation stone on which any business rests, but they are also the best source for getting the word out about your business. A happy employee is bound to say good things about their employer, while unhappy employees will do just the opposite.

Managing Money: With your business resting solely on money and on your revenue, it is very important to get your finances in place. It is essential to have an accountant who has a really good grasp of all the financial aspects of your business. Personally, managing your finances is equally essential. To ensure that your debts are taken care of, you could rely on different tools available to you – whether it is looking at the best way to consolidate credit card debt or create savings and managing your family and personal finances, step out to seek all the help you need.

The Balancing Act: As a small business owner, finding time for doing anything else other than working and growing your business may be quite difficult. However, it is essential that you de-stress and find time for your family and people important in your life or just spending time with yourself. When you are back, you are refreshed and rejuvenated and probably have solutions to problems that seemed impossible to solve before you went for your much deserved break.

Taking care of the details and minor aspects of the business which may not come across as a great deal, in fact, has a greater impact on the overall business and should not be ignored. Expanding and growing your business is an on-going process, keep focus on it and you can soon take your business to the heights of success.

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