If you’ve been working for awhile and feel the need for a change, you should considering taking a shot at freelancing. Almost everyone that I know has thought, at one time or another, about working independently. Some have a passion that they want to develop while others dream of being able to use their work time creatively.
Read the rest of “How to Make the Move into Freelancing” »
Read the rest of “How to Make the Move into Freelancing” »
Many would have made New Years resolutions to better themselves in 2014. However, it is one thing to adopt a resolution, but an entire other thing sticking and seeing through your resolution. Adopting a better self in 2014 can help you in a number of ways, it can help you be more confident, raise your self-esteem, feel less depressed and less stressed.
Counselling, psychotherapy and life coaching
There is loads of advice out there to help you raise your self-esteem and gain better confidence, such as this resource provided by specialist counsellors and psychotherapists. However, you do not always need the help of a professional, there are loads of easy ways in which you can start developing a better you that you can do at home!
Being healthy is essential
Many people use the excuse of not having enough money to join a gym for the fact that they do not exercise. This, of course, is nonsense! You do not need money to exercise!
Read the rest of “5 Ways You Can Better Yourself In 2014” »
Read the rest of “5 Ways You Can Better Yourself In 2014” »
Entrepreneurs are a driven bunch of people. They start, build, run, promote, and manage businesses. That often takes a lot.
Often they fail, and start all over again. That’s why entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone.
Successful entrepreneurs, however, belong to a different class. There are certain traits and habits that make them who they are. There are secrets to their success. Thankfully, most of these habits run common among business owners with a successful DNA. Here are some of the incredibly effective habits of successful startup entrepreneurs:
Looking into Market Needs
Successful entrepreneurs look for what the market needs and not what they thought was a great idea. Ideas are plenty. As such, there’s not much value in an idea itself, as Paul Graham writes in his essay on startup ideas. He believes that many startup founders get into the abortive work of founding companies based on ideas that the market doesn’t really need. At Y Combinator, Paul and his team call these ideas “sitcom” ideas.
Paul believes that successful entrepreneurs work to come up with ideas that the market really needs. If there’s a problem that needs a solution, these ideas will help solve that problem.
It’s simple, but it’s elusive. For most entrepreneurs it could be too late before this fact sinks in.
Living the Unsettle Syndrome
Successful entrepreneurs don’t settle for anything – for them, life is never static. They don’t get used to either less or more of anything. They don’t need ratification of an accepted idea to lunge into execution. Show successful entrepreneurs an opportunity and they’ll take the lead. If a startup succeeds, the work involved in starting another startup begins.
Really successful entrepreneurs don’t even stop with a single business. They move on to create more startups. Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, did not stop with the uber popular, digital payment services company. He went on to create Tesla Motors, SolarCity, HyperLoop, and SpaceX. He also invests in many other businesses.
Which part of his life looks “settled” now?
Learning Happens Everyday
You never hear a successful entrepreneur say “I’m an expert. I know.”
They only know that they never know enough. If they are not spending time executing, managing, and hustling, you’ll often find them learning. Meanwhile, everything they do is again a grand session of learning on the job.
Countless entrepreneurs dedicate their time to learning new skills, charting out into unfamiliar territories, and learn all they can.
It’s this learning that arms them with the skills necessary to move forward. It helps them multi-task, run their businesses, make money, and start all over again.
Business cards have been in use for a long time as a fast and compact way to give someone your contact information. Even with the rise of social media and the increasing ease in ability to find a person’s information quickly online, they still have a place in business. However, having a plain, bulk printed business card may not cut it quite like it used to.
Over time, the humble business card has evolved, with greater emphasis placed on creativity, innovation and the intertwining with technology. Here are six great ideas that you might want to consider for your business card.
Mobile and smartphone technology has seen an increase in the use of QR codes being placed on adverts and information. The concept behind it is that you can use your mobile device to scan the code to download your contact information or be taken to a website. QR codes are increasingly being used on business cards because it simplifies the look of the card, without having to use too much information. It also shows your recipient that you are technologically savvy, which might be an added bonus if you’re trying to show these skills.
Printing of lenticular imagery on a business card is a fantastic way to add a sense of depth and play on illusion on the card. It can give the impression of motion, which can be used to great effect on the card. This most popular motion is to either skip from one image to another as the card is tilted, or to have the image appear as though it is moving or slowly transforming. Using this technique will mean the person who has received your card will have to interact heavily with it to see the effect of the imagery meaning they are more likely to remember you and be impressed by your creativity.
The use of holograms on a business card can add real visual appeal, as well as make it particularly eye-catching. It can mean the difference between someone casually tossing the card in their pocket and actually taking note of the design and image, and forming an impression of how professional it looks. Using hologram designs can be beneficial for anyone working in an industry where image is important or where they’d need to show off particular design skills.
What does it take to become a pro in the art of photography? Great pictures, probably? Some people were really born artists, and that is an edge especially if they make this craft as passion (not just a source of living or earning). So, how about you? Did you already make much money from taking “shots” and selling them to the patrons in the locale or in the online global market?
Anyway, the measure of success here isn’t just about “figures” (you know what does that mean) as the personal satisfaction is the most expensive reward in the final analysis. But going back to taking great photos, do you know the techniques? An experienced photographer has something to share with you and your friends to further enhance your photographic skills:
Understand the “Language” of Your Camera
We’re dealing on the basics of manipulating the device as this will soon serve as the extension of your eyes – on how you see the world will be reflected on the scenes caught by the camera’s lenses. Everything you have to know is in the product manual, actually. You have to learn the switch, control, button, and menu items; then, proceed with the basic actions such as zooming in and out, and using the flash and shutter button. Well, the choice of the camera really matters as the “quality” of photographs is significantly dependent on the reliability of the device.
Take Shots at Anywhere and Anytime
There’s beauty in everything – yes, even in suffering. But it always takes creativity to spot the best scenes which are worth printing on the canvas, turning snappycanvas portraits from photos, or displaying for auction. Go out! That’s the key for you’ll never see the diversity of things if you confine yourself in an isolated room or limited borders.
Before starting the adventure, though, there are certain guidelines that you have to bear in mind; some of those include (1) setting the camera’s resolution properly, (3) bringing extra batteries, and (3) not overlooking the lighting when taking pictures.
No human wants to live in a routine. We all want to be challenged and wish for more creative, fulfilling lives. No matter how contradictory it seems, living creatively is more of habit, and you can make your life more challenging if you follow some guidelines.
1. Something doesn’t inspire you? Learn how to say NO to it!
Living a creative life means that you have to discover what lights you up and what doesn’t. If you know the things that don’t inspire you, like having endless conversations with your aunt on the phone, you should learn how to eliminate them from your daily schedule and make room for better things to do.
This doesn’t mean that you need to forget about all boring things and never do them again – you will still wash dishes, do the occasional cleaning and uninspiring phone calls, but you shouldn’t allow those things to consume the very best of you and suppress your creativity. Try not to do all of those things within one day.
2. Respect your curiosity
Whenever we are watching children play, we admire their curiosity and wonder how we lost that aspect of our personality. Curiosity isn’t lost, you just have to find it within you and allow it to guide your creativity. If you are curious about something, that’s a good start towards a more creative life. Explore all possibilities and you will soon discover many thrilling opportunities.
3. You have imperfections? Embrace them!
Everyone has imperfections. The first thing you should do about them is to think of a way to fix them. If something cannot be fixed, embrace it as completely normal and natural. Who says that creativity is even close to perfection? To be creative means to be raw and real, so try to create work that embraces those imperfections and you will be surprised with the results.
4. Creativity is a habit – make sure to stick to it!
Creativity doesn’t need to be very time-consuming and demanding, but it still needs to be turned into a daily habit if you want to benefit from it. Routine seems unmatchable to creativity, but if you put “being creative” in your daily schedule, you will soon notice how you enjoy your life more. Forming a creative daily habit has an amazing power to transform your entire personality and the way you perceive life.
5. Avoid comparing yourself to others
You are special and unique. Never make comparisons to others, because you will fall into your own trap. Constructive comparisons can be helpful, but acknowledging that someone is better without any envy involved is rarely allowed by one’s ego. You want to be creative and unique, so don’t do the harm of making comparisons when you don’t need them.
Remember the movie Iron Man 2 where Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) uses a transparent phone that does just about everything? All the way through the movie, the futuristic device is employed in various scenarios enabling our hero to use it as a TV remote, home security system and even a projector. This is what the Smartphone of the future looks like.
We have also seen similar futuristic concepts of Smartphones used in other Sci-Fi movies as well some of which have now become a reality. And it is no wonder the pace at which technology is moving, no concept is impossible to execute. The days are long gone behind us when a phone was used only to make calls and send text messages. Nowadays, people demand convenience. They are willing to pay for a smartphone that can do just about every task for them.
Sighting this demand for a better lifestyle, various industrial designers and phone developers have created several concepts for smartphones that can be implemented in real life. Some of these ideas may sound a little far-fetched but with the right tools and technology in place, they are not impossible to replicate in real life.
Check out these 10 super cool smartphone concepts that we wish were real.
1. Concept Plumage
This concept tries to highlight the importance of having a keypad for touch phones. Designed by Jet Ong, this inspirational device has a foldable QWERTY keypad for Windows Phone. Basically the entire screen is covered with a protective flip cover made of fabric that can be folded in half, thus revealing a QWERTY keypad for ready access.
The designer of this concept phone has not disclosed any other technical specifications for the phone, as his main focus was on the design aspect. For people who like to have a touch and type phone, this is a unique concept indeed.
2. Mobile Script
Ever imagined carrying a laptop in our pocket? Well here is one concept device that challenges to make that possible. The ‘Mobile Script’ is a smartphone concept that lodges a gigantic 9.5 inch display screen within its body in a collapsed state. So you can draw out the screen from the side of the phone whenever you want and still carry it in your pocket. How about that?
The device itself is 5 inches (130mm) in height and around 1.3 inches (35mm) in width and looks like a TV remote. The wonder does not end there as the device, also seeks to charge from solar energy. According to its designer, the case is made up of nano material that converts sunlight into energy to charger your phone. Pretty convenient! Let’s hope it turns into a reality sometime soon.
Limbo is an innovative concept that truly defines the future of Smartphones. With top brands like Samsung and Apple already in the race to create flexible and bendable Smartphones, the ‘Limbo’ concept is one to watch.
The device is built using elastic materials like Thermoplastic polyurethane and hi-polymer along with a flexible display that allows the Smartphone to transform into a ‘smartwatch’. Technical specifications include 4.3” AMOLED flexible display, 8 MP rear camera and 1.3 MP front camera for video chat. All in all, this concept device allows for better usability and lifestyle for Smartphone users.
4. fLEX Click
The biggest reason I don’t prefer Smartphones with touch screens is the difficulty in typing. With a keyboard or type interface, I can easily know where I’m typing since I can feel the button actually ‘click’. But with a touch screen there is lack of tactile feedback causing finger stress and lack of precision while typing.
However, the fLEX click concept phone designed by Valetin Neda seeks to address this problem fittingly. Under its curved Soft Touch display lays a matrix of microswitches which activate based on content displayed onscreen and can only be pressed where you expect to find a button or control. This enables a user to actually feel a click while they are pushing down a button thereby providing a faster navigation. You wouldn’t even have to look at the display while typing. The device is also curved from top and bottom making it easy to slip into your pocket.
When wanting to watch the latest viral meme, funny video, popular song, or educational video; YouTube is the place we all gravitate to. It is no wonder that YouTube has become, arguably, the most popular and well accepted (by both young and old) video streaming website.
Although Youtube is very popular among the masses, there are few very important (and cool!) tricks that many people don’t know about. Today we will take a look at them.
1. Auto Repeat All Your Favorite Videos
What? YouTube has auto play option? Yes! Is there a catchy song you’re obsessed with? Want to listen to it over and over again? Well, we have all been there.
It’s really not worth it to constantly click replay every single time you want to hear the song again. So what do you do? There is a way to enable the looping feature. Let’s take a look.
Head to YouTube.com and load the video you want to loop.
In the address bar: replace YouTube with InfiniteLooper
It should look similar to this: http://www.InfiniteLooper.com/watch?v=HvQ4OxXCa7g
Hit enter. This will automatically load the video and begin a loop.
2. Automatic HD Video play
When you play a YouTube video, most of the time the resolution of the video is 480p or 360p. Low resolution video aren’t too fun. If there is an option for a higher resolution, you should take full advantage of it. But waiting for the video to re-buffer is quite annoying, so in order to stop this from happening, you can change the system settings permanently so that you can watch videos in HD format.
How? All you have to do is simply catch hold of the Magic Actions for YouTube extension (available for Chrome and Firefox only). In this extension, you have to activate the AutoHD option, and select the HD resolution you like.
Now, all of your videos will automatically be played in HD format.
3. Start The Video At A Specific Time
Now this is what you call, ‘the cream of the crop’. You want to share a video with your friend, but you know that the best part is somewhere in the end. What you normally do is, share the complete video with a footnote asking your friend to kindly start the video from 1 minute and 10 seconds. Is there a better way of doing this?
YouTube helps you cut to the chase easily.
Take this URL for example, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvQ4OxXCa7g
After this URL, all you have to do is add the magic words – #t=01m10s. This sets the starting time of the video at 1 minute and 10 seconds. It should look something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvQ4OxXCa7g#t=01m10s
Similarly, this process works just the same even when you want to embed a small portion of the video. Simply add the same #t=01m10s in to the original video embed code and then copy paste it on your website. Every time a user hits the play button, the video will automatically start at the specified point. Voila!
Read the rest of “15 Alluring Paintings by Eric Lacombe” »
Today I would like to introduce you to Eric Lacombe, a French artists who is worthy of your attention. Eric holds 3 titles under his belt, he’s a painter, graphic designer, and an artist. Born in 1968, Eric currently lives and has always worked in Lyon, France. He likes to describe himself as, “A self-taught artist at the center of a world between fantasy and thaumaturgy.” We collected some of his fantastic works for you to check out below. Enjoy!
Read the rest of “15 Alluring Paintings by Eric Lacombe” »
It pays to be popular on Facebook, literally at times. So much so that some businesses are willing to pay for attention. And where there’s demand, there’s bound to be supply. Quite a few businesses have sprung up in the last decade claiming to bolster your social media marketing efforts by providing you Likes on your page … for a cost of course!
How They Work
So you’ve just launched an online presence for your business and are looking to rake up the metrics for some quick conversions. You’re surfing the search engines, probably with variations of keywords like, ‘Building Facebook page for business’, ‘How to get more Likes on my Facebook page’ and ‘My page has only 4 Likes and one of them is from my mother, help!’ Okay, maybe not that last one.
Anyway, you come across a website which offers, say, 1000 Likes at $30.
What do you do?
Let’s work this out. In order to give you a clear picture, I’ll talk about both the pros and the cons of buying Facebook Likes. So let’s start with the good stuff.
Buying Facebook Likes is your personal social media nitrous oxide system (NOS). It gives you that much-needed boost to kick-start your Facebook presence. Let’s face it – who doesn’t like instant gratification? And watching your page rake in 500-1000 fans overnight guarantees just that!
You Become ‘Popular’
Since your brand looks like it is receiving adulation from one and all, people will trust you more and even listen to what you have to say. They have a term for this: Social Credibility. A Facebook user is more likely to trust and do business with a brand which has a few thousand Likes than the one with only 4 Likes. So, being the popular kid on this social media platform does have its perks.
On the other hand, you might face questions like this.
There’s a thing about buying in bulk. It’s usually cheap. The economic principle remains the same when it comes to buying Facebook Likes as well. I’ve surfed through websites offering hundreds of Likes for prices as low as $3-$5. If you consider the value for money that you’re getting, it’s a pretty good deal.
Oh, but do watch out for those ‘OMG-it’s-so-cheap!’ deals. Steer clear of them. Why? Because sometimes things that are too good to be true are exactly that – TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. But, we’ll talk about this a little later.
We’ve already spoken about Social Credibility. It’s been reported that for business pages which have purchased their Likes, there can be as much as 40% naturally-occurring Likes. Again, it’s the same principle at work here. “People think you’re cool, so what the hell, I also think you’re cool.”
Here’s another number. By purchasing Likes and giving your online presence a boost, you can hike your online conversion and sales rates by as much as 20%. This number depends on factors like whether you have social media widgets and counters on your page and how convenient it is for followers to make a transaction on your website.
Now that you’ve seen how buying Likes can help your business. Let’s look at a few reasons why you shouldn’t get all gung-ho about this.
It is no secret that mascots are a brand’s best friend when it comes to customer loyalty and instilling trust. In fact, more and more companies are seriously looking into creating a mascot to build brand identity and recognition effectively. But what happens when a mascot doesn’t perform the way he, she, or it should? Let’s look at some brand mascots that may not have had the desired effect on customers:
1. Jolly Green Giant (General Mills’ Green Giant)
We all know just how much most kids loathe eating peas, and this Jolly Green Giant makes it even harder to stomach. The mascot’s debut in 1928 didn’t have the intended effect on the general public – who would dare to wrest green peas from a scowling, caveman-like giant? Not me, thank you very much. Then, a young ad exec named Leo Burnett (yes, THAT Leo Burnett) transformed the giant into a friendlier version of his former self. The transformation process continued and eventually the giant became a more approachable brand mascot that we know today.
Unfortunately, most kids associate eating peas with the Jolly Green Giant, and vehemently refuse to take another bite lest they turn green like the giant.
2. BK’s Burger King (Burger King)
When the not-so-beloved Burger King mascot was unveiled, it got everyone across the globe thinking: “What’s the deal with a guy wearing a plastic-faced mask?” There were ad campaigns centered around the King, one infamous one being a TV ad of an average Joe waking up next to the King in his bed, and ending with several moments of awkwardness (not to be confused with male bonding). BK finally axed the King in 2011 and placed the focus on its food. What else can I say, except “Long live burgers!”
3. Mr. Mucus (Mucinex)
Being gross is one thing, but being rude will get you listed in the “Brand Mascots America Hates the Most” list. Mr. Mucus is slimy, yucky and disgusting – the perfect combination to send shivers down your spine when you see an image of him plastered on posters in pharmacies or health magazines.
Fortunately, besides being creepy, Mr. Mucus is a very effective brand mascot for Mucinex – the company achieved $160 million in sales after it was introduced in the year 2004.
Having a good chair can make the difference between complete comfort or body pain (and possibly terrible back problems down the road). When it comes to finding the right office chair, being cheap is the dumbest thing you can do. If saving money is more important that your health, then I guess we’re not on the same page.
By having a good and proper chair for your work, you’ll eliminate the possibility of terrible back and neck pain. Plus, cheap chairs will break easily and sooner or later you’ll find yourself in the endless cycle of buying cheap crap every one or two years. So why not buy a great chair once and have no regrets down the road?
Let’s have a look at our top pics for professional chairs.
Steelcase Leap Fabric Chair
A beautifully designed, ergonomic and strong chair with a comfortable fit that provides the perfect support for your back. You can easily adjust the arm positions. Control the movement of the upper back and lower back by adjusting the firmness. The material on the chair soaks up moisture and absorbs heat to keep your back at the right temperature. The Leap chair fits you comfortably for the entire day.
Herman Miller Aeron
With a 12-year warranty, Herman Miller claims to provide comfort that no other chair can provide. It has high tech fabric, namely graphite and carbon, putting it above the rest. It has extra padding, which gives ultimate comfort, but it also gives the chair a unique look.
It’s easy to assemble and the delivery is timeless. The Aeron chair distributes body weight throughout making it a guaranteed chair for comfort. It also has mesh fabric, but the mesh is tighter, giving a more luxurious and less economical look. Keep in mind that all the product parts are fully replaceable.
Freelancers are usually “on-the-go”, “get-it-done” type of people. They’re running in a thousand directions, working on multiple projects, and trying to reign in new opportunities all at once. Even the best of them have a tough time staying organized and keeping everything in check – especially without overloading their most sacred possession: their computers. Luckily, the days of self loathing are quickly coming to an end thanks to the newest technological feat: the cloud.
Document management in the cloud solves every freelancer’s two biggest issues: organization and memory space. Organization is paramount. Freelancers are known to have hundreds, if not thousands, of documents, PDFs and other image files floating around in the small wonder we all know as a laptop. Try though they may to keep everything in order, the likelihood of being overrun by files and folders isn’t that obscure.
Unfortunately, our computers these days also don’t help with any of those traditional paper documents that we all have strewn around from when an idea struck at an inopportune moment or a meeting when our computer died. Going back and forth between paper documents and virtual files can be utterly confounding, further straining our already limited time and existing chaos. All of this only leads to one thing: missed opportunities. And all freelancers know that missed opportunities mean losing potential income.
Because there is so much content bee-bopping around our computers, even those with significant memory space can quickly become bogged down. Given their heavy usage and a freelancer’s continuous saving of files, even new computers can become old memory-filled hunks in only a year or two. What’s more, as a freelancer’s computer approaches it’s capacity, it begins to slow down and create circumstances that hinder success.
We’ve all been faced with the rainbow wheel of death at least once in our life and it only takes one instance when a freelancer loses work that was saved to send someone over the edge. Even worse, for a freelancer’s computer to crash with no potential for recovery is nothing short of cataclysmic.
With cloud based document management all of these problems are solved, and at an extremely low cost when one considers the value of a freelancer’s ability to produce content on time. First, organization with a document management system is a streamlined thing of beauty. Not only are your electronic documents easy to find and keep track of, but with the simple addition of a scanner, all of your paper documents can also be organized in your system as well.
Learning shouldn’t stop once you graduate from school. Graduating from college doesn’t mean you can no longer be a student. Life offers more lessons than school ever could. As an individual, you must constantly seek for more ways to grow. To be stagnant should never be an option for someone who has so much potential. There are always new things to learn and adventures left to be discovered.
When you choose to be a student of life, you open yourself to limitless opportunities.
1. Explore the world.
Don’t limit yourself to your hometown or to the city you got your first job. Go beyond the place you consider home, because home can be many places. It doesn’t have to be just one town or one apartment complex. Backpacking may not be for everyone, but it’s not the only way you can see the world. Travelling doesn’t just have to be going overseas but also dropping by many states. Culture exists not just in a country but even in small communities.
2. Acquire new life skills.
Maybe it’s time that you finally learn how to fix a broken faucet or even fix the faulty light in your bathroom. You can finally cross out your bucket list items that have been there forever. Learn how to drive a car or ride a bike. There are definitely things you don’t know how to do, and you have a lifetime ahead of you to learn. It’s never too late to start learning something new.
3 .Take risks.
The first step to learning is accepting that you’re prone to make mistakes. Once you’ve accepted that, you’ll have an easier time taking in things and risking everything in favor of your passion. Keeping your 9-to-5 job may keep you secure, but if you’re bored and no longer happy, is it really happy? Submitting an article to your favorite publication in the world may mean rejection, but it can also mean getting published! Stop hesitating because that’s no way to live.
Today we collected twenty beautiful business card templates for you to check out. Every single design was made with care and attention to detail. The cards are all fully layered, come in 300 DPI, 3.5×2 inches, have a CMYK color profile, and are ready to be printed right away.
If you’re a frequent reader, you already know the importance of a creative business card. Having a boring black text on white paper business card isn’t going to impress anybody. Unless your service is really good, you can bet that after you walk away your business card is almost guaranteed to become best friends with a trash can. Having an elegant and trustful business card, will separate you from other mediocre businesses.
The following business card templates were all handpicked from Creative Market. Creative Market is a platform for designers and independent creatives to sell their handcrafted digital products. What I love most about Creative Market, is that you get to support people just like you. It’s kind of like shopping at a local small business, rather than a giant retailer. Their community is filled with enthusiastic, supportive, and encouraging people.
Medical Business Card
Flavor Business Card
Consonant Business Card