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Living with Social Media – Between FOMO, Work and Utility

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Living with social media

Being a businessman is hard, especially when you have other side-projects to work on. I was faced with a very tight deadline and I had no choice but to be completely focused on the task at hand. I managed to work uninterrupted for more than 3 hours, not only because it was urgent, but because I had logged out of my Facebook account. I had felt compelled to check my news feed a couple of times, but the thought of logging in almost felt like admitting defeat in front of this addictive social platform.

Oftentimes people complain about not having enough time to do the things they love. The average person with a 9-to-5 job has at least 6 hours of free awake time (considering that the person falls asleep around midnight). The thing is, a lot of people prefer doing mindless things like watching television or endlessly browsing Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites that rarely bring any value to life. That’s not to say that such channels are always a waste of time. If used in a smart way, social media can be a great way to promote your business, get the latest news and keep in touch with friends that you haven’t seen in a long time.

Why I chose not to quit social media?

  • It’s a great way to discover new places or events. I can stay up-to-date with the latest concerts, meetups, restaurants or pubs and I can immediately assess whether I would enjoy it or not.
  • I get to keep in touch with friends and work associates, regardless if they’re near of far. Also, it’s a great way to reconnect with people that I haven’t spoken with in a long time.
  • Social media is full of potential business partnerships. Most of my projects are mainly promoted in the online world, and channels such as Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin have proven to be gold mines when it comes to establishing relationships.
  • I’m an active member of some Facebook groups that are dedicated to online marketing and pet products. Facebook is fairly decent when it comes to staying up-to-date with the latest news, if you exclude the nonsense that people usually tend to post.

What are the main issues with social media?

  • You might think that your own little world that you’ve created on social media is a reflection of your reality and accurately describes the life of others.

For example, if I were to look at the pictures of my closest friends, I would get the false impression that their life is perfect. People tend to use social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram in order to impress and display happiness or success. This might make you think that most people are happy with their lives while you still have unresolved issues. The truth is that everyone has problems and social media isn’t the place to display them.

  • Fear of missing out

This type of anxiety is experienced when seeing friends having fun and feeling frustrated for not being part of that activity. Fear of missing out is rooted in the perceived lack of fulfillment in life felt by an individual. An emotionally mature person that feels content with his or her life might experience the opposite of FOMO: the Joy of Missing Out. JOMO is the joy felt when letting go of the illusion of lost opportunities.

  • Interruptions

Whenever I’m logged on Facebook, I tend to check my news feed and messages once every twenty minutes. Constantly checking my phone makes me lose focus and hinders productivity. That’s why I started to log off Facebook every time I have something important to work on.

How to combat these issues?

One word: balance.

Deleting your social media accounts isn’t at all necessary. You can casually use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram without confusing real life with social media profiles.

Declutter your social media accounts just as you would throw out unnecessary items that take up space in your bedroom. I’ve chosen to delete people that share celebrity gossip or the newest “wonder diet” taken from some obscure health blog. If you feel that your newsfeed is full of nonsense, then maybe it’s time for you to be more selective about the information you’re exposed to.

Stop using social media in real life social gatherings. It’s understandable that you might need to text someone or that you want to take a picture. Those should be the only situations in which you prefer to direct your attention to your phone instead of the people in front of you.

Use social media to make your life easier, not as a tool for comparison.

Author bio

Michael Schoeff is an entrepreneur with over 5 years of experience in online business development and 10 years in pet product design. He also loves writing and has an affinity for dog psychology and training.

Photo by Jaelynn Castillo on Unsplash

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Business

Aussie Author Pens a Get Rich Slow Guide

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Whilst being a multi-millionaire entrepreneur is the dream, financial author David Allen believes that anyone can become a millionaire without the challenges of starting a business empire.  But the catch is that it will take at least 10 years of aggressive investing and living below your means.  

David has released a new book this week, titled “How To Buy Your Happiness” where he outlines strategies on how to achieve FIRE Sooner (Financial Independence Retire Early).

David states that efficiency is the magic word.  As an example, so many investors focus on passive cash flow, but this is a horribly inefficient way to become rich.  If you are earning a passive income whilst you are still employed, you will have 1/3 of your gains taxed away.  However, if you invested in growth assets, such as shares that don’t pay dividends, you will not have to pay tax until you are financially free, and then your gains will be taxed at a lower rate as the gains will not be added to a large salary income.  

Furthermore, many companies pay large dividends to attract investors, but this is always at the expense of future growth for the company.  They may be a good investment for a few years, but you will find that after 5 years, the stock will not have grown compared to its competition.  

His book is very strategy intensive, with 10 rules for investing, along with a 101 class for all the asset classes to choose from.

David was frustrated with other books that stated that investors should all be in a single asset class.  In reality, there is no one size fits all portfolio, as the correct allocation depends on your age, profession, skills, and psychology.  He is also a firm believer that you should not be invested solely into a single investment class.   He outlines the pros and cons of each investment medium so the readers can decide on the most appropriate investment allocations for themselves.   

His book can be purchased in paper, kindle, or audio format on Amazon.

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The Most Effective Ways To Protect Your Small Business From Cyber Attacks

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cyber security concerns

Cyber-attacks have proven to be a big threat to all owners of small businesses. Small businesses have had to fall victim to these attacks in recent times as a result of their admittance of the fact that they could be attacked as well. Yes, any business irrespective of the business scale or size remains a potential target of cyberattacks. 

What would be the result of a launched cyber attack on your business? Would the attack fall through or unsuccessful? Once you are unable to proffer the right and affirming answers to these questions, it is then certain that your small business is at the risk of cyberattacks. 

You need to pay huge attention to your business’s cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is everyone’s concern and not only for the top organizations or businesses. Cyber attacks keep having disastrous implications on both large and small businesses. Specifically, it has been found that about 60 percent of small businesses or ventures are forced to go out of business within six months of being faced with a cyber attack.

The only way out of this is for you to take the appropriate steps that will ensure that your business stays in the safe zone. Ignoring these would mean that your business may have to suffer for your negligence. Not only that, customers who have trusted you with their confidential data may hold you responsible in case there is a breach of vital customer profile. This further undermines the need for you to stay conscious of cybersecurity.

Effective Ways To Protect Small Businesses From Cyber Attacks

You have learned how deadly cyber-attacks could be on your business. Moe certainly, you need to know how to go about tightening and strengthening your cyber attacks against attacks.

1. Secure Your Wi-Fi network

Your business’ Wi-Fi device comes with a default password. To protect your business from being infiltrated via Wi-Fi, ensure that you change the password and also to encrypt the Wi-Fi network. An example of Wi-Fi encryption that is easy to use is the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) Code. By doing this, only your employees and other authorized clients should be given access to the Wi-Fi.

2. Set up a firewall and antivirus system

Malware and viruses aim at deducing information from your website without your knowledge. A firewall then serves as a digital shield that protects your business from malware, phishing and other forms of cyberattacks. 

Viruses could either be sent to your system through hardware or software. Ensure that you regularly install antivirus software that removes any form of virus, and that also notifies you when there is a breach of your firewall defense system.

3. Enhance your email Security

You should ensure that all your employees see to it not to open suspicious email attachments or links. Only verified and trusted emails should be viewed on your business’ systems. Also, while sending personal data to clients, ensure that you encrypt such mails with passcodes to prevent unauthorized access.

4. Use Smart Passwords

Dora breaches happen often when you use passwords that are too weak or easy to guess. To prevent this, make use of smart and strong passwords with both alphabetical and numeric characters.

5. Educate your employees about the importance of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity must remain at the forefront of your business and it must be imbibed into all your employees. With these essential and effective safety approaches, your business can be said to be protected from potential cyber-attacks. 

Remember that your website’s protection and safety has to be done regularly so that all vital business records, customer’s profile, and financial transactions will not fall into the wrong hands. Be cyber-security conscious.

Author’s Bio: Lori Wade is a content writer for DealRoom who is interested in a wide range of spheres from business to entrepreneurship and new technologies. If you are interested in M&A or virtual data room industry, you can find her on Twitter & LinkedIn. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!

Featured image by Soumil Kumar from Pexels

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Should an Entrepreneur Get an Advanced Degree?

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advanced degree

You’re an entrepreneur. Do you need an advanced degree?

Whether it be for external credibility or for internal confidence, an MBA, master’s degree, or PhD can be a great asset to an entrepreneur. That said, it takes a significant investment of time and money to get one. Is it worth it? Is there a positive ROI? This ultimately must be answered by you. However, if you’re wrestling with the question, here are some thoughts that might help.

Technical Degrees

There are advanced degrees in many fields including the hard sciences, business, and liberal arts. You may be thinking of adding a graduate degree on top of a similar undergraduate degree or moving in a different direction. Ultimately as an entrepreneur the return on investment must be positive.

One of the first things to consider is the type of business involved. An entrepreneur dealing in highly technical products or services might be well served with an advanced degree. 
For example, if you have created a new medical device based upon complicated engineering or physics concepts, then having an advanced degree can lend you credibility when dealing with customers who most likely have advanced degrees themselves. 
In the pharmaceutical industry, most new ideas are generated from those who have advanced degrees and access to university labs, so advanced degrees can be helpful here.

Business Degrees

An MBA can benefit entrepreneurs on two fronts. If you are looking for technical information in areas like marketing or finance, then something like an MBA (or an MS in a specific discipline) could be helpful.

However, most business schools do not offer deep coursework for entrepreneurs, as many academics think that entrepreneurship is very difficult to teach. The traditional disciplines are covered, but out of the box thinking needed by an entrepreneur is typically not a strength of most advanced business degree programs. To put it simply, a business degree can train you in the skill you’ll need to implement your idea, but it won’t turn you into the type of person who has the idea in the first place. 

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs can be a better approach for many entrepreneurs as you can take classes in just what you need. A number of schools have begun to unbundle their degree programs and allow people to take two to five courses in a specific discipline. This way you get much of the technical information without the courses that don’t interest you.

Soft Skills

The other major thing that can come out of an advanced degree has to do with completing the process. Many people find confidence in making it through something difficult as well as skills like project management, writing, presentation skills, etc. There are many things that can be done with the skills acquired while getting an advanced academic degree. These tangential benefits can accrue to those who complete advanced degrees in any field.

The Costs of a Degree

However, many people argue that taking any time away from developing your business is a waste of time. You should channel all of your energy into developing and growing your business. In the long run this investment will payoff more than time away working on a degree.

The cost of a degree in dollars must be considered as well. Money spent on school may take away from investment in your growing business. This argument has some merit, and starting and growing a business takes focus, drive and dedication. Pursuing an advanced degree may bring conflicts. For example, you may have a big presentation for a potential client and a large school project due during a similar timeframe. Competing demands for your attention may generate less than optimal results in both areas.

Summary

In the end, the decision to get an advanced degree as an entrepreneur is not an easy one. There are many factors to consider including internal rewards and costs. Ultimately the decision is yours. Whatever you decide, do it with conviction and dedication and you will win.

About the Author

Steve Tippins, PhD has been a professor and entrepreneur in various forms for 30 years. His true passion lies in helping people achieve their goals, which he does as a Career Coach at BeyondPhDCoaching.com.

Photos by Muhammad Rizwan Austin Distel on Unsplash

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