Financial literacy and leadership are greatly lacking in our society. Here you will find articles targeted at consumers and entrepreneurs alike. The articles will discuss financial literacy, leadership and entrepreneurship.
Staying Motivated in a Negative World
Staying motivated is critical for living a healthy life and achieving goals. However, negativity is everywhere these days, yet we can still filter it out and live a healthy and sane life if we truly desire it. According to Einstein, and paraphrasing his view, there are two extremes of thought; you can live your life as though nothing is a miracle and live your life as if everything is a miracle. You are the person who will choose which route you take.
Changing your belief about the world around you is the key element which will motivate you and aid you in functioning well during times of hardship and gloom. So how do you do that?
You will make a positive difference not only in your own life, but also in the lives of all of those who cross your path.
Here are some steps to follow that will assist you in reaching your goal:
Gratitude is Paramount – Be grateful for what you have; your health, your family, your friends, your job and so on.
Service - I believe that serving humanity is the greatest form of worship. I believe in God but I think that this applies to any belief of a higher power or higher self. Focusing on providing value to others can be very gratifying. You get what you give.
Stay Positive – This is probably the most challenging trait to reach. Overcoming all the negative things that are going on around you is extremely difficult, but it can be done. Compliment your spouse and give your child a big hug. Positive re-enforcement is an agent of change and thinking of good thoughts and verbalizing them in and of itself will create “positivity” under any circumstance.
Reading – Those who read, feed their brain, will be on top of innovations and will be more likely to survive challenges as they are exposing themselves to new fulfilling discoveries. Thoughts become things, so if you read the right kind of content, you will have a constant stream of valuable information going into your head. What goes in, will come out.
Limit Your TV, Radio and Internet Time and News Intake – Of course it’s necessary to stay on top of all that is going on around us, however, it’s best to control the amount of negative information that is being presented by selecting a time limit on when to stop listening to the news and continuous reporting.
Limit Interaction with Negative People – Try to stay away from family and people who are pessimistic or have disparaging comments. Some of these people are loved ones. Don’t stop loving them but maybe limit your interaction with them, love them from a distance.
Music and Meditation/Creativity – Whether in your car or at home, listening to blissful music uplifts the spirit. Meditation and yoga bring about positive thoughts and feelings, and when done on a daily basis can be very useful in creating balance in your life.
Be Conscious of Your Surroundings – At all times it is good to be aware of your immediate area of work and travel, but do not obsess. Be cautious and alert at all times without being too forceful on yourself.
Take a Moment to Disconnect – We all want to stay connected to our devices and it’s almost like a disease. During the day it’s a good idea to put your computer, tablet and phone out of reach for at least an hour or so. Remember how it was before the high- tech era of smart-phones and fancy gadgets? Make an effort to invest some time on refocusing on your spiritual self and trying to know yourself better.
Staying motivated in a negative world is not easy and you will need to pay close attention to your day-to-day activities and habits in order to stay positive. Try to set meetings where you can discuss and brainstorm with friends and colleagues on topics or subjects that interest you like sports, food and arts. Go for a creative walk in the park, to an international movie, a play or the theatre once in a while, and take the whole family along. Real human interaction is vital to improving your state of being.
Experience and veteran knowledge is vital in any type of business these days for entrepreneurs. No wonder there are so many entrepreneur veterans who own their own companies. Veterans have defended freedom and demonstrated that they are risk takers with confidence and motivated to go into dangerous terrain and to gain the acquired skills to get the job done!
They learn in the field, in real life situations, so they know what it takes to be a leader and entrepreneur. They are committed to make things work and have the skills to be efficient and patient to get to what they want, while being aware of what it takes and surviving while making sure they understand the value of life.
It was observed that in 2014 U.S. veterans owned over 2.4 million small businesses. These men are risk-tolerant and quick on their feet. They are leaders that are not afraid to try new things, and failure is not an option for them. In a study done by JP Morgan Chase it was found that veterans who owned businesses had contributed to the GDP by about $41 billion, and that is a very high success ratio.
3 Skills that Veterans have:
1) Effective Risk Management – Which means that they have learned how to take calculated risks, and that is a plus which has helped them successfully coordinate their financial endeavors with great success. They are trained on how to manage and approach risk in the field and have gained proficiency in methods on how to capitalize on the best opportunities. That is why they are quick learners and savvy businesspeople at the same time.
2) Working Under Pressure – Many veterans know what it takes to be in control while under pressure. They are used to wearing multiple hats in the course of their mission and the dexterity they gain from this training stays with them throughout their life, making them well equipped for handling businesses that may at times be very risky and time consuming where patience is a key asset.
3) Working with Limited Resources – Prioritizing is a skill that is very important when evaluating the different possibilities in any business and that is why veterans are some of the greatest entrepreneurs and succeed in most cases; they know how to give priority to the most important factors in a mission with limited resources.
Kevin O’Leary is a man who has been investing in businesses that are owned by veterans and he has said that military veterans have the desire, the drive and the determination; the three “D”s that are needed to succeed on the battlefield, as well as in the business arena. These men are reliable and number one, problem solvers who are not only team players, but more importantly won’t take “no” for an answer. That’s probably why they also make great entrepreneurs!
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So what are Thrift Savings Plans or TSP’s?
Thrift Savings Plans are savings plans for both current and retired federal employees that were created in 1986 by the Federal Employees Retirement System. The TSP plan is designed to give federal employees the same benefits of a 401(k) plan that private sector employees receive. It’s simple and all contributions made to a TSP plan will be directly deducted from the employee’s paycheck.
There are six different types of funds that comprise the Thrift Savings Plan:
1) Government Security Fund - Low-risk investments backed by the government.
2) Fixed-Income Fund – Type of investment paying a return on a fixed schedule.
3) Common Stock Fund - Mutual funds investing in publicly traded company stocks.
4) Small Cap Stock Fund - Companies with a relatively small market capitalization.
5) International Stock Fund - Investing in securities: a cost-effective way to own shares in global companies.
6) A Life Cycle Fund - Mutual Funds that are balanced and adjusted from high to low risk as the investor gets older or reaches retirement.
The Thrift Savings Plan is a tax-deferred contribution that will not be taxed until the
customer withdraws money. Most people do so after they retire or when they separate
from Federal service. There are multiple withdrawal options when discontinuing the
TSP. It is very important to investigate what the best option will be for your situation.
There are also several benefits to having Thrift Savings Plans such as:
● Agency Matching Contributions
● Agency Automatic Contributions
● Catch Up Contributions
● Low Expense Ratios
There are also some disadvantages to having a Thrift Savings Plans:
● Limited investment choices
● Limited tracking in money software
● Difficult to track gains
● Inability to contribute after government service ends
● Vulnerable to performance of the stock market
To learn more about other options for successfully saving for the future contact us.
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The 401(k) Plan
A 401(k) Plan is a retirement savings plan where you, as an employee, can make contributions from your monthly or yearly paycheck before taxes are taken out. The plan offers several options from which one can pick the plan that best fit their needs. The contributions go directly into a 401(k) account and based on the options provided under the plan, you can choose the type of investments you want to get involved in and sign-up for.
There may be caps that are placed on the plan you select and the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) regulations put a limit on the percentage of your salary you can place in a 401(k) Plan. Restrictions also apply on how and when a person wants to withdraw the accrued assets in their specific plan. Penalties under the plan will apply if the money is withdrawn prior to a specified age. You can select your own investment products or hire a professional financial manager to guide you with this selection. Many 401(k) Plans are managed by a third party company.
The 401(k) Plan can be a supplement to a pension and it’s usually sponsored by an employer. The idea for starting a 401(k) started in the 1980’s and the name 401(k) Plan comes from the section of the tax code. An employee who has a 401(k) Plan has some control on how and where your money is being invested. Within a plan you can have a portfolio that is composed of money market investments, select stocks and bonds, etc.
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Empowerment via Financial Literacy!