Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Special Feature: 6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor

Mentor-mentee relationships can come with interpersonal problems that result from individuals involved not knowing what they’re doing. I’ve found that it isn’t all that uncommon for people to approach mentoring for the wrong reasons and in the wrong manner (e.g., power, control, and manipulation issues). Given what can and does go wrong, this informative article by Michelle Kiss and submitted by Arabella Ignacio from Clicktime.com sets the tone for what mentors should strive for. In 6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor, Michelle Kiss writes:

You’re overseeing three huge projects. You’ve got five calls today, then two meetings. Your boss wants that budget by the end of the week, and it’s in bad shape (shh!). Your kid gets out of school early, you haven’t planned dinner, and, oh yeah, you’re still trying to fit in some kind of exercise. So … you’re telling me that I’m also supposed to fit in some kind of mentoring?!

Um … yeah?

We know you’re busy. But if you think about it for a minute, mentoring turns out to be a great way to help your company, give back to your employees, and — in case those reasons aren’t enough — boost your own career.

What other activity can give you valuable leadership experience, new perspectives on your company and workplace, and the motivation to be aware of what’s happening in different departments — all at once? Not only that, but being a great leader to someone helps you identify the next generation of leaders more easily.

Read more at 6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor

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Update on Content Submission Policy

Ever since I’d invited content submission on my blog, I’ve appreciated all the wonderful submissions covering topics related to my blog that I lack the expertise to write. I read through all submitted articles and am selective about what appears here.

With that said, I have noticed that some of these submissions contain political messaging and that they only come from one side of the political spectrum – the side I’m further away from as some of you might’ve guessed. So, I’ve updated my content submission policy page to reflect my stance on this and inform those wishing to submit content with the following clause: Read more of this post

How to Sell on Amazon [Infographic]

Submitted by Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment

Making extra money online and escaping the nine to five grind often becomes possible when you set up a stream of passive income to supplement your regular income. A great way to do this is to sell products on Amazon.

While it can seem daunting at first, it’s best to remember that the people who sell you products on Amazon are largely normal folks. Anyone can sell on Amazon. All they have to do is choose the right product, set up a profile, and find a fulfillment provider.

Red Stag Fulfillment put together a complete guide to selling on Amazon, but for those who are looking for an overview of the process, this is a good place to start.

Getting Set Up on Amazon – First Steps

Read more of this post

Waking Up a Sleeping Industry: Mattress Industry Disruption

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Melissa Lin, Finance Editor at Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

The Traditional Mattress Model
Upstarts Grabbing Market Share
Common Mattress Upstart Success Factors:
The Story Isn’t Black and White
Key Takeaways from Mattress Industry Disruption

Introduction

Mattresses are having a cultural moment. Once crammed into stuffy showrooms with eager salespeople and a dizzying plethora of models touting ergonomic springs or gel foams, mattress purchases have long been a notoriously complicated in-store purchase. However, they have recently become—dare I say it?—sexy. A growing number of upstarts have recently revitalized the industry with innovations in marketing, delivery, a direct-to-consumer model, and new mattress technology. According to Jason Bennett, former Senior Director of Marketing for Gap, Inc., “Mattresses are now a cool thing to talk about. You would never have thought that in years past.” You might be scratching your head wondering how regular mattresses—not even “smart” mattresses—have gained renewed popularity in the public eye, but wonder no more.

While the concept of “disruption” has become somewhat trite in today’s evolving tech world, it may just be that these mattress upstarts are shaking up the business and forcing incumbents to adapt. Rather than the typical narrative of shiny, nimble operations displacing older ones, perhaps there’s room for collaboration and innovation. There are lessons for investors, entrepreneurs, and corporate moguls alike. This article discusses the traditional mattress business model, what these upstarts are doing differently (and better), and some takeaways from these developments. Read more of this post

Design News – Innovation from Around the Globe

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Daniel Schwarz, Design Blog Editor at Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

 

March 2018

Fascinating Design News – Arriving Every Month

In this Toptal Design World News edition, we highlight four cutting-edge tools that promise to improve design productivity and collaboration. Plus, we bring reports of an improbable comeback in the making—the resurgence of skeuomorphic design.

We’ll also showcase a detailed UI design tutorial that Toptal designer Ruaridh Currie was hired to create for Digital Arts Magazine. Read more of this post

My answer to a Quora question: How do I prepare my long term plan if I want to become a psychologist, philosopher, writer, motivational speaker, music composer, and audio engineer?

Recently, I received a request to answer the question, “How do I prepare my long term plan if I want to become a psychologist, philosopher, writer, motivational speaker, music composer, and audio engineer?” on Quora. Since I haven’t blogged on the topic of aspiring to professionally “wear many hats,”I thought I’d share my consideration of the issues this brings up as it is generally easier to rise through the ranks by specializing in one area. Here’s my answer: Read more of this post

Special Feature: Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home by Michelle Kiss

Early this year I mentioned that I won’t be authoring any more posts about working remotely myself. I still welcome content submissions on this topic however. That said, the following content on advantages and disadvantages of working from home was submitted by Arabella Ignacio from Clicktime.com. I believe the author made wonderful points and agree with the takeaway message to know yourself. In Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home, Michelle Kiss writes:

Let’s be real, no matter where you’re working from, you’re still doing just that: working.

So, should you work from home or work from the office? It honestly comes down to what environment you’ll be most effective in. (And how nice your home office is.)

One person’s productivity booster can be another’s distracting disaster.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the classic benefits that working from home!

Read more at Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home

The Statistical Edge: Enhance Your Metrics with the Actuarial Valuation Method

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Dani Freidus, Finance Expert for Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

What Is an Actuary?
The Power of the Actuarial Valuation Method
How Can an Actuary Help to Enhance Business Metrics?
How You Can Start to Implement This Now

Beyond Insurance: The Changing Role and Perception of Actuaries

I often hear the question “What is an actuary?” Well, actuaries are unique in that they have a deep understanding of both business and statistics. Traditionally, an actuary’s differentiator was their ability to make financial sense of extremely long-term horizons—typically those associated with the lifespan of human beings. This naturally lent itself to actuaries working in the age-old fields of life insurance and pensions

However, it is not just an actuary’s grasp of the long term which is unique but also their ability to harness a broad range of academic fields and apply them in a business context. To this end, the Actuaries Institute defines actuaries as professionals who: Read more of this post

How to Become a Self-Publisher [Infographic]

Are you interested in self-publishing? Recently, this visually stunning infographic came to my attention. And it provides a lot of useful information, addressing issues such as challenges to overcome as well as benefits and key aspects of self-publishing. According to Moneypod:

Self-publishing is becoming an increasingly popular method for budding authors to get their publications noticed, especially if their writings have been rejected by publishers in the past. However, it can be a tough start to your career and can take time to perfect.

If you’re an aspiring author, take a look and see if the following information helps with your planning.

Read more of this post

Considerations for Raising Your Own Private Equity Fund

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Martin Kemeny, Finance Expert for Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

Raising a private equity fund is a natural progression for ambitious investment managers.
The strategy and operations of a fund should be thoroughly planned in advance.
Be well aware in advance of the securities laws that must be adhered to.

There’s a time in many investment managers’ careers when the next logical step is starting a private investment fund on their own. Either the manager has been working for others as an employee and now wants to go solo, has been investing their own money and wants to raise outside capital, or has been investing with others’ capital on a one-off basis and wants to scale. Whatever the reason, in many cases, the right answer is to set up a fund. A fund can stabilize an investment business and help the manager grow assets under management and create a valuable investment platform.

Whether co-mingled or from a single investor, a fund has many distinct advantages over one-off capital raising: Read more of this post

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