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Tips for Investing in Your Self-Care and Mental Health

Do you feel overworked, overwhelmed, and under-supported? Has it been months since you could honestly say you were having fun? Do you seem to spend your entire existence serving other people, without ever feeling fully at home in your own life?

Maybe you feel like coming up with a good self care routine would be a waste of time. Or maybe you’d like nothing better than to devote some attention to yourself, but you feel like you simply don’t have time to do it.

However you would describe your situation, unless self care is a serious priority for you, chances are you don’t get enough of it. It’s not hard to see why: with so much going on in the world, it’s easy to feel like you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions at once, and everything demanding your attention is just as important as everything else.

But it’s important to realize that self care is simply a way of investing in the one thing you’ll always have around: yourself. We change jobs, move to new communities, and have friends come and go, but we’re always stuck with ourselves. If we consistently invest in our own wellness, that investment pays off in time. If we neglect ourselves, it comes back to bite us.

To help you form a good self care routine for you, check out the tips and advice in this article. You’ll definitely find something that helps.

Relieving Stress

Stress and anxiety are common experiences for people — so common in fact that many of us have come to expect it. Beat the stress in your life with these simple tips.


If you don’t have a good self care routine involving exercise already, chances are you don’t exactly enjoy working out. You might find the experience incredibly uncomfortable, or you may have even developed negative associations with it out of guilt for feeling out of shape.

If that’s how you’ve approached working out up until now, it’s time to change that. Instead of seeing exercise as an obligatory practice that you feel guilted into doing, recognize that it has many immediate benefits for relieving stress and boosting your mood. Working out isn’t always about losing weight or building strength. It’s best used as an antidote for stress and difficult mood swings.

Starting an exercise routine is as simple as getting outside and walking through your local park every day. There are also countless at-home workout programs you can try, many of them requiring no equipment. If you feel like you need more accountability than that, signing up for classes at a local hot yoga franchise might be your thing.

Just remember: exercise may help you develop a slim waist, but that’s not necessarily why you should do it. It’s also great for helping you feel positive and in-control in your everyday life.

Improve Your Diet

Changing your current diet to a healthier one may sound like way too much work, but you should know that proper hydration and nutrition play a big role in how your feel and how you manage stress. Drinking too much coffee can contribute to anxiety for some people, while drinking too little water may literally impair brain function, because your brain needs to be well-hydrated to function optimally. And you don’t have to completely change your diet overnight. In fact, it’s much more effective in the long term when you make small changes over time.

The next time you think about what’s for lunch, consciously choose something healthier over something quick and processed, such as fast food or a frozen dinner. When you go grocery shopping, remember to get a few vegetables to try, and maybe some salmon or chicken breast to prepare. Stay on the outskirts of your supermarket, because that’s where the least processed foods are. The inner aisles are where they stock most of the processed foods full of sugars and refined grains.

If paying attention to your diet is simply too much to manage right now, you might be able to improve your health and performance with supplementation. Some people have had success dealing with anxiety and improving their mood with natural supplements like St. John’s wort. A hemp oil supplement might be useful if you struggle with inflammation or skin disorders like acne. CBD can even help reduce pain, control epileptic seizures, and assist in mental illness and addiction recovery.


According to a 2013 study that examined the connections between volunteering and hypertension, doing good for others can significantly improve your blood pressure. In fact, adults in their 50s and beyond who volunteer are 40% less likely to develop hypertension in the next few years. Expressing generosity can have a similar stress-reducing effect, as a 2010 study pointed out that the less money people give away, the higher their cortisol levels tend to be.

So going out of your way to do good for others doesn’t just make you feel better about yourself. It’s been scientifically shown to improve your health and decrease stress, which makes it integral to a good self care routine.

Doing good for others in your community can be as simple as bringing flower arrangements to people who are sick, or those who have recently lost loved ones. You could volunteer at a local soup kitchen or participate in charitable activities with your church.

Try to think of ways you could support good causes and help those in need by drawing on interests and skills that are unique to you. If you’re naturally good with animals, your local animal shelter would probably be grateful to have you on as a volunteer. If you have graphic design skills, you could offer to make custom tee shirts for local nonprofits.

Create a Good Self Care Routine

We’ve been touching on the benefits of having a good self care routine already, but it’s time to zero in on just what a self care routine is: something you do consistently, every day or week, to make sure you’re always getting the care you need. If you always wait until you get burnt out to start thinking about self care, you’re just adding that much more suffering to your life. Having a good self care routine means doing things on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to make sure that overwhelming stress stays away for good.

The problem with routines is that it’s really easy to design one that we just won’t stick to. We’ve all seen people get excited about losing weight or prioritizing their health when the new year comes around, but then they lose steam and give up within a few weeks. It’s not because people are lazy or unmotivated: it’s because they never had a workable routine to begin with. They set their standards too high, and it was too much for them to keep up with.

Obviously stressing yourself out over a routine you’re supposed to keep up with will defeat the purpose of having a good self care routine at all. Instead, you should plan on doing things that are enjoyable, and don’t give yourself too much to do at any one time. If your routine involves activities that you generally find pleasurable, you won’t have as much resistance towards sticking with it. And if you practice self care in moderation — say, performing one activity every evening, or spending one full afternoon per week focused on yourself — you won’t get overwhelmed and give up after a week.

Besides having a good self care routine to keep yourself cared for throughout the week, it’s a good idea to notice how even everyday activities can feel pleasurable. You just have to pay attention to them by practicing mindfulness. Some people find cleaning the house or washing dishes very relaxing. Simple things, like fingering stones or running your hands through wood chips in the back yard, can be almost rejuvenating when you’re mindful of them. While it’s no replacement for a dedicated routine, you can make many mundane activities rituals of mindfulness and enjoyment.

Besides the tips we’ve already shared, we’ll talk about more items you might add to your daily or weekly routine in the rest of this article. The important thing is to choose a few of them that work for you, and practice them consistently, either every day, every week, or every month.

Treating Yourself

Treating yourself can be a strategy for decreasing stress, and strategies for reducing stress can sometimes feel like treats. But giving yourself a treat now and then — whether it’s getting a massage or hitting the local gun ranges — is essential to self care. Unlike rewarding yourself for a job well done, treating yourself is something you do just because it makes you feel better. Then, once you feel better, you’re more likely to perform well.

Ideas for Treating Yourself

If you don’t show yourself the love and appreciation you deserve, you can’t always count on it coming from anywhere else. So to help you add a little more fun and self care into your day, try some of the following simple ideas.

  • Set a timer for five minutes, and treat yourself to some well-deserved time spent doing nothing at all. Deliberately doing nothing for a set time can do wonders to clear your mind and boost your mood.
  • Prepare yourself a healthy snack or beverage, and then enjoy it slowly, lingering over the experience. Hurrying through our meals takes a lot of the enjoyment out of eating.
  • Treat yourself to a facial at your favorite beauty salon. If you’re normally the type who doesn’t splurge on such things, it will mean even more as a special experience.
  • When you start your workweek, begin by making a list of things you’d enjoy doing on the weekend. So often we let our weekends slip by while binge-watching television, never really getting to the things we’d like to do. Making a list of ideas at the start of your week will give you something new to look forward to.
  • Pretend to be a tourist in your hometown. Try to forget about your busy life and pretend you’re on vacation and enjoy all of the sights and sounds that are unique to your area. It’s easy to take a place for granted when you live there. Go outside and really enjoy it.
  • Buy yourself a new outfit or at the very least a new accessory. Again, this is more special if you aren’t already a shopaholic.
  • The next time you have a late morning or early afternoon off, go see a movie by yourself. There’s something remarkably relaxing about seeing a movie alone in a near-empty theater.

Treating yourself can be an extravagant affair, like seeing a plastic surgeon to enhance your appearance, or very simple, like reading a poetry book. You get to decide what to do — just make sure you do something to make yourself feel great.

Getting Support

Even if you have a really good self care routine, we all need support from outside sources. Whether that be from a church or community we’re a part of, or from a counselor or therapist we see regularly, everyone needs someone to offer them advice and help them through life. Here we’ll offer some ideas for finding supporting people and communities to be a part of.

Find a Local Community

The first step to finding a local community to be a part of is to be willing to be open and vulnerable with people. This doesn’t mean you tell the first stranger you meet about all your hopes and fears, but it does mean being ready to open up gradually as other people open up to you. You can’t be closed off or afraid of what others think of you and expect to make friends quickly.

Next, you have two options for finding a community: either you can find a place to visit regularly based on your interests, such as a church or library; or you can find local communities based on certain interests online. Websites such as allow you to find groups in your area that all have similar interests, such as gaming or music.

Look for a Coach, Counselor, our Therapist

Everyone needs a helping hand or a voice of reason now and then, and sometimes you can’t really expect your friends or family to help you process your situations. This is where a counselor or life coach can come in handy. Getting help like this isn’t a sign of weakness, and it certainly isn’t just for people who struggle with mental health issues. In fact, literally everyone can benefit from having a good counselor or coach to visit now and then. It’s like the way the best businesspeople have mentors to help them navigate the world of business. For everybody else, counselors and therapists are mentors when it comes to processing past events, overcoming personal challenges, and navigating relationships.

There are several websites online that allow you to look up counselors and other experts in your area. You can even find someone to coach you long-distance over the phone or video chat.

From designing a good self care routine to getting support from a coach or counselor, these tips should be all you need to invest in yourself by bringing some self care into your life.

Unique Wedding Registry Ideas and How to Create One


Did you know that around 2 million Americans get married every year? It’s no wonder that many people choose to take this solid oath with someone they love. When you’re married, you have someone in your corner for life — throughout sicknesses, stressful moves, and tough situations at work.

Many of those couples also sign up for a wedding registry before their wedding. Doing so makes married life easier once they have moved in together. However, creating the list can often feel overwhelming. You may ask yourself — what kinds of items do you put on your list? What if you already have everything you need? If you’re in need of some wedding registry inspiration, continue reading. Here are tips on how you can create a unique wedding registry before your big day.

Cooking and Kitchen Related Items

Every new couple will need to acquire this skill. Having the right tools in the kitchen can make learning so much easier. Consider putting these items on your unique wedding registry.

An Air Fryer

An air fryer is taking the health and cooking world by storm due to its ability to fry foods using only a minimum amount of oil.

It’s a healthier way of eating, and there’s no annoying mess to clean up afterward. Therefore, if you and your spouse love to cook together, ensure that this item is at the very top of your unique wedding registry. Your guests can find this machine at most shopping centers.


A blender on a registry sounds boring. How is this a pick for a unique wedding registry? Get a blender like a Vitamix. This is more than just a standard blender. It’s a kitchen tool that can help you create soups, dressings, and sauces. You won’t need as many cooking utensils, which is great news if you want to keep your wedding register on the shorter side.

Exotic Wines

You may not splurge on fancy wines on your own, but if you love to pour yourself a glass every now and then, make sure to put some world-renowned wines on your list. You can drink them with your spouse, or pour a glass for your guests when you’re entertaining.

Bar Cart

If you don’t necessarily love wine, but adore other spirits, consider adding a bar cart to your list. This is another way you can entertain guests. You will also upgrade your bartending skills since you’ll have all of your liquors, beers, and wines all in one spot.

A Cooking Class

If you value great experiences over tangible things, ask your guests to buy you a cooking course for you and your future spouse. This can serve as a great way for the two of you to bond — either before or after the wedding.

You will also learn some great skills that you can take with you for the rest of your life.

Kitchen Remodel

If you feel like your kitchen is ancient, ask your guests to put the money that would have gone on a registry list towards kitchen remodeling.

Items to Live a More Active Lifestyle

If you met your sweetie while hiking or biking, it’s safe to say that the two of you are an active couple! Keep that high level of activity going, even after you’re married. Put these sporty items of your unique registry.

Golf Equipment

If you and your future spouse are avid golfers, ask for some new golf equipment! If you think you’ll use this more than a blender, put it at the top of your list and don’t let your guests’ money go to waste.

Snowmobile Equipment

However, golf may not be everyone’s favorite sport. Others may enjoy being outside in the cold weather. Sledding, skiing, and hopping on a snowmobile is the perfect way to spend a weekend up in the mountains. If you can’t get enough of the slopes, ask your wedding guests for snowmobile equipment instead of hand towels.

Camping Gear

If camping is your preferred activity as a couple, put this at the top of your unique wedding registry list instead. You can ask for sleeping bags, tents, or a new pair of waterproof boots.

What to Ask For When You Don’t Know What to Ask For!

Even after reading all this, what if you’re drawing a blank? The wedding is coming closer and closer with each passing day, and you’re unsure what to put on your unique wedding registry list!

Take a deep breath and stop worrying! Many couples ask for alternative things. Instead of objects, they may ask for money instead!

A Down Payment on a Home

If you’re unsure what to place on your unique wedding registry, ask for money to fund the downpayment on your future home together. This is more common than you think, but many people still feel odd about asking for cold hard cash. There are a few ways of phrasing that you will not be needing a toaster.

If you choose to go this route, ensure you add it to your wedding website. It may be tacky to add it to your invitations, so make sure to go the digital route.

Other Funds

You will also be glad to learn that your wedding registry can also help fund other expenses. Asking for money before the wedding can help buy an engagement ring for your significant other. You won’t have to worry about financing it or completing your monthly payments. This can also be helpful if you and your significant other already own a home.

Fund Your Honeymoon

What’s another way you can swap your unique wedding registry for something you will actually use? Have that money go towards paying off a nice honeymoon for after the wedding. Book fun excursions, and even go visit a craft beer company tour to make the most out of your stay.

Couples Massages

Planning a wedding can be so stressful. Between booking a caterer, finding a venue, and making a million other tiny decisions, it can take a toll on your mental health. If you need to destress, consider asking your guests for money towards a destressing retreat for you and your loved one. The two of you can book spa treatments, like facials and couples massages.

Go Traveling

If you can afford to take a couple of months off of work, consider extending your honeymoon. Go see all the sights you’ve been dying to see. Ask your guests to help fund a magical trip with your spouse. This is appropriate for couples who are already living together and have everything they need in their home.

Take a New Language Course

Learning a new skill with your partner is enriching, useful, and a ton of fun! If none of these ideas are intriguing to you, consider asking your guests to put money towards language courses.

Help With Debt

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have all of your debt vanish? Put this money towards student loans or house payments!

Ask Your Guests to Help Fund a Home Remodel

Let’s say you already own a home with your loved one. But perhaps, it’s starting to feel a bit cramped. If you’re planning on extending your family, this feeling will be exacerbated. If you worry about this, ask your family and friends to put their money towards helping you remodel your home. Home additions are popular since they provide you with more space without you having to move to a completely different house.

Ask them to Fund Small Projects

However, let’s say you want to give your house a much smaller makeover. You don’t have to add rooms to freshen up the home. Add quartz counters for a modern touch.

Turn Your Wedding Registry Into a Baby Registry

If you have just had a baby, consider combining your registries into one! Ask for bibs, baby clothes, diapers, and formula.

How to Set Up Your Unique Wedding Registry

Now that you know what you want on your list, it’s time to set it up. You don’t have to be a tech wiz, as it’s simple and easy to do.

Start by creating your list as soon as you get engaged. This allows your guests enough time to look through and see what has been purchased and what has not been purchased. If they want to buy you something extravagant, this also gives them sufficient time to save up some money for your unique wedding registry.

Next, ensure your significant other can be there when you’re creating your registry. It’s a joint activity, and you should both have a say in what goes on the list and what stays off.

Common Questions About Unique Wedding Registries

Can You Register at Several Stores?

One of the best ways to create a unique wedding registry is by setting up a registry at several stores. This isn’t out of the ordinary, so if you want a nice frying pan, but also need a tent for your couples camping excursions, try this method!

Can You Return Items?

This is another common question about setting up your unique wedding registry.

If you don’t love one of your items, can you return it after it’s been bought? The answer? It depends! Make sure to check the specific store’s policy on returns before adding them to your list.

How Much Should Guests Spend?

The average guest will spend around 100 dollars on a wedding gift. Keep this in mind when creating your registry, as you don’t want them to over or underspend.

How to Alert Guests of Your Wedding Registry

Create an online register. Once it’s up and running, grab the link, and create a special tab on your wedding website. When inviting your guests, make sure they can easily view the link through their web browser.

Will Guests be Offended if We Just ask for Money

Your guests have no reason to be offended if you turn down some gifts. If you already have silverware and mixing bowls, why would you need another pair!

Make sure that they know this ahead of time.

Should You Update Your Registry?

One of the most brilliant things about having an online registry is that you can see who is purchasing what! If you notice that relatives have bought most of the items on your list, and you still have a few months left before the wedding, feel free to add more until your big day.


Your unique registry list all boils down to your combined personalities. What do you think will suit your lifestyle now that you are married? Whatever the case may be, make sure the list is reasonable! Additionally, ensure it’s something that you will enjoy, whether you’re remodeling your house with custom window coverings, or feel that golf gear is more suitable. Nonetheless, if you plan your wedding registry accordingly, you and your significant other will feel even more excited about the wedding and your future together.


How to Start And Run Your Own Business

If you are interested in starting your own business the best way to do that is to learn how to start and run your own business. Gathering as much information as you can about how to start and run your own business will help you to fully prepare to find the success that you need.

A strong plan and learning how to start and run your own business your first step on the road to being your own boss. A great deal of success is waiting for you if you follow some simple steps.

Let’s Get to the Nuts and Bolts of Things

You do not want to jump in feet first into starting your business. This can be a critical error. You have to do the background work and take the time to do your research. For example, starting a website design service may seem as simple as placing an ad online, but there is a lot more to it, if you want to start a professional business.

There are a few things you should do before you ever start studying how to start and run your own business, no matter what that business is:

  • Research the market that you are trying to start a business in.
  • Research costs for starting up (this is expanded on below).
  • Know your industry inside and out.

It is important to know what you are getting into. Researching the industry market in your area will answer a few critical questions about the potential to do well. An oversaturated market can slow your growth and in some cases do your business in before it ever gets started.

A market analysis can give you information about how many providers are in your area, how many people are expected to use those providers, and whether there is any room for your business. This should be your first step in deciding which business is right for you.

The Real Cost of Doing Business

We have all heard those stories of overnight successes, unfortunately, they are rarely true. The fact is it takes time, energy, and money to really get a business into the “overnight success” stage. Some of the most famous “overnight successes” took years and a lot of failure along the way to build. Microsoft, Starbucks, Intel, and so many others seemingly arrived on the scene suddenly and did well, except they did not. It can take a long time and a lot of investment to find success.

One of the key tenets of how to start and run your own business is to ensure that you understand the real cost of how to start and run your own business. Let’s say that you decide that you want to buy a turn-key franchise business. You are likely well aware of what it costs to buy in, but you may not have considered the cost of a franchising attorney, but a franchising attorney is a very necessary cost to protect yourself.

A lot of new business owners make the mistake of cutting corners in the wrong places. Here are some costs you should be figuring in:

  • What supplies will you need? What equipment will you need?
  • What professional support will you need?
  • Will you need property? Will you need warehouse space?

Every industry has its own tools of the trade so to speak. What tools will you need for your business to succeed? How much will that cost? At a minimum every business whether an eCommerce business or brick and mortar needs reliable connectivity, a way to communicate with customers, and the technology to track orders, place orders, or provide a service.

You will need professional support whether it comes from a sign company that is going to hang your signage or it comes from a financial planner that is going to help you to grow your business, you will have to pay someone at some time to help legitimize your business. You have to consider these costs as well.

Are you looking at opening a brick and mortar operation? Commercial real estate sales is another expense you will have to consider. Maybe leasing space at first will be the better option. The point is there are a lot of expenses that you will have to deal with from the very beginning. Being realistic about these expenses will better prepare you.

Where Will Funding Come From?

Entrepreneurs that are savvy know that finding funding sometimes requires that you think outside the box. For example, you can tap into your special status to find funding. If you are a woman that is staring her own business, consider supporting other women-owned businesses to become part of a network of support. Networking with other women-owned businesses can help you to find funding that you may not know existed before. A women owned law firm to represent your business, a women-owned supply company to supply your business, and more can put you right in the center of a network that may have avenues to special funding programs built for women-owned businesses.

What if you are not a “minority” how do you find funding outside the box? Many different funding options can help you raise capital that are not considered traditional lenders. Here are some options for funding from how to start and run a business:

  • Apply to investor groups. Angel investors can help you to raise the capital that you need.
  • Pitch your idea for your business to a crowdfunding site. Crowdfunding can be an excellent way to reach a wide audience of investors.
  • Look for grants from local small business groups.

Other ways to raise capital include tapping into the equity in your residence, joining a startup accelerator or incubator, credit cards, trading equity services, bartering your services, and of course, applying for a small business loan from your bank.

Many successful business owners started their business by getting help from family and friends. If you are ready to take the plunge and believe in what you are doing, you can find the funding that you need if you think outside the box.

How To Start a Business and Run Your Own Business In a Brick and Mortar Location

There are a few things that are unique to a brick and mortar location that can affect your ability to do business. Some of the things seem so simple that they are often overlooked. Foot traffic can be a great asset to any brick and mortar business, but what if you are lacking business parking, will that foot traffic still show up? If your brick and mortar location is not easy to reach, does not have ample parking available, or is just a little bit off the beaten path, your business will not enjoy the benefits of foot traffic. It is a small consideration when you are looking at the entire scope of things, but you do want to be sure that your property whether it is owned by leased has parking available.

Other considerations of opening a brick and mortar business include:

  • Your monthly overhead.
  • The cost of design elements.
  • Lease terms, and access.

Whether your business is generating revenue or not, you will have to pay those monthly bills. When you are starting up, that revenue may take a while to trickle in. You will still need to pay for internet marketing services. You want to estimate all of your monthly bills at a higher rate just so you can be prepared.

When you are opening a brick and mortar business, another cost you will have to consider is how will space be designed and how much will that cost. Maintenance costs are another area you will have to figure into your overhead.

If you are leasing your commercial property, how long will the lease last? This is an important piece of information. You do not want to find your business is successful at the location only to have to move out and reopen elsewhere in two years.

How to Start a New Business And Run Your Own Business and Keep It Successful

Once you have your business up and running and are enjoying your success there are some things that you should be doing to ensure that you continue on your path. Learning how to start and run your own business never really stops. For a successful business to remain successful there are a few things that you should be doing.

By this point, you should have a bevy of professionals on your team to help protect your business. For example, an estate lawyer can help you to set up trusts for your business in case anything happens to you. You should have an accountant managing your business taxes, and professionals to help manage financial planning.

Keeping your business growing and moving in the right direction requires the help of professionals that are experienced in business law, accounting, and growing a business. You should have the insurance that your business needs to protect against liability. You want to be sure that your workers are protected if there should be a work injury. Work injury lawyers recommend every business has liability protection.

Staying on course is vital to build a strong business that can withstand economic challenges as they arise. Planning does not end when you start generating revenue, although how you plan will change. You should still follow the five-year plan rule to help keep your business relevant and growing. How to start and run your own business information is important at all stages.

Businesses need to evolve with the times which can mean being highly flexible with your planning. You want to create a plan moving forward that is flexible enough to compensate for unforeseen changes.

Weathering the Storms

So you have crossed all your tee’s and dotted all your I’s and your business is booming and moving along nicely. You may feel like it is time to sit back a bit and relax, however, that is strongly discouraged. Part of how to start and run your own business is the idea that you have to keep working at it. Success is something that you have to work at constantly.

You learned how to start and run your own business but you have not learned everything. Running your own business is a constant learning experience. Even the most successful business that is well established will run into obstacles from time to time. Learning how to weather those potential storms is vital to keeping your business growing.

At some point your business will grow way beyond what you can handle if you followed the simple steps to how to start and run your own business. You will have to hire staff that you can trust and manage that staff. By now you should have a good understanding of how to figure out who is going to bring value to your business and who is not.

A lot of small business owners make the mistake of skipping vital steps when they are hiring new people including:

  • Not fully checking references. Checking references is vital to ensuring that you are hiring the best talent for your business.
  • Not checking education.
  • Not fully disclosing job descriptions.

Checking references, doing background checks, and taking other steps to ensure the integrity of the people that you hire is critical to the success of your business. Don’t skip these steps in the beginning or while you are enjoying success. It is not about being cynical, it is about being cautious and protecting your business. In an ideal world, everyone will have the skill set that they claim to have and everyone would have left their previous position for “creative differences”. It is not an ideal world and you need to move with your eyes wide open.

Education is also a big point of contention that is often misrepresented. Pick up the phone and make the call. It will help you to build confidence in your employees and ensure that you are getting the best talent.

Setting clear expectations is critical to making sure that you and your employees are on the same page. Job descriptions should be clearly outlined and expectations should be clear. Hiring people and expecting them to know exactly what you expect is not a good way to run your business. It is always best to start with clear expectations.

Continuing success relies heavily on continuously learning and evaluating your business and looking for ways to improve your business. Innovative thinking and a commitment to continued growth will take you to the top of the heap in your industry.

15 Tips to Planning a Successful Event

There’s more to planning an event that choosing a table design and what dress you will wear. Successful event planning is a skill that many use in careers such as public relations, community outreach, and fundraising. A successful event requires you to use your skills not only to persuade people to come, but also to donate, make everything work, and most importantly: time management.

What is Time Management?

In event planning, time management is everything. Time management means being able to organize every single detail and part of an event, and making sure that every hiccup of an event is accounted for. To begin practicing successful event planning, it’s important to know the basics of what goes into an event, and the timing of each of these things as well as problems that can arise. If you’re in the event planning business, you can use these 15 tips to help plan for your next event. Whether you’re helping one of the 2 million Americans that get married every year, or planning a club or other event, you can use them to do more research, which is key when planning, as well as help you get inspired.

1. PERT Charting

You might be asking yourself, what is a PERT chart? PERT charts are the first line of defense for event planning. PERT stands for the projected end result time chart, and they come in different forms and styles. A PERT chart helps you break down your event into the smallest components, make a list of all those components and what they need, and then assign each of them a different time frame. Using a PERT chart can speed-up the time it takes you to plan the entirety of your event, as well as account for possible setbacks, such as a guest re-scheduling or failing to show up entirely, setbacks in food or other delivery of items, and so on. Using a PERT chart is a highly customizable way for you to continue your successful event planning process.

2. Consider your Budget

The second-most important tip to follow for successful event planning, besides time management, is following a strict budget. A budget will have to be allocated ahead of time by your client, business, or another host of the event before any sort of real planning starts. It could be important to hire the help of an accountant to get your budget sorted out. Will you need to allocate a huge portion for a celebrity? What about promoting and hiring for digital artists and movers? Budgeting is essential, but can only be done once you make use of a PERT chart or other form of list to get down to the basics of your event. After making a solid budget for the event itself, consider having a pocket of savings in case any mishaps occur.

3. Consider the Host

Much of planning a successful event has to do with not only the event itself, but the style of the host. For example, say you’re planning an event for a business. The old boss might have wanted to have a simple Christmas party. However, this new boss wants an all-out extravaganza, complete with a champagne fountain and weed delivery. Out of the ordinary? Perhaps, but the style of your client or host is essential to consider. The style of the host is the most important, as it’s your job as an event planner to make them happy. Ask lots of questions, and don’t be afraid to compare past events to new ones when dealing with a new client.

4. Take Photos Ahead of Time

Part of successful event planning involves advertising to social media, on flyers, and other hand-out materials. But, what if you don’t have any photographs to advertise with? Instead of hiring an outside photographer, it can be easier to train one of your employees or assistants to take photographs for the event. A freelance photographer might re-schedule, not be available right away, have other events, and could even cause issues when it comes time to publish photographs. Claims to artwork can also cause you a setback. Whether you choose to train or use an in-house photographer or use a freelancer, it’s important to plan your photographs ahead of time. For example, if you’re planning for an event at a club, don’t you want pictures of the first day, week, or month it opened? What about a wedding, do you have to take photographs beforehand of the lovely couple? Keeping these things in mind will help you be ready when the time comes to finally publish your event in advertising.

5. Think about Exposure

As mentioned above, many events today need to be advertised in order to get the word out to the public and have them attend. For your event, consider what form of advertising you’ll use during your most successful event planning. If you opt for social media, will you need to hire a social media editor to advertise for you, or do you have one in-house? Will you hire a digital media artist to create flyers for your event? If you do decide to make hard copies of fliers for your event, consider custom printing to make your design for your event stand out. Remember to never leave these fliers inside of mailboxes, as this is illegal. However, custom printed flyers are a great way to get the word out there for your event, and can even be saved as tokens for event-goers.

6. Hire for Food

When planning for an event, food is a must-have, but it can be tricky for some event-planners to get just right. Consider the food likes and dislikes of your guests as a whole. When you’re planning an event for a vegan festival, this is easy. But, what about for a wedding? Or a business party? It’s essential to include food options very early on in the stages of your event planning, in order to make room for extra meals that people need, to order the food ahead of time, and to make sure you have the properly trained chefs to prepare such food. For instance, one chef might know how to make gluten-free Margherita pizza, but unfortunately, you forgot to hire him and went with a traditional Italian chef that sticks to the old way of cooking. As funny as these scenarios might be, it’s essential to consider food early on and not leave it to the last minute, to make your event as inclusive and delicious as it can be.

7. Consider Indoor or Outdoor Seating

For any event, it’s important to consider the setting and any weather conditions that may affect it. For instance, if you plan a beach wedding, will you have a back-up location in case it decides to rain? It’s important to consider all options and have plans to move your guests in a timely fashion. This can even be in the form of having buses or taxis on stand-by in order to get your guests to safety. Or, have a nearby area such as a barn, bed and breakfast, or make-shift modern tent area to take your guests. Just the opposite, consider how planning an event indoors would be. Will there be enough seating to accommodate each guest? How early in advance must you reserve for your party? Asking all these questions and putting them into a budget can help you in successful event planning.

8. Custom-built Props

Any event can be made fun with the use of props. Giant floating rubber balls, a gazebo that is used a chapel, even props to play games with guests can all be useful. Talk to your client about using props, and budget to either buy these props outright, or have a contractor such as a carpenter design and build these props. Then, consider who will keep these custom-built props later on. Will your business be interested in keeping these design props for future events? Any discussions like this will help your event not only stand out by being unique, but also make it all the more beautiful, exciting, and fun for your guests.

9. Hiring a Celebrity

If you’re planning on hiring a celebrity to attend your event, consider budgeting huge. For example, Snoop Dogg requires a deposit of almost $100,000 to simply attend an event! For most celebrities, their contracts will also require certain requests. These can range from simple food options, to having a stockpile of liquor, floral arrangements, you name it. As an event planner, you must be prepared not only to budget for your guest, but also to entertain them properly. Though it might be somewhat of a hassle and even expensive, having a celebrity at your event can do wonders for attracting an audience and making your event much more memorable.

10. Setting up for a Speech

When setting up for your event, consider if there will be a stage for a speech, dancing, or whatever other festivities your guests will take part in. Will there need to be extra microphones or television sets for your guests to hear your speaker? In addition, what is your audience interested in when your speaker is giving their speech? Planning a speech itself is an event all on its own, so it’s important to consider this in addition to the physical location of your event setting. In addition, consider the technical aspects such as led lighting, sound systems, electrical outlets, and where they are, where your guests will be seated in relation to the stage, and other miscellaneous parts of planning for a speech or dance at your event.

11. Sending out a Press-Release

Sending out a press release can help you gain exposure to a bigger audience when the media gets involved. Part of successful event planning includes selling your event as a life-changing and once in a lifetime opportunity in order to get more people to come. This might not be as true for weddings or baby showers, but this is especially important for promotional events. Sending out a press-release and inviting the media one week ahead of time to ensure your event stays relevant, exciting, and gains free exposure in the news.

12. Transportation

Consider arranging transportation for guests at your event. This can be as easy as getting the services of a limo rental or party bus, and also having designated drivers. Most events will have not just food, but cocktails, and this is highly important to consider as an event planner. You’ll want to make sure your guests are feeling safe, and are good to drive and get both to the event and back.

13. Costs for the Guests

Though we would like events to be free, such as those like wedding and office parties, consider if your guests will have to pay any costs. If you’re setting up an event at a small coffee shop, perhaps a small fee will be able to allow guests to sit down and have an in-house tiny concert. Or, perhaps you’re planning an event at a large club, and you must decide whether to give your guests half-off admission for an event to celebrate. Part of successful event planning is considering these decisions, and knowing they have a long-term and short-term financial impact on your business, so it’s important to consider what these impacts will be when arranging costs for your guests.

14. Accommodations for Guests

Besides transportation, considering where your guests will stay is also crucial when successful event planning. Will your guests stay at a local bed and breakfast, or a nearby hotel that must have reservations made ahead of time? How many people per room will there be? These are more relevant when planning events such as weddings out of state, school and business trips, or even military accommodations for soldiers traveling out of the country. It’s important to make arrangements and budget for possible accommodations ahead of time.

15. After-Math of Events

After an event, consider what the future of your event will entail. For instance, will you repeat this event in half a year? If you do, will you save the guest, food, and party rentals list from this event, or create a new one? What about any props, artwork, money raised, or food left over? Who will get a hold of these? It’s important to think about clean-up and hiring for people to take down the set up of the event, as well as hire possible trash services for after an event. You’ll be glad you budgeted for this ahead of time.

Have Fun

Whatever it takes for you to continue successful event planning, it’s important to have fun with it. As an event planner, you will make mistakes, but you quickly can learn from these and move on to make better, more exciting, and life-changing events in the years to come.

Hiring an Executive Coach

Today’s business executives, those higher up on the corporate ladder, have a lot on their plates, especially in today’s digital world where e-mail, faxes, Skype live chat meetings, and much more add up to a lot to juggle. Sometimes, even the best educated or trained professional may get overwhelmed, and that is just with the paperwork; perception of self and others as both human beings and employees can be difficult, and may require some skills not finely taught in general institutions or training. But an executive coach can make all the difference, and bring out the best in upper management. These consultants, and similar ones such as life coaches or a career coach, can offer similar skills for a client.

The Need For an Executive Coach

A business professional cannot always “do it all.” Every employee is a different person with different personal and professional needs and interests, and sometimes, an employee may quit because he or she feels undervalued or unneeded, or t

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