Tag Archives: work

Balancing Costs With Essentials As An Artist

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Balancing Costs With Essentials As An Artist

Creatives have it tougher than others. Unless they end up on magazine covers or are propped up by the industry as the Next Big Thing, it can feel difficult just to survive. And that’s even before the self-doubt kicks in over whether you chose the wrong company to work for. If art is your passion, it’s only understandable that you want to make a living with it. A lot of people will tell you that you won’t make money from a career as an artist, which is not the case at all. Try incorporating these tips to achieve your artist dreams without going broke in the process:

Consider the Right Investments:

One major issue with following your artistic dream is the costs, and anyone who has a creative bone in their body knows what these costs are. From acting lessons to high-quality paints and utensils, it can feel you’ve spent everything before you’ve earned a cent. This is why you need to choose the right investments for your craft. Look for high quality but affordable materials from The Sydney Canvas Company, and don’t forget to create a website to go alongside your social media profiles to boost awareness and look more professional.

Know Your Worth:

Many struggling artists desperate for work will have no choice but to accept being paid in exposure. This is a bit of a joke, though, and it’s something clients use to get people to work for free. If you know your worth, you’ll be able to avoid gigs that take advantage of you, which means you have more time to focus on improving yourself. While you might miss out on some jobs, you will be able to demand a price that you can live off of, because you can’t pay for groceries with likes or word-of-mouth.

Don’t Abandon Other Work Entirely (Yet):

Once you decide to pursue your passion, you may have plans to quit your current job and say goodbye to the nine to five lifestyle. However, as you are not stable yet, this is not a good idea. If you want to make sure that you can balance living costs with the essentials as an artist, you’ll need to persevere in your day job for now. As time goes on, you may be able to reduce your hours before giving it up entirely, but until then, stay patient.

Research the ‘Competition’:

It feels wrong to pit artists against one another when they all have the same goal in mind, and that’s why the word ‘competition’ feels off. Still, if you know what others in your industry are doing, you will be able to adapt to the times, especially when it comes to charging for work or considering how to improve in the future. Building a network of artists is free, and this can help you become better in every aspect of your work.

There will be many, many times where you feel like giving up your dream for something more stable. But, doing so would be a disservice to your talent and your passion. If you know how to balance the cost of being an artist with living a comfortable life, you’ll find that it is possible to make money from what you love to do.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

How To Protect Your Business

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How To Protect Your Business

If you want your business to be successful, then there are multiple different areas that you need to focus on protecting. Protecting a business is about more than just keeping your numbers out of the red, so where do you start? Consider the following:

Protecting your premises:

When people talk about protecting their business, they’re usually referring to the physical premises of their company. This can be your store or your office, but it might also include your warehouse or even your home depending on your business.

Protecting your business typically means having security cameras and alarm systems. However, there are some cases where a large warehouse may need security guards or even multiple systems to defend against intruders. This is extremely important to protect your staff as well as your stock and ensures that you won’t face any burglaries in the future.

Protecting your employees:

Your employees need as much protection as anything else in your business. This usually starts with looking after their physical and mental well being. It can mean keeping an eye on them to see if they’re healthy, but it can also mean checking on their work progress and seeing if they’re encountering any troubles.

You might also want to look at working with a health insurance broker to offer your employees benefit packages that help them stay healthy. This not only helps to protect your employees, but it can give them peace of mind knowing that their employer is looking out for their health. This adds another form of protection in the form of higher retention rates. It means that your employees will be less likely to seek out other career options because they’re happy in their current position with an employer that cares for their long-term health and well being.

Protecting your digital assets:

Most of us already have some kind of anti-virus software or firewall to help protect our computers from hackers, but that’s really not enough these days. Cybercriminals are becoming a major problem for businesses due to organized online crime and large teams of hackers that share common monetary goals. They won’t hesitate to target smaller businesses if there’s a chance that they can make a profit from breaking into your systems.

It’s a good idea to work with a managed IT services provider to help protect your online systems, but it’s also important to ensure that your cloud-based services and systems are all up to date. You also need to be careful of social engineering; a method of obtaining passwords and important data that can be used to break into a company’s computer systems and online services.

As you can see, there are many different ways to protect your business and they are all equally as important as the other. Spend some time coming up with a protection plan for your company, your staff, and your digital assets if you want your business to last a long time.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

What A Guy!

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What A Guy!

Hi! Last week was a particularly stressful one and, due to a family emergency, I arrived home from work a lot later than usual on Wednesday. Thanks to Aunt Flo hanging out I was exhausted, had cramps, and was freaking starving. However, after literally one step into my apartment once I arrived home, all of that extra irritability and tension dissipated immediately. Johnny was at band practice so I knew I wouldn’t hear a video game or documentary when I walked in. Rather, I heard the dishwasher running and saw a bag of Taco Bell waiting for me on the stove top:

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My heart absolutely fluttered upon both of these discoveries and I, honestly, felt like a princess – which I texted him right away, of course. I am a woman of simple pleasures and it really doesn’t take much for me to feel spoiled by someone and, in this case, I felt spoiled rotten. After a long day I didn’t have to cook or clean – I just had to sit down and enjoy my food while watching Demon Slayer. It was perfect. Also the Taco Bell was A++++++ 🙂

My Johnny is simply the best and this sweet surprise is a shining example of how thoughtful he is. How did I get so lucky again? What a guy, what a guy, what a heck of a guy! ❤

What is your favorite fast food? When do you feel spoiled? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Don’t Forget The Following When Cleaning Up At Work

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Don’t Forget The Following When Cleaning Up At Work

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all gotten in touch with our inner neat freak and that isn’t a bad thing at all. Our houses have all been cleaned and sanitized top to bottom and if you are not working from home, the same level of care when it comes to keeping your house clean should apply to your work place. Most people typically spend forty plus hours at work per week and it is important that they are safe during that time from injuries or illnesses that can come from an improperly cleaned space. Always keep the following in mind when you are completing your chore check list at work:

Check For Spills:

In a warehouse setting, spills that haven’t been cleaned up can be really dangerous for employees. Be sure to do a once over of your work space both before your shift and after to check for any spills that could cause you to fall and hurt yourself. Your company might even want to consider concrete polishing to keep the work floors nice and clean.

Clean Commonly Used Surfaces:

Can you imagine how many times per day the light switches, door knobs, or coffee pot is being touched at work by other employees? It’s probably even more than the already high number you have in your head! A great thing for employees to get in the habit of is sanitizing a commonly used surface after you are done using it so that it is safe for the next employee to get the door or pour their morning coffee. Commonly used surfaces that aren’t properly sanitized are a breeding ground for germs. Don’t forget the faucets and paper towel dispenser in the bathroom, too!

Helpful Hints:

There are a lot of great options out there for contact free access to hand sanitizer, paper towels, faucets, and hand soap with automatic dispensers and one less thing that employees have to touch is one less thing to clean! As mentioned before, can you imagine how many times those types of surfaces are touched per day? And, more often than not, by hands that need to be cleaned if the dispensers are in the bathroom! And, hopefully, gloves are being provided by your work place because, although they are annoying to wear, they will definitely help to slow the spread of germs.

Doing your share to help keep your work place clean will make it a safer environment for you and your coworkers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

 

Celebrating My Inner Goddess

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Celebrating My Inner Goddess

Hi!! I love making new friendships through lifewithlilred and I am so thankful to have “met” Libby from The Goddess Attainable who so graciously guest posted on my page a few weeks ago. I was so honored when she contacted me shortly after her post published asking if I would guest blog for her and am excited to explore her prompts of what being a goddess means to me.

Libby encourages and inspires people to not only be the best version of themselves but to love who they are, too. In my post, I wanted to touch on two of her topics, one of which is how I access my inner goddess and the other is how my mom helps determine my definition of a goddess. Let’s get to it!

Celebrating My Inner Goddess

The word “goddess” is often affiliated with a beautiful woman and, while I do feel like a goddess when I am all dressed up, I feel even more so when I am working hard to achieve my goals. Goddesses aren’t just a pretty face but they are also ladies who are determined, strong, and motivated to keep going forward even when things are difficult. A goddess strives for greatness for herself and loved ones while letting her inner beauty shine brightly every step of the way.

My life has been dedicated to working with people with special needs and I have still been seeing all of my clients throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other than when I’m just hanging out with my boyfriend on the couch, I feel most like a goddess when I am at work. I love the families who I help and seeing my clients smile or hearing them laugh makes all of my hard work one hundred and fifty percent worth it. I know that I am doing something meaningful for my clients and myself and the passion I feel for the field I work in and improving people’s lives feels like goddesshood to me.

From sitting down at my laptop to write to the good old days pre-pandemic when I could hit the skating rink for practice, exploring my passions makes me feel immensely proud of myself. I have struggled with mental health issues for a majority of my life and being able to acknowledge that I am doing a good job is something that has never come easy to me. Goddesses not only love the world around them but they love themselves and continuing on with my passions has given me a newfound appreciation for myself that I have never had before. Who knew that that feels like goddesshood, too?!

As I continue on in my own life journey, I turn to a seasoned goddess when I need encouragement: My mom! I am so lucky to say that my mom is my best friend and there is really nothing that a quick phone call or text to her can’t fix. My mom is strong, smart, and simply beautiful inside and out. As a doctor, she has been dedicated to seeing her patients online throughout the pandemic and she was still working even as she underwent cancer treatment. Goddess much?

My mom is so beloved by everyone she meets because she takes the time out of her day to chat with, compliment, and get to know whomever she encounters. She shares her inner light generously and it is absolutely infectious. Whenever I am feeling down, I think about my mom (and dad!) and my favorite memories with them that I treasure so much. My mom sees the best in everyone and not only does that make her a goddess but it makes me feel like one, too, whenever I am around her. ❤

I want to thank Libby so much again for giving me this opportunity of reflection and I highly encourage all of you to get in touch with your inner goddess on her page. You will be glad you did!

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What makes you feel like a goddess? What is something that you’re proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Great Day

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A Great Day

Hello! Whenever Johnny and I ask each other how work went for the day, our usual response is “it was day”. Lol, not bad not good… Just day. With the monotony of pandemic life, it has been a while since either of us have had a day that really knocked it out of the park. However, this past week I had a Grand Slam of a day and I am still thinking back on it with a big smile.

To start with, as soon as I got to work in the morning, my client asked me “Can I call you a name?” I replied with, “Well, it depends. Is it a nice name or a mean one?” With a grin he told me, “I wanna call you Lucille Ball… or the Pink Panther” and my heart basically exploded. It was the first time he acknowledged my new hair since I got it done and I know for a fact based on his new nicknames for me that he loves it. 🙂

I was still in a great mood when I arrived home from work so I did not think it was possible to feel any better but I was wrong! Johnny and I never sit on the same couch because both of ours are way too small to comfortably seat both of us. However, that night, we snuggled up on one of the couches together and talked for hours. It reminded me of when we first started dating and it was such a lovely flashback to have.

For the grand finale, Johnny picked up his guitar and played old country songs while I picked up our Guitar Hero guitar and strummed along, lol. After a while, I even picked up his other guitar and tried to match what he was so expertly doing. We also did a charming duet of “Bye Bye, Love” and it was just so much fun that we hadn’t even realized that over three hours had passed!

With the struggles of pandemic life, my Great Day felt like a lighthouse in a never ending streak of the same old same old. It also makes me appreciate the tiny sunshine breaks even more and I will not be forgetting my day any time soon. ❤

What was your last great day like? Can you play any instruments? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Day In The Life Of Lil Red

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A Day In The Life Of Lil Red

Hello! I told you that I would be using some of the writing prompts that I suggested for all of you yesterday and here I am – surprise! Yours truly knows a thing or two about writer’s block and, honestly, the best way for me to combat it is to think of a ton of different post topics and go from there. So, as per my own recommendation, I am going to take all of you through a normal day for Lil Red, pandemic style. Here we go:

Morning:

I typically wake up to start getting ready for work around seven. It’s a bit of a mad dash for me because I need to shower, write, and do any other last minute preparations with the hope of leaving for a client’s house at eight fifteen. This may seem like a lot to cram into an hour and a quarter but I have been dedicated to this morning routine for years and it would be weird to change it up now. I also find that I am less likely to keep hitting the snooze button when I have a few things to accomplish before I even leave for work! 

Afternoon:

My afternoons are dedicated to my clients and trying to find fun ways to keep them occupied at home during the pandemic. I love my job so much and have been an Independent Provider for people with special needs for over three years now. The pandemic has definitely put a damper in a normal day at work as community integration is my specialty but I think that I am better at my job for it because I have had to get so creative with endless days at home. No matter what we do, I am always thankful for time with my clients and get home anywhere between three thirty and five during my work week.

Evening:

Once I get home from work, I still have a bit of paper and computer work to take care of before I can settle in with Johnny for dinner and an episode of whatever show we’re watching. Right now, we are working on three different ones: Castlevania, the Ken Burns Vietnam documentary, and King Of The Hill as our comedic palette cleanser. Johnny and I will sometimes play a few video games, as well. I am currently still working on Mario Galaxy and it is so much fun! I also like to incorporate some time into all of my evenings to read and practice the five languages I am learning on Duolingo for a mental work out.

My days have felt rather blah lately but after writing out a typical day in my life, I have realized that I actually do a lot even during the pandemic. I feel proud of myself for sticking with all of my routines and still trying to make every day a great one despite not feeling my best. Here’s to safer and happier times to come!

What is a day in your life like? Which shows are you currently watching? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Simple Tips To Improve Your Mornings

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Simple Tips To Improve Your Mornings

Hello! Every day seems like twenty-four more hours of the exact same thing: Wake up, work, relax, repeat. It can be hard to spring out of bed every day with a pep in your step when things are so monotonous but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. Starting your morning out strongly means that you have a better chance of keeping the momentum going all day, which can definitely help improve a blah mood! To get your day going on the right foot, keep the following in mind:

Don’t hit the snooze:

No one is more guilty of hitting the snooze button than me but I really am trying to work on this bad habit! Hitting the snooze button, even for just five minutes will already be pushing your morning back which makes the pre-work rush even more frantic. As soon as your alarm goes off, shrug off your blankets and get yourself moving. If you are feeling sleep deprived, it’s better to go to bed earlier than bank on those extra five to ten minutes every morning that leave you scrambling around the house so you can leave for work on time.

Have something to eat:

Some people are just not breakfast people and that’s okay – no one is saying you need an elaborate breakfast spread every morning. But, it’s important to try eating a little something before you start your day. We need the extra energy to help get us through until lunch time and your morning is really going to drag if all you can think about is how hungry you are. Have yogurts or breakfast bars handy at home so you can have a quick bite before work. You will have plenty of time to do so if you aren’t hitting the snooze!

Complete your normal morning routine:

I’m sure all of our morning routines have changed drastically since the start of the pandemic since there really is nowhere to be that requires us to get spruced up. I, myself, have tumbled into an unending cycle of leggings and hoodies. But, there is just something about completing your full morning routine, even with nowhere to be, that hits different. This might mean applying a bit of makeup, styling your hair, or shaving. Whatever it is, give it a shot. It will bring back a touch of normalcy to your day and it will be nice to feel totally work ready again.

Prepare things the night before:

Whether this be making your breakfast or lunch, prepping your paper work, or readying your outfit, it’s always better to do these things the night before. Leaving all of these random additional tasks for your work morning will only add time and stress as you start your day. Plus, if you do everything that you can to already be ready the night before, then you can hit the snooze button without it having such a negative impact! 😀

The tips above are all easy changes that you can start incorporating into your morning routine immediately so you can always wake up on the right side of the bed!

Are you a morning or night person? When do you normally get up in the morning? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Why You Should Plan For Retirement Early

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Why You Should Plan For Retirement Early

Despite how important retirement is, a lot of us leave planning to the last minute. You might plan to get around to it soon, but ‘soon’ can easily become ‘next year’, and then it’s too late. Most people don’t know how much cash they will need to retire securely, and many don’t have a pension at all. It’s never too early to plan for retirement so get started with the tips below:

When Do You Want To Retire? When Can You?

Think about your ideal retirement and look at your finances to start planning from tomorrow. This will help you to work out if there is a distance between when you want to retire and when you actually will be able to. Are you hoping for mortgage-free living in retirement or will you live in a retirement community? Do you want to enjoy your retirement with travel and restaurants? Try to work out how much you expect to spend each month.

By working out these things early, if you find you can’t reach your ideal retirement with your current finances and the rate you’re saving at, you can work out how much more you will need to set aside each month in order to actually reach your retirement goal. If you don’t get prepared, you could end up with a lot less saved up than you expected. Your goal of retiring at 60 could easily get pushed back to 65, and then 70.

Delaying Could Cost You Thousands:

If you start saving for your retirement at 30, you can save less money each year than if you start saving at 50, and still end up with the same amount in your retirement fund. Every year that you put off planning for your pension means that you will have more catching up to do later on, which is when you will likely have more outgoings, thanks to a growing family or a bigger mortgage. In the future, you won’t thank your present self for a lack of planning for your retirement.

Retiring Isn’t Always A Choice:

You might think of retirement as a milestone for later in life, but sometimes the choice of when you retire is not up to you. You might have to retire earlier than you wanted to due to poor health, a change in family circumstances, or a redundancy. There are lots of reasons that you might find yourself having to stop working earlier than you had planned to. If you don’t plan for changes of circumstances like this, there can be a lot of problems. Trying to support your family or pay your mortgage on a smaller pension than you had planned for would be a big issue.

Planning early is important when it comes to your retirement, so get started ASAP!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Improving Your Staff’s Work From Home Experience

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Improving Your Staff’s Work From Home Experience

Working from home has become the new norm amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While some have taken to it like a fish to water, others are still struggling with not being at the office every day. If you are managing a staff that is working from home, it’s important to do what you can to keep their overall work experience a positive one. You could start with the following:

IT support:

Working from home can turn into a nightmare if one of the programs that you use crashes. Having the best IT support for your staff is a must so that your employee’s can get their tech problems solved quickly and stress free. It also might be a good idea to offer tutorial videos for new programs and updates for those who are not super tech savvy.

Checking in:

Remember the good old days when you could simply pop into an employee’s office to give them updates or shoot the breeze? It’s definitely not the same over email and instant messaging but it’s important to continue a rapport with each of your employees. They are looking to you for guidance during these unsettling times and it will be nice for them to know that they can still come to you for help or just a quick chat!

Offering for staff to continue to work from home:

So many of my friends would love to continue working from home post pandemic and I am sure that countless others feel the same way. A lot of employees have found that they are much more productive and comfortable when they are doing their job in their own space. If some of your staff is interested in continuing to work from home, giving them that option might be a good thing to consider.

A weekly just for fun meeting:

It is probably really difficult for some of your employees to not be around their coworkers when they are on break or have a spare minute. It’s a wonder what a little social time can do to improve your mood during a work day! Break up the day to day routine by offering a a fifteen or so minute Zoom meeting just for fun. Your employees will enjoy hearing updates from all of their work friends and will be in a much better mood for the rest of the day.

Hate it or love it, working from home is here to stay for a while longer. Use the tips above to continue to help your employees succeed and feel their best during these crazy times.