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The latest news on Careers from Business Insider

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    Science suggests there's one personality type that's more likely to ditch the corporate structure and work for themselves.

    A new report from Truity Psychometrics, a provider of online personality and career assessments, found in its ranking of the personality types most likely to be self-employed that extroverts took up six of the top eight spots.

    All of the introverted sensing types, on the other hand, were much less likely than average to report being self-employed.

    For example, 13.5% of ENTPs (people with a preference for extroversion, intuition, thinking, and perceiving) said they were self-employed, while only 3.2% of ISFPs (people with a preference for introversion, sensing, feeling, and perceiving) reported the same.

    BI_Graphics_Personality types self employed

    Molly Owens, CEO of Truity and developer of the TypeFinder personality-type assessment, says the finding speaks to what extroversion is and how it functions in the brain.

    "Studies in neuroscience have indicated that levels of extroversion may be related to how the brain processed dopamine, our brain's reward chemical," she tells Business Insider. "Extroverts have a stronger dopamine response, meaning they get a bigger kick out of achievements like a job promotion, a new romance, or a successful business launch."

    She says this means extroverts are more likely to take risks, like striking out with a new business venture, because they anticipate more of a reward when things go well. Introverts, on the other hand, may be less interested in the risk of self-employment because they tend to be more even-keeled, she explains, and aren't as motivated by the potential for a thrill if things go well.

    There are also a lot of tasks related to being self-employed that play more to an extrovert's strengths, she says.

    "Founders typically have to locate and pitch clients, hold regular meetings with employees, actively seek out networking opportunities, and do lots of other things that require them to be outgoing and expressive," Owens says.

    "However, this is changing as more and more businesses move online. Introverts can really excel in areas like digital marketing, where they can take a more behind-the-scenes approach," she adds.

    SEE ALSO: People with this personality type are more likely to be a stay-at-home parent

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Elon Musk can tell if job applicants are lying about their experience


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    couple grass

    Being married in the modern world can be difficult and confusing.

    What are the rules for a happy marriage?

    It doesn’t seem like there are any easy answers.

    So I called an expert.

    Stephanie Coontz serves as Co-Chair and Director of Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families and teaches at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. 

    She’s the author of "Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage" and "The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap."

    We hear a lot from psychologists and therapists on the subject of marriage but what’s fascinating about Stephanie is she studies the history of marriage.

    She’s looked at what marriage has meant through the ages, what worked and didn’t, and how it’s changed in the modern era.

    Here’s a talk she gave at the PopTech Conference:

    To put it simply: Everything you think you know about marriage is wrong.

    We’re gonna learn the truth, find out why modern married life is so confusing, and get a few tips on how you can make your own marriage much, much better.

    Here’s what she had to say…

    1. Everything you know about marriage is wrong

    Everybody thinks marriage used to be better “back then.” Nope.

    Marriages in the past weren’t better. In fact, they weren’t even about love.

    Via "Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage":

    Certainly, people fell in love during those thousands of years, sometimes even with their own spouses. But marriage was not fundamentally about love. It was too vital an economic and political institution to be entered into solely on the basis of something as irrational as love. For thousands of years the theme song for most weddings could have been “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”

    Not only were marriages not based on love, the idea that they might be was terrifying.

    Via "Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage":

    In ancient India, falling in love before marriage was seen as a disruptive, almost antisocial act… In China, excessive love between husband and wife was seen as a threat to the solidarity of the extended family.

    So what was marriage about in the so-called “good old days”?

    Getting in-laws. Seriously. Here’s Stephanie:

    Marriage was not about the individual relationship between the two people involved, or more than two people involved, but it was a way of getting in-laws.

    Think "Game of Thrones" here, folks. Marriage was about getting in-laws for purposes of politics, consolidating resources, or increasing your family’s labor force.

    Why do you think for the longest time a kid born out of wedlock was called a “love child”?

    japanese wedding couple

    Of course, people did fall in love back then. And they would have liked to marry the person they were in love with but, at the time, it just wasn’t practical. Here’s Stephanie:

    People correctly recognized that marriages based on love were potentially very destabilizing. It was going to lead people to demand divorce if the love died. It was going to lead to people refusing to get married. They were very frightened by this and they thought, “How can we get people to get married and stay married?”

    But the world changed. We no longer need to rely on in-laws for protection from barbarian hordes or producing good heirs to the throne.

    So love hijacked marriage. And today’s marital equality has resulted in higher marital satisfaction.

    And beyond satisfaction it’s led to other really nice things like fewer suicides among women. And guys get a great benefit too: Your wife is far less likely to murder you.

    Via "Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage":

    Economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers found that in states that adopted unilateral divorce, this was followed, on average, by a 20 percent reduction in the number of married women committing suicide, as well as a significant drop in domestic violence for both men and women. Criminologists William Bailey and Ruth Peterson report that higher rates of marital separation lead to lower homicide rates against women. But a woman’s right to leave a marriage can also be a lifesaver for men. The Centers on Disease Control reports that the rate at which husbands were killed by their wives fell by approximately two-thirds between 1981 and 1998, in part because women could more easily leave their partners.

    So what do we really need to to know from the history of marriage? It’s quite ironic, really…

    The big lesson from history is: stop looking at history. Don’t compare your marriage to the 1950’s or any other era. It’s a brave new world. Marriages are based on love and equality now, so the old models don’t hold. Here’s Stephanie:

    The most important lesson in history, I think, is to understand that there is no perfect marriage form of the past, even if it has one or two attractive features. Those attractive features are almost invariably connected to some really unattractive ones, to some injustices and some inequities that would be totally unacceptable to us. We need to dispense of the notion that there are models for what we’re doing in history.

    (To learn the shortcut to bonding with a relationship partner on a deeper level, click here.)

    So marriage based on love and equality is very new. And comparing wedlock today to some “perfect” era in the past doesn’t make sense. So what should we be doing to make marriages work in the modern world?

    2. Define what marriage means for you and your partner

    beach wedding couple bride

    Stephanie says that relations between partners have changed more in the past 30 years than they did in the previous 3,000. So it’s okay to be confused. We’re changing the rules. Here’s Stephanie:

    People are always coming up to me and saying, “Oh my gosh, people don’t commit to their marriages. They don’t work at their marriages the way they used to.” But they didn’t used to have to because marriage was so cut and dry. Now we’re trying to build marriages on the basis of absolute freedom. Really, in the last 40 years, we have started to develop, for the first time, a marriage where people come to it with equal legal rights and increasingly with the social expectation that they will negotiate their marriage in ways that fit their individuality, not their assigned gender roles.

    So we have more freedom. But more freedom always means more choices we need to make. Marriage used to be an institution with hard rules. Now it’s a more flexible relationship — but that means you and your partner need to do more thinking about what marriage means to you rather than relying on how things used to be.

    Via "Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage":

    The fact that individuals can now lead productive lives outside marriage means that partners need to be more “intentional” than in the past about finding reasons and rituals to help them stay together. A marriage that survives and thrives in today’s climate of choice is likely to be far more satisfying, fair, and effective for the partners and their children than in the past. However, couples have to think carefully about what it takes to build, deepen, and sustain commitments that are now almost completely voluntary.

    (To learn how to get people to like you — from an FBI behavior expert, clickhere.)

    So the old rules don’t constrain you. Cool. But there’s not much to guide you either. Ouch. You need to tailor and customize. How the heck do you do that? 

    3. You need to communicate and negotiate

    You’re going to need to talk more. And tell your partner what you want instead of expecting them to know the answers.

    Via "Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage":

    You can no longer force your partner to conform to a predetermined social role or gender stereotype or browbeat someone into staying in an unsatisfying relationship. “Love, honor, and negotiate” have to replace the older rigid rules, say psychologists Betty Carter and Joan Peters.

    Can that lead to more arguing? Oh, you bet it can. But in the modern world, that’s a good thing. Really. Here’s Stephanie:

    Bickering back in the ’50s and ’60s was a bad sign. If a woman was talking back instead of deferring to her husband, there was going to be trouble. But today, bickering is a good thing. Bickering is absolutely vital to a modern couple coming to marriage with their own habits and expectations and histories. It turns out that 10 years down the line, the couples that didn’t bicker are either divorced or less satisfied with their marriage than the ones who do bicker.

    Your marriage will develop, evolve and change. And you’ll need to manage that process to keep it healthy. Here’s Stephanie:

    Today marriage is, above all, a relationship. What makes it a good relationship is that you can enter it or not; you get to choose. You get to change your mind. You get to renegotiate the rules over time. You can leave it if it ceases to be good, and that means that you have more negotiating power within it. But it also means that if you can’t negotiate it to mutual satisfaction, it can break up. The same things that have improved marriage as a relationship have made it less stable as an institution and have required us to do more continuous work and change in our marriages than people used to have to.

    (To learn the 4 most common relationship problems — and how to fix them, click here.)

    Okay, so you’re figuring out what marriage means to you and your partner and you’re communicating. Great. But what’s the big goal here? What should the center of a good marriage be these days?

    4. Marriage has to be based on friendship and mutual respect

    Fiery, passionate love is great — but ancient societies had a point: basing a lifelong commitment on those emotions can be unstable. What happens when that burning love fades?

    So while passion is great, there needs to be friendship and mutual respect to make sure your relationship can stand the test of time.

    Via "Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage":

    Because men and women no longer face the same economic and social compulsions to get or stay married as in the past, it is especially important that men and women now begin their relationship as friends and build it on the basis of mutual respect.

    What gets in the way of that? We’re often focused on the qualities in a partner that are mysterious and different. That can be good for passionate affairs but what works for marriage is more often similarity. Here’s Stephanie:

    My current theory is that one of the major obstacles to good heterosexual relations right now is that we have inherited this eroticized idea of opposites and difference so that we fall in love with the things that are mysterious and different about the other person. But that’s not a great basis for what we really want in a marriage, which is friendship and similarities of interests.

    (To learn the science behind being a great parent, click here.)

    We’ve learned a lot from Stephanie. Let’s pull it together and find out one last piece of really good news about marriage. 

    Sum up

    Here’s what Stephanie had to say about the new rules for a happy marriage:

    • The main thing to learn from history is to stop looking at history. Love-based marriage is still pretty new. Stop comparing yourself to the “perfect” marriages from the past. They were totally different. And they weren’t perfect.
    • Define what marriage means for you and your partner. You have freedom. And that means choices. You don’t get to assume your partner will behave this way or that way.
    • Communicate and negotiate. You won’t get the rules for your marriage perfect the first time you discuss them. Things change and people change, but that’s okay if you keep talking.
    • Base your marriage on friendship and mutual respect. Crazy love rarely lasts. Friendship does.

    Marriage isn’t worse than it used to be, but it’s certainly different. Love-based marriage has the potential to be far, far more fulfilling that unions of the past. Here’s Stephanie:

    We’re not doing things worse than people of the past used to do. We are trying to do something really much better, but we don’t have roadmaps for it. We’re all struggling to figure out how to get to these new places. Looking backwards will just cause us to trip over things in our way.

    Being married today does take a lot more work than it used to. But with a little effort, your marriage can be better than any marriage in history. And that’s pretty awesome.

    SEE ALSO: Marriage under the spotlight — why successful people get divorced

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why we have to give our business partners the power to destroy us


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    strengths

    Mental strength is just like any other skill: It takes time to develop.

    In her book "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," psychotherapist Amy Morin writes that your genetics, personality, and life experiences all play a role in your mental strength.

    Since we know what mentally strong people don't do, we asked Morin about the key habits they do follow.

    Here are nine things mentally strong people do every day.

    1. They monitor their emotions.

    People often assume mentally strong people suppress their emotions, Morin says, but they are actually "acutely aware" of them.

    "They monitor their emotions throughout the day and recognize how their feelings influence their thoughts and behaviors," she says. "They know sometimes reaching their greatest potential requires them to behave contrary to how they feel."

    2. They practice realistic optimism.

    Having a positive outlook all the time is impossible, and too much negativity is counterproductive.

    Mentally strong people "understand that their thoughts aren't always true, and they strive to reframe their negativity," Morin says. "They replace exaggeratedly negative thoughts with a more realistic inner monologue." 

    3. They solve problems.

    To put it simply, "mentally strong people refuse to engage in unproductive activities," Morin says. Instead of sitting there complaining about your bad day at work and wishing bad things wouldn't happen, evaluate why something went wrong and fix it. Learn how to calculate risk and move forward from there, she says.

    4. They practice self-compassion.

    Rather than beating themselves up for mistakes, mentally strong people practice self-compassion and speak to themselves as they would speak to a good friend, Morin says.

    "They respond to their inner critic as if they were standing up to the schoolyard bully," she says. "They forgive themselves for mistakes and cheer themselves on as they work toward their goals."

    5. They set healthy boundaries.

    One thing mentally strong people avoid is giving away their power. People give away their power when they lack physical and emotional boundaries, Morin says. They can establish healthy boundaries, however, by behaving assertively, she says. 

    "They accept full responsibility for how they think, feel, and behave," she says, "and they refuse to let other people dictate whether they're going to have a good day or a bad day."

    man thoughtful

    6. They manage their time wisely.

    Mentally strong people describe time as a finite resource, Morin says. That's why they try to use it in a meaningful way. "Rather than waste energy dwelling on the past or resenting other people for taking up their time, they focus on more productive activities," she says.

    7. They strive to fulfill their purpose.

    Successfully fulfilling your purpose in life takes time. Mentally strong people understand this and focus on the big picture, keeping in mind that today's choices impact their future.

    8. They seek to grow stronger.

    "Mentally strong people view everyday challenges as opportunities to grow stronger," Morin says. Additionally, they never settle or consider themselves strong enough. There is always room for improvement.

    "They know that just like physically strong people need to work out to stay in good shape, they need to keep working out their mental muscles to prevent atrophy," she says. 

    9. They monitor their progress.

    Doing whatever it takes to improve can help you reach your greatest potential. It starts with acknowledging your weaknesses and having a "no excuses" approach.

    "Rather than make excuses for their mistakes or failures, they seek explanations that will help them perform better moving forward," Morin says.

    SEE ALSO: 13 things mentally strong people don't do

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 words to eliminate from your vocabulary to sound smarter


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    girl thinking

    If you’re not tired, you’re not working hard enough.

    And if you are working hard enough, your brain is tired.

    How you feel, how quickly you figure things out, how you interpret what happens to you — that is all computed, calculated, and configured by your brain.

    Sometimes it’s a lie.

    What you think is true is really just a complicated deception orchestrated by your mind to make you feel better about your current situation. It’s done to protect you.

    But in the process you’ll feel pretty convinced of some outrageous nonsense.

    You’ll find yourself buying into lies that will cripple your ability to amazing.

    Here are a few of those lies:

    • “My life is so much harder than everyone else …”
    • “It doesn’t matter what I do. Nothing works …”
    • “My life would be so much better if I only had more money …”
    • “I can’t get ahead because everyone is always picking on me …”
    • “I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not doing anything wrong …”
    • “No one would understand anyway …”
    • “That won’t work. I already tried it once …”

    Lies. Damn lies.

    All of them. And you’ve probably found yourself using a few of those lies to justify staying in a funk. To justify staying demotivated, uninspired, and angry at the world.

    Instead of telling you that hard work and doing hard things is just what needs to be done, instead of telling you to “suck it up and get back to work” — your brain automatically gives you a sophisticated way out.

    A one-way ticket to more frustration. A fast path to a life of staying stuck.

    All because you listen to the lies that your overworked brain creates in order to try to protect you from more pain, sweat, blood and tears.

    Don’t let lies destroy you.

    Fight the urge to give in, give up, or go away.

    Just because you “think it” doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because you have a good reason or justifiable excuse doesn’t mean it’s true.

    Just because you’re worn out, beaten down, and not sure you can make it doesn’t make the lies you tell yourself true. They’re still lies.

    Maybe it’s time to tell yourself something else, like “just don’t give up”.

    SEE ALSO: 3 lies 20-somethings need to stop believing

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The sleep habits all successful people share


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    young professionalsWhen I was first promoted to a leadership position, I was so proud and yet so unprepared.

    It was my technical skills that had gotten me the job, not my leadership skills, as these had barely had the chance to develop.

    I remember my first day in this new role, one of my direct reports came to see me, and she said she wanted to talk to me urgently.

    So trying to be a good boss, I took her into my office and asked her what was wrong. I was expecting to hear that we were having technical problems, customer satisfaction issues or that our latest project was behind schedule. 

    What she said left me speechless and also helpless. She looked me in the eye and said, “I have found a lump in my breast, I think it might be cancer, I don’t know what to do.”

    Now, I had taken several leadership and management training courses, but none of them had prepared me to be able to deal with this situation. Leadership is a people business, and emotional intelligence is becoming more and more important.

    Studies show that women have the edge over men in this area, and I want to help redress that balance by giving you ten tips to improve your emotional intelligence and consequently your leadership.

    1. Listen twice as much as you speak

    My grandma always used to tell me, you have two ears and one mouth, and this is the ratio in which we should use them. When we listen, we show people that they are valued. It gives them a chance to get grievances off their chests, which might otherwise impact their productivity.

    We don’t always have to do something, and often just listening is enough. Also, when we listen, we can learn a lot, remember our teams are much closer to the action than we are and can often have valuable information.

    2. Respond, rather than react

    There is a subtle but paramount difference between reacting and responding. Reacting is when we unconsciously experience an emotional trigger and behave in an unconscious way that causes us to expresses or relieve that emotion. This may cause us to chastise someone because we are irritated that we have been interrupted.

    However, when we respond, we notice how we are feeling, and we consciously decide how we will respond. In the case of the interruption, we could politely let them know we are busy and to come back in 10 or 15 minutes. We don’t want to let our emotions control all our interactions.

    3. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes

    The more we understand the perspective of others, the easier it will be for us to understand any resistance or issues that they will have. It allows us to be more sensitive to their needs, that doesn’t always mean that we need to give into them, often this is not possible. But when we understand other people’s positions it can help us communicate in a much more empathetic manner that will help us get better results. 

    4. Apologize directly if you are at fault 

    Nothing helps build trust and rapport quicker than owning up to our mistakes and apologizing. Too often, people look to blame others, but this destroys trust and relationships. If it’s your fault, admit it, apologize and move on.

    5. Don’t interrupt or change the subject

    When we have difficult conversations, or we discuss difficult topics these can unveil uncomfortable feelings within us. When that happens, we may want change the subject to avoid these feelings. Don’t do that, stay with conversation, listen, feel the emotion but try not to let it control you. I know it’s not easy, but it does become easier with practice.

    6. Be vulnerable

    Leaders don’t have to be superman or superwoman for that matter. When we show vulnerability, it allows us to make better connections with people. We have all made mistakes or have failing, don’t look to hide them. Own them, share them, people will respect you more for it. 

    7. Empathize with others

    Empathy is about understanding why someone feels or behaves in a certain way, and being able to communicate that understanding to them. To better understand empathy, we must first understand our feelings and why we react the way we do. Start to increase this understand by noticing the way you feel, and asking yourself why do I feel this way, or what triggered this feeling? The more we understand our emotional responses, the better we will be able to comprehend and deal with others more empathetically.

    laughing leader

    8. Create a positive environment

    We can create a more positive environment just by smiling more. When we smile we releases endorphins that make us feel less stressed and more relaxed. Smiling is contagious, when we smile at someone, it encourages them to smile back, which then makes them feel less stressed and more relaxed. A happy environment not only has positive health benefits for everyone, but happy people are productive people.

    9. Ask don’t tell

    No one likes being told what to do. Everyone knows you’re the boss, so when you ask people to do something they are not likely to refuse. When we ask people, we show them respect, it also changes the tone in which we ask. When we tell people, it’s much more like a command, and no one wants to be commanded.

    10. Praise more

    While it’s true that flattery will not get you everywhere, praising people when they do a good job certainly does. We all crave recognition, and what we recognize gets repeated. So be aware of what’s going on around you and look to praise people you see doing a good job. It’s also good for us to understand the individual needs, some people like to be praised in private, others in public. The more in tune our praise is to the individuals need, the more impactful it will be.

    If you follow these tips, they will significantly help to improve your emotional intelligence and the more you practice, the better you will become and the better the leader you will be.

    SEE ALSO: 13 things mentally strong people don't do

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The sleep habits all successful people share


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    For over a decade, Steve Jobs, the billionaire co-founder of Apple, wore the same thing every day: a black turtleneck, Levi’s jeans, and New Balance sneakers.

    Picking up the mantle, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wears a gray T-shirt every day and President Obama picks between a solid navy or charcoal suit. 

    During an interview with Vanity Fair he said, “I’m trying to pare down decisions […] because I have too many other decisions to make.”

    Google shows he’s a man true to his word.

    obama image searchWhen I started to see successful people wearing the same thing every day, I realized they were part of the movement I belong to, where less is more. Implementing that mindset is critical to reaching financial independence, and in that spirit I decided to create my own small versatile wardrobe, commonly called a capsule.

    How to create a capsule wardrobe

    According to the apparel industry, every man, woman, and child buys 64 new pieces of clothes every year (plus 7.5 pairs of shoes). Our culture has become obsessed with fast fashion – think Forever 21, H&M, and Zara – which celebrates trendy disposable clothes at cheap prices.

    I decided my capsule would forego trends and instead contain classic, iconic pieces I could get years of use out of. But my style is probably not your style, and that’s okay. So as you step through the process of creating your capsule, go with the styles and clothes that reflect your personal style.

    Step 1: closet cleanse

    The best-selling book in the world right now is about throwing things out: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo (you should read that book right now, it’s great). As someone who compulsively throws things out I realized I was keeping clothes I never wore.

    I took all the clothes out of my closet, threw them on my bed, and made three piles:

    • Save pile: the clothes you love wearing. These go back into your closet.
    • Donate pile: the pieces you never wear. Maybe you keep them because there’s a sentimental attachment. Thank them for serving you well and then pass them along.
    • Box pile: the clothes you rarely wear, and half-like. Box them up and put them in storage. The rule is you can retrieve a piece within six months but after that say goodbye.

    Step 2: your style

    As I finished putting the save pile back into my closet I was confronted with an incohesive wardrobe. Up to this point in my life I’d never thought about what my style was, but to make a functional capsule I knew I had to. I started reading style blogs and quickly learned what houndstooth was and to focus on two areas:

    • Color palette: define a palette of three or four colors you love wearing, that work in harmony across shirts, pants, jackets, shoes, etc. That ensures the wardrobe is mixable, maximizing the number of potential outfits (examples).
    • Patterns: incorporating patterns into your style adds complexity, and to create a cohesive capsule they need to be smartly mixed in with your palette. Keep patterns simple at first before you evolve (examples).

    Like me, if you need help with defining your style and you’re a dude try Effortless Gent and Style Girlfriend. Women can check out Into Mind and Unfancy.

    Step 3: pick a number

    To keep a capsule wardrobe under control you should set a number. There are various opinions on how many pieces should be in a capsule: Project 333 says 33 pieces that can be cycled every 3 months (to coincide with the seasons). Unfancy says 37. There’s no right or wrong number, the point is to choose one and then maintain it.

    I took an entirely different approach: instead of picking a number and working towards it I strategically filled the gaps in my wardrobe until I felt it was small yet versatile, and that became my number. The process took me many months and ultimately resulted in a 12 month capsule that contained 40 pieces.

    shirts mr money

    My color palette is black, gray, white, and blue, and is heavy on gingham, stripes, and solids. Here’s a breakdown of my capsule:

    • 12 Long Sleeve Shirts
    • 5 T-shirts
    • 5 Polo Shirts
    • 4 Sweaters
    • 3 Cardigans (I have a problem.)
    • 8 Pants
    • 3 Shorts

    To maintain the 40 piece limit I have a rule of “one in, one out”: any new clothing purchase requires an existing piece goes.

    After having fully adjusted to my capsule wardrobe I feel the benefits many others have realized: more time because it’s more efficient, better decisions because it reduces stress, and because I seldom buy new clothes, more money.

    Men's summer mini-capsule

    If you want to create a capsule for yourself here’s what a 10-piece mini-capsule for summer might look like.

    mens capsule wardrobe

    01. Breathable Polo Shirts: Banana Republic Luxe-Touch Polo
    02. Casual T-shirts: American Apparel Poly-Cotton T-shirts
    03. Oxford Cloth Button Downs (OCBD): Old Navy Slim-Fit Oxford Shirt
    04. Swim Trunks: J. Crew 7″ Board Short in Navy
    05. Shorts: Target Merona Club Shorts
    06. Lightweight Chinos: GAP Lived-in Slim or Straight
    07. Canvas Sneakers: PF Flyers Center Lo Sneakers in Natural
    08. A Woven Belt: Jomers Madaket Belt
    09. Boat Shoes: Sperry Top Sider Authentic Original Boat Shoe in Brown
    10. Do Anything Sunglasses: Ray-Ban New Wayfarer in Tortoise

    Women's summer mini-capsule

    I didn’t want to leave women out and because I have a smart talented woman in my life (who turned me on to capsule wardrobes) she offered up her take. Here’s Holly…

    Personally, I don’t do complicated fashion. Most days, all my effort goes into being a functioning adult who pays their bills on time and remembers to put on deodorant. While President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg probably have people to do both those tasks for them, I’m 100 percent with them on paring down decision making. However, I’m still a lady who enjoys fashion, so I’ve worked hard over the past year to find a balance between personal style, function and conscious consumption.

    If you’re struggling to put together a fun yet functional summer wardrobe, I hope this mini capsule helps. This wardrobe is intended for weekends and depending on your workplace, casual Fridays. Bonus –chances are, you have many of these items already in your closet! The key is good, well-cut basics that easily mix and match, so boredom isn’t an option (I’ve already counted more than 30 outfits from just these ten pieces).

    Generally, I like to keep my color palettes fairly neutral – blacks, browns, grays and whites. This is for two reasons. One, neutrals tend to pair easily with one another, allowing you maximum use of every item of your clothing. Two, matching pieces in your wardrobe is easier when there aren’t too many competing colors in it. Like Chris recommends, find a few complementary colors that you love and feel your best in, then stick with those. For me, I like to use color judiciously – my favorites being yellow, blue and red – to make an impact with my outfit.

    It’s all about making these 10 pieces work for you. Not a dress girl? Swap out the dress for another pair of shorts or pants. Not a fan of tank tops? Find a cute short sleeve striped top and a long-sleeve chambray. Capsule wardrobes are all about experimenting, so don’t be afraid to change it up (and keep changing it up!) until you find what works for YOU.

    womens capsule wardrobe
    01. Striped Tank Top: Enza Costa Striped Tank
    02. Light-Colored Classic T-Shirt: Zady .02 The T-Shirt
    03. Short- or Long-Sleeved Chambray: Madewell Sleeveless Chambray Shirt
    04. Shorts: Bridge and Burn Luca Olive
    05. Dressy Top: Boden Square Tee
    06. Skirt (or 2nd pair of shorts): Boden Denim A-Line
    07. Summer Dress: Ace and Jig Terrace Dress
    08. Sneakers: Veja Grey Volley Sneakers
    09. Sunnies: Rayban Clubmaster in Tortoise
    10. Comfy, Everyday Sandals: Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Sandal

    SEE ALSO: 9 appearance mistakes that could be holding you back at work

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    woman drinking coffee stress

    Life is full of choices, and many of them come with uncertainty. We can never know what might have been if we had chosen differently.

    No life will ever be completely clear of opportunity for regret. Failed relationships, missed opportunities, poor judgment calls.

    Some choices seem easy at the time and later turn out to have been poorly informed; others are difficult from the beginning.

    But some regrets are more fundamental, greater in scope. They tend not to focus on a single moment or area, but how life is lived.

    Here are a dozen potential regrets to make sure you're keeping far away.

    1. I wish I had spent more time with the people I love.

    It's easy to let that time slip away, but once it's gone you can never get it back.

    2. I wish I had worried less.

    Worry is just using your imagination to create the things you don't want.

    3. I wish I had forgiven more.

    It takes a strong person to say "I'm sorry," and an even stronger person to forgive. Forgive and let go--free yourself from grudges and enjoy happiness instead of wasting it.

    4. I wish I had stood up for myself.

    Never allow yourself to be bullied or silenced. No one is more important in this world than you are.

    5. I wish I had lived my own life.

    Spend your time now working on the things you want to accomplish — or even try. Build a business, cultivate a great career, build a family, run a marathon. The greatest success lies in living your life in your own way.

    6. I wish I had been more honest.

    If you don't own up to your own elemental truth, falsehood will ultimately end up owning you. Honesty is the clearest path.

    7. I wish I had worked less.

    Working constantly for something you don't passionately care about adds nothing but stress to your life. And even if the passion is there, keep your workload in balance with the rest of your life.

    8. I wish I had cared less about what other people think.

    Stop wasting your moments on other people's opinions. Ultimately they are just opinions from those who don't fully share your reality.

    9. I wish I had lived up to my full potential.

    Live up to your own aspirations, not down to others' expectations. There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

    10. I wish I had faced my fears.

    Life is found in the distance between your deepest desire and your greatest fear. Remember, fear is only temporary, but regret lasts forever.

    11. I wish I'd stopped chasing the wrong things.

    When you let the wrong things go, you can give the right things a chance to catch you.

    12. I wish I'd lived more in the moment.

    Make a difference today. Make it a day worth remembering.

    Take a few moments now and then and revisit your business, your life, your leadership.

    Ask yourself if there is anything that you might regret later. And if there is, take action.

    Later will be now before you know it.

    SEE ALSO: 11 things you'll regret doing in your 30s

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    woman speaking

    Recently I attended a training course in New York City and at the start of the course each of us introduced ourselves.

    The senior executive sitting next to me said, and I quote, "I, like, work for a big bank, like, Citibank. I work, um, in technology, and head-up a group of like, 500 people, right. I do, like, technology risk assessment, right, and create, um, processes, to, like, reduce risk, right."

    I was shocked.

    "Like,""Um," and "Ah" are credibility killers

    He was a business professional, a senior director at a major organization, and yet he sounded more like a valley girl. His speech was so infected with "like,""right," and "um" that the message was muddled and he significantly diminished his credibility.

    These "credibility killers” — fluency disruptions — communicate doubt, especially at the end of a phrase. When he was talking, I found myself thinking, "Doesn't he know how exactly many people work for him? Does he work for Citibank, or does he really work somewhere else?"

    What are disfluencies?

    Disfluencies, in general, weaken messages. They’re distracting for your listeners and they make you sound bad.

    In the first 30 seconds I counted four "likes" and three "rights" and two "ums." Worse, I'm certain that Tom had no idea that his speech was infected with these verbal viruses. In his defense, credibility killers (e.g. like, so, you know, right, uh, ah) are actually really common in everyday conversation. Researchers say that about 20% of “words” in everyday conversation are disfluencies.

    In fact, people around the world fill pauses in their own way. In Britain they say "uh," Hebrew speakers say "ehhh," the Turks say "mmmmm." The Japanese say "eto" (eh-to) and "ano" (ah-no), Spanish speakers "esto," and Mandarin speakers "neige" (NEH-guh) and "jiege" (JEH-guh). In Dutch and German it's "uh, um, mmm." In Swedish it’s "eh, ah, aah, m, mm, hmm, ooh, a and oh" (man, this is starting to sound x-rated podcast, I'd better stop, I think you have the idea!)

    As a communication coach, I notice disfluencies the most when people are nervous; for some people it's the only time these little buggers show up.

    So today's article is about what can you do to boost your immunity to these viruses. Its about how you can reduce disfluencies. Notice I didn’t say get rid of them all together. Reduction, versus complete elimination, should be your goal.

    The first and most important step towards more fluent speaking is to become aware of your distracting speech habits.The fastest way to find out if you have trouble in this area is to ask a close trusted friend (or public speaking coach, hint, hint).

    Anyway, perhaps the BEST way is to record yourself. If you are comfortable with technology I suggest using free audio editing software (Garageband on mac and Audacity for PC). With this software you actually see your words in audio format. For a more simplistic solution try Utterz.com — you can just call a phone number and it will record your voice.

    Once you’ve got some sample recordings, the next step is play back your recordings several times. Listen specifically for your disfluences — go ahead and make of game of it. First just list them and then start counting them. If you are counting past three or four, you’ll know you have a problem.

    Focus on listening to yourself talk

    If recording seems like too much effort, just focus, for one full week, on listening, really listening carefully for distracters when you talk. Some experts like to suggest you put tiny “um” and “ah” stickers on your computer or cell phone to remind you to be listening.

    Trust me, after a week of listening, or recording and listening, you'll have become acutely aware of your specific problems. And that’s exactly what you need; awareness. You need to be able to hear your disfluencies in your mind before you blurt them out.

    How to reduce your credibility killers

    If you've done your homework you'll know when one of your credibility killers is just about to escape from your mouth. Then, all you'll need to do is to keep quiet. I know, easier said than done. At first you’ll have awkward pauses in your speech, but that’s still better, actually far better, than speech peppered with "likes" and "ums." Eventually the pauses get shorter. With time, you'll be more fluent and have fewer "ums" and "ahs."

    So the next time you introduce yourself, be warned, somebody sitting next to you might just be counting your "ums", "ahs," and "you knows". Don't let your disfluencies kill your credibility. It really is worth it to take some time to focus on this. It can make a big difference in how you're perceived.

    SEE ALSO: 4 skills you need to master to become a great public speaker

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    IBM

    It's a good thing my job is conducive to feeding my deep-seated need to take as many personality tests as possible and publicly share my results, because here we are with another one: The IBM Watson Personality Insights service claims it can tell you exactly who you are based on a writing sample of at least 100 words — which naturally means I had to give it a test run.

    Because, I mean … really, Watson? You're pretty amazing and all — but do you really think you can explain the inner workings of my psyche to me? We don't even know each other, so you'll excuse me if I think that's a bit presumptuous of you.

    According to IBM itself, the IBM Watson Personality Insights service “uses linguistic analytics to infer cognitive and social characteristics, including Big Five, Values, and Needs, from communications that the user makes available, such as email, text messages, tweets, forum posts and more.”

    Why would we need a computer to analyze our writing? Seemingly in order to help us “understand, connect to, and communicate with other people on a more personalized level.”

    We've gone over the Big Five personality model before (as well as why it might be flawed), but in case you need a refresher, it consists of the following traits: Extroversion, Openness, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Neuroticism (or, as I like to call it, the Why I See Faces In Inanimate Objects personality trait).

    So basically, for any chunk of text of 100 words or more, the IBM Watson Personality Insights service will take your writing, run some analyses on it, and allegedly be able to tell you all about your personality type.

    I'll be honest: I was a little skeptical going into this whole thing. IBM has certainly been doing some interesting things lately, but as we saw in the case of the IBM Tone Analyzer, I'm still not convinced that computers really know what to do with writing penned by actual humans.

    Besides, we don't all show the same side of ourselves all the time, either live and in-person or when we express ourselves in writing. We're multi-faceted beings, so I was fairly certain that the output would likely change based on the style of writing used as the sample.

    To test it out, I ran two of my own pieces of writing through the program, one about something kind of serious, and the other about one of the goofiest topics I've ever covered. Here's what it said about me when I used an excerpt from this post about the bad a--, feminist, body positive wonderfulness that is Shameless Photography's modern pin-up work:

    8dbb85a0 175b 0133 50b1 0ec273752cbd.JPG

    And here's what it had to say about me:

    8dbf7150 175b 0133 4629 0a2ca390b447.JPG

    My personality traits visualization looks like this:

    8dd69da0 175b 0133 f520 0e18518aac2f.JPG

    To be fair, it got a lot of things right; I do generally strive towards well-being, and I think it's important to take care of others around me. I'm also not huge on tradition, mostly because I don't consider "because that's the way it's always been” to be a valid reason not to change if change is necessary.

    However, I'm not at all “intermittent” (anyone who knows me knows how single-minded I can get while working on “difficult tasks for a long period of time”), and hilariously, I scored very highly on extroversion. Spoiler: I am very much an introvert.

    Then, for contrast, I used a few paragraphs from this post about a sexy chicken nugget (I did say it was goofy):

    ca26b140 175b 0133 462f 0a2ca390b447.JPG

    Here's my second personality description:

    e876cae0 175b 0133 f523 0e18518aac2f.JPG

    And my second visualization:

    e87aa160 175b 0133 50b2 0ec273752cbd.JPG

    It's worth noting that there are some similarities between this one and the previous one; apparently in this clip, I still don't really do “tradition” very well, for example. I did, however, score much lower on extroversion — only 20 percent, as opposed to 81. That's probably more in line with how I actually am, but the difference between the two figures is staggering.

    So: Does the IBM Watson Personalight Insights service work? Sort of, but only to an extent. In order to get a really accurate reading on your personality, you'd have to plug a huge variety of different pieces of writing into it — one for each of the many faces we all have — and take a look at them all together … which, to be honest, seems like a pretty tall order to me. Still, though — maybe it's useful in another way. It's proof of the power of writing, and of the fact that we can express so much by choosing our words carefully.

    Remember what I was saying the other day about what our word choices reveal about us? Consider this whole thing another piece of the puzzle. Words matter — so pick them wisely.

    SEE ALSO: IBM has created the most powerful computer chip yet

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    Work meetings aren't always fun. However, when you're required to attend one, it's important that you conduct yourself in a respectful and professional manner among your coworkers, bosses, and current or prospective clients.

    Barbara Pachter, a career coach and author of "The Essentials Of Business Etiquette," gave us a few tips to maintain a positive and professional image while in a meeting. We compiled her advice in the graphic below:

    BI_Graphics_Meeting etiquette

    Vivian Giang contributed to this article.

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    Elon Musk

    Have you ever you wondered how certain people have gotten so successful?

    Sure you have.

    A great idea, motivation, persistence, and a little luck helps, but most successful people share certain habits.

    Here are nine habits that have helped place them on the top:

    1. They meditate.

    Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, told The Huffington Post in 2013 that "Meditation, more than anything in my life, was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I've had."

    Dalio is not alone. Oprah, Rupert Murdoch, Russell Simmons, Arianna Huffington, Bill Ford and Padmasree Warrior have all attributed mediation as a huge component to their success.

    Taking care of your body and mind by relaxing, exercising, healthy eating and getting enough sleep are all ways to improve your chances of success.

    Related: Meditation Isn't Just For Hippies: Here is How it Can Help Entrepreneurs

    2. They wake up early.

    President Obama, Richard Branson, Jack Dorsey, Larry Schultz, Tim Cook, and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns are known to be early risers.

    How has this contributed to their success? Because early risers are able to start their days ahead of everyone else by responding to others, exercising, and finding personal time, they also tend to be happier and are more proactive.

    3. They network.

    Successful people realize the importance of networking. In fact, research has found that networking can lead to people performing better at work and increases the chance of landing a job.

    Networking helps our successful people be more innovative. According to Dale Carnegie’s classic “How To Win Friends & Influence People,” successful people rarely complain or criticize. They are sincere and try to be empathetic.

    4. They keep themselves busy.

    Successful people are rarely idle. Achievers like LBJ and Robert Moses were known to work 60-65 hours per work. Elon Musk works a whooping 80-100 hours per week and has said, “That's the type of work ethic an entrepreneur needs to have.”

    warren buffett

    5. They know when to say "no."

    “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett

    Successful people realize that by saying "no" to negativity, extra work, and activities that waste time, they can focus on increasing their productivity. If they say "yes" to everyone or everything, they’ll be too distracted and will not accomplish tasks that have to be done.

    Related: Why 'No' is the Most Important Word You'll Ever Say

    6. They don’t watch TV, they read.

    According to Thomas Corley, author of "Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals,” 67% of rich people only watch TV for one hour or less per day. Corley also found only 6% of the wealthy watch reality shows, while 78% of the poor do.

    Additionally, 86% of the wealthy love to read, with an impressive 88% claiming that they read for self-improvement for 30 minutes or more per day.

    7. They write to-do lists the night before.

    Successful people are known for writing their to-do-lists the night before so that they are able to set priorities for the following day. They number their lists as well to identify which tasks are the most important.

    8. They set goals and visualize.

    Joel Brown interviewed a number of high achievers for Entrepreneur and found that “95% of the successful achievers I have interviewed practice writing down their goals, plans, or visions for success on a regular basis.”

    Successful people do this the night before, or first thing in the morning so that they are prepared to tackle the challenges that await them.

    9. They manage their money.

    Successful people have gotten where they are because they were able to manage their finances well. This means that they invest their money wisely, look for new opportunities and set aside emergency funds. They are more generous and willing to donate to those who need help. 

    Here are 101 ways that I've put together to save money like well-off people. In addition, I've found that my marriage has become 10x better with enough savings in the bank for a year of expenses. That saved us when my last business venture failed.

    There is an old saying that luck and preparation always meet opportunity. The most successful people set themselves up for success by preparing all the time. Successful people expect that luck will find them, and it usually does.

    SEE ALSO: 13 surprising ways your name affects your success

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    Women Business Women

    Who earns less money: Debbie Downer or Negative Ned?

    It may sound like a question from a grade-school textbook — but the answer has real consequences for working adults.

    According to a recent experiment by VitalSmarts, a corporate training company, women perceived as more aggressive in the office may be penalized for their behavior — at a price of $15,088, to be exact. 

    In the experiment, participants watched videotaped performances of male and female managers as they gave criticism to an employee. Participants were asked to rate each manager’s competency level and the salary they thought the manager deserved.

    The female managers who displayed assertive behavior were perceived as 35% less competent and worthy of $15K less in pay than their female peers who seemed less abrasive.

    Granted, men who displayed negative behavior also paid a price for it, though only about half as much in lost compensation (say, $7,000).

    “An emotion-inequality effect punishes women more than men,” explains leading researcher Joseph Grenny. “Women are burdened with the assumption that they will conform to cultural stereotypes that typecast women as caring and nurturing. Speaking forcefully violates these cultural norms, and women are judged more harshly than men for the same degree of assertiveness.”

    So how to counteract this bias? Point it out, the experiment suggests.

    When assertive female managers prefaced criticism with a framing statement that showed deliberation and forethought, it reduced the backlash from participants by as much as 27%.

    Analysts offered up a few examples of how to reframe statements, from “I know it’s a risk for a woman to speak this assertively, but I’m going to express my opinion very directly” to more neutral phrasing like “I’m going to express my opinion very directly; I’ll be as specific as possible.”

    Grenny noted that becoming more aware of gender bias is a good first step in recognizing when it may be coming into play.

    “Secondly, women and men should learn about and use the framing skills — a relatively easy way to mitigate the bias,” he says.

    Concerned you’re getting the short shrift each pay day? Consult these tips on beating wage discrimination to get paid what you deserve.

    SEE ALSO: 3 experiments suggest men are threatened by this type of boss

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    working laptop night

    “The early bird catches the worm” is a phrase that we’ve all heard since the days of elementary school (I know my mom used to say that as she packed my lunch!).

    But what if your brain is just programmed to work at night?

    Whether it’s the midnight moonlight or the hush that falls over the house when everyone’s asleep, working after-hours can equal some serious productivity.

    So, we spoke with a group of Millennial night owls to find out how they best burn the midnight oil:

    1. Turn off the gadgets.

    “I turn my phone off because most people are feeling social after 7 p.m., but that’s when I do my best work. Also, being aware that WiFi networks seem to be busiest between 8 and 10 p.m., I try not to schedule long-distance video calls or work on something that requires streaming video at that time.” — Nic Chapa, 27, mobile UX/UI designer

    Related: 9 Things Successful People Do Right Before Bed

    2. Sleep in when you can. 

    “I do my best work when I can focus without interruptions, so I generally tackle tasks that require deep concentration at night when the activity of the day slows down and others are asleep. Then, I try to structure my calendar to have few responsibilities before 10 a.m. Of course, this is not always possible, but when it is, I push major obligations to the late morning and afternoon so that I have time to recover from the previous night’s work.” — Candace Jones, 27, senior manager, business operations

    3. Take small breaks.

    “With medical school, work, and my new puppy, I don’t sleep very much. But the nighttime is when I do my best studying. My tip would be to take breaks. Whenever I start to feel sleepy or my focus is off, I just put everything down and listen to music. The music energizes me and gets me motivated for another round of studying. To wake up in the morning, I take a hot shower.” — Cameron Henry, 25, medical student

    SEE ALSO: The pros and cons of being a night owl instead of a morning person

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    Wealthy Couple Wearing Hats

    million dollars ain’t what it used to be, but it’s still pretty good money — especially if we’re talking about annual income, as opposed to net worth.

    So, how do you get to that milestone? Since I haven’t done it myself (yet), I reached out to a group of people who actually have made at least $1 million a year.

    (Hint: If you didn’t inherit a fortune, it’s all about entrepreneurship.)

    Here’s their advice:

    1. Love your customers.

    Tim Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of BeSmartee:

    “Everything you do should center on your customers. Taking a vacation? Ask yourself how that will affect your customers. … Thinking about revising your employee incentive programs? Consider how that will affect your customers. Don’t worry about the sale, and definitely don’t focus on the money. Focus on your customers.”

    2. Solidify your foundation.

    Margot Micallef, founder and CEO of Gabriella’s Kitchen:

    “A good foundation [includes] a network of investors … or a strong relationship with a banker or institutional lender. … In any situation where I have enjoyed significant returns, it has been based on a foundation built years earlier.”

    3. Focus on culture.

    Steve Starr of StarrDesign:

    “If you get the culture right, the money will come. After buying out my partner, our design firm spent the past two years transforming our approach, process, and firm personality. We increased our gross revenue, while driving our net revenue up by 15 percent to more than $2 million. … In any business, it’s essential to define and keep sight of what inspires your team. Nearly every group begins with passion — and holding on to that passion is vital to success.”

    4. Focus on product and metrics.

    Simon Slade, CEO and co-founder of Affilorama:

    “My best advice for joining the million-dollar-earnings club is to create an awesome product and then continue its growth. Pick a single, straightforward metric, such as sales units or revenue, and aim to beat yesterday’s total every day. This growth strategy is both sustainable and manageable.”

    5. Understand other stakeholders’ fears.

    Ted Leonhardt, career and negotiation expert:

    “Yes, I have made a million or more a year. … I did it by understanding the interpersonal issues that drive all social groups, helping my clients reduce their fear, [and] helping people achieve their goals. My one piece of advice is to truly understand the fear that accompanies spending of large sums, and know how to reduce that fear for your clients.”

    6. Be persistent.

    Ajay Prasad of GMR Transcription:

    “Succeeding in business will be harder, cost more, and take longer than you planned. My advice for success is persistence.”

    7. Hustle.

    Heidi Burkhart, president of Dane Professional Consulting Group:

    “At 21, I got into commercial real estate brokerage in NYC … My first three years I was hustling, working 24/7, and surviving on peanuts … Fourth quarter of my third year, I finally started closing deals. Ever since, my income has consistently been in the six figures, with many 12-month periods producing more than $1 million. … I credit all this, though, to the initial hustle that is now forever embedded in my system.”

    8. Grow things organically.

    Romy Taormina, “Nausea Relief Chief” at Psi Bands:

    “There's no overnight success here. I have led our company organically, and this has kept us in business and allowed us to exceed the $1 million threshold. Case in point: The Psi Bands team pitched our first retailer using a prototype. We landed that account — 400 Long's Drugs stores — and garnered a coveted spot in Oprah's O magazine as an "O Pick.” The associated credibility gave me a great sales opener, and I was able to land more accounts.”

    9. Build personal relationships.

    Andrew Royce Bauer, CEO of Royce:

    Royce is able to make more than $6 million a year by maintaining personal relationships with every single one of our customers. We are a company built on human interaction with our end user … a small amount of really good customers that we truly treat like family rather than trying to be the business that serves everyone.”

    10. Stay focused on the ultimate goal.

    Zach Halmstad, co-founder and partner of JAMF Software:

    My best advice is to stay focused on where you want to be, and not on what could go wrong along the way. … 99 percent of the things that you worry about never happen. It's the things that you don't worry about that actually happen. This has stuck with me.”

    SEE ALSO: How much money you need to save each day to become a millionaire by age 65

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    minimalist clean bedroom

    I've never really been one to make my bed in the mornings.

    Up until a few weeks ago, I had never thought anything of it. But then a friend of mine mentioned he'd heard making your bed can increase your productivity.

    It turns out that making your bed each morning is considered a "keystone habit." As Charles Duhigg describes in his book "The Power of Habit," these habits can spark "chain reactions that help other good habits take hold."

    Along with increased productivity, bed makers have a greater sense of well-being and are better at sticking to a budget, Duhigg writes. Plus, they are happier and "more likely to like their jobs, own a home, and exercise regularly,"Psychology Today reports.

    So I decided to give it a shot. I made my bed every morning for a week and monitored my productivity and general well-being. Here's what I discovered.

    The aesthetic aspects were a plus.

    Right now, I'm living in a tiny room in New York's Manhattan; it's basically a dorm. In such a small space, it's easy for clutter to build up and overtake the room. Having a neat bed doesn't necessarily make the room feel any bigger, but it does add a nice visual element to an otherwise plain and unexciting bedroom.

    From an aesthetic standpoint, I definitely understand why my mom wanted me to make my bed as a kid.

    It was nice getting in to a neatly made bed each night.

    There is no question that it feels great getting into a made bed. But still, the initial comfort at night doesn't feel worth the time in the morning.

    It actually did help get me moving in the morning.

    I've always considered myself a night person. Even during a workweek, I'm lucky if get to sleep by 12:30. And my mornings mostly consist of snoozing my alarm clock and laying in bed reading things on Twitter until I have to get up.

    During the week of making my bed, that was all the same. But once I actually sat up, got out of bed, and sleepily remade my bed, my mornings got a little bit of a jump start. All it takes is a little bit of movement to start waking up mentally.

    But I didn't experience any major productivity benefits.

    Maybe the experiment needs more time, but for me, it just isn't worth it. There didn't seem to be any significant changes to my day. Yeah, it only takes a minute or two in the mornings, but I'm usually half asleep and in a hurry every morning, so I'd rather keep things simple.

    I also didn't notice an increase in my productivity throughout the day. But because of the organizational benefits and the early jump start in the morning, I can see how making your bed every day could lead to increased happiness.

    Ultimately, at least for the near future, I'll be resorting back to my old, messier ways.

    SEE ALSO: 8 keystone habits that can transform your life

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    boss, employee, meeting, interview

    I once managed a guy named Tim (name changed).

    His work was strong and I considered him a key player on our team. But I noticed shortly after his two-year review that he was losing steam.

    His work was barely making it in on time, he was less collaborative in meetings, and folks were starting to wonder whether he was on his way out.

    I was concerned, and one day in my office I asked him what was going on.

    He said he loved the team but felt stuck in his current role. He felt he was no longer growing and confided that he was starting to hunt for another job.

    After many years as a sales engineer, he really wanted to gain product management experience.

    I realized that Tim took a big risk in telling me that he was checking out other jobs. Many companies escort employees to the door once they find out they are looking for a new job. But that seems all wrong.

    It is a predicament, for sure. What do you do when you know someone has a diverse set of skills and wants to grow beyond their current role?

    Leading people is never an easy task, especially when challenges with employee performance come up.

    You are connected to the people on your team, and you do not want to lose a valuable employee who has also become a friend. But as a leader, you know you should not hold anyone back from exploring their career options. What can you do?

    The best leaders get creative, and see opportunity where others see only an exit sign. They are able to think about a company that is bigger than themselves.

    They help employees make moves within the company. That’s what they do.

    In Tim’s case, I knew about an opening within a different business group and helped him see the career potential there. He was grateful that I encouraged him to stay within the company and take on a new role. I am happy to say he is still thriving there today.

    I am the CEO of Aha! (product roadmap software), and I have spent a number of years now working with strong teams. Sometimes leaders are forced to make difficult decisions that seem to fly in the face of logic. In certain cases, helping an employee switch to a new role is a smart leadership move because it:

    Helps someone you respect

    The best leaders see untapped potential and encourage employees to explore new areas of professional growth. It shows that you care about more than keeping the status quo, and would rather see an employee happy in a new position than frustrated in the same role.

    Maintains team focus

    The departure of a key employee from the company affects team morale and can serve as a distraction. Once you explain to your team what is happening, they will realize that you have the company and their best interests in mind.

    Builds a more efficient culture

    Managers are in a great position to help employees recharge and refocus, and sometimes a lateral move is just what an employee needs to renew that spark. Once everyone is working in their areas of strength, your team will be energized.

    Keeps the company strong

    You know that losing a strong player can disrupt the team while you search for a replacement and the rest of team picks up the slack. You also know that the cost to recruit, hire and train a new employee will set the company back thousands. Helping employees make lateral job changes allows the company to retain a good, loyal employee.

    Anytime a key employee decides to move on is a painful time for a manager. But you must put aside your own feelings and do what is best for the employee and the company.

    By intervening on the employee’s behalf and showing them another career option, you display great leadership smarts and keep building the company as well.

    SEE ALSO: 9 things bosses do that make great employees quit

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    man laptop listening woman speaking explaining

    Silence is often perceived as awkward and uncomfortable, but it doesn't have to be.

    Learning to appreciate silence and use it to your advantage can be a useful tool in a professional environment. Sometimes staying quiet puts the ball in the other person's court and helps you get what you want.

    Strategic silence can be powerful during a negotiation, an interview, or a big presentation. Here's why:

    1. It allows a key point to sink in, says Skip Weissman, a workplace communication expert.

    2. It gives you a chance to think about how to make your next point.

    3. The other person may seek to fill the silence with an offer, writes Steve Gates in "The Negotiation Book." 

    4. People will likely keep talking and give you more information.

    5. It can calm down both parties during an argument.

    6. If a conversation is intense, it allows the other person time to reflect on what you're saying.

    7. You won't say anything you regret.

    8. It shows you're willing to listen.

    9. Not interrupting is a sign of respect.

    10. Silent activities, like meditation, are great for physical and mental health.

    11. Mentally strong people use quiet time to bring mindfulness and better focus.

    12. They also use it to reflect on their short- and long-term goals.

    Awkward silences may feel like a few minutes, but they really only last a few seconds. Although it may be uncomfortable, learning to welcome silence can put you in a position of power and help you get what you want.

    SEE ALSO: 7 ways mentally strong people take advantage of solitude

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    tony hsieh zappos

    Having great company culture is no longer just an option. Today’s workers consider it as much as they consider salary and benefits. In fact, fantastic company culture is almost expected along with other traditional benefits.

    While the culture that works for one company might not work for another, you can learn a lot from companies who are doing it right, and get started on company culture hacks of your own.

    1. Zappos

    Zappos has become almost as well known for its culture as it is for the shoes that it sells online. What does that culture look like?

    It starts with a cultural fit interview, which carries half the weight of whether the candidate is hired. New employees are offered $2,000 to quit after the first week of training if they decide the job isn’t for them. Ten core values are instilled in every team member. Employee raises come from workers who pass skills tests and exhibit increased capability, not from office politics. Portions of the budget are dedicated to employee team building and culture promotion.

    Great benefits and a workplace that is fun and dedicated to making customers happy all fit in with the Zappos approach to company culture — when you get the company culture right, great customer service and a great brand will happen on its own.

    Takeaway: Zappos hires according to cultural fit first and foremost. It has established what the company culture is, and fitting into that culture is the most important thing managers look for when hiring. This promotes the culture and happy employees, which ultimately leads to happy customers.

    Related: The 4 Steps Needed to Instill an Entrepreneurial Mindset Into Your Company Culture

    2. Warby Parker

    Warby Parker has been making and selling prescription glasses online since 2010. It designs its own glasses, and sells directly to customers, cutting out the middleman and keeping prices low.

    Company culture at Warby Parker instigates “culture crushes,” and one reason for that level of success is a team dedicated to culture. That team means that a positive culture is on the forefront, setting up fun lunches, events and programs. The company makes sure that there is always an upcoming event so the entire team has something to look forward to, and it uses methods to make sure the entire team works well together by insisting everyone helps keep break areas clean or sending random employees out to lunch together.

    Takeaway: Warby Parker has made company culture deliberate by creating a dedicated team tasked with coming up with events and programs to promote community. Great company culture doesn’t happen on its own.

    3. Southwest Airlines

    Southwest Airlines

    The airline industry is often mocked for grumpy employees and poor customer service, but Southwest Airlines bucks those trends. Customers loyal to Southwest often point to happy and friendly employees who try hard to help.

    Southwest isn’t new to the game. It’s been in operation for 43 years. Yet somehow, during all that time, the company has managed to communicate its goals and vision to employees in a way that makes them a part of a unified team. Southwest also gives employees “permission” to go that extra mile to make customers happy, empowering them to do what they need to do to meet that vision.

    Takeaway: Employees who are convinced of a larger common goal are people who are excited to be part of a larger purpose.

    4. Twitter

    Employees of Twitter can’t stop raving about the company’s culture. Rooftop meetings, friendly coworkers and a team-oriented environment in which each person is motivated by the company’s goals have inspired that praise.

    Employees of Twitter can also expect free meals at the San Francisco headquarters, along with yoga classes and unlimited vacations for some. These and many other perks are not unheard of in the startup world. But what sets Twitter apart?

    Employees can’t stop talking about how they love working with other smart people. Workers rave about being part of a company that is doing something that matters in the world, and there is a sense that no one leaves until the work gets done.

    Takeaway: You can’t beat having team members who are pleasant and friendly to each other, and are both good at and love what they are doing. No program, activity or set of rules tops having happy and fulfilled employees who feel that what they are doing matters.

    5. Chevron

    While oil and gas companies are prime targets for a lot of negative PR and public ire, Chevron employees responded favorably towards the company’s culture. Employees compared Chevron with other similar companies and pointed out “the Chevron way” as being one dedicated to safety, supporting employees and team members looking out for each other.

    Chevron shows it cares about employees by providing health and fitness centers on site or through health-club memberships. It offers other health-oriented programs such as massages and personal training. Chevron insists employees take regular breaks. In other words, the company shows it cares about the well-being of employees, and employees know that they are valued.

    Takeaway: Your company culture doesn’t have to be ping-pong tables and free beer. Simply providing employee's with a sense of safety and well-being and creating a policy where everyone looks out for each other can easily suffice.

    6. SquareSpace

    This successful startup is regularly voted as one of the best places to work in New York City. Its company culture is one that is “flat, open and creative.” A flat organization is one where there is no (or very few) levels of management in between staff and executives. This approach is more common among startups, and can be tricky to maintain as a company grows larger, generally requiring groups to form.

    SquareSpace also offers robust benefits and perks, including 100 percent coverage of health insurance premiums, flexible vacations, attractive office space, catered meals, stocked kitchens, monthly celebrations, relaxation spaces and periodic guest lecturers. Solid benefits such as these help a culture, but are not the sole instigator of successful culture. Down-to-earth leaders and direct access to management have a great deal of impact.

    Takeaway: Employees feel their voices can be heard when they aren’t muffled under layers of management. This level of freedom and empowerment creates confident employees and improves morale.

    squarespace, office, bi, dng

    Related: Design Your Office to Fulfill Employees' Most Basic Needs

    7. Google

    It would almost seem wrong not to mention Google on a list of companies with great culture. Google has been synonymous with culture for years, and sets the tone for many of the perks and benefits startups are now known for. Free meals, employee trips and parties, financial bonuses, open presentations by high-level executives, gyms, a dog-friendly environment and so on. Googlers are known to be driven, talented and among the best of the best.

    As Google has grown and the organization has expanded and spread out, keeping a uniform culture has proven difficult between headquarters and satellite offices, as well as among the different departments within the company. The larger a company becomes, the more that culture has to reinvent itself to accommodate more employees and the need for management.

    While Google still gets stellar reviews for pay, perks and advancement, there are also some employees who note growing pains that you’d expect from such a huge company, including the stress associated with a competitive environment. Hiring and expecting the best from employees can easily become a stressor if your culture doesn’t allow for good work-life balance.

    Takeaway: Even the best culture needs to revisit itself to meet a growing company’s team. The most successful company culture leads to successful business, and that requires an evolving culture that can grow with it.

    8. REI

    For outdoor enthusiasts, REI has long been the company to turn to for great gear. Employees of REI, a cooperative where profits benefit its member-owners, also agree that this is a place where greatness happens, even beyond the beloved camping and outdoor products. REI’s mission is to equip both customers and employees for the outdoors, not just to have fun but also in promoting stewardship of the environment.

    REI says that its employees give “life to their purpose,” firmly attributing company success to workers. The CEO of REI has acknowledged that employees can get benefits anywhere, but allowing outdoors-oriented employees to immerse themselves in REI culture is what makes it unique. Employees can win equipment through “challenge grants” where they submit a proposal for an outdoor adventure that would be challenging. Regular townhall-style meetings are held where employees can submit questions anonymously to help management understand what’s happening in the company.

    Takeaway: When your employees are completely immersed in the same interests as your company, the culture propels itself forward almost on its own. Culture that is owned and propelled by the same people puts value in their voices.

    mark zuckerberg

    9. Facebook

    Just like Google, Facebook is a company that has exploded in growth as well as being synonymous with unique company culture.

    Facebook offers, as do many similar companies, lots of food, stock options, open office space, on-site laundry, a focus on teamwork and open communication, a competitive atmosphere that fosters personal growth and learning and great benefits.

    Yet, Facebook has the same struggles as similar companies: a highly competitive industry leads to a sometimes stressful and competitive workplace. Additionally, a free and organic organizational structure that worked for the smaller organization is less successful for the larger one.

    To meet these challenges, Facebook has created conference rooms, has separate buildings, lots of outdoor roaming space for breaks and has management (even CEO Mark Zuckerberg) working in the open office space alongside other employees. It’s an attempt at a flat organizational culture using the buildings and space itself to promote a sense of equality among the competition.

    Takeaway: When your company depends on new hires who excel in a competitive field, your company culture and any associated perks will likely be the tipping point for applicants. You must stand out from other companies vying for attention.

    10. Adobe

    Adobe is a company that goes out of its way to give employees challenging projects and then provide the trust and support to help them meet those challenges successfully. While it offers benefits and perks like any modern creative company, Adobe's is a culture that avoids micromanaging in favor of trusting employees to do their best.

    Adobe products are synonymous with creativity, and only through the avoidance of micromanaging are the people who create those products truly free to create. For example, Adobe doesn’t use ratings to establish employee capabilities, feeling that that inhibits creativity and harms how teams work. Managers take on the role of a coach, more than anything, letting employees set goals and determine how they should be assessed.

    Employees are also given stock options so that they know they have both a stake and reward in the company’s success. Continual training and culture that promotes risk taking without fear of penalty are part of Adobe’s open company culture.

    Takeaway: Putting trust in your employees goes a long way towards positive company culture, because trust leads to independent employees who help your company grow.

    Conclusion

    Many of these companies offer similar perks and benefits, but those do not determine the culture completely. The approach taken with how employees are treated and what level of ownership and trust they are given is also a key part of company culture.

    One word of caution: focusing on company culture to the exclusion of other workforce considerations (safety, laws, regulations) can lead to abuses or create situations where employees aren’t comfortable. Even the best examples of culture on this list have detractors.

    Remember that the best culture makes all employees feel safe and welcome, never excluded or uncomfortable. Focusing on “culture fit” alone makes it difficult to hire and welcome employees who are different than the prevailing culture, even if they’d be an asset and great counterbalance at your company. Your company culture needs adjustment if it causes you to end up with a homogenized team who think and act the same.

    SEE ALSO: The 12 coolest social media companies in Silicon Valley

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    lunch,work,break

    Got a minute? No, you say?

    You need not be a superhero to effectively manage your time at the office. You just need some simple solutions that will allow you to maximize your efficiency.

    Here are eight weird but effective strategies for managing your time even when you work in a busy office with lots of people who are magnetized to you like moths to light.

    1. Stand up.

    If someone comes into my office while I'm feverishly trying to get work done, I stand up. I will absolutely engage in conversation, but it's going to be a short one.

    When you go from sitting to standing, it sends a message that you are on a schedule. It is my experience that when the other party receives the message, they keep their questions, comments or idea sharing short.

    Related: 5 Simple Ways You Can Add Hours To Your Day

    2. Don't have chairs.

    I will admit, I don't practice this, but I have a business associate who does and he swears by it. He has no guest chairs in his office. He says that the problem with chairs is that people come and sit in them and they chat. No chairs, no chat.

    3. Share lunch.

    Sometimes your coworkers, employees, and staff just want to get to know you. That's why if I am in the office working during lunch, I'll have lunch with them so that get the opportunity to chat about fun stuff without losing valuable work time.

    4. Set parameters.

    If I am busy working in the office and someone asks me if I've got a minute, I'll tell them yes and I'll tell them how many minutes I've got. 

    "Sure, I've got about five minutes but then I need to get back to this project."

    At about the five-minute mark, I will start looking at the clock to signal that their time is nearly over. If I can't answer the question or offer the needed assistance in that time, I'll ask if we can schedule a longer meeting later in the day.

    talking on the phone

    5. Know when to take calls.

    This seems like a no-brainer. I never take an unsolicited call from a number that I don't recognize, ever. People can leave messages and I will choose to call back if I am interested. If I am unsure as to whether I'm interested in taking the call, I will likely have an assistant call the person back to get more information with regards to the nature of the call.

    Related: Recapture a Few Precious Minutes Each Day With These 4 Tips

    It's important to note here that an unwanted call can also come in handy at times. If you have someone taking up too much time and you are lucky enough to get an unexpected call during that time, take the call while saying to your guest, "I'll reach out to you later, I need to take this call."

    6. Control dings, beeps and bops.

    When I am working in the office, I set a limit on checking my email to every half hour. Important too, I make sure the volume is off on my computer and my phone. The dings, beeps and bops from email and social media are maddening. If my Facebook or Twitter beeps, I have to check it -- I must keep the sound off so I can get work done in between emails.

    7. Keep a power hour.

    There are times when I simply cannot be disturbed. In those instances, I'll do what every good hotel allows you to do when you want quiet time and hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. I have found it even more effective to make sure that I explain why on the sign, otherwise you will still get people who cross the line. 

    For example, my sign might read, "Do Not Disturb -- Webinar in Process." The sign coupled with the reason for it has been most effective.

    8. Scrap the glass door. 

    There was a time long, long ago, when I had a glass door to my office. Big mistake! A glass door is like working in a fish tank and even when the door is shut, people wave you down and make bizarre hand gestures while trying to determine if you can talk. Get rid of the glass door in favor of one that offers full privacy for those times when you need to be super efficient.

    SEE ALSO: 21 time-management lessons everyone should learn in their 20s

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    waiting for job interviewIt is hardly a well-kept secret that getting a job is easier if you know someone. Presumably, that is one of the reasons networking events exist.

    But the question remains: how much easier is it, exactly?

    To find out, the career website Glassdoor sifted through 440,000 job interview reviews posted to the site since 2009, analyzing how people landed their interviews and whether or not those interviews ultimately led to jobs.

    And the results are in: Based on Glassdoor's numbers, your chances of getting an accepting an offer are a "statistically significant" 2.6% to 6.6% higher if you were referred by a current employee than if you weren't.

    In some ways, that's a reassuringly small number — it is indeed still possible to get hired with no connections whatsoever. In other ways, though, that statistically significant 6.6% only confirms what we all already know: Connections matter, and yes, you should go to that industry thing tonight. Or as Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain puts it, "there's no good substitute for shoe leather methods."

    Think of it this way, he suggests: "Boosting the odds of getting a job offer by roughly 5% would mean on average that 1 in 20 workers gets a job offer who wouldn't have otherwise gotten one." And if you're looking at a large group, that could mean thousands of job matches that wouldn't happen otherwise.

    That's not entirely nonsensical (whether it's fair is another question). When you're coming in recommended by a current employee, the company has a better sense of who you are — at the very least, they know who you're connected to, and they know something about who that person is — and you likely have a better sense of the company, too. It's evidence of the "power of context and information," Chamberlain tells Business Insider. Both parties know more about the other, and accordingly, the result is a more likely match.

    But while being referred by a current employee may be the most promising way to the job, it is by no means the only way.

    Staffing agency referrals yielded above-average results, as did "in-person connections with employers." If you don't have a contact, getting a foot in the door via job fair or informational interview might not be a bad idea.

    Less promising avenues: recruiter interviews, online applications — hands-down the most common means of applying for a job, if not the most fruitful — and college or university referrals, which come in last of all.

    Universities may be preparing the next generations of future leaders, but — at least based on Glassdoor's study — their career centers are not particularly good at helping those future leaders find direct employment. If one of your college classmates can refer you though, that's another story.

    SEE ALSO: 12 TED talks that will change the way you think about your career

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