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The latest news on Careers from Business Insider

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    Effective leaders make people feel loved.

    They’re not just intelligent. Not just experienced. Not just driven, candid, inspiring and visionary.

    They love people. They heal people.  The people that work for them know that what they do is noticed.

    They aren’t just a number on the spreadsheet.

    They are known by name.

    That sense of purpose is wildly important in any organization or movement.

    The best leaders know that to get the best results from those that follow them, they have to invest in a relationship.

    That’s not by shouting louder, demanding more, being less approachable, or playing politics.

    It’s the simple things. Common decency. Respect. Candor.

    And demanding excellence.

    People know they are appreciated when they are challenged to do better than they have in the past.

    Complacency and malaise — being allowed to stay mediocre when extraordinary capability is possible — is the opposite of being loved.

    Great leaders demand more because they want the best from those around them.

    Not just so that the enterprise benefits.

    Not just for more money for themselves, more profit, or a bigger bonus.

    They demand more because they know that exceptional behavior and extraordinary effort heals. It mends. It makes us all better.

    Helping others become a better version of themselves is the truest form of love.

    Leaders push. They strain. They support — nudging those around them towards greatness when just letting go and pretending like everything is okay is a whole lot easier.

    SEE ALSO: The No. 1 trait Harvard Business School looks for in MBA candidates

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Traditions and circumstances can sometimes lead to one-of-a-kind occupations in different countries.

    We sifted through a Quora thread to find jobs that are unique to individual countries. As varied as ostrich baby sitters in South Africa and bike dredgers in the Netherlands, here are 11 jobs that are shaped by their countries of origin.  

    ENGLAND: Swan uppers

    swan uppersThe English counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire have a tradition called swan upping in which people count the number of swans. The people who do this — swan uppers — report on the number of swans accounted for and note whether any of the swans have injuries.

    BOLIVIA: Traffic zebras 

    traffic zebrasIn La Paz, Bolivia, people are paid by the city to dress in zebra suits and help enforce traffic laws while assisting pedestrians to cross the road.

    Thanks to their costumes, the traffic zebras are able to get the attention of cars and buses quickly, and their entertaining nature has helped to get more people to follow traffic directions.

    IRAN: License-plate blockers

    In Tehran, Iran, thanks to the restrictions placed on how many cars can be on the road during a day, certain drivers will hire people to walk behind their car plates to keep them concealed.

    THE NETHERLANDS: Bike dredger

    bike dredger In Amsterdam, traveling by bike is common. But because many bikes end up in the water throughout the year, professional bike dredgers use hydraulic claws to pull around 15,000 bicycles out of the water each year. 

    INDIA: Dabbawalla

    dabbawallahMost commonly found in the city of Mumbai, dabbawalla are deliverymen who deliver hot lunches to people across the city. They collect the home-cooked meals from people's residences all over the city (including the somewhat distant suburbs) and deliver them to the appropriate people in their workplace.

    JAPAN: Oshiya (train pushers)

    tokyo subway pushersIn cities like Tokyo, train operators employ oshiya, or pushers, to literally push people onto crowded trains. Their role is to make sure to get everyone gets inside the train without getting caught in the doors.

    THE VATICAN: Swiss guards

    vatican papal swiss guardsThe Swiss Guard is responsible for the pope's safety and acts as the security force for the Apostolic Palace and Vatican City. Its members can typically be seen outside the Vatican on a daily basis in their striped blue, red, and gold uniforms.

    These guards are required to be Catholic, male, at least 5 feet 9 inches tall, and to have served at least two years in the Swiss military service.

    MOROCCO: Water sellers

    morocco water sellersIn popular tourist areas of Morocco, colorfully clad water sellers in elaborate traditional costumes and tasseled hats provide water from camel-leather bags and copper cups. Their costumes are often adorned with brasses and bells.

    CHILE: Café con piernas (Coffee with legs)

    cafe con piernasCafé con piernas, which translates to "coffee with legs," refers to coffee shops in Santiago, Chile, that operate with bar maidens who serve classic coffee in revealing clothing. Waitresses in some locations wear more scandalous outfits than others.

    SOUTH AFRICA: Ostrich baby sitters

    In South Africa, there's a job for watching over ostriches. These ostrich baby sitters make sure the ostriches don't peck at one another too much. 

    ENGLAND: Ravenmasters

    ravenmasterRavens have been at England's Tower of London for years, and their presence is believed to protect the Crown and Tower, which is why a Ravenmaster is in charge of caring after the birds and ensuring that they don't fly away.  

    SEE ALSO: The best thing to eat in 50 countries around the world

    FOLLOW US! Business Insider Travel is on Twitter

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The surprising real jobs of superheroes, zombies and other Comic Con fans


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    interview, professionals

    The news is not good for workers who were expecting their full bonus this year.

    For the fifth year in a row, U.S. employers don’t expect to fully fund employee bonuses, according to a new report from Towers Watson.

    The average projected bonus funding for 2015 is 89 percent of target, down from 93 percent last year.

    Companies have fully funded their bonus pools only twice since 2005. “Employers are continuing to take a conservative approach to funding their bonus pool,” Towers Watson managing director Laura Sejen said in a statement.

    While some companies will give all employees the same percentage of their bonus, others vary the amount based on performance, with the lowest rated employees receiving about 65 percent of their target payout, compared to 119 percent for the best workers.

    A separate survey by Towers Watson earlier this year found that more companies are shifting their compensation packages to include more short-term incentives and bonuses. Eighty-five percent of workers took home a bonus this year, up from 81 percent last year. Nearly 90 percent of employees exempt from overtime were eligible for an annual or short-term bonus.

    That study found that companies plan to give employees an average salary bump of 3 percent, with the best workers getting a 4.6 percent raise and the worst workers receiving a salary increase of less than 1 percent.

    A forecast by Aon Hewitt projected similar raises next year, noting that the historic raises of 4 percent or more won’t be returning any time soon.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: President Obama spent the first two minutes of this speech bragging about how much he’s improved the economy


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    woman with sunglasses

    Let's be honest, we all lie to ourselves a little.

    Some of the lies are harmless, but others hold us back. Those lies manifest themselves in little habits and patterns for problem solving and getting work accomplished that only seem to be effective.

    Give yourself a chance to rethink the things you ‘know to be true’ to help you move forward in a more productive way.

    1. I'm always just so busy.

    Truth: If you’re postponing necessary projects and goals because you’re drowning in non-essential busywork, you need a reboot. 

    You might not be managing your time effectively. Ask yourself what you can do to cut down on non-essential tasks, the marginalia and clutter that takes up headspace and your schedule and that’s keeping you from making bigger strides. Whether it's delegating, hiring or changing up your system, there is always way to solve the "busy" problem. 

    Read more: How to Get That Lying Voice in Your Head to Stop Sabotaging Your Dreams

    2. I’m the only one who cares about this project.

    Truth: Are you? Chances are, there are others who want to work toward a solution, you haven’t found them. Or you haven’t engaged them effectively. Don’t get stuck in the past and focus only on the work.

    Think about who else might be motivated to work with you and reach out to those people. And listen: through co-creating your ideas will find their best route to success.

    Read more: This One Habit Holds Leaders Back

    3. No one will listen anyway.

    Truth: Maybe you’re the one who’s not listening. Neuroscience shows us that entrenchment in a point of view can lead to an addiction of sorts — an addiction to being right. You see, each time you are right, dopamine is released, leaving you wanting more. Like an addict, you’re left less and less careful of your impact on other people. 

    Read more: Stop Having the Same Conversation Again and Again

    4. We tried that and it didn’t work.

    Truth: If we never revisited ideas, we’d never have cars or airplanes any of the innovations that stayed static for decades until the right mix of people and technology came along to transform our lives. As someone with experience, your job is to speak up, but also to understand that situations are fluid and that a new attempt could create real headway.

    5. I'm in charge. I always have to have a solution

    Truth: Your employees will look to you for a broader vision, but you’re not the best source for how everything in your company is running. You don’t have visibility into problems certain departments face and how your approach might complicate things. You hired your staff for a reason, so tap their expertise. Create a dialogue and ask for input. This will ensure that you have the buy-in you’ll need for your solutions to succeed.

    Read more: 7 Leadership Lies You Need to Stop Believing

    6. I can teach myself everything I need to know.

    Truth: Information alone isn’t in the world but it's impossible to do everything yourself or to know how to implement what you've learned in the best way if you've never done it before.

    Whether you are looking to learn more about coding or figuring out the right payroll system for your business, something could end up falling through the cracks if you try to go it alone. 

    Read more: 5 Lies Entrepreneurs Need to Stop Believing

    7. If I love it, there’s a market.

    Truth: Your passion can motivate new hires, carry you through rough times and help you see what no one else does. But it can’t conjure a market that doesn’t exist. Ask yourself if a pivot would help and how it might change your company. Chances are, a small change can do a world of good.  

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

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    meeting

    Six months ago, I decided to keep all my appointments: lunches, drinks, dinners, “coffees,” conference calls.

    I didn’t cancel. I didn’t postpone. I didn’t flake. If I said I was going to do the thing at a certain time, I did the thing at the certain time. In defiance of the Age of Cancellation, I simply stuck to the original plan. I stayed in.

    It was after the fifth or sixth meeting that should’ve been canceled or postponed that I broke down. A staunch dedication to your schedule isn’t a noble effort — it’s a stunt.

    Things change. Minds change. Professional relationships change. Breakfast meetings change — from pleasant abstraction to crushing reality. In business, flexibility is as important as follow-through.

    My journey had the opposite effect of what I’d intended. I now believe more firmly than ever in the right to get out of meetings and favors. But it’s important to get out in a way that suggests that it’s better for all involved. Because it is.

    How to get out of a meeting 

    When you give an excuse for missing a meeting, the value of your excuse must be equal to or greater than the value of the meeting you’re missing. But you have to use the prism of the person who invited you to the meeting. You have to guess at what they think is important.

    It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to do this thing instead of your thing because this thing is really important.” You have to say, “I’m going to do this thing instead of your thing because it’s important for both of us that I do this other thing.” Getting out of a meeting is about placing your flakery in context — and the context is always The Company.

    The key is candor, says Kurt Taylor, founder and CEO of Wilmington, N.C.-based Next Glass, which analyzes the compounds in beer and wine to match taste buds to flavor profiles. “Sure, they might find it a little strange that you didn’t come up with some white lie to kind of shield their feelings, but that’s a very short-term view of looking at it.”

    Bailing out the right way involves asking for a blessing. You’re not just telling people what you think is important. You’re asking them to understand it. You’re not asking for permission, but you are asking for approval.

    How to get out of doing a favor

    The first rule of favors is to never immediately agree to do a favor. You can say, “I’ll take a look”; “Happy to consider it”; “Honored to be asked.” But never: “Sure.”

    “Fight the urge to just answer yes right away because you’re under pressure. Or no. Don’t feel like you need to fill in that gap with chatter. There’s power in a pause,” says Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and founder of executive leadership company The Protocol School of Texas in San Antonio. The pause is setting the stage for a possible getting out. By pausing, you’re saying, I don’t just throw around favors. Favors matter. 

    Since the subtext of a favor is more significant than the favor itself, favor-refusal demands a response longer than the request. That response should be highly specific and deeply principled.

    When you’re refusing a favor, make eye contact. Be accountable. Refusing a favor involves a certain level of embarrassment on the other end. It amounts to total rejection — unless you curb the rejection with evidence that you’ve really thought about it.

    awkward

    How to get out of an awkward conversation

    Nobody is better at getting out of conversations than bartenders. They’re prisoners of customer chatter. Bartenders might as well be sitting behind plateglass with a phone at their ear and a guard behind them.

    “You maybe have 14 to 20 feet to move away from them,” says Ivy Mix, co-owner and head bartender at Leyenda, a great, great Latin cocktail bar in Brooklyn. “You have to find a way to gracefully exit the conversation. I want to make sure that they continue to want to come to my bar, even if I find them to be aggressively boring.”

    The key is to exit in a way that doesn’t seem like an exit. Think of yourself as a bartender who has other customers to take care of.

    Says Mix: “What always happens is someone tries to talk to me about cocktails incessantly. And the only thing they want to talk about is what bitters I’m using, so I try to divert attention to something else. It’s a win-win, because we can either talk about something that I care about, or it can diffuse the situation.” In any case, Mix says, it stops the “trajectory of their diatribe.”

    Now, if you want to get away from a conversation altogether, here’s a template:

    1. Express happiness that the conversation occurred.
    2. Repeat something the other person said as a way of paying a small tribute to their part in the conversation.
    3. Be casually frank. Like this: “I have to see about my friend over there.”
    4. End on a positive note.
    5. As you walk away, make an innocuous comment, so that the conversation doesn’t end abruptly. Like this: “So, I’m glad you read this column. I appreciate your ‘Some of this is a little obvious’ comment. You’re right! Anyway, I have to end it because I’m almost out of space. You should hit up Leyenda the next time you’re in New York. Truly a great bar.”

    (But don’t talk to Mix about bitters.)

    How to get out of everything else

    In 2008, Ringo Starr released a video announcement on his website that he would no longer be signing autographs or accepting fan mail. “I am warning you with peace and love, but I have too much to do,” the former Beatle said, signing off with his signature catchphrase, “Peace and love, peace and love.”

    Which was a brilliant move. He used extreme positivity to express something deeply negative. He couched blanket recognition of his fans in a larger philosophical context. Hence:

    The Starr Formula: State explicitly what you will not be doing + give brief reason why + wrap with soothing catchphrase.

    SEE ALSO: 10 toxic people you should avoid at all costs

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    employees, meeting, work, office

    As Quartz reported in 2013, economist godhead John Maynard Keynes advocated for the six-hour workday a century ago, “predicting that by 2030 only extreme workaholics would work more than 15 hours a week.”

    Had the world taken Keynes’ advice, it’s possible that the modern economy would have been built upon a 30-hour work week.

    Sure, growth may suffered, but what’s so great about working like a dog just so Bill Lumbergh’s stock will go up a quarter of a point?

    But anyway, in 2013, industrialist Henry Ford rolled out the assembly line and the 40-hour work week, thereby creating both a metaphor and a paradigm for the modern world. Today, Ford is considered a genius (despite being a Nazi bastard).

    Once again, there’s a movement growing to adopt the six-hour work day. And not in a Walmart manner, where workers are given fewer hours to avoid full-time status (and the related benefits). In Sweden, a creative agency named Background AB made the change on September 1, leaving all employee salaries unchanged.

    The benefits are many, according to co-owners Gabriel Alenius and Jimmy Nilsson:

    [W]e believe that by reorganizing our workdays, we can become more efficient and complete our projects in less time.

    And it is going to bring benefits for our customers as well. We do not believe that there is a general solution for all businesses. Each industry and workplace has its own conditions.

    The key to us is to locate downtime and bottlenecks, reduce them and plan so that the process becomes more efficient.

    Research suggests that it is difficult to stay concentrated at work for eight hours. But if you only have three hours before lunch, and three hours after, it motivates you to focus and be productive.

    To hear Alenius and Nilsson tell it, this change will only succeed as a collective effort. Office meetings can no longer drag and employees agree to not manage personal affairs while on the clock. Project turnaround times are expected to shorten. Their experiment is planned as a nine-month trial, with check-in’s every three months. They sound optimistic.

    “The six-hour workday need not be only a utopia,” they told SVT.SE (as translated by The Local). “It does not even have to be a political statement … Our ambition is to grow, generate profit and at the same time find a good balance between leisure and work.”

    Sweden already has a good reputation for its citizens’ civilized work-life balance. If this new scheme takes off, it may be time to start taking Swedish lessons.

    SEE ALSO: Here's why so many workers are faking 80-hour workweeks

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Cute baby mom parent

    My generation, Generation X, was widely believed to be the first in U.S. history to not do as well as our parents’ generation had.

    There were many reasons for this, but the primary one was the speculation that everything “good” that could be invented had already been invented. How could we possibly do any better?

    Then came the Internet.

    Related: Celebrate the Little Successes as a Salve Against the Bruises of Entrepreneurship and Parenthood

    The World Wide Web, along with the ten "flatteners" that Thomas Friedman laid out in "The World is Flat," opened and brought together global markets, ushering in an exciting new era of innovation and entrepreneurship. The result? One could argue that we and the generation after us are doing just fine.

    But what about the generation after that? The future business leaders who have yet to hit puberty or even start walking? If we are to raise the next group of leaders and entrepreneurs -- or at least adults with the skills to succeed -- I believe we must look closely at how we instill the traits necessary to survive and thrive in the new global business environment.

    Parents must step up. Here are six things they need to do -- or not do -- to ensure we raise the next generation of business leaders properly.

    1. Stop hovering.

    Helicopter parents are everywhere. It's gotten to the point that children on leashes is a sight I see more often than I care to admit. I even see the implications of "hovering" around my own kids, in the evil eyes and subtle gasps I get as I let my daughter climb a jungle gym with no harness, helmet or safety rope.

    The problem with hovering parents, however, is that with no space, children never learn to embrace and appreciate independence, a vital variable in building and developing confidence at an early age.

    So, give your children some space. Allow them to fall and scrape their knees once in a while. Just remember that they will inevitably fall and get "scraped up" (figuratively speaking) someday, so it is far better to be around when they do than when they venture out and experience failure for the first time alone.

    2. Stop defaulting to electronics.

    OK, I get it. Sometimes the utter joy of silence after answering to "Mommy, Mommy" or "Daddy, Daddy" for the hundredth time can be an incredible incentive for putting your kids in front of a tablet or the television. But television and many children’s apps are stifling our children's imagination. Today, we get toys with prepackaged characters and television shows that provide everything from the character’s voice to any number of plots.

    Gone are the days when children had to rely on their imaginations as they played.

    While some screen time on television, electronics or games, can be useful -- assuming the right programs/apps are provided and consumed in moderation -- time with physical toys that encourage imaginative play, build creative skills and require critical thinking is important for children. Simple toys like building blocks, coloring books, play sets and even just household items can go a long way in this regard.

    It is amazing what you can do with an oversized cardboard box and a fresh set of markers. 

    Related: Life Lessons Entrepreneurial Parents Can Teach Children

    While parents play an important role in moderating play, they should allow and encourage their children to engage in unstructured free playas often as possible.

    parenting

    3. Stop giving ribbons for everything.

    My daughter brings home a ribbon every day after gymnastics class -- even though she still hasn’t mastered the forward straddle roll. Of course, I understand why: She is 4 years old, and her teachers are trying to instill confidence and a sense of achievement.

    The problem is that when she finally reaches that point in her life when she is not rewarded for doing exactly what is expected of her, she might lose the confidence we as a society spent so much time and so many ribbons trying to build.

    In the end, ribbons are the lazy way of dealing with the issue of losing.

    We need to understand that for many people motivation is based on a drive to be the best. Take out "the best" from the equation, and motivation is lost. Granted, I understand that a win-lose environment may hurt more people than it helps, but I would argue that when only a few people are allowed to win, we either learn to deal with the disappointment or we strive to get better. If we want to raise well-rounded kids, parents need to instill the latter goal.

    4. Stop saying "no" to everything.

    I love going to the homes of new parents, with their pristine floors, wine racks at ground level and clean white couches. Inevitably I am told that the house is safe because their children "aren't going to be like other kids."

    That may be true, but in fact children need to be like other kids. They need to explore and engage their imagination, follow adventurous insights and dabble in new interests and hobbies. Often, these activities come in the form of permanent markers on a clean wall, a new toy in the bathtub or a spilled bag of flour in the living room. Our children need the creativity and critical thinking that these valuable experiences and lessons encourage at a young age and ultimately translate into valuable adult skills.

    5. Stop teaching that failure is bad.

    We strive for our children to be the best. Achieving high marks in school, earning first place in a club sport or winning at a science fair are all important and admirable goals. More important, however, is how we teach our children to fail, because they will fail at some point. And, as most business leaders will tell you, failure is common and indeed necessary on the road to success.

    In times of failure, it is parents' responsibility to pick up our kids, dust them off and turn those failures into teachable moments. We need to instill in them the ability to see lessons through these failures, mistakes and errors. We need to promote risk-taking and allow our kids to take chances, fail and move on.

    Instead of teaching our children to always strive for perfection, we should encourage them to strive for improvement.

    6. Stop blaming everyone else for your children's shortcomings.

    Finally, we should stop looking at our children as perfect little bundles of DNA. Children are by default illiterate, uncoordinated and generally ignorant; and while that may sometimes make them insufferable, it is our responsibility as parents to deal with it.

    Instead of blaming society, culture, media, teachers, doctors or the weather for when our children misbehave or underperform, stop for a second and consider the level of responsibility you have as a parent. Remember, parents are the number one influence on a child's development, so before you blame someone else for an imperfect child, consider making changes at home.

    SEE ALSO: 7 podcasts that will make you smarter about parenting

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    running

    The majority of logical, practical adults will tell you that luck doesn't exist, and realistically, it doesn't.

    There's no charm or novel practice that can somehow make you more likely to stumble into money and less likely to get caught in the rain.

    But in a very real sense, luck can exist — if you define luck as the probability that good things will happen to you.

    You see, most of the things that happen to us aren't random, but instead are products of our daily habits; for example, most self-made millionaires didn't "get lucky;" they worked hard, took risks, and invested wisely.

    If you accidentally lock your keys in your car, you weren't hit with a stroke of "bad luck;" you just didn't have a good system to remember your keys, like a lanyard or tether.

    Because of this correlation of habits with eventual outcomes, it's actually possible to increase your luck with a handful of small daily habit changes. These are seven I've found to be particularly useful:

    1. Read (or watch) the news.

    If you aren't already checking the news every day, start doing so now. If you get stuck in traffic, you might attribute that to bad luck — but others might attribute that to you not hearing about the seven-car pileup on the highway this morning. If you plan a picnic that gets rained out, you might similarly blame luck — but had you read the weather report, it might not have happened.

    Listening to the news is a way of keeping yourself abreast of developments you haven't seen and can't predict on your own; it's like tapping into a precognitive network that can tell you portions of your future and help you avoid small, yet measurable tragedies.

    2. Pay close attention to your surroundings.

    Try to pay attention to everything that's going on around you. If you have tunnel vision while driving, you might not see the deer jumping out in front of you until it's too late. If you're too focused on solving one problem at work, you might miss a handful of other, more immediate problems that are growing worse by the hour.

    Paying attention to these details can help you avoid unnecessary negative situations; you won't be able to prevent everything, but you will increase your likelihood of avoiding such events. On average, it will make you luckier.

    3. Wake up earlier.

    Waking up earlier may seem like a strange habit to increase your luck, but its effects are numerous. First, you'll have a greater chance of getting to work (or school, or anywhere) on time. Leaving earlier, too, can help you avoid the "bad luck" of getting stuck in traffic.

    waking up

    Second, you'll be far less rushed. Waking up just in the nick of time to get ready puts unnecessary stress and pressure on you, and can force you to make mistakes and stumble where you would otherwise succeed. Lastly, it puts you in a more disciplined, controlled environment, which can help you regiment the rest of your day.

    4. Exercise daily.

    Physical exercise is important for your health; regular exercise can prevent a number of diseases, conditions, and other complications that arise later in life. Some would consider this increased luck when it comes to health. But regular exercise offers other benefits, too — it gets you in better shape, so you're more likely to "luckily" catch that bus or make it home before it rains.

    Exercise can also help you stay more focused and energetic throughout the day, giving you a greater chance of completing your tasks and your work successfully.

    5. Keep an open mind.

    Lucky people tend to have open minds when it comes to new opportunities and problem solving. For example, they may be more open to a new experience and consider themselves lucky when that new experience goes well. A close-minded person would remain firmly in his/her routine, or would have already made up his/her mind about whether the experience would be enjoyable.

    Open minded people also tend to look at problems in a broader context, giving them more opportunities to see and approach the simple solution to them. In a sense, they solve problems faster and easier — making them appear more lucky.

    6. Hedge your bets.

    Hedging your investments is a wise move in personal finance — if you invest in a number of different markets and a number of different vehicles, you'll be far more tolerant of any unexpected shifts, and over time, you'll see compounding returns on your principle even after economic downturns.

    You should hedge your bets in life the same way — building multiple skillsets, establishing professional relationships with many people, and so on. The more diversified your life is, the easier you'll be able to tolerate unexpected shifts and setbacks, and the more lucky you'll seem.

    baby smile

    7. Think about the bright side.

    People who consider themselves lucky also consider themselves to be optimists. If you think about that for a moment, it's not hard to understand why. Optimists are always looking at the positive things in their life — they may have equal amounts of opportunities and setbacks, but because they focus more on the opportunities, they feel like they have more than they actually do.

    As a result,they feel luckier and happier. Some people are more naturally optimistic than others, but you can still practice optimism by focusing on the positive more than the negative in your own life. Doing so will make you feel luckier almost immediately.

    Make these seven habit changes in your own life, and start experiencing better luck. Of course, this doesn't mean you should start playing the lottery or betting on horses — but you will find yourself more capable of seeing positive outcomes.

    SEE ALSO: 8 keystone habits that can transform your life

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    log training seal school

    Mental strength takes a long time to develop. 

    It is the daily practice of pushing yourself to grow stronger, maintaining realistic optimism, and setting healthy boundaries. Mentally strong people don't do things like waste time feeling sorry for themselves or give away their power to other people.

    How do you know where you fall on the spectrum? We asked psychotherapist Amy Morin, the author of "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do."

    Morin shared the following 21 signs you're mentally stronger than average, which we've listed here in her words:

    1. You balance emotions with logic.

    Mentally strong people understand how their emotions can influence their thinking. In an effort to make the best decisions possible, they balance their emotions with logic.  

    2. You choose productive behavior.

    While it may be tempting to make excuses, complain about other people, and avoid difficult circumstances, mentally strong people refuse to waste time on unproductive activities. 

    3. You feel confident in your ability to adapt to change.

    Mentally strong people know that although change is uncomfortable, it's tolerable. They focus their energy on adapting to change, rather than resisting it.

    4. You face the fears that hold you back.

    While mentally strong people don't need to conquer fears because they have something to prove to others, they do strive to face the fears that hold them back. 

    5. You learn from your mistakes.

    Mentally strong people don't hide or excuse their mistakes. Instead, they learn from them.

    6. You balance self-acceptance with self-improvement.

    Mentally strong people accept themselves for who they are, while simultaneously recognizing their need for personal development. 

    crowd cheering confetti7. You genuinely celebrate other people's success.

    Mentally strong people cooperate — rather than compete — with those around them. They don't feel as though other people's success somehow diminishes their own achievements.

    8. You are comfortable living according to your values.

    Mentally strong people make decisions with relative ease because they understand their priorities and they live according to their values. 

    9. You focus on sharpening your skills, rather than showing them off.

    While some people seek validation from others, mentally strong people are less concerned about gaining recognition. Instead, they're intrinsically motivated to become better. 

    10. You live an authentic life.

    Mentally strong people are true to themselves. Their words are in line with their behavior.

    11. You view life's hardships as opportunities for growth.

    While hardship causes some people to grow bitter, mentally strong people let adversity make them better.

    12. Your self-worth depends on who you are, not what you achieve.

    Mentally strong people feel good about themselves, whether they win or lose.

    boston marathon winner 2015

    13. You practice delayed gratification.

    Mentally strong people view their goals as a marathon, not a sprint. They're willing to tolerate short-term pain when it can provide long-term gain.

    14. You bounce back from failure.

    Mentally strong people don't view failure as the end of the road. Instead, they use their failed attempts as opportunities to gain knowledge that will increase their chances of success in the future.

    15. You're a realistic optimist.

    Mentally strong people are able to look for the silver lining and think on the bright side, but they don't allow their optimistic tendencies to blind them to reality.

    16. You accept personal responsibility for your choices.

    Mentally strong people don't needlessly beat themselves up, but they do accept complete responsibility for their actions. 

    17. You express gratitude.

    Rather than exclaim they need more, mentally strong people acknowledge they have more than they need.

    18. You focus on what you can control.

    Mentally strong people are effective and productive in life because they devote their resources to the things they can control.

    19. You engage in active problem-solving.

    Mentally strong people don't dwell on the problem — instead, they create solutions.

    20. You're open to learning more from all that surrounds you.

    Mentally strong people are constantly learning from their circumstances and the people they encounter every day. 

    21. You work on your weaknesses, rather than masking them.

    While many people work hard to disguise their vulnerabilities, mentally strong people invest their energy into improving their shortcomings.

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

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The secret strategy samurai use to achieve laser-focus


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    oil engineer

    A graduate degree isn't a guarantee, either of employment or high earnings.

    For one thing, not all graduate degrees are created equal. Some fields obviously grow more than others, and may or may not reward candidates with advanced degrees on their CVs.

    Some occupations require licensure to practice, or set the barrier of entry at a certain educational level.

    To help you figure out whether going back to school is in your best interests, this year's College Salary Report ranks the top graduate degrees by earnings.

    These are highest-paying degrees in the ranking:

    SEE ALSO: The 27 highest-paying jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree

    Masters, Petroleum Engineering

    Petroleum Engineering also made the top of PayScale's list of high-paying bachelor's degrees, but earning a masters bumps graduates' salaries up by $5,000 per year.

    Early Career Median Pay: $96,500

    Mid-Career Median Pay: $173,000

    % High Job Meaning: 74%



    Masters, Nurse Anesthesia

    Nursing majors earn the second-highest early career salaries on the highest-paying associate degree lists, and Registered Nurses with bachelor's degrees often have greater choice when it comes to employers, but their salaries max out pretty early on. Nurse Anesthetists earn more than double Registered Nurses' mid-career median salary of $73,600.

    Early Career Median Pay: $139,000

    Mid-Career Median Pay: $159,000

    % High Job Meaning: 79%



    MBA, Strategy

    Want to become a Management Consultant and determine the direction of entire companies? This MBA might be for you. Students contemplating this degree should feel comfortable analyzing data and doing research.

    Early Career Median Pay: $93,100

    Mid-Career Median Pay: $148,000

    % High Job Meaning: 45%



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Stressed Law StudentsThis answer by James Altucher originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the question: What are a few things that very successful people never do?

    This is one of those questions where I give "the rules" and then at the end of the post I can say "and the last rule is to break all of the rules".

    It's almost a rule of "rules" posts that you have to have that at the end.

    You know why? Because we are all individuals. We all get physically healthy in different ways, for instance.

    Take diets as an example. Every diet says "don't". Don't eat carbs. Or don't eat meat. Or don't eat calories after 6 p.m. Etc.

    But for every "don't" there is at least one large massively healthy society that ONLY eats that macronutrient and yet they are healthy and live to 100+, etc.

    The essence of creativity is to take rules and figure out the way to break each rule so that it benefits you.

    I am an expert on what it takes to not be successful.

    Before I can give you the rules I must establish my credentials, which date back to six years old but after 10,000 hours of being a failure I have had my peak moments around 2002 and 2010 and maybe some at 2004 and 2005. and perhaps 2008.

    And a few failures around 1991 and 1994.

    I have started about 20 businesses and failed at 17 of them. I have failed as a husband, as have many.

    I hope I don't fail as a parent but certainly some people would look at my track record and say, "yes, yes indeed, he failed as a parent."

    I'm not the best boyfriend. One time I broke up with a girlfriend while I was on the elevator up to meet her her in her apartment. I just hit the down button and never spoke to her again.

    And then I was a good boyfriend because I sent a teddy bear to the other girl who was in the elevator with me. We ended up dating three months. Before I met the woman who is now my wife.

    Am I the only person who is not successful at so many things? Maybe. Yes, maybe.

    But I also have had a few successes. So I know both sides of the story, as they say.

    And so I will give my rules. What worked for me when I was a success. And what failed for me as well.

    Here is what failures do:

    1. They believe in the word "failure"

    We don’t live long enough to fail. Like if a planet is around for 4 billion years and produces no life-forms, I would call that planet a failure.

    Everything else is an experiment.

    I have started 20 businesses. But in the worst case, at best it was an experiment that didn’t go right.

    People say, "only focus on the Now," and yet they don’t know what that means.

    Focus on your past also. And really take a look. When I went to graduate school and was thrown out, did I fail?Perhaps in some versions of the English language.

    But I view it that I experimented going to graduate school (or raising $30 million for my second business), and the experiment didn’t work out.

    It didn’t work out for a host of reasons. I didn’t really want to be a professor (the IPO book was ending). I would rather be a writer than a computer scientist (I had no idea what my company even did. We were just trying to ride the IPO boom). And so on.

    Thomas Edison never said, "I failed 10,000 times before I made a lightbulb." The guy was in a LABORATORY. He experimented. And now everyone gets into "failure porn" and says he failed. That’s BS!

    John Coltrane didn’t fail when he couldn’t stay in Miles Davis’ quartet. He was experimenting with Miles Davis style but ultimately, with 20 years of pracrtice and study under his belt, he knew that only his unique style could survive and flourish in his own quartet.

    He experimented, learned from the experiment and moved on.

    late, work, stressed

    2. The under-promise and over-deliver

    Everybody is told a lie: To be a success you have to under promise and over deliver.

    This is the worst form of lack of integrity. The idea is that you are "safe." Let’s say you under-promise and you under-deliver.

    You think, incorrectly, "Hey, at least I have my integrity intact".

    No, you have nothing intact. You are just like everyone else. There are 3,000,000,000 employees on the planet and they are all under-promising and most of them are under-delivering.

    You are just like them.

    Try this: Over-promise. And over-deliver on what you over-promised. Believe me, if we can send a rocket to the moon powered by a computer 1/100,000 the power of your smartphone, then you can over-promise and over-deliver on almost everything.

    Try it and you will see the results. It’s amazing.

    3. People who fail seem to have a lot of accidents

    They left their important project on the subway. They are sick. Their dog got sick. They broke up with their girlfriend or boyfriend.

    There’s a way to minimize accidents and it’s called health.

    You can’t succeed if you are sick in bed. You can’t succeed if you spent all night the night before reading your wife’s emails because you can’t trust her. You can’t succeed if you aren’t grateful for being given at least the chance to be something better than what you are now.

    When someone consistently has a lot of excuses for why something has gotten done, I know they are not ready for the next step. The next step is an invitation to glory. They are not invited … yet.

    When I was young, I was the man with the excuses. I had them every day. I was a master of them. But I fooled nobody but myself. And went from job to job, business to business, blaming others, blaming external circumstances, etc.

    And you know what: I was right! If I’m reading my wife’s email and she’s cheating on me, I deserve to fail.

    So here’s what you do:

    You can’t be perfect.

    Healthy Food Vegetables Yogurt

    But every day:

    • Move, Eat, Sleep … Well
    • Improve your relationships (Call a friend, surprise a spouse, be kind to your kids)
    • Be creative (only you know how to do this, but at least write 10 random ideas a day)
    • Be grateful for where you are (and this is the "Now" that people brag about)

    4. Don't take it to the next level

    Oh man, I’m only on rule 3. You know, you ask these questions about how to succeed and fail in life and it’s not like two paragraphs is going to be the answer.

    Even long answers are just short cuts.

    I’m working on a big project right now. There’s a lot of small details.

    If you are helping someone else on a big project. Your mentor, your boss, your teacher, your whatever — the one who has given you a chance — take some of those details and take it to the next level.

    The other day I was invited to a special screening of the movie "Pawn Sacrifice" starring Tobey Maguire as insane world chess champion Bobby Fischer.

    I was going to go. I had an extra ticket. I asked a lot of people to go with me. Finally, someone said yes. But then I realized I was too late.

    So I was an example of being a failure. I missed a detail. I failed rule #2. That’s OK. That happens to me.

    Whatever.

    Bobby Fischer always took it to the next level. Nobody ever thought he was the greatest talent in chess history. He probably had average talent.

    But he always said, "How can I take chess to the next level?"

    When he was a kid he learned Russian so he could read the Russian chess magazines.

    After that, he never lost a US Championship. He was 13 years old.

    He was so much better than the Americans that he even stopped playing in the US championship.

    And he took it to the next level right up until the world championship.

    For the first time in his life he played a different first move.

    His opponent, the older world champion, had ONLY prepared for the one move Fischer ever did. So Fischer came up an entire new opening with a new first move.

    Gandhi took it to the next level. Every revolution before him was done with violence.

    He experimented. He had a vision. He felt that 300 milllion Indians didn’t need to do violence.

    He was right, despite everyone disagreeing with him.

    Take the advice of everyone around you, and then take it to the next level. Practice taking it to the next level (because at first you won’t be good).

    But do it over and over again and you will be THAT PERSON that knows how to take things above and beyond.

    5. Failures take all the credit

    Failures are insecure. When they do their little stupid thing at work they want the credit.

    Give others credit all the time. Then you are the source of credit. Just like a bank.

    When people want more credit, who do they go to? They go to you! Just like they would go to the bank when they need more money.

    You look at the history of every company. The founders who never followed through and ended up not being successful ("whatever happened to …") are the ones who wanted credit too early on.

    They fought for it. They died for it. They cried for it.

    They went broke for it.

    Give credit. Be the bank. Be the source.

    6. Lack of integrity

    I don’t mean "be honest." That’s obvious.

    How do you take "honesty" and "integrity" to the next level?

    You become vulnerable. You admit mistakes before you have to. You offer people their money back when you've lost it and didn’t have to.

    I was talking to Ev Williams who started Twitter. When his older company, Odeo, wasn't working out — he and his board decided to give everyone their money back before moving on.

    That's integrity. Nobody has ever given me my money back.

    You give advice and help people when you sincerely want them to do better.

    Do this every day. It adds up. No, it doesn't add up. It multiplies. It compounds.

    There’s "negative integrity" and "positive integrity."

    "Negative integrity" is saying to your boss: "I failed because I missed the train."

    "Positive integrity" is, "I like your idea for A, B, C reasons, but how about you give a chance to X, Y, and Z and I bet we can make your idea a huge success" to your boss.

    And then you give your boss total credit.

    Remember, these rules don’t live in isolation. It’s all one big rule.

    It’s all about you being a vessel for a vision.

    Visions live for centuries more than people do.

    leonardo dicaprio wolf of wall street throwing money rich

    7. No money management

    There’s three skills in money:

    • Making it.
    • Keeping it.
    • Growing it.

    Making it is what we deal with for a long time. We need to pay the bills. We need to reduce money anxiety in life.

    But many people who are failures think that once they make it, the job is over.

    I thought my job was over when I had millions in the bank.

    So I stopped being healthy. So I stopped being nice to the people around me.

    So I spent money on a penthouse apartment and bought art and got a house in Atlantic City and started gambling after taking helicopters back and forth.

    So I put money in every investment possible just to impress people.

    And then I had $143 left and I was dead broke and blame myself for the deaths of at least two people.

    When you make money, keep it. Don’t even invest it. Put it in the bank. Don’t be greedy for more. You only need to get rich once.

    Unless you want to buy a basketball team you don’t need to get rich twice.

    And only when you are confident you can keep it, you can THINK about growing it. But that takes a year or two first of keeping it.

    Please trust me on this one.

    Almost every failure I know (and I know a lot) didn’t fail because they couldn’t make money. They are broke now because they couldn't keep it.

    8. Now follow through

    I have a very good friend who is a brilliant brilliant scientist. Maybe the most brilliant man I know.

    I would tell him this to his face: You have no follow through.

    He has an idea. Everyone says it’s amazing! AMAZING! You are so SMART!

    He gets about 30% of it done.

    And then he is on to the next brilliant idea. BRILLIANT!

    His kids live on food stamps. And every single one of his ideas is not just a million dollar idea. But a TRILLION dollar idea. I’m not exaggerating.

    But he can’t follow through. The next idea is always bigger.

    Thomas Edison didn’t say, "I did it!" when he made the light bulb.

    He called up the mayor of New York and worked out a deal to light up downton New York City. The first city in history to be lit up at night by electricity.

    He got paid for that. He made a company. He followed through. He got rich.

    If you have trouble following through, delegate. But don’t forget the other rules above: Over deliver. Integrity. Health. etc.

    writing notebook notepad

    9. They don't have notebooks

    I carry at all times a waiter’s pad. I have over 100 waiter’s pads.

    In my pocket right now is one. In the table next to where I sleep is one.

    Saul Bellow once said, "You never have to rewrite what you write in the middle of the night."

    How many times do you think of a great idea and you think, "This is so GREAT I will never forget it," and then you forget it?

    It happened to me this morning. Claudia and I were talking last night and she said, "You have to write this down!" and I said, "There is NO WAY I’m going to forget this. "

    Well, I forgot it. I pray to the gods of memory I will remember it but I forgot it.

    10. They don't listen

    I say, on average, 10,000 words a day.

    I already know the things I’m going to say. Meaning: they are already in my head. And I’m just vomiting them out.

    When you listen, you learn. When you learn, you get better. When you get better you start to have a vision, you start to over-deliver, you get more creative, and all the other good things above.

    I’m going on a word diet.

    2,500 words a day. MAX. I might not succeed (it’s an experiment) but I’m hoping I learn more today. And tomorrow.

    Listening is a form of giving credit. It means you value the words of other.

    Listening is a form of integrity. Because everyone offers something, you acknowledge that.

    Listening is a form of improving relationships with others.

    Listening is a way to outsource good ideas since if you let many others talk, some of them will give you good ideas you might not have thought of.

    Buddha didn’t start a major religion by talking. It started because he sat under a tree and listened.

    Jesus spent 40 days in a desert. Listening.

    Moses listened to his wife (err … I mean a burning bush).

    Everything that has moved history happened because of listening instead of talking. Talking inspires. But listening creates the inspiration.

    I can say "break all of the above rules" is the final rule.

    But I’m not going to say that.

    You know why? Because this is not bull----.

    This is not about how to fail or to succeed.

    This is exactly how I failed and succeeded. You can do whatever you want. I will never know your truth.

    This is my truth.

    SEE ALSO: Life lessons 9 successful people learned from failing

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    job interview

    Interviews are already nerve-wracking — and when you’re an introvert like me, they’re downright, wake-up-in-a-cold-sweat, I’d-rather-get-my-teeth-pulled terrifying.

    Unfortunately, if we introverts ever want to work, we have to do them, and we have to do them well. 

    So, check out my five techniques for getting through the process like a champ (a soon-to-be employed champ, at that!). 

    1. Arrange your day strategically

    It’s not that introverts don’t enjoy being around people—we do—but the more time we spend interacting with others, the less energy we have.

    That’s why I recommend arranging your schedule so that you have a cushion of “solo” time both before and after the interview. Think of it like plugging in your phone. Being alone before the interview will give you energy, while being alone afterward will allow you to recharge.

    I recently had a hiring manager ask me to come in for an interview at 4 p.m., so I planned all of my calls and meetings before noon. Then, after the interview, I went home and completed the rest of my work from there.

    What if spending hours alone before and after the interview isn’t feasible for you? Try to give yourself at least 30 minutes beforehand: Leave the office early and walk around the block, work from a quiet spot in your office — or, at the very least, put your headphones on. 

    This strategy ensures you’ll have maximum energy during the interview — which is crucial to scoring the job.

    2. Prepare for small talk

    It’s pretty normal for introverts to dislike small talk, which admittedly can feel rather pointless. However, even if you hate chit-chat, remind yourself this is one time you can’t skip it.

    I’ve learned that it helps to come up with a couple “casual” questions in advance that you can throw in as needed. In fact, this is a great opportunity to ask questions that don’t feel so pointless! 

    For example, instead of bringing up the weather, ask your interviewer what her favorite seasonal activity is. Or, instead of discussing each other’s respective hometowns, ask if he knows any local “hidden gems” in the office’s neighborhood.

    Also, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of the ultimate purpose of this interview small talk: to build a rapport with your interviewer and make him or her like you. Not such a waste of time after all, right?

    job interview

    3. Focus your best efforts in the beginning and at the end

    Research has shown interviewers form their first impressions of you in just seconds.

    And as an introvert, that snap judgment actually plays to our advantage. If I walk in with an enthusiastic smile, a confident handshake, and a friendly, “Hi! I’m Aja,” then the interviewer instantly classifies me as “enthusiastic, confident, and friendly” — and I’d have to work pretty hard to alter his or her initial impression.

    Similarly, you want to end on a high note. Most interviewers try to summarize their thoughts as quickly as they can after you leave the room; the more time goes on, the less accurately they’ll remember the interview. So you want their last impression of you to be as awesome as the first. 

    Flash a big smile, say, “It was great to meet you, and thank you so much for this opportunity,” and give them another firm handshake.

    4. Match the interviewer’s tone

    However, just because you killed the beginning and end of the interview doesn’t mean you can ignore your tone during the middle.

    Unfortunately, introverts can sometimes come across as bored, standoffish, distant, unenthusiastic, and so on. We’re not trying to — from our perspective, we’re calm and thoughtful.

    To make sure this discrepancy doesn’t happen during an interview, subtly copy the interviewer. Is she using lots of gestures? Amp up your own motions. Is he telling jokes? Give your answers some levity. Is her tone professional and courteous? Follow suit. 

    Here’s a hack: It also helps if you mirror his or her body language — without going overboard, of course.

    If you take your cues from the person you’re speaking with, you’re almost guaranteed to hit the proper note. 

    5. Mention that you’re introverted

    Tons of people are introverted; in fact, your interviewer may be an introvert as well! Hiding the fact you are one can land you in an office where you’re not a good fit. (Imagine working at a company where every single task is accomplished in a team. Scary, right?)

    The key is to highlight the positive aspects of your introverted nature. 

    Let’s say the hiring manager asks, “What’s your greatest strength?” 

    You can reply along the lines of, “As an introvert, I’ve discovered that I’m a natural listener and observer. It’s second nature for me to seek out pain points or obstacles that others are facing. Once I’ve gathered enough information, I’m ready to make a thoughtful and impactful contribution.”

    You can also talk about how you’re overcoming the challenges of being an introvert. If you get the “greatest weakness” question, try responding with something like:

    “My default communication style is email and online communication, which can be really efficient—but when it comes to sensitive or relationship-building conversations, I know speaking in person is much better. I’m challenging myself to move those important discussions offline. Now, before I schedule a talk, I ask myself, ‘Will this be more productive if we can see each other’s faces?’”

    (Side note: This is a great interview answer because it exposes a true area of growth while explaining how you’re actively trying to overcome it.)

    With these strategies, being an introvert will help you, not hurt you. From one introvert to another: You got this.

    SEE ALSO: 5 inherent benefits to being an introvert

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    public speaking

    As you build your career, you'll need to build great relationships with those you work with — especially your boss. But the thing is, it's a two-way street.

    Your boss is looking to develop staff into leaders, likely making him or her the one who makes the next promotion decision.

    As a result, it pays to show your boss that you're ready for additional responsibilities.

    Here are seven phrases you can use to show your boss how promotable you really are:

    1. "I'll take care of that."

    One thing that makes you entirely unpromotable is only being willing to do the exact tasks that are specified in your job description. If you've ever come across a person like this, you know how frustrating it can be to hear over and over again, "Sorry — that's not my job."

    When you take on extra tasks — beyond those that are technically your responsibility — you're showing initiative. This will make you stand out as a self-starter — someone who can take care of things without needing a hand to hold. And when it comes down to it, those are exactly the kind of people bosses are looking to promote to the next level.

    2. "Here's a possible solution."

    Bosses love employees who are solution-oriented. The employee who's constantly trying to pass problems off to other people doesn't earn any favors from the boss. And while you can certainly let your boss know if something's wrong, you'll be perceived in a far better light if you follow up your announcement with what you plan to do about the problem.

    When you propose solutions, you're showing that you're proactive and that you're not a complainer. Of course, you'll probably be put in charge of the solution you propose — but if you take that opportunity and run with it, you're showing your boss how truly promotable you are.

    3. "That's no big deal."

    Being drama-free is a breath of fresh air in any office environment, but that goes double for your boss. Considering how many employees are quick to complain about the air conditioner, the heater, the lighting, the color of Post-It notes, and more, being willing to roll with the punches helps you stand out.

    Of course, if there really is a concern, broach it professionally. However, if it's no big deal, say so — your boss will notice.

    4. "According to my notes ..."

    Bosses love to hear this phrase, because it means that not only were you paying attention in a meeting, you actually took the next step and ensured you'd be prepared in the future by making notes. Is this the kind of behavior that would have labeled you the class brown-noser back in school? Yes. Is it appropriate in an office setting? Absolutely.

    No one likes having to repeat themselves or give instructions more than once. When you use this phrase, you show that you take your work and assignments seriously enough to write them down— which definitely shows that you're ready for the next level. Taking notes also helps you realize where you need clarification so you can ask questions on the spot, instead of having to track your boss down later. (Here's a hint: Bosses don't really like that either).

    happy hour

    5. "I'll certainly be at the office party!"

    Whether you consider it unfair or not, the reality is that important networking happens in these semi-formal situations. If you're the one who never comes to office social events, you'll probably stand out — but not in the right way.

    Sometimes, managers suspect that staff members who miss parties and events are planning to leave the company. Even if that's not on your boss's mind, he or she will notice that you're not spending time with the folks you work with all week. No matter how you slice it, being at office social events shows your boss you're engaged with the company and ready to be promoted.

    6. "How can I help on this project?"

    Asking how you can help is a great way to get positive attention from your boss. Just about every supervisor and manager has more on their plate than they can comfortably handle, and they welcome competent help. In addition, this shows that you're not averse to taking on extra work to help out the team.

    Considering how many employees try to avoid work whenever possible, using this phrase shows that you really are a team player, and this kind of initiative helps your boss see how promotable you really are.

    (Of course, it should go without saying that you shouldn't offer to help if you either a) aren't qualified to handle the tasks required, or b) can't spare the extra time without jeopardizing your own to-do list. Being eager is great, but you'll land in even hotter water if your helpfulness backfires in the end.)

    7. "I feel like this task is the priority — would you agree?"

    No matter how great an employee you are, you won't be able to do everything all the time. When you realize that you're running out of time and that a choice needs to be made, recognize it verbally and ask your boss to confirm your priorities. This is a great way to let your boss know that he or she can't have everything today, but that you're willing to focus your efforts on their top priority.

    When you present what you believe to be the top priority, you show your critical thinking skills while also giving your boss an easy answer. Prioritizing is a key skill you'll want to demonstrate when you're looking to be promoted — after all, how can you be considered qualified to take on a role at the next level if you can't effectively manage your time in your current position?

    These phrases may sound simple, but what you say at work really matters. When you regularly use these seven phrases, you'll show your boss your initiative and willingness to take on responsibility, demonstrating that you're ready to be promoted. If you consistently do the opposite, don't expect to advance.

    SEE ALSO: 8 phrases that will make you magnetic at work

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This ‘Shark Tank’ investor once made a $5 million mistake


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    break, work

    Get up, get out of bed, drag a comb across your head. Then, ugh, march to work, sign in to Slack and count the minutes until you can take a break.

    But, just how long should you wait to flee your swivel chair? Until you have to use the rest room or lost all feeling in your a--?

    And how long should you spend away from recirculated office air, basking in the elements?

    Well, these were the objects of inquiry in a new study on taking breaks, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology

    Over the course of one workweek, Baylor University psychologists surveyed 95 employees who documented and assessed every break they took. A break was defined as "any period of time, formal or informal, during the workday in which work-relevant tasks are not required or expected, including but not limited to a break for lunch, coffee, personal email or socializing with coworkers, not including bathroom breaks." 

    All in all, researchers poured over 959 reports, each of which reflected an average of two breaks per day, per person. 

    Here’s the gist of what they found: 

    1. Mid-morning is the best time for a break. Rather than sprint through a.m. work and reward yourself with a leisurely lunch or afternoon constitutional, consider pulling yourself away from that draft or contract before lunch to restore energy, concentration and motivation. Study participants reported more health issues and worse well-being when they took later breaks.
    2. Do something you enjoy. If you’re working on an assigned task, you’re not taking a break. But, it’s okay to engage in a work-related activity, so long as it’s something you choose and like.
    3. Better breaks, better health, better job situation. Worker-bees who take enjoyable, mid-morning breaks gripe less about their aching bodies (e.g., headaches, eye strain and lower-back pain), suffer from burnout less frequently, and report higher levels of job satisfaction.
    4. It is about quantity. Employees who take shorter, more frequent breaks are more energized and motivated than their colleagues who save up their break minutes for one, long respite. But, researchers didn’t identify any magic length of time for ideal breaks. 

    So, step slowly away from the computer and go talk to someone about the series finale of "Show Me a Hero." Your ticker will thank you. 

    SEE ALSO: 3 things productive people do during their lunch breaks

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    NOW WATCH: The sleep habits all successful people share


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    yoga

    NBA star Kobe Bryant starts each morning with mindfulness meditation.

    "It's the first thing I do when I get up," Bryanttold the Huffington Post. "I find that to be the best way to start the day. It gets me in balance before the busyness and hecticness of the day kicks off."

    He's not the only one. Jerry Seinfeld gets up at 6:15 a.m. to meditate because it helps him get more work done later in the day, and Oprah Winfrey meditates for 20 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon to detach from the chaos of each day.  

    Why do these titans with jam-packed schedules start each day by doing nothing?

    Ethan Nichtern, a Buddhist teacher and author of "The Road Home," says meditating in the morning sets the right tone and can help you stay focused for the rest of the day.

    "We get up freaking out about our day, so it's a great way to settle the mind and gain perspective," Nichtern says.

    For starters, it helps you remember your intentions. "There's a relationship between mindfulness and intention," he says. "Meditating first thing in the morning can connect what you're doing and the intentions behind it."

    Practicing mindfulness meditation also connects you to your body, allowing you to create a sense of muscle memory to intensely focus on what you're doing, Nichtern says.

    It not only helps you develop a deep level of focus, but it helps you regain focus when your mind wanders, he says, which can be helpful all day long.

    "During the day, it's easier to come back to the task at hand after practicing an exercise [meditation] that's about bringing your mind back to the task at hand," Nichtern says.

    Of course, it's important to be patient and understand that it takes time to master the art of meditation. There may be some immediate benefits, but the longer-term benefits like better health and improved focus come with practice.

    Here's the four-step tutorial Nichtern offers to anyone who wants to learn to meditate:

    1. Take your seat. Find a clear, comfortable, and quiet place where you can stay focused and alert.
    2. Check in. Take about 30 seconds to think about what's on your mind and just let it all sink in.
    3. Mindfulness of breath. Don't treat it as a breathing exercise, but use peaceful and deep breaths as the anchor to your meditation.
    4. Awareness of thoughts. Focus on your thoughts, and when your mind gets lost, be sure to bring it back.

    SEE ALSO: Why creating a meaningful morning routine will make you more successful

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: T. Boone Pickens' strict morning routine will inspire you to plan your days better


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    Steve Jobs

    Here's an experiment: Name five iconic entrepreneurs. Actually, don't bother, because we can pretty much predict your answer.

    Every year, we ask the Inc. 500 honorees to name the entrepreneurs they most admire.

    The answers: Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, and Bill Gates. We've also seen Mark Zuckerberg and Tony Hsieh.

    The list varies a bit each year, but one constant remains: They're all men.

    That may not seem like much of a problem. After all, the entire country, and in many cases much of the world, has benefited from the contributions of these men: the jobs they've created, the technologies they've built, the instant access to European footwear. So what does it matter if they're all sporting a Y chromosome?

    It matters a lot. It matters in the most basic sense that entrepreneurship is so often touted as the great unlocking of human capital, which is exactly what it should be.

    But when it comes to fast-growth entrepreneurship of the exalted and peculiar variety that produces breakthrough entrepreneurs, the U.S. has done a great job of unlocking only about half of our human capital. Women own about 36% of U.S. businesses; just 10% of Inc. 500 companies are led by women.

    That's the past. Wave goodbye, and blow it a kiss. Don't linger too long, though, because the future looks radically different, and radically better. We're going to see a rising tide of successful female entrepreneurs, and we're going to see them on that most-admired list, thanks to their leadership ability, wide-ranging experience, education, raw talent, and tendency to deliver better returns.

    Men are changing too, seeing opportunity where it's previously been overlooked, and investing in and supporting female entrepreneurs who weren't considered backable before. That means more job creation, more innovation, and more inspiration for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

    Extraordinary human capital, after all, doesn't just sit around waiting to be noticed. Entrepreneurs are by their nature disrupters, whether they embrace the label or not. For female entrepreneurs right now, that means not just disrupting their chosen fields but also disrupting the old boys' club, with its myopia and patriarchal outlook.

    No problem. They're already on it.

    Perhaps the most direct evidence that female fast-growth entrepreneurs have been consistently underrated, and won't be much longer, comes from the experience of current company builders. A growing body of research indicates that women, when given a fair shot, are better at high-growth entrepreneurship than men. Not just as good as the men. Better.

    In July, First Round Capital released some startling numbers. The seed-stage firm examined 300 of its investments across almost 600 companies, revealing that those that included at least one woman founder performed 63% better, as measured by increases in valuation, than those founded by all-male teams.

    In a similar vein, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation showed that women-led private technology companies have a 35% higher return on investment than male-led ones. When they get venture money, these women-led companies generate revenues that are 12% higher than those of comparable male-run tech companies. And a study by Illuminate Ventures demonstrated that women use capital more efficiently than men.

    None of this happens without leadership — another area in which women, often thought to be not determined enough, not inspiring enough, not insert-adjective-here enough, actually excel. In 2011, Zenger Folkman, a consulting firm specializing in leadership development, asked direct reports, bosses, and peers to rate 7,280 leaders on 16 traits thought to be the ingredients of outstanding leadership — from taking initiative to displaying high integrity and honesty.

    Women outscored men on 12 of the 16, and did best on two measures stereotypically thought of as male strengths: driving results and taking initiative. Women consistently rated better than men in overall leadership ability; the higher up in the organization the leaders were, the bigger the discrepancy between men and women, and the more the women shone.

    With leadership, though, one often also needs experience. For all we hear about 20-year-olds dropping out of Stanford to raise trunk loads of venture money, most entrepreneurs need industry knowledge and connections to start a company. Women are gaining both, starting in school and continuing throughout their careers. Women now earn 36.5% of all business school degrees. They also earn about half of all MDs.

    elizabeth holmes theranos

    No surprise, then, that health care is a particular bright spot for female entrepreneurs, with Elizabeth Holmes's lab testing company, Theranos, valued at $10 billion. Sheila Lirio Marcelo took Care.com public in 2014; Rachel King did the same with GlycoMimetics; and more recently Anne Wojcicki's 23andMe has joined the unicorn ranks.

    The weakness, by the same token, is in computer science, where women earn only 18% of undergraduate degrees. But maybe when it comes to entrepreneurship, this isn't the deal killer it's been assumed to be. The First Round data, among other surprises, shows that having a technical co-founder served to sink the value of a consumer-focused startup by 31%.

    Too often, the single biggest stumbling block for women entrepreneurs has been access to capital, especially equity capital. That's partly because 94% of investing partners at venture firms are male and, female entrepreneurs say, less likely to understand the potential of a business that specifically targets women as customers. Care.com connects caregivers to potential employers, and, says co-founder and CEO Marcelo, "we're having to educate the Street, which is 99% male, on how women look for care."

    We're also finally acknowledging that unconscious bias is real, and that it affects both men and women. In a study published in 2014, researchers asked people of both sexes to watch pitch videos. Some of the videos were narrated by a man, others by a woman.

    Sixty-eight percent of the people who watched the videos said they'd fund the man, compared with only 32% who said they'd fund the woman. Those watching the videos — men and women alike — considered the pitches from the men more "persuasive,""fact-based," and "logical" than the pitches from the women. Even though, word for word, the scripts were exactly the same.

    Some VCs are trying to change. In the rare instances in which venture capitalists used to invest in women, they'd promptly replace them with men, says Amy Millman, co-founder and president of Springboard Enterprises, which mentors and coaches women to raise venture funding. Now, she says, when VCs invest in women, "they brag about it." Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers ordered up training for the firm in overcoming unconscious bias, and is now offering it to its portfolio company CEOs.

    As enlightenment ripples across the establishment, women with the relevant experience or means are realizing that if they too want to see more amazing women running amazing companies, they've got to put their money where their frustrations are. Golden Seeds, a group of mostly ex-Wall Street women, has been providing early funding to female-run companies since 2005; Cindy Padnos's Illuminate Ventures was formed in 2009. This trend seems to be reaching a tipping point.

    In 2010, venture capitalists Sonja Hoel Perkins and Jennifer Fonstad corralled a group of Silicon Valley's most powerful women to form Broadway Angels; so far, 48% of its entrepreneurs are women. Theresia Gouw, once a partner with Accel Partners, and Fonstad, formerly managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, founded Aspect Ventures; Aileen Lee left Kleiner Perkins to launch seed fund Cowboy Ventures; Gilt Groupe's former CEO Susan Lyne hatched AOL's BBG (Built by Girls) Ventures; serial entrepreneur Anu Duggal launched the Female Founders Fund with the express purpose of investing in women.

    These power centers are starting to have an impact, both through their investments and by convincing others that companies led by women are an undervalued asset class — one that will deliver superior returns. A Babson College study reported that in 1999, fewer than 5% of venture capital investments went to companies with a woman on the executive team. By 2011, that number had increased to 9%.

    Marissa Mayer

    Only two years later, in 2013, companies with a woman on the executive team were attracting 18% of venture investments. You don't have to be courting VCs to notice the change in mindset: According to Alicia Robb, a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation who analyzed more than 25,000 Kickstarter projects, female crowdfunders on the site are more likely to get fully funded than men. Why? Because women are using Kickstarter as a vehicle to invest in other women.

    That dynamic — of women actively supporting one another's success — is something female entrepreneurs say is relatively new, and greatly welcomed. Just like men, they need a supportive network and successful role models, two things many have lacked. "Now there's Sara Blakely, there's Tory Burch," says Jane Wurwand, who recently sold her company, Derma­logica, to Unilever. "It's that 'If you see it, you can be it.'"

    Jessica Herrin, the founder of retailer Stella & Dot, speculates that the first generation of successful professional women were so busy dealing with sexism that they couldn't spare the energy or political capital to support the other women in line behind them. Now, says Herrin, "every female CEO I know is hell-bent on creating more of them."

    Even Elizabeth Holmes, who epitomizes the lone entrepreneur as much as anyone, admits how much of a difference it makes to have other women supporting her. When she started Theranos, she says it was women more than men who doubted her. Now, she says, women are "coming out of the woodwork" to support her.

    For more than two decades, Springboard's Millman has contended that we needed vast societal changes before we'd have masses of women building fast-growing companies, cracking the very top ranks of entrepreneurship. Now, finally, she says, "we're at an inflection point. It's happening."

    For the most-admired list, that means one thing: Steve, meet Stephanie.

    SEE ALSO: 3 ways Steve Jobs made meetings insanely productive — and often terrifying

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    desk

    My desk is many things: a place where I work, a lunch table, a cool spot to display the decorative notebook I never use, a medicine cabinet, a vending machine, and a Sephora—all rolled into one. 

    Such is the life of a working woman in 2015! What is my apartment but a place for me to hang out in between being at the office? 

    As someone fully resigned to the fact that I’ll spend more personal time with my desk chair than with my friends and family, I’ve learned the fine art of fitting a household-worth of items into my workspace.

    Here’s what I recommend everyone always have on hand:

    1. An office jacket

    No, I don’t mean a formal blazer-like jacket — unless you’re a fancy businessperson, in which case, you do you. I mean a sweater, a sweatshirt, a pullover, or a snuggie (we’re just mere years away from those being ironic) that you can pull on when the office AC wars get crazy. 

    2. Deodorant

    In contrast to your office jacket, you’re also going to need deodorant. You’re an adult, so I don’t need to explain to you the ins and outs of sweating, but sometimes it happens at work and it’s a smart thing to have handy. Because when you need it, you probably need it. 

    3. A few grooming items

    Whether you’re meeting an important client who just stopped by the office on the fly or spontaneously going out for happy hour drinks with your co-workers, it always feels good to spruce yourself up a bit.

    From flossing and dabbing on lip balm to brushing your hair to giving yourself a full-on extreme makeover that makes people say, “Whoa, you look so different with eyeliner!”— having a few items on hand makes it easy to make yourself look (more) professional in minutes. 

    4. Food

    At any given time, I have between one and 100 non-perishable items in my drawer. Seriously, if there’s a natural disaster in New York City, my best advice to you is to find my desk — granola bars for days. (On a related note: Perhaps, I’m not the best person to dole out natural disaster advice.)

    eating desk food working computer

    Whether you suffer from hanger—which is very real—or you’re the kind of person who gets so caught up in your work that you don’t have time to pop out to lunch, it’s always better if you can grab something quick. At least until you do have time to eat something more substantial.

    5. Slippers

    I know, it’s getting weird now — but hear me out. Winter is coming. And that means you’re going to wear boots and other large, clunky footwear to the office. Sure, you can keep a pair of nice flats or sneakers under your desk. Or, you can indulge your feet in pillow-y softness.

    Speaking from personal experience, it’s a dream come true when you come into the office covered in slush and get to put these on instead. Just know, that no matter what brand you get, they all come with free stares from confused co-workers. 

    6. One dress-up item

    No matter how casual your office may be, there will one day be an occasion when you need to look a little bit more dressed up. Maybe an investor’s stopping by your startup, or a PR person wants you to drop by an awesome event, or your friends want to head to a fancy new bar.

    While you most definitely don’t need to have a back-up black tie wedding outfit ready, you should have one item that makes you look more put together. Be it heels, a blazer, a tie, or even a statement necklace — don’t be caught unprepared. After all, a shoe change could be the key to making yourself look more presentable.

    7. Personal necessities

    Yes, you can always run to the drugstore. But, more often than not, when the occasion arises (a.k.a., an emergency) — there’s no time. You know you better than I can ever hope to know you, so I won’t presume to tell you what’s a necessity.

    However, my emergency bag includes Advil, tampons, a contact case, and contact solution. Also an emergency granola bar, in case the first stash runs out. Stain remover and Band-Aids never hurt, either.

    8. Headphones

    There are times when you want nothing more than to sit back in your chair and chitchat the day away with your beloved co-workers. Then, there are other times when you need to hunker down and get a crazy amount of work done quickly.

    And for those times, you’re going to need headphones. (Also for the times when you’re just not in the mood to be social. Nothing says “Leave me alone!” more than giant headphones.)

    9. Phone charger

    On one hand, you can almost always borrow someone else’s charger. On the other hand, life’s so much easier when you have your own you can use at any time. May I recommend a portable one? That way, in case you’re not into also having a work-bag-charger, you can easily use it on-the-go.

    SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg shows that he works at the same kind of desk as everybody else

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    business

    We all know one of those ultra productive people. You know the ones I’m talking about.

    They make life look easy, as if they have countless hours at their disposal.

    Time, however, is the great equalizer. We all have the same amount of hours in the day.

    As Thomas Edison once said, "Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can't afford to lose.”

    These are very insightful words. Money, health, looks, can all come and go, but once time is gone, it is forever.

    So how do we make the most of this precious resource? We look at the habits of ultra productive people. We strive to incorporate some of their wisdom into our everyday lives. Every minute saved adds quality to your well-being.

    Here are some things ultra-productive people do differently:

    1. They have a one-touch rule

    They don’t have an endless list of emails and phone calls to return. As soon as it is received, one of three things will happen. It will be important enough to handle themselves right then and there. It will be of an important nature, but not so much that it needs their attention.

    These tasks may be delegated to someone else to complete. And finally the matter is of no importance, and can be promptly deleted. Of course, there are things that will fall into a gray area, but they spend minimal time deciding an action plan.

    2. They say no

    They say no, and they mean it. Productive people are very choosy about what and who they commit to. Once committed they will always see it through. They also give this same commitment to saying no. For them no means no, no discussion, no uncertainty. They understand the value of time.

    Productive people know that it’s not possible to accept all requests. After all, they too are only human.

    3. They do not multitask

    One image that comes to mind when thinking about productive people are those who are doing four things at once. They are on the phone, answering emails, going over reports, and planning their kids birthday party; all at once.

    However, this is not a truly productive person. None of these tasks get done well or is given proper attention. Often this causes you to have to go back and redo something because you weren’t giving it your full attention in the first place. It has been proven that multitasking reduces efficiency. Take on one task at a time, fully commit to it, and see it through to completion.

    Using these tips in everyday life will help you gain more time in the day. The positive impact of having more time will be greater than you may think. More time can mean more opportunity to unwind and relax, which could lower overall stress. So for now, choose one tip. Practice it, learn it, live it, and then add another. You have nothing to lose, and all the time to gain.

    SEE ALSO: 11 productivity tricks small-business owners can use to get more done every day

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    tim ferriss

    Ever since NPR’s Serial broke the Internet last year, it seems like we’ve been in the middle of a podcast boom.

    But while podcasts like Serial can be fun and fascinating to listen to, there are some podcasts that are about more than just smart storytelling.

    These podcast gems can actually teach you to be smarter, more resilient, and a better leader.

    Here are some of the best podcasts for honing your leadership skills. They give you the chance to tune in (for free) and learn invaluable lessons from some of the most successful people and high performers in the world.

    Make sure to add to the list in the comments section below!

    1. The Tim Ferriss Show

    The author of the productivity bible "The Four Hour Work Week" talks to high-powered guests about what they do to perform so efficiently and effectively, and the tricks they use to get ahead; things you can do too! He’s hosted everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger, to investor Peter Thiel, to director Robert Rodriguez. Put this one on your podcast feed for sure.

    2. The Full Ratchet

    If you want to get into the minds of angel investors and learn the secrets of how to get funding for your startup, then this is the podcast for you. It’s hosted by angel investor Nick Moran, and covers topics that include negotiation tips, raising VC funds, and reasons why startups fail.

    Moran’s guests are investors and inventors and everyone in between. This podcast is essential for startup leaders: it gives you the inside scoop on the angel investing world and can prepare you to lead your company to success.

    3. Rocketship.FM

    With every episode, Rocketship.FM brings you an interview with a startup founder who’s built a successful company.

    My favorite episodes include an interview with Popforms’ Kate Matsudaira, who talks about how to plan for and realize your five-year goals, and Brian Balfour’s genius talk on how to build growth methodically. Again, a great podcast that will give you the skills to be an effective startup leader.

    4. Nathalie Lussier’s Off the Charts

    Nathalie Lussier packs a ton of information, advice, and tips into each five-minute episode — and she makes sure that every podcast leaves listeners with something concrete that they can do to be a better business leader.

    Lussier is a digital strategist and online marketing whiz, and in Off the Charts she dispenses actionable advice for growing your business, marketing yourself and your company online, writing sales pitches, and more.

    5. Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders

    Stanford University’s Technology Ventures Program hosts talks from leading entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers every semester. Thanks to this podcast, you can benefit from their advice without ever having to set foot on campus. Recent talks have featured Susan Koger of ModCloth andMike Rothenberg of Rothenberg Ventures.

    This podcast offers a great opportunity to learn from some of the world’s top entrepreneurial thinkers and one of the world’s best universities.

    I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you about my own very exciting foray into radio! In addition to my weekly podcast for entrepreneurs, my partners and I are reformatting our broadband show, which already airs in 36 markets. The Big Pitch Radio Show offers innovators an opportunity to land a discussion about funding with our co-host, Kevin Harrington (an original shark from ABC's "Shark Tank"). Hosted by Harrington, Jason Garey, and myself, the show is an exciting and refreshing twist to business talk radio.

    SEE ALSO: 17 podcasts that will make you smarter

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    kat cole

    Kat Cole, president of FOCUS Brands, the parent company of Auntie Anne's, Carvel, and Cinnabon, wakes up a 5 a.m. every morning and drinks 24 ounces of water.

    Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and Birchbox Man chief Brad Lande both start their days with a glass of hot water with lemon.

    Why are these execs reaching for water instead of coffee?

    We asked Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and the author of "The One One One Diet," about the potential benefits. Here's why she recommends that everyone start their days with a glass of water:

    1. Drinking water first thing in the morning immediately helps rehydrate the body.

    The six to eight hours of recommended nightly sleep is a long period to go without any water consumption. Drinking a glass or two of water right when you wake up, however, is a good way to quickly rehydrate your body, Batayneh says. 

    "Most people have their coffee first thing in the morning," she says. "Although it is a good source of antioxidants, it is also dehydrating. You can offset this with water."

    2. Drinking water first thing in the morning increases your level of alertness.

    "One of the biggest indicators of lethargy or low energy is that you are dehydrated," Batayneh says. "Because water aids in both body regulation and brain function, it is also closely related to balancing out our moods."

    After a long period without anything to eat or drink, the first thing you consume in the morning can be a shock to the body. If that first thing is ice water, it will get the body working and "can boost your alertness and low energy levels," she says. 

    3. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps fuel your brain.

    When it comes to daily productivity, hydration is crucial. The human brain is made up of 73% water, Batayneh says, so staying hydrated is especially essential for maintaining optimal brain activity. It is, of course, a day-long process, but starting with a glass of water right away is a step in the right direction, she says.

    "The mornings set the tone for the rest of your day," Batayneh says. "If you feel sluggish, it will reflect in your activity (morning workout), productivity at work, and even your routine with the kids."

    4. Drinking water first thing in the morning can help you fight sicknesses.

    When you're sleeping, your body is in repair and recovery mode, Batayneh says. During this time, your immune system is hard at work ridding your body of toxins. By drinking enough water, you can speed up the process in which your body flushes those toxins.

    Aside from the brain, many of the body's other major parts, like the heart, kidneys, and lungs, are made up of a majority of water, she says. Simply put, staying hydrated is a key ingredient in staying healthy. 

    5. Drinking water first thing in the morning jump-starts your metabolism.

    The essential carbohydrates and proteins that you consume on a daily basis are metabolized and transported, by way of water, throughout the body. Having a sufficient amount of water in your body will help fire up your metabolism, Batayneh says, and it can also help with your diet.

    "When we are not adequately hydrated, we can mistake thirst with hunger, which leads us to eat more," she says. 

    SEE ALSO: This one-minute morning routine can improve your productivity all day long

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: T. Boone Pickens' strict morning routine will inspire you to plan your days better


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