In an age where the average attention span is thought to be worse than that of a goldfish, doing nothing could be the secret to happiness (and success). Never have those two little words “I’m bored” been uttered so much by all ages than in 2020. The Sun has more on why boredom could be the key to success...
Every Christmas, Ryohei Ando gathers his family together for a holiday tradition. Just like their father did as a child, his two children will reach deep into a red-and-white bucket and pick out the best piece of fried chicken they can find.
Yes, it’s a Merry KFC Christmas for the Ando family. It may seem odd anywhere outside Japan, but Ando’s family and millions of others would never let a Christmas go by without Kentucky Fried Chicken. Every Christmas season an estimated 3.6 million Japanese families treat themselves to fried chicken from the American fast-food chain, in what has become a nationwide tradition.
You can read about this KFC Christmas event over at BBC.com!
We all have to live in this world that runs on money and, for as long as that is true, that means that we do need to take our money management seriously. However, there are a lot of people to whom any potential financial issues, even small ones, can become a heavy weight that can drag them down, paralyse them, and prevent them from chasing what they want, whether it’s to invest in a business, buy assets, or otherwise. If your financial anxiety is dragging you down, it’s time to think about why that is and see what you can do to let that weight go.
Get to know where you’re really at
If you feel like you’re constantly on the back foot when it comes to your finances, it can help to gain a little perspective. Indeed, you might be right that, for instance, you owe more than you own. But you won’t know and thus you won’t be able to accurately implement any solutions until you get an actual idea of the situation. Put a list of all of your assets together, all accounts owed to you, and any debt you owe. Subtract the debt from the assets and money owed to you in order to get your net worth at the current time.
Make some plans for the future
Anxiety is mostly a sense of fearing the worst possible outcome when it comes to the future. These outcomes in your head are rarely based on real logic but more a kind of fear. However, that doesn’t mean that common sense solutions can’t help you dispel them. If you’re worried about being destitute in the far future, then make it a priority to put together some retirement savings as soon as you can. Put together annual savings goals after figuring out how much you need to put aside each year for a healthy retirement, and stick to those financial goals as well as you can.
Don’t forget to budget
By far one of the most useful pieces of financial advice that anyone can ever offer you, and one that can transform how you look at your money situation, is to put together a budget. A budget effectively looks at how much money you have to spend in any given period of time and helps you find out where you should be spending it. For instance, the 50/30/20 budget involves putting aside 50% of your money ahead of time to pay for the essentials, such as your home, groceries, bills, and so on. 30% of that is for discretionary purchases, such as new clothes, nights out, entertainment and so on, and 20% is for financial planning, such as saving towards emergency funds or investing. You don’t have to follow that specific example, but having a set plan for where your money is going and then ensuring your money does just that can offer a sense of security.
Start building from scratch again
You might be feeling a little low because a recent cost, such as a car repair, home repair, or major bill has knocked your finances for six. Your savings might have had to have been recently emptied, setting you back more than a few steps in your future plans. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s all pointless. There’s a good chance your situation would have been worse had you not had those savings to rely on. It’s time to pick yourself back up again after life knocks you down and get started with your savings once more. So long as you are a step in the right direction next week compared to where you are now, you are doing your financial health a world of good.
Don’t get paralysed by debt
A lot of us owe some sort of debt or have done in the past. When your debt is at its highest point, then it can feel almost pointless to think about what life would be like without it. However, the only bad decision to make when facing more debt than you can currently pay is to ignore it. You could get in touch with your creditors to talk about repayment plans and let them know about your situation. You can also look to other solutions, like debt consolidation that can make it easier to pay off the sum of what you know. However, the longer you wait, the more your debt will build. Take the time to research your options, but don’t put off the situation.
Put some protections in place
In future, you want to prevent yourself for having to raid your savings or to fall in debt. There’s no way to prepare for absolutely everything the future might through your way, but investing in a few protections can do you a world of good. Informally, having an emergency savings fund could help, but in a more formal sense, you should take a look at what kind of insurance you might need to protect your current lifestyle and assets.
Address your habits
Do you have some bad financial habits that either fuel or are caused by your financial anxiety? If so, they can keep you from building the financial protections that can serve as a long-term cure. There are a host of habits that can be destructive to your sense of money security. Overspending is an obvious one, but cost-tracking apps can help you identify cases of overspending so that you’re less likely to do it again. Excessive frugality and hoarding can be just as financially unhealthy since they often involve sitting on money that could do more good if you’re saving it for a specific goal or using it to pay for some manner of security. Take a close look at your financial habits are and learn which ones you should curb.
Being conscious of your finances is all well and good, but if it’s getting to the point that it’s stopping you from taking action, it’s time to rethink your money situation. Hopefully, the tips above help with that.
How do you know you've reached a turning point in your life? How can you recognise that maybe you need a change? Entrepreneur Europe has 5 signs for you...
Developing a new product is the cornerstone of any successful business, especially startups. You need to create something that meets the needs of consumers while also turning over a healthy profit for you.
Getting to that point, however, can be a challenge. Building a product isn’t just a matter of getting out there and doing the work - it requires time and patience to get right.
The failure rate for new products and services is notoriously high. In some quarters, it is north of 90 percent, meaning that that majority of new products on the market fail.
So what’s the key here? How can you nail your product development cycle and deliver something that will generate substantial profits?
Start By Satisfying A Need
New products don’t just emerge out of the ether - they come from the fact that they solve problems that consumers have. We already have a highly sophisticated economy, churning out millions of different goods each year for these needs. So there is a lot of knowledge already about what customers want. The market is already excellent at determining their needs and satisfying them.
Any new product, therefore, needs to fit into this context. It must understand how the market is currently failing consumers and how the new product can compete. And it needs to improve on whatever is already out there in some way.
The most successful products, therefore, aren’t always something entirely novel. Instead, they find a way to improve on an existing formula while preserving their competitive advantage.
Find Out How Much The Opportunity Is Worth
You might have an excellent idea for a niche product, but if the market for it is small, you might not make a return on your original investment.
Ideally, you want to figure out which market segments are most likely to consume whatever you build. Then you need to determine whether you will generate sufficient revenue for it to be worth your time.
User research platform, Userzoom, says that companies should try to understand the needs of users before building a new product or service and then validate prototypes. This approach helps to reduce risks and ensure that there is a feasible market out, therefore, for the products when you finally decide to scale.
Working out the size of the opportunity is, therefore, vital. You might have a product that a particular niche wants, but if there are too few people, you’ll ultimately wind up out of pocket.
Figure Out How You Will Develop The Product
The best way to work out how to develop a product is to look at how the market operates already. Look at the methods that companies already use to ship new goods and services to their customers and actually make it happen. Ask yourself the following questions:
Test Your Prototype In As Many Ways As You Can
Prototypes are an essential stage in producing a successful product. They are the point where you find out whether you will be able to deliver something the market will accept or not.
Companies tend, however, to look at their products through rose-tinted glasses. They see them as to how they want to see them, rather than how actual customers will.
Regular people are the harshest critics of what you sell. If there’s a slight weakness or flaw, they’ll find it and let you know in online reviews. Prototyping, therefore, is your opportunity to wipe out as many of these concerns as possible.
Be brutal with your product. Test it to its limits. If you find a flaw, plot a course of action to fix it. Ask yourself whether the product is robust enough, fast enough, or sufficiently flexible.
Be honest with yourself about whether it offers customers enough features, or if there are too many.
Also, question whether you can deliver it to the market on time. Many companies work to strict time constraints. There is a window of opportunity that they must exploit if they want their enterprise to thrive. If they miss it, then the profit opportunity will vanish.
A prototype, therefore, could have all the bells and whistles imaginable. Still, if it is going to take years to bring to scale, then it is not fulfilling the needs of the business. Long development cycles are often what kills new companies. The chance for the product to shine passes.
Figure Out How To Position The Product
Once you’ve designed the product and studied your market thoroughly, the next step is to position it ready for launch. Companies need to have a good sense of where their product fits alongside the other options available in the marketplace.
Positioning the product is essential and usually requires some pretty savvy marketing. For instance, is your product designed for a premium audience? Or are you looking to target people on a budget?
Does your product offer superior technology than its competitors? Or does it do the same thing, but at a lower price?
Finally, how will you use your brand image to sell the product? Will you use a value-driven approach where you talk about the broader benefits of your product? Or will you tap into different customer philosophies?
Remember, your advertising doesn’t have to focus on product features. Instead, you can simply focus on how your company makes people feel. Coca-Cola, for instance, doesn’t talk about the high sugar content of its drinks. Instead, it just associates its brand with having a good time.
You can post as much inspirational and motivational stuff as you can but sometimes, taking a look into what the real world looks like for someone that dedicates their day to being the best they can will have a bigger impact. Mark Wahlberg revealed his daily routine back in December 2018, this followed after Wahlberg was named the highest paid Hollywood actor in 2017. BBC News had the story back then..
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live