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Posts published in 'Work-Life Balance' category

Creativity in Business

written by Maria Botta
Maria Botta
Topics: Business, Career, Leadership, Marketing, Technology, Work-Life Balance
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I work in a creative business – the business of creativity to be exact, and I see how difficult it is for some business people and academics to understand HOW a creative approach can help a business grow. But in today’s business environment, I can’t imagine a thriving business that is not looking at their business in a creative way.

The subject of creativity in business has been on the forefront lately, discussed in business blogs and articles in serous publications. There is no question that the termCREATIVE” is getting some major traction, according to LinkedIn (based on 135 million professional profiles in several languages), in 2011 “CREATIVE” was the most overused buzz word on user profiles in the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, UK.  But what the heck does it REALLY mean in business ?  

What does creativity mean in business?

Does this mean that executives should immerse themselves in afternoons of finger painting in order to find their inner creative mojo? (I am sure this wouldn’t hurt in the least). For the most part business people have been indoctrinated to draw inside the lines, and to ask them to reverse this way of doing things is quite radical, so how can you change this?.

In one of my favorite business books, Daniel H. Pink’s A Whole New Mind , Pink suggests, that the era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which “right brain” qualities-inventiveness, empathy, and meaning-predominate. But how do we make this change that Pink describes? How do we transition from the predominance of the left brain into the right brain?

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Money doesn’t buy happiness – or maybe it does ????

written by Maria Botta
Maria Botta
Topics: Blogs, Business, Career, Leadership, Technology, Work-Life Balance
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A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. ~ Jane Austen

Money doesn’t buy happiness – or maybe it does ???

This is a question that has been on my mind, because I have noticed a widening chasm between the happiness of the “haves, and those that have less”. People who are comfortable financially and are financially stable seem to be MUCH happier than those who are not, they seem unscathed from the stress of these difficult times. Is their money like an invisible shield that keeps unhappiness at bay?

As the middle class dwindles, and the overall happiness rating in the US drops, I wonder if happiness will be reserved for the 1% of our country OR will we be challenged as a society to redefine happiness? 

There is no doubt that across the board a desire to be happy is prevalent in not just the US, but in our Western culture, and a happy life is very much the preferred life. People who are considered successful, have influence, economic power, stability and tend to be happy.

In a study conducted in Britain, by the Institute of Economic Affairs called “The Pursuit of Happiness”, determined a direct correlation between happiness levels and the amount of wealth a person has accumulated. The study goes as far as to say that CASH can make us happy – and that CASH, is the most important factor in a person’s happiness.

Another study conducted at Princeton, goes as far as to claim that the threshold in the US for happiness is a $75,000 household income (even in high-cost cities), the study analyzed information gathered from 450,000 responses to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (GHWBI).  

Money is human happiness in the abstract; he, then, who is no longer capable of enjoying human happiness in the concrete devotes himself utterly to money.
~ Arthur Schopenhauer

The big question is – Does happiness lead to success or does success lead to happiness?

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Doing what you love – just like Andy Rooney

written by Maria Botta
Maria Botta
Topics: Blogs, Business, Career, Leadership, Marketing, Mentors & Motivators, Technology, Work-Life Balance
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Don’t get a “job”, create a life and career you love – why not?

I’ve done a lot of complaining here, but of all the things I’ve complained about, I can’t complain about my life…….. And all this time I’ve been paid to say what is on my mind on television, you don’t get any luckier in life than that.
~ Andy Rooney

One of the things that struck me during the coverage of Andy Rooney’s life and passing, was his resolute claim that he did what he loved professionally for 70 years – and in fact he did it right up to his passing at the age of 92. Some would say that he was one of the privileged few, but I say why not do something you love to do professionally? why shouldn’t we all do what we love?

Living your life’s passion can not only be extremely rewarding but can lead to prosperity. Interestingly, most creative professionals that I know, will tell you that they do what they love – why can’t this be true for everyone?

Watch Gary Vaynerchuk’s funny and inspiring video. Gary is a 35 year old New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author and a self-trained wine and social media expert, and the founder of Winelibrary.com.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Do what you love (no excuses!) TED Talk

YouTube Preview Image This video contains (mostly) adult language

Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.
~ Wayne Dyer

Have you asked yourself:  What do you love to do? What do you care about? What sparks you? Find your niche, whether it’s working for a non-profit or becoming an entrepreneur creating a company based on your passion?

  1. Is there something you already love doing, a hobby? 
  2. Care about your self first – figure out what you love and then do it.
  3. Study the market carefully and you will find opportunities. Consider conducting a market survey with potential customers to uncover untapped needs, position yourself to succeed

I am not suggesting that you leave your great paying job tomorrow …. but really think about it, plan it and pursue it. Start in small steps, and work on pursuing your passion after you leave the job you are lukewarm about.

Here are 3 stories of people I know who are pursuing their passions:

People might tell you, you can’t do it, you will starve – well I am here to tell you that you can! Here are 3 stories, of people that I personally know, who are making a go at it in 3 very different ways.

  • Molly Butler, someone I know in Atlanta was just laid off – she actually enjoyed her full-time job, but her true love is pets. This past year she started Wag & Purr, a pet sitting services she was growing on the side. Now, it’s a no brainer, the passion she had as a side business will most certainly grow and provide her a great income – because she loves it. 
  • I have a friend who has been a writer his entire career – he has written for major publications, the news – you name it. But recently he started working on writing a book about 2 of his great loves – Sports and cooking.  There is no doubt in my mind that this venture will be successful, because his passion makes him a credible source, that and the fact that there are so few cookbooks geared to men. 
  • Rob Mazze was a well respected Executive at a large New York advertising agency, who got laid off less than 2 years ago. When that happened, he went through a period of introspection about WHAT to do next, and decided to follow his passion for yoga, (which he regularly practiced for 20 yrs.). He enrolled in the teacher training program at Yoga to the People and is now registered as an instructor by the Yoga Alliance. Keep in mind that he went from a highly paid executive job to being a student and re-building his career and income. In a very short time he has built a private clientele as well as regularly instructing at several studios. I have no doubt that his business will grow, and if he chooses he will soon be running his own studio.  

These are just a few of the stories I know personally, you get the idea …. define yourself by your passion, build your business based on that definition and you will have an instant brand for yourself and your business, and that is something that potential customers are naturally drawn to.

Passion is important, especially in your work life since we spend an average of 8270 hours a year at work – and I will tell you that entrepreneurs typically spend much more than that. Be in control of your own future and create the opportunities to do what you love!

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What you can learn from Madonna about reinvention

written by Maria Botta
Maria Botta
Topics: Business, Career, Leadership, Marketing, Mentors & Motivators, Networking, Technology, Work-Life Balance
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“That we are responsible for our own fate, we reap what we sow, we get what we give, we pull in what we put out. I know these things for sure” Madonna

My favorite “mistresses” of reinvention is Madonna – SAY WHAT YOU WILL ABOUT HER – HATE HER OR LOVE HER, she has been through more “re-births” physically, creatively, personally and in business than any other public figure I can think of.  

When Madonna came on the scene in the 80’s, she was young, defiant and unconventional, she had fame, fortune and POWER.  She showed the world that she was going to achieve it all – on her own terms, making her own choices. I admired her then, and 3 decades later, I still do. She is a highly diversified business powerhouse and yet still takes risks – from acting, launching ‘Material Girl’ (a new line of clothing with her 14 year old daughter Lourdes), to dating men half her age without any care for public opinion.

She has had much success, a good deal of controversy and a fair amount of public failure too – but she keeps on going. At 53, she CONTINUES TO inspire, including a whole new generation of women. 

“I think that Madonna was a great inspiration for me…. If I had to examine her evolution through time, I think she reinvented her clothing style and music with success every single time. And at the same time remained a real force in entertainment in the whole world.” Rihanna

What can we learn from Madonna about reinvention?

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My Mobile Apps Strategy to Help Me Stay Productive: Evernote & Seesmic

written by Nelly Yusupova
Nelly Yusupova
Topics: Business, Career, Tech Tools, Technology, Work-Life Balance
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I am always looking for tools and technology that can help make me faster, save time, and improve my productivity and as a busy professional those are critical. My iPhone is a great tool (and one of my favorite purchases) and there are so many productivity applications available for it that there is almost no possible way that I can’t be more productive.

I want to highlight my one, two punch mobile apps strategy that keeps me on my feet, keeps me connected, and allows me to keep pace with the industry bobbing and weaving (the conversation). Also, how the combination of the two helps me stay productive while traveling. Seesmic & Evernote – these are my jab and cross for Social Media effectiveness.  Both of these apps are amazing on their own, but when combined together, they are a knock out!

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