Adapting to and Managing Change

With the rapid expansion of different industries, the movement to eCommerce, and the advancements of technology, there are a lot of factors for change in our society. The need for change can be both internal and external. Changes in society will impact the way we do business and influence the way our business is run. Both small companies and large corporate companies have struggled with the idea of change, and when they fail to adapt they often get left in the dust. When change is necessary, do not be afraid to try new things! Change is a natural part of working for and owning a business. It is how you react to change that will decide whether you can be successful in the long-run.

Changes can occur at different speeds, from incremental change to rapid change. Technology, Globalization, Workforce diversity, Legal environment, Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility – changing expectations for businesses, Cultural changes and changing consumer demographics all influence change. There are many different ways to manage change and promote change within your organization and even within yourself. Using the ADKAR model we can see the different parts of the change process. You first need to have a general awareness of the need for change. Know that change is necessary and even beneficial. Start growing a desire to change, and start wanting change to occur. Be knowledgeable on how to change, and what it will take to change. Have the ability and the resources necessary to change, make sure change is practical. Lastly, reinforce to sustain change. While undergoing change you may go through a range of emotions starting from shock to integration by the end of your transformation.

As a leader of an organization you must provide a sense of clarity and direction for your company and those who work within your organization. Leaders should understand that resistance is typically associated with the first stage of change. However, while pursuing any type of change, both in a business setting and on an emotional level make sure you stay true to your values, beliefs, and mission. If you’re curious about initiating change you may also want to follow Kotter’s 8-step model. First create a sense of urgency, form a coalition, create a vision for change, communicate this vision, empower action, create quick wins, build on the change, and lastly make the change stick. Change is a natural part of personal and company growth, the key is to be adaptable, open minded, and patient.

5 ways to manage your stress effectively

Managing Stress

Do you feel stretched like a rubber band? Have you lost the feeling of being in control of your life? Often times it is easy to over-extend yourself, leaving you with a feeling of “where’s my life”? It is time to take control of your life and learn how to manage stress. What steps can you take?

Pinpoint the stress factor

Whether you are a stay at home mom or a busy account executive, stress can creep in and steal your mental health. Learn how to pinpoint the stress factor and learn how to control it. If you feel like you do not have enough time in the day, time management will help in preventing overextending yourself. Start a time entry journal, organize your time so that you can see on paper if you will be able to get everything done and still have time to carve out 30 minutes for yourself.

Focus on what makes you calm and in control

Everyone has an activity that allows them to de-stress, take the time to treat yourself for better mental health. If you are enjoying yourself, you will not think about the “bad areas” in your life and will focus more on the positive areas which will help reduce stress.

Get active

Studies have shown the best way to reduce stress is to get active. Take 30 minutes a day and do some form of exercise. Walking, jogging, stretching, weight lifting, anything to get the body moving will increase endorphins which are a natural stress reliever.

Make time for fun

Give yourself permission to have fun. Everyone needs an outlet to get rid of stress. If you enjoy playing golf, set up a time on your calendar to go to the golf course. If quiet time, reading a book, relaxes you, put your best effort towards making time to curl up with a good book and relax.

Maintain balance

To live a happy productive life, reducing stress is a must. When a person is dealing with stress, not only does the individual suffer, but others around you will suffer as well. Learn what your triggers are and avoid over-extending yourself.

In a fast paced world, it is very easy to become stressed. Reducing one’s mental stress will allow for a happier, healthier, more productive life.

How To Be Self- Supportive

People can get burdened by challenges they are going through in life. These challenges may be as a result of their financial status, their relationship with others and tragic occurrences in their lives like the death of a loved one. However,people have overcome challenges by having a network of people to rely on for emotional support.

Emotional support is important because one gets a higher self-esteem. Their confidence gets a boost and they can manage through life problems. In addition, it gives people a better ability to cope with stress and feel more in control of their lives.

However, some people are their own support system. This means that they give themselves the necessary support during difficult times. How can one support himself or herself?

Self support can come from prayers. This is especially for the religious people. Turning to prayer can help ease the burdens of their hearts.

Another way of supporting oneself is through self love. If one cannot love himself or herself, who will? People should treat themselves well; cook a favorite meal or buy something new. This will help the person to feel better about themselves.

Moreover, people should do what makes them happy. Even in the face of challenges, engage in fun activities that will result to happiness. This will in turn reduce stress. However, one cannot engage in activities that make them happy while bringing unhappiness to others. One cannot leave their young children unattended just to go party.

Also, have time for self reflection. This is necessary for one to identify their weaknesses and their strengths. One is able to determine the way forward out of their misery.

Finally, reading motivational content can come in handy when one wants to support themselves emotionally. Motivational content exposes one to ways of dealing with life challenges. It also takes one’s mind off stressful situations for a while.

In conclusion,a support system can come from within us. People need to rethink their sources of emotional support. They need to realize that their can be their own shoulder to lean on. They can be the shove they needed to get things emerge stronger emotionally.

WORLDS SCARIEST SPIDERS

Spiders to a majority of people except arachnid lovers, are not only scary but also creepy and their webs irritating. It is very okay feeling this way because some spider species are vicious and deadly. There are about 40,000 different spider species in the world and more than half this number have a fatal bite enough to kill a human. Here is my list of spiders that make my stomach turn.

Brazilian Wandering Spider

Also known as the banana spider, the Brazilian spider belongs to the genus Phoneutria which is Greek for “murderess.” Its has been ranked in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most venomous spider in the world. The banana spider has a body stretching as long as 48mm and leg length of 15cm. It has a brownish color with black spots on its belly. Its name comes from the fact that the spider does not built webs but rather wanders off during the night to look for prey and during the day it hides under rocks, fallen logs, termite mounds and banana plants.

When it feels threatened the spider lifts its body upwards raising its two front legs in a defensive position revealing its red haired fangs. Men particularly need to stay off this arachnid because its bite causes a painful four hour erection then death if untreated. In 1996 fourteen people died from the banana spider bite before an antidote was found. The venom causes loss of muscle control which leads to paralysis and finally asphyxiation. The venom also increases blood-flow because of a chemical called nitric oxide and some pharmacists have considered using the venom as an erectile dysfunction drug.

The wandering spider is widely found in Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay. These are mostly the South American, Central American and Amazon areas. There are however reports of the spider spreading into other areas like Britain and United States through banana imports from Brazil. In my books, this is the world’s scariest spider but there are however other hair raising spider species that we might encounter and they are;

Black Widow

It’s shiny black with an hourglass shaped body and a red spot on the abdomen. They are called black widows because females are known for eating the males after mating. A black widow’s bite can also be fatal. They are found in any continent of the world except Antarctica.

Funnel Web Spider

The Australian Funnel spider may look small but its bite can be deadly especially to children. It’s black or brown with a shiny spot on its abdomen. They love humid conditions hence make burrows under rocks, rotting logs or in rough barked trees.

Home Business Advice

If you are thinking of setting up or have already set up a home based business then you need to read on. So many people ignore or are unaware of the legal requirements involved in setting up a business from home. There will be many questions to ask yourself and an enormous amount of paperwork for you to complete.

There are some tips for businesses, for those who are starting life on a small budget but have very big ideas for their growth. Is running a home business right for you? This is a huge decision for anyone. Whether you are keeping the security of your full time employment when you build your business or client base, you have to be sure that you can commit your time and resources to growing your business. You have to ask yourself about motivation to start it, organize your time well and ignore home distractions. Think about earning money from something you enjoy. If you have trained as a computer programmer, but always hated it then setting up in business in the same industry will be very hard work for you and unlikely to succeed.

Market research

Market research isn’t expensive or fancy and you can carry it out yourself.

Once you have a couple of ideas do some market research. Don’t be tempted to just ask friends and family as they will want to encourage your new venture and you need objective data. Get the hard facts and figures on your future business: by whom and what exactly are producing within the current market. Lack of market research which involves doing some serious competitor research (viewing accounts etc) shows up in business survival statistics time and time again. Whatever you forecast as potential sales will be realized into actual earnings over time so bear this in mind when you are looking at retiring in the next year. Keep it real and modest in your start up phase. There are some back bedroom enterprises earning hundreds of thousands but they did not do it in year one or two.

Start up costs

Don’t underestimate these. It will cost something to set up in your own home even the most modest enterprise. You will have to inform your insurers. Potentially take out special insurance to cover you, your business and the equipment you buy and you will also have costs incurred in getting your business online.

Interesting facts and myths about wines

So much is said about wines everyday; when and how to take it, what to take it with, who to take it with etc. So much information and guidelines, some wrong, some right. Well, this article provides a clear distinction between the facts and myths revolving around wines.

Myths about wine

  • Temperature of wine doesn’t matter

This is a common misconception when it comes to wine but fact is, white wines are better served chilled and red wines at room temperature. Cool temperatures allows the white wine to bring out their fruity taste while red wines contains components like tannins that accentuates the mouth feel of the wine. This can be best felt when the wine is warm to room temperature.

  • Boxed wines are for lower class people

Don’t judge a wine by its cover rather than its content. Many people align themselves with the thought that boxed wines are cheap and 2nd rate. There are box wines like the white chardonnay that are of high quality and can be used to entertain guests especially during festive seasons. Other advantages include they last for longer as they can be used upto two weeks after opening, easily measurable when one wants to drink and due to the box aspect of it, chances of it been broken after getting knocked over and breaking are minimal.

  • Champagne is enjoyed on special occasions only

In movies and most households, special occasions often prompt popping of champagne for celebration. This link has led to the limited use of champagne whereas there are numerous ways that one can use it on a regular basis. Hint* it is an excellent companion to finger foods like fish and chips.

  • Price of wine and quality goes hand in hand

Reputation in the wines business plays a major role when pricing wines. Example, a well-established and reputable grower will have much higher pricing as compared to counterpart that isn’t well known no matter the quality of wine. Much less like the most known brands of mobile phones, you will find that a phone with similar specification from a much lesser known mobile phone brand will cost almost half of that of a well-known brand.

Now it’s clear that not everything you hear about wines is true so always look for the truth by doing your own research. Common myths disputed! Now here are fun facts about wine that you probably didn’t know about wine

i. People who fear small enclosed spaces with no room to escape have a fear known as claustrophobia same as people who fear wines, they have oenophobia.

ii. Type 2 diabetes and stroke can be avoided by taking red wine occasionally. It brings positive health benefits.

iii. The four largest producers of wine include France, Spain, Italy and California.

iv. A man was at liberty to kill his wife if he ever found her taking wine during the early roman times as it was forbidden for women to drink.

How to Store Coffee Beans

In pursuit of ‘the perfect cup of coffee’, most coffee connoisseurs prefer buying their coffee whole bean and grinding it themselves before brewing. But just like any other food or beverage, there are certain conditions that could compromise the freshness – and the taste – of your coffee. Superior coffee beans stored correctly will make a quality cup of coffee. It would be a shame ending up with anything short of quality after shelling out a good amount of money on a bag of coffee beans, just because the beans were stored incorrectly. This article will give you some insight on how best to your coffee beans, for prolonged freshness and maximum flavor.

In order for you to know how best to store your coffee beans, you must first know the conditions that compromise their freshness and taste. These are air, heat, light, and moisture. To longer preserve the fresh, roasted flavor of your beans, they should be stored in an opaque and air-tight container. Clear storage containers are a no-no, as they allow light to pass through thus compromising the taste. It is also important to note that the packaging the coffee comes in is almost always impractical in terms of long-term storage.

The container itself should be kept in a cool, dark location in your kitchen. The location of storage is brought into play because some places in the kitchen are warmer and/or more exposed to heat and direct sunlight than others. For example, a spot on the kitchen counter could be directly exposed to sunlight and heat. This it is not ideal for the storage of coffee beans.

Another good tip storage tip for coffee beans is; it is better to buy it in smaller batches as needed. Probably enough to last you for a week or two. We have already established that exposure to air is not good for your beans. So if you buy it in big batches to store it, frequent access to the container could do damage to the beans. However, should you spot a great savings deal on a bulk buy of your favorite brand of coffee beans, this does not mean that you should shun it completely. You can still purchase in bulk and divide the beans into smaller portions for storage. The large, unused portion can be put in an air-tight container and stored away in a cool, dark place. Also, grind the amount of coffee beans you need immediately before you brew to limit exposure to air.

Refrigeration is the most convenient way of storing food and drinks in almost every household. There has been a long-standing debate on whether coffee beans can be refrigerated or not. For starters, coffee beans are naturally hygroscopic, meaning they tend to absorb moisture from the air around them. If the storage container is not completely air-tight, the coffee beans will absorb odors from foods in the refrigerator. Condensation can also form on the coffee beans when you open the container to take out the amount you need. However, if you must store them in the freezer, make sure that the container is completely air-tight and sealed shut. Then, before grinding, you should let it thaw till room temperature.

Why Cats Have Whiskers

Here is why you should never touch the whiskers of your cat!

Cats are very adorable domestic animals hence the reason why most people keep them as pests. Their elegance coupled with a unique fur of variant colours gives them a beautiful physique. These animals are very agile though with a high sense of tranquility. For some reasons, cats have whiskers that contribute to their impressive athletic abilities. But why do cats have whiskers?

What are whiskers?

Most people confuse them to be similar to human hair. However, unlike the moustache of a man, they are not to be associated with fashion. Whiskers are tactile hair like projections from the muzzle of a cat. They can also grow behind the front legs, in the ears, jaws and above the eyes.

Are cats the only animals with whiskers?

Of course not! Some species of mammals also have whiskers. A very good example is the primates. Scientists believe that these animals developed whiskers particularly as a nocturnal sensory adaptation. Some other animals like the dog also have whiskers.

Why do cats have whiskers?

The whiskers of a cat are very important for a variety of reasons. The following reasons summarizes what a cat uses its whiskers for.

Hunting

Whiskers enable cats to understand their environment. They are useful in detecting the location and size of an object. They can also detect texture. Usually, the cat achieves this by brushing its whiskers against an object, or feeling the air currents. Hence, the cat is also capable of detecting approaching objects even with the eyes closed.

Means of communication

When a cat feels threatened, it will retract its whiskers and make them stout. This clearly warns the intruder to stay away lest they experience the true opposite of mercy. However, when the whiskers of a cat are relaxed, it indicates that the cat is peaceful and satisfied.

For navigation

The length of the whiskers of a cat is equally as long as the breadth of a cat. This not only helps the cat to move around but also enable the cat to figure out if it can fit in a certain space.

Athletic abilities

The acrobatics of a cat do not just come easy. It takes accurate calculation of location and acute sense of touch to help the cat manoeuvre through the almost impossible angles.

Here is what you should not do

  1. You should not shave the whiskers of your cat

Cutting, shaving or trimming the whiskers of your cat will interfere with the sensory mechanisms of your cat. Your cat will then cease to perform any awesome manoeuvres. Besides, it will be difficult for them to locate prey or find their way in the dark.

  1. You should not pull the whiskers of your cat

This is very dangerous. The whiskers are very sensitive. You can agitate your cat and it can bite you or you can escape with minor scratches and bruises if you are lucky. Additionally, those whiskers are deeply rooted in the skin of a cat close to the nerve endings. Therefore, you can not only unnecessary pain your cat but also cause damage to the skin of your cat.

It is important that you take good care of your cat. Feed them well and always ensure that they are clean. Above all, thou shall not shave the whiskers of your cat! Because you now know why cats have whisker, right?

Grow Your Own Herbs

Growing your own herbs is more convenient than buying readily available herbs. Start small by maintaining a simple vegetable garden in your backyard. If you don’t enjoy working in the garden, try keeping plants (herbs) indoors. Generally, herbs do well in any environment. Most herbs require minimal light, sun, and water except a few types like rosemary which needs extra care after planting.

Plant in Pots or in the garden?

A number of factors come into play when deciding whether to grow herbs in the garden or in pots. If you opt to grow herbs indoors, consider whether the place where you plan to put your herbs get enough light during the day. Does it get enough moisture? How about temperature? How many windows does the space have?

Most herbs like basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, and sage do well planted in pots. Potted herbs need more watering and feeding because they won’t get the same nutrients that herbs planted in the ground will. Water is their number one killer –either too much water or little water will affect how your plants grow. There are exceptions like mint that need frequent watering. When watering, allow water to soak for about an hour, and then throw excess water away.

Herbs grown on the ground seem to be less demanding than potted herbs. They get enough moisture, temperature, and light. Temperature is crucial here, especially for flowering plants. They need a regular change in temperature in order to bloom.

Which Compost Should You use?

Most herbs like any other plant do well in loam-based compost. You can boost your plants by adding compost to the soil mixture especially when planting in pots.

Conclusion

It’s easy to have your own supply of herbs at home. To get the most out of herbs, pick them regularly to encourage a good supply of fresh, young shoots.

Effects of UK exit from EU

The United Kingdom exit from the European Union has been a move termed as Brexit. A move which has come to pass after a referendum conducted in less than 72 hours had the majority vote for her exit from the union. This came amid a raised concern by some of the Britons of the uncontrollable immigration to their borders that had happened.

Hence prompting the outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron to promise of a referendum that was meant to address this issue and other related matters that the Britons felt were not okay. All this was to happen after his re-election back to serve the country, a promise indeed he has kept. However now that the referendum has been conducted, and the “exist vote” has carried the day the following are the likely effects of this;

Trade

The European Union has been a single market with no tariffs on imports or exports between the member countries. This has facilitated smooth movement of goods and services from one country to another. Being a member to the union member, the member countries have had the chance of having a say in the drawing up of the trading rules. Therefore the exit of the UK will have the nation lose its bargaining power in the drawing of trade rules. It will have to make its independent trade rules with other countries, a process which will be time-consuming and with no surety of better trading partnerships. Its currency, the pound, is expected to lose value in relation to other trading currencies.

Immigration

A critical issue that the Brexit referendum was to address is affected with the given results seen. For some time now citizens of the member states of EU have had the freedom to move and work freely in any country. The UK has been a host and same to its citizens who are national elsewhere. Therefore its exit from the EU will have some of its citizens worry about residential rules and passport issues, as their free movement and working in and out of Britain will be limited. With the other possible result that those immigrants in the UK will lose their residential rights and working rights a situation forcing them to be deported.

For the international students those that the UK hosts and those Briton students in other countries, will have no option but clear up their studies in those respective countries and go back home. This is because they won’t have that priority in job selection and absorption that they always had.

In conclusion, the move made by the UK will not be felt at the moment, but its effects will be seen and felt in few years to come.