Archive for February 2014

Guest Post: Simple Tips for Better Home Showings

NatashaBriggs

For more about Natasha T. Briggs, visit her website. Natasha is dedicated to “making people happy;” so, feel free to contact her via email (ntb@natashatbriggs.com). You can also “Like” her Facebook Fan Page.

Six Ways to Stop Missing Your Opportunities

20140227-002227.jpg

Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Are you missing your shot at a successful marriage, career, or business because you are not taking advantage of your opportunities? As a former manager, I would witness this time after time. However, you don’t have to keep missing your shot at a better life.

Here are six ways to stop missing your opportunities:

1. Do your homework. Find out everything you can about the job, the project, and potential business partners. It might not look like what you expected, but it can be exactly the break that you need. For example, some volunteer jobs can lead to salaried positions.

2. Ask the right questions. In our excitement to achieve, some of us don’t ask questions about how our decisions will affect us long-term. For example, a lot of people accept salaries without negotiating or merely asking for a higher salary.

3. Overcome fear and doubt. Many of us need to stop sabotaging our opportunities. If a friend or loved one doesn’t think it is the right thing for us, some of us will abandon our opportunities.

4. Stop procrastinating. Sometimes, we wait too long to make a decision. By the time we have convinced ourselves that it is the right thing to do, the opportunity has passed.

5. Understand the power of networking. Conferences, workshops, and seminars are often attended by people with similar goals. These events often provide learning experiences, potential employers, resources, and lifelong friends.

6. Learn from the experiences of other people. You don’t have to make the same mistakes.

Think about an opportunity that you have missed. Which strategies do you need to utilize to avoid making the same mistake? Please comment.

Photo of the Week: Hear His Voice

20140223-221042.jpg

How do you know when God is speaking to you? First, His voice will not contradict the Word of God. Second, He will usually ask you to do something that will lead you onto His path for your life. Third, it is seldom a shock to you because your thoughts align with what He will ask you to do. God simply waits for your heart and mind to cooperate.

When you position yourself to respond, you will be able to react to His voice. That has happened to me on many occasions, and it was no different this time. Last week, I saw a student who was sitting alone in the cafeteria. As an introvert, I understood her desire to be alone. Although I didn’t want to bother her, I felt compelled to sit and talk to her.

I questioned whether it was the right thing to do, and I was about to keep walking past her. However, my earring fell near her foot. It landed in such a spot that I had to sit down by her in order to pick it up. I don’t know what difference I made by taking the time to speak to her, but I believe that God positioned me to be at that place at that time.

How will you respond when you hear His voice? Please comment.

Video of the Week: Investing in Antiques

20140221-225715.jpg

Dollhouses, teddy bears, art, and antique furniture are some of my favorite collectibles! Collecting antiques is a hobby for some people, but there is a lot of money to be made through investing in antiques. There are several reality shows about collecting art and antiques, but you can go beyond being a collector. I don’t watch reality shows; however, I do know that investing in antiques is a real, viable investment option. It can become a reality for you!

You don’t have to be rich to invest in antiques. Thrift stores and estate sales are excellent places to find antiques. You just need to know how to make wise choices. Would you like to go beyond buying, selling, or salvaging antiques? Read “10 tips for making money from antiques” to avoid making mistakes. Watch the video below to gain more information on investing in antiques. The antiques market as a long-term investment option is worth consideration.

3 Ways to Hurdle Your Obstacles

hurdles

I had never heard of Darlene Love until I saw her on a morning show recently. It’s amazing that she has overcome her obstacles while singing background for many artists. Her life story was part of an Oscar-nominated documentary. It will also serve as the first movie that Oprah will feature on her network.

I look forward to seeing the movie because I can relate to her. I have worked in the background for years without getting rewarded or receiving the appropriate recognition. Her life is a testament of how to hurdle your obstacles and achieve success. Do you know how to hurdle your obstacles?

Here are three ways you can hurdle your obstacles:
1. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Your struggles are different because your destiny is different. II Corinthians 10:12 says, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number , or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

2. Don’t give up! Due to frustrations and financial problems, Darlene Love left the music industry for a time. After cleaning homes in Beverly Hills, she returned to the industry at 40 years old.

3. Celebrate yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you! Darlene Love stated that while she was cleaning homes, she heard her voice on the radio. She convinced herself that she could do that again, and she was encouraged to pursue her passion by the late Luther Vandross. The rest is history!

Will you hurdle your obstacles like Darlene Love or allow the vicissitudes of life to keep you from achieving your goals? Please comment.

All Things Presidential: Facts You Should Know About U. S. Presidents

presdaygraphic

As we celebrate Presidents’ Day, I thought about the Presidential Scholars Program. The program honors graduating seniors who have distinguished themselves in academics or the arts. I believe that our country needs to do more to celebrate the accomplishments of more than athletes and entertainers. It’s great to excel in athletics and music, but everyone cannot make it in those fields.

Did you know that the slang meaning of presidential is “the highest or greatest state of being or effect of an object or substance”? Furthermore, “Presidential is used when an object or substance is perfect in that it accomplishes the maximum effect that it was created to do.” We have many people who are performing at the highest standards, and they are doing what they were destined to do.

Our past Presidents as well as President Obama fulfilled their destinies. Although I do not agree with the policies of many of our former Presidents, I respect the Office of the President. I might disagree with their performance while they were in office, but I acknowledge that they were still humans. I try to make sure that I learn as much as I can about them. Here are some facts that you might not have known about our U. S. Presidents:

Backgrounds of the Presidents

Presidents’ Educational Paths

Most Charitable Presidents

Presidential Marriages

Presidents Who Were Most Athletic

Presidents’ Food Preferences

10 Richest Presidents

Who is your favorite U. S. President? Please comment.

3 Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day

Love is not just a noun; it’s a verb too! When was the last time you’ve demonstrated your love? I hope it wasn’t Christmas or Valentine’s Day of 2013! Showing love can be difficult for some people. Last year on Valentine’s Day, I went in a store to purchase some items for my students. There were so many men in there, looking for gifts with such angst!

After several of them picked their items, I wanted to tell them that those were things that their significant other probably wouldn’t want! They were obviously last minute purchases, and I am sure the women expected something other than a small teddy bear or cheap candy. In the words of Adam Schefter, an ESPN analyst, “What people expect rarely is.”

I wondered if things were always that way. When the love was fresh and new, did they take more time to make sure it was something that she wanted? Were they only buying gifts then to avoid arguments or rejection later? Did they ask what the other person wanted for a gift? My final conclusion was that this could have been avoided!

Here are three ways that everyone can enjoy Valentine’s Day:

1. Communicate to relieve pressure and reduce disappointment. Sometimes, women don’t get anything because they said that they didn’t want anything. Sometimes, men want something different from what women expect. Everyone should just be honest and specific.

2. Spend according to your budget. More than $17 billion will be spent, but couples have to live to see another day. One day should not make or break you!

3. Relax and celebrate the moment. Stop thinking about the past or the future.

What do you have planned to make your Valentine’s Day enjoyable? Please comment.

How to Give Like a Millionaire

valentine heart shape made by dollars isolated

Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote, “For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.” I agree with this great French writer and poet. I am never without anything that I need for long, and I attribute that to my selfless acts of kindness.

I can attest that there are numerous benefits to helping others. I wrote about the benefits in a previous post, “Giving, What It Can Do for You.” I am not a millionaire, but I can give like a millionaire! Here’s how you can do it too: Give without worrying about the return. Give to education, to your church, and/or your community. Give your time to help others.

You will not regret your decision to give like a millionaire! Your life and your legacy will change. You will gain more respect and admiration from people you may not even know. I salute your efforts! I also salute those millionaires who dedicate their time and money to make a difference. These philanthropists give unselfishly, and we can do the same.

Here are my favorite philanthropists who inspire me to give like a millionaire:

1. Oprah Winfrey-She has three charitable foundations that support many causes.

2. Magic Johnson-He’s not just a business icon; he gives to so many organizations!

3. Sheila C. Johnson-The co-founder of BET is actually a billionaire who gives.

4. Tom Joyner-He not only supports HBCUs, but he supports voter registration.

5. Alicia Keys-Her work as an AIDS activist is admirable!

6. Denzel Washington-He’s noted for supporting BGCA, but he also supports military families.

7. Rosario Dawson-She empowers Latina youth through voter-registration programs.

8. LeBron James-He supports his alma mater as well as other education initiatives.

9. Eva Longoria-Her foundation supports parent engagement and awareness for Latinas.

10. Steve Harvey-We need more mentoring and apprenticeship programs like his.

Do you believe that you need to have millions to give like a millionaire? Please comment.

Photo of the Week: Retreat!

library

The weekend is over, and I am sure that you are tired! Where do you go to relax or get away from everyone else? That room may not exist; so, you might have to redecorate. Clearly, I would choose a library for my place to retreat! According to SC Johnson’s Right@Home®, “We all need a private place where we can think, read or just be at peace.” Read more on how to create a retreat without spending a lot of money.

If you could redecorate one room, what kind of retreat would you design for yourself? Please comment.

Disability Insurance Facts You Need to Know

disabilityinsurance

“If” is a small word with many possibilities as well as limitations! The word reportedly appears in the Bible more than 1,500 times. The word is also a conjunction that means a “possibility, condition, or stipulation.” We must decide whether our situations will take a positive or negative affect on us! Are you experiencing situations that are making life difficult? Getting injured on (or away from) the job is one thing that can present challenges.

By now, I am sure you know that there are possibilities, conditions, and stipulations. I have been injured twice, and those situations provided all of these. I strained my back at work, while moving a few computers, to rearrange my computer lab. Another time, I was injured in a car accident. I soon discovered that the possibilities of my disability insurance company paying based on my condition were limited.

Due to stipulations, my insurance company would not pay for my disability. I was frustrated when I realized there were many things that I did not know about disability insurance. I considered cancelling my policy several times, but I believe it can be useful one day. The key is knowing the facts about disability insurance; so, I committed to learning more and sharing with others. Here are seven disability insurance facts you need to know:

1. You have three basic options for plans: group, individual, and supplemental plans.
2. Check to see if you have a non-cancelable and guaranteed renewable policy.
3. Pay attention to the elimination and waiting periods.
4. Under “own occupation” coverage, you may have to find a job if you can’t perform yours.
5. For long term disability, look for cost of living adjustments.
6. Retirement may affect your disability coverage.
7. If you pay extra, you can get lifetime benefits.

Have you ever been injured (on or off the job) and needed disability insurance? Please comment.