How to Be a Successful Freelancer and Still Win at Your Day Job

There are so many reasons why you would choose to freelance in addition to upholding your day job. You could enjoy your day job but want to take advantage of a totally different skill of yours and assist others. You could want some extra income and pursue a passion that could lead to more cash. You could be a person who loves a full schedule and would rather work than have too much free time.

Whatever the reason, you’ve chosen to manage two separate jobs with different hours, responsibilities and requirements. Good for you and congratulations! It’s a respectable quality to have an excellent work ethic. But now you find yourself wondering how you will juggle both positions successfully and without falling short.

You’d hate to fail in either of these professions, and this kind of outlook could lead to stress. The goal is to stay free of anxiety and feel pleasure from pursuing two different fields or two different outlets.

Have no fear! There are ways to be a successful freelancer and still win at your day job.

Become a master of time management.

If you’re a person who struggles with time management, this is the time that you not only should, but also NEED to learn time management skills. Juggling two jobs, you’ll need to allot a certain amount of time per day to each to finish your workload.

You’ll need to make educated guesses to map out how long each task will take, and how much time you can contribute to both. Does your day job require you to stay late frequently, or even just sometimes? Factor that into your schedule when you’re estimating how much time you can give to your freelance job. Have a major freelance project that has an extremely strict deadline? Allow yourself more time to finish the project by successfully managing your day to day agenda. Time management can definitely be tricky, but it’s necessary when fulfilling the needs of two jobs.

Do not attempt to multitask.

For most jobs, multitasking is a must-needed skill. And it still will be for both your day job and job as a freelancer. However, do NOT try to combine the two. Attempting to do both jobs at once will only lead to disaster. When you are at your day job, be fully present. Stay focused on the work that’s needed to be done at your day job, or else your performance will overall suffer in the end.

If you’d like to set time aside on your lunch break for freelancing, go ahead. Make a call to a client or jot down some notes that’ll help when you take on a recent project. But make sure that once you return from your break, your mind goes back into day job mode and disregards your freelance work. And the same goes for when you are taking care of your freelance job.

Put effort into those projects and those projects only in the time that you set aside for that work. Do not mix the two jobs, or else you will not do your absolute best in both, as your mind will be all over the place. This could result in an unhappy boss and an unhappy client. Don’t multitask and mix up your day job and freelancing.

Come up with a system that works for you.

Are you a person who works best in the morning or at night? Would you rather wake up early or go to sleep late? You don’t have a choice as to what time your day job starts and ends, but you do have the freedom and flexibility to choose the time of day that you freelance.

If you have a 9-5 job, decide if you do better work in the morning or when you arrive home in the evening. It depends on when your mind can efficiently perform. Deadlines will make this tough and finding a system that makes the process go smoothly and accordingly, is key. Aside from choosing the times of day to do separate work, you’ll need to come up with a system of how to deal with your day job assignments and freelance projects. Sometimes it’s hard to leave your day job at the office, but while you’re doing freelance work, you’ll need to clear your mind of other issues.

Find a system in all aspects possible that will comfort you and assure that both workloads will be completed.

Lists, lists, lists.

Juggling two jobs, you’ll NEED to stay organized and maintain your sanity. One way to do so is to write (or type into your phone when you’re on the go) lists that can help when you sit down to work on upcoming projects. There are great tools like ToDoist, Evernote, and Asana that can help you stay organized.

Prioritize by jotting down what needs to be done first and the way in which you plan to get it done. Write down the ideas that you have so you do not forget them later. Type a list of reminders into your phone so you remember important tasks or elements. Make a list for absolutely anything that you think could help in the future. Writing (or typing) things down helps your memory, and you’ll feel better knowing that you have a guide to follow when the time comes to start your freelance work.

Ready to be a successful freelancer and still win at your day job? Try to practice those tricks and you’ll be sure to excel in both professions. But the good news is that you do not need to do this alone.

Zeqr helps you not only juggle, but also be a boss at both your freelance and day job. Are you new to freelancing and want to learn the basics? Let Sayed Mohammed Sakib Hossain teach you in his online class The 101 of Freelancing.

If you want to learn how to manage your time better and make the most of working from home as a freelancer, take Freelance Yourself with Jaime Oates.

Concerned that you aren’t practicing the virtue of courage throughout the hours of your day job? Take advice from Stephen Dynako during his class Trust and Courage in Conscious Business. These are only a few of the many online classes that can help you succeed as both a freelancer and 9-5 worker. It’s comforting to know that you don’t need to learn this art on your own.

Convinced that you have what it takes to be a successful freelancer and still win at your day job? We most certainly are. Sign up for free and start sharing your knowledge today!

 

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4 Tips to Becoming a Successful Graphic Designer Online

Are you a creative and artistic person who has always been intrigued by graphic design? Does the idea of becoming a graphic designer excite you, but you’re unsure of how to begin? There’s good news for you and so many other people like you.

Starting a career or even just a hobby that’s associated with graphic art is now at your fingertips – literally! Online graphic design classes are turning innovative people like yourself into designers each day.

The idea of attending school in person to learn graphic design may seem scary and intimidating to most…which is understandable, and the reason why online classes, tutorials or educational videos could possibly be the best choice for you. There’s no need to sit in a classroom with textbooks any longer. You can learn how to become a graphic designer online.

The first and obvious way to learn graphic design via the Internet is to take actual online courses offered through a university or school. This may seem promising to most, and also a little more credible to employers when you are applying for positions in the future. So, there is nothing wrong with enrolling for classes taught by professors at a college.

This is a great option for many who enjoy a rigid schedule and need some extra motivation throughout the learning process. However, for those who do not wish to spend extreme dollars on an education in graphic design and also would appreciate a more flexible schedule, learning the art by oneself through online classes is an awesome option.

There are many platforms that can help you learn the art of graphic design through the Internet on your own time. Are you a person who learns best through lectures and enjoys listening to a knowledgeable individual share information? Sign up for a Basic Design Course with Paulami Roychoudhury and take notes during your live video session. The intelligent instructor also offers a Basics Designing in the Corporate World to help you learn the fundamentals of transforming into a solo designer.

Looking to be informed of different graphic programs to use in order to be successful in the field? Sign up to learn how to Be Creative in Digital Arts and Fine Arts with Tatti Lobanova. Do you have not a clue how to work your way around an Adobe InDesign file and want to know how to go about using the program? Chad Chelius can show you how with Adobe InDesign Fundamentals.

These courses including live videos are prime examples of how easy it can be to learn an art via the Internet. But of course, you need to stay determined and be willing to work hard in order to become an expert at any new technique or in any field.

If you have realized that becoming a graphic designer online is a good choice for you, these four general tips will help you throughout the process. Though simple, these little tricks can surely aid in achieving your goal of learning how to maneuver your way around graphic design.

When learning, use materials that show visuals.

If you read course material or details before viewing a tutorial, it’s useful to take advantage of materials that also include visuals. Different parts of the brain absorb various types of information. One part of the brain processes text as you read, while the other takes in imagery. Both are needed to properly be educated on a topic. If you read copy and then view a picture that displays what you just read, it’s much easier to learn a new skill. Visuals are always helpful when reading text, especially in graphic design. It’s a practice of art, right? So, it only makes sense to view art while learning.

Indoor workspace

During tutorials or live sessions, take notes.

Some will say that they learn solely by listening, but taking notes is never a harmful idea. While watching a video or even interacting with someone through a live video, there is only so much information that you can take in and remember. If you write down steps or notes throughout the learning experience, you have resources to go back to when trying to perform the task on your own. You don’t want to waste time repeatedly watching a video.

In addition, if you are doing a live session (which most online design classes are based on), you will not get another chance to learn the exact information that was just taught, unless you take the course again. It’s stressful to try to remember everything in one shot. Your mind will be at ease knowing that you have written down the lesson.

Always be clever and unafraid to try new methods.

Becoming a graphic designer is all about learning your own style. Learn the rules and then color outside of the lines. Try combining new colors or typefaces, click around on computer programs that you’re implementing to create art and do not be afraid to take risks.

Your online classes will teach you the proper use of programs and the typical rules of thumb to follow while designing. However, it’s fun and enlightening to learn on your own as well. You can create your own sense that will be appealing to the crowds you want to impress and the needs you want to serve.

A piece of advice is to follow the rules you have been taught for a while, but once you feel more comfortable, go ahead and step outside of the box. Stepping outside of your comfort zone could lead to fond discoveries!

And last, ask questions.

The pro of taking online design classes or learning through live videos is that you have the advantage and ability to ask questions. If you decide to take a course through a school, the teacher will without a doubt be happy to share as much knowledge as possible. But that can only occur if you ask questions.

And the same goes for online live sessions. Instructors are there for a reason, and that is to teach you to the best of their ability. If you ask questions, your chance of learning more quickly is higher.

Ready to become a graphic designer via the Internet? With so many outlets and opportunities to do so, there’s nothing to lose and only to gain.

Why You Should Pursue Online Fitness Training and How to do it Successfully

It’s already March and you haven’t surpassed the fitness goals that you swore you’d meet in the new year. Plus, summer is right around the corner for most.  Rather than having high hopes that you’ll get back to the gym (because let’s face it, each day there’s a new obstacle), why not pursue online fitness training?

It’s difficult to stick to a workout routine when you’re doing it on your own without a motivator or expert guiding you. It’s also not easy to keep a rigid workout schedule and healthy meal plan with your busy agenda. Online fitness training can help you accomplish your goals without altering your day-to-day lifestyle. With simple access to professional health coaches by the click of your keyboard, online training makes more sense than ever these days.

Imagine logging onto an online platform and accessing everything necessary to know in regards to losing or maintaining your weight or gaining muscle mass. This is a present-day reality, thanks to our ever-evolving technology and innovation. Workout videos, live coaching, premade meal plans and daily motivational tips are all at your fingertips through online fitness training. Sound too good to be true?

It seems to be the most sensible option, yet people are still skeptical of the idea or do not fully understand how to get started.

The ‘Why’

One reason to pursue online fitness training is that it’s convenient. Your workout can be seen virtually on any device. Whether it be your laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc. – your workout will be available to you anytime, anywhere. Online fitness training is accessible 24/7, so there is no need to worry about gym hours of operation or other timely hindrances of regular wellness plans. What’s better than keeping healthy on your own terms and time?

Another benefit of online fitness training is variety. Online fitness coaches can create exercises specific to your needs. Need to work on your tummy and want to start to see some abs? Choose a fat loss program and gain access to coaching, tips and tricks that will focus on your problem areas.

Are you already athletic and want to maintain that lifestyle or get more toned? There are choices for you online that can assist in that, too. Those are just a couple examples, though. There are kinds of training for all different body types. You are given variety and have options, making it easier to attain your desired outcome.

Still a little skeptical of online fitness trainers? If you are unsure and feel that it may be hard to see results with online training, look at the facts. When pursuing an online fitness coach, you can view the coach’s previous cases. With access to coaches from around the world, you are no longer bound to any specific region or area. You can see before-and-after photos of clients and sometimes even read reviews about the success (or not so much success) that others encountered with a certain trainer.

A word of advice would be to do a little research. Find out the trainer’s education and learn about the trainer’s certifications. These are the traits that make an online fitness trainer valuable and worth your time. You can also preview workouts to learn if they are on your level and if the trainer is right for you. And the best part? Many platforms offer free trials. This gives you the chance to test drive the product before making a final decision.

 

How to Get Started

Now that you know the WHY, let’s get into the HOW. First, choose a workout plan and trainer that is best for you. Remember that we said there are all types of fitness training plans for different physiques? Choose a health plan that aligns with your physical capabilities, your lifestyle and your daily schedule. By doing so, health is making its way into your life, rather than you altering your life in such a way that is difficult to maintain. Knowing your limits and choosing your trainer and health plan accordingly will surely lead to success.

If you don’t know how to get started, research and ask for referrals. We’re talking about ONLINE fitness trainers, so yes, you can find them ONLINE! Type into the search bar and view your options. Get specific with your search, read about several trainers and platforms and make an educated decision. If your physician supports online training, he or she can make referrals or simply give you advice as a person who knows your body well.

We want to help you meet your goals and reach your expectations! Visit Zeqr to find classes taught by health and wellness experts who can help your hopes become reality. Looking for a Personal Fitness Consultation or Fitness for Workplace Productivity? There is something for everyone.

We believe that an online fitness trainer or online fitness coach is worth looking into if you want to focus on health and wellness. Other notable platforms include MyFitnessPal, Forge, iBodyFit, Hitch Fit, Daily Burn and FitFusion.

We at Zeqr provide an online coaching platform to help you get started. With our site, you will be connected with knowledgeable individuals who have a mission of assisting you in acquiring your goals. Live interactive sessions take place in order to begin your journey.

There’s no better time than the present, and March seems like a perfect time to get started (if you haven’t already!).

Zeqr EU & AUS Scholarship Winner – Q&A With Alessandra Ciadamidaro

1. Hi, Alessandra! First of all, congratulations once again on winning our first ever scholarship! Please tell us what motivated you to write your compelling article: E-Learning Is A Wonderful Innovative Tool?

I was looking around for scholarships similar to this one when the title came out. It made me reflect on how eLearning affects my daily life and how we are so dependent on everything related to Internet and I decided to give hit a thought. I went to school the day after, looking around for anything that could be an inspiration, and then that afternoon I started writing what the became my essay.

2. Does Southfields Academy support e-learning? To what extent? Tell us about how you, your classmates, and your professors use e-learning.

Southfields Academy has the merit of having amazing facilities: computers in every room, interactive boards, an online mrs system and students and teachers have personal access to the Google classroom app to access resources about any subject.

All the teachers send any piece of article or research they can find about a specific topic studied as soon as they come across it, and this will be then discussed in class. In this way, the learning experience is not only based on the textbook, but it goes even further by connecting any subject to the world we live in today. This enables teachers to give a taste of the subject in the real world.

3. Near the end of your essay, you mentioned that “Education is facing inevitable changes in and out the school environment.” We believe this revolves around e-learning taking down traditional forms of learning. Is that right?

Yes, absolutely. The way we learn things today is completely different from how our parents or grandparents used to. We use the Internet constantly, we exchange emails, we use apps and websites to figure out answers to challenging Maths questions. These changes are inevitable as we can’t contemplate an old fashioned education system with such an interactive world as the one we live in today. We have the opportunity to access an infinite number of resources, and education has to teach students how to use them to their advantage.

4. Could you tell us a bit about the challenges you and the classmates in your generation face at classes that stick to traditional learning methods?

One of the biggest challenges is probably related to textbooks and exercise books. Everyday we need to bring to school an awful amount of books and papers. They are heavy to carry and most of the time, when finished, they end up in the bin of students’ bedrooms or in some box in the loft, waiting another ten years before being thrown away.

I consider that such a waste of time and paper. Moreover, how many times it happened that families are leaving to go on holiday and they have to fill half of a luggage with all the textbooks needed for their children’ homework? With all the resources available, the education system should finally start introducing the so long waited tablets where you can have 10 different textbooks in one place that doesn’t take room and its handy and easy to access.

5. Alessandra, thank you for your time! Anything else you’d like to add? If you have any additional comments and thoughts about the future of education and learning or e-learning, we would love to hear them.

I am personally very excited about the future of education and I look forward to getting to know how my children will learn time tables and how they will experience biology. Education has changed to much in such a short period of time, and what is next will depend on how far the technology-human relationship will go.

Zeqr US & CA Scholarship Winner – Q&A With Heather Thiessen-Kerr

1. Hi, Heather! First of all, congratulations once again on winning our first scholarship ever! Please tell us what motivated you to write your compelling article: E-learning Opens More Doors?

I have been a learner at both ends of technology. I remember when my father bought a computer with only a few simple programs, and one awful game to play! It was an honour to be allowed to use it at all, much less as a part of day-to-day life, and here we are! How amazing is it that something that used to be such a novelty item, is now a “must-have”.

When I came upon the topic that you had requested – I knew that I had to write. There are so many reasons to argue both traditional and progressive learning, and I wanted to bring about the points that we are blessed enough that we do not have to CHOOSE! We have the advantage of using ALL OF IT! And how amazing is it that we can smell and feel the textures of hardcover books, and communicate with a teacher/classroom that is halfway around the world!? We are truly so fortunate to be alive in this time.

2. Does Fleming College support e-learning? To what extent? Tell us how you, your classmates, and your professors use e-learning.

We are lucky enough at Fleming to have a wonderful learning portal. Teachers are able to upload seminars, webinars, interactive quizzes so that students can fully participate in every aspect. Fleming has done an incredible job at ensuring that all styles of learning are acknowledged and encouraged.

There are many courses that are available online, and the students all love the flexibility that it gives them in their lives outside of the school walls. There are many students who are single parents, live farther away and have transportation issues- this gives them confidence that their hard earned money and their precious time is being used to its fullest!

(image source: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/dvywIQxyWV0/maxresdefault.jpg)

3. The last sentence of your essay was quite powerful: “The moment we stop being open to learning, is the moment our humanity will start to dissolve.” Is it really true that learning is something we can’t live without?

Without a doubt. It wasn’t so long ago that men and women of colour were less than those who were born white. That two people in love, from different races, were not allowed to be together. That people who are gay have a mental disability.

Without knowledge, the passion for learning, the interest in self, the world surrounding us, and others; we would grow stagnant in our ability to adapt and evolve mentally. Without learning, challenging ourselves, pushing each other to be better, to understand more; we would, as a society, would regress.

4. If so, could you tell us a bit about the challenges you and the classmates in your generation face at classes that stick to traditional learning methods?

I think that the biggest challenge that my classmates and I face within the classroom, is simply the massive amount of information that could be more simply summarized. For example; in a text book, the information to read could span up to 100 pages a chapter (I am in nursing- so this is not an unheard of length of chapter!), where as the key points, the crucial learning could be condensed so that we are able to retain those life-saving details FIRST- and fill in the rest as we grow.

5. Heather, thank you for your time! Anything else you would like to add? If you have any additional comments and thoughts about the future of education and learning or e-learning, we would love to hear them.

I think that it is important for me to note that I am actually a big nerdy hippie in many many aspects of my life. I do not have a home phone, I do not have cable or satellite. I bought my first laptop at age 31 and my first new car at 32. I am not a huge techie junky, I do not think that people should be replaced with electronics- nothing is more important than our human experience. I think it is crucial for people to unplug from the electronics and have face-to-life time, not just Facebook/Facetime moments.

I am simply a woman who looks around her and sees that these incredible advances, when used for a purposeful and meaningful way- are a little piece of magic that we are fortunate enough to have in our grasp! We are powerful beings as humans; let’s show history how amazing that we really are! 🙂

Namaste my friends!

Heather

Common Misconceptions of Freelancing

Do you work for a company who hires freelancers or consultants? Or are you one yourself? Welcome to the ever-growing gig-economy. According to a 2015 Intuit research study, the gig economy is expected to grow to 43% of the workforce by 2020. This staggering number of freelancers is shocking yet understandable.

The trend of professionals choosing to branch off on their own and lend their expertise through different channels is growing exponentially. For many decades, the safe and desired route for many was to gain employment through an accomplished company and stay with them until retirement. Today, the shift seems to go in the opposite direction.

Why is this?

Some choose to freelance part-time for extra income, while others decide to leave their full-time jobs to focus solely on freelancing. And although many professionals are taking the jump, there are still many who question the validity and the safety of becoming a full-fledged freelancer. Going for a full-time position means there are no more benefits traditionally offered by a company. Instead, there are many other benefits to be realized aside from these – quality of life is the first thing that comes to mind.

Hundreds of thousands of people are choosing this route for their professional careers each year, but how about you? Not sold on the gig-economy yet? We compiled a list of the most common misconceptions we hear about freelancing and explain why they are simply not true. Check them out:

Freelancing is boring

Actually, freelancing can be quite fun. Why? Well, most of the time, freelancers will choose the clients that they want to work with. Clients can range from size, location, project, personnel, etc. Ask 20 freelancers what their day is like, and you’ll receive 20 different responses. As mentioned in our previous article and infographic on freelancing, new freelance resources and freelance projects have increased in huge numbers over no more than 3 years.

The attraction to freelancing is the ability to create a schedule that is flexible and freeing and avoiding a monotonous workweek. The ability to work on multiple and differing projects at any given time keeps workers excited and on their toes.

Freelancers don’t need to learn new skills

Actually, this one is very untrue. Freelancers must continuously develop their skills to stay competitive, often taking online courses and seminars to enhance their abilities further.

Online learning platforms like Zeqr, the knowledge-sharing hub, and Udemy.com, are the perfect stages for freelancers to develop their own skill set and stay on top of their game, so to speak. It is important for freelancers to not only perfect their craft but also to understand the industry in which their clients operate. This simple technique of gaining knowledge will ensure that freelancers remain informed and educated.

Freelancers can also take advantage of these online learning platforms to connect with mentors who can guide and direct a freelancer who is just starting out. There are many things that freelancers have to take care of on their own such as marketing, billing, and other accounting services.

Freelancers are lazy

Actually, quite the contrary.  Freelancers are essentially building a small company and operating as one. The amount of work that must happen for the shop to run is sometimes a massive amount, depending on the industry.

Along with self-motivation, freelancers must possess an entrepreneur-like attitude and work ethic to be successful. Freelancers are their own boss and have to answer to themselves and their client when it comes to accountability. Unlike regular employees, freelancers must take care of every part of their business to ensure success.

Freelancers live from paycheck to paycheck

Maybe. But this can be said about any profession. In reality, freelancers usually have many contracts/clients in place will give them a more reliable form of payment versus depending on one client for payment.

The right candidate for freelancer work is one who knows their monthly income and is able to ensure that they have budgeted all expenses. For first-time freelancers, consulting with an accounting expert is necessary to learn how to deal with things like taxes, budgets, etc. A perfect online class for this is Lisa Newton’s Budgeting Masterclass, in which she discusses ways in which self-employed and business owners can create a budget and stick to it.

Freelancers make less/more money than full-time employees

The truth is that freelancers can choose to make as much or as little money as they would like to make. The option to pick up or drop clients is accompanied by the liberty to work as hard, or as little as one needs to for financial freedom they desire.

Contrary to full-time employees, there isn’t one form of payment for freelancers to wait for but rather different streams of income. The amount of money paid to the freelancer depends on experience, market and industry, therefore, it is unfair to make assumptions on the earnings of freelancers.

Freelancers don’t get satisfaction from their jobs

Research shows that most freelancers actually love their work. Satisfaction is heightened by the fact that freelancers can create the job and schedule that they desire. Quality of work and quality of life are two factors that drive most influencers to enjoy their setup and get satisfaction from their work life as compared to full-time employees from traditional companies.

Understandably, freelancing is not for everyone. There are many great-paying, satisfying positions in well-known and start-up firms that are worthwhile. But for those that are curious about freelancing, we invite you to consider joining the Zeqr platform to begin sharing your knowledge. Go ahead, sign up as an Xpert for free and start sharing your expertise and knowledge today!

Your friends at Zeqr

4 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

Last night we saw the American president, Donald Trump, deliver an important speech: the State of the Union. Even though his presentation skills were okay while giving the message, we were quick to compare him to former president Barack Obama—a fantastic public speaker. And now, we can’t help but wonder: how does someone become a great speaker, with such outstanding communication skills?

First, let me ask you something.

Does the thought of public speaking cause your heart to beat a little faster, your palms to start sweating, and your head to feel lighter?

If your response is  ‘yes’, don’t worry—you are among the 75% of individuals who suffer from speech anxiety.

The good news is that you are not alone. The bad news is that you won’t be able to avoid facing some public speaking in your lifetime. Whether you’re a business professional, a student, or a volunteer, you will need to deal with public speaking at one point or another.

Public speaking is an excellent way for you to position yourself as an expert and, frankly, a necessary skill to master. Renowned speakers, such as Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., and John F. Kennedy were successful in their quest to inspire and influence a mass of people because they knew how to share their thoughts and deliver their message.

You’ve probably heard of all the tricks out there: picture the audience naked, admit you’re nervous, don’t look at the audience members in the eye, etc. But do any of them really work?

Maybe for some.

The team behind the Zeqr knowledge sharing platform has perfected the journey of becoming a great speaker and has prepared this article to make you a great speaker, too! Don’t let your fear of public speaking get in the way of a promotion, a good grade, or another successful outcome

So, without further ado, here are some essential tips on how you can improve your public speaking skills.

Know Your Audience

First and foremost, a great speaker is someone who knows their audience. What does this mean exactly? Well, your audience will differ from a situation to situation. A group of executives will be much different than a group of college students. The message that will resonate with each group can be the same, but the delivery can differ if you want to register with each respective listener successfully.

Prepare For Public Speaking

Having the right type of content is only half the battle. To ensure that you have the right tools to deliver your message, it is highly recommended that you invest in live online communication skills training with a professional communicator. You can practice in front of your mirror all day long, but until you have feedback in real-time, from a professional, you will not be able to work on your flaws and reach your full potential fast enough.

To find practical communication training, visit sites like upwork.com, Lynda.com or Udemy. For live and interactive sessions, Zeqr has many experts who can focus on perfecting your craft.

For those looking for help in writing a compelling and attention-catching article, join Eugene Yiga in his Speech Writing Class, where he walks you through choosing the perfect topic, pointers on drafting your speech, and tips on dealing with stress and anxiety of public speaking.

Already have your speech written out? Well, you can book the live session Public Speaking for Business with Dr. Allana Todman-Da Graca, where she tells you all about different levels of public speaking, including voice projection, benefits of the different types of speeches, and overall guidance for success.

If you fidget when you are nervous, then the live class Powerful Stage Presence for Business Presenters by Mike Clayton is the one for you. This 25-minute course will teach you how to take control of the room, how to use visuals, and how to show to your audience that you are an expert in your field.

Practice Makes Perfect

Of course, you have heard this before, but let’s say it one more time: practice makes perfect! Do not wait until the day before your presentation or speech to look over your outline. Instead, if time allows it, be sure to read and re-read your speech before the big day.

We even recommend that you videotape yourself and play the recording back—this will help you notice and avoid filler words such as “uhm” and “like”, and any nervous movements. Your professional online classes will be the perfect time for you to hear feedback on any tendencies you have while speaking publicly.

Be Your Genuine Self

As easy as it may seem, being yourself is harder than it sounds—especially when it comes to public speaking. The most successful speakers are those that are their authentic selves and can pass on a bit of their personality to the message they deliver. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, embrace it!

Public speaking skills are like a muscle: the more you use them, the stronger they become. Therefore, keep practicing, especially with your online expert. And remember—you will not be perfect every time, and that’s ok. Take a breath, calm your mind, and keep going. Becoming a professional speaker does not happen with you sitting around and thinking about it—so, get out there and start practicing!

4 Important Growth Tips for Women In Business

Building Your Career as a Female in a Male-dominated Business World

Are you a woman in business?

I hear you. It’s not easy working in a male-dominated business world. From the very start of our careers, the road to success can seem like a steep, uphill battle.

According to the Women in the Workplace 2016 study, businesswomen are less likely to receive the first critical promotion, meaning it takes them longer to reach leadership positions.

Women in business get less access to people and opportunities that can push their careers forward, and although they negotiate just as much as men, their ideas are challenged more often.

And with the way things are going now? Well, the gender gap won’t close for another 170 years.

Ultimately, this issue should be resolved by governments and employers—they need to make policies that will support women rising to the top. Still, this doesn’t mean that women in business should just sit back and accept their place on the sidelines. We need to work extra hard to stick our heads above the crowd and show our true value.

Here are some ways that we can do so.

Continue to Build Your Professional Skills

Although there are more women graduates than there are men in the business world, it doesn’t mean that their on-going journey of learning should end. Today, it is easier than ever to reach information from all over the world. Knowledge-sharing platforms, such as Zeqr, are a great way to develop new skills and also to keep old skills sharpened.

Live, interactive classes are a fantastic way to not only learn something new but to also network with experts from around the world. Online classes are the perfect way to stay ahead of the game and still having time for other life commitments.

Demonstrate Your Professional Background via LinkedIn

Haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile in ages? It’s time to get back on the bandwagon.

The professional network LinkedIn is where future employers and business partners go to review your experience—and you need to show them you know your stuff.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, meaning that it has a professional photo, current position, skills, and a description of your responsibilities at each job. According to LinkedIn, you’ll have far more success on the platform if you do. Users with profile pictures get nine times more requests to connect, and those with more than five skills listed are 27 times more likely to be found.

It’s also important to ensure your profile features recommendations from previous employers or co-workers. To someone looking at your page, this is a proof that you’re a great person to work with. Recommendations from personal contacts are the most credible form of advertising, so it’s not a bad idea to ask colleagues you have a good relationship with to drop a testimonial on your profile. You can write recommendations for them in hopes they’ll return the favor. You probably shouldn’t ask your mom though, that might look a bit strange!

But most importantly, you need to engage with other users on the platform. This shows people you’re passionate about your field, which is something that’s taken highly into consideration for hiring, promotions, etc. So, by liking and commenting on content that others publish—or posting articles or content which you feel is valuable, too—offers a means of breaking the ice, and building relationships with those who may help your career down the road.

Show Your Face

With communication technologies such as texting and emailing, and project management tools such as Slack, it’s become pretty easy to get all your work done from behind a screen.

However, you can never really build particularly strong business relationships with those you’ve never seen in person, do you?

Well, that’s because to build trust, face-to-face communication is essential. Studies show that a lack of in-person communication makes people less empathetic and, therefore, less trusting of those they engage with. However, when you’re a woman in the business world, it’s imperative your managers and co-workers trust your expertise, your ideas, and your overall capabilities.

 

Even if it’s not possible to meet your business partners in person, there’s no reason why your online communication can’t be done using real-time video platforms, such as Facetime, WhatsApp video calls, or our own platform, Zeqr. Over time, meeting ‘face-to-face’ can build stronger relationships with those your work with, more than communicating via email ever could.

If you can, it’s a great idea to conduct live webinars, create video presentations online, and speak at live events, too. Seeing you in person will not only help build trust with current and future business partners but will also show them you’re confident and know exactly what you’re talking about.

Build Social Proof

 Here’s a fact: women in business are less comfortable flaunting their professional achievements than men. In a study conducted by LinkedIn, 42 percent of the UK’s businesswomen say they find it difficult, compared to 28 percent of men. And while 64 percent of women know it is important to talk about their professional development to advance their careers, they feel like they’re bragging when they do.

It’s time to flip that rhetoric on its head. To build a career in a male-dominated environment, it’s important to exhibit your social proof without reservation. After all, they are your achievements and you have worked damn hard to earn them.

Aside from career milestones, promotions, and awards, social proof can be developed by online coaching, publishing written content, creating industry-related podcasts or videos, and speaking at events. Your social proof becomes more relevant if your content is attached to a leading publication or popular network. Basically, to be relevant these days, your name needs to come up on Google searches as much as possible.

Business woman

So, apart from creating your own content, try reaching out to an event you believe your presentation would add value to, or a publication with a contributor network you’d like to write for. If you don’t know where to start, create an account on knowledge sharing platform Zeqr and create classes where you can share your expertise and establish yourself as an expert. E-learning platforms will allow you to connect with students/clients from around the world.

Once your content is online, go ahead and show it off. Post it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and even your company’s Slack, in order to not only show everyone what you’re up to but to ask for their support in spreading the word.

Women in business and women entrepreneurs face many barriers to business success. And while we’re a long way away from breaking down those barriers completely, there are small things we can do every day to demonstrate how much we have to offer.

Why a Mentor is Essential to Your Success

Tips on why you need a mentor and how to get one – at any stage

Learning from your mistakes is the goal. Learning from others mistakes is even better. One way to make this happen is by finding a willing, seasoned and talented adviser and mentor.  The concept of mentoring originated in ancient Greece in Homer’s Odyssey but now has developed into a world of its own. Today, mentoring has progressed into an entirely different realm with all types of beneficial relationships forming; primarily for students, employees, entrepreneurs, etc.

The role of a mentor can be crucial to the success of one’s personal and professional growth and the success of one’s business – a great mentor can be life changing. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, stated “If you ask any successful business person, they will always (say they) have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” Whether you are looking for someone to guide you during high school or college, while you start a business venture or as you move through your career, the right mentor can have a tremendous impact in the decisions and outcomes of your life decisions.

Finding a mentor that is knowledgeable in your field

Of most importance is to define the reason why you are looking to find a mentor to begin with. Once you have identified you “why”, ensure that you engage mentors who are knowledgeable and experienced in your desired field. Are you looking for industry knowledge? Personal growth experience? Defining the purpose early and correctly will be the factor between having a successful relationship and one that is unfulfilling and a waste of time for both parties.

Once the appropriate mentor has been identified, there is no limit. Building on this relationship will take time. But with this new found partner, there are many perks. A mentor can save you time and effort in many aspects of your life. By merely listening to their own experiences and outcomes, mentees can assess how they react in their real-life dealings. Digesting the information provided and tailoring it to your individual situations is key. A mentor can also suggest improvements in your current life/business. Mentors can have an unbiased perspective on a specific condition.

Creating your sounding board of mentors

For an entrepreneur, having a strong sounding board is an invaluable asset. A mentor can take the role of an unofficial advisor and seek to better the situation of a company by merely suggesting improvements. Although having a mentor will not prevent mistakes from taking place, having a seasoned mentor who has gone through similar experiences in the past can deter the budding entrepreneur from making “rookie mistakes”.

Also, don’t think that you can only have one mentor. In this scenario, the more the merrier. Having mentors from different walks of life will bring in fresh perspectives and different understandings of your situation. Seek different genders, age ranges, and even ethnic backgrounds to get a well-rounded level of feedback.

Network and connect

An often overseen and underrated perk of having a mentor is having potential access to the network of professionals that the mentor knows either personally or professionally. Having the opportunity to meet someone who might be able to help you in the present or in the future is great. Building on those relationships will be beneficial in the short and long run.

Making connections and networking are one of the most important aspects of having a mentor. Take advantage of what comes with the territory!

Finding a mentor

Finding the right mentor can be hard, however, in today’s digital age it has become a little easier to connect with enthusiastic mentors who are happy to share their wealth of knowledge. Live online platforms like ZEQR.com offers a wide range of experts at the tip of your finger. Connect with a motivational mentor, a business planning mentor or a student mentor to help answer any questions you might have. Online sessions with a mentor from anywhere in the world can prove to be enlightening and time-saving.

Looking for an in-person experience? Professional networking events are a great option to meet local entrepreneurs and mentors who are willing to connect and advise. Alternatively, industry events and meetups are a great place to meet experts in your desired industry. For students it is imperative that they connect with their school to inquire regarding programs which help students – many already have initiatives in place.

So what are you waiting for? Get started today in finding the right people to join your corner.

Are you looking to share your knowledge and become a mentor? As Mark Zuckerberg once said, “A small amount of time invested on your part to share your expertise can open up a new world for someone else.” Join us by signing up as an Xpert and create your first class a mentor.

“The wise man learns from someone else’s mistakes, the smart man learns from his own, and the stupid one never learns.”