Expert Author Susan Leigh
How does the thought of choosing your child's biological mother or father online appeal to you? Does it seem a little clinical? And yet an increasing number of people are moving towards this as an option.
Nowadays online dating is an accepted, almost commonplace way of trying to find a new partner and yet in the early days it was regarded as a dangerous and rather shameful way of meeting people.
Yes, occasionally there are 'horror' stories of people misrepresenting themselves, using 10 year-old photographs on their profile, sometimes conning people, but those stories tend not to deter other people from continuing to use the sites and meet people. Taking a few safety precautions is recommended but many people have made successful relationships as a consequence of meeting online.
So let's consider those people who are desperate for a baby and have so far not been successful. What options are open to them? The single female who is all too aware that her biological clock is ticking and that time is running out for her unless she meets someone soon, the infertile couple who have exhausted all their available options, the gay couple who want their own child.
Already some people in these situations will have taken matters into their own hands and found solutions. They may have discussed their predicament with friends and found a volunteer who's prepared to be a sperm donor or a surrogate mother; they may have roamed bars on gone online to find someone with whom they could have unprotected sex. No doubt there are people who have conceived children as a consequence of using their own initiative.
But this is a rather random approach and in the last few years a new online option has quietly emerged where it is possible to find a potential father or mother for your child and enter into a non-legal arrangement with him or her. Tens of thousands of people are going onto these sites where they are able to specify what they are looking for, in the same way as on a dating site, and then match with someone who has similar requirements.
Some people may want to co-parent, but do so within a platonic relationship. Some people may have been busy building their businesses or careers and then realised that they are fast approaching middle-age, are not in a committed relationship or in any relationship, and are childless.
Then there are men who are happy to be sperm donors, content to know that they have helped others and fathered children; research has shown that middle-aged sperm donors are just as fertile as those in their 20's. Some women may be happy to be egg donors or surrogate mothers, knowing that they are helping people less fortunate than themselves, are providing a generous service.
The aim of these sites is to allow the interested parties to discuss their requirements in a confidential way and then, if they're in agreement, be able to reach a mutually satisfactory way of proceeding. No binding legal agreements feature in these relationships.
I appreciate that some people may find the whole notion of online co-parenting distasteful but then I reflected on a story I recently heard. A friend's child was coming home from school in a very affluent part of the country some 20 years ago. She reported to her mother in a disgusted voice that she was the only child in her class who had both parents living together!
We may aspire to traditional, idealised values but in many homes they are a long-forgotten memory. Let's be thankful for a child that is raised in a home where it is loved, wanted and cared for.
Expert Author Andrew Scott
Selling your home can be a distressing time. Particularly when it comes to setting it up for prospective buyers. However, with the assistance of a land specialist, it can be smooth-sailing. It may take time and research to find the right person for the job, but it will be worth it.
Even if you're not moving out, and simple want to raise the estimated cost of your home or want to redesign it to include an expansion or create more storage space. This article is for you, as we discuss some amazing home renovation ideas you could consider.
Supplant The Entry Door And Windows
One of the first things you should consider is your doors and windows. Are they old, corroded or easy to break into? Upgrading these with new versions will raise the estimate of your hoer, as well as making it far safer. When seen from outside, the windows and doors are really the only things a prospective buyer will see. Making a good impression here will do wonders later on down the line.
Small-Scale Kitchen Remodel
Most buyers will consider the kitchens general vibe and see how well their family could use it. Making some small changes here could help the buyer to see themselves as part of it. Try buying new small electronics. Change the MDF worktop for stone or Quartz. Upgrade extend the storage space available and prospective buyers will be more enticed to put in an offer.
Modernise Your Bathroom
Much the same as the kitchen, your Bathroom contains a lot of features that most purchasers will inspect closely. This is another great opportunity for some renovations that will make your home look like a million bucks. The Bathroom is likely the only room in the house that will require an extensive overhaul to build more esteem in the eyes of buyers. To help modernise the bathroom, you could replace an outdated bathtub or shower feature. Upgrade the toilet and sink with more modern versions and redesign the walls.
If you happen to have an additional space outside; a Garden or Patio, then there is another great investment area. Adding in some stunning wooden decking can be a great way to extend the beauty of your home. Adding wonderful Oak garden Furniture can help upgrade the Garden visually. It can also help make the home as a whole seem more inviting.
Switch Furniture, Fixtures, and Accessories
Including some simple, stylish furniture pieces can really add a tasteful look to your home. Add some Asian-styled pieces, mixed with Hindu-inspired artwork. The mix of styles will help more buyers see themselves here and see their own tastes, rather than be bombarded with your own. Keep the balance between a neutral home style and just enough stylish pieces to keep your home looking stylish.
Spending money on this kind of feature can seem like a waste of money. It's better to see it as an investment however. You want to include these pieces to help make your home seem more visually impressive and let other people see the possibilities with the home. The more impressed you can make the buyer, the more likely they are to bid a higher amount.
Expert Author Andrew Scott
Bored of your dreary bedroom setting? Want something that better reflects your personality? The bedroom is your personal space; a place not only where you sleep and keep your personal items, but also a place to generate ideas. A place so close to the heart, it deserves to be designed according to your tastes and persona.
We spend most of the day outside our home, so we often forget about organising our bedroom. However, bear in mind that the bedroom is like our sanctuary after a long, hectic day. An organised and tidy room can help us to think clearly and relax after the stress of work. Oak bedroom furniture adds up to the beauty of your bedroom and is durable, sure to last a long time.
Before you start working on your bedroom though, here are some of the ideas which may go with your personality.
Bold and Beautiful
When you enter in someone's room, the first thing that catches your attention is likely the colour scheme. If you are in your early twenties, you may have already looked for colour scheme inspiration and came back disappointed. Many home décor websites suggest on keeping the colour of bedroom uniform; with a simple, monochrome theme. However, if you're more extroverted or an audacious person, this may not suit your style. Play with the colours and considering making a colour contrast to complement your oak bedroom furniture. If you have already planned for an oak bedside table and oak wardrobe, considering choosing a colour palette that matches the bedding and curtains.
Serene and Calm Shelter
Now this is something for the people who have a more calm and introverted nature. In contrary to the colourful theme of bedroom that work for more extroverted people, a more neutral colour scheme can be magic for you. One thing which we need to clear is that sombre is not equal to tranquillity. It doesn't mean that you can't do something bold with neutral colour. It's all about creating a perfect ambiance for your bedroom. Complement this using oak bedroom furniture and accessorising with plants, lighting or candles.
After all, you want something to resemble to your personality, not someone else's.
Movie Themed Den
So, you are someone who loves watching movies and have film posters hanging on your bedroom walls. However, this is just a simple way to express your love for cinema. You can do something more exciting to enjoy your movie time with style. You can could set a corner area with some necessary items of oak bedroom furniture. This could be decorated with posters or any other piece of art to highlight your love of film. You can also invite your friends for movie night and have them admire your collection of movies organised in your oak TV unit.
Book Lover Corner
The whole idea is not about showing off the things you have interest in but creating a space for you where you can enjoy and relax. Book reading is an addiction to some people, so why not build a space to enjoy your reading time. A space organised for your reading with an oak bookcase to organise your books and magazines and proper lighting is your way to go. Your list of oak bedroom furniture must include bookcase and coffee table for this purpose.
Now it's up to you to decide how you want to decorate your space to creatively show off your passions.
Expert Author Andrew Scott
We're adapting all the more every day about the intensity of human link. Individuals are undeniably liable to confide in a business that has an identity behind it. While organisations may have possessed the capacity to escape by just sharing their items before, I think customers are improving at spotting and blocking advancements, paid promotions, and attempts to sell something. It just isn't sufficient to share your work any longer; you require a brand identity!
One of the greatest things I've seen for the current year is a move toward greater genuineness and helplessness on the web and through that, more profundity of the associations we're making with our customers, clients, and devotees. If you genuinely need to take individuals from basically devotees to genuine fans, it's an ideal opportunity to centre on making a brand that offers more than what you need to provide.
Photos Of You Need to know something insane? The vast majority's best posts are photographs of THEM, not their work. Isn't that stunning? I trust that with the end goal for individuals to genuinely interface with the work you're making, the first need to know, similar to, trust, and comprehend the maker.
The more you let individuals into your life, the more they feel like you are a genuine human, not only an attempt to sell something. When you can turn into an unmistakable face, you'll begin to feel more like a companion and less like an advertiser. Venture out of your usual range of familiarity and before that focal point and grin... since individuals are going to go gaga for you.
Sharpen Your Voice If we were sitting eye to eye, how might you converse with me? It'd presumably be easygoing, fun, and influence me to feel great - like we've known each other for a considerable length of time. In any case, by one means or another when we go to sort or discuss the items we offer or the administrations we offer, we get all damp and sound like an unbalanced TV advertisement that individuals need to quiet.
This is on account of conventional advertising persuaded that we must be formal keeping in mind the end goal to be considered essential and that with a specific end goal to offer we need to pitch always rather than have significant discussions. It's an excellent opportunity to focus on the manner in which you address your companions and begin to utilise that same voice online with the goal that you turn out to be more receptive, and your voice emerges in the ocean of advertising pitches.
Show Behind The Scenes I know, I know, it's super not-fabulous, but instead here's the thing: individuals love imagining you working, your life. I never considered the house I lived in or the outings I went on yet when you make a genuine brand (not only a business) individuals get put resources into YOU and this not merely makes unwaveringness, it additionally gives you a chance to recount a significant story in your feed, your posts, and on the web.
Regardless of whether you share a crude Instagram story or post a little off camera enchantment of what you're doing, you'll have the capacity to cultivate more association and let individuals feel like they are being let in on the procedure. (If you're wondering: yes, I've posted the loveseat that I'm dealing with as I make this post and individuals LOVED it!)
Genuine - Perfect Doesn't it feel like every other person has the photo idealise feed/life/closet/house and you're thinking about how your wreckage could transform into a significant message? Better believe it, we as a whole vibe a similar way. One of the greatest exercises I've mastered running an individual brand is that individuals are longing for genuine (particularly in multi-day and age where everything looks so darn consummate!)
While I'm no more peculiar to styling pretty pictures or repairing the one beautiful corner of my house, I'm additionally not reluctant to discuss the genuine stuff - not only the feature reel stuff. Getting a little powerless makes you, even more, a human and more relatable and it gives individuals the chance to say "me as well conceivably." You can't hope to make association exclusively from what you're offering, so having touchpoints that make you a genuine human behind the screen can serve you for quite a long time to come.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
In business it is important to keep a high profile and let people know that you exist. You are your own best ambassador and the most effective representative of your brand. Circulating, talking about your story and your company, building relationships with other businesses is all part of marketing yourself and your business. Conferences and networking events provide businesses with the opportunity to get away from the work environment for a while and meet like minded professionals in a more relaxed setting.
Often business can be a lonely occupation. Many business owners work long hours and are fully occupied with winning customers, finding new ways to promote themselves, looking for new opportunities. Finding time to meet and discuss the challenges and difficulties, share insights and experiences is a rare event. Attending relevant conferences can provide a valuable opportunity to relax and learn in a supportive environment.
Conferences and industry networking events provide opportunities to meet like minded professionals and attend educational seminars. Often the organizers put together interesting programs covering different aspects of business. New products, procedures and techniques are often introduced at these events. Workshops are often included. Sometimes well known or significant speakers are featured and they can provide interesting motivational lectures, useful handouts and opportunities to brain storm and consider other options for developing your business. Things that perhaps would never be considered in the normal rush of a regular day at the office.
But often the most valuable part is the networking. The coffee breaks where like minded professionals share stories, experiences, ask for advice, compare mishaps. These are the times to mix and interact with colleagues, to put a face to the name, to discuss any alliances that may be able to be formed. Some businesses may be in direct competition with each other, but there will also be some businesses that will be able to forge allegiances based on slight overlaps and synergy. Discovering the connection and the potential is often best done in person in the relaxed setting away from the workplace.
The value of getting away for a day or two, to meet people in similar business situations, to mix, share and interact with each other can pay dividends when you are back in your own business environment. Not just a time to learn new techniques or to think of different ways of approaching situations, but also a time to recharge your batteries and come back to your own business full of optimism, maybe new contacts or friends, new ideas and a positive commitment to invigorate your business again.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Recently I have come across several instances where a new three-way partnership was struggling because of personality undercurrents, poor communications and increasing lack of trust between them. As a result of the tensions their businesses were in serious danger of being wound up.
It was clear that in each of these situations one of the partners was feeling increasingly frustrated about the way the other two partners were treating him. He was feeling side-lined, disrespected, that he was being treated as an employee. I suggested several ways to try to get the relationship back on track. Things that the disgruntled partner could do to bring a more even basis and better communications back into the relationships.
The several options include:
- Start by writing a letter or an email to the other partners. Keep it non-accusatory. Take responsibility for how you feel but keep it factual, non-complaining. Merely state the facts, that the partnership has been in place for some time and it is now time for an assessment of where the business is at, what the short term and longer terms goals are, any issues that need to be addressed. Suggest a date and a time for a meeting with the three of you. Stress that it is important, that having a regular meeting is crucial to keeping everyone included and familiar with developments. Keep the email as a draft and re-read it several times over the following 24-48 hours before you send it. Check that it reads as professional and factual, that everything that needs to be said has been included.
- At the meeting have your agenda of the important facts and suggestions that you feel need to be discussed. In the early days of a new business the original model can change and evolve regularly so keeping in frequent contact with each other in a formal way reminds everyone that it is a serious business. The goal is growth and earning money. Keep the agenda as a reference point throughout that meeting. That shows that you are serious and mean business. It is important to you.
- Insist on a regular weekly meeting with an agenda and maybe minutes/notes written and circulated afterwards. This way the meeting has a formal feel to it, and is documented as a reference point for future times. At each meeting schedule in the next one and if someone has to change it make sure that a new date is arranged as soon as possible.
- Maybe have a coffee together at the end of each working day. When three people are doing different jobs it is easy for two to discuss matters together and feel that they are being reasonable, up-dating each other, maybe even making decisions. Meeting for a quick coffee enables everyone to be acquainted with any new facts or situations that have cropped up. It provides the opportunity to keep everyone up to speed on a daily basis in a light informal way.
- In a three-way partnership often each partner has very different skills sets, one may be an accountant, another sales focussed, the third may be the business manager. Often one person can feel side-lined, running the administration and the routine office based jobs while the other two appear to be in meetings, making the important decisions. Each person needs their role to be treated as equally valuable and relevant to the partnerships success.
- Suggest some sort of training or job rotation so that each partner has a familiarity with every role. There needs to some flexibility and an understanding of each others skills. If one person is involved with the sales side of the business that role is measurable.The other two partners can see how much business is generated, how many orders are placed, how busy the company is. The other two roles are often less easily measurable in terms of results and, as such, each person needs to feel that their contribution is appreciated. A job rotation or training allows the relevance of each section of the business to be understood more clearly.
- Write processes so that each role in the company is detailed. More basic jobs are then documented. It frees up each partner to be more involved in the more dynamic parts of the business. In a small growing business staff take their lead directly from management. If the bosses are unhappy then that mood filters through to staff. Staff will pick up on the mood and wonder if all is well in the business, are their jobs safe, is something bad due to happen. A tense atmosphere de-motivates staff. Good channels of communication between partners may require time to be spent on them, but they generate a positive atmosphere in the business and as such are well worth the effort.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Many organisations regard Continuous Professional Development as mandatory. You have to agree to undertake and make a commitment to ongoing training as part of the criteria for membership and for renewal of professional liability insurance. Every professional person should choose to commit to ongoing development as a way of learning what is happening in their field of expertise, learning new skills, refreshing old skills and sharing time with other professionals in their field.
The reality is, ongoing training makes common sense. For a professional person, being apprised of the latest techniques and developments is an important part of being able to do their job efficiently and effectively and keep pace with the competition. There is no guarantee that someone can learn enough from reading the trade magazines or the mail shots that are sent them from their professional memberships. And even if they do, reading an article may be beneficial and thought provoking, but it is no substitute for a day or two spent in a learning environment with the opportunity to focus, concentrate, ask questions and practice until proficient.
As a full time counsellor and hypnotherapist I value the opportunity to take time to continue my training. Even on occasion repeating training that I have already undertaken is fascinating and really useful. You may hear a different trainers' perspective, or there may be a new slant or interpretation of a technique, or course attendees may ask questions that take the training in a slightly different direction. Sometimes when I have repeated foundation course training that was originally taken years ago I have been reminded of techniques that I have not used for awhile, or I think of a particular client who would appreciate and work well with a certain piece of work. It is all valuable time spent refreshing skills.
Whatever field you work in, ongoing training offers important time away from the office in which to learn new techniques and skills. It provides a safe opportunity to practice them and be fine if mistakes are made or it takes time to become proficient. Sometimes there are useful ways to remember and refresh existing skills and maybe learn new ways to use what you have already learned and are regularly using.
Other course attendees can provide interesting learning opportunities too. They may share fascinating anecdotes and case histories, they may ask challenging, thought-provoking questions in class and often the conversations at break times can be valuable experiences too.
I have been fortunate enough to be able to attend some excellent residential workshops with some of the major names in the field of hypnotherapy. The classroom work and practical applications have always been remarkable. The time to devote to watching a master at work, hearing them relate their experiences and discuss new innovations is more than memorable.
But the break times have always been really interesting too. Discussing problems, difficult cases, even business worries with other professionals in a relaxed environment away from the office is a valuable use of time. Sometimes there is the opportunity to network with other professionals who have different specialisms, perhaps on occasion finding ways to forge an alliance or maybe share some joint business opportunities.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
A team often starts as a group of individual people assembled to achieve a common agenda. They may already have some knowledge of each other but the main purpose is to work towards a specific goal. Teams may be tasked with the pulling together of different elements of a project, or they are formed to achieve targets, like sales, introductions and leads. Often these goals have a degree of urgency involved.
Communication is an important factor:
Training and motivation is often the first step in unifying a team. Introducing everyone to each other, becoming familiar with their skill sets, understanding the rationale behind the team and briefing everyone as to their specific roles, timetables and ultimate goals is important to do at the outset. Identifying training requirements is a serious consideration, whilst a question and answer session can help everyone get to know each other and provide an insight into each other's areas of expertise.
Some team building exercises may include residential seminars and group exercises. These are designed as a way of getting to know, like and trust each other very quickly. This is important as a means of developing a team mentality. Good communications then become more natural as people learn to respect and value each other and their respective roles and talents.
Regular and effective communications remind people of their particular roles and helps each person appreciate their individual connection and commitment to the success of their team. Good communications are an important way of keeping everyone updated with changes in the business, of reminding people of important aspects like legislation, health and safety procedures, deadlines. Organising the teams and the work so that everyone enjoys and appreciates the relevance of what they are doing is the best way to get good results.
Teams can unite people with different but complementary skills, put together for the purpose of achieving a combined goal. In a car repair shop there may be one person who deals with paint spraying, someone who does electrical work, another who does mechanical work, someone who books the jobs into the diary and costs them out. Motivation and communication is often about quality customer care and keeping overheads down. Customers need to be kept happy, jobs need to be done quickly and efficiently. The team needs to communicate well.
Or a team can combine a group of people with the same skills, working together with a common purpose, like a call centre. In these situations teams may be pitted against each other in a bid to motivate each group to perform better. There may be a competition for the fastest response times, numbers of calls answered, number of appointments made. Some form of monitoring the statistics needs to be established to spur each group on to better efforts. These can be communicated through wall charts, screens, email. And a reward can provide the ultimate motivation.
Brainstorming sessions are an effective way of utilising ideas and resources. They give everyone in the team the opportunity to share their thoughts and different ways of working with each other in group discussion. This can often inspire new ways of working and trigger creativity.
By communicating well within a team people grow and become more confident in their ability to contribute. A crucial part of working in a team is to feel valued and relevant. When people enjoy what they do, enjoy the team dynamic and feel that they are achieving something positive they will continue to support the team and its goals. Communication is a key part of motivation in these situations.