Category: Stuff on our Minds

Advice On Hiring A Cleaning Company

Many people have a difficult time trying to balance work (especially true for us as business owners), time with the family, and taking care of the house. A cleaning company can take a load off your shoulders. When you hire a company to clean your house and/or business, you can use this gained time for your most productive activities.

Before you hire a cleaning company, you should take into consideration the few tips that we created:

Interview With More Than One Cleaning Service
When you begin looking into cleaning companies, it is important that you interview with more than one company. We didn’t do this initially for our business, and we wasted a month with a company that hardly knew how to turn on a vacuum cleaner (yes, they were that bad). If we had interviewed multiple companies, we would have realized how unprofessional they were.

Make Sure that the Agency or Individual is Licensed and Insured
Accidents can happen anywhere. This includes both your small business and home. It is important that the cleaning service is fully covered in case they damage any items of value.

Define Your Scope
There are several things that you need to figure out before hiring a cleaning company. The more they understand what you expect of them, the better job they will do. You should let them know:

• How often you would like them to come in and clean (we recommend Saturday afternoons if you run a business)
• What you want to be cleaned regularly (if you want something specific cleaned, make sure the company has that listed on their website. A good example of this is http://www.jenadyco.com.au/window-cleaning/)
• What you want to be cleaned periodically

Make Sure that You Understand the Pricing
When you discuss the pricing with the cleaning company, you should make sure that there are no hidden fees involved. You want to make sure that you are hiring the company or the individual as an independent contractor and not as an employee.

Let the Agency Know if You Have Pets
It is important that you let the agency or individual know that you have pets. You do not want to hire an agency or individual with a pet allergy or phobia, and not letting them know the pet situation ahead of time.

Find Out Who Supplies the Cleaning Products
When you hire a cleaning company, you should find out who supplies the cleaning products. Some companies will use their own, while others expect you to supply them. If you have certain products that you want the cleaning company to use, such as chemical free, or eco-friendly products, you need to let them know what you want them to use, and where they can find it.

Do Not Clean Or Prepare for the Cleaning Company
Many people will clean before the cleaning company arrives, in order to avoid embarrassment. Cleaning companies are used to seeing a mess. You should not do something that you are paying someone to do for you. This doesn’t mean that you should purposely leave clutter around. Also, if you have anything of value, such as jewelry, you should keep it locked away and out of sight.

You should be very careful when hiring a cleaning company. Finding the right company and having all the details ironed out before they begin cleaning your home or business is very important.

Taking Entrepreneurship a Step Further with Serial Entrepreneurship

There is a thrill in running your own business. The best part is organizing and finding the financing. The hard part is actually managing the company until it starts paying for itself. The best part is that you can always do it again.

Somebody once said that you should start your first business before you are 30, so that if it fails you can go on and start another one. This is great advice. It just means that if you fail, you dust yourself up and then move on to starting a new one. For some it can be almost immediately. While for others, it takes some time. After a while, whether you are successful in all your attempts, or if you are just successful with one, other people will take notice and make financing easier for you. You've had experience in running a company, and you want to start another one. That's a great reputation to have, which adds credibility. Investors like a guy with credibility and who dusts himself up raring to go on the saddle again.

That is what business is all about. Entrepreneurship is not really about managing a successful business. If a company has been around for more than three years, it means that it can make money. Anyone who is tasked to run a profitable company is getting an easy job. On the other hand, if the business is not making money, anyone who is tasked to take the job managing that company is in a hole from the very beginning. He has to start from a negative position, he has to prove the viability of the company, and he has the cards against him. It's not like you need to have an entry on the best water ionizers compared for 2015. See here. It is much easier and more fun to start your own company than turning around an almost bankrupt company.

Serial entrepreneurship is addictive. You meet different people, you are up against different industries, and you get to sell your company to your prospective employees and to new clients. The enjoyable part is the execution. Making it happen is not from scratch is a thrill. It is also nerve wracking, stressful and filled with anxiety. The nearest analogy is like a chicken laying an egg of unknown size. Whether the egg is big or small, as long it gets out, everything will be fine.

A the end of the day, what you have is a company which is yours and you can make the decisions on the way to run it. There are no training videos to ensure success; there are only basic rules. The attitude helps a lot of course. At some point it will be like being on autopilot. You just know that it will be a success. Just like an up to date epic soccer training review, like the examples here, there are ways to do it differently and better than how you've done it before.

Being a serial entrepreneur is nothing new. A lot of people have done it before. The good news is that nobody is counting how many times you start a company and nobody would fault you for the final score of successes against failures.

Top Ten Running Shoes for Beginners

So you want to be a runner? You’ve got the bright colored shorts, your iPod is loaded with energizing tunes but something is missing, a good pair of running shoes. The running shoe market can be overwhelming for new runners. There are thousands of styles and brands to choose from. A common mistake among new runners is not purchasing an adequate running shoe and an adequate running shoe isn’t necessarily the most expensive sneaker on the shelf. The best thing you can do is visit a running store and have them measure your foot for arch type and pronation. In the meantime, the shoes on this list are your best options for logging mileage and your first 5K.

  1. Asics Gel Kayano 19 can be purchased for around $145 at most any sporting goods store. The Gel Kayano is top of line in stability—something every new runner needs. The heel cushioning system is out of this world as well. This particular shoe ensures that your foot stays in place, is well protected, and that you have a smooth run.
  2. Mizuno Wave Creation 14 can be found on the Mizuno website for $150. It’s one of the priciest models on this list but it’s well worth the extra pennies. The Wave Creation 14 has everything a new runner needs. Mizuno hooked runners up with an Intercool midsole ventilation system and AIR mesh that prevents heat and sweat buildup. The Mizuno Cushioning system gives you five star impact protection and a bouncy rebound with every stride.
  3. Asics Gel Cumulus 14 can be purchased for $80. The Cumulus 14 boasts both forefoot and heel cushioning that makes this shoe a supportive and comfortable choice for any beginner. The ComfortDry sock-liner is a nice antimicrobial touch that will keep you dry and cool. The beauty of this shoe is that it just keeps getting better over time—all thanks to the memory foam collar in the heel of the shoe.
  4. Brooks Glycerin 12 is designed to provide enhanced flexibility and a quicker push off. The Brooks Glycerin 12 is made for a snug fit and to adjust to the wearer’s particular pace, weight, and environment. You can purchase a pair of these bad boys for around $130.
  5. Saucony Triumph 10 can be purchased for $110. The Triumph 10 offers spectacular stability, plenty of breathability, and come equipped with a Power-Grid cushion for maximum comfort. With plenty of performance and protection the Triumph 10 still manages to maintain a light weight at 10.4 ounces.
  6. Nike Zoom Vomero 8 is a great beginner shoe. It comes with responsive Air Zoom units and a Cushion mid-sole. These running shoes fit like a glove, provide great breathability, and offer extreme impact protection. You can purchase a pair yourself for about $130.
  7. Reebok DMX Sky provide an unparalleled cushioned feel, support, and structure. These shoes are best for neutral to over-pronators. You can buy a pair for around $100.
  8. Nike Flyknit Lunar 1 is a great shoe for new runners and new barefoot-runners alike. The Lunar 1 offers just the right amount of support without overprotecting your foot; this allows for stronger muscles in the feet and legs. You can pick up a pair for $130.
  9. Under Armour Spine Venom is a $90 running shoe great for any runner—newbies and veterans alike. The Venom is flexible, breathable, lightweight, stable, protective, and offer runners cushioning that most people only dream about.
  10. New Balance MX20v3 made the cut thanks to their Stabilicore support system, smooth transitioning, mid-foot protection, and breathable upper. They normally come with a price tag somewhere around $100 check here.

Buying the right pair of running shoes is important and you shouldn’t sprint through the process just because you’re eager to hit the road. Runners need running shoes not cross trainers, not basketball shoes, not tennis shoes, running shoes. Don’t try and pick out a pair on your own, especially if it’s your first time. Talk with a sales associate. That’s what they are there for!

When you head to the store make sure you bring a pair of your running socks with you as this well help the associate fit you with the correct pair of running shoes. Your feet should be measured for both width and length. If you’ve already started running in a pair of shoes you already had, bring them along. The associate in a running store will be able to tell a lot from the shoe regarding pronation and foot-strike tendencies. Above all else, quality and fit of the shoe should be the deciding factors in your purchase.

Now, go purchase your first pair of running shoes and start pounding the pavement!

Going Under the Knife to Boost Your Self Confidence

Hi guys! It’s me, Alicia.

If you’ve been following our blog for a while know, you’d know that I’m big on self-help stuff. Yes, I’ve read the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The Purpose Driven life. While most people don’t see anything wrong with these books, others have a different view on them. Personally though, I love reading self-help books because they help me discover my untapped potential bit by bit therefore allowing me to grow as a person. Furthermore, I am also able to impart some wisdom unto friends who need help and advice on certain matters.

Last week, I met up with a friend for lunch because she needed a little pickup to lift her spirits and some advise on something she really wanted to do but wasn’t quite sure if it was right. She wanted to get breast augmentation to boost her self-confidence and hopefully jumpstart her love life as well. I am neither for or against cosmetic surgery but personally, getting breast implants is not something I would do for myself. However, I won’t deny that I have already “gotten under the knife” so to speak.

You see, when I was a teenager, my number one insecurity was my teeth. I didn’t have a perfect set of pearly whites as such, I rarely smiled when I was being photographed. When I turned 18, I decided it was time to do something about it because my insecurity was already affecting my demeanor. I became shy and rarely went out during college because I felt like I was being made fun of by my peers because of my teeth.

During our winter break from school, I went back to and visited my dentist. He told me that the best way to correct my crooked, discolored, and ill-sized teeth was to have veneers fitted over them. Unfortunately, he was not qualified to do that type of procedure so instead, I asked him to refer me to a cosmetic dentistry clinic where I could get veneers in Atlanta because that’s where I was living and attending college at the time. After a couple of phone calls, he managed to get me an appointment on one of my days off from school. I went home feeling happy and hopeful that finally, I would be able to face the world with confidence once I get my veneers fitted.

My dentist recommended I get porcelain veneers but also said I should do some research so I could make the decision myself. When I got home, I hopped on the internet and started reading up on composite and porcelain veneers. I found out through this site here that porcelain veneers in Atlanta can cost up to $1500 per tooth. I was shocked and felt a little discouraged. I already knew I wouldn’t be able to afford it. But after doing some more research, I figured I could settle for composite veneers for the time being.

Fast forward to today, I had already replaced my composite veneers with porcelain ones. I have never felt more confident in myself. I believe that my confidence played a major role in the success of our business because it has allowed me to flourish as an entrepreneur.

So what was my advice for my friend? Well, I told her to do it if it was going to make her happy. However, I also reminded her how important it is that she was going to do it to please herself and no one else. I have read and heard stories of women changing their bodies to make their boyfriends or husbands happy and proud but only to realize that they were unhappy with the outcome and that is something I don’t want her to go through.

An Electrician and a Dialysis Technician in the Family – New Jobs for My Cousins

Well, phewee! The business has been absolutely bonkers-crazy-busy today and whilst I’d love to write a blog post on what I’ve learnt from another non-stop day, it will have to wait for another time as I’m going to write a family related post today. The reason? I just heard from my aunt that two of my second cousins have just secured rather lucrative positions, one as an electrician with an eminent electrical company, and the other as a dialysis technician. Way to go guys!

Sam, who’s about five years younger than me, has always had a way with his hands. I remember when he was younger and we’d hang out together, and he’d always be taking things apart, fixing them, and putting them back together – first it was my remote control car, then he actually disassembled our Super Nintendo (much to the chagrin of my younger brother) and replaced one of the circuits. So, truth to be told, I wasn’t that surprised when I’d heard he’d been offered a job as an electrician.

A Sweet Deal

It’s a pretty sweet deal, according to my aunt. Most of his work takes place in up-and-coming neighborhoods that have a number of new houses being put up. He’s responsible for not only planning the whole wiring of the building, he’s the one who has to implement it as well – it sounds like a lot of fun, and I hope he enjoys it. I know he’s been hoping for a break like this for some time now, so congratulations Sammy!

My other cousin, Paul, is actually four years older than me (that’s right, I was always the middle child), but he also got a new job as a dialysis technician – you’re probably wondering what a dialysis technician does? Dialysis is a medical procedure that involves a high tech machine which filters your blood, taking out toxic materials, and then feeding it back into you. In the human body, the kidneys are responsible for getting rid of pollutants in the bloodstream, but many people end up suffering from injury or illness, and their kidneys stop working. When renal failure sets in, they can no longer filter their blood on their own – this is where the dialysis machine comes into play, and does the work of the kidneys.

A Brave Decision

Lots of these people have to come in once (or more) a week to have their blood ‘cycled’, and it can take up to an hour or more – but it is a very necessary process to ensure that they stay alive. I feel very proud of Paul for endeavoring to enter this profession. I can’t imagine it is very easy to deal with sometimes, but I think it’s a very noble way to help other people. So, on behalf of myself, I’d also like to congratulate Paul. He’s actually out there saving lives – it makes you think.

If I’m being honest again, I wasn’t always sure if my two cousins would manage to make something of themselves, which only cements my profound respect for them now. They’ve both taken it upon themselves to devote themselves to studying hard and finding something that they love to do. I feel very lucky to have known both of them, and wish the very best for them in the future!

5 Foods Which Will Keep Fashion Workers Productive

Any business owner knows that one of the hardest things to do can often be keeping employees motivated and productive.

This is especially true in the fashion world as days have a tendency to drag on for long periods and deadlines are reached.

As the day wears on, people get tired, bored and they start counting down the minutes until it’s time to head out. There are a number of different ways this problem can be remedied, and one of the most simple is with certain foods or snacks.

In order to boost productivity in the office, it’s important to provide employees with a selection of delicious and healthy productivity enhancing snacks.

As a fashion business owners Lisa and I realize the benefit in making small investments in out workers productivity, and this is how we do it:

The obvious but effective choice: Caffeine

First up is one thats most likely already present in every office setting around the world: Coffee.

The caffeine found in coffee is a valuable resource for office workers as it not only provides an extra burst of energy, but it also promotes mental alertness as well as memory.

Having a coffee station set up for employees can be especially beneficial during early mornings when minds may not be fully awake, and in the middle of the afternoon when a midday cat nap starts to sound more and more tempting.

If you don’t have the space or facilities, organize a ‘cafe on wheels’ service to make a routine stop past your office each day – you will not regret it!

Dark chocolate

Now that your employees are alert and ready to go, provide them with some dark chocolate to munch on as a snack. Not only is it a nice little sweet treat, but dark chocolate is also known for its ability to enhance a person’s focus and concentration. Numerous studies have proven again and again that dark chocolate is highly beneficial for healthy cognitive function.  Additionally, dark chocolate can be a simple way to lower stress in the office: studies have shown that reaching for a dark chocolate bar in times of stress really can be helpful and calming.

The fashion industry can often be stressful, so stock your office fridge up with dark chocolate today for an instant stress-busting solution!

High nutrient loaded juice

A less obvious choice is a variety of delicious fresh, natural, fruit juices. Fresh juices provide a large amount of nutrients that can improve office productivity in a number of ways.

For one thing, many fruit juices are very high in Vitamin C which is vital in keeping your employees healthy and minimizing the amount of work time lost due to illness. For even more antioxidant goodness, try to encourage the inclusion of fresh berries into your juicing regime; berries contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit group.

Berries are great for a quick snack, and the antioxidants found in them promote improved memory as well as good motor coordination. Instead of loading up on packaged juice (which may be high in artificial sugars and sweeteners) invest in one of the best juicing machines money can buy, which will provide nutrient loaded fresh juice to employees for years to come. Reading juicer reviews and comparisons is a great way to ensure you choose a high quality machine.

Yogurt

Yogurt (especially Greek yogurt) and nuts are both packed with protein, which make them wonderful in an office setting. Protein helps maintain the high energy levels that the coffee jump-started earlier on. Protein (much like the antioxidants in berries or the caffeine in coffee) has been proven to support healthy brain function which is vital for the creative thinking required in the fashion industry
.

Cold filtered water

Adequate hydration is the number one factor in keeping humans happy, health and awake, so allowing cold water to be readily available around the office or work-site is key to boosting productivity levels.

Here’s a tip: instead of providing costly bottled water, why not install an appliance that provides cold, fresh water, that is readily available all day? look into a combined water softener/filter which will put this process on autopilot. Again, we recommend reading a few water softener reviews to ensure you choose the right machine for your employees.

Keeping productivity up in the office doesn’t have to be difficult. Just a few nutritious additions the break room can make a world of difference.

Alicia.

You Owe it to Your Business to Stay in Great Shape

yogaI don’t get people, especially entrepreneurs, who don’t do regular exercise. I mean, if you’re sitting in an office and your productivity basically doesn’t make a difference to your pay, then fair enough. But pretty much everyone who’s an entrepreneur knows that the endorphins you get from regular exercise can help increase productivity drastically (here’s a study if you don’t believe it) – and if you’re in business for yourself, extra productivity usually = extra $$. And yet it still seems like there are so many businessmen and women out there who just don’t get regular exercise. I seriously just don’t get it.

So, me and my sis are pretty different in many ways, but we both agree that exercise is an essential part of being at the top of your game mentally, so we basically try to egg each other on to do more exercise – she actually calls me fat (I’m totally not by the way) just to motivate me – I guess it’s OK because we both know I’m not fat. But yea, that’s the kind of thing we do with each other to make sure we both get exercise in.

Honestly, it doesn’t even matter what exercise you do – it could be running, pilates, yoga, some of my friends are even doing this boxing thing which apparently is loads of fun. Basically two or three times a week, everybody just needs to get up off their butts, put on a pair of shorts, and just do something physical – and the boost you get from that in terms of happiness and productivity just makes up for all that ‘lost’ time and then some – and that doesn’t even take into account the obvious physical health benefits that regular exercise brings.

Basically, exercise is like a totally legal and totally free superdrug that you can take whenever you want with pretty much no negative consequences other than maybe the occasional sprain or something. Seriously – you can eat as healthy as you want, you can avoid alcohol and smoking and be gluten free and paleo and whatever, but add all that up, and compare it to a reasonably tough workout two or three times a week, and I’ll bet that the exercise actually has more of an effect than all the other stuff combined (here’s an article that goes over that stuff)

My sis and I (before we started our business) also had a lot of trouble keeping to a regular exercise schedule, and now that we’ve been able to keep it up for a while, here are some tips that we have that might help you keep to a regular schedule of exercise:

  • Go with a friend – I don’t normally exercise with my sister, but I do have one or two friends that I take classes or go to the gym or yoga with, and it really helps a lot. If you’ve arranged to meet your friend at yoga or something, you’re much less likely to skip the class and ditch them (unless you’re a bad friend) which basically means you have a much better chance of showing up and doing some exercise
  • Pick something fun – Everybody likes different kinds of exercise – my sister hates yoga, she thinks it’s way too static and boring, but I really love it. There are loads of cool classes and stuff that you can take if the treadmill or elliptical machine doesn’t do it for you – maybe try a dance class or some martial arts or something. Give a bunch of stuff a try – a lot of these places have trial classes available – and you’re bound to eventually find something that you find fun.
  • Block off your exercise days and don’t make other plans – basically, after a certain point, if you’re exercising regularly, it’ll turn into a habit and you won’t even think about it. But in order for it to turn into a habit, you probably have to go two or three months on a pretty consistent basis. Because of this, I’d say you should block off specific days of the week that you’re gonna dedicate to exercise, and try not to make plans or anything in that time so that you’re going consistently and your brain starts to associate Thursday  with yoga class or something.

Anyways, that’s my rant about exercise – I feel like for entrepreneurs especially, who need to stay productive and also have more control over their own schedules – they really owe it to themselves to exercise consistently. That’s all from me today I guess.

Sister Stuff & Entrepreneurship

you go girl

Hey guys and gals.

This is our brand new blog about sisterhood, entrepreneurship, and pretty much whatever we feel like talking about. We’re a pair of sisters who’re super close, but unlike most sisters we also work together, so this will be our judgment free blog/confession space/mediation zone where everything and anything is up for discussion. For obvious reasons we won’t go into specifics about what our business is – we don’t want all our customers and suppliers and stuff to know everything that goes on behind the scenes =p. Our goal with this blog is to use it as a private (but actually public) place where we’ll hash out all of the challenges we face dealing with business, family drama, and, well, dealing with each other.

You might be thinking “why would they want to air all their dirty laundry out for the entire internet to see?” – and honestly, we don’t really want to do that. We talked about it for the longest time before we decided to put up this blog. In the end, we thought that it was a pretty cool idea- mainly because as far as we saw, there weren’t any other similar blogs or websites on the web that deal with siblings/family members/really close friends being in business together and the fights, arguments, and general silly drama that often happens in these situations. Our hope is that this blog eventually develops into such a resource – and that by keeping it open and brutally honest, we can attract readers who’re maybe in similar circumstances as we’re in. I guess what we’re trying to say is, maybe other people will be able to learn something by seeing/reading our dirty laundry!

So, a little about the two of us. You can probably guess our names based on our site name, so we won’t go over that again. We’re 5 years apart, and one of us is a relatively new mom and the other is single. We’re pretty different personality wise (this seems to be really common for sisters) – one of us is really outgoing, pretty creative, and always late to everything. The other one is kind of more reliable, more of a straightforward thinker rather than a creative mind, and, well, has more responsibilities in general. Think Emily Deschanel in Bones and Zooey in New Girl. That’s the kind of dynamic between us, just not that extreme (it is TV after all).

We’re basically in the fashion business in some capacity, and we won’t give out too many details about that – but basically, don’t be surprised if we blog about the fashion industry as that’s one of our common interests (although our tastes are COMPLETELY different). We’re not designers or anything glam like that, and we’re not famous or anything, so don’t bother trying to pry =p.

Anyways, look out for either one of us to write about pretty much anything that we want to – but in general you can probably expect a lot of stuff about fashion, self help  personal development stuff (one of us is really into it – guess which one), business and entrepreneurship,  and family drama. We also both love coffee, so you might also come across the occasional random picture of a cup of coffee with no explanation =p.