5 Tips for Starting an Online Business

Before the days of the internet, if you wanted to start a business you had to plop down your life savings and set up a store on the street. This was very risky. What if your location was not ideal or a big corporate chain set up shop across the street? Today you don’t need to save money for decades to start a business. If you understand the essentials of doing business online, you should be able to succeed.

1. Choose the right products

It can be challenging to find a niche product. How can you find a market that isn’t already saturated? One solution is to look at what competitors are doing and figure out how to do it better, faster or cheaper. Another approach is to create a unique product or brand image that differentiates you from other sellers.

When choosing a product niche, it’s best to sell products that you’re knowledgeable or passionate about. If you aren’t passionate about the product, you aren’t going to effectively sell it to customers and have motivation to work on improving the business. It’s also more effective if the product fits your story of who you are or why your family went into business. This creates a brand image that makes customers want to buy from you.

2. Sell on multiple platforms

The quickest and easiest way to start an online business is by using online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. You can get a lot of customer traffic on these platforms, and the setup cost is virtually nothing. One way to reach more potential customers is to sell on various platforms, including:

  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Overstock
  • Etsy
  • Craigslist and other online classified listings pages

3. Low-cost inventory

Becoming an official retailer for popular brands like Apple or Nike can cost a fortune. You don’t need to invest a lot of money in the beginning. There are many ways to source products with very little up-front cost. To get some startup capital, you could begin by selling some things collecting dust in your attic or garage.

Another common practice for new entrepreneurs is to sell second-hand items. Look for dusty treasures at thrift stores, garage sales and clearance isles at big box stores. You could also try out arbitrage or drop shipping, which means you have another business ship the item from their inventory when a customer buys from you.

4. Create your own online store

If you’re ready to invest some time and money to build your brand, having your own ecommerce website has several advantages.

  • You have unlimited freedom to create a more tailored brand image.
  • You can use various types of marketing and advertising to build your own customer base.
  • You can create an email subscriber list that leads to repeat business
  • There are no selling limits and restrictions that are imposed by platforms like eBay and Amazon

5. Use fulfillment services

Once your sales volume starts to grow, it will become overwhelming to do everything by yourself. If you’re not ready to rent a warehouse and hire a crew of workers to fulfill your orders, you can send your inventory to a fulfillment warehouse. For example, Amazon offers a program called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which handles many aspects of your business including storage, packaging, shipping and customer service.

Keep looking for ways to improve your business process and find ways to offer your products to a larger customer base. Be patient in the beginning. Sales may be modest for a while, but if you’re determined, you’ll eventually have the thriving business that you’ve always dreamed of.

5 Tips for Enhancing Your Communication with Customers

At the heart of business is communication. Without communication, an exchange of money for goods or services will never occur. Without communication, consumers may never hear about your products at all. Communication is integral to the smooth operation of a business of any size. How companies communicate with their customers is also changing in this increasingly digital age.


It’s a smart idea to examine your communication with your customers. Finding news modes of communication and improving the communication you do use can certainly pay dividends in the long term. With that in mind, below are five ways to better communicate with your customers.


Make Pleasing Customers Your Goal

In regards to all communications you have with customers, pleasing them should be your goal. Today, more than ever before, dissatisfied customers can absolutely wreak your business. Customer horror stories can go viral on social media and reach thousands of people.


Most people also now make most of their buying decisions based on online research. 81 percent, in fact, make purchases based on information they find online. If your reviews and ratings on different websites are poor, it can absolutely devastate your business. Make sure to always address customer issues in a helpful and empathetic manner to avoid creating these negative feelings.


Hire and Train Good Communicators

Your line of communication with customers is only as good as the communication used by your lowest level employee. If employees are rude to customers or fail to follow through on their communications with them, it can sabotage the customer relationship entirely. You’ll more than likely lose that person’s business. 70 percent of people stop using businesses because of bad service provided by employees.


Instead, you need to make sure you hire people that can communicate well and appear empathetic to the needs and concerns of customers. You must also invest a lot in training employees to communicate correctly with your customers. If you don’t do both of these, you’ll end up paying for it.


Improve the Omnichannel Experience

Another thing that can make a big difference in your communication with customers is omnichannel. Of course, first of all, you may ask, “What is omnichannel?” Omnichannel can be defined as using multiple channels of communication as a means of providing customers with a more cohesive experience.


The different channels in question can include things like phone calls, online, mobile and brick and mortar. The difference between a multi-channel experience and an omnichannel one is that omnichannel provides far more integration. Information obtained from one channel helps determine the customer experience in other channels.


Do a Better Job Listening

It’s one thing to be able to effectively communicate with customers. However, do you do a good job of following through on those communications? Customer interactions are excellent sources of feedback. Integrate that feedback into your business processes so you do a better job of satisfying your customers. Satisfied customers can become loyal customers that provide your company with repeat business for years into the future.


Leverage Social Media

Social media is now one of the dominant ways consumers communicate and get information. Facebook alone has 2.2 billion active users. That’s a huge chunk of the money spending public.


Make social media a center piece of your customer outreach efforts. If you build a big enough social media following, you’ll be able to communicate directly with scores of consumers to inform them of products and promotions. Social media can also be a fantastic source for direct and immediate customer feedback. It’s certainly far cheaper and less time consuming than other methods used to gauge consumer opinions and preferences.


Overall, good communication is the key to a healthy customer relationship. Make sure your company does its best to reach out to customers. Also make sure you have employees that represent your best interests every time they communicate with customers. Your survival as a company is dependent on it.

Tools Your Small Business Should Implement

If you’re looking for ways to get an advantage over the competition, you need the right tools. If you don’t have them, you could risk running out of resources or ideas, leaving your competition to take your customer base and place in the market. So put the following ideas into practice in your business today and watch your profits increase while your costs go down:


Bookkeeping Resources

Small business bookkeeping is a great way to keep yourself out of trouble with the IRS. It also gives you peace of mind. You’ll know what your expenses and income are so you can plan better for the future. This is crucial to long term financial success. So consider both investing in a bookkeeper full or part time as well as the right software so they can help you get more out of your money. You might even uncover a major tax break you hadn’t heard of before.



If you aren’t investing in more sales, you’re missing out on major chances to grow your company. Sales is the lifeblood of any business. You don’t need to shell out major salaries or benefits for sales people either. If you provide them with an attractive compensation package with high commission (even full commission) you can make it to where you virtually don’t pay anything until you’ve been paid yourself.



If sales is what puts the revenue up on the board, then marketing is what helps you set yourself up for more sales. Marketing is all about positioning your brand in the right way in the marketplace. Make sure you are spending enough on social media to reach your specific audience, but don’t be afraid to pull your foot off the gas if you aren’t getting the reach you planned on.



Consultants have a bad rap, but they can be a great asset to your business. If you allow consultants to have full access to what is really going on, they can guide you in the right direction. They might help you uncover customer opportunities, marketing, or cutting cost opportunities. Don’t just jump in with the first consultant you meet, however. Make sure they’re a great fit for you and your company.



No one thinks they will be hacked, until they are. That is why it is crucial to invest in the right tools and employees to help prevent it in the first place. Make sure you’re using firewalls first of all. These help block certain kinds of traffic that are known to penetrate networks and steal information.


Secondly, make sure you hire a team internally or externally that can view and manage your internet network. If traffic seems odd, they can pinpoint it and kick out the attacker. There is nothing wrong with investing in technology and professionals to keep your banking, customer, and product information out of the hands of enemies.



Investing in your office is one of the best things you can do for your company. Long gone are the days where an office was just a monotone place where people arrived to work all day. Employees today expect some kind of perks for showing up every day. They want to feel comfortable. You can add new furniture that is better for the back. You can bring in bean bag chairs to make it a more informal place. You can even change out the lighting to something more hip and modern. Don’t forget the motivation side of the employee workplace either. Hanging posters and signs are reminders of what you’re working toward.


When it comes to tools that your business should be looking at, the list is much longer than what is mentioned above. However, if you start with the resources mentioned in this article, you can put yourself in a much better position than you are in now. From this strong foundation you can grow larger and faster in the future and dominate your industry.


7 Must-Have Programs and Apps for Your Computer


A computer is only as useful as the programs and apps installed on it. You can purchase a high-end desktop, but it’s not going to translate into improved productivity unless it’s equipped with the right digital tools. To take full advantage of your computer, consider installing the seven following programs and apps.

#1) DropBox

Dropbox is cloud-based storage app that allows you to seamlessly transfer files between your computer to the cloud. Once you’ve installed the app on your computer, it will automatically create a new folder that’s synced to the cloud. Any files you place in this folder are automatically uploaded to the cloud. According to the company’s own website, using Dropbox Business offers an 802 percent return on investment (ROI) over a five-year period.

#3) IP Software

You should also install IP tracking and analytics software on your computer. Using netflow software, for instance, you can collect and log IP data on all traffic that enters or exits your network, thus allowing you to identify suspicious activity, points of congestion and more. So, what is netflow exactly? Developed by Cisco, this software lives up to its namesake by monitoring the flow of traffic on a network.


#4) File Compression Software

Whether it’s WinZIP, 7-Zip, gzip or Filzip, you need some type of file compression software on your computer. Also known as a file archiver, it’s an invaluable tool that every computer user needs. When you have one or more large files taking up a significant amount of disk space, you can compress them into a single, smaller file. Compressed files are a fraction the size of their uncompressed counterpart.


Furthermore, file compression software allows you to decompress files that have already been compressed. If you downloaded a zip file, you must decompress it using this software in order to access its contents.

#5) Anti-Malware

Malware is a serious threat that shouldn’t be ignored. According to G Data Software, a new malware specimen was discovered every 4.2 seconds in 2017. Thankfully, you can protect yourself from this growing threat by installing anti-malware software on your computer. It’s designed to identify and block common malware threats, including ransomware, spyware, viruses and more.

For a Windows or Mac computer, consider using Malwarebytes. Originally released January 2006, it’s become the preferred anti-malware solution for consumers and business owners everywhere. Malwarebytes is available in both a free and paid version, the latter of which provides additional features like real-time monitoring and a higher number of scheduled scans.


#6) Notepad++

If you’re a web developer or coder, you should download and install Notepad++ on your computer. To the naked this, this free-to-use app may look like the standard Windows Notepad. However, it supports more than just basic text. Notepad++ is a multi-purpose text and source code editor with tabbed editing. You can literally code an entire website using this app, after which you can upload the files to your website’s server.


#7) CCleaner

CCleaner is a powerful utility program that’s used to clean and remove unwanted files. When you browse the internet, install new programs or use existing programs, small amounts of data are stored to your hard drive. Over time, this data can affect the performance of your computer, creating sluggish speeds while also presenting security vulnerabilities. CCleaner works by removing temporary files such as these. To put the popularity of CCleaner into perspective, the company says its app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times.


These are just a few programs and apps you should install. By taking advantage of these digital tools, you’ll get more use out of your computer.


Top 3 Investments for Business of Every Size

Once you’ve laid out your business plan and secured capital, the next step is to figure out where to spend it. While many things will be vying for your attention at this step, it’s important to sit down first and consider what your true business needs are first, and what can wait until later.


In truth, every business needs to consider how to invest their funds, not just those who are starting out. Ideally, this would mean setting out a plan at the beginning of every year, organizing the operating expenses and planning to meet future needs. With a little bit of preparation, you can make sure that your company spends money responsibly and effectively.


1. Invest in Necessary Tech

The value of emerging technology, especially for new businesses, cannot be overstated. While some software is robust enough to run entire businesses, most software solutions focus on one specific aspect at a time. Moreover, the cost of these digital tools are not nearly as expensive as you would think, and, when compared to hiring these positions out to humans, can actually be a huge cost savings.


For instance, most companies that cannot afford to hire an in-house CFO or accounting department can benefit greatly from outsourcing this job to a freelance accountant who works 2-3 days a month on balancing company assets. Or, still even cheaper, the business may simply invest in a software that does this automatically. Even customer relationship tools can be automated; some of the best free CRM tools available today can juggle a myriad of responsibilities effortlessly. Even if your company isn’t strapped for cash, investing in technology that is appropriate for your business at this point in time is a great idea to save costs and increase efficiency.


2. Hiring Essential Personnel

Many people are under the assumption that a business’ primary need – outside of product –

is people. In reality, most businesses can survive a while before hiring even a single employee, depending on the scope and scale of their operations. When that time comes to begin the hiring process, however, you’ll need to make sure you hire the right positions first.


Before you welcome anyone aboard, sit down with a piece of paper and write down your business needs, taking into account what you can outsource and what you can hire from freelancers. Will you need a marketing department in-house, or can you hire graphic artists on a case-by-case basis? Will you need a sales team, or can you utilize affiliate relationships first? Whatever your needs are, write down – in order from most pertinent to least pertinent – what your needs are, so you make sure that you spend money in the most important places first.


3. Emergency Fund

Saving for an emergency fund can be tricky, especially in the early days. When companies are just starting out, every penny is usually going to operations, inventory, or some other more pressing need. For that reason, the idea of socking away money for a “rainy-day fund” almost seems laughable.


What’s not laughable, however, is facing a mountain of debts that can’t be paid back because your business has fallen on hard times and you have no money stored away in savings. When that time comes, you’ll likely only have one of two options: ask for a loan to keep yourself afloat (that you may or may not get due to any number of reasons), or declare bankruptcy.


Most experts recommend having nearly a year of operating costs on-hand at any one point in time, but this could take a few years to build, depending on how long it takes you to reach profitability. By making it a priority now, and funneling money into this fund as often as you can, you’ll eventually find that you have enough to keep the doors open, even if not as many customers are walking through those doors as they used to.


The Splendid And Not So Splendid Facts About Food Additives

Thickening Agents

Carrageenan, pronounced [kar-uh-gee-nuh n], is believed to have come from the Irish word carraigín, meaning Little Rock. It is an organic seaweed extract, used in many of the foods we consume every day. Like flour and cornstarch it is used to thicken foods. Here are some of the many wonderful traits. Widely used in meat and dairy products, it’s a vegan, vegetarian alternative to gelatin and helps prevent foods from separating by binding them together. It also neutralizes free radicals, which can cause age-related eye disease, diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.


Every year in the U.S., there are hundreds of millions of reported cases of the dreaded common cold. Although there is not yet a cure for the flu, a recent study in Austria found potential antiviral properties associated with carrageenan. Another study found that using red seaweed extract nasal spray might be a viable treatment for influenza, even well after infection begins. The nasal spray is widely used over the counter in Europe.


Nutritionally, it is neutral and being made of mostly fiber, it is indigestible. And for those of us who want to lead a healthier lifestyle but don’t want to sacrifice flavor, it is used to enhance the flavor of low-fat foods. It improves the texture of foods, keeps food fresh for long periods of time, and is free of animal-based fats. It’s also low in sugar and sodium. Here are some foods you may or may not know contain this ingredient: ice cream, baby formula, almond milk, yogurt, syrup, whipped cream, candy bars, coffee drinks, and Ricotta cheese.



High fructose corn syrup also called glucose-fructose is a sweetener made mostly from genetically modified corn starch, thereby making it unhealthy. In the U.S. high fructose corn syrup is one of the sweeteners that replaced sucrose in the food industry. High fructose corn syrup is cheaper than sucrose (aka table sugar) contributing to its now widespread uses. High fructose corn syrup can be found mostly in soda, candy, sweetened yogurt, salad dressings, breads, and is also illegally used to “stretch” honey.


On average, Americans consume 50 grams of high fructose corn syrup every day. A study from Princeton found that high fructose corn syrup can lead to weight gain. It has been directly linked to diabetes. Research also shows that consuming 60 grams of high fructose corn syrup can increase blood pressure. Along with increasing your chances of cancer, fatty liver stress, and heart disease, it’s safe to say this is one additive we should all avoid.


Sucralose is an artificial sweetener as well as sugar substitute that is used in more than 4,000 products. Sucralose is about 320 to 1,000 times sweeter than sucrose and three times sweeter than aspartame. Because it’s a no-calorie sweetener it is used in many food and beverage products. It is believed to be safe for consumption by diabetics and nondiabetics.


The popular sugar substitute Splenda is made of sucralose. It was approved for use in foods in 1998. Splenda is notably the number one artificial sweetener in America. So, it’s important to learn the effects of sucralose in Splenda. It was developed by scientists looking to create a pesticide, and that alone says something. Once sucralose gets into the stomach it goes largely unrecognized as food in the body; this explains why it has no calories. However, like most of the wonders of the world this too comes with risks and side effects. Sucralose may alter glucose levels, trigger migraines. It is also known to significantly decrease gut flora, and it may play a role in certain cancers. These are certainly not splendid facts.



When it comes to food additives, some have definite health benefits and others should be used in moderation. So, the next time you go to the grocery store, be sure to check the food labels.


Sporty Cars That Won’t Break The Bank

Sporty cars give you speed and style that a boring sedan simply can’t provide. Unfortunately, these additional features come with a price. However, there are plenty of sporty cars on the market that won’t cost you too much. Here are some options that will give you the sportiness that you want without the expensive price tag.


Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Don’t let the fact that Hyundai makes this car fool you. With an MSRP of only $27,645, this car is very reasonably priced for its great features. You may not expect this car to be as enjoyable as it is, but be prepared for a fast car that drives exceptionally well. It’s V6 engine comes standard, but you can also opt for the faster and more powerful v8 engine if you’d like. It also still has the reliability and amazing warranty that people have come to expect from Hyundai.


Nissan 350z

This Nissan 350z is made for the person who loves sports cars. It’s exceptionally stylish and small with only two seats. Special for sports cars, it’s rear wheel drive, so it’s easier to drive in the winter than some other options. It also has a 3.5 liter VQ V6 engine. The MSRP price is about $30,000.


Volkswagen GTI

This may not look like other sports cars, but it definitely drives like one. For someone who wants the power and speed of a sports car but the four doors, trunk space, and discretion of a regular sedan, this is the car for you! It has 210 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission that gives you both power and control. Parents will love that it still has plenty of room for the kids and groceries in the back, but it still drives like a car you can race. Plus, it has a MSRP base price of $24,595.


Chevy Camaro

Camaros have been a popular sports car option for years. It comes with a turbocharged engine as a standard feature as well as 275 horsepower. It also handles incredibly well. You can always get even faster and more powerful engines, too. The car is made for speed and style instead of practicability. Luckily, the base price is only $25,905.


Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang has a 300 horsepower V6 engine that makes other cars shy away in comparison. It’s been one of the most popular reasonably priced sports cars for years because of this engine and its stylish look and a base price of $25,185. New models also pass safety tests with shockingly good results for the car’s size. It also has the MyKey system that allows parents to prevent children from driving too fast but still enjoy the cool car.


Mazda Miata

The Miata is a small and attractive car that might not have the same speed and power as other sports cars, but it’s style and handling make it an extremely enjoyable ride. It also offers one of the best options for gas mileage out of the cars listed. It only has a 4 cylinder engine with 155 horsepower, but it will definitely shine on the road. It’s a good option for people looking for something that won’t cost too much- it only costs $24,915.


Acura RSX

The Acura RSX has 34 MPG on the highway, and it offers the luxury of luxury brands. It’s also extremely energy efficient, making it even more attractive beyond its leather seats. The car offers a 201 horsepower engine with 140 lb. torque.


A sports car does not have to be overly expensive. These options allow you to enjoy the fun and style of a sports car while not going into debt. Test drive these cars to see which one suits you the best.


Time to Divorce: 3 Signs Your Spouse Isn’t Going to Change

Love is one of the greatest parts of life, but sometimes, the person we fell in love with becomes someone we no longer recognize. If resentment has infected your relationship and changed the love between you and your partner, you might be questioning what you should do from here. If your spouse has displayed abusive or untrustworthy behavior, it’s even more crucial to question your next moves. You don’t want to give up and throw your marriage out the window like it’s nothing, but you also don’t want to stick around if things will only get worse.


Past Behavior

Past behavior is always the greatest indicator of future behavior. However, when you don’t want to give up on a relationship, this can be a difficult truth to accept. If you’ve been working on your relationship for a while, and things are not improving, it’s probably best to assume the negative behavior isn’t going to change.


Unfortunately, the cycle of abuse makes this difficult. The fact is that most abusive people are suffering with emotional problems, and many of them have been through abuse themselves. Knowing this makes it difficult for their spouses to draw the line. If you know your partner was abused as a child, you might feel a great deal of compassion, but this doesn’t mean you should continue making allowances for bad behavior.


It’s common for people to assume that their partner was simply going through a rough time and has now changed for the better. While it’s possible for someone with abusive tendencies to improve themselves through intense self-work, it’s highly unlikely. According to a study from the Center for Court Innovation, 31 percent of those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence were arrested again within a year of being released. A shocking 44 percent were in trouble again after two years.


Family Time

What if your spouse is claiming they want to work on things, but you notice them distancing themselves from the family? A person who is distant and isolated from the people they love might be suffering from depression. They also might know that they want out of the marriage, and perhaps they’re struggling to find the words to say so. It could be a combination of these things. Most people will feel like a failure if their relationship falls apart, so it’s natural that this would be depressing.


That said, you shouldn’t confuse depression with indifference or resentment, especially if your spouse has displayed toxic or abusive behavior in the past. All you can do is communicate with your partner and explain the behaviors you’re noticing. Hopefully, you’ll get an explanation.


How You Feel

An important indicator about the health of your relationship is how you feel. Have you learned to stay silent and swallow your emotions to avoid rocking the boat? Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells in your own home? Do you feel that your partner disrespects you or ignores your emotional or sexual needs?


If you’ve been feeling uncomfortable and unsafe in your relationship for some time, it’s unlikely that things are going to change. If your spouse knows how unhappy you are and still isn’t doing anything to improve the situation, what makes you think things will ever change?



You only have one life to live. It’s understandable and admirable that you don’t want to give up on your marriage, but at the same time, if you don’t know when to cut your losses and move on, you might waste the best years of your life in a state of misery. Over 10 million children witness acts of domestic violence each year, and you don’t want to wait to leave until the situation escalates. There are plenty of great divorce attorneys in Utah, and other states, so make an appointment to discuss your options before things get worse.

5 Fitness Routines to Add to Your Schedule

One of the best things you can do for your health is to start a workout program. Workouts can help you to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve your self-esteem and body balance, and lose weight. The first thing you need to do before starting a fitness program is to assess your fitness level. The best way to measure your fitness progress is to benchmark it against baseline fitness scores. Whether you love pull up routine and burpees or not, chances are that you will get them in nearly every fitness DVD and workout class. These fitness routines are effective, but only when done in the right way. Therefore, it is important to master how to do them right. Incorporate these exercises into your fitness program now and be ready to reap all of the muscle-strengthening benefits.

High Plank

High planks are an exercise you will probably find in nearly every fitness class. Basic as they may seem, there is a lot that you can gain from a-b-quaking plank and core-shaking. While there are endless variations of plank exercise, high planks are probably the most popular version of plank exercise. It targets the core, which serves as the main body stabilizer. However, it enables total body movement when you are in proper form. It enables your legs, butt, and arms to move and stretch. Pushing your feet back and lifting your knees off the ground enable your muscles to stretch. Bringing your feet closer to each other makes the exercise more challenging.


Unless you have spent your life seated or lying on the bed, you have probably performed a squat. You will probably have to squat in nearly every type of workout. There is no simpler way to stretch your muscles than to squat. Squats play an integral role in strengthening your legs and butt muscles. In turn, strengthened muscles increases your body’s potential to burn calories. Strengthening the muscles enable you to get stronger booty, gain body balance, and increase calorie-burning lean muscle.


Pull ups are one of the standard exercises you will find in fitness classes everywhere. It is an effective exercise for stretching your arm muscles and strengthening your core and chest. Experts refer it as a body toner for it strengthens your core, chest, shoulders, triceps, and biceps. Strengthening these muscles enable you to improve the body posture, burn more calories, and up the metabolic rate. Pull ups are the simplest and most effective bodyweight exercises you will ever find in a fitness class. In fact, there are many ways you can make pull ups friendlier to beginners and more challenging to veterans.


While most people hate burpees, they are calorie-crushing exercises. In fact, they enhance calorie burn in every of your large muscle group. The burpee exercise puts your legs, arms, chest, and core to work. Since you are stretching the whole body, the exercise allows you to inhale a lot of oxygen and gain energy. That makes burpees an incredibly efficient technique for improving overall body strength and burning calories. The more you tie yourself, the easier it is to put your whole body to work. While there are several other ways of doing body exercise, the burpee exercise is one of the incredible body exercises that you can do at your home.

Reverse Lunges

Reverse lunges are one of the classic fitness exercises you can do at your home. The exercise allows your lower-body to move effectively. Reverse lunges engage the hamstrings, glutes, and quads. It can be effective to include reverse lunges exercise in your fitness program because it enables you to burn more calories. While there are endless variations of lunge exercise, reverse lunge is the most basic variation. It is a little easier because you do not change the location of your center of gravity. That enables you to stabilize and balance during the entire fitness session.

The Key to Successful Work-Life Balance: Family Vacations

I’ll never forget our first vacation as a family. We packed up the car with our two toddlers and set off for a beach trip that was going to be pure vacation. There was no family to visit, wedding to attend or business meeting to squeeze in. We were going to take a long weekend on Long Beach Island, and unplug from our daily grind. After a few hours of driving we got to our destination. The beach house was perfect, the sun was shining and the kids were overjoyed. I stepped back to document some of the scene. What would’ve been a cute video of my family pouring out of our trusty Honda Element and exploring our new home for the weekend was marred by one simple thing: my husband was already on the phone with his office.


Since then, we’ve decided that all of our family vacations will be for family only. We shut off work email and make it clear to our companies that we are unavailable. It can be a challenge to find work-life balance, but making time to reconnect on family vacations is one of the best ways to achieve it.


Good for Your Health

Work is taking over our lives in many areas. Many people work in non-stop work environments with global demands. This, compounded with the ability to work remotely on smartphones and laptops means that the defined hours of a work day have become increasingly blurry. When this becomes a daily habit, the resulting stress can be dangerous to your health and well-being. Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death, and stress-related ailments make up for 75 to 90 percent of all physician visits. Making time to rid yourself of the daily stresses of work is not only important, it can be a life saver.


Good for Your Career

Some employees think taking vacation time with their family could negatively impact their career. There is a widely circulated myth that working around the clock will show commitment and result in upward mobility in the workforce. However, studies show that not using time off does more harm than good. Employees who don’t use vacation are 78 to 84 percent less likely to receive a raise or bonus compared to others who do take time off. They are also 23 to 27 percent less likely to receive a promotion. Why? Because taking time off with your family can lead to increased energy and creativity. When you get back to your place of work, you may find you have your next breakthrough because your brain and body are adequately rested enough to excel at what you do.


Good for Your Family

Working a regular job and then coming home to work your other job as a parent or spouse can feel incredibly exhausting. It can be easy to feel like you aren’t giving your all to your family when you are preoccupied with work and vise versa. Taking time to go on vacation with your family is an important way to show them you prioritize them as much as your job. Exploring the world with your children can also be an important factor in their brain development. By exploring with your child and being present in their play, you are encouraging and promoting this creative behavior into their adulthood. Vacation is also an important time to reconnect with a spouse. And companies have good reason to want your relationship to succeed too! Divorce costs businesses more than 6 billion dollars a year in lost productivity, absentee hours and stress-related healthcare costs. It doesn’t just benefit your family to reconnect, it benefits your job as well!


Work-life balance is a constantly evolving state of life. Taking time to unwind and truly leave work behind will help you nurture the relationships that may have been impacted by your daily work stresses, and can also boost your general well-being.