April 20, 2017

What You Can Do To Make The Roads Safer

This post has been contributed.
US traffic statistics have shown that 2016 was one of the deadliest years on record for road traffic accidents, with more accidents than ever before resulting in severe injuries or deaths. Statistics suggest that around 40,000 drivers died in car accidents last year, which means there has been a 14% increase in driving-related deaths since 2014.
The number of people killed on roads in the US last year hit an all-time high and one that has not been seen since 2007. As well as tens of thousands of people losing their lives on the roads because of car accidents caused by dangerous driving, drink or drug driving, and using cellphones while driving, there were also a massive 4.6 million serious injuries, some of which were life-changing.
With those statistics in mind, it’s easy to conclude that driving is dangerous. However, what it’s important to realize is that although driving can be dangerous, it doesn’t have to be. Wondering what you can do as a driver, to make the roads that little bit safer? Then read on, as below are some tips and suggestions for helping to make the roads safer for everyone.
Stick to speed limits
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A great way to look at speed limits is not to see them as a challenge, as so many drivers do, but to realize that they are there for a reason. Think of it this way, everyone wants to get to where they are going as quickly as possible, but if we all drove dangerously fast, few of us would actually get from A to B, that’s why speed limits are put in place. Speed limits are in place to protect everyone and increase the likelihood that should an accident occur; the repercussions will be less severe - aka less damage to the vehicle and the people involved.
Commit to improving your driving
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If you know that you’re not the best driver - don’t worry we all get into bad habits - commit to improving your driving. This means aiming to be the best and safest driver that you can be, which means not driving after having any amount of alcohol because even a small amount can impair your judgement. Another way you can become a better driver is by looking into taking a driving course - you can learn more about this by searching defensive driving traffic school online, to see where your local facility is located and what the options are. You might not think that you need to undertake a course, but it could be the making of you as a safer driver.
Be a road safety advocate
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Making the roads safer isn’t just about improving your own driving, it’s about encouraging others in your local community to do the same. This means encouraging other drivers to stick to the speed limits, not drive after drinking, and to improve their driving in anyway that they can. It’s not always easy to do this, as you may receive a lot of resistance, but if you persevere, you will begin to see results.
To make the roads that little bit safer, reducing the amount of injuries and deaths, take note of the tips and advice above, and implement them.

April 19, 2017

Smart Ideas: How All Business Owners Can Save Money

This post has been contributed.
Starting a new business is a bold move for entrepreneurs. They have to come up with a successful concept, and then design processes that make it happen. They usually have to create a business plan and take it to the bank to gain investment. It’s a LOT of work! So, it makes sense that all new company bosses should try to save money wherever possible. There are thousands of ways to achieve that goal, and some of the best ones are listed on this page. Regardless of the nature of the operation, the same rules should apply. That means this article is designed for both digital and real-world companies.
Go green!
Firstly, there is a huge push at the moment in the business world towards green technology. While implementing the latest tech might cost money, the investment should pay for itself. Installing solar panels on the roof of your premises will mean you don’t have to worry about monthly electricity bills. You should also think about your approach to waste disposal. Governments around the world now offer incentives to companies that make an effort. Some even slap bosses with hefty fines if they don’t. So, going green is the best move you can make this year. The action will also encourage the building of a better reputation.
It’s often hard to let other people handle important tasks within your business. However, you can’t do everything yourself, and so you’ll have to consider that option at some point. Most small business owners have to remain careful when it comes to employing staff. That is especially the case if they’re just starting out. The last thing you want to do is hire lots of people and then experience cash flow issues. For that reason, outsourcing is the best option on the table. In the modern world, there is no need for you to handle customer service, accounting or marketing. There are plenty of experts out there willing to perform those tasks on your behalf. Best of all? Outsourcing isn’t as expensive as you might think.
Eliminate downtime!
Downtime happens whenever your company had to stop working for any reason. Maybe you have an issue with your IT system that’s not receiving orders? Perhaps a critical machine breaks down leaving you unable to produce products? Either way, you must ensure you have the right experts at the end of the telephone. Pirtek and similar firms have highlighted that fact for a long time. If you build relationships with professionals ahead of time, they will swing into action when you require their services. So, get in touch today and ensure the right companies know about your operation and how it works. That will help you to save time further down the line.
Now you know about some of the best ways your business can save money, I hope you’ll put those ideas into practice. At the end of the day, you became involved in the business world because you wanted to make money. So, you need to do everything within your power to ensure nothing stands in your way.

April 18, 2017

Mistakes To Unlearn Before They Ruin Your Life

This post has been contributed.
Anyone would be hard-pressed to say that there is a ‘100%’ correct way to live our lives. After all, we live in an environment we’re not exactly supposed to. Our brains and bodies are designed for a hunter-gatherer experience on that savannah, not blogging on a balcony in a city. But that’s a digression. There might not be a right way to live your life but you had better believe there are wrong ways to live it. Here, we’ll look at a few lessons regarding your finances, your time and how you view what you do that you’re not going to learn in school.
Get rich quick
There is no such thing as getting rich quick. There are some very lucky people who catch lightning in a bottle and then there are a lot of chancers who want to enjoy a successful life without working for it or really defining what it means for themselves. Instead of constantly looking at how you can skyrocket up to wealth, you should focus on working on something you can working at. Make awesome things, make decisions you’re invested in and focus on the path and not the end goal all the time. Otherwise, you’re going to be leaping at opportunities that lead to nowhere at all most of the time.
Funding your lifestyle
That’s not to say that money is important. However, there’s a difference between being happy and resourceful with your money and being rich. There’s a big difference between the person with $1,000 a week in income and $900 in expenses and the person with $1,000 income and $1,050 expenses. Being happy with your money is about learning to live within your means and learning that the extra money is better funding goals and protections as opposed to your lifestyle. Pay yourself first, whether it’s to tackle existing debt, to build savings or to invest in your future. Even worse is to use credit cards to live a lifestyle that’s unsustainable.
Expect nothing bad to ever happen
When you’ve lived a somewhat charmed life, it can be easy to forget how hard some people have it. It’s even easier to neglect the fact there might be very little difference between you and them in the first place. You might be one unfortunate event from being in a boatload of debt, for instance. Without preparing for unforseen financial emergencies, you are in serious danger. The same goes for other kinds of emergencies in life as well. You should spend all your time worrying, but you should be spending time and money on building up the protections and connections that can offer you and out when you need it. No-one else in this world has your back in the worst of scenarios.
Work for your boss, they’ll work for you
This is true in any industry. When your boss does something nice, most of the time it’s because they understand how it will benefit them. Like your boss. Work well with them. Meet their standards. But don’t expect that a career under anyone else’s employ is going to place you as anything more than second fiddle if even that. If you work in writing for any publishers, for instance, then don’t believe the myth of exposure. You have to work on yourself and for yourself and your own brand and find your own platform. Even if it’s to jump from one employer to another. There’s nothing wrong with spending your life as an employee. So long as you’re aware that you are ultimately responsible for the paths open to you, not any boss.
Keep going, never look back
If you’re hungry for success, for wealth, and for influence then that’s perfectly okay. There are many worse goals to have. However, that hunger can sometimes make you a little narrow-sighted. If you’re constantly looking only at the future, then you are only looking at what you haven’t done yet. For your own sanity, take a look behind you. Take the time to really list out and appreciate the accomplishments you’ve made in this short existence you’ve enjoyed. It’s a crucial part of building the confidence in yourself that, in a roundabout way, is very much responsible for helping you fulfill the achievements you’re looking forward at.
There are likely a lot of other mistakes you will spot in time that you kick yourself over. However, these are the ones that many agree can ruin your life if you don’t unlearn them now. So, do that already and get it over with.

January 2, 2017

My Top 16 Songs of 2016

I listened to all the music this year, so you'd only have to listen to the best. Here are my Top 16 Songs of 2016:
Kanye West – Ultralight Beam
Joseph – White Flag
Bon Iver – 00000 Million
William Fitzsimmons – People Change Their Minds
Gungor – Hurricane
Radiohead – Daydreaming
Jesse Harper – Strangers (feat. Aoife O’donovan)
Billie Eilish – Ocean Eyes
Maggie Rogers – Alaska
Regina Spektor – Bleeding Heart
Bon Iver – 8 (circle)
Kyle Morton – Gestalt of Original Pain
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Kevin (feat. Leon Bridges)
James Vincent McMorrow – Rising Water
Gungor – The Great Homesickness
Wilco – Normal American Kids

January 1, 2017

My Favorite Books of 2016

Year 3 of giving up fantasy football and sports radio during my commute to read/listen to more books instead. Finished 23/25 I started this year. Asterisks* note my top recommendations, but everything in the first tier below is really solid. DNF means Did Not Finish.

*The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
*How God Changes Your Brain – Andrew Newberg
Based on a True Story – Norm Macdonald
The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket
Disrupted – Dan Lyons
Creativity, Inc. – Ed Catmull
Cultural Literacy for Religion – Mark Benson
The Sin of Certainty – Peter Enns
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu
Myth in Human History – Grant Voth
The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche – Robert Solomon
High Output Management – Andrew Grove

Elon Musk: Inventing the Future – Ashlee Vance
Finding God in the Waves – Mike McHargue
Originals – Adam Grant
The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer
The Business of Writing for Children – Aaron Shephard
Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter – Liz Wiseman
How to Be Here – Rob Bell
How Google Works – Eric Schmidt
The Inevitable – Kevin Kelly
The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
The Outsiders – William Thorndike

Wages of Rebellion – Chris Hedges (DNF)
The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith and Idiocy – Rainn Wilson (DNF)