Mistakes Made By New Event Planners

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Career Discussions. Becoming an Event Planner can be a lucrative career choice. Event Planning is a world all its own with nuances and keys for success. There are several mistakes that novices make. Avoiding the mistakes can propel you far beyond your competition. The following contributed post is entitled, Mistakes Made By New Event Planners.

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https://pixaby.com/photos/concert-confetti-party-event-club-2527495/

If you have recently become an event planner or this is a career you are thinking about, learn from the mistakes that others have made by avoiding the errors we discuss below.

Not mastering the world of online marketing

There is only one place to begin, and this is with online marketing. All event planners need to have a good online presence today. If you do not have any knowledge or experience in this, or you do not have the time to dedicate to marketing your services, hire a SEO company. They will be able to help you with everything from building an effective website to producing quality content and ensuring you have a good presence on social media.

Using fresh flowers all of the time

Virtually all events require flowers. Without them, it can be difficult to adorn a venue beautifully, or create the right ambience. With that being said, read on to discover more about artificial blooms and why they are a must for your business.

As briefly touched upon, all occasions, be it a wedding or a birthday party, require flowers. This is a must-have decoration. It can help to make a venue look show stopping while also creating the right mood, from excitement to romance. But, why should you look for cheap artificial flowers in particular? There are many different reasons, but mainly it comes down to the fact that fresh blooms are too much of a hassle and risk.

When dealing with fresh flowers, you will need to get them delivered on the day of the event to make sure their appearance does not deteriorate and they do not lose their beauty. This can be very risky for any business. What if they do not get delivered on time? If you take the opposite approach, i.e. you buy fresh flowers in advance, you run the risk of not using them at an event, and thus you are going to make a loss. With artificial flowers, you don’t have to worry about any of this, you can order them in advance for minimal hassle and you can use them again and again to make sure you get your money’s worth. Not only this, but artificial blooms make sure you can cater to the demands of all of your clients, as you are never restricted to what is in season.

Putting all of your eggs in one basket

Last but not least, it can be a very big deal for any event planner when they manage to secure a big client. However, you need to be mindful and make sure you do not put all of your eggs in one basket. What would happen if this client then decide to take their work elsewhere?

Lasting lessons basketball taught me: Different things to different people

“The coaches at some of the other Yale Cup schools thought I had an unfair competitive advantage because of the intramural program I started at Hutch-Tech!”

The first principle of my blog is “Creating Ecosystems of Success”. I originally published this series on the Examiner back in 2014 and have subsequently began adding to it. As a teen I dreamt of being a basketball player just like a lot of kids – a dream for which one must have lots of ability, drive, and luck to achieve. My experience turned out to be quite the adventure, and I didn’t formally play basketball beyond high school. The lessons I learned there however, not all of them happy and pleasant, helped me as I progressed into adulthood and into my Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) career. As mentioned, when I began reposting this series, I’ve started working on an ambitious writing project chronicling my early basketball journey in Western New York.

If I’m able to get my project published, one of the things that will be special about it is that it’s a story involving real people. The project has required me to do multiple interviews. It has been both an interesting and fun experience. As noted by well-established authors like John U. Bacon, who has written numerous books on Michigan Football, some people are open to being interviewed and being characters in book projects, while others are reluctant. Some agree and then drop out of contact, while others are difficult to contact. As a writer I now understand why some names must be changed in the final story.

I consider my breakthrough interview to be that of Jason Rowe, which led to interviews with others, and I want to thank everyone who participated; some of whom I’ve never met personally. My interview with Jason was followed by an interview with Coach Pat Monti and then his star guards, Carlos Bradberry and Tim Winn. It’s been a fun ride with at least one more big interview on the way, so stay tuned.

One of the key figures in my story is Dr. Kenneth Leon Jones, who was the Head Coach of the Hutch-Tech Boys’ Basketball Team during my freshman, sophomore and junior years. Before he passed away at the end of 2018, Coach Jones told me that he was okay with being a character in my story. In my piece about his basketball camp, I discussed Coach Jones, what I learned from him and what he meant to me.

That was just my perspective though and I discovered many other points of view on Coach Jones in my research. I actually started learning of other peoples’ views of Coach Jones in my junior season where I hit some personal adversities. My struggles, in part, contributed to our team’s struggling and spiraling out of control that season. During my personal storm one classmate sought me out one day and told me that he disliked Coach Jones because he had ‘cut’ his brother years earlier. It was then that I realized that there were many backstories to Coach’s tenure at Hutch-Tech in addition to the successes he experienced my freshman year.

“Most of the time, when somebody is giving you orders and instructions, if you’re not emotionally ready – if you’ve got your mind on the wrong part, you’re not going to try as hard. You’re not going to be into it. You’re not going to absorb as much,” said a player I’ll call “Curtis” about Coach Jones in my interview with him. Curtis was the ‘engine’ that powered Coach Jones’ 1990-91 city and sectional championship team. He said a lot of powerful things during our interview, but this quote very much applies to the relationship between coaches and players, much which I experienced myself, or witnessed with teammates.

One of the cool things about working on a project where you’re interviewing multiple people is that you get to hear multiple points of view. Amazingly, my interviews for The Engineers revealed that Coach Jones was multiple things to multiple people. While there was a group of us who held him in high reverence, appreciated his teachings and the mentoring he gave us, he had several detractors as well. Again, he was multiple things to multiple people. His detractors fell into three groups, some of which might surprise you.

The first group consisted of some of the other coaches in our league called the “Yale Cup”, which was the league for all the Buffalo Public Schools. For those readers unfamiliar with the Yale Cup in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it consisted of fourteen schools. Three schools that no longer exist today are: Buffalo Traditional, Kensington and Seneca Vocational High School.

The Yale Cup was a poorly funded league which lacked a Junior Varsity (JV) program at all its schools to properly prepare its players for Varsity competition. Coach Jones and the Buffalo News called this a “feeder system”. The result was a 14-team league where all of the teams were run differently, and where all the coaches had varying levels of experience and interest. This led to drastically different levels of coaching and attention to detail. Some of the Varsity coaches (Coach Jones included), ran an informal JV program for no extra pay simply because there was a need for it.

We also played in outdated and antiquated facilities. Many of the gyms in the Yale Cup league looked like antiquated factory storage rooms with peeling paint and old industrial smells. Most of our gyms had solid white backboards without ‘break away’ rims. Only a few of the courts, like those at Grover Cleveland and McKinley for example, had ‘regulation-size’ courts with the proper dimensions. Our old little gym at Hutch-Tech was more of a small box than anything. Someone I interviewed recently jokingly said that Performing Arts’ gym resembled a bit of a bowling alley.

“The coaches at the other schools thought I had an unfair competitive advantage because of the intramural program I started at Hutch-Tech,” Coach Jones said during one of our interviews. He shared a lot of things with me that I didn’t know as a teen and probably wouldn’t have understood. There were so many layers – so many things happening at once surrounding the Hutch-Tech Boys’ Basketball Team in plain sight and behind the scenes. The same is true for Coach Jones’ two immediate successors who I’ll keep anonymous at this time.

One of the hallmarks of Coach Jones’ tenure at Hutch-Tech was his intramural program. The program was for all the boys in the school so that everyone could get taste of competition and where a champion was crowned. More specifically, it allowed Coach Jones to scout the talent in each class. It wasn’t something he was doing for extra pay, but instead it was something for the students and for the school.

“Some of Jones’ players played angry,” a former player also from Coach Jones’ city and sectional championship team who I’ll call “Pep”, said jokingly. My interview with Pep might be my favorite of all of the interviews I’ve done simply because I could hear that he was having so much fun talking about his playing days. In any case, Coach Jones’ second group of detractors were surprisingly on some of his rosters.

Before getting to Hutch-Tech, the program looked like a utopia from the outside. My research though revealed that there were several conflicts and perpetually hurt feelings involving some of Coach Jones’ players. In some instances, there were personality conflicts. In other instances, there were players who felt they had to prove themselves repeatedly and in general felt unappreciated. Some players felt that they didn’t play enough, and others didn’t play at all though they were given roster spots.

The third group of detractors were outside of the team, but in the student body. The individual who stands out the most for this group is the classmate described above, but there were others. The reality in life is that there are winners and losers, and there usually isn’t enough of everything to go around. This particularly applies to a basketball team where a coach can realistically keep up to 18 players, while only being able to play 8-10 regularly.

In short, not every kid at my school who wanted a roster spot got one, and there are any number of reasons for that. I may write another teaser-piece just on the criteria Coach Jones presented on his ‘invite list’. That’s right, during his tenure, you couldn’t just come out for the basketball team, you had to be invited. This cut a lot of kids out of the picture from the start even before having a chance to show him they could dribble the ball, make baskets, play defense or even run one of his offenses.

Why does this all matter? Like the entire story, it was a sample of what was to come throughout the rest of my life in college and then in the adult world. For some of us who earned roster spots and submitted to his coaching, Coach was father figure, a mentor and a leader. Others on his teams felt like his whipping boys and even underappreciated. Other students didn’t feel like they were given a fair chance to play. Some didn’t like his fundamentals-based way of teaching the game. Some of the other coaches in our Yale Cup league thought he was cheating.

This is why interscholastic sports are good teachers going forward in life. Two of the things you learn about in addition to your sport, are people and leadership – neither of which are easy aspects to manage. As a leader, whether it’s a coach, a college professor, a clergyman or a supervisor, not everyone sees you the same way. Depending on our backgrounds, our values, our individual natures, and where our minds are in seasons of our lives, our experiences with that person will vary, and in many instances, vary greatly. It’s also true that because we may see a given person differently, our truths may be different.

Whether it was the Hutch-Tech Boys’ Basketball Team, my research lab in graduate school, or now within the government agency I work in everyday, there were always individuals charged with leading larger groups or teams. Some people within those teams possess different levels and proficiencies at their crafts. All possess different levels of emotional intelligence. Some are better communicators than others, and some are just better team players than others.

“If I could go back, I would be just as demanding, but more understanding,” Coach Jones said to me several times during our talks. He knew that he drove his players hard and demanded a lot from us. He also concluded that he could’ve been a little more understanding of each player and what they were going through as each of us came from different homes and had different life struggles in our teens.

“If you look at that team that almost made it to Glens Falls, Coach Jones let that team do a lot, but that was all earned. He said, ‘Hey, I’ll let you shoot a three-pointer or a long jump shot outside the offense because I know that we’re playing good enough defense that we’re going to get a possession back,” said a former teammate named “Chris” who played under Coach Jones for four years. Chris was a captain on our team in my sophomore year and a true leader. Some of Coach Jones’ critics thought he was too restrictive and controlling of his teams, particularly on offense.

“When I went to college, I played Division III at the Coast Guard Academy. I didn’t play Varsity, but instead played on the equivalent of our JV squad. We played against a bunch of junior colleges and prep schools. I’ll say that I was able to shoot the ball a lot more,” Chris said. “I look back though, and I think if we were able to play defense like we did in high school, we would’ve been able to keep up with a bunch of those teams. So, shooting the ball wasn’t always the best policy.”

I’ll probably write another teaser-piece just talking about the program Coach Jones created at Hutch-Tech, but for now I’ll just say that if done right, while it can be rewarding, coaching isn’t easy. You must not only have to know your sport and its evolving nuances, but you must also assemble a team of players, develop them and get them to buy into a common goal. That isn’t easy as coaches must also play psychologist, in addition to a quasi-parent in some instances, especially for kids who don’t have fathers or who come from tumultuous homes.

This piece isn’t unique to Coach Jones. He was my coach. If you read my interview with Jason Rowe, Jason stated that while his Coach, Joe Cardinal, was highly scrutinized, his players loved him. Ironically, even though Coach Cardinal was highly criticized, his Bulls coincidentally made deep runs in the post-season play most years. The same is true for Coach Pat Monti who led the LaSalle basketball dynasty. During his 10-year run of dominance leading the LaSalle Explorers, there were numerous critiques about him and his program from the outside. Talking to him and his players on the inside was completely different though.

The first picture used for this post is the schedule for the 1989-90 Hutch-Tech Boys’ Basketball Team. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Pepsi-Cola of Western New York used to create cardboard schedules for the area high school teams in addition to hosting the Al Pastor Memorial Basketball Tournament for a select number of schools. It was Coach Jones’ second season at Hutch-Tech. I was an eighth grader looking to go into high school and was learning about Coach and his teams through my brother Amahl who was a sophomore that year and his Hutch-Tech yearbooks.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

Jason Rowe discusses Buffalo Traditional Basketball, the Yale Cup and State Tournaments
Niagara Falls basketball legend, Tim Winn, discusses playing in the LaSalle basketball dynasty part one
Niagara Falls basketball legend, Carlos Bradberry, discusses playing in the LaSalle basketball dynasty part one
Niagara Falls coaching legend, Pat Monti, discusses building, and leading the LaSalle basketball dynasty part one
Chris Herren discusses his journey, drug addiction, substance abuse and wellness

If you’ve found value here and think it will benefit others, please share it and or leave a comment. To receive the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the subscription box in the right-hand column in this post and throughout the site. Please visit my YouTube channel entitled Big Discussions76. Lastly, follow me on the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page, on Twitter at @BWArePowerful, and on Instagram at @anwaryusef76. While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there are other blogs/sites I endorse which can be found on that particular page of my site.

10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health and Fitness

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Health/Wellness. No matter what your purpose or mission is in life, one of the most key components in your life will be your health and fitness. If you’re healthy, you can accomplish most things. The following contributed post is entitled, 10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health and Fitness.

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When it comes to improving our health and fitness levels, we usually think that we have to do things that are beyond boring: it’s all about eating salads, and spending your evenings in the gym, or whatever. In fact, this is not true. We can push ourselves to an improved state just by making subtle changes to our lifestyle. Below, we outline some of the most influential changes that you can make. Adopt them all (or as many as you can), and you’ll find that you’re on the path towards living a healthier, fitter life.

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Review Your Lifestyle

Before you can figure out how you’re going to reach the top of the mountain, you need to figure out where you are. In health terms, this means taking a look at your lifestyle and figuring out your positive and negative health points. We’re pretty busy these days, and that means that we rarely get time to sit down and review our lifestyles. It is worthwhile, however. You might find that you’re making a few fundamental errors which, if amended, would lead to much improved fitness levels. So ask yourself: are you living a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle?

Get Walking

It’s not something that is often discussed, but the way we live is a bit unusual. At least in terms of how all the other humans on earth have lived, that is. There has never been a point in human history when people have sat down as much as they do now. Some people spend the vast majority of their day off their feet. They’re in the car, or sitting behind a desk, or watching television on the couch. Make no mistake: this type of sedentary life will have a hugely detrimental impact on your health in the long run. Fortunately, it’s one of those things that can be remedied relatively easily. Get moving! You can incorporate more activity by making subtle changes to your life. For example, could you cycle to work, or park further away from the office so that you can walk a little? Can you take the stairs rather than the elevator? These things might seem inconsequential, but all tallied up, they can make a big difference.

Working Up a Sweat

Of course, while building more activity into your lifestyle will be a good start, it might not dramatically improve your health and fitness levels. It’ll just put you on the right path. There is no substitute for working up a sweat — it will do wonders for your physical and mental health. And the beautiful part of this stage is that there are various ways that you can go about it. You can work out in the gym if you’re drawn that way, but you can also look at running, cycling, playing team sports, hiking in the outdoors. Whatever you’ll find the most enjoyable, essentially (this will ensure that you stick to your activity).

How to Eat Well

What we feed into our body is super important when it comes to our health and fitness. It is the foundation for our health, the building blocks. You can’t (or shouldn’t) expect to reach your peak state if you’re forever eating unhealthy foods, no matter how much exercise you’re doing. People tend to think that eating healthy meals is a time-consuming or laborious task. Not so! Indeed, there are plenty of easy to prepare, twenty minute meals that’ll put you on the path towards healthy eating. At a minimum, you should avoid those obviously unhealthy foods. That fast food burger might task good, but it’s a disaster for your body.

Cutting Down on Vices

We all like to have fun, but sometimes, the ways in which we have fun can have a negative impact on our health. Take, for example, how we socialize. We can end up drinking too many alcoholic drinks and smoking too many cigarettes. While these things are sometimes presented as normal, the truth is that they can both have a hugely negative impact on our health. So it’s worthwhile looking at cutting down, or stopping them altogether. Easier said than done, right? There are things you can do to make it easier. If you want to stop smoking, take a look at mtbakervapor.com, and transition to vaping instead. To moderate your alcohol intake, you can look at social activities that don’t involve alcohol. If you do have to spend time in a bar, then consider alternating your drinks from alcoholic to non-alcoholic options. You’ll barely notice that anything’s different at the time, but will feel the effect when it comes to your bank balance and how good you feel the next morning.

Into the Outdoors

We tend to think of ourselves as somehow apart from nature. It’s something that happens away from us, in other places. We’re civilized! As much as we want to deny the animal side of our existence, the fact is that it’s there, and always will be. We’ve come to understand in recent decades just how important it is to have nature time in our lives. Studies have shown that it can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. If you can’t recall the last time you were surrounded by nothing but the great outdoors, look at making it part of your lifestyle. No matter where you live, there will surely be a beautiful spot near you that you can visit.

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Taking Care of the Mind

For too long, we’ve thought of our health only in terms of the physical. Our body is what’s important. You can see the thinking behind this idea, but there’s little wonder that it has been shown to be too limiting. There’s been an explosion in mental health conditions in recent years, and indeed, the problem is only projected to get worse. As such, it’s important that we’re taking the time to ensure we’re in a good mental space. You can do this by limiting the amount of stress in your life, and taking breaks when you feel overwhelmed. Meditation can also do wonders for your mental wellness, too.

Sleeping Well

It’s much harder to be at our healthy best if we’re tired. It might not feel like it, but you’ll be less likely to work out and prepare a healthy meal if you haven’t slept well. Long-term sleeping problems have also been associated with more serious health problems too. So if you’re not sleeping all that well, look at making some changes to your routine. If you improve your pre-sleeping routine to include less screen time and more relaxing activities such as reading and meditating, you’ll find that it’s much easier to reach the land of Nod.

Trips to the Doctor

It’s worth remembering that while you can influence your health in many ways, there are some areas in which you’ll need help. Take what’s happening under the hood, for instance. If you have an illness or genetic condition, then it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to manage your health and fitness all on your own. Take the time to find a doctor who knows what they’re talking about and that you trust, and work with them to find lifestyle adjustments that’ll push you in the right direction.

Setting Goals

Finally, look at setting goals for your health and fitness. It’s all too easy to get blown off course when life gets busy. Having a target will help to keep you on the right path, and will also cultivate discipline over time.

Why You Should Always Respect Your Employees

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success. Three key focuses Business/Entrepreneurship, Career Discussions and Professional Development and Skills. No matter what kind of organization or business you’re in, respecting your employees is critical. Your employees are doing work on the ground level and your operations can falter if they aren’t giving it their all. The following contributed post is entitled, Why You Should Always Respect Your Employees.

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Image source Pixabay – CC0 Licence

Being respectful of your employees is vital if you are to maintain a cohesive team that buys into your business vision in order to help your startup thrive. Without a team with high morale, you may walk into the office every morning to view a sea of yawning faces and twiddling thumbs. You need to ensure that your staff are happy, positive and that there is a purposeful buzz in the office. As an employer, it is up to you to facilitate this. Mutual respect between boss and employee is crucial. Take a look at how you can foster a productive working relationship with your employees.

Training

It’s important that you invest in your team. By putting up some money and helping them improve their professional skill set, you are showing them how much you value them. Conduct professional development meetings with each staff member and construct a career plan. This may mean that they eventually leave your company to move to pastures new. This is natural. However, while they are your employee you can ensure that they are skilled up and apply this knowledge to your company. This means that you have the best staff working for you. Being valued means that your staff will feel more committed to your business vision because they will care more about your venture.

Environment

As a boss, you need to create a great environment in which to work. You may find that your newly leased office is a little drab, the beige carpet tiles are uninspiring and the walls are scuffed. In this sort of environment, your employees will lack the motivation to work. Whip out the white paint, get some local artwork on the walls, and add a splash of greenery to your workplace. This brings the outside in and can lift the mood of your team. Get rid of the old school desktop booths and swap these for collaborative meeting pods. Banish the tower computers, and allow your team to enjoy the luxury of neoprene sleeves for a swanky new set of high powered laptops. Giving your staff the equipment and tools to be productive as well as the environment in which to thrive will benefit the reputation of your business.

Communicate

Don’t be one of those elusive employers who is never seen in the office. Get out on the metaphorical shop floor and converse with your staff. Have a weekly briefing every Monday to discuss goals for the week and to allow your team to air their views. Ask their opinions on issues and act on great ideas. Send out a Friday email every week to celebrate successes and to namecheck those individuals who have gone the extra mile. This positive praise shows your team that you value them. Use a reward system of extra days off and meals out to incentivize your team.

Making the transition from employee to employer is tough. However, by following this guide, you can ensure that you get the most out of your team by fostering an environment of mutual respect.

Staying Safe When You Have A Dangerous Job

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success. Two key focuses are Career Discussions and Health/Wellness. Not all jobs have the safety of working in an office setting with carpets, computers and cubicles. Some jobs require getting dirty and some degree of potential hazard. In the latter set of jobs, it’s important to think about your safety at all times. The following contributed post is entitled, Staying Safe When You Have A Dangerous Job.

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No one likes the idea of being hurt when they are doing their job. Governments, businesses, and individuals have all been working for a very long time to ensure that workplaces are safe and secure, though this is something which some jobs make almost impossible. Unfortunately, some people simply don’t have the luxury of doing something safe each day. Whether you work as an industrial diver or as a security guard, though, you can always take steps to make sure that you’re not putting yourself at unnecessary risk. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the steps which can be taken to make even the most dangerous jobs a little safer.

Following Policies

While a lot of the rules which you have to follow when you’re working may seem a little over the top, they are always there for a reason. Safety gear will protect your body from accidents, while policies which dictate how people are allowed to move around in dangerous environments will help to prevent them from happening in the first place, and this makes these rules well worth following. Of course, after a few years on the job, it will be easy to become complacent, and you may find that your employers have lost track of the policies they need to follow. In this case, researching the rules for yourself will be a good idea.

Working Together

Many of the world’s most dangerous jobs often end up being done by people on their own. This may not always increase the risk of an accident, but there are some roles which simply shouldn’t be done by people who are left to themselves. Truck driving is a great example of this, with a lot of accidents occurring when people are forced to drive for a long time without a proper chance to rest. Team truck driving jobs are considered much safer, as you will have someone with you as you drive, and this means that you won’t have to be focused for the whole journey.

Being Attentive

It’s not always easy for industries to put the right rules in place for their employees. While some companies manage to keep their teams safe, others will miss out on crucial areas, and this can often leave big gaps. Being attentive will give you the chance to spot these areas, and a little bit of creativity and initiative will help you to come up with ideas to make them safer. For example, if you have to work on wet floors all the time, it would make sense for your employer to provide you with shoes which are good for this environment. They can’t fire you for asking for this, with a lot of employers valuing this sort of input from their teams.

Keeping yourself safe should always be your priority when you’re at work. It doesn’t matter if you get your job done if you get hurt in the process, and the vast majority of employers will want to keep their team as safe as possible. To make this work, though, you have to keep your eyes open.

Answers To Your Most Pressing Questions About Careers In The Mining Industry

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Career Discussions. If you live in mining country or are willing to move to it, there are career options for you. If you’re a novice to the mining industry, what do you need to know about it to work in it? The following contributed post is entitled, Answers To Your Most Pressing Questions About Careers In The Mining Industry.

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With so much focus on emerging industries, we often forget about those that keep the regular economy ticking over. Software, robotics, AI, and digital marketing are all exciting innovations. Still, none of them would be possible if there weren’t people digging raw materials out of the ground, processing them, and shipping them around the world.

The mining industry isn’t a dead one. It is, in reality, very much alive, and more in-demand than ever before, owing to the mineral demands of the modern economy. Companies need coal, petroleum products, limestone, and rare earth minerals. The orders never cease, and as the economy evolves, new types of product are required.

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For those wanting to get into the mining industry, therefore, this is a great opportunity. Today, more than ever before, there are opportunities to be had and careers to be made in the sector. Plus the pay isn’t bad either once you achieve a position with responsibility.

So what do you need to know about getting into the mining industry? Here are some popular questions and helpful answers.

I Just Graduated. What Roles Can I Do In The Mining Industry?

Education is very different from actual work in the mining industry. While many people go into mining from an engineering background, the reality of the work is different from what the academics would have you believe.

One of the best routes into the industry is to get on a graduate training scheme. The idea here is to take promising graduates with the temperament to succeed and then build their skills on the job. The downside, of course, is that these programmes tend to be very competitive with lots of people applying for the opportunity.

The other route in is to file your CV with a recruitment agency and then use them to find entry-level roles in a mining operation. Ideally, if you’re a graduate, you want a role that positions you for management in the future.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Work On A Mining Site?

Mining is a dangerous and complicated activity. Before current regulations, many people died in mines every year. It was brutal.

Today, though, there is a range of requirements for anybody wanting to work in a mine which are pretty similar across western countries.

The first thing to consider is vehicle licenses. There’s a good chance that you’ll need to drive a truck or digger at some point, so you’ll need the appropriate license for your particular country.

After that, the qualifications you need are mostly up to the employer. Some offer in-house health and safety training, while others will want to see that you’re certified to operate on a mining site. Those with bachelor’s degrees will be able to apply for work in roles that those without them cannot. Thus, a degree can be a stepping stone into a better position than you might be able to get otherwise.

Do I Need Any Health Checks?

Some mining companies insist that workers get a series of tests before allowing them to work on-site. The purpose of this is to ensure that the individual is fit for work. Some people can’t cope with the demands of the occupation.

If you plan on working for a coal mining company, then you will need a Coal Board Medical. This test assesses your overall state of health and is an essential requirement for people wanting to get into the coal mining industry.

Conditions in and around mines can be dusty, putting extra strain on the pulmonary system. People who want to work in the mining industry, therefore, often have to go through a series of spirometry or lung function tests. The idea here is to check that a person’s lungs are working correctly and that they can cope with the harsh environment of the mine without suffering severe consequences for their breathing.

Other companies may conduct a musculoskeletal test and fitness test to ensure a baseline level of fitness for those wanting to engage in heavy manual work. There’s also the usual audio screening (providing that you can follow instructions and hear warning sirens) and drug and alcohol tests.

How Can I Get My Foot In The Door?

For people looking to start a career in mining, this is a common question. Most employers want to see evidence of experience before offering a role. But to get experience, you need a job in the first place. It’s a tricky and annoying catch-22 situation.

The best way to proceed is to look for mining companies who need people with your skills, but who are currently struggling to fill job roles. You might see an advert for a job, for instance, that seems a little below your pay grade, but for which you have the skills and could perform well. Contact the mining company, tell them that you can help add value to their operations and show them your education. More likely than not, they can’t find the exact person that they need, and they want to fill the position quickly. That’s your chance. Appear professional at interview, and you’ll win their hearts and gain the role.

How Do I Learn To Drive Cranes And Trucks?

Operating heavy equipment is a large part of jobs in the mining industry. The vehicles are enormous because of the type of work that they must undertake, so they’re different from anything else that you might have driven in the past.

One of the best ways to make your CV stand out is to learn to drive one of these vehicles in advance of your application. Usually, you’ll need something called an HR-X licence (or equivalent depending on your country). This permits you to pilot vehicles of the type that you’d find on the typical mining site.

Having a license ahead of time is appealing to the majority of enterprises for two reasons. First, it shows that you’re proactive and committed to a career in the sector. And, second, the company doesn’t have to provide the money and training to enable you to perform the role. You can do it already.

The 4 Pillars Behind Your Confidence To Grow

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two key focuses are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Staring a business is not easy and it’s important to grow your confidence as proceed. The are a couple of key pieces to growing your confidence in the business arenas. The following contributed post is entitled, The 4 Pillars Behind Your Confidence To Grow.

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For many professionals, starting a company is the first reaction to the dullness of an everyday job that didn’t offer them room for growth. New entrepreneurs approach their journey with enthusiasm and the dream of a better tomorrow. Finally, a brand new satisfying career is in reach!
However, there is a big difference between launching a company and being able to grow a steady and profitable business. More often than not, your business idea is no guarantee that you’ll be able to turn the company into your dream career. You need to build the foundations of your growth from Day One. Indeed, a lack of personal development and opportunities encourages people to embrace an independent career. However, if you fail to create a base to support your ambition, you are unlikely to find any entrepreneurial satisfaction.

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#1. Planning is the indispensable compass

First of all, as evident as it might sound, too many enthusiastic business owners fall after the first hurdle because they fail to plan. Your business idea, however brilliant you think it is, is not enough to launch a company. You need a business plan to guide you through the journey. Your business plan connects the dots between your idea and your audience, making sure that you understand how to set up your processes and budget to achieve your goals. It’s a data-based document that highlights how to navigate your business in your current market and with your budget.

#2. Knowing that not everyone is a friend

Nowadays, you can’t expect to grow a company without relying on digital technology. Indeed, your online presence is indispensable to stand out in a crowded market. However, you have to consider building cyber resilience to protect your business from cyber threats. Indeed, your data and processes are too precious to risk exposing them to hackers, corrupted networks, and other digital issues that could ruin your activities.

#3. Understanding how to make friends

While the digital world can be threatening, it doesn’t mean that your business will thrive in isolation. On the contrary, you need to make networking a priority. Networking events are essential to meet like-minded business owners and suppliers. Not only could you build helpful and mutually beneficial relationships, but you can also find inspiration for future projects, for instance. Additionally, supportive contacts can also help you to get noticed in new niches and audience groups, as they can introduce your brand to potential clients and partners. While it can be tricky to learn how to network – and it’s not a natural environment for many professionals –, it can be a significant difference to your survival on the market.

#4. Knowing what the audience wants

The market is continually growing and changing. As a result, you need to keep up with the changes to tackle new trends as they appear. Indeed, what your audience wanted yesterday may not be the same today. Conducting regular market research is essential to gain a better understanding of your customers and identify potential new customers.

Giving your business room for growth is a delicate art to master. Indeed, you need to develop an understanding of threats and opportunities around your company. Whether you work with a business plan designed to maximize your strengths or you protect your company against cyber risks, the pillars of growth are all about strategic thinking.

7 Things To Consider When Looking For An Insurance Policy

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Financial Literacy/Money. A key component of one’s financial health is insurance. In fact for many people, insurance is a vehicle for building wealth. As with anything money-related, there several factors to consider. The following contributed post is entitled, 7 Things To Consider When Looking For An Insurance Policy.

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Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

If you’re looking for a new insurance policy and don’t know where to start then don’t worry, you have definitely come to the right place. Whether you’re looking to insure your car or you want to insure the belongings in your house, you need to be sure you’re doing as much research as possible when it comes to taking out a new policy. From setting yourself a budget to reading the terms and conditions, the more you do the better. With that in mind, here are 7 things to consider when looking for an insurance policy:

  • What Are You Insuring?

One of the first things you need to think about when it comes to looking for an insurance policy is what you’re actually going to be insuring. Whether you’re looking for travel insurance or you want to insure your new laptop, you need to know exactly what it is your policy is going to be covering. This means not only thinking about what you’re insuring on a whole but also thinking about the specifics. Do you want to cover accidental damage? Are you travelling long term? How old is the item you’re insuring? The more questions you ask the better.

  • Have You Done Your Research?

Another important thing to consider is whether or not you have done enough research. Insurance can be incredibly complicated and if you’re not doing your research properly, chances are you’re going to get caught out. From legitimate providers to the average cost per policy, the more clued up you are the better. For the ultimate guide to taking out insurance, you can visit this site here.

  • Have You Looked At Several Different Providers?

When it comes to choosing a provider, you need to ensure you have several different options to choose from. Whether you’re choosing a policy based on price or value for money, having a number of different options will make the process a lot easier.

If you’re struggling to find these options, you might want to consider using a price comparison site. Not only will they round up all of your choices in one handy report but they will also detail all the features of benefits of each policy side by side. For more information when it comes to using a price comparison site, you can visit this site here.

  • Do You Have A Budget?

Another important thing to consider is whether or not you have an overall budget. Although you can’t necessarily set the price of your insurance, you can choose your policy based on the amount you can afford to pay each month. In most cases, you may find that you pay a lower premium for less cover. For the best insurance rates, you can visit this site here.

  • Have You Read The Terms And Conditions?

Once you have chosen the policy you want to take out, it’s important you’re reading the terms and conditions. In order to get a clear idea of the cover you’re going to receive, the more in-depth reading you do the better. Whilst it may take some time to sit through everything, you need to be sure you’re choosing the right policy before you sign the paperwork.

If you’re unsure and find you have a lot of questions, you might want to consider picking up the phone and speaking to an expert. Not only will they be able to advise you of the best possible policy to take out but they will also be able to talk you through each and every one of the benefits you will receive. Again, it might take some time but it will definitely be worth it.

  • Do You Need To Speak To An Expert First?

Finally, you need to think about whether or not you need to speak to an expert first. Whilst you can speak to the insurance providers directly, they’re going to be working on commission and at the end of the day, a sale will be the most important thing to them. If you want an unbiased opinion, speaking to an expert might be a better option.

Whether this means speaking to someone online or visiting your local advice beaurea, the more information you have the better your decision will be.

Are you looking for a new insurance policy? What do you need to consider before you choose the right policy for you? Did we miss anything off the list? Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

Online Resources And Why We Need Them

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Technology. So much of our lives today are lived online. While the digital world has made our lives easier, it’s created some other complexities and caveats as well. The following contributed post is entitled, Online Resources And Why We Need Them.

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Let’s face it most of our lives are played out online when it comes to communication and gathering information. We look at Google to answer any question, we watch YouTube for entertainment and education, and also listen to podcasts in the car whilst we are driving around. Even the music is streamed these days and is not actually owned or downloaded. But why is this important? And are we at an advantage because of it? We may think the answer to this is yes. But there are many scenarios where the answer to that is questionable. So why do we rely on the Internet so much?

Photo by Mia Baker on Unsplash

Ease
If you look at history, and the reasons that we have evolved in many ways, you will think that we have made fantastic strides in technology and other areas. But curiosity aside, one of the main reasons that we are advancing all the time, it’s because it’s so much easier. We now pick up the phone or laptop (same thing) and do a quick search online to find their answers. This is, of course, much faster than the way in which we found our information previously. Books written by professionals can now be searched online, the latest online course review and even news articles, are now commonplace online. The only problem with this is that generally speaking, the information on the Internet can be incorrect. And even though websites such as Wikipedia can be amended by anybody, there are plenty of people looking at sites to check accuracy. The trick to using the Internet successfully is defined more than one resource And make sure that you find references to back up the information.

Sociable
Humans are sociable, that’s a fact. We rely on each other to get ahead in life. We have friends and family and work colleagues that always help us along the way. We are team players, which means that the Internet opens a whole world of communication with us. The great thing about this is that we have a support network at the touch of a button. We can make new friends quickly. And we can ask for opinions whilst we’re sat on our sofa, and gain feedback within minutes. Of course, this is also the downside, because as quickly as we can access people that support us and speak to family and friends with ease. We can also find those less supportive people and those who are only looking to upset others.

Recording
There are many different social networking sites, photo sharing, and sites such as Pinterest, which we all love to use, we really enjoy record in our lives, and sharing that with other people again it’s because with sociable, and that’s a huge resource to us. We can also tie in our business endeavors with this, and use these as avenues of marketing as well, and many people do.

Whichever resources you use online, and for whatever purpose use them for, there is no denying that everybody is in the same boat. Where are using the Internet as a tool for day-to-day life, and it doesn’t look about to change any time soon.

How To Stay Healthy Into Old Age

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Health and Wellness. One of the biggest challenges we will all have is growing old into old age. The argument can be made that its genetics. The other argument is that it’s lifestyle and environment. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Stay Healthy Into Old Age.

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“My mother always used to say ‘The older you get, the better you get, unless you’re a banana’” (Betty White)

Aging is something that affects us all and is something that we, unfortunately, cannot run away from. Of course, we are all getting older with every day that passes, but the aging process really starts to kick in as early as our 20’s, with signs of aging appearing in our skin, and the gradual loss of brain cells. By the age of 35, our muscles, bones, and some organs such as our lungs are showing signs of age, and when we hit our 40’s, our senses start to decline. That is a really sobering thought! It is important that we look after our bodies to keep them healthy and working well until we reach a great age. Obviously, there are simply some things that you can’t prevent, but you can take steps to reduce the impact, such as stem cell therapy for knees when they start to ache and slow the process down a little, and that is what we are going to look at in this article.

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Eat a healthy diet

One of the best things that you can do to keep yourself fit and healthy is to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is thought that a Mediterranean influenced diet, rich in whole grains and nuts, heart-healthy fish, olive oil, and vibrant fresh vegetables and fruit is one of the healthiest diets that there are, keeping your heart healthy and blood pressure down. With 60% of both older men and women suffering from abnormal blood pressure, it is essential that you do what you can to reduce it. It also helps to keep your joints supple and working well.

Stay active

As you get older, exercise can often seem like the last thing that you want to do, particularly when everything starts aching a little more, and recovery from a workout takes a little longer. However, it is important to make time for it as often as possible – a recent study found that only 30 minutes of exercise a day reduces symptoms of arthritis by 47%, anxiety by 48%, dementia and Alzheimer’s by 50%, and diabetes by 58%. It also releases feel-good hormones such as endorphins, which lift your mood and make you feel happier. If an intense workout at the gym seems a little too much for you, a brisk walk in the sunshine or a few laps at the swimming pool are excellent forms of exercise and a little more gentle on the body. You can also incorporate more physical activity into your day to day life – taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the shops instead of driving, parking in a space further away from the grocery store and getting off the bus a stop earlier and spending an hour or two gardening or pottering around the house are all little things that can make a significant impact on your fitness levels.

Regular health check-ups

Many of us only visit the doctor when we notice that there is an issue, but quite often, this can be too late as the damage is already done. Make sure you visit your doctor at least once a year for an annual health exam to have your cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels and a physical check to keep an eye out for any problems that might be on the horizon, and at the first sign of anything not being quite right, get it checked. People of all ages should be aware of signs of cancer and diabetes, so educate yourself on the symptoms and get them checked if you are not sure. Not only should you be visiting your doctor regularly, but go to your dentist every six months to have a dental check and annual eyesight and hearing tests, as these can show signs of decline as you get older.

Elder proof your home

This one sounds a little patronizing but bare with us. Look around your home – the furniture with the sharp corners, perhaps the glass coffee table in the center of the room. There may be the odd wire trailing or a rug that you occasionally catch your foot on. It is not so bad when you are younger – if you do trip over, you are more likely to bounce back without too many injuries, but when you are older and perhaps a little clumsier, you are more prone to falls and when you do hurt yourself, it can be a lot more difficult to recover. Around a third of all people over 65 fall each year, and falls are the single largest cause of emergency hospital admissions amongst the elderly. Do not forget to check your smoke alarms and carbon dioxide monitors regularly as well.

Get plenty of sleep

Sleep is important for anyone of any age, but more so as you get older. It is recommended that you get around hours of sleep a night. Less than this puts you at a higher risk of depression, lack of attention span, clumsiness, memory problems, and various other issues. If you are struggling to drop off, speak to your doctor, but you can also practice good sleep hygiene: not watching TV or being on an electronic device too close to bedtime, a warm, milky drink, and a warm bath, and lavender pillow and bed sprays. Having a routine also helps – try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.

Vitamin supplements and hydration

Like all of the points we have mentioned so far, this is pretty important for all ages but especially so as you get older. Older people frequently have deficiencies in Folate, vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Calcium, all of which are essential for proper heart, bone, and general health. In an ideal world, we would get all the nutrients we need from our diet, but this can sometimes be challenging. Supplementing your healthy diet with a vitamin supplement is often a wise solution. In addition, with water making up over three-quarters of our body mass, keeping hydrated is very important. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, confusion, and a loss of appetite. Everyone’s needs are different, so talk to your doctor about the vitamin supplements that are right for you.

Train your brain

Whether it’s Sudoku or crosswords, brain-training games or puzzles, keeping your mind sharp plays a critical part in helping ward off memory loss as you get older. Although brain training games and the like aren’t a guaranteed panacea to memory loss, they are certainly worth doing.

Stay socially active

Remaining socially active is one of the most important things older people can do to keep healthy, both mentally and physically. It is harder as you get older, particularly once you hit retirement age and leave your job and do not have a reason to leave the house and see people every day. Being part of a community and doing things that you enjoy helps to give you meaning in your life. It helps you to avoid loneliness and isolation. Make it part of your routine to reach out to someone you know every day, whether that means popping to the shops with your neighbor, having a coffee with an old friend, or volunteering in a charity shop or as part of a local group.