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Guest Post: Top Five Tips for Better Business Writing

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Remember the old days when people wrote to impress others rather than to communicate with them? Many writers used formal language and multi-syllable words that no one ever said out loud (like “notwithstanding” and “heretofore”). Lawyers still do this so you’ll have to hire them to translate legal stuff.

But most of us have evolved! Today’s business writing style is less formal and far better. Clarity and brevity must take priority in our fast-paced, information-overloaded world.

Here are five tips for better business writing:

  1. Write below the 8th-grade level. Some writers worry that this may insult the intelligence of their readers. But in reality, no one ever complains that something is too easy to understand! Studies show that writing below the 8th-grade level achieves the best results. It’s not that your readers are dumb; they just don’t have time to process complicated messages.

    Note – Here’s how to check the readability of your writing when using MS Word: Under “Tools” click “Options” and then “Spelling & Grammar.” Select the “Check grammar with spelling” box and the “Show readability statistics” box then click “OK.” The next time you complete a spell check, it will display information about the reading level. If the “Flesch-Kincaid grade level” is above 8, edit your document to make it easier to understand.

  1. Get to the point immediately. As a general rule, state the reason for your correspondence in the first sentence.

    Good: “We’ve already filled the position for which you applied.”
    Bad: “We wish to thank you for inquiring about employment opportunities at Joe’s Networking, Inc. We are an equal-opportunity employer and are always looking for talented individuals to join our team. Your experience and educational background are truly impressive. Unfortunately, the position for which you applied has already been filled and we are therefore no longer accepting applications.”

  1. Get active (use active voice, not passive). It not only burns more calories, it clarifies your writing and gives it more impact!

    Good: “We like your ideas and will implement them by the end of the year.”
    Bad: “The ideas you proposed have been reviewed and found to be acceptable and appropriate. An implementation schedule has been developed with the goal of being completed by the end of the year.”

  1. Use fewer words. People are busy; be brief!

    Good: “We will not tolerate sexual harassment. Please read the attached policy. Call Mr. Write if you have questions.”
    Bad: “This is to inform all employees that sexual harassment of any kind will not be tolerated under any circumstances by this organization. Be advised that, in order to clarify the company position on this subject, the attached policy has been developed and provided for your reference. Your cooperation in this important matter is appreciated. Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Wright if he can be of further assistance or provide you with additional information about this issue.”

  1. Include a clear call to action. If you are writing for a purpose other than to inform, tell your readers exactly what you want them to do.

    Good: “Please sign the attached form in Block 10 and return it to me by May 1st.”
    Bad: “It is our desire to receive an indication of your concurrence as soon as possible.”

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Here’s a bonus tip:

  1. Do not repeat numbers. Spelling out numbers and then repeating them as digits within parentheses is redundant and unnecessary. Use this basic rule: less than 10 or beginning a sentence, spell it out; more than 10, use digits. Do NOT do both! 

    Good: “We collected 13 samples.”
    Bad: “Thirteen (13) samples were collected.”

 

In summary, it is recommended that individuals who prepare written business correspondence follow a format and style similar to that of their verbal communications.

 

Author Bio:

My name is David Lieberman. I work as the president of Bestforacar.com. As one of the founding members of Bestforacar.com, I have helped the company from its initial concept into the leading digital automotive marketplace. Also, I am a technology investor and advisor, helping companies and entrepreneurs with their projects and sites.

 

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS: What 2018 is to bring!

Hello and welcome to the New Year!

How did you celebrate? I stayed home in PJ’s and rang in the New Year with a delicious home-cooked meal with my family of people and pets. It was a relaxing way to celebrate the end of a chapter and the beginning of a blank chapter.

With the NEW YEAR comes resolutions and if one of yours happens to involve renewal of yourself then you may want to check out our group page on Facebook at: The Bohemian, Lifestyle, and Business

Join the ReNew You event and begin reinventing your life one day at a time for the entire month of January!

We look forward to seeing what new challenges, milestones, and doors are exposed to us this year.

 

God bless,
Jess, Owner of Jess & Co. 

Weekend Words of Wisdom | Making a Difference | Caring Makes the World of Difference | #14

Weekend Words of Wisdom | #14

“To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care.” — Mandy Hale

Helping others has no real requirement.

To make a difference has no requirement other than the desire to help others. This comes from the feeling of caring or others well-being, other derived from empathy and sympathy. Perfection does not exist, beauty is a thing of personal preference, to be rich does not create kindness, and being intelligent doesn’t create compassion. If you care then do. You will literally make the world of difference to someone.

Matheus Ferrero

 

So what do you care about? What difference will you make?

Guest Post: 5 Hidden Secrets of Olive Oil Body Massage

If there is any oil that is packed with the goodness of fat and other antioxidants, it is none other than olive oil. This oil has been used by masseuses for centuries due to its capability to heal and soften the skin like no other oil. The oil is rich in vitamin E and other fatty acids that moisturize that skin and improve the blood flow. Using it lukewarm on the skin can increase its efficiency to benefit the skin and relax the body and mind.

This oil makes a perfect treat when it comes to full-body massage. What can this oil do that makes it more preferable? If you are looking for an answer, keep reading until the end because I am about to reveal the 6 hidden benefits of Olive oil massage:

Improves Blood Circulation

The unique characteristic of this oil is that it is warm in nature yet soothing to the body and mind. The massage of this oil on the body significantly improves the blood circulation while relaxing the muscles and nerves down. Hence, it makes a great massage for all those who are stressed out and in need of some relaxing therapy. It leaves you feeling a rush of energy inside you due to all the nutrients that it provides the body.

No More Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Using high-end anti-aging products is not always on your budget and convenience. In such circumstances, all you need is some extra virgin olive at your home. Applying the oil after microwaving it for 15 seconds can help rejuvenate the skin and reduce the wrinkles and fine lines under the eyes and elsewhere. Just massage your face before going to bed with this oil and press it into your skin gently. Leave it on and see the magic happen the next day. However, if your skin is oily and prone to breakouts, this may not be your best bet.

 

Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash

Say Goodbye to Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are usually considered as an unsolvable problem which is not completely true. Olive oil can actually bring a great change in the appearance of the stretch marks if you massage it regularly. All you need is some warm oil to massage the affected areas. The results may not be quick but they surely appear if you massage the marks consistently.

Strengthens Nails

If you feel like your nails are going brittle, you must not worry and get yourself some olive oil. Massaging the nails with it does not only help make the nail stronger but also softens the hands and cuticles. Therefore, you can both massage your nails and hands, and wear gloves before you go to bed for best results or just add the oil to your manicure routine.

Natural and Intense Moisturizer for the Skin

Vitamin E and K present in the oil along with fatty acids moisturize the skin naturally and nourish better than any skincare product. The hardened skin can easily be softened by using this oil. Plus, if your scalp feels dry, warm olive oil massage can help remove the dryness and leave your hair all nourished and healthy. Using olive oil in winters is the best idea for locking intense moisture into the skin and hair.

So, what are you waiting for? Get an appointment with a masseuse and relax in a massage chair while he/she slathers your skin with the goodness of olive oil.  

 

Author Bio:

Sara is a psychologist by profession and she loves massage therapies. She enjoys home-based work and traveling. She is obsessed with massage chair therapies and other relaxing techniques. She recently wrote a blog on the benefits of Swedish massage.

 

 

 

Weekend Words of Wisdom | Making a Difference | | #13

Weekend Words of Wisdom | #13

“Yout life is your message to the world. Make sure it’s inspiring..” — Unknown

We have one life, so how will you live it?

There are some things in this world where opportunities only arise once – and your life is one of them. Every new day, new hour, new minute, new second is a new one that will never be replicated again. Knowing this, what will you do to make sure you live the life of your dreams and one that inspires not only you but others as well? What will you mark be in this world? I am pretty sure that our marks in this world are related to our purpose.

 

 

Make your mark and you have lived your purpose.

 

Weekend Words of Wisdom | Gratitude | Gratefulness Brings Happiness | #12

Weekend Words of Wisdom | #12

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” — Cicero

If you cannot feel gratitude, then how can you be anything else at all?

To be gracious and experience gratitude to all in life means that you realize, appreciate, and love. If you lack gratitude, then how can you feel, be, and know anything else? Since life is neither lived in the past nor in the future but only in the present, one must experience the feeling and sense of gratitude before anything else can follow.

 

 

Be grateful and all other virtues will follow.

 

4 Reasons Why You Should Never Schedule a Meeting 30 Minutes Prior to Lunch

Meetings are a staple in every business, they are unavoidable in business, but there are certain times during the day that work better for a meeting than other times. One of the worst times of day to schedule a meeting is 30 minutes prior to lunch. The 4 reasons being the following:

    1. Distracted. People are not entirely focused on the task at hand – and there is nothing wrong with that – it’s just the internal distraction of a grumbling stomach causing a lack of focus amongst individuals as they think about what’s for lunch or that delicious meal awaiting them in there lunch box – maybe some leftovers from the gourmet dinner the night before.
    2. Hangry. Have you ever been hangry – hungry and angry? I am sure there are many people that fall victim to this, but as you sit in a meeting that meanders closer and closer to lunch-time observe how people’s demeanor and attitude changes, even slightly. They go from agreeable to a little edgy. This is hangry, and this is not productive in business. Let them eat and then have that important meeting.
    3. Off-Topic. Rather than focusing on the topic at hand, discussions begin circling around what is for lunch. Clearly, any off-topic conversation during a meeting is not productive – so this would be best avoided by not scheduling meetings right before lunch.
    4. Time Matters. As lunch begins creeping closer, people begin watching the clock and counting down until they can eat their lunch. They start focusing more on the clock and less on the tasks at hand. Imagine if the meeting needed some extra-attention – many people would be frustrated to have to stay late in a meeting during their lunchtime and brash decisions may be made (scheduled or not, our body’s know when it’s time to eat). It’s better to become aware that the meeting needs some extra time and maybe tackle it later on, especially if a major decision is to be made than make a decision that has not been fully thought through.


What can you take away from this?

It’s best to schedule meetings to not be 30 minutes prior to lunch and not 30 minutes after lunch. Imagine that everyone has an hour-long lunch break – well, add another hour (30 minutes before and 30 minutes after) that is completely blocked off from scheduling to allow for a more efficient and productive meeting.

By allowing for 30 minutes after lunch, you’re taking into account both differing return times for employees lunch hours, as well as the sluggishness that is often felt right after a meal.

So, when is the best time to schedule a meeting?

According to a study conducted by Quartz – the absolute best time to schedule a meeting is at 2:30 pm on Tuesday. Not only are the majority of people available during this time-period, but they are also more in-tuned in the business as it’s mid-day and mid-week. So if you need to schedule an important or critical meeting – aim to do so on Tuesday at 2:30 pm.

Even if a Tuesday doesn’t work well for you, then you may want to consider Wednesday or Thursday, as well, seeing as these are also mid-week.

Weekend Words of Wisdom | Gratitude | Gratefulness Brings Happiness | #11

Weekend Words of Wisdom | #11

“It is not happy people who are grateful, it is grateful people who are happy.” — Unknown —

Being grateful brings about happiness, but happiness does not bring about gratitude – why is this?

This is because the feeling of gratitude allows you the opportunity to count your blessings and allow you the chance to look at your life from an outward perspective. By doing this, you realize simply how happy you are with the people, gifts, and things that you have been granted in this lifetime.

 

 

What will your attitude be – attempt happiness before gratitude or gratitude followed by happiness?

 

 

Weekend Words of Wisdom | Enjoy Life | Derive Joy in the Journey | #10

Weekend Words of Wisdom | #10

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” — Andy Rooney —

Do you enjoy the journey or only seek the end?

A journey is intended for us to learn, grow, and experience it – it is not meant to be raced through and forgotten. Too often we only look for the ends and forget that there is a whole playing field in the between the start and the finish line. If you only look at the end, then you miss the important lessons that can be learned during the ‘ride’ to the end. If you find joy in the journey, then the end is simply a byproduct, an end result though not the means to lead, work, and do towards.

 

 

So what you should take away from this, is to open your eyes during the journey and find joy and growth in it rather than trying to ‘get it over with’.

 

 

Guest Post: Freelance and Part-Time Work Beefs Up Resumes

It can be difficult for recent college graduates after writing dissertation to find jobs in their fields. Educationally, new college grads are qualified for professional jobs with higher pay and much responsibility. But, having little experience leaves some out in the cold. If you are a recent college grad and want to make your resume look more impressive, consider doing part-time and freelance work in your field.

For anyone just starting out in any field, freelance and part-time work is a good way to fatten your resume and get your feet wet. It is a starting point, if nothing else, so don’t shy away from it. To begin, one must understand the two most important aspects of this type of work: flexibility and pay.

The Flexibility of Being a Freelancer or Part Timer

Often, you can work where you want and when you want. This can be good or bad, depending on your situation.

The good things:

  • You are not likely to get bored, because you never know what you may be doing at any given time. This is great for those with short attention spans.
  • In most cases , work can be adjusted to any schedule, creating lots of freedom.

And the not so good…

  • Freelance and part-time work is not steady. You may only have fixed employment for a short period of time, and you may not know when or where your next job will come. Or, gigs may be on a one-time basis.
  • Freelancers must be self-motivated and highly organized. You don’t have a boss breathing down your neck to make sure that the work is complete; it is all up to you. Many might consider this a positive aspect.

You have to look for your own work. Typically you have to actively seek out freelance and part-time work.

Not So Steady Pay

Pay scales of freelance and part-time work vary in many ways: by job, by hour, by commission and so on.

The good points:

  • Sometimes pay is very high for a little amount or a short time period of work. For example, college-level adjunct instructors tend to get paid the same amount per class whether they teach a regular 16-week term or a short 8- or 4-week term.
  • Bargaining. Freelancers and part-timers sometimes are able to better negotiate pay, even more so than people in full-time positions.

And the negative:

  • Non-existent benefits – i.e., health insurance or retirement plan.
  • No steady income. Because the work is flexible or temporary, pay may not be regular.

The main characteristics that all freelancers and part-timers must embody are ambition and flexibility. You have to actively seek work, be flexible, deal with positive and negative aspects of pay and stick to it. But, it’s a great way to earn a living and can help newcomers fill up their resumes.

Author Bio:

Beatrice Howell, is a writer and editor for Phdify.com. She has a high qualification, experience in students newspapers, Beatrice works with dissertations, essays, articles, reviews, summaries and other students work, help in university selection and preparation to entry exams.