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Month: July 2018

The Best Options for the Ultimate Adult Party Venue

Who says that parties are just for kids? Nowadays there’s plenty of options you can choose from to have a kickass party at your home. What’s more, if you decide you hate having to put your home as the place for your massive event, there are still some other choices. There are plenty of venues available these days for the grownups. However, many have no clue what to do, to discover these other places for a party.

If you’re still confused and don’t know where to start, we present you with the best options available for you and your friends, to discover the places where you can throw the ultimate adult bash. These places might vary from town to town, and they represent alternatives to your mainstream bar or nightclub. So, beware and get ready to get filled with ideas. I bet you won’t regret doing any of them.

Go Hunting in The City

Have you ever wondered if there’s more to your city than what you know? Because if you do, this is the time to figure it out by playing an adult version of the Treasure Hunt. Gather some friends and make a list of the different venues in the city. Select some places, and items on the list to look for, and point them out on a map. Divide your friends into teams and create a score for each team to add up the number of points they obtain for each item they get.

This is called Scavenger Hunt and is an excellent idea for discovering new places within your city while you have some fun with your friends. To make it more interesting, you can put your roller skates on to add an extra adventurous touch. You can also include some special awards like an all paid dinner in a bar or some extra beers for the winning team. Doing this will be anything but boring.

 

Try Some Outdoor Activities

There are so many activities you can do outdoors. Some of the main ones include:

There are many amusement parks like Six Flags which has special events designed for the grownups. To make it more comfortable which one of these places to choose, make a list and discuss it with your friends. Your friends can come up with new places you didn’t know existed. So, having an open mind is vital here for you and your friends to have the party of your life.

 

Go to Another Country

This might be more ambitious, but it is also worth it. Especially if you and your friends are about to hit an important age milestone and share a taste for travel and having new adventures in new places.

This option is particularly great if you happen to share birthdays with your friends. Get together for a joint birthday and define the place where you want to go. This is great, as it can leave you with great memories you’ll remember for the rest of your life. So, don’t miss the chance.

 

Rent a Boat

At first, the idea might sound quite expensive, but not if you get to reunite a large group of friends, as you can share expenses. This option is great if you happen to live near a shore, as there are many boats available for rent. These boats offer amazing party related services as well.

To get this gig started contact a boat rental agency. You’ll find a wide variety of boats available, and price ranges to choose from, so you can party like Leonardo DiCaprio on The Wall Street Wolf, but without having to have a six-figure bank account.

 

Have a Beach Party

To have a beach party, you don’t even have to live near the beach. Just living in a town at sea is enough. A beach can be a great place to go to for having a fantastic party. To get the most out of this tropical gathering, get out of your comfort zone and invite as many people as you can. The more people you invite, the merrier.

You have the opportunity to hang out, enjoy life and forge new friendships. So, this, along with some drinks and snacks as well as some board games will have you ready to party the night away.

Go to a Concert

If you are a band or a music artist fan, and they happen to come to your town on your birthday or close to your birthday, you’ve certainly found a great reason to attend. Gather some friends who want to go out with you to the mix and be ready for an incredible night full of people and music you love.

Just make sure to get the tickets before they run out, especially if your favorite artist is pretty well known, and therefore a stadium-filler.

 

Go Camping

If you prefer being in touch with nature and enjoy the quietness near the woods or a lake, camping could be your cup of tea. There are camping places where they have bungalows, as well as those for people who bring their camping tent.

Make sure to scour the area and ensure that it is safe and out of reach of potential threats like bears or any other wild animal. You also want to make sure to choose a good quality camping tent that gives you the best protection possible.

Also, what makes camping an unforgettable experience is building a good fire at night. Here you and your friends can roast some marshmallows as well as sing songs and dance near the flames of the firewood.

Therefore, whatever option you choose, you are sure to have a ball of a time. Just make sure that you bring enough good food, firewood, and a good quality cooler, so the food and drinks don’t get spoiled. This, in addition to the company of your best friends, will guarantee you one of the best parties ever, without needing to head to a bar or a nightclub.

 

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6 Ways Smart Tech is Impacting the Office Environment

Smart technology is all the rage. We have “smart” phones, “smart” homes, and “smart” appliances. As smart tech continues to evolve, there’s no wonder that it has impacted the office environment.

Tools such as cordless phones that work with smartphones and intelligent VoIP hubs only begin illustrating the new smart workplace. Behind the scenes, intelligent routers and automated data management workflows provide just a shadow of things to come.

You don’t have to wait for the future to enjoy the benefits of smart tech in your company. Get a glimpse of what’s possible by learning about the following ways a smart workspace can impact your business.

Collaboration

Already, Office 365 and Google Docs have allowed you to work with people around the world to edit documents. Cloud-based file sharing apps enhance that collaboration.

Now, smart tech has enhanced collaboration via screen sharing, allowing multiple people to work together on the same workstation. Meanwhile, virtual reality enables people to work together in 3D spaces to design and build everything from buildings to entire cities.

Most of all, smart collaboration technologies will permit you to draw from global labor pools. As a result, you can access world-class talent while building highly functional distributed teams.

Communication

Smart tech is allowing companies to move away from traditional email correspondence and telephone conversations. Already, consumers have grown to expect to interact with their favorite brands across multiple channels.

Now, you can get communications packages that unify all your communications within a single interface. Tools such as live text or video chat, for example, enable customers to choose how they contact your firm.

Smart technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are now automating communications. Thanks to chatbots and similar tools, you can let “virtual” agents handle basic service requests, saving your human agents for advanced tasks.

Home Offices

Smart tech has dramatically increased the capabilities of home offices. Thanks to the ubiquity of the cloud, you can slash overhead by hiring remote home-based workers rather than traditional employees.

As long as remote workers have internet access, they can connect with the same communications and collaboration tools they would use in your facilities. Your remote employees often show a higher level of job satisfaction and often produce more than their office-bound peers.

Small operations such as home-based businesses can also benefit from smart tech. By relying on innovative cloud solutions, a one-person operation can have the same capabilities as a global enterprise.

Time Management

Modern time management apps can “learn” your behavior and automatically update your schedule, helping you to get more done in less time. Thanks to artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms, smart tech can also help you prioritize your tasks.

Smart time managers can automate employee scheduling across multiple shifts and locations. When you have the right app in place, employees with smartphones can directly enter and edit their availability information.

If you normally use spreadsheets and manual data entry to calculate hours and wages, smart tech can help. Many time management apps will automatically populate your accounting and payroll apps with relevant data, saving time and improving accuracy.

Satisfaction

Call center software can now monitor customer interactions, including voice conversations to tell you when a customer is becoming agitated. Such systems can also assess agent performance and provide training recommendations.

Furthermore, smart tech can help you assess customer sentiment after every interaction by providing targeted surveys and follow-up emails. Similarly, you can use smart tech to identify upselling opportunities that can enhance the customer experience that you provide.

Smart tech can also improve customer satisfaction and retention through personalization. For example, social-media-aware CRM systems can learn about your contacts and use that data to craft targeted email messages.

Security

Thanks to smart tech, you can now exercise greater control over your network, workstations, and other IT resources. For instance, smart routers can proactively monitor network traffic and almost instantly disconnect suspicious activity.

Smart technologies are also improving antivirus and anti-malware applications, helping them to uncover threats before they become fully understood. Soon, intelligent apps will eliminate the need for virus definition databases and their associated updates, further improving your online security.

Smart tech can even improve the physical security of your company. Biometric devices can control access to every section of your facility, helping to reduce the damage caused by thieves and snoops.

 

In conclusion, smart technology is transforming the way people work. By embracing this trend, you and your business can work smarter, faster and thereby achieve a satisfying work-life balance.

 

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How to Help a Foreign Employee Get Permanent Resident Status

Finding a great employee is already hard enough without the other complications. When we have a business, we expect to find the best working force as we can. In the end, it all comes down to the revenue and we have to make sure that the company will survive in the market.

The global connectivity we experience today was not available 20 or 30 years ago. Then, it was expensive to travel to another country and due to the lack of modern communication, even hard to find a position abroad. However, people now tend to look more widely when looking for a job and that means outside the borders of their own country.

The same applies to employers and you will often see a company that is multinational and culturally diverse. Unfortunately, there are still some obstacles that can create quite a lot of trouble for those trying to hire experts from abroad to come and work for them. Mainly, their visa and how to acquire permanent resident status.

What is a permanent resident status?

A permanent resident status means that your employee is still subject to immigration control. This includes non – citizens who are allowed to work, live and study in a foreign country without any restrictions. However, this doesn’t mean that a person is a citizen, although they will enjoy most of the rights.

What differs from being a full citizen is that permanent resident will always have to show their visa to the valid travel authority when travelling internationally. This is because they need to make sure they will be allowed to return to the country that issued that permanent residency and they can’t do that without proof. This is called Resident Return Visa criteria and permanent residents need to meet those when living in Australia.

Another difference is that citizens can vote in the elections while permanent residents usually cannot. There are certain rules that allow that, but a person will have to check that with the appropriate immigration office.

Department of Human Services can issue social security benefits depending on the legislation. The Social Security Act 1991 and the Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999 define those rules, as well as international agreements that Australia established with other countries.

When it comes to Medicare, the Health Insurance Act 1973 defines that national health scheme is available for Australian residents and sometimes for visitors if their country has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia. This is also something a person can confirm with the Department of Human Services.

What can you do to help an employee?

You should make sure that you are aware of your employee’s visa status before you hire them. Otherwise, you can face penalties for keeping illegal workers.

However, if you want to hire an employee from abroad you will have to help them get permanent resident status. This will make it easier for you to hire them, carries certain benefits that are more than working visa and will help them settle in if they plan to stay in the country.

Getting a permanent resident status is not easy and will require patience from both employer and employee. It’s important to know that the only authority that can grant, refuse or cancel an employee’s visa is the Department of Home Affairs.

First of all, your employee has to know English language and prove it with an appropriate certificate. You will have to vouch for them by pointing out their expertise and the value they bring to your business. Also, the Australian Immigration Lawis something that you will have to respect and follow when hiring foreigners since that will be helpful for both parties.

If you plan to hire employees from abroad, then you should consult good immigration lawyers in Sydneyon all the necessary preparations. The Immigration Lawcan be quite dynamic sometimes and its complexity can cause a lot of concerns. However, legal help is always a reliable solution to take care of everything and explain to you the limitations and expectations you are about to face.

Why hire foreign employees if it can be complicated?

It may seem like too much, but actually, it’s simpler now than it was a couple of decades before. Countries evolve and adapt to international relations with other nations. It’s not an issue of simple “Why” anymore, but “Why don’t you” that runs the business world today.

Some countries have a wider education than others when it comes to certain industries. This is a wonderful opportunity to hire the ones who possess that knowledge and improve the methods of production, services and management in your country.

For example, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has a specific set of rules for Employment – Based Immigrants who apply for Green Card. They give precedence to priority workers like “Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; or certain multinational managers and executives,” states the Services’ website.

Additionally, other instances involve “foreign nationals who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or who have the exceptional ability (including requests for national interest waivers)” and “skilled workers, professionals, or other workers.” As you see, valuable employees that can contribute to the business and so the economy has a special place in immigration laws even in the country with dense population.

Final thoughts

Evaluate your company and see how it can benefit from foreign employees in the first place. If there is someone you would really like to hire, then see with your lawyers what is necessary to fulfil the requirements. Sometimes the effort you will put to help your employee with permanent resident status is more than worth it in the long run.

They will move to Australia and have an opportunity to start a new life and you will get a valuable employee that will improve your business and boost productivity. On the broader level, your company will be a formidable competitor in the market that will create a more stable economy.

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Writing as a Business: When to Quit Your Day Job Redux

Over the last couple of years, I have had some serious personal life changes and challenges, and that meant a transition from freelance writing full time to a full-time job, a part time job, and then leaving that day job altogether. Part of that had to do with my personal motivation and income, the rest had to do with listening to others and giving in to a certain amount of fear about not making it.

The thing is, the market changed as did my motivation to write and how much I wrote, and that made all the difference. I did not adapt (at first) to new opportunities in the freelance world, and I did not write nearly as much on a daily basis. When I first got back to writing copious amounts of non-fiction content, it was for someone else.

In the meantime, I started my own business (again) this time Unbound Media, LLC. I started with a small plan that has moved forward to something else that now is a much longer-term plan, although I am sure our company focus will change over time just as my personal one does.

For now, there are about six writers that create content for me from time to time, and others that come in and out at will. Some make good money, others have their own businesses and work for me as a side gig for an extra stream of revenue. It has not been easy, but over the last few months it came time to leave the day job (part time at that point) behind, but I put it off at first, and worked way too hard instead. This was partly out of fear.

So as I get back to the writing as a business posts on this blog and reignite some things I have let languish for far too long, I thought I would start with one of the most common questions I get asked (since I have left and returned to having day jobs a number of times over the last 9 years or so). When is it time to leave your day job?

As a freelancer who writes both fiction and non-fiction and also edits along with now running my own company, I think I have some answers, but boiled down to the simplest one, it simply depends.

You’ve Already Started a Business

We covered this topic early in this series, but let me just say this one lesson again: if you have written a book and it has been published, whether traditionally or you have self-published, you have already started a small business. You need to market that book. If you self-publish, you also need to distribute it, and to a certain extent this applies if you are traditionally published as well (that is another topic for another blog post on another day).

You will, if you continue to write, go through the processes of business that include production, distribution, and marketing. However, there is more to writing for a living than that, at least in my case.

I also do freelance non-fiction writing including a lot of web stuff and content for company and individual blogs and even some link building writing, although with a few exceptions I don’t do the rest of the link building process. (Outreach, placement, etc). I also have to go through the process of production (writing), distribution (getting the material to the client) and marketing (of my services that are unrelated to fiction).

As a third prong of income I employ other people who also write for me and my clients (production), distribute that writing for them (getting it to clients) and market (sharing that I have access to more than just my time for writing). All of this sound familiar and repeated?

From the start in this series, I have talked about production and touched on the first part of distribution for authors of books. But the same principles apply across the rest of business. Every stage takes time, and it may be time to quit your day job when it starts to interfere with the time you have for any one of these processes.

But wait. You can’t quit your day job without money, right?

Your Business is Making a Profit

Step one is to save money. The advantage I have as both an author and a freelance writer is that I am creating two different things: I have a service industry, a company that writes content for websites and blog content for clients for various uses and I also create a product, books, that continue to sell and make me money long after I have finished the work of producing and distributing them (or at least making sure they are available to a wide audience).

However, you don’t need to have both (although it is a good idea). If you have one or the other, you can leverage them to make money. Once your business is making you almost as much as you are at your day job, and you feel like if you were spending more time on your business it could easily pass those numbers, it is time to quit your day job.

A word of warning here: know what your earning needs are and what your earning potential really is. Don’t guess. If you earn $2,0000 a month from your day job, consider dropping to half time when your business is making $1,000 a month. When you are approaching $1,800 a month, you might consider quitting your day job as long as your business is growing in a way that will enable to you to make up that difference.

Also, don’t forget to add intangible benefits like health insurance and other factors in there. Don’t forget the increased taxes you will pay. Really to replace your $2,000 a month day job, you will need to make more like $2,800 from your business after your expenses.

You’re Both Fed Up and Passionate

A point will come with your business where you start to resent the time you are spending at your day job no matter how much you like it. For the most part, I loved my most recent day job, although there were some definite drawbacks. But it got to the point where I would be working, and that day job would interrupt my work, and with less profitable work.

At the same time, I was growing increasingly passionate about what I was doing and could do, and less passionate about my day job. I knew I was at a place of great potential, and my day job was interfering with the expansion I needed to really grow the business.

You’re Ready to Face Your Fear

Notice I did not say you were free from fear. Good luck with that. If you get over that one completely, let me know. I said when you are ready to face your fears. Starting off on your own with no safety net of a day job is scary to say the least. There is no formula for you or those around you not to be afraid.

Get over it. Face your fear and jump. You are ready to quit your day job when you are really ready to do this. In fact, do it before you are ready. When the numbers add up, when you are growing, just do it. Jump. You will be fine.

I’ve talked about this topic before. Several times. And I have lived through it myself. When is it time to quit your day job? It depends, but it might just be now.

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