How to Teach Your Kid to Read at Home

Sign up and get Premium Content on building personal and professional wealth!This year has forced you to do quite a bit at home—figuring out where your Peloton bike will go, discovering your hidden passion to make macarons (or, perhaps, eat them), among others. For parents of young children, you have a very unique challenge—to teach your kids how to read at home instead of fully at school.

In a previous article, I detailed how you may go about homeschooling your children. This post will be more succinct and highlight a particularly specific skill—the ability to read. Thankfully, the most important academic skill isn’t too scary if you know how to approach the process and what to look for as your young kiddo builds skill in this area.

Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, and Phonological Awareness

Before learning how to teach your kids to read, let me first discuss some quick terminology. Have you heard to terms phonics, phonemic awareness, and/or phonological awareness? Likely, you have not unless you’re an elementary school teacher like me. These terms are often difficult to decipher from one another yet are critical for your success at teaching reading at home.

Let’s start with tackling each of these terms individually.

  • Phonics is simply understanding that each letter has a corresponding sound. For example, you definitely know that “tee” sounds like the letter “T”, right? Yup, right. That’s phonics.
  • Phonemic awareness takes the understanding of phonics and ups the ante a bit. It explains how we can discern that the /c/ at the beginning of the word “cat” is different from the /at/ that follows that sound. (Fun fact! There are 43 individual phonemes in the English language. But fear not, you won’t be quizzing your kiddo).
  • Phonological awareness is similar to phonemic awareness but is, again, a bit loftier. In the previous example, we highlighted the understanding of /c/ in “cat” sounding like a “K”, right? Well, phonological awareness is one’s ability to manipulate the various sound units in a word. So, placing the sound /ack/ with /p/ as the beginning makes a different word sound than if you put /b/ before /ack/.

Tired yet? Fear not. Chances are, your young reader is going to need some support with one of these skills as they begin their reading journey.

So, let’s take a dive into how to know where your child is and what to do if they need phonics, phonemic, or phonological awareness support.

Does Your Student Understand Basic Phonics?

Does your student look at a “D” and say “C” or start to pronounce the word “kart” and say “start”? If so, it’s likely they have an issue with the alphabetic principle or, simply, phonics. They may also not be able to produce the correct letter when you give them a sound or vise versa. (Say “K”, and they’ll write “F”, for example.).

What Can I Do to Help My Child Build Phonics?

I’m glad you asked! If you have a Scrabble set or a fancy tablet game with letters, get to building! Talk with your student about the sounds of letters as you construct new and exciting words. And don’t be afraid to create words, too!

Nonsense words are often used to help students understand the basic rules of phonics. For example, “frub” is not a word, but if a student can 1) say it and 2) clap the syllables, they are getting the hang of phonics!

The Nuance of Phonemic vs Phonological Awareness

There’s a lot of grace here, and unless you are both a parent and elementary school teacher, your student won’t be upset if you constantly confuse these two. I’ll actually offer support for both of them at once because the difference really doesn’t matter in the living room.

You may remember, as a student, (depending on how old you are or how good your memory is) clapping words aloud in class. This is called syllabication, and each clap occurs on a different syllable in a word, right? Well, get to clapping!

One of the earliest indicators that students need support with early literacy is their inability to decipher between syllables. So, if your child has a difficult time clapping out “potatoes,” they don’t really understand the sounds within the word. Those sounds, called phonemes, are what build up the English language.

You might be thinking, “Well, okay, awesome—how the heck do I help my child with that, though?”

Great question! I’ll brief you on a couple of strategies below for when you are strictly teaching your kids to read or intervening (not during actual reading). But for now, let’s discuss a quick and helpful way to support a reader when they are actually attempting the skill of reading and get to a word they cannot sound out.

First, you’ll want to let them struggle. Don’t be too mean here. We aren’t talking 3 minutes of cliffhanging—more like 10 seconds. Encourage them, pause for them, and whatever you do, do not help them during this time. Why? If they aren’t with you and encounter a large or scary word they’ve never seen, they’ll simply look at the word, give up, look at the larger person (i.e., adult) in the room and wait for the life jacket. Nope, don’t do that!

Instead, point to the word, and ask them what part of the word they think they may already know. Let’s take a word for example’s sake here: memorize. Whoa, that’s a doozy! But wait, isn’t there a “me” in that word? And how about a “mo”? And doesn’t a word that ends in “e” makes the vowel before the final consonant (in this case, “i” before the “z”) say its name (so that i-z-e is EYE-z-eh—the EYE is what “i” sounds like, right)?

Well, it’s likely your kiddo may now know how to decipher memorize right off the bat, but with some support (after 10 seconds of struggle), they’ll be on their way!

So, again, for the terms, and briefly—phonemic equals simplest sounds of a language. Phonological equals manipulating the simplest sounds of a language. (See? Not a lot of difference, and you shouldn’t split hairs.)

If your child is having issues with syllables, do the awesome activity mentioned above with all kinds of fun words around the house and in reading.

  • Segmenting and blending activities – Take time to break apart words (segmenting) and put words together (blending) from a sound perspective. This is fun, and your kids will love slicing and dicing words.
  • Take words, delete sounds – “Hey kiddo, what’s “fun” without /f/?” This helps build their recognition of specific sounds and how they fit within the context of larger units. (For those of you overachievers, that’s a phonological awareness skill).

A Few Notes on Sight Words

Unfortunately, the English language is very tricky. Some words, like “the”, fit no simple phonetic understanding. They simply need to be taught. Search for various sight word lists depending on your child’s age.

Here’s how you determine if your child is needing sight word support and exactly what sight words they need help with depending on their age:

  1. Remember that sight words are searchable by age or grade level. So, you’ll start by searching (or asking your child’s teacher, if that’s a possibility) online to find the list of sight words for their specific age.
  2. Quiz them at the top of the list. Don’t randomly choose words from the list. Start at the top, and go straight down.
  3. If your child masters their way through the list for their grade level, go above one grade level. For example, if your child is in second grade, start with a fourth-grade sight word list. Should they get all of those words correct, find a third-grade sight word list and continue.
  4. When your child misses two or three words on a sight word list, that’s the list they will need to practice and thus, the list you will need to actively teach.

Though frustrating (because they follow no real convention that is teachable), sight words are the key to unlocking complicated text. This is worth your time!

Beyond Phonics—Fun With Fluency (And Book Selections!)

Okay, whew. You’re now a literacy instructor! Well done. It may be difficult to teach your kids to read, but that’s normal.

So, here’s the deal: once your child has a solid grasp of the phonics world, begin having fun with text selection and check their fluency constantly! Fluency is simply how many words your child can correctly read in one minute (minus the errors made from the total words read). Fluency, in a sentence, also measures how animated your student reads (called prosody) and if they cruise gently around commas and stop hard at periods. Fluency helps with all of that.

And finally—books! Ask them what they love, and find books that bring them closer to understanding more about those topics. And get them books from a wide variety of various topics, from various sources.

The steps to reading are exciting and profound. Take joy in the simple things, and delight in your child coming to you at night and saying “can I read to you tonight?”

Find the Small Joys in Reading

We’ve blabbered with phonics, phonemic awareness, and fluency—whew! Take it all in, and reference this post when and if necessary. But most importantly, take joy in the little steps your child takes when mastering the skill of reading.

Read with them often, not just before bed. Ask them questions about the book to see their comprehension really soar. Read often yourself, so you create a “more is caught than taught” type situation. You’ll be glad you took an active interest in, perhaps, the most critical skill a young person can learn.

More on How to Teach Your Kids to Read

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Learn from Fiverr Courses That Can Help You Build Top-Rated Websites Amid Covid-19

Start your New Year off to a great start by doing these 3 things:

1. Visit The Digital Vibe @www.thedigitalvibe.com!
2. Enjoy the content!
3. Sign up for Premium!

With more people opting to stay indoors, many businesses are making an online transition to keep running amid these tough times. Hence, there has been a rising demand for professionals who can build and design online websites. 

If you want to take advantage of this financial opportunity, here are some Fiverr Learn courses to build your expertise. 

What Are Learn From Fiverr Courses?

Fiverr Learn courses are online professional courses for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and professionals who want to kick off their career or side hustle. There are beginner lessons for marketing, graphic design, business, video, writing, and web development. However, there are also in-depth tutorials for UX design, Photoshop, After Effects, among many others. 

How to Become A Top-Rated Website Builder With Fiverr?

Fiverr can help you build ecommerce stores, business websites, and portfolio websites. 

Let’s take a look at the top courses to consider.

1. Build A Professional Website With WordPress.Com

No coding experience? No problem! WordPress.com expert, Marjorie Asturias, lets non-programmers build a website from scratch with WordPress.com in this $32 course

Her course features step-by-step instructions for creating blog posts, installing plugins, and customizing gorgeous themes. Plus, you’ll also be trained in SEO and analytics to attract more organic traffic to your website. 

2. Build A Responsive Website Using HTML5 & CSS3

If you want to be a top-rated website builder, then this course will help you learn the ropes. 

Adobe Certified Instructor, Daniel Walter Scott, will teach you how to build a responsive website through Visual Studio Code. 

To start your hustle as a developer, you’ll learn the basics of Bootstrap, JavaScript, and jQuery. Since creating a beautiful and well-designed website is an essential skill, you will also learn HTML5, Flex Box, CSS3, and responsive design basics for just $23. 

3. Adobe XD: UX/UI Design Essentials

They say a seamless UX and UI are crucial to building seamless online experiences for potential customers, leads, and investors. After all, no one wants a shabby app or website. 

Fortunately, Adobe Certified Instructor, Daniel Walter Scott, can jumpstart your career in UI/UX Design. The $23 course will cover all things related to UX, UI, and using existing UI design kits. Learners can also put their knowledge to the test by getting an opportunity to create prototypes for mobile devices and creating UX Design workflows through Illustrator and Photoshop. 

4. Creating High Converting Landing Pages

Once you snag ecommerce clients, they’re likely looking for web developers and designers that can create high-converting landing pages for their products and services. 

Renowned Google Ads and PPC expert, Isaac Rudansky, can guide you through boosting conversions with real-life case studies and experiments. You’ll learn the psychological principles behind compelling landing pages and the buyer’s journey. 

By the end of this $26 course, you’ll be able to increase conversions by 2x to 5x more! 

5. SEO Fundamentals: The Ultimate Framework

SEO is vital to attracting traffic and customers, but the technical aspects may discourage you from understanding the basics. 

The good news is SEO expert Cleo Kirkland can help you navigate link audits, content audits, and SEO analysis. His project-based $46 course will help you build a website that potential leads and customers will actually visit.

6. Brand Strategy And Design For Small Businesses

Choosing a theme and customizing your client’s website shouldn’t be based on purely aesthetics. Instead, consider adopt a design and strategy aligned with the look and feel of the brand. 

Emmy award-winning designer, Haylee Powers, can help web designers create a compelling brand that will rake in more profits and clients. 

Upon completion of this $48 course, you’ll be able to turn brand strategy into design. 

Become a Top-Rated Website Builder & Designer Amid Covid-19

The pandemic may have hampered your finances and career progression, but there are plenty of opportunities for people that can build, design, and launch websites. Thanks to the increasing demand for online services, more businesses are seeking professionals who can help them make the online transition. Learning how to build a website can be daunting, but these Fiverr Learn courses are guaranteed to help you succeed. 

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6 Learn From Fiverr Courses For Aspiring Influencers & Streamers Amid Covid-19

Start your New Year off to a great start by doing these 3 things:

1. Visit The Digital Vibe @www.thedigitalvibe.com!
2. Enjoy the content!
3. Sign up for Premium!

In the stay-at-home era, people are looking for influencers and streamers for connection. More importantly, there’s a lot of financial and career opportunities for aspiring online gurus. 

If you want to build a career out of your passion during this economic downturn, check out these Fiverr Learn courses that can help you succeed. 

What Are Learn From Fiverr courses?

Fiverr’s Learn Courses offer online professional courses from the world’s top experts. There are beginner courses for striving entrepreneurs, designers, and developers. Meanwhile, other specialized courses provide in-depth knowledge of Shopify fundamentals, Google Ads, and Adobe Photoshop.

How to Become A Top-Rated Influencer & Streamer With Fiverr?

Fiverr can help would-be influencers and streamers pursue their passion and turn their dreams into reality. 

Here are some top courses to consider. 

1. iPhone Photo Editing Using Lightroom Mobile CC

Whether you want to upload cooking tutorials or fashion vlogs, uploading high-quality pictures on your Instagram is a must. Influential lifestyle and travel photographer Sean Dalton will help you learn the basics of design and navigate cutting edge tools like Adobe Lightroom Mobile CC. 

Upon completion, you’ll be able to create spectacular images with your iPhone and iPad for $23. 

2. Social Media Marketing: Organic & Ads

You can’t solely rely on organic traffic and social media algorithms to get discovered by people. Instead, tap into targeted audiences and use powerful marketing strategies to ramp up your following. This is a lot harder than it looks so opt for this social media marketing bundle with 193 videos. 

This program includes the following:

  • Social Media Content Strategy
  • Facebook Ads Targeting
  • Lead Generation with Facebook Ads
  • Instagram Ads Fundamentals
  • Google Analytics – Fundamentals
  • Google Analytics – Advanced 

Instructors Rita Cidre and Sharon Lee Thony are top-rated marketers that have built award-winning marketing campaigns for big brands. 

Facebook Analytics will be taught by Logan Young, Ben Dahl, and Dennis Yu from Blitz Metrics—a premiere digital marketing community. They have spent more than $1 billion on Facebook ads for their clients in the past decade. 

Meanwhile, Google Analytics courses will be spearheaded by Jeff Sauer—a top PPC marketer who has turned 14,000 digital marketers into Google certified professionals. 

3. Adobe After Effects Fundamentals

YouTubers and Twitch streamers can spice up their videos by adding motion graphics and visual effects. To get started, consider this $26 course on Adobe After Effects Fundamentals by professional video creator Philip Ebiner. 

After finishing this jam-packed course, you’ll learn after effects skills, motion graphics, motion tracking, video effects, and many more. 

4. Personal Branding: Creating A Strong Online Presence

Having a strong personal brand is crucial to building a robust following and monetizing your expertise. Amateur influencers can learn the tricks of the trade from a $58 course by digital marketing expert, Dennis Yu, a world-renowned digital marketing specialist who has spent on $1 billion ad spend in his 20-year career. 

5. Stories That Sell: 7 Secrets To Create Killer Content

Fluff and flowery paragraphs won’t score you brownie points in your emails, social media points, articles, and emails. That’s precisely why Youtube marketing manager, Jon Youshaei, has launched a $64 course on creating killer content. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a top-ranked marketer recognized by Forbes and Entrepreneur. 

6. Photography Essentials: Getting Your Best Shots

Understanding photography fundamentals is vital to taking captivating photos and compelling visuals—but it can be difficult to do everything by yourself. 

Fortunately, aspiring learners can easily harness their creative potential with lifestyle and travel photographer Sean Dalton. His $23 course will cover the basics such as manual and auto focus, composition, camera settings, and lighting. 

The best part? You’re welcome to learn whether you have a DSLR, smartphone, or mirrorless camera. 

Become a Popular Influencer and Streamer Amid Covid-19

The pandemic may have halted your career plans and progression, but opportunities abound for influencers and streamers. Plenty of brands and companies seek to collaborate with popular online gurus that can market their products during the current stay-at-home era. Becoming an influencer requires a lot of editing and marketing skills so take advantage of these Fiverr’s Learn courses. 

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Thank You!

What to Do When Your Facebook Ads Fail

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Are your Facebook ads not working for you? Wondering how to make changes that deliver better results? To explore what to do when your Facebook ads fail, I interview Tara Zirker on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Tara is a Facebook ads expert and founder of the Successful Ads Club, a membership site designed to […]

The post What to Do When Your Facebook Ads Fail appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

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Using Facebook Ads Manager to Analyze Your Ad Performance

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Want an easy way to analyze your Facebook ads? Wondering how to customize the metrics you see in Facebook Ads Manager? In this article, you’ll discover how to create a custom report layout in Facebook Ads Manager. You’ll learn how to add, delete, and organize Facebook Ads Manager columns to show the data that matters […]

The post Using Facebook Ads Manager to Analyze Your Ad Performance appeared first on Social Media Examiner | Social Media Marketing.

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All About Wealth-Making Money With Google Adsense

Google AdSense is an ad network owned and operated by Google. As of today, it is the biggest and highest paying ad network on the internet. Google AdSense is the program designed for website publishers who want to display targeted advertisements on their web pages and earn money when visitors view or click the ads.

Getting Started

To earn from Google AdSense, you will need to have a website or blog, though not all websites do well with AdSense. There are basically 2 key factors to consider if you want to make money with AdSense: you need great content and a lot of traffic. There are also two types of website content: the one that attracts new visitors and the other that brings visitors returning daily. The ideal website for AdSense is one that is a balance of both. This ensures that just as you are attracting new visitors (traffic), you are also retaining loyal ones. Examples of websites perfect for AdSense include but are not limited to: blogs, news blogs or websites, forums, niche sites, listicle blogs, how-to websites, online discussion boards etc.

All you need is to find a layout that works well with displaying contents and AdSense ads. It is important you also understand the kind of ads that AdSense will place on your website. Because advertisers have the options of creating ads in various formats (text-based, images, and/or video), you will need to create layouts that will accommodate the various formats, but ensure that they do not interfere with the content. The user always comes first. Aside from display ads, AdSense offers another feature: custom search ads. This allows visitors to search specific contents on your website using AdSense. This is great because ads are displayed alongside the results of such search.

Benefits of Google AdSense

There are various benefits of using Google AdSense aside the fact that there is very few content restriction, it is easy to use, you get to earn consistent revenue from your websites as there is always ads displayed on your platform and AdSense pays regularly and they do so on time.

Possible Challenges

There are a few challenges that can limit your chances of earning money from Google AdSense. For starters, getting approved these days has become a herculean task. The criteria are quite stiff. Your website has to meet certain standards of quality and traffic. They have very stringent terms of service, revenues are constantly fluctuating, lower revenues generated on mobile due to its limited space, the challenge of ad blockers and the worst of all, ban! When your account is banned for whatever reason, you lose all the money accrued to your account. All your efforts are wasted.

How to make money for AdSense

To make money from AdSense, we have to first understand how AdSense calculate earnings; we have to understand what CTR and CPC means, the formula AdSense uses and how to optimize your website or blog to get maximum benefits from AdSense.

CTR = Click Through Rate This is the ratio of the number of users who click on an ad within a Web page to the total number of visitors who visited the web page within a particular time frame. This is usually used to determine the effectiveness of advertisement on a website.

CPC = Cost Per Click This is the amount earned by a website owner anytime a user clicks an advertisement on his web page. The earnings vary and it depends on the advertiser and niche, as some advertisers are willing to pay more than some others. The AdSense formula has 3 variables; Traffic, CTR and CPC. The formula is recreated below. Traffic x CTR x CPC = Revenue. To ensure you continue to earn from AdSense, you have to seek ways to increase any or all of the three variables. You can increase your CTR by placing your ads above the content, the higher your ads, the likelihood of higher CTR. You should also consider variables like text colors and size. You can increase your CPC by targeting high paying niches (Medical, Law etc.).

1. Ad Placements

Where you place ads on your website determines how much you can benefit from Google AdSense. There are several locations on a Web page where you can place ads for maximum visibility. The header: this is above the content on the web page. It allows for maximum visibility and is most likely the ad with the highest CTR. Between Paragraphs: This is also a great location for ads. Ensure you use 300×250 for mobile while the desktop should be 728×90. Sidebar: Ads placed here also functions well. Use a 300×600 unit for both top and bottom sidebars.Bottom of content: Many website owners have reported great results from ads placed at the bottom of the content, especially when it was relevant to the content of their post.

2. Increase Traffic

Traffic is the major determinant of how much you can make with AdSense. The more traffic you get, the greater the likelihood of better CTR. Other tweaks to increasing revenue are available but the most stable; free from the possible ban is traffic. There are several ways you can increase traffic and they include: Create great content. Give people something worth their time. You don’t have to be a master at writing quality articles or creating a great post, just be good at what you are offering. If it is a how-to video, know your niche. Be knowledgeable and let it show. Your content doesn’t have to be long, but let it be real. There are great travel blogs raking in big money from AdSense; they just share their travel experience but also make it very interesting and educational. This converts to great traffic when users share and invite others to visit, and those people become regular readers, inviting some more people themselves.

3. Keywords

Using the right keywords in your content would help drive organic traffic to your website. It’s a shame after investing in a great content, proper ad placement and all the necessary tweaks only to fail at attracting organic traffic due to lack of appropriate keywords. Research keywords appropriate to your content, find their ranks, and apply the appropriate keywords to your content to help you generate organic search traffic.

4. Map out an Efficient Strategy

It is ideal you have a strategy that works for you. This helps you to keep focus on what you’re interested in and what direction you want your business to take. There a couple of strategies you can adopt. You can choose to create lots of content with string keywords that help you generate organic search traffic, or you can choose to focus on filling little contents with “monster keywords”. Whatever you are comfortable with and what works for you would be fine. In my opinion, creating great content with string keywords is usually the best approach. Aside from the value it createsfor your users or visitors, you are likely to have repeat visits more often than from content with “monster keywords”.

5. AdSense is Not the Only Ad network

Ad networks such as Media.net, and Alpha are gradually carving a niche and reach in the ad network ecosystem. Diversifying your ad network also helps in the case of a ban from AdSense. That way you don’t lose all your money. These ad networks these days are at times outperforming AdSense.

6. Explore Other Offers

Do not get stuck working your website or blog to serve only AdSense. This practice of incorporating other online products and businesses is a good way to diversify and take great advantage of your platform. Do not aggressively pursue affiliate marketing to avoid the AdSense hammer but try still to diversify. Create content that promotes affiliate links but don’t overdo it.

Mistakes to Avoid

There are a few mistakes to avoid when designing your layout to allow for AdSense. Avoid placing ads adjacent to images, next page buttons and in any way that would attract accidental clicks on your web page. This would help to avoid a penalty called the Nessie penalty. Nessie penalty is a penalty imposed by AdSense when you have an unusually high CTR. These accidental clicks can sometimes be as a result of your layout or in some cases, a product of your aggressive marketing. In all, it is advised that you try to keep your CTR as moderate as possible.

Conclusion

AdSense is a viable way to make serious money online with a website. The key is to building traffic and implementing the measures we have highlighted here. You are also required to regularly update your knowledge bank and implement a lot of strategies to find out what works best for you. AdSense is big business, treat it as such.

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Gear up for Growth in 2021 with our Free Ebook

Start your New Year off to a great start by doing these 3 things:

1. Visit The Digital Vibe @www.thedigitalvibe.com!
2. Enjoy the content!
3. Sign up for Premium!

Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, was onto something when he said “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” While 2020 was a year of an unprecedented loss, struggle, and economic shutdowns, it’s also set the stage for new possibilities. 

With so much room for reform and growth, it’s an ideal time to get in touch with your goals for the future. Eager to introduce new products and services? What about transitioning to a more sustainable sales channel, or rebounding from the hit of 2020? Regardless of your goals’ specifics, you need an actionable plan to make them happen.

The sooner you start planning for a prosperous year, the more likely you’ll find success. Our free Ebook details five actionable steps to bring your brand to the next level in 2021: 

Step 1 → Start With an Agile Strategy

Step 2 → Build a Strong Brand

Step 3 → Complete Your Digital Transformation

Step 4 → Boost Your Online Content

Step 5 → Reach More Customers 

Utilizing this plan, you can attack every goal on your list with confidence and achieve your best results yet.

Do yourself a favor and view our free Ebook here and get started today.

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How to Keep Fighting When the Going Gets Tougher

Sign up and get Premium Content on building personal and professional wealth!Life can get tough, but it’s important to keep fighting for the better times. In particular, due to Covid-19, many more people will be struggling with various challenges right now, whether that’s redundancy, illness, inability to move around freely, a reduction in contact with friends and family, or the death of a loved one.

Let’s explore a few ways in which you can keep fighting and get yourself through the difficult times.

1. Meet Your Basic Needs

If there is only one thing you manage to do, ensure your basic needs are met. Our bodies are often very forgiving to us during those odd occasions where we might abuse them, but over the long term, it’s certainly much happier with some simple TLC.

We’re not talking about running a 5K every day. We’re talking about two things:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating regularly

If that’s all you achieve, that will give you the foundation to start fighting when you’re ready. It’s extremely difficult to keep up the fight mentally if you are physically drained. They are interlinked.

It’s okay if all you did today was survive.

2. Change Any Expectations You Have of Yourself

It is okay to slow down and reduce the number of things you have on your plate. In fact, it’s unrealistic to think that you can perform at your full potential when going through a difficult time.

Understand and accept that you are going through a rough patch and allow yourself to adjust to this period in your life. If you do not understand and accept this, you will undoubtedly feel guilty or disappointed for not being able to perform at the same levels as before. This, in turn, will reduce your ability to keep fighting.

The likelihood is that you will not have the same level of productivity or energy as before. So, reset the bar of what “good” looks like.

There might have been a time where leaving the house wasn’t even something you gave any consideration to. Now? Well, the days you manage to leave the house might be a big accomplishment. Get through each day, one by one, by resetting what success looks like relative to what you’re going through.

3. Tackle the Problem Head on

Once you find small moments of mental or physical energy, use this to start tackling your problems head on.

If you’re grieving over the lost of a loved one, and you’ve been struggling to accept it, start allowing yourself to think of them along with whatever emotions come to surface. Do this in small bursts so that you start allowing your brain to process what has happened without overwhelming yourself.

Then, once you feel like you’ve exhausted all your energy, go back to focusing on those basics until you’re ready to try again.

If you’ve been made redundant and feel at a dead-end with new opportunities, take small bursts of energy to start reaching out to other people for help: call friends to see if they know of any opportunities at their workplace or walk around locally to see what’s available.

Switch up your approach now and then so that you are not always trying the same thing day in day out, as that can be extremely demotivating.

You might not be lucky right away, but the point here is to be comfortable with small and consistent effort over time so that you do not burn yourself out. It’s better to apply for 100 jobs over the course of 3 months than to apply for 100 jobs on one day and then taking your foot off the gas for the following month. If this happens, the next time you are ready to apply for another 100 jobs, it will seem like a mountain of a task.

4. Be Kind to Yourself

Whatever it is that you’re going through, make it part of your routine to do something every day that makes you happy. Don’t focus on the big, unsustainable gestures like trips abroad, especially if you are experiencing financial difficulties.

Focus on the smaller pleasures in life, like having a cup of really good coffee or a hot bath. Something small and something just for you, every day. Also, remind yourself often what you’re fighting for and why.

Being kind to yourself will give you that little extra push to keep going((TED Ideas: How to be kinder to yourself)). Care about yourself as you would care for a friend going through a similar thing.

5. Remember That Life Is About ups and Downs

Sayings like this are so well ingrained in our minds often because they are true. It might be unhelpful to hear this when you’re on a downwards path because hearing it doesn’t automatically change anything. However, the perspective is important.

You only know what “down” feels like because you’ve previously experienced the “‘up.” The reason why you keep fighting when you’re down is so that you can experience the opposite once more.

6. Reduce Your Exposure to Things That Trigger Negative Emotions

When you’re feeling weak, the last thing you need is to allow into your life are things that trigger negative emotions in you. Cut them all out, whether that’s the news, social media, or unhelpful people in your circle.

This advice stands at all points during your life. It would be wise to remove as many of the things in your life that make you feel worse, but it’s especially true when the going has got tougher because you’re less likely to be able to maintain perspective on your life.

For example, when you’re mentally strong, you might be fine watching the news, which constantly reports on disasters, tragedies, and other negative events, because you know that life is not always like this. But when you’re mentally weak, you might convince yourself that life is all doom and gloom. The news hasn’t changed—your state of mind has.

Surround yourself with positivity as much as possible. It will make a difference. And if you feel like you might be creating your own negativity, read 7 Powerful Ways to Stop Negative Thinking.

7. Get Help

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you feel like you can’t keep fighting. We’d all like to think we’re capable and strong enough to get through everything, but the reality is that we all need a helping hand sometimes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Most people find that when they are open and vulnerable with somebody, that person is open and vulnerable in return. It’s also a humbling experience, and one that can allow you to release a lot of anxiety and grief.

Sharing is best done with others who understand what you’re experiencing—whether that’s because they are experiencing the same thing right now or because they’ve experienced the same thing previously. The trick will be finding this person or people.

Think about how guarded you might be about your feelings, and you might realize that other people are the same. We’ve been brought up to think that showing weakness is a negative thing, which is a shame because there is probably somebody out there who could do with your ear as well.

Online forums are a great way to find support because they focus on the problem at hand, and you’ll always find people going through similar issues. You may not get a solution to your troubles, but sometimes just being able to share your feelings is enough.

Final Thoughts

It can be difficult to maintain the energy to keep fighting when things get tough in life, but by practicing a few of the simple tips above, you can rebuild your mental stamina and get back to fighting for a better life for yourself. Take care of yourself, and then focus on taking care what’s outside of you.

More Tips on Getting Through Tough Times

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Reimagine Your Finances In 2021 With This $40 Course Bundle

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3. Sign up for Premium!Reimagine Your Finances In 2021 With This $40 Course Bundle

Money talks. Whether it’s personal or professional, finances rule your life in some form or fashion. High school and college classes never taught us how to handle money which they should have, so now it’s your time for a do-over with The Complete Learn Finance Super Bundle.

Business owners and anyone involved in the finance field will step into their most impressive and productive forms with a 12-course bundle, jam-packed with 82 hours of applicable information.

It used to cost $2388 to have lifetime access to courses that cover how to input financial data into Excel to visualize it, accounting best practices, and all-encompassing walkthroughs on everything related to taxes. All of this valuable training and so much more, comes at the low price of $39.99.

Outside of the skills that’ll impress your employer, you can get a hold of your spending habits with courses that can lead to financial freedom. You’ll understand budgeting and investing like the back of your hand, and massive credit card debt will be a thing of the past.

All of the instructors consistently score above a 4-star rating from satisfied users – and it’s no secret why. These professionals have come together to teach you how to be a jack of all trades. You’ve got Certified Public Accountant, Robert Steeler, in your corner, as well as MBA Professor and Venture Capitalist, Chris Haroun, and that’s only a few of the finance-driven instructors that frequent online finance courses.

Step into the new year equipped with a wealth of information that can change your life and the lives of those around you. You can score The Complete Learn Finance Super Bundle for $39.99 from the Black Enterprise Shop today.

Prices subject to change.

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Social Media Marketing Strategies-Free Ebook

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Get started building wealth today!

Transform Your Life!Where do YOU want Your life to be in the next 5 years?  Have YOU ever wondered?  Do YOU have a plan?  Does it matter to YOU?  Are YOU relying on the economy instead of creating YOUR own economy?Introducing…The Wealth Building Series on The Digital Vibe!A life creating  podcast series that will get YOU to start thinking about YOUR future   The Wealth Building Series is a  professional development, entrepreneurial, and personal development “how to series” that  will help to inspire YOU to get there! 

A podcast ought to be informational, inspiring, and of course educational.  That is the objective of The Digital Vibe Podcast.  To show you how to improve your personal and professional life to create a lifestyle that willl bring you fulfillment and financial rewards!With topics on :

and so much more at NO cost to you!Should you desicide you want something MORE then you should look no further than the Premium Content on The Digital Vibe.  You may be wondering what does “Premium” include and how much more will I get other than what I already get for free?!  Need I say more!Your wish is my command!  Here’s what’s incuded in Premium:

  • Internet Marketing course Instructions that include “how to start on the Internet and the basics you need to succeed”.
  • Personal and professional development content that is designed to give you the tools you need to have a total life balance when it comes to your personal and professional life.
  • Archived audio. At times Premium may include archived audio podcasts from the host and creator of The Digital Vibe Podcast, Annette Thomas, who is an Internet Entreprneur.
  • Suprise!  Who knows what else will be included.  Sign up to find out!

Here’s a sample..

The Entrepreneur Has One Main Role – The Visionary

Yes, in the beginning you may be filling many of the roles to get your business off of the ground. However, all the while you’re creating a business that fits your vision, you’re planning how to capitalize on your own personal strengths. You’re leveraging the strengths of others, outsourcing and delegating when necessary and possible and you’re building your business. Each and every step taken is based on your vision of your business.

What Is Your Vision?

Now, if you’re tackling this report as we’ve suggested, you’ve already documented your definition of success, right?

If you haven’t, please consider going back to the introduction and taking that action. If you’re feeling rebellious or contrary, then fine, don’t do it, but this next step is going to be more difficult.

A vision is defined as what you want for your business. It is different from a mission statement, which we’ll get to next, because your vision is all about you. Your vision statement defines what you want your business to become.

It may answer the following questions:

  • Who is your idealcustomer?
  • Wht is your business product orservice?
  • Do you have a geographic reach – for example, “I offer themost comprehensive website about self improvement in the world”.
  • Your vision statement will also be stated in the present tense – as if it is happening now even though you may be looking a few years into the future.
  • Your vision statement will be emotional. Remember this is about you and your definition of success. If you’re not emotional andpassionate about it, no one else will be. 
  • Your vision will be powerfully descriptive. Add as much detail as you can muster. Know that this isn’t a test. There isn’t a right or wrong answer. Your vision statement is personal. You can write out a very rough draft and then hone it to make it fit your vision.

So, if growth is what you want and you want to gain knowledge and expertise from an expert in the industry of Internet Business and Marketing then you are where YOU need to Be! Wheather you are a beginner or advanced as long as you are curious and have a willingness to learn you will succeed no matter what in life! You simply MUST try and make effort to improve your better tommorrow!

Internet Entrepreneur, Podcast Creator, Host, and Producer Annette Thomas

Quote..

 Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth. 

Bradley Whitford

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Buying Local Statistics for 2021: Survey Finds 70% of Americans Shop Small

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Amazon and other leading ecommerce giants have changed the shopping experience in recent years. Easy one-click buys and same-day delivery are what 80 percent of shoppers now look for when shopping. This ease earned Amazon $96.15 billion in yearly revenue by the end of September 2020 — all while the COVID-19 pandemic continued. Stay-at-home orders throughout the year and the need to support small businesses grew as large ecommerce sites took the spotlight. We set out to understand buying local statistics to see who’s shopping local, and why and how they’re doing so.

Small businesses were affected greatly in 2020. Due to COVID-19, many shoppers opted for online orders and same-day delivery — things most small businesses couldn’t match. As a result, small business sales decreased, and up to 50 percent of shops closed in some countries.

For the local shops still standing, the overwhelming support of consumers definitely helped. Just over 82 percent of consumers say they’d spend more to support local businesses after the pandemic. To figure out where holiday budgets were spent this season, we went straight to the source.

We surveyed 1,500 Americans and uncovered:

  • 70 percent of consumers are supporting local businesses by shopping online only, or a mix of online and in-store.
  • 57 percent of Americans say their main reason for shopping small is to keep money local.
  • Additionally, 38 percent of shoppers say they want to support their community and local creators.
  • 28 percent of shoppers buy local for better service and 19 percent to help local non-profits.
  • Millennials and Gen X consumers are most likely to support local businesses by only shopping online (45 percent).
  • People who choose to shop in-store at small businesses are mostly over the age of 45 (56 percent).

Additional Buying Local Statistics:

  • One in five consumers were focused on shopping small businesses in the winter of 2020.
  • In 2019, shoppers spending at small businesses instead of department stores increased by 3 million.
  • $12.9 billion was spent during Small Business Saturday in 2020, down 65 percent from 2019 ($20 billion).
  • One third of shoppers in 2020 were buying more gift cards from small businesses.
  • For every $100 spent at small businesses, $48 is put back into the local economy.
  • Small business online sales increased by 18 percent from 2018 to 2019.
  • 77 percent of shoppers admit they’d like to see face masks worn when shopping at local shops.
  • 20 percent of small businesses in the U.S. are working on building ecommerce storefronts as well.

How Consumers Are Shopping Small

55% of Americans Shopped In-Store, Despite the Pandemic

Even with social distancing recommendations and stay-at-home orders, over half of shoppers are still making purchases in-store to support local businesses. According to the UNCTAD, these purchases included personal care items, digital entertainment, food, fashion, and healthcare items. Shoppers that chose online checkouts over in-person experiences were mostly made by millennials and gen Xers.

Even with the overwhelming support of local shoppers, small businesses struggled in 2020. The U.S. Census showed that educational services, healthcare, arts, entertainment, food services, and other public administrations were faced with hardships months after the pandemic struck. Without the ability to comfortably eat out, attend school in-person, or enjoy indoor gatherings, it’s more difficult to show up for industries that require in-person attendance.

Why People Shop Small

Majority of Consumers Shop Small to Keep Money Local

Our survey showed 57 percent of consumers say they shop local to keep money close to home, and 38 percent of consumers support local businesses to feel connected with their community. According to Fundera, 108 million shoppers spent over $12.9 billion on 2020’s Small Business Saturday (compared to $20 billion in 2019).

And, regardless of 2020’s events, 28 percent of people think the economy is in “good” health. However, 75 percent of businesses reported that COVID-19 had a negative effect on their business.

Why Shop Local? 5 Benefits to Supporting Small Businesses

Why Shop Local? 5 Benefits to Supporting Small Businesses

The “why” behind shopping local can vary between consumers. Some shoppers may want to keep money local; others may be looking for a connection to their community. To see the advantages of supporting local business owners, keep reading, or jump to our family-friendly downloadable printables below.

1. Purchases Help Your Community

Money you spend locally goes directly to your community. Every dollar you spend is invested into the business and those who run it. In other words, you’re helping locals keep their jobs, create more jobs, and invest in other local community initiatives. To take your mindful money practices to the next level, consider supporting local shops the next time you need beauty products, groceries, or a new wardrobe.

2. Local Shops May Be More Sustainable

When small businesses work together with other small businesses, there can be opportunities to cut down on packaging, overall waste, and travel emissions. For example, local grocery stores may carry produce from local farms, which cuts down on transportation costs, travel emissions, and packaging used to transport each product. As a result, your money invested locally could help the earth and your wallet.

3. Customer Experience Is the Priority

Big box stores have more employees, customers, and issues to deal with every day — while local shop owners may not. Small business owners usually have fewer customers, making those that shop with them more valuable. Everyone that comes into the store becomes their top priority. If you have questions or concerns about products or services, you’ll likely be able to get in touch with the owner faster than you would a big box customer service representative.

4. Fresher (and More Unique) Products and Produce

You can find a variety of items at local stores you may not find anywhere else. When it comes to grocery shopping, you’ll likely be able to find locally sourced produce at smaller stores. You get to enjoy eating fresher produce while supporting multiple small businesses. For instance, your weekly groceries may be fresher from your local farmers market than a department store.

5. You Put a Face to the Creator

In most cases, small store owners spend the most time face-to-face with their customers. You’re more likely to interact with the owner than the CEO of an established company. This means you’ll have a better chance of connecting with your community and you’ll know exactly who you’re supporting.

To ensure you stick to your budget, download and fill out our shopping checklist. Write out each item you may need at your local small businesses. As you shop, go down the list and check off every item as you buy.

 

Download Printables

Shopping locally can have more benefits than shopping online or at department stores. Money invested into small businesses supports your community. To give your money greater meaning than budgeting and spending on necessities, invest it locally. Supporting local businesses can help your community during tough times, and give you a better shopping experience along the way.

Methodology:
This study consisted of one survey question conducted using Google Surveys. The sample consisted of no less than 1,500 completed responses per question. Post-stratification weighting has been applied to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the total population. This survey ran during December 2020.

The post Buying Local Statistics for 2021: Survey Finds 70% of Americans Shop Small appeared first on MintLife Blog.

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CDFIs Are Keeping Minority Businesses Afloat During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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3. Sign up for Premium!CDFIs Are Keeping Minority Businesses Afloat During The Coronavirus Pandemic

You may not recognize one when you pass it on the street, but community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are the lifeblood for minority businesses and communities.

CDFIs are private financial institutions that are 100% committed to delivering affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities.

Unlike traditional banks like Wells Fargo or Bank of America, CDFIs are profitable, but put the community in which they serve first. CDFIs provide financing for small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate, affordable housing, and other projects; CDFIs spark job growth.

“What we know about disadvantaged businesses owned by lower wealth entrepreneurs in low- and moderate-income communities is that there’s a lack of both access and experience when it comes to preparation for financing, but–also after you receive financing–the expertise and the sort of exposure and the involvement or need to effectively manage through the financing venture,” Ted Archer, the head of small business philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co, tells BLACK ENTERPRISE.

CDFIs are both organized to do this kind of work, but also required according to the certification by the department of treasury. And it’s why we see partnerships with them through financing and through other creative programming be so effective, because they can offer capital but plus. It’s “the plus” that makes their work so effective, Archer added.

Well-known CDFIs include Carver Bank, One United, and Citizen’s Trust. These banks were important to low-income communities and minority entrepreneurs before the coronavirus pandemic, but now they may be the only reason you don’t see “for lease” or “for sale signs” draped all over these communities.

When the pandemic began shutting down businesses in March, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created to help small businesses stay afloat. However, many large banks ignored small businesses and instead secured funds for their biggest clients.

However, CDFIs and Black-owned financial institutions stepped up, and by June received $10 billion in additional PPP funding from the Small Businesses Administration to give out. Additionally, JPMorgan Chase provided NDC, a CDFI, with $50 million in capital used for the PPP.

NDC used the funds to help more than 260 small businesses across the country and help retain more than 4,700 jobs.

The list of businesses that were saved by the program is too high to count, but Jay Reynolds of WolfCreek Consulting, a Florida-based staffing firm, knows just how important CDFIs were to his business.

“I had a couple conversations with NDC and we went through the numbers and they were able in a fairly straight fashion to get that PPP funding, and it came along at a time where it was absolutely necessary,” Reynolds tells BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Through NDC and having that conversation with them, [it] helped us through some terrible things happening to the business. I don’t want to say close or lay off people, but I could tell you that they literally made a difference.”

Despite being a big bank, JPMorgan Chase has made significant investments in CDFIs before the pandemic. In 2018, the bank committed $3 million to help CDFI collaboration in Ohio’s three largest cities. In 2019 the bank committed another $3 million for a similar project in Memphis, TN.

Now with the $900 billion stimulus package being agreed to last month comes a second infusion of funds for the PPP. This time around, $12 billion will be specifically earmarked for CDFIs and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs).

President-elect Joe Biden has also promised a third stimulus package and Kevin Goldsmith, the community development tax credits program manager for JPMorgan Chase, says there is still room for improvement when it comes to the PPP.

“CDFIs will continue to play an important role in the next package of PPP funds, and provide that technical assistance with small businesses to not only be aware of the program, but also to navigate and process those loans and the forgiveness to help those businesses.” Goldsmith says to BLACK ENTERPRISE.

As the pandemic nears its one-year anniversary, many small businesses are still fighting their way through the pandemic. Some businesses have had to adapt to redesign for the digital age, while others have had to go basic, interacting with the public on the street.

No matter how small businesses are staying open, Archer believes they deserve a ton of credit for hanging on during an unprecedented time.

“It speaks to the resilience and ingenuity of businesses, many of which are small and underserved and faced challenges well before the pandemic and well before the ripple effects of 2020 small businesses and small businesses that are owned by minorities,” Archer said.

 

 

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