54 Famous Quotes on Empathy From Your Favourite Books and Icons

Empathy can be defined as the ability to truly understand the feelings of others. It’s the ability to put yourself into someone else’s shoes, be aware of their emotions and their perspectives.

People usually become more empathic after going through hardship and pain. It’s easier to understand what someone else is going through when you’ve already experienced something similar. However, we are truly empathic when we are simply sensitive to how other people are feeling. For example, we don’t necessarily have to lose someone to realize how painful it can be.

Empathy is something that can be taught. Adults can help children develop higher levels of empathy by exposing them to different worldviews and by teaching them to be kind, generous, patient and forgiving. Learning how to care for others is crucial for our personal development and for creating healthy and meaningful relationships.

Being empathic is a key ingredient to make the world around you a better place and to become the best person you can be.

Here are 54 Famous Empathy Quotes from Brené Brown, Dalai Lama and Other Inspirational Icons

Empathy quotes by Brené Brown

Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’

Brené Brown

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

Brené Brown

Empathy is connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole 

Brené Brown

I believe that what we regret most are our failures of courage, whether it’s the courage to be kinder, to show up, to say how we feel, to set boundaries, to be good to ourselves. For that reason, regret can be the birthplace of empathy.

Brené Brown

Empathy quotes by Dalai Lama

Looking at various means of developing compassion, I think empathy is an important factor: the ability to appreciate others’ suffering.

Dalai Lama

Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.

Dalai Lama

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Dalai Lama

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama

Modern education is premised strongly on materialistic values. It is vital that when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts, a key element of which has to be the nurturing of our compassionate nature.

Dalai Lama

To the extent that our experience of suffering reminds us of what everyone else also endures, it serves as a powerful inspiration to practice compassion and avoid causing others pain.

Dalai Lama

Empathy quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

Harper Lee

Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. 

Harper Lee

So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody, and I’d rather it be me than that household of children out there.

Harper Lee

If we just let them know we forgive ’em, that we’ve forgotten it, then this whole thing’ll blow over.

Harper Lee

Mrs. Merriweather’s large brown eyes always filled with tears when she considered the oppressed.

Harper Lee

Famous quotes about empathy

I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.


The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.


You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.


Anyone who has experienced a certain amount of loss in their life has empathy for those who have experienced loss.


Have compassion and empathy in your heart. Many people are suffering deep emotional anguish beneath the surface of their lives, and smile even as they hurt inside.


I call him religious who understands the suffering of others.


It is true that I am endowed with an absurd sensitiveness, what scratches others tears me to pieces.


 When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.


Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.


I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.


When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.


Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.


I’m not going to be that hard on you. Please don’t be that hard on yourself. We all go through some challenges, we all go through failure.


When a good man is hurt all who would be called good must suffer with him.


We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.


Empathy quotes for kids

If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.


Always stop to think whether your fun may be the cause of another’s unhappiness.


We may have all come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.


Empathy is the ability to step outside of your own bubble and into the bubbles of other people.


Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?


Everyday you need to take some actions – actions to improve your life and actions to improve someone else’s life.


Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.


Quotes on empathy for students

Empathy is a skill like any other human skill. If you get a chance to practice, you can get better at it.


Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins.


Empathy represents the foundation skill for all the social competencies important for work.


Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.


The nature of humanity, its essence, is to feel another’s pain as one’s own, and to act to take that pain away,. There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.


Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own.


If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own.


Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.


Quotes about lack of empathy

One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.


The greatest cruelty is our casual blindness to the despair of others.


The death of human empathy is one of the earliest and most telling signs of a culture about to fall into barbarism.


I believe that lack of empathy is behind many problems, and I believe that it’s disrupting our society.


I think a lot of the mistakes that have been made in the world have been through a lack of empathy. If you can identify with someone else and empathize with someone else, then activism is a short step away.


I told you once that I was searching for the nature of evil. I think I’ve come close to defining it: a lack of empathy. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.


Humankind seems to have an enormous capacity for savagery, for brutality, for lack of empathy, for lack of compassion.


All wars derive from lack of empathy: the incapacity of one to understand and accept the likeness or difference of another. Whether in nations or the encounters of race and sex, competition then replaces compassion, subjection excludes mutuality.


The post 54 Famous Quotes on Empathy From Your Favourite Books and Icons appeared first on Goalcast.

How Vanessa Laine Bryant And Her Children Are Doing After Kobe Bryant’s Death

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna tragically died the 26th of January 2020 in a helicopter crash en route to a basketball game in Ventura County, California.

But while the tragedy itself is well known, what many don’t know much about is how Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Laine Bryant, and their surviving children have coped with devastating loss over the course of the past year. After all, as the old saying goes, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.”

Who is Vanessa Laine Bryant and how did she meet Kobe?

Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa Laine Bryant (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Vanessa Laine Bryant, 38, is a former model and music video star, as well as a media personality and businesswoman. Up until she met Kobe, Vanessa Urbieta Cornejo Laine was just a regular Latina teen growing up in Los Angeles, and had led a relatively sheltered existence.

The would-be couple met in 1999 on the set of a music video when Vanessa was just 17 and still in high school, and Kobe was barely into his 20s. She was modelling at the time, and he was already a basketball sensation after having been in the NBA for just three seasons.

Vanessa had a gig as an extra in a music video and, lo and behold, Kobe happened to be on set too, having decided to launch a side career as a rapper. Sparks flew. Her friends didn’t believe her at first, but  then they did. Their romance was one with staying power, but the uproar surrounding their relationship was so intense that Vanessa had to finish her senior year being home schooled. Six months in, Kobe and Vanessa were engaged, and they got married once she turned 18.

Given how young they were when they met, Vanessa and Kobe had 20 whole years of marriage together before his untimely death. Although their marriage hit some very stressful rough patches along the way (in part due to Kobe’s admission of adultery and an associated sexual assault accusation) which may have contributed to Vanessa suffering a miscarriage around that time, the couple pulled through, reconciled, and did their very best to honor their union and their growing family. 

How Vanessa Laine Bryant and her children are getting through tough times

Just weeks before Kobe and Gianna’s tragic deaths, Showtime Basketball’s All the Smoke podcast ran an interview in which Bryant discussed just how it was that he and Vanessa had managed to make it through. Although their mutual drive to succeed was part of it, the rough times they weathered together also made them stronger, he said.

That’s all the beauty of it: having the persistence and determination to work through things — very, very tough things — and we’ve been able to do that.

Vanessa Laine Bryant

Maybe it was exactly this determination to work through very tough things that has helped Vanessa Laine Bryant and her children make it through. 

Vanessa and Kobe had four daughters together, and Kobe liked to call them his princesses. While Kobe’s relationship with his parents was strained, he was an attentive and devoted father to his kids. In the weeks leading up to his death, he posted numerous pictures of his girls. He was a very vocal about how proud he was of his daughters. 

Just a week before his death, he celebrated the 17th birthday of his eldest girl Natalia, posting a gorgeous picture of her in a red dress. “Happy Birthday my baby. I love you beyond measure. You will always be my little Principessa #17,” he wrote. Natalia is known for her prowess as a volleyball player.

Gianna was a budding basketball talent keen on following in her father’s footsteps. She wanted to join the WNBA. In 2018, Kobe told Jimmy Kimmel, “I’m telling you, the best thing that happens is when we go out and fans come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me, they’ll be like, ‘You got to have a boy. You and V got to have a boy, somebody to carry on the tradition, the legacy.’ She’s like, ‘oi, I got this. You don’t need no boy for that, I got this.’ That’s right, yes you do. You got this.”

Bianka is just 4 years old and the couple’s third-born. She looks a lot like her father. Nicknamed “BB,” Kobe was known to share lots of pics with little Bianka. Vanessa maintains that she is a sweet, joyful child with a contagious smile.

Capri, born in June 2019, is the youngest Bryant, and was only six months old when her father and sister passed. Given “Kobe” as a middle name, her nickname “Koko” grew from that. At first, Kobe hesitated to give his youngest child his own name, but, as we all know, it turned out to be timely, as he had always said he hoped his children would carry on his legacy in some way.

Vanessa lost the love of her life

Anyone who’s ever lost someone close to them knows that you never fully get over it, but time heals all wounds—or so they say. Vanessa Laine Bryant and her children may not be over the tragic passing of Kobe and Gianna, but one thing’s for sure: they have stood by one another in support and love, propping each other up as needed, while also taking advantage of any opportunity to remember and honour their dearly departed.  

In June, nearly five months after the crash, Vanessa celebrated Capri’s first birthday, posting an affectionate throwback photo of herself and Kobe cradling their baby girl. “Happy 1st Birthday Capri! Mommy, Daddy, Nani, Gigi and BB love you SO much!!!” she wrote. “God Bless you sweet princess. Capri Kobe Bryant a.k.a. ‘Koko-Bean’ named after her dearly missed daddy, Kobe Bean Bryant. We miss you SO much Gigi and Daddy.” 

Milestones without Kobe

In fact, the Laine Bryant family has commemorated several important milestones without their lost loved ones, including what would have been Gianna’s 14th birthday in May. Natalia paid tribute to her late little sister on Instagram. Alongside a photo of the two sisters hugging and smiling, she wrote, “Happy 14th Birthday Gigi! ❤ I miss your smile everyday but I know you’re always smiling down on us from heaven with daddy. I LOVE YOU.”

On May 5, just four days after what would have marked Gianna’s 14th birthday, Vanessa celebrated her own birthday. Her daughters threw her a party, taking extra care with beautiful flower arrangements and an abundance of colourful piñatas to honor their mother. Natalia gave her a birthday card which read, “You are strongest person I know and I am so grateful to have you as my mom!”

Perhaps, the most heartbreaking reminder of her loss was finding a letter that Kobe had written for her ahead of her 38th birthday.

“Yesterday I found an envelope labeled To: The Love of my Life. From, Tu Papi,” Vanessa said in an Instagram post. “I waited to open one more letter on my birthday. It gave me something to look forward to today.”

The letter was also a reminder of the kind of relationship she and Kobe shared.

The irony is that Kobe had a photo of me drawn with an Angel holding me up by an artist on the cover. Missing the Love of my Life and my sweet little Mamacita – my fellow Taurus. Grateful to wake up to my 3 sweet girls today. Wish we were all together. #MyBirthdayWish.

What she has to say about grief

Almost a year after the tragic incident that took her husband and daughter’s lives, Vanessa opened up about dealing with grief on her Instagram story. She shared a powerful message that is sure to resonate with anyone who has experienced loss:

I want to say this for people struggling with grief and heartbreaking loss. Find your reason to live. I know it’s hard. I look at my daughters and I try to push through that feeling for them. Death is guaranteed but living the rest of the day isn’t. Find your reason.

Vanessa Bryant

Today, Kobe’s L.A. Lakers teammate Pau Gasol and his wife Cat McDonnell have formed a deep bond with Vanessa and helped her raise her kids. They regularly share heartwarming pictures of the Bryants on Instagram, calling them family.

There is no denying that Vanessa and her children will deal with their loss for the rest of their lives, but they have their reason to keep going. Sometimes, the reason is not evident. Sometimes, it can be very simple. Regardless, Vanessa’s powerful will to go on and show up for her daughters proves that there is a way to keep living, even after a devastating tragedy.

More inspiring stories:

The post How Vanessa Laine Bryant And Her Children Are Doing After Kobe Bryant’s Death appeared first on Goalcast.

7 Science-Backed Ways To Stay Sharp, Alert And Focused

Sign up and get Premium Content on building personal and professional wealth!The average American drinks three cups of coffee per day. If you’re anything like me, that morning (and afternoon) pick-me-up is a lot like an “on button” for your brain. Maybe you’re more of a tea person. Either way, a caffeine jolt can certainly help you stay alert, and some studies even link coffee consumption to improved health outcomes.((Johns Hopkins Medicine: 9 Reasons Why (the Right Amount of) Coffee Is Good for You))

But if your goal is to improve your work performance, there are better ways to stay sharp than simply brewing a fourth cup of your drink. Adopting long-term strategies for a more focused, alert brain can equip you to be more effective and productive on the job and in life.

You’re not sure where to begin? Here are 7 science-backed tips to flip your “on” switch at work and stay sharp—and keep it that way.

1. Allow Your Mind to Wander

Staying focused is essential for getting work done and doing it well. So, why would you allow your mind to wander?

As counterproductive as it sounds, occasionally letting yourself get off track can actually improve alertness and, as a result, productivity.((BBC WorkLife: Five Ways Science Can Improve Your Focus))

All tasks require brainpower, but full-blown concentration takes up a lot of headspace. If you’re always focusing on just one task, your brain will have to work harder to resist thinking about (and doing) other things.((Nature Communications: Controllability of structural brain networks)) As a result, your mind may grow fatigued, which will result in declining focus and productivity.

Before you start planning what’s for dinner tonight, consider this caveat. Psychology researchers say that while intentional, planned mind-wandering can improve the ability to stay alert, accidental daydreaming can have the opposite effect.((ScienceDirect: Individual variation in intentionality in the mind-wandering state is reflected in the integration of default-mode, frontoparietal, and limbic networks))

So, the best way to leverage a wandering mind is to use it as a strategic tool. For example, if you’re struggling to stay focused, take a break to do another problem-solving task, then go back to your original project. Along with gaining a fresh perspective on the task at hand, you’ll also free up mental space by checking a separate item off your to-do list.

2. Stop for a Break

Breaks don’t always come naturally to me, especially if I’m buried in work. (Ask my wife, who’s been known to tantalize me away from my desk with a delicious meal.) The problem is, working for a long time without stopping isn’t always as productive as it sounds. Your brain needs the occasional break to stay sharp.((BBC WorkLife: Five Ways Science Can Improve Your Focus))

That doesn’t mean, of course, that you can sneak away from the office any time the desire strikes you. What it means is that being intentional about when and how you take breaks can drastically improve your alertness and focus.

Studies show that alertness occurs in cycles, and most people can’t concentrate for longer than 90-minute increments without requiring a 15-minute break. Scientists agree that the key to a focus-inducing break is to totally distract your mind from what you were doing before.((PubMed.gov: Brief and rare mental “breaks” keep you focused: deactivation and reactivation of task goals preempt vigilance decrements))

Instead of pivoting to another work task or even scrolling through your emails, do a puzzle, take a walk outside, or hop on a phone call with a friend.

3. Train Your Brain

The good news about your brain: It’s malleable. If something doesn’t come naturally, including focus and alertness, you can train yourself.

Focusing on cognition-enhancing activities (translation: playing games that require strategic thinking) is one way to do that. According to one 2015 study, adults who spend 15 minutes a day, five days a week, on brain-training activities such as crossword puzzles experienced improved concentration.((PLoS One: Enhancing Cognitive Abilities with Comprehensive Training: A Large, Online, Randomized, Active-Controlled Trial))

Practicing mindfulness and meditation is another way to train your brain to focus. While scientific research confirms it comes with a slew of health benefits, a 2011 review suggests mindfulness can improve attention, focus, and memory.((PubMed.gov: Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings))

If getting away with a yoga mat for full-blown meditation practice isn’t realistic, start small. I like to take a few deep breaths at my desk while I focus on the sensations in my body. You could also simply notice your surroundings with all five of your senses—smell, touch, sight, and so on. Even micro-mindfulness exercises like these can equip your brain to keep your brain alert and focused when it matters most.

4. Get Some Exercise

Your brain and body are intimately connected, which means that what you do physically has a direct effect on how you feel mentally. Routine exercise—even going for a brisk walk or practicing yoga a few times a week—is a fast and simple way to improve your brain function so you can stay sharp at work.

Research consistently shows people who exercise routinely and are more physically fit are also more effective at completing cognitive tasks that require sustained attention.((PLoS One: Cognitive Performance and Heart Rate Variability: The Influence of Fitness Level)) Another study found that older adults who exercised more than 75 minutes per week had better attention spans and abilities to focus.((PLoS One: Dose-Response of Aerobic Exercise on Cognition: A Community-Based, Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial))

But those aren’t the only ways exercise equips your brain for productivity. The endorphins released when you work out can also help you get better at controlling your impulses, which in turn can help you block out distractions. You’ll also notice that staying active boosts your overall physical energy levels, so you can dodge falling asleep at your desk.((Psychology Compass: A Sustainable Formula to Improve Concentration and Focus))

5. Declutter Your Office Space

If I’m having a tough time staying engaged and on a task at work, one of the first things I do is look around me. More often than not, the cluttered state of my desk and office directly reflects the cluttered state of mind.

A few minutes spent tidying up your surroundings could make a big impact on your cognitive abilities, according to scientific research. One group of researchers found that having too much clutter in one’s environment actually decreases the brain’s capacity to focus and process information by creating an additional distraction.((Princeton Alumni Weekly: Your Attention, Please))

Next time you catch yourself fighting to focus, consider your immediate surroundings. Don’t worry—you don’t have to overhaul your entire office. Instead, equip your brain to stay on task by minimizing visible clutter. You might be surprised about the impact of spending 10 minutes cleaning up!

6. Improve Your Sleep

A poor night’s sleep is a surefire way to sabotage your alertness, no matter how many cups of coffee you consume. According to one study, even one night of sleep deprivation can interfere with self-control and attentiveness.((NCBI: Interactions between sleep habits and self-control))

Cutting out of work early to get some rest might not feel productive to you, but ensuring you get ample sleep will only benefit your brain and work in the long-run. Remember that a well-rested body is a well-rested brain. So, if you want to stay sharp on the job, don’t burn yourself out logging hours that interfere with your ability to rest.

If a full eight hours simply isn’t possible, sleep for a bit during the day. Studies show short power naps can improve focus and energy, which contribute to your ability to stay sharp.((Wiley Online Library: Benefits of napping in healthy adults: impact of nap length, time of day, age, and experience with napping))

7. Don’t Rush

We’re all guilty of powering through our piles of work, myself included. But if you have a lot on your plate, rushing through your to-do list won’t do you any favors. To effectively work through everything that needs to get done, be as deliberate and slow as you can. Not only will you save time on cleaning up mistakes, but you’ll also sustain your ability to stay focused.

The scientific case for slowing down traces back to basic neuroscience. Our brains have two systems for thinking: an automatic and fast one, along with a slower, more logical system. As you can imagine, the faster way is linked with a more anxious state.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s adaptive to be frantic when you’re being chased down by a saber tooth tiger, but hurrying away from your predator also compromises your ability to focus.((NCBI: Stress signaling pathways that impair prefrontal cortex structure and function))

On the other hand, slowing yourself down activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which alleviates those anxious feelings and turns on the logical part of your brain.((Psychology Compass: A Sustainable Formula to Improve Concentration and Focus)) So, you’ll not only be able to focus on the task at hand when you intentionally slow your mind and body down, but you’ll do a better job at coming up with creative ideas and solving problems, too.

Final Thoughts

If you’re struggling to stay sharp, alert and focused, don’t be discouraged—even the most productive people find themselves in a rut from time to time.

The important thing is to catch yourself veering off track so you can intervene as early and effectively as possible. By implementing science-backed strategies to stay sharp, you’ll not only become more effective in your work, but you’ll also reap mental and physical benefits that could improve your entire life.

More Tips on How to Stay Sharp and Focused

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TikTok para Influencer Principiantes: Aumente Seu Negócio Passo a Passo em Até 100 Mil Seguidores no TikTok em 30 Dias: Dicas que o Ajudarão a se Torn

Já ouviu falar do TikTok?Se não, está na hora de começar a aprender.
TikTok é um dos aplicativos mais badalados do mundo neste momento e é todo sobre compartilhamento móvel de vídeos.
O aplicativo foi desenvolvido na China, e embora não tenha alcançado fama quando foi lançado pela primeira vez em 2016, mais pessoas – e empresas – estão se interessando cada vez mais por ele.

Se você é um indivíduo que quer aprender mais sobre este aplicativo de rede social ou se é um empresário procurando por maneiras de divulgar a sua marca, este e-book será de grande ajuda. Aqui, você aprenderá muitas informações interessantes e úteis, como por exemplo:

  • O que é o TikTok
  • O básico sobre o TikTok (como registrar, navegar no aplicativo, e mais)
  • Dicas práticas e estratégias para melhorar a sua visibilidade no TikTok
  • Como o TikTok pode melhorar o seu negócio
  • … e muito mais!

Este e-book servirá de guia curto, mas abrangente para você.

Ele contém dicas práticas e informações apresentadas de uma forma fácil de entender.

Após lê-lo, você pode começar a usar o TikTok imediatamente.

Então, do que você está esperando?
Baixe este e-book agora e aprenda tudo sobre esta tendência que está lentamente tomando conta do mundo!

‘You get three rings’– Ron Antipa of Alex Brown, a division of Raymond James, on the secret to true client service

Ron Antipa hangs his hat on a simple principle: You answer the phone within three rings.

“I don’t care what you’re doing, put whoever you’re with on hold,” says Ron. “I want them to have a live person on the phone.”

In the age of not-so-smart chatbots and automated phone trees, Ron’s dogged, reliable presence is something clients have come to expect. It’s why so many have been with him so long. This story explores how Financial Services experts, like Ron, build books of business that can survive anything.

Request Free!

How to make SMS & WhatsApp compliant for your firm

Most people no longer go anywhere without their mobile phones. Often people read and reply to messages in situations when they couldn’t answer a call. Whether busy, bored, in a noisy environment, in a quiet environment, messages provide an easy, fast, and discrete communication method for both you and your clients. Messaging also improves your relationship with clients, especially when you can connect with them on their preferred platform.

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Apply For The Brinc Accelerator Programs By 15 Feb & Get Your Startup Ready To Grow!

In 2020, COVID highlighted the fragility & interconnectedness of our global ecosystems, illustrating how actions in one place can have ripple effects all around the world. In the same light, it has also shown how if we work together we can rapidly develop groundbreaking solutions. 2020 gave us a unique opportunity to highlight the importance of keeping this global spirit and developing the tools, technologies, and processes to drive true change for the long term. Brinc’s belief that business and entrepreneurship is the only thing that can change the world has never been stronger.

That is why the Brinc Accelerator Programs are tailored to provide you with the necessary support, curriculum, and mentorship to help you succeed. Brinc boasts a proven track record with over 130 companies receiving investment capital, originating from more than 35 countries.

The venture capital & accelerator invests in game-changing innovation that fundamentally changes the way we move, what we eat, how we feel, and where we live for the better. With 10 accelerator programs across multiple verticals, Brinc is seeking the innovations of tomorrow, today.

Brinc is looking for startups from all over the world that are currently in the Pre-Seed to Series-A funding stages.

What’s In It For You

The 3-month intensive, remote accelerator program helps cultivate your startup into the best possible shape. Each cohort culminates in a Demo Day where the startups present their refined pitches to the local startup ecosystem. By participating, you access:

  • Mentorship: Brinc helps you get the early stages of your business done right
  • Network: Brinc connects you with its global network of investors & partners
  • Curriculum: The program curriculum is customized to your needs
  • Perks: Brinc’s partners offer their tools & services for you at discounted rates
  • Continuous Support: Brinc supports you throughout your startup journey, even after the program is complete

Moreover, Brinc also offers you the chance to receive investment capital to launch or scale your startup, boasting an average follow-on investment of US$ 1.1 million. Brinc’s total portfolio value currently exceeds US$ 400 million.

Empowering Game Changers by Investing in the Technologies of Tomorrow

Brinc has published key criteria that all future investments must commit to in order to receive investment and support. This is part of their drive to only back businesses that showcase a commitment to building better alternatives and understand the importance of climate action in their business decisions. Choosing a plant-based diet over animal-based diets, choosing climate-conscious brands, and reducing unnecessary energy usage are just a few examples of their criteria, which spans sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution.

Brinc’s investment goals will be driven predominantly through their accelerator programs. Brinc currently runs 11 global programs that invest in approximately 100 – 150 companies per year. They plan to scale this to 20+ programs over the next few years with similar investment volumes, enabling its ability to drive impact in over 1,000 investments over the next five years. Current programs include:

  • Alternative Protein
  • CleanTech
  • Food Technology
  • Food Waste
  • Logistics
  • MedTech
  • New Materials
  • Hardware & Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Mobility
  • Property Technology

Investment Round-Up

In 2020, Brinc had 26 teams raise follow on rounds with the average follow on growing to 1.1M USD (up from 800k in previous years). The portfolio also got a lot more global, as Brinc was able to source & work with teams from all around the world with the accelerator programs going online last year, now with founders from over 35 countries.

Overall, in 2020, Brinc accelerated and provided support to 84 startups through its programs, invested in 40 startups, and secured management of a new portfolio of over 50 AI companies. This pushed Brinc’s total investment portfolio to 149, from 109 at the end of 2019.

For the coming years, Brinc has big plans: The world is facing unprecedented problems and Brinc believes that by investing in the people willing to invest their lives to do truly great work, they can provide world-class returns to investors and fix major global issues at the same time. That is why Brinc has made plans to invest in 1.000+ climate-conscious startups in the next 5 years.

For more information on the companies that Brinc invests in you can check out their website or discover selected solutions below.

To join Brinc’s Accelerator Programs yourself, apply by 15 February!

Selected Brinc Investments

Australia Program:

  • Space Industries (Australia) — Space Industries is developing mining technologies to produce Helium 3 for use on Earth along with other elements to sustain life on other planets including the Moon.
  • Wildfire Energy (Australia) — Wildfire Energy’s solution is called MIHG, a simple process that converts waste into electricity and hydrogen, with negative carbon emissions. Wildfire Energy has developed modular plants that can be rapidly deployed and used to convert waste into renewable energy products at a very low cost. This makes Wildfire Energy’s solutions ideally suited for improving waste management in outer urban, regional, and remote communities, where landfill is currently the only option.

Hong Kong Programs:

  • Laava Tech (USA) — Laava Tech develops and manufactures smart LED lighting solutions for a variety of industries including vertical and hydroponics farms and insect protein operations. Their proprietary combination of hardware and software optimizes the light output of LED grow lights to give each plant optimal growing conditions. Their technology helps indoor farmers decrease lighting energy consumption by up to 90% compared to existing systems as well as increase yield by up to 20%.
  • Z Imaging (USA) — Z Imaging develops surgical navigation and robotic tools for emergency neurosurgery. Their platform Zeta provides surgeons with an unparalleled ability to easily operate on patients with complex pathologies such as stroke and hydrocephalus. The company was born at and is partnered with Harvard University/Brigham and Women’s Hospital and has been backed by investors such as Y Combinator and Plug and Play.

India Program:

  • Arcapsis (India) — Arcapsis is an IoT and Cloud-based Health Care System Designing Company with the capability of combining the electronics, mechanical, and software aspects of healthcare products. Arcapsis aspires to create technologies that can be used to ease living for millions of people. It enhances Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, along with Advanced Sensor Technologies and Seamless Connectivity.
  • Bagmo (India) — Bagmo Pvt Ltd is a Kochi-based startup solving healthcare needs using engineering innovations and operation management techniques. They have an innovative patent-pending technology for the blood supply chain to eradicate the non-availability of blood in rural parts of India. Bagmo Pvt Ltd is a spin-off company of BIRAC’s (Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India) Innovation Immersion program on maternal and child health.

MENA Program:

  • Xeleqt (The Philippines) — Xeleqt is the first IoT-powered platform that helps and allows business owners to dynamically manage, mobilize, and match their assets and resources with every customer-demand through safety protocols and embedded interaction-policies.
  • Iris (Tunisia) — IRIS is building the future of precision beekeeping. The smartbee device is hardware fully equipped with sensing capabilities, specially designed to meet beekeepers’ needs: efficiency, security, and better profitability that comes through sustainability.

China Programs:

  • Hao Food (China) — Haofood is developing plant-based chicken to help foodies in reducing meat consumption without losing pleasure from comfort food. Through their proprietary technology and formulation, Hao Food is the pioneer in using peanut protein as key ingredients for a great product texture and laser focus of designing products as popular fried chicken.
  • CellX (China) — CellX is a biotechnology company specializing in cell culture meat. CellX hopes to use tissue engineering and 3D bioprinting technology to skip animals as carriers, and to sustainably produce cell culture meat in vitro, thereby promoting food health, protecting the ecological environment, and improving animal welfare.

Managed Programs:

  • Freehub (China) — Freehub is an e-commerce trading platform for flexible employment skills services. The platform provides standardized skills services such as agency operations, KOC/KOL, customer service translation, copywriting design, financial law, etc. for enterprises in the consumer, e-commerce, and live broadcast industries.
  • Orange Technology (China) — Orange Technology has created the Orange series toothbrush is the world’s first oral hands-free electric toothbrush. It is also a toothbrush with any combination of soft and hard bristles that can freely match the color of the bristles. Orange Technology has more than ten invention patents, appearance patents, and utility model patents. In terms of manufacturing, the copper-free hot-melt tufting line equipment is also the world’s first, with innovative technology leading the domestic and foreign industries for at least 12 months.

Poland Program:

  • Dynamic Air Cooling (Poland) — Dynamic Air Cooling’s (DAC) technology is a new ecological way to generate cold for industrial or residential air cooling and refrigeration. Technology created by DAC allows to decrease the temperature by 60°C but at the same time has no impact on the environment — it uses no synthetic coolants and has neither thermal nor CO2 emissions. DAC’s technology is an effective and economical solution — it’s up to 50% cheaper compared to traditional A/C or refrigeration technology.
  • CityCharger (Poland) — CityCharger’s vision is to help accelerate the transition and adoption of electric vehicles by providing components for accessible, reliable, scalable, and affordable EV charging infrastructure elements along with open and flexible e-commerce (B2B, B2C, C2C) software platform called CityCharger.

Head over to Brinc’s website to check out all investments.



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Guide to Hiring Employees

Hiring the right employees is critical to the success of any business, particularly startup companies. Good employees can present new ideas and motivate other employees to work hard. They are dedicated, conscientious, trustworthy, and do not need to be micromanaged.

Conversely, hiring the wrong employees can slow down or impede the progress of your business and cause you to lose money through wasted training time, improperly performed tasks, or even internal theft. Furthermore, any incompetence or improper activities by your employees can reflect poorly upon you and your business and potentially result in legal liability.

Before hiring anyone, you should familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations imposed regarding interviewing and hiring employees. Protecting employee rights, ensuring physical safety, and maintaining fair treatment are at the heart of most laws created to safeguard the hiring process. Laws protect against discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, national origin, age, sex, or disability. They also protect against sexual harassment and unfair treatment of employees. You not only need to be aware of such employment laws, but you can protect your business by establishing appropriate hiring policies.

This guide offers business owners important guidelines for interviewing, hiring, and onboarding new employees.

Labor laws impacting employees

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) administers and enforces hundreds of federal laws covering workplace activities. The laws fall under various Congressional acts and are enforced by various divisions of the DOL. Included are laws pertaining to:

The DOL also enforces other laws pertaining to drug testing, polygraph use, garnishing wages, and family and medical leave.

Finding the right pool of candidates to interview

When hiring employees, popular methods for finding job candidates include using LinkedIn ads, employment agencies, executive placement services, job postings on employment websites, job postings on your own company website, and word of mouth. Keep in mind that the wider you extend your search, the more time you will need to go through resumes and narrow down candidates. In some cases, the cover letter accompanying the resume will tell you more about the individual than the resume itself.

Here are top tips on finding the right employee:

  • Ensure the job candidate is a good fit for the position
  • Look for candidates with integrity and a strong work ethic
  • Hire motivated people who have shown initiative
  • Look for high-performing individuals
  • Be sure the person will fit in with your company culture
  • Choose individuals who work well with others
  • Look for individuals with a positive attitude
  • Choose candidates that have problem-solving skills

Once you have decided which applicants you would like to interview, you need to prepare for the interview in advance.

Pre-interview to-do list

  • Prepare the questions you will be asking in advance and review them carefully.
  • Set up specific time periods on your schedule for interviews. Try to avoid scheduling too many interviews in one day or your recollection of individual applicants may become clouded.
  • Select a comfortable, well-lit, quiet location to conduct interviews. If the interview is to be done by Zoom or other video conference software, make sure the interviewee has the meeting link and password.
  • Have a legal pad or paper available on which to take notes during the interview.
  • Review each applicant’s resume just prior to the interview (and file along with your notes following the interview).

Different ways to approach employment interviews

Business owners who are hiring employees should know that there are several different philosophies when it comes to the job interview process. Depending on the position being filled, some employers will look more closely at specific technical skills when hiring employees, others will be concerned primarily with how this individual will fit in with the team, and some will focus on an applicant’s enthusiasm and desire for the position. The need to handle specific tasks, supervise others, meet with clients, and/or work independently should all factor into how you approach the interview process and make your assessment of the candidates.

Although you can get the answers to many questions from looking at a resume, it is important to hear each prospective employee respond so that he or she can provide greater insight into his or her previous employment, experience, and education.

Top job interview questions to ask when hiring employees

It is helpful to prepare a list of questions you would like to ask candidates, which you should review with your legal counsel. Keep in mind that you don’t need to always stick to the script; you can and should follow up on the interviewee’s comments with additional questions.

Here are some of the most frequently asked job interview questions:

Introductory questions

The job interview often starts off with some general introductory questions, such as;

  • Can you tell me a little about yourself?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • How did you hear about this job?
  • What motivates you?

Questions about work history

To learn more about the candidate’s work experience and how that experience might translate for the open position, ask these types of questions:

  • Can you please walk me through your resume?
  • Why are you thinking about leaving your current job?
  • Can you explain gaps in your work history? (if relevant)
  • Can you describe a difficult experience in a previous job and how you handled it?
  • What’s a professional accomplishment you are proud of?
  • Can you give me an example of when you went above and beyond the call of duty in your current job?
  • What is a typical workday like for you?

Questions about the job position

Questions about the specific job position that candidate is applying for can include:

  • Why do you think you will be a good fit for this position?
  • What relevant experience do you have for this position?
  • What interests you about this job?
  • How does this job fit in with your career plans?
  • When could you start work?
  • What’s important to enable you to do a great job?

Questions on interpersonal skills

Questions about work relationships and interpersonal skills can include:

  • Have you ever had problems with a co-worker or supervisor?
  • Do you consider yourself a team player? Can you give me an example of when being a team player was important?
  • Can you give me an example of how you deal with conflict?
  • How would your boss and co-workers describe you?
  • What’s your management style?
  • How would you describe your work style?
  • Can you describe how you dealt with a problem colleague in the past?
  • If you knew your boss was completely wrong about a particular issue, how would you handle it?

Questions about the company

Consider asking a variety of questions about the company to see if the applicant has done their due diligence. Consider these types of questions:

  • What do you know about our company?
  • Have you tried our product? What are your thoughts about it?
  • Do you know any of our employees?
  • What do you think of our company website?
  • Do you understand who our primary target customers are?

Questions on strengths and weaknesses of the job applicant

You should also consider asking potentially challenging questions to gain insight into the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses, including:

  • What do you consider to be your greatest strength?
  • How do you deal with high-pressure situations?
  • What is your greatest personal or professional achievement?
  • What do you consider to be your weakness?
  • What one thing would you like to do better? What’s your plan for improvement?

Questions on job compensation

You may want to ask salary/compensation questions, such as:

  • What is your current compensation (salary and bonus)?
  • What are your salary requirements for this position?
  • Why would you take a job for less money? (if relevant)

Concluding questions

Some questions to ask at the end of the interview can include:

  • Do you have any questions for me?
  • Are there any questions that I should have asked, but didn’t?
  • Is there anything you want to add that we didn’t cover?

Along with assessing the candidate’s answers, you should try to get a general feeling for the comfort and character of the person sitting across from you. However, try not to read too much into body language, since most people are typically nervous during a job interview. It is more important when hiring employees that you get a feeling for what this person could bring to the position from his or her past experience and his or her manner of presentation. Candidates should be dressed appropriately for an interview, depending on the formality of the position and company.

RELATED: Tips for Interviewing Potential Employees

Job interview red flags

You may find certain red flags during the interview process that will indicate that this is not the ideal person for the job. These might include:

  • Inconsistency in the applicant’s story
  • Inconsistency between what is on the resume and the applicant’s answers to your questions
  • Unexplained tardiness or improper behavior on the part of an applicant during the interview
  • Avoiding or talking around specific questions but not providing an adequate answer
  • Lack of knowledge concerning your company (showing lack of preparation)

Know what job interview questions you may not ask when hiring employees

Federal and state laws prohibit employers from making hiring decisions based on protected categories: gender, race, age, color, religion, disability, and others. Asking the wrong questions could lead to a discrimination claim against the company, even if decisions are not made on that basis. When hiring employees, here are examples of the types of questions to stay away from:

  • How old are you?
  • What is your religion?
  • Do you have any medical conditions we should be aware of?
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • Do you have any disabilities that would hinder you in performing the job?
  • Have you had any recent illnesses or operations?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children or plan to have children?
  • How long do you plan to work until you retire?
  • Do you drink or smoke?
  • What is your political affiliation?
  • Is English your first language?
  • What type of discharge did you receive from the military?
  • What country are you from?
  • Where do you live?
  • Do you take drugs?

Some of these may be obvious. But these questions may also be prohibited:

  • What is your maiden name?
  • Do you own or rent your home?
  • Where is your family from?
  • What was the date/type of termination of your last employment?
  • Can you give me the name of a relative to be notified in case of emergency? (The problem is asking for the name of a relative. But you can ask “In case of an emergency, whom can we notify?”)

See the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing Fact Sheet—Employment Inquiries: What Can Employers Ask Applicants and Employees.

Have each job applicant fill out an Employment Application

Having prospective employees fill out Employment Applications will typically save you time gathering background information. While a resume will include some of their work history, you can obtain more information from presenting your own application.

Applications should provide spaces for basic information such as name, address, phone number, and Social Security number. While you cannot ask a person’s age, you can ask if he or she is over the age of 18. You may also want to ask where the applicant heard about the position or who referred them to your business.

Past job history, including job title, key responsibilities, salary history, and reasons for leaving the previous positions should be included for the applicant’s last three jobs.

Education should include high school, college, and post-graduate work as well as any special schooling the applicant may have had that would be applicable to the position.

Finally, you need to have a paragraph (review this with your attorney) proclaiming that all statements made by the individual are true and that this application does not signify that any hiring agreement has been entered into. Also, have the applicant answer whether or not it is okay to contact his or her current or previous employer. The Employment Application should then be signed by the applicant and dated.

As is the case with the interview, you cannot ask a variety of personal questions on the Employment Application. Once you have hired someone for the position, you should hold on to the application and the employee’s resume. This is the information on which you based your hiring decision should it ever be questioned in the future.

Perform a comprehensive reference check before hiring employees

Many employers conduct a limited and incomplete reference check as part of the hiring process, often leading to issues with the candidate’s inability to perform their required duties or to get along with others. A comprehensive reference check includes:

  • Verification of job titles and dates of employment
  • Verification of educational degrees and dates of attendance at schools
  • Verification of starting and ending salary
  • Verification of job role and responsibilities
  • Inquiry as to why the applicant left the prior employer
  • Conversations with prior supervisors as to the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Inquiry as to the applicant’s ability to get along well with other employees and customers
  • Inquiry as to the applicant’s ability to take on the new role
  • Inquiry as to punctuality or absenteeism issues
  • Reference checks with other people not listed by the applicant as a reference

The purpose of these checks is to make sure that the applicant will fit into the company’s culture and to ensure that the applicant has been truthful in their resume and employment application. However, the process is carefully regulated by the federal government (through the Fair Credit Reporting Act) and the laws of many states; failure to follow the highly technical process can lead to class action lawsuits. Consider consulting legal counsel and, for general information, see the EEOC’s Background Check: What Employers Need to Know.

Use a good form of job offer letter or employment agreement

Oral agreements often lead to misunderstandings. If you plan to hire a prospective employee, use a carefully drafted job offer letter, which the employee is encouraged to review carefully before signing. For senior executives, a more detailed employment agreement often makes sense. A good offer letter or employment agreement will address the following key items:

  • The job title and role of the employee
  • Whether the job is full time or part time
  • When the job will commence
  • The salary, benefits, and any potential bonuses
  • Whether the position is “at will” employment, meaning either party is free to terminate the relationship at any time without penalty (although employers may not terminate employees for legally prohibited reasons, such as for age discrimination or retaliation for sexual harassment allegations, etc.)
  • Confirmation that the “at will” agreement may not be changed unless signed by an authorized officer of the company
  • Confirmation that the employee will need to sign a separate Confidentiality and Inventions Assignment Agreement (described below)
  • If the company chooses, a statement that any disputes between the parties will be resolved solely and exclusively by confidential binding arbitration
  • Any stock options to be granted to the employee and the terms of any vesting (details usually laid out in a separate Stock Option Agreement)
  • To whom the employee will report
  • Language stating that the offer letter constitutes the entire agreement and understanding of the parties with respect to the employment relationship, and that there are no other agreements or benefits expected (unless additional provisions are laid out in a handbook, which should be referenced if so)

Companies should ensure that the employee and the Company sign the letter, the Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement, any Stock Option Agreement, and any first day paperwork (such as the IRS W-4 Form for withholding and the I-9 form mandated by law).

Here is an example of a form of employee job Offer Letter.

Employment agreements for executives

For executives and other high-level employees such as CEOs and CFOs, you might want to compose a more formal Employment Agreement.

A well-drafted Employment Agreement for an executive addresses the following key issues:

  • The job description: title, role, and responsibilities
  • Whether the employer can change the position
  • The length of the agreement
  • The salary, bonus, and benefits
  • Whether the employee gets stock or stock options in the company (the employee should typically earn these over time)
  • When the employee can be terminated
  • Severance payments, if any
  • The employee’s job responsibilities
  • The employee’s confidentiality obligations
  • Where and how disputes will be handled (arbitration is sometimes best)

Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreements with employees

Companies pay employees to come up with ideas, work product, and inventions that are useful to the business. Employees have access to a great deal of their company’s confidential information, which can be highly valuable, especially in technology companies.

One basic way to protect proprietary company information is through a Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement. This agreement deals with the confidentiality issues, but it can also provide that the ideas, work product, and inventions that the employee creates which are related to company business belong to the company—not the employee.

A good Employee Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement will cover the following key points:

  • The employee may not use or disclose any of the company’s confidential information for his or her own benefit or use, or for the benefit of others, without authorization.
  • The employee must promptly disclose to the company any inventions, ideas, discoveries, and work product related to the company’s business that he or she makes during the period of employment.
  • The company is the owner of such inventions, ideas, discoveries, and work product, which the employee must assign to the company.
  • The employee’s employment with the company does not and will not breach any agreement or duty that the employee has with anyone else, nor may the employee disclose to the company or use on its behalf any confidential information belonging to others.
  • Upon termination of employment, the employee must return any and all confidential information and company property.
  • While employed, the employee will not compete with the company or perform any services for any competitor of the company.
  • The employee’s confidentiality and invention assignment obligations under the agreement will continue after termination of employment.
  • The agreement does not by itself represent any guarantee of continued employment.

Venture capitalists and other investors in startups expect to see that all employees of the company have signed such agreements. In an M&A transaction in which the company is sold, the buyer’s due diligence team will also be looking for these agreements signed by all employees.

A sample form of Employee Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement can be found at the Forms & Agreements section of AllBusiness.com.

Similarly, it will be appropriate that all consultants of the company also sign a Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement. See Key Issues with Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreements with Consultants.

Properly classify workers as employees or independent contractors

Both emerging and established companies face the issue of properly classifying workers as employees or independent contractors. When hiring employees for your company, it’s critical to get this right. Lawsuits are often filed attacking the classification of workers as contractors, and the potential damages and penalties can be enormous.

Employees and contractors are paid differently. Generally, the company must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, observe wage and hour laws, and pay unemployment tax on the wages of employees. On the other hand, employers generally are not required to withhold or pay taxes on payments to independent contractors, pay overtime compensation, or comply with other payroll and related issues applicable to employees. The general idea behind the difference is that the contractor will often have his or her own business, work for other companies, have expertise that is not subject to detailed control and supervision of the company, and may want the flexibility of setting hours and working arrangements.

The savings to a company by properly designating a worker as an independent contractor could be 20-40% of the labor costs. However, that savings will be quickly eaten up by challenges and claims from the government (which wants the tax payments) and lawyers for the workers.

The IRS takes the position that in determining whether a person is an employee or independent contractor, the key factor is the degree of control the company exerts over the process. Here are some of the factors that might indicate the worker should be classified as an employee:

  • The worker is required to work a designated schedule of hours
  • The worker is required to work at the employer’s place of business
  • The worker only provides services to one company
  • The company controls or has the right to control how the worker performs the service
  • The company provides the worker tools, supplies, office space, or equipment needed to do the job

These factors may indicate the worker may properly be classified as an independent contractor:

  • The worker sets his or her own hours
  • The worker has licenses, insurance, and other indicators of a separate business
  • The worker provides services to more than one company
  • The worker works relatively independently
  • The worker has the authority to decide how to go about accomplishing tasks
  • The worker incurs the costs of performing the services
  • The worker has the opportunity for profit or loss from the work

This is an evolving area of the law and some states are adopting specific legislation dealing with gig workers and independent contractors. California legislation in particular has been hotly contested by Uber, Lyft, and other companies.

New employee paperwork

Prior to welcoming new employees into the business and before you show them around the office, plant, or sales floor, you should be prepared with all of the proper paperwork.

Consider the following paperwork for the employee to sign on the first day:

  • Employee handbook. Have employees sign a receipt indicating that they have received and read the handbook.
  • Form W-4. It is mandatory that an employee completes the IRS W-4 Form used to determine the appropriate level of tax withholding.
  • Employee benefit elections. Employees should sign up for any such benefit programs, providing all necessary information. This would include company health or pension plans.
  • Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreement. This agreement stipulates that all proprietary information will remain confidential and that the company owns all inventions created by the employee, relevant to the company business, while under the employ of the company.
  • Emergency notification. This form lists phone numbers to contact should there be an emergency.

An employee handbook should include all practical information on:

  • 401(k) or retirement accounts
  • Pension plans
  • Stock options plans
  • Medical & dental benefits
  • Disability insurance
  • Vacation days
  • Sick & personal days
  • Leave of absence
  • Maternity/paternity and family leave
  • Adoption benefits
  • Legal holiday schedule
  • Performance reviews
  • Operational policies & procedures
  • Safety & security policies
  • Codes of conduct
  • Sexual harassment policies
  • Dress codes
  • Email, social media, and internet use policies

Short of such a handbook for each employee, there should be a central location such as an Intranet site or a handbook in the office of the person who handles human resources for your company with all of this information spelled out in writing. It’s to your advantage to take the time to carefully think through and list all matters pertaining to employees prior to the hiring process. This can prevent future lawsuits.

Maintain proper documentation concerning employees and HR

Companies are often sloppy in maintaining the proper employee/HR-related documentation. This can become problematic if the company is pursuing financing, is involved in an M&A activity, or is involved in litigation with an employee or regulatory agency. Here is a compendium of the types of documentation the company should consider maintaining:

  • Job applications and resumes
  • Employee offer letters
  • Employment agreements
  • IRS W-4 forms (Employees’ Withholding Allowance Certificate)
  • Form I-9 completed by all employees (eligibility of the employee to work in the United States)
  • Anti-harassment and discrimination policy
  • Employee handbook
  • Stock option plan and agreements with all option holders
  • Benefit plans
  • Employee personnel files (including performance appraisals)
  • Employee complaints
  • Worker’s compensation documents
  • Emergency contacts
  • Records of any disciplinary proceedings taken against employees
  • Social media policy for employees
  • Code of conduct policy for employees
  • Compensation and bonus history
  • Employee-related posters mandated by law to be posted in the workplace
  • Employee termination notices
  • PTO tracking records

RELATED: 10 Key Contracts for Small and Growing Businesses

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Feeling Anxious For No Reason? 6 Ways To Cope With

Sign up and get Premium Content on building personal and professional wealth!Have you ever heard the saying, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself?”((Teaching History: The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself))  Simply put, it essentially suggests that if you spend all of your time worrying about how bad things are going to be in the future, you could easily end up stuck in the past. Not to mention the fact that you won’t be able to enjoy the present if you’re living your life consumed by fear and feeling anxious for no reason.

Anxiety itself can come from a variety of stressors, such as medical conditions, relationship issues, and money matters. By definition, anxiety generally refers to “an intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear that is out of proportion to normally occurring situations that we experience. Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include insomnia, racing thoughts, poor concentration, irritability, restlessness, palpitations, trembling, nausea, and sweating.”((Mayo Clinic: Anxiety Disorders))

Similar to your favorite video game, obstacles in life tend to get a lot more challenging the further along you go, increasing your level of stress as you reach each milestone or complete each mission. No one is immune to experiencing stress.

If you’re alive, you’re going to feel some form of stress at one point or another in your life, it’s inevitable. And as most of us already know by now, having too much stress in our lives can lead directly to severe anxiety.

So now, let’s take a look at some anxiety-busting strategies to help you cope more effectively with the severe and debilitating experience of feeling anxious for no reason.

1. Set Realistic Goals

Although you may be able to accomplish anything that you put your mind to—such as losing weight, improving your relationships, or making more money—carefully consider the level of stress involved in whatever it is that you intend to do.

Become a student of your surroundings. Learn as much about the people, places, and things in your life as possible. Whether your dream is to bring the world closer together by creating a brand new social media platform or to open up a cool corner cafe in your own hometown, you’re going to have to be able to cope with some form of stress to make whatever you decide to do in your life a success.

With that said, set goals that are challenging but attainable with hard work and determination.

2. Set Firm Boundaries

Map out your emotional territory. From the very beginning of history, conflict has been an inherent part of the human experience. The more conflict, the more stress, and the more stress, the more anxiety, and so on.

Besides learning how to strengthen your body and soul, you can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety by taking better care of your mind. When you set firm boundaries with others, you give yourself the emotional space to process the value of relationships on your terms.

Let the people that surround you know exactly what you are willing to do and how far you are willing to go. Ultimately, this will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by setting realistic and manageable expectations with others.

3. Set Priorities

Choose your emotional battles wisely. Not every stressful situation necessarily leads to debilitating symptoms of anxiety. Rather than trying to tackle the most profound obstacles in your way all at once, reverse triage the situation by chipping away at smaller issues first.

Consider taking on challenges that you feel you can manage effectively with the least amount of effort. Get the momentum going as you lead with your strengths. And then, as you begin to break through each obstacle in your way, take a personal inventory of your accomplishments. Take note of all the progress that you were able to make along the way, as well as how you were able to muster up the courage and internal fortitude to keep moving forward even in your most difficult and precarious moments.

This should help you build a greater sense of self-confidence as you reflect on your own achievements. Similar to the lion in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, the more aware you are of your own ability to handle stressful situations and overcome adversity, the less anxious you will ultimately feel.

4. Pace Yourself

When you’re feeling anxious for no reason, one of the best things to do is to pace yourself. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. The key to longevity in whatever you do is setting a manageable pace to avoid burning out before you make it to the finish line.

So, try not to get ahead of yourself as you work your way up and through the gauntlet of impending issues that we will all ultimately face along the way in life. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will your own personal empire, no matter how entrepreneurial or emotionally fuel-efficient you may be.

Rather than trying to accomplish all of your goals as fast as possible, you may be better off striving to reach attainable milestones on your journey. Whether you’re dealing with problems at work or home, do as much as you can to address and resolve your issues without getting yourself stressed out and overwhelmed.

And if you just can’t get a handle on the situation, know when to say when. You just may need to step away from the battle for a moment or two, so that you can ultimately return to the front and fight the good fight another day emotionally re-energized.

5. Talk to Someone

You can’t see the forest from the road. That is unless you’re able to somehow see above the treeline. Many of us experience tunnel vision when we’re dealing with something that we perceive to be a major problem in our lives. We find ourselves consumed with the circumstances that surround whatever it is that’s bothering us while losing sight of many of the other important things in our lives.

From my personal experience, I know how hard it can be to open up about your feelings, especially if you live a fast-paced life with little downtime to reflect or come from a family where no one was ever encouraged to express their feelings. Nevertheless, as a professional mental health interventionist and licensed psychotherapist, I have been a sounding board for countless people in crisis.

Research strongly suggests that taking the time to talk through your greatest fears with the right person can help you break through even some of the most seemingly impenetrable walls of anxiety that you have ever experienced.((Mental Health Foundation: Talking therapies)) Talk therapy works if you work it. I strongly suggest that you explore why you feel the way that you do and where those feelings are coming from.

In other words, if you want to change the fruit, you have to start at the root. The more you open up to another person about the things that make you feel anxious, the less likely those things will negatively impact your life moving forward.

6. Breathe

Have you ever worried about something so much that you actually ended up feeling physically sick, emotionally drained, even gasping for air? I know that I have. Sometimes, we may feel anxious for no reason.

If you haven’t realized it by now, life is like a perpetual obstacle course. It’s full of ups and downs, plenty of unexpected twists and turns, a bunch of hurdles, and even a few trap doors along the way. However, rather than being the first to arrive at an actual finish line, you may want to focus your attention on simply being able to make it through to the other side successfully, accomplishing as much as you can in your life-time with as much peace of mind as possible.

Holding your breath until you get what you want might work a few times when you’re a child but not at all when you’re an adult with responsibilities like paying your bills and maintaining healthy relationships with others. With that said, at one point or another, you are going to have to come up for air to help clear your mind and replenish the oxygen in your lungs. Similar to pre-flight instructions, if there’s a problem in the air, you have to put your oxygen mask on first.


In conclusion, no matter how cool, calm, and collected you may appear to be at one point or another in your life, you are going to experience stress in one form or another. Too much stress can ultimately lead to a variety of debilitating symptoms of anxiety, which in turn, negatively impacts your quality of life.

Now, more than ever, as we all learn how to adapt to our post-pandemic new-normal world, many of us are experiencing symptoms of anxiety no matter how hard we try to manage the level of stress in our lives. By learning how to effectively cope with anxiety, we can ultimately break right on through it so that we can live an even more productive and fulfilling life.

Nevertheless, perhaps the most common-sense strategy to reduce experiencing symptoms of anxiety is to avoid putting yourself in highly stressful situations in the first place if possible.

Read These If You’re Feeling Anxious for No Reason

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Why Astrologers Are Predicting “World-Changing Shifts” This Week

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

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2. Enjoy the content!
3. Sign up for Premium!Why Astrologers Are Predicting "World-Changing Shifts" This Week

Wednesday will be a biggie.

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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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