18 Little Things To Start Doing Now If You Want To Be Ahead Of Everyone Else In 10 Years

Mikala Morgan_TwentiesBy: Brianna Wiest, Via: Thought Catalog

1. Be friends with different types of people. Don’t insulate your worldview by only socializing with those who are fundamentally the same as you.

2. Read. Do you know how few people are reading anything other than a few lines of an article here and there? Few. Do you know why it matters? Because a book you read in a few days this week can change the way you think about something for decades to come.

3. Question yourself, and honor your doubt. People who aren’t secure enough to do this stagnate.

4. Be willing to live the way other people won’t, so you can live the way other people can’t.

5. Learn how to cook things you enjoy more than you enjoy ordering out.

6. Learn how to budget your money in a way that makes you feel responsible and liberated, not restricted.

7. Put away a bit of money each month, however much you can afford (and don’t worry if there are setbacks along the way). Compounded interest is no joke.

8. Take on a side gig exclusively for the sake of that savings account. It will be exhausting for a while, but you’ll come out with new skills and the peace of mind that comes from having a fiscal cushion.

9. Get addicted to healthy pain. The kind that comes from clocking in hours of practice or maneuvering through the discomfort of training your mind to focus on one task until it’s complete. The more you channel your pain into something productive, the less you’ll be tempted to ruminate.

10. Get comfortable admitting when you’re wrong. There is no failure in making mistakes. There is failure in making mistakes and having too much pride to fix them.

11. Clean out your space, then work on adopting an attitude of “enough.” Do you really want to spend the next 10 years accumulating things? No, you don’t. Imagine what else all of that money and time and worry could have gone toward.

12. Only put things on your credit card that you will be able to remember in 3 months from now. If you look at how much is due and can’t remember what you spent it on, it was nothing worthwhile.

13. Do your soul-searching. Make lists of what you like and what you dislike; what you value and what you don’t; what you’re skilled at and what you’re not. Start cohering an idea of who you fundamentally are, but allow yourself to be open to that idea changing over time.

14. Reflect on your life, and ask yourself what your single most compelling motive is. Construct your narrative about it carefully – the way you justify your past actions will become your philosophy for future ones.

15. If you commit to nothing else, commit to a daily routine that consists of actions that, over time, will lead you to where you want to be.Mikala Morgan_Blog

16. Do things intentionally. Date intentionally. Work intentionally. Don’t let your life be a series of mindless, random actions that just seemed nice at the time, but are ultimately meaningless.

17. Take yourself as seriously as you want the world to. Behave accordingly.

18. Scrap it all and start over as many times as you need to. There’s no shame in not getting it right, there is, however, a lot of self-loathing that comes from knowing better, but not having the courage to do better. TC mark

Why Networking Is Essential For Career Success

Via: Eat Your Career

Written by Chrissy Scivicque

Networking.The word alone strikes fear in the hearts of many.

It’s so awkward and uncomfortable! It’s so inauthentic! It’s just so…so…exhausting.

That’s why many professionals put it off. If you’re happily employed and your career is chugging right along, networking often gets put on the backburner. I see a lot of people who only start thinking about networking when they “need” something—like a new job, for example. But in order for someone to help you, they must first know, like and trust you. And that takes time!!

To help inspire you to get started networking NOW, I wanted to highlight just a few of the reasons it’s essential for career success. After all, if you aren’t convinced that it matters, you’ll never do it.

But before I jump into that, let me be clear about one thing: Networking is all about building authenticrelationships with real people. It’s not complicated. You’ve done it your whole life. Don’t turn this into something scary or awkward or uncomfortable. Networking can happen anytime, anywhere: In the grocery store, at a nightclub, online, at a volunteer event in your community, or at a local meeting of your professional association. It’s always about making a real human connection before anything else.

Okay…now on to the reasons!

The Hidden (Informal) Job Market

Networking gives you access to the hidden or informal job market, which is a helpful tool even if you aren’t actively job searching.

Allow me to explain this a little more. We’re all familiar with the formal job market: A company has an employment need so it creates a job description, posts an ad on the Internet, and receives a pile of resumes to fill the position.

The informal job market, however, always exists in a much more hidden fashion. Before a job is made public (and sometimes before it even exists) there are informal opportunities. Through networking, you have access to these positions that other people never even know about.

For example, a contact in your network knows a position is soon going to be available at her company because a colleague in her office is retiring. The HR department hasn’t even started recruiting for it, but your contact knows you would be a perfect match for the role. If your contact refers you for the job informally, you could end up at the front of the hiring line before there’s even an official position available.

You might not even been searching for a new gig, but let’s face it: It’s awfully nice when exciting new opportunities just fall in your lap. And if you’re a self-respecting, career-minded professional, you know that when a great career opportunity shows up, it’s worthwhile exploring—no matter how happy you are in your current role.

The 2013 Careerxroads Hiring Sources Survey shows that employee referrals are the number one way to get hired. Sure, it’s no guarantee (that same study shows that only about 1 in 10 people referred for a job were actually hired), but it still gives you a serious leg up on the competition. It’s up to you to close the deal though.

Knowledge Share

Networking also gives you access to a wealth of knowledge and experience. The people in your network will likely come from a wide variety of backgrounds, meaning they’ll offer a broad range of perspectives and possess a deep well of wisdom from which you can draw.

When you have a strong network, you have a support team—people you can turn to for guidance, advice or assistance. Together you can share best practices. You become as much a resource for them as they are for you.

In short, your network is a valuable professional asset—a resource that makes you smarter, more experienced, and more capable.

Connections = More Connections

Every person you meet has the ability to connect you to (potentially) hundreds more people. That means your professional network grows exponentially with each person you add.

A strong professional network can introduce you to potential future employers, potential clients, trusted service providers and more.

Need a new bookkeeper for your business? Turn to your network! (I just did this recently.)

Want to get a job at Google but don’t know where to start? Turn to your network! Who do you know at Google? Or who knows someone who knows someone at Google? Chances are pretty good that you’re no more than two or three degrees of separation from any company you want to be a part of.

The All-Important “Know, Like and Trust” Factor

Again, I want to stress the critically important role of the “know, like and trust” factor in all of this. The only way you’ll reap the rewards offered by your network is if the people in it truly know, like and trust you. Otherwise, it’s too risky. They won’t recommend you for a job because they don’t want to put their own reputation on the line for someone they aren’t absolutely certain about. They won’t connect you with their network because you could reflect poorly on them. And they won’t be willing to share their knowledge, offer advice or provide assistance if they don’t first like you as a person. We all already have too many demands competing for our attention—if it’s not at least minimally rewarding or enjoyable to help you, there’s no reason to bother.

Mikala Morgan On Good Morning America | Miss Louisiana Mardi Gras

So start the process of expanding your network NOW, when you don’t immediately “need” something. Deepen those relationships. Be generous and help others first. That way, if and when you need to leverage them, your professional allies will be eager to help.

Torapath Technologies | Dealing With A SEO Scam? Here Are 5 Signs:

Dealing With A SEO Scam? Here Are 5 Signs:

By: Mikala Morgan, Online Presence Strategist, Torapath Technologies

Just a few weeks ago, a friend of mine who owns a small business was contacted via phone from an agency located in Dallas, TX, who claimed that they could “guarantee her business’s website to be ranked on the 1st page of Google in just 24 hours with a pre-packaged SEO plan.”

Sounds like a great opportunity, right?

Though this does sound like an easy, effective and quick SEO strategy to many small business owners… these standardized, overnight SEO plans are usually a complete scam. 

So how do you know when a SEO agency and/or strategist is actually trustworthy or not? 

5 Signs Of An SEO Scam | Torapath TechnologiesHear are 5 signs that you are most likely dealing with a SE-NO!

1. 100% Guaranteed First-Page Rankings on Google.

This is normally one of the very first signs of a scam.

Why?

Any experienced SEO professional will never “promise” anything and most especially not first-page rankings, because this is simply unrealistic with Google’s constant algorithm changes and updates.

Now of course every SEO agency and advertiser strives to keep up with organic search trends to keep their client’s websites as highly ranked as possible, maintaining a positive rank on Google requires ongoing optimization techniques and strategies. 

2. A Pre-Packaged SEO Plan.

This offer should be another “SE-No-Brainer!”

Every website is different and therefore the optimization strategies should always be customized NOT standardized.

True SEO experts know that it takes experimentation with each individual site to actually be able to find the underlining issues of each site, whether these issues are on and/or off-site.

Using these pre-packaged plans could also put your business at risk of being blacklisted by Google. This means Google is basically treating your site as if it were spam and removing it from organic search rankings altogether, tragic!

3. They Claim To Be An “Exclusive Google Affiliate.”

Agencies and advertisers do have the ability to qualify to become an official Google Partner, which means that they have passed Google AdWords product certification exams and are up to date with the latest product knowledge.

However, being a Google Partner does NOT give an agency and/or advertiser exclusive or “insider” Google knowledge and capabilities.

If a company is claiming that they work exclusively with Google, it’s most likely a scam.

4. Initial Flat Rate To Instantly Publish “Ready-Made” Content On Off-Site Directories & Social Media.

This goes hand-in-hand with the the “pre-packaged SEO plan.”

These initial flat rates are normally to send out “spam-like” content from your site to other spam sites and social media platforms in an effort to gain quick backlinks!

More backlinks are not always a good thing if they are only from spam sites. The same goes for a lot of the ready-made content that these scam artists could potentially publish your site.

Google wants its searchers to find relevant, high-quality content. By publishing quick, irrelevant content that doesn’t actually appeal to searchers, your website’s reputation could feel the negative impact on Google.

5. They Offer “Competitive Roadblocking.”

Usually if they will offer some type of “competitive roadblocking plan” that guarantees your site’s keywords to appear organically BEFORE your competitors, it’s another sure sign of a scam. 

Once again, anything guaranteed should trigger an alarm in your head. Especially since they are most likely guaranteeing you AND your competitors the same “special organic keyword placement.”

It’s simply unrealistic.

AND in a lot of these keyword situations, these scam artists will charge you for these SEO (organic) plans and actually turn around and use your money to run paid advertising campaigns on Google Adwords, without even having clue!

 

Always make sure to do your research and check the reputation of the agency and/or advertiser.

In need of an actual trustworthy SEO company?!

Contact Us Today!

Optimizing your website AND business for search engines is a big part of what our Online Presence Team at Torapath Technologies does on a daily basis.

We build customizable plans that include quality content, reputation management and various optimization techniques to drive real traffic to your site.

Call, email or stop by our office today to see how we can help. 

Why You Should Thrive To Be A #GirlBoss

Basics Beware: We’re All Girl Bosses Now

Via:Rachel Hills, The Daily Beast.

Twentysomething women have turned the boss into an icon, the ultimate position to have dreams and then make them happen. But in doing so, are they selling themselves short?

Be A Girl Boss! - Mikala Morgan

By: Rachel Hills, The Daily Beast 

08.28.14 4:45 AM ET
Alex Hayden Hernandez decided she wanted to be an entrepreneur when she was 14 years old, after she stumbled on a girl her age on MySpace who had made more than $1 million running an online business. “I remember sitting at my computer thinking, oh my god,” she recalls. “She had bought her parents a house.”
From that moment on, Hernandez never considered getting a conventional job. When she graduated from high school, she made her money selling candles online. Then she tried being a health coach, and, after that, a social media consultant. Today, Hernandez’s business is business itself.
Hernandez, 22, is the creator of #bossbabe, a made-for-social-media meme turned online community promoting entrepreneurship to millennial women. Since launching less than three months ago, the project has amassed more than 16,000 followers on Instagram, most of them women aged in their late teens and early 20s. Followers are treated to daily motivational quotes such as “I love the smell of fresh ambition in the morning” and “Don’t ask yourself ‘Why you?’ Ask yourself, ‘Why the f*ck not you?’”, superimposed over images of pop cultural figures such as Beyonce, Nikki Minaj, and Rihanna.

Being a #bossbabe, says Hernandez, is all about attitude. “It’s not a status, it’s not a network. It’s a mentality,” she explains. “A #bossbabe is the girl in the room who has the biggest dream, and the minute she voices it, everyone laughs and thinks she’s crazy. But what makes her a #bossbabe is that she stands by her dreams.

She is a girl who sticks [to] her goals.” The #bossbabe is the counterpoint to another female figure who currently looms large in both the popular vernacular and Hernandez’s Instagram account: the basic, whom Hernandez describes as a girl “who has been so scarred by society that she has no dreams of her own.”
If the #bossbabe sounds familiar, that’s because she is. On Kickstarter, Brooklyn filmmaker Erin Bagwell is raising funds for Dream, Girl, a documentary about female founders and entrepreneurs, which has been featured on Fox Business and Elle.com. Then there’s Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso, whose best-selling memoir-slash-advice book #GIRLBOSS is a forerunner to the #bossbabe in everything from its pale pink design to its hashtag title. Last week, Amoruso announced the launch of her new #GIRLBOSS Foundation, which will award financial grants to women in the worlds of design, fashion, music, and the arts.

Collectively, these young women are making entrepreneurship not just aspirational, but a little bit edgy. While Facebook COO and Lean In guru Sheryl Sandberg urged teachers to “ban bossy,” they embrace the label “boss” wholeheartedly. Nor does the #bossbabe suffer from any “confidence gap.” To the contrary—she is legitimately fierce. “It’s okay. Be humble. Because they already know you’re the sh*t,” reads one pithy quote on Hernandez’s Instagram.

The #bossbabe is a feminist in the sense that she believes men and women should be equal, but she is not interested in talking gender politics. “I believe the best way to honor the past and future of women’s rights is by getting shit done,” Amoruso writes in #GIRLBOSS. But more than feminism, what she embraces is entrepreneurship as a path to individual self-fulfillment; a means through which young women can exercise agency and make their mark on the world. And if you happen to make a quarter of a billion dollars along the way—as Amoruso has—all the better.
“I like the risk-and-reward factor of entrepreneurship,” Bagwell, 27, explains. “I like being in charge and it’s not something I feel is a bad thing. I love being surrounded by one hundred different things going on. It’s really fun, and it gives me a lot of energy.”
This push toward entrepreneurship is not surprising, says writer Kathleen Geier, who is co-organizing a conference on women’s work issues for political magazine The Baffler on September 13. “The economic downturn has diminished economic opportunities for everyone, especially twentysomethings. So this idea of starting your own business, and being your own boss, must sound very appealing. If there aren’t any real jobs available, it’s understandable that people would want to create their own.”

For most people who were born after 1980, there has never been such a thing as a “job for life.” Children of Reagan and Thatcher, we came of age in an era of chronic instability, where the most exciting opportunities available to us were often the ones that we created ourselves. According to the Freelancers Union, nearly one in three working Americans is now self-employed. For those born after 1990, the contrast is even starker—it’s not just a matter of no stable jobs, but in many cases, of no jobs period.
But the upsurge in entrepreneurship isn’t just a reflection of what millennial women are pushed to do. It is also a reflection of what they are pulled to do. And the flipside of neoliberalism’s freefall is the sense that anything is possible. That if you just grab hold of the right ropes and have the strength and strategic know-how to leverage yourself upwards, you will be rewarded with limitless opportunities.
This may sound like a fantasy—and in many ways, it is—but thanks to social media, it is one that it is increasingly grounded in reality. “I feel like we are now living in a time where whatever your gifts are, whatever your passion is, you can take your gift and give it and make a living off it and monetize that,” says Hernandez.
And that’s not only true for outliers like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg or teen prodigy Tavi Gevinson. It was on the Internet that Amoruso turned her love of vintage clothing into a successful business. It was on the Internet that Hernandez launched each of her businesses. And it is the Internet that is allowing Bagwell to independently produce her documentary, without the backing of investors or a studio.
Despite this—and despite the proliferation of self-directed women in popular culture at this moment—there is still a sense among young women that being powerful means presenting yourself in a particular way. Hernandez wasn’t just inspired to create #bossbabe because she loved business, but also because she felt a conflict between her entrepreneurial aspirations and the way she wanted to present herself. “I like long nails and big hoop earrings,” she says. “I love to wear big hair and weaves. I have this type of fashion sense that clashes with what we think of when we think of a businesswoman.” The tagline for Bagwell’s Dream, Girl, meanwhile, is “redefining what it means to be a boss.”
In part, that process of redefinition is a matter of popularizing images of the boss as a woman, says Bagwell, who gained much of her early entrepreneurial education through reading books by business leaders such as Steve Jobs and Tony Hsieh from Zappos. But it is also a question of altering what a female boss is permitted to look like, and challenging the muted professionalism of Baby Boomer and Gen X leaders like Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg.

10 Secret Tricks, Tools And Cool Features Hiding In Google

Via: Torapath Technologies

If you use Google for searching the web, you’re going to love these 10 features, available to everyone that you probably didn’t know about. The best way to find these is to simply search for the item in Google.

  1. 10 Secret Tricks Hiding in GoogleGoogle’s Dictionary Extension for Chrome. Add this plug-in and you can highlight words on a web page to look them up and see how they’re pronounced without leaving the page!
  2. Google Forms. Need to create a quick survey? Poll your friends on where to go to dinner? Collect RSVP information to organize a party? Google Forms will allow you to do all of this quickly and for free.
  3. Google Keep. This free productivity app is similar to Evernote, allowing you to keep lists, web pages, documents and information organized on the web and on your smartphone.
  4. Google Public Data Explorer. This free application makes large datasets (like world development indicators or unemployment statistics) easy to explore, visualize and communicate.
  5. Google Fonts. Want a unique font to use on your web site? This public database of typefaces is free and offers a myriad of font choices and selections.
  6. Google Mortgage Calculator. Want to know if that new house is within your budget? Google mortgage calculator can quickly calculate a monthly payment for your home for free.
  7. Google Sky. For my fellow “trekkies” and sci-fi fans, check out Google Sky. From this page you can view celestial objects, including stars, galaxies, planets and tons of other cool photos taken from space.
  8. Google Unit Conversions. Need to convert kilometers into miles or vice versa? Just type in “unit converter” and Google will pop up a web-based converter that will do the math for you in seconds.
  9. Google Flight Tracker. Type in any flight number and Google will report its status.
  10. AdBlock. This is the most popular Chrome extension out there. AdBlock, which works in Chrome, Opera and Firefox, will remove banner advertisements that can make reading some sites difficult.