Facebook is Making You Sick

Facebook promises to deliver social connectivity, a way to promote your business or cause, and a lot more but we think you should beware about investing in the platform as more and more warning bells are signaling that social backlash is building.

Facebook in Bed
According to Facebook, the average Facebook user spends almost an hour on the site every day and recent survey found that the first thing many people do when they wake up is check social media applications like Facebook on their phones.

Comparison Causes Negative Impacts on Well-being
In today’s individualistic world, many of us compare ourselves to other people to gauge how we’re doing in life. Because people tend to display the most positive aspects of their lives on Facebook, users increasingly believe that their own life compares negatively to the people they’re connected with on Facebook. In a new study, which was the largest ever conducted on Facebook use, researchers conclude that the use of Facebook is clearly connected to a negative impact on people’s overall well-being and especially on their mental health. You can find the study here.

Risky Business
Facebook has tried to convince business owners, bands, and brands that it is the place they need to build a following but here at Eazl we’re not so sure. There are growing calls from the health and academic communities for people to quit Facebook altogether and if you’re trying to grow a brand or a community, putting all of your eggs in the Facebook basket is risky business.

Check out some of Ludell’s tips for a technology detox that will help you be more productive.

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From World Economic Forum: Why the most successful businesses have strong values

most successful businesses

“By using a behaviour-based lens instead of a checklist, LRN’s PEI study demonstrated that companies with the highest levels of ethical behaviour are the ones that have placed values at the centre of their organizations.

Among high-performing companies, two-thirds are increasingly focusing on values instead of rules. That compares with one in three of the lowest-performing companies. In fact, the highest-performing organizations in our study have elevated human values to such an extent that more than 90% of those values have become part of the company’s brand appeal. In 70% of high-performing organizations, values have also become a business enabler, providing a reference point for the tough decisions, and in turn leading to better decision-making.”

most successful businesses

 Want a peak at our values and ethics here at Eazl? Visit us on Instagram!

Getting Right With Your Finances (Actionable Calendar for May 2017)

getting right with your finances

Your ability to use modern financial tools and systems is a crucial ingredient for a successful and happy life. Credit scores, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, tax-deferred investment accounts, and financial instruments like index funds, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds are fundamental to existence in our modern world.

Commit to getting right with your finances this May with this calendar that will keep you on track, taking you from assessing your current financial health to creating a plan for adding more income and determining investment opportunities.

personal finance calendar

Use the calendar (download and/or print) as a supplement to the tools and process we laid out for you in our newest course.

Ignorance is an expensive choice and there are plenty of organizations who would be happy to keep taking advantage of people who can’t navigate these systems. Get out of the weeds and upgrade your financial prowess!

Top 6 Personal Finance Resources

personal finance resources

At Eazl, we create content that helps our community members feel more empowered and confident by focusing on knowledge and innovation. After taking a step back from our current course catalog that includes training on entrepreneurship, management, freelancing, marketing, and career, we asked ourselves, “What is missing and what would make this group of courses more complete?”

Our answer to that question is something that so many of us struggle with today: managing personal debt and finances.

Luckily, we had the expertise for that area right here on our team so we immediately went to work to create the training, which includes a list of resources that will help you get real control over your money and your future.  

Money management is all about having the right tools and sources for knowledge. From handling debt to buying a home, you want to make sure you are using quality sources for information.

We put together this list of Top Personal Finance Resources:

  1. Browse Homes and Home Prices
    Zillow is one of the best resources for researching homes and their prices in the neighborhood that you are thinking about investing in. Just search a zip code and get an idea of the price range, browse through all available listings,  and specific the features you are looking for in your new home.

2. Estimate Monthly Mortgage Payments
Bankrate’s Mortgage Calculator will help you estimate your mortgage payment, how much interest you might pay, and your estimate principal balances. Determine the impact of taxes and insurance on your total monthly payment.

3. LifePower: Credit, Debt, Saving, Investing, & Buying a Home
Eazl’s new course on personal finance will help you learn how to build and manage your credit, handle debt, use credit cards, start saving and investing, and buy real estate.

4. Check Your Credit
Credit Karma is our favorite resource for checking your credit score. It’s totally free and will give you an idea of what actions have lowered your score and what options are available to you if you have a favorable score.

5. Learn how to Repair Your Credit
Fico gives some actionable tips on dealing with bad credit and how to maintain good credit.

6. How to Negotiate Fees with Your Realtor
Dealing with realtors can be tricky and frustrating because they are middlemen who generally receive insane fees for what they do. Learning how to negotiate with a realtor is essential if you are looking to buy or sell a home. Aaron Crowe at Credit Sesame has some tips.

 

Do you have any other personal finance resources that you love? We’re working on creating a master list and would love your input. Comment below!

Three Mobile Apps to Help You Manage Debts and Save

It’s personal finance month here at Eazl and we wanted to share some mobile finance apps we love with you. If you want to learn about managing your credit and money, getting started with investing, and buying a house, go to here to save 40% on Eazl’s new financial empowerment class.

• Acorns automatically invests your spare change. Every time you make a purchase with a card connected to the app Acorns rounds it up to the next highest dollar and automatically invests the difference in a portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that you select based on your risk preference. When you want to take money out, you withdraw and however much you take out is sold from your portfolio. Acorns costs $1/mo. and is available to people in the US and Australia. Link: https://www.acorns.com

• Digit makes the decision to save for you. It’s an automated savings tool that connects to your checking account, analyzes your income and spending patterns, and then makes micro withdrawals–sometimes as little as $1 or $2–to set aside for you. When you want to access the money, you just text the app and the money comes right back into your checking account. It costs $2.99/mo. and it only works with US banks. Link: https://digit.co

• You Need a Budget (or YNAB) is a budgeting tool that doesn’t let you create budgets around money you don’t have – it forces you to live within your actual income. If you get off track it will help you see what you need to do differently to balance your budget. It also has a built-in “accountability partner” and online classes to help you get started. YNAB costs $50/year and it works everywhere but some direct data import functions only work in North America. Link: https://www.youneedabudget.com

FYI–nobody paid us to share these apps with you!

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Personal Finance: Terms You Need Know from a Money Guru

personal-finance-terms

If you’re anything like me, you might find the world of personal finance (think: credit, debt, and acquiring property) to be strange and unfamiliar. I never had my parents teach me and it was never a focus in school. The only advice I ever received came from my mom when she said, “Don’t get a credit card,” when I headed off the University of Texas at Austin at age 18.

I may not have listened to that advice. : /

The lack of guidance from adults in my life combined with having worked hard on my education and career for the past 12 years hasn’t left me much time to school myself on the ways of dealing with money, debt, and assets in any remotely competent way. I mean, there is a lot to know and it can get pretty complicated and time consuming.

personal finance terms

I got lucky… really lucky when I met my now husband and business partner, who purchased his first stock at age 12 and went off to school in three-piece suits, thinking he would someday become an investment banker.

Davis has fun playing with money and learning about all of this adulting business that most of us find so boring and stressful, plus he had a few good role models who passed down some wisdom to him along the way and has had a ton of experience managing the financials of small businesses and artists.

On any given day, you might find him on the phone with a creditor transferring a balance, negotiating account fees for our business and personal bank accounts, or maybe even closing a bank account to switch banks when they won’t wave an outrageous annual fee. (He holds the banks accountable!)

If there is one thing I’ve learned about Davis –and something you might have learned too if you’ve taken any of our courses– it’s that he will do the hard stuff and he always finds a way to work the system.

That’s why, in our newest course, he continually repeats the phase, “I use the system. The system does not use me,” as a mantra for all things personal finance.

If you are clueless when it comes to personal finance or you need some brushing up on your skills after frantically submitting your taxes and feeling kind of crappy about how you have handled your money, start with this list of terms that you should know and understand in order to upgrade your wealth management game.

personal finance terms

Then, come join us in the course because we have all kinds of little secrets about handling your money the right way.

personal finance course

From Freelancer’s Union: Six Ways to Crush Solopreneur Burnout

solopreneur burnout

“As solopreneurs, we’re either feeling guilty for not being busy, or we’re in over our heads with work. Neither phase in the ‘feast or famine’ work cycle is stress-free, which means solopreneur burn out is a real problem.

Here are a few common situations I experienced myself, along with ways to overcome them. I am not going to include tips like taking a deep breath or working on multiple projects as I have tried them before – but these did not seem to help me solve my burnout problems from the origin.

Here’s how to turn your marketing campaign around…”

Solopreneur Burnout

United Airlines and China’s Century of Humiliation

David Dao was dragged off a United Airlines plane this week and the video of the brutal incident has gone viral. In China, it is estimated that the video has been watched more than 2 billion times. In this Brain Boost, Eazl business instructor Davis Jones talks about why the explosive Chinese reaction could be rooted in recent history–China’s “Century of Humiliation” and it’s rise to economic power.

“It’s Because I’m Chinese”
David Dao said that he was selected for “involuntary removal” by United Airlines because he is Asian-American. Some in China agree, and the Global Times, a state-owned newspaper ran a piece that gives credibility to Mr. Dao’s claim.

Roots of Humiliation
A phrase that’s known inside China is “The Century of Humiliation.” The beginning of the Century of Humiliation is usually dated around 1850 when free-trade agreements with Britain led to widespread opium addiction and the political unraveling of Qing dynasty. Later, events like the Japanese invasion in the 1930s and the eventual massacre and rape of Nan Jing where an estimated 300,000 citizens were killed and around 20,000 women were raped led Chinese society to bundle these years together as a time when China was fated to suffer terrible humiliations.

New Chinese Consumers
Today, media outlets, political leaders, and Chinese consumers are quick to report any incidents they view as discrimination against China or Chinese customers. As businesspeople and citizens outside China have more interactions with Chinese citizens, it is important to be aware that Chinese society increasingly demands recognition and respect. As their economic power increases, all brands and business owners will benefit by understanding more about Chinese history, the Century of Humiliation, and what that means for the psychology of Chinese citizens

Further Reading:
Chinese Consumers Boycott United
The Global Times says racism might have been a motive (Chinese)

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From Business2Community: Influencer Marketing 101

influencer marketing 101

“Most marketers don’t need another blog post convincing them to hop on the influencer marketing bandwagon.

They get it. It’s effective – influencer campaigns drive 11 times more ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.

The problem is that everyone’s an influencer now. Follower count doesn’t necessarily translate to influence anymore. Everyone with an opinion about your product or service that posts on social media has the power to influence their friends, family, and coworkers.

Research by Markerly shows that Instagram influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers have a like rate of 8%, while those with between 1,000 to 10,000 followers only average around 4%. Once a social media influencer reaches a critical mass of followers, audience engagement actually begins to decrease.

So does this mean we can only ever have one or the other: engagement or reach? Is there a happy compromise? How do you find the right individuals that will represent your brand and drive ROI?

The key lies in picking out the right influencers and getting them on board.

Heres how:”

influencer marketing 101

LifePower: Credit, Debt, Saving, Investing, & Buying a Home

This is the trailer for our newest course on personal finance.

Learn to Master the Financial Tools that Many of Us Were Never Taught
Your ability to use modern financial tools and systems is a crucial ingredient for a successful and happy life. Credit scores, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, tax-deferred investment accounts, and financial instruments like index funds, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds are fundamental to existence in our modern world. The topics in this course are relevant to people in all developed economies.

Ignorance is an expensive choice and there are plenty of organizations who would be happy to keep taking advantage of people who can’t navigate these systems. In this financial empowerment series you won’t get bombarded with boring math formulas. You’ll have fun. Let’s take on the system together.

Get the personal finance tools that enable you to use the complicated credit, debt, cash flow management, saving, investing, and real estate systems to your advantage.

In this new course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Building and managing your credit score
  • Using credit cards
  • Taking out and managing personal loans
  • Personal budgeting
  • Saving and investing
  • Buying real estate

This course is perfect for smart people who are starting to work, save, and build wealth, through this financial empowerment course you’ll learn how to use credit and debts, how to manage your cash flow, how to save and start investing, how to buy real estate in your name, and more.

Enroll now to get started on mastering your personal finance and assets!