What can be Learned from a Week with No Meetings

Hourglass-calendar-meetings

Meetings offer a good way to connect with your team, but they can also be time-consuming. You can get similar results if you avoid holding multiple meetings and instead rely on cloud services and calendar solutions for planning and communication. If you didn’t attend any meetings for an entire week, and here’s what you would learn from this experience.

A more productive work week – no meetings

Meetings take a lot of time to plan and manage. So yes, not holding any meetings will allow you to focus on solving tasks faster and more efficiently. If you focus on finishing top priorities first, the additional time will allow you to plan the next week. Not having any meetings will clear up a lot of time, which can be used to optimize the way you work.

A better way to communicate with your team

Meetings tend to be very formal, and they offer as much as regular communication. Outlining your ideas to your team can be as simple as sending an email. You don’t have to spend hours talking with your team and other people as you try to reach a common ground, as proper communication and time management can be improved outside of a meeting.

You’ll start to rely on tech a lot more

Many tech tools are available to make your work progress a lot easier. From secure cloud-based storage to communication tools or file sharing apps, all of these are a pleasure to use. They also make life a whole lot easier every day. You will be able to manage and share calendars online, use messaging apps, store information in the cloud, store and manage contacts online, and so much more!

The company saves a lot of money

Meetings are very expensive. If you stop attending meetings and just focus on work, the company will save a lot of money in the end! With increased company profits, the pressure to perform lessens a bit, and the work environment becomes a little more fun.

Life planning

Not attending meetings allows you to better plan your life. As a result, you get to manage your time at work a lot easier, and you also obtain the stuff of dreams: a better work-life balance. For example, you will be able to make time after work to spend with family or pursue a hobby since you will not be stuck in mandatory meetings.

Peace of mind

Most meetings are very stressful, so avoiding them will bring more peace of mind. Without them, you can focus on your daily tasks without being distracted by anything else! You will have a clear understanding of each task, and you get to avoid the stress of planning or attending a meeting. There is no need to prepare for the meeting, you won’t feel anxious sitting through the meeting, or worry how you will be perceived at the meeting. This brings about tremendous peace of mind.

As you can see, not attending meetings for one week comes with a huge range of benefits. Of course, meetings have their own importance, but you can easily replace them with other technologies, especially cloud-based calendar management.

You can share relevant information via email if possible, and you can also use video chat tools to connect with anyone when you need to talk face to face. Not attending meetings will help you get more done, so you can easily skip those non-important meetings from time to time if you want to! It just may end up improving your schedule and boosting your productivity!

computer-laptop-meetings-calendar-notes-coffee

If you want to have better, more efficient meetings, visit LegacyVault right away. Here you can find outstanding, professional solutions that will help you get your work done with fewer meetings. With all the tools you need to manage calendars, contacts, plan, share, and organize information, LegacyVault will help make most meetings a thing of the past!

 

Written by Charles – click here to check out his site!

Why do new startup businesses fail? (And how to avoid 4 common mistakes)

Did you know that there are over 500,000 new businesses created every day? And as optimistic as we want to be, we all know that a huge percentage of those businesses are likely to fail: 20% in the first year and up to 80% by the 10th year. Yikes.

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you didn’t walk into these statistics blindly. And you’ve spent a lot of time making sure you are one of the success stories: you’ve crunched the numbers. You’ve read about a million books and blog posts. After weeks of agonizing over it, you finally settled on a name—one that was specific enough to describe your current business, but also allows for the future growth and direction of your company. You’ve registered your business and set up the right business and financial structure.
And yet, what sets those who succeed apart from the slew of business that will fail? There are lots of reasons new businesses fail, but the most common reasons are related to cash flow and inexperience.

Here are 4 of the top pitfalls you can avoid when you start your new business:

  1. Money problems
    You must, you must, you must be realistic about your financial estimates. Use tools widely available (like on the Small Business Administration site). Knowing that lack of cash flow is the number one reason businesses fail should act as a warning to you to be very aware and very honest about how financially smart you need to be. Get help with this from the beginning—don’t wait until the ship is sinking. As hard as you are prepared to work, you cannot outwork no money for very long.
  2. Being overconfident
    You’re probably a reasonably smart person with some drive and ambition. That’s great! But the sooner you bring along some people on your team who are wiser and smarter than you, the better. You can find some free help at your local Chamber of Commerce and there are programs that match successful business owners to entrepreneurs. Find people who are successful in business to talk to. And then LISTEN to them. Your friends and family might be great cheerleaders, but unless they own thriving businesses, they are probably not the best source for business advice.
  3. Poor leadership and management
    You cannot do everything, even if you own and operate a non-employee business (which constitutes the majority of businesses). Hire out what you are not good at—accounting, social media, whatever. If you are building a company, make sure you bring people aboard who have strengths where you are weak. Be honest about what you need—ego kills budding businesses almost as fast as no money does.
  4.  Cyber-security problems
    This is a huge problem for startup businesses because when it comes to the bottom line, you don’t know how important a robust cyber-security system is until you’ve been hacked. Spend the money upfront to protect your company, your data and client information. You’re trying to build a solid reputation as a company that can be trusted. So be one that can.

Here’s a new business bonus tip:

After you’ve selected your company name and secured the domain name for a website, get it for all the social media outlets: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube. Even if you don’t think you’ll use a certain social media, you don’t want someone else to have the name, either. At best, it’s confusing to future customers if they try to find you on a particular outlet, and at worst, whoever has the name has some control of your company image.
Yes, starting a business is hard. But people do it, and to it successfully, every day. Those people have likely taken the time to examine why businesses fail and do everything they can to learn from those problems.
You can do it. Be smart, work hard, make sure your cash flow is there and surround yourself with wise people.

Now, go get ‘em!

Career dreams: The one thing you need to actually achieve them

Career: boss

Career Dreams: Where do you wish you were on your career path today?

Maybe this is a better question: where do you want your career to be in one year? Since a career is a long timeframe, think about it in a size-able chunk: 365 days at a time. And it matters what you do with each one of those days.

Sure, there are circumstances out of your control—maybe the position you really want in your company is filled, or you are balancing family demands that currently make your career goals take a backseat. But if the position did open up and when your family life allows you to put some more energy into your career, would you be ready?

You’ve heard the saying, ‘Chance favors the prepared.’ Which begs the question: Are you prepared when the opportunity you need to happen, happens?

Every decision you make about how you spend your time and resources either moves you towards your goals or moves you away from them. There really isn’t a neutral decision. When you consider a career path, it’s a marathon that requires planning and consistent effort to achieve. And life generally doesn’t allow a nice clean path from A to B. Nope—you’re going to get all kinds of side paths and distractions thrown at you along the way.

So what can you do to stay on target and be in a great position to actually achieve your career goals?

  1. Know where you are going
  2. Plan the route
  3. Work the plan

Know where you are going

Begin with the end in mind. Find a person who has the career you want and cyberstalk them. I mean that in the least creepy way possible. It’s not hard to know how to get to where you want to be. Find people whose careers you admire on LinkedIn and note the steps they took and see what similar steps might benefit your goals. Better yet, find someone you can take out for coffee and pick their brain.

Plan the route

If you know you’re going to need a degree or another degree or a certain kind of experience, back track that to what you need to do today to make it happen. Want to be ready for a promotion? Or to start your own business in 3 years? What do you need to know or set up? Go to school? Get out of debt? Make connections? Figure it out with the help of wise advice and get it written down in a master plan. And then plan to move towards it one, probably mundane but crucial, day at a time.

Work the plan

And here it is: the secret, the tip, the key. This is where the rubber meets the road. And it’s not complicated or out of your reach, it’s just a matter of self-discipline. This is the only part of your career path that you can fully control: what you do every single day to move yourself down the path you say you want. Or the choices you make that do not move you down the path. It is literally the small, daily decisions that will make or break you. This is where you prepare, this is where opportunity meets you and people will say you got lucky.

But you have to pay attention to what you are doing. Knowing that each day matters, what is the best way to stay on track? To know what you are doing? To be intentional with your time and resources?

Write (or type) it down. You will know what to do today because you have paid attention to what you need to do and you wrote it down, with a long-term vision. Know what books you need to be reading, what people to meet for coffee, what courses to take because you have it laid out in front of you.

To use your days wisely as you climb that career ladder, you must know where you are at, know where you are going, and know how to get there. Then, your daily tasks are to do some of the work that will get you there.

Here are 3 tips to use a planner to help you stay on track:

  1. Make S.M.A.R.T goals. They must be realistic and achievable.
  2. Use your planner daily. Preview your week, month and each day ahead of time so you know where your energy and focus will be. This allows you to respond to those distractions and things of life in a way that don’t get you off track. It gives you a way to adjust towards some balance with your responsibilities.
  3. Review and reflect on your progress at the end of each day, week and month. It is imperative that you know how things are going and make adjustments accordingly. If you aren’t meeting your goals, you can adjust as soon as you notice a consistent problem.

Achieving your career dreams is an ultra-marathon. You must pace yourself, but also keep making progress. It absolutely can be done—but only by the person who is paying attention to their life and how they spend their time, energy and resources on a daily basis. That’s the secret—knowing what you are actually doing and how that lines up with what you want to do.

Pay attention and do the work. When opportunity knocks, you’ll be ready.

Did you know that the LegacyVault Journey section is an easy and secure way to plan your days, months and years? And that you can access your Planner from a desktop, tablet or mobile device?  It also provides encrypted data storage so you have a very safe place to store all those fabulous ideas and thoughts. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use way to be intentional with your days, you’ve found it.

LegacyVault is attending Collision 2018

Technology Conference

LegacyVault will be attending the Collision technology conference in New Orleans this year.

For the very first time, LegacyVault will be at Collision! What is Collision? While only in its third year, Collision has been praised as one of the premier technology conferences in the world. In fact, Bloomberg calls it, “The best technology conference on the planet.”

It’s where tech startup companies can showcase their innovations to investors, and companies can get some significant exposure on a global platform. We’ll have the opportunity to learn from some of the most established names in technology like Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon. There are over 300 speakers, almost 4,000 CEO’s and 25,000 attendees from 120 countries. As you can imagine, we’re pretty stoked to attend.

What does this mean for LegacyVault and our clients?

Being able to exhibit our unique product at one of the fastest growing conferences has us pretty excited. We look forward to meeting like-minded innovators from around the world and seeing how we can connect to help solve personal data security problems. Collision has a well-deserved reputation as being the place to be for technology collaboration, investment and inspiration.

We’ll have the opportunity to meet people from every industry impacted by technology. We will learn from them and share what we have to offer on the data security spectrum. Former Vice-President Al Gore will be a headline speaker. In addition to the tech startups and tech giants who will be present, the conference draws actors (Shailenne Woodley), musicians (Damon Wayans, Jr), and even astronauts (Mike Massimino). This is the place to be if you have influence, or want to have influence, in technology and innovation.

If you’re heading to New Orleans for the Collision technology conference between April 30 – May 3, be sure to swing by the LegacyVault booth on the exhibition floor!

We’ll have some fun swag, and we’d love to meet you!

How to organize your financial paperwork: from monthly bills to digital storage

Financial statements and bills are the single most frustrating kind of mail and paperwork we deal with. From when we receive it, to when we put it in that pile to deal with, to when we put it in that other pile to REALLY deal with it, to when we decide if we need to save it or shred it. Do you have a system that you use to find financial paperwork you’re looking for? I mean, are you able to find it quickly, not finally discover it when you spend an hour ‘remembering’ where you placed it? Looking for financial information is not only a painful waste of time, but it can also cost you money if you don’t respond to a request for information or catch an error in a timely manner.

Most of us want to be better organized, but we just don’t know where to start, but getting organized does not have to be overwhelming or stressful. You just need a little kick to overcome the inertia that keeps you from getting started and then a simple system so it’s not a life-draining chore to keep it up.

What’s the worst thing that could happen if you cannot find that financial information you just spent time looking for? It may not seem like that big of a deal if you end up paying some late fees or are embarrassed when you have to call to have information re-sent, but being disorganized about your financial information can have significant consequences now, and certainly as your investments and income grow. You know you want to be better organized. This is your chance to just get it done.

Here are a couple of simple ways to get and stay organized for short-term and long-term storage of your financial documents. Short-term storage (like a paper filing system) is great for general bill paying and account reconciliation. Long-term storage is best for investments, contracts, and mortgage or property information.

Short-term

The best system is the one you will use, so it may take a few months to find out how you like to keep track of bill paying and such if you don’t already have a system in place. An easy one is to have a three-file system labeled: pay/action, file, shred. Every piece of financial information that comes across your desk will fall into one of those categories. So when it comes in, stick it in one of those files immediately. Resist putting it in a pile to deal with later. The files should be emptied out as the month goes on, to be ready for the next batch to come in. Think about how you pay bills (is it once a month? Or when they come in?) and set aside time on your calendar to actually run your system. If you don’t get ahead of it, you will use the most stressful system there is—the one that is on the bank, utility company and credit card company’s terms.

Long-term

Some bills and statements you only need to track until you review them or pay them and then they can be filed until the next statement comes. Some documents need to be kept for years and you may or may not need ready access to them. For those items that are in the short-term ‘file’ folder, a digital storage solution is an extremely good way to organize things you want to be able to find quickly and for long-term storage. Carve some time out to catch up on the documents you need to have in long-term storage (like titles to vehicles and financial contracts), but start immediately with those ‘file’ items you run across this week. Get started somewhere and put time on the calendar to continue.

A little investment of time into organizing your financial documents will pay huge dividends to your peace of mind and may even add a little money to your pocket. It seems like a huge task, but you just have to get started (like today) and then plan in a little time for maintenance. You can do it. And you will be happy you did.

LegacyVault has a great, step-by-step system to help you start the process to manage and store both short-term and long-term financial documents in your military-grade Vault. Wouldn’t it be nice to access all your financial and account information in one, secure location? Yeah, we think so too. Click here for more info on how LegacyVault can help.