Saturday, June 11, 2022

Owning a business as a teenager

Being a teenage entrepreneur | Entrepreneurship for teenagers
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Four things to think about before starting a business as a teenager

Launching your own business is challenging, but it has many rewards. Becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own company as a teenager has a unique set of difficulties, but it can set you up for a thriving career as an adult. Here are four things you should think about if you want to start a business as a teenager.

1. Benefits of being a teenage entrepreneur

Starting a business as a teenager is a great way to develop skills that will benefit you as an adult. One of the biggest benefits of being a teenage entrepreneur is having the opportunity to make money and learn how to manage it effectively. You'll learn how to put some of your profit back into your business to grow it, and you'll also get a chance to figure out how to balance a budget.

Another benefit of starting a company when you're a teenager is having a chance to be creative. You'll also hone your problem-solving skills so that you are better equipped to navigate the real world as an adult with a successful career.

2. Ideas for a company

You can turn many passions and hobbies into companies that you can work outside of school hours. If you have good study habits and enjoy helping others learn, start a tutoring business. Launch a pet-sitting company if you love animals. Turn a passion for artwork into a company. The options are endless, but it is crucial to select a job type that gives you flexible hours so that you can complete school.

3. Tools to make administrative tasks easier

Running any type of business requires you to spend a lot of time on administrative tasks. Technology has produced many tools that make administrative tasks easier to perform. One tool that is often helpful for company owners is invoicing software. Invoices make it easier for you to get paid in a timely manner. Invoices also help you keep track of the products and services you provide to your customers. Choosing your invoicing software right helps you keep accurate records so that you can run a successful business.

4. Techniques for marketing

People have to know that your business exists if you expect them to buy your products or services. Marketing is an essential element of any company, but it is especially important for teenage entrepreneurs who do not have huge business budgets to purchase flashy ads. There are many cost-efficient advertising strategies you can use to build your client base. Word-of-mouth marketing is a great option if you already have a few clients who are happy with what you have to offer.

You can also use social media advertising to grow your clientele. Create business accounts on popular social media pages and advertise your services to other users. You can reach a wide audience with minimal effort and no cost when you use this marketing technique.

Flyers listing your services have a greater upfront cost than the marketing tactics discussed above. However, handing out flyers can be a great way to network and make a name for yourself in your community.

With some hard work and dedication, you can start a successful business as a teenager. Make sure you think about these four things to ensure that launching a company is right for you.

If you found this post helpful, you may want to check out these previous posts, as well:

What is marketing?

What is professional development?

Being an entrepreneur in high school


Pros and cons of entrepreneurship

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Balancing school and work

It can be hard to fulfill all your responsibilities when juggling both school and work. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make the struggle a little easier. Here are some tips for balancing your school and work responsibilities, so you don't end up falling behind in your studies.

1. Look for appropriate times at work to fit in your studies.

Are you most likely going to sit in the break room during your break(s)? If so, bring along one or two of your assigned readings (books, articles - whatever format they're in). Bring along one or two of your assigned written assignments, or at least a notebook and pen to jot down some thoughts and ideas for your written assignments that you can use later on when you have a larger block of study time available. You'd be surprised how much reading and/or writing you can get done during your 15-minute break(s) at work.

If you get a lunch break, consider splitting your time between eating and studying. A split lunch break could give you an extra 10-15 minutes or more of study time that might otherwise go unused.

The time spent traveling to and from work can also be used for studying if you have a long commute on public transit.

2. Ask for some leniency at work around exam time.

You are likely to be extra busy with school work in the weeks leading up to your exams. Consider asking your employer for reduced or more favorable work hours during this period to help you better cope with your increased school work. While some employers will be more accommodating than others, yours may be happy to offer some relief in such times.

3. Speak with your teachers if you're falling behind on critical projects.

Teachers are more likely to make allowances if they know you're balancing school and work, but open and honest communication on your part is the key here. It's your responsibility to approach your teachers on this. If there's no chance of you finishing particular projects or papers on time, speak with your teachers well before the due dates to see what your options are. By "well before the due dates," I mean at least several solid days before, not the night before or the morning of. Your teachers may offer deadline extensions or reduced penalties for late submissions. But again, it's all on you to initiate this important conversation.

There's no doubt it can be a struggle to balance both school and work. Because of this, it's not uncommon for workers to see some unpleasant results on their school assignments, tests, and exams. Hopefully, the preceding three tips can help ease your struggles, so you can continue to do well with your studies while fulfilling your responsibilities at work.

If you found this post helpful, you may want to check out these previous posts, as well:

How to properly prepare for tests and exams

High school students and stress

Better study habits

Be more productive, complete projects on time

Be more productive, complete projects on time

Four ways to boost productivity and complete your projects on time

When you're working on a big project but only have a limited amount of time to get it done, boosting productivity becomes very important. Otherwise, when the deadline arrives, you might not have much to show for your efforts. So, how do you increase productivity so you can finish your projects on time? Read on to find out. Here are four ways of boosting productivity that can help ensure your projects get done before they're due.

1. Commit to working on your project every day.

Sometimes the most challenging part of finishing a project is getting yourself to actually work on it - especially after an extended break. That's why, instead of procrastinating, you should commit to working on your project every day. By working on your project every day, you'll incorporate it into your daily routine, making it easier for you to continue with the project from where you've left off.

2. Set deadlines for completing the various stages of your project.

It can be tempting to casually go about your work if you don't set deadlines for the various stages of your project. To keep yourself from falling into a slowly-paced work style, give yourself specific deadlines to meet while working on the project. Setting several minor deadlines helps create a definitive work pace, which can help ensure you finish the project on time. In addition, multiple deadlines can inspire you to work harder as you see the individual due dates getting closer.

3. Eliminate as many distractions as possible.

Anything that pulls you away from your work - even momentarily - makes you less productive. By eliminating distractions like email, voicemail, and text notifications, you'll be better able to stay focused on the task at hand, allowing you to get more done. If you do turn off your regular notifications, remember to dedicate specific times during the day for checking your emails, voicemails, and texts. This way, you'll stay up to date with what's going on, so you won't accidentally miss out on anything important.

4. Schedule yourself breaks and don't skip them.

While holding extended work sessions may sound like an ultra-productive strategy, in reality, it usually isn't. Why? Because concentration and motivation start to suffer after working for too long without a break. Scheduled breaks give you a chance to recharge, so you can return to your project fresh and ready to work. A popular way of handling breaks is to schedule a 15-minute recess after every 90 minutes of work.

Boosting your productivity is vitally important if you don't want to struggle with insane last-minute workloads when your deadlines draw near. That's why, the next time you start a project, you should keep these productivity-boosting tips in mind from day one. By boosting your productivity, you'll be able to complete your projects earlier than expected, so you can focus on the other things you'd rather be doing.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

2022 Lent prayer requests

Please use the comments section below to share your prayer requests this Lenten season so that our growing community of readers here may pray for your intentions. I will be praying for your intentions throughout Lent. You may certainly remain anonymous, if you so choose.

Many blessings to you and yours as we begin this Lenten season of prayer, fasting, and reflection!

All the Best,

Aaron Robertson

Saturday, February 26, 2022

How to enjoy reading


March is National Reading Month! Let's usher in March 2022 with a new, or renewed, commitment to reading. If reading for pleasure is a foreign concept to you, you're certainly not alone. So many people, especially those in school, decide early on that reading is incredibly dull and not at all enjoyable. Can you really blame people for thinking that way, though? Not so much, considering most required reading materials are far from stimulating and generate little interest in their forced audiences.

That said, if you, too, have decided that reading is dull beyond compare, then maybe it's time to give reading for pleasure another chance. With nothing to lose and plenty to gain, there really is no reason not to give it a try.

This post is really two-pronged in focus. First, let's discuss a few suggestions for making the experience of reading more enjoyable. Next, we'll look at three tips that will help you read more books by maximizing your time more efficiently.

How to make reading for pleasure an enjoyable experience

1. Determine your preferred genres.

You aren't likely to find much pleasure in reading if you're reading books that don't interest you. That's why figuring out your preferred genres is essential for making reading for pleasure a pleasurable experience. If you aren't sure which genres you'd be interested in, then think about the types of shows you enjoy watching on TV. Odds are, you'll enjoy reading books from the same genre. There may even be a series of books based on your favorite TV show. And let's not forget about your other hobbies and interests here - there most likely exists some wonderful literature out there about them, too. If you like certain sports and sports history, for example; or if you collect anything, like stamps, postcards, sports cards, coins, etc.; chances are high you'll find some great reading material.

My favorite genres are in the non-fiction realm. I enjoy books, articles, magazines, journals, and newspapers that cover subjects like personal finance, entrepreneurship and business, minimalism, history, biographies, music, inventions, travel, philosophy, sociology, politics, economics, and the Roman Catholic faith. I often find that these non-fiction reading genres closely align with my TV-viewing habits, as well. I love non-fiction TV shows and documentaries focused on history, travel and cuisine, biographies, business and finance, inventions, etc.

2. Make the act of reading about more than the book itself.

Sure, reading a good book can be its own reward, but there's so much more you could be doing to make the experience exceptional. To get the most out of your reading experience, push it to the next level. Start by finding yourself a cozy nook for reading, then settle in with a delicious beverage and some tasty treats by your side. Reading for pleasure becomes more enjoyable when adding external factors that make you happy.

3. Set aside any books you aren't enjoying.

Nothing makes reading less fun than slogging through a book you aren't enjoying. So, to make reading for pleasure an enjoyable experience, set aside any books you aren't enjoying and move on to a new one. Of course, that doesn't mean you have to give up on the book forever. You can always return to it later when you're in a different mood. It's also worth mentioning that many books that start slow hit their stride several pages into the text. For this reason, you should always give each book enough time to draw you in before completely giving up on it.

While reading for pleasure might not sound like your cup of tea initially, it could be a far more enjoyable hobby than you realize. After all, with countless books covering every imaginable topic, there are plenty of books out there you'll enjoy reading. You just need to find them. So, if sometime in the past you convinced yourself that reading for pleasure isn't your idea of a good time, then maybe you should give it another try. Who knows, you might end up with another vastly enjoyable hobby to fill your spare time.

Three tips that will help you read more books

Reading is a great way to escape for a little while from the hustle and bustle of daily life, while also increasing your overall knowledge. To reap the benefits of reading, however, you'll need to take the time to read some books. So, what are some lifestyle changes that can help you increase your time spent reading? Read on to find out. Here are three tips that will help you read more books.

1. Bring a book with you everywhere you go.

Life provides many opportunities for reading. To seize these opportunities, keep a book nearby so you'll be ready to read whenever these moments occur. That way, you can reach for your book and do a little reading the next time you're sitting on the school bus, waiting at the doctor's office, relaxing in the break room at your place of work, or in study hall with no other work that needs to be done.

2. Make it a habit to read each night before bed.

Rather than browsing through your social media or loading up another episode of your favorite TV show before bed, make it a habit to read a book instead. Reading for fifteen minutes before bed each night may not feel like a lot of effort, but it will increase your time spent reading by over ninety hours per year. As a bonus, reading before bed can make your eyes feel tired, which might make it easier for you to fall asleep.

3. Don't be afraid to replace certain books with others.

As previously discussed, if the thought of continuing a book you aren't enjoying has put you off reading altogether, then don't be afraid to find another book. There's no point in forcing yourself to finish a book if it's causing you to procrastinate beyond a reasonable amount. Unfortunately, while this tip can help you read more overall, it can only be implemented while reading for pleasure. If you must read a specific book for work or school, you'll still need to push through it the best you can, no matter how much you dislike it.


While reading for pleasure may sound or feel somewhat strange to you initially, it has the potential to be a far more enjoyable hobby than you realize. There are countless books covering every imaginable subject. While this post is primarily focused on books, let's not forget other sources of reading and learning, too, like articles, magazines, journals, newspapers, and audio books. You most likely have favorite TV shows and/or other hobbies and interests you enjoy. Chances are highly likely that there is some wonderful reading material out there on these subjects, too. You just need to find them.

So, if sometime in the past you convinced yourself that reading for pleasure isn't your idea of a good time, then maybe you should give it another try. Who knows, you might end up with another vastly enjoyable hobby to fill your spare time. There is much to be gained by reading more. Fortunately, reading more is easy if you're willing to accept a few simple lifestyle changes. After applying the preceding strategies and tips to your daily routine, you'll be reading more in no time. Happy reading!

Friday, February 25, 2022

Travel the world without leaving home

How to travel the world without leaving home

There are many reasons why a person may not be able to travel. Perhaps it's due to failing health or lack of funds. Maybe it's obligations at home, work, and/or school. It doesn't much matter what keeps a person from straying too far from home. What matters is making the most of the current situation. So, if you want to travel the world, but circumstances have left you unable to do so for whatever reason, then here's your answer - do it virtually!

All you need to do to travel virtually is think of a place you've always wanted to visit, then immerse yourself in that country's culture. By immersing yourself in the other culture, you can take a virtual vacation to another land without leaving home. Here are seven virtual travel ideas to get you started.

1. Pick up some travel guides.

Travel guides are an excellent resource for learning about the people, culture, and attractions in the country you'll be virtually visiting. Beyond traditional guidebooks, you can also pick up brochures at a local travel agency and visit some travel websites about the country in question. The more you learn about your virtual vacation destination, the more it will feel like you're actually exploring it.

2. Watch a travel documentary.

Travel documentaries take you off the beaten path and into places that guidebooks rarely mention. They may also introduce you to some colorful locals while discussing region-specific customs and cuisines. To watch a travel documentary, check what's available regarding your chosen destination in your cable or streaming provider's on-demand catalog. If no programs are available for the particular country, or your cable package doesn't include on-demand programming, try searching YouTube for documentaries instead.

3. Enjoy some international cuisine.

To make your at-home travel experience feel more authentic, align your daily menu with meals inspired by your chosen travel destination. To do this, you have two options - either order in from a local restaurant specializing in authentic cuisine, or try cooking some travel-inspired meals from scratch. If you need some inspiration for your travel-themed meals, search online for famous dishes from the country you're virtually visiting.

4. Listen to travel podcasts.

You can learn a lot about a particular country by listening to travel podcasts about it. To find podcasts featuring your virtual travel destination, type 'Travel podcasts about' followed by the country's name (e.g., Travel podcasts about Mexico) in Google's search engine. While not all searched countries bring up a list of travel-themed podcasts, many do. As for listening to the travel podcasts, you can listen to them whenever you wish, though a highly recommended time for listening is while you're in the car.

5. Listen to foreign music.

Listening to foreign music can help get you in the travel spirit. To find suitable songs, first search online for a list of musicians or bands from the country you're virtually visiting. This search should provide you with the names of the country's most famous artists, making it possible to search for their music on YouTube or other similar websites. While you're searching, create a custom playlist featuring popular songs from the artists on the list. Once the playlist is complete, listen to the music whenever your travel spirit needs a little boost. If the country's top musicians and bands are already in heavy rotation on your local radio stations, then consider searching for traditional music from the region instead.

6. Watch a foreign television show or movie.

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video contain many international television shows and movies. If you currently subscribe to a streaming service, search the catalog for television shows or movies filmed in your chosen vacation destination. If you find a suitable program, but it's in a language you don't speak, look for a subtitles option to help you follow along. If you don't currently subscribe to a streaming service, check what's available through free options like YouTube or Tubi.

7. Learn some words and phrases in another language.

If you're going to be virtually traveling the world, then you might as well learn something new while you do. If the people in your chosen destination speak a language you don't currently know, then take the opportunity to learn some common words and phrases in the other language. Travel guides and brochures may be helpful in this regard, as would a dedicated language course if you feel like going the extra mile. Watching foreign-language media with the subtitles turned on can also help you pick up some frequently used words and phrases in the other language.

As you can see, there are many ways a person can virtually travel the world without leaving their home. So, keep these ideas in mind the next time you find yourself with a travel itch you can't scratch. With a bit of effort and creativity, you can create your own travel experience without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Better study habits


Many people find studying to be an unpleasant, grueling experience. Because of this, some people choose to avoid their studies, leading to unnecessary stress later on when they ultimately fall behind on their lessons. So then, how can you make studying feel less grueling, so the simple idea of cracking a book or writing notes no longer fills you with dread? It's easy. Train yourself to learn more efficiently and creatively. Studying more efficiently speeds up the learning process, helping you avoid the negative feelings associated with inefficient study sessions. Learning to incorporate more creativity into your study sessions through the use of different study methods and materials may - ahem - even make studying more fun and interesting! Or at least more tolerable. C'mon, work with me here...

Following are a number of strategies and ideas to hack your future study sessions so you can learn more efficiently and creatively. Consider this post to be your complete guide to getting the most out of your study sessions. Feel free to bookmark it, come back to it from time to time, and share this information with others.

The Environment

Getting serious about studying: Three tips for having more efficient study sessions

When you have a lot of studying to do, it is vitally important to work efficiently. Otherwise, you might not have much to show for your efforts - even after an hours-long study session. That said, if you're ready to get serious about your studies so you can truly tackle the topic at hand, try implementing the following three study tips.

1. Find a suitable study environment.

It's hard to stay focused on your studies when you're in the wrong environment. That's why, if you need absolute silence to study efficiently, you should look for the quietest available space to hold your study session. On the other hand, if you find silence itself distracting - and some people certainly do - seek out a study location with enough background noise to keep you focused. Perhaps you need the TV or music going quietly in the background, or maybe you enjoy studying at your local coffee shop.

2. Get rid of distractions.

Distractions are nearly guaranteed to break your focus. To help maintain focus on your studies, mute your cell phone and stop checking your social media accounts. Save such distractions for after your study sessions or during your scheduled (and timed!) breaks. We'll get to the subject of breaks a little later on.

3. Only multitask when necessary.

You can accomplish quite a bit when you focus all your attention on a single subject. While tackling many subjects at once may seem more productive, the constant switching between topics can actually slow you down in the long run. Try keeping each study session focused on a single subject so you can make more substantial progress on it.

If you want to have more efficient study sessions, it's time to get serious about your studies. So, when you're ready to get serious, find yourself a suitable study environment, get rid of any distractions, and only multitask when absolutely necessary. By following these three tips, you'll increase your productivity levels by having more efficient study sessions.

The Note-Taking Process

Retain more of what you're studying by rewriting your notes

There are countless reasons why rewriting your notes helps you retain more of what you're studying - especially if you rewrite your notes by hand. After all, a thorough rewrite lets you revisit topics you may have forgotten, refreshing the details in your mind. Here are four tips to help you retain more of what you're studying while rewriting your notes.

1. Grab a pen and rewrite your notes by hand - and avoid word-for-word rewrites.

Though technology can be a helpful study tool, many people learn more efficiently when transcribing their notes by hand. There's just something about personally writing your notes by hand that helps commit the information to memory faster than typing notes on a computer or laptop. Additionally, it's unlikely that you'll remember much after mindlessly copying words from one sheet to another. So, to retain more of what you're studying, rewrite your notes to express the same concepts with different words. This exercise will force you to think critically about the content, making it more likely you'll remember the details long-term. If you can only squeeze in a short study session, then quickly review the topic in question and rewrite the most critical points from the lesson by hand. Remember, the faster you can memorize your notes, the more efficient your study sessions will become.

2. Expand upon or correct passages as needed.

It's easy to miss essential information when taking real-time notes during a quickly-paced lecture. Take a moment during the rewriting process to consult related books and handouts so you can expand upon your previously constructed notes. Also, correct any passages if you find that you've accidentally copied down incorrect information.

3. Summarize the content.

End each portion of your rewritten notes with a concise summary of the topic. In doing so, you'll both review the lesson and create a handy overview of the subject matter containing the lesson's most vital details. The summarized text may also prove helpful during last-minute cram sessions when you're unable to review your notes in full.

4. Read through your rewritten notes.

After rewriting your notes, spend some time reading over what you've just written. Better yet, read the pages aloud so you can both see and hear the details covered during your study session. By reading your newly-created notes, you'll better connect with the material, allowing more information to stick in your memory.

It's a well-known fact that using a range of study methods generally leads to the best results. That's why, if you're looking to hold a successful study session, you should always schedule some time for rewriting your notes. By incorporating this additional method into your study routine, you'll be more likely to retain what you're studying, giving you a leg up on your next test or exam.

Additional memorization strategies when it comes to utilizing your notes

There are many ways to commit information to memory. While certain memory aids and memorization techniques will likely work better for you than others, there's no harm in trying several methods during your study sessions. With each unique approach to memorization, you'll review your study materials another time, which can help solidify the information in your memory. In addition to reading notes aloud, consider trying some of these other popular techniques the next time you study: creating flashcard quizzes, coming up with clever mnemonics, and drafting mock exams. After learning which methods work best for you, you'll start having more efficient study sessions.

Taking Breaks: An Absolute Neccessity

Three reasons why taking breaks helps you study more efficiently

Studying non-stop may seem like a great way to be more productive, but having non-stop study sessions can often do more harm than good. Why? Because non-stop study sessions can lead to mental and physical fatigue, preventing you from effectively absorbing information. So, how can you prevent yourself from becoming mentally and physically exhausted during your study sessions? It's simple. Take regularly scheduled breaks. Here are three reasons why taking breaks leads to more efficient study sessions.

1. Taking breaks fends off mental fatigue.

Being mentally exhausted makes it harder to focus on your studies. Having less focus makes it more challenging to absorb the information you're trying to learn. Mental fatigue can also negatively affect your memory, making it harder for you to recall previously known information during tests or exams.

2. Taking breaks releases physical tension.

Studying in one position for too long can lead to muscle tension and body aches. When this happens, you may focus more on your aches and pains than the subject you are trying to study. By scheduling breaks to move around and stretch your muscles, you'll relieve built-up muscle tension, helping you maintain peak levels of concentration.

3. Taking breaks helps you change your perspective.

It's far too easy to get caught up in a single perspective if you never look up from your work. Taking a break lets you step back from the topic, giving your brain a chance to process the subject matter from different angles. Approaching a subject from various perspectives is also helpful because it leaves you with a more thorough understanding of the content.

When scheduling breaks in your study sessions, aim to take breaks lasting for between five and fifteen minutes following each hour of studying. If you're having trouble keeping track of when it's time to take a break, let an alarm notify you when your hour-long study segment is complete. Consider also using the alarm to announce the end of your rest period so that you can resume your study session at the appropriate time.

The Importance of Sleep and Nutrition

Taking excellent care of yourself

Nothing breaks a person's concentration during a study session like a rumbling stomach or feelings of fatigue. To study more efficiently, take excellent care of yourself by paying close attention to your eating and sleeping habits. Once you understand your behaviors, you can improve your routine wherever necessary. For example, to ensure you're eating well, make an effort to choose more nutritious foods. Also, do your best to avoid skipping meals whenever possible. As for resting, aim to get a solid night's sleep as often as you can - especially before a big test or exam.


There are many ways you can increase overall learning efficiency and creativity during your study sessions. For instance, you could try rewriting your notes by hand, utilizing various memory aids and memorization techniques, and taking extra care of yourself. Finding the right study environment is certainly important, as well. Hopefully, by implementing these study strategies and hacks described above, you'll find studying far more enjoyable and learning much more efficient and creative.