How to Inspire Action from Others as a Leader
inspire

Have you ever noticed that some leaders can naturally inspire actions, while others can't? Or wonder why some people have achieved remarkable feats that defied expectations?

Simon Sinek has a theory. It's called the golden circle. Almost every individual and company know what they do and how they do it. However, few can accurately explain 'why' they do it. As a result, most mission statements fail to capture the why.

Yet, as Simon explains this 'why' is absolutely crucial for not only driving sales, but for inspiring others. People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

We can logically understand what and how something is done, but we emotionally connect with the 'why'. It is this emotional connection that motivates us to take action. For example, when asked 'why' we took a certain action, most of us report that it “felt right” or “our gut instinct told us to”. Or in other words, we resonated with a company or individual's “why” and acted to confirm our own self-identity.

As Simon explains, Martin Luther King was not the only great orator of his time. Nor was he the only African American that suffered under America's laws of segregation and racial hate. Yet, when Martin Luther King marched on Washington over 250,000 people from across the country marched with him. In the pre-Internet days, this turn out was an amazing, incredible feat. How was it accomplished?

Simon claims that MLK was able to motivate people because he didn't start by explaining what was wrong with America, but with “why” America was flawed. His most famous speech wasn't titled “I have a plan”, but “I have a dream”. MLK was able to express his “why” and this “why” resonated with other people that had suffered from America's segregation laws. People joined him on his march on Washington, because this fundamental truth reflected an aspect of their self-identity. In other words, people marched for their own beliefs – not Martin Luther King's.

While Simon's theory may sound inspiring, it isn't easy to find your “why” and put it into practice. And it certainly requires some self-reflection. Most of us live our lives by accident and are simply reacting to our environment. However, we can only attain fulfilment once we understand our purpose or our 'why'.

Discovering our why gives us the clarity and confidence to pursue careers that inspire us and to inspire those around us. It helps us to accomplish things that may seem impossible to others and change the status quo.

To discover more about finding your 'why' and begin the journey towards self-enlightenment, check out Simon's website or listen to his TedTalks.

How to Beat Procrastination
March 22, 2018
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procrastination

Procrastination is one of the greastest challenges and evils for any professional. Procrastination can greatly hurt your career and performance and should be avoided. While we all struggle with procrastination to a degree, 20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators.

Yet, how do we overcome our procrastination? According to Psychology Today, procrastination is not an issue of time management or of poor planning. It is not a genetic, biological trait, but is instead the individual's inability to self-regulate.

Psychologists have frequently studied procrastination and these studies have come up with some strategies for beating procrastination.

1) Don't Put Off Tasks

Due to the Zeigarnik effect, we are more likely to remember unfinished tasks. When something is left unfinished, it bothers us and as a result, our brain continually reminds us to finish the task. It may be easy to put off tasks for tomorrow, but even taking small steps towards accomplishing the task can help it ACTUALLY get accomplished.

2) Start Small

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by big tasks, which only increases our likelihood to avoid doing them. When we're not quite sure where to start, it can be difficult to even image accomplishing the task. In order to avoid intimidation, start small by breaking the task into different parts.

For example, the big tasks may be to design an international marketing campaign. To make the task seem easier, start with conducting market research on your client and potential market. By making the task seem smaller and more manageable, you're more likely to get started and subsequently finish the task.

3) Assess Your Motivation

We are more likely to accomplish tasks if we have a strong motivation to do so. Most of the time, we don't think about the why. Psychology Professor, Fuschia Sirois of Bishop's University has conducted research on procrastination and suggests that identifying a personal meaning in the task increases our motivation.

Why wait? Get started beating procrastination today. Once you make some of these tips part of your daily routine, procrastination will stop obstructing your personal life and career progress.

Old Dogs Learn New Tricks: Reinventing Yourself in Retirement
retirement

If you're reading this blog, chances are you're recently retired. Are you struggling to fill each day and miss work? Is your pension not providing enough income for you? Whatever your reasons, you're not alone.

In fact, the Office of National Statistics reports that the amount of employees between the age of 50 to 64 has increased by 60% over the last 15 years! They estimate that nearly 8 million people within this age bracket remain employed. Within the last 10 years, employees between the age of 70 to 74 have nearly doubled. It is speculated that this trend will only continue as people increasingly fail to put enough funds aside for retirement and state pensions diminish while prices increase.

Older workers face a number of problems and some are even forced out of employment due to age discrimination, carer responsibilities, or health issues. If you find yourself prematurely retired or are considering returning to work part-time, we'd like to offer some ideas of alternative forms of income.

By thinking outside the box, you could easily afford a comfortable retirement AND take care of your loved ones.

 

Become An AirB&B Host

AirB&B is a fantastic way for anyone with extra space to make some extra income. All you have to do is create a free profile featuring yourself, location, and space and then welcome your doors to travellers.

AirB&B is becoming more and more mainstream. At last count, they list 168,000 active listings and AirB&B reports that hosts (on average) earn £3,000 per year. This figure may be slightly low as most hosts only host 36 nights per year (roughly 3 nights per month). Hosting more frequently would obviously increase this amount, but it's important to balance personal space with hosting.

Based on a demographic report from AirB&B, most hosts are, on average, 43 years old, which suggests that a large percentage of people may also be using AirB&B to earn extra money for or during retirement.

 

Become An Independent Consultant or Freelancer

It's likely that after decades in your career and industry, you've become a bit of an expert and made some excellent connections. These two factors are essential for successfully establishing yourself as a freelancer. Freelancing allows you the flexibility to balance care responsibilities while also earning some income. You can work when it suits you and take longer breaks without issue when it doesn't.

Therefore, it's not surprising that many people in retirement are choosing this route. In fact, the National Office of Statistics reports that nearly half of people over 70 in employment are employed on a self-employment (i.e. freelance or independent consultant) basis.

If you decide to pursue this route, Opus Matrix is a great platform for finding freelance opportunities and building your professional network.

 

Become A Child Minder or Nanny

Childminding is another common option for retirees as chances are you have tons of experience looking after children. Most people have raised children and may even have grandchildren of their own. Childminding harnesses these skills and provides a flexible work environment.

In fact, a US start-up has created a platform called Hire A Grandma. While there isn't a UK platform targetted exclusively at the older generation, there are tons of websites like childcare.co.uk or care.com that help connect childminders with families.

These are just some of the ideas for alternative income to make retirement possible. Feel free to add your ideas in the comment section.

Everything You Need To Know About Self-Assessments
February 20, 2018
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self assessment tax

The tax deadline of January 31st has passed and many sole traders are wiping the sweat from their foreheads after scrambling their books and payments together. It’s this time of year that many business owners tell themselves to get super organised to avoid issues next year and there are several methods for ensuring that you avoid penalties and budget correctly for 2018.

With some proper planning, come next January you won't need to panic over last-minute self-assessments or stress to pull together large sums.

What are Self-Assessments?

 

All freelancers and limited company owners must file a self-assessment. This basically takes account of all of your profits and expenses and calculates the amount you owe in National Insurance contributions and taxes.

It pays to complete the self-assessment early as it will give you an idea of the amount you owe.

Tips for Filing A Self-Assessment

 

The first step is to create an online account at HMRC. It can take up to seven days to receive your activation code in the post and you can't log-in without it so it's best. If you already have an account, you can just sign-in online.

You will need to sort through your paperwork to determine your profits and expenses. Remember that profits also include any accrued interest on bank accounts and dividends.

You can charge all business expenses onto a debit card. This makes determining expenses slightly easier as there is a paper trail. Each year you can then go through bank statements and highlight all profits or expenses. This information is then entered into an Excel document. The final amount that you have to pay taxes on is then determined by deducting the tax-free allowance (£11,500) and expenses from the profits.

Most information about self-assessments can be found online on HMRC's help page. This page includes everything from how to register to property tax. It can be far more effective to find information online than attempting to call HMRC. Though I have occasionally found their staff to be helpful and it isn't that difficult, unlike some companies, to access a human representative.

How to Budget for Taxes

 

If you make over the HMRC profit threshold of £1000, then you'll also be expected to pay half of next year's taxes in advance. As a result, you can often face a hefty tax bill.

One of the best ways to determine how much you will owe is by using HMRC's tax calculator. Once you have a good idea of what to expect, you can budget accordingly. The HMRC Tax Reckoner Tool can help you determine how much to set aside each week or month.

It may be easier to set-up another bank account and then save your tax money into this account.

Tax Penalties and Fines

People that fail to pay their taxes on time, don't pay enough tax, or make a mistake on their form can face fines and penalties.

One of the easiest ways to receive a penalty is by failing to submit your SA by the January 31st tax deadline. Even if you only submit one day late, you can face a penalty of £100. Once payments are more than 3 months late, you face additional penalties which start at £10 per day.

If you do owe taxes and fail to pay these taxes by the 31st deadline, you'll also face a penalty. If the outstanding taxes aren't paid by the 31st of February, the penalty is 5% of the amount. After 6 and 12 months, you'll face an additional 5% fine. Overdue taxes also accumulate interest at a rate of 3%.

Mitigating Circumstances

 

Most people fail to submit or pay their taxes on time for the simple reason that they forget. However, you can avoid the penalty if you missed the deadline due to a mitigating circumstance such as the death of a partner or close relative shortly before the deadline, unexpected stay in a hospital, serious or life-threatening illness, or unexpected postal delay. The full list of “reasonable excuses” can be found online.

How to Avoid Penalties

 

The best way to avoid tax penalties is by planning ahead. You can submit your SA any time after the start of the tax year (April 5th), which gives you nearly 9 months to get your paperwork together. With such a long window, there's truly no excuse to leave it to the last minute. Get your paperwork together early and submit your SA to avoid penalties and stress.

 

The OM Team

Be My Job Valentine
February 14, 2018
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Be My Job Valentine
Happy Valentine’s Day

 

No doubt you will receive a bunch of flowers, chocolates or even something extra special from your loved one today. We all make personal choices about who to spend our time with and have fun with but what about the world of work?

Work is a massive part of our lives and choosing the right career is like a marriage, an alignment of goals and personal objectives. Choosing a job you love can be a hard and tedious task but as we evolve through education, we can identify our key skills and how best to use these in the marketplace.
For some, their professional skillset will lead them down a corporate path or niche business career but for others it’s not so simple and when you throw in a personal life and family commitments, the career can often be left on the shelf.

A change in circumstances can affect your career choices and sometimes becoming a parent can make you reassess what’s important and change your mindset. For many mumpreneurs, their inspiration is to choose a career that fits around their hectic lifestyle. There are so many freelance opportunities now that tasks can be completed when you have time and you have the power to switch your working hours on or off.
For example, working evenings may be the best option for you, when it’s a quiet time of the day and you can focus on getting everything done without the hassle of phone calls and emails during the day or children running around your feet.

The wider you throw your freelance net, the more opportunities will come your way and your true love career may actually turn out to be lots of little jobs bundled together to suit you.
Connect with other freelancers and create multiple income streams on Opus Matrix.

The OM Team

Ideas for When You’re Stuck At Home
January 29, 2018
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2018 goals

Christmas is expensive. We all spend far too much money during the holidays, which ultimately leads to a quiet January. Whether you're doing a dry January or simply staying home to recuperate the cash, we're here to help with ideas for keeping you occupied.

 

Get Productive

Just because you may be stuck at home, this doesn't mean that you can't be productive. January is a great time for networking as it's the start of many companies and people's yearly budgets. Most people are also more open to new ideas and opportunities in the New Year.

 

Get Networking

Opus Matrix is a great platform for networking. Simply chatting to like-minded people can help generate new opportunities as well as ideas. Who knows, these relationships may even eventually lead to paid opportunities!

I strongly believe in the power of networking and most of my professional opportunities have come from simply reaching out to other people in the industry. Not all conversations immediately lead to paid opportunities and quite often it wasn't until I had built a relationship with someone that a paid opportunity became available. I believe that all conversations are worth having – even if it simply leads to a suggestion such as an online course or resume twerk, it can eventually lead to bigger opportunities.

 

Home Craft Business

Why not start a new business? Whether it's knitting scarfs or ceramics, a craft business may be a great home business. With our online retail space, entrepreneurs can list and sell their goods through Opus Matrix. So boost your income by channelling your inner creativity.

 

The OM Team

New Year, New Opportunities
2018 new year

The New Year creates the chance to reflect over the last year. With the start of the New Year, it's the time to review 2017. Did you accomplish your goals for 2017? What changes did the last year bring you and your business? And of course, what do you hope to achieve in 2018?

Each year, we all set New Year resolutions. Whether your resolutions are personal or professional, we have some tips for helping you reach your goals.

 

Three Tips for Keeping Your New Year Resolutions

  • Set realistic and manageable resolutions
  • Break your resolutions into smaller weekly goals
  • Stay motivated by measuring and celebrating your progress

 

Recent Blogs

 

For a more in-depth read, check out our recent blog post on New Year Resolutions. The New Year is also a fantastic time for trying new things and our blog Discover Hidden Talents by Trying New Things may just provide the motivation you need.

Remember, Opus Matrix can help you achieve your resolutions. Whether it's networking to find the perfect job, connecting with your next business partner, or opening new opportunities, we're the perfect platform for achieving big things. Read more about it with our blog Achieve Big Things With Opus Matrix: The Ideal Platform for Collaborating.

 

Hall of Fame

 

Here’s our Hall of Fame at the moment. As you know, our recent competition is coming to an end and there are only 2 weeks left before we announce our new winner. Click here to get started sharing your posts.

At the end of January, we will announce our winners. For our current competition we are offering a £50 prize for the best fully completed profile and £50 for the most active user of the site. The winners will receive the prize as an Amazon voucher. Good Luck!

Position Name Points
1 Toni Charles 350.00
2 Tonia Hall 210.00
3 Jane Quinn 190.00
4 Anita Oleksy 174.00
5 Novelette Ellis 132.00

 

 

Happy January!

The OM Team

 

New Year Resolutions: How to Become A More Effective You
January 16, 2018
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new year resolution
Have you set your New Year resolution yet?

 

According to a poll conducted by YouGov, most people have set New Year resolutions aimed at improving their self. The top five include eating better, exercising more, spending less money, taking better care of themselves (such as getting more sleep or eating better), and reading more books.

 

Switch Off

These goals all align with becoming a more effective you. Self-care is essential for increasing your productivity. Perhaps the biggest barrier to proper self-care is our constant connection to our phones and e-mails. It's hard to have personal time to destress when your e-mail is always within reach. As a result, we often struggle to feel refreshed or even get a good night sleep.

In order to start focusing on yourself, it's important to switch off. In fact, I find an hour of no-technology before bed helps me have a better night sleep. To do this, designate one or two hours every day to turn off all your technology devices. Yes, even your Netflix.

 

Reduce Stress

Another side effect of always being switched on is increased stress levels. When we cannot escape work, we cannot reflect and relax. Even social media platforms and online news outlets have been proven to increase stress.

Decreased stress is just another reason to TURN OFF your technology!

 

The Perfect Balance Between Sleep, Diet, and Exercise

When we get busy, we often sacrifice one of the three ingredients that are essential for well-being: sleep, diet, and exercise.

We're all guilty of sleeping less so that we can exercise more or eating bad food as its quicker than making a healthy meal. Our wellness depends on achieving the perfect balance. We cannot be truly healthy or as effectively lose weight without this balance.

 

A Healthy Life is a more Productive Life

Wellness and self-care are essential to being productive. We are not as efficient when we haven't slept well or our bodies hurt from a lack of exercise. Our wellness is the foundation that our personal and professional success is built on.

Being healthy makes us happier and as a result, helps us to see the world differently. It helps us have a can-do attitude and ultimately achieve big things!

 

The OM Team

 

Discover Your Hidden Talents By Trying New Things
December 30, 2017
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barry white

We get it, taking risks by venturing into the unknown can be scary. What happens if you try something new and it turns out that you're rubbish at it?

 

Well, as contemporary poet Erin Hanson once wrote:

There is freedom waiting for you,

On the breezes of the sky,

And you ask "What if I fall?"

Oh but my darling,

What if you fly?

 

The only way to discover hidden talents is by taking the leap and trying new things.

 

Discover Similar Skills

 

One of the safest ways to discover hidden talents is by considering skills that are similar or related to the skills you currently possess.

 

Channel Your Inner Barry White

 

For example, Barry White entered the music industry as a producer, but is most widely known for his musical talents.

As Barry White had a good ear for music and clearly a passion for it, his career as a producer often included writing and even singing songs. In fact, it's his voice that truly propelled his career leading to several awards and international recognition.

Barry White's career included many hidden talents – even voice over work in animation films. From singing to writing songs to producing and everything in-between, White truly explored all the options of his smooth, soulful voice.

 

Final Note

So, be like Barry White. Take the leap. Explore new horizons. You never know, you may just discover a hidden talent that launches your business in a new direction.

 

The OM Team

 

5 ways to use the Opus Matrix Network
December 23, 2017
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5 ways to use our network

So you've officially joined Opus Matrix. You may now be wondering how you go about getting the most out of the network. While there are many ways to use the network, we'll discuss five of the most common.

Create a Profile

 

A profile is essential to your engagement with Opus Matrix. It tells other members on the network about you including what skills you can offer to a project.

You should think of your profile like a CV or LinkedIn page. It provides useful information that helps others to make quick judgments about you. That's why it's essential to have a complete profile and yes this includes a professional profile picture.

 

Write A Blog

 

Our blog page provides a useful platform for members to think about subjects as well as demonstrate their skills. Blogs can be written on everything from general topics like the importance of sleep to more industry-specific.

Writing a blog is one great way to boost your engagement score as well as connect with like-minded people. Who knows your next business partner may just comment on your blog!

 

Sell Products in A Shop

 

We offer a platform, where members can sell their goods or services in ready-made shop windows. As an extra bonus, we allow members to sell their goods or services commission free.

Each member receives an activated shop within their profile, which means that both business and non-business members can sell products or unwanted gifts.

 

Connect With Your Target Audience

 

Opus Matrix helps you to connect with your target audience through our groups and project pages. This ensures that your product or service is always delivered to the right people.

With over 6 million annual users, your guaranteed to reach the right audience to boost your business.

 

Reach A Large Audience via OM's Social Media

 

Social media is a powerful marketing tool as it allows you to reach a very large audience. OM has an extensive social media network, which includes 1000s of like-minded people.

Engaging with these people can help you to develop your ideas and business. These conversations may easily lead to collaboration and even partnerships.

 

The OM Team