Posts By: Lynn Pham

How To Take Care of Yourself While Running a Business

By Gloria Martinez at WomenLed.org

The COVID-19 era has ushered in a wave of innovation and new possibilities, but it has also increased tension and uneasiness for many people, including entrepreneurs. If you are starting a new business or trying to expand an existing one, you can take steps to achieve your goals while also protecting yourself from stress, anxiety and burnout. Here’s some advice from The Drawing Board:

Take Breaks From Working

As an entrepreneur, you may feel pressured and overwhelmed from time to time. When your workload seems daunting, or you have a deadline that requires intense focus, taking a break can help. By giving your brain five minutes to rest and refuel, the mental clarity you gain can boost your performance and productivity.

Also, schedule time to exercise or incorporate movement into your day. If you only have a few minutes, go for a short walk, do a brief yoga flow or squeeze in a few pushups. For best results, aim for a weekly minimum of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.

Watch What You Eat

The food you consume has a profound impact on how you feel. The World Health Organization recommends eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and whole grains, as well as limiting your intake of sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. By providing your body with optimal fuel, you reap a myriad of physical and mental health benefits.

Pamper Yourself

Taking time to pamper yourself can reduce your stress level and help you feel valued. It can also provide you with the rest and refueling you need to tackle future work demands.

If a full day at the spa seems too expensive or time-consuming, activities you can do at home may provide similar benefits:

·        Create a peaceful atmosphere with music, candles or soft lighting.

·        Diffuse stress-relieving essential oils.

·        Try out the latest skincare product.

·        Infuse your bath water with bath bombs, salts, oils or other luxurious elixirs.

Get Help From Freelancers

Running a business can make you feel like you are being pulled in too many different directions. Thanks to a growing number of contract workers, it’s never been easier to find help. You can hire freelancers to assist you during your busy season or to take care of specialized tasks you don’t have time or expertise to handle yourself. Because there is no long-term commitment, it’s a safe and cost-effective way to reduce your workload.

Use a Payroll Service

Whether you have employees or contractors, an online payroll for startup companies can reduce your administrative burden and resulting stress. There are payroll systems to fit the needs of any company with a range of services to choose from:

·        Filing tax forms

·        Tracking hours

·        Classifying workers

·        Making necessary deductions

·        Scheduling automatic direct deposits

·        Preventing tax penalties

Relying on an online payroll service not only lightens your workload but also provides peace of mind because an automated system reduces the risks of tax errors and paycheck complications.

Utilize a Virtual Assistant

Serving as your own receptionist is not the best use of your time. Interruptions from phone calls break your focus, reduce your productivity and cause stress. Virtual assistants can answer calls, take messages and schedule appointments. You can take a break and know your customers are still receiving the service they demand.

If you are launching or growing a company, taking care of yourself has never been more critical. Invest in self-care and utilize online resources to reduce work pressures and achieve your goals.

How Immigrants to the U.S. Can Adapt to a New Culture While Maintaining Ties with Their Home Country

By Gloria Martinez at WomenLed.org

How Immigrants to the U.S. Can Adapt to a New Culture While Maintaining Ties with Their Home Country

Immigrants to the United States have helped transform our culture, customs, and economy in countless meaningful ways. The food we eat, the music we listen to, the clothes we wear, and even our slang — all of this has been shaped and enriched by immigrant cultures. And those same immigrants who are now part of the fabric of society in the United States once asked the same questions recent immigrants may be asking: How do I fit in? How do I make friends? Can I really feel at home here? Am I too old to adjust to a new culture? If you are a recent immigrant to this country, here are some of the challenges immigrants before you have encountered and how they have dealt with them.

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur just starting out or an established business, The Drawing Board offers office space with state-of-the-art amenities. Schedule a tour today!

The language barrier

In many regions of the United States, it is difficult to find anyone who speaks anything other than English, so depending on where you are from and where you are settling, the language barrier can pose a serious problem. It’s not simply that it is inconvenient — not knowing the language can be isolating and even lead to issues with healthcare and housing. 

In a perfect world, every immigrant would have an opportunity to start learning English before immigrating. If you haven’t had that chance, however, one option is to access free or affordable learning resources online. Or, you could look into local programs offering English language classes — this could also be a chance to make new connections and seek support in other areas.

Establishing a career

When you seek employment in your new home, you are not only looking for income, but also for your place in a community. If you have immigrated to the United States with career skills and work experience, find out whether there is a demand for your skills in your area — or if your career in your country of origin could be the basis for a new career here. 

If you have minimal training, seek support through programs that assist with education and employment. For older or senior immigrants, finding work can be especially challenging, if there isn’t a clear niche for you to fill. It may be easier for older immigrants to find gainful work in urban areas, but if that isn’t an option for you, look into the resources that help older immigrants find education and partnership programs.

Making new connections

Immigrants who are missing their loved ones may feel isolated and adrift without these meaningful contacts. This is an issue for older immigrants who have fewer options for social mobility. Social media is a great way to make new acquaintances and find a niche in your new community. For real-life contacts, find out whether there are any local activities or arts clubs that would be of interest. It helps to be aware of societal norms on U.S. discourse so you can easily break the ice.

Staying connected with loved ones

While it’s wonderful to start making new bonds in a new society, you don’t want to lose the unique ties to friends and family in your home country. Encourage them to use tech to stay in touch more easily, especially with social media apps like Facebook Messenger, which allows for immediate messaging and face-to-face communication. 

If you are supporting loved ones back home by sending them money, make sure you use a safe and reliable transfer service with minimal fees, and be aware of exchange rates. If you plan to send funds to the Philippines, for example, gauge the exchange rate through a site like Remitly for converting U.S. dollars to Philippine pesos and plan ahead for any service fees and delivery time. In addition to sending funds back home, if you plan to send items to family, a balikbayan box service could be a more cost-effective and safer alternative to the postal service.

Remember that millions of other immigrants to the United States have faced these same challenges over generations. The people you meet in the United States may even be immigrants themselves or are the children of immigrants. If you are uncertain about how best to settle in and establish connections and support, don’t hesitate to seek support from organizations that help immigrants.

Image via Pixabay

Guide: Become a Digital Nomad

By Gloria Martinez at WomenLed.org

Photo by samer daboul from Pexels

There has always been an appeal for breaking away from the mainstream and setting sail on a journey of your own intentions and ideas, and today’s digital age is the perfect time to let those ideas flourish. Re-creating yourself as a digital nomad will take some doing, but the payoff is worth it. You can be your own boss, take your own risks, and set off on your own adventures without having to be tied to any one location. Digital nomads even consider themselves the future of work for a large portion of the white-collar economy.

Let’s take a look at some of the main issues facing digital nomads in today’s age and how to overcome them so you can engage the happy, care-free lifestyle you’re dreaming of:

Working for your keep

Supporting yourself as a digital nomad is easier than some sources would have you believe. By contracting yourself out as a freelance writer, proofreader, graphic designer, or illustrator, you can earn enough money to keep yourself afloat and take advantage of the places you will be visiting as a nomad.

Depending on your skillset, you can find myriad ways to make money online. The trick is in creating a digital portfolio that will showcase your work and advertise your services. Visiting sites like Upwork, eLance, Freelanced, and Contently offer a way to keep track of online job boards and search for listings based on what people need. These positions are highly competitive. Don’t sell yourself short! And don’t forget to build and sustain your professional network as you go.

Finding tech-friendly rentals

Did you know that 54 percent of digital nomads travel full-time? This means there is a population of folks who need spaces to work, sleep, and otherwise exist when they’re not out exploring the world. Finding a tech-friendly rental — in other words, a place that offers internet access and plenty of charging ports — is key.

Part of finding a tech-friendly rental is the fact that you will need to conduct your business in this space. One way of doing this is to set up shop in a coworking space like The Drawing Board, which allows you to work with others (safely!) in one location.

Saving on travel expenses

No matter how often you want to travel or how much money you intend to make freelancing, it’s a good way to save for the expenses you’ll no doubt incur on one of these adventures. Start by tracking your spending and seeing what all you are creating for yourself in terms of expenses — and then cut that budget, and put the excess money in a separate savings account. This is only the beginning, but this is key: Having a good starting budget will make a difference as you travel.

Starting your own business

When you’re roaming around making your own way as a digital nomad, it could be helpful to start your own business so that you can make a name for yourself and get more freelance jobs. One thing you can do is form a limited liability company (LLC), which offers numerous advantages. When your company is an LLC, you have less personal liability, which means if your company comes under fire for any legal reason, your personal assets are protected. If you don’t want to do the paperwork yourself, you can even file online! States have different regulations for forming LLCs, so make sure you look up LLC online Texas information before diving into the process.

Why wait? Get started now

If becoming a digital nomad is your dream and you want to make your dream a reality, it’s a matter of getting started today. The world awaits!

Are you interested in joining us in one of our coworking spaces? Get in touch with the folks at The Drawing Board today!