Internet users, until now, used to simply type anything that they needed to find through the search engine bar. These words are described as keywords or search phrases. Usually, these keywords are not types in complete sentences. Take, for example, the search ‘Italian restaurant NYC’ rather than typing in ‘I need an Italian restaurant in NYC’.

The keyword basically is an Italian restaurant NYC which in itself does not make complete sense. Google is intelligent — it takes the gist of it and then provides users with results that closely relate to the search.

Since speaking into a phone is much easier than typing, people are now turning to voice search to find information, especially local information. For example, saying ‘I need an Italian restaurant in NYC’ will bring up local options. You should focus on voice search, as its popularity is greatly increasing.

What is SEO today?

SEO is the practice of performing on-site and off-site strategies designed to help rank for specific keywords and search phrases. Take for example the website of any Italian restaurant in NYC — they would show up high in the results when someone searched for ‘Italian restaurant NYC’ on Google.

“It’s important to also understand that SEO involves providing the visitor with a pleasant experience,” says Darryl Howard of Boca Raton Med Spa. “You need content on your website that visitors can engage with, and you need your website to be mobile-friendly, allowing all visitors, regardless of their browsing device, to navigate effortlessly.”

SEO has advanced over the years, and it’s really important to focus on the consumer, and now with voice search becoming more important because of its convenience, it’s time to focus on this component.

How does voice search impact SEO?

It is no secret that voice search will revolutionize the way that content will be written. Since most people will now be speaking more, rather than typing, keyword phrases are going to be longer. Take for example, ‘I need an Italian restaurant in NYC’ — it is exactly the content that will be required to optimize for, rather than just targeting ‘Italian restaurant NYC’.

“Content quality has become more of a focus over the years,” says Dana VanDeCar, COO of Optimally Organic. “Back in the day, content and keywords were targeted that wasn’t natural, because the language types into a search bar was brief and not human-level. Now, with voice, searches are much more detailed.”

Publishing quality content that is focused around the user is always the best practice, and now websites with high authority are going to benefit even more. Voice searches will begin to trigger the content that was written naturally, as it now relates more to the type of searches that come via voice.

Keyword phrases are now more specific.

With the help of voice search, keyword phrases are going to become more specific. People are likely to speak specific details when they search for something by voice. Take, for example, a person may say ‘I need an Italian restaurant in NYC with a cozy atmosphere and seafood’.

The websites that have content which identifies them as Italian restaurants in NYC which particularly serve seafood having a cozy atmosphere will actually be ranked much higher and shown in the results. “In-depth content is now going to benefit websites even more, and those that adapted to long-form content previously are going to benefit greatly,” suggests Luqman Khan, Founder of Wireloo, a websites that just announced the best fitness tracking watch.

It’s not if — it’s when.

Content needs to include clear and short statements. SEO will soon be based on what people would say when they are searching for a particular thing by voice. “Content needs to cater to what people actually say when they are trying to find something online,” says Jake Braun of ChopperExchange, a website that features tips to sell your Harley.

This is not something that may happen or that some experts are predicting. If you look at any of the recent mobile-usage surveys, you will see that mobile use is climbing and voice search is being used more in everyday lives, thanks in part to devices like Amazon Alexa.

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Beto O’Rourke, despite a lack of name recognition, is catching up to Ted Cruz in the polls. Cruz was leading with a 15-18 percent majority in the beginning of this year, depending on the source. Polls currently stand at Cruz with 47 percent and O’Rourke with 35, a much thinner margin in a short period of time. The polled voters show that Cruz is seen lately in an unfavorable light, and to have a self-seeking agenda; however, many Texans claim to not know enough about O’Rourke to have an opinion of him so far. Those who do have an opinion cite his charisma and down to earth platform as reasons for his rising numbers.

Affiliation with End Citizens United

End Citizens United is a grassroots campaign originally based to overturn Citizens United and reduce the amount of influence money has on election and politics in general. O’Rourke’s campaign involves only his own strategies, in a utilitarian and no-frills approach to gaining ground for this year’s election. Also relying primarily on himself and the needs of the voters, O’Rourke has not only decided against utilizing political and campaign consultants, and pollsters, he has also rejected any money from Political Acton Committees. Currently, where 96% of voters see the use of money as a way to corrupt a campaign or politician, O’Rourke’s refusal of any money towards his campaign is seen as a positive step towards putting the needs of the voters above those of companies and businesses.

Endorsement by League of Conservative Voters

While the voice of environmental concerns has grown over the years, politicians of the GOP have still found ways to set many of these issues aside in favor of what they depict as more pressing ones. Voters all over are pushing to have these concerns centralized in law making, thus the beginning of the League of Conservative Voters. The LCV pushes to ensure that matters concerning the environment become priorities at every level of government, and that politicians are held accountable for their decisions in this capacity.

The League of Conservative Voters Action Fund has endorsed Beto O’Rourke for his stances on conservation and climate change issues. As these topics become more centralized, endorsements of groups such as the LCV become more important to campaigning politics. This does not bode well for incumbent Cruz, as the LCV has shown disdain for his lack of concern over environmental issues in the past.

A Platform Texans can Relate to

Speaking in general of O’Rourke’s stances on the issues, voters seem to identify with his ideas and priorities. Some describe his campaigning methods as “old school,” particularly in regards to the amount of time he spends traveling. He has now visited every single county in Texas, all 254 of them, even ones such as Cooke County that hasn’t voted a Democrat into office in decades.

When it comes to the issues that the average voter looks at, Beto O’Rourke speaks to them on jobs, healthcare, and immigration as chief areas of concentration. Speaking to every county in Texas, O’Rourke assures them that every citizen who wants a job will be able to get that job, along with the necessary education needed to succeed. He displays his beliefs on the importance of healthcare, citing the need for every citizen to have healthcare in order to become and stay healthy. His stance on immigration displays his belief that every issue should reflect the country’s values, welcoming immigrants and thanking them for what they have done for our country, along with calling to end walls, raids, and overall hostility.

O’Rourke’s plans, if making it to overturn Cruz’s seat in the typically red state, simply highlight his goals to end divisive and contentious actions in politics, calling to simply bring voters together and better the nation by bettering their lives.

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If you thought managing SMEs was going to be an easy task, then you might be experiencing some challenges! Small and Medium-sized businesses are always caught between acquiring new customers and delivering quality services to the existing customers. Obviously, this is one of the trickiest balances to strike. Most of these businesses find themselves caught on one side of the game; which implies losing on the other.

Remember, as an entrepreneur, you also have employees under you who need to keep your business’ vision alive and running. This means that you have to work hard to make them see your vision; which of course goes hand in hand with some sort of motivation to ensure that they deliver as expected. Quite a daunting task?

No worries. Here are a few tips to ensure efficiency at the workplace with a bias to SMEs:

Empower Your Workforce

When you lead a team of employees, you probably want the best of them. Offering them incentives or rewards for their hard work would work best to ensure that they remain motivated and focused on achieving the set goals.

No employee likes to be constantly told what to do—they need the space to make independent decisions (of course you’ll still make the final decision as the top management) and exercise their creativity. Empowering your workforce by acknowledging their potential not only leads to high-efficiency levels (with regard to work output) but also greatly contributes to the overall growth of your business.

Engage Your Employees

Employee engagement is one of the most effective ways to ensure high productivity levels. This entails listening to and addressing their concerns, discussing the business’ progress as a team (after all they contribute to your business’ success), and most importantly engaging them in the decision-making process. By doing all these, you make them feel part of the business which is crucial in ensuring an efficient work environment.

Having an open communication system will also aid a one on one interaction with your team thus enhancing their overall productivity.  

Consider Using Web Forms

With the advanced technology systems, most businesses are going online. It’s now a necessity to have an online platform even if you’re operating a physical store. Why? Most users seek for products online which also means that they prefer online assistance (when it comes to the use of these products) as it’s the fastest and most reliable way to get more information on the products in question.

Web forms will not only save you time but also boost your users’ confidence because they will receive prompt services from you. In addition, it will make your employees more efficient and on the task of providing excellent customer service and alleviate them from answering repetitive phone calls from customers.

The best thing about web forms? You can get started with free templates from EmailMeForm right away and embed them in your website in just a few mere minutes.

Offer Refreshments as a Reward

It may seem weird. But it’s probably one of the most effective ways to get your employees on toes and motivated to tackle the day’s work. Ensure you offer them healthy snacks, foods, and drinks as this will leave them feeling rejuvenated all the time and most importantly, it will greatly enhance time management which is usually a challenge with regard to outside feeding.

Create an efficient work environment (for your employees) by offering them easy access to refreshment products.


Ensuring an efficient workplace isn’t an easy task, but with the right measures in place—it’s achievable. Implementation of the above tips will motivate your employees; thus, it will aid the creation of an efficient work environment. However, you should bear in mind that it’s a gradual process and hence requires patience.

Author Bio: Deborah Tayloe is a freelance copywriter and frequent contributor to EmailMeForm. She has over 25 years of experience in marketing and sales management. She’s a Pennsylvania native who currently lives in North Carolina. When she’s not blogging, she’s probably relaxing in her garden.

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The day you decide to launch a business and tackle the journey of becoming an entrepreneur can be filled with lots of excitement. Many individuals who venture down this path do so because they no longer want to have to answer to a boss and they want to see their ideas come to fruition. Yet most who are overwhelmed with enthusiasm don’t recognize all of the challenges and responsibility that come with this choice.

Launching and running a business is a lot of work. Because you will need to overcome many obstacles and adversity, the path you are on is going to force you to grow and become a better version of yourself. This is why it can be very beneficial to hire a life coach.

A life coach is someone who can help you stay focused, remain organized, and can support you when many tough decisions come your way. Here are four more reasons for having a coach on your side:

1. Create A Balanced Life

All too often, when people jump down the rabbit hole of becoming an entrepreneur they find that their life gets out of balance. When this happens, it is quite easy to become unhappy and depressed.

While working twelve hour days can be common, it’s important to keep your life in balance so that you don’t feel bitter or resentful towards your dream. A life coach is someone who can help keep you honest when they see that you may be out of balance.

2. Less Stress & Anxiety

Having someone who can support you when things get hard is essential so that you don’t feel stressed out all the time. Your coach is going to provide you time every week where you can pause and reflect on what is happening right now in your life.

During this time, not only can you vent so that it does not stay bottled up inside, your coach will be able to help you put it into perspective so that you can get back to the task at hand and feel better about it helping to relieve any stress or anxiety it may have brought on.

3. Overcome Fears

Running your own business is going to challenge you so much that it will literally bring up every fear you have about yourself. When this happens, it can be very helpful to have someone to work with your through them so that they don’t get the best of you.

4. Be More Productive

Becoming successful as an entrepreneur is all about making the most of your time. From when you get up until you go to sleep you are going to need to squeeze out high productivity from each minute.

Working with a life coach will help you organize your time in a way to ensure that you are being as productive as humanly possible.

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“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.”  –Gerald Ford

Across the world, children are reaping the benefits of the enriched education that music can provide. A musical education has been linked to breakthroughs in language development, higher IQs, growth in neural activities and in creative development. Children who grow up in introspective, musical environments benefit from a greater sense of self. Children learn to honor the process of learning and to bring an artful consciousness in all that they do, see and become.

For entrepreneur, Candace Chen, gaining a musical education was instrumental (no pun intended) to her success. Candace and her family left Taiwan when she was only three years old. Raised on a close to minimum wage salary, Candace’s single mother pushed her to work hard in school and supported her in her pursuit of learning how to play musical instruments. A classically trained musician, Chen played as a Pianist for 13 years, a violinist for 10 years, later becoming a self-taught guitar and ukulele player as well. She later went on to teach violin and piano to help offset the cost of college. This upbringing ultimately led to Chen’s MIT acceptance, where she obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a milestone she considers to be her greatest achievement. Candace’s musical upbringing also laid the foundation for becoming a well rounded individual, capable of taking on a variety of diverse tasks throughout her career. As a solo (technical) founder, Candace now wears many hats in her company, handling design, copywriting, video editing, Facebook advertising and patent writing. She is also able to work well with limited resources available, using her bedroom 3D printer to prototype and test her designs.

In her successful, one-woman powered venture, Chen honors everyone around the world who has benefited from a musical education, as well as those who continue to hold a soft spot for music in their heart. Creating a travel-friendly ukulele instrument, Chen makes it easy for music lovers and adventurous travelers to bring the joys of music wherever they go. Her product, the Ava ukulele boasts an impressive model of unique features, in a market that has seen very little change. The instrument is portable and may be easily stowed away. Ava retains a bold sound, to be shared proudly with others. It may also be practiced quietly, in Silent Mode. Simple plug in your earphones and your solo jam session will remain barely audible to those around you.

The Ava ukulele came into being when Chen was setting off for a vacation in Costa Rica. Excited for a relaxing vacation, playing ukulele on the beach, she was devastated to find that her beloved instrument had been destroyed in her travels. For Candace Chen, whose life had largely revolved around music, this instrument was more than an object,  it was a friend. Empathizing with other musicians who have experienced the same heartbreak, Candace decided to create a compact ukulele that would not only withstand travel, but become an agent for social interactions and joy shared among others. “I want Ava to inspire people to get out there, travel, and share music with others,” says Chen.

For any entrepreneurial spirit out there hoping to follow your lives’ compass to the heart of inspiration, listening to Candace Chen’s story can help you get there.  Based on her personal experience, Candace offers the following advice to entrepreneurs in diverse industries:

Take advantage of the growing freelance economy (like Upwork and Fiverr)! I’ve found freelancers for electrical engineering, PR, marketing, user studies, creative copy, graphic design, patents, and video production on a per-project basis which keeps on-going expenses (like salary) low. This is crucial in the early stages when you’re bootstrapping or trying to manage your burn rate before that next investment round. 

Create prototypes to help answer questions and stress-test assumptions, not for sake of creating a prototype. A prototype at each stage (MVP, proof-of-concept, critical module, beta) are all different types of prototypes that help answer a different question. 

If you have an app idea, your first step is not to hire a developer. Rather, create an MVP mockup (there are drag-and-drop programs that let you do this with no coding experience), and test with your target users to figure out if this is something they’d want. Saves a ton of time and money.

You should be de-risking and refining at each step along the way (product-market fit, features, high-risk engineering modules), not at the very end where you present a final polished product and find out nobody wants it!


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Angular is one of the most popular frontend JavaScript development frameworks and with good reason. When you make the decision to hire Angular developers, you are selecting one of the best solutions for how to make a website or app. You will find that the technology itself is well-suited to the development of large-scale apps, while developers that use it are some of the most skilled.

As a business owner, you will want to hire these developers mainly due to their ability to create apps that combine good website design with advanced functionality and speed.  

Reason 1: Angular JS Developers Create Highly Interactive Applications  

Angular has already been used successfully at some of the most technically-accomplished businesses in the world. It boasts a great pedigree and track record.

Google created the framework in 2010, then released a major revision in 2016. Since then, the following companies have used Angular in their projects, in the process availing the services of many teams of expert Angular programmers:

  • PayPal
  • NetFlix
  • AT&T
  • Cisco
  • JPMorgan Chase and Co.
  • Apple
  • HP
  • VMWare
  • Solar City
  • IBM

The ability of AngularJS developers at these companies to create highly interactive applications is largely due to the capabilities of the framework itself.

Reason 2: Faster Apps with Front-End Technologies like the Shadow DOM

Due to the many optimizations in the framework, AngularJS developers can create some of the fastest JavaScript applications possible. In numerous head to head performance tests, Angular has proven to be comparable to React and Vue.js. This means it is among the very best in these categories, ahead of other frameworks like EmberJS, MarionetteJS, and jQuery.  

Angular 2 and 4 make use of the shadow DOM which results in very fast applications, faster than was possible in Version 1 of AngularJS. Working with developers who use the framework, therefore, results in snappy applications that work well on both mobile and desktop computing devices.

Reason 3: Angular Developers Use Typescript for Type-Safe Web Development

Angular developers can easily create apps for a small business or mid-sized business, but their stack is particularly suitable for the unique needs of large enterprise companies. This is the reason why so many Fortune 500 companies and other enterprises have quickly adopted the technology.

Users of the framework are masters at the large-scale development you will need if you have high traffic requirements for your apps. The process of large-scale development is improved, in a lot of cases, by the usage of Typescript, a type-safe programming language from Microsoft that enables your development team to catch errors at compile time. Angular is a showcase for how to improve your business or grow a business through defect-free JavaScript apps.

An Even Better Way to Hire Angular Tech Talent

To help address the challenges of costly Angular developer salary for highly skilled teams, many organizations, large and small, have turned to remote outstaffing services. With outstaffing, you can create remote teams composed of Angular experts just like you would if recruiting locally. Often, outstaffing agencies in tech centers like Kiev and Warsaw can greatly improve your results with outstaffing.

Build a Website with Angular Devs

There are substantial advantages that come with hiring Angular programmers for your next project. Most importantly, your application development will be in the hands of JavaScript app experts with a winning frontend technology.

The performance of Angular teams is often better than with competing stacks. You will get faster apps that scale and can handle very high levels of traffic. The improvements that Google continues to make with its open-source framework will benefit your business for years to come.

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Philip Kapneck, the Maryland Trade Ambassador, reintroduced ribbon cutting ceremonies to Maryland businesses in 1976. This was documented in the NewsBlaze story, Ambassador Kapneck’s Ribbon Cutting Creates Celebration.

So many ribbons were cut, celebrating the opening of new businesses in Maryland, that “Philip Kapneck” and “Ribbon Cutting” are still often mentioned in the same breath.

Maryland companies large and small love the symbolism of the special event to celebrate their effort. Ribbon cutting ceremonies were Ambassador Philip Kapneck’s trademark in the Maryland business world.

Ribbon cuttings introduce companies and people to a new area. This is good for the new business and existing business are introduced to the new owners who can learn about introducing their customers to a non-competitive business.

Even in difficult times, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, and Trade Ambassador Philip Kapneck, brought great results. In 2009-2010, 14 foreign-owned companies with up to 250 new jobs started up through Maryland’s efforts. An additional 225 new jobs came from US companies that moved, expanded, or set up in the State.

One of those ribbon cuttings was held at the University of Maryland, in College Park, MD. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held at the Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, to celebrate the new luxury in-seat delivery service at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. The venture was set up to create hundreds of local jobs.

At that Ribbon Cutting ceremony, Michael T. Jobe, President & CEO of First Down Mobile, LLC celebrated with Philip Kapneck, Maryland Trade Ambassador; Robert Walker, Assistant Secretary of Business and Economic Development for the State of Maryland; Stanley Goldstein and former President of the University of Maryland Terrapin Club.

Now, in places all over the USA, Chambers of Commerce use ribbon cuttings for many purposes, including to give new businesses a kickstart. The Chambers leverage off the ideas Philip Kapneck pioneered more than 40 years ago.

In the past few months, among many others, there were ribbon-cutting ceremonies for Weis Markets supermarket in Baltimore’s Fullerton Plaza shopping center, AHF Wellness Center in Temple Hills, The Fannie Angelos Cell Therapy Lab at UMD, Anne Arundel Dermatology in Westminster, and the St. Mary’s County Airport technology incubator.

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  1. You pretty much have no idea what you’re doing, every single day. Because on a near-daily basis, you are doing something new or trying something outside of your wheelhouse.   
  2. You’re constantly surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you, more talented than you, more developed in their skill than you, etc. You’re not satisfied unless you’re feeling constantly inspired to be better by those around you.
  3. You have a growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset. Get yourself right by reading 300+ Top Inspirational Quotes & Quote Pictures | Quote Catalog
  4. You have learned that feeling unsure of yourself means you are doing something to get better or improve yourself, so rather than running away from this kind of feeling, you run towards it.
  5. You are out of your comfort zone ten times as often as you are in it.
  6. You consistently ask mentors and superiors for feedback, even if (and especially when) you know it will come with intimidating or uncomfortable criticism.
  7. You make decisions based on what will be most beneficial for you in the long-term, as opposed to what feels best or easiest right now.
  8. You are accustomed to doing things you don’t feel fully prepared for, and you have gotten comfortable with simply trusting that you’ll figure it out along the way.
  9. You pay very close attention to when you are actively forcing yourself to engage in much-needed relaxation, and when you are simply procrastinating.
  10. You know how to fail, and you fail often.
  11. And instead of this failure destroying you, it just fuels you to keep going. It may slow you down for a while, or bum you out, or even break your heart. But failure never stops you from trying again.
  12. No matter how hard it hurts or how much pain it causes, you still manage to look at failure as a learning opportunity – as a way for you to further get to know yourself, understand yourself, and understand how this will make you better and stronger next time.
  13. You have specific goals for yourself every single day, no matter how small or trivial they may feel in the moment.
  14. You find familiarity easy and comforting, but never invigorating.
  15. You are not afraid of admitting when you don’t know something. In fact, you are quite comfortable with it, because you know it brings you one step closer to learning something new or becoming just a little bit better.
  16. You do your best to be very conscious of and wary of criticizing or gossiping about others – because you know it usually means you’re projecting something you’re insecure about within yourself.
  17. You are way more afraid of plateauing than you are of failing.
  18. In your mind, ‘good enough’ is no different than ‘not good enough.’ You are never satisfied with ‘good enough.’
  19. You try every single day to find happiness in little present moments, because you’ve learned that there’s never going to be a moment when you simply reach your destination and no longer need to grow.
  20. You are very much okay with talking about those things you need to improve on. And being okay with it doesn’t mean you like talking about your shortcomings, it just means you know how to address them in a healthy and productive way.
  21. You ask yourself the hard questions – does this matter in the long run? am I just trying to take the easy way out? will this be a temporary distraction or will this actually make me better? does this challenge me? does being challenged by this bring me joy?
  22. You have found that you’ve grown to love the process just as much as (or even more than) the outcome.
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  1. I am enough.
  2. I am not wrong or weak for feeling things deeply.
  3. I deserve to be happy.
  4. But that doesn’t mean I automatically deserve to have whatever I want, whenever I want.
  5. Tomorrow is always a new day.
  6. Everyone I know is a fully, three-dimensional person with feelings and insecurities and a life story that I haven’t heard – even if I don’t like them.
  7. I can do this.
  8. Bravery doesn’t usually come from feeling brave – it comes from doing something despite how afraid I feel.
  9. I cannot settle for mediocrity.
  10. The people I look up to didn’t get there by sitting on their asses.
  11. Sometimes a really tiny and simple thing can completely turn someone’s day around.
  12. Being in love will not always be easy and effortless.
  13. I am me, and that can be a lot of different things, and that’s wonderful.
  14. Being able to admit when I’m wrong is way more important than being right.
  15. Sometimes I will try stuff that I won’t be automatically good at. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try to get better.
  16. It is okay, and even necessary, to walk away from people who hurt me.
  17. The online version of my life is not what gives me meaning.
  18. Even my ideal dream job is still going to be incredibly difficult, because anything worthwhile takes blood and sweat and tears.
  19. When I am going through heartbreak, it means I am experiencing one of the most universal feelings on the planet. I am not alone.
  20. Sometimes maintaining friendships in adulthood is hard and that’s okay, as long as I keep trying with the people who matter to me.
  21. The people who really love me are the ones who are telling me what I need to hear, even if I don’t want to hear it.
  22. It’s normal that sometimes I truly crave credit or validation or praise. It’s part of being human.
  23. I can be a different version of myself in front of different people, and it doesn’t make me any less authentic.
  24. This doesn’t have to be where I end up if I don’t want it to be that way.
  25. Sometimes, I’m just going to have a really rough day, or week, or year. But I will survive it. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.
  26. My heart is fragile but my strength is unwavering.
  27. I’m allowed to leave a job I hate to find something better.
  28. No matter how careful I am, I’m going to make mistakes. What’s important is how I handle the aftermath.
  29. The times when I really don’t want to get out of bed are usually the moments when it is most crucial that I do so.
  30. Anxiety and depression and other mental health related struggles don’t make me weak. I just need to remember to be strong enough to ask for help.
  31. It’s important to tell the truth, especially to myself.
  32. Everybody is scared. I’m not the only one.
  33. Sometimes feeling lost is a good thing.
  34. Usually when I’m heavily judging someone, what I’m really doing is projecting something that I dislike within myself.
  35. Money can make things easier and less stressful, but it won’t make me happier or more fulfilled.
  36. I’m allowed to be proud of myself.
  37. I should never take advantage of the fact that my loved ones are only a phone call away.
  38. The only time procrastination feels good is in the moment.
  39. I can’t change the fact that my body will age, but I can control how I handle it.
  40. No matter how happy or put-together they seem, everyone is struggling with something, just like me.
  41. Regret is much scarier than failure.
  42. When I make others look good, I look good too. And it’s a much more joyful way to live.
  43. Admitting that I care about something is so much more fun than trying to play it cool.
  44. It’s important to be humble, but it’s also important to stand up for myself when I’m being treated unfairly.
  45. Just because someone is cold to me doesn’t mean I need to be cold back.
  46. There is no better quality than making others feel like, and understand that, they matter.
  47. Laughter should always be a high priority.
  48. Being warm to others can take me so incredibly far.
  49. I am here to do something.
  50. Looking for ways to feel grateful for things, instead of frustrated over them, can drastically change the way I look at the world and the way I feel about my life.

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If you’ve ever turned on a cable news channel, you’ve heard anchors talk about how the stock market up means that the economy is good, or how a lot of people filing for unemployment means the economy is bad. The truth is, the American economy is a complicated beast that shouldn’t be reduced to just a single number. A lot of factors are at play. Yes, the stock market matters, as do job reports. But that’s not all that matters.

Growth rates matter

If you read that the American economy experienced modest growth at the beginning of 2018, that’s because even though things like a low unemployment rate are helping, consumer spending could be better. If people aren’t increasing their spending, that means there’s some financial uncertainty at play. People tend to spend more when they’re feeling confident about their financial status, and they tend to scrimp and save when that status seems threatened. Consumer spending is still increasing, but barely.

What about the stock market, though? If it doesn’t matter, why are news outlets so eager to report every increase or decrease? Well, they probably do that because it’s their job to report the news, and the stock market is a piece of the news puzzle. Most normal people, however, only need to pay attention to the stock market in certain circumstances. In general, day-to-day fluctuations aren’t nearly as important as long-term trends. Only about half of all Americans own any stock at all, which means the number of people directly affected isn’t as big as it may seem. If you’re interested in investing in the stock market, it’s probably because you’re at a point where it makes financial sense to do so. People who don’t have a lot of disposable income generally aren’t rushing to put what little they have into stocks, after all. Before you invest, educate yourself. Researching what stocks to buy is always going to be more helpful than just closing your eyes and pointing to a stock. Once you invest, you’ll no doubt be more interested in what’s happening on Wall Street, because you’ll have a personal stake in it.

The tax cut question

Unless you were in a cave with no Internet access at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018, you no doubt heard something about the tax cut bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. Do tax cuts really boost the economy, though? That depends on who you ask.

A few years ago, the Congressional Research Service published a report that found no connection between top tax rates and economic growth. In other words, the service found no evidence that cutting taxes for the rich helps the economy in general. That wasn’t the end of the story, though, because Republicans in Congress said the report contained errors. Politico studied the issue and declared there to be no “predictable effect” on economic growth. In early 2018, Reuters took a poll of economists, the majority of whom said the tax bill would provide a short-term boost for the economy. One economist interviewed compared it to a “sugar rush.” We can make educated guesses, but, like many things, we’re ultimately going to have to wait and see. If it spurs long-term growth, then it will be hailed as a genius move. If it leads to negative growth, then Republican members of Congress could be at risk of losing their jobs, as could the president.

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