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Our official kickass gift guide for 2015

Our ultimate kickass holiday gift guide for 2015 includes something for everyone on your list. The secret is: this doubles as a wishlist for you. Because trust us, you will want these things.

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holiday shopping

For literally everyone

This gift guide is meant to cover just about everyone on your list – friends, loved ones, coworkers, employees, your boss, subcontractors, that one guy in the office whose name you drew for Secret Santa that you’ve never actually talked to, and now it would be weird to suddenly strike up conversation and he would probably figure it out immediately – everyone.

But the truth is, we’re all going to share this list because it’s stuff we actually want (why do you think we wrote this article in the first place?). So go on over to Facebook, copy and paste this link, and drop that hint.

Gift for the person that’s impossible to shop for

mancrates
It’s called MAN crates, but most of the gals on our team drooled over the possibility of getting a Man Crate as a gift. They’re actual wooden crates filled with goodies that the recipient has to pry open with a frickin’ crowbar. Six degrees of bacon? Yes f**king please. Whiskey? Beard stuff? Food stuff? This might be the best option on the list, and the best way to make friends or impress a boss.
Product Name: Man Crates
Price: $39.99 – $179.99

Gift for the indecisive

decision wheel
Decisions are hard, and sometimes you just need fate to help you deal with a difficult client, or an investment. Just spin this silver decision wheel, and feel the burden of your decision be handled by a paperweight. Great for moments of indecision (or laziness, whatever).

Product Name: Decision Paperweight
Price: $18.00

Gift for the insomniac

biofeedback
Got a friend who can’t seem to get to sleep at a normal hour? This biofeedback sleeping cap emits a faint audio signal that lulls you to sleep (and creates a reaction the founder calls “the virtual hammock effect” because it mimics the sound of swaying back and forth). It also monitors your brain activity to help keep you asleep. Plus it’s kind of cute.
Product Name: Sleep Shepherd
Price: $150.00

Gift for the germophobe

smartphone sanitizer
Most cell phones have 18 times more germs than a public toilet, so this gift isn’t just for the neat freaks in our midst, but for anyone who doesn’t want to put a disgusting device on their face and near their mouth every day. We’re grossed out just thinking about it…
Product Name: Smartphone Sanitizer
Price: $19.95 – 59.95

Gift for the cat person

cat laptop
Look, if someone’s working from home and they have a cat, they’re really just working with their cat. And we all know that cats are bossy little turds that want to sit on your papers, or lay on your keyboard, so why not give them their very own laptop they can scratch up to hell?
Product Name: Cat Scratch Laptop
Price: $30.09

Gift for the whole team

mushions
Ever wish you could throw a pillow with your coworker’s face on it at your coworker? Then this unsettling customizable pillow set is for you and your weird team. This could be the most disturbing pillow fight in history, are you ready?
Product Name: Mushion
Price: $22.69 (single) – $45.39 (trio)

Gift for the allergic friend

robot mop
We all love dogs and cats and trees and air, but no one loves allergies. If your friend or coworker is in a room of hardwoods, hook ’em up with this robot mop that dusts the floors all day and keeps the dust contained. It’s a fraction of the cost of a fancy iRobot, but does the trick!
Product Name: Mopet Robot Mop
Price: $37.59

Gift for the adult who is a kid at heart

coloring book
Adults color now. It’s a thing. This adult coloring book is a gorgeous collection of underwater scenes, sunken treasure, coral and mermaids. No artistic talent required!
Product Name: Lost Ocean: Underwater Adventure Coloring
Price: $13.00

Gift for the person without a smart tv

roku
Is there a huge tv in your boss’ or buddy’s office, mounted proudly, but it’s not a smart tv? Go peek and see if it has a USB port, because if it does, you can gift them a Roku streaming stick to make it smart and stream Netflix, YouTube, and more in brilliant 1080p. Why are you still reading? Go check, now!
Product Name: USB Roku
Price: $49.00

Gift for high-stress people who probably yell a lot

healthy thingy
This little sensor goes in your ear, reads your heart rate and automatically gives you a breathing sequence to follow. As the website states, “Used just a few minutes a day, this cutting edge phone app helps you transform feelings of anger, anxiety or frustration into peace, ease, clarity, and success.” We’re feeling more zen already.
Product Name: HeartMath Inner Balance Sensor for iOS
Price: $99.00

Gift for people who need a calendar (everyone)

bubble calendar
If you don’t look at this bubble calendar and itch to go pop all of the days, then you’re a monster and we don’t want to know you. Be a hero anyway, and grab one of these for someone on your list, and they’ll think of you every time they get to gloriously pop a new bubble! Or get them the Business Cats Wall Calendar, which is pretty damn awesome, too.
Product Name: Bubble Calendar
Price: $26.00

Gift for people that know when that hotline bling

drake sweater
Easily the most ridiculous viral meme this year was Drake’s Hotline Bling song. To commemorate it (or to punish a friend with a crappy gift), jump on this glorious holiday sweater. It will be the talk of the town!
Product Name: 1-800 Hotline Bling Ugly Sweater (Unisex)
Price: $22.99

Gift for the wanna-be artist

calligraphy-stuff
Drawing is hard. But writing words is easy! Gift your poor, unartistic friend a calligraphy course. Typography is all the rage these days, and it will give them a creative outlet that doesn’t require them to attempt to draw a living object (and ruin your memory of it forever).
Product Name: Modern Calligraphy Class (Online)
Price:$95.00

… or, if you don’t think they even have that ability, you can always just get them some pretty pens. These from Anthropologie have feathers on them! Ooooh, pretty. Buy an assortment!
Product Name: Plumed Writing Pen
Price:$12.00

Gift for the office scapegoat

f bomb
Let them know they dun messed up with the F Bomb Paperweight. Here at The American Genius we relish in the glory of noticing a coworker’s mistake and then pass that thing off like a hot potato. It’s a great incentive to get your dunce to produce practically perfect work.
Product Name: F Bomb Paperweight
Price:$45.00

Gift for the underachiever

adulting
It’s hard to adult. We all know it. And some people are worse at it than others. For those people, or for the smartass cynic in your office, hook them up with Adult Award Ribbons and let them be proud of putting pants on today (good job, buddy!). Or, get the team a few orders of Everyday Achievement Certificates as a goof, or as to celebrate the underachiever in all of us!
Product Name: Adult Award Ribbons and Everyday Achievement Certificates
Price: $6.00 – 8.00

Gift for the dreamy to-do lister

etsy
Store-bought planners and calendars are boring. Nothing compares to the beautiful variety that you can find on Etsy. Most are handmade, all by different artists, and there are a million different kinds and themes that are sure to please and wow the creative person in your life. Browse through the category, add a keyword (like “garden” or “moon”) if you have something specific in mind and see what you can find. It’s a lot more thoughtful and adds a personal touch to your gift.
Product Name: Etsy – Calendars and Planners
Price:$12.00-40.00

Gift for the soda addict

keurig
Be a hero and splurge for your office – Keurig KOLD is a single-serve on-demand drink maker that dispenses actual Coke, Dr. Pepper and other brand name sodas. According to the website it’s “always perfectly chilled with no CO2 canisters”. Sold, Kold.
Product Name: Keurig KOLD
Price: $370.00

Gift for the color-coded and compulsive coworker

poppin
Help a pal curate their personal desk space with their favorite color. Poppin’ offers office supplies in a variety of solid colors that look good on their own or mixed and matched (and you can shop by color). Notebooks, trays, files, folders, pens, staplers, pencils – they can all match. Did you just walk onto the set of a Wes Anderson movie? Nope, just my office, pal!
Product Name: Poppin’
Price: $6.00-$100.00

Gift for the constantly cold

handwarmers
We know, we know – it’s cold in the office. But mittens don’t allow you to hit that sweet 90 WPM. These handwarmers connect to your USB port and will make you look like the cutest polar bear that ever used a computer, while also preventing office-induced hypothermia.
Product Name: Best is Yeti to Come USB Hand Warmers
Price: $40.00

Gift for the curious

grow the fuck up
Is there someone in your life who just plain sucks at stuff? Can’t change a tire? Doesn’t know how to tie a tie? This book has 40+ things that every young adult (or someone who refuses to grow up) should know in order to function in the world. Neato!
Product Name: “Grow The Fuck Up” by John Kyle
Price: $13.30

Gift for the romantic

up terrarium
UP by Pixar is quite possibly the world’s greatest love story. No, we’re not kidding, shut up. This is something that made everyone on the team say “aww, I need that!” so you need one, too. Enough said. Maybe buy several.
Product Name: UP terrarium kit
Price: $29.99

Gift for the monitor geek

slidenjoy
The Sliden’Joy is everything you could want in a computer screen: more. It doubles or triples the size of your screen, slides in and out so it is portable and easy to put away in times of limited space, and connects through the USB port.
Product Name: Sliden’Joy
Price: $350.00-$1,000.00

Gift for the coffee-shop freelancer

whiteboard
A new way to introduce yourself to the cute coffee shop patron next to you sipping on a chai latte, this laptop cover doubles as a whiteboard. A/S/L?
Product Name: The Whiteboard by DrawAttention
Price: $11.00-43.00

Gift for the person whose apartment smells of rich mahogany

wooden desk
As one commenter said, “Gorgeous, unnecessary, expensive, and gorgeous.” Yep, that pretty much covers it. These all-walnut pieces are classic and tasteful. Each accessory is functionally designed and includes spaces and secret compartments for pens and stationery supplies.
Product Name: The Grovemade Desk Collection
Price: $30.00-130.00

Gifts for the risk-taker who wants to support cool ideas

loopy
sneakers
Product Name: Shiftwear: Customize your kicks
Completely customizable smart sneakers that connect to an app and display an HD image (of your choice) which you can change at anytime, could include GIFs or videos and you can design yourself. This is the future of wearables. This Kickstarter is really starting to get off the ground and projects the shoes to be available for purchase Fall 2016.
Product Name: Shiftwear: Customize your kicks
Price: $150.00

Loopy promises to “stop the drop”. It’s a simple solution to everyone’s problem – dropping your phone. Loopy is a case with a simple loop attached to the back that you slip a finger through to prevent dropping your phone. Great gift for teenagers or your friend that just posted their 3rd status stating “Hey guys, got a new phone again! Text me your numbers!” Don’t let your friend be that person.
Product Name: Loopy
Price: $25.00

Jenna keeps the machine well-oiled as the Operations Coordinator at The American Genius and The Real Daily. She earned her degree in Spanish at the University of North Texas and when she isn't crossing things off her to-do list, she is finding her center in the clean and spacious aisles of Target or rereading Harry Potter for the billionth time.

Business Articles

117 inspirational quotes for a prosperous new year

Ring in the new year with these 117 inspirational quotes to get you motivated to take next year by the horns.

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new year's quotes

Inspirational quotes for your new year

Whether looking for motivation in your personal or professional life, one can find inspiration in the volumes of words spoken and written by those that have come before us, no matter your goals for the coming year. As we wrap up this year and anticipate success and prosperity in the next, and we set our goals for the coming year, may we all commit to turning the corner, not only economically, but through our attitudes.

To see inspirational quotes by subject, click any of the links below, or continue to scroll to view the entire collection:

  1. 12 quotes to inspire success in your business
  2. 21 quotes to inspire achievement of your goals
  3. 10 inspirational quotes for leaders of any industry
  4. 9 inspirational quotes depicted typographically
  5. Succeed by following your passion: 10 inspirational quotes
  6. 19 inspirational quotes on the art of negotiation
  7. 11 inspirational quotes: getting past professional adversity
  8. 25 motivational quotes to kick off another year

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” – Zig Ziglar

“All lasting business is built on friendship.” – Alfred A. Montapert

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford

“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it.” – Scott Allen

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker

“In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.” – Lee Iacocca

“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael Leboeuf

“Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it’s business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. If you don’t love what you’re doing and you can’t give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short. You’ll be an old man before you know it.” – Al Lopez

“It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch

“I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it by day and dream of it by night.” – Henry Ford

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein

“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reach, don’t adjust the goals; adjust the action steps.” – Confucius

“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” – Earl Nightingale

“Not every end is the goal. The end of a melody is not its goal, and yet if the melody has not reached its end, it has not reached its goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” – Zig Ziglar

“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” – Mark Victor Hansen

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Anthony Robbins

“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” – Walt Disney

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Stephen A. Brennan

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” – Earl Nightingale

“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” – Orison Swett Marden

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Larry Elder

“A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee

“Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy.” – Denis Waitley

“You must take action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

“Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers, or your clients and customers.” – Les Brown

“We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” – Maxwell Maltz

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.” – George Orwell

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” – Lao Tzu

“No man can stand on top because he is put there.” – H. H. Vreeland

“Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.”- Mark A. Clement

“What chance gathers, she easily scatters. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“One of the things that may get in the way of people … is that they’re not in touch with their passion. If you’re passionate about what it is you do, then you’re going to be looking for everything you can to get better at it.” – Jack Canfield

“If you want to be successful in a particular field or endeavor, I think perseverance is one of the key qualities. It’s very important that you find something that you care about, that you have a deep passion for, because you’re going to have to devote a lot of your life to it.” – George Lucas

“Chase your passion, not your pension.” – Denis Waitley

“Never follow your dreams. Follow your effort. It’s not about what you can dream of. That’s easy. It’s about whether or not it’s important enough to you to do the work to be ready to be successful in that business.” – Mark Cuban

“There is no greatness without passion to be great, whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessperson.” – Anthony Robbins

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Follow your passions, believe in karma, and you won’t have to chase your dreams, they will come to you.” – Randy Pausch

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” – Mark Victor

“A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.” – William Hazlitt

“During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.” – Brian Koslow

“Negotiation in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree.” – Dean Acheson

“The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts.” – Howard Baker

“This is a classic negotiation technique. It’s a gentle, soft indication of your disapproval and a great way to keep negotiating. Count to 10. By then, the other person usually will start talking and may very well make a higher offer.” – Bill Coleman

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy

“Don’t bargain yourself down before you get to the table.” – Carol Frohlinger

“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of a diplomat.” – Robert Estabrook

“You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.” – J. Paul Getty

“The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people half way.” – Henry Boyle

“The worst thing you can say is ‘I want $X for this job,’ leaving no opening for negotiation by the other side. Better language is ‘I hope to earn between $X and $X.’ That gives the other party more flexibility.” – Bill Coleman

“If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing.” – Harri Holkeri

“If you are planning on doing business with someone again, don’t be too tough in the negotiations. If you’re going to skin a cat, don’t keep it as a house cat.” – Marvin Levin

“Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously.” – Lance Morrow

“The single and most dangerous word to be spoken in business is no. The second most dangerous word is yes. It is possible to avoid saying either.” – Lois Wyse

“A negotiator should observe everything. You must be part Sherlock Holmes, part Sigmund Freud.” – Victor Kiam

“Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.” – Sir David Frost

“Anger can be an effective negotiating tool, but only as a calculated act, never as a reaction.” – Mark McCormack

“It’s a well-known proposition that you know who’s going to win a negotiation; it’s he who pauses the longest.” – Robert Court

“Place a higher priority on discovering what a win looks like for the other person.” – Harvey Robbins

“The truth is, unless you let go…unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli

“Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.” – Og Mandino

“There is no failure except no longer trying.” – Elbert Hubbard

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” – Joel Osteen

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” – Karen Ravn

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“Reach high, for the stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” – Diana Scharf Hunt

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” – Paul J. Meyer

“Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest of most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.” – Anthony Robbins

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” – George Sheehan

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Eliot

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Today’s patience can transform yesterday’s discouragements into tomorrow’s discoveries. Today’s purposes can turn yesterday’s defeats into tomorrow’s determination.” – William Arthur Ward

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

“To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.” – Bernard Edmonds

“Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie

“Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is love, enjoy it!” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

new year's inspirational quotes

new year's inspirational quotes

new year's inspirational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

new year's motivational quotes

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Business Articles

So you want a raise? Let’s discuss negotiations

(BUSINESS) Insight on the when, the why and the how much when asking a boss for a raise.

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raise business acquisition

We’ve all been there, sitting across the table from a boss, posed with the questions how much?

And if you haven’t been there, maybe it’s time for you to ask for your first raise ever.

Money is still one of the most taboo subjects to discuss.

Because of that, employees often have no idea how much their coworkers are making or if they’re being paid an equitable rate compared with others in the same position across the industry.

So how should you ask for a raise, when should you ask for a raise, and when you do — how much more should you ask for?

Paysa, a business blog, conducted a survey that may help employees understand what their managers expect when the two of you sit down for that conversation.

2,000 American managers and non-managers answered a smattering of salary based questions and provide a broad look at what employers expect when having dollar sign sit downs.

The best reasons to ask for a raise according to over half of those surveyed is if you’re doing excellent work, or if you’re taking on more difficult tasks at work.

That means if either of these things happen, you really should ask for a raise.

Understand your value, and try to monetize it. It can only help. The worst reasons to ask for a salary increase are if you don’t like your job (okay, duh) or if you think you’re employer can afford it. These both seem like skeezeball reasons, so even if they are the reason, try to avoid telling your boss that.

So you’re doing excellent work, you like your job and you’re confident in your place in the company.

How much should you ask for?

Of those surveyed some were in managerial positions with the ability to grant raises, and some were in non managerial, non raise-granting positions. Surprisingly their answers varied greatly.

When asked how much of a raise is too much to ask for, almost half of managers answered that over a five percent increase is too much.

Non managers overwhelmingly recommend that you should ask for the amount you feel you deserve, no matter the percentage (about 46%).

For more info check out Paysa’s infographic below. They split up the answers based on participants managerial level, so depending on who you’re talking to – whether she’s a middle manager or an owner – you can know what they’ll expect.

Other info from Paysa’s survey include how often to ask for a raise (no more than once a year) raise requests and grants based on gender and industry, and reasons why most people don’t ask for a raise (employers indicate that requests will not be granted).

You can check out their full blog here and study up before you send a “can we talk?” email to your manager. Which you should totally do, guys.

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Business Articles

Your brand is vulnerable just like Cracker Barrel’s recent troll spotlight #BradsWifeMatters

(BUSINESS) Brad’s wife got fired from Cracker Barrel which has sparked internet outrage and has presented us all with a few lessons.

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cracker barrel

Crack in the barrel

It’s been an eventful week for Cracker Barrel so far. The Tennessee-based chain of family/country-style restaurants has found itself in the midst of not one, but two, trending hashtags on Twitter, #Justiceforbradswife and #Bradswifematters, and have seen their Wikipedia page altered multiple times over the past three days as well.

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So, what’s behind all of the free—if unwanted—publicity?

They fired Brad’s wife.

Wait, what?

The TL;DR of it is this: Bradley Byrd of Milltown, Indiana, thrust the company into the trolling spotlight on March 4th by posting a simple question to the Cracker Barrel corporate Facebook page:

“Why did you fire my wife?”

Brad’s wife, Nanette, had apparently worked for the local Cracker Barrel for the past 11 years as a server, and was, to the best of Brad’s knowledge, terminated for lack of cause.

Rubbing salt into the wound

That she was fired on Brad’s birthday, and fired two weeks before earning vacation pay for this year.

What was posed as a question from an upset spouse has since taken a life of its own.

It gained a much wider audience when shared by comedian Amri King on Facebook this week.

Note from the Editor: if you want to spend a few hours digging into the many hilarious forms the topic took, click around here (warning: most of it is totally unsafe for work or around children).

People want answers

Not only do more people know about Brad’s wife being fired, but they’ve taken to trolling the Cracker Barrel Facebook page and Twitter feed, with thousands of comments being linked back to Brad’s wife, no matter the tenuousness of the thread connecting their comment to the original post.

There’s also been a petition started at Change.org to get Nanette justice, with nearly 9,000 signatures to date.

The range of feedback that Cracker Barrel is receiving spans the gamut from nearly nonsensical to rather witty and droll. But driving the continuation of the onslaught is their reticence; as of the time of writing, Cracker Barrel hadn’t yet responded to either the flood of negative public opinion or to Brad’s original question.

And that’s the smartest move that they’ll make.

The Sound of Silence

It’s so very tempting when your company, brand, or person is being dragged through the public arena, (for right or wrong) to comment back and defend yourself with the same vigor that you’re being attacked by.

That temptation, however, has real consequences if given in to.

In a termination case, you may find yourself in a similar situation.

Pay attention

A beloved employee has done a “VBBT”: a very big, bad thing, and has to be let go. Or, perhaps, it was an employee popular with both internal and external customers, but, while they were nice and good for morale, their job performance had been lacking over time, and you’d worked with them to try to correct it, unbeknownst to the public.

Either way, you should steel yourself for impact.

In the world of digital presence, it’s going to be relentless. And personal. And, usually, mostly wrong on all of the details. It may certainly hurt, and your bottom line may take a brief hit, but remember: you don’t get to comment back on things like this.

Your role is to stay above the fray and remain professional

You made the decision to terminate, and before you did, you did your research as to why it was the right time to terminate the employee (Shame on you if you didn’t—in that case, your problems with an Internet backlash are both deserved and the least of things you ought to be worrying about).

Now it’s time to keep the course and focus on moving forward.

By responding to these comments, you don’t appear to be in control. Making no statement is more useful at times that making a statement that compromises you, be that legally in an employment context, or in the marketplace by mis-stepping and giving the trolls something real to write about.

Issue a statement

If a response to media inquiry or public opinion does become unavoidable, a well-scripted response that is vetted by counsel in advance of releasing it to ensure that you haven’t inadvertently given rise to a defamation or unlawful termination suit, is your best friend.

Make it once in outlets that are responsive, and then let it stay.

No further comment is necessary, nor useful.

An Audience of One

The only person that Cracker Barrel owes an answer to about why Nanette was fired is Nanette. The world at large certainly doesn’t need to know, and, neither does Brad, frankly.

If the employee doesn’t know why they’re being terminated, and provided something in writing to that effect, then that’s an area to address.

Everyone deserves to have clarity in the workplace, especially about something so critical as employee performance feedback leading to termination. Having the cause of termination in writing will also help you to defend against any “re-telling” of the termination story by the employee after the fact.

Also, remember that you have an audience of just one when it comes to discussing the details about those who have been fired: the terminated employee.

Just because it’s a spouse asking the question of why their partner was terminated, that doesn’t give them any additional standing to have that information shared with them by the company.

You Signed Up For This

You’re looking to the long view for your company and brand.

Making a hard decision that is the right thing to do and is evidence-supported isn’t always easy and it certainly isn’t always popular. But it’s the job that you’ve got to do.

You likely have crisis plans in place about what will happen if you have a challenge to critical infrastructure, supply chain, or safety issues.Click To Tweet

In a hyper-present media environment, in which the next meme is lurking around the corner, it’s a good idea to extend that planning to include a media crisis so that when the spotlight is turned onto you, you’ve prepared for it and made certain that you’re putting your best foot forward, by not getting it stuck in your mouth.

#BradsWife

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