Effectively Communicating Your Needs

Communication is a complicated skill. While all people are born with the ability to communicate, not everyone will be given the same advantages. There are people who are natural communicators because it effectively aligns with their developing personalities. This does not mean, however, that people without an innate ability for exceptional communication are stuck in their positions. Becoming a better communicator is simple if you take time to think over your course of action. Whether you are thinking about going to USC to finish an advanced degree or you simply need to open up more, there are ways to improve.

Go Back to School
One excellent way for you to become better at communicating is by going back to school. When you have already obtained your undergraduate degree, it might seem like a burden to head back to a college environment. In truth, you are likely to see many benefits when you go back to school. Not only are you able to learn more about a chosen area of study, but you will also be given the chance to become better at communicating ideas. Obtaining your undergraduate degree is a start, but an advanced degree can work wonders for your abilities.

Communication is sort of like an art form. The more that you practice communicating your thoughts and ideas to a wide range of people, the easier it will be for you to see if your words have had an impact. This is not always possible in the working world, where your thoughts might go unheard for years. If you are looking to continue your career while simultaneously improving the way that you communicate, it is a good idea to look into the programs available through institutes of higher learning such as USC online.

Reach Out More
Outside of going back to school, there are plenty of other options for you to think over. Communication skills are applied to many areas of your life. If you want to get better at communicating, you can start at home. Talk to members of your household, whether you live with family, friends or strangers, and be sure to express how you are feeling. When an issue arises, a solid communicator will be able to take stock of his or her thoughts and feelings, then get those thoughts across to others in a calm and rational way.

You are not going to be perfect at this on your first try. If you are someone that is naturally shy, quiet, nervous, or unable to get your thoughts together, then this will require practice. The only way to get better is by honing your skill at every chance that you get. Speak to everyone that you can, specifically about ideas or thoughts you need to get across, and you will find that you are getting better at speaking to others in the way that you would like.

Start Today
Communication skills can always use a bit of work. Whether you decide to go back to school to obtain your advanced degree or you start your trials at home and begin to speak out more frequently to those in your circle, you will find that each day brings you closer to your goal. Once you have found the path that works for your needs, you will have no trouble communicating like an expert.

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On Insurance Claims

When you have been injured in a car accident or hurt from medical malpractice, there comes a point in the claims process where the insurance company makes an offer to settle your claim. Typically, the insurance claims adjuster represents the insurer during negotiations. Their job is to get a settlement that is favorable to the company. For obvious reasons, your focus is to get the best offer for yourself. Medical expenses, time from work and ongoing treatment are financial burdens you simply cannot afford to bear without some type of compensation. Once you present the insurance company with a demand letter, negotiations begin. Here are a few tips to help you navigate this process on terms that ultimately resolve in your favor.

How Negotiating an Insurance Claim Works

The initial call with the adjuster is typically the time when both of you make points about the validity of your claim. Expect the first offer from the adjuster to be much lower than the amount that you listed in your demand letter. Your counter offer should be lower than the demand letter request but higher than the adjuster’s initial offer. This process may take two or three telephone calls before the settlement figure falls somewhere between the adjuster’s low and your high figure.

Determine What Your Claim is Worth

Throughout the negotiations, you should have a settlement amount in mind, which is the lowest that you are willing to accept. Never let the adjuster know your bare minimum; keep that to yourself when you feel pressure during the negotiations.

Never Accept the First Offer

Jumping at the first offer is never a good thing. The adjuster will usually offer you the lowest amount first. This is often used as a tactic to see if you are aware of the process. Counter reasonable offers and never accept an amount you know will not cover what you have lost because of the injury. Countering with an amount that is slightly lower than your demand letter amount demonstrates that you are willing to compromise.

Get the Agreed Settlement in Writing

Once the negotiations are complete and you have agreed to a settlement, make sure you get it in writing from the adjuster. You can also confirm the amount in a letter to the insurance adjuster. Include everything that the stated settlement should cover: your injuries, damages and the date that you expect to receive settlement documents.

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Opening Your Frozen Yogurt Business

The frozen yogurt industry is one that is growing every year. More people are looking for a healthy alternative to desserts, and frozen yogurt is a product that gives the satisfaction of a sweet treat without the higher calories that are seen in ice cream, cakes and cookies. You can add slices of fresh fruit and other items to the yogurt to give you the flavors that you desire. Owning a frozen yogurt store is a fun way to sell the product while interacting with customers. It’s best to contact a frozen yogurt supplier to find out exactly what is needed in the store to keep the product cold and to get a few tips on the flavors that sell best at various times of the year.

Do a little research about the customer base before you open your store. This will help to determine the kind of products that you should sell and what people are looking for in a frozen yogurt shop. Surveys are a good way to find out what flavors people might like and to see what decorations and amenities that they might like to see when they enter the store. You want to talk to people from all backgrounds to see what they think about frozen yogurt so that you can cater to the target area of customers who will buy the most from your store. Think about the income levels of the people who live in the community. You don’t want to set the prices so high that customers can’t afford them, but if you know that customers can spend a little more money, then you might want to consider a slight increase in order to make a profit.

Look at the competition in the area. How many stores are similar to yours, and do those stores sell anything in addition to frozen yogurt? Before opening your store, you need to make sure all of the paperwork has been submitted to the county and the state and that you have followed all of the regulations that are set forth by the health department so that you aren’t breaking any rules with the business.

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Happiness is a choice.

Most would agree that life is too short to be unhappy and dissatisfied. However, it’s often hard for people to make the necessary changes to evoke more joy in their lives. Happiness is a choice that often requires work to achieve. The more dedicated we are to living a meaningful and authentic life, the more motivated we are to make the changes necessary to bring balance harmony and ultimately happiness to our lives.

Just who are you?
This is the first question we must ask ourselves when it comes to creating happiness. We have to know ourselves enough to develop a relationship with ourselves. This keeps us rooted to our truest selves, and the process begins with self-acceptance. Self-acceptance opens the door to personal growth and self-love.

Being Purple in a Yellow Crowd
It’s hard to be openly different. It takes a lot of courage and self-acceptance to go against the status quo. This becomes an extremely difficult rite of passage during the teen years. Most of us don’t master this ability as teenagers. It takes years of learning about ourselves and what brings us joy and happiness, to develop the strength needed to stand on our own. Pop culture is often a source of pressure, because the media often promotes sameness in a broad sweeping sense, and downplays authenticity if it’s not catchy and broadly popular. In order to fully embrace who we are, it often requires respecting our own personal uniqueness even if who and what we are are not widely popular.

Happy Being You
When we hide who we are, or simply refuse to truly embrace it, it becomes impossible to maximize our peace and happiness. It’s a way of denying ourselves the opportunity to continue to grow in our own uniqueness and authenticity. We instead force ourselves to live counterfeit lives, showing the face that garners the greatest amount of peer approval, instead of the face that accurately depicts who we are and what we value. We can enjoy cooking and dream of opening our own restaurant, often spending hours combing the internet for the perfect ribbon blender, but if we hide this, we stifle our own uniqueness.

Learning self-acceptance naturally leads to personal growth and development. As we bloom, we discover things we didn’t know before, as a result. The more we commit to being true to ourselves and our own personal growth, it makes it easier for us to stand out, if need be. When we are fearless enough to openly practice our own unique authenticity we inherit all the benefits of this practice: peace, joy, harmony, self-love, and ultimately…happiness.

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Corporate Housing Solutions

As a business owner, you should be searching for the most cost-effective way to complete any process. Logistics can be a tedious process. This issue is complicated even further when you have employees who have to travel for work. Coming up with travel arrangements and housing arrangements is annoying. Sometimes you have employees who need to stay in a place for an extended period. That is why corporate housing was invented. It helps companies cut out a few steps when they are finding living quarters for their traveling staff members.

Corporate housing is a turn key property where someone can live for a period. It is sort of between an apartment and a hotel. They are ideal for some business travelers. Here are some reasons why.

It’s cheaper – With corporate housing, everything included with the property is available to the traveler. That includes things that hotels might charge for, like parking. During an extended hotel stay, the daily parking fees can add up. That is not an issue when you purchase corporate housing solutions. The overall day rate will also remain the same. Hotels charge different prices depending on demand.

Taxes – This another factor in the cheaper of corporate housing. Hotels have to pay a hotel tax. You pay this tax every time you stay in a hotel or motel. It isn’t as noticeable when you are just staying for a night or two. These taxes can add up over the course of a couple of weeks or a month.

Furnished – These properties are turnkey properties. That means corporate apartments and condos are fully equipped. They are also fully stocked with kitchen utensils and cooking appliances. It feels much more like a home than a hotel. This is incredible considering corporate housing is usually cheaper.

Eating out is fun, but the cost can add up. When you stay in corporate housing, you will usually have access to a full kitchen. That means you can make some healthy homemade meals while you are staying there. That can make the stay feel even more like home. Most hotel rooms have no kitchen at all. Some extended stay hotels have a smaller economy kitchen.

There is still one more reason that business housing is a better option, more space. A rented apartment or condo is much bigger than the typical hotel room. They also provide more privacy. Many companies offer these services. Contact one today to see how much money they can save you while also improving your business’s travel logistics.

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Four Reasons Obamacare Continues to Be Unpopular in Congress

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, went into effect more than six years ago. It was controversial at the time it was passed and remains controversial today. The following are four significant reasons for this.

Rising insurance costs

The Affordable Care Act was meant to insure a greater number of people, but it was also designed to bring down the cost of health care. Unfortunately, this has not happened for many people. Six years after its enactment, many families are paying higher premiums than ever. The ACA was dependent upon younger, healthier people paying premiums to subsidize older, less healthy people in the health insurance pool. The numbers of young people have fallen short of projections, and this has led to higher premiums. Some insurance companies have decided to drop out of the exchanges because they are not making enough money, so this may lead to even higher premiums in the future.

Some people lost their health insurance

Certain private health care plans were no longer allowed under the ACA. In general, these were the catastrophic plans that required large deductibles be paid before the insurance coverage kicked in. However, for those who were healthy, this type of policy was attractive. Once they lost these policies, many of these people were forced to go to the private exchanges created by the ACA to get an insurance policy. Some of the coverage in these policies was more than people had in the past, so the premiums were higher. Advocates of the ACA claimed that these policies were much better, but for many people, the additional coverage was not worth the higher premiums.

Fines for not having health insurance

This has been a part of the ACA from the beginning, but it has only recently gone into effect, and people are starting to feel the cost of not having insurance. Those in the lower middle income brackets are the people who are feeling this penalty the most. Because the money is collected by the Internal Revenue Service, those paying this fine experience it as a tax hike.

Many people have been left without insurance

Part of the ACA was the expansion of Medicaid by increasing the income limits for eligibility. This was mandated by the federal government for all 50 states. The Supreme Court, however, ruled that it was optional for each state. Many states decided not to expand Medicaid, so in these states, there are people who do not qualify for Medicaid and also do not make enough to participate in the public exchanges. This gap has created a group of people who are living slightly above the poverty level without access to health insurance. This was not intended by lawmakers, and many are understandably upset about this.

Although there are some people who want to fix Obamacare, there are many in Congress want to repeal the ACA and replace it with better health care laws. Senator Mike Crapo, of Idaho, is one such politician. Senator Crapo believes that the ACA has been costly and has also taken away personal health care choices for Americans.

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Promote Your Band Like a Pro: Top Tips for Musicians

Promoting a band these days isn’t quite like it used to be back in the heyday of the music business. After all, recordings just aren’t selling like they used to, and touring acts aren’t always bringing in a ton of cash until they reach superstar level.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t make money and promote your band to get to the next level. It just means you need to be smart about how you do it. Use this guide to learn more about promoting your band without breaking the bank and burning all of your profits in the meantime.

Social Media Matters

For every young musician, social media is something that’s already a known entity. However, the importance of connecting with friends, family and followers can’t be overstated when building a career in the entertainment industry.

To stay relevant, make sure you’re posting and letting people know about gigs, events and things like CD release parties before they pop up. Photos never hurt either.

Play Free Gigs

No matter how the music business changes, you can’t forget the fact that fans are always going to love live music. Even if you don’t have a huge turnout every night, playing for a crowd brings new attention to your group and helps you refine your skills.

Booking paying gigs is great, but sometimes there’s nothing better than playing for free. That’s especially true if you’re opening for a bigger band or playing a venue that draws a large number of people every night.

You might make up for that free show in exposure and merchandise sales in no time.

Create Inexpensive Giveaways

CDs, audio, t-shirts and posters are all the lifeblood of the working musician. Even in this modern day and age, merchandise sales are still a big deal. That’s why you obviously can’t give those away for free – at least not to people outside of the business.

There are some items that make excellent promotional giveaways though. As a way to say thank you to fans, you can’t do much better than items like guitar picks and custom stickers with your band logo.

Best of all, you can make custom stickers and small items for just a few pennies. For a fan, that free giveaway is worth a whole lot more than the negligible amount you paid for it.

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