Invest Now

The average person may see the recession as a time to financially withdraw. They may think that because of the housing market failing, major banks going broke, and thousands of innocent people plunged into debt, there’s not a better time to run away. In fact, there’s not a better time to capitalize! A real entrepreneur would invest now because of the opportunity. No matter what your age (see this post), and you have $500 or more lying around, invest; there are several good reasons to do this.

Buy Low, Sell High

The stock trader’s motto, it’s deadly accurate for what should be happening right now. Today is a great time to buy stock. Generally, stocks lessen in value during an economic downturn because there are less people wanting to buy it. It’s the law of demand: if little people want to buy a product, the price goes down, and vice versa. Take advantage: rearrange your money into a portfolio that has a long-term return, because:

It’s Going To Go Up

The TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) recently reported 5 straight months of growing profit! The recession has provided us with some of the lowest prices that we’ve ever seen on big companies’ stock. Normally, a severe downturn isn’t followed by a worse downturn. Sure, the economy will take a while to bloom again, but there are almost guaranteed profits (don’t hold me to it) if you buy in a safe, long-term stock (preferably) now. Even if you don’t have money to invest right now, see this post to find out how you can simulate investments, for free!

Stimulate The Economy

It’s what we need. We need investors to start re-building the economy, as well as the trust between companies. Your investment will help a company regain its balance, while the investment will be pretty safe for the next little while (until the market really fully regains stability).

You’ll Learn Valuable Lessons

As a teen, we learn things! So if we learn to take advantage of the market now, we’ll be able to use it later in life. This provides a huge head-start! Also, investing at this time will give you a wealth of economic experience (pun intended).

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Disclaimer: I’m not a stock market professional, so I’m not liable for any losses in this market – but I would appreciate some praise if things go well!

I got a question from a reader a few days ago about investing. He points out that the legal age to invest in the US is 18, and 19 in Canada. He said that he’s then confused as to how I and any other teen under 18 can invest!
My portfolio is my own, and so are my investments. Yet there’s a simple answer to this question. My investments are in my name, but are in trust from my parents. That means that legally, they’re operated by my parents, but they’re held by me. See? It’s a simple bypass of the system!

I’ve been investing since I was eleven. If you’re under 18 or 19, and you have maybe $500, $1000, or even $2000 just lying around in your savings account, ask your parents to set up an investing portfolio in trust for you! Don’t worry, you pick the investments. There’s no limit to the age you can invest at, because why would there be? Age plays no factor.

Music Makes Money

Some of the most successful businesses today are based on someone’s talent (or talents) – an example being an artist selling paintings – and these businesses can be easily tapped into by young people today. Many teens (or even kids) are musically gifted, or can learn to be, and many actually use that to their advantage. There’s a general rule in life (which applies to business quite well, actually, though not always accurate, but that’s another story): if you’re good, then you’re paid for it. That means that if you’re a good musician, then people want to hear it (and pay for it!) Here are a few examples where you can make some nifty cash.

Band/Solo Artist – Make sure you can make some good music though, before you plan on making some money out of it. Ask yourself: “Would I buy my music”? If so, record some demos (you can do it quite for quite cheap now, or even for free), and send them out to talent agencies or promoters. This demo could also be an album; sell your album to other people in real life, or even online (my friend sells his album on iTunes). This is a great way to make an easy $10 – $20/album. A great step would be to look for open-microphone nights, competitions (or talent shows), or jams – they all give some wonderful publicity, and usually have some juicy cash prizes. You could even ask a café, restaurant, or recreation center if they’d be interested in having some live musicians – they might pay $10+/hour, or maybe $50 a night. You could even be a busker on the street (go to your municipal hall and apply for a license, first), and make $20 or more an hour!

Pianist – Making money from being a pianist applies mostly to those who are really good, so you’ll have to be very experienced before you plan to make some moolah. Try asking hotels if they’d like a “live ambient artist” (someone who provides background music), or talk to event planning services, because they often need pianists. Like a solo-artist, you could compose and record your own songs and sell them. Talent agents are often at competitions, and if you can impress them, they can help promote you too.

DJ – Being a DJ is a fun, entertaining, and often high-paying job (if you’re a good one). Contrary to popular belief, it’s not an age-limiting job: I’ve heard of 9 year olds rocking bars. DJ’s can be paid sometimes upwards of $50/hour for a wedding. Though it is usually very expensive to get into, anywhere from $700 to $5000 (for truly high-end, state-of-the-art stuff), if you are determined, you can work that off. Again, make demo mixes (or if you’re a mobile DJ, record videos of yourself), give them to promoters or clubs or bars (look for ones that sell food, because they can often let minors in if they do) or even your school! DJing your school dances are great – commercial school dance DJ’s charge far too much, and you could undercut them a bit, and clean up quite nicely. If you have any other questions about this in particular, email me, because I’m a DJ myself!

How I Make My Money

For the past year or so, I’ve been doing a lot of work. Though it’s not a regular, steady job, I find that I’ve made more money that my friends – right now I average at least $100 a week, and am paid anywhere from $10/hour – $30/hour.
The Lowdown

For the past year or so, I’ve been babysitting. However, this level of babysitting has been very professional – sometimes 5 kids at once (and I’m 15!) – and you get special bonuses for that. I’ve been such a responsible babysitter that I manage about 6 or 7 repeat clients. I usually have 2 or three jobs per week. 5 hours a job x $10 a job x 3 jobs a week = $150 a week, just from babysitting! I even have a steady weekly gig, for 4 hours, managing 3 kids – I just get up earlier, and by the time the job is done (it’s in the morning, on weekends), I haven’t missed any part of the day at all. Sometimes I only have that $40 job, but that’s more than enough for my weekly spending needs. I’ve probably made upwards of $2000 between September and now, just from babysitting.

In July I started my own landscaping and garden care business. I started by mowing my neighbour’s lawn, then my own. Because both properties are moderately big, I can charge about $30 – $35 a mow. It now takes me less than an hour to mow a large size lawn. I began offering more services: edging, weeding, gardening, watering, and other yard work. Because edging often comes with mowing, I might take in $45 for an hour and a half worth of work. Multiply $45 by twice a week, and that’s $90. Then I got some odd weeding and yard work jobs – from working about 8 hours, I received about $110 for yard work and weeding.

Recently, I got a job. No, it’s not a typical job in the sense that it’s for an establishment – I work for myself. I was phoned by a person wanting a weeding job on a really large property. It’s so large that it’ll provide consistent work – on my own time – at about $10/hour. I choose my own hours: recently, I’ve been doing about 2 hours/day, and about 9 hours/week because it’s summer; I expect 5 hours, or $50/week, when school starts… which I’ve just realized is tomorrow.

So here’s what it all looks like:

4 hours every week babysitting for one person = $40

Average of 3 hours every week additional babysitting = $30

1 yard mow/trim average, a week = $45

Weeding job = $50

Additional = $30

Total = $195/week, or $780 a month*.

I realize this figure is high – $195 is sometimes irregular, and I may make only $40 (*it’s actually usually around $500/month), but you get the jist of it. Once you’re comfortable with knowing that babysitting is not just a job for a 12 year-old girl (and that there’s no shame in it), and that landscaping is easy and not that time-consuming, there’s easy money!

…and he’s only 17!

I was excited one day when I received a kindly email from 17 year-old Armen Haroutunian. Through a series of emails, I got to know about his involvement in business from when he was little to now. It’s a lengthy article, but it’s definitely a recommended read – it provided a ton of inspiration for me!

At the young age of 17, you’re already the Chief Marketing Officer of a reputable telecommunications solutions company. How and when were you introduced to this position?

I have always been involved and interested in business. I got introduced to the telecommunication industry because it has been in my family. My father owns the company, yet I have proved myself to him as being worthy of my position. I had always been in the office from a young age working with telecommunications products. I remember how I would register phone systems and set them up, making the job of the technicians much easier. I also would answer incoming phone calls and transfer them to the correct department. Once in a while if a customer had some questions regarding the products we sell, I would take the initiative and answer them to the best of my knowledge. I officially began doing sales for Phone Lines Com Inc. about 2 years ago. We sustained great growth through some of the techniques I implemented. Following this, as a company we sat down and decided we must market ourselves to a greater number of small businesses. One of the first steps we took was to create a new and redesigned website, www.phonelinesinc.com , which launched in late August of 2009. Much of the responsibility for publicizing our company and site now remains in my hands. The great part of what I do is by executing the tasks at hand, I am able to learn and further educate myself about marketing.

Has business and money-making played any role in your younger life? Were you always such an entrepreneur?

Thinking and dreaming about business has been in my veins for as long as I can remember. For me it is just a natural part of my everyday life. I am always thinking how I could improve our business. I have always been involved in business. I remember as a kid I would have lemonade stands regularly. At the age of 10 I was thinking like an entrepreneur. I had a lemonade stand, but I didn’t only sell lemonade. I would have iced tea on certain days and sell Limeade as well. This gave my customers a choice on refreshments. I also began offering the lemonade in a larger cup (16 oz.), I put a lid on the cup and a nice straw, this way I was able to sell my lemonade for $1.00 instead of $0.50. When I turned 12, I began to write letters to CEO’s asking them what they did that helped them achieve so much success. After writing about 50 letters, I received 20 responses all of which were very insightful and motivating. At 15 years of age, I started a business club at school. Through the help and commitment of many friends this club has become a prime club at our school. I served as President of the club for 2 years, in which I learned a great deal of leadership skills.

Can you give a brief description of what your job at Phone Lines Inc. entails?

My job and duty at Phone Lines Inc. entails a lot of researching. I am always on the computer searching for new avenues with which we can market our products and services. It definitely takes time and effort especially when you are not very experienced, but knowing that adults trust you in what you do truly gives me the determination and hope I need to succeed.

Aside from your job at Phone Lines Inc., you intern at a real estate agency and you’re in grade 12 – a busy life. What do you like about your job/internship that makes you so determined to balance it all?

I never thought I would find much interest in real estate. I always would tell myself, that once I had enough money to invest, then I would start looking into developing and investing in real estate. I had the opportunity over the summer to learn more about real estate and took it. It turned out to be great! I truly loved how I was learning so much about commercial and residential real estate. So I began to intern at Keller Williams by a great broker, who always provides me with insight into his business. The most important part of real estate is marketing. There is a lot of competition in the industry because most agents do the same thing. Off course the way you present yourself to the client means a lot, but ultimately what matters is how many potential clients you can expose yourself too. The more people that recognize your name the more deals you will close. That is why marketing is so important to real estate. Learning more about marketing in real estate has also made me come up with new and more innovative ways to market Phone Lines Inc.

What do you see in your future?

I will be applying to university this year. My goal is to get as much experience in the business world as possible through all of college. Once I get my B.A. I am planning on getting my MBA. After I have met those qualifications, I hope I can become a CEO of a business one day and grow that business. Seeing a business you started or had a part in, become more and more profitable would make my dream come true.

What word of advice would you like to give to people?

I would like to tell anyone reading this to just work hard and start from a young age. Experience is what defines you, the more experience you have when you enter the business world the more likely you are to succeed. A great way to gain a lot of information is right on your fingertips. The internet has an infinite amount of resources and use that to your advantage. Also, read any sort of material that interests you whether it be online or in various kinds of books.

How to Write An Amazing Resumé

It’s rare that you would walk into a store and be hired on the spot. For employers, it takes time to sieve out the potential candidates. In order to make sure that you’re the best, you need a resumé that shines! Here’s how to make that multi-format resumé that’ll get you hired.

Name & Contact Info

First thing you want to do is have your name (usually in large capital or bold letters), your address, phone number (be sure to include both cell and home), and email.

Objectives

Quickly make a note of:

2 or 3 goals that you want to achieve
Why you want to work there
You’ll then combine these into what’s called “objectives”. For example, my objectives on my resume are:

To provide a useful service while interacting positively with others
To gain work experience
To achieve my financial goal to pursue University and other activities
These are pretty clear objectives.

Education

On my resumé, I’ve listed “Education” as one of the first things, because I value a good education more than anything. Education helps to establish your background, and what your work habits are. I generally like a chronological order here, where I’ll have the most recent education first and the earliest meaningful (you probably don’t need to include where you went to pre-school) one last. For example:

2007 – 2009: Some High School (don’t put city if you still go there), 5.0 (you could put A+/A/B+/B average if you want) overall average (just put something close to what you get), Grade 11
2001 – 2007: Some Junior School, Some Town Some Province, A Averages, various awards (see awards & recognition), prefect leadership position
February 2008: Food Handling Certification (put other education after schooling)
Awards & Recognition

This is the part where you make yourself shine! Awards and recognition show who you are: if you’re a humanitarian, you may have gotten some citizenship awards; if your musical, you may have gotten some band awards, et cetera. Don’t worry, even if you don’t have many awards, put em’ in there anyway (it doesn’t hurt)! Say, if you’ve been interviewed by a newspaper, or been featured somewhere, this is the place where this goes too. I like to do this part chronologically, too.

Volunteer Experience

This is where you make yourself shine again! Any volunteer experience is good – make sure you list anything and everything that you’ve done. It will take a while for you to remember, because you probably haven’t made a list over the years. You may say: “Well, I didn’t do much with this, and I wasn’t actively involved in that”. The truth is, it doesn’t matter! If you were a part of something, list it! A ton of my friends resumés are very naked, though they’ve done so much. Again, I do this chronologically.

Work Experience

Now I like to list work experience. Put down everything you’ve done where it involves making money from an employer. It doesn’t have to be formal jobs – it could be babysitting, a summer landscaping job, a movie extra, a garage-sale organizer, a garden-carer, or even a lemonade stand-runner (I put it in there because we did quite well, which shows business-skills). I generally don’t do this chronologically, unless it’s a formal/more job.

Various Interests

This is a section I like to add, just because it gives your resumé a nice friendly touch. You can put anything you like in there, like any sports you do, what subject interests you a lot, etc. Make it a list, not a proper paragraph.

That’s about the general construction for an effective resumé, but there are a few things that you want to avoid.

Do not lie – if you get a C+ average, use that. Don’t say that you have a B, because it’ll show later.
Don’t rely solely on your resumé. When delivering a resumé, make sure the employer gets a good impression about you: be mature, outspoken, polite.
Always say that you would welcome an interview! A great resumé followed by a good interview is one killer combination.
Keep a lookout for the other parts about getting a job!

How To Avoid Being Late To Work

You know the deal: you get to work 5 minutes late, and your boss harasses you. You wonder what you did at home that made you late, but you can’t think of anything because your boss is yelling in your face. Here’s how to avoid that nasty encounter, and stay on your boss’ good list.
There’s always a point where you feel that you need to go to your job, but you could just do one more thing before you zip off. Well, that “one more thing” turns into two more things, then three; and before you know it, you’re three minutes from work time when it takes ten minutes to get there.

Step One: Set An Alarm

Alarms are a good way of getting somewhere, because it means that something other than you is reminding you. Set it at least 5 minutes more than the time you should leave to get there, because it always takes at least 5 minutes to get ready. If you’re always watching TV, or you’re hanging with friends, set an alarm on your cell-phone or iPod (to be safe, set it at least 10 minutes faster because friends are the most distracting). If you’re always at home, busy on Facebook on your computer, set your alarm clock to go off.

Step Two: Remove Distractions

It’s the distractions that always get to you, right? Remove them from the possibility of you engaging them. If you’re with friends, but you work soon after school, I recommend just staying at school and getting a start on your homework, or hanging with friends there. If you watch TV and get distracted, put a sticky note somewhere visible in your room reminding you not to watch TV. In my opinion, watching two-thirds of a TV show isn’t worth it; you could be done your math homework by then, and you wouldn’t have to do it when you’re tired after work! If you’re always on your computer, put a sticky note there, or shut it off.

Step Three: Find Someone To Remind You

This is sort of like setting an alarm, but with more meaning. People (if nice enough) won’t have a problem telling you to get to work. For an added bonus, tell them to really “yell” at you and nag you to get to work – annoying brothers and sisters will think is fun!

Step Four: Move Fast

If you’re going to get to work anyways, why not move fast? Then, if there’s a disturbance along the way, you’ve got extra time to get passed it. If you get to work early, you can get a coffee or buy a snack.

Step Five: Collect The Rewards!

Look at it this way: you’re happy with yourself getting to work on time, your boss is happy with you, you’ve got yourself a coffee, you’ve almost finished your homework, and you have time after work to do whatever you want without the pressure of having to get to work!

136 Great Ideas Before Breakfast

Many people who are successful entrepreneurs will also be 136 great ideas before breakfast type of people. However the way to be successful in business is to be able to work out what the good ideas are and what the bad ideas are and to then just focus on one great idea and make it work.

If you want to achieve something in life you have to be able to dedicate yourself to one thing at a time. The more things you have going on the bigger the chance you have at failing everything. I would rather achieve one great thing rather than fail at a lot of things. You have to learn not to spread yourself too thin.

An important aspect of having great ideas is to know timing. When you come up with an idea you have to access whether it is the right time for this idea. The idea you have may be great but it maybe that the market isn’t ready for it yet or that there are some factors going on in today’s world that would see it not realizing its full potential. These ideas you have to keep hold of and keep accessing when the right time to go with them is as if you go with a great idea at the wrong time it is going to be a waste of a great idea.

When you think you have a great idea always do your research, find out if there is anything out there like your idea. Just because someone may have a similar idea don’t be put off as this information may prove to you that there is a market for you and a space for your product.

Always pitch your idea to other people and be ready to take on board criticism and feedback. I would much rather have people tell me that my idea is rubbish at the start instead of launching it in to a market or investing in it only to find out it was a bad idea and to lose money or reputation. You can’t be too precious about your idea, the only way it is going to be great is if you have the ability to listen to criticism and tweak your idea until it is perfect.

After you have ironed your idea out and tweaked it you have to believe in your idea, as if you don’t believe in it or are unable to show your belief then no one else will. You have to be motivated and determined, just because you have a great idea it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to get off the ground. Having a great idea is only half the battle you have to back it up with working the hardest you ever have to support it.

One thing above all is don’t sit on an idea don’t be one of these people that come up with a great idea, sit on it and then watch someone else come up with a similar idea and make money and fame out of it. With an idea you never know how great it will be unless you push it all the way.

What do horse training, parenting, business and relationships have in common?

One of my many passions in life is working and training horses. I am not into competition, showing or endurance. I am a basic rider who enjoys nature and wide open trails. I enjoy training horses, mainly for pleasure use and my own personal enjoyment. I am currently working with a few Peruvian horses, and while doing so this past weekend I was reflecting on how my training is aligned with the law of attraction principles, as well as how I raised my kids, built my businesses and created a great relationship with my husband.

Stay with me a few minutes here, and allow me to explain this analogy.

When I begin with a new horse, I take time to assess the physical and mental mind-set of this beautiful animal. I need to determine if this a young horse with little or no training, or one that has been mishandled and traumatized by something that has established reactionary beliefs & fear. In other words, what learned beliefs has this horse established through its experiences. Horses have the flight not fight instinct, they run from fear rather than face it like a cougar. This can be dangerous if you are the one on their back when something spooks them. Beginning with the basics sets the standard for our lessons and my safety. The horse and I build a relationship based on trust. Working together we gain a perspective of how, what and why, certain scary events set off certain panic responses. This process is called “sacking out”. As the trainer I will use blankets, plastic bags, noise, quick actions that would spook an untrained horse. Through this training I reassure the horse that despite any activity or unforeseen surprise nothing will happen if we stay calm, focused, and trust in one another. Taking a slow, steady, reassuring approach in training not only gain the animals’ trust, but I allow him to enjoy the experience. I learn to read the body language of the horse, as I am sure the horse intuitively reads mine. Not until we have spent enough repetitive hours on building this foundation of trust will I take him out on the open trails where anything could happen at a moment’s notice. I don’t want to be left on the ground, broken and alone while my horse is high tailing it home.

Yee Haw!!

Whether you are building a relationship with a horse, or a person, trust is critical and should be the foundation for a healthy, continuing relationship. Take time to ask questions of yourself, and of the animal or person which you are getting to know. Gain insight into how, what and why this animal or person responds to circumstances. Discover the learned beliefs that established their behavior. Get to know, understand and comfortably relate to another living being is such a joyful experience when you feel aligned. and you understand each other. When you feel in sync, you know the law of attraction is flowing in the right direction for you to be aligned with what is “right” for you. Dating, courting, social marketing, the process of getting to know one another, is how we determine similarities, challenges, and whether or not the relationship is worth continuing. Not everyone has the same core values as you and that’s ok. You are unique, you have value, and as long as you stay true to yourself you will attract like-minded friends.

If you are looking to attract a lifetime partner, take the time to know one another, discuss your opinions and expectations and explain how or why you feel the way you do. Allow yourself to go deep within your emotional guidance system to discover where or why you believe the story you tell. Be honest with yourself and with others. When you are honest you attract trust. Through healthy conversation and open communication you gain clarity and develop understanding of why you feel the way you do. If you have experienced disappointment, deceit, or dishonesty your limiting beliefs may hold you in the resistance of believing in happiness, trust and truth. Make a conscious choice as to what you desire to hold onto, and what you agree to release. “Ask, and It Is Given” by Jerry and Esther Hicks with Abraham explain the law of attraction processes. Your life is to be lived in joy, you design and create everything that you experience. Through deliberate creation you have the choice as to how you desire to experience all that you have. By applying focus on what you desire to create, trusting in the process, and letting go, the life you attract is yours to enjoy.

If you are a parent, you have given life to your child, but you do not own that child. Each spirit of every person is unique. Teach your child good, strong effective communication skills without criticism or condemnation. Allow them to express their belief’s and explain why they feel the way the do. Guide them and support them by acknowledging what they perceive as truth. If their belief is perceived through negative emotion, allow them healthy alternatives to make deliberate choices in discovering a more positive approach to any situation. Teach your child to think, reason, and understand the consequences of the actions they choose to take. Fear does not instill knowledge. Happiness, love, all positive beliefs should be our reasons for making the choices we make in life. Figure out a way to have your child strive for a better, more focused way of dealing with problems. Allow them positive solutions to solve their problems.

If you are building a business for longevity, you will want to stay aligned with your own values. By being honest with yourself, taking the process of building your business with clear focus and vision you will attract the right clients and customers that you need. Have trust in yourself first and foremost. Stay calm, confident and be consistent. Like training the horse, as you build the relationship the rest will flow.

I love and trust my horses. They are all individual spirits with big hearts. Like each and every soul born into this world, they are pure of thought until such time as their experience teaches them otherwise. I don’t choose discipline or fear to train. I deliberately choose positive re-enforcement and trust to gain their respect. For some it is a long process as per their individual experiences. For some the trust comes easily. I take the time necessary to feel confident that we will be safe, as safe can be. Together we build a solid relationship that allows us to enjoy nature at its’ best. When I am on the trail, trusting my horse and he trusting me, the event is one of freedom. We commune with nature and become one in the universe. I feel at peace, loved and relaxed. This keeps me balanced and re-energizes my body, mind and soul so that I may remain focused with my purpose.

How do you stay aligned with your purpose? When do you take the necessary time to feel in touch with your spirit and listen to your intuition? What will it take and what are you willing to change to allow yourself to live in purpose, with purpose and on purpose?

Family Intervention Specialist

Company Overview

Youth Villages has been a national leader in the implementation of research-based treatment philosophies in the field of children’s mental and behavioral health. Our commitment to helping troubled children and their families find success spans 20+ years and includes a comprehensive array of programs and services. If you are looking for a positive career move where you are meeting the challenges of life and striving to make a positive difference, then Youth Villages is the place for you. We are looking for people with a strong sense of purpose and focus to continually build confidence in yourself and our organization.

Program Overview

Our Intercept program serves a broad population of youth, including those involved with multiple child-serving systems and those at high risk of removal from their families.  The program specializes in diverting youth from out of home placements by helping their families safely maintain youth in their home environment. This position is responsible for providing intensive home-based therapy to families.

Position Overview

Carry small caseload of 4-6 families Hold family sessions with each family 3 times a week scheduled at the convenience of the families 3 supervision meetings a week Web-based documentation (voice recognition technology in most locations) Provide on-call availability to families during the week, one weekend each month Drive up to 60-80 miles to meet with families in the home, Counselors provide treatment in individual families’ homes in a wide array of settings and communities

Additional Information

Schedule is non-traditional, but flexible and based around clients’ availability. Since counselors are heavily involved with each family, long hours may be required.Counselors must have their own vehicle to use for work purposes as well as have liability insurance. Counselors are reimbursed for mileage.