Is Your Home Business Giving You The Lifestyle You Want?

If running a business from home is the key to lifestyle freedom, why are so many parents who run a business from home feeling like they are on a never ending hamster wheel?

Let’s explore some of the reasons:

Working for yourself should be the ultimate in success, freedom, fulfillment and creating the lifestyle you want for yourself.

If the above statement is true (and I believe it is), then it begs the question “why is it not the case for so many people?”

Looking round there are many parents running a business from home facing very similar challenges – working much longer hours then they want to, not hitting the profit levels they want, family life compromised, relationships suffering, not time for really living life – to name but a few! Why is this?

Well, the reasons can be many and complex. Different contributing factors can apply to each individual and their unique circumstances. Having said that, there are things you can do to put your business on the path to providing the lifestyle you want for yourself.

Here are some suggestions for getting started:

• Stop seeing your business and lifestyle as separate entities.
• Clearly define what your ideal lifestyle looks like, with no limitations.
• Include your lifestyle vision when creating your business model.
• Ensure your business strategy and action plans are tailored to achieve your lifestyle goals.
• Put in place measurement methods to show the impact your business is having in creating your ideal lifestyle. Always use measurement tools to drive your decisions and actions.

Now, these tips make the assumption that you regularly review your business vision, strategy, performance goals and action plans. If you don’t do these things, that is your starting point right there! These things are key to consistent and sustainable business results.

The point I am making is this:

If you want to achieve Business Success & Lifestyle Freedom you have to start by designing it.

I can’t stress highly enough the importance of this – create a vision that incorporates both your business and lifestyle that is clear, specific, measurable and really lights a fire in your belly.

Working for yourself is your key to lifestyle freedom – use it wisely!

What will you do to stop being a slave to your home business and use it to support you having the family life and lifestyle you truly want? It is important to remember that it is totally within your control to mould your home business to support the family life and lifestyle you really want.

Tips to Buy Holiday Home Furniture

Before purchasing furniture for your cottage, consider these tips to make your home a wonderful place to stay and relax.

Comfort is perhaps the most remarkable feature in a home designed to enjoy the holidays. This means taking into account the areas and spaces designed for it in your first home. You might also want to have more room to enjoy these areas with family and friends, and share board games or video games. You might also want to have areas specially designed for reading or listening to music in a relaxed manner, which does not suffer from extreme heat or cold depending on whether your house is on the beach or the mountains.

If you consider the comfort of your second home, it is also interesting to consider that it is difficult to clean which have a lot of furniture and decorative objects. Also find the furniture that is resistant to moisture and aging because the house will remain closed for long period of time. An example would be to consider a sofa in a fabric and a strong color in your beach house, otherwise the humidity and dust could be marked permanently. Although both want something elegant and pleasing to look for your beach house makes you feel in a full summer.

So it is clear that a holiday should offer comfort and warmth but also your furniture must be resistant to moisture. The maintenance of the house should involve less effort and have simple furnishings susceptible to wear that may require a renewal a few years.

Another option for finding inexpensive furniture would be the futon and wicker furniture, which can be a little more expensive than regular sofas, but are considerably less comfortable. Bunk beds give you more options for sleep without taking up more space in your place. If you are on vacations, share it with your friends and family who are remembered with great comfort. Hold this vision for the purchase of furniture for your second home.

Something also very interesting to note is the mood the house according to the situation where you are. If your house is located on the beach, decoration and furniture will be different to the case in which your house is in the mountain. When considering such an issue, get a full experience of your vacations. For example, a beach house may clash with an atmosphere of rustic furniture and dark wood, they may grieve the environment. It would be a more appropriate type of furniture for a house in the mountains. In this way, you get a perfect setting for your holiday accommodation.

The bedrooms can be accommodated in different ways according to their final destination. A good option is to allocate more comfort in the master bedroom of the marriage or, where you will spend most of your holiday, so it is important to be comfortable. On the other hand, you can distribute the other rooms so that hosting the largest number of beds available to accommodate family and friends, either by using sofa beds or single bed opening.

Your Vietnam Travel Plans Won’t Be Complete Without These 3 Spots

If you are reading this article, you have probably decided to go to Vietnam. If this is the case, you have made a great decision. When it comes to exploring a relatively pristine, unspoiled, and uncongested part of Southeast Asian, you can’t go wrong with Vietnam. It has an amazing and rare mix of relatively pristine attractions and decent infrastructure with less congestion. While many people often think of Thailand whenever the phrase ‘Southeast Asia’ is mentioned, many veteran travelers to that part of the world are in for a treat if they check out Vietnam. Here are the three travel spots that will complete any Vietnam travel plans you may have.

Halong Bay

The legend about this beautiful coastline is that the gods sent dragons to help humanity in its fight against an enemy. Once the war concluded, the family of dragons set out to sleep in the area where Halong Bay is located. It appears that there might be some truth to this fantastic story. If anything, there is definitely something magical about the beauty of Halong Bay. Its many limestone islands topped by a rich green canopy seem to float above the water. There is a definite otherworldly quality to Halong Bay that won’t be lost on any traveler to this part of the world. One of the biggest eye-popping elements of Halong Bay is the sheer number of islands and ‘floating’ rocks. There is a lot of, them and they all add to the mysterious beauty of the Halong Bay coastline.


Stepping through the narrow streets and exploring the riverside mansions of Hanoi are like stepping into a time machine. Checking out its pagodas and other ancient buildings, you are quickly transported to Chinese Empire-era Vietnam. Vietnam used to be under heavy Chinese influence and Hanoi stores the physical proof of this. There are quite a number of Chinese-style buildings and structures in Hanoi that harken back to an Imperial past. Checking out French era riverside mansions convey Vietnam’s more recent history as a French colony. Explore the history of Vietnam by visiting Hanoi and complete Vietnam travel plans.

The Mekong River

Snaking through Cambodia and emptying past Vietnam, the Mekong is the lifeline of Southern Vietnam. This mighty river offers many great vistas and the sunset views along its banks are something else. Make sure to include a stop by the Mekong River in your Vietnam travel plans. In fact, you should make it a whole day affair. It is well-worth it since there are just so many things you can do by the river. Naturally, you can swim, boat, and engage in all sorts of riverside water sports. You can also try fishing and see if you get lucky and land some famous Mekong River catfish. Another fun thing you can try on the Mekong is to rent a boat and check out the nearby fishing towns along the river. Talk about cultural immersion and going the extra mile to get an appreciation for local flavor and culture.

Big Banks Shun Small Business

Any small business owner who recently tried to secure a loan will tell you it isn’t easy. Now data clearly shows the broader effects of this struggle.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the 10 biggest banks in the country that issue small loans to businesses lent $27.8 billion less in 2014 than the industry’s 2006 peak, according to the Journal’s analysis of federal regulatory filings. (1) This decline has forced many small business owners to turn to higher-cost funding sources.

The response is similar to that of individuals who are turned away by banks and then resort to expensive and risky alternatives. For businesses, these may be nonbank lenders, often in the form of online companies that require little or no collateral but that charge much higher interest rates than banks. While not all of these lenders are predatory, the space is still largely unregulated. For small amounts, some business owners are turning to nonprofit microlenders or crowdfunding to try to fill gaps, though both have serious limitations.

But many businesses are simply turning to credit cards when they cannot secure traditional small business loans. According to the Journal, small business spending on credit and charge cards will total an estimated $445 billion in 2015, compared to $230 billion back in 2006, when conventional lending was readily available. (1)

It may be more profitable for banks, but this solution is bad, and probably unsustainable, for business owners. As Robb Hilson, a small business executive with Bank of America, told The Wall Street Journal, “If someone wants to buy a forklift, it doesn’t make sense to put it on a credit card.” (1) Yet many small businesses have little other choice for now.

This result is not surprising. Large banks generally find small loans unattractive, partly because of their relatively high costs and partly because of tighter regulatory requirements. A Goldman Sachs analysis earlier this year cited the reduced availability of credit as one of the principal reasons small businesses have faltered in the wake of the financial crisis while large enterprises have largely recovered. (2) As regulators cracked down, it became uneconomical for banks to serve clients other than the most creditworthy. Startups seldom make the cut.

My own experience mirrors others. Even with a 23-year-old business that operates across the country, banks want hard collateral before they will make substantial loans. And when the chief assets of a business consist of loyal customers and really smart employees, the only available collateral is personal real estate. And even real estate was not enough at the first bank I approached; geography came into play too. If banks find our established firm too risky to make unsecured loans, many smaller or newer enterprises do not stand a chance.

With big banks out of reach, small community banks should have been ready to step into the gap, eagerly courting new customers. But that has not happened, largely because the number of such banks continues to decline. This trend predates the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, but the regulations sharply accelerated the community banks’ loss of market share.

This is not to say that all community banks are in immediate danger of going under. To the contrary, recent data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. suggests that those that have held on have expanded their lending and narrowed the profitability gap with larger banks.

While this is good news, it’s not enough to fill the gap in small business lending. And it seems unlikely to do so soon, since new bank establishments have dropped nearly to zero, thus cutting off a supply of lenders who are eager for new customers. According to an FDIC report from April 2014, there were only seven new bank charters total from 2009 to 2013, compared with over 100 annually prior to 2008.

The small banks that have survived have largely done so by being just as risk-averse as the big banks with which they compete. Regulation has simply made it foolish to act otherwise. But this leaves all small businesses except those with established history, sterling credit and substantial collateral without the means to secure the capital they need to make their enterprises grow.

Small businesses are crucial drivers of new jobs and new products for our economy; their credit struggles are probably a significant reason this economic expansion has been sluggish by historical standards. We have made it unattractive for big banks to serve small businesses, and small banks are not ready to fill the gap. We all pay the price.


1) The Wall Street Journal, “Big Banks Cut Back on Loans to Small Business”

2) Goldman Sachs, “The Two-Speed Economy”