March 22, 2023

The Growing Real Estate Market in Surrey, BC: A Guide for Prospective Homebuyers and Investors

The real estate market in Surrey, BC, Canada, is experiencing a surge in demand and growth, making it an attractive destination for potential homebuyers and investors. As the city continues to expand and evolve, it offers a unique blend of urban amenities and natural beauty, attracting a diverse population. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the factors driving Surrey's real estate market and provide insights to help you make informed decisions when buying or investing in the area.

Surrey is one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, with a population increase of more than 13% between 2016 and 2021. This growth is driven by a thriving economy, attractive job opportunities, and relatively affordable housing options compared to nearby Vancouver. As a result, the demand for homes in Surrey is on the rise, pushing property values upward.

One of the key factors contributing to Surrey's booming real estate market is the diverse range of housing options available. From single-family homes and townhouses to condominiums and multi-family units, there's something for everyone. This variety in housing styles and affordability makes Surrey an appealing choice for first-time homebuyers, families, and investors alike.

Surrey's ongoing infrastructure development and public transit improvements, such as the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, make it more accessible and connected to the Greater Vancouver

Posted in Real estate blog
March 21, 2023

The Comprehensive Guide to Home Inspection for Prospective Buyers

Occasionally, when searching for a new residence, we might focus on the attractive features that immediately catch our attention. Perhaps the magnificent London Plane tree in front of the house grabbed your interest, or the wood-burning fireplace conjured images of roasting chestnuts during the festive season.

However, such initial impressions may not provide a complete understanding of the property being sold, whether by the homeowner or the estate agent overseeing it. The eye-catching tree could be moments away from dropping a limb onto your 18-year-old roof, while the seemingly cozy fireplace might pose a severe fire hazard. Consequently, your idyllic chestnut-roasting plans could be ruined.

Purchasing a home is a significant investment and one of the most critical decisions one can make in their life. That's why a thorough home inspection is always advised before moving in.

The American Society of Home Inspectors describes a home inspection as "an impartial visual assessment of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. Following the inspection, the inspector will provide the client with an inspection report (typically within 24-48 hours), detailing their observations, complete with photos, analyses, and recommendations."

A home inspection ensures that you thoroughly examine the property beyond what is immediately visible. A specialist assists in assessing and verifying potential issues such as foundation cracks, plumbing conditions, hazardous wiring or malfunctioning appliances, and much more. The goal is to uncover as much as possible during the inspection and address any issues that need attention from the homeowner.

When inspecting a new property, it's essential to cover all necessary items while avoiding redundancy in evaluating aspects already examined. Consider the size of the house and your family's size when making a decision. Take into account your short and long-term needs, such as whether you plan to have more children in the future.

Addressing these crucial questions can save you from potential headaches and minimize the need for renovations later on. Less stress, more excitement.

It's nearly impossible for one person to identify all potential issues. We suggest bringing along a friend, partner, or family member with relevant experience for the inspection. Ideally, someone who has built a wooden deck, understands the difference between copper and aluminum wiring, and isn't afraid to explore the attic for signs of unwanted inhabitants.

Having an extra pair of eyes can help ensure nothing goes unnoticed during the inspection. It's also beneficial to have a second set of ears to take notes for future reference. Don't hesitate to ask your companion for assistance in this regard.


Posted in Real estate blog
Dec. 16, 2022

Marketing strategy behind logan paul's prime drink


YouTube star, pro boxer, and now... founder?


Last week, Logan Paul and fellow YouTube star KSI formed an unlikely alliance when they announced their new beverage brand: Prime.

Today’s marketing case study breaks down everything you need to know about this business move, from a marketing and content perspective.

There’s a lot to learn...

(And no — you don’t need to be a generational superstar like Logan and KSI to apply the strategies we’ll be discussing today)

Let’s get into it

Today at a glance

  • A tactical deep dive into the content and marketing that went into the Prime launch, with some key takeaways for your brand
  • A missed opportunity that could have millions of additional impressions?
  • 1 powerful marketing angle that newer brands can steal from Logan and KSI
  • Bonus: A potential opportunity for ecom marketers and operators?

How Prime manufactured massive amounts of hype for their big launch

If there’s one thing YouTube stars like Logan and KSI are masters at, it’s storytelling.

Prior to this joint business venture, the two creators were fierce rivals — most recently in the boxing ring.


The hype they built up around their two prior boxing matches led to massive payouts for both of them.

According to Forbes, “KSI and Logan Paul each earned $900,000 for their part in the six-round cruiserweight bout that ended with a split-decision win for the former.”

They leaned into their previous fights as a way to create insane amounts of curiosity around the Prime announcement. The buildup started when KSI and Logan both tweeted this image on December 29th, announcing an upcoming Instagram live:






Logan captioned the tweet “this only ends one way,” hinting at a possible third fight between the two of them.

Still, the image left fans in the dark — and thus, created massive amounts of curiosity. Was there going to be a third fight? What could this post mean?

And with a fanbase as engaged as theirs, large amounts of people were now waiting for that IG live to close that curiosity gap. As of writing this, the initial post has 2.8K retweets, and 56.8K likes — crazy engagement.

As intended, the replies are also filled with people wondering wtf is going on. An open loop was created.

Days later, on January 2, Logan followed up with another tweet, sparking even more curiosity (and controversy):


Logan Paul @LoganPaul

Yeah because the dirty little rat hasn’t paid me yet lol. It’s been 6 months. 


but no worries @FloydMayweather, @KSI and I are going to make back the money you stole from me & more.




Logan started it off with an attention grabber, calling Floyd Mayweather a “dirty little rat” and claiming that he still hasn’t been paid. In case you haven’t figured it out — Logan is great at leveraging controversy in content.

He then created even more curiosity around the January 4th IG Live, stating that he and KSI are “going to make back the money you stole from me.”

The talk of money introduced another possibility: an NFT drop. This led to even more discussion in the replies. How were they going to make this happen?

Building off of previous storylines that have proven success resulted in far more excitement around this livestream than if Logan were to just tweet out that he was making an announcement on January 4th without further context.

The hype was there... now let’s talk a look at the launch execution.

The Launch

As promised, on January 4th at 1pm PST, KSI and Logan went live on Instagram.

The creative strategy in the video itself is was great. It started off with the two creators streaming separately, using the IG Live split screen feature. This made the audience believe Logan and KSI were in separate locations.

Logan starts off by talking about how nervous he is, building even more curiosity in the audience. Why was he so nervous?

(fun drinking game - take a shot every time I say “curiosity”)

A few minutes into the video, both Logan and KSI say they’ll “be right back,” getting up and leaving their phones.

About 20 seconds later, they both return, but in reversed spots on the livestream...

This reveals to the audience that they’re at the same location.

After a few, more seconds of playing it cool, they finally reveal that they’re together, and proceed to announce the new brand: PRIME.



Upon launch, PRIME is available at most major grocery stores: Walmart, Target, Kroger, CVS, Ralphs, GNC, Vitamin Shop.

According to some stats from Colin and Samir’s newsletter, The Publish Press, PRIME sold roughly 3 million units in retailers across the US.

At the time of the announcement, there was no option to order online. They did place a URL in the brand’s IG taking users to an email + SMS landing page.

The page itself was super simple. This makes sense since most of the traffic hitting the page is coming straight from the Instagram Live announcement with high buyer intent.

Now, what happens after you sign up for the waitlist? I signed up for the email and SMS notifications to see if they had any flows already in place...

And, they didn’t. There wasn’t a welcome email flow, and there wasn’t a text confirming that I had signed up for SMS marketing.

However, on Saturday PRIME sent out this SMS marketing campaign:



Simple, displays the benefits of the product, and gives a link to purchase. With all of the hype around the drink already, it makes sense to avoid overcomplicating it.

Now, let’s talk content.

On the social media side, the creators sent livestream viewers over to the @drinkprime profile on Instagram. In just just 24 hours, the page hit 450K followers.


Upon hitting 450K, PRIME published another post announcing a giveaway as a ‘thank you’ for the initial support — this further carried the momentum created by the initial launch.



Each entry required the user to follow the account and tag 2 friends in the comments. These are two low friction actions that allow the account to grow quickly. As of writing this, that single post has 60,779 comments.

Not bad for a brand who’s been in existence for just under a week.

As of the final edit of this piece, here are the PRIME social accounts, by the numbers:

  • Instagram ⇒ 584,000
  • Twitter ⇒ 60,500
  • TikTok ⇒ N/A (more on this later)

Engagement across Instagram and Twitter has also been high, as you’d expect from creators with this type of audience.

One benefit of having such an engaged audience is all of the UGC (user-generated content) that’s been created over the past several days, like:

Fans sharing pictures of themselves with the drink to their IG stories...

Fans posting screenshots of their orders to Twitter after buying online...


Fans creating fake TikTok accounts and pretty much marketing the brand for free across the platform...



My favorite piece of UGC came from this fan who ran into Logan and KSI outside of a Target on launch day. This situation showed just how savvy Logan is as a marketer.

He made sure to be friendly with the fan, and walked over to the car to hand the fan a bottle of the Prime drink. He knew that was going on TikTok.

And guess what? The comments of the fans’ video were full of support.

The retail launch was just the beginning, though...

On January 8th at 11am PST, PRIME launched online in the US.

And to no surprise…

It sold out 2 hours after launch.



The content wasn’t done after launch though.

On Sunday, Logan published a YouTube video titled “I started a drink company with KSI.”

In 21 hours, the video pulled 2.3M videos and hit #1 on YouTube Trending.

Looking at the tactical side of the video:

  • The title and thumbnail spike curiosity in anyone who hasn’t seen the announcement. Why is Logan working with KSI? Aren’t they enemies?
  • The behind the scenes look at the launch further develops the brand story, and packages it in a way that’s easy to consume.
  • The video is short and sweet. 4 minutes long, not a drawn out documentary. This likely helped with retention.

After seeing the combined retail and DTC success of the product, it’s hard to argue against this launch being a success. The numbers don’t lie.

The true test of the brand will come in the following months. Will Prime become a staple drink for teens and young adults around the world? Or will it be another influencer product with fleeting hype?

That will depend on the brand’s commitment to content creation, as well as implementing ecommerce fundamentals.

An advantage for a brand founded by such well-known creators is that paid media costs will be significantly lower (most likely). They already have massive built-in reach.

I’ll be interested to see if PRIME even bothers to run paid media right away.

With that said, let’s get into PRIME’s true super power 👇

What makes PRIME different? 1 powerful marketing angle that newer brands can steal from Logan and KSI




We’re against literally all the big companies.”

That’s what KSI said during the livestream, verbatim.

And Logan followed that up with “Why the f*** would we not overtake Gatorade?” in his most recent YouTube video.

Why should you care?

Great marketing tells a story, and every story needs a villain.

PRIME has positioned “big companies” like Gatorade, Coca Cola, Pepsi, etc as the bad guy in this narrative, putting themselves in the underdog role.

Again, not just speculating here. In Logan’s announcement post, he wrote:

“As underdogs, we always cherish the opportunity to show the world what’s possible.”

Why does this matter?

Well, humans love to root for the underdog. They want a feel good story where the the little guy wins. Just look at sports.

It’s absurd to think of Logan Paul and KSI as “little guys,” but they’ve managed to construct a narrative where that’s true.

Because of that, fans want to support them in the crusade against big business. Not only that, they want to be a part of that journey.

So how can fans join the fight?

Well... they can buy the PRIME drink (that’s the power of good marketing).

What’s interesting about PRIME is that it’s literally just another “better for you” drink that supposedly tastes better.

Logan said so in the YouTube video.

The storytelling is the differentiator. The story gives PRIME the potential to have longevity as a brand.

Consider how you can apply storytelling in your own brand.

And no, you don’t need to be a YouTuber with 23.2 million subscribers to use this.

If you’re a founder, start with your own story. There was to be a reason why you started your brand.

What problem were you frustrated by that you wanted to solve?

How did your product or service transform your life?

Odds are, you can relate to your potential customer.

Give it a try, and let me know how it goes.

Another note on the PRIME brand positioning

Along with the underdog angle, PRIME positioned the product in a way that expands across multiple niches — just like the founders’ audiences expand across multiple niches.

The product had its roots in Logan’s fight camp leading up the the Mayweather bout, but the copy in the announcement post emphasizes that its a “hydration drink that can fuel any lifestyle.”


Creators like Logan Paul and KSI have the luxury of targeting a broad audience, because of the sheer size of their audience.

However if you’re a smaller brand in a specific niche, be mindful that you need to be more specific about who you’re reaching.

In most cases, when you try to reach everyone, you reach no-one.



Source :

Posted in Business Ideas
Dec. 15, 2022

Reasons why should sell your home in winters

Spring and summer are synonymous with home selling season, and rightfully so for the sheer volume of homes sold. While fall and winter don’t get the same level of real estate activity, savvy homeowners should know the reason why selling a house in the winter has a number of distinct advantages.

Regardless of season, when selling your home, it's crucially important to price your home correctly and get it in good shape. Having a good agent in your corner will help. We recommend our friends at Clever Real Estate. Clever is a free agent matching service that can pair you with top performing local agents who can help sell your home for a 1% listing fee!


Advantages of Selling a House in the Winter

1. High Listing Prices


While it might seem counter intuitive, the statistics clearly show a higher average listing price during the winter months.

Motivated buyers, listing agents who are more adamant about pricing the property correctly, as well as potential fear for interest rates to rise in the spring, means that home sellers are getting more for their homes.

2. You Don't Have to Sweat the Landscaping

During the winter months, curb appeal becomes less of an issue. If you don’t have your landscaping in top shape, it's no longer the arduous and potentially costly task that it might have been. If there is snow, simply clear a path!

3. Tax Break Motivations


Winter home buyers might be motivated to get that tax break before year-end. Home buyers can write off some of the expenses of their home purchase, plus there are multiple tax benefits to owning a home that they can take advantage of as well.

4. The Internet Doesn’t Get Cold


The majority of buyers use the internet to start their home search. The instant access to listings that it affords means that buyers are constantly on the lookout for homes.

While it once would have meant less foot traffic, with over 95% of home buyers now searching online, the colder months no longer have the same impact on the home search.

5. Buyers Have Time Off

While the holidays can be hectic, many potential buyers have the majority of their vacation days booked for this season. Plus, they will be around family and friends who can help guide their decision.

6. The Buyers Are Serious



If a buyer is breaking away from the holidays to look at your home, they are normally more serious. Winter buyers are working against a deadline, whether it is a relocation, expiring lease or a contract on their current home, it means that they need to move.

One of the biggest months for corporate relocation is January, meaning that those buyers have a limited time to get their families moved.

7. Your Winter Home Sale Gets More Attention 


In the spring and summer there tend to be more homes on the market, meaning you have to compete with other sellers for buyers’ attention. Less inventory means more attention for the properties that are for sale during this period of time.

While selling your house in the winter can be a good idea, the season alone isn't going to sell your house for top dollar. To get the biggest price tag, you'll want to work with a good agent. Clever can help. Clever is an agent-matching service that can pair you with several local, top-performing agents. You'll pick the agent who has the best marketing strategy to help sell your home — and best of all, Clever only charges a 1% listing fee! There are no upfront costs or obligations to continue if you can't find an agent you love.

 Source :

Posted in Business Ideas
Dec. 15, 2022

Benefits of waking up early

Before you get into the habit of waking up early, you should know the benefits that come along with it. If you are already an early riser, you know what the mornings bring, apart from the beautiful sunrise. However, for those who are not early risers, here’s a list of the many advantages.

Enhanced Organizing Skills

 Your early morning hours tend to be the most productive time of day because you get uninterrupted time to yourself. You can accomplish any task faster when you don’t face distractions.

You can use this peaceful and quiet time to plan your day ahead, allocating a certain time frame for each of your tasks. Mentally working out your day before you start it enhances your organizing skills, promoting productivity.


Eat Healthy Foods


Waking up early gives you time to make a healthy breakfast. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, smoothies, salads, and fruit bowls only require a few minutes to prepare. Early risers have this time to prepare a simple and healthy breakfast for themselves and their family. If you wake up late, chances are you’ll be late for everything else, creating a domino effect.  When you’re running late, you’ll oftentimes pick up an easy-to-eat breakfast like a doughnut or muffin, or skip breakfast altogether.

Breakfast is an important meal, giving you the energy to start the day. Skipping this meal makes your body crave energy and you end up eating something high in sugar or fat to instantly satiate yourself.


Exercise Regularly 


Exercising in the morning is considered best because it gives you an adrenaline boost. Adrenaline enhances alertness, helping you overcome the sleepy feeling. Moreover, if you’re in a morning exercise schedule there are fewer chances of missing it due to some other important task eating into its time. For example, if you exercise in the evening there are higher chances of missing it due to extra hours at work, a get-together with friends, or sheer exhaustion.

Beat Peak Traffic Commute

If you wake up early, you can leave your home early, beating peak traffic hours. You don’t waste time being stuck in traffic while commuting to work or dropping the kids off.  You’ll also be on time for all your other appointments throughout the day.

Stay Stress-free

Waking up early gives you the leisure to plan your day ahead. You aren’t rushing through your day in a haze with a cluttered mind. Planning ahead eliminates the stress that comes with rushing to get things done. Moreover, when you wake up early, you have more time for some stress-busting leisure activities, helping you start your day with a calm and composed mind. You are better equipped to prioritize and solve problems, the key to remaining stress-free throughout the day.

Enjoy Quality Sleep


Early risers tend to fall asleep faster. You don’t have to count sheep to sleep. When you wake up early, your body feels tired early, leading to quality sleep as soon as you go to bed. You get accustomed to the natural circadian rhythm, making you early to bed and early to rise.

Longer waking hours lead to sufficient accumulation of adenosine. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that causes sleepiness by inhibiting neuron activity. Waking up earlier leads to faster accumulation of adenosine, making you feel sleepy in the evening hours. Going to bed early improves your chances of completing all four stages of sleep through the four to six sleep cycles, making you feel well-rested and rejuvenated the next morning.


More Energy

Early birds have better sleep quality than night owls because they have higher chances of completing all stages of the required sleep cycles. They wake up with more energy than night owls, who usually don’t get enough time to complete all sleep stages.

Completing sleep stages and cycles improves both physical and mental well-being. Growth hormones, causing tissue repair and regeneration, are released during the deeper stages of sleep.


Feel Happier

When you wake up early, you reap the benefits of many good habits, leading to an energetic, well-rested, stress-free, punctual, and healthy you. You get a sense of order in life, making you feel happier. In fact, according to a 2012 National Library of Medicine study, healthy adults who woke up early had a more positive state of mind than night owls.

Source :



Posted in Business Ideas
Dec. 15, 2022

This is how you can make your instagram look more professional


When you’re using Instagram in your brand or business social media strategy, one of the crucial elements to focus on is creating a professional aesthetic. You can do this in so many ways, but we wanted to break it down into a simplified guide that anyone can follow.

Use a call to action or engagement

Having a pretty Instagram feed is excellent, but shouldn’t be your only goal. Instagram is like a billboard for your business or brand. It’s your opportunity to capture potential clients’ attention. If you’re not asking your followers to take a specific action when they visit your account, then you’re missing out on the opportunity to convert them into a lead. 

By adding a call to action or engagement in your account bio, posts and stories, you’re increasing the potential to turn a lead into a sale. Here are some sample call to actions and engagements we love to use in our strategies:

  1. Subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive access to our deals and promotions
  2. Order your XYZ now by visiting our online shop
  3. Book your free 15-minute consultation to speak with one of our experts 
  4. Share this post with someone who would find it useful
  5. Let us know what you think in the comments below
  6. Save this post for later
  7. Send us a DM to learn more


Plan your content in advance

While it may be tempting to only post when the inspiration strikes, we can’t stress enough how important it is to plan your content ahead of time. Anything you do on social media should follow a campaign strategy if you’re focused on increasing brand awareness and sales for your business. Every image/video should visually represent the result of your call to action. 

For example, if you were selling flowers in an online store, you’d create content that shows the experience of the product your followers can purchase. You could offer your audience behind the scenes videos making the arrangements, how you package the product for delivery, tips to care for the arrangement once it’s in their home, a product shot of the finished arrangement, a repost from an existing client of the flowers in their home, a review, and an inspirational post on why followers should buy themselves or someone else flowers from your shop. 

All of this content should be shot and edited in advance. To make things even easier on yourself, pre-write the content and use a scheduling program, like Plannable, Hootesuite, Buffer or Later, to queue up posts for the feed. 

Use the grid to tell a story


When we refer to ‘the grid,’ we mean the 9 images that show up first on your feed to make a perfect square. The visual aesthetic of the grid should tell a story at first glance. Social media users consume content at an increasingly rapid rate, so it’s getting harder to capture attention using written words or individual posts. A user should identify the theme of your story within 5 seconds of landing on your account. 

Your business may offer more than one product or service. Instead of focusing on posting about everything you do, focus on one key element and call to action at a time. Beautiful and professional feeds do an excellent job of visually categorizing their products and services in this way. If the goal is to sell flowers through your online shop, post 9 consecutive visuals to your feed that focus on the experience of buying your product.

Composition is Key

There are different types of visual content that we create for particular purposes. If we’re trying to show the experience of a staycation at a boutique hotel, we’re not going to just show images of the full room. While a beautiful shot of a place is absolutely necessary for the grid, we’re also going to focus on the details that a guest would experience. Our first post may be a POV video of a guest opening the door to the room. The post that follows may highlight the soft and fluffy bedding. The next image could be a repost of a guest taking a selfie in the bathroom mirror before going out. The effect this creates is a mixture of experiential videos, close-up shots of the details of the experience, and social proof of the experience from a person who has actually stayed at the hotel. 

Using a mixture of birds-eye view type visuals, experiential videos, and close-up looks at the details creates a story that conveys your product or service theme. 

Stick to the same aesthetic

Filtering your photos and sticking to one colour palette will give your feed a cohesive aesthetic. Not everyone can work with a professional photographer or videographer right away, so an easy way to do this is to use a program like VSCO or the in-app filters that Instagram provides. At Monarch, you’ll notice our content is very earthy in its colours. We use neutrals, earth tones and the occasional pop of green. This is one of the social media strategy tactics that is the most effective in creating subconscious brand trust. Cohesiveness in visual aesthetics is the difference between a professional and an amateur account. It shows the viewer that you have a clear and defined brand identity. 

The number one important thing to remember if you’re going to use filters on your images is please, for the love of all things good, use the same one. Don’t flip back and forth between filters.     

This is a starting point for creating a professional-looking Instagram account for your brand and/or business. Try it yourself by creating a grid (9 posts) that follows these five Instagram feed optimizations.

Source :

Posted in Business Ideas
Nov. 30, 2022

How to Remain Calm Under Pressure at Work: 9 Tips

While you may enjoy your job, there may also be times when your work feels intense. Whether you need to work with a challenging client or complete a long list of tasks, there are strategies to help you stay relaxed despite the circumstances. By having calming strategies, you can stay focused and productive on even the most unpredictable workdays. In this article, we explain the importance of relaxation strategies and how to stay calm under pressure.

There may be times throughout your career where you have a heavy workload to manage. Rather than spending your precious time stressing about deadlines, there are strategies that can help you stay focused and productive. Follow these steps to stay calm under pressure:

1. Practice healthy habits

Living a healthy lifestyle can help you calm your stress levels and stay focused throughout the workday. By showing up to work well-rested, you may have additional energy to take on more challenging tasks. Likewise, eating healthy meals throughout the day gives your body the stamina it needs to get your tasks done. Exercise can also help you beat feelings of stress since it helps your body release endorphins that promote positive feelings.

2. Organize your priorities

At the start of each workday, assess your to-do list, adjusting your tasks based on which ones have the highest priority. By being realistic about what you have to accomplish in a day, you can make your workflow more manageable. Organizing your priorities also gives you the opportunities to adjust your timelines or recruit help if you feel like your schedule is full.

Related: How To De-Stress at Work

3. Focus on the present

Going back and forth between tasks can take up more time and limit your focus. Rather than trying to multitask, direct your attention to one task or project at a time. Resist the urge to worry about the next thing on your to-do list and focus on what you are doing in the present moment. Remind yourself that before you're able to go on to your next task, you must finish the one you are currently doing. Living with a present mindset can help you increase your focus and actually get more work done in a shorter period of time.

4. Think of your end goals

When you have an especially busy week of work, you can stay calm by thinking about the potential rewards of all your hard work. Whether it's being able to enjoy a relaxing weekend or increasing your chances of getting a promotion, thinking about your end goals can help you develop a better attitude about what you need to do. If you find your work needs more direction, take a moment to create some goals for yourself.

5. Take a quick break

Taking a quick break in between tasks can help you relax your mind and reset your energy levels. If you're able to, consider going on a 15-minute walk outside to get some fresh air. Use this as a chance to let your thoughts wander to things outside of work. You can even set a timer to help you focus on yourself rather than the clock. If you're someone who is social, using your break to chat with a colleague can also reduce your stress levels. Consider talking about lighthearted topics that make you happy.

Related: What To Do When You're Feeling Overworked

6. Process how you're feeling

Before you're able to calm down, you need to let yourself process how you're feeling. Instead of ignoring your stress levels, reflect on why you're feeling stressed. Perhaps you have more work than you can manage. By reflecting on your situation and emotions, you can come up with a solution. In this case, you could ask for an extension or see if your team member can help. Finding solutions for yourself can help you feel more calm and ready to get back to work.

7. Practice deep breathing

When your heart starts racing, step away from your work for a moment to breathe. Find a quiet space where you can close your eyes and focus on your breath. Even taking a few minutes to do deep breathing exercises can help you reset your mind and feel more at ease.

8. Reflect on the positives

When you're under pressure, focusing on the positives can help you feel better about meeting your obligations. For instance, if you feel stressed about leading a presentation, reframe your mindset to see this as a chance to develop your public speaking skills. By thinking of challenges as opportunities to grow, you can convince yourself that these are positive situations for your career. Over time, you can learn to have a more positive mindset naturally.

9. Limit what you do

If you're already feeling under pressure, set some boundaries for yourself. It's okay to say, "I'm actually quite busy right now, but I would love to help you out another time." when a coworker asks you to take on another task. By getting through your current to-do list before taking on more projects, you can be in a better mind space when you eventually have time to start filling your schedule again.

Source :



Posted in Business Ideas
Nov. 30, 2022

Understanding the Balenciaga Ad Scandal

Luxury fashion house Balenciaga is suing the production company behind its Spring 2023 ad campaign after paperwork about a Supreme Court ruling on child pornography was identified in one of the images.

The label, which is already facing condemnation over a different campaign involving children, initiated the lawsuit Friday in the New York State Supreme Court. Balenciaga is seeking at least US$25 million in damages from production company North Six, Inc., set designer Nicholas Des Jardins and his company

Balenciaga hired North Six and Des Jardins to develop and produce its Spring 2023 campaign, according to the court summons.

It said the campaign, which featured actor Nicole Kidman and model Bella Hadid, among others, was meant to replicate a corporate environment, with shots staged in a "Manhattan office space."

On a messy desk featured in one image, however, the clutter visibly included a page from the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Williams, a case "which confirms as illegal and not protected by freedom of speech the promotion of child pornography," according to a statement Balenciaga provided to CNN Monday.

The court document claims Balenciaga, which is owned by French luxury group Kering, had no knowledge of and did not authorize the inclusion of this particular piece of paperwork.

In its statement to CNN, Balenciaga said "all the items included in this shooting were provided by third parties that confirmed in writing that these props were fake office documents. They turned out to be real legal papers most likely coming from the filming of a television drama."

Luxury fashion house Balenciaga is suing the production company behind its Spring 2023 ad campaign after paperwork about a Supreme Court ruling on child pornography was identified in one of the images.

The label, which is already facing condemnation over a different campaign involving children, initiated the lawsuit Friday in the New York State Supreme Court. Balenciaga is seeking at least US$25 million in damages from production company North Six, Inc., set designer Nicholas Des Jardins and his company

Balenciaga hired North Six and Des Jardins to develop and produce its Spring 2023 campaign, according to the court summons.

It said the campaign, which featured actor Nicole Kidman and model Bella Hadid, among others, was meant to replicate a corporate environment, with shots staged in a "Manhattan office space."



On a messy desk featured in one image, however, the clutter visibly included a page from the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Williams, a case "which confirms as illegal and not protected by freedom of speech the promotion of child pornography," according to a statement Balenciaga provided to CNN Monday.

The court document claims Balenciaga, which is owned by French luxury group Kering, had no knowledge of and did not authorize the inclusion of this particular piece of paperwork.

In its statement to CNN, Balenciaga said "all the items included in this shooting were provided by third parties that confirmed in writing that these props were fake office documents. They turned out to be real legal papers most likely coming from the filming of a television drama."

Balenciaga said in the summons it believes the defendants' "inexplicable acts and omissions were malevolent or, at the very least, extraordinarily reckless."

The court filing alleges that, as a result of the defendants' actions, "members of the public, including the news media, have falsely and horrifically associated Balenciaga with the repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision." North Six and Des Jardins, it states, should be held liable for "all harm resulting from this false association."

Amelia K. Brankov, an attorney for Nicholas Des Jardins and his company Nicholas Des Jardins LLC, said in an emailed statement to CNN that "there certainly was no malevolent scheme going on. As Balenciaga is aware, numerous boxes of documents simply were sourced from a prop house as rental items."

"Moreover, representatives from Balenciaga were present at the shoot, overseeing it and handling papers and props," Brankov's statement continued, "and Des Jardins as a set designer was not responsible for image selection from the shoot."

A representative for North Six said the production company "did not have creative input or control over the shoot. North Six was not on set during the final set arrangements."

As it continues with its own investigation into the matter, Balenciaga said it is taking accountability for its lack of oversight and control of the campaign images.

"We are reinforcing the structures around our creative processes and validation steps. We want to ensure that new controls mark a pivot and will prevent this from happening again," it said in a statement. "Balenciaga reiterates its sincere apologies for the offense we have caused and extends its apologies to talents and partners."

Balenciaga also addressed widespread outrage and condemnation of another recent campaign that featured children cuddling teddy bears dressed in fetish clothing.

"We strongly condemn child abuse; it was never our intent to include it in our narrative," the company said. "Our plush bear bags and the Gift collection should not have been featured with children. This was a wrong choice by Balenciaga, combined with our failure in assessing and validating images. The responsibility for this lies with Balenciaga alone."

Kim Kardashian, who has been an ambassador for the fashion label, addressed the campaign Sunday after receiving a barrage of messages from fans and commentators urging her to denounce the brand.

Kardashian said she is "re-evaluating" her working relationship with Balenciaga and that as a mother, she was left "shaken by the disturbing images."

"The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalize child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society — period," she told her 74.2 million Twitter followers.

Balenciaga had apologized for the campaign last week, saying it had "immediately removed the campaign from all platforms."

Photographer Gabriele Galimberti told CNN in a statement last week the direction and shooting of the campaign featuring the teddy bears were out of his hands.

"I am not in a position to comment (on) Balenciaga's choices, but I must stress that I was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose (sic) the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same... as usual, the direction of the campaign and of the shooting are not on the hands of the photographer."

Both North Six and a representative for Nicholas Des Jardins LLC said they were not involved in the plush bear campaign.


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Posted in Business Ideas
Nov. 24, 2022

How to Get a Better Work-Life Balance Right Now

Balancing your professional and personal life can be challenging, but it's essential. Here's how to improve your work-life balance today.

2 Sides - Same Coin: Work Life Balance Strategies For 2022

Often, work takes precedence over everything else in our lives. Our desire to succeed professionally can push us to set aside our own well-being. Creating a harmonious work-life balance or work-life integration is critical, though, to improve not only our physical, emotional and mental well-being, but it’s also important for our career.

What is work-life balance, and why is it important?

In short, work-life balance is the state of equilibrium where a person equally prioritizes the demands of one’s career and the demands of one’s personal life. Some of the common reasons that lead to a poor work-life balance include:

  • Increased responsibilities at work
  • Working longer hours
  • Increased responsibilities at home
  • Having children

A good work-life balance, said Chris Chancey, career expert and CEO of Amplio Recruiting, has numerous positive effects, including less stress, a lower risk of burnout and a greater sense of well-being. This not only benefits employees but employers, too.

“Employers who are committed to providing environments that support work-life balance for their employees can save on costs, experience fewer cases of absenteeism, and enjoy a more loyal and productive workforce,” said Chancey. Employers that offer options as telecommuting or flexible work schedules can help employees have a better work-life balance.

When creating a schedule that works for you, think about the best way to achieve balance at work and in your personal life. Chancey said that work-life balance is less about dividing the hours in your day evenly between work and personal life and, instead, is more about having the flexibility to get things done in your professional life while still having time and energy to enjoy your personal life. There may be some days where you work longer hours so you have time later in the week to enjoy other activities.

Here are eight ways to create a better work-life balance, as well as how to be a supportive manager.

1. Accept that there is no ‘perfect’ work-life balance.


William Shakespeare quote: But no perfection is so absolute, That some  impurity doth...


When you hear “work-life balance,” you probably imagine having an extremely productive day at work, and leaving early to spend the other half of the day with friends and family. While this may seem ideal, it is not always possible.

Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; strive for a realistic one. Some days, you might focus more on work, while other days you might have more time and energy to pursue your hobbies or spend time with your loved ones. Balance is achieved over time, not each day.

“It is important to remain fluid and constantly assess where you are [versus] your goals and priorities,” said Heather Monahan, founder of the career mentoring group, #BossinHeels. “At times, your children may need you, and other times, you may need to travel for work, but allowing yourself to remain open to redirecting and assessing your needs on any day is key in finding balance.”

2. Find a job that you love.


Commentary: Is Passion A Business Term?

Although work is an expected societal norm, your career shouldn’t be restraining. If you hate what you do, you aren’t going to be happy, plain and simple. You don’t need to love every aspect of your job, but it needs to be exciting enough that you don’t dread getting out of bed every morning.

Monahan recommended finding a job that you are so passionate about you would do it for free. “If your job is draining you, and you are finding it difficult to do the things you love outside of work, something is wrong,” said Monahan. “You may be working in a toxic environment, for a toxic person, or doing a job that you truly don’t love. If this is the case, it is time to find a new job.”

3. Prioritize your health.

Your overall physical, emotional and mental health should be your main concern. If you struggle with anxiety or depression and think therapy would benefit you, fit those sessions into your schedule, even if you have to leave work early or ditch your evening spin class. If you are battling a chronic illness, don’t be afraid to call in sick on rough days. Overworking yourself prevents you from getting better, possibly causing you to take more days off in the future.

“Prioritizing your health first and foremost will make you a better employee and person,” said Monahan. “You will miss less work, and when you are there, you will be happier and more productive.”

Prioritizing your health doesn’t have to consist of radical or extreme activities. It can be as simple as daily meditation or exercise.

4. Don’t be afraid to unplug.

Cutting ties with the outside world from time to time allows us to recover from weekly stress and gives us space for other thoughts and ideas to emerge. Unplugging can mean something simple like practicing transit meditation on your daily commute, instead of checking work emails.

Monahan said when she used to travel with her boss for work, she’d look over to find him reading a novel while she would be doing something work-related.

“I didn’t understand at the time that he was giving himself a break and decompressing while I was leading myself to a potential burnout,” said Monahan.

Now, Monahan practices the same tactics. She reiterated that taking that time to unwind is critical to success and will help you feel more energized when you’re on the clock.



5. Take a vacation.


Preserving your Vacation Entitlements | BCIT FSA

Sometimes, truly unplugging means taking vacation time and shutting work completely off for a while. Whether your vacation consists of a one-day staycation or a two-week trip to Bali, it’s important to take time off to physically and mentally recharge.

According to the State of American Vacation 2018 study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, 52% of employees reported having unused vacation days left over at the end of the year. Employees are often worried that taking time off will disrupt the workflow, and they will be met with a backlog of work when they return. This fear should not restrict you from taking a much-needed break.

“The truth is, there is no nobility in not taking well-deserved time away from work; the benefits of taking a day off far outweigh the downsides,” said Chancey. “With proper planning, you can take time away without worrying about burdening your colleagues or contending with a huge workload when you return.”

6. Make time for yourself and your loved ones.

While your job is important, it shouldn’t be your entire life. You were an individual before taking this position, and you should prioritize the activities or hobbies that make you happy. Chancey said that achieving work-life balance requires deliberate action.

“If you do not firmly plan for personal time, you will never have time to do other things outside of work,” said Chancey. “No matter how hectic your schedule might be, you ultimately have control of your time and life.”

When planning time with your loved ones, create a calendar for romantic and family dates. It may seem weird to plan one-on-one time with someone you live with, but it will ensure that you spend quality time with them without work-life conflict. Just because work keeps you busy doesn’t mean you should neglect personal relationships.

“Realize that no one at your company is going to love you or appreciate you the way your loved ones do,” said Monahan. “Also [remember] that everyone is replaceable at work, and no matter how important you think your job is, the company will not miss a beat tomorrow if you are gone.”

7. Set boundaries and work hours.

Set boundaries for yourself and your colleagues, to avoid burnout. When you leave the office, avoid thinking about upcoming projects or answering company emails. Consider having a separate computer or phone for work, so you can shut it off when you clock out. If that isn’t possible, use separate browsers, emails or filters for your work and personal platforms.

Additionally, Chancey recommended setting specific work hours. “Whether you work away from home or at home, it is important to determine when you will work and when you will stop working; otherwise, you might find yourself answering work-related emails late at night, during vacations or on weekends off,” said Chancey.

Chancey advised notifying team members and your manager about boundaries beyond which you cannot be accessible because you are engaged in personal activities. This will help to ensure that they understand and respect your workplace limits and expectations.

8. Set goals and priorities (and stick to them).

Set achievable goals by implementing time-management strategies, analyzing your to-do list, and cutting out tasks that have little to no value.

Pay attention to when you are most productive at work and block that time off for your most important work-related activities. Avoid checking your emails and phone every few minutes, as those are major time-wasting tasks that derail your attention and productivity. Structuring your day can increase productivity at work, which can result in more free time to relax outside of work.

The rise of the flexible workplace

Those who do maintain a successful balance between their often point to their flexible work schedules. Recent research found that in the past seven years, many employers have allowed workers greater flexibility both with their schedule and where they work.

“It is clear that employers continue to struggle with fewer resources for benefits that incur a direct cost,” said Ken Matos, lead researcher and senior director of employment research and practice at the nonprofit research organization Families and Work Institute. “However, they have made it a priority to grant employees access to a wider variety of benefits that fit their individual and family needs and that improve their health and well-being.”

Flexibility can pay off for employers in the long run. “As we look ahead, it is clear that in order to remain competitive, employers must find ways to offer flexible work options if they want to attract and retain top talent,” said Hank Jackson, president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management.

“Work-life balance will mean different things to different people because, after all, we all have different life commitments,” said Chancey. “In our always-on world, balance is a very personal thing, and only you can decide the lifestyle that suits you best.”

How to be a supportive manager

To help managers do a better job of supporting their employees’ efforts to achieve a healthier work-life balance, Robert Half Management Resources offers four tips

  • Know what your employees are striving for. Not everyone has the same work-life balance goals. Talk to each employee about their objectives, and then determine what you can do to help them. Some employees may benefit from working remotely a couple of days each week, while others may prefer altering their daily work schedule. It’s important to be open-minded and flexible.
  • Set a good example. Your employees follow your lead. If you send emails at all hours of the day and night or work hard on the weekends, your staff thinks that is what is expected of them, too.
  • Let employees know what their options are. While employers typically do a good job of highlighting their work-life balance offerings to prospective job candidates, the same can’t be said for communicating those initiatives to current employees. Regularly discuss with your employees the options that are available to them. Also, sit down with soon-to-be parents and discuss parental leave options.
  • Stay at the forefront. It is important to keep ahead of the curve on emerging work-life balance trends. What works today for employees might not be a good fit a year from now. Keep your work-life balance initiatives fresh, and offer in-demand benefits. Plus, consider offering work-life programs.

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Posted in Business Ideas
Nov. 24, 2022

The expanding influence of social media on our life


Social media use has skyrocketed over the past decade and a half. Whereas only five percent of adults in the United States reported using a social media platform in 2005, that number is now around 70 percent.

Growth in the number of people who use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat and other social media platforms — and the time spent on them—has garnered interest and concern among policymakers, teachers, parents, and clinicians about social media's impacts on our lives and psychological well-being.

While the research is still in its early years — Facebook itself only celebrated its 15th birthday this year — media psychology researchers are beginning to tease apart the ways in which time spent on these platforms is, and is not, impacting our day-to-day lives.



The 5 Types of Social Media and Pros & Cons of Each

Social media and relationships

One particularly pernicious concern is whether time spent on social media sites is eating away at face-to-face time, a phenomenon known as social displacement .

Fears about social displacement are longstanding, as old as the telephone and probably older. “This issue of displacement has gone on for more than 100 years,” says Jeffrey Hall, PhD, director of the Relationships and Technology Lab at the University of Kansas. “No matter what the technology is,” says Hall, there is always a “cultural belief that it's replacing face-to-face time with our close friends and family.”

Hall's research interrogates that cultural belief. In one study, participants kept a daily log of time spent doing 19 different activities during weeks when they were and were not asked to abstain from using social media. In the weeks when people abstained from social media, they spent more time browsing the internet, working, cleaning, and doing household chores. However, during these same abstention periods, there was no difference in people's time spent socializing with their strongest social ties.

The upshot? “I tend to believe, given my own work and then reading the work of others, that there's very little evidence that social media directly displaces meaningful interaction with close relational partners,” says Hall. One possible reason for this is because we tend to interact with our close loved ones through several different modalities—such as texts, emails, phone calls, and in-person time.


Risks of expanding social networks


Social media benefits teens by expanding their social networks and keeping them in touch with their peers and far-away friends and family. It is also a creativity outlet. In the Common Sense Media report, more than a quarter of teens said that “social media is ‘extremely' or ‘very' important for them for expressing themselves creatively.”

But there are also risks. The Common Sense Media survey found that 13 percent of teens reported being cyberbullied at least once. And social media can be a conduit for accessing inappropriate content like violent images or pornography. Nearly two-thirds of teens who use social media said they “'often' or ‘sometimes' come across racist, sexist, homophobic, or religious-based hate content in social media.”

With all of these benefits and risks, how is social media affecting cognitive development? “What we have found at the Children's Digital Media Center is that a lot of digital communication use and, in particular, social media use seems to be connected to offline developmental concerns,” says Subrahmanyam. “If you look at the adolescent developmental literature, the core issues facing youth are sexuality, identity, and intimacy,” says Subrahmanyam.

Her research suggests that different types of digital communication may involve different developmental issues. For example, she has found that teens frequently talked about sex in chat rooms, whereas their use of blogs and social media appears to be more concerned with self-presentation and identity construction.

In particular, exploring one's identity appears to be a crucial use of visually focused social media sites for adolescents. “Whether it's Facebook, whether it's Instagram, there's a lot of strategic self presentation, and it does seem to be in the service of identity,” says Subrahmanyam. “I think where it gets gray is that we don't know if this is necessarily beneficial or if it harms.”

Remaining questions


“It's important to develop a coherent identity,” she says. “But within the context of social media — when it's not clear that people are necessarily engaging in real self presentation and there's a lot of ideal-self or false-self presentation — is that good?”

There are also more questions than answers when it comes to how social media affects the development of intimate relationships during adolescence. Does having a wide network of contacts — as is common in social media—lead to more superficial interactions and hinder intimacy? Or, perhaps more important, “Is the support that you get online as effective as the support that you get offline?” ponders Subrahmanyam. “We don't know that necessarily.”

Based on her own research comparing text messages and face-to-face interactions, she says: “My hypothesis is that maybe digital interactions may be a little more ephemeral, they're a little more fleeting, and you feel good, but that the feeling is lost quickly versus face-to-face interaction.”

However, she notes that today's teens — being tech natives — may get less hung up on the online/offline dichotomy. “ We tend to think about online and offline as disconnected, but we have to recognize that for youth . . . there's so much more fluidity and connectedness between the real and the physical and the offline and the online,” she says.

In fact, growing up with digital technology may be changing teen brain development in ways we don't yet know — and these changes may, in turn, change how teens relate to technology. “Because the exposure to technology is happening so early, we have to be mindful of the possibility that perhaps there are changes happening at a neural level with early exposure,” says Subrahmanyam. “How youths interact with technology could just be qualitatively different from how we do it.”


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Posted in Recent News