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An Open Letter to Busy Parents about Motivating your Kids

Dear exhausted-busy-parents,

It’s hard. Raising a human (or multiple humans) seems like an insurmountable task, mostly because it cannot be done in just one sitting AND you have to do it while tackling your job and your personal physical and mental health.

You know, I get it. You have something going well for yourself: a personal business, your job, your social life, and it seems like you jip your kids of “learning opportunities” or time spent with family because you’re just so busy. And when you realize that you are doing this (some are lucky to catch it) you just feel awfully guilty. I’ve been there. Multiple times.

Let me tell you: I’m right there with you. I’ve been a parent for 22 years and I feel like I am still not giving enough. It’s a feeling that eats me up when my head hits the pillow and I want to know how to get rid of it.

Luckily, I had a conversation with some of my friends who are also parents facing the same struggles of preparation and motivation.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

I was able to get some good takeaways that I think would be good to share with you, the stays-up-asking-“I’m I really giving 100% to my children to ensure they are prepared for the future?”

Here is how to combat the following situations:

When you’re not with them

Desire (you want this for them): You want your kid(s) to thrive when they are “set-free” into the big world (whether that’s college or the workforce). You want them to succeed when they are independent of you because they choose to be responsible and not fall to the pressure of their peers or environment.

Action: Stop weeping for yourself about the time you are not with them. If we could all quit our jobs and still get money, we would, but we can’t. Instead, start focusing on who your children are spending time with beyond you. If you take note of who they are spending time with and if they (friends/ family) encourage your kids to do better, to do more, this will help achieve your desire of responsible, independent young adults. It is good to “train them up” to make a decision by themselves and to surround themselves with positive people.

Hear Preston Stuckey, son of Alex Stuckey, and rising sophomore at Florida State University, talk more about taking on independence and responsibility in the full conversation here.

When you are with them

Desire (you want that for them): You want them to be a good human. And by “good,” I mean you want for them: good self-discipline, the power to choose to do the right thing in the situation, and the courage to fight for what’s right. You want them to help whenever they can, even when they don’t want to. AND most importantly, you want them to be happy.

Action: When you are around them, the quantity of time does not matter, so long as it is quality time where they can witness those good traits in you. Be the example of what you want your kids to be in the future, today.

Stop telling and start doing.

If you want them to realize that family is important, then make time for family. If you want them to be successful, show them persistence, responsibility, and motivation propels you to finish. If you want them to clean their room, wash your dishes after dinner. These small ripples can make lasting waves in their minds. You must understand that you cannot control them or order them; you can only lead by example and show them that there are certain principles that you won’t compromise.

So, parents, my friend-who-stays-up-wondering-about-the-future-of-your-child(ren)’s-life, stop thinking and start doing.

As my good friend, Tom Nolan says, “Everything you do is a reflection and your kids are watching.” Or I like to sum it up like these: kids are sponges. (Not as eloquent, but you get the point.)

So, to the busy parent, my challenge for you, right now, is to talk through your child(ren)’s goals. Why? To make yourself aware of them, to make yourself available when you can, and to motivate them until they make it.

Until then, parents, keep workin’ hard, for this is the best way to prepare your kids!

An Open Letter to Busy Parents about Motivating your Kids

Bridging the Gap with Millennials and Gen Z

Millennials and now Gen Z are the face of young professional talent and the future of business in more ways than one. As the older generation begins entering retirement, positions are opening for younger generations to hold more responsibility and bring new ideas to the table across almost every industry. However, it’s no secret that the younger generation is perceived differently - Growing up in the age of technology and progressing with its advances, they have shifted their focus much more toward innovation than tradition. Due to this, along with millennials and Gen Z’s come many preconceived ideas about this group as a whole. In order to get past these perceptions about their unconventional contributions to the workplace, it is important for managers to understand these young professionals to properly lead them. Here are things senior, and typically more tenured, managers can consider when connecting with these younger generations, ultimately leading both groups to achieve better results.

Understand and Connect
Podcasts are all the rage right now, reaching people of all ages with various interests. For young professionals, there are many business podcasts out there to help guide them through the first few years in their career - Things not to do, areas to grow in and ways to successfully reach their goals. On the flip side, there are also podcasts geared towards the managers of these younger generations - Tips and tricks on how to understand this generation, what motivates them, and how to show appreciation for their attributes and contributions.

The Tim Ferriss Show, one of the top rated podcast, is a great example. Tim Ferriss is one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People”, and he uses his show to dive into different topics, helping entry level to senior level professionals juggle work, life and all that comes with it. “Tribe of Mentors” is a book written by Ferriss highlighting advice from some of the world’s foremost business gurus. These episodes in particular provide easy access on how to be a mentor to the millennial and Gen Z generations - A way for managers to open their minds to new thinking and how to implement those findings with their team. Tim’s self-professed underlying objective is to deconstruct the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, athletes and entertainers and to share their struggles, motivations, credos and insights in to what they learned and valued along the way to their success.

The Tony Robbins podcast is another revolutionary show for both new and seasoned workers alike. As most people already know, Tony Robbins is an author and entrepreneur, but he’s most known for his life coach teachings - He travels globally giving seminars to thousands of people, motivating professionals in all walks of life. Thanks to his success on the road, Robbins has also started a podcast to help reach people daily through technology. While this podcast can help individuals of all generations, Tony Robbins has become particularly popular with millennials, offering them guidance in various areas of life. Because of his fame with the younger generation, managers can gain insight through his podcasts to relate with young professionals on a different level. Engaging in the way they are learning and understanding the perspective of the advice they’re being given can create common ground with your younger team members and might even help managers gain credibility.

Recognize Their Talent
Staying inside the lines is not something millennials were taught to do thus this generation of talent is very progressive. Instead of dismissing these skills, recognize how they can benefit your team and business. Provide constructive criticism where needed and push them to reach their full potential - This is a group of tech-savvy, educated and creative thinkers - Managers should use this to their advantage as a way to keep their company ahead of the curve. Even the most traditional organizations need to be aligned with the trends, and innovative workers with fresh ideas are the way to do that.

We hope these tips and suggestions on resources will help those seasoned managers better connect with the younger generations in the marketplace. Both are vital to the success of a team and business and both offer their own strengths.

Bridging the Gap with Millennials and Gen Z

Interviewing for Finance & Accounting Roles: Four Questions a Candidate Should Ask

Effective interview preparation for an interviewee not only involves rehearsing answers to anticipated questions, but also preparing well-thought out questions to ask the interviewer(s). While the concept of being ready for this meeting seems obvious, it is surprising how often interviewees arrive without questions or comments to contribute to the discussion. Starting points for generating discussion-provoking questions can be found through researching the company’s history, industry, culture, and most importantly, the role for which you are interviewing. Here are four questions candidates interviewing for financial roles should ask in an interview.

How do you define the company’s financial success?

This is an overarching question that can lay the groundwork for further discussion as to how the role contributes to measuring that success. Not only is this important information to know before stepping into the position, but this very direct inquiry demonstrates great initiative. Managers are keen to find candidates who will ask bold questions to then display how they can contribute to the organization’s success. You need to understand how the company measures success in this area. Are there previous numbers they can show you to exemplify how the organization is currently performing? Can the forecast for the current fiscal year be shared with you to grasp how they are monitoring performance?

What does success of this role look like at 30, 60 and-90 days?

Discussing how the organization measures financial success creates a nice segway into how the success of someone in this role will be measured in the coming months. Introducing this topic displays eagerness to jump into the fire, desire to establish credibility and willingness to be held accountable from day one.

To elaborate on this point even further, explore the idea of creating your own 30/60/90 day plan prior to the interview, showing how your experience to date can benefit the finance team greatly. Taking this initiative will go a long way in the eyes of decision-makers, even if the plan isn’t perfect. Use this time to request feedback from the hiring manager; not only will this “wow” the interviewer, but it will also allow you to better understand standards of this role in a different light.

What are the biggest challenges awaiting this role?

Inquiring about challenges that may lie ahead demonstrates a desire to get a complete and realistic picture of the role. What unexpected obstacles may be on the horizon for the person who steps into this role? How can the person taking over this position prepare in advance? How much influence can the person in this role have in perhaps making changes that mitigate those challenges? These will show your diligence in understanding every angle of the role, and hopefully, bring the conversation to a new level.

Are there additional responsibilities for this role not listed on the job description?

Often, job postings are limited to only primary responsibilities, followed by high-level descriptions. It is important to know every responsibility that will or can fall on your plate. A topic that is frequently not included in formal job descriptions involves responsibilities of direct reports. How many people report to the role? What are their responsibilities? What are some of the challenges that have been part of the team of direct reports? Another job description-related question is whether there is potential for the job description to significantly change in the next 12 to 18 months. Details like this are not explained in a written job description, so these are great points to bring up during the interview.

Above all, remember to fully research the organization before your interview. For an accounting or finance role, demonstrate your knowledge of all current financial changes pertaining to businesses and how they can affect the organization. Lastly, know the company’s strengths and their biggest competitors; don’t be afraid to bring this up in the interview. The more you know about the organization, the industry and the market in which it operates, the more attractive you will appear to the hiring manager.

Interviewing for Finance & Accounting Roles: Four Questions a Candidate Should Ask

Should You Have a Side Hustle?

Throughout the years, it has become more and more apparent that working a 9-5 job is no longer the norm, and traditional careers and culture becoming a thing of the past. Aspects like working from home part time and remote positions have become common over the past decades, but what has recently increased is the desire for a side hustle - A mindset that has become favored by seasoned workers and young professionals alike.

What is it?
While having a second (or third) job is nothing new, the definition of a side hustle is not that easy. A side hustle is defined as a way for you to pursue your true passion(s) - Something that allows you to explore an industry or career that you always dreamed of without having to quit your day job. This is not just about picking up a part-time job to make extra cash or necessarily starting your own business, a side hustle is identifying that sought after opportunity and making it your own on a part-time or short-term basis, while continuing with your Monday-Friday career.

The Pro’s
After diving into what this really means, let’s talk about the multiple advantages of finding and following your side hustle. While startups haven proven to be trendy, specifically by millennial professionals, the financial state, both nationally and globally, have a huge impact on this entrepreneurial spirit. Quitting your job to take a leap of faith into self-employment can be extremely rewarding but also very precarious, as you risk losing everything you have put into the business or idea. Before making this all-or-nothing step, recognize the area of business you have always wanted to chase, and seek out a gig that can help you get there on more lenient terms - Like the old saying goes, “You never know until you try”. From there, you can determine if this can transform your career into something new.

Things to Remember
Finding a way to fulfill a business goal is such a sign of success, personally and professionally. Entering into your side hustle is both nail-biting and exciting, but don’t forget about your full-time job. Often, people get so tied up in one that they forget about the other - Remember that this is not your main source of income, and you still have a team and superiors to impress at the office. Continue being a superstar at your full-time position, so that efficiency and work ethic can carry over to your side hustle.

Should You Have a Side Hustle?