Do I Really Need a Degree?

Going to college has long been touted as the pathway to success and a bright future for many young people. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that attending a four-year university is not the right choice for everyone. In fact, there are many ways to make a living; some of which may be more fulfilling and more lucrative than ways that require that piece of paper.

Alternative Options:

While college can be a great option for many, it’s important to remember that it is not the only path to success. In fact, there are many alternatives to consider. For example, trade schools and vocational training programs offer hands-on training in a specific skill or trade that can lead to a well-paying job in a shorter amount of time than a traditional four-year degree program.

Apprenticeships are another option to consider, as they offer paid, on-the-job training in a variety of fields, including construction, manufacturing, and healthcare. In addition, many companies offer internships and paid training programs that provide valuable experience and can lead to job offers after completion.

Entrepreneurship is another viable option for those who have an innovative idea or are passionate about starting their own business. Starting a business can be risky, but with hard work and dedication, it can also be incredibly rewarding.

Drawbacks of Four-Year Universities:

While college can be a great option for some, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks as well. For one, college can be incredibly expensive, with many students accruing significant amounts of debt that can take years to pay off. Additionally, four-year universities may not provide the necessary hands-on training and real-world experience that many employers are looking for.

In addition, college degrees are not always a guarantee of employment or success. Many graduates struggle to find jobs in their field after graduation, and some end up in low-paying, entry-level positions that don’t require a degree.

Welders Make Great Money!

Going to a four-year university is not the right choice for everyone, and it’s important to consider alternative options that may better suit your interests and career goals. Trade schools, apprenticeships, and entrepreneurship are just a few examples of the many paths to success that don’t require a traditional four-year degree. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to weigh the pros and cons and choose the path that is right for them.

Family Raising Kids

Raising Well Adjusted Teens

No Participation Trophy Required!

The teenage years can be a tumultuous time, with rapid changes in physical, emotional, and social development. As a parent or caregiver, it can be challenging to navigate the complexities of raising a well-adjusted teen in today’s world. However, with some thoughtful approaches and strategies, you can help your teen navigate the challenges of adolescence and develop into a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adult.

  1. Foster open communication: Encourage your teen to express their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. Make it a point to listen attentively and respond with empathy and support.
  2. Set clear boundaries: While teens need some degree of independence, it’s essential to set clear rules and limits to keep them safe and healthy. Make sure your teen understands your expectations for behavior and consequences for breaking rules.
  3. Encourage healthy habits: Encourage your teen to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Model these behaviors yourself to show them the importance of self-care.
  4. Foster independence: Give your teen opportunities to make decisions and take on responsibility, such as managing their own schedule, doing household chores, or taking on a part-time job. This can help build their confidence and sense of independence.
  5. Encourage positive social connections: Encourage your teen to develop positive relationships with peers and family members. Help them find activities or hobbies that they enjoy and that connect them with others who share similar interests.
  6. Teach coping skills: Adolescence can be a challenging time, and it’s essential to teach your teen coping skills to manage stress, anxiety, and other emotional challenges. Encourage them to practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing, and teach them problem-solving skills.
  7. Model positive behavior: Your teen is likely to model your behavior, so it’s essential to be a positive role model. Demonstrate positive coping skills, healthy habits, and positive social connections to show them what healthy adult behavior looks like.
  8. Stay involved: Stay involved in your teen’s life by attending school events, volunteering in their activities, and staying connected with their friends and family. This can help you keep a pulse on what’s going on in their life and provide opportunities for positive engagement.
  9. Seek help when needed: If you notice signs that your teen is struggling, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. There are many resources available, including mental health professionals, school counselors, and support groups.

Raising a well-adjusted teen in today’s world can be challenging, but with a thoughtful approach, you can help your teen navigate the challenges of adolescence and develop into a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adult. By fostering open communication, setting clear boundaries, encouraging healthy habits, fostering independence, encouraging positive social connections, teaching coping skills, modeling positive behavior, staying involved, and seeking help when needed, you can help your teen thrive during this critical stage of their life.

Personal Finance Retirement

Life Hack: Retire Wealthy

Retiring wealthy is a dream for many people, but it can be challenging to achieve. It requires careful planning and consistent effort over a long period of time. However, with some smart life hacks, you can take steps to increase your chances of retiring with a comfortable nest egg. Here are some good life hacks to retire wealthy:

  1. Start saving early

One of the most important things you can do to retire wealthy is to start saving as early as possible. The earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow through compound interest. Even small amounts saved regularly can add up over time, so make sure you prioritize saving in your budget.

  1. Take advantage of employer contributions

If your employer offers a retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) or IRA, make sure you take advantage of it. These plans often come with employer matching contributions, which can help you build your retirement savings faster. Make sure you contribute enough to take full advantage of your employer’s matching program.

  1. Minimize debt

Debt can be a major obstacle to building wealth, as it can eat away at your income and prevent you from saving as much as you would like. To retire wealthy, it is important to minimize your debt as much as possible. Prioritize paying off high-interest debt, such as credit card debt, and avoid taking on new debt if possible.

  1. Invest wisely

Investing can be a powerful way to build wealth over time, but it is important to do so wisely. Consider working with a financial advisor to develop an investment strategy that matches your goals and risk tolerance. Diversify your portfolio to minimize risk, and avoid making emotional investment decisions based on short-term market fluctuations.

  1. Live below your means

Living below your means is a powerful way to free up more money for savings and investing. Consider cutting back on unnecessary expenses, such as dining out or subscription services, and prioritize spending on experiences that bring you lasting happiness. By living below your means, you can save more money and invest more for your retirement.

  1. Plan for healthcare costs

Healthcare costs can be a major expense in retirement, so it is important to plan for them in advance. Consider purchasing long-term care insurance or setting up a health savings account to cover future medical expenses. By planning ahead, you can avoid being caught off guard by unexpected healthcare costs.

The dream of retiring wealthy is achievable with some smart life hacks. By starting to save early, taking advantage of employer contributions, minimizing debt, investing wisely, living below your means, and planning for healthcare costs, you can increase your chances of retiring with a comfortable nest egg. Remember to work with a financial advisor to develop a retirement plan that matches your goals and risk tolerance, and consistently take steps to grow your wealth over time.

Mental Health

The Power of Positive Thinking: How to Cultivate a Positive Mindset and Improve Your Life

The power of positive thinking is a concept that has been around for many years. It’s the idea that by focusing on positive thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, you can improve your life and achieve your goals. While it may sound simple, cultivating a positive mindset takes practice and intention. Let’s explore the benefits of positive thinking and provide some tips on how to cultivate a positive mindset.

Benefits of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health, as well as your overall well-being. Here are some of the benefits of cultivating a positive mindset:

  1. Reduced Stress: Positive thinking can help reduce stress levels and improve your ability to cope with difficult situations. It can also help lower your risk of developing stress-related illnesses, such as heart disease and depression.
  2. Improved Relationships: A positive mindset can help improve your relationships with others. When you approach others with a positive attitude, you’re more likely to be open-minded, empathetic, and understanding.
  3. Increased Resilience: Positive thinking can help increase your resilience, or your ability to bounce back from setbacks and challenges. It can also help you maintain a sense of hope and optimism, even in difficult situations.
  4. Better Health: Positive thinking has been linked to better physical health, including a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Tips for Cultivating a Positive Mindset

Cultivating a positive mindset takes practice and intention. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Practice Gratitude: One of the simplest ways to cultivate a positive mindset is to practice gratitude. Take a few minutes each day to focus on the things you’re grateful for, no matter how small they may seem.
  2. Surround Yourself with Positivity: Surround yourself with positive people, uplifting media, and inspiring quotes or affirmations. This can help you stay focused on the good things in life and avoid negativity.
  3. Challenge Negative Thoughts: When negative thoughts arise, challenge them. Ask yourself if they’re true, and if there’s evidence to support them. If not, try to reframe them in a more positive light.
  4. Focus on Solutions: Instead of dwelling on problems, focus on solutions. Ask yourself what you can do to solve a problem or improve a situation, and take action.
  5. Practice Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is an important part of cultivating a positive mindset. Make time for activities that bring you joy and help you relax, such as reading, yoga, or spending time in nature.

Cultivating a positive mindset takes time and effort, but the benefits are well worth it. By focusing on positive thoughts, feelings, and attitudes, you can improve your mental and physical health, as well as your overall well-being. Try incorporating some of these tips into your daily routine, and see how they can help you cultivate a more positive mindset and improve your life.


Top 5 States with the Worst Drivers

Horrific wrong way crash

Driving can be a dangerous activity, and unfortunately, some states are known for having drivers who are more reckless or prone to accidents than others. Based on recent data and studies, here are the top 5 states with the worst drivers:

  1. Florida

According to a study by SmartAsset, Florida has the worst drivers in the United States. The state has the highest rate of fatal crashes per 100 million miles driven, the second-highest rate of uninsured drivers, and the fifth-highest rate of DUI arrests. In addition, Florida has a high number of senior citizens, who may be more likely to experience impaired vision or reaction times that can contribute to accidents.

  1. Texas

Texas has a high number of fatal crashes each year, and the state also ranks high for incidents of drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving. In addition, Texas has a high number of uninsured drivers, which can make it difficult for accident victims to receive compensation.

  1. Louisiana

Louisiana has the second-highest rate of fatal crashes per 100 million miles driven, according to the same SmartAsset study mentioned earlier. The state also has a high rate of uninsured drivers, and it has a reputation for having drivers who are aggressive and prone to road rage.

  1. Arizona

Arizona ranks high for incidents of drunk driving and speeding, and it has a high number of fatal crashes each year. In addition, the state has a high number of uninsured drivers, which can make it difficult for accident victims to receive compensation.

  1. North Carolina

North Carolina has a high number of fatal crashes each year, and the state also ranks high for incidents of speeding and distracted driving. In addition, North Carolina has a high number of rural roads, which can be more dangerous than urban roads due to factors like narrow lanes and poor lighting.

Overall, these states have a few things in common: they tend to have high rates of fatal crashes, incidents of drunk driving and speeding, and high numbers of uninsured drivers. It’s important for drivers in these states to take extra precautions and be aware of their surroundings while on the road. If you’re driving in one of these states or plan to visit, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage and follow safe driving practices to avoid becoming another statistic.


Nootropics (aka Smart Drugs). Fact, fiction, real talk.

Nootropics, also known as smart drugs, are substances that are used to enhance cognitive function, memory, creativity, and motivation. The term “nootropic” was coined by the Romanian chemist Corneliu Giurgea in 1972, and it comes from the Greek words “noos” (mind) and “tropos” (turning).

Limitless movie highlighted Nootropic use

While some nootropics are available over the counter or by prescription, there is also a growing interest in natural nootropics. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of natural nootropics, as well as the best natural options for cognitive enhancement.

Pros and Cons of Natural Nootropics

One of the main benefits of natural nootropics is that they are typically considered safer than synthetic or prescription options. Many natural nootropics are derived from plants and herbs that have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. For example, Bacopa monnieri, a plant commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function in several studies.

Another advantage of natural nootropics is that they may have fewer side effects than prescription drugs. Prescription nootropics like Adderall and Ritalin can have side effects like insomnia, anxiety, and decreased appetite. Natural nootropics, on the other hand, are often well-tolerated and may even have additional health benefits.

However, one potential downside of natural nootropics is that they may not be as potent as prescription options. This means that while they may provide some cognitive enhancement, they may not be as effective for people with more severe cognitive impairments. Additionally, natural nootropics can vary in quality and potency depending on where they are sourced, so it is important to choose reputable brands and suppliers.

Natural Nootropics for Cognitive Enhancement

There are many natural nootropics that have been studied for their cognitive-enhancing effects. Here are some of the most promising options:

  1. Bacopa monnieri – as mentioned earlier, Bacopa monnieri has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function in several studies.
  2. Ginkgo biloba – Ginkgo biloba is a plant that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has been shown to improve cognitive function, particularly in older adults.
  3. Rhodiola rosea – Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb that has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce fatigue.
  4. Panax ginseng – Panax ginseng is a root that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce fatigue.
  5. Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Lion’s Mane Mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has been shown to improve cognitive function, especially in older adults.
  6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients found in fish, nuts, and seeds. They have been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Over-the-Counter and Prescription Nootropics

While natural nootropics are a promising option for cognitive enhancement, some people may require more potent options. Over-the-counter and prescription nootropics can be effective for people with more severe cognitive impairments, but they come with a higher risk of side effects.

Some over-the-counter nootropics include caffeine, L-theanine, and creatine. Prescription nootropics include drugs like Adderall, Ritalin, and Modafinil. These drugs can be effective for treating conditions like ADHD and narcolepsy, but they can also have side effects like insomnia, anxiety, and decreased appetite.


Retirement Planning: Are you paying attention yet?

Retirement is an important phase of life that requires careful planning and preparation. One of the key elements of retirement planning is saving money for your golden years. By starting early and implementing effective savings strategies, you can ensure a comfortable retirement without financial worries. Let’s discuss some must-do items for saving money for retirement.

  1. Set a Retirement Savings Goal: The first step to saving for retirement is to determine how much money you will need to live comfortably after you retire. You can use online calculators or consult with a financial planner to estimate your retirement expenses and set a savings goal.
  2. Create a Budget: Creating a budget is essential for effective retirement planning. It helps you keep track of your income and expenses, identify areas where you can cut back, and allocate funds to your retirement savings account.
  3. Maximize Your Contributions: One of the best ways to save for retirement is to take advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts, such as 401(k) or IRA. Maximize your contributions to these accounts to build a significant retirement nest egg.
  1. Consider Catch-Up Contributions: If you are over 50, you can make catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts, which can help you increase your savings and catch up on lost time.
  2. Diversify Your Portfolio: Diversifying your investment portfolio is a crucial aspect of retirement planning. It helps reduce risk and increase potential returns. Consider investing in a mix of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds to balance your portfolio.
  3. Avoid High Fees: High investment fees can significantly reduce your returns over time. Consider low-cost index funds or ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) to minimize investment fees and maximize your retirement savings.
  4. Review Your Plan Regularly: It’s essential to review your retirement plan regularly and adjust your savings and investment strategies as needed. As you approach retirement, consider shifting your investments to a more conservative portfolio to protect your savings.

Surely, saving for retirement requires careful planning, discipline, and patience. By following these must-do items, you can take control of your financial future and enjoy a comfortable retirement. Start early, stay focused, and keep saving!

Employment Remote Work

Employers Shift to Remote Jobs

There’s no denying the many benefits of working from home for employees. From less accident risk, to fuel savings, to less, stress, the list goes on and on. But what are the benefits of a remote workplace for employers?

The benefits for companies may not be immediately apparent; however, they are many. Here are some:

  1. Utilities: Imagine, if you will, a company in Phoenix, Arizona in early July cranking the AC for a large office. An average 1,900 square foot house can cost $600 to cool, but an office can be massive, as can their electric bills.
  2. Lawsuits: Workman’s Compensation claims. Their will always be accidents and injuries at the workplace, no matter where that workplace is. Repetitive stress injuries are real, and they can happen at the home office. But there are many more injuries that can be avoided if employees aren’t sitting in a crowded office all day.
  3. Time Off: A sick worker often feels obligated to come in to work so he or she can make everyone else sick. This results in a huge loss of productivity. Instead of taking out a huge chunk of the workforce, these employees can work from home instead, thus saving others from exposure, and keeping productivity high.
  4. Employee Retention: Who wouldn’t be happy to work from home? While there are some people that are really terrible at managing their time, others thrive in a more autonomous setting. In fact, for the most part, at-home employees are often very grateful and they tend to work a little longer. Their appreciation makes them want to work for a given employer, so the turnover rate is much lower.

There are many more benefits to remote companies, but we won’t get into that right now. What I want to emphasize is the fact that people, in general, are resistant to change. Big groups of people (i.e., workplaces) are even more resistant. If there is one good thing that has come from the current pandemic, it is a shift to remote employment. It has been the jump start that many employers needed to get on the remote work train.

Many CEOs of small to medium companies follow the examples set by larger companies. Behemoths like Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter are already leading the charge and setting the example by allowing workers to work from home, either temporarily or permanently.

Of course, not all jobs can be done from a home office; that is obvious. Nobody is going to bring sides of beef home to do meat packing in their garage (at least we hope not). But for the millions of workers that dread hours of traffic, only to arrive at work so they can stare at the clock all day, their is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel.


Job Seekers Beware of Inconsiderate Employers

Do NOT let inconsiderate employers take advantage of you or waste your time.

The economy is humming along right now. Things are great. You should be able to find a job easily making a decent amount commensurate with your experience. That said, you need to avoid potential employers that want to take advantage of you!

I am a software developer. Currently, I do not need a job, however, I was looking for something during the week so that I could pay off a few bills. I haven’t looked for a job for a while, and a few things have surprised me lately. I have been an employer and a hiring manager, so I understand both sides. There are a lot of flaky and entitled employees, but right now I’m going to focus on the flaky employers.

There are a lot of employers advertising for JUNIOR positions with low pay, but asking for senior level experience. I have no idea why this is happening in such a strong economy. The only thing I can say is that there must be people with senior experience that are willing to whore themselves out for a low salary. This is not only counterproductive for the job seeker, but it hurts the industry as a whole and brings wages down.

Let me give you an example. I have been on the other side. I was a hiring manager about 8 years ago. I was seeking JUNIOR web developers with 1-2 years experience and paying a starting salary of 60-70k per year. This was the norm at the time. Senior people were getting anywhere from 95k-140k, depending on the job location and the company.

Today, I have seen MANY job postings for JUNIOR web developers, some for 50k or less. But get this, they are asking for at least 5 years experience. That is not JUNIOR level!

The only way that employers can justify paying for ads for these scam positions is if people are actually applying for them. If you are one of those people whoring themselves out, STOP. JUST STOP! You are doing everyone a disservice.

This is a big pet peeve for me. Some companies are so clueless and so cheap that they think they can get an all-in-one employee for a single salary. This happens across many industries. However, in software development, it is commonly known that, with very, very few exceptions, graphic designers do not make coders and coders cannot make a good design if their lives depended on it. In fact, in the past two decades, after interviewing hundreds of candidates for both web design and web development, I have never encountered a single person that is good at both. That doesn’t stop the cheapskate companies from trying to get the most bang for their buck.

This week I came across a Web Designer/Developer Job.

These guys want a three (or four) for one employee that does it all. I imagine that qualified applicants for this position might ride in on a rainbow unicorn.

They ONLY want a person who is proficient at:
– Web Design
– Web Development
– Marketing and Analytics
– and Social Media

Perhaps I should apply and ask for 250k to start. However, as clueless as they are, I’m guessing that they might try to pay someone $60k a year for this position. No thank you.

Guys and girls, if you see a 4 person job like this, run away as fast as you can. Whoever gets hired for this position is being set up to fail.

Employers should respect your time. I recently applied for a position. I have a lot of experience, so I get a lot of call-backs. However, I don’t want to waste my valuable time interviewing for these scam positions that want to pay a junior level salary for senior level experience. One thing I need to mention is to know your worth and to avoid being bullied. Time is money, so spend your time wisely. It is perfectly okay to ask what the salary range is before you give up your personal time to go in for an interview.

About a week ago, I applied for a position and got a call back within 24 hours. They had time slots that you could select to come in for an interview. Everything was clearly defind; skills required, job responsibilities, etc. Everything, that is, except for salary. I emailed the job and selected a time. In my email I asked about the salary range. My question was ignored. I had a family emergency and had to cancel and select a new time, which was no problem. This time I told the company that, in order to confirm that I would be there, I would need to know the salary range. My request was ignored once again.

The employer has no consideration for my time. That can only mean that this is not a good employer to work for. Of course, the company needs come first, I get that, but if the company has no respect or consideration for an applicant’s time, that is not going to improve once the applicant is hired.

There are lots of great employers out there. If an employer is inconsiderate before you are even hired, you should run! Respect the company’s time, but have some respect for yourself and you fellow job seekers. Don’t be bullied and don’t accept a scam job, or a senior level job for junior level pay!

Motivation Self Improvement

Overcome Fear to Become the Best Version of Yourself

Don’t be afraid of failure
Most people are afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid of failure. Realize that life’s failures are just lessons that help you do a better job the next time. People that want to criticize you for failing at something are too scared to try new things on their own.

Your thoughts are holding you back
People are capable of amazing things, and are mostly just limited by their own thoughts. They see that nobody else has done something, so they don’t think they can do it either. For example, everyone used to think that running a 4 minute mile was impossible, until Roger Bannister finally broke the 4 minute barrier in 1954. Now that people know that it is possible because they saw somebody else do it, many people can now break that record. In fact, a guy from Morocco, that holds the record, ran a time of just over 3 minutes and 43 seconds in 1999. If you have a goal, do everything in your power to achieve it. Don’t worry if nobody has done it already. The limit is most likely all in your head.

Live Every Day Like it is your Last
Live every day like it is a precious gift. Don’t wait until it is too late. If you wake up every day and tell yourself that trying is useless because you’re probably gonna die today, one day you’ll be right.

Always Try Your Best
Try your best at everything that you do. Even if you have a simple job making sandwiches, try your best and take initiative to do better. You may think this is a waste of time, but you never know where life may lead you. Perhaps someone that runs a successful business will notice your work ethic and offer you a better job. At the very least, doing your best is good training for whatever comes next in life; such as starting a family, having a successful career, being your own boss, or having a happy marriage.

Do the Right Thing
Do the right thing, even when it is unpopular and even when you think nobody is watching. Having a good moral character will help you attract people that have a similar mindset. You may think that nobody will notice your good deeds, but you never know when somebody will catch you on a smartphone and turn you into a viral sensation, either for a good or a bad deed. According to John Wooden, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

Help Others
Try to help people by sharing what you know. As the saying goes, “what comes around, goes around”. Most of the time, when you help and teach others, you end up benefiting by learning more yourself.

Go First
Volunteer to go first. If you’re scared of getting on a ride, speaking in public, or even introducing yourself to a potential mate, know that going first gets it out of way and makes you appear more confident which, in turn, helps you become a more confident person. We are our own biggest critics. If you think you are not very good at something, like speaking to an audience, there are at least 10 people that probably think you are amazing.

Be Positive
Positivity is contagious. So is negativity. Try to encourage the people around you to do the right thing and to do better. One person cannot change the world but, the world around you will become a better place as the positivity you exude comes right back to you tenfold.

Ignore the Haters
Ignore what other people think. People are usually so afraid that they try to judge anyone that tries at something. If you fail at something, you’ll typically have a group of haters that wants to point an laugh. The hard truth is, they feel like failures on the inside, so they want to try to bring others down to their level. Ignore it. Move forward. Repeat.

Strive for Continuous Self Improvement
Always try to improve your skills. Nobody is perfect. Even Olympic champions need training to become the best at what they do. Never stop learning. New knowledge can change your life.

Audio Book: Mind Hacking Secrets: Overcome Self-Sabotaging Thinking, Improve Decision Making, Master Your Focus and Unlock Your Mind’s Limitless Potential (Power-Up Your Brain Book 1)

Book: Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear