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It’s Wednesday and you’re already fed up with your working week. Are you ready for a change? It’s time to start your own business. Have you been thinking about it, but still not sure you’re there yet? We, think you might be ready to take the plunge if you’re showing the signs below. Read below to see if you might be ready.

1.You’ve calculated the risk

You’ve already tested the water – you know what works. You may have even started your side hustle or maybe you’re making a few sales on your blog. Perhaps a number of people have said you need to take this passion of yours full-time. Start up’s are a risky business. Which is why researching your market, audience, challenges and potential rewards are key before you get started. You may already have expertise in the area you are going into or experience from an existing profession. This will lower your odds of failing as you’re more aware of your industry and market. You know it’s riskier than staying in your current job but where’s the fun in that?

2. You’re done with being a cog in a not so well oiled machine

Time and time again you hear of people who are not happy in their job. They feel like a cog in a machine, simply churning over the same work day in and day out.  Large companies who are unwilling to change for fear of disrupting their processes are not going to progress at the rate you are.  Start your own business and be your own boss- it can be so rewarding. Take control of the decisions you make, test out new ideas knowing that if it doesn’t work it’s ok- just go back to the drawing board. Your career is in your hands. You control how far you progress. You’re only limited by your own drive to succeed.

3. You want to love Monday mornings

You won’t be hitting that snooze button when you’re running your own company. Monday mornings will actually feel empowering as you can get back to working on what you love and start making progress. Think about it – you work for an average of 50 years of your life and spend about 40 hours a week working. So, why not love and enjoy that time and look back on your life thinking you lived it well, rather than counting the clock till you can go home each day. Make money from something you love.

4. You want to learn

If you start your own business it’s a constant learning curve as you discover all the things you don’t know (but need to figure out) in order to go forward. If you’re keen to start teaching yourself the tools you need to progress in your venture, then you’re ready. There are loads of great resources to follow that will teach you snippets of expertise to fill in the gaps that you currently have. To name a few, entrepreneur Tim Ferris and Hubspot are great to look into.

5. You’ve accepted failing is part of the journey

There is a difference between failing and being a failure. Failing is inevitable, it’s part of the path to learning. Your company fails when you have failed to acknowledge failing is something that needs addressing. Opportunities can arise when certain parts of your business may fail as you can assess areas you may have previously overlooked. In the words of Winston Churchill who, if he had given up when he hit failure, it would have resulted in us living in a very different world today – “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Start your own business.

Start your own business. Women holds a mug which read's 'Like A Boss'

I’ve suddenly started thinking a lot about travel recently. It could be the fact that it only got light a few hours ago and it’s already dark again (ie. It’s winter and it’s grim). It might also be the fact that one of my friends is currently planning the trip of a lifetime and I’m hella jealous. But either way, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately reading travel blogs and giving myself serious travel envy. Here are a few of the blogs I’ve been reading recently when I should have been doing my job:

Solo Sophie

Sophie Nadeau is a student living in London. She has a lot of love for Paris (and who doesn’t?) as well as writing about destinations all over the world. She started her blog by travelling solo all over the world and therefore is also a great example to hold up to your family when they start worrying about whether terrible things will happen when you go on holiday on your own.

Our Wild Abandon

Jill and Kyla from Our Wild Abandon are basically in the world to make everybody feel jealous of all of their awesome, aesthetically-perfect adventures. They travel around in a caravan full-time, and in the process they give us all something to look at on Instagram every morning when we’re on the train on the way to work. Jealous? Me? Of course not. I’ll work on it.

Travelling Weasels

Fun fact I learned from reading Travelling Weasels: You can find free accommodation in new places by house sitting. It (obviously) saves money, and means that you get to explore parts of cities that you otherwise might not. And yes, this is my way of telling the rest of Team HowNow that I’m leaving to become a house sitter as of right now. Bye guys.

Polka Dot Passport

Polka Dot Passport is a fantastic blog that teams inspiring posts about the destinations you’ve always wanted to visit with practical guidance about how to, y’know, actually do that. You’ll find everything from how to keep your money safe, to the Singaporean wildlife reserves you need to visit.

Just One Way Ticket

Just One Way Ticket combines practical things like reviews of the travel services we all might need one day, with envy-inducing pictures and posts from all around the world. Wherever you might want to go, the chances are Sab has been there first.

Port Lockroy

The inhabitants of Port Lockroy in Antarctica aren’t your typical travel bloggers, but that doesn’t mean their blog is any less fascinating. The site documents the lives of the people who staff the Port Lockroy post office (which is a thing) for a four month period each year. That’s a thing anybody can do and it sounds like an amazing experience and I desperately want it to be my turn one day. Just putting that out into the universe.

Van Dog Traveller

Van Dog Traveller is the tale of a man who gave up his day job, converted a white van into a super-cool living space, and drove around Europe, as well as exploring closer to home. One of the best things about this blog is that Mike makes the whole things seem so easy. I’ve never built a thing in my life, and I’m still convinced I’m about to follow in his footsteps. In a non-creepy way, of course.

Adventurous Kate

Adventurous Kate travelled full time for nearly five years. She visited over sixty countries. In fact, there’s a very impressive map which shows exactly where she’s been. She’s now dialled back on the constant travelling, but she’s still sharing tips, debunking myths, and offering all kinds of advice on her blog.

Don’t forget, there are tons of language classes on HowNow which could help you wherever you end up travelling. And if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and want to make money on the road, how about teaching classes on the go? Where are you heading next?

 

January 16th is Blue Monday. For the uninitiated, that means it’s the most miserable day of the year. And even if you weren’t already aware that it had a name, you might well have felt its effects. The holidays are over, it’s getting dark early, the weather is terrible… I could go on, but it’s just really bloody depressing. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s easy to bypass the Blue Monday feels, and we have a few ideas for how to do just that:

Plan a trip

What’s the best thing to do when it’s miserable, and dark, and everybody’s in a bad mood? Get away from it all! Whether you set off on a month-long European odyssey, or just spend a day exploring a nearby city, a change of scene can be just the thing to give you a new perspective. Even just booking a trip and getting yourself prepared ahead of time can blow away the Blue Monday blues.

Relax

Another thing that makes Blue Monday the beast that it is is the fact that you’re probably still catching up on work. Things pile up over the Christmas break and it’s almost enough to make you wish you’d never been away. But no more thinking like that, please. Take some time out, practice some breathing, even try some meditation. Even twenty minutes can be enough to remind you that there’s life beyond your overloaded in tray.

Get moving

Exercise has loads of benefits, one of the main ones being the ability to make you feel happier. You gotta love those endorphins. Make sure you get your fix on Blue Monday and you’ll sail through the day. The good news is you don’t even have to drag yourself to the gym if it’s cold out. Try anything from yoga to belly dance right from the comfort of your own home.

Express yourself

There’s nothing to be gained by keeping your feelings bottled up. It’ll just make you more likely to want to punch someone in the back of the head when they’re walking too slowly in front of you on the way home and- Ahem. OK, maybe that’s my personal issue. But the point still stands. It’s easy to let your emotions get the better of you if you don’t find a way to release them. So we recommend doing that.

Do something creative

As well as being a way to express yourself, getting creative can help you let go of Blue Monday by making you feel productive. Because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing in the world better than feeling productive. You might choose to learn to draw, or to sew, or any number of other creative pursuits, but whatever you choose it’ll help you to forget about feeling stressed.

Take action

At the heart of all of this Blue Monday talk is one question. Why is it so depressing? If it’s more than just the weather, and you’ve found yourself surrounded by work you no longer care about, maybe it’s time to do something drastic. How about starting your own business? Even becoming your own boss full time? It’s a way to bring back the passion to your life which should, in turn, help to banish the blues.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice that we’ve covered the Monday blues before, but Blue Monday is like a regular Monday on speed. How will you be showing the demons who’s boss on January 16th?

It’s always difficult to decide whether we should take the leap and turn our passion into profit. Work takes up a lot of our time, but more often than not it’s the things we do in the spare hours before, after, and at weekends that really make us happy. You might be an accountant with a penchant for painting, a barista who hula hoops on the side, or maybe you work in sales and have colleagues queuing up for your cupcakes. But what if you don’t want to do it on the side any more?

The option that a lot of people choose when they decide to start turning their passion into profit is to teach. Teaching your hobby can be really rewarding. It’s a great way to meet new people who might be into the same kind of thing that you are, or to pass on what you know to total beginners who end up loving the thing you love too. It can be a daunting prospect, but we’ve put together a few tips to help you get started.

Think about how it could fit in

I’m not suggesting that you jack in your high-flying career in neurosurgery straight away. In fact, as a high-flying neurosurgeon, you’re probably smart enough to realise that. I’m sorry for insulting your intelligence. It might be that you don’t want to teach full time. You might just want a little Saturday gig to make a bit of pocket money. Or you might have a total career overhaul and world domination in your sights. Anything goes. Plus, if you decide to teach online you’ll have way less to organise before you can begin.

Do your research

Maybe you have a friend or acquaintance who’s already teaching something. Awesome. Take them for a coffee and have a chat. It’s amazing how good meeting an actual person who’s done the actual thing you actually want to do can make you feel. You might just realise that it’s a totally do-able thing for a person to manage. If you don’t have a useful friend, reach out to other people who run classes. It’s amazing how many people are willing to meet up if there’s a free coffee in it for them. If you can’t meet up with someone in person, we have this super-cool thing called ‘the internet’ now, and you’re bound to find people who are willing to share tips if you look hard enough.

Try holding a test workshop

Before you take to the internet, gather a group of your nicest, least sarcastic friends, and try out your ideas on them. If you want to teach a specific craft, for example, you can make sure you’re able to explain the stages as easily as possible. You can also use your willing volunteers to try out yoga routines, dance steps, or anything else. You’ll get feedback on what you could do better, as well as a chance to practice being in front of real people who view you as an authority figure.

Don’t be freaked out by practical considerations

Yes. You will need a plan. You’ll need a webcam. You’ll need to be able to stand in front of a camera and tell up to ten people what to do. The likelihood is that the people who already do this are no cleverer than you, and they all managed, so you know it’s possible. Make a list of everything you’ve found out in your research that you need to organise, and then work through it point by point. Try not to skip ahead or let yourself get overwhelmed. Point by point. That’s all you need to remember.

Take the plunge

Sometimes this is the hardest part. You’ve done all the legwork and you’re totally ready. You’ve got everything you need. You’re awesome, basically. You’re an organisational wizard. It would be so easy to stop at this point. If you stop now you’ll have a 100% success rate and never have to face failure. But this is the time to take a deep breath and dive in to actually teaching strangers how to do the thing that you love to do. After all, you’ve come this far. Every class you teach might not be perfect. You might have no-shows or uncooperative students. Those things happen, and they happen to everyone. We guarantee the good will outweigh the bad, though. You’ll feel the joy that only comes from sharing something you love with other people, and watching them fall in love with it too. You’ll meet new people. And most of all, you’ll be able to go to sleep at night knowing that, for once in your life, you put yourself out there and made it work.

passion

So. Real talk. Do you fancy sharing your passion whilst making money? check out HowNow and starting earning from the thing you love doing. All you need to do is bring your passion. Team HowNow can bring the organisation, and we’ll meet you on the internet.

Italy is great. It’s a land of pasta, and pizza, and wine… There’s probably more to it than that, but those are the ones that stick out. On top of good food and brilliant culture the Italian language also has some great words that don’t have an easy English translation. However, now that we know them, we can’t believe they’re not getting used more. Come on, Britain. If we can add the word ‘moobs’ to our dictionary, surely we slip some of these in too?

1. Culaccio

You know that really annoying ring that gets left by a cold glass on a hot day? That’s a culaccio. We can only imagine that houseproud Italian people have a much easier time of yelling at guests who refuse to use a coaster.

2. Abbiocco

This word basically translates as ‘the drowsiness you feel after a big meal’. It pretty much just describes the whole of Christmas day. Or, indeed, any lazy Sunday. It’s something we’ve all felt, and it’s definitely something that Italy is right in having a word for. They know what’s up over there.

3. Gattara

An elderly woman who cares for stray cats. Or, in other words, what lots of us aspire to be when we grow up. They live the dream and, as such, they deserve to have an actual (sort-of) job title.

4. Cavoli Riscaldi

This literally means ‘reheated cabbage’. However, in Italy they also use this to mean an attempt to revive a a failed friendship or relationship. We love it so much more than we will ever love reheated cabbage. Or any of our exes.

5. Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco

This literally translates as ‘not all donuts come out with a hole’. As an Italian, you might use it to mean ‘not everything turns out as planned’. We love this for two reasons. Firstly, it is very philosophical and so are we. Secondly, it is all about donuts and so are we.

italian 2

If you fancy learning some more Italian phrases don’t forget to check out the Italian classes available on HowNow – after all, who doesn’t love learning from the comfort of their own home?

It’s very easy to get stuck in a job these days. Life is expensive, especially in big cities, so once you have a good income, the temptation is to cling on for dear life and never let go. But what if you’re not doing what you want to be doing with your life? We’re not saying you should go back to whatever 8-year-old you wanted to do as a job, because we can’t all be underwater treasure hunters. But if you’re unhappy where you currently are, it’s definitely worth taking steps towards changing career.

What do you want to do?

This is a big question, but once you’ve got the answer, you can start figuring out how to get there. If you’re a banker now, but you secretly want to run your own business, what specifically would your business be? Would it be a product for which you’d need to find a manufacturer? If so, start looking. Fancy getting into marketing? Find out what you’d need to have. If it’s social media experience, get on Twitter. Once you break your dream down far enough you might find that changing career looks more and more achievable. Eventually it just becomes a case of ticking off one thing after the other. Investigate training, funding, registering as self-employed – whatever it takes.

What kind of company do you want to work for?

If you’re serious about changing career it’ll help you later on if you start your research now. Aiming to become a freelancer? Learn exactly how to target your service to your demographic. If you’re aiming to work for a certain kind of company or one of a certain size, it’s worth knowing what kind of salary you could be making or specifically what kind of qualifications you might be expected to have.

What do you need?

Depending on what type of business you’re looking to start you might be expected to register with a regulator, or you might need to have certain certifications in place (hello, health and safety). Make a list and start doing the work to get those sorted. If you’re not taking the self-employed route but you know your dream company looks for something specific, learn that thing.  If you can make yourself look perfect on paper you stand a much better chance of being able to show them just how perfect you are in real life.

What needs to change in your personal life?

What kind of money will you be making after changing career? If you have to take a pay cut, are you in a position where you could afford to do that? Will you be working more, or from home, or having to travel? Would it be worth moving house, or cutting down on other expenditures? Or, maybe you’ll be raking for relatively little work in your new venture, in which case we congratulate you and would like to know exactly what it is you do and how we can get involved.

Do you have a ‘Get Fucked’ Fund?

If you’re desperately unhappy in your current job and it’s going to take a while to get where you really want to be, don’t be put off. Make a list of what you need to do, and work at it. At the very least, you’ll be able to tell yourself you’re on the way to making a positive change. In the meantime, if it’s all getting too much, it’s worth putting together what’s commonly called a ‘get fucked fund’. Basically, have enough money saved that if you woke up one day and just couldn’t take it any more, you could get out. You’d be able to tell your boss to- well, the name had to come from somewhere, right?

changing career

What we’re trying to say with all of this is that if you’re looking to make a change, it’s never too late. If you want some more specific advice, keep an eye on HowNow for experts who can help you make a change.