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Jonathan Schultz: Curiosity Killed The Cat, But It Can Catapult Your Career

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(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.)

Think about this: some of the most exciting and innovative ideas have sparked from curiosity. So, why not be more curious at work? Why not ask more questions and dig deeper? The impulse to learn more and explore new possibilities can catapult your career into a higher level.

Curiosity allows leaders to gain more respect from their team and inspires team members to develop more trusting and collaborative relationships with their coworkers. Here are a few benefits being curious could have on your career.

#1. MORE POSITIVE CHANGES

In both creative and non-creative careers, encouraging teammates to be curious generates improvements in the workplace. Why is this? Simply because when we are faced with tough situations we often have to be more creative in implementing solutions. The answer isn’t so black and white, so we tap into our curiosity to see what other types of solutions will work. This results in positive changes in the workplace.

#2. REDUCES CONFLICT AMONGST TEAMS

Research from the Harvard Business Review found that curiosity encourages members of a team to put themselves in each other’s shoes and take an interest in each other’s ideas rather than only look at things through their perspective. This helps teams work together more smoothly and effectively. Conflicts are handled with less confrontation and more logic, helping teams achieve better overall results and reaching better solutions.

#3. BETTER COMMUNICATION

When you are willing to put yourself out there and offer ideas that have stemmed from your curiosity, you communicate better because you are being transparent. By being more open and less fearful of sharing your thoughts, you can grow. Think of how many ideas may not have come to fruition if the person had been too afraid to tell others what ideas they had? You don’t need to have a million-dollar idea every time, but you do need to let your curiosity propel you to share your thoughts with your team at work.

#4. FEWER ERRORS REGARDING DECISION-MAKING

According to research by the Harvard Business Review, when curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall victim to confirmation bias, which is essentially looking for data and information that backs up our beliefs rather than looking at the whole picture which includes evidence that we are wrong. Curiosity leads to alternative answers that may not be immediately available. If you look at all aspects of a situation and explore other options, you are likely to make fewer errors when making important decisions.

Your career will never grow if you continue to do what you are told and never ask questions. A company is only as good as it is challenged. Be curious, ask questions, challenge solutions. You never know what kinds of things you could accomplish just by testing the boundaries. Leaders never became leaders by staying in their comfort zones. If you continue to do the same thing, you will receive the same results. Step outside of the box and let your curiosity take over sometimes. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will give your career new life if you let it.

Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here

Personal Finance

Securing Credit? Importance Of A Personal Financial Statement

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If you, as an individual, are a salaried employee but now wish to start a business, then your personal financial statement will be the key to avail credit. You may not be entitled for a loan for business, as the eligibility criteria here underlines history and financial position of an existing business. Since, the business in question would be a start-up; you will have to depend on personal finances for the time being, as a means to fund the venture. It is however recommended to keep personal and business finances separate, in the long-run.

When providing monetary support to a new business, it is important for the fund-provider to understand your financial position, which is well-represented by your personal finance statement.

What Does a Personal Financial Statement Contain?

A personal financial statement reflects your financial health. It is a spreadsheet or a document that gives a breakdown of all assets, liabilities, and fiscal details.

  • This document also contains general information such as your name, address, etc.
  • The assets are detailed on the right side, while the liabilities are listed at the left side of the sheet.
  • Liabilities include credit card balance, a personal loan, mortgage, unpaid tax, and more.
  • Assets include amount of balance in bank accounts, trading accounts, retirement account balances, and similar information.
  • If you are married, then you can apply for a joint personal financial statement, which shows details of all debt incurred and owned assets, of both the involved persons.

What is excluded from a Personal Balance Sheet?

There are a few things, which personal financial statements do not show.

  • Business-related liabilities and assets do not surface in a personal financial statement.
  • This spreadsheet also excludes leases and rentals since the rented or leased assets are not under your ownership.
  • A personal balance sheet will exclude personal property such as household goods, furniture, and more, which cannot be sold off to repay a loan.
  • However, property that has significant value such as antiques, jewelry, etc, can be included, if the asset value of these items are verified for appraisal by a certified agency.

Analysis of Net Worth, Possibility of Availing Credit, and More

A personal financial statement thus basically shows your net worth, which is assets minus liabilities, and it holds a great value, when it comes to seeking loans.

  • Net worth translates as what you will have in cash if you sell off all the self-owned assets to repay debts.
  • If the financial statement shows debts as greater than assets, then your net worth will is a negative.
  • For instance, if the sum of your utility and credit bills, auto loan bills, mortgage bills, etc. sum up to be more than the cash of all the investments and real estate property you own, then your net worth is negative.
  • If the net worth shows as negative, you can file for bankruptcy protection to resolve some of the debts. It may prevent creditors from collecting outstanding debt by posing any financial threat or stress on you.
  • However, certain liabilities cannot be discharged, and these include alimony, taxes, child support, and more.

Thus, personal financial statements have a great impact, when it comes to securing funds to run a new business. The document allows banks/NBFCs to assess your financial situation so that they can take an informed credit decision. If your financial health is not up to the expectation, you may be given an option to provide a personal guarantee, pledge an asset, or co-apply for the loan.

How to Fund Your Start-up Business?

You can either apply for a property loan or a soft loan to arrange capital for the venture, or opt for a small cash loan or a short-term loan, until the business attains enough vintage and financial history, to shift to a business loan suited for only business purposes. Thus, by comparing personal financial statements over a time, you can track your financial health and monitor it closely to improve the same. You should keep a check on this document regularly, especially if you intend to avail credit for business needs.

What is a Business Financial Statement?

A financial statement of your company will list liabilities and assets specific to the business alone. It will depict the net worth of the company, and leave out your personal financial details. The financial statements of an organization, include income statements, profit and loss statements, proof of revenue generation over a specific time period, expenses and debts incurred, cash flow statements (indicated the amount of cash the business has), shareholder equity statements (indicate the performance of the company’s stock).

Thus, a personal and business finance statement are different from each other in lot many ways, though they serve the same purpose, which is to denote the financial position of an entity, be it an individual or a company. An organization’s financial statement comes in use when applying for a traditional business loan, which is the best way to finance your start-up initiative, after it attains at least 3-years vintage.

If you wish to secure a loan for your start-up business, do not hesitate to take support of your personal finance for the moment. And to avail monetary support via this route, you need to keep a regular check on your personal financial statement.

This article originally appeared on ValueWalk. Follow ValueWalk on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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Wealth Hacks

Liquid Woes: Here’s Why You Should Never Sit On Too Much Cash

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According to a recent NerdWallet survey, Americans sit on an average $32,286 in cash. Yet, a whopping 39% say they aren’t investing.

And yes, while nest egg is great, being too liquid also comes with a lot of downside. According to NerdWallet’s calculations, every $10,000 kept in cash over 30 years (vs. investing) comes out to $44,000 in lost returns.

“They’re potentially losing tens of thousands of dollars in compound interest,” financial expert Chris Hogan told FOX Business’ “Morning’s with Maria.”

Here’s why you should never sit on too much cash.

Interest rates (and inflation)

Interest rates are at an all-time low. Back in the day, 5% was common. These days, the average savings account offers a pathetic 0.6% return

Needless to say, those kind of rates won’t beat inflation over time. In other words, your money literally loses value just by sitting in your savings account. 

Despite this, the average saver—somehow—thinks it’s better to sit on the cash.

Of the participants in the study, 32% responded that they prefer to be able to access their money easily, so they choose to not invest. Another 28% said they didn’t know how to invest.

How much you should save

So what’s the alternative? Instead of having a nest egg, keep three to six months of expenses “parked in a money market account, not a savings account,” he said.

A money market account is basically a savings account, but you need at least $10,000 minimum deposit.

You can also consider moving it to a mutual funds or ETFs trading on the stock exchange, since most of them allow you to withdraw your funds anytime—and they offer much better returns than a savings account.

All in all, any cash over this 2% inflation threshold can be invested across various asset classes, most of which offer great returns on your investment.

How to choose an investment

The trick here is to research and invest in the funds that fit your bill and investment horizon.

The takeaway from this move is the massive compounding growth your investments will gain over time.

One of the best examples of this is Grace Groner’s, a regular American who bought three shares of Abbott for $180 back in 1935.

Due to compounded interest, the value grew to a $7M fortune less than seven decades later. Now that’s what you call a #WealthHack.

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Personal Finance

Video: A “How To” On Being Financially Responsible

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Let’s start the new year right by following these steps to being financially responsible and clinching the formula to build wealth.
 
Some of the philosophies presented in this video come from Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad Why do they not teach this in schools?

 

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