5 Surefire Ways to Reduce Job Stress

It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, or whether you’re in management or not, job stress affects everyone in the workforce at one point or another. In fact, according to this article from Forbes.com:



“The average business professional has 30 to 100 projects on their plate. Modern workers are interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day. And four out of 10 people working at large companies are experiencing a major corporate restructuring, and therefore facing uncertainly about their futures. This may be why more than 40% of adults say they lie awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day.”


Whether it’s the anxiety brought on by a looming deadline, frustrations of working with a disjointed team, or pressure brought on by a supervisor, job stress can come from a number of places and have far reaching impact. The good news? YOU control your stress levels. Easier said than done, sure. But it is true. In fact, here are 5 surefire ways to start reducing your job stress, and increasing your job satisfaction, now!

1. Breathe. Really, it’s that simple. Taking a deep breath not only gives you the pause you might need to gain clarity on a stressful situation, but it has been proven to have mental and physical benefits as well. By stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system (the part of your brain linked with calmness, and activities done while your body is at rest) deep breathing can help you restore a sense of balance and calm to tackle the next situation.

2. Manage your interruptions. You might not be able to fully control the number of times your day is interrupted, but you can control how you respond to those interruptions. There are probably a few serial interrupters in your day. Seek them out and try to schedule daily or weekly meetings to address their needs, eliminating the need for them to seek you out each and every time they need your input.

3. Take care of yourself. Job stress may be triggered by actions that take place at work, but you can manage healthier responses to these negative activities if you are taking care of yourself away from the job. Two easy places to start – eating healthy, well-balanced meals and getting enough sleep at night. If you’re well rested and nourished, you will be better prepared to handle mental and emotional stress on the job.

4. Stop doing it to yourself. If we’re honest with ourselves we can probably identify a handful of self-inflicted stress triggers. Are you adding extra undue pressure to complete a task under deadline? Are you holding yourself accountable for the actions of others on your team? There’s a fine line to challenging and stretching yourself in your job, and adding unnecessary and unhealthy stress. Take a look at your current projects and see if you can eliminate any stress you may be imposing.

5. Reevaluate your priorities. You will probably always have more to do in a given day than there are hours in the day. So prioritize your tasks. Understand that everything will get done, in due time, and give priority to the TRULY time sensitive or urgent tasks first. The simple task of organizing your to-do list will provide near-instant relief from an overwhelming day.

Want more DE-stressing strategies? Check out this Forbes.com article for 12 ways to eliminate stress on the job.

Get on the Fast Train: 5 Ways to Speed Up Your Success

BusinessMan2You know the old saying, “patience is a virtue”? Well, patience isn’t exactly a virtue shared by many would-be entrepreneurs. That same drive and laser-like focus shared by most successful entrepreneurs often runs in direct opposition to the ability to be patient, and simply wait for success to come. Naturally, these A-type personalities want to accelerate their growth, and look for ways to achieve success quickly. Like, yesterday. So if you share this same approach to your personal and professional growth, check out these 5 tips from the experts (adapted from positivelymagazine.com and positivityblog.com) on how to speed up your path to success:

  • Embrace Change. Get out of your comfort zone. Albert Einstein is credited as having said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So you want to reach your goals faster, do something different! If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, you probably are, so BE the change agent if necessary. Change cannot be feared if you want to accelerate your success.
  • Talk it Out. Seek out your trusted counselors for input and feedback on your plans. Don’t just look for the “yes” men or women in your life. Talk to the ones who will be honest, even if their opinions differ greatly from yours. You can also journal about your ideas and plans. This can help you gain clarity, and start to put together an organized and strategic plan for hitting your goals.
  • Think Positively. This extends beyond just thinking good thoughts. Successful people generally share a common trait of confidence, which starts with truly believing that you can accomplish your goals, and then staying committed to your plan to get there from here. Stay positive. Stay focused on the end goal. Stay committed to your plan.
  • Seek Out Challenges. Even if you haven’t yet started your entrepreneurial journey, and you’re still working your “day job” you can implement this tip. Simply look for opportunities to stretch yourself. Volunteer to be part of an assignment that’s outside of your wheelhouse. Ask to take lead on a project that you know will have a major impact on the company’s long term goals. Find ways to challenge yourself and grow your expertise.
  • Get Ahead of the Curve. Whatever industry you’re in, or want to be in, there is always a “next big thing” on the horizon. So find out what it is. Do your homework on the topic. Stay involved and try to learn as much as your can about the subject so you can help anticipate trends, and be part of the growth, not stuck in the mire of the past.

These are just 5 of our favorite tips. Check out the articles references above for these and more! You can even download a free guide titled Unleash the Corporate Superstar Inside You – 100 Ways to Get Noticed, Get Promoted and Get Ahead from PositivelyMagazine.com here.

Home Based Business Ideas for 2015

lacey color no backgroundOne of the main factors attracting potential business owners to the Club Z! tutoring model is that it is a nationally ranking, top home based business opportunity. A home based business offers its owner(s) freedom and flexibility that cannot be matched by a traditional 9-5 job. This doesn’t make the work easier in comparison; in fact, most home based business owners will attest that it requires more focus and determination to work from home than in a traditional office setting. But the advantages are numerous, and the environment is extremely inviting. So if working from home is at the top of your list when considering your next career path, here are a few (55 to be exact!) ideas from Entrepreneur.com (as adapted from 55 Surefire Home Based Businesses You Can Start for Under $5,000 by Entrepreneur Press & Cheryl Kimball (2009), available from Entrepreneur Press) to help get you on your way.

This list includes everything from pet sitting to accounting and everything in between. But if you’re passionate about education or leaving a lasting legacy in your community, you should consider the Club Z! franchise. Let the Club Z! experts show you how best to realize the benefits of running a home based business, while successfully supporting your personal, financial, and professional goals. Call 800-434-2582 for a FREE information package today.

Shark Tank May Be Fun to Watch, But It’s No Way to Start a Business

money-clip-art-9czpy7pcEShark Tank, a popular ABC television show that airs on Fridays, is exciting to watch! Entrepreneurs wishing to procure funding for their business must present their concept to a panel of “shark” investors. Those potential investors then ask questions and clarify details before deciding whether or not to make an offer of investment capital to fund the business, or opt out of the deal. When a deal is made, it’s hard not to feel happy for the business owner. But it also often makes would-be entrepreneurs feel like they’re missing an opportunity if they don’t follow a similar path and seek out venture capital. Although it makes for good television, seeking out venture capital to start or further your business is rarely a good idea.

Seems easy enough – prove your concept through sales and customer demand, ask people or firms with way more money than you to invest in your concept, and watch your revenues and profits soar! As they say, if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. So why isn’t it that easy? Here’s an article from Inc.com that sums up the major factors why venture capital is not usually a good option: http://www.inc.com/mark-peter-davis/why-you-should-not-raise-venture-capital-money.html. Among the reasons listed, perhaps the most definitive is the fact that  venture capital firms or investors typically require extremely large sales figures from your business (we’re talking millions or even billions) in order to make their investment pay off. Most new businesses are not in a position to realize those kinds of sales numbers quickly, or even at all. And that’s o.k. But it just means that venture capital is probably not a good fit for those businesses.

If your business isn’t generating revenue in the millions (or more!) and you need capital to grow, you can still seek investors but consider family, friends, colleagues, or other investors with lower required returns. Or talk to your local banks for lending options available to small and medium sized businesses. Seek out grant funding, if applicable. If you’re interested in purchasing a franchise, ask the franchisor about financing options. Bottom line: there are several ways to generate funding for your business without facing “sharks.”

Want to know more about Shark Tank that you might not already know (and may make you feel better about NOT having your business featured on the show)? Check out this blog from JasonCochran.com for an interesting read. I guess they don’t call it the Shark Tank for nothing!

Using the School Curriculum Gives Students a Jump Start


Club Z!’s business model offers several major advantages over the competition:

  • Low entry cost to join the franchise system
  • Low operational overhead
  • Home-based model
  • Top-notch franchise support
  • A National Advertising Fund and turn-key lead generation tools
  • Access to our preferred vendor network, a database of thousands of qualified tutors, and ongoing support resources
  • Services, especially SAT and ACT test prep, that are in high demand
  • High rate of word-of-mouth referral
  • Proprietary curriculum for 6 test prep and enrichment markets
  • Proven track record of success

This last one, our track record for student success, is perhaps the one we’re most proud of, because at the end of the day we are in the business of helping kids. In fact, our students jump an average of 2 letter grades after just 8 weeks of tutoring! But what makes our tutoring model so successful? One major reason is our focus on using the student’s classroom curriculum.

For a student who is struggling in the classroom, the mere thought of introducing a new curriculum is overwhelming and confusing. This is why Club Z! uses the student’s current classroom curriculum. We jump right to the heart of the issue, and give students strategies and tools to understand the material so they can excel in the classroom. This helps our students succeed in a much shorter time frame than if they’d been expected to learn from a different curriculum source. And when students experience success, their confidence soars! This is just one more reason why Club Z! is, and will continue to be, an industry leader.

The Best Advice from Top CEOs

lacey color no backgroundSo many people are interested in franchising because of the low risk, high reward model it offers. For an up front fee, potential franchisees can tap into years of experience and know-how to help them run a business. Most franchise models offer business plans to follow, and ongoing support to help guide a new owner every step of the way as he/she builds that business. The reason this becomes so attractive is that no one wants to go into business ownership blind. Being able to anticipate and plan ahead for challenges can be a game changer in terms of business longevity. So in the spirit of sharing business know-how, we thought we’d share this Fortune article with great advice from 40 of the world’s top business executives.

The list includes advice from high profile people like Warren Buffet, Chairman and CEO for Berkshire Hathaway, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of DreamWorks, as well as top execs at General Motors, CVS, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, PepsiCo, and Dow Chemical to name a few! Some of our favorite words of wisdom from the article include:

People can be bought with their pockets and they can be stimulated with their brains. But only if you win their hearts will they give you their fullest efforts driven by their passions.

– Andrew Liveris, Chairman, President, and CEO for Dow Chemical

If you don’t like the people or the products or services you work with, don’t stay! You will only be successful if you are passionate about what you are doing and enjoy the people you are doing it with.

– Susan Cameron, President and CEO for Reynolds American

Good leaders put their teams first and create an environment where employees feel empowered to share ideas and feedback. Invest in your people and they will be invested in your business.

– Michael F. Mahoney, President and CEO for Boston Scientific

Don’t worry too much about the material things. Be sure to experience life because this isn’t a dress rehearsal—it’s happening right now.

Joe Rigby, Chairman, President and CEO for Pepco Holdings

These are just a small sample of the sage advice contained in the article. The advice and guidance contained in the article are relevant, timely and designed to help budding entrepreneurs.  Definitely worth bookmarking!

Most Lucrative Businesses for 2015

profitAs a budding entrepreneur, you no doubt have your eyes and ears open for new and exciting opportunities. And for many of you, 2015 brought new resolutions to find or hone your passion, to make some career changes, and possibly even start your own business. If you’re truly serious about starting a business this year, you’ll want to check out these lists from Entrepreneur.com, which include most profitable types of small businesses and 5 fast growing industries ripe for entrepreneurs.

The Most Profitable Types of Small Businesses

5 Fast-Growing Industries Ripe for Entrepreneurs

Some of the most profitable business ideas included old standbys such as accounting, consulting, and real estate. But you may be surprised at the nods to health care and legal services on this list as well. Perhaps most interesting (at least to us!) was the fact that service-based businesses, such as Club Z!’s franchise opportunity, continue to thrive.  In fact, Jenna Weaver, one of the analysts that processed the data for the first report noted, “Service-based industries often have very healthy bottom lines,” she says. “Their overhead and equipment costs are often relatively low, and much of the time, it doesn’t take a lot of upfront investment to get started.”

And there was some cross over between the two lists – notably with health care and education.  But the fast-growing industries are pretty representative of today’s trends, with a focus on “green” or eco-friendly building, technology and software, and personal health and longevity.

Wherever your passion may lie, if you want to make changes in your personal and professional life this year, go out and make them happen!  Happy reading, entrepreneurs.


Is Now the Time to Stop Working an Unrewarding Job, and Start Your Own Business?

Sure, everyone has days where they just hate their job. Lack of recognition from your boss, never-ending workloads, uncooperative colleagues, unfair distribution of work – any number of things can lead to dissatisfaction in the workplace. In most cases, the feeling passes with a new day, a new project, or some other change in scenery. But sometimes, those feelings of discontent linger. They can turn into bitterness, anger, and even despair. Hating your job, alone, does not necessarily mean you’re the ideal business owner. But if you’re passionate about something, and your career objectives are not being met in your current job, maybe it’s time to start fresh. If you find yourself dreaming of leaving the rat race behind and pursuing business ownership, maybe now is the time!

Entrepreneur CoverThink you might be ready for a change? Check out this article from Entrepreneur magazine titled “50 Signs You Need to Start Your Own Business” and see how you stack up. The list ranges from personality characteristics such as being independent, organized, and passionate, to items related to your career field, such as limited job opportunities, labor force numbers, and potential revenue. Our personal favorite? Number 40:

40. You’re thinking, If not now, when? Procrastination may be the most fatal startup killer. Instead of dragging your feet, you could get the ball in motion for that business idea of yours right now.

Don’t let procrastination kill your business before it even begins. If you think business ownership is for you, take a step forward NOW. Don’t wait. As the famous quote from H. Jackson Brown, Jr. goes, “Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”

Why Salespeople Make the Best Franchise Owners

lacey color no backgroundOne of the best things about the Club Z! franchise model is that there is no required experience necessary. Our franchise owners come from a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. This has helped us to form a well-rounded network of franchisees, all of whom bring their knowledge and input to the table to help our franchise continue to grow. However, if we had to pick a single background or set of experiences that we have found helps our franchisees thrive, it would be a sales background.

Here’s why salespeople generally make the best franchise owners:

  1. They aren’t afraid of the word “no.” Rejection stings. Even the most seasoned sales staff feel badly when they get turned away from a sale. But a true sales professional is able to shake off the feeling quickly, and turn that into an increased sense of determination to get a “yes” on the next try. This is such a critical skill for any entrepreneur. You have to be resilient. Your “yes” is usually right around the corner, and if you give up early you’ll miss it! You have to learn to embrace the “no” as an opportunity to refine your pitch, and narrow your scope.
  2. They are adaptable. A sales professional will probably have to learn about several new products or services in their career. They have to understand what they sell, and they have to believe in it to really sell it well. This requires adaptability. Adaptability is a useful tool for franchise ownership as well. Being open-minded to new concepts, new strategies, and new products or services can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.
  3. They understand why the bottom line is important. There is an old adage about how what you bring home is far more important than what you take in; which is to say that even if your business is generating a lot of revenue, you can’t lose sight of profitability. Profitability, very generally speaking, is the difference between your expenses and your income – what you take home.  The most successful business owners understand that keeping expenses manageable, watching margins, and staying competitive in the marketplace are all factors that lead to success.  Bottom line, if you want your business (franchise, or otherwise) to remain viable, you have to be profitable.

These are only a few reasons why salespeople make good franchise owners. With a franchise concept, you can apply your sales skills to a proven business plan, and reap the rewards. If this sounds like something that interests you, you can contact Club Z!’s franchise development team at 800-434-2582.

Careers for Entrepreneurs that Leave a Real Legacy

For many Club Z! franchise owners, a primary factor in choosing to run a tutoring franchise is the opportunity to give back to the community they serve. It feels good to own your own business, but it feels really good when that business not only helps support you and your family, but also the many families who use your services. So if you’re looking for a career that leaves a legacy, consider the following options:

  1.  Teaching/tutoring – Helping kids go from struggling to thriving in school is so rewarding! IMG_4119Watching their confidence soar, and their attitudes improve (at school and at home), is such a joy. Knowing that your staff, your programs, and your commitment to helping each child succeed helped get them there – that’s priceless.
  2. Caretaker – This is a broad term that encompasses so many career choices: nurse, doctor, home health aide, certified nursing assistant, etc. For those with a heart to help others, care careers are incredibly fulfilling, and in most cases also lucrative. Business opportunities in health care abound – from non-medical home care companies like Acti-Kare which provides companion and personal care services, to those that specialize in medical, psychological, or other services.
  3. Social Work – Most social workers will attest to the fact that this can be an overwhelming and thankless career. But for the families, kids, and other community members you help, your job is so crucial, and can make such a positive, lasting impression on the lives of individuals who otherwise don’t have much to be positive for in their lives.
  4. Counselor – Whether at school, in the community, or through a mental health agency, counseling professionals have careers that leave lasting impacts on their clients. Careers in this field require advanced degrees and ongoing education to ensure that you are able to best support the clients you serve. But if you have a heart for helping, and the ability to be an empathetic and caring listener, this career field can be extremely rewarding.
  5. Public Safety Officials – This is another broad term which includes police officers, firefighters, EMT workers, dispatchers and other public safety officials. Not only are you a public servant giving back to your community with your time and efforts, but you also have the ability to leave a lasting mark on the people you help, and in many cases whose lives you save!

So whether you have an interest in helping kids, seniors, or the general public, there are a wide variety of career choices to help fulfill your desire to leave a legacy.