Want to Live a Long Life? Get a Positive Attitude!

You’ve probably heard over and over again that living a long life is caused by a good bunch of genetics. You might even figure that you probably don’t have the “proper genes” to live to be 100 years old or more.

Well, guess what? That whole way of thinking is starting to be sharply questioned and turned on its head!

Recent studies have shown that besides genetics a great deal of what keeps people alive for 100 years or more comes down to certain personality traits that they possess.

You read it right – PERSONALITY TRAITS!

Research is showing more and more that having a positive attitude and a sense of humor could play a pretty big role in helping you live a longer and healthier life.

Groups of centenarians who had participated in the studies have displayed other key traits besides learning to laugh and have a positive attitude. They were optimistic, easygoing, and extroverted, laugh more often than not, and express their emotions instead of bottling them up and letting them fester.

In addition, the participants were also more conscientious and less neurotic than many other Americans. But what does that even mean? Well, neurotic people tend to experience negative emotions more often than not, meaning that they respond emotionally (that is, negatively) to events that wouldn’t affect others. For example, stress and frustration to one who is more on the neurotic side would mean that minor setbacks such as the car being low on gas before going to work (and forgetting to fill up the day before), forgetting your lunch, or the dog having an accident in the house would appear to be hopelessly difficult obstacles. They may find themselves in a bad mood more often in not because they sweat the small stuff. Think of them as Drama Queens (or Drama Kings).

So what do you need to do to help yourself live a long, healthy, and happy life (well, besides eat well and exercise frequently)? It’s in the evidence – you need to get a positive attitude, pronto!

If you happen to be a bit on the negative or neurotic side, then don’t fret – you can get a positive attitude right now! It may be easier said than done, but you’ll find that practicing positive thinking and having a positive attitude will make you experience a happier life. Try to keep light of things and find humor in everything, be kind, conscientious, and work hard, too. This, along with eating well and getting exercise, will help ensure that you live a happy, healthy, long life.

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

10 Ways To Improve Your Day in Just 5 Minutes!

Five minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, but it can mean making your day that much better (or worse)! In just five minutes, you can turn your tough day around to become a great day for you! It can also lower your stress level, raise your energy level, lower your blood pressure, AND give you just the right amount of inspiration you need to get through the rest of your day!

Take five minutes to try out one, several, or all of these tips to help you have a better day!

Stretch – No need to get into the downward-facing dog position! All you need to do is stretch your arms and legs for just a few minutes. Stretching can help improve your flexibility and circulation, and it can help ease any muscle tightness you may be experiencing!

Prioritize – No one’s in a good mood when things are thrown about helter-skelter. Go ahead and take a few minutes to put together a to-do list and prioritize what you need to do in your day. Nibble away at your list bit by bit, and you will find that you will not only get more work done but you will also be in a more positive mood!

When Life Gives You Lemons… – Sniff them! You heard me. When you’re stressed out (and have some lemons around), go grab one and take a few sniffs. Not into lemons? That’s okay – basil, juniper, and lavender do just fine when it comes to lowering your stress levels!

Clean Off Your Desk – Losing focus? Getting more and more negative as the day progresses? Stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and clear off your desk! Take a few minutes to properly file stray papers on your desk, clean up your coffee mugs, and generally declutter your workspace. You’ll find that you’ll work better than you have all day!

Meditate – If you find that your stress level is going through the roof, take a few minutes to get into a comfortable position and meditate. Just focus on your breathing and work on getting your stress level down. If you’re not into meditation, you can also try praying or finding a short, powerful mantra to help you get through your day.

Have a Laugh – In a bad mood? Feel like you’ll never shake your frown off your face? Go ahead and take a little time find humor in something! Put on a favorite comedy CD, watch a few clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos, or find a funny video on YouTube to watch and laugh at! You’ll find that once you start laughing, your bad mood will be withering away in no time!

Play Your Favorite Tunes – Did you know that listening to your favorite music can help lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, and boost your mood? It’s true! Put on your favorite tunes and watch your bad mood melt away!

Relive a Memory – When times are tough, try to conjure up a happy memory to put a big smile on your face. Think about your wedding day, a favorite outing with your friends, or the best part of your most favorite vacation to get yourself in a better frame of mind.

Turn Your Electronics Off – Technology in large doses can zap your energy straight away. Take some time in your day to log off you computer and stay away from your smart phone. Better yet, if you can, try to get outside and get some sunshine! Remember, just because the world is turned on 24-7, you don’t have to be!

Practice Gratitude – Take a minute every day to write down whatever it is you’re grateful for – big or small! Keep photos of events or people you are grateful for on your desk, too. This can help you appreciate all the positives you experience in your life and drown out all the negatives.

I hope that these tips will help you have a more positive day! Remember, there are no bad days, just bad moments!

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

New School Year + New Positive Attitude = New, Successful You!

 

The beginning of a new school year can mean a lot of things to many different people, students and instructors alike. It can bring excitement and determination, or it can be a daunting day of dread that is marked square in the middle of August.

While a new school year can be nerve-racking to say the least, we should always approach the first day with zeal, motivation, and above all, a positive attitude. Check out my tips below for high school students, college students, and instructors of all kinds on how to have a successful school year this year!

High School Students

That Agenda is There For a Reason! You know that thick, small notebook that your teachers hand out to you and your classmates at the beginning of the school year? That’s an agenda, and it should be treated as your best friend. Use it to write down your homework assignments, upcoming events, games, practices, study sessions, and anything else you’ll need to remember. In order to be successful, you must stay on top of all of your homework and activities, so heed your teacher’s advice – write it down!

Don’t Procrastinate – Procrastination is tempting and sometimes hard to avoid. Do your best to avoid all procrastination, especially when it comes to tests, papers, and projects; it will definitely affect your grades! Be accustomed to getting things done early and out of the way!

Stay Healthy, Inside and Out – Your health is something to be cherished. Be sure that you eat a proper breakfast and lunch and eat, healthy, nutritious food to give you fuel throughout the day. Get enough exercise every day, and don’t go to bed late – sleep is as important as eating healthily! Most importantly – say no to drugs!

Balance Your School and Social Lives – School is incredibly important; you must do well in order to get into a good college, have a good resume, and land a good job afterward. While school should be your number one priority, don’t forget to get involved in some extracurricular activities! Sure, you can get straight A’s in all of your classes, but it won’t look as impressive when you’re not involved in anything at school. So go ahead – join band, the Spanish club, yearbook, or anything else you’d love to do!

Be Kind and Be Yourself – Try to be friends with everyone at your school, but remember to be yourself. Don’t conform to the crowds; have your own style and identity so you can leave your mark on your high school. You’ll be happier and you’ll more than likely gain respect from your peers and teachers.

College Students

Don’t Skip Class – Sure, it’s tempting to sleep in and wave off your early classes, but heed my advice – GO to your classes. You’ll learn the material so much better when you listen to your professor instead of interpreting a friend’s notes afterward. You’ll also be up-to-date with assignments, projects, quizzes, and exams.

Get Organized – College is so much different compared to high school. Your professors will more than likely not remind you of test dates and when your assignments are due, so it’s imperative that you become organized! Even a simple wall calendar, dry-erase markers, and colored sticky notes will do the trick.

Stay Well-Rounded – While college is a time to focus on your studies and your future, you should also get involved with your college or university by joining in some clubs and extracurricular activities that pique your interest! Play an intramural sport with your friends, join the marching band, or consider writing for the school paper! Good grades AND involvement in activities will look enticing on your resume to future employers!

Get Involved – Want a way to find friends, take your mind off classes, and enjoy college to the fullest? Get involved in your campus community! Check out the fraternities or sororities that interest you (and maybe align with your major), volunteer in and around the community, and lend your talents to the groups that could use it!

Make Friends – The friends you make in college will more than likely last you a lifetime, so be sure to make a lot of good friendships that are mutually supportive and nurturing. Spend time with your friends and make memories together during your time in college.

Instructors

Be Prepared – Preparation is key to a new school year! Try to take some time to organize your classroom space, resources, and materials, and do your best to create lesson plans for your classes. This organization and preparedness will help you attain a more positive attitude more easily, AND it will help alleviate a lot of undue stress.

Evaluate Last Year – Look at your plans from last year and ask yourself if they were effective or not. If not, make the changes accordingly. If your plans didn’t work out last year, don’t be discouraged. Remember, we must learn from our mistakes in order to be successful!

Don’t Complain – This goes double in front of students. Not only will you slide into a rotten mood, but you will also lower the morale of your students and others around you. Don’t fret about things, especially if you can’t change them – it will all work out for the best.

Build Positive Relationships – A positive relationship with your students and their families is crucial to good classroom management and academic success, so during the first week, take the initiative to get to know your students and what they’re interested in. Greet your students at the door every day, and try to remember their names as quickly as you can. This will help bring morale in your classroom up and may help keep it that way.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help – You won’t know the answers to every dilemma, especially if you’re a new teacher. Don’t let your pride stand in your way of bettering yourself for your sake and for your students’ sake. Ask veteran teachers for their opinion on the matter, whatever it is; they can be the best resource you could possibly have!

I hope that you have a wonderful school year this year, whether you’re a teacher or student. Remember to stay positive and focus on the good, and the future is limitless!

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

Are You Not Finding a Job? Or Are Future Employers Running Away From You?

We all know that the current economy isn’t like the economy of a decade ago (or even five years ago). We know of friends, neighbors, or even our own family members who can’t seem to land a job no matter how hard they try or what they do.

Perhaps it’s not that the ones you care about can’t FIND a job. Maybe the employers just don’t like what they see on their social networking pages.

Like it or not, employers are using social media more and more for checking out job candidates to see if they’re the best for the position available. In fact, according to a recently published study, 92% of employers are currently using or will be using social media for hiring this year.

So what will employers be looking for on your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles? Here are some qualities that employers are keeping their eyes peeled for:

You Have a Positive Nature – Status updates that are negative in tone can turn off some employers, especially if it’s constant. After all, who wants to work with someone who’s going to do nothing but complain all the time? If you tend to have positive status updates or a positive outlook on life, you will seem more appealing to employers.

You’re Honest and Clean – Lying about your qualifications and abusing drugs and alcohol are big no-noes in the working world. This goes for pictures that include alcohol or drugs as well. Bad-mouthing your former employers is also seen as a huge turn-off to many employers. Remember – keep it honest, and keep it clean.

You Volunteer – If you volunteer in your spare time, then don’t be afraid to tell the world once in a while or put it in your profile information! Employers tend to love those who volunteer because they view that person as having a kind, caring, and selfless nature (and maybe that nature will carry over into that person’s day job, too!).

Here are some qualities or actions that are posted on social media that could cause your potential employer to turn and run the other way (quickly!):

Your Posts are Explicit in Nature – References to illicit drugs, mentions of alcohol consumption, and posts that are sexual in nature tend to be viewed in a very negative manner by a large majority of employers, which leads to a lack of a job in the future.

You Disregard Using Proper Grammar – You may have graduated with honors from college recently, but if your updates and content are all riddled with grammatical errors and misspellings, this could spell disaster to your potential employer.

You Post Suggestive Pictures – If the photos you post show any drugs, alcohol consumption, or anything suggestive or sexual in nature, your potential employer might think that you have yet to mature and aren’t qualified for the job. I suggest that you refrain from posting pictures of you enjoying an alcoholic beverage, especially if you’re underage.

Remember, your social networks give the world a glimpse of who you are, and this includes any and all future employers. Even if you don’t give out your social networking information, your potential boss will look you up anyway. Keep in mind that they are very likely to scope out your profiles, especially if they need to weed out some candidates from the opening.

Think you don’t need to be on social media? Think again. If employers notice that you aren’t on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, they will not only think that you’re outdated, but they might also suspect that you may be hiding something, which puts you in an untrustworthy light.

So how comfortable would you be if your employer or future employer looked you up and started raking through your social media accounts?

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

Is 24 Hours in a Day Not Enough?

Have you ever wished the clock would stop ticking? Are you constantly forgetting everything in your life?  Do you have trouble finding things?

If this sounds like you, don’t worry – you are like most of the human population! In fact, according to the American Demographics Society, Americans waste 9,000,000 hours per day searching for misplaced items.

In today’s world, it is hard to find time to manage time. However, it is well worth it when it is done. Time management is actually something you want to take slowly to do it right. Try this time management quiz to see where you stand.

How did you do?  Now it is time to create goals to help yourself use your time wisely. Once you create a goal, you will be able to nip running late for appointments, forgetting stuff, and undue stress in the bud!

“Sounds wonderful, Dawn, but how do you do such a thing?” you ask.

Ideally, you should create long-term and short-term goals. Your long-term goal may be to organize your entire house while your short-term goal may be to organize the garage. It is important to have both types of goals because the short-term successes keep you positive. When you finish the garage, you will feel HAPPY! This boost of happiness is the kick you need to keep moving from room to room, and before you know it, your long-term goal will be complete!

To start your goal, try these simple organization and time management tips to gain more time in your day, eliminate stress, and save money.

1.     Start small – If your life is extremely disorganized, don’t try to overcome it all at once!  Maybe try organizing the top of your desk, and then tomorrow expand to the inside of your desk.

2.     Put it away NOW – Done using something? Put it away right now, no exceptions. If you don’t put things back where they belong right away, a big mess can sneak up on you. One shirt on the floor may not seem like a big deal, but soon you won’t be able to see the floor!

3.     Create habits – Try to make a routine for laundry, errands, finances, checking email, and well, pretty much everything.  You can optimize your life if you know what you have to do and you know when you’re going to do it. Try writing these habits on a calendar.

4.     Stay focused with to-do lists – Sticky notes are a man’s (and woman’s) best friend. I start my day with a list of tasks I want to complete, and this helps me stay focused. Plus, always prioritize and put the most important thing first on the to-do list to have done.

5.     Wake up early – Don’t be a bed bum! Waking up early (say, 5-6 a.m.) improves your productivity and quality of life. I feel it’s because when you wake up early, your mindset is already set to continue the momentum proactively throughout the day.

6.     Reduce the time you spend on chat programs – I realized having chat programs open at default resulted in a lot of wasted time. Try disabling the auto start-up option in the chat programs to keep yourself on task.

Imagine how great you will feel when you are organized. You will…

·      Enjoy your family more

·      Reduce your forgetfulness

·      Find bonus hours in your day

·      Locate your belongings quickly and easily

·      Arrive early to appointments

Twenty-four hours a day may not be enough for the human population, but now you have an advantage – time management. By setting goals and using the tips given, you can conquer time and set your own watch, leading you to live a happier, more positive life!

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit http://www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

My Pedicure Experience – Relaxing to Ridiculous!

My pedicure might be one of my favorite hours. It is not so much the relaxation (you know that I can’t just sit there – I am working!) but how nice the outcome is with some freshly painted nails and smooth feet.

My recent pedicure started off well. The staff introduced themselves, gathered the tools they needed, asked what type of pedicure I wanted, and got to work.

Then it happened – the staff member’s (the one who was giving me a pedicure) cell phone beeped with a text.

She hid her phone from her boss to read the text. Whatever it said clearly made her angry! She continued to scrape my feet and boom! Another text! She again picked up her phone, read it and, get ready for this – she sent a text back!

So, back to my feet she went AGAIN. About twenty seconds later her phone beeped again, and she stopped (in mid toe), picked up her phone, and went out front.

No explanation. NOTHING.

So, I sat there, for ten (yes, ten) minutes and she was NOWHERE to be found.

I caught the owner’s eye and gesticulated “Where did she go?” with my hands. Clearly, the owner had not seen her leave. So in a different language, she asked the staff where she went. After she received a response, she waited for another employee to finish with another customer and had her finish my pedicure.

I never saw my original girl again.

On the way out the owner asked if everything was okay and also said she was sorry for the confusion. I am not convinced there was confusion as much as horrible customer service. Although I absolutely love going to this particular salon, I have not been back. It has really just left a terrible taste in my mouth.

What would you have done differently?

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit http://www.dawnmushill.com or email me at dawn@dawnmushill.com.  Make it a great day!

Need a New Audiobook? I’ve Got What You’re Looking For!

 

You know, it’s nearly summertime, and you know what that means – people will be relaxing and going on vacation or simply taking spontaneous road trips to a fun destination.

Sometimes the fun journey can become long and monotonous, and you may find yourself yawing and nearly falling asleep at the wheel as the road before you goes on and on, and your however many CDs that you burned keep rotating over and over and over (yawn!).

Well, instead of listening and hearing the same songs get played continuously until your ears bleed, why not catch up on your reading? No, I’m not talking about reading a novel while you drive (Don’t even get any ideas!)! I’m talking about investing in a good audiobook to keep you company on the road!

In fact, while you’re at it, why not invest in a good audiobook that will make you laugh, make you think, and help you improve your attitude?

That’s where I step in!

My very first published book, Customer Service and Beyond … It Is All About the Wow!, is now available as an audiobook!

What’s that? You’re not taking a road trip anytime soon because work is too hectic? No problem! I’m happy to inform you that you don’t need to be going on vacation anywhere to listen to my audiobook. Heck, if you want, you can simply play the audiobook while you relax at home with your feet up and a glass of wine in your hand.

Though, really, listening to this audiobook on your daily drive to work might be the best thing for you to do for yourself, your future, and your job.

Why? Well, in the audiobook, I discuss all sorts of issues from exemplary and poor customer service tips and stories to changing your negative notions to a positive attitude and so much more! My stories and encounters are bound to keep you laughing, and when you hear me talk about all of my tips for providing excellent customer service or obtaining a more positive mindset, well, it sure could turn your day around!

Who knows? Even your boss might be impressed…

So how can you order this super-cool audiobook? It’s easy! All you have to do is email me at dawn@customerserviceandbeyond.com! You can also pick up your copy of the audiobook (or even the real thing!) at the Troy/Maryville Area Chamber of Commerce in Troy, Illinois, or at Sue’s Corner in Granite City. Easier still, you can order your copy from my website.

So what are you waiting for? Brighten your day and better your attitude and customer service by ordering my audiobook TODAY!

Hey, Olive Garden! YOU Get It!

Hey, Olive Garden! YOU Get It!It’s true – there is the ULTIMATE dining experience out there just for you!

We decided to stop for a quick bite to eat on the way home from Madison, Wisconsin.  There happened to be an Olive Garden along the highway, so we thought it would be a great stop.

Who would have thought just pulling into the parking lot that I would be blogging about this fantastic experience?

As we entered the lobby, an individual with the biggest smile you have ever seen greeted us with, “Hello, welcome to Olive Garden!”  Her tone of voice was inviting, and she was ready to serve us. She asked how many and I said, “Two.”

As we walked to the table, she asked if we have ever been to an Olive Garden, and I said, “Yes, at home.” She asked where “home” was and I said, “St. Louis.”

“Oh,” she said, “I have driven through there! What a great city! Your server (she stated the name) will be with you very shortly.”  Within ten seconds, our server approached us with a wonderful greeting, eye contact, and a very friendly aura about her. It almost made me want to pull out a chair and have her join us.

She said, “So you’re from St. Louis?”

WOW! An actual communication between two staff members!

She explained that she had driven through there many years ago.  She took our order and then, of course, brought us some nice fresh bread.

We were also intrigued by her conversation with the table behind us.  They were also traveling northbound.  There was light discussion on traveling, and then the waitress brought out to-go cups and tightly packed food, commenting, “Now you are going to need this for the ride, so I have packed some extra plastic ware as well as extra ice in your cups.  Be safe and on your way back through town, consider stopping by to see us again!”

Our food came, and it was perfect.  She slid in with some extra Parmesan cheese and plenty of drink refills.  I asked for a to-go box and believe it or not, it was not the same conversation she had with them.

Here is what she said – “So you have a bit of a drive back to St. Louis.  Did you want to take home some dessert to have something to look forward to at the end of your long trip? Or how about some to-go drinks?”

Okay, she had me!

After she brought the bill, I explained to her that every single interaction we had within the last hour at Olive Garden was unbelievable.  She smiled and said, “We want every experience to be fantastic.”

On the way out I stopped and asked the front desk staff member for the manager.  When the manager came out, I shook his hand and told him what I do for a living.  He smiled and said how happy he was that they had exceeded our expectations.  I promised him that I would blog about him and here it is!

Olive Garden – YOU get it!

What Not To Wear (and What To Wear) For Your Next Interview!

May is finally here, and that means that in high schools, colleges, and universities throughout the nation will be holding graduation ceremonies for all of their hard-working graduates. The students will be released into the real world either to further their education or to obtain a job.

If you’re about to graduate and are thinking about finding a job, you may be thinking, “Hey, I got through my Anatomy & Physiology/Spanish IV/Calculus/rocket science class with no problem. This should be a cinch!”

Let me tell you – the job market may be getting a little bit better than it was this time four years ago, but don’t let that fool you. It’s still tough to get a job out there, and with the economy still being where it is today, employers are being ruthlessly selective about whom they choose to be part of their team. These days, the goal of companies is to get as much work done as quickly as possible and for the least amount of money.

What does that mean for you? That means you need to be on your A-game to land a job. And that means (besides having the skills and the experience you need to get in) that you need to dress for success to land that job of yours!

“Oh, but c’mon, Dawn! What about the whole ‘beauty-is-in-the-inside thing’? I’ve got the skills and know-how to get this gig!”

Wrong, my friend!

First impressions these days are everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. In fact, did you know that it takes only three, count ‘em, THREE seconds to make a good first impression with your potential employer? And while your resume, skill set, and experience are all important, they have less power than you may think during the initial hiring process. Why? Because the first thing people will notice about you is your appearance!

Just keep this in mind – you can say all the right things and do all the right things, but if you’re not dressed well for your interview, you will NOT get the job when you’re compared to a lot of other perfectly capable people who are dressed better than you.

So with that in mind, here is a short list of DOs and DON’Ts from me to you! That’s right – I’m gonna go Stacy London and Clinton Kelly on you here! Check out these tips for success in your interview!

DO dress conservatively for your interview. By dressing conservatively, you are showing that you are making an effort and that you are respectful, polite, and mean business.

DON’T wear clothes that are too tight, too loose, or too casual. It will make you look sloppy and lazy.

DO choose an outfit that is customary to your industry. If you’re dressing for a conservative business, don a matching skirt or pantsuit with pantyhose if you’re a woman, and choose close-toed shoes. If you’re interviewing for a public relations or Internet gig, ditch the suits and choose a trendier outfit complete with a button-down shirt, a pair of nice slacks, and sling-back heels.

DON’T show any cleavage! Ladies, this is a big must for you! Avoid wearing see-through garments or anything that gives you an air of sexiness (fishnet stockings, anyone?). It’s not a question of not deserving to look sexy more as a assertion of you’re carrying the message that you feel the way to win the job is by relying on your looks. Save your sexy clothes for the weekend and get serious!

DO invest in a conservative two-piece business suit (or two). Try to get a solid black, dark blue, or gray suit.

DON’T wear too much jewelry. Avoid wearing multiple accessories and bright colors. One ring per hand is more than enough for a man and for a woman (and yes, you can wear your watch). Also, if you wear earrings, men, take them out. In the same way, women, wear only one set of earrings and avoid large, ostentatious jewelry.

DO wear clean, polished, and conservative shoes. Ladies, choose shoes with a conservative heel. Men, choose dark lace-up shoes with dark socks.

DON’T carry a purse, ladies. Use a briefcase instead. If you really must have a purse with you, then use a small one.

DO have a well-groomed hairstyle. Get a haircut and a fresh shave. If you have facial hair, be sure to keep it neat and trimmed.

DON’T fiddle with your hair during the interview. You’re not only showing that you’re not serious about the interview, but you’re also conveying that you’re nervous and unsure of yourself.

DO keep your fingernails neat and trimmed. If you must wear nail polish, use clear or a conservative color such as a nude or a muted tone of pink or red.

DON’T bathe in cologne or perfume. A small sprinkling is acceptable, but nobody likes to walk into a cloud of cologne or perfume!

DO cover any and all visible body piercings (nose rings, eyebrow rings, etc.) and your tattoos. They are seen as unprofessional.

DON’T pile on your makeup, ladies. Simple and small amounts of makeup are just fine, but please don’t look like a clown (unless, of course, you’re trying to snag a job as a clown!).

DO leave your gum, candy, cigarettes, and cell phone behind.

DON’T answer your cell phone during the interview! This should be a no-brainer, but it needs to be stated regardless!

Remember to keep calm, dress your best, and WOW your interviewers! If you follow these tips, you are bound to do well in all of your interviews. Best of luck!

Humor – Good For The Soul AND For Your Business!

There’s no doubt about it – humor is definitely good for the soul.

In fact, studies have been showing that a healthy daily dose of hearty laughter in your life will do wonders for your physical health and mental health, too! Laughing puts us in a positive mood, gives us a fresh perspective, and can even burn calories!

Did you know that humor and laughter even have a place in the workforce?

I appreciate a good dose of humor in places of business. It can calm down a nervous customer, bring a customer out of a negative or depressed mood, and it can easily keep your customers coming back for more.

For example, during a lengthy hospitalization, my dad was having a problem with persistently low blood pressure. For two nights, we had struggled to keep it over 75.

One night the nurse came into his room and said, “Mr. Johnson, I just don’t know what I am going to do with you. You know, we really need to get this blood pressure up. If we can’t, I’m going to have to do something drastic.” Everyone in the room froze. She then said, “If we can’t get it any higher, I’m just going to have to show you your hospital bill. I know that will definitely get it up!” We all laughed, even my Dad, and we felt the first sense of relief since he’d been admitted.

There is room for humor in almost every industry, in most situations. Humor helps create an atmosphere of comfort, familiarity, and friendship. All of these elements are necessary for a successful business relationship with your customers.

Here’s another example of humor in the workplace – one local construction company gives a fortune cookie to each of their customers, but instead of the typical fortune or saying, inside the cookie is a joke. The company rep whom I spoke with said that their own workers never hesitate to ask, “Aren’t you going to give me MY fortune cookie? I could use a good laugh, too!”

You can easily keep your customers coming back to you when you use humor in your business dealings with them. The key to success is to balance expectations with humor.

For example, if something goes wrong (maybe your customer’s order got mixed up or you accidentally tripped and wound up dropping the fresh baked goods your customer wanted), humor can help dispel the dissatisfaction and can help your customers let go of their woes and bring them into the present moment. Remember, laughter gives our brains a rush of feel-good endorphins!

Humor establishes rapport. Think about it – pretty much everyone loves a good laugh. Non-offensive, easy-going jokes can easily establish likeability and trust with a potential client. A joke related to a difficult situation can help disarm deliver “tough medicine” to a client (very much like the hospital experience with my dad that I mentioned above).

But be careful when you use humor in your workplace! Certain types of humor aren’t always appreciated (for example: sarcasm).

When you start a new relationship with a new customer, try using light humor or humor geared toward an existing situation. Veer away from jokes about politics or anything that could easily offend people (jokes about religion, “dirty” jokes, etc.). Gage how your customer reacts to your jokes, and try to take their reactions as a guide for your progress. Remember to do all that you can to make your customers fell as comfortable as possible so that they’ll come back to do business with you in the future!

What humor can you bring to your company?