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6 Tips for Smashing Your Video Calls

Almost everyone uses video conferencing in their work now. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of video calls increased by 50%. So you can only imagine how prevalent it is now… But even if you’re a seasoned pro at video calls, we all know the struggle of fidgeting with settings, dealing with unexpected barking dogs, and finding the right angle that doesn’t make you look like you’re auditioning for a horror film. So here’s a round up of six awesome tips that will have you rocking those video calls like a champ.

In the simplest terms, a video call is like having a face-to-face conversation with someone without being in the same room. Imagine waving hello to your colleague from across town, or sharing a smile with a family member halfway across the globe. It’s like magic, but with Wi-Fi and a webcam.

You’re probably already familiar with some of the heavy lifters in the video conferencing world. Zoom has become practically a household name, synonymous with both work meetings and virtual happy hours. Then there’s Microsoft Teams, which is perfect for keeping the office chatter flowing. Google Meet is another favorite that integrates smoothly with your Google Calendar, and let’s not forget about Skype, the old pro that’s still hanging in there. Each of these platforms brings their own flavor to the table, whether it’s Zoom’s breakout rooms or Teams’ seamless collaboration with other Microsoft apps.

So now that you’ve got the lay of the land, are you ready to level up your video call game? Keep reading for those six awesome tips that will make you the superstar of any meeting!

1. Always Switch Your Video On

First things first, always switch that video on! It can be tempting to hide behind that static profile picture, especially on a day when you’re feeling more “just rolled out of bed” than “camera ready.” But turning your video on makes a world of difference. It’s the virtual equivalent of making eye contact — it builds rapport, shows you’re fully present, and adds a personal touch to the interaction. Plus, it’s way easier for everyone to pick up on those non-verbal cues, like a reassuring nod or a friendly smile. 90% of people feel they can get their point across better when they know they’re being seen.

2. Invest In A Good Camera

Let’s get real for a hot second — your laptop’s built-in camera just isn’t cutting it. If you’re serious about making a fantastic impression in your video calls, it’s time to invest in a good quality camera. Higher resolution equals clearer pictures, and that means people get to see you in all your professional glory. No more fuzzy images or weird pixilation making you look like you belong in an 8-bit video game. A great camera can make a huge difference, from showing off that winning smile to making sure your meaning isn’t lost in a blur. Invest in the best webcam you can to give a top impression of your professionalism.

3. Find Your Light

Alright, let’s talk lighting. Ever notice how some people look like they’re basking in the glow of the golden hour while others seem to be reporting live from a dark, mysterious cave? That’s the power of good lighting. You don’t need a fancy studio setup, but a little bit of effort can go a long way. Position a light source — like a desk lamp or, even better, natural sunlight — in front of you to illuminate your face. Avoid having strong light sources behind you; they’ll just turn you into a shadowy silhouette. And hey, if you want to get a little extra, consider investing in a ring light. They’re affordable and can make you look like a million bucks!

4. Keep Your Background in Check

Now let’s discuss what’s happening behind you. A messy background can be super distracting. Sure, we’ve all had that moment where a family member strolls by or your cat decides to make a cameo. While it’s endearing, it’s not super professional. You don’t need a celebrity-worthy home office, but tidying up and choosing a clean, simple backdrop can do wonders. No one needs to see your laundry pile or that half-eaten sandwich from lunch. If you’re really stuck, many video call platforms offer virtual backgrounds — just remember to pick something appropriate. Your colleagues and clients will appreciate the effort.

5. Mute When You’re Not Speaking

Accidental background noise is the bane of every video call. We’ve all been there: your dog suddenly discovers his inner wolf, your neighbor decides it’s the perfect time to mow the lawn, or maybe your partner starts practicing their one-person-band routine in the next room. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and hit that mute button when you’re not speaking. It’s a small gesture, but it keeps the meeting flowing smoothly and shows that you’re considerate of everyone’s focus and time. Plus, nothing shatters the vibe of a good presentation like the unexpected soundtrack of daily life.

6. Dress The Part

The appeal of working in your PJs is strong. But dressing the part for your video calls makes a big difference. Sure, you technically only need to worry about what’s visible on camera, but taking a few extra minutes to throw on a nice shirt or blouse can put you in the right mindset. It’s like flipping a switch from “lounge mode” to “work mode.” Plus, if you suddenly need to stand up for any reason, you won’t have to worry about concealing those fluffy bunny slippers. So go ahead, swap the loungewear for some real clothes, and feel the productivity boost that comes with looking the part!

With these tips up your sleeve, you’ll be ready to crush any video call like a pro!

How to Secure Investors and Success for Your Startup

With new startups popping up like mushrooms after the rain, an aspiring entrepreneur must understand how to go about securing funding. After all, the difference between a successful startup and a failed one is not only strength of concept but also execution. Without ample funds to provide the necessary support, even a fantastic business idea can fall flat. This article will look at the types of funding available and how you can attract the attention of investors.

Types of Funding for Startups

Bootstrapping: As the phrase “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” goes, this option is where founders rely only on themselves, using personal savings to start the company and growing it from revenue generated. This approach allows founders to retain full control and avoid debt but can limit growth potential due to the lack of capital.

Angel Investors: Angel investors are affluent individuals who invest in startups in exchange for equity or convertible debt. They often invest during the early stages and can offer valuable mentorship and networking opportunities. Angel investors are typically less risk-averse than institutional investors and can be more flexible with their terms.

Venture Capital (VC): Venture capital firms invest significant amounts of money in high-growth startups in exchange for equity. VCs typically seek businesses with substantial market potential and scalable business models. Venture capital Cyprus firms often focus on a particular market and can provide access to a range of expertise and resources that help new companies accelerate growth.

Bank Loans / Lines of Credit: Traditional financing through banks can be challenging due to stringent requirements. Loan applicants must possess a good credit rating and often have to put up collateral such as their personal property. However, there are more accessible funding options, such as Small Business Administration (SBA) loans or specialized credit union loans.

Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular because it allows startups to raise money from a large number of people. It can also act as a marketing tool that generates public interest and validates the business idea. Similarly, there are equity crowdfunding platforms like SeedInvest, where backers receive equity in the company.

How to Attract Investors

With so much competition for early-stage investment, entrepreneurs need to master how to attract investors and stand out from the crowd.

1. Develop a Compelling Value Proposition

A unique selling proposition articulates what makes your product or service unique and how it solves a specific problem better than existing solutions. A strong value proposition not only drives customer interest but also reassures investors of the market demand and the potential for growth. Show evidence that there is a real demand for your product; this can include customer testimonials, pilot program results, or early sales figures.

2. Build a Strong Business Model

Outline your revenue model clearly, explaining how your business makes money and the potential for profit. Multiple revenue streams make your business more attractive as it reduces dependency on a single source. Investors are also more interested in businesses that have the potential to grow. Highlight how your business model can scale—whether through market expansion, new products, or increased market penetration.

3. Assemble a Stellar Team

Showcase the experience and expertise of your founding team. Investors often invest in people, so a team with a proven track record can add to your company’s appeal. If you have industry experts or notable advisors on board, this can bolster your credibility. Furthermore, such advisors can provide strategic guidance and open doors to growth opportunities.

4. Demonstrate Traction

Traction refers to tangible evidence that your business is gaining momentum and proving its concept in the marketplace. Present key performance indicators like user growth, revenue, customer acquisition costs, and customer lifetime value. Highlight important milestones you have achieved, such as product launches, major partnerships, or significant user adoption rates.

5. Create a Professional Pitch Deck

The ideal pitch deck is clear, concise, and visually appealing. It should cover the problem, solution, market opportunity, business model, traction, team, and financials. Storytelling techniques will make your pitch more engaging. For instance, a compelling narrative will help investors connect with your vision and see the potential of your business.

6. Prepare for Tough Questions

Be prepared to discuss potential risks and how you plan to mitigate them. This shows investors that you have a realistic understanding of challenges and a plan in place to overcome them. Provide financial projections for the next three to five years and be ready to justify them as well. Remember that overly optimistic projections can undermine your credibility.

7. Network Strategically

It is unlikely that the first investor you approach will be the last one that you need. Participate in industry conferences, pitch competitions, and networking events to meet more potential investors and build relationships. Use platforms like LinkedIn, AngelList, and Crunchbase to connect with investors who are interested in your sector and stage of business. Do not be afraid to seek referrals from existing connections.


Building a successful startup takes more than just a great idea. You need solid financial backing to create a stable foundation and accelerate growth. Aside from having a unique product or service, you must also be able to reach potential investors and effectively communicate the potential of your business. Ultimately, these efforts will help you to attract the right investors and earn the funding needed for your startup to thrive and prosper.

The 3 Most Common Crimes Involving a Vehicle

Is your car your trusty sidekick? Kind of like a pal that’ll get you from point A to point B? Well, you’re probably also aware that vehicles are often at the center of some not-so-noble activities? It’s important to be aware of the darker side of the road. From sneaky car thefts to daring joyrides, you’ll find out more about what’s happening, why it matters, and how you can stay safe.

Did you know, in the good ol’ USA, there are a gobsmacking four million miles of roads crisscrossing the landscape? That’s enough to take you to the moon and back eight whole times! Meanwhile, these roads bear the weight of more than 276 million vehicles. Yep, that’s right — cars, trucks, and motorcycles galore. With over 230 million licensed drivers hitting the streets, it’s a bustling highway out there! So, while you’re part of this vast network, remember that the sheer volume of road warriors means staying alert and informed is more important than ever.

Unfortunately, vehicles can be involved in a smorgasbord of crimes. Here are some of the most common ones.

1. Car Theft

First off, let’s dive into the biggie: car theft. It’s a serious bummer when you walk out and realize your precious ride has vanished into thin air. And it happens more often than you might think. In the United States, a vehicle is stolen approximately every 36 seconds. Yep, you read that right. That’s a whole lot of cars going missing each day!

So, let’s talk penalties. If you’re caught red-handed trying to pinch someone else’s wheels, expect to face some hefty consequences. This includes potential arrest, charges of grand theft auto (not the video game, unfortunately), and several years of jail time if convicted. Plus, hefty fines and a criminal record to boot. It’s no joyride in the park, that’s for sure!

Alright, enough of the scary stats. Let’s pivot to the positive side of things: how you can protect yourself and avoid becoming a part of these statistics. First and foremost, always lock your car, even if you’re just running into a store for a quick errand. An unlocked car is like an open invitation. Next, invest in a good anti-theft device. Whether it’s a steering wheel lock, an alarm system, or a GPS tracker, any deterrent can make a potential thief think twice. And don’t forget about parking smart. Well-lit, busy areas are your best friends when it comes to keeping your car safe and sound.

2. Dangerous Driving and Accidents

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about something that’s not just about the car, but also about you and everyone else on the road — dangerous driving. Driving like you’re in a high-speed chase movie might look cool on the big screen, but in reality, it’s a recipe for disaster. Dangerous driving can lead to accidents where people get hurt, or worse. And let’s face it, nobody wants that on their conscience or their driving record.

Imagine this: you’re cruising down the highway, enjoying a sunny day, when someone zips past you like a bullet, weaving in and out of lanes. It’s not just annoying; it’s reckless. Dangerous driving includes speeding, tailgating, running red lights, and even street racing. If caught, you could be looking at some serious heat. We’re talking fines, losing your license, or even jail time. Yep, it’s that serious.

But sometimes, the worst happens, and a hit-and-run accident occurs. Picture this: you’re crossing the street and suddenly, out of nowhere, bam! You get hit by a car, and the driver speeds off into the distance instead of stopping to help. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Hit-and-run incidents are not only cowardly but also illegal. If you leave the scene of an accident, especially if someone is injured, the penalties are stiff. This includes heavy fines, potential jail time, and a permanent black mark on your driving record. Every hit and run attorney knows that the law takes this very seriously because everyone’s safety is on the line.

So, what’s a responsible road warrior like yourself to do? Firstly, always drive mindfully. Follow the speed limit and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. Remember, it’s better to be late than to never arrive at all. Secondly, if you’re involved in an accident, no matter how minor, stop and offer help. Call emergency services, and stay at the scene until help arrives. Being a good Samaritan can make all the difference.

3. Joyriding

Alright, let’s switch gears and zoom into the world of joyriding. Picture this: a group of thrill-seeking teens spots an unattended car with the keys still in the ignition. In their minds, it’s an irresistible invitation to indulge in a little high-octane adventure. Joyriding isn’t just a crime; it’s a wild ride that can lead to heaps of trouble — for both the car, its owner, and the joyriders themselves.

Sure, the idea of cruising through the streets with the wind in your hair might sound like a blast straight out of an action movie. But here’s the reality check: taking someone else’s car for a ‘joyride’ without permission is no laughing matter. Not only do you risk damaging the car (and potentially yourself in an accident), but there’s also the serious legal smackdown that follows. This includes charges of theft, potential arrests, a criminal record, and even juvenile detention or jail time. That’s right, it’s a full-speed ticket to a world of hurt.

So, how do you protect yourself and your car from ending up as the next joyride target? Start by keeping your keys close and never leaving them in the car, even if you’re just ducking into a shop for a minute. It’s just not worth the risk. Consider installing a visible anti-theft device; those steering wheel locks can do wonders in making your car less appealing to potential joyriders. And always, always park in well-lit areas with plenty of foot traffic. Your trustworthy steed deserves to be safe and sound until you’re ready to ride off into the sunset…or at least to your next destination.

Remember, staying smart and vigilant means you’re always in the driver’s seat when it comes to protecting your ride!

5 Essential Skills to Master for a Successful Digital Nomad Lifestyle

The appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle is captivating—working from exotic locations, setting your schedule, and experiencing new cultures. Sipping coffee in a Parisian café while finishing a project or attending a virtual meeting from a beachside bungalow in Bali is incredibly enticing. But being a successful digital nomad requires more than a laptop and a sense of adventure. It involves a specific set of skills that allow you to navigate the challenges of remote work, maintain productivity, and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of this lifestyle.

The digital nomad lifestyle means stepping out of the traditional office environment and into a world where your workspace is constantly changing. This dynamic way of living can be both exhilarating and scary. You must prepare to tackle internet issues, different time zones, and the occasional feelings of loneliness that can come from working independently.

You’ll need to manage your time effectively, communicate clearly across digital platforms, and adapt to new cultures and environments on the fly. For example, if you plan to work remotely from Canada, you might need to obtain a Canadian police check as part of the visa or work permit requirements. Being aware of these procedural necessities and planning accordingly is part of the preparation that ensures your digital nomad journey runs smoothly.

Here are five essential skills you must master to thrive as a digital nomad. Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker looking to get into full-time travel or someone dreaming of leaving the nine-to-five grind behind, these skills will supply you with the tools necessary to succeed in digital nomadism.

Remote Communication

One of the most crucial skills for digital nomads is effective remote communication. Since you’ll be working with clients, colleagues, and team members from various parts of the world, you need to be proficient in using tools like email, Slack, Zoom, and project management software. Clear, concise, and timely communication helps build trust and ensure smooth collaboration despite the physical distance.

Effective remote communication goes beyond just sending messages back and forth. It’s about conveying your ideas, feedback, and updates in a way that minimizes misunderstandings and fosters a sense of connection and teamwork. When working remotely, you need to be able to read body language and facial expressions, which often leads to misinterpretations. Mastering the art of clear and explicit communication becomes vital.

Time Management

Without the structure of a traditional office, effective time management becomes even more critical. As a digital nomad, you must juggle work, travel, and personal time, often across different time zones. Developing strong time management skills will help you maintain productivity while enjoying the freedom of this lifestyle. Effective time management is the backbone of a successful digital nomad life.

It ensures you can meet your work deadlines while exploring new destinations and cultures. Without it, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the demands of work and the desire to experience your new surroundings, leading to burnout or underperformance. Establishing a daily routine can provide the structure you need to stay productive. Set specific hours for work, breaks, and personal time. Consistency is key; try to start and end your workday simultaneously each day, regardless of your location.

Tech Savvy 

Being tech-savvy is non-negotiable for digital nomads. You should be comfortable with various software and tools that support remote work. You should also be able to troubleshoot everyday tech issues, as you won’t always have immediate access to IT support. Embracing and mastering technology enhances your productivity and ensures you can work seamlessly anywhere worldwide.

In the digital nomad lifestyle, your devices and software are your primary tools for staying connected, managing tasks, and delivering work. The ability to effectively use and troubleshoot technology can make the difference between a smooth workday and a frustrating one.

Regularly updating your software and tools is necessary for security and optimal performance. This includes operating systems, antivirus programs, and the specific applications you use for work. Keeping everything updated helps protect your data and ensure your tools run smoothly.


Living and working in different environments requires a high degree of adaptability. From internet speeds to cultural differences and unexpected travel disruptions, you need to be able to adjust quickly and find solutions to new challenges. Adaptability is a valuable skill for digital nomads, enabling them to thrive in different circumstances and make the most of their experiences.

As a digital nomad, you’ll encounter diverse situations that require flexibility and a positive mindset. Whether adjusting to a new work environment, navigating unfamiliar cultural norms, or handling logistical challenges, your ability to adapt will significantly impact your success and enjoyment of this lifestyle. Before traveling to a new location, research the local customs, internet availability, cost of living, and other essential aspects.

Always have backup plans for necessary resources like internet access and accommodation. For example, identify local co-working spaces, cafes with reliable Wi-Fi, and alternative lodging options if your original plans fall through.

While having a routine is important, being able to adjust your schedule when needed is equally crucial. Unexpected events like power outages, travel delays, or local holidays can disrupt your plans. Flexibility allows you to accommodate these changes without significantly impacting your work.


Without a boss looking over your shoulder, you’ll need discipline. It would help if you worked to stay motivated and focused on your work, even in a beautiful new location with plenty of distractions. Establishing a routine and setting personal goals helps maintain your productivity. Self-discipline is the cornerstone of a successful digital nomad lifestyle, enabling you to balance work and leisure effectively.

The freedom that comes with being a digital nomad is a double-edged sword. While it offers flexibility, it also demands self-discipline to meet your professional commitments while enjoying your travels. Regularly evaluate your productivity and discipline levels. Identify areas where you can improve and adjust your routine and habits. Continuous reflection and adjustment will help you stay on track and maintain self-discipline.

Final Thoughts 

Becoming a successful digital nomad is more than working from picturesque locations. It requires mastering skills like remote communication, time management, tech savviness, adaptability, and self-discipline. By developing these skills, you can enjoy the benefits of a digital nomad lifestyle while maintaining productivity and achieving your professional goals. Start working on these skills today, and you’ll be well on your way to living and working from anywhere in the world.