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About Me Once you have made a list of business you want to get into, you will want to research each one so that you can see a few different things and will be able to compare the choices. It does not matter if the business is going to be in the US or in Singapore you need to be sure to make the right business choice that is going to work for you. One thing that you will want to compare is the startup cost. The next thing that you will want to compare would be the potential for the business.

How to Create Social Media Content for Your Business

Social media nowadays is oversaturated with content that it can be difficult to compete with popular sites and take the share of the audience if you are a new business. How do you generate interest from potential customers and how can you create effective content for your social media to stand out from competitors?

Visually pleasing layout

No one wants to waste time on a site that is an eyesore. Most people do not even read everything you post and would just go over the content by picking out words. How do you encourage them to interact with your posts?

Make the design and content more pleasing and user-friendly. Readers love it when you highlight certain words or phrases because they don’t have to read everything. They also love looking at pictures and some would even look for videos which can summarize the content.

Highlight positive content

Not everyone likes to read about gossip and controversy. You can capitalize on that by highlighting the good things in your content. Articles that invoke amusement and awe can also go viral just as much as controversies. There are also studies that show that the audience is more likely to share the content if it is positive and unique.

Add a bit of controversy and gossip

You can also take advantage of the latest gossip that is making the rounds on the internet. After all, even if not everyone wants to admit it, we are all fascinated with controversy, the weird, and the macabre. Even topics that can trigger negative emotional response can be good for your company’s image.

This can also generate a lot of discussion even from non-target audience. However, you need to be careful not to turn it into a disaster for the company’s image by posting false news, backing up harmful ideas, and making fun of other people.

Tell a story and appeal to emotion

A large part of consumers make their decisions based on emotion, that is why you will find dedicated fans of certain brands everywhere. You can reach out to your audience by creating emotional stories about family, struggles in life, and even a multi-part series that doubles as an ad.

You can create characters that the people can relate to and place them in circumstances everyone has been through at some point such as falling in love, the death of a loved one, and rejection or failure.

Be responsive

A lot of people appreciate responsive sites, after all, there is no excuse not to share and post messages when it can be done easily with the smartphone. Take advantage of the current events and trends to connect with your audience.

They will more likely react to your content if they can relate to it. Even more effective is if you can also catch the attention of other people who are not your usual target audience by creating interest in current topics that can be related to the company’s products and services.

Travel Better: Smart Things to Pack in Your Carry-On

For most airlines, the average maximum size of a carry-on, whether you use a purse, briefcase or small backpack, is about 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Some also impose a maximum weight, which is why you need to be smart about choosing which items to pack in it for your convenience.

Here are the essentials you need in your carry-on for a safe and comfortable travel.

Travel documents. All important documents such as your passport, travel visa, itineraries, tickets, vouchers, and others should be kept in a separate compartment of your carry-on. Arrange the documents in a plastic envelope to make sure they don’t get wet or crumpled. Don’t forget to bring a pen as well.

Credit cards and cash. All your valuable including your wallet should be placed in your carry-on. Do not forget to bring some cash in case you need to purchase something quick.

Medication. Your prescription meds, vitamins, and other medications including those for emergencies should be placed in your carry-on in their original containers. This will save you the hassle of looking for the medicine kit when you need it. Besides your maintenance meds, your first aid kit bag should contain eye cream, oral antihistamine, Adhesive bandages, antidiarrheal, antacid, and others.

Toiletries. A small pouch of toiletries should contain toothbrush, toothpastes, deodorant, sanitary pads, moisturizer, lip balm, comb/brush, basic makeup, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, shaving cream, and others. Take note of the allowed container capacity for liquids.

Extra clothes. In case you need a change clothes, you should pack at least an extra underwear, pair of socks, and shirt.

Eye mask and eyeglasses. Always keep your eyeglasses and sunglasses in your carry-on along with an eye mask which you can use if you need to take a nap.

E-reader or book. If it’s a long trip, take something with you to keep busy such as a paperback or an e-reader.

Music player and noise-cancelling headphones. If you want to sleep but you need to block out the distractions, you should take a music player and noise-cancelling headphones to keep you relaxed.

Handheld gaming device. If you need to stay awake during the trip, make sure to take with you a full charged gaming device.

Powerbank. You should always take a powerbank with you in case your gadgets run out of power during the trip.

Sweater or cardigan. In case it gets a bit chilly, you can take a sweater, cardigan or a small bag in your carry-on.

Compression socks. Long flights can be bad for your legs because you won’t have a lot of opportunity to move around.

Collapsible water bottle. Bottled water can be expensive in some places, so if you see a water refilling station, just take out your foldable water bottle and you’ll be ready to go.

Chargers and adapters. Do not leave your chargers in your checked baggage in case it gets lost. All your gadgets and their chargers/adapters should be in your carry-on.

Other valuables. Never leave your valuable items in your checked baggage. If you have a laptop, cell phone, tablet, camera, jewelry, and other expensive items, place them in your carry-on bag.

How to Start a Business in Singapore

Are you thinking of setting up a business in Singapore? Worry not, because it is easy to set up a business whether you are a citizen or a foreigner. Singapore is a good place for entrepreneurs because it has good enforcement of intellectual property laws, has several free trade agreements, and even double taxation avoidance agreements.

Here are the important requirements you must fulfill.

Business registration

Once you have the funds for the business, you will need to register it. Fortunately, there is an option to file in electronically at the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) website. If you are a foreign entrepreneur, you will need to contact legal services, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Enterprise Singapore depending on the type of business you have in mind.

You cannot register the company on your own because you will also need a bank account at a bank based in the country. However, if you are going to operate the business in Singapore from abroad, you will only need appoint a local employee or head. For those who want to move into the country, you will need an EntrePass.

Complete the company setup

To fulfill all the requirements for a business registration, you must also have the following already set up: name of the company that is approved by ACRA, names of all the shareholders, name of the director/s, name of the corporate secretary (who must be a Singapore resident), the registered physical office address, and the paid-up capital of at least S$1.

When you register, you will receive your registration number, registration date, and other details. This information can be used for permits and licenses and for bank accounts.

Look for a business location and hire employees

Next, you need to find a suitable location for your business or office. To make the selection easier, look up the list of business and industrial parks available for entrepreneurs. Looking for manpower is also easy if you partner with legitimate recruitment agencies.

There are also some guidelines for hiring and training as well as for recruiting foreign employees. Make sure to look up the different work visas available, EntrePass, and eligibility requirements for foreigners.

Post-registration requirements

Once the incorporation process has been completed, you will also need to fulfill the following: complete all necessary licenses and permits (this will depend on your type of business), registration number, registered office hours, goods and services tax registration, customs registration (for import and/or export), and CPF registration (pension fund scheme if employer is Singapore resident).

The office hours refer to the set hours of the operation of your business, which must be at least 3 hours per weekday. If your business’ annual taxable revenue is above S$1 million annually, you will need to register for the GST.

What Happens When You Stop Exercising

There are many reasons why we stop exercising, whether for a while or for good. We take a rest day, we get sick, we become too old, or we just get bored of exercising. No matter what the reason is, there will be changes in your body if you take time away from exercising. And the longer you go without exercise, the more obvious the effects will be. So, what are those changes? Let’s find out together.

You will likely gain fat and lose muscle mass

Although it will take a while—about 8 to 12 weeks without exercise—you will start seeing physical changes in your body. For one, you’ll start naturally losing muscle mass. As a result, your metabolism slows down, limiting the body’s potential to burn fat. In addition to that, because your physical activities are now cut from your routine, you won’t be able to burn as many calories as you would have.

Your strength might also be affected

Studies have found that strength can be maintained only up to four weeks without exercise. Any longer and you’ll start to slowly lose your muscle strength and power. Strength is at least the slowest to diminish over time though so there’s a bit of a silver lining still. Those who we can say are “genetically blessed” can even go for 3 months without exercising and still keep their strength in good condition.

Endurance will be the most affected

Just after 2 weeks of no exercise, you’ll start to notice your endurance drop. Walking up the stairs to the third floor wasn’t a problem before but now you find yourself breathing a bit harder than usual. This all has something to do with our VO2 max. To put it simply, VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen our body can effectively use. Multiple studies have shown that our VO2 max will drop even more up to 20% after just a month without exercise.

Is it really that bad?

If you consider the points mentioned above, it’s only bad if you take too long before getting exercise again. It doesn’t really mean that simply not exercising anymore will cause you to get sick more often. But you will lose all the benefits you get from actually exercising. If you do decide to exercise again, your body will easily adapt to the physical stress. This is because of “muscle memory” which points that it’s easier to regain lost muscle tissues than to actually build new ones. 

How to minimize these effects

Of course, there are also many ways to minimize the negative effects of taking a break from exercise. One is to just do lighter exercises compared to your usual. If you usually lift weights at the gym but decide to stop for a while, you can just do bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and etc. If you also want to avoid gaining fat, make sure to watch your diet and continue eating healthy.

How to Make Homemade Pizza

Pizza is in almost everyone’s favorite food list, and why not? There are dozens of varieties that can be created with a number of ingredients. But if you’re tired of the usual fare at restaurants, you should try making your own homemade pizza.

Pizza Dough

You can buy ready-made dough at markets in Singapore but knowing the basics can let you experiment with different layer thicknesses later.

Ingredients: 3 ½ or 4 cups of bread flour (add an extra cup for rolling), 1 envelope of instant dry yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil (reserve an additional 2 teaspoons), and 1 ½ cups water with a temperature of 110°F

Preparation: In a mixer, combine the bread flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add water and oil and wait until the mixture forms a ball. Check of the dough is sticky. If it is, then add 1 tablespoon of flour until it’s solid. If it’s dry, add 1 tablespoon of water instead. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball.

Next, grease a bowl with the oil, place the dough and cover the bowl with a wrapper. Wait for at least an hour until the dough size has doubled. Then, on a floured surface divide the dough into two and cover with plastic wrap or towel before resting for another 10 minutes.

Pizza Sauce

To make a 12-inch pizza, you should also master the technique in making the right pizza sauce with this simple recipe.

Ingredients: 6 ounces tomato paste, 6 ounces water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, ½ cup chopped onion, ½ teaspoon white sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon dried basil, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram, ¼ teaspoon chili powder,1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, and ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Preparation: In a saucepan, heat oil and sauté onion until tender before stirring in the tomato paste and water. Next, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, oregano, basil, cumin, marjoram, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for not more than 20 minutes.

Homemade Pizza

Finally, create a 12-inch homemade pizza with the fresh dough and pizza sauce.

Ingredients: Pizza dough, pizza sauce, cornmeal, firm and soft mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, fontina cheese, feta cheese, raw or sautéed mushrooms, sliced bell peppers, sliced Italian pepperoncini, cooked and crumbled Italian sausage, oil-tossed baby arugula, sliced pepperoni, sliced ham, raw or caramelized onions, pesto, and fresh basil

Preparation: Preheat the pizza stone in the oven to 475°F for 30 minutes. One dough ball at a time, press them flat on the surface without making a hole on the surface. Brush with olive oil and rest for 15 minutes. Do the same for the second dough on another pan. Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peal and place the doughs on top. Spread the pizza sauce on the dough and place all the toppings. Sprinkle cornmeal on the pizza stone before placing the pizza. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes.

How to Prevent an Injury from Scarring

Most of the time, people think of scarring as an unsightly blemish on the skin, while a few individuals look at them as cool and even refer to them as reminders of one’s battle wounds. But is there a way to prevent scarring? To answer that, you will need to know the factors that contribute to its appearance.

Determine the Nature of the Injury

The appearance of the scar will depend on the nature of the injury; such as its shape, size, depth, and even location. The way your body reacts to the injury will also affect the scarring process, because those who are prone to having keloids will have a harder time preventing scars from appearing. Deep wounds will take more time to heal than shallow injuries, but it can also be influenced by how healthy your skin is (and if you have any existing skin conditions), its thickness, the amount of blood that gets to the injured area, and even the skin color.

Scarring is a Healing Process

The first thing a dermatologist will ask you is the cause of the injury and its healing progress. Scar prevention often begins with proper treatment, although scarring from deep cuts are almost always impossible to prevent. Scarring itself is a part of the normal healing process, but the healed tissues no longer contains the normal parts of the skin, that is why the affected area will look a lot different from the surrounding skin.

There are Different Types of Scars

There are three types of scars that result from various types of injuries; these are, thin or flat scars that might fade over time; hypertrophic scars that create raised, thick, and reddish scars; and keloid scars that result in raised, dark or reddish scars that often extend beyond the affected area. The last type of scar is often the result of an overproduction of collagen in the skin. This is common in people with severe acne and will need intervention from a doctor to reduce its ghastly appearance.

These are steps you should observe to reduce the scarring while your injury is still healing.

  • Get the best possible treatment for your injury. For example, a cut will heal better if you can get stitches as soon as possible to prevent infection and other complications. If you can’t get a cut stitched soon enough, it will start the healing process, making the stitching less effective.
  • Hasten the healing process. Injuries need to be kept clean, moist, and infection-free with clean bandages and doctor-prescribed healing ointments. Disinfect the wound everyday then change the bandages or dressings to speed up its healing process.
  • Avoid scar creams. They will not reduce the scarring regardless of the manufacturer’s claims. Most of these products contain vitamin E or other ingredients that will not help at all and might even cause irritation.
  • Don’t pick at scabs. This is often the cause of scarring and will slow down the healing process. The scabs will come off naturally, so be patient.

How to Deal with a Manipulator

Whether in romantic relationships, at work, or even in your family, you’ve most likely encountered people who are manipulative in their own ways. The dangerous thing about manipulation is that it can be obvious but also subtle in many ways. If you find yourself in a manipulative relationship, here’s what you can do.

1. When they use your words against you…

There are manipulators who do not accept their mistakes or responsibilities. When you call them out, they’ll simply use your words against you. Let’s consider a scenario where you tell your partner to help you move some things around the house but they don’t. Once you tell confront them about not helping, they might say something like “if you knew how tired I am today because of work, you would not have asked me.” What makes this manipulative is that they make you feel bad for asking for their help.

How to Respond to this: Don’t let the manipulator get away with false apologies and especially guilt-trips. It is important to do this in the first signs of this kind of manipulation. This is so that they don’t feel permitted to do it again.

2. When they gaslight…

If you don’t already know, “gaslighting” is a form of manipulation where you are made to question your own reality. Basically, the manipulator says something different from before and when you call them out, they’ll blame your memory for getting it wrong. For example, you both plan a date somewhere in Sentosa on a Friday. But then, Friday comes and the manipulator says that you planned to do it on a Saturday. The manipulator can twist words for their own benefit and make you doubt your own memory so you’ll feel at fault.

How to Respond to this: One of the simpler things to do is to take note of it. In the example, for instance, write down when you’ll have the date while they are present. That way they can’t deny it later on. Sometimes they may respond with anger but this is a necessary action if you want to avoid being manipulated.

3. When they use “the silent treatment”…

The silent treatment is just one of many passive-aggressive behaviors that a manipulator can use. They will use these methods to control you rather than being direct and honest. When they are mad, they don’t give you the reason why and simply resort to stomping, keeping quiet, and etc. Even if they are at fault, they do this so that you think you’re the one who made a mistake.

How to respond to this: This form of manipulation affects your mental health, more than anything. That is why you’ll have to confront them about the behavior. Tell them not to do it and just speak directly. In most cases, you’ll get anger as an initial reaction. But it is necessary if you want to let them know about their toxic behaviors.

How Do I Stick to My New Resolutions?

Different people obviously have different things they want to achieve. The thing is though, it’s pretty common for people to forget their resolutions as the year goes by. If you have that problem too, even when you really want to stick to your resolutions, you’re in luck! Here are some ways to improve your chance of following through your resolutions and achieving your goals.

Make sure your resolutions are achievable

One common mistake people make is that they think about resolutions that aren’t exactly achievable (or at least in a short amount of time). Making your resolutions simple will give you the mindset that it’s definitely achievable. For example, you want to start gaining weight so you go to the gym. It is very much possible to gain 20-30 pounds in 5 months with a strict diet plan and a training coach. Knowing this, you at least won’t doubt yourself and think that you can’t do it anymore.

Write your goals down

Write your goals down and put it somewhere you can easily see. When you put your goals on paper and see it every day, it can serve as motivation and a constant reminder for you. Maybe you plan to do better at work, so put it up somewhere on your desk. If you are able to achieve it and cross it off the paper, you can be sure that you’ll be satisfied with yourself.

Take it slow

When it comes to following resolutions, it would be in your best interest to take it slow. Especially because most resolutions are things you’re not used to doing. If you plan to jog around Singapore because you want to join marathons in the future, don’t push yourself too hard. Pick easier routes first, then slowly progress and increase your distance or pace. Just remember that there’s really no need for you to rush!

Track your progress as well

One of the best ways for you to stick to your resolutions is really to track your progress. It’s quite a surprise that not many people do this, but keeping track has many benefits. For one, you can see how much you’ve improved. You can also see where you excel and which areas you need to put more effort in. You will also eventually pick it up as a habit and that will help discourage you from sitting out on your resolutions.

Tell your family or close friends about it

If you tell others about your resolutions, you’ll be pushed to think that they have expectations of you already. Telling your family or close friends that you’re going to stop smoking, for example, will simply lead them to expect that you will. In this case, you wouldn’t want to disappoint them. In addition to that, it will be easier for you to turn to them if you need advice or if you just need a bit of their help.

What You Need to Know About Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is one of the most misunderstood conditions, because it is often confused with food allergies, food intolerance or just being picky with food. But this autoimmune disease which affects 1 out of 100 people worldwide is a serious condition that damages the small intestine.

Causes of Celiac Disease

Most people with this condition are undiagnosed and later suffer from other medical conditions, such as intestinal lymphomas and gastrointestinal cancers, nervous system disorders, lactose intolerance, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and gall bladder malfunction. Studies are still ongoing to determine the cause of the disease, but most doctors point to the genes as a determining factor.

When an individual with celiac disease eats food with gluten, the immune system will react by damaging the villi of the small intestine to prevent the absorption of the nutrients. Celiac, sometimes spelled coeliac, comes from the Greek word “koiliakos,” which means the “suffering in the bowels.”

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

There are over 300 symptoms of celiac disease which can vary among individuals, because these are determined by several factors, such as; the duration of breastfeeding as an infant, amount of gluten consumed and when the person started eating gluten, the age of the person, and the damage to the small intestine.

The most common symptoms include digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation, bloating, and stomach pain. It is also often accompanied with joint pain. Children with this condition often have delayed puberty, damaged teeth enamel, slow growth, and short stature. The following symptoms might also be present: bone or joint pain, infertility, irregular periods, mouth problems, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, headaches, anxiety or depression, fatigue, and skin problems.

Diagnosis of Celiac Disease

Some of the symptoms of the disease are similar to signs of other medical conditions, so these must be eliminated through physical exams, dental exam, blood tests, intestinal and skin biopsy, and genetic tests. The blood tests will look for celiac disease antibodies, while the genetic test will check for the gene variants or changes that are linked to the disease.

The biopsies will remove samples from the small intestine and skin tissues to check for antibodies. These are necessary because it’s also possible to have other conditions related to the gastrointestinal tract such as irritable bowel syndrome, small intestine bacterial growth, microscopic colitis, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, and pancreatic dysfunction.

Treatment of Celiac Disease

There is no cure for celiac disease yet, so doctors will recommend a gluten-free diet for the patient. Food made from wheat, barley, rye, and other variants and related species should be avoided to reduce the symptoms and to avoid further damages to the small intestine.

Other hidden sources of gluten such as malt flavoring, preservatives, stabilizers, and modified food starch should also be avoided. Moreover, you will also need to avoid non-food items and medication that possibly contain gluten, so you should never take medication, vitamins, supplements, and herbal products unless prescribed by a doctor.

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