5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Make it Through the Holiday Season Unscathed

The holiday season comes with a myriad of added stressors for entrepreneurs: holiday parties to plan or attend, family obligations, budgetary stressors, and staff desirous of both time off and holiday bonuses. You may wish to have it all, but count it as a victory if you make it through the holiday season relatively unscathed.

Here are 5 ways to help you survive the holiday mayhem.

Holiday Tips for Entrepreneurs

1. Plan Ahead

Scheduling for yourself, your family, and any employees can be one of the toughest parts of the holiday season. So plan ahead and stay coordinated. Shared calendars through free apps, such as Google Calendar, can help you have a color-coordinated plan for all of the various demands on your schedule, linked to the other people who need to see it.

2. Learn to Say “No”

As the demands on your schedule start to pile up, balance your schedule and prioritize: saying “no” is okay. So is delegating and asking for help. Deputize someone else to represent you at some of the events you might attend, or at least have someone else do the coordinating for you so that you just show up, make your appearance, and go.

3. Schedule “Me Time”

Don’t let your schedule get so full that you do not take care of yourself. The winter might be flu season for lack of sunshine and such close proximity indoors, but it likely also has something to do with stress and a lack of self-care.

As you plan your schedule, be sure that you also:

  • Get plenty of sleep, or make up for it soon after having to go short
  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat well and drink plenty of water
  • Refrain from excessive (or any) alcohol
  • Schedule time to relax

4. Stay on Budget

Part of your planning for the holidays will need to be your financial planning. A holiday budget is a crucial part of surviving the holidays since overspending can take months or more to recover. Ideally, you plan ahead and save a little at a time, leading up to the holiday season, so that when you go to give holiday bonuses or buy gifts, that money is already there. In some businesses, you can also boost holiday sales, making it easier to meet the financial demands of the season.

Whatever your plan, be sure that it includes staying on budget.

5. Learn How to Relax after Stress

Be it the stress of the end of the day, or the stress of an entire season, it’s important to learn healthy ways to unwind after work. Too often people equate relaxation with vegetating on the couch watching television, scrolling through social media, or having a drink to relax, but those methods are not how to relax after a stressful day at work since, in the long run, they can increase your stress (physically and emotionally).

Here are some other ideas to consider:

  • Go for a walk
  • Get some other form of exercise
  • Talk to a friend
  • Sit at the table and do a puzzle with family
  • Participate in a paint night
  • Walk through a small town and window shop
  • Listen to carolers
  • Drive around looking at holiday lights
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Start back at a former hobby
  • Write in your journal
  • Read a book
  • Cook the favorite dish you ever had at a restaurant

There are really countless ways to unwind after a stressful day. Put your plan on your schedule and then stick with it. If you make these tips part of your holiday plan, you may find yourself not only surviving the holiday season unscathed but also enjoying yourself and the merriment much more.

5 Ways to Find Investors Who Support Entrepreneurs in Recovery

Recovery involves so many changes, from health and lifestyle changes, to how we spend our time; it’s not unusual for someone to channel all of that change and energy into starting their own business. If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, you are ready to be your own boss, or you have an idea for a startup business, your next step might be to secure financing.

Here are 5 ways to find investors who support entrepreneurs in recovery.

1. Get Social

Professional networking can help you meet potential business partners, mentors, or other valuable connections, such as investors. Put yourself out there, and you might find that there are investors seeking someone just like you.

  • Attend local Chamber of Commerce events to meet other business owners in your community.
  • Get on LinkedIn and other professional social media sites.
  • Have a webpage, a Facebook page, and start blogging weekly–get data about your business and your business idea out in the digital world.
  • If there are trade shows for your business, start attending and meeting peers and professionals in that way.

Professional networking will help you develop a reputation, not as an “addict in recovery,” but as an entrepreneur–be known for what you want to be known for and get noticed. Develop your personal brand while you grow your business.

2. Family

The idea of borrowing from family can go either way–some people love the idea and others find it abhorrent. Here’s how to find the balance.

You don’t want a loan for your business to cause stress to a family relationship, and yet your family might be the ones who believe in you most. So, if you decide to approach family members for a business loan, make sure that you treat them the same way you would any investor: present your business model and strategies, have clear investment and/or loan repayment terms, and, if it is an investment, make it clear that they could lose their money.

If you are fortunate enough to have family members with the resources and the faith in you, they can be excellent first investors.

3. Crowdsourcing

Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing for small businesses have really taken off in recent years. There are many sites to choose from–Indiegogo, Kickstarter, RocketHub, OurCrowd, to name a few–each with a different focus. With each site, you’ll also pay a percentage of what you raise to the site itself (with some exceptions for non-profits), so you really want to check out each site and find the one that suits your business model best.

Crowdsourcing lets investors choose their level of support, no matter how small.

4. Small Business Loan

Investors generally want a stake in your business, but loans need to be paid back. Each has advantages and disadvantages. If you would rather borrow money and pay it back, instead of relinquishing control of some part of your business, a small business loan may be the way to go.

Loans for businesses often require collateral, and you also want to understand the terms and how they affect both your business and your personal finances.

5. Incubators and Accelerators

Some types of investors, known as incubators and accelerators, focus on growing startup businesses. Many of these opportunities, in larger cities or even online, give you access to mentorship and support, as well as the finances to get going and get growing.

How to Be an Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur can be challenging. There are days when you’ll question everything about your business. There are times you’ll have 100 asks for every 1 “yes.” But persist. You’ll find the support and resources to keep going and be an entrepreneur.

Small Businesses: How to Use the Fall Season to Drive Your Holiday Sales

Autumn is here. For many parts of the country, that means leaves change color and temperatures cool. For others, it means palm trees, but perhaps less sweltering temperatures. For some, fall means pumpkin spice everything. For others, those words induce sniggers (or shivers down your spine).

For some small businesses, autumn is the busiest time of year, and you can capitalize on that to ride a tide of success through winter. For others, fall is slower.

So whether or not you are the type of small business owner to enjoy pumpkin spice Jell-O and Pop-tarts, you can use the fall season to drive your holiday sales.

If Fall is Super Busy

For many businesses, fall is the most hectic and busy time of year. Summer can mean changes in schedule and business habits, kids out of school and vacations, but with September oft comes a return to routine–including spending.

If fall is when both your employees (if you have any) and customers are ready to return to work and business, you can maximize the season to drive your holiday sales.

  • Communicate to customers – Send out an hours reminder, a “welcome back to school” notice, an end-of-summer stock sale, or other communication to your client base. Just because sales are going up, doesn’t mean it’s a time to hunker down and neglect communicating to others who might just be looking for that little nudge to bring them in the door.
  • Stay on top of details – Staying up-to-date on your bills, reaching out to suppliers about upcoming holiday inventory, even still opening your mail, can get a little challenging in a busy time of year for a small business. Keeping up with the details, though, will help you continue to prosper through the holiday sales season, instead of getting overwhelmed when those piles stack up.
  • Prepare for a rainy (or snowy) day – If fall has really picked up sales, it’s tempting to start paying down credit cards or loans, giving yourself a quarterly bonus, or otherwise spending. Spending when sales first go way up is actually a great idea, if that spending is paying off where you owe. But don’t forget to also invest in that snowy day.

If Fall is Slower

If things start to slow down for you in the autumn season, it’s a great time to drive up sales, that may come in over the next few months. Get busy, take action! Some common ways to drive small business revenue in the fall include:

  • Networking – Attending community events, taking a client out for a lunch, attending trade shows, and otherwise getting busy in your client relations and networking opportunities can help drive up winter sales.
  • Marketing – Develop and start implementing your holiday marketing strategy. Just as retail stores started putting out Christmas inventory as soon as Halloween ended, getting your holiday plans together now and out at the right time can help bring in that revenue earlier.
  • Stay busy – Relaxing after a busy summer or a rest in anticipation of a busy winter can make fall the start of a disastrous holiday sales season. Take a good look at successful strategies from past years. What were your best fall plans that led to successful holiday sales? It’s time to stay busy by re-implementing what worked and keeping you and your team (again, if you have one) productive.

Have the Best Holiday Ever

Small changes can make a big impact. So take a look at what works (and has worked) for your company, capitalize on the sales and experiences you have during autumn, and you can use the fall season to have the best holiday sales ever.

How the Opioid Epidemic is Affecting the Workforce Across the Country

We have entered into a century where there is absolutely no doubt that drug and alcohol addiction is truly a very difficult and a very problematic issue in this country, one of which simply seems to take over and get worse and worse as the years go by, creating problems and difficulties above and beyond addiction left and right. Currently, one of the most serious substance abuse problems in this nation has been with the opiate epidemic and how it has affected the workforce.

Statistics of Addiction

The statistics of addiction are pretty grim, to say the least. Entire dissertations have been written on this subject and topic, but two of the most significant statistics have been included below for the sake of brevity:

  • There have been a lot of problems regarding drug and alcohol addiction lately, and there is no getting away from that fact. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the substance abuse problem is growing more quickly than it is being effectively addressed. This is measured by the numbers of people who become newly addicted to drugs and alcohol each and every year as compared to the numbers of people who are able to effectively beat drug and alcohol addiction every single year. Statistically speaking, roughly two hundred to two hundred and fifty thousand Americans are able to beat drug and alcohol addiction each and every year, which at first seems really great, except then when it is compared to the numbers of people who become newly addicted to drugs and alcohol each and every year. Roughly four hundred thousand become addicted each year, making it almost like taking one step forward and two steps backward.
  • One big issue with drug and alcohol abuse in this country is the sheer numbers of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. When numbers are actually measured, the real data on this is actually quite terrifying. Case in point, there are currently twenty-three million and a half people in this country who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That is more people than those who have ever been addicted before in the history of this country. Furthermore, it is a greater percentage of per capita addiction that has ever been experienced in this country. Case in point, currently about twelve percent of the entire nation’s population that is over the age of twelve is heavily and grievously addicted to substances. This is a greater percentage than has ever been recorded before, and the worry that this creates is pretty significant.

As readers can see from just these two points, U.S. addiction statistics are on their way up and this is a problem that is only getting worse and worse as each year goes by. Addiction rates in this country have never been as bad as they are today, and a big part of the problem has been just the simple increase in people abusing drugs and alcohol. For those who suffer from opiates, the fastest growing drug substance problem in this country, the key needs to be to utilize rehabilitation for those people.

Addiction Rehabilitation

When people become addicted to opiates, they more often than not end up losing their jobs because of their habit. This happens because they cannot keep working and be an opiate addict at the same time, and the opiate addiction wins over in the long run. Though substance abuse truly is a harsh and a debilitating issue of the very worst kind, it can and should be addressed with effective addiction rehabilitation. My message to all struggling addicts is that inpatient rehabilitation is the best approach for struggling addicts.

Remote Startups Allowing Recovering Addicts to Work from Home

In the 21st century, there are a lot of different ways to go into business, and there are a lot of different ways to make a career for oneself. For the recovering addict, this could not be a better situation. For people in recovery, their first priority must be their recovery and their sobriety. Their first priority must be their incessant willingness to get clean and to stay clean off of drugs and alcohol. Their first priority must be a steadfast insistence upon getting clean and sober and free from addiction once and for all and for good.

With this in mind, it becomes easy to see that anything else and everything else becomes a secondary goal for recovering addicts, and it becomes less important for them to worry about those other things.

However, there are still other things that the recovering individual needs to keep in mind and needs to keep their thoughts on. That is to say that there still needs to be a focus, a direction, an incentive, and a process of thought that the individual is going after if they want to create and ensure success for themselves.

When people are in recovery, they also need to think about a job, income, a place to stay, regular meals, etc. These are important factors in any recovery aspect that need to be taken into consideration while an individual is also keeping track of their recovery too.

Start Up Business

A lot of times, when a recovering addict is facing the prospect of reentering the workforce, they feel pretty concerned and nervous about this. Take for example the recovering addict who feels as though their workplace was a big part of the problem last time, and they are afraid that if they jump back into a workplace again that they might end up facing an addiction struggle all over again too.

This is a legitimate concern. A lot of addicts abuse substances socially, especially alcoholics. There is no surprise or concern here. When such individuals abuse such substances, they do so in a social setting, and a workplace is very much a social setting in a way. Recovering addicts often feel they need to avoid a workplace, for they fear that entering into that type of environment is going to be bad news for them. So, they take on the alternative, which is they don’t work at all, which is equally dangerous in terms of the threat of relapse goes.

This is where a startup business comes into play. A small business startup or a new business startup of some kind is a perfect option for a recovering addict, especially one that they can run out of their own home. A startup is something that is truly helpful and exciting and also completely avoids the social aspect of a workplace. Furthermore, with technology the way it is and the advancements of the internet, it is totally feasible to be able to run a business out of one’s home and off of the internet. Even if the business grows to the point where the recovering addict needs to expand into a commercial building, this will still not be the same as the stereotypical “workforce” type of setting.

When it comes to getting into and maintaining recovery, of course, the recovery has to be the first option and the first course of action taken here. The recovery itself is key, because without it the person is likely to just relapse back onto drugs and alcohol again, and that serves no purpose. With the above plan, a recovering individual can successfully and stably work towards freedom from addiction for life.

How to be More Productive at Work

People often wonder why they do not like their jobs, or why they are not doing well at their jobs. They often ponder why they get bored with their jobs so easily, or why their jobs no longer hold the same thrill and interest for them that they used to. I did some research on this subject and found that some survey organizations estimate that as many as seventy-five percent of the American workforce is dissatisfied with their jobs. Can you imagine? That is three-quarters of our workforce saying that they are unhappy with their jobs! That seems crazy but it does make sense when you think about it. How often have you heard your co-workers complain about their jobs? More importantly, how often have you complained about your job?

Work

Work is such an interesting topic and one that I feel very strongly and passionate about. Work, being productive, being able to prioritize, these are all factors of significance that I feel people need to spend more time committing themselves to if they actually do want to enjoy their jobs.

When you work, there are two, key factors to how happy you will be with your job and how much you will enjoy your job. These are:

  • How much work you can do (how much you can get done).

and,

  • How fast you can do it all (how little time you can do it all in).

If you can master these two points and if you can get as much done in as little time as possible, I promise you will enjoy your job more and you will feel more motivated about it. There is a saying that production is the basis of morale, and if you produce like a mega producer, you will enjoy your job more as a result.

Here are some ideas for how to accomplish the above:

  • Cut out all the fluff. This means that you need to take fewer trips to the water cooler, you need to spend less time on social media, and you need to spend less time goofing off while at work. This is a way to maximize production and increase motivation.
  • Write down literally everything that you have to do. Really focus and think about everything that you have to do to blow your quotas out of the water. Do this every day, and actually, take some time every day to focus on what you have to do that day to excel in your space.
  • Speaking of quotas, work to your potential, not to your quota. When I say this I mean that I want you to spend more time on realizing your potential and challenging yourself in that way as opposed to working towards a quota set by someone who does not really know what you are truly capable of.
  • Focus more on actually doing your tasks than staying on the up and up within your company. I challenge you to not check your email or phone for a full hour and just simply produce. Do you think you can? I think you can, and if you do you will be amazed by how much work you get done.

At the end of the day, remember the two above points. When you are thinking with them, you will find that truthfully any action or thought that follows along those two points (getting as much done in as little time as possible) is a viable and a worthwhile effort or thought. Follow the above tips as you will, but also feel free to innovate your own strategies and tactics too.

Signs of Complacency in Employees

Do you feel like your employees might be becoming complacent?  Do you feel as though your team is not performing as well as it could be or as well as they have performed in the past?  Does your staff seem a little bit underachieving at this time?

This blog post will talk about the phenomena of complacency in employees and will go over the various signs and manifestations of complacency in your staff.  We will discuss the different signs of complacency on a team, and we will also touch on ways and means for addressing complacency in a team of workers.

Complacency in the Workplace

Complacency in the workplace.  This is every manager’s, foreman’s, forewoman’s, supervisor’s, boss’s, CEO’s, and head honcho’s number one fear in the workplace.  Complacency and an unwillingness to give it your all.  More so than anything else this right here is the death note of any business.  As soon as employees start to get complacent, business statistics plummet, sales drop, morale drops, revenue goes down, and risk factors for layoffs and terminations go up.  Another thing that happens when employees get complacent is that the competition then just jumps ahead and takes up more market space and more potential business from you and from your company.

So how do you handle complacent employees and workplace complacency?  The answer and the way out of this troubling crisis is a simple one and an important one.  To address workplace complacency, you want to do things like:

  1. Provide incentives within the team to increase production.  In the sales offices of any of the businesses that I own, one of the things that I like to do to address complacency and to get rid of it is to provide incentives and fun games and projects to increase my sales’ staff morale.  This always works.  When I see the morale starting to go down, I will start a bonus game and give out bonuses to staff who make certain targets.  This always gets the morale up and removes complacency from my team.
  2. Another way that I address complacency is by going over our products and services with our employees, and sort of giving them a morale booster on why they are there selling and providing those specific products and services.  A lot of times, people need a reminder of why they are in some organization or why they are doing what they are doing.  A little friendly boost in this direction goes miles towards helping to remove complacency.
  3. Yet another way to address complacency is a little more tricky.  What I have found nine times out of ten is that complacency comes from a specific person, not from the whole group.  Nine times out of ten, there is or are one or two people in the entire group that get complacent first, and then that complacency spreads and these individuals sort of bring everyone else around them down.  So if the above techniques are not working, I will often simply address the one or two individuals who I view to be the source of it all and I will confront them personally about it.  I will very kindly but very firmly demand that they change their attitude for the better.  This usually works and the whole group ends up benefiting as a result.

These are just three of my tips and tricks for addressing complacency.  This is not something that any workplace should have to deal with and it is a real shame when it does come up.  But follow the above tips and you will do fine.

Guide to Talking with a Job Applicant About Addiction History

We know now at this time that drug and alcohol addiction is a very serious issue and concern in our society, one of which is possibly worse now than it ever has been before.  We know and understand that this issue is actually huge and that it brings huge problems and crisis factors with it everywhere that it goes.

We know that since the turn of the century drug and alcohol addiction has stepped up and made itself into one of the single most if not the single most concerning and problematic issues in our entire nation.  We know that the issue with addiction as we have experienced it is certainly huge and that this is a crisis problem that will only get worse unless we do something about it.

From all that we know about how bad drug and alcohol addiction is, we can then extrapolate from that that, sooner or later as a business owner, you are going to come across someone who you are interviewing who has had a drug or alcohol addiction problem in their history.  Maybe this has already happened to you.  Maybe you already have some idea of how to support a drug addict in recovery.  Maybe you already know how to talk to an addict, or to someone who has abused drugs and alcohol in the past.  Either way, this issue has to be approached with care and consternation and a great deal of empathy too.

Addiction Support in the Workplace

Someone having a history of drug and alcohol addiction in their past is by no means a good reason to disqualify them from working for you.  By no means at all does that make sense.  In fact, the best way to address drug and alcohol addiction in someone’s past is to see how it can benefit them and how they can grow from it.

For me personally, I often try to find people to work in my businesses who are in recovery, because I know what they have been through and I know how capable they are now as a result.  I’m not the only one who does this too.  Follow these quick tips to ensure that you consider the recovering addict’s application correctly:

  1. Find out how long they have been sober for. The longer they have been sober, the less you have to worry, if you were planning on worrying at all.
  1. Find out what it was they were addicted to, and how much they were taking. Really get an idea of just how bad their addiction was, so you can get a feel for what they were going through at that time.
  1. Talk to them about how their addiction affected their lives and impacted them. Find out from them just what exactly they can take away from their addiction, and just what exactly they can actually learn from it.
  1. Find out what the person can bring to the table at your business, and how they are going to use their experience with their addiction to really dominate the marketplace that your business is in.
  1. Question the person closely as to their stability in recovery. Have they had any relapses?  If so, when?  Find out from them how stable they feel or don’t feel in their recovery.

Asking these questions and simply holding a conversation with the person should give you a really good idea as to how they are doing in their recovery.  Don’t be afraid to ask these questions too.  There is nothing wrong with asking them.  Talk to the person about it, and really get a feel for how they are doing in their recovery, and then make your final decision as to whether or not you want to hire them.  Most of the time you will want to hire them.

5 Tips for Coping with Criticism in the Workplace

The workplace is a tricky factor of American society.  This is a place where people sometimes do really well, and sometimes they struggle.  The workplace is without a doubt one of the most important aspects of American society, and it is something that we can all work on more.

One of the factors of the workplace that I would really like to see change is criticism in the workplace.  I get that work can be stressful sometimes, but that is no reason to be critical towards others.  In fact, criticism in the workplace, no matter who it is delivered to and who its source is, has absolutely no value or merit of any kind.  I strongly come down hard on criticism in my businesses, and I would love to see criticism totally removed from all workplaces.

Now, this is not to say that I do not believe in correcting wrong actions, or that I do not believe in addressing a negative situation and in using disciplinary actions when it is necessary to use them.  I do believe in that.  However, criticism is totally unnecessary.

Let’s take a look at the definition of criticism as the dictionary puts it:

  • “The expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes, or the act of finding fault; censure; disapproval.”

How does that fit in at the workplace?  If an employee is doing something wrong, you point out the wrong action, show them how to do it correctly, and politely ask them to start doing it correctly.  It’s as simple as that.  Being critical towards people has no place, merit, or really any kind of standing when it comes to helping people do a better job in the workplace, or even when it comes to addressing a non-optimum condition within the workplace.

Five Tips for Pushing Past Criticism

Let’s say that, despite your efforts, you still cannot seem to totally remove criticism from the workplace.  Here are some tips for succeeding in this process:

  1. Don’t be defensive about it.  If you truly create belief in the idea that criticism has no place in the workplace, then your focus needs to be on removing the criticism, not defending yourself from it.  Seek to tackle the person on the subject of criticism, or go to their boss.  If the person you are getting criticism from is your boss, then go talk to their boss.  If your boss is at the top of the food chain, then tackle them on it.  If that doesn’t work, then quit and go get a different job.  It’s just not worth it to accept criticism into your life.
  2. Maintain a positive attitude and focus on forward thinking, not negative thinking.  A positive attitude breeds positivity, and a negative attitude breeds negativity.  Be positive, and criticism is less likely to follow you.
  3. Just don’t acknowledge it.  If you aren’t up to tackling someone on their criticism, then just don’t even acknowledge it.  Don’t grant it recognition by talking to the person about it, even defensively.  Ignore the person’s comments.
  4. Bring it to the attention of the higher-ups.  If you are being criticized by a co-worker, then bring it the attention of the boss, who’s responsibility it is to reduce criticism in the workplace effectively.
  5. Don’t be critical yourself.  This might seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes we can be critical without even realizing it.  Be sure that you yourself are not in your own way being critical.

At the end of the day, the goal needs to be a total removal of criticism from the workplace.  If you want to talk about other ways to get rid of criticism, message me at my Per Wickstrom Facebook account.

Rebuilding Your Credibility: How Recovering Addicts Can Prove Their Workplace Resilience

I understand that drug and alcohol addiction can create a real flat tire in one’s life.  Well, let’s be honest, it’s more like getting all four tires slashed at one time, and then still trying to drive to the destination that is your life.  Even long after regaining sobriety and long after patching those tires, people still look at you funny while you’re driving down the road that is your life.  For some reason, no matter how stable and relaxed you are in your recovery, people often still question your credibility.

Listed in this article are five ways that you can make a conscious effort to regain your credibility after beating an addiction:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, as this will remove the stigma and help improve your credibility. You can reach out to friends, family members or professionals.  It is a very human thing to do and shows that you are fully in touch with your recovery.  Your network will respect you for it and not judge you so much.
  2. Understand that life is change and that these things take time. Whether we like it or not, change is inevitable and is just a part of life, isn’t it?  For something as serious as addiction, it will take a while for those close to you to get over that and to grow out of the idea of viewing you as an addict or even just as a recovered addict.
  3. Sometimes you will fail, but you will always learn from whatever it is you are doing.  You won’t always be able to fully get your credibility back.  Nelson Mandela had a great quote on this topic that I have included here: “I never lose. I either win or learn.” Adopt that same attitude in life and believe me you will learn from every experience you have in recovery.
  4. Keep a positive attitude that lasts a lifetime.  Even if people do not accept you instantly, know that they will soon enough.  Know that they will come around soon enough.  Know that they will bring you back into the fold, and your confidence is what will bring that about.
  5. Be more decisive with people.  Be commanding and in charge, and people will respect you for it and start flowing you more credibility.  When something unexpected happens in your life, what is your first reaction to it? Do you take care of it right away? Do you ask someone for advice?  Both are okay. Or do you wail your woes to every single person you meet that day instead? That is not so great and will lose your credibility.

At the end of the day, it is sometimes a tricky prospect to regain your credibility after having just gone through addiction and after having put others in your life through it as well.  Sometimes it can be difficult to really accept people back in after experiencing this, but you really do need to accept them as the alternative is really not so great.

If you ever want to jump back into life and really take your life back, you need to be able to engage yourself in recovery that lasts a lifetime.  And to do that, you need to get your networks up and running again.  To do that, you need to regain credibility with the people you know and care about.  To do that, you need to follow the above tips and others to make it clear to people that you are not an addict anymore.  Do this, and you will win in the long run.