The Revolution in Virtual Reality

 

A new front-runner has emerged in IPO New technologies; Wall-Street.com spotlights this new exciting technology from MIT Technology Review.

Virtual Reality: The Next Frontier

Virtual reality technology has revolutionized, challenging everything humanity knows about virtual worlds. Imagine being able to find yourself in a beautiful and magical land simply by putting on a pair of goggles. This may sound far-fetched or like something in a Sci-Fi movie, but it is months away from being a reality.

Why Now?

Though virtual reality goggles were invented almost three decades ago, they did not take off because of exorbitant prices and poor technology. The first virtual reality goggles from thirty years ago cost $100,000 for a single pair! Furthermore, players of another virtual reality game in the 1990’s complained of nausea and disorientation while playing.

Oculus Rift

Now things have changed. Oculus VR is introducing the Oculus Rift in 2014, an affordable virtual reality headset that utilizes smartphone technology for an incredibly clear and realistic experience. As players lean in to look at a flower, the simulation follows their movement in real time.

Palmer Luckey, the 21 year-old founder of Oculus VR, has dreamed of virtual worlds since his video games day as a child. From a young age he worked towards his dream; he designed a working prototype that would evolve into Oculus Rift at the age of 16.

How Much?

At the moment, Oculus Rift cost around $300, which makes it affordable for the general gaming public.

Not Just for Gamers

Although currently aimed at video games, virtual reality could have many uses in other fields such as phobia therapy, emergency response training, and architecture.

Investment Opportunities

Oculus Rift has already gained $91 billion in funding and much media attention. Facebook recently bought the company for the large sum of $2 billion. Therefore, it may seem as if there are no IPO investment opportunities.

However, Oculus Rift has inspired many other companies to start their own virtual reality development. Large companies such as Sony and smaller, more specialized video game companies need investors to take on this challenge.

There’s More!

This revolution in virtual reality is by no means the only exciting development in IPO new technologies. There are hundreds more articles about possible investment opportunities here at Wall-Street.com, each one archived and easily accessible through the search bar in the upper right hand corner of the site.

Sources: Tech Review

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Best Email Marketing Strategies to Boost Your E-Commerce Conversions

The Personal Human Touch

Recent developments in technology have contributed to boosting up the industry vertical of e-commerce websites to a great extent. However, with extensive growth in the e-commerce business, it has been closely observed that the human touch gets missed by the users in their buying experience. Users usually do not have access to communicate with any physical entity while buying products online that restricts them with their buying choices in more than one ways.

We have seen that e-commerce drives online sales, but an online store without a proper email marketing support lacks sales enablement. Email marketing conversation keeps the e-commerce store alive and relevant for the customer. The biggest challenge that businesses face while applying email marketing strategies to accelerate their e-commerce conversions is that the control of the email communication between a brand and the customer is always in the hands of the latter. Let us look at some of the ways following which one can get over with such challenges in a smooth manner, and get maximum business benefits with e-commerce.

Choose a Catchy and Attractive Subject Line

You might have heard the term that first impressions are always the last. Imagine your users working on their desk, and an email message pops up on their smartphone featuring your best offers of the season. Putting up the same in front of them in the best and most creative way would be the key to pique their interest in focusing on your mail. Choosing a perfect subject and preview line is always crucial to creating an impactful impression over your customers. Not only that it attracts them more towards your brand, but it also strengthens their trust towards your brand offerings.

Make them Open your Mail

There are tons of promotional emails that a customer receives on a daily basis on their email accounts. It is not necessary that they are going to open each one of them. In fact, there are many emails that directly go to the spam folders to never to be explored by them. How should you manage to convince them to open your promotional mail? With an attractive subject line already in place, an effective preview text is highly crucial for grabbing their attention in the space of just a few seconds. Optimize your preview text to establish further communication with your customers make a big difference.

Lock the Attention of Your Customers

If you want your customers to act on your emails, you must have a clear strategy to increase their curiousness to catch a certain offer that you are throwing in their court. To start with, address the consumer in a personalized manner to establish an emotional link with them in the first place. In your email content, the learning quotient must have a powerful convincing and explanation power to enable them to understand the offers and drive their learning towards your brand in a crystal clear way. You can also present the content with the exact quantum of cost value to entice them towards taking definitive action.

Use Special Occasions for Your Advantage

Holidays and festivals bring with them an air of positivity and eagerness to purchase new items. Creating your email campaigns revolving around holiday season themes can make a whole of difference for your email marketing success. Research data has clearly shown that during the times of Christmas, New Year and other big occasions, big portions of sales are directly driven by the customer traffic attracted by email marketing campaigns. Incorporate this fun email marketing strategy in your emails to get instant positive results to boost up your e-commerce sales during the times of holiday seasons.

Start an email Series

Make it a fun experience for your customers from the very beginning by attracting your visitors with a series of email campaigns. As a welcome gesture, offer them lucrative discounts to build strong relations and boost your conversions. Besides highlighting your brand best features, it also works as excellent advertisement support for your brand. Make email series post-purchase including information related to shipping, and other tracking details. You can also ask your customers to put their valuable feedback once receiving their products to encourage them to stay on your website for a prolonged time and build your brand trust in them. A series focussing towards asking your customers to shop back and rewarding them to stay with your brand for a long time would further play a decisive role to boost up your sales.

Make Your Promotional emails more Personalized

Using personalization in your email marketing would be a sure shot way to enhance your e-commerce sales. However, you do not have to fake familiarization by addressing your clients with their personal nicknames. Sending bespoke content suiting the individual needs of individual customers would lead to greater traffic on your website. You can start using this strategy by segmenting your custom preferences on the basis of gender. You can also take assistance from previous interaction with your targeted customers that will make it clearer to you about their individual preferences. Analyzing the past purchased products by your customers shall also enable to create a better and compelling email framework for increasing your sales. There are better chances that the customers would likely buy any item that is similar or complementary to what they have purchased in the past.

Keep Your Call to Action Catchy

Having an impactful call to action display encourages your customers to click on the same and enter your website to further move towards making an effective purchase. Design your call to action message visibly attractive, legible and powerful. Having provided an impressive call to action is as important as detailed information related to yourbrand offerings and offers. You can use unique color scheme related to the color of your brand logo and website for the style of your email. You don’t have to make its size bigger than the other content, but the use of right color, button shape, and a catchy line would do the trick.

Redirecting the Audience to Your Website’s Landing Page

It is absolutely essential for your marketing team to put a link of your landing page in your promotional emails. No email marketing is complete without directing the audience to your landing page. Ultimately, your end goal is to enhance your online purchase that creates the necessity to put a clear direction sign for your customers to visit your main website or any important landing page with a dedicated link mentioned below it. If you are sending these emails for a special purpose or occasion, it would become easier for your audience to explore the page by putting a link for them.

Increase Click-through Rates with A/B Testing

The technology related to A/B testing refers to creating more than one title for the subject line of your email. Analyze your conversion rates with the emails and understand which of the emails scored better than others for increasing your sales. In order to achieve positive results out of this, you must send several emails and observe how many customers subscribed to your services after reading which of these emails. To achieve better clarity over the concept, hire an expert digital marketing company with SEO experts to incorporate this attractive technique in your email marketing in a better way.

The Power of a Thank You email

Your work doesn’t end with selling your products to the customers. They have spent their hard-earned saving on your items that need to be acknowledged to establish a lasting relationship with them. You can do so with a thank you mail to individual customers listing the items that they purchased along with links of related items, additional offers, any special offers on the items of similar genre. You can also ask them to review your products after a while to remind them about the special offers that have been running on your website at the current moment.

Remind the Customers to Finalize their Purchases

There are times that customers add their items in the cart but forget to purchase due to different personal reasons. Send them a reminder mail to make the purchases, and the chances that they are going to perform the action become better. Make the email attractive by posting the items to-be-purchased in your email that would invariably lead them to complete the final step of making the purchase.

At the end of it, it all comes down to the knowledge that with the recurring developments in technology, man is turning into machine, and machine is turning into a man. With a great amount of work performed by the machines, a lack of human interface is quite visible when it comes to e-commerce business interactions. Humanizing e-commerce through great content-driven email marketing campaigns would give a definite boost to your lead conversions over your e-commerce websites.

Author bio:

Being a senior business associate, Peter Davidson strives to help different brands and startups to make effective business decisions and plan effective business strategies. With years of rich domain expertise, he loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through his well-researched content pieces. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.


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Digital Branding: How it Can Help Your Business

Advantages of Digital Branding

One of the fastest ways entrepreneurs can grow their business is to utilize online and digital mediums. Search engine, blog or content, social media, video, audio, etc., are some of the tools that can help you promote your business effectively and give you the visibility you need to improve your bottom line.

What Really is Digital Branding?

Digital branding is a modern marketing strategy that is adopted by businesses to woo customers online. It includes the use of online marketing techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media channels, paid digital advertising, etc.

Digital branding is the bedrock of modern marketing. It gives organizations a broader reach regarding being read and seen by the mass public in different parts of the world, enabling businesses to build a digitally visible presence.

How Digital Branding Can Help Your Business

Digital branding is a savvy business strategy which when used correctly, can improve your business and help you to stay a step ahead of the competition. Here’s how:

  • Digital branding gives you an avenue to build customer loyalty and take advantage of opportunities: Digital branding provides organizations with a powerful technique to better connect with their target audiences, follow market trends, as well as respond to market needs. Engaging your target audiences enables you to build customer loyalty and drive client demand.
  • Reach more people: The advent of the internet means that you can use multiple online platforms such as social media sites, advertisements, chat sites, etc., to expand your audience reach.
  • Personalization: By permitting you to connect with consumers via multiple channels, digital branding gives you an opportunity to listen to client needs, emotions, wants, and personalities. Having all these information enables you to adapt the customer experience to customers’ specific needs. This improves the customer experience and makes your customers feel special, building customer loyalty as a result.
  • Higher conversion rates: Convenience is one of the best ways to make consumers love your organization. Search engine optimization can help give you better positioning in search engines. The higher up the rank you are, the greater your visibility, and the higher your conversion rates, as ranking top enables you to achieve higher click-throughs. Higher conversion rates ultimately result in increased revenues. Other acts that can help boost your conversion rates include creating a blog, allowing product reviews, or opening a forum.
  • Cost-effective: The cost of digital branding is considerably cheaper than traditional marketing techniques.

Business Exposure

All businesses need exposure; digital branding exposes you to the right kind – a global audience. This means a significant opportunity to become popular, sell your product or service, and create opportunities for your business to perform.

 

 

 

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Top 5 Most Popular Online Games in 2019

 

 

Virtual Reality The Next Generation of On-Line Gaming and 5G

New technology has made it easier than ever for people from different parts of the world to be online. As rapid digital technology advancement continues to impact lives, society keeps finding new ways to create and develop more convenient ways to live.

This has led to significant advances in gaming technology which appear to enhance the attraction of online game among video game enthusiasts. Online video games becoming a significant aspect of gaming culture prompted us to itemize a collection of the best and most popular online games in 2019 to help you connect with gamers from different parts of the world in the right places.

  1. Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite Battle Royale is a free-to-play strategic action game developed and published by Epic Games. The game, which is available on PS4, Mac, Windows, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One, is currently the most popular game in the gaming world with almost 5 million concurrent players. This game of survival pits 100 players against each other. Players can choose to play solo or group into duos or squads of four players where they can have another set of eyes watching their back.

  1. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)

PUGB is a battle royale game built and published by PUGB Corporation. The game is based on a few Arma mods and H1Z1. In this multiplayer game, an individual player along with 99 other real-time players are all taken to a remote island that has been abandoned by its inhabitants. The goal of the game is for the player to eliminate the competition using any means necessary and be the last person standing. PUBG is currently one of the most played games in the world and is available on several platforms including Xbox One, PC, Android, and iOS.

  1. League of Legends (LoL)

It may be almost a decade old, but LoL remains evergreen because of its stunning mode scene and the excitement that it generates. League of Legends is a multiplayer action RPG game developed and published by Riot Games. The game allows an individual to control their own “Champion” and pits them against other champions. LoL boasts more than 7 million concurrent players as well as over a hundred million active ones.

  1. Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2, the sequel to Platoon, is a colorful team-based multiplayer shooter game that brings something unusual to the shooter genre. It was created and published by Nintendo and is available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch. Players are required to ink everything visible in an attempt to spread colors over the whole map area.

  1. Hearthstone

Hearthstone is a free-to-play online card game created and published by Blizzard Entertainment. The collectible card game requires players to obtain cards that depict characters, spells, and abilities, which they would then use to build decks of 30, and fight each other afterward.

While there are several other terrific online games you can choose from, the games mentioned above are some of the very best and offer an online gaming experience that allows you to enjoy all of the beauty and opportunities that gaming provides.

 

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How to improve your personal finances using a checklist

Personal Finance Checklist

Revamping your entire financial plan may seem like a gigantic task, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But by breaking your fiscal dreams into smaller, more manageable goals you’ll be setting yourself up for success while gaining some confidence about your money-making decisions with each item you cross off. Making a checklist can by the key to getting your money – and long-term goals – in order. Here are a few examples of simple changes that can make a major impact.

Start small.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to make a substantial change in their life is focusing on objectives that aren’t easily attainable. This is an easy way to sabotage yourself, because the task seems so large you can’t possibly reach it. Think about restructuring your budget in the same way you would expect to start a diet or exercise plan. You wouldn’t expect to be able to run marathons within the first couple of weeks, so why would you hold your finances to a similar standard? Like with most goals, the little things add up. Instead of backlogging every purchase you’ve made in the last six months, start today by tracking all of your extra expenses such as movie nights, eating out, and entertainment-related costs like cable TV or your Netflix subscription. No detail is too small when it comes to money management and financial stability.

Streamline your payments.

Consolidating or organizing all of your bill payments is another simple task to add to your checklist. Determine the bills that you pay regularly, their frequency, amount, and whether or not they can be paid online. If possible, set up all bill payments to withdraw from your bank account automatically and keep track of your email or online confirmations. This can usually be done either through the servicer or your bank. By automating the process, you’ll reduce the amount of time you spend each month gathering paperwork and information. You’ll also simplify your own record keeping, since you should be able to locate most of your payments with just the click of your mouse. Even better, you won’t have to worry about accruing late fees since you know exactly when your account will be debited for each bill cycle.

Pay yourself first.

Having a comfortable savings account is one of the most important steps towards financial security. As part of your monthly, bi-weekly, or even quarterly checklist, send a portion of your paycheck to your savings account each time you get paid. Depending on your personal goals, income, and expenses this amount may vary. However, don’t underestimate how quickly even $10 or $20 per paycheck can add up over time. If possible, set up an automatic deposit so you’ll get used to receiving a lower amount. This is one line item that will give you a bit of satisfaction every time you check it off your list.

Keep your budget balanced.

Keeping your overall budget in order is usually one of the most daunting tasks, but breaking it up into smaller sections will make it a breeze to get through. Make a list of all income sources, everything you spend money on regularly, and for at least one month track all of your expenses to get an idea of how much you should allot for miscellaneous spending. Once you have your list, break the expenses into categories such as utilities, travel, housing, food, insurance, loan payments, and childcare. Your static expenses are those that are consistent for every pay period, and your flexible expenses are the less predictable ones such as car repairs or additional medical costs. Based on what you typically spend per month, you should be able to outline how much is needed to put towards extra expenses on top of your static ones. Being able to check off when each of these obligations are met will give you some peace of mind, and you won’t have to second guess whether you paid that bill or not.

Money Management for Retirement.

Money management is a huge part of most of our lives, and many of us have areas that we’d like to improve. Whether you’re saving for a dream vacation, college, or retirement, keeping track of your goals and when they are met is a valuable tool that you can use for all of your financial plans – no matter how big or small.

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Spam and Fraud Fights Come at a Cost to Twitter

 

Spam and Fraud Fights Come at a Cost as Twitter Growth Slows Down Over Clean-Up Project

Online news and social networking service, Twitter has seen its stock fall 20.5% due to its efforts to purge the platform of fake accounts, according to a USA Today report. The decline, Twitter’s second most significant loss since 2013, represents a serious source of concern for the San Francisco based company.

Twitter lost nearly $5 billion after losing 1 million monthly active users following its decision to clean up the platform, The Guardian reported. In spite of the setbacks suffered, however, the company maintains that it is not backing down on its attempts to clamp down on spamming, as it believes the move is in the overall interest of the service and will ensure long-term growth.

Shareholders have been told to expect a continued decline in the current quarter as Twitter intensifies efforts to ensure civil discourse by stamping out bad behavior. “The continued attempts ‘to prioritize the health of the platform,’ could result in a continued decline in the current quarter,” USA Today quoted the company as telling shareholders in a letter.

Desired Outcomes Are Being Achieved

Twitter said that the measures it put in place to tackle trolls, spam, and bots are achieving the desired outcome, as abuse reports from both search and conversions have reduced by 4- and 8% respectively.

Despite the setbacks suffered, it is not all doom and gloom for Twitter. The USA Today reports states that the organization recorded a 20% rise in its revenue to $710.5 million in the second quarter of 2018, surpassing its forecast of $697.4 million for the period. The firm also made profits of $100.1 million in that time.

This comes as no surprise because most of the accounts being deleted are those that had been blocked for varying reasons such as being compromised or used for spam. As a result, they were already unable to post to the platform.

Also, it is believed that efforts to rid the platform of trolls and spam will further endear twitter to regulators and advertisers, who hope to be left with a higher quality user base.

Famous People Take a Hit

Twitter’s decision to prioritize the health of the platform resulted in many users losing followers. The imposition of measures had led to popular figures such as former president Barack Obama losing over 2 million followers.

Singer, Katy Perry lost around 3 million followers, with her follower count now down to 107 million from 110 million, according to a separate report by the New York Post. President Trump lost about 3200,000 followers, as his followers’ count fell from 53.4 million to 53.1 million.

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What to Do After Being Laid Off

Maybe you had a feeling that a layoff was imminent, or perhaps you had no idea that this would happen to you. Either way, you were just called into your supervisor’s office for a meeting with her and your HR representative, and you were gently told that your job was being eliminated.

Even if you had the notion that this was coming, being laid off can be a jarring experience. In order to get through this time — and you will — consider taking the following next steps:

Take a Deep Breath

No matter how tempting, do not make any knee-jerk reactions like telling your now-former boss that you think he is a giant doofus or that the company will regret letting you go. You will probably want to call on your former supervisors for references, so keep your cool, go for a walk or sit in your car to decompress, and remind yourself that you will be OK. In most cases, layoffs are not a reflection of you or your work, so try not to take this personally. This advice also pertains to social media; take the professional high road and refrain from posting your lay off woes on Facebook and Twitter. While you may eventually wish to use these platforms as a way to network, post lay off emotions can be pretty raw and it’s best to keep your feelings to yourself.

Ask for Everything that is Coming to You

Once the dust settles and you have a bit of time to process being laid off, contact the HR person to get everything that is due you. This includes severance pay, unused benefits like vacation days you never took, and if you can, negotiate a great benefit package that will last you during your job search. Also, request that the HR person write you a laid off letter that will make it clear to future employers that you were let go due to a larger layoff or company financial issues, not because you had done anything wrong. It is also possible that the HR person will have brought along a severance pay letter and other things to sign during the meeting; ask to bring these documents home so you can take your time reading through them before signing them. You should also ask your HR person about if your medical insurance coverage will continue and for how long.

Register for Unemployment Pay

As soon as you can, head to your state employment office to sign up for unemployment pay. Even if your employer promised you a great severance pay package, you can still register for the compensation. Bring the laid off letter with you and do not dilly dally; if you wait too long you may lose your window to qualify for payments.

Look into Entrepreneurial Opportunities

While you may wish to find a job similar to the one you had before, you may find that the hiring process is slow, long and tedious. This may be a great time to embrace your inner entrepreneur and take advantage of the emerging gig economy. Look for ways to get formal and experiential learning opportunities from freelance platforms like Amway, Closet Collective and Uber. To help boost your knowledge about being an entrepreneur and get the tools you need to succeed, consider signing up for the recently-launched Amway Education; the curriculum was designed with budding independent business owners in mind and will help you become a successful entrepreneur as quickly as possible.

 

 

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Transferring Your Skills Into Income

 

Earning extra money on the side has rapidly become the mainstream whether through the gig economy, consulting, or side hustling. In fact, nearly four in 10 Americans have a side hustle, according to Bankrate.com. And while you could just do some odd jobs here and there to earn extra cash, you can take it a step further and transfer your skills and interests into sustainable, consistent income. The trick is figuring out your strengths and skills and identifying the right opportunities along the way. Here’s how to get started.

Play to Your Strengths

Just because your former colleague is making a killing at project management doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good fit for you. Take an assessment of your strengths from organization to leadership and start brainstorming ways to transfer those skills into income. For example, someone highly skilled at marketing and promotion may be well suited to help online entrepreneurs launch their info products. Another idea is to walk budding business owners through the process of gaining organic promotion through outlets like Instagram. The more you can focus on your natural superpowers in business, the more likely you are to find the right work opportunities.

Research Opportunities that Fit Your Skills

Of course, making up a list of strengths doesn’t always reveal a clear path to income generation. This is where researching existing opportunities from franchises to direct sales businesses comes in. Consider where your skills and strengths lie. If you’re skilled at sales and networking, selling products could be a perfect fit. Meanwhile, a passion for creating healthy snacks and smoothies while running your own team could lead to a franchise opportunity. It’s always wise to really research the validity of those companies — from Amway to Smoothie King — to find the best fit. Always look for proven business models with a track record for success that fits your schedule and lifestyle.

Keep it Flexible

It can take some time to match up the right skills with an ideal opportunity. While you launch that side business selling products to consumers to flex your entrepreneurial sales muscles, look for new ways to improve your business skills along the way. Take online classes or courses at community centers and stay flexible to new ideas and interests. You might discover that your interest in sales pairs well with your interest in healthy living and teaching others about the products you love to use.

Shadow a Mentor

Partnering with a mentor is also a powerful way to identify your skills and find a path to income. Ask a former colleague, supervisor, or someone in your community to help you on your journey. Make sure to choose someone who has proven success in areas you’re interested in. Try meeting once or twice a month and working through your ideas and questions. Your mentor can help identify how your skills in bookkeeping or copywriting can directly lead to opening your own business or consulting on the side. From there, you can work with a mentor to figure out how to fill in the gaps from start to finish.

Ask Your Network

Your own network has valuable insights to your skills and strengths. Meeting up for a coffee date with a friend or colleague and asking for help in identifying your skills and brainstorming income opportunities can spark new ideas. You may discover that you never thought much about your ability to come up with ideas quickly and how small businesses would value that skill in marketing and advertising.

Your skills are valuable with the potential to make real money, but it can take a little detective work to put all of the pieces together. Start by playing to your strengths and researching proven business ideas and models to help put money in your pocket.

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New Year’s Day 2019 – Wall Street

New Year’s Day, also called simply New Year’s or New Year, is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar.

In pre-Christian Rome under the Julian calendar, the day was dedicated to Janus, god of gateways and beginnings, for whom January is also named. As a date in the Gregorian calendar of Christendom, New Year’s Day liturgically marked the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus, which is still observed as such in the Anglican Church and Lutheran Church.[2][3]

In present day, with most countries now using the Gregorian calendar as their de facto calendar, New Year’s Day is probably the most celebrated public holiday, often observed with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts in each time zone. Other global New Year’s Day traditions include making New Year’s resolutions and calling one’s friends and family.[1]

In Christendom, under which the Gregorian Calendar developed, New Year’s Day traditionally marks the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, which is still observed as such by the Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church.

Mesopotamia (Iraq) instituted the concept of celebrating the new year in 2000 BC, celebrated new year around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March.[4][5] The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months. (Septem is Latin for “seven”; octo, “eight”; novem, “nine”; and decem, “ten”.) Roman legend usually credited their second king Numa with the establishment of the months of January and February. These were first placed at the end of the year, but at some point came to be considered the first two months instead.

The January Kalends (Latin: Kalendae Ianuariae) came to be celebrated as the new year at some point after it became the day for the inaugurating new consuls in 153 BC. Romans had long dated their years by these consulships, rather than sequentially, and making the kalends of January start the new year aligned this dating. Still, private and religious celebrations around the March new year continued for some time and there is no consensus on the question of the timing for January 1’s new status.[6] Once it became the new year, however, it became a time for family gatherings and celebrations. A series of disasters, notably including the failed rebellion of M. Aemilius Lepidus in 78 bc, established a superstition against allowing Rome’s market days to fall on the kalends of January and the pontiffs employed intercalation to avoid its occurrence.[7][8]

In AD 567, the Council of Tours formally abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on December 25 in honor of the birth of Jesus; March 1 in the old Roman style; March 25 in honor of Lady Day and the Feast of the Annunciation; and on the movable feast of Easter. These days were also astronomically and astrologically significant since, at the time of the Julian reform, March 25 had been understood as the spring equinox and December 25 as the winter solstice. (The Julian calendar’s small disagreement with the solar year, however, shifted these days earlier before the Council of Nicaea which formed the basis of the calculations used during the Gregorian reform of the calendar.) Medieval calendars nonetheless often continued to display the months running from January to December, despite their readers reckoning the transition from one year to the next on a different day.

Among the 7th century pagans of Flanders and the Netherlands, it was the custom to exchange gifts on the first day of the new year. This custom was deplored by Saint Eligius (died 659 or 660), who warned the Flemish and Dutch: “(Do not) make vetulas, [little figures of the Old Woman], little deer or iotticos or set tables [for the house-elf, compare Puck] at night or exchange New Year gifts or supply superfluous drinks [another Yule custom].”[9] However, on the date that European Christians celebrated the New Year, they exchanged Christmas presents because New Years’ Day fell within the twelve days of the Christmas season in the Western Christian liturgical calendar;[10] the custom of exchanging Christmas gifts in a Christian context is traced back to the Biblical Magi who gave gifts to the Child Jesus.[11][12]

Because of the leap year error in the Julian calendar, the date of Easter had drifted backward since the First Council of Nicaea decided the computation of the date of Easter in 325. By the sixteenth century, the drift from the observed equinox had become unacceptable. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII declared the Gregorian calendar widely used today, correcting the error by a deletion of 10 days. The Gregorian calendar reform also (in effect) restored January 1 as New Year’s Day. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar almost immediately, it was only gradually adopted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire – and its American colonies – still celebrated the new year on 25 March.

Most nations of Western Europe officially adopted 1 January as New Year’s Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian Calendar. In Tudor England, New Years Day, along with Christmas Day and Twelfth Night, was celebrated as one of three main festivities among the twelve days of Christmastide.[13] There, until the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752, the first day of the new year was the Western Christian Feast of the Annunciation, on 25 March, also called “Lady Day”. Dates predicated on the year beginning on 25 March became known as Annunciation Style dates, while dates of the Gregorian Calendar commencing on 1 January were distinguished as Circumcision Style dates,[14] because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, the observed memorial of the eighth day of Jesus Christ’s life after his birth, counted from the latter’s observation on Christmas, 25 December. Pope Gregory acknowledged 1 January as the beginning of the new year according to his reform of the Catholic Liturgical Calendar.[15]

 

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14 Very Successful People who Wake up Very Early

The saying goes “the early bird catches the worm,” and as it happens, research would suggest that there’s some level of truth in this old adage.

Waking up either before or with the sun permits high-level executives to get a good head start on the day ahead. They knock out task after task well before the rest of the world has even thought about rising from bed.

And those extra hours provide them with some time to do creative thinking, perhaps fit in a workout, and to spend a little bit of time with the family.

 

CEO at General Motors: Mary Barra

Just as her predecessor was before her, the current chief executive at GM, Mary Barra, is very much an early riser. Regularly, she arrives at the office by 6 a.m., and she’s been doing just that even prior to her appointment as CEO.

 

CEO at AOL: Tim Armstrong

According to Tim Armstrong’s interview with The Guardian he’s not a big sleeper. He wakes around 5 or 5.15 a.m. and then works out, reads, and tinkers around with AOL’s products, as well as answering e-mails.

 

CEO at Xerox: Ursula Burns

Burns rises at 5.15 a.m. even though, sometimes, she’ll work until midnight. When she rises, she’ll catch up with her e-mails. Further, she schedules a bi-weekly 6 a.m. workout.

 

CEO at GE: Jeff Immelt

Immelt rises at 5.30 each morning and does a cardio workout. Simultaneously, he watches CNBC and reads the papers. Apparently, over the past 24-years straight, he’s worked 100-hour weeks.

 

CEO at PepsiCo: Indra Nooyi

Nooyi rises at 4 a.m. She told Fortune that sleep is a gift from God, a gift that she was never given. She arrives at work every day never later than 7 a.m.

 

CEO at Fiat Chrysler: Sergio Marchionne

Marchionne is in the habit of waking at 3.30 a.m. to catch up with European markets. According to an executive he works with, Marchionne would travel to Italy when it’s a holiday in the U.S. And when it’s a holiday in Italy, he’ll return to the U.S. to continue with work.

 

Cofounder of PIMCO: Bill Gross

Now managing portfolios at Janus Capital in Denver, Gross begins his day at 4.30 a.m. to assess the world markets. He’s always in the office before 6.

 

Founder and chairman of Virgin Group: Richard Branson

Branson usually wakes at 5.45 a.m., irrespective he’s holidaying on his private island. He always leaves the curtains open to allow the sun to wake him. His habit is to exercise prior to breakfast, and then go to work.

 

CEO at Virgin America: David Cush

Cush wakes at 4.15 a.m. to get on with e-mail correspondence and calls to business associates in the East. Next, he reads the paper while listening to sports radio, then goes to the gym for some cardio.

 

CEO at Square: Jack Dorsey

Dorsey, who cofounded Twitter, wakes at 5.30 a.m. and meditates prior to going for a six-mile jog.

 

Founder and CEO of Hint Water: Kara Goldin

Goldin wakes at 5.30 a.m. “on the dot,” and checks over her calendar. She then catches up on any unread e-mails. Next, she sips a double latte and goes for an early morning hike together with her husband and dogs before getting on with work-related calls at 7.15 a.m.

 

CEO at Apple: Tim Cook

Cook wakes at 3.45 every morning to get on with e-mails for the first hour. He then heads to the gym, then to Starbucks where he deals with more e-mails, and then to work. He says that if you really love what you do then it’s never thought of as work and this is his good fortune.

 

CEO at Disney: Bob Iger

Iger rises at 4.30 in the morning and reads the papers while exercising, listening to music, watching TV, and checking e-mails – all at once. It’s his “quiet time,” but he’s still intent on multi-tasking.

 

Chair at Ellevate: Salle Krawcheck

Former Citigroup CFO and current chair of Ellevate, Sallie Krawcheck says that she’s always most productive at 4 a.m., at which time she brews some coffee, keeps the lights on low, and occasionally will light up a fire at home. She also says that at 4 a.m. it’s the best time for her to “have a rush of ideas.”

Perhaps it’s too much to ask of your own employees to begin work at 6 a.m. each morning, but with a tool such as Clockspot on your side, you’ll certainly enjoy a far more productive workforce.

Successful people wake up early

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