TIME Careers & Workplace

10 Reasons You Are Not a Millionaire Yet

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You think other people can succeed but not you

Many people out there desperately want to be millionaires, and why wouldn’t they? While money may not buy happiness it can buy a better, less stressful and more fulfilled life. However, before you can be a millionaire you need to have the right strategy and know the reasons why you haven’t met this goal already.

Everybody who wants to be millionaire but isn’t has excuses. “I didn’t pick the right career,” “I can’t afford the schooling,” or “I don’t have time.” These are not reasons, but just excuses and excuses only get in the way of your success. Here are 10 reasons why people do not become millionaires.

1. You have no one guiding you in the right direction.

You need to surround yourself with positive people. Most importantly, you need to find someone you can trust that will help guide you in the right direction. The people you trust most should be the ones pushing you towards success. This is one advantage I did not have early on. I am entirely self-taught, which is why I have created my mentoring program to give that advantage to others.

2. You aren’t willing to make sacrifices.

You really cannot have your cake and eat it too, there are things that you will need to give up. If you can’t sacrifice things like hanging with friends or going out and partying in order to focus on your career, then you will never get the financial success you have been looking for.

3. You fear failure.

You will fail, you will make mistakes, and you need to learn to get over it. If you fear failure, you will never overcome it.

4. Your goals aren’t clear, so neither are your actions.

If you don’t have a clear goal in mind and clear action steps in place to reach that goal, you will never become a millionaire. Take the time to do the planning and do it right.

5. You think other people can succeed but not you.

Believe that you can succeed. Visualize yourself as that successful man or woman who you once envied. If you visualize yourself being a millionaire success, and truly believe it can happen, you are one step closer to your goal.

6. You think your background or location prevents your success.

Nothing can prevent you from success. Lets repeat that: nothing can prevent you from success.

7. You aren’t using the Internet.

The Internet has changed the world and it continues to change the world. If you aren’t using, you aren’t taking advantage of one of the most powerful money making tools out there.

8. You rationalize money can’t buy happiness and forget that it can buy freedom.

Money is your ticket to the freedom so many people want in this world. Freedom can lead to happiness. To find your motivation focus on the freedom that money can buy you.

9. You hang out with the wrong crowd.

The people around you should be your support system. They should be the people there for you, pushing you and keeping you positive and focused. Your crowd of friends and family should not be distractions or negative in any way. If they are, it is time to find a new crowd.

10. You play long shots like the lotto instead of building your skill set.

Building your own skill set and knowledge base is better for you in the long term. Sure, it takes more time and more work but it can lead you to the long-term success that you desire.

Keep these reasons in mind when you are working towards your next professional goal. You will see first hand what you are capable of if you just put these reasons off to the side and focus instead on your path towards becoming a millionaire.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com

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TIME Shell

This Gas Station Bathroom Is Nicer Than Your Apartment

U.S. Cost Of Living Declines Most In 6 Years On Low Fuel Costs
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

So ... when can I move in?

Gas station bathrooms are likely where your parents taught you to flush the toilet with your foot, and open the door using a paper towel. They’re known more for their lack of soap and cleanliness, and not so much for being an elegant pit stop.

But one Shell bathroom in Bohol, an island province of the Philippines, refuses to conform to the norm.

Rather than fearing that you may have somehow been transported into a horror movie, you’re pleasantly greeted with wooden trim, walls lined with paintings, model boats, an array of books and magazines, for some reason tiki torches, and, yes, even soap.

This may be the tourist attraction that convinces me to visit the Philippines:

TIME windows 10

This Windows 10 Feature Is Creating a Lot Of Controversy

GERMANY-IT-CEBIT
TOBIAS SCHWARZ—AFP/Getty Images A man shows Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.

Mozilla's CEO, for one, is very unhappy about it

Windows 10 was released earlier this week, and its launch turned out to be very successful, garnering about 14 million users within the first couple of days. There have been a few controversial features so far, including a hidden fee and an unhelpful error message, but the one that people are most upset about is a feature that quietly changes your default browser for you.

When you upgrade to Windows 10, your default browser will automatically be changed to Edge if you choose the “express settings” option, ignoring the preferences that you had previously chosen. There is an option to maintain your old browser, but you have to click the button that says “customize settings,” which is much smaller than the express option, and then click another button later on to actually enable customization (hint: if you put on your reading glasses, you’ll find it at the bottom left of the screen).

You can change your settings after you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, but it’s not easy. Supposedly, it takes much more effort and technical sophistication than previous versions.

Chris Beard, Mozilla’s CEO, is particularly displeased by this “aggressive” action, which is expressed in both an open letter to Microsoft’s CEO as well as a blog post calling for them to fix the issue. He is appalled by Microsoft’s infringement on their users preferences, and writes:

The update experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have…. Please give your users the choice and control they deserve in Windows 10.

TIME chinese stock market

China’s Stock Market Just Had Its Worst Monthly Drop In 6 Years

FUYANG, CHINA - JUNE 26:(CHINA OUT) An investor observes stock market at a stock exchange hall on June 26, 2015 in Fuyang, Anhui province of China. Chinese stocks dropped sharply on Friday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 334.91 points, or 7.40 percent, to close at 4192.87 points. The Shenzhen Component Index shed 1293.66 points, or 8.24 percent, to 14398.78 points. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress)***_***
ChinaFotoPress

The country's economic woes continue

China’s stock market fell again on Friday, with The Shanghai Composite Index slipping 1.1% to close at 3,663.73, according to a report in Bloomberg News.

The loss brings to an end the worst month for stocks in China since August of 2009, when China was still reeling from a global financial panic and recession that caused massive losses in financial markets around the world.

For the month of July, the Shanghai Composite Index fell a total of 15%, despite unprecedented state intervention aimed at calming markets. According to Bloomberg, the losses on Friday started “after Reuters reported that Chinese regulators had asked financial institutions in Singapore and Hong Kong for stock-trading records as part of efforts to track down investors betting against shares in China.”

Chinese regulators also halted trading in 505 companies on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges on Friday, equivalent to 18% of all listings.

TIME China

This Map Shows China’s Cyber Invasion Of The U.S. Is Well Underway

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Grant Faint—Getty Images

There have reportedly been more than 600 successful attacks in the past five years

The Chinese government’s ongoing cyber assault on American companies and government entities is a bit of an open secret, but the extent of the alleged campaign has been little understood because victims are reluctant to admit their computer systems have been compromised.

On Thursday, NBC News published a map, obtained by the National Security Administration, that should help further the public’s understanding of the scope of the Chinese cyber invasion of U.S. public and private entities.

The map, which was prepared by the NSA in February 2014, reportedly shows more than 600 successful attempts “to steal corporate and military secrets and data about America’s critical infrastructure, particularly the electrical power and telecommunications and internet backbone.” Each dot represents and individual attack.

According to NBC News:

The prizes that China pilfered during its “intrusions” included everything from specifications for hybrid cars to formulas for pharmaceutical products to details about U.S. military and civilian air traffic control systems, according to intelligence sources.

 

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TIME Donald Trump

Here’s What Mark Cuban Has to Say About Running For VP on a Donald Trump Ticket

2014 Billboard Music Awards - Red Carpet
Bryan Steffy/Billboard Awards 20—Getty Images for DCP Mark Cuban

Cuban has praised Trump’s bid for the White House

If there’s one thing that Donald Trump’s campaign has been lacking, it’s the presence of a conceited and opinionated billionaire.

Fear not, Trump supporters! Dallas Mavericks owner and noted Mark-Cuban enthusiast, Mark Cuban, told Business Insider on Thursday that he would, “consider” running as Donald Trump’s vice-presidential running mate, if he were asked. However, Cuban went on to say that ultimately “probably not” take the position if offered because he’s “not cut out for politics . . . at least [the] way they are now.”

Cuban has recently praised the Trump campaign as “probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long long time” because Trump has shown that an unpolished businessman with an unconventional resume can run for office while speaking honestly about issues that matter to him. Writes Cuban:

Up until Trump announced his candidacy the conventional wisdom was that you had to be a professional politician in order to run . . . You had to have a background that was politically scrubbed. In other words, smart people who didn’t live perfect lives could never run. Smart people who didn’t want their families put under the media spotlight wouldn’t run.

TIME windows 10

This Is How Many People Are Now Using Windows 10

SKOREA-US-IT-MICROSOFT
JUNG YEON-JE—AFP/Getty Images

It looks like it was a very successful launch

Windows 10 has been available for a little over 24 hours, and so far the launch appears to be going well.

Already, there are 14 million computers around the world running the new software, according to a post Thursday on Microsoft’s Blogging Windows blog. Microsoft says that, it is “carefully rolling out Windows 10 in phases, delivering Windows 10 first to our Windows Insiders.” That means that while millions have already received the upgrade, there are millions more that are still waiting to receive their upgrades.

If you have requested an upgrade, but haven’t yet received it, Microsoft says, “we will notify you once your PC is ready for Windows 10 and it has been downloaded on your PC. The best way to know your upgrade is ready is to look for this notification in your system tray.”

Read next: Why You’ll Actually Want to Use Microsoft’s New Web Browser

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TIME Careers & Workplace

Why Trusting Your ‘Gut Feeling’ Is Often the Best Strategy

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The brain uses a combination of logic and emotion when making decisions of any kind

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There is no such thing as a purely logical decision. The brain uses a combination of logic and emotion when making decisions of any kind. That specific emotion, innate to us as humans, is intuition. We possess the capacity to feel, and thereby the ability to know things without consciously reasoning. The “gut feeling” is real, and we use it all the time.

“Going with our gut,” however, implies uncertainty and does not guarantee a good outcome. Sometimes all the hard information we need is right there for us, and we can rely on logic without leaning too much on our gut instincts. But when it’s not, wouldn’t it be nice to know that our gut gives better than a 50/50 chance of success?

Gary Player, the golf legend, often tells this story. Years ago, he was practicing in a bunker and an onlooker approached just in time to see Player hole a sand shot. The onlooker yelled, “Fifty bucks if you do that again,” and Player stepped up and holed the second shot. The guy yelled, “OK, $100 if you do it again.” Sure enough, the third shot went in. As he was paying up, the onlooker said, “I’ve never seen anyone so lucky in my entire life,” to which Player replied, “Well, the more I practice the luckier I get!”

I think we can sharpen our intuition just as a golfer sharpens his or her skills. Gary Player’s dedication to practice increased the probability of success for any given shot. To hone intuition, it’s all about giving our brain more emotional information to work with through life experience to increase the probability of success for any given gut decision. Basically, the more we experience the more accurate our guts become.

Our brains record it all; every meeting, client interaction, presentation, and personal decision. With every experience, the cache of information our brains have at their disposal grows. Think of a jigsaw puzzle. Your brain’s job is to decide what the image is, but it only has one of the 100 pieces to the puzzle. With every relevant experience, another puzzle piece becomes available. Soon, the brain will have enough information to identify the image.

Within an organization, there is a variety of thinking preferences which are naturally intuitive in different ways:

Social thinkers tend to be intuitive by nature. This makes sense, as their thinking revolves around people and relationships, which are not exactly quantifiable. Generally, you can feel good about trusting the social thinkers’ guts when it comes to people-related issues.

Conceptual thinkers may not be able to “show their work” or otherwise explain why they know something. Having a lot of conceptual thinking in your brain is like being the person who could answer the math problem without showing the teacher how you arrived at the answer. They just know. The dots are all connected inside their mind. As long as they understand, that’s good enough.

Analytical thinkers are the opposite of social thinking with regard to intuition. After all, why on earth would anyone make a decision based on anything but sound logic and data analysis? They’d rather have all the information and make a decision from there. But when they have to go with their guts they are actually more accurate than they think because their gut filters through the logical neural-pathways of their brain.

Structural thinkers are often intuitive about time and dates. They are likely to have a good sense of how long a project will take, how long a meeting will last, or what time to leave for an appointment across town. Don’t have a structural preference? Pay attention to someone in your office/home who does. They have the innate ability to understand these things and can help prevent you from putting too many things to do in one day.

That’s what is going on in your brain. But what happens when you try to communicate your gut response or actions to other people? Your behavioral preferences are how you manifest your intuition.

  • 1/3 of the Expressiveness Spectrum: Just because you are not speaking does not mean you have nothing to say. Having that gut feeling may be distressing for you because you have the idea but you’d prefer to internally process the gut reaction before outwardly communicating it. If normally remaining quiet and introspective is your preference, try stepping out of your comfort zone by sharing your gut feeling.
  • 3/3 of the Expressiveness Spectrum: You like to speak your mind on a team or in a group, but be weary of not putting too much faith in just your gut feeling or people may not take your thoughts seriously.
  • 1/3 of the Assertiveness Spectrum: If your gut tells you that the project is not going the right direction, pay attention to your gut feeling. As a natural peacekeeper, you’re likely to ignore your gut for the sake of not rocking the boat. But just think about how you’ll feel if the plan doesn’t pan out- you’ll end up wishing you had rocked the boat earlier on.
  • 3/3 of the Assertiveness Spectrum: Driving the right ideas in a meeting for you is almost the same as always going with your gut. But with your forceful preferences, it is important to give others the chance who are not as outspoken the opportunity to speak their minds too. Sometimes the best way to follow your gut feeling is to take a step back and see all parts of the argument to make sure yours is credible.
  • 1/3 of the Flexibility Spectrum: Once your gut tells you that this is the right direction, you will be focused on what track to follow. Your unwavering focus does not mean you’re closed to change, but that you require a lot of credible information to change your mind from your gut feeling.
  • 3/3 of the Flexibility Spectrum: For someone who is very accommodating, you may often second-guess your own intuition. Pay attention to your gut feeling and don’t try to question that feeling because often times it is the right move.

Each of us can still hone our intuition even if we don’t have a strong thinking preference one way or another. For instance, someone without a dominant Social preference still has some level of Social intuition that will be enhanced by every interaction with people. In general, any experience is a good experience, and the more we have of them, the more accurate our gut feelings become.

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article above was originally published at Inc.com

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MONEY Shopping

10 Things Millennials Buy Far More Often Than Everyone Else

For real, snakes?

Roughly a year ago, we at MONEY rounded up a fun list of 10 things millennials won’t spend money on—at least not to the same degree as older generations. Cars, cable TV, and Costco were all on the list, as were houses. A freshly released Pew Research Center study indicates that a larger-than-expected percentage of young people are still living with their parents rather than moving out and perhaps buying a place of their own.

Yes, millennials are stingy when it comes to spending in certain categories. Yet even as they aren’t following in the footsteps of their consumer forebears in terms of embracing big-ticket items like houses and cars, millennials spend far more freely on certain other items compared to older generations. Here are 10 things they buy more often—sometimes a lot more often—than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers, including a few big surprises.

  • Gas Station Food

    Customers line up for their free Slurpees in a 7-Eleven store in New York
    Richard Levine—Alamy

    Millennials have been referred to as the grab-and-go generation, with 29% saying that they often purchase food and drink while on the run, compared with 19% of consumers overall. You might think that Chipotle or perhaps Starbucks would be the biggest beneficiary of this habit. But according to the NPD Group, Gen Y restaurant visits are actually on the decline, particularly among older millennials who are more likely to have families. What’s more, in terms of drawing millennial food and beverage visits, the fast-casual segment is handily beaten by an under-the-radar retail category: the gas station.

    Whereas fast-casual accounted for 6.1% of millennial food and beverage stops in 2014, NPD researchers point out that 11.4% of such visits took place at convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Wawa, Cumberland Farms, and Sheetz, where the hot to-go offerings include salads, wraps, healthy(ish) sandwiches, pizza, and wings alongside old standards like hot dogs and microwaveable burritos. Some even have espresso and smoothie bars, which is probably news to most older folks. “If you’re 50 or over, you still think the convenience store is primarily a gas station,” the NPD Group’s Harry Balzer explained to USA Today.

  • Same-Day Delivery

    FedEx Same Day delivery truck
    courtesy FedEx

    Patience is not exactly a virtue among consumers who grew up with smartphones and social media. Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow sums up this mindset as “I want what I want, when I want it,” and points to a Shop.org survey indicating that millennials have been twice as likely as other generations to pay extra for same-day delivery of online purchases.

    Earlier this year, the New York Times took note of a surge in same-day delivery, in particular among services supplying alcohol directly to the customer’s door. “It has not hurt that millennials, who are used to ordering food for delivery on their smartphones, have come of legal drinking age,” the Times noted.

  • Hot Sauce

    Sriracha bottles on shelf
    Patti McConville—Alamy

    Sriracha is everywhere. It is spicing up potato chips and croutons, adding some extra kick to Heinz ketchup, and offering a strange twist at Pizza Hut. Heck, it’s even in beer. And the overwhelming reason Sriracha is ubiquitous is that it’s evolved into the go-to condiment of the all-important millennial demographic. More than half of American households now have hot sauce on hand. Sriracha specifically is stocked in 9% of them—and in 16% of households headed by someone under age 35.

    The hot sauce craze has translated to a constantly changing roster of ultra-spicy items on fast food menus. Part of the reason that millennials prefer spicier foods is that they were exposed to different tastes at fairly young ages. “Millennials like hot, spicy foods because of their experience with more ethnic foods, like Hispanic and Asian,” said Kelly Weikel, senior consumer research manager at Technomic.

  • Snakes

    snake collar
    Luca Gavagna—Getty Images/iStockphoto

    This past spring, an odd extension for Google Chrome was desisnged to allow users to sub the phrase “snake people” in the place of “millennials” on screens. It was a fun goof that now seems like ancient history. But it turns out that millennials really are snake people, in the sense that they have more interest than other generations in buying and keeping snakes—and all reptiles—as pets.

    “This age group, 15-35 years old, is the generation that is most active in reptile keeping and searching for related material online,” Keith Morris, national sales manager for the reptile product site ZooMed.com, told Pet Age last summer. Data collected by Pet Age also indicates millennials are more willing to splurge on their pets with luxuries like custom beds: 76% said they’d be likely to splurge on pets rather than themselves, compared with just 50% of Baby Boomers. Yet another survey indicated that millennials are far more interested than Boomers and Gen Xers in pet healthcare as a job benefit. So the big takeaway is: Millennials really love pets in all shapes, sizes, and species.

  • Athleisure

    Yoga Pants
    Kirsten Dayton—Alamy

    The demographic that overwhelmingly gets the credit for yoga pants replacing jeans as the mainstream go-to casual bottom of choice (and even coming to be seen as legitimate work clothes at the office) is of course the millennial generation. Yoga pants, hoodies, sweatpants, and other leggings are lumped into the “athleisure” or “leisurewear” clothing category, which has been most warmly embraced by millennials—and in turn inspired retailers ranging from Ann Taylor to the Gap to Dick’s Sporting Goods to ramp up their selections of women’s exercise wear that’s not necessarily for exercise.

    “When I look at athleisure bottom business—the yoga pant, sweat pant, sweat short—it has displaced the jean business one to one,” NPD Group retail analyst Marshal Cohen said recently. Sales of such clothing rose 13% during a recent 12-month span, and now represent roughly 17% of the entire clothing market, according to the market research firm. “For every jean we are not selling or used to sell we are selling an athleisure bottom. It has become as important to the market as denim would be.”

    Side note: Yoga pants aren’t the only skin-tight garment getting a boost from millennials. During the 12-month period that ended in May, spending on women’s tights was up 24% among millennials, who now account for 45% of all sales in the category.

  • Organic Food

    Organic produce sections in The Whole Foods Market in Willowbrook, Illinois
    Jeff Haynes—AFP/Getty Images

    According to a Gallup poll conducted last summer, 45% of Americans actively seek out organic foods to include in their diets. Millennials are a lot more likely than average to feel that it’s important to go organic, however, so the preferences of younger consumers skew the overall average up. Whereas only 33% of Americans age 65 and older actively try to include organic foods in their diets, 53% of Americans ages 18 to 29 do so.

  • Tattoos & Piercings

    Millennial with the words "Hustle" and "Money" tattooed on each leg using his iPhone
    Petri Artturi Asikainen—Getty Images

    It’s been estimated that 20% of Americans—and nearly 40% of millennials—have at least one tattoo. Surveys conducted for Pew Research several years ago indicated that about 30% of millennials had piercings somewhere other than their ears, which is six times higher than older Americans.

    Despite the growing acceptance of tattoos simply by way of them becoming mainstream, millennials remain somewhat cautious about getting one because it could hurt their chances of being hired. Or at least they’re careful when deciding the placement of a tattoo. In a recent University of Tampa poll, 86% of students said that having a visible tattoo would hurt one’s chances of getting a job. It’s understandable, then, that 70% of millennial workers with tattoos say they hide their ink from the boss.

  • Energy Drinks

    Monster brand energy drinks on sale in a convenience store in New York
    Richard Levine—Alamy

    American parents, likely exhausted by nighttime feedings, hectic schedules, and such, understandably feel the need to resort to energy drinks. A recent Mintel survey shows that 58% of U.S. households with children consume Red Bull, Monster, or other energy drinks, compared to just 27% of households without kids.

    Meanwhile, millennials are even more likely than parents in general to throw back energy drinks: 64% of millennials consume them regularly, and 29% of older millennials (ages 27 to 37, who are more likely to be parents themselves) say they’ve increased the number of energy drinks they consume in recent months.

  • Donations at the Cash Register

    signing electronic bill at register
    Juan Monino—Getty Images

    Some shoppers feel annoyed and put on the spot when a store clerk asks if they’d like to make a charitable donation while ringing up a purchase at the cash register. This isn’t the case with the typical millennial, however.

    According to a report from the consultancy firm the Good Scout Group, of all generations “Gen Y likes being asked to give to charity at the register the most.” What’s more, millennials say that they donate at store cash registers more often than any other generation, and they also felt “most positively about charities and retailers once they gave.”

  • Craft Booze

    Growlers on a table outside Faction Beer Brewery, Alameda, California
    Silicon Valley Stock—Alamy

    More so than other generations, millennials have demonstrated a distaste for mass-market beers and spirits—and a preference for the pricier small-batch booze. In one survey, 43% of millennials say craft beer tastes better than mainstream brews, compared to less than one-third of Baby Boomers. As millennials have grown up and more and more have crossed the age of 21, craft beer sales have soared at the same time that mass-market brands like Budweiser and Miller have suffered. A Nielsen poll showed that 15% of millennials’ beer money goes to the craft segment, which is impressive considering the limited buying power of this college-age demographic. By comparison, craft brews account for less than 10% of money spent on beer by Gen X and Baby Boomers.

    Millennials are also given an outsize share of the credit for the boom in craft spirits over household brands handled by the big distributors. As with craft beer, researchers say that millennials like craft liquors partly because it’s easier to connect to the back story of the beverages, and there’s an air of “inclusive exclusivity” and uniqueness about them. For that matter, millennials seem to care more in general about liquor brands. In one survey, 64% of millennials said that including the brand of spirit in a menu cocktail description was important or very important, compared to 55% of Gen Xers and 50% of Baby Boomers who felt that way.

TIME Careers & Workplace

Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Protecting Your Reputation Online

TIME.com stock photos Social Apps iPhone Facebook
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Examine your past, present and future

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As an entrepreneur who has spent a lot of time building a positive and powerful online reputation for myself, I need to make sure I’m working alongside others who have done the same. Thanks to social media and Google, it’s quite easy to find personal and business history on nearly anyone — especially if they aren’t careful with their social media activity. I’m not the only one interested in this type of information. Now every individual and potential hire is under a magnifying glass before their employer makes any final decision.

Mark Cuban recently did an interview with Inc. on the massive transformation of digital media and how personal data is being shared at an alarming rate. The majority of this personal data is collected through social networks and shared with various applications, sites, partners and more — usually without the end user’s knowledge.

Todd William of ReputationRhino.com agrees that data is potentially putting social media users at risk: “The pressure to share on social media is intense. But oversharing has a number of unforeseen consequences, like the boss discovering you at opening day instead of taking a sick day, your kids asking about those funny-looking cigarettes or a burglar finding out you are away from home on vacation.”

It’s not just about the sharing of your data, it’s also about what data is being shared, how it’s being used and how your past updates, shares, retweets and likes could possibly come back to haunt you.

Cuban mentioned that networks are now building personal profiles for every individual out there based off the data that is already available on the web. This information is priceless to marketing companies and companies who are hiring. It is completely changing the landscape of technology and the way we live our lives in the coming months.

Re-Examining Your Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint is already out there, but it’s not too late to make it smaller and remove any connections or content out there that could potentially harm you down the road.

With the recent news that Google will start indexing Twitter updates within their search results, it’s now more important than ever for individuals to take control over what content they have online and not let their past social media digital footprint potentially harm them in the future.

The first step is going through your main social profiles on networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and doing a manual audit of your updates, pictures and friend relationships. A manual audit will give you an idea of the type of content you’ve put out there in the past. By cleaning it up now, you can remove it from harming you in the future. In almost all cases, there is no need to leave potentially harmful content within your social profile history. All it takes it a simple click of the delete button to remove it from your profile stream.

Another option is to make sure you have a good reputation management plan or first impression in place. When someone searches for you or your brand online, you want to make sure they are finding quality content that puts you in a good light. For example, there are hundreds of other people who share my name in the world, but I’ve done my work to make sure I rank on the first page every time you search “Zac Johnson.” I created my own site, blog, managed social profiles and highlighted my expertise on other high authority sites across the Internet.

No matter how big or small your social network and online digital footprint might be, there is no better time to start cleaning it up than today. Removing just three pieces of potentially harmful content per day equates to over 100 removals over the course of a month. Take some time to invest in your future and your online reputation.

Zac Johnson has 20 years of experience in the online marketing and business space. You can learn more about Zac athttp://zacjohnson.com and through his latest online learning course and community at http://blogging.org.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

This article originally appeared on BusinessCollective

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