A debit card payday loan is a short term loan made against the guarantee of your debit card, with the agreement that the loan will be paid back on your next payday. If you’re facing a temporary cash shortage, a debit card payday loan can be a tempting quick fix.Your need may be as basic as suddenly being out of groceries, or as unique as needing a bit extra to fund an engagement ring or a big celebration. You may be confident that you can cover any debit card loans by your next payday, but there are many risks to these loans.The loan period is usually about two weeks and finance charges on these payday loans are typically in the range of 15-30% for the two-week period. That may sound like not much more than credit card interest rates, but translated into an annual percentage rate (APR), that’s a whopping 390 percent to 780 percent – far, far more than the most exorbitant credit card rates.Despite the high interest rates, the convenience of payday loans is another part of what makes them tempting. There are many online loan companies that will extend debit card loans without you needing to do more than provide bank account, Social Security and employment information. It can be almost as easy as setting up an account with something like eBay – but the risks are much greater.Debit card payday loans can be easy to get – making them attractive to people with poor credit and short term needs – but difficult to get out of in the long run.Debit Card Payday Loans: The Danger of Getting Caught in a CycleIf you reach the end of your loan period and don’t have enough in your bank account to pay back the loan, you face several problems. The loan company will attempt to transfer the funds from your account – if the funds aren’t there, your bank will charge you an overdraft fee. Then, the loan company will charge you a fee for not paying the loan, and flip the loan over to your next pay period. The high interest fees will continue to apply to the loan as well, further hiking up the amount you owe.This triple threat – overdraft fee, loan default fee, and continuing high interest rates – can land you in a cycle in which you struggle to pay off the loan by the end of each pay period. If you can’t pay it off in full, the loan will continue to flip and accrue interest. You’ll be caught in a punishing cycle.Debit Card Payday Loans: Surrounded by ControversyThis punishing cycle is one of the reasons debit card payday loans are so controversial and are even illegal in some states. Some legislators have campaigned vigorously against debit card loans companies, accusing them of trapping people in cycle of credit dependency, and of aggressive, misleading advertising and billing practices.In 2008, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation fined a company $234,000 for exceeding the $15.50 per $100 limit on charges for payday loans. A customer had not only been charged more than the company was entitled to collect under the Illinois Payday Loan Reform Act, but also received warnings that the account was ‘seriously delinquent’ and that the unpaid balance was hundreds of dollars more than the customer had legitimately borrowed and paid back.Think Carefully Before Taking a Debit Card Payday LoanSo if you’re facing an unexpected cash shortage, think carefully before taking debit card loans. Look closely at the interest rates and don’t be fooled by low-sounding two week rates that translate into exorbitant annual percentages. Make sure the company you’re borrowing from doesn’t have a history of aggressive or misleading practices. And, if you do decide to take a debit card payday loan, make sure you really can pay it off in full at your next payday.
Many worksite wellness programs today are focused only on activities. And you do want to deliver more value, especially results, right?If you doubt my assertion that too many programs today are focused only on activities, then just look over the postings to the worksite wellness groups on LinkedIn and you will frequently see questions posted from group members looking for ideas as to the next type of programming or intervention they should offer. This certainly suggests to me that their efforts are not based on the identified needs arising from any sort of organizational assessment, but more just a series of activities.So what are the differences between activities based and results based programs? The following should help you differentiate the differences.Activity BasedActivity based programs can be identified by:There is no identified business need for the program.There is no assessment of the program’s performance.There are no specific measurable goals and objectives.No specific participant results are shared with the participants nor are they expected to achieve any specific results.No effort is made to prepare the work environment to support any type of healthy lifestyle change. The program’s focus is exclusively on the individual employee.The wellness program makes no effort to collaborate with or to build partnerships with other key internal program managers or any external resources either.There is no monitoring, tracking or measurement of results or any type of cost-benefit analyses.Any program planning conducted is focused solely on program inputs.Little or no reporting about the program occurs.Results Based In contrast, results based programs can be identified by:There being a clear link to and deliberate attention to specific business needs identified through a comprehensive, organization-wide needs assessment. The program is also clearly aligned with the business’ goals, philosophies and practices.The effectiveness of many, if not all, interventions and activities are assessed. Performance assessment is a hallmark of the program.Each intervention and activity has specific, identified goals and objectives. Specific goals and objectives are also in place for the organizational impact.Expected participant results are communicated to all participants.The wellness program works to prepare the organizational environment to support and promote employee lifestyle change.Collaboration and the establishment of partnerships are established with other key program managers, outside resources and the employees themselves. Collaboration and partnerships are key components of a results based program. Wellness practitioners acknowledge they can’t do it all themselves.Monitoring, tracking and measurement occur in all aspects of a results based wellness program. Results guide the future change and development. Cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness and ROI type analyses are clearly evident.Program planning incorporates both strategic and operational type planning, with an emphasis on outcomes.Reporting on the program occurs widely across the organization and through multiple types of distribution channels.If your desire is for an effective, successful and sustainable worksite wellness program, I do hope your program’s efforts are results based.
I just watched 10 minutes of an 18 minute video blog from an artist who is seeking a personal (music) manager. He says he hasn’t gotten ahead like he should since he has not had a manager- and this future manager needs to make him a priority client, yet he doesn’t say anything about his own success or what he is doing that needs management. I turned it off. I had heard it all before.On a weekly basis I get up to 20 myspace friend add-requests from artists who say “I need a manager. Listen to my music.” I hit “deny” almost every time. I meet artists all the time who want a manager because they want the manager to “take us to the next level” or “hook me up with labels” or “get me shows.”Enough is enough. They all are singing the same tune. Artists- if you seek a manager and don’t fully understand artist management, not sure what your needs are and don’t know how to go about properly introducing yourself to a prospective manager, this article is for you. So that artist managers like me won’t turn off your video blogs, deny you on myspace, and duck out of sight in a networking situation.UNDERSTANDING ARTIST MANAGEMENTIncredibly, so many artists who seek management actually have no idea what it is. They just know that the manager is their ticket to greater success. Managers help guild the artist’s career towards the accomplishment of established goals. Managers are an integral part in finding new ways for an artist to effectively compete in the marketplace. The artist manager is involved in establishing, promoting and sustaining the artist’s career in conjunction with the efforts of the artist. But managers do a varying degree of this as their is no industry standard.QUALIFYING The first step is qualifying yourself (the artist). Qualifying yourself means sizing your (music artist) self up. What are your accomplishments? Have you finished a demo, including mixing and mastering and manufacturing it or are you in the initial stages of recording? Have you been performing live? Have you sold songs on iTunes or had radio play? Do you have a buzz with press? What is noteworthy about you? Do not start bragging you are the hottest, best so&so to hit the streets, because to us managers that means nothing if you have nothing concrete to back it up with. You need real, measurable progress that we can back-check. There should be some momentum to your career before you seek management; that is, something to manage. This doesn’t mean you have to be wildly successful yet, but you should be able to articulate clearly and directly what you have achieved in your career so far and also be able to articulate what goals you have for your career growth and development. After you qualify yourself, you also need to qualify the manager you seek. Just getting “a manager” should not be the goal. Managers tend to be connected better in certain regions, and also many focus their work within a particular genre. Time to find out who fellow artists are represented by. Do research on these managers. Do they have good reputations? If so, ask for a meeting with them explaining your success and why you seek representation from this particular manager. There are many good managers out there, but there are just as many unqualified, unprofessional managers too. I realize so many acts write me because they see “manager,” but know nothing else about me- including the genres I work with or the state I work in. Knowing who you are pursuing is a critical first step.NEEDSWhen you did your self-analyzation, you should have identified your strengths and your weaknesses. It will be imperative for you to be able to articulate what needs you have beyond the broken record of the your desire to get to “the next level.” Managers have different strengths (some have great experience developing an act, some have industry ears and can help you pick a song, and some have strengths in touring, ie) and so by you identifying what you need, you can get closer to finding a manager who is the right fit.Many hungry artists think their success rests in some manager’s rolodex and they seek this person out for one reason only- to get access to the manager’s connections in the business. A good manager will, in fact, have a large contact list of qualified professionals. But as managers, we guard these contacts like precious gems. The manager must have a strong belief in the artist’s future success before he/she would be willing to set up meetings and engage their colleagues about you.A better focus for you to have is to start with self-management or have a friend assist you in the business parts of your career. Work on your artistry and your popularity (fans online and offline). Seasoned managers keep their eyes and ears open to who’s next and if you are creating a lot of buzz (selling out shows, selling CDs independently, thousands of hits on YouTube, etc.), that manager will find you. Another option is to seek a management consultation which will allow you to tip-toe into a working relationship with the manager. Sometimes managers will be willing to consult you on a project-by-project basis and that way you have some business support why you audition for the manager and they audition for you to see if it’s a right fit.RECIPROCALThe best management relationship is built on trust and respect. If the manager truly believes in the artist’s talent and the artist completely trusts the guidance of the manager, it can be a very rewarding relationship. Both parties should work equally hard. Remember, managers are paid a commission of the artist’s income. So, if you have no income coming in yet, make an offer to pay for the managers time in a different way (like hourly or by project), until some income is generated. Make that be the first benchmark, for you both to achieve together, finding income streams for the artist and their music.So to recap:
Identify your strengths & weaknesses and qualify yourself.
Be able to clearly articulate who you are and what success you have had.
Learn what artist managers do.
Consider self-management while you build your fan base.
Have something to manage before approaching a manager! Identify what your needs are.
Research managers to approach that work in your genre of music and have good reputations.
Build trust and respect with the manager before demanding they open their rolodex, and come up with a fair way to pay the manager for their services.
These few things will set you apart from the zillion other artists out there aimlessly reaching out to “a manager” in cyberspace. And hopefully help you start a mutually rewarding relationship to further your career.