If you can’t have what others have – then have ALL the rest

How many of you have a family with 1 girl and 1 boy? (This is considered to be the ideal family, as per the commercials that we watch on TV every day). How many of you have the job of your dreams, or get paid more than what you could spend in a month? How many of you have a big house with 4 bedrooms, designer living room and a yard that can fit the latest model car and the jeep of your spouse?

If you have all the things listed above, you are probably not reading this article… Mainly because those kind of people are not on LinkedIn but are using other platforms.

We all like to compare ourselves. We all want to have what we don’t and pretend that this will make us happier. Is it really like this? Do you really want to go on a holiday to the Maldives, when you know that you suffer from sea-sickness – just because your colleague is planning this gorgeous vacation with his soulmate?

Nobody wants to be counted as the “outsider”. Such people are even considered “losers”, because they don’t match “society “and stand out of the crowd for who they are.

Boyko Manev

Is it easy to be "different"?

- To be unemployed, when all your friends have their “nice jobs” from 9 am to 5 pm.

- To be single, when all your friends are in a “serious relationship”.

- To be broke (in debt), when all your friends are “doing well financially”.

The answer is No. But do you have to feel guilty for this? Here the answer is again No!

Remember: There is a reason why you are “different”. We are all on this planet with some mission. Just try to find your mission and be happy with who you are (and your current status).

If you are unemployed, and have difficulties finding the “right job”, then enjoy the moment and use your free time. Don’t waste your time being negative. To have all the time in the world is actually something that all the working people will feel really jealous about. Do what others can’t? Use this time to invest in yourself – by attending some courses, going on vacations to exotic places –enjoy this moment to its fullest. Try to get the best out of it. For sure it will not last forever, and one day when you start working you will ask yourself – why the f*** didn’t I go to this nice spot on the sea coast?

If you are single, and have tried “all the options on the table”, then don’t stress yourself more than you already are. Is it your fault that you are single? Most likely the answer is Yes. But should it make you sad all the time – No. You have tried all the options, so enjoy your time on your own in a better way. Learn how to live in peace with yourself and grow your confidence. It could be that this actually helps you to attract other people and soon you will not be single but approached by “Mr./Mrs. Right ”. Think about it!

If you are broke (in debt), you probably have already figure out how to live your life, so that others are “ok “with your current status.... It is not easy to give advice to people who are in such situation. Especially when other people are dependable on them. What you should do is to start your life from the scratch. Forget about your past! Don't even look at it. Start from the bottom and pay two times more attention to what you do. Don't repeat your mistakes twice! "Wake up!" and make an Action Plan for your life. Don't expect someone else to do it instead of you. Everybody deserves to be happy, but happiness is not given for granted. The most important thing is that you are "ok" with your status and have learnt your lessons.

Unfortunately our lives are too short to live isolated. You are not helping yourself at all. Be open-minded and enjoy the most out of life - if you can’t have what others have – have ALL the rest!!!

"Remember nothing is what it looks like…"
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

The Hotel Sustainability

As a Green Roof specialist who has posted articles on the importance of the environmental sustainability, now I would like to draw your attention to something different: the hotel sustainability.

The phrase “hotel sustainability” has become more known in the past ten-twenty years, and become somehow trendy, in a way "sexy", but also much needed for those properties that would like to stay on top in terms of numbers. Being a leader, not only by manipulating the online customer-feedback applications, but by really taking actions that are with long term vision and focused in to the Future and the Nature!

In now days, everyone wants to be number 1 and that is quite normal: to be well-acknowledged, to be well-accepted, but above all to be the most profitable in his competition set.

One question we all have to answer is – is it all about the money? Some of you may not agree with me, but in general it is not – at least not concerning the money you spent on investments.

Boyko Manev

It is all about what you do and who will follow you. When you as an entrepreneur or owner have focused on the future, the environment and the nature – you will get more and more followers à more and more repeating guests à more and more revenue à bigger profit. (Most likely by penetrating bigger market share as well).

At the end it is all about the money… but about the money you make and not really the money you invest or spent.

It is more valuable and long-term pay-back investment to create awareness and become a pioneer who others will follow, rather than to invest in “bricks” and “un-needed facilities”.

One of the very first initiatives, in the field of hotel sustainability for me was Responsible Business at the Radisson Blu Grand Hotel in Sofia, where I worked for over 5 years. Great initiative that was further developed and become part of the Green Key Global.

There are different environmental programs in which an owner or hotel establishment, if not already affiliated with hotel chain (hotel chains usually administrate the social policies through their headquarters) can apply and become member. Some of them are:

- Environmental Certification programs in hospitality: Green Key Global – (GKG), Green Globe International, Sustainable Tourism Eco-Certification Program (STEP), Green Star Hotel, Ecotel managed by HVS and others.

- Green Building Certification Programs: LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, governed in USA, Green Globes, Building Research Establishments (BRE) and others.

It is not easy to convince one hotelier that he needs to apply and become a member or to implement the above listed standards and requirements. They really need to be given facts that can direct them towards such decision. The majority of them invest money, because they simply have them now and want to have them as return on investment as soon as possible.

One of the reasons that can be used to gain a confidence in the investors is cost saving. Cost saving aims to do cost reduction on existing or future expenses. If there are activities, like waste recycling (separation and reduction of the waste) or deducted water consumption which stimulates the guests / customers to use less water and to separate the garbage – this usually safe money on utilities, moreover also creates awareness and culture. At the end customers prefers to stay in such hotels.

On the other hand, governments are also trying to take part by giving different financial benefits to properties that have implemented environmental sustainability procedures, as they have to distribute money on “saving the nature policies”.

Last but not least, it creates a better image. If your hotel is part of such practices it gives a superior position towards the competitors and the market in general. The solution is in the hands of the people who have the money: the owners / investors of hotels or the top managers who are the decision makers on behalf of them.

It is really needed to provide as much as possible information on the benefits and the importance in long term return on invest (ROI) when one hotel implements the above practices and policies, so that more and more hotels / properties become parts of hotel sustainability philosophy / concept.

The more we talk about this – the better the results will be. For the nature, but also for us in general.

Remember: SEX Sells!

Some of you may think that the article is not quite suitable for the LinkedIn platform, but I believe once you read it till the very end you will change your mind.

There are several things that we usually consider as “ God-given” - like how tall we are; what is the color of our hair ; what is the color of our eyes, but all the rest is something that YOU can really control and guide in the “right direction”. The direction that will make you SUCCESFFUL and a wanted person in everybody’s company.

Boyko Manev

If you want to be successful in your life, you really have to be good in SALES. The basic rule is to know how to sell yourself. We are all living surrounded by reality that shows us how important it is for one to be recognized and respected in society – in order to have what you want, to get what you need, to be the winner… All this is not an easy task. A closed friend of mine told me once: “Life is full of sharks, if you are not careful – they will eat you!” Very true.

We are not really paying enough attention to what we have and are focused on what we want. Instead we try to be a “copy-paste” of something else which is distracting us from who we really could be… This is not good, because it does contribute neither to our development, our strengths nor to our success.

Why does SEX Sell? It has been proven in time that compared to others those people who look sexier and have better looks have greater chances when it comes to a better job, or having success in closing a sales deal.

"If YOU want to be SUCCESFUL you have to be SEXY!"
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

It is great if you appreciate what the nature has given you, but if you are over twenty (20) and the only investment you make in order to maintain your “natural sexy looks” is the money you spent on toothpaste and shampoo – that is certainly not going to be enough. Especially not in 2015. Look around! You are surrounded by “walking examples”, moreover you see them on TV-commercials and TV series, you will see people who look sexy, who invest in themselves. Don’t make stupid excuses like “it is too expensive” or “I don’t really have time for this”. This is totally not acceptable. Not today!

If you don’t have money or time for YOURSELF – for what or whom you do?!?

You have to start investing in YOURSELF. (The sooner – the better!) Depending on your gender – male or female, you have to start at the age of 18-20 and really stay focused on that in the next 10 years in order to create habits. It takes time, it takes efforts but at the end it pays back. Don’t let your 40’s and 50’s (and the years after) “suffer” and pay the debts of your laziness when you were young.

There are three very important things you need to stay focused on: LOOK / WALK / TALK. Once you create yourself some habits, then you will only have to stick to them and you will be amazed how much success they can bring you.

If you invest in your appearance (clothes + cosmetics), your way of talking (good education, reading books, reading articles like this one) and your way of walking (when you walk you have to do it with confidence, to pay attention to the area and people around you – be adequate and not walk like you are running late for the bus…), all this in combination should guarantee you better position in the society.

Pay attention to what other people say about you! It may sound strange, but in my opinion it is really important to listen to what other people think about you, especially at the age when you are “shaping your personality”. If someone tells you that the cloths you are wearing are not appropriate for your job interview, or the way you walk is really “weird” - listen to them – most likely this is a friendly advice for your own good.

You want to be successful? If so, you have to be sexy, be full of confidence and have to listen carefully to what others have to say.

For God’s sake TRAIN your employees!

Tourism industry is showing increase every year as more and more people are travelling, but moreover most of them are traveling more often and try to explore as many as possible places in their free time and experience new hotels and restaurants.

There are every year new hotel openings, new restaurants and bars popping up in different “posh” locations trying to meet the demand of people who travel.

All these are positive trends and facts…., but only on the surface.

Boyko Manev

If we look deeper in to the details we will find out that the hotels are opening sometimes earlier than projected, in fight to start gaining revenue as soon as possible. The same applies for bars and restaurants. First clients / customers to one new establishment often experience the lack of work experience, but in addition lack of service, lack of quality and lack of standards – all that doesn’t mandatory means that you have spent less….unfortunately. This is not a comfortable experience a guest / client may have, but somehow acceptable to some level.

But what if you experience all this in a hotel that is already running for over a year time, or even more…?

How many of you have experienced that, or have heard a friend sharing his stay in that “disgusting place”? To be very honest, it happens to me very often, as I travel a lot lately due to my work obligations.

Hotel owners or top managers often undervalue or underestimate the importance of training their employees. For them the two most important tools for the success of one property are the Location and the Building (here I include also the hotel amenities)…

If you ask them what about the Staff? Most of them will either laugh at you, or tactfully will skip the answer and give you some bla-bla answer which they don’t really believe in.

This is where I see the main problem.

For the success of each hotel – the location, the building and the staff are equally important. I would even say that the staff is one idea more important. The staff can influence a guest stay and turn into positives all the bad experiences a guest may have by having the correct approach and providing professional level of service. Guests want to be treated nicely and to be recognized as such. For them the inconvenient location or a bad infrastructure of a building can be overcome, but lack of service – very often NOT.

Guests / clients / customers travel more and more and have the ability to compare and to expect. The financial crunch that crush on all of us made people more careful about their spending’s. They want to travel, they want to explore, but are not willing to pay as easy as they used to some 10 years ago. The reason is very simple – they have less money. And with less money they expect “more”.

This is the reality. These are the facts. If the hotels / restaurants don’t adapt to this reality, someone else will and will kick them out of the market.

If one business wants to stay and to generate revenue they really need to invest in trainings in their staff members.

From the very beginning that a person enters the company it is a must that he receives proper induction trainings, on-the-job skills training and such that helps him to elevate to a higher position and many more…

It is very sad when an up-scale property that is worth over 1 million euro is not able to run successfully as a hotel, because of not properly trained staff members, due to 0 euro investments in Trainings.

By not training the staff members the owners / managers are actually putting on risk the business in long-term. In addition the time for ROI is extended in time and when the business applies for a bank loan, for instance, the current figures would not support a positive result.

Another point that managers need to pay attention on, concerning staff members is to make sure that there are no people who are wrongly positioned. They could be trained, but their low motivation and lack of good self-esteem make them a real threat for the business.

The more trained your staff members are –> the more involved in the business they are –> the better results will the company have in a long term.

If the owner have invested a significant amount of money on the building (in some cases we talk about millions of euro), who are the managers to neglect that fact?

If the management is “lazy”, or not really focused on this task, I ask that the owners “wake up” and push for this to happen, otherwise their investments will be washed or at least their business will be not productive to the level that it could be.

Do you agree with me?

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It’s Not Who You Are – It’s Who You Pretend to Be!

In nowadays nothing is like it used to be years of years ago… Many people want to be someone, who they can’t be - one that others admire and believe in.

Boyko Manev

Television and Internet have much stronger influence on people than they probably think. Both are focused on generating more and more money, but not really taking into consideration the possible negative influence they have on the young people and especially those with non-developed value system, or with lower social status.

When countries and governments, in particular, do not spend enough money, time and efforts to educate the young people and give them examples to follow – they might find their own way to educate themselves and follow those whom they see on TV. This is becoming a bigger problem lately as many people are not able to recognize basic characters from their national history and have limited knowledge about world geography. It is nice to see posts on Facebook by friends, who have guessed 15 out of 15 world country capitals – but are those facts showing who they really are? Or it is again showing and making you look like ‘smart’ in the eyes of your friends…

In the end, is it for real, that you have guessed them because you know them, or it is just a coincidence (or even worse, not your answers at all...)

The more you focus on something that you are being shown on TV, the further you drift away from where you could be and really represent yourself in a better shape. Televisions are not only helping (supporting) the governments and the businesses (those who pay) but also manipulate you and even worse, make you believe that the world you live in is a „wonderful place“ – full with crimes, car crashes, suicides etc. – and you believe. You go into the “acceptance level”.

"So, what you see becomes your reality. You neglect what you could have and who you can be, but stay “content” with what you are given and don’t ask for more, don’t really struggle, but keep satisfying yourself and trying to look someone else."
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

In other words, the a-normal becomes normal, and what you could have is replaced by what you have been given. You are not able to differentiate what has a moral value and what to follow as successful examples in life and career.

It all starts from the family and with the proper education following after in school. The real life shows that having a good standard of living is based on what you have as goods – cars, clothes, telephones, computers (latest versions) – all these make you ‘successful’ compared to others.

But is this that we should have as examples to follow? Remember: What you have is usually what you have been given by others and most of the cases it is not because of you, but due to coincidence or inherited from your family. You do nothing, but USE this and pretend it is YOU. So instead of living your OWN life you live the life of others…

My advice is that you use what you have as a cornerstone and go higher and above all – further. CREATE your own REALITY in which you are in CONTROL and direct it as per YOUR wishes and will. Have enough self-esteem to be proud of what you have achieved, and as I like to say “If you respect yourself, others will respect you!” Don’t let others judge you.

"Just be you."

Economic Runaways

Due to the nature of my job, lately I have met more and more people whose country of origin is different than the country we have met. It is all about the diversity and the open-doors policy of the European Union, and we should all be happy and thankful for this.

We live in 2015, and the national boundaries are no longer what they used to be 20-25 years ago. People can travel with no visas and it is a matter of booking your ticket (most often airplane ticket) and go to the destination that you want.

If we look from the economic point of view, especially for tourism and hospitality industry this for sure is great selling tool and has helped a lot of hotels and restaurants to keep their numbers up through the years. If we talk about permanent moving and settling down, the situation is not that simple and it could be said that this brings more complications, rather than making people’s life happier and easier.

Boyko Manev

Before the revolution in 1989-1990, and the falling down of communism many Eastern Europeans literally lost their lives in trying to escape their home countries in search for a better future. It was not easy even to go on a short weekend break, as the Iron Curtain limited the areas that one person could visit… But as we know from experience, when there is a ban for something, people tend to spend more power in overcoming this ban. This the reason why those who were the economic runaways (refugees) back then are still in their “new home countries” and have easily adapted to their new lives. They had no other option and no way back than to adjust to the new reality and re-start their lives.

After the EU expansion towards Eastern Europe and the addition of almost all the countries which were in the communist union block, travelling became much easier. People only had to book their ticket, pack their luggage and settle in their new home countries, some of them for a short period of time, others for longer.

It took some time, before the EU realize that this was actually a problem of the old member states as they were “invaded” by people who didn’t really know what to do, but determined in getting as much as possible from the benefits of the local societies, and social security systems.

Slowly this was fixed and now it is not that easy to “pack, go and settle”, but still many people are dreaming on escaping their home countries and settling in a country with better economic numbers.

There is nothing wrong with that, as long you prepare yourself in advance, have the full understanding that you are the “new comer”, and open to adapt as soon as possible.

I fully support those who have the will, the power and are strong enough to take such step. It is not easy to say Good Bye to your current life – friends, habits, relatives and go to a country that you have probably never been before. Many people make this step, not because of their pure will, but because they have friends who are living there already for some years. This makes their choice, not something they want, but something they could have as an option. As the times pass by, this becomes a problem and people are not easily adapting to their new homes and more often feeling homesick.

I meet two types of people – those who are happy with their new lives and don’t really pay attention to what is happening in their countries of origin, and those who somehow regret their choice, but are in a situation where if they go back their friends will call them losers, and it will take some time to re-adapt. The second group is even greater compared to the first group. And I have to tell you, I am meeting well educated people, who have decent jobs and live in good neighborhoods.

"It would be great if we have a solution for every single case, but we don’t."
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

So what I can suggest is the following – if you are in your 20’s, 30’s or even 40’s, go out of your home country – live, work and explore. It could be for 2-3 years or even up to 10 years in some particular cases, but then go back to your home country and imply all that you uplift in your resume – knowledge, abilities and skills. For sure you will have a better position, compared to the local market and will have a better monthly package that will allow you to live a comfortable life. In most cases, you will work again with the same country representatives (on high rank positions) as from the country you came back from. The difference is that your abilities and skills will be valued higher and at the same time you will be in your home environment.

This will give you a good self-esteem, self-confidence and above all respect by others. We all want to have a good life where we can afford to live like “the normal people”, but do we really appreciate what we have and do we really have a plan for that? Most of us are living our lives like we have no other choices and let ourselves follow the circumstances and not to be the leading part.

Create your own path.

If you really want to go out of your country and settle down in another country – do it. It is no longer that difficult, just pay attention to the local customs, adapt yourself to the new rules by integrating yourself and live your life as per the local regulations. Remember where you come from and bring all the positive habits to your new home.

Whatever choices you make – they have to be based only on your personal believe, and not dictated by other people. The boundaries are no longer physical; they are only in your mind.

"Open the door and go."

Green roofs and their future in the environmental sustainability

After the green growth future, which was a topic in my last article, now, I will draw your attention to the green roofs and their future as renewable source of energy and their increased importance in our daily life. Although, they are not widely known as such, their potential is undervalued and the years to come will only prove this fact.

In Europe, the green roof industry has continued to grow each year for the past several decades. Despite the economic turbulence, in Germany, as one of the pioneers in this field, it is estimated that over 15% of all flat-roofed buildings are covered with vegetation, a number that is increasing as the German green roof industry continues to grow with some good percentage on a yearly bases. While the green roof industry in the United States maintains a steady growth rate, the industry is still young with many areas that need improvement. Several of the barriers to green roof expansion in the U.S. include: limited performance standards, lack of awareness regarding green roofs in general, high installation costs, lack of favorable government policies, and limited data quantifying green roof benefits. These barriers can be easily overcome through research and innovation in design by the green roof industry, as well as proper education classes in school and universities.

Boyko Manev

Adding a green roof to a building, offers several benefits, including reducing harmful stormwater runoff, lessening the heat island effect, that is more visible, rather than 10-20 years ago. Also, conserving energy and noise, containing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and extending roof life, are other positive sides of the green roofs. Their installation has shown to increase people’s productivity in many companies and has offered a new habitat for plants and animals. On the other hand, building owners can save money through lower heating and air conditioning bills and decreased municipal sewer system fees via a green roof. Another valuable benefit is emerging as green roof experts incorporate photovoltaic (PV) systems to generate clean, renewable solar energy by taking advantage of green roofs. By installing a solar panel with a green roof, owners can enjoy not only the cost savings and socio-environmental benefits of the living roof but also efficient, renewable solar power – lowering electricity bills by generating clean electricity and reducing consumption.

The green roof, also known as a living roof, covers a building with soil and plants, which are known as sedum blankets, grown beforehand on nurseries. The evaporation of these plants makes the rooftop cooler, hence it decreased the rooftop temperature. This effect enables PV cells to operate at peak more efficiently. Panels that are installed on a green roof, will produce significantly more energy. Moreover, green roof vegetation removes pollutants and dust from the air that might, otherwise, interfere with a cell’s ability to produce electricity and, int he end, that affects the nature positively.

Scientific research must be made to expand our knowledge base to help guide future urban design, development, and management. Much of the early green roof research pertained to architecture and engineering problems. The current trend seems to be in the direction of landscape ecology and biodiversity, possibly due to increasing interest in environmental issues in general, as it sounds trendy and also is the visible effect of taking care of the nature.

Since roofs represent up to 30% of urban areas, they provide a unique opportunity to utilize these typically unused spaces to reclaim habitat that was lost due to construction while also aiding in the protection of our environment through more sustainable practices.

Germany and Japan are the one who now lead the world in solar energy production, but it must be admitted that American cities are pioneering in green roof-solar power technology. While solar panels can take away rainfall and sunlight from green roof vegetation, the introduction of PV cells can actually strengthen the living roof by creating areas of biodiversity, where plants and animals adapted to less water and light can thrive. A more diverse roof is a more stable roof. Every time when atmospheric temperatures on a roof begin to rise PV elements lose their efficiency and can shut down if temperatures rise too high.

The more the cities continue to expand, the more it is increasing the concern whether their additional warmth will further impact global temperatures. The devastating 2003 summer heat wave that lead to over 30 thousand deaths in Europe has shown how global climate change adversely impacts health. While scientists debate what exact influence cities have on climate change, one thing is for sure, urban heat islands effect city dwellers -- nearly half of the word's population.

On top of that mitigating water runoff and heat, green roofs boast an abundance of gains, the first being economic. Because they are protected from ultraviolet radiation and the extreme fluctuations in temperature that cause roof membranes to deteriorate, green roofs offer longer roof life -- they can last up to 40 years -- and lower roof maintenance. They beautify bare concrete stretches, are able to grow food, attract wildlife and provide habitat in areas with fewer resources. Also they provide business opportunities for nurseries, landscape contractors and irrigation specialists, and also offer substantial noise insulation, which is why Amsterdam and Zurich, for example, use it at their airports. If anything, those in the field believe we're now entering a new, exciting phase in the construction industry. Technology and performance also have critical roles in the pursuit of ecological intelligence not only in the present world but for sure in the years to come.

The green roof is one of several integrated building systems designed to create a productive, comfortable, culturally rich workplace. While the rooftop soils and grasses insulate the building from the midday sun and the sound of jets flying overhead, a raised-floor cooling system allows evening breezes to flush the building at night. The concrete slabs beneath the floor store the cool air and release it during the day. The windows can be opened, the delivery of fresh air is under individual control, and daylight provides natural illumination. There are public gathering areas indoors and out, which are enlivened by fine art sculpture and paintings, thriving plants, and a splendid cafe. In short, it’s a delightful place to go to work. And when the birds fly by they don’t see a flat, ugly tarmac broiling in the sun, they see a rolling, flowering grassland that looks like home and they feel welcomed by the cities and people.

Everything is so simple - it is the air we breathe, the earth we stand on, the water we drink, and the organisms with which we share our habitat. Nature in the city is a powerful force that can shake the earth and cause it to slide, heave, or collapse. It is a broad flash of exposed rock stratum on a hillside, the overgrown outcrops in an abandoned quarry, the millions of organisms cemented in the fossiliferous limestone of a downtown building. It is rain and the rushing sound of underground rivers buried in storm sewers. It is the water from the sink, delivered by pipes from some outlying river, then used and washed away into the sewer, returned to the waters of the river or the sea. In short- The city is part of nature, and not the other way around...

With all this in mind, architects, project managers and planners can begin to integrate natural processes into urban life. Some of the initial steps can be seen around us. Already we can see urban building and street designs that use natural air flows to cool the city. We see urban rivers unearthed, riparian corridors reforested, and wetlands reclaimed and reconstructed within the city to purify the urban water supply. We see solar collection on skyscrapers and geothermal heating and cooling rising into buildings from underground. We see a profusion of community gardens where urban residents have daily interactions with soil, water and living things. We see living roofs filtering storm water, easing the heat-island effect and providing urban habitat for native species of plants, birds and insects. We see an emerging marriage between Nature and the City that has future. And more importantly more and more people acknowledge the fact that this future is NOW.

Green Growth as a Key Factor for the Development of each Country

In 2015 more and more countries put their efforts on developing their economies by investing in green economy sectors. You might be surprised but the countries that pay attention the most to green growth (formerly known as green economy) and environmental sustainability are not USA, neither the European Union (all 28 state members).

The answer is the countries in Asia, and more correctly the countries from BRICS – Brasil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. This alliance seems to acknowledge the most the need of having their focus in to this subject.

USA alone, are way ahead compared to any other country in terms of green growth and sustainability, but when compared to union like BRICS they are not able to beat them. Especially when we look in to prospective.

Boyko Manev

European Union, which was created to somehow copy-paste the model of United States, is far away from focusing on green economy and sustainability. The economic differentiation between the state members is so huge, that it will take many years to have them really being ‘one big family’ thinking in to the same direction. There are countries which current focus is literally to ‘survive’; hence investing in green growth, for them, is not exactly the best approach in this moment in time … Yes, there are countries which are distributing some good part of their national budgets to this matter, but will this be enough?

BRICS on the other hand, a group that was created to give a reply to the other two unions, and to be an active economic competitor and not just passive viewer on what is happening in the rest of the world, is really underestimated by the other two. They are willing to be modern, to be emerging market, but also not to repeat those mistakes that were made in the past. If they achieve in this, they can really turn in to a successful role model for the years to come.

Investing in green economy – from green roofs and green walls to urban development, water supply and sanitation requires investments, requires cash, i.e. to limit your current expenses with focus in the wellbeing of the next generation. It is not easy to say we have to invest in businesses that will pay out within 50-60 years period of time, or even more. And we have to pay a lot. This is what makes the difference.

"Those who have the cash and really want their children and grandchildren to live ‘in a better world’ will dictate the development in the future, both socially and economically."
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

Many emerging markets are focused on economic growth and reducing emphasis on sustainable energy and non-polluting industries. This modified 'green growth' approach is receiving greater support at the expense of an alternative 'green economy' model that we were used to know in the past.

United Nations are also trying to play an important role, through UN Rio + 20 where it was said that developing and emerging countries should focus future development on non-polluting green industries, including renewable energies. At the same time it is a big challenge to find the balance between the money you have to spend for current economic growth and such that is focused in the years to come. It is not easy to choose solutions that are for the next generations and to sacrifice the money which you now have, not to spend them on you, but rather to invest them in the next generation… It is pretty much like a family model. If you want your son/daughter to be successful you have to sacrifice and to cut costs from your current budget, and invest them for their future. The worst case scenario is if you have to come to the point when you know what you should do, but you don’t have the cash…

Although green growth and higher standards of living imply rising consumption of resources, food, and energy, implicit in this approach is that countries must also introduce fundamental changes in patterns of consumption, technology, and agriculture to ensure a sustainable future for their growing populations. You should not be surprised, but the countries that are having bigger growth in their populations are the one to pay the most attention to this. Often these developments have begun in particular regions in countries and then spread outwards, as in Brazil and India, for instance.

The importance of sustainability for economic growth was clearly illustrated during the massive floods in Thailand some years ago, sharpened by global warming, which disrupted the country's car industry with knock-on effects for international supply chains. In Asia, in the past few years, there have been several examples of severe air pollution in cities, not only in Beijing, spreading over hundreds of kilometres. This disrupted both economic activity and affected the health of millions, which at the end costs more money to recover and to get back to normal.

But the move towards green growth in developing countries poses extraordinary challenges for experts and decision makers because of the greater need to address the costs of natural risks and environmental and industrial safety, and large variations and unpredictability in global trade. These challenges are forcing the need in developing countries for speedy but different reforms appropriate to their societies and institutions, although this strategic aspect of development is seldom discussed at meetings of legislators and governments.

It is clear that for more people to enjoy better standards, at the same time as promoting sustainability, enhanced innovation is needed to reduce consumption of physical materials and damage to sensitive ecologies and resources. Some small states and cities in the developing world are leading the way in a number of directions and directives, including world class, low emission transportation such as high-speed electric trains, low energy and low cost housing with new building materials and solar collectors, low energy and minimal water use in agriculture, and bio-energy (including mixing human and animal wastes in village bio-reactors). How many countries in EU are doing this?

For the developed world, a key challenge is finding how best to share knowledge about the many aspects of green growth with developing countries. The experience that they have needs to be used correctly and adapted as per the emerging countries regions. As countries in South Europe, now experience some of the natural risks that are common in developing countries, such as flooding, they should be talking about how to learn about adapting their infrastructure, housing and communications to such frequent events .

And just as important is how to convince more the politicians, especially finance ministries, that economic development needs to be based upon optimum, long-term use of natural resources while preserving and enhancing the natural environment. It is a mixture of what you want to achieve as an economic prosperity, by not decreasing the nature sources, but optimizing the usage of them.

As a conclusion, we can do inference that green growth represents a key, emerging development field, and that countries like China will most likely be the crucial test bed. Whether this approach is widely adopted and proves successful will have vital implications not just for the developing world, but also global environmental sustainability.

Career path Advice: First You, then Career, then Family!

In this post, I will share with you a career path advice that has proven to be a very successful through the years. It will give you an answer why some of your friends are more successful than others, and why others are considered as ‘losers’…

If YOU are who YOU want to be, then the people around YOU will treat YOU like YOU are who YOU are, and YOU will be Successful… Did you get that? I hope you did. It is important that we all appreciate what we have, have our feet on the ground, think positively with focus towards the future, appreciating the circumstances and not to give up, when there are obstacles.

It is vital that in the early 20’s you focus your attention to YOU. If you happen to fall in love – it’s great, but it is surely not the best time for that… You may ask now a very valid question – Why? Because if you are in love you have to be able ‘to afford’ it. Love costs money. Maybe not directly for you, but for the partner you are with for sure. So be careful.

When your focus is on YOU, you can stress yourself and get the needed knowledge for your future as career assignments, get the needed database of contacts and most importantly to shape yourself as a personality and professional.

Boyko Manev

Then comes the Career. Your career can start at an early age, but it is more likely that it will all happen in the late 20’s or early 30’s. This period in time is when you are still shaping yourself, when John Smith becomes from John to Mr. Smith. It all depends on you and the efforts which you put in the whole process. For different people it takes different period of time. There are no universal schemes or customized solutions. There are basic rules which you need to follow, exceptions which you need to know and non-working practices you must avoid.

You can read some of my other articles here on LinkedIn where I am giving different recommendations what you should do in order to be successful. Some of them are purely for those of you in the years between 25 to 35. At this age you can test yourself for different jobs and to find your proper place – the one that makes you feel happy, active and ready to learn every day. Those who are looking for job, will find obligations – those who are looking for challenges, find their mission in life. This will make them feel valuable and at the end successful.

Once you know yourself and do what makes you happy now comes the time to build a relationship and Family. You are in your 30’s and most of your friends are in relationship or already with one marriage ahead of you… You have shaped your personality and have the ability to take responsibility for other members – like wife/husband and children.

If you mix the steps or do them differently, I can’t guarantee you that you will be successful at the end. It is great to be young and careless… But this could not last forever. Use your time as per your wishes and needs, but with focus to the future!

We live at least 70 to 80 years of age (on average) and if you don’t pay enough efforts, will and confidence while you are in your 30’s your chances to live your life the way you want in the years after are decreased with high progression.

"Yes, you can do a career switch at the age of 40 and still have a good results – no doubt about it, but do you want to be the exception and the person who everybody point at with finger or you prefer to live in peace and harmony?"
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

Why Should I Always Ask For More?

Human’s behavior and way of acting have been explored by the science for many years, so I prefer not to pretend to give some additional facts about this, but to direct your attention today to one very important question i.e. – Why should I (always) ask for more?

Regardless if we talk about your personal life or your career – it is all the same. We don’t ask, but we anticipate… Due to our cultural characteristics and educational background we sometimes forget the fact that ‘asking’ for something is actually what separates us from the other part of the living world. We can communicate by speaking to each other, and hence it is really important to ask questions and to look for answers.

Unfortunately the world is not rolling around us, although some of us believe that they are in the very heart of the universe. For most of the things which we want we have to literally fight. Especially in XXI century when most of the items and sources are limited. So if you have something, it most likely means that someone else is being restricted of having it. Appreciate that fact and focus what more could/should/may you have!

Boyko Manev

First THINK, then ASK, then THINK, then ACT. If what you ask for is not what you get – then consider the circumstances and. if possible, try to have it in a different way. Today, we live in a time of economic turbulences and it is possible that we will get less of what we ask for, yet we need to stay focus and not to give up.

If you are not happy with your current job and want a change in your career – you have to make the move, to look around and find better solutions. It is always about the MORE – more money, or higher position, or even both.

The moment you leave your life to be the way it is, and you are not the “active” part - the one who gives direction – it is all gone. You will be satisfied with less and less every day, and the less you get the lower your status will become. Don’t get yourself down! Always stay awake – if you are sleepy or not focused – you will be trashed… Do you really want this to happen to you?

The moment you materialize your “dream” – find another one! It is all about the progress of what you have and what you achieve, and the balance in between. When you are awake and energized, it is affecting the people around you. They want to be in contact with you, they ask for advices, they ask for opinions – and, at the end. this makes you more successful. Not only about yourself, but also about the others.

hen you are successful, you then have bigger influence in the activities that are happening around you. You can influence and manipulate the reality. When you manipulate – you can direct the events in “your” direction.

"The more you have – the more you get!"
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

Probably most of you have noted that the more popular some people are, the less they pay for what they have. It sounds a bit like nonsense but if you make an overview of this, you will agree with me. Why is that? Because, the more popular some people are, the higher their influence in the society is, so the higher their “value” is and in the end, more people are willing to be surrounded by them.

If Today you do everything the same, as the way you did Yesterday – probably Tomorrow you will have the same as what you had Today… Does that make you happy and successful?

My Financial Freedom – Is It Possible… Or This Is Just A Chimera?

If you are expecting to get a customized solution for your financial problems – then skip this article…. This article is for all of you who would like to get an answer to the question: Why my monthly expenses are higher than my monthly incomes, and I don’t get richer despite the fact I work more and more every day?

Boyko Manev

The answer is because you spend more than you could afford. Most of us have no financial culture and when it comes to finance we only care how much we are getting at the end of the month as a salary and even if we get 50 % more on top of what we are currently getting we will be facing the same issues at the end of the month, as now…Sad, very sad. This is where the main problem is. We don’t really know how to spend what we make and how to make more money and finally to get richer. And even worst – what to do with them if we have positive balance at the end of the month…

Please pay attention to your finance much more than you pay attention to your best friend’s latest posts on Facebook. If you are already in financial situation when your current balance is negative at the end of the month – then you need to ‘wake up’ and do your homework. Nobody will do it instead of you. So put your sleeves up, take notes and prepare yourself for actions – NOW!

My monthly income – is it optimized? Could I earn more? Finding a second job (temporarily) while my financial situation gets on the green. If you work full time job you are busy 40 to 50 hours (with travelling) per week. You are having two days – OFF. Do you really “deserve” them? And shouldn’t you be more critical to you how you spend your own time and try your best to get out of the current situation? If there are other family members who depend on you – your responsibility is even greater.

"Don’t drop their future down, because you neglect your current status!"
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

My monthly expenses – are they optimized? Are there such expenses which I can cut and not to suffer. “Bad habits” – smoking, drinking, going out with friends, etc. If you have no money – you should stop them. NOW!

Do you really know how much your monthly expense is? As a number? Maybe not… This is where the problem is. You know how much you make (as a salary) but have no projections on your expenses. It’s the same if you have a Business Plan for one company, but only to calculate the revenue/turnover and not the costs/expenses. Do you think you will be profitable at the end? I don’t think so. The statistic shows the same. Project and forecast expenses! Do a ‘silly’ exercise by calculating your expenses in two months in a row on a daily base and you should be able to do the forecast for the months ahead. Of course there are expenses that are yearly and seasonally – still, you should be able to forecast them as well and have the full picture of your financial status.

Balance. This is the most important number. When you know how much you make and how much you spend – you should know what your balance is. If it is green you should be ok, but if it is red – take immediate actions and either cut costs, or try to find additional source of income or better paid job.

"Financial freedom is possible only if you forecast your expenses in details. The more you know about them – the sooner you will get to this point."

First Respect YOURSELF, Than Ask Others to Respect YOU!

The first article for 2015, I choose to bring your attention to is YOU and YOURSELF. This time of the year is usually a time for resolutions and most of us are keen for a change or in search for something NEW.

Boyko Manev

There are a couple of very important questions, which you have to answer first one is: Are YOU really ready for a change? What if this change starts with you? This is maybe something you have already heard by today, but have you actually considered this as a possibility? Do you really respect yourself enough to do so?

To respect yourself is much more difficult, than to respect others. Why is that? It is because you are with yourself all the time – 24 hours, 7 days a week. You have to agree with every action you take, every promise you make, and every word you say, and more importantly – to stick to it.

There were several occasions in my career path, that I have witnessed how a broken promise or words said in an inappropriate manner, can actually ruin one’s reputation and influence built over months or years. Be careful what you are committing to and know the variables that may affect the final outcomes. Always give clear explanations to protect yourself. Do not promise or lie about something you cannot deliver. Lies leads to nowhere.

"You can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time"
Abraham Lincoln - 16th President of the United States

Have you asked yourself why are you not taken seriously by others? May be they do not pay attention to your action and do not respect your opinion. Your actions or more often you passiveness has put you in a position when you have to rebuild your credibility and respectability if you want to be respected as professional.

Ask yourself if you have done what you have committed to before you require your employees or friends to put the extra effort. Try to feel what it is to walk a mile in their shoes before require them to do more and more every day. This is not an easy task, more over if you have already crossed the line…Do not give up - everything is possible. You have the power and the change starts with YOU.

One advice: Before you say something – THINK and RE-THINK! Don not do something you might regret later on.

"Be open, be tolerant and above all be honest!"
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

To Respect yourself means to respect others as well. Respect the different people, opinions and consider what you do and how you interact with others. Stand out of the crowd by what you have to say and not because you are dressed with khakis shorts on a gala-dinner at the Embassy…

You may spend thousands of dollars on clothes and still not to be respected. It’s not what you spent on you – it’s how other accepts you! Nowadays we say a lot by the way we dress and behave, combined with good communication skills and you could become a Winner!

The combinations of those factors are important and if you are missing one of them, you are not up to your true potential, so stay alert all the time and first respect yourself and then ask others to respect you!

Don’t think about PEOPLE – Think about POSITIONS

In my experience in the field of Hospitality industry, which is more than 10 years, I was blessed to work with a big number of professionals and some of them were real mentors and people who were willing to train and pass their knowledge to others. Most of them are my network connections here on LinkedIn.

There are so many lessons which I have learnt from them, yet one of the most important to be followed is: Don’t think about people – think about positions! This lesson/advice was given to me while I was incumbent at the Radisson Blu Grand Hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria and I witness how successful for business this could be.

Boyko Manev

We, humans, are taking everything in our daily life too personal and sometimes we transfer our ‘gap of real personal life’ to our daily working duties and we live as there is no other life outside of our work… This makes us vulnerable and when we have to terminate or to be terminated from our job – we are taking it as a ‘personal action towards us’ and not as an act of professionalism, based on business needs.

It’s a matter of culture and traditions, and how we have lived our life so far. Still I believe that most of the people, regardless of their origin, have a way of understanding which is similar to this one.

One of the most difficult decisions is to say “goodbye” to someone. No matter if this refers to private life or work. So such decisions should be well-thought and never taken spontaneously. If you are in a position when you have to terminate someone’s contract, first ask yourself – do I need this position, is the person holding this position valuable for the company and finally – what will I gain (as a manager/owner) after taking such decision? Such actions should be solely business justifiable and not based on personal relationships.

"Where there is money – there should be no love/hate/sex!"
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

Nobody is married to their work and this should be understood and respected by everybody at any time. We are living in a period of time when changing your job after 2-3 years is something normal and should not stress ourselves unnecessarily – there are so many other things we need to be focused on.

If “the moment” has come and you are being called by the HR Manager, your direct Manager or the General Manager and asked to resign – accept this fact and move forward! Your life has not started with this work place and most likely will not end up with it.

If you are being released/dismissed/terminated…There is a reason. Maybe your position is no longer needed, maybe there is a better applicant waiting at the door, or maybe there is a reason which you don’t really want to know – still you need to agree with this decision and try to find a better spot.

"The moment you lose your current job, that means you have ALL the other options on the table being available – just look around, make the needed research and grab it!"
Boyko Manev - Author & Entrepreneur

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