Friday, December 31, 2010
By Steve Beaman
2011 looks to be a interesting year on all of the paths which will put even more stress on the Emotional Path. The Financial Markets, the Political World, and all the others will create a need in America to have strong emotional foundations.! As we all know, challenges in life come on us all the time. It was Robert Schuller who made the famous statement "Tough times don't last, tough people do", and I think 2011 could present one of those times. When our nation faces economic trouble, coupled with political trouble, it places additional emotional pressures on us and requires our emotional path to carry all the more load.
The pressures applied on us from external influences can affect us greatly. Joblessness, worry about retirement funding, social unrest and change all can create stress in us that is undeniable. And stress is undeniably a bad thing!
So, what can we do about this? How can we mitigate the affect of the outside world and its influences on ourselves, on our marriages, and on our children, our friends, and all the people we care about, but most importantly, ourselves? Well, the first thing that's necessary is to take stock of what we have, and learn to focus on that instead of focusing on what we don't have. Look, it sounds trite, but the fact is our physical NEEDS consist of housing, food, clothing, and basic medical care. All else is fun yes, and can even make life easier, but other things are wants, not needs. So if we're able to reset our thinking and be thankful for having shelter, food, clothing, and basic medical care, we can reset our emotional path to have a better perspective on the situation at hand.
Second, we need to work to realign our emotional path to focus on internal versus external sources of stress. In other words, what you can control versus what you can't control. There's an old saying "if I can't control it, I don't worry about it", and that's pretty good advice. Lots and lots of things happen, but can you really change things that happen in Washington, on Wall Street, or in Europe? No! The fact is these occurrences make us upset because we philosophically see issues with one side or another, and we fear for our childrens future because of the policy beliefs of one side or another. But we really can't do anything about it, can we? So, if we reorient our focus to be more concerned with those things we can actually control, we'll reduce stress.
A third thought is to focus on helping others when you can. During the Great Depression, even though all Americans (ok, not all, but most) were struggling, they still would share food with the people who had none. The reality is, most of us have far more than we need, and when things are in transition, it's nice to give a little of yourself. Believe it or not, your giving will help bring you peace.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
By Adair Jones
There are certain aspects of businesses that may attract you to them, but just as equal, they need to attract leads. The MOST important feature of a business is its product or service. All businesses will have one or the other, or even both, whether it be online or off. You need to give someone good reason for giving you their money.
I am going to outline, from my experience, how you can choose a business opportunity that is right for you.
The first thing you need to do is to get in the right mind set. A business is a business, from opening up your own coffee shop to selling health care products. Every business requires up front capital; some more than others. If you happen to choose a network marketing business and they recommend you get business cards and flyers or advertise, or whatever, don't think it is all a scam. Think of what you need to start a coffee shop from scratch. Are those requirements any less important? The point is, remember to treat what ever business you decide, like a business.
Find a marketing system that works! How do you do that? Every system has their people claiming that what they have works. (Always remember this rule: Systems don't fail, people do.)
Give the system a 4 question test:
1. Is the product or service something people need or want? Does it have true value? Basically, will you become a product of the product? That is the best way to share what you have with honesty. If you use it, and it is working, then you don't have to push it. Personal testimony is powerful.
2. What kind of support is available? Will your sponsor be a mentor? Does the company offer support? If local meetings and conference calls are given, then take advantage of them. I also judge a program by contacting my future sponsor's sponsor. Or even one more up the line. If they are willing to answer questions and offer advise, then you may have a strong company to be a part of.
3. Does the program allow a significant return within weeks to just a few months, given that your efforts honestly follow the system as laid out? (Remember the rule, systems don't fail...) You can not blame a program that has reputation for not giving you opportunity to succeed. Just because you paid your entry fee, ordered products, and bought business cards, doesn't mean you'll be a millionaire all of the sudden.
4. Can you make money from day one? This means, upon entry, the product or service is available for immediate sale. Do not confuse this with doing nothing to earn income. So you have to get out of your comfort zone and do something different to start making money from day one; what a concept? Again, look for the opportunity that is given, not your unwillingness to actually do something. (Systems don't fail...) If the product can be retailed for immediate profit, even a small one, then it passes. Just keep in mind, these quick income jumpstarters won't be the "life changing income" you are seeking. But it is the beginning.
Do not let price be a reason for not choosing to join. [my thoughts - If the program has a cheap entry cost, then how does the company grow, AND how do you get filthy rich too??] Just because a business costs more than you are willing to spend right now, doesn't mean it is not a good program. Give it the TEST first. If it passes with flying colors, then make a decision and the necessary steps it will take to get the capital you need to join. Note, watch out for the "free" and "$29.99" programs. How are you going to buy that fancy car you always wanted when people are paying pennies to join a program?
Find a mentor. After choosing a program that meets your requirements, find someone who will support your goals. Obviously someone within the same program. You don't want to reinvent the wheel. You want to copy success. As you become efficient, add spokes to the wheel, and make it your own. The mentor should be someone that will teach you his inside track to how he is successful. You will become a mentor yourself soon, so learn everything you can. Remember, it's a business, so know it like its yours.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I’ve always believed that if you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out.
I’ve known some terrific non-complainers in my life. One was Sandy Blatt, my landlord during graduate school. When he was a young man, a truck backed into him while he was unloading boxes into the cellar of a building. he toppled backwards down the steps and into the cellar. “How far was the fall?” i asked. His answer was simple:”Far enough”. he spent the rest of his life as a quadriplegic.
Sandy had been a phenomenal athlete, and at the time of the accident, he was engaged to be married. He didn’t want to be a burden to his fiancee so he told her, “You didn’t sign on for this. i’ll understand if you want to back out. You can go in peace.” and she did.
I met Sandy when he was in his thirties, and he just wowed me with his attitude. he had this incredible non-whining aura about him. He had worked hard and become a licensed marriage counselor. He got married and adopted children. And when he talked about his medical issues, he did so matter-of-factly. he once explained to me that temperature changes were hard on quadriplegics because they can’t shiver. “Pass me that blanket, will you, Randy?” he’d say. And that was it.
My favourite non-complanier of all time may be Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play Major League Baseball. he endured racism that many young people today couldn’t even fathom. he knew he had to play better than the white guys, and he knew he had to work harder. so that’s what he did. he vowed not to complain, even if fans spit on him.
I used to have a photo of Jackie Robinson hanging in my office and it saddened me that so many student couldn’t identify him, or knew little about him. Many never even noticed the photo. Young people raised on color TV don’t spend a lot of time looking at black-and-white images.
That’s too bad. There are no better role models than people like Jackie Robinson and Sandy Blatt. the message in their stories is this: Complaining does not work as strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve out goals. and it won’t make us happier.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
1. Stop blaming yourself and people associated with you
You might have tried very hard and failed but you should always remember that not all circumstances are under your control. When people fail, they usually don’t try to find out why they failed, but instead they start blaming themselves.
Do you blame yourself for a failure? Do you really think that you were responsible for your failure? Do you really think that despite trying very hard, you did not get through? We all try hard and then at times we fail. Many reasons could be attributed to it. Instead of blaming ourselves (which is easy), we should try to find the reason why we failed. By doing this, not only will you have a greater understanding where you went wrong, but you will avoid repeating the same mistake in the next attempt.
2. Don’t ever think that all your efforts have been wasted
To achieve something in life a dedicated effort is required. Some people give it their 100% and some people don’t. But no matter what, none of your efforts ever get wasted. In the process of trying again and again, we gain experience of the mistakes we should avoid to achieve the desired result. Taking the example of Thomas Edison, the man who invented Light Bulb, he failed over 1000 times before he could derive at the bulb that we use today. At a press conference he announced that he now knows 1000 ways of how not to make a light bulb.
Never get disheartened and always enjoy learning the new things that you discover on your way to be successful.
3. Try another approach
You try once, twice and then thrice… with a similar approach; and then what do you do? Give Up!!! Have you ever thought that the approach that you use to achieve something is wrong and would require either a complete new way of looking at things or would require you to tweak your approach a little and then try again? All scientific discoveries and inventions have taken years of hard work and dedication. Do you think that doctors and scientist across the world have got a working model of their inventions in the very first attempt? Do you think that for all repeated attempts at their inventions they followed a similar approach? I think you got the answer.
4. Take a break for a while
When we try hard to achieve goals in life we sometimes get into the rut of doing things which has an effect our thinking process. Without a good thinking process and creativity how do you propose to achieve what you desire the most? In my personal experience taking a short break helps when you feel that you have reached a road block on proceeding ahead. This short break recharges you and helps you to think of a solution which you have never thought of before. Spend sometime with friends and family. Try to socialize a little and when you feel that you are completely recharged give your dreams a second shot.
Monday, December 27, 2010
PAY YOURSELF AUTOMATICALLY AND FREQUENTLY
You have heard this before, but apparently you don't do it. My advice is that as soon as you get paid, save a portion of your income. Try to save at least 10 percent. It will quickly add up and you will get rich quick ideas that work. Create a separate savings account, if necessary, in order to accomplish this goal.
USE A BUDGET FOR SPENDING AND SAVING
Write down how much you money you earn and spend less than that amount. It sounds simple, but it's easier said than done. Discipline yourself to save more and spend less. Hire a coach to help with a savings plan. Eliminate expenditures from your life that waste money. Track how much you spend on cable tv, cell phones, subscriptions, memberships, eating out and drinking. Get rich quick ideas that actually work by living differently than others do.
LEARN SOMETHING (ANYTHING) ABOUT INVESTING
Take time to research, study and learn about investing your money. Once you have accumulated a large amount of savings you can make more money with that money. Most people do not invest because they lack the knowledge. Start slow and teach yourself how to invest your money. Make this a priority in your life and I promise you will get rich quick ideas that actually work for you.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Life lessons from Christmas
original post here http://patricktay.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/christmas_life_lessons/
Christmas is a common festival celebrated by many.
But are there still many of us who still remember what this special occasion has to offer us in terms of life lessons?
Let’s get down to basics:
Appreciate and be grateful for your loved ones and friends
It’s gift-giving time!
With the advent of the internet, the age of instant gratification is upon us. Sending e-cards has saved us the hassle of writing season’s greeting cards and the sending of Christmas gifts. But is the hassle worth it? For those of us who still believed that it is, then it will be good to consider other options.
Why not pen some of your kind thoughts on greeting cards and sent them along with simple but thoughtful presents for your loved ones and friends this Christmas? Maybe for the next Christmas as well? Maybe the one after next? Maybe every year?
Relish the time taken to wrap presents too. Sometimes, effort can be very meaningful and present-wrapping can be a sincere art.
Expand your love to the World
Why not let our love spread beyond our loved ones to the rest of the world? Without our loving hearts to shower warmth on the needy and the underprivileged, the world can be a cold place.
Every helping hands shines a rim of light onto this earth. If all of us engage in altruism by donating to charity, love and warmth will envelop this world.
And darkness will be history.
Forgive those who offend you
If one were ever in a position where one wants to seek forgiveness but never gets forgiven, than one understands the uncomfortable experience of not being forgiven – a feeling that is worse than choosing not to forgive someone. Even if one is not in such a position, one can surely empathise?
Please kindly give the offender a chance to change for the better. Too many individuals have not turned out well in life because they were not even given the opportunity.
The movie Megamind illustrates this point very clearly. Bring your family and kids to watch it this Christmas. Or rent a DVD and watch it as a family at home if the title’s available.
Give someone a second chance.
Christmas is the best family play time
Ever wondered why Christmas happens to fall on winter? That’s probably because winter provides the best time for family gatherings in front of fireplaces to banter about the year’s memorable and/or interesting happenings. It is also ideal for families to play a game of snowball or snowman building/decorating sessions.
Having the event at the end of the year also encourages one to prepare new year resolutions after a full year’s fruitful harvest. Having the kids joining the fun of having one another write their new resolutions are also great time, wouldn’t you say?
Santa probably would have agreed.
For those of us living in tropical countries without the four seasons, we can still get fun out of building fake snowmen.
Santa would probably still agree.
Make time for your family and friends you treasure most.
For every one of us, there will be someone who wants to be with us very much. This often includes our family members, our loved ones, our spouses and the like.
As the year draws to a close, why not make their wish come true by appearing at their doorsteps this Christmas?
Make them smile, and let them know that their love for us is worth our times spent with them – much more.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tips For Handling Criticism
Distinguish Between Feedback & Criticism
It is very important thing for you to understand the difference between feedback and criticism. Feedback is something given to you to improve your performance. On the other hand, criticism is downright negative. And it’s also not necessary that feedback is always enlightening. It is enlightening only when you want it to enlighten you. It’s not essential that the feedback comes to you in sweet and encouraging words. It may be harsh and you may have trouble adjusting to the words, but it is eventually true and will help you if you work on those areas. A criticism is mostly negative, urging you to stop doing whatever you’re doing now.
Take Criticism In Your Stride
It’s very important to remain composed in any situation. Getting excited when someone attributes praise to you is natural, but getting over the top is not. Similarly, if someone criticizes you, be calm and listen to the person. Don’t jump up the gun and starts hurling abuses on him/her.
Draw The Points To Help You
The most important trait of successful people is that they are able to draw out the points that are useful to them, from almost any conversation. When you’re criticized, try to focus on points that are common in all the criticisms that you encounter. Make a mental note of them and mend your ways accordingly.
Learn From Criticism
Listening to something won’t help you, until you’re ready to perform on it. If you’re a singer and people say that you cannot sing different kinds of songs, you need to try to get versatility. If you work in a firm and you’re always criticized of not being able to create rapport with your colleagues, try to be friendly. No matter what you’re criticized for, if it’s something that will help you be successful, try to incorporate it in your life.
Don’t Let Anyone Insult You
Criticism is okay, but never ever let anyone bully you. If, at the end of a conversation, you find yourself loser, are angry with yourself and your critic has convinced you to leave the thing you are pursuing, you are in hands of a bully. Don’t let him/ her harm or insult you. Remember, no one can make you feel bad about yourself, until you allow them to. So, never let yourself feel down. If someone is going the dirty road, make sure that you’re not going with them.
It’s Not Always About You
It’s the truth. If a person is always negative about you, then it might be possible that something is wrong with them, instead of you. They may be plain jealous of your success or they might full of negativity. There are people who cannot find good in anything or anyone and you should not let such people worry you.
Let It Go
Never let a criticism decide what you want to do next. Don’t leave something because other people want you to. A justified criticism may urge you to better something, but it will never advocate for you to leave it. Forget what is being said about you, unless it’s something you can improve. Good or bad, these things are meant to be forgotten. Eat, sleep, and do your work the same way you were doing, before the criticism popped your way.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
By Vic Johnson
Most people have a list of goals they have yet to achieve. The demands of everyday life, negative belief systems, and other obstacles have relegated that list of goals to a desk drawer, only to brought out at New Year's for the requisite resolutions.
Setting goals is about more than just setting the intention by writing them down, though that is a key factor in achieving them. To be effective, goal setting must also involve passion. When you have a burning desire for your goal, the achievement of it is almost guaranteed.
This may seem elementary to you. Of course you want it! You set the goal, didn't you? But think about it. Would you characterize your ambition to achieve your goals as "burning?"
Setting goals that really juice you up, that are consuming, ensures you will take all necessary action to achieve them. Take a moment to imagine the realization of your most treasured dream. This is something you really want, something you have a passion for.
Now ask yourself, would I get up at 4:00 a.m. every day for a year if at the end of the year my dream would be realized? Would I overcome my fear of flying if when I landed, my dream was waiting for me? Would I run five miles a day if it meant I could live my dream?
Chances are, you would do almost anything within the confines of the law and your own value system to achieve this dream of all dreams. That feeling, that all-consuming passion for your goal, is what you need to have for all of your goals.
It is true that setting goals may be as much about your needs - such as improving your health or getting out of debt - as they are about experiences you would like to have or fantasies you would like to live out. Setting goals that seem to have less magic around them can be more difficult to attain than those that may seem impossible, but are exciting.
If you have set goals you know you want to accomplish, but are having trouble acting on, it's time to create that burning desire. Desire is not an automatic experience. You can create it for yourself. In fact, it is a necessary component of the goal setting process.
One of the surest ways to create a burning desire for your goal is to take it off of the paper and experience it. For example, if you have a goal of traveling through the South of France, you might talk with a travel agent, purchase travel guides, take a French class, or pore over travel brochures. Or, if you are hoping for a dream wedding, you might try on bridal gowns, visit possible venues, or interview wedding planners.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
originated by:Foxglove, Krystle, Eric, Anonymous
Assess everything that needs to be done. Before you plunge into it headfirst, remember that enthusiasm needs to be tempered with wisdom. Look over every aspect of the job, and allow yourself ample "pondering time" so that you can be sure that every detail is accomplished on time, and accurately.
Make an outline. Whether it's in your head or on paper, you should have a checklist in mind, and follow it to the letter, and in order - you don't want to repeat steps, duplicate the efforts of others, or make mistakes. Also, you definitely don't want to forget anything.
Consider your materials. Don't take shortcuts, when possible, on the quality of your materials. Cheap materials are harder to work with, because they aren't as sturdy or nice. Because they're harder to work with, they take longer to bend to your will. Remember that working smart means thinking about these things - in most jobs, the materials aren't where the majority of the costs are. It's the labor - the time needed to complete the job - that costs the company more money. Using inexpensive materials where they are easily installed makes sense. Trying to save a few bucks but spending an extra hour or two because those cheap things didn't install properly doesn't make any sense at all
Follow your plan and don't deviate from it - unless you must. Once you've assessed the job and come up with a plan, it's usually best to stick with the plan. However, things come up: a part doesn't fit, or it turns out it's not the best item for the job, someone gets sick, all sorts of emergencies can throw a wrench into your plan. Be prepared to think on your feet, and be resourceful. Nimble thinking is essential to working smart, especially when something goes wrong. Following a plan slavishly, in spite of new information, developments, or problems is just plain dumb. Be flexible and change if you need to
Delegate to the right people at the right times. Make sure your team is well-ordered. If one person is faster, put him or her on the part of your task that will take longest. If one person is more skilled and accurate, put him or her on the part of the task that is most critical.
Work parallel. This means that there may be four or five, for example, components to your job. Let's say you are a design and display company creating a display for a county fair. Your client wants a combination of signs, banners, flyers, and brochures, along with a booth design. You set your best designer in motion to design the copy and look of things, but meanwhile, you assign someone to procure what essential supplies you will need. So far, you could be having one of your people contact printers to get pricing for the number of flyers and/or brochures your client wants, and another to take an inventory of what sign and banner materials you already have on hand - vinyl or paint colors, banner sizes, pre-cut blanks. This way, once the client meeting is complete and you have a good idea of what is going into the installation, you can match it to your inventory and see if there are things on hand that you can use to get started, while someone else goes and gets the things you still need.
Control clients by communicating properly. Many times, it's hard to work smart because your clients will insist that their job is a big rush. Instead of scrambling to get that job done, make sure your clients understand in the initial meeting what your normal turnaround time for their job would be. If you know you will need two weeks, don't let the client squeeze you into one week unless that client is willing to pay extra for the rush. Most businesses have more than one client, yet many clients forget that their job is not the only one you're working on.
Never willingly trap yourself into accepting a bad job. You know when a job is going to be great. You also know when you get that "uh-oh" feeling that something is not right. A client or boss who pressures you into areas where you are not comfortable, either because it is an unreasonable expectation or because it's outside your scope needs to be aware immediately of your discomfort with the job as proposed. Make any misgivings clear instantly, and in front of others, if possible. If you are self-employed, declining a job like this is much smarter, even though it's so hard to let that money go when you depend on every job for your livelihood. Still, a client who doesn't pay because you didn't adhere to every jot and tittle of his demands (and some are just breathtakingly demanding) is not a good customer in the end, and if you work for hours and end up not being paid all or part of what you worked for - especially when you were sweating bullets over it the whole time - is not smart. And it's the hardest work you'll ever do.
Know when it's time for a re-bid. Don't make so many changes that you end up doing a much more complicated or expensive job than you bid for. Whether due to clients scheming to squeeze all they can from you for no extra money, or just due to their being unaware that such changes may alter the scope of the job so much that the original bid is no longer reflecting the actual materials used or work involved, if you allow yourself to continually be persuaded to "throw in" stuff, you're going to end up in the hole, and that's not smart. Instead, when you realize you're into new territory, stop work and draw up a re-bid, showing the entire job as originally envisioned, and overlay the scope of the new work. Let the client know that to proceed, it will cost $x more than the original bid. Or offer to stay on the job as originally bid, and stay with that price. It's the client's decision how much to pay. It's your decision how smart you want to be while you're working for him.
Work as hard and as efficiently as possible, and finish each job as quickly as you can. Hit every job with everything you've got. Getting it done quickly and efficiently - while you have the time - is much smarter than looking at the schedule and telling yourself you have three more days to get it done, and then going to a long lunch or off to play tennis or whatever. (Obviously, you can do this on occasion - it helps you stay fresher mentally if you allow yourself small rewards from time to time - but making it habitual means you are always leaving things until every second counts. Not smart.) You don't know what will happen tomorrow - you might come down with the flu. Figuring that you will need only one day to complete that job if nothing goes wrong and then sitting on it just because you can is dumb. If you end up getting sick, you might not even be well enough to finish on time, let alone early. Running out the clock on jobs when you don't absolutely need to can force a rush at the finish line, or worse, deprives you of opportunities you might not have otherwise.
Recognize the point of 'diminishing returns.' The above steps do not imply that you should work yourself to the point of exhaustion. You need to protect your health and the integrity of your job. Working yourself to a frazzle constantly makes you prone to mistakes. When you're so tired that you realize it's taking you twice or three times longer to do a job than normal, you need to call it a day. Rest at least a few hours, and come back fresher, so that you can be strong at the end of the job. Learn how to power nap
Finish strong. It's sooooo important! Being dead tired and sluggish at the finish line is not smart - it's foolish. Be sure that you are well rested at deadline time. On the day a client is expected to pick up his or her job, go over it with a fine-toothed comb - and this means checking the finished product against the original instructions, making sure they match up. Check it for accuracy and detail, make any adjustments, corrections or touch-ups well ahead of the time the client will arrive - if possible, have someone else double-check you. Making sure every last detail has been checked and re-verified will make you confident and calm when your client comes to pick up the job. You can present it proudly, knowing that everything has been done to ensure the client will be happy with the finished product. Your confidence spills over to the client, which also makes it easier to ask for that final payment - when you see the client smiling and appreciative of the work you've done for him or her. This works for any project you have to do in life.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
By Ebru Ulufer
Are you over 30 years old and stuck in a job you hate?
Do you dread Monday mornings and drag yourself in to work every morning?
Do you desperately want to leave your job but feel there is nothing you can do about it because you are too old to change your life?
Life is too short to spend hating your job. Can you imagine wasting 40 years of your life doing something that makes you miserable? That is what is going to happen if you don't start taking action NOW. You are probably telling yourself that you are too old to change your life and find the work you love. Let me tell you this, you are never too old to learn or do something you truly desire to do. There is no time like the present to start thinking about pursuing your interests, ideals and dreams.
Did you know that many famous and successful people found their true calling after 30 years of age?
1. Paul Gauguin, leading post-impressionist artist, initially worked as a stockbroker and he started painting full-time in 1883 at age 35.
2. John Grisham, one of the biggest selling authors of all time, graduated from University of Mississippi School of Law and practiced criminal law for about a decade. He left his law practice at the age of 35 in order to pursue a full-time writing career.
3. Martha Stewart, television host, author, and magazine publisher, worked as a stockbroker until she was 32 years old. At age 35 she started a catering business which changed her life and made her one of the most prominent women in America.
4. Harrison Ford, film actor and producer, was a carpenter before becoming a movie star.
I can give you many examples of famous people who changed their lives after 30 years of age and became successful, happy and fulfilled with the work they do. If that still does not convince you, read the following real-life stories of three women who prove it really is never too late.
Liz Davies was 37 years old when she founded Welsh Coast and Country Cottages. She is now 57 and her company makes a multi-million pound turnover.
Eve Davies worked as a nurse for nearly three decades before launching her own business offering personalised tours of Britain. She was 62 years old when she and her husband started to run Cambrian Routes, an award-winning specialist holiday service.
Elsie Richardson went to university at 70 years old. She was awarded an MA in counselling when she was 75 years old and set herself up as a counsellor after her graduation. She is now 82 years old and studying for her PhD at the School of Health, Community and Education Studies in Northumbria University. As well as studying for her doctorate, Elsie sits on the board of nine committees and is the vice chairman of Newcastle's Years Ahead project. She says "It's never too late to learn. I want to encourage people to go out and meet people, it's better than sitting inside the house just looking out of the window and watching rubbish on the TV."
Saturday, December 18, 2010
By Clare Evans
Do you get to the end of the week and you know you've been busy but you don't really seem to have achieved anything?
You've been rushing around from pillar to post, feeling as if you're at the beck and call of everyone and everything else, whether it's a ringing phone or a full inbox or people interrupting you while you're working but somehow you don't find time for yourself.
Well, it's a common problem and could be a sign that you're focusing on the wrong things or don't really have any clear plan of what you need to be doing.
Take a deep breath, set aside a few minutes and get clear in your mind what it is that you want.
What do you want to achieve in the next three months, six months, a year? What are your longer term goals for your business?
Make sure that what you do each day is getting you closer to your goals and that you're not wasting your time on secondary goals or getting side-tracked on to less important tasks.
One way to do this is to have a visual representation of what you need to do each week or even on a monthly basis or across a whole year. Our brains work better if we're able to engage both the right and the left side. Having a linear list or diary appeals to the logic but get creative with it and use some colour to at least stimulate the more creative and visual aspect.
Worksheets and checklists are great for planning and keeping track of time. It feels good to see what needs to be done spread across the week. Use colour to highlight and block out different area where you spend your time. Make it more creative, visual and satisfying.
Even if you're using a diary - you can add some variety by using colour and symbols to identify different tasks - client meetings, admin tasks, research, writing, even your weekly exercise or social appointments. You'll quickly recognise the colour coding and it's easier to read
Even if you already use a diary or online scheduler, a weekly planner provides a one-page record of your diary, action list and goals for the week, making it easier to focus and stay on track.
You can use it for both your business and personal goals and there are ways to create a tracking worksheet you can use for the month or even for a whole year.
It's so much more satisfying and motivating to tick off your achievements and track your progress. It gives you a colourful representation of what you're doing and it encourages you both to focus and do more.
Friday, December 17, 2010
By Angie Dixon
If you live in the same world I do, I'd wager that you hear people saying "I'm not creative," and you say it yourself. To which I say, codswallop, for two major reasons. The first reason is that I love to say codswallop and I take every opportunity to do so.
The other reason is that creativity is important-it's what I call a primary source-and it is absolutely vital not only to your well-being and prosperity, but to the world's prosperity, that you take pride in what you can do.
However, I know that sounds pretty vague, so I'm going to lay out five concrete reasons you should be proud of your creativity and embrace it.
1. Creativity is important and valuable. You recognize this in other people-for example, Steve Jobs and the iPhone. You understand this intuitively, but you don't always apply it to yourself. Start saying to yourself, when you have a creative idea or do something creative, "That's cool." Just say it. You don't have to say it out loud, even. Or believe it. But remember that creativity matters.
2 Creativity brings career advantages. Even if you are not in a "creative" job, you can use your creativity to complete your work better and faster, to move up, and to accomplish your goals. Or, if you're either brave or stupid, like me (the brave part, not the stupid part), you can start your own business and take a chance on your creativity.
3. The people you love, love your creativity. Sometimes I fall back on the idea that the people I love, who love me, are not stupid. If they think my creativity is something to cherish, they might be right and I might be wrong. They agree with me on this.
4. You deserve the same acclaim you would give someone else. This is similar to "the people who love me are not stupid." The fact is, if my best friend did some of the creative things I do on a regular basis, I'd be throwing parties and calling everyone we know to tell them about her amazing feats. Instead, I invented a board game and once said, "Oh, yeah, I invented a board game." Understandably, the person on the other end of the phone didn't think this was an "oh yeah" kind of thing. Remember that.
5. Creativity grows when it's nurtured. If you are creative, if you want to continue to be creative, then one of the most important things you can do is to let your creative mind know that. Nurture and cherish and be proud of your creativity, and your mind will just keep pushing the creative limits. It's like a child, trying to please you. Let your mind know your creativity pleases you.
I hope my little pep talk has given you something to think about and gotten your mind working toward not just being creative, but being absurdly proud of your creativity. I will add that taking pride in my creativity literally transformed my life, from one I was relatively happy with, to a life that I would not trade for anything. I hope it does the same for you.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
By Conor Hughes
Motivation is one of those illusive topics that nobody really understands. It is the most fundamental reason why any of us do what we do, yet psychologists to neurologists to biologists still have yet to figure out what really makes people tick.
Despite the fact that we don't know why certain things motivate us and why other things don't, if we can figure out our main motivators then we can use that information to our advantage.
Motivation is often very irrational and this is no more evident than in the following example:
Researchers at Intel Research Seattle and the University of Washington have developed a mobile phone application called UbiFit. The application is designed to increase an individuals motivation to exercise and it has been working very well.
What is the application?
Well as a child you may remember receiving gold stars from your teacher when you did good work in class. The gold star was an indication that your teacher recognized the work and effort that you put into a certain project.
The UbiFit application works from a similar premise. UbiFit gathers information from a small, wearable accelerometer and then chart's that data based in an individual's daily physical activity. Depending on the individuals levels of activity, different flowers of different colours and sizes start to appear on the background display of the users phone.
Ubifit conducted a study where one group of people had these graphics appear on their phone when they exercised, and then another group of people just had their data recored, but the "garden" feature did not appear on there phone's background.
Astonishingly, the group that received this tiny reward of getting flowers on their phone had much more success maintaining an exercise routine than those who did not have the reward.
Most people that were involved in the research study, including lead researcher Sunny Consolvo, were stunned by these results. How could such an insignificant reward develop such a high level of motivation in certain individuals?
Unfortunately, as I have pointed out at the beginning of this article, nobody really knows. All that we can tell from studies like these is certain things motivate us and certain things don't, no matter how rational or how irrational that may seem.
The message for motivating yourself is to find out what it is that motivates you and then use that to get yourself to do the things that you need to do. It doesn't matter how irrational the motivation may seem, if it gets you to do what you need to do, then that's all that matters!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
1. Assess the rejection
Take a look at the reasons given for your rejection. Was the letter you received more than ‘does not meet our needs at this time?’ Did the interviewer tell you why you were not suitable for the position? If reasons have been provided, can you understand where they are coming from? Great feedback can assist you in your success.
2. Ask some questions
If you have not been provided anything more than vague reasoning, find out why you were rejected from the position. Was it your level of experience? Was it the way that you dressed? Ask your interviewer to provide critical feedback about your rejection.
3. Don’t allow ego to interfere
Ego is blinding. If you believe that all of your work is perfect, there is no room for improvement. When you are deciding the validity of your reviewer’s feedback, do not discount their concerns as petty.
4. Examine your motivation
Were you completely committed to the project? Did you do everything that you could to make your acceptance occur? If you believe that you did everything possible to get that ‘yes,’ then realize that most decisions for promotion or acceptance are subjective. If you did not put your entire effort into the project, put time toward your success.
5. Chat with friends
If your writing has been rejected, ask your friends to read what you have written. Ask them to be completely honest with what they have read. Your friends will often try to shield you from their criticism, but they will respond if you ask them to remove the rose colored glasses.
6. Rejection is not the end of the world
You might have been turned down for a promotion or a book deal, but it is not the end of the world. Your acceptance and success is merely delayed. Every risk that you take has a possibility of failure. There will be more risks that you can take.
7. Attitude counts
Your reaction to rejection is just as important as the rejection itself. Whining, crying and pouting are great for toddlers, but you are an adult. Be positive about the rejection, knowing that you are going to have bigger and better triumphs. Skills can be taught. Attitude cannot.
8. Rejection is a learning experience
There is always something to learn from the rejections that you receive. If your company did not promote you, what qualities are in the person who was promoted? What kinds of books and articles are accepted by the publisher?
9. Regroup and Resolve
When you have been rejected, allow yourself a chance to regroup. Resolve to correct those issues. When you regroup, do something that is completely different to the rejection. If you are a writer, start sculpting. Stepping away from the situation allows your brain to come up with suitable solutions and corrections.
10. There are always more
Rejection is usually the result of one person’s opinion. You can make that article pitch to another magazine or another person within the same company. You can look laterally for another promotion, or look outside. There are always more opportunities for those who know where to look.
The rejection that you just received is not the end of the world. Take a day off, assess the lessons and continue. Those rejections pave the way for your future success
Monday, December 13, 2010
By Alexander N John
You have seen it and read those emails when a product launch is coming, right?...You have never seen them like this before!
They give you about five videos packed full of new information about internet business stuff. Not showing you all the videos right away, they draw it out to get the maxim amount of comments and sharing.
...They have tons of people mailing for them!
...The videos are so great you have to share it!
The videos are hip and fun to watch. Also they are packed with great information!
Then after the five videos they offer you their product that will change your life!
...Oh yes, we have all been there! The hype kills us! The new traffic pre-product launch system is crazy good! They number one key is you!
A lot of people don't know this but the key to anyone's success online is other people! Think about it! How does this relate to me? Everything online relates to you! Just look at the best blogs and websites.
What do they have? Hundreds of comments and hundreds of people sharing there blog posts! Looking how the best do product launches and watching there ever move can help you greatly.
One of my biggest secrets is this,...Videos are king! Videos are taking over YouTube, Google, and about ever website in the world has a video! I think and I have seen more people sharing videos then a written blog post....It doesn't have to look great! All you need to do is make it full of great spammable information!
Here is another secret,...treat every blog post like a product launch! If you can get people excited about your blog post like they do a product launch... you are doing something great online!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
How to pick up the pieces after a small-business setback.
By Bill Bartmann
Failure of any kind can be a setback for entrepreneurs, but it doesn't have to spell disaster. I'm the perfect example. I've been rejected by the Marines and I flunked out of law school. The real kicker came in 1998 when a former business partner at a debt-collection company of mine was convicted of fraud. Even though he admitted to committing the fraud without my knowledge, I was indicted on 57 felony counts and my assets were frozen. While I was cleared of all charges four years later, I wound up filing for bankruptcy protection and lost a personal fortune in business equity to the tune of about $3 billion. My only asset left was my house.
Sounds devastating, right? But despite my failures I have been able to pick up the pieces and come through it all with a strong self-image. I attribute that to having a healthy perspective on what failure should and should not mean to me.
When faced with any setback, here are five rules that have helped me over the years and can help you, too.
1.Don't pretend it never happened.
People are often so anxious to avoid the stigma of failure that they refuse to admit what happened. Denial usually results in a host of other problems, including internal stress and delaying any effective remedy.
The late Dale Carnegie, a well-regarded lecturer and author of the bestseller "How to Win Friends and Influence People," said that when you're quick to admit that you screwed up, your peers will stop holding your feet to the fire and actually begin to comfort you.
2.Avoid making excuses.
Some people wiggle past the truth by admitting to a problem they sugarcoat in excuses. I was one of them. At one point during my teenage years I was homeless and an alcoholic. At every turn, I told myself that all my shortcomings were not my fault.
My situation only improved when I stopped making excuses and focused on a productive goal. For me, it was getting my General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
3.Don't confuse a failed goal for a failed person.
Sometimes people take the opposite approach from what I just described. They blame themselves for any and every failure, creating a pattern of negative self-reinforcement. Assuming you'll invariably screw up is dangerous thinking -- and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of setting up a mental pattern for failure, ask yourself how you can improve.
4.Remember, you are not alone.
People fail to reach goals all the time. Take baseball players, for example. They strike out multiple times over the course of a long, 162-game season. And when they fail, they do it in front of millions of TV viewers. The point is that we're not robots. Everyone's bound to stumble every once in a while.
5.Focus on the lessons learned.
While I ultimately cleared my name after a felony indictment more than a decade ago, a lot of damage had been done. The only way to survive such a world-class level of failure is to focus on the future. Not many people can say they've literally lost billions of dollars and chalk it up to "business lessons." I'm currently rebuilding my company, which now has a portfolio valued at $100 million.
Bill Bartmann went from bankrupt-to-billionaire by revolutionizing the collection industry in America. Today, as CEO of Tulsa based debt resolution firm Bill Bartmann Enterprises, he partners with entrepreneurs & investors to profit by resolving debts of delinquent borrowers
By Richard Romando
Over the years, behavioral scientists have noticed that some people have an intense desire to achieve something, while others may not seem that concerned about their achievements. This phenomenon has attracted a lot of discussions and debates. Scientists have observed that people with a high level of achievement motivation exhibit certain characteristics. Achievement motivation is the tendency to endeavor for success and to choose goal oriented success or failure activities.
Achievement motivation forms to be the basic for a good life. People who are oriented towards achievement, in general, enjoy life and feel in control. Being motivated keeps people dynamic and gives them self-respect. They set moderately difficult but easily achievable targets, which help them, achieve their objectives. They do not set up extremely difficult or extremely easy targets. By doing this they ensure that they only undertake tasks that can be achieved by them. Achievement motivated people prefer to work on a problem rather than leaving the outcome to chance. It is also seen that achievement motivated people seem to be more concerned with their personal achievement rather than the rewards of success.
It is generally seen that achievement motivated people evidenced a significantly higher rate of advancement in their company compared to others. Programs and courses designed, involves seven "training inputs." The first step refers to the process through which achievement motivation thinking is taught to the person. The second step helps participants understand their own individuality and goals. The third assist participants in practicing achievement-related actions in cases, role-plays, and real life. A fourth refers to practicing of achievement-related actions in business and other games. A fifth input encourages participants to relate the achievement behavior model to their own behavior, self-image, and goals. The sixth program facilitates participants to develop a personal plan of action. Finally, the course provides participants with feedback on their progress towards achieving objectives and targets.
Friday, December 10, 2010
By Cody Allen
Is your company struggling with its brand design? This article will help you decide if hiring an agency to help build your company's image is the right step for your business. The purpose of brand design is to develop a personality and identity for a company, organization or even an individual. When you see a well-known logo, character or even tag line that represents a company, there is usually a brand design firm who can take credit for its creation.
The goal of a brand design strategy is to make people remember a company by establishing things that are familiar. Therefore once the strategy is established the brand needs to remain consistent throughout. Everything the company does needs to reflect the new brand strategy going forward.
Depending on the business, there are many factors to take into account when developing a brand including:
What is their product?
Who are their customers?
Do they provide a service?
What is their role in the community?
What is the benefit to the customer/community?
All of these things are taken into account when designing a brand. Once a strategy is developed, the brand design company will begin to establish new brand identity in many ways including logo design, color scheme, a tagline and more.
One thing that plays a key role in branding is called positioning. An individual's branding strategy, if they are running for political office for instance, might include positioning them as an honest, caring member of their community. A company's positioning might be as a leader in customer service or a provider of innovative solutions to everyday problems. Once this positioning has been determined, the brand design portfolio will be built around it.
Brand design tells a story about a company. It is something like a biography. If you look at the brand design portfolio of a major company, you will quickly be able to learn about them and their history. Through the use of branding, major corporations have built their reputations. Occasionally a company will refresh their brand identity in order to appear more modern or to show they have changed with the times. Sometimes this change is not welcome by their customers.
A major retailer recently changed its logo. For about 24 hours, their entire brand strategy changed to show this new modern logo. Customers and marketing experts agreed that they preferred the original logo and it was quickly decided that they would maintain their original brand image. This shows how impactful a company's image can be. People are often emotionally attached to brands even without knowing it.
Branding is key in marketing success. In order for marketing to work, the target audience must immediately recognize who is talking to them (a company, an individual, etc.) and they must quickly hear the message. Notice the words immediate and quickly. When working to get the attention of an audience, it is important to do so in just a few seconds.
Brand development is not a simple process and it can take designers years to get good at it. Only then can they develop successful brand strategies for their clients. Working with a brand design agency who employs a team of highly creative designers as well as people who can implement the technological requirements of a strong brand is critical to obtaining a successful brand identity.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Do you want to live a happy life? If you say yes like most people do, then it’s important to learn to enjoy life. Some people may think that they can only enjoy life when they already have a lot of money or have a successful career. But that’s not true. You can enjoy your life where you are with what you already have. You can enjoy your life now.
Here I will share with you how to enjoy life. But before that, I’d like to share two tips that are essential to live a happy life. The first one is to be grateful. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is. No matter how many pleasant things you do, if you don’t learn to be grateful you will always see things negatively.
The second one is to slow down. Life has a lot of simple things you can enjoy. But if you move too fast you will overlook most of them. So don’t be in a hurry. Don’t move too quick. Slow down and pay attention to the world around you. Most of the ways I’m about to share will work well only if you slow down
With those two tips in mind, here are 30 ways to enjoy life. Pick the ones that work for you:
1.Enjoy your meal. Don’t just eat. Taste it and appreciate its richness.
2.Learn to cook.
3.Feel music and not just listen to it.
4.Play music. More than just listening, playing music allows you to express yourself.
6.Gather with old friends.
7.Take a walk in the park.
9.Read a novel.
10.Find and watch a movie you like. IMDB‘s recommendation engine can help you find movies you may like.
11.Give yourself a lazy day.
12.Play board games with your friends.
13.Have a candle-light dinner with your spouse.
14.Play mini games.
16.See beautiful pictures.
17.Read inspiring quotes.
18.Learn to paint.
19.Read a classic book.
20.Exercise with friends.
21.Watch funny videos.
22.Play with kids.
23.Play a mind game.
24.Have a cup of coffee.
25.Get a massage.
26.Go to a museum.
27.Go to a theater.
30.Browse your photo album for your treasured memories.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
By Carla Jiroux Kaplan
We've all heard about motivational speakers changing people's lives through their seminars, books, and so forth. We've heard that these speakers have saved marriages, made people more successful in their professional lives, and so much more. Yet what is positive motivation, and how can it change your own life?
Motivation is a force that can quite simply be either positive or negative. It can be applied to you through others, or you can apply it to the lives of others who are close to you. Positive motivation has the power to give you or your loved ones that little extra push to succeed. It has the power to change lives in incredible ways simply by creating extra will where there really isn't any will left. If you have ever heard successful people speaking about their lives, you likely have heard many of them talk about a turning point in their lives where they were completely down on their luck and about to give up, but they had that extra bit of will left. It was that final effort that changed their lives.
In so many aspects of life, from playing sports to interpersonal relationships with friends and family to your professional life, positive motivation can not just change your own success but it can change the success of those around you. When you are a positive force in someone else's life and are constantly providing strong motivation to continue on even when they think they cannot go any further, you will find that those around you are more successful in their lives. You will also find that they will cheer you on in your life in the same fashion. Motivation is a two-way street, and spreading a little here and there in key places can reap rewards not just for those you love but for you as well.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
By Adrian Hargray
It doesn't matter what you're reading, you can sort through the fluff and filler if you know how to do it. If you practice enough, you'll be able to see what you need to read and what parts you can simply skip over. It is the intent of this article to show you how to do this all while improving your reading comprehension also.
One thing that you can do to get a general idea of what you're reading is to look at the page that you are reading. Take a quick glance at the passage and see if there are any repeated words that you see. Usually words that are in bold letters will tell you what the passage is all about. When you glance at the page like this, when you're ready to read it, you will know the important parts to read and what you can skip.
Try your best not to reread sentences also. This just slows you down and hinders you from understanding the whole piece. Rereading sentences is a practice that poor readers do, so you don't want to copy this part of bad readers. Rereading sentences can become a bad habit and usually you don't even have to reread a particular sentence. To help you stop rereading, one thing that you can do is take a ruler and read each sentence or line with it. You will want to move the ruler in a slow motion, while gradually increasing your speed as you continue.
Another thing that you don't want to do is pronounce words to yourself. When you read to yourself like this, it can slow you down. Your goal should be to be aware that you're doing it as it's a bad habit to acquire. What you want to do is visualize words as soon as you see them. Sometimes it helps to pay more attention to particular keywords and not read others. Or you can try humming as a way to stop sub-vocalizing. It may be in your best interest to even put a finger over your lips while you read to help stop your lips from moving.
Use a ruler or a sheet of paper to help guide your reading. If you want to be a better speed reader, this technique will help. This will also help to stop rereading words as this is a bad habit to acquire also. Your eyes will follow the movement of the ruler and it will help you to keep moving forward.
Also, stop reading word by word and start reading blocks of words. Every word that you read isn't important so it's okay to skip over some words. You probably already do this if you regularly read newspapers. When you read a newspaper, you probably don't read the entire news section, but instead you skim and take only the most important parts of the article. You want to do the same thing here with your speed reading.
You have to keep working at it if you want to see results with your speed reading. Eventually your skills will develop and you will be reading faster than you ever imagined.
Monday, December 6, 2010
By MJ Schrader
Even a goal that you have firmly in your sights has obstacles and swerving paths that do not lead straight to your destination. This is just a part of life and a part of living. While it would be nice that your path was straight it would not allow for the beauty that has a tendency of surprising you. And even the obstacles have their benefits as well.
How can obstacles be good?
You may think that inventing something that does not work as intended as a bad thing. It may seem like it, but then again it could be the key to something else. Also it tells you that your plan is off and helps you move back to the right direction. That flat tire on the way to the important meeting may hurt, but you will change your plans accordingly and sometimes things like that are unavoidable. Yet, you must be flexible and willing to change.
What can be beautiful in an obstacle?
Writing x number of songs this year may seem terribly important when you make the plans. Then a few months later, when you find out you are going to be a parent, that goal of x number songs may seem a lot less important. You may decide to do half as many. It may be that a job that pays you for song writing appears, writing x number of songs for free versus fewer for money may change your goal. Either way you continue writing songs, which is your goal, it just needed a little flexibility.
Do you remember your long term goal?
If you are driving to Las Vegas from New York, there are many ways to get there. Las Vegas is your goal but a detour for whatever reason does not mean you will not get there if you keep that as your goal. A flat or car repair still will not change your goal of Las Vegas unless you do. You will discover different things about yourself about the world when you continue on your goal and be flexible about how to get there.
Can you be flexible in your goals?
You may think that you should stick firm to your goals and the path to get there. Unfortunately something will suffer if you do not allow any flexibility in your path. You may suffer from loss of friends or family, or even your health if you drive yourself down a path that changed. Your dreams may suffer because something else will fail and create a problem that makes you dreams impossible. Be flexible in how you get to your goals and your dreams will be easier to reach.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
By Richard Brody
We have all heard or stated some reference to body language. However, while much information can be learned from "reading" this non verbal form of communication, it is certainly not an exact science. Using certain of these silent signals is often helpful in determining the truthfulness of certain statements that might be made. Many of us also interpret someone's body language to gain a "first impression," as well as to either confirm or negate something we believe about an individual.
Many law enforcement organizations, including the F.B.I., have extensively studied body language and body signs to assist in determining truthfulness during an interview. Many interviewers either consciously or subconsciously judge the individual they are interviewing to gain insight into the character of someone.
An individual's posture generally indicates quite a bit about someone. We ordinarily relate slouching to someone lacking self-confidence. Most people tend to respect people who exhibit good posture consistently. How someone tilts their head is often believed to say a lot about someone. One of the first impressions we gather about someone is based on our first glimpse of them, and the "firmness" of their handshake. The "sweaty" hand during the handshake stage is a "turnoff" to many people.
Another important non-verbal sign and message is gained by either eye contact, or lack of eye contact. Statistically, individuals who will not make eye contact are either lying or hiding something, or are not proud of something. Police and safety officers, as well as other specially trained individuals, have developed a system regarding how a person looks (whether up or down, left or right), and what that means. There are many tell-tale signs that body language indicates, especially when witnessed and evaluated by a trained professional. The concept of body language and its correlation to whether someone is telling the truth has even become the basis of a Fox Broadcasting series, "Lie to Me."
There is, however, the possibility that an untrained individual can misinterpret either actual body language, or what the untrained person believes to be a form of body language. Sometimes, an untrained individual is
"turned off," by a certain type of posture or movement, although the particular "gesture" has no actual "meaning" about truthfulness. Body language can certainly be of great assistance by a properly trained professional, but to others acts as nothing more than another "gut reaction trigger." It has meanings on a variety of different levels, and intentionally or inadvertently, provides many different meanings and feelings every day. Someone who really wants to utilize body language more effectively and accurately should therefore take courses to become better trained on what it means.
Friday, December 3, 2010
By Lorna Shanks
What's the basis for what you do? You are passionate about it.
If you are passionate about what it is you do, then openness and transparency is what your business strategy is all about. Right? Exactly!
It's human nature.. when you are passionate about what it is you do, and what you have to offer, then you want to tell the whole world about it.
So here's the dilemma... how come there are so many who keep what it is they have to offer a secret? "Opportunity" seems to be the buzz word for something being offered without giving details as to what exactly is being offered.
If there is a product, service or business venture that could really help people and enrich their lives, you want to let people know about it... get them excited about it, just as you are. Passion and enthusiasm cannot be contained.
Will people get excited about and buy into something that will benefit their health, make their life easier, or give them a proven system that allows them to work for themselves? Most likely they will. Will they buy into "an opportunity"? Pretty hard sell.
So the question is... why the secret? Is the passion not there? Are people afraid someone else will steal the idea or their potential clients? (Another topic for discussion.) What is it?
Sharing passion and enthusiasm... and being open about exactly what's available to help people and enrich their lives is a great thing to bring to the world. Let's hear about it.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
1.Take 60 seconds to think about your favorite moment at work.
2.Invite a new co-worker out to lunch.
3.Bring an extra dessert for your boss.
4.Eat perfectly ripened grapes.
5.Watch a YouTube video – search “Office Pranks”
6.Come up with a wild idea for the advertising department even if you aren’t in their department.
7.Buy donuts for everyone
8.Bring in orange juice for everyone
9.Find an awesome joke online, memorize it and tell it to everyone.
10.Don’t wear any underwear.
11.Bring in freshly brewed sun tea.
12.Make everyone a copy of your favorite music.
13.Have a paper airplane contest. Whoever’s plane goes the farthest gets an extra 15 minute break.
14.Wear two different colored socks, see if anyone notices. (step farther – different shoes)
15.Give a friendly wink and a smile at someone that you know won’t report you to HR.
17.Write a poem and print out a copy for everyone.
18.Make everyone gather for a group photo.
19.Compliment everyone that you interact with.
20.Ask everyone how they are feeling (really listen).
21.Bring in a plant for your desk (workspace).
22.Bring in stickers that a third grade teacher would have i.e. “You are Great,” and pass them out.
23.Ask all your co-workers for their best joke. The best one gets a cup of coffee or beer.
24.Create a “show and tell” every Friday.
25.Have a child paint the office a picture.
26.Stretch at your desk for five minutes
27.Bring in your old magazines and put them in the lunch room for someone else to read.
28.Laugh at yourself.
29.Give a copy of your favorite book to the employee who annoys you the most.
30.Celebrate everyone’s birthday – tailor it to their likes (note: do not buy a generic cake).
31.Dress up like it’s a party.
32.Celebrate a big contract or completion of a project by having music, dancing and a prize of a dinner for two.
33.Wash a co-worker’s car during your lunch.
34.Have a dress-up day on a random day (besides Halloween).
35.Switch jobs with someone in your department for a day.
36.Have a fifteen minute exercise break for the whole office.
37.Write a letter to the most famous person in your industry asking for one piece of advice.
38.Do a 1 minute relaxation exercise that makes you look weird (like yoga nostril breathing), but you don’t care because you’re relieving stress.
39.Have a coloring contest – it brings back the “kid in school” feeling.
40.Make a cup of hot tea for a co-worker.
41.Trade sweaters with someone of the same size
42.Bring in a carved design in a piece of fruit (what type of fruit depends on the season).
43.Wear all white.
44.Give a small gift to all your co-workers.
45.Give every co-worker a special rock that you picked for them and tell them why they got the rock that you gave them.
46.Bring in a board game and play it during lunch.
47.Everyone write a “thank you” note to their favorite client, customer, or business.
48.Let someone borrow your favorite pen.
49.Do your boss’s or co-worker’s most hated task.
50.Throw a party for everyone in the office. Give one reason why you appreciate each person and that’s why you are throwing a party for everyone.
51.Bring in face paints and paint employees’ and customers’ faces.
52.Bring in a cool piece of original art from home and display it in the office.
53.Create a company song.
54.Ask everyone what their favorite animal is and why.
55.Bring in Trivial Pursuit cards and ask people questions. If they get it right they win a piece of candy.
What would be number 56? What do you do at your job to make it more fun?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
By Michael Kevin Johnson
With so many things going on in your life how do you remember all the things you feel are important? You're at a great party and find you love that new wine you tasted. Will you remember what it was the next day? What about that list of TO DOs you started on a scrap of paper, where is it when you want to add to it? What about the string of things that are related but were captured at various times; how do you relate one to the other so all the information can be recalled together? This is the dilemma I faced not too long ago. I wanted a system where I could gather thoughts, pictures, audio, web clippings, and web links. I tried using a notebook. This worked well for jotting little reminders. However, this system did not work well for images due to the need to affix them to a page somehow. Another feature I desperately wanted was the ability to access all of my stored items virtually any time, anywhere. At one point I started storing all of my items in an email and keeping it in the draft folder. Well, I could access it from anywhere, but soon the file became rather large and navigating through it or searching for specific information became very cumbersome and hit-or-miss. Then one day while surfing the net for something completely unrelated I stumbled upon the application that made all of my information management dreams come true! This web-based application allowed me to:
Access it Anywhere
Find Things Fast
Export all information off the system
The application is called Evernote
To begin your Evernote experience you create either a free account or a Premium account. With the free account you are limited to 40 MB per month of uploads and unlimited storage. With the Premium account you are allowed 500 MB per month of uploads and unlimited storage. At this writing the Premium account costs $5 per month or $45 for the year if you make a full year payment. You can try the free version to see if you like it and easily upgrade to the Premium version. Once you have your account you're ready to capture stuff. If you hear a tune you like don't just write down the track name and artist, also capture the actual audio using Evernote on your smartphone. Doing some price comparison shopping; create a new note and capture a picture of the item and description right into Evernote with your smartphone's camera. There is so much more you can do with Evernote.
This application is truly magical due to the number of platforms you can use to capture stuff and the fact that they all stay synchronized via the web-based main server. There are clients for the following platforms:
* Mac OS X
* iPhone/iPaod Touch
* Palm Pre / Palm Pixi
* Windows Mobile
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
By Stephen Hager
Have you been passionate about communicating something important to others, but have not received the acknowledgment, attention and outcomes you envisioned? Three "golden rules" for communication success are neuroscience-based methods that draw people into engaging with you and improve the probability of reaching win-win outcomes. They engender respect, build trust and improve relationships.
Golden Rule #1: People do things for their reasons, not for yours.
The brain only engages with listening, observing, thinking and action when a value component is present. The value can be feeling important, being needed or reaching out and helping someone because it's the right thing to do. It may be intellectual curiosity, solving a nagging life problem or acquiring a physical possession. The reason is irrelevant. Any reason the brain deems valuable gets the brain's attention. If you don't know the "hot buttons" of a person or group, try using phrases like: "I have a problem and need your help." "Will you take a look at a situation that may change your life for the better?" "Is this a good time to ask your opinion about something that may interest you?" Make sure the "attention getter" has integrity, serving the best and highest interests of the person or group you are addressing.
Golden Rule #2: Do it the Socratic way.
Provide information with a minimum of "telling." Maximize asking questions that draw the person into the communication process, thus encouraging an exchange of information and insights, rather than a one-sided monologue. Questions expand insights and integrate knowledge into common understanding, consensus, solutions and pathways to positive action. Asking Socratic questions is a life skill that anyone can learn. You can start the process now by beginning conversations and presentations with "what, why, when and how." Everyone learns with this method and you can be the facilitator of this dynamic and fun learning process.
Golden Rule #3: Communicate on the wavelength of your audience or listener
Visual Learners Need: Visual media, key written points, pictures, graphics, images, color, clutter-free environment
Kinesthetic Learners Need: Physical or hands-on experiences, comfort, freedom to move about, frequent breaks
Auditory Learners Need: Clarity of words, attentive listening, ability to ask questions, quiet environment
Sequential Thinkers Need: Logic, order, particulars, realism, practicality, data, schedules, content
Global Thinkers Need: Possibilities, options, generalities, open-ended, big picture, context
These "golden rules" for communication success are neuroscience principles available to everyone interested in positive outcomes for all parties. People engage when subjects are important and valuable to them, not necessarily to you. Therefore, you must provide reasons for them to interact with you and the subject. Inclusiveness, rather than exclusiveness is the operative word. Asking open-ended questions with a minimum of telling is an ancient Socratic principle of learning, more recently discovered to be based in neuroscience. Communicating on the wavelengths of others enables them to take in, process and gain understanding in the minimum amount of time.
Monday, November 29, 2010
By Guy Farmer
Leaders and managers ask me whether there is a practical way to build stronger teams in their organizations. I often suggest that they think about going beyond the occasional activity or retreat and create a deliberate culture of team building in their workplace. Creating a culture means designing an environment where employees are encouraged to work well with each other. The ultimate goal is to build a workplace where people collaborate effortlessly and help each other succeed.
Many of us don't practice team building in the workplace on a regular basis even if we realize that it would help us improve productivity and morale. This is usually because we are creatures of habit who like doing things the way they've always been done. Successful collaboration requires conscious and ongoing commitment from leadership and employees so that it can take root in the organization. Let's look at five practical ideas to help you create a workplace that celebrates working together.
1.Team building starts at the top of the organization. We need buy-in and participation from the company's leaders to make it work. It's possible for individual departments or employees to do some activities on their own but it's exponentially more effective when leaders actively and continuously show their commitment to being part of the team. When leaders participate it sends a positive message of dedication and interest. Our employees see first hand that we value being part of the group.
2.Developing a culture of team building. Every business creates a culture based on what it values. You can create a culture of team building at any time if you choose. You create this type of environment by giving people the opportunity to work together effectively and showing you care by supporting them along the way. This may require shifting from a competitive or compartmentalized culture to one that encourages collaboration. As a leader, you set a positive example by being an active part of the new culture.
3.Team building takes commitment, time and effort. We can't build cohesive teams if we only offer a one-hour workshop or seminar every few years. Creating strong group collaboration is an ongoing process where people continually practice the skills related to thinking, collaborating and working as a group. The goal is to create a workplace where team building becomes the standard way of doing things. Leaders play an important part because they demonstrate through their actions whether team building is really valued in the organization or just a bunch of words.
4.Set time aside to do activities. Identify a team building activity (there are many online) that makes sense to you and practice it once a week. My clients ask me how to find the time to do team building when they have so much other stuff on their plates and my answer is that one either dedicates the time or doesn't. Either choice shows the organization's level of commitment and virtually guarantees certain results. You decide whether the activities are a priority and how you will fit it into your work schedule. I recommend a free-standing weekly meeting that stands on its own and doesn't have to fight for attention with other meetings or topics. Give these activities importance and conduct them with no interruptions.
5.Celebrate your employees. We get so busy that we forget that creating teams is really about celebrating our employees and helping them enjoy a more positive and supportive work environment. When our employees are encouraged to collaborate positively they tend to perform better and do it more happily. Leaders have a profound effect on the productivity and well-being of their employees when they focus on encouraging them and building cohesive teams.
Team building is about helping your employees unite so they get more done in less time and with more enjoyment. The key to your success will be to commit to creating a viable program and setting aside the time and resources necessary to make it happen. The reward is that our people and workplaces function better. Try the ideas we've talked about in this article and you'll be on your way to enjoying the benefits that come from creating a culture of team building. How will you get the process started?