Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The 10 Most Difficult Clients You Meet on Earth









The 10 Most Difficult Clients You Meet on Earth

As a consultant, you meet all types of executives in business -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Driven by big egos, big jobs, and big money, some C-level honchos can be tough cookies.

Even though the vast majority of them are smart, savvy, intuitive, charming, talented, persuasive, and colorful, there are a few enfants terribles who have elevated bad business practices and behavioral eccentricities to an art form. These "execs gone wild" can severely strain business relationships and make your life profoundly difficult.

Consultants are often brought on board to solve a problem in times of rapid growth and impending crisis. While their ostensible goal is to confirm the client's problem, suggest a path or a process to tackle it, and implement a solution that will produce tangible, measurable, and desired results, their real objective is to make sure their clients don't impede or undermine their efforts.

Corporate Archetypes

This paper profiles the types of clients who create irritating potholes and fissures on the road to business success and reveals the behavioral patterns that characterize their so-called "worst practices."

These archetypes are drawn from behaviors all too common in the business world. The most difficult executives are an amalgam of these archetypes and share several commonalities: distrustful, controlling, aggressive, inflexible, paranoid, and occasionally tyrannical. It is facile to suggest that these behaviors are always intentional or driven by a sense of malice. Rather, it is fear, ignorance, insecurity, and thoughtlessness that are at the root of the most egregious worst practices.

The Bureaucrat

Native habitat: Large, mature company

Status: Middle and upper management

Modus operandi: To preserve the status quo; protect one's turf and job

Traits: Myopic; slow-moving; risk-averse

Bureaucrats are easy to spot. They seek shelter with the herd and are rarely found in one-to-one settings. However, don't underestimate their ability to throw a monkey wrench into your project and sabotage your best-laid plans. They have a penchant for making eleventh hour changes and questioning the earlier decisions of others.

Recommendations: Since procedure means the world to these individuals, avoid confrontation and play into their strengths. Ask them to explain the rules. Get everything in writing, including sign-offs. Acknowledge their status while establishing mutual expectations. You'll find that you can work with them as long as you don't violate any deeply-cherished institutional edicts.

The Autocrat

Native habitat: Small to mid-sized company

Status: CEO, COO

Modus operandi: To exercise control; interfere; intimidate others

Traits: Imperious; egotistical; aggressive; capricious

Autocrats rule by whim. They flourish in a relatively flat organization and find it difficult to delegate to subordinates. Autocrats will subvert the rules in order to assert authority and control, and are convinced of their own self-importance and infallibility. Autocrats use intimidation to keep you off balance (e.g., calling before and/or after business hours, making unilateral changes to written agreements, changing strategy without warning, etc.).

Recommendations: The best way to handle Autocrats is to stay calm, hold your ground, and negotiate new ground rules. Warning: Autocrats won't change their ethics overnight. At a certain point, you simply may have to walk away.

The Know-It-All

Native habitat: Any size company

Status: All levels

Modus operandi: To show superiority; be right; maintain control

Traits: Impatient; arrogant; inflexible; micro-managerial

Know-It-Alls "know" what's good for their business and can't wait to demonstrate their capabilities to you. They'll challenge your ideas, devalue your work, and sometimes even do your job for you. No matter what you accomplish for the Know-It-All, it's never good enough.

Recommendations: Build a contingency into your contract to ensure you will be paid for any work beyond the scope of the agreement. Know-It-Alls perceive outside expertise as a threat. Be that as it may, they really do need help. Since Know-it-Alls have the final word, strive for agreement every step of the way, and be sure to present alternate concepts and approaches. They may like what you show them, but, ego aside, it was their idea from the start.

The Waffler

Native habitat: Large company

Status: Middle and upper management

Modus operandi: To avoid conflict and making mistakes; protect one's job

Traits: Indecisive; distrustful; insecure

Easily the consultant's worst enemy, Wafflers can be a major roadblock. Despite their position, they are not born decision makers. Within their own company, they are often lauded as a team players and consensus builders; however, for consultants, they represent delay, doubt, and indecision. Wafflers will not go out on a limb for you. They won't even go out on a limb for themselves. This can seriously affect the progress of your work and the success of your project. Wafflers have a difficult time committing to anyone or anything, especially if it means making a bold decision for which they'll be held accountable.

Recommendations: Wafflers needs reassurance and a lot of hand-holding. Give them a milestone chart and deadline reminders, and reemphasize the objectives of the project. If roadblocks still persist, move up the value chain and seek alignment with more responsive and committed contacts within the client company.

The Tight Lip

Native habitat: Small, private company; start-up

Status: C-Level; Upper management

Modus operandi: To hide and protect company secrets; keep you at arm's length

Traits: Guarded; uncommunicative; aloof; cryptic

Signing an NDA with a client doesn't mean you'll be told everything you need to know to do your job well. Tight Lips are notorious for not communicating the essentials--business trip schedules, company plans, valuable feedback, etc. This situation is exacerbated when their native language is different from your own or when their communications abilities are minimal at best. When Tight Lips are paranoid about their company's supposed intelligence, you're going to find yourself out of the loop. A high degree of confidence is required before a new consultant can be entrusted with privileged information. Until such time, expect to be informed on a "need to know" basis and greeted with a veil of secrecy surrounding most company decisions and transactions.

Recommendations: There is no simple solution here. Probe, ask questions, throw out a few assumptions to see whether they stick to the wall, and hold the Tight Lip to account when important details are glossed over. If you've crossed over an imaginary line, you'll know it.

The Hand Wringer

Native habitat: Large and mid-sized company

Status: Middle management; project management

Modus operandi: To avoid trouble and being judged; protect status quo

Traits: Skeptical; pessimistic; anxious

Hand Wringers predict catastrophe wherever they go. They see the glass as half empty and are shocked when things go right (a deviation from the norm). They trust no one, have little or no confidence in themselves, and tend to second guess their own judgments. Like many other archetypes, Hand Wringers are high-maintenance and need a lot of reassurance. If you're the impatient sort, you may not enjoy the constant phone calls, questions, whining, and complaints.

Recommendations: Stay positive, communicate clearly, and focus on achieving realistic goals. Break the project down into bite-sized chunks that are palatable and digestible. Sure, it's nice to be a tower of strength and a beacon of understanding, but, remember, you're not a panacea for the Hand Wringer's anxieties. In order to deflect negativity and incessant worrying, you need to remain impassive and firm in your beliefs and expectations.

The Absentee

Native habitat: Small company; start-up

Status: CEO/Managing Director/Owner

Modus operandi: To be busy and in control

Traits: Detached; self-absorbed; unfocused

Nothing is more frustrating than having a client who doesn't give you straight answers, won't return phone calls, and is constantly inaccessible and unreachable. Absentees are elusive control freaks who wield their authority from afar where you can't get a handle on it. But, then again, maybe you can. After all, you're the one controlling the work, especially its outcome.

Recommendations: Don't use e-mail to communicate with Absentees. Instead, leave very brief and matter-of-fact messages on their personal cell phones (try to get the number). Talk about consequences with a sense of urgency that they can understand, e.g., the impact on their bottom line, their company's credibility, and the market opportunities they're missing. Whatever you do, don't get bogged down in minutia. Eventually, Absentees will resurface or come down from the mount. When they do, be prepared to move with speed, determination, and an unflagging sense of confidence in your ability to get things done.

The Perfectionist

Native habitat: Small and mid-sized companies

Status: Upper and middle management

Modus operandi: To be secure and right; maintain order; preserve status quo

Traits: Self-critical; fearful; obsessive

Some people can live in chaos and confusion. This isn't the case with the Perfectionist. Perfectionism, however, is only a symptom of a deeper disorder - a desire to control people and events coupled with a fear of change. Without getting too deep into psycho-babble, let's talk about this in practical terms. Your job is to manage the project and, as evidenced in this paper, manage the client. Perfectionists typically like to be assured that everything is proceeding on course according to their expectations.

Recommendations: Keep Perfectionists in the loop and in control by meeting with them in person. It is extremely difficult to manage this relationship by phone. Let them throw in their two cents and make the operationally mundane decisions governing your project. Acknowledge their need to tweak, fiddle, and keep order. However, give them forced choices so they can choose the best option. If you keep things too open-ended, they'll never be secure in their decisions.

The Exploiter

Native habitat: Small and mid-sized companies

Status: Upper and middle management

Modus operandi: To extract blood from a turnip

Traits: Demanding; conniving; manipulative

Industrious, prodigious, and hard-working consultants beware: At some point, your client will take advantage of you and your goodwill. Assuming that you have an agreement which spells out your work and fees in detail, Exploiters will still try to get more out of you. They'll leverage whatever they can -- your friendship, your expertise, and your good nature - and do it with a smile. That makes it really difficult to say "no." If you cave in too often, though, you're in danger of becoming an indentured servant.

Recommendations: Remember, the Exploiter will keep pushing until you push back. When you do push back, keep an eye towards compromise. There are a few favors or freebies you can throw in that won't eat up your time, but will satisfy the Exploiter's need to extract more while the day is young and you're still under contract.

The Emotive

Native habitat: Large and mid-sized companies

Status: Middle management

Modus operandi: To elicit sympathy; manipulate feelings

Traits: Sensitive; impulsive; dramatic

If you think the Hand Wringer is tough to manage, the Emotive will try to push all of your buttons at the same time. This is a person who really believes that high drama will lead to greater understanding and stronger business relationships. These histrionics may work with friends, family, and a few colleagues, but not with a steely-eyed consultant like you. Still, be on guard. Emotives are looking for a crutch - a person who will listen, intervene on their behalf, and share their pain.

Recommendations: Don't get involved in company politics or the personal problems of your clients. Keep your wits about you, stay above the fray, and remain a neutral party. Sympathy is fine, but empathy crosses the line. Keep the relationship on a professional plane and refrain from responding to emotionally-laden appeals or outbursts. As long as you're the paragon of cool judgment and impartial observation, your status as a consultant will not be compromised.

Lessons Learned: The 10 Consultant Commandments

Everybody needs rules, principles, or commandments to guide them in business. These principles don't have to be written in stone, but they should form the backdrop of your decision making. Below are ten rules to minimize, if not neutralize, the effects wrought by difficult executives.

Get it in writing.

Most agreements don't need to be long, legal instruments; however, they should contain caveats to protect your interests and compensation. Spell out the scope of the work and cover yourself for any additional work requested. If you have out-of-pocket expenses and want reimbursement, then mention it. If you have specific billing and payment terms, be as unambiguous as possible in describing them. In the event that your contract gets terminated, it's important to have a cancellation clause to make sure you're paid for work completed to date. If any disputes arise, then consider adding a clause that spells out how any disputes might be arbitrated. Avoid lawyers at all costs. This is all common sense, but it bears repeating: Get the agreement signed and dated, keep the hard copy, and remember where you file it.

Get paid in advance.

Cash flow is everything. If a project is 45 days long and your payment terms are net 30, that's a month and a half before you see any money. Don't get behind the eight ball. If you have recurring work, make sure you get a retainer paid at the beginning of each month. If you're engaged on a project basis, then ask for one-half or one-third in advance. You can also seek additional protection by sending a progress bill if the project is delayed beyond its initially expected duration.

Set expectations.

The understanding you reach with your client at the very beginning of an engagement is critical to ensuring its success. Since many of the mutual expectations that you discuss initially will not be found in a written agreement, put them in an e-mail or a statement of work. Explain your process, define your deliverables, and describe the kind of resources and support you'll need from your client. Be sure to gauge the level of urgency and buy-in. Find out who the decision makers are and who will be reviewing your work. Get to know the Accounts Payable person and others who could serve as valuable allies. Walk in with both eyes open, and you'll be prepared for any unpleasant surprises.

Don't give away the store.

To maintain a viable consultancy, you need to know one thing - what you're worth to the client in dollars and "sense." Although your value to the open marketplace may be considerable, an individual client may think otherwise. Whatever you charge, you need to feel comfortable with it and have a minimum threshold you're willing to accept. Don't ever sell yourself short. By the same token, never tell the client everything you know. Sure, you may be able to solve multiple problems in one fell swoop; however, if it's beyond the scope of the agreement, keep mum and show some restraint. You don't want to blow your wad and lose out on future engagements. In other words, don't give away the store. Knowledge is golden. Hold some of it back for your own sake.

Keep selling.

You've honed your craft. You're competent at what you do. That doesn't mean your client perceives your true value. Just because you got the consulting gig doesn't mean you'll be around in a few months. To ensure your desirability, keep selling. That means demonstrate your value whenever possible and show your client the depth of your understanding and resourcefulness. Sometimes that will require reinventing yourself and your offerings from time to time. Tell your clients something new and don't let your pitch get rusty.

Seek win-win situations.

You've heard this all before, but it's a lot easier said than done. Every engagement into which you enter is a negotiation. You need to get what you want (terms, schedule, payment, etc.) as does your client. Since things never go as planned, misunderstandings are likely to develop and you may be asked to accelerate the work schedule, perform extra duties, or redo portions of your work. In other words, you need to be flexible. Keep in mind, though, that you're an equal partner in the win-win equation. It's advisable to meet the client a little more than halfway, but never all the way. Remember the wisdom of the following forced choice: good, fast, or cheap. Tell your clients they can pick only two of them.

Maintain your distance.

It is said that familiarity breeds contempt. This is no less true when it comes to consulting. To avoid smelling like a dead fish, keep cordial and maintain a proper distance. If you don't need to be on the premises, get out of Dodge. You don't want to be treated like an employee but, rather, the highly-talented, objective consultant that you are. Just like the Western hero whose special skills are required to fix a problem the townsfolk can't solve, you're a hired gun who engenders feelings of trust and admiration. You're paid to do a job. Keep the client happy, dazzle them with your expertise, and then leave town. However, since clients have a short memory, be sure to stay in touch down the line.

Cultivate a sense of humor.

A good sense of humor and the perspective that comes with being an objective outsider can really grease the skids in a business relationship. After all, it's just a job and you're not buying the place. Use humor to diffuse a situation, put clients at ease, and demonstrate that you take your responsibilities, not yourself, seriously. Consultants should act more like ice cream vendors. Every client has a sweet tooth. Your job is to touch a nerve, increase receptivity, and leave them smiling.

Take the high road.

Clients can act atrociously if they want, but you're the consummate professional. Even though it's tempting, put down the mud patty and try to live up to the highest of standards. Let them rant and rave. They're entitled to their opinion. But at least they can never say you've been unethical or unprofessional.

Know when to walk away.

Sometimes damage to the business relationship is irreparable...and it's not just a question of stubbornness. Not everyone is reasonable - or even rational for that matter. When all else has failed, it's better to cut your losses and call it quits. Deselect and decompress. Make it sound like a mutual decision (i.e., "it's better for the both of us" or "you need a different kind of agency or consultant"). Wish your client the best of luck and then move on.

Summary

Good consulting starts and ends with clear and open communications. A successful consultant is part salesperson, part psychologist, and part gunslinger. Managing the project and excelling at the work is only a small part of the equation. Understanding the vagaries of human nature and the fragility of the human ego are just as important. That includes "knowing thyself," too. After all, you're just as human as the next person.

Consulting is all about building and sustaining business relationships, the cornerstone of which is a healthy dose of common courtesy and mutual respect. Real people are more than the sum of their behaviors or the instructions on their archetypal labels. However, when you do run across the above mentioned eccentricities, see them for what they are (ugly little distractions), try to invalidate them with just the right word, gesture, or consulting agreement, and get on with the business at hand.

© 2007 Eric Stephen Swartz. All rights reserved.

Eric Swartz is founder and president of The Byline Group (http://www.thebylinegroup.com), a marketing communications agency specializing in message creation, alignment, integration, and packaging. He also serves as president and founder of Tagline Guru (http://www.taglineguru.com), a branding agency focused on tagline and naming strategy and development.

Swartz is creator of the Integrated Marketing Communications Audit(tm), or IMCA(tm), a platform for communicating consistent brand messaging across all media -- helping client organizations come to a consensus regarding their vision, values, mission, differentiation, solution, promise, and competitive advantage.

Swartz is the recipient of a writing award from the Council for The Advancement and Support of Education and a guest lecturer in marketing and messaging at Golden Gate University. He received his A.B. in Communication & Public Policy from UC Berkeley and his M.A. in Communications from The Annenberg School for Communication.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eric_Swartz

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dealing With Setbacks in Business








Dealing With Setbacks in Business

Let's look at some of the common reasons why businesses experience the setbacks that ultimately cause them to fail.

Your reasons for starting a business should not be to make a lot of money, spend more time with your family, or so that you won't have to answer to anyone else. These reasons lead to quick setbacks because the truth of the matter is, when you first start a business, you must wear many hats. At this point your days will become longer than you ever imagined and you will inevitably spend more money than you planned to. Instead you should start your business because you love what you do, you have the drive, determination and patience to persevere, and you're not willing to let failure defeat you.

The second reason businesses fail or experience setbacks is poor management. New business owners cannot afford to be naive about their weaknesses. If you lack expertise in areas such as finance, production, or marketing, then you need to surround yourself with people that have strength in those areas. New business owners must also be entrepreneurial in their thinking; always looking for the next big thing, innovative.

Thirdly, insufficient capital due to underestimating start up costs and operating expenses as well as unrealistic sales expectations, can also lead to setbacks.

Finally, lack of planning can deal a devastating blow even to well established companies. A sound business plan, marketing plan, and financial plan are all essential to starting and maintaining a successful company. It is here that you can develop strategies dealing with potential setbacks. Without plans in place, your company may not rebound. An entrepreneur, if he is to truly be successful, must be able to plan and organize.

Now that we have looked at potential setbacks, let's talk about how to deal with them.

It's safe to say all of us deserve to be successful. The reality is, however, that we will most definitely experience setbacks or failures in our lifetime. The same is true in business. But, what separates a successful business from a failed business is how you deal with setbacks.

Parker Palmer once said, "In the west, our fixation on success discourages us from risk taking because it values success over learning and it abhors failure whether we learn from it or not."

With this mindset our successes are sure to be few. Instead when setbacks arise, we must stop looking at the glass half empty and begin looking at it as half full.

Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."

Setbacks are not a sign of weakness, stupidity, or dumbness. They are a chance for improvement and growth. CEO's from companies such as Dell and Microsoft admit that some of their biggest failures led to some of their greatest innovations. They took the time to learn from their setbacks. Every setback teaches you something. The more mistakes you make, the smarter you can become.

"Never allow anyone, including yourself, to label you as a failure." Abraham Lincoln

Every success story is also a story of failure. The only difference is, the successful people didn't give up.

Finally, when dealing with setbacks, be patient. Setbacks can cause your goals to be delayed, but in the long run, things will work out.

Look at setbacks as an opportunity to improve; a road to success. Be committed to your business. Counteract setbacks with innovative and new ideas. Dealing with your setbacks effectively will catapult you into the realm of the successful.

Cheryl Lacey-Donovan is an author, educator, and inspirational speaker. Cheryl is also the host of Worth More Than Rubies an internet radio talk show that airs on redchurchradio.com. She has been a mentor for Christian Women Today for one year and is the founder of Imani Enterprises Unlimited.

Cheryl has been happily married for 14 years to her husband Keith and she has two adult sons and a stepdaughter. She is a member of the Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas.

Cheryl plans to release two more books before years end. Her work can also be found in magazines as well as two upcoming anthologies "The Triumph of My Soul" and "Gumbo for the Soul."

Mrs. Donovan is available for interviews and conferences by visiting [http://www.cheryllaceydonovan.com] or by contacting her at cheryl@cheryllaceydonovan.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cheryl_Donovan

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Key To Achieving Those Sales Targets







The Key To Achieving Those Sales Targets

'Sales Targets'- this phrase has a deep impact on a million professionals, the people who work night and day to achieve what is expected of them. Some of these succeed while some fail and if you have been falling in the second category, then do not worry - help is here.

Sales targets will no longer remain unattainable. You will attain the capability to achieve them. How? You have the option of getting the experts help and guidance. Sales training courses are your answer to all those work related queries that were bogging you down. It is time to learn what you do not know or understand about the art of sales.

The aim of these sales training courses is to help you get that extra edge when you go out in the market with your product/services. Sales is a tough profession. Selling something to people requires a lot of patience and that knack of knowing 'how' to go about the process so that you come home with the deal all signed and sealed. When you approach your target audience you have these broad tasks:

• Engaging Their Attention
• Convincing Them Of Their Need Of Your Product/Service
• Proving Yourself A Better Choice Than Your Competitor
• Convincing Them That You Are Offering A Never Heard Before Deal
• Negotiation
• Making The Sale

For you to do all the above, you need to have extensive product knowledge as well as the confidence to pull through it all with grace and not desperation. If you are new to the field then you would need training to get on the same page as your colleagues, so that you too can make your mark. If you are a professional and have been in the market for long, you need training too. The market is changing, social-economic-cultural and psychological factors are responsible for these changes. This is further changing the customer behaviour and purchasing patterns.

So, even as a professional on the go, you need to alter your techniques with time and this is where sales training courses come in. When you sign up for these courses you will be trained according to the new audience and the market forces. Here are a few essential branches of sales training that these courses can be taken up for:

• Face to Face Selling Skills
• General Sales Skills
• Marketing Skills
• Marketing Training
• Negotiation, Objection Handling and Closing Skills
• Presentation Skills
• Sales Management and Coaching Skills
• Sales Writing Skills
• Telemarketing Training
• Telephone Sales Skills

Moving through this list, you will get an idea that it is very detailed and pretty much covers most aspects of sales requirements. They work on bringing out the showman in you and not just a mere sales representative. Just analyse yourself, find out what you lack, when do you lose your client, when you meet them personally? Or maybe when you get down to negotiation? Or maybe your telephone sales skills are deal killers.

Answering these questions will help you get a clear view in which area you need further training. If you are a new recruit, then you need to take these courses to understand the ropes better and faster. These sales training courses are tailor made for every individual, and can last for a day's session to a few weeks. So give your career a new boost. Increase your productivity to a whole new level and enter the sales field armed with the training of an expert trainer.

The writer recommends Practical Training For Professionals (PTP), which provides extensive and well planned sales training Companies, individuals or professionals are welcome to explore the tailor made training courses offered by the company.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=M_T_Holland

Saturday, February 25, 2012

5 Ways To Plan A Weekend Break Without Stress









5 Ways To Plan A Weekend Break Without Stress

Planning a weekend break doesn't have to be hard. With a little advanced planning and preparation, you can actually have a real break instead of more stress and hard work. Common sense has a lot to do with it and remember why you are having a break - not to generate some pre-packing arguments or the dissection of your loved ones personality because you went left instead or right, but to enjoy yourself!

Check Your Work Schedule

Before planning a break for the weekend, check your work schedule. Do you have to work overtime Friday night? Coming home tired and worn out on a Friday evening and planning to go fishing at 4 a.m. Saturday morning won't feel like a break.

Planning a relaxing, stress-free weekend means feeling rested and refreshed before you even start, then you can set off with optimism and a happy heart - think of the 7 dwarves, hi-hoing all the way.

Be Realistic About Your Destination

There is only so much time on the weekend. Finding fun, relaxing things to do that are closer to home make the weekend less hectic.It can be stressful trying to cram in as many activities as possible in the span of two days so choose wisely - you can always come back another weekend to do the other things.

Check The Newspaper

The local newspaper is a great place to start looking for something interesting to do on the weekends. If you live in a rural area, you can visit an antique shop or maybe a pick-your-own fruit farm. Museums and art galleries are a quiet and peaceful choice for those of you in the city and not wanting to go far.Any activity that soothes the mind and calms the senses will feel like a break and not another chore. Here are some tips for lowering stress:

-Avoid Information Overload. Take just one day and turn off that computer, cable and loud stereo.

-Avoid Crowds. Hitting the local mall on the weekends isn't a break when you have to deal with traffic, noise and long lines of cranky people.

-Pamper Yourself. Why not give yourself a treat and do some self-pampering? Getting a massage, haircut or facial is a great way to relax.

-Get Back In Touch With Nature. The technological world we live in causes us to lose touch with nature. Spending time outdoors in a peaceful, scenic environment can be one of the most positive ways to recharge our human batteries, slow down and find peace and tranquility again. Just breathing in fresh country or seaside air all day can actually make you feel wonderful come the evening, ready for pure sleep.

Get The Chores Done During The Week

Doing all the chores in advance means being able to rest and relax over the weekend. Many people show up for work on Monday morning exhausted because they spent the entire weekend doing household chores and running errands.

Kids And Pets

Do you have kids and pets? Planning a stress-free weekend break will definitely mean planning in advance for their care.

Arrangements will have to be made for child care and possibly pet care. A fully-loaded Minivan with barking dogs, meowing cats, squeaking Hamsters and crying kids will make going back to work sound like a vacation.

Planning the best weekend break for you means finding out what brings you peace,joy and mental rest and then making it a priority to do those things each and every weekend.

Graeme supplies his wizardry to One Agency, an SEO Agency - writing on behalf of Potters Family Weekend Breaks.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Graeme_Knights








5 Ways To Plan A Weekend Break Without Stress

Planning a weekend break doesn't have to be hard. With a little advanced planning and preparation, you can actually have a real break instead of more stress and hard work. Common sense has a lot to do with it and remember why you are having a break - not to generate some pre-packing arguments or the dissection of your loved ones personality because you went left instead or right, but to enjoy yourself!

Check Your Work Schedule

Before planning a break for the weekend, check your work schedule. Do you have to work overtime Friday night? Coming home tired and worn out on a Friday evening and planning to go fishing at 4 a.m. Saturday morning won't feel like a break.

Planning a relaxing, stress-free weekend means feeling rested and refreshed before you even start, then you can set off with optimism and a happy heart - think of the 7 dwarves, hi-hoing all the way.

Be Realistic About Your Destination

There is only so much time on the weekend. Finding fun, relaxing things to do that are closer to home make the weekend less hectic.It can be stressful trying to cram in as many activities as possible in the span of two days so choose wisely - you can always come back another weekend to do the other things.

Check The Newspaper

The local newspaper is a great place to start looking for something interesting to do on the weekends. If you live in a rural area, you can visit an antique shop or maybe a pick-your-own fruit farm. Museums and art galleries are a quiet and peaceful choice for those of you in the city and not wanting to go far.Any activity that soothes the mind and calms the senses will feel like a break and not another chore. Here are some tips for lowering stress:

-Avoid Information Overload. Take just one day and turn off that computer, cable and loud stereo.

-Avoid Crowds. Hitting the local mall on the weekends isn't a break when you have to deal with traffic, noise and long lines of cranky people.

-Pamper Yourself. Why not give yourself a treat and do some self-pampering? Getting a massage, haircut or facial is a great way to relax.

-Get Back In Touch With Nature. The technological world we live in causes us to lose touch with nature. Spending time outdoors in a peaceful, scenic environment can be one of the most positive ways to recharge our human batteries, slow down and find peace and tranquility again. Just breathing in fresh country or seaside air all day can actually make you feel wonderful come the evening, ready for pure sleep.

Get The Chores Done During The Week

Doing all the chores in advance means being able to rest and relax over the weekend. Many people show up for work on Monday morning exhausted because they spent the entire weekend doing household chores and running errands.

Kids And Pets

Do you have kids and pets? Planning a stress-free weekend break will definitely mean planning in advance for their care.

Arrangements will have to be made for child care and possibly pet care. A fully-loaded Minivan with barking dogs, meowing cats, squeaking Hamsters and crying kids will make going back to work sound like a vacation.

Planning the best weekend break for you means finding out what brings you peace,joy and mental rest and then making it a priority to do those things each and every weekend.

Graeme supplies his wizardry to One Agency, an SEO Agency - writing on behalf of Potters Family Weekend Breaks.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Graeme_Knights

Friday, February 24, 2012

Top Ten Stress Relieving Hobbies








Top Ten Stress Relieving Hobbies

Are you too stressed to be blessed? If so, take time to do some stress relieving hobbies that are useful to your life. They are the ones you can do just for the fun of it. See the hobbies listed below:

1) Gardening

Whether you have a mini or large garden, it can be a great stress relaxer for many reasons. In addition to getting sunshine and fresh air, you are being creative.

2) Fishing

Fishing is a great relaxing hobby for anyone who likes to be on the water. It is a great hobby to share with family and friends.

3) Scrapbooking

Pictures tell stories. There is no better way to tell the story than from a unique album displaying pictures with memories to family, friends and future generations.

4) Knitting

The repetitive motions allow you to work with your hands, while creating a design with your mind. This is a creative art of unique pieces of garments that can be used as gifts such as baby blankets, and hats and scarfs.

5) Photography

This is a hobby involving picture taking that will allow you to capture the beauty in the world. It goes from the eye of the photographer to the film. The end result is a great art piece. Whether you are new or experienced in this field, you will be able to see the world as a beautiful place.

6) Woodworking

Woodworking is a hobby that has been around for many years. You may use your hands to carve out beautiful sculptures. If the mind can visualize it, the woodworker can make it.

7) Painting

This is a stress free hobby done by people who have either professional training in this area or they are gifted in this area.

8) Playing the Piano

Playing and listening to music on the piano is a great stress reliever. Learning to play an instrument can be very rewarding in many ways, for yourself, and others as you share your creation.

9) Writing

Many people have found personal journaling to be a stress reliever. This is a great way to get into writing as a hobby.

10) Sewing

Working with your hands to make personalized quilts, decorative pillows, drapes and other items is a great stress relieving hobby. This hobby can save you lots of time and money when you make a one-of-a-kind item.

Are you interested in my online courses to turn your hobby into a money making business?

To the new and experienced entrepreneurs, getting help with your small business is very crucial to your success. Getting the right help will cause you to avoid costly mistakes, and it can also help you to save a lot of time, money and energy. You will need to get the right help to form the legal structure of the business, financial, management, procurement/certification, marketing, pricing products, preparing a business plan, and more. If you are a business owner who is wondering if you can take your business to new heights, contact Dr. Waters at tina.waters@waienterprises.com

Are you looking to super charge your business? Did you know that you can start a legitimate business with little or no money? Sign up for Dr. Mary E. Waters’ free "Easy Business" bi-monthly ezine at http://www.drmewaters.com It has many tips and techniques to help make your dream of becoming a successful business owner to become a reality. Plus, each month one lucky subscriber receives a free 30 minute on demand business consulting session! Dr. Mary E. Waters is an author, speaker, business consultant. She is the author of “Easy Business for Women with Little or No Money.” She strives on helping people to start their own business with little or no money. For many years, she has been helping people make their dreams of becoming a successful business owner come true!

Sign up for FREE online Self Publishing Guide. FREE courses and FREE tips at
Business URL:
http://www.waienterprises.com
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http://www.drmewaters.com

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