It’s A Great Time To Be An Independent Writer

The world of publishing is about to change. It’s an exciting time to be an Independent author. This long ignored group is beginning to organize and establish an entirely new marketplace for selling books. A community introducing voices never heard and stories never told to the world.

What they need is an on-line destination created for Independently published writers to promote and sell their books.

It is difficult to be an Independent author. The term “self published” is often used and misunderstood because major components of the publishing industry, including the six largest publishers, have been successful in attaching “poor quality” to the term “self-published.” The term Independent author best describes the decision many writers have made to publish on their own.

The fact that someone decides to become an Independent author does not mean their writing is not good. It means they have made the decision to publish Independently and remain in control of the work creatively and financially. Being an Independent author is hard, doors slam and there are plenty of “do not enter” signs, which is the reason many Independent authors give up in their quest to sell books.

Many Independent authors feel strongly that their pay-for-printing publisher does not care whether they sell a single copy of their book. The printer’s profit is made in the printing itself, not the final sale of the book. These authors cite instances where messages are sent proclaiming, “Buy this service and you will sell books,” only to find the statement hollow and without merit or success. In the end the only thing the Independent author has is an extremely fragmented market.

The hope for increased sales of Independent books is through banding together as a single community speaking from a single platform, authors helping create their own market for readers looking for new voices and interesting stories. As an Independent writer and author, trust in the fact that this community will be an opportunity to sell books and gain respectability in the marketplace we so richly deserve.

The dynamic of the market for book sales is about to shift and the Independent author is in the right place at the right time to take full advantage. There has never been a better time to be an Independent author. Countless opportunities are opening that offer more exposure to a wider audience than ever before.

Strength is in numbers, so we need to have a gathering place for writers and authors, a community where we will be heard by readers searching for voices never heard and stories never told. The world of traditional brick and mortar publishing is struggling, over the course of the past fifteen years the market has been shrinking. The six largest publishers are forced to push more copies of a handful of authors out into stores each and every month. This is negatively impacting overall sales at a time when book retailers, wholesalers, and distributors are consolidating and demanding change. The problem is that the big companies do not have answers.

They constantly search for new writers but the demands of the business make it harder for them to create successful authors. The marketplace has been structured by their own hand to allow only a small window of opportunity for new authors to make their presence known. Retailers are geared towards instant success and immediate sales, while the system is not in place to allow that to happen. As a result the big publishers are in a quandary.

At the same time, Independent authors are about to make a statement that will surely rock the traditional world of publishing. They are on the verge of making a huge impact never before witnessed in the industry. No longer will Independent authors and small publishers have to struggle in the old ways of selling books. A truly limitless, global audience waits.

Independent writers and authors are about to emerge from the shadows and take their rightful place in the market. This is a brave new world for readers clamoring for voices never heard and
stories never told.

They need a site that will introduce readers around the world to books they might never have found, and provide an opportunity for the Independent author to expand their audience like never before. The site exists, and is welcoming Independent authors and their books.

It is extremely difficult for major publishers to sell all of their titles. What chance does an Independent author have of making a real dent and sell enough copies to warrant continuous shelf space and sizable reorders? Not impossible but not probable either. The future for the Independently published book is sales through the Internet. There are tremendous possibilities in those areas without having to fight and scratch for inches inside a traditional bookstore.

The big six have not figured out how to utilize the Internet to their advantage, but when they do, they will monopolize your opportunities. Beat them to it. Join the new community, the online market for your books. The future for substantial sales of Independently published books is not the local bookstore, but at the independent author’s online bookstore.

Upgrading Your Underground Dog Fence without Spending a Fortune

My dog used to be a darter. One of those canines that would see an opening and take off. He’s been hit by a car twice now, neither really that bad, and has been lost more times than I can count. Even at the old home, where a fence has existed for years, the 100 pound lab would simply hop the thing and joy ride if no one was around. It had gotten to the point that I couldn’t even let him outside unless he was on a leash or tied to something.

Just a couple months ago, I moved in to a new house with a huge back yard. The yard had a great garden on the interior, too. And to my pleasant surprise, the entire perimeter was wired for one of those underground electric dog fences. The former owner told me that the fence had been installed by a local company, and worked great for his fifteen year old standard poodle. Right before I moved in, he taught me how to use the electric fence, and I looked forward to allowing my dog to run free in the huge yard with no chance of escape.

The fence initially worked wonderfully. The minute my dog got that first hard shock, he wouldn’t go near the perimeter of the yard. For a good week, he played around the rest of the property while I tended to my new garden. In this week, my dog never more than edged toward the boundary, and this allowed me to feel safe and secure without having to watch his every move.

Unfortunately, that first week was the exception. After that, I noticed problem after problem with my electric fence. First, the act of keeping my dog enclosed in this back yard seemed to make him more mischievous inside the boundaries, and I came down one morning to find my newly-improved garden destroyed. This caused me to give up on my gardening for the time.

Second, the dog suddenly gained the skill to break free from the boundaries. Even with me watching, he would get a good running start, take off toward the perimeter, absorb the shock and just bust right through the thing. This caused me to turn the power up to high, which increased the shock level to a seemingly unbearable strength, and I could barely stand to watch my dog attempt to break it.

However, shortly thereafter my intelligent canine found a way to break out again anyway. He would approach the perimeter, just close enough to hear the warning tone sounding. Then he would simply sit there and let the thing beep until the battery died, an act that allowed him to run through the boundaries. Isn’t the intelligence of dogs amazing? As much as I wanted to punish him for that, I was actually pretty proud that he was smart enough to figure that one out. Soon, I had no way of stopping the dog from conquering the electric fence.

I called the local installation company to see if they could help. Apparently, most companies are now referring to the product as a “containment system.” I guess “electric fence” is a little less politically correct. They recommended an entire new setup, including new and upgraded system, thicker wire, and a new wire setup around the garden area, what they referred to as “expert installation.” All in all, the cost for products and installation was well over two thousand dollars, which was way beyond my budget.

On the verge of giving up, I ran a couple Internet searches and found some companies selling these containment systems online at a fraction of the cost I was quoted. I called a couple customer service departments and eventually gathered the information I needed. As it turns out, I didn’t even need to reinstall the system. The wire that was currently in the ground would work with any new fence I purchased.

And the new systems had everything I needed. The model I chose has a great feature called “Run Through Prevention,” which basically prevents hard headed dogs like mine from running through the fence by creating a zone of increasing stimulation as the dog gets closer and closer to the boundary. I’ve also found this feature to be more humane, as it doesn’t just hit my dog with one hard shock, and doesn’t just punish him for accidentally wandering into the zone. Instead, the level of shock he receives is only increased if he continues toward the boundary.

In addition, the new containment systems have this feature called anti-drain prevention which was created for dogs like mine that would sit in the warning zone until the warning tone caused the battery to die. When my dog attempted to linger in the warning area, he received a warning shock after a couple seconds, which continued until he moved out of the area.

And as for the garden, that part was hardly “expert installation.” A customer service representative talked me through a simple installation process, which consisted of me digging up just a foot of wire, splicing it and adding another wire which traveled out to my centered garden, around the beds, and back to the original splice in the wire. And what’s even better, I was instructed to twist the two wires going to and from the garden, a practice that cancels the signal, meaning the only active part of the wire was the section encircling the garden. Therefore, my dog can run anywhere around the garden until he comes within five feet, and that means no more eating my flowers!

The new containment system was a great success, and my dog now stays within the boundaries, safe and secure. The entire process only cost me $150, a fraction of what I would have paid my local company to come out and do it for me. So if you’re in the market for a containment system, I’d recommend going through the Internet. These online companies have prices, great products and excellent customer service.

Top 6 Ways To Get An Angry Customer To Back Down

1. Apologize. An apology makes the angry customer feel heard and understood. It diffuses and anger and allows you to begin to re-establish trust. Not only that, but pilot studies have found that the mere act of apologizing has reduced lawsuits, settlement, and defense costs. You need to apologize to customers regardless of fault. Certainly, the apology needs to be carefully worded. Here’s an example of a sincere, yet careful apology:
“Please accept my sincere and unreserved apology for any inconvenience this may have caused you.”

2. Kill Them Softly With Diplomacy. This simple phrase has never failed me: “Clearly, we’ve upset you and I want you to know that getting to the bottom of this is just as important to me as it is to you.” When you say this, anger begins to dissipate. You’ve addressed the anger directly and non defensively and you haven’t been pulled into the drama of the attack.

3. Go into Computer Mode. To use Computer Mode you take on the formalities of a computer. You speak generally, without emotion, and you don’t take the bait your angry or difficult customer is throwing you. Your words, tone, and attitude are completely impersonal and neutral – (Think of the automated response system you speak to when you call your wireless phone company or bank.)

This “computer mode” response deflects, diffuses, and disarms angry customers because you don’t add fuel to the fire by giving your difficult customer what they want -an emotional reaction. When you don’t take the bait, the difficult customer is forced to stop dead in their tracks. And that means you regain control (and confidence).

The Computer Mode Approach In Action

Let’s say your customer says:

“You don’t give a d*** about customers. Once you get a customer locked into a contract, the service aspect is over.”

While it may be tempting to fuel the fire with an equally hostile response such as “What’s your problem, creep?” don’t take the bait. If you do take the bait, the situation will only escalate and nothing productive or positive will result. A computer mode response might look like this:

“I’m sure there are some people who think we don’t care about servicing customers.”

“People get irritated when they don’t immediately get the help they need.”

“It’s very annoying to experience a delay in service response.”

“Nothing is more distressing than feeling like you’re being passed around when all you want is help.”

And then you stop -like a locked up computer.

No matter how uncomfortable the verbal abuse is or how ridiculous it becomes, continue to respond without emotion. This tactic works because it is neutral, doesn’t take the bait, and because it is unexpected. The difficult customer wants to throw you off, make you lose control, and to get you to respond emotionally. When you fail to do each of these things, you actually regain control.

Go into “computer mode” the next time you’re faced with verbal abuse from an irate or unreasonable customer, and I promise you, you’ll quickly regain control —and you’ll have fun with the process.

4. Give this question a shot: “Have I done something personally to upset you?… I’d like to be a part of the solution.” Of course, you know you haven’t done anything to upset the customer. You ask this question to force the angry customer to think about his behavior. Often, the mere asking of this question is enough to get the ballistic customer to begin to shift from the right brain to the left brain, where he can begin to listen and rationalize.

5. Show empathy – Empathy can be a powerful tool used to disarm an angry customer and show that you genuinely care about the inconvenience the customer has experienced. Expressing empathy is also good for YOU, as it helps you truly begin to see the problem from the customer’s perspective/and this perspective will help keep you from losing your cool when your customer gets hot. By letting customers know that you understand why they are upset, you build a bridge of rapport between you and them.

Here are some phrases that express empathy:
• “That must have been very frustrating for you.”
• “I realize the wait you encountered was an inconvenience.”
• “If I were in your shoes, I’m sure I’d feel just as you do.”
• “It must have been very frustrating for you have waited five days for your order and for that I am sorry.”

6. And finally, here’s a tip that works like magic. …. Show appreciation for the difficult person’s feedback. After your difficult customer has ranted and raved, you can regain control of the conversation by interjecting—not interrupting, but interjecting to thank them for taking the time to give you feedback. You can say something like:

 Thanks for being so honest.
 Thanks for taking the time to let us know how you feel.
 We appreciate customers who let us know when things aren’t right.
 Thanks for caring so much.

The reason this tip works so effectively is because the last thing your irate or unreasonable customer expects is for you to respond with kindness and gratitude. It’s a shock factor and many times you’ll find that your customer is stunned silent and this is exactly what you want. When the customer is stunned into silence, you get in the driver’s seat and steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go.

When you do these things you’ll find that being on the receiving end of verbal abuse doesn’t have to be threatening or intimidating. You can come across as confident, composed and strong…and most importantly, you’ll regain control of the conversation.

Microphone Technique

Although it sounds strange to you, to hear your own voice over the P.A, in fact it doesn’t sound any different to the audience than if you were talking to them in normal conversation.

The trick here is to be Yourself, if you haven’t got the skill to project a warm friendly personality at the functions where ice breaking is required then being an entertainer isn’t for you. The trick is to find a balance, most people would simply hire the gear – saving around 50% of a D.J’s booking fee and throw a NOW Cd on – if human input and personality wasn’t important to them. At some functions, if they pay for an entertainer and get a human jukebox who doesn’t own a mic and just sits there playing music then they occasionally feel cheated!.

I can’t stress the “BE YOURSELF”, advice enough, don’t put on a radio style zany DJ voice – that will sound false and doesn’t fool anybody. If you are lucky enough to have a D.J training you, or are a young person helping an older mentor D.J then DON’T be tempted to become a clone of him or her. Adopt your own mic style (not a false voice), use your own tag lines but don’t rely on the same cliche’s 20 or 30 times a night – this becomes boring and predictable.

Don’t rely on “that was”, “This is” introductions all night. At some functions going out with a Radio Mic and creating banter with your audience is a great way to break the ice at the beginning of difficult, non formal functions – and a good way of enouraging them onto the dancefloor early on. You can relax the mic work and the frquency of them – once the dancefloor is filling.

Of course there are always going to be functions where you need more mic work than the last, and other functions where it is going to be little mic use, but the key is to develop a style and strength and confidence in your mic working ability and not to rely on non stop music alone to do the work for you.

Just be yourself, and talk normally into the microphone. The thing to work on is to speak confidentally and clearly and try to pace yourself. Speaking too fast will make what you are saying sound garbled, speaking too slow will make you sound like you are addressing a bunch of village idiots . Pretty soon, with a little time and practice you’ll develop your own individual skill and style and that is the most important aspect, don’t try to copy anybody else or put on a different voice, it will sound false and make learning and maintaining the technique a lot more difficult.

If being a comedian is not you, then avoid the jokes unless you are good at this sort of thing , forced comedy can sound false and you may find yourself laughing alone, after all the Client has booked a Mobile Disco and not a stand up comedian!. One of the best pieces of advice I was given my the D.J who trained me, was to “Stick at doing what you are good at and have been booked for, and if in any doubt then leave it out”.

Spontaneous one liners are another matter, if something amusing happens, then share it – use the mic to get requests, make a fuss over other people celebrating birthdays / anniversaries – people like to have their 30 seconds of glory and hearing their name mentioned, over the mic

My advice to those nervous about public speaking for the first time, is not to be frightened of the mic or avoid using one – its your closest and most useful ally, at all functions. Don’t talk all over the track, learn to pace yourself over the outro of the previous track and any intro of the next track – don’t gabble – talk clearly into the microphone as if you were talking to a friend. With time you should be able to familiarise yourself with how themore popular tracks end and finish, this way you can talk upto the vocal, similar to how they do on the radio – stopping your banter at the moment the vocal on the next track starts. Don’t rush to perfect this or gabble to do so, it all comes with time and practice. Keep it simple to start off with.

Start with the easy stuff first, just introducing tracks, and buffet announcements. Once you’ve built up a bit of confidence, you’ll move on from the ‘That was….. this is….’ routine. Try and include your audience, invite requests, make them feel welcome. Even if you are having a difficult gig don’t take it out on the audience and try and look like you are enjoying yourself, even if it’s not going to plan. Don’t worry about making mistakes on the Mic, we all do from time to time, but don’t draw attention to it, or dwell on it it’ll just make it worse – besides making mistakes shows that you are human and not a pre-programmed jukebox

Keep key information on the gig, such as the Bride & Grooms’ names, Best Man Name etc on a piece of paper on the mixer, so that you can casually glance down if you have a sudden memory blank, but don’t write your links down as a speech, otherwise it will sound like you are reading from a script and less natural.

Remember that once the dancefloor is full, you can ease off the mic a little, but keep doing the requests and don’t forget that it exists. Learn to find the balance, too much talking can bore the pants of your audience, too little mic work can make people think that you aren’t earning your keep!. There are functions where you have a full Dancefloor and it would be obtrusive to chat all over the music when people want to dance, equally there are more formal functions where there isn’t the room or inclination to dance, and so a bit of light hearted banter to break the ice and the empathsis on the entertainment side of being a DJ is required rather than just continuous music

All of this will take some time, don’t expect to develop a mic technique overnight just take it one gig at a time.

Inside a Job Interview: Answers to the 15 Most Frequently Asked Questions – Part 2

7) Why are you interested in this position?

When you are an accountant and you are applying at an accounting firm, it is pretty obvious why you are interested; you are interested in using your acquired education, skills, and knowledge in your career field.

However, maybe the position is a cashier for a store and you just want a job; you do not have a brilliant answer to offer. Not to worry. Do not discount very basic answers such as “I need to earn money to support myself and/or my family,” or “I want more out of life, and I need to work if I am going to have a better lifestyle for my family.” Employers like employees who need to work; such employees are more apt to be dependable, responsible and productive.

8) Why do you want to work for us?

Here you should be specific in your answer. There may be thousands of accounting firms with positions to offer, but it is now a question of “why us”?

Research the firm as best you can. Phone book ads often contain great information, such as how long a firm has been in business, what it specializes in, who are the key members of the firm, and whom they hope to serve.

Depending upon what you learn at the library, and from other local sources, possible answers might be:

“You have an expanding firm, and I believe there will be opportunities for me to prove myself and grow with you,” or

“Your firm is one of the oldest and most respected in our community, and I want to learn from, and be associated with one of the best,” or

“I believe you will reward people according to their value to the firm, and I am willing to prove my value to you,” or finally

“Your specialty happens to be my area of career interest.”

9) Why should we hire you?

Here you must be straightforward and confident about your ability and what you have to offer. Say, “I believe I am qualified and can do the job.”

Amplify this answer by stressing your strong points, such as your appropriate education, specialized training, proven experience, skills and abilities.

Do not say you can do any job. You do not know that for a fact, and, more important, the person interviewing you—no matter how good you look on paper or act in person—does not really know if you can do it either until you start having to perform on the job.

This is why you should qualify your answers with “I believe . . . ,” or “Based on my performance in similar positions in the past, I have no reason to think I will not be able to do the job for you.”

10) What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Good strengths include some very basic character traits, such as determination, honesty, responsibility, dependability, inquisitiveness, willingness to learn, openness to new ideas, stability, and humor. Pick traits that you are confident and comfortable with.

In approaching the question of your weaknesses, rule one is to have some. The worst answer you could give is “I do not have any weaknesses.” We all have weaknesses, and if we are unwilling to talk about them, it is a big red flag that there are some definite personality problems.

Never let your lack of confidence, or overdeveloped ego, prevent you from showing your weaknesses. Handle the challenge by taking your weaknesses (whatever they may be) and turning them into strengths. If you are a workaholic, say “Sometimes I do not know when to stop working on a project. I can get so involved I may work 16 hours straight. This may upset other employees who quit at the normal time.”

11) What are your career goals?

Your objectives or goals are very important. You do not want to be a wandering generality; you want to be a meaningful specific.

People want to know if you have thought about your future, and have a plan to get where you want to go. You should have both short and long range goals. A good short range goal might be to secure a position in your career field, develop more experience in an area of interest, or position yourself with a firm or organization that is growing.

Long range goals require you to picture yourself, and where you would like to be, 10 or 20 years from now.

12) Why did you leave your last position?

This question can be asked because they are testing your reaction, or if your resume gives the impression you have been “job-hopping”.

If there was a problem with leaving your last position (you were fired, encountered a personality conflict, or got mad and quit), be careful not to speak ill of the position you held, the organization you held it with, or members of the organization. Put downs score no points and reflect poorly on you, regardless of the challenges you may have had.

Good reasons to leave jobs are: 1) an opportunity for advancement, 2) an opportunity to make more money, 3) an opportunity to secure more or better benefits, 4) to gain more job satisfaction, 5) a better career opportunity, 6) a more challenging position, or 7) an opportunity to work with better people.

While all of these are legitimate reasons, none of them is the best answer to the question. It is best to simply say, “I am looking for a better opportunity.” The better opportunity could be any of the above seven answers without actually saying so.

Finance Series : Exploring Investor Rationality

The Efficient Market Hypothesis has been under fire since Eugene Fame of the University Of Chicago Graduate School Of Business first suggested it back in the early 1960s. The central idea behind the Efficient Market Hypothesis is the theory that investors are completely rational in interpreting and acting on market news and information (which, ostensibly, is fully revealed public knowledge).

It has since come to be known as the Theory of Rational Expectations. This rational investor behavior is factored into the value of all news and information the moment it becomes available. And it happens to the extent that “beating the market” becomes an impossible task.

The idea of investor rationality has been under fire by the few “gurus” who have consistently beaten the market since its inception. Nobel Laureate and father of Behavioral Finance, Daniel Kahneman, pointed out that the failure of the rational model is not inherent in the logic of the theory, but rather in the human psyche. He posited that nobody has the ability to simultaneously process all incoming stimuli and attain a complete understanding and mastery of that stimuli.

From the many arguments for and against the theory of rational expectations, I observed that many of the arguments stemmed from a difference in the understanding of what rationality means in the first place (indeed, that is further proof that “rational” people can look at ideas and apply their own bias and still be regarded as “rational”). If the world is made up of blistering imbeciles making irrational decisions, like those who argued against the theory suggest, wouldn’t the world more closely resemble an assembly of monkeys? Yet, if the world is made up of rational humans the way the theory postulates, wouldn’t the world be more robotic than human?

For too long, academia has debated the theory by taking sides with either the monkeys or the robots without a clear understanding of what constitutes rationality in the first place. Is the investor who rushes blindly into the stock market during market bubbles irrational? Are investors rational beings if they buy undervalued and sell overvalued stocks? Essentially, all reasonable human beings are rational! Rationality is the consistency of action based upon a set of logical variables. The issue here is that the difference in one’s level of knowledge and life experiences is the determining factor that allows for the installation of a distinct set of logical parameters and values in every human being! This means that two human beings looking at and interpreting the same information can come to two separate conclusions and resulting actions! The result of which is a two-sided market. An investor who has lost a significant amount of money in the stock market may prefer to stay out of an overextended stock regardless of how fantastic the news. On the other hand, investors who have never been through that same life experience would simply continue to buy on the news. Both investors, in this case, are rational in regard to their own level of knowledge and experience. This explanation of rationality effectively consolidates all the differing views on the Theory of Rational Expectation. Because investors are rational, two-sided markets are created, making the overall market more and more efficient. Because investors are rational, they rush after price bubbles on the expectation of profits only to be defeated by the Law of Regression to the Mean.

Being greedy is a rational response to one’s needs and wants and being fearful is a rational response to one’s past sufferings. The driving factors of Greed and Fear are also rational expressions! Contrarians who take positions against the market are rationally expressing their expectations that markets eventually turn against the prevailing trend. Trend followers who take positions along with market trends are rationally expressing their belief in that trend continuing into the foreseeable future. Both create a two-sided market for each other, driving the overall market towards more and more efficiency.

However, this explanation of rationality completely nullifies the part in the theory that states that “rational investors should act in a similar fashion in response to the same news”. Because there is no way of measuring or predicting whether or not there will be more decisions of rational buying or rational selling in response to new information, nobody can predict market movement with any moral certainty. Although not attributed to random behavior, the unpredictable nature of the market has more cause and effects than the theory itself can explain.

In summation, any argument to explain market behavior through the notion of rationality has limited application in reality. As investors in the stock markets, our understanding that the markets cannot be predicted and the set-up of realistic stop loss points in preparation for worst-case outcomes and hedging portfolios using stock options (http://www.optiontradingpedia.com), are the most rational actions that can be taken. As behavioral finance suggests, everyone makes the best of a bad situation and the situation in the stock market has never been ideal for anyone.

We Fear To Sell …..And How You Can Overcome It” (Part II)

In the first article we looked at how many first time (and experienced!) sales people can be held back from achieving success because of the fears they may have on getting out there and selling.

In the previous article I highlighted 6 main selling-related fears: failure; image or self belief; rejection; lack of product knowledge; criticism; presentation. Each of theses fears on their own can cause a breakdown in the sales process and prevent you from confidently tackling another prospect.

In this article I will look at how you can address these fears head-on; what you can do to face your fears and banish them for life!

Fear of Failure

Undoubtedly the biggest fear most people in selling, and business have is the fear of failure. There is nothing more demoralising than a continual lack of success! Fear of failure has been ingrained from school – remember all those tests when the results were read out for all the class to hear? If you had a poor result, you never felt like trying again! But, don’t be like Homer Simpson when he tried to consol his son Bart who had failed in his bid to be class president,

“You tried and you failed. The lesson is … never try.”

So, what can you do to conquer your fear of failure? The bottom line is that you need a rock solid positive attitude. You must have an inner voice which is continually pushing you onto the next prospect and saying, “Come on, let’s find the one who’s going to say yes!”

Failure has to be seen as a learning opportunity. In every failure, there is a nugget of information, which next time, can point you in the direction of better success. James Dyson, the inventor of the revolutionary vacuum cleaner, summed up the need for a positive attitude, when he said, “Success is made up of 99% failure. You galvanise yourself and you keep going as a full optimist.”

Image Fear

Not everyone has boundless self-confidence. When you start out in business, there is sometimes a nagging doubt that you may have bitten off more than you can chew. This inner doubt chips away at your self confidence and soon you have a poor self image, which reflects in your sales pitch. To be a successful salesperson you have to have a strong self image.

To improve the image you have of yourself, follow these steps:

Write down the qualities which you believe a successful salesperson should possess. Try and limit the list to 4 or 5 key qualities

Find a quiet spot and relax your body and mind with deep and steady breathing

Once you are totally relaxed recite the strong, self image qualities you identified earlier

Imagine or visualise yourself possessing each of these qualities. See in your minds eye how you look, now that you have these qualities. See how successful you are, how you look, and the car you are driving, where you are living

Repeat to yourself that you are assuming each of these qualities and becoming a better person with each day that passes

Repeat this exercise first thing in the morning and last thing at night and you’ll soon find your self image and confidence levels increasing!

Fear of Rejection

Closely linked with the fear of failure is the fear of rejection. Hearing the response “No” is not a great motivator! The main way to deal with rejection is just to accept that it happens. Try and re-frame any rejection you get by saying to yourself that it’s the customer who loses out, not you. Walk away with a smug smile on your face and remind yourself that you are one step closer to someone who will say “Yes”.

Product Knowledge Fear

A lack of in depth knowledge about your product or service quickly finds its way to making for a poor presentation. There is only one solution … and that’s to get learning! Absorb yourself in the product. Understand all the features and benefits, so that you can confidently talk about all aspects of your offering. Banishing this fear is one of the easy ones to put right.

Criticism

No one likes to be criticised, especially if you have tried your hardest. Unless you are very thick-skinned, harsh criticism can knock you back. If you carry out the exercises on improving your self-image, your ability to take criticism will also improve. Decide to view criticism more as feedback than a direct attack on you. There is usually some element of truth in the majority of critical comments and it’s important that you take the opportunity to learn and change.

Presentation Fears

You may know all the features and benefits of your product but, like an actor, you suffer from stage fright! The presentation fear can be down to a lack of structure around your sales process. Write a basic outline on how you wish a perfect sales pitch to go. Prepare a script for the key parts of the presentation and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

Why not ask someone to help you role play a sales presentation? This will give you the opportunity to make all the mistakes you want but in a risk-free environment! You should also visit your local Business Link office and see what courses they are running on sales skills. Look out for books and tapes on effective selling. All of these actions will assist in improving your confidence and result in a more professional sales presentation.

Selling does not have to be a fearful experience! If you have the right attitude, a strong self belief, a full understanding of your product and plenty of practice, then you will have nothing to fear. So, take a look at each of these fears and put a plan in place to tackle them today!

Speed Up Your Weight Loss With Herbs And Spices

I wonder how much it is generally known that the benefits of using herbs and spices can speed up your weight loss efforts, by quite a considerable amount actually.

We all know that herbs and spices are used with cooking to varying degrees, and of course the primary reason for doing so is to make food much more tasty and interesting.

I suspect however that you might be surprised at the considerable health benefits that can also be gained by using them. In saying this I am referring to those everyday items that can be found in
most larders, and not necessarily those exotic and probably not so well known varieties.

I happened to discover the many benefits of herbs and spices and the fact that they can be most beneficial to a weight loss program, when I was doing extremely detailed research for my latest book.

The results of that research were so extensive, that it could be the basis in itself for a complete publication, and much more detailed therefore, than I could possibly include in this short article.

However I have been able to include a fair amount of information below about various herbs and spices which are known to particularly help to speed up weight loss, and that is also in addition to their excellent overall health benefits by the way.

You should find that you will be able to purchase these herbs from any good Herbalist supplier.

Garcinia: (Garcinia cambogia) is a herb which is sold primarily for enhancing weight loss and boosting the amount of lean muscle. This is also known as hila or brindell berry. One of the major benfits of Garcinia is that it acts as an appetite suppressant and stops the body from storing fat.

Pysillium: (Plantago spp.) This cheeky little herb has quite a few health benefits. Physillium is known to help lower cholesterol, and another major benefit is that it also helps to
prevent constipation. If you use it as part of your weight loss program, it can help you to eat less calories and yet still feel really full.

This is because of the amount of fiber that it contains.

I mentioned earlier that it does help in preventing constipation, but in order to achieve this you should make sure that you drink plenty of water.

Siberian Gingsing: (Eleutherococcus senticosus) If you are going to start regular exercise as part of your health and weight loss routine, which is normally to be highly recommended, then this is a really useful herb.

It can help your body adapt to the stress of unaccustomed changes, and it will help to make you feel less tired even when you are doing simple exercises like walking for example.

So in turn therefore you are more likely to stick to your exercise routine.

Little Known Secrets In Your Larder

Cayenne: (also known as Capsicum, hot pepper, chilli pepper, tabasco pepper). The majority of us have cayenne in our larders, and it is very commonly used in many food dishes. Cayenne can be found in many forms such as ground spices, teas, and would you believe it, topical creams.

It is well known for its antitoxidant action, and greatly helps with osteoathritis and rhumatoid athritis, shingles, and diabetic neuropathy.

A note of caution however: Cayenne may act with anticoagulant drugs so be sure to consult with your doctor. Excessive use may also irritate the intestinal tract.

Manufactured topical capsacin creams can cause a burning sensation, so test first on a small area of the skin, remembering to wash hands thoroughly after applying the cream. This will avoid it spreading to the eyes nose or other sensitive areas.

Fennel: is native to the Mediterranean and is widely utilized throughout the world. You will find it in teas, capsules, tinctures and lozenges. Fennel can be used to help with bloating, flatulence, mild digestive spasms, catarrh, and coughs. It also has antimicrobal, antispadmodic, and anti inflammatory properties.

A note of caution here: Fennel can sometimes cause rare allergic skin and respiratory tract reactions. Fennel is also a potential source of synthetic oestrogens and should be avoided if you are pregnant.

Garlic: you can buy this fresh, or the one you will most probably have in your larder will be dried. The downside of garlic is the odour which it leaves on your breath, but chewing some
parsley after eating will soon sort out that problem.

Garlic is also known to help stimulate the immune system,and to help in fighting cancer. Well documented health benefits include lowering cholesterol, fighting infections, and reducing blood
pressure.

Again a note of caution: garlic may also interact with anticoaglant drugs, so do be sure to check with your doctor if in any doubt. Rare cases of allergic reactions are known, and some people might possibly experience heartburn or even flatulence.

These are just a few of the herbs you can use in cooking, but do remember that there are many many more, and the benefits in using them frequently can be quite remarkable.

You will realize of course that when using them as part of any dish to use them sparingly, as to add too much would just spoil the meal.

As with everything in life one should try and strike a balance, after all you know what they say “all things in moderation”.

Blood Pressure: An Overview

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure exerted by the circulating blood on the walls of the arteries, veins and chambers of the heart. The pressure of blood is measured in the context of systolic and diastolic activities. When the ventricles in the heart contract, it is termed as a systolic activity, while the relaxing ventricles mark a diastolic activity.

The pressure of blood is highest during the systole activity and lowest during the diastole activity. The unit of measuring blood pressure is millimeters. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg.

A normal healthy person maintains the blood pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg. A deviation from this normal reading can result in a blood pressure disorder. There are basically two abnormal conditions of blood pressure. They are known as high blood pressure or hypertension and low blood pressure or hypotension.

High Blood Pressure/ Hypertension

A person is known to suffer from high blood pressure when their measurement of blood pressure increases over that of a normal reading. A normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. When this blood pressure increases to, say 140/ 90 mmHg, the person is known to have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is often termed as ‘a silent killer’. You might be suffering from a high blood pressure for a long period of time and not know it at all. When a person develops high blood pressure, it usually lasts for lifetime.

Why High Blood Pressure?

Your heart pumps the blood and supplies it to the various organs of your body via arteries. The arteries, when leaving your heart, narrow into arterioles. The arterioles further narrow themselves into capillaries. These capillaries supply oxygen and nutrients to the various body organs.

Due to certain nerve impulses, the arteries become dilated or contracted. If the arteries become contracted, the passage of blood is hampered and it increases the pressure of blood. The condition causes high blood pressure or hypertension. This condition strains your heart and can even damage your blood vessels. If the vessels get damaged, the blood supply can further affect various body organs connected to the damaged vessels.

The human body generally bears and handles this sudden increase of pressure for a long period of time. This is one of the sole reasons for the fact that you can live your whole life, without any ill-effects or symptoms, from high blood pressure.

Two Forms of High Blood Pressure

There are two forms of high blood pressure, essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. Around 95 % of hypertension cases are related to essential hypertension. The cause of essential hypertension is multifold though.

There are several factors which result in essential hypertension. One of the major factors is high salt intake. Other factors that can contribute to the cause of essential hypertension are tobacco smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity, diabetes mellitus, a sedentary lifestyle and genetic causes.

Secondary hypertension amounts to at least 5 % of the cases of hypertension. The factors contributing to secondary hypertension are pregnancy, a slow pulse, drugs, kidney diseases, certain types of cancers, malformed aorta and aortic vale disease.

High blood pressure largely remains undetected in its first stage of occurrence. A person would probably never know about it. But if the condition of high blood pressure prolongs, it can cause serious damages to the various body organs. High blood pressure can directly affect the person in the form of kidney failure, congestive heart failure or heart attack.

Low Blood Pressure/ Hypotension

In the medical terms, low blood pressure is called hypotension. A person is said to have low blood pressure disorder, if his blood pressure falls below the normal reading of 120/80 mmHg.

Why Low Blood Pressure?

There are many causes of low blood pressure. Among the common cause include acute illness. The condition can be characterized with the symptoms such as severe blood loss, infection, fluid loss or damage to the heart. The age-factor plays an important role in low blood pressure. Increasing age causes your arteries to stiffen and cause a drop in the pressure of blood.

Damage to adrenal glands can also lead to low blood pressure conditions. Damage to adrenal glands affects the production of aldosterone in your body. This hormone controls the salt amounts in the body. If the aldosterone hormone gets affected, it leads to the loss of salt from your body, further resulting in low blood pressure. This causes dizziness when you stand up. Low blood pressure can also be caused due to the usage of diuretics.

A person with low blood pressure shows symptoms of chest pain, headache, prolonged diarrhea or vomiting. The person also suffers from burning sensation while urination, stiff neck, high fever and irregular heartbeat. The person, at times, suffers from shortness of breath and a cough with phlegm.

Normal is healthy!

Neither high blood pressure, nor low blood pressure is good for your body and health. You should get your blood pressure checked regularly for either of these two disorders. The proper treatment and control of your blood pressure will definitely enable you to live a healthy and happy life!

Five Things You Can Do To Help Deal With The Stress of Long Haul Trips

Long Haul Trips on aircraft, trains or buses can really challenge a person’s ability to cope and deal with travel stress. Have you noticed the number of irate people who travel these days? There are five things you can try to help you cope with traveling on long haul trips so that you are not another statistic of being an irate passenger.

#1. Do Not Drink Alcohol

The number one cause for people getting stressed during long haul trips is alcohol, in particular with air travel. Look I like a good drink like the next person, but alcohol has a tendency to change a perfectly sane and calm person into a raving lunatic. Just look at the number of airline shows that you see on television with people behaving badly.

If you are taking a long haul trip on an aircraft, I recommend that you limit your alcohol as when flying at height the affects of alcohol are in fact multiplied. Personally, I discourage all of my staff from drinking whilst flying to avoid travel rage.

#2. Make Sure That You Drink Lots Of Water

Have you ever had a headache come on? Often this can be because you have not drunk enough water especially when you are working in air-conditioning. Just because you are working or traveling in air-conditioning you can still dehydrate which can cause aches and pains and in particular headaches. By ensuring that you drink lots of water during your trip, it will ensure the aches and pains will not exacerbate your travel stress.

When going on long haul flights I always ensure that I carry a 1 litre bottle of water and a small 300 ml bottle of water with me, so that I can stay hydrated especially if the airline charges for water like some of the discount ones. I carry the 300 ml bottle of water so that you can fill your 1 litre bottle in the bathroom because quite often it will not fit under the tap in the sink in the toilet.

#3. Make Sure You Walk Around the Cabin Once An Hour

Nobody likes to be cooped up especially in a confined space and your body does not like it. There are studies throughout the globe, showing that people who sit in the one position on a long haul flight may have the risk of contracting Deep Vein Thrombosis. Having seen my grandmother go through this disease because she did not do the right thing whilst traveling on a train for 24 hours, I strongly encourage everyone to make sure that each hour you get up and walk the cabin.

Walking does two things, one it allows you to stretch your legs and get the blood flowing through your veins and secondly the exercise helps you to produce alpha waves or calmness waves in your head which will in turn help you to beat the travel blues.

#4. Listen To Relaxation Music

Listening to music is a fantastic way to reduce stress and with IPODs and cheap CD players it has never been easier. However, a word of warning, you need to choose music that is not going to stimulate stress. Some music is not really suitable for stressful situations as it can in fact amplify the feeling of stress.

One type of music, which research has shown to help reduce stress is Baroque music. This music is written so that there are only 60 beats per minute and funnily enough that is what our heart rate should be. The baroque music has been found to increase the alpha waves in the left and right sides of your brain and this helps improve learning ability, creativity and calmness.

#5. Meditate

Okay, I can hear it now, “Oh Yeah Hippy, Want Us to Meditate do ya?” Absolutely! Look whilst meditation has certainly been a thing of fringe groups in western society or associated with eastern religions many researchers are now coming to the distinct conclusion that meditation can make a huge difference to our day-to-day lives and help us to overcome stress, especially while traveling. Look, why not try out meditation for just 20 minutes a day. It is a fantastic tool and when you become proficient in the art you will find that moving to a start of calm is really easy.

There are many different techniques to help you meditate and I certainly recommend meditating using Baroque music as we have found that it helps the person meditating get to that point of peace a lot quicker than other types of meditation music.

The bottom line is this. I have traveled many hundreds of thousands of kilometers across the globe and many people ask me why I travel so well and the simple secret to it is, I follow the five things I outlined before. Apart from that, when dealing with airline staff, if you are not absolutely calm and extremely polite and gracious they could send your baggage to Timbuktu and make you wait a day or two in the airport lounge before they will help you get to where you want to go. Maintaining your composure whilst traveling will also help your health and help you to enjoy your trip. I love traveling because I get to see the world and see the wonderful things it has to offer. Why be stressed when you are there?

To finish off this article let me reiterate the five things you can try to reduce your stress when traveling on long haul flights:

#1. Do Not Drink Alcohol
#2. Make Sure That You Drink Lots Of Water
#3. Make Sure You Walk Around the Cabin Once An Hour
#4. Listen To Relaxation Music
#5. Meditate

Capture Your Prospects Now

After six months of hard work you finally completed your apprenticeship on Website Development, Site Promotions, Traffic Building, and Internet Marketing. Your SEO campaign was programmed to all the Internet marketing Guru’s knowledge and advice. Your website looks and appears like it was developed by the leading web design company in the industry.

Page Rank and back links are now pointing to your website like a three foot laser beam coming from the heavens above.

You have successfully prepared your website to rank supreme and establish your presence as a successful money making Internet Home Business. Your website offers excellent products with good values.

As the sun goes down and the day comes to an end, you back-out of your day by surveying your daily sales records. The bottom line of your ledger reveals that traffic is respectable, but your daily sales are weak when compared to your traffic volume. Your prospects click on your sales link but fail to complete the transaction. What is the problem you ask?

To evaluate the strength and power of one’s website ability to actively generate significant revenue, you first must understand what forces your prospect to reach for their wallet.

When a prospect visits your website, they will skim over titles and phrases seeking pertinent information that may have relevant interest to them. Possible solutions and desires for solving their problems remain their main objective.

Remember one thing here that is paramount, we all have the American Dream of winning the Lottery, and or, successfully making money on the Internet working from home.

Have you ever seen a lottery jack pot rise to $200 million dollars? Camera crews from network Television stations sometimes camp-out at lottery ticket stations to interview wanna-be winners. They regularly ask the ticket holders what they initially intend to do with their winnings if their numbers are selected. These ticket holders are excited emotional with the anticipation with acquiring massive amounts of money and the personal rewards that come with it.

What these wanna-be lottery winners perceive in their minds are the primary solutions to their unresolved problems or desires. Just by purchasing a lottery ticket and winning all your present problems and desires will be solved.

Smart Internet marketing Guru’s apply the same tactics while trying to lure their prospects into purchasing their products.

Power words, power marketing phrases, and trigger words now all come into play to entice the prospect to purchase now.

Words and phrases that tug on your heart strings and won’t let go ultimately heighten your curiosity. These words and phrases emotionally place your mind in a state of seeking a practical resolution that may solve your problems and actively accomplish your dreams.

It’s all about the WORDS, folks! Trying to convince a prospect about how outstanding your product might be has never played an important role for any successful business.

Convincing a prospect that your product will resolve, aid, enhance, develop, cleverly save precious time, save money, etc. will overwhelmingly increase your sales.

Painting a picture of unexpected success by using power words, power phrases, and triggers into a prospects mind will increase your odds dramatically. Some of the worst products that were ever developed became a sales success due to their marketing campaign. The advertiser had placed a perceived value of their product into the prospect mind using the power of words.

Using the proper selection of power words and phrases to display on your website will become your ultimate sales force and should be considered as Golden Nuggets in a desolate field of rocks.

Stand back sometime you have a moment and evaluate yourself. Ask yourself the question: What makes you willingly purchase a product that you never heard of before? Exclude all meaningful name brands or recognition by your friends. What really captures your attention and peaks your curiosity? Is the advertiser bragging about their product? Is there product new with people standing in line to eagerly purchase it? Or just maybe because it’s just cutting-edge technology and a must have?

What if the advertiser of the website proclaimed:

… Take your business to a new and exciting level
… Achieve success instantly
… Boost your online commissions
… Claim all FREE bonuses Today
… Don’t spend another dime until you read this
… Exciting ways to make money
… Explosive information
… Financial Freedom
… Get thousands of visitors to your site using this simple Secret Method
… Make massive money
… Maximize your profit potential
… Outsell your competition
… Save hundreds of hours of time
… Seriously increase your profits
… Simple technique
… The fastest way to your success of making money online is
… You can generate more sales
… Yours FREE

These types power phrases motivate your prospects thinking regarding a relationship between their problems and your solutions.

Don’t just take my word regarding power words and phrases, simply reread the above phrases and see where your thoughts go.

Barcelona Spain – So Much Fun In One Day

The city of Barcelona, Spain, as all the Iberian Peninsula, has been clearly marked by its long history which dates to the Roman times. But what really left a deep impression and can still be fully appreciated today is what the Arabs left behind. Not only can you awe at the lovely cathedrals, temples and other buildings but you can feel it in the powerful, brave character of the people in Catalunya. The cities of Lleida, Girona, Tarragona and Barcelona make up the region called Catalunya and with it an extensive shore line which starts at the French border and goes mid-way down the Mediterranean until the Community of Valencia.

Having so much coast, Barcelona has not only been able to captivate tourism in the summer with excellent beach resorts, hotels and water sports, but also thanks to its cultural and architectural activities. One of the most outstanding sights that everyone wants to see when traveling to Barcelona is the Sacred Family or as many people know it even though they do not speak Spanish is the famous Sagrada Familia at the Placa de la Sagrada Square. Antonio Gaudi, a renowned architect started to build a church for the needy in 1883. He, together with other architects, worked on this project which was supported by donations from those who cared. In 1898 he decided that he wanted his masterpiece to one of the most original known up until then and changed the typical bell towers which were always square to be rounded off. He also added the Swiss cheese appearance to them. By around 1923, the chapel called Saint Joseph, the east facing and the crypt had been completed. It had been worked on vigorously up until Gaudi died in 1926 and therefore buried in the crypt designed by him. Since then all the bell towers and other parts have been completed but it still has not been finished. But all around the city you can find gaudi´s works: La Pedrera, Mila House, and the park Guell. But The Sagrada Familia is still one of the most impressive pieces of architecture ever seen.

A city full of Museums and Attractions

But if you are looking for more strong emotions, then head over to the Picasso Museum. This museum is shared between five medieval palaces which contain a nice overall view of his different fazes. Therefore, it lets you travel from Malaga which was his home town to Paris, so well reflected in his paintings, to Russia and his captivating detailed ballet paintings and finally to Barcelona where he settled. This is an absolute must and even more interesting is that it costs so little, has long visiting hours to let you roam about, great public transport combinations and is found in the Cuitat Vella Parc. The Ciutat Vella ( the beautiful city ), was once the entire city of Barcelona until the end of the 14th century and was the principal and only surviving zones made up of four areas: The Gothic Neighbourhood, La Ribera, Las Ramblas ( flowered promenade ) and the Raval. It is so easy to find and get there because there are four distinctive landmarks that lead us by the hand as if it were a famous framed picture. Using the Catalunya Square as its left frontier, you go straight down Las Ramblas Street until you see the impressive Christopher Columbus Monument towering over you as soon as you reach the edge of the port. Leisurely strolling towards the north in the direction of the Olympic Port you come across the Cuitadella Park. At this point turn left to feast your eyes on the emotive Arch of Triumph some blocks away. Within this enclosed circle of narrow cobblestone streets and typically set up shops, you are wrapped up in living history.

It does not matter if you are an avid Barcelona Football ( Soccer ) fan and know that this team is usually called ´Barca´, or just a visitor who wants to enjoy a good match, do not forget to pass by the Nou Camp football stadium to reserve or buy your tickets. Football season is usually between September and May. This year Fran Rikard has led the Barca to win the Spanish Football League so there will be a lot of celebrations and neat souvenirs to buy.

The Costa Brava and Costa Dorada, as this area is referred to, has clean cared for beaches and caters to the tourist both inside the city as well as on the outskirts with a wide selection of accomodations. There chalets, semi-detached homes and apartments for rent or all kinds of hotels starting from a simple youth hostel, passing through a bed and breakfast type lodging to three, four and five star hotels. Whether you are going to be in Barcelona for a romantic honeymoon, just a quick weekend get away, family holidays or a business trip, you can enjoy yourself in one way or another.

You will never be bored because the information available on Barcelona can be easily found on the net, through travel agencies, or going directly to a tourist information booth when you arrive at the airport. This information is offered to you in many different languages and is usually free. It provides the traveler with precise information about museums and other monuments ( their prices and hours ), temporary exhibitions, banks, entertainment, restaurants and shopping areas, the sorts of hotels and where they are all located on very simple maps.

Mr. & Mrs. DIY – Through the Thick and Thin of Building a Concrete Countertop

Concrete countertops, recognized first by architects and designers for their aesthetic potential and project versatility, are fast becoming the answer to homeowners’ demands for a relatively inexpensive countertop alternative that doesn’t require a high-level of expertise to install. In addition, they offer homeowners an exciting opportunity to literally try their hands at being creative. Step-by-step books, videos and hands-on training are now readily available for homeowners to confidently engage in such do-it-yourself (DIY) projects as building concrete countertops.

Married couple Chris and Ali were excited to take on a DIY project after purchasing their San Francisco flat. A logistical real estate developer/construction manager and an educational specialist, Chris and Ali are also architecture and home design enthusiasts. With a penchant for getting their hands dirty, building and installing their own concrete countertop seemed a natural choice for them.

Chris happens to be no stranger to concrete: “My interest goes back several years when I was building restaurants and retail spaces. I installed concrete countertops and worked with concrete artisans doing integral color and stained concrete floors.”

In April of 2003, Chris and Ali purchased a two-flat building in space-challenged San Francisco. Recently, they sold the lower flat as a tenant-in-common unit and now occupy the upper flat, which offers roughly 950 sq. ft. of living space. Before they considered building their own kitchen concrete countertop, they hired a contractor for an extensive remodel of the home. The result is an open, loft-like living space where the kitchen and living zones flow together.

“We both enjoy the process of designing and creating our own living space to fit how we live. This applies to the space we occupy as well as the details within it,” says Ali. “We both like the idea of working with our hands, using materials that are natural, accessible […] and flexible.” Chris added, “Concrete counters are beautiful, cool, earthy, solid, and you just want to touch them. The counters were a perfect way for us to create something beautiful out of our own ideas and hard work, and the uniqueness of the end product is a representation of our unique ideas.”

Their kitchen, 10 feet wide by 15 feet long (150 sq. ft.), didn’t offer much room for Chris and Ali to work — but that didn’t stop the big plans they had for their narrow kitchen. They wanted to have a logical cooking zone with a work triangle, plenty of counter space and still have enough room to accommodate a dining area.

Like most urban San Francisco properties, space is almost always an issue. To remedy this, a straight run of upper and lower cabinets and a concrete countertop with a dishwasher, sink, oven and stove were placed along one wall of the kitchen. A built-in banquette and dining table are located opposite the concrete countertop work area. An adjacent wall hosts a refrigerator and tall cabinets.

Chris and Ali agree that the most interesting addition to the kitchen is the concrete countertop. The couple’s instructional guide and source for design inspiration was award-winning designer Fu-Tung Cheng’s Concrete Countertops: Design, Forms, and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath (Taunton, 2002), a national bestseller in the remodeling and design genre.

The finished countertop is a visually stunning work surface with rich, complex colors: reddish-brown with flecks of semi-precious Leopardskin (yellow and black) aggregates. “This particular color combination blended perfectly with the color theme we had for the cabinetry, tile backsplash, floor and wall finishes,” says Ali.

Understated design details of the 12-foot long, 3-inch thick concrete countertop include rounded edges at the countertop front and the sink openings as well as a decorative metal strip under the front edge of the countertop to conceal the plywood sub-top.

Chris and Ali took special note that despite the tight working space of their basement, their collaborative work ran smoothly from pour to finish. “Like the rest of our remodeling project, building the concrete countertop brought us closer together,” says Chris. “We work very well together. It starts from the fact that we communicate very well and our design ideas complement each other.”

With the completion of the project and the creative work done, Chris and Ali admit that their biggest challenge was building the concrete forms. “Particularly for the sink cut-out, which has radius corners and two different size basins,” says Chris.

Despite a couple of minor learning curves, Chris maintains that there is an overwhelming sense of accomplishment upon completing their concrete countertop. “The best part is seeing and feeling the finished product and knowing we did it!” It’s been said that if a couple can survive a home remodel — especially a DIY project — together, they can survive anything.

From the looks of a job well done on their first concrete countertop, these happy do-it-yourselfers are in it for the long haul. Chris says of future projects, “We plan to create a concrete fireplace surround and perhaps a hearth to go with it!”

How To Keep Your Computer From Spreading Viruses

There are some simple steps you must take to avoid becoming a victim of computer viruses and also stop from spreading viruses to others. Here are some things that you can and should do.
Email Issues to watch

Never open an E-mail with an attachment you were not expecting.

The latest batch of virus programs are often spread by E-mail. Even if your anti-virus program does not warn you about the attached file and even if the eMail appears to come from someone you know, do not open it if you were not expecting it, and if you were expecting it, only open it AFTER scanning it with your up-to-date virus software.

Scan ALL incoming email attachments (regardless of who sent it).

Be sure to run each attachment you plan to open through the anti-virus check. Do this even if you recognize and trust the sender; malicious code, like Trojan horses, can slip into your system by appearing to be from a friendly source.
Turn off the ‘automatic preview’ in your email program.

Automatically previewing an email message has the exact same effect as opening and reading an email. My of the newest internet worms, trojans, and viruses simply need to have an email message read in order for them to be activated. Turning off the preview feature allows you to scan any email BEFORE you actually read it.

Disk Issues to watch

Don’t boot from a floppy disk.

Floppies are one of the most common ways viruses are transmitted. If you are using a floppy while working on your computer, remove it when you shut the machine off or the computer will automatically try to boot from the floppy, perhaps launching any viruses on the disk.

Web Based Issues

Keep your web browser set to its highest security level.

Its a pain to get the warning messages on every other web page you visit, but its the best way to protect yourself – especially if you use Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook.

Don’t download programs from the Web.

Unreliable sources such as Internet newsgroups or Web sites that you haven’t heard of may be willing providers of viruses for your computer. Avoid downloading files you can’t be sure are safe. This includes freeware, screensavers, games, and any other executable program – any files with an “.exe” or “.com” extension, such as “coolgame.exe.” Check to see if the site has anti-virus software running on their side. If you do have to download from the Internet, be sure to scan each program before running it. Save all downloads to one folder, then run virus checks on everything in the folder before using it. Regardless of where you download from, ALWAYS scan downloaded software.

Routine Maintenance

Make regular back ups of important data

Make it a habit to back up all of your most important files at least once a month. Store the back up discs in a safe place.

Clean any virus/worm/trojan off your computer
(Details: http://www.antivirus-report.com/trojan-horse-removal.html )

Using your antivirus software, perform a full system scan of your PC, hopefully it will detect and remove the virus. If a virus was detected, restart your computer and run the full scan again. Sometime the virus will keep reappearing, due to the evolving nature of viruses. Symantec is particularly fast at providing removal tools should you ever get a virus or worm infesting your computer.

What is a removal tool? Well simply put it is a simple software that will scan your computer for infections, and then remove them from your machine. You most often need this if your machine got infected BEFORE you installed antivirus software.

Top Considerations for PC Protection

And the final and most important two things to do to keep your computer clean and make sure it does not spread viruses to other computers…

Install a Firewall

If you use a broadband/high-speed method to access the internet, you need to get a firewall. A firewall is a program that defends your computer from hackers who attempt to gain direct access to your computer over the Internet. There is a very good firewall program called ZoneAlarm that will do the trick if you use Windows.

Install and use a high-quality anti-virus program.

This is the key to protecting your computer. Buy one of the major anti-virus programs – Norton Anti-Virus, PC-Cillin, or McAfee Anti-Virus. The primary benefit of the commercial packages is the frequency and ease of updating the virus definition files that these programs use to detect viruses. With new viruses popping up all the time, unless your protection software is kept updated, you start to become ever more vulnerable to infection.

Get immediate protection.

Configure your anti-virus software to launch automatically on start-up and run at all times. This will provide you back-up protection in case you forget to scan an attachment, or decide not to. And in case you forget to load up your anti-virus software, configuring it to start by itself will ensure you get immediate protection anyway. The top antivirus software programs all do this (but only if you have one installed on your computer). You do have current antivirus software installed right? If not, you can go to this page for more information on why you need antivirus software and how easy it is to use.

Credit card anyone?

The emergence of electronic age made almost everything possible to people. Determining and curing terminal diseases made convenient, reaching uncharted territories became a possibility, and most of all; everyday life of people is made easy by the technology. We now have more convenient stores, easier means of transportation and a variety of gadgets that makes work and pleasure almost effortless.

When it comes to finances, technology—through efficient banking system and services—has given people better alternatives and options how to manage their finances. Among the so many financial management schemes that emerged, one alternative stands out among the rest—the credit card.

Credit card, especially to working people and those who live very busy lives, has become an ultimate financial “savior.” More than just being a status symbol or an add-on to expensive purses and wallets, credit card has revolutionized the way people spend their money.

But, more than the glamour and the convenience credit card brings, there is much more to this card than most people could ever imagine.

Credit Card 101
Before indulging much into the never-ending list of the advantages and disadvantages of having a credit card, it is very important for people to first have a brief realization of what credit card really is in order for them to maximize its potentials.

In layman’s terms, credit card is a card that allows a person to make purchases up to the limit set by the card issuer. One must then pay off the balance in installments with interest payments. Usually, credit card payment per month ranges from the minimum amount set by the bank to entire outstanding balance. And since it is a form of business, the longer the credit card holder wait to pay off his or her entire amount, the more interest pile up.

Since having a credit card is a responsibility, only those people who are of legal age and have the capability to pay off the amount they are going to spend through their credit card, is allowed to have one. Actually, most of the adults in the U.S. use credit card because this is very convenient compared to carrying cash or checks every time they have to purchase something.

It is also equally important to be familiar with the different types of credit cards before you begin to build up credit card balances and to avoid having a nightmare of debt. Since credit cards are indispensable to most consumers, it is a must that they understand the types of card that include charge cards, bankcards, retail cards, gold cards and secured cards. All of these types come in one of two interest rate options—the fixed and variable. Actually, it doesn’t really matter if you decide to have a fixed-rate credit card because the interest rate remains the same. Compared to variable rate cards where rate may be subject to change depends upon the credit card issuer’s discretion, fixed-rate carry higher interest rates. Basically, credit card grantors issue three types of accounts with basic account agreements like the “revolving agreement” a.k.a. Typical Credit Card Account which allows the payer to pay in full monthly or prefer to have partial payments based on outstanding balance. While the Charge Agreement requires the payer to pay the full balance monthly so they won’t have to pay the interest charges, the Installment Agreement, on the other hand, asks the payer to sign a contract to repay a fixed amount of credit in equal payments in definite period of time. Another category of credit card accounts includes the individual and joint accounts where the former asks the individual alone to repay the debt while the latter requires the partners responsible to pay. The common types of credit cards available through banks and other financial institutions also include Standard Credit Cards like Balance Transfer Credit Cards and Low Interest Credit Cards; Credit Cards with Rewards Programs like Airline Miles Credit Cards, Cash Back Credit Cards and Rewards Credit Cards; Credit Cards for Bad Credit like Secured Credit Cards and Prepaid Debit Cards; and Specialty Credit Cards like Business Credit Cards and Student Credit Cards.

Now that you have an idea how many types of credit card there is, it is now time to review your goals before applying for one. Some of the things you should consider is how will you spend with the credit card monthly, if you plan to carry a balance at the end of the month, how much are you willing to pay in annual fees, if you have a strong credit history and is does your credit in need of rehabilitation. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for choose the right credit card for you by researching the information you need that will fit your basic needs. You may also review the credit cards you’ve research and compare them.

Shopping for a credit card?
Regardless of the type of credit card you choose, be sure to discuss your specific financial needs with your financial advisor or accountant before applying for any credit card. It is a must that you understand the benefits of having a credit card like safety, valuable consumer protections under the law, and the accessibility and availability of services. The most popular credit cards include Chase Manhattan Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, BankOne, American Express, Discover® Card, First Premier Bank, Advanta, HSBC Bank, and MasterCard Credit Cards.

Although having a credit card is synonymous to invincibility, this may also trigger a person’s thirst for material things and may lead into the temptation of buying something they don’t really need. A credit card bearer should always have in min that having a credit card is a big responsibility. If they don’t use it carefully, these may owe more than they can repay. It can also damage their credit report, and create credit problems that are quite difficult to repair.

Squaring The Golf Club At Impact, The Rotator Cuff, And Golf Fitness

We all know the clubface must be square at impact and the club releases thereafter. Generally speaking a large amount of golf swing mechanics center upon returning the clubface to square at impact. Additionally, the golf swing is a “total body” movement incorporating every joint in the body. In order for the clubface to be square at impact all of these joints must work in coordination to allow this to occur.

In relation to the body, specific muscles are very active in returning the clubface to square. One joint directly involved in the squaring of the clubface at impact with the golf ball is the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is a “ball and socket” joint allowing for the arms to move through a large range of motion. Review of the biomechanics of the golf swing, it becomes very evident the arms move through a large range of motion.

That being said, there are specific muscles involved in the rotation of the arms. Again, these are not the only muscles involved in squaring the clubface, but from an anatomical perspective, these muscles are active in the internal and external rotation of the arms during the golf swing.

Going back to squaring the clubface, internal and external rotation of the arms is required. To get a sense of internal and external rotation, simply stand up with your arms hanging at your sides. Rotate your hands inward and outward. This is a simple description of internal and external rotation of the arms. Now if you relate this movement to the golf swing you can see how the arms internally and externally rotate during the backswing, downswing, and follow through.

Certain muscles within the shoulder complex have a direct effect on internal rotation, external rotation, and stabilization of the shoulder complex in the golf swing. The muscles we are talking about are the rotator cuff muscles. Yes, the rotator cuff.

Not necessarily a group of muscles that go “hand-in-hand” with the golf swing and probably more thought of when we talk about baseball and pitching. Nevertheless, these muscles are an active in the golf swing. The rotator cuff is a reference to four muscles in the shoulder complex. For those of you that love the science behind this stuff, the four muscles that comprise the rotator cuff are; supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis.

The rotator cuff has a couple primary functions when it comes to the shoulder complex. First off, they act to stabilize the shoulder capsule. The skeletal structure comprising the shoulder is a ball and socket joint. The “socket” part of this joint is very shallow. As a result the muscles of the rotator cuff in addition to muscles in the “back-side” of the shoulder assist in stabilizing the shoulder during movement. An over simplification would state these muscles assist in keeping the arm in the socket. If the rotator cuff muscles did not assist in stabilizing the shoulder, the arm would literally come out of the socket every time you swing a golf club.

Secondly, these four muscles are actively involved in elevating, internally, and externally rotating the arms. All of which are movements involved in the golf swing. Beginning in the take-away and completing with the follow through, the muscles of the rotator cuff are active in every phase of the golf swing. That being said, we know the muscles of the rotator cuff are under stress each every golf swing.

It is important to understand the muscles of the rotator cuff are very small. They are not big muscles such as your quadriceps or deltoids. They are very small muscles asked to perform a myriad of activities. As a result of the size and workloads placed upon these muscles. They can become fatigued quite easily. Once muscles become fatigued they begin to falter in performing their required activities. In addition once muscles are fatigued, they can easily become injured.

During my years on tour, I have never seen someone injure a cuff muscle from swinging a golf club. I have seen rotator cuff injuries impede a golf swing, and if you have ever injured a rotator cuff muscle you know how debilitating an injury it can be. The point being this: The rotator cuff muscles are actively involved in the golf swing. Injury to a rotator cuff muscle can be very debilitating to your golf swing or any activity for that case.

Knowing what we know about the mechanics of the golf swing, the rotator cuff, functions of the rotator cuff, and how they affect the golf swing. This information invariably indicates to us it is necessary to keep the rotator cuff healthy and strong. How can one achieve this goal? Simply by adding a golf fitness program incorporating rotator cuff exercises.

Rotator cuff exercises will focus on these four muscles. These types of exercises will develop higher levels of strength and endurance within these muscles. This will assist in these muscles handling the workloads placed upon them during the golf swing or any athletic activity. So I strongly suggest if you are an avid golfer or a weekend warrior. Add some golf fitness and rotator cuff exercises to your training program. This will help keep you in the game and off the sidelines.

Sean Cochran

Sony Playstation Portable Versus Nintendo DS

Both the PSP and DS have been vying for the top spot in the handheld console genre ever since, with recent releases of slim and lite models for each brand.

The PSP is a sensational handheld gaming console owing to its wide screen and graphics engine. The graphics on its gorgeous 4.3 inch LCD screen displays about 16.77 million colors with a screen resolution of 480 by 272 pixels. The graphical clarity of its games comes close to the Playstation 2 caliber. The PSP is capable of displaying stunning graphics and animations as well as DVD quality movies. No handheld gaming console ever comes close to the visual quality of the PSP.

The DS is by all means unique in terms of its graphical interface and gaming style. Amusingly, the DS has two 3 inch LCD screens capable of displaying 260,000 colors with a resolution of 256 by 192 pixels. The DS is inferior in terms of graphical quality, so you might say. But get this, with dual screens and with the touch-sensitive bottom screen, the DS revolutionized the world of gaming as we know it.

If you have previously tried Sony gaming consoles, you will be very familiar with the control scheme of the PSP. The PSP lives up to the Playstation name by inheriting its renowned button layout. Much like the original Playstation and Playstation 2 controller, the PSP offers comfortable and effective gaming controls as the company was known for. Probably a major setback was the exclusion of the two shoulder buttons and the right analog stick, which played a vital role in many games especially in First-Person Shooters. But hey, it’s a portable console and it’s supposed to be handy and not bulky. So it is acceptable for the PSP to have some limitations in controls compared to the much flexible Playstation controller. Nonetheless, the PSP’s control scheme brings the gaming feel to whoever wants to have some hardcore gaming fun.

The touch screen feature is arguably the most amazing feature of the DS. In terms of control flexibility and style, the DS can’t be beat. With the included stylus, you can play a number of games by touching the bottom screen. What’s even more impressive is the handwriting recognition of some DS games. There are puzzle and math games which require you to write onto the screen the correct answers to win. Many other platform and interactive games require you to perform certain strokes using the stylus to perform feats such as jumping, swinging the sword, and others. Another surprising feature of the DS is voice command using the unit’s integrated microphone. Some DS games require you to speak words or phrases. With its uniqueness, the DS brings fun in gaming in the quirkiest and most amusing way.
With regards to the game library, the PSP is flooded with games compared to the DS. This is because the PSP is capable of receiving ports or mellowed down versions of games from the major consoles due to its powerful graphics engine. With this, one might notice that most of the PSP’s games are portable versions of console games. The DS on the other hand, has its own unique and exclusive game library composing of famous Nintendo franchise games and the like. Although lacking in epic games such as those in the PSP, the DS makes up by having its own share of short but fun games. Therefore, the common connotation for many is that the PSP is for hardcore gamers while the DS entertains both casual gamers and fans of the Nintendo franchises.

Handheld gaming consoles are meant to give the fun gaming experience expected of these devices. However, since the development of special firmware for the PSP, the ability to play games is just one of its many functions. The PSP is capable of viewing pictures and playing music and video files. The PSP also has an internet browser for surfing the net using wireless LAN. There are even custom firmware or homebrew applications to enable the PSP to play games from previous generations of consoles. Having special firmware is the huge advantage of the PSP over the DS. The DS is sadly not capable of any of these, except being able to play Game Boy Advance games and running Pictochat, an embedded messaging application that wirelessly connects all DS units within range.

Both the PSP and DS can play multiplayer games through their wireless connection capabilities. PSPs can connect with other PSPs via Ad Hoc, which is a small range wireless frequency for exclusive PSP use. The DS can also do the same, having its own exclusive frequency only detected by DS units.

Being portable gaming consoles, the battery life is one of the user’s major concerns. With a CPU clock running at a tremendous 333 MHz equaling a Pentium III’s power, the PSP can only last up to 4 to 6 hours when in use. The DS takes one big leap as it can surprisingly last for up to 10 hours even while supporting its brightly lighted dual screens.

In the end, it is really up to you to determine which portable gaming console suits your preferences. The visual prowess, multimedia perks, and wide array of games may draw you to the PSP, but you have to consider the unique gaming style and exclusive games of the DS. The PSP is sold generally at a higher price, which makes the DS more affordable among the two. Whatever your choice, you are certain to experience the gaming pleasure anytime and anywhere with the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS.

Information Lifecycle Management: Mastering Complexity

The keystone to efficient information and repositing direction lies with a simple principle: information has a lifecycle and it should only be stored as long as compulsory by stage business and regulatory requirements. Nevertheless, the traditional methods of giving medication do not suffice for the complex relationships among structured and unstructured.

New generations of solutions ar evolving to meet byplay leaders’ inevitably piece reducing in operation(p) peril, meeting regulatory submission, and improving system handiness. Withal, like every quantum change with strategic and operating(a) , reality is not keeping pace with the expectations of individuals and organizations that demand a quick, yet simple, solution to a very complex and growing problem.

To further complicate matters, new terminology is being introduced, additional skill sets mandatory, products immature, and the financial impact of effectuation is empirically only just being understood with the first generation of products. This ambiguity has a electric potential to derail a robust framework that has the ability to deliver on historically unmet necessarily needed for our ever-expanding, informationdependent industries.

Continued from page 1. First, a current service line mustiness be conducted. This should articulate and quantify the existent technologies, procedures and policies already adopted by the company. The also moldiness classify available personnel skill sets, organizational maturity, and functional windows needed to satisfy the SLAs.

With the foundation in place, known issues, risks and current initiatives be classified and ranked by significance. Secondly, the future state or “to-be” model be created. Clear benefits driven by the occupation drivers and corporate agendas (i.e., alignment) be amalgamated to create a cohesive framework that meets the organizational goals and objectives. With the “to-be” model defined and approved, a fit-gap analysis tin can be done that articulates the problem areas, opportunities and architectonic strengths.

After creating a program of work, a high-level design of the product and services should be developed. This design volition highlight the estimated benefits, potential difference vendors, proposed execution scenarios and sequence of activities that testament result in a working set of pilots. With the selection of headstone vendors, buffer projects toilet be undertaken. These cowcatcher projects wish provide the confirmation for the benefits, risks and approach needed for further investment.

Once completed, the results bequeath be a “go/no-go” decision point for the organization, and additional commitment and investments for ILM realization. Adjustments also leave be made from the pilot burner project’s outcome to the plan, resources and budgets. With the pilot light projects and customizations completed, a rollout plan for the tested environment be undertaken. Only segments mature in their lifecycle be considered.

Proper training and education be conducted. A refresh approach to integrate future segments be defined and intermingled into the PMO, methods, and architecture. By its very nature, ILM is not static. It is a layered and mixed series of product, processes and reposition automation that lavatory result in drastically improved information accessibility, usage and bottom-line results. Many companies today unwittingly practicing ILM–using inefficient, manual processes contained within vendor-specific platforms resulting in a high TCO. A viable solution for organizational profitability, cost containment and risk of infection mitigation is contained within the ILM architecture.

Over the next two to three years, the robustness of the products rapidly advance in support of the architecture allowing for significant improvements in warehousing innovation, productivity gains (due to automated rules and policies) and conformity disposal. While caveats to ILM exist, the job drivers for its integration and carrying out cannot be ignored. Organizations seeking to deploy these enterprise-based solutions consider that the potential drop currently outweighs a vendor’s ability to make it a reality in the short term. Still, the enterprise identify the critical requirements and embrace the winder strategies spell the market is maturing.

Identifying and embracing the vital requirements and strategies take time and executive commitment, which is usually greater than the time needful for delivery.

The offerings deployed today significantly mature in 2004/2005 as they assimilated into common applications, databases, middleware, and memory . ILM is not just about computer memory , it is about proper alignment with line of work of necessity to effectively ensure the capture, categorization, integration and disposal of . The tonality to the information “hydra” lies with in effective, qualitative and quantitative hazard governance coupled with a clear understanding of the interrelationships between project efforts.

Without an active ILM approach aligned to the organizational culture, the measured value (real or perceived) of technology investments continue to be disappointing patch exposing the organization to increased litigation and scrutiny.

How to Start Your Online Business With Drop-Shipping

By using drop-shipping firms to handle your orders, you could route all your ecommerce site’s orders to wholesalers, and they will drop shipped your order directly to customers. And you as the online retailer can eliminate the expense of carrying inventory and the risk of being stuck with the goods if these goods didn’t sell.

Before you get started, consider these seven steps involved in starting a drop-ship e-business:

Step 1: Decide to sell your products with or without your own website

You can start your drop-shipping e-business either with or without having your own website. If you decide to sell with your own domain name, then you need to get your ecommerce site up. If you do not want the hassle of getting your own ecommerce site, then you could build your online store at eBay. eBay e-store site builder allow you to build your online store easily.

Step 2: Decide products to sell

Then, you need to decide what types of products to sell at your online store. You could identify a group of products such as electronic products, household electrical appliances, cell phones & etc. It is advisable to identify similar products or products under the same category to sell instead of totally different category products such as shoes and CD player. Because, by selecting products within the same category, you can give your customers more choice to choose from, and you can group two or more products in a bundle for promotion or marketing activities and you get more sales on each transaction.

Step 3: Locate suppliers who will drop-ship for you

After identify your products to sell, you need to look for your drop-shipping suppliers. On time delivery is important to ensure the satisfaction of your customers; hence, be sure you check for the drop-shipper performance record before you sign-up an account with them. Discussion forum, message board and blogs are sources for you to find some hints or comment for the drop-shippers. Or you just simply key-in the drop-shipper name on the Google or Yahoo search box; you should get some information of your selected drop-shipper.

Step 4: Set up an account with the drop-shipper

Once you select a drop-shipping company, you need to set up a reseller account with the company. This can often be done online or by phone, but some companies will require that you complete and return a reseller application to open an account. Some may also require a tax ID and a business license. Most drop-shipping company will charge some fee to open their reseller account.

Step 5: Advertise the product for sale online

Many online retailers failed in their drop-shipping e-business because they could drive traffic or visitor to their website and convert these visitors to the actual paying customers. To get traffic to your product page (either your website or your eBay e-store), you need to advertise your products so that your products get exposure on internet and attract targeted traffic to your product page.

There are many ways to advertise your products. You could advertise on eBay, use pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement service such as Google Adword or Yahoo PPC. Or you could go for the cheapest but equally efficient way in driving traffic to your e-store: Article Marketing. You could write a review on your products in an article and put your e-store URL at the end of article or at the author resource box and submit them many article directories for maximum exposure. Many internet visitors will drop-by to your e-store via your URL link at the end of your article if they are interested to know more.

Step 6: The Product Sold & Place Order To Drop-Shipper

Once your have product sold, your customer will pay you on your selling price via your online payment system such as PayPal. And you place the order with your drop-shipper and pay them via their payment system at the agreed price, which is lower than your selling price, so that you could earn the profit.

Step 7: After Sale Follow Up

Many e-business entrepreneurs will miss out after sale follow up portion. Just because your customer has paid you and you have placed the order with the drop-shipper, it does not mean that this is end of the loop. Because if there are problem occur, you are the one who need to responsible in the eyes of your customers. Hence, you should follow up with your drop-shipper either via phone or email to ensure that ship out your order to your customer.

You should proactively follow up with your customer to ensure they have received their order and satisfy with it. Offer yourself as the personal contact for any issues that may arise. This is also a great way to sell customers more products because if your customers are satisfied with your service, they may give you repeat orders.

In Summary

By integrate drop-shipper into your e-business, you can forget about inventory handling issues and find a shipping partner to fulfill orders for you; all will be done by your drop-shipping partners. By following correct steps to set up your drop-shipping e-business, you can save your time and efforts in getting your business started faster.

Bali Shopping Fun

It is said that shopping is a serious hobby, might be. To some, shopping sometime is considered a way to alleviate stress or just a fun. In fact shopping is everyone’s need, but Bali is a place where one can examine or to practice one’s personal bargaining skills. Unless the product is price-tagged, bargaining is the “habit or the tradition”.

Bali is a shopper’s paradise. Hundreds of boutiques and roadside stalls have been set up all over the island, and thousands of artisans, craftspeople, seamstresses, woodcarvers, painters, etc are kept busy supplying the tourist demand. Sometimes swarms of vendors crowd the beaches and streets offering you T-Shirts, sarong, necklaces, friendship bracelets, drinks and watches.

Go out from your hotel and then stroll along the road which is lined by myriads of shops and kiosks, soon the taxi drivers, shopkeepers and the restaurant’s staffs wave their hands and say the common word “kemana” means where are you going?, have a look. Sometimes they want to shake hand and take you into his shop. Smile and say hello to them, keep walking, but if you see something that you are looking for stop and enter, ask the price.

Try not to accept the first price that you are given, as most vendors add on anything between 30%-50% extra. Bargain or go to other shops. The most common word said by the Balinese vendor is “bangkrut” means bankrupt, if the price you make is thought to low. Usually if the vendor cease to smile, it’s mean you got the price. If you spent good enough money in one shop, try to ask him/her a souvenir, he/she will be very glad to offer you one for free.

You’ll get more for your money, if you are prepared to spend time and smile whilst bargaining. Although tempting, try not to make any major purchases for the first few days. Look around, take your time, bargain hard and then buy….and so to shopping. A fun isn’t it? Where and what to buy is the next step.

The variety is literally endless. Most of the handicrafts and paintings can be found in the district of Gianyar. The village of Mas and Kemenuh is famed of its best and talented wood carvers, you can visit a workshop where artisans in work, they produce either masterpieces or mass productions. Ubud is famed of its talented painters either classical, traditional or contemporary style. The best thing to do is to go to the major galleries, see which artist you like and seek them out at their home (if you have enough time). Remember bargaining is a “norm”.

Textiles in Gianyar, Klungkung, Karangasem (Tenganan), Kuta and Denpasar. Kuta has the best shopping, but you have to deal with the crassness (sometimes) of the shopkeepers. If you do not stay in Kuta during your vacation in Bali and wish to shop there, take a cab, stop and down in Kuta Center, this is the appropriate place to reach the neighboring sites like Legian and Seminak by taxi, there are hundreds of good shops. At Kuta Center you can find many quality shops, arts market, supermarket and department store (Matahari and Centro applied fixed prices).

Antiques: The “antique” business in Bali is booming. Carve a split piece of wood, paint it and bury it in the ground for a month and wow! an antique. You need very careful when buying antiques. Mind you, you can find all sorts of interesting items in the shops in Batubulan, Kuta, and Klungkung, but there’s no guarantee as to their age.

Ceramics: The village of Pejaten in Tabanan has whimsical and serious tiles as well as stoneware plates, bowls and the like. Good quality of stoneware can be found also in Kapal. Ceramics shops can be found also in Sanur Jl. D. Tamblingan, Kuta and Ubud.

Gold & Silver: Celuk, Kamasan and Bratan are the center for metal working, where all such ornaments are on sale at reasonable prices (bargaining is a must). The craftsmen will also produce pieces and settings to order, just bring them a drawing or a sample to copy. If you don’t like it, they’ll smelt it down and start over.

Handicrafts and souvenirs like bamboo implements, puppets and ornaments made of coconut shell and teakwood, hats and baskets, wooden earrings, keychains, clothes, pen and ink paintings are sold at most souvenir shops as well as in all the major tourist areas. Pasar Sukawati and Ubud is a good place to visit, chockfull of these things at rock bottom prices. Leather goods can now be found in all the shops in Kuta, Sanur and Ubud.

Batiks: The spiraling designs and geometric patterns of Javanese batik are seen everywhere on the island as part of the daily dress of the Balinese. Buffaloes, birds, masks, and puppet figures are some of the motives entwined in characteristic compositions. Most of what is being sold on the street by vendors is not batiks, but printed materials which the Balinese use for tablecloths. High quality of hand made batik paintings are produced now. The center of batiks is the village of Tohpati. Best factory to visit is Batik Populer and Kartika Candra.

So don’t wait to long, plan your vacation and chose Bali is a shoppers paradise for your travel destination. Go online and visit hotel reservation website and booked your preferred Bali Hotels. Bali is a small and very beautiful island located in Indonesia, one of the best tourist destinations in Asia.

Why Paid Online Surveys Are Popular As Work At Home Jobs.

The enormous growth of the Internet during the last few years has spawned several new Internet Based Business activities and at the same time benefited several others. One activity that has benefited from this boom is without doubt Paid Online Surveys.

Today many aspirants looking out for a Home Based Job or Work at Home Jobs often think of Paid Online Surveys first. The perception that this is a quick and easy way to earn money propels aspirants towards Paid Online surveys. Very often this is their first step in their foray into the Internet Business world. Let us see how far their presumption is correct.

No need for Special Skills:
The main reason for the popularity is that you don’t need any special skills to do Paid online surveys. You are required to express your opinion for the questions asked or statements made. It is Your Opinion that matters.

Secondly to enroll and participate you should have a computer with access to the internet. That’s it. Can there be anything simpler?

Easy to Join:
Thousands of companies spend millions of dollars every year to conduct Paid Online Surveys and reward the participants by awarding them either cash, gifts, or points which could later be redeemed for cash. Identifying these companies and contacting them becomes a real hassle and takes a lot of your time and energy.

There are, On the other hand organizations that have a data base of 250 to 450 companies in their network that conduct paid online surveys. It is much easier to register yourself with these paid online survey database companies and gain access to these companies by paying a one time fee of $25 to $35. Your membership will normally include tips, updates and bonuses. After registering you should now pick and choose the companies you would like to receive online surveys from, and register yourself with these companies individually. No further payment is necessary and before long you will start receiving surveys in your inbox.

It is here that you have to be cautious. There are many database companies in the internet that are unreliable and are scams. There are also several companies that are reliable, dependable and customer oriented, e.g. Survey Platinum, Survey Scout, Survey Junction, Paid online Surveys and Get Cash for Surveys.You should identify and register with such paid online survey database companies.

Income:
One of the reasons for the popularity of paid online surveys is that you can earn a reasonable amount of income as a work at home job. Payments vary from company to company. Generally the companies pay anything between $10 and $75 per survey. On the average a participant can earn about $25 per survey and these surveys will take about 10 to 20 minutes per survey. On the other hand substantial amounts of up to $200 per hour can be earned by participating in Focus groups which could take anything from two hours to a full day. The more number of surveys and Focus Groups you participate in, the more income you can get.

If you aspire to make this a main source of income and are prepared to devote several hours a day on this, it is advisable to register with more paid online survey database companies. This way you will be able to have a better choice of companies and focus groups and ensure that your home based job is a success.

Work any time-You are the Boss:
Another reason for the popularity of Online Surveys as a work at home job is that you could do the survey at anytime most convenient to you. You can schedule your house work so that you can slot in the surveys, since the surveys don’t take much time. The surveys of course have to be completed before the stipulated date.

Anyone can Participate:
Since the online survey companies need the opinions from a wide spectrum of participants everyone irrespective of age or sex has an opportunity in enrolling and participating in surveys e.g. Students, stay-at-home moms, senior citizens, retirees and persons with special needs. Hence the popularity of paid online surveys among the vast cross- section of internet users worldwide.

Expressing your Opinion and having Fun:
Everyone loves to be heard. Everyone loves to give his opinion. Online surveys give you that great experience. Guess what? You get paid for your opinion. It gives you a chance to express your opinion on the consumer products that you use everyday. It also gives you a chance to test new products and technologies and express your sincere opinion. You soon begin to realize the intricacies of market research and enjoy viewing products from completely new angles and perspectives that you never ever knew existed. Your work at home job soon becomes a fun and rewarding job.

Making tons of money or amassing great wealth by doing online surveys as a work at home job is just not possible. On the other hand it is definitely possible to get a steady reasonable income or additional income that can keep many a stay-at-home parent, student, retiree or senior citizen really happy. The pay checks that you receive on a regular basis will be an indicator of what the internet holds for you if you have a desire to Work at Home or do a Home Based Job.

Copyright © 2005 Kanaga Siva

Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Mail

Have you ever wondered how the tradition of giving wedding anniversary gifts began? It is said that the earliest wedding anniversary gifts were silver garlands given by Germanic husbands to their wives on the 25th anniversary. History also shows that some European countries celebrated half of that time, 12.5 years of marriage, with gifts of copper. Around 1875, wood seems to have come into vogue as a 5th wedding anniversary gift.

Wedding anniversary gifts by mail were undoubtedly rare in those days. The postal service itself was unreliable. Couples who wanted to celebrate their marriage by giving one another gifts often had to choose between making gifts or purchasing at the general store.

Times have changed dramatically, and we now can not only purchase wedding anniversary gifts by mail, we can order them electronically on the Internet.

My bump of curiosity stirred a desire today to see what was available. Here are the first seven anniversary gifts I found.

7 Ideas for Wedding Anniversary Gifts by Mail

1. PAPER: I began with the 1st wedding anniversary gift, wondering what ideas would fit the traditional “paper” gift idea. It was easy to find paper for a husband to give. A framed family tree with her name added! He might have to research, and get information from his parents. A bride of 1 year would appreciate his thoughtfulness, and the renewed knowledge that she had been added to his family tree would be a wonderful wedding anniversary gift. He can order a family tree online at most of the genealogy websites. She could give him paper tickets to a sports event that he would love – and go with him, even if she doesn’t share his love for sports. Ticket wedding anniversary gifts are easily found at Ticketmaster.

2. COTTON: For the 2nd wedding anniversary gift, cotton shirts or cotton sheets would be good choices. Order quality cotton shirts from Lands End and have them monogrammed. You can order quality sheets from there, too. Either gift would be appropriate for one to give the other – or sit down together and make out your order. All are gifts by mail.

3. GLASS: One choice for the 3rd wedding anniversary gift was glass, and I found unique, beautiful glass butterfly pendants at Solstice Glass! He could order these by mail and she would never know he had gone shopping. Each glass butterfly pendant is hand-blown and contains a beautiful, realistic butterfly perched atop a lovely flower. Solstice Glass has other shapes, too, of course – a good variety of hand-crafted glass. A wife can shop at Solstice glass, too, and make her husband’s third wedding anniversary gift a hand-blown, one-of-a-kind glass marble. He can carry it with him daily as a reminder of her love.

4. FRUIT, FLOWERS, and SILK: The traditional wedding anniversary gift for the 4th anniversary is listed as fruit and flowers. I knew immediately that I could order delicious fruit and beautiful flowers at a place like Gift Tree. Then I noticed that one of the modern choices for this anniversary is silk. You could combine the two, and order a beautiful, quality silk fruit tree or silk flowers. They would last longer than real fruit or flowers. You can find silk pomegranate trees at USI Floral. Since pomegranates are often called the fruit of love, and these trees are filled with the beautiful red fruit, he might order this wedding anniversary gift by mail. She might order him a silk Hawaiian shirt with flowers or fruit in the design. Hawaii Tropicals is one of many places online that will ship this wedding anniversary gift by mail.

5. WOOD: Wood Cutting Boards is a good website to visit for 5th wedding anniversary gifts by mail. Either chef would appreciate the choice of cutting boards they offer. Their hardwood mugs are also beautiful for either husband or wife. If there is any doubt about the strength of the marriage, a new wooden rolling pin is not recommended.

6. IRON: Although sugar is also a traditional 6th wedding anniversary gift, you might want to think in terms of durable gifts rather than consumables. The two of you could choose a wrought iron love seat for your garden from Furniture Central. If you enjoy golf, give each other new iron sets. At Golf Smith, you can order this wedding anniversary gift to be sent by mail.

7. WOOL: Even if your wedding anniversary gift celebrates a summer wedding, you know that either one of you would enjoy a gift of wool from the New Zealand Nature Company. Wool pillows and comforters are cozy in the winter, but cool in the summer. Wool slippers and boots are just as wonderful. They insulate you as they insulate the sheep. Order these wedding anniversary gifts by mail, and you will have the joy of celebrating with gifts from a different hemisphere.

You can, of course, go to your local mall and buy a gift. But when you order wedding anniversary gifts by mail, you can shop the entire world for the perfect gift. You can keep your shopping a secret, and surprise the one you love.

Please Note

The author is not employed by any of the merchants mentioned above. She receives no commission from them, and will not profit financially if the reader orders from one or more of them.

Negotiating With Your Lender

If the foundations of your financial world are crumbling inwardly, and the black words ‘foreclosure’ and ‘short sale’ are hanging heavy in your heart, you are not alone. ‘Hope Now’ and ‘Project Lifeline’ are newly formed organizations that may be able to help you.

Foreclosure feels like financial ruin, and even though you are out of energy, you must try everything you can to avoid it. This way, if foreclosure comes, you can at least know that it was inevitable.

Before you start down this dark track, have you tried to approach your Lender? He probably has no idea that you may be floundering. The Lender who paid for your property, be it a regular bank or a private Lender, will not want to take your house back. If there is a way for him to work out a deal with you, he may be glad of the opportunity.

The Lender does not want to take your house away; he wants to make his interest on your loan. He also knows that we now have a buyer’s market, which makes it more difficult for Lenders to sell properties.

The Lender would like you to keep the property and carry on with your part of the deal – which was to make monthly payments to him. If you go into a foreclosure or sell by a short sale, the Lender stands to lose money.

Therefore, whether you are financed through a bank or a mortgage company, your first move is to make an appointment with your Lender to talk things over. Perhaps you can negotiate for some extra help.

For instance, do you think that if you were allowed to miss three months mortgage payments (and tack them onto the end of the amortization period), then you would be able to keep up the current payments? Sometimes just being in arrears is a vicious circle and if once caught up to date, is easier to manage.

In some cases, the Lender may offer to help you to re-finance your mortgage, and make the payments smaller for a time. There is also a government backed organization out there that is offering to help people on the verge of foreclosure. One of their conditions is that you must contact them before the procedure begins; they are found on line at ‘HopeNow.com’.

You can also get in touch with ‘Project Lifeline’, a newly developed helping agency. They are proving effective in staving off foreclosures for all types of mortgages including sub prime, equity and second liens. They can help almost anyone, other than home owners with a foreclosure coming up before mid-March.

One of their strategies is to ‘pause’ everything while they investigate your own personal scenario. If you do not know how to contact them using the Internet, ask your local librarian to help you.

Your Lender may be willing to help you to apply to these organizations for help; he may know the procedures better than you. Refinanced mortgages with fixed rates are available now for homeowners struggling with sub-prime mortgages.

At the moment HopeNow is looking at the most serious cases, as its mandate is to avoid as many foreclosures as possible. This will be an ongoing process because many mortgage holders could face even more increases in their mortgages in the next two years.

This means that when you write to them, you need to state your case clearly, and do not feel shy about writing out your worst financial problems and the amount of money that you will lose, and how many children you have that will be homeless.

In some cases the help from HopeNow can come in the form of an interest rate freeze, rather than a complete change in mortgage plan, but this freeze will serve to tide mortgage holders over until they can re-finance without the panic of foreclosure over their heads.

HopeNow has been created by lenders in the mortgage services field who represent 90% of the sub prime market. There are at least 2 milllion sub prime mortgage holders. This outreach program often contacts lenders before they get to foreclosures and offers to help them. Visit their web site.

This help is a blessing for the nation as well as the individual people in distress; once the foreclosure problem is faced and dealt with by a system that has government backing, the property market will not have a glut and prices will be re-established and sales will continue at a more normal pace.

If you feel that foreclosure is inevitable, then think about negotiating for a short sale. This will at least save your credit rating. Not all Lenders will agree to it and not all properties qualify for it. It also leaves you with a tax bill, but that is not an immediate concern.

You will need to send a hardship letter to the Lender, or more specifically, the person who can make the decision. Do not hold back on this letter. You also need to send a list of assets and proof of income. The list must show that you have no money, savings or anything that can be liquidated.

If this list of assets indicates that you ‘stretched the truth’ when applying for the mortgage, you will have to be extra humble! Remember, this Lender is going to lose his money too; you need him to be on your side, so try to understand his point of view.

You also need a current market evaluation from your real estate agent. If you have an interested buyer – that is even better. However, there is lots of negotiation involved with short sales, even if initially agreed upon, and both sides must have endless patience. Only tread this path if you cannot get help from either ‘HopeNow’ or ‘Project Lifeline’.

Crucial Factors To Consider When Choosing A PLR Membership

When you are at all into internet marketing, chances are that you have put some thought into choosing a Private Label Rights membership site, although you may not know just how to go about doing so. It is all too easy to go about just choosing any old PLR site and deciding to submit your information for Private Label Rights membership, but just as it is with any other project it is important to know that not every PLR site is the same.

First of all, it is important to know just what a private label rights membership is. Private label rights membership sites give you access to content that has private label rights attached to it. The catch is that you get the opportunity to modify the content that you gain access to and make a profit for it. Good, rich content from private label rights membership is one of the best ways to make money on the web and without that rich web content it is difficult to gain any internet traffic at all, making it rather difficult to make a tidy sum by managing your site like you would probably like to.

Of course, not everybody is an effective writer. In this case, private label rights memberships are the way to go. Let’s face it: not everybody has those skills, but private label rights membership sites give people the opportunity to gain access to content that can help make their content much easier to come by. Rewriting or modifying PLR articles to make original content is a great way to save some money on web content, and many people can do that even though they may not be able to write great keyword rich articles otherwise.

Just as any other product out on the market, every PLR membership site is not as good as the next PLR membership site, and there are certain factors that any internet marketer, aspiring or otherwise, should take into consideration before paying any money for a private label rights membership.

How Widely Will My PLR Content Be Distributed?
While some PLR sites restrict the number of times that their content can be distributed to a mere few, still others disperse content to just about anybody who asks for it. This is not the best thing to do, as it makes the likelihood of duplicate content penalties even more likely and that is never good for you. As an internet marketer you have to protect your search engine rankings as vigorously as you can, and you should keep this in mind when choosing a private label rights membership site.

Just because a PLR site has hundreds of members does not mean that they distribute the same content to all of those members, but you are goi8ng to have to read their terms and perhaps even contact the private label rights membership site administrator to find out for sure.

Can You Obtain Niche Content from The PLR Membership Site?
Private label rights membership sites go about various ways of distributing their content while others just distribute it in any manner they deem the most fitting. Your best bet is to find a PLR membership site that distributes content in a particular niche, so that you can rest assured that the content you are getting is relevant to the site you are working on. Some people have many niche sites, so the content subject matters less than for those who manage just a few sites and need particular content on skin care, aging, pets, or health.

A good private label rights membership site maintains niche related content and limits the number of times that a certain site of private label rights content can be distributed.

How Often Is Content Updated?
While there are a lot of private label rights membership sites out there, not all of them keep their content updated. Some of these sites tend to recycle content time after time, and while that may not always present a problem a good internet marketer wants as original content as they can possibly have. For this reason it is important to make sure that the private label rights membership site out there updates their content and gets new content in daily.

A good way to tell this for sure is to see whether or not they allow you to subscribe for new packages. If they are willing to send you PLR packages on a consistent basis, chances are that their content is updated a lot more often than many of the sites that require that you visit the site homepage to request more content.

If content is updated on a consistent basis, it is much easier to have a consistent working relationship with your PLR membership site, making life much easier for you in the end. If you belong to one private label rights membership site, you should not have to belong to another one. If you are unable to get everything that you need in one private label rights membership site then they are probably not the site that you want to invest your money into and risk having unoriginal content.

Private label rights content is a great way to make some extra cash using the internet without having to go through the pains and strains of creating original content for yourself, but just as it is with any other service there are things to consider that you should keep in mind. Make a good choice in PLR sites and you will see the dollars flowing in from the rich, original content you have placed on your site.

You Have to Be First at the River to Get a Drink

While on vacation in the Serengeti Plains of Africa, I sat on a riverbank for three hours watching a herd of wildebeest (or gnu) build up the courage to drink from the water. This herd was part of the Great Migration that happens like clockwork every summer. More than 1,000,000 wildebeest move northward from the arid Serengeti into the wetlands of the Masai Mara.

The migration is a long, dry and arduous journey. Frequently the only available water is the Grumeti River. Crisscrossing the wildebeest migration route through the Serengeti, the Grumeti represents both life and death to the herds. Unlike some creatures that can take their moisture from the grass they eat, the wildebeest must drink from the river to live. Although they can survive up to five days without water, they try to drink twice a day.

The Life-or-Death Challenge of the Great Migration

Hot from the sun, thirsty from the effort and dry from the dust, the animals arrive at the river. They must drink to survive. Yet the river supports other life, such as scrub brush, trees and fresh, sweet grass along its banks. Some of that life such as the brush provides cover for predators that present a danger to the wildebeest.

Lions wait until the herd is stretched thin, then charge, trapping a gnu with its back to the river. The other wildebeest stampede, raising a dust cloud that obscures the view of those closest to the lions. A kill is almost guaranteed.

Where the water is still enough to form drinking pools, large crocodiles lurk just beneath the surface or sun themselves on the approaches. One day I watched 28 crocodiles feast on an unlucky gnu. Another day a gnu escaped the crocodiles with only lacerations and a broken leg – probably to fall victim to lions later that evening.

Sometimes the rushing water itself presents the danger. The massive weight of the herd may push the leading animals into the current, where they drown or get swept into the jaws of a crocodile.

To Drink or Not to Drink – The Dance of the River Crossing

The wildebeest seem to be aware of these horrific possibilities as they approach a low spot, ideal for crossing or drinking. Animals at the leading edge of the herd inch up to the bank. Individual gnus step forward tentatively, sniff the air, make their distinctive, plaintive “gnu” sound and step back. This dance continues for hours. The herd, smelling water, bunches up behind these “leaders,” gradually nudging them toward the water, whether they want to go or not. If it’s been a long time since the herd last drank, you feel their desperation. Yet the dance goes on.

On the day I watched for three hours, a young gnu finally stepped ahead of the herd and started drinking. Was it innocence and ignorance of the danger that moved this young gnu into the water or was it simply thirst?

The fearful adults held back until the herd pushed them forward and a number of them began drinking. Moments later the surging masses shoved one gnu further into the water than it was willing to go. It panicked and in turn panicked the others. They all retreated quickly from the water and returned to the migration. Only those that had been brave enough to be at the leading edge of the herd in the first place got a drink. The others, more fearful or perhaps simply mired in the pack, went thirsty.

What kept the rest of the gnus from drinking? Did they know too much? Were they too afraid? Or were they simply too comfortable in the relative safety of the middle of the herd? Whatever the answer, only a few animals got to drink at that crossing.

In ritualistic fashion twice each day the wildebeest line up at the nearest river crossing to start the process all over again. Another afternoon I watched a smaller herd stand on a cliff 30 feet above the river. The vertical drop kept them from reaching their goal. But just 100 yards upstream lay a shallow crossing they could have easily reached. Instead of moving toward their goal, they stood on the cliff, moaning and bleating over the water they couldn’t reach.

Lessons from the Wildebeest – Take a Risk to Satisfy Your Thirst

Are you kin to the wildebeest? What keeps you bound to the herd and thirsty for the water of success? Is it fear of the unknown, what might be in the bushes? Or are you lulled by meaningless daily rituals that take you no further toward your life or career goals?

Successful people are risk-takers. They are the ones who get to the river, drink and, admittedly, sometimes get eaten. All of life is risk. When you drive onto the freeway, step into your facility, enter a grocery store or eat in the hospital cafeteria, you face a risk that you won’t return home. In the words of T.S. Eliot, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find how far one can go.”

Lots of people want to get their lives back and do something different. Instead, they stand just out of reach of the water of success, watching others drink while they go thirsty.

Don’t let your fears hold you back. Don’t wait for the momentum of others to push you forward. You must commit to act. The consequences of your action or inaction are in your hands. Only you have the power to start your new life. One of my favorite quotes is from Katherine Mansfield: “Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself.” Take a risk – take a drink today and you’ll never be thirsty another day in your life.

Myths About Home Remedies For Jellyfish Stings

What’s Lurking Beneath The Waves?

People often seek ocean vacations to escape their winter woes. Ocean dangers do exist, especially when daring people venture into the ocean on their own.

Sharks are probably the first threat people think of, especially since the movie “Jaws” was released. Although highly-publicized, shark attacks are relatively rare.

Other dangers involve currents such as rip tides and undertows. Proper instruction and flotation devices can assist one in surviving unpredictable ocean currents.

There is one threat that most ocean visitors are at a total loss to deal with: jellyfish.

What’s So Bad About Jellyfish?

Jellyfish are marine invertebrates having a bell-shaped, jelly-like substance enclosing their internal structure. Most species have tentacles covered with stinging cells that can stun or kill other ocean life. Most jellyfish use this stinging defense to catch prey or to defend themselves.

Most jellyfish are not very dangerous to humans, but a few are highly toxic. A recently discovered Australian species is suspected of causing two deaths there.

You may be swimming with jellyfish and never even know it. Many are tiny with unnoticeable stings. However, if you ever get caught in the stinging tentacles of a larger jellyfish, panic is likely, as this author can attest.

What To Do If Stung By A Jellyfish

Try not to panic! Thrashing will only increase the amount of stings you will receive. Next, notify someone immediately who can help you get out of the water. If you are stung by a rare and toxic jellyfish, drowning is possible, so get to the beach or on board a boat.

Seek a doctor’s assistance immediately! Most people won’t even know what happened to them. Only trained medical help can properly evaluate the severity of the stings and the appropriate treatment.

Most people will not seek medical help. Instead, they rely on home remedies for jellyfish stings seen on television or told to them by locals. It is a mystery why sting victims don’t seek immediate medical assistance.

If you were bitten by a snake, would you wait and see what happens? Of course not – you would go to the emergency room as fast as possible! Stings or bites from any sea creature, including jellyfish, sea urchins, rays and others, should be considered the same as a snake bite and treated accordingly.

Jellyfish sting home remedies usually involve the application of human urine, a solution of meat tenderizer, or fresh water to the site of the stings.

Some of these home remedies are wrong, and will make the situation worse.

Why Most Home Remedies For Jellyfish Stings Are Wrong

The jellyfish evolved in the ocean, so it’s stinging defenses are optimized for use in salt water. The use of fresh water will increase the venom injection of any stingers still stuck in the victim!

Likewise, massaging the sting area, or using alcohol, spirits, ammonia, or urine will also encourage the release of venom.

The mythical urine cure is probably the most misunderstood, yet is likely the most well-known. It was popularized on the television comedy “Friends” in the episode “The One With the Jellyfish.”

How To Deactivate Jellyfish Sting Venom

If you can’t get to a doctor, the first step in properly treating jellyfish stings is to deactivate the stinging cells still stuck in the victim. The following deactivation solutions may be used:

* A 5% percent acetic acid solution (available commercially as white vinegar) is the preferred method.

* Solutions of meat tenderizer, or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) will neutralize any stingers that have not yet released their poison. Meat tenderizer should not be left on the skin for more than 15 minutes.

* None of these substances should be used in the eyes. In the case of stings on or near the eyes, dip a towel in the deactivating solution and dab it around the eyes, but not directly into open eyes.

* Salt water can be used if none of the above products are available.

Removing Jellyfish Stingers

After the stingers are deactivated, persons with protective clothes and gloves should carefully remove any tentacles from the victim.

Any remaining embedded stingers should then be removed. This can be done by applying shaving cream to the affected area. Carefully scrape the sting area with a sharp surface, such as a razor, a knife blade, or even a sharp plastic edge such as a credit card.

Mild skin irritation can be soothed with the use of over-the-counter antihistamines containing diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl ™).

These Treatments Are Not Substitutes For A Doctor

Always see a doctor if you are stung or bitten by a jellyfish or any other sea creature. These jellyfish sting home remedies are not meant to replace a doctor’s expertise. You may wish to begin applying the proper care as first aid while waiting for the ambulance. If you do, tell the paramedics and doctor what steps you have taken.

But whatever you do, please don’t urinate on your jellyfish-stung friend. Although it makes for a funny story later, it will make your friend’s pain – and humiliation – worse.

To learn more about using common ingredients to cure uncommon illnesses, please refer to the resource shown below.

Kauai snorkel locations to check out

Kauai has plenty of amazing water activities and snorkeling is one of the most popular. If you are a snorkel fanatic or have never tried before, but would like to, then you will be very pleased with the many locations in Kauai that are amazing for snorkeling. The following suggestions will lead you to some of the best Kauai snorkel locations and whether you are expert or novice you will truly enjoy snorkeling on Kauai.

Ha’ena Beach State Park
In the North of the island across from the dry cave and 9 miles past Princeton you will come to a great location for snorkeling. Once you arrive here you simply need to walk down the sandy beach to the right for awhile until you reach Tunnels. Here the water is flat and the reef is a considerable ways out, but it is great snorkeling and absolutely worthwhile. The best time for snorkeling here is in the summer.

Anini Beach
Anini Beach in the north of Kauai is also a great snorkel location. Take a right on Kalihawai Road just after the Big Bridge. Stay on Kalihawai Road for just a few seconds and then take a left on Anini Road and follow the road to the end. You can then head out to the beach with your snorkel gear. The beach is wide and large and the waves break far out, so you will simply need to head out a ways before you start snorkeling.

Lydgate State Park
In the East is Lydgate State Park and it lies just past the Wilua River sign if you are traveling from the north. However, if you are traveling from the airport then take Hwy. 56 and keep going until you pass the Wailua Golf Course. Then, simply turn right on Leho Road and then you will reach Lydgate State Park. If you are new to snorkeling then this is a great location to start out with. There are also BBQ pits, showers, picnic tables, and this is just a great place to enjoy the beach, snorkeling, and a cookout!

Poipu Road
In the South there are several great snorkel locations off of Poipu Road. The first is Poipu Beach Park that is across from Brennecke’s Restaurant. Here, you can enter from the right of the sandy point and just continue to the water and begin your snorkeling expedition. You will enjoy all there is to see from fish to plant life and clear water.

Another great snorkel location off of Poipu Road is Koloa Landing. To arrive here, head down Poipu Road and take a right at the fork in the road on Kapilli Road. When you reach the stop sign take another right and continue until you reach the boat landing. At Koloa Landing, enter the water and snorkel to the coastline surrounding you.

The Beach House is also an amazing snorkel location. Here you want to head towards Spouting Horn off of Poipu Road. As you are traveling look for the Beach House Restaurant. Once you reach it you simply need to park and then head to the nice bay beside the restaurant. At the Beach House you can enjoy snorkeling and seeing the many different fish that live in the bay.

Lumahai Beach State Park
Lumahai Beach State Park is in the north of the island and is about 5 miles past Princeville. When you are driving keep your eye out for a beach trail and cars parked alongside the road. Here you will encounter Lumahai Beach State Park. Simply follow the path down to the beach and get ready to snorkel. However, this is a snorkel area for more advanced snorkelers and if you are a novice then you should avoid this area for some time because it can be dangerous.

The Entire Coast
While there are a lot of specific locations where snorkeling is known to be especially great, there are also a lot of unknown snorkel areas that are still being discovered, or hidden areas that only a few people know about. So, if you are interested in snorkeling in a particular area ask about the surf, the safety, water clarity, and then give it a shot! Also, as you are snorkeling in different locations you will come across many other snorkel fans that will be happy to share some great snorkel locations with you. The entire Kauai coastline is amazing and no matter where you choose to snorkel you will certainly enjoy the underwater beauty.

You can take these Kauai snorkel tips and check out these various locations or you can look for some on your own. There are so many places to snorkel in Kauai that you can’t make one single list. These are just a few of the known areas that are great and this is a fantastic list for tourists. If you are planning a vacation to Kauai and plan on snorkeling, then print this page out so you will have the directions and suggestions for the different snorkeling locations. However, always find out about the surf, tide, any dangerous conditions that might be present, visibility, and the like. Additionally, never snorkel alone so if something goes wrong you will have help nearby.

When you travel to Kauai you will be amazed at the snorkeling locations available to you and will have fun checking off all of the different suggested locations. Consider which locations are your favorite, and why, and then add additional snorkel locations to your list. Then, you will have your very own snorkel list to keep with you to remember the vacation as well as a guide for you when you return. An additional point is that you don’t have to travel with your snorkel gear, either, unless you want to because there are plenty of places on Kauai where you can rent snorkel equipment by the day, week, or whatever time frame you want. So, don’t weigh your luggage down with snorkel gear and enjoy snorkeling Kauai!

Improve your adsense earnings and save your adsense account.

Google, being the undisputable leader in search engines from then until now, is placing a high importance on the quality and relevancy of its search engines. Most especially now that the company is public property. In order to keep the shareholders and users of its engines happy, the quality of the returned results are given extreme importance.

For this same reason, doing the wrong things in the Adsense and other forms of advertisements, whether intentionally or unintentionally, will result in a severe penalty, may get you banned and even have your account terminated. Nothing like a good action taken to keep wrongdoers from doing the same things over again.

So for those who are thinking of getting a career in Adsense, do not just think of the strategies you will be using to generate more earnings. Consider some things first before you actually get involved.

Hidden texts. Filling your advertisement page with texts to small to read, has the same color as the background and using css for the sole purpose of loading them with rich keywords content and copy will earn you a penalty award that is given to those who are hiding links.

Page cloaking. There is a common practice of using browser or bot sniffers to serve the bots of a different page other than the page your visitors will see. Loading a page with a bot that a human user will never see is a definite no-no. This is tricking them to click on something that you want but they may not want to go to.

Multiple submissions. Submitting multiple copies of your domain and pages is another thing to stay away from. For example, trying to submit a URL of an Adsense as two separate URL’s is the same as inviting trouble and even termination. Likewise, this is a reason to avoid auto submitters for those who are receiving submissions. Better check first if your domain is submitted already an a certain search engine before you try to submit to it again. If you see it there, then move on. No point contemplating whether to try and submit there again.

Link farms. Be wary of who and what are you linking your Adsense to. The search engines know that you cannot control your links in. But you can certainly control what you link to. Link farming has always been a rotten apple in the eyes of search engines, especially Google. That is reason enough to try and avoid them. Having a link higher than 100 on a single page will classify you as a link farm so try and not to make them higher than that.

Page rank for sale. If you have been online for quite some time, you will notice that there are some sites selling their PR links or trading them with other sites. If you are doing this, expect a ban anytime in the future. It is okay to sell ads or gain the link. But doing it on direct advertisement of your page rank is a way to get on search engines bad side.

Doorways. This is similar to cloaking pages. The common practice of a page loaded with choice keyword ads aimed at redirecting visitors to another “user-friendly” page is a big issue among search engines. There are many seo firms offering this kind of services. Now that you know what they actually are, try to avoid them at all costs.

Multiple domains having the same content. In case you are not aware of it, search engines look at domains IP’s, registry dates and many others. Having multiple domains having the same exact content is not something you can hide from them. The same goes with content multiplied many times on separate pages, sub domains and forwarding multiple domains to the same content.

Many of the above techniques apply to most search engines and is not entirely for Google only. By having a mind set that you are building your Adsense together with your pages for the human users and not for bots, you can be assured of the great things for your ads and sites.

Not to mention avoiding the wrath of the search engines and getting your Adsense and site account terminated altogether.

A Home Business That’s Both Realistic And Very Lucrative

The problem with most every home business is it’s either too expensive to set up, takes too long to begin showing a profit, or the “learning curve” is just too difficult or too time consuming for the average person.

Even worse, a lot of offers related to home business that you find in magazines, your mail, and on the Internet are outright rip-offs. That’s not to say they take your money and don’t deliver the product. They deliver the product all right; it’s the product that doesn’t deliver. Why? Because the home business “program” was designed to make money for the vendor, NOT the purchaser.

But there are ways to make money in a home business that are realistic, don’t cost an arm and a leg, and can be quickly learned with just a little time and effort. The business of Credit Repair is one such business.

Now the very name “Credit Repair” may sound intimidating to some, probably because there are high priced agencies and attorneys who practice it and charge thousands of dollars for their services. But that doesn’t mean they do anything the average person can’t do himself, given the proper knowledge. Nor does it mean credit repair can’t be done as a home business, rather than from an office with dozens of employees.

Before we continue, some explanation is in order. To start with, there are 3 major agencies in the United States who keep records of the credit histories of hundreds of thousands of Americans. These agencies are called “Credit Bureaus” and their names are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. They’re private agencies, have no connection with the US (or any) government, and are a billion dollar a year industry.

Do you want to take out a mortgage? Your lender will be checking your credit history with one or more of the credit bureaus. And once you get your loan, he’ll be reporting your payment history to the agency as well. And based on the information in the credit bureaus’ records, you’ll be assigned a “credit score” that lenders look at to determine your credit worthiness.

The business of credit repair involves contacting the bureaus in an attempt to improve a client’s (or your own) credit score. The process really isn’t that difficult, and involves a few simple steps.

1. Have the client get a copy of his credit report from each of the 3 bureaus. This can easily be done online at http://www.annualcreditreport.com

2. Write letters to each of the 3 bureaus and dispute negative information on the credit reports.

By law, the bureaus then have 30 days to verify the disputed information with the original creditor, or they must delete it. They must then report their findings to the consumer, and also send a copy of the revised credit report.

3. When the credit bureaus respond, examine the revised reports and continue to dispute additional negative items.

You may be thinking “So is that it?” Well, while this explanation may be a bit oversimplified, generally speaking, the answer is “Yes, that’s it!”

If you perform credit repair for pay, there are some legal matters you need to deal with to avoid running afoul of the law. For instance, some states require you to be bonded or licensed. You’re also required to inform clients of their legal rights, and to give them 3 days to rescind their decision should they decide to accept your services.

But these steps aren’t anything you can’t do as a home business entrepreneur. They’re intended to protect the consumer, and in general, are good practices that any ethical business person should be following anyway.

So if it’s that simple, why do agencies charge thousands of dollars for their services? Very simply, because they can get away with it! Most people just aren’t aware of how uncomplicated the process is, or would ever believe they can do it themselves.

Now if you’re looking to start a home business that will make you rich overnight without any effort, then credit repair isn’t for you. But then, neither is anything else. You’d do better to embrace more realistic expectation, or you’ll be forever wasting your money on the home business “programs” we mentioned earlier.

But if you’re willing to invest some time and effort in a realistic home business, you might want to take a closer look at credit repair. Compared to just about every other home business it has all the advantages. It’s one of the easiest to learn, least expensive and quickest to start up, there’s a huge demand (nearly 1 of every 3 Americans have some credit problems), and you can make some very, very good money. You can also choose to do it part time or full time. The choice is entirely yours.

To get started, you’ll need to do two things.

1. Get a good book on the process of credit repair and spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the process.

2. Do some research into the laws pertaining to credit reporting and credit repair companies, specifically, the “Fair Credit Reporting Act” and the “Credit Repair Organizations Act.”

Both can be researched online.

Finally, once you’ve launched your home business and begun repairing people’s credit, you’ll have the good feeling of knowing you’re helping people in need. And you can charge them way less than the big agencies and STILL make an extraordinarily good living. That’s a win-win situation for everyone … EXCEPT the credit bureaus and overpriced repair agencies.

Gives you a good feeling, doesn’t it?

(c) 2005 eBusiness Power

Why Can’t I Get Started?

He sat and listened full of enthusiasm. This was his ticket out of the job he hated – the job where someone else controlled his hours and his income . . . where he was just a number in the company’s bottom line and the decision of whether he had a job tomorrow or the next day was not his. This was his chance to escape . . . to get off the never ending treadmill of working for someone else.

He had heard it all before earlier this year. The first time in January . . . the second time in June. He bought all the materials after hearing the business opportunity in January . . . he was so fired up… he was going to make this work.

Now, here it is October and the materials are still in the box. “I just don’t understand,” he muttered to himself. “I had such good intentions. . . what’s wrong with me?” Some of the people I met in January are already making money and I know I’m smarter than those guys. Why can’t I get started?”

That was Joe’s big question, and he didn’t have an answer. It seems that life always seemed to get in the way. His daughter got married and his son wrecked his car and later there was the family vacation.

If you have ever longed for a way out your dead-end job, you may have a similar story. It’s that vicious and all too familiar, dream-killing cycle of excitement . . procrastination . . . confusion . . . frustration . . . and then abandonment.

Having personally been caught in this whirlpool of despair, here are some things I learned that helped me break free from this repetitive behavior.

Invest in Your Education

Don’t be hesitant to spend money on the education, training, tools and resources that will help you learn how to be successful in your business. It’s very scary to whip out your credit card and charge hundreds and even thousands of dollars on a seminar, program or new software system – but do it. Making a financial, mental and commitment to re-skill yourself will give you “skin in the game.” You have now openly obligated yourself to make something happen and you’re accountable.

emotional A word of caution is also in order on this subject. Don’t become a “professional seminar attendee” or “hyper-buyer.” You don’t need every book, CD and gadget on the market. Invest wisely in tools and training that support your business goals and are in line with your skills and abilities to use them.

Listen to those with the Biggest Piles of Cash

Don’t be discouraged by naysayers . . . usually your family and friends. Listen to those who have made a lot of money in your business market. Take advantage of every coaching opportunity. Follow their program and don’t try to shortcut the system. Don’t fall into the temptation of second guessing the process. Although you may think you have a better way, there is a reason for every step and for keeping them in sequence. Since you haven’t made money in the business yet, and they have . . . try it their way first.

Take advantage of processes, activities and automated systems that your predecessors have developed that will save you hours and hours of manual labor.

Follow the advice and proven methods from those who are successful in your field.

Network, network, network

Network with others in the same business.

Find Your Niche

Don’t try to do everything at once. As Stephen Covey says, “Put first things first.”

If you’re a real estate investor, it may be to first locate a property. Don’t worry about setting up an LLC for now.

– If you’re in mail order, it might be to place an Ad, not to locate your fulfillment distribution center.

– In any business, you will learn as you go.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Now that you know what to do, the first thing to do is “just do it”. If it’s to look at an investment, make a phone call, or write an offer – believe me your world will not come crashing down around you. After that, just challenge yourself to do something to move your business forward every day and you will begin to grow.

What you will experience will be growing pains. We’ve all had them. Don’t worry about them, this is a good thing.

For you to have more than you’ve got, you’ve got to do more than you’ve done and this will involve getting out of your comfort zone.

Just remember this . . . if I want to run with the big dogs, I’ve got to get off my porch. How fast you get off your porch will be completely up to you.

Don’t Be Afraid of Failing

Ask yourself. . what’s the worst that can happen? If it’s being rejected, congratulations – you’re on your way. If it’s – my friends may laugh – just ask yourself “when have any of your friends written you a check?

Don’t worry! If you’ve chosen your vessel to freedom, only you can decide when to set sail. Just don’t forget to pull up your anchor first!

Be a perpetual student – never stop learning.

Take Action

Take a step forward every day – no matter how small – until you get used to the routine and then, pick up the pace.

The only difference between you and a millionaire is the size of your dreams.

What they all have in common is that everyone of them stepped off the ledge – unable to see what lay ahead – believing that they would land on their feet. They took a leap of faith – a risk in their future and did what it took to make it happen.

Retail Sales Training Essential To Increase Retail Sales Performance

Retail Sales Coaching should be designed to work on behalf of each individual Salesperson who wants to succeed for them, while being part of an environment that nurtures and speeds their growth.

Retail Sales Training is for each person who cared to show up today to express themselves in a retail sales environment and who demands more of themselves. Retail Sales Training is for people who want to feel they have done their best with what they knew, today.

Retail Sales Coaching’s purpose is to clarify, in a realistic, truthful and meaningful way, precisely how each person can perform better. It must do this by connecting people with the objectives of the company within the framework of their own need to succeed and be recognized.
Retail Sales Training Software must work by identifying the absolute area of selling skill, the one out of five key performance indicators (KPIs), which if the Salesperson were to focus on exclusively, would become their best performance enhancer – their best chance at optimum improvement.

Retail Sales Coaching Software should be about helping your company and its people become richer by revealing the truth about their performance, on an individual basis, so your Salespeople can focus on making their most significant improvements in the shortest period of time.

The result of implementing the right solution is that each Salesperson’s performance is increasing at optimum speed, so you can expect your retail store as a whole to increase sales by anywhere from ten to thirty percent.

Any Retail Sales Training system of appraisal and reporting should make sales people accountable for their time by measuring their performance according to key KPI’s, against each other, and against the store average. Unless measurements are taken on a regular basis and compared with the rest of the people on the shift it would be impossible to know the area in which to train.

Today, most POS software programs generate KPIs such as average sale, items per sale, sales per hour. However, they do not allow store managers to set sales goals and divide them up proportionally between salespeople so effectively POS sales reports are useless.

While door counters are useful unless they integrate with an effective Retail Training software program they cannot generate Conversion Rate KPIs – one of the fundamental KPI’s used in Sales Training.

There are software programs available to compliment your POS that will do the job including breaking down slow and fast periods of the day by weightings.

Here are some things to look for in a Retail Sales Training Software Program:

• Store Information Register to record specific information about the store.

• Staff Information Register and Coaching Log to record specific information and availability and coaching history of each sales person.

• Weekly Sales Goals Planner that automatically divides the store sales goal fairly between the salespeople on duty, including taking into account slow and fast periods of the day.

• Weekly Staff Roster to allocate staff to a time and attendance schedule within the framework of the store’s wage budgets, warning when over rostering and helping to improve wage to sales ratio efficiency.

• Actual Performance Score Card that tracks individual actual sales performance against individual sales goals to identify areas of weakness and strength so that managers can coach behaviors.

• Optimally, coaching tips should be integrated so managers can quickly get information about coaching on specific deficient selling skills.

The objectives of Retail Sales Training Software Programs are to:

• Increase profits, decrease costs, motivate staff

• Bring Retailers in line with industry Best Practice

• Filter company sales objectives down to Individual Salespeople on the shop floor

• Focus Store Managers on the two operational expenses within their control: Wages and Individual Sales Performance

• Make Salespeople accountable for their time

• Reduce payroll by Rostering within set wage parameters

• Identify each individual Salesperson’s deficient selling skills each week

• Show sales trends for each individual salesperson and store

• Integrate self-based coaching to give front line store managers’ tips on demand

• Motivate employees by instilling a performance based team culture

• Identify best performers allowing Store Managers to roster those staff more often – yielding a higher wage to sales ratio or ROI

• Reduce attrition rates, retain good staff

• Introduce a system of setting standards, tracking, measuring and reporting results, identifying under performance and coaching for success

• Integrate with POS to produce instant information at Salespeople’s fingertips.

Retail competition is fierce and times are tough. If you want to increase retail sales performance then coaching sales people is vital to success. Successful retailers put into place best practice retail training software programs to help them immediately identify skill areas requiring coaching attention.

Without the help of retail performance metrics you may be wasting valuable training time and missing the point for each individual salesperson.

Promote Residual Affiliate Programs And Earn More

Are you a webmaster in need of additional income? Or are you planning to set up an online business but you still don’t have any product to sell? If so, affiliate marketing may be the best solution for your problems. With affiliate marketing, you won’t need to worry about the products you have to sell. All you need to have is a website with sufficient contents that are related to the products of a certain online company offering affiliate programs. By becoming a member of the program, or by becoming an affiliate, you can start earning a certain amount of money right away!

Affiliate marketing is some sort of business relationship established between a merchant and his affiliates. In affiliate marketing, an affiliate agrees to direct some traffic to a merchant’s website. If that traffic is converted into some kind of action, like a visitor purchasing a product on the merchant’s website or a visitor becoming a lead for the company, the affiliate who directed the traffic will be compensated. Compensation may take the form of either a percentage sales commission for the sales generated or a fixed fee predetermined upon the application of the affiliate on the merchant’s affiliate program.

Promising a lot of benefits both for the merchants and the affiliates, affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular online marketing methods today. In fact, almost every merchant or retailer site today offers an affiliate program that any one can join into. Most retailers would entice people to become affiliates or members of their program by promising great benefits like large commissions, lifetime commissions, click through incomes and a lot of other benefits. But would all these affiliate programs bring off the same benefits?

Most affiliate programs would pay you, as an affiliate, a one-time commission for every sale or lead you brought to the merchant’s website. Commissions for this kind of affiliate programs are usually large, ranging from 15% to a high of about 60%. Other affiliate programs would pay you a fixed fee for every click through or traffic you send to the merchant’s site. Programs like this often pay a smaller fee for every click through, usually not getting any larger than half a dollar. The good thing about this kind of program, however, is that the visitor won’t have to purchase anything in order for the affiliate to get compensated.

Another type of affiliate program is the residual income affiliate program. Residual affiliate programs usually pay only a small percentage of sales commission for every sale directed by the affiliate to the merchant’s site. This commission often comes only in the range of 10% to 20% sales commission. Because of this, many people ignore residual affiliate program and would rather opt for the high paying one-time commission affiliate program. Are these people making a mistake, or are they making the right decision?

We can’t tell, for sure, if people are making a mistake by choosing a high paying one-time commission affiliate program. But we can definitely say that they are making a large mistake if they ignore residual affiliate programs. Residual affiliate programs would indeed pay at a lower rate, but merchants offering such kind of programs would generally pay you regular and ongoing commissions for a single affiliate initiated sale! That means, for the same effort you made in promoting a particular affiliate program, you get paid only once in a one-time commission program, and a regular and ongoing commission for a residual program!

So, are the benefits of promoting residual affiliate programs clearer to you now? Or are they still vague? If they are still vague, then let’s make them a bit clearer with this example.

Suppose there are two online merchants both offering web hosting services on their sites. The first merchant offers a one-time commission type of affiliate program that pays $80 for every single affiliate initiated sale. The second merchant also offers an affiliate program, but this time a residual affiliate program that pays only $10 for every single affiliate initiated sale. As an affiliate, we may get attracted at once at what the first merchant is offering, as $80 is definitely a lot larger than $10. But by thinking things over before actually getting into them, one may be able to see that the second merchant is offering us more opportunity to earn a larger amount of money.

Supposed you have directed traffic to the merchant and it converted into a sale, you’ll get paid once by the first merchant for the sale you have initiated. But with the second merchant, you’ll get paid monthly for as long as the customer you have referred to the merchant continues to avail of the web hosting service. That means that for the same effort of getting one customer to avail of the merchant’s service, you get paid monthly in residual affiliate programs while you only get paid once in a one-time commission type of affiliate programs.

So, are residual affiliate programs worth promoting? Definitely yes, because you virtually get more money from these types of affiliate programs in the long run! And would residual affiliate programs work best for you? Probably not, probably yes. It is not really for me to tell. But with the benefits that residual affiliate marketing can provide, it would really be unwise to ignore such programs.

Fast Weight Loss for Special Occasions

You have all been through it before, the family wedding is coming up next month and you can’t seem to fit into that suit or dress because you have put on too much weight. So you must lose at least ten or more pounds quickly.

Losing weight quickly is not advisable as most of the loss will be muscle tissue and water; you put on the weight slowly (usually over years) so normally you should take it off slowly and then you will know that the majority of the loss will be body fat.

But you have a problem here and the clock is ticking so you will have to diet pretty hard to meet your target weight loss. Let’s look at that first, you all know that diets don’t work; they send the body into starvation mode, a survival mechanism from long age when humans faced periods of famine.

Going too low in calories causes the body to lower its metabolic rate, which reduces its ability to burn fat. At the same time, hunger signals increase and you quickly start to crave high-energy foods loaded with fats and sugar, the same foods you are trying to do without.

Research shows repeated dieting actually makes it harder to lose weight and easier to put it on because when you dump the diet and return to normal eating habits the drop in metabolic rate caused by the diet means that your old habits actually represent an excess in calories. Not only do you regain the fat stores just lost, but also you may even gain an extra bit.

Knowing this, you really don’t want to put yourselves through this rigorous process, but for this special occasion you will. First though, you will have to boost the metabolism that has been lowered by the dieting. To do this you will have to perform a “Strength Train” workout to generate that initial spike in your metabolism. By increasing the lean muscle on your body by using Strength Training, your metabolism will increase, burning fat along the way.

The strength training technique I use requires just twenty to thirty mins per week. Gone are the days of the five-day a week program with 6 to 12 sets per body part that, method has never worked. One short intense strength-training workout a week will elevate your metabolism more than you ever thought possible.

While the calories expended doing exercise are important, the increase in metabolism especially after strength training continues long after the exercise is finished, burning calories at the same time.

The two main components of this technique are the intensity of the exercise and the recovery after the exercise. Infrequent, short, high intensity weight training sessions, followed by the required amount of time to recover and become stronger is what is needed to increase functional lean muscle and lose body fat.

The way to lose body fat and maintain muscle is to have a food program for life. Quality food and more energy output are the basics you’ll need to go for. Bulk foods that fill you up and don’t fill you out, foods that are low in fat and sugar which aren’t refined should be the ideal.

Small frequent meals should be consumed during the day each containing a little protein to maintain muscle mass and energy levels. A high quality broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement should also be taken on a daily basis.

As before get the calories from high quality food but if you can’t, utilize a blender to make concoctions from skim milk with whatever additives you want to use, just as long as you keep count of the calories for your daily total.

Now use these blender mixtures and solid food for your daily feedings. Spread it out over many small meals a day instead of the traditional three meals a day. The way to keep track of weight loss is to buy a calorie counter and record your daily calorie intake for a week.

Now average out how many calories you consume a day with the use of a seven-day eating plan and calorie counter, once you have this figure subtract 1000 calories and this will be the target number of calories you will be aiming for.

Remembering that one-pound of fat contains 3500cals, losing 1000 calories a day will total 7000 for the week, which equals two pounds lost by dietary means alone. Another technique for low calorie eating is to watch your fat intake as this has the most calories.

Incidental activity is also very important if you want to lose this amount of weight in this short period of time, by increasing incidental activity you can burn at least another pound a week The best exercise for the purpose of fat-loss is fast walking either indoors on the treadmill or outdoors.

Walk until you are mildly puffing and hold that rate until the allotted time. If your aerobic activities leave you panting or breathless, your going too hard, your energy is coming from your carbohydrate reserves and not from your fat stores. Try fast walking for one hour a day every day of the week.

Well there you have it, as an experienced trainer I wouldn’t recommend this type of program to my clients. The weight loss is just too quick and the program would be very hard to maintain owing to the very low caloric intake.

I advise my clients to decrease their calories by just 500 per day (and no more) below their maintenance levels and they will be losing 1 – 2 pounds of body fat every week, safely, without craving and without too much disruption to their lifestyle.

Remember, think long term here and that’s between 30 and 50 pounds of fat lost in six months. Any faster and all you will be losing is water and precious muscle tissue.

Memorable trip to Jumeirah Island: A tropical wonder land

If you are looking for a perfect mixture of breath-taking sceneries, near deserted white sea-shores, great marinas phuket, sumptuous cuisines, warm weather all the year round, friendly natives and a lot to explore and discover, there is a place in the South-east Asia known as the Baramabay private island or the phuket island. It is an 80 hectare island located in the eastern coast of Phuket. The travelers have two options to reach the Jumeirah island, either they can drive for 15 minutes from the Phuket International Airport, take a water taxi and travel for 3 minutes to the Baramabay private island, or they can choose the classier and faster alternative to reach the Jumeirah island which is a 5 minutes helicopter ride directly from the airport to the helipad of the island.
Going to Jumeirah for a grand holiday is surely worthwhile to spend the vacation or take a break from school or work. Going to the refreshing and beautiful marinas phuket will surely help in reducing the weariness and stress that a person may feel mentally, emotionally and physically. The gateway to the Jumeirah island or the Baramabay private island would be more enjoyable and relaxing if the travelers opt for renting or purchasing beach villas phuket. It is sure that any jumeirah beach villas are comfy and are totally offering cozy and luxurious conditions of living. Most of the luxury villas phuket and beach villas phuket offer standard amenities and services. The most attractive features of these jumeirah beach villas is their strategic and exquisite locations. Tgr knows that the beach villas phuket designed for vacationers and tourists should be situated at sea-side sites and beaches. This exclusive jumeirah construction will enable the travelers to enjoy the sites and scenes of the area to their heart’s content.
Luxury villas phuket are more or less always owned privately, the factor which will help the visitors to enjoy the most attractive and best deals possible. The comfortable amenities provided in these luxury villas phuket and jumeirah beach villas will definitely make a visitor’s vacation an exquisitely memorable one.
Baramabay private island has been one of the most frequently visited tourist destination in the continent of Asia. As a result, the demand for beach villas phuket has really seen a rise. Jumeirah beach villas will enable the visitors to know more about the culture of Jumeirah, because the beach villas phuket constructed by tgr are on their way to incorporate the genuine and traditional Thai home designs, made up of native home materials that are usually used in Jumeirah construction. In addition to that, luxury villas phuket are especially designed for visitors who are planning to live in groups or those who are going to stay for a longer period than usual. It is just similar to renting a home in Jumeirah.
Jumeirah is a private island surrounded by the Barama bay that is why, it is also known as the Baramabay private island. One can stay in the jumeirah beach villas which offer a different concept with ample luxury and extreme security in the marinas phuket. Luxury villas phuket constructed by tgr offer high-class luxury and hospitality features that are unique to Jumeirah construction. The TGR group offers holiday guidance and high-class services to the visitors, so that they can enjoy their stay in luxury.
For more information on jumeirah phuket and to find some more illustrations of jumeirah construction made by tgr in Jumeirah, you can log on to www.tgr-asia.com. Tgr group fully understands the jumeirah construction requirements and expectations of the visitors in the jumeirah island, who have come here to enjoy the marinas phuket to its fullest.

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What is the Glycemic Index?

Over the last 30 years, research into food and blood glucose response has completely changed our carbohydrate classification system.

It has been learned that it is impossible to predict the impact on blood glucose levels by certain foods, instead people are fed carbohydrate foods and the response measured.

This response is known as the Glycemic Index (GI), it is a measure of how quickly carbohydrate foods are digested and absorbed, and ranks carbohydrate foods according to their impact on blood sugar (glucose) levels: as indicted by elevated
blood glucose.

Foods with a high GI are absorbed quickly into the blood stream and cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. While foods with a low GI are broken down more slowly over time and keep blood glucose levels more stable (Remember that low is slow!).

Some carbohydrate foods will maintain your energy levels for hours, while some may cause your blood glucose to rise and fall. Different types of carbohydrate can also affect feelings of fullness in the stomach and this can influence hunger and
your ability to control your body weight.

Why is the GI important?

When our blood glucose levels are stable we have plenty of readily available fuel for the brain and muscles. If our blood glucose levels drop too low (hypoglycaemia) we feel tired, dizzy and generally unwell. If our blood glucose levels rise too quickly a rapid drop usually follows this.

Include low glycemic index foods in meals and snacks to slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream. A low glycemic index snack a few hours before exercise will help maintain your energy levels for more effective training.

After high intensity exercise (strength training) a high glycemic index snack should be consumed within 30 minutes. This will help to replace energy and start the recovery process.

Low-GI foods take longer to digest and help delay hunger pangs that little bit more and thus promote weight loss. So please choose your carbs carefully as this will lower your insulin levels and burn more fat. The secret is to swap high GI foods with low GI foods.

Simple steps to a low GI diet.

Step No 1

Start with a healthy, well balanced and varied diet based on a good nutrition program. The diet should be low in fats, moderate in carbohydrate and protein. The program should be high in fibre and contain a varied amount of foods to provide the required amount of vitamins and minerals.

Step No 2

Look at the type of carbohydrates that you consume during the day. Look at the carbs that you eat the most, as these will have the most dramatic impact on your diet.

Try to change the carbs you eat the most with at least one low GI one. (Replace potato with sweet potato, use noodles instead of rice) By substituting half of your daily carbohydrate from high GI to low GI will result in an overall reduction in the GI of your diet.

Reducing the GI in your diet reduces your insulin levels and increases the fat burning apparatus in your body. Try to reduce the high GI’s in your diet by substituting them with low GI’s.

Regular consumption of low GI foods increases the feelings of fullness and satisfaction and so prevents weight gain. Try taking in six small meals a day of healthy low fat low GI foods to prevent overeating at meal times and control appetite.

Remember, that it is also important to look at the calories in food to. Rice and bread might be low in fat but when your body is burning the carbohydrates in these foods it doesn’t burn as much fat. So if you are on a low fat diet, you wont lose as much weight if your calories are still high.

Have a look at the table below for the different GI food ratings.

Low GI (<50) Medium GI (50-70) High GI (70>)
Grapefruit (26) Pineapple (66) Cornflakes (80)
Baked Beans (15) Raisins (64) W/M Bread (72)
Lentils (29) Sweet corn (59) Brown Rice (80)
Peanuts (13) Potato Chips (51) Carrots (92)
Soy Beans (15) All bran (51) Baked Potato (98)

Compare these two menus and try to adjust your diet accordingly.

High GI Menu

Breakfast: 40 Grams of cornflakes with milk. Two slices of whole meal toast with margarine and jam.

Snack: Two sweet biscuits with a white coffee.

Lunch: Ham and salad whole meal Roll with an apple.

Snack: Four crackers with cottage cheese and chives

Main Meal: Serving of Roast chicken with a large baked potato and peas. Small piece of cake.

Low GI Menu

Breakfast: 40 Grams of bran with low fat milk. Two slices of low GI toast (Try Burgen) with margarine and jam.

Snack: Two oatmeal biscuits with a coffee (Low fat milk).

Lunch: Ham and salad Roll (Low GI bread). Soft-serve vanilla yoghurt with toasted muesli sprinkled on top.

Snack: Two bananas.

Main Meal: Serving of Roast chicken with a small baked potato and peas. Two scoops of low fat ice cream with half a cup of canned peaches.

Chicken, beef, fish, eggs, nuts, and avocados contain very little or no carbohydrates. These foods if eaten by themselves will not have much effect on your glucose levels and are very low GI. Alcoholic beverages especially wine are also low GI so can be included in your diet but remember to count them in your daily caloric intake.

Low GI foods are ideal for losing weight due to the slow absorption from the stomach. Low GI foods also help to keep blood sugar levels more stable and this has an effect on reducing sweet cravings.

Pay Per Click Advertising – 4 Things For Newbies To Note

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is something most new website owners find difficult to master. The way PPC works is simple, you open a free account with a search engine (eg Google or Yahoo), then you place an advertisement for your website with a list of words (these are your “keywords”) you wish to have trigger the showing of your ad, state how much you are willing to pay (“bid”) for each visitor who clicks the ad and ends up on your website and set a daily maximum budget figure. The PPC search engine will then start to deliver visitors (“traffic”) to your website.

When somebody types one of your keywords into the search engine, your advertisement will be shown. Its position will depend upon the amount you offered (“bid”) on the keyword. The highest bidder gets number 1 position, the next highest gets to number 2 and so on (in the event of a “tied” bid, the position is decided on first come first served basis). The higher the position of your ad, the larger the number of people who will see it and the more likely you are to receive visits to your website. It is called Pay Per Click because you only get charged when someone clicks the link to your website, there is no fee for showing your advertisement.

The first thing to note is that although the way PPC works is simple, that is not the same as saying it is easy to use Pay Per Click advertising. Some people seem to take to PPC as naturally as breathing but, for the vast majority of people, PPC involves a steep learning curve and lots of experimenting and testing. For some people PPC brings major grief, lots of frustration and sometimes a lot of wasted expense. Here are a few simple tips to help anyone just starting out with Pay Per Click advertising.

Search Engine Size Matters.

There are literally hundreds of search engines for you to choose from when starting to use PPC Advertising. Some of these smaller companies will accept bids on keywords for a fraction of the minimum bid required by the bigger search engines. However, it would be a false economy to look only at price, you also need to take volume and quality of traffic into account as well as time spent managing your advertising campaigns. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft control about 90% of the total volume of search engine traffic between them. The remaining traffic is spread between the hundreds of smaller search engines. This means you might need to set up campaigns with 20 small search engines to match the traffic you would get from one Yahoo campaign. You might well be getting cheaper clicks this way but you would be spending 20 times as long managing the campaigns. Time is money: stick with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft when you first start using PPC advertising and save experimenting with small companies for later when experience will give you an advantage.

Never Pay More Than A Visit Is Worth.

Of course you want to get as many visitors to your website as possible but never be tempted to increase your bids above a level you know will be profitable. There is no point in getting to the number 1 position for a search term if you have to pay more per click than a visitor will potentially earn for you. Work out your conversion rate (ie what percentage of visitors actually make a purchase) to estimate how much each visitor to your website is worth) and make sure your bids stay below that figure with a comfortable margin for profit. The way to get more visitors is to use more keywords, use the keyword research tool the search engine provides, select keywords carefully for relevance and add them to your campaigns.

Avoid The Obvious

Look for cheaper, less popular keywords and keyword phrases and take advantage of them to bring visitors at a much lower cost than the obvious popular keywords. Single words and two or three word phrases are most popular and, therefore, most expensive. Use keyword research tools to locate longer keyword phrases, similes and less frequently searched terms. Make sure your keyword research is matched to the individual search engines. The best keywords for Yahoo, might not perform well in a Microsoft campaign, so use the keyword tool provided by each company to build up your keywords and keyword phrases for the particular search engine.

Don’t Think “Seen One Seen Them All”

Take time to learn how each search engine works. Although PPC works on the same principles throughout the Internet, each search engine has a different interface. The way you set up and manage a campaign effectively is different with each one and it is essential that you spend time learning how each one works. Failure to do this can mean you end up doing things the hard way or, worse still, it can cost you money. The search engines have different rules, eg on what words may be used in ads and the way keywords relate to your landing page. This means you can’t take your Yahoo ads and keywords and just upload them into a Google or Microsoft campaign. Make sure you understand exactly how to set your maximum bid and daily budget level for each individual campaign: if you get that part wrong you could be waving goodbye to large amounts of wasted cash.

Debt–The New American Slavery

Lately, an unusual phenomenon has been sweeping the United States. Although our country is known for the freedom it provides for its citizens, millions of Americans are willingly subjecting themselves to financial servitude—a form of slavery.

Financial servitude has a long history in the United States. In the 1600s and 1700s, it was very expensive for immigrants to come to America. Most immigrants didn’t have money for the trip, so they would find an American benefactor to pay their way. To pay off the debt once they arrived in America, the immigrants would work for up to 8 years in “indentured servitude” to their benefactors. Both parties benefited from this arrangement. The benefactors gained laborers and apprentices for their businesses, and the immigrants would soon have the freedom to pursue opportunities in the New World.

Today, Americans have rediscovered financial servitude. This time, however, we do not subject ourselves to servitude to find opportunity in the New World, but for new shoes, fancy dinners, expensive cars, and stainless steel appliances. Through credit cards, home equity loans, and other forms of debt, we borrow money until our bills determine when and how much we work—often at jobs we don’t even like.

Americans used to avoid debt, but lately we have been persuaded to embrace it. The process starts early—high school and college students receive pre-approved credit cards although their only income comes from babysitting or mowing their neighbor’s lawn. We are encouraged to borrow money to buy everything from groceries and clothing to cars and houses. Debt has become an accepted part of our everyday life.

The result? In August 2006, United States consumer debt reached an all-time high of $2.35 trillion*, real estate foreclosures are soaring nationwide**, and millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Americans are under a level of financial stress that hasn’t been seen for generations.

It is time we reclaimed control of our money and our lives. But how?

I turn to my personal experiences for the answer. I know the agony and despair of being burdened by a paralyzing amount of debt. I also know what it’s like to triumph over that same debt.

When I was in college, I used debt to finance a lifestyle that I couldn’t afford. I used credit cards to buy CDs, an expensive bicycle, skis, stereo equipment, clothes, dinners for my dates, concert tickets, and airplane tickets.

I expected that once I graduated and began work as an aerospace engineer, I would quickly pay off my debt. It didn’t work out that way. Instead of using my new salary to pay off debt, I moved into a house with some friends and upgraded to a more expensive car. I also continued buying fancy dinners to impress the girls and taking costly trips.

It wasn’t long before my paychecks didn’t last as long as my bills. I ran out of money long before payday. I was in trouble. I sat down with a stack of my bills and added up how much I owed. I was shocked at the total. I was 24 years old and sunk into despair because I saw no way of paying off my debt before I was 40. At night, I’d wake up in a panic, worried about my future.

After a period of feeling helpless and depressed, I became determined to come up with a plan to pay off my debt. I read books about personal finance, created a budget, and tried to stick to it. However, I had limited success and my debt continued to grow.

I realized that I was unsuccessful at controlling my finances because before I could change the way I handled money, I had to change the way I thought about money. I began creating a money philosophy that transformed the way I looked at money and made it possible for me to pay off my debt and regain control of my finances and my life. My philosophy was based on 10 lessons and ideas.

The first lesson?

Debt is slavery.

For some people, the idea equating debt to slavery is extreme. But while I was paying off my debt, I went to work every day not because I wanted to, but because I had to. I owed a lot of money to a lot of people. If I didn’t go to work, I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills, my car would be repossessed, and my life would be in ruins.

I had to go to work because of the things I bought using credit—my car, my bicycle, the long-gone dinners and last year’s ski trips. I also didn’t have the freedom to take advantage of opportunities. I had to turn down a chance to go on a three-month trip around Europe because I couldn’t afford both the cost and the time off from work.

I had become a slave to my debt.

After I realized that debt is slavery, every time I was tempted to pull out my credit card, I thought “Borrowing money makes me a debt slave.” That idea alone gave me the strength to stop accumulating debt, which made it easier to for me to pay off my debt.

So the next time you pull our your credit card to buy something, remember—debt is slavery. Stop borrowing money, concentrate on paying off your debt, and maybe your period of financial servitude will shorter than the 8 years of our immigrant ancestors.

*Federal Reserve Statistical Release G.19. Consumer Credit. 6 Oct. 2006
**Coolidge, Carrie. “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Forbes 21 Sept. 2006

The “REAL” Real Estate Roller Coaster

Buying a home is a process fraught with emotional ups and downs. For most people, it’ll will be the most expensive and involved purchase they ever make. On top of the indisputable importance of this purchase, is the indisputable lack of time one has to make a decision before purchasing a home. The average amount of time a potential homebuyer spends looking at a prospective home is 96 minutes! For a home that you may spend the next ten to twenty years living in, well, an hour and a half seems like an un-justly short amount of time to make such a drastic decision. This “hot” decision making environment, where the pressure is on, is one of the key aspects of buyer’s emotional stress. But, the fact is, good homes sell fast, and buyers have to be ready to commit to a purchase in a short time. This being said, the “sure fire” way to make a good decision in a such a short period of time, is to learn to become a smart, analytical shopper. Not that emotions need to go entirely by the way side- but you must know when emotions are playing into your decision making process, what is at the core of those emotions and whether or not they are helpful to your process. Be your psychologist, and the sooner you’ll get off the doctor’s couch and into a new home!

One approach to help mitigate the emotional roller coaster of the buying process is to truly set out your specific priorities in terms of what you want and need in your new home. Ask yourself, ” In order of importance, what are the most important elements for my/.our new home?” Proximity to schools, the location of the neighborhood, commuting distance, property taxes, energy efficiency, shopping accessibility, and recreational facilities are just a few of the considerations a buyer should prioritize beforehand. If purchasing with a spouse or partner, you may discover your priorities are slightly or even greatly different. It is very important that you spend the time to make concessions and get on the same page as best you can.

Other aspects of your priority list may include the type of home you are looking for. These parameters could involve the size of the home or a particular style of home. If you’re set on a particular style of home, this may effect the neighborhood parameter of your search, as not all houses of certain types are in every neighborhood. So, as you see, one way to help curb emotional reactions, is to make sure you know what you’re looking for, and in doing so narrow your search. This way, what you’ll be looking at will be within the list of parameters you set out in your priorities. You can then rank homes based on how well they fit into your priority system. Of course, there will be concession to be made here, as it may not be that a home fits your every single priority in exact order- but at least you’ve done some good analytical homework in advance and have a system for ranking your prospects.

Another tip for dealing with emotions, is to catch yourself when you are honing in on one particular feature of a home, as the “dream feature” of the home. A “dream home”, should be so, because it satisfies those myriad components (priorities) that create “your dream of your home”. You may want to check in and ask yourself if your being clouded by one enticing feature and have lost touch with your list of priorities.

Another dangerous aspect of buying a home based on your “gut” feeling, is that your guttural instinct may be good for you, but not so great for re-sale. It is, in almost all cases, very important that you consider the potential re-sale value of your home as one of your top priorities. You don’t want to be stuck with a “dream home” that turns out to be everybody else’s nightmare. The investment aspect of purchasing a home, lies in it’s re-sale value. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to buy in a well-established, totally investment-proof neighborhood. You may have done your homework and feel confident in buying in a neighborhood that has great potential for five to ten years down the line. Likewise, the home you are investing in may need improvements that you have the funds and/or the expertise to accomplish. But, you must at least consider the re-sale value of your potential home. Otherwise, you could be investing in a money pit, that you’ll never be able to get off your hands.

Keep in mind, smart sellers are bound to know the realm of buyers emotions, and will appeal to your weaknesses. Keep critical eye sharp, especially when a home seems to smell of professional home staging. It’s not that home staging is trickery, or dishonest, but you might need to work extra hard to look beyond the beautiful and well-appointed furniture and the incredible artwork and the enticing smell of apple pie- as none of the above are included in your purchase. Just make sure you look at the house itself and not it’s decor, set-up- and, DON’T EAT THE PIE!

If all these steps have been taken, you’ve approached the searching process having analyzed and prioritized your wants and needs, and you’ve considered the re-sale potential of the properties, then you can allow your emotions to guide you somewhat. Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough and smart enough to mine out two potential properties that both fit your priorities and parameters, at this point, a bit of the old gut instinct can refine your process and actually help, and not hinder the decision making process.

Money Management And Payday Loans

There are a number of ways that people can use to manage money to stay out of debt and even establish savings over time.

Establish a Budget

The first, and maybe the most important step, is to set a budget for yourself and stick by it. Take a look at your household income and outgo. Set the budget up to accommodate your payday schedule. In other words, if you get paid once a month, then you have to budget accordingly so that you won’t run out of money before the end of the month. If you get paid every two weeks, or every week, figure out which of your bills have to be paid on each payday. It is absolutely essential to set some money aside for emergencies. Even if it is only $20 per payday, having some cushion will keep you from having to borrow money when something unforeseen occurs. There are all kinds of budget sheets available to help you figure things out and many of them are free on the Internet. However, it is not hard to make your own. Just make a list of your income and when it arrives, as well as a list of what has to be paid when. Check each item off and date it when it is paid. Don’t forget to budget adequate amounts for items like food, gas, entertainment, etc. If you have those items in your budget, it’s also a good way to track how much you are actually spending on them each month.

Get Organized

A good way to begin the budgeting process is to sort out all of your legal and financial papers and file them so you can find what you need when you need it. For example put bills that are due on the 10th of the month in one folder, and bills that are due on the 25th in another folder. Once you have paid a particular bill, shred it and dispose of it, in order to save confusion. Any other financial information, like savings accounts, mutual funds, etc. should also be stored in appropriately labeled folders. At the first of the year, when your tax documents start coming in, put them all in one folder with the tax forms. When April 15 rolls around, you won’t have to dig through piles of mail on your desk to come up with all of the appropriate documents and forms. Items like insurance policies should also be labeled and file so that you can readily find them if and when you need them.

Find Ways to Save Money

Do some brainstorming about your expenses and how you could possibly cut back on them. It is wise to write them down on paper because it is less easy to dismiss them that way. For example, can you cut down on the amount of gas you use by taking public transportation? If you eat out often, consider making more meals at home. Examine your buying habits. Do you go shopping when you are depressed? Do you go grocery shopping when you are hungry? Do you purchase items advertised on the shopping channel without every leaving your easy chair? These are all practices you can change. Find healthier activities for when you are feeling down – go for a long walk instead of going shopping. Make a grocery list and carefully plan what groceries you need for the coming week, then go to the store and buy them. Coupons can be advantageous if you buy name brand items, but store brands are often cheaper in the long run. Watch the weekly sales flyers in the local newspaper and buy items like meat when they are on sale. It’s handy to have something in the freezer to fix, and less costly in the long run than making a quick trip to the store after work and picking up only what you need for that night’s meal.

Find Ways to Make More Money

Get an extra part time job, or work overtime at your regular job, if possible. Clear out your attic or your garage and have a yard sale. You may be happily surprised at the amount of money you can bring in. These days, many people make money selling items through online auction sites like ebay, and don’t have to sort and tag and have people running all over your yard for a day. If there is a local farmer’s market, consider something you can sell there. If you have extra produce from your garden, or are a good baker, you will find that people are readily willing to buy things that you can grow or make. If you make extra money, don’t increase your expenses. Either use it to pay off bills, or put it away for savings.

Choose Credit Carefully

If you have to have a credit card, shop around for the best deal. Some credit cards have yearly fees that have to be paid whether you ever use the card or not. Interest rates vary widely. Make sure you know what the interest rate is and shop around for the lowest. If you charge something, pay it off before the end of the month, then it won’t cost you any interest on the card. Don’t use more than one credit card. It’s too easy to get into the cycle of living on the credit cards and never really paying more than the interest on them. This is a practice that will get you deeper into debt in the long run.

Payday Loans

If you have an emergency and need to get a payday loan, make sure you investigate and find the one that is the best deal for you. The amount of interest charged varies widely from company to company and so does the repayment period. Find the loan that gives you the most flexibility for the least fees. Try to never roll your payday loan over, but pay it off in full by the due date.

Journey To The Center of The Self…Guide To Inner Wisdom

As we look at the pain in the world around us, we see many things we deeply desire to heal and change. Many of those things seem beyond our ability to influence and change.

There is one thing we can change – our relationship to ourselves. We can look deep within, moving closer to the truth of who we are. In doing so, we move beyond the limitations of our personality and the world around us begins to transform. Radiant joy and love emerge and are contagious.

Getting to know your Higher Self is a loving and powerful way to move closer toward healing and self-realization. The Higher Self knows everything about us and sees the bigger picture. It knows all of our past lives, our dreams, frustrations, relationships, our different personalities, the lessons we are learning, all possible choices, the past and our potential future. The Higher Self can be a wonderful guide. Just imagine the possibility of seeing everything more clearly, feeling the joy and security of knowing that your choices are taking you toward your highest good!

As we face challenges and move through difficulties, many times we feel lonely, isolated or misunderstood by others. By getting your Higher Self involved in daily life, you will be able to feel loved, nurtured, and deeply understood. Your Higher Self is always there for you, in a way that another human being is not able to be. It is always ready to give you all the attention you need, always loving, has your highest good in mind – guiding you ever closer to unlimited source.

As we grow and evolve we sometimes find that our personality is not enough to support our expanded, abundant Self. We sense and know the possibility of true prosperous living, but our old patterns of thinking and doing don’t give us the guidance we need to actualize our spiritual ideals and transform our lives. We need a means of finding our way through the day to day reality of living, in a way that supports our Soul’s expansive desires. The Higher Self is the voice of the Soul. Creating a “best friend” relationship with your Higher Self can provide immediate and insightful help for the challenges of everyday living.

With our Higher Self as navigator we can deepen relationships with others through Soul to Soul communication. Previously unsolvable problems and conflicted relationships can be healed and problems resolved. The love connection between souls transcends all personality differences. The Higher Self also sees all opportunities for growth, allowing you to utilize your experiences in a more loving and joyful way.

This deep, expansive communion with the Self is one of the most powerful and direct ways to access the Soul’s ability to help you with all of your choices. The experience is also exquisitely beautiful and profoundly intimate. More intimate that any human relationship. Who could possibly know you better and love you more deeply than the being you came through to be on this earth?

This intimacy with the Higher Self is what so many are seeking in a “Soul Mate”. The innate longing for completion, to be with your other half, the one that was created for you at the beginning of time, the one you were meant to be with – forever. That one is your own Soul.

Imagine for a moment that you are now able to feel, taste, touch and know that wondrous union right here, right now. At last, here is the endless love you have been seeking which transcends this human existence. Look deeply into those ancient eyes and see only the truth of love shining back at you and know that this wise one has been with you always. Your heart opens as you feel the trust that comes from true commitment. As your heart opens wider, allow yourself to be embraced by this great being of love and bright light. Feel the strength, beauty, power and love of this ancient one flow through you. Your own heart knows the truth; you know who this is… your Soul.

Feel your heart call to this one. Invite it to flow into your heart, embracing it. A deep trust and recognition arises as your Soul’s energy fills your heart. You know this connection is familiar, from the light, from the source. Secret memories are now remembered. Ah, warmth and safety at last. Listen with your heart….your Soul is now speaking. Words of encouragement…hope…love…gentle soothing phrases drawing you closer. See how delighted this wise being is to see you, radiating magnificent colors and bright light. It has been waiting for you, waiting for this union, waiting to merge with you at last.

How long have you been waiting for this moment? How many times have you joined in this completion? The years of separateness drift away as you experience the ecstasy of true love. Rest in the peace of knowing you have come home at last.

To experience your Self in this way is an amazing gift and a great service to our precious planet. Everyone can learn to turn within and commune with the Self. The rewards can be astonishing. With practice, the heart continues to open, the healing process quickens, life becomes more joyful and the world around us begins to change. Intimacy with the true Self purifies the heart allowing you to experience your own true abundant nature. Discovering pure joy and true happiness need not be difficult. It takes a only willing heart and practice.