Sunday, November 30, 2008

Vince Loambardi

"Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will and be judged by only one thing: the result."
-- Vince Lombardi, football coach

Saturday, November 29, 2008

How to Heal When Your Husband Has Been Unfaithful

by Cathi Adams

Lisa knew that something had changed with her husband. He was working longer hours, was tense and showed little interest in her or the children's activities. She never suspected her husband, who was a leader in their place of worship and community, would be unfaithful. She was blindsided when her husband came home one night and said he wanted a divorce because he had fallen in love with another woman. Lisa was lucky. She had her own job and money and was able to get a good attorney and win custody of their two children. The psychological effects of her husband's cheating proved to be the most difficult aspect of her divorce.

Any type of betrayal is devastating. Adultery cuts into the belief that for better or worse, your spouse will be faithful. The key to your healing is in how you view yourself after you have been betrayed.

 * It's not about you. Your husband didn't cheat because you weren't pretty enough, thin enough or interesting enough. Your husband cheated because he broke his marriage vows—period.

 * Revenge is not the answer. Don't have an affair to get back at your spouse. Don't smash out his car windows. These things sound good in songs and may make you feel better temporarily. But your actions could be used against you. You will feel better in the long run if you don't resort to cheap revenge tactics.

 * Don't compare yourself to the "other woman." She may appear to be younger, smarter and richer, but you are you! No one can offer what you can to the world. If your spouse can't see all the wonderful things about you, it is his loss.

 * If children are involved in the divorce, try to shield them from the details as much as possible. Particularly in small towns, affairs are fuel for gossip. Your husband is still your children's father and you don't want the children to hear the salacious stories of the father's infidelity. Even when you are hurting, try to put on a brave front for the children.

 * Learn to trust again. You are not fully healed if you are carrying the effects of the betrayal into your other relationships. Adultery not only affects future romances, but relationships with co-workers and family. You may feel that if your husband could have betrayed you, anyone can. Don't fall into the trap of believing that all people are untrustworthy and will hurt you.

 * Take care of yourself. You may be tempted to let everything go and spend your nights crying while watching revenge movies and eating cartons of ice cream. Sleep well and eat right. Give yourself a spa day. Spend time with your friends. Do something your spouse would not do with you. Don't left life stop because someone broke your trust.

Give yourself time to heal. Betrayal cuts deep. Don't hide your feelings. If you feel like you are having a hard time, don't be afraid to seek help. You can turn to a professional therapist or seek counseling from a spiritual advisor. The most important thing is to not let your husband's betrayal ruin your life. Life is too short and has too many wonderful things still to offer you.

(c) 2003-2008 Cathi Adams.

Cathi Adams is the author of "Divorce Secrets: What Every Women Should Know." This invaluable resource provides steps to ensure financial security to woman faced with the possibility of divorce. Visit her web site for a FREE report -What You Absolutely Must Know Before You Even THINK About Getting A Divorce:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This chapter is for all salespeople...and every person sells something every day - whether it's an idea to your spouse, or to your business asociates. All businesses and people involve some form of selling, because everyday we are selling ourselves and our ideas to our families and many other people. Nothing happens until a sale is made - in business and daily in the "river of life".

I'll now share some ideas from my experiences in the days in the business world, the "corporate jungle" ("many many moons ago"...

All salespeople need motivation, stimulation and inspiration (daily). One of the best sources of inspiration is the ideas of other achievers. Anyway, here are some thoughts of mine on selling skills from my work in my previous career.

REMEMBER the following from the "Salesman's (and woman's of course!) Creed".

"Thou art out to make a living, not a killing.

If thy prospect quits listening, thou should quit talking."

The best way you can avoid being rejected is to never ask for the order.

The hardest thing about this business is getting in front of the right people. Prospecting is 80 of the sales process.

Sales success is not a secret, it's a system - and the key is systematic prospecting. For Gold!

We have many chances to make a lasting impression; but only one chance to make a first impression.

"You can get everything in life you want, if you help enough people get what they want" (thanks Zig Zigler)."

The buying decision is made in the buyers mind - not yours.

Selling is 15 per cent product knowledge and 85% people knowledge.

You cannot be one kind of person and another kind of salesperson. Your customer's favourite topic of conversation isn't the weather or sport or the news - it's themselves. So when you're selling a product, stress how it will BENEFIT THEM. Radio "WAIIFM" (= "what's in it for me").


Stress the BENEFITS and not the features of your product or service. What will your idea to to enhance the life of your customer.

"INCREASE, IMPROVE, REDUCE, SAVE": These are key words to "turn on" consumers; so "press their hot buttons". From saving comes having.

Use KASH (your knowledge, attitude, skills and habits).

Use the words "why not?".

and always remember,

Get your sales message, your presentation in front of as many prospects as possible; because...

The more you TELL, the more you SELL.

A mediocre representative (or agent) tells, a good agent explains, a superior agent demonstates. However, a great agent INSPIRES buyers to see the benefits of the product as their own."

Managing your business only for profit is like playing tennis with your eye on the scoreboard.

So have FUN in whatever you do.

Happy selling (as you ride down the 'rapids of life')*

Eagle Productions ("Information and Inspiration Distributors, Incorrigible Encouragers and People-builders")

* that's a metaphor, btw!

P.S: There really are no secrets in effective selling, I believe (see title). Just be friendly and be yourself with a genuine desire to do your best for your customer...and you will sell plenty of product. This extract is from "Quote, Unquote": A collection of motivational, inspirational quotations on various subjects, together with personal anecdotes, which inpired the author to start writing as a new "career" . Get a "proper job", craig!

About the author:
Craig has worked many years in the field of marketing (a "normal job") and has studied and written extensively in the field of self help. Craig believes in the great potential of every human being in the journey of life and loves to encourage people to become all that they are CAPABLE of being. and

Most Complex Problems Have Simple Solutions

Many years ago in a small Indian village,
A farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village moneylender. The Moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter. So he proposed a bargain.
He said he would forgo the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.
So the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. Then the girl would have to pick one pebble from the bag.
1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven.
2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven.
3) But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.
They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer's field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag.
He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.
Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?
Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:
1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.
2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the money-lender as a cheat.
3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.
Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.
The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses the above logical answers.
What would you recommend to the Girl to do?
Well, here is what she did ....
The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.
"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."
Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.
Most complex problems do have a solution. It is only that we don't attempt to think.

Michael Jackson Punjabi Style

This is a classic!!

When Customers Just Don't Appreciate You -- Turn It Around with Law of Attraction

by Andrea Conway

It's frustrating when your customers' actions don't match their glowing feedback. They say they love you, your services and products, but they don't give you the commitment and repeat business to prove it. In fact, sometimes they leave no matter how hard you try to please them.

What gives?

In order to change your customer dynamic, understand your part in creating it and know how to work with the Law of Attraction to change it. Any Law of Attraction success coach will emphasize to you that like attracts like. Accept responsibility: you receive what you've been sending out. It's a tough pill to swallow, but customers are your mirror. Here's what to do:

Step 1: Stop complaining about your customers. The more you talk about, think about, and focus on their actions and behavior, the more Law of Attraction will match that experience in your life. It's shocking how many businesses routinely complain about customers. What you focus on expands.

Step 2: Practice genuine gratitude and appreciation for the customers you have. Sure it's challenging to find love for customers in your heart when part of you is judging them for what you perceive as wrong behavior. But don't expect gratitude to change them. The key is to change you. Your hard heart is the problem, not your customers. Find authentic appreciation in your heart, and you will attract it from others. (And enjoy your business more too.)

Step 3: Make room for spirituality in business. Regularly focus on your spirit within and acknowledge its power to fulfill your abundance. Spirituality in business allows you to look to your deeper self—instead of to your customers—to attract success.

Bottom line
: Instead of responding to customers' behaviors by trying to control them, focus on your own behaviors. Be grateful for your unappreciative customers. Their gift to you is an opportunity to change yourself. As a solopreneur, commitment to your own growth is the key to success.

Andrea Conway, M.Ed., C.C., is the law of attraction success mentor for solopreneurs and small business owners ready to make all the money they want at the business they love. Get an instant bonus e-report, "Fire Up Your Business Success Using the Law of Attraction," when you subscribe to her free e-zine at  You could qualify for a free 30-minute coaching session!

Finding Health Insurance After a Divorce

by Cathi Adams

When you were married, your spouse may have included you on their health insurance policy through their employer. If you don't work or if you employer does not offer health insurance, you may be worried about what you will do about health insurance after you divorce. In an unstable economy with exorbitant health care costs, you want to have the insurance. Here are some tips for hanging onto coverage or getting new coverage after your divorce.

 * Ask that your spouse be required to keep you on the insurance policy after the divorce is final. Your soon-to-be ex may not want to do this because it could cost extra. But if your spouse's plan is a family plan and he will be keeping the children on the plan, it may not cost him a dime. You will likely have to pay for the out of pocket expenses and co-pays. If you have been a stay-at-home parent, your chances of getting the judge to order continuing health coverage for you are high.

 * If your spouse refuses to keep you on his plan, ask for cash to help defray the costs. If you will receive alimony, include the health insurance cost. If you are not receiving alimony, ask for either a lump sum of money (at least enough to pay for two years of coverage).

 * Shop around for coverage if you have to purchase it on your own. The Internet is a great resource for health insurance. You can get free rate quotes from companies like United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you are financially strapped but healthy, choose a low monthly premium and high deductible. If you suffer from a chronic disease like diabetes, you may need a low deductible and prescription plan. These types of coverage are not cheap and you may be required to take a physical before coverage can begin.

 * Consider a health savings account. These plans are 100 percent tax deductible. These plans let you put away some money to use only for health-related expenses.

 * Find out if you are eligible for a state or federally sponsored plan. If you are older, you may qualify for Medicare. Some states have a health insurance plan for those who can't afford health insurance on their own.

 * If you have children, make sure that no matter what, they have health insurance. You may have to force your ex to keep the children on his plan or pay for new insurance. Make sure you don't have to worry about their health.

If you can't afford the health insurance premiums, consider a medical discount card. You can purchase these cards for a small monthly fee. You will get discounts on most medical services, but tests and screenings are often not included. These plans also cover most major emergencies and surgeries. A prescription plan is often included. However, if you need prescriptions, most major pharmacies like Wal-Mart and Walgreen's now offer many generic prescriptions for about $4.

(c) 2008 Cathi Adams.

Cathi Adams is the author of "Divorce Secrets: What Every Women Should Know." This invaluable resource provides steps to ensure financial security to woman faced with the possibility of divorce. Visit her web site for a FREE report -What You Absolutely Must Know Before You Even THINK About Getting A Divorce:

Sound Advise from Microsoft for Business Start-Ups

Free advice for start-ups.   Microsoft blogger Don Dodge rarely misses an important conference, and earlier this month he was in San Francisco for the annual Web 2.0 Summit. Dodge, based in New Hampshire, posted some notes from a talk given by venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins. Doerr offered some coping advice for start-ups facing the recession:

# Act now, get more financing from existing investors.

# Protect the vital core of the business. Be clear about what is core.

# Have 18 months of cash on hand based on a conservative revenue forecast.

# Defer all [capital expenditures] and large purchases.

# Reevaluate R&D priorities.

# Renegotiate all contracts, including rent. You will be surprised what can be renegotiated for a lower price or better terms.

# Everyone in the company should be selling . . . Everyone!

# Offer equity instead of cash for everything.

# Secure your cash in T-bills. Money markets aren't safe enough.

# Figure out the leading indicators of your revenues so that you can react quickly if things get worse.

# Over-communicate. Don't sugar coat anything. Be honest and don't be afraid to say you don't know.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Marital Strife Manual

101 ways to Start a Fight

My wife sat down on the couch next to me as I was flipping channels. She asked, 'What's on TV?' I said, 'Dust.' And then the fight started...

My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.' I bought her a scale. And then the fight started...
> ------------------------

When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her someplace expensive... so, I took her to a gas station. And then the fight started...
> ---------------------------------

After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.
The woman said, 'Unbutton your shirt'. So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, 'That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me' and she processed my Social Security application.
When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office. She said, 'You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability, too.' And then the fight started...
> ------------------------------

My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table. My wife asked, 'Do you know her?'
'Yes,' I sighed, 'She's my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since.'
'My God!' says my wife, 'who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?' And then the fight started...
> -------

I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order first. "I'll have the strip steak, medium rare, please."
He said, "Aren't you worried about the mad cow?"
" Nah, she can order for herself." And then the fight started...
>--------------------------------- --------------------------

A woman is standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror. She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, 'I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'
The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's damn near perfect.' And then the fight started.....

I tried to talk my wife into buying a case of Miller Light for $14.95. Instead, she bought a jar of cold cream for $7.95. I told her the beer would make her look better at night than the cold cream. And then the fight started....

My wife asked me if a certain dress made her butt look big. I told her not as much as the dress she wore yesterday and then the fight started.....

A man and a woman were asleep like two innocent babies. Suddenly, at 3 o'clock in the morning, a loud noise came from outside. The woman, bewildered, jumped up from the bed and yelled at the man 'Holy crap. That must be my husband!'
So the man jumped out of the bed; scared and naked jumped out the window. He smashed himself on the ground, ran through a thorn bush and to his car as fast as he could go.
A few minutes later he returned and went up to the bedroom and screamed at the woman, 'I AM your husband!' The woman yelled back, 'Yeah, then why were you running?' And then the fight started.....

Saturday morning I got up early, quietly dressed, made my lunch, grabbed the dog, and slipped quietly into the garage. I hooked up the boat up to the truck, and proceeded to back out into a torrential downpour. The wind was blowing 50 mph, so I pulled back into the garage, turned on the radio, and discovered that the weather would be bad all day. I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. I cuddled up to my wife's back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, 'The weather out there is terrible.'
My loving wife of 10 years replied, 'Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that?' And then the fight started ...

I asked my wife, "Where do you want to go for our anniversary?" It warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation. "Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!" she said.
So I suggested, "How about the kitchen?" And that's when the fight started....

My wife and I are watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed. I turned to her and said, "Do you want to have sex?" "No," she answered. I then said, "Is that your final answer?" She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying "Yes." So I said, "Then I'd like to phone a friend." And that's when the fight started....

When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first: the truck, the car, e-mail, fishing, always something more important to me. Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point.
When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a few minutes. When I came out again I handed her a toothbrush.
'When you finish cutting the grass,' I said, 'you might as well sweep the driveway.' and then the fight started...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Recession Travel Opportunities: Part One - Getting There By Car

by Anson Werner

During this current recession, many people are postponing and canceling vacations, for fear of the future economic conditions. But many of us still need some time away from home - a break from the everyday. There is so much information that I need to share with you on this topic, so this article is being presented in two parts: "getting there by car" and "airplane travel".

Pick A Destination That Is A Comfortable Drive Away

Before we had children, my wife and I would travel every summer to visit her distant family members, 500 miles away. We would make that drive in a day, spending about ten hours on the road, with an hour layover for lunch at the midpoint of our journey. Since having the children, we have only made that drive twice, both times staying in a hotel overnight at the halfway point of our journey. It is just really tough to expect a child to endure a ten-hour road trip.

Since those earlier experiences with the children, we have opted to keep our road trips to no more than one-day's driving. If we want to make the trip to visit my wife's family, we opt for either a RV rental or an airplane ride. Given the hyper energy of our children, the RV rental provided the better option, since the two hours early requirement of air travel security forces us to try to tie down the kids for long periods of time anyway.

Given where we live, five hours drive time gives us the option of about seven major metropolitans we can visit by car. Interestingly, the need to find restrooms for the children, along the main thoroughfares in our travel routes, has permitted us to discover interesting destinations that we used to overlook in our earlier travels.

When I was young, my father was a master of this kind of travel. In his job, he was a route supervisor for a major food company. In his journeys around our state and neighboring states, he was able to locate interesting destinations during his work travels. He would then document these locations and build family vacations around these off-the-beaten-track tourism destinations.

On one such vacation, we visited a sod house in the Great Plains of North America. Ironically, I remember the destination more for his silly joke, than for the house itself. He told me of a man, who had built a sod house for his family. He said he built the house, and for the longest time, his wife complained that he was only able to build a house that was dark and dank. He said that finally a door-to-door salesman arrived to sell them a solution to their problem. Then my dad asked me what the couple bought. I did not know. My dad told me that the salesman had sold them windows for their home, and then my dad laughed hysterically.

Food On The Road

My wife and I ate out yesterday for lunch, and we dropped $25 plus tip on our meal. Even in today's higher food price environment, we can feed all three kids and ourselves for three days with the same $25, if we opt for lunch meat, cheese and bread from our ice chest.

Even if you are taking the kids to McDonald's for a quick meal, you are likely to be out $15 per meal, at this recession-friendly restaurant.

Given the fact that your kids need to eat three meals per day, plus snacks, any travel of any length could eventually cost you a lot of money, if you choose to take every meal in a restaurant.

If you plan to stay at a hotel while on the road, see if you can find hotels that offer continental breakfasts, as that can help you to reduce your food costs by one more meal per day. Many hotel restaurants and other restaurants are offering, "Kids eat free" to get customers into the door. Seek these businesses out, to save even more money, during your travels.

Take Advantage Of Tourism And Shopping Coupons

There are a number of sources available to help people get all the discount coupons they need to help their dollar go further. Are you familiar with the discount coupon books available in your hometown? If so, it helps to remember that these are available in most every city in the nation. Here is a list of such coupon sources:

 * Entertainment Coupons (, searchable by city or zip code. Entertainment coupons can help you: save money on restaurant dining (with 50% off coupons and 2 for the price of one offers); hotel, car rental and airline discounts; discount tickets for movies, sporting events, concerts, and plays; shopping discounts and more.

 * Convention and Visitor Bureaus - CVB's play an important role in the tourism industry, helping local businesses to attract new customers. To help local providers, they offer information about local businesses and frequently discount packages and coupons for those businesses.

 * Join American Automotive Association - (AAA). A standard Triple A membership costs only $59 per year. Major hotel chains, such as Hyatt, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, and even Disney properties, frequently offer a 20% discount to AAA members. AAA membership also provides a 10% discount at many restaurant chains, including Hard Rock CafĂ© and Pizza Hut. If you have these restaurant chains in your neighborhood, you could use your AAA membership year-around. Travel transportation companies such as Amtrak, the Grand Canyon Railway, and Hertz rental cars also offer discounts to AAA members.

 * When you rent your hotel room, be sure to ask the hotel proprietor if they offer any package deals for discount tickets to amusement parks or other local attractions. You might be surprised how much extended value your hotel can provide you during your vacation.

Choosing The Best Hotel Value

As mentioned in the previous section, many hotels have package deals with amusement parks and other local tourism attractions. Be sure to ask what may be available.

Also mentioned previously, many hotels offer continental breakfasts and some offer, "kids eat free" to guests who choose to dine in their restaurant.

Hotels make money, helping heads find pillows. When hotels are doing well, they typically enjoy a 95%-98% occupancy rate. But during our current recession cycle, most hotels are struggling with occupancy rates in the range of 60%-65%. When hotels are struggling to fill beds, the hotel's management is more inclined to negotiate special deals to get rooms sold.

If you are willing to indicate a desire to shop around, most hotel proprietors may be willing to negotiate a better price for the rooms they have open. Some may not be willing to lower their price, but they may be willing to sweeten the deal, offering extra amenities to guests who ask, such as additional discounts for meals or other free extras that will make their rooms more attractive to potential guests. You will never know if you can get a better deal, unless you are willing to ask.

This information is also very useful for anyone traveling during off-peak seasons. Anytime a hotel is experiencing low-occupancy rates, the hotel's managers will be more inclined to negotiate to fill a room.

Sometimes the extra amenities offered by hotels will make the stay extremely worthwhile. For example, a hotel that offers an indoor heated swimming pool or hot tub may provide more enjoyment for your family, during its stay, than the hotel down the street that offers a room for a few dollars less.

When hitting the hotel at the beach, your hotel may charge an extra fee (as much as $25) for beach chairs and an umbrella, while the hotel down the road will only charge a few bucks more for the room and provide chairs and an umbrella at no additional cost. Always ask what kinds of free amenities and the cost of extra amenities a hotel may offer, when inquiring about the price. When you are able to compare apples-to-apples and oranges-to-oranges, you will be able to make better decisions about who offers the best bang for your limited vacation dollars.

Beyond Hotels

Many vacation deals are available to those people who are willing to shop outside the box. The Internet provides ample opportunity to seek out new ways to benefit from travel deals, during a recession and during boom times. Many travel related websites offer mailing lists, through which they offer special deals to members.

Many state parks offer cabin rentals, which we have taken advantage of in recent years.

Other vacation rentals may include Bed And Breakfast establishments, located in many small towns and large metros around the country. Many B&B's prefer renting to couples, but there are some out there that offer family vacation deals.

What To Expect In Part Two

In part two of this article, we will be discussing tips for saving money with travel, when you travel far enough from home to need to use an airplane to reach your destination.

Regaining Control Of Your Time And Your Life

by Willie Crawford

Many online marketers wake up one day to discover that what they have built it not a business but an all-consuming job. They've built an entity that totally depends upon THEM to keep it running, and it demands that they devote practically no time to family, fun, and things that make life more meaningful.

Many of them discover that they spend 2-4 hours per day just responding to emails. They spend another 1-2 hours per day responding to "customer support issues."

They often spend another 1-2 hours per day just procrastinating because they feel that they have so much to do that they don't know where to start for fear of getting side-tracked working on "the wrong thing." Like the squirrel crossing a busy highway, they freeze for fear of making the wrong decision, often with devastating results.

How do you end this insanity, and regain control of your life?

I'll tell you how I did it when I basically found myself in the EXACT situation described above.

First of all, I awoke one day to find myself spending MOST of my day just analyzing the email, and figuring out how to keep from drowning beneath over 20,000 daily emails... mostly spam.

I HAD to sift through this email because it contained important communications from customers, clients, potential joint venture partners, affiliates, assistants, family members and friends.

The problem grew to be that there was so much email that at times my email client couldn't even download it all without crashing. Just the process of downloading the email and "indexing it" would cause my email program to CRASH repeatedly.

To start regaining control, I had to begin better directing the flow of communications. My solution to that problem was a helpdesk. I set up a helpdesk and then asked clients, joint venture partners, and staff members to funnel most of their communications through that one secure, centralized node.

I use the Three Pillars Help Desk System, and set up a process where:

1) A person visits the helpdesk and submits a ticket in an appropriate category. They are not required to register, just click on "Submit Ticket," select the appropriate "Category," and explain what they need.

2) Based upon the category, I or one of several appropriately trained individuals get an email, and desktop notification, of a new ticket being filed. "Admins" are assigned specific categories of tickets.

3) The appropriate admin logs in, views each ticket, and for 90% of them, selects a pre-composed answer from a drop-down list of responses. Answers to common questions regarding urls, getting replacement products, alternative payment methods, getting a program installed, being unable to open a file, getting a refund, where to find affiliate tools, etc., are handled this way.

Most of the tickets take less than 2 minutes for admins to respond to. Others require the admin to write an individualized answer. If they don't know the answer, they create a new ticket letting me or an assistant know this is a problem that they haven't been trained to handle.

4) As we get frequently asked the same questions over and over again, where appropriate, we add the answer to those questions to an FAQ file that is accessible right from the main helpdesk screen.

Just installing that helpdesk gave me back 1-2 productive hours of each day. It gave me back roughly 12 hours per week!

I looked at perhaps 30 different help desk software, testing out approximately 10 before settling upon Three Pillars Help Desk. I liked that software so much that I even eventually BOUGHT the company :-)

After redirecting a major percentage of important communications through my helpdesk, where I didn't have to worry about having important customers communications blocked by email filters, I then turned to my biggest productivity bottle neck.

To tackle that problem, I turned to Brad Semp, a systems engineer. Brad showed me his amazing system that he had developed and refined that allowed him to go from 2 1/2 hours per day of dealing with email down to only 20 minutes per day.

Brad's system involves looking at your email flow, controlling that flow, largely unplugging from checking email every few minutes, and forcing the system to only show you emails that you really need to deal with.

I met Brad at a JV Alert Live Seminar in Las Vegas, Nevada, and when he proved to me that he honestly spent less than 1/2 hour per DAY responding to email, without missing anything important,

I set aside a little time to learn his system.

I spent about 3 hours thoroughly learning and setting up his system, which he calls Email CashMaps. After that, I was also down to spending less than 30 minutes per day responding to MY email, and I NEVER miss anything really important.

You can check out Brad's system at

The final big issue that I had to deal with was information overload, leading to indecision and procrastination. I solved that problem by first of all putting a value on each hour of my time. I set that value based upon my annual income goal, and how many hours I was willing to spend to reach it.

Since I wanted to spend less time working, that meant that I had to value my time at MUCH more than the average person has the audacity to do so. As an example, if you check out you'll see that I actually charge $800 for a 1-hour telephone consultation.

Properly valuing your time keeps you from wasting it stuck in endless Skype chat sessions or listening to a telemarketer. If you consider your time worth $800 per hour, then you also view that telemarketer as costing you over $13 per minute. That makes it very easy to end uninvited conversations.

Regaining control of your time hinges upon identifying where you waste a lot of time and upon insisting that your time is YOUR time. That means that you choose how you spend each limited hour that you have. You can't regain control of your time until your acknowledge that you've lost control of your time, and of your life. Once you reach that realization, taking back control is fairly easy as I've just demonstrated.

Willie Crawford is an internationally-acclaimed speaker, author, seminar and radio show host, and leading Internet marketing expert. When not out fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, Willie can be found sharing his 12 years of online marketing experience with members of The Internet Marketing Inner Circle.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Building Unshakable Self-Confidence

By: Brian Tracy

The Greatest Obstacle to Success

The fear of failure is the single greatest obstacle to success in adult life. Taken to its extreme, we become totally pre-occupied with not making a mistake, with seeking for security above all other considerations. The experience of the fear of failure is in the words of "I can't", "I can't." We feel it in the front of the body, starting at the solar plexus and moving up to the rapid beating of the heart, rapid breathing and a tight throat. We also experience this fear in the bladder and in the irresistible need to run to the bathroom.

The Fear of Rejection Holds You Back
The second major fear that interferes with performance and inhibits expression, is the fear of rejection. We learn this when our parents make their love conditional upon our behavior. If we do what pleases them, they give us love and approval. If we do something they don't like, they withdraw their love and approval -- which we interpret as rejection.

The Roots of Type A Behavior

As adults, people raised with conditional love become preoccupied with the opinions of others. Many men develop Type A behavior which is characterized by hostility, suspicion and an obsession with performance to some undetermined high standard. This is expressed in the attitude of "I have to," I have to," and is associated with the feeling that "I have to work harder and accomplish more in order to please the boss" who has become a surrogate parent.

The Most Common Trap
More than 99 percent of adults experience both these fears of failure and rejection. They are caught in the trap of feeling, "I can't," but "I have to," "I have to," but "I can't."

The Key to Peak Performance
The antidote to these fears is the development of courage, character and self-esteem. The opposite of fear is actually love, self-love and self-respect. Acting with courage in a fearful situation is simply a technique that boosts our regard for ourselves to such a degree that our fears subside and lose their ability to effect our behavior and our decisions.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do to increase your self-esteem and self-confidence and overcome your fears.

First, realize and accept that you can do anything you put your mind to. Repeat the words, "I can do it! I can do it!" whenever you feel afraid for any reason.

Second, continually think of yourself as a valuable and important person and remember that temporary failure is the way you learn how to succeed.

Build Unshakable Self-Confidence
You probably already know that the most successful people have incredible levels of self-confidence. They've accomplished great levels of success and happiness in their lives and seem to be unstoppable in everything that they do. The fact is that when you develop unshakable self-confidence your whole world will change for the better. Learn how with Brian Tracy's The Science of Self-Confidence Training Kit

Ten Ideas To Have The Best Year In Your Business

As a consultant to small businesses, I have discovered that many of the complaints I hear over and over again have to do with organization.  The beginning of the year is an excellent time to get all aspects of your life organized, so why not start 2009 off on the right foot?  Setting up calendars, deciding on time off and setting up a financial system will reduce your stress throughout the year.

Here are my top ten ideas for getting your new year off in a forward direction!

1. Set 3 major goals that you would like to accomplish for the year - These goals should be somewhat simplistic, but give you enough of a challenge. They should also take into account both business and personal needs. Goals help you stay focused on important tasks. This can be a mini business plan or a portion of your overall company strategy. Goals can include such items as getting a clear picture of your finances, creating a collection procedure, or spending more time with your family.

2. Plan now for how you will accomplish your goals - Planning now, early in the year, lets you spread the tasks throughout the months. Be realistic about your time. Not everything has to be done by March!

3. Update your planner for the entire year - Write down all important dates such as trade shows, conferences to attend, major shipment dates, family and employee birthday's and key family events. Include the major tasks needed to accomplish your 3 goals. If you haven't bought those refill pages yet for your planner go to your nearest office supply store right now.

4. Plan your time off - Decide how you will be taking some time off. This includes leaving early to watch your child's baseball game, a week off in your favorite vacation spot, or even several long weekend trips. Being well rounded and rested makes for a more productive worker.

5. Establish a process to handle the paper in your office - Getting control of the mounds of paper is the most prevalent problem in an office. Create a simple routine using Action Files (hanging folders or bins) to categorize paper into actionable categories such as Pay, Do, File, and Distribute. Don't forget to use the biggest bin of all, the wastebasket! Cancel those magazines you never read and request that your name be removed from mailing and distribution lists.

6. Get your overall office better organized - Take the time to properly set up your files, clean out drawers, and give every item in your office a designated place. Store similar items together near where they are used. Put things used often on the most accessible shelves and less used items on top or bottom shelves, or toward the back. Label storage areas and containers to aid items in finding their way "home". You'll be amazed how much better you feel when your office is better organized!

7. Automate the tracking of your finances - All businesses should know their numbers at all times. I see many small businesses who never really know until they prepare their tax return. Using a software package like Quicken or QuickBooks all year long makes the task a lot easier. Financial reports can then be easily printed so that better business decisions can be made during the year. You'll also save time at the end of the year preparing your taxes if you've been doing this all year! Don't forget to create files with the major tax categories to hold the paper documents that are the backup to your computer entries.

8. Automate or delegate some of your mundane processes or procedures - Spend your time on those activities that will most benefit the company. Look for ways to automate using computer applications or even just simple forms. Delegate some of your tasks to others or hire an assistant. Remember, your time is worth money to your business, use it wisely.

9. Sign up for (or at least choose) a professional development seminar to attend - When you expand your knowledge or get excited about new ideas, your productivity goes up. Who knows, that seminar on organizational techniques may be the spark for your company's success.

10. Choose a charitable cause you can believe in and give to it - Give of your time or your money or your talents. It's amazing how much you get in return when you give something away!

Don't let this list overwhelm you.  Simply take one step at a time and move through the ideas until you reach the end.  You'll be amazed at how simple your life becomes when you make even the smallest steps towards better organizing your life and your work.

(c) 2008 Debbie Gilster.  If you would like to reprint this article, you may do so absolutely free. You may use the article as is or make minor changes so long as the byline is reprinted intact and all links are made live.  A courtesy notice of reprint or excerpt is appreciated.

Debbie Gilster is the Chief Productivity Guru at the Center for Productivity. The Center for Productivity provides quick and easy solutions to your small business operation problems.  If you find yourself overwhelmed with productivity issues, or just want some effective suggestions for better managing your time, people and finances, sign-up for our free newsletter "Effective Results" at


"The discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than the achievement of the goal itself."
 -- Bo Bennett, Author

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Footballers... when they were young...