Home » 2016

Yearly Archives: 2016

Three Secret Six-Figure Businesses You Can Do From Home

[ad_1]

When most people think of home businesses, the first things that comes to mind are Network marketing, Internet marketing or Information marketing. However, things have changed. The field has broadened and the possibilities have opened to include new and more innovative services.

The following three businesses are little known services, yet highly lucrative alternatives.

Life Coaching Service: Many people readily offer advice to friends, family, and in some cases, even complete strangers. These days, this simple model is a business service called “Life Coaching.”

Depending on where you are located, Life Coaching can be done without any specific licensing or degree. However, because you may be facing competition from those who may in fact have Doctorates or Masters in Psychology, it may be a good idea to at least acquire a certification.

Although colleges around the country haven’t officially classified “Life Coaching” as a major, Harvard, Yale, Duke, NYU, UC Berkley, Penn State, and others have all started coaching programs. In addition, there are several online certification courses available, as well as, continuing adult education courses offered at local colleges.

Jared Mellow, a Life Coach in Southern New Jersey says, “Life Coaching offers a broad market. I specialize in teens and adolescents. But the market is open to various niches. I see an exciting future within the industry.”

According to Forbes Magazine, Life Coaching is a 2 billion a year industry, and is projected to grow to 10 billion by 2020. Services are routinely charged on an hourly bases, and run $50 – $100 per hour.

Social Media Manager: As Social Media continues to grow in the business arena more business owners are struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing technology and constant platform expansion.

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, all present viable marketing medias, however, most local brick and mortar businesses don’t have the time, energy or know how to take advantage. This creates opportunities for those who are well versed with these platforms.

Business owners welcome Social Media Managers, as they know the power, reach and cost effectiveness of marketing online. An increasing number of businesses are anxiously looking to fill this need in their own marketing.

The industry is positioned for massive growth due to the sub-sectors available within Social Media. Companies who don’t currently have a strong Social Media presence are looking to create one, and those who do in fact have one are looking to maintain, and even grow their position.

According to US Department of Labor, public relation activities will increase beyond 12% over the next 6 years due to the increase in Social Media. Managing Social Media, interacting with customers, monitoring customer satisfaction, announcing new products and services, all fall into the Social Media Marketing activities.

The industry standard for Social Media Manager’s compensation is based on monthly fees. Average fees, according to specific Social Media service packages range from $400 – $1000 a month per client.

Public Adjuster: Public Adjusters are advocates for home owners and business owners who incur damages and are in need of placing insurance claims to recover expenses in order to return their homes or businesses to pre-damage condition.

The demand for this service is enormous as statistics demonstrate that of the average 11 million home insurance claims placed annually in the United States, less than 5% are represented by Public Adjusters.

The value in the service is in properly representing the policyholder, who carries the “Burden of Proof” in the claim’s process. In order to recover the full extent provided within the policy, home and business owners must prove their damages. Must simply don’t know how to effectively do so.

Smart Money Magazine confirms this by stating that most insurance claims are settled with the initial offer, and many times policyholders are walking away with as little as 25 – 40 cents on the dollar.

Art Lattanzi, a 17 year veteran Public Adjuster says, “With the weather becoming more and more turbulent, Public Adjuster are in high demand. In New Jersey for instance we see that after two years since Super Storm Sandy, thousands of homeowners are still fighting with insurance companies. Without Public Adjuster representation, homeowners are at the mercy of insurance companies.”

Public Adjusters are licensed and bonded by their respective states. Compensation is usually charged on a contingency bases. Fees range from 10 – 35% of the settlement recovered.

For those entrepreneurs looking for the opportunity to provide a valuable service to the public, while earning a great income, Life Coaching, Social Media Managing, and Public Adjusting are three viable choices that are worth a closer inspection.

[ad_2]

Parenting ‘Off-Piste’

[ad_1]

Definition: ‘off-piste’ Pronounced [awf-peest] -adverb, adjective on an unprepared, trackless area e.g. 1) Skiing : away from regular ski runs: off-piste skiing, 2) Parenting : making it up as you go along : off-piste parenting

I give talks to parents on how to help Raise up Teenagers at schools around Australia and I start each talk by asking the audience to raise their hands if they parent differently to how they were parented, 1/2 to 3/4 of the room raise their hands (some people wouldn’t raise their hands if they were offered $1M dollars) In parenting, the prepared path is to parent the way we were parented because there is some familiarity with it and it is easier than going off-piste but most parents are not doing that. Why? Because the primary style of parenting has been highly authoritarian parenting which is essentially focused on the domination and control of children. There are well documented studies that have conclusively demonstrated the toxic downsides to that style of parenting which I will go into in future blogs.

Not only are parents off-piste (and yes, unfortunately some are off pissed too) but at times we do not even have the references for where the ski field is because the world is so different to 30 years ago (or so) when we did our on the job training by being children. So as parents we are off-piste and in a snow storm, very difficult conditions. Most of us are also trying to do it on our own because the input from Uncles, aunties and grandparents has largely disappeared from our busy fractured disconnected world and the advice from some grandparents can also be more critical than helpful because we are doing it differently.

So let’s take the most important and most difficult job in the world, the one job that shapes the next generation more than any other job on the planet and take away intergenerational support, make the cultural landscape almost unrecognisable from a generation ago, have parents choose to parent in a way in which they have little prior experience, add a generous helping of financial pressure and high social expectation and then act surprised when the rates of depression across the population reach crisis proportions and then do nothing about it except to drug the kids and blame the parents.

“Madness!” you would say, and rightly so, and yet that is what we have done. No wonder so many parents struggle and why so many children are not having their needs met. Parent education and support is critical to helping both parents and children. There were no mobile phones or internet or MMORP games or videos or DVD’s or cable when I was growing up. Advertising was banal compared to the sophisticated, relentless and unconscionable barrage of marketing that is allowed now. Of course the media affects our kids and us too if we watch it. Why else would advertisers spend billions on not just the ads themselves but also on the market research and psychiatrists that use the latest psychological and physiological research to influence as many people as possible. Advertising is designed to get a result and the means to this result are always justifiable even if increased body image anxiety in children is the consequence or if kids prefer fat, fast food to healthy food.

Our children’s minds are precious and whilst they are still developing it is our duty to protect them from media sponsored psychological abuse. In Sweden advertising to under 12yo is not allowed and so it should be here too. It is not OK to manipulate our children psychologically so they can nag their parents to buy something they don’t need so they can be momentarily happy or cool.

The great thing about being off-piste is that it can be an exhilarating ride. There is adventure and discovery around every bend and as parents we are blessed with children that can help us find joy and love in the simple things. We are going to make mistakes, fall over and sometimes take paths that initially look great but end in steep drops. It is how we clean up after mistakes, pick ourselves up when we fall over and take responsibility and learn from the paths that take us to unexpected places that will teach our children how to thrive in an ever changing world.

My children press my buttons. I have over time painstakingly taught them where each of those buttons are and the quickest way to press them. Every time I have my buttons pressed I am presented with the opportunity to grow, I don’t always like it, in fact rarely, if ever, OK I never like it but I am forced to think when it happens and look at my own stuff. Sure I have been successful in teaching other people where a few buttons are but there is something special about the way children push buttons.

As a parent I have been given entry to a club where I am presented with moments of such profound, deep, deep love and connection that are impossible to describe to a person that is not a parent. I can’t imagine not being a parent. I can’t imagine anything more important and I struggle at times but focusing on those indescribable moments help me rest my buttons, not always gracefully but I reset them because I do want to be the best parent I can be for my children and the best grandparent for their children should I be ever be blessed with grandchildren of my own.

To be the best parent I can be I need to learn from other parents, other parent educators because my wife and I are parenting “off-piste” there is no path and oh yeah, there are moments of white out too. Daniel’s Bog can be found at http://danielprokop.wordpress.com

[ad_2]

Renovating: 15 Tips on How to Stay Motivated

[ad_1]

Motivation is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to renovating. I’m sure everyone would prefer to be at the beach, rather than scraping floors, sanding and painting your um-teenth wall.

No matter how motivated you can be, motivation is not constant and consistent. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again. If you’re on Struggle Street, that your motivation will eventually come back. It just depends if you have time to wait or if you can handle living with that unfinished job. In the meantime, here are some ideas that have helped me stay motivated:

1. Get cracking

It’s like going to the gym-once you’re out the door and 5 minutes into your workout it’s fine. Or ripping off a bandaid-pull it off fast and it really hurts, but then it’s over and done with. Throw your reno clothes on and just try not to think about it. You might surprise yourself.

2. Take a trip down memory lane

Grab a beer or glass of wine and browse through your before, during and after photos. You’ll see how much you’ve already achieved-it’s a great feeling. And it will make you want to get stuck into creating more ‘after’ photos.

3. Remember that it’s not forever

The more you get done now the sooner you will finish. It won’t always be like this.

4. Mix it up

I’m by no means suggesting that you start many different jobs at once, but if there is a task that is really getting you down, mix it up a little. Have a go at finishing off another job that’s already on the go just for some variety. Some jobs become mundane and having a break from it for a few hours can make all the difference.

5. Baby steps-break each job into smaller, more manageable chunks

Some jobs are just plain overwhelming. Whether its one huge job or a what-feels-like a million little jobs, break it down into manageable chunks. You could do it by area (e.g. the hallway or the laundry) or by type (e.g. all of the plastering or painting)… whatever works for you. It will make it feel more achievable and easier to recognise progress.

We had to scrape glue off and sand every square inch of our concrete slab before putting floors down. It was like prepping walls for paint, but on your hands and knees, on cold concrete in winter, times 80 square metres. Yep. My husband and I originally started at opposite ends of the house working to meet in the middle. But it became way too overwhelming. Every hour that passed by it felt like we hadn’t even made a dent. Later on, we tried working together to do a room (or section of a room) at a time. We got there twice as fast working together, and each time we finished a section there was a sense of relief that we had made it to another milestone.

6. Find inspiration

Visit a display home, look at magazines, check out photos online. Anything that makes you think “I can’t wait until my place looks like that!”

7. Establish (realistic) goals

And make them exciting. Leading up to Christmas and our birthdays is always a very productive time. We’ll say, by my birthday, I would like to complete the patio so that we can have a party. Or, by Christmas, I want to finish the floors so that we can put our lounge back together and put a Christmas tree up. This way, it gives you something to look forward to other than just getting that work done.

8. Celebrate your successes

It’s important to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. It doesn’t have to be a party-it could be a few beers on your new garage slab. Or a roast dinner in your newly-renovated dining room. It makes the journey a lot more enjoyable.

9. Reward yourself

Creating a reward for yourself when you reach a milestone is a great motivating tool. It doesn’t have to cost money-it could be a month off from renovating, a day watching TV or lazing by the pool, or a massage. Decide on your reward in advance so that you have something exciting to look forward to.

Furniture and home wares make great rewards. After your hard work getting the house looking great, tired non-matching furniture and accessories just don’t do it justice. But don’t buy furniture until that room is finished. You don’t want to be painting over a new couch, for example.

10. Get help

Get some of your family and friends over for a working bee, followed by an afternoon BBQ. It’s amazing how much you can get done and how good you will feel afterwards. Plus, you’ll get some much-needed social time.

11. Take time out for fun

All work and no play is no good for anyone. Don’t forget to make time for fun and to catch up with friends and family. If you are constantly working there isn’t anything much to look forward to. Make plans and stick to them. Just make sure you allow enough time to get the paint off you before you head out;-)

12. Make a to-do list

Seeing items ticked off is a great feeling. If you’re having trouble getting moving, start with the easy jobs on your list and tick them off. It will give you a sense of achievement and help you keep going.

13. Don’t give up

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or you haven’t been ticking many things off the list lately, don’t give up. You WILL get there.

14. Focus on the end result

Think about how great it’s going to look when you are finished. This is your light at the end of the tunnel. It might not look so great right now, and you might be sick of working, but you won’t regret it once it’s done.

15. Stay positive

Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. Swap “This is too hard!” and replace it with “I can do this! If [person you know] can do it, so can I!” It might sound a bit lame but it really does work.

Hang in there!

[ad_2]

Online Advertising is Dead

[ad_1]

… if it was ever really alive.

You know the main problem of advertising online? People hate ads.

Way back in Internet history there were banners… especially run-of site banners, which advertisers bought per thousand impressions. I think advertisers were paying up to $30 CPM for run-of-site banners. I remember selling some to Entrepreneur Magazine… although I don’t remember how much I charged them.

After a while, banners were “tuned out” by site visitors, clickthrough rates nose-dived and the cost per thousand impressions fell through the floor.

What did advertisers do?

They started to pay Goto.com (now part of Yahoo) per click… and the Pay Per Click industry was born. Google took this form of advertising to new heights with their Adwords/Adsense system… and very clever it is too.

But the fact remains that people don’t like advertising. Take a simple example… what do you do when you’re watching a movie and the ads are shown? You head to the kitchen for a snack or drink, right?

Advertisers got wise to that trick, so they decided to “sponsor” a movie and have a little mini-ad before and after the movie segments. I guess you’re more likely to see it because you haven’t yet left for the kitchen, or have just got back from it to see the next movie segment. Also, the message isn’t, “buy our stuff”, it’s more, “we’re good guys sponsoring the movie you’re enjoying”. So it’s more of a soft-sell.

Take that message online and it doesn’t really work. How can you make an interstitial page into a “soft sell”? Apart from closely targeting it to the page the visitor last saw, and the page they’ll see next, there isn’t much you can do. It’s still an ad.

So are Adwords/Adsense ads being “tuned out” like banners were?

Are website visitors rebelling against advertising in general?

According to the Telegraph, the huge “Web 2.03 properties are struggling to turn huge numbers of site users into cash. Apparently, “Mark Zuckerberg apologized to Facebook users for the “bad job” his company made of implementing Beacon, a controversial new advertising system that exploits the power of ‘word of mouth’ marketing.”

Oh dear.

The problem, for Facebook, is that they have huge numbers of competitors… and those competitors will be quite happy to undercut whatever revenues Facebook generates… and Web 2.0 users will be quite happy to go to whatever Web 2.0 website that offers the least advertising.

So we’re left with a dilemma which has existed since the Internet was born… if people are free to decided which websites they want to visit, and there’s intense competition for website visitors, can website owners afford to put advertising on their websites? On the other hand, can they afford NOT to?

[ad_2]

Teaching “Used To” to ESL Students

[ad_1]

Here’s a way to introduce the structure “used to” to your ESL students.

1 Find or draw on the board a picture of someone who looks like they could have just won some money. A photo from a magazine of someone driving an expensive car, or sitting in a luxurious room, for example, would work well. Give the person a name, and set the scene for your students of someone who has just won the lottery, or elicit it from them (“Why is Jane driving an expensive car?”; “How did she afford her expensive clothes?” etc.)

2 Ask students about Jane’s life after winning the lottery. Depending on the imagination of your students, you might have to prompt them a little (“Where does she live?”; “Does she have a job?”; “Is she happy?”; “Where does she go on holiday?” etc.) Then ask students to describe how Jane’s life was different before winning the lottery (“Where did she live?”; “Was she happy?”; “What was her job?”) After you have built up some facts about Jane’s life before and after her lottery win, put your picture to one side and tell them to remember Jane because you will be returning to her later in the class.

3 Next, as a group, brainstorm important inventions in history. Take one suggestion (it doesn’t matter which one, as this is just an example to model the exercise which will follow). Elicit what life was like before this invention, and how life changed with the invention. For example: “The internet. Before the internet, most people wrote letters, but now most people send emails.”

4 Now put students into pairs and have them think of three more important inventions, what life was like before the invention and how life has changed with it. When they have done this, have each pair share one of their ideas with the class, but this time introduce “used to” by rephrasing their ideas as they give feedback. For example:

Student: “The aeroplane. Before the aeroplane, people travelled long distances by ship. Now they fly.”

Teacher: “Good! So, people used to travel long distances by ship, but now they fly.”

5 After the first round of feedback, students will be starting to catch on, so now do a second round, asking students to use the new structure with their second invention. They will probably still need some prompting, but by the third round of feedback, using their third invention, they should be producing “used to” without too much help.

6 Use one or two of the students’ ideas to highlight the written form of the structure on the board. Don’t forget the question and negative forms!

7 Now it’s time to go back to your picture of Jane. Ask the students if they remember Jane and why she is driving her expensive car. Then ask them once again to tell you about her life before and after winning the lottery, this time using “used to”. (“She used to live in a small flat, but now she has a mansion”; “She used to work, but now she doesn’t”). Be sure to give students plenty of practice with the question and negative forms as well. You could have one student ask another a question about Jane’s old life, and ask some questions yourself that require a negative response.

8 For further controlled communicative practice of “used to”, you could devise a questionnaire about students’ childhood for students to use in pairs. This could contain some prompts, such as “go to school”; “live”. One student in each pair must then form a question (“Where did you use to live?”) and the other must answer (“I used to live in Paris”).

And there you have it, an easy way to introduce “used to” to your ESL students.

[ad_2]

Online Recruitment Isn’t Working

[ad_1]

Having worked in recruitment advertising for nearly 20 years I have been in the vanguard of most recruitment innovations as they have come along and I have some shocking news to report. One of them, online recruitment, is not working and the situation is getting worse.

Fifteen years ago if you were an employer and you wanted to recruit a new member of staff your choices were limited, mainly to which newspaper you advertised in – the local paper for junior and blue collar staff and the national broadsheets for senior execs or field based staff. There were also a range of well-read technical, trade and professional titles that targeted specific professions. At the time these publications enjoyed a virtual monopoly (either geographical or functional), so it was an expensive exercise, discounts or special deals were the things of dreams and fantasy. But at least you knew if you placed your ad in the newspaper on Thursday by the following week you had over a hundred applications, including letters (most hand-written) and CVs. The majority were from local people interested in the role.

The late 1990’s saw the emergence of the first job board (The Monster Board) and things began to change, initially for the better. For the first time there was an alternative to the press, it was cheaper than printed publications, sometimes a lot cheaper, and included features such as CV databases. Even local recruitment was accommodated by job boards such as Fish4 in the UK, so those early advertisers had choice as well. Since then the growth of job boards has mirrored the rapid development of the Internet itself.

So what changed? One of the main characteristics of the Internet, why it has grown so rapidly and why we have taken it to our hearts, is the relatively low cost to set up a new website. The same could not be said of magazines and newspapers, hence the virtual monopoly of many publishers.

So the first reason online recruitment is failing is choice. There is too much choice, seemingly every week a new recruitment website comes along promising to be bigger and better than the others, offering better deals and even lower prices. This is confusing for the advertiser and the candidates alike. Which websites do you go to, and how many – 5, 10, 50?

But surely Google can help? That brings me on to the second problem, the lack of a level playing field. If everything else was equal and Google worked as intended candidates would only need to enter their ideal jobs and suitable vacancies would appear. But we know Google doesn’t work like that, search results are distorted and twisted by advertising and SEO.

The third issue is non-jobs, that litter the Internet. A problem that has always existed to some extent, because costs are so low many job boards are riddled with jobs that don’t exist, their function is purely to harvest CVs from unsuspecting candidates. This significantly devalues the genuine jobs and the website and is difficult to police when it is the recruitment agencies working for ‘confidential’ clients.

With the fall in performance of the job boards, comes an apparent fall in the quality of candidate applications. No doubt fuelled by a frustration with non-jobs and poor etiquette by recruiters when it comes to acknowledging applications, etc., many candidates resort to a shorthand form of application with the briefest of emails accompanying a very generic CV. Which does no-one any favours.

I know from working with my clients that, despite the double dip recession and record unemployment, it is more difficult than ever to recruit staff because of problems with online solutions.

The Future

What does the next few years hold for us? Social Media is proffered by many as the future of recruitment, why advertise or use job boards when you can start a dialogue direct with candidates through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. The short answer is time – how many HR departments have the time to build links and communities, to contribute content and manage profiles. If the Finance Director gets fired you need to find a replacement as quickly as possible. The only people with the time to ‘work’ Social Media, and the ones pushing it hardest, are the recruitment agencies.

Newspaper and trade publications undoubtedly still have a role to play in recruitment, particularly the ones with a strong online presence, but they’ll never be the force they once were and there is no going back, we have to press on into the brave, not so new, digital world regardless. But when this recession ends I strongly believe the recovery will be seriously hampered by the limitations of today’s online recruitment solutions.

[ad_2]

Recruiters, Headhunters and Employed Elitists – Shame on You!

[ad_1]

After 13 wonderful years with my employer, I recently resigned (gasp!). It was a difficult decision but one I felt necessary. I was looking forward to exploring unemployment, the lazy morning cups of coffee and eyeing the job boards. So, down the rabbit hole I went….

Linked In is a reputed good place to start and there I came across an interesting discussion called “Good Manners Matter, Don’t They?” The numerous tales of how people are quick to request work be done for them but slow to respond (if at all) are disturbing. Work hard on preparing a proposal or material for a prospect and apparently, unless the answer is yes, most opt to say no to saying no.

And we, of the Unemployed, are no more worthy of attention. We work hard when applying- researching the designated place of future joy, customizing our resume, following up with emails/calls/letters. Yet, publications abound with iterations that the Unemployed should or do feel ashamed of their situation.

Well I say – Shame On You, IABC magazine Communication World which compared and contrasted the aftermath of a natural disaster to the wake of a layoff. According to the article, the former elicits sympathy and support. As for the latter, “Those employees who have been let go may be ridden with guilt, embarrassment, shame and a lack of self-confidence. They are often politely shunned by former co-workers, neighbors, and even family and friends”

On Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole, her drink from the vial literally shrinks her to ten inches tall. My trip- our trips – down the rabbit hole to UnemploymentLand should not do the same. After all, who among us has never been fired, dumped, betrayed, used or abandoned?

While most of the aforementioned article addresses the physical and mental state of employees who have survived layoffs, at no point does the author point out how invalid and unacceptable it is (and it is!, in many cases) that this state of mind is the Unemployed’s onus. Be it self-inflicted or, in the reverse of the Shakespearean greatness, thrust upon us by publications like this one or one appearing in Fortune Magazine’s April edition. “How Do I Get a Headhunter Interested in Me” interviews a headhunter who is portrayed as saying, “Don’t Call Us: It doesn’t help.” Shame on You! The Bible says “Ask and ye shall receive.” Even disregarding it, how will we- the qualified, competent individuals with strong work ethics- get noticed if we don’t ask, call or write?

Shame On You, hiring managers for allowing this behavior to proliferate. Your in-house recruiters are a direct reflection on you. The people who answer your phone (and don’t return calls), whose names are connected to yours (and ignore personally addressed emails) and those from whom you request follow up be done (and it’s simply not) are how we perceive you. Maybe you practice “do unto others,” but if those around you do not, you are guilty by association. In my eight years as a hiring manager, I made sure that my team and I treated all applicants as does Nabisco (see below).

Yes yes I know- you’re swamped, overwhelmed; you get so many calls, applications, inquiries and emails. Poor you of the Employed! Because I have yet to meet a working person who cannot easily improve their daily productivity by 10% (let’s just start by you shutting Facebook or whatever social media/internet site is your weakness and yes, I mean keeping it closed for the entire workday), I cannot empathize with you. It’s always a question of priorities.

Some people do understand this and therefore practice it in their organizations. Thank You to those headhunters, almost always of small firms, who are graciously responsive. Thank You to those of you who are Employed and care- You know who you are and you are the true elite, far superior to your colleagues,

Thank You to the New York Times which published an article expounding on the discourtesy and disregard characterizing the hiring world today and the few, unique companies who refuse to cow to this trend. It was titled “Be Nice to Job Seekers. (They’re Shoppers, Too.).” How right the writer is! I, for example, will no longer shop at Ann Taylor given their treatment of me as an applicant. The write-up included the following:

“I recently heard a story about a manager from Nabisco…When he declared that his company responded to every resume it received – solicited and unsolicited – he was met with incredulous stares from his peers.

“Why respond to every resume when that’s clearly not necessary?” someone asked.

The Nabisco manager smiled and replied, ” Because – everyone eats cookies.”

How delightful- and insightful- a response. So why are such wonderful individuals and companies like Nabisco and Southwest Airlines apparently in the minority? Perhaps this wake-up call is all that’s needed! Then again, it could be that the failure to reply and say ‘no, thank you’ is an unfortunate side effect of the manners we hold so dear. The word ‘no’ is one which invokes a multitude of unpleasant associations and many of us seek to avoid it at all costs- including not saying it to others. Maybe it’s time for our optimistic society to embrace the usually-chastised naysayers for the level of comfort they have developed with uttering the N-word. Chances are that receiving an appropriately customized ‘no thank you but we appreciate your time’ would leave us all much more satisfied and inclined to continue purchasing…be it cookies or clothing.

[ad_2]

Writing Complex Content For the Web

[ad_1]

Most guides to writing for the web advocate brevity and simplicity. This is sound advice, supported by years of research. Sometimes, however, the complex nature of your topic dictates that you “go long”. Whether you’re explaining a new approach to sustainable energy production, or providing in-depth software documentation, you may not be able to do your subject justice with a couple of short paragraphs and a few bullet points.

Contrary to what you may have heard, people will read long copy on the web, but only if they feel they will benefit from it. The following are a few tips that will help you keep your audience with you.

Break it up.

Even more than with short copy, it’s important to visually break up your long text and avoid huge, impenetrable-looking paragraphs. However, the techniques you use to break up your text will differ from those you use for short pages. For instance, on a long and detailed page it’s fine to have longer paragraphs than you would use on a short page, as long as you vary the paragraph length. Mixing short and long paragraphs will make your page more visually enticing, and will also encourage succinct writing.

Guide your reader with subheads.

Frequent, informative sub-headings will help readers quickly find the information they are after. Sub-headings also convey a sense of structure and direction, reassuring readers that their time will not be wasted.

Encapsulate your main points with pull-quotes and side boxes

Look at any long feature article in a magazine and you will see snippets of text that have been pulled from the main body and given emphasis with a larger font-size. These pull-quotes are designed to convey the main points of the article with maximum impact and draw readers in, while further breaking up the line of the main text.

Side-boxes give additional information and resources in point form. In magazines they serve to back up the main article and invite readers who aren’t prepared to commit to reading the long text. One additional benefit of using side-boxes on the web is that you can include interactive elements such as hyperlinks and forms.

A picture is worth… well, you know the rest.

Well-chosen photos and diagrams will help explain and reinforce your content, while adding visual interest to the page. Online stock photo libraries make it easy to find just the image you’re looking for, usually for only a few dollars. A word of warning, though: make sure to optimise any images for viewing on the web; visitors with slow internet connections will quickly lose patience with large image files.

Stay focused.

Long content on the web is fine. Needlessly long content is not. Make sure you have a clear idea of the purpose and intended audience of your page, and stay focused on that idea as you write and edit your content. Avoid the temptation to write the ultimate article about everything for everybody. Make a note of ideas that don’t fit. They will likely provide you with inspiration for other pages or articles.

When writing about complex subjects on the web, there’s no need to squeeze your idea into two hundred words or less. As long as you provide enough cues to keep readers’ interest, the value of your in-depth knowledge will help your writing stand out.

[ad_2]

Women – Correct Your Body Image and Start Loving Your Body Again!

[ad_1]

I remember being maybe 6 years old and sitting at home on the floor with my legs stretched out in front of me. I was looking at my legs and thinking they were cute and perfect. Not in a conceited way – I just loved my body. I also remember staring close into the mirror at my eyes and marveling at the little lines and different colors in the iris, and watching my pupils dilate and contract. I was amazed at my body. It didn’t really occur to me to care how I looked to anyone else.

But by the time I was 13 I was wearing makeup, plucking my eyebrows, shaving my legs, coloring my hair, dressing to highlight my curves, and exercising to try to get that right body shape. What had caused this change? At that age, all of my peers had become aware of the opposite sex and were starting to have boyfriends. Many were even having sex. Everyone was trying to be more attractive than the others. I felt like I had to compete with other girls to attract a boyfriend. I had to look like the women in the music videos if any boy was ever going to like me. Whoever didn’t meet the standard when it came to beauty and fashion was falling behind socially. I sure didn’t want that to be me! If I was unsuccessful at attracting a boyfriend with high social status I would surely be unsuccessful in life. I felt that society imposed this standard and it was reinforced by everyone around me, even the adults. Maybe they thought I was too young to have a boyfriend at the time, but the adults around me still encouraged me to look more attractive and grown-up.

If it isn’t hard enough already, the standard for beauty keeps being raised. We artificially enhance beauty ever-increasingly. It has now become impossible to keep up with the best of them without multiple surgeries and spending the bulk of your time and money focused on your appearance. Not only is this impractical, it is also unhealthy and a waste of our life. Do we feel different about ourselves because of this impractical standard of beauty?

A 2003 study found that exposure to a few fashion models could have a significant effect on body image ideals. College students were separated into two equal groups. One group was shown images of thin models while the other group was shown images of plus-size models. They were then asked to choose the ideal body size for women.

Perception of the body image ideal was thinner for those who saw thin models in comparison to those who saw plus-size models. In both the thin and plus-models conditions, women’s ratings of the ideal was thinner than men’s ratings.

According to a 2008 body survey in the UK magazine Fabulous, women claim their ideal body size is a US size 6. When asked, the men said they thought the ideal female body size should be a US size 10.

It was found in an earlier college study that young women systematically overestimate men’s preference for a thin female ideal, whereas young men overestimate women’s preference for a heavier and muscular male ideal. Also, most people sought a significantly thinner ideal than their current weight, no matter their age.

A study in 2000 found that with the media constantly reinforcing idealized norms of attractiveness and thinness, repeated comparison with these norms obviously explains the formation of distorted self-ideals. But what was interesting was not everyone was equally vulnerable to the internalization of these norms. It was proven that many women are able to either simply reject it, or take a more multidimensional view of the self, in which the ideal body image is assigned less importance.

It’s time for all women to take that more multidimensional view. Why are we women so hard on ourselves when it comes to body image? We’ve established that we’re harder on ourselves than we need to be to attract men. This is because we’re comparing ourselves to the images we see in the media. Let’s stop worrying so much about looks, and start living! After all, the bulk of our appearance is dictated by genetics and can’t be changed. Why worry about what we can’t change? Let’s get back to that self-love that is based upon the wonder and natural beauty of the body, and not on what men or others might think of us.

[ad_2]

Night Club Networking

[ad_1]

You need to network in order to grow your business. It’s all who you know at the end of the day that will ultimately either help or hinder you. Who you know affects your crowd, it affects your ability to find good people to work for you, and it affects your relationships with vendors. Relationships are everything.

First, I want to clear up some confusion that is in the market right now about with true networking is and is not.

Sitting around on your computer all day on Facebook is NOT true networking. Updating your BBM status is NOT true networking. Mass texting people is NOT true networking. All those things are designed to look like networking, but rest assured, that isn’t the way real winners do things.

Relationships are best built in the real world, face to face with real people. The generation of people that favor digital communication over live interactions are at a significant disadvantage to those who prefer live communication.

If you need more people to come down to your night club, I would recommend getting out there and meeting some new friends. Here are a few sure fire ways to meet new customers.

1.) GO OUT TO THE BAR – This one is obvious, but it would surprise you how many night club people I have met who do not go out regularly to bars on their time off. I hear excuses like “I’m too busy to do that” or “I spend enough time in bars when I’m actually working”. What those lame excuses really tell me is that the person is gravely mistaken as to what their job in the night club REALLY is about. It’s not JUST about pouring a drink, breaking up a fight, or managing a team of people. Part of your responsibility in the night club is to be meeting people OUTSIDE of your night club. The best part about going out to other bars is that you are meeting people that are already pre-disposed to spending money on partying. Going to the bar is also a great way to meet new talent for your night club, just in case you need to replace anyone working for you. Get to the club, shake hands and exchange business cards. Do it the old fashioned way.

2.) GET INVOLVED WITH ACTIVITIES THAT INVOLVE MEETING NEW PEOPLE – I used to host volleyball practices on Sunday for a group of players that just liked to get together with me and a small group of friends and practice on the fundamentals. Every week at least one new face showed up to play. Over the course of the year, that is at a minimum, 50 new people I met simply because I played volleyball. Some of those people converted into night club customers. This same tactic can be applied to any sport, activity, hobby, and interest. I know a bartender who successfully booked bottle service because of his involvement in Muay Thai kickboxing. Another friend of mine is very successful at bringing people to the bar because of his history playing football.

3.) LEAVE A TRAIL BEHIND YOU – Carry your business cards with you at all times. Talk to people everywhere you go. You never know when you will meet someone while just living your normal life. Every time you get your hair cut, that’s an opportunity. Sending your car in to get serviced? That’s a chance to strike up a conversation with someone just sitting around or the technician, or anyone else working at the dealership that happens to be cool. Good customers are everywhere outside of your bar environment.

Networking is about effort. Don’t let the digital age confuse you on how to really get it done. To truly network, you have to get out there, pound the pavement and meet the people you intend to convert into customers. There is no substitute for actually being there live in the flesh. Get off your computers and come back to real life. There’s more money to be made here.

[ad_2]