Thursday, November 30, 2006

Website Hosting Information

For those in the business of operating a website, running other websites, or creating websites for other individuals/companies, take note. Given the surging popularity in the use of the internet, and those posting new websites every day, there is a huge amount of offers and companies cropping up, offering web hosting plans and options for a range of different prices and applications.

This is where the website Lunarpages Coupons comes in. Tired of having people continuously post the same questions time and time again about web hosting, this site provides instead a comprehensive list of hosting companies, with various reviews on performance, reliability, and support that is available.

These reviews are from everyday people, and cover a variety of different applications. From the reviews that I have read on various companies, there have been strong reviews both positive and negative. These reviews are generally sound, and are an indication of the companies ability to operate. The reviews are collected from forums, and there is the options for users to submit their own reviews directly into the site.

I reviewed my hosting program on this site, and found many positive reviews, reinforcing my decision on my hosting plan. Don't be fooled by false promises, check the Lunarpages Coupons site out, and make sure that you are getting what you expect.

- Liam Webb

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Marketing for the Madman

At 30,000 feet above the Atlantic, a startling announcement came over the airline's speaker: "U.S. Customs requires that all passengers change their underwear."

Immediately, Nicholas Graham, CEO of underwear maker Joe Boxer, and his good friend Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic Airlines, appeared in the front of the plane. They made their way down the aisles, handing out boxer shorts. A fashion show followed, with crew members and passengers sporting new Joe Boxers.

Newspapers around the world reported the event, giving Joe Boxer millions of dollars worth of exposure.

Graham and Branson pulled a similar stunt in Times Square New York. They showed up at 8:00 a.m. to unvail the worlds largest e-mail billboard.

They climbed into a cherry picker and, from above the rush hour crowd, threw down free samples of Joe Boxer underwear. CNN ran the story all day long.

"our events don't have to make sense or be about underwear", says Graham. "But our marketing ideas have to be press-worthy."

He will take the $10,000 stunt over a $60,000 print ad every time.

Graham tirelessly seeks new publicity venues and ideas. Last year, he created a site on the Internet, insisting that it reflect the personality of his company.

He designed a 250 page playland. Users are welcomed by a giant eye. One click takes them to a picture of Graham wrapped in elastic. From there, they can play games or view any of the company's lines.

His site gets 100,00 hits per day.

His ultimate goal: to be more outrageous than his buddy, billionaire Richard Branson. And even bigger.

Extract: Renegades - Success Magazine 2/96

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Value in Gourmet Products

In 1988, General Foods, the makers of Maxwell House Coffee, saw coffee as a $5 billion industry - and a losing proposition. Coffee consumption had plunged to its lowest point in recorded history... 1.67 cups per person per day... and baby boomers had become obsessed with their health. General Foods lost $40 million on coffee that year. They said customers weren't willing to pay enough for the stuff.

But the reality was that customers no longer saw value in General Foods offering: low quality coffee. Nobody noticed Starbucks.. in Australia Dome... who were only doing $10 million a year, charging double the usual prices for a cup - and growing 30 percent to 80 percent a year - by using expensive beans and European atmosphere. Nor did the big boys see any relevance in the successes of Haagen-Dazs, Perrier and Mrs Fields. Baby Boomers may have become health nuts, but they saw value in Gourmet products - and were willing to pay.

Gourmet bean sellers and coffee bar operators now have 20% of the market from the giants - profitably - beacuse they understoof that the changing customers tastes had created values elsewhere.
Some food for thought about doing your market research.

Thoughts of Successful People

Mark McCormick
Founder: International Management Group
Author: What They Don't Teach You in Harvard Business School
Listed: 95 Forbes Rich List at worth $500 million ($750 m Aust)

Extract from:
Success Secrets
By Mark McCormick

Because of my association with champion athletes, people often ask me if a competitive streak on the playing field helps you in business. I prefer to divide the question into two answers: one for ordinary atheletes, another for the elite.

I think business people who are atheletes in high school, and continue to compete informally as adults usually derive a benefit in their business behaviour. Whether it means winnning a point or winning a sale, they seem to have discipline, stamina and courage to come out on top. They also mesh well within an organisation. People who competed in team sports such as football or basketball are particularly effective in corporate hierachy. They're team players who know instinctively when to obey the rules and when to bend them.

Major sports personalities - professionals, world-class champions - are a different story. The reason? They have no business patience. They're used to instant results. They play a tennis match and know whether they've won or lost three hours later. They get instant adulation every time they sink a outt or put the ball through the hoop. That sort of quick score and automatic applause is usually missing in the business world. In business, patience and an eye to the long term are more highly prized skills.

On the same subject, I'm often asked what qualities I admire in the champion athletes I.M.G. represents and how those qualities translate into business success.
Here are five winning attributes:

  1. Arnold Palmer's Honesty and Integrity
    Arnold was playing in a Pro-Am on a water soaked course and was allowed to take a new putting position to avoid putting through water. Arnold always placed his putt further from the hole than was necessary, and on quizzing him, he told me; "If one peron in the gallery thought I was taking advantage of the situatio, then the putt wouldn't be worth it."
  2. Chris Evert's Mental Toughness.
    She has a tremendous discipline and can keep her mind focused on a situation without letting emotion interfere. She does this on the tennis court and off. You always know where you stand with her.

  3. Bjorn's Borg's Stubborness.
    Bjorn is stubborn in a healthy way. Once he makes up his mind to win a point or a match, he usually succeeds.

  4. Gary Player's Thoughfulness.
    Gary is a genuinely nice person who always goes out of his way, even under the most trying condtions, to say something positive. His sensitivity to people's feelings and that talent for making them feel comfortable is priceless.

  5. Jack Niclaus's Maturity.
    Jack has been successful from a very early age. He believed in his twenties that he could win in business as easily as he won in golf. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. Jack made some costly decisions.

    But since then, he has learned to be a businessman, to delegate, to hire experts who know more about specific business opportunites than he does. That's a very mature and profitable attitude.

- Wayne Mansfield

Trump101 - Never know too much

The seeds of learning can grow almost anywhere,
and you can never know too much about what your doing.


Donald Trump - Trump101

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Art of War

There is a fabulous little book written 2,500 years ago by a Chinese Warrior called Sun Tzu. His work was edited by James Clavell in 1981 (he wrote Noble House). Clavell believes that if we had followed the wisdom of the Art of War, we would have had different results in Vietnam, Korea, Iran, and the British empire would still be in tact. Here are a few ideas to help you in your war of life.

The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.

You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for the enemy's weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid from those of the enemy.

Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must get theit rewards.

Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have been taken, those should get rewarded who took the first. Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.

This is called, using the conquered for to augment one's own strength.

What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

A clever general avoids an armywhen its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.

Do not press a desperate foe too hard.

Take the time to read this gem!

-
Wayne Mansfield

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Just Do It! Not Tomorrow, Today!

Here's another insight from my archives, an article that I believe is particularly relevant for the start of the new year.

As a frequent flyer... 15 times around Australia last year for starters, I often wonder what else could be wrong with the plane when things like the sound system doesn't work... or the latches on the seats are broken... or the ground crew bring the long "de-planing" ladders which happened recently in Perth - they were the wrong height.

Now I am not an alarmist but this next tale got me to thinking... what little things can I get done before the year starts in earnest. So that's the challenge - what have you been outing off that will only take a few minutes to fix. Go on, JUST DO IT! ( with apologises to Nike )

As reported some years back in The Wall Street Journal:

Here is an awesome example of taking little things for granted. Here is a most expensive and frightening lesson learned by a major airline about taking little, easy steps for granted.

A mechanic working under an aircraft noticed a small leak from the forward lavatory. Having just completed the repair of a more sophisticated mechanical malfunction that threatened to delay the on-time departure of the plane, the mechanic decided the little drip could wait until the plane landed at the next airport.

The plane took off on time.

Well, that little drip kept dripping. And, as liquid is known to do at very cold temperatures, the drips began to freeze. The little drip turned into a big chunk of ice. At 870 kilometres per hour, that little chunk of ice broke off from the fuselage and slammed into an engine.

The impact from all those little drips-turned brick caused the engine to self-destruct and rip right off the plane.

After the emergency landing, officials determined that the part that could have prevented the nearly catastrophic mishap was a little rubber washer. More than a hundred lives were put at risk, and an engine costing more than $1 million was destroyed all for the want of, literally, a ten-cent part - and a little attention to detail by a mechanic focusing on the complex but not the simple.

Great story. I have a sign looking back me which says: "NOT TOMORROW! Make the call! Today! Now!" That advice has helped immensely in the last 12 months.

- Wayne Mansfield

Monday, November 20, 2006

Self Storage Solution

As we all know, moving house can be a stressful and often drawn out affair, as many different variables have to be factored in equation. Things like security, cost, and protection in transit of your valuables just to name a few. I know that I personally have had to worry about these kinds of things, especially when delicate dinnerware or electronic articles are moved in a less than sedate way.

Someone out there has been thinking on this problem however. If you need help to Find Storage Nationwide, then paying a visit to moving.bz is a good start. Here is a website designed to give its users a head up on the obstacles of moving, and provide the best possible options for any given situation.

This website can be used to review moving and storage options for you, and compare these with up to four other quotes, enabling you to get the best competitive bid. The option is there so you only need to give your contact details to the company you choose, putting you in control of what you want. The service gives you the option of either local, interstate or international moving, as well as all types of storage solutions.

The website design is easy to navigate, with the necessary sections divided into their respective catagories. And as part of the main content, two fields that allow you to search based on your zip code, or type of service that you are after.

This is a comprehensive website, and one that could prove vital prior to the planning of any major move or storage plans you might have in mind.

- Liam Webb

IQ of 100 plus to get into Australia

Here is an absolute gem from my archives... enjoy!

On my recent trip to the US, I had some problems paying by credit card at a Budget Rent-A-Car office when the lady behind the counter tried to record Australia as somewhere near California - or was it Canada? And in Philadelphia we were accosted by some really friendly ladies in the street who wanted to know about Crocodile Dundee, Steve Irvin and kept shouting "Throw another shrimp on the barbie."

Whilst everyone "had always wanted to go to Australia" they wondered things like "was it far" and "could I drive". Remarkably in New York many people from the Caribbean wanted to talk about cricket - this was before the Poms gave us a belting.

So it was with great interest that I read this great article about what people want to know before they come to Australia.With all the problems associated with getting Visa's into the US - people like Russell Crowe are having some problems since they started throwing phones at poor hotel clerks, I thought it might be a good time to have a look at the type of people trying to get into Australia.

Apparently the questions below about Australia are from potential visitors. They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a sense of humour.

Q. Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger -man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? ( UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees (USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R&R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour. Come naked.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

So there you go... Australia is the place to visit!!

- Wayne Mansfield

Just in Time for Christmas...

With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, finding that perfect gift is again becoming a problem high on my must do list. I think I have pretty much worn out my usual assortment of ideas, and then I came across this idea - Gift basket and Gourmet Gifts.

The website I speak of is known as America's #1 Gift Basket Website, www.delightfuldeliveries.com. This site is dedicated to providing an extensive range of gift baskets at competitive prices, with an emphisas on customer service.

To tie in with the upcoming Christmas holidays, there is an extensive range of holiday gift packages to choose from, including chocolates, Gourmet gift baskets, cookies, fruitcakes and party mixs... the list goes on.

The structure of the website, as you would expect, is easy to navigate, and lists each gift hamper in its respective catagory, for easy aquisition. As well as this, products are arranged by brand, dietary restrictions, recipient, and price - ranging from budget conscious gifts, to much more extravagent items.

The website also has a comprehensive customer service section, that contains loads of frequntly asked questions, as well as the option to ask customer service your own question.

For hampers that require little fuss and contain a huge selection, give delighfuldelivers.com a go, if even to browse for ideas for the holidays. Those chocolate hampers have given me a few ideas...

Commonsense Money Management

Problem:
Most people begin to save, then withdraw it when emergencies arise. They lose not only their initial savings goal, but often a part of their investment because they terminate their plan prematurely.

Solution:
Before you begin a long-range investment program, have three months income set aside in an emergency fund.

An emergency fund is critical to your financial success. Just because you never know what could happen, it is a good idea to have the equivalent of three months income in reserve. Your family's breadwinner could lose their job, a serious medical problem could arise, a major household repair could be necessary - there are any number of minor disasters that could occur without warning. It is important to protect against being wiped out financially and being forced to remove every cent you've worked hard to save and invest.

You should budget for your emergency fund in the same way you do for other expenditures, particularly if you are starting from zero. Pay yourself first by putting into your emergency fund before you put in anywhere else.

The main point of an emergency fund is protection. You are providing a cushion against unforeseen problems or disasters. And, you are preparing yourself with the security that will allow you to go and work towards some long term investment goals.

A good Emergency Fund investment is one that will give you excellent returns if you don't have to withdraw funds, but where you won't suffer a significant loss if you have to withdraw funds early.

Establish your emergency fund as soon as possible. Your money will build up before you know it, and you will be surprised at the feeling of security you will have, knowing that you are covered in the case of emergencies. You will be able to concerntrate much more clearly on your long term financial plan - and see results sooner.

And that is the name of the game.

A Fancy Touch to a Reception

At the start of the year, my cousin had his wedding reception at Oceanis, a beautiful restaurant on the Indian ocean, Western Australia. The wedding decor, meals and presentation of the night went along great, but of special notice was the level of detail put into the table decorations. I was reminded of this today, when I received an opportunity spelling out a website that offers candle wedding favors, an extensive range of candle decorations to suit any wedding situation.

The designs available from website range from champagne glass and laterns, to fruits and even mini chairs. Each has that different theme that will suit most receptions, regardless of what design has been implemented for that particular event. Better yet, obtaining these decorations is simple, due to the easy to use order and payment system present on the site.

I'm not planning a wedding any time soon, however you never know whats around the corner, as I have plenty of relatives I'm sure will be interested in the not too distant future. For those out there who are after something that expresses an attention to detail, and creates that little touch of effort that people will love, visit the website and decide if this addition is worthwhile to your next wedding event.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Soft Sell

Rules and guidlines for your use of the Telephone - the most powerful tool in modern selling:

  1. You have only a few words before you may be turned down. Studioes show that after the first 27 words, a client usually turns off a salesperson. What are your first 27 words? Do you make a strong point?


  2. Know your objective and stick to it. (Usually your objective will be to gain an appointment or to make a service call.)


  3. Introduce yourself, identify your company, describe the purpose of your call, and, if possible, tell the prospect how you got their name.


  4. Have everything that you need at your fingertips. This includes a pen, paper, calendar, call list, notes on the person who you are calling, and your telephone script.


  5. Don't make a sales presentation over the phone


  6. If you are asking for an appointment, make it clear you won't take a lot of the prospects time


  7. Avoid a monotonous tone of voice. Your voice is the only perception of you that the prospect will have - make it work for you


  8. Do not phone when you are not in the mood


  9. Be alert and enthusiastic, mentally and physically, smile easily; think and act cheerfully, no matter what reaction you get


  10. Keep a record of all telephone calls and the results of each. One advantage is that you will soon discover times when calling is the most productive. For example, one salesperson found that calling at noon, Monday and Wednesday evenings, and Saturday mornings produced the best results. You will also know which people you were unable to reach and can make plans to call them again

Body Time What is it?

Body time is the perception our minds and bodies have of the passing of time. The body's dominant time cycle is called the "circadian rhythm." This is controllled from our brain and is normally around 25 hours. Researchers looking at the difference between nature's 24 hour day and the body's 25 hour circadian rhythm have concluded the difference may have created a degree of tension which was necessary for survival in primitive times.

The study of relationships between time and the time cycles of the body is called "Chronobionics". Studies in this area indicate we respond to a number of weekly cycles in our body chemicals, immune-system, response and blood circulation. Such rhythms may explain the seven day week as a unit of time. This is the only calender measure that does not trace its origins to astronomy.

Research and human experience has shown that if we abuse our internal rhythms, circadian or otherwise, we are in for trouble. Monday-morning blues, sleep disorders and depression can result from the mismatch between clock on the wall, and the one in our body. Ask any international traveller about jet-lag and they will certainly back up the theory.

Further research in this area is looking at the exacerbation of the problems caused by this mismatch when drugs (eg. alcohol and nicotine) are introduced. Science can now confirm for us what we always knew about late nights.

The Appeal of Ugg

In Australia right now, its probably no the best of times to mention warm footwear. To any northern hemisphere based readers however, this is the perfect time to mention an opportunity that was presented to me this morning.

Over the last few years, Ugg boots have fast become one of the most sought after footwear styles in the world. They offer comfort, and warmth, and now thanks to the celebrities that wear them, a fashion statement. And now thanks to toecovers.com, you can purchase the ugg boot over the internet.

There are boots of nearly every type available here, including Ugg Classic Short and Tall, La Jolla and Catalina. These products are made by Ugg Australian Sheepskin Footwear, and being an Aussies, I can assure you that these are high quality products, made from the best (though I may be a little bias here!) There are a mountain of different colours available, to match these different styles as well.

As well as the large range of ugg boots available on the site, there are also tips on buying the correct size and style to suit your foot type, as well as foot health dos and don'ts, to make sure that you make the correct purchase first time.

I'm just thinking of my pair that got me through winter right now...

- Liam Webb

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Drinking Pure Water Rots Your Teeth

Here's a humorous entry from my archives I thought I'd share with you today.

Oh don't you love the press! No good news today so they attack the thing most of us enjoy most - a glass of pure, fresh, cool WATER. Apparently our kids teeth have started to become rotten because pure water doesn't have fluoride in it that stops tooth decay. Their brains are better from not having doses of poison, but their teeth are likely to fall out!?

By co-incidence, Jack Panayi, a Maverick Spirit devotee, who I met up with at SmartMoves2004 in Brisbane sent me this story - about teeth, in a way.

Jack writes: At a recent meeting with the Company owners the subject, yet again, came up on how we are to increase sales without increasing our costs. Although I'm still working on that one it does reminded me of a little story I read on a major tooth paste manufacturer.

The sales executives were faced with a similar question posed to them by the chairman of the board. "We need to increase sales on toothpaste by 10% without increasing costs dramatically". " Please give me some ideas."

First person stands up and says...."Why don't we do a 2 for 1 price offer?". The chairman looks at him and says "So you want to give half the stock away?" "Next".

Second person stands up and says..."We have a new formula waiting to be released wouldn't now be a good time for a change?" Again the chairman looks at him and says...."Great, if you can create an awareness program to the general public without spending a cent on advertising then the jobs yours." He quickly sat down.

An uneasy silence filled the boardroom before the next person stood up and said. " I can get the consumer to use more without having to advertise or do any promotions"."

Please share your thoughts" says the chairman.

"Well", says the nervous executive, "why not drill the hole at the end of the toothpaste tube by 10%? This means they will use 10% more and run out 10% earlier, which mathematically should increase sales by 10%."

Cost?... Zero just a matter of adjusting the machinery.

Jack adds, "How true this story is don't know, but what I do know is that when ever I need to think outside the square I think of this story. By the way, still working on how I going to apply it to my situation. Hang on just thought of it you're coming to see me soon!

For the Forgetful Types

Every been in the situation where you have had a relative or friends birthday pop up all of a sudden and catch you completely unawares? Or prehaps its been a major holiday such as Christmas. For most who work during the day, nipping out of the office to find that quirky little card message that will show you care, is sometimes out of the question.

Today I was shown a new blogsite that could just save you from an awkward situation. The blogsite is called eCards, and it offers its visitors the opportunity to review and link to various eCard websites, including Blue Mountain, American Greeting and Egreetings. The blog features a few of these eCards in its posts, to give you some idea of how they look and what they can do. These spotlight the newest and funniest cards currently available on the net.

All pertinant news, updates, and information regarding these websites is constantly updated, and can all be located in its extensive archive.

For all the information that you need on this service, visit the eCards website. Its a useful tool, and something that just might get you out of a tricky situation!

- Liam Webb

I Can't Believe You Haven't Started Yet!

Most of us procrastinate at some time. What are the signs of procrastination besides waiting until the last minute to do something?

Try these on for size: being reluctant to take risks or try something new, staying at home or in the same old job, getting sick when faced with an unpleasant job, avoiding confrontations or decisions, blaming others or the situation ("it's boring") for your unhappiness or to avoid doing something, making big plans but never carrying them out, and/or having such a busy social-recreational calendar that it is hard to get important work done.

Procrastinators use putting off tactics as a way to avoid the assumed anxieties associated with the avoided activity….calling, planning for a complicated event, or undertaking a project fraught with difficulty like losing weight.

The procrastinator is some one who knows what he wants to do, knows he can do it, and is trying to do it, but doesn't do it.

All procrastinators put off things they have to do. Structured procrastination is the art of making this bad trait work for you. The key idea is that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, like gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will reorganize their files when they get around to it.

Why does the procrastinator do these things? Because they are a way of not doing something more important. If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it. However, the procrastinator can be motivated to do difficult, timely and important tasks, as long as these tasks are a way of not doing something more important.

If your form of procrastination is call avoidance and you want to make that call, then the above approach would work in your favour if you decide to call as a way of avoiding doing something more important, but presumably more painful, like making an appointment for a root canal, or running 5 miles to get ready for a marathon, or preparing yet one more tax report.

Below is some extra ammunition to help you find a way of looking at procrastination that may help you overcome it.

"Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried." Author Unknown"You may delay, but time will not." Benjamin Franklin

"Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the "someday I'll" philosophy." Denis Waitley

"In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing." Theodore Roosevelt

"The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started." Dawson Trotman

"Procrastination is the thief of time." Edward Young

"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." Don Marquis

"You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today." Benjamin Franklin

"Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!" Donald Gardner

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." Walt Disney

"In delay there lies no plenty." William Shakespeare

"Stop talking. Start walking." L.M. Heroux

"Don't wait. The time will never be just right." Napoleon Hill

Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait. The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don't count." Dr. Robert Anthony

"He who hesitates is last." Mae West

"Procrastination is like a credit card: it's a lot of fun until you get the bill." Christopher Parker

And the great Nike catch cry.... Just do it!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Looking After the Big Rocks

I thought I'd delve into my archives and bring this article up for you.

A primary school teacher stood at the front of her class about to conduct a new lesson for the children. Most were 5 or 6 years of age. She asked for their attention. And suggested that the lesson she was about to teach would be important one for life.

She then pulled out from under the bench a large glass beaker with a wide mouth and placed it on the bench. The beaker stood about 12 inches tall. Alongside it she placed an ice cream bucket full of rocks, each about the size of her fist. She carefully placed the big rocks inside the beaker. After fitting about ten rocks inside the jar, the next one she placed on top rolled off and hit the bench.

There appeared no room for any more rocks in the jar. She then looked up at the class, smiled and asked the question, ‘Would you say that I have a full jar?” The children recognising that clearly no more rocks could be fitted in, nodded in agreement.

She then pulled out another ice-cream bucket which contained a large number of smaller pebbles, each about the size of a pea. The teacher then carefully poured the pea gravel into the jar until there were no more spaces left between the rocks. Before long the pea gravel also overflowed.

The same question was put to the class again and they nodded that this time the jar was clearly full.

At this, a third bucket was produced. It was full of sand. The teacher poured the sand between the big rocks and pea gravel until the spaces was saturated for the third time. The children were amazed at the capacity of the beaker but were uncertain how to answer the teacher’s subsequent request: was the jar now full?

Before they could answer, a bottle full of water was produced from under the bench and the liquid was poured between the rocks, gravel and sand.

At the end of this exercise the teacher smiled at her class and said that the demonstration was over. ‘Now tell me, children, what is the lesson in this exercise?’ to which there was silence for a moment.

Then one enthusiastic young boy raised his hand in excitement. ‘Miss, I learned that you can often fit a lot more in than you had first thought,’ he said with pride.

‘Good answer, Robert, but there is another lesson I would like to discover.’

The young children thought hard again. This is a time a tiny red-headed girl at the back of the room raised her hand. ‘Miss, the lesson for me is that if you didn’t put the big rocks in first you wouldn’t have been able to fit everything else in. So my learning is to first place in the big rocks.’

The teacher smiled with great pride. ‘You are a very clever class. That is exactly the lesson I was seeking.’

Think about the profound nature of that simple lesson when applied to your life. What are your big rocks? What are the most important things in your life? What are the most important roles you perform? If you can identify the key things and make sure they get the attention they deserve,

you will be able to do much more than you expected.

Dell Coupons for Discounted Products

Being in the market for a new laptop this week, I've been scouring the internet for the best possible deals I can find. I came across one website that offers significant discounts on Dell products, and more importantly on products that can fit into what I need.

The website is cheapstingybargains.com, and contains a comprehensive listing of Dell products available, and the necessary Dell Coupon Codes.

The deals on the website are updated hourly, so the chances of you finding a discount on the product you are after is extremely likely. As well as this there is the listing of the hottest deals currently available, as well as liting by catagory of all types of different products from general electronics, to phones and iPods.

I would recommend any searching for a computer, monitor, or notebook as the listing on this site is huge, and the discounts offered are crazy, with the smallest discount being at least $100.

Feedback Post

Heres a interesting snippet from the archives, when we were first expanding into the Eastern States in Australia

As we continue business in the Eastern States from the cosiness of the World's Most Isolated City.. Perth, a number of questions have been received from subscribers:

Question from Wade Miller of 4 WD Connections of Melbourne...
All the testimonials are from people in Perth... we are different in Victoria, will this stuff work?

Mavericks Reply...
Our customer base includes multinationals Repco, Caltex, ANZ and Boral. The reason that they used us was that our ideas were different, cost effective and the results were quickly obtained.

By using our ideas, you will appear different and your results will surprise you!

Question from Hardware Distributors Adelaide:
How do you handle the fact that every head of office is away from here...

Mavericks reply...
Selling to branch offices is not easy but you shouldn't give up. We have great success by asking very early in the transaction...
"How can we help you own our product..."
On many occassions it is necessary to ask for your customer to buy from a different budget.. our training is often "Marketing: for companies with Eastern States Head Offices, or the invoice needs to be broken down to below local authorisation limits... a $1,000 sales becomes 3 seperate $350 invoices...

A lot has certainly changed since then!

If we want to change a situation, we first have to change ourselves. And to change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions.
Stephen R. Covey
Daily Reflections

Monday, November 13, 2006

Foreclosure Information

Here is an excellent source for those looking at or considering investment properties, you should investigate Bank Foreclosure Listings. Given the rise in property investments, and the need for people to borrow more and more money from the bank in order to finance it, this website could prove an invaluable tool to keep you out of trouble with foreclosures.

When people are purchasing property to invest in, there are a lot of things to consider, and take into account. The difficulting is deciding if the property is worth the risk, and how to make it a win-win situation for all parties involved. How can you undertake this type of investment howevver, with the lowest possible risk, and yet make some return?

Bank Foreclosures contains infomation to assist you in making the correct decision, including such solutions as buying already foreclosed homes from the bank (low risk but low return), to more higher risk plans that will return a much greater profit. This site has the informaiton that investment home buyers need, to navigate their way successfully through their decisions.

- bank forclosures
- bank homes

- Liam Webb

A Harvey Mackay Quickie

"Never Give the Same Speech Once"
I have, for many years, staged Sales and Motivational seminars featuring the Leading Seminar Leaders in the world - normally Americans. I was surprised that their talks were exactly the same as their tapes, and whilst touring the country, word for word each time they presented the talk.

At first, I was disappointed and thought I was being short changed. But, I watched the audience who were hearing these motivational words for the first time.. they were spellbound. I asked why this was so and this was the reason given. It is easier to cahnge your audience than change your speech. Besides, if actors in plays made it up as they went along, you would be disappointed wouldn't you?

Even in business, practive your speech on various audiences to get it right, so you have impact when delivering it to the target audience.

Harvey MAckay says, "Most successful people are good on their feet. We're in an information society, so the ability to transmit that information in an intelligent, succinct and persuasive manner is about as valuable as a skill as anyone can possess."
adapted from swim with the sharks

Astronomers Out There?

I've mentioned these guys before, and I'm more than happy to again, after they presented me with this new opportunity. OpticsPlanet now has a new range of products I thought I'd share with you all.

For all you budding astronomers out there, OpticsPlanet is now supplying a whole range of telescopes and optical equipment, that suits any level of enthuisiest and budget.

OpticsPlanet catalogue is complete with all major brands, including the Meade Telescope range, that offers amazing high resolution images and optics, as well as excellent construction. Other brands include the Celestron range, and Bushnell telescopes. All products within the website are offering extended 3 and 5 year warranties.

Knowing that a fair percentage of their customers would be amateurs or those getting into astronomy for the first time, OpticsPlanet also provides a set of comprehensive guides, including 'How to Buy a Telescope' and 'How to set up a telescope'. There are also guides for the best selling telescopes, and a discussion forum, where you can question and mingle with other enthusiasts.

In terms of cost, the products provided by OpticsPlanet, the prices are respective of the quality of the telescopes, with entry level scopes for a few hundred dollars, to the more professional items worth a couple of thousand. As part of their introductory offer, OpticsPlanet are offering discounted prices, as well as free UPS on orders over $29.95. Particularly handy given normal shipping costs.

Probably one of the best places to go on the internet for optical equipment, and the new telescope section is no exception.

- Liam Webb

Dick Smith's Guide

One of Australia's home grown success stories is Dick Smith. In material I have collected over the years, I came across a number of articles dealing with the techniques that Dick used to achieve success with his chain of stores before he sold them to Woolworths. Dick broke his Rules for Success down into
A 4 Point Guide:

  1. "Communicate Clearly" Most companies who have problems have generally failed to communicate effectively with their staff and most importantly, with their customers. Requests and directions are constantly misunderstood. Dick Smith claimed he was successful because he worked hard on reducing misunderstandings.

    Dick says, "When you are giving advice to someone, ask yourself... 'How are they misinterpreting what I'm saying?' In fact I tell them, 'This is probably the misunderstanding you are having, so don't have it!"


  2. "Keep everything simple" In this ever increasingly complicated world, do everything possible to keep things simple. Dick's advice is, "I sell to people the way that I'd like to be sold to," and he found this was the best way.


  3. "Get Up and Go" A major factor in success is to have enthusiasm. If people are not noticing how successful and hard-working you are, you might have to tell them. In the words of Dick Smith, "My attitude is to have a bit of get up and go. If you're not being recognised, work your guts out at being recognised. Tell people how good you are, because if you're going to wait on other people to recognise this fact, you will never get anywhere, and in fact you will have those forces against you."


  4. "Copy the Success Of Others" An interesting statistic is that Franchised Businesses have a much higher success rate than all other forms of Business start-up. The reason is simple, you are combining proven systems and products with Self Employed Business People. You are quite simply, copying other success."

    Dick Smith gives the example of when he first went into Mail Order. "Next door to us was a saddlery company called John Charlton. They used to get great bags of Mail. I walked in and said, 'What is it, drugs or something?' and they said 'No. It's mail order. We make a fortune out of it.'

    So Dick asked them if they would mind showing him how to do mail order, and they were flattered. He used their same order form, just putting Dick Smith in the spot where Charlton's was and got going. It was and still is, very successful. The most important attribute for success, according to Dick Smith, is to "work your guts out and let people know."

More Tools for the adventure

Who out there has ever been in the situation where you require a good like source, regardless of the situation? It could looking for a tool in the shed at 9 o'clock at night, ambling through the bush, trying to set up a tent, or it could trying to fix a niggling little problem on the car or in a computer that you can't quite see given the normal ambient light.

Now I've mentioned these guys before, but given their huge array of products, I think it deserves mentioning them again. Again I direct you to OpticsPlanet, and their surefire flashlights section.

Like I said the range is huge, and there is a flashlight here for pretty much every application you can think of. These flashlights are available in the surefire range, made from tough anodizes Alluminum Alloy, and contain high powered lamps. These can be purchased as hand-held units, or can be attached to a myriad of other objects, depending on what application you use them for. The prices vary depending on the type of product, but are all what you would expect to pay for a quality product.

As well as the surefire range, the site also includes many other major brands, including Maglite, Aimshot and ATN to name a few. These are available as lanterns and pelican flashlights. As well are the standard flashlights that are increadibly durable and provide ridiculous power output given their relatively small size. On top of this there are flashlight accessories available for any situation.

I've recommended OpticsPlanet before based on their quality products before, and they aare well worth a look if you are after a competant and reliable flashlight.

- Liam Webb

The Candy Man

A fair few years ago, there was a great confusion and anger as the Western Australian Government decided to move the Central Fruit and Vegetable Markets from West Perth to the new Canning Vale Industrial Estate, 20 kilometres from the city. Traders and growers alike were predicting disaster.

A good friend of mine, Wayne Geddes was one of those market operators who were forced to move to the new complex. However, Wayne took a different approach to many of the other traders. Wayne negotiated with the Market Authority to increase the size of his business and he started a large retail operation, selling fresh nuts and discount lollies.

He must have thought he made a mistake... because even today, many of the retail shops at the market are still empty. But he pushed on.

Visiting Wayne, he confided in me. "Mate if this is a recession, let it last a few more years."

At any time of the day on the seven days a week his Nuts&LollyShop is open, it is busy. And in a stroke of sheer "Lotto Luck", the Market Authority decided to run a Swap Meet Market on Sundays. It draws up to 30,000 people each week. Who's shop do you think all these people have to walk past to get to the market??

Not one to rest on his laurels, Wayne has shopping music playing as a backdrop. Titles such as "I'm the Candy Man" etc. And of course, he wanders around the shop giving free samples of the freshly roasted peanuts, and the carton fresh lollies.

I wonder what the others at the market think about Waynes success. I think they will probably conceed he "was lucky", in the right place at the right time, or any of the other excuses people who envy success can come up with.

Luck is defined as preparation meeting opportunity. When offered the reatil options nearly all the other traders turned them down. "Lucky" Wayne Geddes took the risk and is reaping the reward. Good on you Mate!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Healthcare Comparison Site

Healthcare, is an important fact in modern life. Making sure you are treated and diagnosed correctly, are shown attentive care, and most importantly, can walk away from the experience healthier or more informed, are things we usually take for granted.

I was recently asked to review a website for vimo, a company that offers free and unbiased advice on healthcare. The program works by people submitting reviews on doctors and dentists, as well as health plans from around the nation. This service can also cater for surgical procedures too.

The idea is to be able to compare where or who you would wish to see, or for some people receive second or third opinions on diagnoses that they are unsure of.

As an incentive for continuing to review on this service, Vimo offers its users a code for every review that is published, so that they can download five free mp3s on emusic.com. This is no scam site, there is no credit card needed or automatic billing for this service, just the five free songs.

This is an excellent idea for those that wisg to thoutoghly research their options before going ahead.

- Liam Webb

Nothing has changed - thoughts of Bill Gates

For me, a big part of the fun has always been to hire and work with smart people. I enjoy learning from them. Some of the smart people we're hiring now are a lot younger than I am. I envy them for having grown up with better computers.

They're extraordinarily talented and will contribute new visions. If Microsoft can combine these visions with listening to customers, we have a chance to continue to lead the way.

Who is rich?
He that rejoices in his portion
- Benjamin Franklin

An Organisational Solution

Organisation is one of those things that people are either good at, or hopeless. This can lead to not only time consuming searches for lost items, but create clutter and mess that is completely unnecessary.

So through my usual mid morning searches, I came across Reorganize.ca, an
e-commerce website that is the definitive storage and organisational supply spot. They have products available for just about every room on the house (or office), and products ranging from bags and baskets, to drawers, shelves and hooks.

The site is chock ful of products that are both practical, and some that are a bit different. The prices are all reasonable for the quality of products, and are easily shipped throughout the US and Canada.

An option for anyone with organisatinal issues, or maybe for someone they know!

- Liam Webb

Be Happy - Be Wise - Be Positive

Dr John Schindler in his book, "How to LIVE 365 Days a Year," stats that 50% of those seeking medical aid today have emotionally induced illness. In other words, unhealthy emotions cause and contribute to illness. Whether a person is well or ill, generating the healthy emotions of cheerfulness, determination and courage produce salutary results. The following guidlines are based upon the sage observations of Schindler's book:

Like your work. Work is therapy and liking your work will be constant stimulus to your health emotions.

Learn to like the people you work with.

Learn to accept your adversities. By taking setbacks in your stride, you can change them into stepping stones for success.

Meet all your problems with decision. Don't turn a problem endlessly over in your mind. Decide whats to be done - then do it.

Make the present an emotional success.
Don't live in the future, but enjoy each moment as it comes along.

"Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
John Wooden

The Perfect Small Business Tool

Running your own business can be tough at times, and I should know. At imes there are things that you just can't get your head around, especially when you are just starting out. Its times like these that people need an easy and available archive of information to assist in this regard.

This is where the website, growthink.com comes in. This site is deliberatly designed to help those just starting out in business, or those in need of an online resource archive for help in all manner of things business.

The website primarly offers business plan reports, (available as pdfs) that range from writing the perfect business plan, to top business mistakes and market research.

On top of this selection of well documented reports, there are several business tools available, such as start up cost calculators, cash flow calculators and financial plans, created in Excel. The website also offers sample business plans, to get you on the right track and demonstrate a successful model.

There is a myriad of useful information, and enough helpful documentation to ensure that any business can benefit from its knowledge. A serious must for any business, and a site that I would very much so recommend to anyone serious about business.

- Liam Webb

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Takapuna Beach New Zealand

Saturday morning at Takapuna Beach near Auckland and there are lots of people walking dogs, enjoying the beach but... no swimming as it is still chilly.

Auckland Zoo's Huge Elephant!



On my recent visit to Auckland, I visited the Auckland Zoo.

The most popular animal exhibit is the Kiwi house which recreates the dead of the night so you can see the nocturnal flightless bird. I recommend you see that exhibit.

Just outside is an amazing static display, made from corrugated wrought iron of an African Elephant. It is also something special. Here I am, admiring the elephant. Picture taken by tour guide extraordinare Richard Gee.

The Great Ab Debate

For the past few years, the abdominal exercise machine has been the quintisential home exercise machine to own and use. There has been plenty of hyper over these, and no shortage of people purchasing these products on the TV or Internet.

Is was asked to review a product recently called the ab lounge 2. A lounge device that the makes its claim, 'work harder, not smarter'. Ergonomically speaking, the lounge seems an easy way to do things, but the design lends itself to focusing on key muscle areas, meaning less work overall, and more focused muscle targeting. Due to the design of the lounge, this device is perfect for those with neck or back complaints, who are unable to normally do crunches on the floor.

Conceptually the design seems sound, and the idea behind is definately specific to those muscle areas. Purely from a person with neck and back problem's perspective, this device is perfect, if they wish to do these exercises, but are unable to do so due to injury. In terms of cost, the product is on par with most other ad machines (but slightly cheaper).

So if you are seeking an abdominal exercise, but are restricted through injury, or need an easier way to do these exercises, give the ad lounge a shot.

The Lengths A Kiwi will go to Make A Point

My good friend Richard Gee in Auckland, sick of hearing from me how wonderful Perth was sent me this article that appeared recently in teh Auckland Daily Herald:

With the high rate of attacks on women in secluded parking lots, especially during evening hours, the Perth City Council has established a "Women Only" parking lot adjacent to Supreme Court Gardens near the Concert Hall. Even the parking lot attendants are exclusively female so that a comfortable and safe environment is created for patrons.

The area is extremely well illuminated to remove the opportunity for crime and presents as a model of what can be achieved when women are at the helm.

Below is the first picture available of this world-first women-only parking lot.


Thanks a Million

In a world full of superfluous verbiage. it's heartening to note that with two simple words, you can increase your sales, maybe even significantly. What are those two words? Thank You. Why are thank you notes so effective? They not only show good manners - something sadly lacking these days - but also personalise the impersonal. In a high tech world where many people spend more of the business day with computers than each other, such small gestures are memorable.

Ready to put pen to paper? Keep your language simple, tell the other person how they made a difference, and turn writing thank you notes into a habit rather than a hasty afterthought.

Remember, no one is ever too important or busy to send a thankyou note.

Any Inventors Out There?

I was again perusing the myriad of websites available today, more or less browsing as I do at this time of the afternoon. I recently watched an episode of the inventors on TV and my curiosity piqued. Inspired by these people staking their savings and years of hard work on a product they think will sell, put me in a mind to similar situations I've been involved in.

One of the search results that popped up however, providing an interesting insight into the world of inventing. Allow me to introduce the Invention Blog from Invent-Tech.

Invent-tech are reknowned for the help and assistance that they have provided inventors in the past, including assistance with licensing, legal implications and the like.

Apart from the usual discussions, the blog site provides a section titled "the invention hub". This deals primarily with the latest news revolving around Invent-Tech. These topics range from the arrangement of licenses for inventors or inventions, the latest ideas and patents relating to prominent news stories, as well as invention shows and meetings. This can be seen in one of their recent articles, which involves a licensed product by Invent-Tech hits store shelves.

Along with the obvious benefits the Inventors Hub provides, there is also extensive postings under the latest news (pertaining to what is occurring in the industry), as well as Trade Show information, news on licensing, and the services that Invent-Tech can offer their members.

This is more than just a gathering of inventors; this is really a community that is dedicated to assisting and nurturing ideas and products the whole way along the creative process.

If you are an aspiring inventor, with an idea or product you want to see get off the ground, as well as find a repository for all the latest in invention technology news, announcements and services, try the Invention blog out. A really interesting read and not a blog that’s just for inventors.

Stop Doing List?

One of the tried and true organization and time-management tools is the trusty old "to do" list. I was trained to diligently put one together at the end of the day for the following day, and whatever tasks I failed to complete, to carry it forward. This system has worked well in helping me prioritize and focus. But I have also heard many of my colleagues complain about having too much on their list, and feeling very discouraged and overwhelmed by the sheer number of items on their "To Do" list. To help ease the overwhelm, I want to introduce the concept of the "Stop Doing" list.

I first read about the "Stop Doing" list in "Good to Great" by Jim Collins. He stated that one of the commonalities of the companies who were able to propel themselves from being just good to being great is that they all looked at what they were currently doing that they needed to Stop Doing. I am implementing this idea in a slightly different way, but I think a "Stop Doing" list can actually help your productivity and effectiveness.

So how do you decide what goes on your "Stop Doing" list? Here's what I suggest you do.

For the next week or two, each time you work on your "to do" list (and if you are not using one currently, I strongly recommend you start), or blocking off time for specific tasks in your planner, ask yourself this question: "does this task add value or generate positive results for me and my organization?" If the answer is no, it should go right on top of your "Stop Doing" list.

If the answer is "yes", ask yourself a second question: "am I the best person to do this task?" The first question tells you whether you can eliminate a task. This question tells you whether you can delegate a task. I know for solo-business people, you automatically think that you have no one to delegate any tasks to. But actually, that might not necessarily be true. Today, there is a whole network of virtual assistants who can handle a myriad of administrative work for you. Some accept work by the hour, and some accept work by the project. If you are interested in this resource, check out http://www.assistu.com

A Remedy for the Slicer

I play golf.
I'm not very good at it, but none the less enjoy a game usually once a weekend. Like most, my short game and putting is not too bad, its my appaling drives and mid range shots that let me down. Yes I am a chronic slicer, and I have tried many different techniques to alleviate this problem.

I then heard about a product called the offset driver, on the internet by Ebalon. The physics behind the product, involve the spot being aligned with the shaft of the golf club, therefore enabling the elimination of the 'slice commonly associated with most players of varying skill levels. It certainly makes sense, and the testimonials seem to back this claim, as it has helped out many players with this problem.The idea behind the mechnics of it make sense, as the area that we slicers usually hit, is now the sweet spot, enabling cleaner and thus straighter hits to be achieved.

In terms of price, for the quality of the club and the costing of the competiton, the price is more than reasonable for a high quality product. I've had a chat to some of my golf buddies about it, and it seems like a worthy addition to the golf bag. I might trial the driver, and see how we go!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Exuberant Enthusiasm

In perusing my personal files for a useful topic for today's newsletter, I came across Steve Covey's seven habits of effective people. (See Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Effective People, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1987). In reviewing his points, I begin to see how one of his supposed habits, the first, proactivity, very much pertains to the work of cold callers.

As readers of this newsletter know, I view cold calling as a kind of self discipline where one is continually faced with the challenge to keep your eye on hte ball and not allow our natural disinclination to call drag to you down. Convey argues that proactivity means that a person takes on the responsibility for his own behaviour. Taking responsibility and being reminded that this is your job, provides a helpful perspective for reinforcing your self discipline.

Convey asserts that being responsible means you do not blame your circumstances, conditions or conditioning for your behaviour. In my coaching conversations it often comes up that a caller is held back by thinking: the prospect has probably already been called on this topic a thousand times; I'm probably the fifth caller today to bug this guy about this opportunity; this prospect always hides of behind voice mail so why bother calling.

In short the condition of ones own internal projections or beliefs, provide a perfect excuse not to call and if you give in to these perceptions, your productivity immediately takes a dive. Responsibility is out the window. And who are you responsible to anyway? Just yourself? In that case you are in a weaker position. Better to publically commit to a level of activity in order to buttress your responsibility.

But of course you won't do this unless YOU HAVE TO. Urgency is a great motivator, if it isn't too late. Some years ago I ran across a formula for translating a wish into an action. O don't have the source but it went like this, the OTIUM formula: for the transition of want into action to occur you need opportunity, time, importance, urgency and means.

Urgency is the key. I would add one more element: a willingness to subordinate impulse to a value or goal. This, says Covey, is the essence of the proactive person. Reactive people are driven by feelings, circumstances, by condition or environemtal factors. Proactive peope are driven by values (or goals)..carefully though about, selected and internalised values.

Urgency however, needs a catalyst, a something that stimulates you to move forward with your calls. Hopefully you have found a catalyst and one that you can and will repsond to with an exhubrant effort.

Some Help With Affiliate Marketing

As you would well notice within my blog page, there is affiliate marketing going on with Google and Amazon. This process essentailly works where a user will click on one of these adverts on the page, and for each click I am awarded a small sum of money (usually about 20 cents). There is not a lot of easy information out there to find, and for someone just starting out in this type of marketing, can be confusing and daunting.

That is until I was recommended this website today, that in a sense offers an online tutorial. This site Affiliate Marketing Forums - Revenue Source.com. Through the site i've spent browsing through this site, there have been some very relevant and useful topics, particularly in the context of what I am doing on my websites. There are people here who are undertaking similar projects to myself, each with helpful tips and prompt responses for those who require answers.

For any problems you are having with either implementing affiliate marketing code into your website, coding related questions, or ways to better improve your return on advertising in the website, this is definately the place to go. Visit Affiliate Marketing & SEO Forums for more info.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What Did You Do At School Today?

Anyone with children will know that by asking "What did you do at school today?" you will get the response, "Nothing much". It is so frustrating isn't it? But what do you automatically say when asked by a shop assistant, "Can I help you?". More than likely you will say, "No thanks, I'm just looking."

Would you like to know how to have a conversation with your children, spouse, workmates or friends? Well try this.

Some years ago, I presented a seminar with a leading Negotiation Consultant who showed me how to get people to tell you what was bugging them and also to have a very stimulating conversation. This was what he said.

Firstly, ask the person you are talking to, "What didn't you like about today", then after their response ask "What else didn't you like about today", then again ask, "What was even worse than that" and finally, ask " What was the absolute worst thing that happened today?" Very often you won't get a response to the fourth question, but if you do you had better believe that it is something that is really buggin them.

Then comes the really fabulous outcome when you flip the question over and ask, "What was the best thing that happened today?" You had better have some time to listen, because whoever you are talking to will really open up and let you into secrets you have never thought about.

Does this work?
You had better believe it!


I was able to achieve a long term consulting contract after a client had tried the technique on his teenage children when they had their best conversation in a number of years. Recently I did a seminar in Bunbury and during the afternoon break, one of the attendees went home for tea, and tried out my "What was the worst thing that happened at school today etc..." technique on his 13 year old son.

The result: "It was the first time in 7 years I had a decent conversation with my son!"
Why don'y you give it a go?

Computer Space Solutions

Being a business that runs a lot of computers, storage and organisation of the machines is a critical aspect to office operations. A poorly organised office space can lead to lower productivity, very bad headaches when problems arise, and not to mention the aesthetics of the whole deal.

With this in mind, I think it a good opportunity to mention LAN Racks, a product designed and produced by Versatables. Versatables specialise in storage solutions for the home or office, catering from large industrial office projects of hundreds of computers, right down to smaller business and home office solutions.

The company stocks a whole different array of furniture for your storing needs, including office furniture, school furniture, chairs, computer racks and space savers, as well as custom designs to suit any situation. The examples on the right represent the extreme industrial versions of the products the company sells.

Of interest to me however, was the LAN server racks. These are to take up minimum space, yet provide easy accessability. These range from the basic Server Rack 24", which can store two CPUs and three monitors, to the much larger Server Rack 72" that supports eight monitors and seven CPUs. An example of these can be found in the LAN Server Rack section of the website.

As well as storage solutions, the company offers keyboard and LCD monitor arms, CPU holders, and that ever annoying wire solution, wire management.

All products are produced in Los Angeles California, and will ship directly from the factory within a few days of the order. The products also come with a lifetime warranty from the factory, always a nice reassurance for this type of product.

So if you're running a business that requires the use aand organisation of several computers networked together, need to create some neat space for servers, or optimise your workspace, these table systems are worth the investment.

National Breast Cancer Foundation - Desert Mums

I dropped this note to Debbie Shiell who walked the Simpson Desert raising funds for cancer research.

Debbie

You inspired us.. we are doing an evening seminar at the end of November where all door money is going to National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Wayne Mansfield

See the next post for her reply

reconstructive surgeons overseas to repair cleft palates

Hello Wayne,

Thank you for continuing the journey, and regarding the inspiration - I am glad to have returned the favour. Reading your emails over the years always got me thinking and asking myself what more I could be – they inspired me. I think it was where I got the quote from “accept the challenges so you may feel the exhilaration of victory”. How fantastic that feels.

The walk has changed the course of my life, I am now employed by Interplast Australia as a fundraising manager. Interplast send teams of reconstructive surgeons overseas to repair cleft palates and burn contractures. Amazing work has been done by this organisation in its 23 year history in Australia – over 16,000 operations. Some of the pictures break my heart but the surgery is relatively simple, dramatic and the change in the life of the patient is instant and profound. They now go to school, have friends and contribute to the betterment of their society.

I have done a few talks around the traps for the walk across the Simpson and would be happy to give a talk to your groups about the walk should you ever feel its appropriate. The talk I give is basically about how we did it and that one person really can make a difference. Let me know if I can help in any way.

I wish you well in your November seminar and know whilst not always easy you have the spirit to endure all of life’s challenges.

Thank you. Hope to keep in touch.

Debbie Shiell
Desert Mum

Get You Into the Christmas Spirit

Here's a great music track, just in time to get you in the mood for Christmas! The song is called Greener's Christmas Song.

The group first released the song a few years ago on the internet, and was downloaded over a million times. Backing on this support, the group went off and re-recorded the song professionally, and now offer the imrpoved version on their website. The song is available for download on the website, with proceeds going towards LIFEbeat, a music industry charity for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

There are two versions of the song. An electric version (fairly heavy version) and the acoustic version (more mellow). The song sings about catching up for Christmas, wishing loved a Happy Christmas and a Good Year. It sings of the message behind Christmas, and the underlying feeling of getting together for the holidays.

For those into indie, this is a good song for you, and lets face it, the cause behind the idea is well worth supporting.

CREDIT CARD SCAM - worth reading

Received an email from a Maverick Spirit reader:

CREDIT CARD SCAM

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want.

WARNING...New Credit Card Scam.

Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.

One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "MasterCard".

The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460 your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card, which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a Marketing company based in Sydney?"

When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?"

You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a Fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security.

You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6-digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card". He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers". There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number; the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card.

These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?"

After you say No, the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up.

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number but after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question.

Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card.

I checked this out on snopes.com.

Long story made short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number.

What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master card directly for verification of their conversation.

The real VISA told us that they would never ask for anything on the card, as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening.

Please pass this on to all your family and friends. By informing each other, we protect each other.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Famous Quotes

Life is what happens when you're making other plans
John Lennon

Dreams are wiser than men.
Omaha Indians

Only those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly
Robert F Kennedy

Ben Franklin's Virtue Building Method

Beniman Franklin worked hard at self-discipline. He believed the foundation of his success, and the key to his many accomplishments was a weekly chart, listing 13 virtues on a grid with days of the week. Franklin would pay strict attention all day long to each virtue successively. For the first week for example, he'd tackle temperance, "leaving the other virtues to their ordinary chance." Each night, he would mark the areas where he found fault. The following week, he'd move on to silence, and work on eliminating all useless conversation.

Using the technique, Franklin worked through 13 virtues. At the end of the 13th week, he'd start all over, and run through the entire list four times a year.

Franklin admitted he often didn't do very well. " Isoon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined," he wrote in his autobiography. "While my care was employed in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason." The list of virtues Franklin counted most important included chastity, temperance, silence, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquillity, and humanity. But he believed himself to be "a better and happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it."

You might try Franklin's technique and substitue some contemporary virtues of your own, working daily to make them permantly established habits. For example: enthusiasm, concentration, confidence, listening, delegation, eliminating inefficiency, careful grooming, effective speaking.

Franklin is considered the father of Modern Positive Thinking!

American Muscle Fans

On a whim yesterday I was doing a search related to Ford parts for the company car. The usual plethora of information popped up, most of it useless. One of the searches came up with Ford Mustang car site. I decided I would check it out, and was pleasently surprised.

The site comes complete with all the latest information about the Mustang, as well as tech articles, wall papers, videos and reviews. There is also a forum available for any owner to ask questions, give their opinions and discuss other topics with other Mustang owners.

For any big fan of the Ford Mustang, modded cars, or automotive in general, this is well worth a look. The content is original and interesting, as well as there being some really tough cars on the site.

Now if only I had a spare $30,000US...

Getting Started

Starting is always the hardest thing, and in goal setting it pays to start small and build up some confidence with little successes. Once you start to do this, the excitement of having accomplished the little thigns will lead you on to the harder tasks.

It has been provided that the competition of cycles (or tasks) provides us with energy and that a lot of uncompleted cycles in our life makes us fatigues. If you get out of bed late one morning, fall over your shoes, stagger out to a kitchen full of last nights dirty dishes, climb into a filthy car full of rubbish, and then face a desk covered with papers, you will understand how tired a myriad of uncompleted cycles makes you feel.

Once you get the habit of finishing a job before you start the next, you will discover a whole new energy source. Try making a list of all the little jobs that need finishing, mark against then the time required to complete them, and get started. Experience the feeling of achievment that you get when each job is finshed. It will give you the power to go on to the next task. Progressively make the tasks more difficult and you will start to succeed at levels that are only dreams at the moment.

If you're serious about becoming well off financially, you will need to master the art of goal setting. If you can do it, and it is not difficult, your success is guaranteed.

adapted from Making Money Simple

Work... It's Good For You

It has been proven that those who succeed love work - for its own sake, for the feeling of accomplishment it gives them. Your accomplishments are tied up with your enthusiasm for life. Make work your blessing and it will bless you.

On the wall of a world famous neurological institute hands a card, intended not for the sick but the well:

"If you are poor - work. If you are rich - work. If you are burdened with seemingly unfair responsibilities - work.

If you are happy - continue to work; idleness gives room for doubts and fears. If sorrow overwhelms you and loved ones seem not true - work. If disappointments come - work.

If faith falters and reasons fail - just work. When dreams are shattered and hopes seem dead - work. Work as if your life were in peril; it really is.

No matter what ails you, work. Work faithfully, and work with faith. Work is the greatest material remedy available. Work will cure both mental and physical afflictions."

Thomas Edison, prehaps the greatest inventor of all time, made this statement on his 73rd birthday:

"I am glad the eight-hour day had not been invented when I was a man. I am wondering what would have happened to me by now, if 50 years ago some fluent talked had converted me to the theory of the eight hour day and convinced me that it was not fair to my fellow workers to put forth my best effort in my work.

This counrty would not amount to as much as it does, if the young men 50 years ago had been afraid that they might earn more than they were being paid."

Have you ever wondered why the busiest people can always handle more than one thing? Why, in most clubs, just a handful do the work! Because they are enthusiastic and they have learned to channel energy in the right direction.

Love your work, it wil love you back!

Some Handy Coupon Discounts

In todays world, there is a very competitive market for products that can be sold over the internet. Given this competition there are many offers being made in an effort to receive your business. Some are quite dodgy, but others are genuine and are quite realistic discounts.

Have a go at this website, couponchief.com. It offers coupon codes for a variety of different products, from a variety of different companies. Everything from books and magazines, to automotive, wines and office supplies.

This one particular for A&E coupon codes offers me $1 shipping on all orders, a bargain considering the usual cost of shipping (anywhere up to $25). Thats not all though, as discounts can be found everywhere, quickly and easily through the sites simple search system. The content is updated constantly and retains the most recent offers in a list form.

And the best part is its free, and it works.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Stuff to Make You Think

Thoughts from Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop: "Our values were diametrically opposed to the business practices of the cosmetics industry in just about every area:

  • They were prepared to sell false hopes and unattainable dreams; I was not. From the start, we explained to customers in simple language everyone could understand exactle what a product could do and wouldn't do.


  • They sold through hype; I was innocent and didn't even know what hype was.


  • They thought packaging was important; I thought it was totally irrelevant. We happily filled old lemonade bottles with our product if a customer asked.


  • They tested on animals; I was repulsed by the practice and made it clear that I would never sell a product that had been tested on animals.


  • They spent millions on market research; we simply said to our customers, "Tell us what you want and we will try to get it for you."


  • They had marketing departments; I never fully understood what marketing was.


  • They had enormous advertising budgets; we have never spent a cent on advertising. At first we couldn't afford it, and when we could afford it, we had got to the point where I would be embarrased to do it.


  • They talked about beauty products; I banished the word "beauty".


  • They worshipped profits; we didn't. In all the time I have been in business we have never had a meeting to discuss profits - we wouldn't know how to do it.


  • Finally, and most importantly, they thought it was not the business of business to get involved in wider issues, in the protection of the environment or involvement with the community; I thought there was nothin more important.


We take our hat off to Anita... a true Maverick in business, and a world wide success story.

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