Saturday, December 13, 2014

LIFE TIP -5 Regrets From People On Their Deathbeds, Revealed By A Nurse

 by Siobhan Harmer
It is grim and frightening, but death is also inevitable. All we can hope for is that we are at peace with ourselves and with the way we have spent our time. In this wonderful piece written by Bronnie Ware via The Unbounded Spirit, we discover the true regrets that those about to end their journey have.


Nurse Reveals Top 5 Regrets People Make On Their Deathbeds

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
About The Author:
Bronnie Ware is the author of the best-selling memoir, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, released worldwide, with translations in 27 languages. She also runs an online personal growth and song writing course, has released two albums of original songs, and writes a well-loved blog. Bronnie’s newest book, Your Year for Change, was released in October, 2014.
She is now an author, personal growth facilitator, and speaker. Bronnie lives in NSW, Australia.

Friday, December 12, 2014

INVESTMENT Tip- Investing 101

by Alden Wicker
If there’s one thing that all wealthy people have in common it’s this: They invest.
That’s because investing money is the smartest and most reliable way to grow it over the long term, after you have first built up your emergency savings (which never gets invested) Let’s say you have $1,000 to invest and you won’t need it until ten years from now. If you put it in a savings account, you might earn about 1% per year. Over ten years, that interest adds up to $105. Or you can put it in a diversified investment account. While short-term dips happen, we can assume over ten years an investment account will grow by an average 7% per year. Given this, you could earn $967. That could mean actually doubling your money, which is a huge difference. Yup, those wealthy people are on to something.
Even knowing what your money could be worth, you might still be nervous about investing, which is very normal. It’s true, investing poorly could lead to that $1,000 disappearing forever and there is no such thing as a guaranteed investment. But investing is a necessary part of building wealth, and yet even when you include employer-sponsored retirement accounts like 401(k)s, an April 2011 Gallup study found that only 54% of Americans hold investments like stocks and mutual funds. And the recession has only scared people even more: That’s the lowest percentage since Gallup started tracking this statistic in 1999.
But you don’t need to be a financial analyst to make smart investing decisions. You just need to know some ground rules about how to protect your money while letting it grow.

Investing in a Nutshell

Investing is putting your money in a financial vehicle that might enable it to grow more quickly than it would in a savings account.
While most of us think of “earning” as putting in hours of work and getting paid for that, investing essentially puts our money into a marketplace where companies and governments and other entities can use it to create a profit that will be returned to us. (At least that’s the hope—some investments do go bust, taking our money with them.)
Most commonly, people invest by buying financial assets like stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs (and if you don’t know exactly what these are, don’t worry, we’ll describe them later). When we sell them, we hopefully make a profit by selling at a price higher than what we bought them for. If you have a 401(k) or IRA, you are likely already investing. By the time you retire, that money will likely have grown significantly.
What investing is not: gambling or a get-rich-quick scheme. While you always hear about how much you would have made if you had invested in Google X years ago, that’s a rarity. Could you name the next Google today? Not likely. But if done prudently and with an eye to long-term gains, investing is an intelligent financial strategy.

Why Investing Is Important

The biggest benefit to investing is that it helps your money grow faster than inflation. Inflation is the force that slowly erodes the purchasing power of your dollar, making everything from bread to cars a little more expensive every passing year. That’s why people used to be able to pay 50 cents for a movie and now get charged $15.
To understand this better, let’s say your parents had $1,000 in 1982. Let’s consider two things they could have done with it: saved it or spent it.
  • If they had kept it in a savings account … Let’s say it had been earning 1% per year in interest. That account would now be worth $1,740. Sounds great, right? Except for the fact that inflation over the last 30 years was 3.43% per year.
  • If they had spent it … Back then, that $1,000 would have bought them goods that, in today’s dollars, would be worth $2,940. So, inflation in the price of goods outpaced the 1% interest rate in the savings account. 
But saving and spending aren’t the only two things your parents could have done with their money. Their third option would have been to invest it.
Investing helps you beat inflation by a lot, which makes it a crucial part of saving for retirement. For instance, if your parents had invested the same amount of money in a diversified basket of mutual funds, they would have grown their money 15 times over, to have $14,740 in 2012.* You can see why if you want to grow your money over a long period of time, investing is the way to go.

Why Investing Is Important for Women

Before we dive into why investing is important for women, let’s take a step back for a second and think about one of the main purposes of investing: to be able to retire.
When it comes to retirement, women need to save more—much more—than men. First, because they live longer (on average), and second, because during retirement they tend to have higher health costs than men.But despite these two big reasons for women to save more than men, in reality, they save less. On average, women today retire with two-thirds less in assets than men. If there’s anyone for whom investing is important, it’s women.
Unfortunately, women tend to be much less confident than men when it comes to investing. While 88% of men say they are very knowledgeable when it comes to financial planning, only 57% of women say the same. That lack of confidence often leads women to hand over management of their money to the men in their lives.
That’s a bad move, because women tend to make better investors than men. They are more likely to buy and hold investments, a characteristic especially important in financial crises, such as the one in 2008. That tendency to stay calm instead of panicking translates to better returns over time.
In short: You can totally do this.

How Investing Works

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to invest, you should understand a few fundamental principles underlying all investing:

Risk Tolerance

The first step to investing is to determine for yourself how much risk you are willing to take on. When it comes to investing, risk is the possibility that your investments will perform worse than you were hoping or expected. As a general rule, the younger you are, the more risks you can take, because if something goes wrong at age 30, you have time to start building up your money again. Plus you can ride out dips in the market and be confident it will eventually go back up. But as you get closer to retirement, you’ll be more cautious with your money.


So why would people want to invest in anything high risk at all? It has to do with your return, or the profit you hope to make. As a general rule, the higher the risk, the higher the potential return. So investing in a tiny startup is very risky, but if that startup succeeds, it could grow ten times. (On the flip side, it could disappear and take your money with it.) Investing in Coca-Cola is much less risky, but it will probably only grow a fraction of that each year. And bonds are the safest, but you pay for that safety by making less money than you would in stocks during boom times.


So, how do you avoid undue risk? Diversification, which means putting your money in more than one type of investment so that bad performance in some of them will be offset by good performance in others. Investing all your money in one company is never a good idea because if it goes south, so does all your money. You want to spread your investments out across a wide variety of companies, industries and even countries.  This doesn’t only distribute risk; it also means you have a variety of growth opportunities that you might not have if everything is in one stock.

Common Investments

When you buy a stock for $10, you are actually buying a tiny piece of a company and becoming a type of owner, called a shareholder. The company will use your money to expand—by hiring more employees or opening new locations, for example—and increase profits. As the company grows, it becomes more valuable, and your little piece of it becomes more valuable too. If all goes well, you can eventually sell that little piece for $12, $20, or $50, depending on the circumstances. Of course, it’s also possible that the company will lose value or go out of business, and then your little piece isn’t worth much or anything at all. That’s the risk you take.
You can also invest in bonds. When you buy a bond, you are essentially loaning the government or a company money in order to finance their business. For example, when you buy a U.S. Treasury bond, you are loaning the federal government $1,000 for a certain time period—say, 10 years. They will pay you back the interest every year, and then at the end of the 10 years, you’ll also get your $1,000 back. Bonds are the safest type of investment, since it is safe to assume the U.S. government will pay you back. (If it can’t, we all have much larger worries.)
Mutual Funds and ETFs
We talked above about the importance of diversification. Mutual funds and ETFs do a lot of the work of diversification for you. They are collections of stocks, bonds and other types of investment vehicles. Some hold a variety of stocks from a certain country or region. Some hold stock from a certain industry. Some just mimic the makeup of  indexes like the Dow Jones or Nasdaq
The difference between ETFs and mutual funds lie in how they are managed and how often they are traded. ETFs can be traded like a stock, while mutual funds can only be sold and bought in certain intervals. Mutual funds are also often managed by a person and have different fee structures as well. But both can serve almost the same purpose in your portfolio.

What to Keep in Mind When You Invest

Before you jump into investing, you’ll want to keep some general principles in mind:

1. Remember that there are ups and downs, not just ups.

Historically, over the long term, the stock market has tended to go up, but it will have days, months and even years where it will go down. The key to dealing with the inevitable swings in the stock market is to keep a cool head and think about the long term. Don’t follow day-to-day market news or try to “play” the market. Instead, check in just a few times a year and rebalance according to your needs.

2. Choose a strategy and stick with it.

From time to time, you might hear about a hot new investment strategy or tip. An IPO everyone is buzzing about (Netscape), a fabulous investment firm run by a friend of a friend (Heard of him? His name is Madoff) or a complicated investment vehicle that is giving unheard of returns (collateralized debt obligations backed by subprime mortgages!). It’s best to not get caught up in a bubble or hype, and instead stick to your original strategy.

3. A down market isn’t the time to pull out, it’s the time to buy.

People normally feel confident enough to invest when the market is going up, and then they get scared and pull out when the market goes down. Unfortunately, this is the exact opposite of what they should be doing–not only because they’ve forgotten that there are natural ups and downs (point #1), but because they are then buying investments at their most expensive and selling them at the moment they are least likely to get much for them. You should do the opposite and view a down market as an opportunity to buy at a discount. Like a sale at Kate Spade, the temporary dips in the market help you get your hands on investment shares you want for the future at a better price.

Remember …

Investing over the long term is the best way to grow your money and outpace inflation. And you don’t have to be a business school graduate to do it well. You just need to know the basics and keep your eye on the prize: a comfortable retirement that includes lots of travel and a beach house.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

LIFE Tip- How Can We Stay Healthy and Live Longer? The Answer is Enlightening

by MSN health
Sometimes, when it comes to our health, we have to think beyond what science can measure. Stress, for instance, is not wholly quantifiable—yet it can be worse for our bodies and longevity than smoking a pack a day or maintaining a candy-and-cookies diet.
Sometimes, the best preventative medicine doesn’t come in a screening or a pill. It’s just embracing a sense of purpose in your life.
           New analysis in The Atlantic takes a look at all the ways science is proving that living on purpose is an essential component to staying healthy. A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that people who have purpose in their lives were more likely to partake in preventative healthcare like mammograms and flu shots.
That’s not all. There are many more examples of purposeful living’s impact. The program Experience Corps has paired struggling early elementary kids with an adult age 55 or older for tutoring. Not only did the students’ attitudes and test scores increase over time, but the adults felt a renewed sense of purpose in their lives. Their depression rates fell, their cognition improved, their physical mobility, stamina, and flexibility all received a bump.
Nobel Prize-winner and biochemistry professor Elizabeth Blackburn has noted the link between stress and bodily aging: the caps on the ends of our chromosomes, called telomeres, shorten with psychological pressure. Shorter telomeres expose our chromosomes to damage, they fray, and we’re more likely to get sick and die—but the enzyme telomerase can slow down this aging process. With that in mind, Blackburn put stressed-out subjects into a three-month meditation program during one of her studies, and found they had longer telomeres and higher telomerase activity compared to those who did not meditate.
“It was the purpose, not the meditation itself,” explains Victor Strecher, professor of health behavior and health education at University of Michigan School of Public Health—a fact that is largely ignored by the medical sciences. But, he explains, "If things like purpose in life are rejected simply because they are philosophical ideas [not generally associated with the science of medicine], that's a problem... What if doctors had a prescription pad that just helped people develop greater purpose in life? I think we need something like this right now.”
Positive thinking and finding purpose are both mechanisms you can develop. Have you ever noticed that your troubles seem to melt when you think of others? Strecher says we need to look outside ourselves to improve our wellness. Volunteering is a huge lesson in perspective. Meditation and mindfulness can also help you learn what you are on this earth to do and the people you impact everyday—but you can’t get any of this in a shot from the doctor’s office. It’s on you. So, if you want one of the best ways to improve your health and wellbeing, think: I will live with purpose .

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

REAL ESTATE Tip- Features of a Profitable Rental Property

by EvancouverRealEstate

Investors Starting Fresh: Features of a Profitable Rental Property

If you’ve recently started your search as an investor looking for a profitable rental property, you might have started to wonder: without having the ability to rely on historical and proven information about the worthiness of a home as a rental income property, how might one decide on where to place their investment? If a home has never been rented out before, how can I know whether it will make for a good rental income property?

Well, luckily there is additional research you can put into action – when doing so, consider these universal features of a profitable rental property.

An ‘Up and Coming’ Neighbourhood

Purchasing in the right neighbourhood at the right time can be one of the best scenarios when it comes to making an investment in real estate, and is surely every investor’s dream.

Accomplishing this is all about conducting your research and being able to spot trends in the market before they become overly obvious to the general public. Which areas are changing? Which neighbourhoods seem to be becoming more popular and intriguing to the public? Have your realtor provide you with the details, and then take it upon yourself to explore the neighbourhoods that are on your radar.

Zoning and Future Developments

Often pinpointing an ‘up and coming’ neighbourhood is accomplished by considering the zoning of the area as well as any changes to such that might be taking place. If zoning changes have been proposed by developers, and are either approved or pending, this can be a major hint towards future development and overall change in the area.

This is often a key piece of the puzzle when trying to envision the neighbourhood in its short-term and long-term future. Ensure to utilize your foresight and have conversations with your realtor about how the future developments can positively affect the neighbourhood or negatively affect the particular property.

Property Taxes and Rental Income

Finally, make sure you don’t leave out factors like property taxes when trying to ascertain which areas make for the most lucrative rental incomes. Check out the property taxes and deduct them from the average annual rental incomes for similar homes. How beneficial is one area over the next when looking at the cold, hard bottom-line figures?

Looking at a home that has a history as a rental income property? Here’s what you need to avoid getting burned.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

LIFE Tip -6 Subtle Things Highly Productive People Do Every Day

 BY Eric Barker
Ever feel like you’re just not getting enough done?
Know how many days a week you’re actually productive?
People work an average of 45 hours a week; they consider about 17 of those hours to be unproductive (U.S.: 45 hours a week; 16 hours are considered unproductive).
We could all be accomplishing a lot more — but then again, none of us wants to be a workaholic, either.
It’d be great to get tons done and have work-life balance. But how do we do that? I decided to get some answers.
And who better to ask than Tim Ferriss, author of the international bestseller  The 4 hour workweek.

(Tim’s blog is here and his podcast is here.)
Below are six tips Tim offered, the science behind why they work, and insights from the most productive people around.

1. Manage Your Mood

Most productivity systems act like we’re robots – they forget the enormous power of feelings.
If you start the day calm  it’s easy to get the right things done and focus.
But when we wake up and the fray is already upon us — phone ringing, emails coming in, fire alarms going off — you spend the whole day reacting.
This means you’re not in the driver’s seat working on your priorities; you’re responding to what gets thrown at you, important or not.
Here’s Tim:
I try to have the first 80 to 90 minutes of my day vary as little as possible. I think that a routine is necessary to feel in control and nonreactive, which reduces anxiety. It therefore makes you more productive.
Research shows how you start the day has an enormous effect on productivity and you procrastinate more when you're in a bad mood.
Studies demonstrate happiness increased productivity and makes you feel more successful.
As Shawn Anchor  describes in his book The Happiness Advantage:
Doctors put in a positive mood before making a diagnosis show almost three times more intelligence and creativity than doctors in a neutral state, and they make accurate diagnoses 19% faster. Optimistic salespeople outsell their pessimistic counterparts by 56%. Students primed to feel happy before taking math achievement tests far outperform their neutral peers. It turns out that our brains are literally hardwired to perform at their best not when they are negative or even neutral, but when they are positive.
So think a little less about managing the work and a little more about managing your moods.

So what’s the first step to managing your mood after you wake up?

2. Don’t Check Email In The Morning

To some people this is utter heresy. Many can’t imagine not waking up and immediately checking email or social-media feeds.
I’ve interviewed a number of highly productive people and nobody said, “Spend more time with email.”
Why is checking email in the morning a cardinal sin?You’re setting yourself up to react.
An email comes in and suddenly you’re giving your best hours to someone else’s goals, not yours.
You’re not planning your day and prioritizing; you’re letting your objectives be hijacked by whoever randomly decides to enter your inbox.
Here’s Tim:
Whenever possible, do not check email for the first hour or two of the day. It’s difficult for some people to imagine. “How can I do that? I need to check email to get the information I need to work on my most important one or two to-dos?”
You would be surprised how often that is not the case. You might need to get into your email to finish 100% of your most important to-dos. But can you get 90% done before you go into Gmail and have your rat brain explode with freak-out, dopamine excitement and cortisol panic? Yes.
Research shows email:
  1. Stresses you out.
  2. Can turn you into a jerk
  3. Can be more addictive than tobacco or alcohol
  4. And checking email frequently is the equivalent of  dropping your IQ by 10 points.
Is this really how you want to start your day?

Great, so you know what not to do. But a bigger question looms: What should you be doing? 

3. Before You Try To Do It Faster, Ask Whether It Should Be Done At All

Everyone asks, “Why is it so impossible to get everything done?” But the answer is stunningly easy:
You’re doing too many things.
Want to be more productive? Don’t ask how to make something more efficient until after you’ve asked “DO I need to do this at all?"
Here’s Tim:
Doing something well does not make it important. I think this is one of the most common problems with a lot of time-management or productivity advice; they focus on how to do things quickly. The vast majority of things that people do quickly should not be done at all.
It’s funny that we complain we have so little time and then we prioritize like time is endless. Instead, do what is important … and not much else.
But is this true in the real world?
Research shows CEOs don’t get more done by blindly working more hours, they get more done when they follow careful plans
Preliminary analysis from CEOs in India found that a firm’s sales increased as the CEO worked more hours. But more intriguingly, the correlation between CEO time use and output was driven entirely by hours spent in planned activities. Planning doesn’t have to mean that the hours are spent in meetings, though meetings with employees were correlated with higher sales; it’s just that CEO time is a limited and valuable resource, and planning how it should be allocated increases the chances that it’s spent in productive ways.

OK, you’ve cleared the decks. Your head is serene, you’ve gotten the email monkey off your back and you know what you need to do.
Now we have to face one of the biggest problems of the modern era: How do you sit still and focus?

4. Focus Is Nothing More Than Eliminating Distractions

Ed Hallowell, former professor at Harvard Medical School and bestselling author of Driven to Distraction, says we have “culturally generated ADD.”
Has modern life permanently damaged our attention spans?
No. What you do have is more tantalizing, easily accessible, shiny things available to you 24/7 than any human being has ever had.
The answer is to lock yourself somewhere to make all the flashing, buzzing distractions go away.
Here’s Tim:
Focus is a function, first and foremost, of limiting the number of options you give yourself for procrastinating… I think that focus is thought of as this magical ability. It’s not a magical ability. It’s put yourself in a padded room, with the problem that you need to work on, and shut the door. That’s it. The degree to which you can replicate that, and systematize it, is the extent to which you will have focus.
What’s the best way to sum up the research? How about this: Distractions make you stupid.
And a flood of studies shows that the easiest and most powerful way to change your behavior is to change your environment.
Top CEOs are interrupted every 20 minutes. How do they get anything done?
By working from home in the morning for 90 minutes where no one can bother them:
They found that not one of the twelve executives was ever able to work uninterruptedly more than twenty minutes at a time—at least not in the office. Only at home was there some chance of concentration. And the only one of the twelve who did not make important, long-range decisions “off the cuff,” and sandwiched in between unimportant but long telephone calls and “crisis” problems, was the executive who worked at home every morning for an hour and a half before coming to the office.
(For more on how to stop procrastinating go here.)
I know what some of you are thinking: I have other responsibilities. Meetings. My boss needs me. My spouse calls. I can’t just hide.
This is why you need a system.

5. Have A Personal System

I’ve spoken to a lot of insanely productive people. You know what none of them said?
“I don’t know how I get stuff done. I just wing it and hope for the best.”
Not one. Your routines can be formal and scientific or personal and idiosyncratic — but either way, productive people have a routine.
Here’s Tim:
Defining routines and systems is more effective than relying on self-discipline. I think self-discipline is overrated.
Allowing yourself the option to do what you have not decided to do is disempowering and asking for failure. I encourage people to develop routines so that their decision-making is only applied to the most creative aspects of their work, or wherever their unique talent happens to lie.
Great systems work because they make things automatic, and don’t tax your very limited supply of willpower.
What do we see when we systematically study the great geniuses of all time? Almost all had personal routines that worked for them.
(“Give and Take” author Adam Grant consistently writes in the mornings while Tim always writes at night.)
How do you start to develop your own personal system? Apply some 80-20 thinking:
  1. What handful of activities are responsible for the disproportionate number of your successes?
  2. What handful of activities absolutely crater your productivity?
  3. Rearrange your schedule to do more of No. 1 and to eliminate No. 2 as much as possible.
(For more on the routines geniuses use to be productive click here.)
So you’re all set to wake up tomorrow with a system and not be reactive. How do you make sure you follow through on this tomorrow? It’s simple.

6. Define Your Goals The Night Before

Wake up knowing what is important before the day’s pseudo-emergencies come barging into your life and your inbox screams new commands.
Here’s Tim:
Define your one or two most important to-dos before dinner, the day before.
Best-selling author Dan Pink gives similar advice:
Establish a closing ritual. Know when to stop working. Try to end each workday the same way, too. Straighten up your desk. Back up your computer. Make a list of what you need to do tomorrow.
Research says you’re more likely to follow through if you’re specific and if you write your goals down.
Studies show this has a secondary benefit: writing down what you need to do tomorrow relieves anxiety and helps you enjoy your evening.
(For more information on setting and achieving goals click here.)
So how does this all come together?

Summing Up

Here are Tim’s 6 tips:
  1. Manage Your Mood
  2. Don’t Check Email in The Morning
  3. Before You Try To Do It Faster, Ask Whether It Should Be Done At All
  4. Focus Is Nothing More Than Eliminating Distractions
  5. Have A Personal System
  6. Define Your Goals The Night Before
The word “productivity” sounds like we’re talking about machines. But the funny thing is that much of being truly good with time is about feelings.
How should you strive to feel when working? Busy, but not rushed. Research shows this is when people are happiest.
I couldn’t have written this without the help of Tim Ferriss and Adam Grant. Both volunteered their very valuable time.
Was that a waste on their part? They definitely won’t get those minutes back.
Helping others takes time but research shows it makes us feel like we have more time. And it makes us happier
Once you are more productive, you’ll have a lot more hours to fill. So why not use them to make others and yourself happier?

Friday, October 10, 2014

MONEY Tip- The Millionaire Mindset: 6 Mistakes the Rich Never Make

by Molly Triffin

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately—or you avoid network news like the plague—you’re probably pretty familiar with these terms … and the implication that true wealth in America is too exclusive for most of us to ever attain.
Well, the truth is you don’t have to launch a blockbuster tech company, sport the last name Buffett—or pursue the kind of career that could be featured in a Michael Lewis book (Although let’s be real—those things don’t hurt.)

What you do have to have? The right money mind-set, as well as the financially savvy habits that go with it.
“The primary difference between the wealthy and the rest of us is that they’re in control of their money—they don’t let money control them,” says Jaime Tardy, a business coach and author of "The Eventual Millionaire" who has interviewed more than 150 millionaires on how they accumulated their wealth.

“They have taken the time to learn how to work successfully with money, and as a result, they are the captain of their ship,” she says. “On the other hand, if you approach your finances from a place of fear or ignorance, you’ll be like a boat floating around the ocean without a motor.”
And that type of aimless attitude is what can lead you to make serious dollar-sucking mistakes—unless you learn to adopt some key good money habits of the wealthy.
So with that goal in mind, we rounded up the biggest financial blunders many people make—but prosperous folks avoid at all costs—so you can start to put their strategies into action to boost your own net worth.

If you’re not a numbers person, it can be tempting to mentally cut yourself off from your finances, whether it’s neglecting to stay on top of your investments or blatantly ignoring your bank statements. But that’s a huge no-no—and those with sky-high bank accounts certainly don’t amass big bucks by being blind to their balance sheets.
“If you don’t have the facts about your financial situation, money will stream through your hands like water,” Tardy says. The consequence? You could land in debt, make poor investments—or end up flat-broke when you retire.
The Get-Rich Fix “Some people assume that you have to be an investment banker to understand money, but the wealthy weren’t born with some secret know-how—it’s a gradual learning process,” Tardy says. “If you’re procrastinating about facing money because you’re scared of what you’ll find, you have to dive in. Even if it’s not what you wanted to see, the truth will allow you to make decisions and move forward.”

If you’re starting from scratch, the first step is to gather some basic information from your bank account, like how much you earn and what you spend, so you can figure out what you’re netting each month—and gauge whether your fiscal position is improving or getting worse. Once you have all the facts, you can start making thoughtful decisions about what you need to do in order to start growing your money.
On the other hand, if investing is your money blind spot, facing the facts might mean building up your knowledge base by listening to podcasts, signing up for a seminar or hiring a financial adviser. “Just make sure it’s a trusted source,” Tardy says. “Learn from people who are already where you want to be.”

Money Mistake #2: You Overspend

When you think about the type of lifestyles the rich can afford, you probably picture luxuries like a ski chateau in Chamonix or a closet full of Manolos. But wealthy people are more down-to-earth than you might imagine.
“Millionaires aren’t out there buying Lamborghinis,” Tardy says. “They make purchasing decisions based on their current financial status and their goals. They’re rich because they’re good at keeping money—not spending it.”
The Get-Rich Fix Have your eyes started to glaze over from having the importance of proper budgeting hammered into you repeatedly? We get it. Despite their best budgeting attempts, some people still find it difficult to keep tabs on their spending.
Unfortunately, we can’t give you a free pass to throw this crucial money to-do out the window—but Tardy does have a solution for making it a bit more bearable.
“Make budgeting a game by giving yourself an interesting new challenge every week,” she says. “See how little you can spend on groceries, or even skip food shopping one week and invent meals using what you already have in the cupboards.”
The key is to identify the system (or mind trick) that you’re most likely to stick with—and then do it.

Money Mistake #3: You Neglect to Adjust Your Finances Following a Big Life Event

When you get married or a parent passes away, your bank account is probably one of the last things on your mind. But if you postpone adding your spouse to your will, canceling your joint account after a divorce or signing on to your new company’s 401(k), your bottom line will take a hit.
“Successful people understand that every transition you go through has a financial implication—and they make sure to build a plan for those turning points,” says Pete Bush, a CFP® with Horizon Wealth Management in Baton Rouge, La.

The Get-Rich Fix Whenever your life takes a turn in a new direction, find time to sit down, look at your finances and adjust them accordingly. “Think about it like football,” Bush says. “The coaches have a game plan heading in. But let’s say the quarterback, running back and linebacker get hurt in the first quarter and are out of commission. Their original intention is now irrelevant, and they have to come up with a new blueprint.”
Money-savvy folks understand that even when you’re in the midst of a big event—like sleep-training your 6-month-old—it’s still important to consider your balance sheet … and open that 529 college savings plan that will help you save up thousands of dollars for the big financial burden coming in 18 years.
“Life transitions have many different components to them: logistical, emotional, spiritual, familial and, yes, financial,” Bush says. “Count the financial piece among the others and give it equal weighting. It may not be the most urgent, but at least if you recognize up-front that it’s in the mix, you can make a plan to deal with it.”

“Rich people will rarely be caught paying bills late, bouncing checks or carrying a high-interest card because they hate to waste money.”

Money Mistake #4: You Waste Cash on Fees

It’s one thing to burn through $100 on a fantastic meal at your favorite restaurant. Hey, at least you enjoyed yourself! But it’s entirely another to trash 100 big ones on overdraft fees or missed payments.
“The difference between wealthy people and everyone else is that the rich watch where their money is going, and they protect their wealth by making sure none of it slips through their fingers,” says David Bach, vice chairman of Edelman Financial Services and author of "Smart Woman Finish Rich " “Rich people will rarely be caught paying their bills late, bouncing checks or carrying a high-interest credit card because they hate to waste money.”
The Get-Rich Fix Automate, automate, automate. We’re only human, after all, and we’re bound to miss a payment or overlook a bill at some point. So put safeguards in place that will lower the risk of those inevitable blunders.
“Set up auto-pay features to take care of your key bills—mortgage, car payment, insurance, credit cards,” Bach says. “Late fees can add up to a fortune.”
Of course, that also doesn’t give you license to simply coast. “Rich people read their statements, checking regularly for mistakes,” Bach adds. “They know that if they catch errors on their bills, they can call their provider and get them fixed ASAP.”

Money Mistake #5: You Focus on Saving More—but Not Earning More

If you’ve decided that you need to scale back on your spending, and your first inclination is to sacrifice your daily Starbucks fix or unplug every electronic item in your house when you’re not using them—stop right there.
Millionaires aren’t in the business of wasting money, but they also recognize the greater importance of earning additional income as a way to attain financial goals faster. “[Wealthy people] understand that while there is a limit on how much you can save, there is no limit to how much you can make,” Tardy says.
In other words, even though slashing your expenses by $50 or even $100 a month will boost your bottom line a little bit—raking in thousands more from a salary bump will have a much greater effect.
The Get-Rich Fix If you’re feeling a pinch, invest your time more wisely by seeking out ways to earn more. An obvious place to start is by examining your current salary. If you haven’t asked for a raise recently, and know you’re delivering value to your company, schedule a meeting with your boss to make your case for earning more.

Another strategy? Use the hour you would have spent researching the cheapest online purveyor of dish detergent to brainstorm ways to bring in a side income.
“The key is figuring out what skills you have that can be of value to others and then determining how to charge for that value, whether it is a side venture, helping a friend with a project, or some other way of plugging into an opportunity of trading your value for [someone else's] money,” Bush says.

Money Mistake #6: You Obsess Over Price—and Sacrifice Value

Sometimes our frugal intentions end up sabotaging us: You buy cheapie $50 shoes instead of a good-quality $200 pair that will last longer. Or you make repeated repairs to your gas-guzzling, circa 1992 Volvo station wagon rather than spring for a new model.
But rich people know better.
“Wealthy people understand that the cheapest route isn’t always the most valuable,” Bush says. “They are able to take the long view and consider how what they pay today compares with the worth over time.”
The Get-Rich Fix Part of the solution is changing your mind-set from “find the rock-bottom price” to “find the best value.” Then do the math.
“Take the ‘bargain’ and ‘value’ options of whatever you’re looking at—a mortgage, car loan, etc.—and run the cost out over a reasonable time for that transaction,” suggests Bush. “Compare them both ways, taking into consideration your cash flow, and see which works best for your situation.”
So let’s say a car dealership offers a low rate or 0% interest if you finance a vehicle over three years versus a higher rate for five years. If you plan on keeping the car for seven to ten years, what is the total price of owning it over that time frame? The longer you finance something, the lower the monthly payments—but the more it costs over time. So it’s not as much short-term pain, but it gives you less to build savings with over the long term.
Also, remember that enlightening experiences are inherently more valuable than material goods. “Once you have an abundance of stuff, you quickly realize that you don’t need more of it,” Tardy says. “Millionaires understand that valuing the experiences that change you as a person—be it travel or skydiving—will do more for you than just getting the iPhone 6, when the iPhone 5 worked just as well.” (By the way, Tardy knows several millionaires who still have the iPhone 4!)
So start paying attention to what you are doing when you feel happiest and most alive—and put your financial efforts into creating more of those moments.

 photo from

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

LIFE Tip- If You Truly Value Yourself, Then You Need To Stop Saying These 4 Things

by Carol Morgan

Do you value yourself enough?
Well, up until recently, I sure wasn’t.
A couple of weeks ago, I had someone tell me that I was not charging enough for my keynote speeches.
My first reaction was confusion, plus a little bit of self-deprecating humor.
I thought, “Why don’t you think I’m charging enough? Am I completely out of the loop for the going rate for someone like me to speak at corporate events? Or, on the positive side, I’m just really that awesome and I could be the next Oprah?”

Anyway, a conversation about it ensued, and then I came to the conclusion that she was right: I’m not charging enough for my keynotes.
But I refused to think that I was out of the loop that much. So I had to turn to other possibilities.
If I’m undercharging, does that mean that I don’t value my message, or my work, or even myself? I didn’t think so. But I had to dig deep and think about it.
What were my subconscious thoughts that were blocking me from thinking I that I should charge more? I had a few answers…such as my older sisters saying things like, “You’re a doctor?!” or “People actually listen to you? Bahahaha!”
Keep in mind, my sisters are only teasing me. They are actually very supportive. But in the back of my head, I am just their little sister.
Could that be holding me back? (Actually, I have a whole other article to write on that topic sometime. That will be fun.)
I regularly speak and write about the subconscious beliefs we all have that are holding us back. But it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I had to analyze my own hidden beliefs.
In the past, I’ve written about what to do (or think) when other people don’t value you. But what if you are the one who is not valuing yourself enough?
Here are four things that may be going through your mind without you even knowing it.
And, of course, all of them are holding you back. Do any of them sound like you?

Self-Destructive Things You Need To Stop Saying

1. “I’m just helping people. I don’t need money for it.”
Helping people is great. We should all be helping people.

 money for a service is called an energy exchange. If you do nice things for a friend and you never get thanked (or maybe they never do anything nice in return for you), well, you’re kind of getting used.
The same thing applies to getting paid for services. Money is an energy exchange – a symbolic “thank you.” And it’s a vitally important one too. Without it, you have the potential of being used.
2. “I feel bad taking money from people.”
Do you feel bad collecting your paycheck? No.
Do you think that McDonald’s feels bad for accepting money for your Quarter Pounder with Cheese? No.

Do you think that a movie star has a problem accepting money from their blockbuster? Of course not!
It all sounds kind of silly when you re-frame it like that, doesn’t it? So why would you ever feel bad for accepting money from people? As I said in #1, it’s simply an energy exchange. Think of it as doing the person a favor by allowing them to be a giver.
3. “They can’t afford it, so I’ll take whatever they can give me.”
If they can’t afford you, then maybe they should find someone else. And I don’t mean that in a condescending way.
But there is always someone who will do the job cheaper than you…at least, there should be. You see, if you are the one at the bottom of the barrel who is accepting everyone’s sloppy seconds, then you don’t value yourself enough.

4. “I’m humble. I’m just lil’ ol’ me.” 
Ah….being humble is a great characteristic, isn’t it? Well, not when it comes to money!
To be humble is to not value yourself and your talents. Now, I’m not telling you to become conceited and stuck up. But you need to know that being proud of yourself and your accomplishments is not conceit.

We are all valuable and accomplished in our own ways. Have someone read your resume out loud to you. Trust me, it will give you a whole new perspective, and you’ll finally realize how awesome you are.

The Takeaway

If you heard your own voice in these four statements above, I challenge you to re-program your subconscious and get rid of these self-defeating ideas. They are hogwash! They are only true if you think they are true. Otherwise, they are just unproductive lies you are telling yourself and they are holding you back. To value yourself, you need to rid yourself of them. Start cheering yourself on today.
Cheers! To your success!

Monday, September 8, 2014

REAL ESTATE Tip- What you need to know about renting out your place

by Rica de Ramos
Thinking of renting out your space? You already know the basics: advertise, do a background check on your tenant, and make sure all your documents are in order.
Real estate broker Mitor Alipio shares essential tips beyond the usual advice for renting out your house, apartment, townhouse or condominium unit.

1. Choose the right broker for you
You need to find one that fits just like any relationship. There are several kinds of brokers: lease, sale, commercial, residential. Find someone who specializes in the type of space you own.
You will need trust and a good working relationship with your broker, so chose wisely. Ask for referrals from friends and family first before looking anywhere else. First-hand information and someone vouching for the broker is always best.
A broker is more than a person who finds your renter. This person can facilitate the necessary paperwork and can help furnish the property. Try to find a broker willing to manage your unit as well. Tasks include paying dues and aiding in repairs.
This is a service that is not done by all brokers. There are a lot who disappear once the sale pushes through so it’s best to get a broker with excellent after-sales service. This gives you the luxury of convenience.
2. Do you need an SPA (Special Power of Attorney) to lease your property?
An SPA or Special Power of Attorney is a document giving a person the authority to execute decisions and sign documents in your behalf. If you travel often or are extremely busy, it is recommended that you get one.
The SPA is especially beneficial for landlords who are not based in the Philippines. It can be as simple as being unable to attend a meeting between you and your occupant. The transaction can go on smoothly if your representative is present.
According to Mitor, “The SPA document should be complete. I had a client who showed me their SPA document but it did not have details of the condominium unit; thus it was deemed invalid. We had to redo the SPA.”
Do make sure that you give the SPA to someone who can represent you properly and is trustworthy. Lawyers and notaries have the format of the SPA document.
3. Know the difference between a semi-furnished and fully furnished space
There are still a lot of people who confuse the two. It is imperative to distinguish them to taper expectations. Rental rates for these two types of space vary significantly.
Do not expect fully-furnished rental rates when your space is semi-furnished. Mitor explains the difference: “Basically a fully furnished unit is complete, all you need to bring is your luggage. Even the cutlery is included.”
He adds, “A unit is regarded as semi-furnished when it has major appliances like a refrigerator, gas burner, microwave, washer and dryer, TV and an air-conditioning unit. The renter will have to bring in his own furniture.”
4. Be thorough about turnover
Always have an inventory checklist when you turnover the space to the occupant and when it is returned to you. Make sure that the inventory checklist is dated and signed by both parties.
Mitor shares, “It is better to have photos with your inventory checklist. If the lease is for a year, you may forget some of the details of your space. If anything is damaged during the occupant’s stay, it is easy to determine if the damage was incurred after turnover. The photos and inventory checklist track accountability. They help minimize conflicts and problems.”
5. Have the right provisions in your contract to protect you
The deposit, advance and repairs are standard protocol of contracts. There are other factors to include in your contract like the number of occupants. You don’t want your two-bedroom condominium unit turned into a dorm for 10 people or your unit being subleased without your consent.
“It is important to specify the use of the property. If the contract states that the unit is to be used for residential purposes but the tenant uses it for something else, you can terminate the contract,” says Mitor.
You wouldn’t want to get the shock of your life when you see your unit being used for something illegal and, worse, is raided on national television. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

RETIREMENT TIP- TOP Places to affordably Retire

by ANC
Dumaguete, the capital of Negros Oriental in Central Visayas, has been identified as one of the most ideal places to retire around the world in the 2014 Retire Overseas Index released by the The Overseas Retirement Letter, a publication dedicated to the concerns of retirees.
The study showed that Dumaguete was chosen due to its cheap cost of living.
Based on expenses such as rent, gas, electricity, water, cable, groceries, Internet, and entertainment, retirees living in Dumaguete will only need a monthly budget of US$910 or about P40,000.
Dumaguete is also among the best places for retirees and among most expat-friendly destinations because of its beautiful beaches and its large English-speaking community.
The 2014 Retire Overseas Index chose the locations based on 12 factors, namely climate, existing expat community, cost of living, health care, crime, infrastructure, English spoken, real estate, entertainment, residency options, environmental conditions and taxes.
Aside from Dumaguete in the Philippines, rounding out the list of 21 best places to retire overseas are the following (in no particular order):
  • Algarve, Portugal
  • Ambergris Caye, Belize
  • La Serena, Chile
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Medellin, Colombia
  • Cayo, Belize
  • Mendoza, Argentina
  • City Beaches, Panama
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Samana, Dominican Republic
  • Granada, Nicaragua
  • Abruzzo, Italy
  • Istria, Croatia
  • Pau, France
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Nha Trang, Vietnam
  • George Town, Malaysia

Friday, August 29, 2014

INVESTMENT Tip- 5 investments you can make with P20,000 or less

by iMoney

Posted at 08/24/2014 9:13 AM | Updated as of 08/26/2014 9:44 AM
(Editor's note: This article was written by iMoney as part of a content partnership arrangement with
MANILA, Philippines - Let’s say you've been saving P2,000 every month from your paycheck, and now you have P20,000. Or you got that amount as a performance bonus from work. Or a particularly generous relative gave it to you for your birthday.
What would you do with it?
You might be thinking that it’s too little an amount to invest in anything long-term, enough that you're tempted to just go shopping with it.
But if you look around for wiser options, you can find ways to make that money work for you. Below, we’ve put together a list of investments you can make with P20,000 that are financially better for you than going on a shopping spree.
Unit Trust Investment Fund
You can easily dive into the world of investment with P20,000. For example, Security Bankoffers a number of unit investment trust funds (UITF) which require an initial amount of only P10,000. But what’s a UITF?
Unit Trust Investment Funds “pool the funds of investors to create a large fund which, under the watchful eyes of professional fund managers, can productively harness these funds, taking advantage of economies of scale,” according to Banco de Oro. Thus, even individuals can access investments usually just available to big investors. UITFs are also heavily regulated by not only the banks offering the fund, but also by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, protecting investors.
UITFs are medium- to long-term investments that have historically better earning options over a long horizon than traditional deposit options, so if you can afford to leave your money in a UITF without having to withdraw from it for a long time, it can be a good option for you in the long run.
For example, if you had invested in Security Bank’s Peso Asset Variety Fund on January 1, 2014, these are the kind of returns you could be expecting (disclaimer: values from Security Bank’s UITF calculator. The investment value is only indicative of the value of investment as of a certain date. However, for redemption, please note that the net asset value per unit (NAVpu) will be not be known until the end of a certain business date.)
That’s an ROI of 13.42% over six months, which you can’t get with your regular savings accounts. Again, this is just an example, so please consult with your bank first to determine which fund is right for you.
East West Bank also offers the Infinity Peso Intermediate Term Bond Fund, another UITF which requires an initial deposit of P10,000. It’s a low-risk venture, because the money will be invested primarily in government securities and investment-grade corporate bonds. This is ideal for investors with a long-term investment horizon.
For under P20,000 annually, you can avail of Maxicare’s MyMaxicare Silver Plan, so if you don’t have health insurance, you could easily get it.
For example, according to Maxicare’s Quick Plan Computation, a 30-year-old applying for the Silver Plan, with dental coverage included, would pay P17,083.00 annually. You can check the Quick Plan Computation for the fees you would have to pay at your age (and whether you want dental coverage or not), which you can set annually, semi-annually or quarterly according to your needs.
Benefits include emergency care, annual check-up and preventive care benefits. The Silver tier allows for semi-private room and board for hospitals, with a maximum benefit limit of P60,000 per illness per year.
Medicare’s Plan 2500 is another healthcare option, with a P15,876 annual fee. Hospitals include Asian Hospital and Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City, The Medical City and Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
For as low as P15,000, you can own a siomai business. Shanghai Siomai has dealership packages that start with a one-time P10,000 dealer registration fee and a minimum order of P5,000 worth of siomai ingredients. Consult their website for details.
P20,000 can also get you started in owning your own rice business., a rice distributor, wholesaler, and retailer, requires that amount as an application fee, which can be deducted from the down payment.
Before investing in a business, make sure you’ve done your research and have a plan for profitability.
If you want to build up your management skills, the Advanced Managers’ Course at the UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries can help you.
The 10-day course, which you can take over 10 Saturdays and costs P18,000, focuses on leadership, innovation, technology, environment, people management, strategic management, risk management and customer relations management. Ideally, you should already have attended other management courses or been in a managerial position, though this is not required. Check the schedule to see if you can enroll.
Or maybe you’re looking for a raise and want to improve your negotiation skills before you go to your boss. For P10,800, Ateneo’s Center for Continuing Education offers Negotiation Skills: Deal or Deadlock, which will teach you when to negotiate, how to implement your negotiation plan and counter others’ tactics, and develop the core skills of a good negotiator.
What better way to invest your P20,000 than in yourself? Taking lessons and learning a new craft is a good way for you to grow your skillset and expand your career options, or just make your life better.
So if you want to start your own bakery, for example, or want to level up your skills in making pastries and desserts, take a look at the 5-Day Pastry Boot Camp at Enderun Colleges. This intensive 30-hour class will teach you how to make sponge cakes, choux pastry, chantilly cream, and more bakery staples. When you’re done with the course, you can use your new skills and techniques to start your artisanal bakery, or bring new desserts to family gatherings.
You could also beautify your home or workspace by learning more about interior design. The Interior Styling workshop at the School of Fashion and Art (SoFA) Design Institute, for P10,000, is an 8-week course which helps you develop an understanding and appreciation of color, pattern and furnishing, and how these can improve interior spaces, whether they be residential, commercial, or institutional.
Do you have any ideas for what else to do with P20,000?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

BUSINESS Tip- 4 Fast Ideas to Rapidly Grow Your Revenue

by Entrepreneur
There exists only one unbreakable rule for entrepreneurial growth: Get revenue!
That’s it. There are a thousand tasks that compete for your attention every day, but raising revenue must always remain at the top of your list.
You cannot fund your business on hard work alone. You cannot pay your bills with optimism. You either raise revenue or your business dies.
So how does the average entrepreneur continue feeding the revenue beast? Here are four fast ideas for rapid revenue growth that I’ve identified inside my own company for the upcoming quarter:
1. Leverage your existing fan base. Your best and most reliable source of revenue comes from your fan base. They already love and trust you. Now is the time to add new value for them to raise new revenue.

Start by asking the question, “What would add so much value so quickly that our existing customers would pay well to receive it?”
Is it a new service that supports something you have sold before? Is it an improved version of a previous product or service? Maybe it is an entirely new line that you can rush to market.
The key is to leverage existing buyer relationships. In doing so, you gain a shorter buying cycle, a higher conversion rate and more rapid revenue growth.
2. Host a seminar. Are you truly leveraging your expertise, or do you hold it back for a select few clients? Now, is this “hold back” increasing your revenue? Maybe … maybe not.
I know this is out of the box for many people, but if you have expertise that people can immediately benefit from, consider an open invitation, half-day educational seminar. There are countless resources online (and in bookstores) that describe how to create, promote and deliver seminars (or webinars).
Do the math: Find 200 people willing to pay $100 each and you just grew revenue by $20,000. Layer in product sales, consulting contracts and sponsorships, and pretty soon that rapid revenue growth begins looking quite impressive.
The key is coming up with a killer idea that appeals to the broadest audience possible. What is your specialty? How do you define the power of your message? What do you have to say to the world?

Figure it out and hold on for the ride!
(Author’s credibility note: I’m doing 11 such events in the fourth quarter this year.)
3. Cross-promote to new audiences. Are you promoting exclusively to your own audience? Big mistake! Go find someone (or many “someones”) with a larger audience and offer your product to the people in their database. (You will have to share the revenue, of course).
If you ever receive an email from a prominent expert endorsing the product or service of “my very good friend,” you are likely reading a cross-promotional sales opportunity.
The good news is that you can reach an entirely new audience. And when you sell to them once, you increase your chances of selling to them again in the future. Recurring revenue at it’s finest!
4. Repurpose an existing product. Do you blog? Assemble your very best blog posts into an ebook and sell it online. Do you have inventory lying around? Repackage it and combine it with something else so that you can promote it as something new. Consider expanding a service you offer or launching a unique sales promotion to clear out stale inventory.
The key is looking at your products and services in an entirely new way. Find a new perspective on an existing product and ask how it can generate revenue right now. As long as your product adds value to the customer, you can keep selling it over and over again.
So, are you working with a revenue-first mindset right now?
Trust me, the growth of your business depends on it. And, by the way -- it’s fun!
That’s why we’re entrepreneurs in the first place.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

WORK Tip -10 Things Great Talent Always Does

by Entrepreneur 
Finding amazing talent is a tricky process. Making talent recruitment a top priority can multiply the success of an organization.
To recognize great talent, hiring managers can look for the following signs instead of paying attention only to resumes and cover letters.
Here are 10 things people possessing great talent always do:

1. They talk about their long-term goals.

Talented candidates aren’t afraid of their future. In fact, they’re excited about their career and what’s in store.
Ask candidates about their long-term goals during a job interview. Those with great talent will talk about their prospective future with the company and what they plan to accomplish if hired.

2. They’re resourceful and prepared for anything.

Great talent is prepared for any situation. The ability to think and act on the spot is a quality few people have.
People with top-notch talent know their resume inside and out, have their portfolio ready and can answer interview questions without stumbling over their thoughts.

3. They display confidence in any situation.

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance when identifying top talent. Confident individuals, however, can handle any situation and accept the reality that it’s OK to be wrong.
During the interview, ask candidates about their weaknesses. Look for a candidate who can confidently speak about weaknesses and explain the lessons they have learned.

4. They market their versatility.

Individuals who are truly talented possess a wide range of skills and can transfer them to different roles and succeed.
Ask candidates about a time when they had to try something new or apply their skills in an unusual situation. A good candidate will be able to share an experience or two.

5. They prioritize results.

Talented people care about results. They have a burning passion to accomplish their goals, both in their personal life or career.
Those who possess top talent will talk about what they want to accomplish once hired without the interviewer having to ask.

6. They ask smart questions.

Bright individuals are curious people. Because of this, they’ll ask questions to learn more about an organization and how it functions.
During the interview, a talented candidate will ask questions about what he or she is expected to accomplish if hired. They will inquire about the attributes of the top performers at the company and about what it takes to drive results.

7. They’re extremely flexible.

Many organizations continuously update their goals and implement new strategies. Top talent can adjust to such changes without becoming derailed from success.
Ask candidates about a time when they had to quickly adapt to a new situation and what happened.

8. They’re comfortable with taking risks.

Risk taking is involved at any business. Talented people aren’t afraid of pushing the envelope to discover new ideas.
Ask candidates about a time where they had to take a risk. Their response should provide enough insight about whether they can take big enough risks.

9. They bring passion to the position and organization.

This might seem like a cliché, but passion is a quality that sets apart those with great talent from lackluster candidates.
When a talented person is passionate about what he or she does, that individual is not afraid to tell a prospective employer. In fact, when someone is truly passionate, a hiring manager can see it in the individual's personality and previous experience.

10. They communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders.

Strong communicators have the ability to take organizations to the next level.
When speaking to candidates over the phone or in person or exchanging emails, pay close attention to how they communicate. This gives employers a better indication of their communication skills.