Life is like a road. There are long and short roads; smooth and rocky roads; crooked and straight paths. In our life many roads would come our way as we journey through life. There are roads that lead to a life of single blessedness, marriage, and religious vocation. There are also roads that lead to fame and fortune on one hand, or isolation and poverty on the other. There are roads to happiness as there are roads to sadness, roads towards victory and jubilation, and roads leading to defeat and disappointment.

Just like any road, there are corners, detours, and crossroads in life. Perhaps the most perplexing road that you would encounter is a crossroad. With four roads to choose from and with limited knowledge on where they would go, which road will you take? What is the guarantee that we would choose the right one along the way? Would you take any road, or just stay where you are: in front of a crossroad?

• There are no guarantees.

You do not really know where a road will lead you until you take it. There are no guarantees. This is one of the most important things you need to realize about life. Nobody said that choosing to do the right thing all the time would always lead you to happiness. Loving someone with all your heart does not guarantee that it would be returned. Gaining fame and fortune does not guarantee happiness. Accepting a good word from an influential superior to cut your trip short up the career ladder is not always bad, especially if you are highly qualified and competent. There are too many possible outcomes, which your really cannot control. The only thing you have power over is the decisions that you will make, and how you would act and react to different situations.

• Wrong decisions are always at hindsight.

Had you known that you were making a wrong decision, would you have gone along with it? Perhaps not, why would you choose a certain path when you know it would get you lost? Why make a certain decision if you knew from the very beginning that it is not the right one. It is only after you have made a decision and reflected on it that you realize its soundness. If the consequences or outcomes are good for you, then you have decided correctly. Otherwise, your decision was wrong.

• Take the risk: decide.

Since life offers no guarantee and you would never know that your decision would be wrong until you have made it, then you might as well take the risk and decide. It is definitely better than keeping yourself in limbo. Although it is true that one wrong turn could get you lost, it could also be that such a turn could be an opportunity for an adventure, moreover open more roads. It is all a matter of perspective. You have the choice between being a lost traveler or an accidental tourist of life. But take caution that you do not make decisions haphazardly. Taking risks is not about being careless and stupid. Here are some pointers that could help you choose the best option in the face of life’s crossroads:

• Get as many information as you can about your situation.

You cannot find the confidence to decide when you know so little about what you are faced with. Just like any news reporter, ask the 5 W’s: what, who, when, where, and why. What is the situation? Who are the people involved? When did this happen? Where is this leading? Why are you in this situation? These are just some of the possible questions to ask to know more about your situation. This is important. Oftentimes, the reason for indecision is the lack of information about a situation.

• Identify and create options.

What options do the situation give you? Sometimes the options are few, but sometimes they are numerous. But what do you do when you think that the situation offers no options? This is the time that you create your own. Make your creative mind work. From the most simplistic to the most complicated, entertain all ideas. Do not shoot anything down when an idea comes to your head. Sometimes the most outrageous idea could prove to be the right one in the end. You can ask a friend to help you identify options and even make more options if you encounter some difficulty, but make sure that you make the decision yourself in the end.

• Weigh the pros and cons of every option.

Assess each option by looking at the advantages and disadvantages it offers you. In this way, you get more insights about the consequences of such an option.

• Trust yourself and make that decision.

Now that you have assessed your options, it is now time to trust yourself. Remember that there are no guarantees and wrong decisions are always at hindsight. So choose… decide… believe that you are choosing the best option at this point in time.

Now that you have made a decision, be ready to face its consequences: good and bad. It may take you to a place of promise or to a land of problems. But the important thing is that you have chosen to live your life instead of remaining a bystander or a passive audience to your own life. Whether it is the right decision or not, only time can tell. But do not regret it whatever the outcome. Instead, learn from it and remember that you always have the chance to make better decisions in the future.

sandi

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Breaking Your Business Plan Into Manageable Chunks

Most of us know what a business plan is. We know that it includes product information, marketing strategies, financing, facilities and a customer profile. Yet how many of us know that the comprehensive report is just a piece of paper without the commitment of the owner?

Within the business plan it is beneficial to map out the financial budget for a certain length of time.

In most businesses this plan includes all major expenses for the year. Sticking to a yearly plan may be difficult because they are not able to do that in their personal lives. For example, if one has a hard time saving 10% of their income how are they going to adhere to a budget that requires them to put money away for future development in their small business.

The plan may include a year improvement plan but should be broken down into monthly or weekly goals so that you can follow it closely. It is easier to stay committed to smaller commitments then the business plan as a whole. At the end of the year they can put it back together as whole.

As an example: If you want to market to everyone who has pets it doesn’t make sense to just state this fact and then not break it down into steps. For a you as small business owner it may appear as though the task is too big to handle. Break it down so that this month you will purchase the demographics list of homeowners with pets, then the next week develop the sales letter, the third week turn it into the printer, so on and so forth. By breaking down larger business plans into small steps you as a small manager are more able to keep focus on building and developing your long-term goals. Both the yearly and the monthly/weekly goals complement each other. The overall business plan acts as the ultimate improvement while the monthly/weekly goals acts like the road map. It is important to remember that the ultimate achievement of goals depends on the actually personality and traits of you as the owner.

As you can see Writing out Business plan strategies that don’t follow the normal way they would work in real life would most likely to be unfulfilled. Breaking down into more manageable chunks will mostly be fulfilled.

sandi

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Whether you’re just starting out new or you’ve had a home business for many years, you’ll want to stay motivated to see continual success. Everyone goes through a business slump occasionally. It’s those who stay motivated that will reach their goals. Here are 4 ways to help you stay motivated.

1. Work from a List
Create a daily, weekly and even monthly list of things to do in your business. This sounds so simple. A “to do” list is a powerful tool in helping you accomplish tasks at hand. Prioritize your list every day so you can do those things that are most important first. If you have tasks that you absolutely dread, put those at the very top of the list if possible. This will give you a free mind for the remainder of the day to concentrate on the tasks you enjoy.

A list can consist of many things, from promotion steps to phone calls to make, and even a stack of papers that must be organized on your desk. Most successful business people create a list and then check off items as they are completed. This gives a sense of accomplishment throughout the day as you complete your tasks.

2. Take an Online Training Course To Better Education

Educate yourself through online training courses related to your field so you can learn how to maximize your skills and profits. There are many training courses available online today in the fields of web design, graphic design, online marketing, office skills, finance as examples.

With online training, you choose only those courses that will benefit you and your business. You can usually take the courses at your own leisure from home, and will pay far less than you would for a college course.

3. Expand Your Marketing Avenues

Use the wisdom and experience of others who have been in business a while to expand your marketing avenues. You might consider reading after top marketers to get Internet marketing ideas. Always test your efforts to see what results they bring.

4. Network with Others

Another way to stay motivated is to network with others. Find others in related fields who can offer advice and encouragement about your business. A work at home business can be lonely at times. Finding others online and off-line who do the same thing will give you an outlet for those lonely days.

Use these tips to stay motivated in your internet marketing business. You deserve success. Don’t give up!

sandi

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Ideas On How to Build Online Relationships

Social networking can be used for a wide variety of reasons in today’s scenario.

In personal life, you can use it to reconnect with friends, participate in forums that discuss your interests, or find a date.

Professionally, these same networking sites can be used to grow your business and prosper. In order to use the social networking sites for personal or professional use, you must learn to build proper online relationships.

Here are some ideas that will help you build good social networking connections with people online.

When you enter a community in a social networking site, you may feel a bit lost among strangers. If you wish to get known and be well liked then make it a point to act like you would want others to treat you.

Introduce yourself and ask about their interests. The person will like you and want to know you better too. This is a valuable service that you can offer to the Social Networking community as a whole.
If you are new to a community, then look for their profiles and read them. If you find a common interest then you can comment about that and invite them into a conversation. By this, you can add more value to you and/or network and get to know people who share common interests and passions.

You can also improve your relationship with other people by giving them some gifts. Your gifts should not be directly related to your work or the products you offer. This can make it seem like a sales trap and you don’t want that. Consider gifts like a PDF containing good quotations or an e-book with good tips. People will appreciate you more and want to know you better. It’s just like going to someone’s home and taking a gift as a sign of gratitude.

You must always bear in mind to apply a ‘win-win’ strategy to your social networking. Show interest in other people and they will do the same to you.

sandi

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Yes You Need to Have an Attitude

Do you have to have an attitude?

Consider this. Having the correct skills will get you far. With the wrong attitude, how long do you think you would last? As with all aspects in your life, there are things you need beside how to’s.

So it is not surprising that in the world of internet marketing, attitude should be part of your personal success.

Yes business structure, business plan, product(s) and training systems are all very important. Without the right attitude – they are just tools.

It makes sense for you, new or been building your internet marketing business to focus on this very important aspect. That is, if you want to be successful.

The question is what kind of attitude do you want focus on?

Be Coachable!

There’s no quicker way to fail in your business than to walk in assuming you already know what is going to work and what is not going to work.

It is true different people have different strengths, and different methods work for some and not for others. So it is important to remember that you must try different things to find out what works for you.

Go your upline or mentor as often as you can. Ask them how you can make your business work for you, Listen to what they suggest, and yes follow through on their suggestions.They have been where you are.

If something does not seem to be working, get a hold them again. Ask them what you could be doing differently, rather than assuming the concept itself is flawed.

Understand Your Purpose!

While there may well be people who get into the business because they really enjoy the challenges, majority sign up in the business because it held potential to help achieve something big in their personal finances and in their lives.

Whether you saw the potential to provide for your family, a financially secure future, or just to finally be debt-free, there was something in the original opportunity that inspired you to get involved.

A big part of motivating people to do the work that needs to be done in a business is keeping the purpose in the front of your mind. If you want to get where you want to be, you must do what it takes.

Stay Positive!

Achieving personal financial success is developing the ability to stay positive.

Like anything else, there will always be ups and downs along the way. Staying positive through the down times will make you more successful in the long run; it will make life for you far more enjoyable while you are getting there.

There you go. The three keys to developing an attitude that will lead you to your personal and business success.

The great thing about you attitude. It is the one thing you have complete control of. You may not be able to change company business structures, compensation plans, products, training systems etc. You can always change your attitude.

So make a commitment to yours

sandi

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Content, Content, Content.

Can you write an article a day? Not everyone can from the get go. Your brain has to come up with the ideas.

What is your blog about? For this article let’s say it’s about apples…
Sit down and write a list of topics that you could talk about related to apples. Brainstorm away…this is where your friends, family can help.

Can’t think of anything! Here is a good place to start: www.Google.com. For a change of pace there is the library. Remember it was the building you had to stay quiet in.

Now there be a lot of apple topics. You definitely should narrow it down to a niche topic or two. The more closer to your niche the better. You’ll be able to target your audience better and the Search Engines will like you better if you’re targeted and focused.

Now, you got your list. Take that list and put it in order of relevancy. Focus on the topics that are related to what your blog all is about? As time goes on you’ll add to this list. When new products come onto the scene. When your subject’s in the news… Maybe some of the topics will be broken into several sessions…

Then each day grab a topic off your list and write about it!
What are you going to say? Don’t worry about it. Just start typing or writing. Which one you feel more comfortable with. It will start flowing.

You must to learn to let go. Relax. Let your mind do the typing/writing.
If it works better for you , write out an outline first, then just get writing. Don’t try to be perfect. You may have to fine tune it after you’re done, but you’ll have done it! You acted. You’ll get better as time goes on.

You don’t have to do much. 500-600 words a day will do. Just enough for the search engines to find some new content.

Pay some attention to a few keywords. Try to optimize a little for those. In other words, maybe repeat the main words or phrases of the topic a few times. If you’re talking apple cake, mention the phrase apple cake a few times. Then the search engines will know what your article or content is about.

You will probably only need to set aside a half hour a day once you get good at it. Now get writing…

sandi

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Really…..How Do You Enter a Forum.

How to Enter a Forum. I just sign up and post right? Wrong.

The first thing… Read the rules. Every forum approach things differently from how you display links to even what you can talk about.

Don’t come in gang busters!! No need to prove yourself or get excited about showing everyone your knowledge etc. Get to know the community first. Hang out for a while. Introduce yourself politely. If there is a separate area set aside for intros us it to introduce yourself….then start browsing.

Get to know the other posters… Remember a lot of these people may known each other for a while. They may even be doing business behind the scenes.

Once you have a feel for it, start helping out. If you have any knowledge to contribute, provide it.

Learn… Read… Learn… Read some more… Ask questions…

The bottom line is very few people can go crazy right from the get go. There is an exception here or there, but as a rule the community wants to see you contribute for a while before you get bold. They need and want to get to know you first.

Definitely don’t provide a sales pitch in your first post…not even your second or third. The feel of the forum will let you know when it is OK. You will getting flaming posts and anger the community doing too early or the wrong way. Everyone will see it as spam.

It’s just like building any relationship. Easy at first until you get to know each other.

Forums are powerful things. Don’t abuse that power. And don’t ruin your reputation…treat
everyone with the respect you would want to receive.

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Things You Thought You Knew About Leadership

Much has been written about leadership: rules, pointers, styles, and biographies of inspiring leaders throughout world history. But there are certain leadership ideas that we ourselves fail to recognize and realize in the course of reading books. Here is a short list of things you thought you knew about leadership.

1. Leaders come in different flavors.

There are different types of leaders and you will probably encounter more than one type in your lifetime. Formal leaders are those we elect into positions or offices such as the senators, congressmen, and presidents of the local clubs. Informal leaders or those we look up to by virtue of their wisdom and experience such as in the case of the elders of a tribe, or our grandparents; or by virtue of their expertise and contribution on a given field such as Albert Einstein in the field of Theoretical Physics and Leonardo da Vinci in the field of the Arts. Both formal and informal leaders practice a combination of leadership styles.
· Lewin’s three basic leadership styles – authoritative, participative, and delegative
· Likert’s four leadership styles – exploitive authoritative, benevolent authoritative, consultative, and participative
· Goleman’s six emotional leadership styles – visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and commanding.

2. Leadership is a process of becoming.

Although certain people seem to be born with innate leadership qualities, without the right environment and exposure, they may fail to develop their full potential. So like learning how to ride a bicycle, you can also learn how to become a leader and hone your leadership abilities. Knowledge on leadership theories and skills may be formally gained by enrolling in leadership seminars, workshops, and conferences. Daily interactions with people provide the opportunity to observe and practice leadership theories. Together, formal and informal learning will help you gain leadership attitudes, gain leadership insights, and thus furthering the cycle of learning. You do not become a leader in one day and just stop. Life-long learning is important in becoming a good leader for each day brings new experiences that put your knowledge, skills, and attitude to a test.

3. Leadership starts with you.

The best way to develop leadership qualities is to apply it to your own life. As an adage goes “action speaks louder than words.” Leaders are always in the limelight. Keep in mind that your credibility as a leader depends much on your actions: your interaction with your family, friends, and co-workers; your way of managing your personal and organizational responsibilities; and even the way you talk with the newspaper vendor across the street. Repeated actions become habits. Habits in turn form a person’s character. Steven Covey’s book entitled 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides good insights on how you can achieve personal leadership.

4. Leadership is shared.

Leadership is not the sole responsibility of one person, but rather a shared responsibility among members of an emerging team. A leader belongs to a group. Each member has responsibilities to fulfill. Formal leadership positions are merely added responsibilities aside from their responsibilities as members of the team. Effective leadership requires members to do their share of work. Starting as a mere group of individuals, members and leaders work towards the formation of an effective team. In this light, social interaction plays a major role in leadership. To learn how to work together requires a great deal of trust between and among leaders and members of an emerging team. Trust is built upon actions and not merely on words. When mutual respect exists, trust is fostered and confidence is built.

5. Leadership styles depend on the situation.

How come dictatorship works for Singapore but not in the United States of America? Aside from culture, beliefs, value system, and form of government, the current situation of a nation also affects the leadership styles used by its formal leaders. There is no rule that only one style can be used. Most of the time, leaders employ a combination of leadership styles depending on the situation. In emergency situations such as periods of war and calamity, decision-making is a matter of life and death. Thus, a nation’s leader cannot afford to consult with all departments to arrive at crucial decisions. The case is of course different in times of peace and order—different sectors and other branches of government can freely interact and participate in governance. Another case in point is in leading organizations. When the staffs are highly motivated and competent, a combination of high delegative and moderate participative styles of leadership is most appropriate. But if the staffs have low competence and low commitment, a combination of high coaching, high supporting, and high directing behavior from organizational leaders is required.

sandi

Now that you are reminded of these things, keep in mind that there are always ideas that we think we already know; concepts we take for granted, but are actually the most useful insights on leadership.

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Tell me…Do You Teach Or Just Sell?

Do You Teach Or Just Sell???

Have you ever dealt with a pushy sales person? They can get you riled up right? Can I help you today? I think you should buy this? This looks good on you…On and on…it never stops. Sometimes you just want to be blunt and tell them to buzz off… Instead you just smile and say no I am just looking and will let you know if I need you.

Now what if the same person approached you differently. For example; if you are in a furniture store instead of trying to sell you something they were to teach you instead. Told you where the furniture came from. Who crafted it etc. That would make you feel better about buying that particular piece of furniture. Another example if you are trying to sell your house you would prefer a Realtor who is going to teach you the legal aspects of selling your house. Once you know he/she is knowledgeable then you will be comfortable listing your house with them.

In order to Teach you must Learn!

Separate yourself from the amateurs by becoming a student and learn your product/resources. People will always sense if you know what you are talking about because you will have confidence.

sandi

So remember. When you teach, people will regard you as an expert and will always want to buy from you.

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Can you write an article a day?

Can you write an article a day? Not everyone can from the get go. Your brain has to come up with the ideas.

What is your blog about? For this article let’s say it’s about apples…

Sit down and write a list of topics that you could talk about related to apples. Brainstorm away…

Can’t think of anything! Here is a good place to start: www.Google.com For a change of pace there is the library.

Now there be a lot of apple topics. You definitely should narrow it down to a niche topic or two. The more niched the better. You’ll be able to target your audience better and the Search Engines will like you better if you’re focused.

Now, got your list. Now take that list and put that list in order of relevancy. Focus on the topics that are related to what your blog all is about? As time goes on you’ll add to this list. When new products come onto the scene. When your subject’s in the news… Maybe some of the topics will be broken into several sessions…

Then each day grab a topic off your list and write about it!

What are you going to say? Don’t worry about it. Just start typing. It’ll come.

You have to learn to let go. Relax. Let your mind do the typing.

If you want to, write out an outline first, then just get writing. Don’t try to be perfect. You may have to fine tune it after you’re done, but you’ll have done it! You acted. You’ll get better as time goes on.

You don’t have to do much. 500-600 words a day will do. Just enough for the search engines to find some new content.

Pay some attention to a few keywords. Try to optimize a little for those. In other words, maybe repeat the main words or phrases of the topic a few times. If you’re talking apple cake, mention the phrase apple cake a few times. Then the search engines will know what your article or content is about.

You will probably only need to set aside a half hour a day once you get good at it. Now get writing…..

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