Sunday, January 10, 2010

How to live our life in this new decade (and after)

I've hestitated from writing my first post of 2010 - i wanted to write something really meaningful - not about business lessons learned (and god knows there have been a lot of those), not about new years resolutions as such and then .... I was sorting through my emails and found this one that a friend sent to me - no idea who the original author is so can't acknowledge but...

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly,even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. I love it,' he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

'Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.'

'That doesn't have anything to do with it,' he replied. Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged ... it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.
'It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away.. Just for this time in my life. Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in..

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Happy New year - Happy New Decade - may it be your best so far !!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Business lessons to be learnt from flight attendants

I can't believe it's almost 3 months since I wrote a blog post..... I guess I was busy most of the summer writing some books on how to research your market and using questionnaires to better understand your customer plus earning a few pennies here and there to pay the rent. But... this evening a friend of mine (April-Anna - who is a talented artist and body painter) posted a cracking video on her Facebook status. It's a flight attendant on South West Airlines who delivers the most amazing 'welcome on board'. It made me think that British Airways flight attendants would never do that -or if they did they would probably sing a snooty opera aria ! (no, I prefer Air Canada and Air France). It also made me roar with laughter.

BUT.... it also got me wondering how creative we are being or could be in our own businesses. Do write and tell me !

So here's the video:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Do your Webinars with Glance

If you do (or are planning to do) webinars then check out Glance. Once you have downloaded the software to your computer you can allow up to a 100 people to connect to your computer so that you can demomstrate for example, setting up an account on Facebook, installing a Wordpress theme and so on. Free phone conferencing is available with every account. You can see and control participants' screens.

To enable people to join your webinar either provide them with a code which enables them to access your Glance web page or they can connect directly from your web site. Guests can also join sessions via a web page that Glance hosts, but which looks like your own web site. For this there is a one time set-up fee but... when their session ends, they'll see another page that you can customize with a Call to Action and links to your web site or landing pages. Awesome for when you have an e book or teleseries that you want to encourage people to purchase.

If you want guests to see you then just power up your webcam, put it in "preview" mode so you can see yourself and your guests will be able to see you too. You can always hide the window from time to time if you want to.

You can record the session using Camtasia for example. This captures what's on your screen along with your voice. After your session is over, use Camtasia to edit the content and publish it on your website, You Tube or use as a bonus when you sell one fo your information products or systems.

Glance claim that in tests, Glace starts nearly three times faster than GoToMeeting® and WebEx®. They currently have a free trial which I am going to use to show a personal friend of mine how to make good use of Facebook. If any of you want to sit in on that one hour session let me know and I will send you the time and date and connection details. Just leave a comment on the this blog post.

Glance have done a cute video cartoon to demonstrate it:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Obituary to.....

...... Common Sense

One of my Facebook friends commented on a post that I have taken the liberty of reproducing exerpts from below:

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Panadol, sun lotion or a Band Aid to a student , but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust;his wife, Discretion; his daughter, responsibility; and his son,Reason.He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

All credits for thinking of this and writing remain with the author, Croz. The complete post can be found by clicking here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dealing with an underperforming VA

I'll tell you straight off the bat - I don't have the answer. But I hope one or some of my readers do.

You hire a VA to accomplish specific tasks that you have set out in a document and discussed on the phone. Then they don't deliver - they make excuses - everything else in their business seems to be a priority but the work they have accepted payment to accomplish for you; when they do deliver it is riddled with mistakes. You tell them how you feel, they admit they are not performing well and then nothing changes. What can you do ? Fire them yes, but they have almost 1000 of your hard-earned dollars. At the same time you are spending as much time chasing and cajoling as if you had done the work yourself almost 8 weeks ago (their deadline was six weeks ago !!!).

With 3 000 friends on Facebook and access to thousands of others via my groups as well as hundreds of followers on Twitter, I could potentially crucify the person and their business in an instant were I to choose to do so. And here is another point - I know of other people who have had the same issues with this person and their team but have kept quiet rather than going public because if any of us did ..... we risk being seen as not nice and lose potential clients and partners.

Feels like a lose whatever you do situation.

Does anyone have any similar experiences ? any helpful suggestions ?

Monday, June 29, 2009


I just checked out Seth Godin’s TwttrList. It's a really fast way to see who has been tweeting about a subject of interest to you.
You can filter tweets by: by anyone, by me, by a user, my favorites.

I checked out nomadic entrepreneurs and lifetsyle entrepreneurs since this is an area I am researching at the moment for my new business helping nomadic entrepreneurs earn a living wherever they are in the world.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

So you think you own your website ???

I read a seriously worrying post on Karyn Greenstreet's blog today about how to be absolutely sure that you own the website you hired someone to produce for you.

She was talking in the context of US law but I think we should all read her post and the associated articles and then go and find out what the applicable law is in the country where we do business.

But here's another thought: what law applies ? The law of the country where your business is based or the law of the country where the web designer is based ? and if the latter then what happens if they outsource to a designer based in yet another country - given the extensive use of Elance for outsourcing these days ???

Karyn's post is: Who own's your website ?