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 ?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Have U got your unique Facebook URL ?

Did you know you can now set up a personal URL for your facebook profile that's so much easier to give as a link to others to help them find you? Mine is:

To get yours go to Facebook will make some suggestions but you can choose your own. You can also get a unique URL for your pages (if it has over 1,000 fans !!).

Don't hang around on this one otherwise you someone else may take your name or business name !

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How to shine as a radio host

A few weeks ago I did the Insider Tips on How to shine as a radio guest program by Lorraine Cohen. My motive was partly that I was developing a series of teleseminars on various aspects of starting and growing a business and had decided to present the teleclasses in an interview format and I had been invited by Lisa Hartwell as a guest on her radio show.

The program, Insider Tips on How to shine as a radio guest by broadcaster and life coach,Lorraine Cohen is really excellent and I can whole heartedly recommend it. The next program kicks off on May 26th. To read more click here.

There is a F.R.E.E. 60 minute preview call on Wednesday May 6th 2009, 6-7 pm EST/3-4 pm PST that you may wish to sign up for.

As both a host and guest, Lorraine has participated in over 150 programs that have been heard and downloaded by so many people around the world. Contributing as both host and guest has taught her so mcuh about how best to deliver a message that is informative, distinctive, and most of all, memorable.

If you're serious about expanding your market by positioning yourself as a radio guest expert, this program is for you.

If you follow the 5-week program you'll learn tips to:

• Distinguish yourself as a great guest so that hosts will want to invite you back again and again

• Develop confidence in talking about your passions

• Avoid some common mistakes to create raving listeners

• Generate income and build your opt- in lists

• Create instant connections with any audience

Monday, April 20, 2009

What Susan Boyle can teach us

Last Saturday I had not heard of Susan Boyle. I had been to the Greek Orthodox church with a friend and we were eating a late meal - like at 1.30am - accompanied by a couple of Ouzos. The waitress asks if I am from England and tells me about Susan Boyle who had amazed the judges on a talent show in the UK.

I checked her out on YouTube when I got home - and wow - she has an amazing voice. It truly brought tears to my eyes.

Lessons for people starting out in business ?

- believe in your dream
- take steps to make your dream come true
- don't be put off by what other people might think or say

And lessons for anyone : don't pre-judge and be humble enough to admit that you had prejudiced or just plain wrong.

Watch the video clip of Susan Boyle - not just to enjoy her voice but to see how the faces of the judges change as they realise they had erroneous, pre-conceived ideas about her and how they are humbled by her.

So what is your dream ? What would it take to make your dream come true ?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kathleen Gage removed from Facebook

Kathleen Gage has been removed from facebook. Yep.... and no-one (including her) knows why.

I know I got warnings last year when I was adding friends and I think it was because I was cutting and pasting my little spiel about myself everytime I asked someone to be my friend.

Other suspected reasons for getting into trouble on Facebook include:

- inviting people to friend but cutting and pasting the same message to each of them. Even if you top and tail to make it personalised the alogorithms see cutting and pasting as potential spamming.

- entering a URL too often in one day

- accepting too many friend requests in one day

- accepting too many invitations to join groups in one day

- sending too many messages in one day

- you become a victim of a phishing scam

- if you are a group Admin or have a Facebook page with a large
number of fans then you are much more at risk than others
because it is very easy to fall foul of Facebooks anti spam robots.

Read Kathleen's postand associated comments here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's been a year

Yep, its a year since I started to build friends on Facebook. Today I went up to 2,800 friends. This has been achieved by selectively inviting people who make interesting, intelligent comments on walls, people who have a similar business to mine (business coaching & consulting and information products) or accepting some of the numerous requests that I get with as much discernment as is possible.

So what have I gained from Facebook ?

A great transcriptionist, Cynthia Bull who was recommended to me by Diane Conklin

Laurie Hayes (the Home Based Business Source)with whom I have shared information and bounced ideas

Andrea Stenberg (Babyboomer Entrepreneur) who I met when she was up in Montreal last Summer and who I am going to be sharing some ideas and plans and schemes with

Valerie Young and her wonderful Changing Course programme (which I bought)

the fantastic Lorraine Cohen whose programme Insider Tips to Shine as a Radio Guest; is awesome - I can't recommend it highly enough

Lisa Hartwell who is going to interview me later this year

Rodney Waters who has asked if he can quote from an article I co-authored "The Universality of Music and Human Rights." in connection with a concert at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas

The list goes on.

Plus I can see what my real friends are up ! And my lovely dentist can tell me off for eating maple syrup on a stick when unbeknown to me she was checking what I was up to.

So... tell me... what have YOU got from being on Facebook ? Tell us all - the good, the bad and the ugly !!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jade Goody loses battle

The news came through today that British reality star Jade Goody lost her very public battle with cervical cancer. She was just 27 years old with young sons aged 5 and 4. She died on Mother's Day.....

I've never been a great television person so to begin with I had no idea who she was but everytime I have been in the UK over the past 9 months Jade Goody was rarely off the front page of the more popular newspapers. (It seems she became a celebrity after appearing on the British version of Big Brother in 2002, polarizing audiences with her brash manner.)

When her cervical cancer was diagnosed last Summer the remaining time she had on this earth was played out very publicly. Her situation touched the hearts of the nation, made people acutely aware of how vital it is to follow up when a hospital calls you back because of abnormal cells being found,
how doctors can fail sometimes and resulted in a dramatic increase in cervical screening in the UK.

Jade went from rather brash to serence and poised. A credit to her strength of character when she knew that her days were so tragically numbered. She always had a brave, beautful smile for the press. Even during her lavish wedding just a few short weeks ago she made no attempt to conceal the ravages of chemotherapy, holding her bald head high and so elegantly.
Bishop Blake who conducted the blessing of her wedding to Jack Tweed said: "She was an extraordinary person, she's become for all of us almost like a saint, a saint of Upshire, a princess from Bermondsey. [...]she's touched so many people not only in this country but across the world." He said she transformed the way people approached cancer by laughing in the face of death and making possible every last dream before she died. "I think that's been an inspiration, a light, a torch of hope burning brightly across the world [...]

The British Prime Minister in his tribute to her said: "She will be remembered fondly by all who knew her and her family can be extremely proud of the work she has done to raise awareness of cervical cancer which will benefit thousands of women"

I think the TV presenter and author, Stephen Fry, summed it all up in his tribute: "Poor, dear Jade... I warmed to her immensely. All impulsive spirit and smiles. What a life. Jade lived life under a magnifying glass. Magnifying glasses magnify (obviously) but they distort and they burn. I suppose she was a kind of Princess D from the wrong side of the tracks."

Yes she touched my heart too and this post is a further tribute to her courage and a warning to others to never ever ignore symptoms, never ever ignore a letter when a hospital calls you for further tests, never ever be fobbed off by a doctor when your body and your heart tell you that something is wrong. You only have one life - fight to keep it and always strive to make it a worthy one.

Rest in peace Jade.

Click here for the BBC video clip about her life.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Info Products - What do your clients want?

Well I would love to know what my potential clients would like to have when they consider buying information products.

The survey is at this link or you can read the questions below and just leave your comments on this blog post - as you wish. Thanks in advance for sharing your views !

What information products have you bought recently - what subject and what format did they take (audio, CD, e books, combination of these)

What did you like about the content and what did you not like

What did you like about the format and what did you not like

Did the product involve any interactive sessions with the person who produced it, or coachiing or the possibility of asking questions ? - did you wish that it had ?

I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback !

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Power of a smile

Check out this awesome 15 minute film about the power of smiling. Try smiling at everyone and even those miserable faced people you see everyday will smile. Smile at potential clients rather than straight faced telling them about your business services.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Back in the days when we were in the corporate world empowerment was all about the company empowering its employees and managers empowering their staff; then you become self-employed/run your own business. Suddenly its just you so is empowerment relevant anymore ? You bet your life it is.

Think about it...

When did YOU last empower yourself to not open an email from an ex-client who was bound to be writing to hassle about something ?

When did YOU last empower yourself to not accept a mandate even though you needed the $$ because you knew the client would cause you grief ?

Have you empowered yourself to not do everything but to outsource a few things ? - like setting up the website in Wordpress, or doing your tax returns.. sure you can do it but you'll probably do it slower than someone else and while you are doing that who is getting in the clients ?

Go on - make a list of things that annoy or irritate you; the things you do not like doing; the things you are slow at and then empower yourself to make changes.

Feeling empowered makes you feel great and utlimately it will make you great.

Don't you agree ?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Otengo - or how to share photos, videos and large files

What is Otengo?

Otengo describes itself as a reliable, secure and easy to use software application that enables easy sending and receiving of messages rich in multimedia content. The application takes seconds to set up and comes with an intuitive interface integrated within the Windows environment. Otengo is completely free of viruses and other undesirables. Best of all, it is absolutely free! Try it now!