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July 19, 2011

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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IMS Barter To Buy Back More Stock

International Monetary Systems (OTCBB: ITNM), a worldwide leader in business-to-business barter services, announced that its board of directors has authorized an increase to its previously approved stock repurchase plan. The company is now authorized to buy back approximately 1.6 million, or up to 15%, of its outstanding shares, from time to time at prevailing market prices.

Since the first day of this year, the company has repurchased 769,016 shares of its outstanding stock. The buyback plan was expanded because the board and management believe the stock continues to present an attractive investment and is extremely undervalued.

After cancelling and retiring its outstanding treasury shares and doing the recent buybacks, IMS has reduced its issued and outstanding share count from 10,559,800 shares on May 2, 2011 to 8,911,736 today.

The share buybacks have been done in block transactions with a major shareholder, in repurchases under contractual obligations with former trade exchange owners, and in open market transactions.

For more information click here.


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Secrets To Making It Big:

Five Steps That Will Propel You To The Top

No, there’s no easy, top-secret, and foolproof recipe for succeeding in business. Instead, says OfficeMax cofounder and former CEO Michael Feuer, the components of reaching the top are available to everyone.

Have you ever said to yourself, How in the world did (insert name of powerful business executive) get to where he is? He’s not any smarter than I am! Well, chances are you’re right. That executive who made it big probably doesn’t have more powerful brain cells than you … but what he or she probably does have are three non-glamorous but crucial qualities: focus, discipline, and follow-up.

“These three qualities might not sound extraordinary, but they can truly set you apart,” says Michael Feuer, author of the book The Benevolent Dictator: Empower Your Employees, Build Your Business, And Outwit The Competition . “The truth is, there isn’t a simple magic bullet that will propel you straight to the top. Success in any endeavor, especially business, really comes down to specific character traits and habits. If you have those qualities, you’ll excel. And if you don’t, you probably won’t.”

Feuer speaks from experience: He has launched a number of successful business ventures, including OfficeMax and his newest business, Max-Wellness, a new and unique health and wellness chain. And he insists that utilizing these crucial ingredients will get the results you want — whether you’re launching a start-up, leading a team of employees, or going after that big promotion.

“Before you ever craft a sales strategy or walk into a client meeting, whether or not you have a chance of success has already been decided by how you think about your work, what you have to do, and how you do it,” Feuer asserts. “Outcomes are shaped by your focus, discipline, and commitment to follow-up…or lack thereof. It’s important to remember that achievements are often less dependent on your technical know-how and more dependent on how you organize and think.”

Learn what these qualities look like in practice, and how you can make them work for you:

Take good notes. Taking notes in business is just as important as it was in your advanced economics class in college. Your brain isn’t always as powerful as you think it is, and having a written record of your boss’s project analysis or your colleague’s sales strategy can save you from having “oh darn” moments, and can set you apart from the pack and put you on a straighter path to success.

“I’ll frequently dictate the notes from a meeting the second I walk out, or appoint someone to act as a scribe beforehand,” Feuer shares. “I keep all of my past notes in a folder on my computer, and I always make sure to jot down next steps. These habits ensure that nothing falls off the radar unintentionally, and that I always have a good idea of what needs to happen next.

“And, I often shock new team members by writing the letters ‘FU’ and a date at the bottom of my notes. New people are always relieved when they learn that those letters aren’t a pejorative, but a shorthand I use as a reminder to ‘Follow Up’ by a specific date!”

Do what you say you will, period. In today’s uncertain and competitive environment, a person’s word isn’t always his or her bond. And that’s a shame. When you fail to follow through on promises and commitments, you imply that you lack discipline and — perhaps — shouldn’t be trusted with more important tasks and objectives. However, if you cultivate a reputation for being completely reliable, you’ll enjoy more responsibility and success as well as better business relationships.

“I routinely tell my employees that I’m not their father and won’t babysit them, and that if they tell me they’re going to do something, they’d better make good on that assurance,” Feuer says. “However, I do provide alternatives by giving everyone three acceptable ‘outs’ — (a) they can tell me that they can’t finish on time, (b) that they don’t want to do it my way because they have a better idea, or (c) that they think their assignment isn’t worth the effort and can convince me why.”

Give homework assignments. A leader’s job is to make people think and discover alternatives. It’s a great way to determine who on your team you can rely on, and who is capable of taking a project to the next level. You can afford to invest in developing someone who is interested in developing.

“When I give assignments, I keep a running tally of what happened or changed from previous sessions on the same topic or project,” Feuer elaborates. “No matter if you’re on the giving or receiving end of homework, remember that the way these assignments are handled is a great way to gauge attitude, commitment, potential, reliability, and whether or not someone is a player.”

Scrap your iron clad five-year plan. Being able to work with focus and discipline is generally a good thing, unless you’re focusing on things that won’t help you or propel you forward! To help prevent this, Feuer recommends developing a short-term plan with a six- to nine-month outlook. This plan will help you get through the year.

He also recommends creating a longer-term plan with a seventeen- to eighteen-month strategy. It will encompass the goals and benchmarks you need to achieve during this time period. Why have two plans instead of one? Well, the world is simply evolving too fast to rely on a one-size-fits-all five-year plan.

“I’ve found that many organizations spend too much time thinking about what’s going to happen way down the road when all they’re doing is guessing. And when their predictions turn out to be inaccurate, they find out too late that they’ve been focusing their efforts on the wrong things,” he notes. “You must always be ready to modify your plans when necessary, change quickly, and deal with the unexpected. That’s what will make the difference between a company that might get by and one that is good or even great.”

Use a rifle, not a shotgun. When you fire a shotgun, your shot hits a wider area, but it lacks focused precision. In business, a shotgun approach gets the job done, but usually doesn’t yield outstanding results. Sure, you’ll hit something with a shotgun, but the price in doing so seldom provides the big payback. Yes, a rifle or laser-sharp approach will take more planning and forethought, but in the end you’ll probably save time and resources. It pays to identify exactly what needs to be done, focusing relentlessly on accomplishing those objectives.

“When you take the time to focus, have discipline, and require follow-up, you’re creating a road map that documents what has to be accomplished and by when,” Feuer concludes. “Few things ever fall through the cracks when you follow this process. It is the most direct way I know to set yourself up for success.”

(The book is available for $24.95, www.benevolentdictator.biz, at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers.)


Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On Valuable New Business?

If your barter company’s listing on BarterNews.com isn’t current, you are definitely missing out on new business. The web site BarterNews.com receives heavy traffic — with over 150,000 page-views every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the thousands of articles, the weekly “Tuesday Report,” and the “Contacts Section” of our site. They use the latter to find barter companies with which to do business.

Is your barter company’s listing up-to-date?

To keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A) update any changes to your company’s listing, such as new location, phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company has not been listed.

Here’s how to get on board:

To make changes to your listing click here.

For new listings click here.


An Attorney’s Free Advice For Credit Safety

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company:

1) Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put “Photo ID Required.”

2) When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the check. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.

3) Put your work phone number on your checks, instead of your home phone. If you have a post office box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a box, use your work address.

4) Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if necessary. But if you have It printed, anyone can get it.

5) Place the contents of your wallet on photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel.. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.

As an attorney, I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards, etc.

Unfortunately, I have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen recently. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more.

But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

6) The key to canceling your credit cards immediately is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy. Keep that information where you can find it, and use it quickly.

7) File a police report as soon as possible in the jurisdiction where your credit cards or wallet were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent. And this is a first step toward an investigation ... if there ever is one.

But here's what is perhaps most important of all:

8) Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately, to place a “fraud alert” on your name. Also call the Social Security fraud line number. (I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.)

The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they are required to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

By the time I was advised of this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves’ purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since filing the reports, no additional damage was done. The thieves threw my wallet away shortly thereafter (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Here are the numbers you will need to contact if your wallet has been stolen:

·         Equifax: 800-525-6285, 800-525-6285

·         Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742 , 888-397-3742

·         Trans Union: 800-680 7289, 800-680 7289

·         Social Security (fraud line): 800-269-0271, 800-269-0271


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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital—which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our “Secondary Capital Section.”

Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.


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