October 11, 2011
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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From the desk of Bob Meyer...
Steve Jobs’ Succinct Advice To Entrepreneurs
“Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.” (Steve Jobs, Apple Co-Founder)
Focus On Your Communication Skills To Build
Want to project a stronger professional image? Rita Rocker,
founder of Transformer Academy in Boystown (NE), says it
will revolve around your communication skills, because those
skills affect the way others perceive you. Effective
communication can help ensure that others take you
seriously, trusting in your ability to do business with
Why 90% Of Businesses Fail
According to Glen Stansberry, speaker on business growth,
the nine out of ten businesses that allow fear to cripple
them will fail. Innovation, he contends, is what got you
started in the first place and you should continue to invest
in it. Don’t let the fear of profitability, success, or
anything else convince you that maintaining the status quo
is more important than creating.
Marketing Should Be On-Going
Ever notice how many (most) companies are “too busy” to
focus on marketing, especially when they have a lot of
business? Sometimes they even cut the “marketing expense”
all together. And then when they finally get around to doing
some type of marketing, it usually means they have little or
no business. This keeps their business flat and perpetuates
a feast or famine cycle.
What strategy should be followed? Implement a system that
builds trustful relationships over a long period of time.
Remember, we can’t sell anything to anyone, we just need to
be there when people are ready to buy.
back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by
free to forward our newsletter to your friends and
colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the
newsletter for your convenience.
See you next week. . .)
Three Reasons Why
Businesses Fail, And How Barter Can Be A Panacea
Putting off tasks and paperwork is like piling up more debt. They
eventually will overwhelm you. Solution: Organize your time and
focus on what’s important. Resist additional debt by increasing your
cash flow through your bartering efforts.
Ignoring The Competition.
Customers go where they can find the best products and services,
they always have. Remember, “what’s in it for me” is a truism for
everyone. Solution: Devote time to check out your competition, what
they’re offering their customers. And embrace barter when you can,
as it’s a foremost competitive marketing tool. There is no better
offer than to say to a customer, “And you don’t have to pay me in
Whether you want to face it or not, you must realize that your
products or services don’t sell themselves. You need to devote time
and resources to your marketing efforts. Solution: Through your
trade exchange you can hire people who are professionals in this
area ... and you can also acquire various advertising mediums on
trade. Through barter, you will be a step ahead of your competition.
months ahead are going to challenge your resolve. Make a commitment
to yourself now, to become the best you can be. That means being
open to new ways of doing things.
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Breaking The Feel-Good
To Get You On The Path To Achieving Big Things
Often, there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing a task off of
your ever growing to-do list. In fact, it’s a feeling that can be
addictive. Once we cross off one task, we go after the next one so
we can experience that feeling all over again. These are the easy,
albeit often unproductive, tasks that make us feel good. They may
not get you any closer to accomplishing your greater goals, but at
least you’ve checked a couple of things off your to-do list.
Unfortunately, claims Milazzo, this addiction comes at a high price,
because that cheap check-mark high is guaranteed to frustrate,
overwhelm, and stress you out in the long term. You feel busier than
ever but are accomplishing less of real value. “I too am a happy
checker-offer,” says Milazzo, author of Wicked Success Is Inside
“Working for two hours on a huge project I won’t finish doesn’t
release the same amount of endorphins as cleaning out my inbox.
After two hours or so, I want to check something off my list. That’s
when I indulge my own feel-good addiction and attack the stack of
bills, plow into the financials, or grab my mouse to viciously click
through my e-mail.
“Maybe it’s the curse of the modern world, but often, our important
tasks fall prey to the feel-good addictions of easy ones,” says
Milazzo. “By majoring in minor things, we never get to our big
commitments. Breaking these addictions opens the door to
achievement. What you engage and focus on is where you will yield
“Going after larger accomplishments — an addiction to momentum — is
a far more lasting high than the transitory feel-good of checking
off trivial tasks. Once you’re engaged in accomplishing what I call
the ‘Big Things,’ you’ll approach routine matters with laser-sharp
focus, quickly deleting, delegating, and experiencing fewer
distractions. More important, your creativity and productivity catch
fire, and the momentum keeps you pumped. You’ll glide through your
day full of confidence and satisfaction from achieving significant
12 easy steps to help you stop doing what feels good and start doing
1) Define three “big things.”
Identify three Big Things that connect to your passionate vision,
then choose one to schedule your day around. For example, your Big
Things might be to get promoted, live by the ocean, or achieve
financial security. So today you might agree to take on a
high-profile work project in order to put you in the running for
that promotion. Or you might start the search for your beachfront
property. Or maybe you’ll develop a household budget. “Set a target
date for each of your Big Things,” suggests Milazzo. “And begin
working steadily toward achieving each of them. Start strong and
you’ll experience genuine elation from achieving real goals and
solving real problems.”
2) Challenge your plan of action.
Often, we take a tiny step toward achieving a Big Thing to save us
from having to make a big commitment and to ward off feeling guilty
about not going after our passions. For example, flipping through a
magazine on beach properties might make you feel better, but it
isn’t really helping you toward achieving your goal. “Constantly ask
yourself, Am I really going for my goal all the way? Or if it’s too
tough, will I quit?,” advises Milazzo. “Make sure your plan of
action is do-able. Assess each step when you are taking it and make
sure it’s the right thing for you to be engaged in at that time.”
3) Turn off cyberspace.
There’s no greater blow to productivity than breaking your
concentration to reply to an e-mail as soon as it hits your inbox.
If you’re doing nothing but responding to e-mail, you’re bouncing
around like a pinball. It’s also important to keep in mind that the
purpose of e-mail is not to generate more e-mail. Unless a response
is necessary in order for the sender to move ahead on a task or
project, it’s okay to let them have the last word.
“I’m not saying that e-mail isn’t important, but there is a time and
place for it,” says Milazzo. “If you let it, it will absolutely
distract you from more important tasks. If you can’t bring yourself
to close your e-mail box, at least turn off the sound alert and
pop-ups so you won’t have the annoying ‘ping’ sound and flash
notification every time a potential time-waster drops out of
cyberspace and into your mental space.”
4) Turn off the TV.
Every hour you sit in front of the TV you’re accomplishing nothing.
If you’re struggling to let go of this feel-good addiction, start by
turning your TV off one day or one-hour a week. Instead, spend that
time working on your Big Thing.
you dare to fully realize the phenomenal power of TV-banishment,
take a week off from watching,” suggests Milazzo. “You might already
be gasping from withdrawal pains, but I guarantee that if you do,
you’ll be taking back a significant amount of your time and making
something wickedly powerful happen. You’ll never again find yourself
saying, ‘I’m too busy to …’”
5) Tame the social media beast.
Social media can be just as time consuming as watching TV. It’s fun
to read the details of friends, family’s, and clients’ lives and to
see the photos they’ve posted on Facebook. It makes us feel good
when they “like” something we’ve posted or when we’re tagged in one
of their photos. That’s one reason social media is so addicting —
it’s like experiencing human hugs all day long. Now that you
understand why you like it, it’s time to tame the beast.
“Social media can quickly move from a social communication to an
obsessive compulsive disorder,” says Milazzo. “You can get caught up
in all of the things to do there — the games and other ancillary
applications. That’s my big issue with social media.
“Wickedly successful women avoid those meaningless feel-good
addictions. We spend our time growing our lives and careers, not
fertilizing our virtual fields. We measure our lives in seconds, not
just hours and days. Social media is a great thing and can be a
valuable tool. It’s changing the way we connect and communicate.
Just make sure you’re using it to advance relationships and
6) Set aside sacred “momentum time.”
Momentum time is the precious time you are able to set aside for
yourself each day to work uninterrupted toward achieving one of your
Big Things. To carve out time, examine every activity and decide how
to eliminate it, delegate it, hire it out, or do it faster.
office opens at 8:00am,” says Milazzo. “Often by 7:50 there’s a line
of penitents forming outside my door: employees asking for my input
on projects, directors telling me why they won’t meet a deadline,
and the janitor asking me to diagnose a toenail fungus. Knowing this
madness is coming, I use my quiet momentum time, the early morning
hours before the office opens, to hunker down and work on those
projects that need the most concentration.
part of your day is rarely interrupted (such as early morning or
late evening), reserve it for momentum time. Keep your momentum time
sacred. Use phrases such as, ‘I’ll be available in one hour. What
time after that works best?’ Start your day with a two-hour
uninterrupted chunk, then gradually add more two-hour momentum
sessions each day. Claim your momentum time and you’ll find those
lost hours you’ve been looking for.”
7) Interrupt the interrupters.
Statistically, you’re interrupted every seven minutes in the
workplace. Today we’re bombarded by a plethora of interruptions that
we invite into our mental space — e-mail pop-up notifications,
Facebook postings, text messages, Twitter streams, and blinking
“Whether you’re working at home with family around you, in an office
with colleagues, or camped out in a Starbucks with your laptop,
you’re going to be interrupted,” says Milazzo. “But there’s really
only one person responsible for interrupting the work you’re doing
and keeping you from getting to your Big Thing.
“That person is probably responsible for more interruptions than
anyone else in your home or office. Who is the responsible party?
That’s right — you. It’s more important than ever to work with focus
and a consciousness about whether you’re on or off focus. If you can
interrupt the interrupter, you’ll get a lot more done.”
8) Alternate momentum time with “weed pulling.”
Miscellaneous routine tasks are like weeds in your garden: we all
have them and no matter how often we get rid of them, they never go
away. Yet they do have to be handled, and pulling a few weeds can
provide a restorative break from more intensive work. Separate tasks
into two categories — Big Things and weeds. After each momentum
session, devote 15-30 minutes to handling e-mail, phone calls, and
other minor tasks.
“Don’t try to tackle all your weeds at once,” advises Milazzo.
“Prioritize. Set aside a three-hour block periodically to do the
deep weeding and organizing. But if you just need a five-minute
break from your Big Thing, don’t tackle the weeds. They will only
distract. Use those five minutes to refresh your energy with a
stretch or a bit of nourishment.”
9) Focus on one Big Thing at a time.
When you engage in too much at once, you risk finishing nothing.
“Finish your first Big Thing or at least reach a significant
milestone before embarking on the next,” says Milazzo. “I have
difficulty following my own advice on this, and do have to tame the
beast of ‘too many good ideas.’ But on this, do as I say, not as I
10) Use technology to your advantage.
With the advancements in smartphones and the development of iPads
and miniature-sized laptops, we can stay connected and work from
almost anywhere. The trick is recognizing when you are using these
technologies to your advantage, and when they are distracting you
from better things.
“When I travel, I can check my e-mail on my iPhone before I even
pick my luggage off the conveyer belt,” says Milazzo. “So when I hit
the hotel I’m ready to accomplish Big Things — the reasons I
traveled to begin with. Likewise, I know when to turn it off. For
example, when I’m at a friend’s house or when I’m speaking to a
group, I turn it off. In both of these situations, the people I’m
with deserve my undivided attention, and I know that I’ll get more
out of the experience if I’m not open to those distractions.”
11) Let go of bad ideas.
Successful women can be successful at many things, so it is tempting
to go after all kinds of ideas, even ones that are not so great.
“When we decided to update our training curriculums for our online
and live programs at Vickie Milazzo Institute, we put extensive time
into customizing the material to each format,” notes Milazzo.
“Midway we realized we were creating a monster. Every future
revision meant double the work. It still breaks my heart to think of
the hours that went into this before we wised up and created one
curriculum that worked for both formats. That’s an example of a
great idea that wasn’t so great after all. When an idea isn’t so
great, you have to be brave enough to cut your losses and let it go.
Doing so will free you to work on the next genuine Big Thing.”
12) Safeguard your momentum.
Accept that you won’t please everyone. Someone is bound to be
unhappy about the changes you make to focus on your Big Things. A
friend might get upset because you can no longer meet for lunch on
Wednesdays. Your spouse might complain because you won’t run his
errands on a weekday. “Stop feeling guilty and stay true to your
goals,” says Milazzo. “Surround yourself with friends, family, and
peers who support your vision. Discard all discouraging messages.
These are your passions and goals, not anyone else’s.”
“Wickedly successful women make big commitments,” concludes Milazzo.
“They go after big goals. As I like to say, they engage big. They
don’t settle for the small-time achievements that lead to the
feel-good addiction. So put that to-do list away, and start thinking
about the Big Things you want to achieve.”
Vickie Milazzo, RN, MSN, JD, is author of
Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman. Milazzo shares the
innovative success strategies that earned her a place on both the
Inc. lists of Top 10 Entrepreneurs and the Top 5000 Fastest-Growing
Companies in America. Featured in the New York Times as the pioneer
of a new profession, she built a professional association of 5,000
members. Author, educator, and nationally acclaimed speaker, this
multimillionaire entrepreneur shares her vast experience with
thousands of women.
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Myth Of Work/Life Balance:
7 Ways To Rethink Your
Approach To The Daily Grind
Happier In The Process!)
If you’ve been killing
yourself trying to achieve a daily work/life balance, Jon Gordon
warns that it may be a pipe dream. He offers up another (better)
“Work/life balance, at least in the sense that most of us think
about it, is a myth,” asserts Jon Gordon, whose new book is The
Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work. “It does
not exist. For many people, it never has. Personally, I have never
been able to balance the scales of work and life on a day-to-day
basis. Rather, I’ve come to realize that the dance between work and
life is more about rhythm than balance.”
Gordon compares the rhythms of work and life to the rhythms of
nature. There’s a time and a season for everything. “For me and for
most people, there are seasons when hard work and extra hours are a
necessity, and seasons when there is more time for rest,” he
explains. “And guess what? It’s okay. When you love what you do —
and I truly believe there is meaning and even joy to be found in
every job — you’ll thrive during the busy seasons and fully
appreciate the down time.”
Gordon’s latest book, a business fable in the same vein as his Wall
Street Journal bestseller The Energy Bus, follows Josh, an up
and comer in his company, who has lost his passion at work.
Challenged by his boss to take two weeks and decide if he really
wants to work there, Josh takes off for the country, where he meets
a wise farmer who gives him a seed and a promise: find the right
place to plant the seed, and his purpose will be revealed.
This sense of purpose, asserts Gordon, is the natural remedy for the
crushing guilt that many working parents in particular experience.
(You know the drill: when you’re working late, you feel guilty that
you’re not home with the kids; when you’re at home, you feel guilty
about all the work not getting done.)
“When you believe your job has no meaning, of course you’re going to
feel guilty for spending so much time there,” he notes. “It’s the
realization that you are making a difference in the lives of others
that lets you let go of the guilt, and truly immerse yourself in
what you’re doing during both seasons.”
Gordon’s advice on rethinking the concept of work/life balance and
finding passion and purpose in both arenas is to begin by letting go
of the work/life balance notion. Instead, think “purpose and
passion.” It’s true that work/life balance is a topic that seems to
be on many minds, says Gordon, citing a recent NPR segment titled
“In America, Too Much All Work, No Play?”
in many ways, he insists, a perfectly balanced life is a perfectly
tepid life. How much balance do you think Bono has when U2 is on
tour? What about an Olympic athlete preparing for a competition? Or
the leadership team at Facebook? Probably not much, but their
passion and purpose fuel them to work harder and longer, with more
joy and satisfaction in both work and life.
“When your goal is to achieve work/life balance, you’ll be
constantly disappointed and so will your loved ones,” says Gordon.
“But when you approach every day with passion and purpose, whether
you’re working long hours to prepare an important presentation or
staying up late with your daughter to work on her science project,
you can find joy and happiness in whatever it is you’re pursuing at
Look at your work/life blend over the past year. Consider it as a
whole. Rather than thinking of your work and life day to day, think
of it as a whole. How many times did you get away with your family
last year? Were there particular weeks/months where you worked
really, really long hours? Were there times you were less busy?
might find that, when viewed that way, you did have a balanced life.
Or you might realize you need to make a change in the way you do
things during the upcoming year. “Instead of driving yourself crazy
trying to achieve a work/life balance every day, look at your life
on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Schedule times to work hard,
recharge, renew, play, and engage with your family and friends,”
Identify the seasons in your company’s work flow. Most
industries/companies have busy seasons (when they’re getting ready
for major industry events or peak sales times) and not-so-busy
seasons. It might be easy for you to plan your work/home life flow
around these times. Not just in terms of when you plan vacations,
but also in terms of daily work hours. During the slow time, it’s
okay to leave a little earlier each day if you know you’re going to
be working long hours once busy season arrives.
“For me, there is a time to be on the road and a time to be at home
with my family,” notes Gordon. “My wife and I look at our year as a
whole. We plan our schedule according to the seasons of our life
knowing that I’ll be slammed in August, September, and October and
slower in December and July. We plan for when I’ll be working and
when I’ll be more engaged with the family. You can do the same.
Everyone’s rhythm is a little different, but when you find the right
one for you and your life, you’ll be able to achieve a lot more at
work and at home.”
Keep in mind your family’s seasons too. Of course, you can’t base
everything on work schedules. There are times your family needs you
more than others: birth of a new baby, when a child starts school,
or when an older parent is having a crisis and needs your help.
times like these, you will want to put in the family time and make
it up when you can at work,” says Gordon. “You have to be ready to
adjust to the season. You have to go where you are needed. If you
are worried about work at those times, you can take comfort in
knowing that there will be a period when you can apply more of
yourself to the job.”
Build up a “hard work” bank account with your company. When the
company needs you to really push, then push hard and do it
cheerfully. This way, when you need to slow down the pace or take
time off, they’ll be willing to work with you. Gordon suggests you
think of it as making deposits into a bank account.
willingly and happily accepting the challenge of a difficult project
or client or by working long hours to meet an important deadline,
you make deposits in the company’s ‘hard work’ bank account,” he
explains. “When you need to make a withdrawal, whether it’s for a
family emergency or just a much-needed break, you’ll have plenty of
goodwill with the higher-ups and they won’t begrudge you for taking
the time off.”
When you’re at work, really engage. Fully commit to whatever you’re
doing at work. Don’t complain — positivity goes a long way. And
don’t feel guilty that you are not at home. Feeling guilty is a
recipe for misery and poor performance on the job and unhappiness at
home. Commit fully to your season of hard work while planning for
your season of rest and recharging.
When you’re at home, really BE at home. Throw yourself into those
precious family relationships. Don’t spend family time thinking
about work or zoning-out in front of the TV or computer. It’s not
about the amount of time we spend with our families, says Gordon.
It’s about how engaged we are during the time we do have with them.
“What I’m really talking about is making the most of your time
however you spend it — of making each and every moment really
count,” explains Gordon. “Understanding your rhythms and planning
and committing to the seasons of your life may not help you achieve
perfect work/life balance. But you will create a life that is more
passionate, more productive, and happier in every way.”
(Jon Gordon is a
consultant, keynote speaker, and international best-selling author
of The Seed,
Soup, The Energy Bus, The No Complaining Rule, Training Camp, and
The Shark and the Goldfish. He and his books have been featured
on CNN, NBC’s Today show, as well as in Forbes, Fast Company, O (The
Oprah magazine), the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
Jon’s principles have been put to the test by NFL football teams and
Fortune 500 companies.)
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The Growth and Use of Secondary
Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age
There are many forms of secondary
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