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October 11, 2011

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 10/11/2011

Steve Jobs� Succinct Advice To Entrepreneurs

�Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.� (Steve Jobs, Apple Co-Founder)

Focus On Your Communication Skills To Build Stronger Image

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 them.

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.

All back issues of "From the Desk...� can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel 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 cash!�

         Sloppy/Ineffective Marketing.

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.

The 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 Addiction:

12 Steps 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 Every Woman.

�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 results.

�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 milestones.�

Here are 12 easy steps to help you stop doing what feels good and start doing what matters:

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.

�If 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 meaningful engagement.�

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.

�My 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.

�If 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 message lights.

�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 do.�

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.

Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On Valuable New Business?

If your barter company�s listing on isn�t current, you are definitely missing out on new business. The web site 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.

The Myth Of Work/Life Balance:

7 Ways To Rethink Your Approach To The Daily Grind

(And Get 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) solution.

�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?�

But 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 that moment.�

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?

You 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,� suggests Gordon.

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.

�At 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.

�By 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.)

For more information click here.


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