December, 2009 Archive

Looking Back and Moving Forward

December 30th, 2009 by Adaire in Lifestyle

With Christmas finished, the New Year is not too far ahead. In fact, it’s going to be 2010 in a matter of days! Oh dear, time does fly doesn’t it? :) As what happens to some, if not most, people, the New Year is when we look back at the year that was. We reminisce about the triumphs, the losses, the remarkable events that we will continue to celebrate and even the tragic ones we wish to move forward from. As a people, we just can’t help it, can we? There just seems to be a sense of closure or finality about one year ending and a promise of a fresh start at the beginning of another.

Rise Up

This past 2009 has been a hard year for a lot of families, not only in the States but around the world too. With the heightened recession, many people lost their jobs, homes, income and livelihood. As the stock market, real estate and other affected industries plummeted and gradually lost their fights with the dwindling economy, they took with them the confidence and hope of many.

I recently came across an article by Stephen Ruppenthal in my friends Liz and Ric’s HealthyWealthynWise magazine, entitled The Great Decline: How to Change Loss into Gain. In it he sums up the feelings and fears that have been running through the minds and hearts of most people this year, as well as what we could do to avoid going deeper into the abyss.

If there’s one thing I learned in my 32 years of living on this wonderful planet, it’s that things and events come and go – yes, even trials and hardships. :) Nothing remains constant. Like a wheel, our lives revolve and we all go through our own ups and downs. After all, how uneventful our lives would be if we just stayed on top all the time. :)

I’ve also learned that in order to better appreciate the triumphs, we have to go through the trials as well. It’s these obstacles that teach us all the lessons we need in life – even though we may not rightly see them at the time. Pains and troubles do tend to shut our eyes and hearts down sometimes. :)

I agree with the Stephen’s sentiments in his article. It doesn’t help us one bit if we bury our heads in the sand and wait for the worst to be over. We’re just wasting precious time and opportunities to learn. It’s better when we stand up straight, take the blows that life brings us, accept the pain and experience everything – all while looking forward. We could change our mantra into something more uplifting, think of more positive times with our families, appreciate the special little moments, be more open to all types of experiences we’re facing (good and bad) and accept our weaknesses. These are easier said than done, I know. :) But they guarantee that we’ll all be stronger after.

Don’t be afraid of the emotions and the doubts that will plague you. They are meant to toughen us and help us define who we are in face of trials. It builds our character and introduces us to different parts of ourselves we may never have tapped before. Always remember that nothing can keep us down if we don’t let it. There is inner strength and power in each of us. We just have to be brave and reach in deep for them.

Be Prepared

One of the reasons we are so afraid to face the future is fear of being stumped. Yes, I said stumped. :) When are we left speechless and frozen? It’s when we are not prepared. When we don’t know what to do or what to say, or we know we have a lot of unfinished business we have to attend to, we are in a constant state of fear and uncertainty. Well, that simply won’t do. Can you imagine spending your days always looking over your shoulder? I know, I can’t. :) I’d rather keep looking ahead towards all the wonderful experiences of life.

What’s my secret? Well, it was my friends’ – Ric and Liz – solution. See, they’ve been following the Mayan Calendar for some time now. And since the calendar ends – on December 21, 2012 – a LOT of people have been making big waves about it saying it means everything from a spiritual awakening of mankind to the end of the world and everything in between. To add salt to that surprise, it may even end sooner – on October 28, 2011! But, that’s only a little more than a year away, you say. Why, yes it is. That got your attention and your heart racing a bit didn’t it? :)

Before you collapse and have a heart attack, Liz and Ric have a solution for us. They have researched, interviewed experts, and compiled all these information into a CD. It contains all we need to know about 2012 and how we could live freely without fear before it arrives. It’s called The Top Ten Answers You Need To Know About 2012.

Isn’t it exciting and empowering? We can actually breathe easier, because we have plenty of time and a chance to take control and prepare ourselves for it, instead of living in constant fear and panic.

You know what’s even better? They’re giving it away for FREE! You may ask, why are they doing it? Well, it’s not only because they’re so kind and into giving more. :) They are also just sick and tired of all the misinformation floating around out there. If people are going to learn about 2012 now, they might as well learn properly with all the right information from experts who have been studying this calendar and phenomenon for a long time.

As I’ve mentioned above, it’s always better when we face reality and accept whatever life brings us. Even better than that is being prepared, providing ourselves with all the right tools and digging deep into our beings to tap into our inner strengths and power. So, if you’re ready and willing to change your life, achieve financial success and be prepared for the coming 2012, go to this link and order your free CD now. Better hurry up, because they’re fast running out!

How has this year been for you? How did you handle the trials and hardships that plagued you, if any? Are you ready for the fast-approaching 2012? Share your experiences and thoughts and write your comments below.

Here’s to a fresh start for all of us!



Presenting the Lucky Winner

December 29th, 2009 by Liz in Lifestyle, Sharing Success

Hi everyone!

There are only a few days left before the end of the year, and we’re pretty excited about the New Year and all the activities we have in store for it. As you may already know, my eldest son Chandler celebrated his 13th birthday on December 20 (Happy Birthday Chandler!), and we had a bunch of his friends and lots of snowball fights! But, that’s another story for another time. <g>

Our main focus today is the winner of our Looking Inside the Thompsons’ Holiday blog poll contest. First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you who participated in the contest. We had a great turnout, which goes to show that the topic of food surely gets a lot of attention! <g> The menu this year is amazing and filled with delicious recipes! Those at the food bank will truly enjoy it…

To bring others who may not know about the contest up to date, here’s a recap of how we whipped it up. Since our big feast with family and friends took place during Chandler’s birthday, we decided to push through with the usual Christmas dinner but with an added twist to it. Instead of letting our family and friends vote on what we’ll serve from the compiled list of options for the holiday menu, we opened the voting to you, our readers. And instead of serving the food to our family and friends on Christmas day, we’d donate all of them to the food bank. It’s a great way to honor and continue this time-tested holiday tradition of ours. <g>

The Mouthwatering Feast

I am thrilled to be sharing some of our remarkable family traditions with a lot of people this year. The chance to give more and help through a meaningful feast warms our hearts.
Without further ado, here are the dishes that won your palates and will surely touch a lot of mouths and hearts.

1.) Cheese Plate 25%

Shrimp Cocktail 21%

Crab Dip 19%             (This is my Great-Grandmother’s recipe and is ALWAYS a big hit)

2.) Turkey 26%

Grilled Salmon 21%

Roast Beef 17% = Country Ham 17%

3.) Potato & Leek Soup 42%

4.) Sweet Potatoes 19%

Roast Potatoes, Carrots, & Onions 17%

Mixed Wild Mushrooms 14% = Apple Pecan Dressing 14%

Mashed Potatoes 13%

5.) Green Beans with Balsamic Vinegar 30% = Spinach Souffle 30%

Roasted Brussels Sprouts 19%

6.) Baked Apples 50%

7.)  Apple Pie 14%

Pumpkin Pie 13%

Cheesecake 12% = Pecan Pie 12%

Crème Brulee 9%
All Those Who Made It Possible

A toast to all of you for helping us keep the spirit of giving alive. Your choices will help bring holiday cheer and smiles to many people’s faces and make them feel the holiday spirit even for just one night.

As promised, all those who participated got a digital copy of my book, “Successisms.” (email from mejie @ asbceo.org) Congratulations! I hope you’ll have fun reading through the pages as I enjoyed putting the book together. May the inspiring quotes from all those famous people bring significant changes to your lives as well.

The Big Winner

Now for the Grand Prize winner of the course I wrote, “The Science of Creating Your Dreams.”   Allow me to congratulate Kevyn Malloy, a personal coach . She’ll be receiving a copy of this course, which is normally worth $147 but is now hers for FREE!

The family holiday tradition she shared in her post reminds me so much of our own holiday dynamics, and how wonderful and intense it gets in our household this time of the year – especially at the onset of the dinner menu voting and even more during the actual preparations! <g> Let me share with you below, in her own words, the holiday tradition Kevyn enjoys with her family.

“We have a family holiday tradition which is to make crab balls (they require at least 4 participants to make) as an appetizer. There is a lot of family teasing that goes on (who ate the most last year, who can’t roll a round crab ball, who went to wash their hands and came back to find them all gone!) and the little kids think that it is very funny to watch the adults “argue”. Even when we are not in the same house, crab balls are a must, and there are telephone calls to check to see if they are being done properly!”

Thank you for sharing this wonderful tradition with us Kevyn. I hope you don’t mind if we include crab balls to our menu next time. <g>
Again, congratulations to all the winners, and thank you once again for supporting our online Holiday dinner poll contest this year. We appreciate your support. I wish you’ll participate again next time, for we love having you here!

If you are planning to adapt your own version of our Thompson holiday tradition, we hope it would bring as much fun, excitement and laughter to your family as it has to ours.

Enjoy the rest of the holidays!



Know Them Well and They’ll Gladly Know You

December 26th, 2009 by Liz in Financial Freedom

In business, as with any relationship in any part of the world and any industry, it helps when you know who you’re talking to. One of the main reasons you should have for starting your business in the first place is the intention to fulfill a market need. As everyone may well know, there will be no market need without the market itself. <g> Therefore, one of the best — if not one of the most important <g> — marketing success secrets I know, and I myself practice, is KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.

This is the main point Joseph Lizio discussed in his Small Business CEO Magazine article The One Key to Business Success! – And Three Simple Ways to Do It. His tips are not unlike those I have for you here today.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Yes, it does bring to mind a very popular 60’s R&B song from soulful singer Aretha Franklin, doesn’t it? <g> What any self-respecting entrepreneur — who is looking to start and build her own business — should know, is that this is one of the main contributing factors to money-making success.

Being aware of the needs of your target market and shaping your business up to answer that need is one of the best forms of respect — and marketing strategies — I know. Respect that they know what they want, and they’ll respect and most likely remember you for recognizing that fact. Although, of course, there are some that you just have to and need to lead towards knowing what they want. You are, after all, an entrepreneur. <g>


Go out there


One of the easiest ways to get to know your audience is to simply go out there. Make yourself and your product known to them by interacting and conversing with them.

Ask them questions. Get curious and pick their brains. Hear the facts straight from the source. Don’t just trust whatever information is floating out there. You have to find out for yourself. Better yet, it’s probably best if you start a business that would cater to the same market you already belong to, especially if you’re starting with a small business.

Study their behavior



There are several formal and informal ways to do this. If you have money, then you could hire a research firm to conduct formal studies, hold focused group discussions, compute budget and marketing considerations, whip up cost and profit projections and the like. However, if you are a small business owner who just has enough money to get your business started, you can do the actual studying yourself.
There are plenty of free online survey software available that you could use. A couple of them are mentioned in Joseph’s article. But then again, as mentioned above, one of the best ways to study your intended audience is to go out there and mingle.

You can also pull the love and relationship card and talk to your family and friends. Being consumers themselves, they’ll have an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

You could also reflect on your own experiences. What do you hate most about businesses that cater to you? What are your pet peeves? What do you like most about them? You can learn from their practices, or you could search and study how the masters did it. Become a self-professed business apprentice.

Before we could even enter this online marketing industry, my husband Ric and I did our own studying. We searched for and learned from already established online gurus. We poured over all their available materials, spent a lot of time asking questions and followed any and all advice they could give. In our own way, we were able to filter out what works and what doesn’t for our particular brand of business.

Remember, don’t do something the business gurus and veterans wouldn’t do — except if it’s a new genius marketing strategy that will help your business skyrocket. <g>   

Keep an eye out for the competition


Going into business for yourself, you should anticipate that everything that is anything has already been discovered, talked about, thought of and marketed. [Kudos to you, however, if what you’re offering is something so new and so alien that nobody has even considered thinking about it. And if that’s the case, best of luck to you and to your marketing strategies too. <g>

Of course there is competition out there! That’s the one thing you can always count on. <g> It’s a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full situation. You can either be discouraged, because there are plenty of you out there fighting for the same market’s attention. Or, you can take it as a challenge and find your own niche. Look for your own unique angle, where you can strike and corner the market.

When Ric and I got into this online marketing business with a few colleagues, there was already plenty of competition out there. The Internet has been around awhile and we were more or less offering something that others have already done. We just had to find our own niche and narrow down our own target market. Thankfully, all our sleepless brainstorming and nerve-wracking days and nights pulled off. <g>

Don’t get discouraged if your plans don’t work the first time. We ourselves had to learn how to crawl before we could walk in this industry, and now we’re practically running to keep up! <g> Just don’t forget to dust yourself off and try again, and keep on working at it until you’re back on the saddle again. [Yes, a little pop song and cowboy cliché for you right there. <g>.

Quid pro quo

As the infamous Hannibal Lectre said, “Quid pro quo, Clarice, quid pro quo.” This Latin expression, which means “something for something,” is what it all boils down to.

Getting into your own business is hard work. Making it work by finding your target audience, knowing how to market to them and succeeding in getting their attention, even more so. Thus, you have to get on your feet and do something.

It’s an exchange between you and the consumers. Do your homework; be observant and sharp; respect their knowledge of their needs and wants; and they’ll definitely respond to you. If you take the time to get to know them — and know them well, then they would most definitely like getting to know you and your business.

Happy mingling!



The Essence of Time

December 22nd, 2009 by Liz in Lifestyle

Time — such a short word that means a lot. It’s a concept often taken for granted, but without it, we’d all be lost. It’s both measurable and immeasurable at the same time, depending on how we see it at that particular moment. It can be the hour struck by the clock or the moments we spend with our loved ones. The one sure thing about it is it’s constantly moving. Thus, causing us to either race against it, ride with it or try to manipulate it. However much we try though, time doesn’t wait for us. It doesn’t follow us, but rather, we try to move around it, with it or for some hopefuls, through it.

An article by Tal Shai entitled The Art of Stretching Time recently got published by one of our online magazines, HealthyWealthynWise. In it, she gave two classifications of time and a few tips on how to flow with it.
Chronos and kairos

According to Tal, there are two kinds of time as classified by the Greeks. One is chronos or the linear time measured by the clock that we use throughout the day. The other is kairos which is the immeasurable period or moment where something meaningful takes place. As individuals, we constantly deal with both kinds. The former we either follow or race against, and the latter we try to recognize and achieve.

I myself am surprised at how I’m able to manage both. Balancing time between a husband (Ric), two active growing boys (Chandler and Stefan), the various online marketing businesses we have and of course, myself isn’t easy — I tell you! <g> I have to give myself a little credit though, because with everything going on and the juggling I have to do, I believe I’m still able to live a well-balanced life. I work on our businesses with my husband every day and yet, we get to enjoy bonding moments with our sons too. It’s part of the privileges of owning our own business and having financial freedom. But of course, credit also has to be given to my wonderful family and colleagues — it’s their time too. <g>

Four tips leading to the path of kairos

1) Set a clear intention

This is the first tip for stretching time. For me, it’s very similar to planning — either your day or your life. You envision what you want to do and cut a clear path towards accomplishing it. This intention acts as our compass. It guides us as we move through the activities of the day or the motions of life.

You could use a mantra or a saying set to inspire you in your goal setting, much like Tal did, or you can be practical and use a daily planner <g>. Either way, you’ll need something to guide you in order to make ample use of time.

Others just go with the flow and deal with wherever time takes them. Works for them, but if you’re like me who decided to take control of my life <g>, then intention setting is for you.

2) Focus on your breath

We are so dependent on time that we sometimes tend to get overrun by it. I don’t know about you, but there are days when I just feel like hyperventilating! Without meaning to, I do let time catch up with me sometimes <g>. When it does, I feel overwhelmed for a little while. Let me tell you, there are just moments when there’s just too much to do with so little time. Taking a step back and focusing on my breath helps a great deal in stopping me from cracking up — and not the fun, laugh ‘til I pull my stitches cracking up either. <g>

Taking a breather and zoning out all the distractions around you helps focus your mind. It helps remove the panic and clear your vision. Better yet, you don’t even have to wait for panic to strike. Doing a few breathing exercises every day would keep you on your toes and ready for whatever comes your way for sure. <g>

3) Find your passion

Have you ever noticed that time flies when you’re doing what you love? Well, it flies too when you’re too busy to even take a short breath — but that’s beside the point and it’s more fun the other way. <g>

When we do something we love or spend time answering the call of whatever passion we have, time loses its physical grip on us and we just savor each moment without keeping track of it. For me, it could be speaking in front of a crowd and sharing a new product we just launched, or eating at our favorite restaurants with Ric, or helping Chandler out with his homework, or reading a bedtime story for Stefan, or having a productive day at work and sitting down for a wonderful dinner with our family at the end of the day.

Whatever your passion is, it’s wonderful when you can cater to it and just experience time disappear for a while.

4) Move your body

When we’ve been focused on one thing for a long time, we tend to get lost in it and often fail to see what’s beyond it. Whether it’s a problem or a simple chore or activity, we have to take ourselves out of it for a while in order to see another perspective or explore another level of consciousness. One option to take is to physically move our bodies to shake out whatever remnants of stress there might be.

Exercising or moving to the beat of our favorite song for a few minutes would help the blood circulate better through our bodies and refresh our minds.

When we learn to plan and balance the chronos with the kairos, we’ll be able to make more. Then, we are left with plenty of opportunities to live more — with our loved ones or even sparing time for ourselves. When we feel at ease and are uplifted by our enjoyment of kairos, there’s more room for us to give more as well. It’s all a question of how we use and perceive time.

Whether things happen as planned or they surprise us out of nowhere, they’re still part of time. It is not always of the essence, but I believe there is a time for everything. We don’t always have to race against it. Sometimes, it’s more precious when we flow with time or even lose track of it, and become aware instead of the precious little moments in our everyday lives. Not to forget that balancing physical time is important too. Where would we all be if we didn’t also take care of the practicalities of living. <g> We just have to remember to balance time, so we could leave room for personal growth, self improvement and yes, even success and happiness.



So, you’re in the game…Now what?

December 18th, 2009 by Liz in Financial Freedom

Starting your own business is a daunting task. Believe me, Ric and I didn’t know what we were doing when we first got into this online marketing business.

There we both were, he just out of the corporate jungle he tried to conquer and me home with a newborn in tow. Buried in student loans and disappointed with the path we thought we wanted to take, we decided to go into business for ourselves. We thought we knew everything we needed to know, but boy were we wrong! <g> There were certainly a lot of bumps in the road before we even got where we are now.

gambling chips
That’s why in ways, starting your own business may be compared to gambling. Yes, I said gambling. <g> You pretty much start with the same checklist, really. Knowledge of the game (or so you think <g>), check. Enough money or capital to buy in and bet, check. A considerable amount of luck (or so you believe <g>), check. Confidence in your ability to stay in the game and win, check and check.

In way over your head?
Like I said, Ric and I did not know how or where exactly to start. I mean, we did not have many connections yet. After a lot of hard work and balancing acts, we finally got the hang of things. But, did we stop there? Definitely not! But I digress. Let’s go back to my gambling metaphor. <g>

So one night, you decide to live more on the edge and enjoy a night of gaming. You go into a casino and see all these tables filled with people who, of course, are there for the same reasons you are. How do you choose which game to play? What group should you join? Will you be more comfortable playing against the amateurs, or do you think you could take the known hustler in the room? Do you feel that lady luck is on your side, or do you suddenly realize that in order to win and bring home the prize, you have to do something more tangible. Up the ante, if you will. I mean, you cannot be contented with a mediocre plan of action. You’ll have to think of ways to improve your game — anticipate all your opponents’ moves and assess how you’ll go about using your skills to counteract them.

Five ways to fire up interest

Our colleague Clara Freeman has an article in the Small Business CEO online magazine entitled, “Five Surefire Ways to Ignite Interest in Your Freelance Writing Business“. In it, she listed five measures to keep your freelance business growing and not just keep getting by as it has the first few months since it started. She used her own freelance writing business as an example, but I believe these tips can be applied to any type of business. Let’s run them down.

Define your niche

What’s your specialty, something you’re really good at? Where do your interests lie? What can you do that others cannot? You can be a master card counter (considered cheating in some, if not most, places <g>). Perhaps you’re a genius mathematician, a good chess strategist, or even an expert slot machine player? Or, maybe you’re good at reading body language and facial expression. (Now, that’s a handy talent to have! <g>) Whatever the case, you’ll always be good at something that others are not. You’ll just have to recognize what it is within you and focus on improving it.

So youre in the game...Now what_3

Become inquisitive

Ask around about the other players in the game. Research the backgrounds of clients and similar businesses in the market. Discover the weaknesses of potential opponents or clients around you and pit your strengths against them. Catch the weak spot you could tap into and offer your services for. When you find the right services to offer to the right people, discover their “tell” if you will, then you can continue moving toward the goals and objectives you have set for yourself and your business.

Study the market

Test the waters before jumping in. Remove from your list the games you’ve only played once or twice before and can’t even remember the rules of. Know the nuances and loops of the market. Find out where exactly you can use your skills. See where you could offer your services, even for a smaller price (or maybe even for free <g>) — just to get your foot in the door, so to speak.

Don’t be discouraged by the slightly dingy game room or the smaller bets. The important thing is to get your name out there and have your talents recognized by the other people.

So youre in the game...Now what_1


Network

Get together with other players. Let them know your strengths, and get on board with them to wax game plans, talk shop or practice the latest five card toss or eight ball or whatever new game you might have heard from somewhere or someone.<g >

When you’ve set a goal for yourself to bring your business to the next level, you must get yourself known. Exchange tips and tricks with colleagues or join online social networks and forums. There are plenty of people to meet out there. Each of them is a potential link to a larger network. Who knows? Instead of going to the game, the game might just come to you.
Marketing class

I’m not really sure if there’s gambling academy out there <g>, but there are certainly masters who could teach gambling 101 to any interested apprentice. In the case of business, there are plenty of business classes you could take — in school campuses or online. There’s always room for knowledge, and those who refuse to learn something new remain stagnant.

It’s a form of personal growth and marketing strategy at the same time. You’ll gain confidence in your abilities and learn the science behind the business. You’ll not just know the names of the plays, you’ll have firsthand knowledge of why a royal flush trumps a full house, or why your queen is fiercer than your king.

Thinking you know the game doesn’t necessarily mean you actually know the game. Not because you’re in it already means you will win. Although you’ve gotten your business started and you’re doing fine, there’s always room for more.

Don’t get stuck with the getting by attitude and aim to bring your freelance business to a higher level. In order to achieve financial freedom, you’ll have to make more than what your small business brings in right now. How? Follow these five tips to attract more interest in your business.

Do you want to add to the list above? Do you have further advice on how a small business owner could inspire interest? Let me know and leave a comment below.

Keep on playing!

Liz



Of success and other things

December 15th, 2009 by Liz in Financial Freedom, Lifestyle, Sharing Success

Of Success and other things_1

Success, like everything else out there, means different things to different people. Is it measured by the amount of wealth one has, or how he became rich like that? Is it weighed by the number of people you help or the friends and loved ones who are there for you no matter what? Does everyone get to experience it, or is it as elusive as a summer breeze?


Textbook definition

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines success as, “degree or measure of succeeding; favorable or desired outcome; the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence; one that succeeds.” Pretty general definitions aren’t they? <g> Allow me to share some success I’ve personally encountered.

Attempts made

Plenty of individuals have tried to define success through time. Philosophers, athletes, inventors, scientists, U.S. Presidents and many more have tried to capture this feeling, situation or state in words.

There is one definition found online that hits it pretty close though. It goes,He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.” Bessie Stanley, Lincoln Republican, 21 December 1905

Now, this was a woman who knew very well how to string words together to convey something meaningful. <g> In her definition, she somehow managed to touch on the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and even spiritual aspects of the word. She was successful, because she was able to share her thoughts with plenty of people. By the number of times her quote has been published and republished, she has made a pretty vague concept a little more tangible.

Of Success and other things_3

Thriving business

Now, let me share with you my colleague Karen Armon’s published article entitled, “From $100K+ Executive to Entrepreneur: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Become an Entrepreneur” in our online magazine Small Business CEO.

In her article, Karen discussed 7 questions that are ideal to ask before transitioning from being some bigwig executive to becoming a small business entrepreneur. These are the same questions she asked when she herself went through the same thing.

Counting in several aspects such as motivation, background, strategies, resources, actions, marketing and time, she successfully outlined the feelings, decisions, preparations and other aspects and technicalities involved in making this big, bold move.

Her personal achievement of being able to make her own business grow after facing unemployment, choosing to make her own mark in the business world instead by becoming her own employer and her goal to spread her story and tips to as many readers as possible are parts of her own success.

Successisms.com

Back in 2003, I myself distributed an online book with 101 compiled quotes pertaining to success, or some form thereof, from well-known personalities. It’s entitled Successisms.com

I started compiling them for myself but eventually, I felt that the inspiration to be had from these words should be shared with many. Over the years, it has reached and touched plenty of people. I, for one, am glad to have been part of spreading these intuitive definitions of success from those who, at one form or another, have achieved it. That, in a way, is one of my many successes. <g>

Making more and living more

Running various online marketing businesses with my husband, Ric, and our colleagues at Small Business CEO and HealthyWealthynWise has awarded us success in the form of financial freedom and personal fulfillment. Thus, we enjoy life as much as we can, as often as we can. We travel to beautiful places around the world, eat at our favorite restaurants, occasionally splurge on birthdays and holidays and more. The most important part of this freedom though, is the peace of mind it gives us for being blessed with the opportunity to raise our two sons, Chandler and Stefan, in a good, comfortable environment (with as much life lessons, meaningful experiences and motherly advice I could muster and squeeze in <g>).

Of Success and other things_2

Giving more

In addition to the many perks we enjoy from having financial freedom, we are also lucky enough to be able to help others realize their own success. Through online donation and lending sites such as Run Tellman Run and Kiva, we are able to donate a certain amount of money to people who need and put them to good use.

The fact that Tellman gets to help homeless youth in the U.S. and the famers from the Philippines and taxi owner from El Salvador are able to support their families are also big chunks of our success.

Whether it’s about a mother raising a wonderful child, a father teaching his daughter to drive, a child’s first step, a student’s first A, a graduate’s first job, a lover’s first kiss, a farmer’s good harvest, an artist’s first exhibit and the list goes on and on — whatever the form, culture, language or definition, success is found everywhere. The choice to either embrace and share it or shun and turn away from it fully depends on you.

Have you achieved success in your life? Do you have a wonderful success story to tell? Share it with us.

More success to you!

Liz



Trust Changes Everything

December 10th, 2009 by Adaire in Financial Freedom

Think of the person you trust the most.  Can you measure how much you trust that someone?  If you think that you can’t measure it or if you believe that trust is something you either have or don’t, then think again.  Although trust itself is intangible, it is definitely real and measurable as well.  That’s the realization I got from the NOBS TALK of Stephen MR Covey on The One Thing That Changes Everything.  If his name sounds familiar, it must be because he’s the former CEO of the Covey Leadership Center and he’s the author of “The Speed of Trust,” which discusses the importance of trust and how to become good at extending it.

TheSpeedOfTrust

You might think that trust is just another nice, soft social virtue, but there’s more to it than that.  It’s essential to have it in any type of relationship and I’m not just referring to the romantic kind.  You can actually use trust as a hard-edged economic driver for your business.  How?  When you show your staff or team that you trust them, they’ll most likely reciprocate it and you’ll have more productivity in your business.  According to Stephen, when the trust is high, the speed goes up and the cost comes down.  There’s a positive effect of having high trust in a workplace – it boosts output and efficiency.

The Ultimate Illustration of The Speed of Trust

Trust is something that you must not assume.  You ought to deliberately focus on having trust in your relationships and be good at actually building it.  You’ll really get huge benefits if you have high trust in all your money making ventures.  Think about it – will you recommend a product or service to someone if you don’t trust in it yourself?  Or what if it’s the other way around, will someone recommend your products or services if they don’t trust you?  The truth is, it’s not just about being a nice person, you also have to be able to deliver.  I’m pretty sure you won’t vouch for someone you don’t trust.  That’s one of Stephen’s points – networking is the ultimate illustration of The Speed of Trust in action.  You’ll get more referrals for your products or services if people believe in them.  The secret is to develop that bond of trust.

You can’t expect to have a high trust with others immediately.  You really have to work on it.  How?  By doing something about your credibility and behavior – the two elements that are very important in trust.  Working on these elements means working on your personal growth as well.  Make sure that you establish a reputation of believability and credibility that flows from your character and competence.  You also have to behave in ways that will help you build trust.

Common Behaviors in High-Trust People

Stephen mentioned that there are 13 particular behaviors that can make it easier to build trust.  You need to be aware of this because trust is the ultimate advantage and you need it especially during these challenging times.  You must make it one of your goals and objectives to create trust between you and your people.  Here’s how.

  1. Talk Straight – Be certain that whatever comes out of your mouth is the truth.
  2. Demonstrate Respect – Give respect to everyone, whether it is a low-level person in terms of pay grade, or a higher up.
  3. Create Transparency – As much as possible, always declare your intent and have no hidden agendas.
  4. Clarify Expectations – Make sure that you are on the same page as the other person.  You must have the same interpretation, understanding or expectation about what you’re both trying to do.
  5. Practice Accountability – Hold yourself accountable first and take responsibility always.  This will especially inspire confidence among your peers or personnel.
  6. Listen First – Don’t just listen with the intent to reply, instead listen with the intent to understand.
  7. Keep Commitments – You really have to do what you say.  This is the fastest way to grow trust in any relationship.

If you want to find out what the other behaviors are and you wish to learn more about Stephen’s success secrets, you can either purchase his book or visit his website.  You can also download his FREE audio here.

Do you have other ideas on how to develop trust?  Please share your insights on the comments section below.  Or if you want to learn more about self-improvement, you can visit the Resources page for more information.



Are You Feeling Lucky?

December 8th, 2009 by Adaire in Financial Freedom

“See a penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck!”  Have you ever uttered this statement sometime in your life?  Don’t be ashamed to admit so if you have.  It’s a good thing to believe in luck.  It can actually play a big part in your life and your business as well.  Luck is, in fact, not just something that is airy-fairy.  If you have the right knowledge, you can use scientific ways and other tips and tricks to really boost your luck.

Fortunately, Ric Thompson recently interviewed a very knowledgeable person about this topic.  It was really interesting to learn about this subject in the NOBS TALK of Tom McCarthy on Increasing Your Luck. Aside from being a great public speaker, Tom also trains and coaches Fortune 500 companies.  Do Cisco and Wells Fargo ring a bell?  Well, those are just a couple of organizations that he has worked with, and those groups pay him top dollar to share his success secrets through some business coaching.  He really knows his stuff because he’s been studying this subject for more than a couple of decades now. :)

Get Lady Luck on Your Side

Luck can indeed help you become rich.  According to Tom, you can apply specific strategies in your personal and business lives to be able to attract more opportunities.  If applied correctly, these particular strategies will let you attract more customers, form relationships with people who can bring you more business, and even help you spot new markets you can go into.  The secret is to find out what makes lucky people different from unlucky ones.  Tom shared some of the key principles in his interview.

1. Lucky people maximize the opportunities that come to them.

Generally, lucky people have a more open and outgoing personality compared to those on the opposite side of the spectrum.  These people will normally strike up a conversation with a complete stranger and they try to keep in touch with the new people they meet.  Usually, these chance encounters become an opportunity that can lead to success.

Tom cited an example wherein he tried to be friendly with a couple of guys from the Middle East while they were in an elevator.  He simply asked them, “How are you guys doing today?”  That sparked a conversation between him and the Middle Eastern men and it eventually ended up with him being invited to do some speaking engagements over in Dubai.  He actually got the formal booking a couple of months later, but it’s all thanks to that chance encounter in the elevator.

2. Lucky people listen to their lucky hunches.

Was there ever a time in your life when you had a gut feeling about something?  In your business for instance, have you ever felt like you can trust a certain person, or you must go through with a particular investment?  Did you follow your instinct or did you ignore it?  That gut feeling comes from your subconscious, and lucky people usually listen to it.

If you ignore your hunch, you might miss opportunities or make poor decisions when it comes to your money making ventures.  You must work on enhancing your intuition by meditating or taking time to think through topics.  So next time you have a hunch, don’t just disregard it.  Listen to your intuition.

3. Lucky people ALWAYS expect good fortune.

During this ongoing financial crisis, do you still expect your business to be lucky?  Tom believes that no matter what the economic situation is, you must always expect to be successful.  This way, you’ll be better at recognizing the opportunities out there.  It is also important to expect your luck to continue.  Don’t just quit when something unfortunate happens.  Continue to work on finding solutions to whatever problem you may have and you’ll be successful in the end.

Train your mind to think that you’ll be lucky today, and do that everyday until you get used to it.  People who believe in luck tend to spot opportunities easier than those who don’t.

4. Lucky people see the positive side of bad luck.

Everybody goes through some kind of bad experience sometime in their lives, but lucky people deal with it differently by seeing the positive side of whatever adversity or challenges they encounter.  They don’t dwell on their ill fortune, they do something about it by taking constructive steps.  For example, if you feel like you chose the wrong person to manage your business, you must learn from that mistake and hire someone else with a totally different personality or work ethic.  Work on making better decisions.

These are just some of the powerful things that Tom shared in his interview.  To hear more of his detailed insights, you can download the FREE AUDIO here.

Do you have other ideas on how to boost your luck?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.  Check out the Resources page also to find out more about business coaching and self-improve



Looking Inside the Thompsons’ Holiday

December 5th, 2009 by Liz in Uncategorized

Hello everyone!

I think I’m STILL stuffed from all the food we had for our Thanksgiving last week!  As you may very well know, our family loves to live well and eat well. <g> And there is no dieting going on here since Christmas and the other winter holidays are just around the corner. For us that means another round of delicious meals and family gatherings.

Yes, I always end up doing most of the kitchen work <g>, but it’s fun and I really enjoy it – lucky for me so does Ric, our boys Chandler and Stefan, and pretty much everyone else in our extended families.

[RIC] Liz just does the cooking, the boys and I do all the cleaning –and trust me, Liz loves cooking a whole lot more than we love cleaning, but since we get to eat Liz’s cooking it all works out.

The Tradition

Every year for the past 12 years or so we’ve gotten together with our extended families and friends for either Thanksgiving or Christmas – sometimes if I’m feeling REALLY crazy – I do both.

These feasts usually have between 12 and 20 people in attendance depending on which side of the family it is and what friends can make it.  So to make my life easier for the past few years, we’ve adopted a fun new “tradition” where I compile a list of options for the holiday menu and let everyone vote on what we’ll serve. Everyone who is attending gets to participate and vote — men, women, children — everyone gets in the game.

It gets pretty spirited and often becomes very intense! Debates are not uncommon, especially on the finer points of the rules — can we have more than one choice per category; should all family members be allowed to vote, including the four-legged ones; and other technicalities that they try to bring to the table.

In case you’re curious, I have the final say in these matters. I‘m the judge, jury, court of appeals and of course, the chef. Last year my parents were trying to be able to get extra votes for their dogs for our Thanksgiving feast.  I said only 2-legged family members were allowed to vote so they “filed an appeal” claiming I was discriminating against “4-leggedness”.  I of course heard the appeal, but since my docket was full, the case didn’t get heard until January. <g>  Final ruling – only 2-legged family members can vote.

The Challenge

You are probably wondering why I’m telling you all of this. Well there’re really 2 reasons.  One is it’s just another way for me to further share my life with you.  And two it just so happens that I want you to be a part of this year’s process.

You see we’re spicing things up this year by trying something new.  This year Chandler turns 13 on the 20th of December – so we’re doing our big family gathering to celebrate that.  Which will leave the 4 of us (Ric, Chandler, Stefan, and myself) to have the first quiet family Christmas that either of our boys can remember.  Everyone LOVES the voting system so much so that no one wanted to let it go.  But it just doesn’t make sense for only 4 of us.

So here’s the deal – we thought wouldn’t it be fun and exciting, to open it up to YOU and let you help us to choose what we should donate to the food bank for the holiday meal. Now, the menu below is what our family voted on for Christmas dinner last year and we can use the same options for this year.

The stakes are definitely bigger this time though. Not only do you get to participate in our little tradition, you’ll also get to win a prize!

The Prizes

Aside from the pleasure of participating in how we live life and enjoy our holiday traditions (as well as doing some good by supporting a food bank), you’ll get a chance to win some of our products.

A digital copy of my book, “Successisms,” will go to those who participate.

A copy of the course I wrote, “The Science of Creating Your Dreams,” will go the Grand Prize winner. (This is normally worth $147, but you’ll get it for FREE!)

Who knows? You might even be featured here in our blog to share your own holiday traditions with everyone.

How exciting is this? I can feel my palms itching to do this already.

The Voting

Get ready to tease your palate and put in your votes. Remember, you can only vote once, and this is strictly for two-legged voters only, so no four-legged family members may be involved. <g>

Lastly, as with any good election worth participating in, you can suggest other choices that you really want but don’t see here.

I am looking forward to your votes! This is going to be another mouth-watering and exciting Christmas dinner, I can just feel it now – and it’s for a fantastic cause!

Do you have your own holiday traditions you want to share with us? Send me a comment below.

Happy voting!