January, 2010 Archive

Starting Fresh

January 31st, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom, Lifestyle

Okay, since it’s January, all of the “New Year” stuff has been on everyone’s mind lately, including mine. How can we help it, when we all seem excited about this year? This 2010, most people are more than willing to see the back of 2009 that kept us all on our toes – not out of excitement, but mostly out of fear and worry due to the dwindling economy, companies closing down, downsizing stories left and right and the destructive natural disasters that plagued several countries worldwide.

The year brings with it a lot of hope – a better economy, more jobs for people and plenty of chances for recovery. If people around the world will adapt more positive attitudes, put into action long-forgotten plans, work harder towards rebuilding what was lost and attract more optimistic energies, then we will definitely find ourselves in a good place at the year’s start. That’s not really asking for too much is it? :)

No time like the present

If you’ve been longing and planning to start your own business for a while now but got waylaid by the bad economy last year, then it’s probably time to bring out those blueprints from the back burner and work towards starting your money-making dream again. With the slowly recovering economy, fresh starts are bound to be necessary, welcomed even. When business owners regain their confidence and new business ventures enter the arena, more income will flow into the industry and help the economy recover even more.   

Let the words and business coaching of Joanne Black in her Small Business CEO magazine article, Close More Sales: 3 Ways to Get In, Get Started and Make More Money Now—No Matter the Economy, inspire your plans in realizing your business dream. I believe her go-getter attitude and tips are great. They aren’t applicable only to times of recovery but to any economic condition as well. Now that’s another ray to add to your sunshine! :)

According to Joanne, you can enter the business world and close deals when you follow these three tips, “Recommend New Approaches, Create Metrics, Negotiate or Walk.”

For you to get into the circle, get to know your clients and gain their trust, you should be more creative and try new twists to your business deals. It’s always better to go for the smart, well-planned and perhaps a little unique but exciting (may also be known to others as untested :) ) way, rather than spend much on the usual, widely used and maybe even a used-up approach.

One good approach could be putting together metrics with your clients. More than putting yourself in their shoes, try working with them too. Draw up pros and cons lists, lay out plans and plot financial strategies to better understand each other’s objectives and arrive at a unified approach towards achieving success. This often leads to a more open relationship and possible referrals and repeat transactions.

Lastly, learn the fine art of negotiating. Don’t expect to land your projects and clients easily. Rather, anticipate the clever and witty numbers and deals play that would take place. Revel in the widely used and traditional practice of bartering – exchanging goods or services for another – and be willing to adjust your offer and specifics to the client’s needs. That is your initial goal after all, to offer your talents and services to answer a market need. :)

If your negotiations don’t work out, be ready to walk away as well. Don’t fret over every single unclosed deal. There are a lot of other clients out there who are in need of your specific services and are willing to pay your price. Just don’t forget to believe in yourself and your abilities. If you had the confidence to brave the economy and start your own business, then you’re definitely not afraid of a little hard work. :) The best results and accomplishments, more often than not, come from the things that you worked hard for.

The voice of experience

In line with starting your own business, you should be willing to listen to the voices of experts who have gone through similar experiences and succeeded. My friends Liz and Ric Thompson have made arrangements through their Association of Small Business CEOs (ASBCEO) for you to get a FREE copy of Ewen Chia’s course that would educate us all about starting an online business with success secrets and practices that he himself has applied to get to where he is now.

For a brief background, Ewen Chia is one of the foremost Internet marketing gurus who’s often referred to as “The World’s #1 Super Affiliate.” This international best-selling author, speaker, trainer, husband and father of two started blazing his way as one of the pioneers of the Internet business industry back in1997. He has written material that helps others find their fortune in Internet marketing, including the course Work From Home Internet Success System!, his first print book How I Made My First Million On The Internet and How You Can Too! and the course featured below. Ric and Liz Thompson, on the other hand, are themselves co-founders of several successful businesses such as The association of Small Business CEOs, Transperience Network, Small Business CEO Magazine, and Healthy Wealthy nWise Magazine. See resources page for more great links

It’s good to know that many people have gone through similar ups and downs in business and made it through very well. You know what’s so exciting about this course? That Ric and Liz have put together a deal where you can get it for FREE! Yes, I really meant to say FREE! By making it available through the Association of Small Business CEOs , this education, normally worth thousands of dollars, can be ours for just a small shipping and handling fee. I got your undivided attention there didn’t I? :)


The Thompsons are encouraging us to Discover The Millionaire Profits System That Shows You Exactly How To Start Your Own Million-Dollar Internet Business…Even If You’ve Never Made A Sale Online Before! (Whew! It’s definitely a mouthful, but mighty fine I tell you. :) ) The step-by-step course is meant to inform us of an alternative to the usual nine-to-five day jobs out there by educating us about the wonders of online business.

The course will share with us the right mindset, tools and methods we could use in a straightforward but fun approach. From core knowledge to out-of-the-box tips and tricks to expanding your business, these reading materials, professionally made videos and instant download access are going to show us what to do and in the right order to do them in. Since the author has been exactly where we are, there are no lies about the realities and obstacles that we’d meet.

Check it out and let me know what you think…. :)

Furthermore, we won’t be treated like children or ignorant business owners. Instead, the course will challenge us to learn using a devised approach that would help us retain the lessons we’ll learn and not just let them go over our heads in exasperation. This Millionaire Profits System was shortened to just six lessons that could make us millionaires in just 12 – 18 months. I get so excited just thinking about it and all the possibilities it offers! :)

This 2010, don’t be afraid to finally realize your dream business. Whether the economy recovers quickly or not, you could still get started towards achieving your goals and objectives. All you need is to bring back that spunk that inspired you to dream in the first place and brave the obstacles you’ll face. With the helpful tips given above, you now know where and how to start. Thus, no more excuses and dilly dallying. I say go for it and see your dreams come alive right before your eyes – all with your hard work and perseverance of course. :)

Do you have other tips or success stories you’d like to share with us? I look forward to hearing from you through the comments section below.

Have an exciting fresh start everyone!

Do You Pursue Life With Everything You’ve Got?

January 28th, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom


This two-letter word can be so powerful that it can wreak havoc to someone’s self-esteem.  In your case, how will you react if someone says “No” to your request?  Will you quit your day job if your boss doesn’t approve of your appeal for promotion?  Will you stop being a writer if publishers keep on rejecting your works?  Everybody goes through setbacks or challenges but not everyone reacts the same.  Most people use their failures as a crutch, but there are some who use them as growing experiences.  That’s what I found out from the NOBS TALK of Greg Reid on Pursuing Life with Everything You’ve Got.

If you’re familiar with the “The Millionaire Mentor,” then you must recognize the name Greg Reid, who is the author of this bestselling publication.  He’s also a noted filmmaker, a motivational speaker, an entrepreneur, and the CEO of several successful corporations.  His businesses may seem so established now but he admitted that he also encountered many setbacks while he was still in the starting stage of his money making ventures.

Use Failures as Growing Experiences

While Greg was writing his latest book “Three Feet from Gold,” a lot of publishing companies actually turned him down.  But instead of just giving up, he asked one of the publishers to tell him why it’s not working for him and he was given this answer, “The project is bigger than just you.  You need a co-author.  You need help.”  Greg took this suggestion and called up Sharon Lechter, who is the co-author of Robert Kiyosaki in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”

Nothing stopped Greg from reaching his goals and objectives – to get his book published.  He didn’t quit even if things got challenging for him.  No matter if the publishers didn’t even want to meet with him, or even when he got such harsh rejections.  He just tried to learn from his experiences and apply the lessons he learned in his future endeavors.

You really have to change your mindset in order to think this way – that’s part of working on your personal growth.  Just focus that there will be a bright moment down the road.  You really have to believe in what you’re doing and you must pursue it with everything that you’ve got.  It’s also important not to dwell on the setbacks you had but to revel in your glory moments.

Don’t Be Defined By Failures, Be Defined By Successes

Pop quiz: Name five people you spend time a lot of time with.  Do you know that you are a direct reflection of the five people you hang around with the most?  Your attitude, income and lifestyle are actually the exact average of that group.  Think about it.  You can now probably see the similarities you have with them.

How about when you were in high school, did you hangout with the popular kids, the nerds, the jocks, or the outcasts?  The adult world isn’t that different too.  Try to identify what kind of group you are in right now.  You really must be careful of who you surround yourself with.  These people dictate who you are as a person.  In effect, if you change your association, your life will change accordingly as well.  The secret is to surround yourself with people who share the same interests and your dream as well.

That’s just some food for thought…  To learn more of Greg Reid’s success secrets, you can download the FREE audio here.

Do you have any other ideas on how to pursue life with everything you’ve got?  Do share your thoughts and views in the comments section below.  Or if you want to find out more about self improvement and other related stuff, please check out my Resources page.

Walking the Wacky Way

January 26th, 2010 by Liz in Financial Freedom

Marketing is one of the most important aspects to consider when starting your own business – big or small. You have to know how and where to reach your target market, and yes, you also need to be creative and smart about it. <g>

Every successful entrepreneur has his own strategy and preferred starting point. Some take the traditional route and put out ads in newspapers, television, radio and billboards, while others try a different marketing track and distribute products online or use promotional materials such as shirts, caps, pens and the like. Keep in mind though, that these marketing strategies can sometimes become tricky. Depending on how your audience responds, they could either put your name and product on the map or spell trouble for your starting business. Of course, no one wants to ever experience the latter. <g>

Taking the road less travelled

Two featured articles on the Small Business CEO magazine explore marketing small businesses with non-traditional methods. The first is Owen Stevens’ Weird & Wacky – Making Your Marketing Stand Out and the other is Dana Udwin’s Small Business Marketing Strategy & Ideas.

Both of these articles expound on the idea of taking different routes in promoting your business. Some small business entrepreneurs may find it weird or may even lose nerve considering such a thing – since they most probably have a very limited budget for marketing and every bone in their bodies would urge them to go the safe, proven and well-travelled path. But hey, if you were brave enough to go into business for yourself, you might as well be brave (or wild and crazy, if you will <g>) enough to do whatever it takes to set yourself apart from your competition.

When my husband Ric and I started our own online marketing business, we definitely explored the road less travelled. Not only did we have non-traditional products that we chose to market differently through the Internet with online seminars, online product distribution, network marketing and the like – ways and tactics still fairly new at the time – we also weren’t sure if we would make it or not. With plenty of learning curves, perseverance, pep talks (sometimes referred to as browbeating <g>) and of course, faith in our products and in each other, we achieved success that now allows us to enjoy financial freedom. Here I go digressing again. <g>

Don’t be afraid to go the wacky way

Owen listed a few tips on how to make your marketing stand out, and these are points that I agree to. As I’ve mentioned above, you have to know who your target market is to find out where and how you should reach them. When you’ve already started, then you have to wait and see if your efforts actually had any impact on your consumers.

As with any business, you should also make sure that you are answering a unique market need and not just lining up with the business clones out there. The same goes with marketing your product. You should make sure that you are not using the same methods that your competitors are using. Don’t be wary of using slightly different or wacky methods. Go out and interact with your audience. Try various means of communication and explore creative gimmicks to add an edge to your marketing.

Of course, when you’ve planted the seed, don’t forget to follow up your efforts. What’s the use of meeting all these potential clients or consumers at all those seminars and conventions if you wouldn’t contact them afterward. <g> Making an effort to follow up with them would let them know that you are really interested in helping them out, instead of just waiting around for them to come to you.

If you, however, discover that your current line of marketing is not working. Don’t be afraid to let it go in favor of a new strategy. Marketing efforts that don’t work out are not failures. Even scientists experience a lot of explosions in their labs before hitting that “Eureka!” moment. <g> It just means you need to be more creative and find the more effective way for you to market your product.

Promo materials may be the route for you

Dana discussed the use of promo materials to make a product viral. With the revolution of Internet marketing and with plenty of available avenues for advertising nowadays, taking the more traditional approach can create a more lasting impact on your audience. It may sound boring or tacky since plenty of businesses have already explored this strategy, but you could always make it your own. Who knows? You could even set a trend and make the old new again. <g>
As an entrepreneur, I’m sure you’re prone to taking on risks and challenges. Thus, you can choose to take this approach as one. Given that a lot of promo products have already been used by countless businesses out there, you could tap your creative self and come up with a unique and remarkable material. Being tangible and portable, a unique promo material that surprises your audience (in a good way of course <g>) could become pretty effective and profitable for you. Imagine, when your customers’ friends, family and colleagues see your promo product and are equally affected by it, then you’re already viral.

Establish your identity

Whatever approach you choose to take in marketing your business or product – whether you choose to walk the wacky way or take the traditional approach and make it new again – you should always make it a point to establish your identity.

Make yourself and your product known to ensure that your audience knows who you are and can pick you out of a line up, so to speak. <g> When they know you and trust you, they’ll surely become repeat customers – which would then lead to profit and money-making success for you.

Have you explored wacky ideas and tactics in marketing your business? Have you used promo materials in the past? How did one or both strategies work out for you? Share your experiences with us. Post a comment below.

Until next time!

The Gift of Sharing – Part 2 of 2

January 21st, 2010 by Adaire in Lifestyle

Welcome to the second part of this post, where I share a few links that I recommend for you to read. As mentioned in my previous post , I have chosen to share these articles with you since they have inspired, helped and touched me. Since I’ve always liked to share and (as much as I can) inspire others, I’m providing you with these links that I hope would make you think and reflect on your own lives as they have mine.

The first post focused on goal setting this 2010. This second part, on the other hand, will focus on self improvement. Moving on (before I digress :) ), presenting the second half of my recommended links!

A New You for the New Year

With each New Year, we aim to let go of the negative habits and elements from our past. (Thus, the invention of New Year’s resolutions. :) )We look forward to making a fresh start and improving ourselves in hope for a better, more colorful future. To start you off, here are a few articles (in no particular order) on self improvement that have inspired me and offered different perspectives on how to approach my life.

  1. Gratitude is a choice for Happiness

One way to be happy is to be content, and one way to be content is to recognize the talents and gifts that we currently have in our lives and be thankful for all of them. If we focus less on complaining and more on feeling grateful for whatever we have in our lives and appreciating everything and everyone in it, we cease wanting for more. Not to say that aiming to achieve more and becoming successful are bad. In fact, appreciating each step of the journey makes it more worthwhile.

2. Could Blame Be Holding You Back & Limiting Your Happiness?

Everything we think, say and do starts and ends with us. Only we could decide how we’re going to react towards someone, something or a situation. Learning to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions are important keys to our happiness, so too is our refusal to give in to blame.

3. How to Want Very Little

In a world where every conceivable technology pops up and gets invented seemingly every day, and where every possible convenience to humans (and even animals and pets! :) ) are provided, it’s very hard to step away from wanting to possess a lot of these things. If and when we decide to take ourselves away from such temptations, aiming to have little seems easy. But it all starts with wanting little, and there are a number of ways to ensure that it becomes true for you.

4. Giving is Good for Your Health

Happiness brings with it a lot of greatness. Giving part of yourself to help others contributes a great deal to this wonderful feeling. It may not always be easy, but doing it one day at a time and even a little at a time goes a long way. It has also been documented that giving and the happiness it brings a person does a lot in easing pain and suffering, both of the giver and the receiver. Whether spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically, it certainly does wonders to one’s life and health.    

5. The Three Most Powerful Words

Nowadays, the media has a tendency to blow things out of proportion. Heroes are celebrated and welcomed and victims are, more often than not, glorified. Because we see it so often, we are led to think that it’s okay to accept the role of “victim.” However, as we all know, it isn’t. Accepting responsibility for ourselves brings with it freedom – to choose where we’ll go and what we’ll do. With this, we’ll have more chances to live more and be happy for being the driver of own lives, and actually being present in all the important decisions we have to make.

6. Some Muttering on Mattering

Anything worth doing is worth doing well. The best success and things in life are those that we’ve worked hard for. Both these thoughts require from us at least one thing and that is effort. The same concept applies to our lives, whether personal or professional. If we want to matter to something or someone, we have to make an effort to show them that and treat them like they too matter to us.

7. What’s On Your Good Habits List?

Many people say that habits are hard to break, especially the bad ones. They worm their way in to our lives and wedge themselves in it so tightly that we sometimes find ourselves doing them unconsciously. Once we realize that we’re still doing them, we end up being stumped! :) This new year is a chance for all of us to let go of our bad habits and try to move them out with good ones. It’s never too late to adapt a good habit, listing them down and doing them one at a time could help cancel out the bad.

Are you ready to launch the new you? Do you have links or thoughts to share on self improvement? Tell us by posting a comment below.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

The Gift of Sharing – Part 1 of 2

January 19th, 2010 by Adaire in Lifestyle

I’ve always believed and been an advocate of sharing. It’s nice when you get to infect others with your good mood, brighten their days with a smile or inspire them with a good story. With that, I would like to share a few links that I recommend for you to read. These articles have inspired, helped and touched me. I hope you too will take as much from them as I have.

Since there are many, I’ve decided to divide this post into two parts. This first part focuses on goal setting this 2010. Without further ado, here you go!

Ready, Set Goals!

It’s early days yet for 2010 and it’s not too late to draft those resolutions you’ve been pondering since late last year. (Admit it, you’ve been mulling over these thoughts and goals and going back and forth if you should go through with them or not. :) ) I say, go for it (or them :) )! To help you finish your list of resolutions and for tips on how to actually keep them until the end of the year or until they’re considered a success (whichever comes first :) ), here are a few links (in no particular order) that helped me figure out and narrow down mine.

1. Five Tips for Planning Effective New Year’s Resolutions

Every good New Year’s resolution has to answer a few basic questions. Does it make me happy? Would it bring about change in me? What approach works best for me? Gretchen Rubin’s tips help answer these and a few more questions to help us draft our resolutions for the year.

2. 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

The reason we often end up having unfulfilled resolutions by the end (or even middle! :) ) of the year is that we tend to take on more than we could handle. Approaching them one at a time, planning ahead and anticipating obstacles, preventing ourselves from being pressured to start right away and just going for it and looking forward to a something good at the other side are just some measures we could take to help us make and declare our resolutions successful.

3. Tips for Keeping Your New Years Resolutions

This New Year, plenty of people have resolutions on their minds. Often, we get pressured because we feel that we are alone in the process of fulfilling them. Contrary to popular belief, other people are actually involved. We need the support of those around us, the ability to sift through the rubble and take them on a day at a time, keep track of our progress, reward ourselves when deemed appropriate and keep in mind that we actually set these resolutions for our own sake. :)

4. “We Always Get Dirty Again, To Be Sure…”

To relieve the pressure from ourselves at the start of the year, we must remember that there are such things as partial good resolutions. We don’t always have to make our resolutions stick forever. We should also be willing to get a little dirty and experience some sort of decline once in a while, so we could go back and clean ourselves up again. This way, we are reminded of that which we have to do and try to achieve more and best ourselves each time we do it. What it all comes down to is the principle of it all.

5. Consistency vs Intensity

Excitement often gets the best of us. Due to this, we tend to burn ourselves out with the intensity we apply at the start of whatever process we have. At the end, it doesn’t even surprise us if we let our resolutions go by the wayside. But that just won’t do! J What we should aim for when setting our New Year’s resolutions is consistency. We have to focus more on longevity rather than power. It pays to be more careful sometimes, to make sure that we accomplish the goals we have set for ourselves.

6. No Resolutions in 2010 Just Vision & Goals into Reality

Here’s another good idea we could try – let’s not make resolutions for this 2010. Instead, we should set goals for ourselves. Somehow, it’s easier to take control and visualize ourselves accomplishing these goals when they are more tangible. In line with this, we should never underestimate the role our minds play in the process. It is true that when we visualize something, then so it will be. We just have to work hard and have faith that we can do it.

7. How to Make the Most of the Fresh Start of a New Year

Fresh starts bring with them hope and renewal. This New Year, resolutions or not, we could always make an effort to start anew. But in order to appreciate our fresh start, we should let go of our past baggage, decide what’s important to us today and avoid distractions that would veer us away from being happy. It’s also important to remember that we could start anew not only at the start of the year but at any time or day we choose to make a change in our lives.

Did the links above help you with your resolutions? Do you have other links or thoughts concerning goal setting that you would like to share? Let us know through the comments section below.

Watch out for part 2 of this blog post!

In Pursuit of Purpose

January 14th, 2010 by Liz in Financial Freedom, Lifestyle, Sharing Success

Purpose — meaning, intention, aim — it’s not the end all and be all of things, but we spend every minute of our lives searching for it and trying to define it for ourselves. After all, how will you do something, or go somewhere, or basically move through your day-to-day existence if you do not have purpose or even a goal of some kind. It seems, doesn’t it, that purpose is the root that grows within us and causes us to go beyond and explore infinite possibilities. It’s probably safe to say then, that in everything that we do or say or think, we have a purpose — with or without realizing it.

We each have a purpose to serve

Featured in HealthyWealthynWise.com, Mike Litman’s article Take Your Solution Seriously discusses the fact that essentially, all human beings have a higher purpose in life. We each were born to solve someone else’s problem. We just have to believe that we have a solution to offer and work on that solution until we’re ready and able to find the people we’re destined to help.

What does this mean? It just so happens that we all have talents that may seem somewhat trivial to us, but can be a big help to others. What we have to realize is that we can’t be selfish, because we were placed on this earth to share our abilities. We have as much impact on people as, I’m sure, some have had an impact on us.

It’s a complete waste of our in-born talents and abilities if we just go through our lives like drones searching for the next easy money, instead of stepping out of the assembly line and realizing and living up to our latent potential.

That innate performing arts inclination, public speaking edge and marketing or tech-savvy skills you’ve had since you were little will not develop and hone themselves. You have to make an effort to practice and improve them, so you can eventually use them to be of service to others.

You Mission Should You Choose To Accept It…

You don’t even have to worry about survival or making money, because these will come to you once you’ve made peace with the universe and accepted your talents as something meaningful, not only to you but to a lot of people as well. Again, that is what you’re here for — to solve someone’s problem. Take note, not to confuse with you solving everybody’s problems, just someone’s. If you’re lucky, maybe even a handful or a slightly larger group of people. <g>

My husband Ric and I are lucky enough to be part of the industry we’re in. By reaching plenty of people online or offline and learning that our products are helping them reshape and realign their lives, we somehow realize the purpose we serve. I guess you could even say that our purpose is to help people realize theirs. It’s only a big plus that we get to enjoy what we do and are able to make more and live more for it. And that’s a great honor to have. <g>

A very wise superhero’s Uncle Ben (ahem, Peter Parker a.k.a. Spiderman <g>) once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” It’s a cliché, I know. But not just because we know we have power to influence others, it means because we have that power, it can also be used to take advantage — and shame on those who do.  As with any responsibility and ability, use it wisely and honorably. In a way, it all boils down to personal responsibility and accountability. Go figure, even with your innate talents and abilities, you have to be mature enough to operate! <g>

Passion breeds purpose

Another HealthyWealthynWise.com article by Debra Kasowski and Charmaine Hammond, entitled When Passion and Purpose Collide, tackles purpose born out of passion.

By its very definition, passion is something that we enjoy doing — not because we are forced, coerced or paid to, but because we want to. This passion helps us focus more on what we can do which, in turn, helps us find our purpose in life.

Once we accept and realize our purpose and combine it with our passion, we become empowered. We achieve a certain level and feeling of freedom to live the way we want and do what we want, making us just one big ball of energy that attracts people and opportunities. It’s a very nice concept indeed! <g> When we’re happy and excited about living our lives with purpose, we look forward to getting up every day and are eager for every new experience we might encounter. Suddenly, we let go of whatever insecurity or fears we have and just end up being more open to taking risks and getting to make more for it.

Unleash your passion and realize your purpose

Don’t hesitate to pursue your passion and accept your purpose. Trust me, you’ll breathe easier. <g> Knowing that you have the power over your dreams and life makes you appreciate living more. When you are able to enjoy life’s moments — whether on your own or with a loved one — you have a greater tendency to achieve more and make more.

In finding your purpose and accepting that you are here to be of service to others, you’ll have more room and better opportunities to give more of yourself and help others. Then, the road to a fulfilled and well-lived life is not too far ahead.

Have you found your passion? Do you think you have realized and are rightly fulfilling your life’s purpose? Let me know by posting your comments below.

Until next time!

Embracing Possibilities

January 12th, 2010 by Liz in Financial Freedom, Lifestyle

The New Year brings with it plenty of promises, with new beginnings and fresh opportunities among them. In the wake of the worst economic downfall since the Great Depression, many people are looking forward to a better 2010.

My husband Ric and I are fortunate enough to have survived the worst of the blow. (We’re positively hoping that the worst is indeed over. <g>) One of the best things about working together and owning our own businesses and magazines, including The Transperience Network, Small Business CEO Magazine and Healthy Wealthy nWise Magazine, is that we’re in control of the decision making process.

We have each other to depend on and throw ideas back and forth with, and we tend to bring out the best in each other. Being imperfect individuals (yes, we do recognize our faults <g>), we also complement each other’s shortcomings. When one of our business ventures fail, and we do have the occasional disaster just like everyone else <g>, we don’t spend time or effort on blame. Instead, we assess where things went wrong, remedy the situation the best that we can and invest whatever lessons we learned in doing better on our next project. With this, we avoid most of the personal or professional conflicts that most business partners – especially those who are married to each other – encounter.

Now, I’ll stop digressing and go back to the point I was trying to make earlier. <g>  2010 is a chance for everyone to start anew and reform whatever bad habits they dislike within themselves in order to achieve better and improved lives.
The blame stops here

Margie Warrell’s Small Business CEO magazine article entitled Could Blame Be Holding You Back & Limiting Your Happiness? brought an often-taken-for-granted fact to my attention: people have a tendency to give in to blame.

A lot of people would rather blame others for the bad things that happen to them – from  traffic mishaps, to property conflicts, to less than stellar product performances or even sibling rivalries and other every day, and sometimes trivial, problems. Instead of looking deep within themselves or being the bigger person and choosing the higher path (known to some as the road less travelled <g>) – involving patience, forgiveness, understanding and other good values – men and women with whatever age, race or background choose to point their fingers elsewhere, and it is just sad. This habit is so destructive that it has caused countless troubles since time immemorial.

How can anyone move forward and succeed if they don’t even know how to accept their own faults and misgivings? In this world, no one is perfect, and those who say or think they are obviously need to get out more often. <g> Perhaps it’s the fear of looking at ourselves and seeing our weaknesses that hinder us from taking the higher road – or maybe just plain stubbornness and bad attitude for some <g> – but refusing to join the blame game and learning to accept our own faults help us see things better. If you, yourself, have accepted your own misgivings, then no one and nothing can put you down. Trust me, the way to financial freedom, success, more interesting relationships and exciting adventures will become much more clear.

When we know our own imperfections and weaknesses, we learn to recognize our own strengths and talents. It’s these new discoveries that will help us take personal responsibility and lead us towards accountability and self improvement. When we know what we’re good at, what our limitations are and where our passions lie, it’s easier to find that work you love or that life-changing experience. Paired with a positive outlook in life and a good attitude, nothing and no one can hinder your path to good times and success.

Invest your time and efforts wisely

Taking yourself out of the blame game and recognizing your own weaknesses and strengths in order to succeed will all be for naught if you don’t leverage your time and efforts wisely. Neil Graber’s article, How Well Do You Leverage Your Time and Effort?, in our Small Business CEO magazine illustrates this very well.

When you’re a parent running your own businesses, like Ric and I with our boys Chandler and Stefan and our various businesses, you need to plan ahead. Knowing what you need to do and how to go about doing it saves a lot of time and effort, as well as your sanity and relationships. <g> You need not be obsessive about it, but keeping a planner or at least mapping up a calendar posted on your refrigerator would help you get around to fixing everyone’s schedule and accomplishing a lot more within a day, a week or even a month. When you get to save some time, you get more chances to live more and spend time with your loved ones.

Don’t be afraid to delegate while you multitask. Your spouse and children would probably appreciate your needing their help around the house, and your business partner would like your recognition of his talent and capabilities when you seek his assistance. Never be shy about asking for help. In case you haven’t noticed, people aren’t exactly born with superhuman powers like what movies lead you to believe. <g> Learn to relax a little and let go. It will make you enjoy and appreciate the things you need to do more, instead of just being pressured and harassed by them.

Choose your weapons wisely. In any task that you do, you will most definitely save time – and yourself from disappointment <g> – when you know how you’ll go about approaching it and using the right tools in doing it. This will help you be more conscious of caring for any equipment you may use in your field and honing whatever talents you may have. Armed with the right resources, you will be able to face any obstacles in your path and move faster towards accomplishing the goals you’ve set for your business or yourself.

No one wants to waste their time and efforts, especially on petty things like blame and other destructive habits. If you realize that you’ve been falling victim to these unproductive things, it’s not too late to change. This 2010, make an effort to look within yourself, accept your weaknesses and recognize your strengths. Learn to leverage your time and efforts and embrace the possibility of a better, more productive life with your business and loved ones.

Have you taken yourself out of the blame game? If yes, how has the practice changed your life? Do you believe you’ve used your time and efforts wisely in your business or your life? Share your thoughts and tips with us through the comments section below.

Until next time!

Resolutions Solutions

January 8th, 2010 by Adaire in Lifestyle

It’s New Year once again and if there’s something we love doing at the start of each year it’s making a list of resolutions we could accomplish – or try to, at least :) – within the coming year. I’ve made and kept a lot of those resolutions – lose the holiday weight, add new twists to my exercise regimens, write more about things I love, and the like – but I’ve also let go of a few. It’s not that I couldn’t do them per se, it was probably because some of them were just so vague and immeasurable that they tend to get forgotten or put aside for a time. :) Below are a few things we could keep in mind when writing our resolutions for the year ahead.   

Don’t be a victim

With the year we’ve had as a country and as a people, it’s very easy to point the finger towards others for whatever mishaps or failures we experienced. Somehow it’s easier for us to deflect the blame and think that we had no doing whatsoever with whatever fate our businesses or our lives have had. Now, that’s a little convenient and immature isn’t it? :)

I believe Janice Dorn enunciated it well in her HealthyWealthynWise article entitled The Three Most Powerful Words. She discussed the mentality that some people adapt in face of failure and hardship – taking the role of victim to distance ourselves from being the cause of the fall. Personally, I think taking this easy way out is a form of cheating and frankly, a little cowardly, yeah? :)

Be responsible for your life. Whatever road you choose to take, whatever resolutions you choose to keep or let go, whether you would be honest with yourself about your accomplishments or not, however you treat your loved ones and other people – it’s all up to you. As an adult, you are completely capable of making all of these decisions for yourself. If you win and achieve things, the glory is all yours. If you fail at things or lose then, the responsibility is all yours as well. I know it’s disheartening and a little discouraging, but let’s face it, it is all part of being a grown up. :)

Now that you are responsible for you, you’ll surely make a conscious effort to do better at fulfilling those resolutions and whatever things you choose to do in life.

Be realistic

To avoid being overwhelmed by your resolutions, why not try making them more specific? Instead of saying you want to lose weight, specify how much weight and how. Instead of trying to do ten resolutions all at the same time, why not take them one at a time? Thus, giving you a better chance to focus on each.

Don’t be afraid to fall midway. You can always get up and try again if you fall on the first try. Do things at your own pace and don’t compete with anyone. This way, you won’t feel pressured at all. You may even end up having the time of your life. After all, we’ve already established that you are responsible for you and they are your resolutions to make, break or accomplish. :)
Enjoy the climb

In her HealthyWealthynWise article, Goal Setting: Ten Lessons I Learned While Climbing to the Top, Jill Koenig stated ten tips on how to go about accomplishing your goals. They could be applied to everything, from our more general goals in life to the specific resolutions we’ll have for next year.

When we set out towards a goal – whether it’s financial success, starting our own business, giving a little more each day, spending more quality time with our loved ones, or simply finishing one of those forgotten books a month – we must be prepared to go for them on our own. The farther and higher we go, the people who started the journey with us may start thinning out and this leaves room for a little fear to enter our systems. However, if we look at our goal and think to approach it as we do the other things in our lives, then we would be encouraged to do better and try harder. Once we set about accomplishing our goal, we can’t let whatever’s left of our fear stop us. We just need to start and go forward with our resolution. Whenever we feel like giving up, we could always tap into our inner courage and suck it up to move along.  :) Sometimes, something mysterious happens. The more we are nearer to reaching our goal, we tend to get more fearful and feel the need to retreat. Well, I say you could avoid that niggling fear and forge ahead.

In every triumph you experience, don’t forget to take a step back to appreciate the journey you’ve had and celebrate the victory – no matter how big or small it is. Don’t worry, things get easier the longer you do something and keep at it. When you know that you’ve accomplished your goal, then it’s a pretty nice feeling to have.

Of course, once you’re successful with one goal, you’ll have to start again with another. Don’t be afraid of going through the whole thing again. Savor each unique experience and take all the lessons you could get. At the end of the day, you’ll realize that there’s no better teacher than life itself, and the only things more important than reaching your goal are enjoying the journey towards it and how we go about accomplishing it. These are clichés I know, but they are true nonetheless. :)

How did you do with your resolutions this past year? Have you started making your New Year’s resolutions for next year? Do you have other tips and strategies on how to successfully fulfil all of them? Let us know. Write your comments below.
Happy New Year everyone!