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Archive for October, 2005

Happy Halloween!!

Today is: Day Month day, 2005

Good Morning
I Have Been Thinking
Happy Halloween!!

Halloween – my favorite holiday! I absolutely love the costumes and the fun and excitement of the day. I am really sorry to see it being outlawed in many of the schools and it is so sad to see that it has become a dangerous time for children just because of a few sick-o’s out there in the world.

I can remember some times when my children were little, we would invite their friends from school over to the house for a party. It was safe and they could have a very good time. One year we decided to go up to the foothills for our party. Our next door neighbor decided the she and a few friends would go up over the hill to scare the kids (teens by this time.) We were roasting hot dogs and toasting marshmallow’s on the fire, when the three of them came over the hill sounding like wolves or something. One of the boys jumped over the fire and into my lap. We had a great time and I still smile every time I think about it.

What are you doing to make memories? It doesn’t even have to be a big thing!

Success!
MizC

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Ice Breakers
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The White House Ghosts

One night, George W. Bush is tossing restlessly in his White House
bed. He awakens to see George Washington standing by him. Bush asks
him, “George, what’s the best thing I can do to help the country?”

“Set an honest and honorable example, just as I did,” Washington
advises and then fades away.

The next night, Bush is astir again and sees the ghost of Thomas
Jefferson moving through the darkened bedroom. Bush calls out, “Tom,
please! What is the best thing I can do to help the country?”

“Respect the Constitution, as I did,” Jefferson advises and dims from sight.

The third night sleep is still not in the cards for Bush. He awakens
to see the ghost of FDR hovering over his bed. Bush whispers,
“Franklin, what is the best thing I can do to help the country?”

“Help the less fortunate, just as I did,” FDR replies and fades into the mist.

Bush isn’t sleeping well the fourth night when he sees another figure
moving in the shadows. It is the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. Bush
leads, “Abe, what is the best thing I can do right now to help the country?”

Lincoln replies, “Go see a play.”

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“Every great work, every great accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.”

Florence Scovel Shinn
Artist and Author

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If you have never looked at holidays online Halloween is a great time to do just that. At http://www.halloween-online.com/ there is one of the best collections of Halloween information that is in one place. There are Ghost stories to How to carve a pumpkin, recipes and more. I found this great recipie for Pumpkin Pizza that looks fun to make and even more fun to eat! http://www.halloweenkitchen.com/pumpkin_pizza.html

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Today is: Friday October 28, 2005

Good Morning
I Have Been Thinking

What does it honestly take to make a business successful if you want to work it exclusively on line? I will be brutally honest – I don’t know! I didn’t really start making
a good income until I started using both online and offline promotional activities.
A friend of mine Joe Reinbold wrote an article a couple of years ago that I read
and decided well maybe he has something here. I too was a member of SFI, one
of the organizations he mentions in this article and many of the methods I use I
learned from working with this organization. When I decided to branch off and
do my own thing my life and my business have grown quite comfortably.

I enjoy writing this newsletter every weekday. I have learned much by changing
the format. If people want the information they make sure it gets through their
filters. I enjoy it when I get comments and complements and even disagreements
in return. The newsletter is posted online in a blog and in my group at RYZE and
reaches a target audience of in the thousands now. I have subscribers that have
been with me for over six years now so I must be doing something right – well
maybe!

But what exactly am I trying to say here?

* I learn as much or more by writing this newsletter every day
* Sales come from personal one on one contact with people, not just from
the sites.
* I make a comfortable income by teaching people how to: and do it
one at a time (well maybe several in my classes.)
* I recommend programs and people only after I have proved them
to be truthful with me and more important helpful.

So I guess what I am trying to say, is you are important to me and without
you I would not have a business. I do hope you are finding the pearls in
each of the articles and tips that are posted.

Success!
Carolyn

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Ice Breakers
==============

What the Advertisements Really Mean

NEW – Different color from previous design.

ALL NEW – Parts are not interchangeable with previous design.

EXCLUSIVE – Imported product.

UNMATCHED – Almost as good as the competition.

FOOLPROOF OPERATION – No provision for adjustments.

ADVANCED DESIGN – The advertising agency doesn’t understand it.

IT’S HERE AT LAST – Rush job. Nobody knew it was coming.

FIELD TESTED – Manufacturer lacks test equipment.

HIGH ACCURACY – Unit on which all parts fit.

FUTURISTIC – No other reason why it looks the way it does.

REDESIGNED – Previous flaws fixed – we hope.

DIRECT SALES ONLY – Factory had a big argument with distributor.

YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT – We finally got one to work.

BREAKTHROUGH – We finally figured out a use for it.

MAINTENANCE FREE – Impossible to fix.

MEETS ALL STANDARDS – Ours, not yours.

SOLID-STATE – Heavy as hell.

LESS FATTENING – Now doesn’t have the same fat content as pig stomach lining.

HIGH RELIABILITY – We made it work long enough to ship it.

NON-REFUNDABLE – We couldn’t make it work long enough to ship it.

FAT FREE – You pay for the food, but the fat is free.

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Good Morning
I Have Been Thinking

How do you know if being in business for yourself is the thing to do? I received an email yesterday from About.com and found a test for anyone thinking about going into business. The article is helpful, but the test really is quite revealing.

Take it for yourself and see.The entrepraneurs Test

http://sbinfocanada.about.com/library/startbusinessquiz/blquestion1.htm

Is it your dream to be in business for yourself? Has your dream become a nightmare? Did you get into business to have more time and money only to find that you are tied down even more? Do you know when and how you can quit your full time job so you can work you business on a full time basis? What if you are the victim of dowsizing or find yourself without a job is this the Lord telling you it is time to go into business for yourself? There are an awful lot of question involved believe me and it is these kind of question that people turn to consultants for help.

If you went through the process yourself you may have many of the answers. I do hope you will take the time to read the article in today’s newsletter. Jeff says it all. The article reads as I would have written it, but probably with fewer gramatical errors. It takes work to build a business on line and sometimes it is very arduous work for little profit but then one day it just clicks and you know you have arrived.

Success!
MizC

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Ice Breakers
==============

“Mud Bath”

A man goes into his doctors office for an annual
physical. After a while, the doctor comes out and
says, “I’m sorry Bill, but we have discovered you
have a condition which only allows you another 6
weeks to live.”

“But Doctor,” Bill replied, “I feel great. I
haven’t felt better in years. This just can’t be
true. Isn’t there anything I can do?”

After a moment the doctor said, “Well, you might
start going down the street to that new health spa
and take a mud bath every day.”

Excitedly Bill asked, “And that will cure me?”

“No,” Replied the doctor, “but it will get you
used to the dirt.”

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===========
Quotable
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The first and most important step toward success is the feeling that we can succeed.

– Nelson Boswell

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How I Help People Make Money Working At Home!
Copyright © 2004, Jeff Schuman
Ezine-In-A-Box.Com
http://www.ezine-in-a-box.com

As I think back on my first year in internet marketing and
network marketing online this thought comes to mind.

Every program I joined I did so because the person I joined
under offered me hope that I could make money and be
successful like them. The programs I stuck with were a direct
result of my sponsor helping me become successful.

The other thing they all did is offered to do things for me
that made it easy to be in business with them.

Most people joining an internet marketing or network
marketing program do not have the skill level to do
what is required to become successful in that business.

Offering to do things for them gives them the hope that
maybe they can learn from you and someday become successful
themselves.

Having read about or tried many of the “Hottest” programs
at the time I feel qualified to recommend which ones will work.

Now that I am making money online I can recommend programs
and products along with the things I am doing to make money.

But I carry it one step further. I put my money where my mouth
is when it comes to helping people make money online. I will go
so far as to do the ‘Grunt’ work at first to help people get
their own work at home businesses started.

I will do things like place new members under my new
partners to get them off to a fast start.

We use autoresponders in my groups for follow-up. I will
personally load follow-up messages in the autoresponder for
them.

I put all follow-up messages in one general message that my
downline can access and set-up their own responder as soon
as they are capable.

I will write follow-up letters to their new prospects.

I will personally call new prospects on their behalf.

I will 3 way call new prospects with my partner for
training purposes.

I will give away free leads as an incentive to upgrade in
my program or buy my product and to help them get their own
mailing list going.

You will hear this over and over…but the man or women who
rules the list rules the money. Building a good quality list
is a big key to making money online and I jump right in with
my partners and help them get this going ASAP! My program
Ezine-In-A-Box can help you do that.
http://www.ezine-in-a-box.com

I make myself available for follow-up training and to
answer questions after they have begun to go it alone. This
is very comforting when you begin to have your own downline
and prospects looking to you for all of the answers.

I constantly share what is and what isn’t working in my own
personal advertising campaigns. I make myself the guinea
pig so to speak.

I use my newsletters to teach people basic computer and
internet marketing skills. Things like email signatures,
basic website design, affiliate link cloaking, power
linking, search engine techniques, importing opt-in leads,
how to place classified ads in ezines, how to set-up a
pay-per-click campaign and more.

Here’s the bottom line. If you want to become successful
copy what is already successful. You will find that all of
the guru’s will go beyond just selling you their product or
signing you up to join their program.

If you are sincerely working to build your business then
you are going to build their business as well and the
really good ones will do everything they can to help you do
that.

The sooner you can project that image about yourself the
sooner you will be on the road to being the type of person
people want to be in business with!

These are things I do to help people make money online
and I know you will do the same as soon as you can!

Resource Box:
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Today is: Wednesday October 26, 2005

Good Morning
I Have Been Thinking

What is the very first thing a person will see about your business? How does big business brand their business? There are two things that come to mind. The first is the logo, and the second is the motto. A motto is different than much different than a mission statement or purpose and the logo can and will make or break your identity.

Name a few logos you know quite well then do a little research to find out how they got to be a household name. It is really quite an interesting study. Today’s article is all about logo’s, what to do and how to do it!

Success!
MizC

==============
Ice Breakers
==============

Interview

Reaching the end of a job interview, the human resources person asked a
young engineer fresh out of MIT what kind of a salary he was looking
for.

“In the neighborhood of $140,000 a year, depending on the benefits
package.”

“Well, what would you say to a package of 5-weeks vacation, 14 paid
holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to
50% of salary, and a company car leased every 2 years…say, a red
Corvette?”

“Wow! Are you kidding?”

“Yeah, but you started it!”

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===========
Quotable
===========

“Four short words sum up what has lifted most successful individuals above the crowd: a little bit more. They did all that was expected of them and a little bit more.”

A. Lou Vickery
Writer

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Is Your Logo Helping or Hurting Your Business
by Nathan Cain

The quality of your logo can mean the difference between success
or failure. It can be that simple!

Trademarks and Logos make up the most international language in
the world. An excellent logo can cross many barriers and provide
your organization with a means of delivering to your customers an
unequivocal and uniform message.

Every successful company has its own “personality,” and just
as human personalities are complex, so too is your company’s
personality. A successful logo is a means of condensing a complex
reality into a single, simple statement, one that can be
controlled, modified, developed and matured over time.

Your logo needs to be much more than just a distinguishing mark
for your company. It must be an indication of quality, value, and
reliability.

Does your logo do these things successfully?:

– IDENTIFY your company, product, or service.

– DIFFERENTIATE it from the mass of other similar companies.

– COMMUNICATE information as to your products value and quality.

– ADD VALUE by causing you to provide a quality service in order
to maintain your company’s reputation.

– REPRESENT potentially valuable assets. When people see your
logo, can they tell by the design that your product or service is
of high quality.

If your logo doesn’t do these things, then you might need to
update it, possibly seeking professional advice.

Is your logo design really that important?

It is extremely important! Your logo is a part of the foundation
on which you build your brand. Especially since the recent
explosion of Internet businesses, but even before that, consumers
have an overwhelming variety of choices. Chances are that
whatever you are selling, there is something similar to it
available. Chances are there is someone in direct competition
with you right now. Yes, there are very few products that are
shielded from direct competition because of a patent or for some
other reason.

It is because of this that much of your efforts in marketing and
branding should be concentrated on building a distinctive and
differentiated “brand personality” for your company.

Take the success of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola. There is some
difference between these two products, but this difference is
very subtle. Plus, there are hundreds of other brands of cola on
the market. Even so, these two brands, Coke and Pepsi, are able
to dominate the world wide cola market. What is the main factor
for their success? It is the strength and appeal of their brands.

And what is the foundation for their brands?

It is their powerful Logos!

Your logo is the means by which you can distinguish your products
and services and therefore serve both your needs and the needs of
your customers.

Ok, so what are the TOP 5 components that make up an excellent
logo?

1. Long lasting style.

It is often tempting to adopt a design that looks really cool at
the time but that can become outdated very quickly. This leads to
the logo being constantly changed. Your logo designer should
resist the urge to change your logo unless it is really necessary.
It is only after consumers frequently see your logo that people
may start to notice it. (Sometimes this is after you are already
bored with it)

2. Distinctiveness.

It is interesting to note that many new companies adopt logo
styles that are very similar to everyone else’s. Don’t go
overboard though, your designer should be sensitive to cultural
norms. A really wacko design wouldn’t do well in funeral home.
However, you should still seek distinctiveness.

3. Appealing to consumers.

Your logo must be appealing to those who aren’t affiliated with
your company. This means you must test your logo. Show it to your
customers and see what they think. Ask them what emotions it
evokes in them.

4. Conveys the right image.

What image are you trying to get across to your customers?
Corporate? Upscale? Franchise looking?

5. Legibility

No matter what you do, if people don’t understand your logo, then
it will be ineffective. Who are you trying to target? Where are
you going to be displaying your logo other than your web site?
Will it be on your letterhead, business cards, auto signs? Does
your logo put out the same message no matter where it is
displayed.

In conclusion, your logo is central to your company’s
“personality”. Even if your company has a great personality,
if your logo doesn’t convey that, then people may get the wrong
idea and never do business with you. Within your logo and
company name is held all of your investments, because it is this
clear, identifiable aspect of your brand that the consumer uses
in selecting your company or purchasing your products.

Copyright © 2005 Nathan Cain

About Nathan: The author, Nathan Cain, has more ideas that will
help your business marketing efforts. Visit his promotional
products web site at http://www.Web-Magnets.com.

Become a member and learn something new every day. This is a most important part of the magnificent seven http://www.winassoc.com/Training/Magnificent_7/mag7.html

Read new forum entries on creative ways to
maximize your time and accomplish the Magnificent 7:

Happy designing!

=======================
Have a wonderful day!
=======================

Privacy Policy: I don’t rent, trade or sell my newsletter
mailing list to anyone. You won’t get mail you don’t want
as a result of signing up for this list.

Join me in the conference room
http://www.hotconference.com/software/downloads.php?id=CarolynWinslow
I would love to help you with your business

Find out how you can become an internet business consultant
consultantinfo@winassoc.com

Check the Calendar for scheduled Webinars and Workshops

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Today is: Tuesday October 25, 2005

Good Morning
I Have Been Thinking

Fear is a very big topic especially this time of year. Are there ghosts and goblins in your life? I think at one time or another we are all haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past. They are clothed in something call “I should have done…” I know that sometimes there are skeletons in the closet that manage to show themselves at the strangest of times.

Fear can be a good thing – honest it can be. Fear can be a motivator that makes people do more than they ever dreamed possible.

My friend Steve Boaze wote an article about fear that is quite fitting and well worth the read.

Success!
MizC

==============
Ice Breakers
==============

These are actual newspaper headlines gathered from papers across the country.

Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim

Shot Off Woman’s leg Helps Nicklaus to 66

Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax

Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told

Miners Refuse to Work After Death

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

Stolen Painting Found by Tree

Two Soviet Ships Collide, One Dies

Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Counter

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===========
Quotable
===========
“Every great work, every great accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding
to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.”

Florence Scovel Shinn
Artist and Author

============
Daily Tip
============
Do join us, Check your daily TIP on line at
http://winassoc1.netfirms.com/phpbb/nfphpbb/

Fear- A common Motivator for Self Confidence
By Steven Boaze Copyright © 2005

If you are like most people, you are often confronted with fears that hold you back – consciously or subconsciously. Although you weren’t born with them, you are under the strong influence of the environment that implanted them. You might even be tempted to think that worry and
fear is the primary base from which your actions stem.

Salespeople know of this powerful influence. People buy truckloads of insurance in preparation for some disaster that “might” happen. “It is
better to be safe than sorry.” Do you have an extra set of keys (or two) for your house or car? Do you buy food, drinks or even pills that will
help you improve your complexion or lose unwanted weight?

Whether it is a fear of losing something good, or getting something bad, fear is a driving force that is always there. Why does someone behave
rudely or arrogantly? Because he or she is afraid of losing their “feeling of” authoritative power, which would destroy or undermine his or her
position in society.

You already know where jealousy stems from – out of fear for you, wanting or losing something you think you cannot have or the fear that someone
else will get what you feel “belongs to you.” New situations in life force you to confront a new set of fears. You may even comfort yourself by
saying it isn’t so bad. Have you ever made a doctor’s appointment, a dentist appointment or a hairstyling appointment only to arrive in the
respective waiting area with no pain or the best hair day you’ve had in a long time? Now you want to go home.

Fear is a powerful motivator. Some of the more common fears are:

1. Fear of the Unknown
2. Fear of Failure and Rejection
3. Fear of Loss (losing what you have)
4. Fear of Facing Reality
5. Fear of Disapproval

You have to deal with all of these fears if you want to succeed. You cannot deny them or banish them to your subconscious, as that will only add fuel to a fire that will probably and suddenly burst out beyond your control.

Like fires, fears are easiest to squelch when they are still small. Confront your fears and banish them forever. Start with- “The Fear of the
Unknown.” There isn’t a person alive that isn’t apprehensive, nervous or even fearful of entering new territory, wandering into the great unknown.
What will it hold? How will it change you? Will you be able to handle the situation or complete the task? Will you know what to do and have the
ability to do it? Will you be laughed at? Will it be worth it? One way of confronting the unknown is to recognize that without action you will
never escape mediocrity.

The primary difference between people who fulfill their dreams and those that don’t is action – the former move from words to action, the latter
never get beyond the words. Ask yourself: What could I lose if I begin to act? Answer frankly. Typical answers are time, pride and so on. You
should note that these answers are merely superficial. What could I gain? An experience that will, without a doubt, make you richer (maybe financially) and one that will bring you closer, above all, to success.

You shouldn’t forget that it is self-confidence, overcoming your fears and changing your habits or undesirable attributes (like transforming yourself from timid to outgoing) that bring you a step closer to attaining your desires.

About The Author

Steven Boaze, Chairman, is The Owner of Boaze.com
Corporate Web Solutions. Steven is the Author of
two successful Books, thousands of articles
featured in radio, magazines newspapers and trade
journals. Steven has 25 years experience in
journalism, copywriting, certified Web Developer.
http://www.copywriteplus.com http://www.boaze.com
Copyright © 1998-2005 Boaze.com

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Today is: Monday 24 October 2005

Good Morning!!
I Have Been Thinking

Why are you doing what you are doing? There is a reason and usually it is more than just the money that can be earned. What is it that you want to earn the money for? Yes, that is a million dollar question and could be worth a million to you during the course of your business career.

A missions is a statement of your belief in yourself and in what you do. Today’s article is about the mission statement. I know that I read mine every morning and every night and when I don’t things just don’t stay aligned for me. My mission gets me up in the morning and makes me write this newsletter. It makes me read and learn and find articles that have the information worthy of reading.

Another thing about your mission that is worth thinking about is that it will identify your purpose, your beliefs and most important your values.

Success!
MizC

==============
Ice Breakers
==============
Lunatic Cab Driver

Jill had to grab a cab to get to a meeting uptown.
She hailed one down, got in, and told the cabbie the
address she needed. The cabbie turned out to be
a lunatic driver, and Jill sat in the backseat clutching the
door handle wondering if she could expect to survive
this trip.

The cabdriver sped through the crowded NYC streets,
weaving in and out of traffic. Jill watched as one
pedestrian after another leapt aside to avoid being run
down by her lunatic driver.

Jill looked ahead and saw a truck double parked on the
narrow street. Not only did the driver fail to slow down,
he actually accelerated as he approached the truck. He
slipped his cab through the available space with an inch
or two to spare on either side.

“Driver,” Jill screamed, “Are you crazy? Are you trying
to get us both killed?”

“Relax, Lady,” he said. “Just do what I do. Close your eyes.”

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Quotable
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“If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can’t help but learn.”

Bernie Siegel, MD
Doctor, Author and Lecturer

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Writing a Meaningful Mission Statement
From Darrell Zahorsky,
Your Guide to Small Business Information.

Scores of business planning and strategic experts will state a mission statement is mandatory for your company direction and fund raising. Other advisors suggest writing a mission statement becomes a meaningless few sentences collecting dust somewhere in your office. Is a personal and corporate mission statement necessary for success in today’s hostile business climate?

Do You Need A Mission?

The answer depends on whether or not the mission statement you compose has significant meaning to you, or is just another corporate exercise in futility. A mission statement can guide your company in good times and bad. A meaningful mission can act as a moral and corporate compass. It can help you make decisions aligning with your values and goals.

Speaker and author, Laurie Beth Jones of “The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life” states, “It is the key to finding your path in life and identifying the mission you choose to follow.

Having a clearly articulated mission statement gives one a template of purpose that can be used to initiate, evaluate, and refine all of one’s activities.”

3 Key Ingredients of Meaningful Missions

# Pass the Mother Test: A mission statement must be a concise paragraph describing what your company does and for whom. Show your mission to your mother, if she does not understand it, start again.

# Self-Igniting: Your mission is for you and your business. It does not have to be an earth moving statement. It can be whatever inspires you.

# Value Alignment: Forget the money. A meaningful mission goes beyond the dollars and cents. If your small business is creative, focus your mission on creativity. Try to be what your core competency is.

Sample Mission Statements:

The Elephant Sanctuary: “A Natural-Habitat Refuge Where Sick, Old and Needy Elephants Can Once Again Walk The Earth In Peace and Dignity.” One powerful statement that evokes emotion and instant attachment to the cause of this organization.

Sun Microsystems: “Solve complex network computing problems for governments, enterprises, and service providers.” A simple mission statement identifying who their market is and what they do.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream: A product mission stated as: “To make, distribute & sell the finest quality all natural ice cream & euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment.” This mission inspired Ben and Jerry to build a cause-related company.

Joe Boxer: “JOE BOXER is dedicated to bringing new and creative ideas to the market place, both in our product offerings as well as our marketing events. We will continue to develop our unique brand positioning, to maintain and grow our solid brand recognition, and to adhere to high quality design standards. Because everyone wants to have fun everyday, JOE BOXER will continue to offer something for everyone with fun always in mind.”

Each sample mission statement conveys the business founder’s core beliefs and values. Anyone who knows or has met, Nicholas Graham of Joe Boxer, knows his company is about being zany and fun. What CEO would call himself the “Chief Underpants Officer?” It is all about your mission expressed through your business.

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Be Dependable

Today is: Friday October 21, 2005

Good Morning
I Have Been Thinking

It’s wet, rainy, and cold this morning. What a time of year it is last week we had to have the air conditioner running and this week the heat. The kids are having a great time outside. I got a real laugh out of my 6 yr. old grandson. The kids were out raking the leaves but I guess he decided there was not enough so hand the broom handle knocking leaves out of the branches he could reach. Kids certainly do have the imagination!

I know for myself the weather has a lot to do with the way that I feel and the way that I perceive the day to be. Dark and dreary cloudy skies have always meant stew and home made bread hot out of the oven to warm our little world.

Fall seems to be a time for social gatherings dating back to who knows when. It is a time for having fun and exchanging ideas. I do hope that you are saving this mini course. Today is part V Be Dependable. Just like the weather we all change from day to day but there should be some things that remain constant and the dependability the constancy can only come from the way you perceive and handle the day.

Success!
MizC

==============
Ice Breakers
==============
Roast Beef

My boyfriend and I were lunching at a sidewalk cafe’
in Huntington Beach, CA. Our waitress looked like
a real surfer girl: athletic with a great tan and blonde
hair.

Mulling over the menu, my guy asked her if the roast
beef was rare.

The waitress gave us a stare and replied, “Well, no.
We have it, like, just about every day.”

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Quotable
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“Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.”

Grenville Kleiser
1868-1953, Author

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Part V: Be Dependable
By Scott Allen

Being dependable is always an essential factor of reputation, whether it be a consultant or a car. It’s impossible to have a good reputation without dependability. It doesn’t matter how fast or flashy your car is if it’s in the shop all the time. Being dependable is basically very simple and can be summed up in one sentence: “Say what you’re going to do and then do it.” Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. In fact, failure to follow through on what we say has become such a dominant pattern of modern life that most of us aren’t even aware when we do it. I don’t propose to offer a general solution for this, nor are we going to discuss dependability with existing customers, as that’s really a part of the broader topic of customer service. What we’re going to look at is some of the specific issues consultants face when starting out and some specific ideas on how to handle them.

Nightly Follow-Ups

You meet someone, you exchange business cards, and they say they’ll contact you with some sort of relevant information or business contact. You don’t hear from them. The next time they see you, of course, they’re very apologetic and tell you they’ll send it to you this time. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. I’d bet money this has happened to you. I’d even bet money you’ve done it yourself once or twice. This probably won’t kill your reputation, since that’s what everyone else is doing, too. But I promise you that if you overcome this problem, you’ll do wonders for your reputation.

My solution to this is really simple, but it’s the only one I’ve found that works. Quite simply, don’t go to bed at night until you’ve handled all your follow-ups. That doesn’t mean you have to actually deliver whatever it is you’ve said you’re going to deliver. But you must do three things: 1) figure out what the next step is to deliver whatever you committed to, 2) put it on your schedule/calendar/to-do list for the appropriate date, and 3) contact the person, tell them what a pleasure it was to see/meet them, and either deliver what you promised or tell them when you plan to deliver it. Just watch how people respond to this—you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Just like with the business cards, there’s really no excuse for an email or voice mail to go unanswered for more than 24 hours (48 at the most). The same rule applies for these follow-ups as for the business cards—figure out the next step, put it on your calendar, and contact the person. This should only take a couple of minutes. Set aside a half hour or so before you go to bed and just get it handled. You’ll sleep better!
Finish What You Start

As we already mentioned, once you start volunteering your services, it’s very easy to become over-committed very quickly. The other thing that happens is we start various projects that we tell our friends and family about—writing an article, putting up a web site, getting some certification, etc. All of this public unfinished business not only damages your reputation, it eats away at your psyche.

There are plenty of books out there to recommend on managing your tasks and juggling conflicting priorities. And while a total system for managing all this is way beyond the scope of this article, there’s one bit of simple advice I can offer. Whenever a project nears seventy to eighty percent completion, push back everything else that can be pushed back and go ahead and finish the project. This will do wonders for both your reputation and your peace of mind.

Become a member and learn something new every day. This is a most important part of the magnificent seven http://www.winassoc.com/Training/Magnificent_7/mag7.html

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