Archive for August, 2008

Life Mapping

Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

Success is more than economic gains, titles, and degrees. I heard this expression of life mapping some time ago. I don’t for the life of me remember where but it did have an impact on me to remember it. It is impossible to plan out every minute and every second.

Who are you?

A map has a starting point. Who you are right now took years to get there whether you are 18 or 98. Most people when asked to introduce themselves will tell you their name and usually their occupation. Just how many of us identify our self with what we do rather than who we are.

Who is it you want to be?

“Who do want to be?” this is your vision. Now it is important that you know yourself so that you would have a clearer idea of who you want to be; and the things you want to change whether they are attitudes, habits, or points of view. If you hardly know yourself,! then your vision and targets for the future would also be unclear. Marilyn Monroe was one of the people I looked up to. She was very hard working to get her career where she wanted it to be. She made it her business to “create” the person we know as Marilyn.

How are you going to get there?

A vehicle is the means by which you can reach your destination. It can be analogized to your mission or vocation in life. To a great extent, your mission would depend on what you know about yourself.

Your knowledge, skills, and attitude

You also bring with you certain knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These determine your competence and help you in attaining your vision. There is a need for you to assess what knowledge, skills, and attitudes you have at present and what you need to gain along the way. Each and every one of us can feel a bit impatient with wanting things to change but at the same time keep things the same. We all feel it when we want somet! hing to happen, but we want it to happen right now.

Go! als and Objectives

Landmarks confirm if you are on the right track. When planning your life, you also need to have landmarks and a route. These landmarks are your measures of success. If you set those goals and objectives intelligently based on who we are and what exactly needs to be changed, then success comes over the right time. If we set those goals unrealistically (like I have to lose 100 lbs and I have three months to do it.) Or I want to make a million dollars and I have to do it by the end of the year; right now it is the end of August. People who do that only set themselves up for failure.

Often our plans are modified along the way due to some inconveniences, delays, and other situations beyond our control. Things change, life changes, you change be prepared for it. Never give up. Everything happens for a reason and everything is good when you look for the opportunity in it.

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!


Ice Breakers


While Grandma and Grandpa were baby-sitting David, 2, Grandpa was playing a chase game with him and they were running around in circles.

Grandpa would frequently change directions, which aggravated little David, and after a few times of changing directions, David sternly told his Grandpa,

“That’s it, you’re going in Time Out!”

Thought for Today:
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
George Eliot

Tips and Techniques

Every time you catch yourself saying “I wish” write it down.

Happy designing!


Read Full Post »

Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

Time management is basically about being focused. The Pareto Principle also known as the ’80:20 Rule’ states that 80% of efforts that are not time managed or unfocused generates only 20% of the desired output. However, 80% of the desired output can be generated using only 20% of a well time managed effort. Although the ratio ’80:20′ is only arbitrary, it is used to put emphasis on how much is lost or how much can be gained with time management.

Some people view time management as a list of rules that involves scheduling of appointments, goal settings, thorough planning, creating things to do lists and prioritizing. These certainly are the core basics of time management that should be understood to develop efficient personal time management skills. These basic skills can be fine tuned further to include the finer points of each skill tha! t can give you that extra reserve to create the results you desire.

But there is more skills involved in time management than the core basics. Skills such as decision making, inherent abilities such as emotional intelligence and critical thinking are also essential to your personal growth.

Personal time management involves everything you do. No matter how big and no matter how small, everything counts. Each new knowledge you acquire, each new advice you consider, each new skill you develop should be taken into consideration.

Having a balanced life-style should be the key result in having personal time management. This is the main aspect that many practitioners of personal time management fail to grasp.

Time management is about getting results, not about being busy.

The six areas that personal time management seeks to improve in anyone’s life are like facets of a diamond. These six areas include; physical, intellectual, social, car! eer, emotional and spiritual.

The physical facet involv! es having a healthy body, less stress and fatigue.

The intellectual facet involves learning and other mental growth activities.

The social facet involves developing personal or intimate relations and being an active contributor to society.

The career facet involves school and work.

The emotional facet involves appropriate feelings and desires and manifesting them.

The spiritual facet involves a personal quest for meaning and purpose.

Each area creates the whole you, if you are ignoring one area then you are ignoring an important part of yourself.

A great way of learning time management and improving your personal life is to follow several basic activities.

One of them is to review your goals whether it be immediate or long-term goals often.

Always determine which task is necessary or not necessary in achieving your goals and which activities are helping you maintain a balanced life style.

Ea! ch and everyone of us has a peek time and a time when we slow down, these are our natural cycles. We should be able to tell when to do the difficult tasks when we are the sharpest.

Learning to say “No”. You actually see this advice often. Heed it even if it involves saying the word to family or friends.

Pat yourself at the back or just reward yourself in any manner for an effective time management result.

Try and get the cooperation from people around you who are actually benefiting from your efforts of time management.

Don’t procrastinate. Attend to necessary things immediately.

Have a positive attitude and set yourself up for success. But be realistic in your approach in achieving your goals.

Have a record or journal of all your activities. This will help you get things in their proper perspective.

These are just a few steps you initially take in becoming a well rounded and very productive individual.

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!


Ice Breakers
Irish Twins

The new father ran out of the delivery room and announced to the rest of his family who were waiting for the news: “We had twins!”

We’re naming them Maureen and Colleen!

The family was so excited they immediately asked, “Who do Maureen and Colleen look like?”

The father paused, smiled, and said, “Each other.”

Thought for Today
“Without the rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tips and Techniques

What good is time if you cannot do what you want with it?
What good is money if there is nothing left to do what you want?

If you aren’t or can’t then there is something to learn in your management skills. Join me each Monday in the Internet Niche Lab to work on your goals and to brainstorm your ideas.

Happy designing!

Read Full Post »

Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

Sometimes, when all our doubts, fears and insecurities wrap ourselves up, we always come up with the idea of “I wish I were someone else.” More often than not, we think and believe that someone or rather, most people are better than us.- when in reality, the fact is, most people are more scared than we are..

You spot a totally eye-catching girl sitting by herself at a party, casually sipping on a glass of Asti Spumanti. You think to yourself, “she looks so perfectly calm and confident.” But if you could read thru her mind, you would see clouded thoughts and you might just be amazed that she’s thinking “are people talking about why I am here alone?… Why don’t guys find me attractive? …I don’t like my ankles, they look too skinny… I wish I was as intelligent as my best friend.”

We look at a young business entrepreneur! and say “Wooh… what else could he ask for?” He stares at himself at the mirror and murmur to himself, “I hate my big eyes… I wonder why my friends won’t talk to me… I hope mom and dad would still work things out.”

Isn’t it funny? We look at other people, envy them for looking so outrageously perfect and wish we could trade places with them, while they look at us and think the same thing. We are insecure of other people who themselves are insecure of us. We suffer from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and lose hope in self improvement.

I have a friend who never gets tired of talking. And in most conversations, she is the only one who seems to be interested in the things she has to say. So all of our other friends tend to avoid her whenever she’s around, and she doesn’t notice how badly she became socially handicapped.

One key to self improvement is to LISTEN and TALK to a trusted friend. Ask questions like “do you think I am ill-manner! ed?”, “Do I always sound argumentative?”, “Do I talk to! o loud?”, “Does my breath smell?”, “Do I ever bore you when were together?”. Listen for comments and criticisms and don’t argue Open up your mind and heart as well.

One of Whitney Houston’s songs says “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” True enough. In order to love others, you must love yourself too. Remember, you cannot give what you do not have.

Before telling other people ways on how to improve themselves, let them see that you yourself are a representation and a product of self improvement. Self improvement makes us better people, we then inspire other people, and then the rest of the world will follow.

We need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Accept your true self is the first step to self improvement.

We all have our insecurities. Nobody is perfect. We always wish we had better things, better features, better body parts, etc. But life need not to be perfect for people to be happy about themselves.! Self improvement and loving yourself is not a matter of shouting to the whole world that you are perfect and you are the best. It’s the virtue of acceptance and contentment. When we begin to improve ourselves, we then begin to feel contented and happy.

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!


Ice Breakers

Bob Hope once received an award and graciously gave full credit to his four writers for making it possible.

The next to receive the award was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. He stepped to the mike and with a grin, he announced, ‘I also want to thank my four writers,

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.’

Thought for Today:
“Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously and never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop this picture!”

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale 1898-1993,
Author of The Power of Positive Thinking

Tips and Techniques

“I will never be perfect, I can only be as good as I can be.”
How good can you be, or how good you will be is a matter of choice and only you can choose how good that will be. It is always so much easier to blame someone else for our shortcomings, but accepting full responsibility for who you are is the only way to become the manager or business owner you want to be.

Happy designing!

Read Full Post »

Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

Leadership Exposed: Things You Thought You Knew About Leadership

Much has been written about leadership: rules, pointers, styles, and biographies of inspiring leaders throughout world history. But there are certain leadership ideas that we ourselves fail to recognize and realize in the course of reading books. Here is a short list of things you thought you knew about leadership.

1. Leaders come in different flavors.

There are different types of leaders and you will probably encounter more than one type in your lifetime. Formal leaders are those we elect into positions or offices such as the senators, congressmen, and presidents of the local clubs. Informal leaders or those we look up to by virtue of their wisdom and experience such as in the case of the elders of a tribe, or our grandparents; or by virtue of their expertise and contribution on a given field such! as Albert Einstein in the field of Theoretical Physics and Leonardo da Vinci in the field of the Arts. Both formal and informal leaders practice a combination of leadership styles· Lewin’s three basic leadership styles – authoritative, participative, and delegative
·Likert’s four leadership styles – exploitive authoritative, benevolent authoritative, consultative, and participative
·Goleman’s six emotional leadership styles – visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and commanding.

2. Leadership is a process of becoming.

Although certain people seem to be born with innate leadership qualities, without the right environment and exposure, they may fail to develop their full potential. So like learning how to ride a bicycle, you can also learn how to become a leader and hone your leadership abilities. Knowledge on leadership theories and skills may be formally gained by enrolling in leadership seminars, workshops, and conferences.! Daily interactions with people provide the opportunity to observe and practice leadership theories. Together, formal and informal learning will help you gain leadership attitudes, gain leadership insights, and thus furthering the cycle of learning. You do not become a leader in one day and just stop. Life-long learning is important in becoming a good leader for each day brings new experiences that put your knowledge, skills, and attitude to a test.

3. Leadership starts with you.

The best way to develop leadership qualities is to apply it to your own life. As an adage goes “action speaks louder than words.” Leaders are always in the limelight. Keep in mind that your credibility as a leader depends much on your actions: your interaction with your family, friends, and co-workers; your way of managing your personal and organizational responsibilities; and even the way you talk with the newspaper vendor across the street. Repeated actions become habits. Habits in turn form a person’s character. Steven Covey’s book entitled 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides good insights on how you can achieve personal leadership.

4. Leadership is shared.

Leadership is not the sole responsibility of one person, but rather a shared responsibility among members of an emerging team. A leader belongs to a group. Each member has responsibilities to fulfill. Formal leadership positions are merely added responsibilities aside from their responsibilities as members of the team. Effective leadership requires members to do their share of work. Starting as a mere group of individuals, members and leaders work towards the formation of an effective team. In this light, social interaction plays a major role in leadership. To learn how to work together requires a great deal of trust between and among leaders and members of an emerging team. Trust is built upon actions and not merely on words. When mutual respect exists, trust is fostered and confidence is built.

5. Leadership styles depend on the situation.

How come dictatorship works for Singapore but not in the United States of America? Aside from culture, beliefs, value system, and form of government, the current situation of a nation also affects the leadership styles used by its formal leaders. There is no rule that only one style can be used. Most of the time, leaders employ a combination of leadership styles depending on the situation. In emergency situations such as periods of war and calamity, decision-making is a matter of life and death. Thus, a nation’s leader cannot afford to consult with all departments to arrive at crucial decisions. The case is of course different in times of peace and order—different sectors and other branches of government can freely interact and participate in governance. Another case in point is in leading organizations. When the staffs are highly motivated and competent, a combination of high delegative and moderate participative styles of leadership is most appropriate. But if the staffs have low competence and low commitment, a combination of high coaching, high supporting, and high directing behavior from organizational leaders is required.

Now that you are reminded of these things, keep in mind that there are always ideas that we think we already know; concepts we take for granted, but are actually the most useful insights on leadership.

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!


Ice Breakers

I told a nurse friend that I see spots in front of my eyes.
She asked “Did you ever see an eye doctor?”
I told her, “No, only spots.”

I asked my doctor where I stood and he said about three feet in front of him.

When I told my doctor that my leg hurt, he told me to limp.

The doc examined me and said, “I got bad news, you only have 10—”
I interrupted, ‘Ten what?’
The Doc said, “Nine—“.
I said, “What, months, weeks, days, what?” He said, “Eight—seven—six—”

I wasn’t feeling good and I went to the doctor. I asked him if I was going to die and he replied,
“That’s the last thing you’re going to do.”

My doctor said that he didn’t know exactly what was wrong with me, but it could be the result of heavy drinking. I told him I’d come back when he sobered up.

Thought for Today:

“Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.”
– Anonymous

Tips and Techniques

What makes a good leader? After reading the article above can you pinpoint your leadership style? Do you have the ability it takes to make people want to follow you? Whether you are building a business consisting of groups, teams or employees leadership is a skill. Because it is a skill it can be learned.

Happy designing!

Read Full Post »

Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

I have lost count on how many times I’ve read and heard of celebrity marriages failing for that matter all marriages failing. It seems strange that we often see movie and TV stars as flawless people, living the fairytale life of riches and glamour. I suppose we all have to stop looking at all the glitz and see what is really there.

There are many ways to lose ones sense of self-esteem. From birth to five years old we hear the word NO more than any other. From 5 to 18 we hear DON’T of “you can’t” a whole lot less than we hear you did a good job. But despite what happens, we should all take care not to lose our own sense of self worth.

So what does it take to grow that self worth without at the same time become very self centered? Here are some things that can act upon and improve over the coming week.

1. Know your pur! pose
Are you wandering through life with little direction – hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your true north every time.

2. Know your values
What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. Being mid year, it is a good time to align your goals for 2008 – check your goals against your values. If the individual goal doesn’t align with any of your top five values – you may want to reconsider it or revise it.all together.

3. Know your needs
Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? There are so many people who live their lives without realizing their dreams and most of them end up being stressed or depressed. List your top four needs and get the! m met.

4. Know your passions
You know who yo! u are and what you truly enjoy in life. Obstacles like doubt and a lack of enthusiasm will only hold you back. With points 1 through 3 in place you will not be deraied. Your chances of becoming the person you ought to be are greatly improved. Express yourself and honor the people who have inspired you to become the very person you wanted to be.

5. Live from the inside out
Increase the awareness of your inner spirituality by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet a greatly distracted mind. For most of us city slickers it’s hard to even find the peace and quiet we want even in our own home. One of my favorite things to do is get in the car and just drive. I drive into the hills and totally enjoy my surroundings..

6. Honor your strengths
What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three – if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify them. Are yo! u imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your true self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you can share what you know to others.

7. Serve others
When you are true to who you are, living your own purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you have the opportunity to give back what others have taken the time to share with you -your spirit – your essence. The rewards for sharing your gift with those close to you is indeed rewarding.

Self-improvement is indeed a type of work that is worth doing. Making a difference lies within ourselves and how much we want to change for the better. When we change for the better, the world around us also changes for the better.

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!


Ice Breakers

The New Bride

The bride was anything but a tidy housekeeper.
It didn’t bother her much until one evening when her
husband called from the hall, somewhat dismayed:
“Honey, what happened to the dust on this table?
I had a phone number written on it.”

Thought for Today:

“Bitterness and an unforgiving spirit can be likened to you taking poison and expecting that someone else would die from the effect. Forgiveness is about setting the prisoner in your heart free only to discover that all along, you had been the real prisoner.” ‘
Tope Popoola
Clergy and Author

Tips and Techniques

Hey wait a minute Carolyn, I am building a business, why are you writing about self-improvement?

The honest to goodness truth my friends is that you cannot have one without the other.

Happy designing!

Read Full Post »

Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

Have you received emails that were all broken up?
These emails have one or two words on one line, then eight or ten words on the next line. In some cases, one word begins on one line and ends on the next. These emails are very hard to read, and they appear to be very unprofessional. Is this what you want your autoresponder email messages to look like?

If not, you need to learn how to format your messages. Start by reading the instructions for your specific autoresponder. Each one operates a bit differently in the way that it handles text. For instance, some autoresponder messages will be messed up if you do put a ‘hard line break’ at the end of each line, while others will be messed up if you don’t! Find out what the right option is for your autoresponder!

Because each email client is different, you should not allow any line in y! our message to exceed 65 characters. This will help prevent lines from breaking up, and it is achieved by hitting the ‘enter’ key at the end of each sixty-five character line. The best way to be sure that your autoresponder messages are delivered in the correct format is to send them to yourself, before you send them to your list!

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!


Ice Breakers
Sleeping Pills

An exhausted looking man dragged himself in to his Doctor’s office. “Doctor Kaine, there are dogs all over my neighborhood. They bark all day and all night, and I can’t get a wink of sleep.”

“I have good news for you Howard,” Doctor Kaine said, rummaging through a drawer full of sample medications.

“Here are some new sleeping pills that work like a dream. A few of these and your trouble will be over.”

“Great,” said Howard, “I’ll try anything. Let’s give it a shot.”

A few weeks later Howard, looking worse than ever.

“Doc, your plan is no good. I’m more tired than before!”

“I don’t understand how that could be”, said Dr. Kaine, shaking her head. “Those are the strongest pills on the market!”

“That may be true,” answered Howard wearily, “but I’m still up all night chasing those dogs and when I finally catch one it’s hard getting him to swallow the pill!”

Thought for Today:

“Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win.” -Nadia Comaneci

Tips and Techniques

Sometimes I actually feel like the fellow in the story above. It can feel like chasing the dogs to make sure they take the pill. Working with other people can feel the same way. You work hard to get them to work. For a good many people doing the routine actions, doing the work it takes is like taking the pill. The fact of the matter is the pill works when you take it. Concentrate on making you better and it won’t matter if the dogs bark.

Happy designing!

Read Full Post »

Good Morning!
I Have Been Thinking

When people place orders through your website, it is always a good idea to immediately acknowledge the purchase. One way to do this is with the use of an autoresponder that can be integrated with your shopping cart. In fact, many shopping carts that are available today have their own autoresponders built into the system.

When you set up your autoresponder to send a message to someone that has placed an order, there are several things that should be included in the message. This is an opportunity to ‘speak’ to your customer, and to let them know about other deals that you have or special items that you have available. You should not miss this opportunity.

Do not try to get your ‘thank you’ sales message on the same autoresponder as the customers email receipt. Putting the sales message on an email that is automaticall! y sent to grant the customer access to their purchase is also a bad idea – that would go better with the receipt. Make sure your ‘thank you’ sales message is a message that is sent out all by itself, so your customer can focus solely on that!

Thank the customer for their recent purchase. Tell them how much their purchase will help them, and then tell them about other available products that work well with the one that they just purchased, or that are similar to the one that they just purchased in some way. For instance hair conditioner works with hair shampoo. Vacuum cleaner bags or carpet powder works well with vacuum cleaners. Just let them know about the various products that you offer that will compliment their purchase in some way.

The important thing is to not let your customer get away without further contact! Think about being in a brick and mortar store. When you go up to the counter to pay, there are many items there for sale. These items are ! meant to be picked up as last minute purchases, or impulsive p! urchases. Your ‘thank you’ sales letter serves the same purpose.

Don’t make the mistake of bombarding your customer! You can usually send them periodic information about your specials after they have made a purchase through you, but emailing them on a daily basis with your offers is not good business!

Use your autoresponder responsibly! Make sure that your autoresponder is set up to handle automatic remove requests, and make sure that the information that you are sending your customers is of value to them.

Opportunity is never lost
It goes To Those Ready to Accept It!

Ice Breakers
Career Military Man

A career military man, who had retired as a Corporal, was explaining to the younger men how he handled officers during his years of service.

It didn’t matter to me whether he was a Major, General, an Admiral, or the Commander-In-Chief. I always told those guys exactly where to get off,” he stated.

Wow, you really must have been something,” the admiring young soldiers commented. “What was your job in the service, Sir?”

“I was the elev! ator operator at the Pentagon,” the retired Corporal proudly replied.

Thought for Today:

“Growth in wisdom may be exactly measured by decrease in bitterness.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Tips and Techniques

We are nearing the end of this course on auto responders. If you have been reading all of the articles, you should have a clear picture of the tool and how it is used. Tomorrow we will look at the difference between an auto reponder service and an auto response script. Which ever you choose is a personal matter that fits with your circumstances, the important thing is thatyou choose.

Happy designing!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »