Practical tips for exercise

In exercise-tipstoday’s busy lifestyle it can often be a struggle to find the time to eat a healthful diet and to exercise.

The good news is that there are a few simple and practical tips that you can follow to try to make sure that you keep your quest for a healthier lifestyle on track.

 When it comes to exercise, the trick is to start slow and then build momentum. You need to be able to pace yourself in order to make sure that you do not exhaust yourself and then give up your new regimen because you find it to be too hard within the first few days or the first week.

You should start by setting a goal that you wish to achieve, but rather than overextending yourself and trying to do too much too soon, break this goal down into a plan that has specific activities to do on certain days.

Begin by exercising two or three days a week, and then when you have had time to adjust to this, slowly increase the number of days on your schedule.

One More Degree

push-yourselfCan you keep pushing with one more degree of strength or endure one more minute of hard, focused work? You sure can, and that one degree can make a world of difference. Improving by a single degree can be exactly what you need to explode your business and really accelerate your profits.

You might be on the verge of incredible success and profits, but unaware of it, so push it one more degree. Success often comes down to just that one, little bit more.

There are a number of things you can do to push your business just one more degree in order to be successful and really get what you want.


  • Can you add just a little more value to what your company already offers?
  • Can you answer your customers’ calls or emails a little quicker?
  • Can you deliver your product or service a little faster?
  • Can you donate a little more each week to a good cause?
  • Can you help or be nice to just one person each day of the week?

Make a commitment to yourself to start pushing one more degree—in your business, in your relationships, and in every area of your life. You will be amazed at the difference that it makes across the board. The return on every extra degree is incredible.

The small improvements you make will improve your business and bottom line, but most importantly, they’ll improve your life.

Why Creating a Monthly Newsletter Is Like a Day on the Show Gold Rush

gold-rushI have developed a bit of an unnatural relationship with the show Gold Rush. After watching Todd, Jack, Dakota Fred and Parker through two and a bit seasons all I can say is I take perverse pleasure in watching a train wreck happen. Gold Rush is also a touching story about America’s pioneering spirit and rediscovering the American Dream. (Or more darkly: Then they dug for their gold till the land was forsaken and wrote it all down as the progress of man.)

Through two seasons, the three mining camps talk big and then struggle. They don’t seem to know why. Their business simply put, is dropping ‘pay dirt’ into a ‘wash plant’ and gold comes out of the wash plant a long with a whole lot of mud.

All three camps have refined the operation so that there is very little efficiency they can gain. There isn’t too much gold being lost in the tailing’s. So to make more money they want to run more ‘yards of dirt’ through their wash plants.

The plot of every episode involves a breakdown of some vital piece of equipment preventing this activity, causing as much swearing and tantrums as an episode of Geordie Shore. Why this show is a train wreck is the crews are only “dimly pre-aware” that if their wash plant isn’t running and there isn’t gold bearing dirt being dropped in it they aren’t making money. And they never take any preventative measures to keep everything running.

When production stops the crew is losing money in actual fact – not just not making money. In Alaska, you can only mine for about 140 days a year before everything freezes over – so lost production is really expensive. (Captain Super Nerd can work it out but who wants a maths lesson?)

What the show can’t reveal in prime time is the impact of those losses.

For those of us with newsletters to get out every month we feel a similar impact – if you leave everything to the last minute you are in effect eating into time to work on next month’s newsletter. (Kind of like a really short gold mining season) Then it all seems to go to hell in hand basket.

We have some clients who want to do part of their newsletter themselves – it is a lot of hard work. We encourage it because when a client is actively involved with their newsletter the results are much better. The problem is one or two have gotten behind and it often takes an intervention to get them back on track.

Basically if you have to put off doing something for one month’s newsletter it becomes twice the work to get back on track. You need to do two newsletters in order to get back to even. A relative mountain of work. And to be honest unless you actually like writing – doing two newsletters at once is about as much fun as a root canal.

Our most successful clients have actually become good students of our system – keeping their production calendars with them so that all their article ideas end up in the same place. Asking for help early when they get stuck.

Planning a family reunion?

Family reunions are a wonderful way for extended families to come together. Having family reunions take place on a fairly frequent basis allows families to stay connected to one another as well as to honor the older generation, celebrate roots and renew familial bonds.

All families have their own unique way of celebrating, be it having a banquet or a picnic, going on a cruise or a retreat, or going camping together. Regardless of what activity is taking place during the reunion, it is a chance for everyone involved to be given a memory of family love that will last a lifetime.

family-reunionPlanning a family reunion can be a good deal of work, of course, but there are some helpful pieces of advice that can simplify things somewhat. One good tip is to give yourself plenty of time to plan things out, give each person his or her own tasks to help out with, and make sure that locations and dates are secured early on.

Another good tip is to prepare your budget for the reunion early on. Decide on the type of reunion you want and budget accordingly.

Tips for Entrepreneurs

tips-to-be-an-entrepeneurAny budding entrepreneur will agree that setting out on a brand-new venture can be a very daunting experience. Many entrepreneurs will be forced to dip into their own personal savings in order to find the capital to start and then operate and scale their new business, and it is often quite difficult to separate personal finances from professional expenditures, although there are some ways to avoid the more common pitfalls.


One of the main reasons many new ventures fail is a founder’s poor management of his or her own personal finances. The use of credit cards to satisfy cash requirements can result in a growing level of debt that is not registered on a balance sheet, and a company’s credit history can be affected by any debt that is not immediately paid off. The general rule is not to use credit cards at all.


The right kind of insurance policy is another crucial point, and personal insurance should never be used in order to fund business expenses. Separate insurance for your venture is the right way to protect your business.

Would You Like Bites With That?

The other day Hollie and I were on our way up to Perth and as usual the kids were in the back seat getting a little rowdy. So to keep them quiet we bribed them with a kids meal from Red Rooster.

Now I try not to frequent fast-food places very often, but when you’ve got kids in a car on a long trip… There’s not much else to bribe them with.

This particular instance of going through the drive-through, I ordered the kids their meals and ordered something for Hollie and I. Expecting them to come back with the total and ask me to drive forward (like they always do). So I was taken by surprise by what the little voice came back with next…

“Would you like to try 3 apple bites for just $1”

Now, why was it such a surprise to me that I was asked If I’d like something that I didn’t ask for?

Because it rarely happens in the big chain fast-food stores these days. I find it strange when you think that the “would you like fries with that?” concept was virtually made known by the fast-food industry.

It really is just cross-selling 101.

The customer comes in and buys product X, and you simply ask “Would you like to buy product Y for $” or if you want to be a bit more advanced you can educate them on why they would benefit from having product Y too.

Or even better, stack cross-selling on top of each other. A typical stacked cross-sell would be when you buy a video camera and then the sales-guy tell you why you need the fancy camera case to protect your camera, then he tells you how great your photos will look if you buy the tripod and finally you really must upgrade to the 32GB SD Card to make sure you never have to delete a photo…

The main reason that you want to cross-sell is that it increases the transaction value.

If we take the camera example, to make the math easy, let’s say that the camera is $500, and they bundle the case, tripod and SD Card for $200.

If every year, they sold 1000 Cameras, they are making $500,000 per year in camera sales.

Lets pretend that we instruct all the sales-people to say the following after someone purchases a camera “Did you know that we have this great camera essentials bundle pack that will allow you to protect your camera, take steady shots and make sure you never run out of memory on your camer!. It’s valued at over $300, but you can have it today for just $200”.you-want-fries-with-that

It costs ZERO dollars to implement this strategy but lets look at the results.

If 1/20 say yes they increase sales by $10,000
If 1/10 say yes they increase sales by $20,000
If 1/5 say yes they increase sales by $40,000

It’s possible that the results could be even better than that, but still $40,000 extra sales simply by asking a question 1000 times is pretty good in anyone’s book… I struggle to comprehend why the fast-food cross-sell is such a rare occurrence these days.

Just letting your customers know that you have additional products is the first step to cross-selling, and some great non-sales approaches to educating your clients about what you sell is with social media, ezines and of course our favourite – The monthly printed customer Newsletter!

So my challenge to you is with every customer simply ask “Would you like to buy Y too?”

Read My Face

red-my-faceThe old idea about the truth being written all over someone’s face may be closer to reality than most people realize. Aside from all those nonverbal signals that give away what someone is truly thinking and feeling, the state of our skin can also reveal a lot about what is happening to us healthwise, both physically and emotionally.

Although facial diagnostics is far from an exact science, it can certainly indicate whether we need to lead healthier lifestyles. One thing to look out for is the condition of a person’s skin in the mid-cheek area. The respiratory system is linked to our cheeks, so a mild rash could actually be an indication that a body is being starved of oxygen, and the individual may need to work on deepening his or her breath. Meanwhile, the mouth correlates to the stomach, and discoloration around the lips can be a sign of a poor appetite, bloating or even poor bowel movements.

Making the Online Learning Experience More Personal

online-learning-experienceOnline learning offers a number of distinct advantages, including the lack of commuting, greater flexibility and lower cost. On the downside, however, there can be an isolating quality to online learning. But the good news is that this does not necessarily have to be the case.

Students can help make their online learning experience that much more personal by taking note of some tips. Sharing with student peers through social media channels is one such tip. OnlinePlus, for one, is attempting to build communities for its students via Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Another tip is to join a discussion group. Most online courses come with discussion groups; a topic is chosen by a teacher and students are able to discuss it. This is also a terrific way to stay in touch and take conversations beyond the classroom.

Simply “being real” is another good tip. If people on a student site open up and share their real names and photographs, they can learn about one another and, in effect, become people to interact with rather than just usernames on a screen.


What Does It Mean To Be Someone Who Gets It?

people-who-get-itBen and I were speaking on the phone the other day. We were having an interesting conversation about the difference between people that get marketing and those that don’t.

I’ll back up a little – what has brought this conversation on is we’ve done a few newsletter suitability audits for business owners who “just didn’t get it.” This has always led to the person doing the suitability audit to shrug and say “some get it, some don’t.” Which is a little lazy, considering we just spent all this time, energy and effort to do the audit in the first place.

This time, for whatever reason we were a little more philosophical about the whole situation.

After much rumination it turns out there two key factors that people who ‘get it’ have that people that ‘don’t get it,’ don’t have. The two are:

Be Willing And Able To Track Results

The bottom line is unless you can attribute your results to specific marketing activities then every time you are asked to spend money you are going to be sceptical. I hate wasting money and I’m sure you do too. It drives me nuts to think that I have to spend money and not know what I am getting for it.

First and foremost, you need to be able to track results in order to ‘get it.’ It emotionally becomes much easier because you’ll quickly know if you’ve made a wise investment or else you’ve got a dud on your hands – then you have two choices: fix the dud or else stop spending the money.

The inability or unwillingness of the business owners to track results has led to advertising being sold the way it is these days. It also has led to many business owners being ‘irrationally cheap’ – expecting too much from too little.

The Ability To Use ‘Risk’ Wisely.

Due to the incessant babble of Stock Market and Finance experts the entire western world is conditioned to think that you need to take huge risks in order to reap huge rewards. This is not necessarily the case. The world is full of low-risk, high-reward situations.

For a couple thousand dollars I can get a half page ad in an industry magazine – I know that I only need one customer coming from this ad to say “yes” in order to cover the costs – that is a fairly low risk idea. I also understand that it could take more than a single insertion to get the average of one yes a month – it might take 3. And three ‘yes’s’ come in the third month.

There is a chance that it will fall flat on its face but by the same token there is a chance that it will work quite well too. A risk worth taking – the rewards of success are high relative to the risk of ‘failure.’

Marketing is psychology and maths. Great maths can overcome poor psychology, but great psychology can’t overcome poor maths. First and foremost you need to know your marketing maths. That’s what it really means to get it. Get it?

Get The Gloves that fit the job

Good gloves are essential for keeping hands safe in many work situations. Losing a hand or a finger can be a career-ending injury, so choose your work gloves with care. Consider these options:

  •  Canvas. These are useful for any kind of general yard work, or tasks that call for use of long-handled tools for extensive periods of time, preventing blisters and chafing.
  •  Cotton/fabric. Good for painting, gardening, and light yard work, these allow the skin to breathe and offer a good grip.
  •  Leather. Best for construction, woodworking, and electrical work (with an insulated liner). Leather is tough and durable, and it offers some protection against punctures and cuts, as well as sparks from electrical equipment.
  •  Latex. These can be used for painting, food processing, and handling some chemicals. They are disposable, protect against mild skin irritants, and provide good dexterity.
  •  Aluminized. Advisable for welding and any kind of furnace work, they’ll protect your hands against heat.