Monday, December 21, 2009

Small Business Networking - Create a Breakfast Club

The small business network is the single most powerful thing that you can join in order to bring our business to the next level. This group also acts as an insurance policy against disaster.

Some business owners do not have time to participate in a full network. Here is an alternative method that you can use to help your business today.

It's called a breakfast club. This is a small networking group of business owners that meets once a week, or once a month for coffee and donuts (or whatever you want to eat).

These meetings are not formal, but they do serve a single purpose- to get more business for each of the owners present at the meeting.

The way these meetings work is that the meeting can only consist of members that are non-competing with each other. Perhaps you have a lawyer, a dentist, a plumber, an accountant, and a web designer.

Each of these members has their own customer list, but they are not able to provide any of the other services of the other members. During that particular month of business, these business owners will try to find out additional services that their customers may need help with.

This allows the business owner to be more full-service for their customers, which is an added bonus and helps keep the customers around longer.

When the owners get together, they swap customer leads with each other. They will explain the needs of each customer and then give the leads to the person that can help them.

Now, the new business has a qualified lead, because the original business owner told the person that they had someone that could help them.

The new customer visits the business and is already pre-sold before they even walk in the door. All that the service provider has to do is assure them that they can solve the problem as best as possible and close the deal.

There is no cold calling in this situation, because the lead is pre-qualified. This is only one of the benefits of a breakfast club. If you have the time, you can expand it to a full-blown network, capable of many other things.

However, if you only have the time to meet once a month, you can still benefit greatly from this small act of lead exchanges. Just think, all you have to do is get a cup of coffee once a month and you can gain thousands of dollars worth of new business.

Joshua Black is the developer of the Underdog Millionaire's Guide to Networking. This guide gives you over 118 different tips that you can use to build a small business network. Check it out at:

By : Joshua_Black

Build a Small Business Network Or Die

If you are a small business owner, did you know how badly the odds are stacked against you that you will succeed? 16 out of 17 small businesses fail. 95% of small businesses will never reach their 5th birthday.

If your business is not already 8 years old, chances are it never will be. So how do you give yourself the edge that all of the other wished for? Build a small business network. Read on to find out more.

The network is the key component that will put your business up there with the ones that have made it.

Almost every ultra-successful business owner knows that it's not WHAT you know, but WHO you know.

Building a successful business is all about the right connections and being able to admit that we can't do this alone.

It does not matter what business you are in, or whether you only run a web-based company or a physical business.

Networking is the key to building a better business above the 95% of the other guys that will never get there.

A business network offers unbelievable advantages, from getting specialized mentoring and helping others, to having a nearly-endless stream of qualified customers call you without requiring any advertising to get them.

Networks are built around the idea that you need to give before you can get. Successful member of a network will agree to a code of ethics that everyone will follow.

Each member of the network agrees to help any other member in need when that person's skills are required.

Having a network at your fingertips is like having the best part of each person's mind available to call on when the specialty needs a solution.

If you need a lawyer, call your legal friend. If someone needs website help, they might call on you. Maybe you need human resources help or the wisdom of someone highly successful. You can also barter for free services by trading your services with someone for something you need.

While all of the other businesses are out there floundering and paying full price at the same time, you will have a tight-knit group of people that you can call upon day or night to help solve your problems.

You can also use your network as a mastermind group, where you periodically meet to solve a single problem that a member is having.

If the whole group puts their mind to a single problem, more can be accomplished that each member working on it alone. Networking is the key to building your business more that you ever thought possible.

Joshua Black is the developer of the Underdog Millionaire's Guide to Networking. This guide gives you over 118 different tips that you can use to build a small business network. Check it out at:

By : Joshua_Black

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Networking For Business Success

A mentor of mine once said: "Obstacles are merely disguised Opportunities." This did not at first make sense to me until I came across some of those dreaded obstacles myself.

In any new business there are the initial fears of:

1. Start-up (financial/emotional)
2. What others may think
3. Failure

Once you overcome these you may "feel" as if it will all be a smooth meandering road filled with sunshine and money trees. Well, think again. There will always be trials to overcome when doing business. That is the nature of things.

For me the big dilemma in start-up was.....What now? I had my business idea. I had created a platform and then I was stuck. I feel this is an issue with many business people and an especially obvious plague with network marketers; which is where I got my start.

I had the opportunity but did not know what to do with it. Sound Familiar? If the problem is not immediately addressed it will surly cause anyone to lose focus and quite possibly even the passion and drive that got you going.

When I came to this point my first reaction was panic and frustration. That was until I identified the reality that it was up to me to move forward and to find the solutions to these struggles.

Where did I find those answers? Well, at first I turned to my up-line but they did not really have the solutions or resources I needed.

I began to dig around a bit and stumbled across an amazing network of individuals who were working together to solve these types of issues and later share their knowledge with others.

What I found was a community. I began to work alongside these people and I was able to stop worrying and start working.

Through the help of others in situations similar to mine we were able to merge our resources and create a much more powerful unit.

We began to drive forward with ease and peace of mind. Then through our overcoming certain situations we began offering advise to others and ultimately coaching those on similar paths.

As I began coaching I found that I became more knowledgeable of what I was doing through helping others achieve the same and developed a keen insight via problem solving because I knew that first I would have to overcome the battle in order to be able to teach it. This method forever changed my business and eventually my success.

I would very much recommend that any person who has their sights set on becoming a successful business person find a way to plug in to a group of individuals who may have had similar struggles that they overcame in order to get to the success they have reached.

For me this group was Renegade University. They not only helped me through many struggles of my own but also offered a very organized solution to my number one issue: What now? Or What's next.?

Now, having defeated many of those terrifying obstacles, I am able to offer others advise and counsel through coaching. Thus overcoming the obstacle and finding new opportunity in coaching.

My advice would be to look any obstacle square on and work through it with the help of a community until you find the answers and opportunities hidden therein.

Trent Giesler is a business owner and network marketing coach. He consults with those who are looking to capitalize on current market trends.

The world of marketing is changing significantly due to the internet and its capability to reach globally. Let Trent show you how to Plug In to this phenomenon.

Networking - The Powerful Pillar of the Mastermind Group

If you own a small business, you need to become part of a network, period. All of the most successful people in business have been part of networks and you should to. You can't do it all alone and the benefits are amazing. Read on to find out about the power of the mastermind in networking.

There are three main pillars to a successful small business network:

1. The pillar of service- This is where you unconditionally help other members of your network so that they can grow their business.

2. The pillar of referrals- This is the goldmine pillar where you give and get free business by referring clients to other members without expectation of reciprocity.

3. The pillar of the mastermind- This is the basis of this article. The mastermind is the principle that a group of people working together towards a common goal is more powerful than each individual working towards it.

This principle was coined by Napoleon Hill in his world famous success book called "Think and Grow Rich." Hill used the term Master Mind.

In the book he explains to us how the great, successful business owners of the past have used the mastermind principle to achieve unheard of goals against unbeatable odds.

Well, you can use the power of the mastermind as well. Once you establish your small business network, you will select a smaller group of people that you will be able to completely confide in.

You need to make sure that these members are dedicated towards helping you achieve your small business goals. In turn, you will become part of other mastermind groups dedicated towards helping others.

Once a group of business owners take their individual expertise and put it together to help others, their power to come up with ideas and solutions is amazing. It's like taking the best part of each person's brain and mashing together to create a better brain, a mastermind.

Your mastermind group should be relatively small. There needs to be limit of 4-8 people so that ideas will not start to clash together. It's the same principle as having too many cooks in the kitchen.

Your actual business network can have hundreds of members, but the mastermind needs to be a very small group, a chosen few.

This group of people will stick with you for a long time. There are cases where these groups have stayed together for the life of the business.

Joshua Black is an on-line infopreneur, marketing consultant, small business owner and copywriter dedicated to helping the bootstrapping small business owner succeed.

Visit his flagship resource site for entrepreneurs at for the free Underdog Millionaire Wealth Pack: including 5 FREE e-books and daily wealth building tips for the bootstrapping small business owner- in the areas of sales, marketing, motivation, product creation and more.

By : Joshua_Black

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How to Write a Strategic Business Plan

When you start a business of your own, there are several different steps that have to be followed to ensure that all the pieces are in place to run it successfully.

You need to consider several factors before you ever market your product or services, and writing a business strategic plan is the most effective and functional way to lay out the path for your new business.

Plan out each section and you'll have an easy follow map to success. How do you write a business strategic plan? Read on for the criteria you can build your business on.

* Who owns and runs your business? It is necessary that every business plan detail the owners and management of their business from silent partners to direct owners to the management in place at the time of startup.

* General Company Description: In this section, you'll need to write down detailed descriptions of your company, its purpose, the type of business including the legal formation like corporation or sole proprietorship, the target market, your industry, and your company strengths that will help you compete in your market.

* Marketing Plan, Economics, Product and Customers: All have to be detailed based on current statistics or your specific goals.

* Competition, Niche and Strategy: Researching your competition is vital to understanding how you can succeed in your marketplace. In other words, if you are in a specific niche industry, seeing how the other kids play together in the sandbox will let you know how to stand out amongst them. Use this research to plan your business strategy.

* Management Lists, Sales Forecasts and Operational Plans: Look at the financial and operational side of your business together to best plan how your monies will be allotted for payroll, promotions and marketing, legal fees, equipment or other overhead costs.

* Financial Plan and Capitalization: Lay out how you plan to fund your business startup and what you expect from the next twelve-month budget.

* Executive Summary: As a last but nonetheless vital step to your business strategic plan, writing out your executive summary provides readers an outline for the content of your plan with some character behind it. It's the first page of the documents, but must be done last to provide the best effect.

By : Frank_I._Locust

Problem With Multilevel Business

The structure of the multilevel marketing is a pyramid structure and well you can think of it as a compensation structure which is staggered. Almost all large organizations in the world are using it as well.

Salespeople earn commissions, bonuses wins for Head of sales and so on upwards. This maybe the question, because you have to pay to participate and that is not true as it is a standard model of franchising.

The cost of a traditional franchise shrinks in comparison to the cost of a membership in a multilevel business. Of course there are illegal pyramids and other scams. This is where the money comes from affiliated people, with a little or no product to be shipped.

The real problem is that the business is not multilevel itself, but some people are still attracted to it. It is just a multilevel business model, and the truth is that they are an accumulation of micro-franchises, which pays very highly to begin shortly with the potential for profits and there are those who achieve this in a big way.

But these same things that make it attractive to some people also make it attractive for people who are not ready to be masters of their own multilevel business.

The most notable features that make it an attractive multilevel business for people are:

• They have had little success in business or profession and have little money saved for investing.

• They do not have experience in other businesses or their own.

• No previous experience in sales.

• Little or no experience developing relationships with employees / business partners.

• Not satisfied with their current income level.

The point here is not to highlight that these things are bad, or that describes the majority of multilevel business owners, this only describes a disproportionate number of multi-business owners and most of them have nothing to remedy it.

As a result, many distributors just like to do this:

• On selling the opportunity.

• Inappropriate discussions in social situations.

• Coming despair.

• On fixing the new distributors and customers to abandon the existing ones.

• Becoming so disappointed or inadequate when they talk about the business.

Again, this does not describe most of the distributors, but describes a considerable amount to tarnish the reputation of all others.

To prejudge someone based on a minority is a horrible mistake, but we must realize that most prejudices have some basis in reality, even if it has been distorted.

There is always a first time for everything. And a multilevel business is a fantastic opportunity to get your first business, the first relationship of sales.

My opinion is that we acknowledge it is a business and you as the owner and if you have never been an owner before and if you've never done sales before, if never before worked with distributors, you need to learn how to do this, not just a multi-expert but an expert in these areas.

By : Ethan_Hill

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mapping the Business Landscape

Essentially, the absence of clarity and cohesion about which processes and information sets intersect, interconnect and interrelate across the business (any business) is a major reason why so many good, worthy efforts to improve the business fail to meet expectations. Time after time, surprises arise.

• Processes that were not part of the original scope pop up everywhere, how and why these processes exist is one question, how and why these processes were not part of the original scope is another question entirely!

• Information repositories elsewhere in the organization already contain the information that this project will be creating from scratch!

• New Process need is addressed from a linear, insular perspective - collateral outcomes of processes elsewhere in the organization that are of value by being copied/reused or avoided at all costs are ignored!

• This project will change part of the business on this date for this reason; the fact that another project will make changes to that part of the business the day before will be a surprise - the day after!

• That project experienced significant problems deploying a certain piece of functionality into the business; this project wants to deploy the same functionality into another part of the business!

• Ad infinitum!

The reason for the absence of clarity and cohesion is not hard to pin down; there is no overarching view of how processes and information hang together.

By extension, there is no easily seen, understood and grasped view of what is, what will be and what has to happen in between.

Consequently, there is no foundation that assists the business to make the best decisions about how to best improve the business.

A map of the business landscape ensures that systems, processes and information repositories across the Business are visible to those who have to keep the business running and those who seek to improve the business.

With a map of the business landscape; management has a firm foundation for establishing direction and making decisions as to sequence, priority, budgetary and resource allocations for future business improvement projects.

Mapping the business landscape is neither complex nor time consuming; typically, assignments start out by mapping the critically important components of the business first; thereby enabling management to take advantage of quick wins.

One value added element of our work in mapping the business landscape entails how we present the facts in a clear, crisp and concise manner so that management can quickly grasp the essentials and make the right decisions, we have refined the use of 'strategic cubes' into an art form.

By : John_Bolden

A Good Plan is the Foundation of a Good Fitness Business

To be successful, you've got to have a plan. This is true for anything in life, but especially in your career as a personal trainer.

In the end if you don't have a good plan, then how can your clients achieve their fitness goals, and how will you get what you want out of your business?

One of the biggest and quickest ways to fail is to not have a plan. What bride reserves a church and simply shows up the day of her wedding expecting it to all be ready for the perfect ceremony?

Even something as seemingly small as a children's party starts with planning. It's simple: you do not get the results you want unless you work toward them. Therefore, decide what you really want and make a plan for it.

What is the difference between wishful thinking and a solid plan?

Start by looking ahead. What do you want and where do you want to go with it? Knowing where you want to go will make planning a lot easier.

You've also got to know where you are right now, so you have a starting point from which to plan.

Once you know where you are and where you want to go, you can more clearly define any possible obstacles that might pop up in between. Know why you want what you do, because having a reason will make it more meaningful and easier to work toward.

Sometimes this question will alter the goal itself. For instance, if someone has a goal of losing 20 pounds, but doesn't have a workout or meal plan to make it happen, the goal is worthless.

If that person targets a 50-pound loss in preparation for something in the future, you can guide him or her towards that goal because you know how to set up a plan for it.

Whether you are planning your personal training business or helping plan a regimen for a client, write your plan of action down. When you put your plan on paper, it makes it become something real, a tangible product.

Don't think you're done once you've written out your plan. Examine it and identify potential barriers that can hamper progress. Take note of those and think about how you can deal with them. By doing this, you are developing your "plan B".Don't forget to prepare other options for yourself, as sometimes the first plan doesn't quite work out.

Keep in mind that those who do not plan ahead are bound to trip up. Put it down on writing in order for you to clearly see your path towards your goals. Don't be so stuck on your plan that you cannot change with unforeseen situations that might arise. Don't just have a plan; have a "plan B," too.

Casey Kaldal is a leading expert in helping Personal Trainers build their business, attract more customers, and earn more money in less time.

He teaches fitness instructors how to become fitness Rockstars and snag incredible Personal Trainer Jobs on his leading fitness marketing blog.

By : Casey_Kaldal

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Find and Using a Dumpster Company

From time to time, most families are going to need some sort of disposal cleanout service - you may need to rent a dumpster to clean out your basement, house or attic or you may be doing some sort of home improvement project and need a way to dispose of the old materials.

A dumpster company is the perfect place to look for this type of service. Usually these dumpster companies can be very helpful in determining what size container you might need and the best place on your property to place the container.

The best way to get good service is from word of mouth recommendation but when that is not available, you need to turn to other places to get your information.

You could try a telephone book, but you will not get any feedback that way, so your chances of finding a reputable company that specializes in what you need are smaller.

Using the internet gives you the best of both worlds; you can get the information that a telephone book would give you coupled with customer reviews and recommendations.

Next you should call around to find the best price for the size and weight that you expect to need for your project. It may appear that the prices between dumpster services are pretty comparable, but you need to take into consideration a few points.

All rentals through a dumpster service will include a certain weight allowance and a certain time period that you will have the dumpster to fill. A ton of trash may sound like a lot, but it depends on what you plan on disposing of.

Construction material can be very heavy - things like plaster and roofing shingles. Even if you don't think you are going to need the extra weight, you should try to get as much time and weight for the money you spend because often, the overage charges are much more expensive than just getting the next size dumpster.

Make your reservation for with the dumpster company as soon as you know which day you want to begin - often the dumpster service will offer same day delivery, but a reservation will ensure that you have your dumpster the day you need it.

Renegotiating to Cut Small Business Costs

In these trying times, businesses have to work smarter to increase their profits and stave off failure in this failing economy.

There are many ways to do this including cutting payroll, focusing on core business, and partnering up with other businesses to improve your product's visibility.

Working harder just won't do it these days, and you want to make sure you are in a good position when the recession is over.

You need to hold onto your valuable employees as long as you can while at the same time finding ways to save money.

Have you thought about renegotiating contracts with your business partners and clients? It is not completely out of the question these days, and could save you tons of money.

The fact is that the market isn't just "bouncing", it is simply adjusting. There likely will not be a return to the success levels of the past. Instead, the market will settle at a low spot and then begin its steady climb over a period of years. This is where keeping current contracts valid will hurt you!

Perhaps there are some parts of the agreement that no longer make sense. Current interest rates on borrowing, credit from suppliers and vendors, and current lease space pricing from landlords simply doesn't make sense now.

It is time you approached all of the folks you have contracts with and go for those lower lease prices and better interest rates and credit conditions. While it may seem intimidating to approach your business partners with new contracts, you may find them amicable to the idea.

After all, you want to succeed, and you want your business partners to succeed as well. The same goes for them.

If they are inflexible when it comes to renegotiation, and your company fails, then they'll have no business at all! Likewise, their success likely means success for your own company. That is why it is important to renegotiate under criteria that will suit both companies the best.

This economic downturn gives you the perfect opportunity to save money before you have to go cutting employees or making "suicidal" cuts to your core business.

Small businesses are already engaging in renegotiations with long-term fixed-cost supply contracts, and so should you.

Of course, renegotiating your small business contracts is better if you have a history of good credit in paying your bills.

Another option many small businesses don't consider is the alternative to getting loans. While the standard process of getting small business loans is through a bank, you can actually get an advance for your company through Merchant Money where the conditions for your loan are much less strenuous than with a bank.

It is important to drive sales through credit card processing so that you have show a solid income. Merchant Money bases their advance amount based on your credit card sales. In this way you can avoid bank contracts and loans that are hard to renegotiate.

Through negotiations you can get better rates, lower monthly payments on contractual obligations and more flexibility built into your contracts.

There are even cases where employee jobs were saved by negotiating them to a partner business while making that partner business the sole supplier of goods for the region.

In cases like this, everyone wins! It saved the first company some payroll expenses and gave the other company millions in business.

You can't be afraid of renegotiating contracts. While this was a "no-no" in the past, many suppliers and vendors are opening up to the idea.

You may find them even more than willing to help you our while possibly getting something for themselves in return. C

hanging times call for changing tactics and if you continue to try and operate under existing conditions then you are likely looking for trouble. If you can find synergy between cost savings and business growth, then more power to you!

It is easy to see how renegotiating contracts can be good for all parties involved. You want to help your partner businesses succeed so that you, in turn, can succeed.

By renegotiating contracts, not only can you adjust to today's abysmal economy, but you can set yourself up for success later when they economy picks up.

Imagine your position as the economy starts to grow! You'll be in a perfect position with plenty of leverage over your competitors, and your relationship with your business partners will be even stronger!

By : Jeffrey_Scott_Jackson

Saturday, December 12, 2009

What Sort of Hairdressing Chairs Do You Need in Your Salon?

If you're thinking about changing some of the furniture in your salon, then perhaps you know exactly what you need, the style and colours you want. If you're not sure what will make a difference, or what you need, then perhaps these ideas will help you decide.

1. The reception area will be the fist impression your customers get, so you'll want to make sure your reception chairs are comfortable and welcoming for your customers.

2. If you want to make a more luxurious impression, then why not consider having reception sofas rather than chairs? You customers will love the luxury of a good quality sofa while they are waiting to have their hair cut.

3. You might want to choose modern styles for your hairdressing chairs. Perhaps you're a cutting edge attracting young professional clients, and you want your furniture, and chairs to reflect this.

4. Alternatively, you might be a more traditional type of hairdressers, and not want to alienate any of your loyal clients by choosing chairs that are very different from what you have now.

5. If you're aiming your salon at male clients, then you'll want to make sure that the colours and styles of furniture look masculine and are likely to attract men who are more likely to want a quick efficient hair cut, rather than a lengthy gossip and lots of cups of coffee.

6. You might need barbers chairs if you're also offering men's grooming as well as hair cuts. Your male clients are sure to love the experience of relaxing in a luxurious leather chair whilst your staff work their styling magic.

7. If you're a ladies' salon, then you'll want to appeal to women and make your hairdressers friendly and inviting, and have feminine colours and styles to encourage your customers to relax and enjoy having their hair cut and then being pampered by your beautician or nail technician.

8. You might want your staff to have styling stools so that they don't have to spend all day standing up. Why not see if a couple of wheeled stools or chairs could make your stylists more efficient?

9. You'll definitely need receptionist chairs, so that the person who answers the phone or makes new appointments in person is comfortable. They're much less likely to make mistakes, and can also remind your customers of the additional hair products and accessories that you sell.

10. If you have a staff area, then you'll want to make sure that you can properly relax, and enjoy time away from the hustle and bustle of the salon. Why not make sure that you have the right chairs and tables so that you relax during lunch hours or breaks.

Now you know what sort of salon furniture you might need, perhaps now is time to see whether you need new hairdressing chairs in your salon.

By : M_James

Some Brilliant Marketing Ideas For Your Small Business

Marketing is not only for large businesses and corporations even when you run a small business you have to market it to let people know of its existence.

The main form of marketing for your business is through advertising and this article discusses a few ways that you can advertise or market your small business.

Probably the one of the best ways to get your business noticed is through television advertising however this can be expensive when you're a small business owner.

One way to get around this is to get together with a few other businesses in your area and do a television advertisement promoting each business in that area into one television commercial.

A more affordable option could be to use radio advertising. This kind of advertising is usually bought in 30 second allotments and if you advertise in prime listening times you can get a lot of people listening in to your radio ads.

A lot of small businesses who cannot afford television advertising, go for this option with some excellent results.

An obvious way to advertise your business is in your local phone book. Most businesses advertise in the Yellow Pages or a business directory section but it's also a good idea to have your name and number listed in the white pages so all your bases are covered.

You have the option of taking out full-page ads half page ads or just a small square. A lot of people use the Yellow Pages to look up local businesses so this is a must-have in your advertising arsenal.

Another approach to marketing or advertising your business is to get a website up on the Internet.

On this website you can discuss the products or services you sell, have some testimonials from past customers who have been happy with the product or service they have used, plus give your location details and the price list of your products or services.

If you can get someone to build your site who knows all about search engine optimization you may be able to get your site on the first page of Google results, which could bring you in a lot of business.

These are just a few ways you can advertise or market your small business. Doing as many of these as you can, will help to get your name out there to the public so they know not only that you exist, but also what products and services you can supply them with.

By : Julie_N_Robinson

Friday, December 11, 2009

Characteristics of Team Members

Each team member of any team has individual strengths and weaknesses. As a team leader, you must learn to use your team's attributes to get the job done as efficiently as possible.

As a team leader you also have your personal characteristic that need to be considered. You can best motivate your member to perform when assignments match personalities. See below some characteristics of a team member.

The traditional team player

Prefers a secure situation
Is drawn to close relationships
Changes slowly
Is predictable
Is patient
Is possessive
Looks for loyalty
Likes an easygoing relaxed atmosphere
View the team a important

The analytical team player

Likes established operating procedures
Does like sudden change
I accurate at all costs
Has very high standard for self and others.
Is a slow decision maker
Tend to hold back opinions unless certain they are right

The dominating team player

Likes prestige and position
Likes direct answer from others
Is easily bored
Does not like to be controlled by others
Does like challenge and changes
Is very assertive and decisive
Is a good risk-taker
Play game to win

The charismatic team player

Likes freedom from detail and control
Likes intuition well
Is friendly
Uses verbal skills well
Is confident and comfortable with self-promotion
Is enthusiastic

With the list above you will be able to evaluate your all of your members and their individual style. How well is your team members performing?

Can you improve your team member performance by altering job duties? I do hope you've enjoyed this article and lean something from it. Wish you all the best and look out for some more valuable information.

By : Ana_Carter

Building Team Trust, There Are No Mysteries

I love a good mystery, don't you? Some of my favorite Sunday afternoons as a kid were spent watching Sherlock Holmes or Charlie Chan use their super sleuth skills to solve the most complex of crimes and, ultimately, save the world from complete annihilation.

However great contemplating classic capers have been for me, having a mysterious leader has never been as entertaining. In fact, it can quickly become a horror show.

Have you ever worked for a person whose reaction to situations would sway from one extreme to another depending on who was around, which way the wind was blowing, or if they had gotten a prime parking spot that morning?

Well, you are not alone because I have had the displeasure of working with (and for) "Bi-polar Bob" and "Wacky Wanda" as well.

Working with questions, inconsistency, and conundrums erode the trust needed to keep morale high, move the team forward, and weather the trials that many of our teams are facing.

When examining relationships, there should be no mystery - at home, work, or play. If you are the last person to know about bad situations or feel like you're the last resort, there is probably a reason.

The question to ask is, "Am I building Covenants or breaking them?" A covenant is a relationship of trust. It signifies that, no matter what, you act in accordance with your beliefs and that your teammate can count on that consistency.

There are no questions and there is no guessing on how you will sail because you are sure and steady. This starts with your own reflections on what you believe, where you stand, and is manifested in how you behave.

To build everyday covenants (and keep the mysteries at a minimum), I continually strive to stay consistent by taking the time to periodically reflect on three things: statements of purpose, statements of intent, and congruency between the two.

Although you may not be able to change others around you, you can change your behaviors and reactions to those around you.

What Are My Statements of Purpose?

Statements of purpose manifest from the core of my being. Above all, they are what I value and what "I Believe." For me, I believe in honesty, integrity, family, love, laughter, and the innate goodness of the human spirit.

I also believe that each person has been given a purpose on this big, blue, wet ball and with that purpose, a responsibility to ease the burden of others, not to make it heavier. Those values are the rudder by which I live my life.

Take a moment to reflect on yours. What are your statements of purpose? What do you believe? Where do you stand? If it's a mystery to you, then it will surely be a mystery to others!

What Are My Statements of Intent?

Statements of intent are different from things that you "can do" (there are a lot of things that each of us can do). Statements of intent are things that you WILL DO! My statements of intent include that I WILL:

Treat others with dignity and respect

Put the needs of the ones I love before my own

Take myself lightly and find the humor in life

Be honest with myself and others

When I've taken the time to reflect and intentionally write them down, they become my personal "manifesto" on how I will deal with people, situations, and also they become a roadmap of how I will live my life.

What are the things that you WILL do? There is great power in knowing what your statements of intent are, writing them down and speaking them out loud. Do yourself that favor!

Are The Two Congruent?

The last thing I reflect on is if my beliefs and actions are congruent with each other. If they are, then there will be NO mystery to anyone on how I will (or would) respond in a situation. If there is, something is amiss.

Either I don't really believe what I've stated as my purpose or the intent doesn't match the belief. I like to equate it to when people say they "want" something.

If you want something, that means you are taking steps towards your goal. If you aren't taking those steps, then you really don't want it. It's just a nicety.

The same goes with purpose and intent. If you say you believe something but don't actively live it, you don't really believe it.

The two must be congruent or you'll be swayed, mysteries will continue and covenants will be broken.

It's not that I don't like surprises, I do. I like the spontaneity that keeps relationships fresh, vibrant and how it can propel a team to new possibilities.

But, I know I am not alone when I state that I don't like the mystery of how you'll react if I come to you with less than favorable news.

There are no mysteries within the covenants that are built with others; there is only openness, loyalty, and trust.

That's what is being built every day in relationships - as long as you are living your values and openly sharing them with those within your circle. Step Up and Invest Yourself Today!

By : Charles_Lutz

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Team Building Activity - Department Perception

Organizational Perception Charts


Multi-Colored markers

3 flip charts per department


For team members to explore their perceptions of the other departments and for departments to explore their perceptions of other departments.

Additionally for departments to explain their role to people who are not in their department.


Prepare three flip chart pages per/dept and write the name of the department on the top of the flip chart paper.

Below the department title split each page into 3 sections and label these sections;

Feel free to alter any and all of these.

• High Points

• Low Points

• Goals

Tape these flip chart papers to the walls and allow plenty of room between papers for people to write and move around.

Instructions and Facilitator Script:

In a moment you are going to work as individuals on this following task.

You will see that we have affixed flip charts with each of the departments here today.

I am going to ask all of you to spend about 15 minutes walking to each department and listing what you feel are that departments;

• High Points

• Low Points

• Goals.

Please write on every department except the one you work for.

Please be honest and share your knowledge of the other departments.

Following the 15 minutes of writing on the flip charts please sit with your department, take down the flip chart papers about your department and spend about 10 minutes as a department discussing what others have written and perceive about your department.

Take time as a department and reflect and question each other as to why other people would perceive and not perceive these things about your team.

After the 10 minute discussion each department will have time to explore, clarify, define, and answer to what the perception of their department is.

Facilitator Notes:

With this be careful and ask the participants to keep an open mind.

If you feel that this will turn into a negative complaint-fest then DON'T DO IT.

Department and Teams can be insulted and challenged when faced with how others perceive what they do.

Work is a very personal thing to people, respect that and encourage the people to also respect that.

Do not rush this activity, allow it to move slow and take time.

Potential Processing Questions:

• What were some key items that you noticed during this time?

• What areas of our work could our own teams be blind too?

• How can we increase the knowledge of what is happening inside the organization?

• What are some factors that cause departments to have incorrect perceptions?

• In what ways can this incorrect perception affect our organization?

• How can we change this?

• How can knowledge of other departments high points, low points, Goals, etc... enhance our work and increase customer satisfaction?

• What are we going to do with this knowledge?

• What actions can we take when in the office to change these perceptions?

By : Michael_Cardus

10 Reasons to Employ Team Building

Team building has been around for most of the 20th Century and so the processes and techniques used for it have developed a great deal.

Many businesses and organizations do see the advantages proved by this phenomenon, but some people fail to see the benefit.

In this article we'll look at the reasons that are commonly cited as being why team building is helpful to groups.

1. Team building arguably helps improve communication; this is done by putting people in challenging situations whereby the only way to solve their dilemma is by communicating. If nothing else it could improve the communication skills between specific individuals - if not improving the skills long term with people who are not in the given group.

2. These kind of team building exercises help in generating a more pleasant mood or atmosphere around the workplace - by taking them out of their comfort zone and challenging them to succeed.

3. Motivation is another very important aspect of team building - by bringing new challenges to people, you motivate them and make them understand that they can indeed achieve more than they currently do - important when people are trying to push boundaries and make lots of money.

4. It may seem obvious, but these exercises help to get people to get to know each other. Again, by placing people slightly outside their comfort zones, sometimes other aspects of a person's personality comes to light - one that helps them connect to people. The ordinary office environment can sometimes stifle new friendships.

5. It arguably helps get people 'on the same page' - so that over a team building exercise, certain company or organization goals can be set out for everyone.

6. Team building arguably helps the team develop self regulation strategies - by putting them in situations that demand it - in order that they achieve the goals as set out.

7. These exercises can help those participating to learn more about themselves - both strengths and weaknesses. It is only by bringing on new challenges and being outside their comfort zones that these things can be seen - sometimes.

8. This leads to being able to identify strengths of different team members and therefore deciding how best they can be used in order to maximize efficiency within an organization or company.

9. Ultimately, these team building exercises can help improve team productivity - an important consideration as western states are priced out of many industries by developing nations.

10. The whole idea of collaboration is enforced with these activities - making every team member - hopefully - work better together to produce better results.

By : Gino_Hitshopi

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why Corporate Training Can Be Beneficial For Your Business and Your Employees

Corporate training is a useful tool for a business, as it says on the tin, it is a method of training your workers.

More training means a more skilled workforce, people who are capable of a multitude of tasks, and a more effective team.

All of these are easy ways to increase your productivity as a business, and so are more than worth investing some money into to make sure that they are achieved.

Employees will often be drawn to a business with a clear corporate training scheme like a bee to honey, simply because of the benefits for them.

They like the fact they will acquire new skills and actually grow within their position, hopefully leading on to promotions in the future.

For this reason, it is a good idea to look into corporate training as a regular (at least annual) activity that will be undertaken by all staff.

This will not only attract workers to you, so you get the pick of the best candidates, but also make sure that the team you do have working for you are all excellent at their job.

Training staff will boost morale, and it is as simple as that, people like attention being paid to them and will love the prospect of being able to go and get ideas on how to increase the efficiency of their work and so on.

Training is often a team building task, because everyone will take part, and so you also gain better working relationships between your staff members too.

This can be particularly true when you get a higher up manager to conduct the training, as people will feel more able to relate to them.

This is also a cost effective method of training, so it can work out best to send out the higher members of staff for external training, and then employee internal training given by these people to the rest of the work force.

It is important that people on every level go through training. This means they all feel more equal, and there is also no such thing as too skilled.

Everyone can benefit with some help sometimes, and corporate training providers will make sure your business is kept aware of all of the latest working methods.

It is important, in order for a real benefit to come from training that you have it provided by a professional speaker.

This can, as mentioned, be someone from within the company, but they need to have the right characteristics.

Confidence and an ability to motivate are key to any talk that hopes to leave people with a lasting benefit and ideas.

A follow up scheme for the training, to check it is being put into practice, will also help you to see the long term effects and make sure that everybody is employing what they have been taught correctly.

By : Tom_V_Powell

The Positive Effects That a Business Speaker Can Have on Your Employees

Hiring a business speaker into your company can be a beneficial method of training, and a welcome break from the everyday toil and routine of the workplace.

Any hired business speaker should be a specialist in the area in which your company deals, in order to make the most out of them.

Try and hire someone with experience and who will be easy to relate to for the audience. This will give your employees someone to look up to and mean that the messages put across are more likely to go in.

The positive effects of the speaker coming in can be numerous. Number one is a morale boost for your employees, which will result in positive effects on their work.

By having team building sessions which are less formal than the office, such as conferences with a speaker, your team will be allowed to bond and learn as one.

This will come across in the pride people will take in their work and the new skills they may exhibit, having learnt from your speaker.

This leads us on to point two: skill improvement. Business speakers are there for one reason; to help you learn new techniques and methods that could help your company.

Their own hands on experiences will mean that you can hear about the methods in action and work out ways to implement them into your own company.

The higher skilled your speaker, the better and it is always an added bonus to try and hire a motivational speaker who specialises, as these purposefully bring out the best in people and will help them work harder and enjoy their job more.

Motivational speaking, and any speech making at all, is a skill within itself and the more experienced the person you hire is in this area, the deeper an impact they will have.

Many business speakers come with inbuilt motivational speaking backgrounds, or know how to do this, so finding someone is not a majorly difficult task; but it is always best to check.

A business speaker will have knowledge of more complex aspects of business and so be able to explain these in more layman terms.

Employees always benefit by feeling involved in the company, so by having a business speaker come in and explain concepts, the staff will be able to see the direction the company is taking, and how it will get there and achieve its goals.

By having a clear understanding of what they are working towards, people can visualise success and this is a proven technique to getting good results.

By : Tom_V_Powell

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

5 Stumbling Blocks to Effective Team Leadership

Many things contribute to team success and some things get in the way. Team leadership is an important element in team success, so what are 5 common stumbling blocks when it comes to effective team leadership?

Stumbling block 1: The leader is closed minded

One of the great strengths of teams is their ability to generate a whole host of alternatives and ideas. Used effectively these can contribute to great results and even take team performance to a higher level. On the other hand if the team leader is closed minded and not open to new ideas then these ideas will never translate into results.

Stumbling block 2: Not using appropriate leadership style

Leadership styles can essentially be grouped into 5 main categories. Telling, telling and selling, consultation, participation and empowerment. The style that you adopt will depend on the situation, the expertise of those in the team and the context to name just a few. For example, in times of urgency you might need to go for a very directive, telling style. The key is to be able to adapt and use an appropriate leadership style when leading a team.

Stumbling block 3: Self interest before team results

Team members expect the team leader to be loyal to the team. If the leader becomes more interested in themselves, they start making choices from a self interest rather than a team results perspective.

Stumbling block 4: Lack of consistency

We have all probably worked for people who seem to lack any sort of consistency when it comes to dealing and interacting with others. For the team member this is a real challenge and can ultimately lead to disengagement. As the team leader try and aim to be as consistent as you possible.

Stumbling block 5: Having your favourites

Like anyone else you will have a better connection with some people in the team than others. At the same time you need to be alert to this connection leading to you having personal favourites which can alienate others. Be alert to the fact that you might be showing favouritism.

Bottom Line - Team leadership is a vital component in team success. So what stumbling blocks are getting in the way of your success as a team leader?

By : Duncan_Brodie

Outdoor Activities - Fun Events Galore

If you are planning a unique stag or hen night - or perhaps a teambuilding event to bring staff closer together - a selection of outdoor activities such as white water rafting and archery can be the ideal solution.

Not only do these events offer great, simple fun, they will also get people working together in ways they may not have done in the past.

There is a huge selection of events on offer in the UK and elsewhere. Whether you want to get the adrenalin pumping or are looking to take part in a more sedate activity, there will be something for you.

For example, quad bike trekking is one of the most thrilling outdoor activities available. Riding a quad bike at speeds of up to 40 mph, through some of the roughest terrain in Scotland, is a truly breathtaking experience.

Weaving between the trees, splashing through rivers and racing across the open country on a quad bike is something that is unforgettable. If quad bike trekking appeals, you may want to try off road driving or blindfold driving.

Relying totally on your co-driver when blindfold driving, you will be in control of the vehicle - but they will have to navigate for you.

Paintball is a wonderful opportunity to improve team working, as it requires communication, strategic thinking and effective leadership. Alternatively, you can rush in all guns blazing - but you should expect to be tagged.

More relaxing events are also available. For example, mini highland games involve taking part in a range of traditional Scottish sports.

This includes tossing the caber, tossing the hammer, the weight over bar and the tug of war. Archery is another excellent activity, whether it forms part of a corporate event or a day out with friends.

If target practice appeals to you, clay pigeon shooting and the more technologically advanced laser clay shooting are also available.

So, whether you want to take part in a selection of relaxing outdoor activities or a range of events that will get the heart racing and the adrenalin pumping, you will be able to choose from a variety of games in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Enjoying these sorts of outdoor activities is an unforgettable way to celebrate a friend's upcoming nuptials. However, they can also make a fun and effective teambuilding event. And this can help any business work more efficiently.

By : Gordon_Parkes

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Are You in Or Out For Change? Building Team Spirit in a Nutshell

The inception of a team is as indispensable as creating a work of art. It needs careful planning and a lot of preparation.

Every team member will need to have the ability to flow with constant change in his or her work lifestyle.

Every day is a great day and a new opportunity to inject vitality into your team and organization and have it become a natural way of working.

The results of your efforts in building team spirit will not show in an instant. You need a persistent coordination with all members of the team so that all problems will be manageable and bearable for everyone.

So here are 5 fundamental ways to build team spirit.

1. Unlock your inborn creativity.
Learn how to solve any problem, overcome any obstacle, and achieve any goal at any given time. The use of imagination and resourcefulness is a must-have in any working experience. The drastic and dramatic changes we face these days always results in the kind of working life we lead.

2. Be prepared to climb from peak to peak.
As you achieve one success, immediately start working on your next new goal. In this way, you will be making a continuous effort to build up and strengthen your performance.

3. Get around the right people.
You become a part of what you are around so surround yourself with winners. If you are always dealing with the positive thinkers, you will have the tendency to become just like them. Remember, you are who you're friends are.

4. Be decisive and action oriented.
Successful people think things through, and then make a decision, and then act. Base your good decisions on knowledge, priorities and awareness of risks.

5. Most importantly, never allow failure to be an option.
Always believe and know that you can do it. A team member who has the right amount of confidence to battle every disaster that drags him down will be successful.

In any given situation, a team member who keeps the team spirit alive and does not take accomplishments and resources for granted will be highly productive.

These guaranteed team building techniques point toward success. They all require embracing change. Are you in or out for change?

By : Jo_Romano

A Chain is No Stronger Than Its Weakest Link

Have you ever been in a situation where you have to push someone to do what he or she is supposed to do but afraid to get their feelings hurt? And no matter how you tried, you just can not get the fire burning in them.

It is so frustrated to have people like that especially in a team, you are given a specific duration of time to complete a project but it seems like goal is far too ambitious when that person are not doing his or her job properly and what is even worst, is they are not even aware of it!

For this topic we will be using "pet turtle" to describe these laid-back friends of ours.

So here is how you should approach these pet turtles, and start seeing progress and a glimpse of hope in your deadlines.

Ask what their priorities or would like to have at work- there are some instances where your employees capabilities and skill are just not fitted for the tasks he have, he might be good at something else inside the team, so do not hesitate to ask them, in that way, a boss that wants to know his employees well, will give them a feeling of importance in the team. That is a good start.

create a goal for the team and be authoritative about it! It is okay to be nice and gracious but make sure that your sense of authority is not being push to the side.

Be straight-forward about what you want to accomplish at a certain point and monitor each work being done.

You just can not let few people sabotage the overall productivity of your team. Set goals and deadlines for your pet turtles and we will see from there if they are really capable of what they are doing.

Do what you preach. You as a boss cannot be a plain talker or motivational speaker, you should always always be the role model for your employees. Your work ethics will be the voice for your expectations from your team.

Put a finger on their face- off course not in literal terms but to pinpoint their accomplishments, once in a while people want to be recognized for the extra effort they have imparted on their task, do not be such a cold-heart, let them feel and see that you are noticing their hard work and be appreciative about it. It is a very nice way to rekindle the fire among your team members.

Offer them career opportunities and promotion. Again, you have to know what work or tasks interest them the most and how long do they see themselves doing that work.

In that sense, they will be more motivated to improve or to better themselves because they will think that it is not hard to be successful on something that they really love doing at the first place.

There is a lot of rooms for improvement- it is critical that you know what your employees are good at, and then give them the materials and training to further develop what they already have. In that manner, you are empowering your work force at the same time, your putting your money on the right place.

Lastly, understand that sometimes being too nice is not an option at all- if your power to persuade them is not working, it is not a question of your leadership, there are just some people that is not good at teamwork or just being a plain follower, they might excel better on their own, so do not be afraid to let them go.

In that way your are opening opportunities for them to go after what they really want and opportunities for those who really deserve their position.

So limit your nicety and be more firm with your conditions. It will better your company and it will better their work ethics as well.

So there you are, I hope you find this article helpful. And I hope that the next time that I will be viewed, it will come from someone who was referred by you.

By : Mariaclara_Mayumi_De_Filipina

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stop the Blamers

What do you do when someone on the team is unwilling to own up to anything? If there is a mistake or some other kind of problem, this person almost always blames something or someone else for causing the problem.

Blaming is a behavior that hurts teamwork. First of all everyone starts worrying about being blamed. Trust among team members declines. Communication erodes. Fighting increases.

Second, blame keeps us from what we are trying to do. Our goal should be to identify and solve problems. If our energy is focused on who to blame, it is not on what happened and how we might prevent it from happening again.

If blame is a problem on your team, I recommend working hard to do something about it. Here are three actions you might take.

* Evaluate the environment. You need to figure out why people are blaming others. What happens to people who make mistakes?

Are people rewarded for blaming others, reinforcing the bad behavior? What is it about the system that makes this behavior acceptable?

* Point out the behavior. Sometimes, as we defend ourselves, we turn so quickly to blaming that we are not conscious of the behavior.

Provide the person with feedback about his or her blaming behavior and inquire about the cause for it. You might learn something important while helping the person gain a valuable insight.

* Shift the frame. Help people understand that we need not find someone to blame, but might better use our time understanding what happened so that we can learn from it and hopefully prevent it from repeating.

By : Tom_LaForce

Executive Team Building - Resolving Communication Breakdowns on Teams

Success in business is a team effort and in order for teams to be successful they must be able to communicate effectively.

In spite of the best attempts to keep teams performing at a high level, executives are often faced with communication breakdowns when building teams.

Communication breakdowns can be caused by a number of reasons. Let's look at a few of the major reasons and what can be done to prevent them.

The first reason why communication fails on teams is lack of trust. When team members trust each other there is a free flow of communication.

Trust starts with having confidence that all team members are committed to the goals and objectives of the team. So, the first step to building trust is to establish a team direction..

Once the team direction is established the team has a unifying target to strive after. Having the team work together to establish the direction is important.

Everyone should feel they had a hand in setting the goals for the team. Having everyone involved is also a great way to establish buy-in.

After establishing the team direction, continue to build trust in a variety of ways. Sometimes it's as simple as team members going out to lunch with each other.

You could also have special meetings that team members work together to create or special team building sessions.

The bottom line is when the team trusts each other, they communicate more effectively with each other.

Team conflict is another reason for breakdowns in communication. Actually, it is not the team conflict, but the failure to resolve team conflict that creates the breakdown.

Conflict on teams will occur. Conflict is good because out of conflict usually comes the best ideas, plans, solutions, action items, etc.

However, when there is unresolved conflict, communication fails. One way to resolve conflict is to have a set of core values that the team will govern themselves by.

Establishing core values lays a foundation for decision making and team interactions. Sometimes it may take the leader to get involved, but most conflict can be ironed out by simply referring to the team's core values.

Stress is often a factor in communication breakdowns on teams. Stress is difficult to judge because everybody has a different tolerance for stress.

What might be stressful to one person is not stressful to another. Most stress is caused by time pressure.

While you can't always eliminate time pressure, there are some things you can do to minimize it. Planning really effective way to minimize stress. Setting realistic aggressive time frames from the get go can prevent major stress later on.

Communication breakdowns will occur even with the best efforts to keep it at bay. Let's face it, in six thousand years of recorded history, we as human beings still have not mastered the communication challenge.

However, if you will implement some of the above suggestions, you can keep your teams on target to reach their goals.

By : Shari_Roth

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Is Life Path Unlimited Right For You? - Everything You Need to Know

If you've been doing your research on LifePath Unlimited you already know there's a lot of noise online, a lot of hype and misinformation going both ways.

Half the reviews you read are screaming "LifePath Scam!", while the other half make it sound like God's gift to humanity. There are a lot of LifePath complaints, particularly from new distributors who didn't get the training or coaching they needed. And then there are glowing LifePath reviews from veteran up-liners.

So how do you get past all the noise and just get the truth?

My goal is to cut through all that nonsense and just give you the straight facts about LifePath Unlimited, so that you can make an educated business decision for yourself.

Before you start any business - online or brick-and-mortar - you owe it to yourself to get all the facts up-front. Start up costs. Monthly costs. Training. Coaching. Systems.

And you should have a crystal clear idea of exactly what you'll need to do in order to build a successful business in terms of marketing strategies & techniques. Not theoretical fluff or "rah-rah" motivation. I'm talking about detailed, concrete action steps that you can take every single day.

Here's a simple detailed breakdown of exactly what you can expect with LifePath, so you can make up your own mind whether or not it's a good fit for you.

The first thing you want to understand is that before you can earn commissions from selling LifePath Unlimited, you first have to buy the products yourself, and there's 3 products: Discovery, Breakthrough, and Destiny.

Discovery is a home study course they ship to your house. It comes with audio CDs, a journal and a workbook. And there's also a 45 minute DVD which is like an introductory promotional movie. The price tag on that is $1,695.

Breakthrough is a 3 day conference that will cost you $8,995. For that you get to attend seminars, listen to motivational speakers, and take part in various mind/body exercises leading up to the main event, which is a fire-walk.

Destiny is a 5 day conference with live events and self development training, and it ends in a big costume party. For all that, they want you to pay $14,995.

You're not required to buy all 3 products up-front but if you want to earn the commission you have to spend the money. So, realistically, you're looking at an initial investment of $25,685 to get started with LifePath Unlimited as a home based business.

And that's not including a marketing budget or training platform.

$26K is a pretty big chunk of change, and here's the question: "What do I actually get for spending all that money?"

The basic LifePath pitch is that by joining the program, you're getting access to great personal development strategies and teachers that will help you achieve a real breakthrough in your life.

Now, I'm all for personal development and community-building amongst like-minded people. And many of the speakers involved in the LifePath Conferences seem very energetic and fun to be around. But I look closely and you'll see that none of the big names in personal development are involved with LifePath Unlimited. Not the ones that major Fortune 100 companies trust, guys like Jack Canfield or Marc Victor Hanson.

And here's the thing. I can go to a live 4-Day Tony Robbins event (including coursework, CDs, and the whole fire-walk experience) for only $600. I mean, compare 4 days live with the number one reigning personal development guru of our time, Tony Robbins, for $600, versus a 5 day conference with lesser-known speakers for $15,000.

The bottom line here is that if you're looking for elite personal development, you can get far superior training, products and services, for a lot less money.

So when it comes to LifePath at $26K, you have to ask: why the big mark-up?

And the answer is simple. That's how LifePath pays out their commissions.

If you were to pay $26K to buy all three products, 60% of your money would go directly to your sponsor in the form of commissions. In other words, it's a bloated price-tag to pay the distributor, and the product itself is not worth anything near what you pay for it.

So let's be honest here. LifePath Unlimited is essentially a business opportunity to sell a business opportunity. And I'm not saying that's wrong. Certainly some people do okay in that business model.

For me personally, it's important to promote a reasonably priced product that provides real value to my customers and a very lucrative money making opportunity for myself and my team.

But the biggest flaw with LifePath Unlimited is the lack of online marketing savvy. This is an old fashioned company that doesn't embrace cutting edge marketing techniques.

They're still teaching new distributors to buy leads form a lead broker, send prospects to the corporate replicate site, and pitch their "warm" market of friends and family.

They're not familiar with advanced marketing techniques, and there's no comprehensive training platform or duplicatable marketing system in place for new team members to learn how to become successful marketers.

The lack of coaching and mentorship regarding online marketing strategies and techniques is probably the number on reason for all the LifePath complaints. And it's a valid point. How can you build a successful business if you don't know how to market effectively and leverage the power of automated systems?

At the same time, everyone is responsible for their own decisions, and a little due diligence would have uncovered that info before the seed money was spent. So you have to take all the complainers with a grain of salt.

To be perfectly fair, Lifepath Unlimited does not represent itself as something it's not. There's nothing underhanded going on here. It just is what it is.

So is LifePath Unlimited a Scam? Absolutely not. It's a legitimate business where some people make money.

But just because there's no Life Path Scam doesn't mean it's the appropriate business for you.

If you're serious about working from home and building a real online business, you can find business opportunities where you can earn a significant income without having to spend a small fortune just to get started.

There are sleeker more lucrative opportunities available where you can promote a reasonably priced product with great value and earn a six figure income in a manner that is honest and ethical.

In addition, you can join a mentor who knows how to market effectively online and will teach you the strategies tools and techniques you will need to build your business quickly and efficiently.

Will Schwartz is a professional marketer, author, and mentor who trains serious entrepreneurs on the skills and techniques to be successful in network marketing and direct sales.

Will teaches comprehensive integrated Attraction Marketing strategies using SEO, Social Media, Video Marketing, Article Marketing, AdWords and PPC, Team Building, Personal Development and Advanced Closing Techniques.

By : Will_Schwartz

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are You an Absent Networker?

Have you been invited to networking events but declined? Does the thought of going into a room full of strangers fill you with fear? Do you think you wouldn't know what to say or that you would feel stupid?

You could be missing out on a good way to increase your sales. Different businesses benefit from different types of promotional activities but often a combination of several of those activities can increase business. Networking can be one of those promotional activities.

The best way to introduce yourself to networking is to find someone you know who already networks. They will have a range of contacts who can help you find the best type of networking event for you. If you don't have such a contact then do an internet search for business network in your area.

Depending on your circumstances you might find that some of the events just don't fit in with your schedule but you should be able to find something suitable. You may prefer to attend an event where you can simply mingle with other attendees rather than one where everyone is offered the chance to address the whole room for a minute.

Then it's a case of making contact and attending.

If that sounds quite frightening then read some articles on how to prepare for a networking event. Preparation will mean that you feel much more comfortable because you will know what to expect and you will know what is expected of you.

Think about your target market. Who are your best customers? Then think about what you have to offer them. Keep it as simple as you can so you can quickly and easily explain your business to someone else. Make sure you have some business cards to hand out.

If you are attending an event where you are expected to give a short presentation to everyone then read some articles on presentation. If you get nervous easily there are people who can coach you on presentation skills and hypnotherapy can help you reduce your nerves so you can feel more confident.

If you feel uncomfortable meeting new people then ask the organisers to introduce you to some people when you arrive. This is much easier than just walking into a room of complete strangers. Most good networking organisations will have someone to greet new attendees.

People who attend networking events are just like you - business people. Some of them may be sole traders with very small businesses based at their home and some could be from larger multinational companies. They are all people though and people who are interested in business.

If you are still unsure because you lack confidence in groups of people who you don't know then contact a hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner who will be able to help you increase your confidence.

Networking can be daunting if you haven't done it before but it can also be a valuable source of new contacts and a good way to keep in touch with other business people. Attending networking events can be a regular and enjoyable part of your sales strategy.

By : Sharon_Stiles

Business Networking - Making the Most of Face to Face Time

Since no one has figured out how to make more land, it is considered by many to be the best investment money can buy. But is it really? There is at least one thing that has the potential to yield a virtually unlimited return on investment - your time. Let's do the math.

1. Suppose you have determined that your average revenue from each client is $5000 a year.
2. Suppose you attend a two-hour networking event with a ticket price of $25.
3. Suppose you chat with 10 people and have a meaningful conversation with two of them.
4. Suppose one of those people becomes your client.

Would a net income of $4975 be worth the investment of two hours of your time? Wouldn't it be worth it even if the ticket cost $100?

Do your homework

Before you begin re-arranging your calendar so you can attend 30 networking events this month, consider the following to be sure you are getting the best return on the investment of your time.

* Be sure you know the average revenue impact each client has on your business.
* Evaluate how well the group attracts people who fit your ideal client profile or share it as a target market and could therefore be a good source of referrals, if not actual customers.
* Learn what you can about the mission of the group and the people in leadership roles.
* Once you've found a group that is a good fit, show up regularly and participate. Consider volunteering in some form. It's a great way to build relationships fast.

Size doesn't always matter

The percentage of ideal clients that the group attracts is far more important than the number of people it attracts. Using this formula, I have found groups with fewer than a dozen regular participants that have been excellent sources of ideal client relationships.

Keep your eye on the big picture

If you find yourself calculating the value of an event according to the quality of the cheese or chicken, you've lost your business bearings and have strapped on your consumer cloak. To borrow a line from Cher in the movie Moonstruck, "SNAP OUT OF IT!" and get back on business track.

These principles can be applied well beyond the realm of face-to-face networking. Once you understand the dollar value of a client, you can apply this same method of evaluation to anything that calls for an investment of your time. Choose wisely because you only get 86,400 seconds each day and every one is a nonrenewable resource!

By : Lisa_Almeida

Friday, October 16, 2009

Business Networking Tips

Networking has been good to me over the years. Apart from referrals, it has been the single most successful way of generating new business and building my professional network. It must be the salesperson in me, but there is nothing more rewarding than meeting and connecting with new people who end up as friends, associates or clients.

I just love the randomness of networking and the fact that you never know what fantastic people you will meet.

However, networking can be a very time consuming and very costly exercise if your not maximizing the opportunity you have in front of you. I often tell the staff of clients that networking is not about putting a beer or wine in your hand and talking to people. It's about talking with a purpose and seeing what common interests or common ground you have.

As my good friend Maurice Gilet from BNI says 'it's called net-working for a reason - it's not 'not-working'!

Here are some tips and information that you might find useful - so get out there networking!

Tip 1

When choosing an event think about what type of companies are likely to attend (large or small) and the position of the person that will attend. It is well known that Senior Managers of most medium to large companies won't engage in business networking (because they think they don't have to) unless it is for a specific industry event or because the guest speaker and topic are of interest to them. Typically, they send their junior staff or sales staff but, don't be put off by this because you can still get a lot of the information you need you just need to get them talking and ask some questions. For example:

1. What do you do?
2. How's business?
3. Is it a large company? How many people do you employ?
4. Do you have more than one office?
5. What kind of clients do you deal with?
6. How do you find new clients (i.e. marketing, advertising or direct sales)
7. If I was to contact your company, who would be the best person to speak to regarding......

Tip 2

If you want to get the most out of any networking group, you will need to attend more than once so that people get used to seeing you and talking to you. When you have been about three times you should notice that people will start to recall your name and business name. Using the service of a new contact or sharing business referrals is based on trust and credibility and trust takes time to establish and build.

Tip 3

Have a goal for each event, i.e. two new contacts, one meeting, or two potential candidates. This way you can judge whether the event was worthwhile and whether it's worth doing again.

Tip 4

If the thought of networking and walking into a room full of strangers is intimidating for you, ask a friend or colleague to join you. This way the event will be more enjoyable and you will always have a 'safe haven' for those times when you are on your own or looking for people to talk to. Just make sure that you don't just talk to each other!

Tip 5

Arrive early so you can look at the name tags on the registration desk and see what type of people will be attending. There may be someone attending from a prospective client; by standing near the desk you can save time searching for them by watching who picks up the nametag.

Tip 6

Stand near the registration desk when people are arriving; people may think you are part of the event and will feel more comfortable talking to you.

Tip 7

Most importantly, always remember to follow up the contacts you have met within 24 hours. A simple email to those who just briefly chatted with or a phone call suggesting a meeting to those who expressed an interest. If you don't follow up the people that you have met, you are wasting the time and effort you put into going in the first place.

By : Karen_Andrews

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Power of Mastermind Groups

often recommend that small business owners and entrepreneurs have three key tools in their "success toolbox": a coach, a mentor and a mastermind group.

I've covered coaching and mentoring in another article and on my web site. Let's explore the role of mastermind groups in helping you to set and achieve your goals.

Mastermind groups are small (6-8 people) and made up of peers and colleagues who are on a similar path as you. Most groups are not local because this helps you avoid the potential issue of working on ideas with competitors. So instead, groups meet by phone for an hour or 90 minutes monthly to do goal-setting, brainstorming and to review action steps.

Mastermind group members should be working in a similar role (entrepreneurs, online marketers, freelance writers, etc.). This allows for an effective exchange of ideas and information that everyone can contribute to.

They should also be of an equal experience level to prevent experienced members from feeling there is no value in the group and less experienced members from feeling lost or intimidated.

A critical requirement of the group members is that they keep their commitment to meeting times. The ongoing appointment should be on every one's calendars and considered as important as a client meeting. To keep everyone accountable, many groups charge a meeting fee. Everything discussed should be considered confidential as well.

Groups should have a facilitator who is experienced and understands group dynamics. A facilitator is the traffic cop of the group-NOT a teacher or coach.

They make sure everyone stays on point, gets involved and the conversation flows. They can contribute when asked but that is not their primary purpose.

In the first few meetings, groups should explore what their individual value systems are. You cannot build a success plan if you don't know what you value in life and what you need for your own personal happiness.

For many people, more time trumps more money. Everyone has a different set of values and they should not be judged. Having members understand your values allows them to hold you accountable for setting goals that don't conflict with those values.

After value systems have been defined, mastermind groups should begin setting their individual goals. It is crucial that group members are capable of BIG dreams, bigger than they've had in the past and dare to say them out loud! Goals should be actionable with target dates that are short-term.

They must mesh with values. The group will hold members accountable who's action steps and goals routinely go unmet and ask them if this is truly something they want.

When you gather a group of driven, engaged individuals you have access to more resources, ideas and contacts than you would on your own. This is the hidden power of joining a mastermind group! They also help you identify, and remove, stumbling blocks you might have missed on your own.

Add a mastermind group to your success toolbox! I guarantee you'll see results.

By : Steve Schlagel

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Business Networking Skills - Five Social Skills Tips That Are Key For Networking Success

Networking skills are an absolute must for people who wants to grow their business. And the key is the word "skills."

Networking requires specific skills, and many of them are basically social skills. Read on for how you can improve your networking success by polishing your social skills.

Social skills help us connect with others, and that's what we need to do during networking. Some of them are mostly a matter of awareness and paying attention, while others take real practice.

Either way, the more often you do something, the more it will become second nature. So make an effort to do the following five things regularly, and watch the results you'll get.

1. Remember to say "please" and especially "thank you."

Saying "please" and "thank you" may be so basic that you don't think it even falls under social skill but instead is common courtesy. Be that as it may, courtesy is so important that it deserves to be listed here, and it's a large part of what makes up good social skills.

2. Make proper eye contact

Making eye contact frequently and appropriately can make the difference between coming across as likable -- and not. Look at the person when you're speaking with him or her, but without staring, and pay close attention.

Even if you're one of those people who actually can pay attention when they seem to be preoccupied with other things, maintaining eye contact will be worth your while. Don't just pay attention, but make sure the other person knows that you're paying attention. And eye contact is the traditional way to show it.

3. Repeat the other person's name

In a conversation, be sure to repeat the other person's name. It will make them feel very much acknowledged. It will also help you remember their name. There are a lot of quotes about how much people love the sound of their own name. The thing is - it's true.

4. Support others

Whenever you find yourself talking with someone, pay close attention. That's true especially if that person is new and possibly a prospect, but it's common courtesy in any case. Listen with an open mind, and look for ways in which you can help him or her.

5. Repeat something they've said recently

When you've had a conversation with someone and talk to them again, repeat something they've said. Ask them about something specific to follow up. It shows them that you paid close attention, and they will appreciate that.

By : Sue_Clement