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What are the Most Exciting Jobs in the World

What are the Most Exciting Jobs in the World

It was 4 p.m in the afternoon and Tom just couldn’t stop thinking about how incredibly boring his job was. As he stared at the blank computer screen in front of him, he wondered whether data processing was really what he wanted to do with his life…He thought about all the other jobs in the world, which seemed far more exciting and fun! “It is time I should change my profession”, he thought…”maybe a soccer player waving at the huge crowd of fans after I’m all sweaty and tired after the match…maybe a fashion photographer amidst skimpily clad models…oh, what a life it would have been,” he said as he sighed and got back to what he was good at – data processing!

Most Exciting Jobs in the World

If you are hunting for some of the most exciting jobs in the world, here are some really cool options for you to choose from. But before you pick an exciting job, remember that there goes a lot of effort and determination into every job that you take up!

Food Critic

If you are an absolute foodie, then what better job for you than to get paid for eating!!! If you think this is a joke, you obviously haven’t heard of food critics who sample and critique the food or wine tasters who savor and decide some of the finest wines in the world! Trying out interesting recipes and giving your opinion about it, is one of the most exciting jobs for food lovers. In addition to that, as a food critic, you will get to try a wide variety of cuisines around the world as well. Since you would be sampling food across the world – there is obviously a lot of traveling involved too!

How Can I Become a Food Critic?

If you are planning to become a food critic, then the first thing that you need to do is study the art of cooking, because if you want to judge other people’s culinary skills, you need to be good at it, yourself! You need to build you culinary vocabulary, have background knowledge about food nutrition and need to study the nuances of different cuisines. Sound understanding of the restaurant business can help you a lot as well. A cuisine is a vital part of the culture and information about various cultures of the world might help you in the long run. In addition, to all these prerequisites, you need to have good communication skills, in order to interact with different people and also, to write or present your reviews.

Instructor for Extreme Sports

If you thought scuba diving was cool and skydiving was thrilling, then how about doing it for a living? Yes! This is no joke; there are people who are enjoying extreme sports as a full-time profession. Instructors for adventure sports have the most exciting and adventurous jobs in the world – truly! This profession is however supposed to be solely for the bravehearts – it is no child’s play to risk your life every single day!

How Can I be a Professional Instructor for Extreme Sports?

In order to become a professional instructor for extreme sports, there exist a number of professional training classes and courses, which help you become a trainer or an instructor. Several institutes that hire adventure sports trainers have their own training sessions and courses for the instructors. In addition to this professional training, you need to be physically fit enough to qualify for such heavy-duty action! A love for adventure would, of course, be one of the essential qualities as well.

Actress/Actor

If being a starlet in Hollywood seems like the most happening job to you, then you might want to consider this option! Of course, not everyone can be a Julia Roberts and not every other guy will turn out to be Brad Pitt, but then for what its worth, you might want to give it a try! You never know, you might get lucky and make it big! Hollywood is a place of dreams and aspirations and although most of them die an early death, there are many who are enjoying the peaks of success! Give it a shot!

How Can I Become a Professional Actor/Actress?

Ever since, Hollywood became such a hit, and movies, the hottest profession, acting schools have been mushrooming around the world. Training at a good acting school will definitely get you started. Many acting schools make it a point to teach the students all the aspects of the film-making process. In addition to that, you will need good communication skills and a lot of self-confidence to survive in this industry.

Professional Sportsman/Athlete

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting. ~ George Orwell

If you envy David Beckham for his super-cool profession, then you might want to consider the option of being a professional sportsman. There are a wide variety of sports to choose from – cricket, baseball, football or even tennis.

How Can I Become a Professional Sportsman?

There are several coaching institutes as well as personal trainers and instructors who help you to achieve complete physical fitness and master the nuances of the sport. However, in addition to joining a coaching institute you need to have a lot of endurance, dedication and strong will to be good at what you do. You need to have the ability to remain humble, in spite of the victories and an ability to take the defeat in your own stride!

Video Game Tester

If you are one of those people who are always being yelled at for being hooked to your videogames, then this profession is like your dream job! A game tester is supposed to analyze video games to detect software errors and ensure quality control. Video game testers are employed by video game development companies and are paid to review and test the newly developed games.

How Can I Become a Professional Video Game Tester?

Being a video game tester is no cakewalk. You need to be aware of the game development process, since you are supposed to detect the bugs or glitches in the game. In addition to computing skills, you will also need strategic thinking abilities and a lot of patience! So, if you think you have all this and are ready to work continuously with gaming consoles and animations, this is your thing!

Model

The world of fashion has always fascinated millions! The glamor, the glitz, the swanky runways and the slender models on the ramp – the whole show is simple mesmerizing! If you think trying on different designer clothing and cat walking in front of the audience is an exciting job – you might want to take up modeling as a full time profession. A professional model needs to walk runways, shoot ads as well as be a part of various photo shoots. However, there are a lot of other issues involved – like having the perfect body structure and the right looks!

How Can I Become a Professional Model?

In addition to the existing grooming institutes for models, there also exist several talent hunts on television, which are a great platform for aspiring models. In addition to professional grooming for their walk, make-up, wardrobe and their fitness and overall toning, models need to have good public relation skills, in order to make new contacts and get assignments.

In addition to this, you might want to have a look at the list of careers for additional suggestions. Although, people say that the grass is always greener on the other side, it is a fact that some people are just plain lucky! Often when we look at some professions, we wonder how amazing and adventurous life would be! However, at the end of the day, every profession is unique and challenging in its own way, be it a software engineer or even a housemaid…

10 Easy-to-learn Tips On Handling Interruptions

Imagine this, a co-worker enters your office and says:
“Cathy, could I talk with you for a minute? I'm having a
real problem with….” You glance at your watch and think of
the report that's due in an hour. What do you do?

What would happen if you were Cathy's supervisor?

Let's continue. You're cooking dinner, starting to
destress, the food preparation timing is coming together–
for once–and your mother calls: “Could we talk? It's
important. I need someone to talk to?” What do you say?

What we would like to say and what we end up doing is
usually two different things. Good news, tactfully saying
no is a learned skill. It requires know-how and practice.
Let's talk about ten how-tos and alternatives that can help
you practice.

Tip 1: There are three parts to meshing a “no, but not no”
response. The first part acknowledges and empathizes. The
second part gives a situation statement. In the third, and
last, part is an action statement.

An example of an empathy or acknowledgment statement:
“Sam, I'm sure this problem is important.”

Next, add the second part, a situation statement. For
instance: “I'm working on a report that I promised to have
completed within the next hour.”

The third part, an action statement, needs to describe what
you will do or offer as an alternative: “Let's get together
after I've completed my report. How about 2 PM this
afternoon in your office?”

Instead of saying no directly, you have said no without
saying no.

Tip 2: What if it's your supervisor interrupting you? What
do you do? Here's how to mesh the three parts into a no,
without any further interruption, and into a win for both.

Sandy, your supervisor enters, “Lisa, I hate to interrupt
you, but we have a real problem in the field, I need to talk
with you right away. Could I see you in my office?”

First, the acknowledgment statement: “Sandy, I'm sure this
is an important problem.” Second, the situation segment:
“I'm working on that report you requested by noon.” Third,
adding the action: “Would you like me to defer the report
until 3 PM [its imperative to offer an exact time] so we can
meet now? Or would you like me to complete this and then
come to your office?” This response allows your supervisor
to see your perspective and situation and to make a
decision.

Tip 3: Discouraging professional interrupters. These
professionals make a career out of interrupting. They start
talking and don't stop. They go on and on and when they
finally stop to catch a breath, and you get to say
something, they interrupt a few minutes later. How do you
handle these?

Movement is the key. If cornered behind your desk, stand
up, and move. If you are already standing up, begin walking
out. If sitting down, stand up. You can also change
momentum by dropping something or turning sideways. Reach
for something that has nothing to do with the conversation
or excuse yourself to the restroom.

Interrupt in the same manner they use with you. It's okay,
they do it because it appears normal to them even if it
feels brash to you. Here are a few template statements:
“Where is this leading?” “What's your point, I've gotten
lost in what I think is the trivia?” “You have jumped
around so much on topics, I don't know which one to
address.”

It's important to practice patience throughout this process.
Professional interrupters don't usually hear you the first
few times you ask your question. If need be, become a
broken record. Continue to ask again until they do hear
you. Identify what is it about their communication style or
interruption process that annoys you. Provide this feedback
and communicate your preferred style of being interrupted in
a positive manner.

Tip 4: What about the few that don't get your hints or
listen to what you are saying? Sometimes they even follow
you down the hall or talk “at” you instead of “with” you?
This is a rude interrupter. Be firm, direct, and abrupt.
If they appear to be bruised, don't let it bother you. They
will not take what you said personally even if they say so.
Their “taken-aback” expression is just for show. Actually,
it is a form of manipulation. Don't play and don't
apologize.

If they persist go ahead and give them an ultimatum: “You
rudely interrupt me. I've tolerated this in the past;
however, it has to stop NOW.” When they finally realize you
are not playing their game, they will stop. They will either
totally avoid you in the future or return with respect.
Generally, they will return with a new awareness about
themselves. When they do, accept their apology. But don't
count on it. And if they don't return, you haven't lost
anything.

Tip 5: If you can, keep doing what you are doing. Look up,
smile, point to a notepad and pen, and then return to what
you were doing.

Tip 6: Sometimes the position of your furniture invites
interruptions. Especially if your office is beautifully
designed, or contains natural ingredients, like plants.
Others want to be around this energy. It's attractive.
It's renewing to them as much as it is to you. There's only
one suggestion when this occurs. Suggest that they change
their office to reflect a similar energy. Afterwards, they
will not want to leave their office as easily.

Tip 7: If you frequently get trapped behind your desk.
Plan and practice various escape routes and methods. Again,
consider rearranging the furniture to allow for escape
routes.

Tip 8: Discourage squatters. If your interruptions are due
to people consistently coming in and just sitting and
talking, remove any empty chairs. Place them outside your
office so they are available when needed but not too close
to the door that they can easily be dragged in when someone
enters.

Tip 9: Do people wait for you to get off a phone call?
Place a sign on the desk: “If I'm on a phone call, please
leave me a note. I'll check back with you as soon as I'm
off the phone.”

An alternative: Train others in a silent hand code. Use
your fingers to indicate how long you are going to be. One
index finger explains that you will be off the phone in a
minute or two, please stay. Full hand with a wave says, “I
don't know how long and I'll get back to you.” This silent
code allows you to continue your focus, acknowledges them,
and also allows them to make a decision on their time.

Tip 10: Many of these ways for handling interruptions at
work can also apply at home. Here is one that transfers
well.

Name a “personal spot.” An area you can call your own. It
can be a den, sewing room, shed, or an extra bedroom. This
means this spot makes you off limits to interruptions. If
you have children, explain to them what interruption means,
why you need some personal space, and give them the same
opportunity and courtesy.

Purchase a clock sign at the office supply store — the same
type retailer's use on their front doors — to indicate what
time you will be available again. Or you could add a white
board so they can write their note. Like college students
use on their dorm room doors. A magnetic board would work
well for younger or smaller children. Create magnets for
each family member that they can move to a spot already
written: “Bobby wants you.”

The Other Side Of The Coin

The other side of this perspective is using interruptions to
boost productivity. People sometimes use interruptions to
push themselves into overdrive. This helps some people
while it disrupts others. This habit gets them to move past
their own procrastination habits to complete their tasks.
This need can also be an addictive behavior sometimes
disguised as “workaholicism.”

(c) Copyright, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.

10 Good Reasons for taking Driving Lessons.A Guide for the I

In a driving context, most of the decisions that you take and the techniques that you employ, will have both an economic and a safety impact. The decision to take driving lessons is really a simple one but one that will have far reaching consequences well into the future. Most, if not all, poor or dangerous habits in today's drivers stem from the lack of professional tuition at the outset. In this second in a series of articles designed to assist today's learner drivers we will have a look at the benefits in taking Professional Tuition.

1.Taking lessons will greatly improve your chances of staying safe and accident free since providing you retain what you have been taught, you will be probably better than many motorists who have been driving for considerably longer. Lack of sufficient training, or even no training at all which is common in Ireland, will inevitably lead to accidents at a very early stage in the driving career. Accidents are to be avoided at all costs. After all isn't the safety of the driver, the passengers and other road users the paramount priority?

2.A course of lessons at the start of your driving career and not one month from your Driving Test, will give you the confidence you need to continue the learning process, and will form the foundation for safe motoring.

3.Taking a course of lessons will give you the chance to be accepted by an insurance company for your first Insurance policy. In fact most companies will insist on a minimum number of lessons completed by a recognised school, before a son or daughter will be admitted onto a Parent's policy.

4.On a very topical note, the Irish Insurer Hibernian, in conjunction with the Institute of Advanced Motorists, has extended its successful Ignition scheme to provisional license holders since January 2005.Learner drivers that pass the one hour driving assessment, will be offered a 21% reduction on their insurance. This is a substantial reduction for any new driver, particularly young males under 25 years of age, and well worth achieving. Just being in the possession of a provisional license will not suffice to pass this test. A course of lessons will be needed in order to achieve the required standard and the test should not be booked until quite a high level of both competence and confidence has been reached.

5.Passing the Department of Transport Driving Test, sooner rather than later, will result in further reductions in already high Insurance costs. Lessons taken just before the Driving Test will not cut it in today's Test environment; there is just too much to learn if one wants to be successful first time out.

6.The long waiting list for the Irish Driving Test is a great inconvenience for many learner Drivers and also their Driving Instructors. The long wait is accentuated by the huge numbers of learners who do not prepare adequately with a professional school and then are forced to re sit their Test sometimes several times over. Career aspirations can easily be affected if the journey to a full License is overly prolonged.

7.Obtaining a full driving license promptly will speed up the reduction in your insurance premiums via your annual no claims bonus, providing of course you are not involved in any accidents.

8.As a fully licensed Driver you will have much greater opportunity to shop around for a competitive insurance quote, since there are only a very few companies who will insure provisional license holders and then only at a huge premium.

9.As an addition to item number 4 as a fully licensed Driver, you may apply for the more advanced Hibernian Ignition course, providing you are in your first five years of driving .This is a full day course, the cost of which can be recouped, if you pass the practical driving assessment at the end of the day. The reduction in insurance premium for the successful candidate can be upwards of 30%, so again very worthwhile .Drivers in this category should take a refresher course with a driving school to ensure that any bad habits or techniques are eradicated. Once again it is worth pointing out that the length of your driving experience is not a guarantee of success unless you started on the right foot to begin with!

10. If, in the early days of your working life you are unlucky enough to find yourself jobless through either, takeovers, cutbacks or closures, a full Driving License will enable you to pick up an interim job very quickly while you regroup and examine your future options. There is a shortage of drivers to fill current vacancies in Europe, particularly in the commercial sector so there are great opportunities for young qualified drivers who have been well trained.

Both career and promotional opportunities abound for the fully licensed driver in any organisation. Faced with two candidates of similar qualifications, an employer will naturally favour the person with the full license pretty much every time.

10 Keys to Rise From Retrenchment and Move on to an Exciting

You may be astonished to realize that retrenchment may occur more than once during the life of the modern day worker. In fact, career advisors report that we could expect to be made redundant up to three times during our working life.

As common as retrenchment is, when it happens, no one likes it. Whatever range of emotions initially emerge - fear, anger, resentment, retaliation, humiliation, disappointment - we should recognise as being quite normal. How we respond and deal with the situation will influence our entire financial future and how quickly we move through these negative emotions.

This article will assist those people who may wonder how to deal with retrenchment. These eight keys will help you move on quickly and re-establish yourself in a productive working environment.

1. Don't take it personally. Redundancy is rarely, if ever, personal. Don't let it affect your self-confidence and morale. In most cases retrenchments occur as a result of changing economic situations, mergers or acquisitions which are typically outside most people's span of control.

2. Retrenchment is not an end, but rather a beginning. Even though we may not expect it, throughout various stages of our lives doors close and others open. When one door closes and it is a shock, we may not immediately see other doors opening.

3. Take advantage of outplacement support. If you company provides outplacement support - make full use of it. If no outplacement support has been provided ask if the company could provide assistance with a registered outplacement firm. Research has shown that job seekers with the assistance of a qualified outplacement consultant have better strike rate in job interviews.

4. Sort out your finances. Discuss with your partner or spouse your financial position and make adjustments where necessary. Few people realize that this transition may be a gift to help you change directions. Poor financial planning may propel you into a less than favourable job and close down opportunities to explore what you really would like to be doing.

5. Be realistic about time. Expect things to take a while. The more senior your previous job, the longer it will take to find something else at the same level. If you change careers to start your own business it will take time for you to achieve the same feelings of effectiveness. Be patient when making a new transition and go easy on yourself by not expecting too much, too soon.

6. Forget the 'labels'. Recruitment consultants are rarely concerned with the fact you were retrenched. They are more interested in how you respond when the chips are down and what you did about and how quickly you took control of your situation. It's not what happens in life that distinguishes us, but rather what we do about it. Very likely the person interviewing you for your next job has been retrenched themselves at some stage!

7. Explore options. Talk to a specialist career advisor or business coach. This may just be the chance to propel you in a new direction. With assistance you may uncover skills and pathways you may not have previously had the time, inclination or confidence to embrace.

8. Get some exercise. There is limited appeal in sitting around the house in your pyjamas until lunchtime. Get up early and get some exercise. The endorphins will keep your mind energetic and creative and assist you through the transition.

9. Volunteer your time to a worthwhile cause that interests you. This will help keep your self esteem high and provide activities that may help you explore new avenues, or maintain your current skills. At the very least it will keep you busy and stop your brain turning into “TV-mush”.

10. Feed your spirit. Finding exhilarating testimonies of people who succeed against all odds. If you are not an avid reader, then now is the time to start and ensure you are keeping your mind positively challenged with the heros of our time. It will help keep things in perspective.

10 Money-Saving Tips for Home Businesses

by Lesley Spencer, MSc; Founder & President HBWM.com Inc.

One of the most common obstacles many home-based working moms face is trying to start or run a new business on a limited budget. The first few years
of a business are usually the hardest financially. Some moms leave full-time
careers and substantial salaries to start a new business. Others start a
home business as stay-at-home moms wanting additional income to support
their family as well as a professional outlet to balance their diaper-changing days.

In either case, starting and running a home-based business takes money. How much money, will depend partly on you and the type of business you choose to run.

Below are our top 10 tips to save you and your home business money:

1. Do your own market research by talking to potential clients or
customers. Many new home business owners skip this step only to come
back to it later (or wish they had). Those who start businesses without doing
any type of research risk the possibility that their target market doesn't need or want their particular product or service. The competition may be too fierce. There may not be enough potential customers to support the
business. Or the product isn't priced correctly. It is just as important not to price your product too low as it is not to price it too high. Talk to others
in similar businesses as yours to see how much they charge and what they offer for that price.

2. Team up with other non-competitive businesses that target the
same market to do some co-marketing. For example, desktop publishers and
print shops can do a direct mail campaign together advertising both of their services or buy an ad in a local publication and split the costs. Neither is in competition with the other. They also can hand out business cards or flyers for one another as well as give word-of-mouth referrals. It's a
great way to double one's marketing efforts while splitting any advertising
costs.

3. When you have a satisfied customer, don't be afraid to ask for referrals. People like to help others especially new businesses trying to succeed. Show pride in your work and people are sure to notice. And when they do, ask if they know any others you can send a brochure or sample to. Another great way to encourage referrals is to offer a discount or special offer for any customers who are referred to you.

4. Barter or trade your services for other products or services
you need. Associations and organizations are not only great places to network; they are also great for finding businesses that offer services and products you need. Look for businesses you could help with your product or service and offer to barter or trade for theirs. (Be sure to check with your tax professional for tax issues involving bartering and trading.). Diana Ennen of Virtual Word Publishing(http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com) has found bartering her virtual assisting coaching has allowed her to get web design work done, PR work out, proofing of assignments and much more. It's a win/win for all.

5. Find another home-based working mom to swap babysitting with. All home-based working moms need some dedicated time to work on their business tasks. By swapping with another mom, both can work on their businesses without adding to their childcare costs.

6. When buying new office equipment, go to a place that offers a low-price guarantee. You can save time and money by shopping at places that will refund any difference in price if you find the product cheaper elsewhere.

7. If you are looking for computer equipment, consider buying used
equipment. Look in the classifieds and talk to others that may know someone looking to upgrade. Ask for warranty information and make sure the machine is in good working condition. Also take a look at the computer companies offering refurbished machines. Some are priced accordingly and usually come with some type of warranty.

8. Send postcards for direct mail solicitation. They are cheaper to print and less expensive to mail. Another advantage is that they are more likely to be read since they take no effort to open.

9. If you hire sales help, pay by commission only so you only spend money if you make money. A salesperson can increase your sales without adding any up-front fees or salaries.

10. Use pre-printed design papers for letterhead, brochures and business
cards if you only need a small amount. The papers can be found at most large office supply stores, and they are great for new businesses trying to get started on a small budget.

These money-saving ideas should help with your budget but new business
owners also need plenty of drive and determination to succeed. It takes
time to develop and grow a business so be patient and give it all you've got!

10 Powerful Networking Tips Using Business Cards

Whether you are looking for a job or running a business, giving out business cards is crucial to marketing your skills or services. Even as a job seeker, develop the mindset of running the business of YOU, Inc. Business cards speak volumes about who you are, what you offer and how serious you are marketing YOU, Inc. as a business. Oh! So, you have a resume and don't need business cards. Can you carry 10 resumes in your wallet? Do you or can you carry your resume everywhere you go? A church bell ringing lets people know they are open for business. Your business card is your bell. Here are some proven tips using business cards to increase your chances of landing a job or creating a business opportunity.

1. Never leave home without them. Before leaving home, your checklist should be expanded to include business cards, as part of “do I have my wallet/money, house keys, driver's license?” Any “per chance” meeting is an opportunity to give out a business card. A morning run or a quick trip to the local store could be an opportunity to network. My wife and I always ask each other “do you have business cards”, before leaving the house. Make it a habit to carry business cards.

2. Insert a business card when mailing bill payments. Bills contain advertisements. Why can't you advertise your skills or services the same way? Insert a business card with your payment. You may not think a person in South Dakota who opens your credit card bill payment can help you. Never underestimate the power of networking. A movie, entitled “6 Degrees of Separation” points out we are 6 people away from knowing someone of influence. You could be 6 people away from knowing the President of the United Sates, your favorite movie star or someone who is in a position to hire your skills or services. Each of us knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone etc. Developing this powerful networking attitude will be a fundamental source of continued success.

3. Use proper business card etiquette. Whenever you give a business card, ask for a business card. When given a business card, don't just take it and place it in your pocket. Make the person feel important by looking at their card for a few seconds. You might see something that could be a topic of discussion. Write comments on the card such as date, location and common points of interest. These comments will prove valuable when following up with that person. This also demonstrates a sincere interest in the other person. Then place it in your wallet. This lets them know they reside in a special place with you. “Skill with People” by Les Giblin is a book that expands on this approach. Make people feel important, in order to make yourself important to them.

4. Be generous. Give business cards out to everyone, including family and friends. Don't let vanity stop you from giving out your last business card or giving 2 at a time to each person. I have met many people who have totally missed the purpose of a business card. I once asked a person for a second business card, so I could refer his services. His response was “I only have a few cards left and I need them”, as he looked again at his name on the card. Hoarding your business cards only makes your wallet feel full, not your bank account.

5. Ask for referrals. When giving a business card, people feel more comfortable when you ask; “I would appreciate a referral, if you know anyone that could use my services”. Don't make people feel like they are on the spot. This approach disarms people much better than asking them, “is your company hiring?” People naturally like to do favors for people. Saying “could you do me a favor by referring my services to someone”. This always places you in a better position with them. They will feel better about helping you. Give them 2 cards.

6. Maximize every “per chance” meeting. You never know when you might meet someone who can help you. Family or friends social events could produce unexpected encounters with people. Don't discount those events. So you're going to a birthday party for your friend's kid. You never know who you might meet. At a family holiday gathering last year, I met someone that has been instrumental in developing our business this year. Who would have thought this could happen by giving him a simple business card.

7. Place yourself at the right place at the right time. Have you been to a job fair or business conference and been disappointed with the networking results? Turn the tables around. Consider volunteering to help out at the job fair or other types of events. This puts you in a better strategic position for presenting your resume or business card. Company representatives might view you differently, if they know you are willing to go the extra mile in helping them make their presence easier to manage. Get involved by visiting Eventme.com, TheLunchClub.net, Craigslist.com or view the calendar of events for JacobJavitsCenter.com to place yourself in opportunities for giving out your business card. Volunteering for events has been a very successful resource for my business partner and I to expanding our business. Zig Ziglar, one of the most successful sales trainers in the world says “if you help enough people get what they want in life, you will get what you want in life”.

8. Use “In Your Face” follow up. Did you ever have a job interview or meeting with a recruiter, potential client or employer and wonder why they never called you back? “Out of sight, out of mind” is the operative phrase to remember. Today's economic climate dictates you might be competing with 20, 50, 100 or more other people for the same position or contract. It's quite a task for people to keep track of each individual meeting. So it's up to you to give a person a reason to call you back. Immediately after a meeting snail mail a hand written note thanking the person for their time. Insert your business card. Now you're in the driver's seat in standing out from other people. If you get no response, do it again. Patience and persistence pays off.

9. Use promotions to promote YOU, Inc. Newspapers often have stories of people being promoted to high levels in different organizations? This is an opportunity for you. Consider getting some invitation size blank greeting cards. Use the Internet's search capabilities to find out the address of the company's executive offices. Send the blank invitation type card with a hand written note sincerely congratulating a person on their promotion. Insert your business card. For the cost of a 37-cent stamp, you have just made someone's day and may create an impression that makes a person feel compelled to respond back to you. Make it a habit to do this once a week. Remember “6 Degrees of Separation”. You just never know . . . People open invitation type envelops faster than any others.

10. Brand yourself with a slogan. Print a slogan on your business card that answers the question “Why should I hire you? Or “What makes you different from everyone else?” A catchy phrase or slogan insures people ALWAYS associate a company name with their product or services. People remember even after the commercial is over. That's called branding. Companies pay big bucks to advertising agencies to come up with these lasting slogans. Consider doing the exact same thing on your business card. This is your insurance people remember you, after you meet. Don't just put Hortence Smiley, Accountant on your business card. Add something like “Financial Services With Integrity”. A slogan makes all the difference between getting hired or not, because people will remember you long after a meeting.

Happy trails networking . . .

10 Power Tips for Presentations with Computer Projection

When was the last time you sat through a terrible presentation using computer projection? When was the last time you gave one? If you want to avoid disaster and give your career a boost then apply these ten tips the next time you present with the computer projector. And if you want to do a friend a favour then slide them a copy of these tips before their next presentation.

The biggest mistake is to believe that cool graphics will make up for your lack of presentation skills. If you can not cook - it does not matter how good the stove is. Use these tips to develop your presentation skills and work with the tools. The computer is only a tool. You are the presenter. When you present with multi-media you are more than a performer. You are a producer. Be aware and stay in control of what you and your technology are doing to the audience.

1. Stand on the left side as the audience sees you. Because we read from left to right your audience can look at you then follow your gesture to the screen. Their eyes are comfortably moving left to right, they read the text then they return to you. If you stood on the right side their eyes have to make too many movements to read the slides and watch you. If you present using Hebrew, (read right to left), stand on the right side of the screen. If you present using old Chinese, (top to bottom), climb on top of the screen, (just kidding).

2. You are the show. Be heard and be seen. Stand away from the computer and in the light. Use a remote mouse to get away from the computer. Too many people hide in the dark behind the laptop. Arrange the lighting in the room so that you are in the light while the screen is dark. You might need to unscrew some of the ceiling lights to get it right.

3. Turn off the screen savers on your computer - any that are part of the Windows software - plus the one that comes with the laptop. It is embarrassing for you to be talking about important points you thought were on the screen while they are looking at flying toasters or Bart Simpson. It is even worse when your energy saver kicks in and shuts it all down. Remember to adjust this as well.

4. Learn how to use the switch that toggles both screens on. Often this is a function key. This toggle controls whether your laptop or projector - or both are on. You want both on so you can look at the laptop while the audience watches the same image behind you on the screen. Occasionally glance quickly at the screen just to check. But put your laptop between you and the audience so you can be looking at your audience while speaking.

5. Colours appear differently on the projector, the laptop, and the desktop where you designed it. If the exact colour is important, (perhaps for a company logo), test and adjust the colour ahead of time.

6. Keep it simple with the colours and special effects. Use no more than six colours on a slide. Use slide transitions and builds to entertain without detracting from your message. Effects like partial build reveals one point at a time allowing your audience to stay right with you.

7. Motion attracts their eyes. Gesture to the screen when you want them to look there. Use moving text to grab attention. Stand still when you want them to look at the screen. Move when you want to capture their attention again.

8. Test your slides for size and readability by standing six feet away from the monitor. If you can read the monitor then your audience will likely be able to read the screen. If they can not comfortably see and read your screen all you did was to annoy them.

9. Arrive early and test everything. Re-read this line - again!

10. Murphy loves technology. Be prepared with backup files, an extra power source for the laptop and projector and spare batteries for your remote mouse. It only takes one little thing to spoil it. Be prepared to give your presentation without the hardware.

Bonus TIP: People buy you - not your technology. You are always selling yourself - don't get lost in the technology.

10 Questions: Do You Have What It Takes?

Do you have what it takes to be really successful?

Have you ever thought about what you must be prepared to endure and do in order to be successful in business or your career?

I think I have been asked at least 5,000 times what it really takes to be successful in business, so I jotted down 10 questions you can use to gauge whether you already have what it takes, or if you need to do a little “work” to get there.

Many years ago I heard Jim Rohn say that you either pay the price of discipline or the price of regret. Discipline weighs ounces.regret weighs tons!

With that said, here are 10 questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are you disciplined?
  2. Do you take rejection personally? What about criticism?
  3. Do you bounce back quickly from making errors or failing over and over again?
  4. Are you a planner or do you do things by the seat of your pants?
  5. Are you prepared to take risks? Moderate or Big?
  6. Do you stay focused on one thing and one thing only until the result you want is achieved?
  7. Do you have the stamina to keep going long after everyone else is tired?
  8. Can you delegate well, or are you the only one who can do things right?
  9. Do you wait for things to happen or do you aggressively go after what you want?
  10. Do you do whatever it takes to achieve your goals or just what's convenient?

These questions are critical for you to ask yourself in order to get a true picture of your nature and behavior.

What I have found is that successful people are aware of the consequences of not being efficient in these areas, and find other ways, resources or people to manage for them.

Food for thought?

Remember to create a masterpiece!

You have permission to publish these articles electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated - send to: John@TheStreetKid.com

10 Really Good Reasons to Quit Your Job and Start Your Own B

It's been five years since I made the decision to leave my corporate job and start my own company. No question about it, leaving nice coworkers, a stable paycheck and 12 years of tenure with one company was the scariest thing I'd ever done. And yet looking back, it was the defining moment not only of my career, but of my personal development as well. The fact is, I am now so enamored of blazing my own trail that I could never go back - I am hopelessly, incurably, unemployable.

As a result, I receive a steady stream of, “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” invitations - from old colleagues, new friends, complete strangers - anybody who is considering a change, and who wants to know, “Why should I start my own business?” This is what I say:

1.You'll dance to your own music. There's a lot of noise in the corporate world. Not physical noise, but opinions, rules, history and a whole lot of, “that's the way we do it around here,” always just an inch or two below the surface. In such a setting it's hard to find your path, or as I like to say, “hear your own music.”

Once you're on your own, you'll suddenly begin to hear what's there, and the more you can hear it and have the courage to follow it, the more enjoyable and yes, profitable your life will be. The fact is, there is no right way to live, to act or to grow a business.

2.You'll never have to retire. Retiring is a strange concept to the satisfied, self-employed person. It implies that work is something you want to be done with, something you wish were over. When you truly find your passion however, the concept becomes meaningless. Do painters stop painting? Do musicians stop playing music? Do comedians stop being funny just because they've reached a certain age? Not if they are doing what they truly want to be doing. Sure, you may slow down or change focus as you get older, but the game is never over, since the game and your life will be one.

3.You'll put your money where your mouth is. I never planned to start my own business, and I always secretly believed that I didn't have the guts to be successful on my own. When I look back now, I'm not even sure how I managed to convince myself to leave the perceived safety of living within the protected walls of a large corporation. When I finally jumped however, I was surprised by the number of friends, former co-workers and family who remarked on my “courage.” Frankly, I'm not any braver now than I was before, but I know with certainty that I don't need a corporation to take care of me (and neither do you).

4.You'll no longer live in two worlds. I used to be two people: “corporate Michael” and “home life Michael.” Corporate Michael was less friendly, less intuitive and a lot less interesting. I found it easy to switch back and forth between the two Michaels, and for a long time it didn't even strike me as odd that I would make decisions at work based on a completely different set of criteria regarding what was fair, what was smart or what was worth doing. That's over - I'm now one person no matter what I do, and I have a more balanced, more humanistic approach to business.

5.You'll know your own power. Swept up in the turmoil of working as part of a corporation, there's a tendency to blame others, wait for others, think that others are making things happen. Working alone you'll realize how much control you actually have (and have always had). That realization will give you the courage and drive to do more things than you ever dreamed of when you saw yourself as an insignificant part of a big machine. You'll have nobody else to blame, and even more importantly, you will see how much credit you really do deserve for everything you've created.

6.You'll be free to walk away. When you first start out on your own, you will probably be grateful for whatever business comes your way. The thought of “walking away” from a client may seem suicidal. It isn't. As your reputation grows, people will approach you, ready to hand you their money and have you begin work. That's terrific. However, in some cases, the fit won't be there - something in your gut will tell you it's a bad match. You will learn that you can say “no thank you” and walk away. Nobody assigns projects or clients or teammates to you anymore. You and only you decide who you work with and on what terms, and if it doesn't feel right you need only say so.

7.You'll make new friends. If you've been with the same company for a long time, you've probably developed several close relationships. You may be afraid that you'll be lonely and isolated out here in the “cold cruel world.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Starting your own business gains you immediate entrance into a collegial world of fellow sole proprietors and entrepreneurs, eager to have you along for the ride. We hold meetings, we have events, we meet for lunch, we talk on the phone - we share ideas, support each other and hang out together. Price of admission: a friendly demeanor and a willingness to help other people find their way.

8.You'll pick the players. Wherever you sit in a company, you've got people you interact with every day. Your boss, your direct reports, the head of the legal department, the desktop support guy, the receptionist. Hopefully you like and get along with most of these people, but whether you do or not, you're stuck with each other. When you run your own company on the other hand, you pick who's on the team. You get to choose your attorney, your accountant, your landlord, your printer, your partners, your clients - everybody in your daily life is there because you decided to put them there. You get to choose.

9.You'll have real problems, instead of imaginary ones. In a corporate setting, your happiness and success is dependent upon dozens of intertwined relationships and handed-down decisions, any one of which can change your world in ways you may not anticipate or even understand. With so much out of your control, it's hard not to spend time “What If-ing” and worrying about the future: “What's my boss really think of me? What if I don't get put in charge of that new project? What if they cut my budget next year?” Fear of what might happen can become worse than the situation itself - imaginary problems.

When you're building your own business you're immersed in reality. Sure, you may have days where you worry about paying the mortgage, but you'll be in the game, fighting the good fight, and no longer obsessed with the possibility of being blindsided by an unforeseen shift in the corporate winds.

10.You'll find your purpose. You didn't come here to follow somebody else's vision or sit on the sidelines watching the clock tick away until retirement. But somehow, somewhere along the way, you forgot. Now, after so many years of following the pack, you've come to see work as a place you go to earn enough money to do the things you really want to do. It doesn't have to be that way. Working on your own will give you the freedom and focus to find the exhilarating, balanced, self-directed career you've always dreamed of.

One of my favorite quotes is from the book, The Artist's Way, and I've had it taped to the top of my computer monitor for the last five years: “Leap, and the net will appear.” Go ahead, I'll be waiting for you.

10 Sales Tips for Small Business Owners

Running a business is easy compared to the act of selling. As a small business owner you started your business to deliver a superior product or service, not to become a salesperson. None-the-less you must master basic sales skills or risk losing your business due to lack of clients! Here are 1o tips to help you turn those inquiries into sales.

1.Define the benefits to the customer. You've found their pain, now you need to come up with a cure by answering their question, “What's in it For ME?” For instance, if you are pet-care provider you “make it possible for a couple to enjoy their honeymoon in Hawaii without feeling guilty about leaving their pet.”

2.Qualify before you present. Okay, you know their pain and can cure it. You now need to know if the person on the other end of the phone or e-mail query is likely to buy from you. Take time up front to ensure this a good prospect for you. When you qualify your prospect you want to know:
a.Is this person the decision maker?
b.Does this person have a real need for what I'm selling?
c.Does this person have the budget necessary to pay for my product or service?
d.When does this person wish to start using my product or service?

3.Only sell to the decision maker. No matter how well your product or service solves a client's problem, and no matter how wonderfully you articulate that benefit - if you are selling to someone who doesn't have the authority to purchase your product or service, you've wasted your time.

4.It's about the relationship! Every interaction you have with the potential client either builds or destroys their trust in you. As Henry Ward Beecher said, “Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” This a great mantra for anyone involved in the sales cycle. Trust takes a long time to build and it's very easy to destroy. Make sure every part of your relationship with the prospect is held to your highest standard.

5.Preparation, preparation, preparation. Do you know what you want the customer do at every step of the process? Set goals for each step of your sales process, as well as overall sales goals for the month, quarter and year. Create an outline and script to get you from an inquiry to a sale. Tweak your outlines and scripts to fit each individual customer. One size does not fit all.

6.Questions and objections are a natural part of the sales process. During your preparation compile a list of every possible question and objection that you might hear. Now spend some time creating a list of responses. Your responses should lead back to questions eliciting more information about your customer's pain.

7.The issue of price. If the first question they ask is “how much does it cost?” Don't beat around the bush, answer their question right away with a statement like, “depending on the service plan you select our rates range from XX to XXX, I would like to spend a couple of minutes finding out specifically which plan is right for you.” If they are comfortable with your price range, they will continue the conversation. Remember, part of qualifying is determining whether your potential customer has the budget to buy from you.

BONUS TIP: By answering their question head-on you are making it clear that you are a 'straight shooter,' a great way to build trust!

8.Make it easy to buy from you. Has this ever happened to you? You find a great product on a website or in a store, and you are ready, willing and able to buy, only to find out a) you can't find the “purchase now” button on the site, b) they need to find out if they still have the item, or c) the clerk is busy on the phone? Depending on your mood and free time you may wait, but more than likely you leave without your purchase. Is it infinitely easy for your customers to buy your product the first time? Make it even easier for them to make a repeat purchase!

9.Ask for Feedback. No matter how good at sales you become, you must keep your 'edge.' Ask questions to find out what you're doing well, what your customers wish you did and why potential customers did not buy from you. Use what you learn in your preparation and goal setting process.

10.Have Fun. Running your own business should be fun. You've dedicated your career to something you love. Let your personality shine and make sure you find ways to include your customers and associates in your good time!

The Sales process does not have to be a dreaded part of running your business. It's the best way to watch your revenue grow. Evaluate your current process and implement any of the missing tips to watch your sales success grow.