Selasa, 22 Juli 2008

How To Create Snowman Poop

By Lisa Howard

Kids love making and giving "Snowman Poop" at Christmas. It's easy, fun and not nearly as distasteful as the name suggests. After all, snowmen are made of clean, white snow. With a little sense of humor, even adults can enjoy this quick, easy and inexpensive craft project that makes a great gag gift at the holidays.

Step 1:

Freeze a bag of miniature marshmallows (optional). Snowmen live outside, where it's cold and frosty, so their trailings should be as cold as they are. Buy a bag of miniature marshmallows and put it in the freezer for about two hours or until the marshmallows are thoroughly cold.

This step is optional. If you won't be giving the gift bags right away, skip this step, as the marshmallows won't stay cold long.

Step 2:

Place the marshmallows inside plastic bags or small gift bags. Put about 10 or 12 marshmallows inside plastic sandwich bags or small gift bags that can be tied with a ribbon.

Step 3:

Add a poem to the bag and tie with a festive ribbon. This is the fun part of the project. Use colored construction paper to cut out small gift-tag-sized pieces of paper and write one of the following poems on them. Then place the poem inside the bag or tie it to the outside with a colorful ribbon.

Snowman Poop Poem #1:
Santa came and went last night
Traveling on his worldwide loop
Because you weren't so good this year
You get no coal, just snowman poop!
Round and white, so sweet and light.
Eat some and have good dreams tonight.

Snowman Poop Poem #2:
You've been naughty all year,
So here's the scoop -
All you get for Christmas
Is this Snowman poop!

Snowman Poop Poem # 3:
You've been naughty, so here's the scoop...
I'm running short on coal this year,
So you get snowman poop!

Step 4:

Deliver quickly and enjoy the laughter! If you chose to freeze your marshmallows in step one, be sure to deliver your gift bags right away! Then enjoy watching your gift recipients read the poem. It's sure to bring a smile to even the most Scrooge-like individuals!

Senin, 21 Juli 2008

How To Make a Dreidel

By Brian McDonald

The dreidel game is one of the beloved pastimes of Hanukkah, and making a dreidel can be equally fun for people of all ages. In making a dreidel and playing the game, children can connect excitedly with tradition and ultimately remember the central story behind the festival of lights.

There are numerous ways to make a dreidel. You can make them out of heavy paper, milk cartons, cardboard, clay or even using a dreidel-making kit.

Using a kit

A dreidel kit can be purchased at any local Jewish religious supply store. If you can't locate one through a phone book or by searching online, then talk to your local synagogues or Jewish community groups about how to get a kit. Once you've bought the kit, making a dreidel will be simple and fun. But playing the game will be even more fun!

Making it from scratch

To make a dreidel without a kit, you should think about the dreidel's form. It has a stick protruding from the top - this lets you spin the dreidel. The dreidel's body looks like a cube sitting on top of an upside-down pyramid or cone. And on the four outer faces of the cube, four Hebrew letters are written - Nun, Gimel, Hay and Shin (one on each face).

If you plan to make your dreidel out of some kind of heavy paper or light cardboard, check out this diagram and the following instructions.

  1. Cut this diagram out of your material. Follow the solid outer lines as you cut.
  2. Where you see the circle, punch a hole using a small pencil. This will be the top face of your dreidel.
  3. Once you have pasted and cut out the diagram, fold along the dotted lines so that the letters appear on outer faces of the dreidel and the flaps can be glued together.
  4. Glue the flaps to the appropriate inner sides. For example, the flap on the left edge of the triangle under the Gimel face will be glued to the inside right edge of the triangle under Nun. Now the body of your dreidel is taking shape!
  5. Lastly, send your pencil through the hole in the top face, so that the pointy end goes through until it reaches the bottom point of your dreidel. Now you're ready to play!

If you want to make a more resilient, longer lasting dreidel, make it out of clay. This process is more involving, though.

  1. What you'll need. You'll need clay, a cube clay mold and a pyramid mold, in addition to the pencil/dowel that we used in the first method. Ideally either the exposed sides of the mold are of the same size, or the pyramid's is slightly smaller than the cube's.
  2. Fill the cube mold with clay and smooth out the exposed surface.
  3. Before the clay dries, take it out of the cube mold and stick the pencil or dowel into one of the faces. Push the stick into your clay until it has pushed right through the opposite face of the cube.
  4. Make sure that you insert the pencil at a perfect ninety degree angle to the top of the cube, and perfectly in the center. That's the most challenging part of the whole project, but if done improperly, your dreidel will not spin well.
  5. Now pack the pyramid mold full of clay and smooth out the exposed surface as before.
  6. Before the clay has dried completely, remove it from the pyramid mold and place the flat face of the pyramid onto the bottom face of the cube (the face with the pencil sticking out of it). Be sure the pencil is centered in the pyramid as you push it in.
  7. Don't forget the letters! You can either carve them in the sides of the dreidel or draw or paint them on.

And that completes Dreidel 101! Once you've made your dreidel, using either a kit or your own creative energy, you're ready to play the dreidel game. Go for the gelt! But also remember, and tell all children who play, why the Hebrew letters are displayed on the dreidel. Together, they stand for "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham" - in English, "A great miracle occurred there." Happy Hanukkah!

How To Create Holiday Cards

By Tonya Sandersfeld

You look out the window and see sparkling snow drifting gently past your window. What could be more perfect on such a day than opening your mailbox and discovering a unique, handmade card from one of your best friends? It can be difficult to find the time to make your own holiday cards during this crazy, frenetic season, but the smile that your card will bring to the faces of your loved ones is worth it!

  1. Do you want to use a photo? Photo cards are an easy, fun way to let your family's personalities shine. Whether you choose to use a formal studio portrait or a snapshot from the last family vacation, there's a style of photo card to suit everyone.
    • Studio portraits. There are many large department store chains that offer photo studios, such as Sears, JCPenney and Wal-Mart. There are also independent photo chains, such as Picture People and Celebrity Kids. After your photo session is complete, you can choose which picture you would like for your holiday cards. Some studios may even have the capability to print them on-site, which means you can have your picture taken and go home with your cards the same day. In general, expect to pay about twice as much per card as you would for a card using a non-copyrighted photo.
    • Making cards from snapshots. If you have a digital camera, it's a simple matter to choose the perfect picture for your holiday card, then upload it to a website such as Shutterfly or Snapfish. These websites offer a wide variety of backgrounds for use with your holiday cards, and are quite reasonably priced. If you do not have a digital camera, you can still create holiday cards using a photo that you've taken. Most stores that offer film processing can also turn your pictures into holiday cards.
    • Non-photo cards. If you decide not to use a photo for your holiday card, there are still a lot of options from which you can choose. You can go to a website, such as Design Crafters and design your own Christmas card. You could also make your own cards, either using a program on your computer such as Microsoft Publisher or Hallmark Card Studio, or by using cardstock and a variety of embellishments to create them from scratch. Card-making is becoming a very popular craft, and nearly any craft store will have lots of card-making supplies from which to choose. Feel free to go a little bit wild - glitter, sequins, foil paper and sparkly stickers! After all, if you can't go a bit over the top at Christmas, when can you?
    • Do you want to personalize your cards? Some people prefer to have holiday greetings and their name pre-printed on their holiday cards to save time. This can also make your card look more professional, which may be important if you'll be sending them out to business associates. Other people feel that pre-printed signatures are cold and impersonal, and each card should be signed by hand. The choice depends on how many cards you have to send out and on your own preferences.
    • Do you want a folded card or a one-sided card? If you'll be enclosing a holiday letter with your card, you may want a single-sided card because these typically are sent in letter-size envelopes. One-sided cards are also less expensive than folded cards. On the other hand, if you'll be writing a personal message in each card, you'll want a folded card so that you have plenty of room to write.

    Creating your own holiday cards is a great way to express your creativity and celebrate the season in your own personal way. Experiment with several different layouts to determine what works for you, then mail out the results for all of your friends to enjoy. If they're going to venture out into that snowy winter wonderland to fetch the mail, they deserve a special surprise!

How To Get a Life Insurance Company to Pay Your Claim

How To Wire Transfer Money

By Brad Halvorsen

There are times in life when we have to send money, and send it fast. When sending a check or giving cash are not options, you may choose to wir transfer money. Wire transfers are quick, cheap and will allow you to send money anywhere in the world. Before beginning the process of transferring money by wire, you should have the following information handy:

  1. How much money you wish to transfer. If transferring from a bank account, make sure that you have sufficient funds to cover the transaction, including any service costs. Fees for overdrawn accounts can be very steep!
  2. Name of who will receive the money you are sending.
  3. The bank account number of the party who is to receive the money.
  4. The routing number of the bank or financial institution that holds the account the money is being sent to. This is also referred to as the ABA (American Banking Association) routing number.
  5. The bank account number and routing number of the account you are sending the money from.

Once you have that information on hand, you are ready to proceed with the wire transfer.

  1. Contact the bank or financial institution that you would like to use for the wire transfer. It is recommended that you use the bank that has your account as there are fees that go with a wire transfer and they will likely be lower through your own bank.
  2. Advise the bank how much money you wish to transfer and who you wish to transfer it to. Provide them with the information listed above. If possible, do so in writing as it is easy to transpose numbers if you are passing them over the phone.
  3. Request a confirmation number or receipt that the transfer has been completed.

It is also possible to transfer money over the Internet. Perhaps the most popular website is Western Union. Completing a wire transfer over the Internet is done by following the same steps as a bank initiated transfer.

Wire transfer have evolved over time and new services like PayPal and Google Check Out have taken the next step in instant money transfer.Both sites now allow you to send money over the Internet to any party with an email address.

If you are looking to wire transfer money in a short time frame, make sure you ask the bank for its deadline and transfer time. Most banks will transfer money the same day requested, but there is usually a deadline that you will need to be aware of if you need the money to be received by a particular time. When you are requesting the wire transfer, ask the bank when the money will arrive.

How To Get a Boat Insurance Quote

By Brad Halvorsen

If you purchase a boat, you will want to protect your investment. The most common way of protecting your investment is to obtain Boat Insurance. The first step in getting Boat Insurance is to get a quote from a reputable insurance carrier.

Before contacting the insurance company for a quote, prepare yourself with the following information.

  1. The make, model and year of the boat. Also, be prepared to discuss what you feel the current price of the boat is.
  2. Details on the motor, whether it is inboard or outboard and the horsepower.
  3. Information on your trailer, including how it hooks to the vehicle and the approximate replacement cost.

After you have prepared yourself with the above information, you will need to obtain the actual quote. There are three common ways to do so. For all three, it is recommended that you utilize the same resources that you use for your Homeowners and Automobile Insurance as they are usually able to offer you a multiple policy discount that can amount to significant savings.

  1. The first method is the most traditional method. This involves contacting your local brick and mortar agent. Most agents commit themselves to being visible in their market through advertising and other sponsorship opportunities. The agent will act as a middle man between you and the insurance carrier, obtaining the quote for you from the larger insurance company.
  2. The next option would be to contact your insurance carrier by phone. Refer to the policy page provided for your Homeowners or Automobile Policy and call the phone number for policy services. Explain to the representative who answers what you are looking for a quote on.
  3. The third option is to obtain a quote through the Internet. Most major carriers now offer quotes directly through their websites. Navigate to the website and click the link to "Get a Quote" and request your quote. You may be contacted by a local agent after submitting the request.

Now that you have received your quotes, it is important to review all of the policy details carefully. Be sure that the limits of insurance are sufficient for a worst case scenario where your boat is totally destroyed. Also, confirm that the deductible (your portion of any loss) is a dollar amount that you are comfortable with. Do not hesitate to contact the agent or insurance company if you have any questions regarding the quote that you received.


Selasa, 15 Juli 2008

How To Shake Hands

By Vanessa Raymond

Let's face it: Some people--like the Kennedys--know how to shake hands. And considering that you can make or break a deal--or an election--depending upon how well you shake hands, it's important that you learn how to shake hands well:

  1. First impressions. Your handshake will do much to establish a first impression of yourself. Even if your hand is greasy, sweaty or otherwise less-than-presentable, give it a quick swipe, and extend it anyway. Extending a hand is an important symbol of friendship, approachability, trustworthiness and it is all-important in establishing an initial connection with another person. Really, the significance of a handshake cannot be overstated--if you don't have a passable handshake, you aren't getting the job.
  2. Firmness. This is where men tend to go overboard. In their attempt to convey a powerful presence, men sometimes end up squeezing too hard, which is synonymous with trying too hard. Your handshake should be firm but not so firm that it is uncomfortable. And of course, you need to adjust your grip according to the recipient.....for example, if you are shaking the hand of an elderly person, ease up. Alternatively, you don't want to be a "limp fish" either....this is where practice with friends will come in handy. If you've shaken enough hands (and gotten feedback on the experience), you will develop a natural sense for the appropriate firmness.
  3. Angle. Think perpendicular. The palm of your hand should be parallel to the hand you are shaking, and perpendicular to the floor. If instead, you put your palm on top, this is the equivalent of one dog mounting another to show his dominance. (And if you do this to your superior, you've just made a very big faux pas.) On the other hand, if your hand is facing up so that his hand is atop yours, you are assuming a submissive pose. By presenting a perpendicular hand that is parallel to the hand you are shaking, you send a message of equality and neutrality.
  4. Eye contact. You must always look in the eyes of the person whose hand you are shaking. Otherwise, you completely negate the point of shaking hands in the first place and instead send a signal of insincerity or even sneakiness. If you are exquisitely nervous to the point that looking into the other person's eyes might just put you over the edge, you have to do it anyway. It doesn't matter if you are doing the secret handshake of friendship forever, you cannot perform it successfully without looking into the other person's eyes.
  5. Pumping. Aim for two pumps with one to three pumps as your outer limits. Even if you are trying to convey a sense of warmth, anything longer than that gets awkward. If you want to convey warmth, and it is appropriate to the setting, you can briefly pat the other's hand with your free hand (as Joseph Kennedy did above).
  6. Practice. Think of how you learned to say "please" and "thank you." It took several hundred reminders until the behavior became rote. Practice your handshake with friends until extending your hand is as easy and natural as saying, "Excuse me," when you brush against someone at the supermarket. Friends can also give you feedback on your firmness and pumping action.
  7. Cultural Appropriateness. If you're traveling in a foreign country, you'll have to do your homework on whether or not a handshake is an appropriate form of greeting, particularly with the opposite gender. In some countries, shaking hands is seen as far too intimate a contact to initiate with a stranger.

For the record, Joe Kennedy was elected that year (we don't need to mention the year exactly, do we?), and I voted for him, based largely on.......well, his handshake.

How To Answer Job Interview Questions

When you interview for a job, you want to put your best foot forward and demonstrate that you are a good fit for the position. But don't forget that at the same time, you also want to find out as much as you can about the company to see if it is a good match for your needs, too. It has to be a win-win situation! Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you need to answer some job interview questions :

  1. Do your homework in advance. This will help you to know what the company does and how they operate. This will help you feel comfortable answering questions about how your skills will benefit the employer. If the company has a website, it is always a good idea to visit it before the interview so you will be as prepared as possible.
  2. Try to be as relaxed as you can be. If talking a walk or reading a book helps you to feel at ease, do that before the interview so you are at your best when the pressure is on.
  3. Remember that the person interviewing you is human, too. She may also be nervous about meeting you. Keeping this in mind can help to keep things in perspective.
  4. Be up front if you have a bad case of nerves. If you feel a little nervous about the interview and are afraid it will show, don't be afraid to admit it to the interviewer. Sometimes saying that you are a little nervous right up front can be a good ice breaker. Once you name the feeling, you might find it isn't as strong.
  5. Be personable. You don't want to seem so stiff and formal that your personality doesn't show through. Always maintain a pleasant appearance. If you are easygoing and like to joke a little, if you are applying for a sales or customer service position where this would be an asset, let the interviewer catch a glimpse of this. Of course, you'll want to remain professional.
  6. Don't forget where you are. While being comfortable with the interviewer is a good thing, getting too casual is a big no no. You don't ever want to be too chatty or informal or share too much personal information.
  7. Stay focused and keep your goal in mind. You are meeting with the interviewer because you potentially want the job, so answer questions with this context in mind. For instance, if the interview asks you to describe a situation where you had to problem solve, use an example that would demonstrate your value to the company in some way.
  8. Be flexible. Sometimes interviews don't go as planned. If the interviewer keeps you waiting for a long time, or asks you questions that you didn't expect, go with the flow and show you are adaptable in different situations.
  9. Avoid simple yes and no answers. When an employer asks you a question, try to be specific and give some examples to supplement your answers in detail.
  10. Take care not to sound too canned. Put some thought into your answers and always be honest. Don't just say what someone wants to hear.
  11. Turn negatives into positives. Many interviewers ask people to describe their biggest weaknesses. If this is the case, be prepared with something that you can use as a weakness that might actually be beneficial in the job you are applying for. For example, if the job would require cold calling potential customers, you might talk about how your weakness is that you can just never give up, even when things seem hopeless. This would be a good trait in a job that requires determination.
  12. Ask your own questions. It helps if you have some in mind before the interview begins, so you can show you are generally interested in the job and want to know more about it. If you are unsure where to start, just go with the basics. You might ask what a typical day in this job would be like, or why the last person left the position or what the timeline is for filling the position.
  13. Make eye contact. By looking the other person in the eye, and by smiling when appropriate, you give a good impression and seem confident and appealing. A firm handshake is also a good way to convey that you are confident, feel good about yourself and have a lot to offer the company.

How To Write a Resume

By Donald Willard

One of the first steps to employment is creating a professional resume. There are services available to assist you in this endeavor, but before you spend upwards of $300, consider writing your own resume. In this era of computer proliferation, it's not as difficult a task as it once was. A resume is your marketing tool - your sales brochure - and who is better qualified than you to write a brochure about you? There are two basic types of resume, and their designs are a bit different so I will address how to write each type separately.

Chronological Resume

This type of resume is a timeline of your experience listed in order of most recent to oldest.

  1. You can, optionally, begin your resume with an objective. An objective states your area of interest, and may include your goals. An example of an objective is: To obtain a position in food service management for a growing company with room for advancement.
  2. If you have an education that is relevant or requisite to employment, include it following the objective under the heading Education. Include high school and college if applicable. Do not include shools prior to high school. List the school name, city and state, and type of degree or certificate. Mention any honors you've received if you feel it will help to sell the employer on you.
  3. Now, list your jobs in order of most recent to the oldest. List the dates you were employed (e.g. March 2001-January 2005), the name of the company, your title, and the city and state. Put this under a heading like: Work Experience.
  4. Under each job make a bulleted list of the tasks you performed, projects you worked on, and any other achievements, goals, quotas, or awards/recognition you received. Use action words to describe what you did (e.g. supervised, operated, organized, sold, designed, etc.). When possible, phrase these descriptions in the form of measurable results. For example: "Increased revenue by 7% by implementing new sales incentive program." Or: "Improved customer satisfaction rating by providing associates with additional customer service training."
  5. Following your job history, detail any relevant licenses or certifications that you have such as CPA, CNA, electrician's license, computer network certification, etc. under the heading, Licenses/Certificates.
  6. Conclude the resume with the phrase: "References Available Upon Request".

Functional (Skills-based) Resume

This type or resume focuses on skills and downplays work experiences. It is particularly good for students, homemakers returning to the workforce, ex-offenders, and those with limited experience, but can be used by anyone.

  1. As above, start with the (optional) objective.
  2. Follow with relevant educational experience.
  3. At this point, rather than listing your previous employers, make a bulleted list of your skills and abilities. Do it exactly as you would in step 4 above (i.e. measurable, action-oriented), but don't include the employers, just the skills or tasks performed. This could be listed under a heading such as: Employment Skills.
  4. Next, list all the places you have worked, but do not include dates. Just list the employer, city and state, and job title. You can list these under a heading like: Employment Experience.
  5. Finish as with the Chronological Resume.

Remember that what I have detailed here is just a guideline. Use your own flair, change the heading names, add your personal style. In other words: Make it yours.

How To Identify a Target Market

By Daniel A.

Before beginning your advertising campaign, it is important that you first identify your target market. A target market is basically the type of person that will want or need your product or services. By targeting a specific market, you will be able to save money by spending less on marketing and increase marketing. The process of identifying a target market is called market segmentation. Using market segmentation, a business can use a top-down approach to identifying a target group or niche. Once you have identified a niche using target segmentation, you will be able to concentrate your efforts on marketing to attract a specific consumer group.

As a business owner or executive, you have probably heard of using research. Market research is the process of using various techniques to collect, analyze, and report data about potential consumer groups. Formal market segmentation requires comprehensive market research. The market research will help you to identify quantitative and qualitative patterns in consumer groups. Quantitative data refers to numbers such as age, income, and family size while qualitative data relies on characteristics such as education, occupation, and personality. There are severals ways you can go about segmenting a population to target a market. Some are more relevant to your business than others. The following describes different aspects of market segmentation that will help you in identifying a niche and maximizing your marketing dollars.

  1. Demographics:

    • Age: Teenagers targeted by acne medication company.
    • Income: A person earning $200,000 is more likely to purchase a Cadillac than a person earning $10,000.
    • Family size: Wholesale distributors that keep prices low by selling in bulk would target larger families.
    • Education: A calculator company may target high school math students.
    • Occupation: A shoe company might sell a shoe targeted for construction workers.
    • Gender: A handbag company will target women.
    • Nationality/Race: A small business selling foodstuffs from Africa would target the immigrant African community.
  2. Geography:

    • Region of the world: The shoe company, Puma, most aggressively targets consumers in Latin America and Europe for their soccer shoes.
    • Climate: A snow plow manufacturer will target areas where it snows.
  3. Behaviors:

    • Brand loyalty: Apple targets a niche of consumers loyal to its products.
    • Value of quality: Higher-end watch companies like Seiko target consumers that value high-quality timepieces.
  4. Psychographic:

    • Personality: A person who likes to show off is more likely to buy a Hummer H2 than a reserved person.
    • Lifestyle: A shoe company like Vans, that sells skateboarding shoes would target skateboarders with their advertising.
    • Interests: Stores that sell arts and crafts materials target hobbyists and students alike.
  5. Other Questions to Ask in Market Research:

    • Readiness to buy: How soon will they purchase your product?
    • Frequency of purchase: How often will they purchase your product?
    • How likely are they to purchase your type of product?
    • What kind of music do they like?
    • What kind of ____(fill in the blank) do they like?
  6. Types of Market Research:
    • Surveys are the most commonly used and least expensive market research method available. They can be conducted online, in person, or by phone.
    • Focus groups are a method by which companies gain feedback on products by asking questions in an interactive group setting. This method might also be used to gain feedback on services, concept, advertisement, ideas, or packaging.
  7. An Introduction to Surveys:

    • Establish goals of survey. What market segmentation criteria will you use? Ask specific questions so you won't lose sight of your target.
    • Sample size. Who will be asked to complete the survey? The sample size should be as random as possible to ensure a variety of different type of people complete it. Also, the greater the sample size the greater the accuracy of the research.
    • Method.
      1. Personal interview: Ask past customers to answer some of your questions.
      2. Telephone: Hire telemarketers to conduct the surveys for you.
      3. Mail: Purchase the addresses from direct mailing companies and mail in bulk.
      4. Web-based: Search for a website with a survey panel that has existed for a long time and has good results for past clients. You can also conduct your own research by putting surveys on your website or sending e-mail messages with links to your survey.
    • Planning the research.
      1. How much will the research method take?
      2. How long will it take to write and edit a survey?
      3. When will you implement the survey?
      4. When will you complete the survey and analyze the data?
    • Processing and analyzing data.
      1. For large market research campaigns with a very large sample size, computer software is a must. You might want to hire a company that conducts surveys or someone familiar with statistics to help you with this aspect.
      2. For smaller market research campaigns you can simply look through the surveys and get an idea of what your niche is.
      3. Create a report detailing your findings and how it will fit into your marketing plan

How To Boost Employee Morale

By Betsy Gallup

No matter how wonderful the company, occasionally employee morale may sag and require a renewed effort from management to bring employee production back up to par. Fortunately, some of the best morale boosters are inexpensive, making them affordable to even the smallest business operation.
  1. Treat employees with respect, even when they may be disrespectful to you. Losing your temper, cursing, and reprimanding an employee in public affects more than just the employee in question. Every employee who hears (first or second hand) of your inappropriate behavior will lose respect for you and wonder if he or she will be next on the receiving end of your temper.
  2. Show interest in your employees' personal lives. Knowing enough about your employees to ask about their families as you pass in the hall, empathizing with their hardships, and treating them as people rather than commodities gives them a feeling of worth within the company.
  3. Allow your employees to gain ownership of their jobs by being part of the decision-making process when it comes to setting position duties, deadlines, and goals.
  4. Create a pleasant work environment. Make sure the area is appropriately lit, the heat and air conditioning work properly, and the area, including the parking lot, is clean and in good repair.
  5. Remember the basic rules of polite behavior that you learned as a child. Remember to say "please" and "thank you".
  6. Establish an employee recognition program, which will allow you to publicly commemorate the efforts of those employees who go beyond the call of duty.
  7. Celebrate company successes! Whether you take the company out to dinner, pass around a newspaper clipping, or simply call everyone together and express your appreciation for the teamwork that helped you reach a company milestone, share the credit.
  8. Stand behind your employees. Be their greatest advocate. While it is important to make the customer happy, if your employee lived up to company expectations, you take responsibility for giving the directive that prevented your employee from taking additional steps to please the customer. When necessary, act as the cushion between unhappy customers or suppliers and employees.
  9. Give clear direction and set priorities. This will help alleviate any misunderstandings between what you expect employees to do and what they perceive needs to be done.
  10. Avoid layoffs and cutbacks. Nothing will reduce employee morale like wondering whether they will have a job tomorrow. If you must cutback, communicate the reasons why and the depth of the lay offs up front. Clarify what steps you are taking to safeguard the employment of the remaining employees.

Kamis, 10 Juli 2008

How To Surf

Learning to Surf on a Longboard

Learning to surf is a great summer activity if you're going to be spending some time at the beach. It gets you outside and in the water, and you feel triumphant when you finally stand up on your board and ride across the ocean, even if it's just for a few seconds.

If you're a patient person, and enjoy being out in the sun and the water anyway, learning to surf will be a cathartic summer sport that lets you be as intense or mellow as you wish. If you're opting out of surfing lessons, or just want to be ahead of the game, then you should know the basics.

  1. Get a longboard. The bigger the board, the more surface area. That means that it's easier to balance on a bigger board, the board is more likely to get caught by a wave and the board is more buoyant. Your longboard should be at least 9' long if you're just starting out. You can always rent surf boards from shops near the beach and sometimes, on busy summer days, you can even rent boards right on the beach. If you're committed to learning and want to buy a board, check out sites like, where you can meet up with sellers in your area and see the board before agreeing to buy it. You'll also find new and used boards at local surf shops and bigger retail stores.
  2. Find a beach. Don't head to Pipeline on your first day. Pick a beach with a gradual drop-off and small waves. 3'-4' waves are ideal for beginners. You want to be comfortable in the water and be in control at all times (or at least most of the time). Smaller waves are typically easier to read as well. Look for slow-moving, fat, mushy waves until you get the hang of surfing.
  3. Practice on the sand. You may feel silly, but lay your board down on the sand and practice popping up a few times. Lay on the board, belly-down, pretend to paddle, then grab the sides of the board (rails) and push yourself into a standing position. Your feet should be a little wider than shoulder-width apart, with one foot in front of the other (think skateboard or snowboard). You should be in the middle of the board, so your weight is evenly distributed. Practice until you can push yourself from lying down into a balanced, standing position in one quick motion. You won't be able to take your time when you're trying to ride a wave.
  4. Paddle out and wait. Now that you're comfortable popping into a standing position, it's time to try it in the water, on a wave. First you'll have to paddle yourself out past the break. Typically you should sit 10'-15' beyond where the waves are breaking. Look around to see where the other surfers are waiting. Don't paddle up next to anyone (surfers don't like that), but use other surfers as a guideline to determine where you should be.

    Once you're in the right location, sit up on your board. You should have one leg on either side of the board. With a longboard, it should be relatively easy to balance if you're centered.

  5. Find the perfect wave (or one that looks manageable). You'll need to face the swell and look back over you shoulder to see the waves heading your way. If you see a wave that looks good and is forming 3'-5' from where you're sitting, lie down on your board and start paddling towards shore.
  6. Catch the wave. As you're paddling and the wave approaches you, you'll feel the water beneath you swell. Ideally, you'll want to catch the wave right before it breaks. It's better to miss the wave off the back than to have it break on top of you, so timing is important. If you're not used to timing waves, this can be the most difficult part of surfing. It just takes practice. You'll feel the wave pull you down and forward when you've "caught" it. The wave will continue propelling you towards shore.
  7. Pop up. Once you've caught a wave you'll have to pop up immediately. This is where all that practice on the beach comes in. Grab your well-waxed rails (the sides of your board) and swing/jump your legs forward, into position as you do a push-up to get your upper body off the board. Then stand up. Keep your knees bent to help you remain balanced. If you're too far forward or back on the board, you may go for a swim.
  8. Stay balanced. Once you're standing, keep your knees bent and spread your arms out wide. Use the wax on the top of your board to keep yourself stable by gripping it with your toes. The lower you are, the better your balance will be.
  9. Ride the waves! Now that you know the basics it's time to get a board, get to the beach and start practicing. Keep at it. The first time you catch a wave you'll be walking on air-or water. Paddle, pop up, repeat!

How To Start Your Own Internet Business

Best Tips for a Successful Online Business

With today’s technology, there are more opportunities than ever to take your ideas and turn them into a profitable Internet business. But it's just not enough to have a computer and access to Internet! There are several things to consider before jumping into this new way of making money. Below are some best tips how to increase your chances for Internet marketing success.

  1. Decide what business you want to be in. Are you going to be selling products, information, or services – or a mix of all of them?
  2. Do a lot of research about the market, product, or information you want to get involved with. Make sure there is a demand for the type of things you want to sell and that you can easily and affordably reach your potential clients.
  3. Invest in your own education. Now, investing doesn’t always mean money. Sure you can buy courses that will teach you how to get started – just be careful who you’re learning from. But you could simply take the time to study successful businesses and learn from what they do. You could also become an employee or an intern of an Internet Business which is already successful and learn on the job about all aspects of such enterprise.
  4. Have a plan of what you want to accomplish and how you want to do it. Be specific about your goals. Get clear about what kind of financial results you want to create, how much time and money you’re willing to invest to build your business.
  5. Become an enhancer, not an inventor. Pioneers get shot by Indians or eaten by lions. Few people actually come up with an original idea that’s going to be the next breakthrough and a financial blockbuster. For most Internet business hopefuls, finding an idea or product that already sells and finding a way to enhance it or improve it is a much safer bet for a chance to make money online. Is there a service you can deliver more effectively? Can you add value to a product and improve the way it’s sold?
  6. Become a student of business and marketing. Successful entrepreneurs never stop learning. Develop a habit to regularly invest in your personal and business development. Study successful entrepreneurs. Read business and marketing articles and magazines. Participate in training programs to grow your skills as a business owner. Consider having a mentor.
  7. Build credibility. A big barrier to selling online is the natural distrust and skepticism of your online shoppers. You must find a way to quickly build credibility. For starters, don’t hide all your contact information. Make sure you give your potential and current clients a way to find you via phone, email, and snail mail. As soon as you can, solicit and use testimonials from existing clients or share successful case studies.
  8. Start building your list. Few people will buy from your website during the first visit. And hoping they will come back for another look on their own initiative is just wishful thinking. It’s critical to capture the contact information from as many of your website visitors as possible, so that you can continue educating them about your products and services and make more offers to entice them to buy from you.
  9. Keep in touch with your prospects and clients. Use technology to automate communication with hundreds, and even thousands of your customers all at once. It’s this long-term communication and customer service that will make your business a mega success or a dismal failure.
  10. Surround yourself with success. Most great things are achieved as a result of a group of people’s orchestrated effort. While the idea of running a solo-business is appealing at first, as soon as possible build your support team; bring in other people to help you with repetitive daily tasks. In addition, seek and hang out with other successful online business owners. Having the ability to discuss with them your challenges and brainstorm new ideas will be a fuel for fast growth of your online empire.