Friday, 31 January 2014

How to ask questions.

"I certainly resonate with this article because as a trainee counsellor I asked triple inquisition questions.
It was really rather arrogant as it assumed I ‘knew’ more about the client that the client knew about themselves; therefore I am relived to now find that I was only being ‘normal’. The first part of asking a question that discovers is to listen with interest and then to have a list of words, sentences or gestures that encourages expansion. The simplest are ‘and’ and ‘because’." M'reen

I've recently been doing a bit of research on space exploration. 

The hunt has inevitably led me to stories about SpaceX founder (and billionaire genius) Elon Musk,
a man whose mission to colonize Mars has led to the development of self-landing rockets,
among other innovations over the last few years.
In the course of geeking out about such rocketry, I stumbled across two Musk interviews that inadvertently illustrate one of the biggest conversational mistakes — and missed opportunities —
I see people make every day.
Coincidentally, they're both by men named Rose: Kevin Rose, founder of Digg and partner at Google Ventures, and Charlie Rose, the veteran PBS/CBS interview host.
Each had the chance to interview one of today's most fascinating innovators,
but one of them succeeded in a slightly more enlightening (and less awkward) interview.
The difference was in the questions they asked, and specifically how they asked them.

See if you can spot what's going on:
Kevin: What led you into entrepreneurship? Was it something that you always knew that you wanted to be, an entrepreneur on your own? Or did you stumble into it?
Charlie: What are you doing in terms of planetary exploration?
Kevin: Where do you come up with your best ideas? Are you on vacation, or do you wake up
in the middle of the night and draw things down?
Charlie: How did you go about the design?
Kevin: When did you decide to get into computers and technology? Did you start coding?
Or was it a lot of...?
Charlie: What do you think?
Can you guess which interview went better?
You probably won't be surprised when I tell you that Charlie Rose's interview was more interesting,
and came across as significantly more professional. The man is great at asking questions
and getting out of the way; he uses short, open-ended questions when he wants elaboration,
and short, yes-or-no questions when he wants to be pointed.
Kevin Rose, on the other hand, ends every question in the interview with a series of possible answers. Instead of performing an interview, he administers a multiple-choice exam.
In the process, he not only uses time that his interview subject could spend talking, but also misses out on serendipitous conversational outcomes. With the multiple-choice question format,
you simply water the conversation down.

We all do this. "What are you doing for the holidays? Are you staying in town, or are you going somewhere, or do you have to work?..."
This usually occurs because people have a hard time ending sentences.
We are uncomfortable with terseness.
So we ramble until we trail off, or until the other person jumps in.
Instead of, What do you think?, we say, Do you think x, y, z, q, r or...
Once you start paying attention to this it will drive you nuts. We don't tend to notice the
multiple-choice problem in ourselves until we're in a situation like a sit-down interview,
recorded for all the Internet to see, when suddenly the repeat effect of the struggle-to-suggest-options-because-I-don't-know-how-to-stop becomes really... well, irritating!
(Of course, the Musk interviews are a good example but not a fair comparison. Charlie's been at this for decades. Kevin is a very smart guy, and his Foundation series is quite good. The interviewee lineup is spectacular – albeit male-heavy – and he unearths some pretty interesting backstories.
His Q&A skill will increase as with all interviewers, and he's going to discover in the course of interviewing people what great interrogators know: the interviewee will always suggest more interesting answers than you can.)

As a journalist-turned-entrepreneur, I've written a few times about the skills that businesspeople
can pick up from reporters. The art of asking great questions is one of the most frequently useful.

The #1 tip for asking better questions? Cut them off at the question mark.
Those better, terser questions will make you a better conversationalist, a more effective information-gatherer. A more efficient speaker. And, perhaps paradoxically, a more pleasant communicator.
It takes will power to be concise. But effective questions will double your conversational effectiveness, and just might make you a little more interesting yourself.

So... what do you think?

Shane Snow
Photo: screenshot, Elon Musk on Charlie Rose.

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

How to prepare your argument. 8 Golden rules.

How to prepare your argument.   8 Golden rules.

There are times in life when you felt that you have been done a disservice or you have not received the quality of service, or product, which you feel entitled to. When this happens, many people bottle it up for fear of having an argument. However, there is nothing to fear from making your feelings known. When it is done right, informing the other party of how you feel is actually doing them
a service as they are then in a position to remedy the situation. In order to make your argument
in the proper manner, you must first prepare your argument.
On many occasions, you will be able to prepare your argument quickly and attempt to resolve the situation immediately. However, there will be times when you need to take due care and 
attention to prepare your argument thoroughly. Whichever, situation arises, it is important that you 
consider some key criteria when you prepare your argument.

8  Steps to prepare your argument
Implement the following 8 steps when you prepare your argument and you will have taken
giant strides towards creating a courteous and constructive discussion.

1. Identify the appropriate person to talk to
Your argument may be concise, clear and convincing but unless it is delivered to somebody
who has the authority to take the necessary action, your argument will fall on deaf ears.
If you feel that the issue is one which needs to be dealt with by management,
then do not settle for a discussion with a lower-ranked member of staff.

 2. Determine the best time to have the discussion
Choosing an appropriate time to have a discussion plays a key role in having a constructive conversation. For example, if you know that the other person is going to be busy at a particular time, then that time should be avoided as they will not be able to give their full attention to the discussion. Other times which might need to be avoided are directly before lunch or finishing time.
In these instances their mind and attention has already started to move to a new location.

 3. Determine an appropriate location
When you are making a complaint, or argument, it is important to choose a location where
the other person has their confidentiality and dignity respected. Try to find as private a location
as you can to hold the discussion.

 4. Identify the feelings and emotions you experienced
It is important to acknowledge your emotions and feelings. When you bottle them up,
 it is both unhelpful and unhealthy. When you can explain your feelings, in a rational manner,
it helps the other person to understand how important the issue is to you.

 5. Take responsibility for your feelings
Nobody can make you feel in a particular way. Regardless of what has happened,
it is you that has chosen your reaction i.e. your feelings. Before you can properly explain
your feelings to another person, you must first accept that they are actually your feelings.

 6. Identify exactly what it was that you disagree with
It is always best to enter these situations with a positive view of the other person. When you do this, you assume that they too will want to resolve the issue. In order for them to be able to do so, 
you must first be able to tell them exactly what it was that you disagreed with. Be as specific as possible. Remember, if they do not understand the exact nature of your complaint, they cannot be expected 
to resolve the issue.

 7. Decide on your keywords or phrases
It is important that you do not over rehearse or script your argument. Your argument must come across as sincere and genuine if you wish to the other person to take you seriously. When your argument sounds too rehearsed, it comes across as fake.  Rather than script the entire argument, note down 
the key points which you want to get across and focus on these.

 8. Practice your argument
This may seem like it is contradicting the previous point. However, I am not suggesting that you learn your argument off by heart. Just practice it a few times, out loud, and in private, to ensure that
it sounds right and feels natural. If it does not; make some small adjustments until it does.

You are now prepared to make your argument.

Preparation is a fundamental requirement when you need to make a complaint or argument. 
By taking the time to prepare your argument, you greatly increase your chances of a successful outcome. You will also manage to maintain an amicable relationship with the other person.
Rather than fear the situation, take the time to prepare your argument thoroughly and you
will create a constructive situation which benefits both parties.

Image credit:  Marcy

Other articles in this blog include:
Factors that can cause people to be difficult 06/01/14
Dealing with difficult situations 04/01/14
How to say ‘No’ at work in a way that helps your career.
How you can take control of your emotions by becoming rooted in yourself.

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and find easy, fast and efficient ways of working with the issues or little unpleasantness’s in your life.

Friday, 24 January 2014

A Cautionary Tale… Protect Your Hard Earned Money

R Fatoullah  
While many may not have the resources that Mr. Blum  had
the rules about protecting your money still apply.

In the land of opportunity, many people have “made it” and made it big. Mr. Roman Blum did just that. However, having amassed close to 40 million dollars, he died last year at the age of 97 with no apparent heirs to his fortune. According to the state comptroller’s office, Mr. Blum’s estate is the largest unclaimed estate in New York State (and probably any State’s) history. His story illustrates how critical it is to engage in estate planning.

Mr. Blum was born in Poland. Having survived the Holocaust, he met and married his wife, also a Holocaust survivor, after the war. They migrated to the United States and settled in Forest Hills. He was a real estate developer who seized the opportunity to develop land in Staten Island when the Verrazano Bridge opened in 1964. He ultimately moved to Staten Island himself. He and his wife never had any children. It was said that the former Mrs. Blum suffered from infertility after being a subject of Dr. Mengele’s experiments while she was held in Auschwitz. The couple eventually divorced and Mrs. Blum later died in 1992. Mr. Blum was said to have had a wife and children in Poland before the war, but there is no evidence of any surviving relatives.

In a case like that of Mr. Blum, in which no will was found, the estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy. This means that the estate will go through an “administration proceeding” where an administrator (the equivalent of an executor in a will) is appointed to handle the estate. The following list of individuals may petition to be the administrator of the decedent’s estate:

(a)  surviving spouse,
(b)  children,
(c)  grandchildren,
(d)  father or mother,
(e)  brothers or sisters,
(f)  other persons who are distributees (entitled to receive under the law).

If none of the above individuals exist, the Public Administrator of the county will be appointed. Currently, the Richmond County Public Administrator’s office is handling the estate of Mr. Blum. The Public Administrator is charged with collecting his assets, selling them, and paying the appropriate federal and New York State estate taxes. The Public Administrator is also conducting a thorough search for a will, and is hiring a genealogist in an effort to find Mr. Blum’s relatives. If any relatives are found, the order of individuals entitled to inherit from Mr. Blum’s estate is as follows:

(1) surviving spouse and descendants (children, grandchildren, etc);
(2) surviving parents;
(3) surviving descendants of parents (i.e. siblings, nephews and nieces);
(4) surviving grandparents or the descendants of grandparents (i.e. uncles, aunts, and cousins)

If no will is found and no relatives are located, Mr. Blum’s estate will be turned over to the New York City Department of Finance. After three years, if no relatives come forward, the funds will then go to the New York State Comptroller’s office as unclaimed funds. If any relatives ever surface, all the funds will be returned.

Mr. Blum’s case is a stunning example of the importance of engaging in estate planning. Even if you do have close relatives, it is imperative to take control of your own estate. Why have New York State (or another State) determine who your beneficiaries will be? Be proactive and make sure that you have a well-prepared will, power of attorney, statutory gifts rider, health care proxy, living will, and living trust. If Mr. Blum had planned ahead, he could have specified in a will that his estate would go to charitable organizations serving Holocaust survivors. Or, he could have engaged in more complex estate planning to avoid or minimize estate taxes and provide for an extensive list of beneficiaries.

Perhaps you’d like to checkout my sister blog 
and find easy, fast and efficient ways of working with the issues or little unpleasantness’s in your life.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

NO WAY! Wheaties cling to magnets!

An investigation at the Natural News Forensic Food Lab reveals Wheaties to contain so many metal filings that they actually cling to magnets. No trickery was used in these videos or photos. These are actual laboratory videos and photos from a box of Wheaties purchased off the shelf.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

5 Ways To Gain An Edge On The Competition

5 Ways To Gain An Edge On The Competition
The competition is fierce. Competitors are trying to gain an edge in any way possible. Since the ways we can communicate have been dramatically enhanced, niches are getting more crowded than ever before in history. An entrepreneur from Canada has to compete with an entrepreneur from India since the entire world has been connected. Human interaction has never been as frequent as it is now, and people from Canada and India are able to talk and compete with each other.
There are ways to get an edge on the competition and lead the stampede. Here are 5 ways to do that:
  1. Create something remarkable. Be the person who stands out and leads the stampede. By standing out and leading the stampede, you will get more attention.
  2. Focus on quality, price, convenience, or a combination of two. They all have their benefits, but you need to decide which one works best for you.
  3. Have the right mindset and vision. Have the “I can” mindset that will allow you to accomplish goals beyond your wildest dreams. You need the right mind combined with the right vision to give yourself the motivation you need to pass your competition.
  4. Focus on what the competition does not focus on. By focusing on different things, you will attract clients who always wanted someone to focus on what you are focusing on now. If you focus on low prices while your competitors only focus on quality, you will get more clients because you are the only one who focuses on low prices.
  5. Experiment and learn from them. By experimenting with different marketing strategies and products, you will be able to learn faster than the competition. By learning faster than the competition, you will be able to create something remarkable in a faster amount of time.
Marc’s blog

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Monday, 20 January 2014

Time management – some practical options.

                                                   Photo by M'reen
Time management – some practical options.
M'reen Hunt

To find out how to establish your hierarchy of needs as mentioned in the previous article
scroll down the index on the left to hierarchy of needs as the single word ‘hierarchy’ is mentioned
in a number of articles thus demonstrating its importance.
To find out the validity of arguments between your heart and head and to bring them into full agreement as mentioned in the previous article go to 
and find How do I know if I have a problem and how big it is? This will help you find the sneakiest of blocks and block that block or why not eliminate it altogether with the other skills offered there?

Back to the blog below: Time Management and The Twitter Trap.
There seems to be some disagreement between the best times for tweeting, I’ve read between
1 and 5am local time and also the lunch period; however, if you are personally sending tweets 
then it is the best time for your physical, emotional and social health that is important.

So many people read and do not write down, that is record, their activity; yet it is an activity all the professionals advise – so why ignore it? Time management has many gremlins with various names
whether you are self employed or the employee it affects productivity and that is ‘the bottom line’. Resolving your procrastination, priorities, ‘can’t do’s’ and ‘don’t like’s’ or I’m not consciously aware 
that there is a problem, etc may need a few minutes work on a daily basis until all aspects are brought into line for your benefit.
As they say, ‘if you want something doing, ask a busy man’!

Just taking time off to stretch has so many benefits. You physically vitalise your body oxygenating your spine by puffing up the little disks between your vertebrae; oxygenating your brain by giving your little grey cells some R&R and importantly you rest your eyes. I have proved to myself that working for 20 minutes, standing up and patting your alternate knee with your hand or elbow brings both sides of your brain into an active working arrangement while giving your body a little workout and you a little laugh 
if you imagine someone watching you – a little laugh is worth emotional gold.
Who is your favourite film star, famous person or little laugh work out partner? Work with these great people from the present or past, dress up accordingly; Yogi Bear comes to mind, fun is the important factor. You will not lose concentration; in fact, if you have something really important or something that is going to take many hours your quality of work will be maintained throughout this period and improved as you will have had time to think and consider.
Now, having reminded myself I’ve cleaned off my white board and will create a timetable – how do you think an airport manages? My tweets need a scheduled flight, even the private plane has to wait!
A reward is mentioned. At the end of your working day send an email to a friend, have a reciprocal arrangement with a colleague and if no such is available post an energetic one (a thought one)
to someone important to you either personally important or to your business idol.

Your tasks have a tri-part schedule:
1.       What needs to be done now – today.
2.       What needs some active preparation for to-morrow.
3.       What needs thinking about for the future.
4.       What a forth? Yes, the stand up, the reward - the confirmation that you have succeeded.
5.       Thinking time. Build in down time, take the train as opposed to driving, take the scenic route, build in time to read some recreational magazines, go for a fresh air walk, or do whatever lets your mind drift without pressure. Not once or twice a week but built in on a daily basis.
6.       If you don’t charge the 3-5 minutes you need in down time as important                                    then question why you don’t value yourself or your activity.
If you find yourself creating numerous tick charts, then what are you preventing yourself from doing?
If something has value for you but takes far too long to complete and just lays there on the to-do pile (your accounts?) can you find an easier more time effective way to achieve your needs?
Is your important preparation work for the future giving value in the present?
That is do you spend enough time and effort earning money today and the rest of the week?

*Sometimes I see something during the day that will make a good future blog
so I stash it in a potential folder and I keep a minimum number of these on hand.
The trick is to ensure that this time is genuinely allocated to a planned and timed period.
Is it efficient to produce your own blogs? I’ll put this time in the enjoyment rating column.
I spend time shortening the lines to readable units rather than smartly justifying the lines.
Is this justifiable time or a perfectionist time waster? These are questions that need to be asked.
Find and Work on emotional blocks
Time taken to Post blog
Time to Review Tomorrow’s
Time Searching Future blogs
Break each
20 minutes
A very surprised YES!!! 09 minutes
09 minutes
07 minutes
YES!!! 20 minutes
SUD 7>1

YES!!! 20 minutes
SUD 3>0

xx None
10 100% my work
A very surprised YES!!! Consciously I enjoy blogging; subconsciously I must have had some reservations.
SUD = Subjective Unit of Distress on a scale of 10 > 0. Issues come in many layers or have many aspects or components.
I needed to work on this again as I have embarked on a complete lifestyle change and am having to re-write my life script.
The explanations of my emotional work are not the object of this blog and can be found at
xx That doesn’t mean I’m home free, there will be other issues in other areas that belong to my overall aims.
*I don’t believe that I can count this time as preparation work in the same way a photographer cannot count the hours and weeks
  spent waiting and preparing to catch a particular shot.

Perhaps you’d like to checkout my sister blog
and find easy, fast and efficient ways of working with the issues or little unpleasantness’s in your life.

I am now featuring aspects of my upcoming internet programme to teach Inner Mind Reading.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Time Management and The Twitter Trap.

                                     Photo by M'reen Newmarket Sunset at the top of Warren Hill

Time Management and The Twitter Trap.

If you focus your energy and concentration from the onset, nothing can stop you.
Power Questions to Strengthen Your Time Effectiveness with what matters to you.
So you are the authority when it comes to these questions.
 What outcome do you want from……………….
Prioritize, and place in sequence. Hierarchy of needs
How does it feel to pick just one outcome?
Do you hear arguments between your head and your heart?
When you bring them into full agreement, you are ready to move forward whole-heartedly.
“Chase 2 rabbits and you will catch none." Russian proverb
The more you fine-tune your focus, the more defined your efforts can grow.
So make time management one of your strongest allies.

Remember … the way you use your time is the way you live your life!
Write down how long you will spend each time you visit Twitter.
Decide (and write down) how many times a day you’ll Tweet.
Write down your best time(s) of day for Tweeting.
Write down your daily Twitter objective.
Examine one bottleneck at a time to zero in on solutions.
Setting clear, realistic, and strong time boundaries helps you:
Create a clear time frame for your Twitter work.
Focus on your Tweeting during the planned time, free from outside distractions.
Build your trust in your follow-through.
Decide ahead of time what your Tweeting time frame will be.
Write it down clearly.
Minimize potential distractions in advance. (Email, phone, etc.)
Get an inexpensive timer and set it for the amount of time you predetermined.
When the timer goes off, stop Tweeting.
Take 5 minutes to get up and stretch.
Validate and reward yourself for following through!

Another thought to beef up your time boundaries –
Try scheduling tasks that can be addictive, like Tweeting, before firm commitments.
Eliminate multitasking, which recent stats confirm lowers efficiency.
How long can you maintain concentration?
Generally, 45-60 minute work periods are most effective.
Set your timer to schedule breaks.
Use your breaks to recharge your energy and clear your mind.
Identify stuck points and time drains, and write them down.
Analyze what needs revising.
Often I add my observations but my observations have grown into the next blog to be posted.

Perhaps you’d like to checkout my sister blog
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Friday, 17 January 2014

6 Types of Toxic Thoughts That Can Sabotage Your Success

You can better fight the sabotaging voices in your head 
if you get to know them and give them a name.

Most of us have encountered a nagging little voice inside our head that second guesses our judgements, criticizes our best efforts or worries about things we know we shouldn’t stress about.
And that includes author, coach and Stanford lecturer Shirzad Chamine.
Chamine shared his own personal struggle with what he calls his inner “saboteur” with Stanford Re:Think recently, recalling how he was told he came across as highly judgmental during a graduate school exercise. Upset by the harsh feedback, Chamine engaged in much soul-searching, 
as the Stanford Graduate School of Business newsletter explains:  
Chamine came to think of this judge as what he calls a “Saboteur,” one of several figurative villains that he says can reside in normal human minds. “Your mind is your best friend, but it is also your very worst enemy,” he says… The Saboteurs -; which, besides the Judge, include such instantly recognizable types as the Victim, the Avoider, the Hyper-Achiever, and six others -; undermine you by triggering anger, anxiety, shame, regret, and other negative emotions. “Pretty much all your suffering in life is self-generated by your Saboteurs,” Chamine says.
The story of Chamine’s personal struggle is well worth a read in full and the article also includes some psychological research backing up his ideas about inner saboteurs. But if his efforts to understand and tame his inner critic sounds distressingly familiar and you’re wondering if you might be harboring any of these saboteurs in your own head, then a post by Chamine laying out the full cast of villainous characters on jobs site might be just what you need. It includes this table describing each kind of inner saboteur and the key lie they keep whispering in your ear:
Focus on negative in self, others, or circumstances
Unless I constantly point to what's wrong, nothing will improve
Need to always control and dominate
Controlling always ensures best outcome
Need for order and perfection taken too far  
Perfectionism is always the preferred way
Avoid difficult or unpleasant tasks and conflicts.  Procrastinate
I am just being positive. No good comes out of dealing with conflict
Constant need for busyness. Rarely at peace with current activity
This is the way to accomplish and experience the most
Constantly helping, pleasing, or rescuing others, hoping to be liked
I do this to help and expect nothing in return
Continuous focus on painful and deflating emotions
This is my best way to attract attention and affection
Over-application of the rational function in dealing with people  
Emotions are useless distractions.  Greatest leader strength is logic
Continuous intense anxiety about dangers and what could go wrong  
Best way to protect self and others is through hyper-vigilance
Narrow focus on achievement to the detriment of relationships, balance and perspective
Greatest success comes from achievement-at-all-cost
Recognize any of these baddies? Most likely one or the other of them sometimes chimes in unhelpfully in your head. So how can you defeat them? The first stage is to recognize and name the negative voices. The second is to consciously argue yourself into a more positive frame of mind. The Stanford article gives a flavor of how to do this using practical exercises, though Chamine’s book no doubt offers much more detail.
Are any of these villains lurking in your head?
 JESSICA STILLMAN is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work.

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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Solve Your Business Cash-Flow Crisis With Factoring

Photo by M'reen. The walk behind Skipton Castle. Yourkshire UK

Solve Your Business Cash-Flow Crisis With Factoring
By Kim L. Clark

There are times in the life of every business when cash is needed ASAP. The wolf may be at the door and there is a struggle to keep the business alive. Conversely, there may be a rare and lucrative opportunity knocking and as we all know, most of the time it takes money to make money.
Collecting receivables has become an adventure for many business owners and consulting solopreneurs, as we all know. Customers may be asking for extended payment terms. Big corporations that can easily afford to pay outstanding invoices within 30 days are increasingly adopting the mean-spirited practice of paying small business vendors in 45 - 60 days. This can put businesses that already operate on a thin margin into a dangerous cash-flow bind.
Factoring may be the solution to a business owner's cash-flow problem. In factoring, uncollected accounts receivable are sold to a company that will pay the value of the invoice to the business owner, minus a fee.
Some factoring companies host online real-time auctions of accounts receivable and invite businesses to sell outstanding invoices. The auctions enable businesses to sell their receivables to bidders in the global institutional investor market. Sellers are paid the auction value of the receivables and gain access to working capital.
According to The Receivables Exchange, typical sellers have more than 60% of their working capital tied up in accounts receivable and as a result they are limited in their ability to take advantage of important opportunities or otherwise expand their businesses.
Factoring companies can make available badly needed capital to (certain) businesses that cannot obtain traditional financing or cannot wait out a credit approval process. Receivables are sold to a financial institution at a pay-out rate that is usually between 75-80% of face value. The 20-25% held back is called the reserve.
The quality of receivables determines the reserve amount, as does the historical average turn-around time of invoices. In other words if large, well-known companies are the receivable accounts and they tend to pay within 30 - 45 days, the reserve percentage will be lower than for receivables that are paid in 60 + days, for example.
Cash is usually sent in 5-10 days. There is no credit check. Once the receivables are paid up, the business owner is paid back the reserve, minus a factor fee of 2-5%. Additionally, there is a fee of 1/8 to 1/15 % assessed for every day past 30 days that the receivable is outstanding. It's a heavy hit to take, but money is quickly raised and with few questions asked. Moreover, the factoring company assumes the risk of customer default.
When evaluating whether or not factoring makes sense for your business cash- flow challenge, do your homework. Ask your accountant for a recommendation and visit the websites of the Commercial Finance Association or the International Factoring Association.
Investigate also receivables auctions, where it is often possible to obtain more favorable rates than factoring. Be advised that the auctions are not available to all businesses. To be eligible for membership, the business must have minimum annual sales of $2 million, must have operated for at least 2 years, must be registered to do business in the US and can have no tax liens. The application fee is about $500.00.
Thanks for reading,

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Monday, 13 January 2014

How to be successful at everything

"I completely agree with Leo and should you feel that you are being held back with these ideals
to work towards then perhaps you’ll find my sister blog
to be helpful or to re-read many of the articles below. I think that each point is worth far more than 
a single read through and might be printed and ‘meditated’ on or thought about during your day." M'reen

                                 Photo by M'reen. Skipton Castle up at the left. Yorkshire UK


The focus of my life in recent months has been living mindfully, and while I don’t always remember 
to do that, I have learned a few things worth sharing.
The first is a mindful life is worth the effort. It’s a life where we awaken from the dream state 
we’re most often submerged in--the state of having your mind anywhere but the present moment,
locked in thoughts about what you’re going to do later, about something someone else said,
about something you’re stressing about or angry about. The state of mind where we’re lost
in our smartphones and social media.
It’s worth the effort, because being awake means we’re not missing life as we walk through it.
Being awake means we’re conscious of what’s going on inside us, as it happens, and so can make more conscious choices rather than acting on our impulses all the time.

The second thing I’ve learned is that we forget. We forget, over and over, to be awake.
And that’s okay. Being mindful is a process of forgetting, and then remembering.
Repeatedly. Just as breathing is a process of exhaling, and then inhaling, repeatedly.

The third is that mindful living isn’t just one thing. It’s not just meditation. Nor is it just focusing
on the sensations around you, right now in this moment. I’ve found mindful living to be a set 
of very related tools, perhaps all different ways of getting at the same thing, but each 
useful in its own regard.

1. Meditation
Meditation is where mindful living starts. And it’s not complicated: you can sit still
for even just one minute a day to start with (work up to three to five minutes after a week),
and turn your attention to your body and then your breath. Notice when your thoughts wander
from your breath, and gently return to the breath. Repeat until the minute is up.
2. Be Awake. 
Meditation is practice for being awake, which is not being in the dream state (mind wandering
into a train of thought, getting lost in the online world, thinking about past offenses, stressing about the future, etc.) but being awake to the present, to what is. Being awake is something you can do throughout the day, all the time, if you remember. Remembering is the trick.
3. Watch Urges. 
When I quit smoking in 2005, the most useful tool I learned was watching my urges to smoke. 
I would sit there and watch the urge rise and fall, until it was gone, without acting on it.
It taught me that I am not my urges, that I don’t have to act on my urges, and this helped me change all my other habits. Watch your urge to check email or social media, to eat something sweet or fried, to drink alcohol, to watch TV, to be distracted, to procrastinate. These urges will come and go,
and you don’t have to act on them.
4. Watch Ideals. 
We all have ideals, all the time. We have an ideal that our day will go perfectly, that people will be kind and respectful to us; that we will be perfect, that we’ll ace an exam or important meeting, 
that we’ll never fail. Of course, we know from experience that those ideals are not real, that they don’t come true, that they aren’t realistic. But we still have them, and they cause our stress and fears 
and grief over something/someone we’ve lost. By letting go of ideals, we can
let go of our suffering.
5. Accept People and Life As They Are. 
When I stopped trying to change a loved one, and accepted him for who he was, I was able to just be with him and enjoy my time with him. This acceptance has the same effect for anything you do--accept a co-worker, a child, a spouse, but also accept a “bad” situation, an unpleasant feeling; 
an annoying sound. When we stop trying to fight the way things are, when we accept what is, 
we are much more at peace.
6. Let Go of Expectations. 
This is really the same thing as the previous two items, but I’ve found it useful nonetheless. 
It’s useful to watch your expectations with an upcoming situation, with a new project or business, 
and see that it’s not real and that it’s causing you stress and disappointment.
We cause our own pain, and we can relieve it by letting go of the expectations that are causing it. 
Toss your expectations into the ocean.
7. Become okay with Discomfort. 
The fear of discomfort is huge--it causes people to be stuck in their old bad habits, to not start the business they want to start, to be stuck in a job they don’t really like, because we tend to stick to the known and comfortable rather than try something unknown and uncomfortable. It’s why many people don’t eat vegetables or exercise, why they eat junk, why they don’t start something new. But we can be okay with discomfort, with practice.
Start with things that are a little uncomfortable, and keep expanding your comfort zone.
8. Watch Your Resistance. 
When you try to do something uncomfortable, or try to give up something you like or are used to, you’ll find resistance. But you can just watch the resistance, and be curious about it. Watch your resistance to things that annoy you--a loud sound that interrupts your concentration, for example. 
It’s not the sound that’s the problem; it’s your resistance to the sound. The same is true of resistance to food we don’t like, to being too cold or hot, to being hungry. The problem isn’t the sensation of the food, cold, heat or hunger--it’s our resistance to them. Watch the resistance, and feel it melt. 
This resistance, by the way, is why I’m doing my Year of Living Without.
9. Be Curious. 
Too often we are stuck in our ways, and think we know how things should be, how people are. 
Instead, be curious. Find out. Experiment. Let go of what you think you know.
When you start a new project or venture, if you feel the fear of failure, instead of thinking,
“Oh no, I’m going to fail” or “Oh no, I don’t know how this will turn out”, try thinking, “Let’s see. 
Let’s find out.” And then there isn’t the fear of failure, but the joy of being curious and finding out. 
Learn to be okay with not knowing.
10. Be Grateful. 
We complain about everything. But life is a miracle. Find something to be grateful about in everything you do. Be grateful when you’re doing a new habit, and you’ll stick to it longer. Be grateful when you’re with someone, and you’ll be happier with them. Life is amazing, if you learn to appreciate it.
11. Let Go of Control. 
We often think we control things, but that’s only an illusion. Our obsession with organization and goals and productivity, for example, are rooted in the illusion that we can control life. But life is uncontrollable, and just when we think we have things under control, something unexpected comes up to disrupt everything. And then we’re frustrated because things didn’t go the way we wanted. Instead, practice letting go of control, and learn to flow.
12. Be Compassionate. 
This sounds trite, but compassion for others can change the way you feel about the world, 
on a day-to-day basis. And compassion for yourself is life-changing.
These two things need remembering, though, so mindful living is about remembering
to be compassionate after you forget.
That seems like a lot to digest and remember, and I often forget all of this stuff, 
but then I remember, and say, “Ah, I was doing it again!” And then I practice again.
And then I forget, but I reflect, and I learn, and I practice again.
This is the process of learning mindfulness. It’s forgetting, and then remembering, again and again.

Perhaps you’d like to checkout my sister blog
and find easy, fast and efficient ways of working with the issues or little unpleasantness’s in your life.

I am now featuring aspects of my upcoming internet programme to teach Inner Mind Reading.