woman staring at the LA Hollywood sign

Could you ever imagine being a celebrity? To be a superstar in any industry: music, film, television, radio or in print; featured in a magazine or a newspaper is a no small achievement. There are all types of celebrities.

A celebrity lives a unique lifestyle, which differs greatly from that of an average or even a successful or popular person. All the glamour seems to require a posh lifestyle, with servants and large palaces. More than this is the need to be scene at the right venues, be they bars, clubs, restaurants, galas and soirees, among other functions.

To be everywhere and be seen as a featured star one must look the part. This requires an expensive wardrobe of clothes and accessories. All the trimmings are quite costly. Even with a seemingly unlimited bank account, financial resources can easily be quickly depleted.

Celebrities are masters of their craft or trade. They are not necessarily business-minded people. Therefore, even if they have a financial advisor or accountant, these stars may have difficulty managing their money.

Is there a celebrity slush fund that bankrupt or financially troublesome stars can access when all of their other financial portals cease? If there is not already a Celebrity Slush Fund or insurance fund that a star can rely on when their money is all spent, then some financial company should create one. It would be a valuable and much needed resource for those who seem to have an infinite supply of resources.

The Celebrity Slush Fund could be a member-based account that stars pay into, as someone would pay premiums towards an insurance policy. There could be different and variable tiers or levels of membership. If a celebrity were to lose all of their money and exhaust all other options, then they could still bank on some assistance. The available money to be allocated could either be set or within a specified range or the fund could be set up whereby whatever money is currently in the fund could be claimed by a star that is legitimately out of money. Proof of bankruptcy or documents that substantiate the financial reality of the celebrity could be required for access to the Celebrity Slush Fund.

This unique financial creation could even be effectively promoted by former celebrities who would be likely candidates for the Fund. Also, current lesser known stars could champion the cause and gain notoriety.

man wearing ted baker watch

Can you manage it? It is one thing to be given responsibility, as a manager. To supervise others is an immense task. It requires a strong character, even when there may be a difference of opinion.

In all circumstances, you should only manage according to your capacity to do so to the maximum of your capability. If ‘life is like an employer that gives you what you ask and once you set the wages then you must bear the task’1, then you need to be specific about request and be prepared to maintain your management of what you get.

In relationships, as well, one must manage one’s time and one’s contribution to the partnership, because that is what a relationship is – a merger of partners into one common lifestyle, with shared goals and principles. One must set times for speaking with one’s partner. Going out to events and hosting dinners and parties requires constant management. Budgeting is extremely important. Agreeing on a budget and adhering to it can make or break a relationship.

Being a good manager in all instances requires delegation of responsibility to others who are as capable or more so proficient at the same work. Perhaps knowingly hiring or assigning others who are more capable is a key component of being a great manager. Not allowing one’s pride to get in the way of work being completed is a superior management. If your staff can outperform you, then you know that you selected great workers.

Managing personalities, once you have selected the best team members is great management. To be a good manager one must know when to inspire one’s team and when to let your staff excel at the work that they do best. Sometimes just staying out of the way and letting your staff thrive at their work is what makes a great manager.

Having a good eye and an upbeat perspective is what makes a manager a good leader. To be a good leader is not the same as leading. People do not like being lead like sheep. But a good shepherd does not seem to be leading his / her sheep. The sheep just seem to follow a path that they see other sheep walking. It is really only the lead sheep that a shepherd needs to lead. Perhaps having a good supervisor or assistant manager that seems to be the lead is an excellent management partner.

 

women balancing on board

Achieve Balance

Does every transaction function or operate based on the premise that there is a requirement for give and take for the deal to be completed? Let’s say that you are in a social rather than a business relationship: Is there still a necessity for give and take for an agreement to be reached? Yes it is the case that every deal requires a negotiation resolved.

To be successful in your deal making transactions you need to prove that you have something to offer that is greater value, from your own perspective, than what you hope to gain from the person with whom you are striving to seal a deal. You need to be confident in your abilities to seem persuasive. If you do not completely and fully believe in your abilities and in the products and / or services that you are offering for sale or trade, then how can you expect a competitor to believe in your capabilities or the worth of your wares?

You are probably wondering why I used the term competitors to explain the partners in the deal making process. But is this not certainly the correct term? It is right. Everyone is ultimately competing in this world for goods, resources and services. During every transactional process each person is in stark competition to win at the game of life.

Realizing that every transaction has a requirement for a systemized pattern of give and take is essential to being a capable and contributing member of society. This sharing of value for value is crucial for relationships to work and to do so effectively with optimal efficiency. To believe otherwise is foolish and delusional.

Let us take personal relationships as an example of value for value sharing. You are dating or married and you are hosting a dinner for friends, with your partner. One of you has agreed to cook, in exchange for the other person having consented to be the designated cleaner of dishes, preparation and table areas. This is a transactional process, whether you choose to realize it or not.

Is the situation really that much different in the realm of commercial deals? Not really. In a seemingly friendly, but really aggressive way, business matters involve one person trying to get the better of the other. The value for value trade is not always equal, as may seem to be in person relationships. The determining factor for equality, or the lack thereof, in business deals is the intellectual intelligence or business savvy that one negotiator brings to the table – which is projected from a higher echelon of thought – versus the less experienced thinker. Are you the more or less capable deal maker? What value do you provide and what do expect for it?

 

 

 

two hands connecting

Making Connections

The first step in making a connection is demonstrating relevance. Without the potential for a meeting of the minds on a mutually beneficial purpose for people to have a conversation there will be no discussion.  Once you have determined that you have something of value to offer in a partnership the next step in the partnering process is to prove your worth to the potential partner.

Even if you have a value services or products to offer you need to prove to the possible partner that they will gain an advantage in the marketplace, by joining forces with you. Your beneficial value must be either in terms of marketing presence, in print or online or in terms of a client list / contact database. These key areas of value will prove to be value added assets to the prospective partner.

If you can save money for a company in the realm of advertising, then it will be most grateful. You can pitch the option of allowing the enterprise the option of promoting its products or services on your website. This will ensure that the company will see you as a partner that maximizes their marketing presence with prowess.

Assuming that you have great marketing skills and have a high traffic website you will seem to be a great potential partner. But how do you establish the partnership. No doubt there will be a highly trained gatekeeper (also known as a receptionist) who will not be eager to refer your information to the Marketing Manager. You will likely receive numerous rejections to your partnership offer. The general pattern will be two rebuttals to you effort to promote your services, during the initial or follow-up call.

You must believe in the value of your skills and the worth of your partnership potential. Your confidence needs to shine through during the dialogue. Many other people are calling with a similar sales pitch. To make your sales presentation shine you must seem to be more valuable than the rest of the herd of callers.

To project yourself properly you should consider some basic rules of telephone etiquette. Here they are in no special order:

  1. Sit up straight.
  2. Be sure to smile (good to have mirror on your computer screen or within sight). Your smile will be heard through your voice.
  3. Remember to pause, even though you will likely be a fast talking pitcher of marketing prowess.
  4. Listen to the reply / response. Take notes of what is said.
  5. Do not interrupt no matter what reason you may have for so doing.
  6. Thank the receptionist for listening and always be polite, even if you see no potential for partnering.
  7. Request a time and date for future follow-up on the call.

 

report about finances and business

Creating Capitalism

The question well put is: Are you creating capitalism? Are you part of the problem or are you one with the solution of building the economy?

These questions may seem strange, but are actually quite logical. If you live in an urban area and seek to work nearby, then you may be working against the principles of growth. While everyone wants to be where the jobs are and live near one’s work, this is not always in line with prosperity. A massive amount of people competing for a small amount of jobs is a situation of high competition, but it is not necessarily conducive to growth.

Employers welcome multiple applications and enjoying reviewing many applications for the same position. These employers should perhaps set up shop in rural areas and advertise similar vacancies, in an effort to truly diverse their hiring pool and to demonstrate a concerted effort to enrich the economy. Workers go where the jobs are located. If the best jobs are in rural areas, then this is where people will begin moving to be close to their jobs. Hence, the economy will grow and areas formerly in state of economic stagnation will begin to develop and bolster the regional and national economy.

As an employer you may have doubts about the value of opening a location that is far from the main hub of customers and suppliers, but as more companies expand their operations, suppliers and customers will follow. Is your company part of the problem or solution?

Housing prices are lower in urban areas for similar house sizes with equal features, so there is no doubt that workers will want to move there. If it costs less to live near one’s work, then one will be less likely to expect or regularly require a raise or promotion.

Many businesses and organizations seem to be oblivious to the obvious fact that by being located in a highly dense urban area the expected standard of living will be rich and the cost to maintain it will be high. This means employers will be asked to support the lifestyle of employees through wealthy salaries and optimal bonuses.

Instead of employer’s offering an opportunity to equally qualified workers who live outside of big cities, they continue to keep their operation positioned in the heart of major cities. A cycle of constant turnover and continuous salary and promotion renegotiation ensues, which never seems to end. What fuels this phenomenon?

 

 

 

 

 

Euro dollars different amounts

How can you ensure that you are getting paid now for your work? You offer services, whether they are creative design, marketing or project referrals.

You consulted with the client and possibly even received a retainer payment at the onset of the work. You established a pattern of e-mail correspondence with the client.

You submit completed work at intervals and have now finished the entire project. You want to be paid. The client who now has your work is not responding to your requests for payment. What can you do to ensure you get paid what you are owed?

Options include calling the client and politely reminding them that payment is due, or sending reminder e-mails asking for payment. This strategy may be effective in some cases, but will not likely result in you being paid by a finicky client.

Instead you need to communicate to the client that it is in their best interests to pay you to maintain the business relationship. They need to know that they will have more to gain if they compensate you for your efforts.

You must speak in terms of value added incentives to anyone with whom you conduct business. This is a requirement for business communications, because people act according their own self interest. You need to demonstrate, in theory why paying you will be a valuable investment for the client. If the client realizes that by paying you they will be a get discount on future work or a referral of business that is of equal or greater value, than the amount you are requesting from them, then it will be in their own interest to pay you.

There you have it. Pitch the client on the option for other clients who will pay them there due and they will want to pay you too! You should have real referrals that have been fully qualified as credible leads and present them as salable deals. If you are successful in proving your long term worth to a client, then the client will see you as business partner, as well as a source of business and want to ensure a continued prosperous business relationship with you.

In summary, the best way to ensure that you get paid is to offer the same option to your clients. If everyone is able to be paid, then the economy will function effectively. Make yourself a part of the fabric of the economical structure and you will reap the rewards of the greater interest of society!

 

man jumping over rocks in Arizona

The Success Zone

Are you there? Can you feel your achievement? Do you see all that you have accomplished? Can you maintain a pattern of success from all of your efforts?

Some people, it seems, can endure for an extended period of complete victory in all of their activities, personal and professional. This realized potential is likely the result of a strong mental state of mind that envisions and perceives of only triumph in every endeavor.

It has often been claimed by motivational speakers and philosophers throughout history that where one’s mind is so is the person. Is this theory correct? Are you where you believe yourself to be in actual reality? Can you change your physical circumstances by adjusting and modifying your mindset; by refocusing your thought processes?

Do you ever hear about business people, celebrities and even people in your own community who seem to be winners at  just about everything? These people probably only allow their mind to process constant thoughts of winning. They do not allow in any potential thoughts of fear of failure or fear, at all. They live every moment as though they have already completed their every task with complete victory. They are in the success zone.

You are probably wondering, alright – there is a mind state of triumph or a success zone, but how can you get yourself there if you are not already there.  A good start is to begin by associating with people who think positively and who believe in themselves and who have confidence in their abilities to achieve victory for all of their projects, howsoever small or exceedingly large?

Your friends are a reflection of yourself. The mental / psychological states of your personal or professional colleagues will shape the way you envision reality. You need to befriend people who are physically and mentally fit. You can encourage your acquaintances and friends to join a gym and also to think good thoughts. A more realistic attitude, however, is to create new friendships with people who are already working out regularly at gym. Regularly reading and communicating with people who also read often will help you and them to think more original thoughts. New thoughts create new thought processes, which like a brain gym.

There it is, now resolved. You will speak well and do well. You will associate with others who want good outcomes and who believe great things are possible for you and them. You will enter and remain in the success zone!

 

 

man playing chess planning next strategic move

Practice Safe Business

Do you practice safe business? Do you offer protections to your client’s?

Let us be clear and direct about the nature of general business practices, online and in-person there are common processes that companies utilize when conducting transactions. Not all of these activities are safe for customers or for the business itself. Perhaps you visit a website that seems to offer a complimentary service, such as an initial free trial period to download images, only to later discover that you are now being regularly billed for a subscription service to which you do not recall agreeing.  A situation such as this is a case of unsafe or illegitimate business process.

It may in fact be true that the website had an option to unsubscribe within a set time period (usually 5 days to one week), but if the option was not obvious, then the business process is surely unsafe and illegitimate. Based on how the company responds to your request for a refund will determine whether or not you should continue a working relationship with the company. If the company immediately agrees to issue a full refund and is helpful in instructing you on how to unsubscribe to prevent unrequested potential future billing, then this is good sign that you may have found a quality business partner for the long term.

If you are a business that sells a product or service and does not clarify the terms of service or emphasize the warranty on the products sold, then you will not be able to build a loyal following of customers. Purchasers want to know that they are at all times dealing with an above board business that is upfront about all of the features and terms of their products and services. It is not worth losing highly valued potential business for the future for a small deal at present.

Nowadays there are review websites all over the Internet / Web that list complaints about unreliable and questionable business practices. For the sake of a few bucks you do not want or need to be seen as scammer on one of these review boards. Instead, you want to be spoken about on social media outlets and be given a five star ranking on business review boards. The more you are praised by satisfied customers, albeit an initially small following, the greater will be your staying power in your industry niche. Remember to always practice safe business!

 

man talking with coworkers in business environment

The Meeting Scam

Do you attend meetings that have an unclear purpose, or which fail to display any structured process? Conversely, these meetings may seem to possess a structure that is focused, but the process is not easily understood by the attendees. A bizarre and convoluted process is intended to confuse and bewilder those in attendance; since the expectation is that the attendees will not show up for future meetings. If attendees do attend future meetings, it is likely, based on past experiences that they will not stay long enough to be permitted to ask any questions. The seeming farce – of a so-called meeting – is more about grandstanding and for self-glorification by presenters, than it is an opportunity for dialogue between those in attendance.

Many board or committee meetings will have a fixed arrangement, which may possibly be based on Roberts Rules of Order (http://www.robertsrules.org). Other options include a conceived process for meetings that has been created by the board or committee. Rarely will members, residents or visitors to the meeting actually understand the process that the meeting will follow.

If you live in a condominium and are having issues in communication, with your board or management office, then you can obtain assistance from the Condominium Dispute Resolution Centre (http://condoadr.ca). Oftentimes a board meeting, at a condominium building, will follow a process whereby the current board members are introduced; along with a short summary of their CV’s, accompanied by a brief introduction by each member. The Building Manager and their assistant will likely also be in attendance; as well as a representative from the management corporation that oversees the building, on behalf of the board. This dignitary will either be a Vice-President or other top level executive, from the management company.

After the so-called opening address, the Auditor’s Report will follow. Then the President of the board will give over a speech, which praises the great work of the management team, including the excellent services of the cleaning staff. A review of expenditures, along with the current amounts in the main and reserve fund(s) will be discussed. Questions will be ignored or referred to be asked only at the conclusion of the meeting. Elections for positions on the board will be held, after a short summary of the qualifications of each contender. Finally, for those in attendance – who could tolerate the boredom of the dulling procedural madness – arises the opportunity for an open discussion and question and answer period.

If you are displeased with the rigmarole regularly experienced during patterned meetings, then you can choose to not attend them, or you can be prepared for the meeting, by bringing along a book to read. This way you can be productive, during the diatribe, while you are present in the room or you can lose yourself in a good story.

n the room or you can lose yourself in a good story. 

 

men discussing options and business numbers

The Deal Breaker

It may seem as though you have a done deal that is sure to be completed. Even when it may seem as though all documents are ready to be signed there is no real deal, until the contract is signed, sealed and delivered. You may have had a promising conversation with a capable business prospect, but can you be certain that all of the items of consideration were equally understood? During a high-spirited discussion both parties may state many seemingly relevant details as possible to get their point across. While making the big sales pitch one may not hear the reply or rebuttal, or the sale presentation simultaneously being promoted by the other party.

After some perceived understanding of the potential to partner, it is jointly decided that a meeting should be arranged. Both attendees have their fixed perspective on how the meeting should unfold. During the meeting, however, different ideas seem to surface, other than those thought to have been originally presented during the telephone communication. It could be the wrong person shows up for the meeting; not being the initial party with whom one spoke or an expected party is conveniently available to attend.

Whatever you decide, be sure that you are professional in your demeanour and cordial by way of reply. If you decide to conduct / participate in the conference you should be sure to have a pen, a notebook and business cares, and above all else – dress to impress. Your image should always demonstrate that you are deserving of respect, irrelevant of what the other party may decide for the deal.

During the meeting be sure to focus the discussion to resemble, however, modestly, the initial telephone conversation, which preceded it. If you are concerned that an expected party is not in attendance, express your dismay immediately, at the onset of the conference. Request, if possible and practicable that this so called promised participant be summoned to appear.

Be sure your ideas are considered and fully listened to by the parties in attendance. Also be sure you listen intently to the ideas presented by the other party. If not offered, politely request a business card from the other people at the meeting or ask them to e-mail you their Vcard.

If during the conversation topics are discussed that do not parallel the original phone conversation, then you should ask for clarification about the actual real intention for the meeting. Is there a hidden agenda? Will there be an unexpected sales pitch or some attempt to run a deceptive scam. While you may feel slighted if the meeting doe not turn out as initially planned, nevertheless you need to continue to seem professional throughout the consultation. If you don’t want to appear as being impolite during the meeting you can later send a follow-up e-mail to request clarification on the next step and as way of summarizing the specific goals of the conference. You can state you believe to be the next step in the process towards the growth of the business relationship, based on details of the meeting.

If the other party has different or varied goals, than those that you had relied upon to agree to attend the meeting, then he / she will clearly state the same in his / her reply to your correspondence. If it is not obvious that there is not a ‘meeting of the minds’, then you can just chalk this experience up to a lesson learnt. Perhaps this knowledge will help you realize that you should be more thorough during your preliminary discussions.

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