Streamlining and Simplifying - How Powerful

My attempt to simplify my life and get out from under the weight of the internet and my computer is coming along nicely. And as it does I really am feeling a small burst of "calm" coming back into my life.

Over the last week I have deleted about 15,000 e-mails (yes, you read that right!). So many were un-opened from mailing lists I somehow got on, but never looked at or cared about, but on days I felt most overwhelmed I didn't even take the time to delete them, or more importantly, unsubscribe from them.

So along with deleting I've been unsubscribing and feel certain I can now keep control. There will always be lots of e-mails I retain, but now they are stored in folders so I might even be able to find them when I want them!

I've got a ways to go in order to get rid of the "overwhelmed" feeling - but I am definitely on my way.


When You Know Your Company's Culture is Right-On!

My husband and I started our main business 22 years ago and always tried to make it a place where people enjoyed coming to work and worked together as a team to get the job done. We have always been so proud of how they all pull together when short-handed, or just very busy.

When we decided to move 3,000 miles away and open a branch office in California we gave them three options. We could hire a manager, appoint one of them manager, or they could just continue to work as they always had, as a team who knew what needed to be done.

They chose to just keep it the way it was. It's been 12 years since that day.

I left on Thursday last week for a weekend Mastermind and got home to find the fax you see above that they had sent us on Friday.

I can't begin to tell you how incredible a group of people work with us and how thankful we are that they "get it."


What Do You Want in Your Life?

I just got back from Calgary, Alberta, Canada where I attended an amazing event called Engage Today 2009. Speakers included the Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson, Stephen Covey, F.W. De Klerk (released Nelson Mandella from prison), Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos shoes), Barbara De Angelis, and a host of others that you may or may not recognize by name.

Each and every speaker was outstanding, bringing huge contributions to the event. I'm still reeling from the amount of information and energy that was condensed into four days.

What I came away with was that, for me, the internet age is overwhelming me. I have let technology become my master. And I am not alone in that. Even speakers at the event talked of how easy it was to get caught up in checking e-mail too often, or following links; basically getting distracted from the important parts of their work and their lives.

My love/hate relationship with computers and the internet and the unlimited amount of information available is evidenced by the amount of time I spend at my computer and the vast amount of information stored in it or printed from it. It feels suffocating, not empowering.

So I am un-subscribing from vast numbers of e-mail lists, looking at what I've printed that I've not read (and maybe never will) and deciding that I will gain control again over my life.

Obviously, I never would have known about this amazing conference had I not been "tuned-in" in some manner on the internet. But selectivity is my new mode of operation. I purposely didn't take or use a computer for the week I was in Calgary and my world didn't fall apart. I spent the hours that I would have been in front of my computer screen at home listening to and interacting with amazing people both on and off the stage.

So to answer my own question, "What Do You Want in Life?" I want to build connections with people, not add random people to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I want in-person and telephone interactions; I want to "engage today" and every day, with meaningful real-life interactions.

The internet has its place in my life, but it is no longer going to hold me hostage in life. I have regained my footing and will work on balancing my love of information and the abundance of it that the internet provides with the abundance that is gotten from living in the moment with family, friends and fresh air!


Watch Your Credit Card Statements!

It is more important than ever to pay attention to your credit card statments and any correspondence from your credit card companies. Because of new laws affecting credit cards (look for my previous blog post) the banks are getting very aggressive with consumer and business credit card accounts.

Consider this article -

One-Third of Credit Card Holders' Limits Cut

"Credit card companies reduced limits for 58 million cardholders w/ little regard to their credit scores" http://bit.ly/JB2y9

And from American Banker yesterday (a subscription publication):

"Credit card lines nationwide are set to be cut by another $1.5 trillion before the economy bottoms, on top of a $1.2 trillion cut from the peak, the analyst Meredith Whitney predicted Monday.

Unless credit loosens up dramatically for Main Street, small businesses will stymie a recovery, she wrote in a report to clients.

Credit cards are a particular source of concern, as roughly four out of five use them as vital portion of their overall funding, Whitney wrote."

So watch your personal and business credit card statements and correspondence and don't be blind-sided by increasing interest rates, reduction of credit lines or cancellation of accounts and the worst, in my opinion, the increase of the minimum payment percentage.


American Express Putting Credit Limits on Business Cards

My business e-mail inbox just received a nice little note from American Express telling us that they were putting a credit limit on our business card. We have used it extensively for business purchases for over 20 years (as is proudly proclaimed on the front of our card - member since 1989). We've always paid it in full every month, whether it is $3,000 or $15,000.

The only advantages of AMEX over a traditional credit card has always been that we didn't have to worry about bumping into a credit limit with
4 employees enrolled with cards

But now that advantage is gone, so why in the world would we pay the expensive fees associated with an American Express card? Answer is we won't. They just lost our business.

And the funny thing is they sent me another e-mail at the same time reminding us to use our American Express card for all of our business purchases! Maybe the marketing department should check to see what policy decisions are being made before they create advertising - makes them look a little silly, doesn't it?


Learning Affiliate Marketing For FREE!

Learning to make money as an affiliate for products is a hot topic on the internet. It seems everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. And there is money to be made, no doubt. But it isn't as easy as some would have you believe.

What's worse is you can lose a lot of money if you don't know what you're doing and go into it blindly. So, if you're interested in this concept, get educated before jumping in.

A couple of years ago at a business seminar I attended someone talked about how "easy" it was to make money on the internet with affiliate marketing. I thought what he outlined made sense and I jumped in and yes I did make a couple of hundred dollars, but I spent a lot more than that to get those few commissions.

I was talking with another person who has taken a much more methodical approach than I did and they are beginning to see some results...but it's taken months and months of work. But they are laying the groundwork for a longer term payoff and I do believe they will ultimately be successful.

Your success will be dependent upon the effort you're willing to put in (like everything in life!). For me I decided it was too much effort given everything else going on in my life, but I learned a LOT about what you need to know and where you can learn it.

I love finding information, especially when it's free! If you're interested in learning Affiliate Marketing and want to do it the right way, this site has everything you need to know and then some - and it's FREE - http://bit.ly/3n688h

And be sure to check out Ed Dale's 30 Day Challenge - http://bit.ly/1cxEy5 - He takes you through all the things you need to know, in a day by day format to create a business on the internet. Again, it's all FREE

Do you ultimately need to spend some money on learning this stuff? Probably - eventually as you get more sophisticated in your approach. But there is so much excellent information being provided for the beginner at no charge - get started with the free stuff before you spend money. And then be selective when you do spend money...don't grab everything that sounds good - it all sounds good!

But remember, it takes work and time to learn it and set it up properly. But done right you can create an income stream that ultimately requires much less of your time and effort.


Tony Hsieh of Zappos

I just watched a video of Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) talking about how he grew Zappos from a small start-up to a billion dollars in sales. Very interesting in that a lot of what he talked about my husband and I also did in growing our company from zero to a multi-million dollar business.

What I took away from this hour was that key principles are always what success comes down to - get those wrong and nothing seems to work.

One of the other things I took away from this video was Tony saying (paraphrasing here) "get out there and meet other business people, and not just those who you can find a business connection with." You never know what a conversation will yield, now or down the road. Or what golden nugget you'll get from someone outside of your industry.

And never stop learning...at the Q&A after Tony's talk Joe Polish stood up to ask a question. Now Joe Polish is an incredibly successful person himself, a person who knows Sir Richard Branson and Bill Clinton and any number of notable people, but here he was at this conference, learning and asking questions.

I'm going to a conference at the end of this month to see the Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson,
Stephen Covey, Tony Hsieh, Frank Kern, Eben Pagen, and about 20 other notable speakers. http://bit.ly/3clfrr

I watch dozens of business oriented and self-development videos, but I find seeing and hearing people speak in-person is incredibly powerful. But any way you do it, keep on learning and growing.