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No Call List Complaints – Are You Covered On Purchased Leads?

If you’re an insurance agent buying leads from a company, you should ensure you’re purchasing names and numbers from a company that protects you if you’re sold and call the number of someone whose telephone is registered with the National Do Not Call Registry.

Starting on January 1, 2005, people who register their phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry may not be called by telemarketers and certain other businesses 31 days after the listing of the phone number. The registry was created in response to consumer complaints regarding unsolicited telemarketing calls. In order to stop calls, a consumer must list their telephone with the registry. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is the country’s consumer protection agency, along with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state law enforcement are in charge of making sure businesses are in compliance with the law governing the no call list.

Personal phone numbers, including cell phones, may be registered. Phone numbers remain in the registry for 5 years. After that time, they may be re-registered. Calls from charities, from or on the behalf of political organizations and those from telephone surveyors are not restricted under this law. Additionally, if a consumer already has a business relationship with a company, that entity may call and solicit the consumer. A person may also give written permission for specific companies to call them to solicit business. The registry is only for personal phone numbers and business phones may not be put on the no-call list.

The list is updated every month and telemarketing companies are responsible for recording any new numbers every 31 days and deleting those phone numbers from their call lists. Law enforcement officials have access to the registry in order to confirm that businesses are in compliance with the law. Telemarketers and other businesses can face high fines (up to $11,000 per complaint) if found in violation of the regulation.

If you are purchasing insurance leads from a company, the service providing the names and numbers should guarantee that they are not on the no call list. If you do phone a number that’s in the registry, the business from which you bought the lead should agree to pay any fines connected with the violation. A responsible lead provider will have a written policy concerning the law.

There will, of course, be certain criteria used by the lead supplier to evaluate whether or not your call falls under their guarantee. A company will protect you if the number is on the no call list on condition that:

* The number that you called was the correct number supplied by the lead provider.

* The person you contacted then requests that you refrain from calling again and you follow their instructions.

* You call between the legally determined hours for telemarketing calls (from 8 am to 9 pm).

* You identify yourself in the proper manner to the lead.

* You are professional and courteous when calling the potential customer.

* The person filing the complaint is the contact person on the lead or appropriately related to the contact person.

Additionally, you will have to allow the company that sold you the lead to manage the objection, letting them properly defend the complaint. The lead generating business will also require that your account is current and in good standing and that you’ve acted in good faith and abided by all contractual commitments.

If you and your insurance company abide by the following guidelines, the business that provided the lead should agree to hold you, your employees and company harmless regarding all fines, expenses to defend the complaint and other fees associated with the case.

To determine if a lead generating company is reliable in terms of the contact information it supplies insurers:

* Make sure they have a written no call list policy.

* Call the attorney general’s office to see if any complaints have been filed against the company.

* Work with a company that specializes in insurance lead generation and that has a track record.

* Buy leads from a company that only supplies the names and numbers of people who have requested an insurance quote.

* Purchase leads that are from a database of verified phone numbers.

* Work with a supplier that is a member of the Better Business Bureau or the Better Business Bureau OnLine.

Although no lead you purchase can guarantee a sale, all leads should be guaranteed against complaints in relationship to the National Do Not Call Registry. Leads that are not certified in this manner may be less expensive, but in the long run that money you save may cost you more in legal fees and fines.

How Long Can I Expect My Virtual Assistant To Stay With Me?

That’s the number one question I’m asked by clients, future clients, and interviewers.  So how long can we expect virtual assistants to stick?  My answer is always the same:  “it depends”.  It depends on many things.  But first we need to realign our thinking a little bit and better understand today’s workforce.

As a small or home-based business owner, are you basing your perception of how long a worker stays in a position on your own work history?  Yeah, me too.  Big mistake.  Personally, when I take on a position I intend to stay with it – I don’t give up.  I’ve enjoyed lengthy tenures at my places of employment throughout my career.  All except one and that’s a story for later.

What we need to remember though is that everyone is not like us.  Especially the current workforce.  I mentioned in a previous article (http://www.teamdoubleclick.com/news/free_articles/workingwithnewgeneration.html) that the days of staying in your job for the rest of your life are long gone.  As business owners, we tend to forget that and we are frustrated by it.

Let me say it again in this article:  A recent study said that the average tenure in a job for Generation Y is 18 months.  That’s realistically the max you can expect someone – anyone, bricks-and-mortar or virtual, to stick with a job.  Let’s leave that thought to stew for a while and talk about the “that depends” I mentioned earlier.

Depends on what?

•      Things change in people’s lives – everyone’s lives.  Mine and yours and your virtual assistant’s.

Think back to the reasons you have changed jobs in the past.  What things in your past have caused a need for job changes?  Pregnancy, sudden depression, death in the family, shift in financial obligations, relocation, change of career goals, a decision to go back to college, ill parents, ill children, ill spouse?  Of course, and there are many more.  Your virtual assistant is a human being too and they’re also subject to all of these normal human occurrences.  Any one of these or many more reasons are cause for a virtual assistant to move on elsewhere or even stop working altogether.

•      Job likeability.  You’ve got to like your job.  I hope we can all agree on that.  If you don’t like what you’re doing you’re not going to do your best and you’re always going to be shopping for a better job or better opportunity.  Virtual assistants, as with bricks-and-mortar assistants, are not immune.  I’m not talking about being a virtual assistant in general – though that happens too – where a virtual assistant decides she can’t handle the isolation and hangs up her computer.  I’m talking about all of the tasks a virtual assistant does on a daily basis.  For one client she may answer phones, for another she may do data entry, and for yet another she may be asked to cold call.  If she doesn’t like those duties she’s not going to like the job and will ask for reassignment or quit entirely.

•      Boss likeability.  For me, the only one I didn’t stick with for a good length of time was one where I was treated like a prisoner in a concentration camp, neck breathed down and so on.  I left one day for lunch and never looked back.  Have you ever had a boss you just couldn’t stand?  How about one with whom you just couldn’t see eye-to-eye.  Or maybe there was the one you always thought was creepy or shifty.  Would you stick with a boss that gave you those feelings?  Certainly not!  Yet we expect our virtual assistants to do that and we can’t.  With 6.6 billion people in the world every one of them is not going to like each and every one of us.  And you’re not going to like every one of them either.

•      Then of course there’s Big Bad Team Double-ClickSM.  At Team Double-ClickSM our job, as we see it is this:  to help you determine your needs in a virtual assistant; to locate the best virtual assistant for you, our client, based on your personality needs as well as your skills needs; to locate problem virtual assistants and send them packing before they do damage to you; to nurture the relationship between you and your virtual assistant; alert you to potential problems with a virtual assistant; to stand by what we do and what we offer; and locate a new virtual assistant for you should things not work out.  Now, sometimes the virtual assistants we contract don’t like this.  This is when we become “Big Bad Team Double-ClickSM”.  You see, we’re the good guys when we’re offering work to virtual assistants.  However, when we have to take that work away or ask a virtual assistant for reimbursement for a client due to negligence in their actions, we’re no longer popular with that virtual assistant.  This quite often causes a virtual assistant to quit.  In order to protect you, our client, sometimes we have to tick people off to do it.

•      Theft.  Yes, theft.  Team Double-ClickSM is a virtual staffing agency – we’re the middleman.  We work hard to do the best by our clients and locate quality virtual assistants for them.  And theft does happen – even from virtual assistants who’ve shown no signs of being anything but above board.  If finances get tough, the first thing most people want to do is cut out the middleman.  Why?  Usually to make more money of course!  While we do our best to prevent it from happening it does from time to time happen that a virtual assistant will attempt to steal a client – to make more money.  I’m sure you can see how this opens a whole can of worms here and can easily mess things up for other clients.  My question to you:  would you want to directly hire a person with that kind of track record?  Could you really trust they wouldn’t try to steal something from you later on down the road?  I wouldn’t.  In fact, this brings me to an interesting story.  A virtual assistant (let’s call her Jane) recently successfully stole a client (let’s call him Dick) from Team Double-ClickSM.  In this instance, rather than enter into a lengthy legal battle with Dick and Jane, we let it go.  We of course discussed with Dick the potential for Jane the Thief to repeat her history again in the future.  Three months later Dick came back and said “Gayle, Jane just stole from me – she embezzled my funds in fact.”  While I felt badly for Dick we predicted that this could happen which is why we’d warned him.  Dick chose not to listen to our years of experience and the information we had available.

•      Popularity.  Team Double-Click‘s virtual assistants are contracted – not employed – by Team Double-ClickSM.  As with most contractors (think home builders, highway builders, and other competitive bidders) we too impose restrictions, benchmarks, and even penalties on our contractors for lack of performance.  Again, this sometimes makes us unpopular and can cause a virtual assistant to quit.  Would you want us to do anything less in the name of protecting our clients?

Knowing what causes people to leave should help you better understand how long a virtual assistant may stay in a position.  About 25% of our virtual assistants have been with us and the same clients for well over a year and many more approaching the one year mark.  In fact, earlier this year one of our virtual assistants retired from Team Double-ClickSM and the client she was assigned, after being with him for more than three years.

So when asked “how long can I expect my virtual assistant to stay with me”.  I always say “It depends.  As long as nothing goes wrong and there is no reason for the virtual assistant to leave, she will most likely stay.”  As one of my daughter’s teachers used to say, “It’s all about cause and effect.

This article’s goal was to give you a better perspective of what to expect in this day and age of hiring and some insight into what can go wrong.  I hope I’ve accomplished that.  And with a better understanding maybe we’ll all be less shocked and better prepared when one of our workers – bricks-and-mortar or virtual - departs.

The Basics Of Starting An Online Business (Part 2)

There is much more to starting an online business than just having a product to sell and setting up a website. In order to turn this into a profitable business, you have to reach the customers. This means that you have to rank high in the search engines - at least in the top 20. If you are wondering why this is so, just think of the many times you searched for something on the Internet. How often did you continue pages the first two screens of results? If you are like most searchers, if you don't find what you are looking for in the first two pages, you try another search term.

The words you write have a direct impact on how successful your online business will be. You have to be aware of keyword search optimization so that the major search engines will pick up your site. You can submit to the search engines for free, but the words you write will determine your ranking.

When you have an online business, you can make money while you sleep. Your store is open 24 hours a day with customers from all over the world visiting and making purchases. Therefore, you need to have a secure way of paying for the products so that customers can use their credit cards and feel safe about doing so. Buying by credit card is the only way to be sure of getting your money online. If you sell products, ship them to the customers and wait to get your money by check or money order, you are running the risk of not getting paid at all or of receiving fraudulent checks. There are may businesses online that will process the credit card payments for a low monthly fee, which means you don't have to set up a merchant account of your own. PayPal and CCNow are two examples of these sites.

You have to consider how you will get the products to the customers. Shipping charges are quite expensive, so you can add more to the cost of the product and offer free shipping to entice more customers to buy. Another option is to have shipping charges added to the total cost that the customer has to pay, but you must have this printed right on your website. Customers need to know this right up front.

The Finding deals for Christmas shopping

So what do I even mean by that? Simple, they are special offers that shops and companies make more money during the holidays. Some people search the hall town to find a good deal on a Christmas present or gift for their friends and family relatives. After all who doesn’t want to save some money?

Haven’t done it before?

Why not? Ask yourself why you are throwing your money away if you could buy the same thing on a discount for 50%. So if you are buying a present for 100 euros, you could save up to 50$. And 50$ is quite some money. Think of it in this way. You are just giving it to some person whom you don’t know; you could even say you are throwing it out the window.

If you are buying a present for a friend or some far family relative, just try to get a discount price on the gift. They will say thanks if you spend 50$ or 500$ and you won’t have anything from it.

So you are too lazy to search the city for a discount price shop? That’s not a problem. Try searching the web for a bit. You could even bargain in some shops and save even more money. So if you can do it, why don’t you take advantage of it and maybe use that money to buy a new car in a couple of years. Just ask the employees for a discount price, the worst thing that they could do is, says NO. And don’t be embraced, you aren’t the only one who is asking and looking to save some money. And after all the employees are paid to be there and consult you for the best item to buy and for how much can they lower the price.

So what are you thinking to buy, a new computer, television, or even a small gift like jewelry? It’s doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is that you search for a discount shop and start saving some money, which you could use in a better way in a few years than giving it to some shop owners wearing a tie and having a ton of hair gel.

Ever wondered how the really rich families are actually rich? Yea! You guessed it. They save even more money than the families that have really low pays. I mean think about it. That’s why they are rich. In society they are wearing “masks”, so you actually think that they can afford anything. But believe me. They are saving money on almost all of the items that they buy. Even if you live just once and you won’t be taking the money with you to the grave you should anyway consider being “economical”. Don’t try to save money on things like expensive food etc. Just get some Christmas deals.

So think about it and start saving some money. You could be living in style!

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Gun Control Is Not Constitutional

On October 18th [2000], a Texas jury found San Angelo physician Timothy Joe Emerson not guilty of aggravated assault and child endangerment. In August 1998 his wife, who became involved in an adulterous affair with another man, had filed for divorce and applied for a temporary restraining order barring Dr. Emerson from, among other things, threatening or attacking her during the divorce proceedings. A few days later at a hearing, Mrs. Emerson claimed that her husband had threatened during a telephone conversation to kill her boyfriend. Largely based on that allegation, a county district court judge, without showing or finding that Dr. Emerson actually posed a threat to his wife or their four-year-old daughter, issued a restraining order enjoining him from threatening or physically harming

either. The judge also neglected to advise Dr. Emerson that he could face federal prosecution if found with a firearm, due to an obscure provision of the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act that prohibits possession of a gun by anyone subject to such a restraining order.

Following a confrontation between the contentious couple at his office on November 16, 1998, Mrs. Emerson claimed that Dr. Emerson had threatened her and their daughter by brandishing a handgun. He was indicted on the state charges of which he was recently acquitted, and was also indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly violating the 1994 statute.

On March 30th of [1999], Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed the federal indictment, ruling that it violated Dr. Emerson's constitutional rights under the Second and Fifth Amendments. A key issue was whether or not the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms, or was intended by the Founders to apply only to a collective entity such as the National Guard. Basing his opinion on cogent historical analysis and copious documentation, Judge Cummings held that "a textual analysis of the Second Amendment supports an individual right to bear arms" and that "the very inclusion of the right to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights shows that the framers of the Constitution considered it an individual right." After all, the Bill of Rights protects individual rights to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc.,

from government. Why would the Founding Fathers add to such a list a collective right of government to possess arms?

Judge Cummings' ruling is particularly significant since it is the first time a federal court invalidated a gun control statute on grounds of the Second Amendment. Prosecutors promptly appealed this ruling to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments in June. A decision is expected by year's end, but regardless of the outcome, United States of America v. Timothy Joe Emerson is likely to eventually reach the Supreme Court. What began as a rather routine divorce squabble has metastasized into what could become the most important Second Amendment case in our nation's history. [In 2001, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's opinion. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.]

America's legacy of freedom

The historical record clearly supports Judge Cummings' analysis and opinion. The "collective" interpretation of the Second Amendment is a 20th century invention conjured up by anti-gun academics and pressure groups determined to disarm ordinary Americans and thereby grant government entities a firearms monopoly (gun control has never been about the elimination of guns, but about who will control them). The reference to the "Militia" in the Second Amendment is not a reference to the National Guard, which did not even exist at the time, but to the people themselves. As George Mason, the author of Virginia's Bill of Rights, explained, the militia consists "of the whole people, except a few public officers."

David E. Young, editor of The Origin of the Second Amendment: A Documentary History of the Bill of Rights in Commentaries on Liberty, Free Government & an Armed Populace 1787-1792 (1995) has noted, "There were NO comments by ANYONE that any of [James] Madison's proposals, or those in Congress, related to 'collective rights.'... In fact, the 'collective right' terminology so popular today among advocates of government gun control was never used during the Constitutional Era by anyone." The founding generation, Young continues, "did not interpret the Second Amendment and predecessor Bill of Rights language as related to the militia powers of government or the authority of the states, but rather as related ONLY to private rights to keep and bear arms."

America's legacy of freedom is heavily predicated on the right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms. Indeed, the Second Amendment is arguably the most important constitutionally protected right of all, since it serves to safeguard all others (free speech, freedom of the press, religious freedom, etc.). As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story explained in his authoritative Commentaries on the Constitution (1833): "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the republic, since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."

Keeping arms is a duty

The Revolutionary War itself was triggered when the British attempted to confiscate private arms stored by the American colonists in private homes at Concord. Before sunrise on April 18, 1775, scores of colonists armed with loaded muskets gathered on and near the Lexington green. When the British arrived, the officer in charge ordered the rebels to "disperse, you villains-lay down your arms," but they refused. The officer then gave the order to surround the rebels, and in the ensuing confusion shots were fired. Three British soldiers were wounded and eight militiamen were killed.

Following that initial skirmish, the British continued their march to Concord, but when they began tearing off planks of the bridge spanning a strategic river, American militiamen rallied to stop the destruction. Again, shots were fired by both sides, and British officers ordered a retreat during which, as described by historian Donzella Cross Boyle in Quest of a Hemisphere (1970), "the regulars were fired upon from behind walls and trees, houses and barns, by marksmen, who seemed 'to drop from the clouds.'" Thus began the long, bitter military struggle for American independence that could never have succeeded if the colonists had allowed themselves to be disarmed.

Fortunately, the colonists had refused to do so. In 1671, more than a century before Lexington and Concord, King Charles II imposed legislation to disarm Englishmen, while his royal governor for the colonies did the same to disarm Americans. Attorney Steven Halbrook, an authority on the Second Amendment, writes in That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitution Right (1984): "Thus, arms control laws in the English experience served not only to subjugate domestically the poor and middle classes and religious groups, but also to conquer and colonize the Scots, the Irish, the American Indians, and finally the English settlers in America." When the "embattled farmers stood" at Concord Bridge in 1775 and "fired the shot heard round the world," they did so with an unregistered and

unconfiscated gun.

Today's anti-gun hysteria is in sharp contrast to the attitude of early American colonists regarding firearms. A 1982 report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee recalled, for instance: In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were "well armed"; in 1631, it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to "bring their peeces [sic] to church." In 1658, it required every householder to have a functioning firearm within his house and in 1673 its laws provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government, which would then require him to pay a reasonable price when able to do so. In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered that not only freemen, but also indentured servants own firearms and, in 1644, it imposed a stern 6 shilling fine upon any citizen who was not armed.

Writing in the Michigan Law Review for November 1983, attorney Don B. Kates further noted that "the duty to keep arms applied to every household, not just to those containing persons subject to militia service. Thus, the over-aged and seamen, who were exempt from militia service, were required to keep arms for law enforcement and for the defense of their homes from criminals or foreign enemies. In at least one colony a 1770 law actually required men to carry a rifle or pistol every time they attended church; church officials were empowered to search each parishioner no less than fourteen times per year to assure compliance."

The intent of the Founders

Our country's Founders, though at odds with each other about many other matters, were united in their belief that private citizens, armed with their own firearms, were vital to a free nation. Anti-Federalist icon Patrick Henry, in his famous "give me liberty or give me death" address to Virginia's Second Revolutionary Convention on March 23, 1775, underscored the importance of an armed citizenry when he declared: "They tell us ... that we are weak-unable to cope with so formidable an adversary [as the British]. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Three million people, armed in he holy cause of liberty ... are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." The Census Bureau estimates that the population of the colonies in 1700 was 2.1 million, and that by 1780 it reached 2.9 million. Henry's reference in 1775 to "three million people, armed in the holy cause of liberty" clearly encompassed all competent citizens, not merely those qualified by age and gender for militia service.

Years later, when the Constitution was considered, Henry further expressed his unequivocal support of the individual right to keep and bear arms. During Virginia's ratification convention he objected to the omission of a clause in the proposed Constitution that would forbid the disarming of individual citizens (the Second Amendment was adopted to solve that problem). "The great object," he declared, "is that every man be armed.... Everyone who is able may have a gun."

Thomas Paine, who voiced the colonists' demands for freedom in his famous pamphlet Common Sense (1776), wrote in an earlier essay entitled "Thoughts on Defensive War" (1775): "The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property." And in The Federalist, No. 28, Alexander Hamilton stated: "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government." In essay 29 of The Federalist, Hamilton further observed that "little more can reasonably be aimed at with respect to the people at large than to have them properly armed and equipped," since "this will not only lessen the calls for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army an never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to hem in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens."

In a similar spirit, James Madison pointed out in The Federalist, No. 46, that "notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms," since, were the people armed and organized into militia, "the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it."

On June 18, 1789, 10 days after James Madison proposed the Bill of Rights in the House of Representatives, Tench Coxe, a Federalist and friend of Madison, published in Philadelphia's Federal Gazette (under the pen name "A Pennsylvanian") what Steven Halbrook describes as "probably the most complete exposition of the Bill of Rights to be published during its ratification period." Coxe's analysis included this comment: "As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed

by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms." "In short," Halbrook states, "what is now the Second Amendment was designed to guarantee the right of the people to have 'their private arms' to prevent tyranny and to overpower an abusive standing army or select militia [such as today's National Guard]."

It is worth noting that Coxe sent a copy of his article, with a cover letter, to Madison, and that the father of the Constitution expressed no objection to his comments. Rather than disagreeing that the proposed amendment protected the possession and use of "private arms," Madison stated in his reply that ratification of the entire package of amendments "will however be greatly favored by explanatory strictures of a healing tendency, and is therefore already indebted to the co-operation of your pen." Halbrook points out that a "search of the literature of the time reveals that no writer disputed or contradicted Coxe's analysis that what became the Second Amendment protected

A fundamental right

Federalist Noah Webster (of dictionary fame), in a pamphlet aimed at convincing Pennsylvania to ratify the Constitution, warned that "before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe." But he believed that the "supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States."

Thomas Jefferson also favored individual gun ownership. In the model state constitution he drafted for Virginia in 1776, he included the guarantee that "no free man shall be debarred the use of arms in his own hands." He had earlier copied into his Commonplace Book (the source for his ideas on government) these sentiments from On Crimes and Punishments (1764) by criminologist Cesare Beccaria:

False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if so dear to the enlightened legislator-and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed

man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.

According to a nephew, Jefferson was given a gun at age 10 and believed that every boy should receive one at that age. In a letter to another nephew, Jefferson wrote: "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the Body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."

Throughout our history, young Americans have used firearms responsibly for recreation, hunting, and defense of their homes, families, and nation. For examples, see "Young Patriots at Arms" in the July 31, 2000 issue of The New American.

The Second Amendment is absolute

It is important to note that the Second Amendment is absolute in its wording. While some inherent rights are protected by the Bill of Rights in rather vague, general terms (such as the Fourth Amendment's ban of only "unreasonable" searches and seizures), the Second Amendment unambiguously prohibits any interference (the right to keep and bear arms "shall not" be infringed). Halbrook suggests that since the Second Amendment "is written in a universal form," it "provides protection against both federal and state infringement. In contrast to the language of the

First Amendment, which states only that 'Congress shall make no law,' the Second Amendment provides generally that the right 'shall not be infringed.'... Thus, there is strong support for the proposition that the absolute and universal language of the Second Amendment precludes any federal or state infringement whatever."

Adding further weight to that conclusion, Attorney Don B. Kates points out in his Michigan Law Review article that "a state would directly infringe the congressional prerogative [to call forth an armed citizenry when necessary to execute the laws, suppress rebellion, or repel invasion] if it prohibits firearms possession by the constitutional militia, i.e., the military-age male populace." And in Presser v. Illinois (1886), the Supreme Court held that "it is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States as well as of the States, and, in view of this prerogative of the general government, as well as of its general power, the States cannot, even laying the constitutional provision in question [i.e., the Second Amendment] out of view, prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms, so as to deprive the United States of their rightful resource

for maintaining the public security and disable the people from performing their duty to the general government."

Steven Halbrook perceptively points out that if, for the sake of argument, we accept the modern anti-gun view that the Second Amendment's reference to "the people" means only a select militia such as the National Guard, and that its reference to "arms" means only militia-type arms, then "the Ninth amendment's guarantee of all preexisting unenumerated rights would encompass the natural and common-law rights of the individual to keep and carry arms for such purposes as self-defense and hunting." In other words, either the inherent right of peaceful individuals to keep and bear arms is secured by the Second Amendment, or it falls under purview of the Ninth Amendment, which

reads: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Yet make no mistake about it, Halbrook maintains, "the intent of the state conventions that requested adoption of a bill of rights and of the framers in Congress ... was that the Second Amendment recognized the absolute individual right to keep arms in the home and to carry them in public."

The lessons of history

History is replete with examples of would-be tyrants who have sought to disarm the people they intended to enslave. Julius Caesar, in his account of the Gallic wars, recognized the difficulty of conquering an armed people, as indicated by such observations as "all arms were collected from the town" and "there could be no terms of surrender save on delivery of arms," and his claim that he had "cut off the hands of all who had borne arms" and had slain "a great number of them and stripped all of their arms."

During the 20th century, totalitarian and authoritarian regimes have used gun registration records and other means to confiscate firearms from those who might otherwise jeopardize their rule. Stringent gun laws established by the anti-Communist Cuban government of Fulgencio Batista, for instance, enabled Communist despot Fidel Castro to solidify his control after toppling Batista. Under Batista, gun owners had to register their firearms with the police, which made it a simple matter for Castro's agents to locate and collect the guns.

In Nazi Germany, as documented in "Gun Control": Gateway to Tyranny by Jay Simkin and Aaron Zelman (1992), a pre-Nazi law of 1928 required the registration of anyone having anything to do with firearms or ammunition. When the Nazis assumed power, they simply declined to renew the relevant permits, thereby justifying the confiscation of firearms and ammunition and clearly demonstrating how registration paves the way for confiscation. In 1938, the Nazis' own draconian gun control legislation further deterred effective opposition to their increasingly oppressive rule. It included a provision under which Jews were "prohibited from acquiring, possessing, and carrying firearms and ammunition, as well as truncheons or stabbing weapons."

And in his early years as Italy's Fascist ruler, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, in a speech delivered at the Italian Senate on June 8, 1923, asserted: "The measures adopted to restore public order are: First of all the elimination of the so-called subversive elements.... They were elements of disorder and subversion. On the morrow of each conflict I gave the categorical order to confiscate the largest possible number of weapons of every sort and kind. This confiscation, which continues with the utmost energy, has given satisfactory results."

Government oppression thrives when a people are disarmed. But when the people are armed, exactly the opposite is the case. Which is why the Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

Land and Real Estate in Arizona

Purchasing land in Arizona

Moving to Arizona has the ultimate choices from purchasing raw land to purchasing land in a more rural area to add a manufactured home to building a luxury custom home.  Finding land is easy; Finding land that is worth purchasing is a totally different story.

I can specifically tell you about Arizona although this might be prevalent in other areas also.  What to watch out for are Land fissures, Drinking water (how far you have to drill to install a pump), natural washes, and natural washes that become re-routed from other building and area growth, and most importantly flood plains.

If you purchase land on a hill or close to a mountain expect to have above average ground movement and more costs for the foundations. Also high speed internet may become an issue unless you can get used to using a high speed cell card.

If you are dreaming of a home with land to have horses and other friendly domestic animals you might check with city ordinances first.  For example if you purchase land that was recently annexed by Surprise AZ. You might be surprised by the no farm animal ordinances.  Even if homeowners nearby already have this type of animal living on the land they have owned for many years this can be a huge issue if that is what you were planning for your land.

Keep in mind that Arizona water is a very big topic here, being in a desert water conservation is very important.  Wells that are functioning now might have to be dug deeper in the future as the land around is developed.  Large subdivisions moving in around you can lower a water table pretty fast and cause you to have to make modifications to your well, the storage tank and also how deep your well is.

Keep Scott Schulte at www.scottschulte.com in mind when your looking for Arizona real state

Custom Web Design and Online Promotion Go Hand-in-Hand

Many new online business owners have misconceptions about custom web design. It's not only about getting your website up and running. It's about designing every aspect of your website - every "nook and cranny" - to lead your visitors to the ultimate end, a sale. Whether you plan to build a service-oriented website or offer many products, your site's design must have all the ingredients for success from the very start. Be sure the web designer you choose has an understanding of promotion as well as custom web design. Here are some features your site must have to survive among the Internet masses.

An Easily Recognized USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

When a visitor arrives at any of your web pages (not only the homepage), he/she should understand what your site is all about immediately. You only have a split second to grab their attention. Make sure each web page has a powerful keyword-rich headline that will keep the visitor reading.

Graphics that Complement without Dominating the Web Pages

Every website needs a few graphics here and there to make the web design pleasing to the eye, but be sure your graphic design and logo design do not dominate your pages. You want visitors to read your page, not look at your graphics. So, keep graphics to a minimum, and use them only when they help to create an even reading flow on the page. Many sites use a pleasant "newsletter" style when there is much to read on a page, sprinkling graphics or photos throughout the text in a wrap-around sense. For logo design, keep it small and simple. There's nothing more annoying than waiting on a page to load because its logo is too big!

Keyword Rich Content for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Be sure your designer understands about SEO and keywords. Every page of your site should be designed with search engine promotion in mind. This means gearing your meta tags, link text for pages or in menus, headlines, image "alt text" contents, etc. to attract search engine traffic for the long haul.

Easy-to-Use Navigation

Be sure the navigation on your web pages is easy to use. Many visitors will not take the time to "search" for hidden links or to browse through a confusing menu. If ordering custom web design from a professional, write out on paper how you would like your link system to flow from page to page. If you have content, place visible, colored links within the text to give visitors a chance to click while reading. Have menu bars or links in the usual places - sidebars and top/bottom of the web page.

Promote your Website

Some design firms will offer promotion bonuses with a custom web design package. This benefits you because it helps you to get a head start on building traffic. You can take advantage of the design firm's skills and knowledge about Web promotion and search engine optimization. Don't forget to promote your website in every way possible. Print your site address on business cards, newspaper ads, letterhead, etc. Also, promote your site online using only targeted advertising.

Custom web design techniques and promotion are so tightly knit together that it's impossible to separate the two. Be sure to include both in your custom web design plans so you can see positive results from the start!

Get Paid For Free

Everybody would love to make lots of money quickly, working from home, and only doing a few hours of work per week. I've spent the past two years trying to find a great way of doing this. Only over the course of the past few months have I found any "get rich quick" programs worth buying. I've been trying to make money online for a long time. I had a few small websites, but they never made much more than a few hundred per month. It was easy money and didn't require much work on my part, but I knew there were people out there doing better than I was and I knew I could do as well as them.

Now, I've seen a lot of "get rich quick" programs. Most of these people make claims about earning $2000/day with Google or something similarly insane. Almost all of these people are complete liars. Even if they were making $2000/day with Google AdSense, it'd be because they had high - traffic websites with a lot of quality content. I'd know, because in one whole month, I never even made half of what they promised I'd make daily with their programs. Maybe you've already been scammed by one of these fraudsters. Anyway, I finally got sick of what was being offered.

I decided I'd look through the all of the "get rich quick" programs I could find and see if there were any that were actually legitimate. I found that there were owners selling their programs for well over $100, but the information in them could be found almost anywhere online for free. Additionally, they all contained out-of-date information, had no e-mail support, no money back guarantees, and broken links in the downloads section.

In conclusion, almost all of the programs I found were completely useless. The owners knew it, but they couldn't care less about their customers since they didn't offer refund policies! Amazingly, while looking through all of the programs, I actually did find a few legitimate programs. They were run by ordinary people like you and me, and they had found some great methods of making money from their home by doing very little work.

I spent some time working with those programs, and my income is now ten times what it used to be. These programs provided a large amount of great information on how to make extra money on your computer doing very little work. Numerous customers had provided great feedback and reviews for their products. Many of them have started to make money just days after buying!

Their programs have excellent prices, and the authors have a group of paid staff who are dedicating to helping you or providing assistance if you need any. I must say I was amazed! If you do decide to purchase any of the programs listed below, I recommend you join quickly. Most of the owners tell me they are getting an overwhelming number of sales and plan on raising prices in the near future, so order while prices are still low!

To Your Online Success,

Payroll Wisconsin, Unique Aspects of Wisconsin Payroll Law and Practice

The Wisconsin State Agency that oversees the collection and reporting of State income taxes deducted from payroll checks is:

Department of Revenue

Income, Sales, Inheritance and Excise Tax Division

P.O. Box 8910

2135 Rimrock Rd.

Madison, WI 53713

(608) 266-2776

www.dor.state.wi.us/

Wisconsin allows you to use the Federal W-4 form or the "WT-4, Employee's Wisconsin Withholding Exemption Certificate/New Hire Reporting" to calculate state income tax withholding.

Not all states allow salary reductions made under Section 125 cafeteria plans or 401(k) to be treated in the same manner as the IRS code allows.  In Wisconsin cafeteria plans are not taxable for income tax calculation; not taxable for unemployment insurance purposes.   401(k) plan deferrals are not taxable for income taxes; taxable for unemployment purposes.

In Wisconsin supplemental wages are taxed at:

Annual wages: under $7,970    4.6%

$7,970-$15,590             6.15%

$15,590-$115,140         6.5%

Over $115,140               6.75%

You must file your Wisconsin state W-2s by magnetic media if you are have at least 250 employees and are required to file your federal W-2s by magnetic media.

The Wisconsin State Unemployment Insurance Agency is:

Department of Workforce Development

Division of Unemployment Compensation

201 E. Washington Ave., P.O. Box 7905

Madison, WI 53707

(608) 266-7074

www.dwd.state.wi.us/ui/

The State of Wisconsin taxable wage base for unemployment purposes is wages up to $10,500.00.

Wisconsin requires Magnetic media reporting of quarterly wage reporting if the employer has at least 100 employees that they are reporting that quarter.

Unemployment records must be retained in Wisconsin for a minimum period of six years.  This information generally includes: name; social security number; dates of hire, rehire and termination; wages by period; payroll pay periods and pay dates; date and circumstances of termination.

The Wisconsin State Agency charged with enforcing the state wage and hour laws is:

Department of Workforce Development

Division of Equal Rights

1 South Pinckney St., Rm. 320

P.O. Box 8928

Madison, WI 53702-8928

(608) 266-6860

www.dwd.state.wi.us/er/

The minimum wage in Wisconsin is $5.15 per hour.

The general provision in Wisconsin concerning paying overtime in a non-FLSA covered employer is one and one half times regular rate after 40-hour week.

Wisconsin State new hire reporting requirements are that every employer must report every new hire and rehire.  The employer must report the federally required elements of:

Employee's name

Employee's address

Employee's date of birth.

date of hire

Employee's social security number

Employer's name

Employers address

Employer's Federal Employer Identification Number  (EIN)

This information must be reported within 20 days of the hiring or rehiring.

The information can be sent as a W4 or equivalent by mail, fax or electronically.

There is no penalty for a late report in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin new hire-reporting agency can be reached at 888-300-4473 or on the web at http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/

Wisconsin does allow compulsory direct deposit but the employee's choice of financial institution must meet federal Regulation E regarding choice of financial institutions.

Wisconsin requires the following information on an employee's pay stub:

amount of and reason for deductions

Wisconsin requires that employee be paid no less often than monthly; union contract may differ.

Wisconsin requires that the lag time between the end of the pay period and the payment of wages to the employee not exceed thirty-one days.

Wisconsin payroll law requires that involuntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay by next regular payday; within 24 hours if employer closes or moves and that voluntarily terminated employees must be paid their final pay by the next regular payday.

Deceased employee's wages must be paid when normally due to the surviving spouse, children or other dependent living with employee; within 5 days of death-surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings (in that order).

Escheat laws in Wisconsin require that unclaimed wages be paid over to the state after one year.

The employer is further required in Wisconsin to keep a record of the wages abandoned and turned over to the state for a period of 5 years.

Wisconsin payroll law mandates no more than $2.82 may be used as a tip credit.

In Wisconsin the payroll laws covering mandatory rest or meal breaks are only that minors under 16 must have 30 minutes rest near middle of shift after six hours of work.

Wisconsin statute requires that wage and hour records be kept for a period of not less than three years.  These records will normally consist of at least the information required under FLSA.

The Wisconsin agency charged with enforcing Child Support Orders and laws is:

Department of Workforce Development

Division of Economic Support

Bureau of Child Support

1 W. Wilson St., Rm. 382

P.O. Box 7935

Madison, WI 53707-7935

(608) 266-9909

www.dwd.state.wi.us/bcs/

Wisconsin has the following provisions for child support deductions:

When to start Withholding?    one week after receipt of order.

When to send Payment?    Within 5 days of Payday.

When to send Termination Notice?    Within 10 days of termination.

Maximum Administrative Fee?    $3 per payment

Withholding Limits?    Federal Rules under CCPA.

Please note that this article is not updated for changes that can and will happen from time to time.

Get a piece of the action

The sport, the life blood for many, Baseball is the most popular game in the United States of America. People go crazy over this game, and go to any extent to get hold of tickets, just so they can watch their Minnesota Twins rip through Los Angeles Angels. These Major league baseball tickets are purchased for billions of dollars almost every year. Compared to all the sports played around the country, baseball and that too MLB is the most popular. It also brings in high amounts of revenue into the coutnry when people from abroad visit exclusively to watch these matches.

Children are trained in this sport right from a young age and they either grow up to become baseball players or passionate about the sport. The major teams such as New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox belong to the American league east division.

There are many methods to purchase these baseball tickets. Buying tickets in advance or just before the game starts are options left to the fans. Although buying them before hand is better, since last minute means expensive tickets. And there might not be many left, so don’t take a chance. Purchasing of baseball tickets from fan clubs, stadiums and brokers was how it was earlier. But today, with invention of computers and internet, everything is available at the touch of a button.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays are teams that play in seasons, and so it is possible to pick up tickets from ticketsamerica.com for single games, or baseball playoffs. And these baseball tickets are sold at competitive prices. Apart from this, the site also offers extensive baseball related information such as the teams playing in which town; Game schedules stadium seating facilities, and right down to directions.

Instead of approaching a baseball club or places where tickets are sold, you could pick it off the net. It might work out cheaper, especially when booking for a group. Just make sure to pick out tickets to the games played by Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins for the name of teams will be mentioned on the site. If by mistake you book for Washington Nationals, you might have to find a friend to take it off your hands. Bottom line being, convenience has taken on a new meaning ever since internet evolved. It has changed lives across the globe, bringing people closer.

Acquire New Business

A major part of keeping profitable and growing your business is maintaining a focus on business development. Even when you've got the right mix of work, clients and employees you should be looking for new opportunities. You could establish a process to do this whilst ensuring your existing customers don't get neglected. The process helps you manage new business opportunities in a cost - and time-effective manner.

Generate leads

Identify the types of companies you want to work with and a realistic number of companies you want to target over a given period of time. For example: an accountant with experience in the marketing industry might decide to target five opportunities per month focussed on marketing consultancies.

Finding potential clients and identifying new opportunities can be done through networking events, tenders listed in newspapers and industry magazines and headlines in newspapers about new projects and industry seminars. Keep an eye on your industry and stay aware of new developments.

Track the companies you approach in a database ( you could use Microsoft Excel or Access). Tracking should cover the obvious things (company contact details etc) as well as details of what was discussed, potential works, actions and more.

Qualify the leads

Once you have a list of identified companies you must review to ensure they are realistic opportunities. Some areas to think about include:

• Do you have the right contacts to get started?

• Do you have the right services to offer them?

• How can their website help you understand them better?

• Do you have any conflicts of interest in pursuing this company?

• Does this client have growth potential or would it be a quick job?

• Who makes the decisions? How can you reach them?

3. Raise your business profile

By raising your company profile (no matter how small you are) you'll be able to generate new business with less effort. As a leader in the industry new business will come to you. There are many ways to raise your profile; you could try sponsoring events, adverts and gaining media coverage. The size, location and target market of your business this will dictate what medium to use and the areas to cover.

4. Show them what you're made of

Start to reach your qualified opportunities by showcasing your company's products. Send them a brochure or a copy of any newsletters you produce and invite them to join; show off examples of your work; highlight relevant media articles.

Develop standard template letters in Word to send to potential clients to accompany your credentials/brochures. Ensure you link to your database (Excel, Access or Outlook) when merging the letters and envelopes to ensure you don't have to re-enter details.

There is no specified time for this courting so be patient. It could be six months before anything comes to fruition.

5. Set a meeting time

So you're in the door. Now you need to sell yourself. Tailor the meeting to suit the way you operate as a business. It could be a formal PowerPoint presentation or a discussion over coffee. You may have no choice for the style of the meeting but make sure you are comfortable and well prepared. During the meeting be sure to demonstrate the knowledge you have developed in the previous stages.

6. Follow up

You've presented your capabilities and ideas. Don't stop there. Follow up is essential. This is a major part of the process and should be taken as seriously as the other steps. You'll probably be able to build on ideas from the meeting, or you might find an interesting/relevant article or statistics you could send to re-open discussion. Even if you don't have anything to send, thank them for the opportunity.

Rags & Riches: The Small Cap Maze

Conventional wisdom dictates that the early stages of a corporation’s growth cycle offer substantially more compelling risk-reward profiles than advanced stage investments. But that is exactly where the reality of that proposition ends. In actual fact, the Medium and Small Capital matrix has accumulated so many unsustainable business models over the previous decade that major brokerage houses have little or no problem in persuading hundreds of thousands of investors, both institutional and retail, to keep their money in companies with a proven past.

The junior markets are plagued by a number of fundamental issues. At one end of the junior spectrum, e.g. the Pink Sheet marketplace, corporate disclosure is so limited that a stock purchase is akin to gambling in a casino. Moving to a slightly higher level, the OTC Bulletin Board system continues to struggle between demanding greater public information on one hand and increasing the sheer numbers of listed counters on the other. The OTC Bulletin Board does require companies to report accounts and material developments on an ongoing basis but as many investors have found out to their cost, regular filings do not necessarily translate into quality.

All that said, there is no question that the senior markets do not, as a general rule, offer exponential returns. For instance, credible returns in excess of 1000% per annum are periodically recorded over the Pink Sheets and OTCBB trading system. The problem, therefore, lies in the selection process. How does one pick the winners?

Again, conventional wisdom suggests that the process of picking winners (and dropping losers) should have become a relatively straightforward exercise with the advent of the Internet. After all, as many believed in the late 1990s, the web-based information explosion should have led to a higher degree of informed decision-making.

That, however, has not been the case. On the contrary, as a New York-based hedge fund manager wrote in a client report last week, “there are too many websites and too many emails throwing up all kinds of untested ideas, so we have decided to refrain from participating in anything outside the established stock exchanges.” An executive of the London Stock Exchange was less charitable at a recent investor presentation. “Junior companies are making all kinds of ridiculous claims on websites and in emails, and investors should wait until the regulators have a handle over all that, whenever that will be,” she said, stressing the “whenever” portion of her statement.

But that “whenever” might be too far away, as a survey indicates. And that is because the selection basics that separate the good from the bad are not in dispute. The first selection priority is the availability of comprehensive information. The second is the willingness of listed companies to generate audited financial statements with extensive notes, despite the fact that certain trading systems do not require such data. The third important issue relates to the nature of the press releases: notably, are the press releases saying anything of value in relation to a corporation’s business model?

Finally, has an independent analyst (or researcher) provided any detailed assessment of the assumptions which drive the business model? As has become evident in recent years, many juniors are selling dreams; unfortunately, in more than a few cases, managements sincerely believe that they are involved in a “stock play”, not in the usually painful exercise of building shareholder and corporate value. And, also unfortunately, hundreds of fairly decent business strategies are seriously constrained by recourse to adequate financing.

To conclude, while there is no doubt that investors must access the internet if they are indeed looking for above-average returns, the methodology involved in a web-based analysis needs to be clearly understood.

Free and unlimited web storage

Today, when everyone is working through the Internet, most businesses are also vying for net space to create their portals. When building a website, the first thing a person checks, is how much web storage they get and if that will be enough for them to upload all the information and images related to their business. This storage space is also used to put in video and audio files, but only a few companies offer free and unlimited web storage facility. With the help of unlimited storage, it becomes easier to do multiple uploads and that also through simultaneous file upload feature. The space available is quite large which means free download is easy for the users, and they can even upload or download mp3 and video files from there.

There are many people who have the habit of uploading videos taken at home or in their personal space to share with others. This can be done using simple upload software and again using similar download software to take it down onto another computer. Being able to upload music means, one need not worry about occupying space on their computer. They can use the free music hosting facility on the company they are using and load up to 100mb of stuff on it. This gives them the flexibility of using the music or files whenever they wish.

Free files hosting, free mp3, video, image and any types of file uploading are all features of sites where unlimited web storage is a given thing. Through the service provided, the user of the site can upload files or download files depending on their need. They can also make changes and re upload the files, and this applies to not only mp3 and video but also to any files. There might be certain software that they use for work, and if they are unable to carry it on CD or multiple people need to access, it is easier to software upload on the web space and give access to all those who might need the same.

In most cases, the free web storage space is allowed for a trial period, post that the user will have to purchase the same. But there are few exceptions where unlimited space is allowed for indefinite periods of time. Make use of the bandwidth provided to free music hosting or upload files and share the link with all those you wish to share them with. Another possibility is to follow the steps involved in web hosting, get files, take backup and even put in flash files for free. It might sound like a far-fetched possibility, but these activities are very possible in sites that allow for uploading any file types and where it is fast uploading.

The software used for this purpose could also be stored in the same space, so the others who access the site can avail the same to view certain uploaded video files. They can also then proceed with file exchange, which would allow for knowledge transfer and more learning.

National Real Estate Disaster

The current real estate crisis in the US is only going to get worse as the sub prime loans continue to switch from the honeymoon rate to the higher rate that has already seen many home owners pushed over the edge and out of their homes. This is an economic disaster that will continue to have serious effects on the US real estate market and the economy for years to come.

The banks should shoulder some responsibility for to the crisis after all they set the lending criteria along with the various financial institutions have made it very easy to obtain a home loan where in many cases the loan should never have been granted. Many people were steered into sub prime deals when they did not need to go that way, they could have easily qualified for a standard loan but were steered towards the sub prime deals by the lenders who were keen to pickup the more lucrative commissions. So now the time has come to pay and people are walking away from homes on mass, the banks are being forced to foreclose and property values are falling as a result.

Falling property values means many people end up in  situation where they have negative equity in their homes, they can't sell to repay the debt and the banks become very uncomfortable with the situation. The money market tightens up and the situation compounds. It's a national disaster in the eyes of some, so much pain and suffering for families. The economic fallout is massive and will only get worse as America rushes towards a recession, the soft landing of the real estate market has turned into a giant crash and the ripple effect will travel right around the whole globe. The banks have now started to try and work with people to keep them in their houses and they are negotiating where possible.

The foreclosure market is running hot in almost every state, many construction companies are falling like flies and are offering amazing deals to maintain cash flow and viability. Oil has pushed closer to the $100 per barrel mark to add to the problems.

Coal Reduces Reliance On Foreign Oil

Recently, the price of a barrel of oil rose to $40, the most expensive price in American history. With the rise in oil prices and constant instability in the Middle East, the United States seems headed for an energy crisis.

But there is an abundant, low-cost energy source located throughout the country. That energy source is coal.

After years of mine shutdowns, there is a renewed interest in coal in the United States. Companies such as Quest Minerals and Mining Corp. are now reopening mines and resuming coal production.

There are 274 billion tons of coal in mines across the country. That amount of coal could last the United States for about 250 years, considering that the average American uses 7,000 pounds of coal each year. Using this resource decreases dependence of foreign oil and stimulates the economy in several ways.

First, coal stimulates the American economy by maintaining and creating jobs for people that work in the mines and in coal transportation. For each of the four major freight rail lines, coal represents at least 40 percent of the total tonnage hauled each year. Many people are dependent on coal for their livelihood and will remain so if Americans increase their use of coal as an energy source.

Moreover, because coal is a domestic resource, the cost of transporting it is much lower than the cost of importing oil from other nations. Transportation costs of coal are also lower because there are more options for transporting coal from one place to another. Coal is carried by barge and by train.

Using coal is beneficial for more than just jobs and reducing transportation costs. The abundance of coal allows the price to remain stable, unlike oil prices in the volatile Middle East. Commodities like coal, whose costs remain stable or decrease, keep inflation low. Low inflation rates allow Americans to be confident that their savings and investments are safe.

Another major benefit of coal power is the cost of electricity generated by coal. Generation of coal power costs one-fourth that of natural gas power generation. Businesses using coal power keep their overhead costs low and maximize profitability. Furthermore, coal is used to generate electricity for telecommunications, computers and all other electric-based technologies that boost the American economy.

The benefits of coal power make it a logical choice for the power source of the future of the United States.

How to Have the Right Limo Service

For you to give an added touch to your special event, you should acquire the service of a limousine. In acquiring for limousine service, you should be alert and well-informed; you can do this by making sure that every details or information is taken into account.

There are lots of factors that you need to take into account such the costs, rate per hour, limousine types, and so on.

Actually, one of the vital parts to the success of your special event is the choice of transportation you make and by considering all the factors needed or accompanied with it.

Absolutely, you want to make your special event perfect and run smoothly, so you want to make sure that everything is settled and planned. So it is advisable that you book a limousine service for your special event months before the specific date in order for you to choose the limousine type you want and can make sure that you will have the best services that you need.

In booking earlier, you can also have the chance to discuss with the manager the amenities that you need and want for your limousine. Like for instance, if you are going for a long trip, definitely, you would want a flat television with DVD player in order for you to watch some movies while traveling. If you need the limousine for business affair such as meeting, you and your business partners can be given privacy screens that you can use for your meeting and discussion. It is really very important to let the limo company know your needs and wants in order for them to settle it for you.

You have to make head count as well, this can help you determine the type and size of limousine that you need for the special event. In choosing limousine, you also have to consider the comfort that you and your passengers will have and the fun that they will get from the amenities that the limousine has. In order for you to choose the right type of limousine you need for your special event, you need to ask the limo company to give you the details and photos of limousines that they offer. It is also better to ask about the quotes of the rates that the limo company offers.

Indeed, there are lots of limousine companies and each of them differs with their prices and rates. You can check out your yellow pages in finding the right limo company that can give you the best services that you want and need. You can contact several limo companies and compare each. You can also use the internet in finding the right limo company, you can check out few websites that offers limo service. Just make sure that the limo company is reliable enough to give you the best service with the right rate.

As soon as you find the appropriate limo service, you need to talk about the details with the manager. You have to ask all the valuable information that you need. You need to inform the manager about the details of the special event such as the time, date of the event, pick up point, destination, and location and so on.

The Truth Behind Linear Selling : Why It Can Make Prospects Run The Other Way

Sean works for a major telecom company.

During one of our coaching sessions on how to master Unlock The Game™, he told me, "I've been diligent about following the sales process that my company believes is required to make a sale -- but, for some strange reason, my prospects don't want to fit into that process.

Here are some suggestions about what to say and do in a sales situation.

* Integrate trust-building language into your conversations with prospects so they'll feel comfortable telling you where they are at in their process.

For example, saying "Where do you think we should go from here?" invites them to tell you the truth, while "Why don't we set up a next appointment to discuss our next steps" gives the impression that you're trying to take control.

* Rather than asking prospects overtly what their decision making process is, use softer language that they can understand from their perspective.

For example, "What specific gates do you anticipate you'll need to go through as you consider the proposition of purchasing the software to solve the business issues we discussed?"

* Don't probe or "fish" for prospects' "pain" as part of your sales process. Prospects have learned through long experience that the appearance of caring is usually a verbal ploy designed to move the sale forward according to the salesperson's agenda. Instead, speak genuinely and with sincerity to what you know their core business issues are. You can find out what these are by getting in touch with customers who have already bought your product or service and asking, "What three or four business issues drove your decision to buy our product?"

Chances are, your new prospect will be dealing with similar concerns.

Consider these ideas, and try these practical suggestions. They helped Sean feel better about letting go of the old ideas he'd been taught.

Maybe they'll do the same for you.

Businesses Need Money To Grow. Is Venture Capital Right For You?

The goal of every business is to be successful in their efforts and continue to grow. However, they often come to a crossroads where they are going to have to invest more money if they want to experience growth and additional profits. It may be money needed for new equipment, a larger building, or a number of other items that can be found to keep a business operating at its very best.

Many business owner’s turn to venture capital in order to finance the such ventures for their business. This is a type of loan that comes from a private investor rather than a traditional lending institution. The lender offers the necessary cash and in return they receive shares of ownership in the business.

They often ask for 2% of the profits during the time it takes to repay the funds as well so venture capital lending can be very profitable. In addition you will still be paying the principal balance and the interest on it. However, this 2% is to cover their risk on such an investment.

Business owner’s may have no choice but to look into venture capital options if they are considered to be too high of a risk for a traditional lender to offer them the funding they need. It could be due to the business being new, the business owes too much money to other lenders, or they have a poor credit history that traditional lenders can’t accept.

There are also times when a business needs funding in order to purchase items that aren’t tangible. Since the lender can’t use them as collateral they find the venture to be just too high of a risk. Some common items that may be involved are software programs for operating computers in the business and research that is necessary for the business to successfully grow.

However, it is important to realize that venture capital may not be a good option for your particular business and financial needs. You are going to have to be able to present information that shows there is a very high chance that your business will be quite profitable if you are allowed to access the funds necessary for your business to expand.

Keep in mind that your information also has to show that these additional earnings will be evident in the allotted time frame. In most instances the investors of venture capital will give you a minimum of three years and a maximum of seven years for that growth to occur and be profitable.

Venture capital should always be a last resort when all other options of securing funding have failed. In those instances it can be a very valuable tool which can decide whether you get the funding you need to expand your business or not. It is estimated that more than $6 trillion in loans under the category of venture capital take place each year in the United States. The process is available in many other countries as well but not nearly to the same extreme as in the United States.

Three Secrets to Mega-Success (Part 1 of 3)

I'll be the first to admit it...

I'm not a genius. My SAT scores weren't the highest. I didn't have a perfect 4.0 GPA in college (but I was pretty close). And I don't even have a formal "business degree."

So - how the heck did I graduate at the top of my class, start my first (profitable!) business at 14, go on to become successful in MLM, work and perform at venues like the Kennedy Center and Signature Theatre and even start my own marketing company serving MLMers?

Glad you asked. ;)

I've finally decided to let you in on my secrets.

You see, for years my friends and family always called me "lucky". But the kicker is - I don't believe in luck.

I think it was Earl Nightingale who said "luck is when opportunity meets preparation", right? So instead of calling someone "lucky" - we should just say they've been prepared to spot opportunities.

How? By having the right mindset.

Let me explain...

Recently, I was asked to speak for a group of hand-picked entrepreneurs in a special apprenticeship program (some of them paying up to $7,000.00 to be part of the year-long home business program).

And in preparing for that talk, I was forced to look at my daily success activities that allow me to play games, travel and keep the alarm clock turned off.

Now, fortunately for you - you don't have to pay $7,000.00 to hear what I came up with. You're going to get my top 3 "secrets" for FREE right here in "Instant MLM Profit Secrets"!

(Note: I sure as heck didn't invent any of these secrets, but instead picked them up from MY mentors over the years. Just because they may seem simple, don't mistake the fatal mistake of discounting their power. Use them and profit from them.)

SUCCESS SECRET #1: One Pro-Active Thing A Day

I learned from one of my mentors, Dan Kennedy, to always do one pro-active thing a day. Every single day of the year. And when I follow that advice - it always has a great impact on my sales and bottom line.

You know - it doesn't even matter if you have a 9-5 job or work full-time from home. EVERY person can do one pro-active thing a day.

I know, I know. This may sound TOO easy to do...but that makes it just as easy not to do.

Take this advice to heart. Not a day goes by (okay, maybe one or two do!) where I'm not doing something to bring in new customers and clients for my businesses. Whether it's doing a sit-down presentation or finding a new affiliate - it doesn't matter.

Like clockwork. Every single day.

But BEWARE! The danger here is to SKIP it one day and tell yourself you'll double up on the next day. Don't do it! The temptation is great, I know - but you're programming your mind for procrastination and indecision.

Instead, get up each morning and give yourself ONE important activity to do for that day for your business. It could be calling a prospect, finding a new affiliate, one 3-way call. Almost anything. Don't let yourself go to bed until you've done it.

And what's the end result?

You'll program your mind for action and success. That's what makes this so powerful! Even if you're having a "bad" day, you've still reached your one goal and had a win by the time you go to bed. Believe me, your subconscious is taking note!

Do this for just 30 days and you'll be amazed how you feel and the results you can accomplish.

----- Side Bar: Want to be super-successful? Include READING and LISTENING as part of your daily activities. Every single day read 10 pages of a good book and listen to 15 minutes of a tape or CD. (It's the closest you can come to barely doing any real work and still improving yourself.)

It was Michael Clouse who taught me to stick a CD player in my bathroom on top of my toilet. And I'll tell you - it's one of the greatest self-improvement tips I've picked up! Every day when showering and getting dressed, all you'll have to do is push "play" and better yourself. Doesn't get much easier than that. -----

I know I just gave you a potpourri of things to think about, so here's how you can immediately apply this to YOUR daily routine...

1) Buy a stack of 3x5 cards. In the morning, write down your ONE goal for the day. Carry it around with you. And don't go to bed until it's done.

2) READ each day. 10 pages. Or one chapter. Or 30 minutes. It doesn't matter the amount as long as you're consistent and regular. (And when I said read - it's not the tabloids or the negative news. It's something that improves your skills and expands your thinking!)

3) Buy yourself a cheap boom-box for your bathroom. Stick it on the toilet. And listen to a positive tape or CD each day. Again, it's the consistent action that will get you the results.

And there you have it - the first of my three success secrets that'll give you "magic" results.

Now, I promise you, there are people who are reading this saying "oh yeah, that, I've heard that before" but they won't do a damn thing with the information....and most likely they are the same people NOT achieving the mega-success.

Don't be one of them.

Try these quick and easy activities until I send you Success Secret #2 and see how you feel!

Your business (and bank account) will thank you!

Irish Whisky

The fact that there are only three distilleries in Ireland would suggest that this has always been a small-scale industry. Take time to visit the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin or the Jameson Heritage Centre in Midleton, County Cork and another truth is immediately apparent. These are distilleries built on a grand scale. Both sites are long silent, but give a glimpse of a time when Irish whiskey rather than Scotch was the world's favourite style.

No wonder distillers like Jameson and Power rejected the column still; the world wanted their pot-still whiskey. By the end of the 19th century, Jameson's Bow St. plant was employing 300 people and 2 million gallons were sleeping beneath the Dublin streets. But history stepped in and five years after the formation of Irish Distillers, the Bow St. site closed. Production was switched to Power's equally grand John's Lane distillery for three years, before the new plant at Midleton started up in 1975.

Much the same happened in Cork Distilleries' massive 'Old' Midleton distillery now (slightly confusingly) called The Jameson Heritage Centre. It's undoubtedly impressive, but like all silent distilleries, slightly sad and ghostly. Wandering round this vast plant you can imagine the scrape of the shovels in the malting barns, the creak of the pulleys, the hiss and rattle of the stills, the clatter of hooves in the cobbled courtyard, the cries and laughter of the men, the calming splash of the water wheel which powered the plant.

Then in 1975 the wheel stopped, the largest pot still in the world (at 31,648 gallons big enough to hold a party in) produced its last spirit. But the ending of the old world ushered in a new one of high-tech whiskey making. 'New' Midleton, carefully hidden from the tourists' gaze, may look unimpressively industrial from the outside, but is the most remarkable distillery in the world.

So why haven't we heard about it? Maybe the industry had been so badly beaten up that it lost confidence in selling to the world. Until recently that is. Jameson is currently the fastest-growing whiskey brand in the world, new lines are appearing at a rate of knots. But we skip ahead.

How can you make 30-plus different whiskies (and gin and vodka) in one site? The few visitors who are allowed into the Midleton still room spend an age shaking their heads in wonder at the four massive pot stills sitting opposite the seven columns that shoot up to the roof. 'Effectively, what we have here is two distilleries rolled into one - a pot still/malt whiskey distillery and a column still light/grain whiskey distillery,' says master distiller Barry Crockett, looking down into the cavernous stillhouse.

'What's unique is the way the distillate streams can be diverted from the pot still side to the column still side, and vice versa. Actually, I can use any combination that takes my fancy!' In other words, he can make a triple distilled pot still spirit, or pot-column-pot, or column-pot-pot, or ... well, you get the idea. Just through distillation, different flavour profiles are created. There's more. 'The cut points for each component whiskey will vary,' he says.

'Say we're making one for Jameson 15-year-old. It will have a different cut point to the standard Jameson. Power's and Paddy will also have their own different cut points, distillation techniques - and mashbills.' Most of the pot still whiskeys use a percentage of unmalted barley - giving them a distinctive crunchy, spicy quality. 'It's hard to describe.

Becoming Wealthy through the Home-Based Business Opportunity

Thanks to the Internet, more people than ever before are discovering that they can launch their own home-based business. Essentially, all you need is a computer, an Internet connection, and the right home-based business opportunity. The question then becomes, how to you select the best home based business opportunity? Here are four steps you can take to help you decide which opportunity is right for you.

Determine Your Goals

Before committing to an income opportunity at home, you first need to determine your goals. Are you interested in supplementing your income from your current job? Do you wish to stay at home with your children, but bring in a second income? Are you retired and want to supplement your pension or social security? Or are you tired of the nine-to-five grind and want to make a full time income by working only part time? Perhaps you have a specific financial goal in mind, such as a vacation or college fund, or maybe you want to harness the power of the Internet and become genuinely wealthy. Determining your financial goals will help you find the best home based business opportunity.

Can You Sell?

Many times, a home-based business opportunity requires you to sell products. Are you a salesperson at heart, or does the thought of calling people and selling products make you cringe? If you're a born salesperson, there are any number of opportunities that allow you to excel. However, if you're not a natural salesperson, there's no reason to go outside your comfort zone. Even if you try, you probably won't succeed.

Instead, find a home-based business opportunity that harnesses the power of the Internet to provide you with an automated, hands-off lead generation and sales system. Typically, these kinds of opportunities offer products - such as software or information products - that essentially sell themselves. The companies that offer these kinds of business opportunities will provide you with the tools you need to help you succeed, such as your own website, training, and marketing support.

Seek Out Flexibility

You may be in the position to work predetermined hours from home, but the majority of people who seek an income opportunity at home need flexibility. Perhaps you have school-age children, or maybe you are a night owl and want to work from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. The best home based business opportunity enables you to work the hours that are convenient to you and that allows you to access the vital information you need 24-7-365.

The Right Compensation Plan

There are almost as many compensation plans as there are home-based business opportunities. When you're reviewing opportunities, make sure to compare apples to apples. Generally speaking, the best compensation plans give you 100% of every sale after your first two sales (which go to your immediate upline). You then receive the sales from the first two sales of each person in your downline, and their downline, and so forth to infinity. This type of compensation plan generally outperforms those that are commission-based because commission-based compensation plans typically are of greatest benefit to those at the top and leave relatively little profit for you.

When you find the best home based business opportunity, you can maximize your earning potential and truly become wealthy.

How to Build Great Relationships through Cold Calling

Sometimes the finest solutions are the simplest. Focusing on relationships when making cold calls is one of them. It keeps us genuine, and eliminates our dread of making cold calls. We’re real people talking about real things. We’re interested in the conversation, and it shows.

Most of us dislike putting on our "salesperson persona" when we make cold calls. We think it’s needed, however, because we’ve been trained to make the sale. And yet we’re interacting with a live, breathing person without having any real connection to him or her. It often feels fake, and it often is.

This artificial role puts a great stress on us, and sabotages our cold calling conversations. When we aren’t genuine, it’s a red flag to the other person that we have a sales agenda. This puts nearly everyone "on guard." They’ve never met us and are wary of possibly being manipulated.

Have you ever noticed that most cold calls break down the moment we try to "move" things along towards a sale? It’s as if we’re getting ready for battle, and the tension pushes us along.

But the person we’ve called doesn’t know us. The momentum we’re trying to impose puts him or her in a defensive position. They’re protecting themselves from a potential "intruder" who might have a self-serving agenda.

So how can we to shift into something more positive? We begin by focusing on the relationship rather than salesmanship.  We call with the anticipation of meeting someone new, and looking forward to a pleasant conversation to find out whether we can be of service. This mindset is subtle but powerfully felt by the other person.

Building relationships humanize our cold calling conversations -- and our selves.  We are less artificial. Cold calling conversations become more natural. And people tend to respond with more warmth and interest.

The point is not to use the "technique of building relationship" to improve sales. That’s having a hidden agenda rather than a relationship. Our goal is to see if we can provide something that will benefit the other person. If it doesn’t, then we prefer not to continue interrupting their day. That’s a real relationship, even if brief.

When we’re being real people treating others as real people, the difference is amazing. Both people are both more at ease. We anticipate talking with someone who may possibly have an interest in what we have to offer. And if they don’t, we’ve enjoyed our time with him or her.

When others feel this relaxed mindset from you, they are much more likely to welcome you into their day. But if you rigidly follow a script or launch into a mini-presentation, then your call is immediately pegged as something initiated primarily for your own gain. And that puts most people into resistance.

Here are 8 keys to building relationships in cold calling:

1. Focus on the other person’s needs rather than on securing a sale

2. Surrender to the outcome of your cold call so you can connect with your potential client at a human level

3. View the human connection as an exciting journey in which you encounter new and interesting people

4. Speak graciously and naturally as you would with any new acquaintance

5. Remember it’s about how you come across, not about how many people you call

6. Allow the conversation to evolve naturally

7. Invite both of you to decide together whether it’s worth your time to pursue the conversation further

8. Use phrases that are non-aggressive yet very effective

So try this. Practice shifting your mental focus from salesmanship into a place of relationship. You’ll find that your genuine enjoyment of the conversation rubs off on the other person. They’ll be less defensive and more likely to share with you truthfully.

One of the best ways to build relationship is by using phrases that carry the human element very well. Start out by asking, "Hi, could you help me out for a minute?" The most common response will be, "Sure. What do you need?"

Your next question might be to ask whether they are open to the idea of looking at different ways to, for example, reduce their expenses. Most of the time the reply will be something like, "Well, sure, what kinds of expenses are you talking about?"

Now you are able to open the conversation between the two of you and build an initial relationship. It’s easy and comfortable to continue from there.

When you do this, you’ll experience so much success and satisfaction that it will really change the way you do business. And it will bring sales success beyond your imagination.

Creative Business Opportunity Ideas for Work-at-Home Moms

More and more people are finding ways to earn money and work at home. There are many moms who would love to stay home to work and have their own income. Most homes have personal computers, which opens the door to many business opportunities for moms. It is estimated that there are more than three million people working at home now. You too can realize your dream of independence and success.

The mom who wants to make money at home has the ability to set her own schedule and work as much as she wants. If you are only interested in part-time work, then you can regulate the time spent on your home business. If you want to quit an outside job and work full-time at home, the option is your choice.

Find a Business Opportunity

There are numerous business opportunities for someone who wants to work at home. Some work-at-home moms choose an enterprise based on their own interests. Others choose to work for someone else and provide services needed. There are directories on the Internet to help you find the right company for you.

There are many companies that need help with clerical and computer work. You can also make money at home by doing phone polls, processing insurance claims and doing background checks. There are many companies that need products assembled at home, which could help you to get started in a home business of your own. Also, check with "work-at-home mom" websites for great tips, job resources, and helpful advice.

Be Your Own Boss

If you have a unique product or service to offer, you can open your own business web page. There are websites on the Internet to help you get started and many are free. This is an excellent business opportunity to get your products where the public will find them. With a website, you can still be your own boss and put as much time into the business as you want.

Some moms do not have the time or desire to promote their own products or services. Many have tried MLM and network marketing ventures and come away disillusioned. They may not want to sell products and deal with customers. In these cases, finding a good company that will train and support you is very important. Also, there are companies now that do the selling for you. They provide a phone staff to answer sales calls and close the sales. Some companies will even help you promote the business.

Benefit from Your Home Business

Instead of investing a large sum of your money in a business opportunity, find a company that allows you to enter at various levels where you can work up to higher levels. Instead of you having the burden of making all the sales and doing the support work, it is to your advantage to work with a company that helps you in your business. Doing so will allow you to keep a healthy balance between work and home life.

If you don't want high pressure and stressful goals, find a business opportunity that suits your interests and objectives. If you want to make money to live on or need something to do to fill your time, start looking now for the home business that will fulfill your hopes and dreams.

Dining In Pattaya Thailand

In Pattaya you will be bombarded with smells and tastes from a wide variety of cuisines.  Determining where you will dine for the day may be the biggest decision of the day.

I will list approximate prices in Thai Baht and the exchange rate as I write this is about 33 Baht to 1 US dollar.

Breakfast is cheap in Pattaya.  You can get basic fare for about 50 to 80 baht which consists of bacon and eggs, toast, juice and coffee.  A better deal is the hotel buffet.  The Lek Hotel, Apex and Diana Inn on Second Road all have buffets for about 110 Baht.  Lots of food but nothing really spectacular.

I prefer to have a big breakfast but one that also tastes good.  My favorite is at the Sportsman on Soi 13.  They have a full English breakfast for about 240 Baht.  This is served on a platter and comes with bacon, sausage, eggs, toast, beans, bubble and squeak, and fried tomatoes.  It is all you can do to finish it.

I usually don’t eat lunch after having the big breakfast but for those who get hungry mid-day, there are many, many places to get something to eat.  Everything from fast food to street vendor dishes are all over the city.  You won't be able to walk ten feet without someone selling something to eat.

If I am hungry at lunchtime, I usually go to the Royal Garden Shopping Center upstairs to the food court.  There you buy a card similar to a credit card and put however much Baht on it as you want.  I usually add about 200 Baht and if I have money left over, I can get it refunded.

Then you just walk around to the many vendors and see what you like.  Most of the food is Thai and there is everything from soup, to rice dishes to noodles.  Beverages and dessert are also available.  Most of the meals are in the 30 – 40 Baht range.

For dinner, I usually stop at a street vendor and get some meat and rice.  There is a group of street vendors, or an outside food court on Soi Buakhao just north of Soi LK Metro.  The northernmost vendor is my favorite.  He has boiled chicken, fried pork, and cooked red pork.  All dishes come with rice and cost 25-30 Baht.  A bottle of water is an additional 10 Baht.

If you get hungry while out on the town in Pattaya, you will be able to get food no matter what time it is.  Stationary street vendors and vendors with motorized stalls are everywhere serving soup, bar-b-que, and rice and noodle dishes.  You can even get a sampling of Northern Thailand snacks – grasshoppers, silkworms, ants, and beetles.

Eating in Thailand is a way of life and you will find yourself eating 4 to 6 times per day.  The meals are small in size and huge in taste.  Some of the Thai dishes can be very spicy so be careful with the chili peppers.

And if you only eat pizza, burgers and fries, you can get those dishes all over the city too.

You can even find some of the best steaks and European cuisine in this former fishing village.  Seafood is also abundant and you can get lobster or crabs for a small fraction of what you pay at home

I can guarantee that you will not go hungry when you are in Pattaya.

How to Cold Call with Integrity – The way we’ve always wanted to do cold calling!

You probably never tell potential clients your real goal in calling them, but you don’t need to. They’re already aware, because we’re all sensitive when the phone rings and it turns out to be someone we don’t know.

In the old traditional training, we learned the latest techniques for making a sale. We talk to "prospects" rather than with people. And we "guide" conversations along rather than letting them unfold naturally.

The way we do this sometimes might even be called a bit manipulative. After all, we’re relating to another person while holding an ulterior motive of making a sale.

Where does honesty and integrity fit into this scenario? Well, most of us honestly believe in our product or service. But beyond that, we carry a somewhat artificial persona when we’re cold calling. We talk with people for the primary purpose of making a sale, and we’re not really interested in them or their world.

Doesn’t this make you feel uneasy at times?  It does to me.

So let’s discuss some ways we’ve been trained in the traditional sales mindset that feel artificial and dehumanizing, and ways we can overcome them.

1. We intrude upon another person uninvited, with the goal of making a sale

It’s against our nature as human beings to create uncomfortable situations. We have a natural instinct for courtesy and connection  It’s usually hard for us as regular people to call uninvited, because on some level it feels discourteous.

We can change that by changing our goal. What if our goal is not to make the sale, but to find out if we can help someone? This shift makes us more relaxed. And it keeps us in harmony with personal integrity.

2. We project ourselves as personable and friendly, while also holding an ulterior motive for securing a sale

There’s an inner conflict with integrity when we find ourselves using our connections with others for self-gain. So we can bring ourselves back into honesty and truthfulness by shedding ulterior motives entirely.

We do this by focusing on whether we can provide something that will benefit another person. We find out if they have a problem we may be able to solve. And if it turns out we can’t help with our product or service, we graciously accept the outcome.

By being honest and not playing a role, we find ourselves really liking what we do. And when our "ulterior motives" are simply non-existent, people are more open to trusting us.

3. When we meet someone new, we immediately talk about ourselves and what we have to offer

It’s actually not normal for us to start an interaction by launching into a self-focused monologue. As regular people, this just goes against our grain. Common courtesy dictates that initial conversations be dialogues, not monologues.

In normal conversations we would feel self-absorbed if we primarily talked about ourselves and what we have to offer. Yet in the traditional cold calling situation, it’s an accepted "norm." We’ve been trained to read a script, follow a strategy, or give a sales pitch.

This really isn’t the way we’d like to relate to people, but it’s the way we’ve been taught.

We can break out of this artificial game of sorts by just being ourselves. Integrity and truthfulness means being authentic. We begin cold calling conversations with a natural focus on the other person. We find out their needs, and respond with genuine interest.

4. We "rev up" in an artificial way, hoping to carry the potential client along with us into a sales process

When we "pump ourselves up" with enthusiasm, it feels somewhat fake. It’s not our normal way of being, and it throws us out of integrity.

And we also appear artificial to potential clients. They become wary of possibly being maneuvered into a sales situation.

If we can navigate a cold calling conversation without such games, people will sense we’re trustworthy. They react warmly and unhesitatingly to a conversation that feels natural to them, and especially if it revolves around their issues rather than our agenda.

So how do we approach cold calling in the most truthful way? We stop being "salespeople" and become human. We engage in an honest dialogue rather than a monologue. We look for ways to help others, and we’re comfortable knowing that our product or service may not be an honest "fit" for them right now. And we stop playing roles, especially the "high enthusiasm" game.

This is what I mean by bringing integrity back into selling. It’s unbelievable just how rewarding both personally and professionally this can be.

CUTTING NEWS ! – Frank Thomas Joins Roadmap To Riches .. It’s official !

Todays home entrepreneur's tips:

eBay (A subset of List Building)

eBay? Free Advertising?

Ok, so technically an auction listings cost 35 cents… But one sale can easily make you a profit, and you’re allowed to sell nine of the same product in one auction at that price… So this is one exception I’m going to keep in this book because it’s really BETTER than free, all things considered.

So where does the Advertising part come in?

Simply place an information package of some kind, even if it’s just an article on your niche, and sell that infoproduct in an extremely cheap auction listing. Most people sell these things for 1 penny, although the difference between 1 cent and 35 cents really isn’t that much of a difference to the buyers looking for this information.

Naturally there are no other costs like shipping or insurance, because delivery is a simple digital download. Further advertising is up to you, and it is always a matter of just giving eBay some additional fees to make your listing stand out more. If your listing is profiting, try starting the next listing as a “Gallery item” for another 35 cents, and go up from there until you’ve reached a point of maximum returns.

Here’s the great part about this tactic: The winner of the listing’s email address is automatically sent to you via email, through eBay itself. Sell a bunch of those info packets, and you’ve built yourself one of your industry’s most targeted lists!

Don’t feel too left out if you haven’t mentally joined these two concepts together before now. Not too many people have, unless they bought the secret from someone on eBay themselves.

The fact is that eBay already has the lion’s share of traffic, and more importantly, of people in the purchasing mindset. Compare this to Google’s Traffic, which is composed of people in the “researching” mindset. It’s not hard to imagine why serious marketers prefer eBay’s traffic to Google’s Traffic!

Advertising on eBay is as simple as being there in the first place, using a few well-searched keywords. Finding those keywords isn’t too difficult either; all you really have to do is search for expired listings and sort by the price. This way you’ll easily see which auctions recently got the most money in your niche, and then all you have to do is model your campaign like theirs, listing your product under the same category!

Drawbacks?

Although the Delivery Time and the Quality of the traffic is world class, the Quantity is not infinite… It depends on your niche, of course, but the competition on eBay can be fierce as new auctions will be placed above older ones all the time. Still, with people happy to search keywords you’ve still got a good chance of being found even between the first day or the last few minutes of the auction.

Effectiveness in drawing a large amount of traffic all depends on how good your auction’s sales copy is. Luckily, you can model your auction off others that have done well in the past.

Make no mistake about it; selling infoproducts on eBay is a world-class list-building strategy. That’s about all there is to it, but most people overlook this very powerful way of building your list because it seems too awkward, or they don’t want to take the time to put an info-packet together.

If you sell a product online, then you’ve got to face the fact eventually that this is some of the most targeted, “buyer-frenzied” traffic that exists. If you’re not using this tactic, then you’ll not only be depriving your business of a constant stream of better-than-free advertising, but you’ll also be missing out on a large source of clients that you aren’t likely to be able to reach otherwise.

The fact is that everybody eBays nowadays. That’s why I can use eBay as a verb! In fact I’ve seen a statistic recently that showed $14 of every $100 spent online, worldwide, is spent through eBay now, and this number is still growing! It is clearly the single biggest mover of money on the planet.

People from ALL walks of life can be found there, right when they have their credit cards in hand looking to spend… I don’t even know of another source of traffic that comes close!

When used correctly, you can build up a niche market list on any topic with this technique, and reach an unprecedented 50% or more of that market over time.

Just another weapon you put up in your arsenal of "guerilla methods".