Friday, May 18, 2012

Steps Involved When Creating an Audio Book

A person's ability to succeed in both certain and uncertain times requires a high level of resilience and use of appropriate knowledge. In most cases, knowledge comes through reading and listening thus the reason behind various audio and written media release. However, it's the sphere of an audio book release that continues to attract much attention from people who dislike the use of print versions.

An audio book is simply a recorded account of a print book. The rise of audio books can be attributed to the need to make it easier for the blind to access information without using Braille. Over time, the success achieved through adoption of audio books as great alternatives to print editions led to the rise of a career in audio book production.

In order to produce an audio book, you need to have a great speaking voice and concepts that can directly or indirectly be of benefit to the target group. If your content will be based on another person's print media, you must ensure that he or she has approved of the process before making the audio book otherwise use of copyrighted materials may land you in trouble with the law. If the work is solely yours, it's important that you copyright your production to deter other people from reproducing, redistributing and earning proceedings without your consent.

Before recording your content, you must rehearse thoroughly to familiarize with vocabulary and word pacing. Pronounce the words and take pleasure in doing it as that will compel the listener to enjoy your work. During the rehearsals, you should focus on ensuring that the reading pace is slow enough for the listeners to easily comprehend what is said. The slower you speak the better it gets for the listener. However, ensure that the pace doesn't get too slow for listeners who like listening to quick paced audio media to get bored.

To easily captivate the listener's attention, it's important that you keep on breaking voice monotony by altering pitch quality and introducing relevant audio effects. Even so, you should let the content being recorded determine the tone of voice that should be used for different parts. In the event that you aren't comfortable with introducing sound effects for the content being created, it's time to consider outsourcing the service of an audio engineer and voice talent personnel to take care of the challenging parts.

Finally, you will have to make a decision regarding the formats that the audio media should capture. In the present day, most audio recordings are done in CD and MP3 digital formats which make it necessary for your recordings to also reflect the trend before venturing into other possible alternatives.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fifty Shades Is More Than Just a Raunchy S and M Story

Fifty Shades of Grey's Christian Grey not only opens Anastasia Steele's eyes to the world of dominant/submissive role-play but also opens readers to a whole new way of finding sexual pleasure.

The gossip and excited chit-chat that surrounds the novel Fifty Shades, written by E.L. James, is more often than not about how much it has spiced things up in the bedroom for its readers. The world that Christian creates in his "Red Room of Pain" is none other than an experimenter's fantasy world. With canes, cuffs, and carnal music bumping through the surround sound speakers, Christian takes over Anastasia's body and mind and sends her whirling in countless orgasms. The detailed descriptions carved by James in this novel have changed the way readers approach their own bedroom activities, allowing them to view S&M and Dom/Sub relationships as something other than the "other".

As readers, we know that when Anastasia met Christian Grey on the fateful day of the interview, she was a virgin. Her experience had not surpassed the basement make-out sessions typical of high school pubescent passion. She was shy, insecure, and somewhat nerdy. As she falls for Christian, she changes dramatically into the confident, sensual being that revels in the indulgent pleasure of Christian's world. This same path of self discovery and sensual experimentation is what readers love as they dive into this series. Be it those who already were adventurous in the bedroom or readers who never thought of handcuffs as more that police restraints, this book offers readers a plethora of ideas to spice up their love lives.

The interesting and refreshing twist to the Fifty Shades world of S&M is that it is not solely about the man's pleasure and the woman's pain, but it is centered on the unexpected love story that unfurls between Christian and Anastasia. Christian is a Dominant in all senses of the word, but he is also sensitive to Anastasia's inexperience and is intent on bring her the ultimate pleasure. His biggest desire is to show her just how far she can be pushed with pain and just how much pleasure she can derive from it. The relationship that grows through the sexual encounters is one of strength and trust, and no one can deny that readers want the same for their own relationships.

As readers drink in the story of Christian and Anastasia in Fifty Shades of Grey, they discover a world of love, lust, excitement and discovery. This "romance novel" is an eye opener and a refreshing change from the classic tales of novels past.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Investing in British Art

Investing in British art is very beneficial for your wallet, as well as for the joy the pieces can bring you. Although it can be a great investment, it is still wise to only buy art pieces that you truly enjoy; because unless you turn around and sell them to make a profit you will be looking at your pieces for quite a while. Even taking this into consideration, there are a number of reasons to invest in British art. Some of these reasons include to gain status or prestige, to make money, or simply for the enjoyment of building a collection that you love. The reason you decide to invest in art really isn't all that important, as long as you're having a great time doing it.

At the moment one of the best sellers in British art are contemporary paintings. Both living as well as dead artists work have recently become very popular. This popularity drives the prices for their paintings higher and brings a higher value to the pieces. One of the most talked about and celebrated contemporary artists is Ken Howard. His paintings are generally done in a traditional style in both oils and water colors, and they have seen a very large increase in both price and popularity. Ken Howard is only one of many popular artists to consider when thinking of investing in art. While he is known for his paintings, there are many other art mediums to consider, such as sculpture or limited edition prints.

When deciding to invest in British art, or art of any kind, it is important to know and understand the art market you've chosen. It is best to just focus on the area of art that you've chosen to learn as much as you can so you can find the best pieces to invest in. Some ways to do this are to find books and art magazines, search the internet, and to visit and art galleries. Art galleries are especially beneficial because the exhibition artists and staff can be extremely knowledgeable and can give you plenty of information on the art subjects and pieces you're interested in.

Two of the biggest issues when investing in any art work is cost and the art's value, both now and in the future. Although it is important to focus on buying pieces that you like, you must still focus on its quality as well. Some people are tempted to buy work by the hottest new artist on the scene, but it is best to consider the fact that the odds of their success make this a strategy that's very risky. Before making the decision to purchase pieces of this nature, there are a number of factors to consider. Think of the quality of the artist's work as well as their reputation in the art world, the subject of their pieces, and the attraction that other buyers show to the artist's work.

When purchasing newer pieces, make sure that they are of good quality and posses original framing; for older pieces, watch out for damage. You should also make sure that each older piece is documented, and any piece that you buy contains the artist's signature. Without this key piece, the work will be far more difficult to sell later on.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All About Christian Grey

Christian Grey is a business mogul and highly-sought after bachelor based in Seattle, who owns multiple businesses and high-end properties. He is also a driven philanthropist who strives to make the world better for those who are poverty stricken. His stunning good looks compliment his intellectual and economic prowess. Christian has intense, burning grey eyes, thick, tousled hair and a body fit for gods. He is strong, motivated and charming to say the least.

Unfortunately, he also has a dark side that includes a troubling childhood and a craving for dominant/submissive style sex that sometimes crosses the lines of pleasure and punishment. Christian is known for his no-nonsense style of relationships, whether in the bedroom or in the workplace. At the start of the series, it seems he may either be celibate or gay, the speculations are mixed but none are accurate. The truth is, Christian treats his sexual relationships like business partnerships; with contracts, compensation and rules to go with. His sexual menu is diverse yet almost completely cold, without emotions or real connections. We learn that he lives this way not only to protect his heart but also because the cold dominant/submissive relationships are the only way he knows how to interact with a woman. Christian Grey's painful childhood includes drugs, prostitution and the witnessing of his mother's death at a very delicate age. His world fell apart when she died and he has never got past it, despite being adopted by amazing parents, Carrick and Grace.

Luckily for Christian, meeting Anastasia Steele flips the world he knows onto its back and opens him up to a new way of life that tests every rule he has ever had. Christian Grey develops into a loving, giving, doting boyfriend and husband as the story develops. He changes before our eyes and learns that there is a time and a place for a bit of pain but real love is about pleasure and trust. Anastasia refuses to be Christian's submissive so Christian must change his ways to keep her and luckily for readers, he obliges. The way that Christian takes care of Anastasia is nothing short of mouth-watering; he is a lover and a provider, a knight-in-grey-armor and a magician. Anastasia's wish is Christian Grey's command and this is what the loyal readers love about him.Who ever will be casted to play Christian Grey in the upcoming movie Fifty Shades Of Grey will surely have their hands full.

Monday, April 23, 2012

All About Anastasia Steele

Anastasia Steele is the female protagonist in the erotic trilogy beginning with Fifty Shades of Grey. We are introduced to her character as a soon to be university graduate who is awkward, lacking in style and somewhat insecure. She has a taste for books, lots of books, and her life consists of school, friends and a future in publishing. Anastasia Steele has a chance meeting with Christian Grey, our male protagonist, and it changes her world completely. He falls (pun intended) for her the moment she trips into his office and eventually wins her heart as well.

Anastasia transforms from a shy, clumsy girl into what some readers may consider a sex-crazed woman. Although when we meet her she has only been to second base, she is a quick study under Christian's teaching and is soon an adventurous vixen. Anastasia discovers a world that she never knew existed and as she does, her confidence grows. With the help of Christian's practically overflowing bank account (and at first to her disapproval) Anastasia evolves into a high-fashion wearing, powerful business owner. Anastasia Steele moves fairly smoothly from one world to another as she uncovers Christian's dark secrets and tries to mend his scarred and tender heart. Her love is often overwhelming and her persistence hovers on nagging, yet she is still a perfect opponent for Christian's character.

Anastasia's upbringing virtually prepared her for such an opponent. Her mother has been married several times and she was raised primarily by her stepfather, Ray. Ray is ex-military and is somewhat closed-off when it comes to conversation. Despite this, his love for Ana is undeniable and she learned priceless lessons from him throughout their relationship, including how to shoot which comes in handy in the trilogy's third book.

This not-so-traditional childhood and adolescence affords Anastasia with a different kind of confidence and strength that isn't readily apparent. Christian's desire for a submissive in Ana is quickly set aside when he discovers what a surprisingly feisty girl she is. Anastasia Steele is unpredictable in many situations but as readers get to know her, her emotions become transparent and we want desperately for her to get through Christian's thick walls so that she can heal his heart.

Anastasia Steele is a traditional female romantic-protagonist in that she is the regular girl swept off her feet by a rich, attractive man... but she is different if only for the simple fact that she has A LOT of work to do to truly "get the guy" heart and soul.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Different Types Of Personalized Calendars

Choosing personalized calendars is not as simple as it sounds. There are several things that should be considered before making a purchase. It is important to determine whether or not the calendars are being given as gifts, what kind of finish the calendars should have (glossy or matte) and the style of the calendars. The style is the most important of these choices and there are several styles to choose from including:






Specialty or Novelty

It is important to keep in mind the function of the calendar when choosing a style. For example, if it is a gift for someone who loves to plan each day in detail, a poster calendar would be inappropriate. If it is to be used as a promotional or fundraising item, a wall or planning calendar may not be cost effective. Each style has its advantages and disadvantages depending on its intended function.

Wall Calendars

These calendars work for just about everyone. They are the standard 28-page calendars that hang on a wall and typically have a picture on the top page and the calendar on the bottom page. They are not only decorative; they also offer plenty of space to write in important events or appointments. They make wonderful gifts for family or friends and can be personalized with family or other photos at just about any photo processing center.

Poster Calendars

Typically used to reference dates, poster calendars can vary in size from 11"X14" all the way up to 24"X36". These can be personalized with one large photo, or made into a collage of several photos. It is important to remember to make the font big enough to be seen from a distance yet not be too disruptive of the photo or picture.

Notecard Calendars

Usually promotional items used by companies in marketing, notecard calendars can also be used simply as a reference or wallet calendar and can be easily personalized with a photo or other picture.

Desktop Calendars

Some desktop calendars can be used as reference calendars and some are big enough to replace the typical wall calendar. These make wonderful gifts for the busy executive who is constantly referencing his calendar or going to meetings. Like wall calendars, the desktop version can be easily personalized with pictures or photos to make them unique.

Planning Calendars

These calendars are similar to daily or weekly calendars because they have space to write in important dates and appointments. But they are typically a spread of one month which limits the amount of space in which to write. They are small and portable making them excellent for the person constantly on the go or someone who prefers a pocket calendar over the wall version. Many photo processing centers can personalize these, or they can be ordered online.

Specialty or Novelty Calendars

These calendars can be just about anything. They can be made into soccer balls, magnets, pop-ups, or anything else. Depending on their size and shape, they can be personalized with a photo or picture. These are truly unique and make wonderful gifts for the person who has everything, including a calendar.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dollars and Sense and A Holiday Club To Boot

It was crunch time as the sound of a hundred and twenty seven children aged from six to twelve years filled the hall with exuberance and excitement. This holiday club had been eagerly anticipated by the children. The leaders had worked extremely hard to make it a memorable occasion. Jungle decorations and artwork filled the stage and surrounding walls.Net like structures hung from the ceiling and housed a rainbow of balloons. The musicians leapt to the stage and the children lustily sang their repertoire of new and favourite songs.

Beaming parents and friends watched from the sidelines as the children answered questions, competed in quizzes or volunteered their assistance. When the winning team was announced the roar was deafening. The question,

"Would they like another club in the next holidays?" received a resounding, "Yes".

So, what made this event so successful? When it comes to children's work, the answer is always the same, planning and organisation. The budget was very limited as, irrespective of their financial situation, the aim was to provide a positive outcome for every child attending at a minimal cost. The organisers were aware that some invited families could not afford to pay even a nominal fee.

How to Create the Right Atmosphere?

Individual creativity shone in this arena. Off to the white goods stores the team headed, where they pleaded for boxes from display refrigerators, washing machines and kitchen appliances. Palm trees and ferns, trees and animals were all drawn onto the boxes, painted with acrylic paint and then cut out. The tree trunks interlocked so were free standing as were the palms and ferns. In the main, only the animal faces were visible, peeping out from behind the exotic foliage. Birds appeared to be flying through the air, but they were strung on old fishing lines. By the time the team had finished you could almost feel the steam of the jungle heat rising. CDs of jungle sounds and bird songs were playing in the background and enhanced the atmosphere.

What Crafts to do?

With such a wide age group to cater for, was craft to be individual pieces or a team effort? A combination of both was chosen. Paper plates(not laminated ones) of all sizes were the preferred medium.

For the tiny children, lines were pre drawn in towards the centre of the plate, but only just beyond the rim. The children's task was to cut the lines and an older person lapped the cut areas over one another forming a bowl shape which they stapled into place. The younger children then gathered leaves, pieces of string and anything else that was available to make a,' nest' on the inside of the, 'bowl' and glued some of their,' finds' onto the outside as well. They then coloured simple bird templates using shading powders, cut them out and popped them in the nest.

The older children were encouraged to decide which animal face they would like to make. Their choice influenced the size of plate used. By drawing a pear shape, most animal faces can be made. Some 'pears' need to be inverted while others require elongating or making the bulb of the,' pear' a little plumper. (This principle works for monkeys, lions, giraffes, donkeys, and even cats and dogs.)

Once the desired shape is achieved, it is helpful to slightly fold the plate in half and cut through the two pieces to make the face symmetrical. The off-cuts can then be used to make ears or horns. Sometimes an extra plate is required and definitely so, for an elephant. Staple or glue the ears or horns in place. Try it for yourself. You will be as surprised as the children were by the fabulous faces they were able to create.

Three children's jumpers, (grey, brown and a tawny colour) purchased from a thrift shop were unravelled. The crinkled wool was pre-cut to enable the children to make fur or manes to add to the faces. Piles of wool and glue were placed on the tables to be shared. Eyes were made simply from crumpled up cellophane in tones of green and yellow and glued in place. They were then outlined in pen. Mouths were drawn on with pencil or pen and coloured or painted with the shading powders turned into water colour with a spray of water.

Group Work

A jungle scene had been pre-drawn on a roll of white paper (off-cut from the local newspaper) and as children finished their craft they were invited to work on the mural. Some shaded, while others daubed paint (They used daubers to do this and the effect is similar to Australian indigenous art work). The end result was a magical scene with a minimum of fuss and the other children were free to spend extra time on their animal faces or bird nests.

Musical Instruments:

No Holiday Club is complete without music. Tiny pine off-cuts were given to the team and the children decorated them with coloured paper turning them into castanets, old horse shoes were spray painted, strung with ribbon and struck with an old spoon, small plastic bottles were filled with rice and sealed tightly before being given a spray of paint and large tins with their labels removed were decorated with ribbon and became the drums. Note: All spray painting was done by adults beforehand.


These were age appropriate and the children were divided into teams. Every child was issued with one of four different jungle motifs to pin on their shirts with their name tag, making it very simple for the leaders to identify both individuals and teams. Well known games and some new ones were adapted to fit in with the jungle theme. Prizes were kept to a minimum with the end score being the important team goal. Stickers for encouragement were as popular as ever.

Story Telling:

Puppetry, sketch and tell and drama ensured that the children's interest and concentration were held during story telling times. They were also involved in making the, 'sounds' or clapping etc as required by the leader. Variety was the key.


The leaders knew the songs well and played and sung enthusiastically making it fun for all. The use of action songs employed excess energy in a positive fashion.


'Duty of Care' courses had been completed by all leaders and police checks done, health and safety guidelines were in place, registration forms recorded allergies and emergency phone numbers and where possible, were completed before the club began, enabling name tags etc to be ready on arrival. Leaders were responsible for accepting and returning children to and from their parent or guardian.

Dollars and Sense:

To keep over one hundred and twenty children happy and entertained for a total of six hours over two days for less than two dollars a child makes dollars and sense in today's economy! It can be done as long as you have volunteers who are well trained and in tune with the needs of children. Bring some 'Dollars and Sense' to your community and enjoy the creativity you will have with your friends or colleagues.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Planning a Successful Event

This is an introduction to planning and executing a successful event. I will be picking one event type per edition. The first edition is on Furniture hire and rental.

So you think hiring furniture is easy? The short answer to this is yes it can be. There are however some easily made mistakes you need to take into account.

The fist of these is price; you really do need to shop around. Prices can vary supplier to supplier. The lowest price is however not always the best deal overall. As a general guideline, in London, you should be looking to pay around 90 pence - 1.20 for a standard folding chair. These are easily stack-able and therefore very easy to store 500 in a small space. A mid priced Banqueting / conference chair will set you back anything from 1.60 - 2.40. That 80 pence difference would normally be dependent on the amount that you intend to hire. Always negotiate with the supplier, you will never know until you try. One thing I have learned in my 30 odd years in this industry, everything is negotiable.

Always inquire about delivery and collection of your hire goods. It is no small thing collection 500 chairs and transporting them across London.

As a general rule you would be able to fit about 400 folding chairs into a large transit type van. The same sized van would only accommodate about 200 banqueting chairs. For this reason, delivery and collection prices can be substantial part of your order. In London a Transit van complete with driver costs over 700.00 per week to keep on the road. Each of these vehicles will only complete about 4 deliveries or collections a day. If you do the math that means each delivery actually costs the company 35.00. With that in mind anything below that figure and you have a good deal. On larger orders you can expect a 7.5 tonne lorry to turn up. A 7.5tonne vehicle generally would cost the company around 50.00 per delivery. You should now be getting an idea of what you will be paying for delivery. NEGOTIATE!

Always check with the Hire Company how long their standard rental is. You are most often offered only a minimal 24 hour rate while others will allow you 72 hours for the same fee. Always check that you will have enough time to set-up and dismantle you event without inuring extra fees.

The last thing you will need to know is how old is the furniture I am hiring? You need to know this as; there is nothing worse than dirty old event furniture. As a general rule anything over six months old will be sub standard.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Collecting And Trading Personalized Buttons

Personalized buttons make a statement, whether it is about one's business, personal history, or one's beliefs and interests. They are a way of stating "This is who I am, this is what I care about."

Though the modern use of buttons typically advertises business or group affiliations, historically they have been used for many purposes, and collecting these items has developed into a subculture and big business.

A Brief History

Buttons first came into use during the late 1700s, and for a century were used mainly during political campaigns to show party affiliation and candidate preference. Each candidate or party had buttons made up to hand out to supporters. They were a convenient and very mobile way of advertising in the days before electronic media made mass advertising possible.

Before long, marketing experts saw the potential of this medium in everyday promotion of goods, and soon buttons depicting everything from brands to businesses to cartoon characters began to appear.

Today they are a staple at trade shows, organizational meetings, carnivals, and shops. The nostalgic value of buttons has created a demand among collectors from all over the world. There are many web sites devoted to listing, valuing, and advertising buttons by their level of desirability and demand.

Buttons for Collecting and Trading

Buttons as collectibles fall into several different categories: their historic value, nostalgia factor, or personal value, though many buttons are all of these things.

Historic value:

These are typically buttons that commemorate a significant event in history, such as presidential campaigns, major events in history, and military buttons.

Nostalgia factor:

Nostalgia factor is usually relevant to a particular time period or event that is collectively remembered. A very popular example of this is the yellow smiley-face pins from the 1970s. Other examples include:

- Major festivals, such as Woodstock.
- Political conventions.
- Movie openings or art exhibits.
- Cartoon characters.
- Sporting events, such as the Olympic Games or World Series.
- Companies and brands, especially early advertisements, or companies that are no longer in business.

Personal value:

These are buttons that mean something special to the collector, whether it is a collection of buttons depicting a favorite band, a hobby, a sports team, or a cause.

How to Collect Buttons

Some people begin to collect buttons quite by accident. They see a button they like or that has meaning to them, and their collection just mushrooms from there.

If one decides to take up button collecting as a hobby, it is best to take an organized approach. This is for the purpose of display, upkeep, and ease in trading.

Here are some tips on collecting and trading buttons:

- Decide on the focus of your collection, the more specialized it is, the greater the personal and monetary value.
- A cork or foam board is best for displaying a collection. Buttons attach securely, they are light-weight and portable, and the collector can switch out and rotate the display items easily.
- Before you trade, know the value of what you have.
- Learn the etiquette of trade and swap events; Disney has an entire booklet and how, when, and where to trade their items. There are web sites that offer guidelines for the beginning trader.

Whether used to show off family and loved ones, advertise or a collection started for nostalgic purposes, personalized buttons are a fun item to keep, collect, and trade with others who share the same interests.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Dog Food Brands of 2012

In order for owners to select the best food for their dog, they must comprehend the differentiations between high and low quality dog foods. There is no doubt that an abundance of dog foods displays the label "complete and well balanced." However, your pet will only flourish on diets rich in quality ingredients that enhance or optimize their ancestral diets more densely.

What Makes a Good Dog Food?

Good food for dogs will consist of natural fats and oils, contains meat based protein, and is free of chemical flavors, preservatives, colors, and byproducts. In addition, it is qualified to meet your dog's nutritional requirements.

Below you will find a list of several top dog foods for 2012. These brands were chosen on how well they compare with the idyllic food for dogs. Ratings are founded on the caliber of each brand's ingredient quality, and the real experiences of those who have fed these brands to their pets.

Top Dog Food Brands 2012

Orijen receives high marks for ingredients and nutritional substance. Its foremost ingredients consist of all meals or meat, poultry or fish. For instance, their "Six Fish" formula includes walleye, fresh salmon, salmon meal, herring, and herring meal with zero byproducts. Following processing, all formulas are supplemented with pro-biotics that enhance the digestive and immune system.

-Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo utilizes natural ingredients including "Life Source Bits." These kibble-bits consist of dynamic antioxidants and nutrients that are "cold produced" to sustain their nutritional properties. In fact, Blue Buffalo produces multiple assortments of foods to fulfill the different requirements of each dog counting grain free foods.

The initial ingredient in the majority of their dog foods are meat proteins like chicken, turkey, or fish, ensued by standard supplies of carbohydrates consisting of barley, oatmeal, rye, and whole-ground brown rice. A few formulas contain divisive ingredients such as carrageen and canola oil; however, in minimal amounts.

-The Honest Kitchen
The Honest Kitchen dog food contains such high quality ingredients that they petitioned the FDA for a "human grade" endorsement, and it was approved! Manufactured in the United States, Honest Kitchen is a privately operated and owned company where human food is produced as well. Their food is dehydrated, and water must be applied to re-hydrate it, or it can be utilized as a food supplement. In addition, Honest Kitchen uses no fillers, and foods include an adequate sum of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Much of their dog foods contain fruits and vegetables that are beneficial to your dog's health.

Weruva "Human Style" dog food is a meat-centered, zero grain, wet product that utilizes an abundant quantity of high-quality meats as its core basis of animal protein. Void of any kind of plant supported protein enhancers; Weruva is a wet-food consisting of a rich amount of meat. Dog owners that prefer to imitate a dog's "natural ancestral diet," should select Weruva.


Other brands that meet the overall nutritional standards of a well balanced diet for your dog are Taste of the Wild, Natural Balance, Kirkland, Halo, and Acana. These all contain superb nutrition for your dog's daily diet.

Keep in mind that no dog food exist that is perfect for every stage of your dog's life. Therefore, be sure to choose wisely and check with your veterinarian if you are unsure.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Fifty Shades Of Grey Effect!

The Ripple (or Domino) Effect-- ever heard of it? An effect that is sparked by a single event or person and leads others to follow or events to take place. Fifty Shades of Grey has sparked a series of domino effects. For one, it has led stay at home moms and the traditional woman to voice their needs and desires more in the bedroom. Many mother support groups, women's online communities, and neighborhood book clubs have voiced the impact that this book has had within their own relationships and sex lives as it has stirred up a desire, a notion, a fantasy, that maybe not everything in life has to be mundane and predictable. Maybe there are aspects of one's adult life that can be new, fun, and exciting. Fifty Shades of Grey has caused a domino effect in bringing wants, desires, and voices to be heard by women in the bedroom.

Another effect that Fifty Shades of Grey has had on society is not only sparking new conversation, but bringing forth the work of other brilliant authors. Fifty Shade's of Grey sales topping over 20 million has caused a ripple effect and spoke in sales of Tallis Scholars' book from the Renaissance era, "Spem in Alium" which is a forty part motet that had very provocative and sexual scenes, themed very similar to that of the fictional characters E.L. James created-- Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Who would have thought that Summer 2012's most sexual and entertaining steamy series would recreate a new success and interest in a fifty part series that is over four hundred years old?

The success of this book series continues to climb. E.L. James remains to be thankful and grateful for the book's success and tweets daily about her excursions all over the world for her book signing, leaving "Laters Baby" pins at her signings and keeping track of the fans' excursions and photos with them.

While the book continues to break records, the anticipation of the movie casting continues to make us anxiously await the roles that we've read about and fantasied about for so long. E.L. James has tweeted that the movie is far from being released but we can't wait to hear the latest movie news (hopefully) end of this week. EL James never expected the book to be this popular and with the up coming movie some say it will be even bigger than the book sales. We will have to wait and see in 2013.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Don't Make Writing That Novel a Someday Thing

Not long ago, at the recent O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference in New York City, Bob Young, founder and CEO of Lulu, a web-based personal publishing service, said, "We've seen a huge increase in people who meant to write a book and now are unemployed and are writing the book."

As an agent and novelist, I think this is great. These people are finally able to pursue their writing dreams; something good has come out of something bad.

But I think it's sad, too.

Why is writing a novel so often a "someday" thing? You know, that guy who comes up to you at a party and says he's got a great book in him and will get it down on paper someday. Just doesn't have the time now.

Or that woman who says she's looking forward to starting her novel when she's retired... in approximately fourteen years.

Obviously there's something holding these people back. The message seems to be that if they can't write full-time, they won't write at all.

I have to laugh about that. I have never written full-time, and neither have most of the writers I represent. Some of them couldn't afford to write full-time; others wouldn't want to. They tell me they need the everyday interaction of working, of being out in the world, to fuel their fiction writing. I feel the same way. Most of my writing ideas came to me the week before.

Are you one of those people who say they'll tackle that novel someday?

If you are, what's holding you back? Why can't you start it now? You really should, because none of us is getting any younger, and though you don't like to admit it, fate may not cooperate with your plans. Even if you're not ill or worse, you might find yourself just as busy in retirement as you are now. Life has a way of doing that.

So let's look at the obstacles and try to knock them down so that you can experience the joy of being a novelist now.

Fear of rejection. This is the biggie. You'll put all that effort into a novel, only to have agents and/or editors turn it down, and your baby will never see the light of day. Sorry, that's not a good excuse anymore, because this is the age of personal publishing, micro-publishing, print-on-demand-call it what you like, there's now a whole slew of outfits waiting to help you publish your book well and inexpensively.

The long tail has come to the world of books. I think we all pretty much recognize that the New York publishers are good at certain kinds of books, such as major mass-market-type books, and not so good at others, such as special-interest, not-such-a-large-audience type books. Thousands of people are now getting their novels finished and published and into the hands of grateful readers, thanks to this new technology. Gone are the days of having to print 5,000 copies of your book and store them in the garage. Print-on-demand means that when an order for a book comes in, that book is printed. That's right: one book. Which means no inventory, as we in the business call it, to get or moldy under the work bench.

Lack of technical skill. You feel you're not ready. You don't yet have the skills you need to write that book the way it should be written. Well, if you expect to have those skills by the time you're ready to start writing, you're in for a sad surprise, because if you don't take measures to get those skills, you'll be just as unready then as you are now.

Take a writing course, either at a college or online. Join a writers group. Attend writers conferences. Form a critique group. Find a writing buddy. All of these things can help you acquire the skills you need or improve the ones you've got.

Another option is to hire a freelance editor, or "book doctor." In this age of layoffs, more fine editors than ever are hanging out their shingles as freelancers. Think about it: You could have as your editor the same person a #1 New York Times bestselling author had a year ago. Granted, some of these book doctors can be expensive, but often they are willing to work with you on a step-by-step basis; for example, starting with an analysis of your manuscript, later moving on to suggestions for revisions, then reviewing your revisions, and so on. These days, everyone wants to work out a deal.

Lack of time. If you've still got your job, you don't have a lot of time. But you do have time. You've got nights and weekends, you may have commuting time if you don't have to drive, and you even have lunchtime. After all, these are the times most of today's published authors get their work done. I run a busy, medium-size literary agency. Do I write during the day? No way. Too busy. I write nights, weekends, and a lot of times I used to watch TV. I've got eight novels published as of this writing, and more in the pipeline. I decided a long time ago that time was not going to be an excuse for me. But it does take a firm commitment.

Lack of an idea. It happens. It's a sort of writer's block before you've even started. "What do I write about?" Ideas are everywhere. The key is to focus on the genre of book you want to write and then come up with ideas that will work in that genre. The reason this is easy is that you should be targeting a genre you love to read, and if you read in a genre, it only stands to reason you'll be pretty familiar with the kinds of ideas that are popping up in these books. More to the point, you'll know what ideas haven't popped up yet. Grab one of them and write it.

Fear of ridicule. This is sort of related to fear of rejection, except that it applies to the time after the book has been published. People won't like your book. Critics will pan it. Your mother will be ashamed/shocked/embarrassed. And you're right! All of these things can and probably will happen, and not just about your first book but about all of them.

Because when you put yourself out there creatively, dare to produce a piece of art for the world to look at and judge, that is always going to happen. Just take a look at the customer reviews on Amazon. I tell the authors I represent not simply to be aware that bad reviews, whether from critics or your family, may happen, but to be aware that they will happen. And then I tell them to start developing that rhino hide writers in it for the long haul develop and get on with it. Again, it's the way the world works. Create something; someone's gonna hate it. But someone else is gonna love it.

Fear of loss of income. Don't expect income from your writing and this will never be a problem. It's when you decide all of a sudden that you're going to make your living as a writer that the problems start. I tell my writers, "Don't quit your day job... yet." If, one day, money starts pouring in-and it sometimes does-then it's a bonus. But don't put that pressure on yourself. See your writing as nothing more than fun. Then I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

So what are your excuses for not starting that novel now-today? Afraid you won't sell it? Don't know how to do it? Don't have time? Don't have an idea? Afraid you'll be a laughingstock? Can't afford it?

Sorry. Those aren't good excuses. In fact, there aren't any good excuses. Don't be that poor soul who comes up to me at parties and says "someday."

Do it now. You deserve it.

Evan Marshall is an internationally recognized expert on fiction writing and author of the Hidden Manhattan and Jane Stuart and Winky mystery series. A former book editor, for 30 years he has been a leading literary agent specializing in fiction. His Marshall Plan Novel Writing Software, co-authored with Martha Jewett, is an adaptation of his bestselling Marshall Plan series and has just been released in a new version for both Windows and Mac. He is the president of the Evan Marshall Agency, a leading literary management firm that represents a number of New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Find a Great Costume for Your Special Event

There is always an occasion in town that calls for theatrical clothing. Whether you're in a stage play, or simply need holiday or festival attire, there are shops that provide a plethora of different costume types for you. It's important to always fit the role of the night. From trick or treating, to Mardi Gras, you will need to have the outfit that is appropriate for the event. Instead of putting together a bunch of cheap materials, visit a shop that specializes in festive getups. With so much material to choose from you are bound to always find what you are looking for.

If you are in a play you will want to be easily identified based on your attire. For instance, if your role to play is a monster, you will want to look exactly like one so that your audience will not be confused. The same goes for any type of role. If your character is an angel or a ghost, you may be tempted to just throw on a white towel or sheet and call it a day. But to keep things professional, you should wear a top notch costume that identifies you in the most amazing way.

Actors are not the only people who dress up in character clothing. There are definitely happenings around town that sometimes require fun and cheerful getups. Certain times of the year, like carnival season call for dress up and a plain good time. And let's not forget Halloween. This fall holiday is a favorite for kids because of the candy and festivities. The biggest part of the holiday for both kids and adults is the opportunity to dress in costume. From witches, to goblins, to superheroes, to other cartoon characters, there are so many things to choose to dress as. Having the right place to purchase costuming material is key! Many people turn to drugstores and department stores at the last minute when needing an outfit. But there are shops that specialize in costuming that can meet all of your needs, whether theatrical or not.

Every now and then you may come across a themed party that calls for a specific attire. Costume parties have always been popular and are still held today. Time specific themes are given all the time like 70s themed parties, or historical themed events. Masquerades are common as well. No matter what the theme, you can always find exactly what you are looking for in the right shop. Imagine attending a Halloween party dressed as a nun and being mistaken for a witch instead. This is what happens when you purchase low quality attire. Instead, you should head over to a highly rated shop and choose from a wide array of top quality material that will last for years and years to come. Costuming is used all year long for different events. And if you're going to wear a costume, make sure you have the absolute best. This way your experience will be more exciting and memorable!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Craft Wars

The world of creative crafting recently entered a new arena, aiming to transform it from a hobby into an art form. A new US show called "Craft Wars' was launched in June, offering keen crafters (professional and amateur) an opportunity to win $10,000 prize money and receive validation as a professional crafter.

When you think about crafts, what springs to mind? Adding stickers to home-made cards when you were a child? A knitted jumper that you'd rather not have had to wear, lovingly made by an aged aunt or grandmother? Or, professionally upholstered furniture to breathe new life into your old, worn sofa? Well, prepare to be amazed as you learn that crafting possibilities are endless and surprisingly challenging.

Host and Executive Producer, Tori Spelling, is a keen crafter who understands how challenging and satisfying crafting can be. When not acting, she enjoys "taking every opportunity to creatively express herself." Tori says, "crafting provides an amazing outlet and nothing shows love more than something homemade". Tori has reported that she can't wait to share her passion and be inspired by all the amazing contestants on 'Craft Wars'.

The format of the show is fairly straightforward. Each episode features three enthusiasts competing against one another in two rounds of difficult challenges. Tori acts as both a mentor for the contestants and host for the audience.

All supplies for the show are provided by Michaels, an American creative product supplier. Along with supplying top quality, varied craft supplies and accessories, the company holds craft classes for keen amateurs who wish to master new techniques and skills.

The judging panel is made up of three distinguished and world-famous craft experts.

Erica Domesek is founder, creator and author of "P.S. - I made this"; a distinguished design and style expert living in New York City. Her "Designer DIY" projects range from jewellery to shoes and handbags.

Stephen Brown; an author, entrepreneur and founder of the multi-million dollar giftware company, Glitterville Studios. Stephen's designs are sold is a variety of high-end retail stores worldwide; with his one-off designs described as "wondrously wacky".

Jo Pearson, an author and craft host, is the third judge. For the past 25 years, Jo has been a creative expert for Michaels. A keen crafter since the age of eight, Jo finds that creating something is relaxing to her. Her craft videos have been viewed by millions of people worldwide, helping to inspire others to try crafting themselves.

So, what type of craft skills are the contestants expected to master? Numerous and challenging.

Despite each contestant receiving the same choice of raw materials and ability to use some additional supplies, the final designs have proved to be spectacularly individual.

For example, in the first round of a recent episode, the three contestants were asked to make a lamp. The materials included a variety of eyeglasses and eye protection goggles. Additional use of wood and arts/crafts supplies sponsored by Michaels was permitted. The results were stunning.

One contestant from Wisconsin used an embroidery hoop to create the lamp shade. Next, heating the eye glass enabled her to flatten the coloured lenses taken from sunglasses to create a mosaic look. After melting, the glass was moulded into flower shapes that were glued to the lampshade. Buttons were used for additional, complementary decoration. She used wood to create an attractive lamp base, then covered it in twine to produce a rustic design.

Opinion from the judges offers both praise for innovative design and criticism over poor technique or lack of cohesiveness in design. After the first round, one competitor was eliminated. The lady from Wisconsin survived.

For the second (and final) round, the remaining crafters were challenged to create a complete bedroom set in just five hours. They were given a mattress, carpenter, and four assistants to help them. The stipulation was that their design must include zips. This challenge wasn't one for the faint hearted!

The Wisconsin contestant chose a "smoke and mirrors" theme, creating a mosaic pillow using the zips. She created a wave-shaped headboard, side table and multiple accessories. Her team used the bottoms of shoes as a pattern to make unique tiles for the table. As a final touch, she made a garland out of tiny mirrors and rosettes out of zips for the centres of pillows.

Her challenger from New York designed a canopy bed, side tables and strange-looking chair. He incorporated the zips into a beautifully designed rug, created an upholstered headboard that was "absolutely gorgeous" but, running out of time, his paintwork was judged too sloppy.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Find a Great Costume for Your Special Event

There is always an occasion in town that calls for theatrical clothing. Whether you're in a stage play, or simply need holiday or festival attire, there are shops that provide a plethora of different costume types for you. It's important to always fit the role of the night. From trick or treating, to Mardi Gras, you will need to have the outfit that is appropriate for the event. Instead of putting together a bunch of cheap materials, visit a shop that specializes in festive getups. With so much material to choose from you are bound to always find what you are looking for.

If you are in a play you will want to be easily identified based on your attire. For instance, if your role to play is a monster, you will want to look exactly like one so that your audience will not be confused. The same goes for any type of role. If your character is an angel or a ghost, you may be tempted to just throw on a white towel or sheet and call it a day. But to keep things professional, you should wear a top notch costume that identifies you in the most amazing way.

Actors are not the only people who dress up in character clothing. There are definitely happenings around town that sometimes require fun and cheerful getups. Certain times of the year, like carnival season call for dress up and a plain good time. And let's not forget Halloween. This fall holiday is a favorite for kids because of the candy and festivities. The biggest part of the holiday for both kids and adults is the opportunity to dress in costume. From witches, to goblins, to superheroes, to other cartoon characters, there are so many things to choose to dress as. Having the right place to purchase costuming material is key! Many people turn to drugstores and department stores at the last minute when needing an outfit. But there are shops that specialize in costuming that can meet all of your needs, whether theatrical or not.

Every now and then you may come across a themed party that calls for a specific attire. Costume parties have always been popular and are still held today. Time specific themes are given all the time like 70s themed parties, or historical themed events. Masquerades are common as well. No matter what the theme, you can always find exactly what you are looking for in the right shop. Imagine attending a Halloween party dressed as a nun and being mistaken for a witch instead. This is what happens when you purchase low quality attire. Instead, you should head over to a highly rated shop and choose from a wide array of top quality material that will last for years and years to come. Costuming is used all year long for different events. And if you're going to wear a costume, make sure you have the absolute best. This way your experience will be more exciting and memorable!

Fifty Shades Of Grey Movie Trailer!

As more and more book lovers dive into the Fifty Shades of Grey  trilogy, it's no surprise that a movie would spark excitement and create a buzz that's heard from sea to sea. All of the work that goes into producing such an anticipated movie makes for a lot to gossip about: fans want to know who will play Christian and Ana, what will the movie leave out, how will it translate to film? Luckily, although the actual production is far off, there is still a ton to talk about in pre-production.

The elements of a The Movie Fifty Shades Of Grey that truly determine the content and details of how the movie will grow out of the book are the production team and the screenwriter. The movie will be produced by Universal Pictures and the production team will be led by Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti. The screenwriter is yet to be determined but there have been a few guesses as to who will fill that role. Regardless of who is awarded the job, the team is sure to have their hands full when it comes to satisfying the hungry fans of Fifty Shades of Grey.

One of the biggest topics of speculation is who will play the two main characters: Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. These characters are multi-dimensional, complex and have intense personality traits. A big question is whether it would be better to cast well known stars or to choose Hollywood newcomers who may be able to completely embody Christian and Ana without any preconceived notions. There are multiple well known names floating around for each of the main characters but only time will tell who will transform into Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

Yet another strong factor in creating a movie's success is the score. The music in Fifty Shades of Greyand the following books is key in creating the right mood for Christian and Ana's sex-capades, their deep conversations and even their breakfasts. It appears that there have already been some choices made for the movie's music menu, including Kings of Leon, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, and many more. With this line up, they already have fans smiling and it seems that the music is on the right track!

As the movie fifty shades of grey buzz continues to float and swirl in the air and decisions are slowly made, the excitement is sure to escalate. The books in the trilogy have created a phenomenon that seems to have reached even the quietest homes and the unlikeliest of readers, so it is only natural for the movie to be met with such anxious anticipation. The movie trailer/teaser can be found on fiftyshadesofgreyfanclub forum.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 Ways For Screenwriters To Gain Credibility in a Query Letter

Producers produce, writers write. You need to establish your credibility if possible in your query letter to assure the producers that it is worth their time to read your script. I don't want my electrician asking me how he should go about getting the job done or asking my assistance answering electrical issues - that's why I hired him. Similarly, producers feel better and have greater confidence in writers and their screenplays if the writers exhibit a firm grasp for their field and what they're writing about.

1. Mention Something You've Had Produced

If you have had a script produced legitimately, that should be placed in the opening of the letter. This is where you can name-drop anything associated with it to legitimize it. This does NOT include a producer saying they "think it's great" but passed on it. They obviously didn't like it enough to option it.

Same goes for when someone options your screenplay. Don't tell a producer that the script you're talking to them about has already been optioned and shopped around town. This will not appeal to them.

However, if you had a different script optioned by a legit producer (not the script you're writing about in this letter), then you can mention that early on as part of your bio. Writing

2. Contests or Awards You've Won

Placing in the Top 5 or 10 of a contest or winning awards also tells the producer a bit of screening has been done on your script and that someone who reads a lot of scripts seem to like it.

However, be careful about mentioning where you placed in contests if you weren't in the Top 10%. If you state that you made it to the quarter-finals and nothing more, that actually detracts from your credibility because there were clearly many more that were better than yours.

Make your award or contest sound the best it can by how you present the accurate statistics. For example, if you placed fourth in the Nicholl Fellowship, you could say you placed fourth, but this reminds us that there were 3 that were definitely better. Instead, state it as a round number and say that you were "In the Top 5." If you know how many entries there were, you could even say "out of x" number of entries.

3. Respected Screenwriting Training and Script Development

When I do a screenplay consultation, the first question I ask my screenwriter is "What is your background and training? How did you learn to write screenplays?"

Their answer gives me an introduction to what I'm going to get when I read their script. The fact is, I've read scripts from writers who completed 2 years of an intensive screenwriting program who still had a long way to go - and I've read scripts from writers who mostly studied on their own and were surprisingly good.

But in a borderline situation with a producer who is not convinced they want to read your script, strong training might help push them over the edge.

If you don't have anything that can give you credibility, then don't put anything, just leave them wondering. It's better not to put anything than to put something that has little value because then they will know, for sure, that you have no better credibility.

So there you have it - three possible ways to enhance your credibility in your query letter bio. Ultimately, your bio needs to move them forward in reading your script and, if possible, to even color their experience positively before they read it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finding the Right Piece of Contemporary Art for Your Office or Home

When attempting to purchase art for your home or office it is important that you choose something that not only conveys who you are, but that it also embraces the identities of others that are around. Making the effort to create an environment in which everyone is able to take something away will make for a very effective piece of art.

In no time at all, you should find that you are able to put up something that is truly magical by taking the time to find a piece of art that meets your needs. There are a number of different providers of these sorts of pieces, so do not hesitate to look around at all of the different options you have. Whether it is something more abstract or something strictly contemporary it is important to know what sort of an impression it will have on other people.

With just a bit of research you can figure out exactly what type of art will best compliment the overall mood of your office. With the consideration of others going into your choices you should see a marked amount of awe in the eyes of those who enter your home/office. There is virtually no limit to the amount of unique art that is available if you are willing to look for it. Writing down what type of emotions and impacts you are wanting to evoke should help you to accomplish your goals. There is no reason that this is a process you should rush through, and if you do not have the time to do it then hire a professional to help you.

The choice to put a piece of art up for everyone to see is a really big deal, and not something that you should just do idly. It can be a large investment, and as such needs to be regarded with a high degree of respect. If one will just take the time to figure out what type of impact they would like for their purchased art to have it will go a long way. If you are looking for something pleasant that is not going to evoke too much thought or debate then a landscape can be a wonderful idea. If you are looking to evoke some thought in your home then an abstract piece can make a lot of waves.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Let Down Your Hair - Top 5 Night Clubs In Britain

Britain is not just about pubs and taverns. The country is home to some of the world's best nightclubs as well. Boasting superior sound systems, multiple dance floors and the best DJs from all over the globe, these venues will get your feet kicking and heart thumping any night of the week.

1. Ministry of Sound - London

Ministry of Sound is one of the most famous nightclubs in the world and it celebrated 20 years of existence last year. This iconic nightclub's claim to fame is its bone-shattering sound system, which was the main draw for patrons even in its early days. Located in decidedly unglamorous Southwark, its rich history of being able to draw America's hottest house DJs, coupled with a dedication to spanning the global dance scene, makes it a permanent fixture on anyone's top nightclubs list. Inspired by the Paradise Garage of New York, it has 5 main rooms to get lost in and a sprung floor to help you through long hours of foot stomping.

2.Fabric - London

Fabric is perhaps the most well known and respected nightclub for electronic music. Another club renowned for its sound system, it draws the most ardent fans of electro and rave giving the place an exciting atmosphere. The maze-like space houses three rooms in minimalist styling, while the eclectic line-ups make the club a hit with everyone, from over-eager students to bug-eyed tourists. While Friday usually features drum and bass and hip-hop, Saturday and Sunday sees techno, house and electro.

3. club Aquarium - London

This is the club for the more mature but just as wild set. The 7os and (8os music on Saturdays attract those ready to head into nostalgia and laugh at themselves while Fridays feature eastern European and commercial pop music. For the rest of the week, the DJs play a mix of electro, house and techno beats With a slightly underwater theme, the venue features two dance floors, four bars and a lounge. This club has a reputation for being friendly and welcoming.

4. Garlands - Liverpool

This gay friendly nightclub is quirky and camp and doesn't take itself too seriously. Located on popular Eberle Street, the feel-good funky vibe attracts anyone that dares to be different. It features four rooms, each playing its own music ranging from disco to progressive house and electro, and a bar to rest your feet at. Drag queens with props may make a sudden appearance to remind you to immerse yourself in the madness.

5. Sankeys - Manchester

Reopened in a new avatar, Sankeys makes a statement in nightclub tech wizardry, with a Phazon sound system, disco LED lights and barcode entry. However, what keeps the patrons coming back is its all-inclusive music policy. From house and urban music to deep tribal sounds, nothing will escape the club's net. The venue features a main dance floor, a softly lit bar, an outdoor smoking terrace and a lounge space with a large movie screen. The unusual floor plan makes it possible to find a place to have a conversation, something that's rare in most nightclubs.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Self Help Series - 2

There are a lot of individuals who don't have issues with setting goals and accomplishing them, but they're so clueless as to what they wish. You'll wish to make certain that you consider your life in the future. It's very hard to ascertain what you want if you have no idea what it is that you wish. Sometimes it's simply better for you to be able to take a bit of time to research yourself.

You will want to make certain that you think about a few of the goals that you will want to have by the end of your demise. This will give you a new sort of direction with your life.Would you like a loved one?

Would you like to have a six-figure paycheck? What is it that you really want? You'll have to do a lot of self-analysis in order to find the truth. First of all you'll wish to jot down lists of matters that you feel are expected out of you. You'll discover that acquaintances and loved ones have an image that they require their acquaintances and loved ones to obtain. What are the pressures you're under? Once you figure this out, you'll then be able to figure out what it is that you don't want.

Occasionally it's simple to define your goals once you begin considering matters that you wish you didn't have. This will nail down your palette of goals and you'll be able to truly center on what it is that you want. Once you've your goals, you may go and talk to other people about your goals before you begin making any decisions. You might discover that your acquaintances and loved ones will talk some sense into you once it comes to matters like your life success.

You'll wish to take your close acquaintances and loved ones opinions in mind before you make any rash decisions. You'll wish to make certain that you feel strong about the selections that you make and the paths that you pick out. You'll also wish to think about the fact that there's a lot of possibilities to research once it comes to your future life and career.

If you'd truly like to make a difference in your life, then you'll wish to think about the fact that there a lot of matters to research. You'll wish to give yourself the opportunity to make a difference in the way that you see life also.

Once you take some time to research the matters that you're interested in you might end up finding hidden knowledge or a talent that you never knew you had. Once you tap into your reserved pool of knowledge and talent you'll be able to work on defining a mapped route for future success. You'll wish to think about the fact that there are a lot of options and you'll have plenty of fun checking out all options of interest. You'll want to make certain that you give yourself the chance to research all of your selections.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Does A Small Business Fit Into Your Future? Part I

More and more individuals are looking for creative ways to start their own business. With recent layoffs, challenges finding new employment, the loss of retirement as an option for most, and growing frustration for many who work in large corporations, it is a growing trend.

Having and running your own business is very rewarding- for the right person in the right business. It can bring  feelings  of independence, achievement, and pride. You usually work more hours, however you have flexibility in terms of "which hours" you work. You are your own boss and you can shape the direction, decisions, and culture of your  company. You can express your creativity. If you are 100% owner, you can go out of business, but you cannot be fired. You can set the standards for quality without compromise, and you can build a company that brings positive benefits to mankind.

If the idea of having your own business appeals to you, start by interviewing yourself. Think about the kind of life you want for yourself in the coming years. Where would you want  to live? What would you like to learn? How do you want to spend your time? What do you value- i.e. time alone, time with family and friends, travel, creative expression, financial security, making a difference in the world etc.? Do you like influencing people and selling? Do you like working in teams? Do you mind being on-call 7 days/week? What are your skills and gifts? The answers to these questions and others will help you begin a conversation with yourself about what kind of business or indeed "if" a business would be a good fit with who you are and who you want to become.

Some individuals have grown up in a family owned business and have a good feeling for what it takes and whether they thrive in a business setting. Others have had a dream for many years of translating their ideas or creative gifts into a thriving business. Some folks have a side hobby or interest that gradually evolves into a business. The siren song of "getting rich" entices some to start a company. And for some unfortunate folks, it is an "exit strategy" from a work environment they dislike intensely.

Some cautions are in order here. If money is your main driver, it won't sustain you through the early years of a start-up where you will likely run" in the red "while working 24/7. Be sure you have funding to support the business and "you" for 2-3 years as you get going. And if you are seeking escape from your current job, running a business is totally different from being a "skilled employee". (Read the "E-Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber if you haven't already.)

Think about what motivates you to have your own business. If you are trying to "solve a problem" re to displeasure with your current job, it may just give you more headaches. On the other hand, If you love business, have the skills and the passion, the right personality, and a viable business idea, it may be your ticket to a rewarding future. In part 2, I will talk about the qualities that make for a successful entrepreneur.