Wednesday, December 29, 2010

10 Ways to Improve Your Finances by Dawn A. Anderson

About this time every year, millions of Americans start to think
about possible New Year's Resolutions. While some people resolve to
quit smoking or lose weight, others may choose to improve their
finances. Instead of creating a vague, unrealistic goal try
creating a simple plan of attack that can easily be achieved.

The Top 10 Ways to Improve your Finances are:

1. Make a Budget - Create a budget and stick to it. This will
help you break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. The best
way to do this is to look at how much money comes in and goes out
for a 30 day period. Use a budget calculator to help get
you started.

2. Reduce Expenses - Can't pay your phone bill but you spend
$15-$20 a day between coffee and snacks. Look for ways of reducing
expenses such as brewing your coffee at home, packing a lunch,
switching phone carriers and clipping coupons.

3. Pay off Debt - Do you know how much money you are paying in
interest to your credit card company? By reducing and/or
eliminating your debt you will not only save money paid in interest
you will have the money to save for your future. If you have a
structured settlement, annuity, pending lawsuit or other illiquid
asset it may be beneficial to sell some of the future payments in
order to pay off your debt.

4. Create an Emergency Fund - Do you have 6 months worth of
monthly expenses saved just in case you fall on hard times? If not,
you need to create a fund in order to protect yourself from falling
behind on your obligations if you lose your income. Some people
have created their emergency fund by putting a portion of their
cash lump sum into an interest bearing account.

5. Save Money - Are you going to need a new car soon? Perhaps
you want to take a vacation next year. Maybe you need to make home
repairs. Rather than acquiring more debt, save for your purchases
and pay in cash.

6. Save for Retirement - The earlier you save for retirement,
the better off you will be. If your employer offers 401(k)
matching, be sure to take advantage of this opportunity for free

7. Protect your Assets - Make sure to maintain your home to help
it retain its value. Don't forget to have a will to ensure that you
decide how your assets such as your home, annuity or other assets
are divided not the government.

8. Get Insurance - Your apartment, home, car and other valuables
need to be protected in case of theft, damage or loss. If you are
not properly insured you may not receive enough money to repair or
replace them. If you have children that need to be supported after
you are gone, make sure you have life insurance.

9. Protect your Identity - Identity theft can be costly not to
mention damaging to your credit score. Monitor your credit report.
Check your accounts for unauthorized transactions. Shred documents
instead of throwing them in the trash. Shop online at credible
merchants and use Pay Pal.

10. Manage Credit/Credit Score - Check your credit report every
six months. Make sure you pay your bills on time and avoid using
credit cards whenever possible. Some experts say to freeze your
credit card to avoid making impulse purchases.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sign Up For This Exciting Blogging Workshop!

Hi readers,

I just signed up for this blogging workshop which
looks very promising:

It's going to be run by two highly successful
young entrepreneurs from Singapore - Calvin & Patricia.

They run multiple successful online businesses
and even own an online marketing consultancy.

And in this full-day workshop, they're going to teach
a proven 5-step system which anyone can easily follow
and implement to make money online.

There's absolutely no hype and they appear to be
very sincere and helpful. They even have a ton of
testimonials from normal people who have benefited
greatly from their coaching.

Anyway, I've signed up and just thought I'll let
you know as I think it might interest you.

If you're interested to find out more, just check
out the link below:

Let me know if you decide to sign up so we
can meet up at the event. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

SnapIt Screen Capture

Dear readers,

I would like to share a software that I have found to be very useful.

SnapIt Screen Capture 3.7 is a easy to use screen capture software which allows users to easily capture anything on the screen including windows, menus full screen, rectangular regions, web pages and take shots of moving images.

I have been using it to build my websites with this Screen Capture Software. It is easy to learn and use. Some of its features include supporting hotkeys, auto-saving, clipboard. Automatically copies screenshots to the clipboard. It tracks capture history, auto-saves captured images. It also saves files in BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG and TIFF formats.

Screen Capture Software also crops out sections of vector graphic files such as Fireworks, Adobe Illustrator or Corel without having to flatten the files or open in a new editor.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

10 Reasons to Appreciate Difficulties by Stacy C.

Life always finds ways to hand us challenges.

Sometimes the challenges are self inflicted because of poor choices
that we have made. Other times they are inflicted on us because of
poor choices that other people have made that directly or
indirectly influence our lives.

Many times challenges are just part of life.

No matter the cause of the challenge we can choose to face the
challenges in one of two ways.

We can choose to take the challenge head on and make the most of
them, seeing them as opportunities to grow as a person. OR we can
moan and complain about how unfair the world is and continue
finding the same challenges until we choose to take life's lessons
and use them to grow.

That is why we can find at least ten reasons to appreciate
difficulties that life throws our way! Following are ten reasons
that we can appreciate the difficulties in our lives.

10 Reasons to Appreciate Difficulties

1. If life was easy all of the time we would grow lazy and rarely
be motivated to change and grow. How motivated were you to change
and grow the last time that you were laying on a beach under the
sun and beautiful blue sky?

2. Difficulties often force us to change in ways that we never
would otherwise. When we are put in situations that make us
uncomfortable we see the need for a change in our own actions,
attitudes and thinking. (Assuming that we are looking to grow,
otherwise all we see is how other people need to change to make us

3. You can inspire and encourage others towards personal growth and
development! Others can be inspired by you in many ways, whether
they are watching you from the sidelines or whether you share with
them how you overcame a difficulty when they are going through a
similar trial.

4. After you have come out of the difficulty and look back at how
you grew and overcame challenges you will feel great about yourself!

5. Each difficulty presents a learning opportunity, otherwise it
wouldn't be difficult. Look for the lesson to be learned, look as
hard as you need to because once you find that lesson it is
something that you will be able to carry with you for your whole

6. Look at someone who hates challenges, look at how miserable they
are and how miserable they make people around them. Know that you
won't be like them, being controlled by circumstances rather than
being in control over themselves.

7. Challenges initiate creativity. It is said that difficulty is
the mother of all inventions, when people are in situations that
they don't like the successful people will use their creativity to
find ways to deal with the difficulties. Many inventions were
created this way and also many great works of art were created in
times of the artist's stress.

8. New relationships can be made through challenges. You could meet
people who have gone through the same challenges as you and develop
very strong bonds that will last years. Some challenges bring about
instant bonds. For instance, I'm a cancer survivor and there is an
instant connection when I meet someone else who is one as well.
There are plenty of other types of challenges which bring bonding
between people such as the loss of a loved one or surviving a

9. If you are a spiritual person your challenges present a unique
opportunity to reach out to your creator and also by finding other
ways to grow spiritually.

10. Each time that you successfully overcome a difficulty you will
have more confidence to successfully overcome the next challenge
that life throws your way. You will become stronger each time and
each event of personal growth through these challenges will build
on each other to make you stronger and stronger, more and more

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Inspiring Others By Working On Yourself by Kenneth T.W. Kwan

Dedicating to yourself to your personal development goals is a
great step in the right direction. When I talk about personal
development, it means dedicating time to learn work on your mental
fitness, health, skills and knowledge.

Upon completing these goals, you may notice that you have gained
some sideline spectators as well. In most cases, you are catching
their attention because of the changes you are making. I frequently
think that success breeds more success. This means that when we
have achieved a small level of success with our work, we tend to
have people attracted to what we do. For example, when I started
gaining small successes in the speaking industry, I started to get
more offers to speak in different countries and seminars.

By gaining someone's attention, you are serving as an inspiration
to others. This often happens naturally and is another big
commitment. You have committed to be consistent with your actions
and to serve as a role model for others to follow.

If you want to make the most out of this occurrence and really
impact other people's lives positively, you can use the steps
below. These steps are designed to create an amazing life:

1. Passion and excitement: A person will usually only serve as an
inspiration to others if they are passionate and love what they do.
It is a known fact that the more excited someone is about
something, the more they will excel in their work. What makes you
passionate? Does it excite other people to pursue theirs as well?

2. Goal Setting: Always set goals for what you are looking to
achieve. The use of goals has proven to be very effective and
allows for a greater commitment factor. It is important to make
them detailed so you know when you have actually reached the goal.
You can then celebrate the accomplishment of that goal and move on
to create another. This will not only keep you motivated, but show
others that goals are attainable. In addition, this will get people
to draw their inspiration from you and desire for more out of their

3. Go big or go home! You need to set goals to push your limits. By
doing so, you will achieve more and really shine to yourself and
others. The important thing to keep in mind is to make sure you are
not creating goals that are unrealistic. There is a distinct line
between goals that are challenging versus those that are just not
plausible (eg. walk on the moon without a breathing apparatus).

Another aspect to keep in mind with very challenging goals is to
make sure you measure them by performance. In other words, the
outcome might not have been the outcome you wanted but you gave
your best performance in achieving it. This means that you might
fail at times, but knowing that you have given your best shot at
it, it is alright to fail. You just need to change completely or
modify your strategy and take massive actions on it. Which leads to
the point 4 below.

4. Consistency and Persistency: To be truly exceptional, you have
to make sure you are reaching goals. Be continuous in your efforts
in reaching challenging goals. The harder you work for the goal,
the more you will appreciate it. Moreover, persistence, as seen
from an outsider, is what really motivates and inspires someone.
This persistency in handling problems is what is termed as
Adversity Quotient (AQ), where you demonstrate resilience in tough
situations. It is not talented people who succeed all the time, but
people who have strengthened their AQ over time and are able to
keep moving forward even when situations seem bleak or rough.

In my life, I do not always have all the answers, but I know that
it is just a matter of time before I find the answers that I seek.
I just need to be consistent and persistent in my quest. In my line
of work, I never knew it was possible for me to be invited to speak
in seminars or even give keynotes because I started out doing small
group training (I first started out with only three people in front
of me and now it has grown to hundreds) The question I feel is
never whether you can or cannot do it, it is always "how can I do
it?". Persistency will pay off if you keep at striving for
different ways to make it work. Will you decide to be relentless?

5. Share what you know: It is important, as an inspiration to
others, that you share knowledge you have. Let people know how you
did it and encourage them just the same. I have personally found
that some people just need you to light the fire in their hearts
and they will start their search for greatness.

It is important to remember that you need to keep a positive
attitude and always look to the future. With doing this, you will
not only enrich your life, but you will do the same for others. No
man is an island, everything we do affects another person.

Make a decision to inspire someone today!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is Your Life Working the Way You Want it to Be by Jack Canfield

When things happen in the world that seem so far beyond our
individual control, it can feel unsettling.

But don't give up on your goals and dreams just because "the time
isn't good"... you can still make 2010 the year you uncover a whole
new you for the better!

Even in tough times, you get to decide how to respond to certain
conditions, opportunities, and outcomes--both good and bad.

Life will always be a series of choices and YOU get to decide on
what will move you closer to your goals, or farther away from them.
External forces will always be part of the equation, even during
the good times when the world is thriving.

When people ask me about the single most important ingredient to
success, I always share the same response: realizing what's making
you achieve success, and then realizing what is stifling your

Sometimes recognizing the things that are NOT working in your life
can be painful, yet VERY powerful to shaping the life you want.

Don't try to rationalize them, make excuses for them, or hide them.
This is when it's even more critical to take personal inventory and
evict those excuses, rationalizations, and hidden habits that don't
serve you. These things will keep you from the life you want to be
living. Let me give you some examples. Ask yourself if you relate
to any of these questions:

Do you want to be active, fit, and strong? Then you have
to stop making excuses about your weight, diet choices, and lack
of exercise.

Do you want to be in a loving relationship based on
friendship and respect? Then you have to stop rationalizing why
you and your partner are not communicating well.

Do you want to embrace Monday mornings and feel excited
about going to work every day?
Then you have to stop hiding your
true passions and go after whatever it is you really want to be doing
day in and day out.

Do you want to lose the debt forever? Then you have to stop
ignoring your spending habits and get real about a creating budget
that will pull you out of debt and allow you to reach financial

Do you want to feel more connected to the people in your
life, such as your children, friends, and colleagues? Then you
have to stop complaining about your poor relationships and figure out
why you don't feel as connected as you'd like to be.

These things can be painful to look at because the truth is that
you have to do something about them in order to make it work in
your life.

You'll have to say no to the second helping of dinner and the
dessert to follow and go through the action steps to get into
shape... You'll have to confront your partner about the areas that
need work... You'll have to get past fears about changing your job
or professional path... You'll have to cut back on your spending
and be a bit more frugal... You'll have to take a good hard look at
your personal relationships and perhaps consider your own
shortfalls and weaknesses in communicating your needs and concerns.

Plain and simple, you will have to do something uncomfortable.

Successful people don't waste time in denial (or complain or make
excuses for that matter). They face situations like a warrior. They
look for the warning signs, they find out why things aren't
working, and they go about fixing them- even when fixing requires
problem solving, hard work, risk, and a level of uncertainty.

It's okay to identify a problem even though you haven't a clue
about how to go about solving it right away.

The first step is just recognizing the issue, and then having faith
that you'll figure it out with careful attention to it. That's how
successful people live--in constant focus on goals, on results, on
problem solving, and on the actions that get them to where they
want to be.

Following are three things to do constantly in pursuit of
your goals and dreams, however big or small:

*Awareness: Keep your awareness on the feedback you are
getting from life and decide to address the situations immediately.
Don't bottle up feedback, cast it aside, and avoid it like you
would a pile of dirty laundry or a stack of unopened bills. Life
tells you things every day. Do this. Don't do that. Think about
this. Try me. Forget that. We live in a world that seemingly
encourages us to live on autopilot. Successful people fly manually
every day and so should you. When those feedback signals come in,
listen to them and use them in planning your next step.

* Commitment: Commit to finding out why things aren't working
and learn what will fix them. Once you start the process it will be
much easier to continue. Nothing fruitful stems from inaction.

* Trust: Trust that making changes to the situation will
ultimately bring about the best results. Sure you might go through
a bit of discomfort during the change, and some unlikely or
unwanted outcomes, but in the end you will triumph!

So are you ready to admit the things that just are not working out?

Make a list of the things in your life that are working against
your success and ask how the situation can be improved. Commit to
tackling just one of those issues and be brave!

If you need help organizing those "things" in your life, try using
the following list of categories. I recommend reflecting on each of
the 7 areas and ask yourself, what's not working here in each one
and then brainstorm 3 potential solutions.

1.) Financial Goals, 2) Career/Business Goals, 3.) Free Time/Family
Time, 4.) Health/Appearance Goals, 5.) Relationship Goals, 6.)
Personal Growth 7.) Making a Difference

Remember, by facing what is not working, you can only improve
your life!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Inspirational Stories by Natasha Althoff-Kelley

A Doctor by the name of Judah Folkman kept in his archives an
article printed in the New York Times written by two physics
professors explaining how it would never be possible for airplanes
to fly. Three months later the Wright brothers soared through the
air at Kitty Hawk.

Folkman had proposed in 1970 an idea that conflicted with what
scientists at the time knew. He proposed that tumors generated new
blood vessels to feed themselves and grow. He was ridiculed, and
met with hostility and told that his study was futile science. At a
research convention, when he showed his ideas half the audience
walked out. For two decades he kept going, despite everyone else's
opinions and reactions.

My question is: Would you have kept going?

Today he has helped over 100,000 cancer patients from his research
and he is considered to be a leader in the fight to cure cancer.

Michael Jordon was cut from the varsity basketball team in his
first year at high school.

My question is: Would you have kept going?

Michael did double the practice of every other player on the team
and went on to become the best basketball player of all time.

Colonel Sanders, the father of legendary fast food chain KFC was
broke, with only a small house and an old car to his name. He was
65 years old. He decided to sell his chicken recipe to restaurants
for free in return for a small percentage on the chicken sold. He
was rejected over 1000 times.

My question is: Would you have kept going?

He got 1009 rejections to his proposal before he got his first
With that one success Colonel Hartland Sanders changed the
eating habits of the whole world with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Bruce Lee studied and mastered kung fu but all he really wanted was
to be an actor. He obtained some small roles in TV and film but
thought his big break had arrived when he heard there was to be a
new TV series called "Kung Fu" and they were looking for a new
star. He had a successful screen test but in the end the role was
given to David Carradine.

My question is: Would you have kept going?

He was offered and starred in many film roles after that and his
reputation as an actor and his skills in the martial arts made him
a household name.

Fred Smith was a student at Yale studying economics. He wrote a
paper disagreeing with his professor about air-freight through
passenger planes, and instead proposed having separate planes
dedicated to mail and not people. The professor gave him a low

Fred was not discouraged and went out to tell others of his idea
and to get investors. He was met with disinterest. However his
passion and his courage to his convictions served him well and he
raised $91 million on his untested idea.

FEDEX was born and in the first few years the losses amounted to
millions of dollars. The investors wanted to remove Fred and get
someone else to take over the company.

My question is: Would you have kept going?

Fred did not lose faith, he worked night and day to solve the
operational problems and that resulted in $75 million revenue with
$3.6 million profits. Today FEDEX is a multi-million dollar company.

W. Mitchell was a good looking 28 year old on top of the world! He
had finally saved enough money for his dream motorbike and life was
good. A traffic accident left him with a crushed elbow and pelvis
and burns to 75% of his body. His face was burned beyond
recognition and his fingers and thumbs had been burnt off leaving
him with two stumps where his hands used to be.

My question is: Would you have kept going?

After 6 months of rehabilitation he came across an idea for a stove
company. He thought to himself 'hmmm I know a bit about fire' so he
co-founded Vermont casting Inc which became Vermont's second
largest employer. With the profits he was making he bought himself
a personal aeroplane and despite the physical barrier of having no
hands, he learned to fly.

Mitchell thought he was on top of the world again. Life was good
and he had achieved so much.

However on a routine flight to San Francisco - a flight Mitchell
had made many times before - the plane malfunctioned and crashed.
There were four others in the plane and they all walked out.
Everyone except for Mitchell. He had crushed his twelfth thoracic
vertebrae and he would never be able to use his legs again. He
needed a wheelchair.

My question is: Would you have kept going?

He says about the accidents: 'Before my accidents, there were ten
thousands things I could do. I could spend the rest of my life
dwelling on the one thousands that I had lost, but I instead chose
to focus on the nine thousands I still had left'.

Mitchell is still a director of the board to a number of companies,
and is a successful businessman. He is also a co-founding chairman
of a $65 million company.

What is the point of these stories I am telling you?... well you
tell me... Whatever you take out of these stories is the message
you are ready to hear right now. To me the theme of this article is
persistence. I go. Until. No buts, maybes, excuses, could of, would
of, should of. Just I do. Until. I trust whatever you needed and
wanted to understand and assign meaning to, you did in the most
perfect way for you!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A One Stop Self-help Motivational Website

Dear readers,

I would like to share a website which I came a upon recently.

Help Empire is a one stop website for motivation and self help resources. It features articles, biographies, ebooks, photos, quizzes, videos of motivational speakers and more.

The author also offers free ebooks to people who visit his website.

Personally, I feel that the layout of the website can be improve. For example, at the top of the website, instead of putting 2 banners, putting one banner at the top is enough. As for the other banner, put it at the right side of the website along with the recommendations and ads.

I love one of his articles, title: "We Need A Coach" . The article also comes with a short 7 minutes video clip to illustrate the concept of having a coach. All of his articles comes with a audio player for people who prefer to listen than reading.

His last post is at 31 May 2010. Looking forward to his next article posting.

About the Author

Marcus Tan is an Internet Marketer. He started Internet Marketing in December 2009. He sees himself as a Internet Marketing Facilitator, helping out fellow newbie Internet Marketers and though this process, both parties can learn and achieve the goals together.

To know more about him, visit his website at

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stay Focused on Your Dreams by Jack Canfield

I just spent a day conducting my Success Principles Workshop for
200 unemployed men and women sponsored by the Workforce
Institute in San Jose, California.

It was a very revealing day.

First, I was struck by the diversity of the people who have lost
their jobs due to the cutbacks caused by the recession--computer
programmers, salespeople, managers, artists, trainers, architects,
landscapers, lawyers, actuaries, truck drivers, painters and

Secondly, I was struck by the mood of resignation and depression
that was present in the room when we began in the morning.

The prevailing belief was that there were not any jobs available
and that it wasn't going to get any better anytime soon. People
were preparing their resumes, going to job fairs, going to
interviews, but with little or no results.

I was reminded of Spencer Johnson's book Who Moved My Cheese, in
which he reports how rats in a laboratory maze are trained to press
a certain buzzer with their noses, and once they are reinforced
with a reward of cheese, will keep going back to press the same
buzzer even though they are no longer receiving cheese for pressing
the buzzer. Their noses will become bloody and they will eventually
die rather than press a different buzzer.

Human beings do the same thing. They will repeat a behavior that
used to work over and over and over again, even though it is not
producing the desired result, hoping that someday it will work

There is something to be said for perseverance in the face of
an obstacle, but sometimes you have to come to grips with the
fact that a particular opportunity may never exist again.

In my book 'The Success Principles' I teach a formula called E + R =
O. It stands for Events + Responses = Outcomes.

If a certain response (job search) in the face of a certain event
(the current economic situation in your area) is not creating the
outcome (income) you want, you may have to change your response.

You may have to try something different, which could include
employing a more creative approach to presenting yourself, moving
to a new location where the jobs are, changing fields (which might
require retraining or re-education), becoming an entrepreneur and
starting your own business venture, joining a multi-level marketing
company, partnering up with other people to start a service of some
kind--all of which may require you to step outside of your comfort

A good example of what I am talking about is a woman I read about
in USA Today. After losing her job she noticed that all the homes
that were being foreclosed in her neighborhood were left in shambles,
just as the angry people who were forced out of them. She called the
local banks and offered to clean them for a fee so that they would be
presentable when the banks tried to rent or sell them. Her little
venture was so successful that she had to hire several other people to
help. She now has a successful house cleaning business.

I saw a story on CNN about another jobless woman who opened a store
to help buy and sell used furniture from the people who were forced to
downsize as they were being foreclosed upon or forced to move to
smaller apartments. She sold some locally and some on the internet.
These are all examples of finding a need and filling it, of getting
creative instead of sitting passively by, doing the same old behaviors
that are not working.

By the end of the day in San Jose there was a different mood in the
air--one of excitement and enthusiasm about pursuing all of the
possibilities that lay before them.

They had come in at the beginning of the day simply hoping to figure
out how to find a job. By the end of the day they were leaving focused
on how to create the life of their dreams.

They had transcended the limited goal of getting back to ground zero
and replaced it with a goal of "thrival" rather than mere survival.

No matter what is going on in the economy...

* hold fast to your dreams,
* visualize them with feeling twice a day,
* keep your self-talk positive,
* surround yourself with positive people,
* read uplifting books,
* trust your intuition,
* take continuous action,
* expect the best,
* respond to feedback by making the necessary corrections,
* and persevere until you get the result you want.

It's a formula that always works.

After the workshop had concluded, one of the participants came up
to me and said...

"You know, I used to set goals and do the things you were teaching
us today when I was younger. I guess I've just stopped doing the
things that work."

Whatever you do, don't stop doing the things that work. I promise
you, if you work the principles, the principles always work.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Follow Your Passion by Mark Foo

The number one reason why millionaires are able to excel in
whatever they do is because they love what they do!

When it comes to choosing the best career or business, a common
consideration for most people would be, " Where is the money?"

As a matter of fact, money is in ALL industries. You can be a
millionaire in ANY industry, only if you're one of the best!

You can become one of the best only if you're obsessed with doing
what you do. And you can only become absolutely obsessed and
committed towards something is when you have a passion for it!

If you're able to make a living following your passion and excel in
it, money is all but a by-product. It'll just come naturally.

All rich and successful people have one thing in common. They love
what they do. To them, work is play, and play is work.

So remember, do what you love and you'll never have to work another
day in your life!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Going The Extra Mile Will Get You Even Farther by Jack Canfield

Are you someone who consistently goes the extra mile and routinely
over delivers on your promises?

It's rare these days, but it's the hallmark of high achievers who
know that exceeding expectations helps you stand above the crowd.
Almost by force of habit, successful people simply do more.

As a result, they experience not only greater financial rewards for
their extra efforts but also a personal transformation, becoming
more self-confident, more self-reliant, and more influential with
those around them.

These high achievers stand out from the crowd because of their
extra efforts. They are unwilling to give up, even in the face of
difficult times.

They get the promotions, they get the loyal customers, they grow
their businesses twice as fast, they get financial rewards, job
security, and they go home feeling satisfied.

Do you exceed expectations?

Do you surprise people with more than they were expecting from you?

Do you have the opportunity - but also the personal initiative - to
go the extra mile?

To be successful you must change your thinking. You can only win by
making extra efforts. People who go the extra mile always get
payback. You will discover yourself becoming more self-confident,
more self-reliant and more influential with those around you.

People notice the special services and all the small touches that
make dealing with you so pleasurable. And when they are talking to
their friends they will mention you and recommend you because you
are the one who stands out.

People will see that you pay attention to detail, that you consider
all the small things that really make a business successful, that
you care about your image, and that you belong with all the other
people who work hard to achieve. You will attract new business and
new opportunities.

Listen to any success story and you will hear of someone who worked
exceptionally hard to get what they wanted.

You'll hear how they put in the extra time, did what wasn't part of
their job description, and over-delivered on what was asked of
them. You'll hear how they stuck at it until they broke through,
and usually you'll hear how it only took them a couple of years to
do it.

What have you been doing for the past couple of years? Think of
what you could accomplish if you made it a habit to exceed
everyone's expectations. Image what doors could be open to you if
you decided to be of better service and value.

How are you willing to go the extra mile? What kind of extra
service are you willing to provide in order to stand out from the
rest? What areas of your life could you be giving more of your
effort and time, becoming more valuable, and improving your

Be willing to treat everyone like you'd treat your dearest friend.
Don't skimp on service. Don't be mediocre or run of the mill. Show
people what you are capable of. Show them that you care about your
image and reputation.

When it comes to success, the people who are willing to go the
extra mile get there that much faster!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Get Yourself Work-Ready by Kamal Kant

Leaving university with a good degree is an indisputable pre-requisite in the graduate employment market. But this alone is not enough to secure your first job.

Optimally, the skills, competencies and abilities you develop during your university years and the experiences you gain from industrial attachments and temporary jobs will help to give you an edge over the next candidate.

In a highly competitive employment landscape where fresh graduates are finding their job search challenging, employers are seeking candidates who can hit the ground running.

It is essential to not just bury your head in your books while you are in university, but to continue to develop your interests beyond the academic and acquire some work experience.

This will help to enrich your life and your resume. Many graduating students are so focused on academic results they often overlook enriching their life beyond lectures and assignments.

Employ ability skills are more important to some organisations and employers than the specific occupational, technical or academic knowledge and skills associated with the graduate’s degree. The desired skills for today’s fresh graduates fall into four broad areas: self-reliance, people, general employment and specialist skills.

1. Self-reliance skills

These skills include self-awareness and being proactive. Employers usually want to know how purposeful and focused the candidate is. They want to discover his beliefs as well as how realistic his career expectations and goals are.

Being proactive includes having resourcefulness, drive and self-reliance. Among the gamut of self-reliance skills, employers are also looking into the graduate’s ability to market themselves modestly in a positive but persistent manner. The ability to network and be an astute decision-maker is another quality that distinguishes good candidates.

2. People skills

In the people skills arena, employers want to know whether the candidate has worked in a shop, supermarket or restaurant, engaged in fund-raising activities for charity, or participated regularly in voluntary work.

These are front-line work areas where individuals are likely to develop people skills. Being a member of an orchestra, participating in a team sport or having a leadership role are also good indicators of people skills.

In essence, employers try to determine whether the candidate has engaged in activities that have helped to develop his interpersonal skills, effective communication competencies and leadership abilities. They are seeking candidates with customer-centric attitudes who demonstrate a friendly and caring attitude, and can handle difficult situations diplomatically. Employers also want candidates who are comfortable with diversity associated with globalisation and multi-ethnic workforces.

3. Other skills

Of course, general business skills like problem-solving, flexibility, business acumen, computer and numerate literacy, and commitment are desired personal skills. Candidates who are versatile, willing and multi-skilled definitely have an advantage. However, specific occupational skills and specialist relevant knowledge are equally important in certain occupations.

Many employers also prefer graduates who have gained practical work experience and have a better idea about what the world of work has in store for them. Employers are also looking for personal qualities in fresh graduates that include cultural intelligence and an ability to connect with colleagues and partners who are a generation older than them.

According to some employers, completing an internship, industrial attachment or a community project in an under-developed country remains the useful road to the improvement of workplace soft skills for graduates.

Your degree is no longer enough to land you a job. You will have to demonstrate that you are work-ready, willing to put in hard work and not fearful of challenging tasks.

Can you prove all this and more in an effective resume? Will you be able to demonstrate to and persuade a potential employer that you have what it takes to succeed in their business? Will you be able to live up to the promise of being a well-rounded employee in your first six months at work?

Consider these issues, then try and fill the gaps in your resume. Seek the help and advice of career counsellors or friends who have work experience. With some effort and a positive attitude, you will boost your ability to find the job you want.