Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Benefits Of Laughter

  • Boosting your immune and circulatory systems
  • Enhancing oxygen intake
  • Stimulating your heart and lungs
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Triggering the release of endorphins (natural painkillers)
  • Easing digestion
  • Soothing stomach aches
  • Relieving pain
  • Balancing blood pressure
  • Improving mental functions (alertness, memory and creativity)
  • Improving overall attitude 
  • Reducing stress/tension
  • Promoting Relaxation
  • Improving sleep
  • Enhancing quality of life
  • Strengthening social bonds and relationships
  • Producing a general sense of well-being

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Happiness Is The Ultimate Productivity Booster

Happy People:
  • Work better with others,
  • Fix problems instead of complaining about them,
  • Have more energy,
  • Are more creative, optimistic, motivated, and healthy (i.e. take fewer sick days),
  • Worry less about making mistakes (and then actually make fewer mistakes),
  • Learn faster, and
  • Make better decisions.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

How To Turn $1000 Into $5000 In 48 Hours

  1. Start on a Saturday in a large city. You need a car, high speed internet, and an internet-equipped smartphone.
  2. Identify the best weekend flea market for antiques in the area. 
  3. Buy a good flashlight and fresh batteries, a magnifying glass, and a large cloth tote bag. Change your $1000 into $20s and $50s.
  4. Using high speed internet, go to eBay and browse in the collectible category. Pick an area that interests you or that you have some knowledge about. 
  5. On the left side of the screen, select "sold items" so you see only the auctions that finished with a successful sale. 
  6. Sort down in order of final price. 
  7. Study all the items that sold at above $1000 and read the descriptions closely. Pay special attention to details of maker's name, markings, size, materials. If something especially strikes you, summarize the unique points in the notes function on your phone. If you exhaust that category of collectible, move on to another one. 
  8. Spend the rest of the day studying. If you have time, visit some large antique stores in the area and get in the mindset of real antiques by looking for pieces in the areas you've studied. The real stuff has a "feel" of genuineness. Don't buy anything yet. Unless you're really really lucky it will all be too expensive.
  9. Install the eBay app on your smartphone and familiarize yourself with the search functions. 
  10. Get a good night's sleep. Get up early. Get to the market when they open (could be 5am) and start looking in the dark with your flashlight.
  11. Look for items that are a close match to the pieces you studied up on. Focus on the parts of the market where less professional sellers set up. Stay away from sellers with elaborate tents and tables. Look for amateurs in trucks with lots of stuff.
  12. Buy only pieces that match your profile. Try to pay about 10% of the sold prices you studied. For a $2000 value piece, you will pay $200 or less. Get the piece you want into your hands, asking the price as you do so. If it's $500, smile, say thank you, set it down and wait to see what else the seller brings out. You're not experienced enough to buy at that percentage. Don't forget you're a beginner. 
  13. If the price is close to your limit or below, examine the piece closely and skeptically, not as if you're eager to buy it. If you can, use your smartphone to check the photos of the similar sale you found. Make sure the piece you're looking at is not too clean and bright. Reproductions, especially of pottery and old toys, are common. 
  14. Then if you're bullish on it, bargain. Offer 75% of the asking price or so. If you get any real price reduction, pay it. If you can't get a price reduction and you're working with a casual, nonprofessional seller--pay the full price. Remember, you're already at 10% of what you think the ultimate value is! Assume that if you set it down someone else will buy it immediately. 
  15. Keep going until you've spent your $1000.
  16. The action will be over by noon. Go home and examine your finds.

You will make mistakes, because you're a beginner. You may buy a reproduction. You may overpay for something good . You may misjudge the age or markings. But if half the stuff you buy at 10% of eBay value is genuine that means your money is worth $5000. To realize the value you may decide to sell on eBay, but for now you have a paper gain. 

Monday, 2 February 2015

Boosting Your Confidence

The way to boost your confidence is to build on positive thoughts. Here are some practical tips to do just that:

  • Make your own mantra where you often repeat phrases such as “I can succeed” or “we are capable of….” It was no accident that the Obama presidential campaign chose “Yes, we can”.
  • Every time a negative thought invades your territory, kick it off the playing field and substitute it with a positive thought, plan, action, or emotion.
  • Court optimism like a seductive lover. Visualize happiness and success. But don’t waste too much time on fantasizing as this will affect productivity and positive action.
  • Do not ignore obstacles entirely. If the plan is feasible, repeat that you know about all the roadblocks along the way but you are well equipped and prepared for them. They will not throw you off the road.
  • Reduce your exposure to negative media and gloomy news broadcasts. Once a day is more than sufficient.
  • Aim for positive leisure time so that you can refresh your mind and body by indulging in comedy, sports, social occasions and avoiding toxic colleagues.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

7 Ways To Improve Your Knowledge

7 Ways to improve your knowledge:

1. Read a blog post like this one.

2. Interact more in the comment section.

3. Listen to podcasts.

4. Talk to pros in your niche.

5. Take a course.

6. Think more.

7. Study your competition.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

15 Money-Saving Tips for 2015

Have an emergency fund. This might not look like a money-saving tip, but it is one. If you don't have an emergency fund (three to six months' worth of living expenses, easily accessible), if disaster strikes, you may be forced to take some unadvisable financial actions such as cashing out a retirement account or charging a lot on a high-interest credit card. Some of the tips below can help you stock this fund with needed dollars.

Pay off debt. Speaking of high-interest credit card debt, you need to rid yourself of it. Owing $10,000 and being charged 30% (which isn't unusual) can cost you $3,000 annually and can have you spiraling deeper into debt. Make it a priority to pay such debt off.

Use rewards cards. If you're not deep in credit card debt and use cards responsibly, look for cards that reward you in ways that fit your lifestyle. If you travel a lot, seek travel-related rewards cards. If you have a big family and spend a lot at supermarkets, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card will give you 6% back on purchases there.

Call your credit card company. Believe it or not, you may very well get your steep interest rate lowered on your credit card -- just by calling and asking. It will help if you've been a good, longtime customer and if you're ready to move to another card via a balance transfer. You can get lots of discounts just for asking -- such as from a retailer if you're buying a big appliance or from your cable company. It doesn't always work, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Quit an expensive habit -- or cut back. You've surely heard it before, but if you don't want to quit smoking, maybe you'll consider quitting drinking? Or at least cutting back? This can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars annually. This applies to other activities, too, such as travel, collecting, golfing, and so on.

Buy a programmable thermostat. It can save you from heating or cooling your home when you're not there and the Government estimates that it can shave 5% to 15% off your energy bill. That's easily $200 for some folks. Each year.

Quit your gym if you're not using it. Many of us are paying $20-$40 per month for gym privileges but aren't going. That's $240-$480 a year. You might save that money instead and just walk, run, or use weights at home. Think about other services you might be paying for and not using.

Stay healthy. Wash your hands frequently to reduce your chances of catching something, exercise regularly, and eat well. Staying healthy can keep you from having to pay for doctor visits and medications, and might keep you from missing work, too.

Cook more meals at home. Cooking at home can help you stay healthy as you control what goes into your food, including how much salt and fat -- and veggies and whole grains. It can save you money, too. With a big crock-pot, you can easily make a big batch of something tasty that can serve as several meals.

Unplug things you're not using. It's estimated that electronic devices that are plugged in but not in use cost the average household $100 or more per year -- and that number is rising as we add gadgets and their chargers. The Government estimates that a single cable box with DVR capabilities costs $44 per year.

Get a home energy audit. Your utility company may offer a free home energy audit and can point out where inefficiencies are costing you. It might be worth it to upgrade some windows or your heating system or to add insulation to your home. Energy-efficient replacement windows can save you more than $400 annually. Even small improvements you make yourself can add up. A low-flow showerhead might save you more than $200 per year, while an Energy Star refrigerator can shave $150 per year from your electric bill.

Change a few bad habits. Do you frequently get money from out-of-network ATMs? If so, you're losing a lot of money needlessly. The average fee for such a transaction recently hit $4.35. Twice a month, such a cost totals $104.40. Are your bank's ATMs really that inconvenient? Think about any other costly habits you might change relatively easily.

Cash in loose change. This might seem silly, but if you pool all the jars and piles of coins around your house, it can easily total more than $100. Machines at supermarkets and elsewhere will give you cash for them -- or gift cards to retailers you frequent.

Quit bottled water. Get a water filter at home and use refillable bottles. If you stop spending, say, $10 per week on bottles of water, you'll sock away more than $500.

Get (and use) money-saving apps. There are many apps out there that can help you compare prices at different retailers, offer you coupons when you're shopping, help you budget and keep track of bills, manage loyalty and reward cards, and alert you to good deals -- among many other things.