My Sister Needed Cheering Up

When my sister got divorced, I was really worried about her. All of us could tell she was better off without her husband, but she thought that she was still in love with him. She fell into a depression that I was bound and determined to make sure she crawled out of. When I saw her making her first jokes, I knew that she was finally seeing the daylight. I wanted to do something really special for her so I looked into Toronto party bus rentals. I figured that if a group of her friends could show her a fun night on the town, she would be on her way to finding herself again.

I wanted to get a party bus because I knew that it would be a night where no one would want to take responsibility for driving. We were planning on having as many drinks as it took to make her realize she no longer needed him. I really didn’t want to go clubbing or even go to one of our houses, because it had to be neutral territory. Continue reading “My Sister Needed Cheering Up”

A Boost in Motivation with a Promise

The local kids hockey team had been on a losing streak for a while, and they were feeling pretty down about it. I thought that a little motivation would help them win, so I promised the kids that if they won the next game, they would get a pizza party and a ride on the Toronto party bus limo. As soon as they heard this, the kids went to the rink to practice their shots. It was like one of those inspirational sports movies where the kids go through a training montage and get ready for the big game against the opposing team.

The kids worked so hard that they didn’t want to leave. Continue reading “A Boost in Motivation with a Promise”

Africa Holiday Travel – 4 Important Guidelines For Your Planning

Holiday destinations in Africa have grown tremendously over the last decade. Many countries have taken steps to develop holiday and vacation spots to compete in the ever-competitive field of attracting visitors. The demand for a wider variety of travel destination is also growing.

And as the demand grows the potential travelers are also becoming more adventures. More people are willing to travel far and wide and to experience cultures. They want to experience the unknown, learn and enjoy new things that may be very different from what they are used to. Africa offers this kind of opportunity to many holidaymakers.

For those considering a holiday trip to Africa, it helps to have a fair idea of what type of experience you would be looking for. Many people do a lot of research, including talking to friends who may have traveled to Africa before. The Internet is also a source of information on various destinations – African included. Some travel agents still print hard copy travel brochures that you can order and use in making your decisions.

Whatever your source of information is, there are guidelines that would make your planning easier. I recommend 4 important steps that will do exactly that:

Set Your Budget
Your holiday budget will have a heavy bearing on your eventual choice of destination. Obviously, luxurious hotels and designer hotels charge higher for their services. This may be justified in the quality of services offered or the exclusivity of the product. What the case may be, setting the budget is an important step in the process of planning any vacation. Other elements of the entire vacation, for example, the cost of the airfare, should be a big consideration.

Decide on the Vacation Theme
It is always easier to start choosing your holiday destination if you have a rough idea of the theme or setting you would like to experience. Africa is as diverse as the different countries and regions. And each region may offer something totally different from the other. Decide whether to seek the sandy beaches of a beautiful coast, the adventure of a wild African safari, historical or archaeological monuments, the twilight experience of the city, or the snowy peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro or Mt Kenya. This will save you time, if not money.

Decide on the Destination
The next step is to settle for a destination. This will be determined by theme of your travel. Wildlife safari seekers would like to consider Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, and Tanzania etc as a possible destination. Desert adventurers may consider Namibia; lovers of history and culture will consider Egypt and Ethiopia.

Choose Your Dates of Travel Carefully
You will want to choose the dates of travel carefully. Some African destinations offer lower or higher pricing depending on the season of travel. You may wish to take advantage and travel when the price is low. Most wildlife safari destinations do this. Besides the pricing factor, weather conditions at specific times of the year make it difficult to enjoy – the place may be too hot, too wet, too windy etc. In some cases even roads become impassable. And in the case of wildlife viewing safaris, the vegetation and bushes are too high, making it impossible to spot the animals.

Whatever your holiday plans, when they eventually materialize, make sure you pack the right things, keep your travel documents and other items safe.

A Tip For Success In YTB Travel MLM

This evening I spoke with a great lady with such a delightful, outgoing personality, we’ll call her ‘Sheryl.’ Sheryl contacted me looking for help in her YTB Travel MLM business and said she didn’t know how to recruit. With such a great phone presence, she certainly wasn’t shy. I asked her why she got into YTB Travel in the first place.

She said she was originally involved with another MLM company and, as much as she enjoyed their products, she really loves traveling and that’s all she’s ever really wanted to do. When she recently found the YTB Travel MLM business, it was a no-brainer.

So, I tested her faith a little further… I said, “Sheryl, let’s say I told you to drop your life right now and simply give everything to me. I want you to get on a plane and you can go travel the world anywhere and everywhere you want on my dime for the rest of your life. You will have no money, no property, no belongings, and no home, but I will cover your travel costs, food, etc. How would you feel about that?”

I felt her heart skip a beat at the mere thought.

“It would be Heaven,” she said. “Then, you’ve picked the right business for you because you have a true passion for what you’re doing,” I told her. That’s the first step – and the most important in my book. Too many people get into their MLM business for the wrong reasons. Often times they’re sweet-talked into joining someone’s MLM only to ‘help out a friend’ or family member in the blind hopes it will lead to huge income… which is always the wrong reason to join a business.

If you’re like Sheryl, you may find this hard to believe, but not everyone views traveling with the same passion, even though almost everyone enjoys traveling at one time or another for business or vacation. However, there are still 10’s of thousands of people who share those same passionate dreams of a life of traveling bliss like Sheryl, but you must seek them out.

As much of a no-brainer as this may appear, the important concept to be successful in your YTB Travel MLM business is to not have the mindset of simply trying to blindly recruit every warm body who comes within shouting distance who may have once thought of taking a cruise through the Florida Keys.

Wanting a discount on airfare is one thing. Wanting to build a business is clearly another.

These are NOT your YTB Travel business builders.

Maybe they’ll be your customers… some day… maybe! Probably not.

To find out their passions, you’ve got to qualify your prospect first – ask questions about how they feel about traveling. They’ll tell you. If they’re not crazy about it like you – next! …and shut up. Don’t try to convince someone they should get into the travel world if they aren’t interested. Why? You’re wasting you’re time talking to the wrong people.

I’ve met SO many people like Sheryl it’s incredible. Too many new YTB Travel RTA’s are so busy trying to convince (sweet-talk) their friends and family to join their YTB Travel downline (because it’s what they’ve been taught) they’re missing out on all the other people who would genuinely LOVE to join, but never heard of YTB Travel.

Did you catch the part about how Sheryl has always loved traveling, but only RECENTLY found YTB Travel? There’s THOUSANDS of people like Sheryl out there! She didn’t join in the hopes of making great money (although, she really wants to make money, too).

If you’re like Sheryl, or even close, first, you need to think about YOUR lifestyle now and understand that other people who think like you are in a similar situation as you, because they want the same things you want. So, you need to learn to attract like-minded people, instead of wasting your time trying to force and convince people who really are not interested.

Think about YOU for a minute: What’s your lifestyle like? What kind of job do you have? Where do you hang out? What kind of food do you like? Where do you like to shop? Why do you shop there? What kind of TV shows do you watch? Start looking in these area for like-minded people.

Sure, you might have one friend that shares your travel passions, and, if so, they’ll be the RARE exception.

Stop looking for “just anybody” to talk to and start looking for people who already express their own genuine interest in travel …not because you convinced them of it. These will be your best business builders and will never give up just because the money isn’t coming in one day. (See my previous article: MLM Leads…Reality Check)

Start looking for about 10,000 “Sheryl’s.”

There out there – I promise!

Mike Lewitz is a certified International Marketer who teaches marketing to an international organization of over 6000 entrepreneurs in 33 countries who come from all walks of life and market hundreds of different products and services, including people in MLM and Network Marketing businesses.

A Room With A View

From Los Angeles to Atlantic City I have been around the the United States and stayed at various hotels and motels. Making sure to always get a room with a view.

This whole obsession started out when I was in the military and I had to deal with sleeping in cramped quarters with usually a good view of nothing. From that day forward I always made sure that whenever I stayed in a place that was not my home I would be able to see a view of something at least halfway decent.

Now its a true fact that you are going to get what you pay for. So if the hotel that you are staying at is a mere $40 a night – expect to see the parkway or maybe a brick building which is next to you. Now take the W hotel in NYC if you stay anywhere above the 22nd floor you will have an amazing view of midtown New York City as well as a great view of the water which separates New York from New Jersey! With a view like that it makes it hard to leave your hotel room at all! Instead I usually just want to sit around my room and look down on the streets below. Seeing the people like they are little ants moving around the busy crowded New York Streets.

My favorite place where I had the best view every was a hotel that I stayed at in Cabo Mexico. I had a view of the pacific ocean like you could not believe! Every angel of my hotel window showed an amazing view and was just great to look at when I got up – when I went to sleep I was put to sleep by the sound of the ocean! This hotel was not cheap – but I have to say it was well worth every penny.

So next time you decide to stay at a hotel or need to stay away from your house be sure that the place that you are staying at can do some justice for your location – so that you will be able to take everything in!

3 Things You Need To Know About Free Web Hosting Service Providers

It’s common to be excited when you see a company offering free web hosting. Before you go ahead and sign up for the service, you need to know a number of things about most of the free web hosting providers.

Most are startups

Research has shown that many of the providers willing to give you free service are startups and they do it in order to attract potential customers.

Since they are startups, they devise ways of cutting costs. One of the best ways of cutting costs is by avoiding buying some equipment or buying cheap equipment. For example, it’s common to find such companies with cheap and unreliable servers.

Although, you will be signing up for a free product, you have a right of enjoying good service; therefore, before you sign up, you should always research and find out what other people have to say about the provider.

Most lack the level of service agreement

A level of service agreement (LSA) is a document that gives details on how the provider will offer you the service that you deserve. It’s common to find most of the providers without the agreement. Before you sign up always ask for the document.

If the provider doesn’t have the agreement, you should move on and look for other options. If you are given the agreement, you should thoroughly scrutinize it in order to pick out flaws in it. If you find the document full of flaws, you should move on and look for other options.

Most offer a menu of services

Most of the companies offering the free services tend to offer other services in addition to the web hosting service. Since such companies have a number of services to offer, they usually don’t offer top notch service.

Before you sign up for the free service, you should research the service provider and find out what he does other than providing the web hosting service.

If the provider offers other services such as telecommunication services, you should look for other options. This is because the web hosting service is very sensitive and can’t be put on a menu of services.

Bottom line

It’s often said that you get what you pay for; therefore, you should not expect top notch service from a free service. To be on the safe side it’s wise to pay for the hosting and you will be guaranteed of the best service on the land.

The Ultimate Strategy For International Air Freight Shipping

Gone are the days when physical boundaries and geographical locations created barriers. It’s the age of innovative transportation where businesses have the opportunity to reach out to potential consumers. Whether it’s a bulky electronics item or documents, you can opt for air-freight shipping solutions and get them delivered to exact locations. If you are running a business, all you need to do is develop a unique strategy for such transportation. That will help you send all the products to their desired addresses.

Identifying your needs

Do you know what are the prime requisites involved in International Air Freight Shipping? If you don’t, it is the high time to develop crystal clear ideas of the process. While looking for these services, make sure you know your needs and understand your requirements. It’s highly imperative to comprehend the technicalities as that is the key to executing critical operations.

Things to note

Before devising the strategies and implementing them, make sure you take note of the crucial factors involved in these projects. What’s your requirement in an overseas transportation project? Here are some of the factors that matter a lot when you plan to associate with the best International Air Freight Shipping service providers:

Services and solutions

Does your chosen partner offer 24*7 support assistance? Overseas shipping and deliveries require profound attention, care, and professional handling. You must take a look at the services offered by the top companies before finalizing the associations!

Cargo deliveries

Your cargo should reach on time as that will prove your service excellence. Timely cargo deliveries are of paramount significance for a company and it instills trust and reliability to a great extent. When it boils down to executing cargo transportations, make sure your chosen partners have the right resources in place.

Cost factors

Choosing the top companies can be affordable too. Most of the people think that partnering with a reputed freight shipping firm can be expensive, but that’s not the truth. It’s imperative to check the service costs and their solutions. That will give you a complete idea of their services.

Finding the leaders

Always look for the top service providers, as they always come up with a host of solutions for clients. Check their experience, market reputation, and several other factors that make them the true leaders. The best companies will have services for one and all. That’s what makes them the pioneers.

Factors to consider

If you are planning to get in touch with leaders, here are some of the factors to care about:

Experience: Always get in touch with experienced companies as they have in-depth knowledge of the market.

Expertise: Professional expertise is of huge importance and you shouldn’t compromise in this regard. Check whether your chosen partners are aware of the technicalities.

Services: When the international shipping, you should opt for the perfect solutions. Know about the services offered by the chosen companies and then take the final decision.

Parting thoughts

Once you analyze these aspects, you will surely get in touch with the top shipping and transportation partners.

Office Design for Improving Productivity

Sometimes, adding chalkboards and whiteboards can seem handy, but there is more than you can do to improve your office space. Here are just a few office design tips to help improve your overall productivity.

1. Idea Storage

One of the worst things that can happen for creative people is that they have a great idea but do not have anywhere to write it down, and they lose it. There is also the chance that you will end up doing a huge amount of research on a topic that you are not going to use. Whiteboards and notebooks are a great option for writing your ideas down, so you can continue to work on your main task for the day.

2. Remove the Clutter

It is important that you are regularly cleaning your office. Clutter comes from your creative mind working, but it can make focusing and getting your work done difficult. You should make sure that you have enough storage for all your items and that you have access to your most used objects.

3. Bring in Some Nature

We are biological creatures, so we should be spending some amount of time outside every single day. However, being inside all the time has a huge effect on our work. While it would be nice to spend a lot of time outside, for most jobs, this is not really possible. If you cannot take your work outside, why not bring nature to you? Try opening the shades and letting fresh air. This could help you feel more energized and help you get more done. Plants can also be a great option to add to your office, you just have to remember to water it.

4. Table and Chairs

We have all experienced having to sit at a table and having to consistently having to readjust to be comfortable, so we could focus on our work. This is why you should take the time to find a desk and chair that both fits your body and the way that you sit. This can take some adjusting to if you are working on an office where you do not have control over when items are ordered. If you are working at home, try to sit in chairs that you are thinking about buying for around 30 minutes to find out if they are comfortable for you.

An Effective Dinner For A Home Business Proprietor

When you want to take your client for dining out, make sure that they are considered in the final selection. If they have any allergic reaction, you must allow for them by going to places where they will not be left with a scenario that makes them unpleasant. Showing that you care about their desires can make for a wonderful first impact. It could also be a respectful reaffirmation of why they do business with you to begin with you, which is because you have their best interests at heart.

If you say that you are going to be at the restaurant at a particular time, get there early. If you arrive before they do, you can take the extra time to make it certain that you are not located someone noisy or near a high-traffic area so that you talk business and hear each other without disturbances.

Based upon the restaurant, paying the bill in advance could be a good strategy. If the customer sees the bill, they may feel a little bit nervous about the prices. You could have the staff members run your card and add a tip percentage just before your client arrives or if you can step away mid-meal. This can leave you with the choice to get the check just before you leave or have them mail it to you. These options will all depend on where you eat, though.

As it comes time to order items, keep your intake somewhat balanced with that of your client. This means ordering similar items and eating at an equivalent pace. Follow your client’s lead is the way to go with food orders and with light drinking. Things could get uncomfortable if you finish your plate before they do.

Be well-mannered to wait of staff. If something comes to your table that isn’t that great, do not get upset or abusive towards the staff. Showing condescension and rudeness can show the client that this is how it is to work with you.

Adding some small talk in with the business talk while you eat can help you get to know or reconnect with each other individually. They will be also examining to see if you dominate small talk or if you listen well. Any major business talk is best reserved for the main course where wait staff tend to interrupt less.

Finally, remember the important parts of your dinner and accomplish any requests your client made during the dinner. Nothing will hurt you and your business more than showing that you cannot follow through with promises and requests.

Connecting with clients is essential to a home business, and dinner is one of the best ways to do this. Take the time to make it an enjoyable experience for you both to build a better working relationship.

How to Know What Your Clients Want

For your business to be successful, it has to include an ongoing dialog between you and your clients.

Unless your business, your offerings, and your processes are informed by what your clients want, you end up, eventually, with no business at all.

More often than not, this is a matter of following the breadcrumbs. What you offer is snapped up by multiple clients right away = what they want. What you offer just lies there like an empty glove = not what they want.

If it’s the latter, then you either change what you offer, or you find new people to offer it to.

There is much to be learned too in casual conversations with clients. You get to be a detective, listening closely, and seeking out clues for what they are looking for. You probe and question to find out more.

Sometimes it’s an experiment. If you’re offering something really new and innovative, finding out whether it’s something your clients want is a matter of running a pilot, getting feedback, modifying, and offering it again.

One avenue for finding out what clients want is seriously underutilized. This method seems to be mysterious for many business owners. They sometimes don’t even think of it. Or they think of it, and dismiss it.

The mysterious method? Ask!

Directly approaching your clients to ask for what they want is a valuable adjunct to all the breadcrumb following, clue hunting, and incidental conversations that can bring you necessary information.

This is where social media can come in really handy. If you have a tribe that follows you, you can put it out there on Facebook or Twitter. It’s a quick way to get lots of feedback in a short time.

Got an email list? Send out a request for feedback on a specific question.

If you want direct feedback on an ongoing basis, conduct surveys. In my consulting business, I sent out a short survey after every project. That way, I could tweak my approach and offerings before they got too far off track.

Surveys are best approached the same way you approach marketing: from the client’s point of view. Ask about the client’s experience of both what you delivered and how. If anything was less than outstanding, what was it and how could it have been better?

Surveys are also a chance to explore what else the client might need. What else could be offered?

Were they happy enough to refer you to someone else? If so, take names: find out who they would recommend you too, and contact the referral, if you have their permission.

It’s important that clients know that you’re doing something with all this information they’re providing. You can respond directly to the client and tell them how you’re addressing their concerns.

Some entrepreneurs are afraid to ask outright. They prefer to take the behind-the-scenes approach. It’s almost as if by asking up front, they are afraid they are admitting that something is wrong.

That kind of fear does not serve you, or your clients. You need to know what your clients are thinking and feeling about your business.

On large projects, ask at the midpoint how things are going. With what you learn, you can adjust and carry on.

This kind of connection can be very affirming for your relationship with your client. They’ll know that you really want to hear from them. It encourages them to say more.

No one is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. If you take that approach, improvement on an ongoing basis, you’ll always get better. You’ll always have more to offer. And your clients will thank you for it.

This mantra helps: progress, not perfection.

One important thing to remember: you always have the final say in whether or not you act on the feedback. It’s part of the dialog. You ask, you get feedback, you discern what’s right for you and your business, and you take action. Then the conversation starts again.

Ask what you need to know. It’s a good idea.

Solo Travel – 10 Ways to Save on Single Supplements

In your school days, you may have found, as I did, that economics really is the “dismal science”. However, I did learn one key fact. Supply and demand drive prices. For solo travel, the surcharge or “single supplement” does vary partly in keeping with this tried and true rule. The good news? If you prowl through the Internet, you can find ways to save on solo travel when demand is down. The bad news? Reduced or no single supplement offerings are limited in number and go fast.

Here are 10 ways to save.

1. Don’t ask for one room. Ask for a “room for one’. In Europe, lodging is often sold with solo pricing. Be sure to see if it is a solo price for a standard room or a small single room. Look at the size offered for single occupants. Then consider the amount of time you will spend in your room. I often take 10-12 hour day trips abroad with almost no time spent in my hotel room except to catch some sleep before heading out again.

2. Get there first. Book even one year ahead since few slots are reduced for solos. This is really important if you go in-season. Holiday resorts and hot spots in summer may have return visitors book the next year when they check out.

3. Head to the airport when everyone else is heading home. Off-season travel is the best way to get immediate 50% off reductions. In the south of France, rates go down as fast as Sept 9. Ski resorts, like the fabled Sun Valley Lodge, have specials just before Christmas. In winter and spring, European discounts can be half-price as well.

4. Get excited about rainy weather or extreme heat and cold. You will have to think how far you want to take this. I had a thrilling short term work trip one Jan. in Siberia. I also went on tour in India during the monsoons. In some cases, the negative pronouncements may not impact your trip. A good example? The risk of hurricanes each fall is less likely to touch the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) making for better pricing. In Africa, for example, safari rates are lower during the rainy or “green” season if you can get away, and don’t mind the possibility of short, heavy rains.

5. Look for new travel providers. Hotels that are just opening or reopening after renovations have specials to gain or regain market share. The Hotel Castille in Paris, for example, had short-term deep discounts when it reopened just steps from fashionable boutiques. Thereafter, the rates increased in keeping with other high-end small hotels

6. Be a contrarian. Don’t pay a premium for what’s currently trending. Prowl the Internet for undervalued regions. If it is all the rage, prices will soar. In the 1980’s, I somehow found a Montenegro resort right off the Albanian border. Since then, Sveti Stefan, where I stayed, has been updated as reflected in its 5 star pricing. The moral of the story is get there before the crowds discover a destination.

7. If you can’t pronounce it or spell it, you’ll love the prices! Substitute the road less traveled. If you have a dream to see the Parthenon you must go to Greece. (That is unless you live in North America and would like to see a perfect replica in Nashville, Tenn.!) Regional air carriers are a good way to find out great largely undiscovered places at low prices. One example: I dreamed of Tahiti in my early post-graduate days. When rates were high there, Air New Zealand suggested alternatives: Rarotonga and Aitutaki. I took them up on it and had the trip of a life time dining out on the stories for years.

8. Scour the Internet for national and regional programs offered by tourist boards. Check ahead as they may only be available abroad. One of the best deals I found in the 1990’s was with then “Lan Chile”. From the US, I purchased three stand-by tickets for a total of $200 to go anywhere in the country. At that price, I made my way to Antarctica Chile, at the end of the world!

9. Use flexible dates to grab week-day deals. Hotels and airline rates often go up and down together. Why is that? That takes us back to supply and demand. When planes and hotels have low load factors, prices are softer.

10. Share to save. Look for tours that have no single supplements by agreeing to share. The benefit to this approach? It is a way to save if your travel dates are not flexible, and no to low single supplement deals are not available.

In any case, before you give up on fitting solo travel into your budget, look at these options.

Finding a Hotel Tonight Is Easier Than You Think

Finding a hotel tonight, or any night for that matter, is much easier than you think. In fact, the travel industries are such that the consumer is no longer working on the whim of an outside agent working in semi-secrecy. Consumer protection progress in the industry, as well as streamlined planning tools, have made it so that anyone can jump online & find what they need.

In this case, we’re focusing on the ease with which someone can plan a stay at a hotel as soon as tonight. Perhaps the single greatest reason that planning a quick hotel stay has become so simple is the advent of the World Wide Web – the Internet. The Internet has allowed us to have a wealth of information at our fingertips for a few decades now, and with that knowledge comes some serious power. For example, there was once a time when knowing what hotels were nearby was the only real way you could choose a hotel. You subsequently had to look them up in the phone book (barring you didn’t make a mistake in their name), and you really had to hope that there was something available at the very last-minute. The number of variables was through the roof, and in many ways, consumers were operating at the discretion of the hotels.

This would be enough to convince even a hardened traveler to cry, “Uncle”, but the real struggle to book a room came when you had to travel out-of-town. Imagine being on a road you’re following on a physical map, and inevitably you’d end up somewhere whose geography you didn’t know, and you certainly didn’t know of any hotels, motels, or motorways you could bank on for a last-minute room. Today, however, you can know your way around town by way of your phone’s Internet access.

Perhaps the other most significant reason for being able to book a hotel room with ease comes by way of competition in the industry. There was once a time when you had a limited amount of choices for hotel stays. Regardless of whether you were traveling & moving about due to vacation or work, you were in a position where your lodging money went one of only a couple of places. Nowadays, you’re able to do quick online searches as to the quality (star rating) of you proposed lodging, amenities, as well as proximity to & involvement with your destination. Moreover, there are a number of hotels vying for your business, which means they are willing to work with prospective customers on pricing & flexible booking simply because they want your booking in a major way. With so much choice & with an added boost in saving on your booking, you as the consumer are the big winner.

When it comes to finding a hotel room tonight, you should set your mind at ease. A little common sense, some quick wit with online searches, and a comfort in knowing that you as the customer have some serious booking power should be your guides to hotel booking nirvana.