Making A Change For The Better

So it’s day three since I decided to become a vegetarian.  This might be the longest I’ve ever gone without meat.  Even when I was sick I would often have chicken soup. 
 
We went out to eat last night, my first restaurant meal since I cut out meat.  I tried eggplant rollatini for the first time and I loved it!  If I’m going to eat like this all the time as a veggie, I won’t even miss meat! 
 
My wife’s favourite food is eggplant parmagiana.  She has been a vegetarian for over 20 years.  I guess we can share when we eat out or taste each other’s meals! 
 
I’ve been reading up on the benefits of various vegetable dishes.  I’m a diabetic and I’ve been reading about how coconut, oats and soy all help regulate blood sugar levels.  So that’s another big reason to stay the course.  I’ve never read about any piece of meat having that sort of benefit.
 
So far I’ve had no cravings for any meat (although I know it’s only been three days and the real test is to come when I’m eating food with other people who are eating meat).  If I do feel any craving then I’ll just remind myself why I made the choice to become vegetarian.  I don’t see any major problem, though.  I simply don’t like the idea of eating meat anymore.  I’ve always been an animal lover and I just can’t live with the idea of an animal having to die so I can eat.  The simple truth is we don’t need to eat meat.  It’s not essential to our diet.  With the choices available to us today we can get all the nutrients we need from eating a vegetarian diet.  Most people eat meat simply because they’re conditioned to, because everyone else does and because it tastes good.  Those reasons are no longer enough to justify to myself any reason to continue eating a creature that had to be killed so I could eat it.
 
 My change came when I was eating a burger several days ago and the thought came into my mind that I’m eating a dead cow.  Suddenly that burger didn’t taste so good anymore.

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And We’re Off!

Momentum leads to excitement.

Excitement leads to anticipation.

Anticipation leads to expectation.

Expectation leads to action.

Action leads to results!

Those words came to me a week or so ago.  We’re really starting to see the power in those words.

 

Gathering Momentum

Momentum leads to excitement.

Excitement leads to anticipation.

Anticipation leads to action.

Action leads to results.

Those words came to my head last night.  I know where they came from but this isn’t the blog to discuss that topic.

We’re feeling the momentum.  Business is slow at the moment.  Mainly because we seem to have a million other things clamoring for our attention.  When you have a nine to five type job it’s easy to be productive.  You have set hours.  You show up at a set time, do your work for a set number of hours then go home.

When you work from home it’s equally easy to get distracted.  Family get the idea that because you’re not at a desk in an office you’re available to them whenever they want you.  Plus you have a myriad of personal distractions competing for your time.  Self discipline is critical.  We haven’t fully acquired that, yet.  But we’re getting there.

Last night we were busy setting appointments.  The result is tomorrow we’re meeting with three separate people.  A busy day ahead.  We’re in the business of helping people.  Financially and health wise.  It feels good to be moving in that direction again.  Wish us luck for tomorrow!

We’re beginning to see that momentum.  Excitement is building, leading us to take action.

Now to go get those results!

Spring Into Action

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According to the calendar, Spring starts on Thursday.  Although having just been outside it’s hard to believe we haven’t slipped back in time to the middle of January.  The average high right now is supposed to be around 50.  According to my Weatherbug it’s currently 29 degrees.  Only 21 degrees below normal.  In the middle of March.  This has been a long harsh winter.  It’s time for Old Man Winter to get his grumpy butt out of here.  It’s time for some warmth.  At least we’ve missed out on several snow chances this month.  There have been a few snowstorms around, but they’ve all been shunted to the south courtesy of the media flavor of the month, the good old Polar Vortex.  How many times have we heard about the PV this winter.  Way too many times if you ask me.  The PV can bugger off back to its polar home where it belongs.  Bring on the 60’s and 70’s. 

When it gets as cold as this, we tend to hibernate.  I have to admit, I don’t like extreme cold and I don’t like extreme heat.  Am I too fussy?  Just give me 60’s and 70’s, and if we want to head to the beach, some 80’s would be good.  Yes, I admit it, I’m a wimp.  I’m from Britain, where it rarely gets too hot or too cold.  More often than not, the temperature is just right.  Why do I suddenly feel like a character from the Goldilocks fairytale?

Anyway, I have to admit, I could stand to lose a few pounds.  As I’ve already indicated, I hibernate during the winter. And working from home makes it all to easy to hide yourself away.  Thankfully I’ll be able to take advantage of our Vitality range with our company.  We have products that help us have a good workout, that gives us plenty of fiber and products that help us lose weight.  Once we get some decent mild weather we’re going to go walking.  We have an amazing snack bar that is scientifically designed to allow our body to burn excess fat.  And it tastes great!  Bonus! 

So bring on the warm sunny days, when the girls wear fewer clothes and I can get my legs out again.  I’m ready to walk!

Taking Time For What Matters

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Our lives are crazy these days. I’m sure many of you can identify with this. An elderly relative broke his hip last July and spent seven weeks in a rehab center.   We had to sort out his place, as well as visit him.  He went home, but as he was only able to get care for three hours a day for just three weeks, we had to go to his home every other day to help him out with laundry, shopping, cleaning etc.

A few months ago, he had a relapse and is now in a nursing home.  We have to prepare his place to sell it, as well as visit him as often as we can.  As well as prepare our place as we might be moving soon.  That’s a whole other story.

So, why am I telling you this?  I’ve been thinking the past few days, thank God we have this work from home business.  If we had regular jobs, either we wouldn’t be able to take the time off to give our relative the proper care he needed, or we’d have lost our jobs by now.  Let’s face it, what company in America is going to let you take so much time off to care for someone who needs you?  But as we work for ourselves, we can take all the time we need to give our relative the proper care and attention.  Family is so important, right?  They have to come first.  As it is, we both lost our jobs within three months of each other before any of this with our relative even happened.

Time.  We can never have enough of it.  Especially when we work long hours every day.  Our lives are fleeting enough as it is without spending so much time behind a desk, or wherever it is you work. Your job puts money in your bank, pays the bills, puts food on the table and keeps a roof over your head.  But it takes so much in return.  It steals so much of our time.  Time we could better spend with our family.  I work with my wife.  So we live together and we work together.  And believe it or not, it really works for us!  We get on so well.  We’re an amazing team.  As we have been so busy we haven’t been able to devote as much time as we’d like to our business.  But the check we get every month for the work we have already done keeps holding us over.

 

In Hibernation

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There’s a car under there, somewhere…

We’re in hibernation.  Until spring.  I’ve blogged a couple of times now about how great working from home is, how nice it is not having to face a rough commute to work and back in the cold and snow.  And it IS great!  However, there is a flip side.  Since the storm on Monday I haven’t been outside, other than to get the mail and, of course, shovel all this delightful snow. 

I love snow.  I really do.  But enough already!  I had to shovel eight inches of slop on Monday.  Today I had to shovel another inch or so of snow that seemed to be eighty per cent water.  And we are meant to have another snowstorm this weekend.  This one could be the biggest storm of the season.  Oh well, if nothing else, at least it gives me exercise.  I just wish I could remember to eat an Access bar before going out to shovel.  At least it would give me more energy.  But roll on spring now when at least we can get out and mingle more.  But all things considered, it still beats facing those treacherous messy commutes!

So, to all of you who work from home, how do you cope with the winter hibernation  blues?

Wild Weather

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So we have another wild week of winter weather on tap.  January had two big snowstorms and a lot of bone chilling cold.  February hasn’t been as cold so far, but the snow just keeps on coming.  Yesterday we had 8 inches on Staten Island, NY.  Tonight we’re expecting snow and ice.  And we potentially have the biggest snowstorm yet.

So, what does this have to do with our business?  Well,  I feel sorry for everyone who has to struggle to work every day through all this inclement weather.  It can’t be any fun at all.

For us, this weather just gives us an excuse to stay home and make phone calls.  That’s the advantage of working from home, you see.  We get to pick and choose when we go out.  And when we don’t go out we can still work.  Making calls, blogging, internet marketing.  It’s all about getting the word out.  We’re not in sales.  We don’t sell at all.  We refer people to our company.  We’re marketers.  It’s fun.  It’s interesting.  Yes, it’s challenging at times.  But I prefer this sort of challenge to slogging to work and back day in, day out.  That’s no fun at all.

 

Keeping Your Integrity In Network Marketing

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Internet Marketing is a huge business these days.  With the wealth of social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn giving us access to thousands of people, it’s so simple for us to get our message out there.  And then of course there are the blog sites such as WordPress.  This is a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, it’s so easy anyone can do it.  On the other hand, it’s so easy anyone can do it.  Even without knowing the best way to go about it.

When a person decides to go into business with you, whether as a customer or as a business builder, it isn’t just your business that attracts their attention. No matter how good your business is, what’s the first thing your prospective customer is going to see?

You.

You are their first port of call.  You are the person behind the company, the person they are going to talk to.  You aren’t just promoting your business.  You’re promoting yourself.  And as they listen to your sales pitch they are going to be thinking one thing.

Can I trust you?

Trust is the most important element, the glue that holds your business together.  It’s one of those things that can be so hard to gain.  But, so easily lost.  As you tell them what you have to offer, you need to be up front and honest.  Because if you lie to them, if you make it sound so easy when it’s not, they are not going to stay with you once they learn the truth.  So you have to prove to that person you are worthy of their trust.  To do that, you have to be trustworthy.  Internet marketing isn’t just about making money.  Obviously, that’s the biggest reason we do it.  But, it can’t be our only focus.  If you’re looking for customers you have to provide a good level of service.  It’s not just about making a sale.  Especially if you want them to come back for more.  If you are looking to bring someone into your business to partner with you, then you have to make it all about that person.  You need to put their needs first if they are going to stay with you for the long term.

Remember, trust is hard to gain but so easily lost.

We’ve been active on Facebook a lot the last couple of weeks.  We joined a lot of work from home groups.  We’ve seen good practices.  And we’ve seen bad practices.  Some people actually pretend they’re looking for a business to work with and ask you to friend them and send them a message with more information.  When you do, they pretty much ignore you.  But behind your back they’re trolling through your friend list, messaging your friends, trying to prospect them.  I made a post on Facebook about this.  A couple of people tried to make out it wasn’t such a bad tactic.  But we’re not convinced.  Most of us use Facebook to keep in touch with our family and friends.  Most of our family and friends have no interest in networking.  So we don’t feel they should be subjected to messages from people prospecting them. I don’t know, maybe we’re just naive.  We’re in a great business with the intention of helping people both with their finances and with their health.  Yes, we also want to make money.  But not at any cost.  Not at the cost of our integrity.  We want to be able to look prospective business partners in the eye and let them see that yes, they can trust us.  Maybe we won’t make as many contacts this way.  Maybe we won’t make as much money as some of the more bullish networkers.  But we’ll get there.  And we’ll have the satisfaction of knowing we did it the right way and we haven’t hurt anybody.

So what do you think?  Is integrity so important?  Or do you feel anything is justified when it comes to making a buck?

Regus: An Update

Ok, I’d like to post an update regarding Regus.  Following on from my previous blog, my wife and I had a discussion with the manager of the Knightsbridge Road branch of Regus, in Piscataway, New Jersey. 

In fairness to Regus, we had no problem with the company before two extra charges showed up.  Their service was excellent, the office we rented was very clean and everything else was perfect.  The issue we had was just the two extra charges we were hit with when we thought we’d paid everything up.  One charge is basically for when they continue to receive phone calls and / or mail after you have vacated your office.  You get charged for three months of this service after you vacate.  As we didn’t use either of these services in the first place, we naturally had an issue with that.  Anyway, as I said we had a discussion with the branch manager, Melissa, and she promised to speak to her directors and sort something out.  She really went to bat for us, after we’d given her a pretty hard time.  We’ve had a lot of stress in our lives due to several issues, none of them related to Regus and I’m afraid she got the brunt of some of that.  Nevertheless, she handled herself in a very professional manner, and we found a few days later that the Business Continuation charge has been withdrawn altogether.  It’s nice to know a corporate company can be so reasonable.  So thank you Melissa, and thank you Regus for your handling of this situation.  We still have to pay a “restoration fee” which was only disclosed after we’d signed the contract, but it’s much less than the “continuation fee” we were originally going to be charged for.  You still have to beware of hidden extra charges but that’s probably true with any company you’re dealing with.  It’s nice to know though that Regus can be reasonable and are willing to work with you.    

Beware Of Regus!

Ok so I’m in the process of learning one of life’s lessons.  Always do diligent research before jumping into anything.  My wife and I did look into this company but we obviously didn’t dig deep enough.  Now we’re looking harder and the dirt is starting to appear.  So I’m writing this blog in an attempt to stop others making our mistake.

We have a small business and we’re trying to make it grow.  We figured if we had our own office then we would be more focused when we were there.  The idea being that if we had a specific place to work then we’d be more productive.  So we went with Regus.  They’re a nationwide chain.  When you meet the staff, they’re very professional, very courteous.  Of course they are.  They want your money. 

After we signed contracts we were told about the first hidden charge that wasn’t explicitly stated in the contract.  There is a $154 restoration fee that you have to pay when you leave.  This is so the office can be maintained.  This is ON TOP OF a $75 office start-up fee so the office can be provided in good condition.  So in effect you’re paying for the samer thing TWICE!  They don’t tell you that before you sign on the dotted line.  This is despite the fact the office is actually new and regardless of whether you put anything on the walls.  There is also a $50 start-up fee, to get an access card, $30 a month kitchen fee.  

Our contract is up at the end of the month.  We paid each month in advance so we’re all paid up and we were not expecting any more invoices from Regus.  In fact, we’re expecting our two month deposit to be returned.  So imagine our shock this morning when we received an invoice for $950 for a three month “service continuity” fee.  This is for after we’ve left.  What a joke!  Why should we be expected to pay a service continuity fee for a service we no longer require? 

To be honest, the environment Regus provide is very pleasant and very clean.  They could be a great company to deal with if they didn’t employ such bad business practices.  They seem to be very greedy and very grasping, determined to screw every dollar they can out of you.  Despite the quality of their product, I wouldn’t recommend Regus to my worst enemy.  If you’re looking to rent office space, AVOID Regus.  Go with someone who has better customer relations and who will treat you with more respect. 

We’ve Taken A Big Step

So we took a  big step today and rented an office.  It’s only a three month lease, with an option to renew or extend if things work out.  It might not seem a big deal to most people but it’s a huge step for us.  For one thing it’s a serious commitment to building our Melaleuca business.  For another thing it’ll really help focus our minds and make us treat this business as a serious business. 

Working from home is all well and good but part of the problem with it is you are HOME.  You get less opportunity to get out and about.  But most of all, the problem is you are home.  With all your comforts and distractions around you.  I’m sure many people are able to work at home and focus on their business, putting in the hours they need.  But  In our own home we find it hard to commit to putting in the hours we need in order to grow out business properly.  Going out to an office should remove that problem.  It’s like going to a regular job.  You know that you are there to work, so you don’t allow anything to distract you.  You can set your hours and work to them diligently.  What sets it apart from a regular job though is you can set your own hours.  So if a family matter comes up you can attend to it and simply put in more hours another day to make up for it.  Or if the weather is inclement you can simply choose to work from home that day instead.  It sure beats working for Corporate America where your time is never your own.  So we’ll give this our best shot and see what happens. 

It just feels nice to say we have our own office.  We start using it from Monday 1st July.  Our office is based in Piscatway, NJ.  If anyone is curious to see what we do, message me and we’ll arrange for you to meet us at our office, where we can show you what our business is about.  Coming to us is no commitment to joining us and you never know, what you see and hear might make sense to you.