Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


9 Things You Can Do to Increase Your Income – Today

When is the best time to put yourself in a position to increase your income? Simple, the answer is today! Had you started this a few months back, you'd be well on your way. You didn't though so here we are.

Many of us are making the same money we did in 2007 and there are no bluebirds on the horizon. So, it's up to us to do something.

If you are happy with your income level and not phased by the way everything has become more expensive in the last year, save time, stop reading, go take a nap. If however, you want to get a leg up and you are willing to do the work, read on - these will help you on your journey.

So here are some things you can do to put yourself on a track headed for higher salaries, higher commissions, and higher rates. No one is going to do it for you, it's your ship to navigate.

Wake up early. Did you miss this one already? Don’t worry because we have 8 more things you can do to increase your income – today.

Practice and improve your speaking skills. Join a Toastmasters club if there is one in your area. If there isn’t one, get a few like minded people together and start one.

One of the most touted things people in business recommend to help others improve their income is to improve their communication and leadership skills. Being able to confidently stand up and speak in public is one of the most visible and recognized skills you can have at your disposal. Being able to present a compelling case to a customer prospect or to your boss as to why they should spend more on you or whatever you are selling likely won’t fly if you are a wallflower or turn to mush when called on to speak. You should instead stand and deliver your message in a clear and compelling manner.

Sharpen your analytical knife. Whatever your area of interest, become better equipped to perform analysis. Practice reviewing financial statements. Pay attention to the various aspects that experts in the field are looking at. Start with whatever your company or organization pays you. Whether you own it or not, learn to analyze it as an owner does. If you are in a technical area, practice analyzing the problems you are working on as though you were an expert or an owner with a vested interest in the outcome.

Ask. Ask for the order if you are selling something. Lift the telephone even if it seems to weigh 10, 000 pounds when it is time to ask a customer prospect for an appointment. When facing this person, ask for the order even if it is not highly likely you will get it and the odds are high that you will face rejection. Ask your boss for a raise if you are indeed as valuable as you think you are. Ask for candid feedback if you are not sure. Ask for a more generous severance package if you were wrong. People who tend to avoid asking difficult questions, generally do not fare as well as those who do ask such questions.

Focus. This is stressed so often in so many places by so many people that it has become cliché. But that doesn’t make it any less valuable. So, like so many others before us have said: focus, focus, focus.

Spend less. Spending money usually takes time and effort away from making money. It can substantially weaken your power base if you squander your financial resources and leave yourself dependent.

Increase your documentation habit. Writing or somehow tracking information in a permanent form dramatically decreases the need to remember stuff. It frees up tremendous mental capacity if we don’t need to rely on our memory for everything. In practice, those who document stuff well (from long term goals to short term stuff like contact information and item lists) tend to enjoy increased memory capacity.

Review meaningful stuff in a meaningful way. Find ways to immediately assess what you are doing so that you can determine what creates value. Then focus on it, and scrap the stuff that does not. Chances are that most of your value creation occurs in a relatively small amount of time. This works well with having good documentation habits.

Take your best shot first. If you only had a day left to live and wanted to accomplish something meaningful, how would you approach the day? Don’t waste time fumbling around on unimportant or trivial tasks that won’t help you make an impact. Set the unimportant matters aside, focus on what matters and make the best move you can toward accomplishing what you need to accomplish to make your last day count.

Use this same philosophy when it comes to increasing your income. If you have a good customer prospect or some opportunity to demonstrate a high value proposition to your boss or co-workers, don’t wait. Do it now. If it doesn’t work, you might still get another shot. And if it does, then you have just increased your income!
You might have noticed that some of these above things are slanted from a financial perspective. This is not by accident. There is a strong correlation between one’s income and his or her proximity to the financial aspects of the business or job. Owners, lawyers, accountants and top managers who tend to be involved with the financial aspects of life and business, tend to have much higher incomes than people who do not.

Written by Peter Roosen and Tatsuya Nakagawa from Atomica Creative.

Want To Live A Beautiful Life? Start by Creating the Perfect Environment

It's been known for ages that the types of people we surround ourselves with have a lot to do with how we're going to think, feel, and grow as individuals. As important as people are, and I'll talk more about this soon, there are other factors that greatly contribute to the quality of your life.

Here I will guide you through a few of the things that I do to help me see my life in a beautiful light.

Sunlight. Being in constant sunlight does much for your body, mind and soul. Contrary to common believe, sunlight can actually help to prevent certain types of cancer. The vitamin D that it will generate in your body will strengthen your bones. The chemical reactions that will happen inside of you will actually make you happier. That's why there is a huge benefit to 'early to bed, early to rise'. You're spending more of your waking moments in sunlight.

Flowers (via Gardenweb). They say 'flower power for a reason', and this is the reason.

Increase energy with red roses: Because red has the slowest vibratory rate and longest wavelength, it stimulates adrenal glands, boosting energy.

Enhance alertness with sunflowers: Yellow light waves stimulate the brain, making one alert, clearheaded and decisive. And because people generally associate yellow with the sun’s rays and daylight, helps people feel more optimistic.

Relax with bells of Ireland: Green affects the nervous system, allowing people to breathe slowly and deeply, slowing the production of stress hormones and helping the heart relax.

Boost confidence with irises: The color indigo stimulates the brain’s pineal gland, which is the regulator of sleep patterns. Indigo also helps to free the mind of worries, fears and inhibitions.

Get a good night’s sleep with delphinium: Blue triggers the production of melatonin, a brain chemical that helps with relaxation and sleep. Blue also stimulates the thyroid gland to release thyroxin, a hormone that regulates metabolic rate.

Prevent allergies with orange daisies: Orange strengthens the immune system and the lungs, which can ward off spring allergies. Orange also has a strong beneficial effect on the digestive system and can stimulate the sexual organs.

Relieve stress with lilacs: Violet has a cooling effect, alleviating "hot" conditions like heat rash and sunburn, and suppressing hunger and balancing metabolism. It also stimulates the pituitary gland, the part of the brain that releases tension-fighting beta-endorphins.

Healthy Food. This is absolutely vital because the stuff we put in isn't just fuel, it isn't just pleasurable morsels of food, it's actually the building blocks from which our body is constructed. Would you want your body built from the ground up using potato chips, cup cakes , and chocolate shakes, or with lean cuts of protein, with fresh nutrient dense vegetables?

Friends to Play. You've heard laughter is the best medicine? Well friends are the best source of that. There is a good time and place to be introverted, particularly when you're trying to focus and get things done. On the other hand, being extroverted, making lots of friends and socializing with amazing people is one of the best ways to live, love, and grow.

Person to Love. Having a person to love, such as a significant other, or a family member can all the motivation you need to create ambitious goals and have big dreams for yourself and your loved ones. Having intimate relationships in your life makes everything seem better than it really is. After all, our perception is our whole reality, so we might as well fill it with beautiful things, people, and thoughts.

Room to Grow. We all need room to grow, physically, mentally, and spiritually. If we confine ourselves to a static definition, instead of a possibility, then we are greatly limiting ourselves. That is to say-by staying open minded, we put unlimited options before us. For example, by saying we are only good at math, we are limiting ourselves from excelling in other areas. By saying we are smart, and able to learn new skills quickly, we are able to take on and accomplish anything.

Exercise. Exercise makes you feel good in so many ways. You feel good because you're working towards a goal, doing something good for your body, and being proactive in your future. Since your brain is part of your body, your strengthening your physical brain, as well as building fortitude by keeping at it when it gets tough.

Integrity. An environment of integrity is one that you create for yourself when you become your word. Be genuine. Give power to your words! This means saying who you are and being that person with yourself and with others. We are not perfect, but by having integrity, we can recognize times in which we are not being our word and objectively evaluate our actions. This can be so empowering because it dismisses denial in favor of understanding.

Respect Those Around You. One way of creating a great atmosphere around you is by co-creating an atmosphere of respect with the people around you. By respecting the people around you, you will generate a cascade of respect from one person to another. This is going to come back to your 10 fold as you go about your life.

Written by Alex Shalman, creator of the Happiness Project.

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