Posts made in September, 2008


Article/Link from MarthaStewart.com The first step of turning a dream into reality is getting clear on what you want to accomplish. Even if you’re not sure what you want to do or you have a bunch of competing ideas to choose from, it all starts with the creative process. Creativity is a way of thinking about the world and your surroundings, and can take many forms — it doesn’t have to be limited to being a painter, writer, knitter, or designer (although it could be). If you open your mind, open doors are sure to follow. Are you ready to discover your true potential? The following exercises are designed to get your wheels turning so your creative spirit and talents can be unearthed! 1. Say YesBeing open to invitations or activities you might normally decline, whether personal or professional, lays the groundwork for the forward momentum you need to make a change. Think of it this way, sometimes not doing something is really just an easy way to maintain life’s status quo. But our goal is to help you start seeing things in a new way, meeting different people, and having unexpected experiences that will lead you toward success, one step at a time. Take ActionStart saying yes this week. Accept an invitation, idea, or suggestion that you’d normally decline. This could mean doing something new with the kids (for example, making up a story versus reading one), going on a creative outing to a museum or exhibit, or even taking a new route to work. 2. Be AfraidYes, that’s what we said! The more you can step out of your comfort zone in small ways, the faster you’ll be comfortable with the idea of turning your dream into a reality. Take ActionDo something that scares you this week (and write about it on the Dreamers into Doers message board!) Serve a new recipe for friends and see if they think it’s “sellable,” test an idea at your child’s preschool to see what other parents think, or make a phone call to get more information on your future product — even if it’s still just an idea. Use fear or doubt to move you forward, not keep you stuck. 3. Clear the ClutterIt’s important to build a dream on a great foundation, but sometimes a messy home or even an overcommitted calendar can get in the way. Take ActionGet organized. Everyone has a room or corner that doesn’t get enough TLC. Clean under the bed, file overdue paperwork, and get rid of anything in your home that’s broken or blocking your path. Try one area this weekend and feel...

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http://www.marketingprofs.com/print.asp?source=/8/well-on-way-to-successful-email-campaigns-bowden.asp For when you create your own! ๐Ÿ˜‰Well on Your Way to Creating Successful Email Campaignsby Winston Bowden Good email design is a critical part of ensuring a high response rate. A major frustration within the industry is the lack of standards to guide designers when creating HTML email. Though there isn’t one email-marketing design bible, there are fundamental design rules that should be applied. This article reviews some of the high-level design principles as well as more in-depth rules affecting some of the most common issues and questions we are most often asked. Basics Some basic elements should always be considered when beginning the design process: * 600-620 pixels is a good width for email design.* Don’t use external cascading style sheets (CSS); instead, use CSS inlinks.* Optimize image sizes so they load quickly.* Don’t use flash.* Don’t use forms; provide readers with a link to a form if you’re asking them to take a survey. Microsoft Outlook 2007 Microsoft challenged email marketing designers after the release of Outlook 2007. In the past, Outlook rendered HTML email using Internet Explorer. The latest version of Outlook relies on Microsoft Word to do its rendering. This means that designers have several limitations, including the lack of CSS support. What does this mean for you? Hire a designer who is familiar with email marketing design. For those of you in the B2B sector, this is even more critical as Outlook is used most frequently in the business community. You can find extensive information on Outlook 2007 at Microsoft’s Web site. Other Email Clients Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2003 are the primary business email clients, but there are a host of others that are also important. When designing for email that is complimentary to multiple clients, the key is testing. Make sure your designer has access to several client platforms, including Outlook 2007/2003, Entourage, Apple Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, Thunderbird, and Yahoo. Also, don’t underestimate the surge in the use of Apple as its market share continues to rapidly gain ground. If you’re primarily in the B2C market, vigorous testing in Entourage and Apple Mail is essential. Confused about which email clients you should test? Look at your list. Are you primarily targeting business contacts? If so, Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007 and Entourage clients are a good place to start. If you’re a retailer, you might have a lot of Yahoo, Gmail, AOL and Hotmail addresses. You should have a testing account on each. Use Alt Tags Make sure that your designer uses alt tags. Alt tags provide readers with text if their email client blocks images by default. For example, if...

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To encourage and inspire!And open the DERN door already!Let’s not be Van Gogh about it either;by that I mean you’re dead before you even recognize your potentialand even receive the recognition or blessingsbecause OF your talents, WHILE you were alive! I get HM’s column once a week – see this week’s below —— Forwarded MessageFrom: Harvey Mackay <alerts@harveymackay.com>Reply-To: <alerts@harveymackay.com>Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 07:00:51 -0400 (EDT)To: <hazel.rider>Subject: Harvey Mackay’s Column–Open the door to your hidden talents Open the door to your hidden talentsThere was a man who played piano in a bar. He was a good piano player.People came out just to hear him play. But one night, a patron toldhim he didn’t want to hear him just play anymore. He wanted him tosing a song. The man said, “I don’t sing.” But the customer was persistent. He told the bartender, “I’m tired oflistening to the piano. I want that guy to sing!” The bartender shouted across the room, “Hey buddy! If you want to getpaid, sing a song. The patrons are asking you to sing!” So he did. The piano player who had never sung in public did so forthe very first time. And no one had ever heard the song “Mona Lisa”sung the way it was sung that night by none other than Nat King Cole. He had talent he was sitting on. He may have lived the rest of hislife as a no-name piano player in a no-name bar, but because he had tosing, he went on to become one of the best-known entertainers in America. There’s a lesson here for all of us. We all have hidden talents. Goodcompanies understand this and give their employees opportunities totry different jobs and learn new skills. They never know when theymight discover another Nat King Cole. As proof, I offer you the array of reality television shows thatinvite contestants to sing, dance or perform their professed “talents”(which some actually possess) for a panel of judges and viewers. I give the contestants credit for trying! I have a friend who is constantly asking me, “When is the last timeyou did something for the first time?” He wants me to stretch myselfand to experience as many new adventures as I can. I often advise people to learn and try as many skills as they canhandle to make themselves indispensable to their companies. There is another benefit: You just might find a talent you didn’t know you had,or discover a new job or career to pursue. Companies like 3M allowtheir researchers time to try their own projects, whether or not theyare related to their regular jobs. One local television reporter has...

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What is a Free Agent? Find out here! The 1st chapter of this book is downloadable/free! THE FORMULAThis practical resource took root during a four-year study of the new, technology-driven marketplace. After hundreds of conversations with small business owners and leading entrepreneurs, Reach Group Consulting uncovered six tactics for success โ€“ the Free Agent Formula. Step 1 โ€“ Discover your strengthsDefine your entrepreneurial personality to harness your natural strengths Step 2 โ€“ Build a business with heatMake your business buzz-worthy by tapping into fresh and enduring trends Step 3 โ€“ Expand your revenue modelsIdentify smart new revenue streams so you can earn more money without burning out Step 4 โ€“ Package your products and servicesBoost the demand for your work by delivering solutions to everyday problems and powerful cravings Step 5 โ€“ Become a trusted expert in your fieldDiscover authentic and effective (yet inexpensive) new ways to build awareness, establish your reputation, and elevate your industry status Step 6 โ€“ Put your plan in motionCustomize your own Free Agent Formula and build an organized action...

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