A Happier, Healthier You

As a solo entrepreneur, YOU are your business.  When you are sick or tired, your business doesn’t run as effectively and efficiently as it could.

That’s why maintaining your health and physical well being is so important.  Today, I’m sharing 12 simple and easy to implement tips that can help you operate in optimal health.

1. Make it a life goal to obtain a healthier outlook on life which will undoubtedly lead to a healthier you, if you are determined to reach a better state of health, making it a reality will be so much easier.

2. Support your new way of thinking by learning everything you can about ways of reaching better health and living a healthier lifestyle. You can use the internet, books, DVDS, clubs, gyms and support groups to your benefit, knowing all you can about healthy living gives you a great base to work from.

3. You have to start somewhere so start by taking a look at your kitchen and reorganizing in preparation for your new way of life. Reorganize your kitchen cabinets, cupboards and refrigerator to ensure that there are no signs of the old you and all the signs of the things that will help you in your new lifestyle.

4. Replace old food with your new healthier choice and don’t forget to purchase any small appliances which you will need to support your healthier way of eating, such as blenders and food weighing scales.

5. Get a large planner calendar, pin it up in your kitchen and mark the day when you choose to begin your new lifestyle and stick to it no matter what.

6. From day one keep a journal, this can either be a traditional one or use your computer. You should include all thoughts and feelings about your new ways along with all the changes you see about yourself. This is essential to look back on to see the positive changes that are occurring due to your positive outlook and changes you have made.

7. Positive thoughts and self talk or affirmations are a necessity; they will give you confidence at the beginning and will continue to take you through the tough times which will often occur during the early changes.

8. Along with changes to your diet you will also have to make changes to the amount of exercise you do per day, while good healthy food is essential, exercise is also just as important to help ward off the onset of diseases such as heart disease, as well as helping us to firm up our body or lose a few pounds.

9. Give up any bad habits such as smoking or drinking, you will never reach your optimal peak of health while you are puffing away on cigarettes or drinking on a regular basis.

10. Make sure that you get the recommended 5 portions of fruit and veggies per day on your new regime, fruit and veggies are packed full of essential vitamins.

11. Make sure you learn ways to eliminate as much stress from your lifestyle as you possibly can, there are many ways to do this with one of them sure to be suitable for your situation.

12. Cut out excess salt, sugar and fatty foods from your diet, this will effectively lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.

50 Questions To Help You Find Your Life’s Purpose

Let’s get straight into it!

If you want to live a happy life, then you MUST spend some time deciding what you want to do with your life, and then make the effort to live that life with passion.

It’s up to you!

No one else is going to do it for you.

There is no magic formula for finding yoru life’s purpose. However, one thing is certain – your won’t know yoru purpose if you don’t YOU!. That’s why I’ve provided 50 questions you can use to help you to get to know yourself on your way to discovering your life’s purpose.

Ponder these questions for a while. Pick out one that you can really relate to, and ask yourself the question over and over and over, until you have an answer.  The answers are within. If you ask, you will receive your answer.


  1. What is my life’s purpose?
  2. If I had to take a best guess at my life’s purpose, what would it be?
  3. Who am I?
  4. What is the most important thing in my life?
  5. What do I love to do, more than anything else?
  6. If I had only six months left to live, what would I like to achieve?
  7. What would I like to leave the world, as my legacy?
  8. What would I do with my life, if I knew I could not fail?
  9. If money, or time, or current responsibilities were not an issue, what would I like to do with my life, more than anything else in the world?
  10. What activities have I discovered that give me the most pleasure?
  11. What do I still want to learn?
  12. When I was a child, what did I dream of doing with my life?
  13. What has been the greatest challenge that I have overcome so far in my life? Could I help other people to overcome that same challenge?
  14. What challenge would I love to overcome, and then help others achieve the same?
  15. Who are the people I most admire?
  16. Why do I admire these people?
  17. How would I define their life’s purpose?
  18. What qualities do these people possess that I’d also like to be known for?
  19. What is the biggest dream I have ever had for my life?
  20. What subjects did I enjoy most in school?
  21. What sport have I most enjoyed?
  22. What art or craft have I most enjoyed?
  23. What social activity have I most enjoyed?
  24. What hobbies have I pursued?
  25. What hobbies do I wish I had pursued?
  26. What would I like to do, if only other people didn’t think it was silly?
  27. Where in the world would I most like to live?
  28. Who would I like to live there with?
  29. Where in the world would I like to work?
  30. Who would I most like to work with?
  31. What would my perfect day be like?
  32. Is there a spiritual side to me, waiting to be unleashed?
  33. What would I like to do, RIGHT NOW, which would bring me the most happiness or pleasure?
  34. What special gift do I have that I could give to the world?
  35. What makes me cry with joy, or brings tears to my eyes?
  36. What would I like to do this weekend, just for fun?
  37. If I could be granted the power to change the world, what would I do?
  38. If I were given three wishes, what would they be?
  39. What is something that scares me a bit, but would be really exciting if I did it?
  40. What does my heart say I am to do with my life?
  41. What qualities do I possess that I am really proud of?
  42. What have I done in my life that I am really proud of?
  43. If I had time available to contribute to a charity, or some cause, what would it be?
  44. What am I usually doing when I suddenly realise that time has flown by, and all my focus has been on that one task?
  45. What do I want to do on my next vacation?
  46. Who in history would I most love to be, and why?
  47. What do I most regret not doing, so far in my life?
  48. At the end of my life, what would I most regret not having done?
  49. What is my life’s purpose?
  50. If I had to take a best guess at my life’s purpose, and just get started with something that excites me, what would it be?

You can live a life of purpose. You can live a life of passion and success! Ask, until you get your answer. And then take massive action. It’s worth it, I promise.


20 Tips For A Great Night’s Sleep

In my new book, Prepare to Receive MORE!, I share that one of the main reasons people aren’t achieving more in their lives is because they are not taking care of their physical well-being. Getting a good night’s sleep helps us to be happier, more productive people. It’s just as important as eating nutritious foods and getting enough exercise.

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch reported that lack of sleep contributes to productivity killers such as memory loss, decreased metabolism, weight gain, hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.

Not to mention, when you are tired and cranky, you just don’t have the energy you need to handle just the normal stresses of a regular day.

I want you to be ready to enjoy all of the prosperity that’s coming your way – so, here’s a list of tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:

  1. Avoid drinking tea or coffee late at night
  2. Stop smoking – nicotine is a stimulant and so can make it difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep
  3. Go to bed at the same time each night so that you set a routine
  4. Only use the bed for sleeping and sex
  5. Use dimmers on your light switches, and dim the lights in the hours before you go to bed to mimic the change from daylight to night time
  6. Avoid exercising in the evening – exercise early in the day to promote restful sleep
  7. Try using affirmations, such as: “I let go of the day, and enjoy restful, peaceful sleep” repeated several times while you prepare for sleep
  8. If you can’t get to sleep after a while, get up keeping the lights low and do something boring until you feel sleepy
  9. Alcohol may help you get to sleep, but you are more likely to wake during the night feeling thirsty and needing to go to the bathroom
  10. Try relaxed breathing: breathe slowly and deeply concentrating on your abdomen rather than your chest
  11. Get your allergies checked out, particularly if you wake craving particular food in the middle of the night
  12. Avoid paying bills and similar jobs just before sleep
  13. Try a herbal tea – chamomile, passion flower, lavender flowers or valerian are good, or take a herbal supplement such as scullcap or valerian
  14. Put the essential oils lavender and clary sage on your pillow and inhale their soothing vapours as you sleep
  15. Try some flower remedies – there are lots of different types. In the Bach flower remedies you might like to try ‘vervain’ if you find it difficult to switch off from the day;  ‘holly’ if anger and resentment keep you awake; ‘white chestnut’ for persistent unwanted thoughts; ‘aspen’ if you wake because of nightmares
  16. Try holding your frontal eminences (the bumps on your forehead, about half way between your eyebrows and hairline) if you are awake because of stress
  17. Try taking supplements – magnesium and calcium can work well
  18. If you suffer with hot flushes/flashes, try some natural support for your endocrine system at this time. I personally recommend Neways wild yam and chaste berry cream
  19. Many alternative and complementary therapists have success with people with sleep problems. Find a local therapist and ask them if they have experience in this field
  20. Sleep problems can be a sign of an underlying medical condition (e.g. thyroid problems or depression), so get this checked out with a suitably qualified health professional

8 BIG Small Business Mistakes

Here’s an interesting notion: Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them?

Well, these mistakes do exist and they are not just reserved for the rookie companies. Many working businesses, including those you might think are “successful” because they’ve been around for 10+ years, are often still making them… and are possibly losing a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of time in the process.

Although some of these big and sneaky mistakes seem aimed more at service type companies, they really do fit the bill for almost any type of industry. I’ve done my best with the listings below to give examples to prove it.

Underestimating Project/Service Time– This is a big one and it pertains to service companies as well as companies that sell a product. This is a service company’s bread and butter. If you don’t estimate your time to perform each and every service in your repertoire, you will get burned and there is little you can do about it but bite the bullet and learn from it. The best way to estimate time is to do it once yourself or watch your best employee do the task and then throw in a little fudge factor on top of it. For product companies, time becomes an issue with logistics so be aware!

Not Knowing YOUR Company Numbers/Incorrectly Setting Prices– Notice I emphasized the word “your”. It’s a common mistake to use a competitor’s as your pricing gauge without actually knowing why they use those numbers. Think about the nightmare you will get yourself into if you take a competitor’s price, cut it by 10% and then start selling. What if the competition has a bad pricing structure and is barely making money or even losing money?!?! What if your costs are more than theirs?!?! You can use competitor as a starting point but you can’t base your whole strategy on it.

Different industries have their own variables as far as costs go and you need to be aware of them for your project or product pricing. What you pay for a product you are going to sell is not the only cost to have in your head when you are pricing products. How much your labor and materials cost for a service is only a piece of an hourly rate. Employees cost more than just salary and not every employee is part of your labor cost. Every company has insurance to pay for. There are tons of overhead expenditures that need to be part of your price. Oh, by the way, the big one that many people forget about in their price is the quality factor. What you include as “standard services” or “standard product features” as well as job site etiquette or in store service or warranties all need to go into your pricing. I’ll get to more on why in the next segment.

Not Charging for All of Your Time & Costs– This seems like a stupid statement to some but I bet most business owners will admit that they have given away a little too much of the farm at times. Hey, there is nothing wrong with giving a little extra here and there to show you care. But either way, that’s not what I’m talking about here. What concerns me are those that put a lot of quality into their work or products or stores and do not cover the cost for it. As an example, say you run a service company and your competitors don’t do a certain standard service that you do. You can’t just undercut their price to steal a job; you need to have that cost covered in your rate and advertise the fact that it comes with the price upfront. Stores undermine themselves, for example, when they put more people on the floor for customer service but don’t charge for it. These things cost you money and when your competitors don’t do them it costs them less money. Put out better service and then under price them, and your competition just has to wait a little bit for you to fall on your face so they can swoop back in.

As a business owner you need to believe that you are providing your clients worthwhile wares that deserve to be paid for. If you get the chance to explain why your prices are higher, then take that opportunity and do it. If they don’t like the fact that you include things that others charge extra for later or that you treat them better, then they are most likely completely price shoppers. You don’t want them as regular customers anyway. Trust me.

Not Getting Paid Fast Enough– That’s right, the old cash flow issue. As long as you are actually making enough money to pay the bills, this problem can be solved, prevented or at least made to be not as bad as it could be. Here’s the deal:

First off all, bill customers very promptly. It is very common for a small business to not have the procedures or systems in place to get invoices generated and out the door in a timely fashion (see the next segment for more). Again, this would seem unlikely since that’s the reason why we are doing the work- to get paid. But it is very easy for the people responsible for getting this info to the billing people to be too busy to get it there or not have enough organization to give it to them the right way.

The second part to slowing down or stopping a regular cash flow crunch is to make the quickest payment deals possible with customers and the slowest possible with vendors and employees. If there is any way not to pay employees any more than twice a month, you better do it. Contractors always have an issue with this. If you must pay weekly, then tell them before they are hired that they will be getting the first week held back, essentially buying you a week. It will help, I promise.

Part three involves credit. If your company can get a credit card, then get it. This allows for certain important things to be bought (that you can afford) that might come up during a cash flow crunch. Better yet, especially if you have no choice but to deal with 45+ day customer payments, do your best to get a company line of credit. This is a must if you plan on selling to the government or doing commercial service work. These clients often have 60 to 90 day wait periods.

Failure to Have Solid Systems and Procedures in Place– Too many procedures (known as “red tape”) is the reason why many people start their own business in the first place. Unfortunately, having no procedures and systems in place at all is not an alternative. Depending on the type of industry, business owners must come to a happy medium or chaos and the unknown will ensue. Some basic examples where procedures or systems are needed include billing, collections, payroll, hr (interviewing, hiring, vacations, benefits, job responsibilities, etc.), manufacturing, operating equipment, maintaining equipment, inventory, sales calls/visits and logistics to name a few.

Even a one person show needs to have some admin procedures in place. This will make it easier to hire temps and subcontractors and control what they are doing for you. Without at least a watered down version of a system or procedure to do everyday work, you will be to blame for causing many major headaches as your company grows. I can’t emphasize how important this is for when you bring on new employees. I’m sure you heard this before, but I am also a big proponent of having an employee handbook even for one employee. It’s amazing the trouble people can cause business owners just because they allow you to pay them.

Spending Advertising Money Just to Say You Advertise– I would almost rather see my clients not advertise then to spend without regard to tracking the results. There is no point in a marketing campaign if you do not put things in place that allow you to measure how well the plan is working. The other wasteful part of marketing that many people make the mistake of doing, is not tracking their previously successful campaigns. Why some people think that just because a $400 dollar a month ad worked once very well for one busy season, that it will automatically work every year after that is beyond me.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin– This is a classic mistake made by every entrepreneur. The key is to figure out when you are at that “wearing too many hats” point and start getting some help. The solution here is to know your strengths and to be able see when you are not performing the duties that demand these skills. If you are the best sales person on the company, you can’t get caught up in day-to-day operations. If you do, sales will slip and eventually you won’t have any operations to worry about. Think about this to help you figure out if you are spread too thin: Did you really go into business for yourself to work 80+ hours a week?

Not Getting Help Soon Enough– Set goals to know when to hire people to take over where you are light on knowledge. Not getting help or waiting too long can kill a company. Most people who start a business do it because they are good at the technical end or the sales end. If you know the best way to make a widget, then your strength is in production and that is where your time should be spent. Hire an outside company or consultant to take care of the sales and marketing and then hire inside when you can afford someone full time. Don’t be something to your company that you are not. It will only hold you back.

The three big issues people like to tackle themselves but usually are least knowledgeable about are legal issues, accounting/bookkeeping issues and daily operations issues. The odds are that these three things are your weakest link so if you don’t have a partner that has the background for these subjects, then be prepared to get help as soon as possible. It’s preferable that you do this before you start a business.

Although looking for these problems at any time is a good idea, the end of a year or season is an excellent business interval to make sure you are not making these errors. Take the time, or make the time, to fix these problems. If you don’t know how to reverse the problems, then get some help. If you really don’t have enough time to either figure out if you have these issues or know they are there and can’t break away long enough to do it right, then get some help.

4 Sales Lessons From a Panhandler

Have you ever struggled to get new clients and customers for your business?  Do your sales calls usually end in a “no” from prospects?

Well, here are 4 lessons I gleaned from my weekend encounter with a panhandler named Mario that will make getting the “yes” much easier.

But…before I give you the lessons, let me first share with you the context in which these lessons appeared…

Standing in my church’s parking lot with my daughter, I was approached by fairly decently dressed man.  Suspecting the reason for his approach, I immediately put my guard up and I’ll have to admit that my first thought was to take my daughter and run for the safety of the church.  But, he was walking too fast for me to pretend like I didn’t notice him.  Plus, I was in front of the church.  That sort of rude behavior just isn’t “Christian-like.”  So, I waited to hear what he had to say.

Surprisingly, the first words out of Mario’s mouth weren’t “can you spare some change?”  Instead, he asked me if I was a member of the church.  When I told him I was, he then went on to tell me how he’d done some work with the crew who’d recently repaved the parking lot.  Stories of the grueling labor in the hot sun quickly transitioned to him telling me that he lived in the neighborhood.  He told me that he lived in an abandoned apartment building with his daughter.  There was no running water and it was not safe for her.

His story really touched me.  After all, I was standing there with my own daughter. The  thought of a young child suffering always gets to me.  At that point, I wanted to give him some money…even more than the normal $2 handout I usually give.  The only problem at that point was that I had no cash.

I was truly heart-broken to tell him this.  I really wanted t help.  But my sympathy soon turned to disbelief with his next statement…”You know the gas station across the street has an ATM. You can go there to get cash.”

I paused for a moment, not sure that I heard correctly.  Walk across the street to the ATM, incur a fee to take money out, and then give him the money?

Quite appalling, right?  I thought so.  It could explain why I turned away and walked hurriedly inside of the church with my daughter.  But…it doesn’t explain what I did once I got inside of the church.

When I walked into the church, I asked everyone sitting in the church’s fellowship hall if they had cash on hand.  I told them the guy’s story and asked if they would help him.  Eventually, one generous soul gave a donation and my daughter and I took the money outside to the man.  He was still outside and very grateful when we gave him the money we’d collected.

Now, I don’t know what he did with the money or if his story was even true.  What I do know is that guy taught some really great lessons about making the sale.


  1. Let your prospects get to know you.  When Mario approached us, he didn’t just ask for money.  He let us get to know us and established a connection first.  Take some time to let your customers get to know you.  It could be through your blog or newsletter.  It could be a complimentary consultation.  You don’t want your fist conversation with a prospect to be the equivalent of “can you spare some change?”  You want your prospects to like  you and trust you first.
  2. Speak to the heart.  Hearing about Mario’s daughter and the deplorable conditions she was living in, my heart went out to him.  My emotions were stirred and I really wanted to help.  Even if your prospects need the products and services you offer, that need isn’t what prompts them to buy.  The buying mechanism is triggered by their wants.  And wants are stimulated by emotion.  When you tap into emotions of your prospects, you’ll have them asking how they can help you.
  3. Be prepared to offer alternatives in the face of rejection.  How many times will you hit the word “no” when talking to prospects?  Far many more than you’d like, I guarantee. For most that initial “no” is the end. But it doesn’t have to.  Think of the common objections you hear and come up with alternatives to those objections.  And, not just any old alternative – you need to think of creative ones!  In Mario’s case, I was offered an option I wasn’t willing to take but I have to applaud his creativity.
  4. Turn your prospects into ambassadors.  When you’ve done a good job applying the first three lessons, you’ll have prospects that want to become customers.  At that  point, some will buy.  Others, like me, will want to buy but not be able to at the moment.  In either case, however, you want the prospect to become a referral source for you.  Mario did such a great job of establishing a connection, touching my emotions, and giving creative alternatives, that I was willing to solicit donations on his behalf.  Make sure that “would you be willing to share this opportunity with someone you know?”  a part of your exchange with prospects.

Sales tips from a panhandler?  An unconventional teacher, indeed.  But, Mario made his “sale” this weekend and if you apply these lessons, I’m sure you will, too!