Monday, March 29, 2010

Outdoor Festivals and Business in General

Well, yesterday caught some kind of stomach yuch, and ended up sleeping from early evening through to this morning. Had grand and glorious plans to get several blogs written today along with finances, and all that got blown to bits when I received the call that my Stepmother passed away this morning. There will be the blog tonight, and probably no other one until I return from the funeral, probably this Saturday. Things are still in flux with my father, so am not sure what my schedule will be. You are not being ignored, but family will always come first, then everything else. Hopefully you will all understand.

Tonight's blog was supposed to be posted yesterday, but such is life. As you might remember, Saturday we had the Outdoor Festival at Bashas' Grocery store in Gold Canyon, AZ. We all had a great time, we even received an early visit from the Easter Bunny. We were even able to talk the Easter Bunny into posing on my motorcycle... The weather was wonderfully warm, but it got breezy later in the day.
Speaking about the breeze, we were able to witness the effects of that breeze on the un-weighted tents that some vendors had up. There was one particular strong wind (more like a big dust devil, without the dust - none of us saw it coming) that took several tents straight up into the air. We were extremely lucky that the tents came crashing down on a few other tents and did not hurt any of the participants of the event. It was wild to see these two tents in particular going up about 30 feet into the air, turn upside down and then come crashing down onto tents across the aisle. It looked like perhaps two tents sustained some damage, but over all, the damage was very minimal. The tents that decided flight was fun, did have gallon jugs of water tied to them (approximately about 8 pounds, not enough to keep one of these puppies on the ground...) so, when they crash landed on the other tents, the people got a big gallon water jug spraying them with water.
After all was said and done, and all the jitters were gone, it was a pretty funny sight, especially when you realize that those gallon jugs broke open and basically turned into giant water balloons... Good thing it wasn't cold out on Saturday. Again, nobody was injured and it did not appear that any merchandise was significantly damaged...perhaps a tad damp, but no real damage was had. We were all extremely lucky this time.
As I mentioned in the opening, there will not be any blogs posting for the next 4-5 days due to a death in the family. The joy of being your own boss is that you can put your business to the side to take care of family matters. You don't have to beg for that time off to take care of your family. If you are in need of assistance though, we will continue to check e-mails for urgent issues (hawgwash1@yahoo.com) , but we humbly ask that if it can wait, please let us know. We should be back in the saddle by this Saturday, April 3rd. You can check out our website at www.hawgwash.net for what we have to offer in direct sales and in business opportunities.
Until later this week...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Time for a New Home Based Business Opportunity?

Yesterday we talked about how to carve out some time from your busy schedule to start up a new home based business opportunity. We looked at how we currently spend our time, and then made decisions as to which tasks we can stop doing for a while in order to get this new opportunity off the ground.

Today we are going to go a little further with finding the time to start a new business opportunity. As much as we may want to, we can't go into a time machine and keep bouncing back and forth in time to get everything done we need to. So, when looking at new business opportunities, you need to be sure this is something you feel passionate about. Even better, it should be something that your whole family feels passionate about. If your whole family believes in the home based business opportunity, you will be amazed at how fast your business will grow.
By getting your family involved, you are actually saving even more time because you are spending quality family time together focused on a common goal. How many times do you get an opportunity to do that? Finding the right home based business opportunity can really help your family to grow together. You children would not only have fun spending time with you, but they could also learn how to start their own business. You would be providing them with tools for becoming an entrepreneur that they would probably never learn in school. They could also learn really good work ethics, especially when they see you work your regular job and then come home to help get this new opportunity going. The best way to teach your children is by leading by example. This is a great way to put your money where your mouth is.
Think of how satisfying it would be when you find that business opportunity your whole family would enjoy and then once the opportunity expands, how you will now have more time to spend with your family and friends. Always keep your priorities straight, you do not want to put your family aside in order to start the business opportunity. But once the opportunity takes off, you will have another income stream along with some freed up time (since the business is starting to take a life on of it's own) that you and your family will all enjoy.
If you are looking for an additional income stream but are unsure of what to do or where to look, please contact us, we will be more than willing to help you identify your passions and match that up with appropriate home based business opportunities. We are here to assist, guide and coach. Even if you want to bounce ideas off of us, we are here to assist. We may have a home based business opportunity that would be right up your alley, if not, we may be able to point you in the right direction.
Until tomorrow...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Where do I find TIME to start a Home Based Business

I bet you have heard that lament many times. There are many people out there that want to start a home based business, but don't know where they can find the time to start a home based business. Many are already working at least one full-time job. Then they have to come home to a family that also needs pieces of their time. If you are a woman, odds are you are also responsible for creating the evening meal. So, if you don't want to go to your second or third job, where can you carve out time to start a home based business?

You may be working multiple jobs now to make ends meet. By doing that, you are trading your time for their money. By getting a home based business going, you are no longer trading your time for their money, but now you are spending your time for your money. Starting a home based business is not an easy task, and it will take time to get it off the ground. But...once you get your home based business going, you will find that there is more of your time to spend with your friends and family. The main problem is, how do you squeeze in this, with the very limited time that you do have.
The best way to find time, is to take an honest look at what you do and how you do it. Granted you cannot create time, but if this home based business opportunity is something you really want to do, you will most likely find ways to shave some time in order to dedicate it towards your new endeavor. When you take a good look at how you currently use your time, be sure to include how much time you spend watching TV (really a bad use of time) and how much time you may use playing games on the computer, or answering e-mails or surfing the Internet. Keep a record of how much time you spend on the computer. It is really amazing to find out how fast you can lose time to those "little games" on the computer. I was shocked to discover that just by playing solitaire on the computer, I can easily chew up an hour of time. That is insanely unproductive...
So, once you have taken a look at what you do and the times it takes for you to do those tasks, now you have to ask yourself the hard question. What are you willing to give up in order to start up your new home based business? Remember, initially the home based business opportunity will take a lot of time to work. Once you get it rolling though, you will find that you are able to claim back time you had dedicated to the new business opportunity. Realistically, starting a home based business and getting it successful, will take at least 6 months to a year. If you quit before then, you really didn't give the opportunity a chance to develop.
What I have done to get more time to dedicate to our new business opportunity is reduce my TV watching time. It was very surprising how much time is spent just watching TV shows. The TV can be very hypnotic and can lull you into a sense of complacency. TV can also cause you to be depressed or very stressed. The news currently is very rarely upbeat or positive. How many times to you hear of people getting killed, maimed, or injured? How many times have you heard a good, uplifting story about people who helped others? Those stories are out there, they just aren't reported. So, in order for me not to get too distracted, I keep my news watching to no more than an hour a day, and only to keep an eye on current events.
You will be amazed with how much time you regain when you turn the TV off. There may be some of you who just don't have time to watch TV and are already using your time to it's most efficient. If you want to start a home based business, you will have to put something else on the back burner. That is not to say, stop what you are doing, but don't do it for a while, until you get your business going. This is difficult to do, but you will not regret the decision once your new opportunity starts bringing in the extra income you were looking for.
So, one way to find time to start a home based business is to take an honest and objective look at what you do over a week and decide what it is you can choose not to do for a while so that you can re-dedicate that time to your new business opportunity. Tomorrow we will continue this discussion on time management and starting a new business opportunity.
Until tomorrow...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Brief Weight Loss Update and Stuff

I know I said last night that I would continue our discussion on how to start a new home based business with no spare time. But...not tonight. I want to write the article correctly, and more importantly, coherently, and cannot do that tonight. I was outside in the sun too much today and am still feeling quite ill. So, I am going to do the next best thing, provide you with my weekly weight loss update and explain why I was out in the sun too long.

My weight has gone up a few pounds since last week. That is due to water weight and I believe the fact that my allergies are really trying to make me crazy. I am feeling quite bloated, especially first thing in the morning. Once I have showered and had at least 64 oz of plain water, the bloating goes away. The problem is that once the bloating is gone, I can't weight myself again since I ate and obviously drank water. I will have to find a better time to weigh myself during this allergy season. As mentioned yesterday, my allergies are not as bad this year, and I attribute that to the STEMTech products providing my body enough tools to work on repairing itself, but my body seems to want to store lots and LOTS of water. Hopefully that will resolve itself shortly and my weight will most likely not only go back to where it was, but decrease. My appetite has decreased dramatically so my weight should be dropping also.

Onto the reason why I am feeling ill. Since it is getting close to our annual trek, Run for the Wall, we met up with another friend today to improve our motorcycle riding skills. He has a location where we can review the basic motorcycle handling course and practice on the areas we are weak in. We measured out two different slaloms, some emergency swerving boxes and a u-turn box for us to practice our safe-riding techniques. The techniques we practiced are the same ones used in the advanced rider course the local motorcycle safety classes offer. It was nice to see that my skills have not deteriorated as badly as I expected, but, I know with practice, I could get a whole lot better. Today we practiced on five different maneuvers until we could do them cleanly and swiftly. There was the slalom where the cones were 15 feet apart and offset by 3 feet. This is tough because the spaces between cones are pretty close, and with the 3 foot offset, there is a lot of turning involved in a short length. Then there was the much easier slalom which placed the cones 25 feet apart from each other with a 5 foot offset between cones. This exercises could be done at a reasonable speed. We then had a box set up to practice close u-turns (simulating making u-turns on a two-lane road) and two additional lanes to practice fast, controlled stopping and then fast swerving. Overall, these 5 exercises sum up the basic riding techniques that need perfection in order to remain a safe motorcycle rider.

We practiced our riding skills in a very large and empty parking lot, but for me, unfortunately, it was in the sun. Since I was riding my own motorcycle, I could not wear the usual big, floppy brimmed hat and subsequently got too much sun exposure. I did wear sun-screen, but that did not seem to help too much. I didn't realize how much I usually keep myself shaded from the sun. By the end of our practice, I was feeling "green around the gills" and have been pumping water in my system ever since. I am feeling somewhat better, but still have a really bad headache and my stomach is upset (probably due to the massive amounts of water I am trying to consume).

I promise that tomorrow we will pick up the thread from Tuesday, how to get a business started with the limited time we have.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Adult Stem Cells and Allergies

We are going to take a break from the time management blogs we have been doing for the last couple of days. Today I wanted to discuss something different. Here in Arizona, we have had a really wet winter. Since the Phoenix, Arizona area is pretty much a desert, when it does rain a lot, lots and lots of plants start growing like crazy. The mountains surrounding Phoenix that are usually brown, are now clothed in green plants. It is a beautiful time of year, the wildflowers are in bloom, the Palo Verde trees are blooming, heck, anything that grows is now blooming. The problem is that anyone with anything remotely resembling allergies is now miserable.

Even I am feeling the effects of all that wonderful growth. It feels like I am coming down the the beginnings of the flu, but since this is an annual thing, I know it is not the flu. The good news is that this year, my allergies do not seem to be as intensely bad, especially with all the blooming plants in the area. I suspect that the reduced allergy symptoms is largely due to the fact that I have been taking these Adult Stem Cell Nutritionals for several months now. My eyes are still red-rimmed, and I occasionally sneeze, but overall, I can still function and do not need to take any of the over-the-counter allergy medications. I believe that my reduced symptoms is a direct result (my personal opinion, not scientific fact..) of the increase of adult stem cells romping around inside my blood stream. Since the adult stem cells are designed to renew and maintain balance in your body, my bet is that they are working overtime to keep me more healthy than sick feeling.

Granted, I do not feel 100%, but, in prior years, I am usually feeling pretty rotten and swearing I have the flu. I knew it wasn't the flu because each time in years past that I consumed allergy medications, my flu-like symptoms passed and I could continue with my day. The downside to the allergy medications is that there are side effects, for me that meant I felt a tad fuzzy and not as clear-headed as usual (no comments from the peanut gallery about my fuzzy head..). This year, I have only noticed a minor discomfort and do not feel the need to take the allergy medications yet. We shall continue to monitor the situation, but so far this year, I have been on far less medication than in prior years.

The StemTECH products (StemEnhance and StemFLO) are nutritional products, not medications, but for me, they seem to be helping a lot in keeping my allergies to a dull irritation, not a major problem. StemEnhance is the product that when taken, has been shown to release about 25% more of your own adult stem cells into the blood stream. Those adult stem cells are always on the lookout for old and worn-out or stressed cells in your body. When the adult stem cells find those worn-out cells, they have the ability to rejuvenate those cells and help the body to continue to renew itself for optimum health. The StemFLO helps promote optimum blood circulation, so StemFLO helps the adult stem cells get to where they need to go. Since my body is currently under a lot of stress due to all the allergens floating around, my adult Stem Cells are most likely working overtime. The good news is that I now have more adult stem cells romping around than usual, which, in my biased opinion, is why I do not feel as rotten as I would this time of year.
Well, that's my story for today, and I'm sticking to it. Tomorrow we will go back to talking about time management and how to carve out time to start a home based business.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time Management and the Home Based Business

Yesterday we introduced the concept of very limited time and briefly talked about the compression of your time. The key is to discover time management with your home based business. Time is one thing, that when squandered or wasted can never be recovered. When you are working your home based business, especially in the beginning, time is something that is in high demand.

You have probably seen or even attended numerous time management courses in an effort to control that slippery thing called time. As you have probably discovered, no matter how hard you try, time always seems to get away from you. Some are better than others at managing time, but even they have problems. You are not alone thinking that time is getting away from you. The key is to focus on what you really want and then let the little stuff take care of itself. I know that sounds over simplistic, but it really does work.

As discussed yesterday, we have so many more demands on your time than we ever have had. Our phones are now wireless and small enough to carry with us at all times. These phones are sophisticated enough to become very tiny computers, so we can text, call, answer and send e-mails and even surf the web. With all these devices supposedly making our time more efficient, we have effectively limited our freedoms. We are tied to those phones, computers, laptops, etc. and some of us may feel like we are lost when we don't have those devices along with us.

As Jim Rohn once said, "If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much."

In order to keep your home based business running effectively, you should sit down to identify your Values and those of your business. These values should be the driving force behind everything you do for yourself and your business. After you are comfortable with the values you defined, then you can begin to define the Objectives of your home based business. You cannot get anywhere unless you have a road map of where you want to go. You should make your objectives big because your goals will be the little stepping stones that you will use to achieve the objectives. Comparatively speaking, your Goals are much easier to define, and they can change from week to week, or even day to day.

By identifying your Values, Objectives and Goals, you are on the road to taking back control of your time in your home based business. Granted, I am one of the worst when it comes to writing all of these things down, but I have discovered when I do write them down (it had sounded so trite the 20 or 30 times I had heard them tell me to write my Values, Objectives and Goals down), guess what, my business started moving in the direction I had wanted it to. Granted, the goals did change, but if I didn't write them down and then measure my progress, I found I floundered....a lot...

This is the beginning of taking control of your time. There are dozens upon dozens of books and articles out there to help you manage your time, but don't get discouraged. If you start simple, and write it down (it REALLY does work!) and then make notations daily, you will find that you have a better grasp of what needs to get done and what has been completed. Goals will change, but if you keep your eye on the Objective and follow your core Values, you will get to where you want to go. You may not take a direct path, none of us ever end up doing that, but you will eventually get to your Objective.

Tomorrow we will go over how to carve time out of your insanely busy schedule to start up a home based business and why you would want to do THAT...

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. If you are interested in looking at some home based business opportunities, please visit our website. We may have something that tickles your fancy, or we may be able to trigger other ideas for you.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Time, Who has TIME?

I have been pondering where all the time goes when you have a home-based business. With the busy lifestyle we all lead, how do you find time to run a home based business, let alone start one up? My current issue is finding the time to keep all the paperwork in order from last year, finish the taxes for last year and keep the paperwork in order for this year. It seems that I sit down to the computer first thing in the morning, and find by the end of the day, the tasks I had planned on completing are still not complete.

What happened? We are all pressed for time, even when computers were supposed to make our lives simpler. It seems that we are now slaves to the computer and all the associated peripheral devices (Iphones, PDA's, hand-held computers, etc.). If computers were supposed to make our life simpler, and reduce the paper clutter, why is there so much paper on my desk waiting for me to do something with it? We may scan receipts, documents, important papers, but we still have to file the physical papers somewhere. I know there are people out there who may receive electronic invoices, but choose to print those invoices out to file them. What's up with that? Essentially we are now doing double work, filing both electronic and paper invoices...one is for ease of finding (yeah, right, who is kidding who...) and the other is in case the computer crashes and you lose all your data.

We have installed computer backup drives, but have to check them periodically. We may have the ability to do electronic tax filings and banking, but still, there is a paper trail that follows all of this because again, we are not entirely sure the computer will not eat the data and lose it forever. Granted the backup systems are much easier to use and store more data, but in the event of some catastrophic event, the data may get lost...or so we fear.

Also, with the advent of the computer, don't you find you are doing more work in the same amount of time, and still not getting the core tasks done? Perhaps part of the problem is the communication we now do over the Internet. All the e-mails, Facebook comments, Twitter Tweets, My Space comments, etc. These used to be limited to phone calls and regular paper mail. Now, comments, questions, jokes and requests for help are winging their way all over and demanding our attention now, not several days from now. With the new phones, you can even receive your e-mail over the telephone. So now, you travel with a phone (remember the times when, if you were away from your desk or home, you couldn't be reached?) where people can get you immediately, your phone may tell you that you have an urgent e-mail, or someone "text's" you to get in touch.

No wonder there is so much distraction in the world. It is really good that we can communicate so quickly, but the flip to that is everyone wants answers or solutions NOW, not in a few days. Our time is being compressed, we are doing more, yet we still seem unable to complete the basic tasks at hand due to the numerous distractions.

In a home based business, it is extremely difficult to stay on track. With all the e-mail inquiries, phone calls, appointments, and meetings, it seems that sometimes you are on a treadmill, going uphill at 60 miles per hour. It is extremely exciting to have a home based business in these times, but if you are not good at controlling your time and tasks, things can get out of hand very quickly. It is critical that you keep track of your core tasks which MUST be completed. You cannot allow yourself to be distracted by all the e-mails from friends and jokes sent. You need to treat your home based business just like you would treat a regular job. You would be more effective if you are able to prioritize tasks and keep that list on hand at all times.

There are several tricks to use to stay on track, but since we are running out of time tonight (really?) we will defer that discussion for tomorrow. Tomorrow we also expand this time management discussion to include how to manage your time when working a full time job and starting up a home based business.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How to Catch Wild Pigs

In light of the House voting for the "Health Care Reform Bill", I was reminded of a story I had seen wandering around the internet about how to catch wild pigs. This is a great parable and we really need to look long and hard at what we are allowing our Government to do. It is my humble opinion that we need less government regulation and more personal responsiblity for actions. If some of our businesses failed, it is because they made bad business decisions. The government should not bail some out. The same goes for health care. I agree the health care system is broken, but turning our system into a "Nationalized" or socialized system is not going to fix the broken parts. Why do we think we can make nationalized health care work when other countries have tried and failed at the same thing. It appears that the majority of citizens are not in favor of this bill, yet our House of Representatives believe they know what is best for us. This is the beginning (it has already begun) of massive loss of freedoms as described in the below parable:

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young ma what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthorw his country's government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?"

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. "You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again ad you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gage in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly, the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in teh woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that it is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as suppleental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, HEALTH CARE REFORM, etc. While we continually lose our freedoms...just a little at a time.

One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

Also, if you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to forward this on. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then you will probably forget this message, but God help you when the gate slams shut!

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Outdoor Marketplace in Chandler

Today we participated in Bashas' Outdoor Marketplace and had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera so cannot provide you with pictures of this event. We were at the Bashas' in Chandler, Arizona from 10-4. There were approximately 50 vendors in attendance, including some local eateries.

We got to Bashas' relatively early, around 7:15 am in anticipation of setup. By 7:45 all of the early vendors had located spaces and began the fun setup process. For those of you who have not had the joy of setting up a booth, this is something that can either be quite entertaining, or extremely frustrating. Since we have done this a time or two in the past, we quickly located a spot, and began setting up the booth. Within about a half an hour the majority of our booth was ready for business.

The really fun part about setting up so quickly is that it allows us the opportunity to either visit with other vendors, or to watch the late arrivals try to find a spot and then wrestle with their set up. Being a vendor at a local event is great if you enjoy people and all the fun that goes with people setting up in a constrained area. By 9:30 almost all the vendors were placed and predominantly finished with their setup. As we were setting up, customers wandering into this shopping area had the ability to wander around and watch what was going on.

There was a reasonable amount of people wandering around our Outdoor Marketplace most of the day. We were pleased with the numbers, especially since Spring Break started and as a general rule, people leave town on Spring Break. The only real excitement we had was around 11 am when a very strong stray wind (and I mean WIND) blew through the area and took out about 5 vendor booths. This wind felt like it may have been a dust devil without the dust. It came up very fast, very strong, tossed several tents, umbrellas and canopies in the air, cleared several vendor tables of their contents and knocked over a beautiful display of clay masks.

Luckily only a few vendors sustained damage to their products, the worst being the artist who lost the majority of his clay masks. What makes these events really worth attending is seeing all vendors band together in a crisis and help each other out. Once the wind dissipated, all the vendors who were not affected, came to the aid of the vendors who sustained some damage. It is a wonderful sight to see people helping each other with no ulterior motive involved.

It was also wonderful to see some familiar faces with their products and services at this event. The vendors we were next to included Celebrating Home, obviously Bashas' was there, as was Lights Out Exterminating, Toms Bar B Que, Paw Print Artists, and Life Care Animal Hospital. There was also a bouncy building for kids to jump around in and a climbing wall.

In a nutshell, the day was perfect for an Outdoor Marketplace and there were plenty of vendors and activities to suit all who were interested. Hopefully we will see you at next week's Outdoor Marketplace in Gold Canyon. If you would like a schedule of where we will be, please check our our website and click on the link, Schedule of Events.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, March 19, 2010

You found WHAT in the Garage?

I bet that title caught your eye. What is even more fun is that this is entirely true. I am exhausted today because of the drama we experienced throughout the day. This is legitimate drama too, not something to over react to... Bet you want to know what we found in the garage, huh?

Can you say....RATTLESNAKE? Not just a little, baby rattlesnake like we found in the back yard a year ago. This was a full-grown, BIG Western Diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). It gets worse... we found it because I tripped on it... Yup, I was quickly walking through the garage, heading out to the trailer in preparation of a lunch meeting we had, and my foot caught on something on the floor. Since I was moving at a pretty brisk pace, it took a few more steps to slow myself down before I could turn to see what in the world I had tripped over.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a very large reptilian tail disappearing over some dog fencing. I am not proud to admit that I did bounce around a bit before becoming coherent enough to tell Steve what was going on. It must have been pretty funny for an outsider looking on to see me dancing all around outside the garage door sputtering and going "ick". When I finished my histrionics, I carefully walked over to where I last saw that TAIL only to discover there really was a snake in the garage. Not only was it a snake, it was a very LARGE snake and it looked to me a LOT like a rattlesnake.

The reason I was not so sure about the rattlesnake part was the darned thing didn't make a noise. You always hear about the warning rattle that those snakes give before striking, but there was no rattle. There are snakes out here in Arizona that look a lot like rattlesnakes, but are not. I was hoping that this was one of them, but I knew the shape of this snake's head was very much like a rattler, not like the gopher snake that has similar coloration. The really cool part about living in Arizona is that if you find a rattler, all you have to do is to call the local Fire Department and ask for them to remove the snake.

The Fire Department usually comes quickly, in our case, they came with the hook and ladder truck. Luckily they did not come with lights flashing. They arrived about 5 minutes (it seemed like HOURS...but really) and were really great guys. I had hoped they would show up quickly because I was concerned that the large snake in the garage would slither somewhere we could not find. Luckily the snake pretty much stayed put, it did coil waiting for some type of attack from us...but it really didn't go anywhere. The firemen came with what looked like a 5-gallon paint bucket and pincers (about 3-4 feet long) that they use to catch the snake.

Since luck was with us, the guys were able to quickly catch the snake before it hid somewhere. When they grabbed it, we discovered that we had at least a 5 foot, pissed-off snake on our hands. They even had a little trouble keeping the snake in the bucket, it kept trying to push the lid of the bucket off. What was super scary was that this snake had lost it's rattles. There was no way to warn us it was there, we could have been bitten at any time since it could not make any noise. The firemen said I was super lucky I wasn't bit, since I did accidentally kick the snake. Adding to that comment, they looked around and said that there was a very high likelihood that there were more rattlesnakes in the garage...somewhere... Imagine... I think the one fireman giggled, but I couldn't tell... They went on to say that in all likelihood, this particular snake has probably been camping in the garage all winter long... Lovely... Gives new meaning to look before you leap...

Once we got over the shivers of having a LARGE snake in the garage, we did manage to make our lunch appointment. After returning home, I wandered over to the neighbor's home to let them know what had occurred. The next thing you really won't believe. As I was returning to the house (we are next door neighbors, all I did was walk the gate between our properties) another large rattlesnake was laying across the path I had walked minutes earlier.

Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. So, on the phone again to the Fire Department to have them come out AGAIN to remove yet another rattler. This one was a little colder, not as pissed and did have it's rattles attached. It still didn't rattle, so if I had not been watching this time where my feet went, I would have stepped on this snake too... I am thinking along the lines of St. Patrick. It seems the rattlers like to come out when I am wandering around. If this keeps up, nobody will want to be near me here in AZ. The firemen came again to the house, again grabbed the snake and put it in the bucket. At least this one was not as pissed off and did have it's rattles. I still didn't get rattled at, and am not sure why. So in less than 3 hours we had two relatively large snakes removed from the property.

What was a bit embarrassing is that the guys who responded to this second call were the same ones who responded to the first call. When they pulled up, the first thing they said was, "You found another one already?" They did reiterate that the first one they got was really big, but something had bitten it's tail off, hence no rattles. What is really good (in my eyes, not Steve's) is that the Fire Department does not kill the snakes, they just relocate them about 5 - 10 miles away. Hopefully those snakes don't have a sense of home and will not return... what a thought...

So, here I am, sitting in the study, INSIDE the house, with all the doors firmly closed. We have double-checked the weather stripping to be sure no snakes find their way into the house. Next step is to clean out the garage completely, and try to keep the snakes OUT (assuming that we got all the snakes out already). One theory is to crunch up moth balls and sprinkle that around the perimeter of the garage. Supposedly the snakes don't like the smell of mothballs... We shall see. I will keep you all posted on our progress...

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Developing your Home Based Business

I am always looking for ways to grow and develop our home based business. Education has always been high on my list so I started reading, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", by Stephen R. Covey. I am embarrassed to say that I have had this book for well over 10 years and never really opened it and read it. This is embarrassing to me because I am such a bookaholic. I usually read EVERYTHING. For some reason, I never really read this book.

What is even scarier is that I have a whole host of self help books on my shelf and some of them are still in the wrapper. You have to wonder why someone would gather so many self help books and not read many of them. Probably it is related to the paradigm that Stephen Covey discusses, the "Personality Ethics" where you are looking for that "quick fix". At the time I had collected all of the self-help books, I was going through a difficult time in my career. There were bosses that were insanely difficult to deal with, there were co-workers and employees who just didn't work well together. I was striving to make sense of all of that chaos and trying to find a fast way to apply sanity to a crazy world. For some reason, after going through the various seminars and purchasing the requisite books, I never cracked the books.

The business situation did ultimately resolve itself, I chose to change business and career opportunities, and the associated problems did not follow. At the time, it did boil down to making choices, even if it was something subconsciously learned from the multitude of seminars I had attended. The seminars taught methods of how to deal with the situations, techniques on how to change the situation, but they did not teach how to improve yourself, or how to take personal responsibility by choosing to make choices. I always felt good after the seminars, more uplifted, but then that feeling wore off after a few days.

The upshot of this blog is that you cannot just go out to the store and purchase a book to solve your current problems. The books may provide ideas for you to work on, like the Stephen Covey book currently being read, but you cannot institute change unless you choose to change yourself first. As Covey says, you need to change from the "inside out". Quick fixes will not solve the long-term problem, it may just solve an immediate problem. The real, core problem just gets glossed over. It is our responsibility to focus on improving ourselves, through self-discovery and then, once we truly understand ourselves, can we begin to choose to change the situation around us.

As a home based business owner, it is vital that you approach your business as an extension of yourself. Your love of your product or service will come through to your customers and you can truly serve them by providing what they need if you choose to listen to what they want. As you personally grow, your home based business will grow also, even in this very tough economy. Choose to spend a half an hour a day on personal development. It does not mean you have to read, but do something that will stretch your mind, expand your horizons. Find something that will help you to improve yourself, your business will then improve as you grow.

As the weeks go on, we will periodically touch back on this subject, exploring new ideas discovered, and hopefully some of these may ring true with you and help you to develop and grow your home based business. If you would like to discuss any ideas with me, please feel free to contact us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. Also, if you are unsatisfied with your current business situation and are not sure what you want to do, check out our website for other ideas. We are here to assist you in growing.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weight Loss - Weight Management Update

Well, I have been promising this for several days now and finally have the time to update everyone on my current weight loss / weight management update. I have started to lose weight again, even though I have been indulging in some candy (Easter is just around the corner). The weight loss is probably attributed to the fact that I am now eating smaller portions of food and a little more consistent with light exercise.

It is fun to sit down to a meal, look at the plate of food and not desire to clean the plate and then ask for seconds. My appetite overall has decreased, and when I do eat, I get full much faster. I think (and this is just my unscientific opinion) that the reason my desire for food has decreased is because what I am consuming is better for my body. As you are probably aware, I have been taking the full dosage of STEMTech products, StemEnhance and StemFLO, for a little over two months now. I have noticed that my appetite has decreased significantly over those same two months.

I can now look at food and not crave large portions. My desire for candy, and anything sweet has been greatly reduced also. We have been striving towards eating more balanced meals, but I believe the nutritional supplements that I have been taking has been largely responsible for my decreased appetite and reduction sweet cravings. I have read in the past that your body will crave what it lacks, and since StemEnhance and StemFLO are helping cleanse my body of antioxidants and increase adult stem cell circulation, my body is not craving all the "bad" foods that I had been eating.

My appetite has been reduced, but is not gone. I still get hungry, but once I start eating, I get full much faster. It is like my body is satisfied with less food. The portions are smaller, but my stomach rumblings are not as frequent either. This is very good when I have been working very hard to take the weight off. I have mentioned in previous blogs that my weight gain and loss has remained static for many months now. You can probably also sense my frustration with that static weight. Now that the STEMTech products are fully in my system, I am hoping that my body has been able to repair the parts that have been preventing me from losing the additional weight. We shall see, hopefully my theory is correct. If so, then that may just throw into the wind the concept of weight loss products. If my theory works, then all you really need to do is maintain a balanced diet and light exercises to lose the excess tonnage that you may have acquired over the years. We will continue to test this theory and I will keep you posted on my progress.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Honey, I Shrank the Car

Oh no, look at what happened to our car when I washed it with water...it shrank... How many times has that problem happened to you? Probably never, but hey, it might happen some time... What will most likely happen in the near future is our fresh drinking water will disappear before our cars shrink when we wash them.
It is a fact that there is a global water shortage. The earth has a finite amount of fresh drinking water in it, and as our global population expands, the amount of water per person will decrease. Starting this month (March 2010) South Florida will be instituting permanent landscape irrigation measures for year-round water conservation. South Florida is concerned about their water resources and is limiting landscape irrigation. According to the World Bank, world-wide demand for water is doubling every 21 years. Water supply cannot remotely keep pace with demand as populations increase and cities expand. The population growth alone does not account for all of the increase in fresh water demand. As standards of living improve, the need for clean, fresh water increases.
In order to do our part in not wasting fresh drinking water, we offer a waterless vehicle cleaning product, UltraLuster that can be used on your car, truck, recreational vehicle, motorcycle, boat, airplane, etc. and you do not have to use our fresh water to wash this vehicle. UltraLuster Waterless Wash allows you to clean a dirty vehicle without pre-washing or rinsing. Granted, if you have mud caked on inches thick, you will need to rinse the vehicle off first, but for the average driver, that will be a rare occurrence.
With UltraLuster Waterless Wash, you can spray the product directly onto the dirty vehicle, gently work it into the painted surface and then buff off. In those three steps, your vehicle has been cleaned, polished and protected with a liquid acrylic glaze. The finish is better than any wax or carnuba can leave, it won't get sticky in extreme heats and you don't need to re-apply UltraLuster on your vehicle (depending on use and location) at least once a month. Depending on where you keep your car and the driving conditions, the UltraLuster finish can last up to 6 months.
We also carry a full line of other waterless cleaning products, Carpet cleaner, Metal cleaner, Leather cleaner and Tire cleaner. If you have questions on any of the products briefly mentioned tonight, please feel free to contact us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. You are always welcome to check out our website for the variety of waterless cleaning products we carry.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Good Guys Spring National - Last Day




Well, I was so tired yesterday after a day of being in the booth and then breaking down, that I fell asleep before posting to the blog. I had every intention of providing a final update yesterday, but my eyes and body did not cooperate. The Good Guys Spring National ended yesterday and was a pretty busy day for all involved.

The weather was perfect for a car show and cruise in. The people attending seemed to really enjoy the sun and the warm weather. It was a wonderful change from all the wet weather Arizona has been experiencing for the last 3 weeks. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood yesterday and there were quite a number of people wandering around.

As usual, the cars were a sight to behold. At one point, all you had to do was to stand in one spot and watch the parade of cars go by. You can see by some of the attached pictures that the cars just kept driving. Eventually, I ran out of battery for the camera, there were so many cars to take pictures of. The vendors were both inside and outside, so if you got tired of wandering out in the sun, you could go into the very large tent area and view many vendors there too. We happened to be located inside, and it was very nice to not have to deal with the weather changes. The best part about being inside is the lack of wind. It is always a challenge to keep everything on your table and the tent in one place when the winds kick up.

I also managed to not get sunburned (which is a regular occurrence when we are outside) because we were located in that huge tent. If you ever have an opportunity to come by our booth, you would usually see me in a very large brimmed hat and a bandanna, covering as much of my skin as possible. It was so nice to not have to bundle up to protect against the sun.

On a positive note, we did get several invitations to attend other car and monster truck events that are coming up in the next few months. It is always more enjoyable to be invited as a vendor to events instead of asking to be in an event. The promoter has the opportunity to review how you respond to people and can better tell if you as a vendor would be a good fit for their upcoming event. We have usually had very good luck at events that we were invited to. That is not because the promoters are hard to deal with, but because the promoter can choose the vendor that would fit in well with their venue. We are looking forward to updating our event schedule as soon as we finalize all the new invitations.

Since we were still "on the road" yesterday, I did not take the time to weigh myself for the weekly weight update. That will be done tomorrow (I was too tired this morning to remember to weigh myself also...something like drinking a whole pot of coffee before realizing that I forgot to weigh myself...ooops...).

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Good Guys Spring Nationals - Day 2



Today is going to be a relatively short talk about how much fun we had at the Good Guys Spring Nationals in Scottsdale today (because I am VERY tired). As you can see by some of the posted pictures, there was a wide array of cars to look at and drool over. It is very amazing to see the variety of cars that people have been working on. We have seen car shows before, but not as varied as this Good Guys show has been.
They again had the races, but I didn't have the time to go out and watch. We had all kinds of people visiting our booth today, so we didn't have too much time to wander around and look. The pictures were taken on our brief times away from the booth. As a general rule, we didn't spend more than 5 minutes away, didn't want the other person to get overwhelmed.
On a business perspective, this was awesome advertising for our business. People got to wander by and see what we had to offer for sale. They got to touch and feel what we did. Potential customers can place a face and voice with the name, website and product. It is much easier to make Internet sales after the customer has seen the product work first hand. We had several opportunities to demonstrate our waterless cleaning products on the really neat cars. This show also appeared to be a good fishing ground for other promoters looking for vendors for their upcoming events. We received several invitations to other upcoming car, truck and motorcycle events while at the booth. The neat thing is that the promoters of the other venues could see how we conducted ourselves and how we presented ourselves. This way, they know what to expect for their event. It is almost like having an interview. This is a great way to locate other events in the Phoenix area.
If you want to see what other events we will be getting involved in, stay tuned to our Schedule of Events page on our website. Once we finalize the upcoming events, they are posted on the schedule. If possible, we also include an address and a website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com.
Tomorrow will be the last day of the Good Guys show. We are looking forward to this, but also it is a sad time since we have had so much fun here. The people we have met here have been awesome and very welcoming. We look forward to doing more Good Guys shows in the future.
Until tomorrow...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good Guys Spring Nationals - Day 1







Well, today was the first day of the Good Guys Spring Nationals here in Scottsdale, AZ. It was a beautiful day to begin a three day show. The sun was out, the air was cool, and the cars were HOT! I took a lot of pictures, and now the most difficult part about this blog is trying to choose which cars to post... Too bad there is no photo album on this application.

As you can see there were some really cool restorations and some very HOT car modifications. These are only a few of the cars that were present at the event...and today is only Friday. I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring. They also had a timed car driving course that we got to watch occasionally from our booth. The fastest time, and the new course record was 30.9 seconds, by a woman driver of a Camero. I didn't catch the name, but nobody else could come close to posting the times she did. The next closest time was 32.9 seconds, but another Camero driver... It was really fun to watch them drive this short course. You can really see what these cars are made for...
The attendees today were primarily here to meet each other after the winter break and to catch up with what they have done with their cars. They then wandered around the vendors booths to do some basic scoping out of what is available this time. The attendees we got to talk with were wonderful people and full of life. We had a lot of fun talking about cars and motorcycles to all that came by. Believe it or not, with all the chattering going on, the day flew by. I was surprised how fast 5 pm came along. By the time we slowed down, my feet were killing me. The good news is that we were so busy chatting with people that you didn't notice your discomfort until it was time to close down. My dogs are definitely barking now. This is one of the best ways to get our name and business out to the people who would use our services. If you ever wondered about effective advertising, attending a show like this (assuming you have a car-related product or service) is definitely the way to go.
We expect to see many more people and cars tomorrow, since it is Saturday. It is going to be hard to manage the booth when you can hear all the cars driving around outside. I will have to find all kinds of excuses to go out to the bathroom and take my camera. Even today, everywhere you looked, you saw very cool cars. There were some still in the improvement stages, but even those, you knew, were going to be real head-turners once all the paint and interior work is completed. I will keep you posted on how the event goes tomorrow, along with posting more pictures of the cars.
Until tomorrow...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Good Guys Car Show PreStart

Well, as promised today we update you on the preparations for the Good Guys Car show in Scottsdale this weekend. We got to WestWorld around 10 am this morning in preparation for setting up our booth. It was absolutely amazing how organized this group is. They already had vendor packets put together, they had people in golf carts driving you to your specific location. There was none of that vague waving..."your spot is out there...." . The problem with the vague waving is that you may end up setting up in the wrong location. That is bad enough, but to have to break everything down and relocate it either 10 feet or more, that is what makes you go crazy.

This group knew exactly where each and every vendor went. They also not only had the spots marked off, but they had name papers hanging on the spots so there was absolutely NO QUESTION about where you were supposed to set up. It is so nice to deal with professionals... Can you tell I am so far in love with the organizers of the Good Guy Car shows? If this show pans out as well as anticipated, we will be following the Good Guy Shows in between all of the motorcycle rallies we do.
The pictures you see on top are just a few of the really neat cars that showed up today. Tomorrow there should be so many cars, we won't be able to take enough pictures. These two cars were just outside near the RVs that came in early in anticipation of this event. The people attending take their cars for drives all around Scottsdale. It must be really neat to be a resident of Scottsdale to see all of these custom rod and cars driving around. Tomorrow we will take pictures of some of the custom cars that are in the booths and that are entered in the car show. The tough part will be trying to decide which cars to post on the blog...
The Good Guys show starts tomorrow at 8 AM and runs to 5 PM. It goes from 8 -5 on Saturday also. Sunday hours are from 8 - 3PM. Hopefully some of you will be able to attend. If you can, please come on by our booth to say hi. If you couldn't guess, we will be the Waterless Car Wash Booth inside the big tent. If you have any questions, please feel free to either leave a comment or e-mail us at hawgwash1@yahoo.com. We will not be answering e-mails until later in the day, so please don't feel ignored, we will get back to you. Tomorrow we will talk about the open event.
Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Preparing for Events and Shows

Today we spent the majority of the day preparing for our first major show of 2010. It is amazing how much work is needed to prepare for a large show. As you are aware, we have been doing Outdoor Festivals at the various Bashas' stores around Arizona. This upcoming show will be our first multi-day event this fiscal year.

Even though this show, the Good Guys 1st Spring Nationals will be held in Scottsdale, AZ March 12-14th, we are preparing as if we were going to be on the road for the next six months. The reason we prepare so much is similar to why Olympic athletes prepare so hard for their competition. It is always better to plan and practice, and practice and plan before the event. That way, when you get there, you are ready for anything that may come your way. We need to be sure we have everything for the show, so that we don't have to keep running back to the house to pick up the items we forgot. We are expecting a fairly large attendance, and again, sales are based on numbers.

Preparing for a car show, motorcycle rally, or RV rally is almost the same type of work. For each event, you need to have an estimate of the attendees. Once you have an idea of how many people will be there, then you can begin to estimate how much product you need to bring to the event. One of the worst things that can happen to a vendor is to not have brought enough product for sale. Some may look on that as a good thing, but if you left product at home, then selling out at a show is a bad thing because the remainder of your inventory is sitting at home.

Inventory is money that has yet to be converted. The real trick is to figure out how much inventory you need for a show and to sell almost all of that inventory. Otherwise, you have an investment of money sitting on a shelf until the next show comes along. You can't spend inventory, you can only spend money. In this economy, it has been very difficult to predict the purchasing patterns of event attendees. It used to be that you can look at the prior year and predict a modest increase in sales for the current year. Now, it is a lot more difficult to predict any increase in sales over the prior year. It becomes especially difficult when this may be the first time you attend an event.

This blog is not intended to frighten new business owners from participating in events, but it is intended to show that you really have to plan prior to larger events. It is a very fine line we all walk when we attend multi-day events, you have to balance the quantity of inventory to the anticipated sales. With luck this event with the Good Guys will be a very exciting and busy event. We will keep you posted as the event progresses.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Improving your Small Business - Part 2

Last night we talked about offering some variety of products and services to your customers, but that a large array of offerings can be intimidating to your customers. To summarize, people are attracted to variety, but are much less likely to make a purchase because there are too many choices. Too many options will paralyse a customer from making a decision, if they do make a choice, they may choose badly. Too may choices can undermine the customer's satisfaction in their product, your customer will end up second-guessing if they made the "right" choice. You want your customers to be satisfied with their purchase because satisfied customers will return.

Another technique to improve your small business is to look closely at the issues facing your business. Are you framing the issues correctly? Is there another way to look at the situation you are in, what other solutions may be available to you? You need to challenge your assumptions to be sure that your assumptions will hold up. If your assumptions will not hold up under scrutiny, then are you able to change your position to achieve your goals? On a more basic level, you may want to look at why you want those goals. Are these goals for your personally, or for your business? Take a look at what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it.

Some may call this a paradigm shift. You want to step out of the virtual box you are sitting in and take another look at your business. Try to look at it from an outsider's view. If you were an uninterested party looking at your small business, what do you see? What you would to to make it better? If you hit a roadblock, try to look into what the block is and work to make a new opportunity out of that. I know that sounds trite, but it really does work. The reason you want to look at the roadblock as a new opportunity is the same as a paradigm shift, you want to look at the same situation with a new perspective. There is most likely another way to get through or around that roadblock. If you are stuck, and cannot see beyond the block, enlist the help of trusted friends or family. They may be able to see what you cannot. They may not be as close to the situation as you are and may be able to help you find a way to work through the problem. Even if the friend of family cannot help, they may be able to say something that triggers other thought processes in your head and that may inspire you to look at your business differently. It is always good to have other opinions, you don't have to agree, you are not even obligated to follow through on what they suggest, but by accepting other opinions, you are leaving the door open for new ideas and most likely new solutions.

Entrepreneurs are driven by a passion to do something better. We have all most likely worked for someone and felt that, if given the same opportunities, we could do that particular business better. That is usually why we started a small business on our own instead of picking up another job. The key is to really like the products or services you are working with. If you 'love' the products or services, you become emotionally involved and may not be able to help your business grow or succeed. You need to keep emotional distance from your business so that you can critically look at it to make improvements.

Good luck.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Improving your Small Business

Tonight we are going to touch on a few ways to improve your small business. We have covered several ways to expand your marketing, some ways to expand your market share, how to inspire people and how to have customer's sell themselves on your products. Even with all those discussions, there are still more ways to improve your small business and hopefully make it more profitable.

As you may have noticed on our website, we have a number of diverse items for sale and we offer several income opportunities. All of this starts on this one website. Even though choice is a wonderful thing there are times when too much choice will prevent a potential customer from making any decision. We have been in situations where, when offered a half a dozen choices of similar products, we opted to do nothing because the quantity of choices was so large. We needed to stop, and analyse each of the options, eliminate some before we could even begin to make a choice to purchase. If you walk into a used car lot without any specific car in mind, didn't you find the choices to be more than a little overwhelming? If you didn't know what car you wanted, and didn't have a firm amount you wanted to pay in your mind, you would look at that sea of cars and think you had an impossible task of picking just one.

The key to having multiple items for sale is to almost have the choices limited to two or three. That way, the customer has choices, but not so many that they can't make a decision. The problem with our website is that all the choices are right there, in front. Some people like this style, others have not been so complimentary. What our plan is for our site, the home page you go to has three options. One choice is for retail product sales, one choice is for business opportunities, and the last choice is for scheduling a vehicle detail. This way, people have choices, but they are not all in their face. After they choose one of the three options, the visitor would then have the opportunity to navigate around into a narrower selection of items more to their interest.

Again, we are providing choices, but these choices are now more tailored to the individual looking at the website. You need to provide options for customers to look at. As we have discussed before, if choice was a bad thing, grocery stores would not have so many different products on their shelves. But even in the grocery store, you don't see row upon row of choices, you have a few choices for the same type of product, then you have a few choices with some different products. If you think about it, grocery stores provide you with two or three competing choices in the same product line. Again, too many choices for the same type of item will almost paralyse customers and they ultimately not purchase anything.

The key is to provide some variety in your business so customers will be inclined to shop and know they are provided choices. They will be more inspired to come by because you offer a selection of items to purchase. This may in itself generate more sales and improve your small business.

Tomorrow we will continue this discussion of improving your business, we will cover some other elements of your business and how to conduct your business a little differently to perhaps generate more traffic.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Outdoor Festival at Basha's and Roasted Chile

Yesterday was our Outdoor Festival at the Basha's in Scottsdale. Even though the news reported a potential for rain yesterday, we had no rain and great weather for the Festival. We experienced a little overcast sky in the morning, but by noon the sun was out in full force. We watched the clouds build later in the afternoon when we started breaking down.

This Festival was located at 8423 E. McDonald, Scottsdale. The Basha's there is absolutely beautiful. When I first walked in, I thought it was one of those fancy gourmet stores. The Director, Dan, was the organizer of this month's event and he had everything clicking away very efficiently. Even though the official event time was from 10-4pm, vendors were not supposed to appear to set up until 8 am. Vendors appeared by 7 am and Dan was already there to direct them into the assigned spots. What was really neat about this particular Festival was that Dan had put about half of the vendors in the covered parking spots. If you have ever had to set up and tear down a tent each event, you really come to appreciate the benefit of having a cover that you don't have to set up. We all brought our tents if necessary, but it was very enjoyable not having to set them up.

What else was fun about this festival is that I finally worked up the courage to try the roasted chilies. The other Basha's Outdoor Festivals we have been to also offered the roasted chilies, but as good as they smelled, I didn't have the courage to try them. Saturday was the first time I had the fresh roasted chilies, and I am in love... At these events, Bashas has a large tumbler where they put a lot of those large green chilies. They then turn on four jets of flame and literally char the chilies as the tumbler turns. The scent of roasting chilies will really get your mouth watering.

What we learned is that to properly eat those roasted chilies, you need to scrape off the charred portion of the chilies and then eat the tender insides. I expected to have my first bite turn into my last. My usual experience with green chilies has been very spicy hot. Not so this time. I am not sure if the roasting took some of the spice out of the chilies, but boy, they were tasty. There were several people who still believed the chilies to be spicy, but I found the spicy to be more of a general warmth, not one of mouth-melting heat. The flavor of the roasted chili is like nothing I have tasted before. I am now a real believer in roasted chilies.

We purchased additional chilies to bring home. They can be frozen but we ended up stuffing the ones we brought home with cheese. Boy, were they tasty too. Needless to say, we don't have any additional roasted chilies to chop up and add to other dishes, but there will be another Basha's Outdoor Festival (in two weeks for us specifically) and we plan on purchasing more of those wonderful fresh roasted chilies.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Business Networking

Tonight is going to be a very brief discussion. Business Networking is NOT a brief subject, but I wanted to introduce it as a discussion point and will continue to touch on this topic over the upcoming weeks. As we have discussed before, networking your business is most important if you want to stay in business.

Networking in general has received bad press in the past, but the term business networking is a marketing method where you create opportunities through networks of like-minded people. It would be the equivalent of a common interest club or group. You get a group of like-minded business people together, and you all learn about each other, in both the business and somewhat personal sense. By doing that, you may know someone who could use another business person's services, and the reverse could very easily be true.

Networking means you are essentially creating a net, or web (like a spider web) where each fiber leads to another like-minded business entity. As you build this net, you will find businesses that may compliment what you have to offer. If you are in need of a particular item or service, your network should be the first place you would look. You could follow one strand of that net to a business that would serve your needs. In reverse, that business would be able to locate you the same way, because of the net you helped to create. Building this net can build new business relationships and generate new business opportunities.

Business networking can be much less expensive than paper marketing (advertising in newspapers, sending out flyers) and can be much more valuable for you. By personally networking with other business owners, you get to know the people along with what they have to offer as a business. Instead of just looking up a name in a phone book, you have a person that you have built a professional relationship with already, so you are more comfortable working with them. On the flip side, that other business may know someone who is looking for the services and products that you may offer, and the other business may get their friend to contact you. You didn't directly market to that third party, but by business networking, you were able to indirectly touch that third party.

If you would like more information on business networking, stay tuned for future blogs. If you are interested in other business opportunities, or may be looking for something to compliment what you are already doing, please feel free to check out our website. You can always e-mail us if you have a specific question or request.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Managing Priorities in your Business

Today felt like a very frustrating day for me. It felt like I was running in place all day long. There was a lot of activity, but it seemed like there was no forward movement. We all have days like that, the ones where you wake up expecting to conquer the world and at the end of the day, you wonder if you completed any of the tasks planned for the day. As a small business owner, days like that can make you go crazy. The key is to be able to manage your priorities for your business. Sounds easy, but in real live it can be a real bear. Sometimes you wonder if you will ever work yourself free of that foggy feeling...

You have all probably taken some kind of time management course at one time or another in your business career. Those courses are great, but sometimes we can forget some of the basic learning points. One of those points is to not get too bogged down with the small stuff. Many times, that 'small stuff' seems extremely large, looming and problematic. Once you get past it, you realise that it really was 'small stuff' and not worth the effort and energy you put into fixing or resolving the problem. It is always a good idea to review your time management notes to refresh your memory. If you haven't kept your notes, or you are like me, you have them stored so efficiently and safely, you can't find them, you may want to take a gander on-line and find some time-saving tips.

One key thing I found that helps me focus my time and energy is to not have more than 5 priorities at one time. We all basically have a million things that always need to be done yesterday, but really, we should focus on no more than 5 priorities and keep focused on them. I write them down in my planner, and transfer those priorities to every new month page until that particular priority is no longer so important. Remember, in these volatile times, you can feel just as volatile. If money is tight, you tend to get a bit snappy with anyone needing to be paid. It comes with the territory, we have to be aware of that tendency and correct it before it gets out of hand. We may not be the only ones with problems, and getting snappy or yelling at someone will not solve the problem. Go back to your priorities, focus on what needs to be done and you should be able to diffuse some of that volatility.

Another item is to not exhaust yourself with unnecessary activities. Is there something simple that needs to be completed, that you can delegate to someone else? It doesn't have to be a major task, but something that may even take a few minutes of your time, delegate when you can. By doing all those little things that will 'only take a minute' you lose those minutes to work towards your goals and priorities. You may find that at the end of the day, you filled your day with completing 'minute' tasks and never worked towards the main priority. You will end the day exhausted and have nothing to show for it. There will always be little, niggling things to do, when possible delegate, or put them off until you have completed one of your major priorities/tasks.

Always remember to focus on your business and the priorities of your business. No matter how difficult some days may become, focusing on your business will keep you on track to succeed. Don't lose track of what your priorities are and what you want to achieve. Life will get in the way, but just roll with the punches, get up, dust yourself off and keep moving forward. Many people may get lost along the way because they forgot to focus on their priorities. Keep the priorities simple, and don't get too many of them. Most important, be specific about what your priorities are and how you plan on achieving them. If you stay focused, even though life may interrupt your path, you will succeed.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to get the Most out of Your Business Opportunity

Tonight we are going to briefly discuss some ideas on how to get the most out of your business opportunity. You have a business that you are trying to get off the ground, or you have a business opportunity that you have been working, but it doesn't seem to be growing anymore. The questions you may be asking yourself is if you have maximized the opportunity, or if you are in the right opportunity. Being unable to grow a business can be very frustrating, especially in today's economy. We are all looking for ways to stretch our dollars, and if our dollars are shrinking as we are stretching, that is when we all get really stressed.

The key is to take a good hard (and honest) look at what you do and why you do it. You can only control the efforts you put into the business, you cannot control the success or failure, you cannot control outcomes. The first question is do you still really enjoy what you are doing? Take out the current stresses, but look at the business and products you are offering. If current money concerns were not a factor, do you look forward to working your business? Do you look forward to working each day? If so, are you working at your best?

If you want to improve your performance, you need to be realistic about how you plan on improving it. Not only do you need to be realistic, but you need to identify very specific steps in order to achieve your performance goal. You can't just say, "I want things to get better". You need to identify what "better" is, and when you want that "better" to be "Better". Be sure to identify small steps over a specific period of time. By using a bunch of small steps, you can actually show success, but proving that you have achieved those small steps. It is really amazing how, when you connect the dots of all those small steps, how fast you can come to achieving your improved performance goals.

We use a small book that has been pre-printed with particular baby steps on each page. Each page is representative of a particular day, and each baby step on that page has a point value assigned to it. By consistently reviewing and performing the baby steps each and every day, we mark off the number of points accumulated each day. The goal is to achieve a minimum of 25 points per day or at least 175 points a week. Each of those baby steps may not have to be performed daily, but a combination of those steps every day will lead you to your goal much faster than you would have thought. This plan has improved our focus, and has improved our business building. We are becoming more successful as time progresses, we are not as discouraged if we may have had a bad day, because we know that we can make up the points in future days. The key is to not lose sight of your performance goal.

Life will always get in the way, but if you focus on the small steps that will lead you to your goal, you will ultimately achieve your goal. Do not be afraid to modify the small steps, those may change as you near your goal, or they may change due to exterior circumstances. There is always more than one path to your goal, keep your eyes open to the alternate paths. That new path may be something you never thought of before, but it may be the one path that gets you to your goal faster. Stay open to new ideas and thoughts, but do not lose sight of your ultimate goal.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Multiple Income Streams - Why?

We have been asked several times why we have so many varied opportunities on our website. As we have discussed before, the key to real wealth is to have multiple income streams. One income stream, especially in these times, will not bring you to real financial freedom. As we are discovering, painfully in some instances, is that one income stream is not necessarily the most stable income stream in the world.

How many people do you know that have been working diligently all their adult life, to only discover that they have been laid off or "down-sized"? We are seeing this phenomena more and more often as companies continue to tighten their belts. By having multiple income streams, you know that when one line of income starts slowing down, you have other streams that may be able to increase and essentially take up the slack. You may even become bored working on one way to earn money, and choose to move into another area of interest. That doesn't mean you need to give up your income from the first business, it just may mean you won't have as much money coming in from that area.

But again, the biggest reason for multiple income streams is to have the ability to seamlessly move from one to another when the economy changes. One of your product lines may have been a great seller for years, but it may be not be as popular today as it was. By having essentially more than one pole in the water, you have the opportunity to catch more fish. We have more than one pole in the water so that we can catch fish no matter what is going on. We just re-align our emphasis when one income stream begins to decline. I don't want to imply that we stop working an opportunity, unless that particular product line is no longer viable, it is worthwhile to keep that line going, just to shift your emphasis to something that may be more profitable, now. It is almost a given, that when one opportunity does not bring in as much income now, it will down the road, when the social climate changes again. We keep multiple opportunities available to keep up with the ebb and flow of social thoughts and ideas.

If you look at the various opportunities we have to offer, we have something for almost everyone. We offer waterless cleaning technology for people who really want their vehicles to look great and help keep the environment healthy. We also offer a few different nutritional products to keep you healthy. Without your health, you won't be able to clean your car, or for that matter, you won't even be able to go out and get your vehicle dirty. The two nutritional products we carry take care of the body in two stages. STEMTech products work with Stem Cell Nutrition, where it allows your body to use it's own adult stem cells to renew itself. MonaVie products help keep your existing cells healthy. We also offer Pre-Paid Legal services because you can never be too safe. How many times did you realise after the fact that it would have been really great to have the advice of an attorney BEFORE you signed on the dotted line? We personally use Pre-Paid Legal and it has kept us out of a boat-load of trouble.

So, you can see that the multiple streams of income we offer on our website can all work together, without really competing against each other. This way, if someone is more concerned about their health, we can direct them one way, if they are concerned about the environment and clean vehicles, we point them another direction, etc... This is a great way to recession proof your business.

Until tomorrow...