Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Simple Way to Get What You Need—In Business or in Life

By Stacy Karacostas ·
Friday, July 23rd, 2010

More years ago than I care to count, I moved from Georgia to Colorado—ostensibly to finish college. Since I needed to pay in-state tuition rates, I had to live there for a year before starting to school.

Having already been a whitewater raft guide on the Ocoee River in Tennessee, it seemed natural to get a job as a raft guide for the summer. Then, in the winter, I figured I could wait tables in a resort town and learn to ski (it’s a rough life…right?).

I had one small problem though…

I had a dog.

Finding housing in a mountain town can be really difficult. And finding housing with a dog can be close to impossible. So, at first I camped out while I searched for a room to rent.

Lucky for me, my Mom came to visit and decided it was high time I found a place.

Then she promptly embarrassed the heck out of me by asking each and every person we ran into if they knew of any place for rent.

I don’t mean asking acquaintances or coworkers. I’m talking about bank tellers, check out girls, random people on the street, the postman…you name it.

Needless to say, I was totally mortified each and every time I heard her utter the words “Let me ask you a question…” in her thick French accent to some total stranger.

I kept begging her to stop until finally she explained her strategy…Something she called the “Three Foot Rule”.

Basically, anytime she needed something, she asked everyone who came within three feet of her if they could help. Or if they knew someone else who might. Until eventually she found what she needed.
Once I realized she wasn’t totally insane I let her keep asking. And you know what?

An amazing thing happened…

Someone (I think it was the bank teller) did know of a cute little studio apartment that had just become vacant. And best of all, it was dog friendly.

I was blown away!

This became one of my most important and valuable life lessons. I promptly began putting the power of the Three Foot Rule to work for me.

When I moved to Breckinridge that winter, I accomplished the unheard of feat of finding a place to live with my dog by literally knocking on doors. This at a time when people I knew were paying rent for couch, foyer or floor space.

Later, I discovered I could use the Three Foot Rule to find almost anything—business or personal. I’ve used it to find quality printers, graphic designers, event locations, hotels, referral partners, real estate agents—even clients.

How can this rule work in your business?

Here’s a good example…

A skilled copywriter I know had been struggling for a while to build his business. Then, one day recently, he mentioned he was focusing solely on writing Web and print sales letters.

A few weeks later at a seminar, I found a flyer posted looking for a freelance copywriter to write sales letters. I remembered his comment, passed it along, and he followed up.

His first project started a week or so later.

Here’s the email he sent me …

“Yeah, it’s been weird. Ever since I made a conscious decision to go after that kind of work (sales letters), I’ve gotten leads for that kind of work. And it pays to tell people what you’re looking for, too.”
The reality is …it’s not weird at all. It’s just the mighty power of the Three Foot Rule at work.

Ready to try it for yourself?

•First, decide what you need. And be as specific as possible.

•Second, ask everyone you come in contact with (make no exceptions)if they know where you can find or get it.

Entrepreneurs are typically uncomfortable asking for help. And I know this might seem a little weird at first. But just give it a shot. Most people love helping, and are happy to offer advice, recommendations or referrals.

Trust me; once you see the amazing results, using the Three Foot Rule gets easier and more effective. So don’t be shy. Get out there and start asking for what you need.

Because, as my Mom would say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”.

Have you ever used the 3-foot rule, or something similar to get what you need? Do you struggle with asking for help? I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

*posted with permission of my friend, stacy

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Life Application

by Mr.Roger

"The future is uncertain, but we need to move toward it with confidence. There's a future to be created. We need to stop wasting our time and stop being afraid of what we cannot see and do not know. We need to move forward full of force, confident of what we do know in life... "

Monday, July 26, 2010


If I hadn't already experienced menopause...I'd swear I'm going through it. Or, going through it AGAIN ! 2003 was enough...or, so I thought.

I was one of the lucky ones, going through menopause, who did not have flashes. But now the long weeks of incredibly high temperatures and humidity have created havoc with my body. I live over a dry-cleaning, laundry plant. I threw away my indoor thermometer when I spent my first summer here. The heat and steam from downstairs naturally rise to my apartment. Now I have 2 air conditioners. My office and my living room. I live in those rooms only. I love to cook and bake. I've had no appetite...existing on simple finger food.

Back in 2003, I do remember heightened periods of "sensitivity" to remarks made by friends and co-workers. Ah, I see that issue has returned, too.

People used to remark about my incredible memory. I used to say: I have freeze-dried memory. Peri-menopause squashed that ability. It's gotten much better, but not to the original strength. Now, I can't find the right word, or can't remember the simple, relevant stuff.

A close friend made a fairly innocent comment to me recently. It was meant to be a helpful remark. But, I got into my emotional elevator and pushed DOWN. Why?

My journey towards illumination, and my work, allows me to realize introspection is not something to be denied or feared.  It's meant to be explored fully. I accepted the sadness. I tasted it. I explored it like a child.

In my hours of "innocent remark" inspection, I found it difficult to become superior to it.

Within the past hour, I've discovered why. I've spent the past month watching my mother become more ill every day. My suggestions to go to the hospital were unheeded. One morning, we could no longer ignore her status. Swiftly, we went to the emergency room.

I'll admit: I have "issues" with our local hospital. In 2003, I lost my job with downsizing at this hospital. I worked there 19 years and had a fairly high-level position. I negotiated medical-surgical contracts...everything from bandaids to body part implants. Everyone in that hospital knew me; most liked me, too. Even my sales reps, who often feared going toe-to-toe with me during lengthy contract negotiations, invited me to their family functions. These same sales reps, came to my father's funeral in 2000. I was tough, but fair and honest. I was respected.

Taking my mother to the hospital last week, I became simply an outsider. I had no power to get a faster answer to her call bell. I could no longer go to the lounge and make her a simple cup of tea. I was unknown. I had lost my "insider" power.

To make matters worse, I saw my old boss as I was entering the elevator. The door opened, I saw his same mean, aloof expression and I said, "No thanks, I'll wait for the next one."  As the door began to close, he smirked "Suit yourself."  I replied, "I just did." 

I did a superior job at the hospital.  In the end, it made no difference. I'm trying to do an equally superior job with important things in my life right now.  The difference?  I'm "trying", rather than "doing".  That innocent remark is digested now and I can finally push UP.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Throughout the years, my hobbies have changed. I've also be fortunate that most of my hobbies have sold.

When Suni was born, I began by creating quilted jackets, and also taught quilting in Menlo Park Adult Education.
Next, I made children's clothing with applique and sold those in several unique shops in Palo Alto. My business was called Suni's Creations.

When I moved back to PA, I began to make wearable art. I had an easy, short kimono and made these into suit jackets. Along with my love of embroidery, quilting, and unique beading, I also made matching jewelry and even the buttons.

When I stopped wearing suits, I began the challenging process of altered art and quilted journals.
Next, I took altered art to a much larger process of embellishing canvases with found mechanical and technical items. I called it tech/mech. Using everything from scrabble pieces, to computer parts. I added painting, paper ephemera, old photographs and whatever pleased me.

Now, I'm on a new journey. I'm moving all my canvases, paints, paper emphemera, and found elements to my storage room.

I've purchased a book on Home Business and I intend to document what is legitimate, and take those savings. The very important step is to keep all these documents in one spot, and readily available. I have an old army, 4-drawer file cabinet which I am moving into my office for this exact purpose.

So, what was Sam's Space to create wearable art and altered canvases, will now become Sam's Legitimate Home Business.

And so, another journey has begun. Come along for this incredible ride !

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The New Professional Personified...

Relevant Stuff Guest Author...
As a Closer:

The closer is a person who can do more than most salespeople think possible. Why? Because they know how to get close to people, they know how to get people to feel good about themselves. Customers like the closer because he shows interest in them; the closer builds the customers up so high they cannot possibly say no.The closer gets people on paper and signed contracts. Then keeps them there himself. Closers can step in on another person's troubled deal and bring it on home by solving the problem in minutes. A closer is a special kind of salesperson that people like, get excited to be with, believe in and feel special around. They are truthful, sincere and convincing. They always WIN !

The Basic percentages of a closer's make-up are as follows:
  1. Enthusiasm..51%
  2. Empathy and understanding...25%
  3. Manners and Charm..10%
  4. Fun..7%
  5. Product knowledge..7%.
Don't think a person is a closer by self proclamation. Beware! There are so many phonies running around it is hazardous to the networking and selling industry. These people are all talk and NO show. A closer sells. That's all that needs said!

As A Salesperson:

Are salespeople born or made? Many people believe they are born. "It's in the DNA," some claim, "so why should I try to improve if I wasn't born with it?" Or, "Tony's a great salesperson -- must've been born that way." But that's both an easy way out of self responsibility and a trap. "It's easy to believe that salespeople either have it or they don't," says Dr. Rosann Spiro, former chairperson of the American Marketing Association. "But the research shows that salespeople improve with practice and experience, with average performers improving the most." The suggestion that some people are top performers because "they had it from the get go" and they are just "fulfilling their destiny" is a misconception that fails to recognize that top performers needed to learn and grow along the way. If you want the most out of the best, don't fall into this most common sales trap. Sales people are developed, and it takes them time to develop.

Potential is interesting, but performance is everything:

What do salespeople do to improve? Studies have established, after observing thousands of successful salespeople and many top performers, there is a common denominator among them. Improvement came to all of them because they did one or more of the following:

  • Analyzed what went right or wrong on the sales call.
  • Participated in company sales training programs which provided reinforcement and feedback from their sales managers.
  • Received constructive criticism well.
  • Took part in simulated role play of sales situations with a manager, mentor or colleague. Top salespeople are good at "thought process" and "thought link" development, which is the ability to link one issue to another in a sales call or other customer conversation.
Salespeople need to be able to think quickly on their feet. Thinking enables them to better understand their customers' problems and link them to a solution. It is clear that few of the top salespeople would have achieved success without training and development along the way.

Copyright 2008, 2009, 2010 / Mr. Roger & (PLR) Reprinted with Permission.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm a mother and a child.
What happens when my mother turns into a child?
I become her parent as well.

My mother has reached the next-to-last stage of renal failure.
One more number to go, before the choice of renal dialysis.
She's 83 years old. She's had a very sad journey since my father's death 10 years ago.
She's lonely and unhappy.

In 2008, my mother lost her job with the City of Union town. Our town filed for bankruptcy. At the time, many city employees lost their job. She was a school-crossing guard at a local middle school, and the last one laid off. She loved the responsibility of her children's safety. She raced anxiously to work. Anxious to check on them. And, each night's phone call would always relay the tales of each child.

After she was laid off, the only time I sensed joy in her was when she visited my daughter, Suni, and my son-in-law, Ed. She flies out each year to avoid the freezing winters in PA. She has a splendid time. Someone to talk with several times a day. Marines coming by to visit Ed. Suni loves to cook and makes an incredible feast for them each night. There's also cable, so she can watch her fill of Lifetime, Hallmark, and the Food Network.

I also prepare myself for when she returns, because she becomes depressed and sad again. This depression and sadness manifests itself through an increase of digestive issues. Usually the month or two after she returns, she is admitted to the hospital. Dehydration, abdominal pain, and "unknown origin" for diarrhea, etc.

This last return in May has been no different. I could see it coming, too. No amount of cautionary words made a difference. Ten days ago, I urged her to make an appointment with her PCP. I used to work for her PCP, so she gets appointments immediately!

"No, she exclaimed, I'm ok. If I don't feel any better in a few days, we'll call the doctor." Days came; days ended. Still not much improvement. I know that I must approach her calmly. I won't take over the reins, because I know it's best for people to main control for as long as possible.

Today, I finally convinced her to allow me to call the doctor. Unfortunately, he's on vacation until this coming Tuesday. Now we are trying the infamous B.R.A.T diet to get through this weekend.

I do not look forward to the day I have to take control of the reins. It will eventually come, however; no matter how much I delay it. Her safety and health are more important than egos, or the quest for control.

It's the final dignity I can allow her.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I "got" it, as we used to state.

When I lived in San Francisco, I took part of several highly-enlightening programs. Such is the wonderful life in California. So much to experience!

One of my favorites was "est" (Erhardt Seminar Training). EST's main concept was no one, but you, are responsible for your destiny.

I "got" it, as we used to state.

This was a very simple concept to learn and embody. I lived this for many years. I was happy, successful, non-judgmental, and peaceful. A very esoteric Californian existence.

When I relocated back to my hometown in Pennsylvania, however, this was a concept no one could understand or appreciate. Instead, I began to feel: perfect misfit, fits in nowhere. I would explain my feelings to friends and family. That only served to make them suspicious of me and my beliefs/experiences.

In order to "fit in", most of my enlightened training slowly disappeared from me. From my core. From my sense of happiness and fulfillment. I hid the real SAM to be accepted. With my recent journey towards full Illumination, I have brought back the essence of SAM. I feel stronger and invincible.

Each day brings a new joy of wonderment. A joy of being at peace with myself.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Starting an Online Business"

Relevant Stuff Guest Author...

Would you like to make enough to quit your daytime job from an online home business? But how do you get started?

-by Mr. Roger

Don't feel bad, that is where many people were years ago but have since learned what is important and what isn't...but only after buying $1,000's of eBooks, software etc, etc... And being chained to the computer for 10-14 hours every day, including Sundays, and tearing their hair out and losing their health...ensure to get up and walk around each and every hour. There is a much better way!

Following the critical step of learning how to turn on a computer, then eventually delving into to trying to figure out what kind of website to design and subsequently.

We all went awry back then Internet Marketing was the prime focus for a market to attack. But please don't do it! You'll find yourself swallowed up by 1,000's of whales... as in very large animals that are called 'guru's or marketing experts. You will find a heap of competition in Internet Marketing and your life will be one of heavy frustration in trying to best these guru's. They have the money, savvy and extra help to make superior products and know how to promote them. In addition they conspired with each other in a joint venture, which isn't necessarily an evil thing but many times it is. Aren't you tired of seeing the same email ad from 30 different marketers?

Suggestion is to research an easy to work with a program to design a web site. There are free ones and with a little effort you will be on your way to creating simple but effective web sites. In fact, you don't have to start with a web site; you can just start with a blog. Use the cpanel of your domain and Fantastica to start with Word press blogs. Google loves blogs and indexes them faster than a web site.

Finally, ensure you select a niche market that has some monthly searches and has under 100,000 results. You can do this manually or use other tools that might cost a bit. I have a list of these tools on the page below.

Whatever you do, ensure you stay focused and don't get distracted or some other b.s. If I had to start over again I would concentrate on one thing...Focus! I believe that is the downfall of most online marketers, they go from one thing to another, thinking that they must have this new program, software or membership program. Stick with one project until it's either a success or flop.

Spend a few bucks and most importantly get to work.

Lastly, ensure you aren't spending the grocery money, and if not, this work at home will be very exciting. Believe me, you won't regret it!

Copyright 2008, 2009, 2010 / Mr. Roger & (PLR) Reprinted with Permission.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

These Days, a Woman’s Place is in the Home...Office

Recently released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau found that of the nation’s 16.6 million businesses, about 49 percent are home-based, with about 56 percent of those being women-owned ventures. Now, more than ever, women small business owners are leading the trend when it comes to owning and operating a business from the home.

But how do smart women business owners manage to stay on top of day-to-day logistical operations while increasing the breadth and scope of their business? They make the most of their time. They make the most of tools offered to them. And, they make it all happen from their home headquarters.

In 2003, I began my home-business journey when downsized out of a well-paying hospital job. Looking to beginning a new career, I thought I'm intelligent and a hard worker. I'll simply follow an ad to begin working at home. Shouldn't be too hard, right ? I tried a few "promising" programs. They all came crashing down. Having no training in MLMs, the programs I chose were not successful.

A good friend suggested I begin marketing real estate with her. Then, the bottom fell out of the real estate market. Next, we began marketing REO portfolios. Spending 20 hours per day on my computer, and making no money was crazy. So, I began the search for traditional employment.

Once I had a steady paycheck, however, the thoughts of working from home and being my own boss were too compelling to ignore. No longer would I be at the whim of my bosses. I wanted to be my own boss.

My next move was into social networking sites. I made some fantastic friendships and belonged to 70+ of them. I learned more about MLM's and advertising. I watched and listened. My next forays were more successful. But, never enough to support myself full time.

A close friend explained that I needed to brand myself. Not exactly sure how to do that, I placed my trust in him. Thus, begins another exciting journey ! I'm challenged, stimulated, and motivated to become one of the 56 percent women-owned ventures.