Wednesday, November 30, 2016

10 Ways to Improve Your Resume

A resume is more than just a list of past jobs. It’s your personal marketing tool, and usually the only way to secure an interview. Because so much rests on the effectiveness of a resume, it’s critical that you send a resume that works hard for you. The following tips will help you create a more powerful resume.

1. Pull them in.
Use keywords that stand out and bring attention to your abilities and accomplishments.


2. Prove it.
Don’t list responsibilities. List results. Show how you benefited your previous employers in concrete terms all companies understand: increased revenue, better productivity, lower expenses, faster production.


3. Simplify – but don’t omit.
Keep your resume simple and to the point, but don’t sacrifice content for length. The traditional
wisdom is that a resume should only be one page long, but this is increasingly antiquated advice.
While your resume may fit on one page, don’t be worried if you have to continue on a second page.


4. Submit the right resume.
If you are applying to five different positions, you should have five different versions of your résumé. Each one should be tailored to show why you are the best candidate for that particular job.


5. Use appropriate language.
Never speak of yourself in the first person (i.e. “I closed 20 sales daily”). Instead use sentences like
“Managed 20 direct mail campaigns.” And try to begin with an action verb such as Managed, Organized, Oversaw, Coordinated, etc.


6. Doubel check your sspelling.
If your resume contains misspelled words, you are almost guaranteed to not get an interview. Don’t
rely on spell check, either. Print your resume and read it out loud. If something doesn’t sound right
to you, it won’t sound right to an HR manager, either.


7. Keep it current.
Update your resume at least once every six months. That way, when you really need a current resume it will be there.


8. Don’t waste space.
Telling the reader that “References Are Available Upon Request” is a waste of space. This is a common practice, so potential employers know you’ll provide references if they ask for them.


9. Don’t get too personal.
Leave out personal information such as your age, sex, height, and hobbies. And don’t include a picture of yourself. The content should pertain to your experience and qualifications. Period.


10. Monitor your results.
Is your resume working? Is it producing interviews? If not, you may want to consider seeking professional assistance.


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10 Ways to Improve Your Resume

A resume is more than just a list of past jobs. It’s your personal marketing tool, and usually the only way to secure an interview. Because so much rests on the effectiveness of a resume, it’s critical that you send a resume that works hard for you. The following tips will help you create a more powerful resume.

1. Pull them in.
Use keywords that stand out and bring attention to your abilities and accomplishments.


2. Prove it.
Don’t list responsibilities. List results. Show how you benefited your previous employers in concrete terms all companies understand: increased revenue, better productivity, lower expenses, faster production.


3. Simplify – but don’t omit.
Keep your resume simple and to the point, but don’t sacrifice content for length. The traditional
wisdom is that a resume should only be one page long, but this is increasingly antiquated advice.
While your resume may fit on one page, don’t be worried if you have to continue on a second page.


4. Submit the right resume.
If you are applying to five different positions, you should have five different versions of your résumé. Each one should be tailored to show why you are the best candidate for that particular job.


5. Use appropriate language.
Never speak of yourself in the first person (i.e. “I closed 20 sales daily”). Instead use sentences like
“Managed 20 direct mail campaigns.” And try to begin with an action verb such as Managed, Organized, Oversaw, Coordinated, etc.


6. Doubel check your sspelling.
If your resume contains misspelled words, you are almost guaranteed to not get an interview. Don’t
rely on spell check, either. Print your resume and read it out loud. If something doesn’t sound right
to you, it won’t sound right to an HR manager, either.


7. Keep it current.
Update your resume at least once every six months. That way, when you really need a current resume it will be there.


8. Don’t waste space.
Telling the reader that “References Are Available Upon Request” is a waste of space. This is a common practice, so potential employers know you’ll provide references if they ask for them.


9. Don’t get too personal.
Leave out personal information such as your age, sex, height, and hobbies. And don’t include a picture of yourself. The content should pertain to your experience and qualifications. Period.


10. Monitor your results.
Is your resume working? Is it producing interviews? If not, you may want to consider seeking professional assistance.


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10 Ways to Go Green

1. Plant a garden. Plants are so beneficial. They purify the air and produce oxygen biznillah. They are good, healthy eats. They also have a calming effect on people. So use your yard to plant an organic garden. If you don’t have a yard, then plant a small garden on the roof of your apartment building (ask your landlord first though), or in a window planter or in a planter pot.

2. Collect rain water for your garden. Rainwater is so much better for plants. Tap water contains chlorine and also is not the right pH for plants. For optimum plant growth, use rain water. This will also save you on your water bill.


3. Reduce the amount of garbage that you produce. Buy products which contain less packaging, such as You also pay more for packaging, and it is just going in the garbage. So make a conscious effort to buy groceries and products with less packaging. Also patronize companies when they come out with a greener product. For instance, recently Sunchips came out with the first compostable plant based plastic chip bag. Companies need to be financially rewarded when they do something that is good for the planet, so that other companies will follow suit. Think about the big picture when you shop. Also, try using those cloth shopping bags when you shop.


4. Reuse as much stuff as possible. Re-use your water bottles again by refilling them. You will reduce the amount of garbage and also save money. Also, if you can’t use something, like your old baby stuff, try selling it cheap so someone else can use it or try giving it to someone for free instead of tossing it. Two websites, http://Freecycle.com and http://Craigslist.com are a great way to get rid of bigger items.


5. Recycle paper, cardboard, aluminum cans and yard waste instead of throwing it in the garbage can. When you buy groceries, use paper bags as paper is much easier and kinder to the planet to recycle than plastic.


6. Use non-toxic and natural cleaners as much as possible. For example, greenworks cleaning products are a really great price and they contain 95% natural plant and mineral based biodegradeable ingredients. Greenworks products work very well at cleaning, and they are so light on your hands, you don’t even have to wear gloves while doing the dishes. Here is a website that offers tips on how to clean green:
http://greenliving.about.com/od/greenathome/tp/natural_cleaning_products_kit.htm


7. Buy high efficiency major appliances. They may have a higher purchase price, but they will save you money in the long run by reducing your energy and water bills. Compare the energy guide labels when purchasing appliances.


8. Choose a new toilet that saves water. Consider buying a dual flush toilet which has two flush settings, so you can use less water for #1. If you really, really want to go green, then consider buying a composting toilet!


9. Try carpooling. If you are going to the same place as your neighbor, then coordinate times and take turns driving. You will find your errands to be more pleasant as you get to know and spend time with your neighbors. Or even if you just want to buy a few quick items from the grocery store, and your neighbor is going anyway, ask her to pick them up while she is at the store anyways and you can do the same for her some time. Do the same for small errands like going to the post office. Taking turns helping each other out will save you time and energy and will be great for the planet and your social life too.


10. Teach your kids to go green too. Ask your kids to help you in your efforts to save the planet. You will be surprised how much they can do. This is a great opportunity to spend time with your kids and influence the next generation. Remember, the Earth is going to be in their hands in the future if God wills, so train them well.


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10 Ways to Be Irresistibly Employable

Despite major changes in unemployment rates over the last five years, potential employees have more prospects than ever thanks to the Internet and technology. With a few minor tweaks, one can get out of the unemployment line and become employable for life. Here are 10 ways to make oneself irresistibly employable to make anyone’s glass overflow with options.

1) Polish Your Language Skills.


The Internet, cellular telephones, and cable television has made the world accessible to everyone. Most people studied at least one other language besides their own in grade school. Your second language may be a little dusty but taking the time to polish it will increase your marketability. This may mean taking an immersion course through your local college continuing education program or community college classes. Language CDs such as Rosetta Stone have proven to be quite helpful as well. CDs are also available free through your local library.


Being able to communicate with other cultures can greatly increase your job prospects. Even if you can only read and comprehend another language, add that to your curriculum vitae. Just be honest and say if you speak some of that language or if you are fluent. If you spent anytime in another country, you may be fluent in the language as well as understanding the culture.


Don’t overlook summer camp or a summer school program you did 20 years prior. It helps.


2) Improve Your Communication Skills.


Many positions today involve presentations. If that is the case for you, consider polishing your public speaking skills by taking a Dale Carnegie course or Toastmasters. Being able to speak in front of a group comfortably and concisely can greatly differentiate you from the pack. Everyone in marketing and sales should consider this option and find a way to practice their speaking skills.


Get a copy of your speaking engagement on DVD whenever possible. Upload a portion of an impressive presentation on YouTube or Vimeo and include it in your profile page.


3) Improve your Computer Skills.


Almost everything is handled electronically these days. If you are not computer efficient, take a class at your local library to get better acquainted with the technology that will never go away. It’s now a way of life. Most local libraries offer free classes for PowerPoint, Excel, and MS Word. Call and schedule an appointment for a class. Most presentations are done in PowerPoint today. If you are in sales, marketing, advertising, or engineering, you will likely need to present in PowerPoint some day. Learn it.


4) Consider freelance assignments.


Most people prefer stability and are seeking long-term employment. Many employers don’t want to commit to people in the second or third chapter of their career. However, sometimes your experience is worth getting their attention. But if you’ve only worked for one or two companies that perhaps no longer exist, you may need more referrals and current experience. Companies worldwide are searching for you. Connect with them on credible sites as freelancer.com, elance.com, and 99designs.com. Select job assignments that compliment your skills. Tell them how much you will charge to complete the assignment. Wait to see which ones select you. It’s a great way to stay active, get paid, network, and meet potential long-term employers and start-ups. Many people have worked with start-ups and received a better title and greater long-term prospects. See what works best for you.


5) Purchase Your Own Website Domain.


Having your own website domain and setting up a website to compile your profile (YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, articles, press releases) makes it easier for prospects to get to know you and review your qualifications.


6) Update Your Social Media Profile.


Keep your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook pages current. Even if it’s only once a week or monthly, be sure you include something that shows you’re still in the game. It shows that you are connected and relevant.


7) Volunteer.


Volunteering at events in your industry or a charity event that is close to your heart is a great way to meet prospects. Be efficient and courteous.


Get the speakers to their seats or podium on time. Make them feel at ease. When you are there for them in the middle of what can be a chaotic event, you have their attention. Briefly introduce yourself. Give them your business card or ask for theirs. Let them know you are familiar with their work and respect what they do. Make it easy for them to get in touch with you. Follow up within a week of the event. Keep it brief, concise, and cordial.


8) Update our Business Card.


Don’t send out business cards with crossed out numbers and handwriting. If your phone number or email has changed, get new cards. Places as Vistaprint.com offer affordable business cards with prompt delivery. If you have more time and a bigger budget, visit your local printer. Include your website if you have one, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook page. You don’t have to include all social media sites. Just include the ones that best reflect who you are and where you wish to be.


Do not include the site you use to show silly pictures and jokes with close friends and family. Don’t use any silly childish names or descriptions like BigDaddy or MsThang for your email. Be sure your email address is either your name or describes what you do.


9) Take a Continuing Education Course.


Take a class that balances you and adds value to your brand. Regardless of your trade skills, take a business and/or accounting class. It will greatly enhance your creative approach to presenting your personal brand. If you design software or hardware, learn the latest programs.


10) Get spiritual reinforcement.


Being unemployed can be a scary time. Many people second guess their skill set. Often times, it’s just temporary. Use the time for reflection and polishing your skills. However, if you go around sounding defeated, thinking your time has past, you may only be deflecting prospects.


Visit your local church. Speak to your pastor. Listen to spiritual CDs and watch a good service online as a daily part of your personal development program.


When you attend your church in person, you will often find someone willing to pray with you and for you. This will feed you in ways you never knew you previously needed yet everyone does. With renewed confidence and perspective, you will present your personal brand in a positive way that will greatly benefit all with whom you com in contact.


Your new profile is an inside-out job. Your polished skills will be current and attractive to prospects. Now let them know who you are and where to find you. The fish always bite good bait. Just be patient, confident, and persistent. Your next job is on its way to you. Be ready and grab it when it comes.


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10 Ways to Help Stop Global Warming

Global warming is an issue, for many of us, as seeming to be to big of a problem for any single person to handle. Its that response that makes it such a difficult problem to solve. As individuals, only then can we truly make a difference in our current crisis. By educating ourselves, our children and others, we take on the challenges needed to change our lifestyles to better suit our needs and our planets needs. By leading the way ourselves and taking the first steps, either politically or socially, each of us can make a difference that counts not only for our planet, but also our wallets.

Below you will find practical steps that reduce the impact we have on our natural world around us. As we use these ideas in our lives, we not only attribute to the health of mother nature, but we are also making our lives better in the process. Using less fuel and energy saves us money. Driving less by biking and walking improves our health. Eating organic and locally grown food reduces pesticides and fertilizers, and the fuel used to harvest and transport mass produced goods are reduced. All the aspects of these steps saves and heals all of us as well as leaving a sustainable planet for our grandchildren to come.


Energy efficient lighting


One of the simplest ways to reduce your energy needs is to replace all your regular incandescent light bulbs with super efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s). Of course, incandescents are much cheaper than fluorescents, but the cost upfront will pay for itself over time, due to the fact that CFL’s last 10 times longer than incandescents and use 66% less energy. You can buy CFL’s at most hardware stores, and due to their increasing popularity, have begun to decrease in price.


Energy efficient appliances


Lets face it, unless your rich, your just not going to buy new appliances. But keep in mind, that old refrigerator in the garage thats just cooling a 6 pack of beer, could be turned off and save yourself a few $100 a year. Use your microwave more often if you only need to heat small items. Turning on the stove to heat up water can be easier and cheaper in the microwave. Use large appliances such as the dishwasher or dryer at night during off peak hours to save money and more energy. Phantom loads drain power during non use. The VCR clock is a phantom load. Even though the VCR is off, the power is still being drawn for the display. Hook up phantom load appliances to a timer or power bar, and turn them off at night.
If in fact you are looking to buy new appliances, energy star appliances have the best energy ratings. For information on the newest energy saving appliances, visit www.energystar.gov


Heat and cool more efficiently

Heating and cooling your home accounts for 45% of your total energy usage. Thats almost half of your energy consumption. By simply turning down your thermostat 2 degrees in winter and 2 degrees up in the summer, can add up to real energy savings over time. By upgrading to a digital programmable thermostat, your can program the thermostat to go off during hours when its not needed, such as when you’re at work or school, or as you sleep at night. By adding insulation to your walls, attic spaces, and crawl space, your energy efficiency goes up and less power is used.


Conserve hot water


Your energy usage can be reduced further, by limiting your hot water usage. Check your hot water heaters temperature, and set it below 120 degrees or at a lower temperature. Insulated the area your water heater is in also. You can use low flow restrictive shower heads to save on hot water usage. Wash clothes in warm or cold water, rather than hot lowers your bills and energy consumption as well. Remember when buying those appliances, front loading dishwashers are much more efficient than top loading machines for conserving hot water.


Energy efficient computers


Turning your computers to a more efficient mode, helps to conserve power. Whether at home or work, turning your computer to hibernate mode or low power mode conserves a considerable amount of money and energy. Up to 70% of the power a computer uses is wasted by idling. Upgrading to a laptop from a desktop can change your efficiency by 90%. Also switching to an ink jet printer from a laser printer can save you another 90%


Performing an energy audit


The average home in America uses around $1500 per year on energy, and with a few well thought out ideas and upgrades, can save around $450 or more. Doing an energy audit can show you the areas of your home that are consuming the most power. It also shows you where in your home the most energy is wasted. You can do your own energy audit by getting information and tools on-line at : www.energyguide.com


Switch to green power


Renewable power has long been known as the key to reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. As more and more people use the sun and wind for energy, the cost in buying solar equipment and the like will decrease. Although the price is still high, their are large tax breaks and grants for funding that are available from the government. If your not able to afford a solar upgrade like most of us, there is an alternative. In many regions, the local power utility can contract to receive energy from more Eco- friendly sources. The cost may be higher, but as more and more people elect to use these ways, the prices will go down. For more information on the subject go on-line to: www.epa.gov/greenpower. If green power is not available in your area you can also buy tradeable renewable energy certificates (TRC’s) For more information visit www.green-e.org.


Drive less


Around 30% of all carbon dioxide emissions come from vehicles that transport us, and transport our goods and services. More than 90% of this travel is by car. While fuel efficiency has declined in the past 10 years, gas prices have risen and created a new market for more efficient cars. As the government sets tighter restrictions on fuel economy, and the demand for fuel efficiency grows, the scenario sets it self for us to buy and create hybrid vehicles and electric cars. Reduce the numbers of hours in the car by biking and walking more. Consolidating all of your trips into one trip throughout the week, or use mass transit. If you can save 20 miles a week, then you just saved the earth about 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year.


Drive smarter

By changing some driving habits, you can save on fuel economy. Avoid driving during rush hour if possible. By wasting less time sitting in traffic you save on all that gas spent idling. Drive the speed limit. A cars fuel efficiency drops sharply over 55 mph. Keep your car in top order. A clean air filter and properly inflated tires on a well serviced car will save big at the pump. Drive with the windows up at high speeds can save more over time to.


Reduce air travel

Not everyone flies, but if your a frequent flyer then taking two or more flights less a year can seriously reduce emissions. If you don’t fly, but drive for vacations, try taking them closer to home. By driving less, and using mass transit such as a train or bus, can save greatly on traveling expenses as well as the environment. If you must fly, then your alternative is buying carbon offsets in exchange for the emissions spent. For information on carbon offsets contact: www.betterworldclub.com


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10 Ways to Enjoy Animals Without Actually Owning a Pet

Animals can be adorable and amusing. Pets may be precious, but owning a domesticated animal is usually a lifetime commitment – at least for the life of the animal. What if you’re not in a position to take that step?


Pet care is expensive and may be cost-prohibitive at this point. A family member may be allergic to most animals. Maybe your schedule will not allow you to set aside the time you would need to care for a pet in your own home.


If you love creatures, but are not ready to take on the long-term responsibility of adding a pet to your family, what can you do?


Here are 10 ways to spend time with creatures without signing up for a permanent pet relationship.


1. Visit the zoo.


Does your city have a public zoo? How about an aquarium or wildlife preserve? Many such facilities offer opportunities for firsthand animal interactions.


2. Go to a petting farm.


Take a drive into the country, and find a farm that invites visitors. Pat a bunny, feed a goat, and stroke a pony’s mane. Who knows? You might even find a mother cat with baby kittens to nuzzle.


3. Stop in at a dog park.


Local dog exercise areas are great spots for enjoying sunny hours, particularly if you like watching pets frolic outdoors. Just watch your step, and ask owners before reaching out to pat their dogs.


Parks can also be ideal locations for bird-watching. Grab your binoculars before you head outdoors.


4. Play virtual pet games online.


Internet gaming sites abound. Those little computerized cyber animals may have seemed like kooky gadgets in their time. Now, even Facebook boasts pet play for humans. FarmVille, Happy Pets, Pet Society, Safari Kingdom, and ZooTopia are prime examples of applications that encourage users to practice caring for animals. Even the most pet-allergic individuals can role-play pet ownership by playing along.


5. Rent a pet.


Yes, it really is possible in some cities of the world to rent domesticated animals. This may sound like a crazy concept, but folks do test the proverbial waters of pet ownership by participating in this practice. Pet rentals have lost popularity in recent years, although this option may be available in certain locations.


6. Be a pet sitter.


Like valued babysitters, caring pet sitters can be of considerable value in many neighborhoods. If you have the time and inclination to care for others’ creatures, visiting pet care can offer a great way to satisfy your own hankering for animal interactions.


Feeding, watering and exercising pets for friends, family members, or even a growing number of animal-friendly clients can also be a super means of generating extra income.


7. Volunteer in an animal shelter.


Pet rescue, animal adoption and shelter facilities frequently call for extra assistance. Non-profit animal welfare organizations almost always welcome enthusiastic volunteers to help with administrative and pet care tasks.


8. Work as a dog walker.


Daily dog walking is an increasingly popular form of freelancing for fitness-minded animal lovers. Are you a power walker? Why not stroll with a leashed dog or two? You might even make a few bucks while exercising the hounds.


9. Apply for a job at a veterinary clinic or pet practice.


If you really love animals, perhaps a career in pet care is for you. Veterinary medical practices are staffed with licensed animal doctors, but they also hire veterinary technicians, cleaning crews, office help, and more.


Additional pet-related careers include jobs in pet grooming, pet supply centers, and pet stores.


10. Sign up to be a pet foster home.


Here’s the acid test for those who may be considering acquiring pets. Pet rescue and adoption organizations perennially seek individuals and families who are willing to offer foster homes to animals awaiting permanent placements.


With a little creature-aimed creativity, animal lovers can find ways to connect with cats, dogs, birds, and other pets without committing to actual ownership.


More from this contributor:


Rent a Pet … Or Not


Seven Key Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Veterinarian for Your Pets


Pet Owners: Six Essentials to Leave with Dog Sitters


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10 Ways to Help Homeless Dogs

We would take in all the stray homeless dogs we find if we could. We can’t, but we can help the animal shelters and dog rescue groups that do by doing some or all of these ten things that will help homeless dogs.


Buy a Bed


Most animal shelters prefer to use a specific bed type for their homeless dogs and can always use new beds. Visit your local shelter to discover what type of bed is needed and buy a homeless dog a bed.


Collect Linens


With a full house and a steady stream of homeless visitors, there is always a need for gently used towels, blankets and sheets at shelters and rescue facilities. Networks with family and friends and gather up old linens from your closest and theirs to donate. Scour thrift shops and flea markets to find bargain linens to donate to homeless dogs too.


Recycle Old Toys


Even homeless dogs get bored with the same old toys, so recycle unused toys from your dog’s box or kids toy box (Frisbees, balls, etc.) to an animal shelter. Wash cloth toys in the washer and plastic toys in the dishwasher before donating.


Clip Food Coupons


The Sunday paper usually contains cents off coupons for dog food and treats. Clip them and donate to a local shelter or better yet, wait until the items go on sale and purchase them with the cents-off coupons and donate the dog food to the animal shelter.


Walk the Dog


Homeless dogs that are confined to animal shelters awaiting adoption rarely get enough exercise. This causes them to be overly excited when a potential adoptive parent comes for a visit and the needed connection between human and dog is not made and the dog remains homeless. Volunteer to walk a few homeless dogs in your spare time each week.


Improve Dog Manners


A well-behaved, command obedient dog will usually be adopted before an unruly dog. Spend a little time teaching an old dog a few new tricks in the manners department so he or she will have a greater chance of being adopted.


Foster a Homeless Dog


If you don’t have time to go to the dog, bring the dog to you. Consider sharing your home space and fostering a dog until a permanent home can be found.


Raise Money


If you don’t have time or money to help out with a homeless dog, can you do something to raise money for an animal shelter? A neighborhood dog wash, dog walk or doggie talent show can raise much needed money to help a local animal shelter.


Kids and Dogs


Kids and dogs go together, so enlist the aid of your kids to raise money to help a homeless dog. A kid’s penny drive done through their school class, ball team or Sunday School class can raise enough money to purchase a week’s supply of dog food at an animal shelter or rescue facility.


Blog About It


Harness the power of the internet blog and shine a spotlight on a different homeless dog each week in your blog. Include information about the animal shelter facility, their immediate needs and any upcoming fund raising events.


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10 Ways to Kill Boredom

Lying motionless on your couch? Counting the cracks in the ceiling? Here are ten things you can do when staring boredom in the face, and none of them involve checking your e-mail, your MySpace, your FaceBook, those gossip Web sites, or that dating site you belong to.

In no particular order:


1. Perform an act of community service.


If you have time on your hands and don’t know what to do with it, why not donate it to someone in need? Your local senior center, homeless shelter, food pantry, or animal rescue might be a good place to start. Maybe there is a community cleanup you can get involved in. Like the one you start when you go out and decide to clean up your immediate community.


2. Cook a nice meal.


I should really take my own advice on this one. Sandwiches, anyone?


3. Watch your favorite movie.


Nothing breaks the monotony for me better than kicking back and popping in “The Karate Kid,” despite the fact that I know pretty much every line. It’s like slipping on a favorite sweater.


4. Read a book.


There’s probably one you’ve been meaning to pick up for the last few months. Or one you’d like to read again. So rather than click “Get Mail” 17 times in 20 minutes and hope for something new, open up a good book and get lost in another world.


5. Make a to-do list of short-term goals.


It often feels like there’s not enough time to look past right now, or later today. But if you’re bored, you clearly have time, so why not make a list of things you’d like to accomplish in the near future?


6. Clean out your closet and drawers.


This may not sound like fun, but it actually is kind of refreshing once you get into it, and the feeling you have at the end is worth it. Throw away all your clutter, get organized, and donate those pants you haven’t worn in six years to Good Will.


7. Load music onto your i-Pod or MP3 player.


Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a good way to spend your time that doesn’t involve reading up on Britney Spears’ latest mishap.


8. Call or write that person you’ve been meaning to call or write.


There’s always that one person you know you need to get in touch with but never seem to get around to contacting. “I’m so busy,” you say. “I don’t have time.” Well now that you have time, get in touch. They’ll be glad you did, and you’ll thank yourself afterwards.


9. Work Out


Always a good choice when you’re feeling a little sluggish. Pass the time and perfect your physique in one swift motion.


10. Take a Walk


Sometimes it’s just nice to get out and take a look at what’s around you. Exercise and nature are cool.


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10 Ways to Improve Your Sales Percentage

Have you ever wondered if you are sales are converting at their maximum? Maybe you could be doing better, but what can improve your sales percentage. These 10 reasons could be costing you sales.

1. You don’t make people feel safe when they order. Remind people that they are ordering through a secure server. Tell them you won’t sell their e-mail address and all their information will be kept confidential.


2. You don’t make your ad copy attractive. Your ad lists features instead of benefits. The headline does not attract your target audience. You don’t list any testimonials or guarantees included in your ad copy.


3. You don’t remind people to come back and visit. People usually don’t purchase the first time they visit. The more times they visit your site, the greater the chance they will buy. The most effective way is to give them a free subscription to your e-zine.


4. You don’t let people know anything about your business. They will feel more comfortable if they know who they are buying from. Publish a section called “About Us” on your web site. Include your business history, profile of employees, contact information etc.


5. You don’t give people as many ordering options as possible. Accept credit cards, checks, money orders, and other forms of electronic payments. Take orders by phone, e-mail, web site, fax, mail, etc.


6. You don’t make your web site look professional. You want to have your own domain name. Your web site should be easy to navigate through. The graphics should be related to the theme of your web site.


7. You don’t let people read your ad before they get your freebie. When you use free stuff to lure people to your web site include it below your ad copy or on another web page. If you list the freebie above your ad they may never look to see what you’re selling.


8. You don’t attract the target audience that would buy your product or service. A simple way to do this is to survey your existing customers to see what attracted them to buy. This information will help you improve your target marketing and advertising.


9. You don’t test and improve your ad copy. There are many people who write an ad copy and never change it. You have to continually test and improve your ad copy to get the highest possible response rate.


10. You don’t give people any urgency to buy now. Many people are interested in your product but they put off buying it till later and eventually forget about it. Entice them to buy now with a freebie or discount and include a deadline date when the offer ends.


Maximizing your sales is essential to your business. There are many way you can increase your sales, but there are also things that will hurt your sales. Follow these 10 tips to help you avoid losing sales.


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10 Ways to Hear What God is Saying to You

Have you ever wondered what God is saying to you? Many people feel as if they can’t hear God and as a result they walk around aimless, clueless, and lost. You can tell people that know they’ve heard God because they’re doing what He said to do. Some hear and are in denial of what He said, so they act as if they’re deaf and need clarity. There are those people that are new to hearing the voice of God and actually want to know how you do it. Let me help you with these few steps:

1. Learn to listen to God through instinct


Sometimes instinct is God’s way of telling you something. If you sense you should do a thing, then you should probably do that thing, as long as that thing lines up with Scripture. You may be out running errands and you believe you should take a different route home… that can be God telling you to take another route home instead of the normal way. Even if you don’t see any tangible construction or danger ahead, sometimes it’s good to follow your instinct.


2. Learn to listen to God through the Scripture


The Scripture is what God has already said. He’s not going to say anything that’s contrary to what He has said previously. God is not schizophrenic, hypocritical or confused. He is true to the things He’s said before, and will say them again if need be.


3. Learn to listen to God through prayer


Prayer is communication with God. You talk to God, and God talking to you. You have to make time for Him to talk to you. Often times we talk to God and dump our requests on Him and then go about our business and God is ready to say something back to us. You don’t talk to anyone else like that, so give Him the courtesy of speaking as well.


4. Learn to listen to God through nature


God made the earth and everything in it. It has the ability to speak to us in a way that people cannot. God’s creation speaks of power and might and stability and many other attributes. Sometimes it’s great to just take a trip to a place where you know you’ll get peace and quiet and reflect and enjoy nature. You can look out into the ocean and get answers to some of life’s hardest questions without asking a thing.


5. Learn to listen to God through observation


Watch the world around you and you will see what God is saying. As you’re watching, follow tip #3 and pray about what you see. It’s not always about what’s on the surface but there’s usually an underlying thing God wants you to notice, especially if you see a trend happening. God operates in patterns, so be aware of patterns going on around you, whether it’s good or bad… God may be trying to tell you something.


6. Learn to listen to God through other people


Sometimes God uses other people to talk to you. It may not be deep or revelatory or even profound, but something you hear may trigger a chain of thoughts that helps you in some profound way. This is another reason why you shouldn’t tune people out when they’re talking to you. Learn to pay attention even to the most annoying or obnoxious of people, they may be the person God is talking to you through.


7. Learn to listen to God through your thoughts


Sometimes your thoughts are God talking to you. If your thoughts do not line up with what God has said in Scripture then this is not the case. That’s why it’s important to be knowledgeable of Scripture, to be able to tell what’s Him and what’s not. So much gets placed in your mind on a daily basis that it takes someone well-able to sort out the other voices to tell which one is His. People are often confused about their thoughts – if it’s them, the devil, or God. What God would say would not go against anything He has already said, remember that. Learn how to sort through the inner voices; it will make it much easier to recognize His voice.


8. Learn to listen to God through your dreams


Sometimes your dreams are where God talks to you through. It’s good to have pen and paper in case this is the avenue God chooses to talk to you through. There are times when you’re so groggy the next morning that you may not even remember the dream. When possible if you believe you’ve heard God speak to you through the night, the first thing you do is to write it down when you get up. Not all dreams are from God, but some might be. Trust your instinct with this (tip #1).


9. Learn to listen to God through children


Children have the purest form of expression and are usually the most honest people you’ll ever meet. I’ve had children say things that blew my mind and really made me think about things. Sometimes I even hear God in my child and he’s not even two years old yet. It may just be as simple as, “lighten up and have some fun man! You are too stressed out and you’re missing out on life.”


10. Learn to listen to God through what you’re saying


This one has happened to me many times. Sometimes you’re talking to someone else, and then you say something that catches you off guard. Has that ever happened to you? Where you said something so profound it amazed even you? You and the person you’re talking to are just sitting there like, “whoa, say that again!” And you wish you had it on tape somewhere so you could replay it exactly. Learn to listen to your own words, because at times what God is trying to say to you… the thing you’ve been praying about and wanting answers for… that still small voice that you need to hear… is coming out of your own mouth when you least expect it.


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10 Ways to Keep Your Cats Healthy and Cool in the Heat

I have two cats and always worry about them in the summer. I never know if they are cool enough. I can’t take them for a dip in the pool and they are stuck with one furry outfit. Here are 10 things I found to make them as comfortable as possible.

1. Fill their bowls


Make sure that your cat has plenty of water. Just like humans, pets need an increase in fluids when the temperature rises.


2. Water cooler


Make sure that the water you supply your kitty is cool all day long. Some ways do this include putting ice cubes in their water bowls or using an electronic water fountain that provides cool filtered water.


3. Shady living


Outdoor cats are usually good about finding cool, shady spots to lie in. You can try to provide some of those spots close to home with large, shady plants or tree.


4. Cool it down


Purina says indoor cats do their best to find cooler spots, like on tile floors or near drafty windows. Try to use an air conditioner, fans or open the windows while you’re home. When you’re not home, leave fans on if possible.


5. Batten down the hatches


If you live in a home or building that has more than one story, make sure that all your windows are secure. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says that many cats get injured from falling out of upper-story windows, which is also called “high-rise syndrome.”


6. Sunblock??


If you have a white cat, you may need to apply sunblock to their ears and nose. According to Kassidy Emmerson, white cats sunburn very easily. You can prevent this by restricting their sunbathing or applying sunscreen.


7. Too hot to handle


I know from personal experience that barbeques can be all too tempting for a feline. One cat I had growing up burned his paw pads jumping on a grill to get that yummy chicken. If you have an outdoor cat or a sneaky indoor one, make sure to keep a lid on your BBQ pit.


8. This little kitty stayed home


Traveling with a cat is usually a difficult task. Keep your cat at home unless absolutely necessary. All About Dogs and Cats cautions you not to leave your cat in the car. Within minutes, a car can reach temperatures dangerous for Mr. Whiskers.


9. Flee flea


It’s hard enough staying cool on a hot day. Having fleas, tick or mites biting you must make it impossible. Keep your cat pest free so they don’t have to make themselves hot scratching all day.


10. Know the signs


Read up on the signs for heatstroke and what you should do to help your cat.


References:


“ASPCA Offers Summer Safety Tips to Help Pets Beat the Heat,” ASPCA


Franny Syufy, “Help Your Cat Beat the Heat,” About.com


“Hot Weather Tips,” All About Dogs and Cats


“How Do I Keep My Cats Cool in Hot Weather?” Purina Cat Chow


Kassidy Emmerson, “Prevent Sunburn on Your White Cats,” Associated Content


“Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow Purifying Fountain,” Petco


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