Making a Difference…A Two-Sided Gift

If you’ve been tuned into any of the news these past couple of weeks and months, it’s nothing short of discouraging and a somber reminder of what the entire world is becoming…and it’s not pretty.

Making a DifferenceSome days I get so fed-up and emotional that I really should just throw the damn TV and radio out the window and forget about it.

But, I don’t. In a way it inspires me of what NOT to act like and too be a little bit kinder to those around me.

When I get to the point of joining in with the chaotic masses, I look for or read something uplifting to change my attitude.

This short Make a Difference video you’ll find below is one of those inspiring and revealing clips that reminds me of the “good” in the world that we don’t see or hear about too often anymore.

The media feeds us double – sometimes triple doses of garbage that litter our minds, however, that seems to be what most people can’t get enough of these days. The drama – the twisted stories of high profile people and all the pathetic reality shows…like we don’t have enough reality already. Getting a peak into other people’s disturbing lives somehow makes ours not seem so bad? Is that what it is?

Why don’t we want to gravitate to the positive acts of others…you know, the “good things.” Compassion – kindness – encouragement – love – understanding and patience.

Hopefully after viewing this video, “Make a Difference” you too will be reminded of how our actions can actually shape other people’s lives for the better using the above qualities.

In this video, how one teacher’s perception of a child turned into a lifetime of thanks and appreciation, while on the flip side, how one child’s traumatic experience taught his teacher the most important lesson ever…

The relationship these two people formed throughout their lives will definitely remind you of all that is good in our world. Let’s strive to keep it that way.

This is very moving…and it’s a true story.

Watch Make a Difference Video Now

Any thoughts? Leave them below…

Anyway, back to this inspiring video.

4 Halloween Controversies…What Do They Have in Common?

Halloween…a night that used to be set aside for kids to enjoy going house to house gathering candy, wearing fun or scary costumes to disguise themselves and a little touch of frightening fun.

Halloween ControversyI remember when I was little (mid 60’s to early 70’s)…looking forward to dressing up and heading out into the darkness, searching for the best candy to be dropped into my decorated pillow case and eating it for the next week or two.

We were watched by our parents and actually the entire neighborhood parents watched all of us. The porch lights were all lit and even the cops passed out pretzels while they slowly rode the streets, scanning for maybe a little vandalism…smashed pumpkins.

Halloween was definitely a night for fun back then.

Now it’s 2011 Halloween…what in the world has happened to such an innocent, fun, kids night out?

Halloween Controversy. Surprise, surprise!

Just like everything else these days, society has turned something good and wholesome into ridiculous opinions – being offensive or simply just not politically acceptable.

I was scanning the news clips and articles and found some interesting Halloween controversies;

1) Changing the Holiday from Oct.31st to Saturdays: (Article from The Week)

One lawmaker says it’s time to change tradition. Connecticut state Rep. Tim Larson (D) wants the state legislature to permanently designate the last Saturday in October as the night for trick-or-treating. He says that would make the holiday easier for parents, because they wouldn’t have to dash home from work when Halloween falls on a weekday. Plus, he says, Halloween is a $7 billion a year industry, so anything that makes it run more smoothly will create jobs.

My comment…

Create jobs? Wow…if that’s the best our government can do on the job front, we’re definitely in some serious, deep trouble.

Change tradition? I can’t for the life of me understand why some “lawmakers” want to change tradition. Sounds like it would just make it easier for him. They need to stick to the real issues facing our country instead of worrying about what day Halloween is celebrated.

Also, if parents would race home to get their kids dressed and out the door like my parents did, they just might consider this family time? Remember that? I wonder how my parents did it with 5 of us year after year.I didn’t realize I was putting them out…give me a break.

2) Costumes: “Sexy Anorexia” (CNN Health)

Anna Rexia.

The Anna Rexia costume features a black bodysuit style dress with a glittery, silk-screened skeleton print, bone headband, heart name tag, measuring tape ribbon belt, and the most shocking accessory of all – a matching measuring tape choker! We’re not sure if the costume manufacturer intended for the choker to be a pun.

Alicia Brockwell, told CNN that the designer is no longer with the company.

“We understand that some people will not find the dark humor funny,” said Brockwell. “Or that they are sensitive to the topic it addresses. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and would never want to cause harm to anyone. Dreamgirl is a company run by women for women. Halloween is an eccentric and irreverent holiday for people to express themselves in a myriad of ways. While some people may not like a particular costume – it is a matter of taste and personal discretion.”

My comment…

No parent in their right mind would put such a costume on one of their small daughters. Period.

3) Cedar Point Attraction:(Fox 8 News)

CLEVELAND—
The Ohio Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness is calling on Cedar Point to shut down the haunted Halloween attraction, “Dr. D. Mented Asylum for the Criminally Insane.”

It is a walk-though display that features scores of room, including one showing a skinless patient lying in agony on a gurney, a crazed woman in a mask and straight-jacket , and a man grimacing in pain, strapped to an electric chair.

“I would hope that they would close this ride,” Michael Baskin, the executive director of NAMI Cleveland said.

The organization believes showing people suffering from mental illness as demonic and deranged perpetuates negative, old-fashioned stereotypes and crosses the line.

“Taking advantage, in a way ,of a population that is in need of care and this is careless,” Baskin said.

Cedar Point Spokesman Robin Innes said the attractions do not portray reality and did not mean to offend anyone. Innes defended the haunted asylum display, saying people who visit the park know the displays don’t represent reality. “A lot of it originates from the old 50s movies. So, we are just giving a retro-effect on that and it’s not our intent to disrespect anybody with mental illness,” Innes said.

My comment…

This kind of thing has been around forever. Take the devil…many young kids portray this character by wearing a red suit of some sort and carrying a pitch fork. Or, dressing up like a hobo. Kids aren’t making fun of homeless people. In their innocent minds, it’s just a character…

4) Halloween Billboard Stirs Controversy On North Side « (CBS Pittsburgh)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As many as 70 billboards have gone up in the area promoting a place called the Haunted Hayloft.

It’s an attraction in Somerset County, where they re-enact a double-hanging that occurred there in the 1890′s.

But, one of the billboards on Perrysville Avenue on Pittsburgh’s North Side has its critics. The reason is the billboard shows a shadow-like figure hanging from a tree.

“I know that billboard is not representing Halloween and it’s in a neighborhood that is 99 percent black – right in front of project housing where there is no whites,” Brandon Humphrey told KDKA-TV. “I think it’s offensive.”

Other people say they didn’t see it that way.

“My honest reaction when I first saw it, I thought it was like a Halloween thing, but I could see how some people could take it the wrong way – they might take it racially when it’s not meant that way,” Angela Robins, a North Side resident, said.

“People need to grow up and realize it’s Halloween and stop taking stuff so serious,” Latonir Gray said.

My comment…

Listen. Can you see what these controversies have in common?

It’s no longer about our kids. It’s about adults taking what used to be a kids holiday and molding it into their own holiday however, screwing that up too.

Tell me, what holiday is “just for kids” anymore? Not Easter – Christmas – Halloween…

Can’t we let our kids be kids for a change without adults taking control? We’re cramming sex of all kinds and political views of all kinds down their throats at very early ages and now, taking away their innocent fun.

My final suggestion:

If adults want to play dress up for Halloween, do it on that “Saturday” that Democrat Tim Larson wants so badly and leave Oct.31st for trick-or-treat…For Kids Only.

Do you agree or disagree? Let us know below…

The Shoes Your Wearing Don’t Make the Man

In my younger days, I spent a lot of time in my room listening to music. Partly because I loved it so much but probably more important (looking back) it was an escape from being sick all the time.

The Shoes Your WearingI couldn’t always do the things that most kids were doing so I would put on my headphones, drift away and dream…

But one thing I realized; music, like laughter, can really cure many things. You can lose yourself in the words, adapting them to your life and current state of mind.

Some people like country – opera – hard rock – christian or rap, however, it doesn’t matter what your choice is. You can relate to the words – the tempo or both…but music can change your attitude, the way you see things or sometimes have a lesson you submerse yourself into that can even be a life changing event.

I have solved many of my problems listening to music since I can remember. Too me, it’s as if it was a spiritual kind of thing for lack of a better phrase.

I took many song’s words and adapted them to how I was feeling at that instant…

So what does this have to do with business?

Well, sometimes your first impression of someone is the point I want to bring home…

I knew of a guy who whenever I seen him was wearing a dirty – ripped up old t-shirt, jeans and gym shoes that looked like he had worn for many years. Too me, he was just an “average” man, working very hard for a living trying to make ends meet.

Until one day…I asked him where he was employed. My first impression was that he worked in a factory doing manual labor, working his tail off…

Yes, he did work in a so called factory. However, it was his. He owned it. This man with the ripped up – dirty shirt was actually a millionaire, doing what he loved creating wooden products from planters to a variety of wall decor.

You’d never know he was loaded…

I guess my point here is that when you meet someone for the first time, you just never know. The guy in the 3-piece suit could be in debt up to his ears, although the way he’s dressed screams money, while the dirty – jean wearing guy could have more money than you ever would dream possible.

Let’s now bring this post back to the music and lessons we can all learn;

Clint Black’s music video, “The Shoes You’re Wearing,” depicts the sentiment of what I’m posting…

The shoes you’re wearing, don’t make the man.

Just remember these words the next time someone approaches you in business offering you an opportunity. It honestly doesn’t matter what shoes he’s wearing…it’s the value of what he’s all about.

Don’t be quick to judge a man by the way he’s dressed…you might just miss that golden opportunity someday by doing so.

Recommendation: Listen to music when you can, really comprehending the words of the songs. There are hidden life lessons embedded that we can all learn from both personally and professionally.

“Keep your eyes opened – keep your mind free – there’s no telling what kind of man you can be…”

Enjoy!

How has music helped you? Leave a comment…

Deadly Internet Marketing Sins – #1

If you’re wanting to make money online, read the following short – deadly Internet marketing sin and give it some thought. This may be the answer of why you’re not having any online success up to this point.

Internet Marketing SinsMy first attempt at (offline) marketing was a really long time ago. I think I was about 18 years old.

I spent several weeks trying to entice people to purchase a sweeper that could do just about anything including blow drying your hair!

Now ask me a question…” Did I buy one of those sweepers?” The answer…No. I couldn’t understand the features of it – what all it could do and I wasn’t about to take the time to figure it all out.

So was I persuasive enough to sell a product I didn’t know much about? Again, no. Honestly, I really didn’t care. The main reason I jumped on board was because I heard others were selling them and making tons of commission!

God knows I didn’t want one however, I was trying to get everyone else to buy one…

What’s the take-away from this example?

Sell what you’re passionate about and what you understand…

Don’t try and sell Internet marketing products just because everyone is doing it. If you haven’t made any money yet yourself, you have a steep learning curve before you start to tell others how to succeed and make money.

Make sure you know the product or service you’re trying to sell to others; its features and the benefits it will provide your customers.

Customers may have questions about the product/service. Will you be able to answer them? I couldn’t…which really made me look quite incompetent, unprepared and untrustworthy.

In addition, don’t try and sell something only because you think you’ll get rich from it. Chances are…you’ll be wasting a lot of time.

Find something you’re passionate about and build a business from there…

If you love the art of gardening, find a way to develop a website and products around it. If you’re always on the golf course, create a theme around that. Review golf courses. Joint Venture with a travel company and offer special golf get-a-ways.

And…if you have a passion for Internet marketing, the same applies here…

In closing, the most successful online sites are the “niche” sites, the special interest sites built around specific themes.

And by the way…I couldn’t sell even one of those sweepers…imagine that!

Have an idea? Share it with us…

Life’s Little Irritations…

Hello Income Insider’s readers!

Today I want to share a quick – personal story with you all about a little irritation I can’t seem to move passed…(I know, silly…)

Lifes Little IrritationsAnyway, I have an 11 year old neighbor boy who really has been through the ringer since his short life on this earth.

I won’t go into the details, but trust me on this one.

He’s an only child and let’s just say he doesn’t have much.

My husband and I have helped him from time to time with money – food – clothes, etc..

He came riding up our drive this past week on his bike which had no back tire and the actual metal was cracked in half. I couldn’t believe he could safely ride that thing on the street.

In a panic, he told me he needed $50.00 for a new bike he saw at a nearby store. Mind you – he didn’t ask…he told me that’s what he needed.

I proceeded to tell him I didn’t have that kind of money laying around just to give away to him. Well, he started to cry a bit.

One major detail:

This kid knows everything about everything and he can do anything better than anyone else…you know, a snot nose in my opinion. Believe me, we’ve had our moments.

So I got to thinking; Okay. To an 11 year old boy, your bike is everything. So I made him a deal…

I told him if he’d do some odd jobs around my house, work for the money, I would buy him that bike.

It felt good to me to be able not only to give him something he desperately wanted, but I was teaching him if you want something…it doesn’t come free.

It was a deal but he said the store only had one bike. I figured at $50 it wouldn’t last long.

It was supposed to be a beautiful weekend so I thought I’d just go purchase the bike and surprise him on Saturday with it for him to ride. I was so excited, feeling like I was making a difference in his life…

He came over after school that next day, ready to work. We started talking about the bike – the color – the make…guess what? It wasn’t the bike he had seen.

I was devastated. However, the bike I bought was really cool. I thought for sure for a kid who didn’t have much, he would absolutely love it. Any kid would.

Feeling like I should show him before he started to work, I uncovered it in the garage for him to see.

His reaction?

He started to cry and told me that was not the bike he wanted. AND…this one was junk!

My heart fell to my feet…at first. Then, I got pissed.

I was trying to tell him that sometimes in life you have to work your way up…right or wrong, that’s what I was taught. I was also taught to say thank you and appreciate things people do or give you.

But I didn’t get either one. In fact, he rode off on his dilapidated bike like it was my fault I didn’t get to the store sooner…

I didn’t see him at all that weekend…

Tuesday he shows up at my door wanting to work for a different bike he had seen. Let me say we had a very – different – short conversation…

He proceeded to tell me as he was leaving that “staring at a computer screen all day isn’t work”…nothing like manual work like he does.

Talk about high blood pressure! At that point, all I could do was tell him to leave…

I guess the moral of this story is that there are times in our lives when we choose to get involved in other people’s lives not knowing what the impact will be if any.

I hope years from now he will look back on this with a different set of eyes, realizing what a snot he really was.

Also, for parents; Do your kids a favor and teach them the value of appreciation and gratitude. Start young until they learn it and live it. They will carry that virtue throughout their lives both personally and professionally…

Not everyone is kind-hearted, but for those of us who are, we might think twice the next time…I know I already have. However, I will still pray for him that he learns a few of life’s lessons before it’s too late.

Please leave your thoughts below…

Raise Your Intensity – Raise Your Income

Have you ever met someone whose demeanor just dripped with complete intensity? This person seemed bigger than life… so much as you hung onto every word they were saying – you wanted more of it – you’re truly drawn to it?

Raise Your IncomeThis person radiates so much confidence – joy – success – life… and all the best it has to offer.

When you come across someone like that, it’s as if it makes YOU feel powerful in your own way doesn’t it?

This person created instant inspiration in you, a light yet powerful feeling washed over you to push yourself harder to make your dreams a reality. You felt excitement, motivation and felt you were ready to take on anything…

Well? Why can’t that person be you that others are so drawn too that initially sparks that instant feeling of taking on the world?

It all starts with making a commitment – growing your confidence and be willing to pay the price…

Chris Leader, President of Leader’s Edge Training spells it out in this way;

“Good is the enemy of great.
Where do you find the commitment to rise above the average?

No-one enters this industry with the lifelong dream of being mediocre. We all have dreams, goals and aspirations, but sometimes we lose steam along the way.
You can achieve anything you set your mind to, but only if you are willing to pay the price.

This video tip tells a story of someone with huge potential who never achieved the success he was capable of until he found the motivation to give it his all.

The question is, have you reached your full potential?

Watch this short video tip to find out how raising your intensity will increase your sales.”

Take note at the end of this short video on how this guy’s demeanor changed because of what he accomplished.

Now this tip is something to really take to heart.

Leave a comment below…

The Optimist Creed…Are You under Positivity Illusion?

Between April and September 2011, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported that small businesses in the US became less optimistic about future prospects. This was visible in the Small Business Optimism Index that fell 1.8 points from 89.9.

positive illusionsThis lack of optimism was due to small businesses weakening expectations in the coming few months. The chief economist at NIFB, William Dunkelberg said that “with such a dim outlook, owners are not going to do a lot of hiring or expanding”. Not only the NFIB, the Grant Thornton Business Optimism Index also shows a similar result based on three criteria –US economy, business growth and employment.

If you are in the US and a small business entrepreneur, you are perhaps going through a similar situation yourself. With the US credit rating deflated and the debt situation equally worse, small businesses are finding it harder to sustain themselves.

In this situation, when people were asked whether you are optimistic about the future, I think they are primarily asking two questions:

  1. Is there a place for optimism in our present condition?
  1. Where do you stand in the optimism index?

Again, in conditions like this, people often become a victim of “positivity illusion” or “optimism bias”.

Optimism bias is a condition where people measure their chances of experiencing a good outcome or bad outcome against others. By a good outcome, one generally means getting a job, financial security, healthy kids and a successful marriage.

By a bad outcome, one generally means health problems, loss of jobs, marriages breaking apart and other things.

SO, when people ask what you think about the future, they are measuring their own chances of faring either good or bad against the other person’s chances. It is natural human behavior to think like this; however, in the long run, it will create problems.

Whenever there is any problem, a person first thinks of securing themselves and then thinks about the well being of other people.

In an economy that the US is facing now, it is necessary to give up this positivity illusion, that is, worry less about how you as an individual is faring and be more concerned about the community you live in… because if the community is prosperous, you are prosperous.

I know that it is difficult for small businesses to survive in a turbulent economy but one does have to make the best of what they have; however, one should never be overoptimistic. It is good to be optimistic, but you should never be under the illusion that everything is fine nor should you be overoptimistic – either way, you will have a false sense of well being.

Then, let me ask you —

Do you have reasons to be optimistic in the current economic downturn?

There are, according to me. Even though there are many empty glasses strewn around, there are glasses that are half-full, which should be inspiration enough for you. The glasses half-full teach a very important lesson – the possibility of improvement.

The present recession is a major indication of how human folly can be very dangerous for us. Economic projections of the last few years have done us more harm than good.

It is not that today’s economic conditions will have a cataclysmic effect on us and we will change for the better suddenly, but there is always a tiny light of hope. HOPE is what we humans survive on.

We can only learn from our follies and learn to change.

What can we change?

  • We can learn to be positively optimistic, without being under illusions.
  • We can learn to live frugally.
  • We can learn to save money.
  • We can learn to volunteer for the betterment of the community.
  • We can learn to use sustainable goods.
  • We can learn to use natural sources of energy.
  • We can learn to become more financially responsible.
  • We can learn to care for others.

If you think optimistically, it is good for you. Just make sure your optimism does not rub others the wrong way. Don’t be overoptimistic and optimistically illusioned. Keep your thoughts balanced and try to analyze your conditions intelligently.

Know what optimism is and how your perception defines you here.

How To Make a Zip File Using Secure Zip Video

What are Zip Files and why do people use them?

Zip files (.zip ) are single files, sometimes called “archives,” that contain one or more compressed files.

How To Make a Zip FileIf you wish to send several computer files to someone, it is best to compress or zip it into one single .zip file. Doing so also allows you to compress the file size and make it easier to transfer.

Zip files save time, space and makes downloading software and transferring e-mail attachments faster.

Typical uses for Zip files include;

  • Distributing files on the Internet
  • Sending a group of related files to an associate
  • Saving disk space

There are many different kinds of Zip File programs to choose from, some free and some paid.

For this how to make a zip file video, we’re using Secure Zip, a paid service but it does come with a 30-day free trial.

Watch How To Make a Zip File Using Secure Zip Video

Visa Mastercard Scam…Yet Another One

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really, really sick and tired of all these scams that pop up every time I turn around.

Visa Mastercard ScamAnd I’m not just saying that too blow off steam. My Mother-in-law got taken for $15,000 last year from one of these no-good, rotten conglomerates that have nothing better to do but to feed off of the elderly, scaring them into submission, using their grandchildren as the targets.

If you ask me, these people all need shot…

And just yesterday I was talking with my credit card company because a recurring deduction was not being taken out. They informed me that a no-name company overseas was attempting to add some kind of charge to my account that was not authorized.

I say “kudos” to my credit company for flagging my account and putting a hold on it until the situation was rectified. Yes, maybe a little bit of an inconvenience at the moment but hey, I like an honest company that is looking out for me for a change.

This is the third time this has happened to me in one year and the year isn’t over yet.

Working from home, when that telephone rings – my guard goes up…

Anyway, I guess there’s a new “Scam” out there that I wanted to make sure all of you knew about so I’m forwarding it on to you all.

This one is pretty creative; they have your info. All they need is your security number that is on the back of your card and if given out…they’re good to go.

Here’s what they do so PLEASE, be aware…

Visa / MasterCard FRAUD

Royal Bank received this communication about the newest scam. This is happening in the Midwest right now and moving.

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want..

Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it.

This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard telephone Credit Card Scam works, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from ‘VISA,’ and I was called on Thursday from ‘MasterCard.’

The visa & mastercard telephone credit card scam works like this:

Person calling says – ‘This is (name), and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460, Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona ?’ When you say ‘No’, the caller continues with, ‘Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?’ You say ‘yes’.

The caller continues – ‘I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. ‘Do you need me to read it again?’

Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works – The caller then says, ‘I need to verify you are in possession of your card’. He’ll ask you to ‘turn your card over and look for some numbers’. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he’ll say, ‘That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?’

After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, ‘Don’t hesitate to call back if you do’, and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we were glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card. We made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number.. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don’t give it to them. Instead, tell them you’ll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation..

The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you’re receiving a credit; however, by the time you get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make, and by then it’s almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a ‘Jason Richardson of MasterCard’ with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA Scam. This time I didn’t let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening. I dealt with a similar situation this morning, with the caller telling me that $3,097 had been charged to my account for plane tickets to Spain , and so on through the above routine..

It appears that this IS a very active scam, and evidently quite successful.

Income Insider’s readers, you need to be vigilant…let others know about this. The more knowledge we gain and share about these sleazy people, the less successful they’ll become…

Looking out for our loyal subscribers is what Income Insiders is all about. We help you make money and we also want to help you keep it!

Know of any other scams? Please, let us know so we can be informed and pass it on…