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previous experiences make them cautious or

downright cynical.

So, you’ll probably want to know:

? How much does it cost?

? Is there a guarantee?

? Have you done it yourself?

? If so, what results did you get?

That will do for now, okay?

How much does it Cost? Apart from a little time every day, there are no extra costs or special requirements.

You might need to invest a couple of hours in the first week to set up your program and prepare for your brighter future.

But, the time requirement will diminish as you blend the new or changed

procedures into your regular routine. You will also probably drop or decrease the time and money you have been using for some low-value or negative

activities up till now. This will add some positive numbers to your personal balance-sheet in the short term.

You don’t need anything special except stuff that is easy to find in most

households; writing paper, pens and a couple of folders to keep your notes and other information in.

Is there a guarantee? No. The results you get depend almost entirely on you. That’s the reality with all those offers that you see with similar headlines like mine.

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I believe that anyone who is able to follow the steps in this section and gives them sufficient energy and time will benefit to a level which reflects their commitment.

But, you need to be ready to deal with some unexpected and unforeseeable

bumps in the track you follow that will require you to use more energy and time than I or some other readers have to.

Some people will not put in that extra effort but you will.

It’s not all going to be easy but it is achievable if you plan first, then take consistent action.

If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.

What results can I expect? These principles can help most people to improve their level of achievement in whatever areas they focus on, provided that they have the necessary abilities or training and make a serious effort over a reasonable time.

Many people are becoming very worried about poor job security and

shrinking job opportunities in many countries around the world.

Some people I know have found their increased enthusiasm and effort

rewarded by increased recognition and, sometimes, higher take-home pay.

Others have used these principles to motivate themselves while they

continue in their job and also put extra effort into finding some way to

replace their salary with income from their own business or in a better job.

I don’t believe that self-employment is suitable for the majority who have become used to a regular wage and other employee benefits.

But, these principles of self-motivation can be applied to improving the

satisfaction which you get from your current employment and help you to

undertake further study or other responsibilities that can make you a more valuable employee.

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You will probably also find that using the meditation techniques in the

previous section may help you to relate better with people that you work

with and more easily handle any bumps in your road to greater success.

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Take Stock

This first step is just boring for many people but the effort you put into this will have a strong effect on the level of success which your whole motivation program gives you.

It is that important.

If you don’t plan for your future, you will never enjoy the sort of life or level of success that you were capable of reaching.

If you don’t write out, either on paper or in a secure folder on your

computer, an honest assessment of your present situation, your goals and

how you believe you can reach or exceed them, you will stay in your present comfortable cocoon (rut) until the time comes when they bury you in it. Or you may find that, over time your situation becomes worse but, as you grow older you have less energy and other resources to invest in improving your own future prospects.

The best time to do this is TODAY.

Get a new blank piece of paper or start a new document in your word

processor.

If you use pen and paper like I did, you can store the loose sheets in a

special folder which you can keep private.

I want you to write down, with as much honesty as possible, all the

important aspects of:

? Your present situation

? Your abilities

? Areas where you need to improve or are unable to do so

? Your Assets

? Your Dreams

? Your Goals (Goals are dreams where you have already started

toward and have set down specific plans for achieving them).

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Give yourself plenty of space between the items which you write under each heading and start a new page for each section heading.

Your present situation: Doing this section properly may give you some mild distress because very few people have a totally honest self-image or

even a full understanding of their current personal, financial and professional situation.

They feel threatened by what might be revealed when a strong light is shone on their comfort zone.

But, it’s essential to know exactly how good, or not-so-good, your current position is because the best map to a better future is useless if you fool yourself into thinking you are better prepared for the task than you really are.

How can you expect to move upward if you don’t know where you are really

starting from?

My experience is that this effort produces more positives than you might

think. As well as helping you to understand what effort and time you will

really need to put into the project, you will probably also discover that your situation is markedly better than you thought.

It’s common for us to ignore the value of what we have when we are looking at what others have or what we think we need.

From time to time, you may see the stock media filler story which details

how the average human body is worth about $4.95 in total. Although that

figure is obviously on the low side with the price of everything rising faster than ever, many people don’t value what they already have.

If you have full use of your arms and legs, consider what you would pay

someone to fix your left arm or you might lose it forever? Probably a bit

more than $4.95?

And, of course, your ability to improve your financial position will be severely hampered until you sort those shoeboxes of crumpled and coffee-stained

papers into reasonable order.

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Your abilities: I know many people that have convinced themselves, or been convinced by parents and friends or colleagues, that they are lucky to be where they are and have little, if any, hope of improving their situation unless they win the lottery or have some other equally unlikely stroke of

luck.

These judgments (put-downs) are often said by well-meaning parents who

have had some set-backs and major disappointments in their own lives and

hope these comments will spare their child the anguish and other problems

which they went through themselves.

Your colleagues and friends are often intending the comments to be taken in a light-hearted way but sometimes they are said with the intention of

puncturing your dreams as a reproof for daring to try to rise above the rest of your group.

It is sad but true that some people will actually try to hold you down at a level where they are comfortable.

But, the experiences of your friends or parents are not a good basis to value your potential or your prospects.

You probably had access to better schooling than your parents were able to get and you may be better at some tasks than any of your friends or just

willing to work harder to become better.

You’ll never know unless you have a go at achieving your desires.

Areas where you need to improve or are unable to do so: You should

also be able to realistically asses your own weaknesses, whether physical, emotional or educational.

There may be some which will affect the chance that you can achieve certain goals.

You may be able to work on those aspects and overcome the deficiency but

there could be some which will make some dreams have to remain just that.

Your Assets: You probably can list the total amounts in your bank and other accounts as well as what debts you have.

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I’d like to point out that the most valuable assets are our family who share both the good and bad times in our lives. Okay, everybody knows that but

some people bottle up their feelings and try to “protect those closest to

them" from any bad news.

That just means they forgo the support and understanding which family

members can give each other during a crisis.

Bottling up their concerns could affect their own ability to deal with the problem.

That can also lead to serious health complications too.

You love your family but if, like so many people I know, you haven’t told

them for some time just how much you appreciate them, do it now.

I know two friends who told me after one lost his elderly mother while the other one lost a teenage son in a car accident, that they will always regret not telling them of their love more often before it was too late.

“Flowers for the living” are much better.

When you start to list your other assets, be prepared for a few surprises. You will probably find that you have old stuff that you no longer value but which you can sell or barter for things which are more appropriate for your current lifestyle.

Junk: There are probably also some things which are causing you and your family distress by taking up valuable space or time because they need to be cared for though you no longer get any return from that time and effort.

These items have little value to you or anyone else in the family. Some of these may be keepsakes from long past trips or relationships. Other items

may be the remnants of hobbies that you no longer do.

And, most of us also have some items which just need a “couple of screws”

or “a lick of paint” that we never seem to get around to doing.

Unless you feel it’s worth the effort to fix them this weekend, just add them to the trailer-load you take to the local Goodwill or the dump.

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Your mind will be clearer as soon as you clear away the physical junk from your home.

Your Dreams: Your dreams about what you want to do, have and be during the rest of your life should not be shared with other people. Dreams are like scribbles on a sketch-pad.

They aren’t locked into your reality or even your potential. That makes them hard to share with other people who only know the ‘you’ that they see before them.

Some people try, after they wake each morning, to remember the dreams

which floated through their mind while they slept.

Other people try to influence the content of their dreams by thinking about some particular situation or even a problem just before they close their eyes each night. They hope that the powerful but little-understood subconscious part of their brain will work on the matter while they get some rest.

I don’t know whether this will work for you.

I suggest that, if you try it, please frame your thinking about the subject with some positive expectation that your mind will help you and the problem will

be resolved.

If you merely pass on your worries and stress about the problem to your

subconscious, I expect that your sleep will not be very restful and the results of the experiment are likely to be disappointing at best.

Your Goals: Goals are things you write down that you intend to achieve and believe are worth the effort and time needed for you to get them.

Writing each goal on paper is very important. This will give you a chance to study and refine the value of each goal to you.

Some people find that they carry on their shoulders other people’s dreams

and unfulfilled expectations. Usually, these come from parents that have

always regretted that they were unable to reach some of their own goals and so they push them on to their children.

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You need to be sure that the targets which you invest much time and effort to reach are ones that have value to you. Otherwise, you're likely to perform the required work at less than your full capacity, take much longer to get to the goal and find little personal satisfaction when you do.

Some people also take on goals that reflect the desires or achievements of people in their social or business group. These targets are also likely to be more difficult to achieve and less satisfying when you get them than goals that genuinely reflect your own interests and desires.

You also need to write:

1) The benefits of achieving each of your goals.

2) How you will achieve each of your goals. It’s important to list every small step and contingency that you must deal with to reach your goal.

3) Possible bumps and road-blocks between your present situation and achieving your desire.

4) A time-frame within which you will reach that goal.

The list of benefits 1) will help to maintain your resolve to reach the goal.

Someone explained this to me in a very graphic way. They said that,

“Everyone listens to the same radio station; W.I.I.F.M. ”! that stands for

What’s In It For ME?”

We need to know more than just, “It will be good for you”. We all have, as part of the basic survival instinct, part of our mind that constantly asks that question.

The list helps us to keep going when some obstacle or other distraction rises in our path.

The step-by-step list 2) will help you to prepare yourself in advance of any part of the journey that might require extra effort or expense.

A friend that achieved a major business goal which many had thought

beyond his financial and other abilities told me that this part was very

important in his quest.

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The way that he tackled it was something I would not have thought of. He

researched the whole project and listed everything which he already had

which could help him succeed. But, he was unable to put together a list of all the steps he would need to take.

Then, he turned his mental picture around and imagined that he had already achieved his goal. From that perspective, he said it was fairly easy for him to work backwards and list the last step before his final success, then the

second last step and so on until he had laid out each move from the top of the mountain back to his original situation.

The list of possible obstacles 3) is so that you may prepare for possible hazards that you might encounter.

The time-frame 4) is something which you can only work out after you have done your preliminary research. It helps to keep you focused and let you

know whether you are progressing well or may need to review your progress

and, perhaps, increase your effort or the time you devote to reaching that goal.

You may sometimes extend the time needed based on your experience up to

that point.

There may be goals which you have held close for a long time but you find

that achieving them is not worth further investment when you compare them

to other possibilities that you have found.

Although some people set for themselves just one very large goal, I suggest that you start with several goals of varying difficulty.

Achieving those first few minor and relatively easy targets will help to keep you motivated as you get closer to your larger goals.

Those smaller successes will also encourage you to add new and larger goals to your list.

When you stop doing that, I think you start giving up.

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Sorting Your Goals

You should have goals that reflect the different areas of your life and any special interests that you have.

Your list of goals might include:

Find a life partner

Improve the relationship with your current partner or other

close relatives

Find more time to be with your family

Improve your scores in games you play

Learn a new skill or improve your current level

Give time and energy to help less fortunate people in your

community

Improve your work-related skills

Break an unhealthy habit

Reduce your weight or add more muscle and tone to your body

List them all so that you can check:

? Which are the most important to YOU? The demands of

these special goals should have precedence over less important

goals.

? Which are the least important to YOU? If you are already

very busy, you might remove these from your list. You might

put them on another page and maybe add them back to your

main list when you have more time or other resources available.

? Do the requirements for you to reach any two goals

conflict? Usually, you would just defer or delete the goal which

is less important to you.

? Does each goal help you to get closer to the lifestyle and

other desires which are your ultimate target? Some goals

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may be attractive in themselves but you might decide that the

time and other requirements would be better invested in goals

that were more directly related to your main long-term life

goals.

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How to Achieve Your Goals

You must take ACTION.

Use your favorite meditation exercises to reinforce your motivation.

Look for people that you can use as positive role models in books and also in your town.

Find an organization where you can meet people with similar backgrounds

and interests to you.

If you have no experience of public speaking, consider joining a group like ToastMasters International or Jaycees where you can learn useful skills like this in a supportive and positive atmosphere.

Read your list of goals aloud every day to help keep them in your mind and focus the power of your subconscious on the importance of achieving them.

Put some effort every day into making real progress toward your goals.

However, if you have an occasional day when something important prevents

you from doing anything productive, let that just be a spur to making more progress the next day.

If you keep reminding yourself about the occasional slip, you will lessen your core enthusiasm for your project and also start to build a subconscious

expectation that you will suffer more setbacks in the future.

Many people say that finding the time for extra meetings or study is one of their biggest problems but it’s often just a matter of sorting out and reducing or eliminating activities that have little value (did someone mention

television?!)

Use visualization to experience what it will be like when you reach your

major goals. This is not just day-dreaming because you are actively moving toward them.

Don’t hesitate to add new goals to your list.

When you start to achieve those first goals, your expectations will expand along with your confidence.

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Doers and Talkers!

Everyone knows some people that spend their time telling everybody why

things won’t work and how everything will get even worse soon.

They see the slightest bump in their path to success as a sign that they

should not start.

When further setbacks occur because of their lack of action, they claim that proves they were right about more problems looming.

So, they put off any thought of taking action again!

Just be polite and keep moving forward which will put you out of earshot of their negative statements and complaints fairly quickly.

I’ve tried to help some of these people overcome their gloomy outlook and

bring some sunshine and success into their lives but it’s hard work and likely to be a waste of effort.

The basic reason for their lack of action is really fear that they will fail to some degree at whatever they try.

While they hold back and expound their unproven theories, they can attract some attention and financial or other support.

But, they think that if they act and don’t achieve a roaring success at their first attempt, then they will drop to a lower level of public acceptance and may never achieve anything.

So, they don’t even start!

Continuing to mix with negative people can have a depressing effect on your own outlook and rate of progress. Because there are probably more negative whiners than potential winners in our society, you may even start to let them affect your own attitude.

The only way that you can help them is by setting a positive example.

Then, leave it up to them whether they break out of their funk and start their own upward journey or whether they just keep telling everybody why you

should not have succeeded either.

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Spending time with the gloomy doomsayers is wasted. But, you’ll probably

never be able to avoid them entirely. Just be polite and pass by.

That also applies to television programs and magazines. Many experts spend much of their time arguing with each other or explaining why everyone but

them is wrong. But, nobody is right all the time.

This doesn’t help you at all – the blasts of negative energy will slowly break through your resolve and start to affect you.

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Watch the Winners

Focus your attention on positive people like yourself. Listen to and watch people who have already taken action and blazed their own paths to success of one kind or another.

You can learn something from the methods and experiences of any

successful person, whatever their race, creed or age.

Seek out the most positive people in your own social group. You’ll find that just being with them will help to increase your own energy and enthusiasm.

Sound and Vision

Choose music which reinforces your positive attitude.

If you find that you work better with that music playing softly in the

background, that’s fine as long as you’re not disturbing other work in the area.

I, personally, prefer not to have music playing when I am working on

something that requires full concentration but I know that others believe that it helps them.

I have replaced some old prints in my home office with pictures of the car I want to buy and the beach on the other side of the country that I’d like my family to spend our next holiday at.

Some people put these sorts of motivators on the door of their refrigerator where they will see it every day.

My last boss used to carry a picture of the motor bike that he wanted to buy in his wallet.

I always have carried a picture of my family there. For me, that’s the

greatest motivator of all when a little extra effort is needed.

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Kick Off Before You get Kicked

You know the benefits of keeping motivated and doing something every day

to get closer to your most important goals.

Are you still hesitating? Some people are actually afraid of ailing, so they don’t start.

But, you might be thinking that the time is just not right. You might want to:

• Spend more time and effort on perfecting your preparation

• Wait until your children go back to school

• Leave everything until the puppy is housetrained

• Start next winter when your social calendar is less busy.

They’re all reasons and I don’t know how much real importance you attach to them.

But, my best reason why you should start sooner, even if everything is not quite perfect, is likely to be more compelling than anything like those I just listed for you.

You have listed your reasons that you want to achieve each of your most

important goals and also the possible bumps that you might encounter as

you progress.

You believe that you can achieve your goals if you start now.

But, we never know what might happen tomorrow. The economy might

worsen dramatically – any number of nightmare scenarios could impact on

your city, your employer or you as they have on other communities,

businesses and individuals with little or no warning.

That could make you take action. Under those sort of circumstances your

options and, in fact, your chance of succeeding would be dramatically

reduced.

The effect on your health and your family would be much greater than the

relatively minor demands that you have listed already.

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You might not succeed at your first attempt but you will learn from the

experience and there’s an equal or greater chance that you will get your goal on the first attempt.

That would give you more time to enjoy the rewards of your success and the motivation to launch yourself toward even bigger and better goals.

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Part III: More

Tested Tips and Techniques

I’ve put some information about various topics in this section which we’ve used with good results.

Topics like “how to prepare and present” may not seem much use for some

of you if you’re not in business. But, many of us are involved in school,

church or other voluntary organizations and you may either volunteer or just be called on to tell another group about the aims and achievements of your organization.

I’ve even had to answer some questions from a reporter about one

organization I belong to that helps people with serious problems to learn how to use computers.

That report in the paper helped to bring in more members and some badly

needed donations of money and equipment.

If something doesn’t fit your needs just now, tuck the information away in your mind in case it is useful on another occasion.

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How to Prepare and Present a Talk

Know the main points that you want people to remember about your subject.

Have a maximum of three and repeat each one at least once.

Your listeners will not be interested in what you say unless you show them some link between their interests and yours.

Include a “call to action” in your talk. If there is nothing you want your listeners to do after your talk, then you may as well send it to them in an email and save everybody’s time and effort.

Use simple words and stick to your subject.

Get to the venue early.

Find the person who will introduce you and give them a card with your name, your subject and the introduction which you want them to use before you

speak.

That puts them at ease, saves any embarrassment if they don’t remember

your name or the reason for your talk.

Always thank the person that introduced you even if they got everything

wrong. Never compound the error by drawing attention to any mistake which

they made.

Never thank your audience. Show you appreciate them by keeping to the

topic and focusing on those parts of your subject which are most likely to interest them.

If your presentation includes Powerpoint® or similar slides:

Don’t read them to your listeners, tell them something extra about the point which the slide explains or just keep quiet.

Put just one topic on each slide and keep the text short. Lots of text and multiple points are likely to be ignored or quickly forgotten.

Don’t use flashy effects, unusual colors or fonts. Keep it simple so that your listeners can easily absorb the important points which you want them to

remember.

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Check any equipment before you begin your presentation and plan for the

possibility that it will not be available or will break down in the middle of your talk.

It’s your responsibility to be prepared for almost any contingency.

Remember that you may be able to shift any blame for a problem with the

presentation but you will lose that opportunity to get your message out if you don’t have some back-up prepared.

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A Simple Planning Strategy

There is a neat system which you can use for planning almost anything; a

fund-raiser, a new business or how you can best reach your goals.

It’s called S.W.O.T.

That’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

You should set aside at least a couple of uninterrupted hours for your first SWOT exercise.

Get some large sheets of blank paper. Unused newsprint from your local

newspaper or an art store would be ideal.

Tape the sheets to a wall or a large board if you don’t want to risk damage to the wall.

Write your four headings on separate sheets and then start to write

everything that is relevant under each heading which it applies to.

Yes, some factors will fit more than one section and you need to have them in front of you when you are reviewing each section separately later on.

Don’t try to evaluate the importance of any factor at this stage – you are just brainstorming and need to get everything down on the paper even if it’s just a minor point.

Don’t accept any negative thoughts about your perceived weaknesses or let

any possible threats stop you giving a full evaluation of your new project.

Treat this as if you were an impartial but sympathetic colleague who wants to help you prepare for your project.

When you are sure that you have everything listed, review the various points which you have written under each heading.

Take your time. This part is very important because you will use the results of your analysis to guide you through your project.

Now, you must decide the most important objectives that you believe are

achievable in light of the factors you have considered.

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I think that you will probably find several objectives if you have given

yourself enough credit for the skills and potentials that you really have, including those which you may not be currently using.

If you can only find one objective that you are confident about, I suggest that you go over your lists more carefully.

But, for practical reasons, you should set no more than five goals which you will apply yourself to this time.

Make them a mix of smaller goals and one major goal.

If you set a number of major goals first up, you may become a bit

overwhelmed when you are unable to progress rapidly toward all of them.

But, achieving your first couple of smaller goals will increase your enthusiasm and confidence to knock over the major target.

Never stop setting and moving toward bigger goals.

This strategy will help you and members of your family with projects of all kinds, both large and small.

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Taming the Telephone

The telephone has brought many advantages into our lives and more than a

couple of annoyances.

Although they’ve been around in various forms for all the time we’ve been

alive, many people feel a sense of panic or just inadequate when they have to use the humble telephone.

When you are about to make or receive your next call, please do two things: 1) Take a deep breath (do a few sighs or even a couple of yawns if that is practical).

2) As you start to dial, put a genuine smile on your face. Yes, it does make a difference!

I’m not suggesting that you adopt a fake personality or paste a salesman’s false smile across your face – that won’t work.

Be yourself and treat the person at the other end as a possible new friend or colleague.

Give them time to speak and your full attention.

If they become irritable or worse, don’t try to fight fire with fire. Stay polite but finish the call and get on with more productive activities.

Ask your caller to identify themselves and to give the reason they are calling you. If they are vague or try to apply pressure, remain polite and end the call.

Always write down the important information that someone gives you over

the phone.

Ask them politely to repeat the information or even spell anything which you did not hear clearly so it is better fixed in your mind.

They will appreciate your professionalism and that you are giving your

conversation the importance it deserves.

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If you have to call them back, ask them during the first call for two different times when it will be convenient for you to call back. With the multitude of pressures on our time, it’s too easy for someone to not be available for the one particular time that you have arranged.

This way, you increase the chance of completing your conversation without

further delay.

If you make international or long distance phone calls, consider using an

Internet based service such as Skype.com because calls between people using the same service are free and their rates for calls to regular phones are likely to be cheaper than many land-based options.

Before making international or long distance phone calls, consider the time zone where the other person is living. Otherwise, you may call them at 3

a.m. which is a really bad idea!

For important business calls that may have legal or other ramifications, it’s a very good idea to write a letter to the other person as soon as possible after you finish the call. Include everything that you remember was discussed and decided over the phone.

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The Verbal Business Card

What do you say when someone asks what business are you in?

Do you try to sell them something?

Do you say, “I sell insurance”? That is likely to end many possibly useful conversations.

Do you say, “I work for Oddbody’s”, as if everyone should just know what

they do.

Do you think of a really good answer the next morning?

You need to prepare a short reply in advance. Think about one that will be interesting to the person that kindly gave you the conversational opener and won’t make them regret that.

Give them just enough information, and then ask them what they do.

Someone called this an “elevator speech” – what you might say if you were

introducing yourself to someone in an elevator traveling just a couple of

levels.

That’s a good maximum length for your response.

But, it might take you a bit more time to write out your own verbal business card.

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Using the Internet

You don’t need the latest, most expensive equipment to use the Internet for business or leisure.

You do need the most up-to-date antivirus program you can get.

Don’t buy a second-hand computer unless you know where it was used and

that it was properly maintained by professionals or highly experienced

amateurs.

The small cost of joining a local computer users’ association, or taking a short after-hours class at a community college, can be a wise investment if you don’t have much knowledge of computers.

The other members or students will be able, and usually very willing, to

share their knowledge, experience and opinions about the best equipment,

programs and providers. Of course, you will need time to work out which

people are trustworthy and genuinely helpful.

The best sales people to consult about a new computer usually work for

specialist computer stores rather than department or discount stores.

The difference is likely to be that the person at the specialist store wants to sell you something which will fit your needs so that you become a customer and, possibly, an advocate for that store.

Many sales people at the other stores will be happy to sell whatever fits in your car. They are often more influenced by their commission and,

sometimes, incentives offered to them by suppliers.

Budget for equipment to do what you need in six months or a year’s time,

not just the biggest package with the best price tag when you happen to be in the store.

If you buy all your computer bits and pieces at the same store, you’re likely to save money and time over the option of traveling around various stores to get the best price for each piece.

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Always ask about the terms of your warranty. Saving a small amount on the

price may be no bargain if you need repairs, but have to ship the whole unit to another city to have the warranty honored.

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Afterword

Stress and worry will not put an extra dollar in your pocket or add an extra day to your life.

The most successful people I know are those who love the work they do.

I hope my book will help you to find more contentment and success on your

life’s journey.

If you find some of the exercises difficult, please remember that there’s no time limit and no test – just do your best.

Mary Havelock 2008

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“Meditation, Motivation and More” by Mary Havelock

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Another eBookWholesaler Publication

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