Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Golf and the Part-Time Networker

I've been playing golf since I was 8 years old. I love the game. Fortunately for me, golf is an excellent way to network ... whether it's a regular weekend foursome, or just showing up at the course and joining the next group off the tee.

Many of the same qualities and habits that can help you to improve and enjoy your golf game, can also be applied to growing your part-time home business ...

I recently subscribed to a new golf blog, and one of the first articles I read was Seven Habits of Highly Effective Golfers. In this article, Mr Pedersen describes seven strategies that he believes highly effective golfers use to improve their games:

  1. Focus on golf fundamentals

  2. Smart Practice

  3. Physical preparation

  4. Mental training

  5. Nutrition for prolonged energy

  6. Goal setting

  7. Golf swing analysis

Go give the article a read. Then, see if you can think of some ways that these same principles can also be applied to effective part-time networking.

Til next time ...
Todd 8-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Beach or the Soup Line?

I had a very productive evening the other night. Google blogsearch was nice enough to lead me to Mark Yarnell's blog. I've read a few of his books in the past, but a lot of his recent thoughts on this blog really resonated with me ...
If you are approached by anyone who suggests that you join a second program…run. I don’t care what they call it. You need to focus on one deal until you hit the big checks. If lead lists worked, your company would provide them for free. After all, everyone wants to earn big money so it’s very easy to find the names of such people. What you need to understand is how to build your own 30,000 person warm market.

and ...
Without a doubt. In fact, we can earn much more in today’s economic climate but we have to accept two facts. One, big money is about retailing and recruiting. Two, big money is about retailing and recruiting. When we got started in MLM there were no prospecting lists for sale, cell phones, computers, back office tracking systems, auto responders, blackberries or MLM trainers and coaches. There were no ghost writers or bestselling MLM “how-to” books. There were no MLM magazines or newsletters and no free telephone conference calls. In fact, there were no fax machines, CD’s or video players. Simply put, there were no magic formulas and no magic trainers. We recruited and we retailed our way to the top. Period. End of the story.

or this ...
Remember above all else, the reason for this iblog and my free Yarnell Sizzle Call is to empower Networkers. Why? Because we are the last hold outs in the effort to dumb-down America. We are grass roots capitalists who market products that people actually need. We promote ethics over profits, values over image and efficacy over hype. No sweatshops in MLM. No infantile ads. Just sustainable, accountable companies that harness the entrepreneurial spirit and compete against giant corporations who are dedicated to selling crap we don’t need and replacing the American Bald Eagle who fishes for salmon with a clown who sells sugar and grease.

When I get home, I'm going to order Mark's HolyGrail training series (not an affiliate link) ... I'll make a few posts later on my impressions.

Oh yea, about the title of this post. It's a free call that Mr Yarnell recorded and put online: click here. I found it very thought provoking.

Give it a listen, and let me know what you think ...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Google reader; I finally understand how to use RSS (sort of)

Ok, I'm almost embarrased to say this; but up until a couple of days ago, if I found a blog that I liked reading, I was saving it in my favorites and then opening it up later in an individual browser window (when I remembered).

Then a couple of days ago, I finally decided to explore my Google Reader. I simply typed into my browser, then signed in with my gmail username and password.

There are a couple of ways to add blogs to the reader.

  1. If you know the feed url - there's a green bar on the left menu of the reader that says "+ Add subscription" ... for a wordpress blog such as this one, just add "feed" to the end of the url (or there's usually a link all the way at the bottom of the page called "Entries RSS") . Example: ... paste this into the box, hit "add", and it will go retrieve all the entries from that blog.

  2. There is also an even easier way - Many blogs use a service called Feedburner , and put a little widget in thier sidebar that looks something like this:

    ... all you have to do is click on it. A new window will open up with several options for subscribing; just choose "google" as your reader. Google reader will open up (you may have to sign in), and the posts from the blog you just suscribed to will be added.

Once you've subscribed to a few blogs, you'll want to do a bit of organizing ... put the different types of blogs into individual folders. Two ways that I did this (there are probably more) ...

  1. When you subscribe, and the new blog loads first into your reader there will be a grey drop down menu button just above the posts window that says "Change folders". You'll have the option of adding the new blog to any folders you've previously created, or all the way at the bottom you will see "new folder..."

  2. You can also use the Manage Subscriptions link all the way at the bottom of the left menu. A new page will open up with all the blogs you are subscribed to. You'll see that same drop down menu button, where you can change folders, or add a new one.

You can also apply "tags" to the blogs you are subscribed to, and organize them in that way (although I haven't tried that yet).

Reading is pretty self-explanatory ... just click on the blog you want to read in the left menu, then scroll through the posts in the main menu. If you want to go to the blog itself in a new window, just click on the title of any post.

Well, that's about what I know how to do (which should be more enough for many people). If you want to learn more, apparently there's a whole blog devoted just to this tool

I hope you found this helpful ... happy reading!

Til next time ...


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

5 things I liked about my time in Iraq

Well, after 8 long months here in Iraq, I'm finally going back home to Hawaii in less than 3 weeks.  Obviously I spent a lot of time (probably too much) griping about things I didn't like about being here ... I missed my family!  But just to keep things in perspective, I thought it was important to also write down some of the things I liked.

First, let me qualify this a little bit.  During my time here I was what's known as a Fobbit ... someone who spends their whole tour on a relatively secure base.  I can hardly begin to imagine the real sacrifices that the soldiers who are outside the wire everyday have made during their very long time here in Iraq.  I feel for those guys/girls.

That being said, here's my list of things that actually weren't too bad about living on FOB Sykes for 8 months ...

  1. The food was excellent - While I'm not even going to try to guess what Uncle Sam is paying them to feed us, I do have to say that KBR put on a good spread.  Every day they had different entrees, short order food, the best hot sandwiches I've ever had, a fresh salad bar, and a dessert selection that I probably should have avoided more often than I did.   ;-)

  2. Hanging out with my friends - From March until about the end of June, I was on days shift at work, and spent literally every evening at the MWR building playing Texas Hold 'em with my buddies.  It was a great time, and I made some good friends who I intend to try to keep in touch with.

  3. Internet access - I have to say that the Internet access over here was much better than I expected.  In addition to the MWR Internet cafe computer that I'm typing on right now, I also had relatively free web browsing while at work.  In fact, I could actually get to more websites from my computer at work here, than from the one sitting on my office desk back in Hawaii.

  4. Inexpensive DVDs - We have a little shop on base that sells DVD movies and tv shows ... I was a regular visitor.  While I was here I watched about 10 multi-season TV series including Friends, Grey's Anatomy, Six Feet Under, Will and Grace, Las Vegas, CSI,  a few others, and many many movies.  LOL, I don't think I'm going to need to watch tv at home for at least the next 6 months.

  5. Cheap phone calls - Another thing that worked out better than I expected was the ability to call home and keep in touch with my wife.  In the MWR Internet cafe, they have a bank of VOIP phones operated by SPAWAR that sells phone cards with rates of .04 cents of minutes.  The quality wasn't always the greatest, and sometimes the phones were down altogether, but the simple fact is, I got to call home almost every day I was here ... that made things a lot easier.

I may come back and add to this list once I'm back home and have had a little more time to reflect.

Til next time ...


Sunday, September 16, 2007

From my dreamboard

I posted this to my dreamboard the other day.

I am retired from the Air Force. This is my office ...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Internet message boards

This will be the first in a series of "resources for part-time networkers".  Eventually I'll link them all together on a static page and add it to the blog menu.

I'm going to start this out with just 4 boards that I actually visit, and somewhat know.  I definitely plan to add more in the future.  In fact, if you know of any quality message boards out there, please leave a comment ... I'll check em out, and possibly add them to the list.

  •  - This is probably my favorite message board.  I've been visting on and off for about 7 year now.  A lot of "drama", and some interesting personalities.  It's definitely entertaining, and there's enough knowledge represented, that if you pay attention, it's not too hard to pick up a nugget or two of quality brain candy from time to time.

  • - Oddly enough, I just visited this board for the first time recently ... although once I looked around, I recognized a lot of the names.  There are literally a Ton of very active forums on this board.  Also appears to be good mix of people talking about / helping each other with their businesses, and people who are "looking".  If you don't mess things up right off the bat by spamming the board, this looks like it could be a Very good place to meet potential business partners and customers.

  • - Another site that I've visited on and off for a number of years now.  This board has a very active network marketing forum, with some extremely knowledgable and friendly members.  To me though, one of the biggest benefits of richdad is all the other forums ... especially the ones covering things like taxes and incorporating your business ... just a wealth of good information here.

  • - Of the four, this is probably my least favorite forum to actually post on (very strict and sometimes quirky moderation).  But, I still visit on a regular basis, as I learn something new just about every time.  And of course since I've learned so much, I do try to give back by occassionally making an informative post

"Rules of the Road" ...

I'm not going to go into a big drawn out "lesson" on how to use message boards (talk to you upline).  I will however give you just a couple of pointers that may make the going a little smoother:

  1. Get this in your head right now ... your primary purpose for visiting message board is NOT to sell products, and/or invite people to look at your business.  The best reason to visit these industry specific boards is to GET KNOWN.

  2. Along those lines; Never, Never, Never SPAM a message board about how great your products or opportunity are.  This is the quickest and easiest way to lose all credibility ... and with it, any chance you may have had of eventually meeting quality new business parnters.

  3. Do Be YOURSELF.  If anybody has ever told you that you need to "fake it til you make it" on Internet message boards, they are dead wrong.  If you're just starting out, and you have questions ... ask away.  And likewise, if someone else asks a question, and you have the answer, by all means respond.  But if you're not actually an "expert", don't even think about representing yourself as one. (another one of those pesky credibility killers)

  4. Do include a link to your webpage (if it's allowed).  But don't be too elaborate about it ... the "curiosity approach" is often a more effective way to get clicks on your link than a 6-line "mini-advertisement".

  5. Last, but certainly not least, Have FuN, and make some new friends.  If you ever find yourself not enjoying a message board, take a break ... stop visiting for a while ... or possibly even move and find one that's a better "fit".

Ok, well that's about all the time I have for now.  I hope you find this list useful.  And as I said above, if you're aware of any other *quality* message boards, please leave a comment so I can go check em out ... thanks in advance.

Til next time ... keep havin FuN!


Mr Positive

I was over at yet when a thread was started recommending a few good websites. One of them was call Sounded like my kind of place, so I decided to check it out, and ended up signing up for his newsletter. Below is what showed up in my email box today ... I like ... and since he aske me to share ...

If we are incapable of finding peace in ourselves,
it is pointless to search elsewhere.
--Francois de la Rochefoucauld


Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture.
It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up
the stairs. --Vaclav Havel


Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
--William Jennings Bryan


Dave Boufford 

PS  Please share this newsletter with your friends, family and co-workers...everyone deserves a little inspiration.

Till next time ... keep havin FuN!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9 Things You Simply Must Do

I suscribe to many newsletters.  One of the best is "Leadership Wired" from John C. Maxwell.  I really enjoyed one of today's articles, and thought I'd share it here ...
9 Things You Simply Must Do
By Dr. John C. Maxwell

Oprah Winfrey and Anderson Cooper are two of the most popular media personalities in America. Yet, their backgrounds hardly could be more dissimilar. Oprah was born to unmarried teenage parents in rural Mississippi. Anderson’s mother was fashionable railroad heiress, Gloria Vanderbilt, and his father was a successful writer/editor in Manhattan. Oprah grew up in poverty, spending her childhood in the inner-city ghettoes of Milwaukee. Anderson was born into wealth. He appeared with his mom on The Tonight Show when he was three, and he modeled for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Macy’s as a child.

Yet, for all of their differences (background, race, and gender), Oprah Winfrey and Anderson Cooper have unmistakable similarities. At some level, they resemble each other. They have an aura of success that identifies one with the other.

For example, both Oprah and Anderson Cooper consistently deliver. Whether it’s a talk show, a book club, or a cause she has adopted, we can rely on Oprah’s candor, inspiring energy, and excellence. The same consistency can be attributed to Anderson Cooper. One night he’s reporting from New York, the next night from Cairo, and he’s in London the day after that. Yet, when we turn on CNN, we can count on him to be poised, polished, and deliver the news with excellence.

What is it about successful people, like Oprah and Anderson Cooper, who, although completely different in background and style, are almost identical in their approach to work and life? In his book, 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life, Dr. Henry Cloud passes along his observations of nine principles commonly practiced by the successful people he knows. The book drips with leadership application, and I would like to take this lesson to summarize Dr. Cloud’s insights.

Principle #1: Dig It Up

Each person has a treasure trove of ability inside of them. Everyone has dreams and desires lodged within their soul. Why do some people dig deep and take hold of their dreams while others let them drift away?

According to Dr. Cloud, successful people give sustained attention to what stirs within them. They find outlets for their passions. Exercising their strengths is non-negotiable.

Principle #2: Pull the Tooth

Many people I know have an irrational fear of the dentist’s office. The idea of someone poking and prodding in their mouth fills them with dread. Amazingly, some people are afraid to the point where they would rather suffer discomfort day after day rather than undergo the temporary pain of a visit to the dentist.

As Dr. Cloud has observed, successful people go to the dentist. They face their fears and make the appointment. They pull the tooth that is causing the nagging ache and, by enduring the pain, they come out better on the other side.

Successful people refuse to carry their baggage through life. They confront their hurt, disappointment, and anger early, and they seek emotional freedom from life’s injuries. Likewise, successful people quickly recover when they fail. Rather than succumbing to a downward spiral of disappointment (or even depression) they come to terms with the failure, make course adjustments to their lives, and move on.

Principle #3: Play the Movie

Dr. Cloud recommends the exercise of playing a movie of your life in which you are the hero or heroine. What traits does your character have? What happens during the plot of the movie? Who do you starring alongside you? How does your movie inspire the people in the theater?

Most people live their life and then look at it. Do the opposite. Look at your life and then live it. Envision and step toward the future you want to experience. Don’t wake up one day to realize that your life is like a B-grade movie—you don’t want to leave in the middle, but you would never want to watch it again!

Principle #4: Do Something

Dr. Cloud’s fourth principle is short and to the point: successful people do something. They initiate, create, and generate. Successful leaders are proactive as opposed to reactive. “They do not see themselves as victims of circumstances,” Cloud writes, “But as active participants who take steps to influence outcomes.” Their days and their lives are controlled by internal motivations rather than external currents.

In a similar vein, successful people take ownership for their destinations in life. They don’t assign blame; they welcome responsibility. They refuse to cede their freedom to others and live dependently. The successful person has done leadership’s toughest task—mastered the art of self-leadership. The benefit of leading yourself well is that you don’t have to rely on others to provide direction for your life. You get to plan the course.

Principle #5: Act Like An Ant
“Go to the ant, you sluggard;
Consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
No over seer or ruler,
Yet it stores its provisions in summer
And gathers its food at the harvest.”
  -Proverbs 6:6-8

Dr. Cloud points to the ant to develop another principle of success. Three lessons stand out from the metaphor of the ant. First, they appreciate the ethic of hard work. Their lives are a flurry of constant activity as they tirelessly search for food. Second, ants refuse to give up. They never abandon the hunt, crawling through cracks and crevices in their pursuit of a morsel. Third, ants understand the value of compounding. Grain by grain an ant builds the hill that becomes its home, and crumb by crumb they accumulate storehouses of food.

Principle #6: Hate Well

In his writing, Dr. Cloud talks about focusing feelings of anger constructively to solve problems or end injustice. As he develops his idea of “hating well,” he distinguishes between subjective hate and objective hate.

Subjective hate is toxic. Dr. Cloud describes it as, “a pool of feelings and attitudes that resides in our soul, waiting for expression. It is not directed at anything specific or caused on any given day by any specific object. It is already there, sort of like an infection of the soul.” Subjective hate poisons and corrupts the person who houses it.

On the contrary, objective hate can be described as anger with a purpose. Objective hate protects by standing in opposition to dishonesty, exploitation, or deceit. Objective hate may spark entrepreneurship. In fact, many successful businesses have begun as a result of the founder’s hatred of poor service or shoddy quality.

Principle #7: Don’t Play Fair

Fairness says “an eye for an eye,” or “a tooth for a tooth.” Fairness weighs all actions in a balance and continuously moves to equilibrium. The rule of fairness means good actions deserve kind responses, and bad behavior deserves punishment.

In Dr. Cloud’s opinion, living in accordance with fairness will destroy every relationship in life. With everyone keeping score of favors bestowed and received, eventually someone will feel victimized when a good deed goes unreturned. As a leader, I’ve learned the high road is the only road to travel on. Don’t treat others according to what they deserve; treat them even better than you would prefer to be treated. By doing so, you’ll keep integrity and avoid sticky accusations or petty arguments.

Principle #8: Be Humble
“Pride is concerned with who is right.
Humility is concerned with what is right.”
  -Ezra Taft Benson

In Dr. Cloud’s estimation, successful people have a healthy dose of humility. Humility has an internal and external component. Internally, humility comes when we admit our errors, and open ourselves to instruction. Externally, humility is gained when we show patience for the faults of others, and when we are quick to shine the spotlight on the successes of others.

Principle #9: Upset the Right People

A person’s success will always be inhibited if he or she tries to please all of the people all of the time. I like how Dr. Cloud explains the principle of upsetting the right people:
Do not try to avoid upsetting people; just make sure that you are upsetting the right ones. If the kind, loving, responsible, and honest people are upset with you, then you had better look at the choices you are making. But if the controlling, hot and cold, irresponsible or manipulative people are upset with you, then take courage!

Be likeable and be gracious, but don’t sacrifice your identity or values for the sake of harmony.

Review: 9 Things You Simply Must Do for Success

Principle #1 – Dig It Up
Principle #2 – Pull the Tooth
Principle #3 – Play the Movie
Principle #4 – Do Something
Principle #5 – Act Like an Ant
Principle #6 – Hate Well
Principle #7 – Don’t Play Fair
Principle #8 – Be Humble
Principle #9 – Upset the Right People

"This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter 'Leadership Wired' available at "

Till next time ...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Who Is This Todd Guy?


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

10 Big Lessons from Little Kids

I was browsing through Digg the other day, and found a new blog that I expect I'll be reading on a regular basis. One article that caught my eye was 10 Big Lessons from Little Kids. #8 was my favorite:
8. Playtime is important and laughter feels good.

We get so caught up in work, chores and a host of “have-to’s” that we forget to take time for ourselves. Not only does relaxing and regrouping make life worthwhile, it has real health benefits. Most of all, it will help you stay consistent and motivated. Kids also seem to inherently know that laughter can ease blood pressure, help your brain function, give you energy, and help you reach your goals. Smiling and enjoying yourself can be serious help.

You can read the rest of them over at:

Till next time ...
Todd :-)