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Don’t Miss Networking Opportunities

networking-featuredA lot of us will know someone who never seems to be without work or opportunities. I’ve met a few people like this. One friend in particular always managed to get himself into situations that proved advantageous. I noticed he was always making phone calls and receiving phone calls from people I wouldn’t consider to be in his social circle of close friends. The more I think about, the more I realize I’m right. He was networking.

No, I don’t mean Network Marketing in the sense of peddling opportunities like Amway or Watkins. He was staying in touch with people who were staying in touch with people, who were interested in what he had to offer.

I’m getting a much clearer picture of it since I downloaded Networking For Business by Gary Dunn. Although some of the information in this book isn’t applicable to everyone, there are a lot of good tips in it. In a chapter of the book, Using Social Networks to Expand Your Business he talks about connecting with 11,000 first generation contacts through  LinkedIn. We don’t all have access to this amount of contacts, but at the same time, the book shows you how you can make up to nine new contacts per week.

I understand the importance of networking. I’ve been doing quite a bit of it myself. Business has slowed down some, so I’m finding that making new connections and re-establishing older acquaintances is proving beneficial. And I’ve been using my network to promote my business more. I ran across a saying a little while ago, that I remembered (which is a surprising task at this age), “If you don’t ask, then the answer is no.” No doubt, I’ve perturbed some folks, but if by connection they prove to be of no value, it doesn’t really matter. You need to focus on the people who do matter.

Here is what Gary says about his book:

“This book is a combination of motivation and how to steps to network yourself to getting more business. Many people hear that networking is a way to grow your business but may not know why or how. I give you practical steps and advice on what to do to make networking work for you. I use stories, examples and just advice to help guide you during your journey as an entrepreneur. Some of this may be common knowledge for some of you. Other chapters may give you the ‘aha moment” we all need at times. The book is designed to speak to you and inspire you to get up, get out there and make new opportunities everyday.”

Of course to benefit from this book, you don’t necessarily have to be an entrepreneur. You could be a musician looking for new opportunities. You might be someone who is looking for a job, or you might just be looking for a way to expand your current network.

In one chapter of the book, Gary says:

“Partnering with others can increase your business as well as theirs. Finding someone to share contacts and network with will mutually benefit both of you. This will provide each of you with a way to reach your sales goals without “cold calling.” Let’s look at how this can work.”

I don’t think cold calling is a bad idea in some cases either. In the last month I’ve identified a couple of business leaders in a certain niche and called them up to chat. I didn’t try and sell them on my services. I did some research to see if I could discover more about them. You see, when you know the particular achievements of someone else, and you ask them about it — you’ve just ‘broken the ice’. This may seem a little sad to sad, but it’s human nature. Everyone’s favorite topic “me“. If you show a genuine interest — and it has to be genuine — people will love to have you listen, while they tell you about their successes. The funny part is, you don’t have to say a thing about yourself; they will think you’re a great fellow and automatically like you. If they like you and they have a need of services you offer, then there is a good chance they will hire you. People like to do business with people they like.

Was I successful with this strategy? I’d like to think so. In both cases, the gentlemen invited me to join their LinkedIn networks, so the door is “open” for further communication.

Networking For Business by Gary Dunn isn’t written by someone who hasn’t failed either. If you haven’t failed in business, finding a job or failed in personal relationships, then you haven’t done anything. Let’s take a second to let that ‘sink in’ and read Gary’s comments on this matter:

It’s easy to be discouraged when business is slow. People may not be coming in or calling. Every once in a while, we come to that slow period when we ask ourselves, “is this all worth it?” I have come close to looking in the want ads and/or going to Monster.com to see what is out there. What usually happens just before I do, however, is a customer calls and I end up with a big project and things start to pick up again.

“This is both good and bad. The good is obviously that my business stays afloat and I am able to keep moving forward. The bad is that I let my pipeline get weak. That is the cardinal sin of being in business. Business depends on keeping your prospecting and marketing up at all times.

This is what happened to my business. For the last few years I had enough work to get by on. I turned down countless jobs when I could have hired people to do a lot of the work for me and at the same time, increased my network by staying in contact with more people. So I’m guilty of this cardinal sin. The same sin could be applied to someone who is looking for a job; once you have a job — you make the mistake of not looking for a job. You should always be looking for better opportunities, and increasing your network size.

This book is being offered for free today as part of an Amazon promotion. Fortunately for me, my business is starting to grow again, but it is taking a lot of work, and a lot of connections. And if you’re reading this and already doing well, it won’t cost you a dime to add it to your library today. You might find yourself needing it later on. Read it now, so you know how to guard yourself against this type of sin.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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A man’s advice to women on dating

date2-featuredNo one said, that just because you’re over fifty and alone, that you can’t date. Wanting to stay single and live alone doesn’t necessarily exclude dating. You don’t get kicked out of the club if you do. Some of you… may even retire from your singlehood, and (heaven forbid) get married again!!

You need some advice? Well, I might just have it for you today, if you’re a woman. But, before I tell you about it, I must warn you. The language in the book is quite colorful and may seem inappropriate for sensitive readers. If cuss words bother you, then you might want to skip this book. That being said, Prentice Prefontaine offers some fairly straight-up advice in his book titled Bitch, Stop That! Dating Advice For Women From A Flamboyant Man.

Why would you want to listen to your single girlfriends? If they had any good advice, they certainly didn’t heed it themselves. You may call each other best friends, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to learn your best friends are your biggest competitors. A lot of females wouldn’t tell you the truth anyway, because they are too busy being catty.

Now you’ve really gone too far, Steve!!!!!

Now, now — don’t get your big girl panties in a knot! Did you forget I have a daughter? Let’s look at an example that slapped me upside the head so hard, that I’m still reeling from it, almost 9 years later.

Kelsey was eight years old. She was living with me. One day when her best friend was over I heard some sobbing coming from her bedroom. The door was open to her room, as was mine, while I worked away in my office. The girl’s wailing was becoming a bit unbearable as she lamented on how badly she was missing her best friend who lived about 3,500 miles away. I thought this was a little odd. First time I had heard of this. To the best of my knowledge, the girl who was trying to comfort her in her bedroom was her best friend. I could hear her trying to comfort and soothe my daughter, but she wasn’t having any luck. Finally the girl said it was almost supper time and she had instructions to be home for supper. So with some parting words of compassionate appeal, she left our home.

The sobbing stopped as soon as the door closed, and then the next thing I heard was Kelsey playing with some toys. My, I thought. She got over that rather quickly. I left it alone for a bit, but it was eating me up. I would have to ask. So I strolled over to the kid’s door and said, “What was all that about? I thought she was your best friend?”

“She is.”

“Well, what was all that bawling for then?”

“Look Dad… she is my friend. But, I don’t want her to know it.”

I just shook my head and walked away. Those kind of tricks are not something she would have learned from me. It really opened my eyes as to the huge difference there is in the way that men and women communicate, and how these different processes are even, really evident in the early years. Even in this so called, enlightened state, I can’t even begin to realize the differences between women who might be best friends, and men who are best friends. I agree that even men who are best friends can be competitive, but a lot less likely in this manner.

This is precisely why, Prentice Prefontaine’s book might be a good read for some of you ladies who are interested in dating again. I am really quite doubtful, that your best girlfriends are going to give you any type of advice you can use. You might be better off listening to a male’s perspective on the subject, because he isn’t afraid to tell you exactly how men see it… and how men see you. And, if you get it now, while it’s free you can save yourself $7.99.

Prentice says, “There are a group of five behaviors that can ground your relationship before it’s had a chance to fly. And these behaviors are… N.A.S.T.Y.” Ha-ha! Well he sure nailed it on this one. If you’re N.A.S.T.Y. … guess you best get used to being single.

NOTE: For those of you who are really desperate for advice, don’t forget there is a forum/discussion area setup on this site, where you are free to ask for relationship advice. Of course, there isn’t any guarantee to the quality of the advice you may receive.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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Beyond Ordinary: A Good Marriage Isn’t Enough

beyond-featuredSome people suffer from mediocrity. I don’t. I enjoy it! But. it’s one thing living alone this way, it’s entirely another thing if your marriage suffers from it. If you aren’t quite ready to join us here at 50alone.com, you might want to re-examine your relationship to make sure you don’t wind up here by mistake. Don’t get me wrong! You’re always welcome. Just need to be sure you’re here by your own choice.

I was browsing through titles of books at Amazon this morning. Ran across one by Michael Boatman, titled “God Laughs When You Die“. Okay! Let him have the last laugh if he must. But don’t let him, or anyone else, laugh now because your marriage is a joke. While you’re living, there is still hope.

Please, take my advice — it never did ME any good… It doesn’t matter if youare the one who is thinking of leaving. It will still be a traumatic experience for everyone involved, including children, family and friends. Having two failed marriages behind me, I know a little bit about it.

Justin Davis says:

“The biggest threat to any marriage isn’t infidelity or miscommunication. The greatest enemy is ordinary. Ordinary marriages lose hope. Ordinary marriages lack vision. Ordinary marriages give in to compromise. Ordinary is the belief that this is as good as it will ever get. And when we begin to settle for ordinary, it’s easy to move from “I do” to ‘I’m done’.”

Justin may have written my life story. It sounds like my last marriage. Most of the time, we were both working two jobs each, and busy trying to raise our daughter and manage our bills. It didn’t leave a lot of time for each other.

In Justin’s book, Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough, Justin and Trisha take us inside the slow fade that occurred in their own marriage—each telling the story from their own perspective. Together, they reveal the mistakes they made, the work they avoided, the thoughts and feelings that led to an affair and near divorce, and finally, the heart-change that had to occur in both of them before they could experience the hope, healing, and restoration of a truly extraordinary marriage.

Here is a an excerpt that I found intriguing:

Can you name any area of your life you can neglect and then expect to see improvement?

Does this work with your body? Nope. Ignore it, and you’ll get fat.

Does this work with your business? Nope. Ignore it, and it will crash.

Does this work with your yard? Nope. Ignore it and, it will be overrun by weeds.

So why in the world do we think we can put our marriages on autopilot and they will still be what God wants them to be?

Hard questions? Maybe. Then, if you want to keep what you have, perhaps you will feel the need to answer them. I must confess, I did not read the whole book. I scanned through it. I think it will offer everyone who is trying to make their marriage work some insight into how to change an ordinary marriage into an extraordinary marriage. Don’t take my word for it though. There are over 150 reviews of this book on Amazon (which is being offered for free today) and you can click here to read them.

Now, even if you are a proud, card carrying member,  of 50alone.com, there’s a chance that some of you might eventually get tired of living alone, and may meet someone who changes your mind. We ain’t kickin’ you out of the club. We’re rootin’ for ya’.  It’s understandable that some people were never meant to live alone, and they thrive as part of a couple. If this is you, get this book today while it’s free.

You know how some days you get that urge to rearrange all of the furniture? Ya’, no… I don’t get it either ’cause I’m a man. The furniture is sitting in exactly the same spot since I bought this house and moved in. Maybe it will stay there; maybe it won’t…

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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The Rules of Parenting

parent-featuredIf you’re over fifty, chances are you aren’t raising children. They are likely grown up and gone. Maybe they are raising children. If they are, it’s likely, they are raising your grandchildren in the same fashion you raised them. Let me ask you a question: who taught you how to raise children? No doubt, your experience in this area stems from your childhood. You raised your children the same way you were raised. You disciplined them in the same manner; you tried to set the same values and raise them on the ethical beliefs that were instilled upon you in your early years.

Did ya’ do good?

I’m not sure I did.

When I was a young man, and my first wife and I had our son, we raised him based on these beliefs that were passed down to us from our parents. When we were children, we believed that our parents had the answers to everything. If we raised our children in the same fashion, what could be wrong with that? Well… the answer is: there could be a lot wrong with that…

I don’t believe in perfect people. Never did. I look back over the last 50+ years and can see the mistakes I’ve made — mistakes with careers, mistakes with people, and even mistakes with my kids. And even though I thought my parents were perfect, maybe they were just regular people like me — who didn’t have all the answers to all of the questions in the universe. Who knows? Maybe they made their fair share of mistakes too. And God forbid! Maybe their parenting wasn’t perfect.

My daughter was very young, and I was working mostly night-shifts at a mill. This was about the same time I was just getting started on building my business. On the night-shift there was only one other fellow besides myself, and I learned to appreciate his quick wit, intelligence, and his sense of purpose. He shared with me, stories of his father beating him with a belt when he was young. He said, “If I have ever have children, they will definitely not be raised the way I was.” It was he, who suggested to me, that parents weren’t perfect… we didn’t have to raise our children the same way we were raised, and that we were free to make our own rules, and follow our hearts to use our best judgement. And, by shifting our own behaviour and thinking, we could make sure that our children would have a better guideline for raising our grandchildren.

These discussions on this topic, with my co-worker, continued on-and-off, for a couple of months. My son, to my first wife, often got a licking (just like I did when I was little) as a means of discipline. But when I was having these discussion at work, I was already married a second time and we had a daughter. She was very young at this time, but after bringing up these ideas to my wife it was agreed we would find another way to discipline her.

I was inspired to write this post after reading The Rules of Parenting by Richard Templar. I don’t think anyone has all the answers but his book certainly offers some really great ideas to pass on to my children on raising my grandchildren. By the way, the Kindle version of the book is free today as part of an Amazon promotion. Richard said, about this book:

“There are lots of wrong ways to bring up your kids, but there are lots of right ones, too. There’s no list of instructions you have to follow to the letter if you don’t want your child to end up a loser. The Rules of Parenting presents the principles to follow which you can adapt to suit you and your children. Beginning with the first rule “Relax” and continuing through 100 rules, this book presents a guide to everything a parent needs to know from toddling, school, boyfriends or girlfriends, through driving lessons and college. The book begins with a section that covers the most important rules, The Rules for Staying Sane. The rest of the sections cover the some of the big questions of parenting, including the Attitude Rules, the Discipline Rules, the Sibling Rules, the School Rules, the Teenage Rules, the Crisis Rules, all the way up to the Grown-up Rules.”

If you were to print the book off, it’s about 275 pages long, so I wasn’t able to go through the whole thing today, but I scanned through a lot of it. It offers some really great ideas on the subject of parenting, and I wish I had read it years ago when I was raising my own.

It would be nice if we could get in a time machine and go back and fix all of our stupid mistakes. Especially so, for our children’s sake! But maybe it isn’t too late to pass on some good advice. Although caution is urged on how to present it. They aren’t as impressionable as they once were.

Presentation is everything! One of the smartest men I ever had the chance to work with, would present the problem and ask me for my idea on how to resolve it. When I offered an answer, I could see he was honestly evaluating it. His reply would often follow this structure:

I think that’s a good idea, Steve. But I’m wondering about… (and then he would mention a part of the puzzle I hadn’t thought of). How about if we approached it this way…..

One of two things would happen then. Either I would have a solution (which was very seldom) to the hole in my theory, or I could see the brilliance in his plan, and we would opt to do it that way. But you see… he valued my opinion, and then presented a better plan that we could agree upon. Although… and I humbly submit, there was the odd time we went with my plan with a few modifications (ha -ha).

Of course, each one of you, I’m sure, has already figured out how to present your grown children with new ideas. You have learned how to approach them without confrontation, I hope. You have to be careful of where you “stick your nose in” so it doesn’t get bitten off. It isn’t like you can “turn them over your knee” for not listening any more….

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re also welcome to share your comments below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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Girl who silenced world for 5 minutes

Cullis-Suzuki-featuredCullis-Suzuki was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her mother is writer Tara Elizabeth Cullis. Her father, geneticist and environmental activist David Suzuki, is a third-generation Japanese Canadian. While attending Lord Tennyson Elementary School in French Immersion, at age 9, she founded the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a group of children dedicated to learning and teaching other youngsters about environmental issues. In 1992, at age 12, Cullis-Suzuki raised money with members of ECO to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Along with group members Michelle Quigg, Vanessa Suttie, and Morgan Geisler, Cullis-Suzuki presented environmental issues from a youth perspective at the summit, where she was applauded for a speech to the delegates. You can read more about her here.

Below, is a video of the speech she gave in 1992, at the summit.

Cullis-Suzuki graduated from Yale University in 2002 with a B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology. She is still trying to make the world a better place. I’m not sure anyone is listening though. The fish that she spoke of becoming cancerous in British Columbia in the early 1990s are becoming much more common these days and some species that she mentions disappearing, are disappearing at a far more alarming rate now… as evident from a recent article on the CTV network titled, Study: Amphibians disappearing at alarming rate.

If you don’t want to miss any of these posts: on the right-hand side of the blog is a place where you can enter your email address, and I’ll send you any new posts by email. You’re not going to get spammed — I respect your privacy. All you will get is the new posts only. Note: any posts that contain video or other website technologies won’t be available in the email version of the posts.

You’re welcome to comment below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our rebel mouse page, to see what else you might be missing.


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