Monthly Archives: April 2016

Steps to Manage your Time

 


Learn How to Manage Your Time With These 5 Steps

By Rhett Power @rhettpower

Your dream has always been to be your own boss. To do business the way you knew it should be done. To offer a great service or product. To stand behind your promise. To make a difference. 

Time management is one of the biggest challenges you face as an entrepreneur. You may have no resources other than yourself and your idea, so it seems logical that you have to keep working harder and harder. You’re excited about your future, yet you’re already exhausted.

So how do you get it all done? How can you be sure you are making progress? Take a step back. Get a cup of coffee and answer the following questions.

  1. Do I have a master plan?

This is a crucial question. Where do you want to be in one year, three years, five years? Write it all down, then chunk it down. Start by making a list your goals for each year. Be specific: How will you get business? Pay for things? Then break these goals down by month, then by week. Now you have a concrete way to make progress. Each day, look at the week’s list and get busy on the tasks.

  1. How will I spend today?

You know what needs to be done today, and how it will move you forward. Assign times to each task, to keep you on track. Spending four hours on a short blog post because you got sidetracked clicking on interesting links is not useful. Give the blog post an hour and hunker down. Assign times for lunch, exercise, and interruptions. Just know how your day is budgeted.

  1. Does this task pertain to my goal?

As you consider your time, it’s important to use it wisely. I suggest that at least half your time be spent engaged in activities that produce most of your results.”

  1. Am I avoiding distractions?

Stay off social media while you work. Tell your family that your home office is out of bounds. Don’t check email every hour. Only take business calls during your scheduled work time. The easiest way to lose control of your day is to let time get nibbled away by distractions. When you discipline yourself, you’ll have better focus.

  1. Is this the best use of my time?

As the company owner and leader, you want to have oversight of everything. In the beginning, it’s how you measure your progress. But your time is precious, so ask yourself if your activity is in the interest of success. Do you need to be putting stamps on mailings? Writing every blog post? Making a spreadsheet of contacts? As soon as you can determine what to delegate, you give yourself the gift of time. Time that can be spent growing your business.

The hard work will never go away. And because you love your business, that’s good news. When you learn to manage your time and be more productive, you can do what you do best: Be successful!

What Do You Want?

Each man has but one destiny.” — Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather

Your Future

“Quite suddenly it felt as if the sun had come down very close to your head. The air filled with dancing golden specks. Your oldest grandson came running through the garden toward where you knelt and the boy was enveloped by a yellow shield of blinding light. Death hid behind that flaming yellow shield ready to pounce out on him and you waved the boy away just in time. The sledgehammer blow inside your chest makes you choke for air as you pitch forward into the earth.

Thus described the death of Don Vito Corleone, as written by Mario Puzo in The Godfather. The Don worked his entire adult life building wealth and power at great cost, and yet here he was in retirement, longing only for the innocence of his youth, an innocence he was never able to regain.

He had spent 45 years building a criminal empire and all he really wanted was peace and freedom. And when he had attained the simple life that he had sacrificed so much to earn, it was all snatched away from him by death, because of the stress he placed upon himself in life.

Your future doesn’t have to be that way.

I know, I know. You aren’t a mafia boss. You didn’t spend your life committing crimes, ordering ‘hits’, racketeering, or violently building out your turf.

But you have spent much of your career in stressful traffic jams during your long commute to work. You suffer under a boss that cares only about the bottom line, and not about treating employees with respect. And on top of all of this, you struggle to make ends meet and you worry about your finances almost every day.

That’s not how you want to spend your future.

So here’s how you can change it.

It starts with creating a clear vision for your life and your family’s future.

When you have a clear vision for what you want, you can find a better path to get there than one that involves so much sacrifice.

You don’t have to spend 10 hours in a cubicle, or. You don’t have to commute an hour to work each day. You don’t have to kill yourself at work just to retire and die.

The Godfather’s demise reminds me of the story of The Executive and The Fisherman. Perhaps you’ve heard it. I’ll let the great author, Paulo Coelho tell it. He does it better than I ever could.

“There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village. As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”

The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.

“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.

“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

What will be your story?

“How will you measure your life?” asks Clayton Christensen.

What sacrifices are you making, and why?

Are they worth it?

I am not suggesting you do not work.

But I am suggesting you sit down and think about where you really want to be in life.

You don’t have to be trapped in someone else’s plan.

You can design the life you want.

But it starts with knowing where you want to be and having a map for getting there.

Let us return to the death of The Godfather.

 

Back in his garden after his heart attack, the great Don was helped by his son Michael to the shade of his patio where they waited for the ambulance. Death was mere moments away.

“With a great effort the Don opened his eyes to see his son once more,” Puzo wrote. “He smelled the garden, and he whispered, ‘Life is so beautiful.’ He died, holding the hand of the son he had most loved.”

One does not need great wealth and power, nor enemies that want to see you dead, in order to know that life is beautiful. One does not need to work 60 hours a week, to lose your health to work, or to set aside for tomorrow the things that matter today.

With better planning, with a vision, and with the right decisions for your right life, you can enjoy the beautiful life much more today. You can be present with your family, instead of losing them.

Let me show you how. Join me next Wednesday evening for a one-time-only special presentation for Early To Rise readers. You can watch it from the comfort of your own home. It’ll be like having me sitting down at your kitchen table, across from you, and coaching you on creating that all-powerful vision for your life.

You can be successful without sacrificing your life like the great Don did.

And I will show you how.

Click here to join me for your free coaching session.

And when you do, you’ll immediately be sent a free bonus gift to help you start creating your Perfect Life.

Talk soon.

About the Author: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and author of The Perfect Day Formula. His straightforward, sometimes “politically-incorrect” advice has helped millions of people transform their lives both physically and financially. Craig’s secret weapons for success include his personal commandments, his 5 pillars, and his Perfect Life vision. Click here to learn more about how you can implement his 3 secrets to success and live your Perfect Days.

Tip To Loss Weight

HEALTHY

How Walking May Be Your Key to Weight Loss

By Missi Holt

Here are 7 points to remind you of the Power of Walking:

  • It’s Easy and Natural: The human body is designed for daily movement. It is essential for optimal physiological function and contributes to total health and wellbeing. Walking is one of the most fundamental movement patterns requiring coordinated and integrated use of our arms, torso, and legs. If you’re doing nothing, this is an obvious place to start. It can be done just about anywhere – no equipment needed.
  • It Helps You Avoid Constipation, Indigestion, and Illness: Each of these undesirable states keeps your system sluggish, pulling energy away from your potential healing and weight release. Walking involves rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the muscles stimulating a cascade of positive effects that mobilize and massage internal organs (aids digestion and assimilation of nutrients), support lymph fluid movement (removal of toxins), and boost immune system function.

    Click here for 5 more reasons why you should start walking more.

What I Learn About Happiness

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” – Epictetus

3 Secrets to Happiness

By Craig Ballantyne
One morning, a friend called me in distress about her relationship with her boyfriend. There was one misunderstanding after another, and now they weren’t talking. After 20 minutes we worked out a plan and I’ll share it below. But it got me thinking about how easy it is for us to slip from what I call, The Simple & Happy Life Plan.

The source of this plan, one that has made me happier and less stressed than any other resource, is called, The Art Of Living.

It’s a series of short lessons translated from the ancient Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, and it gave me the 3-C Formula for life:

  • Control what you can

  • Cope with what you can’t

  • Concentrate on what counts

I take this to mean:

  • You can only control your thoughts, words and deeds. What you say, how you think, and what you do can make a situation better or worse, so choose wisely

  • You can’t control other people or their moods, or the weather, or traffic. That means we must be prepared to cope with the wild and wacky ups-and-downs of friends, family, and yes, even the weather. Always remember: You control your reaction. You can raise your voice, or you can be calm. It’s your choice.)

  • You must concentrate on what counts. Focus on what really matters in life, not the things that won’t matter in 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days, or 3 hours from now.

But wait, what really matters?

The answer, according to science from Harvard University, is that we must focus our time and energy on people and experiences — these two things matter more than anything else in life when it comes to our happiness.

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In a study that started all the way back in 1938, and has since tracked over 700 people (including JFK!), if you want to be happy, don’t chase money or fame. Instead, spend more time with others that you love.

The most important factor in happiness, long-term health, and wellbeing is:

The strength of your relationships with your family, friends, and spouse.

The study has also led to other interesting findings such as:

  • The #1 thing you can do for your health is to avoid smoking.

  • Alcohol was the primary cause of divorce.

  • Alcohol abuse often precedes depression.

But most importantly…

“The people in the strongest relationships were protected against chronic disease, mental illness and memory decline — even if the relationships had ups and downs. Those good relationships don’t have to be smooth all the time,” said Dr. Robert Waldinger, the current leader of the research study.

“Some of our octogenarian couples could bicker day in and day out. But as long as they felt that they could really count on the other when the going got tough, those arguments didn’t take a toll on their memories.”

So what does the Harvard study suggest we do?

Well, it’s the same sort of plan I gave my friend to help her relationship… (yep, I’m a regular ol’ Dr. Phil here, ha!)

The Plan for My Friend to Regain Her Happiness & Relationship

  1. Stop trying to have the difficult conversations via email. You must talk things through face-to-face. When he gets home tonight, go for a walk. We communicate — and understand one another — better in person, especially when the conversations are difficult.

  2. Once you sort out the issue, do something new together. The Harvard study recommends livening up stale relationships with long walks or date nights. My good friends, Bedros and Di Keuilian, go out every Tuesday for a date night. It’s one of the foundations of their strong marriage.

  3. Don’t ignore conflict. The old saying about “Never go to bed mad” is great advice that stands the test of time. This goes for family relationships, too. According to the Harvard study, we should “reach out to the family member we haven’t spoken to in years — because those family feuds take a terrible toll on the people who hold the grudges.”

No one’s perfect, myself included, and we won’t ever live a life free of conflict, but as long as we work to strengthen the relationships with our loved ones, and focus on people and experiences, we’ll live a long, satisfied, and healthy life.

That’s what it’s about, not money in the bank, job titles, or hours spent at work.

About the Author: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and author of The Perfect Day Formula. His straightforward, sometimes “politically-incorrect” advice has helped millions of people transform their lives both physically and financially. Craig’s secret weapons for success include his personal commandments, his 5 pillars, and his Perfect Life vision. Click here to learn more about how you can implement his 3 secrets to success and live your Perfect Days.

How to Be Rich (2016 Edition)

The best way to get started is to get started. Life rewards action…not reaction. Wait for nothing. Attack life.” – Kekich Credo #81

How to Be Rich (2016 Edition)

By Mark Ford
“Contrary to popular modern belief, it is still quite possible for the successful individual to make his million — and more.”

J. Paul Getty wrote these words in 1965 in his book How to Be Rich. I first read it more than 10 years ago and liked it very much. I read it again recently and was equally inspired. It’s a quick and easy read (it was written as a series of essays for Playboy magazine), but it’s loaded with practical advice for anyone who wants to build wealth: business owners, professionals — even superstar employees.

Getty was a very rich man. I’ve heard it said that in today’s dollars, his wealth was greater than Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s combined.

Getty made his fortune by buying oil businesses at bargain prices just after the Great Depression. A small portion of the book is devoted to telling this story. The rest of it presents Getty’s thesis: that the best way to become rich is to own or work for a growing business and that business growth is dependent on following a dozen or so common-sense strategies.

“Although there are no sure-fire formulas for achieving success in business,” Getty says, “there are some fundamental rules to the game, which, if followed, tip the odds of success very much in the business man’s favor.”

Those rules include:

  • The best way to make a fortune is to own your own business.

  • The central aim of every business is to produce more and better goods (or more and better services) to more people at a lower cost.

  • A sense of thrift is essential for success in business.

  • Legitimate opportunities for expansion should not be overlooked.

  • The business owner must run his own business. He cannot expect employees to run it for him.

  • The business owner must be constantly alert for new ways to improve his products and services and increase his production and sales.

  • Nothing builds confidence and volume faster than a reputation for standing behind one’s product.

Another chapter talks about real estate. Getty was a big believer in real estate as a secondary investment. He made millions that way. He also talks about investing in fine art. In the course of his business life, Getty acquired one of the greatest private collections of art in his time. He left much of that collection to various museums, including what became the Getty Museum in Malibu, California.

In discussing employee compensation, Getty’s ideas belied his reputation for being a penny pincher. He was a believer in paying his employees well — as well as or better than the competition. He also believed in treating his key employees as partners, by giving them incentive-based bonuses and, in some cases, shares of profits. (More than a few of his key employees became rich as a result.)

As the author of The Reluctant Entrepreneur, I was delighted to note that Getty disputed the notion that entrepreneurs should “think big and take big chances.” His success, he says, came from “thinking small” (i.e., paying attention to details) and avoiding risk at every juncture.

How to Be Rich also has a chapter devoted to passive investing. Most people don’t realize it, but Getty’s record as a buyer of stocks was stellar. What was his strategy? To buy great companies with distinct competitive advantages when their shares were cheap.

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Getty wrote How to Be Rich when I was about 15 years old. America was a very different country than it is now, so you might wonder: Do those same rules apply today?

If you are at all familiar with my thoughts on wealth building, you know my answer. Let’s review just a few of the rules to see if they hold up:

  • “The best way to make a fortune is to own your own business.” I made that observation in Automatic Wealth and in a half-dozen books since, including Ready, Fire, Aim, The Reluctant Entrepreneur, and most recently The Big Book of Wealth Creation (more details on that next month).

  • “The central aim of every business is to produce more and better goods (or more and better services) to more people at a lower cost.” That should be the aim, but too many young entrepreneurs today believe their purpose is to create something that they can sell to a larger company for billions of dollars. Still, this is the best way to build a lasting relationship with customers.

  • “A sense of thrift is essential for success in business.” I haven’t written much on this. Perhaps because I don’t have a natural “sense” for thrift. Unlike some business people I know, I don’t enjoy quibbling over nickels and dimes. But I do know that thrift in business is important. If you neglect the cost side of your business, your profits will eventually disappear.

  • “Legitimate opportunities for expansion should not be overlooked.”Legitimate is the key word. I take it to mean “realistic” — that expansion and/or acquisition is good for business only if the chances for success are very good. My rule on this, which I’ve explained in Ready, Fire, Aim, is to enter arenas only “one step removed.” In other words, expand only into areas about which you are already at least 80% knowledgeable.

  • “The business owner must run his own business. He cannot expect employees to run it for him.” I’ve made this point many times. When a business gets big, the owner will be tempted to do the “easy work” of making speeches, attending functions, and writing inspirational memos to employees. But if you spend too much time doing that, you will lose the knowledge and skills you once had to do the “hard work” — developing marketable products and selling them.

  • “The business owner must be constantly alert for new ways to improve his products and services and increase his production and sales.” Again, this is something I’ve covered in many essays and all my books on business building. The strategy I recommend is “incremental augmentation.” It’s the opposite of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It’s based on the belief that if you aren’t always improving your product, a competitor will eventually create something better. This was always true, but in today’s electronic, information-based economy, it is essential.

  • “Nothing builds confidence and volume faster than a reputation for standing behind one’s product.” Again, this is critically true today. Unless you have a virtual monopoly like the cable companies, you can’t get away with treating your customers badly.

So, the answer is yes: The wealth-building ideas in How to Be Rich are as true today as they were in 1965. And they seem to be as true for big companies, like Getty Oil, as they are for smaller, entrepreneurial companies — the ones I write about.

If you read How to Be Rich, you will like it. But you may find yourself wanting more — more specific examples, more instruction, more detailed guidance. You can get that from some of the books I’ve written on this subject. (Yes, me!) I recommendReady, Fire, Aim, Automatic Wealth, and The Reluctant Entrepreneur.

Get More People To Read Your Blog

 


Boost Your Blog: How to use Twitter to drive massive traffic to your website

By Nika Stewart, @NikaStewart

 

Twitter + Blog = Business Success!

A blog is an effective tool for driving website traffic, increasing your expert status, and showing off your company’s brand and value. But to enjoy these benefits, you obviously need your target audience to come to your blog and read your articles.

So how can you get more eyeballs on your blog?

Twitter is one of the best platforms for driving blog traffic. If you apply the tips below, your Twitter account will become a vehicle in which you gently transport your social media followers to your website, transforming them from Intrigued Prospect to Loyal Fan (and ultimately… Happy Customer).

Tweak (and tweet) Your Title

It’s common to simply post a blog title with a link:

I give this post a 5 out of 10. To make it better, tweak your title to sound less automated and more like a conversational prompt. Get rid of the initial caps and rephrase it:

  • Paying too much for heating? Here are 10 ways to save big: http://www.mylink.com/article
  • My newest article gives you 10 easy ways to save money on your heating bill -> http://www.mylink.com/article
  • Save money right away on your heating bills with these 10 simple tips: www.mylink.com/article

These tweets are more fluent and twitter-friendly. And you can get more than one tweet from one title!

Grab a quote (or two or three)

A super simple way to create tweets from your blog is to take quotes directly from your article. Tweet them out with links back to the blog post.  You can paraphrase, shorten, or add hashtags for more effective delivery.

In addition, pick some thought-provoking lines from your article and turn them into graphic quotes. Typorama is my current fave phone app for creating quick and easy typographic designs.

Be a Good *Tipper*

What are people really searching for when they choose to click a link on Twitter? Valuable Information! Tips. Secrets. Guidelines. Hints. Yes, people want helpful ideas. Take the great tips that you have already written in your article and turn them into tweets.

More is More: Get the most out of your tweets

Don’t make the mistake of writing just one tweet per article.  You spent all that time composing your brilliance; make sure it gets out to as many people as possible.  A good rule of thumb is to create 5 – 10 tweets per article.

Post Often and Forever

The biggest mistake I see when people tweet out their blog is that they tweet it once.  All that work for one tweet (which has a very short lifespan) is a crying shame!  99% of your followers will miss your post if it isn’t repeated.  Set up a schedule to release each blog article’s tweets consistently, for as long as the article is relevant. This will keep your Twitter content full, and increase your blog traffic.

If you use these simple techniques, you’ll increase targeted traffic to your website from Twitter. Wanna know how I know? The Ghost Tweeting account managers use these exact guidelines for creating tweets from each blog article for every single Twitter client we have.  We see tweets driving traffic to blogs all day every day. (We can do this for you, too. See details on our Twitter Buzz program here)

And now that you know how to write tweets from your articles, keep these tips in mind when creating your stories in the first place. It will help you to turn your articles into tweets that much quicker, accelerating the process of driving traffic to your blog.

Why You Can Never “Get” Expert Status In Your Marketplace

“You either believe, like me, that because 1% of the people are rich that ANYONE can get rich, or you believe that because 1% are rich that NO ONE can get rich. Don’t let self-limiting beliefs hold you back.” – Dan Kennedy

Why You Can Never “Get” Expert Status In Your Marketplace

By Jason Leister

Most of the assets “expert advisors” seek out in the marketplace aren’t really items that can be “gotten.” Take, for example, trust, credibility, authority, and expert status. These things aren’t treasures to be seized. These treasure are gifts that must be given to you.

So let’s say you want to achieve expert status in your marketplace. My recommendation is that you stop trying to grab it. Stop seeking that out. Start behaving in a way where that status is granted to you.

Trust must come before this status is granted, however. How do you generate trust?I’ll tell you. For the sake of this exercise, let’s say you’re in a service business where you work with clients.

The Three-Step System For Being GIFTED Everything You’ve Ever Wanted From the Marketplace

Step #1… You need a source that provides a consistent flow of leads; people who have problems you solve. Get clear about who you are going to serve and figure out where these folks already are. Good leads make everything better. You don’t want leads that “come by chance.” You want to build a system that finds them — a system that you control.

Step #2… You need a leveraged way of earning a spot in the hearts and minds of your leads. My preferred method for this is a media platform. A media platform is a podcast, newsletter, video series etc. published on a consistent basis that everyone is made aware of. And it’s something that is strategically aimed at the people you are trying to attract. It is designed to be inherently interesting to them.

Step #3… You need “open doors” to the other things you offer (services, products etc.). These need to be well thought out in terms of presentation so your prospects are naturally attracted to them. A “pushy” advisor isn’t someone people respect for too long.

Now here’s the interesting part…

Step #1 generally takes the most work.

Step #2 generally takes very little work but ends up doing most of the “heavy lifting” over time, even though it does take time.

Step #3 becomes the easiest step of all if you’ve done Step #1 and Step #2 well.

And one more tip: start with Step #2 FIRST. Get your media platform created and start publishing even before you’re talking to anyone.

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The most challenging part of this whole system is finding the patience to let it work for you. This takes time. Why? Is there some flaw with this system that some marketing guru could solve so we could have instant results?

Ha! Despite what anyone says, doesn’t your heart tell you there’s no shortcut to trust, credibility or authority? Of course there isn’t. I’m sure someone will try to sell you one however.

Trust is earned; so are authority and credibility and expert status. Ultimately, these are given to you by others. So you have to wait until someone decides to offer you these gifts.

Trying to wrestle them from a prospect’s hands just ends up making you look stupid.

The “Four-Letter Word” That Supports This Approach

So where does that leave you while you’re waiting for these gifts of trust, credibility and authority to be offered to you by the marketplace?

Well, the answer leads us to a topic that most people would rather not talk about.

It’s a little thing called “personal responsibility.”

This is where a lot of people jump off and go searching for an easier path. So if you’re still reading, then congrats, you’re in the minority.

When you fully accept responsibility for everything in your sphere of being, you realize there’s only one person to blame for everything.

You can’t blame the Republicans, or the Democrats, or the schoolteacher who shamed you, or the “government,” or the banks, or your parents, or all those “lazy” people that aren’t pulling their weight around you. Ha!

This is the secret. In fact, from where I sit, it seems to be the biggest secret of them all!

Want to kill fear? Then accept responsibility. Want to stop chasing things other people think you’re supposed to chase? Then accept responsibility.

Want to become the respected expert in your marketplace? Then accept the responsibility for conducting yourself in a way that is deserving of such a position.

With that simple act, you are granted unlimited power. You are also granted limitless responsibility. And for many people, that’s a deal breaker.

When respect, authority, credibility, and expert status aren’t things you can hunt down and take, that leaves you with only one asset to create them.

That asset is your own conduct. That includes what you think, speak and do. Fortunately, you are in control of this asset.

And while it’s not so smart to go around telling the world how great you are, it does seem to be effective to allow your clients and customers to spread that message for you. Do you have your happy clients and customers speaking for you? Do you have them telling your story? Helping that to happen is just one of the many things that you control.

You also control your ability to serve more people, better, through your media platform. This is a one-to-many publication. So serving a million people is no harder than serving a handful.

Each day you wake up, you look at the things that are in your control, and you figure out how to add value to the world using those things.

When you offer these gifts to the marketplace, the marketplace can respond with gifts of its own. And the list of possibilities includes things like trust, credibility, authority and more.

About the Author: Jason Leister is a direct-response copywriter, the founder ofIncomparableExpert.com, and editor of the daily e-letter, The Client Letter, where he empowers independent professionals who work with clients. He has seven kids and lives and works in the mountains of Arizona.

10 Herbs for an Easy Kitchen Garden

HEALTHY

10 Herbs for an Easy Kitchen Garden

By Chef Gui 
I don’t have a green thumb. In fact, my thumb is probably brownish and rotting, I’m so bad at growing herbs. But this is easy stuff to grow. If I can do it, trust me, you can too.

WHICH HERBS TO PLANT

(In descending order of most common use)

Note: Remember, use fresh herbs at the very end of the cooking process or they will lose their flavor.

Once harvested, rinse them in cold water, wrap them in a damp paper towel, and store in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator.

#1 BASIL – Sweet and peppery

You’ll use basil everywhere. With Mediterranean vegetables, with chicken, beef, fish, or tofu. In tomato sauce, stir fries, curries, whole-grain pasta, or just mixed within your salad. And, of course, you’ll want to make pesto.

#2 CILANTRO – Bright and citrusy

Cilantro is reminiscent of Mexican and Asian cuisines. So you’ll use the leaves with tacos, guacamole, Asian coleslaw, salsas, soups, and fresh salads.

#3 PARSLEY – Fresh and grassy

Parsley is so versatile you can use it pretty much everywhere. Especially delicious with peas, cucumber, lamb, beef, chicken, or fish. Sprinkle over salads and load up my Tabouleh recipe with it (page 74 of Eat More, Burn More)

#4 MINT – Sweet and cool

Mint is so refreshing (one of the reasons toothpaste is minty!) so use it for summer salads, especially paired with watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber or Greek yogurt. And of course, it makes for a great garnish on sorbets or fat-burning desserts.

#5 OREGANO – Pungent and peppery

Italian style! Use the leaves, chopped or not, and load up tomato sauces, fat-burning pizza.

Click here for 5 more herbs you should grow in your kitchen. 

How to Read More — A Lot More

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” ― Francis Bacon

How to Read More — A Lot More

By Ryan Holiday
When you read a lot of books people inevitably assume you speed read. In fact, that’s probably the most common email I get. They want to know my trick for reading so fast. They see all the books I recommend every month in my reading newsletter and assume I must have some secret. So they ask me to teach them how to speed read.

That’s when I tell them I don’t have a secret. Even though I read hundreds of books every single year, I actually read quite slowly. In fact, I deliberately read  slowly, so that I can take notes (and then whenever I finish a book, I go back through and transcribe these notes for my version of a commonplace book.

So where do I get the time? (Well for starters I don’t waste any of it asking dumb questions).

Look, where do you get the time to eat three meals a day? How do you have time to do all that sleeping? How do you manage to spend all those hours with your kids or wife or a girlfriend or boyfriend?

You don’t get that time anywhere, do you? You just make it because it’s really important. It’s a non-negotiable part of your life.

I think there are three main barriers that hold people back from making this happen and I want to disassemble them right now so you can start reading way, way more.

TIME

The key to reading lots of books: stop thinking of reading as some activity that you do. Reading must become as natural as eating and breathing. It’s not something you do because you feel like it, but because it’s a reflex, a default.

Carry a book with you at all times. Every time you get a second, crack it open. Don’t install games on your phone — that’s time you could be reading. When you’re eating — read. When you’re on the train, in the waiting room, at the office — read. It’s work, really important work. Don’t let anyone ever let you feel like it’s not.

Do you know how much time you waste during the day? Conference calls, meetings, TV shows that you don’t really like but watch anyway. Well, if you can make time for that you can make time for reading (or better, just swap those activities for books.)

MONEY

If I had to steal books to support my reading habit, I would. Thankfully you can buy some of the best literature ever published for pennies on Amazon.

But forget money entirely when it comes to books. Reading is not a luxury. It’s not something you splurge on. It’s a necessity.

As Erasmus, the 16th-century scholar once put it, “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.”

On top of that, books are an investment. I hear from people all the time who tell me they plan to buy this book or that book. Plan? Just buy it. I promised myself a long time ago that if I saw a book that interested me I’d never let time or money or anything else prevent me from having it. Not money, not time, not my own laziness. Don’t wait around for some book you want to read to come out in paperback — trying to save $2 or $3 is the wrong mindset. If it’s a book you’ll read, then read it now, not in a year.

(One related note: I don’t check books out from the library and haven’t since I was a child. This isn’t like renting a mindless movie. You should be keeping the books you read for reference and for re-reading. If you are OK giving the books back after two weeks you might want to examine what you are reading).

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PURPOSE

Perhaps the reason you’re having trouble is you forgot the purpose of reading. It’s not just for fun. Human beings have been recording their knowledge in book form for more than 5,000 years. That means that whatever you’re working on right now, whatever problem you’re struggling with, is probably addressed in some book somewhere by someone a lot smarter than you. Save yourself the trouble of learning from trial and error — find that point. Benefit from that perspective.

The walls of my house are covered in books from floor to ceiling. The last time I moved, I had to rent a U-Haul exclusively for books. At first, that frustrated me, and then I remembered that books paid the rent on both those houses. They kept me sane, and they made me a lot of money.

The purpose of reading is not just raw knowledge. It’s part of the human experience. It helps you find meaning, understand yourself, and make your life better.

There is very little else that you can say that about. Very little else like that under $20.

Look, you either get this or you don’t. Reading is something you know is important and want to do more of. Or you’re someone who just doesn’t read. If you’re the latter, you’re on your own.

Think of someone like Frederick Douglass, who brought himself up out of slavery by sneaking out and teaching himself to read. Books weren’t some idle pursuit or pastime to him, they were survival itself. And despite this dire situation, he managed to read and, as the writer Thomas Sowell once put it, “educate himself to the point where his words now have to be explained to today’s expensively under-educated generation.”

What excuse do you have?

If you want to read more, there’s no real secret. It’s about adjusting your priorities and your perception so that reading becomes an extension of who you are and what you do.

When that happens, you’ll be the person that people now ask: How do you do it? And the answer will be: I just do.

Ryan’s latest book, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph was released by Penguin on May 1st. He is also the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying and Growth Hacker Marketing. He is currently an editor at large for the New York Observer and contributes to Thought Catalog from his home in Austin, Texas.

About the Author: Ryan Holiday is a media strategist and prominent writer on strategy and business. After dropping out of college at nineteen to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians. He is the director of marketing at American Apparel, where his campaigns have been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube, and Google and written about in AdAge, the New York Times, and Fast Company.

7 Healthiest Nuts to Eat

7 Healthiest Nuts to Eat

From MSN.com

You know you need to eat your fruits and veggies, and that whole grains are good for you. But you might be missing out on another hugely beneficial food group: nuts. Nuts are the often-forgotten superfoods of the plant world. Nuts have been linked to everything from heart health to cancer prevention, and they could even help you live longer. One study found that people who eat a handful of nuts a day were 20 percent less likely to die of any cause.

They’re also the perfect snack: All nuts contain healthy fats, protein and fibre — the perfect combo for helping you feel satiated — and there’s absolutely no prep work involved. Just grab a handful and go. Keep in mind that because nuts are high in fat, they could go rancid easily, so it’s best to store them in the fridge.

Not sure which ones to choose? Here’s a list of some of the healthiest nuts.