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Ideas for people pursuing an empowered life,




Generosity in business

In pre-Columbian times, generosity and gift giving were very important aspects of social life. In those days, because written records were not kept, people remembered important events by holding a huge ceremony and celebrating the many guests who would be witnesses to it. 

This ceremony was so important that people devoted a year or more to getting ready for it. Called a potlatch, its host would give away most, if not all, of his wealth to others, in an elaborate ritual.

Thought to be good business, this systematic redistribution of wealth maintained social harmony within a tribe, and between tribes. The quality and creativity of the songs and dances performed at the ceremony, the number of gifts given and the elaborate feast all added to the prestige of the person who held a potlatch.

Establishing tribal hierarchy, the potlatch allowed persons who had acquired material wealth to gain social status by demonstrating their generosity. After all, to a person who had real power, reacquiring wealth was not a hardship.

When the Europeans reached these shores, they declared potlatches to be bad for their capitalist ideals, and they forced people to stop holding them. Canadian law banned them in 1884 and the U.S. soon followed.

In recent years, the potlatch was legally sanctioned again and - even if it's quite different today than in those earlier times ‚It is still an important part of Amerindian life in the Pacific Northwest.

If you consider the action/reaction law when dealing with others, you'll see that it makes perfect sense to «give in order to receive». Generosity has more to do with attitude than actually giving things away, but lot of business people don't see it. Maybe the following points can help the fuzzy thinkers:

  1. Deliver more than you promise - even if it means promising less.
  2. Don't nickel-and-dime your clients with cheap charges - like phone calls, messenger or photocopy fees. Factor these costs into your normal price. You'll be surprised at how many people who never blink at paying $100. an hour will react poorly to a $10. photocopy charge.
  3. Work at earning the respect of others by treating everyone fairly and honestly - including employees and service providers. Don't rationalize bad behavior with catch-phrases like "It's just business".
  4. Learn to think win-win-win instead of win-lose. Rather than react to criticism, see complaints as an opportunity to improve your product or service. If you have a problem, resolve it as equitably and favorably in your customer's behalf as possible.
  5. Always bill "full value". If even if you are giving someone a discounted price. Let them know they are getting a deal by writing the regular price on your invoice and then the discount you are giving them.
  6. Or course you can't give things away but you can trade them for what you need. The truth is you can use barter to acquire anything you need or desire, in either your business or your personal dealings.
  7. Create a brief tag line that describes your unique selling position and always use it when you introduce yourself, even in social settings. Tell people what can expect from you, as you'll get more "referrals" if they understand what separates you from your competitors.



As long as I mentioned it, do you know that "Win-Win-Win Thinking" is a creativity tool which allows us consider the impact of an idea, concept or action on all the players. Simple, the exercise examines "common interests and mutual gains" so that everyone (or everything) concerned can profit from a proposed scenario. Check it out by clicking here.



Strategy is about making choices. The quality of the thinking behind those choices is what separates success from failure. Today, when most organizations are staggering under the weight of countless reports, studies and statistics that are a by-product of two decades of rapidly changing ideas and directions, strategic thinking has become a skill that is greatly prized. 

In fact, the strategic thinking of its leaders is the only common link between determining the organization's priorities and their realization. But strategic thinking skills can be learned and enhanced. Check out an exceptional training week of strategic thinking scheduled for December 2005 right here.



This is about summertime fun. Need a few thousand jokes for a standup routine? Try the yuks from here. Are you going the road? Did you see that funny sign on the Interstate? You'll find more than 100 of the funnier ones here. Hey, how often do you get one of those annoying 404 error pages? Well check out this very amusing one.

Did you know that the noises, which come from your car's trunk, are made by trunk monkeys? Check out the facts. A very odd chap named Todd was laid off work - and had the time to put together the funny stuff found here. If you get bored this summer, the folks behind this site will help you find a great many fun (and foolish) things to do. The essential zen-experience is found here where you can do nothing - if laugh.



"Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune but great minds rise above it." Washington Irving

"Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to have them in working order." John Quincy Adams

"To be successful, your plan must focus on what you want, not on what you have." Nido Qubein

"The desire for knowledge, like the thirst for riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it." Laurence Sterne

"The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is called effort." Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Few minds wear out; most just rust out." Christian Bouee



Did you know that the greatest salesperson in the world is a little girl named Markita? She has generated more than eighty thousand dollars in profit by selling Girl Guide cookies door to door.

Since she was seven years old, this shy young lady has been transforming herself into a cookie-selling monster. Her saga began when Markita's mother infused her with a deep desire to succeed. Working as a waitress since her husband deserted them when the girl was 8, her mother told her one day: "I'll work hard to make enough money to send you to college and when you graduate, you'll make enough money to take you and me around the world, okay? Is it a deal?"

Markita answered yes and a short while later she read in a Girl Guide magazine that the girl who sold the most cookies would win an expense paid trip for two around the world. She decided to sell all the Girl Guide cookies she could - more cookies than anyone had ever sold. As desire alone is not enough, Markita knew she needed a plan to make her dream come true. So she went to an aunt for advice, because she worked in a large department store selling perfume, and Markita discovered secrets to power selling by the time she was 13.

"Always wear your outfit, your professional garb," the aunt told her, "because you are in business and must dress like you mean business. Always smile - and whether people want to buy from you or not, be nice to them. Always ask - especially on Friday nights and Saturdays - for a big order. But don't ask people to buy cookies, ask them to invest in you. And the most important thing of all is this: you must be ready to ask them three times. Remember what the good Lord told the man who died, went to Heaven and wondered why he'd been poor all his life. Well the good Lord told him: 'You had not because you asked not'.

Now I'm sure that a lot of other Girl Guides wanted that trip around the world and many of them had a plan. But only Markita diligently changed into her uniform each day after school and was determined to ask people - and to keep asking them - to invest in her dream. "Hi, my name is Markita and I have a dream", she'd say. "I'm earning a trip around the world for my mom and me by selling Girl Guide cookies. Will you invest in my dream by taking a dozen or two boxes of these delicious cookies?".

And she'd wait for an answer, ask again if necessary, and again; then she would negotiate the details. Well Markita sold more than 3,500 boxes of Girl Guide cookies that first year and won the trip around the world. Since, she's sold more than 42,000 boxes of cookies, has spoken at sales conventions across the USA, starred in a Disney movie about her adventures and co-authored a best seller: How to Sell More Cookies, Condos, Cadillacs, Computers ... And Everything Else.

Markita knows the secret of power selling: Look nice, be pleasant and ask, ask and ask again! And give anyone who might want to refuse the satisfaction of saying no. So many people fail before they start because they won't ask for what they want.The fear of being rejected leads them to abandon their dreams before anyone else even has a chance to stop them.  They self-sabotage so others can't hurt them first.

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