Sunday, December 24, 2006

Starbucks anyone?? Trocadero London

Good coffee is hard to get... but Starbucks is consistent where ever you find them. Today I had a coffee at Starbucks Trocadero London... continuing the tradition of trying ever Starbucks I can find in the world. Last year I sampled Starbucks in Times Square, Washington, Atlantic City, Chicago, Singapore, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth... to name a few.

There are THREE in Upper Street Islington. I beat you didn't know there was a street called "Upper Street" in Islington... did you. Unless you are an Arsenal fan.

Here I am near the world famous advertising billboard at Piccadilly Circle.

Samson Blinded

I received tthe following email from Eugene Gershin and decided to reproduce it in full. Here it is:

Hi. My name is Eugene Gershin. Perhaps we have met online, but more probably you don't know me from Adam. I monitor blogs for SamsonBlinded, and came across your post.

I'd like to welcome you to look at Obadiah Shoher's blog. Obadiah - an anonymous Israeli politician - writes extremely controversial articles about Israel, the Middle East politics, and terrorism. Shoher is equally critical of Jewish and Muslim myths, and advocates political rationalism instead of moralizing.
Google banned our site from the AdWords, Yahoo blocked most pages, and Amazon deleted all reviews of Obadiah's book, Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict.

Nevertheless, 170,000 people from 78 countries read the book.

Various Internet providers ban us periodically, but you can look up the site on search engines. The blog address is

Please help us spread Obadiah's message, and mention the blog in one of your posts, or link to us from The Maverick Spirit . I would greatly appreciate your comments.

Best wishes,
Eugene Gershin

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Poachers cornered in Borough Markets

You don't expect to see the handy work of a poacher in Central London... but here is the evidence:

fresh rabbit, duck, pheasant and other game birds

Madagascan GIANT Prawns

Bloody big prawns... these are Madagascan prawns at $100 Aus a kilo... that's about $25 each. I have never seen prawns that big and Australia's tiger prawns are pretty big.

Just to show you how big these prawns are, have a look at them compared to some quite reasonably sized mullett. Obviously both the mullett and the prawns eat the brill...

And the Turkeys are BIG too....

and because it is soooo cold in London, there is no need for refrigeration as these boxed fresh turkeys show.

Borough Markets London at Christmas

Borough Markets in London is an assault to the senses. Now I have been to the central markets in Kuala Lumpur and Denpasar where you recoil from the sight of fresh produce but this was different.

Fish mongers who were displaying the jewels of the sea. Farmers from England, France, Belgium and beyond sharing samples of the meats, cheeses and fruits of their labor. It was just wonderful. Fresh, if there is such a thing, truffles at $500 per 100 gms - that's $5,000 a kilo.

And what a buzz as lunch time shoppers sampled the most unusual take away food I have ever seen. I could have spent the whole day observing people going about their business.

Here's Joe, a South African, who is obviously enjoying his work in the fresh poultry stand where we got our rolled turkey for Chrismas dinner... and wouldn't you be happy too with the best produce in the world to sell? From giant organically grown turkey to plump pigeon, fresh free range ckicken eggs to quail eggs... in fact everything poultry could be had at this stall.

And if you weren't aware that there was "Proper Fish and Chips" this sign leaves you with no doubt that you haven't had fish and chips until you have had some from London's Borough Markets Fish!kitchen.

And what is Christmas with out nursery rhymes... like "Little Jack Horner".

Friday, December 22, 2006

Arsenal Emirates Stadium

The Arsenal Emirates Stadium is walking distance from where we are staying so we walked over to have a look. What a magnificent venue and the redevelopment it has brought to this part of London is amazing. Everywhere there are new apartments, offices and retail complexes being built. The power of football!!

Here are a few of the images I captured today.

And just down the road from the stadium is this famous watering hole!!

I wonder how they say that.... oh, it's about a rooster.. silly me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

London Calling December 21st 2006

Were we lucky or what! Heathrow is fogged in for the next few days but as we arrived last night they were letting planes already in the air land. And after a welcoming from the Customs, with a comment about the cricket from the young man at the counter, we were through and greeted by Erica and Cliff.

It was then on the tube to Kings Cross. All a bit like home really - inside a plane for hours, into a taxi in the dark, but this time a train under the ground, and on our way.

A group next to us were complaining about waiting for 5 hours and then being turned away with no luggage and told to come back tomorrow. The significance of this wasn't to become apparent until the early morning news where details of the effect of the smog was being discussed every minute on the minute - 350 flights cancelled in the first few hours.

When we decided to venture down to Upper Street Islington at 8.30 the next morning for a coffee and a lok around is was like a dark winery night with thick fog and a 1 degree bit to the air.

What a change in a couple of days - 52.5 in the sun in Perth to 1 in the fog in London.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Alpha Brainwave

A mind in alpha is a relaxed mind, free of stress and is automatically using more of the right side of the brain.

To understand the importance of the alpha brainwave, let's have a quick look at our 4 types of brainwaves.

Your brain frequency fluctuates countless times every day, spontaneously, as the need arises.

The best time for identifying when our brainwave is changing is at night, when we go to sleep. You lay down, close your eyes, and your brain automatically starts slowing down so you can rest, dream, and become rejuvenated.

The sleep process is necessary for us to maintain our mental and physical health and balance.
This is also the reason, that when we are sick, we sleep more, as our brain slows down automatically into an alpha state to regenerate your body...

Brainwaves - ( Frequencies ) there are 4 types of brain waves.

The Beta Wave has a frequency of 14 to 21 cycles per second.
We use that in our ordinary waking state, with most of our activity being at about 20 to 22 cycles per second. At this level, we reason, rationalize, and execute whatever chores we need to do.
However, it will increase with stress, as faster it goes as more stress and nervous you will get. Or as more stress you encounter, as faster your brain frequency becomes.
If it goes up to about 60 cycles per sec. you will get hysteric and a bit higher you will pass out.
The golden rule, as higher your brain wave, as harder you will find it to function.
A typical situation, would be an examination, an important business meeting or similar. You are stressed out, your brainwave is probably up to 30 or higher, you simply can't think straight.

The Alpha Wave. - that's the one we like most :-)
The frequency is from 7 to 14 cycles per second.
This is the State of Mind where you are in a "relaxed alertness".

You are calm and peaceful, with clear creative thinking, ideas, solutions and intuitive breakthroughs.
Studying is easy. This is the State of Mind, where you can reach your full potential.
And by the way, this is also the State of Mind, where your Body is Regenerating itself, with an increase in health and vitality, and here is where daydreaming and nocturnal dreaming take place. Hypnosis also takes place here.

The Theta Wave. - deep sleep - Between 4 and 7 cycles per second is the theta
state. All our emotional experiences are recorded here.

The Delta Wave. deepest sleep - Frequencies less than 4 cycles per second are
encountered in total unconsciousness, the delta state.
In an eight-hour sleep period, you might spend 30 to 90 minutes in delta, 30 to 60 in theta, and the rest of the time in alpha. Obviously, this will vary from person to person, and even from night to night with the same person.

The important thing to note is that different states of brain waves are a natural phenomena that you go through every day, and that you can consciously choose to drift into an alpha state of mind.

Now that we know a bit about brain waves, let's have a look at the alpha brain-wave again...

The key words for alpha are :

"relaxed alertness"

"calm - peaceful, with clear creative thinking, ideas, solutions and intuitive breakthroughs"

"body regeneration"
"increase in health and vitality"
and .....
it is also the natural state of the right side of your brain to be active...

This combination, esp. relaxed alertness and having access to your right brain function is an important state of mind to have...

In fact, the ability to trigger right brain function and alpha brain activity, is the ability to get in touch with your >> intuition - creativity - music - art - painting - writing - dancing... and such things as problem solving - seeing the bigger picture - and the ability to swing into the left side for logic contemplation and swinging back to see your conclusion in a bigger picture...

After all this... how do we actually manage to drift into the alpha brain wave or the right side of the brain, and use these states at will... ?

By Music - generally, relaxation music or meditative music is also alpha music or the other way around. By playing Alpha Music, your mind will drift into the alpha state.

By creative activity - example > painting.. you may start off painting with your left side, but if you don't need to concentrate on techniques, you soon will shift over to the right side and into the alpha state ... by the way this is also where you loose sense of time.. and you tend to paint longer than you wanted to.
Most artist know the power of music, and play alpha music or similar to help them to get into the right mood...

By relaxation exercise or meditation... which you have to learn first..
and once again, those activities are helped by alpha type music, which in that case is called > relaxation music or meditation music.

Conclusion is obvious... you can influence your personal space, your living space or your working space, by playing appropriate music...

Music is extremely powerful, we all know how certain songs can affect us, music is a powerful medium to trigger off emotions...

To listen to alpha music can have to functions...

one is to help you to get there,
and the second one is to work as an anchor,

because the music is now linked or anchored to your state of mind, the alpha state... meaning next time when you listen to that music, you will be able to access that alpha, "relaxed alertness" state of mind even faster....

Article supplied by the editor of Use Nature, Dieter Luske

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Some Helpful Money Saving Advice

With the holiday season now upon, and the need for most of us to go out and spend HUGE amounts of money, the humble credit cards, can really take a battering. I myself have spent a fair bit this holiday season, and if an opportunity arises that allows me to save money, then I am all ears.

I was given an opportunity today regarding a website that offers advice on how to save money using secured loans, mortages and home insurance as well.

On top of these reviews and comparitive options, there is also the latest in industry news, with daily updates on costs or revisions concerning payment options, and banking updates. This section also provides information in industry news, with an RSS feed to keep all your details up to date. This is certainly a site that warrants further scrutiny for those interested in financial security.

- Liam Webb

Record Star in the Making

With the help of Mark Whitehouse of ProCopy in Perth ( actually he is in lovely downtown Morley ) Monday December 18th saw me putting the finishing touches to our new CD collection - cold Calling for Scaredy Cats. Mark - that's him surrounded by all the gear is a genius and can make anyone sound great.

With the wonders of digital editing, all the "ums" and "ars" can be removed and the end result is "Hollywood." So, thanks Mark for making me sound so good. Crickey, even I could be persuaded into investing the CD Training program.

Just to give some balance, the guy behind the microphone is me.

I wonder whether of "record stars" look so good??

Perth - Is it Really Paradise

Skyline in paradise??

Saturday morning December 16th 2006 looking across the Swan River to the city of Perth at 9am. It's already 33 and absolutely fabulous. It's the third day of the Third Ashes Test and the high is predicted at 37... it actually makes 42 with 52.5 on the WACA Pitch at 3pm. The poor poms... not only are they getting a trashing, they are slowly cooking to death.

Sometimes we take for granted the beauty of the place where we live. Wednesday morning is when I leave with my family to travel to London to spend time with my daughter Erica who has been away for the last few Christmases and her mum misses her to much for another one to pass with out us sharing Christmas lunch together.

So, just one more reminisce about the reason we live in Perth... The beautiful foreshore at South Perth which will be the venue for the Australia Day SkyWorks fireworks spectacular.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Kiss the Sniffles Good-Bye?

by Leslie Goldman

Need another reason to kiss your man? We have one to pull you through the upcoming allergy season.

A passionate kiss is probably the last thing on your mind when allergies make you (or your partner) a sneezy wreck. But one study suggests that a make-out session might be good medicine. Researchers at a Japanese hospital had 24 patients with minor seasonal allergies kiss their lovers or spouses for 30 minutes while listening to music. Tests showed that lip-locking not only relaxed them (imagine that!) but also reduced production of histamine, the body chemical that causes allergic reactions.

So should you skip the pills and smooch instead? Probably not. You’re better off using meds and avoiding triggers like pollen and animals, says Jeffrey M. Factor, MD, an allergist and immunologist with the Connecticut Asthma and Allergy Center (he was not involved in the study).

But feel free to pop an antihistamine and pucker up anyway. After all, you’re doing it in the name of science, right?

Womens Successful Selling Secrets

From the Maverick Spirit Archive, January 1998

Back in 1948, a lady called Dottie Walters turned to selling through the necessity of making paymets on the mortgage taken out to establish her husband's business. Dottie sold adspace in her local newspaper to start with, then established "Welcome Wagon" and had over 4,000 independent agents across every state of the US.

In 1965 Dottie wrote what was called the first sales book ever written for woman by a sales woman... "Never Underestimate the Selling Power of a Woman." Originally a poor seller, Dottie purchased back the copyright from the publisher and used the book as a foundation for a publishing company... the book has gone on to become a best seller with over a million copies in print and it is available on Nightingale Conant tapes.

I have visited Dottie at her home in Southern California and had the pleasure of bringing her to Australia for a seminar tour in the late 80's. As if by fate, one of Australia's leading sales achievers, Joan Bishop called me recently and recalled her visit to America as the No. 1 Salesperson in the world for Apple Computers and her visit with Dottie.

Believing in fate, I went to my bookcase and found my rather worn copy of "Selling Power". Here are some thoughts on successful woman in sales from the book.

1. Going the extra mile. Successful sales woman go the second (or extra) mile in their dealings with people. The best way to define this is to say the extra mile gives your customer and company 13 eggs to the dozen. In other words, they do more than is asked or expected. This extra something is the badge of successful saleswomen.

The extra mile means always trying again, after no matter how many defeats. A winner never quits; quitters never win. A good salesperson, man or woman, always goes the extra mile.

2. A Love Affair with work. Successful saleswomen are truely in love with their work. They are so completely swept up and absorbed in their product or service, that it takes them out of themselves.

They take pleasure in hard work. They are overwhelmingly proud of their goods and services. The money they earn is important, to be sure, but eventually their sense of accomplishment becomes even more so. Many would work for nothing, they get so much pleasure from accomplishment.

3. The source of women's persuasion power. Dottie noted that the third attitude is a never ending enthusiasm for people - all kinds of people. Each customer - no matter how odd or difficult - presents a lesson to be learned.

4. Turn on the power. All successful saleswomen have an inner resource to combat depression and fear. Many are deeply religious and regularly turn to their Bibles. Others have favourite authors whose writing revitalises them. Still others have a hobby like gardening which renews them. Or a charity which not only gives them a change of pace but a sense of paying rent for the space they occupy on this earth.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Custom Plates for Your European Wheels

For all the European readers out there with awesome European cars, here's something for you! Its called, and is a service on the net that provides you with means to create your own custom European License Plates for your car.

As well as providing badges and stickers as well as Japanese and New Zealand, the website offers a plate creator function that allows you to design your plate to see how it looks before ordering. So along with all these great features, and gift certificates, the site also offers free shipping on all orders! Want a unique gift this Christmas? For a car enthusiast I can't think of any better.

Attitude Is Everything

Attitude Is Everything by Jim Rohn

The process of human change begins within us. We all have tremendous potential. We all desire good results from our efforts. Most of us are willing to work hard and to pay the price that success and happiness demand.

Each of us has the ability to put our unique human potential into action and to acquire a desired result. But the one thing that determines the level of our potential, that produces the intensity of our activity, and predicts the quality of the result we receive is our attitude.

Attitude determines how much of the future we are allowed to see. It decides the size of our dreams and influences our determination when we are faced with new challenges. No other person on earth has dominion over our attitude. People can affect our attitude by teaching us poor thinking habits or unintentionally misinforming us or providing us with negative sources of influence, but no one can control our attitude unless we voluntarily surrender that control.

No one else "makes us angry." We make ourselves angry when we surrender control of our attitude. What someone else may have done is irrelevant. We choose, not they. They merely put our attitude to a test. If we select a volatile attitude by becoming hostile, angry, jealous or suspicious, then we have failed the test. If we condemn ourselves by believing that we are unworthy, then again, we have failed the test.

If we care at all about ourselves, then we must accept full responsibility for our own feelings. We must learn to guard against those feelings that have the capacity to lead our attitude down the wrong path and to strengthen those feelings that can lead us confidently into a better future.

If we want to receive the rewards the future holds in trust for us, then we must exercise the most important choice given to us as members of the human race by maintaining total dominion over our attitude. Our attitude is an asset, a treasure of great value, which must be protected accordingly. Beware of the vandals and thieves among us who would injure our positive attitude or seek to steal it away.

Having the right attitude is one of the basics that success requires. The combination of a sound personal philosophy and a positive attitude about ourselves and the world around us gives us an inner strength and a firm resolve that influences all the other areas of our existence.

To Your Success,

Jim Rohn

Thoughts and Reflections

In previous Maverick Spirits I have commented on the writings of Paulo Coelho who is the author of the international blockbusting best seller - The Alchemist. In his new book, Like the River Flowing he has published a collection of thoughts and reflections. I have chosen three that have struck a particular cord with me as I plan for 2007.

Norma and the Good Things

In Madrid lives Norma, a very special Brazilian lady. The Spanish call her ‘the rocking grandma’. She is over sixty and works in various places, organising promotions, parties, and concerts.
Once, at about four in the morning, when I was so tired U could barely stand, I asked Norma where she got all her energy from.

I have a magic calendar. If you like, I can show it to you.

The following day, I went to her house. She picked up an old, much scribbled-upon calendar.
‘Right, today is the day they discovered a vaccine against polio,’ she said. ‘We must celebrate that, because life is beautiful.’

On each day of the year, Norma had written down something good that happened on that date. For her, life was always a reason to be happy.

The Funny Thing about Human Beings

A man asked Jaime Chone: ‘What is the human being’s funniest characteristic?’

Cohen said: ‘Our contradictories. We are in such a hurry to grow up, and then we long for our lost childhood. We make ourselves ill earning money, and then spend all our money on getting well again. We think so much about the future that we neglect the present, and thus experience neither the present nor the future. We live as if we were never going to die, and die as if we had never lived.’

Who Would Like This Twenty – Dollar Bill?

Cassan Said Amer tells the story of a lecturer who began a seminar by holding up a twenty – dollar bill asking: ‘Who would like this twenty-dollar bill?’

Several Hands went up, but the lecturer said: ‘Before I give it to you, I have to do something.’

He screwed it up into a ball and said: ‘Who still wants this bill?’

The hands went up again.

‘And what if I do this to it?’

He threw the crumpled bill at the wall, dropped it to the floor, insulted it, trampled on it, and once more showed them the bill – now all creased and dirty. He repeated the question, and the hands stayed up.

‘Never forget this scene,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t matter what I do to this money. It is still a twenty – dollar bill. So often in our lives, we are crumpled, trampled, ill-treated, insulted, and yet, despite all that, we are still worth the same.’

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Gift Appreciation

All Your Printer Cartridge Needs

Office supplies are one of those necessities that all business' need. Be it paper, stationery or a huge assortment of other products, it tends to take a fair chunk out of expenditure. One of the big ones (for me anyway) is the purchasing of new printer cartridges and toner cartridges.

These range in price from really cheap (and usually look it) to the ridiculously expensive name brands for specific printers. So when I was presented with an opportunity today from office supply outfitters, I had to take notice.

These guys specialise in toner and ink cartridges, and have an extensive range available of cartridges, toners, printing ribbon, and paper. as well as providing a large range of products, they also stock all the hard to get cartridges, that are becoming obsolete, or are very difficult to find.

Shipping and purhcase is a simple matter on their secure website, and depending on service selected, can be shipped within the next day. Prices for these products, are what you would expect to pay for the quality product. If your having diffculting locating certain print catridges or toner cartridges, then this website is worth investigating.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's only a $1 million after all...

It seems that the Government wants to extract the $5.5 million fine awarded by the Federal Court against Clarity1 Pty Ltd ($4.5 million) and myself ($1 million). The corporate regulator contacted me last Monday “You have been chosen by the “Solvency Team” to be subject to the requirement of proving your Solvency” said the polite public servant on the other end of the phone.

With a fine 5 times the company’s turnover and 45 times it previous years profit it is pretty obvious that if the Government presses for payment, that’s the end of Clarity1. And even though the judgment against me included an explanation by Justice Nicholson that there was little possibility that the company (or myself for that matter) had the capacity to pay, it seems a warning is not enough for the regulators – they want blood too!

So, it would seem that Carty1 will provide work for the accountancy professionals – the liquidators.

And I will be left to negotiate the payment the $1 million fine against me.

My friend Stuart Burke of Los Angeles wrote and said:

No publicity is totally negative and I should get the best from what he saw as:

Perth Business Man Punished by Australian Government for Educating Future Business Leaders

But it is all a state of mind... so I have been looking for inspiration wherever it can be found. And in Donald Trumps new book Trump 101 he comments that the reader maybe aware of his brush with debt 10 or so years ago. He says that he could have “curled up and hid in a corner” or used the situation to inspire he to rise to greatness. He chose the second course, and took the temporary situation as being a challenge and opportunity. History shows that he recovered and has prospered.

He comments “At the time I was $9 BILLION is debt…”

Well, what’s a paltry $1 million compared to that! So that’s the new challenge. Let’s get on with it and create a more vibrant business that educates future business leaders here, in New Zealand, Asia and Europe.

Want to come along for the ride… I look forward to your continued support.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Life is Worthwhile if you...

First, life is worthwhile if you LEARN. What you don't know WILL hurt you. You have to have learning to exist, let alone succeed. Life is worthwhile if you learn from your own experiences, negative and positive. We learn to do it right by first sometimes doing it wrong. We call that a positive negative. We also learn from other people's experiences, both positive and negative. I've always said it is too bad failures don't give seminars. We don't want to pay them so they don't tour around giving seminars. But the information would be very valuable – how someone who had it all, messed it up. Learning from other people's experiences and mistakes.

We learn by what we see - pay attention. By what we hear – be a good listener. Now I do suggest being a selective listener, don't just let anybody dump into your mental factory. We learn from what we read. Learn from every source. Learn from lectures, learn from songs, learn from sermons, learn from conversations with people who care. Keep learning.

Life is worthwhile if you TRY. You can't just learn; you now have to try something to see if you can do it. Try to make a difference, try to make some progress, try to learn a new skill, try to learn a new sport. Life is worthwhile if you try. It doesn't mean you can do everything but there are a lot of things you can do, if you just try. Try your best. Give it every effort. Why not go all out?

Life is worthwhile if you STAY. You have to stay from spring until harvest. If you have signed up for the day or for the game or for the project - see it through. Sometimes calamity comes and then it is worth wrapping it up. And that's the end, but just don't end in the middle. Maybe on the next project you pass, but on this one, if you signed up, see it through.

Life is worthwhile if you CARE. If you care at all you will get some results, if you care enough you can get incredible results. Care enough to make a difference. Care enough to turn somebody around. Care enough to start a new enterprise. Care enough to change it all. Care enough to be the highest producer. Care enough to set some records. Care enough to win.

Four powerful little words: learn, try, stay and care. What difference can you make in your life today by putting these four words to work?

You want me to do what?

Another flight… another day! An uneventful flight from Perth to Brisbane on Sunday night to present my popular seminars Cold Calling for Scaredy Cats and Lead and Motivating Sales Teams. Uneventful except the sixth piece of luggage takes 20 minutes to come through the luggage carousel and now it’s 12.05 and already Monday morning.

Arriving at the Holiday Inn there is no night porter so it is a “load your own luggage” experience. And a quick stroll to the check in counter sees me greeted by a young lady who would rather be somewhere else – hey it’s not the world’s best job being a nigh receptionist at a 5 star hotel, although I am reminded that it is probably 4 and a little bit.

“Will some one bring up my luggage” I ask as I make my way to Room 525. “Of course sir… right a way.”

My hotel room ritual follows… get the television fired up and catch up with the news of the world. It seems to taking a while for the luggage to arrive… it’s been 20 minutes but it is late and maybe the night porter is otherwise occupied so I think I will wait another 10 minutes before ringing reception. But I am getting a little tired, and after 45 minutes I phone down. “Is my luggage on the way” I enquire??

“Yes Sir!” is the curt reply.

I wait expectantly by the door… surely the lift will be quick and I will be able to shower and jump into bed for the quick nap before getting up at 5am. Is it now 1.30am… where is my luggage??

I probably should just get it myself. And off I go down to the reception area but… “No luggage!” Surely they haven’t lost it?? Back to room 525… maybe we passed in the night??

And there it is, at the door, a trolley of 6 pieces of luggage and a petite young woman totally breathless from pushing a heavy trolley.

“Oh there you are” I say… “Where have you been. I have been waiting an hour.”

“It was too heavy for me but my manager wouldn’t help me bring it up.”

“Well it’s here now” I comment, “So let’s get into the room and let me get to sleep.”

Thinking I will make a comment on they “How did we do” feedback sheet, I asked “Does your manager have a name?” “Yes” she replies “Michael.”

So, a quick shower to wash off a full day and a 4 hour flight, and a now 2 hour wait for the sanctity of my bed. And sleep is mercifully quick.

Brrrrr Brrrrr Brrrrr Is that the phone?? What is going on?? What is the time 2.30am are you kidding? “Hello” “Mr Mansfield, this is Nadine, can I come up and get a statement about what has happened?”

“What? When?” I bleat… bleat is right as it is now 2.30. “Yes… I finish my shift soon and I want to record what happened.”

Having got used to sleeping “au natural” I say that it isn’t convenient but I will fill in a “Can we do better” report and give it in at reception in the morning, forgetting it is actually morning already.

Morning is mercifully quick… and I go to the Reception area and ask if there has been a change of shift and is there a new duty manager. Yes, we have a bright bushy eyed Duty Manager and I ask t see her.

Introducing myself I am greeted with “I have been expecting you…”

There is a nearly acceptable end to the story – "I have investigated your situation" I am informed later and "your stay is complimentary but this is not how things usually happen at The Holiday Inn Brisbane."

If that were only true.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Adpack - Marketing Tools For Business

After doing some research for new marketing tools today, I was presented with an opportunity that could help in this regard. Looking for new ways for buinesses to promote themselves, this link piqued my curiosity, so I thought I'd investigate.

The product is called Adpack, and is full of Marketing Ideas for business owners, marketing managers, trainers and teachers. If your stuck for creative ideas, then read on. This product is designed to give you creative ideas for your business marketing plan.

On top of this is their guarantee. It either helps you get more clients, or it's free. Simple. You know that this is a quality product, as it is designed by Rudy Labordus, who has been offering creative solutions to businesses all over Austrlia for 18 years. These strategies have generated exceptional results, and more importantly work, whether you are a one man operation, or a multi-national corporation.

One of the testimonials on the website by Drayton Bird, Vice Chairman and Creative Director of Ogilvy and Matherson Direct sums up the package quite nicely, "people think ideas come by magic. They don't. They come from disciplined structure and knowledge. Adpack gives you this in a box!"

For more information about Marketing Ideas, visit the Adpack website, and see if this can help you.

- Liam Webb

Getting Throught the Good Times and the Bad in Business

My work allows for me to meet some very interesting people. One of the most interesting people I have ever met, is John Mazzega. John arrived in Australia a penniless 16 year from Italy, 40 years ago. He is now very wealthy, controlling many acres of industrial land, warehouses, a timber and hardware operation amongst other businesses.

How did John achieve all this? Hard work and a highly developed business sense that allows him to apply a multiplier effect to his business. John originally had a small saw milling operation. He rose early to cut timber, which was hauled back to his mill. The timber was cut into slates, and he then made packing cases, which in the evening he sold to fruit growers. Years and years of 16 hour days finally paid off, and hes slowly achieved lasting success.

One saying that John said to me time and time again was "Good Times or Bad Times... they are the same for everyone. We just have to work smarter than the others."

Another saying I found intriguing was, "Business is a continuun... it expands to fit your requirements."

How do people like John achieve success on such a scale. Hard work is obviously one answer, but not the full answer. John is able to see how by changing the nature of an item, such as a piece of timber, it changes the number of applications it can be used for, and therefore, increases its value. A piece of broadacre land may be worthless, but by subdivision, and the addition of road, water and electricity, it becomes very valuable. To make the subdivision even more valuable, build some impressive buildings, and for good measure, start a big business that attracts thousands of people to the area.

John Mazzega has done all of these things. He has achieved more in his lifetime than most natural born Australians who could speak the language and probably had a dollar to start with.

If you are in Kelmscot WA, call in at his Hardware and Timber store and say you read about him in "The Maverick Report"

- Wayne Mansfield

Getting People Motivated in Business

People respond to seven motivational forces in business as well as daily life. They are:

  • Acceptance: They want assuramce that they are needed.

  • Accomplishment: They like to see a task completed.

  • Environment: They enjoy pleasant surroundings and friendly associates.

  • Recognition: They need praise and publicity.

  • Responsibility: They like authority

  • Security: They are concerned about the future

  • Status: They are aware of, and impressed by, status symbols.

These motivational forces cover a pretty wide spectrum... look them over and see how they apply to you and those you work with. You'll probably see that some people respond better to different things than others.

Some people can do this instinctively. If you are not one of them, use a methodical procedure and go through each of the motivational forces and match them to your self, your family, to your staff or colleagues at work. Knowing these psychological rules will help you keep those around you motivated and successful.

- Wayne Mansfield

    Friday, December 08, 2006

    The Biggest Cause of Stress

    Here's some interesting facts from the Maverick Spirit Newsletter about common causes of stress:

    According to Business Review Weekly's annual survey of Australia's 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies, stress continued to be a major problem with causes being concerns about cashflow, outgrowing premises, motivating staff and unfair dismissal legislations. These are some of the responses on what caused stress:

    Charles Woodware, Rainforestation:
    "The introduction of unfair dismissal legislation. It takes longer to get rid of the problem staff, and upsets the majority (90%) of good staff who actually want someone not pulling their weight dismissed."

    Don Brdger, Project Plumbing:
    "Discovering dishonesty of a senior member of staff who on dismissal tried to use the anti-discrimination and unlawful termination laws against us unfairly."

    Mary Silins, Laserline Supplies:
    "While the results were on the board showing the company was doing well, I had not realised we had lost a good deal of customers due to poor follow-up by sales personnel."

    Vince Battaglia, Landmarks Construction:
    "Coming from a small company to a middle sized one it was stressful to fully understand the necessity of delegation."

    Pat McCluskey, ANCA:
    "Maintaining product and support quality during periods of great company expansions."

    Cameron Parsons, Empire Ridge:
    "The collection of substantial overdue accounts from large corporate clients."

    David Stewart, Banksia Technology:
    "Legal action from one of our competitors that turned out to be baseless."

    Michael Minshall, Summit Storage Products:
    "Business issues don't cause me stress, people issues cause me stress, for example, lack of co-operation and teamwork among staff."

    Ron Doughty, Delron Cleaning:
    "The ability of goverment to diminish the requirements of quality assurance after being so adamant on it's requirement."

    Andrew Bell, Flash Graphics:
    "Managing growth targets funded from cashflow."

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Studies into Defensive Behaviours - Universal

    Studies of more than 6,000 people found that defensive behaviour is universal, with no measurable difference by country, age, sex, ethnic identity, education, wealth, power, or experience. Worldwide, in every kind of crisis and dilemma, the priniciples of defensive reasoning encourage people to leave their own behaviour unexamined and to avoid any objective test of their premises and conclusions.

    In addition to personal defensive reasoning, there is the phenomenom of organisational defensive reasoning. These are policies, practices, and actions, that have been developed to avoid embarrasment and threats.

    Face saving is a typical practice. Instead of saying a decision is wrong, you make excuses for over-ruling it. Why it is wrong is never discussed.

    The result: the same as personal defensive reasoning. It prevents staff from resolving problems and learning to communicate effectively.

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    Harry Potter - Audio Books for all

    Harry Potter is one of the most popular franchises going around at the moment. And with the release of his new this year, it seems that the world can't get enough of Harry Potter. As well as his movies, the books have been running for a long time, some it was only a matter of time before they were to be made into an audio book. Perfect for listening to any time and any place (at home, in the car, or even on the train), Harry Potter Audiobooks are now available from simply Simply Audio Books, a website that offers the Harry Potter order for purchase or rent on both CD and tape.

    The offer follows the 6th installment of the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This, again with Christmas fast approach, would prove an excellent gift for any child fascinated by the Harry Potter saga, or any adult for that matter!

    - Liam Webb

    Success Being Limited By Fear of Failure

    Here's an interesting insight from the Maverick Spirit that discusses going against conformaty to achieve success...

    The only surviving member company of the original twelve members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average was founded by someone who was asked to leave school because his teachers complained that he was “addled or scatterbrained.”

    Of course we are talking about Thomas Edison and the invention of the modern light bulb, and the company he founded is General Electric which remains one of the most powerful companies in the World.

    With horror I read today’s newspaper that we are intending to test 5 year olds on how they rate for education and I wonder whether people like Edison, Einstein, Gates, Jobs and our own Kerry Stokes of Channel 7 fame, would fair now.

    Nearly without exception, failing miserably is a prerequisite for OUTRAGEOUS success. In fact the fear of failure stops many even trying.

    I remember being asked a number of years ago by a colleague, “If you believe in this stuff, why don’t we do it?” My answer was… “It mightn’t work!” To which the reply was… “Who would know?”

    Are you limiting your chance of success because you are afraid of failing?

    Worst still, are you committing your children to a life of safe secure jobs by having them conform to a system that is designed to train them for jobs that already don’t exist, or at the very least have been exported to China or India.

    It’s time to challenge what we believe to be true… and I believe it is not testing 5 year olds to see whether they are good enough to pushed into a system designed to consign them to a life a average results in secure jobs that may or may not exist in 2 or 5 or 10 years time.

    What we need is to encourage more Thomas Edisions who on 1.015 attempts created what we know now as the modern light bulb.

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Theodore Roosevelt Inspiration

    Here are some inspirational words from Theodore Roosevelt

    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat.

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Liam Webb

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    A Gourmet Christmas Present Idea

    My Christams theme continues now, as I came across another offer today, that may just get some of this blog's readers out of trouble with my last minute Christmas shopping. The idea is Gourmet Gifts, and packaged and attractive basket of all kinds of goodies.

    The website has some unique gift baskets available all with different themes determining the contents. There's a real Italian theme with some of the Italian GIft Baskets, including the Tuscan traveller, taste of Italy and magnificent Milano. But Italian products is not all they provide, as they also have a range of other products such as the chocolate indulgence, Barbeque Gift basket and the Beverage Bonanza.

    This would be perfect for those in the US who, like me, are probably going to leave there Christmas shopping to the last minute again this year. It's a gift that would actually be practical, and it's even been endorsed by USA Today. Visit their website to find out more.

    - Liam Webb

    Great New Book - Success Leaves Clues

    Here is another great archive entry from the Maverick Spirit, that was brought up this time last year.

    This week I have had a few challenges - the government is still being a bit of a bully with their action against us, and apart from being a bit lopsided, them being the government and just poor old us, they keep changing the rules. So, after taking a bit of a whack around the ears, I opened the mail to find a book that was sent to me by Jason of Bob's Books. After reading it I was ready for another round with government!

    Written by a West Australian, Glen Smyth, the book has the engaging title, Success Leaves Clues. Glen has interviewed a number of successful Australian business people and craft a really tremendous guide to succeeding in life and business. Glen talks about visiting the council rubbish tip to junk $400,000 worth of computer software which he had developed but very few people felt the need to buy. This experience set him off on a challenge to find what set successful people apart from the rest of us.

    In a favourite observation of mine, Glen talks of success stories by people who left school at an early age. Perth identity John Hughes didn't get passed 15 at school. And he had many challenges along the way. When he bought the property his multi-million dollar business still sits on some 30 years ago, but it nearly sent him broke before he even started. Delays in building and getting the business established meant that payments were required on the property before he had sold a single car. However, John pushed through these initial challenges and now sells more than 12,000 cars in a year, and employs hundreds of Western Australians in the process, making him one of Australia’s most successful car dealerships. Approaching 70 this year, John is still active in his business.

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Travel Plans and Itineraries Blog

    With the holidays fast approaching, and most of us finding some time off coming up, planning what to do over the Christmas break or even for the next year is something that is is now at the fore-front of most peoples mind, (excluding Christmas shopping of course!). This is a situation I find myself in, and have spent the last week or so searching through the internet looking at different websites and options that interested me. I then came across this great blog, titled the travel idea blog, a blog site that is complete with itineraries, travel plans, reviews of destinations, hotels and airlines. This blog site has been around for a couple of years now, and has attracted quite a large following, no doubt due to its relevant and interesting content.

    A lot of the articles on the blog site are sourced from respectable sources, but a lot also feature personal experience and reviews. Due to the sheer size of the blog, a search function has been inserted, so that finding information on a subject that interests you is not very difficult to find at all.But as well as useful reviews on destinations and accommodations, there are also updated travel information, such as current restrictions on airline flights, situations that need to be observed in countries, as well as passport and entry requirements to various countries, and not to mention medical and travelling requirements for less developed countries. There’s a lot of information here, and it just might give you some ideas about where you plan to travel to next.

    - Liam Webb

    The True Cost of the Twelve Days of Christmas

    Here is an appropriate article from Wayne's Maverick Archive, especially relevant now that Christmas is just a few weeks away.

    Hearing all those Christmas Carols as I go about my business, it got me wondering how much would the gifts that I am supposed to give my true love for Christmas cost... rather romantically I thought that they would be all things from the backyard given with love... you know the stuff "It's the thought that counts."

    So, I turned to my faithful Google and enquired "how much is it going to cost??"

    I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised but according to Associated Press, a group in America, PNC Financial Services Group, have been conducting a yearly survey on the cost of buying your true love all the gifts in the Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas".

    This year the cost of the gifts has risen 9.5 percent after last year's increase of just 1.5 percent.

    Apparently cost have been driven up by avian flu fears and the world oil crisis driving prices of petrol higher, but also gold prices are also on the rise.

    You'll have to shell out $450 for the five gold rings this year.

    And with the threat of avian flu, good luck getting three French hens from France.
    Though you could find local suppliers.

    Each year since 1982, PNC Financial Services Group, a Pittsburgh-based bank does a tongue-in-cheek tally of how much the lords a-leaping, pipers piping and maids a-milking would cost if you bought them for your true love at today's prices.

    This year, the price tag for all 364 items, from a partridge in a pear tree to a dozen drummers drumming - if they were bought repeatedly on each day as the song suggests: $100,844, up from $92,130 last year.

    For that price you could get a platinum 6.9 karat yellow diamond ring, well-equipped Porsche Cayman S sports car, nicely equipped BMW coupe, Porsche sport utility vehicle or fully-loaded 2005 Jaguar convertible.

    Buying each item in the song just once would set you back $25,483, up from $24,022 last year.

    The nine ladies dancing again cost the most - $4,576, followed by the seven swans at $4,200 and 10 leaping lords at $4,039.

    Also, geese cost almost twice as much and the price of swans went up by 20 percent this year, according to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

    That's because large birds come from national retailers whose shipping costs have risen due to high fuel prices.

    Turtledoves and calling birds, however, weren't hit by high energy prices because these smaller birds can be bought from local retailers.

    As for the partridge? That's still $15.

    I think the modern tradition, especially the one that I follow, of giving a bottle of Margaret River Red is much more sensible.

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Secure Postage Mailing Solution

    Emails these days have become a simple and quick way for sending messages and postin information that would normally have had to wait a day or two through traditional postage means. There have been vast improvements in the security and filtering of emails, which has allowed people to feel more confident about sending sensitive documents.

    But there is still a need for normal mailing, such as bills, personal letters, packages and other courier related items that simple must be posted this way. But how can a business or individual ensure their security, quickly and simply. I've been thinking about solutions for this problem for a while, and yesterday I was shown this example for mailboxes, by a website, This service provides a complete online directory of secure mail boxes, drop boxes and remailing services in your area.

    This type of service is perfect for those that wish security in the mail delivery, and reduce the risk of mail being tampered with or stolen, especially important for businesses and companies. This type of service is also perfect for those starting up their own business from home, and by using a drop address, can greatly add to the credibility of their company, mailing to a prestigious
    address as oppose to a residential address.

    For those who have experienced this type of problem in the past, or simply wishes to prevent it from happening at all, this directory is a great place to start.

    - Liam Webb

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    How to Develop new Clients with Referrals

    Cold Calling is a very expensive way to do business... the best way to develop new clients is by referral... here is a fabulous way to do that.

    Write to your clients... send the letter by fax, postcard or email... and thank them for their business. Offer them a special gift for filling out a special friends list and returning it to you. Some suggestions to really make it work...

    Pick a gift that costs next to nothing and has a high value... a CD costing $1 that sells for $19.99.

    Ask someone to provide the free CD... someone like us who would really like to have out message out and about with people who are receptive...

    Offer to send them the CD for helping you by supplying some referrals and then also offer to send the CD to their referrals with their compliments.

    Then with all the new names you now have, contact the new prospects with a compelling offer, a no-risk guarentee and make the offer for a limited time only.

    Sales of Grateful Dead Memorabilia and merchandise have skyrocketed since the death of Jerry Garcia. Liquid Blue, the largest lincensed manufacturer of Grateful Dead T-Shirts, says the phones went crazy with vendors who wanted rush orders in anticipation of the buying frenzy... only in America can you make more money dead than alive...

    Nature says there must always be a winter... Motivational Guru Tony Robbins attracted high profile disciples, with former President Clinton and the late Lady Di. However, he has had to pay out over $200,000 to settle charges that he misled investors about profits to be made from the franchising of his seminars on positive thinking...

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Small Business Bookeeping Solution

    Well, any new business owner has been through it, and it can be one of the most tormenting and difficult parts of running your own small business. Bookkeeping is an annoying but necessary part of successfully operating a business, but sometimes the cost of sourcing it out to others, be it monitery or the ruination of your books, leaves you in a difficult position.

    It seems that this isn't a rare problem, as another small business operator, John Vanhara, has also experienced the hassel of managing accounts and unreliable assistance from bookkeepers. In an effort to solve this, he has come up with his own quickbooks bookkeeping, a service that can manage and organise your accounts for you, at a much cheaper rate than what is usually offered by most other companies.

    Quickbooks bookkeeping utilises a simple system that allows them to quickly and accurately mange accounts, and can outsource this system online for a very low cost. In the last three years, the company has worked with a huge number of businesses in similar situations, and believes in the philosophy of keeping things simple and efficient, in order to maintain low cost.

    Their record speaks for itself, and is definately an avenue worth exploring for anyone else in this situation.

    - Liam Webb

    Doing What Works Best For You

    Here is another great entry from Wayne's Maverick Spirit Archive, again enforcing that people should believe in themselves and do what works for them.

    Why do bumblebees fly? Because they can.Do you know how sometimes something "jumps of the shelf" and grabs your attention. Well I was browsing in a bookshop recently and a small green book titled Bumblebee's Can't Fly jumped off the shelf and demanded I take it home. The book is a great read... and offers some very practical advice to those wanting to achieve the impossible.

    Why do bumblebees fly? Because they can. As obvious as that sounds, it goes against a study by a scientist of the 1930s who claimed to have proven that bumblebees aren't aerodynamic enough to stay in the air. Good thing the bees ignore such science and do what works best for them.

    The book by Canadian Barry Siskind, with the fabulous full title Bumblebees Can't Fly: Seven Strategies for Making the Impossible Possible. Barry comments that he is amazed at how often people don't act like bees, letting common wisdom get in the way of common sense in making career choices.

    "If you're going to move ahead in your career or find the right job to reach our potential, you've really got to filter out what other people think and what happened in the past and examine what's true for you," he advises.

    People should ignore the buzz around them. Barry recommends listening to three inner voices: the thinker, the doer and the critic.

    "It's important to listen to all three and balance them carefully because when we listen to one and ignore the other we don't make the best choice." For example "the voice of the thinker says 'while I really want to be a novelist, I have to support my family, so I have to be a teacher.' Meanwhile the voice of the doer chimes in, 'I'll have to go to college and get a degree and pay for that.'"But that third voice, the critic, "is the one we don't tend to listen to because it is a pain in the ass. It says 'if you spend the next 10 years doing that you're never going to take a holiday and you won't likely get around to creating the best selling novel.'

    "The seven strategies in the book are designed to help you get on good terms with these inner consultants. They are:

    Doubt the obvious There is no belief that can't be questioned "and if it doesn't make sense, discard it," Barry says. "Listen to yourself and note any time you use the word 'should' in something you say." Think about the pros and cons of accepting that belief.

    Let your reach exceed your grasp "Feeling limited and stuck is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, so broad your options. The issue is accepting that even if you don't see the answer, there is answer out there somewhere. I can get a better job. I can get promoted. I can find happiness in what I am doing even if I can't see it now.

    "Know yourself We filter experiences through ort values and past experiences so that something that brings joy to someone else can evoke disgust or boredom in you. At the same time, we make decisions based on how we react to things intellectually at one extreme and emotionally at the other.

    Transform information into knowledge After determining your values and emotional balance, list all the roles you play in your life as a parent, worker, friend and spouse. Beside each role, list the strengths you think you bring to the task. Compare the lists and see if some strengths show up for all the roles. Those are traits that describe who you really are. And while it is not wrong to make compromises with bosses and colleagues, your strengths are what make you a valuable part of a team. If you compromise them too much, you lose the value you bring to the team, and ultimately yourself.

    Embrace the unexpected Do some brainstorming in which anything you want to do, no matter how seemingly improbable, is possible. Maybe the shortest distance for you may be around a corner, or behind you or beside you.

    Stay on course Once you've got an idea that you want to pursue, it's easy to get lost along the way because there isn't a clear map of how to proceed. The analogy Barry suggests is losing your car keys. To find the keys, the strategy that invariably works is to retrace your steps from the last place the keys were seen.

    If a career plan is going wrong, go back to the point where you made the decision and see if you can identify the point where that began to happen, and then use that as the new starting point. Keep focused on the goal and plot a new strategy that steers around the obstacle.

    Don't be afraid to change horses in midstream When it becomes obvious that things are not really going the way you hoped, it's important to listen to your intuition and realize when it is time to cut your losses. If you totally screwed up, it doesn't mean everything is a failure, even if you wake up in mid-career and say 'what am I doing here?'"

    Ultimately, our intuition always tells the truth, Barry Siskind believes. And if you want proof of that, "the easiest test is just do the opposite of what you intuition tells you. You'll screw up, inevitably you'll make the wrong decisions."

    So there you have it, 7 simple strategies for making the impossible possible.

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Discount Coupons in Time for Christmas

    Well they have done it again. I have mentioned Coupon Chief coupon codes, before, and they have recently updated their website with even more great deals on their range of different products and services.

    One of particluar interest to me at the moment, a Target Coupon Code that offers 10% off, no minimum. With Christmas just around the corner, this is an outstanding saving, especially if, like me, you are probably going to purchase a lot of gifts this year. This offer is valid until the end of January next year, so you have plenty of time to get those last minute details sorted out.

    Again it's not just handy for purchases such as this, but also a range of other products and services, some providing some seriously significant discounts. Coupon Chief is well worth a look for any type of discount that you would be interested in.

    Resisting Change and its effects

    Here's an article from Wayne's Maverick Spirit archive that people really need to observe, even today!

    Does the statement: "We've always done it that way" ring any bells?

    Change is something we resist at every opportunity. The consequences of not changing something can effect lives hundreds of years in the future. You might say... but it's unbelievable but true!

    Did you know the size of the booster rockets on the Space Shuttle were decided by a bureaucrat in the time of the Roman Empire and nobody was game to change the measurement since??

    How is that possible... let me share a story with you.

    The US standard railway gauge - distance between the rails - is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

    Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in Britain, and British expatriates built the US railways.

    Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railway tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

    Why did "they" use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

    OK. Why did the wagons have that particular wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long-distance roads in Britain, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

    So who built these old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long-distance roads in Britain for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

    So, why 4 feet 8.5 inches wide? That's because the Imperial Roman war chariots specification was to make them wide enough to accommodate the back ends of TWO warhorses. And that hasn't changed on over a thousand years.

    The booster rockets for the space shuttle were built in Utah and sent by train to Florida. The original design called for larger rockets but they had to go through a RAILWAY tunnel. The tunnel was just slightly wider than the railway track, and you know that track is wide enough to accommodate the back ends of TWO ROMAN warhorses.

    So, for all it's high tech wizardry, the width of space shuttles booster rockets was determined over 1000 years ago, and has never been changed since because "that's how we do it around here!"

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Thursday, November 30, 2006

    Website Hosting Information

    For those in the business of operating a website, running other websites, or creating websites for other individuals/companies, take note. Given the surging popularity in the use of the internet, and those posting new websites every day, there is a huge amount of offers and companies cropping up, offering web hosting plans and options for a range of different prices and applications.

    This is where the website Lunarpages Coupons comes in. Tired of having people continuously post the same questions time and time again about web hosting, this site provides instead a comprehensive list of hosting companies, with various reviews on performance, reliability, and support that is available.

    These reviews are from everyday people, and cover a variety of different applications. From the reviews that I have read on various companies, there have been strong reviews both positive and negative. These reviews are generally sound, and are an indication of the companies ability to operate. The reviews are collected from forums, and there is the options for users to submit their own reviews directly into the site.

    I reviewed my hosting program on this site, and found many positive reviews, reinforcing my decision on my hosting plan. Don't be fooled by false promises, check the Lunarpages Coupons site out, and make sure that you are getting what you expect.

    - Liam Webb

    Wednesday, November 29, 2006

    Marketing for the Madman

    At 30,000 feet above the Atlantic, a startling announcement came over the airline's speaker: "U.S. Customs requires that all passengers change their underwear."

    Immediately, Nicholas Graham, CEO of underwear maker Joe Boxer, and his good friend Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic Airlines, appeared in the front of the plane. They made their way down the aisles, handing out boxer shorts. A fashion show followed, with crew members and passengers sporting new Joe Boxers.

    Newspapers around the world reported the event, giving Joe Boxer millions of dollars worth of exposure.

    Graham and Branson pulled a similar stunt in Times Square New York. They showed up at 8:00 a.m. to unvail the worlds largest e-mail billboard.

    They climbed into a cherry picker and, from above the rush hour crowd, threw down free samples of Joe Boxer underwear. CNN ran the story all day long.

    "our events don't have to make sense or be about underwear", says Graham. "But our marketing ideas have to be press-worthy."

    He will take the $10,000 stunt over a $60,000 print ad every time.

    Graham tirelessly seeks new publicity venues and ideas. Last year, he created a site on the Internet, insisting that it reflect the personality of his company.

    He designed a 250 page playland. Users are welcomed by a giant eye. One click takes them to a picture of Graham wrapped in elastic. From there, they can play games or view any of the company's lines.

    His site gets 100,00 hits per day.

    His ultimate goal: to be more outrageous than his buddy, billionaire Richard Branson. And even bigger.

    Extract: Renegades - Success Magazine 2/96

    Thursday, November 23, 2006

    The Value in Gourmet Products

    In 1988, General Foods, the makers of Maxwell House Coffee, saw coffee as a $5 billion industry - and a losing proposition. Coffee consumption had plunged to its lowest point in recorded history... 1.67 cups per person per day... and baby boomers had become obsessed with their health. General Foods lost $40 million on coffee that year. They said customers weren't willing to pay enough for the stuff.

    But the reality was that customers no longer saw value in General Foods offering: low quality coffee. Nobody noticed Starbucks.. in Australia Dome... who were only doing $10 million a year, charging double the usual prices for a cup - and growing 30 percent to 80 percent a year - by using expensive beans and European atmosphere. Nor did the big boys see any relevance in the successes of Haagen-Dazs, Perrier and Mrs Fields. Baby Boomers may have become health nuts, but they saw value in Gourmet products - and were willing to pay.

    Gourmet bean sellers and coffee bar operators now have 20% of the market from the giants - profitably - beacuse they understoof that the changing customers tastes had created values elsewhere.
    Some food for thought about doing your market research.

    Thoughts of Successful People

    Mark McCormick
    Founder: International Management Group
    Author: What They Don't Teach You in Harvard Business School
    Listed: 95 Forbes Rich List at worth $500 million ($750 m Aust)

    Extract from:
    Success Secrets
    By Mark McCormick

    Because of my association with champion athletes, people often ask me if a competitive streak on the playing field helps you in business. I prefer to divide the question into two answers: one for ordinary atheletes, another for the elite.

    I think business people who are atheletes in high school, and continue to compete informally as adults usually derive a benefit in their business behaviour. Whether it means winnning a point or winning a sale, they seem to have discipline, stamina and courage to come out on top. They also mesh well within an organisation. People who competed in team sports such as football or basketball are particularly effective in corporate hierachy. They're team players who know instinctively when to obey the rules and when to bend them.

    Major sports personalities - professionals, world-class champions - are a different story. The reason? They have no business patience. They're used to instant results. They play a tennis match and know whether they've won or lost three hours later. They get instant adulation every time they sink a outt or put the ball through the hoop. That sort of quick score and automatic applause is usually missing in the business world. In business, patience and an eye to the long term are more highly prized skills.

    On the same subject, I'm often asked what qualities I admire in the champion athletes I.M.G. represents and how those qualities translate into business success.
    Here are five winning attributes:

    1. Arnold Palmer's Honesty and Integrity
      Arnold was playing in a Pro-Am on a water soaked course and was allowed to take a new putting position to avoid putting through water. Arnold always placed his putt further from the hole than was necessary, and on quizzing him, he told me; "If one peron in the gallery thought I was taking advantage of the situatio, then the putt wouldn't be worth it."
    2. Chris Evert's Mental Toughness.
      She has a tremendous discipline and can keep her mind focused on a situation without letting emotion interfere. She does this on the tennis court and off. You always know where you stand with her.

    3. Bjorn's Borg's Stubborness.
      Bjorn is stubborn in a healthy way. Once he makes up his mind to win a point or a match, he usually succeeds.

    4. Gary Player's Thoughfulness.
      Gary is a genuinely nice person who always goes out of his way, even under the most trying condtions, to say something positive. His sensitivity to people's feelings and that talent for making them feel comfortable is priceless.

    5. Jack Niclaus's Maturity.
      Jack has been successful from a very early age. He believed in his twenties that he could win in business as easily as he won in golf. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. Jack made some costly decisions.

      But since then, he has learned to be a businessman, to delegate, to hire experts who know more about specific business opportunites than he does. That's a very mature and profitable attitude.

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Trump101 - Never know too much

    The seeds of learning can grow almost anywhere,
    and you can never know too much about what your doing.

    Donald Trump - Trump101

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    The Art of War

    There is a fabulous little book written 2,500 years ago by a Chinese Warrior called Sun Tzu. His work was edited by James Clavell in 1981 (he wrote Noble House). Clavell believes that if we had followed the wisdom of the Art of War, we would have had different results in Vietnam, Korea, Iran, and the British empire would still be in tact. Here are a few ideas to help you in your war of life.

    The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.

    You may advance and be absolutely irresistible, if you make for the enemy's weak points; you may retire and be safe from pursuit if your movements are more rapid from those of the enemy.

    Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must get theit rewards.

    Therefore in chariot fighting, when ten or more chariots have been taken, those should get rewarded who took the first. Our own flags should be substituted for those of the enemy, and the chariots mingled and used in conjunction with ours. The captured soldiers should be kindly treated and kept.

    This is called, using the conquered for to augment one's own strength.

    What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

    He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

    A clever general avoids an armywhen its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return. This is the art of studying moods.

    Do not press a desperate foe too hard.

    Take the time to read this gem!

    Wayne Mansfield

    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Just Do It! Not Tomorrow, Today!

    Here's another insight from my archives, an article that I believe is particularly relevant for the start of the new year.

    As a frequent flyer... 15 times around Australia last year for starters, I often wonder what else could be wrong with the plane when things like the sound system doesn't work... or the latches on the seats are broken... or the ground crew bring the long "de-planing" ladders which happened recently in Perth - they were the wrong height.

    Now I am not an alarmist but this next tale got me to thinking... what little things can I get done before the year starts in earnest. So that's the challenge - what have you been outing off that will only take a few minutes to fix. Go on, JUST DO IT! ( with apologises to Nike )

    As reported some years back in The Wall Street Journal:

    Here is an awesome example of taking little things for granted. Here is a most expensive and frightening lesson learned by a major airline about taking little, easy steps for granted.

    A mechanic working under an aircraft noticed a small leak from the forward lavatory. Having just completed the repair of a more sophisticated mechanical malfunction that threatened to delay the on-time departure of the plane, the mechanic decided the little drip could wait until the plane landed at the next airport.

    The plane took off on time.

    Well, that little drip kept dripping. And, as liquid is known to do at very cold temperatures, the drips began to freeze. The little drip turned into a big chunk of ice. At 870 kilometres per hour, that little chunk of ice broke off from the fuselage and slammed into an engine.

    The impact from all those little drips-turned brick caused the engine to self-destruct and rip right off the plane.

    After the emergency landing, officials determined that the part that could have prevented the nearly catastrophic mishap was a little rubber washer. More than a hundred lives were put at risk, and an engine costing more than $1 million was destroyed all for the want of, literally, a ten-cent part - and a little attention to detail by a mechanic focusing on the complex but not the simple.

    Great story. I have a sign looking back me which says: "NOT TOMORROW! Make the call! Today! Now!" That advice has helped immensely in the last 12 months.

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Monday, November 20, 2006

    Self Storage Solution

    As we all know, moving house can be a stressful and often drawn out affair, as many different variables have to be factored in equation. Things like security, cost, and protection in transit of your valuables just to name a few. I know that I personally have had to worry about these kinds of things, especially when delicate dinnerware or electronic articles are moved in a less than sedate way.

    Someone out there has been thinking on this problem however. If you need help to Find Storage Nationwide, then paying a visit to is a good start. Here is a website designed to give its users a head up on the obstacles of moving, and provide the best possible options for any given situation.

    This website can be used to review moving and storage options for you, and compare these with up to four other quotes, enabling you to get the best competitive bid. The option is there so you only need to give your contact details to the company you choose, putting you in control of what you want. The service gives you the option of either local, interstate or international moving, as well as all types of storage solutions.

    The website design is easy to navigate, with the necessary sections divided into their respective catagories. And as part of the main content, two fields that allow you to search based on your zip code, or type of service that you are after.

    This is a comprehensive website, and one that could prove vital prior to the planning of any major move or storage plans you might have in mind.

    - Liam Webb

    IQ of 100 plus to get into Australia

    Here is an absolute gem from my archives... enjoy!

    On my recent trip to the US, I had some problems paying by credit card at a Budget Rent-A-Car office when the lady behind the counter tried to record Australia as somewhere near California - or was it Canada? And in Philadelphia we were accosted by some really friendly ladies in the street who wanted to know about Crocodile Dundee, Steve Irvin and kept shouting "Throw another shrimp on the barbie."

    Whilst everyone "had always wanted to go to Australia" they wondered things like "was it far" and "could I drive". Remarkably in New York many people from the Caribbean wanted to talk about cricket - this was before the Poms gave us a belting.

    So it was with great interest that I read this great article about what people want to know before they come to Australia.With all the problems associated with getting Visa's into the US - people like Russell Crowe are having some problems since they started throwing phones at poor hotel clerks, I thought it might be a good time to have a look at the type of people trying to get into Australia.

    Apparently the questions below about Australia are from potential visitors. They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a sense of humour.

    Q. Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK).
    A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

    Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
    A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

    Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
    A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

    Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
    A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.

    Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
    A: What did your last slave die of?

    Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
    A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

    Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
    A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

    Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
    A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

    Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
    A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger -man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

    Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? ( UK)
    A: You are a British politician, right?

    Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
    A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

    Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
    A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

    Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees (USA)
    A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

    Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
    A: No, WE don't stink.

    Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
    A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

    Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
    A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

    Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
    A: Only at Christmas.

    Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R&R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)
    A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour. Come naked.

    Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
    A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

    So there you go... Australia is the place to visit!!

    - Wayne Mansfield

    Just in Time for Christmas...

    With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, finding that perfect gift is again becoming a problem high on my must do list. I think I have pretty much worn out my usual assortment of ideas, and then I came across this idea - Gift basket and Gourmet Gifts.

    The website I speak of is known as America's #1 Gift Basket Website, This site is dedicated to providing an extensive range of gift baskets at competitive prices, with an emphisas on customer service.

    To tie in with the upcoming Christmas holidays, there is an extensive range of holiday gift packages to choose from, including chocolates, Gourmet gift baskets, cookies, fruitcakes and party mixs... the list goes on.

    The structure of the website, as you would expect, is easy to navigate, and lists each gift hamper in its respective catagory, for easy aquisition. As well as this, products are arranged by brand, dietary restrictions, recipient, and price - ranging from budget conscious gifts, to much more extravagent items.

    The website also has a comprehensive customer service section, that contains loads of frequntly asked questions, as well as the option to ask customer service your own question.

    For hampers that require little fuss and contain a huge selection, give a go, if even to browse for ideas for the holidays. Those chocolate hampers have given me a few ideas...