Professors – Ways to Be Wise When Traveling (Before and During)

Since I am writing this article about how to be wise when you travel (and I am on the road at a professional conference) the ideas are quite fresh in my mind. If you travel as part of your academic responsibility, then you will find these ideas helpful.

Let people know you are on the road so they will not expect you to get back to them as quickly. You can leave this information in a message on your outgoing voice mail and, if you are going to be out for an extended period of time, set up an email responder, as well. (Note: If you are going to be out for one or two days, then my suggestion is NOT to annoy people who email you with a return email that says that you will be out "until tomorrow afternoon" or the like.)

Answer voice mail as you travel so it's not all there when you get back in town. This means you must have a voice mail system that is easily retrievable. Make it a point to return voice mail within 24 hours of when you get the message, if at all possible.

Keep up with your email as you travel. Not doing so is even more onerous than taking the extra steps to be able to access it while you're on the road. There are several possibilities:

  • you can have all your email forwarded to a web-based email system;
  • you can set up your laptop to access all your email (and either leave the original message on the server or not);
  • or you may use what I use, GoToMyPC, which lets me access my home office computer from any other computer. That way, I'm answering my emails just as if I am in front of my main computer. It's convenient because all my deleted, saved, and sent messages are right there where they belong and all attachments I might need to send to someone are easily accessible.

Create a productive environment for yourself when you are traveling. Some ways to do so include:

  • If you are traveling by car, make sure you have all the items that will let you be comfortable and productive while on the road.
  • If you are traveling by plane, then make sure you have noise-cancelling headphones and the kind of work that can easily be retrieved while sitting in an airplane seat.
  • Once you arrive at your hotel, take a few minutes and get it set up. I will often move tables around to create a L-shaped workspace. I have also been known to take 100 watt light bulbs with me when I go to Las Vegas (or stay at a W Hotel) because the lamps are so dim that it's very difficult to see and get reading and work done. Learn what works best for you-and then create that environment as much as you can.

Join loyalty programs whenever possible and then maximize your use of those particular airlines and hotels. There are small (and sometimes large) amenities that go along with being a member of a program. If at all possible, aim for the elite status which really gives you worth perquisites (including leverage) when traveling.

You're a professor. You're smart. You need to travel to conferences, to conduct your research, to learn, to share your knowledge, and to expand your horizons. So now, be wise about traveling by putting one or more of the ideas in this article into practice and move closer to peaceful productivity as a way of life.

Since I am writing this article about how to be wise when you travel (and I am on the road at a professional conference) the ideas are quite fresh in my mind. If you travel as part of your academic responsibility, then you will find these ideas helpful.

Let people know you are on the road so they will not expect you to get back to them as quickly. You can leave this information in a message on your outgoing voice mail and, if you are going to be out for an extended period of time, set up an email responder, as well. (Note: If you are going to be out for one or two days, then my suggestion is NOT to annoy people who email you with a return email that says that you will be out "until tomorrow afternoon" or the like.)

Answer voice mail as you travel so it's not all there when you get back in town. This means you must have a voice mail system that is easily retrievable. Make it a point to return voice mail within 24 hours of when you get the message, if at all possible.

Keep up with your email as you travel. Not doing so is even more onerous than taking the extra steps to be able to access it while you're on the road. There are several possibilities:

  • you can have all your email forwarded to a web-based email system;
  • you can set up your laptop to access all your email (and either leave the original message on the server or not);
  • or you may use what I use, GoToMyPC, which lets me access my home office computer from any other computer. That way, I'm answering my emails just as if I am in front of my main computer. It's convenient because all my deleted, saved, and sent messages are right there where they belong and all attachments I might need to send to someone are easily accessible.

Create a productive environment for yourself when you are traveling. Some ways to do so include:

  • If you are traveling by car, make sure you have all the items that will let you be comfortable and productive while on the road.
  • If you are traveling by plane, then make sure you have noise-cancelling headphones and the kind of work that can easily be retrieved while sitting in an airplane seat.
  • Once you arrive at your hotel, take a few minutes and get it set up. I will often move tables around to create a L-shaped workspace. I have also been known to take 100 watt light bulbs with me when I go to Las Vegas (or stay at a W Hotel) because the lamps are so dim that it's very difficult to see and get reading and work done. Learn what works best for you-and then create that environment as much as you can.

Join loyalty programs whenever possible and then maximize your use of those particular airlines and hotels. There are small (and sometimes large) amenities that go along with being a member of a program. If at all possible, aim for the elite status which really gives you worth perquisites (including leverage) when traveling.

You're a professor. You're smart. You need to travel to conferences, to conduct your research, to learn, to share your knowledge, and to expand your horizons. So now, be wise about traveling by putting one or more of the ideas in this article into practice and move closer to peaceful productivity as a way of life.

Furniture Store Marketing – When Everyone Is Your Customer, No One is Your Customer!

One of the biggest challenges home furnishing owners must overcome, in order to be successful in this new economy, is the dreaded I-offer-everything-for-everyone syndrome. On the surface this looks like a sure-fire way to get more customers, but it is already proven time and time again that it is not always the most successful way to prosper in your store.

If you are an independent home furnishing retailers, then chances are you have a limited budget and limited space to work with. So, if your store offers several contemporary collections, several ultra-modern collections and some eclectic pieces as well as some early American collections scattered through you store, do you really think that you have enough of any of those styles to satisfy the type of customers who are looking for a specific style? However, style is only one way to target your customer.

In fact, the most successful furniture retailers in my area focus on a couple of things to attract a specific type of customer:

  • Complete living room packages for under $ 2,000 or furnish your entitlement home for under $ 5,000.
  • Long-term low or no interest financing
  • Fast delivery within 3 days or less
  • Lower prices for packages

So, by narrowing down their advertising, they attract a customer that wants to purchase multiple pieces, which in turn, drives the average ticket sale and profits up. They then offer attractive financing terms which attracts customers with good credit and income, while enticing them to spend more money because the customer has longer to pay for it.

Most importantly, they save the customer money by buying more and can get it in their homes in a couple of days. There is also another twist to these retailers. They reward their salespeople handsomely for NOT selling the financing, but getting customers to pay off their balances in less than 90 days.

There is a common slogan in marketing statute, "There are riches in niches." Simply put, this slogan means determine who your most profitable, enjoyable and easy to attract customer is, and then specialize in getting more of those customers to come into your store and buy. You do this by creating a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that compels your most profitable customer to come back into your business again and again.

What if you reviewed your business over the last couple of years and discovered the following trends about your customers and prospects:

  • Wives initially visited the store without their husbands.
  • Recently married
  • Had three kids
  • Lived within five miles of your store
  • Spent between $ 800 – $ 1500 on sofa, loveseat and tables.
  • Paid by Visa, MasterCard or Discover

Once you have this information, you can redesign your store and business to cater to more of the same types of customers that are currently spending good money in your store.

However, you can only use this information to your advantage if you take the time to find out who your customer is, what is important to them and what they really want.

It may come as a surprise to you, but your customers want more than just a sofa. If you are just selling a sofa, you are missing out on a ton of business. Here are a few of the keys I have discovered over the years:

  • Do not sell mattresses, sell relief from back pain.
  • Do not sell home theater seats, sell the entertainment experience.
  • Do not sell sofas or loveseats, sell comfort and warmth.
  • Do not sell furniture, sell status and prestige.
  • Do not sell interior design, sell ENVY and the WOW factor!

Once you know what your customers really want then, you could use that information to create a USP that attracts more of the same type of customers. For example:

  • "Do not hire expensive interior designers, use our 23 point design checklist and give your home a million dollar look for FREE!"
  • "Discover how to give your home an extreme $ 20,000 makeover, on an $ 8,000 budget."
  • "Your family and friends will say" Oh my gosh! Your home is simply amazing! "In 27 seconds flat … we guarantee it!"

If You Thought You Missed The Internet Profit Revolution Try CryptoCurrency

When most people think of cryptocurrency they might as well be thinking of cryptic currency. Very few people seem to know what it is and for some reason everyone seems to be talking about it as if they do. This report will hopefully demystify all the aspects of cryptocurrency so that by the time you’re finished reading you will have a pretty good idea of what it is and what it’s all about.

You may find that cryptocurrency is for you or you may not but at least you’ll be able to speak with a degree of certainty and knowledge that others won’t possess.

There are many people who have already reached millionaire status by dealing in cryptocurrency. Clearly there’s a lot of money in this brand new industry.

Cryptocurrency is electronic currency, short and simple. However, what’s not so short and simple is exactly how it comes to have value.

Cryptocurrency is a digitized, virtual, decentralized currency produced by the application of cryptography, which, according to Merriam Webster dictionary, is the “computerized encoding and decoding of information”. Cryptography is the foundation that makes debit cards, computer banking and eCommerce systems possible.

Cryptocurrency isn’t backed by banks; it’s not backed by a government, but by an extremely complicated arrangement of algorithms. Cryptocurrency is electricity which is encoded into complex strings of algorithms. What lends monetary value is their intricacy and their security from hackers. The way that crypto currency is made is simply too difficult to reproduce.

Cryptocurrency is in direct opposition to what is called fiat money. Fiat money is currency that gets its worth from government ruling or law. The dollar, the yen, and the Euro are all examples. Any currency that is defined as legal tender is fiat money.

Unlike fiat money, another part of what makes crypto currency valuable is that, like a commodity such as silver and gold, there’s only a finite amount of it. Only 21,000,000 of these extremely complex algorithms were produced. No more, no less. It can’t be altered by printing more of it, like a government printing more money to pump up the system without backing. Or by a bank altering a digital ledger, something the Federal Reserve will instruct banks to do to adjust for inflation.

Cryptocurrency is a means to purchase, sell, and invest that completely avoids both government oversight and banking systems tracking the movement of your money. In a world economy that is destabilized, this system can become a stable force.

Cryptocurrency also gives you a great deal of anonymity. Unfortunately this can lead to misuse by a criminal element using crypto currency to their own ends just as regular money can be misused. However, it can also keep the government from tracking your every purchase and invading your personal privacy.

Cryptocurrency comes in quite a few forms. Bitcoin was the first and is the standard from which all other cryptocurrencies pattern themselves. All are produced by meticulous alpha-numerical computations from a complex coding tool. Some other cryptocurrencies are Litecoin, Namecoin, Peercoin, Dogecoin, and Worldcoin, to name a few. These are called altcoins as a generalized name. The prices of each are regulated by the supply of the specific cryptocurrency and the demand that the market has for that currency.

The way cryptocurrency is brought into existence is quite fascinating. Unlike gold, which has to be mined from the ground, cryptocurrency is merely an entry in a virtual ledger which is stored in various computers around the world. These entries have to be ‘mined’ using mathematical algorithms. Individual users or, more likely, a group of users run computational analysis to find particular series of data, called blocks. The ‘miners’ find data that produces an exact pattern to the cryptographic algorithm. At that point, it’s applied to the series, and they’ve found a block. After an equivalent data series on the block matches up with the algorithm, the block of data has been unencrypted. The miner gets a reward of a specific amount of cryptocurrency. As time goes on, the amount of the reward decreases as the cryptocurrency becomes scarcer. Adding to that, the complexity of the algorithms in the search for new blocks is also increased. Computationally, it becomes harder to find a matching series. Both of these scenarios come together to decrease the speed in which cryptocurrency is created. This imitates the difficulty and scarcity of mining a commodity like gold.

Now, anyone can be a miner. The originators of Bitcoin made the mining tool open source, so it’s free to anyone. However, the computers they use run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The algorithms are extremely complex and the CPU is running full tilt. Many users have specialized computers made specifically for mining cryptocurrency. Both the user and the specialized computer are called miners.

Miners (the human ones) also keep ledgers of transactions and act as auditors, so that a coin isn’t duplicated in any way. This keeps the system from being hacked and from running amok. They’re paid for this work by receiving new cryptocurrency every week that they maintain their operation. They keep their cryptocurrency in specialized files on their computers or other personal devices. These files are called wallets.

Let’s recap by going through a few of the definitions we’ve learned:

• Cryptocurrency: electronic currency; also called digital currency.

• Fiat money: any legal tender; government backed, used in banking system.

• Bitcoin: the original and gold standard of crypto currency.

• Altcoin: other cryptocurrencies that are patterned from the same processes as Bitcoin, but with slight variations in their coding.

• Miners: an individual or group of individuals who use their own resources (computers, electricity, space) to mine digital coins.

o Also a specialized computer made specifically for finding new coins through computing series of algorithms.

• Wallet: a small file on your computer where you store your digital money.

Conceptualizing the cryptocurrency system in a nutshell:

• Electronic money.

• Mined by individuals who use their own resources to find the coins.

• A stable, finite system of currency. For example, there are only 21,000,000 Bitcoins produced for all time.

• Does not require any government or bank to make it work.

• Pricing is decided by the amount of the coins found and used which is combined with the demand from the public to possess them.

• There are several forms of crypto currency, with Bitcoin being first and foremost.

• Can bring great wealth, but, like any investment, has risks.

Most people find the concept of cryptocurrency to be fascinating. It’s a new field that could be the next gold mine for many of them. If you find that cryptocurrency is something you’d like to learn more about then you’ve found the right report. However, I’ve barely touched the surface in this report. There is much, much more to cryptocurrency than what I’ve gone through here.

Does Body Jewelry Make You Take Extra Risks?

Body jewelry is usually associated with body piercing. There are lots of styles available ranging from cute and sexy to exotic and tribal. The places that can be pierced and the type of jewelry worn are naturally endless. It seems that when a person moves beyond a traditional or conservative earlobe piercing that other people tend to think that this non-traditional self expression is a sign of rebellion. However, is the presence of body jewelry an indication that the person is willing to take extra risks?

That is a question that parents of teens battle with as their kids approach them for permission to get a piercing. They fear that piercing such as a belly piercing, nose piercing or tongue piercing may be an indication that their teen is rebelling against their own parental values.

This is true in some cases; however, many teens simply say that the desire to wear different types of body jewelry is merely a form of personal preference and expression. Not a rebellion against their parents, just a sign that they want to have their own look even if they will keep their parents value system.

What risks youth may encounter in their quest to wear body jewelry is trying to do the piercing by themselves with a needle and a prayer. This is often not the best road to travel. The risks for infection are far greater than the risks of not gaining permission from your parents. Many teens see self piercing as the only alternative when their parents "just do not get it."

Does this mean that parents should open the gates and permit their kids to wear any type of body jewelry that they desire? Will this lead their kids to continue that push into getting permission for other behavior such as under-age drinking, smoking, or drugs? In other words, is body piercing the "gateway drug" for a rebel youth?

Probably not. But that is what many parent fear when their teens ask them about body jewelry. Youth often believe that nothing bad can happen to them. They are young, resilient and can handle anything including the risks of a self-piercing. As a parent you have the ability to less some of the risks that youth will consider. Most experts would agree that by educating yourself about body piercing and by understanding your child's motives and desires for this trend, a solution can be formed that will keep harmony in the house and enhance the relationship with your teen.