Stopping Those Unwanted, Unsolicited Sales Calls

Still getting unwanted and unsolicited sales calls? Florida has a “Do Not Call” list maintained by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Your numbers can be added to the list, and all numbers such as home phones, cell phones, pagers, and business numbers may be included.

There are some exemptions to the Do Not Call Law, but for over three years you have had the right to tell telemarketers to stop calling you. Once you have expressed your desire, theses companies are required by law to keep a list of consumers who have made a do-no-call request and they are in violation of the law if they continue to call that number.

It is easy to add your numbers to the list, simply follow this link: Once you add your number, it will stay on the list for five (5) years.

Ten Marriage Tips that got us to our 26th Wedding Anniversary

Ten Marriage Tips got us to our 26th Wedding AnniversaryThere is a lot to be said for a couple who can remain married for 26 years, and Lawrence and I are celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary on July 28th. Having dated over four years, this is someone who has known me, and I mean really known me, for over 30 years. That is a long damn time!!!

Dr. Joyce Brothers said, “Marriage is not just spiritual communion and passionate embraces; marriage is also three meals a day, sharing the workload, and remembering to carry out the trash.”

Many who are new to marriages often ask me what it takes to stay married. I find it humorous, because, I often ask folks who have been married 30 years, 35 years, or those who have been married even longer – the same question: Just HOW do you stay married til “death do us part”?

My first answer is always, “One of us has a lot of patience… and I’m guessing it is me.” But, honestly, there is a lot to be said about patience, and other things, that help you stay in a long term marriage.

Here are ten tips you may (or may not) find helpful in seeing your marriage go the distance.

1. Don’t kill each other
The quickest way to ruin a marriage is to kill your spouse. You WILL end up in jail. Even maiming the other is a felony, so DON’T DO IT!

2. Remember the Important Dates
Anniversaries and birthdays are important, don’t forget the dates. Buy gifts ahead of time and hide them in the house. When an anniversary or birthday pops up unexpectedly (not that the actual date changes from year to year) you will have a gift in the house and ready to go when you need one. TIP: You WILL score bonus points if the gift is wrapped.

3. Be Honest – from the beginning
“Does this dress make my butt look big?”
“Yes, yes it does, you may want to change before we attend your high school reunion.”
Your spouse’s knee-jerk reaction may not be appreciative, but when you come home from a successful evening of “Wow, you look better now than you did in high school” remarks – you WILL get “lucky” later in the evening.

4. Have Recreational Activities in Common
Over the years we have met tons of other couples. The ones who end up divorced are almost always the ones who have nothing, and I mean nothing, of interest in common with the other. It is wonderful to be an individual and have your own interests; but you must have fun – together – when it comes to your down time.

5. Marriage is a Committment
When the two of you married, you made a committment in front of your friends, and likely your God. You promised to face life together through sickness and health, richer and poorer, and all that other crap! As we age we realize we have seen more “poorer” than we planned as a youthful couple, and most recently we have seen more “sickness” than we ever thought we would face; yet – we are still hanging in there. You must hold on to the promise to “love and to cherish”.

6. Make a Daily Conscious Effort to Stay Married
There are times in your marriage that you MUST make a conscious effort, on a daily basis, to stay married. Trust me – this too will pass. Every single day you are with the same person, and every single day you deal with their dirty socks, smart-ass comments, and an ability to piss you off more than anyone else in the world! Always remember, this IS what YOU signed up for… no one forced you!

7. Be Faithful
In most relationships, cheating and adultery is a deal-breaker – period!

8. Be a Good Lover
One of the best things about a long term relationship is the sex. Over the years, we have learned there are three types of sex, categorically speaking. In the beginning you have “house sex”. You are newlyweds and you will have sex anywhere and everywhere… in the kitchen, on the washer, on the living room floor, etc… After a few years, you have what we refer to as “bedroom sex”. You likely have kids by this point in your marriage, and finding privacy is predictable. For the sake of convenience you find it easiest to have sex on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and an occasional Thursday, too – always in the master bedroom – always with the door closed. Then, you get to 26 years of wedded bliss. At this point, the sex moves on to a new level. The kids are (hopefully) more independent and have their own activities, or better yet – have gone on to college or otherwise moved out of the “nest”. This frees up a long-term married couple to have what we refer to as “hallway sex”. This is where you encounter each other in the hallway and say, “F-you!” as you pass.

9. Know that you must WANT to stay married.
I mentioned earlier that marriage is a commitment, but it is more than that. You must, deep down in your soul, know that you will honor your vows because you truly WANT things to work between you. In a life long relationship, there is a lot of money, time and energy that has been invested and you should want to realize a return that many others have failed to receive.

10. Laugh
Know matter how stressful life can be, keep a sense of humor. Life is serious, but finding the humor is a gift to treasure and if you two have the same, sick sense of humor – well, even better. Here is a recent example: I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer this past year. After my first surgery, I was left with an colostomy. This is a surgical opening created for the bowels to empty into a bag on the outside of the abdomen. It was gross, disgusting, smelly, messy, and well… it pretty much freaked me out ALL of the time in the beginning. I am NOT in the medical field for a reason… I can’t handle it! My husband was a trooper. When I came home from the hospital he would help me change my ostomy pouch. It took scissors, towels, a fresh appliance, powder, adhesive remover, adhesive paste, waterproof seals, measuring tape, an ink pen, skin wipes, and so many other supplies we had to keep them in a medium sized U-Haul moving box! But, through it all, he stuck with me and helped me change dressings and bandages several times each day. Every day I was whining and complaining about the waste coming from a hole in my side. And every single time I cried out, “It’s not worth it! Just let me die!” He would laugh, make a joke or wisecrack, and help me learn to change the appliance. Once, he even woke up in the middle of the night, knowing full well the seal on my pouch had come undone, and he actually accused the dog of crapping on the floor. I laughed so hard I cried!

In my opinion, life is too short to sweat the small stuff and the longer you are with someone, more and more of the “stuff” appears smaller.

… as they say, “Live simply, laugh often, and love deeply.”

Happy Anniversary, Lawrence… I love you!

8 Signs You’re Burning Out and What to Do About It

8 Signs You’re Burning Out and What to Do About ItAs defined by the Association of Psychological Science, a burnout is the fatigue, cynicism and declined professional performance that comes with work-related stress. A burnout is not something you can leave at the workplace. It affects your personal life and relationships just as deeply. Without proper care, it can lead to chronic anxiety and depression and contribute to threatening factors such as heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity and even stroke.

Here are 8 signs you might be burning out:

1. Lack of Motivation
Any task seems overwhelming, which turns into an overall lack of motivation whenever you face a task. This often turns into constant procrastination, making you feel like you can never catch up on your responsibilities.

2. Loss of Enthusiasm
The constant overwhelming feeling to finish tasks has affected your enthusiasm for the things you once used to enjoy. You have lost most, if not all, lustre for life and things appear to be gloomy all the time.

3. Constant Exhaustion
From the moment you wake up to the last step you take before getting into bed – you feel exhausted. You may drink a lot of coffee and get more than 8 hours of sleep a day with the best air purifier running all night, but this feeling of exhaustion still won’t leave you.

4. Around the Clock Negativity
You have lost sight of life’s small pleasures and you no longer stop to smell the roses. This unenthusiastic behavior has transformed you into a cynical and sarcastic person.

5. Worsened Health
You may still think that you are taking care of yourself, but seasonal colds and changes in the weather have begun to affect you greatly compared to in the past. The constant stress of your lifestyle has taken a toll on your immune system.

6. Lack of Self-Esteem
All efforts to overcome your daily struggles, no matter how minuscule or important, seem in vain, which have impacted your self-esteem. You are your toughest critic, but when you assume this role around the clock, you can only hope for your self-esteem to hit rock bottom.

7. Interpersonal Problems
Your sloping performance at work and growing dissatisfaction in general have crossed over to other relationships. Once a place where you could unwind, life at home has become a constant test for your patience. Relationships with others are difficult to maintain and interactions often end up in an unpleasant note.

8. Workaholic Mentality
Sure, work plays a major source of stress, but it is the only thing that keeps you stable. Or so you think. You believe work to be the only beacon of light in the stormy sea of your life, when in reality it is the steel ball and chain around your ankle that keeps you from swimming to the surface.

Any of these eight burnout signs should be taken seriously and inspire you to take action. The following story is a powerful account of a recovered burnout. However, it is important to note that you need to be patient and consistent while coping with your own burnout.

It may take longer for some to recover over others, and the below tips can provide you with a general guide of where to start:

1. Slow Down
You need a break. If you can, find a way to arrange an extended vacation or even a sabbatical. If an extended leave is not possible, try to take at the least one week off. It is essential that you take some time off from your work routine to regain a clear insight.

During this break, take the time to do the things you love. Enjoy quality time with people that bring happiness to your life, go out and rediscover your town through food and drinks, and take up that hobby you always wanted to begin. From barefoot running to scuba-diving, the key is to encourage positive experiences, because the more you have them, the more they will encourage a positive behavior within you. This refreshing time should help you regain a clear outlook into your life.

2. Reevaluate Your Priorities
Once you have had some time to regain some joy, take a minute to assess what is most important to you in life. Make a list from the most important things to the least, and now compare that list to a second one.

For this second list, start with the things you have exerted most of your attention into during the past few months. You might find that your attention has been focused on the things that make you most stressed, and that you have been putting little to no time on the things that bring you the most joy.

3. Unplug
Be mindful of how much time you spend on your gadgets. From cellphones, to tablets and computers, to video games and television. Tech products were made to entertain you or to help you with everyday tasks, but they have become so accessible and portable that it has most likely stripped you from much of your free time.

Designate specific times to check your email, watch television and play
video games. When you are around people, put your gadgets in silent or turn
them off completely. They key is to get you back into a routine in which you don’t consume most of your free time looking at a screen.

4. Cultivate a Rich Life Outside of Work
When was the last time you went to a concert, saw a movie, enjoyed a theater piece, or visited a museum? The things you can experience and do outside of your work life are countless. When the stress of work has brought you down to the breaking point of a burnout, you can lose sight of the joy some activities and hobbies brought to you. So it is time to rediscover them, or discover new ones. Reach out to a loved one with whom you can share a moment or a hobby. The important thing is to bring that luster for life back into your personal life.

Janet Miller is married with four kids and is a recovering workaholic. She is the co-founder of Jen Reviews and spends much of her free time writing and learning about habits.


FloristryFloristry differs from horticulture in that horticulture involves the growing of both plants and flowers. Floristry on the other hand involves the cultivation caring and/or vending of flowers. Flowers are used in a number of different occasions to express a range of meanings. Companies like cater to occasions such as weddings, valentine’s celebrations, birthday parties and visiting the sick in hospital among others. They are also used as decorations on tables, entrances, and reception tables as a few examples. Floristry is one of the creative sectors in the world today due to a wide market that ranges from corporate markets to the social events markets.

To become a florist
To become a florist, you need to have an eye for color values, artistic flower arrangement and presentation skills, patience in caring for flowers and disciplined delivery. There is an element of marketing and presentation that all florists should have in place to achieve success. In a nutshell, it involves flower care, flower display and delivery. Taking care of the flowers can be very hectic since it requires several procedures to ensure that the flowers do not wither. In most cases florists prefer to specialize in certain types of flower or specific flowers for specific occasions. This is to ensure that the flowers are properly cared for and that customer satisfaction is as high at it can possibly be. The florist’s shop is the main source of flowers. The shops can be both bricks and mortar as well as having an online presence. For an online shop, orders are placed on the website and delivery made to the client’s door step. Ultimately, a florist should be reliable and capable of same day delivery for call in orders. They must be 100% reliable for delivery to events such as for wedding flowers or for any other event when they are still fresh.

Being reliable – A key aspect of being a trustworthy florist
The most fundamental element of being a respected florist is reliably delivering fresh flowers when they are promised. Whether the flowers are requested for same day delivery or the delivery is planned months in advance such as those for a wedding, it is likely the buyer’s anticipation of receiving them on time is rather high. A professional florist knows not to disappoint! Florists are incredibly proud of the work they do for their community particularly in delivering wedding flowers and they understand the damage a missed appointment can do.

A florist is so much more than a person who delivers flowers to important events. They are stewards of life’s’ celebrations and most important occasions. No one likes to deal with individuals who are unreliable. A rule of social character is that you should be reliable. It involves fulfilling promises and having people count on you with various responsibilities. A florist should therefore be able to maintain his/her professional trust with customers by ensuring reliability. This is particular for wedding flowers that require same day delivery.

Fresh looking, elegant and breath taking flowers are what every client wants. Flowers delivered to an event a day before may not look as brilliant as same day delivery. Flowers are quite sensitive to the environment and may lose their glory when left out in the open for long.

Is floristry the profession for you?
Becoming a florist can be quite rewarding, however, it requires a lot of planning, work and business savvy to be successful. It goes without saying that you need a creative eye as floral arrangements are all about stunning presentation but there are many other demands that are not as obvious. Managing employees, scheduling receiving and deliveries, timing the preparation of arrangements and above all – keeping fresh flower stock at the right time.

This is an exciting high energy business, and for the right person it will have many rewards.

Submitted by: Ryan Francisco

Why a Family Tree Template is the Perfect Gift

It can be difficult to choose the perfect gift for many occasions. Maybe the person is someone who has everything or maybe he or she is picky about gifts. If you want to give a gift that is from the heart and will be unlike anything else he or she receives, choose a framed family tree gift.

Perfect for Birthdays and Anniversaries
A family tree printed on nice paper and framed makes a wonderful gift for a birthday or anniversary. With so many templates available, you can personalize it. For instance, you will want to include both sides of the family for an anniversary gift. A bow-tie family tree template is the ideal style for this project. When giving it as a birthday gift, you can choose to go backward into the family history for a younger person or forward for someone who is older. You may list all of their children and grandkids with their name at the center. A historian would love to get a family tree that goes back in time to another century if you have the information.

Perfect as a Wedding Gift
Making a family tree is a wonderful way to celebrate the joining of two families. Commemorate this special occasion by making a bowtie family tree that lists both ancestries. You can choose to keep it simple with just three or four generations or you can be more extensive with six or eight. Because the two lines are separated, they are easy to read. They join together in the middle with the young couple getting married. Print this family tree template on fancy cardstock or parchment paper and select a nice frame to create an unforgettable gift.

Perfect for a Baby Shower
Expectant mothers will enjoy a family tree for their little one. This is a one-of-a-kind gift that touches the heart. There is no need for you to do a lot of research. Just choose a simple three or four generational model and fill out the names of the baby’s parents and grandparents. The baby’s name goes in the center of the template. If a name has not been selected yet, you can simply say Baby (Last Name). For this template, try to choose a design that includes a fun visual. It may have an actual tree in the background with the names hanging off the branches. You can also choose a template that allows enough room for photos instead of just names. Once it is framed, it makes a lovely picture to hang in the nursery.

When selecting a family tree template to use to make a special gift, consider the age of the recipient and the occasion as well as the amount of information you have on hand. If you want to do a lot of research into the family history, you will want to start early. However, a simple family tree template can offer just as much meaning and express your feelings without a lot of extra work on your part.

About the author:
Suzie Kolber created to be the complete online resource for “do it yourself” genealogy projects. The site offers the largest offering of family tree charts online. The site is a not for profit website dedicated to offering free resources for those that are trying to trace their family history.

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10 Tips to Help Keep You Safe When Traveling Abroad

10 Tips to Help Keep You Safe When Traveling AbroadWhen traveling in a foreign country, you need to stay aware of your surroundings and take a few precautions you might not need to take in your own country. In 2014, nearly 12 million people from the United States traveled to Europe. When you figure in other regions as well, there were nearly 70 million travelers from the United States going around the world. Follow these tips, and you can stay safe as well.

Traveling Alone
Simply put, you should avoid traveling alone. If you do travel alone, make sure to let people know where you’re going and check in at regularly designated times. Have a plan in place in case people don’t hear from you.

Keep Extra Cash Safe
Make sure to keep extra cash stored in an envelope with the front desk of the hotel you’re staying at, or in the safe in your room if you trust it. This is important because anything can happen while you’re outside in the world. If an ATM machine eats your card or you lose your wallet, you don’t want to be left with no way to eat. Some people use Tyvek sleeves to hide their money in a money belt that attaches to their arm. The elastic ends make it easy to access your money, while keeping it safe.

Store Critical Documents
Make a few photocopies of your passport, and keep them in a safe place along with two head shots. In the event that you need to get a new passport, this will make it much easier to issue one to you. Additionally, make sure to keep your plane tickets, bus tickets and room accommodation information in a single waterproof folder that zips shut. This helps to protect your documents, and it ensures that they don’t get damaged.

Use Your Smartphone
Even if you don’t have cellular service, you can use your smartphone to store maps of the area you’re staying in. Download maps to your phone when you have Wi-Fi, and keep an extra charging battery with you so that you always know where you are. There are also plenty of good map apps available that can make it even easier to get your bearings.

Bring a Daypack
Get a daypack and locks for the zippers, so you don’t have to worry about pickpockets. Use your discretion when deciding when and where to lock up your valuable. For example, in Japan, you could pretty much leave your wallet on the table and nobody would take it. In certain areas of Thailand, pickpockets are so prevalent that there are signs everywhere warning you to be careful.

Access to Money
Have more than one way to access your money. If your debit card gets stolen, it’s wise to have a second bank account or credit card that you keep in your apartment to cover expenses. You can always transfer money between your banks if you have two of them, and this way you can avoid some of the hefty fees associated with international transfers. Getting replacements for your cards can be very difficult abroad, especially if you are in an area that doesn’t speak English.

Avoid Scams
If you’re in a foreign country where nobody speaks your language, be wary of overly friendly locals who speak fluent English. This is how a lot of scams start. They will offer to help you get around town, and these scams usually end with you in a tourism office or a friends shop where they try to coerce you to purchase something. Keep to your travel plans, and make plans ahead of time to avoid getting taken.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance may be an extra expense, but it’s crucial. If you get injured abroad, you may find yourself owing thousands of dollars. Getting travel insurance helps to protect you, and in many cases you’re covered if your flight is delayed or cancelled.

Avoid Beggars
You may come across people asking for money on your travels. Unless you’re in an airport or a highly secure location, it’s best to avoid giving anything more than change in your pockets. Pulling out your wallet can leave you vulnerable to scams, and it requires you to expose your money.

Don’t Fight
If you are mugged, just give up your valuables. They can be replaced, and if you followed all of the steps outlined in this article, your insurance will cover you and you’ll have ways to access your money when you arrive safely back at your hotel.

Most of the people who travel do so safely and come home with positive tales from their journey. Staying safe depends on your ability to plan ahead and be smart in confusing situations. Don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision abroad, and make sure you always read the fine print for any travel documents and packages.

About the author:
Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and a regular follower of Through workshops and various articles, he trains and teaches others on home preparation, healthy living, food storage techniques, and self reliance.

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Important Safety Features your Automobile Must Have

Important Safety features your automobile must haveWhen it comes to being safe on the road of today you can’t just rely on your own skills and driving ability to keep you out of harm’s way. In an era with powerful and fast cars it’s important that when buying your next car, you look closer at the safety features it has to offer you. If you have no idea where to start and what to look for then don’t panic as we are going to show you what you need to be looking for and why.

Air Bags
First and foremost any car without air bags is an accident waiting to happen and all cars these days have to have these as a standard protocol. The only addition in recent years is that airbags have become slightly more advanced in how they can protect you. For instance, newer cars will have knee bags and side bags that will prevent you from being ejected from the car should it barrel roll, and keep your knee caps in one piece upon impact.

Antilock Brakes
Again, these have been a part of modern day cars for the past 10-15 years but constant improvements in technology has allowed drivers to better control their vehicles when ABS becomes active upon braking. Steering control and excellent stopping distances could be the matter of life and death, so always make sure ABS is as standard.

In Car Camera’s
These can be purchased separately nowadays but many new cars have cameras and sensors that show the driver what is behind them. This will help you judge parking gaps but more importantly you will be able to see anything that happens to move behind your car, whether it’s a child running after a ball or a dog. This vital component is making waves in the automobile industry.

Your tire pressure monitoring system is one of the newest additions you will see to a car that has just come off the production line. Within the last ten years cars with a TPMS sensor have gone a long way in not just helping driver’s safety by notifying them of their tire pressure so they can keep them inflated, but also cost saving with fuel consumption. Tires that aren’t properly inflated can lead to accidents through handling problems, and some can blow out.

Seat Belts
They may seem like an obvious thing but before driving your car away you should check that the seat belts all fasten together correctly, and clip in. If you are struggling to clip in a seat belt then it’s not worth driving anywhere are the consequences should anything happen on that trip could be catastrophic.

Traction Control Systems
During icing weather, or huge down pours of rain your car can find it difficult to maintain traction on the surface of the road. In these conditions a traction control button can be pressed on modern day cars which will allow the car maximum traction on the road during adverse weather conditions.

Child Safety Latch
Finally, we should be looking at safety for children, even if you may not have children of your own – you could always be asked to help a family member out on a journey with theirs. LATCH systems are designed to offer children the maximum amount of safety, by making sure seats and belts are installed and working to maximum efficiency.

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Do It Yourself Simple Plumbing Tips

Do It Yourself Simple Plumbing TipsWhen moving into your new home there are certain things you need to know about the ins and outs of your house. One thing that might be overlooked is simple plumbing tips. These tips will not only save you money, but they will save your peace of mind as you undertake simple plumbing issues in the home.

Water Main
It is important to know where the water main switch is to cut off water to your house. If ever your pipes were to burst in your house, it is important to be able to cut off the water supply. Cutting off the water supply will eliminate further damage to your house. This is very helpful in the winter months when older houses pipes are prone to freeze. It is best to leave several faucets running a light stream of warm water.

One thing you might want to check if you are just moving in a house is the temperature setting on your hot water heater. Most water heater manufacturers recommend setting the thermostat on 120 degrees. This setting will help prevent scalding, and help save you money on your water bill. This is especially important if there are children in the house. If you have a gas powered water heater the temperature setting is right in the front of the heater. First thing that needs to be done is to cut the power off to your water heater. If you have an electrical water heater, you need to remove a panel from the heater. There will be insulation inside, gently pull it to the side, and you will find the temperature setting. You might need a flat head screwdriver to place the temperature at your desired setting.

Leaky Faucets
That constant drip, drip, drips can keep you awake at night, but it also can raise your water bill. It usually is simple to fix a leaky faucet. Check the water supply and make sure that it tightened. The washer inside the faucet needs to replaced and they are very cheap at your local hardware store. If after you replace the washer and the faucet is still leaking, you may need to replace the faucet itself. Most kits at the hardware store are inexpensive, and come with step-by-step instructions.

Just as it is important to find the main water supply cut off to your house, it is also important to find it on your toilet. Behind the bowl is a valve that turns off the water supply. Inside the tank of your toilet are the inner workings of what controls the flush. Usually when your toilet is leaking there is an arm that raises the seal and lowers the seal to allow the toilet to flush. Check and see if the connection to the arm is damaged, or the seal is damaged. If they need to be replaced it is relatively inexpensive and an easy fix. One essential plumbing supply to always have on hand is a plunger. They are very inexpensive, and help unclog at toilet or help push clogged water down a drain.

Clogged Drains
Over the years the drains in your house will inevitably become clogged. To keep this from happening, there are few simple things you can do to keep drains clear. Every month make it a point to naturally clean your drains. You can do this with a solution of vinegar and baking soda, to add a fresh citrusy smell you can add essential lemon oil. When cooking with fatty meats never drain the fat directly in the sink. Have a container handy to pour the fat off the meat. This will help to keep the fat from clogging up your drain. Hardware stores sell special tools to help keep hair from clogging your shower drain.

These simple plumbing tips will help insure that if ever an emergency happens you will be prepared to handle it. They will also help keep your home plumbing system running efficiently.

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Earning the Trust of Your Customers in the Car Title Business

Earning the Trust of Your Customers in the Car Title BusinessAre you in the car title loan business? New car title loans businesses are cropping up every month and this is bound to increase the amount of competition that your business faces.

Here are six traits you should cultivate in business to earn the trust of your customers:

1. High lending limit
Your customers don’t want to amass small debt amounts from multiple lenders as it will be difficult to keep track of all these loans. Borrowers will want to deal with you only if they are assured that you can give an amount of money that is big enough to take care of their needs. If your loan limit is low, the next logical step for the borrower is to find a lender who can give a higher limit and save the borrower the inconvenience of having to go through the same loan application process through multiple lenders. If your limit is low, you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities and even losing your loyal customers to your competitors.

2. Show your customers that you care
Most customers believe lenders are only interested in making money. You can break this stereotype by giving financial advice that might cost you a few dollars, but will retain your customer base and gain you more customer referrals.

3. Keep up with industry changes
You have to understand the changes that happen in the lending and car industry and what their implications mean to your business and to your customers. Policies change every day and if you don’t keep up to date with them, you could cost your customers a lot of money and maybe even drive your business into losses.

4. Be flexible with your lending terms
Your rates should vary for different levels of debt. To make yourself even more attractive to customers, give preferential lending rates to your most loyal customers. Develop a reputation for being the most flexible lender in your area. If you operate in Fernandina Beach, or San Jose, for instance, give the best rates for title loans in Fernandina Beach or San Jose.

5. Demonstrate your willingness to create long-term relationships
Your customers should not feel as though you are ready to jump at the first opportunity to repossess their vehicles. The lesser people you have on your books who can tell stories about how your business repossessed their vehicles, the better your reputation will be among customers. It works to your advantage if people retain their cars so that they can borrow from you tomorrow.

6. Be a strategic partner
Some of your borrowers are borrowing money from you to inject into their businesses. The fact that they have chosen to borrow from you as opposed to the bank means that you are giving them something the bank cannot give them. Engage such customers a bit more to find a way of building a mutually beneficial relationship that extends in the long term.

About the Author:
Jenny Richards has 10 years experience as a lender of title loans in San Jose. In mean time she writes content for a variety of websites, including

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Build a Strong Career through CRM Tool of the Salesforce

Build a Strong Career through CRM Tool of the SalesforceThe Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool helps in focusing on the interactions with the individuals like the suppliers, service users, customers or colleagues. The business can grow with the CRM system as it can easily track the history of the client’s records. In the Salesforce changesets, if you can track the calls, meetings, and the presentations it will help to close the sales deal as soon as possible. Now, let us go through the different CRM software that will help to build a strong career in this field.

Base CRM: If you can install the base CRM, the productivity will increase 10 times. The sales team will definitely love to use this tool as unlimited contacts can be added in the software. Each customer will be provided with 2 GB storage and therefore the tool is very user friendly. The sales forecasting and making calls will become easier tasks through this CRM tool where the direct access is available without dialing. The sales experts will also prefer this software as it is affordable in nature too.

PipeDrive: This software was introduced in the year 2010 and can be very beneficial to the small in-house sales teams. It does not have limits to the number of contacts and also their storage facilities. It can easily be integrated with MailChimp and also do not charge additionally for particular API keys.

Capsule: The capsule software was launched in the year 2008. Almost 50,000 contacts can be stored. Each of the users can be offered with 2 GB of storage. Generally, the tool offers free service for the two users who possess 250 contacts of the potential customers. The sales people can integrate the capsule with Zendesk, MailChimp and also Freshbooks.

Pipeline Deals: In the year 2006, Pipeline Deals software was introduced for faster access to the contacts and the storage. The unique integration can be offered with MailChimp.

Nimble: In 2009, Nimble was introduced as the social CRM tool. It not only connects through email but recognizes the importance of the Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as the platforms for transferring the potential customers to the actual customers. Up to 30,000 contacts can be stored with 5 GB of storage per user.

Highrise: This particular CRM software is well known for its simplicity. They have different packages and plans customized for different numbers of the users. Starting from minimum 5000 contacts it can go up to 30,000 contacts. 1 GB of storage per user is allowed in this tool. The smaller sales team can easily use this tool for attracting more customers and can improve their professionalism. This tool can also be integrated with HubSpot, MailChimp etc.

Nutshell: Launched in the year 2010, this CRM solution is very elegant and intuitive. Unlimited contacts and storage are offered with minimum three users. The integrations can be allowed with Zendesk and MailChimp.

Insightly: This is the software which allows three free users with unlimited time. The pricing model is somewhat similar to the highrise and approximately 1 GB storage is offered for each user.

OnePage CRM: This particular CRM tool is the latest one and mostly feels like a start up. Small sales teams can provide excellent user experience with the help of this tool. It offers unlimited contacts with proper integration with MailChimp.

Depending on the complexities of the customer’s requirements, the sales people can use different CRM tools. They can easily adopt themselves with the tools and can improve their sales performances. The tools can be helpful for both the fresher and the experienced sales people for enhancing their career growth.

Author Bio:
Thomas Sujain works for In this article she discusses about the Salesforce changesets which can help in building a strong salesforce career.

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Words of Caution

Words of CautionAuthor unknown

Some people left their car in the long-term parking while away; someone broke into the car. Using the information on the car’s registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people’s home and robbed it. If you are going to leave your car in long-term parking, you should NOT leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your remote garage door opener. This gives us something to think about with all our new electronic technology.

2. GPS
Someone had their car broken into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard. When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents. Something to consider if you have a GPS – don’t put your home address in it… Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

I never thought of this… this lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her cell phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc., was stolen.. Twenty minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says, “I received your text asking about our Pin number and I’ve replied a little while ago.” When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text “hubby” in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

Moral of the lesson:
a. Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc…
b. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.
c. Also, when you’re being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet “family and friends” who text you.

A lady went grocery-shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the children’s seat of the cart while she reached something off a shelf… wait till you read the WHOLE story! Her wallet was stolen, and she reported it to the store personnel. After returning home, she received a phone call from the Mall Security to say that they had her wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold her personal papers. She immediately went to pick up her wallet, only to be told by Mall Security that they had not called her. By the time she returned home again, her house had been broken into and burglarized. The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Mall Security, they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burglarize it.

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Designing Stationery and Branding as Identity

Designing Stationery and Branding as IdentityIn today’s competitive business world, making clients and consumers aware of a business’ entity and existence remains a priority for all enterprises with many competitors. Using promotional items including give-aways and stationery to promote businesses is an easy way to communicate with customers, suppliers, lenders, and other stakeholders. These promotional materials must be carefully designed and produced to accurately represent a business. Therefore, it is essential to employ specialized people to work on designs and details regarding stationery.

Below are few examples as a point of reference to highlight the utility of stationery items that also serve as promotional give-aways.

Used internally and externally for business communication purposes, envelopes reach various stakeholders and must be well-designed. Having both small and large sizes of envelopes benefits companies in terms of its utility. In essence, envelopes should contain the company’s branding with an address.

Company letterhead is significant in business communications. They serve as all-purpose documents including their use as appointment letters and correspondence with stakeholders among others. While designing a letter-head, companies must keep in mind the professionalism and utility of the letterhead. This means that the proper placement of a company’s logo needs to be accounted for along with the company’s name, address, phone and fax numbers, website, etc. Together, this will ensure enough space for writing, as well as its neatness.

Business Cards
Business cards play a significant part in networking and giving necessary information to contacts. Usually designed to easily carry in wallets, business cards are also designed to keep information simple and eligible.

Pens, keychains, and card-holders
Many businesses decide to use pens, keychains, and card-holders as give-aways to their stakeholders. Their internal and external utility remains undeniable and their design and quality should not be compromised. For instance when selecting to have pens designed, companies must consider the quality of ink as well. Important considerations go a long way and detailing must never be ignored.

Stationery holders
Companies also opt to produce stationery holders with their logo and name. Like other stationery items, stationery holders serve as give-aways to clients and contacts. Their designs range from horizontally shaped mug-like containers to vertically structured trays for placing pens, erasers, rulers, etc.

Notepads and Writing Books
Notepads and writing books are popular stationery items required by businesses. The quantity of pages and paper quality depend on per unit cost of production and is opted for by companies. Employees usually value having notepads and writing books with company branding. Their utility for in and out of office meetings is highly appreciated.

Files and Folders
The production of customized files and folders serve as an important stationery item in many companies. Paper and plastic folders are widely used and their sizes complement A4 and letter-head paper used for hardcopy printing and filing for record-keeping purposes.

In today’s digital and computer-based world, companies may opt to provide USB sticks as give-aways to their clients and stakeholders. For now, this item remains costly and must be carefully examined upon handing out to ensure it is a wise investment.

What everyone needs so as to go through a minimum of eight hours at their desk is several cups of tea and coffee? And yes, you need mugs and you need to have them designed to reflect your brand and business. Mugs serve as wonderful and highly appreciated give-away items. With significant utility, mugs are also known to be a common souvenir that companies offer to their stakeholders.

Table Clocks
Table clocks make for a common souvenir. Owing most often to the high cost of production, these are presented by companies to their valued customers and stakeholders. Many executives appreciate table clocks for their utility and appearance in enhancing their offices.

Summing it up here is that as an entity, the choice of stationery items and give-away items is highly influenced by the amount of money or budget your business is willing to allocate. Regardless of the type of item you opt for as a give-away, it is important to ensure its utility, quality, and appearance. There is clearly no point in spending money on items people do not value or utilize. Moreover, it is important to work with designer and suppliers of items that offer you value for the money you invest in the items.

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Great Tips From a Great Friend

Great Tips From a Great FriendHere are some great tips I received via email from a great friend and I hope you will find some of them as useful as I have; the original author is unknown.

-Keep brown sugar soft by storing with a couple of marshmallows.
-Install a regular coat rack low down the wall to store shoes safely off the floor.
-Create a thrifty watering can by puncturing holes in the top of a used milk bottle.
-Remove pet hair from furniture and carpets with a squeegee.
-Flip a toaster on its side to make grill cheese.
-Water straight from the tap becomes cloudy when frozen. To make ice cubes crystal clear, allow a kettle of boiled water to cool slightly and use this to fill your ice cube trays.
-Use a large muffin tin to cook stuffed peppers in the oven, it will help keep them upright.
-To prevent potatoes budding, add an apple in the bag.
-Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to the water when hard-boiling eggs to make the shells incredibly easy to peel off.
-WD40 can be used to remove crayon marks from any surface!
-To tell if eggs are fresh, immerse them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will lie on the bottom, while stale eggs will float to the surface.
-To clean a wooden chopping board, sprinkle on a handful of Kosher salt and rub with half a lemon. Rinse with clean water and dry to ensure it is clean and germ-free.
-Use ice-cubes to lift out indentations made by furniture on your carpets.
-Prevent soil from escaping through the holes in the base of flowerpots by lining with large coffee filters.
-To sharpen scissors, simply cut through sandpaper.
-Use rubber bands to help open a jar easily; place one around the jar lid and another around the middle of the glass. The rubber provides friction to prevent your hands from slipping.
-To prevent your eyes watering while chopping onions, wipe the chopping board with white vinegar (which won’t affect the taste of the onions).
-Store bed sheets inside their pillowcases for easy storage and access.
-Drop a couple of denture cleaning tablets into the toilet bowl at night to clean off stubborn stains.
-Use cupcake cases to cover drinks glasses in the summer and prevent flies from dropping in.
-Use egg boxes to store delicate Christmas tree decorations.
-Use a cut potato to easily remove a broken light bulb.
-Use chalk to remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub white chalk on the affected area and wash as normal, the chalk will absorb the grease and be washed away in the cycle.
-Use a rubber band to rescue a stripped screw.
-Wrap rubber bands around the ends of a coat hanger to prevent dresses from slipping off.

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