ALERT!!! PLEASE click SILENCE above, go to new layout. ;o)

"Today is that day"

To say...

Happy Christmas!

All the best for 2009!


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@ 5:42 PM, , create a link to this post

"101 Recession busting tips- free book"

Just a few days away from Christmas and the new year...guessing you have all your preparation ready for the big day to enjoy with your families. :o)

I hope it it's a great Christmas for you and the family.

I also wish you all the best for 2009 which is almost here.

But lets' be honest here, after the new year starts life creeps back to... normal and a fair old chunk of us face the reality of the recession which is not a great start to the year, but as we all know recessions are cyclical so there is always light at the end of the...

What wont happen is staying put....we have to get through that tunnel!

Well I have good news which is this free book to help anyone with getting through the recession.

Got kids?
Double income in the home?
Own business?
Good stable job?
Just want to make changes?
Boss looking to shaky for your peace of mind?
About to lose it?
Just uncertain?

Whatever situation you are in whether one or all of the above, these 101 tips have something for all, something foreverybody.

It's not just all about...

Though money tips are there, saving money, improving your money management, making money, helping kids with money, money alone has it's own issues, depending on how you see it...

The recession will provide opportunity for those who see it, opportunity to change habits, create better understanding of the cycle for the next time it hits, as it certainly will.

For those who don't see opportunity, preparing for the end half of the recession is just as important as what you do now as we go into it, if only for the fact you can springboard yourself using built up leverage coming out of the recession, whether through saving a little, or starting a new venture, hobby, habits.

Use the tips, use the recession. :o) >> Beat the recession!

P.s No idea if the book will stay free, so grab it while you can. :o)

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@ 6:27 PM, , create a link to this post

"Time to reflect, then plan ahead"

Not long till 2008 passes us by and 2009 kicks in, the years are going fast the space between pondering the last year and looking forward to the next are getting closer, so it seems!

Time waits for no man!
Where better to contemplate the last year and consider the next year than here?

As the sun sets on 2008 do you feel you achieved the goals, resolutions you set out this time last year?

If you did, great, if not, maybe consider the size of the goals and time you set to achieve them, it's one reason resolutions don't work well, 9 times out of 10 they are spontaneous and set just because "people set them."

"Gonna give up smoking, Jan 1st" is quite common, but how hard is that to achieve?
Most likely you cave in on Jan second, then you have failed....that's it, you don't bother after that.

Better to say...

"I will give up by the end of Jan" then plan to do that, set it out so you can cut down in stages over that month, this way even if you don't quite make it, you may have gone a long way to it, like cutting down a by 3/4 of what you were smoking.

This way you are much more likely to carry on trying, not think you failed.
Well you certainly won't think, "ah well, almost did it" then start smoking more will you?

If you have to make a resolution, at least make it realistic. :o)

Goals are a bit different I think, at least any goal you set out can be good, no matter how small, if it's progressive in some way to moving you forward it's good.

If you set out a main goal, aim high, this will make you more motivated to try, and if you don't make the stars, at least you hit the clouds.

But plan for the clouds...have step goals which lead you in the right direction, each small goal reached is motivation and proof of progress.

It's been a topsy turvy year for myself, but there are lessons in everything for us to take away.

I have to say it wasn't a great year for me in some ways, but in looking back it's cleared alot of the "fog" in my mind in the plans I had set out in 2008, and in turn has made 2009 a much clearer path for me.

The most important thing of all is your health and family.

THAT was my biggest lesson of 2008!

Without's doesn't matter what happens, you can win the lotto, have all the money in world, realise all the dreams you can make, anything you could want would be worthless!

For me the main goals for 2009 are to strengthen my own family links, bonds, as they are the number one priority and the other to better my health, if there is one thing I have learnt, sitting in front a PC too much ain't good for ya! :o/

I have set one goal to take more photos, one a day at least because it really is a good way of getting out and about and staying fit and with so much to capture out there it will be fun!

There are other goals I have set myself, one is to go full time online asap! :o)

I can see 2009 being the year everything changes a bit online with the rise of social sites etc.

It has levelled the playing field alot more than it was just a few years ago.

What lessons can you take from 2008?
Have you set goals for 2009?

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@ 2:56 PM, , create a link to this post

"So, what's stopping you?"

A few post ago I wrote an example of how someone could start blogging, really in a way it's starting a potential business simply blogging about something they do, while following that post would cost you a little sum it's still no more than a bag of fish and chips, literally.

Despite that saying "you gotta spend money to make money" being the usual comment it's not true really, is it?

Yes you could do that, spending money to jump ahead on the curve so to speak, using either tools to do the job, paying someone to do it for you, or simply spending money on a form of advertising...there is nothing saying that's the only way.

With most people less likely to want to spend money, knowing you don't have to is going to sound appealing and my friend Lynn has wrote a great post on starting a free online business on her fantastic clicknews blog.

With the current situation as it is there are going to be more and more people thinking about whether this make money online really is doable and that's understandable and completely doable too.
Nowhere else but the Internet could you just start up and business and have a chance to make it work.

The real beauty is you can just test the waters many times until you do find something that will work, grab interest, gain a following, whatever the gaol may be.

Why listen to Lynn?

I've known Lynn a few years now and even remember sharing comments back and forth on our old blogs...*sigh memories....where was I?
Lynn is a successful work at home mum of two and has been working online for over ten years now, and doing it alone too and Lynn shares exactly what she does when she does get a huge advantage of leapfrogging the learning curve reading her blog.

Now Lynn is really living the dream while we all work!

There's a lot to be said for reading what other people have done, and watching what they do while telling you what they do...!! (That was a mouthful!) :o)

There are so many different ways to earn a living online, blogging, affiliate marketing, newsletters, forums, etc...Lynn has all of that going on!

How can you not learn from Lynn?

Lynn like everyone else started online with nothing, no experience, expert knowledge, big funds, just like most of us and yet shows what can be done.

It really does boil down to just doing something. Doing anything is better than nothing.

It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg either, whatever anyone thinks.

I believe now could be the best time to try due to the "socialising aspect" of the Internet that is growing so rapidly.
Why this is important is due to the growing "personal" feeling of blogs, writing, etc, there is more personality coming through from a wider angle and rightly so, it's people connecting to people.

Bigger business blogs and multiple author blogs will start to slow down, paying bloggers means outgoings so it makes sense that this will be something to cut back on for them.

This gives the smaller more personal bloggers like Lynn, me, thousands of others, you, a better chance of growing.

People trust and connect with people, not corporations etc.

People do things on the recommendation of people they trust and know, Lynn is someone I trust and know.
Therefor if Lynn shares her experience with us about something I would tend to believe her, no?

I know Lynn has done the very things she shares with us, so know that you can indeed start an online business for free!

Go for it, start now and use 2009 as your year to find your place online.
Even if you only spent 2 hours a week writing, that's 100 hours a year!

Look back this time next year and see what you have achieved!

So, what's stopping you?

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@ 9:33 AM, , create a link to this post

"Learning as you go, sharing as you learn"

Wouldn't you say that is the best way to get to grips with anything you want to use, do, perfect?

Wouldn't you say that your experience with anything is 100% different to that of everyone else?

I agree... :o)

So in that case the more we share the more we all learn and faster too, never before has everyone had the opportunity on such a scale to "self educate" thus "self improve" which are really the same thing.

The only way to improve is educate yourself, learn, the only reason you learn is to improve. :o)

We do it anyway, life itself is a learning and growing experience but in the days of old we were limited in ways we could learn and the speed we could absorb and learn, so limited in growth of self.

Nowadays...hold your hats!

What about YOUR kids? The next generation?

I hated computers at school. they were the old BBC's, big clunky great things that had NO appeal to me whatsoever!

Now I can't get OFF the damn PC at times! :o)

The teachers were obviously older than us, but they were also of the old method of teaching, blackboards, chalk, so not actually tech savvy themselves, plus the computers were pretty primitive. :o)

For today's kids and tomorrows teachers, it's a whole new ballgame.

They will be far more involved with computers and such, so in theory kids of tomorrow will learn more and faster, but will they?
This huge advantage of multimedia as a way of learning and teaching should be harnessed as best as possible, but also about the right things.

All the potential due to the Internet!

The biggest value for me is it has allowed me to self educate at my pace and on what I wanted to learn many books as I can read is normal for me.

With the speed and volume of information (though not ALL correct information) on the Internet anyone can self educate about any topic, passion far as to make yourself an "expert".

BUT there is also a big problem in my view that should, for the benefit of the future generations, be discussed and considered as a real possibility to implement, though I feel it's highly unlikely to ever happen anyway, simply due to the "control" factor of politics and the state.

Education starts from birth as we all know, but the "controlled flow" of education is what I believe needs changing and it also needs to change in the schools because it's a change as a whole to the approach of learning, the subjects of learning, the best growth possibility of each person.

I believe education as it stands is not working to its best ability for the times.

Today's teachers are not going to be like tomorrows teachers, just as today's kids are not going to be like tomorrows, education itself changes too but to slowly to make a big impact so the system they also teach under needs changing.

You read any blog or news article of a famous "self made" person or someone who gives advice to others, it's always "follow your passions", and most of the time these same people didn't do well at school, or just struggled so left with no qualifications.

So why do we stifle the passions of kids?

Why do we deny them the best opportunities to grow that passion?
Minimizing the opportunities to become a happy and successful person doing what they love?

Why is education such a mess that it manipulates kids to be a certain way, follow a certain pattern.

Manipulated to "fit" into society as "they" want you to fit in.

What is the real underlying cause, with education that needs changing, in my view?

It's too broad, for too long.

Lack of focus on any passion.

As it stands everyone gets more of the same!

Can you remember much from the lessons you never liked? Nor me!
What about those you did like... ;o)

Our passions don't start at 16, they start at a young age when we have bigger dreams than we do now as adults, because we dare to dream that we grow reality kicks in!

The times demand change in education.

The reason?

People, and that includes kids are better connected than ever before and to harness that we need change, so the growth of those valuable connections start early and strengthen as they grow.

What would I change if I had the chance?

Starting at the age of 4 would be the first thing.

One problem is working parents have working hours out of line with school hours of their kids, so that would a good start. It would be a better habit for all our body clocks if they were in line with each other as we all grow.

Changing these hours means more lessons for the kids but have one whole day a week concentrated on play and interacting with each other, sports etc, games, challenges, basic socialising.

The teachers need to be looking for passions of each child, reporting it in a log, be it painting, writing, sporty things, challenges, etc.

They have the basic education of reading and writing etc, as we do now, until the age of 7.

By 7 each pupil would have a log of the things that they are keen on, like, have a passion for or learn in better way, i.e reading, watching, doing.

These kids should be grouped a little better for the collective development of each "band" of passion, i.e drawing, or English, or maths, and style of learning.
There will be overlaps of styles, but utilise what's working best for them.

Now from aged 7 till 11 these passions should be developed with integration of the basics.

What do I mean by that?

History, geography etc doesn't need to be just on a broad thing, if a class of kids are passionate about painting, they could have a history lesson around the passion making it far more interesting and engaging, more meaningful.

By 11, the kids will have shown alot about themselves and their passions etc meaning they are enjoying school more and doing better for it.

Moving into "senior" school the teachers need to completely different to what we have now.

They need to be as passionate about the passions the kids have while being also able to integrate the basics into the teaching process around the passion.

Part of the education I would integrate into this is business lessons, money lessons, relationship lessons.

As the hours of school are longer and the kids are more passionate to learn more about their passions they also form real bonds that will matter after school.

How many of us have been in touch with the "majority" of those we were at school with?

Not many I bet, we were all diverse, destined to separate and follow our own paths, only having close bonds with the handful real friends we have.

How many of the real friends go into the same career path as you?

Not many I bet, we are all choosing different paths, that share no real mutual benefit in most cases. As it stands we leave school, to find ourselves in the "deep end" with no real understanding of how the world works or what we have to do as part of it.

We learn NOTHING about tax, business, law, money etc.

So we feel more isolated and lost within this situation and we have to "grow up fast" just to get by!

We lost contact with the majority of our "old circle" as they also go through what we do, having to also "grow up fast".

No wonder there is so much pressure on people in their late teens and 20's.

By changing things...

This way the bonds will last because of the "valuable connections" built and nurtured through the learning process of a collective passion between the class, these become the close friends you share life with, go into a career with.

While at school, you all learnt together about building a life with your passion, and having each other to learn and grow with, and that continues outside school.

We have more passionate business owners who are all working together to grow.
Some of these passionate people become the next generation of teachers, to spread and grow the passions farther.
We have a better chance of having a stronger society this way.
We have a better chance to build upon the success of each generation.

We have a society of happier, more successful people.
These people are tomorrows parents who will also know the value of building the passions of their own children, the next generation.

Over time the education will improve and become better suited to building real passions in real passionate people.

This I believe would create a much more valuable society and it's ability to grow through business and collective support for each other.

The self education of society would continue to expand through the ability to share valuable relevant information between passionate people.

What do you think?

Does education need to change, if so how?

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@ 4:21 PM, , create a link to this post

"This is why it won't work for me goddamit"

An interesting conversation I had recently, I won't say who with obviously or where, simply because it's not relevant but what we discussed was.

This reader of my blog, friend on social sites, and a real offline friend just emailed me in general chatter mode really.

The conversation came to a point where they mentioned having difficulties, just like the rest of the people with the economy taking a downturn etc.

Obviously anyone with work is worried about one main thing, "security" of that job.
No real "jobs for life" anymore as they say, which is probably 80% true.

They mentioned they are actually looking for a job as the 3 kids are all at school, hubby is working but worried like most are.

I just mentioned why not start "doing something online" while looking for work?

"Like what?" she asked, "what you do? blogging or whatever it is?"

"Could do" I replied, or any number of things really, it depends what you could do.

"All I want is to simplify life lol" she said.
"I can't do a blog and look after the kids and do the house work! And what the hell would I even blog about, goddamit"

I remembered something I had seen a few days earlier, told her I will get back to her. :o)

Funny where Valuable connections can be made and how. :o)

So, I messaged her...I said...

"I'll blog about it, but send you an email first", both happy that both of us get the value, but me sharing lets you take the value of it to do whatever with as you will. ;o)

I realised that ALL of the above issues she had could be the very things to blog about.

Here we go...

You are rushed off your feet, kids, housework all taking your time and energy, so what could you really do about that?

You think..."Rob says, blogaboutit!! But how???"

I was browsing a very interesting site when I came across a perfectly good way to learn how to Simplify your life, indeed someone like my friend here is the perfect match in some ways.

Cheaper than fish and chips! Simplify your life

Then you can start applying these to your life, simplifying it, you can blog about how you are applying it to your life, what it's doing for you what works, what doesn't etc, posting maybe daily when you have a spare 20 Min's etc to write it.

Your friends start to read your blog, they tell others and you start getting more readers, all the while you continue posting what YOU learn from YOUR actions.

You are not teaching directly, but indirectly by sharing, sharing YOUR experiences, this is you creating social proof, after a few weeks, you get more time due to the success of applying it, writing better posts, all the while you actual writing is improving.

You continue to apply and grow, your friends start asking "where they can get that book?"

You then realise you are an affiliate, you can post a link to the book while anyone who buys it will be contributing to YOU earning money, and they will buy it because of the social proof you have provided.

They may apply it but not blog about it like you did, so they will just continue reading your blog, sharing it with others, and this buying cycle will happen again.

You realise you are succeeding here, then you go check out the book writers blog, and see a great new way you can also grow your blog content, writing less at times.

Then your friends start to email you, commenting on your blog, sharing things that are working for them.

You could then ask a few to be "guest writers" on your blog, maybe let two people write a post once a week, that two days less blogging for you and you still have the content and further social proof...leading the cycle again, more eyeballs, more book sales.

You then start to see how you can add other valuable streams of income to your blog, like related products or complementing products.

Then you see how you can start to build an email list from your blog, which you can develop a better and more closed conversational relationship with your community.

It's only showing in those who subscribe to the list, not on the blog.

Maybe do better things with the list, provide even more value to them than on the blog....doable if all your post are by guest bloggers. ;o)

Other ideas start to become visible with your growing learning curve which you know will help your community.

You can't believe how far you have come just for taking action, life is simplified, calmer and you are in control, creating your own "security".

You started to see how you can turn your best content into!

Then sell that, get an army of fans selling it for you too.

All it took was that you realised "if he can do it, with more on his plate than me, I can do it too."

You may even email me later...saying... "Thanks Rob!" :o)

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@ 5:13 PM, , create a link to this post

"Valuable connections"

Valuable connections, it's all links, new ones, invisible ones and life changing ones.

(o؛ ¡sǝʇɐןǝɹ ɟo ʇɹos ʇı sɐ ˙˙˙ʇsod ʇsɐן ǝɥʇ oʇ ǝpıs dıןɟ ǝɥʇ uo

I have been meaning to write this for a few days. Something got under my skin, bothered me and I couldn't put my finger on it at all, so I forgot about it.

Boy am I glad!! :o)

I had to disconnect to make the connection but it not only made that connected everything else for me.

Some connections were great, some not so, I digress, they are all valuable connections.

Sadly...I had to also had to face up to something I didn't really expect. It pissed me off to a point!

As she sang...

"Sometimes it make things clear...

Or know when to face... the truth, and I know,

That the moment is here..."

No prizes to the right guess in comments! ;o)

I'll never make it really big as a blogger, as it stands!!!

I had been given it thought in the past...
I knew it was going to be an issue, but that issue is something you probably won't face...

Yeah... my crap ears!!!

The idiot!!? ;o)

This just confirmed it in some ways, but I would do a disservice not sharing it with you, as there's nothing stopping you following the fantastic and well explained FREE: Time Tested And Proven Roadmap To Blogging Success… because NOW IS the time to read that if you are in any way considering starting one...even if not, there is some good insights to where things are going on this "landscape".

One I wont be able to fully maximise.

So am I saying this blog is...dying?

NO... certainly not, I just realised where it IS going, how it effects other things in the "big picture", the book above just helped me realise with a little more clarity...connected things in a way.

Furthermore these other connections, in my head, also had an impact on a huge way.

Linking the connections was what did it, but it's only now they connect!

It was 1980...

Summer in flow, thumping feelings to my head...and here I woke, at the bottom of a pot hole in a quarry, dazed, confused, almost 9 years old...

I took a brief look around, a twin pair of holes above me, shafts of light pouring down, peeked to left, right...darkish but it clearly looked like I was in a "slab space" like a wall of mud in font of me and a wall of mud behind me.

I tried to climb up, no used, slipping and sliding, I stopped, ran my hand through my hair...caked in mud and knotted..."where's me hearing aid??, my coat?, my shoe?" rapidly flying through my head...

I looked around, I realised I was on a small ledge, the very real fear of falling down there kicked in.
At a guess I was about 30 ft down from the top.

Looked down saw real darkness, spotted a stone, a good handful sized and threw it down.

For a brief moment I completely forgot I couldn't hear shit!

I smiled, no-one can ever take that off me. :o)

"Lee, help" I suddenly screamed, not quite realising I remembered what happened.

"He has to be there" I told myself, "LEE!!!" I screamed out, we were only playing football a minute ago...or was it hours ago.... "argggh LEEEEEE""...a face flickered into the was my mums best friend, Anna..."sigh" A memory that has never faded. :o)

She said clearly so could lipread... "firemen on the way, DON'T move"

I never moved a muscle... the fireman arrived, Anna said, "tie the rope round your waist"...In my innocent confusion i started to try and tie an inch and half fat rope around my wrist... :o/

Donut..."Waist" Anna said..."of course, what an idiot" I said, did that, got pulled up slowly and nicely.

That connection was valuable! It saved my life.

I suddenly had my head slowly out of the hole, to see half the streets residents lined up on the bank a good 7, 8 ft above us.

A sight I was glad to see. Some of you will be reading this no doubt. :o) It would be interesting to hear your memory of that day, its' the other side of the coin, watching one of ya daft mates looking like worzel gummage climbing out of a pot hole! :o)

The firemen asked if I was ok... yeah I said, stood up, there were all well intentionally worried...but I started to walk off towards my home, climbing up the bank, not sure if people were clapping, can't hear at this point lol, over the top, I saw mum, my brothers, 7 and 5 at the time...all crying, shocked...the magnitude of what happened hit me and we all hugged.

I was ok, that's what mattered, I only had a few bruises, split eyelid, bruised ego, lost hearing aid, and an upset family. :o/

Oh and one shoe!

So, we all walked to the ambulance, I climbed in, I remember the paramedic taking my trousers off to check my legs, stood there in my pants and the "girl next door", literally, Sarah, my age, stood there upset, smiling, looking at me!!

"Oi bugger off" I said with a smile, while trying hard to hide the "y fronts" Yikes!!!!

She laughed, I laughed... :o)

I was let out and went home, a night not to forget, sat in mums bed, all of us, mum, me and brothers, dad was in middle east, working as a diver, we were watching tv...the news!!

"Eh, that's me"!! :o) Damn I looked rough! :o)

I was safe and well.

I had a valuable connection that day.

But a week later, sat at nans, all the family there, watching tv and it was the news, suddenly I took notice of what was happening, bearing in mind no subtitles then, it was a case in Italy, a young child fallen down a pot hole, alot further than I had and in a granite or marble quarry.

No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get to them.

Their last wish was to have coca cola... and that's what they give them. As much as they wanted through a long pipe.

That was the last drink.

I cried my heart out.

That hurt and I never forgot that day.
I made a valuable connection with that child in my heart.

So, am I really going to let a silly thing my crap ears stop me, with anything?

Nope, you got that right. Then and now!

I won't let a pair of crap ears stop me with this blog, I'll just adapt it or I to it.

I got plans, and this blog is part of them.

I digress, whats all this got do with you?

Well, you read my blog, ;o)
Quite alot to do with you in fact.

If I am going to have issues with things like video, audio, using a webcam and mic, I can talk, not perfect but ok, I will never be able to benefit the other way, by listening. shame really, though till now I never rally saw any reason to have a webcam and mic.

Conversations, should be two way. :o)

I don't miss out completely, thankfully I still have conversations that are creating valuable connections.

I got thinking about what I really wanted to achieve, what would I be happiest doing and that is interacting with more people, connecting, sharing, and learning and well as helping.

Which I realised I already do...just not well enough.

I know I do underestimate myself and what I have to share. I get told enough too!

Time to make that big improvement.

So I would love to see you join my new "Valuable connections" ezine.

Sign up to it using the form on the left sidebar.

You are going to be my main priority. :o)

You see, I realised every opportunity I ever wanted I have had.

Let me ask you, how many times has that door in your office, room, you are in now been opened by someone else, for you?

How about other doors?

My bet is most of the doors that have opened for you in life YOU opened, or chose not to go follow through.

I can only kick myself now for not opening the doors more often and trying, and kick myself again for not even bothering to open it and take a look!

Fast forward 5 years from now....

You come out of hairdressers with ya girlfriend, she is "pissed off", not happy at all and you can feel it bristling on her, she starts to typing into her phone, five min's later she calms down a bit, you ask "what ya done?", she replies "tweeted everyone to not use that crap hairdressers".

You realise, ya girl has something like 10,000 people following her on her twitter, 2000 of them "local", mates who listen...

Damn that's gonna hurt that hairdresser you think?

One small valuable connection, or in this case not so valuable!

The flip side, she came out. "Wow gotta show mates this, I feel GREAT" uploads a pic to twitpic and tweets it to all, free valuable word of mouth advertising for you!

Good very valuable connection for that hairdresser now eh? ;o)

"Ok, well, I got a shop, not hairdresser, so it wont matter to me, and anyway, it's NOT 5 years time"... you say, right, but back to the present, there are phones now capable of scanning bar codes in the shops.

So someone scans a product in your shop, clicks the phone, says "I can get that 50p cheaper in the shop 30 yards up the rd".

You stand there bewildered! :o/ Another customer gone!

All these connections, big or small, who knows which one will make or break you?

For now, realise every connection you make, matters.

P.s there are really NO limits on the power of these connections. No barriers. You are at the most important moment in history. NOW.

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