The 5 Death Traps of Affiliate Marketing

For some reason, affiliate marketing seems to be gaining in popularity, even though there are so many fatal flaws with the overall design. Sure, it may sound great on paper or on a webpage somewhere – get in on a good product and start sending a boatload of prospects over to a landing page somewhere and hope they buy the product so you can earn a commission.So where’s the problem? There are actually five that I see right off the bat.

All affiliate programs are hideously inflexible

The terms are so rigid – you get their product, branded however they set it up, under the seller’s pricing scheme using their marketing materials and are subject to their sales page. Your income is a fixed commission percentage setup at the whim of the seller. You have no control over customer service, the download, that payment, nothing. And you’ll have to compete with thousands of other marketers using the same keywords and who make the same commission as you? Honestly, you’ll be lucky if you get your customer’s name on their way out your front door to visit the seller’s landing page. Is that smart marketing? No…

They are not as profitable as you might think

Without the ability to control your own pricing, you are at the mercy of someone else’s whims. Once that customer is passed off from you, the affiliate, to the seller, you lose control over the customer’s experience. If they wind up buying, then great – you get a percentage. But if they return the product, you’re going to get dinged. And think of this – you’re competing with hundreds, possibly thousands of other affiliates who are selling the same product – at the same price! If only you could offer a sale price and control your own pricing…good luck. It doesn’t exist with an affiliate program.

Affiliate programs offer you little marketing control

As an affiliate, your job is to do one thing – drive the prospect to the sales page and hope the marketing message is good enough. What if it isn’t? You can’t change the sales page. You could be an incredible affiliate and send 60% of your visitors to the sales page and have your commission stink because the sales page stinks. What do you do? Drop the seller and move your marketing efforts elsewhere? What if the product is great? But that’s not all you can’t control in affiliate programs…

They make customers jump through too many hoops

Okay, as an experienced marketer you know one of the holy grails of marketing is to get the customer to leave their email address so you can continue to market to them, right? So they give you their info, then go off to the sales page where they….may have to give their info again, and if they buy…they have to give their info yet again! In order for everyone in the affiliate chain to be satisfied and keep marketing to prospects, they need this vital information. But its the customers that suffer, because they’re the ones who are being inconvenienced and marketed to every step along the way. And you know how much customers LOATHE being marketed to overtly. That brings me to the final point:

These programs sacrificing customer service, and you lose the option to “wow” the customer and make them a repeat buyer

When marketing is done correctly, and you combine it with customer service thats above and beyond, the customer becomes a customer for a very long time, and will give you repeat business. As a marketer, this is money in the bank, so to speak. The inherent flaw in affiliate marketing is you can’t do that as an affiliate. The only person who can really “wow” the customer is the seller with their service! And repeat sales are theirs – not yours as the affiliate. Do you really want to lose that opportunity?
The reason a lot of marketers are drawn to affiliate programs in the first place is because they offer a product. Marketers don’t come up with a product – they come up with marketing campaigns to sell a product. And affiliate programs fill that need by offloading a lot for the marketer – at a cost. And the cost is actually very great when you consider the control you give up in exchange for the product being packaged in a nice virtual bow using someone else’s wrapping paper.Look, there is a better, more profitable way to make money online.Reseller programs are actually much more profitable than affiliate programs and they actually address affiliate program’s shortcomings. With a good reseller program, the terms are incredibly flexible, as you buy a license to resell material. The license typically allows you to set your own price, and more tightly control the product and marketing around it. The ability to control your own price means you control your own profit margin as well.That said, you become the main point of contact for your customers. You talk right to them, directly. You collect their information, you market to them, and you sell to them. You own the customer experience. The whole customer experience.Detractors of reseller programs will say that affiliate marketing is easier. Yes, it may be easier. But its at a cost. You pay dearly for the convenience of not having to worry about anything. And consider that the most profitable and successful affiliate marketers would make even more money in a reseller program. Don’t believe me? Do that math!If a product sells for $50 in an affiliate program and offers you 75% commission, which is about the highest commission there is, you earn $37.50 per sale. You’re a successful marketer, you know what you’re doing, all the right buttons to push. You get 30 sales per month credited to you, that’s 1 per day. As an affiliate marketer you earned $1125 for the month. Not bad.Now let’s turn it around. Let say the same product is offered in a reseller program. Let’s say the same product is offered in a reseller opportunity for a license cost of $250 per month. Sound like a lot? Do the math. If you charged $50 for the product, and still made 30 sales that month, guess what your new profit is? $1250. You just made more money.But the fun doesn’t stop there. The reseller program lets you change the price. So, to get a jump on the competition, let’s say you lowered your price to $40 and got 10 more sales. Your new profit? $1350. Since you control the marketing and sales page, you can tweak your campaigns, landing pages, sales message, direct messaging, etc to increase your conversion. Any pro knows this is all vital to success. And you can’t get any of that with an affiliate program.The truth is, affiliate programs are great for some people. They’re great for starters. But if you’re really serious about making serious money, reseller programs are the way to go.

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Herbal Remedies – An Alternative Health Care Solution

If you listen to various conversations or read the comments left on most health related forums, it appears millions of people do not seem to be getting well these days, when relying solely on traditional healthcare practices. For many who have tried the available modern medical treatments without success, or have experienced the often unpleasant and sometimes dangerous effects of pharmacological(drug) treatments, alternative modes of health care appear to be their only hope.What is available to assist them?There are numerous alternative health care solutions to help individuals fix symptoms and conditions and enable them to enlist their personal power to create and maintain good health. These alternative health care solutions enable people to create and direct their own health care programs, which makes them healthier and happier, plus generate more successful outcomes.Herbal remedies is one of the available alternative modes of health care that is safe and effective, utilizing natural processes to ease symptoms and prevent disease. Herbal remedies are an all natural approach and healing art which was practiced long before the development of modern medicine and drug therapy. For many who have instituted this healthcare alternative, it has become a way of life, a celebration of the human bodies healing relationship with plants.There is no better way to truly experience the healing power of herbs then by actually using them. Reading and researching can help you establish what benefits are available in the various herbs. Can help you learn which herbal products is best for what ails you, how to grow, harvest, dry, and store herbs for your own use, including safe and effective usages as well as how to cook with them. However, none of this information will provide an ounce of prevention or healing until it is acted upon.Understand, herbal remedies are not intended to be substitutes for expert medical advice or treatment. Each one of us are unique and the possessor of individual discomforts. The advice of a professional health care provider may be necessary to diagnose these conditions and supervise treatment of your individual ailments. Knowledge of herbal remedies and their affects on your discomforts allows you to make informed choices and consult with your professional health care provider regarding how you can institute herbal remedy solutions along with their recommended treatment or as an alternative.Herbal medicine is a safe, useful, and practical natural health care alternative and it is not complicated to initiate. Herbal remedies come in many varieties from homeopathy (A method of treating disease with small amounts of remedies that, in large amounts in healthy people, produce symptoms similar to those being treated) to aroma therapy (The therapeutic use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils in baths or massage) solutions. There is a perfect remedy available for everyone from children to adults, weekend warriors, and even the family pet.You can grow herbs at home and process, store, and brew them into helpful elixirs. It is so simply, you can do it in a window box. Just imagine, constant access to your own immune-enhancing herbs, salves, tinctures, creams, teas, and extracts. Always within reach to enhance your immune system, aid your digestion, increase your energy, and assist in relieving whatever is ailing you and your family.There is one information source which is quite valuable and should be part of your alternative health care library; an herb and symptom guide. This is a concise guide which includes an A to Z listing of herbs, illustrations, descriptions, specific uses, effective kinds of extracts, dose instructions and possible side effects and problems to watch our for. This will be the resource to go to when you need to know what herbal healing methodologies is necessary for a specific ailment.Herbs are unique healing plants. Knowing how to use them safely and correctly for everyday use, to maintain your health and that of your family and pets is essential. Herbal remedies are the medicine of the people. You do not have to grow your own, because of their popularity, you can purchase them at nearly any neighborhood supermarket, convenience store, or farmer’s market.So what are you waiting for? Shouldn’t you find out more about herbal remedies and products and what they can do for you and your family? Aren’t you interested in maintaining your good health through alternative methods?

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Hard Money Commercial Loans – Common Borrower Situation

Hard money commercial loans are becoming more prevalent as borrowers feel the pinch of the credit crisis and find that traditional sources, such as their local banks will not approve their loan request. Some borrower are often surprised, maybe shocked to receive the notice that their loan has been “called” due to the banks desire to lighten its exposure. As of April 2008, it’s estimated the turn down rate from traditional banks to be as high as 90%… The void is being filled, to a degree, by hard money commercial loans.The positives are that the borrowers enjoys less red tape, closing often take as short as 2 -3 weeks and in general a more “common sense” underwriting mindset prevails. Despite the positives, borrowers still normally rely on this type of financing only as an option when they cannot get conventional financing; and for good reason. The increase in speed and flexibility with underwriting comes at price for the borrower with interest rates in the 12-16% range and front end points from 3-6%. In addition the loan will normally not be extended beyond 24 to 36 months.Why would anyone agree to such terms?1. They have no other options or2. Despite the high rate and points the overall deal makes sense for their situation.Here are two examples where it made sense for the borrower to go forward with a hard money commercial loan.Denver, Colorado. Small retail building that had been owned by the same owner for 30 years where he occupied his business. In short, despite the borrower’s lack of development and real estate management experience he wanted to move his business out and convert the property into a 4 unit rental property. To accomplish this he needed to completely gut the property, alter the facade and make changes to the parking lot. And of course, he needed a lot of money to accomplish this.His problems where many: First of all he had no development experience, his credit was in the low 500′s, had almost no liquidity AND his business had been losing money for the last 2 years… In short he had no chance of getting conventional financing.What he did have was a solid building right outside of downtown that he owned free and clear. The loan that we put together was at 50% loan to value with an 18 month payment reserve. Meaning the first 18 month “were” prepaid” taken out of the loan proceed and put into a 3rd party escrow account. This was the only way the lender would agree to the deal which made sense because the borrower didn’t have any cash to make the monthly payments! It also gave him sufficient time to renovate and lease out the property. The payment reserve was a huge relief to the borrower as well, because he knew all too well his cash flow situation.Metro Detroit. A local business that owned a large light industrial building with a retail component was shocked by their existing bank. Despite the borrower 15 year loyalty to its banks and never being late on one payment their loan was “called” meaning forced balloon (yes banks can do this; there is a call provision in almost all commercial bank mortgages). The rationale behind this was the bank did not like the industry the business was in (tier 3 automotive supplier) and didn’t like the building type. Industrial properties in metro Detroit continue to get hammered as the market slides with the automotive industry.As the business begun to search for options they discover that1. no conventional source wanted their loan and2. that the few that showed some interest had to have a full recourse loan, meaning full personal guarantee.Though the CEO had a 2% ownership, the rest was controlled through a family trust. The CEO was not willing to sign off and none of the family was willing to either. Many private money lenders want full recourse, but this is a negotiable item. And as long as the loan to values are below 60 – 50% you can often find a source. So the borrower decided to go the hard money route with a 3 year interest only loan. They refinanced the mortgage as well pulled out an additional $700,000 to consolidate date, which greatly improved their cash flow situation.These are typically scenarios, others include foreclosures, distressed properties, recent bankruptcies, lack of existing cash flow, partnership buy outs, land contract refinances, “need for speed,” etc. Bottom line, hard money commercial loans are expensive but can be a viable option.

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Basic Design Principles to Help Create Stunning Graphics

Graphic design is a skill that is very much in-demand. The way things look matter to society so it is important to create high-quality design for ads, banners, logos, websites and web content. There is no need to be a professional to produce shareable content since it is easy to add design elements to existing photos with just a few taps on a phone.However, tech tools are only part of it all. A designer should develop a keen eye for things that visually work and those that keep viewers from getting the message. The 3 basic web design principles to remember in creating graphics and working with visuals are the following:HierarchyWhen a design has several elements, the designer should make sure to give more visual weight to the most important message. This is referred to as hierarchy, which can be achieved in many different ways such as bolder/larger fonts, positioning the most important message literally higher than the rest of the information and making use of shapes to surround and highlight the focal point. Using visual hierarchy in web design begins with the message as well as the design goals.First of all, it is crucial to find out the most important details. Probably web owners would like the design’s main message to come in the form of a quote or want viewers to know how to follow them or know they have a sale.The main message should be visually established as the focal point and to make it pop, it can have larger text/shapes. Afterward, the secondary message can be included without making it look overpowering.As a suggestion, it would help to design the main message then add more text and use iOS’design wheel to get ideas on how to design several elements in a single design. As an alternative, when using social media, the secondary message can be conveyed in the copy/comment portion.BalanceBalance provides a sense of stability to a design gives its form and helps distribute the elements evenly all over the design. Such even spacing makes it look professional and aesthetically pleasing rather than disorderly and confusing. The principle of balance does not necessarily mean that elements have to be of the same size or distributed evenly throughout the page. It can either be symmetrically or asymmetrically balanced.With symmetrical balance, the elements have the same visual weight on either side of the design while asymmetrical balance makes use of contrast to make the design flow even (like light elements balanced out by dark elements).ColorAnother important part of design is color and this should be carefully thought of whenever starting with a new design. Colors dictate the mood of a web design and each has something different to say. People associate the color green with the environment or non-profits whereas red can arouse emotions like anger.Blue is a passive color that is more calming while yellow gives a sense of happiness. People do not need to know more about color theory to come up with the right colors. They can combine colors based on the image they use. To make it more legible, it would help to use a gradient background for text most especially if text color is similar. This will let the text pop.

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There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.


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How To Be A Jack Of Many Trades – And Why It Can Make You Succeed More Often!

Not many people have the ability to competently carry out multiple tasks simultaneously, and deliver satisfactory results on each task – consistently. Fewer still are comfortable with continually learning to do many things at the same time. Yet, in every society we find there are always a select few who seem to thrive doing just that.Expressions in daily conversation coined to describe such persons include “man-of-many-parts”, “one-who-wears-many-hats”, “multi-talented”, “multi-skilled”, “versatile” etc. This article describes an unusual – but well established – practice in which certain individuals intelligently combine their(sometimes self-taught) skills in a variety of related fields to successfully – and repeatedly – deliver desired results( to employers), or products and services(to clients/ customers).Below, I describe my personal experiences as a Multipreneurial Employee in Guinness between 1995 and 2001.———————————————-I recall vividly that as a fresh Graduate Management Trainee in the large corporate multinational(Guinness Nigeria Plc) where I worked, my keen interest in computers initially attracted plenty of criticism from some of my peers and senior colleagues.On numerous occasions, they seized the opportunity of little shortcomings I displayed in doing my job as a Shift Brewer, to insinuate that the time I spent working on the computer (something not at that time in widespread use) prevented me from mastering the essential practical requirements to successfully function as a brewer.In time, I was of course able to demonstrate beyond any shred of doubt that their assumptions were wrong. Not only did I mature into a competent brewer/Packaging shift manager (one who got repeated secondments to other departments to fill sudden vacancies while replacements were sought), I also went on to use my spreadsheet programming skills to develop over five customised spreadsheet applications – which were formally adopted for use.My abilities got me noticed early by senior management, so that within two years of joining the company, I was already actively involved, and even responsible for collation/preparation of brewery-level reports. These were activities which required a good understanding of key manufacturing performance parameters, as well as sound knowledge of various calculations used to estimate monetary gains/losses in brewing, for decision-making. In the process, I got to know/work closely with senior managers in my function, well ahead of my peers.All of that would go a long way to prepare me for later achievements like challenging existing brewing performance parameters calculations; proposing modifications to some, and even developing my own formula for – what I considered – better estimation of brewing performances, which I called “% Brewhouse Efficiency” formula. This formula was given consideration by the company’s senior management for 6 months, with brewery tests being done using it. (You can learn more about how I was able to record these achievements in my article titled Achieve Recognition and Attract Career Advancement Opportunities By Being A Change Agent).Yet I did all this while still doing my regular job as a brewer. I was so proficient in doing them, that I felt no strain combining them with my normal job. Looking back, and even considering the sources from which criticism for my multidisciplinary approach came, I have come to the conclusion that many times people assess the “workability” of what another person is trying to achieve from their own mind frame.If they think it be difficult for them to do, then they believe it would be so for the other person. What they forget is that we are not all alike. In fact there are certain people who cannot stay doing just one single thing for long. They would actually become demotivated, inefficient, and even bored. As one Multipreneur – Gary Havener – put it, “I guess I just have a short attention span”.———————————————-Multipreneurs Are Everywhere – Even YOU Could Be One(& Not Know It)!1. Multipreneurs In Sports: We cannot all be the same. It is true that when you chase two rats at the same time, you could end up losing both. But in life, the fact is that there will be some people who can learn how to chase and catch both rats:-).An event like the Decathlon(and the Heptathlon!) gives the few amongst us who fail to fit into the “normal” profile expected, a place to belong. As I said previously, not everyone will like to stick with just one sport. Some people get their greatest satisfaction – and are even at their productive best – when they are able to switch from one activity to another, uninhibited.Daley Thompson was Decathlon champion for more than a decade, but he was not a Jack of all trades. He was instead what I call a Jack of Many Trades(TM) or an Intelligent Multipreneur. Young Daley had an aptitude for combining many activities – and tended not to really be fully engaged if he had to focus on just one. His teachers in school thought this meant he had ADD(Attention Deficit Disorder), but the parents(thankfully) refused to accept that and challenged the school to engage the young child’s energies appropriately. The rest is history.2. YOU as an Involuntary Multipreneur: Now, what about you? Did you not have to study up to ten or twelve different subjects in school before you could finish and move to University? Subjects you did not like, and knew you would not continue after school! Why doesn’t someone ask what the point of having children study subjects they are not likely to use after they leave school is about? If it had been a pleasant one, that experience in school could probably have caused you to develop an interest in multipreneuring.3. How much should YOUR President know?: Would you vote for a Presidential aspirant who demonstrates knowledge of only one or two areas of the economy/government claiming he cannot afford to take active interest in learning about the others because he is a specialist? I doubt it. Citizens of a country rightly expect that their president will be able to answer questions on ANY issue concerning the government or economy of the country. That’s why Presidential debates between aspirants are such a crucial part of the elections process in many societies.Presidents of countries, by the nature of their jobs, need to be multipreneurial in their mental dispositions. This is because they are answerable to an entire nation comprising widely differing groups of people with varying – and constantly changing – levels of unique interests and needs.4. Multipreneurs in Entertainment: John Travolta (as I learnt from watching an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s show) is a licensed airline pilot. But apart from that, he is proficient at a wide variety of other things. His job as an actor frequently requires him to acquire new knowledge/skills in order to successfully portray a character. Away from acting, those he meets in life will find him adept at doing many things – and consider him quite “cool”, and potentially useful to have/be around!A quick example. Imagine John is on a plane whose pilot suddenly has a coronary, and the co-pilot’s nerves fail him. With John around, there would still be hope for everyone on board! I know actors sometimes have stunt doubles who cover for them, but many times, they have to do it themselves.Steps To Becoming An Intelligent Jack Of Many Trades(TM)(or Multipreneur)But how does one draw the line here. At what point does doing something like this become a case of “Jack of all trades, master of none”?My answer is in two folds i.e. it depends. Firstly, if your objective is not to be a “master”, and only that you wish to achieve reasonably good proficiency in the disciplines you venture into, then the adage just mentioned should not bother you.For instance, when you decide to learn how to type your own letters/use the PC better, it does not mean that you will decide to become better than your secretary. What it could mean is that in the event that your secretary is unexpectedly absent from work, you will not be at a loss as to how to locate (for instance) the important memo she was typing yesterday on her PC, so as to finish it off, and send it out to those concerned on time.Secondly, you should not aim to become a “Jack of all trades”. That would be unwise, as it is not humanly possible to do so, and maintain efficiency in all at the same time. But, you can successfully become a “Jack Of Many Trades(TM)”, and be better of for it.To do the latter(i.e. become a “Jack Of Many Trades(TM)”), the simple steps below can be followed:1. Do some deep thinking/soul-searching about what exactly your personal goal(s) is(are) regarding your job or business interest(s).2. Decide what competencies (knowledge, attitudes and skills) you need to develop to achieve your chosen goal(s).3. Once you’ve done that, you then need to write out (and I do mean write!!) your PLAN to acquire, and productively use, the various competencies that you’ve identified.4. Next, you put the plan to work. Do whatever it is you have decided you need to do, in order to achieve the goal(s) you have chosen to pursue.Note: Since becoming a multipreneur will require you to progressively acquire new knowledge and skills about different activities, you can expect to routinely run through steps 1 to 4 every now and then.How Multipreneuring Can Make You Succeed More Often The following are some specific ways that Multipreneuring can help you.1. You fit more easily into different groups: Think back to many of the social events you have attended. How easily did you fit into a group of people who were as excited as you were about football or politics for instance? Very easily, I’m sure you’ll agree. A sound knowledge of key aspects of a specific area of interest can help you get the respect, admiration, and friendship/cooperation of others. You get instant empathy. People feel they know you.Now, imagine you were able to learn relevant things or acquire skills important to varied groups of people. Once you find yourself among each group, you can put your knowledge/skill to use. Very often, the effect would be instant. People would be drawn to you! How excited would you be if you were in Bulgaria to attend a conference, and met a delegate from France who spoke your language, having spent ten years in your country?Now think about it the other way round. What if YOU could learn to speak, read and write fluent French? What do you think would happen if you ran into an expatriate French couple just arrived in your country having difficulty communicating their intended destination to an Airport taxi driver? Chances are high that they would instantly engage you to help them out, and it is likely to be the beginning of a lasting friendship!I speak, read and write French having learnt it the hard way some years back(read my story in the article titled Achieving YOUR Goals IN SPITE OF Adversity – Two Short But True Stories That Tell HOW to learn how I did it). The benefits accruing to me from acquiring this skill since then convince me that what I have said here is correct.Also, my proficiency in developing automated spreadsheet solutions for use in the various departments I worked as a manager in Guinness, over time made me become close to key members of the brewery’s Information Technology team. This friendship got so good to the point that I often spent my free time in their offices, and at a point, some newcomers to the brewery even assumed I was an IT personnel.To top it, I often successfully secured the cooperation of the IT team to implement many of the spreadsheet solutions I developed. The automated spreadsheet-based Brewery training records database that I developed towards the ISO 9001 certification audits conducted by Standards Organisation of Nigeria – SON (in my capacity as Technical Training and Development Manager) was made accessible across the brewery intranet with the cooperation of my IT department “friends”.2. You are able to understand others in or outside the workplace: Too many instances have occurred in society, where people engaged in conflict simply because they did not understand each other’s points of view. One of the best ways to guard against this problem is by going out of your way to learn about the unique circumstances and challenges surrounding the next person.For instance back in Guinness, because I had a very strong background in Packaging and Brewing operations, having worked many times in both departments, I was frequently able to avert potential confrontations. For one thing, I knew many of the shift managers, shop floor operators and operations fairly well. So, when for instance, beer supply from my end (brewing) was short, I was often able to persuade the packaging operator/manager to send beer from the only remaining bottling tank to both bottling lines, till I and my men were able to solve the supply problem at our end. This helped us avert lost production hours, which often occurred when parties concerned remained intransigent.Incidentally, my understanding of the packaging operations enabled me diplomatically “punch holes” in initial objections to the workability of my proposal. We would all then laughingly agree to implement it, or a modified version. The book “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie provides excellent advice on how to successfully get people to do what you want, and have them feeling good about it in the end. Buy and read it.3. Your perspective and horizon broadens: Your mind opens up. By the time you have successfully become a Multipreneur, your personal beliefs about what is “impossible” will have changed. As I like to joke in my talks, some people at this stage will be like the young boy who had always thought his father’s farm was the biggest there was – until he travelled to other places and discovered otherwise. You will be less willing to discourage others from challenging existing ways of doing things, and more disposed to exploring new possibilities.4. Your usefulness to your organisation(or clients) increases: So long as you have invested your time and energy in acquiring the right mix of knowledge and skills, it’s only a matter of time before your company’s decision makers(or current/prospective clients) begin to notice you. I say this however in the expectation that you will now not go and “hide your lamp under a bushel”.For instance, as a young brewer I (really) hated the various manual calculations (e.g. weighted averages to determine beer blending ratios for sometimes up to four bottling tanks!) so badly, that I developed an automated spreadsheet application to do the same thing. Not only did this solution lead to quicker estimation of needed beer blending volumes by the brewer, but the computer-generated beer parameters also showed significant positive correlation with the laboratory results obtained!As soon as my boss found out about the existence of that application, he promptly announced at a departmental meeting that it was to be formally adopted for use, and instructed that I train others to use it. (Read my article titled How To Turn A Major Blunder At Work Into A Career Advancement Opportunity to learn about the bad first night shift duty experience I had, which forced me to develop that spreadsheet solution).This happened for other solutions I developed for use in the brewery. Many times I actually started out to solve a personal problem I disliked about my job, but in the process, those doing that same job with me, (who had also been struggling with the problem) naturally found the solution I developed useful to themselves too – hence they adopted it readily. And I got acknowledged for it – via good appraisals, and many career advancement opportunities that subsequently followed.How Long Will “Success” Achievement Take? Now, this brings us to a reality that some people never want to accept. To achieve success, one must be ready to do what is required. In practicing multipreneuring, whether in business or paid employment, the person concerned must decide up front, that s/he will apply the principle of persistence.It would be naive for anyone to expect that as soon as s/he commences learning or doing something, success will immediately follow. If the world worked that way, then EVERY ONE of us would be a millionaire today!So, let’s be honest with ourselves here – it won’t be easy!!The fact is that you must follow the earlier enumerated steps to becoming a successful Jack Of Many Trades(TM). Select the vocations you wish to become proficient in. Study them. Practice what you learn. THEN apply them persistently (constantly reviewing/making needed adjustments), till you get the result(s) you desire.I spent many night shifts as a brewer combining supervision of the brewing plant operations with improving my typing speed using a Typing Tutor, and also working on different spreadsheet solutions on the office computer. One afternoon, the Brewery Manger’s secretary saw me typing and exclaimed: “Solagbade, you type so fast! What is your speed?” Neither she, nor a senior manager who made a habit of calling me “TK Computer” really knew how many hours of hard work I had put in, in my personal time, to become that good at those things.And if you recall, from my story, I made many blunders at work initially that caused others to criticise me for lacking mastery of my primary job because I spent(they felt) too much time on the computer.What they did not know was that even after they had gone home, I would often stay back in the brewery to learn directly from the process operators on duty, the rudiments of successfully managing the brewing process. Many times I would leave the brewery for my house as late as 1.00am in the morning, even though I had actually worked on morning shift, and closed at 2.00pm the previous day. You may not have to do what I did. But, you MUST pay your dues. If you do, you will get to a level of mastery that will make others marvel.Is It Not Better To Be Known For One Particular Thing?Someone once asked me if it would not be better to be known for one particular thing. My answer was that I do actually intend to be known for ONE thing which is my ability to engage in multiple, complementary vocations simultaneously and successfully, so long as I remain effective and efficient in doing them.I was able to do my job as brewer, and later Training and Technical Development Manager, then acting Production Manager, while continuing to utilise my proficiency in spreadsheets solutions development, to develop lasting solutions for data management and reporting problems everywhere I worked.I was so good at it, that I effortlessly implemented solutions to major problems in a way that surprised many others. For me, because I had spent so much of my free time(unknown to many) doing it, it was easy. For others, it looked like a lot of work. So, they were thinking about it from their perspective as people who were not as adept as I was. Of course, it felt like it would be difficult to combine such with a regular job – especially when one did not get to take time off to do it.I once watched an edition of Oprah Winfrey’s show in which Venus Williams was interviewed along with her sister, Serena. Both ladies were questioned about criticisms levelled against them by other Tennis stars for engaging in other vocations while still active in top-flight tennis. Venus owns her own fashion design company, and actually designs her own clothes. Serena had been appearing in some new films/movies playing leading roles.According to Oprah, Martina Navratilova had stated that the sisters were being arrogant by doing that, since it was “expected” that they, as professional tennis players, would concentrate on playing tennis – like all others. In response, Venus said (quite sensibly), that they believed it would be unwise to assume they would continue to do well in tennis indefinitely, and following their parents’ advice, decided to explore other vocations early on.SummarySo long as you are not getting inefficient from doing multiple tasks or acquiring multiple competencies, don’t let people tell you you’re a Jack-of-all-trades.I once read an article on career development, which advised people in paid employment to “Know A Little About Everything”, if they wish to get ahead on their jobs. In fact, most start-up entrepreneurs HAVE TO be that way for a major part of their start-up life, because they cannot afford(due to limited capital) to do otherwise! Companies – and even individuals – will in the future be looking for a one-stop solution to their needs, and will tend to settle for entrepreneurs(or employees) with proven multiple competencies.You can be a successful Jack Of Many Trades(TM), so long as you avoid crossing the not-so-thin line that leads to becoming a “Jack of all trades”. All you need do is intelligently decide on relevant competencies that will help you attain your personal/career advancement goals. Then acquire and put them to use in ways that benefit you, people around you, or the client/organisation you work for. The results you get will excite you perpetually!

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Australia – Top 5 Colleges, Education System, Accommodation Charges

Australia has become one of the great havens to get world-class education on various courses. Students from different parts of the world are lured by its modern infra-structure and excellent quality of education. It has one of the most advanced economy and falls into the category of developed nations. Unlike US and UK where education expenditure takes a toll on your pocket, the cost in Australia is quite competitive; this is what attracts lots of students towards Australia. Every year more than 400,000 students from 200 different countries come to Australia to seek education.To study in Australia, you can choose between the five top colleges, they are– Taylors College
- Martin College
- Adelaide hospitality and Tourism School
- AMI Education
- Group Colleges of AustraliaThe education system in Australia is governed by each state, solely. There are 6 states in Australia and other minor territories. The other thing that is worth noticing in Australian education system is compulsory education from 6 to 15 years for very Australian citizen. Australia is famous for its great education system and the education system of Australia has a strong international reputation. The safe and friendly environment in Australia has also raised its education system to a high standard.You could find plentiful choice in the academic courses. The academic staff is highly experienced and qualified. Besides bachelors and post graduate degrees in various streams, you could also do short term, diploma and corporate development programs from Australia. Australian government invests billions of dollars in Australian education and university research every year.The accommodation charges in Australia depend upon the location. If you live closer to Australian capital cities then charges are obviously higher than other cities. Adelaide is an affordable city. If you look at the average weekly expenses in Adelaide, it would cost you – rent- $98-$268, Food charges- $87-$100 while Transport- $15-$20.Accommodation is the largest variable cost. $90 is an average cost if you share an apartment outside the city and $190 for university managed flat with in the city center.It is mandatory for every international student to show to The Migration Regulations the evidence of funds that would support him financially to study and live in Australia. Now, the minimum fund requirement to study in Australia is $18,000 per year, which was $12000 in the previous year..There are innumerable specialized courses in Australian University. The important ones are listed below;- Bachelor of Commerce
- Bachelor of Business ( marketing)
- Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology)
- Bachelor of Agriculture
- Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management
- Master of Commerce (Professional Accounting)
- Master of Business Administration
- Advanced Diploma of Multimedia
- Certificate II in Information Technology
- Diploma in e-business
- Diploma in information Technology
- Advanced Diploma in Ministry
- Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design
- Advanced Diploma of Tourism

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Increasing Student Success Through Instruction in Self-Determination

An enormous amount of research shows the importance of self-determination (i.e., autonomy) for students in elementary school through college for enhancing learning and improving important post-school outcomes.

Research by psychologists Richard Ryan, PhD, and Edward Deci, PhD, on Self-Determination Theory indicates that intrinsic motivation (doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable), and thus higher quality learning, flourishes in contexts that satisfy human needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Students experience competence when challenged and given prompt feedback. Students experience autonomy when they feel supported to explore, take initiative and develop and implement solutions for their problems. Students experience relatedness when they perceive others listening and responding to them. When these three needs are met, students are more intrinsically motivated and actively engaged in their learning.

Numerous studies have found that students who are more involved in setting educational goals are more likely to reach their goals. When students perceive that the primary focus of learning is to obtain external rewards, such as a grade on an exam, they often perform more poorly, think of themselves as less competent, and report greater anxiety than when they believe that exams are simply a way for them to monitor their own learning. Some studies have found that the use of external rewards actually decreased motivation for a task for which the student initially was motivated. In a 1999 examination of 128 studies that investigated the effects of external rewards on intrinsic motivations, Drs. Deci and Ryan, along with psychologist Richard Koestner, PhD, concluded that such rewards tend to have a substantially negative effect on intrinsic motivation by undermining people’s taking responsibility for motivating or regulating themselves.

Self-determination research has also identified flaws in high stakes, test focused school reforms, which despite good intentions, has led teachers and administrators to engage in precisely the types of interventions that result in poor quality learning. Dr. Ryan and colleagues found that high stakes tests tend to constrain teachers’ choices about curriculum coverage and curtail teachers’ ability to respond to students’ interests (Ryan & La Guardia, 1999). Also, psychologists Tim Urdan, PhD, and Scott Paris, PhD, found that such tests can decrease teacher enthusiasm for teaching, which has an adverse effect on students’ motivation (Urdan & Paris, 1994).

The processes described in self-determination theory may be particularly important for children with special educational needs. Researcher Michael Wehmeyer found that students with disabilities who are more self-determined are more likely to be employed and living independently in the community after completing high school than students who are less self-determined.

Research also shows that the educational benefits of self-determination principles don’t stop with high school graduation. Studies show how the orientation taken by college and medical school instructors (whether it is toward controlling students’ behavior or supporting the students’ autonomy) affects the students’ motivation and learning.

Self-determination theory has identified ways to better motivate students to learn at all educational levels, including those with disabilities.
Practical Application

Schools throughout the country are using self-determination instruction as a way to better motivate students and meet the growing need to teach children and youth ways to more fully accept responsibility for their lives by helping them to identify their needs and develop strategies to meet those needs.

Researchers have developed and evaluated instructional interventions and supports to encourage self-determination for all students, with many of these programs designed for use by students with disabilities. Many parents, researchers and policy makers have voiced concern about high rates of unemployment, under-employment and poverty experienced by students with disabilities after they complete their educational programs. Providing support for student self-determination in school settings is one way to enhance student learning and improve important post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. Schools have particularly emphasized the use of self-determination curricula with students with disabilities to meet federal mandates to actively involve students with disabilities in the Individualized Education Planning process.

Programs to promote self-determination help students acquire knowledge, skills and beliefs that meet their needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness (for example, see Steps to Self-determination by educational researchers Sharon Field and Alan Hoffman). Such programs also provide instruction aimed specifically at helping students play a more active role in educational planning (for example, see The Self-directed Individualized Education Plan by Jim Martin, Laura Huber Marshall, Laurie Maxson, & Patty Jerman).

Drs. Field and Hoffman developed a model designed to guide the development of self-determination instructional interventions. According to the model, instructional activities in areas such as increasing self-awareness; improving decision-making, goal-setting and goal-attainment skills; enhancing communication and relationship skills; and developing the ability to celebrate success and learn from reflecting on experiences lead to increased student self-determination. Self-determination instructional programs help students learn how to participate more actively in educational decision-making by helping them become familiar with the educational planning process, assisting them to identify information they would like to share at educational planning meetings, and supporting students to develop skills to effectively communicate their needs and wants. Examples of activities used in self-determination instructional programs include reflecting on daydreams to help students decide what is important to them; teaching students how to set goals that are important to them and then, with the support of peers, family members and teachers, taking steps to achieve those goals. Providing contextual supports and opportunities for students, such as coaching for problem-solving and offering opportunities for choice, are also critical elements that lead to meeting needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness and thus, increasing student self-determination.

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How to Build a Better Educational System: Jigsaw Classrooms

The jigsaw classroom technique can transform competitive classrooms in which many students are struggling into cooperative classrooms in which once-struggling students show dramatic academic and social improvements.

In the early 1970s, in the wake of the civil rights movement, educators were faced with a social dilemma that had no obvious solution. All over the country, well-intentioned efforts to desegregate America’s public schools were leading to serious problems. Ethnic minority children, most of whom had previously attended severely under-funded schools, found themselves in classrooms composed predominantly of more privileged White children. This created a situation in which students from affluent backgrounds often shone brilliantly while students from impoverished backgrounds often struggled. Of course, this difficult situation seemed to confirm age-old stereotypes: that Blacks and Latinos are stupid or lazy and that Whites are pushy and overly competitive. The end result was strained relations between children from different ethnic groups and widening gaps in the academic achievement of Whites and minorities.

Drawing on classic psychological research on how to reduce tensions between competing groups (e.g., see Allport, 1954; Sherif, 1958; see also Pettigrew, 1998), Elliot Aronson and colleagues realized that one of the major reasons for this problem was the competitive nature of the typical classroom. In a typical classroom, students work on assignments individually, and teachers often call on students to see who can publicly demonstrate his or her knowledge. Anyone who has ever been called to the board to solve a long division problem – only to get confused about dividends and divisors – knows that public failure can be devastating. The snide remarks that children often make when their peers fail do little to remedy this situation. But what if students could be taught to work together in the classroom – as cooperating members of a cohesive team? Could a cooperative learning environment turn things around for struggling students? When this is done properly, the answer appears to be a resounding yes.

In response to real educational dilemmas, Aronson and colleagues developed and implemented the jigsaw classroom technique in Austin, Texas, in 1971. The jigsaw technique is so named because each child in a jigsaw classroom has to become an expert on a single topic that is a crucial part of a larger academic puzzle. For example, if the children in a jigsaw classroom were working on a project about World War II, a classroom of 30 children might be broken down into five diverse groups of six children each. Within each group, a different child would be given the responsibility of researching and learning about a different specific topic: Khanh might learn about Hitler’s rise to power, Tracy might learn about the U.S. entry into the war, Mauricio might learn about the development of the atomic bomb, etc. To be sure that each group member learned his or her material well, the students from different groups who had the same assignment would be instructed to compare notes and share information. Then students would be brought together in their primary groups, and each student would present his or her “piece of the puzzle” to the other group members. Of course, teachers play the important role of keeping the students involved and derailing any tensions that may emerge. For example, suppose Mauricio struggled as he tried to present his information about the atomic bomb. If Tracy were to make fun of him, the teacher would quickly remind Tracy that while it may make her feel good to make fun of her teammate, she is hurting herself and her group – because everyone will be expected to know all about the atomic bomb on the upcoming quiz.
When properly carried out, the jigsaw classroom technique can transform competitive classrooms in which many students are struggling into cooperative classrooms in which once-struggling students show dramatic academic and social improvements (and in which students who were already doing well continue to shine). Students in jigsaw classrooms also come to like each other more, as students begin to form cross-ethnic friendships and discard ethnic and cultural stereotypes. Finally, jigsaw classrooms decrease absenteeism, and they even seem to increase children’s level of empathy (i.e., children’s ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes). The jigsaw technique thus has the potential to improve education dramatically in a multi-cultural world by revolutionizing the way children learn.
Practical Application

Since its demonstration in the 1970s, the jigsaw classroom has been used in hundreds of classrooms settings across the nation, ranging from the elementary schools where it was first developed to high school and college classrooms (e.g., see Aronson, Blaney, Stephan, Rosenfield, & Sikes, 1977; Perkins & Saris, 2001; Slavin, 1980). Researchers know that the technique is effective, incidentally, because it has been carefully studied using solid research techniques. For example, in many cases, students in different classrooms who are covering the same material are randomly assigned to receive either traditional instruction (no intervention) or instruction by means of the jigsaw technique. Studies in real classrooms have consistently revealed enhanced academic performance, reductions in stereotypes and prejudice, and improved social relations.

Aronson is not the only researcher to explore the merits of cooperative learning techniques. Shortly after Aronson and colleagues began to document the power of the jigsaw classroom, Robert Slavin, Elizabeth Cohen and others began to document the power of other kinds of cooperative learning programs (see Cohen & Lotan, 1995; Slavin, 1980; Slavin, Hurley, & Chamberlain, 2003). As of this writing, some kind of systematic cooperative learning technique had been applied in about 1500 schools across the country, and the technique appears to be picking up steam. Perhaps the only big question that remains about cooperative learning techniques such as the jigsaw classroom is why these techniques have not been implemented even more broadly than they already have.

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Have Your Children Had Their Anti-Smoking Shots?


In the early 1960s, social psychologist William McGuire published some classic papers showing that it is surprisingly easy to change people’s attitudes about things that we all wholeheartedly accept as true. For example, for speakers armed with a little knowledge of persuasion, it is remarkably easy to convince almost anyone that brushing one’s teeth is not such a great idea. McGuire’s insight into this curious phenomenon was that it is easy to change people’s minds about things that they have always taken for granted precisely because most people have little if any practice resisting attacks on attitudes that no one ever questions.

Taking this logic a little further, McGuire asked if it might be possible to train people to resist attacks on their beliefs by giving them practice at resisting arguments that they could easily refute. Specifically, McGuire drew an analogy between biological resistance to disease and psychological resistance to persuasion. Biological inoculation works by exposing people to a weakened version of an attacking agent such as a virus. People’s bodies produce antibodies that make them immune to the attacking agent, and when a full-blown version of the agent hits later in life, people win the biological battle against the full-blown disease. Would giving people a little practice fending off a weak attack on their attitudes make it easier for people to resist stronger attacks on their attitudes that come along later? The answer turns out to be yes. McGuire coined the phrase attitude inoculation to refer to the process of resisting strong persuasive arguments by getting practice fighting off weaker versions of the same arguments.

Once attitude inoculation had been demonstrated consistently in the laboratory, researchers decided to see if attitude inoculation could be used to help parents, teachers, and social service agents deal with a pressing social problem that kills about 440,000 people in the U.S. every year: cigarette smoking. Smoking seemed like an ideal problem to study because children below the age of 10 or 12 almost always report negative attitudes about smoking. However, in the face of peer pressure to be cool, many of these same children become smokers during middle to late adolescence.
Practical Application

Adolescents change their attitudes about smoking (and become smokers) because of the power of peer pressure. Researchers quickly realized that if they could inoculate children against pro-smoking arguments (by teaching them to resist pressure from their peers who believed that smoking is “cool”), they might be able to reduce the chances that children would become smokers. A series of field studies of attitude inoculation, conducted in junior high schools and high schools throughout the country, demonstrated that brief interventions using attitude inoculation dramatically reduced rates of teenage smoking. For instance, in an early study by Cheryl Perry and colleagues (1980), high school students inoculated junior high schools students against smoking by having the younger kids role-play the kind of situations they might actually face with a peer who pressured them to try a cigarette. For example, when a role-playing peer called a student “chicken” for not being willing to try an imaginary cigarette, the student practiced answers such as “I’d be a real chicken if I smoked just to impress you.” The kids who were inoculated in this way were about half as likely to become smokers as were kids in a very similar school who did not receive this special intervention.

Public service advertising campaigns have also made use of attitude inoculation theory by encouraging parents to help their children devise strategies for saying no when peers encourage them to smoke. Programs that have made whole or partial use of attitude inoculation programs have repeatedly documented the effectiveness of attitude inoculation to prevent teenage smoking, to curb illicit drug use, and to reduce teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. In comparison with old-fashioned interventions such as simple education about the risks of smoking or teenage pregnancy, attitude inoculation frequently reduces risky behaviors by 30-70% (see Botvin et al., 1995; Ellickson & Bell, 1990; Perry et al., 1980). As psychologist David Myers put it in his popular social psychology textbook, “Today any school district or teacher wishing to use the social psychological approach to smoking prevention can do so easily, inexpensively, and with the hope of significant reductions in future smoking rates and health costs.” So the next time you think about inoculating kids to keep them healthy, make sure you remember that one of the most important kinds of inoculation any kid can get is a psychological inoculation against tobacco.

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