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When It Comes to Watercraft, Oil and Water Don’t Mix – Are You Covered?

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If you’re a boat owner, there’s a chance you may have overlooked obtaining the right boat or watercraft insurance policy. Perhaps you’ve been under the impression that your homeowner’s policy covered your boat as well. The truth is that some homeowner’s policies may provide limited boat liability insurance coverage, with the determining factor being usually the power of the boat motor. It’s best to check your policy carefully and discuss your specific situation with your insurance agent.

Now’s a good time to make sure you have appropriate coverage. And if you do have a boat or watercraft policy what exactly is being covered? There are different coverage options for boat owners to insure that their boat and its passengers are protected. These options include physical property damage, watercraft liability, medical payments, fuel/oil liability, uninsured watercraft, boat equipment, and emergency services.

The environmental disaster of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico comes to mind, and boat owners have shown concern about coverage for unforeseen circumstances. An oil spill from your boat could have a serious financial impact if you are personally responsible to pay for the clean-up. This type of occurrence is usually covered by the watercraft liability coverage on the boat owner policy. However, some policies do have separate limits that are specific to fuel oil liability.

Keep in mind that a personal umbrella liability policy, which provides an extra cushion beyond normal liability limits, does not extend to a fuel spill liability. Therefore, it’s very important to carry $500K or $1MM in fuel spill coverage on the boat policy to make sure you’re protected.

Boat owners may also neglect to take other operators into account when purchasing their policy. If you borrow someone else’s boat, make sure your policy covers your liability on that boat, including fuel spills, which would be outlined under non-owned boat liability coverage. Although some boat policies will cover any “permissive operators” who drive the boat with permission, some boat insurance policies may provide coverage only to those operators listed on the policy. In addition, if someone operates your boat and causes a serious accident, they may be covered as a “permissive driver,” but be careful because your policy may only cover those individuals specifically listed on your boat policy as operators. And this is a case where a personal umbrella liability policy could come in handy. While this policy would cover your liability exposure in operating someone else’s boat, there are underlying limits that will likely leave you with a gap of $100,000 or more.

But here’s the good news! There are a number of discounts that could help you save on boat insurance. These discounts might include policies on a new boat and diesel engines. You might also be eligible for a multi-policy discount on your boat and auto insurance. And remember that you may be able to earn discounts for successfully completing certain boat education courses.

Talk to your local insurance agent for more information. Safe boating!

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Factors to Consider When Choosing Business Card Printing Services

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In any business setting, business cards are important and this is because they make it possible for customers to learn more about the company. In addition to this, when used appropriately, they also come in handy for the purposes of branding. In order to enjoy the benefits that come with this, it is therefore advisable to hire business card printing services. There are hundreds of service providers to choose from and while this is supposed to make things easier, it can only complicate them. For this reason, there are a couple of things you need to consider in order to make an informed choice.

Excellence

Regardless of what you buy or sell, quality is the first thing you look at and it also plays a major role when choosing a service provider. Quality shows that you care about you’re the image you project to your customers and as such, this draws them closer. Unless the service provider can assure you of meeting this end, you are better of not hiring the services at all.

Price

Price plays a crucial role when choose business card printing services. In this case, you don’t want to settle for extremely cheap prices that comprise on the quality and at the same time, you should not settle for high prices that do not measure up to the desired expectations. It is therefore advisable to weigh your options carefully and carry out thorough research and comparisons in order to make the most informed and appropriate decision. Set a budget and work within its confined to see whether you can afford the services.

References and Reputation

These aspects work hand in hand and as such, they cannot be overlooked when making your pick. Talk to people who have used the services offered by the company before you and make enquiries about the quality of service offered. This will also go a long way to determine the type of reputation they have built. Make sure that the business card printing service provider is well known for following the agreed timeline and meeting the customer’s needs. This is the only way to increase the probability of getting the most out of the services.

While at it, it is also advisable to research and have a clear picture of what your competitors are doing and the type of services they are using. There is no doubt that competition has become rife in the industry and for this reason, it is important to find out the type of printing they are using. This will is important as it gives you an idea of what you ought to settle down for and as such, increases the possibility of getting the most out of the cards.

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Steps to Starting An Internet Business

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1. Decide on your niche. What methods will you use to generate income? Basically, what do you want to sell? Here are few ideas of what you can do to generate income with a home based internet business.

Information – Create an information product or e-book.

Services – Perform a service for others.

Products – Sell products wholesale or using dropshipping.

AdSense Websites – Create a content website and earn income with Google Adsense.

Affiliate Programs – Promote other people’s products for a commission.

Find other websites that are already doing what you want to do. Make notes regarding what they do that you like and what they do that you don’t like. Strive to address what you don’t like about your competitor’s website in your own website. This will help you set yourself apart from everyone else.

2. Choose your domain name. Make is short and easy to remember. You want people to be able to easily type your domain name into their web browsers without misspelling it. You should also make your domain name descriptive of your business in some way, but this is not an absolute requirement. Many companies have successfully chosen a domain name that has no reference to the business at all. Take Google and eBay for example.

3. Choose a reliable and high performance host for your website. Your website should be available at all times and should be able to handle any load of traffic demand on the servers that you need. Imagine how mad you would be if you were spending money on advertising only to find out that your website is intermittently unavailable because your hosting company is frequently down. Choose a reputable hosting company that provides a responsive and helpful 24-hour customer support. The website host should offer all the functionality that you need so that you don’t have to waste time looking around for additional services that you have to figure out how to install yourself.

4. Build your website. Create an attractive and professional website that is easy for your visitors to navigate. Don’t go overboard with flashy animation or colors because this can cause your web pages to load slowly and can distract your visitors away from your content. Focus on adding high quality content to draw visitors in. Product reviews work well with if you are selling products. Choose the methods in which you will accept payment. You can incorporate shopping cart functionality into your website and accept credit cards through your own merchant account or you can use a third party to process your payments such as PayPal. If you are promoting affiliate products payment processing is handled for you.

5. Get the word out about what you have to offer. You will spend the rest of your time promoting your website with internet marketing techniques. You can choose from pay per click, article marketing, e-mail marketing, and search engine submission and optimization techniques as a start. And there are plenty of other things that you can do. You must plan on how you will attract traffic because without traffic your business will inevitably fail.

6. And finally, never stop improving. Use ad-tracking software to manage your advertising effectiveness. Take the time to periodically review your website to see where improvements can be made.

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How To Choose The Right Website Designing Company

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Websites play a very important role in the success of every business. They are the ones representing your business in the ever growing online world. A well designed and visually appealing website not only helps in attracting customers, but also builds good brand value for your business.

Every business understands the importance of a good website to deliver the company’s message to potential and existing customers. It is the basis to succeed in a competitive market. You can hire a professional website designing company for your website design project. There are thousands of designing and development companies, ranging from large corporate companies to small companies with very few professionals. Choosing the right website designing company can be difficult if you don’t know what you should look for. Here are a few steps that can help you choose the right company for your business needs.

  • Find Companies – The easiest way to look for website designing companies is to search online. You can also find companies listed in the yellow pages or phone directories. Shortlist a few companies to have a personal discussion with them.
  • Check portfolio – You can get an idea about the skill and expertise of a company by having a look at their portfolio. It is always good to hire a company with an impressive portfolio and a good track record. A company’s portfolio should speak for itself. A good company should offer quality of design, ease of navigation and consistent look throughout each site.
  • Experience and Skills – Hiring an experienced company will be less troublesome. The company should have skilled, qualified and experienced professionals who know their job well. You should also ask a few questions to check their technical expertise.
  • Testimonials and Reviews – To check the reliability and trustworthiness of a company, read online reviews on various forums. Also ask the company for the references of past clients. Don’t feel hesitant to contact them and ask about the type of services provided by the company. This will help you in making a right and informed decision.
  • Get Quotes – You should contact a few website designing companies and ask them for free quotes. Compare the prices and services offered by different companies and choose the best one which suits your requirements.

The website designing company you hire should pay attention to details as sometimes even the smallest things can make all the difference. It is important to choose a professional company that not only understands your business goals, but also offers you the best services within your budget.

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Does Your Social Network Really Determine Your Financial Net Worth?

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In the affairs of men, nothing matters more in building wealth, influence and leverage than the friends you keep. In short, your network! As Brian Tracy once quipped, “you can’t fly with the eagles if you keep scratching with the turkeys.” Chinua Achebe captured it succinctly in Things Fall Apart, where he popularized the African proverb, “if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.” An English cliché says, “birds of the same feather flock together”, and another says, “tell me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are.” Though the last saying is commonly associated with character issues, it can equally be applied to the subject of our discussion, networking as it relates to net worth.

Dennis P. Kimbro, the co-author of Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice, once asked Don King, the boxing promoter and showman, “what are your goals?”, and he fired back, “to become America’s first black billionaire.” When Kimbro queried, “how are you going to do that?” he retorted, “I just told you, by hanging around billionaires, learning all they know.” T. Harv Eker, the author of Think Rich to Get Rich: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, describes a simple test he says he administers to attendees of his Million Mind Intensive seminar. He says he asks them to write down the names of the top seven friends they spend most of their time with (excluding spouses and their kids), and says the average income of every attendee always reflect the average income of their top seven friends. Are you surprised? We conducted a similar exercise in our Dig Your Well Before You Are Thirsty (title borrowed from Harvey Mackay) seminar and attendees were dumbfounded by the result and all vowed to rethink the friends and network they keep. Still doubting?

Whenever you attend a social function, whether it’s a society wedding, a big red-carpet reception, or a presidential ball, just watch closely who hangs around with whom. You’ll soon discover that after the initial greetings and exchange of pleasantries, the people will imperceptibly drift into the groups they belong: the poor will gather together to moan the bad economy, the middle class will be back slapping their group members and boasting about the next big toy they are planning to acquire, while the rich will be talking in hush tones in their own circle where the next big investment is likely to come from. Generally, you won’t see the super rich in these social events. They meet on secretive islands to plot the next mega deals.

Networking right is so crucial for success in life and in business that you ignore or neglect this discipline at your own peril. If you observe, the poorest people have the shallowest networks or no network at all to talk about. When the poor is in a bind, he has no friend to turn to. The opposite is true of the rich and super rich. They all have well oiled networks that enable them have advance information about new government policies before they become public knowledge; they are always the first to hear about new high yielding private placements, and they use their networks to literally safe their life. When a close mentor suffered a life threatening brain clot that made him pass out suddenly, it was the network he had built over the years that saved the situation. One, two, three telephone calls, and he was flown to London and within hours a simple but delicate procedure that drained fluid from his skull was carried out and he came back to life.

In her 2008 presentation at the then ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) International Conference, entitled Mastering Professional Networking: Turning Relationships into Lifelong Assets, Neusa Hirota, an American of Japanese descent, who was brought up in Brazil, and speaking little English, told the awesome story how she used the power of networks to change jobs four times within six years, and secure jobs in some of the most powerful establishments on earth, including the World Bank. It was from her presentation that I first heard about the theory of “Six Degrees of Separation.” Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. The theory was first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called “Chains.” We will not join the debate whether this theory has been proven or remains unproven, all you need to know is that you can become insanely successful if you use the power of networks to your advantage.

Like every other game, networking has its own rules. Don’t go about thumping your complimentary card into the hand of every person you meet because I can assure you your card will end up in a dustbin. If you want to join a network, have something to offer, be selfless, and join gracefully, preferably from the bottom. If you do a good home work, you will be able to join the strongest battalions. The best place to start is through seminars, workshops, and conferences. Join clubs and associations like Lions, Toastmasters, Rotary, Optimists, ATD, and SHRM, to mention but a few. Don’t forget your old school alumni association, and PTA (parents and teachers association). Remember, the devil you know is better than the one you do not know. Seek out people with similar passion or interest as you do. Share your thoughts, ideas, and the portfolio of what you’re currently working on. Indeed, take advantage of every networking opportunity that suits your passion and temperament. Building a network is a marathon and not a hundred meters dash, so be prepared to toil for years.

Like any other discipline in life, learn to understand the concept of networking. What I mean is, education is important. Be a guru in your little field. Who would like to do business with you if you have nothing to offer? Read the best books on networking. Keith Ferazzi, the author of two best-selling books on networking, Who’s Got Your Back, and Never Eat Alone, has taken the discipline of networking to a whole new level. From your network, you may find people who could turn out to be your mentor or mentors. Never underrate what the right mentor can do for you. Remember, Isaac Newton once said, “if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, and Napoleon Bonaparte said, “God is always on the side of the strongest battalions.” Your mentor, you and your network can form the strongest battalion and you can see far into the horizon when you take networking seriously. Rich Schefren had Jay Abraham as his mentor, Bob Dylan was mentored by Woody Guthrie, Richard Branson had Freddie Laker, Jeff Bezos had David Shaw, and Warren Buffett was mentored by the economist Benjamin Graham. So, who is your mentor? In summary, does network really determine net worth? Yes indeed, nothing is as invincible as a powerful network. Start building yours today!

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Choosing a Remote Backup Service Provider With 18 Simple Questions

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In Google, the search term “remote backup” yields 649,000 results. This is a crowded marketplace with a great degree of disparity in service levels. 

 

Here are some helpful questions to consider when selecting a remote backup provider:

 

1.     Can I maintain a local copy of my data using your solution?

A local copy of your data allows you to restore data at the fastest possible speed. Without a local copy, your provider is transmitting over the Internet or shipping your data to you overnight. A typical small business with a T1 connection (1.5 Mbps) will take over 14 hours to transmit 10-gigabytes worth of data. 

 

2.     Is my data encrypted in transit AND while it is in your data center?

They must use an encryption key you create, choose and control not an automated encryption key. The data must be encrypted in transmission and while it is stored at the data center. Some providers only encrypt the data during transmission.

 

3.     Describe your data center and the level of security you employ.

Remote backup providers should have their security policies ready for review. You should look for redundant Internet, power and generator run time in case of power loss. Other items include firewalls, authentication, background clearances and physical security.

 

4.     Do you offer continuous data protection (CDP)?

Some businesses operate a paperless office, such as a doctor’s office that treats hundreds of patients. If they use a wireless tablet, there is no paper trail to recreate patient records if there is a data loss. These companies must have CDP that backs up data in real time as it changes. 

 

5.     Do you offer a flexible data retention policy and long-term archiving? 

Many providers force you into a retention policy like a 30-day plan or some other rigid policy. A one-size fits all approach to retention data doesn’t work. In the real world, some data is retained for years while other data can be deleted after months. Some data is essential for your business while other data is operationally important. The right remote backup service provider will help you identify your specific needs and customize the retention program to meet those needs.

 

6.     Do you protect multiple operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, AS400 and VMWare?

Ideally, you want to have one solution provider that covers your whole computing environment. Understanding virtual system data protection is increasingly important.

 

7.     Can you do a bare metal restore to my server?

This feature streamlines the server recovery process, making it unnecessary to update the operating system and manually install all the program files and user accounts prior to restoring your data. Some provider’s software has a dissimilar hardware restore feature that allows you to do bare metal restores to dissimilar hardware platforms or to virtual machines.

 

8.     What databases do you online or hot backup support?

Businesses should make sure the remote backup provider includes support for all the database platforms it uses such as Oracle and MS-SQL. Some allow you to issue “pre” and “post” commands to databases for increased flexibility and support. The technology should also support multi-threaded backup scheduling.

 

9.     Do you support “brick-level” restores and CDP for emails?

Terian Solutions, a remote backup service provider using Asigra, reports that 87% of its restores are Exchange “brick-level” restores. Today, employees spend the majority of their time communicating via e-mail. “Brick-level” allows you to restore one message or mailbox rather than the whole Exchange data store.

 

10. Do you use deduplication technology AND will it save me money?

Some remote backup services employ deduplication at the “block” level. This eliminates common “blocks” or parts within a file. It can also eliminate whole files like common operating systems and software application files that are already stored in its data vaults. This means you store less data, which saves you money. If the provider charges based on natural data (more in #16) then you will not save any money. It will reduce the providers cost, but that saving is not passed on to you.

 

11. How much experience do your support technicians have?

You should schedule a technical interview or direct call to the customer support line to experience their service. A main difference between a “low cost” providers and a more expensive alternative is the quality of its support staff. As with any service business, employees are a large operating cost. Backups happen automatically. Restores are another story. Many times after you lose a server, the difference between the longest day of your life and an inconvenience is the quality of the team supporting you.

 

12. How long have you been providing data protection services?

Check how long they have been in business and understand the financial commitment that has been made to protect your data. 

 

13. Describe your data vault environment and redundancy?

Although it takes several hundred thousand dollars to properly protect a company’s data, there are service providers that start and operate on a shoestring budget. With today’s technology, a company can play the part of a reliable remote backup service provider with a single server, couple of large hard drives and a website all hosted in their garage. 

 

14. Walk me through a disaster scenario; I call you, what’s next?

Your provider should have a structured recovery plan that ensures constant communication until your complete recovery. This is when a high touch approach is necessary.

 

15. Do you have references from companies that are my size?

The remote data backup service provider’s client list and history of service is very important to consider. Contact references that have experience working with the company during a restore procedure. You’re buying a professional hand during the data recovery process. 

 

16. What will be the total price of your solutions?

Narrow your choices down to only those qualified to protect your data to the level you require. With the survival of your company at stake, this is not an area to compromise quality for price. Remember, per GB prices can be deceiving. They can be based on “natural” (as it sits on your computer), “stored” (amount stored in the vault) or “protected” (the total restorable data). Some providers use deduplication (covered in #10). Deduplication can save you up to 35% depending on your situation and service provider. If you focus on the total cost of the solutions, you are heading in the right direction.

 

17. Do you offer a money back guarantee? 

It is impossible to know exactly how your implementation will work until after it is in place for a few weeks. You should only consider a remote backup service provider that stands behind their service with an unconditional satisfaction guarantee.

 

18. What size is your largest account?

Will the remote backup service provider be able to expand as you do? Data grows at an incredible rate. You need to make sure the service provider has scalable technology and will respond to the ever increasing demands of large data sets. Some service providers use technology that works for 20-30 gigabytes of data, but isn’t scalable into hundreds of terabytes. Again, use references and ask specific questions about the amount of data and performance.

 

I hope these questions help you navigate the vast choices in the remote backup provide arena.

 

Using a remote backup service provider is an ideal solution for any company that relies on its computers everyday to manage important data. It is important to select a high quality long-term partner. 

 

In order to find the right managed remote backup service provider for your business, it is important to engage in an extensive interview process with the provider that results in cost efficiency, convenience and assures more security than traditional data protection systems. Remember, choosing the right provider for your business means getting the most effective data protection at the best price.

                                                            

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Self Esteem and Weight Loss

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Did you know your own self-esteem may be a contributing factor to some of your problems?

Let’s look at weight loss for example.

We all know that the weight loss industry is a multi billion dollar per annum business and who do the advertisers target?

Women!

In order to encourage women to join their weight loss plan they highlight their insecurities in their advertising copy.

“What insecurities are these,” you may be asking.

You may have heard of the term “fat shaming.”

Women are shamed into feeling guilty even if they are just a few kilos heavier than last year.

Is it any wonder that so many of them suffer from insecurities.

My advice to women is this:

1 Stop comparing yourself with others

It is silly to try to be somebody you are not. Instead of trying to be someone other than yourself you must ask the question, “What makes me tick,?” and set your goals accordingly.

2 Do it for you and not for others.

If you are taking on a new diet do it for yourself and not for others. Don’t be a people pleaser and try to impress others for the sake of it.

3 Your value is not measured by your dress size.

What makes you unique is what values you. It is what you do with what talents you have been gifted that gives you value. It is important to use your talents for the benefit of others. That is real value!

4 Ditch the “If only,” mindset.

Many women and men for that matter think, “If I lost xx amount of weight, got, a new car, a better house, had a new husband/wife, or whatever then I will be happy.”

Life does not work that way. Joy comes from within and has nothing to do with outward appearances or the opinion of others. Many people after they have acquired what they thought would make them happy are still not content with their life. The novelty soon wears off then they have their eye on something else.

5 Work on your self-esteem.

It is important to work on your self-esteem otherwise people are going to push you around.

The key is to be assertive and not allow unkind comments to affect. Assertiveness is not just sticking up for yourself. It is recognising the television advertising for what they are; to make you want to buy their products.

I am not saying you should not go on one of these diets but to do it for the right reasons.

The bottom line is that a low self-esteem will undermine your dieting plan.

How?

Have you heard of the expression “Comfort eating?”

Enough said.

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