Buy Smart And Save The Planet! Comment

10:19 am on March 3, 2015

bsastpThe Green Consumer: A person who chooses those products from socially responsible companies that don’t cause damage to the environment during their manufacture, use or disposal.

As I pulled out my wallet, the grocery clerk asked, “Paper or plastic?” She had a plastic bag out before I answered and was packing my bread and milk.

“That’s okay,” I said, finally looking up. “I can carry them without a bag.” The clerk nodded, took the milk out of the bag, wadded the bag up, and tossed it into the trash can under the counter.

Multiply this small thoughtlessness by the Earth’s population-nearly five billion people-and you begin to see why the environment is in trouble.

However, if the message of cutting down on waste seems to have …

Age Is A Number, Folks 1 Comment

8:49 am on February 24, 2015

aianfEarlier this summer, the woman who is arguably America’s best and most versatile female distance runner grew tired of answering reporters’ questions about her upcoming birthday and how it might affect her performance. In response she said, “What’s the difference between 29 and 30? Or 30 and 31? One year doesn’t matter Life doesn’t end at 30, especially not running life.”

As her family, friends and coaches now know, that’s precisely the sort of direct, confident response to expect from Lynn Jennings. An articulate and outs spoken woman who has weathered the peaks and valleys of world-class athletic competition for more than 15 years, Jennings has reason to feel confident. She’s running her best ever in track, road and cross-country races. And now, at age 30, …

Deal With Back Pain Right Now! 1 Comment

8:31 am on February 15, 2015

backpNext to sore throats, back pain is America’s most common ailment. It’s nature’s fault-we’re really not built to stand and sit erect. But since we can’t zap ourselves a few million evolutionary years into the future, the best way around back pain is to work toward proper posture. Proper posture is a learned, athletic skill; like any athletic skill, it involves muscular support and awareness. Weight training can help you develop the muscles you need for good posture, and you can work out with weights whether your back is healthy or in need of rehabilitation. (If you have a bad back, check with your doctor first.)


Measure yourself when you get up and before you go to bed, and chances are you’ll have shrunk: …

Communications Decency Act: A Failure? Comment

6:52 am on February 7, 2015

comdeactFIRST THINGS FIRST: I THINK PEOPLE WHO PREY ON children for their sexual kicks deserve the harshest punishments our legal and social systems allow. I do not want anyone giving pornographic material to my children, whether it is printed, filmed, videotaped, or beamed by infrared links or radio waves to a personal computer, a television, or a videotelephone.

That said, the Communications Decency Act, part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 signed by President Clinton earlier this year, is an ill-conceived, unneeded, damaging, and dangerous piece of legislation that was created by people who are as ignorant about technology as they are savvy about politics.

I’m willing to concede that many congressional supporters of the so-called decency legislation acted in good faith, with a sincere desire …

Will A “Virtual Company” Work For You? 2 Comments

6:32 am on January 30, 2015

vircoJust before Christmas in 1985 Matt and Gail Taylor called a staff meeting at their Washington, D.C., office and gave each of 20 staffers a modem and a book on running their own businesses. They announced that, henceforth, they would be running MG Taylor Corp. from their home on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. More than 10 years later, most of the 20 staffers are still active in their company, a network that has grown to more than 50 workers nationwide.

Whether individually or as groups of small organizations, more entrepreneurs are following the Taylors’ new business model. They’re organizing technologically linked workgroups on a project basis or as full-blown companies. Together, they deliver services or products that they couldn’t provide alone. They’re called virtual companies …

Tools For Your Business, Part 2 Comment

6:19 am on January 23, 2015

Yes, there are even more!

tfyb2Professional and business association dues. The business contacts and client leads you can generate by joining an organization are invaluable, but you get a lot more than marketing benefits. Align yourself with an association and in many cases you gain access to trade lawyers, financial advisers, and industry-trend analysts. If you need help collecting from a slow-paying account or fear a client may slap you with a suit, put those dues to good use and give your association a call. Even better, you often get group discounts on insurance, supplies, and travel expenses.

Trade group membership fees vary: I budget roughly $500 a year for dues and an annual meeting (not including travel expenditures) for a writer’s association; accounting, medical, …

Tools For Your Business, Part 1 Comment

5:40 am on January 15, 2015

tfybWHETHER YOU’RE A WRITER LIKE ME OR A REPAIRPERSON, an accountant or an artist, we all have our favorite office products and services: the plain-paper fax that ended the era of curly paper; the tax software that lets us plan year-round; the voice-mail service that banished phone tag forever. Then there’s the why-did-I-ever-buy-that category. You know, the stuff that’s collecting dust out in the garage faster than my Lionel Richie record collection. Funny how those products seemed like such great investments–until you got them.

It turns out that the self-employed have very similar tastes when it comes to what works and what doesn’t. In an informal survey–online, on the phone, and in person– of dozens of businesspeople, I found that the same products, supplies, and services …

Videoconferencing Scares: What Did We Know, Anyway? Comment

3:50 pm on January 8, 2015

veconYou MAY HAVE BEEN ON THE PHONE WITH THE CHIEF executive of a prosperous business, not knowing that he or she was crawling around on the floor, wearing only underwear, searching for an escaped hamster. In fact, you may have been that chief executive. Many of us who work from home have a more relaxed work-style than our corporate cousins.

But even if we wear formal attire and banish the family pets from our offices, there are still times when we don’t want people to see what we’re doing. The Internet has the potential to ruin my workstyle. (My wife says it’s already ruined my lifestyle by keeping me up too late at night, but that’s another issue.)

The problem is that videoconferencing will soon become …

Perfect Presentations In 10 Easy Steps Comment

3:23 pm on January 1, 2015

ppi10sThese days, computer-generated presentations are practically a given when you visit prospective clients. But just because you’ve created the snazziest slides this side of the Mississippi doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get the prospect to sign on the dotted line. According to experts, what makes or breaks a presentation are your selling skills, plain and simple.

* To find out which techniques work, we talked to authorities on sales and presentations as well as to successful entrepreneurs who use presentations to grow their businesses. Then we devised the following 10-step, start-to-finish process for creating and delivering presentations that are both pretty and powerful.

* Step 1: Don’t Touch That Computer “The biggest mistake you can make when giving a presentation is failing to determine ahead of …