How to Plan: An Easy Method

Having problems planning? Use this very easy method, simply visit my blog and get your answer.

Hi everyone…..as you know I am a Leadership Coach and one of the areas I coach or assist leaders to be more organized or to be better planners. I want to share a bit of what I know with you my followers. Most people don’t take the time to plan and simply keep everything in their heads. They also move to complete tasks as they remember, or they write down to-do lists, then wonder why at the end of the day they didn’t seem to complete anything of worth.

To-do lists are simple and what most people do to start their day and they think this is planning but it’s not. With a to-do list you tend to write down first whatever comes to your mind then the rest flows, but are they in order of priority? Are you doing the task that is important and urgent or as your list indicates, whatever is first. We tend to do the tasks on our list that are easy, quick to do, tasks we like or the tasks that was simply first.

Lets start at the beginning, to understand what is the best process to be a better planner:

Manage your time with this easy method, simply follow the flow of this method.
Time management made easy with this method

How to Create an Action Plan to Achieve Your Goals

  1. Make Sure Your Goals Are SMART.

  2. Work Backwards to Set Milestones.

  3. Determine What Needs to Happen to Reach Your Goals.

  4. Decide What Actions Are Required to Reach Your Goals, be very specific.

  5. Break up large tasks into smaller tasks

  6. Put Your Actions Into a Plan, that is in order of priority

  7. Set a Schedule for each task.

  8. Follow Through.

  9. Set a Deadline for achievement.

  10. Monitor/Track your progress, keep a record of all your activities

What is a Goal?

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life.

After you’ve determined what your goal is (start with something small and simple), then develop an Action Plan. An action plan is a plan that contains enough detail to achieve an objective or goal. This typically includes an outline of goals, objectives, measurements, action steps and responsibilities for each step. In some cases, dates and budget are also included.

The Steps Required to Achieve Your Goals are:

  1. Set the Goal (s), with target dates and completion dates

  2. Break down within a Month what you need to complete or do to be able to accomplish the Long Term Goals

  3. Break the goals into specific tasks required to achieve the goal(s)

  4. Determine weekly what tasks you have to achieve for each goal

  5. Determine Daily what are the tasks required for completion, for each big goal

  6. Once you know all the very important tasks that must be completed to achieve the goals then set dates when each task can or should be completed. Scheduling is what happens now. Block the times to do specific tasks

  7. All other secondary tasks that follow must also be listed and dates set for their completion

  8. Schedule all of these tasks into your calendar and any appointments that must occur

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VISIT MY ETSY SHOP HERE. GET  YOUR PLANNER

REMEMBER: EVERYTHING MUST BE DOCUMENTED. WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!

ADDITIONAL STEPS IN THE BUSINESS AREA:

  1. From the business perspective, set all the relevant meetings that are needed to help you achieve the tasks listed.

  2. Develop a delegation list listing who you will delegate which task to for completion

  3. Track the performance of all your team members you have delegated to, to ensure they stay on track and within the timeline.

  4. Track all the tasks delegated and their status.

Items Needed:

  1. Paper to write all your goals (you can use a printable planner)

  2. A planner journal or Diary/Calendar

  3. Pen, pencil, eraser, highlighter

Additional Requirements:

  1. Have a positive attitude

  2. Stay determined despite any obstacles or distractions (your plan can be flexible so changes can be made and times rescheduled)

  3. Have someone who can support you or give encouragement when needed

  4. Take some downtime if necessary

  5. Visualise the end result (you can even do a vision board as part of your planning process, so you see what the outcome will look like)

How To Plan: The Easy Method, Right Here

I hope you enjoyed what I shared on how to plan as this is part of what I do for my clients, helping them to be better planners. If you need additional help let me know and we can always connect for you to get further coaching or guidance.

Later people. Look out for the other parts of this series, where I talk about Easy methods to handle other business and personal tasks, such as, delegate, solve problems, manage your time and more.

gafra.org, a site by a Caribbean woman,

gafra.org, a site by a Caribbean woman,

The Joys of Selling Ones Art

The joy of selling your art, read more at gafra.org

Hi everyone, ....it's been a hectic week and month and I guess it will be a hectic year, with me helping my daughter with her fitness, with me going walking with her every afternoon. Yes, I know...I'm gaining from this via good health through exercising daily.  I am also helping my mom with her doctor visits, paying bills, visiting friends and much more. I make sure to spend one day a week with my Mother helping her do whatever she may need to get accomplished.  I am also organising for all the upmarkets to come and those already done and I'm also painting, creating printable planners for my Etsy shop and dealing with my normal business clients that I coach. I guess that's why I feel a bit tired but as I always say the bit of exercise I do always helps.   

I did my first upmarket since last year, a few weekends ago, where I sold three art pieces . Upmarkets are great because you meet really great people and you get to be seen, but I learnt that people don't buy original art as its a bit pricey and they want bargain gift items for Mothers' day, Fathers' day, Christmas, Birthdays and any other special occasion. So I know now that the smaller less expensive art pieces are what I need to carry. I started painting pieces that fall between the sizes 9ins x 12ins or 10ins x 10ins and more. Sizes that are easy to transport or pack and more affordable for the customers who visit the upmarkets.  

 Its a shame Trinidad doesn't have a craft village like I saw in San Diego. There were separate cottages with cobblestoned pathways between them and each cottage housed a different artisan. There were eating stalls and benches to sit and watch the trees, it was beautiful. One could spend the entire day there moving from cottage to cottage, checking out all the different products being produced by the different artisans, from paintings, jewelry, blown glass bottles, and painted fabrics and much more.


Maybe one day Trinidad will have something like that. We do have some things that someone tries to provide a way for the many vendors in Trinidad to show and sell their wares.   There is the Green Market where, in a very local, natural environment vendors sell local foods, organically made dishes, organically grown produce and other items, such as jewellery, creams, wooden wares, copper items and more. But this is nowhere near as nice as what I saw in San Diego, so we still have a ways to go to have something that nice. Ohhhhh!!!! And I must let you know that I sold 2 pieces at the upmarket.




I am very thankful about this as I don't always sell enough to pay back for the table cost, so I am always grateful and thankful to God when I've sold to cover that expense at least. I also look forward to selling my pieces because I know it will now adorn someone's wall and I will bring satisfaction to their senses. It also means that I can paint more. Another way vendors are able to sell their products is via all the different Upmarkets that different organiser arrange. There is one in the South Land and e few in the East as well as a few in the North. I registered for a few in the East last year but my sales were very low so I haven't booked any tables there this year.




South was OK but again coming down to the end of the year my sales were low and that was a bit disappointing as you normally see great sales close to Christmas. This year I've limited my bookings to the North as the Economy is a bit strained so spending on too many tables and not making back those costs isn't something I can handle right now. I have to choose wisely. Let me show you what I sold. I sold an abstract on canvas panels and two watercolor pieces.  

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The smaller pieces are my favourite. I love doing those. I must say my Watercolor paintings have taken a backseat but I will have to return to it soon to replace the pieces I sold. This is one of the three sold and I really enjoyed painting this.   


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AN ABSTRACT BOUQUET OF FLOWERS

AVAILABLE AS A PRINT

    So that's all for this week. Chat next week Monday and don't forget, Go Check My site and Buy what you love here or visit my second art site at www.gafra.org . Love you guys!!! :  ) 

CHECK OUT MY ARTWORK -Watercolors & ACRYLIC ABSTRACTS 

My First Blog Post

My First Blog Post written September 14, 2017

My First Blog Post written September 14, 2017

Hi guys, had a hectic weekend, with fathers' day on Sunday and me visiting family on the Saturday, so i really didn't get a chance to write anything. I'm posting something I wrote the first time I started blogging. Reading it now, it's pretty funny. It's amazing how your thoughts flow when you first start writing but I must say, it wasn't bad, short and sweet with a dot of info about my country. I'll provide something more substantial on Thursday

SEPTEMBER 14, 2017

I'm finally starting up a blogggg!!!. Why? Because everyone's doing it...HaHa... no that's not why. I've finally found a way to share my thoughts with others and to talk about my country and share that with you out there. My home country of Trinidad and Tobago is an amazing place with amazing people. We're a twin Island off the north east tip of Venezula. No we're not part of Venezula. Please don't get confused, google us.

I also wanted a medium to share my art which depicts the different things about Trinidad that captures my attention. From the simple things like traffic jams to the nicer things like our beautiful vegetation, such as bamboo, that surrounds me. I'll mention our food and events of course but my art will be my introduction into the story or blog for that day. So thanks a lot Wordpress and all you wonderful people who take an interest in my blog. I say welcome!!! And Later!!!!

Like i said it was short and sweet but I would now like to add that, for those who follow my blog....thank you and I hope you send me your email so I can send some of my freebies to you. As I mentioned above, I'm an Artist as well as a Leadership Coach. I have two Art sites at www.gafra.org and www.gafra-art.com. there I sell my art prints, printable planners and you can get wall art there as well. If you want my freebies check there as well. I love creating, I'm a leo and a right brain so creativity is my thing. I started off doing watercolours, then branched into acrylics....now I design digital printable planners and I've recently discovered the Bullet Journals (Bujo)....I call my an Art Bullet Journal/Planner (ABUJO), as I do all my scheduling, goal planning, reminders, doodles, drawings, collages, quotes and saying all in this one journal. I simply love it and discovering Washi tapes has been a real joy. They are so much fun and so relaxing to play around with. Google these things or check out more about them on Pinterest.

RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Running your own business (g).png

 

Hi everyone....so last time I talked about how I started my business and as you saw it was a little different from the norm, but in this posts I want to talk about some of the Difficulties you can or might encounter once you do have your own business, and this is strictly from my experience. The main thing that was difficult with having your own business is:

  1. More Effort is Required. Yes, it belongs to you so you better have the passion and enthusiasm and energy to do whatever is required to build your business so that it can sustain itself at some point. I love what I do so that was easy, in the beginning but as you get established and you get older putting out that amount of energy and zest to keep your business is no longer a case of the energy but one of necessity as this is what sustains your life and the life f your family.

  2. Your Time Belongs to the Business. Yes, at first you have to spend most of your time building the business, so you schedule things tightly because you want to deal with as many clients as possible. You spend hours doing all that is needed for the business, organising the website, hiring staff, organising your office, scheduling appointments and meetings and much more.

  3. Ensuring Financial Stability can be Stressful. Yes, you are constantly having to deal with ensuring the income comes in on time or early so that all your expenses can be paid, the main ones being, salaries, material costs, overdrafts etc. This can be a bit stressful when based on how the economy is going, clients hold back on paying or they delay payments, or they take a while to approve proposals etc, and this affects the company's cash flow with which all bills are paid.

  4. Success is not Around the Corner. Though I might post the positive news about my business on social media, the negative parts of running a business are sometimes hidden. From dealing with slow cash flow to product mishaps, I've spent many unglamorous nights lying in bed wondering how I was going to make my company work or handle the issue at that point.

  5. Irritating Government Regulations. When you have your own business you have so many Government regulations to deal with, such as VAT, other taxes, Audits, and any other you aren't familiar with you have to find out about them so that you don't have to pay penalties. You have to be very tax compliant or as mentioned pay the penalties.

  6. Continuous Strategising for Growth. As a Small business owner if you haven’t planned for this increase in customers and product/service production, the business is liable to fall by the wayside. As demand for your business increases, without the proper systems in place, you’re more likely to come up short and fall short of those demands. Planning for the future is a must and if you do nothing you can make some major mistakes.

  7. Hiring Staff is A Chore. I had to go through quite a process to find the right person to hire as my assistant and I'm very intuitive and I saw a few individuals before I hired the 2 who stayed with me, except one, to this day. One or two who were hired left for better salaries but in the end I found an amazing assistant but it is a process and you meet some really weird people.

  8. Loving your Clients. Yes, it isn't always possible to love your clients, not even to like them, but personally I love them. My clients don't stay my clients, they become my friends, partners and my family. I work to be there for them to the best of my abilities and I do have clients who are now my very good friends and I hope they stay that way for years.

  9. Handling the Many No's. Yes, you get a lot of "no's" , or better yet you have to deal with disappointments when you vie for a contract and you lose. You may have to handle the no's that you get when clients try to put you off, or say no to a job they initially agreed to. This a part of business life, the constant fighting for work, trying to beat out the competition, trying to convince clients that what you are selling is something they want and constantly staying in touch with they many potential clients so that you can gain new business.

Generally, business is not always stable, there are good times and really difficult times but you eventually learn how to get better with each passing month, year. In the fifteen years I've run my business, there have been all types of situations that will occur that you have to deal with. When I first started off, on my own, I felt discouraged during times of instability and would often feel stressed, but I've since learned that business will always have it's peaks and valleys. We now try to embrace slower months and use them as an opportunity to recharge and focus on generating new ideas. We work hard to get out of the valleys and the peaks will be even sweeter. We also strongly believe in God, so our faith falls on him to help us deal with the difficult times.


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Business owners are people too and sometimes we get our feelings hurt, not just from the no's but also when clients avoid our appointments or tell us they will do business with us another time. I care about my clients and I will bend over backwards to ensure that they have a good experience, but ever so often, we do encounter a level of rudeness that can sour you but you have to brush it off and tackle that customer at another time. It's all about timing. We sometimes take an entire year before we get a deal with a client and sometimes its instantaneous, but interacting with a business, big or small, you're usually dealing with one person and each client is a living person, they also go through bad days and maybe we caught them at that time, so ignore it and move on, approach them another day.

 

 

Well Somebody Has To Say It....GOT

My Thoughts on the Game of Thrones Series - www.gafra.org

Hi guys…..What am I talking about? Well, I recently completed watching Game of Thrones (GOT)…..GASP!!! Yes. For those of you who are GOT fans and followers, I don’t follow the general bandwagon and rush off like everyone else to watch a movie or read a certain book. I wait to see what happens, I observe, I take my time then if curiosity gets the better of me I might check it out, if not then years later I may stumble upon the said book or movie or show and watch it but NO, I don’t rush to follow the crowd…not with styles, shows, movies or anything else unless it really draws me. And this show pulled a lot of media coverage, fans, popularity, people identifying with certain houses and much more.


So I decided to watch it, to see what all the hype was about, so mainly out of curiosity…. and I have to say I was appalled…yes APPALLED, HORRIFIED, A LEVEL OF DISTASTE, CONCERNED, SAD!!! First of all, to me this series was ridiculous, it was like a reflection of all that is bad in the world rolled into one and placed in a TV series…..Most of the time for me a show either has no storyline so it was a waste of time and money, or despite no storyline it was funny or emotional, or it has a storyline and is all of the above or it’s just to give your mind a rest or to make you think, but this series for me encapsulated all measure of human failings in one show. These are all the hateful things I saw in this series:

  1. Treachery

  2. Lies

  3. Deceit

  4. Dishonesty

  5. Stabbing in the back

  6. Bacchanal

  7. Gossiping

  8. Incest

  9. More incest

  10. Every type of violence

  11. More violence – every way to kill a person

  12. Debauchery

  13. Oppression

  14. Witchcraft

  15. Narcissistic leaders

  16. Oppressive leaders

  17. Leaders with good intentions that turn fanatical

  18. Leaders with good intentions that become egotistical

  19. Serial Killers

  20. Sex

  21. Disrespect for the old or those in authority

  22. Killing of babies

  23. Child assassins

  24. Zombies

  25. Lack of respect for the dead and dying

  26. Magic

  27. Cowardice

What got to me is the fact that people all over the country, the world, love this series so much that they were identifying with the different houses…. I’m the house of the wolf, no I’m in the house of the dragon, etc, etc.. What are we saying? I’m no saint, far from it but to me, we are moving away from a mindset of caring to one of treachery, violence and a lack of value for human life. What is this saying for our humanness?

 
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I remember watching a documentary a long time ago on the film industry and the rules they had about movie making…they indicated that there was a rule that they wouldn’t have any killing of babies or at least not show the act, just imply that it happened….well that has gone straight out the door. Now we see straight out babies being knifed, young kids, killing each other or killing adults, not just in this series but in others and movies. It’s a shame. Does this indicate where man is moving? Kill each other and feel no guilt, or feel nothing at all?



My concern is that there are many people looking for something to connect to or something to identify with and they sometimes use these shows/movies to build an identity. They become fanatical fans….I call them undercover stalkers who try to become some of the characters in the shows. Long ago when I was younger and I went to the cinema to watch a movie…say a Bruce Lee movie….when you left the cinema, you felt like you could fight like Bruce, sometimes outside of the cinema, you even saw young boys or men leave the cinema and start kicking up a lamp post as if it were an opposing enemy come to battle…I laughed then because I understood how they felt, I to felt like I could fight like Bruce and wanted to test my skills on someone or something, but the reality was and is that I can’t, but there are many who believe they can, they fail to face reality, they work had to become like the characters they saw. That is the frightening part, so we end up with stalkers, serial killers, people who harm others because they live in that fantasy world.



I didn’t enjoy this series. I looked at its entirety because I wanted to see the ending and that is what TV series do…they draw you in, hold on to your curiously so that you need to know what happens next and they provide a state where you can escape from reality and life for a few hours. That is fine, and I know many won’t be affected by this show because they may have seen worse but I see different. I see a series that to some extent reflects our humanity or inhumanity and the direction we appear to be heading. The only good aspect of this show was that the “good” family ended up in charge…. thank goodness…but at the expense of the death of many through a series of events which to my mind was nonsensical, and a waste of human life.

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To me this show tried to put every evil, bad, wicked thing in one show to draw peoples attention, keep them involved and then to be honest…the end was a bit flat for me. I felt like it was all a waste of time, energy, waste of people’s lives and mind power. It worked for the filmmakers because they had a humongous splash of fame and interest built up about this show, which was their objective. But I guess such is life and the direction we may be heading in reality - People killing each other, lying to each other, trying to grab power…maybe not in as violent and horrifying a way as depicted in this show but a fight, all the same, to grab power and hold it.



Now I guess, it wouldn’t be fair to say only negatives about the program; there were aspects of some good things. Many times, the good was offset by some level of badness, but there were moments where a few good things shone through for me, now that I think about it:

  1. Human courage

  2. Human faith and determination

  3. Love of family, friends, comrades

  4. Good intentions

  5. Hope

  6. Loyalty

  7. Going after your dream

  8. The Human ability to survive

  9. The power of the tongue

  10. The human ability to strategize

  11. Making Sacrifices for the good of all

  12. Honesty

 
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Green Valley  watermark.png

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I’m sure you realize that this show affected me greatly….not in the way most would be affected but for me, it was deeper and more concerning in light of man’s humanity. The only other show/movie that affected me this deeply but on the opposite spectrum was “The Matrix”…yes that movie to me reflected a state on consciousness and spirituality that we don’t understand see or realize. For me, that was a spiritual movie but maybe I’ll share my thoughts on that one another time. So I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone who was a real GOT fan and still love it….Nuff Respect…I’m not criticizing your taste, far from it, too many it was great and I respect their opinion, all I’m saying is that for me it was an awful show, targeting and touching on a lot of the bad in people that can and does exist. And a sad thing that…but life is what it is and what we make of it…



Lastly, be careful what you watch, it sinks into the subconscious and then becomes a behavior…. as a coach I deal with people every day and I see and observe a lot of behaviors developed based on conditioning…ask yourself what conditioned you to develop the behavior you have?



Later people, check you soon

How I Started My Business

Read my story at www.gafra.org

Hi guys…. I wanted to share my story on how I started my business. You can find a lot of youtube videos explaining how to start a business….I have to say that’s not how I started my first business which isn’t an online business. I do leadership development and I’ve been a Facilitator for the past 26 years. I started off in the banking system where I was in the HR department and I was a part of the training team, so we did all the training for the bank staff in bank processes. Then the bank expanded its training arm to companies outside of the bank, so I started designing and delivering different programs to these external clients. Some of the areas I facilitated were: - strategic planning, customer service, business planning, time management and more.


So I didn’t get into business the usual way. I resigned from the bank and met the sister of a friend, who was involved in her own business that was linked or licensed by a company in the US. She met with me and I loved the process and I did a program myself and that was it. I became her associate then after attending a conference in California, I loved all that I heard so much that when I returned to Trinidad, I left her, bought my own License to the business and opened my own office.

 
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After setting up my office, some of the clients I worked with followed me and I continued to grow slowly. I made my husband do the program and he also fell in love with the process and the program because we saw how it changed peoples’ lives and he too left the company he was working for at the time, to join me. His boss asked him if he was sure he wanted to go into business with his wife and he said yes because we balance one another so it would definitely work… and thirteen years later, it did. My husband is a beast when it comes to selling a product or service. I was OK, not as great as him but good enough. He is amazing at it. So with his selling ability, my great administrative skills and with both of our amazing facilitation abilities, our business has done well to date. At least we continue to do well enough to take care of our bills and four children.



So starting a business was different for me. While working at the Bank I always felt that something was missing, that I wasn’t working at my greatest capacity. I knew I could do more, and having my own business was the key. It allowed me to drive my business in the direction I wanted, it allowed me to use my creativity and abilities, it built my confidence and it greatest of all I was playing my part in contributing to the family finances and I was around for my kids. I could schedule my appointments around what was happening with the kids and that was major, no more 9 to 5.



With running a business there are areas that will pull a lot from you. It’s yours so you have to put in more energy into it to ensure it runs properly and efficiently. Which we did. You have to sacrifice time until the business has built its credibility to your clients, then your time is yours to schedule as you see fit. You also need to organize your pensions and financial retirement funds yourself, as you don’t have a company doing this for you. This we also did and we can organize it to ensure we have the quantity we think is important when we retire. The difficult side of a business is the difficult decisions you sometimes have to make due to low funds in difficult times. I’ve had to let go of my assistant and do everything myself….no we had two assistants, but we kept my husband’s. He can’t function without her and I can’t give him the type of attention she does. You are constantly watching and monitoring your finances to ensure you can make it through the month…that’s his job…thank God because it can be stressful when you have to follow up with clients to make their payments, or you have to ensure you have your tax payments g=for the year and oh so many more decisions, but I wouldn’t change my decision to open my own business. The freedom is amazing and you feel very empowered. Plus the way companies are going based on our economy, corporate life can be very difficult if you don’t have a strong constitution.


So what do you need to start your business?

Guts – you need to be courageous enough to take risks, despite what others will say to you. I go a lot of negative comments even from my husband, but I was determined to do it in spite of all the cons listed out to me. That takes us to the second area…

Determination – you will need this to fight off all the negative comments from family, friends, peers even kids. Ignore it and think about this next point…

The Plan/Refine your idea. – what is the plan because you must have one. If you're thinking about starting a business, you likely already have an idea of what you want to sell, or at least the market you want to enter. Do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what current brand leaders are doing and figure out how you can do it better. I knew that I needed to know more about this business and so I went out and learned by becoming an associate. So I was still getting paid and learning the business at the same time. This always reminds me of a guy I knew who worked for a furniture store. He was the manager. He learned everything, from how to place orders, who were the vendors, the whole shebang. Then he resigned and opened his own store and factor where he realized instead of importing the furniture it was easier to get artisans here to make similar pieces at a lower cost…..

Know what you’re Selling. Write a Business Plan – are you selling something you’re great at, something you love and are good at, something you have great connections for? What and why doe you want to sell this item or service and how much do you know about it and will you gain customers…Once you have your idea in place, you need to ask yourself a few important questions: What is the purpose of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your end goals? How will you finance your startup costs? These questions can be answered in a well-written business plan. A lot of mistakes are made by new businesses rushing into things without pondering these aspects of the business. You need to find your target customer base. Who is going to buy your product or service? If you can't find evidence that there's a demand for your idea, then what would be the point?

Assess your finances - Starting any business has a price, so you need to determine how you're going to cover those costs. Do you have the means to fund your startup, or will you need to borrow money? If you're planning to leave your current job to focus on your business, do you have money put away to support yourself until you start making a profit?

Register your business – Sole trader, Limited liability, unlimited liability, investigate the pros and cons of each.

How do you plan to gain your customers? In my business I listed everyone I knew and would approach and they referred me to others and that is how I got my first clients.

Brand yourself and advertise.Before you start selling your product or service, you need to build up your brand and get a following of people ready to jump when you open your literal or figurative doors for business.Create a logo that can help people easily identify your brand, and be consistent in using it across all of your platforms, including your all-important company website. Use social media to spread the word about your new business, perhaps as a promotional tool to offer coupons and discounts to followers once you launch. Be sure to also keep these digital assets up to date with relevant, interesting content about your business and industry.

Grow your business - Your launch and first sales are only the beginning of your task as an entrepreneur. In order to make a profit and stay afloat, you always need to be growing your business. It's going to take time and effort, but you'll get out of your business what you put into it.

Running a business has been fun for me and also a lot of work but fulfilling work because it's all mine. If you decide to start your own business, check the pros and the cons and see which works best for you and GO FOR IT!! Check you soon.

What they don't prepare you for when you have a Family

What They Don't Prepare You For When you have a family (g).png

Hey guys....having spent this last weekend with my husband's parents, his siblings and our kids, it made me think about family and some of the things we don't think about when we first meet our partner to be. Whether we're young or old, we meet this person, really get into them, then BAM!!! we're married and along come the kids. That's how it was for me. Met my husband at University, he was my liming buddy and best friend, then later on things changed, I knew would be a great husband the marriage talk came up and BAM!!! I was married but I never really considered children. Marriage seemed like you were hanging out with your best friend all the time but now they didn't have to go home.

Like I said kids weren't in my mind, then BAM!!! I got pregnant on the honeymoon and the kids kept coming. One a year for four years....what a shocker. At first, to be honest, it didn't really register that I had kids, I was so active and running around doing all that was necessary to ensure the family was fine. It's only after the last child that it registered that I had just had a baby and I kinda started to enjoy a baby......crazy huh?


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Yes...I was what is known as very fertile and I didn' get fat ankles or nose or anything. I was even playing cricket and running between wickets with my first baby...I was crazy active for most of them except number four, I guess I was burnt out by then, but I knew it was possible to get pregnant again so I retired the baby maker. So the part no one warns you about is the amount of work we women have to do, taking care if the kids, the husband, the home and the job. Yes, ladies, we are FRIGGING MULTI-TASKERS!!!

I didn't even realise the pace I moved at when the kids were babies when they were 6,5,3 and 2. There was a time we moved from Trinidad to Curacao, we lived there for 2.5 years and my mom and some friends came to visit. My friend who was also my daughter's Godfather was an avid cameraman and video buff so he took videos of everything. 3 or 4 years later after we had returned to Trinidad, we were all together with that same friend (Godfather) and we decided to watch the videos he had taken while visiting us in Curacao and OMG!!! in all of them I was running around like a crazy person, dealing with meals, cleaning up messes, preparing the kids, running around clearing and cleaning. I never rested or sat down once....good God I definitely can't do that now and thank God my kids are big....28, 27, 25 and 24.

Yes, kids are a lot of work but I always say that with every child you are given a blessing, you are given something. I know exactly what I got with each child - a job for my husband with one, a house with the next, a new car with the third and better finances with the last. Children are a blessing and I know in this century this generation is very much into not having as many kids as the former generation. My great grandmother had 6 kids and my aunts all had at least 3-4 kids. These days everyone only wants one or two.

So enjoy your kids and your family because even though no one prepares you for the amount of work it entails, and how it tests your patience, it builds your ability to love unconditionally. Check you soon.

Health, Wellness, and Self-Discipline

Health, Wellness & Self-discipline (g).png

Hi everyone….I’ve been working hard at staying healthy because as I get older I have to keep active so that when I get even older I can have a bearable life. I’ve been seeing recently many friends and family and the way they have changed from robust, strong energetic people to individuals who suffer from all sorts of ailments, from Alzheimer’s to dementia and prostate issues. We all have to consider early o’clock how important it is to do all that will allow you to stay healthy.


To do this takes self-discipline, but even before that, you need to want to stay healthy. You have to want to stay fit and be willing to do what you need to to be healthy. You then have to know what you are willing to do to have the right diet/nutrition, the right weight you should be and the best exercises required to keep you either toned bodily or lose any extra weight that will cause you to be unfit. I started off simply eating right…doing the salads, eating on time, watching the carbs, watching the portions. Now I think I eat properly, so then came exercising, the thing I hate the most. I exercise because I know it’s good for me and as one trainer told me once if you build muscle then when you fall you won’t break a hip or any bones because the muscle helps to cushion the fall.


HEALTH

Let look at what health means. Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health is a dynamic condition resulting from a body’s constant adjustment and adaptation in response to stresses and changes in the environment for maintaining an inner equilibrium called homeostasis. Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. This is what most people strive towards but a lot fail to achieve, why? We will look at that later on, for now, let's look at the other aspects of health and Wellness.


WELLNESS

Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely crucial to living a higher quality of life. Wellness matters. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.


PHYSICAL

Physical wellness promotes proper care of our bodies for optimal health and functioning. There are many elements of physical wellness that all must be cared for together. Overall physical wellness encourages the balance of physical activity, nutrition, and mental well-being to keep your body in top condition. Obtaining an optimal level of physical wellness allows you to nurture personal responsibility for your own health. As you become conscious of your physical health, you are able to identify elements you are successful in as well as elements you would like to improve.

The power of Kettlebell Exercises

The power of Kettlebell Exercises


Understanding the relationship between your body’s physical health and mental health is crucial in order to develop balanced physical wellness. When you take the route to physical wellness you will learn to understand how your body performs physically and be able to connect it to how you feel mentally. Physical wellness encourages the principles of good health and knowledge, which affect behavior patterns that lead to a healthy lifestyle. I have always realized that no matter how tired I am if I take the time to do at least 30 minutes of exercise it gives me a boost so that I have energy the next day.

Below are a few suggestions for you to practice to maintain an optimal level of physical wellness.

  1. Engage in physical activity every day for 30 minutes. You may break up your daily 30 minutes into 10 minutes bouts.

  2. Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and walk whenever possible.

  3. Learn to recognize warning signs when your body begins feeling ill.

  4. Eat a variety of healthy foods and control your meal portions.

  5. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

  6. Practice safe sex.


EMOTIONAL WELLNESS

Emotional wellness inspires self-care, relaxation, stress reduction and the development of inner strength. It is important to be attentive to both positive and negative feelings and be able to understand how to handle these emotions. Emotional wellness also includes the ability to learn and grow from experiences. Emotional well-being encourages autonomy and proper decision-making skills. It is an important part of overall wellness.


In order to begin the route to emotional wellness, you must always remember to be optimistic. Optimism allows you to greet all emotions—both positive and negative—with a confident attitude that allows you to learn from your mistakes. Once you have mastered emotional wellness, you will experience life a little differently. Your life will be more balanced and you will develop a deep sense of awareness. Below are some strategies for you to practice in order to boost your emotional wellness.

  • Remind yourself to stay positive, always.

  • Seek or accept help and support from others when needed.

  • Employ gratitude to your life in order to strengthen relationships with family and friends.

  • Practice being mindful and increase your awareness. This can be done through various forms of meditation.

  • Accept mistakes and learn from them for next time. Mistakes are not terrible experiences; they are learning experiences.

  • Balance your other dimensions of Wellness.



OCCUPATIONAL WELLNESS

Occupational wellness inspires us to prepare for work in which we will gain personal satisfaction and find enrichment in our lives. Your attitude about work is a crucial influence on occupational development. Occupational wellness allows you to explore various career options and encourages you to pursue the opportunities you enjoy the most. This dimension of wellness recognizes the importance of satisfaction, enrichment, and meaning through work.

When you embark on the route to occupational wellness, you will discover what occupational opportunities are out there and which opportunities suit you best. Maintaining occupational wellness allows you to develop unique skills and talents that are both personally and professionally rewarding. Below are some suggestions to begin your journey to occupational wellness.

  1. Reflect on yourself and your occupational needs. What occupational tasks do you enjoy? What occupational tasks do you find burdensome?

  2. Explore both paid and unpaid work and volunteer opportunities that interest you.

  3. Practice open communication and proper conflict management with your colleagues.

  4. Set realistic career goals for yourself and constantly work towards accomplishing these goals.

SPIRITUAL WELLNESS

Spiritual wellness allows us to be in tune with our spiritual selves. This realm of wellness lets us find meaning in life events and define our individual purpose. Spiritual wellness can be defined through various factors including religious faith, values, ethics, and morals. Regardless of whether you believe in a particular religious faith, there is always something to be learned about how you see yourself in the world.

The way to spiritual wellness is something you must learn to master on your own. Spiritual wellness strongly emphasizes the importance of building inner resources and inner thoughts in order to give meaning to experience. It is also important to know that spiritual wellness does not mandate you to pick up a religious practice. However, religion may be one route you may take to boost your spiritual wellness. I believe in God seeing as I am a Catholic, so Jesus is the core of my life and the rock upon which I live my life. God is good to me and he blesses me in every way so I give my thanks and praise to him. You need to find what you believe in and what drives your spirituality.

Below are some recommendations for you to practice in order to maintain an optimal level of spiritual wellness.

  1. Explore your inner self. Take time to think about who you are.

  2. If you experience a life-changing event, take a few minutes to think about what series of events led to this.

  3. Spend time meditating or practicing mindful relaxation.

  4. Practice acceptance.

  5. Be curious. If something happens that makes you even the slightest bit curious, take a moment to explore the experience a little deeper.

  6. Look for a religious faith that you agree with.

SOCIAL WELLNESS

Social wellness refers to the relationships we have and how we interact with others. Our relationships can offer support during difficult times. Social wellness involves building healthy, nurturing and supportive relationships as well as fostering a genuine connection with those around you. Conscious actions are important in learning how to balance your social life with your academic and professional lives. Social wellness also includes balancing the unique needs of romantic relationships with other parts of your life.

As you begin your route to social wellness, you will discover that you have the power to enhance your personal relationships. Maintaining social wellness allows you to practice empathy and active listening. There are many ways you can begin your journey on the route to social wellness. Below are some suggestions on how to enhance your social wellness.

  • Reflect on yourself and your social needs. What aspects of your social life do you enjoy? What parts would you like to improve?

  • Make an effort to keep in touch with supportive friends and family.

  • Practice self-disclosure.

  • Participate in group discussions and practice active listening.

  • Join a club or organization.

When we have all of these areas decided we still have to look at ourselves and be open and honest with ourselves about our level of self-discipline. Self-discipline is what drives us to stay focused on achieving our wellness. One needs to be consistent and not be distracted by any obstacles that stand in our way. We should have the discipline to continue, have a plan, be determined to achieve our wellness goals and thereby stay healthy.

SELF-DISCIPLINE

At the heart of any successful person and a person's achievement of their goals, is self-discipline. Whether it’s success in their personal lives or their professional lives, it all starts with an inherent ability for self-control through discipline. Your thoughts. Your emotions. Your behaviors. And your habits. All of them must be kept in check. To develop discipline they needed to understand what are the habits they have that prevent them from being more disciplined.

Despite what many may think, self-discipline is a learned behavior. It requires practice and repetition in your day-to-day life. To improve your own self-discipline, test out these 5 proven methods for gaining better control.

Habits: The Pathway to Self-Discipline

Considering that so much of what we do on a daily basis is habit-driven, developing the right habits will help to instill the right amount of discipline into our lives. But where do habits come from and how are they developed? And why is that when we try to change our habits by either breaking bad habits or building good habits, we only follow through for so long before we give up and revert to our old ways?

You, therefore, need to change those bad habits that aren’t working for you. How do you start? This regimen will help you to establish good habits, break bad ones, and improve your control by making simple changes to your everyday routine.

  • 1 - Start Small

  • 2 - Identify What You Want to Do Differently

  • 3 – Meditation

  • 4 – Active Goal Setting

  • 5 - Remove temptations

  • 6 - Eat regularly. Eat Healthily

  • 7 - Don’t wait for it to “feel right.”

  • 8 - Schedule breaks, treats, and rewards for yourself

  • 9 - Forgive yourself and move forward

  • 10 – Persistence

  • 11 - Make Use of Technology

If your goal is a fit lifestyle with a healthy weight, regular exercise, serious walking, and restful sleep each night, trackers exist to help you. Track all that you do, via using wellness apps like Fitbit which connects with other devices to automatically capture your health data.

Reference:

  • UCDavis – Student Health & Counseling Services

Who Are The People Around Me?

Who Are the people around me (g).png

Hi everyone....check this out....

WYF Upmarket May 2019

WYF Upmarket May 2019

My Artwork on display at the WYF Upmarket in Trinidad May 2019

My Artwork on display at the WYF Upmarket in Trinidad May 2019

Hi everyone, this weekend I was at an Upmarket, better known as a Fleamarket, but here we pay for a table and you're able to sell your products, whatever they may be. I set up my table to sell my artwork. I had done quite a few landscapes, in a challenge I gave myself. They were painted quickly to ensure the easy flow of the watercolor.

I did fairly well in that I sold 3 pieces. This post though is about the people I was surrounded by. At this market, we greet each other with hugs and glee especially if we haven't seen each other in a whole or if you haven't been to the upmarket in months. I realized that I really liked most of the vendors at this market, some more than others. We are people of like objectives.

We all create something we love, enjoy or are passionate about. Some of us do this on the side, for some this is our only means of making a living and for some this our second business. We talk shop, we share information, we share goods, and we help each other. I got help to sell one of my pieces. A woman showed interest in one of my pieces, she asked if I had a credit card machine but I didn't so she left. I asked one of the other vendors if there was anyone who had a machine that I could use and they indicated Johan.

I know Johan and I liked him, he was really cool and very hip. So I asked him if he would let me use his machine to sell my art and he said no problem, so I looked for the woman, went up to her and told her that if she was still interested, then i had a credit card machine.

She was still interested, so we went to Johan to do the transaction. While he did the transaction I conversed with the woman, she was very nice and we talked about the daughter she planned to surprise with the art piece.

After the sale, Johan gave me the cash and I had to go to home for my second sale, and again he was most accommodating. You have to understand that these transactions cost, then you have to get the money to the person. Johan takes 5% but he is right to do this as he has to pay a fee for every transaction. This is just one example of the connection between everyone we are a family in this upmarket and although we don't know each other intimately, we are still close.


We are all in this to get our products to the customer, to make money to live or to make money to give us the acknowledgment that what we have created is worth something. There are vendors who create their own soaps, creams, artwork, gluten-free food, clothes, woodwork, jewelry, and more. It's an amazing thing to see, all these creatives in one place all in one accord. I love it, it's very inspiring and fun.

There is one downsize sometimes. You get a little jealous when you see others making sales and you aren't, yet on the other side, you are very glad that they're getting some sales as we all want the other to do well. What you learn from this short burst of jealousy and even a level of demotivation is that you have to build a high level of faith. In yourself, your work, your determination and your persistence in getting your work/product out there.

Faith in your product and hope that customers will get to know you, love your work and then buy from you. I grew to realise that although I don't make a sale that day, I will make a sale at another time. During one period I wasn't making sales for quite a while and it was tough to stay positive and I almost stopped painting, then God stepped in and I was invited to an event at my old school and there I made enough to make up for the 3 other Upmarkets where I didn't make any money, not even my table cost. You have to be strong, determined and love what you do so that despite the down times you keep going because you're determined to share your product/artwork with those who love it (when they realise that they do) , that's why I keep doing this.

So who are the people around me?...Family who encourages me to keep painting, my husband who is my biggest fan, my friends who buy my work and support me, my fellow artisans who encourage, motivate, are your fans and also buy your work...yes we tend to buy from each other not just for support, or because we want to encourage buying local but because we truly love each others' products. I buy my herbal tea from a friend, perfumed oils from another who makes it herself, gluten free food and deserts from one and jewellry from another. I get everything I want and really like that is of quality at these markets. That is why they are valuable and I surround myself with these people. I hope you surround yourself with people who build you up, support you, encourages you and is your biggest fan. Check youlater,

Luv you all

 Gafra

Why is it so Hot??!!!

why is it so hot(g).png

Hi everyone..... well lucky for me today, my afternoon appointment was canceled. Yes, I'm an Artist on the side and apart from painting, I run my own Leadership Development Business alongside my husband. Anyway, I ended up free for the entire day, except for the telephone interview I have to do at 9:00am, sooooo.....what did I decided to do? My daughter and I decided to do breakfast at Starbucks then later we would have lunch at one of our best Malls.....The Falls at West Mall. We also did some work while in Starbucks as she is writing a book and she takes every opportunity to write a chapter. While she does that I write this post as well as complete some reports I have for work.

It's nice ever so often to work outside of the office and luckily for me, I can do that, especially if I don't have any appointments. I also tend to use my time at these coffee houses to create some more products for my websites and my Etsy shop. I completed another planner last night at home and I know it will help a lot of people as soon as people realise what they can do.

 
Professional Business Planner at www.etsy.com/shop/teaprint
Elegant Time Management Planner available at gafra.org or www.etsy.com/shop/teaprint

But that's not what I wanted to talk about. I went off track there. When I got home last night, I zoned out working on the New Problem Solver planner then it started to rain, which was odd as lately rain has been pretty scarce. In fact these days it is so hot I've been pretty dehydrated because I'm not a great water drinker. everywhere is dry and I think this has been the worst dry season we've had. Normally it is bad but this year the water levels have been so low that they are now scheduling when different communities will receive water. I went through years of not having enough water to fill the 2 small tanks I had. My house was littered with water containers in every corner or cranny I could fit one. It took us a few years before I got really fed-up with bathing in a bucket or not having enough water to wash clothes, or not having the water truck arrive to replenish my tanks. So finally we bought 4 huge tanks and to date, we no longer have to wonder when water was returning or if there was enough water in our tanks.

Compared to last year when the dry season was bad but not too bad, then the rainy season arrived and the rain was crazy. Last year, we had the worst rainy days EVER due to tropical depressions. It rained almost every day in a 3 weeks period. It was so bad those few months and especially the last week of the rainy season month, that people's houses were flooded out and they had to be rescued. It was bad!! My assistant lost everything as did a lot of other people/clients, plus one or two of my friends...and I mean they lost fridges, stoves, entire living room sets, vehicles, etc.

Fortunately, in times like these people come together to help and give. There were drives everywhere to get items to those in need. We persevered and people were re-instated. But some homes couldn't be saved and that is the difficult part. In comparison, with the dry season, we have to be very wary of the bush fires. One man has already lost his life when the bush fire spread and consumed his house while he lay asleep. Very sad and unfortunate situation.

What is interesting though, is despite this dry season where everything looks dry and barren when the rains arrive, and they will soon, the vegetation changes back to being as green as ever as if it was never dry. This island just amazes me with the weather changes that occur. But right now this place can get pretty warm even at night. This brings me to a piece I did one weekend when the weather was a bit dismal and foggy. Yes, I said foggy. I live in a valley that is surrounded by mountains so when it rains and the temperature drops it gets very misty in the mornings. It is so lovely and cozy. I love it. Do you see what I mean when I say the weather here can be so different at different times? Dry, breezy and brittle one time, rainy and foggy at another time, cool and breezy some other month.

The piece is called "Rainy Day in Santa Cruz". It has a somber look but I hope you like it. Any feedback is welcomed. Don't be too brutal though. Thanks.

 
Rainy Day in Santa Cruz.

Rainy Day in Santa Cruz

Watercolour painting I did.


Going back to the bad dry, hot, sunny weather. It's also very interesting that while some have been devastated due to fires, there are others who go on with their everyday lives and are untouched by all the chaos and calamity. Life is funny that way. Some get hit hard and others don't.

Is it that we need to learn something when these things happen? Or is it a message from the great God above? Or does he want us to think about how we're treating with the environment and is there a reason for the insane, confusing changes in the weather patterns? One thing is for sure...at these times it pushes home the question...Why is the dry season so bad, why is the rainy season so different and starting earlier followed by major flooding. And why is everything seem to be getting worst? What isn't something being done or is there anything we can do in the first place?

I know that here in Trinidad we need to be more considerate of our environment. Trinidadians treat the environment very badly. Trash is an issue, with the indiscriminate dumping, so watercourses are strewn with garbage. I hope their level of awareness improves at some point because I saw a documentary recently called Our Earth, and I was appalled by the information on the melting of the ice caps and how this is causing the increase the heat because the ice caps act as reflectors of the sun so there is less heat so less melting but when they start to melt more than there are more open water (black) patches which absorbs the sun's heat. The heat melts more icecaps etc. Melted ice caps affect the creatures that other larger animals feed on so they start to die off and the cycle continues until it reaches a point of scarcity for man. The heat of our planet also rises and there is also increased melting of the icecaps which causes increased floods or really horrific floods.heat of the sun the level of heat in the world, animals which in turn affects the human race.


Global Climate change

You may have heard about global warming. It seems that in the last 100 years the earth's temperature has increased about half a degree Celsius. This may not sound like much, but even half a degree can have an effect on our planet. Scientists who assess the planet's health see indisputable evidence that Earth has been getting warmer, in some cases rapidly. Most believe that human activity, in particular, the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, have influenced this warming trend. In the past decade, scientists have documented record-high average annual surface temperatures and have been observing other signs of change all over the planet: in the distribution of ice, and in the salinity, levels, and temperatures of the oceans.


Melting Ice Caps

Melting Ice Caps

Scientists point out that sea levels have risen and fallen substantially over Earth's 4.6-billion-year history. But the recent rate of global sea level rise has departed from the average rate of the past two to three thousand years and is rising more rapidly—about one-tenth of an inch a year. A continuation or acceleration of that trend has the potential to cause striking changes in the world's coastlines. This higher temperature may be causing some floating icebergs to melt, but this will not make the oceans rise.

But the rising temperature and icebergs could play a small role in the rising ocean level. Icebergs are chunks of frozen glaciers that break off from landmasses and fall into the ocean. The rising temperature may be causing more icebergs to form by weakening the glaciers, causing more cracks and making ice mo­re likely to break off. As soon as the ice falls into the ocean, the ocean rises a little. Rising sea level produces a cascade of effects. Bruce Douglas, a coastal researcher at Florida International University, calculates that every inch (2.5 centimeters) of sea-level rise could result in eight feet (2.4 meters) of the horizontal retreat of sandy beach shorelines due to erosion. Furthermore, when salt water intrudes into freshwater aquifers, it threatens sources of drinking water and makes raising crops problematic.

Melting Ice Caps

Melting Ice Caps

Oceans, in effect, mimic some functions of the human circulatory system. Just as arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the extremities, and veins return blood to be replenished with oxygen, oceans provide life-sustaining circulation to the planet. Propelled mainly by prevailing winds and differences in water density, which changes with the temperature and salinity of the seawater, ocean currents are critical in cooling, warming, and watering the planet's terrestrial surfaces—and in transferring heat from the Equator to the Poles. Oceans are important sinks, or absorption centers, for carbon dioxide, and take up about a third of human-generated CO2.

How to Fight Climate Change

A single molecule of CFC-12 can hold nearly 11,000 times the heat of carbon dioxide, making it an extraordinarily potent greenhouse gas. CFCs hold the same heat as the carbon dioxide emissions from burning 16 million gallons of gasoline. Last year, a coalition of scientists and policy experts at the nonprofit Drawdown ranked the top one hundred climate change solutions by level of impact. No one guessed that refrigerant management, which includes CFCs and two other classes of chemicals known as HCFCs and HFCs, would top the list. But it did. The Drawdown study estimated that properly disposing of old refrigerants, rather than letting them leak into the air, would be equivalent to preventing nearly 90 gigatons of carbon dioxide from reaching the atmosphere. That’s more than 17 years of U.S. CO2 emissions.

So the science is clear: cleaning up the world’s legacy CFCs would help prevent additional greenhouse gases from further changing the climate. Yet actually doing this, particularly in developing countries, is still being worked out, thanks to financial and logistical challenges.

Human activities are causing climate change and polluting the environment to such a degree that the future looks bleak indeed. However, it’s vital to remember that humans can turn it around if they work together and plan for a better future. Rather than feeling pessimistic and helpless, there are simple things that each person can do that can help. Collectively, those small actions make a significant impact as our society realizes the importance and necessity of going green.

Recycling: It’s not just for plastics

Most people with an interest in going green are actively recycling. In addition to recycling the usual items like paper, plastic, and glass, we can recycle things like used motor oil, used batteries, used tires, and even appliances, electronics, light bulbs, and furniture. The best part is it can be as simple as making a purchase at a store that offers a recycling service. For appliances, you can try calling local small appliance repair shops. If they aren’t interested in obtaining the items for parts themselves, then they will likely know who will.

Simple ways to conserve water

Trinidadians waste water even when we do have it. Plus there are the leaking road pipes and more. But consider you can save 80 gallons of water each week, just by turning off the water while you brush your teeth! Pretty remarkable, right? And it couldn’t be simpler.

Another relatively simple way to conserve water is simply to repair leaky plumbing like toilets, faucets, and sinks. Making repairs to those items can seem daunting, but may be much simpler than you think, and will prevent big expensive home repairs in the future.

Reduce chemical use

Consumers have much more power than they give themselves credit for. We can all influence what corporations do by choosing to buy products that are better for the environment. If you have the option, choose biodegradable, natural products. By doing so, it keeps some of the harsh and toxic chemicals from entering water supplies.

Other simple ideas for going green:

  • Ride in a carpool to work

  • Ride your bike if possible

  • Take public transportation

  • Buy a hybrid or electric car

  • Slow down to save on gas

  • Compost your table scraps

  • Grow your own food

  • Buy from your local farmers market

  • Landscape with drought-resistant native plants

  • Choose plants that help native wildlife

I hope that we all can make a great effort to change our environment and therefore save the earth, our planet. We take our planet for granted but we need to be more aware that it is a living thing, with the water courses are its arteries and vegetation are its nerve endings, animals and people, the Planet's cells. This is my view of the environmental and the planet. We need to love it, take care of it and it will take care of us.

References:

  • National Geographic: The big Thaw by Daniel Glick

  • If the polar ice caps melted, how much would the oceans rise by Marshall Brain

  • One overlooked way to fight climate change? Dispose of old CFCs by Juli Berwald

  • Simple ways everyone can move toward a greener, more prosperous future today by Green and Growing

I Don't Want a Job

Hers why?

Hers why?

Hi guys....yes...I mean what I said above. I don't want a job. No, I'm not lazy.....welllll, I am sometimes, as is everyone at some point. No I know we all need to work human beings are built to work..." by the sweat of thy brow".....so we gotta make the money to pay the bills to be able to do all the other things we want to.

What I'm talking about is the fact that we are all....or at least most of us here in Trinidad and I think the world.... we are brought up to go to school, do well maybe get more education then get a job while looking for the wife or the husband then settle down and live until retirement then die. Noooooope.... that just wasn't enough for me....there must be more to it than that.

I especially felt that there was more than just doing a job. I did...or started off doing what everyone else does in my country because thats what our parents did and their parents before them. I went to school, did ok, got my qualifications, got the job, met the man then had the kids and then settled down towards retirement.....ur nope...back up a bit.

I didn't stay in the job until retirement. I always felt and knew there was more to it than that, plus I didn't feel like I wasn't reaching my full potential, so resigned. I know and believe that you don't have to work for a company to be happy or to survive. I knew that wasn't enough for me, so what did I do?

I resigned without knowing if there was a job available for me. But in doing this, it forced me to scrutinise myself and list out what was my true ability. What am I great at? Know this, I set out to find another job but one where I was fulfilling me. I found it in a contract where I worked to my own time, made the money and then had half of the day to do anything else I wanted.


I, therefore, got involved in my hobby, which was interior decorating. So while I was a Program Coordinator for a company from 8 to 22noon with the rest of my day I got involved working with an interior decorator as her assistant and I started teaching myself online, photoshop. Why? Because one company we liaised with I noticed that their website was a mess, so I offered to update their site for them.

They agreed and I taught myself....by using Youtube...how to design a website.....and I think I did a pretty good job based on that period and they still have that website to this day. Plus, I also made some money, while at the same time working part-time with the interior decorator. I was having a ball!!!!

I was still using my business skills, doing my hobby and loving it and also using my creative skill to design websites. I eventually ended up offering to upgrade the website of the company I worked with part-time in addition to being their coordinator. God is good and life was great. Who could ask for more, this was the life!!!

The Interior Decorator asked me to come work with her full time after assisting her for a few months and I did. Again, a great decision, I had an even greater time. Working with joiner/carpenter and seeing furniture the clients chose to be transformed from mare pieces of wood to gorgeous, well-made pieces of furniture that you knew would last a lifetime.

In this job, I felt to some extent that I had a level of freedom, unlike the Bank job. I was again in my creative element, designing kitchens, living room layouts, etc. The best of times. I traveled to design and outfit a house in Curacao, it was heaven and gave me the taste to know that I needed to be doing a job that I love. I stayed on this job for 2.5 years but as with everything with small family companies, you can go only so far.

I knew it was time to move on and that was because I met the sister of a friend who told me about this business I'm in now, which is leadership coaching. I knew immediately that this is what I needed to be doing and also where God wanted me to be, so I said goodbye to my boss who I really loved and became an associate with my friend's sister. I stayed with her for 2 years then moved out on my own because again I felt I wanted to own my own business, make my own decisions, go in my own direction, I wanted to soar and achieve my goals.

I opened my own business in 2004, set up my office, started my licensed leadership facilitator and that's what I and my husband do still. I steered my kids to know that I don't expect them to go the traditional route. It's up to them to take their lives where they want to take their lives. The decision was theirs. I didn't dictate what they should do or become because I feel I know what's best for them because of any difficulties I or my parents may have encountered in their lives.

No! I'm there to support, guide and help them achieve their dreams. They don't have to work for a company or someone else. They can have their own business, be an entrepreneur, innovator, business owner, and that's exactly what all four of my kids did. They are all doing what they love and they all have their own businesses that they are working hard to grow. They know what they want and the direction they want to go. I am proud and pleased with my kids.

I don't want a job, I want to work at something I love, that feeds me and feeds others. The corporate world has its issues, I see them every day but I love my role of going in to help not just the organization but the individuals themselves. I love people no matter what type of personality they may have, but I will call it as I see it.

If they aren't performing as they should but its something they need help with, simply because they have to get organized, then I'm their person. Within organizations, I meet people with a lot of internal challenges that they are far too close to to see the situation and ask themselves the right questions to be able to solve their problems, that's where I step in, and all with love and the call to get them back to wholeness.

So I don't want a job, I want to do my own thing at my own pace, in my own way, to help others find their potential and find whatever they might be looking for or what they want to become. These are my thoughts on that whole job thing.....if you agree, let me know if you have a different view let me know. I'm interested to hear what you've got to say on the matter.

Later, luv you guys.



HOW TO START A LIFESTYLE BLOG

How to start a lifestyle blog (g).png

Hi everyone....I have to admit that for the past few weeks I've been totally dry when it comes to writing my next post. I felt like I had writer's block, but in listening to the famous Seth Godin, where he said that there is no such thing as writers' block because once you can talk there is always something to talk about and if there is something to talk about then there is something to write about. I am a woman after all and as most men like to insinuate....women are talkers, so here goes.


Blogging


I've been wondering what is the key objective of my blog because every article I've read on Pinterest says that you need to know what is the objective of your blog and if you plan to or want to monetize that the blog then you definitely need to choose a niche and one area of specialty, but I don't really want to go in that direction. As I've always stated I want this blog to be my medium to express my thoughts, feelings, opinions, ideas and more. I want to share what I've learned in all the different areas that I've encountered or had to use to be able to accomplish some means/end/goal.


The unique Elegant Problem Solver Planner only available at www.gafra.org at my Etsy Shop at www.etsy.com/shop/teaprint

Monetising my blog has now become secondary. I want to share knowledge, share what I've learned for different skills. If one is starting a blog what are the key things one needs to do to start, but firstly what is a blog?

In short, a blog is a type of website that focuses mainly on written content, also known as blog posts. In popular culture, we most often hear about news blogs or celebrity blog sites, but as you’ll see in this guide, you can start a successful blog on just about any topic imaginable.

Bloggers often write from a personal perspective that allows them to connect directly with their readers. In addition, most blogs also have a “comments” section where readers can correspond with the blogger. Interacting with your readers in the comments section helps to further the connection between the blogger and the reader.

At its heart, blogging is about sharing your knowledge with the world. Choosing a topic that you are passionate about makes the process of starting a successful blog so much easier.

 

To be a successful blogger one must be passionate about one's topic

  • Make money from home

  • Share your story.

  • Recognition for yourself or your business.

  • Find a community


How to Start a Blog (on the Side) in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Pick Your Blog's Name and Domain.

  2. Find a Hosting Provider - Bluehost, Siteground, GoDaddy

  3. Choose a Blogging Platform - like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix , Site builder

  4. Find Your Niche and Decide What to Blog About.

  5. Choose a Theme and Design Your Blog.

  6. Create Your Essential Pages (About, Contact, Blog)

  7. Develop Your Content Strategy.


Blogging platforms www.gafra.org

Blogging platforms www.gafra.org

The best blogging platforms for beginners.

  1. WordPress.org. WordPress.org is the world's most popular blogging software.

  2. Wix. Wix is a hosted platform to build websites.

  3. Gator by HostGator.

  4. WordPress.com.

  5. Blogger.

  6. Tumblr.

  7. Medium.

  8. Squarespace

Chose your platform, then get started on your blog

Chose your platform, then get started on your blog

Eight best free blogging sites to consider in 2019

  1. WordPress (www.wordpress.org) Best for…people who want to 100% own their blog and customize it.

  2. Wix (www.wix.com)

  3. Medium (www.medium.com)

  4. Ghost (www.ghost.org)

  5. Blogger (www.blogger.com)

  6. Tumblr (www.tumblr.com)

  7. Weebly (www.weebly.com)

  8. Joomla (www.joomla.org)



Getting More Views and Traffic

  1. Help search engines find your site.

  2. Blog regularly.

  3. Use Keywords On Your Site.

  4. Use appropriate tags.

  5. Connect to the Community & Spread the Word.

  6. Read and comment on other blogs.

  7. Share on Social Media.

  8. Bug your real-life friends.

Creative Blog Post Ideas

  • Do A (Number) By A (Certain Age) Post.

  • Put Together A Gif-Filled Post.

  • What Would You Love To Learn How To Do?

  • Write A Parody Post Of Some Sort.

  • Set Up A Contest On Your Blog.

  • Use Questions On Forums As Blog Ideas.

  • Find The Best Jokes In Your Niche And Share Them In A Blog Post.

I went through continuous research to be able to start my blog. With my first blog, I didn't know much about how to share it online. I created it on Wordpress but I didn't know about or how to create the covers (which are easily done in Canva, photoshop, picmonkey) or know how to share it properly. Now I have a blog I enjoy sharing and I also enjoy writing and spreading my thoughts. As mentioned all the research also preaches that your blog should be a business as well, or you ask yourself if you want more from your blog.


VISIT MY STORE - TEAPRINT

Well lately, although initially, I wanted to monetize my blog, I've been totally turned off by the barrage of emails from people I started to follow trying to get me to buy into a course of some sort. I'm also tired of the blogs that have interesting headings but only give you a minuscule drop of info then a barrage of sales commentary. HATE IT!!! Now if a blog doesn't keep my interest with interesting writing, but is filled with sales talk, I move on. I love what Seth Godin said about permission marketing. Don't be shoving the sales, get to know your readers and I add that If they want to buy, great but if not, no problem, once they enjoyed reading what I shared. I will offer my planners and my art because I am an Artist first and foremost. That to me was the traditional objective of a blog and I'm going that route.

Check you on Thursday and hope you get where I'm coming from.

 

Reference

  • ryrob.com

  • the blogstarter


Holidays Galore....Now its Easter

Easter In Trinidad, our traditions at gafra.org

Hi Everyone......It's Easter and as usual in this country we have a few back to back holidays coming up. We have Friday to Monday off.  This Monday I'll be running around with my mom as she is 78 years and I use Mondays to help her do all the tasks she needs done that she wasn't able to get done during the week..You know how that goes. So we are having another holiday on Friday. Yea!!!!!  In Trinidad and Tobago we have lots of holidays, we had one two weeks ago and we have another one this week. Friday is Good Friday, a Religious Holiday. We have a very mixed culture of religions here and its the best. We have Catholics, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Hindu, Moslems, Mormons, and many more.

There are lots of traditions that are followed with this holiday. Many masses and Lenten resolutions and no eating of meat etc. The Lenten season or Lent as it is widely known begins on the Wednesday after Carnival, known as Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday, the last day of the Holy Week. Many Christians observe Ash Wednesday by attending church services nationwide, where ashes in the shape of a cross are placed on their forehead to symbolize repentance before God. Lent is observed for forty days as a time of fasting and prayer in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

HOLY WEEK


Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, one week before Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday commemorates the coming of Jesus to Jerusalem, where people waved palms and laid them on the ground along his path. In Trinidad and Tobago, many churches observe this event by the distribution of palm leaves to followers during Palm Sunday services. On Good Friday, the day Christ was crucified, the Roman Catholic Church in particular retraces the steps of Christ on his journey to crucifixion. This is called the Stations of the Cross. There are church services throughout the rest of weekend, ending with the largest celebrations occurring on Easter Sunday.

Our Traditions for Easter are as follows:

Hot Cross Buns


Hot Cross Buns a typical tradition in Trinidad

Hot Cross Buns a typical tradition in Trinidad

 

We try to get a hot cross buns on Good Friday then good luck! Most bakeries would have been sold out from the night before. In Trinidad and Tobago hot cross buns on Good Friday are a staple. The tradition dates back to the 12th century when an Anglican monk baked buns and marked them with a cross in honour of Good Friday. There is no clear reason why and when it became so popular.

Beat De Bobolee

One dying tradition on Good Friday is the beating of the “bobolee”, an effigy, symbolic of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ. Like everything in Trinidad, this has taken a complete turn of its own. People now design “bobolees” as politicians who are not favoured in the society or even as social outcasts from their specific communities.

Good Friday Meals

Fish must be cooked on Good Friday because Catholic doctrine prohibits eating fleshy meat on Good Friday. Since it commemorates the day that Christ sacrificed his flesh it would be seen as disrespectful to consume “flesh” on the anniversary of His death. Not all Trinidadians are Catholics, but this is still commonly observed in many Trini homes. Eating the seafood with “ground provision” such as yams, cassava, dasheen, and eddoes is also traditional.

Flying Kites

The tradition of making your own kite for an Easter Sunday kite flying competition has become entrenched in Trinidadian culture. The practice began as a religious event, with the kites being made to look like a cross and meant to represent Jesus’ ascension into Heaven. Traces of religious symbolism have been all but lost now, but colourful squares battling against the wind on Easter Sunday is still a comfortingly familiar sight.

Going to the Beach

It seems like Trinbagonians celebrate everything by going to the beach, for obvious reasons. The beach is awesome.

Hope you learned a little more about my beautiful culture of Trinidad & Tobago.

 

 

Typical beach lime as part of our Easter Trinidad Tradition

Typical beach lime as part of our Easter Trinidad Tradition

Boosters to Improve your Self Esteem and your Ego

Improve your self esteem, read this at gafra.org


Hi Guys…I would have mentioned in one or a few of my blogs that I am a Leadership Development Coach. I coach executives almost everyday and the one thing I always encounter is that people are people and executives no matter how high level they are everyone has some level of low self esteem about some aspect of their ives. This comes out in different ways via different behaviours. So I wanted to share a bit about that because I believe everyone can overcome their self esteem issues by first acknowledging what it is you’re insecure about then finding the source, counter act the source and then move on.


Do you want to develop an better ego with perpetual self esteem? I want to look at how to develop an stronger ego and always have high self esteem. So lets start at the beginning as I tend to do.


What’s Self Esteem versus Ego


Self-esteem means feeling good about yourself. People with self-esteem: feel liked and accepted. are proud of what they do. believe in themselves. Self-esteem is a positive or negative orientation toward oneself; an overall evaluation of one's worth or value. ... Self-esteem is only one component of the self-concept


  • · Your ego is your sense of self. It is your identity and your concept of self.

  • · The ego strengthens your capacity to keep your self esteem intact despite psychological distress, internal turmoil and the changing conditions of the world around you.


Ego and Self esteem are not the same. Having a big ego is a negative trait. Having a high self esteem is a positive trait. Many have a big ego and they think they are building their self esteem


In reality the opposite is happening, the bigger the ego, the lower the self esteem. And vice versa, the higher the self esteem, the smaller the ego. Ego is an inflated fake self image. Like thinking you are always right, or thinking that you are above everybody else. People with big ego are so blinded by their grandiose self image that they cannot see the difference between the ego and their real self. They actually cannot see their real self. All they see is their ego and they think it is “self.”

But you can easily spot others with a big ego. People who come across as arrogant, manipulative, selfish, “always right.” are probable culprits. You know the people you can never win an argument with? because they always twist the truth so they end up being right? Bingo.


Self esteem on the other side of the spectrum is a feeling of content and acceptance with self as is. It is not complacency. It is more of seeing self as is, with its strengths and flaws, and accepting that while we can seek to become better people, it is OK to have flaws. It makes us human. Most people will testify to this statement, but few act upon it.


GET YOUR CIRCLE OF LIFE PLANNER

GET YOUR CIRCLE OF LIFE PLANNER

How to know if you have high self esteem? It is ironic, but people with high self esteem accept others as they are. They are not critical. They do not feel the need to judge others. To the opposite of big ego people who are very critical and always judge others. No body measures to their standards. Even if they admire someone it will be short-lived. Soon enough they will find a flaw and regret ever liking the person.


What is self-esteem?

  • 1. like and value yourself as a person.

  • 2. are able to make decisions and assert yourself.

  • 3. recognise your strengths and positives.

  • 4. feel able to try new or difficult things.

  • 5. show kindness towards yourself.

  • 6. move past mistakes without blaming yourself unfairly.

  • 7. take the time you need for yourself.


Signs of Good Self-Esteem

  • · You are ok with making mistakes: ...

  • · You don't use self-deprecating language: ...

  • · You have good posture, and you hold your head high: ...

  • · You don't take criticism personally: ...

  • · You take chances: ...

  • · You allow yourself to shine: ...

  • · You don't put up with abuse or maltreatment from others:


Self-esteem is like that, except it is yourself that you love, care for and feel proud of. When children believe they are valuable and important, they take good care of themselves. They make good decisions about themselves which enhance their value rather than break it down. High vs. Low Self-esteem.


EGO


Your ego on the other hand is your conscious mind, the part of your identity that you consider your "self." If you say someone has "a big ego," then you are saying he is too full of himself. “Having an ego” is usually associated with arrogance and is a term used to describe someone who thinks they are better than others. Yet this is only one part of the ego. ... Together, the negative and positive esteem forms our ego. Fear is the emotion that underpins the ego. The ego is really the false self. The self that has forgotten that it is one with everyone around it and one with the Divine Source, with the universe, with cosmos, with every energy possible. When we have thoughts about our self that we agree with we construct a self-image.


The kinds of thoughts that contribute to the self esteem or ego structure are:

“I’m not good at math.”
“I am smart.”
“My freckles make me ugly.”
“Nobody likes me.”
“I am better than you.”


The ego is difficult to define because the ego isn’t one specific thing. It is actually made up of many different beliefs that a person acquires over their life. Those beliefs can be diverse and even contradictory. To further complicate it, each person’s ego is different. If someone were to clearly identify and describe all the parts of their ego and what it drives them to do, you might not get a good description of what yours looked like. The challenge of becoming aware of what your personal ego looks like becomes more difficult because our culture doesn’t reward us for directing our attention inward and noticing such things.


How to Spot the Ego?


The ego is difficult to see, because it hides behind opinions that appear true – our attachment to descriptions of our identity – and because we haven’t practiced looking. You can get a glimpse by noticing certain thoughts, similar to those listed above. The easier way to spot the ego is by the trail of emotional reactions it leaves behind: Anger at a loved one, a need to be right, a feeling of insecurity in certain situations, feelings of jealousy that are unexplained, the need to impress someone, and so on. These emotions can be attributed to the false beliefs that comprise the ego.


Letting Go of the Ego


Because the ego has multiple aspects, it is not practical or effective to dissolve all of it at once, nor is it likely that you could do so. Much like a tree or large bush that is overgrown in the yard, you don’t just lift it out and throw it away – you cut off manageable pieces instead. The same approach is effective with letting go of the false beliefs that make up the ego. You begin by detaching from individual thoughts that reinforce the ego, then let go of beliefs, separating yourself from the false identity of your ego.


Why We Need to Develop a Better Ego?


We are a remarkable species, but the idea we’re as good as it gets is patently false. And our ego is the perfect example of how our mind can often work against our own best interests.


What’s Wrong With Our Ego?


I will defined ego as that ensemble of feelings of either pain or pleasure that we derive from who we are, how we behave and what we achieve. It’s composed of identity, projected identity, behavior and the connected feelings. Our default ego is built to project a positive image of ourselves to the people around us. It doesn’t matter if that projection is fake, it make us unhappy or if doesn’t help us reach our goals. Our ego is built to make us look good. To others first, and to ourselves second.

You will realize our default ego is not about long term growth, happiness, life enjoyment or achievement. It’s mostly about faking, short term thinking and, of course, sacrificing our unique contributions to please the crowd. Our default ego sacrifices our true self and our most honest expressions to seek positive confirmation and people’s approval. It also makes us less confident, because a major trait of confidence is that of acting accordingly to our identity.


Identity Drives Behavior


Our identities, who we are, drives our behavior. Importantly, our identity can drive our behavior even when we don’t feel like doing something. That makes identity an incredibly powerful tool in reaching our goals. It’s because we humans have a tendency to seek consistency within ourselves. When our actions are not aligned with our identity we feel discomfort (called cognitive dissonance). The tendency to keep our internal identities, values and actions in balance is called, as described by Cialdini, is the commitment and consistency principle.


Low Self Esteem: Gap Between Identity & Behavior


Self esteem is our evaluation of our own worth. When we live up and uphold our standards and values no matter what, then we feel worthy. Our self esteem goes up and we are proud of ourselves. For most of us, we rarely do and say as our identities tell us though. That means that for most of us, our behavior is very much out of whack with who we really are. It’s because identities are deeper, which makes them a bit more impermeable to external influences -albeit not fully impermeable-. But our actions instead are strongly influenced by environment and social conditioning, which leads to a disconnect between identity and our actions. Basically, in an effort to look good, we want to project a different identity with our words and actions so that people around will like us, accept us and welcome us.


The problem is that a disconnect between our identity and our actions leads to low self esteem. It’s because we’re not being true to ourselves and we feel like we’re not really in control of our lives.

Social conditioning affects behavior more than identity

Do you know what’s the number one regret of dying people? The biggest regret of dying people is that they’d had the courage to live to their true self! The first step towards a high self esteem and happy life then is to heed your identity a bit more and a bit less what people want you do say and do. Like Tim Grover said, to get what you really want, you first must be who you really are.


How To Have High Self Esteem


When our behavior is in sync with our identity, we have much higher self esteem. But don’t jump to conclusions just yet. Indeed the very highest self esteem is when our behavior matches our ideal identity. You probably know the feeling. It happens when you manage to follow through with actions on what your ideal self would love to do. For example:

  • · You disagreed but were fearful of saying it publicly. But you do it anyway

  • · Confronting your neighbor wasn’t easy, but you did and you’re proud of yourself

  • · She had a boyfriend, but you asked anyway and you’re glad about it


Let’s see first how to eliminate your current limiting identities:


How To Change Self Identity

This is from the wonderful Tony Robbins’ Creating Lasting Change. Also look at how to develop a growth mindset since the changes are similar.


1. Create Disturbance

First of all, you need to challenge your current identity and limiting beliefs. Do you see yourself as guy who is poor socially? No wonder you avoid social situations! Think of all the times you were not poor socially. Think of all the times you enjoyed social situations. The idea is that you want to draw on so many experiences that you naturally and rationally start doubting your beliefs. Maybe there was a time you had a good conversation. Or maybe there’s someone who likes you. Think about those daily If you can’t think of anything, imagine it.


2. Discover What Caused Your Identity

If you can go back to childhood and understand why you adopted a certain identity, that can more easily help you to let go of that identity.


3. Link Pain & Pleasure

Link pain to your old identity and link pleasure to your new identity. Think of the consequences your current identity is bringing you. Think of what you’re missing because of your limiting belief. No friends, no partner, no fun.. That sucks. Now start imagining yourself as a popular man. How good would that feel. With a growth mindset and a stronger ego that’s fully within your reach. Commit to drop the old identity and embrace the new one.


4. Change Physiology

Associate a new physiology to the new identity. The new you moves and speaks differently. Stand straight, shoulders rolled back in and head held high. Your new physiology will help break away from the past and serve as a cue for your new mindset as well.


5. Say It Out Loud

Repeat to yourself who’s the new you. A social man who enjoys people. Say it to everyone so you will have peer pressure to keep you no course as well (Awaken The Giant Within).


6. Change Your Environment

As we’ve seen the environment plays a big role on your ego pyramid. Cut out bad influences and make friends with people behaving more like the man you want to be.


7. Change Your Actions

This is the most important step. Daryl Bem in 1972 first proposed a radical idea at the time: identity doesn’t just drive actions, but it’s (also) the other way around: actions drive identity! It’s because our brain looks at our behaviors and then infers that if we behave a certain way, then it must because we are a certain way (also read Incognito by Eagleman). You can then first develop the habits of the man you want to be, which with repetition will solidify your identity. Eventually, you will not need to force yourself, because what you do is just… Who you are.


8. The Daily Mental Grind

Especially in the beginning you will tend to slip back to your old mental habits. It’s important you stay vigilant and every time you catch thinking or saying anything not in line with your new identity, change it immediately.


Your New Stronger Ego

Some people suggest you should destroy your ego. I’m not sure that’s necessary. A high self esteem is useful. Pride is useful. You should use your ego to propel you forward. All aspects of self are useful. Wouldn’t it be great if the more you fail the stronger you get? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Changing identity is easier than it sounds. It’s because when you know how it will help you, you will be motivated and you will find pleasure in the process -that’s the beginning of your framework happiness-.


Ego: Summary


Identity drives behavior. When identity and behavior are in sync, it means we are living to our true self and we have a healthy, high self esteem. The highest self esteem is when our behavior matches fully with our ideal identity -the person we would really love to be-.Finally, we can and we should change our identity (ie.: what we build our self esteem around) in a way that empowers us and best helps us reach our goals. When you live and act like the person you want to be, you will move towards your goal while living a naturally fulfilling and joyful life (and with perennial high self esteem).


References

  • Ego versus Self Esteem: The Illusive Difference by Ammar Mango

  • What’s the driving emotion of the ego by Dr. Shefali

  • What is the ego? By Gary van Warmerdam

  • Lucio (M.A. in communication sciences) is a member of APA and a researcher of human nature.





How to Delegate, Coach and Handle Interruptions via a Planner

Hi Guys....I wanted to do a bit of advertising...yes I know I hate that to but I want to mix it with a bit of info about what I do for a living. Kinda like a day in the life of Gail (gafra). So as you know I recently set up an Etsy store and in it I sell digital planners. The planners are for different types of uses but mainly, the business planners were created based on my knowledge of coaching. I own my own Leadership Development business that I run with my husband and our job is to go into companies to help managers and executives lead their team better and even make moves forward to develop their personal lives.

I meet so many corporate people who give everything to the companies they work for but they put hardly anything into growing their personal lives. The stories i could tell....but I won't as that goes against client confidentiality, but what I want you my friends to know is that I designed the planners to help individuals who have a team and aren't sure how to delegate properly or how to coach their team mates, or how to handle interruptions be they from your team members or your family and friends....that the planners are built to carry you through a process to help you solve that challenge.

 

So for example, the delegation planner has forms to help you determine how do you personally feel about delegating and if you're open to doing it then what are the tasks you want or ned to delegate. This can be for your small, in-house business with you and your team of one or two or even a bigger business or simply with your family members, because yes you do delegate at home it just isn't called that. Even at home you need to determine what tasks you should and shouldn't be doing then decide, as with a business, who should do what tasks, or who is best suited to do the particular task or who would do the task best.

The Coaching Planner, like the delegation planner also has forms to help you plan out who needs some coaching within your small business or even within your family. Is there someone in your family who needs some help understanding how to deal with a particular situation or challenge...all that involves coaching. the forms help you understand what you ned to look for and what is the process to start doing the coaching process.

 

Interruptions...we all get them! Some more than others and we tend to not deal with them in the right way, to decrease them. If you have a team or if you have friends or family, then you will be interrupted and sometimes at the worst times when you really need to concentrate. My coaching planner like the others is designed to carry you through a process to better determine what needs to be done to manage these interruptions or even reduce them to nothing...wouldn't that be marvellous.

OK so I'll share a few learning on each area so you can learn more compared to me just babbling and selling my planners.

 

Delegation

Delegating is a critical skill for anyone with a team. Delegating involves working with an team member to establish goals, granting them sufficient authority and responsibility to achieve the goals, often giving them 1) substantial freedom in deciding how the goals will be achieved, 2) remaining available as a resource to help them achieve the goals, 3) assessing the quality of their effort and attainment of the goals, 4) and addressing performance issues and/or rewarding their performance. Ultimately, the person in charge retains responsibility for the attainment of the goals, but chooses to achieve the goals by delegating to someone else.

The successful delegation of authority as a leadership style takes time and energy, but it's worth the time and energy to help employee involvement and employee empowerment succeed as a leadership style. It's worth the time and energy to help employees succeed, develop, and meet your expectations.

 

How do you delegate?

  1. Learn to let go. ...

  2. Establish a firm priority system. ...

  3. Play to your workers' strengths. ...

  4. Always include instructions. ...

  5. Don't be afraid to teach new skills. ...

  6. Trust, but verify.

The Advantage?

The Advantages of Delegating Tasks. To be effective at work, you often have to delegate tasks to others. Assigning subordinates responsibility over a task not only takes some of the load off your shoulders, it can also help your junior staff members to grow and develop.

 

Coaching

coaching leader must not be confused with a coach, but does have coaching skills. The leader has these skills when he is able to develop and improve the performance and competences of his employees. The basis of the Coaching Leadership Style is the dynamic interaction between the leader and the employee.



The Approach

A direct approach involves a transfer of wisdom, where the coach provides advice or direction, probably based on their experience and expertise. This is a widely-recognised, fairly traditional approach.

It's stated that coaching is an ongoing partnership that supports clients to produce fulfilling results in both their personal and professional lives. The coaching process allows the leader to deepen their learning, improve their performance and enhance quality of life.

good coach offers support and assistance to those he or she is coaching to help them implement change and achieve desired goals. Professional development is a team effort. It's usually not wise to simply cut the person free after a session and expect him or her to achieve everything on their own.

Successful Coaching is a powerful relationship in which client and Success Coach work to improve the quality of the client's life. Through dialogue, inquiry, goal setting, accountability and general motivational techniques, the Success Coach supports the client to assume full responsibility for creating a fulfilling life.

Benefits?

Benefits to coaching an individual include: improvement in individual's performance, targets and goals. increased openness to personal learning and development. increased ability to identify solutions to specific work-related issues.

 

Interruptions

  • To cause or make a break in the continuity or uniformity of (a course, process, condition, etc.).

  • To break off or cause to cease, as in the middle of something:He interrupted his work to answer the bell.

  • To stop (a person) in the midst of doing or saying something, especially by an interjected remark:May I interrupt you to comment on your last remark?

 

How do you manage Interruptions?

  1. Keep an Interrupters Log. ...

  2. Analyze and Conquer Interruptions. ...

  3. Put Your Phone to Work for You (Not Against You) ...

  4. Catch Your Breath. ...

  5. Learn to Say "No" ...

  6. "Available" and "Unavailable" Time. ...

  7. "Invitation Only" Time. ...

  8. Uncontrollable Interruptions.




How do you manage distractions?

  1. Clear Physical and Mental Clutter. ...

  2. Create Your To-Do List. ...

  3. Avoid multi-tasking. ...

  4. Have Regular-Timed Breaks. ...

  5. Know The Best Times To Work. ...

  6. Remove Distractions. ...

  7. Limit Your Caffeine Intake.

So to go back to selling a bit...ugh...My planners are created to help with these processes without you having to now find a way to do some of these activities. So I encourage you to try one or if you have a friend who needs help with this let them try it. If they have any issues or questions I'm here to answer them just let them email me at gfrancistt@gmail.com. I'm here to coach.

Steal Like An Artist…by Austin Kleon….. The Review

Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon……My Book Review. www.gafra.org

Hi everyone…I wanted to talk a little about this book that I really enjoyed. I read most of his books because he touched my artistic mind and touched on areas that I was in two minds about or upon which I needed some direction. His books helped me allot when I needed it. His other books were:




· How to sell your art online

· Steal like an artist

· Show your work




I’m going to talk about his book “Steal Like An Artist. Work by artist and writer Austin Kleon has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and on PBS NewsHour and NPR’s Morning Edition. He is also the author of Newspaper Blackout. The concept of the book is based on:

Creative License

Artists and creators throughout history have known that, as Pablo Picasso said, “Art is theft.” Every innovator has built on the work of others, using ideas, formats or things in fresh and exciting ways. Originality doesn’t exist. Everything is a confluence of influences, thefts, mutations and interpretations. Even the Bible says, “There’s nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Whether you’re an artist or you’re simply looking to add some creativity to your life, consider these 10 ideas:




Read this book, really good. www.gafra.org

Read this book, really good. www.gafra.org

He made me realize through this book and the others that Artist have many opportunities out there are we don’t have to live by that old slogan “poor artist” One things he said, “ You can’t go looking for validation from external sources” because once you place your work out there you can’t predict how people will respond to it. Some may like it and others may not. I have seen that happen many times. Pieces that I disliked even hated were the pieces that were sold first or the pieces people loved the most. So strange…




Kleon said to get comfortable being misunderstood, disparaged or ignored because it comes with the territory. Just stay busy creating so that you don’t notice or you don’t care. But still hold on to the complements and even comments of appreciation especially if they were written as we all as artist need that encouragement or boost when we’re in that period of decline. As he said keep a praise file.




Another point that caught me was to keep your day job because it will take a while to get to the point where your art sustains you financially. I haven’t reached that point yet. I make a small amount to balance back what I put out to create my art plus a little extra but from my balance sheet I can see that most times my expenses far outweigh my sales income, so I have a ways to go to be comfortable leaving my job to paint full time.




He encourages us to get a Calendar and plan out your work and your goals for achievement , so that when you complete or accomplish something and tick it off you feel a swell of achievement and this gives you a boost to continue and it also build your self confidence. Included here is keeping a log book of all that you do everyday down to the smallest detail. I’m not sure I would do this, I prefer a journal to write my thoughts or simply listing out my to do tasks and goals. Tracking everything I do isn’t something I think I need. He says that in having a log of the small details it helps you to remember the big details. Again I don’t think its necessary but it can be valuable for someone who tends to forget things and wants a reminder




This point I really liked….”do business with who you befriend, who you choose to be around” and “a good partner keeps you grounded”…I like this because I know my husband is my biggest fan and he is always encouraging and always open to giving me feedback and he points out the pieces he likes and those that may need a little more work. I’ve tried to get him to paint as well but although he tried it once he just wasn’t into it. His creativity comes out in his gardening. He can bring any plant to life and he has converted our small back yard into a peaceful sanctuary…I just love sitting and relaxing there. When I need to take a break and commune with nature I simply go in my backyard…I don’t need to go any further and its all due to my husband’s “green thumb”.




Kleon mentions that when you’ve gone blank creatively then do less to get over the creative blocks.. Place some constraints on yourself, such as, paint a painting with one colour, paint a painting in only 10 minutes, shoot a movie with your iphone, create something with what you have at hand right there and then. This can sometimes lead to your best work. I’ve done this, for example, I gave myself a 30 day challenge to paint landscapes in 10 minutes every morning, just before going to work so I don’t have time to think about it too much, if at all. It has really prevented me from becoming too detailed and I feel a lot freer to simply do whatever I feel without the restrictions/rules of drawing/sketching first.



Another idea he shares that made me feel better is that we all steal ideas from each other but what you don’t do is plagiarize or copy exactly what the other person has done, you put your style to it and eventually you develop your own style. That used to make me feel bad because when I was learning to paint we got exercises to paint or try to copy someone else’s piece to get an idea about what technique they used to get the painting to look the way it does. My art teacher then, after many classes we would then have to acquire our own photos and paint them so that we got the basics of composition and then used our new learnt style to paint our photo.



I am very good at copying and it comes easy for me but I hate knowing that it isn’t mine or that I didn’t think of painting a piece that way



Kleon ends the book with the quote by Saul Steinberg, which says “ What we respond to in any work of art is the artist’s struggle against his or her limitations.” So what makes us interesting is what we leave out of the painting versus what we put in, the same goes for people…Kleon states…what make people interesting isn’t just what they have experienced its also what they haven’t experienced yet. So we need to embrace our limitations and move forward. I struggle with that everyday of my painting journey. Some days are better than others and some are not but I continue on my journey of artistic discovery until I reach where I think I want to be, for now I’m not there yet. I absolutely loved the idea and concepts behind Steal Like an Artist. I often think the same , but I don’t put it as eloquently and so well written, plus I couldn’t agree more with the author.



So check this summary of Austin Kleon’s Book….Steal Like an Artist:



Steal Like An Artist – The Content

1. Steal like an artist.

2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.

3. Write the book you want to read.

4. Use your hands.

5. Side projects and hobbies are important.

6. The secret: do good work and share it with people.

7. Geography is no longer our master.

8. Be nice. (The world is a small town.)

9. Be boring. (It’s the only way to get work done.)

10. Creativity is subtraction.



Bullet Summary

· There is no such thing as original art: everyone builds upon others

· Immerse yourself (/steal) from your favorite artists: imitate and then emulate

· When you realize you’re not quite like them, you’ve found your own voice



AMAZON’S REVIEW OF THIS BOOK.

Give Up Originality

There is no such thing as a completely original form of art. No person lives in a vacuum and no art is created in a vacuum.
Everyone is influenced by the world and the artists that live around you and came before you.

Some artist can be pushed against the wall by the erroneous concept of “originality”. Don’t let that happen to you.

Austin Cleon says that art creation is a bit like making children. Same as the DNA of two people combine to give new life, new art new art is the mixture of different influences to create something new.
That means that the artistic process start when you find the right art to build upon -or to steal from-.

Start Imitating Your Heroes

Sure you can’t plagiarize, but you can imitate them.
Steal Like an Artist recommends you live and breath the artists you like. Learn what makes them tick, reproduce their own art for your own consumption. Then branch out to the three people that your favorite artists most learned from.

Eventually, you will realize that you are not quite the same as any of your artist -the author calls them “weaknesses” that you can’t quite replicate the same way-. You have your own style and you can make your own contribution .
You’re another branch in the tree.

Keep Hobbies And Leisure

The author recommends that as much as you love your art, you shouldn’t drop other hobbies and passions of yours.
They make you a more rounded individual and they are creative sources that will inspire you in your art.

Similarly, don’t hole in at your workplace or home studio. But go out, or even change city and live in some other country.

Share Your Work

The author says there are benefits in being unknown and obscure, such as the total freedom of failing and experimenting.
Eventually you want to reach a certain level of fame though. The best way to do that is to share everything you do.

When you share you will receive some harsh criticism. The author says it’s important you don’t allow the negativity to drag you down or sidetrack you through anger.
And if you can’t stop anger from getting to you, then you can use that anger for a source of creativity.

Praise File

Austin Kleon recommends not only that you use anger as fuel, but also that you save all the praises you get.
You can then read through all the praises you got when you need an uplift.

My Note: I personally am strongly against idea as it trains your ego to depend on other people’s praises. Praise should only be used as a feedback tool, but not to derive ego satisfaction. Sophia Amoruso I recently read also is of the same opinion.
Read more here:

Real Life Applications

Stop Stressing About “Copying”
I write a lot of reviews here so I end up speaking with authors. And quite a few of them hold many grudges against anyone who “copied” their work.
Yet I rarely think their work has been copied. It had quite a different flair in my opinion. Don’t stress about copycats too much. As Prada CEO said:

We’re not interested in creating products that nobody wants to copy

Just make sure, of course, that they’re not copy-pasting your work and that you find your own voice even when you re-interpret old concepts.

CONS

One-Idea Book
Albeit I like the idea, Steal Like an Artist rotates around one single idea basically. I felt the same for the 5 Second Rule for example.
But that might be a bit unfair to say as some of the other tips can also add quite a bit of value.

PROS

Brief and Easy
I might even been even shorter -but I often think that-, but it’s certainly not long and drawn out. And it’s very easy and pleasant to read.

Great Concept
I loved the idea. There’s no such thing as new and 100% original. So don’t stress about it, consume all media and feel free to say what’s already been said… But with your own unique

References

· The power moves by amazon (book reviews)

· getAbstract AG

Credit Card Fraud, What do you do?

Credit Card Fraud, what to do when it happens. www.gafra.org

Hi everyone…can you believe my card was hacked?. You hear about these things happening, like your identity being stolen or your card being hacked but you never think it would happen to you. I have to admit though that as I was doing more business online via the blogging, setting up my Etsy shop and having to ensure my sites are well done and presentable I was registering for more platforms that had to help me do all the different aspects of a website, my mind ran on whether my card would get hacked.

But I thought I was safe well it seems I wasn't. The worst feeling in the world is when you use your credit card and it’s declined when you know it has money on it or at least supposed to, not only that, you know you haven’t reached your limit or gone on any shopping sprees, so whats going on? So I did some research because I realised that something was wrong so I checked my account only to see a set of transactions a that I definitely did not do, especially as I live in Trinidad and these were transactions that took place in California.

Someone bought food, and sneakers with my card. I definitely couldn’t order food from a restaurant in California while living in Trinidad. I immediately called the bank manager and he put me onto the officer who deals with these issues. They told me to complete forms for each transaction that I didn’t do and then send it in to them.

It will then take 2 and a half months to know the results based on their investigations. Still no surety that I would get it back. They stole $750USD, most of which belongs to my daughter, so I definitely want it back. It’s a shame I’m not a hacker so I could go online myself and find the thief and make them pay for what the've done. Cyber crime is just to difficult to solve, it makes you feel helpless and there is so much of it going on today.

These days thieves don’t wear masks and they don’t arrive on horseback totting guns; they do their dirty deeds from the comfort of their own home. Whether they steal your actual identity or they hack your credit card, all it takes is for one fraudulent charge to ruin your day.



Credit Card Fraud, You never think it will happen to you. www.gafra.org

So let me share with you what I learned about Card breaches from the research I did:

Our credit card information can be stolen right under your nose without your credit card ever leaving your possession. Unfortunately, most victims of this type of credit card theft don’t find out their credit card details have been stolen until after the credit card has already been used. Often, fraudulent credit card charges are the first sign that credit card information has been stolen.

How Thieves Steal Credit Card Information

In many instances, thieves don’t steal your credit card information directly from you. Instead, they get it somewhere else in the credit card processing chain. Here are a few ways thieves can get access to your credit card information.

1. Hacking into other businesses. Thieves can steal your information by breaching a company where you’ve used your credit card or a company that handles some aspect of credit card processing. Since data breaches target entire organizations, sometimes millions of consumers have their credit card information stolen. Most mega data breaches – like Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, and Anthem – make headline news

2. Skimming. A credit card skimmer is a small device that captures your credit card information in another otherwise legitimate transaction. Thieves secretly place credit card skimmers over the credit card swipe at gas stations and ATMs then return to retrieve the information captured.

Sometimes a counterfeit credit card ring recruits cashiers, waitresses, or other workers to skim customer credit cards. You hand your credit card to the cashier for processing and when you’re not looking, the cashier will swipe your credit card through the skimming device.

3. Installing malware or viruses on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Hackers can design software that’s downloaded in email attachments or other software and sits on your computer undetected. In one instance, hackers take advantage of public wi-fi to trick people into installing malware disguised as a software update. The software monitors your keystrokes or takes screenshots of your page and sends the activity to the thief.

4. Tricking you. Thieves set up traps to trick consumers into giving up credit card information. They do this by phone, by email, through fake websites, and sometimes even via text message. In one scam, for example, you verify some personal information in a call that you think is your credit card issuer’s fraud department. It’s important that you only give out your credit card and other personal information only in transactions you can be sure are safe.

5. Old-fashioned dumpster diving. Throwing away documents or receipts that have your full credit card number printed puts you at risk of theft. While dumpster diving doesn't happen as often as in the past, it's still important to be aware of the possibility. Always shred these documents before tossing them in the trash. Unfortunately, you can’t control how businesses dispose of their records. If they fail to shred records that contain credit card information, the information is at risk of being stolen.

What Do Thieves Do With Your Credit Card Information

1. Use it to make online purchases. Thieves can use your credit card information to buy things over the internet.

2. Sell it. Credit card information can be sold over the internet for $5 to $100 in the U.S., depending on the type and amount of information that’s sold.

3. Create cloned credit cards. Thieves can make legitimate-looking credit cards by programming your credit card information on a gift cards or prepaid credit card. When the card is swiped, the transaction processes just like it would if you swiped your actual credit card.

How to Know If Your Credit Card Information Has Been Stolen

This kind of credit card theft can go undetected for several months. It’s not like a physical credit card that you notice is missing. You likely won’t know until you notice unauthorised charges on your credit card account.

Don’t count on your bank to catch instances of credit card theft. This is so true as I was the one who noticed due to my card being declined. I don’t think the bank would have noticed anything, at least it depends on the bank. Some banks call you to double check any transaction they feel looks suspicious as per your spending trend. Your credit card issuer may call you or freeze your account if they notice purchases outside your normal spending habits, but don’t take for granted that your bank will always notify you of potential fraud.

Card fraud is happening all the time. What do you do to protect yourself?

What to Do If Your Credit Card Info is Stolen

  • · Monitor your credit card often and

  • · Immediately report fraudulent purchases, regardless of the amount.

  • · Read through your transactions once a month when your credit card statement comes.

  • · Once a week is better and daily or every other day will let you spot fraudulent purchases before the thief can do too much damage to your account.

  • · Some credit cards can send real-time transaction notifications to your smartphone.

Sometimes thieves test to see which credit card numbers are valid by making a small charge of a few dollars or pennies that would likely go undetected. If the small charge is successful, the thief knows the credit card number work and will go on to make bigger purchases with the credit card information.

  • · Don't ignore small, seemingly innocent credit card purchases. Even something as small as a few cents could be a sign that your credit card information has been compromised.

  • · Pay attention to news regarding hacks and data breaches. News reports will often include the name of the store affected and the date or date range the data beach occurred. If you shopped during that time period, there’s a chance your credit card information was stolen.

Do You Pay for Fraudulent Purchases?

Legally, you are not responsible for any unauthorized purchases made with your stolen credit card information – as long as your credit card is still in your possession. (With debit cards, you must report unauthorized transactions within 60 days of your bank statement being sent to you.)

You must report the transactions to your credit card issuer so they can investigate and remove them from your account.

Keeping Your Credit Card Information Safe


If you use your credit card at all, anywhere, your information is at risk.

There is a number of things you can do to keep your credit card information safe.

  • · Use strong passwords,

  • · Be cautious about where you use your credit card,

  • · Always use secure websites, and

  • · Avoiding storing your credit card details in your web browser.

Protecting Accounts That Use Your Credit Card

It’s not just your credit cards that are at risk. Other accounts that use your credit card are at risk, too.

  • · PayPal,

  • · Netflix,

  • · HBO GO,

  • · ITunes, and other accounts.

Unfortunately, it’s tough to circumvent theft with these services, considering many require you to store your credit card information to even sign up for an account.

As mobile payments becomes mainstream, you can expect digital pick pocketing to increase. There’s already an Android app that allows thieves to wirelessly steal mobile payment information just by standing near a person who has credit card information stored on their phone.

What to Do If Your Card Data Is Breached

1. Cancel Your Card

Call your bank or card issuer and request a new credit or debit card. If a debit card was involved, you'll also want to change the PIN on the account. Some banks and issuers automatically shut down your card and send a new one when they know it's been compromised.

2. Check Your Accounts

You'll also want to check bank and credit card statements for suspicious activity or purchases, as well as going online to check recent activity.

If your card is used before you're aware of the data breach and its used by a thief, you'll need to make sure you dispute the charges with your bank or card issuer immediately.

This process can be a bit lengthier with a debit card, but you'll want to flag any potential debit

3. Change Passwords

Your next step is to change your passwords on those accounts, as well as the password to any account that's been breached. If you re-use some form of those passwords on other accounts, it's a good idea to change those, too.

Other Options After a Data Breach

Assuming you've reported any unauthorized transaction immediately to the credit card or debit card issuer and since a card can easily be canceled, you may not need to take additional action other than keeping an eye on your card statements and credit reports.

What Do You Do?

1. Yes, it’s serious, but don’t panic.

2. Call your bank and the credit reporting companies.

3. Send written notification to your creditors.

4. Monitor your statements and correspondences.



References:

1. How Your Credit Card Information is Stolen and What to Do About It by Latoya Irby

2. 4 things to do after your credit card has been hacked by Pamela Britton- Baer

3. 3 things to do if your credit card or debit card is involved in a data breach by Brian O’connor







How To Share Your Work With Your Team

As a Business Owner. How do you share the work with your team?. www.gafra.org

Hi guys…do you know what I do? Well this post is going to give you an idea of what I do daily as a business coach, at least one of the areas I cover in that capacity, but I’m doing it through one topic at a time, that I encounter and have to assist my clients with almost everyday…DELEGATING. Delegating to your team members. Yes the entire aspect of delegating is normally seen as simply giving someone something to do, but it encompasses way more than that. For example, say you have 4 team members who work with you. Out of those 4, two work well and are reliable and you’re sure they will finish what you give them, but then there are the other 2 who don’t seem to be as reliable or tend to make errors and never finish on time.


So what tends to happen because of this? You tend to give the 2 that work best most of the work and give the other 2 less…. but is that fair? NO!! it’s not. Don’t worry, I understand why it happens that way, you have deadlines and you want to get the work done and you don’t have time to give up to deal with the other 2. However, as their leader, the right thing to do and what your responsibility is, is to make sure the work is evenly distributed despite each individuals’ ability or lack of. What you need to do is track each person and after tracking them and evaluating their individual strength and areas for improvement, then take note of what tasks you need to delegate and decide who can do each task best. Those who fall short then some level of coaching, training, guidance or instruction has to be provided to those individuals.


A delegation planner for the business owner available at www.gafra.org or www.etsy.com/shop/teaprint.

So lets look at this activity called DELEGATION. What is that?



Delegation is assigning responsibility and authority to someone in order to complete a clearly defined and agreed upon task while you retain ultimate responsibility for its success. Delegation incorporates empowering your teammates through effective leadership, and may be directed in any direction and used in any organization.



Delegation is important for 1) efficiency and 2) development. Delegation improves efficiency when it allows work to be transferred to people whose skills are a better match for the work. So one purpose for delegation is to save you time. Delegation is your most powerful time management tool, and it is also your most powerful learning and development and empowerment tool.



The Advantages & Disadvantages of Delegating Tasks. To be effective at work or your business, you often have to delegate tasks to others. Assigning team members responsibility over a task not only takes some of the load off your shoulders, it can also help your junior team members to grow and develop. Delegation enables you to focus on more important tasks or tasks for which you are better suited. The increase in time reduces pressure and stress. This allows you to concentrate on your remaining tasks and allocate more time for other tasks.

Gail Circular.png

Hi I’m GaFra

Visit my new Etsy Storeteaprint” right

HERE.



1. Imporve time management

2. Build trust within the unit and team

3. Allows you to spend time on other more important tasks

4. Helps develop your team members



What you need to consider when you delegate:



1. Always provide feedback.

Make sure to contribute both positive and negative feedback, so the person you're giving responsibility to will understand what he or she is doing well and how they need to improve.

2. Be sure to keep an eye on things.

Monitoring the work of people will both motivate them and help you to catch problems as they arise. An inexperienced team member will need more oversight.

3. Be clear about what you want your employees to do.

Make sure employees understand the responsibilities they are assuming and that they accept them. Ask them to confirm their understandings with you.

4. Delegate the right things.

Delegate recurring tasks, detail work, attendance at some meetings, and activities that will be part of team members' future responsibilities.

5. Provide guidance when necessary.

If the work veers too far from the planned guidelines, take immediate and decisive corrective action. You're not doing anyone any favors by stepping back entirely from your assignments. Mutually agree on a plan to return to the targeted goals. If the situation doesn't improve, end the assignment and move on.

6. Give employees the authority they need to get the job done.

Any delegated task must be accompanied by a delegation of authority--that is, the power and resources to get the job done. Authority may include giving the employee power to spend money, seek assistance from others, or represent the department or company.

7. Have the right attitude about delegating.

Leaders sometimes view planning as a hindrance to getting their best work done, but planning to delegate is an investment in your people, your company's culture, and in your business. It's a good thing, not a bad thing.

8. Consider the skills and interests of your people.

When assigning a task, consider each person's demonstrated skill, interest in the task, and current workload. Know his or her record of success on similar assignments--how they work with others, when they operate best, and how well they work under pressure.

9. Set clear expectations.

Explain both the overall goals of the task along with the standards that will be used to measure results. Make sure the goals are specific, attainable, relevant, and measurable.



Get Business & Personal Printable Planners for all the different ways to organise your life. here at www.gafra.org or on my Etsy store www.etsy.com/shop/teaprint

Daily I see leaders who aren’t delegating properly so work is piled on a few who get frustrated and overworked, then begin to complain or may simply leave after a while. You simply need to take the time to get those that are slower or are making errors, to train them up to a higher level to be able to handle the tasks assigned to them. If after continuous coaching and training the individual does not improve then they are not a good fit for the position and may have to be moved to another position where the work is simpler or it may be a case where their competency has reached its peak and they are unable to process the type of work being dealt with in their unit. Then serious decisions need to be made about the individual with some consultation with them.

Be a great leader and if you know you suck at delegating and things just aren't going as they should then I hope this short post helped in some way. Even if all it did was to make you aware of some of the things you need to do when you delegate then I'm glad for that small benefit you got. If you're interested, my Delegation planner can help you to delegate better, it isn't expensive and you'll gain great benefits on how to follow the process, just follow the forms as they are and soon giving your team members work to do will become a breeze. and this time you will rake in the rewards via smooth sharing or work and deadlines being met.




This is just one topic I deal with daily. I’ve simplified it as much as I can here for this post but Delegating is a process and as I created in my Delegation planner, there are forms in there than can guide you through the proper process for delegating. Check it out.

See you soon and I’ll be talking about another area I deal with and that is handling interruptions.

Reference:

· Wikipedia

· Management Skills blog – what is the purpose for delegation

· Advantages & Disadvatages of delegating Tasks by Dianne Heath

· Delegation is an art by peter economy