Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wanna Get Married???

You want to get married. It's taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud -- even in your mind -- feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you're hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor.
You've never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box.
Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe. A breakup. Your brother's wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride -- she was so effing happy -- and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you're not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering... Deep, deep breath... Why you're not married.
Well, I know why.
How? It basically comes down to this: I've been married three times. Yes, three. To a very nice MBA at 19; a very nice minister's son at 32 (and pregnant); and at 40, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of doing multiple stints in federal prison.
I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated -- traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I've become a sort of jailhouse lawyer of relationships -- someone who's had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.
But I won't lie. The problem is not men, it's you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they're not really standing in your way. Because the fact is -- if whatever you're doing right now was going to get you married, you'd already have a ring on it. So without further ado, let's look at the top six reasons why you're not married.
1. You're a Bitch.
Here's what I mean by bitch. I mean you're angry. You probably don't think you're angry. You think you're super smart, or if you've been to a lot of therapy, that you're setting boundaries. But the truth is you're pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it's scaring men off.
The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here's what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian. Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn't think so. You've seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men. I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man's fear and insecurity in order to get married -- but actually, it's perfect, since working around a man's fear and insecurity is big part of what you'll be doing as a wife.
2. You're Shallow.

When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man's character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you're not married, I already know it isn't. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.
Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy. And they never feel like cooking, either.
3. You're a Slut.
Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore -- but they're not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you're having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin -- it doesn't stay recreational for long.
That's due in part to this thing called oxytocin -- a bonding hormone that is released when a woman a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm -- that will totally mess up your casual-sex game. It's why you can be f**k-buddying with some dude who isn't even all that great and the next thing you know, you're totally strung out on him. And you have no idea how it happened. Oxytocin, that's how it happened. And since nature can't discriminate between marriage material and Charlie Sheen, you're going to have to start being way more selective than you are right now.
4. You're a Liar.
It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he's not really available for a relationship. He has some condition that absolutely precludes his availability, like he's married, or he gets around town on a skateboard. Or maybe he just comes right out and says something cryptic and open to interpretation like, "I'm not really available for a relationship right now."
You know if you tell him the truth -- that you're ready for marriage -- he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don't want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don't want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!
About ten minutes later, the oxytocin kicks in. You start wanting more. But you don't tell him that. That's your secret -- just between you and 22,000 of your closest girlfriends. Instead, you hang around, having sex with him, waiting for him to figure out that he can't live without you. I have news: he will never "figure" this out. He already knows he can live without you just fine. And so do you. Or you wouldn't be lying to him in the first place.
5. You're Selfish.
If you're not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don't have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy -- or at least a guy with a really, really good job -- would solve all your problems.
However, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It's not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say -- if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.
6. You're Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don't think that. You do. I can tell because you're not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.
Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don't know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won't love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.
I see this at my son's artsy, progressive school. Of 183 kids, maybe six have moms who are as cute as you're trying to be. They're attractive, sure. They're just not objects. Their husbands (wisely) chose them for their character, not their cup size.
Alright, so that's the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You're just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won't. Once the initial high wears off, you'll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.
Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession -- a free-agent penis -- and for us, it's the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.
The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway -- because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self -- you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:

Love.
                                                     FIND LOVE HERE

Lady Gaga Reveals All On Bad Romance

Eccentric "Bad Romance" songstress Lady Gaga says she has an "inability to know what happiness feels like with a man," in typically outspoken comments accompanying a nude magazine photospread. Gaga posed for a series of trademark Annie Leibovitz pictures on the cover and inside pages of the latest edition of Vanity Fair -- including one shot of her naked, being painted by veteran crooner Tony Bennett.

"I have never felt truly cherished by a lover. I have an inability to know what happiness feels like with a man," she told the magazine, suggesting she might be destined to be a single Lady forever.
And she added: "I say this honestly, and this is my new thing as of the past year: when I fight with someone I'm in a relationship with, I think, 'What would my fans think if they knew this was happening?'
"How would they feel about my work and about me as a female if they knew I was allowing this to go on?' And then I get out," she said.

Gaga -- who was due to appear Wednesday night at the annual Grammys nomination show in Los Angeles -- appears in a lavish red two-piece and over-sized hat on the front of the magazine.
Inside pictures include her washing furs in a laundromat, eating at a hot dog stand dressed in a vast golden dress -- and a shot of her naked, posing on a rug with her back arched for Bennett, in an artist's studio.
She says her relationships tend to follow a same destructive pattern, especially if her partner is as creative as she is.

"It starts out good," she says. "Then when I'm in these relationships with people who are also creative, or creative in their own way, what happens is the attraction is initially there and it's all unicorns and rainbows.
"And then they hate me... If I go to the piano and write a quick song and play it back, they are angry with how fast and effortless it is. That's who I am, and I don't apologize for it."
She added that sometimes she feels she is destined to be lonely. "I had a man say to me, 'You will die alone in a house bigger than you know, with all your money and hit records, and you will die alone'."

  1. Are you an experienced investor?
  2.  Do you have a good credit history?
  3.  Are you looking for alternative strategies to grow your wealth? If so, leveraging or investing with borrowed money may be right for you.
   A companion Advisor Article considers this: Although some people are hesitant to borrow to invest, it can be a powerful wealth-building strategy. Proper used, it can help increase your investment returns and accelerate your portfolio’s growth. While borrowing to invest magnifies both positive and negative returns, you can reduce risk by adopting strategy that reflects your personal risk tolerance and financial circumstances.
EXPLORING THE ADVANTAGES.
  • ·         Accelerated capital growth.
  • ·         Potentials for enhanced tax savings.
  • ·         Improved investment discipline.
  • ·         The potential for increase returns.
  These are just some of the benefits that can be realized through carefully structured leveraging/borrowing strategy. Here’s why:
leveraging/borrowing can help you accelerate your capital growth by taking advantage of the long-term benefits of compounding investment income. That’s because the income you may earn on your leveraged/borrowed income or investments is likely to be in the form of capital gains, which are taxed more favorably than interest income.
If you borrow to invest in a non-registered investment, the interest payments on your loan may be tax deductible; allowing you to save taxes- even while investing outside of an RRSP. Because an investment loan must be repaid on a regular basis, borrowing to invest can help increase your level of commitment and discipline.
CONSIDERING ALL THE OPTIONS
   While borrowing to invest is not for everyone, since it can magnify both positive and negative returns, it can help you reach your financial goals more quickly. That’s why it makes sense to consult a trusted Financial Planner, Investment & Retirement Planning, who can help you develop and implement a responsible, conservative leveraging/borrowing strategy which can help you mange the added risk leverage investing, as part of your financial plan at PROSPER they give you all this financial aids that would guide you into making a proper decision for you investment pupose. For instance:
Rather than maximizing your borrowing capacity, conservative leveraging recommends borrowing 10% to 50% of what you can handle. That way, you can reduce the financial or emotional strain that may result interested rates rise or your cash flow decreases. Rather than risking a marginal call, look for an investment loan without a margin call component.
Before implementing a leveraging strategy, it is important to understand to your risk tolerance and comfort level with market volatility. If you are uncomfortable with market fluctuations, this strategy may not be right for you. It is important that you understand and are comfortable with the fact that borrowing to invest involves greater risk than a purchase using cash resources only. Conversely, you may benefit from borrowing to invest, if you are an experienced investor who has:
 Sufficient long-term reliable cash flow to service your loan payments
  •  A long-term investment focus and commitment,
  •  A solid credit rating that allows you to qualify for an investment loan,
  •  A moderate to high tolerance for investment risk, and
  •  Experiencing investing in the equity market.
Editor’s note: Any plan that calls securities involves greater risk than a purchase using cash resources. If you decide to purchase securities, your responsibility to repay the loan and any interest required by its terms, remains the same, even if the value of the securities purchased decline. Fiscal Agents nor any other firm mentioned in this article or blog should not be construed as providing legal or tax advice, each individuals personal situation is different and as such consulting your own legal and or tax advisory is advised.
This article was constructed using material marketing from bank of Montreal and Advantage Ad visors Trust. 
                                              For more info click here:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Starting An Online Store


On the Internet, it really doesn't matter if you are physically located one km away of live in the other side of the world. It always boils down to the product itself. Your customers will be able to find and quickly buy something they are keen on but cannot purchase close to their geographical location. But as quick as they can find you, they can also visit other websites doing the same business and buy there instead. That's way you need to dominate your "niche" market.
With such a big audience there is much bigger prospective clients for "niche" products, products which are unique and compete in its superior quality, design and functionality than you can possible have by serving you local market.It's always easier trying to be "Vintage Port Wine" online retail leader than trying to make a dent on the "All Type of Wines" market. There's is just too much competition, both online and offline. What the benefit for any person on buying a simple table red wine online and wait for it to arrive if he can just buy it on his local super-market on the way home?
The good news is that starting a full online business requires much less investment than a traditional one. You will be able to successfully launch it with a few hundred Euros instead of several thousands.
                                 Bet Big on Branding
Your product's perceived value to the customer is very attached to the quality of the branding and image of your website. This also holds truth for the entire company. People will consider a lousy online shop just as reflection of a lousy business. Having a good company name and a matching Internet domain (like vintageport.com) is the first step of many others. Starting your online business by focusing on online shopping cart software instead of your core business is very likely a mistake, especially considering the many turn-key solutions available, like ours. This will set you free of heavily invest in server hardware, expensive technicians and web-design boutiques to take your business out of the ground.

A store template fully matching your corporate image and colors, with a well-thought logo will provide a more remember able and consistent experience to your clients, which will help you convert into sales later. Choosing a Plus plan on Vender grants you access to fully edit your template code, including HTML / CSS / JavaScript. Once again, the most important asset in your online store is the products, and the bigger selling point on them is its images. They should transmit as much as possible information to your clients and be crispy and clear. To have decent images you won't need to have a last-generation camera, any 150 Euro range camera will do, if you take care about setting proper product background scenery, avoid light reflection and shades in our items and have proper contrast between your online shop background and your product's images background. White background product images against white background online shops works best.

                               Be Real & Loyal
An online store brings disadvantages to the brick-and-mortar ones. You can never know how "real" a shop is. You cannot just feel it as you do when you enter one of your neighborhood shops. This is way you should try, as much as possible, to share facts, opinions, testimonials, images of your team, building and a brief history of you company with your online customers. This will help your customers feel more related to you and assured they are dealing with an authentic company and not some teenager shipping boxes from his bedroom. Be loyal to your customers by sending them promotional coupons, reward them with a small gift on each item purchased and confirm after every sale they are happy with your products. This will rise up your customer loyalty and turn each of your customer into a fan.

                            Quality Service, Always
Not everybody purchases on the Internet. Those who do are used to a superior quality of service. They'll make you life easier by buying from you without a printed product catalog, discard shop assistants and provide you their credit card details so you can process their orders more easily and faster. Treat them accordingly. This is modern times and there are dozens of international shipping carriers, so, do not make them wait two weeks for their items. Three days is more than enough. If possible include shipping costs on the total price and provide several payment methods. Email them answers to their questions within one day. 

A great part of business is lost due to the merchants' unresponsiveness. Have a sales phone number posted in your website. People will want to contact you directly, with inquiries, complains or more sales. It will also build more confidence in them about you. A person who is adventurous enough to grant you their credit card details and buy products they have never seen or touched should be gratified with a great quality. From all your clients they will be those more likely to tell all their friends about how great it was to buy from you, saying things like "can you guys imagine I bough a 2003 Vintage Port from a website and got it delivered next day even with a cork-opened included". That will mean more new customers and sales for you.
Surprise your online customers one day, they will surprise you next day.
                                Spreading the Word
The first question our customers raise to us is "how do I get my store to show up in Google". Seems a trivial question but it is not. Being indexed by Google normally takes 1-3 weeks. Ranking high on Google can take a lifetime, depending on how specialised your online store content (product description texts, categories, etc) is. There are a set of things you should do to bring traffic to your website and ultimately rank better on Google: 
  • Content
Content is the most important factor for any search engine like Google, this dictates how well your website will be ranked and against what searched keywords it will be listed. An "Wedding Favors" online store should have content not only about "Wedding Favors" but also about how to create your own wedding favors, history on wedding favors; so that anyone searching the internet on "how to create home-made favors" will be pointed by Google to the "Wedding Favors" online store.
  •  Back links
A back link is any normal link, from any third website pointing back to your website. Google keeps track on the back links pointing to you. You ranking will depend on how many back links you have and how important they are (as more important the site pointing to you the better for you). To get your first back links you can manually submit your site to website directories, like Yahoo Directory. Later, and more importantly, you should have related websites, with similar content to your online store, linking to you. e.g. the "Wedding Favor" online store could benefit from a "Wedding Dresses" website's back link. You can also propose link exchange deals by also back linking to the "Wedding Dresses" website.
  •  Online Advertising
Buying advertising is the typical way of getting traffic to your site, with the difference that in the Internet you are very sure the ads you buy hit the right type of person and what percentage of your investment on advertisement is converted into sales. The leader in targeted advertising is Google Ad Words, displaying ads accordingly the keywords people are searching. For example, if a person searches for "Sweet Chocolate Bars" on Google it is very likely you'll see ads to companies in the chocolate industry. That is because these companies have bid on keyword sentences like "chocolate bar" so that people searching for them will also be tempted to buy some of their Chocolate Bars. You should firstly identify the keywords more related to your business and then bid on those you predict to have a better conversion rate on sales. If you company sells Cereal Bars you are better off betting on the "cereal chocolate bar" than on the more general "chocolate bar" keyword sentence. In the latter you'll be competing against all chocolate bar industry. Also, I bet people searching for "cereal chocolate bars" are more likely to buy you a cereal bar than those search for "chocolate bars".
  •  Traditional Advertising
If you own a brick-and-mortar business you should think about our online store as an extension of your existing business. A 24/7 store front permanently running, converting web-surfers to your clients. Print your store URL in all you business cards and company merchandise and every time you invest in traditional advertising do not forget to mention your website.
Last but not least, efforts on spreading the word about your online store will firstly translate in more people visiting your website but that does not imply any sale. You should ultimately focus primarily converting visitors to clients and not only traffic.
 Lower Prices, Stock out and Launch your Products
As said before, the cost on running an online business is substantially lower than the traditional ones, so one good way to increase your profit and get new customers is to reflect those lower costs in your products' price. It is also a very smart and effective marketing approach, in comparison with buying ads. This way you are avoiding spending money on people who check your ads but do ultimately do not convert to buyers. By lowering prices as a marketing strategy you're only "spending" money when a sale takes place. In short, you are focusing in investing on customer’s not general public.
On your brick-and-mortar store you are most of the times confined to your local, regional or national market, sometimes saturated with competitors in the same market (like selling Premium Champagne in France or flowers in Holland) and selling out big stocks can be hard. This fact holds no truth in the online market and your online store can be a good way of stocking out your inventory in lower prices and this way getting more new customers who wouldn't buy with the original prices. Your online customers are the best customers and one way to appeal to them and make them feel more special is to launch new products firstly/only at your online store. Like a new line of products in a higher segment or a limited edition. In return they'll spread the love and share the word among their peers.
  •  Continuous Improvement
How do you estimate how much sales your store will have this week? Here is a question for you: how much time have you spent working on your store? There is tight relation between the continuous effort from a merchant and the performance of his store. Online stores which are constantly updated, with new products and new articles tend to sell more. Customers will feel when someone is taking good care of a store or just leaving it to abandonment. Having a Twitter or Face book feed displaying your last messages on this social networks is a great way to build trust on your costumers.
  •  Build, Wait, Monitor and Improve
Patience is also necessary in this business. Even if there's cases of over-night success most of the cases things start slowly and keep improving along the time. Amazon, the biggest online book retailer, took several years before even reaching profitability, and the same happen with most successful business in the Internet.
Focus in building a smart online store, in line with your business image, upload your first products and make your first attempt in online marketing. Then analyze the results you achieve, in terms of visitors, customer and sales conversion and improve this cycle by buying a premium template or hiring a professional web-designer to build it, improve your products description and quality of your images by e.g. buying a "light box" and select more effective keyword and better target the audience of you marketing campaigns. By iterating this cycle your online business will grow steadily representing very week a bigger and bigger share of your entire business revenue. All good things take time.But at Izzonet we give to an easier way of displaying your product through your own online store specially created for you. So at your own comfort zone you get to sell your product at cheaper cost even with a 30 days trial.