Is Dining Out Ever a Good Idea

Going out to restaurants is one of those things that we all do from time to time.  Some of us more than others though. And a lot of personal finance blogs and gurus say that this is one of those things that we all need to cut back on.  But is it really?

Sure the cost of a meal at a rrestaurant is a lot higher than if you made it yourself.  But whar about the time value of money?

For instance, it takes me a really good long time to make a meal at home as I’m not so great in the kitchen. And when you consider the time value of money, it looks like dining out is a good thing for me since it frees up time for me to work on income producing projects.

But there is a catch.  My income potential is only so high.  That means that meals out for me are only worth it up to a certain degree. And I believe this is true for a lot of people out there.

Granted, if you just lay around watching the television all night then it is not a good return on the time saved for you to dine out at a restaurant.

Another thing to consider – what if you would not be spending the time saved on something that produces an income but on something else beneficial, such as your health. Say you do a little working out in your home gym like this site recommends with the time saved by grabbing restaurant food. Or, maybe you can spend the time working on some personal development or something like crafty items that you post up for sale on Etsy or a similar site.

So, no, dining out is not always a bad idea. And for some people and some situations, it is even a good idea when you consider the time value of money that comes into play.

Poker – Is Patience is a virtue?

Table Tales – Patience

I was having a bit of fun today in a tourney over at Everest Poker.

Anyway, finally I made it down to the last three without much drama and then got on top through some blind stealing as the other guys seemed kind of passive. The weakest of these guys fell in the end as he ran out of chips to play with and got penned in the corner… leaving 2 of us heads up.

Next thing, it got to the point where I had 65% of the chips and got a tasty enough looking hand (QJs). The other guy goes “all-in” off the bat so I call him… he’s holding J6… he hits the straight with the 6… I call him a “nice guy” and “pat” my monitor;)

Anyway, I have been playing like a muppet all week so am playing for my pride here and stay patient. I get QQ and he goes all in again… this time I win… I now have 70% of the chips. He goes all one more time… this time my J10 against his 107… I am waiting for him to get lucky again… my fist is ready… not this time… my hand wins out.

I don’t always have it, but patience is a virtue and I think the beats and what have you will even out… just bear it in mind.

Why Doesn’t Anyone Visit my Blog?

There are many tribes who live in the Amazon, few people ever make contact with them and there are maybe some that haven’t yet been discovered. Only a few intrepid explorers ever meet up with them.

When you start off your website on the world wide web, you are like a tribe in the middle of the Amazon. Chances are that no-one is ever going to know about you . Maybe just the odd person who stumbles upon you when they are lost. You are in the middle of nowhere and you don’t exist on any map. If you want to be found, put yourself on the map.

Starting to look at your website like this can open up a whole new philosophy of Internet marketing . When I first started out I was angry because nobody visited. I was angry with all the Internet users in the world. Then suddenly one day it clicked… it’s not their fault. 99.99999% of them don’t even know I exist.

I then started to think of a website like a club or village or city in the real world. There are some cities in the world that are world famous. Everybody knows of them and there is a reason, they are full of attractions and things to do. If you look in a travel book they are there. They have major highways, train links and airports. They stick out on the map. There are signposts to them everywhere. You can’t miss them. These are like the super-bloggers such as ProBlogger and John Chow.

Of course not everybody wants to be Mayor of New York. Some people are just happy running a small exclusive club. Whatever you do though, you have to think about how and where you will find your customers and make sure you are where they are looking. The more places you are referenced and the better your venue is signposted, the more visitors you are going to get. When they arrive you want to make sure you have what they want as well.

Hold a party, strive to please your customers and start to spread the word. If you keep your venue smart, are friendly and welcoming, the visitors will keep coming back. Try to beat their expectations, just as in the real world. If you want more visitors, then you need to build more attractions to keep them interested and you need to make sure these attractions are advertised.

When you go to a party, there is always the one person who everyone seems attracted to. This is the person who is approachable and most of all passionate. Remember that, people are attracted to passion. They are also drawn to a person who smiles. Don’t be the person sitting in the corner hoping someone comes over to them, be the one going over.

This metaphor could go on in a million different directions, but the point I am getting at is that the Internet is not that alien from the real world. Think about things in relation to the real world. Use what you use in the real world.

You will find success.

The Power of Financial Diversity

As I mentioned in my last post, I was recently laid off. I have found some more work, but the experience has made me think a lot about financial diversity and the idea of not putting all your eggs in one basket.

One of the things that has suddenly clicked in my head, is the idea that if you are dependent on one source for the majority of your income then you are pretty much owned by that person or that company. If you rely on an employer for most of your income then you are a slave to them and their ideas.

Having a diversified portfolio of income gives you independence and gives you the power to choose how and where you get your money from.

It also cushions you from the ups and downs in one line of business or in one company.

  • If you rely on your savings account for the majority of your income, what happens when interest rates fall?
  • If you rely on your property, what happens when you can’t rent it out?

I think it is a simple philosophy, but the benefits of diversifying your income are easy to see and is something everyone should start thinking about doing today.

My mission from now on is take make sure that I am never again reliant on one source of income for more than 33% of my income (we shall make that living income). That could be anything, whether a job, a bank account or my own company. I don’t want my fate tied so closely into one thing.

I want the power to choose and I think diversification gives you that.

What do you choose?

3 Rules for Coping with Change

I am writing this from the position of recently having lost my job and now moving onto new things. When reality hit that I was no longer employed and that I wasn’t going to be receiving my latest paycheck, I decided to take a step back and make sure I reacted in a positive way.

Amongst all that was going on around me and the situation it was pretty difficult, but I am also a pretty simple person, so I like things as straightforward as I can make them. I like a simple method I can follow, because the simpler it is, the easier it is to fall back on. This is how I dealt with the upheaval.

The first thing I did was to accept that I couldn’t alter what had happened and so put that behind me. Why waste time on if’s and but’s and things you can’t change? The situation was done, it wasn’t going to change, no matter what I did. So…

  • Rule 1: You can’t change what has already happened, don’t waste your energy.

The second thing I did was decide to see what the positive side of being laid off was. Or what it “could” be. As they say, you attract what you focus on, so I started to look at the opportunities for change that it gave me, the new possibilities.

Once I started doing this I actually became pretty upbeat and life started moving in a positive direction again. Then the momentum effect began to take over, it’s important just to get the ball rolling.

  • Rule 2: Look for the opportunities the change has created.

I believe Winston Churchill once said that “some people see difficulty in all possibilities while some people see possibility in all difficulties”. I think this is something to bear in mind. When change happens, train yourself to focus on the possibilities.

Having seen the opportunities that being out of work had given me, somethings that I had been blind to previously, I quickly started to feel more positive and decided to pick my fight. Where was my energy and focus going to go?

For me, it wasn’t going to be to fight the change. It was going to be to fight for a better future. The result being that I have now found myself a better job and also have set about more time for myself to update me skills.

  • Rule 3: Pick your fight wisely, then put all you energy into it.

Of course, you can choose to fight the change (if you are sure it is a change for the worse and it’s of a benefit to be fought) or you can choose to fight for new openings and new opportunities.

This is my simple story. This is my simple method of dealing with change. I hope you can take some optimism from this and start to believe that all change isn’t bad. Find your own way of coping and turning it into a positive experience and make it a habit.

A New Direction

I have come back from holiday and just one of those things, it has proven difficult to get back into the blogging habit. The break has given a bit of a new perspective on things though as it has moved me away from the action and so I have had a bit of a think about the direction of the blog.

Before I went away I was beginning to drift, so I want to add the focus back to what I was doing, so I am going to introduce some themes for the week. These are:

  • Monday-Tuesday: Self Improvement
  • Wednesday-Thursday: Finance
  • Friday-Saturday: Blogging & Marketing
  • Sunday: Links & Everything Else!!

I am also kind of embarrassed by the look of my site, so I am going to try and work it around a cleaner theme. Fingers crossed that I can make it look a bit more appealing :D

Carnival of Self Help and Inspiration – Oct 2007

The hard work has been done for you. Take a look. It’s that time of the month now where I host a carnival to help people show off all the great articles they have written. I received a lot of submissions and it took me a while to sort through them all to make sure they fit in with the site and are of appropriate quality. Bearing that in mind, many thanks to all the authors for their hard work and the many words of inspiration and new ideas for my readers.

So here it is, a whole host of articles arranged around 3 themes related to this site. The themes are the ideas of self help, inspiration and mind hacks. Please enjoy :D

General Self Help

Arin Vahanian presents How to Build True, Lasting Confidence posted at Super State (editor says: an interesting look at how to build confidence and how very close you are to it)

FitBuff presents How to Speed Up Your Metabolism posted at FitBuff.com’s Total Mind and Body Fitness Blog (editor says: learn how to speed up your metabolism and receive the many health benefits)

Silicon Valley Blogger presents My One Money Advice: Be Prepared For That Rainy Day posted at The Digerati Life (editor says: you’ve heard it before, but never forget it)

Matthew Spears presents The innocence of anger posted at Loving Awareness (editor says: a look at a positive process by which to use anger)

Todd Goldfarb presents Why Your Smallest Actions Define You posted at We The Change (editor says: a reminder that the small things add up, so don’t let your standards slip… even for a second)

Alex Marlin presents Most Educated People Have No Social Skills posted at Life Improvement Tips For Thin and Small People (editor says: it’s among the most important things for success, take the time to learn and use it)

Albert Foong presents Love, Sorrow, and Attachment posted at Urban Monk (editor says: shows how nothing is permanent, learn how to cope with change through love)

John Crenshaw presents Are You Proactive or Reactive? posted at Dominate Your Life (editor says: a reminder to think ahead so you don’t spend your life just reacting to situations)

Inspiration

Bradley Woods presents Defeat Is Only Temporary posted at Conceive, Believe, Achieve (editor says: the greatest people in the world share one thing… perseverence)

karen alonge presents relationship life preservers posted at postcards from nowhere (editor says: some very sound advice on preserving a relationship)

Tupelo Kenyon presents Choose the Companionship of Positive People Who Inspire You posted at Tupelo Kenyon (editor says: learn how to get more positive energy and relationships in your life)

Nubby Twiglet presents The 5 Secrets to Success posted at Nubby Twiglet Art & Design (editor says: a straight forward guide to point you in the direction of success)

Ronit presents If You Think You Can or Think You Can’t, You Are Right – The Story of Marina posted at Ronit Baras (editor says: as it says on the tin… eye opening case example)

Jennifer Mannion presents Heal Pain Naturally: Self-Talk posted at Heal Pain Naturally (editor says: Jennifer has an interesting story, this part is on the effect of your internal dialogue)

Tina Su presents How to Fight Your Fears posted at Think Simple. Be Decisive. (editor says: 5 ways to fight your fears and empower yourself)

Mind Hacks

Uni presents Personal Brain Revitalizer:Take Advantage of Your Brain Cycles posted at You Deserve More (editor says: an interesting method by which to select the hemishpere of your brain which you want to use)

Bert presents Attention posted at Ask-Bert (editor says: nice article from a new blogger on how to keep your focus)

Carnival of Self Help and Inspiration – Sep 2007

Here it is. This is my first attempt at hosting a carnival. I wanted to make something which would coincide with the aims of this blog, which is to provide some inspiration and to give people simple and effective ways in which to add more zest to your life. It took me a while to check through the posts, but I believe I have provided a worthy selection. Many thanks to all the authors.

Self Improvement

Todd Goldfarb presents Get Perspective by Working in Nature posted at We The Change (editor says: a beautiful look at how just to get on your life without letting the outside world affect you)

pnreddy presents Beat The Deadline To Get The Things Done Fast! posted at Self Help Zone (editor says: a bit of a kick up the backside to help you get stuff done)

Ellesse presents Is There Anything You Wished You’ve Never Done? at Goal Setting College posted at Goal Setting College (editor says: some ideas on how to avoid getting hung up on the past and enjoying the journey)

Peter S C presents 4 Effective Practices for Gaining Perspective posted at I will change your life (editor says: learn how to put that much needed perspective into your life)

Moneywalks presents How to Determine Financial Success posted at moneywalks (editor says: get back to basics and boost your wealth)

Rodney Burge – Marketing Strategies presents Leader, Know Thyself posted at Diane Bolden – Leadership Training (editor says: read this and you will understand that you can become a leader)

Arun presents The Power of Being Social posted at Arun is bringing you…Your Daily Remedy (editor says: he’s a definate character and provides some great ideas on how to get more sociable and the fun of doing it)

Inspiration

Arin Vahanian presents How One Quote Can Change Your Life posted at Super State (editor says: learn how to stopping blaming others and make that change now… yourself)

Jonathan Fields presents Karma Capitalism: A radical approach to accelerated business and career growth posted at Jonathan Fields | Awake At The Wheel (editor says: it’s a long article, but it’s a great read on how you can do business without the need to grab instantly for all you can get)

Yazan Manasrah presents You have more than you realize posted at The Blasted Crossing (editor says: a simple reminder to realize how much you have)

David B. Bohl presents Life Coaches Blog Column: The Art of Predicting Your Own Lasting Happiness posted at Slow Down Fast Today! (editor says: is happiness difficult to find? Find out here)

Alexander Becker presents How Context Creates Meaning posted at WOW (editor says: a reminder of the fact you can choose how you view something)

Raymond David Salas presents The Power of Letting Go posted at ZenChill.com Power Tools Blog (editor says: advice on letting go and how it can help you build a new life)

edithyeung presents What are You Waiting for posted at Edith Yeung.Com: Dream. Think. Act. (editor says: Just do it!)

Chris Wondra presents Music: A Metaphor for Forgiveness posted at Chris Wondra . com (editor says: a nice metephor on how to learn to get over it and get on with life)

Tristan presents Arland Dean Williams Jr: The Ultimate Act of Unconditional Love posted at The Synergy Institute (editor says: a beautiful story of inspiration and courage that brought tears to my eyes)

Alex Landis presents Are you anybody’s favorite person? posted at AlexLandis.com (editor says: a thought provoked question that might change your ideas on relationships)

Liz presents Goal Setting Commandment #9 – Thou Shall Reward Thyself! posted at Personal Strategic Plan (editor says: it’s so simple but we so often forget it)

Mind Hacks

Rob presents Early to bed, early to rise; How I learned to become an early riser posted at Dusk and Dawn (editor says: it’s been done a lot, but it’s another perspective worth looking at)

Giannis Mamin presents Don?t loose energy on the way posted at WeddInWeb Blog (editor says: when you are making progress, people try to stop you, don’t let them take your energy and momentum)

Rodney Burge – Marketing Strategies presents See What You Want posted at Lori Prokop – Keyboard Culture (editor says: it’s simple, but it’s just as powerful. Don’t forget it)

Hope you have enjoyed this edition. Please take the time to read all the articles and provide some feedback and support. It’s what makes blog carnivals work.

If you want to submit your blog article to the next edition of the carnival of inspiration and self help using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

5 Minute Meditation for Success

As you sit there, you know that sometimes it pays just to get away from the world and focus on something else. Focus on your growth and remove all the stress in your life. Now, take a breath and just imagine how it feels.

Do it. Throw all your negative thoughts away just for a minute. Experience the power you can gain from just stepping out of the rush and taking the time to go to the place you want to be. Smile.

This is what this little meditation and visualization technique is all about. It’s just a little tool in your belt to fight against the constant rush of the modern world and to keep you focused on what counts. Your goals and the feelings and power associated with them.

  1. Take a goal you want to focus on and imagine what you could do if you had it. For example if you are after wealth, picture going into the most expensive restaurant in town and not caring about the price.This is your picture. (If it helps draw out this picture beforehand).
  2. Make sure you are somewhere where you won’t be disturbed.
  3. Sit in a comfortable and upright posture and close your eyes.
  4. Take 3 deep breaths, slowly breathing in, holding, letting go.
  5. Focus on the thoughts in your mind. Take each one, acknowledge it and tell it you will attend to it in 5 minutes time.
  6. Keep going until your mind is clear.
  7. Take 10 breaths, focusing on the air going in and out. Focus on the rhythm.
  8. Now take that picture of your goal. Visualize it ( if you need help with this take a look at this exercise for you imagination). Feel it. Be part of it and enjoy the experience.
  9. Smile and say thank you to yourself and the world. You are done.

As with any kind of meditation or visualization, the benefits come through doing it regularly and repeatedly. Take self improvement one step at a time. Success needn’t be difficult. The natural power of meditation and visualization is way beyond the simplicity of this exercise.

Your Task

Just take 5 minutes to escape everyday and make sure you focus on something you want. Remember to say thank you.