Solving Water and Corrosion Issues With LED Boat Lights

The number one issue confronting boaters when installing and maintaining exterior lighting is the effect the marine environment has on metal and electrical devices. Every boater knows the problems salt water can create, and metals and electrical components not well designed or properly protected can be destroyed in short order once exposed to corrosive salt water. Compounding the problem is the tendency for humidity levels to reach very high levels in the areas in and around marine environments, and when combined with high levels of salts in these same areas, they can really wreak havoc on equipment. For these reasons, it is critical to the longevity and reliability of exterior boat light to ensure the use of equipment capable of withstanding the effects associated with marine use.

The biggest problem for electrical devices onboard a boat is the constant exposure to salt water. Most metals are subject to the effects of corrosion in one form or another however, in the presence of an electrolyte, this process can become greatly accelerated. As you already know or have probably deduced, salt water is unfortunately a very good electrolyte. The corrosive process at work here is called galvanic corrosion, and it occurs when two dissimilar metals are joined together in the presence of an electrolyte. If we join two metals, such as a zinc bolt and a stainless fitting and expose them to sea water, we would see the zinc bolt rapidly oxidize until it eventually loses its structural integrity and fails. This process is constantly at work onboard a boat, and as a result boaters find themselves always faced with paying close attention to the metal structures onboard and keeping them well maintained and protected.

The issue of corrosion is even worse for electrical devices. This is in large part because of the electrical current that is constantly passing through them as they operate, which can serve to even further accelerate the process of galvanic corrosion. When we consider that the internal electronics of a device contain a wide variety of metals in their construction including zinc, steel, lead, tin, aluminum, and other metals, the issue of corrosion becomes critical indeed. If you need any proof of this, simply take a basic transistor radio onboard once and allow it to become exposed to some light salt water spray. The radio may continue to function for a day or so, but it is almost guaranteed that within two days corrosion will have attacked the internal components to the point of causing failure.

So what is the issue for the standard exterior boat light fixture? Probably the biggest issue with standard incandescent and HID boat lights used for exterior illumination whether they are spreader fixtures or simple navigation lights is the corrosion of the internal bulb sockets and wiring/contacts. Just about any boater who has serviced a standard spreader light has come across the all too common bulb permanently welded to its socket by corrosion. If the housing seal is less than perfect, or fails, it is almost certain that salt spray and high salt content humidity will contaminate the interior quickly begin the process of galvanic corrosion. Once this starts, it is difficult to control or stop, even if caught in the early stages, and most boaters don’t even realize it is occurring until the light fixture has failed altogether. Mounting hardware itself is constantly exposed to sea water and humidity, and unless it is composed of the most resistant metals, will also fail in short order.

A big part of the problem here is the difficulty in effectively sealing the housing on an incandescent or HID boat light. Although high quality gaskets and good tolerances between housing and sealing lenses and doors can effectively lock out moisture in all its forms, the constant exposure to UV light, heat, humidity, and stresses from a boat that’s underway will cause them to eventually fail. There is little remedy for this aside from a diligent routine of inspection, maintenance and replacement, and this can become difficult and time consuming to execute consistently. With all of the work that goes into maintaining a boat in seaworthy condition, it is just all too easy to overlook light fixtures until it is too late and corrosion has taken its toll.

By this point you are probably wondering how to effectively address these issues without increasing the already significant amount of time and money you are currently investing in your vessel. Current incandescent and HID style boat lights haven’t changed a whole lot in their basic design over the last 25 years, so something different may be in order if a true upgrade is desired. Fortunately, new lighting technology exists in the form of LED based fixtures that offer exactly the kind of improvements we’re looking for.

LED boat lights although still relatively new on the scene have advanced incredibly in design and function over the last 5 years. Their overall performance now far surpasses that of traditional incandescent lamps, and easily rivals HIDs for brightness and light quality, so we can pretty much do away with an concerns regarding the loss of light power in the quest for greater durability. The primary reasons why LEDs are such a good fit for boating applications involves their ability to run natively from 12 or 24 volt DC power sources, compact size, solid state design, and in particular their extreme long life and efficiency. Incandescent and HID lamps by their very natures just aren’t very long lived, and as result, any fixtures designed to use them must be capable of allowing frequent bulb changes. This means removable lenses and multi-piece housings that will require seals and gaskets to protect the internal components. After several bulb replacements, gaskets get worn, and leakage occurs leading to failure of the fixture as described earlier.

LED fixtures on the other hand can be permanently sealed because of the extreme long life of the LED. With operational lives in excess of 50,000 hours, these lamps can last for up to 10 years without requiring replacement, allowing manufacturers to produce fixtures which are almost impervious to intrusion from sea water and marine humidity. There are no bulb sockets, no glass bulbs, and installation and maintenance can be as simple as bolting the fixture in place and periodically inspecting the mounting hardware for corrosion. Add in that you’ll greatly reduce the power your lighting draws from your battery banks, and LEDs offer about as close to a set it and forget option as you’ll find for boating applications, and that alone means less time and money spent on maintenance and service, and more time spent just enjoying your vessel.

Reversing The Perspective

When a car arrives at a level crossing for a train, the driver, while cautious, finds that most of the time there is no train present or even near the crossing. On the other hand, whenever the train arrives at this same level crossing, the train engineer finds that most of the time there is a car present or approaching. Both drivers and engineers are at the same place, but each has quite a different perspective about the situation. This is also true about looking for a job. The job seeker and the job provider approach the same situation from very different, almost opposite perspectives. Since you want a job, how can you enhance your probabilities of success?

You must view things from the employer's perspective rather than your own traditional perspective.

I. Reviewing the Situation

Specifically, the contrasting situation as it relates to employment would have a job seeker, say Bob, an accountant, finding upon approaching companies for accounting openings that are closed to him. However, at these same job opportunities, the employers find that most of the time there are many qualified candidates available. Both the job seeker and employer are at the same place, but each has quite a different perspective about the situation.

II. The Remedial Approach

To remedy the situation the solution for you lies in reversing the perspectives. That is all there is to it. What should you turn around? You should reverse your approach on:

  • How you describe the job opportunity
  • How you lay out your resume
  • The job specification
  • Where you look for a job
  • How you look for a job
  • How you approach an employer

To describe each would take quite a lengthy paper. In this instance we will focus on the last one, how you approach an employee from a reverse perspective beginning with the idea that people like to be in control.

III. People like to be in Control of their Choices

You know that you prefer to make choices yourself rather than have them imposed from someone else above you or beside you. This is true of everyone and even babies, as any new parent will quickly agree to make their choices know to crawl or todle in a direction opposite to that selected by the parent.

If you enter a clothing shop, you prefer to make your own choices and are quick to reject the salesperson's offer of "Can I help you?" With "No thanks, I'm just looking." Yet this salesperson has knowledge of the shop layout, of the products on display, of clothes on order, of fashion trends etc. However, most people consider having control as being more important than an obvious knowledge base of the store and its products.

If your boss tells you to do something that you do not like, you might resent it. Whereas, if that boss had asked your opinion first on the topic and then you talked jointly about what you would do about it, the situation would have become far more palatable to you.

The expression, Everybody likes to buy but nobody likes to be sold to , offers an obvious example of coming to the same level crossing but viewing it from two different perspectives: the seller's and the buyer's. We want to decide what we need and will buy accordingly; We do not want someone to coerce us to buy.

If you plan on offering the waiter in a restaurant a tip of 15% and then he tells you that for this type of meal, the usual tip is 15%, how would you react? Here the waiter is giving you exactly the same information you had in your mind, so it should be a useful confirmation. Instead, your reaction would be negative towards the waiter (and perhaps towards his tip) because you are no longer in control of a small part of the cost of the meal (the 15%) even though you had full control of 85% of the Meal cost.

Another way of looking at the two aspects of the level crossing is covered by the expression: You can not push a rope. So here we are at the same spot with a universal object, the rope: you can pull it very nicely but you can not push something with it. As for people, you can draw them toward you or you can try to push them. Which approach do you think will work in the long run?

IV. Drawing a Parallel with the Job Search

When you approach an employer for a job, submitting a resume or making a call, you are saying, employ me because I have all the skills you need and I am a good worker. Although, you would not likely use those exact words.

The employer like all humans wants to be in charge and without the employer is desperate in the absence of a job opening you will be returned with a polite "No, we have no jobs here." They will not even talk to you if you request a meeting to learn about the business. Why? Because when you do the approaching for a job, they are no longer in control. On the other hand, if the employer places an ad in the paper, the employee returns to an in control situation (it becomes imperative for you to give the control to the employer in some other way). However, rivaling against 50 other applicants puts you in a statistically disadvantageous situation (50: 1 odds against you). The other practical reason for the employee to reject your proactive efforts is that most people do not have job offers in their back pockets and therefore most people will have to say no to you. Humans seek other people's approval continuously and saying no works against that approval. So most people do not like saying no.

Note the paradox here. Job studies show that over 70% of jobs come from knowing someone who knows somebody, through through the proactive approach. And yet we are saying your proactive approach will turn

People off. Everyone likes to buy but nobody likes to be sold to. You can not push a rope. We must deal with the above paradox if we hope to be successful.

V. Dealing with the Paradox

Above we indicated that we can not push people to our way of thinking but we might be able to pull them there slowly. We can not sell them on how great we are but we can have them buy into how helpful they might be to us and to their business as well as to their feeling good about themselves. And we must nurture an environment where the other person feels very much in control.

The paradox is that most jobs come from connecting with people; Yet most people do not want us asking them for jobs. How do we deal with that? (I) We stop asking for jobs. Instead we chat around things related to the job; In this way we give other people control. (Ii) We do not want to force anyone to feel they have to say "no". (Iii) We must make other people feel good about an interaction with us. (Iv) Next, we must let them make a choice their way, for them to have control, instead of our expecting or trying to entice them to make a choice our way. Thus, our actions must always embody the concepts above as follows:

  • (I) We do not ask for a job. However, we must engage them in a conversation that is indirectly connected to a job. Therefore we connect with people in businesses or industries related to those we would like to work in. We ask if they will agree to see and talk to us.
  • (Ii) We ask of NOTHING that would elicit a "no". Asking for a job, sending in a resume, requesting references will put the person in the position of usually having to say no. Instead we stay quiet on this front but ask for things to which they can say yes; Like a few minutes of their time, their opinions, their background history, information about their businesses or their markets.
  • (Iii) Specifically we ask them if they would be willing to assist us. Most people do want to help others. Most people feel good when they are helping as long as it does not require too much of a commitment from them (or force them to say no). We ask for 20 minutes of their time to discuss their businesses or themselves. When we are at that 20-minute meeting we ask them about their jobs or their lives and they are interested because the focus is on them not on us. There is no requirement to say no. Since people feel good if they can help a friend or an associate fill a vacancy quickly, you may not only have the solution to their problem but also the means to make that person feel good because day because they have been able to help two people; You and the associate.
  • (Iv) We must be patient and wait. We let them tell us if there is an opening somewhere that fits us. They will if they can. If they know about an opening and they feel we might be able to fit in that opening, they will suggest it on their own very quickly. However, we can not expect an opening to exist at each meeting. We might expect that if we meet 10 people, one of them will lead us to an opportunity. On the other hand, if they do not mention a job we must not question it. If they do not suggest an opening, it is because either there is not any opening or they do not see us as being suitable for the opening they are aware of. If they are not willing to help us, there is nothing more we can do. We can not push a rope. It does not matter how hard we try. Asking for specific help will have us encounter a brick wall of resistance. Instead, move onto the next meeting. If the waiter does not get a 15% tip this time, he will move onto the next client, anticipating success down the road.

Another must in giving control is to create easy escape routes for the other person. As soon as you demand or expect a meeting, a time or even information, it is you who is in control, not them. Therefore offer escape routes to every suggestion. People will move into your pleasant trap if they know there are easy escape paths. Advise them of an escape: "if you are available" is one, "at a time of mutual convenience" or "only 20 minutes of your time".

Using this approach allows them to decide themselves if they want to help us or not. Most people will help if they can because it makes them feel good. Have you ever asked for street directions and been refused? They will refer us to others if they feel both parties will benefit. It is like setting up a blind date: you will do it only if you feel both parties will suit one another. The prospective helpers can refer us to a job opportunity or they might give us a reference.

VI. Avoiding Deception

You may feel you are deceiving people by not talking about a job when you really want a job. However, it is not any different from the waiter not talking about a tip when his living depends on the tip. However, if that logic does not satisfy you try to think of this job search method as two stages. Stage one is gathering information while stage two is the job-search itself (which occurs only at the moment that your host suggests a job). So, with a clear consciousness you can say to the potential host, "While in the grand scheme of things I will be looking for a mechanical engineering position, I am only in stage one, gathering information to help me make choices. Stage one. I do not expect a job from you; nor do I expect you to even know of a job.


You must believe in this approach if you are to use it. You must believe that no single visit will yield you a job, but a multiplicity of visits will cough one up. It is why most people in a recent survey indicated that they got their jobs from knowing somebody who knew somebody.

Good luck in your job search!

Writing Songs and Creating Music

Humans have been making music a long time

Recently, in the hillside caves of southernwestern Germany, archaeologists discovered the beginnings of music and art by early modern humans. These early musicians probably were not writing songs, but they were creating music by playing flutes made of bird bone and mammoth ivory. One of the best preserved bone flutes has five finger holes. Tests determined the instruments were 42,000 to 43,000 years old. This is around the time when the first anatomically modern humans were spreading into the area of ​​Central Europe. Of course, the music creation process has evolved dramatically over time. The implementation of language, certain discoveries, and other types of knowledge had a profound effect on the evolution of music.

An essential building block

You can learn a lot by studying successful music from the past. Writing your own songs, or creating your own music can be achieved by implementing your cumulative music knowledge. You do not need to rediscover the wheel. Music is part melody, rhythm, lyric, and harmony. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction. A big part of this is chord progressions. They are a vitally important building block of contemporary western music. Chord progresses establish the basic framework of a song. Researching popular chord progressions will be quite beneficial.

If you analyze a large number of popular songs, you will discover that they contain certain patterns or combinations of chords that are used repeatedly. The reason is very simple. They sound really good together, and are pleasing for most people to listen to. Once you learn and can implement these popular and successful chord progressions, you are definitely ahead of the game. If you are going to be creating music and writing your own songs, it will be very helpful to at least know some basic music theory. Songwriters should have a solid working knowledge of how popular chord progressions are created and used in successful music. Chord progressions can not be copyrighted. You are free to use all, or part of, any popular chord progress in existence.

Song structure is important

Music in general can be up to personal interpretation. With songwriting, there are certain formulas and patterns that have proven to be highly successful over a long period of time. This is true when it comes to popular music and hit songs. Most songs have a recognizable formula relating their structure. The following is a good example: You have the intro, a verse or two, a chorus, a bridge, then another verse and chorus. You may also insert a solo in the mix. Research tells us one of the most popular hit making structure forms is the Verse-Chorus-Bridge song. A hit song could include a verse, chorus, verse, a bridge or solo, then finish with another chorus. Songwriters realize how to effectively put songs together that are comfortable to listeners.

In conclusion

Writing hit songs and creating music will take some musical knowledge. You will also need to learn a few successfully proven formulas which you can emulate. It would be wise listening to, and analyzing hit songs from many different styles of music. Pick a subject matter, and choose the style of music you want to put your lyrics to. Your song needs to be memorable. Give it an affectional impact. Say something that people can refer to. Come up with a great hook in your song. That is something very catchy that listeners can not seem to get out of their mind. It can be words, a solo, intro, or even something else. Proper knowledge could help you become a successful song writer. There is much to learn, and I have shared with you a few successful basic concepts.

Meeting Customer Requirements

How do you light a retail? How do you light a beauty parlor? How does lighting affect our impression of the space? What makes it enjoyable and comfortable? Best answers to these questions are what make it an exciting subject. Mostly, some of it is common sense but it takes research and experience to provide the justification.

To implement a successful lighting solution, we must fully understand its nature. Often times, it takes a lighting designer to make the vision of excellence a reality. This is considered as an art and a science. This is a fact for many components of our built environments. Designers are concerned about the aesthetics – the art of lighting. Moreover, it also means utilizing a big part of technical knowledge, and updating due to new technology – the science of lighting. But bear in mind that lighting is for people, so understanding the need for health, safety, and enjoyment should also be considered.

Here are few examples of issues that must be addressed when lighting a store.

1. Lighting where vertical meets horizontal is important in terms of safe navigation through space. That is why most warehouses and barns use barn lights to make work faster and efficient. Specular or reflective surfaces cause visual problem and should not be considered on areas where most of the activities of your store are present.

2. People follow the bright path. Down lights like rlm lighting is commonly used to achieve the a higher level of illumination with a uniform distribution of light. The Studies found out that people are like moths which are easily attracted to brightness.

3. Brightness can focus attention. When creating an accent point, increasing brightness contrast between the object and the surrounding increases the impact. This is mostly use to highlight important architectural accent of the building, sign frames and logos of your store. This is very effective in promoting featured products of your store.

Thinking about the layers of light and how light affects your customer on both psychological and behavioral level will present you a mental design concept when someone mention- how do you light a retail? A beauty parlor? Lighting is a key factor in helping the space meets your customer's requirements.

The Inner Workings of a Camera

When I first started out in photography school, I thought I was already ahead of the game, as I’d been doing photography for a long time. My photographs were good, solid, and to some degree, I’d already begun developing my own style. Though I soon concluded that there was still much to be learned via photography schools, one thing that I hadn’t really considered, and that proved utterly vital to my advancement as a photographer, was getting a core understanding of how the camera works.

Prior to mastering the camera’s technical aspects, I pretty much got by on my instincts as a photographer, and of course I knew the basics-setting lens speeds, focusing my lens, sometimes adding a filter, and then clicking away. And it’s true that I got some pretty good shots, but it wasn’t until I really started discovering the ins and outs of the camera’s technical aspects at photography school that I really began to have much more control as in my own photography.

Here are some things that you’ll no doubt learn at one of the good photography schools, but also if you’re early on in your photography career, these are good and helpful things to keep in mind regarding how a camera actually works.

Though the word “photography” is actually a French word, it’s based on the Greek one, which when translated means “drawing with light.” An interesting and poetic way to think about it, isn’t it? The truth is, that’s really what photography is about-seeing and balancing with light. And at its core, it’s quite simple, because if you don’t have any light, you also don’t have a photograph.

When you’re taking photographs, the source of the light comes from your object; it then passes through the camera’s lens, through the aperture and shutter and onto the camera’s sensor.

The Lens. A camera’s lens is made up of a series of differently shaped pieces of glass. It’s the point where the light enters, and if your picture is in focus, the light will then meet on the sensor.

The Aperture. Understanding how the aperture works is one of the most vital parts of photography. The aperture itself is an opening, placed inside the lens that controls the amount of light that hits the sensor. Prior to attending photography school, I of course had a basic understanding of what the aperture did, but learning more about it, I came to realize what an important component the aperture really is.

A large aperture will let in much more light than a smaller one. In addition to controlling the amount of light, the aperture also affects the speed, the depth of field, the sharpness and other vital aspects of the photograph.

F-numbers or f-stops point to the diameter of the aperture. For each full stop that you decrease the f-number by, the amount of light doubles (and then lowers when increasing the f-stop). So a higher f-number equals a smaller aperture, which equals less light. And a lower f-number equals a larger aperture, which equals more light. Photographers refer to f-stops in the following format (note that the numbers here are also referred to as full-stop f-numbers): f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, and f/32.

The Shutter. The shutter is another important aspect of the camera/photography, as it controls how long the sensor is exposed to light. When the shutter is open longer, it’s able to capture more light. A quicker shutter speed will freeze a moving object, whereas a slower one will capture the motion of the object. Like the aperture, the shutter also has full-stops, which are referred to most commonly as 1/1000 s 1/500 s 1/250 s 1/125 s 1/60 s 1/30 s 1/15 s 1/8 s 1/4 s 1/2 s 1 s.

ISO. ISO measures the film speed, or its sensitivity to light. Since digital cameras don’t use film, in a digital camera the ISO will actually affect the shutter, but the principal outcome of how it all works is the same for both types of cameras.

ISO speeds are commonly seen as: ISO 50 100 200 400 800 1600 3200. A higher ISO requires less time to give the same amount of exposure as a lower ISO.

ISO can be your best friend when you’re shooting indoors and the lighting is poor. And when you have bad lighting, you’ll definitely want to use a higher ISO. But if you’re outdoors and you have good lighting, you should always use a low ISO.

Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases – What is the Link?

Has the link to the leaky gut and autoimmune disease become more clear? I believe it has and researchers from Canada have helped by a nice review on intestinal permeability in the British journal Gut.

Dr. JB Medding and his colleagues in Edmonton, Alberta Canada (Arrieta, Gut, 2006) describe how the intestine serves as a barrier when normal but becomes a source of the genesis of autoimmune diseases when it becomes abnormally permeable. That is, when your gut becomes leaky ("the leaky gut syndrome") several autoimmune diseases are known to occur.

Intestinal permeability (how leaky the gut has become) can be evaluated in a manner specific to various sites in the gut. That is, the different areas of the gut, from stomach to large intestine, can be evaluated by specific tests for leakiness and related to damage and disease in those areas. Areas of leaky gut can be observed prior to the onset of disease and appear to be involved in the development of disease, especially autoimmune diseases like Celiac disease, diabetes, Crohn's disease, as well as skin diseases like atopic dermatitis, rheumatologic conditions, and even Irritable bowel syndrome.

The authors propose a new paradigm consistent of "three main features …

(1) A genetically tolerable immune system (the mucosal immune system), that allows the host to react abnormally to an environmental antigen.

(2) An environmental product that triggers the disease process.

(3) The ability for the environmental agent to interact with the mucosal immune system. Since the purpose of the epithelial barrier is to keep these two factors separate, and we measure this function of the barrier by permeability, the corollary of this is that an increase in permeability is a requirement for disease expression. "

What does this mean in lay terms and in relationship to the concept of the leaky gut syndrome? The gut or intestine is supposed to be a barrier to foreign proteins like foods and bacteria. If your immune system is genetically predisposed to react adversely to a certain food proteins and / or bacteria in your gut (or nerves, skin or joints) you may react with activation of damaging chemicals intended to protect you from foreign invaders that instead damage your gut Making it more leaky and more vulnerable as well as your nerves, skin, and joints.

Leaky gut begets leaky gut. What results is more damage to your gut. Food and bacterial proteins can act together to damage the gut and allow toxic protein complexes to get through the gut that is normally supposedly to be resistant to such a breach. Once in your blood stream, foreign proteins may initiate abnormal reactions that cause irritation to your brain, nerves, skin and / or joints.

What many of you and I experience then are symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating, gas, diarrhea, headaches, nerve pain, skin rashes and joint aches. The diagnoses that result are Celiac disease, Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, migraines, attention deficit, autism, depression, eczema, acne, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, chronic fatigue etc. Etc.

What really concerns some of us with personal and professional experience with this and who are passionately interested in this area is that there is an explosion of autoimmune diseases occurring right under our nose yet most doctors and lay public are missing the connection. Many people are being diagnosed with multiple conditions without anyone making the connection of the overload of our gut with certain foods that may be causing much of these illnesses. All of the problem foods have specific food proteins or lectins that are difficult to digest and potentially toxic to the gut. In particular if the food has been genetically engineered or modified their lectins may be more toxic to humans. Stay tuned for more on this exciting area, as I continue writing on the relationship of food, gut and disease. As your food doctor, the food doc, I hope to help you find the information you need to eat right to feel right even if your doctors are not making the connection.


Arrieta MC, Bistritz L, Meddings, JB. Recent advances in clinical practice. Alterations in intestinal permeability. Gut 2006; 55: 1512-1520.

Hardwood Floor Care Will Keep Your Hardwood Looking Fantastic

Hardwood is still the homeowner’s favorite choice of flooring and caring for it takes minimal effort. Unlike laminate or engineered wood, hardwood can be refinished many times, and will add years of beauty and warmth to your home, as well as increase its value and speed its resale. Ongoing floor care is needed to keep your hardwood looking its best, however, and there are four major aspects of hardwood floor care:

1. Hardwood floor cleaning

2. Hardwood floor repair

3. Hardwood floor refinishing

4. Hardwood floor protection

Clean Your Hardwood Regularly

Knowing how to clean hardwood floors is important because the bane of hardwood is dirt and grit, which will scratch and mark the floor if not removed promptly. As well, dust is seen more easily on wood floors than it is on linoleum or on carpet, especially in the sunlight and especially if the floor has a dark stain. Hardwood floor care, therefore, means sweeping and dusting regularly – once a week, at least, and after any event that leaves dirt and grit behind. Regular household dusting and cleaning products will cause damage, however, and you must use only products specifically designed for hardwood. Vacuuming is preferable to sweeping because it allows the dirt and dust to be pulled from between the boards, but use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment, not a beater bar, which can damage the wood.

When a more in-depth cleaning is required, use a cleaning method appropriate to the finish on your floor. If your floor has a glossy finish, it means that polyurethane, or a water-based urethane, or a similar finish has been used to form a protective barrier over the hardwood. If it has a matte finish, it means that the floor is protected with a penetrating seal of oil and/or wax. On neither of these finishes is water an acceptable cleaning agent, but both of them can accept a surface, damp-mop cleaning, which means the mop is not wet but only damp to the touch. You are cleaning only the surface and not using enough water to penetrate even the oiled-and-waxed hardwood. When using a damp mop on oil and waxed hardwood, you can add a little neutral ph hardwood floor cleaner to the water before dipping the mop into it. A floor with a protective glossy barrier can accept a generic hardwood floor cleaner providing it doesn’t contain any wax or oil.

The don’ts are every bit as important as the do’s in hardwood floor care;

1. Don’t use ammonia, regular floor cleaners, household cleaners, or dusting products on hardwood.

2. Never use wax on a floor with a urethane or other glossy finish.

3. Never wash hardwood; use only a slightly damp mop.

Repair Any Damage to Your Floors as Soon as Possible

In most cases, when your oil and waxed hardwood floors have suffered surface damage, you have to remove the finish with a wax or oil stripper before dealing with the damage. After completing the repair, you then re-wax or re-oil the area. Surface damage occurs less often on hardwood protected by polyurethane or a similar type of sealer, and when it does, the damage is not as obvious. When repairing floors with such finishes, strip the finish from the entire board or boards where the damage has occurred. Make your repairs and then apply a finishing product to those boards that is consistent with the rest of the floor.

1. Water marks: Remove the protective finish, rub the marks with fine grade steel wool. Repeat if necessary, clean, and then refinish.

2. Burn marks: Lightly sand the area, use a damp cloth to pick up the grit, and then refinish as desired.

3. Scratches and gouges: Conceal shallow scratches with matching wood putty or a putty stick. After the area is dry, sand and refinish.

Refinishing Your Worn Hardwood Floors Will Recapture Their Original Beauty and Value

In a home with shabby hardwood floors, the biggest improvement you can make is to refinish the floors. Begin by making any necessary repairs, and then removing all the furniture and drapes and sealing the vents and registers in the room so that you won’t spread dust throughout the house. Sanding floors is easiest to do with a drum sander and an edging machine for the sides and corners of the room. You can rent these machines, and it is a good idea to rent a buffer or floor polisher at the same time. Plan to make three passes with your sanding equipment, using increasingly finer sandpaper each time. Vacuum carefully and pick up every bit of fine dust and grit with tacking cloths. All dust and dirt must be removed. You can now apply a stain if you wish or you can leave the natural color and design of the wood – such as the popular oak, maple, or cherry – to be displayed.

Polish and clean the dust and dirt from the floor again, and then apply your sealer – a polyurethane or a water-based urethane that provides a protective barrier, or oil and wax, which penetrates the wood and protects from within. Carefully read all the information accompanying each product, follow the safety advice, and apply as many coats of stain or sealer as suggested by the manufacturer of the products you are using.

Hardwood Floor Care Means Providing Ongoing Floor Protection

As well as regular cleaning, and repairing and refinishing when necessary, there are a number of protective measures you can take to preserve the beauty of your hardwood:

1. Use area rugs and mats in high traffic areas and sites of frequent spills (e.g., in front of the stove, sink, and refrigerator). Move these rugs frequently so that these areas of the floor remain the same color as the exposed floor. As well, it is best to choose cotton mats as they do not trap water under them as rubber or vinyl might.

2. Keep high-heeled shoes in good repair and avoid using stiletto heels.

3. Keep nails trimmed on pets.

4. Clean up spills immediately with a paper towel or dry cloth. A damp cloth can be used for sticky spills, but dry the spot immediately afterwards with another towel or cloth.

5. Lift rather than drag furniture when moving it and use felt contacts under furniture legs to prevent scratches and gouges.

6. Use sheers or blinds to protect your floors from the discoloration caused by direct sun rays.

With proper care and maintenance, your hardwood floors will retain their beauty and enhance any décor that you choose. When your floors become worn, or if they become damaged, they can be restored to their former glory with a little time, effort, and money. Use the Internet to check out quality products, read the information on how to use them, compare prices, and place your orders. We can help with all your hardwood floor care needs – everything from discount hardwood flooring to hardwood cleaners – and all items can be purchased online and delivered to your door. Let us help you keep your hardwood floors looking their best.

Time to Change

Fat is unhealthy!

This article is directed at both mens 'and womens' health.

You're reading this article because you've come to the realization that you are overweight and that your lifestyle must change. You do not feel well, you are not physically fit, sex is an activity of the past, you can not buy clothes and your doctor has put you on a drug cocktail to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, possibly diabetes, and A variety of other obesity induced problems. And that drug cocktail only makes you feel worse! It is time to remake yourself!

You can lose all of that weight, keep it off, get healthy and not buy into any expensive Fad Diets! Common sense is what it takes! Common sense and dedication to your weight loss goals. Over the past year I've lost 60 pounds. A little over a year ago I topped the scale at 260 pounds and 300 pounds was "just around the corner". Today, I am typically fit, look great and I feel like a man half my age. My sex drive and sexual performance have returned. My doctor has taken me off the medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol I was taking (the high cholesterol medication made me feel terrible !!!). My trousers have gone from a tight 40 inch waist to a loose 34 inch waist! My goal is 175 pounds. I will do it. I will get there! I will never be fat again! And you can do the same!

Permanent weight loss and the resultant change of lifestyle is work but it is not difficult. Weight loss does require a long term physical and emotional commitment. Be sure of your reasons for wanting to lose the weight. Dedicate yourself to your goal and you will need no special diets, no magic pills. Create a weight loss plan for yourself and stick to it. If it does not work to your satisfaction change it. You will eventually find a plan that works. Do not become addicted to the scale, but do measure your progress. Find a support system for yourself. Be sure that your family and friends want you to lose the weight and will support you in your makeover. Some of those closest to you may feel threatened when you lose weight and your health and fitness return. After all – your weight loss may point out their own problems with obesity; Problems they may not want to face. Of course, you can not leave your family and friends; But there are many weight loss support groups available that can help you.

We all have to eat. So feel good about food – do not starve yourself – starvation does not work; You'll only get fatter. Use common sense, change what you eat and how much you eat (Portion Control).

Your new diet should consist, primarily of fruit, vegetables, fresh poultry, fish and the occasional red meat. The nutrients you need are not all to be found in dairy products, red meat and processed bread. One cause of overeating is that the body is not getting enough vitamins and minerals from the food consumed – so we eat more to make up for the deficiency. A broad and diverse diet of high fiber fruit and vegetables is more filling and soon they will begin to replace much of the meat and other high fat food that made you fat and you'll notice how quickly the weight falls off you.

When I go to the supermarket now, I shop only in the fresh produce, meat, fish and poultry sections. I eat only fresh, whole foods; Whole grain bread – no processed food. No "manufactured" bread. The corporations have taken over our minds and our health. Just look at the wide array of chemicals on sale! Is it any wonder we all weigh 300 pounds. Throw that yoke off! The markets are selling obesity and disease. And the amount of it that Americans eat is insane! Every time we consume this chemical and fat filled "food" we may as well swallow arsenic because, like arsenic, it will eventually kill us.

Learn to eat right, avoid restaurants (especially the fast food joints and chain restaurants). The average restaurant meal is two to three times the portion of food you need. And where does excess food go – right to your waist! My change to eating fresh, whole food only, together with portion control and exercise is the only thing that has allowed me to lose the weight I have – 60 pounds in 12 months – 5 pounds per month! It has not been easy, but I did it and so can you!

You have to burn off what calories you consume and then some, otherwise you will continue to gain weight. Diet alone is not enough. Exercise is as important to your weight loss goal as the type and quantity of food you eat. Increased metabolism and muscle mass burn calories.

Exercise! Breathe! Pump oxygen through your body!

Move! Once you do, you'll love the way you feel. Exercise during as many daily activities as you can – take the stairs rather than the elevator, walk to the store rather than drive. And work out to your favorite exercise TV show for 30 minutes or more every day. Create a modest / low impact exercise schedule at first. A brisk walk while carrying 5 pound dumb bells is great, for example. Believe me; In the beginning you will not be able to do much. But get moving! I give myself a good workout of 1 to 1-1 / 2 hours every day (how I lose 5 pounds per month). Most men 20 years younger than I Do not look as good as I look. My workouts are a combination of aerobics and weight resistance training. I could never get into the gyms. I could rarely fit a visit into my busy schedule and when I did the gyms were always mobbed. Then … I exercise at home. And you can do the same. Find your own level of exercise to fit your schedule and ability. Do not get discouraged, just get moving and keep moving.

Information on Being Remembered

There is nothing more hurtful than being introduced to the same person several times and still not being identified. Of course there are things you can do to help be more thought of. Below are just a couple assistive suggestions to never be forgotten yet again.

When being introduced to a person inquire on how they are doing. React their thought to show you were listening and not just being nice.

Be careful not to offended anyone who has variable thought processes than your own. If you disagree with the talk make straightforward statements such as that is interesting or I did not know that. This will help you stay in the conversation without being rude.

Use the SOFTEN process. Smile, Open posture, Forward lean, Stay out of their territory, Eye contact, Nod to provide understanding.

Compliment others about their success. Not just success connected to your business. For example if you overheard that a person just took down a golf tournament, congratulate them. If you know the individual has a new baby at their residence, offer congratulations on how awesome the little one is.

Stay connected in conversations, do not just be sitting there.

Do not yawn or look disinterested. Show others you are drawing pleasure from the discourse with them.

Make the effort to make a note of everyone's names. Using memorization techniques will help in this process. For instance if you meet a individual with the name Rose, that reminds you of your aunt who had rose bushes. Making this connection will help them connect to you at a future date.

Always grin and give a solid handshake when entering or exiting a talk.

What You Must Know About a Garden Tiller

Let me ask you; is there anything in the world that tastes better than a homegrown vegetable from your garden? If you are like me, and I bet you are, the answer is a resounding, no. For that reason and our love of gardening, being self-reliant we plant our vegetable garden in our backyard. Just thinking about a freshly picked vine ripened tomato from my garden makes my mouth water. A Garden Tiller, ah yes, the mere mention of a garden tool causes pleasant thoughts for most of us, and for others well just let me say, not so pleasant and we will leave it at that.

A garden tiller, a wonderful garden tool that is best used when the soil is not to wet. When you pick-up a hand full of soil and squeeze it to make a ball and it sticks to your fingers, it is too wet. When it crumbles nicely and is not sticky, it is ready for tilling.

Why use a Garden Tiller?

  • Getting your vegetable garden ready for planting; soil preparation is the key to successful gardening. Mixing organic materials into your garden is a job well suited to a tiller. Peat moss, manure and compost are, as you know, important things to take into consideration when getting your soil ready to plant, green beans, sweet corn, cucumbers, squash and tomato and pepper plants all thrive and produce outstanding results in well-prepared planting beds.
  • Weeding between the rows , in spring before your green beans, corn and squash get to big for a tiller to get between the rows, a good front tine tiller makes weeding them much easier. Controlling the weeds not only makes your garden look better to your neighbors, but also makes your plants a lot healthier. Weeds compete with your vegetable plants for the moisture and plant foods, so remember keep the weeds out of your garden.
  • After harvesting your vegetables, there is a lot of plant material left behind. Once you have removed all your tomato cages, poles from the beans and trellises from your cucumbers. What is left is great for your compost bin, or compost heap depending on your size garden. Then if you are like me, run the riding mower over your garden with the deck all the way up, in the highest cutting position. Cut all the tomato plants, bush style green bean plants, corn stalks zucchini plants and any thing else organic into small compostable pieces. Then breakout your trusty garden tiller and mix all that great organic plant material into your garden soil and get a head start on next years vegetable garden.

Bridging the Gap Between Veterinary Hospitals and Pet Owners

Many pet owners have found themselves in a situation where their dog or cat required veterinary hospital care. Later, when being discharged from the hospital, medications and nursing instructions are discussed and then the owner and their recovering pet are sent on their way. The owner gets home and realizes they don’t quite understand the nursing care needed or are not comfortable providing the nursing care their dog or cat needs. At this point the owner calls their veterinary hospital to clarify nursing instructions or asks friends or family to help them. If the owner is still not comfortable providing the care their pet needs then they may decide that it is too much for them and bring their pet back to board at the veterinary hospital for the duration of recovery.

Wouldn’t it be a huge relief if there were a service that provided in-home veterinary nursing care? In-home pet care isn’t a new idea, many pet owners have pet sitters or dog walkers, but in-home veterinary nursing care is a newer idea and such services are relatively rare, but they can be found.

There are many advantages of in-home pet care. Pets are often afraid in unfamiliar environments. The sounds and smells are unfamiliar and can be frightening, especially to cats. With in-home services pets can stay in the comfort of their own homes. This also means that pet’s, and owner’s, routines and schedules are not interrupted. Also, owners do not have to worry about having to transport their cat or dog for boarding or veterinary appointments. Many boarding facilities now offer cage free boarding and group play. This greatly increases the cat or dogs chances of acquiring an illness. This also greatly increases their chance of being injured by another cat or dog.

If veterinary professionals were being honest, especially those working in emergency hospitals, they would tell every pet owner they come across not to take their pets anywhere cage free or with open play. This is because they have seen first hand the horrors that have occurred at such places. These illnesses and injuries can result in death of a pet and severe heart ache for their owners. Lengthy legal battles between owners and boarding facilities have also occurred in these situations. I recommend finding an in-home pet care service the next time a pet owner is in need of a boarding facility or pet care. In-home care will result in a much more comfortable and happy pet and will be much less stress for the owners too.

If Kashmir Is Disputed So Can Be Pakistan?

For several years now Pakistan and its dictatorial regimes have questioned the access of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India by stating and restating it again and again that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory. By applying the same logic the identity of Pakistan and its existence as a sovereign political state can be asked by India and the Indian government by taking the logic from International Law itself.

As per the Vienna Convention of the law of Treaties of 1969 which is a international legal document a material breach of a bilateral or a multilateral treaty by one party entitlees the other party to terminate a treaty. Nder this case if applied on the Indian context the Partition of India Plan or the Lord Mountbatten Plan of 1947 as it is generally referred to too was an international treaty signed between the then British Government, the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress under which it was agreed that the British would leave India on the zero Hour at the midnight of 14th of August 1947 and the British India would be divided in two new sovereign states India and Pakistan.

On June 3rd 1947, Lord Mountbatten announced his plan. The salient features were: –

1) Mountbatten's formula was to divide India but retain maximum unity. The country would be partitioned but so would Punjab and Bengal, so that the limited Pakistan that emerging would meet both the Congress and League's position to some extent.

2) The Mountbatten Plan sent to effect an early transfer of power on the basis of Dominion status to two successful states, India and Pakistan.

3) A referendum was to be held in NWEP to ascertain wherever the people in the area wanted to join India or not. The princely states would have the option of joining either of the two dominions or to remain independent. The Provinces of Assam, Punjab and Bengal were also to be divided. A boundary commission was to be set up to determine the boundaries of these states.

The clause three of the agreement is significant where it is stated that the princely states would have the right to join India or Pakistan or remain independent if they wanted. This plan was accepted by all the three parties the British, the Muslim League and the Congress as all three of them were signatories to it. By signing it all the parties agreed to all the clauses and salient features of the plan as such it is implied that none of the parties would violate any of the clauses of the document. But the first to violate this case was Pakistan itself when it attacked the sovereign state of Jammu and Kashmir and wanted to annex it by force in 1948.

When Pakistan had attacked that state the sovereign ruler of that state had requested the Indian government for help and signed the deeds of merger with India which was also rated by the provincial assembly of the state of Jammu and Kashmir .As per the Mountbatten Plan of which The Muslim League was a signatory the princely states of India had the right to join India if it wanted and the state of Kashmir had exercised that option. This treaty between India and the state of Jammu and Kashmir came into existence because of the earlier treaty of the Indian Independence Act as such if the Mountbatten Plan is a international treaty so is the access of the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the state of India . If Pakistan can so shamelessly violate and refuse to accept the access of Kashmir with India. Then India can also question the existence and creation of Pakistan based on the case of the Vienna Convention that a material breach of a treaty by one party entitles the other party to terminate a treaty. Pakistan has violated this case since the beginning by not accepting that part of the Mountbatten Plan in relation to the princely states as it is clear from the case of Kashmir. As such India has every right to question the existence of Pakistan the day India does this then the state of Pakistan becomes disputed if the Pakistani logic on Kashmir is applied on them by India.

Secondly as per the Vienna Convention of the law of treaties of 1969 impossibility of performance of a treaty is also a valid ground for its termination. Article 61 of the Vienna convention says this. As per the impossibility performance test a treaty becomes invalid if one of the existing party parties or is incapable of implementing the treaty in practical circumstances. Pakistan by not implementing or by violating that cause of the Mountbatten Plan in relation to the princely states by trying to occupy the state of Jammu and Kashmir by force and annexing a part of its territory unlawfully has demonstrated to the world that was incapable of implementing the Mountbatten Plan in its letter and spirit as such the impossibility of performance of a treaty would apply in this case. In such a situation India has the right to nullify that part of the Mountbatten Plan which mentions about the creation of Pakistan.

It is true that Vienna Convention does allow treaties to invalidate the existence of sovereign states or changes of political boundaries between states but in this case this rule would not apply because Pakistan had violated the very clauses of that international agreement which had created the state of Pakistan . Since Pakistan was the initial violator as such it can not question the Indian role in relation to East Pakistan.

The government of Pakistan can appeal in relation to the princely state of Junagadh or Hyderabad. But then the Mountbatten Plan did talk about referendum, popular will or the Access of the princely state with the state of India or Pakistan in its clauses. India had exercised its option in relation to these two states under the Mountbatten Plan as the majority will of the people of these two states wanted to join with India. As such Pakistan can not question the Indian role in these two states.

Again the questionable identity of Pakistan can be asked by the concept of Maxim Rebus Sic Stantibus in the doctrine of International law. Which means if the fundamental or material circumstances under which a treaty is concluded, then this change becomes a basis for the avoidance or change or termination of a treaty.

Edward Collins writes in his book: International Law in a changing world, 1969: "It is widely recognized that if fundamental changes in the circumstances upon which a treaty rests to take place, these changes may be invoked as a ground for the termination of the treaty . The principle known generally as the doctrine of Clausula Rebus Sic Stantibus is based on the assumption that there is an implied clause in every treaty that provides that the agreement is binding only so long as the material circumstances on which it rests remains unchanged. "

Taking a leaf out of the doctrine of Maxim Rebus one can question the identity of Pakistan. Looking into the past misdeeds of Pakistan one can very well argue that there was fundamental changes in the circumstances upon which the Mountbatten plan was laid had changed the moment Pakistan Had attacked the then independent state of Jammu and Kashmir without any provocation from the side of Jammu and Kashmir. As such the material circumstances on which the Mountbatten Plan was based changed the moment Pakistan violated the case of the plan in relation to the princely states when it was tried to occupy Kashmir by force. As such taking assistance from this doctrine India can well dispute the existence Of Pakistan.

When the identity of Pakistan itself can be asked it would be advised for Pakistan to stop its claim of the State of Jammu and Kashmir once for all and hand over that part of the territory of the state of Jammu and Kashmir which includes the so called Azad Kashmir, Northern Areas and the areas seceded by Pakistan to China to India once for all which legally belong to India after the arrival of the state to India in 1948. It is advisory for the Pakistan President to initiate this process of handing over the illegal occupied Territories back to India instead of giving new plans in relation to the so called disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. This is the minimum which Pakistan should do to wash out a part of its past misdeeds and if it really wants the peace process to be successful. The ball lies in the Pakistani Court now.

Free Ideas for Designing Your Scrapbook

Creating a scrapbook out of existing materials can sometimes be quite easy but you may need to buy supplies when creating a scrapbook for a certain season or occasion. Most scrapbooking supply stores have stickers, die-cuts and other embellishments with specific holiday themes. But what about when you are creating a scrapbook based on other events like your baby’s first step, or your family vacation? What colors and designs should you consider when creating a scrapbook?

Ideas for scrapbooking are readily available on the internet if you have the time and patience to surf hundreds web sites containing scrapbooking ideas and designs. If you are like me you don’t have the time or energy to browse all those sites, so let me give you some do’s and don’ts in designing scrapbook pages.

1. Gather all your scrapbooking items – By selecting the photos and other material to be used, you can get an idea of how the scrapbook pages will look. Some items may need to be prepared before mounting, so it will be best to gather everything first to be more organized.

2. Create your layout – You can lay the materials on the mounting page, to make sure that everything will fit. There may be a need to get several copies of a particular item, such as a map or brochure, so you can cut it up and paste it on the scrapbook page.

3. Decide on your colors – The colors of the scrapbook page can come from the colors of the photo, or they could compliment the photo to make it stand out. The color wheel is used to create a color-combination. There are several tried and tested combinations that you can use to enhance the page’s design. You can use a combination of blue and orange, for example, to highlight a photo, because these two colors complement each other. One tip is to put dark colors against white or light colors against black, for easier visibility.

4. If all else fails, find help – As mentioned, you can go online to search for different ideas for your scrapbook. There are several websites that offer downloadable designs and scrapbooking information. There are several scrapbooking magazines and scrapbooking ebooks that you can purchase as well. These will give you many ideas regarding page presentation, design and everything else you need to create a scrapbook masterpiece!

So there you have it, four free ideas for designing your scrapbook. These will get you started. As you get going your imagination will kick in and your own scrapbooking ideas should flow freely out of you. If you need help just let me know.

Perception is Not Reality

Often time's people say 'Perception is reality' and people expect others to change their mannerisms, behavior or personality because of how others could perceive them. That is duplicity, hypocrisy. You do not want to be someone else and behaving differently to please others than you would normally have to please yourself. This is quite common in a corporate environment. People expect you to have a certain way to fit into their culture. The question arises if diversity is valued in those organizations or do they just want people to fit in. If people try to fit in, then that creates limits to creativity and imagination. People think, and act in the manner to fit in to the culture, leading to mass thinking and being one in the crowd.

Take for example some people think 'perception is real'. Just because something is perceived does not have to be real. Perception is a passive experience whereas thinking is an active one. If you perceive horns on a rabbit or a tail for a man could that be real? Perception is not the complete proof for something to be real.

Perception can not be reality. It is only perception. It is what is seen from one's own world. If there are thousands people, each one's perception is going to be different from one another. This is reputation. Therefore be who you are, do what you can with the given situation with what you have. As long as the intention is good, the direction is clear, good and not harmful to anyone in anyway, you should be fine. This is the character of an individual. Do not confuse character with reputation.

Character is who you are while reputation is what others think you are.

Do not compromise who you are for your paycheck. Only then you can be happy at your work, be highly productive and live to the full potential. Otherwise half the time and energy is spent in pretending to be who you are, to satisfy the people around you. This causes more stress on people than the work does.

Team is a group of people with diversity, complimenting each other's strengths and weaknesses. Many big corporations have all the virtues & values ​​written and posted on their walls but they really do not understand what these words really mean! That's why you can hear people say 'I do not want to be in a corporate environment anymore. I'd rather be in a smaller or medium sized business where they focus on the goals and results'. Teams fail because some believe, in 'perception is reality' and perceive what is not real resulting in conflicts and degradation of the team itself.

"If the doors of perception is cleaned everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite". – William Blake -British poet, painter.

Take it upon your self and do not 'fall for' perception is reality '.

Making Money Online in Six Steps – What They Don’t Tell You

Anyone who has been researching how to make money online for any length of time has probably come across websites or articles that claim that you can make money online in 6 easy steps or that the secret to making money online can is to follow a simple formula. If you submitted your email address to gain access to the “ground breaking” information, then you likely have one version or another of these following steps:

  1. Identify a niche. Identify a hot market, and find a niche within that market. Identifying a niche within a hot market usually means there is less competition, but the money can still be very good.
  2. Look for affiliate offers. Find products to promote on sites like Clickbank that are selling and converting well.
  3. Identify keywords. Perform a keyword research to find out what the best keywords are for selling your affiliate product to your niche market.
  4. Get a website. Get a domain name and hosting company and get your own website or blog. You need a website to act as a central hub for sending traffic, and it’s where you will promote products and display content.
  5. Add content. Begin adding content on your website or blog that is closely related to your niche and that contains your keywords and keyword phrases.
  6. Drive Traffic. Generate traffic to your site using several different sources. Many sources of good quality traffic are free, such as twitter, and Facebook.

There are some variations: Some formulas may not include a website as one of the steps while others will say that you need to start growing a list of email addresses to start marketing to. While there are a few variations, for the most part the steps are basically the same with a few tweaks and differences here and there.

If those 6 steps seem familiar because you have come across similar articles in the past, take heart: There is a process for making money online, and the outline above (and others similar to it) is pretty much it. But then again if they do seem familiar, you probably also know that there is much more to running a successful online business than following a simple formula or taking a series of steps. You know this because even with prior knowledge of the 6 steps you are not yet making money, or certainly not nearly enough.

Even if the 6 steps outlined above are new to you, you can likely still see how the information has little practical use because if you think about it, you actually don’t know what the heck you are supposed to do to get started. What can you take from that formula that will help you right now with building an online business right now? The answer: Absolutely nothing.

Well, there is a good reason for that. It’s because there is a lot they are leaving out. Here is what they are not telling you:

The steps paint the big picture for you. You still need to learn how to get paint on the brush.

You’ve heard it before. Follow these steps, work through this formula, look at my business template, or read my business blueprint, and you will have the keys of a successful online business. These are the keys to a successful online business? Really? Well, if that’s true, we have a problem. Where is the lock? Heck, where is the door??

These steps you are supposed to take, and formulas you are supposed to follow are only useful for those who already know what they are doing and who have a lot of experience and knowledge about internet marketing but need some help putting it all together.

That’s right. The steps are only useful to those that have the know-how to build a business already. They act as a reminder to those who are already up and running what they are working towards so they don’t get caught up in spinning their wheels doing things that won’t make their business move forward. It’s big picture stuff. That’s not very useful when you are at the place where you need to be doing the nitty-gritty, day-to-day things that will get your business up and running.

There is a difference between a 6 step formula and a “to do list”.

There are 6-step formulas, and there are “to do” lists. They are not the same thing. Don’t get caught up into believing that if you know what the steps are to building a business you all but have that online business you’ve been dreaming about.

The reality is that these 6 steps are hardly a roadmap for running an online business. It’s like telling someone how to build a house in 6 steps: You start by digging things up and pouring a foundation, then you build a frame, install the insulation, lay the bricks, shingle the roof, then decorate the inside to that beautiful dream home you’ve always wanted.

Are you ready to build a house? Of course not. The thought of it is utterly ridiculous. Building an online business is no different; knowing the 6 steps is not enough to make it happen for someone who has never done it before. The steps outlined above for running a business are important and necessary, but they don’t help you with the practical aspect of actually doing it. The steps are informative, but are not action-oriented. What you are actually supposed to “do” remains a mystery. You don’t need information, what you need is an instruction manual.

No, a monkey cannot run their own online business.

Some articles and sales letters say that their 10 year-old son did it. I’ve actually read on a few sales letters that a monkey could do what they outline in their steps it’s so simple.

Ouch. Really? A monkey could do it? That’s really not saying much for the vast majority of affiliate marketers who are struggling, and really doesn’t flatter the successful online marketers who could apparently be replaced by monkeys either. The truth is things are generally not easy if you’ve never done them before. Once you’ve had practice and a bit of experience, then things have a chance of being easy.

If you’ve tried to make money online but failed, or just haven’t tried because you don’t want to look like an idiot for not being able to do what a monkey could do, you are not alone.

Since the steps are supposed to be “easy”, many who have tried to build an online business plug away trying to do the steps as best they can. This can lead to disaster.

Referring back to the analogy of building a house in 6 steps we can easily see how. You pick up the nearest stick or, if you are lucky a garden spade, and you start on step one which is digging and laying the foundation. At some point, after 5 minutes, 5 days, or 5 weeks of digging you realize this is taking a lot longer and is a lot harder than you were led to believe. You are burnt out, exhausted, and frustrated, and you probably feel like there must be something wrong with you for not having that foundation built yet because a house is supposed to be built in 6 easy steps, and you haven’t got past step one. Either you give up, or you go out in search of more information. You are subsequently convinced by an expert that the roof is the most important part of a house, and that makes sense to you because it’s not really a house if you don’t actually have a “roof over your head”. So you attempt to learn to put the roof on in 6 easy steps, all the while being just as ill-equipped as you were for laying the foundation, not to mention, without having the rest of your house built.

Others might have gone a slightly different root. You bought into the notion that it takes money to make money, so you went out and bought a backhoe and started digging. You hit some rock, but no worries, you just moved over 50 feet and started digging again. Eventually you dig a hole that sticks and start pouring the foundation. You then start putting up the frame and installing the insulation, but then realize you just built your home next to the city dump, and so off you go to start again in another place. By the time this person gets burnt out, they have dug a bunch of partial holes, and have a lot of half-built flimsy homes, and they have wasted a lot of time and money.

Six easy steps? Maybe, if you have all the skills already and you just had no idea that you could use them to build a house, or in this case to build an online business. Otherwise, the formula, or 6 step approach to making money online is probably not going to do you much good.

The steps do not provide you with the tools or the know-how to get them done.

If you have been approaching your business by plugging away at the steps anyway, you have likely been trying to build a business without the necessary skills and without the right tools. It is quite possible that you have done a lot of work without anything to show for it. You may be burnt out and exhausted and yet you have not made a penny.

If you didn’t give up at this point you might have ventured to do some more research and find out the problem. Perhaps 30 sales letters later and lack of sleep has you convinced that the reason your business is failing because of lack of traffic. After all, it makes so much sense! You can’t possibly make money without anyone visiting your site or affiliate link! So you go out to and try to learn how to drive traffic to a site that is not yet fully developed or is not set up to be converting traffic into paying customers effectively. Have you been sending traffic to a site that’s not conducive to making a sale? Well, there’s really no point in sending traffic to it. It’s like trying to put the roof on before you have laid that foundation.

If you find this sounds familiar, chances are that you have been overloaded with information as you try to find the missing link as to why the 6 step program is not working for you. In the process you’ve managed to get on so many mailing lists to gain access to free information that you dread looking in your inbox. You become inundated with staggering amounts of information, formulas, sales letters, reports, and articles. This is where information overload, or analysis paralysis, sets in. You either spend endless hours trying to sift through the information all the while feeling stressed and overwhelmed at the sheer volume of information, or prematurely jump into something, starting the whole process over again. What happened to the “freedom” of owning your own business? Well, this certainly isn’t it.

The terms “Quick” and “Easy” are used very loosely.

You won’t ever hear it in a sales letter, but each one of these “steps” takes time. Running a business online is a commitment, and many underestimate just how big of a commitment it can be. Yes, it can be done in your spare time, while you work at your regular job, or while taking care of your kids at home, but the less time you have to devote to developing and growing your business, the longer it’s going to take to get it going. If you want to have a site that is monetized and is making money on its own so that you can do these other things, it takes a lot of work to get there. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Finding that Holy Grail is like winning the lottery. You can go ahead and buy every program in hopes that you’ve found the one that will make you an overnight millionaire, but keep in mind that you may buy lottery tickets for years before you get the winning ticket, and the most basic online programs generally cost around $47, but can easily run into the hundreds or even thousands. Ouch! You’ll need that million dollar overnight success just to pay off what you’ve already spent! Don’t fall into that trap any further. Realize that things only become get quick and easy with practice and if you love what you do, and in the meantime, it will take work.

Running a business isn’t free.

They also don’t tell you that working through these steps can cost money. In some cases it is nominal, but even small expenditures can start to accumulate if you make poor choices about how you spend money to build your business.

While some things can be done for free, often you have to pay for the information about how to do that something for free (that seems so counter-intuitive to me). Other times it’s only free if you do it yourself. Again, this is not useful if you don’t know how to do something yourself, like build a website or generate traffic using free sources of traffic. You’ll end up either spending a ridiculous amount of time learning, or spending money to learn. Either way, it’s not really free.

Not only that, it is important to realize there is a trade off. The things that are done for free are often free for a reason; they may be less effective than services and programs that you pay for. There are no doubt some great sources of free information, free advertising, and free webhosting, but some of them can actually end up back-firing if they are not compatible with other tools and services that you will need to draw on later on as your business grows. You will need to do your research to find out what the differences are between paid services and free ones. It is also important to find out if you can seamlessly go from a free to a paid service if and when the time comes.

Also bear in mind that the old adage “you get what you pay for” is not always true; especially when you are just starting out online. Spending large chunks of money for PPC campaigns for example, is not a good use of your money if a number of other things are not already in place. You need to be completely on top of what is going on in your niche, and very knowledgeable of the most effective keywords, and a good understanding of the conversion rates and their implications for your bottom line. Figuring out where your money is best spent takes a lot of research and understanding about how online businesses and affiliate marketing works.

The Cure to the 6-Step Trap

As I mentioned, there is a process to building an online business and the formulas and steps to being successful are often quite accurate.

It’s practicality that is lacking.

To avoid being disappointed, and to save yourself a lot of time and money, focus on where you are in the process of making money online. Do you have a good idea but don’t know where to go with it? Do you have a website but are struggling to fill it with content? If you know where you are then you will be better equipped to search for information, programs, and services that will help you find that piece of the puzzle and achieve success. Read reports, use tools, and (if you choose) pay for programs that have to do with that one aspect of your business.

Secondly, focus just as much energy (if not more) on acquiring the tools and skills to build a business as you do on acquiring knowledge. Information is certainly powerful, but only if you can act on it. Tools, by their very nature, are more action-oriented. If you exclusively search to gain knowledge, like how to generate free traffic, you are more likely going to be paralysed by the sheer volume of information out there. Focus instead on tools you can use to generate free traffic. For example, instead of setting goals like “I am going to send free traffic to my website by learning how” set goals like “I am going to use twitter to send free traffic to my website”. The first is an information-based goal, and will not get you beyond those 6-step programs. The latter is an action-oriented focused more on results. If you do need help on how to do this effectively, you can narrow your research to how to use twitter as a tool to drive traffic, and focus on actually getting that done.

Ultimately, it is important to understand the limited role that some business formulas and 6-step programs play especially when just starting out. They are useful as a gauge to find out where we are, and to identify what we need to work on, learn, or to identify what tools might be useful. For the most part though, focus your energy on the actionable items if you want to actually see results.