Hail Damage to Roofs & Auto Hail Damage

According to East Tennessee SKYWARN, “Hail is a form of precipitation that occurs at the beginning of thunderstorms. They consist of near spherical pellets of ice and snow, usually combined in alternating layers.”

By this definition alone, you can already imagine what potential damage hail can do to your home, specifically your roof. And, if hail can damage your roof, just think how it can damage your vehicle. In fact, big hailstones that fall with force have been known to cause fatal harm to humans and animals.

Scientists have been trying to reduce the destructiveness of hail by injecting large quantities of silver iodide into a thunderstorm. They are trying to overseed storm clouds so that smaller hailstones will form. This will prevent them from developing into large hailstones. But as of this date, results remain inconclusive.

What damage can hail do to your roof?

Hail damage on vehicles can easily be seen but the damage that hail does to your roof will not be as obvious. Hail damage results in a random pattern of strike marks in different sizes. You may find dents, cracks or bare asphalt (if you have asphalt shingles on your roof). Additional signs of hail damage to an asphalt roof could be: granules that have settled at the base of your downspouts, metal air vents that have significant damage and damaged and dented siding or gutters.

Generally, hail has to be at least 1 and 1/4 inches in diameter before it can cause damage to wood shake shingles or heavy composite shingles. Hail that is 1 inch in diameter may damage lightweight composite shingles. However, if you have deteriorated composite shingles on your roof, hail that is less than 1 inch in diameter can easily cause damage.

What do I do if my roof has been damaged by hail?

Most hailstorm damages are cosmetic and won’t have any adverse effects on your roof. However, moderately severe hail damage that strips shingle of their coatings may affect the longevity of your roof and this may qualify for repairs covered by your insurance. If the damage will cause leaks, exposed areas should be covered with tarps held in place with wood strips and nails. When you can access the roof, you should permanently repair the sheathing and replace missing and damaged tiles, shingles or shakes.

Are there available hail-proof roofs in the market?

There are hail-resistant roofs but to this day, you cannot find any hail-proof roofs in the market. These hail-resistant roofs have Class 1 through Class 4 hail-resistance ratings, 1 being the lowest and 4 the highest. These roofs are rated based on test results done by The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). A steel ball is dropped from a predetermined height and the damage that the roof sustains is then measured.

There are several roofs that carry this rating but the most likely to endure hail with minimal or no damage would be concrete tile, composite shingles and metal roofs. When you purchase a roof be sure to check with the manufacturer to determine what hail rating is given to a particular product.

What damage can hail do to your vehicle?

If hail can damage your roof, then an exposed vehicle can sustain much damage. Dents will most likely be the most common problem. If your vehicle will be exposed to large hailstones however, there is a probability that you might end up with broken windows and/or a broken windshield. The good news is, with your vehicle, you can take preventive measures so that it will not be damaged by hail.

What can you do to prevent your vehicle from being damaged by hail?

When hail is in the weather forecast, put your car, boat or RV into a garage. If you have no choice but to leave your vehicle outside, cover parts of the vehicle that is most susceptible to hail damage, with thick blankets. These would be the roof, hood, trunk, windows and windshield.

In cases where you are suddenly caught in the middle of a hailstorm while driving your car, seek cover in a covered parking lot or garage. Another option would be to go under an overpass or any place with an awning. If you are on a long stretch of road with no cover in sight, pull off the highway, park at the side of the road and just wait it out.

What do I do if my vehicle has been damaged by hail?

  1. Contact your insurance company and report the damage immediately.
  2. Find out if your insurance has a preferred body shop that can do the necessary repair to your vehicle. If you want to choose the repair shop yourself, make sure that you will have your vehicle serviced by a reputable facility.
  3. Make sure that you discuss with your insurance company and your body shop, what kind of repair should be done to your vehicle.
  4. Ask how long the repair will take. But if several vehicles were damaged in your area during the hailstorm, do not expect the repairs to be finished immediately.
  5. After repairs are made, make sure that everything was done to your satisfaction. Check for remaining dents and scratches before taking your vehicle back home.
  6. Before having your vehicle repaired, you must check if the repair shop guarantees its work. Make sure that you get the guarantee and contact information in writing. If you find any flaws in the repair, you should be able to bring it back to them at no additional cost.

Hailstorms are part of nature. While most parts of the world may not experience this kind of weather, those who live in the middle latitudes are not so fortunate. If you are one of those people and have no choice but to live with it, just do the best you can to protect your roof and your vehicle by following the simple steps mentioned earlier.

Golden Retriever Grooming: Keeping Your Dog Groomed Is Easy

Golden Retriever grooming may not be a task you would most likely enjoy, but taking time to do it will give you a special bonding time with your dog. Spending a great deal of your time looking after the well-being of your dog is very rewarding. You should learn how to properly care for him.
Here are easy tips for you to follow as you take on the important task of grooming your dog.

Trimming the Nails
Long nails would mean dirty and painful paws. Have you noticed your dog scratching on a wood or   pavement ? They use them as nail files to keep them from making him uncomfortable when walking or running. Your pet should involve the regular trimming of your dog’s nails. The rule of thumb is, be calm and relaxed as you do your tasks on your dog. Talk to him as you go through the process.

Bathing and Ear Cleaning
Give this type of dog a regular bath once a week. You don’t have to use expensive dog shampoo on him. A conditioner is also a great way to keep your dog’s coat soft and manageable. As you bathe your Golden Retriever, take an extra care around his ears. Keep water from entering his ears which could lead to ear infections. Make sure his ears dry after bathing.

A regular Golden Retriever grooming also includes cleaning your dog’s ears at least once a week, preferably after his bath time. Ears must be pink inside. Never use a cotton swab to clean the inside of his ears. Instead, use a cotton balls or soft cloth with ear solution for dogs or you can opt to use mineral oil, tea tree oil or hydrogen peroxide.

Teeth Brushing
Who wouldn’t want your dog to have healthy gums, fresh breath and clean teeth? Make sure you ask your vet what size of dog toothbrush to use or the kind of toothpaste and proper dental care for your dog.

Never use your toothpaste on your dog. Since human toothpaste is inedible, you should not use it on your dog for he has the tendency to swallow it. Instead, get some meat-flavored toothpaste. Be extra careful when handling your dog’s mouth. Begin by touching his teeth and slowly introduce the brush. In circular motion, brush his teeth carefully paying attention under the gum line.

Grooming of your pet dog is a vital aspect to a healthy breed. Your 30 minutes spent in grooming your dog will keep him healthy and strengthen your bond. You can also take him to a professional groomer if you are a busy owner. Remember that keeping your dog groomed can be easy and fun for both of you.

For Love of Ghosts

I was thirteen years old when I saw my first ghost. It was at my maternal grandmother’s funeral. It was a sunny summer morning. Here in North Carolina the mortuary puts a tent over the gravesite to protect the mourners from the summer sun and sudden rain showers. I was sitting on the front row with my parents. The preacher was giving grandmother’s eulogy. It was hot, and I was ready to have the service over with.

I was looking up at the preacher when I noticed a young blond woman standing beside one of the tent poles. She was smiling as she listened to the eulogy. She looked familiar to me. As I was looking at her, trying to figure out who she was, a breeze moved the branches on a tree behind her. That’s when I realized that I was seeing “through” her. She was transparent. She appeared solid enough that I hadn’t noticed until the branches moved behind her.

I quickly elbowed my mother. But as I did that, the pretty blond ghost turned her head towards me. She smiled, placed a finger to her lips, and shook her head “no” as she made a “shhhh” sound, and then she faded away.

Later at the house, I looked through some old family photos. The picture of grandmother when she was twenty-one years old looked exactly like the apparition at the funeral. Yes, grandmother was enjoying her eulogy.

And so began my fascination and love for ghosts.

Down through the years I’ve seen so many of them and felt the warmth of their presence that I can’t help wanting to shout it from the rooftops. They’re beautiful, and they won’t hurt you! They reach out to you and wrap you in a blanket of comfort and serenity. Their only desire is to assist you, and love you, and tell you that the afterlife is a place of joy and spiritual progress.

Oh, sure, there are some that are downright embarrassed by their low estate, but those undeveloped souls aren’t able to appear to anyone in the physical realm without help.

A ghost’s appearance is slightly luminous. It’s light seems to create swirling patterns as if it were some sort of plasma. When you see a ghost, you might even think that he or she is an angel. I’ve made that mistake too, but angels have a different demeanor. Angels radiate a sense of power and authority. I always have a feeling that I should kneel and bow my head in reverence when I encounter an angel. But they are quick to inform that they do not want adoration. Service is their goal, their joy, and their privilege.

Unlike angels, ghosts were once like you and me. They were people living in physical bodies. But now they are free from their physical cage, and they are delighted with their freedom. They enfold friends and family that are still in the physical body. They look forward to the day that their loved ones are born into their world of beauty, radiance, joy, and love.

How can you know that you are in the presence of a ghost? Perhaps you may see a faint glow in the darkness. Sometimes you’ll only see their beautiful eyes with lashes that flit like butterfly wings. Maybe you will smell a sweet, soft fragrance almost like baby powder. Possibly you will feel a touch as if someone dropped a silken scarf on your naked flesh. Perchance you’ll hear a soothing whisper in your ear. These are indeed messages from someone who loves you beyond the veil.

And if you are really blessed, you may find yourself standing in the presence of your beloved one. They linger near you because your bond of love enables them to assist you with insight and intuition. If God permits, you may see their apparition. They will appear similar to the way you remember them but with the glow of health and happiness. The apparitions are translucent with rays of light shimmering like a corona around them.

This ghostly apparition is actually a transfiguration of your loved one. You will feel no fear, only love and happiness. It is my hope that you will be visited.

Copyright 2005 Robbin Renee  Bridges 

Dell Online (Case Study)

Background (General Facts from Case Study)

Dell is a computer corporation recognized for manufacturing computer systems through parts assemble. In 1983, Michael Dell saw an opportunity in using IBM compatible computers for a new assembly line that can be sold to local businesses. The idea as explained by Michael Dell, in an interview with Joan Magretta[1], is that in the early days of computers’ manufacturing, companies had to be able to produce every part of the system. As the industry matured, companies started to focus on single parts and to become specialized in creating items that can be assembled with other parts to prepare a computer. As a result, Dell understood that to have a competitive edge in the market, they needed to focus on activities that drive sales instead of putting capital in producing items that other manufactures are already creating.

In the 1990’s, the computer market revolved around desktops, notebooks, and network servers. Dell competed with high-end machines from IBM, HP, and Compaq with a product line that provided value-priced systems for consumers and highly reliable networked systems for business. In the late 90’s, around 40% of households owned a pc in the US. On the contrary, from the business side, around 80% of the companies still had old server and desktop machines. Management had to approve purchasing orders, which resulted in only 2.2% of servers’ sale in comparison to the total purchases for desktop PCs in 1996.

In order for Dell to achieve $7.8 billion from sales in the late 90’s, it had to skip over the traditional channels of using retail or value-added resellers (VARs) to sell directly to the consumers . The “direct-model “or as Michael Dell comments on how his new employees call it “The model” is not that all powerful system. It is simply a way for Dell to cut on the standard supply chain cycle and deliver goods directly from the manufacturer to the customer. They created partnerships with several suppliers such as Sony, Intel, and others to deliver goods effectively at the time of the order to Dell’s plant where the assembly took place. The delivery and shipment were outsourced through a dedicated service that also insured delivering the monitors directly from the supplier at the same time. Mr. Dell talks about how suppliers are benefiting from the fact that Dell buys more items from the suppliers keeping no inventory and only requesting faster delivery upon orders.

In 1996, Dell capitalized on the growing number of customers who are using the Internet and launched its online store at dell.com. The online venture then proved to be the most appropriate sales channel that matched the supply chain direct model implemented by Dell.

In its path to compete in the market, Dell had to provide additional services such as DellPlus that enabled Dell to install commercial software packages, DellWare which provided hardware and software from other vendors, and after sales and on-site support services. These actions, as described by Michael Dell, required establishing more partnerships, which Mr. Dell describes as a process of “trial and error”. The integration with partners was changing as the technology is evolving and many venders go volatile while others remain sold. Furthermore, looking for an IT company to build the online store brought in very few players, which made Dell accept the overhead of developing the portal in-house.

Enterprise Architecture Issues

  • Supply Chain Management: The purchase and number of transactions that Dell took in required a properly configured and concise business process.
  • In-sourcing: To meet the demand of the market some parts of the process required the services of other companies that can be in partner with Dell.
  • Quality Assurance: The computer industry is a very dynamic one, which makes quality products stand out when faced with technology-oriented consumers.
  • Business Automation: As Dell advanced into online markets, its sales staff feared from losing their jobs in favor of automated sales transactions.
  • Dynamic Industry: The technology industry requires closely monitoring consumers’ trend to maintain a low gap between the point of demand and the point of supply.


Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management (SCM) aims at integrating all corporate activities to improve relationships at all levels (internal operations, supplier networks, and distribution channel) to meet the competitive edge and satisfy the customer (Al-Mashari and Zairi 2000)[2]. In order to build an effective and complete business process that supports SCM, information among all business partners need to be shared. Information sharing through the Internet reduce the gap for business-to-business (B2B) commerce by enabling seamless integration with enterprise processes among partner corporations (Archer 2006)[3].

Dell developed its internal business process by creating production cells that start assembly at the point of order. It also established an internal information system to make the details of the products under production electronically available to all parties within the chain. To manage the supply of computer parts, Dell maintained close relationships with their suppliers and logistics providers to make their vendors manage the inventory system while Dell focused on product assembly (Kumar and Craig 2007)[4]. In addition, Dell used enterprise technology to make their database and methodologies available to the supplier to understand how Dell works. On the consumer side, orders made through the phone or online through dell.com produced a tracking code that the consumer can use to track the status of his or her order at any time through the phone or on Dell’s website.

In sourcing

Organizations worldwide are benefiting from the specialized services offered by various companies. In the shipping and transport arena, companies Like UPS (United Parcel Service) and DHL stand out as masters in their industry. UPS and DHL have established offices and transportation vehicles all across the world. They provide business services through in-sourcing which enables them to be part of the internal business process of companies (Marcum 2007)[5]. To a company like Toshiba for example, after-sales support service would require shipping the damaged computer to and from the consumer’s side. For that, UPS would say, “Look, instead of us picking up the machine from your customers, bringing it to our hub, then flying it from our hub to your repair facility and then flying it back to our hub and then from our hub to your customer’s house, let’s cut out all the middle steps. We, UPS, will pick it up, repair it, and send it right to your customer” (Friedman 2006)[6].

Dell understands that it need not compete unless it would get the advantage in the market. Michael Dell says that one should evaluate the competition field and pick the best one. In that context, after-sales services were contracted with firms who are specialized in that field and can be contacted directly through the integrated supply system to fulfill the requests of the consumers. Furthermore, shipping is handled through multiple shippers to deliver systems to consumers or to resellers across the world. In addition, Dell has saved the overhead cost of monitors’ delivery by requesting shippers to deliver from the monitor’s supplier directly to the consumer at the same time.

Quality Assurance

In a competitive arena, companies seek to have an advantage through means that are not necessarily related to price. Constraints against outsourcing due to excessive decentralization within organizations can have a negative impact on the value chain process. Combing various options and being open to diversification would support in increasing the speed-to-market and enhancing the quality of products (Ernst 2000)[7].

Dell has an operational facility in Penang Malaysia, which places Dell at a central position near to where most suppliers actually have their factories. Orders for goods come directly to Penang center through the integrated suppliers’ logistic centers (SLCs) chain[8]. The Penang center sends emails to suppliers requesting the parts that will be assembled based on the customer’s order. The entire model was efficient enough to require no more than 36 hours from order to shipping. In terms of quality of service, Dell has won numerous awards for highest quality. In spite of that, it continues to find means to increase the efficiency of its products. Michael Dell suggested that reducing the human interaction with hard drives during assembly would decrease its failure rate. As a result, the reduction of the number of “touches” dropped the failure rate to 20%.

Business Automation

The general attitude from individuals and employees within organizations is that automation through information systems complicate their internal processes, and might result in cutting down the number of staff (Khatibi, V.Thyagarajan and Seetharaman 2003)[9]. There are several psychological and behavioral problems associated with reluctance to change, which appear to impede the growth of E-commerce. On the other hand, retailers no longer think their web sites are simply an added benefit for their customers since the ROI (Return on Investment) percentages from online websites have far outweighed their bricks-and-mortar counterparts (Casey 2004)[10]. For that reason, the staff involved in the traditional sales process requires training to embrace new technologies and to learn how they can benefit from it.

For Dell online store the response from the consumers was huge, however, at first the sales representatives feared that the online website would reduce the number of sale deals they closed. To overcome this, Dell introduced the cost saving model showing how the online store would support sales representative close more deals and at the same time would produce cost effective results that would have a positive ROI on the business.

Dynamic Industry

Customer relations management (CRM) is a very vital competency that was born from the amount of transactional sales deals through call centers. The process of understanding customers goes through the initial phase of collecting data then analyzing trends and eventually building a knowledge base that will drive the profitable relationship (Liew 2008)[11]. Organizations’ use of CRM models is an attempt to get firsthand knowledge that would improve marketing effectiveness, bring more personalization, and build brands among other objectives based on the nature of the business (Anderson, Jolly and Fairhurst 2007)[12].

Michael Dell model is based on keeping no inventory, in order for Dell to maintain that they focused on segmenting their customers into scalable businesses that can be analyzed for their level of demand. Sales executives at Dell used communication skills to elicit information from customers that would further support the demand forecast initiatives at the company. In addition, Dell sent surveys to customers to further understand the satisfaction level with the services provided by Dell and modify its product line and services accordingly. Furthermore, Michael Dell discussed how regional meetings in various countries invited potential customers to further enrich the relationship and give room for comments and feedback about Dell’s services. On top of all that, Dell strived to provide information for its customers to help them make proper choices for their IT requirements and gain privileged information about new and upcoming technologies. Dell invested in developing a web portal in the form of “Premier Pages” for high-end customers and another for small to medium businesses at Dellmarketplace.com[13]. Both sites aim at providing information to customers and establishing a single point of access for customers’ IT service requirements.


Dell is simply a success story; it shows how one can gain market advantage by simply understanding what brings value to customers. No one, even Michael Dell himself when he started, thought that people would enjoy customizing their PC orders and wait patiently as the order makes its way back to their homes. Some studies talk about how people challenged the initial delivery estimates provided by Dell to see if they were met.

The level of expansion Dell strived to achieve brought in problems as with any growing business. However, by adapting techniques such as In-sourcing and mutual benefit partnerships it reduced its potential staff from 80,000 to only 15,000. Dell also was aware of factors that would hinder its supply chain. For example, they maintained a multiple list of shippers as not to be affected by unexpected delays and organizational issues. In addition, they understood the importance of developing their own enterprise systems in-house to control all the variables and maintain their business processes.

This is one of the best case studies in the IT industry. I believe the level of commitment Dell showed in the model he created is inspiring. On the editorial side, I believe more highlights on the internal infrastructure of Dell’s network would have helped in building an understanding of how the supply chain actually worked. Did they use CRM modules, ERP, SCM, or a combination of all? How did Dell secure its information link with its suppliers, were all of them mature enough when it came to Information systems?


  • Organizations should focus on value adding activities like establishing online portals for their customers.
  • Businesses should conduct frequent surveys to measure the level of service they provide and work on enhancing their products.
  • Organizations should decentralize and enable expansion through global techniques such as out-sourcing and in-sourcing.
  • Building internal enterprise information systems is the most effective methodology for information and knowledge sharing.
  • Establishing multiple touch points with customers, strengthen the relationship and increases satisfaction levels.
  • Meeting global quality standards is the only way to get an advantage in a competitive arena.
  • Internal organization assessment and training is vital to maintain the high spirit of employees and increase their productivity.
  • Management support and funding is a key element in the success of any information system implementation.


  1. Joan Magretta , “The Power of Virtual Integration: An Interview with Dell Computer’s Michael Dell.” Harvard Business Review 76, no. 2 (Mar/Apr 1998): 72-84, 13, 2.
  2. Majed Al-Mashari and Mohamed Zairi, “Supply-chain re-engineering using enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems: an analysis of a SAP R/3 implementation case.” International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 30, no. 3/4 (2000): 296-313
  3. Norman P. Archer, “Supply chains and the enterprise” Journal of Enterprise Information 19, no. 3 (2006): 241-245, 242
  4. Sameer Kumar and Sarah Craig, “Dell, Inc.’s closed loop supply chain for computer assembly plants.” Information Knowledge Systems Management 6, no. 3 (2007): 197-214,18.
  5. Marcum, Jennifer. “In-Source or Outsource?” BioProcess International, June 2007
  6. Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006), 168.
  7. Dieter Ernst, “Inter-Organizational Knowledge Outsourcing: What Permits Small Taiwanese Firms to Compete in the Computer Industry?” Asia Pacific Journal of Management (Springer Netherlands) 17, no. 2 (August 2000): 223-255, 248
  8. Friedman, The World is Flat, 516
  9. Ali Khatibi, V.Thyagarajan, and A. Seetharaman, “E-commerce in Malaysia: Perceived Benefits and Barriers.” Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers 28, no. 3 (Jul-Sep 2003): 77-82, 6.
  10. Bernadette Casey, “Online Monday blacker than in-store Friday.” DSN Retailing Today, December 13, 2004: 13-13,0.
  11. Chor-Beng Anthony Liew, “Strategic integration of knowledge management and customer relationship management.” Journal of Knowledge Management 12, no. 4 (2008): 131-146.
  12. Anderson, Joan L., Laura D. Jolly, and Ann E. Fairhurst. “Customer relationship management in retailing: A content analysis of retail trade journals.” Journal of Retailing & Consumer Services 14, no. 6 (November 2007): 394-399, 6.
  13. Alorie Gilbert, “Dell Online Marketplace Targets Small Businesses.” Electronic Buyers’ News, October 2, 2000: 58, 0.

The Ethernet Digital Wall Clocks

Digital wall clocks configuration can be done easily. The Ethernet NTP digital wall clock can be configured from a telnet session. From any pc on your network, logon to the device. They can then be configured using few simple commands.

These ethernet clocks display accurate time which they obtain from an NTP (Network Time Protocol) or SNTP (Simple Network Time Protocol) server. The NTP or SNTP server can be either intranet based or internet based. By providing the digital clock with the IP address of the NTP server, it will synchronize its time.

The digital wall clocks can be provided in one or two display formats with four or six digit units. A four digit device will display hours and minutes only. A six digit device will display hours, minutes and seconds. The Ethernet NTP digital clocks can be configured for EU daylight savings using commands.

The LED digital wall clock comes with four or six digit formats. The four digit LED clock units display hours and minutes. The six digit units display hours, minutes and seconds. Both the LED clock units have 4 inch high LED digits. These digits can be read easily even from far distance of 50m.

These clocks use PoE which is Power over Ethernet. It simplifies the installation of network devices. The device takes its power from CAT5 network cable. Therefore, the necessity to have a mains outlet at the point of location of the digital wall clocks is eliminated. When your network segment is PoE enabled, it is just enough if you plug the digital clock onto your network which will power-up automatically. In case if your network is not PoE enabled, then a low-cost midspan-convertor is required which is nothing but a small power supply.

These digital wall clocks come with various   mounting  options. They are usually provided with two keyhole cutouts on the rear panel to aid in wall  mounting  conveniently. Sometimes, depending on the manufacturer, they do come with a digital wall clock  mounting  kit using which one or two clocks can be suspended from a ceiling or you can mount them on a wall.

You can mount a single digital wall clock using this kit or else, you can mount them back to back with two such clocks. These clocks are configurable according to time zones and daylight saving settings. They are very accurate and do not require any human intervention and have no requirement of any special hardware or software. The time updates take place automatically.

Bicep Training For Police Officers

The bicep (biceps brachii) is an important muscle for Police Officers and it is rather easy to train. It is important to understand that the bicep is a 2 headed muscle consisting of a long head and a short head. This is important because there are different exercises that can be done to work each individual head. The bicep is a small muscle that does not need an excessive amount of training to build them. Train the biceps once per week and with a healthy diet your biceps will get stronger in no time.

You should be able to work your biceps in 30 minutes which leaves plenty of time for some cardio training or you may want to work your triceps immediately following your biceps routine. I like to work my biceps and triceps during the same workout each week. I hit biceps first for 30 minutes and then I hit my triceps for 30 minutes and then there is no need to work arms until the following week.

Many people like to work each body part 2 times per week but I feel that is not necessary for the average person. When you exercise with weights you are tearing down your muscles which requires a lot of rest for them to recover and grow.

Your muscles do not grow in the gym, they grow and become stronger when they are being rested outside of the gym. Because our biceps are being torn down they need protein to grow and become stronger. You will need to eat a fairly healthy diet high in protein and moderate carbohydrates to fuel your muscles so that they will grow and become stronger.

For the average person we should be ingesting around 1 gram of protein per body pound each day. This mean that if you weigh 160 pounds you should try and eat 160 grams of protein per day. Eating 1 gram of protein per body pound each day is not difficult once you see what foods are high in protein. You can easily accomplish this by drinking a couple protein shakes each day along with a couple meals.

You will want to rest in between each set for roughly 60 seconds. In some of the more advanced routines you will take very l.little rest in between sets and at times you will perform multiple sets with no rest at all. With the beginner routine below I would grab a pair of 20 pound dumbells and curl them for 2 sets of 15 reps. This will warm up your biceps and elbows for workout.

As with any fitness activity the key to avoiding injury is to warm up properly. Now that the warm up set is done I would move onto the work sets. I would load a straight curl bar with a weight that I think I could get 8 reps with. Don’t worry about being precise on your estimate of what weight you should start out with. If you start your 1st set with a weight that is too easy then adjust the weight accordingly on the 2nd set.

I would then make sure I was wearing a weight belt and then I would lift the straight bar and curl it 8-12 times before putting the bar down. If you find that you are able to do 12 reps with that weight then you will need to increase the weight on the next set.

If you find that you cannot do 8 reps with that weight then you need to reduce the weight for the next set. Routines with 3-6 reps per set are more for power lifters and we are trying to achieve strength gains along with gains in muscle mass which is why we shoot for 8-12 reps. Ideally this is how your first set of the beginner bicep workout should go.

Lets say you load 50 pounds on the straight bar and you are able to get 12 reps on the 1st set. You rest for 1 minute and then you put 60 pounds on the straight bar and you are able to get 10 reps. You then rest 1 minute and put 70 pounds on the bar and you are able to get 8 reps. That would be a good set because you increased the weight with each set and you stayed within the 8-12 reps with each set.

A not so good set would be where you load 50 pounds on the straight bar for your 1st set and you are only able to get 6 reps. you then put 60 pounds on the bar for your 2nd set and you can only get 5 reps.

You then reduce the weight to 40 pounds and you get 10 reps on your 3rd and final set. If on my 1st set I was unable to get 8 reps I would start over and lower the weight 20 pounds. After a few workouts you will be able to estimate your starting weight for each exercise with ease.

So far we have done the warm up set and 1 work set which was the standing barbell curl. The standing barbell curl is the best exercise for building strength and mass in the biceps which is why we do it as our 1st work set.

Because it is an important exercise we want to do it as the 1st set when we are fresh and rested. Now for our 2nd work set we will do the preacher curls with dumbells. The preacher bench can be a seated or standing piece of equipment depending on the manufacturer.

I prefer the seated preacher bench because the standing preacher bench feels awkward to me. In this exercise we are using dumbells instead of the barbell. You will want to grab a pair of dumbells that you think you can curl on the preacher bench for 8-12 reps.

With the preacher bench you want to make sure your elbows are not hanging off the end of the pad. The preacher curl is great for shaping the bicep and this should movement should never be left out of a bicep workout. Do a total of 3 sets on the preacher bench using the same principles that we used with the standing barbell curls.

The 3rd and final work set in the beginner bicep routine is the hammer curl. The hammer curl is a great exercise that will hit the lower part of your bicep. The hammer curl is done with dumbells using the same weight principles as described above.

Do 3 sets of hammer curls and you are finished with your biceps for this week. Now would be a good time to do some cardio or work your triceps to complete your arm workout for the week. Your goal each week will be to increase the weight for each of these exercises. Don’t get discouraged, you will get stronger and be able to increase the weight in no time.

After 4 weeks of this routine you will be ready to change to the beginner bicep routine # 2. Our muscles are smart and they learn to adapt to the routines that we put them through so we have to change up our workouts from time to time.

Incorporating new bicep exercises means that we will be hitting our biceps from different positions and angles which will cause further muscle growth and development. I advocate tweaking your bicep workout every 4 weeks for beginners. Tweaking your bicep workout can be as simple as removing 1 exercise from your routine and adding something new.

For the beginner workout I would stop doing the hammer curl at week 4 and start doing the dumbells concentration curl. I would then switch the dumbells preacher curl with the barbell preacher curl and then switch the standing barbell curl with the standing cable machine curl.

After a few months of the beginner routines you may be ready for the more advanced bicep workouts which will be listed below. You may be tempted to work your biceps more than once per week as you start to see some gains but don’t do it. You can easily over train the biceps which will severely reduce your strength and mass gains and lead to an injury.

Beginner Bicep Routine

Warm up with 2 sets of standing dumbbell curls for 15 reps each set

Standing barbell curl – 3 sets for 8-12 reps each set

Preacher bench dumbbell curls – 3 sets 8-12 reps each set

Hammer dumbbell curls – 3 sets 8-12 reps each set

How To Handle Excess Scrapbooking Paper

If you are a scrapbooker, chances are you have mounds of leftover scrapbooking paper that you don’t want to throw away but can’t find a use for. Luckily, there are many fantastic tasks that let you turn that leftover paper into something creative and beautiful, and making use of each item of paper to the max aids you get your money’s worth. Commence by sorting your scraps into piles- keep large items (larger than four in. by six inches) in one pile, medium items (less than four by six but greater than two in. by two inches) in another, and small pieces in a third. Then, grab a few supplies and get going!

1. Use large items to create ready-made mats and journaling. If the piece is bigr than a four by six photograph, you can turn it into a ready-to-grab mat with just a few slices of your paper cutter. A journaling stamp or a pen and ruler used to make neat strains can turn other leftover scrapbookinging paper into ideal journaling blocks or tags. You can trim the edges with ornamental scissors or a border punch to add a distinctive touch.

2. For medium and small size pieces, try creating patchwork accents for your next project. Adhere leftover scrapbooking paper to a piece of cardstock (use pieces that you would otherwise throw away) or the firm cardboard packaging from paper packs. Create a patchwork effect, create a torn-edge mosaic look, or cut paper into 1/2 inch strips and adhere theme neatly to the paper, mixing with ribbon or decorative tape if desired. Then, draw or trace a shape onto the back of the paper, and cut out the shape. Play with unique coloration combinations and mix scraps to create diverse looks that you can then use on any layout.

3. Bring out the Mod-Podge. scrapbook paper is best for creating decoupage creations that are great as gifts or to keep for yourself. You can decoupage almost anything that is flat and suitable for gluing. Medium and small sized pieces, alongside with leftover stickers, trim, or any other minor items can turn any plain item into a beautiful home decor item. Consider creating a decoupage frame for mother’s or father’s day, a cool pencil holder (from an old can with the edges carefully flattened), decorate a clock face, or turn a plain wood box into one thing special. The options are endless, and you can add extra photographs for a genuinely personal touch.

4. Don’t forget about your punches! Smaller items that you would otherwise throw away can immediately turn into fun confetti if you take advantage of your punches or diecuts. Leftover scrapbookinging paper can be punched in fun shapes that you can scatter on dining tables at your next get together, or you can simply save punched shapes for your next decorating project. This is an easy way to get another use out of your paper.

Of course, one tip that every scrapbooking woman should know is that recycling is the best way to make sure that there is loads of scrapbooking paper for the next generation! If you don’t have a home recycling services, simply find one in your community that you can access and then save your scraps that are too small to use in a paper grocery bag. When it is full, drop it off to be used again. Use your imagination, and you’ll find that leftover scrapbooking paper can be a wonderful source of inspiration for your next cards.

The Awe-Inspiring Pink Garden Rose

Although the Red Rose seems to be the darling of enthusiasts, it is actually the pink garden rose that walks away with the accolades. Wild Varieties and the original old gardens like the Hybrid Perpetuals, Centifolia, and Bourbons are mostly pink in color.

Pink has always had a mythical quality. The meanings associated with the pink coloring are many; appreciation, grace, perfect happiness, admiration, gentleness, and even ‘Please believe me’! Dark pink flowers are said to denote gratefulness while light pink shows sympathy, admiration, gladness and joy, sweetness, and gentleness. Mauve shades can only mean enchantment, beauty, and love at first sight!

You have to also be cautious about the number you hand out! Two entwined roses mean ‘Marry me’ while one just conveys simplicity and gratitude. Six express a need to be cherished while eleven assure the recipient that he or she is truly and deeply loved. Thirteen is definitely not an unlucky number as far as roses go, as this means you have a secret admirer!

Some of the favorite soft pink garden varieties are Mary Rose, Heritage, Bonica, Gruss an Aachen, and   Marchioness  of Londonberry which vie with the newer bright pink roses like Fame and First Light for attention. The Rose de Recht is a very famous old garden which is almost magenta.

To add a sense of excitement and adventure to your rose garden, match bright red, orange, and yellow with your hot pink. If you prefer a more subtle feel of elegance you might want to grow your cool pink roses with purple, white, or blue.

If you want your garden to smell heavenly, opt for Heritage Roses which are highly fragrant and available in almost all shades of pink.

Miniature pink are also much in demand all over the world. Live Wire, Magic Carousel, and Rosie are very beautiful.

A few pink climbers can add that sense of mischief to your hedges and arches. New Dawn, Viking Queen, and Aloha are some of the popular pink climbers.

Many landscape gardens in North America are dotted with lovely pink roses and the best for landscapes are Magic Carpet, Pink Knockout, and O’ So Easy.

No garden is complete without an array of pink roses in all their rich and subtle hues and shades. Go ahead and indulge yourself, you are sure to be delighted!

Hiring a House Painter

If you have just bought a house and need to start work on it where should you begin? After the exterior and civil work it’s time for house painting. The interiors need to be tackled after basic electric fitting and floor work but has to be done before the furniture, especially before those pieces that need to be built into the wall.

If you think house painting is too much of a task for you and you don’t know where to begin, hire a professional painter. It is hassle free and saves time. Here are some things to keep in mind while choosing a commercial painter for exterior and interior painting.

o Mark out all the areas that need a fresh coat of paint. If you are remodelling your home you will realise that some areas need immediate attention and some don’t need a fresh coat of paint at all. So survey your property and prioritise.

o Look for a good professional painter that will help you out. Ask for references from family and friends. You may have liked something you saw at the neighbour’s or at your sister’s place. Ask them for referrals and their experiences. Many people hire young students on their summer break to paint their home but this has some risks. You never know how the final outcome will be and if the kids are experienced enough to handle the job. You can also ask your local paint store for some information on house painters in the vicinity.

o Once you have short listed the house painters it’s time to meet and evaluate them. Find out about their previous work, is inputs on the job at hand and time needed for completion. After you explain your requirements ask them for a detailed quote.

o Make sure you know if the quote is inclusive of hardware, paint supplies and taxes. Make a calculation of the materials you require from the painter. If it adds up and fits in your budget, talk about payment terms. The contract you sign with the commercial painter should be fool proof and include number of coats, brand and type of paint to be used, their responsibilities in terms of cleaning up after the job and scraping of old paint before they begin.

o Before they begin with interior or exterior painting make sure minor repairs and water leakages are taken care off to avoid any mishaps in the job. All you have to do now is select the colours or textures you need, cover up all the furniture while interior painting and get ready to be amazed.

If you need more information on house painting and other painting services you can visit www.jimspainting.com.au. You can also find out everything you need to know about painting and decorating.

Different Types of Chandelier Finishes

Obviously, there’s no lighting source more brilliant in appeal than chandelier lighting. Due to their wonderful qualities and aesthetics, chandeliers have evolved as necessary fixtures added in many luxurious hotels, fine dining restaurants, up scale corporate offices as well as homes. They are available in abundant types and finishes, and combines sophisticated forms and functions to befit a wide array of settings. In many cases, modern chandeliers provide illumination with the use of standard electric light bulbs and even electric powered candles, but there are also old chandeliers that make use of gaslights and wax candles that are still used to date.

Among the myriads of chandelier lighting fixtures to choose from, crystal chandeliers remains as the most popular preference. These chandeliers are constructed from cut glass crystal pieces that gracefully hang on the arms of the fixture. Crystals reflects light easily and the lights they reflect often produce shimmering effects, which makes them all the more visibly entertaining. Crystal chandeliers were popularized by elite Europeans and wealthy Americans during 1920’s and 1930’s.

Bead-shell chandeliers are popular contemporary chandelier fixtures designed from beads and shells. The most common type of shell used for such chandelier pieces is the Capiz shell which is commonly referred to as mother-of-pearl shell. Bead-shell chandeliers often emit soft lights, which makes them more preferable to be used in fine dining restaurants. They are also commonly fixated near pictures and paintings to highlight these interior elements.

Murano glass chandeliers are contemporary chandelier fixtures that originated from Murano, Italy, which is regarded as the glass blowing capital of the world. These light fixtures denote a specific chandelier design that is often curvy and tubular in form, exclusively made from blown Murano glass. Because glass can be molded into several shapes, Murano chandeliers are often utilized with floral motifs and other complex figures, and usually comes in pastel hues. The use of different colors in these chandeliers allows them to emit unique and creative light effects.

On the other hand, antler chandeliers, as their name implies, are derived from the shed antlers of deer, elk or moose. These chandelier lighting fixtures are commonly used in western-style homes such as log cabins and ranch residences. You can establish a rustic appeal inside your living space just by hanging an antler chandelier on your ceiling. If you can’t afford an authentic antler chandelier piece, you can opt for a faux antler chandelier that is made from plastic fibers, designed to look like original antlers.

Candle chandeliers made from metals such as brass, brushed nickel and wrought iron are elegant pieces that resonates the rich history of the past. Antique chandeliers made from metals used to hold candles instead of electric bulbs and have been in existence since the 1400’s, though they were reinvented in differing finishes throughout the centuries. Antique metal candle chandeliers are among the most expensive lighting fixtures today, and may cost up to $60,000 because of their rarity and origin, making them collectible items. If you want to save energy and you have the right budget, you can always opt for an antique metal candle chandelier.

Kate Spade – Handbag Innovator

Kate Spade, born Kate Brosnahan on December 24, 1962, became an unusual success in the designer handbag genre, a field normally accredited to the affluent. Following attending all girls St. Teresa’s high school, she attended Arizona State University, then in 1986 was employed at Mademoiselle Magazine’s accessory department. There she worked up to become the head of the department, and left there in 1991. She influenced women to trade their boring “little black bag” for a more stylish purse, and spent hours investigating fabrics, styles, and the cost of producing elegant purses.

She had met Andy Spade, brother of comedian David Spade, while in college, and they married in 1994. They had a daughter Frances in 1995. Kate became aware of a gap in the market of purses, and was influenced by her mother’s collection of decorative clutches. She spent her time sketching ideas for fashionable and colorful handbags. In 1993 she and her husband started the “Kate Spade Handbags” Company, and in 1996 opened their first store in New York City. In 1998 they expanded with stores in Boston, Connecticut, Long Island, Chicago and California. Soon there were boutiques all over the United States and one in Tokyo, Japan. In 1999 Neiman Marcus bought a large stake in the company, and in 2007 bought out the Spades for $124 million. Her chic handbags have been featured in her brother-in-law David Spade’s comedy Just Shoot Me, and she herself appeared in one of the early episodes.

Today Kate Spade’s name is also attached to wedding shoes, eyeware, china, pajamas, raincoats, organizers, bedroom and bath items, shoes, wallpaper, and other items. She has won numerous designer awards for her creations.

Her sensible designer handbags with their simple, modest design, however, continue to be highly desired by consumers. The collection includes hobo bags, totes, drawstring bags, nylon and leather bags, cross body bags, satchels, and others, all combining function with fashion. Are you one of the women who would just love to own a Kate Spade handbag?


Seven Steps to Becoming a ‘Shovel Ready’ Leader

We’ve heard quite a bit lately about “ shovel  ready” projects usually framed as “construction projects ready-to-go” but just in need of a bit of “stimulus.”

Well, in these difficult times, with perhaps more to come, the hour as arrived for our leaders to become  shovel  ready. It’s time for you to get  shovel  ready. It’s time for all of us to become part of the stimulus.

To me, the term  shovel  ready means that some advanced thought and effort has precipitated the ability to be ready.

With that in mind, I have devised Seven Steps to becoming a  Shovel  Ready Leader(TM).

1. Passion: Even amid all of the chaos swirling around you, your family or your organization, you must find a few moments to reflect on what you really are passionate about. Ask yourself why you care about this? Without knowing this key ingredient, you might dig in the wrong direction. Write your responses down. Reflect on them often, especially during moments of hesitation.

2. Presence: This does not mean propping yourself up with your  shovel  as others do the work or plopping behind your desk in your favorite pinstripes. Leadership is a moment-to-moment choice. To be a  Shovel  Ready Leader(TM) you must be authentically present to those around you at all times. You need to completely close the gap between your beliefs and behaviors. To do this you must be aware of what you stand for and why. Your core values are key to your success. Dig too far away from your core and a bottomless pit of dismal outcomes awaits you. Please note, presence includes listening, not just hearing.  Shovel  Ready Leaders(TM) are active listeners. They use questions as teaching tools. When you listen deeply, you create a credibility path so others not only want to join with you, but lobby for the honor.

3. Voice: This is not about raising your voice over the din. It’s about discovering your true voice and helping others find theirs. Storytelling is the key.  Shovel  Ready Leaders(TM) find elements from past stories about overcoming adversity that help him or her make sense of what is ahead and how to frame the future Vision Story. Moreover, your Vision Story must offer a terrain map of a positive future and everyone’s role in it. Speaking from your heart will attract others who will join you in this new quest moving them away from chaos and towards commitment. However, in your workplace, where change may be greeted with anything but open arms, people may need to be personally and warmly invited. Just because they work in the same organization doesn’t mean they feel a part of what’s next. Invite them personally and share the benefits of picking up a  shovel  with you.

4. Action: Grab your  shovel , dig a deep trench and shove those “never been helpful” limiting thoughts deep into the ditch and bury them for good. Your mind is your most valuable ally. Yet, it can be your most ardent adversary. When you take charge of your mind, you begin to take charge of your life.  Shovel  Ready Leaders(TM) understand leading is about doing not just talking. Question everything, especially those redundant systems and those deep potholes potentially masked as your policies and procedures. When you do that, you will help others see obstacles as opportunities.

5. Service: Being of service is a way of life. Choose it. Being a  Shovel  Ready Leader(TM) means not looking at those around you as tools in your “Tim The Tool Man” belt. You don’t call them “my people.” You are not the “boss” of them; you are their servant leader. You honor them as individuals and refuse to use them as a “mosh pit” of automatons. You purposely create a diversified cast of talented fellow leaders. Many of them should be smarter than you and preparing to succeed you if you’re lucky. When you recognize and reward, you think about it in advance. You don’t just toss thank you bouquets to the masses as you mosey down the hallway. You acknowledge them meaningfully, and not with an “Attaperson” print out from the copy machine either. Learn about the people who have rolled up their sleeves with you and acknowledge them personally. Your goals should include focusing on helping them create their masterpiece.

6. Evolve: Incremental or giant leaps. You choose. The  Shovel  Ready Leader(TM) is a rabid learner. SRL’s never plateau. They are always stretching themselves and others. Read voraciously and encourage others to do the same. Seek out other learners as well. Create a Book Club at work and use all types of books (like my book, The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable) to ignite a leadership conversation with your team. Always be ready to try new things. “It’s the way we’ve always done things” is not the battle cry of  Shovel  Ready Leaders(TM).

7. Demonstrate: Exhibit the above behaviors every moment by using my simple but effective The Four Commitment Questions(TM) “What Can I Do More Of? What Can I Do Less Of? What Can I Start Doing? What Can I Stop Doing?” Commit to this new way of living. Without commitment, nothing changes. Not you. Not them. Nothing.

Lift Chair Features to Look For

 Lift  chairs look almost exactly like the typical recliner that any living room might have. The difference is that  lift  chairs gently and slowly rise and pitch forward when the person using it wants to stand up. This helps a person stand on his or her own where they might need the help of another person to rise from a regular chair or recliner. A  lift  chair is one of many aids to daily living that can give an elderly or handicapped person the independence of standing up and sitting down without human help. Maintaining independence is the number one goal of elderly people, and  lift  chairs can be the perfect investment for those who are able to care for themselves, but who might have trouble rising from a seating or reclining position.

 Lift  chairs usually have a convenient button or set of buttons to push rather than relying on the typical wooden lever you find on most recliners. The great benefit of having a  lift  mechanism that has electronic controls is that it doesn’t require the arm strength you need to operate a recliner lever – something that many fully able-bodied people sometimes have trouble with.

Another advantage of  lift  chairs is that they are not only built for assisting rising from a seated position, but also for comfort. After all, what good is a  lift  chair if it’s uncomfortable and the person it belongs to doesn’t use it? They are generally made with the kind of deep foam cushioning you’ll find in a luxuriously comfortable recliner. Many of them recline fully and make a comfortable place to nap. But there are models that only recline a little bit, and this type is favored by some people who aren’t interested in sleeping in their chair.

 Lift  chairs do not take a back seat to regular furniture when it comes to style. They are made in a variety of colors, with the option of fabric or leather upholstery. There are enough designs that everyone can find a chair that is not only comfortable and useful, but that looks great in any style decor. Choices abound so that people of any size or weight can find a chair that will “fit” comfortably and operate properly for many years.

Perhaps the best feature of a  lift  chair is the benefit of independence it brings to the person who uses it. Even if an elderly or disabled person lives in a household with people who are not disabled, the ability to stand up and sit down unassisted is a convenience that everyone in the household can appreciate. When a person who used to require help standing up from a chair can stand up with only the assistance of the chair, the convenience extends to other people in the household. People in the household who may have had to interrupt their daily tasks several times to assist the disabled person will now have more freedom. A  lift  chair means more independence, not only for the person who needs help standing up, but also for those in the household who had been assisting the person.

An Elevator Speech Can Help Take Your Business to a Whole New Level

What Is An Elevator Speech?

If you’re in business, looking for a job, of even if you socialize a lot, having an “elevator speech” is an essential resource to have in your professional or personal tool box.

For those who are not familiar with the concept, let’s start with an elevator speech definition:

An elevator speech (or 30 second intro) is a short, persuasive description of a person, organization or group, or an idea for a product, service, or project.

It is a sound bite that details your professional or personal story, which should be prepared well in advance before you need it. This sound bite is a short well-crafted statement that should be concise but detailed enough to inform a potential business prospect, employer or anyone else you come into contact with about yourself, your business, your products or services, or your organization, preferably in the amount of time it takes to ride in an elevator.

An elevator speech, therefore, should be short, to the point and grab your listener’s attention by saying a lot in very few words, yet leave your audience wanting to know more.

A good elevator speech can be as short as 3 to 4 short sentences, about 50-100 words and take less than 30 seconds to deliver, or, as we will see a little later in this article, it can even be longer than 30 seconds. One minute and 2 minute elevator speeches can also be used in appropriate situations.

According to Wikipedia, an elevator speech is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. A good elevator speech is short but packed with information that is memorable, original, and personal.

In business, the elevator speech is a powerful sales tool for just about everyone. It will create great relationships and bring in more sales. Those who know how to use it effectively, would most likely agree that it is as essential nowadays as using a business card.

In your personal and social life, a prepared intro speech can be useful as a way of getting a job interview, or providing a quick introduction to any topic you want to pursue further with others in conversation.

Ultimately, the elevator speech is your 7 – 30 second response to the question, “so what do you do?” and the answer should be effective enough to introduce yourself and get your point across to a complete stranger in the time it would take for you to share a ride in a lift.

The Purpose Of An Elevator Speech

One of the great benefits of an elevator speech is that it helps you think attentively, creatively and intently about yourself, your job history or business, and your goals. It helps you to organize the information inside your head and crystallize your communication with others.

I first came across the concept of “elevator speeches” and the necessity of having them readily available many years ago, when I joined a network marketing company with no previous experience in business, sales or presenting.

The dilemma that most newcomers to network marketing experience when trying to grow their business, is whether to lead conversations with people they meet with the product or the business opportunity. In other words, if someone asks you what you do and you talk to them about your products (e.g. “I market a terrific nutritional supplement, blah blah blah…”), then you are steering the conversation towards a retail sale. If you lead with the business opportunity, however, (e.g. “I train motivated people on ways to build a profitable home based business, etc…”) then you are qualifying people for your business as a potential new recruit.

Having a couple of elevator speeches ready and knowing when to apply each type, therefore, was a valuable lesson I gained during my network marketing years.

Although I am no longer involved in the direct selling industry, the elevator speech is just as vital today in my professional and business life, as it was when I was trying to build a distributor organization many years ago.

Today, elevator speeches are more often used at networking events than in actual elevators, but the purpose is the same. Having a scripted mini-speech when searching for a job lead enables you to provide succinct information to the network of people around you so they know exactly what you are looking for and can help you find it. These short-to-the-point intros are also appropriate to use when following up on referrals or leads.

Let’s take a look a little more deeply, then, at the purpose of creating and using an elevator speech.

A really good elevator speech should help you create opportunities to pursue new business, new job offers, or new social contacts.

The purpose of your elevator speech should be to help you start a conversation with one or more people and get their permission to continue it. A good elevator speech will immediately grab your listener’s attention by saying a lot in very few words and then leave your audience wanting to know more.

Instead of disengaging your prospect’s attention, a properly delivered elevator speech should create a positive response and lead to a positive result. It should get people interested enough to continue talking about you, your product or your business, or make them want to call you again to understand more of what you’re all about.

How To Write An Elevator Speech

Your elevator speech should not be your organization’s mission statement, or your resume. Also, one of the most common mistakes made when trying to come up with an effective intro is to focus on what you do, or what you are.

Your elevator speech should be conversational, probably last 30 seconds or less and focus on one or more “emotional benefits” for the prospect.

In other words, there’s got to be something in it for your prospect. Don’t make it about you, make it about “them” and how you can help “them” to solve a problem or improve their lives.

The elevator speech example below is the one I use at business networking events for growing my internet marketing consulting services business:

“I help businesses get more leads and sales from their web sites.”

It may not be a “killer” as such, but it works incredibly well. I know that most small business owners have websites that are not delivering them the results they want (more traffic, more leads and more sales), and I can help them, so I have targeted my 30 second intro (more like 5 seconds, actually) specifically for their need.

Your best elevator speech should be a “viral creature” that can burn itself into your listener’s brain so that they will not only remember it, but also repeat it enthusiastically to others.

Can such a thing be created?

Of course! But it will probably take time, and a great deal of trial and error.

The best way to create your 30 second intro, is to begin by thinking deeply about the answer to questions such as:

– Who is my audience?

– What do they need or want that I alone can provide?

– Where and when will I use the speech?

– What are all the different situations I might face in the course of my professional or personal life where it would helpful to have a compelling mini-speech already prepared?

– What is the best response I want to elicit from others after I give my elevator speech? (For example, do you want to get a conversation going, a business card, an email address, a referral or an appointment for another meeting or presentation)?

Once you have thought deeply on the above questions, create your first elevator speech draft and then write it out. If required, create different versions for different business scenarios.

You may want to record a video or audio of yourself delivering your elevator speech. Watching the video afterwards will help you finetune your content and delivery, as well as help you develop a clear, concise and compelling message.

If you feel anxious about using an elevator speech, practice. Rehearse your 30 second speech with your partner, a friend, or in front of a mirror. Make it such an integral part of you that if someone woke you up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night and asked you “what do you do?”, you would be able to respond instantly, smoothly, naturally and without any hesitation.

Finally, don’t worry if your “elevator speech” isn’t smooth, easy, or natural in the beginning. Just keep rehearsing it and presenting it, and monitor the response you get afterwards.

If you are really having problems coming up with an elevator speech, consider joining a business networking group, or search online for sites that offer speech writing tips and tutorials

If you can afford it, you may even want to consider hiring a marketing professional or sales copywriter to help you or staff come up with an effective elevator speech.

How Long Should Your Elevator Speech Be

Ideally, you should develop a 30 second elevator speech following the guidelines and suggestions presented here. Keep in mind that a full 30 second intro may actually be too long in certain situations. The more concise you can make it, therefore, the better.

If, like me, you are a “systems-driven” person, then here is a really useful tip: Think about every business interaction with your prospect leading up to your sales presentation (and beyond) as a chain of scripted presentations. Your elevator speech is a scripted mini-presentation and your sales process is really nothing more than scripted speeches of longer duration.

So, if you were to map out your business sales process as a chain of scripted conversations, you would probably find that your 30 seconds elevator speech naturally leads to another speech, i.e. a 60 second elevator speech (or a 2 minute elevator speech) as the person expresses an interest or curiosity in response to your 30 second speech, which then leads to a longer speech called a “needs analysis” presentation, then more conversations called a “solutions” presentation, “decision confirmation” presentation, “training” or “product delivery” presentation, etc…

When you learn to tie up all of these “speeches” or scripted conversations together, you will have a powerful business system that you can test, measure and improve upon for continuously better results.

Additional Tips

To conclude this article, here some great tips on ways you can use your elevator speech for growing your business and getting more leads and referrals:

– Don’t be afraid to leave it as a voice message when making cold calls or speaking to potential employers (e.g., when leaving a voice-mail message for a hiring manager).

– Use it in your blog or web site in the “About Us” section.

– Use it in your email signature and on the back of your business card.

– Use it any time you are networking for business… even socially when attending functions.

– Use it when following up on referrals.

For more great ideas on ways to grow your business, I recommend listening to business audio books. Check out some of the excellent business audio book titles here: Best Business Audiobooks

I hope you have found this information useful and practical and I wish you great success.

Advice For Victims of Number Plate Theft

Stealing car plates seems at first glance like a schoolboy prank. After all, what is the point of stealing a number plate? Surely it’s just kids that carry out a seemingly pointless act of vandalism and theft? Well, no it’s actually much more serious than you think, and could leave you with a multitude of problems if that stolen plate is then put on another vehicle that is used in a criminal activity. So if you have had your number plates stolen, what should you do?

Tell the police

The first thing to do if you suspect your numberplate has been stolen is to tell the police. It is an act of theft, and your report ensures that the authorities are notified in case your registration is then recorded at the scene of a crime. That could be something as seemingly innocuous as driving away from a petrol station without paying or something much more serious. You should immediately also notify the Driver’s Vehicle Registration and Licensing Authority (DVLA) of the theft, so that any reports of stolen vehicles or vehicles involved in criminal activity can be compared against your report and your name discounted in any investigation.

Don’t expect it to be an easy ride though. If your plates are fitted to another car, the authorities will have to check with you as to your movements, whether the car is in fact yours or even if you have an alibi for a particular time or place. Unfortunately, the onus of proof is going to be on you, but there are ways to protect yourself. Photographic evidence, particularly from speed cameras or the record of the suspect vehicle’s tax disc in the case of PCNs (Penalty Charge Notices) will quickly confirm that the vehicle recorded is not yours, and a picture of your tax disc is conclusive proof of your innocence. You can also ensure that your car is easily identifiable by having a distinctive sticker in a window, for example.

Not just physical theft…

But the problem isn’t just confined to actually stealing the car plates. Number plates can also be ‘cloned’, which is becoming a far more common problem. Although the authorities are attempting to prevent the incidences of cloning by ensuring that to buy a new plate you must present the car’s registration documents to the vendor, replicating a false plate is still a relatively simple process for determined car criminals. If you get any speeding tickets, penalty charge notices or, if you live in London, Congestion charge notices, you must immediately notify the authorities in writing that you suspect your car number plates have been cloned.

If you have been unfortunate enough to have your number plates stolen, keep a detailed diary of your journeys for a while. That way you will be able to determine your innocence more easily and it could also help the police to work out a pattern of the suspect vehicle’s movements from your information.

All number plates are at risk, including personalised plates. Another good way of preventing your car number plates being stolen in the first place is to attach them to the vehicle using special theft prevention or anti tampering screws. These are available both online and from specialist car dealers, so if you have concerns that your number plates may be at risk, stop the thieves before they strike and make sure your plates are secure. Of course, this won’t protect you against the possibility of cloning, but it will stop opportunist thieves from physically removing your number plates.

Finally, you can request that DVLA scraps the registration altogether and buy a new registration for your car. Scrapping the stolen number may mean that a cloner or thief using the plates is caught by an ANPR (Automated Number Plate Recognition) equipped police car. But this is an expensive option, and not one that those who have paid for personalised number plates will be willing to do. The most important thing to remember is to ensure that the theft or suspected cloning has been reported to the authorities as soon as you become aware of the situation. The faster you act, the faster you can prevent a minor inconvenience from becoming a major problem.