Take a Vacation from Motion Sickness Thursday, Aug 30 2012 

by Carole Jackson Bottom Line Health

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Standing in the summer sun on a gently rocking boat…riding in a car that’s snaking down a winding country road—these should be pleasurable parts of your vacation. They certainly shouldn’t make you feel sick!

But for many people who experience motion sickness, riding in just about any kind of vehicle—planes and trains, too—can ruin the entire trip, making them queasy, dizzy, anxious and/or cranky.

There are several popular drugs for motion sickness, but they all (of course) have side effects. Dramamine (dimenhydrinate), for example, often causes drowsiness.

Curious about alternative natural treatments that might relieve motion sickness, I contacted two experts in the field, and I am going to share their tips with you today.

SPICES THAT FIGHT MOTION SICKNESS

The first expert I called was Keith Zeitlin, ND, director of the 5-Elements Naturopathic Health Center in Wallingford, Connecticut. He told me that a couple of spices that might already be in your kitchen are great for preventing motion sickness…

  • Ginger. A few minutes before traveling, do one of the following three things. Chew on a piece of raw gingerroot for three minutes and then spit it out…munch on one piece of candy called a Ginger Chew, which is made by The Ginger People and is available at many supermarkets and online…or take one gingerroot capsule. These capsules are available at health-food stores and online. (It’s important to check with your doctor before taking any supplement, because supplements may cause side effects and/or may interact negatively with drugs you’re taking.) Repeat any of these measures if motion sickness occurs while traveling.
  • Cinnamon. If ginger doesn’t work, a few minutes before you travel, take a few sniffs of cinnamon essential oil (aura cacia) which is available at health-food stores and online. If you get motion sickness while traveling, sniff the cinnamon oil a few times again. But be careful not to sniff the oil too deeply, because it’s quite strong!

TRY ACUPRESSURE

The second expert I contacted was Lixing Lao, PhD, professor of family and community medicine at University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

Pressing a certain part of the arm called the P6 Point, Dr. Lao said, often can relieve motion sickness. This particular spot is on the inner forearm about 1.5 inches (or two thumb widths) up the arm from the center of the wrist.

How to do it: About three hours before your trip and again a few minutes before you depart, apply pressure to the P6 Point, on one wrist—it doesn’t matter which one. You can do it yourself or have someone else apply the pressure. To do it yourself: With one hand, grasp your other arm and turn it palm up. Put your thumb on the P6 Point and put the rest of your fingers on the outside of your forearm. Apply sustained pressure with your thumb for about three minutes. The pressure should be firm—just below the level of pain. If you start to feel sick while traveling, apply pressure again.

Several companies make devices called motion sickness bands (such as the brand called Sea Bands) that cost about $7 to $15 at drugstores and online. They’re wrist straps that contain buttons, and they’re tight and made with elastic. After you put them on properly (carefully following the instructions and placing the button over the P6 point), the button then continuously presses into the P6 point. They’re convenient, because you don’t have to press with your thumb, and you can wear one on each wrist simultaneously for as long as needed, so you might find that using the wristbands provides more relief than the trying this trick manually.

Sources: Keith Zeitlin, ND, medical director of the 5 Elements Naturopathic Health Center in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Lixiand Lao, PhD, professor, family and community medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and senior researcher with The Center for Integrative Medicine, Kernan Hospital, both in Baltimore.

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What you should absolutely, positively NOT say in a performance review Thursday, Aug 30 2012 

by the writers of Business Management Daily

Say you manage Kevin, a 55-year-old employee whose productivity drops over the year. Instead of citing specific, measurable examples of this decline in his performance review, you note that “Kevin doesn’t seem to have the energy level anymore to truly succeed in this department.” Still, you rate Kevin’s work as “average,” the same as last year.

That example highlights two of the more common—and legally dangerous—pitfalls in writing performance reviews:

1. Evaluating attitude, not performance. Vague statements that attack an employee’s demeanor could be interpreted as some kind of illegal age, race, gender or disability discrimination. Instead, supervisors should use concrete, job-based examples to illustrate any criticism.

In the example above, referring to Kevin’s “energy level” could give him reason to complain about age discrimination. Instead, the review should have cited examples such as, “Kevin has completed three of the five major projects late this quarter and has not contributed one new product idea in six months.”

For this reason, the word “attitude” should never appear in a review. Employment lawyers and courts often see that as a code word for discrimination.

2. Evaluation inflation. Supervisors too often rate mediocre employees as competent, competent employees as above average and above-average employees as superior. The problem comes when an employee is fired for poor performance yet his history of reviews tells a different story. The employee, then, has a supposed proof that the realreason for the firing was something else, maybe something illegal.

Here are the main causes of evaluation inflation. Do any sound familiar to you?

  • Misinterpreting a rating scale or instructions. Example: Using a review with a 0-4 rating scale, a supervisor gives an employee a “2” in attendance and fires her. She sues, arguing that a “2” is average and acceptable, and wins. The supervisor wrongly believed that anything less than a “4” rating was unacceptable.
  • Fear of confronting employees. Example: A worker has acceptable work quality but hurts morale because of poor teamwork and pushiness. To avoid an angry confrontation, the boss rates the employee as average in soft skills.
  • Giving positive areas too much weight over negative ones.Example: You rate a factory worker on quality, quantity, dependability, teamwork and safety. Quality is poor, but you rate it average because of the “glow” from the other categories, all rated above average.

Final tip: To determine if you inflate reviews, ask yourself the following questions: Who are my worst performers? Knowing what I know about them, would I hire them again? Do their reviews reflect their true performance?

What Not to Wear — Is Our Clothing Poisoning Us? Wednesday, Aug 29 2012 

by Carole Jackson, Bottom Line Health

Some fashionistas won’t buy apparel made of polyester, and that may be shopping advice that the rest of us should follow, too, since scientists have recently found evidence that laundering this type of clothing — and perhaps other plastic textiles, as well — may be damaging the environment in some disturbing ways.

To understand the problem, think of pollution as particles that infiltrate our air, soil and water. (There are gaseous pollutants, too, of course, but let’s focus on particles.) You might not think that plastic is a “micro-pollutant,” but if you were to break down the fabric of polyester (or acrylic or nylon), you would get tiny plastic fibers smaller than grains of sand and thinner than a human hair. When plastic textiles are laundered, these fibers are so small that they exit the washing machine and go through the sewage system, but they aren’t caught by filters. Eventually they can end up accumulating in our oceans and on our seashores, which means that they can also end up in our food chain via the digestive systems of animals that we might eat someday. This is worrisome not only because we don’t want to be eating plastics themselves, but because they also absorb carcinogenic chemicals in the environment. In other words, certain plastics can become tiny, toxin-soaked sponges that may end up in our food supply.

STUDYING “MICROPLASTICS”

Prompted by previous studies showing that 65% of the plastic debris in our environment consists of “microplastics” (the name given to bits smaller than 1 mm in size), Mark Anthony Browne, PhD, an ecologist now at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California, set out with a team of researchers to learn more about where they come from and how they are being dispersed. Their study was published in September 2011 in Environmental Science & Technology.

The research: Dr. Browne and his colleagues took sediment samples from 18 beaches, including the coastal US and sites in the UK, Australia, Portugal and the Philippines. They found three different categories of microplastics. One kind comes from plastic containers (like soda bottles) and other hard products that get beaten into small particles as a result of abrasion by waves and wind. A second type is granules that are used as abrasive scrubbers in cleaning products. The most interesting part was that they found a third type, too, that is made of fibers that are used in textiles and rope — and the most commonly found textile microplastic fiber was polyester. They also discovered that sediment from shores close to areas with dense populations of humans contained far more microplastic fibers.

THE HIGH PRICE OF DOING LAUNDRY

The researchers then traced the samples to wastewater from sewage treatment facilities where, they learned, the filters aren’t fine enough to trap these small, fiber-based microplastics. After testing a few theories to discover how they got into the wastewater, the researchers were able to conclude that the fibers were most likely the result of laundry. Through further tests, they found that when a single garment made of polyester is washed in a conventional residential type of machine, more than 1,900 of these fibers can be released.

Though microplastics from other types of fabrics (such as acrylic and polypropylene — a nylonlike material) were found, the only fabric that has been tested so far is polyester. And only new polyester clothing was tested. Future research needs to address whether the age of clothing and/or the number of washes affects how many fibers are released.

Dr. Browne described this finding as “incredible,” adding that he sees this as our strongest evidence yet that washing machines are a likely source of this hazardous type of pollutant. He told me that even the researchers were surprised to learn the extent to which washing one garment, just one time, can be so harmful to the environment and, presumably, to our health. And there are no laws that require companies to prove that plastic fibers are safe for the environment and human health, so the dispersal of microplastics into our environment is becoming more widespread.

Dr. Browne told me that he hopes that this study brings the issue to the attention of those who could provide funding for further research. More questions to be answered include whether all types of microplastic textiles lead to the same type and amount of pollution… whether certain types of washing machines end up creating more of this pollution… and whether natural fibers shed fewer toxic fibers than synthetic materials.

I’ll be following that important line of research, but this is a great opportunity for me to say to my readers what I’m always saying to my family at home — you don’t have to wash everything after wearing it just one time! Doing less laundry can make a difference — starting right now.

Source(s):

Mark A. Browne, PhD, ecologist, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, California.

Combat Stress – Seven Practical Methods Thursday, Aug 16 2012 

A stress-free lifestyle could very well do wonders in eliminating depression. Here are seven practical methods to combat stress:

1. Express Amusement and Be Happy.
Laugh hard and loud. If you do’nt have a sense of humor, find someone else who does. Laughter releases endorphins (happy chemicals) from the body, and it helps boost your immune system.

2. Take Control Over Your Time and Schedule.
You’ll be much more able to deal with stress if you have a good handle on your job, relationships, and other activities. When you are in control, you are more inclined to stay focused and calm. Plan your time wisely.

  • Remember to leave room for unexpected events, both negative and positive. Be adaptable in rearranging your agenda. Get up 15 minutes early in the morning. Allow an extra 15 minutes to get to all appointments.
  • Avoid procrastinating on important or urgent tasks. Whatever needs doing, do it immediately. Do the unpleasant tasks early, so you won’t have to worry about them for the rest of the day. Keep an appointment or record book. Don’t just rely on your memory.
  • Do your tasks one at a time. Focus your attention on the present moment, whether it’s the person talking to you or the job at hand. This helps you to avoid making errors, which lead to more tension and anxiety. Be patient in waiting. Anxiety caused by impatience can cause your blood pressure to rise.
  • Say no to requests that you cannot accomplish. Delegate trivial tasks. Remember that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Break up a job into separate tasks and assign them to people with the suitable skills.

3. Work Out.
Strive to get some habitual exercise such as brisk walking, swimming, or whatever appeals to you. Play a sport you’re interested in. Aerobic exercises can considerably reduce the stress factor. Exercise also improves sleep and gives you time to think and focus on other things. It also promotes the release of natural soothing chemicals in your body. Do not resort to excessive exercise, however, as this may have an adverse effect and might actually cause depression.

4. Search Out a Support Group.
You’ll be able to manage stress much better if you have other people helping and supporting you. Did you know that married people and people who are outgoing (always meeting with friends) have considerably lower levels of stress in their lives?

  • Choose positive friends who are not worriers. Friends who continually put you down or talk gloomily about life will increase your anxiety. Invite a good friend to help you talk out a problem and get it off your chest. A long-distance call to an old pal can be great therapy.
  • Pardon others instead of holding grudges. Slow down your standards for yourself and others. Don’t expect too much. Perfectionism is not the means to happiness. Become more flexible and adaptable to your environment. Communicate clearly with your co-workers and boss. Ask questions. Repeat instructions that you are given. Clarifying directions at the start of a project can save lots of time later rectifying misunderstandings. Be honest in your dealings with others. Lying and cheating lead to stress.

5. Take Breaths Deeply and Slowly.
Calm down your muscles, escalating your stomach and chest. Exhale slowly. Do it again several times. Follow your breath as it flows in and out. Do not try to have power over it. This is a good way to relax in the midst of any activity. This practice allows you to find a breathing pattern that is natural and relaxing to you. Make use of this yoga technique: Inhale slowly, counting to eight. Exhale through your mouth, even more slowly, counting to sixteen. Make a sighing sound as you exhale, and feel tension dissolve. Do it again 10 times.

6. Consume Healthy Foods at the Appropriate Time.
Never skip meals, especially breakfast. Take time out to eat heartily no matter how busy you are. Take nutritious snacks with you everywhere. A nutritionally balanced diet is essential to your health and lifestyle. For example, researchers have found that even small deficiencies of thiamin, a B-complex vitamin, can cause anxiety symptoms. Pantothenic acid, another B-complex vitamin, is critical during times of stress. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sweets, which can worsen symptoms of stress.

7. Live Optimistically.
Count your blessings, particularly when everything seems to go wrong. Believe that many other people are living in worse conditions than you are. Don’t exaggerate the complexity of your problems. Every problem has a solution. All you need to do is find that solution. Learn to be happy and to enjoy life’s blessings. Live one day at a time.

Seven Step Plan to Get Going with Networking Tuesday, Aug 14 2012 

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, feel like you have the gift of gab, or just don’t know how to make small talk—networking know-how is very important for your business success. There is a notion in business that I believe most of us subscribe to that says all things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those they know, like, and trust. And the key to this is obviously being able to develop relationships.

Think of networking as the cultivation of mutually beneficial, win-win relationships. In order to be win-win, there must be GIVE and take (notice the emphasis on give). Networking shouldn’t be viewed as events where you go to sell your business. When effective networking is taking place, the parties involved actively share ideas, information, resources, etc.

Okay, so you know that you should be networking because it is one of the most cost-effective lead generation activities when used wisely, appropriately, and professionally. But, maybe that seems easier said than done. Here is a seven step plan to really get going with networking for your business.

  1. Check out several groups to find the best chemistry and perceived value. Most groups will allow you to come and visit at least a couple of times before you have to join. Ask around to find out why others have joined and what value they get out of belonging. Resist the urge to just go join the Chamber of Commerce simply because everyone tells you that is what you need to do. If that is not where your target group can be found, then you might be wasting a considerable amount of time and money. I’m not telling you not to join the Chamber. Just be clear about what you’d like to get out of this or any other group. If it is to find prospective clients or referral sources, then you need to be networking where those resources can be found.
  2. When you find a group or two, join and go to all the meetings you can. Don’t go just once or twice expecting things to happen and then if they don’t, quit. Building mutually beneficial, win-win relationships will take some time. The contacts you make need to constantly see your face and hear your message. Continual contact with others over time will open up opportunities for you to go deeper and learn more about each others thoughts, ideas, and capabilities in regards to your respective businesses. Know, like, and trust generally only happens over time. Being regular and persistent will pay off.
  3. Get involved – be visible. Do as much as you can to make yourself more visible within the organization. Volunteer to help with meetings, be on committees, or become a leader or board member. Being involved does a couple of things for you and your business. First, you’ll get more opportunities to establish connections and get to know some of the contacts you’ve made even better. Secondly, the higher the visibility you have in the group, the less you’ll have to work to make new connections. Instead, as new people come into the group, they will likely seek you out because they view you as a leader within the organization.
  4. Keep your circles of contacts informed. Don’t just assume that running into someone once a month, or even once a week, will cause them to start doing business with you or sending it your way. You need to let them know what’s going on when you’re not at that particular group in order to inform and educate them. Send them invitations to your events or open houses. Send them email or letters to share big news or success stories, especially anything of relevance to them or those in their networks of contacts. If you believe that you have valuable ideas, information, and resources to share with others, then doesn’t this just make sense?
  5. Work at GIVING referrals and sharing valuable information.
    That’s right, you need to be willing to GIVE before you get. That means you need to get to know other members and what makes a good prospect for them. What kinds of information might you have access to that could be useful to them? You may initially think you don’t have much value to share with others besides your business and what you provide. Part of the key to getting good at giving is to not make assumptions. For example, don’t assume that some basic resource (e.g., a web site) that you’re aware of is familiar to someone you might be talking to just because they are the expert in that field. Be willing to ask if they know about the resource and be ready to share if they don’t. Want to get better at actually giving referrals? Here is a simple question to ask someone with whom you’re connecting. “How am I going to know when I meet a really good prospect for you?” Just the fact that you are willing to explore giving will elevate your know, like, and trust factor.
  6. Focus on Quality, not Quantity, Quantity, Quantity. It’s not necessarily about the number of connections you make, but about the quality of the ones you do make. Are they mutually beneficial, win-win relationships? Quality connections will be identifiable because all involved parties will be actively sharing ideas, information, and resources. Yes, it is true that you need to spend some time and effort getting to know the other person(s) and what’s important to them. But, you also need to be clear and actively thinking about what information or resources you want and need. Staying in touch with and following up with a smaller number of quality relationships will generally be much more productive than trying to follow up with a larger number of superficial contacts.
  7. Be persistent, but be patient. The goal of a networking event shouldn’t necessarily be to come away with prospects every time you go out, but to come away with great connections. Networking usually takes time to get the relationships developed and nurtured.

Don’t approach networking as a scary proposition or a necessary evil for being in business. Take the pressure off yourself and really focus on how you might be able to connect with someone you meet. Focus on them first and look for ways to be useful to them. As you become known as a connector you’ll eventually be ready to reap what you sow.

Simplify employee reviews: 6 tips for creating performance logs Monday, Aug 6 2012 

by the writers of Business Management Daily

It happens to every manager: You sit down to prepare a staff member’s review and realize you can remember only what the person has done the past few weeks. Or you allow only a single incident (good or bad) to color your assessment.

If you’re relying solely on your memory to evaluate employee performance, you’re making appraisals far more difficult than necessary. That’s why it’s best to institute a simple recording system to document employee performance.

The most useful, easy-to-implement way is to create and maintain a log for each person. Performance logs don’t need to be complicated or sophisticated. They can simply be sheets of paper in a folder or files on your computer. Choose whatever means you’re comfortable with.

The key is to establish a system that you will use regularly. No matter how you take notes, make sure to keep them confidential.

Recording performance: 6 tips

To begin the process, create a file for each employee you supervise. Include in each file a copy of the employee’s job description, job application and résumé. Then follow these steps for recording performance:

1. Include positive and negative behaviors. Recording only negative incidents will unfairly bias your evaluation. Make a point to note instances of satisfactory or outstanding performance, too. One way to ensure a balanced reporting is to update employee performance logs on a regular basis, instead of waiting for a specific incident to occur.

2. Date each entry. Details such as time, date and day of the week help identify patterns that may indicate an underlying problem before it becomes more serious.

3. Write observations, not assumptions. In all log entries, be careful about the language you use. Performance logs can end up as evidence in a lawsuit. Your log comments should focus only on behavior that you directly observe. Don’t make assumptions about the reasons for the behavior or make judgments about an employee’s character. Keep out any comments that border on personal comment or that show personal prejudice.

Many employee lawsuits can be quickly dismissed if performance logs can clearly demonstrate a history of performance problems leading to the firing.

4. Keep out biased language. A good rule of thumb: Any statement that would be inappropriate in conversation is also inappropriate in an employee log. That includes references to an employee’s age, sex, race, disability, marital status, religion or sexual orientation. Don’t suggest reasons for employee actions or make connections between events without direct evidence.

For example, you may know that Dan’s wife recently filed for divorce, but don’t suggest in the log that his personal problems are the reason his work performance has slipped.

5. Be brief, but complete. Log entries should use specific examples rather than general comments. Instead of saying, “Megan’s work was excellent,” say “Megan has reduced the number of data entry errors to fewer than one per 450 records.”

6. Track trends. If you begin to see patterns, make notes in the log or flag prior incidents of the same behavior. You don’t need to discuss every entry with your staff members. Bring your observations to the employee’s attention only after you’ve defined a specific problem.

Performance logs: what to include and leave out

Include:

  • Project assignments and deadlines met or not met
  • Your assessment of the quality of an employee’s work
  • Instances of tardiness, work absences or extended breaks
  • Disciplinary discussions and actions taken
  • Employee responses to problems and questions
  • Positive contributions to the work effort
  • Details of significant personal interactions with the employee

Don’t include:

  • Rumors or speculation about the employee’s personal life
  • Theories about why the employee behaves a certain way
  • Information about the employee’s family, ethnic background, beliefs or medical history
  • Your opinions about the employee’s career prospects
  • Unsubstantiated complaints against the employee

Creating SOP manual is easier than you think Saturday, Aug 4 2012 

by the writers of Business Management Daily

If Angie Fuller hadn’t discovered the Standard Operating Procedure manual her predecessor left, she wouldn’t have known how to do her job.

“My predecessor left the day I started,” says Fuller, who is the community outreach and development coordinator at the Allen Foundation. “It was like being thrown into the fire. I didn’t know what my responsibilities were.”

Once she’d settled into her new position, she began updating the SOP manual to accurately reflect her evolving role. That way, if she ever left her job—even for a weeklong vacation— someone else could easily take over.

Follow Fuller’s tips to create an SOP manual for your role:

Use an existing format. “Not having a format to start with is a barrier,” she says. “A fear exists—‘What if I do this wrong?’—so people don’t start at all. I was lucky: Some of the pages had already been done when I started.”

Jot down tasks you do during a typical day, week, month, quarter and year, as you think of them.“Then, just take one at a time and type out what you do to complete the task. When finished, start a new one,” Fuller suggests.

Tip: If time is an issue, mark which tasks on your list are more important and do those first.

Create separate pages for each duty you perform, listing how often to do it, what steps to take, who can answer questions and where to find any necessary documents.

Include even small tasks. Example: Fuller says, “I think it’s second nature to get the mail each day, but my co-workers depend on me delivering and receiving the items from the mail room twice a day at certain times, so I included the times in my procedure manual.”

Be more detailed than you think you need to be. “It will benefit your replacement,” she says. For example, in Fuller’s manual, pages that cover fundraising procedures and data entry are extremely detailed.

“A tip that was given to me once was that if a 12-year-old could follow the instructions and do a task right, then it was detailed enough,” she says.

Tip: For each task document you create, have a co-worker follow your instructions. If he can do the task flawlessly, you’ve done your job.

Use it to manage workload. Fuller says the manual has “saved a ton of headaches for me. I know I can go on vacation, and the critical jobs will be done without me, and I won’t have stacks of work when I return.”

Success by Doing It Thursday, Aug 2 2012 

The importance of immediate, massive, daily action has been written about many times already, but it is so important that it is worth writing about again and again. The examples in this article come from the world of business, but they could apply to other walks of life as well.

Marketing is the lifeblood of business, but sometimes businessmen will wait until they have written the perfect advertisement or sales message before they send out even one ad. They also spend weeks making sure their website is beautifully designed with all the latest refinements.

Meanwhile, good selling time is passing them by. Their product may even be out of date before they are happy with the advertisements. By the time they have everything perfect and ready to go, they may run out of capital and be forced to close down their business.

The best lesson I learned from the late Corey Rudl at a seminar in London was not to worry about creating a perfect website. Just get one up. His own dad had a website selling Ferrari car badges which was very ordinary, but it was making money.

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire Mayor of New York, credits his success to getting going without spending too much time planning:

“We act from day one; others plan how to plan – for months.”

Dave and Heidi Perry talk about a fairly average businessman and average marketer whom they call Jack.

Jack’s motto was: “Doin’ it, Doin’ it, Doin’ it” i.e. do something, anything, every day towards achieving your marketing goals.

He kept plugging away each day with his marketing even though the format of his sales brochures and forms was not very good. He would not wait for the format to be improved. He believed in ‘Doin’ it’ even if he was not quite ready to do it.

This philosophy and behavior made him a multi-millionaire and a leader. Even though what he said was not profound and could at times be downright stupid, his action-oriented words and behavior led many to trust him and to follow his suggestions.

“He knew that to get a desired outcome, he had to actually DO something to get there.”

Jack knew that if his audience would just do something – anything – every day toward their goals, they, too, would get there. He, himself, just started doing something.

He didn’t wait until he had enough money to start his business or until his advertising materials were perfect or until he had a stockpile of products to sell. He started with what he had and did something every day to achieve his goal.

You can’t dream or wish your way into riches, although this can help. You have to actually do something about it. What is worse than a sales ad? No sales ad. Don’t wait until you have a great website or enough money to start your business.

Get goingnow and do something every day towards achieving your goal. You may still have doubts and fears but by doing something every day you will make progress and your confidence and power will increase.

Some people want to master a piece of software before they use it. The chances are that they will never use it!

The quickest way to learn how a software tool works is to start using it on a daily basis. We will make mistakes, of course, but we will also make progress in understanding the software.

I did not use an autoresponder for ages because I was afraid of making mistakes and sending people the wrong message. When I began using one, I almost immediately made mistakes but learned rapidly how to put them right and no one sent in any letters of complaint!

If possible, find a mentor who can hold your hand while you try something new. However, mentors are not always easily available, so trust yourself to have a go on your own and see what happens.

You will probably amaze yourself at what you can achieve on your own, especially if you don’t give up at the first signs of trouble.

Obviously preparation, thinking, and planning are worth doing but there comes a time when the most important thing is to actually start taking action even if this means you are running risks. Try it and see what happens.

Start “Doing it!”