For Anyone With Martial-Arts Motivation Problems

Do you need help with martial arts motivation? Is it difficult to find the time to practice? Do you know that you “should” be practicing a lot more? There is an easy way to start to overcome your particular challenge….Personal Martial-Arts ChallengesThere have been a few times in my life when I have lapsed in my martial-arts practice. Fortunately, I overcame my tendencies toward practice procrastination.And after years, I think I can help you, too….Let’s start the discussion with a couple of observations from the last few years in the Pascal household:- My daughter really wanted to be a gymnast when she was younger. She took a couple of years of formal classes. I noticed that no matter how much “Mom and Pop” tried, she wouldn’t practice outside of class.- Last year, she moved on to fencing. She loves it and wants to compete someday. Yet again, I have noticed that she won’t practice outside of class, even when Mom (Kate) is practicing. I have offered to help a zillion times.And so you don’t think that I am picking on little Quinn, here’s a personal observation:- As soon as I declare that I am on a diet, I feel deprived. Even if I am going to eat the same food that I had been eating for the previous week, just the label causes me to feel restricted. And I look to go off the diet as soon as possible … and the new way of eating disappears.Martial Arts TrainingSo, what does this have to do with martial-arts training?Well, the observations helped me to make a few educated guesses. And that was the first step in changing the behavior.You see, sometimes, we lack motivation, because we have told our brains over and over that something takes work, that it will take us out of our comfort zone, and that it will require a kind of effort that we just don’t have the will to act upon.So, how can we convince our brains to get motivated? At first, I suggest that we trick them.If you have to drive to go to martial arts class, combine the class with other errands that will take you to that part of town. Now, you aren’t trudging all the way over to class; you are just completing your errand/to-do list, and martial arts practice happens to be one item on the list.Or if just the thought of 100 kicks in a row is enough to plant your tush in the cushy chair and keep it planted, then try performing one kick a day … but in super slow motion.After all, you wouldn’t resist performing just one measly kick, would you? One? The idea, for now, is to sneak up on your lack of action.Oh, and by the way, you can’t just read about motivation. The thoughts have to be linked with actions … that’s what I am here for.

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Fixing Health Care

The cost of health insurance continues to climb unabated. As the number of uninsured in America swells to 45 million people, many look to our political leaders for answers and relief.Presidential campaign rhetoric about how to control skyrocketing health care costs provides only short-term solutions focused on the sticker price. But the administration should address long-term solutions to the spiraling crisis.In 2002, the United States spent $1.6 trillion, or nearly 15 percent of GDP, on health expenditures. Medicare, the government’s single payer model for seniors, spent $267
billion.Analysts project national health care expenditures to reach $3.1 trillion by 2012 — nearly twice the amount spent in 2002.
The dramatic numbers have a tendency to overstate the obvious — for many, the cost of insurance can be as much, if not more,
than rent or a mortgage. Until the administration places its focus on the rising cost of health care, those costs will continue to escalate far exceeding the rates of earnings. Whether you subscribe to a higher monthly premium charged by an HMO or a payroll tax collected by Uncle Sam, someone has to pay
the bill. Shifting the burden from our premium bill to our tax bill is not an acceptable solution.There are basic initiatives that policymakers need to address in an effort to streamline the delivery system and minimize
the soaring cost of health care.First, encourage investments in technology improvements across all levels of the health care delivery system, including insurers, hospitals and physicians. For a $1.6 trillion industry in the 21st century, the technology employed is comparable to
driving a Model T on a highway full of modern cars.Consider the banking industry. A simple piece of plastic, from any bank, allows you to purchase anything from antiques on eBay to milk at the local grocery store. In health care, the piece of plastic serving as an ID card serves little purpose other than
to inform the physician where to send the bill. Physicians and their staffs then spend an inordinate amount of time completing
the proper paperwork to get paid.Inefficiencies are expensive. Administrative expenses are the fastest-rising component of health expenditures. In 2002, public and private insurance spent $105 billion on administrative expenses, almost 13 percent more than in 2001. Support for developing common standards and technology improvements is necessary to eliminate the costly inefficiencies that
contribute to rising health costs.Next, support the release of cost and quality information. Most of us know where we can find the best deal on a car, mortgage or even shoes. But how many people can afford to buy something without ever knowing the price?Do you know the average cost of a physician office visit? We have grown accustomed to the minimal office co-payment as
the benchmark for the cost of delivering care. Yet who would seriously consider a $10 co-payment a sufficient amount for
physician treatment?As consumers, we are asked to bear a greater share of health care costs. In return, we should demand more information
about price and quality. Disclosure of such information has the potential to have a profound effect on consumer behavior and the cost and quality of health care. Such transparency should reform inequities and deficiencies in the cost of
health services.There is no single magic bullet to solving the issues facing the American health care system. Our system is an immense and
complex web of interdependencies. Expanded public financing and subsidies will provide only short-term relief unless the
drivers of health care expenditures are resolved. Solely addressing the problem by throwing more money at it, public or private, while ignoring the elephant in the living room serves little to alleviate the large financial burden the health care system has become.We must accept the fact that health care in the United States is expensive and get to work on long-term solutions that will effectively control costs. We have the ability to control health care costs in this country; what we lack are the commitment and
stamina to get it done.

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Bank Demand for Payment: 3 Options for Stressed Borrowers With Matured Business Loans

Although the economy appears to be on the mend, many small business owners still struggle. Especially those with commercial loans taken between 2007 and 2009. They either received, or will receive bank demands that their loans are now due in full. Commercial loans typically have 5 year maturities and most banks will not provide more than a one year loan extension of the maturity date to pay back a loan. For example a business owner who took a loan out in 2008 with a 2013 maturity, and received a one year extension is most certainly feeling intense pressure from their bank to pay back the money –this year!There are 3 realistic options that a business owner should consider when their bank demands payment of the loan in full:1. Pay off the loan. In today’s restrictive banking climate refinancing sounds much easier than it really is. Banks infrequently rewrite their own commercial loans upon maturity. This is because the financial position of many small businesses has diminished since 2007. Also lending guidelines were more’ flexible’ then, with commercial properties reportedly having higher values. So unless a business owner has a load of cash to pay off the loan, refinancing with the same bank is almost impossible, and securing funds from an outside bank is increasingly difficult.2. Negotiated Exit. Be assured that if a loan has matured and the borrower is not prepared to pay if off, the bank will begin a lawsuit. Defending a law suit can be expensive, but in most cases it will only delay the inevitable. Absent real legal defenses for bank misconduct or the mishandling of a loan, the best approach for a business owner is to negotiate a realistic “exit” from the bank with the assistance of experienced counsel. There are a numerous variables for consideration when negotiating a forbearance or settlement agreement, so unless a borrower is familiar with bank work out or special asset protocol, retain an experienced attorney.3. Reorganization. Chapter 11 reorganization can be expensive, but it is an excellent remedy for borrowers when a bank acts in bad faith or has become a relentless and unreasonable collector despite all of the borrower’s repayment efforts. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy should be a final option, but it will halt collection actions and enable a business owner to restructure its business debt under court supervision. Chapter 11 legal practice is highly specialized and complex so seek a business bankruptcy attorney who can demonstrate past results.There are few choices a business owner can make when their bank issues a demand for repayment: refinance, fight, negotiate or file business bankruptcy. Doing nothing however, is unacceptable. It’s an all -around recipe for financial disaster, and while a borrower may experience temporary paralysis upon receipt of a bank demand, weigh the options, seek experienced representation and take action.

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Things to Remember When Acquiring Small Business Loans

A business that is able to generate enough profit is worth venturing into. However, it is not usually easy to run a business and be able to generate the desired amount of profit within the desired period of time. There are many factors that can account for this. However, money is usually the underlying factor. For example, you may have dreams to propel your business to higher heights but you may not have enough funds to bring your dreams to fruition. In order to quail the negative effects of financial hurdles in running a business, it is always advisable to acquire a small business loan. Small business loans can be acquired from any financial lending institution. However, there are certain important factors that you have to bear in mind before acquiring a small business loan.First of all, you must try to carry out a viable and timely market analysis. This step is very important and should not be overlooked. Market analysis can enable you to know how to run a business without incurring too many losses or any losses at all. It is a sure way of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your business, learning more about the number of customers who may available to help you sustain your business and the estimated amount of money that you may have to pump into your business in order to see viable results. Without this step, any business is bound to fail.After carrying out market analysis, you have to found out the hurdles that will affect your business. It is important to always bear in mind the fact running a business is not a smooth ride. Sometimes there are losses which can be substantial enough to ruin your business. A good business person must know how to avoid the hurdles that are associated with running a particular business. If you want to be a successful business person, you have to remember to identify all your obstacles and how to overcome them. As a matter of fact, only small business finances that have been acquired by business persons who are aware of the obstacles awaiting them have been properly utilised.It is also important to identify all the risks that may be involved in the running of a particular small business. In this case, the business person involved will be responsible for deciding whether to take a particular risk or not. Some risks tend to yield desired results, while others tend to jeopardise the progress of a business. It is entirely up to you as a small business owner to decide whether to take a particular risk or not. The timing is usually important because it determines whether the risk is worth taking or not.If you have prospects of acquiring one of the small business loans, you must be able to use the funds accordingly. In this case, this means expanding your current small business so as to generate enough funds to repay the loan. Otherwise, acquiring a small business loan will be equivalent to digging your own grave.

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10 Paths to Marketing (and Sales) Purgatory

In working with and talking to hundreds of small businesses over the last few years, we’ve heard about and seen many, many different ways that owners and their sales & marketing staff waste time and money on marketing.This post started out as the 7 deadly sins of marketing, but after looking at all the feedback and experiences, there really are 10 critical errors we see repeatedly.What follows are the 10 ways into marketing purgatory and then the 7 steps you can take to get back out. Of course, if you want help walking those 7 steps, that’s what we are here for (just sign up for the marketing & brand audit on our website)1) Buying an email list to send unsolicited, unwanted email without permission.2) Not having a system to track and nurture leads and opportunities over time.3) Thinking social media is just a fad.4) Not having a specific and organized sales process that converts prospects to customers.5) Not having a website (or having one that you don’t control the content on). Almost as bad is having a website that says nothing about why you are special, unique and why customers should choose you. Closely related to this is the idea of Digital Sharecropping…for example, depending on a Facebook page for all your contact with customers without having an in-house mailing list.6) Failing to define your ideal customer.7) Thinking that you can differentiate on service, price, education or length of time in business.8) Not knowing or caring what your competitors charge and why they charge it, or what they are saying about themselves or you.9) Letting your marketing choose you (listening to the siren song of the ad sales guy), rather than having a plan and working the plan.10) Thinking that referrals just happen. (They don’t.)So if you have taken one (or more) of those routes to marketing (and sales) purgatory, here are the 7 steps you must take to make your marketing and sales a predictable process.1) Strategy before tactics – Get your message, your value and your ideal customer clearly defined.2) Fill your marketing hourglass – make sure you have a way to move customers through the process of getting to know, like and trust you so that they can try, buy, repeat purchase and refer you.3) Publish educational content – it’s about being found, and educating is the best way to get found.4) Create a total web presence – your website, social media, review sits and yes, a blog.5) Use a lead generation trio – you have to do more than just wait for people to find you.6) Make selling a system too – as mentioned above, you have to make the conversion of prospects to customers an organized, methodical approach.7) Live by the calendar – if you don’t schedule all these things, nothing will happen. Marketing is always important, but rarely is it urgent.So, make a conscious decision to move your business out of purgatory and into growth. It’s not the economy – businesses are growing (we see it in our clients). It’s that the nature of business has changed, and now you must change too.

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