Benjamin Franklin’s List of 13 Virtues and What You Can Learn From Them

Ben-FranklinBenjamin Franklin, inventor, statesman, writer, publisher and economist relates in his autobiography that early in his life he decided to focus on arriving at moral perfection.  He made a list of 13 virtues, assigning a page to each. Under each virtue he wrote a summary that gave it fuller meaning. Then he practiced each one for a certain length of time.

To make these virtues a habit, Franklin came up with a method to grade himself on his daily actions. In a journal he drew a table with a row for every virtue and a column for every day of the week. Every time he made a fault, he made a mark in the appropriate column. Each week he focused his attention on a different virtue. Over time, through repetition, he hoped to one day experience the pleasure of “viewing a clean Book.”

He says that he carried out this personal examination for years. In order to do the work thoroughly he decided to attempt each virtue and a quarter of its importance – one at a time. He began with temperance, which included the moderating of every pleasure or inclination to develop undesirable habits, because temperance “tends to procure that coolness and clearance and head that is so necessary where constant vigilance is to be kept up and guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits and the force of perpetual temptations.”

The other virtues practice in succession by Franklin were silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, Justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity and humility. For the summary order he followed a little scheme of employing his time each day. From five to seven each morning he spent in bodily personal attention, saying a short prayer, thinking over the day’s business and resolutions, studying and eating breakfast. From eight till twelve he worked at his trade. From twelve to one he read or overlooked his accounts and dined. From two to five he worked at his trade. The rest of the evening until 10 he spent in music, or diversion of some sort.

This time is used also to put things in their places. In the last thing before retiring was examination of the day. At the age of 79, he ascribed his health to temperance; the acquisition of misfortune to industry and frugality; the confidence of his country to sincerity and justice.

Franklin’s extraordinary success in life and politics can be attributed to his perseverance to overcome his personal liabilities, and his desire to constantly become better.

Next time you really want to achieve something, take time to focus on your own personal journal. What is your temptation that is standing in your way to greatness? What can you do to form the habit of becoming a success?


 

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

5 Recommended Daily Search Engine Optimization Tasks for Your Website

seo3To keep your website on top of the search engines you can simply do these five daily tasks.

 

 

1. Manage your links.

 

If your site has quite a few links, make sure they are not getting out of control.  To do this, check for any dead links or any sites that might be linking to yours without your knowledge.  This can be time consuming but there are tools, plugins and addons for any kind of site that can make this an easier task.  For example:  Your site is built with WordPress.  Search for a plugin in the WordPress dashboard using the keywords “manage links” and see what comes up.  There should be a nice selection of plugins for you to choose from.

 

Also, check any sites that you are purposely linking to.  If you have negotiated with another site to backlink to one another, make sure they are still backlinking to your site.

 

Tip: All incoming and outgoing links should be related to your site’s content.  This will ensure higher rankings in the search engines.

 

 

2. Link re-ordering.

 

Categorize your links and list them putting the best ones first.  If you have a page that consists of 30+ leads I suggest putting those links into a directory.  This will keep your site looking clean and make it easier for your readers to locate what they are looking for.

 

 

3. Link Exchange Requests.

 

Try to respond to any link exchange requests as soon as possible.  Check the site that wants to exchange links.  If you decide to decline the exchange, politely respond to the request telling the web master your reason(s) why.  This is only common courtesy and it is best to try to do it within a few days of the request.  This way, you look like a professional. Your reputation will benefit from good ethics.

 

Warning!  Before exchanging links be sure to run these checks:

 

Some sites use robots.txt to stop search engines from indexing their links pages.  To see if they are doing this, just retype their URL with robots.txt on the end.

 

Example:  http://www.websitename.com/robots.txt

 

If that page says ‘Disallow’ and has the URL of their links page, that means they are not letting search engine spiders index their page. Do not exchange links with that site.

 

Be sure to take a look at how many links are on the page. There shouldn’t be more than 30 links.  If the site has more than that, don’t link to it. There is no point in having a link from a site that takes links from just anyone.

 

 

4. Link exchange forums.

 

This task is more difficult to manage due to the high volume of link exchange requests you will receive.  Beware of spammers and dead end sites.  The forum administrator or moderator appreciates when you let them know about any of these kinds of sites.  They want to keep their forum clean due to the fact that search engines will think they are a link farm rather than an exchange service.  For the most part, this is a good way to get backlinks but remember to be cautious.

 

 

5. Quality Content.

 

Always add quality content in a consistent manner.  Do not spam your site with junk just to add content. This is very bad.  The search engines will pick up on this and will ignore your site.  Try to keep fresh content and add it daily.  Search engines love this and will spider your site more often.  This helps your site’s search engine ranking considerably.  I can never stress how important regular updates are and good quality content.

 

Most importantly, have fun!  Use your imagination and try to come up with unique ways to engage your readers into staying on your site and making them come back for more.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Identifying Your Business Team Member’s Personality Colors

personality-colorsBeing a business team leader can be a very daunting task. Almost always you will find that your team consists of very diverse individuals. As a team leader it is your responsibility to motivate your team members towards a common goal. This can be very difficult when your team members each have their very own strengths, weaknesses and conflicts. In this article we will discuss how to recognize the four main personality types by color so that you can better understand the needs of your team members on an individual basis.

As a leader you will quickly notice how well your team works together once you have identified the individual strengths of each team member. Also, by recognizing each individual’s strengths you will know which task they will naturally do well in. This will lead to better delegation on your part which will ultimately build a stronger, more efficient, stream lined team. You will also find that you are able to communicate better once you recognize each team member’s needs, work ethics and values. Your team members will notice the change in how you are leading them and in turn be even more motivated to reach their goals.

Below is a short overview of the four main personality colors Orange, Blue, Gold and Green. Each color will be listed with the working styles, personality types and values attributed to it.

The Orange personality works well with other people in a healthy team work environment encouraging competition and camaraderie. They are very creative and highly energetic and do well with action oriented tasks. They love having the freedom to use their skills and show off their abilities. An Orange personality does have a difficult time dealing with too much structure or management. They tend to feel blocked and have a difficult time functioning if they feel they are being micro-managed. Time consuming and prolonged administrative tasks can difficult for the Orange where they may feel impatient and bored.

The Blue personality is a very social type. They love making friends and having a strong social network is very important to them. This makes them very good at building relationships with clients, customers, coworkers and employers. The Blue personality can be very sensitive to conflicts or strong competition but will thrive in any positive, service orientated atmosphere.

The Gold personality is a very serious individual and is so with their work responsibilities. They like to be part of a successful and productive team where they can continually contribute. They love receiving rewards, incentives and positive recognition. The Gold personality tends to need a great deal of structure where time lines should be enforced and expectations made very clear. They look to their leaders for constant reassurance on how well they are doing.

A Green personality lacks in people skills. They love facts, data, research, and anything analytical. You will find that they are almost always seen as an expert in whatever interests them. Most of those interests will be complex systems, data analysis, statistics, or design. The Green personality’s weakness can be the lack of follow through and tend to be quite rude in some social scenes.

By recognizing the personality colors of each of your team members you will have the ability to meld your team into a well coordinated, unified group. Your leadership skills will shine as you delegate tasks to each team member according to their strengths and expertise. Remember, a well harmonized team is a team made for nothing but success.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Do You Have Naysayers and Saboteurs in Your Life?

Person-InterruptedMother Theresa once said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

Sometimes you will find that family and friends can get in the way of achieving your dreams and goals in life. Have you ever done this? You tell them, full of excitement, about your dreams, goals and what you want to achieve in life. You are expecting them to react with support and encouragement but instead you get looks of doubt, judging comments and words of concern.

You should try to understand that they probably are not reacting in this way to purposefully discourage you from your dreams. Don’t take it personally, for the most part, they are just concerned for you because they do not want to see you get hurt or fail. I like to call these types of people saboteurs or naysayers. There are two types. One will try to sabotage your dreams right from the very beginning because they care too much and want to protect you. The other is the ugliest type that feel threatened and jealous by your dreams of success and happiness because they doubt they can do the same, so why should you too?

Here are 4 ways to deal with they naysayers and saboteurs:

1. Your Dreams are Precious, Always Protect Them.

This will be hard to do. I know it is very hard for me. To protect your dreams sometimes you have to keep them inside. Select only a couple of people to share your dreams with that you know will support you 100% no matter what. Remember that not everyone will be as excited about your dream as you are and telling people that are not always supportive of you can open a waterfall of negative comments. This can make you start to doubt yourself and that is the one thing you want to avoid at all costs.

2. Be Around People That are Successful

In general, avoid spending time with the naysayers and saboteurs in your life. Find people with common dreams and goals that can encourage you and in turn you can encourage them. Be around people that have already found success and are living their dream. These people understand you and will naturally want to help you become successful as well. Surrounding yourself with negative unsuccessful people will only make it harder for you to believe that you can accomplish anything you want. Always remember, success attracts success and failure attracts failure. You are in control of the path you choose.

3. Find a Coach or Mentor.

In most sports, every team has a coach. Teams tend to do better when they have someone there to constantly encourage, train, guide and support them. Individuals can find that having a coach or mentor is a huge benefit to reaching their goals and dreams. When choosing a coach or mentor, look for someone that is either a professional life coach or someone that has accomplished what it is you dream of doing yourself. Don’t give up. There are always people out there willing to help you. Maybe you can find someone that will be willing to bounce ideas off of one another. Not only will they be helping you but you will be helping them too.

4. Don’t Let Your Past Failures Get in the Way of Your Future

Everyone hits bumps in the road as they go along their path in life. The bumps are lessons that you must learn from in order to grow and to become stronger and wiser. Just because you have had some failures in life does not mean you will never be successful. Naysayers and saboteurs will always try to remind you of past failures you have had. Make it a goal to prove them wrong. Pay attention to the things that keep you from reaching your goals and get rid of them or change them. Remember, you have the power to make your dreams become reality. Don’t let your past failures get in the way of them.

Everyone has naysayers and saboteurs in their life. Putting these four ways to deal with them into action will help you overcome your self doubts and reach your ultimate goal of success. Never let anyone or anything get in your way!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

How to Write Blog Post Titles That Work

blog-post-title-ideaYour blog post title is the first thing your perspective blog reader sees. Without a blog post title that turns your site visitor into a reader, the rest of your post may as well not exist.

A well written blog post title can do more than simply grab your site visitor’s attention. A great blog post title can also communicate a full message to its intended audience. It absolutely must lure the reader into the post’s body text or you run a high risk of losing a perspective reader and blog subscriber. The goal is to write a compelling blog post title that grabs the reader’s attention by announcing some kind of benefit or reward for taking a moment out of their busy day to read on.

Here are eight time-tested headline categories that will compel action into your site visitors:

Direct Blog Titles – This type of title is a straight forward announcement on what the post is about. An example would be “Men’s Khaki Pants – 60 % Off – Tuesdays Only!” or “7 Steps to Writing an SEO Friendly Blog Post”.

Indirect Blog Titles – These take a more subtle approach. Use curiosity to raise a question in your site visitor’s mind, which the body of the blog post will answer. A very useful technique is to utilize a double meaning. A blog post might have the headline “Who Wants Some Golden Nuggets?” and the post has nothing to do with giving away actual gold nuggets, because the blog post is really about sharing some terrific online marketing ideas.

News Blog Title – Obviously, self-explanatory. Celebrity scoops, new product announcements, local or world events can be the basis of a great news headline that grabs your visitor’s attention and makes them want to know what all the fuss is about. A good example would be “Baby Born on Plane at 36,000 Feet” or “Google Unveils ‘Project Glass’ Virtual-reality Glasses”.

How to Blog Title- This is my favorite, note the title to this post. If you think about it. How many people do you think are online searching on how to do something? I’m guessing millions. This is a great way to grab your visitor’s attention
because you are letting them know that they will learn something new after reading your blog post.

Question Blog Title- Try to ask a question that your readers can relate to and/or want to see answered. Here are some examples: “What’s a Call From a New Customer Worth to You?” or “Compatibility: The Secret Ingredient to a Happy Relationship?” or “Do You Make These Mistakes With Your Blog?”.

Command Blog Title- Does what it implies, it tells the reader what to do. This works best if the first word is a strong verb that demands action. Some good examples are “Install Your First WordPress Plugin” and “File Taxes On the Go with TurboTax for iPad and iPhone” or “Eat to Build a Better Brain”.

Reason Why Blog Title- This is the well known bulleted list of reasons why you should do something or why something is the way it is. The title is a summary of what your list consists of such as “3 Reasons No One Comes Back to Your Blog-and How to Fix It”. The title does not have to have the phrase “reasons why” in it, for example, “5 Best Practices for Creating Viral Branded Videos”.

Last but not least, we have the Testimonial Blog Title-If done right, this can be a highly effective title because it introduces your reader with proof that you know what you are talking about and do it well. Here you will be quoting something that someone else has said about you, your product or service. Make sure to put it in quotation marks so the reader will know it is a testimonial. An example could be “Carrie’s Posts with Tips on Blogging are Amazingly Helpful!,” proclaims Jon Bon Jovi. He really said that! Not really. But it could happen. Right? Sigh.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

How To Make or Break a Habit

breaking_the_habit_by_el_lockoLet’s face it, we all have habits, some good and some bad. Habits are learned behaviors that we’ve picked up somewhere along the way. Most of us have a habit or two we’d like to break, or a habit we’d really like to make as part of our daily routine.

For most people, it takes only a few weeks for a new behavior to become routine, or habit. The following steps can make it easier to establish a new behavior pattern.

* The first thing to do is to set a goal. When you are trying to stop or break a habit, you should always set a postitive goal towards the task. For example, instead of saying “I will quit buying fast food for my family and I”, say “My family and I will cook delicious and healthy meals together every night”. Make sure to write down your goal because committing it to paper helps you to take your goal more seriously. Tip: It can help if you tell your goal to someone who supports and encourages you.

* If you are wanting to stop a bad habit then think of a new positive habit to start in its place. This is a very important step. It helps to focus on a new positive behavior while trying to stop an old bad habit. This make it easier to break the old bad habit and prevents it from returning.

* Pay attention to what triggers your habit. Remember, behavior patterns don’t exist on their own. Often times, a habit can be associated with another part of your regular daily routine. For instance, in the junk food example above the trigger may be that you make other daily tasks more of a priority and then you make the excuse that you don’t have time to cook a healthy meal. Many people who smoke automatically light up after eating. Think about when and why you do the thing you want to quit.

* Place reminders around your home and work space like notes or pictures. It really helps to place them in places where you tend to have the bad habit. For example: You want to break the habit of eating when you are bored. Place a note on the refrigerator where you will see it that says “Bored? Go for a walk.”

* Get help and support from someone who has the same goal as you. This can be very helpful and motivating. Having a good support system with people you see every day can help you make or break your habit faster and easier. Stay away from people who seem to be naysayers or sabatoers.

* Have daily affirmations about your goal. This is my favorite part. The idea is to write down or say what it is that you want to change several time a day. Write or say it in present tense, as if it is already happening. This “tricks” you subconscious mind into thinking it is happening. For example:

Don’t say “I don’t want to be tired and fat anymore”
Do say “I am now healthy, thin and full of energy”

* Finally, be sure to reward yourself for your progress. This helps make the challenges you face every day worth it in your subconscious mind. They do not have to be extravagant rewards. They can be something small or sentimental that gives you a pat on the back for a job well done and encourage you to keep going.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

How to Skyrocket Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking (Free and Easy Technique)

SEO up

SEO up

So you want to increase your search engine ranking? Here is a free technique you can do right now.

 

Remember, it is very important that you have many links pointing to your site from other websites. This increases your site ranking with search engines. The higher your site ranks the better your chance to get high traffic.

 

Be sure that when you are looking for sites to link to that they have topics similar to your site. Let’s say your site has a lot of information about painting, you will want to find sites that have art supplies or art history.

 

To do this, open up a browser and use your search. Type the following: “fishing” “add url”. Click the search button and you should see several sites pull up that will let you submit your website’s url to their site.

 

Be aware that some of the sites will require you to add a reciprocal link to your website and some will not. Reciprocal links are great for your website’s ranking position on the search engines. I highly recommend you do this. Also, some sited will immediately add your url and others will take a few weeks to months.

 

Of course “fishing” probably is not what your site is about. I used this word as an example. Select a keyword that has to do with your particular niche. You can find even more sites if you try different combinations of key words or long tail keywords. See the examples below:

 

“fishing gear” “add url”

“fishing” “add url”

 

You must be aware that sites have their own way of wording ” add url”. Some will have “add link” or “submit site”. Try to think of as many possible way of wording it and use it in replace of “add url”. This will enable you to find even more sites. See the examples below.

 

“add website”

“add your link”

“add a link”

“add a site”

“submit url”

“submit a site”

“submit site”

“submit link”

“link submission”

“suggest a link”

“suggest a url”

“recommended a site”

“suggest your site”

“link directory”

“add-a-link”

“cool sites”

 

Another great way to get backlinks to your site is to leave comments on other sites that’s content is similar to yours. What do most sites that want you to leave comments have in common? Well, the almost always have a section that says “leave a comment”, “post a comment”, “post feedback”, or “reply to post”. Use these in your search string along with your keywords and you will find many many sites that you can leave comments on.

 

Warning. Do NOT spam a bunch of sites with comments that have nothing to do with the post or article that you are commenting on! You will be flagged a spammer and will not be allowed to post any comments to that site again. Read the post or article, think of a thoughtful comment and maybe point out something you really liked about the post or article. Doing this will help to ensure that your comment will be accepted.

 

Get to work and good luck!

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)