Archive for March, 2009

Mar 27 2009

Internet Marketing Bouyant In Recession

Come on…. you can’t have missed the gloomy news about there being a recession and all that….. the question is just how much doom and gloom can you take?!

I can rarely bring myself to listen to an entire news programme nowadays because of the relentless despair that is broadcast – and, while I’m not doubting that some people are being hit hard and that things really have changed, I can’t believe it’s as bad as the media paint it.

And grudgingly, it would seem that even the BBC agree – or at least one of the economics editors does.

Stephanie Flanders has written in her blog that entrepreneurs in the developing countries, Brazil, Turkey and India included, are talking about the opportunities that the downturn presents them.

Funnily enough, internet marketing businesses seem to be doing particularly well.

The point is, you don’t need to be an entrepreneur in India to take advantage of the internet and it’s opportunities – they are right here on your very own laptop!

So what exactly are you waiting for – permission to start making money?

Actually, maybe what you’re looking for is an opportunity, for a guide, for someone to hold your hand… coming to a blog near you any time now!!

Until then, you could do worse than take a look at My Online Income System from Kimberly Hoffman… this is a simple introduction to the ideas and systems in internet marketing. It takes it slow and lets you learn one day at a time. You might even make money from using it if you follow her daily action plan!

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Mar 24 2009

The Big Issue – Big Job Done!

If you’ve been following my blog you cannot fail to have noticed that The Money Gym has been organising a property extravanganza to a) share information abut different ways of investing in property and b) raising money for The Big Issue.

We planned to sell 200 tickets for the event last Saturday, raising £4,500.

So how did we do????

Well, all 200 tickets were sold. We knew that some people bought tickets as donations in the full knowledge that they wouldn’t be able to attend the event so when we had a queue of people who showed up on the day without tickets – we collected even more donations and put more bums on seats!!!

It was a full house, the speakers were fantastic, the audience was inspired, the Money Gym team were exhausted and exhilarated in equal measure.

And The Big Issue – well exact figures are still coming in but it looks like they will be over £6,000 pounds better off as a result of this day.

Can you think of a better example of socially aware capitalism in action?

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Mar 20 2009

Property Is A Big Issue

Published by under Inspiration,Money Gym

Well, it’s the property extravaganza day tomorrow and we have a few spaces left.

I sooo want to be able to see The Big Issue benefit from this event that I’m sharing one more email from Judith Morgan with you…

If you can make the time or spare the donation – join us!

It’s a Big Issue to me as a Londoner. For the last twenty years of my life, I have been aware of the homeless sleeping rough in my great city. As I go about my business I see plenty of those less fortunate that me. And you don’t know what to do for the best, do you?

I remember once calling Centre Point and asking how I could best help.

I was told not to give people on the streets money as it would simply go straight back into alcohol or drugs. I remember being surprised by how bald a statement that was.

You know me by now, I tend to think the best of people. I tend to be away with the fairies, living in a pink bubble of loveliness where we are all kind to each other and we have a warm comfy bed to sleep in at night.

And yet, of course, I know life’s not like that. That’s not reality for so many.

On Tuesday evening I met John Bird, the founder of The Big Issue. He pioneered his solution with Gordon and Anita Roddick in 1991 and it was tough love all the way. He said to the homeless “you are part of the problem, you must be part of the solution”.

They offered vendors a leg up and helped them to get started in changing their own lives through their own efforts. Selling the magazine can enable them to get back on their feet.

And if they go first, after three months the Big Issue can step in with all sorts of additional support. You haven’t begun to think what problems you can create for yourself if you don’t have a fixed abode.

Some of those were explained to us on Tuesday evening, along with the startling fact that if you have already enjoyed your 40th birthday, you have passed the average life expectancy of a homeless person.

Along with Carolyn & Neil, Karen & Rich, we went to see the Real Lives, Real Achievements awards at a laid back venue in Camden. The Big Issue has two of the most wonderful sponsors any little charity could hope for.

1. Cadbury, who not only showered us with free chocolate, but demonstrated how they give vendors two weeks’ work experience at their factories which often leads to full-time jobs. They have taken nearly 170 people off the streets in this experiment.

2. CNN who had helped The Big Issue craft five little films about real vendors and how the Big Issue has made all the difference. We will be showing a couple of those at our event on Saturday.

So what would I say to those who are critical of the way in which charities work? Yes, I know it isn’t always ideal. But TBI has only 14 staff supporting 2500 vendors across the UK. Their way of working is closely aligned with our own values at the Money Gym and I really hope that Saturday will be the first of a long and fruitful relationship us MG property folks have with helping the homeless to help themselves. Our target of £4,500 (when we reach it) is going to make a real impact, a real difference.

And it will make another dream come true too. Peter Stanley and Greg Southey and I had a number of meetings over the last couple of years trying to find a way to marry up property profits to help the homeless, it seems a natural marriage to us.

We met the awesome Sam Woodlock who is a volunteer worker with TBI, having been a homeless addict herself some time back. She is now married with a child, and happily doing great work co-ordinating Big Issue activities in Covent Garden. For me, she was perhaps the most moving story of the evening – a walking, talking success now helping others out of the place in which she had once found herself.

Not surprisingly I did shed a tear or two. Not as many as I thought because CNN did not fall into the trap of over-sentimentalising these five stories. But they are sad, and they are happy, and it is awesome to see people make a comeback from circumstances which I know I would find impossibly difficult.

There but for the grace of God.

One of the films is about a lad from Bath who wants to go on the Big Issue sponsored bike ride to Paris. He has raised part of the sponsorship money he needs to take part but at the time of making the film he had neither a bike or all the money for a Passport.

Just THINK what we take for granted!

If you can get free on Saturday and come along and support our fundraiser, that would be fab. Help yourself, help the homeless to help themselves and help us to achieve that lofty target of £4,500. Come and see the CNN films and be inspired to make a difference, if not to the homeless then to someone you can help, perhaps by becoming their landlord.

I don’t know where I would be without the sanctuary of my own home, a place where I can be safe and warm and nurtured by my peace and quiet, my garden, my pussycat, my broadband and by fulfilling relationships with family and friends and work I love.
I am so abundant and grateful and lucky.

Counting my blessings, counting my blessings, counting my blessings and hoping to pay it forward today, tomorrow, everyday and especially Saturday 21st March 2009. That day will be only the start of what we can do to help The Big Issue support the homeless in this very inspirational way.

Thanks for listening

PS If you can’t come on Saturday, you can still donate at our page:

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Mar 19 2009

Making Progress or Just Plain Busy?

I begin many of my training workshops by reminding participants of the value of their time. Time is the most precious resource we have.

Rich or poor, healthy or sick, we only have 24 hours a day and, yes, I try to use them wisely.

How many times are we aware of the ways we invest our time? And the word “investment” is the most accurate because the way we choose to spend our time is a true investment in ourselves and our own lives.

So this last week I’ve been delivering workshops, preparing to visit the Money Gym Property Extravaganza on Saturday and developing plans to launch a new internet business site.

When not directly interacting with workshop participants I’ve been thinking about creating a new product to give away to people interested in internet marketing. Putting myself into my ideal client’s shoes I’ve been browsing the internet to look for ideas – what does my ideal client want?

Can you imagine how the time has flown…
Help Wanted

Yes, I’ve seen many different products, lots of sales pages, a few things I’d never touch with a barge pole, avoided a few websites that my virus guard warned me were malicious and trying to install trojans on my website… but do I have a concrete idea?

Not yet.

And so this reminded me to reflect on the difference between being busy and making progress.

Even though I know I’m surfing with a purpose, this hasn’t been enough to keep me really focussed… I need to know what my outcome is.

Surfing is all well and good but I need inspiration for, and if at all possible, a real product to create whether that is an ebook, an email series or a piece of software to offer…

Time to put my computer away and talk with a business coach I think!

So what about you…

Are you just plain busy or are you making progress?

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Mar 13 2009

Scientists Managing Scientists

Now this might be one of those times when the title – Scientists Managing Scientists – seems to be an oxymoron, something that is inherently contradictory.

Research scientists – the environment is very individualistic, people are promoted and rewarded for getting papers published or grants awarded. This is frequently as a result of their own efforts or of the results produced by junior staff or PhD students who work for/with them…

Research Scientist At it’s best this can be a meritocracy, more senior staff can mentor and develop aspiring researchers who want to learn the trade of “professional researcher”, an apprenticeship that lasts at least 6 to 9 years.

Along that path of individual accountability there’s a subtle shift.

A researcher acquires or is rewarded with the responsibility for a PhD student or maybe a technician. Maybe a few years later, a junior postdoctoral researcher comes along to be directed and trained, and then you get to the stage where you’re applying for your own grant funding…

It seems to be a surprise that a major part of your role now is not to conduct your own research but to guide others to conduct your research for you.

This slow dawning that you are now a manager reveals a challenge in staff management skills for which few scientists are adequately prepared – but my top resources are below!

Our role models in management almost certainly have had little or no training at all. Some are excellent and supportive managers, others, perhaps a majority, have more haphazard skills in staff management. When it works, it works, when it doesn’t, we just get on with it. A minority of managers should be fired – the science gets done in spite of their inept management style and refusal to change.

The typical length of a research contract is just 3 years and the most important thing to achieve in that time is the publication of your research results – publication almost certainly being dependent upon the support and goodwill of the group leader. It goes without saying that even if a researcher’s experience of their manager is “trying”, most will endure it for just 3 years and the sake of the published paper.

But management skills can be learned, even by research scientists.

There are some excellent management skills workshops and a small number of books which are written specifically with the scientific environment in mind.

If you feel inclined to improve your management skills you could begin by looking at some of the books above – these three have earned their place on my bookshelf! If you choose just one to look at, make it Lab Dynamics…

If you want to improve or develop a wider range of influencing skills I have two more recommendations and “Influence…” by Robert Cialdini would be my “must have” book. Enjoy!

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Mar 12 2009

Financial Education For Free

Published by under Money Gym,Training

We go to school, even to University – and yet learn so little about managing our finances. We live in a place we call home all our lives and often don’t know how to use our home to provide security for our future.

How surprising then to get financial education when on a totally unrelated training course!

I was delivering a workshop with my Training For Universities business, all was well, a good group of staff, highly motivated and learning from me and from each other – and then we had the coffee break…

We got to talking about rugby – well we were in Wales – and I explained my challenge watching the last matches in the 6 Nations tournament… I will be in London at a Money Gym Property Extravaganza.

And suddenly the subject shifted “Is property still a good investment?”, “But you can’t get mortgages now can you?”, “And what about the money you lose when you don’t have tenants?” – the questions flooded out!

There was such a level of interest we had to negotiate an extension – and we extended the workshop while we talked about financial freedom and rent-to-own! I think they were blown away at the prospect of being able to make two families genuinely happy and make a profit.

What an unexpected way to end an exciting day!

And if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about either leave a comment or come along to our Property Extravaganza on 21st March – and remember that all profits go to support The Big Issue – another example of a win-win!

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Mar 10 2009

My Online Income System

Making money on the internet – an online income system – is often portrayed as “easy money”, by which I mean, it is assumed that once you’ve understood how to make money this way, unlimited passive income streams continue to flow your way for no additional effort.

Many Money Gym clients come saying that they want to make passive income on the internet and a smaller proportion actually achieve it.

Internet income is one of those things that is both as easy as it says AND as difficult as getting blood out of a stone.

It does take some research to uncover a profitable niche. It does take some strategies and tactics for selling your information or products. You then need some way to actually collect payments… and then there’s the technology…

Is it sounding difficult already?

Don’t worry and don’t despair! The internet can be a great drain on your time and resources but can equally be a source of inspiration and freedom. However, to be a successful income stream you do need to treat it like a business and not like a magic wand!

One of the best introductory guides I’ve come across is Kimberley Hoffman’s programme: My Online Income System.

This is a day by day, holding your hand guide to selling information products through Clickbank and article marketing… I’ve looked at the first 10 days of the programme so far, and to be honest, it does a better job than most in explaining the ideas behind selling information products. Like most Clickbank products it also comes with a money-back guarantee…

Right now, I’ve scanned through the first 10 days and sort of stalled at the bit where you’re supposed to write 5 articles a day to promote the product… will let you know what happens when I skip forward.

If I like what comes next then I’ll be very happy to recommend it to my clients – if I don’t… then I guess I’ll be claiming my refund!

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Mar 10 2009

Message form The Universe toda…

Published by under Uncategorized

Message form The Universe today “Remember, I created this because I wanted to… & I can change it too!” Puts one all “at cause”! Choices…

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Mar 07 2009

Chasing paperworrk. Is there a…

Published by under Uncategorized

Chasing paperworrk. Is there anything as frustrating as just that one missing receipt?! Think I need some comfort food to distract me…

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Mar 06 2009

Hamsita Reardon Provides Housing for Abused Women

Now it’s a year since Hamsita Reardon won an award for Property Woman of the year…

See a news snippet below:

Hasmita Reardon – from homeless immigrant to 75 properties – Profit £2.9 million
Owns 75 houses and flats in Sittingbourne, Kent. Over the last 10 years, Hasmita, aged 44, has housed the homeless and single mothers whom nobody else wants. Her husband wasn’t keen but her portfolio is now worth £8.4m at a cost of £5.5m – last week she bought 5 properties. Husband Steve has now given up his day job laying driveways.

In the meantime, in spite of the credit crunch, Hamsita is expanding her property portfolio. As women continue to seek shelter and safe accommodation and are finding it more difficult to find affordable housing, they are seeking her out! This is another fantastic example of how a buy to let landlord is supporting herself and her family by providing a highly valued service to her community, this time in Sittingbourne.

Now you might still be thinking “Yes, that’s OK for her. There’s no way I could do that.” (Limiting Belief Alert!!)

Well, at the Money Gym Property Extravaganza, Hamsita is coming to share just how she did it and how she continues to make a difference. And she’s just one of many magnificent presenters Judith has lined up for us.

If you were still wondering whether it was worth paying your £25 donation to the Big Issue to gain access to this day, Hamsita is just one more reason.

Just how much does it take to convince you to come on down on 21st March and have a look – you might just learn something you like!! Have a look at and then book a ticket for the day!




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