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A Mental Guide for Home Business Success

Back then, a “home-based business” is nothing, but a group of hobbyists making crafts and selling their products online, or a group of eBay junkies who are collecting things from their attic with hopes that someone will be willing to buy them online.

Now that the home-based population have evolved, and continues to evolve, more and more people are becoming interested in the perks and benefits one can enjoy from being their own boss, and working within the confines of their home.

If you’re interested in starting a home-based business, here’s a mental guide for home business success:

Tip 1: Be in a “Feel Good” Environment

This includes investing in professional office equipment, as well as the furniture of your choice. We’re all vulnerable to repetitive stress injuries from using office equipment. Thus, things that fit ergonomically are more preferable in a home office. This includes a comfortable computer chair and keyboard.

Tip 2: Control Overhead

How much you make isn’t as important as you think– it’s how much you can keep by the end of the day. It’s great to have a home-based business, but you ought to know that getting bankrupt can still happen, especially if you’ll overspend or buy useless stuff.

Tip 3: Take a Break

A lot of home-based entrepreneurs have a habit of working 24/7. That’s not ideal at all. Every now and then, you should take a break and sneak out to see a movie, or just spend the rest of the day with your family or friends. Working at home gives you the freedom and flexibility you need, but it can also be tempting to work all the time, especially when the business becomes successful.

Once you have established a smooth-sailing business, give yourself the privilege of relaxation, so that you don’t get too burned out during the process.

Tip 4: Honesty Is the Key

Not everyone has the ability of working from home. If you’re one of the few who can, be honest about your work habits and see what makes you happy before you even start exploring this field.

Tip 5: Don’t Let Isolation Rule You

One of the negative impacts of working from home is the isolation. Whenever you get this feeling, try to fight it back. Don’t let this negativity lead to depression, and horrible business decisions.

This holds true especially if you’re running a small business at home. There’s always the tendency that you’ll feel isolated, because you’ll only have a few interactions with other people during the day. Combat this feeling by joining various community groups during your free time. Not only will this make you feel better, it can also help you get inspired and stay motivated.

Tip 6: Work Space Is Different from Family Space

If it’s possible, create a room that will serve as your office, especially if there are children around the house. Know that whenever you walk in that room, you have to accomplish two things: Work until you are done, and don’t let other family members interrupt you when inside that room.

Tip 7: Work When You’re Most Productive

Think about the time of day when you feel active, inspired, and invigorated. For example, if you think that it’s easier to accomplish tasks in the morning, then work on your most difficult projects during this time of day. Save the easier tasks later– when you feel tired and less creative.

Tip 8: Motivate Yourself

Sit down and set some goals. You no longer need to comply with progress reports nor quarterly reviews. However, you should still keep track whether you’re making a progress or not. The best way to determine that is by setting small goals, such as completing your to-do list on time. Likewise, setting goals that will keep you motivated is also advisable.

By now, you should be making much, if not more, money at your home-based business than you were at your former job. If this isn’t the case, evaluate yourself and see what can be done in order to improve. Don’t forget to reward yourself after hitting the goal.

Tip 9: Have Family Time

After organizing your professional life, it’s also important to pay attention to the personal life as well. Don’t let your job dominate you, especially if you have children. Every now and then, try to spend some time with them. Not only will it help you relieve stress, it’s also a great way of showing that they’re important to you.

My name is Frans Bouckenooghe, born in Roeselare, Belgium.

In 1980, I immigrated with my Rarotongan (Cook Islands) wife Tangata and two children to New Zealand.

I am a self employed Registered Building Surveyor. I identify and report on building defects. I love my work.

Beside working, I enjoy company of family and friends, affiliate marketing, travelling, writing and photography.

I believe that little can be accomplished in life without some investment in yourself. Keep fit, consume right, practice kindness, remain positive, and keep your curiosity up. Treat these things as similarly important to love and friendship and I think you have a much better chance to lead a happy life.

Beginner’s Guide for Internet Business Success

Anybody that has lived more than a day knows that the internet is full of wonderful possibilities. It has its obvious uses for research as well as the popular social networking, but it can also be an easy and effective way to add a little extra boost to your income, or even become your income! This article will provide the basic help that any beginner will need when he or she starts an online business, and will get you on the fast track to making money. The main draw to an internet business is that you don’t necessarily need an office to run the business. Literally a computer and an internet connection are all the tools you need to start with, depending on what kind of business you are planning to run.

The first thing you need to do is decide what product or service you would like to promote, and then build your website around that idea. Work with designers to mold the website into a site that suits you and what you are trying to provide. Work with a quality content writer to make your website really stand out. It should be easy to read and attention grabbing. A good content writer is really the most important tool you will ever use in your quest for online business success. At this point, yes, you are technically an internet entrepreneur, but you can’t stop here! There is so much more to be done.

You will need to market your website next. The easiest and fastest way to do this is through the use of SEO, which will direct traffic to your site from internet search engines, and proper SEO will also raise your rank on Google or Yahoo. This guide is meant for beginners who are interested in the incredible streams of income the internet can provide without the necessity of acquiring a lot of start up capital. Young business men and women can really learn a lot about how income can be obtained through an online business. You may have some amazing new idea that the internet has never seen before, but unless you know how to implement that idea properly you are never going to see the shining light of success any closer than the distant horizon.

Most successful people started out with a handy guide for beginners, just like you are doing, and it really got them far. A great man once said that to become successful, you must study the lives of successful men. Following their footsteps is a great way of knowing that you too are on the right track.

Alfred hill is passionate about delving into new things online and learning something out of it. His new websites on foam packaging materials [] and health and safety signs [] are worth a visit. Don’t you wish to see what’s in there?

A Guide For the Entrepreneur in You

Hmmm, have you ever wondered what it would be like to start your own company? Taking that idea you have had in the back of your mind for some time now and making it a reality. Never having to work for someone else and actually get paid what your worth for your knowledge and experience and time you spent in educating yourself. To wake up each morning energized for the first time to go to work because you’re doing something you absolutely love, and it’s all yours.

Maybe your dream is to write a book, provide a service, create a home based business or turn your week-end hobby into a 5 day work week, whatever it is in life we all have to take a shot in favor of ourselves. For me, I did not want to reach 80, look back at my life and at all the things I wanted to do and didn’t, and have regrets. So what if I failed, would it have killed me? I could have succeeded, and now I’ll never know because I was too scared to take a chance on me. Who better than us knows what will make us happy, content and productive members of society.

If you truly have a burning desire eating away at you to open your own business then I say do it. Initially you may decide to do it on a part-time basis, fine, DON’T procrastinate!!!! I know that it can be quite overwhelming, there is a lot that you do not know or understand but I can tell you from experience that the risks are worth it. It’s a feeling of total liberation, joy, and expectation. Yes, there is that little thing called money, and you do lose a certain amount of security until the business is up and running and you will always have friends, family members and even current co-workers who will try to discourage you. Just remember one thing. You are the one that is living this life. No one else and you only get one shot.

That’s where I come in. I would like to help you get started. I want to see you realize your dream and to see your business succeed from the beginning with all the correct information. I would like to share that information with you through the following articles.

That is the first article in the series “BANKING ON MYSELF”, a guide for the entrepreneur in you.

So you finally made a decision as to the kind of business you would like to have. The next step is making sure that you create a separate identity for this business. By that I am referring to setting up a Corporation or an LLC. You may be saying to yourself why do I need to do that?

When you run your business as a sole proprietor you and your business are considered to be one and the same. There is no definite separation between the two. So if someone sues your company who are they suing? The answer is you! All of your personal assets are at risk. You could lose your home, your cars, your bank accounts, your investments and any other assets you personally own. Now turning that around if you are personally sued, you could lose not only your personal assets but you could lose your entire business and all of its assets that have taken years to acquire. If you are like the rest of us we all work too hard to get what we have and it would be devastating to lose it because someone see’s dollar signs when they look at your business or personal assets. So before you open your doors it is crucial that you form your Corporation or LLC first.

Your probably asking yourself what is the best entity for me to choose. Well, that all depends on what type of business you are going to have. For instance will you be issuing stock to raise capital? Will you have earnings in access of 250,000.00? Are health benefit deductions important to you? Will you have several employees? Do you want to file a separate tax return for your business? Although there are other considerations involved in your correct entity choice, if you answered yes to any of the above chances are a C-Corporation may be the best one for you.

Another example, if you are planning on purchasing real estate for investment purposes, fixing it up and selling it your entity choice should be a LLC. If you intend on having partners in real estate investing a LLC would also be appropriate.

If you are going to have a other type of business for instance a consulting business, or a business via the internet, and this is your only job and income, and you want to receive a salary from this business, then you may choose a S-corporation. When choosing this type of entity, there are other things to consider as well. For example there cannot be any foreign owners for S-Corporations and no more than 100 members. We will go into further detail in the second article.

Now that you have set up your Corporation or LLC you need to protect it and yourself. The whole reason to set-up an entity separate from yourself is to protect the share holders or the director from the debts or liabilities of the corporation.

You may have heard the term protecting your “Corporate Veil”. What does that mean exactly? Well there are certain things you need to comply with in order to run your business as its own separate entity and decrease the likelihood of anyone being able to pierce your “Corporate Veil” to obtain your personal assets or to take over controlling interest in your company. In order to do this you need to keep very accurate records. For instance, when the share holders, partners, or directors get together for scheduled meetings to decide on budget matters for the company, leasing agreements, personnel changes and other important day to day functions you need to keep very accurate (minutes) of these meetings, the meeting themselves and the resolutions agreed upon. A C-Corporation has to be very accurate and precise. It never use to be that important for LLC’s because they were less stringent in this category but for your own protection and that of all members you should do it as well.

Also, you need to be very careful about co-mingling your funds. In other words do not mix your business funds with your personal funds. Example, do not pay personal bills with corporate funds from your corporate checking account. That is strictly taboo.

Third, make sure that your business is properly capitalized. In other words you have enough money for expenses, payroll, inventory, liability insurance, and such before you open your doors.

For manufacturing there is a standard. If you have any questions regarding the capitalization for the type of business you have call your secretary of state and request information.

Lastly and also very important, make sure that you purchase enough liability insurance as well as Errors and Omissions insurance. Most people are familiar with liability, hardly anyone knows about Errors and Omissions. It is important protection in case you mess up on a job or do not have it ready on time as promised in a contract. Should one of your employees make a mistake or anyone else that represents your company, you will be protected. Also, please know that having a separate entity for your business does not omit the need to carry insurance. You need both!

I hope that this article has been helpful to all you aspiring entrepreneurs.

Online Learning Sites for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, professional development can be hard to come by. It can often feel like you’re going it alone simply because you don’t have the kind of automatic network in place that a larger company has. However, the Internet is full of resources for entrepreneurs, from improving your coding skills to building a better business plan. Here are some tools to check out.

Carnegie Mellon University’s “Entrepreneurship and Business Planning”: This course, hosted on the University’s “TalkShoe” community platform, includes 16 lectures, complete with PowerPoints, handouts, and a case study. The course originally came from a class in the Master in Informational Systems Management program. The course includes concepts like financing, marketing, team building, and sales.

· Stanford University’s “Two Generations of Entrepreneurship” and “Two Reasons Companies Can Fail”: Both of these classes come from Stanford’s “Entrepreneurship Corner,” which provides about 2,000 free videos and podcasts. The first of the two above is a 45-minute lecture by Sandra and Andy Kurtzig and focuses on company mission and venture funding. The second is an hour-long lecture by the CEO of Idealab and focuses on what can undermine a company’s success.

· University of California Irvine’s “Conducting a Thorough Market Assessment” and “The Elevator Pitch”: Both of these lectures are available as YouTube videos. Both give thoughts on customer development techniques.

· Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “Entrepreneurial Marketing”: This is a full course available through MIT’s OpenCourseWare platform, including print, audio, and video materials. The course focuses on communication, distribution, pricing, and customer relations.

· The Open University’s “Entrepreneurial Behavior”: The Open University offers over 600 free, web-based courses. This course focuses on entrepreneurs themselves and on qualities and leadership styles that have often been associated with successful entrepreneurs. It also explores the role that entrepreneurs play in the larger economy.

· The International Revenue Service’s “Starting a Business”: The IRS offers video and audio resources mainly focused on answering tax questions. “Starting a Business” includes videos of various lengths with transcripts. The videos focus on income reporting, recordkeeping, and retirement planning for the self-employed.

· The U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Encore Entrepreneurs: An Introduction to Starting Your Own Business” and “Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business”: These video courses, 30 minutes and 40 minute respectively, discuss non-profit resources, business models, financing, and ownership options.

· CodeAcademy: This is a free resource for learning how to code in HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP.

· HubSpot Academy: This site offers a free certification program on website optimization, landing pages, and lead nurturing.

· Coursera: With 114 educational partners, Coursera provides an outstanding range of free online courses. There are both basic business and entrepreneurship courses and courses that fit more within certain small business niches.

· Khan Academy: This resource is mainly geared toward high school students, but it’s a great platform for refreshers on things everyone should know, and it makes even complex topics understandable.

· LearnVest: If you’re looking specifically for courses on budgeting and otherwise managing your money, LearnVest is a great option. It’s not specially geared toward entrepreneurs, but it offers some free and many affordable classes on money management, which every entrepreneur needs to understand.

· Moz: This is an excellent source for learning Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It includes the free Moz Academy as well as other resources like webinars and beginners’ guides to various topics.

Guides for Home Business

Do guides for home business really work? It all depends on how the merchant is approaching the concept. There are many sources that provide a level of assistance to entrepreneurs. The government might be able to provide information to entrepreneurs using the social schemes that are meant to get people to work. This sort of information is targeted towards low income families. The theory is that the information will be crucial in setting up those families into a system whereby they are productive members of the community. If such information is not readily available, then alternatives will have to be found in order to support the business model.

The guide is not supposed to be a template for how the business should be run. Each individual will have their own methods of dealing with the pressures of modern business. They will build an arsenal of tricks that ensures their success in all the ventures that are on offer. It takes a lot of time to reach the pinnacle of success in the business world. Likewise it also takes a lot of patience to overcome the challenges that affect the business models on offer. It is important that these businesses are developed in line with the expectations of the entrepreneur and the realistic prospects ahead.

The entrepreneur has to use the home business guides appropriately. They need to pick out the elements that might be useful and the ones that are not necessarily relevant to the task at hand. Above all, they need to understand the responsibilities that underpin the business model. It is imperative that there is a clear list of items that need to be accomplished in order for that business venture to be successful. Merchants have to also remain focused on the things that are essential for business success. They cannot afford to sit back and wait for the good old times to make their impact.

A business model can be the great start that a merchant needs. However the ultimate success of that business venture will rely on the effectiveness of the merchant in terms of turning a business idea into a workable model for success. If they are able to convert the major issues that affect the business then success will come of its own volition. In working with the different business ideas and guides, the entrepreneur will also be building up their general knowledge about the business world and the ways in which they can be successful regardless of the occasional difficulties that they face. The business model will respond to their overtures.

Existing Houses Vs New Construction Homes

Existing Houses

There are positives and negatives in buying an existing house. Some of the positives include mature landscaping, window coverings already installed, and that you can survey the established neighborhood to learn who your neighbors might be. If you want a pool, an existing place might already have one. A couple of the downsides of buying pre-owned places are that they might need major renovations. Sometimes the style of the house falls out of favor, and major cosmetic upgrades may be needed to modernize the place.

Being the First Owner

Buying new construction homes can be like buying cars fresh off the assembly line. Like being the original driver of a car, being the original owner of a house can be fun and exciting. You get to be the first to live in it, so everything will be sparkling clean and fresh. When you have a place built, you usually get to select the flooring, wall color, outdoor paint scheme, and appliances. If you purchased it before it was built, you’ll get to watch it go from blueprints to a complete building. This can be as exciting as watching a baby being born or a child grow-up. If it’s a custom place, your personality can be embedded in its design. A possible downside is that you will have to wait for your house to be constructed. If you want to move into a place immediately, this could test your patience.

Look at Both

If you can’t decide whether you’d like to buy an existing place or look at brand new construction homes, try them both on for size. Tell your realtor that you’d like to look at pre-owned and newly built models in your price range and preferred areas of town. This will give you a taste of both in order to make a more informed decision. Often, you won’t know which is best for you until you’ve viewed them both.

Buying your next place to live is a big decision. You want to proceed carefully and not rush into anything. If you’re trying to decide between existing or newly built structures, it’s wise to investigate all possibilities. Decide on a price range, get pre-approved for a mortgage, decide on the areas you’d prefer to live in, and go tour both pre-owned houses and new construction homes. After you visit both types, you’ll find it easier to make the right decision.

Fundamental Elements of New Luxury Homes

New luxury homes are the ultimate dream for most home buyers. Developers continue to build such properties while there is high demand. Although it is easy to go online and search for the house of your dreams, the process is not that easy. It is advisable to know what to look for before making the big decision. Additional knowledge can also help you if you do not know where to start.

The real estate market is booming. When you show interest for new homes for sale, developers will try their best to convince you to buy. Be prepared to hear stories about what makes them different and why they are the best. Remember that the quality of their work should speak for itself. Ask to see model units or floor plans of properties they sell. Use this to gauge whether the house fits your needs and preferences.

Be aware of things you should look for if you are in the market for new luxury homes. Design trends come and go, but there are those that stick around for the long run. Timeless designs and features may increase the home’s market value over time. Look for the following when you go house hunting:

Ideal Location

Good locations put new luxury homes above the rest; the better the location, the greater the value. You should remember this even before looking for a new home. Consider the long-term aspects of it all. The house will sell for a much higher price in the future if located somewhere ideal.

Luxurious properties should serve as escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Consider properties in secluded but accessible locations. These will provide peace and quiet after a stressful day. Think about the community as well. Remember that community and neighbors may affect your lifestyle. Keep these thoughts in mind when you are searching for new homes for sale.


Nothing says luxury better than a classic and everlasting design. Give some thought to properties with stone and brick exteriors. Stucco and vinyl will not provide a timeless feel. Houses built in “trendy” designs also run the risk of falling out of style when new trends come along. Choose classic architecture and your property will always be in style. You will not have to worry about regular renovations just to keep up with the times.
Common elements used to achieve this look include bricks or mortar, colonial columns and windows, as well as gable overhangs and front elevation.


Having more than enough space is the best definition of luxury. It is an essential characteristic of such properties. Keep this in mind when discussing your options with the developer. Space applies to the exterior and interior. Buy properties with manicured and spacious yards. This is an important consideration, as it is the first visible part of your home.

Making Old Homes Modern

There’s that certain appeal to old homes that make homeowners prefer them over new constructions or stick to them even through the years. Great neighborhood, accessibility to essential facilities, nearness to loved ones, excellent weather, and the reasons go on and on but one thing is common is this is the love developed between you and your old New York home. Changes though, are inevitable and often a familiar sign is feeling that your house does not offer enough space, functionality, and appeal. To add a dose of modern beauty and efficiency to old homes, here are top tips ideal whether you are in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, or Queens.

Outdated Electrical System

An outdated electrical system not only leads to unnecessarily wasting much needed energy due to inefficiency that results to you throwing away money but can even cause serious consequences that cost you your home and even your life. To stop wastage and prevent accidents from happening, here are several things to do:

  • The best first step to take is hire a qualified electrician to evaluate your old homes to know what areas and parts may need to be repaired or replaced with modern and more efficient electrical products.
  • Install higher volt circuits to power more or larger appliances.
  • Most old homes have 30 amp box or 60 amp service panel, which are not enough to power everyday living of today. Have these upgraded to a 100 amp service panel.
  • To avoid shock and damage to appliances, have polarized outlets.

Small and Bleak Bathrooms

The uses of bathrooms have considerably evolved throughout the years. What they were to old homes have changed and now serve more than just grooming, bathing and an area of comfort. Modern bathrooms can be considered a personal retreat of many homeowners that now house not only state-of-the-art and efficient fixtures such as low-flow toilets, waterproof televisions and sound systems, as well as home saunas. And to accommodate all these items for utmost pampering and luxury, space is vital. One common solution to this is to break down walls and extend bathroom space into the next room. But if this is not an option, there are many design techniques to implement to maximize space and make small baths look and feel bigger.

Outdated Kitchens

From a mess hall, to being the most busy room in the house where almost everything takes place, kitchens of old homes have become insufficiently equipped to meet the daily requirements of a modern family. This makes kitchen remodeling a popular improvement to undertake. Some of the most common changes include:

  • Adding kitchen island for more storage
  • Replacing outdated and insufficient appliances
  • Replacing sinks, countertops and kitchen cabinets
  • Creating a more water as well as energy efficient kitchen

But whatever tasks you plan to include into remodeling your old homes’ kitchens to efficiently address to your family’s modern needs, keep the essentials in mind. Create different work stations for a more productive food preparation and cooking.

Top 10 Books for Entrepreneurs

Whether you are starting a business or have a business in need of a rebirth good advice from experts can improve your chances of success.

Good advice, however, doesn’t come cheap, nor should it for that matter. If you, like most aspiring entrepreneurs or small business owners and are on a limited budget paying for that advice can be a bit of a problem.

Fortunately we CAN get quality advice from experts who can help us build our new or evolving businesses. The great thing about these experts is that you don’t have to set an appointment, be on their schedule, or pay hourly fees; instead they can work around you. These experts come to your house, your business, your car, or frankly pretty much wherever you feel is convenient.

These experts in the form of books, whether traditional or audio books, give you the opportunity to get expert advice, when you want it, how you want it, and at an amazingly low price.

What top 10 books would I recommend for you if you are starting a business, thinking about starting a business, or attempting to jump start your business? Here are my top 10 books for entrepreneurs with an explanation as to why I believe they are important to you and your business.

1. The Magic of Thinking Big. David J. Schwarz. When I started my first business ( a LONG time ago) this was the first book my mentor gave me to read. One of the most influential books on motivation and goal setting it comes highly recommended by such famous authors as Tim Ferriss of The 4-hour Workweek. Make this the FIRST book you read.

2. The Lean Startup. Eric Ries. If you are just starting a business this book can save you a ton of money and TIME! Dave Ries gives us the lean startup principles of build, measure, and learn with a MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT which allows new entrepreneurs to find out what customers REALLY want.

3. How to Make Millions with your Ideas. Dan S. Kennedy. Dan Kennedy has not only made millions but taught thousands of entrepreneurs how to make millions. While somewhat dated, this book is a valuable tool to help new entrepreneurs focus in on proven methods to turn ideas into riches.

4. The E-Myth Revisited. Michael E. Gerber. This book is without-a-doubt a MUST READ for ANY business owner. In this book you learn why being an expert at a business can actually be harmful to the business. His step-by-step analysis of the life of a small business will be invaluable to the aspiring business owner.

5. The $100 Startup. Chris Guillebeau. The $100 Startup was JUST published and has already hit 5-star status on Amazon. Chris gives us a simple six-step process to begin selling something online, NOW. If you’re familiar with Tim Ferris’ work and are looking for your muse this is a book to help you find it!

6. Likeable Social Media. Dave Kerpen. If you only purchase one book about how to use social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc.; by this one. If you have any doubts whether Dave Kerpen knows what he’s writing about just read the Introduction of the book (free in your local book store or at Mr. Kerpen’s understanding of how social media plays into business is spot on and any entrepreneur will benefit from this book.

7. The 4-hour Work Week. Tim Ferriss. If you’ve been reading my blog recently you’ll know that this top 10 book has been a life-changing book for me. In my opinion Tim Ferriss completely revolutionizes the ideas of how to own and operate a business. Another early read for new and/or aspiring business owners.

8. One Simple Idea. Stephen Key. Stephen Key, like Dan S. Kennedy has not only made millions of dollars he’s also helped thousand earn millions as well. How do you take an idea from thought to actual product or service Stephen Key shows you how. As one reviewer put it, “An essential guide to get paid for your ideas!”

9. Ready Fire Aim. Michael Masterson. What’s the first priority in business? Read this top 10 book and find out. Designed to help those who are or want to be business owners, Michael Masterson’s book cuts to the chase on what a business owner needs to go from zero to millions of dollars.

10. Steve Jobs. Walter Isaacson. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Steve Jobs? One of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Walter Isaacson takes the readers behind the scenes to see how Steve went from a garage to building the most valuable company in the world. Love him or hate him you can learn a lot about how to build a business from Steve Jobs.

By-the-way, this list is NOT a prioritized list of top 10 books, BUT as I mentioned I would recommend reading the Magic of Thinking Big first.

Hopefully the explanations in my top 10 books for entrepreneurs will help you decide what to read and in what order. I’ve included hyperlinks to each book so you can read the book descriptions, editorial reviews, publisher’s notes, and customer reviews to help you make better decisions. It’s my hope that by reading these top 10 books and going to these “experts” you can build strong profitable businesses.

Keith Shafer has a passion for helping others become successful at business and life. He firmly believes that our future depends on the concepts of free enterprise, business ownership, and individual liberty. Keith believes that with every right comes a responsibility. A retired officer with over 20 years of active military service, he has been in the education industry for over twenty years. Mr. Shafer has owned a number of businesses, been involved in multi-level marketing, network marketing, as well as direct sales marketing. He knows the grind of a 9-5 existence on the 40-year plan and is keen to help others break out of their chains as well. Keith is an accomplished business owner, real estate entrepreneur and stock investor. Married to the same wonderful woman for nearly 37 years, he and his wife have two grown boys and were just blessed with their first grandchild

4 Reasons You Should Look At Designer Homes

Nowadays when it comes to purchasing a home you have two choices, you can either spend months looking at different houses and then picking one finally that is the best fit for you and your family even if it is not exactly what you want, or building your own home by taking advantage of designer builders. It should be clear why designer homes are the better option and growing in popularity, but if this is not clear then here are four reasons why you should take a second look at options that designer builders can give you so that designer homes become an option.

Layout fit for your family

The first reason that you should consider hiring designer builders to help you create the perfect home is the fact that you can choose the amount of rooms that you want as well as the bathrooms and main rooms. With designer homes you get to be in charge of everything from the blueprints up with the designer builders allowing for every request that you make so that you get a home that fits your family instead of trying to make your family fit into a home.

Interior Color and Fixtures

As mentioned, when you decide to go with designer homes you get to have control over everything that het designer builders work on, which means that outside of choosing the layout of the home you also get to step back and think about the fixtures, features, and color of the home. If you want wooden paneling or accents you can demand this, but if you want sleek modern paint contrasts without any wood you can choose this as well because with designer homes you are the only one in charge.

No need for renovation or remodeling

As you might guess, the fact that you get to choose every feature of the house on your own means that you do not need to worry about remodeling or renovation. Many people think that designer homes are more expensive than homes that can be purchased straight off the market, but when you stop and combine the market price that you will pay for a home and then add in all the extra money you will spend on renovations to make it livable you will see that the price difference is not all that large. So why not get exactly what you want in the first place instead of working hard to make a home close to what you want.

Higher market value

Finally, the last reason to think about hiring designer builders is the fact that when you design a home from the top up it will be worth more down the line when you sell it. Old homes will always depreciate in value even if you improve them, but designer homes that are new will always perform well on the market due to the fact that they are new and created carefully with certain themes in mind that someone else who wants luxury is bound to desire as well.

The Top 10 Sites For Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur can at times be challenging. You have a desire to help others via a product or service that you are selling. Your hope is that the public will want what you have and buy it. This will open more doors for you as an entrepreneur and you will in turn make money. It’s the dream of everyone starting a business; doing something that they love and making money at it.

For those just starting out, it may be difficult to know where to begin or what to do next. Plus with the internet there are so many other avenues that an entrepreneur must think about. Besides our beloved Rock The Post, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 websites that every entrepreneur will want to remember. These include:

1) The Funded – This is a great site for those seeking funding for their ventures. This site allows entrepreneurs to research venture capital sources as well as rate and review them. Getting the funds you need is important and finding the right capital sources to use in invaluable. This site allows you to do the research you need in order to get the money you need.

2) Bplans – This is a great site for those who are just starting their business. In the beginning when you’re planning your business and just opening your doors, there is so much that you need to know about. Consider this site your encyclopedia for starting your business. They offer numerous articles, expert advice, different business calculators as well as different business planning software. It’s a great resource when you’re the new kid on the block.

3) Start Up Journal – This is the Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) section for small business and startups. Seeing as it is a section of the WSJ, you know it’s a valuable resource to bookmark and come back to often.

4) – As one of the premier magazines for entrepreneurs, this site is a must have in your bookmarks. With so many articles, advice and resources for those starting a business, this is a gold mine of information to help you every step of the way.

5) Start Up Nation – This website features advice and information from people who have been where you are – others entrepreneurs. They know the ups and downs of what starting a business is all about. So they have plenty of advice and resources to share to help you make the most out of your business venture.

6) – This is a great magazine that offers advice and resources to entrepreneurs. From funding your ventures to marketing and sales it’s all in here. You can learn from some of the industry’s best.

7) Small Business Administration – The Small Business Administration is the bible of business knowledge. It was created and designed to assist in giving small businesses the tools and resources they need to have a solid foundation to start on. Our society is built upon business and the more prosperous businesses are; the more prosperous our society is. It’s good for the economy.

8) Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) – This non-profit organization was created by retired executives to offer tips, workshops and more for entrepreneurs. They know where you’ve been and offer resources to help you succeed in your endeavors.

9) Home Business Journal – If you are looking to run a home-based business then this is the site for you. With information and resources to guide you this is a great place to start when you are doing the research to get your business started and up and running.

10) Entrepreneurship – Entrepreneurs are a unique group within themselves. It makes sense to have a site that is created just for you to be sounding boards off of one another. This site gives you information that assists you in staying connected and up-to-date with what is going on in the world of entrepreneurs. It’s a great resource to have when you are looking for advice and education.

marketing company focusing on design and execution of integrated marketing

This is your ultimate guide for gift giving this season to entrepreneurs and small business owners. From a Chamber of Commerce Membership to a flip camera to advisory timeblocks.

1 – Chamber of Commerce Membership – Being a member in a Chamber of Commerce offers a lot of advantages including networking opportunities, membership advertising and business expos, but sometimes for an entrepreneur a membership just doesn’t work into their budget. It’s not the most glamorous gift in the world, but this is a great way to help them reach their goals.

2 – UPS, FedEx, or USPS Gift Card for shipping – Unless they don’t send anything out, any entrepreneur will appreciate not spending money on shipping!

3 – Gift Card to a Print Shop – I’m sure you’ve heard of VistaPrint, but in the spirit of entrepreneurship, buy a gift card to a print shop that is a small business. For example, NextDayFlyers, is on the West Coast and they have great service and an equally great product.

4 – Year Subscription to Entrepreneur Magazine – Entrepreneur Magazine seeks to inspire, inform and celebrate entrepreneurs with monthly issues. They offer real solutions to the challenges of entrepreneurs, including tips, tools and insider news to help build – and grow – their business.

5 – Flip Camera – Even though there are a ton of YouTube videos out there, a lot of entrepreneurs are not using it to their advantage. A flip camera is a quick way to make a video and upload it right to Youtube. These videos do not have to be professionally edited, they can be gritty and show the real business. It gives your company more credibility, if your CEO is involved too

6 – Constant Contact – Email marketing is an important way to keep customers informed and excited about a business. Constant Contact offers pre-made templates for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Buying credits for them to get out there is a great way to kick start the new year for businesses. It’s easy but it can also be customized

7 – – Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anywhere that you can buy Fiverr credits but an American Express Gift Card will do. Fiverr is a website where people will help your business for $5 a gig. It can be anything from a voice-over to targeted websites, facebook, or twitter traffic. Personally, I recommend that you go with something tangible. As far as the gift card, somehow you have to get them to prove that they used it on

8 – Timeblocks – Out of all of these, I think this is the best as far as money vs. ROI. This is a great idea for an entrepreneur or a small business owner looking to get ahead of competition. Timeblocks can be anything from a short email (deducting minutes from your balance) or an hour long conversation that acts as a sounding board or experienced advising.

Smart Marketing Group is a marketing company focusing on design and execution of integrated marketing and niche strategies for businesses large and small. Les Wolff, CEO of SMG, has 45+ years of sales, management and marketing experience ranging from sports marketing to small business management.

Five Must Read Books for Entrepreneurs

Books can give new ideas and solutions to problems we commonly encounter. A good book is a self-help guide. Books meant for entrepreneurs benefit the budding business owners personally as well as at the organization level.

1. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!Robert T. Kiyosaki

‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ is one of the best personal finance books of all times. It tells the story of the author, his two fathers – real dad and the father of his best friend, and the way things influenced the author’s thinking on money and investing it. The book points out the difference between having your money work for you and working for money.

2. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New RichTimothy Ferriss

This book will make you think different. The author explains the benefits of focusing on the most important things and not wasting time on social media, email and phone checking. Timothy explains how he outsourced the work to virtual assistants overseas as well as to employees. Minimizing distractions and outsourcing has enabled Timothy to become much more effective and efficient. The author gives a set of great advice that is helpful to all entrepreneurs.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleDale Carnegie

This book is a self-help book. It is necessary to know that it is essential to win people over to your way of thinking. For this, you need to know how to make good conversation and to get people to like you. In other words, the book explains what you need to do to succeed in your business.

4. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityDavid Allen

Getting things done is one of the best books on improving productivity. It is a guide on how to use your time efficiently. David Allen says that the more relaxed we are, the better the productivity is. This is because, when the mind is in a relaxed mode, thoughts get organized effectively, which leads to higher productivity. David Allen explains in the book the method of enhancing productivity.

5. Predictably Irrational the Hidden Forces that Shape our DecisionsDan Ariely

This book looks deep into consumer habits and human behavior. It focuses on the revelation that wired to be irrational of humans. Dan Ariely goes deeper using plenty of experiments to show fuzzier than economists would like it to be.

Investments For Entrepreneurs

When it comes to money management it seems like we all face issues. I have some experience in the banking and finances arena. Please think of this article as a simple investments for entrepreneurs guide.

Everyone needs at least a basic idea about how to manage their money. If you need to make real money in a legal and rapid way stick to this guide because I will try to explain why making the right investment decisions are the way to your future success.

This short article will help you to avoid some of the most common mistakes made by people like you or me; it will help you to find investments for entrepreneurs that will pay you with high dividends. Will you say that investments for entrepreneurs really exist? I say yes, I must confess to you that I learned the hard way. Some of the best investment options are in fact hidden from the general public, but this situation is about to change with you.

Scared of investing?

The basic idea of managing your own funds is scary, right? It is not a surprise that the majority of people lack the financial knowledge and skills to administrate their own portfolios, rest assured there is a better way to invest. Avoid making the wrong decisions and seeing the consequences in your bank statement are the key to your gains.

The right path for new investors!

Banks pay the lowest rates available, especially American and European banks. You need to see your money growing in a steady way month after month, year after year. The best investments for entrepreneurs are reliable financial companies, well established and with a proven record of successful trades and investments.

The right way to invest!

* Do not open a savings account: If you are like most people you probably will simply open a savings account and wait for the best to happen. Saving accounts are not for investing; keep that in your mind.

* Open an account with a broker: Find a reliable investment company and ask for an investment plan tiered to your needs and goals. They will be happy to assist you.

* Look nationwide for options: The internet is the tool for wide opening your investment possibilities, instead of choosing a local broker you could save money by opening an account with a big financial entity, my tip here is, find a big firm offering an attractive but viable package that fits your individual short and long term goals.

A money making plan!

You will need an investment plan prepared for you; the person to create this plan is a financial adviser, or lawyer. You need a plan based on your financial goals, both short term and long term. You need a money making plan created specifically for you before you start.

The path to real success!

After you have consulted with an investment strategist an know your economic position then it is time to start your research into a solid, recession proof, business opportunity for your investment. Here I will suggest looking into franchise opportunities. Franchising is the best kept secret of the 21st Century!

Heal Starting NOW Via Trusting Your DNA!

An article I read in a Yahoo Group that is about strategies for the, ‘Sick Season’ told me that ‘We are all human’. It basically had positive moments, but it tended to go toward a feeling that humans are trapped in dealing with germs as if they were muggers lurking around every corner. I propose to share with you my truth that although I can get sick once in a great, great while, I don’t constantly shudder at statistical averages which cite that as many as ten colds a year are normal for kids and four per year for myself as an adult. I do wash my hands often enough. I eat right, exercise wonderfully and therefore I don’t fear any sick person who might cough in my face. (And I sneeze into my armpit.)

I take care of MY OWN immune system. This article has a point in reminding you that your immune system is… key word… YOURS. It is under your controls and guidance. I don’t tell my DNA to go ahead and lay down and take those sick days. Your DNA would really love you to tell them that you don’t have to give in easily to ‘Normal Statistics’ you read about in some article somewhere. The DNA in your cells wants you to tell them how healthy you are, not how vulnerable you are.

It happened that the morning I began writing this article, I had gone to bed the last three nights in a row and I had a sore throat each night. Before I went to bed I did physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual rituals that I will mention later. I did not lie down in bed quivering with the thought, ‘Oh that inevitable cold that everyone is getting is coming on!’ (…Or any Flu from swines or birds…etc!) There was not one ‘Poor me, there’s nothing to be done’ type of surrender voicing itself in my head. Each morning I woke up without any trace of a step-one symptom. I was back to feeling healthy. I went through a new day feeling fine.

Certain times in your life you do have emotional, physical, mental, energetic and spiritual drains coming at you that you must look at and you can deal with by using complementary medicine techniques. In those times your immune system needs extra help. I am NOT saying to NEVER consult a doctor of Western Medicine! There are miraculous machines that scan your body. There are operations to repair countless damages you have brought on through your habits and mind sets. However you can possibly feel better sooner than you have been lead to believe as dramatized in the onslaught of commercials for the drugs that flood the market that ask you to ask your doctor about this and that formula. If your middle name happens to be, ‘pill popper’, consider what I have written here! Take charge of yourself before running to the medicine cabinet filled with those popularized drugs!

A time of challenged circumstances is no exception to MY RULE. When that sore throat and tiredness comes back and seems relentless, I don’t ever simply expect a progression through symptoms that will put me on my back and in bed for a week or more. I don’t consciously or even subconsciously welcome a well deserved rest from my life where I will enjoy family members waiting on me as mom did when I was a kid. (Fun vacations are a much better way to take a rest when I am at my best, healthy self.) I don’t invite in the feeling that others love me more when I am vulnerable. There is nothing wrong with being vulnerable, yet I don’t have to be physically, emotionally or mentally ill to enable myself to be vulnerable at times and allow some one else to take care of me. You might need that at times, but I am telling you that I don’t have that modus operendi as part of a response to simple and even more challenging symptoms. These words are not set out to give you a case of what is termed, ‘New Age Guilt’. Please get inspired.

The third night of recurring symptoms is when I had replaced my toothbrush and I continued doing some physical remedies like taking Loquat Syrup I get from the Chinese grocery store or elderberry syrup and/or a Wellness Capsule I get from the health food store and putting eucalyptus oil on my throat and a scarf over it all night after breathing in it’s properties in steam. I also laid in bed and did mental-energetic-spiritual qigong in the form of alchemical formulas that balance my emotions as well as my energetic centers and acupuncture routes. After three days of recurring night symptoms I kicked that regression. The next day I stayed healthy and was my normal, healthy self. (It took me way longer to finish this article!)

My routine is to do over an hour of morning practices daily. I teach my morning class six times per week for another hour and I have an average of three extra classes that I teach. I share self-help techniques I’ve learned through Ancient Chinese understandings. Being able to teach others is one of the ways I find I retain my own health better than just doing it for myself. I catch up with extra sleep once weekly so I take that one morning off. When life is extra topsy-turvy, I get up out of bed during the night and do extra practices in another room away from my husband so as not disturb him. No tossing and turning for me!

My ways of dealing are certainly not the only ways an individual should learn to cope. There are many ways; hundreds and thousands of ways to do it, but you must find your own way and practice while you are healthy and not just when you are sick. You might be working more than one shift and have a truly stressful life. You can take a few minutes each hour to do some of the things I have mentioned. A few times a week you can get in a class from someone whose teachings appeal to you, or even read an inspiring article.

Stop spreading the negative mantras that tell you there is no recourse to a cold, flu (or even a life threatening illness.) Unless you really want those days in bed suffering, train yourself to be the empowered energetic self-healer who is connected to the one Healing Source, no matter how you name him/her/it. I like to believe you have to ‘put out your hands’. to ‘catch a cold’ in the same way as catching a ball. Step aside! Don’t be guilty, make excuses, or feel sorry. Train your immune system daily. And if you do ‘come down’ with something, know right away that it is temporary. (Notice the phrase, ‘come down’… That is a clue to your subconscious that you better get back up again, don’t you think? Well I DO think that!)

I have come to the understandings of biologist Bruce Lipton, whose website can be found via search engines on the internet. I find there is comfort in the research he offers and the history he shows supporting a ‘new paradigm of thought’ being popularized that has been around for thousands of years. His website, last I looked, has free articles in his archives. You can glean from it some of the theories that have been enhanced by previous studies on the subject (since the 1960’s), of why our minds are now proven to control our cells and therefore our genes. It is no longer Pollyanna-ism of ‘mind over matter’-type wishful thinking. So much research is now available and is proving that we are best NOT cowering in fear of germs or even of inheriting a disease from our parents and other genealogically close relatives. Studies have shown that adopted children can have just as many tendencies to get a disease of their adopted parents. They become open to getting the illness because they have psychologically opened up to the wound of the caretaker. It is the fears and cowering attitude itself that informs your cells that you are vulnerable and opens the genes to your thought language which is proven again and again as the major key to bringing on disorders of the body, mind, emotions, spirit and energy. Your thoughts are precious and need to be guided with your good intention by developing your subconscious understandings of this truth: Your DNA does support and materialize just about everything you believe.

The pharmaceutical world and medical establishment makes very much money on human frailties that are exacerbated by keeping from you the now well researched knowledge of your human ability to change your mind and change your cells. If people don’t train to discard fears… sorry to say it, but those above mentioned industries will still be the ones who are keeping you fearful instead of you yourself providing the education you need to transform your limiting beliefs and therefore your very own DNA.

The above information will help you to understand that negative mantras must be ousted from your habitual way of speaking to yourself. Now that extensive research continuously increases highlighting the ability our DNA has to be transformed by our language, we can NOW benefit greatly. Deep studies are being done all over the world. Start understanding that YOU are in CHARGE when you feel symptoms of sickness. The following is something I edited down to points which I found in a forwarded e-mail:

DNA Discoveries From Russia
1. DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies without cutting out and replacing single genes.
2. 90% of DNA was once considered “junk DNA.”
3. Our DNA is not only responsible for the construction of our body but also serves as data storage and communication. It follows the same rules as all our human languages.
4. Therefore, human languages did not appear coincidentally but are a reflection of our inherent DNA.
Biologist Pjotr Garjajev and his colleagues explored the vibrational behavior of DNA. His team managed, for example, to modulate certain frequency patterns (sound) onto a laser-like ray which influenced DNA frequency and thus the genetic information itself.
5. In living tissue, not in vitro, DNA will always react to language-modulated laser rays and even to radio waves, if the proper frequencies (sound) are being used.
6. It is entirely normal and natural for our DNA to react to language.

This information edited and translated by Baerbel on 1/17/05 & condensed to 6 pointsby R. Cohan, from Internet forward Aug. 3, ’05

Build a Paperless World

Eyes of the world are turning to Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009. Delegates from 192 countries are trying to come up with a global agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation is one issue that is high on the agenda, the intergovernmental panel on climate change now estimates that the cutting down of forests contributes almost 20 per cent of global carbon emissions. We are facing the melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, expanding desertification, widespread drought and a series of problems, so we have to do something to avoid those in our daily life.

Some people might say, I have never cut down a tree in my life. Think about it, how much paper you consume every day? According to a case study by Heinz Center, 0.30 to 0.32 tons of carbon (1.11 to 1.17 tons of CO2) are emitted for every ton of paper produced. So building a paperless lifestyle is essential for reducing carbon emissions.

Building paperless office

PDF format plays an important role during the process. Use PDF format to create, display, interact and store can greatly reduce the consumption of paper. Also, wide use of PDF format can lower the cost for the office.

According to Adobe, over 1.5 billion PDF files have been downloaded from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website since 1998. Distributing PDF files online costs about a penny for 1,000 tax documents and forms, compared with about US$6 for each individual taxpayer order sent via mail.

For enterprise, dealing with paper flow is one of the troublesome challenges. Everything is paper-based, accompany with manual processes in the past. But now with the concept of building paperless office, we keep everything in PDF format. Contracts are saved in PDF format and sent via Email instead of fax. PDF/A is a file format for the long-term archiving of electronic documents, so keeping all the data in PDF format for future review and backup is reliable. A free Adobe Reader is the only requirement for viewing PDF files. Creating a PDF files is as easy as ABC since Microsoft Office 2007 has the save as PDF add-on. And it is easy to convert PDF to Word for editing. Dealing with PDF format is much easier than handling paper. Of course, a company can save the warehouse for data storage, the cost for paper, copy machines and fax facility. Meanwhile, paperless office has the power to benefit the environment and the communities.

Personal paperless lifestyle

Paperless lifestyle is also a fashion in our daily life. With the boost of E-reader, like Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, publishing and related print industries are facing revolution. We will change the traditional reading experience forever.

Do you still remember the last time you write a letter to your friends? Maybe some teenagers have never write a letter in their life because we are getting use to communicating with others via Internet and Email. We have Facebook, Twitter and some other social media. We send greeting e-cards instead of sending paper cards during Christmas. If a person have a good command of using Internet, creating and editing PDF, paperless world will make them more colorful and easier in daily life.

Transforming paper-based documents to digital-based documents is a main concept of reducing of paper consumption, which will control the deforestation, so that we can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. Copenhagen Climate Change Conference is just a call to action.

For more information or software related to PDF such as PDF merger and password remover. Please visit: []. There you can find a lot of third-party software with different function related to PDF.

Real Estate Stories that Show You How

Let’s begin easing you out of the pits. I mean, comfort zone! I’m going to slowly and methodically give you as many little sparks and insights to the relatively simple ways that ordinary people use real estate to achieve extraordinary results.

Stories are the best spark plugs. They let you casually observe from a safe, secure and understandable view point. I will write to answer most of the questions that I feel I myself would ask if I was reading what you are about to read.

I want you to know something from the very start of this report and that something is this: I care about you and I sincerely mean that. I really do want you to move to a new comfort zone, one that is pleasurable and free from fear. A place where you realize you have the power to achieve greater things than you currently can imagine.

It’s possible for you to start being a more powerfully directed purpose-driven individual who is well organized and on track to higher achievement. You will change and grow, slowly and steadily with every page you read. With every thought and insight you gain, your desire and courage will grow as well.

Napoleon Hill wrote one of the greatest books of all time. It’s called “Think and Grow Rich.” The essence of that book, the secret it reveals time and again is this: you must develop a burning desire.

Don’t put this book down thinking the previous statement is cliché and that you already knew that! I am simply leading you to my next point, the next point being is – your desire needs a starting point. So to start developing desire, my secret is you must have a purpose. Why do you want to pursue real estate? I know what you’re thinking: to make money, to have security, to feel useful and appear successful. Good points. I agree you can have all of that and more if that is what you desire.

Now here is something that comes before any of those things you desire. What is the purpose of all those things? Purpose, purpose, purpose…you need to first define purpose before you get the things. My purpose, or so I thought early in my career, was to move up to a nicer house and have my first house become my first rental property. When I moved up to the next one, I quickly learned as soon as I rented it out, I was in some way responsible for creating happiness and security in the life of another person that was of no relation to me.

It soon was evident to me how the choices I made in choosing that first property either would help me or hurt me in my quest to succeed in the real estate investment business.

All of it is cumulative, everything you do and how you do it adds up. It compounds itself and it either makes your life easier or more difficult. I am going to give you experiences that you can learn from that will make your life easier; I am going to show you how. That is my purpose.

The book that gave me the unknowing courage to take my first steps in real estate was a book called “How I Turned $1000 into $3 Million in real estate in my spare time” by William Nickerson. He was a master storyteller and by osmosis, after reading his book, I found myself gravitating towards the real estate classified section of my Sunday paper.

Eventually I leapt and my life had changed. It was an FHA foreclosure, a two-bedroom, one-bath home with a built-in, screened-in pool, with a Jacuzzi and a built-in sprinkler system. I bought it for $46,000 and used the HUD 203K rehab program to fix it up. I spent $16,000 to update and make repairs. They then gave me one loan for a total of $62,000. It took me three months to complete it and I was in; I had done it!

My life changed, I learned, I took the leap. From then on I had confidence. I had already had my first home but now I had two. Well, I was in the Coast Guard and wouldn’t you know, three months later we moved. Uncle Sam took me out of St. Petersburg, Florida and dropped me in Kodiak, Alaska, for my next tour of duty.

Well guess what? I was armed with ambition, courage, confidence and just enough knowledge to be considered dangerous, so I bought a duplex as soon as I came ashore on Kodiak Island. Now I had three dwellings and my relationships and responsibilities were growing with my new tenants counting on me to provide a clean, functional and pleasing environment for them to exist in.

It looked like this: My mother rented my first house and an elderly couple rented the second one and my duplex came with an existing tenant who was a hospital administrator, so I was lucky. I was able to ease myself into the role of landlord without getting burned early in my career. I now had two houses and a duplex in the span of about one year. My brothers and some other family members took notice and were pretty well dumbfounded.

They couldn’t figure out how I had, all of a sudden, become a real estate wizard.

It felt good to make that change in so short a time.

I got that from reading a book! And that my friend is how you are going to do the majority of everything you do in real estate, by reading and taking steps towards duplicating the success of others in a repeatable pattern. The key is to understand that you can do it if you read the right books and apply the very basic formulas that are handed to you.
There lies in: Magic Bullets in Real Estate

This is a common man or woman’s real estate manual. William Nickerson never gave me anything so easy as “Magic Bullets!” So I learned trial by fire and it has been very gratifying. I’ve since went on to collect 17 properties, 23 tenants, 2 real estate licenses in Florida and Alaska, an assistant appraiser’s certificate and over a hundred books on real estate. I just kept learning and growing and gaining momentum for the last 13 years. I am still in the Coast Guard, too, and I work at Alaska One Realty in my spare time. In two more years, I will be retired at the ripe old age of 42. Sounds like a sort of fairytale, doesn’t it? Don’t let me fool you. It’s hard work and I’m still not a millionaire, but I want you to have the truth, so I will be honest with you every step of the way.

I know why I am not a millionaire and here is why. I would periodically sell property that was going up in value and paying for itself through the rent checks. But being in the Coast Guard would dislocate me every four years, so I found myself selling out in order to avoid being what is called “an absentee landlord.”

This is an important lesson for you. It has prevented me from becoming a millionaire up to this point. The lesson is: find an area on this planet that you could and will live in, and stay close to it. Don’t move more than 10 miles from your farm area. The farm area is where all your properties are located. Long distance “land lording” is tough! It can be done but you lose the ability to control the situation compared to if you were there. I’ve served my country and saved people’s lives, so for me it has not been in vain. I have no regrets but if you don’t have to leave your area of expertise, don’t!

The networks you build and the contacts you build, in the process of “doing” real estate, are so valuable that when they are no longer at your disposal, it puts you at a serious disadvantage.

Not to mention when you move you have to acclimate yourself to an entirely different market, build new trust-based relationships and start all over again. It’s like a treadmill you’ll be running and running, however it gets you nowhere.

I’ve used it to my advantage. I have been forced to accelerate my abilities to rapidly duplicate my success whenever I am moved, but it is still an uphill battle. My point: Don’t move too far from your farm or your network of bankers, appraisers, carpenters, tradesman, real estate, friends, tenants and so on. Once you have the skill you can duplicate your success anywhere you go but if you don’t have to go…enough said on that!

I like to say, “Don’t sell the goose to get the eggs.” What that means is if you need money to buy more property, use equity lines from other property to do it. You will get the same amount of money or more by using an equity line as if you sold it. However, you get to keep the asset and the money! I go into this in “Magic Bullets,” so I won’t drone on here. Just know you don’t have to sell your property to get the cash out of them.

So here we are. You know a little bit about me and you may have picked up a nugget or two. Let’s find a few more.

There once was a man who wanted to buy some investment property, so what he did was look at growth patterns. You should do this too, by going to your city’s planning and zoning department. You can see growth patterns and you definitely want to buy property that stands in the way of growth.

This is how he used what he learned. He saw that city planners had decided that a new artery (highway) would benefit their city by creating linkage to another city about 100 miles away, so being a smart investor he only went as far as a ten mile limit to be able to be close to his investment.

Now on average, new growth will radiate out from existing prosperous cities in the direction it is planned at a rate of about one mile per year. So our smart investor had a 10 – 12 year plan to cash out in about 10 – 12 years.

What he did was buy, I believe, 10 acres of commercially zoned property very cheaply because there was no demand at the time. He bought it, fenced it in, put up some lights and a gate, and held onto that little bugger. Now that new highway was coming his way and the good folks, through their taxes, were paying to have it built.

It didn’t take long for the heavy equipment to start cutting a swath towards his fenced-in storage facility and when they got close enough to him, he started renting out a secure area for everything, from road cones to generators to backhoes. You name it – it was stored there. This more than paid his land off.

Now the men and their equipment eventually moved on further down the trail but they left a finished highway behind them. And guess what? Low and behold, people started driving on it, and then started buying property to build houses on to get away from the city. Since the new highway was a straight shot into town, ten miles out was breeze.

Well, of course, here comes the herd and everyone is just populating the whole darned area. And within ten years, residential housing surrounds Mr. Investor, and can you guess what he’s got? Yep, a prime piece of commercial property, 10 acres large.

So in accordance with his 10-12 year plan, he sells his storage facility to make room for the new office/business park complex for over $2,000,000. That, my friend, is vision, and the sooner you get a clear picture of what it is that you want to specialize in, the sooner you can retire to the islands.

How hard was that? Don’t tell me you can’t do it, you can! I’m here to help you. I’m going to give you secrets no one else dares. Do you ever wonder why people won’t tell you the secrets? Of course you already know this but I’ll tell you anyway. It is because they are operating on a scarcity mentality, as though there won’t be any left for them. Or if learn something and act on it, you will get ahead and have a great life. Well, misery loves company and silent oppression is the rule.

Here’s a little story that poor quality real estate agents won’t appreciate either but I’m going to tell it to you anyway. The reason I can tell it is because there are some great real estate agents out there who absolutely don’t fear what I am about to tell you and would let you know it if they were in my position.

Here’s the deal: Some agents want to be like the Wizard of Oz. They want to create the appearance of marketing and transacting real estate as being technical and very legal, a deep dark mystery. Well, it’s not! The truth be told, you can write a contract on a napkin and it would stand up in court. I will emphasize here that you write on that napkin along with the terms of your agreement, “The terms set forth on this here napkin are subject to my attorney’s approval.”

An attorney will cover you completely for around $750.00. Prices may vary, however that is an average home transaction. There is a lot I am leaving out here but my point is this: If you own property, you can sell it anyway you want. “Magic Bullets” will teach you. Let’s move on.

Exposure is the key to finding buyers and sellers in real estate. If a property is priced fairly and everyone who is looking for that type of property knows that it is in the availability pool, it will be found and the transaction will proceed as advertised. Price it right, advertise it properly and let the lawyer take care of the details. No commission, just a flat fee. Period.

Now that I have that off my chest, I will tell you a story about Dan, a 21-year old friend of mine, and his wife and their new baby. He’s a hardworking guy who does his work without complaint and all the other “workers” pick on him for working so hard. Can you believe it? The other guys are so insecure and lazy that they make fun of a guy who is doing the work of three men, mainly of the three who are ridiculing him. Well, believe me, this doesn’t go unnoticed by me and I take him under my wing. Dan wants to buy a house, so I begin the process of saving him years of trial by fire and save him $25,000 at no charge. That is because he deserved my help.

Anyway, here is the story: I began with him by asking him what type of home he thought he would be comfortable with and a price range. He indicated a 3-bedroom for around $100,000.

Knowing what he wanted and knowing the area, I was able to take him shopping for the house he was looking for. Now I always go after the “For Sale by Owner” homes first because I know they won’t be adding any commission figure into their price, because they won’t be paying one. So at 6% of $100,000 he will get $6,000 more “house” for his precious dollar.

I also told him besides the “For Sale by Owner” homes, we would be looking at oddball discount companies that help distressed sellers further part with their money and property. The mentality of a seller who uses cheesy companies to help them sell their property is pennywise and pound-foolish. If you’re going to use professionals, then get a professional.

So off we go. After a day or so, we have found our house. Sure enough, El Cheeso Inc. has a sign on it. The screen doors are flapping in the breeze, the weeds are dancing on the lawn, but this house is indeed a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 1-car garage with a fenced yard and it’s selling for $110,000. Well, due to the fact that there is a divorce in progress, and a new girlfriend who doesn’t like the place, and El Cheeso Inc. giving no representation, I negotiate for Dan and he gets it for $99,000. What’s so great about this deal is this exact same floor plan in another house was for sale down the street, on the same street, for $25,000 more.

The moral of the story is good things come to those who deserve it, and that is another key to real estate. You must work hard so others will take notice of you and help you succeed.

Here’s a beauty for you. This is about being in real estate circles and keeping your eyes and ears open and often times your “yapper” closed. This is the story of Brian and Julie. Here we have two hardworking souls. They have been married for 20 years and they have weathered the storms of matrimony. Julie works at a real estate office as an office manager. No real estate license, but she works at an office that sells a lot of waterfront property. So we are talking about location and being in the right place at the right time, and here comes a seller in the door of the office stating she is going to sell her older waterfront home. She is willing to take $180,000.

Julie tells Brian, they look at it and sure enough, this pearl is right on the water. She’s a gem waiting to be polished up, so Brian and Julie sell their condominium and move in. Well, they aren’t making any more waterfront property, so Brian goes to work polishing this jewel up.

Now, they have bought this house under market value in an appreciating market. So about one and a half years later, this property is worth over $350,000 and still climbing. Well, Brian is no dummy, so he gets to know his neighborhood. He strolls, takes walks and notices, you guessed it, a vacant, neglected jewel on an inside double lot. He tracks down the elderly lady, who is living with her sister, through the county records office and buys the house, including the extra lot, for a total of $120,000. Now Brian can walk to his new “jewel” and he starts polishing it. The neighbors start noticing and are amazed at his deal. He has offers of $180,000, $200,000 and $60,000 for just the lot. You name it. Now that the exposure is there, everyone wants a piece of it.

Well, this is what Brian did. He rented his first house out, moved into the second one and used plans that I gave to him to build a third house on the vacant lot, using the equity he accumulated from the first house that went up so much. And here’s how this thing shakes out: $180,000 for his first house and it’s value goes up to $365,000; he picked up the next jewel for $120,000 and he paid cash using the equity from the first house. Now he takes out a new mortgage on his second house for $120,000 and builds a third. The value at last count was $815,000 and he owed a grand total $300,000. That’s a half million-dollar profit in 5 years!

Now what does this story tell us? #1 – it says, “work hard”; #2 – keep your eyes open; #3 – use equity lines; #4 – don’t sell; #5 – learn how to be a landlord; #6 – be in locations that appreciate; #7 – buy things that are limited in availability; #8 – know how to research owners and repair property; #9 – get your partner’s help (spouse); #10 – use knowledgeable friends to help you see potential (I gave him the plans and advised him not to sell anything!).

Can you get any more lessons out of this story? I’m sure you can. Just read it again and think on it. Jot down your ideas and put them to work. Real estate is not that hard, folks! You can do it. With a few magic bullets, some spark plugs and a good mentor to show you how, you can do it too!

Let’s you and me talk for just a minute here, OK! Have you ever been really good at something and been able to step back and see the whole thing for what it is was? You just know exactly how to do it and you can see the end result clearly in your mind before you start. It’s predictable to you. It’s almost second nature, so you are comfortable doing it. It’s almost become boring to you; your comfort zone is such that you can do it in your sleep.

I’ve gotten that way with certain types of real estate and I see people everyday that are so afraid of taking the first step that they are literally paralyzed. They make excuses and put it off, and rationalize and live a quiet life of desperation. They don’t trust themselves and as a result of the unknown they can’t trust anyone else either. This is a vicious cycle because the longer they wait the more it reinforces their beliefs.

I just want to grab them by the collar, take them to the bank and make them tell the banker, “Pre-qualify me!” Then walk them out the door and show them how to do something that will change their life forever, and that is to buy the first property, and then a second. Then their fear is gone and they grow to be of service to everyone who is ready for their assistance.

Let me tell you this: After you finish reading the rest of this report and you read the “Magic Bullets” book, your fears will be subdued and you will do something and your life will change. If you cannot succeed with what I am intent on showing you, then something is not right. I believe your desire would be your major obstacle, so if that’s the case, read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and come back to me then.

Let’s get back to real estate education, shall we? Do you know who the largest commercial real estate owner in the U.S. is? It’s McDonalds Corporation. Yep, and on top of that, they also have the most valuable locations for their type of business. The research they do on demographics and traffic counts is unparalleled!

If you were ever going to open a fast food restaurant, just put it near a McDonalds. You would survive just on the volume of people who flock or pass by the location that McDonalds has already decided meets all the critical data to support their restaurant business. Your restaurant, if you had good food and service, would flourish. Just sell something a little different than McDonalds. That’s leveraging someone else’s expertise in evaluating a location for a certain type of real estate.

Now that is a principle and principles are like natural laws. A natural law always works in every situation in its own way. It’s like gravity – it always works! Here on earth, anyway.

So in real estate it doesn’t matter what type it is, whether it’s commercial, residential, industrial or recreational. Look for signs that serious market studies have been undertaken by major operators and buy things that can flourish in the presence of those concerns.

For instance, let’s use Home Depot as an example. If Home Depot decides to build on a site, every residential lot within a mile of that new center will be bought up as soon as the Home Depot commits to build! Why?

Because smart investors know that Home Depot has done the market study and the area will be a prosperous one.

On top of that, it will provide jobs, it will pay taxes, it will provide materials to actually build the neighborhoods with, and people will shop there once their houses are built. The same goes for Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and other smart business concerns.

You may or may not have noticed this but take a look the next time you are driving around. Here is what you should see. As you drive into cities from the suburbs, you’ll notice donut shops, gas stations with convenience coffee centers, bagel shops, and etcetera, on the side of the road that people travel to on their way into the city to go to work. These are morning activity business centers.
Now on your way home, out of the city, you will see restaurants that cater to the evening meal crowd: KFC, Taco Bell, Subway and Pizza Hut. That’s because people don’t go there for breakfast. They get it on their way home, outbound from the city at night. If you put your restaurant on the wrong side of the road, you could be making a huge strategical error. Think!

Location, location, location as they say, are the 3 most important things in real estate. That is a very true statement. With residential property, that boils down to safety, security and convenience. So buy homes in good neighborhoods, cul-de-sacs preferably. No noise or through traffic, no escape routes for thieves, and a private setting, where kids play in the street without getting run down.

Security = close to hospitals, police and fire protection for obvious reasons.

Convenience = stores, gas stations, restaurants, small businesses, parks and recreation and access to major highways to circulate or evacuate if necessary.

You might get a great deal on a piece of properly but if it takes you a half hour to get a loaf of bread. What kind of resale will that great deal offer? Another great deal may back up to or face a busy street. That’s often a poor choice as well…noise, pollution, the loss of privacy and curb appeal are all factors here.

The two best types of property to buy are:

1. Property that no one else knows is for sale! Why? Because you have no

2. Property no one wants! You just have to figure out why people don’t want it.

If you can turn that lemon into lemonade through some problem solving, that

jewel may just shine because you used the right magic polish.

In real estate, you get paid when you solve problems. That is a fact!

Here is a golden nugget for you. If you do this, it will catapult your real estate investment career. I guarantee you will gain more insight to real estate by doing this one thing than just about anything else you could possibly do. The golden nugget is this: Take a real estate appraisal course. It will fly by, a few weekends and it’s over, but the perspective and the information you gain from the class is priceless. It gives you vision, ideas and understanding. You will have an edge over every other investor who has not done it.

I had an instructor, who by some stroke of luck, I was privileged to be taught by. His name is Steven V. and he is truly a genius. This guy could make millions if he applied himself to real estate investment but he chooses to teach and give back to others in that way. He is very comfortable in life and money is a by-product for Steven. When I finished the class, I had appraisers wanting to hire me to go to work. Now I don’t want to work as an appraiser. I just want to think like one and that is why I took that four-weekend course. That class taught me more than both of my real estate licensing courses combined. The reason for that is real estate classes deal with state laws, contracts, regulations and ethics. Appraisal focuses on evaluating real estate and that is what you want to learn as an investor.

A real estate license can actually hold you back from being a savvy investor and here’s why: #1 – You have to announce to every seller that you are an agent. It’s an ethics rule and a disclosure law. Well, now the seller is on guard for all kinds of reasons and you waste precious time overcoming negative reactions. #2 – When you go to sell your real estate, the same things apply but add to that scenario the fact that if you make large profits on property that you sell, people can come after you, saying you took advantage of them because of your expertise. And they win!

So you don’t need to go to college for 4 years and you don’t need a real estate license. What you do need is a guy like me to convince you to go to appraisal school and read books like the one you have now.

Then go out and do it, using a lawyer to protect you every step of the way. Again, here is a good point to make. Simply weave into every agreement or offer you make the following statement: This entire agreement is subject to my attorney’s approval. I can’t stress that enough. That’s one line of text. That covers it all. It gives you time to investigate deals. It protects your interests and keeps you from getting burned in this business.

Here are a couple more beauties that I use to protect myself and you should too.
These are used with initial purchase offers:

1. Willing to pay X amount of dollars or appraised value, whichever is less.
(That says, “I’m only going to pay so much but if the appraisal is lower than

what I offered, than I am going to get it for the lower price. I don’t get

2. Subject to my partner’s approval. (My partner was always my wife, and if she

didn’t like it, the deal was null and void, cancelled, over, kaput, finito.)

Now nothing says my partner wasn’t my dog, so if there’s no fire hydrant, well the deal could be off.

Those are examples of escape clauses that could be abused to the point of being called “weasel clauses.” Don’t be a weasel! They give you a short period of time to have the option to buy something first with the right to cancel the deal, contingent upon something or someone else’s decision.

I use them to protect myself and to get a little time to do my research on the property. Don’t use them to unfairly tie a seller’s hands. Be fair and try to move quickly when you do employ them.
What you are doing is creating a short time, zero-cost option to buy real estate. Here is a little trick and I don’t use it very often but it can be used in a fair manner so I will give you the nugget. When you write an offer to purchase property, on the top line of the contract is a line that indicates who the buyer is. On that line in certain cases, I will write my name plus the words or assigns, like this:
Buyers: Dan Auito or assigns

What that word “assigns” does is this: it allows me to sell by assigning my right to buy the property to someone else. Dirty dealers will take advantage of people with that word if they can get away with it.

Here’s where I would use it. In real estate, a lot of bargain hunters look for distressed property. You know, the fixer-uppers, the abandoned, condemned, fire-damaged stuff. I go a step further and look for distressed sellers such as death, divorce, relocation, but a lot of times I don’t specialize in that type of property.

That’s OK because if it’s a steal and I get it for 40 – 50% off, I will assign it to someone who does deal in that type of property and make a profit by assigning it.

I’ll always ask the distressed seller if that is a problem and if it is, I will buy it outright, then flip it but it costs more to do that. So I’ll explain this to the seller and get their permission to use it. I don’t slip it in on them. You will have a miserable existence if you practice real estate by deceit. Natural law will crush you; play fair! Purpose, passion and desire cannot be achieved or acquired by deceit. That’s a quotable quote. I hope you remember it.

Let’s get on with another story. This illustrates another fine example for you. This story is about a family who had business interests outside of real estate investing and as a result of the successes of their other businesses they had fairly large sums of money to play real estate like a monopoly game. Power can be dangerous in the wrong hands!

So here we go. This flush with cash family sees an opportunity to take advantage of an overlooked or left alone market. That market is the old-fashioned trailer park, or shall we say Mobile Home Park.

Anyway, the way most mobile home parks came into existence was this: Usually a man of integrity and strong work ethic coupled with a love for his fellow man would buy a piece of land suitable to the placement of mobile homes. As people moved in, he and his wife would welcome them and the neighbors would greet them and the community would become established.

The private owner would dig his own sewer lines and cut his own roads and landscape the park. Maybe put in the clubhouse complete with a swimming pool, shuffleboard, pool table and meeting hall. As time marched on, the residents bonded with each other and a family-friendly community took root. Well this man of integrity had a problem. Since all of his tenants are his friends, he is pressured not to raise the lot rents with inflation.

So the rents over the years are kept very low in the park and now this man and his wife are getting old. Perfect timing for our investors to come knocking and offer our private aging park owner a 2 million dollar price for his 10 acres of mobile home lots. This is a once in a lifetime offer and many park owners cashed out.

What people didn’t see was these investors were systematically and methodically doing this all over the place and once they cashed out as many mom and pops as they could, they lowered the boom.

Now they the investors had control of many parks in the same areas and they started raising the lot rents. You see, they didn’t have any emotional ties to the residents and they didn’t live there, so it was a straightforward business deal: either pay the new higher rent or move.

The residents said, “To hell with you new owner, we are moving.” “Well, fine, go ahead,” they said. Now the residents started calling around to find another park with low rents but guess who owned those? Yep, our investors did, and those lot rents were going up too. So the mom and pops who didn’t sell were full and it would cost on average of about $7,000 to relocate to another park even if they could find a vacancy.

The old folks who had it so good for so long were faced with a new reality and that was that they had no choice but to pay up or move, and moving, in many cases, wasn’t an option. These investors exploited a complete segment of the market and made millions and millions in profit and continue to do so today.

It wasn’t long after this happened that you started seeing signs saying, “This is a resident owned community.” People eventually got smart and started buying that little lot that their trailer was sitting on and they began paying association dues for the clubhouse and security and grounds, maintenance and road repair. The good ole days are nothing but a fond memory.

Life goes on but America did not change for the better as a result of these types of people. Their only purpose was to make money; I believe they will die alone and in misery as a result of their way of life.

So I ask you again, can you be passionate and put your heart into investing in real estate by investing the way our corporate investors did? I think not. Money is no good when you get it by deceitful ways. I encourage you to work at balancing your objectives. Lease optioning, flippers…you are walking a fine line.

Here’s a flip side to communal living. This story is a happier scenario, so let’s have a little joy here. I once lived in Key West and I lived off base. Well, I thought I lived next door to Noah, and it sounded as though he was building another ark. All summer long, hammers and saws seemed to be making some type of racket, so naturally being the neighbor I was, I got to know the man next door. He never went to work and I asked him one day, “Don’t you have a job and he kind of grinned and put his hammer down and this is Mark’s story.

Mark and his brother were from the Northeast and they had a 30-room boarding house for college kids there, at something like $300.00 a month. That was about $9,000 a month and they made the parents responsible for the rent payments. Mark would spend his time with his family in the Keys for the nine months that school was in session. His brother was a local up North and he took care of the toilets, faucets, doors and windows. Yes, they had their very own animal house going on there, but Mark factored in the abuse and would spend 2 – 3 months a year, putting the animal house back together while the animals went home for summer break.

Mark only worked three months a year and the house (ark) that he built next to us was a masterpiece; it was beautiful. He was a master craftsman and he loved his work and spent a lot of his time with his family in a wonderful climate. Makes you kind of jealous, doesn’t it? Well, don’t let it because you can do it, too, but you must get started. Mark was 45 when I met him. I believe he was 25 when he got started, so my advice to you is to get started now!

I used to be a slave to my day timer. I would fly from Anchorage, Alaska back to Dallas, Texas and leave it on the plane in Seattle. Consequently, the next week, if my assistant wasn’t with me or until the airlines would send it back to me, I would be lost. I didn’t know where I had to go, who I had to see or even when to be there! I don’t even carry one today! I load everything I have to do the next week on my body files, things like, my appointments, addresses, phone numbers, or anything else that cover these same scheduled events. I actually load them sometimes Sunday night or Monday morning while I shower. It’s definitely the best stress reliever I have ever found and I teach it in our workshops. I can make it adjustable for any given day, or a month at a time. That’s my choice!

Imagine never ever having to be the poster child for sticky notes. Impossible you say, well ask the 1000’s of students graduated from MTI’s 7-hour workshop. By priming your mind, with mindful based stress reduction techniques, and using mental file folders or body files, it’s definitely achievable. You see, I never have left my house, my office. or anywhere else and left an arm or a leg, they’re always with me.

Yes, I know how your husband or wife calls you at the office or home and says, “Hey sweetheart before you come home do you mind picking up these things? Then they give you the list and say. “Oh and don’t forget to write them down.” You know what happens next. The list you made while on the phone in your office or on the dining room table is still exactly where you left it before you walked through the door of that grocery store. You immediately stress out thinking what was it I was supposed to get? Or you do the universal shuffle and embarrass yourself by calling your loved one to explain how it blew out the window, or someone spilled coffee on it and you can no longer read it. How creative you get with your excuse is your own vice.

The body files I am referring to are 10 files built right on your body. You can load it with grocery items, things to do, flight information, or a list of other important things you normally carry around in your notebooks, purses, wallets, or the famous day timer. Yes the one I left on the plane I mentioned above. Oh and by the way if you find my day timer no need to return it, remember my day timer is in my mind!

Well strap in and let me take you through a short explanation of what we teach to those 1000’s of workshop attendees I referred to above. That’s right, a system to change their life. Hopefully to help us build the memory traces, or tangles we need to have when those fearful cognitive declines hit us in our latter years. Or I might even mention the mental disorders caused by internal or external diseases, the kinds that grasp so many unfortunate individuals in life today. I hate to even have to think about the existing brain maladies of life today our medical professionals have to treat. Diseases we get because we didn’t have some forethought or guidance in designing our lifestyles, or brain maintenance techniques. Research or developments in science are now being discovered through longitudinal or double blind studies today to help eliminate those maladies.

I hope I haven’t alarmed you or maybe I do hope I have alarmed you. I am not trying to cause you Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am merely trying to make you aware of the benefits of brain development and maintenance on a daily basis. Yes, today with the new findings and technical breakthroughs, we can have the healthy brain now being shown on TV and the internet you too can have a healthy brain.

After attending a program with, my brother in law and sister in law who are both M.D.’s one in internal medicine and his wife rehabilatative medicine, put on by the ANNENBERG CENTER FOR HEALTH SCIENCES AT EISENHOWER I quickly became aware of the problem. In that program called “The Memory Prescription: Assessing and Treating the Spectrum of Brain Impairment” in 2004, I realized the major problem most individuals are having universally is M.C.I. It’s called Mild Cognitive Impairment it is alive and running wild. The real reason is because we have not been taught formalized Mnemonic training or proper brain maintenance. Lack of programs like these causes us to continue encoding, storing and poorly retrieving the same way we always have. I then realized how important memory training will become in the future. It solidified in my mind why people are so adamant about looking for ways to avoid the cognitive decline that comes with aging. Sometimes these cognitive declines are due to environmental toxins or just the dreaded inflammations our body gets internally because of the stress levels we don’t recognize we have or intend to cause ourselves.

We do have internal and external environmental toxins that can be diminished or lightened with proper brain care and nourishment. Most are agricultural toxins or our internal inflammation of the body due to stress, or other chemical transmitters. By training your working memory you wil alleviate some of the cortisol stress hormones generated by the Adrenal gland.

At MTI we teach and deliver formalized memory training workshops in businesses today. We either do by way of a public forum or at in-house venues it’s our effort to contribute. Even though many are generic basic programs we can customize programs based on industry or corporation management styles or new paradigms. We have been hired to teach how to remember paradigms such as Six Sigma Training or Stephen Coveys 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers. We teach these skills to help people remember by using the following tools: A blended combination of body files, picture vocabularies for numbers and mnemonic devices for formulas, concepts or theory education.

The important things you have to remember you need to learn by using experiential instruction. This makes it more conducive to everyday multi-tasking operations within your mind. Organization is the key to memory. What I mean is having a mental location to store information. Your normal process of data gathering through encoding, storage and retrieval processes are rearranged to Encode, recode then store for retrieval. Where better to be able to do that than by using your mental and physical capacities you now have?

When we build these body files, we call look files, because you can see them in your external view as well as your mind’s eye, we then teach our attendee’s how to utilize them. A person’s intuitive nature then becomes an active tool along with memory fabrication. When you utilize the different learning mechanisms such as sight, touch, hearing, smelling, and emotional attachment values you can more effectively recode data you have learned or learn every day. I believe your picture vocabularies we each individually build proactively create conscious and unconscious memories. These memories acquired by us form our mind and otherwise are the essence of our long term and short term capacities.

The “Body Files” we help you create are also tied through a memory matrix to learning and utilizing mnemonic devices. In addition, at the same time you learn these files in an order we then we teach to file in that same exact order. We create file structures you will use now and in the future using phonetic tools and applications. The combination of files, time intervals daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly help us recall. It then gives us the springboard effect to broaden our comprehension, increase our retention values ultimately reducing the time involved in the learning curve.

Now let me go back and try to explain what I mean by the above sequence of applications and events. There are 10 files we build on your body. They are listed below and I will build them in your mind if you will allow me. I say that with no reservation that it can be done because every one of us has this innate ability laying dormant in our mind. It is actually just a matter of turning the switches on. Your mind works the same way your laptop or desktop computer works it’s just that you haven’t been given or taught the software program to make it run more efficiently. Yes better than any computer built today, or I personally believe, will ever be built in the future.

Let me say we have in the past and currently do deliver workshops both in-house and publicly to employees and management levels of fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, Dell and the other major designers of computer equipment, or operating systems, and software. They probably would not like me to say that but no doubt that they are intellectually and managerially confident in their respective climates. That being said you also have the best camera ever developed or probably will be developed in your eyesight. (ditto on the above disclaimer as well). Your mind works in pictures and searches for action to drive the learning ability. Actually it drives the acronym F.P.G. I will tell you about soon.

The ten files are:

1.- Toes Where I would file the first item to pick up or thing to do.
2.- Knees The next position I would use to store the next item I need to remember.
3.- Muscle I am almost halfway up my body files and have many more. Files that is.
4.- Rear It’s not called a derriere, buttocks, tush, or booty its a rear for a reason.
5.- Lungs I’m halfway there with plenty to spare.
6.- Shoulders It’s a strong place to put things I carry a lot around on it daily.
7.- Collar I sometimes have to stretch It open to file the next item here.
8.- Face I hope egg on it is not the only thing that gets there without planning.
9.- Point The name of the thing I try to make sometimes and my family miss it.
10.-Ceiling The very thing my wife says I hit some times instead of filing to it.

Yes, I know the last file number 10-Ceiling is not actually on your body but it will always be wherever you are. Most people say wait a minute when I go to the grocery store I have to buy a lot more than 10 items and we know that. We teach our students not to worry about the number of items at that point because before the end of their workshop we show them how to load hundreds of items on those same ten files! Yes, it is exciting, unbelievable, mysterious and rewarding. It’s just the opposite way you install a new program on your computer. Instead of unfolding, decompressing or extrapolating the files outward, we compress the files inward in your mind and use bullet points to store multiple items or pictures.

Once we establish the files, we show our students how to file anything to those files. In fact, I have written an audio cd program on how to load all 66 books of the Bible on nine of those ten files so that you can recall them in order or backwards and forwards. We actually, load the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament on your first 9 body files. My wife and I taught tenth grade students in Sunday school for years using these same ten files to remember scripture, key authors and pertinent information about the books of the Bible.

Most of us were taught to read left to right top to bottom, and I recognize not all of us were taught that method, but most of us in the U.S. were. Given that fact, we teach you how to file exactly the opposite way from the bottom up. Our mind, like the computers we created, cannot read a blank or a space so we teach you to how to load your mental file folders accordingly. There are also other rules we teach to expedite your learning of these techniques and processes.

We teach the file picture-glue-method of learning. This is the fourth generation of mnemonics and we are currently working on the fifth as you read this. Now let me explain the F.P.G. system to you.

File- It’s a mental location or somewhere to store information in.
Pictures-That’s because our mind works more efficiently through the use of pictures.
Glue- For the bonding agent used to keep the picture in the file long enough to create a long term memory trace starting in the short term memory status.

The filing of such items as dates, numbers, texts, appointments, abstracts or formulas using this system allows us to recall the items or information at our mental fingertips. We do this eliminating the stresses causing the ultimate memory deficiencies due to age related cognitive decline or mild cognitive impairments. You hold the power to avoid such problems by exercising your brain much like you do for your physical ability. Oh yeah in case you didn’t realize it I just taught you the ten basic phonetic sounds commonly used in our workshops to remember names and other pertinent information. And I did it in your subconscious mind and now can you figure it out. Let me say I am of the opinion that the age related cognitive declines I referred to before I personally believe are not really necessary. I believe research and training of the working memory or fluid intelligence as we psychologist technically call it will begin to change in the future to read just cognitive decline and not age related. I believe in the plasticity of the brain and its ability to reconstruct itself. I don’t really think the age is all it’s made up to be.

To learn more of these types of files and even the more detailed think files we teach used for detailed data recall Please visit our website. If you would like to find out how one can attend our public workshop, have us develop an in-house customized workshop or purchase the systems on audio, you can find it all there. I hope you have enjoyed the read. Please send your comments or questions.

The Memory Technologies Institute is a company that specializes in training business professionals and students in corporate environments and personal settings on how to develop an instant recall memory. These skills are necessary to maintain a productive position in today’s competitive market place in order to be more profitable. Memory Technologies Institute, by simplifying the memory process has become America’s leading memory training workshops. Our highly trained memory speakers and instructors are certified and qualified in accordance with “HR Bill 6578 signed by President Bush in 1989 for the decade of the brain” and speak on a national keynote speaking circuits. The skills they will demonstrate for your group have been featured on television talk shows, radio programs and have been featured in newspapers and magazines.

Harold Mangum Psychologist/President MTI has been studying mneonics for 19 years and currently teaches corporations like Texas Instruments, Haliburton, Schlumberger, AT&T, Xerox, Eastman Kodak, Microsoft, Entex, Sprint USA, Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, 3M and many more fortune 500 companies. His innovative instruction style and authorship of several memory programs, like Maximum Recall Memory, Advanced Memory Recall, Maximum Scripture Memory Recall, and Advance Numbers and Playing cards leads the industry as the most used mnemonics training in the industry. The newest program Maximum Name recall is the newest addition. He is featured as Keynote speaker for hundreds of associations and conferences all over the U.S. Visit [] for more information and how to book a presentation or keynote address at your next conference or convention. The website also has the audio programs for purchase. 1000’s of testimonials on file for review.

Protecting Our Schools on a Budget: Are SRO’s the Only Answer?

If you are the Chief, a patrolman, detective, a school resource officer, or a parent there is a good chance you have found yourself in conversations with friends, colleagues, or citizens about school violence in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. Whether these conversations take place in the squad room, a City Council meeting, or over dinner, it becomes obvious that there is no clear answer to the prevention of school violence. The depravity of the Sandy Hook shooting has shed a very public spot light on the dark reality of how vulnerable our youngest citizens can be at school.

School violence is unfortunately part of our American history dating back to the 18th Century. The Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre of 1764 was regrettably our first introduction to this type of violence. On July 26th, 1764, four American Indian attackers shot and killed over eight school children along with their schoolmaster outside of what is now Greencastle, Pennsylvania. As our history progressed, school shootings did as well. Many believe the increased incidents of school shootings are a product of modern times. However, it has been deemed newsworthy as early as 1874.

After a Los Angeles high school student was shot and killed, the September 11th, 1874 edition of the Los Angeles Herald declared “This boy lost his life through the too common habit among boys of carrying deadly weapons. We do not know that this habit can be broken up. We do not know that school teachers have the right, or would exercise it if they had, of searching the pockets of their pupils, but it seems almost a necessity that some such rule be enforced… Nearly every school-boy carries a pistol, and the power of these pistols range from the harmless six-bit auction concern to the deadly Colt’s six-shooter.”

Colorado has the unfortunate distinction of being home to two of the worst school shootings in history. Columbine (1999) and Platte Canyon (2006) have not only changed the landscape of how law enforcement responds to such incidents, but they have been permanently imprinted into the national consciousness of school violence. With the infamy of these incidents, it is easy to forget that Colorado school shootings can be traced back almost 4 decades prior. On October 17th, 1961, a Morey Junior High student in Denver was shot and killed by a fellow student. Unfortunately, as time has marched on, school shootings in the United States have only increased. Any one even casually paying attention already knows that it’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when. For those of us in law enforcement, we must honestly ask ourselves not if it will happen, but will it happen on our watch in our jurisdiction.

As the tragedy of Sandy Hook was broadcast into the nations’ family rooms on December 14th, 2012, there has been a renewed outcry for increased protection of our school children to shield them from such evil. Before the crime scene was even cleared, the politicians and special interest groups were climbing over each other grabbing headlines to assign blame and offer irrational ‘solutions’ that fit their political views above that of our own children’s safety. On one side of the political aisle are politicians who would have the public believe gun bans, whistles, and call boxes are the only solutions. Politicians on the other side of the aisle want the public to believe armed teachers are the best answer. Members of academia have advocated scraping the Constitution and have told their students to vomit or urinate on potential attackers. Not to be outdone by the stories they cover, even journalists were jumping into the political absurdity by defending ‘Gun Free Zones’ and advocating for the development of bunker-like environments for schools while publicizing businesses who are pushing Kevlar backpacks to alleviate parents’ fears. The ‘good idea fairy’ has unfortunately been making the rounds.

As local and national politicians continue to play the blame game and fail to offer relevant, common sense approaches, communities are naturally turning to their local Police Departments and Sheriffs Offices for reassurance that their children are protected in their schools. On the national level and the local level, the only proposal that seems to have a wide base of support from all political sides is having an increased police presence in our schools.

A December 18th, 2012 (post Sandy Hook) national Gallop poll showed a whopping 87 percent of adults feel ‘Increasing the police presence at schools’ would be either a “very effective” or “somewhat effective” approach to “preventing mass shootings”. A closer examination of the poll results indicated the consensus crosses political affiliation showing 55 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of Democrats, and 53 percent of Independents feel “Increasing the police presence in schools” would be “very effective” in “preventing mass shootings”. Other proposed solutions included the banning of assault and semi-automatic firearms, arming teachers, and increased government spending on mental health yet none of these enjoyed a consensus and each showed considerable political bias towards one party or another.

The concept of Police Officers in our schools is not a new one. The National School Resource Officer Association credits Flint, Michigan with the first deployment of a School Resource Officer in 1959. Over the years, the popularity and successes of the SRO program have grown and made it widely accepted among the general public as well as the Law Enforcement community. A 2006 study by Hickman and Reeves published in Western Criminology Review showed nationally “SRO programs were operational in an estimated 43 percent of local police departments and 47 percent of sheriff’s departments.” Given the current political scrum over various ‘answers’ to school shootings, the SRO program has been under a microscope and has still managed to be widely adopted and come out of the debate relatively clean from partisan politics.

The public has clearly decided that they overwhelming favor an increased police presence in our schools; however, does that necessarily mean that the expansion of SROs into every school is the best solution for school safety? Law Enforcement agencies know that it is not as easy as waving a magic wand to create not only hundreds of new SROs to be placed in every school, but the millions of dollars of funding it will take to hire, train, equip and retain these SROs. Politicians on both the local and federal level like to talk about additional funding for these programs, but there is little hope, with or without additional grant dollars, of increasing the SRO ranks without considering the massive amount of money that would be needed to fund such an expansion.

Presently there are no bills in front of the Colorado Legislature requesting funding specifically for SROs despite public support from numerous legislators. Colorado State Senator Steven King (R-Grand Junction) recently submitted the “School Resource Officer Programs in Public Schools” bill, SB13-138. A close examination of the bill reveals that it does not request any funding for anything. Rather than adding School Resource Officers to our schools, it only adds an SRO to the School Safety Resource Center’s Advisory Board and requires them to hire a full-time grant writer to help school districts apply for grants to be used for unspecified school safety uses.

If a legislator wanted to author a bill that would fund a SRO in every Colorado school, what would it look like? The most recent data from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment listed the average Colorado Police Officer salary at $59,791. According to the Colorado Department of Education there are 1,780 public schools, which if an SRO was placed in each of them, would cost a staggering annual total of $106,427,980. This astronomical amount does not include the $23,796,818 it would cost to provide the same protection to the 398 Colorado private schools would also benefit from an increased police presence. While placing an SRO in every school would significantly address the public’s plea of escalated police presence in educational institutions it is clearly not economically feasible.

Even if the money were available to fund such a project, it is still unlikely that an effective expansion of SROs would be possible. The SRO position is a unique and specialized assignment requiring a unique and special individual to fill it competently. Not every Police Officer can or even wants to be a SRO just as not every Police Officer can or wants to join K9 Units, SWAT Units, Motor Divisions or any other highly specialized unit. Even if an expansion of SROs to every school in Colorado were completely funded, there simply are not enough officers with the special skills that an SRO assignment would require.

During a January 13th, 2013 Wyoming Tribune Eagle interview when asked about expanding the Cheyenne Police Departments SRO program to elementary schools, former Avon (CO) Police Chief Brian Kozak (Currently Cheyenne, WY Police Chief) correctly noted “An added complication is that there wouldn’t be much traditional police work that an officer could do in an elementary school”. Even if criminal activity occurred amongst the students, beyond an armed response, there is little an SRO can do that a school administrator could not given the fact Colorado Revised Statute 18-1-801-Insufficient Age clearly states “No child under ten years of age shall be found guilty of any offense.” While an assigned SRO would still be able to quickly respond to violence, their daily police oriented work load would be minimal. “I believe that it is just as important to assign SROs to elementary schools, however their role would be vastly different than those in middle and high schools. The elementary school SRO would be more of an informal counselor and teacher. Of course they would take reports of child neglect and abuse and other crimes where children are the victims” says Sergeant Damon Vaz of the Aurora Police Department, who supervises their SRO Program. Acting as counselors and role models for youth is certainly important, however the elementary school SRO would find themselves very far removed from actual police work, and in the context of school safety, acting as little more than highly trained deterrents of external criminal activity. This begs the question, is this the best way to spend our limited resources? Likely, the answer is no.

If law enforcement agencies have decided to answer the public demand for increased police presence in the schools, but we have determined that the wisdom and funding needed to put an SRO in every school is unsustainable, what are we to do? How can we increase the time an officer spends on a school campus without affecting the budget or taking regular officers away from their regular duties during school visits?
Enter the substation. Thousands of agencies nationwide already employ substations. Despite their widespread use, the function of a substation varies widely from agency to agency. Some larger substations include detention cells, intox machines, interview rooms, and AFIS terminals. Others are slightly larger than a broom closet with a few computers to write reports. The locations of substations are as varied as their functions being placed anywhere from shopping malls to convenience stores.

Line level officers across the nation spend a considerable part of their day writing reports and filling out paperwork. Currently this takes place at either the police station, a substation, or in their patrol vehicles. From my experience working with numerous law enforcement agencies in Colorado, at least 30% to 40% of an Officer’s shift is spent completing reports, warrants, warrantless affidavits, citations, accident diagrams and returning phone calls and emails. Often times after a high call load day, an Officer may spend his/her entire shift completing paperwork.

That time could be better much better spent if it was completed at a substation on school grounds. A limited focus substation placed on school campuses that do not already have a dedicated SRO would maximize police presence in schools with little to no additional budget consequences. The amount of time Officers would be spending at the school substation would be the same amount of time they would already spend at a non-school substation, the Police Department, or parked in a quiet parking lot. That time would have the additional effect of placing a visible deterrent with parked police vehicles outside the school and it would drastically improve the chances that a Police Officer is on campus if an attack where to take place.

The school substation would have a limited but useful focus on paperwork and the clerical duties of police officers rather than suspect processing or equipment storage historically used in more traditional substations. This focus would keep potential costs low, as they would only require a small amount of space and a few computers, and it would reassure school districts that the police are not introducing criminal suspects or dangerous items to the school environment.

School districts are no less immune to limited budgets than Law Enforcement agencies. With many Colorado school districts already financially strapped, asking them to help fund a vast expansion of the SRO program to every school would likely be given the cold shoulder. However, a law enforcement agency willing to provide hours of officer presence for only the cost of a desk or two in the school office would undoubtedly get a much warmer response.

Budget sensitive law enforcement agencies will find that the school substations’ need for only limited equipment ensures low costs. The already low costs may be further reduced by relocating existing substations currently requiring commercial rent payments. Many departments could find additional savings by utilizing existing MDT’s for report writing thereby only needing a quiet place for the officer to sit down. I am confident the addition of a good coffee maker could entice officers to utilize these areas but in my experience officers need little motivation to make good use of a properly equipped substation. Over my law enforcement career it was clear the rank and file viewed substations as a sanctuary from excessive supervision endured at headquarters and preferred to complete their paperwork at the substation if given the opportunity.

The public mandate to prevent future Sandy Hook, Columbine, and Platte Canyon tragedies is loud and clear. Law enforcement agencies also have to meet the limited budgets provided by their county commissioners and city councils. Every agency, every school district, and every community has different needs, circumstances and fiscal environments. The school substation is not the magic wand solution for every agency and should not be used as a replacement for qualified School Resource Officers if funding is available. It should, however, be explored further as a viable option in light of current financial realities and the unlikelihood of them changing in the foreseeable future. School substations not only have little to no budgetary expenditures, but they squarely address what the public, with bipartisan support, has overwhelmingly expressed would be the most effective preventative measure. Before the ‘good idea fairy’ makes a visit to your agency, please consider the idea of school substations in your jurisdiction.

How To Choose A Fire Suppression System For Your Server Room, Data Center Or NOC

Looking to install a new fire suppression system? Replacing an old Halon system? Or, perhaps upgrading your old system? This can be a daunting task. Today, fire suppression systems come in a variety of chemical compounds, an array of both basic and sophisticated notification devices, and a variety of sizes. I will introduce you to the many dramatic changes passed by the National Fire Protection Association, due in large part to innovative firms searching for better and inexpensive ways to protect computers and other electronic equipment.

Innovation is usually the result of changes in the way business is conducted. Reasons why new and innovative fire suppression systems are being developed include the following:

  • Water sprinkler systems can cause catastrophic damage in a computer environment.
  • Older fire suppression systems may not be environmentally friendly.
  • Today’s computer server environment is much more compact. A significant increase in storage capacity alone has allowed a significant decrease in the amount of space required to house computer equipment, telecommunications, and server equipment.
  • Older systems and subsequent technologies may be too expensive to purchase and install.

The number of smaller companies has increased throughout the world, dictating a change in the way we protect our essential data and equipment. A significant number of firms lease space in office complexes. Over ninety percent of firms that lease space find it too expensive to purchase and install most systems. And, most firms do not want to install a system that becomes a permanent fixture which cannot be removed when a lease expires, additional space is required, or a firm needs to expand or downsize.

Now there is a way to replace older fire suppression systems, update existing equipment, replace sprinkler heads, and purchase the protection you need for your critical data and computer systems. Now you can increase or decrease a fire suppression system without a major expense. New systems can be uninstalled and reinstalled because they are not permanent fixtures. Your investment can travel with you just like your data center or server room equipment.

The evolution of fire detection and suppression systems has been dramatic. There are fire suppression agents that are toxic when inhaled and those that are certified “green.” You can choose from a clean agent gas, water or aerosol. Some systems require a floating floor and significant space to reside, while others mount on available wall space.

There are systems that require little cleanup (the clean agent gasses), and those that need a whole cleaning crew and a few days worth of elbow grease. That leads to – you guessed it – server down time. From minimal to extensive, in the case of even the smallest fire, some systems can leave you twiddling your thumbs until you are back in business. Next step – recharging your fire suppression system, and the time and costs associated with that process.

I hope to simplify things here. I have been advising companies on computer room fire suppression for many years. This first hand experience of selling fire suppression system solutions for most size rooms and enclosures has shown many firms the benefits of utilizing newer technology when protecting valuable assets.

Let’s start by summarizing the features of each type of automatic fire suppression system used in most data centers, NOCs and server rooms today. Then, I’ll get into specifics that you will want to consider before choosing fire suppression equipment and a fire suppression company.

First, Understand the Types of Fires You Could Encounter

The National Fire Protection Association has classified fires into four types, determined by the materials or fuel being burned:

Type A: Fires with combustible materials as its source, such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics

Type B: Fires in flammable liquids, oils, greases, tars, oil-base paints, lacquers, and flammable gases

Type C: Fires that involve electrical equipment

Type D: Fires with ignitable metals as its fuel source

In a typical server room fire, a combination of Types A, B and C can be found. An effective fire suppression system will be rated for all three types.

Often the source of a fire in a server room is not detected until after the fire has been extinguished. Therefore, installing a system that can handle A, B & C Types is a safeguard against an unexpected disaster.

Substances Used in Fire Suppression: Gas, Water and Aerosol

1. Gaseous or Clean Agent Fire Suppression

Gasses used in fire suppression systems are typically Halon, CO2 or environmentally-friendly clean agents such as Inergen. These gases do not extinguish a fire by smothering it, but rather by displacing oxygen or inhibiting a chemical reaction that is essential to the fire’s survival.

The popular fire suppressant Halon is so detrimental to the environment that both Europe and the United States banned manufacturing of the gas in 1995. It is mentioned here only because many Halon systems installed before the ban was enacted are still in operation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) encourages the use of non-ozone depleting fire suppression agent alternatives, and in 1990, the US EPA established its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) to evaluate new chemicals and technologies for the replacement of ozone depleting substances. As a result, many companies are installing alternative clean agents that are environmentally friendly.

Clean agents derive their name from the simple idea that they do not leave any residue after discharge. This feature makes them ideal for electronics and eliminates cleanup worries.

Another gas used in fire suppression, CO2, is harmful when inhaled at high concentrations (greater than 5% by volume, or 50,000 ppm). The current threshold limit value (TLV) or maximum level that is considered safe for healthy adults for an eight-hour work day is 0.5% (5,000 ppm). For this reason, your facility must be vacated before the system discharges.
Unlike CO2, Inergen is non-toxic. However, a discharge of Inergen results in an approximate 3% concentration of carbon dioxide. While initially breathable, it is recommended that the environment be evacuated. Since it is not a liquid under pressure, Inergen requires significant storage space. After a discharge, the environment becomes highly pressurized which could cause damage if not released in a timely manner.

Gas fire suppression systems typically consist of the agent (gas), agent storage containers, agent release valves, fire detectors and warning mechanisms, agent piping, and agent dispersion nozzles. With most gas agents, the environment must be pressurized in order to contain the agent. Installation is complex and costly, and the reward is realized only after discharge, as clean up is as simple as venting the room.

2. Water-Based Fire Suppression

Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems resulted from the evolution from standard sprinklers designed for flooding fires. Much lighter than their older counterpart, water mist systems are effective on Type A and B fires and result in less damage than traditional water-based systems. Still, water mist systems are not ideal for server rooms due to the Type C electrical fires common to this environment. Clean up and safety issues are also a concern when faced with wet or damp electronics. Although effective in the right situations, water mist systems must often be augmented with other fire suppression systems in order to ensure complete coverage in the event of a fire. After discharge, expect down time of a few weeks for a sprinkler system and less with water mist. Often with a sprinkler system, you are unable to take it with you if you are in a lease or are planning to move to new facilities. This could make a big difference in your consideration of a water-based system.

3. Aerosol Fire Suppression

The newest technology in fire suppression, Aerosol Extinguishing Technology, was officially approved and effective in 2005 by the National Fire Protection Association. A clean agent with no post combustion byproducts, aerosols such as the brand Aero-K do not replace the oxygen as CO2 does, do not produce Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) after the fire, and have no environmental impact.

The aerosol consists of ultra-fine particles that are expelled via generators. Upon discharge, the substance creates a fog of suspended particles. Non-toxic and non-corrosive, the agent remains suspended in the environment for up to 60 minutes, virtually eliminating any possibility of reignition. After discharge and a 10-minute hold time, clean up includes venting the room and a light dusting of the surfaces.

Unlike gaseous systems, which operate at pressure and often require extensive piping, aerosol generators are very cost effective to install and maintain and have minimal space and weight requirements. The generators that dispense the aerosol are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate any size environment.

Select A Fire Suppression System with Dependable Safety Features

Safety features can save time, money, equipment, and most importantly, lives. Here are some features that your fire suppression system must have in order to prevent either premature discharge or the opposite – activation delay – when a new fire is either noticed or accidentally started by human error.

Lock Out/Abort Switch –This feature is essential for instances when a service person is in the protected environment and creates smoke, for example from soldering. A lock out/abort switch lets you disable the system with a key to avoid an accidental discharge. Should a threatening fire start while the system is disabled, a worker can use a fire extinguisher for a localized fire or arm the system and use the manual pull station.

Manual Pull Station –If a fire is inadvertently started, or is noticed by someone in the room, the manual pull station allows for immediate discharge without waiting for the system to detect smoke.

Choose a Fire Suppression Company That Will Customize a System to your Unique Needs

Aside from superior customer service, look for a fire suppression company that will make your needs their top priority. The company that bids your fire detection and suppression installation will want to know the size of your room and particular characteristics of your room. This will determine the amount of agent, piping, system space and weight requirements.

A good fire suppression company will consider such factors as the length of time you expect to occupy your current space. If you intend to move within a few years, you’ll want to know if the system can be transferred to your new facility and reinstalled cost-effectively. Don’t forget to ask about the costs associated with recharging the system, should the system discharge.

You’ll also want to discuss how the system can be expanded if the size of your computer room increases due to growth. And, in the opposite scenario, will you be able to reduce the scale of the system if you downsize?

Each state, city, or municipality has a fire code that must be considered when evaluating the options. Some agencies require sprinklers and others will allow a clean agent system in lieu of sprinklers. Factors such as the type of building construction often impact the codes and requirements. Select a fire suppression installation company that asks all of the right questions about your fire code and other unique requirements such as UL certification for fire suppression equipment.

Fire Suppression Costs

Costs are typically estimated based on the size of the room. This determines the amount of agent needed to put out a fire as well as the equipment and delivery mechanisms required. The agent concentration levels differ depending on the class of fire expected. Make sure you ask about the costs of maintaining the system on a yearly basis and also the life expectancy of the agent/systems so that you are prepared should you need to update periodically for optimal effectiveness.

An Automatic Fire Suppression System Can Lower Your Insurance Premium

If you don’t currently have a fire suppression system, consider the insurance cost savings. Insurance companies sometimes offer a Loss Control Survey that, when completed, may offer rate reductions for installing a waterless or dry chemical fire suppression system. A call to your agent and some comparative shopping will give you an idea of what you’ll save – typically in the range of 10%-15%. Don’t forget to take the tax deduction. With a 10-year shelf life, a product such as Aero-K can be depreciated over its full useful life.