Small House Design - Cozy, Comfortable, and Creative - Live With Style

Small is in. The small house design requires more creativity to provide everything you want in a smaller space. Good design can work wonders.
I want to introduce one aspect of good design and outline why it's a must when picking a small house plan or when having an architect design your home. There are many ways to achieve effective design but this one focuses on how you can enjoy the coziness of small without feeling cramped.
Small House Living Feature - From Wall to Exterior Wall
No doubt you've been in a home that felt crowded or oppressive. For maximum comfort, you want to avoid creating that feeling regardless of the overall size of the home. One way to achieve an open, large feel while keeping the coziness of small is to design at least one room (preferably the main, or "great room") to extend from one exterior wall to another.
Let's look at why this helps:

  • You can get the largest possible room. Having at least one large room will immediately provide the feel of bigness without building big.
  • You can do more with the décor of the room. A large room that extends from one exterior wall to another allows for creating unique "mini rooms" within a room. With the right furnishings, you can create an indoor/outdoor feel, a front yard or back yard feel or whatever you want.
  • Bringing in light from both sides of the room and house. Having windows on both ends or sides of the same room can create the sensation that your home is as big as all outdoors without sacrificing the closeness and comfort you're looking for.

Creativity Extends Beyond Design
As you can see, creativity doesn't end with the design of your home alone. The smaller the home the more interior design becomes critical. Utilize this tip and create your exterior wall to exterior wall room, then get creative with your décor!
Small is beautiful when everything supports everything else. Happy homebuilding and happy designing! 


Small House Design - Cozy, Comfortable, and Creative - Live With Style
Small House Design - Cozy, Comfortable, and Creative - Live With Style

You can learn so much more about home building and remodeling online. One great option is to take advantage of a very informative yet simple to follow *free* e-course that you can find by clicking here You will also find other tips and tools, surveys, videos, and additional articles by Mel Inglima.

Creative, Inexpensive, and BIG Value Marketing Gift Ideas

"Tis the season to be jolly!" A great attitude is easy to have when you design your gifts with a lot of thought and don't allow the experience take you to the cleaners.
One of the traditions I like at this time of year is remembering all the people that were there for me this past year. Especially those that didn't receive anything in return for it -- in the smallest or largest way.
Meaningful gift giving does not have to be expensive. In fact, some of the most precious gifts are the ones that cost very little, but mean a great deal because of the time and effort it took to select, or create, and mail.
Here are eight ideas I have used over the last few years. You can use these as Christmas gifts; add them to your "leave-behind" marketing package, a referral thank you, or "thanks for helping me" gift.
It does make a difference if your logo or advertising information is on the gift. It does affect the perceived value on their part and can make a difference in your relationship. Make the choice to add your information or leave it off with their perception in mind. Remember, marketing is all perception and not product or service.
1. Purchase discontinued note card sets from Hallmark and other card shops during the year. If you call and ask your nearest store as to the time of year when they discount "previous season" items, they will gladly tell you. You can save from 50% to 75% on these items.
2. Create a logo candy jar. You can purchase candy jars with different seasonal markings. Then create a stencil with your company logo or web site address (I prefer the web site address). You can buy the stencil supplies and the empty candy jars at your local craft store like MJ Design, Michaels, or online. They sometimes have the mailing boxes to match. Add a bow with your business card. Keep the jar nice so they want to keep it out in the open for that season. Jars for the Easter season are great with the miniature eggs in them and are not likely to get completing jars from other suppliers. After dinner mints are great for the contents. If you return frequently, bring a refill with you.
3. Give a business journal. Borders and Barnes and Noble have all sorts of sizes and designs. For business journals or marketing journals, I usually buy the 8 ½ x 11 size (usually under ) at Borders and then I write three or four marketing ideas in the journal that specifically apply to them.
4. Give a gift they can take home to their child(ren). Most business or marketing gifts are for everyone at the company or for them. Sometimes giving without a "marketing angle" attached increases the impact. Especially if you remember their child's birthday.
5. Create a family cookbook with 10 or so of your favorite (or personal family) recipes. Add your contact information on the back. Use the software, Clickbook ( to transfer it from your word processing software into a real nice booklet fast and easy.
6. Give them a subscription to one of the favorite magazines. I love writer's magazines and writing, so receiving something I am so passionate about along with the gift of learning is perfect for me. If you get two, call the company and turn it into a two-year subscription. You can add to your card this idea if they already have a subscription. Do they have a hobby? Do they have a goal or working on a particular project? There are tons of magazines out there. You can also add to the card a list of web sites they can find more information on the topic. You can send a card with the subscription information in it separately so they know to expect it and to contact you if they don't receive it.
7. If you have great penmanship or creative on the computer, buy blank note cards and add their name on the front of the each card, like "From the desk of..." "A personal note from..." The fact that you took the time always makes an impact. Want to add a little more? Place a stamp on each envelope for them.
8. If they have a home office and you are into crafts, cross-stitch a wall calendar holder. It has a hook, nice border that shows past the large calendar size and business card sewn in with a place for them to hang their favorite wall calendar or you can send them a calendar with it the first year.
It is normal to value the gift to the value of the client/customer. You can just send everyone the same gift or you can match the gift value to the value you received from him or her.
Don't forget your bartering exchanges or the people that just "opened your doors."


Creative, Inexpensive, and BIG Value Marketing Gift Ideas
Creative, Inexpensive, and BIG Value Marketing Gift Ideas

Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing & Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and articles available at: blog:

Creative, Quick And Easy Adult Halloween Costume Ideas

Creative Halloween Costume Ideas

Each year you are given the opportunity to show your creativity with your Halloween costume ideas. The possibilities are nearly limitless once your creative juices start to flow. Creative Halloween costume ideas can be grouped into several sub categories. This article includes a few suggestions to help you get your creative juices flowing.


Halloween Costume Ideas On a Budget

Creative, Quick And Easy Adult Halloween Costume Ideas

When you are decorating yourself or your kids for the holiday and you don't want to break the bank, start with what you have in the house. A Gypsy costume can be made simply by layering all of the necklaces you own and layering several skirts or putting scarves on as skirts as well as putting on a bit of make-up. Ghosts can be made of a sheet or pillowcase and a pair of scissors. Clown costumes are easily made of a sweat outfit and make-up. A multi-colored wig is fairly inexpensive. Dressing up like a bum is always fun too. Jeans, old T-shirt, torn jacket or flannel shirt, and a handkerchief tied to a stick (carrying your candy stash of course) all help you pull off this look. A bit of grime or stubble can be painted onto the face and this costume is complete.

Unique Halloween Costume Ideas

There are so many different ways to dress up for Halloween. If you put your mind to it there are many things you have around the house that can make up a unique costume. You can dress up as a head on a platter by putting a table cloth on card board and gluing paper picnic settings to it then put it on so that it goes around your neck and you can only see your head sticking out of the center. This takes very little work but the reactions you get will be amazing.
There are many other ideas but the most unique often happen when you really put your mind to work seeking the rare.

Sexy Halloween Costume Ideas

Dressing up like a French maid or a playboy bunny is always fun. Some of the best sexy Halloween costume ideas start with a favorite movie star. If you can think of someone you like to watch on the big screen you can dress like a character they play in your favorite movie. Dressing up like Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie or George Clooney can be fun and make you feel sexy and perhaps even a bit playful at your Halloween party.

Couples Costume ideas

When you and a friend or your significant other go to a party as a couple it can be fun to dress up like your favorite duo. These can be male/female couples or others like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid can be fun. An angel and the Devil together is always a way to make a statement. Newly weds going as a bride and groom don't always go over as well as you would think. Stick with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell or other characters who are usually together.

Group costume ideas

Groups of friends dressing up as the Three (or more) Musketeers, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends, groups of Zombies, and your favorite rock band lets others at the party know you are together. Groups of witches and wizards from specific houses at Hogwarts are fun too, especially if you can get cousins together and each family dress up in costumes from a different house. Group costumes can be fun to think up and design together.

Whatever costumes you choose have fun coming up with your Halloween costume ideas. Let your hair down and see how creative you can be. If you already have your costume ideas for this year it isn't too late to start thinking up ways to win the costume contest next year.

Creative, Quick And Easy Adult Halloween Costume Ideas

Looking for incredibly sexy Halloween costumes? Visit to find a costume that will have all your friends saying, "Why didn't I think of that?" We'll help you find adult Halloween costumes, to make YOU stand out from the crowd!

Creative Thinkers Actually Think Differently

For those of us that aren't creative thinkers, we sometimes marvel-or maybe shake our heads-at those that can solve problems in new and inventive ways. Of course, creative thinkers don't always solve the problem at hand. Perhaps they go off on several tangents and lose focus until they've come across a whole new subject. It can be frustrating to try and keep a creative thinker on task, but if you can do it, the rewards can be great. For instance, you may want to have a discussion about what sort of building material would be best for your new building. You've narrowed the choice to aluminum siding or brick, but the creative thinker in your group wants to start a whole new discussion on how wonderful it would be to buy some kiln brick and be able to hand-fire pottery in the courtyard of your new building. While this may be a wonderful idea, it certainly doesn't help with the task at hand: what building material to choose. But such is life with some creative thinkers. They can do their best work when they're less worried about putting constraints on their thinking-and more worried about using their brain the way they know best.

Many researchers would argue that creative thinkers don't just seem different than the rest of us, they actually are different. Some studies show that creative thinkers have more brain activity in the right side of their brain than more methodical thinkers. This brain activity leads a creative thinker to perceive problems differently than others, leading to whole new trains of thought. Rather than methodically breaking down a problem, a creative thinker will often mull the problem over until they come to a profound moment of clarity. But creative thinkers aren't just painters or people who spend most of their time on potters wheels. No, you can have a creative thinker in a business suit at a financial institution as you can in an artisan community. Problems exist all around us, from the business world to the home. Creative thinking can help in all these applications.


Of course, it's likely that those right-brained creative thinkers are more abundant in the world of art. If you took an accountant and a pottery artist, chances are more often than not the accountant is not going to be the one labeled as the creative. But it is important to note that this mode of thinking is a valuable and marketable skill. When you have it, doors are opened for you. For those right-brainers out there, all they need do is step through.

Creative Thinkers Actually Think Differently
Creative Thinkers Actually Think Differently

You don't need to be a right-brainer to know the difference between a kiln brick and a row of potters wheels. Instead, all you have to know is AMACO. At AMACO you'll find the pottery supplies you need at a price you can afford. From the clay that you use to create the pot to the glaze that finishes it, AMACO has everything the creative pottery artist needs!

Inspirational Phrases to Inspire Creative, Divine Results

What are Inspirational Phrases?

What do they do, who utilizes them and why? Oprah, CEO's and Salesmen are notorious for creating motivating art and posting inspiring quotes in their office of home to inspire them. Many write their goals as phrases for inspiration and post them on walls or computers. A quote or a phrase is ordinary. The key word is inspirational. Because Inspirational phrases or words can produce a divine like influence that stimulates the mind to a high degree of feeling or activity...


Inspirational Gifts Encourage

Inspirational Phrases to Inspire Creative, Divine Results

Friends and family give cards, books, music and art to one another with the hope of inspiring others to encourage, achieve or continue greatness.

Why are these so effective? They have been used for centuries.

An inspirational phrase is different from a quote. A quote is an excerpt of something someone said.

Words plus inspiration equal divine like results.

The key word is inspirational. Inspirational phrases or words can produce a divine like influence that stimulates the mind to a high degree of feeling or activity. Some quotes are inspirational others are like a phrase- without the inspiration.

"Words plus inspiration equal divine like results."

Inspirational words or phrases are so important because when heard they seem to have a divine quality to them when heard. Either the person saying the words are divinely inspired or the person who heard them or divinely inspired to act or inspired to act in a more divine manner.

Inspiration as the dictionary details is the stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity,

Inspirational word or phrase can spark a sudden creative idea or act or solution.

That is why they are so important. why people seek to find them, read them and listen to them.

Literally something Divine happens.

The origins come from the word Inspirare "inspire, inflame, blow into"
An influence that is directly exerted on the mind and soul of the human being. After all the word Inspire literally means from the greek "God breathed" from which we get the word related to breathing in and out to inspire. Opposite of to exhale.

For me hearing inspiring words is as essential as breathing in and out.

How, what and when are you inspired?

While writing this article on inspirational phrases I sent a FB post asking "What inspires you?" immediately was struck by the 5 replies - they ranged in reply from a. My husband (Relationship) b. Spending time in nature, music, exploring, art galleries, shopping in antique shops, hanging out with creative people.

Music, reading the bible ( God- Religion) Reading posts of friends ( I guess it may depend on the type of friends you have -but knowing this person she probably has a lot of inspiration inspiring friends.

Well, I get inspired by reading the inspired posts of my friends.

What inspires you!

Some of us are inspired by nature, music, art other people, quotes, words or inspirational phrases.

Whatever our motivations we are changed by our inspirations.

Looks like many things inspire people and some are inspired by words and phrases more than others.

Utilizing Inspirational phrases seems like an inexpensive and easy way to get that charge of inspiration - my goal is to keep them in front of me at all times as many times as I can. Through books, calendars, posters etc. I'll start collecting those at Inspirational Phrases.

Inspirational Phrases to Inspire Creative, Divine Results

Anita is an inspirational designer searching for and sharing life changing Inspirational products that are convenient, timesavers that make a positive impact on lives. Whatever tool that works from design cards, posters, greeting cards, anything visual that helps Motivate, Inspire, mesmerize, revitalize dreams, goals visions. Sayings encourage people to keep going not give up- power packed promises that help other know their purpose, recover health, Increase finances, security, peace of mind. That uplift and change attitudes, thoughts and self talk. Collections of Inspirational Phrases

Inspirational Phrases

Lots of Inspirational Phrases

How to Be Creative - 3 Powerful Ideas on How to Be More Creative

Would you like to be more creative in your life and learn how to get a flow of ideas on a consistent basis?  The art of how to be creative is like many things, it takes some practice and there are techniques you can use to help you.

Here are 3 of the most powerful ideas you can use to be more creative.


1: Write everything down:

How to Be Creative - 3 Powerful Ideas on How to Be More Creative

Yes, I am afraid this really is a big one... yet ironically so many people don't do it.  They try and keep everything in their heads... all their ideas, thoughts, plans - everything!  How do you think you will develop your ideas and make them real if you keep them rattling around inside your head? The mere act of creation is one of manifesting mental ideas into some form of reality, whether its the written word, music, vocal or art, and so it really is a good habit to get into and is definitely one of the keys to being more creative.

So how to be creative tip 1 - Start making a habit of having idea notebooks and writing down every idea you have down - even the little ones.  You dont have to go into detail, just make a note of it.

2: Don't be afraid to have complete and utter rubbish ideas:

I can just see all the perfectionists running for cover with this one!....because the truth is, that not every idea you will have will be any good or amount to anything.  In fact, I would figure on cutting around 50% of them almost immediately. You see, what actually happens is, is that small ideas ...even rubbish ones, can inspire other ideas which can lead to good ideas.  How will you find the good stuff if you are too afraid to even consider the bad stuff. The key is to just go for it!  Let it out and don't worry about coming up with utter rubbish.

So how to be creative tip 2 - Explore every idea you have and discard the rubbish.

3: Play with other peoples ideas

Now you don't really need to be afraid here of copying and plagiarism.  Did you know, there has never been an original thought?  Because all thoughts are inspired by previous thoughts and ideas, so don't beat yourself up trying to come up with something nobody else has ever come up with before - because you wont find it!

So how to be creative tip 3 - Get inspired by other peoples creativity ideas.  Twist it, expand it, flip it, change it - but just get into it and don't be afraid, because other ideas will soon start popping up.

So that's 3 very powerful creativity ideas for you on how to be creative, I hope you have fun using them.

How to Be Creative - 3 Powerful Ideas on How to Be More Creative

If you found this information helpful and you would like to get more ideas on unleashing your creative potential I have a free ebook I have written called "The Mind Body and Spirit Gameplan" available free at

Dean Hopkins is the Self Help Junkie and is a writer, artist and music producer with a passion for inspiring people to live more , love more and be more by researching and sharing the most effective personal growth and life skills available.

Creative Brand Management - What is It?

In the sometimes cutthroat and very competitive business world, what separates your company and business from your competition? The main thing apart from the product itself is - your brand. You need branding and from this comes about creative brand management. This creative brand management article will tell and educate you about it, what it is, what it can do, for you and for your customers, and how important it is for your business and your bottom line. In other words, learning about creative brand management is an essential part of business education.

What is it? Creative brand management is the application of marketing techniques to a specific product, product line, or brand - simply put into simple words, it is the application of creativity to a product, line or product brand. It is important for any business because it seeks to increase the product's perceived value to the customer and therefore increase the brand's franchise and equity.


How does this work? Creative brand managers and creative marketers see a creative brand as an implied promise that the level of quality people have come to expect from a brand will continue with future purchases of the same product. This may increase sales by making a comparison with competing products more favourable, and in favour of the better brand. It may also enable the manufacturer to charge more and thus earn a premium for the product, thus boosting earnings. Since the value of the brand is actually determined by the amount of profit it generates for the manufacturer, this clearly shows that creative brand management is useful and in many ways actually great for any business.

Creative Brand Management - What is It?

Specifically, how does it actually raise profits? This increase of profits can come about from a combination of increased sales and increased price due to the premium pricing of the product, and the reduced cost of goods sold, and perhaps even the reduced or more efficient marketing investments.

What does it actually mean for you and for your business? This means that you can increase your sales. This means that you can increase your price to premium prices. This means that you can reduce the costs of the goods sold. This means that you can make marketing far more effective and cost efficient. All these are key improvements that will actually happen if you have utilised the powers of branding.

All of these important enhancements will definitely improve the profitability of a product brand, and thus creative brand managers often carry line-management accountability for a product brand's profitability, in contrast to marketing staff manager roles, which are allocated budgets from above, to manage and execute. In this regard, brand management is often viewed in many worldwide organizations, not just in Singapore and China, as a broader and more strategic role than normal and common place product marketing alone, and in many ways brand management is more important than product marketing.

If you wish to improve your sales and business, then creative brand management is definitely the most important differentiating factor separating your business from the competition.

Creative Brand Management - What is It?

Larry Lew is the founder of Matrix Asia Brand, with vast experience in Singapore and China in brand management communication. Visit Matrix Asia Brand Communication to see brand management services offered!

Creative Home Financing - What is Creative Financing

Creative financing refers to a way to own real estate outside of conventional means such as traditional mortgage loans. Traditional mortgage loans are not always the best option for every circumstance, and this is where creative financing techniques can help home buyers get in to a home. Creative financing can help people with less than perfect credit own a home.

Creative financing techniques are also commonly used by investors in order to gain control of properties with the least possible out of pocket expense.


As the name suggests, there are numerous options for creative financing. Before you choose to use any method of creative financing, it is best if you research all of your options and become familiar with how it all works.

Creative Home Financing - What is Creative Financing

Here are several common methods of creative financing that are used...

Rent to Own / Seller Financed Mortgage

In a rent to own situation or a seller financed mortgage, the current owner of the property holds back the mortgage on the property. Typically, in a rent to own, a portion of your monthly rent goes towards a future down payment. This has advantages over renting because you rent is not going to "waste" so to speak. If you decide to purchase the property at a future date, you can use the down payment portion to help you qualify for a traditional mortgage.

In the case of a seller financed mortgage, the seller acts in the same capacity as the bank and holds the mortgage on the property that you then pay back with interest. Typically, arrangements like these are more common in times when the real estate market is moving more slowly. Both sellers and buyers can benefit from such a situation as the buyer gets in to the home and the seller is able to sell the home as well as collect interest on the deal.

80/20 Home Mortgage

An 80/20 home mortgage is actually two mortgages, a primary mortgage an a second mortgage. The concept and idea of an 80/20 home mortgage is to reduce the amount of liability towards any single lender, finance 100% of the purchase price and avoid paying PMI.

You have several options that pertain to the 20% part of an 80/20 mortgage. The second mortgage can either be fixed or a line of credit. The benefit of choosing a line of credit over a fixed rate in this situation is that the interest rates can often be 2 - 5 percent lower than a fixed rate.

Government Backed Loan Programs

Some government back loan programs are also considered creative financing. There are several state and federal loan programs offered that allow for 100% financing. Closing costs can also be rolled in to the loan in some cases.

Because these programs are government subsidized, income qualifications are a common restriction of eligibility. These programs are aimed at people with mid to low income as a means of helping everyone experience home ownership.

Hard Money Lenders

Hard money lenders are traditionally used more for investment purposes than for a primary residence. A hard money lender loans money privately usually with higher interest and shorter terms compared to traditional mortgages.

While this is no means a complete run down of creative financing techniques, as you can see there are many options when it comes to financing real estate outside of traditional means.

Creative Home Financing - What is Creative Financing

To learn more about Creative Financing visit where you'll find everything you need to Get a Home Mortgage Loan including Home Mortgage Loan Quotes and much more!

Creative, Fun and Functional Uses For Old Barnwood

Last summer my husband got an idea that turned out to be both challenging and rewarding.

We wanted to build a multi-purpose shed for storage, workshop, and greenhouse space. After much thought about costs involved we decided to try to save money and recycle at the same time.


We both love the look of barnwood. So he placed an ad and offered to remove unsafe barns from area homeowners properties. I was surprised at the response we received. Soon we were out looking at a farm that had the remains of a barn, everything had been blown over in a storm. We removed some of that structure. Then we moved on to a barn that was still standing, although just barely. We decided to remove that barn too. We worked on site, tore the barn down, denailed the boards and hauled it away load by load back to our home. Soon we had more barnwood than we ever imagined!

Creative, Fun and Functional Uses For Old Barnwood

The ad was still generating interest and he helped to remove another barn. Finally he had to stop because we had run out of available space to store the wood.

We had gathered a variety of wood including white oak, wormy chestnut, and more. We have enough barnwood for the shed we want to build and more. We are still in the planning stages on the multi-purpose shed which will be started on this spring, but we are using the barnwood for other projects too.

We are always working on our house or yard. It has been in some stage of remodel ever since I moved here 3 years ago. We are now working in the basement which was completely gutted and started over, we have finished a family room and laundry room and now we are working on our home office.The final renovation will be the bathroom addition to the basement. That will be a winter project next year. We have decided to use some white oak and chestnut barnwood in the office and bathroom projects.

The office is getting built in shelving and a desk made out of the white oak and the walls will have barnwood wainscotting and chair rail moulding from the chestnut. We have installed beams in the ceiling and the crown molding is also barnwood. This is combined with painted sheetrock on the walls. The look is very custom and it is coming together very nice. And it is definitely not builder beige!

We have built hanging shelves, bookcases, coat racks and picture frames from the barnwood too. These items have sold at flea markets and festivals.

The most popular selling items have been the hand painted custom barnwood signs in the Scrappy Signs Collection I created from left over pieces of barnwood from projects. I make campsite signs, garden signs, mancave signs pet signs and more. I paint any wording on the signs for any use. It has been a lot of fun creating the various signs and seeing the reaction they get when displayed at shows.

Creative, Fun and Functional Uses For Old Barnwood

Freda Eckel is the author of this article and the owner of the website
The website is all about home and garden improvements that you can do yourself- to save money. It also features lots of a products for your home and garden in the Specialty Stores on the site.

How To Become More Creative

Being more creative is always a good thing. You will find that there are different ways to make yourself better at what you do in life when you have the ability to think outside of the box. You want to make sure that you are doing all that you can to be more successful even if that means that you need to use more self development for your education and career status.

There are different programs out there that will help you be more creative in life. When you are defiantly looking for more to make you happier and gain more power in your career, you need to do your research. There are so many ways that you can be better at what you do when you use your mind and all the creative ability behind it. Thinking all the time about what you can do to make it better is going to be one step that will bring you closer to a better and brighter future in the career that you want the most.


Do not give up. There are endless opportunities out there for you to work at. Having a good career that is going to be positive and help you gain more respect and a better success story is going to be worth it. You want to make sure that you are doing all that you can when it comes to being more creative and more active in whatever it is that you are doing and putting your time and effort into. Do not be afraid of failing because even if you do, you will have the opportunity to get back up and try it over again.

How To Become More Creative

There is nothing wrong with wanting something so much that you work hard for it. No matter what you think about in life, if there is a goal that you know you can achieve and you want to work hard for, it can happen. All you need in life is the will to make things happen and the ability to try for the stars. You do not have to be extraordinary all you have to be is creative. There are so many great ways to get what you want when you use the creativeness that you have inside of you for the better.

Keep your self-development skills coming. There are ways to make yourself better and bigger when you are willing to put it all out there and get to where you want to be. It is important to make sure that you are thinking of ways to make your ideas and marketing gain the respect that they deserve so that you are able to be happy with the choices that you make and all that you chose to do in order to make your career get started.

Self-development is something that is learned. When you are using everything that you learn and putting it towards your own personal gain, you will see that you can make a difference and you will be happy with all the results that you come up with. It is important that you make this change for yourself so that you are not putting your career on the back burner and you are making it all that you can with some simple creativeness and knowledge.

You can learn from your co-workers how to be more creative and how to get things done the way that you want them to. You will want to make sure that you are taking in all the knowledge that you can so that you are able to be more creative and get what you need to be the best that you can. It is all going to be worth it in the end.

How To Become More Creative

Tracy Brinkmann is an goal setting and success coach. Through his company Success Atlas, he provides goal-setting, motivational & educational material, & training via live presentations as well as digital/audio products.

Sign up for his free e-Zine

Creative Ways to Say "Thank You"

Thanksgiving Day comes once a year in the U.S., but every day there are people in our lives who deserve our thanks. Sometimes a simple "Thank you" is appropriate. At other times, it is more thoughtful to be creative in expressing appreciation. It's just good business.

Here are some suggestions for thanking people at work, at home, and in the community.


1. When you say "Thank you" tell the person specifically what it is you appreciate and why you appreciate it. "Thank you for going to the Post Office for me. It saved me a lot of time."

Creative Ways to Say "Thank You"

2. Send an e-mail note. When I sent a thank you note to my staff in the Pentagon, the energy level shot up.

3. Send a hand-written thank you note. These are noteworthy because so few of us take time to write and mail them.

4. Place an unexpected phone call just to say "Thank you." Connecting verbally adds warmth to your appreciation even if you reach voice mail.

5. Present a small certificate. Half-page certificates take up less space if displayed and are as meaningful as full sized certificates. They tend to draw attention because they are different.

6. Give a single flower from your garden, flowerpot, or florist, with a verbal "Thank you" or a note.

7. Put a candy bar or piece of fruit on the desk of the person to be thanked, with or without a note. (Be sure the person is not on vacation!)

8. Bake some cookies. This is especially effective when men bake and present a few cookies in thanksgiving.

9. Say something nice about the recipient of your thanks to someone else when the person you appreciate can overhear you. This is especially powerful in a business setting.

10. For special occasions, present a US flag that has flown over the Capitol. It is a unique, reasonably priced item which few people own. A certificate of authenticity is provided in honor of any special occasion you designate. Call your congressman's office and ask for it. If you don't have a local contact, call 202 224-3121 and ask for your congressman or congresswoman by name. When you reach that person's office, ask to purchase a flag. They'll know what to do!

Creative Ways to Say "Thank You"

Jo Condrill was a civilian leader at Army Headquarters in the Pentagon, and she led 3,000 Toastmasters to rank #1 in the world. She knows the value of gratitude. Author of "Take Charge of Your Life: Dare to Pursue Your Dreams," "101 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills Instantly," and "From Book Signing to Best Seller."

Jaws 5 - Is Jaws 5 Coming to a Theatre Near You?

Jaws 5 is the fifth instalment in the immensely popular JAWS franchise, but is it coming to a theatre near you? There have been rumours floating around for years about Jaws 5 and when and if it will be made. Would you go see a fifth instalment of Jaws? Is the audience there to make it worthwhile, and quite simply, will it be made? In this article will look at the reasons why it's a safe bet Jaws 5 will be made, and probably pretty soon! Read on to find out more!

The original Jaws was one of the most successful movies of all time and is considered one of the quintessential horror movies out there. Jaws was directly responsible for huge numbers of people staying out of the water and the generally poor reputation of the great white shark. While the sequels that follow weren't exactly the same quality as the original (read: they sucked), they were somewhat successful none the less. So we already know that people have shown a willingness to go see Jaws sequels.


Add that to the fact that remakes and re-launches are all the rage in Hollywood right now. After all, why take a chance on a new series or a new idea when you could just re-release or re-invent a classic series that is guaranteed to draw movie goers no matter what? Batman was re-launched, Superman was re-launched, remakes of horror movies and action movies alike are all the rage. The Star Wars "prequels" were massively successful, and the list goes on and on.

Jaws 5 - Is Jaws 5 Coming to a Theatre Near You?

What it comes down to is, the current trend in Hollywood is to remake or re-launch successful franchises and Jaws is one of the most successful and recognizable names of all time when it comes to movies. So will Jaws 5 be made? You can bet on it. Will it be good? That's a different story. Maybe, maybe not. Go to for all the up to date information on Jaws 5 as well as Jaws 5 trailers, posters and more.

How To Develop Your Critical Thinking Skills

What are critical thinking skills? They are the habits of thought that you cultivate for better decisions on what to believe and what to do. Critical thought is not about being able to argue well. That kind of thinking can be a trap. Unfortunately, some very intelligent people think that way, seeking only to justify the beliefs they already have. That is very limited thinking.

Ask psychologists, philosophers, and brain scientists what critical thinking is, and you'll get many definitions. However, all of them seem to agree that it includes challenging and analyzing our own motivations, thought processes and conclusions. Here is a basic definition:


"Reasonable and reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe and/or how to act."

Reasonable shouldn't be confused with logical, since many of the most unreasonable ideas result logically from a chosen set of premises and assumptions. A set of premises which include a flat Earth, for example, can lead to the perfectly logical conclusion that a boat will fall off the edge of the planet if it goes too close. Logic is a systematic way to derive conclusions from premises, but the premises themselves may be right or wrong.

Being reasonable then, means allowing for the possibility that reality may not match our premises. Being reasonable means observing, gathering evidence, and using inductive reasoning (all dogs I see have four legs, so dogs must normally have four legs). On the other hand, logic is limited to deductive reasoning, and one bad premise can taint all deductions that come from it. It is reasonable, therefore, to challenge not just our logic, but the premises it is based on.

To be reflective, is to ask questions like, "How could I be wrong here? What assumptions am I making and are they correct? Are there other explanations that may be better?

Suppose on a hot humid day, you think, "Humidity makes the air feel warmer, and it is normally more humid in Montana than in Arizona, so if the temperature is the same in both places, it will normally feel warmer in Montana." Unassailable logic, but a wrong conclusion, as I and anyone who has lived in both places in winter can tell you. Humid air actually feels warmer when it's hot and cooler when it's cold.

To avoid errors like this, you ask if it's true that humidity makes air feel warmer. A hot day's experience says yes, but when you look for possible errors you note the hidden assumption that "it's true at any temperature." You challenge that assumption,and remember that the hot feeling is partly because your sweat can't evaporate as fast in humid air, so your body can't cool itself as well. Reflecting on that, you realize it wouldn't matter as much when it's cold, because you sweat less.

Cultivate Your Critical Thinking Skills

You may already have enough knowledge to correct the error, but if not, a bit of critical thought would at least point out the need to gather more information. You can see in this example the kind of mind set you need as a critical thinker. What else can you do to develop critical thinking skills? There are specific exercises and practices for that. Here are three of them.


Make it a habit to ask for evidence. That might mean simply asking "where did you read that?" or "Was that speculation, or did they actually do a test?" Be prepared to provide evidence for your own claims as well. We don't carry our sources with us, of course, but you should be able to get a sense whether there really is some basis for a claim or belief.


Because we don't carry evidence around with us, we all accept many things said at face value, at least for the sake of discussion. Otherwise our conversations would be more like interrogations, and probably very short. However, we can consider the sources of information and evidence. We can ask if this person usually remembers the facts correctly. We can consider if the source they refer to is reliable.


What we believe, what others believe, and what evidence is considered by anyone, is in part a function of motivations. Because of this, a magazine might be entirely biased in it's reporting, yet have all of their facts perfectly verified. Of course, you should ask yourself if there is enough of a motivation for outright lying, but this isn't as common as many people think. A more important part of you critical thinking skills is to ask why these certain facts may have been reported (what bias is likely), and what facts are being ignored or passed over.

How To Develop Your Critical Thinking Skills

Copyright Steve Gillman. For six more specific Critical Thinking Skills, and to get the Brainpower Newsletter and other free gifts, visit:

How To Create An Effective Business Development Strategy

The Business Development Strategy is used to underpin your main Business Plan and essentially it sets out a standard approach for developing new opportunities, either from within existing accounts or by proactively targeting brand new potential accounts and then working to close them.

This document highlights the key issues you should consider prior to compiling your own plan and will hopefully guide you logically through a proven framework.


The key word is 'Strategy', because you are creating a workable and achievable set of objectives in order to exceed your annual target.

Your Starting Point:

The key words are Who? What? Where? When? Which? Why? How?

For example:

Who - are you going to target?

What - do you want to sell them?

Where - are they located?

When - will you approach them?

Which - are the appropriate target personnel?

Why - would they want to meet with you?

How - will you reach them?

If you have conducted regular account reviews with your key accounts during the previous twelve months, you should be aware of any new opportunities that will surface during the next twelve months. You will also, when assessing what percentage of your annual target usually comes from existing accounts, need to review data over the last two or three years. (It is likely that you can apply Pareto i.e. 80% of your business will probably come from existing accounts and in fact 80% of your total revenue will come from just 20% of your customers/clients)

You will be left with a balance - i.e. "20% of my business next year will come from new opportunities" - therefore you can then begin to allocate your selling time accordingly.

Ideal Customer Profiling:

Pro-active business development demands that we create an ideal target at the front end - i.e. an "Ideal Customer Profile." The essential characteristics you will need to consider are:

- Industrial Sector

- Geographical Location (Demographics)

- Size of organizations (Turnover, number of employees etc)

- Financial Trends

- Psychographics - i.e. Philosophical compatibility

Many strategic sales professionals merely profile their best existing clients and try to replicate them - there's nothing wrong with doing this but we should always remember that we are seeking an IDEAL and we can always improve on what we already have.

'New' Opportunities From Within 'Old' Accounts:

Because it costs approximately ten times as much, to first locate and then sell to a new customer as it does an existing one (although these costs are rarely reflected in the cost of sales), it is essential that we fully develop our existing accounts working upwards, downwards and sideways, thus making the most of the (hopefully) excellent reputation we have developed already.

Most corporate accounts have several divisions, departments, sites, even country offices and you must satisfy yourself that you have exhausted every possible avenue. Don't be afraid to ask the question "Who else should I be talking to in your organization"?

This is an extract from my FREE eBook - "How to Construct an Effective Business Development Strategy" which is available for download - please see details below.

Copyright © 2012 Jonathan Farrington. All rights reserved

How To Create An Effective Business Development Strategy

To download my new revised FREE eBook "How to Construct an Achievable Business Development Strategy" please visit my personal site The JF Consultancy, -

Inventive Principles - Using the Power of Substitution to Stimulate Imaginative Thinking

One of the inventive principles you can use to stimulate creativity is substitution. It works like this: You are about to pound a nail into the wall, but you don't have a hammer. Instead, you employ a wrench for the purpose. Your child is watching and learns an important lesson about life- Imagination allows us to use an object in a manner that was never intended.

When a job is accomplished using tools that were not purpose-built for the task, the substituted objects are called "field expedients."


When I was a kid, my Dad worked in a mill in a large port city. He built various wooden structures still used in the large ocean-going vessels of the time. My father was a kind of 20th century ship's carpenter.

Good at what he did, his company saw an opportunity to promote its business by sending my father to an official competition, sponsored by the carpenter industry at large. I was so proud when Dad won the contest for the title of best carpenter in our state that year!

When I asked my father about the event, he told me the critical test that allowed him to best his competition was the "Field Expedients" section. Because he could not afford many tools in his youth, my father became adept at using his imagination to accomplish jobs without the "proper" equipment.

It is in our youth that we best learn inventive principles, especially through the practice of substitution.

Once I spent a golden summer on the beautiful island of Anguilla in the Caribbean. I remember a little girl about six years old, poor, barefoot and pushing a crude little set of wooden wheels in the sand, from the end of a stick she had fixed to a simple twig axle.

"What's that?" I asked her.

"It's a roller," she answered with an expression that indicated incredulity. How could an American be so dumb as not to comprehend a homemade rolling toy?

Children today rarely get the opportunity to use their minds at play. Substitutions are not necessary in a world where highly detailed toys leave nothing to the imagination. Nor does Dad lack for the correct piece of equipment for every job, and of course Mom has a kitchen absolutely stuffed with the latest gadgets for any contingency.

A potent way to teach inventive principles is to turn kids loose in a patch of woods, without their toys, but that just does not happen anymore, does it?

Perhaps our imaginations go dormant in part because we rarely find it necessary to imagine substitutions these days.

Inventive Principles - Using the Power of Substitution to Stimulate Imaginative Thinking

With his inventions website [], Michael Glen explores the world of inventors and investigates the mysteries of creativity. In the process, he looks for innovative, unusual products that make advertising more a form of entertainment than a sales gimmick.

Why is Creativity and Innovation Important in Business?

Creativity is the ability to come up with new ideas and different ways to solve problems that provide opportunities.

Characteristics of Creative People


* Bright
* Adaptable
* High self-esteem
* Challenge oriented
* Idea oriented
* Inquisitive
* Curious

Can you improve your creativity? Yes! How?

Gather as much information as you can (read, talk with experts, etc.) and brainstorm. Just think about the problem or issue until an idea comes to you. Is the solution reasonable? If so, try it. If not, keep thinking. If you tried out an idea, did it work? If so, great! If not, begin the process over again. Do not put barriers on your mind. Put these steps to use.

What Is an Innovation?

An innovation is something that is invented, like the CD, or something that is created from an existing idea or product (e.g., Super Wal-Mart).

Where do innovative ideas come from?

* Unsatisfied customers
* Demographic changes in society
* Luck
* Imagination
* Vision
* Problem solving


* Look for new ideas.
* Keep it simple.
* Start small.
* Try, try, try again.

Both of these qualities are important in the business owner. The High Performance Entrepreneur must be able to think on his or her feet, come up with novel approaches to difficult situations, and be smart as a tack.

Are you an entrepreneur who thinks you do not possess the ability to develop great ideas? Read over the above article, then ask yourself that question again. Everyone has luck, no matter if they think they do not. Everyone can imagine, dream, and have a vision.

Becoming really innovative only requires you to repurpose your dreams and vision into the physical. If I can do it, you can too.

Why is Creativity and Innovation Important in Business?

Dr. Dave Hale is the CEO of DHI-Communications, an international business coaching and training consultancy, specializing in ecommerce business development and marketing. Dave is widely regarded as one of the top business coaches for Web 2.0 Entrepreneurs. He is the author of The High Performance Entrepreneur: 12 Essential Strategies to Supercharge Your Startup Business. Dave's work and books have been featured on national television, radio, and print media. To obtain more information on how to make barrels of cash in business and instantly receive my FREE CD and Business Journal go to and []

How to Stimulate Your Creative Imagination to Generate New Ideas That Will Work Like Magic

There are ways to stimulate your Creative imagination to generate new ideas. Once you use these methods you'll find these resourceful, innovative ideas and original new methods will help you achieve your goal. You'll find they work like magic.

Creative imagination is a force so powerful it can produce remarkable new inventions, marvels of engineering, and masterpieces of music, literature, painting and sculpture. The possibilities are limitless. In many respects creative imagination is similar to magic.


There have been many remarkable incidents in the past, for which there seemed to be no explanation. They were once regarded as miraculous or magical. One has only to think of natural phenomena such as electricity, radio waves and television. Because of man's ability to use his creative imagination, scientific knowledge increased and these incidents were found to have a rational scientific basis.

Every great discovery from the invention of the wheel by primitive man to present day space travel, originated in the human mind. In every instance these discoveries came about as a result of man's ability to use his creative imagination.

When you are able to use your creative imagination to generate creative ideas you'll find that they can work like magic for you.

What is "creative imagination"?

Creative imagination is a mental faculty that enables you to create mental images and visualize situations or conditions that you have never actually been experienced.

How can you develop creative imagination?

Creative imagination is a faculty that everyone possesses, but in most instances it remains dormant and unused. There are a variety of difference exercises you can use to develop your creative imagination.

Once you have learnt how to use your creative imagination, you can use features of your previous experiences and re-arrange them into new forms and create new inventions, new discoveries or original artistic creations.

A useful exercise to develop your creative imagination is to make a point of reading and re-reading fairy tales and myths. You'll find that most of them contain references to magic, but in actual fact they are meant as metaphors.

Myths, fairy tales and the human imagination.

Myths, fairy tales and parables, handed down from generation to generation, have often stirred and stimulated the human imagination and been directly responsible for the creation of visionary concepts.

The creative genius, Leonardo Da Vinci, who used his fertile imagination to produce works of genius in so many fields, referred to a certain "Macchia", which has its origins in the word "image", as the "spot" which stimulated his imagination.

Da Vinci was also a pioneer in aeronautical engineering. He was inspired by the myth of Daedalus, the Greek artisan who designed two pairs of wings out of feather and wax for himself and his son Icarus.

Most people never make use of talents they possess.

Like many others, you possess latent talents that have been lying dormant for years; creative powers you have never made use of. These talents may be regarded as your personal genie.

There are techniques available to you that will show you how to release your genie from the prison in which you are personally responsible for holding him captive. You can then make use of your liberated creative imagination to achieve any goal you have set yourself.

When you read fairy tales you'll find that there are usually references to characters with supposed magical powers. In actual fact these characters are meant to represent the power of the human mind and its limitless potential. An excellent example of this is the fairy tale of "Aladdin and the Magic Lamp".

The genie in the story is meant to represent the power of the human mind; the ability to use your natural talents and gifts to achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself. The genie represents your potential and your creative imagination.

How to set your "Genie" free.

Visit the following site to find a great deal more about creative imagination and the special techniques you can use to set your "genie" free

by Dennis Fisher

How to Stimulate Your Creative Imagination to Generate New Ideas That Will Work Like Magic

Dennis Fisher is managing director of financial and investment Companies. In addition to his involvement in many different fields of business, his interests include an in-depth study of various schools of practical psychology with particular emphasis on creativity. To find out more about powerful techniques that will enhance creative power go to his website:

5 Inventive Ways to Promote Your Hotel With Stress Balls

When business executives travel to hotels, they want comfort, relaxation, and great customer service. The relief of stress is something highly valued in highly busy executives that are traveling for meetings or in people simply taking some time off from work. Showing your devotion to a relaxing environment has never been easier than with hotel themed stress balls. This article will offer 5 great ways you can promote your hotel with hotel themed stress balls.

1. Hotel Themed Stress Balls as Nightly Gifts on Pillows


A charming way to make guests value your hotel is by placing chocolates and hotel themed stress balls on their pillow after their first night. Guests will appreciate the relaxing gift after their first night and will remember the nice gesture in years to come!

2. Nightly Cocktail Hours

A fun way to get your guests socializing in a hotel is by hosting a cocktail hour every night with free cheese and drinks. At a cocktail hour, be sure to place baskets of hotel themed stress balls on tables. These toys charm guests and can even be great conversational starters about the amazing qualities of your hotel!

3. Hotel Gift Stores

Another great idea is to give hotel themed stress relievers for free with the purchase of any item in a hotel gift store. Guests will feel like they are getting more for their money and will be pleased when they go to relieve stress later with the stress toys!

4. Hotel Casino Gifts

If your hotel contains a casino, then stress relievers can be great for casinos. Sometimes stress balls can be a great way for winners to feel even better about their winnings, and can ease the sorrow of those who perhaps lost a bit of money. Other great promotional gifts for hotel casinos are decks of cards, pens, and note pads.

5. Gifts Upon Arriving

A wonderful way for hotels to greet guests upon their arrival is through gift bags in their hotel room. Creating gift bags with promotional mugs, hotel themed stress balls, pens, note pads, and a map of the surrounding city is a great way to make guests feel welcome.

Hotel themed stress balls are an important way that hotels can communicate their relaxing environment to guests. With these 5 ways to promote your hotel with stress balls, guests will become loyal customers at your hotel!

5 Inventive Ways to Promote Your Hotel With Stress Balls

Check out the massive selection of top quality promotional stress balls at We ship worldwide.

Dan Toombs is Managing Director of CompuGift Limited, the UK's leading online supplier of promotional stress relievers.