Discovering The Joys Of Food and Travel

One of the best things about visiting new places the chance to combine sampling the local food and travel. One single country can offer an enormous variety of dishes. Indian cuisine is very sophisticated, though often we don’t know its diversity because the food in most Indian restaurants comes from the Punjabi region of northern India. The other great Indian styles of southern, eastern and western cookery are largely vegetarian, though some include lamb, chicken, fish and even goat.

French cooking represents one of the greatest cuisines on the planet. Many of the dishes are rich with their use of cream and alcohol. ‘Escargots’ (snails) cooked in garlic butter might, along with ‘frogs’ legs, ‘ put you off your dinner. France also specialises in exquisite pastries (‘patisseries’). Liqueurs, spirits and a marvellous choice of wines also greet you when you visit France.

Most of the Mediterranean countries have a cuisine worth trying and Spain is no exception. Well-known for its tasty snacks or starters called ‘tapas, ‘ Spanish seafood dishes can also be very tasty. As well as many excellent wines, you might like to sample one of the most famous national drinks – sherry, traditionally made in Jerez from wine fortified with brandy. ‘Sangria’ is a bit like punch, made from inexpensive red wine with added spices, spirits and fruit.

In Mexico, Aztec cookery blended with Spanish ideas to create characteristic dishes wrapped in tacos or tortillas made from flour-based flat breads. Guacamole, a creamy dip made from avocado mashed with oil and garlic, is a favourite Mexican dish.

Italy is famous for pasta and pizza. Pizza is equivalent to our word ‘pie’ and was the traditional lunchtime food for labourers in the fields. Every village used to have its open brickwork pizza oven and you could see women returning from the woods with baskets laden with a variety of mushrooms, to make the delicious ‘pizza ai funghi.’ Italian cooking is one of most ancient cuisines in the world, with over 300 varieties of sausage to choose from and 400 cheeses, any traveller is spoilt for choice.

Middle Eastern cookery reflects something of the Mediterranean combined with more eastern accents, with its emphasis on warming spices, like cinnamon. As in Greece, ‘mezzes’ or appetizers, dips, pickles, are eaten with delicious breads. This cookery style uses a lot of pulses, like lentils and chick peas, with plenty of fresh and interesting salads, and maybe a little less meat.

Thai cooking uses lime juice and lemon grass, to create delicate and subtle flavours. Recipes blend bitter, sweet, hot and sour flavours. Well-known for its fish sauce, Thai cooking also uses a lot of noodles. ‘Sushi’ rice and fish dishes may come to mind when you think of Japanese cooking. Developed over many historical periods, Japanese cookery includes a variety of sweets as well as rice-based dishes and many soya bean products and recipes. Chinese food has carved out a worldwide niche because of its adaptability. China also produces a dazzling array of green, black, white and scented teas.

In modern folk legend, the English would be the cooks in hell. Despite England’s terrible culinary reputation, their classic dish of ‘fish and chips, ‘ shouldn’t be missed. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (which is not a dessert, but a savoury accompaniment) can’t be bettered on a cold day.

Would Our Web Designer Sell Us A Junk Design?

Junk just gathers dust
Web designers are in the business of selling web designs. That is the first principle of business for a web design firm, as it is for many other types of businesses. There is nothing new here except that the whole purpose of a web site is to create business for the owner, and a site just gathering dust does not do that.

No one says that a web design needs to create direct sales for any business but it must connect with the business owner’s market and engage that market. If the site doesn’t connect with the market it is just junk collecting dust. It may be a beautiful piece of work but it’s still collecting dust.

Part of this problem is our responsibility as small business owners. We didn’t go to a web designer and say, “I need a web site designed for my web market.”

Instead, most small business owners say, “I need a web site designed for my business.”

Our market doesn’t care about us
The difference is about the focus our words create and the intent that gives to a project. And when the focus is on our business it is not on our market. Thus, we end up with something we are thrilled with even though our market is not impressed and doesn’t care.

What our market cares about is their problem, not the looks of our web site. They are not going to share our web site with others because it looks cool, but they will share when our business web site helps them and educates them about our industry and how to make the best choice for their needs.

Are we being educated on our marketing options?
The chances are that our web designer doesn’t really want to go there. Instead they jump right in to giving us a good look at their portfolio and suggesting how they could customize and come up with something totally original for us.

And our fault is that we go for this – not knowing any better.

But it’s not really our fault. We go to experts to get the best information and all too often we are talking to a professional that has a conflict of interest. This is where the web designer is advising us about the very product they sell. We may never get clear information about what all our choices are.

For instance:
If the conversations never touches on the low cost, or no cost, of “Pull Marketing” then we are not getting all of the available choices.

If the conversations never come around to discussing the differences between a demographic market and a virtual market then we are not seeing our real needs.

If the conversations never get around to discussing how to define a marketing profile for our web market (not just guessing about our virtual market) then we are not getting to use the best of what a web site can offer our business.

And there are more if’s that the web design industry does not talk about. Web designers don’t talk about our market other than to ask us to describe them. It is so much easier for them to design something for us. So most small business owners end up with a beautiful site that is headed for the scrap pile from day one.

To design for our web market a design firm would need to know how to discover things about our virtual market that even we don’t know. They would need to know about virtual markets and why they are different. Web designers need to know our market’s shopping habits, what our market values the most and which values we have in common with our market. But web designers, trendy or not, don’t give us any of this.

The solution is in market segmentation
This is just another term for psycho-graphics. Segmentation divides a whole geographical or national market into 7 segments where each has a psychological profile that describes the segments shopping habits, values, likes & dislikes as well as general beliefs. These are better tools to work with on the web.

Reverse engineer
We could also stand back from our own business and ask that business a few questions to discover things about the market it serves.

Doesn’t our business provide solutions for a market?
Doesn’t our experience include the pain and distress our market feels?
Can we name our market’s biggest problem?

Once we have put words to the solutions we provide and for who we provide them for then we are well on our way toward knowing who our web site should be designed for.

We do not have to accept trendy web designs that have no appeal to our market. These just sit and gather dust. We want a site that engages our market and this means engaging our market.

Read that last line again. It’s like saying, “If nothing changes… then nothing changes.”

If our web site doesn’t engage our market it’s just junk

No matter how beautiful and pleasing it is to our eyes.

And it is our job to make sure that our web designer is going to think about our market and what would be best for our market but we shouldn’t really expect this to happen. The reason for this is that there is no one that knows more about our business than we do, but we need to stop listening to the professionals who are only thinking about us.

A professional web designer may not deserve all the blame for junk web site, except that they are the self proclaimed experts and they expect that we will listen to them. Therefore, the first rule of hiring a web professional is to not let them design our web site.

There is, of course, a great deal more to learn about our virtual market and how they think, what their shopping habits are, what their values are and what they believe in. There isn’t room in one article to cover the web as a virtual marketplace or market segmentation to develop a market’s profile. You will find this information in other articles.

Winning Your Freedom in a Home Based Business

Who’s in charge of your life? Are you on the 40 x 40 plan – working 40 hours a week for 40 years to get a pension? If you want to change your outcome, develop a residual income and have a successful home based business, then please read on. Life is way to short in my opinion and we should maximize our day and give it our all for our family, friends and yes even our home based business. It doesn’t matter what we do in life as long as you are happy and satisfied at the end of yours, that you gave your all and made everyday count.Financial success through network marketing by building a long term sustainable residual income is created by attracting people to your network that purchase products every month. It’s the glue that holds our business together. Remember, many people ordering a little each month can mean a nice residual income at the end of the month or in our case, at the end of each week. A solid long term residual income is created when we attract quality people to a solid home based business.The foundation of any solid company will have a good track record of people succeeding regularly and will retain customers based on the product’s benefits and value. Poor programs can create a treadmill effect of recruit one/lose one which makes it very difficult to grow over the long term and develop a residual income. Poor programs cannot demonstrate solid growth over a long period of time in their main market making international expansion or new markets the only means of increasing sales. This eventually will stagnate as well and the treadmill must keep going to maintain sales and thus residual incomes.A reasonable yearly growth rate in sales in the main market place is proof that the company is well run and that the products are popular with people. This helps ensure that if one were to apply them self and build a freedom residual income that it would remain and grow as well. Thus giving those individuals a viable and long term home based business.In the 10 plus years I have been involved with network marketing it has been my observation that most companies cannot demonstrate a solid yearly growth rate which means that Newcomers are going to have a hard time maintaining and growing their home based business after the initial year or so. Most new programs that are well conceived peek around 3 years and level out in growth as well. Those that got involved in the beginning can experience great growth for a while but after the growth curve slows, newcomers stagnate and the treadmill begins, recruit one/lose one – thus the end result, your residual income goes down.Part of the solution is to have a good coach that will share all the information and guide you through the process step by step and advise you what it really takes to win your freedom. Many experienced Networkers understand this concept and analyze all the new start-up companies with the hope of getting involved near the beginning and being part of the new companies momentum phase to building a large home based business and another residual income.Companies come and go all the time so it becomes a gambling process and your residual income looks more like a roller coaster, but it does not have to be that way. Some compensation plans are weighted in favor of the knowledgeable veteran and their strong contact list of other experienced Networkers, so all in all, it can be a risky decision to invest your time in another home based business opportunity.If a company requires more than a $200-$300.00 start up cost or a minimum monthly participation level over $75.00-$100.00 or so that a newcomer or less experienced person is best to ask a lot of questions and be absolutely sure before investing so much of their time and energy into the program. Some companies have a minimum requirement in order to receive compensation of $150-$200.00 per month that only forces people out the door as quickly as they come in. This may work in the original veteran’s favor as they get paid deep into their organization but Newcomers are the ones footing the bill.You just need to ensure you are doing your due diligence before starting a home based business. For example, today I was sharing with a business partner some information about various tools that he could utilize to build his home business and develop a residual income because he’s knowledgeable with technology. While talking with him, I explained to him what it will truly take for him to be ultimately successful in our home based business. The more important question I asked him was, at what level was he willing to play the game? You see it’s the consistency over the long term that I am looking for in people and they need to understand this from the outset.Winning your freedom in network marketing is not an easy thing to do but it can be next to impossible in a poorly run company or one that is not favorable to Newcomers. It pays to check them out on Google.So then what? Well, find out what the people that have started from the same position as you have done to become successful in building a home based business and developing a residual income and do the same thing. It only makes sense really. Examine the Life Insurance or Real Estate business. A newcomer to either field is going to do the same things if they are going to be successful. It has long been proven what works consistently. Few will succeed in either field by reinventing the wheel.Same applies to network marketing, find a good coach and follow their lead to building a residual income. Good leaders understand it pays to work one on one with the new person to get them up to speed with their new home based business and really help them be successful.Attracting quality people to a quality program is simply a matter of developing relationships with people and earning their respect and showing them why you were attracted to the program. People buy who you are before they buy what you have. For many people initially there can be a lot to learn about how to earn people’s respect, especially if they were a stranger to begin with. It takes time to build respect and become friends. This is why we all begin by sharing our home based business program with those that we know as best we can.The power of network marketing and building a lasting residual income is found in the team approach where more experienced people do the presenting of the business concept on your behalf, thus a newcomer can use the credibility of the more experienced veteran to solidify the presentation of the business.In good home based business programs there is no danger of people we know losing money and there is little risk attached to trying it out. That’s because any good company will always have a full money back guarantee and if the new person or your friend evaluates the products etc., they can always get their money refunded. This protects our relationships and keeps everything about our home based business comfortable to share with anyone.Learning all about the company, the opportunity, the products as well as the techniques and tools that are proven to share our home based business opportunity takes a fair amount of energy and time. Anyone who wishes to build a Freedom residual income should have clear and realistic goals, expectations and made the time commitment necessary to achieve success. True NWM is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme and like any other real success requires desire and commitment and the persistence needed to overcome the obstacles along the way.The benefits of being self-employed and having the ability to work our own hours as well as the freedom to live anywhere we choose to is worth the investment of time and energy and the sacrifice that entails. I wish you much success on your path to creating a freedom residual income.