Important Facts About National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

The Purpose of National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Since December is one the busiest months of the year full of winter holiday celebrations like Christmas and New Year’s Eve, there are a lot more social events and late night get-to-gathers where alcohol is available. Sadly, driving under the influence is quite common during holiday season. Impaired driving puts drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk, and each year it claims the lives of thousands of Americans. In December, we observe National Impaired Driving Prevention Month to create more awareness on the issue.

Some Important Facts About This Month

It is reported that every year, around 30 million people drive while intoxicated and around 10 million drivers go behind the wheel after taking illegal drugs.

Nearly 25 people a day were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2010. Drinking and driving can be deadly, especially for teens.

Young adults (ages 21-34) are much more likely to die in a car crash after drinking alcohol.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every day, 28 people in the United States lose their lives in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.

In 2014, of the 1,070 traffic deaths among children (ages 0-14), nearly 19% involved alcohol-impaired drivers.

Drugs other than alcohol are also a factor for traffic accidents.

Effective Preventive Measures

Prevention starts with our sense of personal responsibility. It is high time that drivers, irrespective of their age, start thinking about how they can practice safe driving and re-evaluate their driving habits.

Conducting school programs and educating teens on how important it is NOT to get in the car with a driver who’s under the influence would be an effective solution.

Electronically monitoring repeat DWI offenders also appears to be effective. Ignition interlocks in cars prevent operation of the vehicle by anyone with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the specified level.

If you come across a possibly drunken driver on the road, immediately contact the police! Your timely action might save someone’s life.

Families play an essential role in putting an end to impaired driving. We should all educate our children about the risks involved in consuming alcohol or illicit drugs and especially how dangerous this is while driving.

If your holiday plans involve drinking liquor, make sure to always plan ahead for a safe ride home.

Every year, a higher volume of vehicles flood the roads. People rush to see their loved ones for the holidays and the odds of getting into a driving accident increase during these periods. While most people are well informed, there are still many other people who are not aware about how this easily avoidable problem could affect their loved ones. It is our personal duty to help people understand how dangerous this habit actually is.

Organize a local awareness campaign to explain the risks involved and how drinking and driving can affect families. Surprise the attendees with customized giveaways. Silicone wristbands are perfect for such campaigns because they are original, durable, long-lasting and inspiring. You can get them in different colors, fonts, sizes and styles. Wristbands carry messages. Choose from “Think and Drive”, “Never Drink and Drive” or come up with something of your own.

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7 Common Immigration Mistakes To Be Avoided

While applying for immigration benefits, there are some common mistakes people make, but can be avoided. These mistakes can sometimes cause serious trouble at the end of the road, like not being able to reunite with their family, loss of both the application filing fee and the immigration fee, being deported and inability to re-enter the US. So, caution must be taken to avoid these simple mistakes listed below.

1. Providing Incorrect information:

When applying for immigration benefits, it is necessary to provide all the right information. This is right from the point where the immigration forms are filed. Fraudulent information or misrepresenting any facts for obtaining the immigration benefits must be avoided.

2. Late Responses to USCIS queries:

If the US Citizenship and Immigration Services needs any additional information for processing any immigration application, it sends a Request for Evidence (RFE) to the applicant. This request has to be replied with sufficient documentation within the stipulated deadline. Ignoring or missing the deadline for the RFE can lead to denial of the application.

3. Immigration Interviews and Court Hearings:

Attending the interviews set up by the USCIS and the court hearings is very important in the process of granting an immigration. Ignoring these interviews and court hearings can also lead to the application being rejected.

4. Filing application without the fee:

USCIS forms usually have a processing fee. Fee waiver is also available for most forms. Those who cannot afford to pay the fees, can send the application along with a request for fee waiver. USCIS does not process any application which does not have the fee or the proper fee waiver request.

5. Send the application to the wrong office:

The instruction form along with the application should be read carefully. The address to which the application form should be sent to is given clearly in the instruction form. The application must be sent to the correct address to avoid delay where the application is either returned to the sender or sometimes forwarded to the right address.

6. Not everyone who applies is successful:

Some of the applicants, even though they do not meet the criteria for immigration benefits, simply apply because their friends or relatives have applied and have obtained the benefits. Every applicant is evaluated and not everyone who applies is eligible for the benefit. Reading the instruction forms thoroughly clarifies the eligibility criteria and provides newer options available.

7. Eligibility:

Applying for an immigration benefit for which they are not eligible is a very common mistake. Reading the Instruction Form before applying and checking for an individual’s eligibility can be done before applying.

The Ideal Cars for Transporting Many People

Do you ever find that you need to transport many people at a time but don’t have a big enough car to do it? Maybe it’s time for you to get a bigger car. Here are a 6 bigger cars to consider.

Ford Transit Connect LWB

This seven passenger car can fit two more people than the average car. The passengers also don’t feel as cramped as they would in a standard car. Not only does it have extra leg space but it also has head space for the taller people. The car also doesn’t use too much fuel considering its size and the amount of people it can carry.

Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Although it is considered a status brand, this might be one of the cars that could fit many people. It’s bigger than many other SUVs and it also has an impressive engine. It is powerful and comes with the option of 4matic all-wheel drive.

Honda CRV

This is an SUV that has loads of space. It has more than enough space for large items of luggage and a decent amount of space for any of your passengers. It is also a modern and affordable car that can accommodate a number of passengers.

BMW X Series

Like the Mercedes, BMW is also on top of the status list because of how amazing the engineering is. The X series might be a five seater car but it has a large amount of space in the back. Packing luggage and briefcases won’t be a problem with this car.

Kia Soul

Perhaps one of the cheapest cars for a family, it still has the quality and space that you are looking for. The Kia Soul is nicely compacted for easy driving and parking. Plus the frame of the car is quite large so you will have extra space on the inside.

Toyota Fortuner

This off-road car is one of the older models that have always been a favorite for adventure enthusiasts. Going on a camping trip with friends has never been easier and as comfortable. Not only can you enjoy the space on the inside but you also won’t have to worry about damaging the suspension and the tyres because of the way it was built.

When traveling with many people you have to make sure that you are doing it legally. By law, you are not allowed to overload a car with more than the intended amount of people.

Pet Food Market – Trends, Industry Competitiveness and Future Outlook

PET FOOD MARKET

The pet food market was valued at USD 74.9 billion in 2016. North America accounted for the largest share of over 35% of the global market in 2016. The second largest market is Europe, followed by Asia-Pacific with around 20% of the market share, thus, accelerating the trend of pet owners across the globe. In North America, the United States holds the major market share of pets and pet owners, which is expected to register a high CAGR, during 2017-2022 (the forecast period).

TASTES FOR NEW EXPERIENCES AND PORTIONS AS INDULGENCE ALIBI

Flavors and textures are becoming bolder, more complex, authentic, and specific. The correlation of pet food and the modern formats blending freeze-dried bits, with kibble or treats, for texture variations, is making pet owners choose from a range of variety of shapes, textures, and flavors. Moreover, clean labeling continues to grow. Health conscious consumers look for permissible indulgences, like the smaller portion sizes of treats or candies with healthier ingredients like chia seeds or yogurt. Pet treats are developing, in terms of ingredients with functional or other nutritional benefits, which is allowing pet owners to indulge their pets free from guilt. New dog food products comprised of 80% of the global launches in 2015. The launches from September 2015 to September 2016, are keeping the health-related trend intact in new products by category. The share for cat food was around 68% globally. This trend of health and wellness has made good sales for the manufacturers. A few instances in this context are Hill’s Ideal Balance, a new range of dog and cat food that combines natural ingredients with Hill’s perfectly balanced nutrition, is now available in South Africa. CORE® RawRev, a new high-protein grain-free product, is launched by Wellness CORE®, a family of grain-free, natural animal nutrition company.

IMPROVEMENT IN DISTRIBUTION NETWORK LEADS TO GROWTH IN PET FOOD SALES

The high internet connectivity available in the major countries is boosting the use on e-commerce sites as an effective distribution channel. The notions of convenience, affluence or exclusivity, safety, and market awareness play a very crucial role in the developing nations. The unreliability of local goods, as indicated by the recent scandals, is also making people rely on foreign goods. These are made easily available through the e-commerce, further making the sales high. Owing to the industry’s two pet superstores, PetSmart and Petco, the e-commerce channel is exploding with the pet product sales. The late embrace of the market connectivity in the minor markets of small economies, such as Vietnam, Thailand etc., is a cause of infrastructure lag and almost negligible product awareness. These stores offer the nascent market advantages of low regulations and competition. The companies, as the e-commerce is strengthening, are negotiating the ever-changing internet landscape with the factors such as dealing with giants like Amazon that is deciding to sell through similar e-commerce websites and mergers & acquisitions. For instance, in April 2017, PetSmart announced that it will acquire Chewy.com, which heightened the consternation in the independent pet retailers. In response, Tuffy’s Pet Food, a manufacturer to independent and family-owned businesses, announced pulling out its products from Chewy, as it would be owned by the largest US pet store chain. Though Tuffy’s reports a very positive response, not every company detaches itself easily from any large e-commerce sites.

“FREE FROM ALL” AND “FLEXITARIAN EFFECT” BOTH HAVING THEIR WAY TOGETHER

Though the consumers today are part-time vegetarians, they seem to do the opposite when it comes to pet food. The pet owners look for diet options, which focus on the carnivorous nature of dogs and cats, thus, driving the number of products with high and fresh meat claims. Despite the demand for carnivorous diets, veggies are still going mainstream and the producers are innovating their existing products. Free from” for all-the free from trend has been growing, since the past few years and has now hit the mainstream. Pet foods are being formulated with respect to the concerns of humans that include organic and non-GMO ingredients. These ingredients are used in low-carb recipes and have gluten-free claims on new cereal products that increased from one in 15 in 2011 to one in five in 2016. New product launches, with organic or GMO-free ingredients, are witnessing growth in the market. Organic and natural food sales are expected to increase 14.6%, annually, in next two years. For Petco and Pet Smart, organic pet foods are bought at a 7.1% and 5.6% rate, respectively, with organic purchases at veterinary clinics at 5.3%. Brands communicate more about the production processes, due to the rising consumer interest in natural plus authenticity and transparency. This is true for the buyers, too, especially, for the ones seeking products in non-traditional formats such as raw, freeze-dried, frozen and baked. Balchem Corp., a global health, and nutrition company, introduced a new line of specialty nutrients and unique processing additives. The Omega Plus range was launched in the South Island in September 2016, after the two years of continuous R&D. In addition, Bob Martin launched Simply+, a range of products marketed as “nutritionally advanced food that provides dogs with all the essentials of a healthy diet”.

CROSS-BORDER ZONE TO HELP MEET BUOYANT DEMAND

The domestic market is growing at an annual rate of above 30% in China and is poised to accelerate at the same rate by 2022, reaching CNY 150 billion and further, making it the third-largest market, worldwide. Moreover, Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province inaugurated the first cross-border pet industry experimental zone in the city’s Jianggan District. The experimental zone will pilot the reforms on the regulation and approval of cross-border imports. It will explore the introduction of national standards in the industry and promote the exportation of domestically made products. Moreover, more than 35 enterprises, including the cross-border e-commerce sites like Tmall, Kaola Beibei, and related logistics & warehousing companies, have been established in the experimental zone. The zone, basically, enables one-stop services and aims to enroll open, transparent, and smart pet food import channels and regulatory policies. Similar efforts are being taken by the countries to focus on the growing pet population and trends. The market players are taking complete advantage of this situation and investing in R&D for innovative product launches.

NOTABLE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS

  1. Nestlé Purina launched a new production hall at its facility in Bük, in Hungary’s northwest, making the plant the largest production center in Europe and opened the USD 86 million factories in Brazil. This step is expected to boost the Nestlé Purina for more growth than the domestic market.
  2. Carna4: Formulas Inspired by Health Food Trends. This manufacturer takes inspiration from the human health food sector to formulate innovative and whole-food recipes for dogs and cats.
  3. PetLife Supersedes Expectations for the Acquisition of Dr. Geoff’s Real Food for Pets. PetLife Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a developer of a new generation of high potency veterinary cancer medications and nutraceuticals for pets, announced that it is acquiring Dr. Geoff’s Real Food for Pets™ and expansion plans for a national rollout.
  4. German Company Entering Thailand. Interquell, a German-based dog, and cat food company, entered the Thai industry by forming a joint venture, named Happy Pet (Thailand) Co Ltd, with partner Technic Pet Holding, reported Pets International. Interquell holds 49% of the joint venture. Interquell owns the Happy Dog and Happy Cat premium brands.

TOPICS COVERED IN THE REPORT

  • How will face-to-face interaction boost the pet food market in Digital Age?
  • Is low thiamine cat food the cause for Australian cat deaths?
  • Gluten free foods, GMO foods making their mark in the pet food industry.
  • Edible insects creeping into pet food popularity.
  • Humanization and premiumisation on peaks in the pet industry.
  • Will the US and China continue their dominance in the pet food market? What are the emerging markets?

Will growing market connectivity in Asian countries of Vietnam, Thailand etc. boost the Asia-Pacific pet food market?

What You Need to Know on the Best Loan Rates

How Lenders Determine Qualified Applicants for the Best Loan Rates

A loan’s term is being calculated with the use of a tool known as risk based pricing. Essentially, risk based pricing is a system of analysis that determines the risks you pose to lenders as a potential borrower. Various factors including credit score, age and residential status are several of the measures being used in the final calculation. When you present lower risk as a borrow, you will be offered with a better overall rate.

Unsecured loans are tailored for individuals who look for monetary assistance without utilizing collateral. Any individual, who’s an actual or perhaps a house proprietor, can borrow the quantity below this provision. The sum provided for borrower’s problem is really a minimal quantity of £1,000 and elevated until £25,000. This quantity is catered for all classes of credit score holders having a fixed and brief reimbursement expression. And also the repayment time period is settled in between six months- ten many years at greatest. As, unsecured personal loans are fast to get trigger much less paperwork are adopted. Furthermore, within this chance the analysis of house isn’t carried.

Factors Affecting Your Credit ScoreThere are a lot of factors which can contribute to your overall creditworthiness. Even though this list is by no means exhaustive, a few of these factors include the following:

  • Duration of your credit history
  • Proven ability to manage credit as expressed through credit cards, previous loans and others
  • Amount you owe on average
  • Your tendency to source a new credit

How to Attain Your Exact Credit Score Before You Apply

If you are interested to have a better understanding of your creditworthiness prior to applying for a loan or any type of credit for that matter, there are several agencies that you can get in touch with. Lenders are going to use any of these agencies in order to get a copy of your credit details the moment you apply. But, some of them will be more than happy to render you directly a copy of your file for a nominal fee.

All in all, typical rates have not been designed to deceive interested applicants. In fact, it is far from it. In reality, these are only a means for a lender or loan broker to provide an accurate description of what rate typical customers are likely to be qualified for.

When you understand the mechanism being used for promoting a loan, you also decrease your chances of being disappointed.

High Performance Teams

How does your team perform? How do you rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is poor and 10 excellent? Is it massively successful constantly delivering way past all expectations? Is it full of positively minded people working together to achieve challenging business goals? Is it autonomous, responding effectively to challenges and opportunities large and small?

If the answer to these questions is “yes”, congratulations, you can score a 10 and don’t need to read any more of this article. In fact, as you are likely to have plenty of time for high yield activities, give me a call to discuss how your team got there.

Sadly, this isn’t the case for most of us. Your team may not be a “10” but I doubt if it’s a “1” either. Hopefully you are somewhere on the path and have the right attitudes, values and approach develop your team into a “10”.

Empowerment is a key ingredient to the high performing team. If your team feels undervalued, lacking in authority and capability, frightened to make the slightest mistake it’s unlikely to be hitting the high notes. Perhaps there are some individuals that show real potential but others are negative and unproductive?

Are you creating the right conditions for success? Does the team have a clear understanding of what is required of them? Have you a vision of what success looks like? Are the goals you have set, or been set, shared and meaningful to all team members? Reward and fear motivation is common in business today. A common example is rewarding success with a bag of money and punishing failure with the sack. The trouble is we get used to this, we need more and more money to get the same level of motivation and become resilient to threats of the sack.

Internal motivation is far more lasting and effective. It needs more work, it needs you to really understand your people and what drives them. If you know this and use personal, meaningful goals your team will self-motivate. If you have linked their personal, meaningful goals to team and company goals you are well on the way to a successful team.

The whole team is raring to go, but have they the capability to execute? Are team members allowed to make decisions? Have you delegated effectively packaging the task with the necessary authority and resources? Effective delegation is important to team success and team growth. It is a wonderful growth tool for teams and individuals. It does, however need certain attitudes and process to succeed.

Flexibility is a good starting point. The way you do a task may not be the way a team member does. They can be innovative and bring unexpectedly good results given the opportunity. It’s worth letting people test out new ideas. Sometimes different is really good, just think of Amazon and Facebook.

How self-confident are you? Enough to release authority and responsibility to team members? Enough to heap praise publicly when they bring success? Lack of self-confidence and micromanagement are the enemy of productivity. Conquer them and you will become an indispensable profit and productivity generator both for yourself and your company.

Focus on results don’t strive for perfection. Perfect is no friend of productivity. Set standards that are right for the job and always be mindful of the Pareto principle. 80% of your results are going to come from 20% of activities. This means a lot of the work delegated will contribute relatively little to overall performance. It’s intelligent to accept less than perfect in relatively unimportant areas.

Taking credit for the work of others, not really listening to their ideas or working solo crush team morale and productivity. Some people believe effective leaders must always be in total control. They see this as the way “good bosses” should behave. Many bosses do behave this way but I question if they are good. It’s most certainly not the way a good leader behaves so, if that’s what you want to be I suggest you avoid this behaviour entirely.

Delegation develops employees into effective team members. Risk is inherent but you can balance it against the likely reward in terms of personal and team growth and overall performance. It’s also possible to limit risk by adopting a multi-level delegation process.

Tiffany is a bright, driven girl with her foot on the first rung of the marketing ladder. She is doing a great job creating very successful direct mail campaigns. She is eager for something new and looks like a good candidate for development. You have just the task and would like to delegate it to her. It’s running an event which will be a challenge for her but offers a great development opportunity.

A good first step is to her for an opinion. You might say “I’m thinking of doing things differently and wondered who you think might be able to handle this task, perhaps even you? This gives her the opportunity to express opinions but not feel forced to accept the task.

If Tiffany accepts, consider this approach. The first time the opportunity to run an event comes along you run it, let her watch you do it and ask questions. The second time let Tiffany do it with you assisting and helping out where needed. The third time she runs the event, but this time without your support unless absolutely needed, reporting at regular intervals. Subsequent times she always runs events unaided and only reports in exceptional circumstances.

One seemingly small point is very important for Tiffany’s confidence and status in the team. If she performs well, make the praise loud, long and public. If she needs coaching make it supportive, private and non-judgemental.

I hope this is useful to you and help you build your own high performance team.

Types of Antique Diamond Cuts

Most of the consumers don’t understand the difference between the diamond shapes. There are two different properties of the stone. The shape is just an external outline. However, the cut is about shaping rough stones into sparkling gems. If you closely observe the top surface, you will see the edges refracting light. This is something you can call the cut which determines the brilliance of the stone. The cut of a diamond actually reveals the hidden beauty of the stone. The old European cut diamond has a round shape but it is geometrically different than a modern diamond. The only difference is the both diamonds have the same round shape but their cutting style is different. The old European round shaped diamonds are popular for increased colors. Whereas, the modern diamond gives more sparkles and brilliance.

The old diamonds was so popular since 1800s and until the round brilliant was invented by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The round brilliant cut gives more glittering effect so it is more popular in today’s world. However, there are antique lovers or people who prefer classic jewelry still like the old European cut. The modern technologies was invented in early 1900s and due to the advancement, few diamond became obsolete.

The Rose Cut Diamond

The rose cut was introduced in early 1500s. This particular diamond resembles the petals of a rose flower. The rose diamond cut was so popular for love, and engagement rings. After 4 centuries of its discovery, it became outdated in 20th century. The rose diamond has 24 facets.

The Single Cut Diamond

This is the basic of a round shaped diamond. You may consider it as a simple form of a round diamond. It is one of the oldest diamonds with only 18 facets. With the passage of time, jewelers invented ways to cut a round diamond for more brilliance so it became obsolete. However, there is a modern form of single cut diamond is available in the market which has the same style but it is without a culet.

The Old Mine Cut

The old mine cut diamonds were used in Victorian and Edwardian Eras. The old mine cut has a variety of facet patterns and its shape possess a high crown, larger culet, and small table. It was very prominent in 18th century. Now it is considered as an antique diamond.

Old European Cut

This is earlier version of today’s round brilliant diamond. Old European cut diamond has 58 facets with a smaller table and higher crown. Market is full of antique diamond but the old European cut is one of the most classic diamond. It is still in demand and it has more value than modern round brilliant diamond if the stone is still in its original setting.

The market study shows that round cut diamond engagement rings are top selling than any other diamond and there are many consumers who still prefer the old European engagement rings.

Highland Park, CA Homes and Real Estate – A Look at the Numbers

In Los Angeles real estate circles, everyone is talking about Highland Park. Like other Northeast LA neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Eagle Rock and Mt. Washington, Highland Park is in a state of gentrification as new stores and restaurants are popping up on York Blvd. and homes are being purchased and restored. As a result, homes in Highland Park are in demand and prices have steadily risen. But gentrification isn’t the only reason. Highland Park is a wonderful area to call home.

Highlan Park is an amiable historic neighborhood located in Northeast Los Angeles. It is a hilly neighborhood located in the San Rafael Hills along the Arroyo Seco. It is southwest of Eagle Rock and Northeast of Cypress Park. People from many ethnic and socioeconomic groups call this neighborhood “home”. The weather is pristine with the highest monthly average temperature being 73 degrees in the hottest month of July and 57 degrees in the coldest month of December. Highland Park experiences light rain; January receives the highest amount at 4.6 inches total. According to Walk Score, Highland Park is the most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles with a score of 72. It is very accessible and most errands can be completed on foot. It has some public transportation and is somewhat bikeable with a transit score of 47 and a bike score of 53.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census there were 57,566 residents in the 3.42 square miles of neighborhood. That is an average of 16,385 people per square mile. Highland Park is one of the highest density areas in Los Angeles. Highland Park grew to 60,835 people by 2008. The ethnicity break down was as follows: Latinos, 72.4% Whites 11.3%, Asians 11.2%, Blacks 2.4% and others 2.6%. A larger than average 57.8% residents were born abroad. 55.3% of them were born in Mexico and 12% were from El Salvador. In the male population 52.2% were married, 41.2% had never been married, 4.9% had been divorced and 1.6% were widowed. For the women: 50.4% were married, 33.2% were never married, 9.3% were divorced and 7.1% were widowed. The demographic for never married was among the county’s highest. 14.3% of residents who were 25 and above had a four-year degree. This was average for Los Angeles. 45.1% of the residents were born in a foreign city. This was a high number for Los Angeles. 4.9% of people in the population were veterans; this was a low number for Los Angeles. The average age of residents was 28, which is seen as young compared to the other areas of Los Angeles.

The average household income in 2008 was $45,478, which is an average number for Los Angeles. The average household size was 3.3 people, which is 25% higher than the national average. Renters occupied60.9% of housing units, which is 105% higher than the national average. Owners completed the other 39.1%, which is 58% lower than the national average.

Zillow states that Highland Park’s home value index is $662,800, which is up 13.1% since last year and with a projected increase of 4.3% predicted over next year. The market temperature is very hot and ideal for sellers. The average price per square foot is $582, which is higher than the Los Angeles average of $448. The average price of homes is $652,500, which is 123% higher than the national average. The average rent per month is $2,600, being 22% higher than the national average. The current Market Health is 5.3/10, which is relative to other markets across the country. Highland Park will continue to grow and develop.

Because Highland Park is in a stage of gentrification with rising home prices, it is highly advised for home-buyers and home sellers to seek out an experienced Highland Park realtor who specializes in the area.

Make More Sales By Being Contrary

Here’s something I’ve been playing with, and my results have been pretty good, too.

A few months ago a friend was launching a big product with lots of cash prizes for the top affiliates. I knew there would be tons of affiliate competition, with every affiliate trying to out-do the others with bigger and better bonuses.

How to compete?

I decided not to.

Instead, I thought about what every affiliate’s bonus pages would look like: Highly polished, slick, professional, lots of graphics, videos, etc.

Odds are they would all start to look very much alike, right?

So I thought… what if I did something different?

What if my page looked like something you might get in the mail – black and white sales letter, using the Courier typewriter font, very old-school looking…

And what if, instead of a highly polished professional photo of myself, I used one where I just woke up? Or one where I just finished exercising, or just finished the yard work?

In other words, I looked like the guy next door and not some slick marketer.

Taking this thinking to the next level, I decided I didn’t want to spend time or money on creating a bonus. Everyone else was doing that, so why should I?

Instead, I would hold a live class. The homework would be to go over the program before class. Then in class we would implement, step-by-step, what was in the program. And I would record the whole thing, so people could just follow along.

In case you’re wondering – it worked beautifully. My sales were a very decent 5 figure number, and my commissions were half that plus bonuses.

And one more thing – I cheated, too. I had my virtual assistant run the class for me. She got to learn some great new skills, and I put less than 2 hours into the entire project.

The takeaway: When you have a lot of competition, it’s time to stop directly competing and find another way.

If they are using tons of graphics and slick videos, you go with a 1980’s black and white typewriter look.

If they are offering bonus packages filled with 5, 10 or 20 products, you offer no products (I offered hold-your-hand training, which in my opinion is worth far more anyway.)

You get the idea.

Do you know what would work even better than that?

MAILING the actual letter. Yup. Talk about old school. If you collect real addresses of your BUYERS, you might consider doing this on big ticket items.

I know marketers who do this. They are few and far between, and they are KILLING it. They only mail to buyers, which greatly improves their conversions. They use a service to send out the mailers for them. And they make more on one of these mailings than most successful marketers earn in 6 months.

Which brings me to my second idea… if you don’t already have the mailing addresses for your buyers, start collecting those now.

When you have a sizable portion of them (at least 200, preferably 500) approach a marketer with a product your list would love. Make sure there is plenty of profit in that product. Take the sales letter, adapt it to a black and white mailer (cheap to produce) and send it to your buyers.

See what happens. Tweak, rinse and repeat.

You can easily DOUBLE your income using this method.

Know why? Again, because it’s contrary. It’s different. Almost no one is doing it.

Your customer gets maybe a half dozen pieces of mail in a day. Two are bills. Two are sales flyers from local businesses. One is a catalog.

And then there’s that mysterious white envelope. Yeah, it’s going to get opened. Yes, it’s going to get read.

Glassell Park Real Estate – What the Numbers Tell Us

Real estate in Glassell Park, a hillside neighborhood adjacent to red-hot Mt. Washington and Highland Park – is in high demand. Prices for Glassell Park real estate are rising and the inventory of homes is shrinking, creating a seller’s market. But why is this happening now when the area was undiscovered for so long? Let’s look at what the numbers tell us about this special community.

Glassell Park is a moderately diverse neighborhood located in Northeast Los Angeles. Glassell Park resides south of Glendale, west of Eagle Rock and northeast of Mount Washington. This neighborhood is quite hilly and provides its residents with astounding views. During the housing boom of 2000 a large group of middle-class people moved to Glassell Park because of the inexpensive cost and abundance of Craftsman homes. The average temperature for the hottest month of the year, July, is 73 degrees. The average temperature for the coldest month of the year, December, is 57 degrees. January is the month with the most precipitation at 4.6 inches.

Area Vibes awarded Glassell Park a livability score of 72, very livable, which is higher than the national average of 70. Walk Score says that Glassell Park is a 61, with a transit score of 44 and a bike score of 38. Therefore, Glassell Park is somewhat walkable, and some errands can be accomplished by walking. There is some public transportation with a score and not many bike lanes.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there were 23,467 residents within the 2.75 square mile neighborhood. This equates to 8,524 people per square mile, which is average density for Los Angeles. The ethnicity break down was as follows: Latinos: 66.1%, Whites: 13.7%, Asians: 17.4%, Blacks: 1.4% and others 1.4%. 51.5% of its residents were born abroad with the highest two being Mexico, 49.3% and the Philippines, 16.2%. The average age for residents was 30; this is average for the city and county of Los Angeles. 19% of the residents who are 25 and older have earned a four-year degree. There was 4.8% of the population listed as veterans.

The median household income in Glassell Park was $50,098, which is an average figure for the city and county of Los Angeles. The average household size is higher compared to most parts of Los Angeles at 3.3 people. This is 21% higher than the national average. Renters reside in 56.2% of the housing stock; this is 55% higher than the national average. Owners are the remaining 43.8%, these figures are 30% lower than the national average.

According to Zillow, Glassell Park homes are valued on average at $713,700. This is a 9.3% increase from last year and they expect it to raise another 2.6% next year. The average price of homes on the market is $675,000; this is 148% higher than the national average. The market health is rated at 3.8 out of 10 in comparison to other markets across the county. The average price per square foot is $499, which is higher than the Los Angeles average of $448. The current market temperature is “cool” which is ideal for the Buyer’s market. The average price of rent is $2,900, which is 33% higher than the national average.

When buying and selling real estate in Glassell Park, buyers and sellers should consult an experienced real estate agent who specializes in the area.