Small Business Loans

Loans are an integral part of a business, more so for small businesses. Usually, small businesses require loans for their start-up capital. Even after the business becomes functional, a further loan might be necessary for the expansion of business or for some other business related requirements. Many banks and financial institutions offer these loans. However, they expect something in return for their investment. If you can put yourself in the shoes of the lender and think of the loan amount as your own, you can understand what these expectations are.

So, as a borrower, if you can meet these expectations, your chances of obtaining a loan become much stronger and you can obtain loans much more easily.  In order to get a small business startup loan, the lender needs to know what you need the money for. Here, you need to be very exact and specific about stating your needs. Vague explanations never work. Secondly, the lender will want to evaluate your chances of being able to return the money. So, you should be able to convince the lender about the effectiveness of your business plan. The key here is the business plan and this is where your starting point should be.

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My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbooking

A few years ago I was given the opportunity to try out the My Memories Suite Digital Scrapbook program. This is awesome digital scrapbooking software and I’ve gotta say, I was, and still am, impressed. Whenever I’m not pressed for time and I’m in a store like Target or Michaels, I find myself going down the scrapbooking aisle just wishing I had the time and patience to take on a project.

Many reviewing websites rate My Memories Suite as the best in the market. The program is very affordable and fun to do, and it is also pretty easy. Regardless whether you are a well-seasoned digital scrapbooker or entirely new to this line of activities, My Memories Suite really is the easiest and maybe the best digital scrapbooking program around.

I know it would be next to impossible to lay out all my supplies and sit there with no interruptions or toddler interferences anyway so being able to do it all on the computer is right up my alley! No scissors, no glue, no toddlers touching everything! The software I’m talking about is MyMemories Suite version 8. After a couple of years now, I still love it. When I first downloaded it and starting messing around with it I didn’t think it actually offered much.

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Working 9-to-5 no longer

More choose flexible hours on the job

It’s a typical morning for Terry Hackett. His 6-year-old son, Connor, wakes him up to snuggle in bed, then the creative director is off to work. He downs a PowerBar, stops at Starbucks for coffee and often holds a planning meeting with senior management.

Never mind that it’s not yet 6:30 a.m. and the sky is still black.

“It took some getting used to because I’m not a morning person,” says Hackett, 53, of PRO Group, a Denver-based marketing and merchandising company for wholesalers. He regularly begins his workday before dawn. “But it means I leave around 4 p.m., and I can spend time with my son before dinner.”


The 5 a.m. commuter is no longer an oddity. The workday is starting at an increasingly early hour as more employees adopt non-traditional work schedules, a fast-growing trend that’s transforming the 9 – to – 5 workday.

Employees are getting to work earlier than ever to avoid rush-hour commutes and handle work-family demands, and many employers are simply demanding earlier start times to service clients across the USA and around the globe.

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Get off the Wall And Into Your Audience’s Head

Your responsibility on your creative journey is to share it with others. And care deeply about how to share it. You might as well slap your audience in the face if you’re going to just blow out some glass work, leave it on a shelf at a studio sale or gallery space and then secretly boil when no one cares. You are ultimately declaring, “I have something enormous to say. But I’m only going to show you the answer, not the question to the answer.

So screw you for not understanding it!” If they look at your glass bowl, they’re seeing an answer. An end product to your creative point-of-view. A response to something you experienced or saw for yourself on your epic journey. And intertwined with that form of expression is all of your other life choices and experiences rolled into that answer. Into that glass.

But they have no idea what your experiences are. Or why they should care.

A documentary can layout an entire journey. It can detail what you have to say. It can show someone else, word for word and still by still, why to care. But even if you create something so thorough and profound and just throw it on a shelf waiting for someone to discover it – you might as well say “Screw you. It’s not worth telling you why you should watch it” to the world. You need an epic title. A story. A glorious photo of your work.

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Rebranding a company can be a painful business

My parents named me after a television character – Jody, from that late-’60s, single-parent comedy, Family Affair. Remember Jody and Buffy and Mr. French? Well, the kids in my third-grade class sure didn’t. They only remembered that Jody was a girl’s name, a fact I was reminded of every day on the playground. Thus I decided, when I switched schools in the fourth grade, to rebrand under the much more boyish moniker of Joe. I thought the transformation would grant me acceptance into the inner sanctum of popularity.

The process was relatively easy (and equally meaningless) on the playground. But at home, my parents were hurt, and my aunt even refused to call me Joe, so emotionally tied were they to the image of little Jody, their cute blond kid. Rebranding a company can be just as painful. Yet, alongside premature IPOs and budget-busting television ads, corporate trans appellations have become a popular ingredient of New Economy branding strategies in recent years.

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Life is unfair

Seattle, home to two of the nation’s three richest men and a staggering array of high-tech millionaires, is Ground Zero for inequity. One economist, trying to put Bill Gates’ wealth into everyday terms, calculated that in 1986, when Microsoft went public, Gates was earning enough that it was not worth his time to spend the four seconds necessary to retrieve a dropped $5 bill. By 1998, it wasn’t worth it for Gates to pick up $10,000.

Let me put all this another way. For a quarter-century, you’ve worked like a donkey to boost productivity — and almost all the benefits have gone to your boss and his investors.

Why have we let this happen? Princeton University political scientist Larry Bartels asked just this question and concluded that, basically, we’re dumb: 20 percent of those he polled were unaware of this trend entirely, 40 percent hadn’t thought much about it, and the rest either benefited or didn’t believe anything could be done.

We keep voting for politicians, funded by the upper crust, who have protected this growing inequality. And we do so at our peril. “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics,” the philosopher Plutarch said.

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Things haven’t changed

Well, work itself has. For several thousand years, work was really work, and everybody who was anybody sneered at it. A huge population of slaves, serfs and peasants used their muscles in grimy toil to support a tiny aristocracy of warriors, lords, and priests who devoted their lives to art, religion, small mercies to the poor, and killing each other.

This system was not particularly efficient. The game for a slave, who has no opportunity for pay or advancement, might be to do as little as possible. The same could be said of the minimum-wage “working poor” of today.

It was technology that began providing opportunities for a new middle class of entrepreneurs, and the Protestant Reformation that changed Western attitudes toward work. The leading philosopher was a French clergyman named John Calvin, one of those dead white guys you’ve scarcely heard of whose thinking nonetheless rules your life.

Calvin made work not just cool but obligatory. He believed certain people were predestined to go to heaven and others to be damned, and the only way to tell the Elect was to see who was working hard and had money, wealth itself being a sign of divine grace. He not only turned Catholic teaching about the perils of riches on its head, he contended that losers should blame themselves, not the system.

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The Changing Face of Work

THE ANCIENT GREEKS knew all about work. Their word for it was ponos, which meant not just toil but suffering. And pain. Work was for slaves. The role of free men, according to the thinkers, was to avoid work as much as possible so they’d have time for war, philosophy, and art.

Them were the days.

Nowadays, everybody works, even Bill Gates, richest man in the world. We’re supposed to (Protestant Work Ethic), most of us have to (Money) and in theory, we want to (Personal Fulfillment, or Meaning).

But wait. Financial author Phil Laut has defined work as “doing what you don’t want to do.”

Certainly, I know the difference between hard work (industrial painting and scrubbing pots and pans, which I did during high school and college) and head work (writing stories like this one). My manic-depressive editor will proclaim she has the best job in the world one moment and kvetch about it the next, but we all know there’s a big difference between daily dreariness and occasional discontent, and between working poor and working rich.

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Well-being self-assessment. The 12 Vital Signs

Maybe today’s a good day to take our well-being self-assessment. That’s a good thing to do right….check our vital signs every once in a while?

By the way, why do doctors take time to check our blood pressure, temperature, and reflexes when we go for a visit? It’s because they’re indicators of our physical well-being.  Turns out, the same principle applies to our spiritual health, only the vital signs differ.

So let’s take a moment to reflect on how we’re doing spiritually through this self-assessment exercise.  Rank yourself from 1-5 for each of these categories, one being lowest, and then we’ll reflect on the results.

Ready to get started?….ok, go ahead and turn your head and cough:)

THE 12 VITAL SIGNS OF WELL-BEING

1.  TEMPERAMENT

How patient are you?  Do you have a short fuse, or become irritated easily?  Are you frequently in a bad mood?  Our temperament is often indicative of two things: our level of consciousness and degree of presence.  When we’re discontent with the present moment or in some form of self-loathing we become irritable and impatient.  To read more on our level of consciousness, check out a great article by Justin Mazza here. (more…)

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THERE’S A PLAN FOR THAT- Value of insurance

The autumn flower of sun flare.
The autumn flower of sun flare.

Like a sultry movie star from days of yore, I put the bad leg up on Nate’s knee and sexily tore off the ankle brace.  He looked up at me like I was insane.  So I said, “What, don’t you want some THIS!”  He said, “The ankle brace strip tease really doesn’t do it for me.”  Apparently the bend-and-snap move I learned in Legally Blonde doesn’t actually work.  And since I’m lazy, I quit trying to seduce my husband shortly after that.

You know how some women can turn a man on like flipping a light switch?  I’m not one of them.  I guess that’s why I spend so much time sitting in the dark.  Pass me those irate birds – I have some pigs to kill.

THERE’S A PLAN FOR THAT

It’s a little ironic that I’m terrified of death, and yet I am married to a man who deals with death in his profession every single day.  No, I’m not married to a mortician or a funeral director. Nate doesn’t perform autopsies, he’s not a crime scene investigator. (more…)

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