What Is Life?black-and-white-butterfly-

They say it’s from B to D.

From Birth to Death,

But what’s between B and D?

It’s a “C” So what is a “C”?

It is a Choice.

Our Life is a matter of choices,

Live well and it will never GO WRONG.

~ Anonymous

Are you in danger of losing your job…to a robot?

Employment opportunities for the masses are essential for a healthy economy.

While economic growth has been driven by rapid growth in technology, economic health is endangered. Technological advancement has brought about situations where workers are being replaced by mechanized processes and robots. Increasing amounts of workers are losing their jobs or receiving reduced wages; resulting in their inability to take part in the economy as consumers. A snowball effect is caused when consumers are financially unable to support retailers; the retailers purchase less from wholesalers who in turn cut their orders with manufacturers.

Jobs that were lost during the recession will not be recovered

The universe may be recovering from a dreadful financial slump, but technology has not slackened. Workers’ jobs that were lost during the recession will not be recovered; as an alternative, those jobs will be replaced by automated systems.

Is your job in jeopardy?

It is predicted that robots will be taking over most labor intensive, repetitive jobs rapidly. Restricted developments have been made by furnishing robots with very basic social intellect, perception of language and dialects, as well as rudimentary logic and reasoning skills. While robots will have no problems taking over repetitive jobs, no danger exists currently for jobs where the creativity of thoughts and actions are required. The most progress made in the automation of jobs has been in the service sector, Including agriculture and industry. This also happens to be a sector where over 70% of laborers were employed. Phasing out these jobs in favor of mechanized robots will have devastating effects on the economy, as thousands of workers will find themselves unemployed, which will drastically decrease purchasing power. Many more will become dependent on government support.

Certain professional jobs have already been automated

It is expected that teachers will be replaced by robots in the near future. Robots, instead of doctors, are already being used to diagnose patients. Predictions are that nanobots will be replacing damaged cells while rushing through human veins, by 2030. This will eliminate much of the need for medical supervision. Another medical position in danger is that of the radiologists. Being of a very repetitive nature, robots may soon be taking over radiology, as well.

What about other professions?

Software has been developed that can read, review and accurately analyze millions of legal documents in a matter of seconds. Could the jobs of lawyers and paralegals be in jeopardy?

Where do we go from here?

Planning future employment opportunities have to be approached in a proactive way. With the knowledge of the threat of robots, we should identify factors that may present problems in the future. Once those problems have been identified, the focus should be on skills development to overcome those potential problems.

What does the future hold for our children?

Consider that the children who are in primary school now will be entering the career market in 15 to 20 years from now. We would obviously want our children to be employable, not so? While we have established that skills, where the creativity of the human mind is essential, are not likely to be taken over by robots, we should emphasize the development of those types of skills in children from an early age. With a maximized skill set and versatility, today’s kids may be employable in 15 to 20 years from now.

When formatting future economic and growth plans, leaders in every country should remain aware of the predictions that half of all human jobs are expected to be mechanized by 2040, and plan with that in mind.

Mari Serfontein – On the Wings of Life 

Are modern kids born with knowledge about adult matters?

On the Wings of Life

Looking for inspiration on the world-wide web, I landed on a page listing funny things kids say. It made me realize that modern kids know so much more about life than those born in the 1980’s. Is it simply because they are exposed to so much more, and information is more available and open now?

For a short while, I was far away in thought as I remembered things my children, and those of family and friends said. I remember my mother telling me to write it down and keep a record. I also remember thinking: “Why? I could never forget that!”

“What are you doing with Granny’s teeth?”

Guess what, I have forgotten most of it. However, a few snippets remained immersed in this granny’s memory. When my niece was about 3-years-old, she was standing in the bathroom with my dad, who was busy cleaning his dentures. She had seen my mom do that once before, and gave her granddad an indignant slap on the bum, saying: “what are you doing with Granny’s teeth?”

Erection was a strange, new word

Then there was the time when my two boys, aged about 3 and 4 then, were in the TV-room when the movie See no Evil, Hear no Evil, with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, was on the TV. The scene where one of them said: “I held up a woman with my erection today”, had my husband and me exchanging nervous glances.

Remember, this was like 30 years ago, and the kids were not born equipped with knowledge about such things then. We were each mentally preparing for the answer to the question about this strange new word – erection. Now, I must just mention that English is not our mother tongue and the only English our children were exposed to at that stage, were what they heard on TV.

Well, when the question came, it was not quite what we expected. After a short pause, the question was asked: “Mommy, what is a whooman?” Well, we just cracked up laughing, and he had no idea why.

A question for Daddy in the tight jeans..

Those were the times when men wore very tight-fitting jeans. We took the two boys to a steakhouse one evening. My husband hated kids running around in a restaurant and insisted we go earlier than most, to avoid disturbing other diners. There were a few groups seated around, but the restaurant was not as noisy as it was when packed with diners.

As kids do, while waiting for their food to be served, they were playing around. At one stage, when everything seemed oddly quiet around us, our oldest son came out from under the table and asked, in his loudest voice: “Daddy, why is your pee-pee so BIIIIG?” The laughter that followed almost had my husband hiding under the table. I’m sure I don’t need to mention that my husband did not take part in our steakhouse outings for some time after that.

“Why? I could never forget that!” 

As time passed, the same little guy who had all the “why?” and “what?” questions at that time, found out about erections, and is now the father of the sweetest little 2-year-old boy. He is just beginning to talk, and when I tell my daughter-in-law to record things, I see that same look in her eyes. “Why? I could never forget that!”

Young mothers, listen to your mothers! You forget these things after a while. Scrapbooking is a fantastic way of preserving all the crazy things your kids say and do. Even if times change, and what we found funny 30 odd years ago may not be funny to the new generations, do it for yourself. Just imagine paging through that scrapbook 30 years from now, reminiscing about it all.

We live about a thousand miles away from our children, and although Skype is wonderful, we only hear the bits they remember to tell us.

Mari Serfontein – On the Wings of Life
butterfly_collage

Are you optimizing your business finances by using VA’s?

ImageDue to the rapid progress in computer technology, the practice of outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants has exploded. Worldwide communication, which was problematic in years gone by, is no longer presenting difficulties.

A virtual assistant is a self-employed assistant, personal or administrative, who can work from any location in the world and for different employers.

The cost of employing a full-time administrative assistant in your office can be in excess of $50,000 per year, excluding health and pension benefits. This is a huge expense to justify, as an assistant is normally only needed for certain projects and someone you don’t typically need around all the time.

It is a myth that one good assistant can do everything.  Employing remote virtual assistants, who get paid per project or per hour, make more financial sense. You will avoid paying people for updating their Facebook profiles or playing computer games on your time.

While this saves the business owner a lot of money, the virtual assistant is free to accept projects from various employers, thereby, improving his or her income potential exponentially. Employers and virtual assistants, both enjoy a win-win situation.

There are more advantages to be had. A diversified company typically holds an array of projects, spanning over various categories, to be completed. The one assistant in the office may be an expert in one field, but not worth much in any other field. The employer has to compromise on most of the projects because of the assistant’s limited expertise.

Using virtual assistants will make it possible to have scores of assistants at your disposal, one for every project or field of ability. Even with having all these experts, ready to accept projects, it will nevertheless be less expensive than having one full-time assistant in the office. The employer will only pay for real time spent on each task.

By hiring a different virtual assistant for each role, a dynamic team of experts can be built at a reduced cost. A team that works together in different parts of the world, unaware of each other, can enable the business owner to operate his or her business with the utmost productivity.

Having your virtual assistants located across the world is also beneficial. It is of no significance where they are based. The global time differences will work to the employer’s advantage. No longer will your staff be available only from 9 to 5 with an hour for lunch. If an urgent project comes up late in the day and needs to be completed by morning – chances are there will be a virtual assistant available somewhere in the world where it is still only midday. You can allocate the project, have a good night’s rest and receive a completed project before daybreak. It allows you to have assistants, ready to be called upon, 24 hours a day.

The list of services that virtual assistants can offer is endless.

  • An expert can be hired to prepare presentations.
  • Someone with years of experience can control logistics.
  •  Managing and monitoring e-mail accounts are typically very time-consuming. You can get an efficient VA to filter your most important e-mails and respond to them, while also setting up email lists, as well as calendar management and arranging appointments.
  •  Another assistant could be sending out newsletters and uploading blogs, as well as do online research for articles and blogging.
  •  Social media has become an important factor in marketing any business. Hire someone to manage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and create pinnable images for Pinterest.
  • How about using the services of a VA who can transcribe voice memos and handle conference calls.
  • Due to the importance of press releases, blog posts and newsletter composition, you could make a point of having more than one content writer, each an expert in their own field.
  •  You no longer need a full-time telephone operator. When you attend important meetings or conferences and need someone to respond to phone calls, take messages, arrange appointments and such, you can have someone on the other side of the world attend to it.
  •  Does your company process a lot of data that needs organizing into spreadsheets; a virtual assistant will do that for you in no time.
  •  Then there are all the arrangements that need to be made for your business and private travels – you will have no problem finding a virtual assistant to take care of those.
  • A very important part of any modern business is driving traffic to your website. Let a virtual SEO and web marketer handle that for you, and while we are on that topic, you can even have a remote web developer and designer for your websites, marketing materials, logos, banners, etc.
  •  If a division of your business is operating in the consumer or hospitality industry; a virtual assistant will coördinate with vendors, place orders for new supplies and monitor execution of those orders.
  • In fact, just about any repetitive, time-consuming job can be done by a virtual assistant, based anywhere in the world.

While this is all very possible, it can be catastrophic. As an employer, you will have to screen all potential virtual assistants very carefully. Not all applicants are experts in what they do. You have to establish the level of expertise of every assistant and allocate projects accordingly, but once you have your team of expert virtual assistants, you can concentrate on reaching what you are aiming for in life.

It is not uncommon for established VA’s to hire assistants to cope with their work load. As mentioned, one assistant can be employed by multiple businesses and for them to outsource is nothing unusual. They will, however, be aware that they are ultimately responsible for the quality of work submitted.

Over time you can build a working relationship with many virtual assistants, where little communication is necessary. Jobs can be allocated by the touch of a few keys on the keyboard. Thanks to modern technology, it feels the same as if the assistant is in the office next door. Distance has no significance anymore. Outsourcing to virtual assistants has almost become essential in the modern world of business.

A business owner who gathers an efficient team of experts will no longer have to cope with unavoidable intricacies of full-time staff. Maternity, and these days also paternity leave, pregnancies, sick children, annual leave and sick leave come to mind. Annual and holiday bonuses will also be something of the past.

HOWEVER

Two jobs the virtual assistant cannot do – you’ll have to fetch your own dry cleaning and make your own coffee.

20 must-have qualities to be a successful online marketing entrepreneur

OpenThere are certain qualities necessary to insure success. Some of these may be part of your personality, and others will have to be developed with conscious effort.butterfly_tealSlwb

Let’s look at what you need to get you to the top:

  1. Be firm in your decisions and reactions. You have to be able to make rational, logical decisions by using common sense.
  2. You must be able to analyze a situation or issue with ease. For this you will need a sound understanding of how to handle specific situations as well as different people with different needs. Building good relationships is detrimental to your business.
  3. Capitalize on your strengths and change your weaknesses. Never try to be a jack of all trades and master of none. You can always work on developing more strengths.
  4. Be altruistic. In this business, you are very dependent on other people. If you are selfish people will soon feel that you are using them only to better your own situation, with disregard of their situation.
  5.  Perhaps one of the biggest demands for this business is discipline. Only because this business is done in your own time and in your own space. Be cautious of falling back into a false sense of ‘tomorrow is another day’ – by tomorrow you may have missed the bus! Do every day what must be done, and then do something extra. Only then is it time to play.
  6.  Be honest, reliable, supportive and polite. Never give people false information to better yourself. Word will soon spread that you cannot be trusted.
  7. Set yourself some goals and commit to them. Do not downgrade your goals, ever. When you re-evaluate them it must be to set higher goals. However, don’t start with unattainable goals which will be discouraging instead of encouraging.
  8. You must be a good communicator. It is very important to be able to get across exactly what you want to say. Very often it will be a once-only communication opportunity to make a deal.
  9. Stay focused and do not spread your irons to too many fires. In this business it is very easy to become distracted by hype over other platforms.
  10. You have be confident in what you do and feel good about it. Your confidence in the knowledge that you know you will succeed will instantly give people confidence in your abilities.
  11. Creativity will come in very handy. By coming up with fresh ideas can propel your business to new heights.
  12. You need to be a strong leader. In this business where success lies in duplication, a leaderless team heads for doom.
  13. Give other people the respect due to them. Always avoid being arrogant. Being humble will make sure you get other people’s respect in return.
  14. In order not to miss out on opportunities, you must have a positive outlook on life. Negativity will make you stare yourself blind against obstacles and problems. Stay positive and jump those hurdles with ease.
  15. Always avoid delaying tasks. Procrastination is an evil habit which loves to worm itself into our lives, only to spoil our success. Prompt decisive action will serve you better.
  16. Plan your day, every day. Work through it methodically and stick to the plan.
  17. If you don’t have it, develop a habit of reading. Read, read and read some more. Every bit of information out there are little gold nuggets that may just give you that extra little push.
  18. Never miss an opportunity to learn from those people who are already successful. You will be surprised to see how many of them are prepared to share their knowledge.
  19. Follow the example of those and share your knowledge. Remember the starting problems and questions you had, and share the answers with new arrivals.
  20. Last but not least. There is one word in any language that must erased. It does not deserve to be there – that word is QUIT. Erase it from your vocabulary right away and you will never be bothered by the possibility of quitting.butterfly_collage

The Pros & Cons of quitting your job and working at home

Image Have you had enough of sharing your space with people you would not normally choose to associate with?

Leaving the corporate world, with all its limitations, frustrations and corruption, to work from  home, was the best choice I have ever made.

Having to listen to other people’s choice of music constantly can make 8 hours feel like 16.

For some reason people tend to love using my shoulder to cry on. Do I really need to be lumbered with other people’s personal problems? What gives them the idea that I am qualified to give advice on the promiscuous behavior of Suzy’s teenage daughter, or the infidelity of Anne’s husband? I find it difficult enough to decide what’s for supper in my home, yet, I get asked daily what Margaret can feed her family for supper.

Having to cope with my own moods is enough for me – I do not have the patience to cope with a boss’s mood as well. Sharing an office with five or six women who each have PMS at a different time of the month can be torture.

If you’re considering the idea of working from home, one of the first things you need to do is make a list of the pros and cons of such a move. Here’s a list that may help you decide whether working from home is for you.

Pros

–Set your own hours.

No more 9 to 5! Do you hate early mornings? If you’ve always been a night person, you can work at night. Of course, if you are more productive in the early morning, you may be free for most of the afternoons and evenings. For the most part, when you work at home it doesn’t matter when the work gets done, only that it gets done.

–Be home for the kids.

While it’s nice to be there when your children are young, some would argue it’s even more important to be home for your teenagers. No longer will you have to dock a day’s wage when a sick child needs you. Being there when your children need you, gives them a sense of security, and you will have peace of mind.

–More personal freedom.

If you want a break from what you’re doing, you can go for coffee with your friends whenever you want. No need to wait for a public holiday to do that. You don’t have to beg for a vacation or a day off. The term “annual leave” will be scrapped from your personal vocabulary. You will be able to take as many leave days as you wish, whenever you wish. And if you are working in the virtual world, you can be in full control of your business wherever you choose to be. Working from home gives you amazing personal freedom that you cannot put a price tag on.

–Save money and time.

You’ll save money on gas and all commuter-related expenses. The time spent in traffic, and the frustrations experienced can spoil anybody’s mood. You have only barely recovered from the morning drive and you have to go through the same torture to get home!  Whoever awaits you at your destination, then has to cope with your frustration. Instead of going out to lunch, you’ll eat at home, which is always less expensive and usually a lot healthier. You can throw out the boring corporate power suits – jeans and a T-shirt cost much less. You may be able to change day-care for small children to half-day, or even save more by having them at home all day.

–The sky is the limit.

The income potential is only limited by your actions. You can determine how hard you want to work, and this will have a direct bearing your income. No longer will you have to compete, often with less competent people, for promotion and a higher salary. Using your own initiative will gain a brand new meaning.

Cons

–Potential initial pay cut.

It may take a while to get into whatever you are planning to do from home. However, once you have established your business, you are likely to be able to sustain a much healthier bank balance.

–Isolation.

This is one of the biggest drawbacks of working from home and not everyone can handle being alone or in the company of kids and family pets all the time. Make a point of getting out and socializing often.

–Self discipline.

Household distractions can easily dominate your day. Be motivated enough to control your priorities. Sometimes, enthusiasm may prevent you from taking occasional breaks through the day, hampering your creative spirits. Leave small chores, like loading or unloading the dishwasher, to stretch those muscles.

–Employee benefits.

Being an independent contractor or freelancer, you will no longer receive benefits like health insurance and pension funds from an employer. Make sure you provide for that in your budget.

You may have your own things to add to this list of pros and cons, but keep in mind that the value of your gut instincts is immeasurable.

While weighing the pros and cons of freelancing from home – remember this:

No one said it would be easy – just know that nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment.

Who Masters Your Destiny?

A very important lesson in life is: You are responsible for your own success or failure, NO ONE ELSE. Don’t ever assume the victim’s mentality. Your failure cannot be blamed on bad breaks in life, your lack of education, bad economy, or any number of things. If you are hungry for success, you can overcome any obstacles. Don’t spend energy on making yourself a victim. Many people have enjoyed success despite bad breaks.

JUST GO OUT AND DO IT!

You might think: “Oh, it’s easy for you to say”, but nothing was handed to me on a silver platter.  I worked in the corporate world for 40 years. During the last five of those years, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. All our savings went into his treatment, and when he recovered and was strong enough to go back to work, the only employment he could find was in another province. We relocated, and because I was 58 years old by then, I could not find employment.

I went into months of depression until one day I read these words: “You are the master of your own destiny”. That shocked me back to life!

I started searching the internet and found things I knew nothing about – Affiliate Marketing, Virtual Assistant, Blogging, Ghost writing, etc.  I jumped into this with gusto and organized my on-line training as I went along. I made lots of errors along the way, wrong choices mainly. Oh, and not to forget those times when I followed link after link, wasting hours of time and not knowing how I got there.  There has been just such an information overload, and it had taken a while before I came across people like Sophie Lizard at Be a Freelance Blogger. That was when it all started making sense.

So, it’s up to you – NEVER QUIT – You have only yourself to blame if you fail.

You really are the master of your own destiny.