Archive for January, 2009

First Video and Smallest Camcorder

We are slowly thawing out of our first major snowstorm in the Washington, DC area. Malia and Sasha Obama were surprised that schools were closed. Their father, our President of the United States, thought it was humorous; DC officials did not. In this area, we actually have some hilly terrain in the suburbs and school busses have a difficult time. This time, though, we were not only dealing with snow, but freezing rain that had fallen overnight causing a lot of problems. Today, however, we welcome the sun and above freezing temperatures.

So what happened when I chose to stay off the streets? I uploaded my first video to YouTube! I purchased a Flip Mino HD (the commercial tells you it’s the world’s smallest camcorder) which is about the size of an iPod. I love it! It’s something every grandparent should own not only to capture those Kodak moments, but to video those everyday scenes like I did when I was visiting my then 4-month old granddaughter. As she awakened every morning, she’d coo and smile and I was able to video those precious moments. Parents are generally too busy and forget, but I think that we as grandparents have more time and because my husband and I don’t live close to our granddaughter, every moment was valuable.

As most of us seniors know, our bodies begin to ache as we age and carrying a camcorder could be a problem. But the Flip camera is so small, grandpa can pop it in his shirt pocket and it will not add much weight to grandma’s purse.

So please visit me at www.youtube.com/noranagatani and enjoy. I share with you why I have a home-based business that I can pass on to future generations.

Inauguration of Barack Obama

What a proud day for all Americans as we inaugurated the 44th President of the United States. How wonderful that so many people across the country (and the world) were able to join in the festivities in Washington, DC. Some traveled nonstop for hours, like 16 hours on a bus from Selma, Alabama and they got emotional when they spotted the Washington Monument.

There are many different estimates, but some say just under two million people were in Washington to celebrate. In the parade itself, 13 thousand people participated, representing all 50 states. That’s awesome!

How strong of everyone to brave the cold weather and show up for the inauguration and/or the parade. And it was really cold! The temperature itself did not tell the entire story; it was the wind that made it feel much colder, feeling like it was in the teens. I chose to watch in awe in the warmth and comfort of my home, 15 miles south of Washington, DC.

Of course, there were glitches and problems. Some people had tickets and could not get in; others were defeated by the weather. But the fact that almost everyone remained in good spirits was amazing.

How ‘bout you? Would you rather be a part of history or would you rather be at home? Are you fortunate enough to have that choice? I am grateful to be an American and to be in a position to have that choice.

Teamwork

Two years ago, Paula Adkins whom I’d previously met in a networking group, Business Network International, and I co-founded a networking group for women in our area of town because we saw a need for it. We meet once a month for lunch and networking. Additionally, we have inspirational speakers who help us with our businesses as well as our personal lives. To start off 2009, we invited Kim Guarino, president of EVOLVE, who gave us 10 tips for jumpstarting your marketing in 2009.

The important lesson that I learned from this experience is that teamwork and keeping communication lines open are critical. Fortunately, Paula and I complement each other. We review each other’s work and she has saved me from embarrassment on more than one occasion.

I have been advocating that you start a part-time, home-based business so that you will have the funds to enjoy your retirement. I believe that the network marketing model is the least expensive way to start a business. It is a business that you’re in for yourself, but make sure that before you join any company, you have a team to help you. As a coach with Mentoring for Free, my team and I offer you the support and the system necessary to be successful. In these hard times, don’t do it alone; think team.

Giving Part II

It’s a new year and times are tough. Money is not all you can give. We all know that there are always people in worse situations than we are and there are many ways we can help.

Are there people in your company who are paid the least, but do the most for others? In the last organization I worked for, it was the maid that made breakfast for our department on more than one occasion as a way of thanking us. It cost her money that she did not really have to spare. Now that I’m retired from that organization, I no longer see her, but she calls me just to see how I’m doing. The last call came on the eve of Thanksgiving. It did not cost her anything, but time and thoughtfulness. Is there someone you can call?

Recently I read a book called The Power of Giving. The authors, Azim Jamal and Harvey McKinnon, say that giving in the form of volunteer work has the following benefits.
1. Enhances the immune system
2. Lowers cholesterol levels
3. Strengthens the heart
4. Decreases incidence of chest pains
5. Generally reduces stress

Furthermore, they say if you want happiness, you need to give happiness. It is only in giving that you receive. However, they warn about balance. If you give too much it can result in negative health consequences. When you’re unhealthy, you cannot give. Take care of yourself first so that you can give to others.

Have you ever felt that you’ve given all you can? Azim in The Power of Giving was asked, “How do I give and be kind when I have already done that for twelve hours and yet another customer comes in?” Azim replied: “You have two choices of how to treat the customer – either with a frown or a smile. A smile requires you to use three muscles, while a frown requires sixty-three. You decide: How many muscles do you want to use when you are tired?”

With a smile and a grateful heart, I wish you all the best in 2009!

Please feel free to comment on other non-monetary ways you have given.