Economic, Financial and Psychological Survival For Families in Troubled Times – Success is Possible

We’re all scared. This Great Recession has a stanglehold on the American way of life. We’re desperately trying to hold onto our jobs, or looking for jobs, and a way to pay the mortgage to avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy, many without vital health care insurance. And of course, there are other bills choking out our very existence. We must plot a battle plan for survival.

1. Don’t panic. I realize it’s easier said than done, but panicking only wastes valuable energy we need to survive.

2. Start writing down ideas. How can you pare down your living expenses within reason? Start the list now. A little penny-pinching here, a little there can add up. Consider riding a bike instead of driving, turn down the heat, begin a family garden, for example.

3. Call your bank and other creditors to discuss options for keeping you afloat. Be ready to call them on a regular basis if need be.

4. Create a budget for your family to follow strictly. No one wants to hear this suggestion. I hate budgets, but you’ve got to know where your money is going in the hopes that you can gain a better grip on your finances.

5. If you don’t have a job, never give up the search. Scour your town or city for anything you can get your hands on for now, leveraging your efforts for better employment once things ease up, if they ever do. While you’re doing this, think about going online for other possibilities. If you are willing to relocate, then your job search area is vastly increased. However, trying to move your family in desperate times may be too risky. You might need to stay at home where you are most comfortable and secure.

6. Think of friends or family members who might be able to help you. Nobody likes this option. But, you have to put all possibilities on the table. Maybe someone you know and love can help you financially or put feelers out for jobs on your behalf.

7. Take a bold step: consider starting your own business. Sounds ridiculous, but even in the worst of times, there will always be opportunities to be your own boss. What about a home business that you can work right from the friendly confines of your own home? Challenging? Yes. Impossible? Absolutely not.

8. Make yourself stronger. Start exercising away the tension and anxiety. Stop drinking alcohol and using tobacco, for it will only make you weaker, and it costs lots of precious money. If you think you might have a problem with these or other substances, there is always free help available to you. Take full advantage of Alcoholics Anonymous, your local health department, your place of worship, and other helpful free services.

9. Meditate, pray, read faith and spirituality-based books at your local library and online, whatever you can do to break the cycle of worry, doubt, depression and fear. You likely have a free or greatly-reduced-cost health care clinic available where you live. Get help now. But, if you are truly in crisis, you owe it to yourself and your family to go to your local emergency room or call 911.

10. Never give up. Again, easier said than done. But, do not throw in the towel. You deserve better, and you can still carve out a good life no matter how bad things seem right now. Happiness is honestly within your grasp.

11. There is always hope. Hope fuels the spirit and nourishes the soul. As the saying goes, just look next door and someone’s always got it worse than you. Think of Haiti for example. There are no words to describe what a mind-boggling tragedy that poor nation is enduring. But, the Haitian people are still clinging to life despite all odds. And, you can, too.

12. If you don’t have one, get a family pet. Yes, I know this goes against the grain because pets do cost money. But, the joy and unconditional love they provide is literally priceless, and it will help take your mind off of your current woes. Rescue a dog or cat from your local animal shelter. This could provide a great rallying point for the entire family.

13. Forget about lottery-type ideas and gambling. I purposely made this suggestion “unlucky number 13” for good reason. Don’t become a prisoner of chance, superstition and folly. You have a great say in any luck that comes your way. I believe you can truly create your own luck with persistent effort and a positive attitude, despite how difficult that may be when you feel that your life is spinning hopelessly out of control.

Pet Adoption Story – Jade

We have to admit that the pet adoption story of Jade and her adopted family made us tear up a little! For anyone who has been thinking about adopting a pet, we think this story will help convince you. Introducing Jade:

My husband first met Jade when he mowed the lawns at a local shelter in the lovely Adelaide hills in South Australia. An eighteen-month-old Staffy cross, at the time, Jade had had a rough time of life to date. She was mistreated by her first owner and then hit by a car, which resulted in her front left leg being amputated. Several lawn mows later, and he began to fall in love. He asked to play with her… and the rest is history, as they say.

He and Jade were joined at the hip. She went to work with him every day and they became inseparable. When I came into my husband’s life, Jade was around ten years old. My immediate reaction, as was with most people on meeting her, was… oh, poor thing (due to the amputation). I quickly learned that Jade was as agile and capable as any ‘complete limbed’ animal. My husband recalled stories of her running flat out and jumping into his arms and she would run at warp speed, using her stumped shoulder to turn ‘on a dime’.

I came to realize how strong the bond between man and his best friend was when my husband’s work took him away for weeks at a time. Although Jade was a wonderful companion to me, it was my husband that she truly wanted to be with. She would slump into a ‘depressed’ state and fret for him for days on end. On two occasions, she got it in her head to go and find him. You can imagine how panicked I became, rallying the family together to search for her.

Fortunately, she was found both times. My husband would tell her before departing for several weeks… “now you look after my girl, Jade”, and so she did. She was my constant companion, my confidante, my best friend, protector and sharer of bed! (it’s amazing how a much room a medium size dog can take up!).

Hours before my husband’s return from work, Jade would position herself on the front step and wait. She knew he was coming, and upon his arrival, would go ‘nuts’ with excitement.

Years passed and Jade was fortunate to remain in good health, the only signs of aging being her white muzzle and a few harmless lumps and bumps. She was always a good sleeper, only now most of her day was spent snoozing. At the ripe old age of twenty, our beautiful girl passed away.

She had to be euthanized, and even at the end, it seemed she didn’t want to leave my husband. The vet had to administer two doses of ‘meds’ to get her strong and beautiful heart to stop. We brought her home and lay with her on our bed for hours. I have never seen a man as heartbroken as I did that day. And even now, two years on, a tear is shed for his beloved Jade. Mostly, though, we are so grateful for having her in our lives. The unconditional love she gave knew no bounds.

Everything I Learned About Marketing I Learned From Movies Featuring Lost Pets

If you watch any movie that features a lost pet you will typically see a young child roaming the streets tearfully calling the pet’s name. They will also be seen placing lost pet notices on virtually every telephone pole and bulletin board in town (usually a mature grandmotherly type will cluck her tongue in empathy at the plight of the child). The bad guy or the wind rips down the very poster that would have resulted in a quick return while the person who has seen the pet walks by oblivious to their ability to facilitate a reunion.

In most of these movies we are treated to a warm and fuzzy feeling when the pet and owner are reunited and the bad guy caught.

The scenario above is a perfect picture of marketing on the web. Let’s see if I can break this down.

1) A lost pet. In the world of online business that lost pet is your online store. It is essentially missing from the radar of virtually everyone on the net.

2) Pet owner. This is the business owner who is deeply concerned about the welfare of their business.

3) Lost pet notice. This is the commitment to marketing. When a pet owner wants to find a lost pet they go to Herculean lengths to recover their favored pet. In the same way you need to be willing to go to extreme lengths to let others know about your online business. This means you take your message to the people. You don’t simply sit at home in the hopes that someone will visit.

4) Bad guy. This may be competition from other similar businesses. If you have some success they may be inclined to find ways to out market you by attempting to gain your customers. It doesn’t need to spell the end of your dreams, just some adjustments in how you market your business.

5) Happy ending. This doesn’t have to be a fairytale type ending. This will more than likely be multiple small successes along the way that add up over time to become a much greater success.

So whether you’re watching Homeward Bound or Garfield you should be reminded that for every seemingly negative circumstance that comes your way you can find a way to turn that idea into something positive for yourself and your online business.

Business (online or otherwise) is not a one size fits all idea. There are various dynamics that work for or against you in business and those dynamics will change. The one thing that remains static or constant is the need to market your business. This is the need to get your message out and allow it to be heard. It’s the difference between whispering in a library and shouting through a megaphone at a pep rally.

Lost pets remind us we have emotional attachments to those things we consider most important. We will fight for the return of what we cherish most. This should be the same element displayed in developing and implementing a marketing idea for your online business. If it’s important to you then let others know about it.

KFC – A Girl and her Dog’s Best Friend

My most precious boy Chan the Chow was not doing very well. He was 12 years old and his coat was dull and thin, he had stopped eating and did not want to be in the house.

I was heartbroken when the vet told me that it did not look good for him as there was a shadow in his abdomen. After a few weeks I realized that it was time for my boy to cross the Rainbow Bridge. Not wanting him to suffer I made the choice to “put him to sleep”.

I was miserable. I am single with no children and my Channie was not only my best friend, but my family and he was leaving me.

We had an appointment with the vet to come to our home at 2pm on Friday.

Channie’s favourite treat was Kentucky Fried Chicken. As I needed comfort food, it was his last night and I thought he may eat at least a little of his favourite food, I went to KFC and stocked up on chicken for Chan and lots of fries with lots of gravy for me.

Through my tears I sat eating and watching my boy at my feet barely moving. I tried to tempt him with some KFC and at first he was not responsive. I tried again to tempt him and he raised his head to sniff. I got down on the floor with him and he actually ate one tiny piece of chicken from my hand. This was the first thing he had eaten in weeks!

Soon he had eaten two whole pieces of chicken that I fed to him by hand! He fell into a deep sleep, which is more than I can say for me…I was awake and crying most of the night.

The morning came and I got Chan up to go outside. On his very shaky legs we went into the yard where he actually sniffed a little, had a pee and then proceeded to have the ugliest poop I had ever seen!

He seemed to be perkier and after a few moments he became my old Chan again! He wanted to play! Through my tears I said prayers of thanks for this wonderful final moment with my boy. We went into the house and he went directly to the kitchen and I was shocked that it looked like he wanted to eat. I grabbed the leftover KFC from the fridge and again he ate two pieces from my hand then had a nap. When he woke up he was so much himself again that I could not bear to let him go. I called the vet and cancelled the appointment.

My Channie rallied and lived for two more years! Who knows what happened, but I can say the he was healthier than he had ever been and he got a KFC fix at least once a week from then until he did pass on at the ripe old age of 14.

KFC RULES!