Karen Merricks (with her husband, Roy) has built a multimillion-dollar travel business called MTA Travel. However, more important than the success of the business itself is the success of their model, which was revolutionary when they conceived of it over two decades ago: Twenty years ago when we had a family we decided that there must be a better way. I thought if we wanted this other people must want it too. They created a business model where travel agents could serve their clients and customers with greater flexibility, working from their own homes or office spaces rather than being tied to a desk in a main street office or shopping mall. Karen and Roy's insight proved correct. But what was more important was their willingness to implement and adjust as necessary. What they discovered was that other people, especially women, wanted to be there for their families. The property boasted two big barns and several small sheds where they kept chickens, ducks, goats, a cow, and a pony. One cow can produce more milk than a family needs, however, even with four children. They made butter, cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt, and still had milk left over. On most farms, unused milk would be fed to the hogs (this practice led to the expression slopping the hogs), but the Gaineses were vegetarians, so they traded their excess milk for hay, grain, and straw. Abundance created problems as well. Two ducks rapidly became forty ducks. The hens, however, were less practiced at hatching their eggs. Those chicks were never right in the head, he told me, and we still had more ducks than we knew what to do with. Finally we broke our vegetarianism and ate them. The woods provided wild plums, teaberries, chinquapins (related to chestnuts), walnuts, and blackberries. I will try and hit as many different business examples as possible. Obviously some will only apply to a certain business, but I am sure you are smart enough to match it up and come up with ideas for your own business.

Make the recipient an offer. Typically, someone you hand a business card to will often have two or three cards from our competitors. How do you make them want to call you instead of someone else? Give an incentive to buy from you (and not your competitor). We pay you for referrals. I once got rewarded a round of golf at a very prestigious course that would have cost me at least $400 for referring a couple of people to my Realtor, who subsequently bought a home from him. My favorite restaurant owner, to whom I sent numerous groups of high-paying customers, will not let me pay for a meal whenever I come in. When I didn't come in for a while, because I didn't want to take advantage, they called me and sent over hundreds of dollars' worth of takeout. Some of it surely went to crushes, but a lot went to shame and protecting the self that had been dangerously exposed, to putting back the pieces after benders. Now we have a little extra fuel to burn because there isn't this leak in the pipe. To be honest, this surplus was one of the most unexpected parts of the sober experiment. Let's just say that much of our sensual lives was dipped in booze, even waterlogged in it, over the years. But getting sober, and then getting naked sober, and realizing it would be a lucid experience from here on, no blurry vision or spotty memory to hide behind--that brought on a moment of reckoning. We thought, Wow, you have to be seriously bold to have sex sober, and then we thought, But why exactly, when you've been having sex for years, and it's not like you don't know what happens next? What specifically are you afraid of? Good question. It's easy for a sober sexual experience to feel like the very first time, we've found, over and over. All the mean girls in our heads keep clanging, a bell of eighth-grade-cafeteria misery, as we evaluate ourselves in the medicine-cabinet mirror while someone waits in the bedroom. They wanted to be able to earn money on their own terms. They wanted the freedom and flexibility that working for themselves could offer them.

Karen's insight into the mindset of mum-and-dad operators was spot-on and, with hard work, vision, a huge amount of empathy and a bucketload of kindness, they have built a trailblazing business that gives people the chance to work in a way that aligns with the other parts of their lives. Karen's business success and the contribution she has made to those who have flocked to her banner required a true commercial acumen. She didn't simply hang her shingle and launch another generic travel business, she reinvented the industry by building a completely new business model. Through this new business model, Karen has helped hundreds of parents raise their kids on their terms and share their passion for travel at the same time. As savvy as Karen and Roy have become as businesspeople, what was more determinant of their success was a willingness to launch, to ship, to back themselves. In the year 2000, Dan, who was at the time a particularly awful public speaker, began a world tour as a stand-up comedian with 30 minutes of material and four months' experience. Three years later, he was bulletproof and performing on stages around the United States, the UK, Europe and Australia. Key in this success was a willingness to detach from the outcome. Neighbors taught them how and where to find mushrooms and the wild leeks called ramps that were tasty but smelly. One local dentist put a sign up in his office declaring that he would not work with anybody who'd eaten ramps within twenty-four hours. We used most of our time getting and preserving food, Gaines said, and yet we spent more time as a family than most people ever do. Work and fun were the same. We were never afraid of going hungry or of being sick. They cooked on a wood-burning stove, using logs gathered from the forest, first seasoning them and then splitting them to the size needed to fit. Hardwoods, especially oak and locust, provided most heat. Sycamore couldn't be split well. Poplar, on the other hand, burned too fast. Hickory burned well but did not give off as much heat. My masseuse gave me free massage and a very expensive package of lotions after I had sent her two customers who hired her for weekly massages. My dive shop nearby is so incredible.

Whenever I refer groups to them, they ask me to go along when there is room, and will not let me pay. The mortgage broker, who I have sent many people to, sent over a case of expensive wine. Just about anyone whose services you use can be bartered with in this way when you agree to recommend them to others. For example: landscapers, attorneys, hair dressers, nail techs, accountants, and many more. Free rental for service checkups when you buy a Mercedes. Free acupuncture service when you join our Wellness Center. Give them a reason to not throw away your card, and even want to ask you for more to hand out for you. Bring three new clients to our studio and get one month of free personal training. Maybe we look at our bodies and tighten the belt on our robe instead of untying it. Maybe we dab on a bit of rose lipstick and some musky perfume, trying to see a renegade sex-machine in our reflection. We might try to remember X-rated tips we read somewhere, or drum up a few nasty brilliant one-liners worthy of an erotica superstar. Maybe we text a friend to say we're thinking about becoming celibate. The only way out, our friend might text back, is to strip down and go back into the bedroom. That's not how the saying goes, we write. Stop texting, the friend writes back. We might then inhale. Click the light off in the bathroom and float, uncertain and self-conscious, tender and fragile, into the bedroom. The moon might be big out the window. In the initial stages of his comedy career, it's probably true to say that Dan was uber-attached'. <a href='https://maps.google.com.qa/url?q=https://http://eurofixings.co.uk'>He</a> was tormented by thoughts such as,What if they don't laugh?

What if I get heckled? What if I forget my material? However, over time, Dan realised that he wasn't actually performing for the audience; This allowed him to revel in the moment, independent of the audience's expectations or reactions, and with this detachment came confidence and competency. In fact, Dan's adoption of detachment became so ingrained that he would walk onto the stage reminding himself, They laugh, or they don't laugh, this is for me! <a href='https://maps.google.com.sb/url?q=https://http://eurofixings.co.uk'>It's</a> important here to make a distinction between being detached and not caring -- although oftentimes a little of the latter can give you a bit of swagger. <a href='https://maps.google.sc/url?q=https://http://eurofixings.co.uk'>Motivational</a> speakers often enquire of their audiences,What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Clearly, we are all going to fail on the road to excellence, and deluding ourselves is hardly a strategy. Nut and apple woods gave off the best aroma. Calendars and watches proved superfluous: the thickness of morning fog in mid-April foretold a wet or dry summer; A damp, earthy smell in autumn signaled that mushrooms called hen of the woods were ready, growing at the base of an old-growth oak tree that was so big it took all the family members joining hands to encircle it. They needed no thermometers or barometers but learned to forecast rain from humidity and wind direction. A low-lying, heavy mountain fog in September signaled that they had two weeks to get their crops in. Our kids had no theater but they had a rich cultural experience, Gaines said. The old radio was always tuned to NPR. Our articleshelves were filled with well-used copies of the classics that libraries had thrown out when they acquired new editions. We also got modern stuff like A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Our kids always read a lot and we read to them. Two for one dinner entrees. Send five of your friends with this card and get your dinner paid for.