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I've noticed an interesting trend lately. Usually the e-mail I receive in response to this column comes from rookie entrepreneurs or established business owners seeking my input on startup matters, financing, employee relations, general management and leadership issues, policy matters, etc. Lately, however, many of the messages are coming from employees of medium-size and large companies who are growing frustrated at working in an environment that they deem (to quote one ...

Companies Stifle Intrapreneurs At Their Own Risk

Companies Stifle Intrapreneurs At Their Own RiskI've noticed an interesting trend lately. Usually the e-mail I receive in response to this column comes from rookie entrepreneurs or established business owners seeking my input on startup matters, financing, employee relations, general management and leadership issues, policy matters, etc. Lately, however, many of the messages are coming from employees of medium-size and large companies who are growing frustrated at working in an environment that they deem (to quote one e-mail) "Intellectually stifling and (that) offers few challenges of one's creativity and innovation.'' These folks are asking how best to move from being someone else's bored employee to coming into their own as an excited entrepreneur. These people are called "intrapreneurs," and their ranks are growing, which should be of great concern to the employers who have either been unaware that they existed or have chosen to ignore them in the past. By definition, intrapreneurs are employees who think with an entrepreneurial slant. Instead of just doing their jobs by the numbers, intrapreneurs approach every task with an entrepreneurial mindset. They are always thinking of ways to improve products or processes. They are innovators, creative thinkers, and are quite often viewed by management as squeaky wheels. Unfortunately, intrapreneurs also are often seen as troublemakers and hard to manage because they push the envelope of what's expected from a traditional employee. Most big companies don't want employees who think independently. They don't want employees who think outside of their job description, as intrapreneurs are prone to do. I know this from personal experience, but that's a whole 'nother column. The primary difference between entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs is that the intrapreneur would be just as happy to spend his life as someone else's employee if the working environment nurtured and supported his efforts. Intrapreneurs do not want to become entrepreneurs. They are perfectly happy working for someone else if the environment offers opportunities for advancement and growth based on initiative and creativity, not just on years punched in. Sadly, most big companies do not know how to nurture their intrapreneurs. Just the opposite is more the norm: They give employees a policies manual and tell them to toe the line. They hand you a written job description and expect you to operate within its parameters. When I quit my last real job some 10 years ago, my reason for doing so was that the corporate environment was just sucking the genius and the life right out of me. It's something I hear every week now from intrapreneurs. Intrapreneuring is nothing new. As long as there have been employers and employees, there have been intrapreneurs. But the Internet boom spawned a new generation of free-agent-minded employees who want the mental rewards and freedom of working for an entrepreneurial venture, and the financial stability of working for an established company. Just because the Internet boom went bust does not mean the mentality of this generation of entrepreneurially minded employees has changed. To the contrary, intrapreneurs are now part of practically every midsize to large organization, and they are biding their time and watching for opportunity while on the company payroll. This new generation of employees brings a change in the workplace mindset - from one of "serial employment" to one of "entrepreneurial advancement." The only way to convert the focus of these employees, who are usually the most talented people within the organization, is to give them what they want - the opportunity to excel and grow within an environment that appreciates entrepreneurial thought. When intrapreneurs are allowed to flourish, the entire company will follow. We are in the age of ownership, where everyone from the CEO to the janitor has more opportunities and options than ever before. We demand ownership in our lives and in our careers. The gold watch has been replaced by the brass ring. Here's to your success.

How Alan's Website Could Easily Make More Money

How Alan

My Australian friend, Alan, recently got in touch for advice on how to make more money from his recently set up website. Alan is into natural health treatments, so his simplehealthmaintenance.com website is one that offers natural solutions to health problems. Alan asked for my advice as to how to monetize this new site, knowing that I have had success with Google Adsense.First off, Alan needs to consider whether sales are his primary objective. If so, the addition of Adsense to the site, whilst bringing in extra income, might reduce potential sales.Adding Adsense to his site would be a quick & easy way to make money. I suggested a horizontal Adsense link, just below the main navigation bar which runs across his index or home page. This would look natural and looks like part of the website navigation. Also, the addition of a Google skyscraper unit on the right of his page would add value to the site, and also increase his income, but without detracting from his primary objective of sales.Now, Alan is an expert on health, but not so good at search engine optimization. His heading for the page of Simple health treatments by non-invasive electronic acupuncture may explain what the page is about, but it isn't going to get him hordes of traffic from the search engines - no-one is looking for either simple health treatments or non-invasive electronic acupuncture! Zoom along to Overture and check out their keyword selector tool in the resource centre if you want to see just what it is that people are searching for. I suggested to Alan that he look at which words which people were searching for. Although he is happy to buy traffic for the site, using the pay per click engines (e.g. Adwords & Overture). This makes it easy to get a top search engine ranking for particular words or phrases (known as keywords) but can prove an expensive way of getting traffic.Improving his natural search engine rankings, so that people found his site when typing in the keywords, would reduce Alan's costs and increase his profit margins considerably.This is relatively easy to do, and in fact I ran this for Alan myself using Wordtracker. This is a handy piece of software which allows you to look at the supply and demand of particular keywords and spot gaps in the market, also known as niches.In this case, just one of the keywords which came up as in high demand but low supply was pain management with acupuncture. Alan would do well to either use these keywords as part of his homepage or to create a new page with this title and heading, together with suitable webcopy. By putting these keywords at the beginning and end of a new page of copy, very soon this will start to get ranked well by the search engines and receive visitors who arrive for free! One other easy suggestion for Alan to implement, since he is also a writer, is to write a couple of articles on the subject of natural healing and acupuncture and to submit them to a few of the Article Directories, such as Ezine Articles and iSnare. This is a effective and natural way to get traffic to your site with minimum effort.Watch out for your profit margins Alan - they'll be going way up - just as you implement these few simple changes!For our free course on making money with your own home based internet business,visit How to set up your own online business.This article was submitted by Jen Carter, the creator of the How to Earn a Million Dollars website.

Shining Some Light on Solar Energy

Shining Some Light on Solar Energy

Without a doubt, solar energy is the way of the future. Solar energy production is an extremely simple process to understand. A solar, or photovoltaic, cell collects energy from the Sun. A solar cell is a semiconductor device that is constructed using photovoltaic materials. It contains no liquids or chemicals, and no moving parts. Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity.A solar panel generally consists of a series of individual cells, which are supported by a module that allows the cells to work in unison. The energy that is captured by the panel is stored in a battery. Solar panels generate direct current (DC) energy. Many solar energy systems have inverters in them which allow direct current (DC) electricity to be converted to alternating current (AC). Most consumer products such as appliances and electronics operate on AC current.Unless you have a vast expanse of land to house an array of solar panels, it is unlikely that you will be able to power your entire home with solar energy. However, it is possible to power a single room in your house with a small array of panels fixed to the roof of your house. Multiply the wattage of each individual electrical device by the number of hours you expect to use them each day. That combined number will be your benchmark, or the bare minimum your system must be able to generate.There are a number of options available to consumers that are considering converting to solar energy. A basic system that can be used to power a computer and a few other small items can be purchased for approximately $1000.00. Naturally, the price will increase with the production capacity of your system. In most regions, the price of an installed system will cost somewhere in the area of $10.00-$12.00 per watt. Solar energy is one of a few truly renewable resources that can be used in energy and power generation. Every hour of every day, the Sun blankets our planet with enough energy to sustain our global energy needs for a year. As the technology behind photovoltaic energy advances, consumers will be unable to resist the urge to convert.A lot of resources are being put into the development of solar energy technology. Most of the major oil and energy companies have entire divisions committed to solar energy. Researchers and engineers are spending countless hours trying to develop the technology today that will vastly improve conditions in the world tomorrow. It is no secret that we cannot continue down the path we are on. Fossil fuels are no longer a feasible option for energy production. The future is solar. The future is now.

Canada Plays China Card

Canada Plays China Card

Trade friction and energy leverage has led to an unprecedented Canadian policy of speak loudly and carry a big piece of lumber policy towards the United States. The long running dispute over American tariffs on Canadian lumber escalated to the point last week that Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin indirectly linked settlement with continued U.S. access to Canadian energy supplies. Meanwhile, Canadian Natural Resources Minister John McCallum was off to China to meet with Chinese oil, mining and forestry officials. This is serious business. Part of the 1994 NAFTA Free Trade Agreement guaranteed that Canada would remain the favored supplier to the U.S. It might surprise you to learn that Canada supplies 17% of U.S. oil imports, 16% of our natural gas and nearly all of our hydroelectric power. The Canadian government owns the vast majority of the countrys energy resources and Canada exports more than 1.5 million barrels a day to America representing 8% of U.S. consumption. Chinas Lengthening Reach Meanwhile, Chinas aggressive moves in Canadas energy sector are raising eyebrows in Washington. Chinese government has earmarked $100 billion for overseas acquisitions of oil and gas. The Chinese are going on a buying spree investing in Canadian energy companies and recently plunked down $2 billion to build a thousand mile pipeline from Alberta tar sands to port on the west coast and onward to Beijing and Shanghai. While the oil reserve numbers for Saudi Arabia are under scrutiny, Canada has recoverable reserves of roughly 175 million barrels. Much of it is in oil sand that is processed profitably at oil prices of $20 or higher and T. Boone Pickens thinks that Canadas oil sand production could reach 6 million barrels a day There are now about 1 million ethnic Chinese residing in Canada and China is now Canadas second largest trading partner. Last month, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Canada and declared that the two countries had upgraded their relations to a strategic partnership. The USs Waning Grasp This Chinese-Canadian power play puts America in real jam. You could write a book about the long simmering lumber dispute but a Nafta panel recently ordered the U.S. to return $5 billion of collected tariffs to Canadian lumber companies. Relations with Canada were also weakened earlier this year when Canada announced that it would not contribute to the American-led missile defense program even though 90% of Canadian citizens live within 100 mile of the border between the two countries and Americans purchase 85% of total Canadian exports. Whats going on? Part of the answer is that the vast majority of Canadians oppose the policies of the Bush Administration. The issue is sensitive in many areas across Canada that are highly dependent on the lumber industry and Mr. Martin and his party are preparing for national elections expected early next year. It is always a vote getter to poke a stick in the eye of the elephant to the south. How to Play While Canadian-American relations have seen better days, the energy boom has certainly been beneficial to investors in Canadian markets. The Canada iShare (EWC) tracks the MSCI Canada Index that has 40% exposure to Canadas energy and materials sector. While the S&P index is up only 3%, the Canada iShare is up 16.6% year to date and 28.8% over the past twelve months. Speaking of timber, it is smart to have some timber exposure in your portfolio and I have had timber REIT Plum Creek Timber (PCL) in our core portfolio for over two years. Here is why I like it. First, timber is a great inflation hedge and over the past 100 years has risen 3% above the average annual inflation rate. Secondly, timber is not correlated to stocks or bonds and thus is a great shock absorber to cushion your portfolio when shares are declining. During the 1970s bear market, timber rose in value while stocks went down. Thirdly, from 1973-2000 timber yielded an average annual return of 15%. Last but not least, timber valuations are attractive after some declines during 2000-2002 especially relative to real estate prices. During 2004 Plum Creek was up 23% and this year it has traded between $34 and $39 finishing last week just over $35 with an attractive dividend yield of 4.3%. It behooves the U.S. to negotiate a settlement to the lumber dispute as soon as possible and lock up Canadian energy sources before the Chinese get the jump on us. Investors cant do much about improving Canadian-American relations but they can improve their portfolios by adding exposure to timber as well as to Canada as both an energy and China play.

What You Need to Have Knowledge about Home Business

Working from home has turn out to be more and more trendy in the past few years. More people are getting weary of having to rouse up early and make a extensive commute to a job they detest and working for a person or a company they don't want to work for. One of the best advantages to working from home on your own home business is that you can wake up when you want or need to and the commute is a long as it takes for you to walk to your home office. But it can be easy to get distracted when you are working from home so here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.Its critical that you become involved in all characteristics of your "home business" and become well-versed in the areas that you are unfamiliar with. This includes starting from the very idea on what you want your business to be about, to the formation of the service or the product all the way to the end when the product or service reaches the customer. If you assign things to other people, it can be easy to get induced into doing something that you end up not liking, so knowing what is going on in all aspects of the business is very important.Exploration is a great thing. I know it can seem a little bit scary, especially if your home business is the lone thing contributing to your earnings. However a business should be about doing new things. The world is moving at a fast pace and people get jaded with seeing the same things over and over again and experimentation of ideas and products could be very useful and give you a step up above your competitors.The biggest thing you need to be educated about when owning and operating a home business is the Internet. It is the most prevailing tool you can have when working from home. The Internet is the best place to tell people about what your business has to offer and there are several ways to not only inform people but also make money with different types of programs like advertising and affiliation. Having a website is one of the best ways to confront all of these things and you can either make it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. The bottom line is that any business needs to have an online presence.These are just a few of the many things you need to think about when working from home and owning your own home business. Like I said before, it is crucial to become informed with all characteristics of operating a home business.

Consejos Sabios para Lenar el Alma

Aqu te presento una lista de consejos para que no te sientas vaci, y observar al pasado con una sonrisa. Las he obtenido de una persona que estaba al final de su vida y sinti que hubiera hecho muchas cosas diferentes y ha recetado una serie de consejos para aquel que este interesado en cambiar.1) Habla menos; escucha ms.2) Escucha a las historias de tus abuelos a cerca de su juventud. Cuando ya no este, revivirs sus llamas por sus memorias.3) Invita a amigos para cenar o picar algo, a pesar de que tu casa no este en condiciones.4) Come mucho chocolate.5) Invita amigos con chicos a tu casa a pesar de que hagan li.6) Sintate en el pasto a pesar de que ensucie tus pantalones.7) No compres algo solo porque durara mucho tiempo o porque es practico, hazlo porque quieres.8) Qudate en cama relajado si te sientes enfermo y no pretendas que el mundo no puede continuar sin ti por un da.9) Prende las velas que tienes de adorno en el saln y djalas encendidas. No las dejes sin uso en el armario.10) Comparte responsabilidades de la vida con un compaero, no solo las expensas.11) (Para las mujeres) En vez de esperar al embarazo a que se termine, disfruta cada momento en tu corazn. Aprende que la vida dentro de ti es la nica oportunidad que tienes de ayudar a Dios a crear magia.12) Deja que tus hijos de abrasen y besen cuando quiera que lo deseen. No los detengas por ninguna razn como: "mas tarde", "ve a lavarte las manos", "deberemos comer" o dems.13) Di las prximas dos frases lo ms seguido que puedas: "Te Amo" y "Lo siento."14) Deja de preocuparte por quien te quiere o no te quiere, o que tiene quien o no tiene.15) Valora todas las relaciones humanas personales.16) Juega con una mascota cuando puedas. Riete y corre con ella y toma parte en sus juegos.17) Pasa el mayor tiempo posible con la gente que te quiere.18) Deja de transpirar por todos los pequeos detalles y problemas sin sentido de la vida.19) Toma cada momento, mralo y djalo. Nunca volver de nuevo.La persona que escribi estos sabios consejos se llamaba Susana, y tenia una hija de seis aos. Susana enseo estos ideales bsicos a un conocido mo y yo los he tratado de seguir tambin en honor a su memoria. Creo que puedo decir que convertir a quienquiera que lo haga en una mejor persona, un mejor esposa o esposa, y en general una persona mas feliz. Inclusive ahora creo que D'os ha bendecido a cada uno de nosotros, y deberemos aceptar estas bendiciones e intentar buscar sentirnos mas fuertes fsicamente, mentalmente, y emocionalmente. Recuerda que todos tenemos la suerte de estar aqu, y aprovechar vivir la vida de la mejor manera posible, as que consejos para esa receta nunca estn de mas.

Summary

I've noticed an interesting trend lately. Usually the e-mail I receive in response to this column comes from rookie entrepreneurs or established business owners seeking my input on startup matters, financing, employee relations, general management and leadership issues, policy matters, etc. Lately, however, many of the messages are coming from employees of medium-size and large companies who are growing frustrated at working in an environment that they deem (to quote one ...