I am a big believer in respecting people and treating people with equality, and sometimes (especially in the marketing field) there is so much hype and teaching about how to persuade someone they need something that they do not need. It is refreshing to read about building trust instead of manipulating people’s emotions. And, that is what I did this week, while reading “Flawless Consulting” by Peter Block.


We Are On a Journey.

Maister, Green, and Galford, in their Consulting to Management journal article called, “What is a trusted advisor?” remind us that we do not start out as trusted experts in our field, but many times, that is our goal in life (their related book is shown toward the end of this article). I have seen this in myself, as well as my peers, and those who have succeeded in reaching that goal.

Three Key Principles.

So, from that awareness of the journey comes three key principles that I would glean, especially from Peter Block’s book, Flawless Consulting:

  1. Being authentic.
  2. Being thorough.
  3. Being fair.

[continue reading…]

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of AeroLife™ for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

AeroLife Energy, Sleep, Natural

AeroLife uses the technology of air, in a safe air-based (no gases, etc.) system to provide you with nutrients that include vitamins, supplements, and tasty flavors.  It works safely, cleanly, and very fast (I can attest to that!).

When gently drawing in the air, using the dispenser, the nutrients are drawn into the system and immediately start to help you feel refreshed (AeroLife Entergy); relaxed (AeroLife Sleep); or prepares you to fight off the nasty cold and flus that sometimes creep up on us during this season (AeroLife Immune).

This product is clean and safe, with particles that do not travel to the lungs, but rather, gently enter your system through a process as easy as sipping a straw, and yet, give you that refreshed feeling, while providing smart nutrition.

Even those of you who are skeptical will want to see if, by chance, it works, right?  I was curious and I'm glad I tried it!

Ok, first, I have to admit.  I'm not one for reading the instructions.  I mean, in that way, I'm more like a "stereotypical guy" than a woman, putting the bicycle together and then wondering what all of the extra pieces were for, while staring at them on the curb.  So, I pulled out all these fun, colorful packs, and the very creative and intriguing book, and I went to start right away.  I think my overly complex brain got confused because it was almost "too simple" to use.  Instead of extra parts, I kept trying to put parts together to use it.  Ok, note to self and to all of you out there who are technically-minded like me.  It isn't as complex as you are thinking.  In fact, the following video demonstrates the process in a way that we geeks need to see it –>

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AeroLife Energy

I have been pretty tired lately and before delving into the AeroLife pack, I took a nap.  One of those really deep naps.  I was awakened suddenly and even though I was up moving, I was very groggy and not awake at all.  This seemed like the perfect time to try the AeroLife Energy.  I did and I told myself not to think anything psychosomatic, attributing what I thought should happen and making it happen.  But, really, I felt so energized!  It was better than any triple-shot coffee!  It was better than any energy drink.  Not only was I energized mentally, but I was ready to go for a walk.  I never go from 0 to 60 quite like that after one of those deep naps!  And, I didn't feel all artificially energized.  I felt very natural, as if I hadn't napped and had already had all of the sleep my body needed. 

AeroLife Trial Pack

Confessions of a Diet-Coke-a-Holic

I am often seen, even in pictures, with my bottle of Diet Coke in hand.  While I am not ready to go cold turkey, I have to say that when it comes to energy, the AeroLife Energy nutrients do a quicker job than my beloved Diet Coke.  There is no sugar high and no "drugged feeling," just refreshed and ready to face the day.  I no longer require the heavy-duty strong coffee (the kind that puts hair on the chest) to get me going.  All I need is the compact, clean, nutrient-delivery AeroLife unit, with my favorite flavor of the day.  And, it is so easy to carry with me that I can have one at the office for a mid-day pick-me-up.

Try AeroLife for yourself and see how well you do.  Don't take my word for it and don't feel like you have to flush the coffee beans down the garbage disposal.  Simply Start your free trial now and see if this natural, scientifically designed combination of vitamins and supplements helps you to fee more refreshed when you need to be alert and more relaxed when you need to wind down.

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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Advanced American Telephones for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I remember, years ago, before it was "cool" (or necessary) to have a fully functional home office, shopping for "just the right phone" to cover all of our business needs. At the time, we were running a domain registration and hosting site and were quite popular with our "high quality, affordable services" rates. However, this motto required that we use the phone to be available to our customers 24/7 and, in our own home, with what would work like a commercial phone. It was nearly an impossible feat to find one that had ALL of the features we needed, without changing our motto to "high quality, NON-affordable services."

AT&T CLP99383 Telephone

Fortunately, AT&T has come to the rescue these days and not just "getting by" but hitting it out of the ball field.

Quality of Sound of CLP99383 Phone

The quality of the sound is better than digital clear. Gone are the warm fuzzy analog sound quality with raspy undertones, and here are the techno-clear digital age sound that would put Star Trek to shame. In the past, I recall having issues with the phone company (during "dial-up" days) because the sound was so bad that it wouldn't keep an internet connection. This sound quality is so clear you could record a podcast off of it. In fact, I might just do that!

AT&T CLP99383 Telephone

Features Galore in the CLP99383 Phone

This lovely phone has all of the features my heart could desire, for my office, as well as home. These features include:

  • a "range" that doesn't know the word "end."
  • voice announcing of Caller ID (when subscribed via phone service)
  • caller ID/call waiting with ability to store up to 50 calls in history
  • conference calling
  • answer the phone with any key (fumbling? no problem!)
  • Push-to-Talk
  • mute
  • equalizer to adjust HD audio (we sound engineers LOVE that!)
  • 3 handsets (expandable to 12)
  • works with AT&T cordless headset (essential!)
  • intercom (us too-lazy-to-use-stairs LOVE that!)
  • built-in phone directory that stores up to 200 entries
  • voicemail indicator
  • quick access for your voicemail (no longer fumbling to find it!)
  • last 10 numbers available for redial
  • multi-language setup menu
  • power-conserving technology (us green people LOVE that!)
  • battery back-up
  • mount on table or wall
Connect to Cell BLUETOOTH® technology

Favorite Feature: Connect to Cell BLUETOOTH® Technology of CLP99383 Phone

So, you gave up your landline and upped your cell minutes to unlimited to cut costs? Well, the CLP99383 is still the phone for you! I love my iPhone, but, sometimes the audio is just a bit muffled. When I used headphones, the sound is clear as can be, but who has time to grab the headphones every time the cell phone rings? Well, here is the answer to both – use the CLP99383! This beautiful piece of technology can be hooked up to act as the cell phone, so you don't have to use your cell phone when you are in the office or at home. This is also very handy if the cell phone is on one floor of the house and not the floor that you are on … no worries… with 3 handsets, you are sure to have a phone handy to answer that cell call.

The handset of the the CLP99383 makes it easy to use, allowing you to choose between Cell 1 and Cell 2. Oh, and for those of us who are forever having trouble deciphering little universal graphics? Have no fear, AT&T has thought of us and included the TEXT, so we can figure out what the buttons are! They also had the foresight to make the numbers big enough to read but not so big that you feel like you are a senior citizen (even if you are). The display is clear as can be, and as easy to read as a piece of paper.

Since the handsets are actually utilizing the cell phone service, for each of the cell buttons on the phone, you can actually use each handset to make a call AT THE SAME TIME using each of the services (the two different programmed-in cell phones, and the land line). Did you notice, THREE handsets with this system?

AT&T CLP99383 Telephone

That's not all. The CLP99383 also has a built-in USB dock for the cell phone. What does that mean? The CLP99383 can alert you to texts, email, voicemail.. any alerts that your cell phone would give you. Do you have one of those houses (or offices) where you continually lose the call because of a dead spot, but conveniently forget about that dead spot until it happens, repeatedly? No worries. Leave your phone in the best location for the cell signal and use the CLP99383 handset instead. This also helps when you want to have those business calls on speaker phone and they call in on your cell phone. Some cell phones just were not cut out for speaker calls. The CLP99383, on the other hand, handles those calls like a pro, turning your cell phone into a full-blown commercial speaker phone.

Surprise Bonus: Downloadable Directory

Now that your phone has collected calls and call information for the land line and two cell phones, and you have it in the directory, you can download that information and add it to your favorite address book system. No longer do you have to key it into the phone, one cell phone, the other cell phone, and the online/offline directories. Handle it once and it can be integrated with all of your systems.

Workflow enhancement

The base is full of goodies and programmable options, but it can find its place of honor on your favorite coffee table, or large desk, or even the wall-mount option. However, for smaller places and smaller desks, the handset is sleek and has a small footprint, barely taking more space that a cell phone. It is easy on the hands, easy on the eyes, and easy to use, with the slick touch-buttons and easy-to-read panel. This phone, with its relatively small size, handles all of your business needs in a robust manner, with the headset capability, speaker phone, easy to reach directory, and functioning as three phones in one. It becomes the standard by which business communication is measured.


With a phone that boasts this many features AND serves as an essential part of my home office, I would expect to pay $399 and up. Back "in the day," that was a reasonable price tag for a comparable phone of its day. However, this CLP99383 phone is only around $100. I would go out and pick one up now. In fact, I'm thinking that I may grab a couple for Holiday gift giving.

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Managing a business is a daunting task, especially when it’s a small business. Small business owners have limited resources and unlimited tasks. They need to keep the costs low if they want the business to be productive. Unlike major corporations, small business owners can’t invest in separate departments for different functions. They need to multitask to the best of their abilities. Fortunately, we live in the information age where tasks can be simplified using technology. Mobile technology is most useful because it’s available on the go. Here are a few apps that will simplify the work process of a small business.


Management is the core component of a business. You need a tool to monitor your employee’s progress on a project. This is where Asana comes in. It allows employees to collaborate on a project and the business owner to track its progress. It has a very simple interface that gives it an edge over other management apps for small business owners. Being able to track the work process like a hawk has its advantages. You’ll never again miss a deadline in the future.


The tax man is like the grim reaper for a small business owner. Every time the tax season comes around, it’s as if a dark cloud descends upon him. Tracking your company expenses can help you get tax breaks. Expensify helps you monitor these expenses and it reveals the silver lining in the dark cloud hanging over you. When your taxes are in order, it can take a huge load off your shoulders.


Wouldn’t it be helpful if you could access your company database from anywhere?It would make collaborating on projects from different locations much easier. Using cloud computing you can achieve this. Dropbox allows you to share files, pictures and videos in a group and the best part is that you can access it from any computer or mobile device on the planet. This helps you stay connected to your business even while you’re on vacation.

Google Drive

As a business owner you need to go through a ton of documents and spreadsheets on a daily basis. You may not always have a computer with you to view them. Google Drive is an online office suite that allows you to view and edit documents on your computer and mobile device. It sure beats paying for Microsoft Office. You can open an e-mail, view the document, edit it if required and send it back without having to download it. Nifty, isn’t it?

Cloud Print

Reading documents on your phone is one thing, but what if you could print documents through it as well? Cloud Print allows you print documents by using your phone to give the print command. All you need to do is configure your printer and you’ll be able to print through it using your phone. You can send important print commands to your office printer even when you’re not there. You may be absent from the room, but your methods are not.

You may not have the resources of a major corporation, but using these apps you can compensate for that handicap. After all, every multinational corporation needs to start somewhere.


Everyone needs a hobby in life, so if your interest lies in the world of finance and money, you will probably find online trading very exciting. Before the internet came along, anyone who wanted to trade in stocks, shares, gold, futures or on the foreign exchange markets needed to have a close personal relationship with a broker. These days, however, anyone can have a go at online trading thanks to the development of various software packages and online trading tools. So if you are considering playing in the financial markets for fun, what important things do you need to know about trading software?

What is Trading Software?

There are many different types of trading software. Some software packages even let you practice your skills on a virtual investment portfolio, so instead of blowing the kids’ inheritance on an unstable market, you can have a go at trading without any risk. Actual trading software makes online trading easier because it is able to track multiple stocks on one page. You could source the same information from a trading website, but using a trading software package is a great timesaver, which is useful if you are busy living life to the full.

Different Types of Trading Software

There are many different trading software packages available to amateurs and professionals. Simpler software will update once per day, which is fine if you are only dabbling in the financial markets as a hobby and you don’t need to check your portfolio very often. More advanced software updates every fifteen minutes, and for the professional trader, a premium software package that continually updates will probably be the most appropriate.

  • Forex Trading Software – The currency markets are continually in flux, which makes it hard for software packages to track the latest prices across the world. The best Forex software packages update their information at least every fifteen minutes, so check this before you purchase.
  • Stocks and Shares Trading Software – Stocks and shares software packages monitor data from the financial markets to help you spot trends and patterns. The better software packages can offer useful insights into what stocks and shares are on the up as well as when would be a good time to sell.

Online Trading Considerations

Online trading software is useful for anyone who wishes to have a go at trading on the financial markets, but without a brokerage account you won’t actually be able to buy and sell anything. To begin with, it is a good idea to practice with a virtual investment portfolio. That way you can hone your skills without losing any money. Over time you should become more skilled at spotting trends and predicting what will happen next. When this happens, or you feel confident enough to try trading for real, it is time to open a brokerage account.

Always read product reviews before you buy an online trading software package. There are many different levels of trading software, so if you are a total beginner, always choose a basic package until you know how the markets work.


At some point, virtually everyone will reach the age at which retirement becomes feasible – it may sneak up on you little by little, so this is why it is so important to be prepared even in your younger years. In the past, retirement advice and information was limited to investment firms and 401ks; which made it very difficult for the average person to take their investments and retirement goals into their own hands. These days, though, a variety of mobile applications have helped millions of people enjoy a greater sense of financial freedom and plan for those golden years. Below, we will discuss four apps that each offer a benefit or feature for those who are ready to plan their retirements.

Schwab Workplace Retirement

Anyone who needs to track their current workplace retirement savings can do so without hassle thanks to the Schwab Workplace Retirement app, currently available on the iTunes App Store. This free application allows users to monitor their retirement savings balances, view overall performance of your current investments and determine how much you have contributed each week or month. Those who require further assistance and guidance can use the app to converse with a Schwab professional, who can help walk users through the key benefits of certain retirement strategies.


Retirement Income Calculator

If you are unsure of the amount needed to retire comfortably, then you may find the Retirement Income Calculator to be a great tool for calculating your precise monetary needs. Users will be able to specify certain goals and adjust variables such as retirement age and desired monthly benefits in order to see how much will be needed over the course of their working careers in order to achieve those goals. The app will show amounts in both current dollars and future dollars, which can help ensure that your purchasing power remains unaffected in your golden years. Available on the Android Marketplace, the Retirement Income Calculator app is a free download.


Retirement Planner

Retirement advice can be very useful for those who currently have no objectives, and the Retirement Planner app helps users make basic decisions about the type of investments they need to make in order to have comfortable retirements. Users can see the difference between popular investment strategies such as 401ks and IRAs, how their current levels of spending affect future retirement plans and whether they will end up with a surplus or shortfall based on outlined goals. The Retirement Planner app is completely free and available for download on the Android Marketplace.


Retirement Countdown

Anyone who has retirement planned out through the above investment recommendations may now wish to keep track of how long it will be before the day arrives. The Retirement Countdown app is a great way to measure the number of days, months and years left before you retire. While not a full-featured app that offers multiple benefits, this tool can be a wake-up call for those who have put financial planning off, thinking time is on their side. You can find the Retirement Countdown app for download on the Android Marketplace.


There are a number of great iPhone finance-related apps in the marketplace, but none are as important as those that help you secure you and your family’s financial future. We typically don’t like to think too far ahead, especially in terms of our own retirement, or worse still – our death. However, with a great range of pensions, annuities and life insurance products, the sooner you start planning the better your future will be.

Annuity Think Tank

An annuity can best be described as an insurance product that will pay out an income at a future date. Annuities are typically used as part of a person’s retirement strategy and most pensions will include some form of an annuity. Annuity Think Tank is more of an educational resource than anything else. It is geared towards both financial professionals and financial consumers.

The app will provide a full education on annuities and how they work. You have the ability to research the various types of products available in the marketplace and this can even help you to decide on the right investment vehicle for your retirement. Not only will you learn about planning for your retirement, but also the tax advantages that will be available to you. This is one of the most comprehensive guides available on the subject of annuities.

Some of the Things You’ll Learn

– You will learn the basics about annuities – how they work, why people choose to invest in them, and how it can help you to plan effectively for your retirement.

– There are many more advanced concepts available within the app as well, although these are more specifically aimed at financial professionals.

– You have the opportunity to try the annuity calculators provided by the app, which can give you a real insight into the amount of income you could potentially have in your retirement.

– You will have access to all the information that annuity experts and professionals use, so you could make informed decisions for yourself on the type of product most suited to you.

– You will have access to a vast array of websites and associated links and information.


The app is located in the Education category of iTunes. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It is completely free to download and you will require an operating system of iOS 4.3 or later. The latest update added integration for iPad, added far more relevant content and the features have been enhanced to make them more user friendly.

Planning for your financial future is something that many of us put off and this is typically due to the complicated nature of investments, pensions, insurances, etc. However, you can now be one step ahead of the crowd and learn about one of the most important insurance product’s that is likely to support you in your old age. The app has also been extremely well received by current users and there are countless positive reviews and five-star ratings for the Annuity Think Tank app.


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Moving into a new home can be stressful, but that stress only comes once you have resolved the issue that is selling your old home. This process in itself can be much more exhausting and will probably result in a few instances where things fall through or hopes are lost when it comes to selling the house for the desired price. Fortunately, technology is assisting home owners in areas such as home renovation, which can add substantial value to any property when done properly. In the following article, we will be outlining four apps that home owners can use to make improvements around the home prior to selling.


Encouraging home owners to stop shelling out for expensive repairs and instead turn to themselves for assistance, DIY DO IT is a great app on iOS devices that provides tutorials and step-by-step instructions for over fifty different tasks around the home. Need help painting gutters, unclogging a sink or installing a new faucet? The information in DIY DO IT will help you accomplish all of these and more, offering clear photos and text that outlines what needs to be done in each step. In addition to this, a variety of included calculators will assist in determining how much of a particular material is needed for any job. For just $0.99, the DIY DO IT app can be downloaded via iTunes.


iHandy Carpenter

Determining whether a shelf is level or the exact angle of a piece of moulding used to be frustrated and for each task, a particular tool was required. With the iHandy Carpenter, these days are over. Including five separate tools in one (plumb bob, surface level, bubble level bar, ruler and protractor), you can eliminate the need for expensive physical instruments and replace them with an affordable $1.99 solution. When making home improvements, having tools such as a protractor and level come in handy, so iOS users will not want to miss out on this excellent composition of tools.


Home Decorator Pro

Have you ever wished you could see how a room would look after a potential renovation? With Home Decorator Pro, this is now a reality. Anyone who wants to add a bit of appeal to a recently listed home via a new paint job will have full flexibility in being able to see the potential results. Simply take a photo of the room in question and through the application, one touch is enough to apply the colour of your choice to see how it will look. The realistic depictions will assist in avoiding a bad choice of colour, and the app’s price ($0.99) is reasonable enough that any DIY-er should consider downloading it before committing to any painting decisions.



Designed for projects relating to home renovation as well as just about anything else, the free eHow app gives home owners access to a variety of articles and tutorials on various subjects. If you want to fix a leaky toilet, for instance, you will be able to quickly find an article detailing step-by-step how to achieve this. Available for iOS and Android devices, eHow makes a great addition for not only home renovation projects, but just about every other area of life as well.



Mint.com has been helping people with their finances since September 2007 and is recognised as one of the leading finance websites in the world. In fact, they have won countless awards and accolades from Money Top Pick, Kiplinger’s PC Magazine, CNN Money, The Webby’s and many more. They currently have over 10 million users on their website and pretty much offer the best online financial tools you are likely to find anywhere. So, it was only a matter of time before iPhone users got a chance to sample the goods!

Mint.com Personal Finance

Mint.com’s free iPhone app will help you to keep on top of your finances no matter where or how busy you are. Some of the features of the app include:

  • You can view completely up-to-date information on any of your accounts. You can check whether your budget will allow for a certain purchase or whether you should hold fire, as you may have a number of bills and payments due out. You can also edit important financial information about your accounts from the app.
  • If you happen to have made a purchase the app provides the facility to enter this information immediately into your accounts. You may have purchased something as simple as a coffee or as complex as a new kitchen, but the details will not reflect on your statement until the payment has gone through, typically a few days later. By inputting the details in real time you will have an idea of what monies are available in your account straight away.
  • With all this financial information on your phone it is important to ensure that your privacy and account information is completely safe. The app is automatically password protected, so if you happen to lose your phone you can rest assured that your financial details and transactions are safe from prying eyes.

Manage Your Money and More…

Not only does the Mint.com app allow you to manage your money and make a budget, there are some other really great features you may want to use. You have the ability to open a new account straight from your iPhone, add other account details, such as savings accounts, retirement accounts, loan accounts and credit cards. Your transactions will then automatically be categorized whenever you make a deposit or purchase.

For iPad users you also have a number of graphs to work with, which are extremely easy to understand and will give you a clear picture of how much money you are spending and how much you currently have available between your various accounts. The app will actually create a personalized budget for you, and this information is calculated from your average monthly income and expenditure.

The app also provides alerts and reminders, so you need never worry about missing a payment again, thus ensuring that you will no longer receive any dreaded late fees or bank letters. Another great feature is that no matter what device you use Mint.com on – your iPhone, iPad or even if you access the website via the web, your information will automatically sync with each device, so you will also have your latest account information available to you.



Computer forensics deals with retrieving material from a computer, thus allowing for evidence to be used in a criminal investigation. Almost all information can be recovered from a computer’s hard drive, even information that has been deleted, unless the hard drive has also been wiped clean. However, there are certain rules and regulations to follow if information that has been retrieved from a computer is going to be used as evidence in court. It’s not simply a case of any underhand tactics can be used to prove a person’s guilt or innocence and there are only certain court approved tools and software that can be used. This article will discuss four of the most common used tools and techniques from around the world.


The Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor (COFEE) was developed by Microsoft. It can best be described as an automated and portable digital forensic tool. Microsoft developed this tool while working with the American government and it is now used by various law enforcement agencies around the world. In fact, COFEE is used extensively in many criminal proceedings by INTERPOL. The tool is simply a portable flash drive that will plug into any computer’s USB port. As soon as it is activated it will extract all the information from the computer.

EnCase eDiscovery

This is a legal software application typically used by law companies who want to carry out in house foresnsics and under their own steam. This particular software is widely used in court cases around the globe. The software is specifically used for a legal team to assess their case at any time. It is a great way for a firm to understand how their case may be viewed by judge and jury and obviously to make any necessary changes to their case. The application can be used on a pay per use basis or a full license can be purchased.

Drive Cleansers

A drive cleanser is used to destroy all forms of information and data contained within a computer’s hard drive. This specific program has been designed to protect private information by irreversibly deleting it, thus protecting an individual or firm from having their private information fall into the wrong hands. This is a highly recommended tool by many government agencies in various countries.


The Forensics Toolkit (FTK) is a form of software that will bypass any user accounts and passwords on a computer, thus allowing the user full access to any data stored on a computer system. In fact, this software will even access deleted files, as long they haven’t been permanently deleted from the hard drive. The software works with a number of operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac and UNIX.

All of the software and tools have been specifically validated for use in court proceedings and are generally used to either prove someone’s guilt or innocence. Computers in general have become a part of our everyday life and therefore most people tend to store all types of personal information on them.