Category Archives: Uncategorized

New focus for 2011

2011 Weird & Wacky Holiday Marketing GuideTime has slipped by and I just don’t seem ever to be able to get around to posting my Swiss journal notes. So, maybe I should just go back to keeping you up to date on the happenings in the Marks household.

2011 is almost here and I am feverishly working on the Amazon launch of my third edition Weird & Wacky Holiday Marketing Guide. Currently I am seeking those who would be willing to help by donating and promoting the launch. If you are interested just let me know. I would be happy to welcome your support.

Happy Holidays to you and yours,


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

WWOOF Switzerland 2008 the saga continues… Part 7

Let’s see where did I leave off? Oh yes, we are in Krinau. Here it is almost two months later and we are still at the first organic farm, sorry folks — things have been nuts here, I’ll try to squeeze more time in for this story. Anyway, on with the tale.

Tues, July 22nd

Toggenburg Valley

Toggenburg Valley

Monday I went with Felix, our host, and Philip to pick up butter. We drove to the Toggenberg Valley and up to a mountaintop farm. The view was spectacular as we drove up the narrow winding road. We arrived at a secondary house which the family used near their lower barn when they came down from the Alps. It was small, but quite cozy, with all the modern appliances. We were invited to share a cup of coffee while the our hostess, a short squat woman with a warm and friendly demeanor, bounded down the stairs and returned with a huge tub of paper-wrapped butter.

I thought Felix was going to purchase a months worth, but in fact, he bought a whole years worth! Do you have any idea how much butter that is! Enough to give the cleanest arteries a fright. 😀

Today I helped transfer sheep. This was truly an experience. She put boards down on top of the fold-down rear seat and literally picked up the sheep one-by-one and put them in the car. Then she and drove up another mountain in another valley with three bleating, wobbly, sheep in the back of her car.

Lisbeth and family in tow on our first mountain treck

Lisbeth and family in tow on our first mountain treck

First we went to one farm and picked up another sheep and then we went on our way to the final destination for all but one. At the first farm I noticed that the sheep blindly followed the owner right to the car. Well, actually he walked them to the holding area where he picked out the one with the right number on her ear-tag and then Lisbeth picked her up and put her in the back of the car
with the other waiting sheep. My job was to make sure the others didn’t get out of the car while she put the sheep into the back. I was later told that this young sheep farmer was the area butcher.

We expected to pick up just one, but when we got there we were told that the lady who we were to transfer the sheep to had ordered two. So we repeated the process of transfer and confused about this unscheduled addition, off we went.

Down the mountain and then through a neighboring village we wound our way with sheep bleating and bouncing around on the wooden planks that were quickly turning black with feces which made the foothold even more precarious for their already wobbly legs to maintain.

When we finally arrived at the farm and unloaded the sheep that were to remain we were informed that the extra sheep was for us to take home. However, because Lisbeth is as strong-willed as she is well-built for farming life, we left with just the one we had come for. After unloading the sheep which were to be used for breeding we led them into the barn and then guided them into the holding area. The other sheep didn’t accept them and so they quickly leaped the barriers and we frantically chased after them and put them back only to repeat the process a second time.

Once securely placed, they were then moved to a scaling area where the sheep farmer woman pulled out a bathroom scale and after weighing herself, picked up the sheep, one-at-a-time and stepped on it. In this way she was able to get an accurate weight for the sheep. I never knew why that was done but I am sure it had something to do with an equal exchange.

Swiss Alpine sheep

Swiss Alpine sheep

All that done we headed down the mountain toward home with just the one addition to the family. This sheep was a young male that would be raised for meat. When we arrived back at the farm the two mothers who were left childless by the transfer were joined by this young unwanted stranger. Neither of the two mothers wanted to accept this interloper and so would butt him away at every opportunity. This meant that he might jump the fence and so we had to take turns standing guard for the first couple of hours. Felix and Lisbeth kept watch that night and by the next afternoon the adoption was complete.

Our evening was spent visiting the only friends of Felix and Lisbeth, a couple who had allowed their sheep to graze the hill behind their home up until the day of transfer. Roland was a retired math teacher. He played the cello and had just arrive back empty-handed from mushroom hunting in the Alps. It seems the only thing he brought back with him was a cold.

They were very gracious and we enjoyed our visit with them. When they informed us that they were not locals but he had been appointed headmaster of the school and church after only one year of residence we were curious and glad to receive this news.

We asked how so short of time before such a lofty position and the reply was that they merely informed the townsfolk that they wished to be involved and make Krinau their home.

This was just what we had hoped would happen for us. Now we just needed to find a place to settle down and dig our heals in.

Terrific news to end an eventful day.

Leave a comment

Filed under personal development, skills, Uncategorized

WINning Sisters Spring Fling 2008 Official Announcement!


Group of Women Business Owners Celebrate Spring with FREE Online Networking Event and Prizes

Contact: Susan McCool
Address: PO Box 9444, Lee, FL 32059
Phone: 850-971-5390 (M-F, 9 am – 5 pm ET)

Tallahassee, FL – The WINning Sisters of Ryze are celebrating Spring this year with their Third Annual Spring Fling, an event that brings business owners together to network while having fun playing games, winning prizes and learning from a featured guest speaker.

The WINning Sisters of Ryze are bringing another year of networking fun to business owners everywhere with their Annual Spring Fling. This year’s fling, titled Spring Fling 2008, is to take place online on Monday, May 19, 2008 from 5 pm – 10 pm Eastern. Attendees are able to network with each other in a fun, friendly and informal atmosphere, while playing games and winning prizes donated by the Spring Fling 2008 sponsors. Each year, a special guest is invited to be the featured speaker at this networking event, giving each attendee a learning experience that will help them boost their business. And the best part of this annual event is it is always FREE to all!

All business owners, new, old, male and female, have been invited and welcomed to this event since its inception in the spring of 2006. Each year The WINning Sisters form a committee of talented business owners from their members. These women network on forums such as the Business Network, Women in Networking, WBO (Women Business Owners), SisterWoman and Mentoring Work at Home Network just to name a few. These devoted volunteers work hard to bring fantastic prizes, an upbeat atmosphere and top-notch business advice to the large group of attendees.

“I loved the Fling! Not only did I get new members and customers by attending, I learned some valuable information, made new friends and had the opportunity to showcase my products and services.” Heidi Richards, Founder & CEO – The WECAI Network –

The WINning Sisters of Ryze was founded by Ginger Marks of DocUmeant in the winter of 2005 with just a handful of members. Now, just 2 ½ years later, The WINning Sisters of Ryze have over 150 members and growing strong. Their goal is to enable and empower each other with the knowledge of available resources and proper networking etiquette, aptly named Netiquette.

To learn more about Spring Fling 2008 and the WINning Sisters of Ryze, visit



Filed under Uncategorized

Take a cue from the Food Industry

I am sitting here looking at a recipe that I have made a couple of times called Pecan Crusted Salmon. As I look at it and consider making it for dinner the though struck me that as good as this recipe tastes if I just throw it on a plate with no thought of presentation it will still taste good. However if I “plate” it to make it look as yummy as it tastes I believe it will taste even better.

How much like plating a dish to enhance its appeal is our business? What do you think? Can and how could this be done? I guess you could call this “Food for thought“. (Pun intended)

Here’s the recipe in case your taste buds are feeling adventurous.

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Place in a food processor:

Pecans, Red Pepper, Salt and Garlic clove

Process on high until thoroughly chopped.

Dip fish in olive oil to coat and then the pecan mixture. Pat to adhere and fry.

Don’t forget to make your plate look pretty. Enjoy.

If you need help with presentational skills be sure to pick up your copy of Presentational Skills for the Next Generation available at and Amazon.


Filed under Uncategorized

Always On

Published: (c) December 11, 2007

image by Victoria Roberts

Q. Many devices that are “always on” while seemingly “off” draw power so that they can spring into action on demand. How much electricity does a television, for example, use when plugged in but not turned on?

A. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has done extensive studies of standby power since 1996 for the Department of Energy. In particularly inefficient appliances, standby power use can be as high as 20 watts.

“For a single appliance, this may not seem like much,” the laboratory’s Web site says, “but when we add up the power use of the billions of appliances in the U.S., the power consumption of appliances that are not being used is substantial.”

An exact reading of the standby power drawn by an individual appliance can be obtained only by using a fairly expensive energy meter or by turning off all the rest of a home’s appliances and checking the utility meter.

For making an estimate, a laboratory Web site — — provides tables of the minimum, average and maximum power used by appliances that cannot be switched off completely without being unplugged. For television sets, the laboratory estimates a minimum power use of zero watts, an average of 5 watts and a maximum of 21.6 watts.


Filed under Uncategorized

What Do You Have Hanging On Your Walls?

Picasso's Weeping Woman

I just love to do cryptograms and the other day I completed one that got me to thinking. It was a quote by Rita Rudner that read, “I was going to have cosmetic surgery done until I noticed that the doctor’s office was full of portraits of Picasso.” I can just see her skeedataling out of his office as fast as her feet would take her. Moreover, can you blame her? I think I would probably do the same.

The thought occurred to me that we sometimes have things that represent our businesses in what we think are beneficial ways when in reality they are doing more harm than good. Let’s look at this scenario from the doctor’s point of view. The art he chose to display was well known and proved his love for all things artistic. However, to the viewing patient it held a completely different meaning.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Fat Lady Sang!

The other day I was walking into the church when low and behold there was this … well, I don’t know what to call it… getting closer and closer to me in the reflection of the glass door. I couldn’t believe my eyes and even missed a step or two. Who was this stranger staring back at me? All my life I had been thin and able to eat everything in sight and not gain an ounce. I even remember, and have confirmed with my older sister that it is true, a time when in Michigan in the dead of winter on an ice covered parking lot she had to literally push me into the high school building. You see the wind was blowing so hard that for every step I took forward I would be pushed back two. At that time I topped out at a whopping 97 pounds, the same amount I weighed all through Jr High and now into High School.

Things had obviously changed since I hit menopause. Then the other day I was invited to listen in on Heal Yourself Talk Radio‘s first live podcast. The subject was exercise and weight loss and right then and there I made a commitment to get my big bubble butt off my computer chair every day for one hour and walk. That was three days ago.

The first day I made it one-half hour before I had to quit. Then yesterday I made it 55 minutes. Well that was just too close so today when I got back three minutes early I kept moving around the house until the clock ticked those last few minutes down.

Now I know that three days doesn’t make a habit but hey, I am well on my way now. Why don’t you join me? Make a commitment to walk one hour each day and we will walk the pounds away together. Just leave me a comment and let me know you want to buddy up with me.

1 Comment

Filed under Menopause, Uncategorized

Just for fun

If you have ever wanted to free fall like I have done but don’t have the nerve to go through with it perhaps this is the answer for you as it was for my friend and neighbor Debbie Picciotti.

The following link will take you and your friends to your RealXstream Skydiving Video Website.

(Best viewed with a fast Broadband connection and fast computer. Cut and paste the link directly into your browser).

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Refuel with the Right Gas

If you are like the rest of us there are times when you become low on energy. Other times you may just be plumb out of gas. Like your auto, when you put the wrong type of gas in your tank you will either totally blow your engine or you will sputt and sputter down the road. However, with the right grade of fuel you will cruise down the road to success.

What is the difference? What am I even talking about? I am talking about the difference between happiness and joy. You see happiness is found when circumstances change. For example, when you get a new source of income, that makes you happy; when you discover a new way to market your business, that makes you happy too. So happiness is a result of change.

How often do you find yourself smiling or pretending to be happy when you are dealing with your associates and customers? If you have ever found yourself in this place then I have a suggestion for you.Instead of fueling your tank with happiness switch to high octane JOY.

Joy is not the same as happiness; it is distinctly an attitude. To get back your lost joy the best way is to look outside yourself. When you focus on yourself you often feel self-doubt, which in turn results in lack of action, which comes full circle in the guise of depression or the heaviness of financial lack.

Get back to your first love, look at how you have affected the lives of others? When you strongly believe in your product or service and the benefit that you have to impart by sharing it with others it is easy to motivate yourself to take action. This motivation comes as a direct result of focusing on others and the attitude you adopt.

Another way to change your attitude to an attitude of joy is to reflect on your accomplishments instead of your failed attempts. When you focus on the positive you will find your fuel gauge swing so heavily to full that others will be infected as well.

So when you are overwhelmed by life seek ways to create an attitude of true joy. Look around you and embrace the good you see.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Testimonials – You Can’t Overuse Them

We have all heard that testimonials are an integral part of a business owner’s marketing arsenal. Over and over we are told to ask for and use them. If you haven’t a clue how to use them then chances are you many not have any and if you do they many not be strong enough to make an impact on your shopper. I have even heard it said that testimonials aren’t important; that as a shopper we don’t read them, let alone give credence to them. However for those who do take notice a perfectly positioned testimonial can be the catalyst to your sale.

I have personally read a testimonial or two, skipped all the ‘hype’, and gone straight to the ‘buy now’ button. When I did that the testimonial either spoke to a need I had at the time or was written by someone whom I have great respect for. They may have been someone I know of personally or a noted personality in their area of expertise.

As an example, when I see the name Yanik Silver or Dan Kennedy I sit up and take notice. Other names I am apt to make note of are Jan Verhoeffor or Kim Mutch Emerson both of which are personal friends of mine. So how do you get and utilize testimonials? More importantly what identifying information should you include. I’ll discuss this briefly here.

Testimonials are the most powerful tool to build credibility. However using a first name and last initial only, like George M., with no other evidence this person even exists is paramount to holding up a sign that says, “FAKE! MADE UP! GOTCHA!” The ideal testimony should end with the person’s full name and city or business name. What about including a link to their site for credibility? Well, in my opinion any reason to leave your sales page is a bad thing. A URL may make you feel as though the testimonial is verifiable and authenticated but it also is a link to get your potential buyer off on a tangent they may never recover from. So a simple Bea Kunz, Petersburg, TN or Bea Kunz, Sage Hill Farms is your best choice.

This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. To find out how to successfully solicit testimonials be sure to read the upcoming August issue of Rock Solid Marketing eZine available with a two month trial subscription from Nibroc Marketing Solutions. Sign up here:


Filed under Uncategorized