Prospect For Partners To Grow Your Business

Great information By Melanie Dowhaniuk .

Prospecting for a partner is the act of doing research to find the right partner. When deciding on entering into a strategic marketing MelanieDowhaniuk_ProspectingForPartnerspartnership, it is important to do the right amount of research to evaluate whether or not it will be a successful partnership, and if it is worthwhile to invest your time and resources to grow a successful relationship.

Here are some key considerations when doing your research.

1. Your Growth Limitations

The first thing a business must do is identify what is inhibiting the growth of the organization. It is important to be aware of what your company struggles with and what exactly it is that you hope to improve on or achieve when entering a partnership. You must ask how you can turn these challenges into a positive and productive experience.

You should be looking to enter into a partnership with another individual or organization that compliments your skills and shows strength in your areas of weakness. For example, if your sales are weak, choose a partner who specializes in sales. If you are lacking in technological advancements, partner with an organization that has these assets.

Take the time up front to reflect internally to ensure you are clear on what your organization can bring into a partnership. A strong suitor will help attract quality partners.

2. Values

The next important step is to determine if your potential partners share in your sense of values. Values factor into every part of a business: from determining the customer base to deciding how to manage employees. If your partner does not share your sense of values, you are setting yourself up for conflict.

Ask yourself the question, “Are there any conflicts around the partners’ business values that would jeopardize their ability to make a successful partnership?”

3. Mission and Goals

In doing one’s research, it is critical to determine how to analyze your partner’s mission and goals to ensure you are both aligned.

For a partnership to work well, the prospective partners must determine how well their business goals fit together. If they are not compatible and you do not share a common vision, it may be difficult to work out any differences.

This should all be outlined prior to entering into a strategic marketing or business partnership. Quantifiable and measurable goals will also help evaluate the partnership in an objective way.

4. Other Factors

While evaluating prospective partners, here are some of the many additional factors you must take into account.

  • Will this partnership benefit you in terms of breaking into new markets, either locally or internationally?
  • Will it help you grow your customer database?
  • Will it help to increase your brand image and awareness?
  • Is the partner organization the right size?
  • Are they are equipped with enough complimentary skills to strengthen your organization or fill gaps?

Take as much time as you need to evaluate potential business partners and use the correct evaluation tools by asking the right questions. It is better to wait to take on the right partner than to rush into a bad relationship!

Stop wasting time & spinning your wheels – join the 6 Figure Circle… 

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Paralyzed politicians reveal just how close the U.S. government is to total collapse

Anyone looking for evidence of the impending total failure of the U.S.  government need look no further than the shenanigans taking place right now in  Washington D.C.
To summarize:
• As the nation hurtles toward an  inevitable debt collapse, the Obama administration insists the answer is to pile  on more debt by raising the debt ceiling. Anyone who disagrees with this is  being characterized an “anarchist.”
• Unless the debt ceiling is raised,  the U.S. Treasury will default on hundreds of billions of dollars in debt  obligations in less than a Capital-Building-Governmentmonth. Such a default would absolutely wreck the  credit worthiness of the USA, causing the future debt burden to start wildly  multiplying in a runaway mathematical blowout that can only end in financial  collapse.
• Obamacare, a broken system of coerced, unconstitutional  health insurance mandates, is already causing widespread  economic disaster across the country as tens of millions of people are  losing their jobs, having their hours cut, or seeing their company-sponsored  health plans cancelled. But the socialist philosophy of Obamacare is so central  to the political left that they are viciously defending it at all costs. If  Obamacare fails, the socialist fantasies of the left go down the drain with it,  and they can’t let that happen… not even if it means medically bankrupting  millions of Americans thanks to the outrageously high costs of health insurance  everyone is now forced to buy.
• As political leverage in all this, the  federal government is  supposedly “shut down,” but the IRS is still collecting money, the TSA is still  groping travelers at the airport, and billions of dollars in government waste is  still accruing each week. To make the shut down appear worse, the Obama administration erected tall barriers around World War II veterans’ memorials,  desperately attempting to dramatize the shut down while blaming the Republicans.  (This also shows the utter disrespect for American veterans who fought for the  very freedoms Obama seems to enjoy destroying at every opportunity.)
•  The mainstream media, ever the pathetic defenders of failed “hope and change”  rhetoric, is still running interference for the Obama administration, pretending  that all this is the fault of Republicans and that somehow Democrats had no part  in any of it. The very idea that Republicans might want to negotiate a mutual  agreement rather than bowing down to the destructive wrath of Obamacare is  heavily and repeatedly criticized by the media. How dare you want to negotiate!  Peasants don’t negotiate with kings! They bow down and kiss feet!

You are watching the slow-motion collapse of the U.S. government

What  you are witnessing here is the utter failure of the U.S. federal  government — a failure that may portend an even more sobering failure soon  to come.
This is a government that has:
• Run out of money •  Run out of credibility • Run out of ideas • Run out of trust from the  People • Run out of excuses for its utter abandonment of law, justice and the  will of the People
Maybe it’s time that We the People ran them all out of  Washington, eh? It’s certainly clear to the American people at this point that virtually no one in Washington represents their interests  anymore… the exceptions being a very small number of stoic defenders of  fundamental freedom like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. For their efforts to stand firm  against the government steamrolling the entire economy into oblivion, they are  being called “anarchists” by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, an all-out  wretched apologist for endless, cancerous growth of the institution of  government.

What happens if 25 million federal paychecks suddenly stop?

As I’m  watching all this, I can’t help but wonder just how much more the American  people are going to take before they fill the streets in protest. Or, even  worse, what happens if the so-called “desperate measures” now being invoked by  the Treasury can’t hold out long enough and the entire system goes into  financial default?
What happens in just one week across America if all  the people dependent on government don’t receive their paychecks? Imagine: 25  million full-time and part-time federal employees suddenly waking up and  realizing there is no paycheck; there is no retirement; there is no free health  care and there is no “faith and credit of the United States  government.”
I could tell you almost exactly what’s going to happen when  that day comes, but you probably wouldn’t believe it anyway, so I’ll save that  explanation for when the time is right. But I will give you the hint (wink wink)  that you’d better brush up on reading and buy everything ever written by James Wesley  Rawles, because unless an unprecedented holy miracle occurs that defies the  laws of economics, there is no saving the U.S. government from its own financial  destruction.

If the U.S. government were a hospital patient, you’d pull the plug out of  sheer mercy

The only real question is how long it will take for the People  to finally lose sufficient faith in this failed government to actually pull the  plug and shut it down permanently. If you think of the U.S. government as a  hospital patient, it’s being kept alive with an artificial lung, an IV feeding  tube, a cocktail of toxic blood thinners and a bedside defibrillator. The crash  cart is on standby and the heart monitor is showing a failing pulse headed  towards flatline.
The Fed stands ready with a syringe full of adrenaline  (labeled “Quantitative Easing”), but the patient has already been injected  fifty-seven times, and no one knows how much more the patient’s heart can handle  before exploding.

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Someone Needs To Say It!

Really great post By Diane Potter on October 3, 2013

I wish I had a dollar for every entrepreneur who came to me and said, “I want you to help me make money online.”

I’m not sure when this ugly lie started, but the lie goes something like this… “It’s EASY to make money online! Anyone can do it! My DianePotter_SomeoneNeedsToSayIthusband’s brother’s cousin through marriage is making like, $1000 a week coaching and he just talks on the phone!!!”

Or something ridiculous like that!

Here’s the truth. Why would building a business online be so much less work than building a brick and mortar business? Why would it cost so much less? Granted, there’s no building, no employees and less overhead, but your market area is bigger. So your marketing, joint venturing, networking, and implementation costs would be expected to rise significantly, yes? It would be harder to get noticed in the WORLD versus the town. So those costs might just be the same in the end.

The first rule of online entrepreneurship is that it’s JUST as hard, if not HARDER, to “make it” — so don’t go into this decision lightly. It’s nearly impossible to build an online business while you’re working a full-time job, and if you don’t have the money to do it right, don’t even try it. You really can’t build a business for nothing — not anywhere, and online is no exception.

The second rule is that you have to be a genuine expert.

This is my absolute favorite. I like to ask, “Why would I pick you as my coach versus the 1000′s of other coaches available in this genre?” Answers vary, but people generally tell me some story about their experience.

Expertise is said to have come from two things — experience (and loads of it) or education.

Experience doesn’t mean you once went through it for a month or two. It means you lived it, breathed it, and slept it for years. You didn’t just have money issues, you were living on the street and now have millions because of your mindset and strategies!

You have to know your topic inside and out, sideways, upside down, and blindfolded. There’s barely a question you can’t answer on your subject. You normally have some incredibly entertaining stories, tragedies, lessons learned, and stories of mistakes made.

I hope this is making sense. I cannot stress it enough — you have to be an expert. I believe people who are true experts know it in their heart and soul. So let’s say you’re a genuine expert and you’re going to take this seriously and put in the time and money it takes to “make it online.”

Women Entrepreneurs:  Are you making 6 Figures yet…let us show you how!!

HOW do you do it?

I’ll give you the shortest, easiest answer you’ll ever hear. It might bum you out, but it’s the truth.

1. Relationships: If you opened a shoe business on Main Street in your home town, what would you do for marketing? Would you sit in your store and hope people come in — or would you go out and meet people?

Sure! Eventually you would make friends and they would tell their friends about you. It’s the same concept online. Find synergy, make friends, and cross-promote each other’s stuff as an affiliate or as a joint venture.

2. Content Creation, Done Consistently: This is the stickler. Suddenly these serious-minded subject matter experts are learning to build websites, set up autoresponders, do teleseminars, and more.

Why? If I need to get my nails done, I don’t get to beauty school to learn to give myself a manicure!

You create content — and do it often! Create audios for podcasts, write blog posts, write tweets, Facebook status updates, create ebooks, and more. Your team can go out and promote these, and can also give you great ideas on how and where else to promote these for exposure.

Here’s the bottom line… there are too many software products that promise to make you rich overnight. It’s making the software author rich. There’s no short cut… it’s just hard work and time. So save yourself some heartache and go after it the real way. Once you make it, you’ll laugh at all those “overnight success” stories and those “get rich quick” seekers.

The good news in all of this is that it’s absolutely possible and happens to real people like you and me! So do NOT give up! Just adjust your mindset and expectations, and someday you’ll be living the life you truly want!

Women Entrepreneurs:  Are you making 6 Figures yet…let us show you how!!

 “This article is reprinted with permission by, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

Attract Superstar Attention Everywhere You Go

A great article By Kristie Kennedy !

We live in an extremely noisy world, and every day a plethora of individuals are vying for attention in the marketplace. Consumers are KristieKennedy_AttractSuperstarAttentionbecoming increasingly business savvy and highly selective regarding who receives an open invitation into their private space. As a leader, how can you stand out in the crowd and command star power attention wherever you are?

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a spectacular women’s business conference in Boca Raton, Florida. When you attend a networking event, be prepared to get bombarded with sales pitch after sales pitch! In this type of setting, it is a rarity to experience a genuine and authentic connection where a business relationship can evolve organically.

During one of the breaks between teaching sessions, a woman came up to me and abruptly asked, “Do you have a business card?” I was startled initially, especially since she never extended the courtesy of a proper greeting. At that moment I asked her, “What is your name?” She pointed to her name tag and alluded to the fact that it was written clearly for me to see. Wow! Then she proceeded to ask if she could mail me a few products to sample. In reply, I stated, “I’m sorry, but not at this time.” Her volcanic rebuttal, “What do you mean not at this time!”

It was getting worse by the minute. At that second, I realized this was a teachable moment, and I began to provide positive feedback about her really disturbing approach. After I shared my thoughts, she apologized for being overly aggressive.

In summary, she was adamant that she had to do what was necessary in order to ultimately close a sale.

If you offend a prospect during the initial phase of connecting, it will be quite difficult to win them during the final process of the sales cycle. We must be aware of behaviors that create a great first impression and a favorable lasting impression.

Here are five superstar qualities to help you shine bright wherever you are:

  1. Dress to impress! One of the first things people see when you walk into a room is your attire. Are you dressed as a person living large and in charge?
  2. Commanding Presence: You walk with authority and power in your sway! Possessing a dynamic energy and charismatic appeal, you have a natural ability to make everyone around you feel important.
  3. Eye Contact: We will never find your eyes wandering around like a lost lamb in a crowd. You purposely focus on each person during conversational dialogue.
  4. Be interested and interesting: When you meet someone new, you are very inquisitive and take the time to learn commonalities you each share. In exchange, they are elated to encounter your sparkling personality as well.
  5. Smile: Your facial disposition is warm, friendly and inviting! When you smile, the room is filled with a bright light than is impossible to ignore.

For information on looking the best you can and making a 6 Figure Income in this tight economy:

“This article is reprinted with permission by, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

Do As I Say, Not As I Do…

Great article By Judy Hoberman on September 19, 2013

One of the activities I love the most is being a mentor for young women. I believe this goes back to being the only female in many industries and having no female role model to follow. I knew I was missing something.

Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure and honor of mentoring some amazing young women. Of course, my first and most JudyHoberman_DoWhatISayspecial is my daughter. She is so very important in my life, and I hope I have lived up to her expectations. From her earliest years, she was independent and intelligent, and I learned so much from her — and that has helped me reach many of MY dreams.

While spending the afternoon with one of my young mentees discussing her future plans and how, as moms say, her entire future was in front of her, I was thrust into the old cliché of “Do as I say, not as I do” because I found myself giving her some solid advice… that I should be following myself.

She was contemplating the choices that had been presented to her and trying to decide how to choose the right path — was it about security, passion, or just becoming a responsible young adult? She was an intelligent young woman with the most amazing work ethic and integrity, and was proud of who she was and where she came from. She was passionate about some things and tolerant of others, but how did she make one decision when there were so many options in front of her?

The first question I asked her, that my business coach asked me some years ago, “If you could do anything you wanted and money, time and age would not be a factor and you could NOT fail, what would it be?”

Most people have trouble with this, but she had some definite answers. As she was speaking, I knew I needed to call someone that she should be connected to… and we did that at that moment. She was now starting her road map to reach her goals.

We continued peeling back the onion, and with each piece, we came up with ideas and strategies with agreed upon completion dates. We then wrote the items down on her calendar and the goal setting began.

Now, how does this relate to me? Aren’t I the coach for women who helps them map out their life plans? Aren’t I the sales trainer guru who has taught goal setting a million times? Aren’t I the one who is supposed to be the savvy entrepreneur who has her act together? Well… I thought I did to some extent before our meeting.

Here’s what I learned, and I thank my beautiful mentee for pinning me down to my own devices:

  1. Write down your goals. Understand that they might need some adjusting and rearranging. Even though you may not have reached all of your goals, you still have time to make some changes. If you just talk about them, they are beautiful dreams….
  2. Have someone to bounce things off of. Your ideas might sound reasonable until you say them out loud. An objective person can add valuable insight. That’s why we all have coaches. Elite athletes have coaches. Coaches have coaches. You may simply need someone who will hold you accountable.
  3. Never give up on your dreams! Sometimes they may seem out of reach, but with some discussion and other resources they become crystal clear. Keep that picture in front of you, and when things seem out of reach, take a deep breath, remember your goals, put one foot in front of the other, and get going!

Remember… Every day is the beginning of a new dream. Focus on what is important to you and make your dreams come true.

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 “This article is reprinted with permission by, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

Entrepreneurial Lessons From The Trenches

This article is from  Suzanne Duret on September 17, 2013

We’ve all said this at some point in our lives: “If only I knew then what I know now!” You’ve no idea how many times I’ve uttered the above words myself. As a serial entrepreneur, over the years I have started seven different businesses in seven different industries — and what a crazy ride it’s been.

For most people, forging an entrepreneurial path typically occurs out of need and desire. The need for freedom. The desire to work for Entrepreneur-Lessonsyourself. The need to replace income. The desire to launch your big idea. The need to prove something. And for those who get out there and take action, the path is always littered with unforeseen lessons.

I’m going to share some of my first-hand lessons with the hope that it will help you maneuver away from a few of the battle wounds that I had to endure.

1.  Ask The Most Important Question.  You don’t know what you don’t know. Dumb questions are only dumb if they aren’t asked. We often perceive in our minds that a question may cause us embarrassment if asked, so we don’t ask… and that’s the beginning of a potential problem. When an issue or obstacle is challenging you, ask every question you can think of. And the most important question to ask is this: “What haven’t I asked you that I SHOULD have asked you?” Looking back, if I knew the importance of asking EVERY question that crossed my mind, I would have found my successes happening much more quickly.

2.  Learn To Bootstrap Effectively.  Most start-ups, and growing small businesses, often don’t have the funds required to move ahead effectively. However… when you become bold and get creative, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. For example, with my first venture we needed to have our actual product in order to go into the marketplace and prove to our prospective venture capitalists (VCs) that hospitals would purchase our device. But without their funding we couldn’t manufacture it, and our homemade prototype wasn’t helping us. So I got busy and negotiated a deal with a manufacturer. I provided our business plan and Letter of Intent from our VCs. We struck a deal whereby the manufacturer created the molds and initial inventory on their nickel… with their payback built into our ongoing cost of future inventory until they recouped their initial investment. Problem solved!

3.  Expect To Shift Gears Often.  Being a successful entrepreneur absolutely requires the mindset and follow-through on changing tactics quickly. It is crucial to fail fast and make changes as you go. What sounds great in theory often doesn’t play out as planned in reality. Be willing to shift – and sometimes shift in big ways – in order to find success. Those who hold their ground and are unwilling to shift gears when things aren’t going to plan will ultimately suffer a downward spiral of painful lessons. Change is scary but good… just don’t wait too long to take action on it.

4.  Hire On Attitude First And Experience Second.  Oh how I wish I’d known this a long time ago… it would have saved me a lawsuit in my first venture, and a lot of money in ongoing ventures. Experience is only as good as the attitude that comes with it. Make absolutely certain that you have created your company culture and know that the people you hire or contract with have attitudes that match well. The wrong attitude can begin a domino effect that will cost you bundles in lost time and money. Make it a priority to understand the personality and overall attitude of people first. I’ll take a less experienced person with a non-stop “can do” positive attitude any day over a rotten apple with a glowing resume.

5.  Always Assume NOTHING Is Impossible.  I had never run a business, raised capital, or gone to college… but that didn’t stop me from starting a medical products company and raising over $1 million in venture capital. I didn’t know Tony Robbins or anyone else who knew him, but that didn’t stop me from finding a way to reach him and entice him to write the Foreword to my book… which he agreed to do. I didn’t know anything about the hotel industry or commercial real estate, but that didn’t stop me from negotiating the land purchase for the development of a Four Seasons hotel. Assuming that nothing is impossible has allowed me to achieve things that others couldn’t believe I even attempted to try. It’s a choice. What’s the worst that can happen? …NOTHING.

Here’s a great infographic about The Spirit Of Entrepreneurs. See if you share any of the top three reasons for becoming an entrepreneur, and how much you may have in common with other women entrepreneurs who have forged ahead.

Life in the entrepreneurial trenches CAN be a whole lot of E’s… exciting, exhausting, exhilarating, emotional, and energizing. Life in the entrepreneurial trenches can proceed much more smoothly when you make time to learn from the lessons of other entrepreneurs.

Take it from me, sometimes you just have to jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down. Here’s to your continued success!

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Triumph Over Your Fear Of Public Speaking

This is a great article by Dr. LeslieBeth Wish.

Does your tummy churn at the thought of speaking in public? Do you feel cotton-headed when you get to the podium? And, unbelievably, did you forget to make the most important point? Welcome to the vast majority of people who fear speaking or performing in public. TriumphOverYourFearOfPublicSpeakingYou’re in good company with famous actresses who revealed they get stage fright — such as Barbra Streisand, Cher, Ella Fitzgerald, Adele, and Hayden Panettiere.

You may not eradicate your fear, but you CAN lessen the intensity, frequency and duration of your reactions so you can recover more quickly. Here are the top tested tips that my clients have used to help them do more than “just get through” the ordeal. They triumphed.

Top Tips to Triumph over your Public Speaking Fears

1.  Accept that it is normal to experience some fear. A bit of anxiety arouses your brain’s neural connectivity so you can stay sharp and focused. Rather than panic if your heart races, reframe your body’s reactions as signs that you are revving up your attention. Remember — the audience can’t hear your heartbeat or see your toes curl!

2.  Recognize your dread of looking stupid. On a sheet of paper, quickly write down your worst-case public speaking scenarios. For example, you might write:  “I’m afraid my mind will go blank. I’m scared that I’ll fall. I’m scared that I’ll knock over the podium. I’m afraid people will judge me.” No fear is stupid. Write down whatever comes to mind.


If your worst fears come true, laugh and say something like:  “I saved all my brain power to give you good ideas and forgot about… (fill in the blank). Or joke about yourself. One time a famous person was giving a talk about her clothing line when she realized the price tag was still hanging from her dress. She pointed to it and said:  “Always open for business is my motto. Any guesses what this cost?”

3.  Uncover your negative assessment of you. On another sheet of paper, write down the sayings that float around your head like a ticker tape of your critical self-view. For instance, you might write:  “I’m not that smart, funny, special, attractive or good enough to be up here speaking.”

Read your list. Ask yourself:  ”Who made me believe these things?” Most often, it’s your caregivers. Write this sentence in bold letters:  WHEN MY PARENTS CRITICIZED ME, THEY WERE REPEATING WORDS THEIR PARENTS SAID TO THEM — SO THEY DON’T APPLY TO ME.

Then put a huge letter X through those negative words and write:  “I don’t have to believe these negative assessments. I don’t have to be perfect to be accepted.”

4.  Practice. Practice in front of a mirror or friends. Watch yourself on Skype. Practice in the shower. Some of your best ideas come when you are doing something else and are more relaxed. Don’t worry about using the exact same words or phrasing each time you practice. Allow for flexibility.

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Green tea really does improve your memory!

You’ve heard it before, but it’s true: Green tea, one of the most studied substances in recent history, really does help improve your Herbal-Green-Tea-Cup-Leavesmemory. That is the not-so-new conclusion of Chinese researchers who essentially have reaffirmed that the chemical properties of green tea tend to affect the generation of brain cells, which provides benefits for memory and spatial learning.

Prof. Yun Bai, of the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China, and a research team focused on the organic chemical epigallocatechin-3 gallate, which is better known as EGCG, an antioxidant ingredient of green tea.

“Green tea is a popular beverage across the world,” said Bai in a statement. “There has been plenty of scientific attention on its use in helping prevent cardiovascular diseases, but now there is emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain.”

Improvements in recognition and spatial memory

The results of the study, which were published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, found that EGCG elevated the production of neural progenitor cells, which – like stem cells – can adapt, or differentiate, into various other types of cells.

“We ran tests on two groups of mice, one which had imbibed EGCG and a control group,” Bai said. “First the mice were trained for three days to find a visible platform in their maze. Then they were trained for seven days to find a hidden platform.”

Researchers found that the EGCG-treated mice required far less time to find the hidden platform and overall EGCG enhanced learning and memory capabilities by improving object recognition and spatial memory.

Earlier studies have shown similar benefits of consuming green tea, many of which could be construed as improving mental function, especially as we age.

For example, a recent study in Japan, which was led by Yasutake Tomata of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, found a general decrease in “functional disability” among older adults who drank five cups of green tea daily, compared to those who consumed one or fewer cups per day.

Tomata and his team monitored almost 14,000 senior citizens 65 and older for three years. In the end, 13 percent of adults who drank just a cup or fewer of green tea daily became functionally disabled, compared to just seven percent who drank five or more.

“Green tea consumption is significantly associated with a lower risk of incident functional disability, even after adjustment for possible confounding factors,” Tomata and his research team wrote.

A healthy diet may contribute as well, but green tea is a definite factor

Granted, researchers have noted that people who consume green tea on a regular basis tend to be healthier anyway, consuming more fish, vegetables and fruit. They also tend to be more educated, have lower rates of smoking, suffer fewer heart attacks and strokes, and have greater mental sharpness overall.

In addition, they tend to be more socially active and have more family and friends to rely on.

Still, with all that in mind, researchers have found that green tea itself is definitely tied to a lower risk of disability.

Besides helping to boost mental performance and ability, researchers have linked the consumption of green tea with anti-cancer activities.

“The science is certainly promising,” David L. Katz, MD, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, says, though he notes more research is needed to flesh out all of green tea’s actual benefits.

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Government agencies at all levels selling personal data to marketers!

How many times have you gone to your mailbox and found it stuffed with useless junk mail? If you’re like most Americans, you find that happens a lot. One of the major reasons why as much as 60 percent of the mail we get is worthless to us – and why we tend to get more of it after major life events – is because government agencies at virtually all levels are selling your personal information to scores of direct marketers.

Per CBS4 in Denver:

Eric Meer is a small business owner who works out of his home in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood. Meer says he was deluged by direct mail after registering his small business with the Colorado Secretary of State. He says many of the ads he received were deceptive asking him to pay fees that he wasn’t required to pay.
‘It feels like betrayal’

Immediately Meer says he got a hunch that the Colorado Secretary of State’s office sold his business info to marketing firms. The local CBS affiliate found out that his hunch was correct; last year, the Secretary of State’s office raked in some $59,000 by selling business registration data.

Once again, so much for the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections. As usual, everyone except the government has to respect it.
“It feels like a betrayal,” Meer said in what we believe is an understatement of epic proportions. “Because our government is supposed to protect us, not to sell our information and profit from us.”

And how.

Andrew Cole, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, completely whiffed on explaining the sales. He told CBS4 that the business information is sold for anywhere between $200 and $12,000, depending on the frequency and amount of info requested.

But, he said, not to worry – the Secretary of State isn’t making any money on the sales. No. They are only charging as much as it takes to run the information for the purchasing marketer.

“We are not looking to make money,” said Cole. “We charge to cover our costs.”

Oh, okay then. By all means, go ahead and continue to violate the Constitution. Because that’s allowed, you see, as long as you’re not making a profit.

Who thinks like that?

What’s more, Cole says, businesses don’t have the option of opting out. He says anyone can buy the data, even scammers, because there is no process in place to screen requesting firms.

“It’s a public database,” Cole said. He said it’s “meant to be public” and part of running a transparent government.

My guess is that most business registrars a) don’t know that; and b) were not told that when they registered.

The data sold is pretty personal, as well. “The Secretary of State also sold voter registration information – including names, addresses and political party affiliation of voters – for $58,000, last year,” CBS4 reported.

Okay, so have you ever received a surge of confusing mail after you’ve either refinanced a house, been foreclosed upon or sold your home? Well, the local TV news found that that’s because the Denver Clerk and Recorder is selling that information as well. The department made $32,000 in income in 2012, in fact.

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Listen Up Gents: Moderate chocolate consumption is linked with decreased stroke risk in men

The scientific community has released yet more good news about the health benefits of chocolate – moderate consumption may reduce the risk of stroke in men. Earlier studies have shown this delectable food reduces the risk of stroke in women, as well as enhances the Broken-Bar-Dark-Chocolatehealth of the heart and brain in both sexes. This latest word of cheer gives male chocolate lovers one more reason to indulge in this treat, as long as they do not overdo it.

Author Susanna Larsson tells Fox News that it made sense to explore chocolate’s effect on stroke, given that it has already been shown to lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, both of which are risk factors for this cardiovascular event. So the next logical step was to look at stroke.

In the research, scientists examined the dietary habits of 37,000 Swedish men and followed them for 10 years, identifying close to 2,000 participants who suffered a stroke during this period. The findings revealed that men who ate approximately one third of a cup of chocolate chips lowered their stroke risk by 17 percent compared to those who avoided chocolate. Even after factoring in other risk factor data collected on the men, such as obesity, high blood pressure and smoking, the results still held.

Although most of the men in the study ate milk chocolate, Larsson expects the results would have been the same with the dark variety. However, she recommends dark chocolate as the better choice because it would only be necessary to eat half the amount to get the same benefit. Eating less of this rich food would reduce the risk of weight gain, explains Larsson.

While the scientists do not know exactly why chocolate produced the benefit, Larsson postulates it may be due to the flavonoid content, compounds that appear to enhance cardiovascular health through antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects. “There are several potential mechanisms,” she says.

Since chocolate is high in fat, sugar and calories, Larsson and other experts stress limiting its consumption to a moderate amount. Rather than focusing solely on the chocolate, the authors advocate exercise and eating a healthful diet.

Even though a cause-effect relationship between chocolate and reduced stroke risk has not been established, the association between the two has definitely been proven. The study was published in the online version of the journal Neurology.

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