A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said, “I don’t think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat.”
“Is the man of the house home?” they asked. “No”, she said. “He’s out.”
“Then we cannot come in”, they replied.
In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. “Go tell them I am home and invite them in,” he said.
The woman went out and invited the men in. “We do not go into a house together,” they replied. “Why is that?” she wanted to know. One of the old men explained: “His name is Wealth,” he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one, “He is Success, and I am Love.” Then he added, “Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.”
The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. “How nice!” he said. “Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!”
His wife disagreed. “My dear, why don’t we invite Success?” Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: “Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!”
“Let us heed our daughter-in-law’s advice,” said the husband to his wife. “Go out and invite Love to be our guest.”
The woman went out and asked the three old men, “Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest.” Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other two also got up and followed him.
Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: “I only invited Love, why are you coming in?” The old men replied together: “If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would’ve stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!”
How do you identify whole grain products?
- Look for the Product Symbol, such as Healthier Choice Symbol endorsed by the Health Promotion Board that reads “Higher in Whole-Grains” or the “Whole Grain” stamp by the Whole Grain Council in the US.
- Check the description on the packaging for these terms: Whole grain, whole wheat, sprouted whole grain wheat flour, wholemeal, brown rice, oats or oatmeal (including instant oatmeal). All of these are whole grain products as they contain all parts of the grain.
What are terms that may be confused with whole grains?
- Enriched flour, bran, wheat germ and high-fibre do not describe whole grain foods.
- Multigrain can be several whole grains or several refined grains, or a mix of both. So, multigrain products may not always have whole grains.
- These terms may not refer to whole grains either: Wheat, wheat flour, durum wheat, organic flour, semolina and stoneground.
As whole grains help in weight control, can we eat them without restriction?
Whole grains are not free from or low in carbohydrates. While they help to boost the feeling of fullness, whole grains do contain similar energy values as their refined counterparts. They should, therefore, be included as part of your overall meal plan.
Is it advisable for very young children to eat whole grains?
There are concerns about feeding whole grains to children below two years old. This is because the amount of phytates, a compound found in whole grains, can bind to minerals before they are absorbed. It is also harder for the body to digest food with phytates.
The high-fibre content in whole grains also increases the feeling of fullness, which may affect the appetite of young children who need to obtain sufficient nutrients for growth.
However, for an overweight child, eating whole grains may help to control food intake.
Ways to integrate whole grains into your diet:
- Opt for different types of whole grain bread each week.
- Eat whole grain cereal with milk or yogurt, or mix it with other breakfast cereals.
- Add brown rice or oats to white rice when cooking at home.
- If you don’t like brown rice, try red, black and purple rice. There are manyvarieties on the
shelves today. ‘
- Cook with whole grain noodles or pasta instead of refined varieties. The taste is generally similar, though these may have a nutty flavour.
- When baking, replace half of white or plain flour with whole wheat flour in your recipes for cupcakes and cookies.
BY DANIEL ALLY
As I was giving a speech in Washington, D.C., a well-dressed man approached me to ask a question. After our interesting discussion, he reached deeply into his pockets and pulled out a stack of cards, spilling them by the dozens as he searched to find his own.
After fishing for almost a minute, he still couldn’t find his business cards, which was a tragedy. He tried to make up for it by scribbling his phone number on another business card, which happened to be the one a woman gave him right before he reached me. As she watched him do this, she shook her head in shame.
This is the atrocity that you can witness every day in the marketplace. This kind of behavior prohibits many people from attaining the wealth and success they are capable of in their lives.
The number one tip in networking is to avoid thinking of it like most people do. After all, why fit in when you can stand out? If you want to stand out, don’t go to the networking event with the wrong intentions.
If you’re there to flirt, eat, or get a job, you’re going to fail. You need to have the right motives, which should be to help people and make a positive impact.
Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
We all know the predominant question for most people is, “What’s in it for me?” If you network like with that question in mind, you’re missing the point.
However, if you go there with the mindset of knowing that 99 percent of people think like that, your chances of networking like a millionaire will skyrocket.
The key question that I ask myself to expand my network is, “How do I add more value to more people in a shorter amount of time?” This question made me a millionaire. After all, if you impact twice as many people, you’ll earn twice as much.
Here are seven approaches to consider:
1. Write a Book
When I first wrote my book, I didn’t realize that it was a business card. In fact, I started to give my book out freely and then began to use my business card as a bookmark. Writing a book is easy and will impress most of the people you meet.
Publishing a book gives you the ultimate credential. Plus, you never know who will be reading it. Imagine handing hundreds of people your book when they ask for a business card. If you have a good idea in your book, people will call you and find a way to help you, especially if it helps them solve their problems.
Related: Networking Is a Contact Sport
2. Publish Articles
My articles have reached millions of people. Most of these people who read them could never help me, but that doesn’t matter. All that really matters is that people are reading my work. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Writing is the beginning of all wealth.” It’s true.
My inbox is filled with people who have requests of all different kinds and many of them are useful. By writing articles, you have the ability to attract thousands or millions to yourself, instead of chasing them down. Plus, it’s easier to have people reach out to you, especially if you gave them what they wanted.
3. Give Speeches
Public speaking is a highly underrated form of networking. This is probably because many people have glossophobia, which is the fear of public speaking. Nonetheless, you can reach more by using this medium to exchange your ideas.
If you’re in business, you have the ability to sell your products and services to a wide variety of people. What’s more amazing is that there are thousands of meetings going on right now and many of them don’t have speakers. If you gave a few speeches per month, your chances of success go up substantially.
4. Connect People
Zig Ziglar once said, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” One day, a realtor called me and found out that I was interested in a house that she did not list. She took the liberty to connect me with her competitor, which is something most realtors would never consider doing.
Later on, I found out the house her competitor showed me wasn’t quite for me. Because of her kind referral, I decided to reach out to her and deal with her again. Eventually, I bought the house and she received a nice commission due to her excellent service. All she did was connect people. No wonder she was the Number 1 realtor in her city.
Related: 4 Business Meetings You Should Never Take
5. Follow Up
It is futile to meet people and not follow up with them. In fact, you might want to go the extra mile by sending them a personal thank-you note. I sometimes send my books to people and you wouldn’t believe the kind of response that I get back.
We are creatures who love to cooperate with each other. Often, people forget that they said certain things at a particular event, and it’s your duty to remind them. If you can follow up in a tactful and diplomatic way, you’ll get to reach the echelons of success. The fortune is in the follow-up.
6. Ask for Introductions
One time, I received an award at a banquet and a woman took a liking to me. As we swerved through hundreds of people, she took me to the seemingly most important people in the room. It was all because I hit the motives in her that most people need: recognition and respect.
Since she had the need to be recognized and respected, she was delighted to learn that I was aware of her self-perceived fame within that particular network. Because of this, she helped me to land one of my biggest opportunities of all time. Never underestimate the introduction. This can be done by email as well.
Once people find out that you’re a donor, you’ll make a lot of friends. Everyone likes people who give money. You don’t have to go around waving a check for your contribution, but you do want people to acknowledge that you are a giver. The secret of living is giving.
Having money does attract all kinds of people, good and bad. However, you should have the discernment that goes along with being wealthy. Make sure that your philanthropy has a long-lasting impact and will help more people. You should always know where your money is going.
If you’re serious about increasing your network, you should consider taking up new hobbies. For instance, there are different personalities and temperaments in poker and basketball than there are in golfing and yachting. Since we all have hobbies, you would be better off gravitating toward ones that help you improve your overall “game”.
If you’re going to network, do it right. Skip the name tags and small talk and get straight to business. Make sure that you’re reaching out to people and realize that people are looking for you just as much as you’re looking for them. As Ghandi said, be the change you wish to see in the world. Enjoy networking!
As posted on www.entrepreneur.com
You have to pay the cost if you want to be the boss.
The cost is discipline. No leader can achieve success without a certain level of discipline. A disciplined person is willing and able to give up short-term pleasure to achieve long-term gains. Of course becoming disciplined requires you to have daily habits. Only disciplined people with habits can turn their lives around.
Habits can change the direction of our lives. While some people have pitiful habits, like gossiping, others have powerful ones, like praising others. No matter who you are or where you came from, your habits can make or break you.
What are your habits? Where are they leading you?
Here are 10 daily habits that will make you a millionaire:
First and foremost, you should never go a day without learning. Learning can happen in all forms. Personally, I study every day for a minimum of three hours. This includes the following habits: reading the dictionary, reading books, watching videos, reviewing and replying to comments, talking to my coach.
Out of all of this, reading is most important. Every day, without fail, I get to my books and soak in as many ideas I can. I also put my phone in another room as I drink in the knowledge and wisdom of these books. All the books in the world have all the answers in the world. I can afford to miss a meal, but I can’t afford to miss a book!
“The greatest university of all is a collection of books.” –Thomas Carlyle
Every day, you should make it your duty to set your goals. In my composition book I write down everything that I want to accomplish for the month, year, and decade. This process fascinates me and gets me to think bigger and step over the small problems in life. To date, I have over 100 of these composition books in my garage.
Let’s say you have a goal to live a lavish lifestyle within the next 10 years. If you want to achieve this goal, you list some ideas that correspond with it. For instance, you list the following ideas for the year: a private jet, 10-bedroom mansion, personal chef, a Rolls-Royce. When you come up with these ideas, you’ll get really excited about where your life is heading.
You can set endless goals, but you need plans to achieve them.
First, you’ll need to break down those 10-year goals into years, months, weeks, and days. Once you break them down into smaller parts, you’ll have to come up with some steps to achieve those results and find a way to hold yourself accountable.
One of my clients had big goals to be a professional speaker. However, he didn’t know how to plan. I told him that he’ll have to set the stage high (no pun intended) and make plans to achieve his goals. I told him that if he gave 120 speeches in a year, he would reach his goals. I helped him break it down to 10 a month, which is one speech for every third day.
After we planned, he admitted that his goals felt more achievable!
In the new millennium, we have so many new ways to get and stay connected. To network effectively, you’ll have to be a producer, not a consumer. This means you have to network aggressively, not passively. Don’t wait for emails or phone calls to come to you. Instead, make an effort to reach out to others. Realize that networking is a daily habit.
I use a special system called the “Rule of 10.” This rule allows me to send 10 text messages, 10 phone calls, and 10 emails a day. On top of this, I’m constantly making videos, giving speeches, and writing articles, which allows me to reach the masses. I’m also posting several times a day on all of my social-media accounts. This is networking at its finest.
Everyone needs time to think. To think effectively, you should keep a journal. It allows you to reflect on the day and ask serious questions. In addition, you’ll be able to keep track of stories, ideas, jokes, lessons, quotes, successes, failures, and more. You can keep track of who you met and where you went.
Every day, I write a minimum of four pages in my journal. To date, I have cherished two dozen journals. It gives me time to reflect on my greatest accomplishes, challenges, and opportunities. Sometimes, I’ll journal for over an hour.
When I look back in my journals, I’m often astounded from my journey. Further, it’s good to leave some notes behind for future generations.
“It’s not the number of hours you put in, but what you put in the hours.” —Abraham Lincoln
To be successful in life, your body must perform at the highest level. Your mind is constantly asking your body to do the unexpected, and you must be prepared. The best way to prepare your body is by exercising, even when it’s inconvenient. Once your body is prepared for opportunities, you’ll be able to navigate through the oceans of success.
Imagine the feeling of perspiration dripping after a great workout. It’s a good feeling, right? If this is the case, why debate with yourself about whether you should workout or not? Why not make it a habit to work out 3-5 times a week for an hour or less a day? Not only will you gain unprecedented endurance, but you’ll also get all your work done before the end of the day.
Only powerful people know how to rest. After all, that’s when they get most of their power. Some people get so tensed up over time they burn out. When you get too fatigued or stressed, you lose concentration, then control. A person who doesn’t learn how to relax ends up wasting the precious time they could have saved.
You need to zone out every once in a while. We all naturally zone out. Find a healthy discipline that sedates you. Usually, I’ll take some time to cook a great meal or take a walk in my neighborhood. Other times, I’ll put on some jazz music and have a friendly conversation with a loved one. Even in the midst of a serious deadline, these relaxing adventures will help you abscond from the worries in life.
Every day we get a moment to talk to ourselves. The average human being speaks to themselves at least 12,000 times a day. The difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is what they say to themselves. Click this link to find out some of the greatest affirmations you can make.
Truthfully, I’m a successful person who’s been relentlessly reciting his affirmations on a couple note cards every night for several years.
Melia Robinson/Business Insider
Mastering your craft
Every day, you must be working on your craft. Each of us has been innately gifted with a talent (or talents) that must be exercised on a daily basis. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Mastery takes years to cultivate, but if you’re willing to be the best at what you do, there won’t be much competition.
“Every master was once a disaster.” –T. Harv Eker
Successful people have learned to organize the right relationships in their lives. This means that their closest people are nurturing them mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Even if you see a “solo act” like a musician, you must also account for those who are behind the scenes, like their make-up artist, manager, sound technicians, voice coach.
However, your mastermind doesn’t form without effort. It takes time to carefully select the right people. More important, the right relationships will form naturally when you learn more about what you’re doing. Eventually, your hand-picked team will bring out the best in you and help you overcome the greatest challenges you’ve ever faced.
All of these habits require the utmost discipline. You must communicate your needs to others so that they can support you in your habits.
When you seek constant improvement and refine your lifestyle by letting these habits your success, you will receive unlimited rewards in the process!
As posted in www.businessinsider.com
There is a woman behind every successful man is a term common to everyone. However this does not apply to every women that men will come across in their lives. Here are 6 women to steer clear of if you want to be successful!
The Bossy One
Being bossy is second nature to this woman as if it is ingrained in her DNA. Yes, she may appear cute when you first approach her, but over time this trait is poisonous and you might find it hard to be with her.
The Paranoid One
She is always worrying about you not being faithful to her. This may be due to bad experiences in relationships in the pass and she is not trusting of men. She may seem attractive at first sight due to her vulnerability. However her distrust of men will make it tiring for you when she accuses you once too often.
The Clingy One
This woman is one of the toughest partners to be with. It would be sweet to have her missing you all the time and wanting your attention, however this will become poisonous to the relationhip over time as you will feel choked by her demands for your attention.
The Never Hungry One
She is constantly worried about her figure and appearance and is perpetually on a diet. She will complain that she is overweight and not eat when you are on dates with her. This may seem as a plus point at the start of your relationship as it means she would not gain weight being with you. However I’m sure it is no point to eat alone on a date.
The Party Girl
She is always seen out at parties and is usually the life of the party. You may find her attractive due to her carefree and wild nature. She may be good for the party but what about when she is not out at parties. This girl may be running away from her problems by partying and it may be too late for you to realise that when you get involved with her.
The Drama Queen
The drama queen is damaging for a relationship as she thinks that the world revolves around her. She is immature and will throw tantrums as often as you change your underwear. She is also prone to mood swings and will constantly be wanting to have a quarrel. This is one woman who would literally drain your soul.
Social skills are arguably the most important set of abilities we can have. Having great social skills help you meet interesting people, get that job you want, progress further in your career and relationships. But aren’t some people just naturally blessed with good social skills and easy smooth conversation?
But lack of good social skills can make life lonely, causing anxiety and depression. We get depressed and anxious when we don’t meet our fundamental human needs. And the need to socialize, to connect with others is fundamental. We all need social contact. But it’s a trap to assume that you either have social skills or you don’t.
Sure, some people find it easier to naturally relax around people, talk and listen confidently. But like any set of skills, social skills can be learned, honed and developed by anyone. And social skills training are a vital part of building confidence.
But what are social skills? I’ve made a list here of some of the most important:
1) The ability to stay calm in social situations
Regardless of how many social skills you have; if you’re anxious then your brain won’t work properly. It’s always harder to think and speak clearly when we become agitated. So calming down is vital. But relaxing in social situations helps in another way too.
If your body and face give the unconscious message that you’re nervous, it will be more difficult for others to relax with you making harder for you to build rapport with them. This article on how to control your emotions may help you: How to Control Your Emotions
People make a huge mistake though when they assume that gaining good social skills is just about starting to speak well. Take a look at the next skill:
2) Listening skills: The art of connection
When you had dinner with Gladstone, you were left feeling that he was the most charming person you had ever met. But after dinner with Disraeli, you felt that you were the wittiest, the most intelligent, the most charming person.
Dr Warren Bennis PhD, University of California
There is little more attractive and seductive than being truly listened to. Good listening skills include:
Making ‘I’m listening’ noises – ‘Uh-huh’, ‘really?’, ‘oh yes?’ etc.
Feeding back what you’ve heard – “So he went to the dentist? What happened?”
Referring back to others’ comments later on – “You know how you were saying earlier…”
Physical stillness, eye contact and attentiveness while the other person is talking.
To listen well to others you need to develop real interest in them.
3) Empathy with and interest in others’ situations
A major part of social anxiety is self consciousness, which is greatly alleviated by focusing strongly on someone else. A fascination (even if forced at first) with another’s conversation not only increases your comfort levels, it makes them feel interesting. I never worry what I’m going to talk about because I know I can get other people to talk.
The best social situations are the ones in which you actually forget about yourself and become focused on what is going on and other people. A major social skill is being able to focus outward. Take a look at this how to overcome shyness article: How to Stop Being Shy
4) Knowing how to build rapport
Rapport is a state of understanding or connection that occurs in a good social interaction. It says basically “I am like you, we understand each other”. Rapport occurs on an unconscious level, and when it happens between two people you can see it because, the language, speech patterns, body movement and posture of the two people seem to mirror and match.
Rapport is an unconscious process, but it can be increased as part of social skills training. Practice the following:
Body posture ‘mirroring’, or movement ‘matching’. When you are within someone match their body posture and expressions. Don’t mimic too closely this is supposed to have an unconscious effect.
Reflecting back language and speech, including rate, volume, tone, and words.
Feeding back what you have heard.
Think about building rapport and you’ll feel naturally more socially confident as you’ll be focusing outward.
5) Knowing how, when and how much to talk about yourself – ‘self disclosure’
Talking about yourself too much and too early can be a major turn-off for the other party in conversation. Good initial small-talk is often characterized by discussion of subjects not personal to either party, or by an exchanging of personal views in a balanced way. Immediately describing your deepest desires and darkest fears to a stranger may freak them out.
However, as conversations and relationships progress, disclosing personal facts (small, non-emotional ones first!) leads to a feeling of getting to know each other. Now lets look at the importance of how your eyes communicate.
6) Look into their eyes and smile
If you don’t look at someone when you are talking or listening to them, they’ll feel:
You are ignoring them
You are untrustworthy
You don’t like the look of them (!)
This doesn’t mean you have to stare at them. Too much eye contact too early on in a relationship can be unsettling too.
Research on attractiveness has shown (not surprisingly) that smiling whilst looking directly at someone makes you appear much more attractive (1)
Having great social skills will enhance your life. Speaking clearly (see how to speak clearly) and gaining the confidence to speak in front of people (see also public speaking techniques) will mean that talking to new people and relaxing with friends old and new will be a breeze.
Don’t lament not being naturally confident or socially able; rather, instead, seek to enhance your social skills for a better life.
Mark Tyrrell, the author of this article, has also created a set of hypnosis downloads to help build social confidence. Hypnosis is extremely effective in increasing social comfort as it allows you to experience the social situation without actually being there. This allows you to relax and rehearse new social skills so they become natural in the situation itself. Practice makes perfect.
As posted in : http://www.self-confidence.co.uk/
Think about the best boss you’ve ever known. Here are 20 things I’ll bet he or she never stopped doing.
Think about the best boss you’ve ever had.
Maybe you’re fortunate, and we’re talking about the person you call your boss today. Maybe it’s someone you recall fondly from years ago. (Maybe you don’t have a boss–good for you!–but I’ll bet you’ve had one at some time in the past.)
Regardless of who this person is, I’m confident I can describe him or her. That’s because highly respected bosses often have a lot in common with one another. Here are 20 of the key things they do almost every day.
Bonus content: 9 Things Great Leaders Say Every Day (free infographic)
1. They share their vision.
The most important thing a leader can do is provide his or her team with a goal that is worth their time. Granted, the boss doesn’t always get to set the agenda, but a great one will advocate for something worthy, and ensure that he communicates it effectively and often.
2. They develop expertise.
What’s more annoying than working for a boss who doesn’t actually understand the job, and whose authority vests entirely in the job title? The boss doesn’t have to be the number-one expert in every fact of the job–that might be impossible–but he or she had to be competent at all levels.
3. They respect people’s time.
Great bosses have little tolerance for boring meetings, mandatory fun, and making others wait unnecessarily. They also avoid long-windedness when shorter remarks will do.
4. They set priorities.
When you try to focus on everything, you’re not focusing on anything. A smart boss understands that, and realizes that lack of focus can easily metastasize when your lack of priorities means the team isn’t moving in the right direction together.
5. They share information.
Some bosses parcel out information like misers, often because they’re afraid that if their team had all the facts, they might not be able to lead. There are legitimate reasons to control the timing of information sharing, but overall the more transparent a boss can be, the more respect the team will ultimately have for him or her.
6. They make decisions.
Decisiveness. Super important. Enough said.
7. They offer praise.
People wonder how they’re doing. Great bosses let them know, and they’re especially vocal and public about it when they’re doing well.
8. They demonstrate empathy.
Great bosses are able to see things through other people’s eyes, especially their employees’. Of course this doesn’t mean that they are pushovers, but it does mean that they’re concerned about their team on multiple levels.
9. They offer thanks.
Building a culture of gratitude starts at the top. If the boss doesn’t take time to offer thanks to those around him or her, why would we expect that anyone else would?
10. They pull everyone together.
You might have heard the phrase “gung ho.” Reportedly, it derives from a World War II saying that combined two Chinese words meaning “work” and “together.” A great boss recognizes the talents of members of his or her team, and strives to lead in a way that lets everyone maximize their effectiveness together.
11. They ask smart questions.
They double-check assumptions in a non-annoying but thorough way that sends the message that they’re on top of things. They aren’t willing to accept that things should be done a certain way just because that’s how they’ve been done in he past.
12. They have respect for people’s lives.
They also recognize that people are just that–people. Work has to be a priority, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing in their lives. They recognize that their employees have spouses, children, friends they need to care for, not to mention outside interests and ambitions.
13. They hire thoughtfully.
There’s a saying: personnel is policy. In fact, this should arguably be the first item on the list. A leader’s most important role is sometimes about assembling a team of great people–and, just as important, avoiding letting toxic people join.
14. They accept blame.
Ethical people accept blame for their failings. Maybe they don’t dwell on it, but they accept it. Great bosses go a step further, accepting the collective blame when the team comes up short, and then guiding everyone to move forward.
15. They have a sense of humor.
Life is hilarious. Great bosses don’t have to be cutups, but they do have to have a sense of humor. They recognize that the crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.
16. They communicate effectively.
No mumbling, no backpedaling. Great bosses find the words to explain what they mean–and they back up what they say.
17. They model ethical behavior.
It’s often true that more progress is made when we seek forgiveness than when we seek permission. However, there are rules, social norms, and basic decency. Great bosses strive to uphold them.
18. They celebrate wins.
Nobody likes a boss who thinks the only reward for great work should be more of the same. Great bosses look for milestones to celebrate–whether that means a 15-second recognition or a full-blown party.
19. They strive for excellence.
Because really, who wants to work for someone who strives simply to be adequate?
20. They make more leaders.
Great leaders don’t just make happy followers–they inspire more leaders with their examples. Just as important: They’re thrilled, not threatened, when members of their teams go on to even bigger and better things in life.
I have been reading a book lately and came across this inspiring story in it. I thought I’d share it as it’s a good example of wisdom and leading a happy life:
An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Â Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.
“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.
“But…What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, senor, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years. 25 tops.”
“But what then, senor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”
“Millions, senor? Then what?”
“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late,Â fish a little, play with your children, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings, where you would sip wine and play guitar with your amigos…”
At the end of it, do you choose to slog out on the corporate ladder in order to enjoy a good quality of life? The choice is yours 🙂
Option rookies are often eager to begin trading – too eager. It’s important to get a solid foundation to be certain you understand how options work and how they can help you achieve your goals – before trading.
Here’s a list of my favorite methods. Note: this list contains strategies that are easy to learn and understand. Each is less risky than owning stock. Most involve limited risk. For investors not familiar with options lingo read our beginners options terms and intermediate options terms posts.
1. Covered call writing. Using stock you already own (or buy new shares), you sell someone else a call option that grants the buyer the right to buy your stock at a specified price. That limits profit potential. You collect a cash premium that is yours to keep, no matter what else happens. That cash reduces your cost. Thus, if the stock declines in price, you may incur a loss, but you are better off than if you simply owned the shares. On the other words, you are like collecting “rental income” from the share you owned.
Example: Buy 100 shares of IBM
Sell one IBM Jan 110 call
2. Cash-secured naked put writing. Sell a put option on a stock you want to own, choosing a strike price that represents the price you are willing to pay for stock. You collect a cash premium in return for accepting an obligation to buy stock by paying the strike price. You may not buy the stock, but if you don’t, you keep the premium as a consolation prize. If you maintain enough cash in your brokerage account to buy the shares (if the put owner exercises the put), then you are considered to be ‘cash-secured.’
Example: Sell one AMZN Jul 50 put; maintain $5,000 in account
3. Collar. A collar is a covered call position, with the addition of a put. The put acts as an insurance policy and limit losses to a minimal (but adjustable) amount. Profits are also limited, but conservative investors find that it’s a good trade-off to limit profits in return for limited losses.
Example: Buy 100 shares of IBM
Sell one IBM Jan 110 call
Buy one IBM Jan 95 put
4. Credit spread. The purchase of one call option, and the sale of another. Or the purchase of one put option, and the sale of another. Both options have the same expiration. It’s called a credit spread because the investor collects cash for the trade. Thus, the higher priced option is sold, and a less expensive, further out of the money option is bought. This strategy has a market bias (call spread is bearish and put spread is bullish) with limited profits and limited losses.
Example: Buy 5 JNJ Jul 60 calls
Sell 5 JNJ Jul 55 calls
or Buy 5 SPY Apr 78 puts
Sell 5 SPY Apr 80 puts
5. Iron condor. A position that consists of one call credit spread and one put credit spread. Again, gains and losses are limited.
Example: Buy 2 SPX May 880 calls
Sell 2 SPX May 860 calls
and Buy 2 SPX May 740 puts
Sell 2 SPX May 760 puts
6. Diagonal (or double diagonal) spread. These are spreads in which the options have different strike prices and different expiration dates.
1. The option bought expires later than the option sold
2. The option bought is further out of the money than the option sold
Example: Buy 7 XOM Nov 80 calls
Sell 7 XOM Oct 75 calls This is a diagonal spread
Or Buy 7 XOM Nov 60 puts
Sell 7 XOM Oct 65 puts This is a diagonal spread
If you own both positions at the same time, it’s a double diagonal spread
Note that buying calls and/or puts is NOT on this list, despite the fact that the majority of rookies begin their option trading careers by adopting that strategy. True, it’s fun to buy an option and treat it as a mini-lottery ticket. But, that’s gambling. The likelihood of consistently making money when buying options is small, and I cannot recommend that strategy.