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Recently, I listened to a YouTube video where Jeff Johnson said, “Habits will either create lifestyle growth or inhibit lifestyle growth. “

Most of my life I have been working to improve my habitual life. Here are a few things that I had learned over the years about building good habits and getting rid of those habits that do not contribute to growth.

Made Changes Incrementally

I learned that I needed to get rid of bad habits incrementally rather than trying to do it “cold turkey”. When I quit smoking 27 years ago, I had to stop smoking menthols before I quit smoking all together. Then I went from smoking a pack a day to smoking 15 per day down to 10 per day and so on until I was down to smoking two or three a day, and then I was able to quit.

I broke habits that didn’t bring me growth by first disconnecting with triggers. For instance, I would smoke as soon as I got out of bed. I determined to put off my first cigarette until after I ate breakfast. Once I put off smoking the first cigarette beyond breakfast I then stopped smoking when I drank coffee.

Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones

One of the bad habits that I am trying to break right now regards eating junk food. I decided that I would replace the junk food with fresh fruit and nuts. This is just one step that I am taking to improve my diet. More habit changes are in the works.

Build new habits around habits that are already established. We all have habits that we have already established. I get up, make my bed, take my shower, brush my teeth, and then I write in my journal for fifteen minutes and then I exercise. I am building this new habit incrementally-exercising for five minutes per day weeks 1-3, ten minutes weeks 4-6 twenty minutes weeks 7-9, twenty-five minutes weeks 10-12 and 30 minutes weeks 13-15.

Change Begins in the Mind

Probably the most important aspect of changing habits, however, is the changes that happen in the mind. The most important aspect of changing habits has to do with “why change?” We change because we first become emotionally desperate to change. We change because we need to change more than we need to stay the same.

Know Your Why

Journaling why we want to quit is more important as we become more adept in the habit change than it does when we first start the habit change. As time goes on, we forget how painful the old habit had been. When we are tempted to go back to the old habits, it helps to go back and read what we wrote when we first quit. It reminds us of where we came from and the struggles that got us to where we were now.

Having an accountability partner is helpful. Having a mentor (sponsor) or being part of a group that are trying to change in the same ways that you are, are the powerful social influences in habit change.

What have you personally done to change your own habits? What habits have you changed and how did you do it?


smoothieBack in March, I was feeling achy all over. I think I must have had arthritis in every joint and I could barely walk up the stairs without losing my breath. I had so much pain in my ankles that I could hardly walk. I don’t do pills and exercise seemed out of the question as the healthful starting point for a healthier lifestyle. I knew that food was the better starting point for me.  I was eating all sorts of junk food, too many animal products and processed foods. I knew that a traditional diet plan was not the right move for me, so I decided to simply change some of my food choices and I knew that the easiest place to start was with breakfast, my first meal of the day.

I started by adding what I am now calling Triple K. Kale, Kelp and Krill taken every morning has improved my health exponentially. 

Kale

kaleThe first item K that I include in my breakfast is kale. Every morning I include kale in my morning smoothie. Now, don’t stick up your nose at it until you’ve tried it. This smoothie is delicious. I put kale in a blender and blend it until it is fully chopped, add a little soymilk (men should never use soymilk because of the phytoestrogens it contains so they would be better to use almond milk, coconut milk, or orange juice) a banana and some frozen fruit and blend it until smooth. Then I drink it and take my other nutritional supplements while drinking it.

Kale is super high in fiber. This helps create the bulk I need to fill me up and to keeps me full for a long time. With a combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, kale is a dieter’s dream food. This leafy vegetable is popular since ancient Greek and Roman times. It is low fat, no cholesterol but health benefiting antioxidant rich greens.

Nutrients in kale offer protection from vitamin-A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.

Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

Kale, like other members of the cabbage family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals, sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbinol to protect against prostate and colon cancers.

Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol is an effective immune modulator, antibacterial and antiviral agent through its action of potentiating “Interferon-Gamma” receptors.

Kale is also rich in ß-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These flavonoids have potent antioxidant and anti-cancer activities. β -carotene converts to vitamin-A in the human body.

Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, it helps prevent retinal detachment and offer protection against “age-related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD) in the older adults.

It is very rich in vitamin-A. Four ounces of fresh leaves carry 9,990 IU of this vitamin, providing 333% of RDA. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy mucosa, skin and vision. Foods rich in this vitamin are known to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers. It is also high in vitamin-K. One hundred grams provides about 587% of RDA. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone health through promoting bone formation and strengthening. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage and it has been used in the treatment of patients who have Alzheimer’s disease.

Four ounces of fresh kale contain 120 mg or 200% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C. Scottish curly leaf variety has even more of this vitamin (130 mg/100g). Vitamin-C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid, which are essential for substrate metabolism in the body.

It is also a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K and B6, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese. More specifically, according to the DRV, it contains 684 percent of vitamin K, 206 percent of vitamin A and 134 percent of vitamin C. Its sulforaphane content protects against cancer, as does indole-3-carbinol, which also aids in DNA cell repair.

Kelp

When it comes to nutrition, kelp is kale’s ocean-loving cousin.

A four-ounce serving of kelp has approximately 43 calories. Kelp consists of 76 percent carbohydrates, 14 percent protein and 10 percent fat. Kelp contains, per weight, more fiber than even brown rice — 6.2 grams of fiber per four ounces of wet weight — without high levels of starchy carbohydrates. Kelp contains significant levels of tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, methionine, cysteine and valine. Kelp also contains lower levels of leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, tyrosine and histidine.

Kelp, aka brown seaweed, contains high amounts of iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron, as well as vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, amino acids, omega-3 fats and fiber, together relaying impressive health benefits that are hard to ignore.

Kelp possesses anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that have provided health benefits to the humans for eons.

It contains vitamins B1, B12, B2, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and iodine. Kelp improves thyroid functioning and helps improve energy levels, weight loss, liver function, brain function, constipation, digestion, functioning of pituitary gland and pancreas, improve symptoms of arthritis and memory loss.

Kelp also has an excellent nutrient density rating for vitamin K, a very good for folate and magnesium and a good rating for calcium, iron and tryptophan. One ounce of kelp gives us twelve calories (just one percent of our dietary need of energy).  Kelp is also relatively low in fat (0.2g per 1 ounce serving).

Like other plants, kelp absorbs a great deal of minerals from the sea water and sea soil in which it grows. Kelp contains more than twice as much sodium as potassium, 233 milligrams to 89 milligrams per 100-gram serving. Kelp also contains high levels of magnesium, iron, iodine and calcium. You can also obtain important trace minerals from kelp including phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.

As a green vegetable, kelp contains very high levels of vitamin K, important for blood clotting and bone health. Kelp also contains high levels of folate, or vitamin B9, which is involved in energy production. You can also obtain moderate levels of vitamin A, E, C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid.

Many foods contain iodine, but nowhere near the tremendous amount in kelp. A single tablespoon provides a whopping 500 percent of the DRV. Nothing else comes close — not scallops, nor cod, nor yogurt.

Iodine also helps regulate your thyroid gland to produce strong, healthy hair, skin and nails, as well as to form thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine.5 It’s also essential for proper formation of your skeletal framework and regulating your body’s energy and brain metabolism in a process regulated by your pituitary gland.

The myelination process in the central nervous systems of newborns is another key function of the thyroid hormone. Balanced iodine in the mother’s body is imperative in pregnancy and breastfeeding for optimal development of the baby’s brain.

However, it’s important to understand that balancing your iodine levels is crucial. Specialists usually recommend around 150 micrograms daily. Consuming too much could lead to either hypo- or hyperthyroidism.

As a food, kelp aficionados laud its flavor as the ultimate, seawater-laced brine that’s the essence of umami. Nori, one of the most popular seaweed species, is dried in sheets to make sushi rolls. Other varieties include dulce, arame, (also called sea oak), deep green wakame, kombu, and spirulina.

Kelp may help prevent breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers by decreasing levels of the sex hormone estradiol. A review showed it induced cell death of prostate, liver, oral, pancreatic and other cancers, inhibits Helicobacter pylori, which causes stomach ulcers, and targets inflammatory skin conditions.

Further, kelp contains alginic acid, which protects the plants from bacteria, but in your body can reduce radiation exposure and prevent heavy metals from being absorbed.

Alginic acid in the seaweed kombu is known for its positive effects on diabetes, as well as its ability to coagulate blood. It prevents cavities, promotes digestive health, protects against flu, aids digestion, protects vision and maintains heart health.

Sodium alginate derived from kelp reduced radioactive strontium absorption in the intestines by 50 to 80 percent allowing calcium to be absorbed through the intestinal wall while binding most of the strontium, which is excreted from the body.

The iron in kelp helps form healthy blood and prevent anemia and the antioxidants fight free radicals, altogether ensuring the growth of strong bones and optimal muscle function. This iron is accompanied by a measurable amount of vitamin C. Since vitamin C acts to increase the bioavailability of plant iron, this combination creates a synergistic effect.

Because I live in Missouri, kelp is not readily available, so rather than eating fresh kelp, I take kelp supplements in the form of tablets. I take a tablet of kelp every morning when I drink my kale/banana/soymilk/frozen fruit smoothie and another one in the evening with supper.

Krill

The final K in my triple K is krill oil. Krill oil comes from krill, a shrimp-like crustacean found in the ocean and proven to be the most effective, powerful way to add omega-3’s into my diet.

Krill oil is more powerful than fish oil because of a little-known antioxidant called “astaxanthin”. Astaxanthin is the strongest antioxidant in the carotenoid family, creating the beautiful shades of red found within shrimp, salmon and krill.

University studies show astaxanthin to be up to 500 times more effective than vitamin E, One time more effective than beta-carotene and four times more effective than lutein in various measures of antioxidant effectiveness.

This antioxidant has a remarkable way of defending cells against the effects of free radicals. It is one of the few antioxidants capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and able to shuttle essential nutrients throughout your body.

Krill oil is safer than fish oil because fish oil has high levels of mercury and PCBs. Krill is not exposed to these toxins because it is harvested from the Antarctic Ocean, where these dangerous chemicals are virtually non-existent.

The omega-3 fatty acids in krill oil are structured so they are more easily absorbed and broken down by my body. Most fish oils are structured in triglyceride form, making them difficult for our bodies to break down and convert therefore they are less effective.

Incorporating the triple Ks of Kale, Kelp, and Krill is not difficult. I love the flavor of my morning smoothie so much that I have replaced ice cream with this morning drink and feel more than satisfied. (This is a big deal for me because I love ice cream.) I simply drink the shake and swallow a kelp tablet and take a krill capsule in the morning and I find that the superfood nutrition provides me with more than enough nutritional satisfaction that I feel full well up until lunch time. I can eat a salad for lunch and not be starved by suppertime. My body knows it is getting the nutrition that I need so I don’t feel deprived. I am getting all the nutrition I need for a healthy, active lifestyle.

help from kelp photoKelp is one of those lesser known superfoods. To learn more about Kelp, Check out Cygnet Brown’s book Help from Kelp available on Amazon Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0QNN1O

Here’s what a recent reader, Monika Werner said about Help from Kelp:

“I’ve heard about Kelp before, a friend of mine swears by Kelp tea, but I’ve never knew exactly what Kelp is and what it is good for. Cygnet Brown does an outstanding job bringing all the information about Kelp together and how you can incorporate it into your daily diet. I put it into my morning smoothie and love it. I really enjoyed the information how Kelp is not just a nutritional powerhouse for us human beings, but it can be very beneficial for gardening and animals as well. Amazing information everybody should know about if you are interested in taking your healthy lifestyle up a notch.”


 

dumpster-with-boxes-and-plastic-crates-600x400Recently I have been looking at all the ways that I can decrease the ways that I contribute to the problems associated with the American lifestyle. Last week, I wrote about how we can escape from the plight of living pay check to paycheck. {Here’s the Link to the Article}This week’s blog is about decreasing our garbage output. Every week, I noticed how the dumpster outside our housing project is packed full to overflowing every week with stuff that people are throwing out. Though I cannot change the habits of others, I have decided that I was going to do whatever I could to decrease what I throw out.

Reduce

The first thing that I have learned is that I need to first reduce the consumables that I bring into my own home. There are numerous ways that I can do this. First, I can reduce the packaging that I bring in with the groceries. I can buy from bulk bins and make food from scratch.

In addition, I am learning that I don’t need keep a lot of stuff around to enjoy life. I have been getting rid of things that I don’t need so that I no longer must store them. Our consumer-based society is based on the collection of a lot of junk and I have decided that I am going to free myself from that American obsession. I am starting to get a better grasp of the concept of “less is more”.

I can also reduce the number of miles that my food travels. This summer I have started buying from local producers rather than from grocery stores that truck produce in from California. Our current Republican government is trying to get us to consume more fossil fuels and encourage us to believe that climate change is a hoax. Some people try to make us believe that the earth is flat too, but that doesn’t make it so. By buying local I not only am helping reduce carbon emissions, I personally like the idea of helping out the local economy.

In addition, reading and writing articles, emails, and books online, I am able to reduce the need for using paper. I am not the only one who sees the benefit of using the computer and the internet to save trees.

Reuse

Though there are some things that you never want to buy used like underwear, pillows, and mattresses, there are still others that are just as good used as they are new. They also cost a lot less and are often better quality than those things that are bought new. Children’s and women’s clothing are at the top of the list of things that can be bought used. Children grow out of their clothing quickly and women often prefer to change out their wardrobes so there is a lot of good clothing out there that can be found at yard sales and used clothing stores. In addition, flea markets are a useful place to get many items that can be repurposed in your own home.
Things that you no longer need can also be given away or resold. These items can be donated to charity as well. Reducing the need for storage space to store those things can also make a positive impact on both the environment and your wallet.

Recycle

There are those things that you cannot avoid bringing into your home or allow others to reuse. Recycling takes on many faces. Aluminum cans, plastic, tin cans, glass, cardboard, and paper can all be separated and taken to the local recycling center to made into other products. You can also recycle tires, electronics, and batteries and avoid sending them to the landfill.

One of my favorite ways to recycle is to recycle organic materials by composting. Composting is a way that I can recycle organic materials right on my own backyard. I have composted for years and it is easier than many people think. Almost every home could compost almost all their homes organic household garbage and use it as sustainable fertilizer to produce 50 percent of their daily vegetable intake. Recently I took composting one step further by setting up a vermiculture system where worms are break down the compost into castings that make an excellent nitrogen source for plants.

Just the Beginning

This is just the beginning. As I make these habits a part of my every day life, I feel as though I am more in control of my life by controlling what does and what does not come into my home and what does or does not go into my home.

 

 

 


moneyLast week I wrote about how slavery is still alive and is a sickness in the world today. (Here’s the Link) There is, however, a different kind that no one really calls slavery and it is much more prevalent today. This type of slavery is called living from paycheck to paycheck. The majority of Americans–8 out of 10–live paycheck to paycheck. There are basically two causes for this type of slavery and that is either not earning enough money or having so many financial obligations that individuals are unable to spend their income in the ways that they want.

Most families have no reserves for emergencies. Fortunately, my husband had the foresight to give us a cushion in case of emergencies. Back in October, my husband became ill and was out of work until January. Most families would have had it extremely rough, but we were fortunate that he had the forethought to have a full six months of his income in reserve for such an emergency.

The solution to the slavery of paycheck to paycheck is simple, but not always easy. You either must spend less or earn more or a combination of the two.

How to Save Money

The most important thing for anyone to do is to try to limit their discretionary spending habits. I am not going to give any specific details on how to do this. I will just say that the place to start is to write down everything that you spend your money on for a month. What spending habits can you change even if it is just temporarily? Write down your monthly bills. Look over your list. Are there any there that you can eliminate or reduce? Are there bills that you could pay using automatic payments that will reduce your rate? Are there payments that you could pay every quarter, every six months or even annually that would save you money as well? Plan your purchases. Don’t buy on credit unless absolutely necessary. The object is to spend less money than you bring in and avoid adding any credit card charges. A great goal that will help you getting out of the slavery of living from paycheck to paycheck is to pay off any credit card balances at the end of each month. Using credit cards isn’t the problem. Having credit is good when you need it.

Seven Ways to Earn More Money

Sometimes, just saving money isn’t enough. Sometimes what’s needed is more income. However, taking the step of getting more income without first getting control of your spending could lead to a being more of a slave than you were in when you made less money. So, once you get control of your bills and know what you have to spend, then you can determine how to make additional income.

Get a Raise

The first way to get additional income is to leverage the experience that you have in your current job. If you have worked hard and done a good job, then asking for a raise might be an option for you.

Get a New Higher Paying Job

Another thing that you could do is to get a promotion or go out and look for a higher paying job.

Get a Second Job

If getting a higher paying job is not possible or you like what you’re doing but it’s not paying the bills, getting a second job might be a better option. However, having two jobs is not always a sustainable option. Burning the candle at both ends can wear a body out, keep you from your family, and can turn you into even more of a slave to working for some else.

Sell Your Excess

Today, more than ever, there are ways to sell the things that you no longer use. Go through your closets and storage areas and garage and go through the stuff that you are just storing and haven’t used in a long time. If you have storage units that
Now find the best places to sell your stuff. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. For most clothes and household items you could have a yard sale and clear things out. You might also consider having a stall in a flea market. You can also sell some things to specialty shops. You can also sell on local Facebook selling sites or on eBay. For bigger things there’s Craig’s list.

Clearing out storage lockers that you are paying rental on not only pays you for what you sell out of them, but it frees up that money to invest.

Invest Wisely

One of the best pieces of financial advice is to invest in yourself. Once you have sold your Excess stuff and closed storage lockers that you no longer need, take the money that you saved and invest it in some way that will pay you back.

Start a Business

The final way to increase your earnings is by starting a business. There is a science and art to starting a business and it is the best way to get free of the slavery of living paycheck to pay check. With starting a business, you will use many of the principles already stated when developing personal finances. The difference between business expenses and personal expenses has to do with the art of utilizing credit. Credit in business should be used for moving your business forward.
Money guru Dave Ramsey has observed that “80 percent of personal finance is behavior” not education. Therefore, make positive financial behavioral changes on a regular basis. Replace bad habits with good ones and set yourself free.


slave-sale-posting-POn January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln put the Emancipation Proclamation took effect where he freed the slaves forever. However, that day, no slaves were set free. It wasn’t until after the end of the Civil War that through Constitutional amendments, the practice of the slavery of African Americans was finally put into law. Though legally free, many of the struggles of freedom and equality continues to this day.
Unfortunately, slavery still exists to this day in one form or another. According to American professor Kevin Bales, co-founder and former president of Free the Slaves, modern slavery occurs “when a person is under control of another person, who applies violence and force to maintain that control, and the goal of that control is exploitation”. According to this definition, research from the Walk Free Foundation based on its Global Slavery Index 2016 estimated that there were about 45.8 million slaves around the world in 2016, with 58% of them live in India, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. Of these 45.8 million, it is estimated that around 10 million of these contemporary slaves are children. Bales warned that, because slavery is officially abolished everywhere, the practice is illegal, and thus hidden from public authorities, making it impossible to obtain exact figures.
Modern slavery is a multibillion-dollar industry with estimates of up to $35 billion generated annually. The United Nations estimates that roughly 27 to 30 million individuals are currently caught in the slave trade industry. According to Walk Free Foundation, there were 46 million people worldwide enslaved in 2016 in the form of “human trafficking, forced labor, bondage from indebtedness, forced or servile marriage or commercial sexual exploitation”, with an estimated 18 million of those in India. China is second with 3.4 million, followed by Pakistan (2.1 million), Bangladesh (1.5 million), and Uzbekistan (1.2 million). By percentages of the population living in slavery Uzbekistan tops with 4% of its population living under slavery followed by Cambodia (1.6%), India, (1.4%) and Qatar (1.4%). 4.3% of the population of Mauritania remains enslaved.
Slavery also exists in advanced democratic nations, for example the UK suggested 10,000 to 13,000 victims in December 2015. This includes, forced work of various kinds, such as forced prostitution. The UK has recently made an attempt to combat modern slavery via the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Large commercial organizations are now required to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement in regard to their supply chains for each financial year.

Causes

So why is there still slavery? Modern slavery is a by-product of poverty. Countries lacking sufficient public education, economic freedom, the rule of law, and societal structure create an environment that fosters the acceptance and propagation of slavery. Slave-owners only have to pay for sustenance and enforcement so slavery is an attractive investment because paid laborers demand more than just sustenance. Modern slavery can be quite profitable and corrupt governments tacitly allow it, despite it being outlawed by international treaties such as Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery and local laws. Total annual revenues of traffickers were estimated in 2004 to range from US $5 billion to US $9 billion. American slaves in 1809 were sold for around the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money. Today, a slave can be bought for $90.

Slavery in contemporary Africa

Slavery in contemporary Africa is the form most often associated with the word “slavery”. It stems historically from either conquest, where a conquered person is enslaved, as in the Roman Empire, or from slave raiding, as in the Atlantic slave trade or Arab slave trade.

Debt bondage

Millions of people today work as bonded laborers. The cycle begins when people take extreme loans under the condition that they must work off the debt. The “loan” is designed so that it can never be paid off and is often passed down for generations. This form of slavery is prevalent in South Asia. People become trapped in this system working ostensibly towards repayment though they are often forced to work past the original amount they owe. They work under the force of threats and abuse. Their helplessness is reinforced due to the large power differential between the “creditor” and the “debtor”.

Forced migrant labor

Some people are enticed to migrate to a country with the promise of work, only to have their documents seized and are forced to work under the threat of violence to them or their families. Undocumented immigrants may also be taken advantage of. Without legal residency, they often have no recourse to the law. Along with sex slavery, this is the form of slavery most often encountered in wealthy countries such as the United States, in Western Europe, and in the Middle East.

Sex slavery

Along with migrant slavery, forced prostitution is the form of slavery most often encountered in wealthy regions such as the United States, in Western Europe, and in the Middle East. It is the primary form of slavery in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Many child sex slaves are trafficked from these areas to the West and the Middle East. An estimated 22% of slaves to date are active in the sex industry.

Early or forced marriage

In the culture in certain regions, early or forced marriage is a form of slavery that affects millions of women and girls all over the world. When families cannot support their children, the daughters are often married off to the males of wealthier, more powerful families. These men are often significantly older than the girls. The females are forced into lives whose main purpose is to serve their husbands. This fosters the environment for physical, verbal and sexual abuse.

Child labor

Children comprise about 26% of today’s slavery. Most are domestic workers or work in cocoa, cotton or fishing industries. Many are trafficked and sexually exploited. In war-torn countries, children have been kidnapped and sold to political parties to use as child soldiers. Forced child labor is the dominant form of slavery in Haiti.

Occupations

Modern slaves are often forced to work in certain occupations. Common occupations included construction, laying driveways, car washing, domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, cosmetic bars, and teenagers are trafficked from Vietnam to work on illegal cannabis farms.

Signs that someone may have been forced into slavery include a lack of identity documents, lack of personal possessions, clothing that is unsuitable or has seen much wear, poor living conditions, a reluctance to make eye contact, unwillingness to talk, and unwillingness to seek help.

Governmental efforts against slavery

The governments credited with the strongest response to modern slavery are the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Norway.
In contrast, the governments accused of taking the least action against it are North Korea, Iran, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Hong Kong, Central African Republic, Papua New Guinea, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.
What can we do about slavery around the world?
Start with this website: End Slavery Now http://www.endslaverynow.org/connect
Become a Modern-day Abolitionist: http://www.freedomcenter.org/get-involved


main streetDuring the last several weeks, I shared articles about why you as a business owner should consider writing a book. If you’re a business person, and writing a book sounds like a good idea, but you don’t want to write a whole book because you either don’t have time or you don’t think you have can afford someone who can ghost write one for you, perhaps you could convince your community into creating an anthology in which you include an article about your own business.

A Unique Type of Anthology

A lot of anthologies have been written by professional writers. These anthologies might be a collection of short stories written by local authors or even a collection of stories of history. One very well-known anthology series is the Chicken Soup of the Soul series of books that have come out.
Small business communities could easily benefit from an anthology that promotes their community. I believe that communities could easily produce anthologies of stories and tip articles in the form of a book that they can sell to local citizens, home-comers, and to new comers interested in their local. These same anthologies could also be given away as a PDF on the local chamber of commerce site.
Imagine a book that mingles the elements of storytelling and tips into a book that contains numerous articles written by numerous business people who are willing to share some basic information about what they do. In addition to contact information, the local fire department chief could write about home fire safety and how to keep a small grease fire from becoming a full-blown house fire. A local police officer could share information about bicycle safety. The school principle could share what a newcomer needs to know about how to get a child into a new school. Local historians and high school students could tell stories about how the town started, stories about local sites, and interesting people of the town’s present and past. In addition, the plumber could write an article about what a person should check before calling a plumber. An electrician could write about the dangers of not calling an electrician. People from the local farmer’s market could write about the advantages of buying produce locally. In addition to telling about the children’s reading circle and the availability of Wi-Fi at the library, the local librarian can share information about the local readers’ club and local writers’ group.

The Benefits of a Community Generated Anthology

An anthology like the one suggested would bring community members closer. It would be a win-win-win for in the community. It could be a benefit to everyone in the local community from the chamber of commerce to the small business owner to the newcomer. All that needs to be done is to get each person to write (or have written for them) a chapter in the book, get it published and share it with those in the community via events, at the local businesses, or through the local chamber of commerce. It could be a pride of the community.

Explore Writing a Book to Promote Your Community

Write a Book and Ignite your Business_red

If businesses in your community would like to look into writing an anthology for your community, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com for a consultation.
Intrigued by the idea of writing a book to promote your business, but aren’t sure what exactly would be involved? Check out my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business

Available in print
http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/write-a-book-and-ignite-your-business/paperback/product-23373303.html#
And on Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP


me_on_the_laptop

Write a Book and Ignite Your Business!

 

This month we are going to discuss why you should write a book if you own a business. So why should you write a book? That is the question we are going to address today.

Become Your Industry’s Expert

First reason that you should write a book to promote your business is because you have expertise that the world needs to know about. If you have been in business for any length of time, you have expert advice that you can share with others about well, just being in business. You also have expert knowledge in the service or product your business provides as well. If you’re a farmer, you have knowledge of the type of crops or animals that you raise. If you’re a plumber, you have expertise in plumbing. Are you an electrician? Are you a real estate agent? Are you an accountant? Are you a public speaker? Are you a teacher? Are you a doctor? If you do any of these things (or are good at doing anything related to your business!), you have expertise that can benefit potential customers with knowledge about specific subjects that relate to your business.

In my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business, I show how you can share your expertise to your customers that will benefit you and the customer in ways that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to share with them.

Promote Your Expertise While Encouraging DIY

You may ask “How, if I sell my business secrets, how will I make money with my clients? Won’t they just do it themselves?”

Sure, they might, but the truth is, they probably won’t. There might be a few things that they would do themselves. For instance, if your client bought your book about plumbing, they might be able to do a few things themselves like unclogging a drain or changing out a water strainer on the faucet, but when it comes to the difficult jobs like plumbing the whole house, your clients will be less likely to go to your competition because you wrote the book on the subject and since they have read your book, they know you much better than they do your competitor! When you have a book out about your business, you elevate your own self-worth as an expert above your competition.

In your book, make sure that you explain to any potential DIY customers when seeking expert advice is imperative. Show them what they can do on their own to save money and describe when it is necessary to get a professional. For instance, when someone is building a house, the DIY person might purchase the necessary materials (based on a chart in your book), help with the electrical work by drill the holes in the studs, running wires through the wall and then having you, if you’re the electrician, finish the wiring process and setting up the electrical inspection with the proper authorities.

Extend your Sphere of Influence Beyond the Local Economy

By writing a book about your business expertise, in addition to blowing away the local competition, you extend your expert advice beyond your normal sphere of influence. You can only be in one place at a time, but your book can spread your knowledge beyond your community. You bring income from other parts of the country into your town.
A book can create an income when you normally wouldn’t have one. I know that many people in the building profession have slow times during the winter months. If during that slow time you write a book and work at marketing that book, you can develop a following and an income during that time in the year.
A lot of self-help books are purchased during economic downtimes. In addition, many new businesses are started during these times as well. If your professional business takes a hit during these down times, marketing your book when your professional business isn’t doing as well can help you get through that economic slump. You could even license your book out to competitors outside of your own local business area and make even more! (contact me and I will explain how this works!)

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Intrigued by the idea of writing a book to promote your business, but aren’t sure what exactly would be involved? Read my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business available in print http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/write-a-book-and-ignite-your-business/paperback/product-23373303.html#

and on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP

 

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