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How To Close A Deal

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business"How To Close A Deal" is the nineteenth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

HOW TO CLOSE A DEAL 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     The six in the morning glint in farmer Sandy Duncan's eye was induced little by the watery, winter sun rising over the Grampian hills but much by the mischief occupying his mind. Thumbs entrenched in classic rural manner around the bib of his mucky dungarees and chewing on unlit clay pipe, he was leaning by the gate of his 'bottom field'; that rough tangle of gorse and weed farthest from the farmhouse, lowest down by the stream and a veritable bog of sodden misery lieing in wait for the unwary.

     He turned his eye to the mud, gravel and pot-hole mosaic of track lurching upward from his lolling point and scanned narrow-eyed for his prey. A thin smile glanced his lips. His intended victim was to be yet another 'pretentious, pinstripe-suited, city slicker' lured at unholy hour to this ungodly spot by Sandy's vague insinuation of 'lucrative business to be had', only to be waylayed in the stinking myre of Sandy's midden and sent empty-handed on his way, a muddied and humiliated mess.

     But as Sandy caught sight of the old and battered Land Rover weaving its way along the lane towards him, his eye-brows furrowed, the image of his perfect ambush wilted somewhat and his pipe sagged in his lips. What was this?

     I pulled the Land Rover to a halt with a squelch and not unimpressive slither, smack in front of Sandy, threw open the door and jumped out. He was crestfallen to see that I wore knee-high wellington boots, denim jeans and a tatty Barbour jacket. Before he could say a word I fearlessly grabbed his sharn-spattered hand, shook it vigourously and proclaimed, “Good morning Mr.Duncan, this is quite some place you've got here. I'm told you have the finest beasts (cattle) in the glen. Can we go see them now?!” A canny pause while he scrutinized me thoughtfully, then a drawn out, “Aye, we can that.”

     Twenty minutes and a soggy sludge through the fields later we were close up and personal with his prize herd in the byre (cow-shed) and he was introducing me enthusiastically and in detail to each and every one of them. Bang! - Deal closed! Yet not a word of any potential business of any kind has been mentioned or discussed. We have only just met.

     The rest of the day passed with Sandy proudly showing me around the entire farm and concluded seated by the massive open range fire in the kitchen, his wife Janet prodding me with queries of my life and treating me to her freshly baked scones; my genuine and enthusiastic approval of which dealt conclusively with any possibility of opposition to any business proposal from that quarter.

     The next time I visited Sandy, he and his wife welcomed me glowingly at the door of their farmhouse. The day passed with heaped servings of Mrs.Duncan's hot girdle scones, mugs of farmyard tea and hilarious tales of city business executives whose pride, sanity and Armani suits Sandy had gleefully sabotaged during early morning rendez-vous in his bottom field.

     Only as I was leaving did Sandy ask for the first time about 'business'. We exchanged a few words, agreed a course of action and shook hands.

     And that … is how to close a deal.

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Claim your special copy of my best-selling 'The Simplest Sales Strategy' by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

HOW TO CLOSE A DEAL  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.
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A Recipe For Success

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business"A Recipe For Success" is the eighteenth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     If you're anything like me you'll have had your share of setbacks in life. Disappointments too. No sweat, it's par for the course. You're most likely well aware that it's not the difficulties you encounter along the way that matter, it's how you deal with them. Crying over spilt milk gets you nowhere – finding a new supply is the answer. And finding new ways to confront events and situations is indeed a recipe for doing well in life.

     In that word 'recipe' lies my approach to living life in a happy frame of mind. A recipe of course implies a formula to be repeated; a process to run with over and over again. So with me. But while my recipe is consistant in concept, what goes into the mix varies with circumstance. I try quite deliberately to find novel approaches to each situation facing me. In this way I'm unpredictable to others but alert and keen within myself. I know that giving my imagination free rein can lead to magical outcomes.

     How do I go about igniting my innovative flame? How do I get myself into the inventive frame of mind required? This is where my magic recipe for sucess comes into play. The formula which I employ is actually remarkably simple but may be the opposite of what you expect.

     My strategy is not to immerse myself in addressing the point at issue, searching for ways to overcome it. No, rather I remove myself from the situation and forget about it altogether! I take myself away completely, both physically and mentally. Sounds contrary perhaps? How do you resolve things by ignoring them? But it works like a charm.

     My favoured course is to escape to the mountains. There I wander and absorb the clear air, nature and tranquility. Note the word 'wander'. Therein lies my second 'secret'. I don't set an agenda such as scaling a certain peak, reaching a specific destination or doing so within a particular time. Neither do I put my mind to work on a concentrated task. I simply wander and let the day take me where it will. In this way I am totally relaxed and become completely detached from all else save the wondrous beauty abundant around me. In this almost trance-like state my spirit soars and my imagination breaks free. Unshackled from the impediment of circumstances which create difficulty, the solutions float in to view in their own good time and with easy clarity.

     So, my recipe to dealing with setbacks and difficulties is -

          Withdraw from the situation

          Wander, don't strain

          Wait!

     Not only does my approach provide great results, it's easy and stress-free too. It enhances general well-being. There's also a wonderful bonus, magical in fact! It is this -

     Once you establish this strategy as your default system in meeting the demands of day-to-day life and the situations thrown up by it, disagreeable occurrences requiring of your attention arise less frequently. In fact bad stuff can diminish to the point of almost disappearing completely.

     Conversely, you're likely to experience a substantial uptick in pleasant situations occuring; circumstances which are positive and fun to confront. And how do you face these happy dilemmas? By following my same recipe as for troublesome ones of course. Withdraw, wander, wait. It's a magic recipe for success - in all scenarios! 

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Claim your special copy my best-selling 'Winning Big In Life And Business' by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.
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A Test Of Sanity

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”A Test Of Sanity" is the 17th in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

A TEST OF SANITY 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     My lack of employment was getting me down. In fact it was driving me mad. Each day out of work had become a test of sanity for me. But every cloud has a silver lining. There's always tomorrow ...

     Smartly dressed, hair combed, tie straight and in good time, I arrived for the job interview. The receptionist politely informed me that the first part of the appraisal process would comprise of a spatial ability psychometric test. I failed immediately by being totally clueless as to what the heck she was talking about!

     I was soon enlightened. She showed me into a tiny room in which there was only a small table and chair. On the table was a board with nine different shaped holes. Beside the board there were nine different shaped blocks. There was also a pack of twenty cigarettes, a box of matches and an ash-tray.

     The examiner arrived and told me that I had thirty minutes in which to place the nine different shaped blocks into the appropriate holes on the board. He blurted, “Your time starts now!” and dashed from the room. I sat down, picked up each of the blocks in turn and placed them into their matching holes on the board. Task completed. I sat back to wait out the remaining twenty-nine minutes and forty-five seconds.

     With nothing else to do, and although a non-smoker, I opened the pack of cigarettes, just out of curiosity. I withdrew one cigarette and again, just to pass the time, lit it up. It seemed like as good a time as any to try out smoking. I coughed and spluttered my way through the weed and stubbed out the butt in the ash-tray.

     Then I took all the shapes out of their holes … then put them back in again. Time was dragging so I lit up a second cigarette, smoked it, then stubbed it out in the ash-tray beside the remains of the first one. Then I repeated the pegs in/pegs out process and had another fag. I went through the routine over and over until I had taken the pegs in and out of their holes several dozen times and smoked all but one of the cigarettes. A thick fog filled the room.

     Eventually I drew on the last cigarette, took all of the pegs out of their holes and had just replaced the first of them into its space when the door of the room burst open.

     “Stop!” commanded the examiner. He looked at the board with just one peg in its hole, then to the ash-tray with its glut of discarded butts. He waved a hand at the choking smog, looked with pity at my grey face, open tie and decidedly disheviled appearance. With a wry smile he gloated, “Yes, it's a hell of a test!”

     Some time later he returned to the canteen where I was recovering over a much needed cup of tea. “Good news,” he announced, “One peg out of nine is 11.11%. The pass mark for the psychometric test is 10%. Congratulations.”

     “Fabulous,” I lied, as relieved as I was baffled. “So I have the job. When do I start?”

     “Oh, you haven't got the job. No way. The position is only open to non-smokers!”

     I stifled a scream into the sleeve of my jacket … then raced for the nearest pub.

     Consoling myself over a large whisky, and then another, I reasoned that being unemployed was maybe not so bad after all. Failing a test of sanity at least left me free to indulge my madness in my own time. What's that I said about every (smoke) cloud and silver linings?

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Claim your special copy of my best-selling novel – 'Too Early For A Glass Of Wine?' - by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

A TEST OF SANITY  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.
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The Trouble With Experts

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business"The Trouble With Experts” is the 16th in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

THE TROUBLE WITH EXPERTS 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     The trouble with experts is that they are most often anything but expert!

     By example, I have benefitted from numerous commercial contracts where my input as an outside consultant should never have been needed had the inhouse executives been even remotely up to their jobs. So while I'm grateful for their incompetence, I'm certainly no fan of experts. I particularly dislike even to hear the word. The more so when it's used by someone to describe themselves! But even when attributed by one person to another, I seriously distrust the term.

     As a natural sceptic, my life experience has tended only to reinforce and validate my lack of faith in their ill-perceived wisdom. Their prognostications are often a masterclass in predictive ineptitude. Those anointed as 'experts' by the political and media class are no more accurate (or honest) in presenting views and forecasting long-term trends than the average man or woman in the street. The fact is that, while proficiency in a particular discipline may enhance the capacity of the specialist to explain the past, it can offer precious little guidance to the future.

     With this cautionary principle in mind, I find it advisable to remain circumspect in offering guidance to others. Even as one who has practiced my calling for decades and am familiar with the concepts and strategies of my subject. I may be a veteran of life and entrepreneurial adventures and have travelled the roads of victory and defeat extensively, but I still find it wise to avoid being labeled an expert. I do however, acknowledge the term 'specialist'.

     As such, my primary point of departure is to confess how little I know. I can make well educated guesses, of course, but cannot be one hundred percent sure of anything. I simply endeavour to apply my experience and success in life to simplify what others see as, or construct as, complex. My goal, your goal, is to seek more understanding. No more, no less. This can only be achieved through independent analysis and simple thinking.

     The lives of many are, at the best of times, theatres of confusion marked by a profusion of inaccuracies and propaganda. There is little clarity. The blizzard of social media commentary is especially distorting. 'Transgressors' are ridiculed, threatened and cancelled when their views cut against the grain of a plot line with a favoured political hue and a distorted narrative of right and wrong. Independent thinking outside the box, working things out for yourself, is neither encouraged nor rewarded. You must follow the 'experts' (the so-called 'science' too) or be damned.

     So, exercising an independent mindset takes courage! It also takes dilligence and research – lots of it. Don't rely on outside 'experts'. Work to be your own specialist. Find sources of opposing views. That way you can size up the respective arguments as well as compare what they state as facts. By the way, don't trust any fact-checkers; none of them. They themselves are corrupt and biased. Look for good independent sources of information; those with integrity and not beholden financially to any third party, individual or entity of any description. Rare, but they do exist.

     For those of you prepared to sacrifice popularity, follow your own instincts, let your imagination flourish and arrive at conclusions which often run contrary to conventional wisdom, the payback is monumental. Yes, defying the mainstream, the herd and the 'experts' is seriously rewarding. The reward is called intellectual independence. You don't need any expert to tell you that!

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Read any of my best-selling books and novels by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

THE TROUBLE WITH EXPERTS  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.
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© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.
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The Mother Of Invention

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business"The Mother Of Invention” is the fifteenth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

THE MOTHER OF INVENTION 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     Two questions.

     What factor is it which, more than any other, will drive you to create imaginative solutions to situations in your life or business which may be holding you back from realising your full potential?

     and ...

     Who is the mother of Invention? Read on ...

     Invention lived with his mother and father in the small town of Cutting Edge in Brainchild County. With little money to spend on necessities, let alone luxury items, his dad was a jack of all trades. He hand-crafted from wood all the furniture in their log cabin home which he had himself built. Every repair around the house and outwith it he carried out too. Invention often assisted. He soon acquired his dad's skills.

     While dad was the creative labour, it was Invention's mother who was the inspiration and driving force of the family. Strong-willed and determined it was she who saw to it that things got done. Her verve and vitality extended to her parenting. She was a strict, but fair, disciplinarian to young Invention.

     His mother saw to it that to him fell the tasks of cleaning around the house, keeping the yard tidy and running errands. Willing as he was in carrying out his regular chores, Invention was also an imaginative lad and constantly seeking ways to streamline his activities. He reckoned that saving time and labour with an inventive approach provided more time for indulging his typical boyhood pursuits of playing football, going fishing and chasing girls. But it didn't work out that way.

     For whenever Invention imaginatively reduced his workload and the time spent on it, his mother found more tasks – chopping wood, painting, creating a vegetable garden – to fill the time. It was for Invention a never-ending treadmill of finding solutions to save on his time and effort only for the time saved to be intruded on by new work to attend to!

     But Invention was not to be defeated. To this wider logistical difficulty of more work being added to his load each time he introduced a labour-saving solution, he also applied his imagination. His solution was a simple one. To recruit skilled assistance.

     “If I can multiply myself,” he reckoned, “Then I can multiply exponentially the work I can undertake.”

     He also concluded that by industrialising his activities and organising them in a production line fashion of logical sequences, there'd be no double tracking or repeat handling. He also formulated new technologies with the help of his gang of best friends with whom he hung out in his depressingly rare spare time. These lads were like-minded boys with vivid imaginations and determinedly mischievous.

     There was Jimmy Watt who spent his days at home in the kitchen, regularly fascinated by the power of the steam rising from the boiling pan of water and lifting the heavy lid of the pan with it. Georgie Carver was a gardening whizz kid, constantly experimenting with crops and yields. Tommy Edison liked tinkering with electricity and creating light from it. Alex Bell messed about a lot with tin cans and lengths of string through which he claimed it was possible to communicate. Henry Ford knocked together the best soap box carts anywhere in the county and Jimmy Spangler had a suction device which picked up bits of paper as if by magic. He called it a hoover.

     In no time at all Invention and his crew had turned the running, repair and maintenance of Invention's house and garden, then their own homes too, into industrial style operations of amazing efficiency. Steam power drove machines; crops of peanuts, soy and sweet potatoes thrived; electric lighting extended working hours; instant communication eradicated message carrying and speedy motor transport was available too. So effective were their solutions, the lads even had time to play football, go fishing and chase girls. Not only were they delighted, their families were too.

     None more so than Invention's mother. She was as pleased as punch and proud too with what Invention achieved. On Invention's part, he was smart enough to realise that without his mother, all that he and his mates had achieved would not have been possible. It was her drive, determination and discipline which led Invention to finding the solutions to the situations which she insisted he attend to.

     So all of these innovations came about as a result of Invention's strict parenting. All resulted from his mum's relentless urging. And who was his mother? What was her name? It was 'Necessity' of course. Yes, Necessity was the mother of Invention!

  I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Claim your special copy my best-selling 'Winning Big In Life And Business' by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

THE MOTHER OF INVENTION  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.
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Where's Your Spirit?

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business"Where's Your Spirit?" is the fourteenth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

WHERE'S YOUR SPIRIT? 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     Where's your spirit? What is it? Let's describe it this way -

     My ethos is to do good and have fun. My purpose is to be happy and useful. Joy, purpose and meaning are what matter in life. The most effective way to achieve these and create a better world for yourself and everyone is through kindness and compassion. You need to cultivate awareness of, and responsibility for, your profound self in order to open up a world of love and joyful living. When you act with selflessness and generosity you are engaging your inner being, your spirit.

     So far, so good, but spiritual life may seem a rather radical choice in present day society. Current cultural norms entail the constant outsourcing of beliefs to things which have no higher value. People align with 'false gods' and search in deserted places for greater meaning and purpose. Looking externally and materialistically to create happiness or generate value is the key to neither spiritual awareness nor a happy life.

     Everything you want is within you. Everything you seek is connected to your conscience which operates both consciously and through your inner subconscious. So it operates semi-automatically; meaning you can access it - provided you choose to. Doing so is a good move. Getting to know your own spirit is the secret to living joyfully in the modern world.

     Spirituality is your awareness of both self and of the intangible. Whether you are aware of it or not, there is a spiritual dimension to everything and everybody. It affects your entire act of living - relationships, career, health - and it impacts on how you see yourself in relation to everyone and everything. Spiritual principles in your life are enriching, magical and fun. Don't overlook the fact that laughter is a strong part of it. Life is your playground when you employ a wonderful sense of humour.

     You can find beauty, or excuses, in anything. It's better by far to choose beauty. Gratitude, forgiveness and self-acceptance are the most basic ways for you to actively generate a purposeful direction in your life. With it will come fresh perspectives and rewarding experiences. When you practice kindness, compassion and a forgiving nature you improve your mindset, enrich your inner being and empower yourself. These positive attitudes will transform your life. Personal development is not something to be sought in isolation from your spiritual self. Both are part of the one. The two go hand in hand.

     Remember that life is a boundless mystery filled with wonder. Be curious. It is good to ask questions. You don't need to know all the answers. Let go of the idea that you need to be perfect. That is a cruel illusion. Rather create the change needed in your life by becoming the change. That is the winning formula.

     Make it your number one priority to discover where's your spirit. Embrace it, cherish it. You'll be glad you did.

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Claim your special copy of my best-selling 'The Road To Joyful Living' by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

WHERE'S YOUR SPIRIT?  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.
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MICKY GRAMLIN, R.I.P.

I learned today that my dear friend and mighty pillar of support, Micky Gramlin, passed away in November 2021.

Micky was one of the first members at IBO Toolbox and established her presence there as one of the site's foremost presenters.

Her contributions were forthright, fun and fabulously insightful. She possessed a clear understanding of what really makes business tick and translated that into the development of her online enterprises. Like all top entrepreneurs she was unafraid of hard work and knew to concentrate on helping others. This she accomplished with ease, grace and flair. In all my experience I have rarely, if ever, encountered such talent, willingness and mischievous wit. She was also incredibly courageous.

God, I'll miss her.

For those like me, who knew her, through IBO or otherwise, this link is to a short obituary - https://putnamcountypost.com/obituaries/606519

R.I.P. Micky - you were, and remain, a true star, a brilliant light in every sense. 

* Poignant words written by Micky, from 2014.

SPRING FEVER?

The snow has finally melted
for just a little while.
Usually I work and work
and 
never notice what goes round.
But the sun and the blue sky
are beckoning to me,
whispering for me to join them.
A walk through the park
or 
on the waters edge.
To let let the gentle breeze
capture my hair.
Awaken my senses
and 
just let go of things gone cold.

Micky G

 

 

 

 

 

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When Less Is Better

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”When Less Is Better” is the thirteenth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

WHEN LESS IS BETTER 
by Joseph Tom Riach

    In my early days in business I enroled in and attended training courses in various disciplines relevant to my self-employed status. It was a good move. The schooling helped to supplement and accelerate the on-job learning which was coming at me thick and fast!

    One memorable course was that in 'Sales And Selling'. The class master was an accomplished sales professional of some renown. Max Roberts had made a name for himself publishing and selling encyclopedias. What he had to say carried considerable weight. His lessons were indeed eye-openers for all. One module he presented was titled, “When Less Is Better!”

    He opened his presentation to the class with the demand, “Where's your spirit?” … then followed up with, “And I'm not talking about the whisky flask in your back pocket Drooth!” At which he'd pointedly identify with a fixed stare the unfortunate pupil who he knew to enjoy a sly nip between sessions.

    His next question (and note he was questioning, not telling) was to ask, “Why do you want to sell?” Then he'd pick a pupil to give their answer. A common response at this point would be, “To give my customers something useful.”

    “Wrong!” Bob would roar back. “That's logic. Out front and ten press-ups!” Yes he did that. He understood that physical discipline enforces intellectual learning, and vice versa.

    Then he turned to his next pupil/victim and repeated his question, “Why do you want to sell?”

    More thought would typically be given by this student before maybe stuttering out a slightly uncertain, “To make more money?”

    “Wrong again! That's emotion. Out front, give me ten.” Male, female. No-one was spared the physical torture.

    Eventually he turned his attention to me, seated at the front of the class (the best location when learning) and eager to answer.

    “You, yes you Riach. Why do you want to sell?”

    I knew exactly why I wanted to sell. It was the whole reason that I was there in the class. Without any delay I retorted quite confidently. “It's because I'm determined to succeed!”

    Bob looked at me carefully. He paused, a smile slowly spreading across his face.

    “That's right!” he eventually exclaimed. “That is spirit!”

    “Spirit you see,” he went on, again addressing the whole class, “Is what defines success. You need logic. You must learn your subject, know the facts, be able to express them. Even more, you must recognise emotion within yourself and within your customers. That's what creates sales. But without spirit, without unqualified dedication to succeed, you will never achieve anything in any area of life or business. Bloody-minded determination is what defines success. It separates the winners from the also rans.

    So my friends, logic, emotion and spirit, let's call it L.E.S. A case, if you like, of 'less' really is better!

    Better still reverse the order. Call it S.E.L. That makes 'Sell'! This is the correct sequence. Spirit comes first, without it you are and will be nothing. Next is emotion. Display it, feel it, use it, appeal to it. Lastly, apply the logic to cement the sale. Remember - L.E.S. in order to S.E.L.!"

    With those easy memory prompts embedded in my mind I've never forgotten Max - and I've never forgotten when 'less is better'. How could I?

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Claim your special copy of my best-selling 'The Simplest Sales Strategy' by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

WHEN LESS IS BETTER  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.
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A Rather Nasty Rash

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business"”A Rather Nasty Rash” is the 12th in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

A RATHER NASTY RASH
by Joseph Tom Riach

    It is unfortunate but true that certain sections of modern society appear to suffer from a highly contagious and rather nasty rash. Or to be more precise, a rash of nastiness! Symptoms typically experienced by those infected range from mild displays of unkindness to others through to outright hostility. Sufferers show little regard for the sterling human qualities such as bravery, perseverance, self-sacrifice and community spirit of others but tend to celebrate weak will and failure. It seems that those who weep, wail and display personas akin to half-wits being devoured by flesh-eating aliens takes prevalence over decent people who smile, take criticism with good grace, retain composure and have a proper idea of what is important in life. In short, those with a sense of perspective. But no, to such a reasonably balanced individual the reaction of rash-infected hysterics is often, "Where is your victim-hood? Why are you not more miserable and aggrieved! You're not crying enough.”

    The trend is apparent in, among other places, the world of professional football. As games are played in full public view and real time, they provide perfect insight. As a life-long follower of the game, I played in my youth and dreamed of becoming a famous player. While I and my super-star heroes of the day were no angels on the field of play (nor off it), neither were we guilty of the petulant behaviour of present day players. All wanted to win of course but there was a certain code of acceptable conduct and no question of mis-placed self-importance. Responsibility for win, loss or draw was accepted with reasonable grace … the more so after time to cool down and enjoy a pint or two in the bar with opponents! All were in it for fun and glory – not for vindictiveness and self-pity.

    Players and fans alike prided themselves on the quality of displaying a passion for the game in general, and for the team they followed in particular. It was largely well-meaning and harmless. Yet in current times it has increasingly come to be characterised by blatant cheating, hurling obscenities at the opposition, the refereee and even your own team.

    Being professional, or a fan, has come to mean defending the indefensible when one of 'your' players misbehaves, and feigning outrage when a rival steps out of line. It means railing at perceived injustice week after week, while never acknowledging when 'your' team gets the rub of the green. It means earning thousands of pounds a week (players) or spending thousands of pounds a year (fans) for the right to be indescribably angry for two hours every week. And if you're not deeply unhappy - then you just don't care enough!

    Passion or poison, that's the question. The fact is that when I look at players' and fans' behaviour, as at sectors of life in general, I can neither see nor believe that these people have anything to do with me, my ideals, my way of living. They don't represent my notions of fun, affiliation or sportsmanship. How can they be capable of such spite and malice over a mere game, a pursuit which fundamentally doesn't matter? A supposedly entertaining diversion from life's drudgery has become the focal point for all their frustration and hatred. A sense of humour is seen as a sign of weakness. Fans and players seem motivated solely by negativity. A desire to see rivals suffer has overtaken the wish for their own team to do well. It's far worse than just a rather nasty rash!

    Yet it needn't be so. The good news is that rashes, nasty or otherwise, can be cured. Better still is to live life in such ways as to minimise the risk of contracting them in the first place. So with football, and life generally. Conduct yourself with spirit and with good humour. It is perfectly possible to be competitive but compassionate too. Not at all a hard balance to strike and quite achievable. Work at winning while accepting that others have similar goals. Respect their dedication rather than deriding it. Then you can expect to enjoy some of the same consideration in return - and no nasty rash!

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

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A RATHER NASTY RASH  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
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See you there! Regards, Tom.

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Delight The Customer

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”Delight The Customer” is the eleventh in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

DELIGHT THE CUSTOMER 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     There are many elements can contribute to achieving great outcomes in life and business. You must, for example, possess determination to succeed and be prepared to outwork everyone else. You must care about people, be they your friends and colleagues in personal life or your customers in business. There is in fact a direct parallel between personal and business life. The same attitudes and practices are required in order to do well in both spheres. Not everyone is cut out for business but everyone is required to manage the business of running their lives. So what follows is relevant to all.

     Much is made of formal education. The student experience is rightly viewed as a good thing but you can better pick up what you most need to know for success in the real world by living in it. Try out different jobs, learn about yourself. You need to know how to sell, that is as in how to present your best self to those you interact with. You are the product. You are a repeat sale. Present yourself so that people seek out your company; so that they come back to you time and time again. Delight the customers!

     Take an interest in, but don't concern yourself with, popular media, stockmarkets, bank rates, politics and the like. These are things you cannot change. Concentrate on what you can change.

     It's common in youth to at first feel that you are not going anywhere. Drifting is quite normal early on, often good fun … for a while. Learn from it then set your direction. The product 'You' may be little different from others but offer your 'customers' friendly service. That's it. No need to do anything exceptional – live by delighting your 'customers'. Life or business, the rule applies.

     It's never too late to start. You won't get things right first time. Just remember that the golden key to turning an ordinary 'you' or business into an extraordinary one is to change the one thing which you can change in others - the customer experience. You must possess a genuine desire to delight customers. Anyone who delights customers, succeeds. The test is not to have the greatest idea but to learn. Learn your strengths, what it is that you can best do for customers. What is it that you can bring to the party which others haven't?

     Ask yourself, “What it is that people/customers think the next day after dealing with you. What goes through their mind? What do they want? Where will they go for their next interaction?”

Answer - They'll go to the place where they enjoyed a memorable experience!

     In due course people do not always remember a product, the purchase nor the price. But they always remember a delightful experience. They remember how they were treated. You'll not find a customer with a good buying experience who doesn't come back.

     By the same token, customers never forget a bad experience. If memory is of unpleasantness, bad attitude, rudeness or disinteresr, they'll never return.

     So, make friends out of every customer and establish relationships by projecting your positive self on to them. Build a family atmosphere. Develop trust. Work especially with better-than-yourself people. You move in the direction of those you associate with. Learn from them … and delight them too!

     Thank you for reading. Did I delight the customer? Did I delight you?

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

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DELIGHT THE CUSTOMER  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
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Key Words To Live And Prosper By

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”Key Words To Live And Prosper By” is the 10th article n my 2022 series based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

KEY WORDS TO LIVE AND PROSPER BY 
by Joseph Tom Riach

   

   As a young boy I was a member of the the Boys' Brigade. The movement was based on military type discipline and Christian ethics. Each Friday evening I'd spit 'n polish my uniform and run to the local church hall to be 'on parade' for 7 p.m. sharp.

    In the Boys' Brigade my friends and I were schooled in a host of activities which included marching, outdoor pursuits, life saving, first aid and gymnastics through to religious education and caring in the community. Drilled into us was the principle to help others in life. In addition to the legion of projects we pursued in order to win our various proficiency badges, we got up to all sorts of mischief as young lads tend to do. They were fun days.

    Then there was golf. Not at all an elitist sport in my home nation of Scotland. Folks from all walks of life play. As a young man I played every day in the summer months. The long hours of daylight saw me tee off at 6 in the morning and I'd easily complete my round and be at work for 9. In the evening I'd walk off the 18th green as late as 11.30 p.m. at the end of my second round of the day. With such dedication to a game I love, small wonder that I played off a low handicap. But eventually the golf had to take a back seat to my first business venture.

   I learned from older heads that when you start a business you'll almost certainly need to put in some money. To begin with you might not earn any money back. After a while you might start to get back some money but still not as much as you're spending. Eventually, with a lot of work and good luck you'll hopefully get more money coming in than you spend ….. luverlee profit!

    But I was impatient. “What,” I thought, “If I could start a business without having to wait? What if could -

    Start with zero or very little money

    Never have to put in any more money

    And make 100% profits from day one.”

    That was my dream. Except that it's not a dream! It's exactly what I did - and have done throughout my entrepreneurial career. The key is to start off by applying essential principles to your endeavour. These are -

    Work with discipline and dedication - Work to help others – Work to have fun – Work at something you love – Insist on profit from every transaction and every aspect of your enterprise. Yes, those same principles I learned as a lad at Boys' Brigade and as player on the golf course!

     Here's just one classic example of my many 'easy and free' enterprises -

    For many years I helped hundreds of golfers to enjoy the game here in Portugal by establishing a golf holidays tour company. I set it up for zero cost, having first arranged tour operator rates with golf courses and hotels in the region. I operated under a local company's tour licence whereby they benefited from all my visitors' transport requirements. I researched then wrote to every golf club in Britain and Ireland. Enquirers were sent a quote, visitors received a bespoke service tailored to their requirements. This included restaurant vouchers, day trip discounts and introductions to local estate agencies. So, I created multiple 'no effort' income streams to add to profits. All guests paid in advance, no out of pocket expense for me whatsover. In due course I moved the business on for substantial profit.

    To do it took discipline and dedication of course but I loved every minute. The work was fun, profitable and helped others. It's rewarding in every way to know that the assistance you give can have a positive impact on people's lives. It's satisfying to know that through the years my 'work' has done just that.

    Are you ready to embrace those same key words to live and prosper by?

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

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KEY WORDS TO LIVE AND PROSPER BY  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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On The Side Of Freedom

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”On The Side Of Freedom” is the ninth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

ON THE SIDE OF FREEDOM 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     “Freedom!” cried William Wallace … or was it Mel Gibson? No sweat, it's the sentiment which matters. And 'Freedom' matters a lot to me. In fact it's central to my very existence. The urge, no, the need to be free resides at my very core. It has always been so.

     The place, the time, the culture in which I was raised demanded that a free spirit burn within all of its sons and daughters. No one was excused. From early childhood, through formative youth, adolescent and adult years the determination to be free, indelibly etched in my inner being, has dictated all that I am and do. And why not?

     Being raised in a free environment has stood me in good stead. I like what freedom stands for. I'm inspired by the history of all those who cherish freedom. Be they warriors such as Wallace, writers such as Orwell, leaders such as Mandela or artists such as Rockwell (Speech, Worship, Want, Fear). All championed the free world in which we live. Or in which we have lived up until now. I never thought to see the day, but our free world is under siege. Many are blind to the threat. Mark Twain's canny wit captures their lack of perception well - “It's easier to fool someone than it is to convince them they've been fooled.”

     I'm happy to debate my assertions regarding the principles of a free society. The right to debate/challenge is a pillar of freedom. But I don't want to see freedom trashed. The censorious nonsense of much present day politics is ignorant and divisive. It's school bully stuff. I respect people for who they are, not what they are. Why should any free person be fearful of what they can think, say and do without falling foul of some self-appointed enforcer who will try to destroy their lives.

     Those intent on telling people what to do, imposing tyrannical restrictions, denying basic freedoms, banning things and making lives more complicated have got it seriously wrong. They seek to crush the innate spirit of liberty and creativity which makes us human. Not me. I nurture that spirit in myself and admire it in others. I respect the ideals of personal indepence and self-investment.

     I don't like big government. In a high-tax, high-regulation, high-control society only the rich, or those with 'special connections', get to prosper. That's not right. Everyone who is prepared to contribute to society in a meaningful way should have the opportunity to share in the wealth which is, after all, created by private businesses and individuals (often in the most challenging circumstances), not by the leeches of the impotent public sector and their cronies.

     I am on the side of those who want control of your own lives; who want to build a business, to save, to learn, to support your families, to hand things on to your children. I'm proud of what these values stand for in the world. They are the values of upbeat, positive people. They produce positive results. They work.

     All it takes for you to be part of this free world is to decide to do it. Form a clear plan and trust in your ability. Then get on with it. Work toward your dream with ruthless focus. Taking personal responsibility for your life puts you firmly on the side of freedom. On the side of Wallace. Where else would you rather be?

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

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ON THE SIDE OF FREEDOM  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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A Train Set Named Emotion

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”A Train Set Named Emotion” is the 8th in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

A TRAIN SET NAMED EMOTION 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     Much as I longed for it, I never in childhood became the owner of an electric train set. So handling the precision-crafted model locomotive in the toy shop kindled in me a nostalgia for those days long gone. I realised of course that buying the replica would not bring back those times. Yet I would easily have purchased the exquisite beauty had the shop assistant understood my yearning and made even a cursory effort to tap into my underlying emotion. But she didn't. She gave a dry presentation, concentrating only on highlighting features of the product. Her chance of a sale disappeared as if in a puff of smoke from a steam engine's funnel!

     The episode reminded me of the powerful sway that our emotions hold over us in buying situations.

     Has anyone for example ever bought security alarms other than through fear of being victim to a break-in or possible assault? Was a bed ever purchased where the buyer hadn't envisaged themselves comfortably tucked up in it? Did life insurance ever sell without a graphic scenario of bleak consequences being seeded in the buyer's mind? And what about an investment without the exciting prospect of gain? Or would you pay a sports channel subscription fee if you expected to be bored by watching?

     No, in every instance your buying decision is based on the expectation of your purchase creating outcomes which satisfy your perceived needs. Needs driven by emotion!

     So be it joy, fear, greed, desire, anger, sadness or surprise, or whichever of the many other human emotions, it's necessary when on the other side of the equation as a seller to understand the need to target the emotional response of your buyer. Do this by asking questions. 'Why' is powerful, then paint word pictures or visually present real ones to ignite the buyer's dominant emotion. Highlight the benefits of your goods or services rather than the features. Appealing to emotions is everything.

     I, for instance, don't miss the things of my youth. I miss youth itself! - as recalled by the excitement, fun and adventure of childhood times. Reflecting on that, I did return to the shop and I did buy the train set. I persuaded myself that my emotional driver for doing so was compassion for the ineptitude of the sales girl. Or was it compassion of a different kind? A desire to make a wee boy's dream come true maybe? 

     Aa-a-all aboard … Toot-toot!!

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Claim your special copy my best-selling 'The Simplest Sales Strategy' by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

A TRAIN SET NAMED EMOTION  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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A Fool's Guide To Happiness

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”A Fool's Guide To Happiness” is the 7th in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

A FOOL'S GUIDE TO HAPPINESS 
by Joseph Tom Riach

Your fool's guide to happiness - Instructions


         * Wake up feeling angry. Kick the cat. Chastise the children.

         * Stuff down a stale roll. Slurp a sloppy coffee.

        * Pick a fight with spouse. Slam door on way out.

      * Commute to your paid employment. Launch a foul-mouthed tirade at the jampack of cars on the highway. Or kick fellow zombies in the mass melee madness of the tube. Preferably both.

       * Arrive at work late. Finger your boss behind his back.

      * Adjourn to the collective complaining committee at the coffee' machine.

      * Whinge about – SPACE - enter here any subject. It matters not what. The less you know about it the better.

      * Stare at computer screen. Abuse client on phone. Feel exhausted. Go for lunch.

      *  Pig on a cardboard burger and rancid relish at a fast crap joint .

     * Return to 'work'. Repeat morning procedure but with renewed resentment.

   * Abandon 'work' early. Go to pub. Indulge in hollow humour with brain fuddled drinkers, junkies and smartphone addicts.

     * Stagger home. Stand on cat. Ignore children.

     * Fail to find dinner ... or spouse. Read the - "I'm out of here" - note pinned to doll effigy of yourself. Feel no emotion.

     * Fall asleep on couch. Snore a lot and pass wind.

     * Wake up feeling angry .....

     Read the above. Memorise it. Practice it. Soon you will become accomplished in the art. You will do it on autopilot.

     Congratulations! You now are a fool's guide to happiness!

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

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A FOOL'S GUIDE TO HAPPINESS  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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The Swimmer And The Swan

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”The Swimmer And The Swan” is the sixth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

THE SWIMMER AND THE SWAN
by Joseph Tom Riach

     The Swimmer slipped into the cold water of the lake and struck out for the nearby bouy. As she did so, the lone swan which had shadowed her dawn dips since the advent of springtime, slid from the reeds and followed her. On reaching the bouy, the Swimmer checked to confirm that her escort was indeed bobbing in her wake and, satisfied so, she set off for the shore again. The swan dutifully followed. When the Swimmer arrived back at her launching point, she raised herself from the water, wafted a kindly kiss toward her swimming partner and headed into the old log cabin she called home. The swan returned to his solitary spot somewhere in the long grass bordering the lake. 

    Throughout the summer this early morning ritual of the Swimmer and the swan repeated itself daily. Their bond became unbreakable.

    Then autumn arrived and with it the cooler weather, then the frosts and mists which eventually cancelled the Swimmer's daily immersions. She no longer rose early to exercise in the lake and her swan fell from view too. When the Swimmer called for the swan or searched around the lakeside, there was no trace of him. He had clearly moved on to warmer climes to see through the winter months.

    In due course spring came round again. On the first day that the Swimmer chose to brave the chilly waters, she arose at sun-rise and went quickly to the lakeside. A brief scout around provided no sight or sign of her graceful companion. She entered the water and set off on the first leg of her swim to the bouy. Once or twice she paused and looked behind her … but no swan.

    Arriving at the bouy, she clung there to rest momentarily as was her custom. Just as she was about to start back for shore, she saw a movement in the water coming towards her. Gradually a figure appeared, drifting silently through the fine sheet of mist which hung on the water's surface. As the shape emerged into view she saw .... 'her' swan! She was so happy to see him, she let out an involuntary whoop. But her cup of joy was not yet full. For behind 'her' swan, swam another, gliding serenely towards her. Then behind the two swans came a veritable procession of chicks! The cygnets, grey, fluffy and chaotic, cheeped and splashed along in line. There were seven of them.

    After several moments to take in the delight of the new family, the Swimmer commenced her return journey to land. What a sight for any early morning shore stroller to behold! A veritable convoy of, first the Swimmer, then the swan, then his new mate and in tow behind came the straggle of frantically paddling chicks.

    Throughout the spring and summer, the circus repeated itself. Every day the swan family accompanied the Swimmer's day-break swims to the bouy and back. All the while the cygnets grew in size and confidence. Soon they discarded their grey and brown feathers and assumed coats of gleaming white. By summer's end they were true adolescents, cocksure and preening.

    All too soon the day came for the Swimmer to bade them farewell. The mornings had become too dark and the water too icey for her daily awakenings. The swans felt it too. They flew off to their winter lodgings somewhere far to the south.

    Alone, confined to land and with time to reflect, the Swimmer thought to tell friends and post on social media the story of her enchanting swan family experience. But she quickly decided not to. In fact, she resolved to share her secret with no-one. Not one single person. Why? Was it selfishness? A desire to 'keep all the pleasure' for herself? Deny the delight to others? It was none of these things.

    No, she kept her own counsel in order to protect the integrity of the natural event of which she had unwittingly become part. She did not want the swans' habitat invaded and disturbed by visitors, however well-meaning. She did not see her interaction with the beautiful birds as being a public event, a performance. It was private and personal. And so it would remain.

    How often in life do you compromise the integrity of your privacy (and that of others) by exposing yourself to short term glorification and voyeurism? How often do you sell yourself short for a moment in the spotlight? The Swimmer concluded with empathy and insight that the swans were thinking of none of those ephemeral illusions when following their natural instincts to swim with her in the lake. So, she chose to honour their integrity. To be the guardian of their dignity.

    Likewise, you have it within you to be swimmer or swan in your own lake of life. To be part of beautiful experiences which need not have an audience nor applause in order to flourish. Public recognition is often rewarding, but unheralded and unsung modesty satisfies essential human needs too. Moments deserving of such discretion are precious - and all the more wondrous because of it. As with the Swimmer and the swan.

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

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THE SWIMMER AND THE SWANS  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
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A Niche Within A Niche

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”A Niche Within A Niche” is the fifth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

A NICHE WITHIN A NICHE 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     Most people understand that, in business terms, a niche refers to a segment within an industry, trade or profession. A niche within a niche is an even more closely defined activity. Practitioners within a closely defined niche may be deemed to be specialists.

     An example might be if you manufacture house furniture. Your niche might be that you produce only bedroom furnishings. Your niche within the niche could be that you specialise in just pinewood bedroom furnishings. By closely defining your activity in this way, you also define your reputation. It's a case of choosing to be recognised as a big fish in a small pond rather than being an invisible one in a vast ocean! Therefore, many successful sole traders and self-employed people follow this route. It's a smart strategy.

     But, while niche marketing is recognised as the powerful business practice which it is, and much is spoken and written about it, not a lot of space is devoted to how to approach becoming such a specialist. Let's put that right.

     The good news is that the principles attached to establishing yourself as a specialist in a specific area of trade or business are pretty simple. Putting them into practice will take a bit of work though. Here are the essential steps.

     * Work only in an industry, trade or profession which you absolutely love. Okay, you knew that one.

     * Within that sphere, seek out an opportunity to provide goods or services which are :

                     (a) Much in demand - or which you can create a demand for

                     (b) Poorly catered for

                    (c) To which you can add an individual touch, something exclusive to just you.

       Create a different angle, a new or innovative approach which distinguishes you from all others in the sector. This could reference quality, value, cost, delivery, after-sales – whatever – but find out what will work best for you and for your customers. And make it a fun experience for all. This step will take research and preparation on your part.

     The 'golden' key though to unlocking your potential as a specialist to be looked up to is to go to work in the trade or profession into which you intend to supply your goods or services. You may already have done so but, whether or not this is the case, it will pay you to do your homework in this respect. Get inside the sector you intend selling to. Get close up and personal with it and the people within it. Get your hands dirty. Perfect your knowledge of the trade. Your aim is to be best in class. Nothing less will suffice. It will take time and patience. But when you labour alongside your target market you earn their respect. You gain credibility. You're ready to be their trusted specialist.

     Which brings me to the last point. As one of 'them', known and respected within the sector, never, but never, sell your goods or services to them. You won't have to. Wait for them to approach you. Reputable specialists are, you see, sought out by the crowd, not the other way around.

     Remember, if I want just any furniture, I'll shop around a number of stores. Sales assistants will have to sell me their offerings. But … If I want pinewood bedroom furnishings, I go straight to the established pinewood bedroom specialist. I've 'bought' your service before I even get there. Simple!

     So, by the time you've done as I suggest, there will be an endless stream of the already converted beating a path to the door of your niche within a niche business. They'll already know that trusting in you will be a risk-free, fun and rewarding experience for all. Confirm their belief - job done!

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Claim your special copy of my best-selling 'The Secret World Of Self-Employment' by clicking on the image below.

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A NICHE WITHIN A NICHE  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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How To Be A Rustic Simpleton

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”How To Be A Rustic Simpleton” is the 4th in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

HOW TO BE A RUSTIC SIMPLETON 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     Miss Andrews had long given up on her ambition to be a successful author. Instead she turned her not inconsiderable talent to nurturing the creative skills of the young. As a primary school teacher she excelled. Now she stood before her class of ten year old boys and posed the time-worn, but always popular, question,

    “What would you like to be when you grow up?”

    Her request was met with the customary barrage of shrill responses and raised hands clamouring for attention. She waited for the initial hubbub and animated excitement to subside before quietly asserting,

    “I'll have your answers one by one. I'll start at the front.”

    In a relatively orderly manner, and with only occasional interruptions, she proceeded to address each pupil individually, receiving the familiar medley of answers which her years of experience had taught her to expect. Airline pilot, pop star, doctor, footballer, engineer, adventurer, racing driver, policeman and vet – they were all there.

    At the back of the class and last in line to be qizzed was an introvert, mischievous but bright lad, very much the incorrigible rascal. Miss Andrews, in spite of misgivings, rather liked him.

    Turning to the boy, “And you Tommy,” she asked, “What would you like to be?”

    Tommy looked up thoughtfully, a glint in his eye. The answer was slow and sure.

    “I'd like to be a rustic simpleton, Miss.”

    That brought the house down, the classroom erupted in laughter. Miss Andrews, restraining her own urge to giggle, motioned for calm. Eventually peace returned.

    “A rustic simpleton Tommy,” she played up to him, “And whatever might that be?”

    “Well Miss,” replied Tommy, obviously prepared and enthusiastic, “I'd like to live in the wild, hike in the mountains, swim in the sea, roam in the forests and … well … just have a nice time.”

    Miss Andrews was slightly taken aback and not a little impressed. The class less so, laughter continued to abound. Miss Andrews' stern gaze subdued it.

    “But what will you live on Tommy?” she continued, more softly.

    “I'll grow my own apple tree Miss, fish in the river and raise chickens,” said Tommy.

    “But what will you do for money Tommy? Have you thought about that?”

    “That's easy Miss,” retorted Tommy quickly, “I'll write.”

    There was another pause and more, but now decidely less incredulous, sniggering in the room. Miss Andrews took time for all to compose themselves, before continuing.

    “So you'll write? What about Tommy? What will you write?”

    Tommy smiled wickedly. He paused to give full impact to his sucker punch to follow. Then, quite deliberately spelled it out.

    “I'll write about ... airline pilots, pop stars, doctors, footballers, engineers, adventurers, racing drivers, policemen and vets!”

    Through the riotous tumult that followed, Miss Andrews made her way back to her desk at the front. She allowed herself the merest of inward smiles.

    “Yes, he's the one,” she whispered to herself, “Oh yes!”

    Many years later, Miss Andrews, now enjoying the easier pace of retirement, drove hesitantly through the forest and up the rutted mountain track in the lack-lustre light of a late autumn afternoon. Her slightly tousled host for the weekend ran excitedly from the old farmhouse to greet her. In his hand he brandished a large book with a colourful cover.

    “It's my latest novel,” the famous writer gasped breathlessly before even saying hello. “I've autographed it just for you,” and thrust it into her hand.

    “Let me see,” said Miss Andrews, “What have we here?”

    She turned the book over and read the title - “How To Be A Rustic Simpleton!”

    They laughed heartily, embraced. Then Tommy took the arm of his long time friend and mentor and led her in to savour the rustic charm of his humble home.

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Read any of my best-selling books and novels by clicking on the image below.

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HOW TO BE A RUSTIC SIMPLETON  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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The Art Of Making Money

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”The Art Of Making Money” is the third in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

THE ART OF MAKING MONEY 
by Joseph Tom Riach

     How much do you know about the art of making money? Is it difficult? Let's see.

    I have money. You have something which I want. I give you my money for that something. Congratulations – you now have money!

    Now here's something to think about. How hard did you work or did you work at all in order to get that money? Another thought – Do you even have to be personally involved in the process in order to get my money?

    One thing is for sure, it is not work alone which will determine how much money you make. It's possible for me to give you my money with no work on your part and even without your involvement in the process.

    “How can this be?”

    I'll answer the question in five parts – but with some more questions for you too.

    Okay, we agree that how hard you work really has little, if anything, to do with how much money you can have. The simple truth, amazingly missed by so many, is determined only by -

              * How many people like me give you money

              * How much I/they give you

              * And what your profit margins are after you pay for any costs you accrue in the process.

    See? Simple!

    So, the next key questions are -

              * How do you get lots of people to give you lots of money?

              * What do you give them in exchange that is so valuable that they’ll keep giving you money, over and over again?

    Thinking along those lines leads to the inevitable, and fascinating, realisation that there are only a very few ways of getting people to give you money (legally anyway)!

    All you must do is choose one of the five alternatives listed below. They involve varying levels of 'pain' and labour for you, ranging from lots of grind to 'no sweat' at all! I've listed them in reverse priority. The inexperienced usually start out at stage 5. But with knowledge and experience anyone can progress through the stages, exceptionally even to stage 1 … which is the ultimate objective and the top profit place to be. Here goes :

      Method 5 – Not so clever.

     Trade your labour, manual or mental, for money which your boss gives you and just expect that it will keep working. The reason this way sucks, is that you’re intimately involved in the money-getting process, meaning that you have to show up to get paid. How much you can make is limited by the hours in the day and the magnanimity of your employer!

    Method 4 - Smarter, but still not clever.

    Sell 'stuff' to people that they neither want nor need. This method can make you cash now but will cost you your reputation later. Also you’re intimately involved in the process and trapped, just like any employee. And since people don’t really want your product or service, you won’t have any recurring purchases. It's a houe of cards waiting to collapse!

    Method 3 - Getting there – but not quite.

    Target a group of people who want something. Sell your product or service to them by leveraging what they want, to sell them what you want. This method works well provided you know how to sell. And, when you have to convince people to do something that they don’t quite want to do, you must always be coming up with inventive ways to persuade them. It is however, a viable and ethical way to sell valuable products and services to people who don’t know they want them … yet!

    Method 2 – Almost the greatest money making approach.

    Source a product or service that a lot of people already want. Create the most effective and least cost way of delivering it to them. There's no real selling required. You can acquire customers, keep them longer and at less cost to yourself - provided you give great value. Plus, you can also upsell them products that they don’t know they need – yet! This method leverages your customer base and is potentially highly profitable - and with limited work. But, if you stop working at it, your income stops.

    Which leads us to …

    Method 1 - The BEST way of all!

              * Do the same as at method 2 above … but …

              * Provide an exclusive, high profit product or service, not available from anywhere else = No competition!

              * Sell into a specialised niche market of willing buyers = Captive market!

            * Set up a regular sale/upsale/repeat sale and payment system = Regular income, no involvement in the process on your part!

    The great thing about this method is that once established, people give you money without you doing anything! Now that’s cool! Which means you can :

              * Do what you love

              * Make ridiculous income

              * Live anywhere in the world

              * Expend no energy, work or effort ... and ...

              * Have money flow into your account on autopilot

    To reach this ideal scenario though, you have to get creative. You need a unique product or service. Think Gates, Jobs, Bezos. Innovative thinkers, they invented (or adapted from others) their entrepreneurial solutions. However, you needn't be a technical genius to match their achievements. Great success is possible with modest ideas. I know, I've done it.

    In my best-selling 'Mastering The Art Of Making Money' book, I give exact details of how to create and promote an exclusive product which sells easily with no input on my part. It involves no holding of stock nor physical movement of goods. No work after the initial creation in fact. The profit potential is limitless.

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

Claim your special copy of 'Mastering The Art Of Making Money' by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

THE ART OF MAKING MONEY  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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Home Alone

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”Home Alone" is the second in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

HOME ALONE 
by Joseph Tom Riach

   Do you ever feel 'home alone', as in being lonely? Do you know what is loneliness? I ask because many people have a hard time differentiating between being physically alone and being mentally alone. To them both are one and the same thing. Their physically alone equals mentally alone equals loneliness, restlessness, inert distress.

  Those who relate to that definition of loneliness tend to fix it, by going out, being around people and charging up their metaphorical batteries through social contact. This is fine to a point … yet there's a difficulty with it too. Because, where their unease stems from a deeper emptiness of the soul, such banal interaction can simply make matters worse.

  Ongoing superficial physical company without a lot of actual emotional, mental, inner or somehow closer contact leaves a pretty bad seed in your well-being - even if that company is only sporadic. You don't feel secure, safe or understood through it. It takes its toll on your spiritual character. In that case, being alone might well be the lesser evil. A good thing in fact.

  So first understand that being alone isn't necessarily bad. Far from it. Recognise the good which solitude can do to create calm within yourself. You may not need a lot of social contact anyway - and certainly not of the superficial, meaningless kind. The truth is that you can do fine on your own. People most relaxed in their own personalities and life in general will often tell you how much they enjoy their own company … most of the time. The rest of the time they seek out opportunities and relationships with which to satisfy their more profound emotional and intellectual needs. You can do likewise.

  When thus satisfied you become self aware, content and relaxed. Your balanced psyche feels nourished at all levels. You sit at ease with both solitude and social company. You'll tend to shun the superficial, seek out meaningful relationships and embrace life's simple pleasures. You'll be a better person for it. You need never feel 'home alone' again.

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

My latest top-seller is 'The Road To Joyful Living'. Claim your special copy by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

HOME ALONE  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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What's Your Value?

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business"What's Your Value?" is the first in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

WHAT'S YOUR VALUE? 
by Joseph Tom Riach

   A young man went for a job interview. Among other things he was asked how much he expected to be paid for the work in question. Wishing to improve on his current earnings but not wishing to price himself out of the market, he quoted a figure which was twenty-five percent greater than his then present salary.

  In due course he was awarded the new job and was cock-a-hoop at having won himself such a significant increase in earnings. Meeting with his new employer he expressed his excitement with the work opportunity afforded him and his satisfaction with the wage negotiated.

   “Me too”, enthused his new employer, “I was prepared to pay you twice as much as that!”

  The young man you see, had yet to learn to value himself sufficiently. He still saw himself as of lesser worth than his new employer's valuation of him. None-the-less, in asking for the increased salary he had indeed raised his evaluation of his self-worth. So that was a start. But he had yet some distance to go in understanding and asserting his true value in the world.

  What's your value?

  Not in monetary terms, but as a person. How do you think others see you? Are they drawn to you or do they shy away? Their reaction is determined entirely by you. For it is how you view yourself that determines how others react to you. The lesson therefore is to think well of yourself. There's more too it though than simply telling yourself 'how wonderful you are'! You have to go deeper than that.

   First you must know that you are true to yourself. This means being honest and listening to your good inner voices. Your conscience in other words. It is your moral compass, it determines your philosophy of life and value system. Act out publicly and fearlessly as it directs and you will be known as a person of truth and integrity in the wider world. Now that is true value!

  The pay-off is that people will value you, who you are and what you stand for. Their confidence in you will bounce back to you in many ways, both spiritual and material. You may even receive a pay rise at work!

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

My latest best-seller 'The Road To Joyful Living'. Claim your special copy by clicking on the image below.

Joseph Tom Riach, Author – Paperbacks and Ebooks for sale on Amazon

WHAT'S YOUR VALUE?  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

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