Boosting Your Brain Power

The old theory that DNA could not be changed and that you would be stuck with what you were born with has now been disproved. Researchers found that your DNA actually changes continuously based on your experiences, emotions, and environment.

Our views of the brain have also altered in a similar way as our views of DNA. Science has now provided more and more evidence that your brain is malleable and adapts continuously in response to your lifestyle, physiology, and environment. This concept is called neuroplasticity or brain plasticity, meaning you are literally reforming your brain with each passing day. Your brain possesses the remarkable ability to reorganize pathways, create new connections, as well as neurons (nerve cells) throughout your entire lifetime.

For example, your brain has the ability to move functions from a damaged area to undamaged areas. It also has the ability to change its physical structure as a result of learning. When you acquire a new skill, the more you focus and practice it, the better you become. This is the result of new neural pathways that form in response to your learning efforts.

In the meantime, your brain also undergoes “synaptic pruning”, the elimination of pathways that you no longer use. This phenomenon even applies to emotional states. For instance, if you have a history of anxiety, your neural pathways will become wired for anxiety. However, if you develop tools to feel calm, relaxed, and peaceful, those anxiety pathways will be pruned away from lack of activity.

Consequently, you can see that your brain’s plasticity is highly affected by your way of life. The foods you eat, how much physical activity you have, your emotional states, and sleep patterns all have an influence over how your brain functions. Therefore, there is much that you can do to preserve or even boost your brain power. The following are key factors that will greatly affect your brain’s performance:

1. Link Between Gut Inflammation And Brain Inflammation

The fundamental mechanism that underlies chronic diseases, including the ones related to the brain like autism, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s, is the process of inflammation. Current science is strongly supporting that this process of inflammation actually begins in the gastrointestinal tract, which subsequently spreads to affect the brain.

What are the instigators behind gut inflammation? To the surprise of many, it is predominantly dietary –

The mistake of eating too many carbs resulting in chronic high blood sugar levels. Blood sugar elevation raises the binding of glucose to protein. This process, known as glycation profoundly increases the amount of inflammation in the body.
Opting for a low-fat diet, eating the wrong types of processed, rancid fats, or too few healthy fats.
Insufficient intake of antioxidants, which are mostly found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Consuming too much foods loaded with irritants and toxins, such as chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, GMOs, and heavy metals.
Having undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) and other foods such as dairy, eggs, and corn.
Candida yeast overgrowth, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and intestinal parasites all trigger the immune response and lead to gut inflammation.
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense against something it believes to be potentially harmful. For instance, if you sprain your ankle, the body will sense some kind of stress going on. The natural response is to create swelling and pain to reduce movement and promote healing. These are the hallmarks of the inflammatory process; in small doses, it is not a negative thing.

It only turns bad when inflammation gets out of control and becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation is typically low-grade, silent, and produce no symptoms. When the body is constantly under assault, the inflammation response stays on and it spreads to every part of the body through the bloodstream. The brain is particularly susceptible as it is also connected to the gut via the vagus nerve.

Unchecked inflammation results in the production of a variety of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines which are toxic to the cells. The cytokines travel throughout the body causing oxidative stress, leading to a reduction of cellular function and even cellular destruction, and resulting in actual loss of function in the body. Studies using new imaging technology showed dramatic elevation of inflammatory cytokines in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and individuals with other brain disorders. Hence, to prevent brain inflammation, the foremost is to maintain a healthy gut.

2. Foods That Feed The Gut And The Brain

The reason why inflammation is so rampant in western civilization is the modern diet. It is high in foods that provoke inflammation, such as refined flour, excess sugar, oxidized or rancid fats, trans fats, plus a wide range of chemicals and preservatives. And it is low in foods that reduce inflammation, like long-chain omega-3 fats, fermented foods, and fermentable fiber.

The following are some foods that are particularly beneficial to the gut and the brain:

Avocados
Beets
Blueberries
Bone broth (used for healing the gut lining damaged by inflammation)
Broccoli
Coconut oil (used as an alternative fuel for the brain, other than glucose)
Celery
Chocolate, dark only
Egg Yolks
Fermented foods (rich in beneficial bacteria to keep the gut healthy, e.g. kimchee, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, yogurt, and fermented drinks like kefir and kombucha)
Fermentable fiber (used as food for the good gut bacteria, e.g. asparagus, artichokes, garlic, jicama leeks, and onions)
Olive oil, extra virgin
Green, leafy vegetables
Rosemary (anti-inflammatory)
Wild caught Alaskan salmon
Sardines
Turmeric (anti-inflammatory)
3. Exercise To Reduce Inflammation

While bouts of exercise tend to promote acute inflammation, when done regularly over the long term, it actually decreases chronic inflammation. The oxidative stress from the exercise forces your body to build up your antioxidant defenses. This is indicated in studies showing extended exercise programs help reduce inflammatory markers, such as insulin resistance (a risk factor for diabetes) and high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (an indicator of cardiovascular disease).

However, some people tend to over exercise and it is extremely important to allow for sufficient recovery, especially when doing High Intensity Interval Training (repeated sprints interspersed by recovery). If you over-train, as in marathons, you may do more harm than good since your body needs to recuperate from the damage (acute inflammation) incurred during your workout.

The average American adult spends about 10 hours each day sitting. Research shows that this level of inactivity cannot even be counteracted with a 60-minute workout at the end of each day. So, what do you do if you have a desk job?

Know that the body needs near-continuous movement throughout the day. At the bare minimum, you should get out of the chair every 50 minutes or so and walk around.
One way to increase activity is to simply walk more. It is recommended that you aim for 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day. A fitness tracker will be a useful tool to help you meet your daily goal.
4. Lack Of Sleep Impairs Brain Function

Sleep deprivation is really bad for brain function. Many studies show that sleep loss impairs various cognitive functions and behavior, including arousal, attention, cognitive speed, memory, emotional intelligence, and decision making.

Using brain imaging technology, like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), scientists compared the brain of someone who was sleep-deprived to the brain of someone who had slept normally. They found reduced metabolism and blood flow in multiple brain regions which indicated impaired cognitive function and behavior.

Several nights of poor sleep or one night of no sleep will start to disrupt your hormonal balance. According to a study from Stanford University, your body’s ghrelin levels, which stimulate feelings of hunger, can jump nearly 15 percent. It also lowers your levels of leptin, a hormone that regulates energy balance, which explains why you tend to feel sluggish when you are sleep-deprived.

Your brain also struggles to curate and sort new memories. You are able to absorb new information but your brain has problems accessing that information and putting it to good use. You may feel distracted, while your reaction time plummets. This makes tasks like driving more difficult and dangerous.

A CDC survey shows that half of Americans (48%) do not get enough sleep. So if you want your brain to stay at tip-top shape, you need to place sleep high on your priority list. In the event that you just cannot get enough nocturnal sleep, a 30-minute nap at lunch time is still helpful although it cannot fully eliminate the negative consequences of sleep deprivation.

5. Vitamin D May Save Your Brain

Much has been learned about the health benefits of vitamin D over the past decade. While it has long been recognized that vitamin D supports strong and healthy bones, its role in brain-related disorders is becoming increasingly evident.

A new study that collaborated multiple highly respected institutions around the world found a profound correlation of low vitamin D level and increased risk of developing dementia. Even having a moderate deficiency of vitamin D was associated with a 53% increased risk of dementia. Those who were severely deficient had a 122% increased risk!

Many people are not aware that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased inflammation. There are about 30,000 genes in the body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them. Your brain has vitamin D receptors too. Therefore, unless you get 20 minutes of sun exposure daily (without using sunscreen on face, arms, and legs), you may want to consider supplementation.

Most people need around 5,000 I.U. a day to reach the optimal level of 50-70 ng/ml as determined by a blood test. If you supplement, opt for vitamin D3, which is the natural form, and take it with vitamin K2, with at least 100 mcg of menaquinone-7 (MK-7). The combination of D3 and K2 will make sure that calcium is deposited in the bones instead of the arteries.

6. Think Positive And Stimulate Your Brain

Stress and anxiety kill existing brain neurons and stop new neurons from being created. Research has shown that positive thinking speeds up the formation of cells and dramatically reduces stress and anxiety. Hence, catch yourself when your negative thoughts surface, discard them, and replace them with positive ones.

When you learn or do new things, new neural pathways are developed. As a result, you want to stimulate your brain on a continuous basis. Remember the phrase – use it or lose it?

Carol Chuang is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Metabolic Typing Advisor. She has a Masters degree in Nutrition and is the founder of CC Health Counseling, LLC. Her passion in life is to stay healthy and to help others become healthy. She believes that a key ingredient to optimal health is to eat a diet that is right for one’s specific body type. Eating organic or eating healthy is not enough to guarantee good health. The truth is that there is no one diet that is right for everyone. Our metabolisms are different, so should our diets. Carol specializes in Metabolic Typing, helping her clients find the right diet for their Metabolic Type.

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6 Types of Rolling Contact Bearings

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How to Live a More Exciting Life With Network Marketing

If you are a network marketing professional then you have the ability to live an amazingly exciting life. In this article, we are going to talk about how to live a more exciting life with network marketing.

When you are working in network marketing you have the ability to be working from anywhere in the world now that we have the internet. There is no reason to be constrained to one area of the world. We can go anywhere in the world and still support our teams and show people how to be successful in our organizations.

If we don’t design it is not going to happen. If you do not know where you want to go, what you want to do and how you want to do it, it’s not going to happen. This is why we need to create dream lines. We need to know what we are going to fill our free time with once we create it. If we don’t know what we are going to do with the free time, we will find something to fill it.

The biggest trap is getting addicted to working for work’s sake. Instead of working for work’s safe we need to create systems that will work for us and fill our time with things we enjoy doing. What are some hobbies that you have? What are some causes you want to help with?

Network marketing allows us to live any lifestyle that we want to live and create passive, residual income but we have to tell life what we want. It is not enough just to have a dream board. You have to have a game plan.

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A Heartfelt New Year’s Resolution: Show You Care

I heard the sirens behind me before I saw the flashing lights of an ambulance, followed closely by a fire truck. Like everyone else on the roadway, I looked around trying to figure out where the ambulance was heading, and as soon as I saw the lights, eased my car over to the right side of the road. Only the ambulance wasn’t traveling in the direction of traffic, the ambulance was heading for whichever side of the roadway was clear, if only for a few car-lengths – much to the surprise, no doubt, of those in the oncoming lane of traffic.

I figured it must be a truly urgent emergency for the ambulance and fire truck to be commandeering both sides of Pacific Coast Highway. Nonetheless, drivers on either side were nudging their cars onto the side, out of the way. At no time did the ambulance have to blow its horn, slow down, or do anything else to get where it needed to go.

We care. We really do. In moments of crisis, large or small, our respect for one another simply as human beings, shows up. I am reminded of a very touching video posted in the final weeks of the chaotic Presidential campaigns, which featured a woman trying to find the owner of a lost dog found wandering in a parking lot. It was an “equal opportunity” posting, in that the same situation was played out in both Trump and Clinton rallies. The woman wore a “Trump” t-shirt in the Clinton situation, and a “Clinton” t-shirt in the Trump situation. Didn’t matter. People in both rallies, without exception, treated the woman with respect, and tried their very best to help her find the dog’s owner. Small crisis, true, but oh-so-telling.

We care. We really do. So what if, this New Year, we made a resolution to show our caring, our respect for our shared humanity, when it isn’t a matter of a lost dog or tragic accident? What if, just as a matter of course, throughout our most ordinary of days, we made the effort to give people the benefit of the doubt, to assume people are doing their best (including ourselves!), and to respect them, regardless of whether or not we agree with them?

I know, it’s easier to do with lost dogs than it is with co-workers or family, much less strangers who are rude to us or ignore us altogether. But heck, we’re still all in this together, and a little bit of respect and consideration goes a long way.

And who knows? Someone may give you some of that respect and consideration when you least expect it, in a most delightful way.

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Social Media: Why Do Some People Look Towards Social Media To Give Them Approval?

In the beginning, it could be said that people generally used social media to get in touch with their friends and family; the people who they actually knew. But as time has passed, this is no longer why a lot of people use it.

As for the people who only use it to stay in touch with their friends and family, it is likely to be no different to how it was when they first started using it. Now, they might notice that the site they use no longer looks the same as it did or that others use it differently, but that could be as far as it goes.

Friends

If one only added people who they knew when they first started, there is the chance that this is no longer the case. Even if they have only met someone once, they could still end up adding them to their ‘friends’ list.

When this takes place, they might only be thinking about how this will have an effect on how other people perceive them. For example, if one has a certain number of ‘friends’, they can end up being seen as popular.

One Purpose

What this can then show is they are more concerned with how they look than they are with connecting to others. This doesn’t mean that they won’t talk to others; it just means that it is unlikely to be their priority.

And if one has this approach when they go online, there is a strong chance that they have a lot of ‘friends’ who are just the same. In addition to this, it might also be important for them to look right in other ways.

The Perfect Life

What this can then mean is that they will want other people to believe that they live the ultimate life. As a result of this, they are going to have to be very careful when it comes to what they share.

It will be vital for them to share pictures where they are having a good time, and being in exotic locations will also help. If one looks as though they are enjoying themselves in a warm country, it can be normal for people to believe that they lead a good life.

The Right Image

Along with this, one can also have the need to look right, and this is going to be relatively easy. Not only can they choose what pictures to upload; they can also change how they look.

Through using the right angle and the right light, one can take pictures where they look their best. Once this has taken place, one can make a few major or minor changes to the images.

An Act

In this sense, it might be accurate to say that when one uses social media, they are putting on a performance. This is their stage, and they are choosing to be someone who has their life together.

But like someone who acts in the real world, they are not going to be able to truly connect to anyone when they are playing a role. Who they are has been put to one side, and their needs are going to end up being unmet.

Approval

When one has this approach when they go online, it is likely to show that they have a strong need for approval. If their ‘friends’ don’t give them the kind of feedback that they need, they could end up being in a bad way.

However, this doesn’t mean that this is the only way they will come across when they are this way. For one thing, one might not try to create the impression that they lead the perfect life, and they might not even edit their pictures.

A Number of Ways

One could receive the approval they need through posting funny videos or memes that make people think about the world differently. What this shows is that one is not going to need to rely on their appearance and neither are they are going to need to travel all the time.

And as long as they have some kind of device, it can allow them to receive approval whenever they need it. It is then not going to be necessary for them to delay gratification; they can fulfil this need instantly.

A Closer Look

When it comes to the people who behave in this way and the people who don’t, it is clear that there is a big difference. What this can show is that the people who do need a lot of approval are emotionally dependent on others.

As they are unable to handle how they feel, they need other people to regulate their inner world. But this is not the only thing that can be involved here; they can also be in a position where they haven’t got any close friends.

One Direction

If they had people around them who they were close to, they would be able to receive the approval and the validation they need from them. And through having the ability to regulate their inner world, they wouldn’t depend on other people to do it for them.

The reason one doesn’t experience life in this way and looks towards social media to give them approval can be the result of what took place during their early years. This could have been a time when they didn’t receive the kind of care that they need in order for their brain to develop in the right way.

Conclusion

The ability to regulate their emotions wouldn’t have developed, and this would have stopped them from feeling comfortable enough to reach out to others when they need them. Ultimately, no one is their own island, and this is why human beings need other people.

But when one doesn’t receive the right care, it can set them up to be dependent on others, or to go the other extreme and become extremely independent. What this emphasises is how important it is for children to be brought up in the right way, and for there to be help available when this doesn’t happen.

Prolific writer, author, and coach, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over one thousand two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. His current projects include ‘A Dialogue With The Heart’ and ‘Communication Made Easy’.

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Are You Eligible for These Sunshine State Travel Discounts?

If a Florida vacation is in your future, then find out if you’re eligible for these travel discounts in the Sunshine State. Although they are relatively easy to get, if you don’t know how or where to apply for them, you’ll totally miss out on some hefty savings.

Save at the Toll Booth

First and foremost, if you have a significant dexterity disability, you may be eligible for a free pass when it comes to Florida’s toll roads. The Disabled Toll Permit saves drivers both time and money; and although it’s often overlooked by visitors, it’s easy to obtain if you meet the minimum qualifications.

In order to qualify for a Disabled Toll Permit you must have:

A valid driver’s license
An upper limb or dexterity disability that prevents you from tossing coins into a toll booth basket
An adapted vehicle
The permit is valid for five years, and it can be used at manned toll booths throughout the state. Just show the toll booth operator your permit, and you’re good to go. For more information about the Disabled Toll Permit, call (800) 983-2435.

Once you receive your Disabled Toll Permit, you can also apply for a Sun Pass non-revenue mini transponder. There is a $4.95 fee for this electronic device that attaches to the windshield, and allows users to pass through unmanned toll booths at no charge.

For more information about a Sun Pass non-revenue mini transponder, call the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged at (561) 488-5344.

State Park Savings

Additionally, veterans with a service-connected disability can receive a free military entrance pass, good for admission to all Florida State Parks. This lifetime pass is valid for park admission of up to eight people, except at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife and Weeki Wachee Springs parks, where it’s good for up to two people.

Proof of identification, service-connected disability and honorable discharge are required. Acceptable documentation includes:

Valid driver’s license.
Documentation from Department of Defense or another appropriate agency of service-connected disability.
DD Form 214 showing honorable discharge.
The military entrance pass can only be obtained in person at any Florida State Park. Surviving Spouses and parents of US military members who have died in combat are also eligible for this pass.

Honorably discharged veterans can also receive a 25% discount on individual or family passes. These passes, which are valid for one year, are good for admission to all parks. A valid driver’s license and a DD Form 214 are required to get the discount; and like the military entrance pass, it can only be obtained in person.

And if you don’t qualify for either of those passes, but you plan to visit a number of Florida State Parks, you can still save some money by purchasing an individual or family annual pass. These passes are good for one year and they can be purchased at any state park entrance. The individual pass is priced at $60, while the family pass costs $120.

So plan ahead, bring your documentation, and rack up some savings on your next Florida vacation.

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How Using Social Media Can Affect Your MLM Business

Almost everyone has some form of social media whether it be for business or fun, people can pretty much find anyone they want to find and check them out. In this article, you are going to learn how using social media can affect your MLM business.

Social media can be a great asset to you and help you attract more team members and customers or social media can make people run from you like you have a disease. Before you post something on social media, just remember that unless you have a certain privacy setting on your content, anyone will be able to see it. The truth is that if you post it on the internet, people that you might not want to see it can probably get to it anyway.

When you are serious about building an MLM business, you have to run a great media company. You need to be able to show people who you are in a good light so they will be proud to work with you. Would you partner in business with someone if you weren’t proud to work with them? Probably not.

Clean It Up

I can’t tell you how many times I go to people’s social page just to find out that I cannot find one picture of them on their timeline. Many times their profile picture is a dog, cat or one of their kids. Since I have no idea who this person is or why they want to be friends, I just ignore the invite.

If you want to have people accept your friend requests or request to be friends with you then you want to have a clean social profile so that people know what who is behind the profile.

Controversy

If you want to build a strong social presence then you don’t want to be arguing with people back and forth over controversial topics. Save that for your close friends because no one wins an internet back and forth.

Now you know how social media can affect your MLM business. I hope you clean it up and are using social media in a way that can help your business and not hurt your business.

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Why So Many People Will Talk You Out of Online Marketing

In this modern society where almost everything is digital, it is hard to believe that there are still those who prefer traditional methods, such as in the field of advertising.

Online advertising has been a hit in the last decade. Internet marketing has taken over businesses by storm and doubled their revenue. However, some people still see the field as unnecessary and taxing so they try to convince others to veer away. Below are other reasons why some individuals dislike online marketing:

Inability to adapt with technology
A person may refuse the method because they may not be technology savvy. They are afraid that technology is hard to monitor or manipulate so they choose to stay manual.

Mastery of craft
A lot of traditional people spent years perfecting their craft, so they believe that their capabilities are sufficient. Online marketing is a threat to physical advertising because it minimizes the need for logistics, hence the repulsion.

Less Jobs
Some people think that digital work reduces employment opportunities due to computers replacing manual labor. Only a handful of people are necessary to make internet marketing work.

Information Breach
Putting everything on the internet is a risk for hacking or information leakage that’s why many are skeptical about it. Online marketing requires a substantial amount of data that can be easily stolen or erased.

Lack of Equipment
Many marketers don’t have reliable internet or computers to handle critical work. Manual advertising is easier to delegate and segregate, so smaller businesses prefer it.

Lack of Empathy
Advertisers believe that online marketing is not good for client relations because it promotes a more detached form of communication and a robotic response. Manual advertising is more personal so it is easier to convince people.

Lack of Authenticity
Marketers are wary of online advertising because people nowadays are harder to convince, especially in terms of the authenticity of a product. Since everything can be manipulated or edited, they would have to work more to attract clients.

Population of Non-internet users
A big percent of the population is still manual so it is impractical to promote online marketing in these areas. Online commercials only work with regular exposure but if the audience only uses the internet a few times then it is a wasted effort. Manual advertising is beneficial when people are more inclined to support physical efforts or are part of a community network.

Promotes Mediocrity
Senior marketers believe that online marketing encourages laziness in the younger advertisers because most materials can be recycled, edited or rehashed. Marketing is a skill developed from experience and virtual training may not be enough to develop and create a better breed of advertisers.

Technology is a waste
People believe that using gadgets and computers are harmful to the health of workers so they don’t encourage the employment related to such. Manual advertising promotes brain functions through practice and personal relationships development. It is important for some people to backlog technology to help the environment.

Despite the many reasons why people may talk you out of online marketing, it is still undeniable that this form of marketing has a lot of potential. Learn how you can maximize the web when it comes to marketing your products and services, so you can expand your reach.

John Richards has many years of experience creating and developing books, eBooks, manuals, and videos, on a variety of subjects, including online wealth, pet care, Internet marketing, direct mail, health and wellness, and CD/DVD distribution service. John’s website provides ideas and practical advice for people who want to enjoy the rewards of earning an income from home using simple websites.

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The Best Places To See If You Go To Italy

Ravioli, Tiramisu and lush red wine- we all know how amazing all of these things are in Italy. But another thing that Italy is famous for are its beautiful and renowned travel destinations. This country is filled with remnants of the Roman Civilization and extraordinary architecture from the past. What most of us don’t know is that Italy is actually home to the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Literally everything in this country is worth seeing. But for those of us, who don’t want to or don’t have enough time to go through the whole countryside, here is a list of places you can visit to ensure you get the best of Italy:

1. The Leaning Tower Of Pisa:
This architectural beauty is actually a mathematical phenomenon that still confuses many brilliant minds. The tower of Pisa, famous for its incline is actually a wonder of the world which the most important reason for you to see it. And if you’re a fan of archeology then that’s an added bonus as well. People from all over the world come here all year round to view this. And if you’re planning to go to Italy as well make sure you book your tickets using Alaska Airlines.

2. The Colosseum:
The Roman Colosseum is also one of the Wonders of the world and is the largest amphitheatre in the world. This was created by the prehistoric Roman Leaders and is one of the biggest mementos of the Roman Civilization. It has more than 80 entrances and can house more than 50,000 people at one time. This amphitheatre was actually made as a center of sports and entertainment and has hosted several such events throughout history. However, its condition has deteriorated significantly over time due to natural disaster and climatic conditions.

3. Venice:
The city of Gondolas and water, Venice is a sight to behold for anyone who loves water. The city is famous worldwide for its beauty and the fact that it has been built completely on water. If you’re a romantic at heart, then this is the one place that you should definitely not miss out on. The structures here are comprised of over 150 canals in such an intricate manner that further enhances the beauty of the city.

4. Piazza Del Campo:
The city of Tuscany is home to one of the most beautiful and magnificent medieval squares – The Piazza Del Campo. This seems to be very common in Italy, but this structure also has some of the beautiful architecture that has been seen in the world. Twice or thrice a year a horse race is hosted here which involves circling the Piazza Del Campo and that is definitely a sight to see.

So book your ticket to Italy today using Alaska Airlines and remember to have a lot of fun and stress less holiday!!!

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Brainstorming To Start A Small Business – Questions To Answer

Hello readers and potential future entrepreneurs. I understand the feeling; desire to create, operate, and succeed. Throughout my professional career, I have learned that there are numerous steps that must be taken in order to organize opening and operating a small business. I have put together a few questions which aspiring entrepreneurs should, at the very least, consider reading over. There are many questions that may arise with opening a small business, and I will address a few of those questions briefly in the following list of questions one may ask while brainstorming.

What type of business do you want to open? There are various business endeavors an entrepreneur could involve themselves in. It all comes down to what knowledge one has, or is willing to obtain. Are you a restaurateur? Repairman? Plumber? Home health / assistance? Do you have experience managing or working at such establishments? Do you need formal education from an institution? Will you work as a sole proprietor, or a partner / member? Research limited liability corporations (LLCs) in addition to sole proprietorships and partnerships. S corporations are another option, but they are for business with stockholders, and may not be right for your particular business application.

What kinds of licensing and/or permits are required? Each business will have different licensing requirements; it all comes down to what the entrepreneur ultimately chooses to do. A restaurant would need food safety licensing in addition to basic business licensing, and if alcohol is on the menu – there is another permit the entrepreneur would need to legally sell alcohol on the premises. Repair oriented businesses would need at least the business license to repair, but if they sell parts as well, they would need to have “retail” listed on their business license in addition to “repair”. Health care services require at least formal education and licensing as an LPN, RN, or one of several other health care related licenses. Be sure to check your state’s laws to ensure what is necessary to operate your type of business.

What training / education / certifications are required to legally run this business? We touched upon this in licensing / permits, however there is much more involved than the required licensing. For example, one cannot operate a vehicle collision repair business without the knowledge of performing those types of repairs. There are schools that can be attended to learn what must be learned to effectively operate nearly any kind of business. However, there are also businesses where experience is enough to operate effectively without needing any formal education (lawn care, house cleaning just to name a couple). Also, there are certifications for training in nearly, if not all, care industries.

Does this business require a storefront? Retail establishments will undoubtedly need a storefront. Bear in mind, retail business will have a much larger initial investment than a service based operation. That initial investment is inventory. Some service businesses may not need a storefront to operate, as much of the service performed could very well be on-site. If a storefront is necessary, be sure to consider delivery or on-site service if it is feasible for your operation.

How much will it cost? This number will vary wildly based on the type and size of business you are planning. For smaller businesses, this number could be as low as $200 for a license and/or permit, or as high as a million dollars or more. Obviously, inventory is very expensive, and so are specialized tools for performing extremely precise work. Calculate the expected opening and operating expenses. Determine what size storefront is needed (if applicable), and research local commercial realty properties, locations, and prices. It is absolutely cheaper to rent in the short-term, although the thought of owning property that is paid off is very tempting. Prices on most things will vary based on your location. Employees are another cost, if your business warrants employees. When employees come into the equation as opposed to sole proprietors or partnerships, one must add extra insurance for the business (unemployment insurance comes to mind). Check with your selected insurance company for which types of additional coverage are required, and if offering health insurance can be done reasonably. Those employees will also need to have taxes paid on their wages – part from the employee’s paycheck and part from the company. Another potential cost is repayment of loans, if you don’t already have the capital needed to open your business. Basic operating expenses are not to be forgotten, as heating/cooling, Internet connectivity, and utilities will be regular expenditures for any storefront. On-site service operations cost very little when compared to a physical storefront.

How can an individual pay for this? If you do not have the funds available, which is very common, applying for loans is a way to attain funding. Be sure to have a business plan with projected expenses and revenues. There are other ways to gain funds for a business. Look into grants. While they are not very common, they are a potential source for assistance nonetheless. If many people believe in your dream, one could possibly acquire donations from those individuals.

What about accounting? Bookkeeping is a necessity – research which accounting/bookkeeping software would work best for the type of business you are planning. Point-of-sale (POS) systems are needed for “ringing up” and selling inventory or goods to the customer. POS systems keep track of sales, sales taxes, employee labor dollars spent, and many other items. If you are apt at creating spreadsheets, you may be able to keep track of your own inventory depending on your particular business model.

I hope this brief listing of questions and potential answers has been of assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs. Although there are countless successful entrepreneurs who have little or no formal education in business, it is never a bad idea to research courses regarding administration and management. Be sure to take a look at the Small Business Administration’s website at http://www.SBA.gov for more helpful information.

The author, Johnathan Baker, is an educated entrepreneur, with over ten years of experience in small business administration and management. Opening any type of business is no simple task, as many things must be considered. With experience opening, operating, and managing small businesses, the author aims to help aspiring entrepreneurs in realizing their dreams. While the questions are not all inclusive, they are, at the very least, a good bit of information to consider throughout the beginning processes of opening a small business. Take the information provided and begin or continue working on your business plan on the road to entrepreneurship.

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