Friday, 18 April 2014

“I’ve always had this dream..."

“I’ve always had this dream, and this fire inside me that wouldn’t go away. And this little voice at the back of my head, telling me: “go make it happen”. And I decided to follow my dream. And I took the first step, and the second. And before long, I was on the road: I was building my dream, inch by inch, brick by brick. Lots of hard work. Lots of contemplating, planning, doing, praying, shouting, risking. My dream was getting bigger and stronger, by the day. I felt like I owned the world. 

And then, one day, it crushed. Everything I built came down, in a big and loud manner. And I was right in the middle of debris, smoke and ruins. And then, I found myself into no-man’s-land. And it was lonely, and scary, and cold, and dark. And this little voice at the back of my head became silent. And everybody was telling me “give it up, it’s over”. And I spent years without a dime in my pocket. And I couldn’t provide for my loved ones. And I prayed to God: “please show me the way”, but there was no answer. And everyone kept telling me that I was useless, and I started losing my self-confidence, and my stamina, and my faith. 

And there were those sleepless nights, when I was tossing and turning in my bed, thinking “should I quit my dream?”. But that fire inside me, wouldn’t go away. And another voice came up: “everyone gets ONE more chance”. And I followed a lot of false paths, looking for the way forward: they all vanished into nothing. And years passed by, and the fire inside me became so faint that I thought it was gone for good. But it wasn’t. It kept me thinking about my dream. 

And one day, I found a half-open path, with a sign: “come this way”. I wasn’t sure in the start: could it be another dead end? Should I follow the path? Did I have the courage? What if it led nowhere? Would I screw my ONLY second chance? But the fire inside me was glowing stronger, so I decided to take the risk. And I took a first step down the new path, and then another, and another. And my fire was getting even stronger, and my little voice was telling me: “this IS your second chance, give it all you’ve got”. And then, all my senses came back to life. And I recovered my strength, and my intellect, and my momentum, and I started rebuilding my dream, on a new basis. I had discovered my second chance, and I decided to go for it, with all guns blazing. “ S.D.Sundance

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Greek debt haircut will lead to pain for Greeks, if there is no growth initiative

The massive 50-60% haircut to the greek debt is, definitely, an act of necessity: there is no way Greece could pay off the huge mountain of debt, rising to almost 170% of GDP, while in the midst of an ugly recession and soaring unemployment.

However, greek people will suffer for at least another 10 years, while budget surpluses are being established, salaries and pensions are demolished, and a massive sell-off to the sovereign assets is being carried out.

Greece is a rich country. Unfortunately, corrupt politicians and a widespread habit of tax-evasion (mainly due to the crippling bureaucracy and the low level of public services) has led the country to bankruptcy.

Growth initiatives are the only way that Greece can secure it's future, based on our national competitive advantages: renewable energy sources, selective agriculture, and tourism.

The sooner we realise that and switch from a strict austerity plan to an aggressive growth plan, the sooner Greece will be able to meet its international obligations.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Greek society is on the verge of bankruptcy

Over the past 18 months, Greece is undergoing a tough austerity plan in order to bring fiscal deficit down and tackle the mountain of debt.

Is this plan proving to be successful? Unfortunately not.

The main problem with the greek economy is that, for decades, growth was based purely on spending and imports, due to the low domestic productivity rate: greek products were expensive, compared to foreign equivalents. This, combined with fresh loans from foreign institutions and a general labour trend (backed by corrupt politicians) for "civil service employment", led to soaring imports and spending: the recipe for the huge debt that Greece is now crumbling under.

Unfortunately the austerity plan, while trying to tackle the deficit, led the (admittedly non-productive) old economy to ruins, while NOT putting in place the seeds of the new economy where Greece can excel: renewable energy sources, modern agriculture, tourism, shipping.

As a result, hunderds of thousands of workers lost their jobs, and have no prospect of finding a new one for years to come.

It was a classic example of demolishing the "old" without having put in place the "new".

Greece is facing at least 3-4 years of near-poverty, before bouncing back.

In the meantime, the social fabric will deteriorate severly: unemployment will remain high, investments will stagger, cash flow will dry out.

Unknown human dramas are taking place every day, behind the closed doors of the typical greek household: money is drying out fast.

Doom and gloom? Maybe... Unless the typical greek ability to bounce back after a disaster, finds its place in the hearts and minds of the modern poverty-stricken greek citizen.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Put your heart into what you do

Are you in any kind of online business? Fine.

Do you blog for fun? Great.

Is "bricks and mortar" your preferred scenario? Good.

Are you an employee, an entrepreneur, a manager, a visionary, a doer, a "gatekeeper"...

Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.

Have fun doing it. Give it your best shot. Enjoy the thrill of putting yourseld on the line.

Live your obsession.

As the saying goes: "there's no point to Samba, if it doesn't make you smile"

Go make it happen


Monday, 13 September 2010

Dare to be Different Online

There are plenty of people offering their "secrets" to help you make more money online. The only problem is that as you trawl around the web searching out these secrets you soon discover they aren't secrets after all.

What you will learn is good, old-fashioned business common sense. These "secrets" will teach that some kind of a promotion is necessary to attract people to your web site. Once attracted, you need to entice people further with more offerings in exchange for their contact information (email address). As the saying goes, the money is in the list. You cannot run any kind of business online, or offline unless you have a list of potential customers.

So, the "secrets" that you are searching for online have been there ever since business began. Find something people want, entice them to connect with you, get their details and sell, sell, sell to them over a period of time to convert them from interested parties to confirmed customers.

But the one secret that is often missing from much of the information online has been around offline for centuries as well - be different. Don't try to be the same as your competitors. Stand out from the crowd. Do something different that gets you remembered.

For example, take the cab driver who gets the name and address of every passenger. Each Christmas they get a card from him. And guess what, people remember him and recommend him. He gets most of his fares from referral business, rather than having to wait around. Have you ever met a cab driver who sends all his passengers cards at Christmas?

Yet online, everyone seems to be the same. New online businesses follow the "rules" set by the experts and gurus. The result is that almost all web sites trying to sell something are starting to look the same. They all do the same thing - have a great offer and a box to fill in your details. Many of them even use the same templates. If you follow the "rules" that are part of the "secrets" you will end up following the pack and you won't be noticed. If you truly want to make it online, you have to be different.

So stand out from the crowd by being different - not just visually, but in the way you approach your readers. Do whacky things perhaps. You will be noticed and remembered - and online that's nine tenths of the battle.

Go make it happen


Sunday, 12 September 2010


It was back in 1998. I was already counting 8 successful years of a fully-loaded career in business development, marketing, negotiations, selling, team leading. All in large international corporations: Philips, Cable & Wireless, Vodafone.

But something was missing. My heart was seeking something different. Up till then, I was working for someone else. Whatever success I had, was ultimately a step in someone else's path. Ultimately, I was moving forward because my company was moving forward. My contribution was important, but I did not get to chart the course.

If you isolate the noise from the environment, the if's and but's, the what if's, the average man's logic, you are then able to listen to your heart. You can even ask your heart: "what is it that you REALLY desire in life". If, supposedly, you were on your deathbed and had a flashback, what should you have accomplished in order to positively answer your heart's question: "did you make good use of your life?"

My drive had always been to chart my own path. To take my own risks. To discover what's hidden on the other side of the hill. To put my skills and capabilities on the line. To push forward. To dare. To build something that would stand the test of time. To live an exciting obsession. That was really worth living for. And, probably, worth dying for.

It was then that I took the final decision to let go of my corporate safely net, "build my own boat" and set off into the ocean. That dream was so compelling, that I couldn't back down. I had to do it.

I spent 12 months researching, studying the market, putting the team together, securing the finance, concluding the initial business and marketing agreements, building the systems and processes.

And one day, I set the boat afloat and, simply, took off...

There were truimphs and disasters, during that journey. There were bright days and dark nights.

But if you ask me "Dimitri, was it worth it?" my answer is a huge YES.

So, go make it happen

Dimitri Thanassas

Internet Marketing For Sales Leads

NO matter what business you are trying to build online, you will need sales leads if you are ever going to make sales, and sales leads are what you are trying to generate if you are marketing on the internet. In order to survive, any web site needs a steady flow of qualified leads.
The aim of any lead generation campaign is to build your mailing list. Internet marketers often say "the money is in the list", which is totally true. A list of responsive buying customers that trust you is worth its weight in gold!

While spam filtering has lessened the impact of email marketing, it’s still a viable means to getting your sales messages out there. In theory, email is marketing is free, although of course its costs you in terms of your time. The theory behind email marketing is that by using a "hook" such as a free product or some other incentive, you can "funnel" interested parties onto specific products and services.

When you consider generating leads via an email campaign there are basically three avenues you can explore: email signatures, joint ventures and safe lists. One word of warning though, and that is avoid spam at all cost, one spam complaint can seriously damage your online business. You should familiarize yourself with the laws concerning spam, and at the very least ensure you include a un-subscription link in ALL your marketing emails. Due to spam, it is advisable that you avoid buying leads, no matter how reputable the company, buying leads can easily lead to a spam complaint, you have been warned!

In its simplest form, email marketing is a matter of putting a signature in all your emails that contains a link to your main product.

If you are looking to vastly increase your list quickly then a joint venture (JV) may well be the key you need. In its simplest form, in a JV you supply the product and a fellow marketer supplies the leads and you share the profits. Hopefully, you will then get the emails of your fellow marketer’s customers, so you can then mail them with further offers.

When considering a joint venture there are many considerations you have to think about, but the main one, before you consider contacting anyone about mailing to their list, is "what's in it for THEM", not "what's in it for me". NEVER write to a fellow marketer unless you can offer them something of value in return for their help, and that is not necessarily just a share of the profits, be inventive!

Finally you have safe lists. A safe list is a list of people that have agreed to receive marketing emails in return for being able to send their own marketing email. The value of this form of marketing has never been that good. After all you are trying to sell to people who are only interested in selling to you!

You can use pay per click advertising such as overture or Goggle adwords to advertise your site and draw in interested leads.

One other highly effective way of generating interested leads is posting in forums that are related to your area of business. Include a link to your site in your signature and people interested in your sphere of business will often click it if your forum post was interesting.

Three other popular sales lead generation techniques are submitting articles to ezine publishers and article directories, press releases and testimonials for products in your target market.

No matter what lead generation technique you employ you will need a way to capture your leads email address when they arrive at your site.

The traditional method has been to use a pop up or pop under which contains some incentive to get someone to sign up. With the invention of pop up stoppers their effectiveness has dwindled and therefore unstoppable pop ups (also know as hover ads or slide in ads) have evolved. This new generation of pop ups are built into your webpage and as such cannot be stopped. Simply do a search on Goggle for "unstoppable pop up" and you are sure to find a software solution to produce these types of pop ups for you.

The other alternative is to use what is called a "name squeeze page".

In essence a name squeeze page is a web page whose sole purpose is to capture an email address.

They generally contain a small amount of information about the product or service you are selling as a "teaser" for the reader and will contain a sign up form, with a message like "to find out more simply fill in the form to be immediately directed to further details on this amazing product".

A name squeeze page not only helps build your list, this information can also be used with certain software to help personalize your site for your visitor, a technique that has been shown to increase sales. Again, simply do a search for name squeeze page generators.

No matter how you generate sales leads there is one thing always to bear in mind, and that is to be effective your leads must be in your targeted market. If, for example, you are selling internet marketing products, then it's no use advertising on a site that is all about scuba diving!

When you start to build your online business, ensure you include a well thought out sales lead generation strategy from the beginning. Do not make it an afterthought; this should be in place from the very beginning if you want your business to be a success.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

What's the MOST Important thing in NEGOTIATIONS ?

Flexibility? No
Giving and Taking? No
Being tough? No

The most important thing in negotiations is "Building a perceived Position of Strength" BEFORE negotiations even commence.

That means that you have to allow your adversary to believe that:
- your are in a superior position than he is
- you don't need this deal as bad as he does
- you already have viable alternatives
- you have plenty of resources at your disposal
- you have to gain less than he does, from this deal

Bear in mind that I said "perceived" NOT "actual" position of strength, i.e. what the other party believes about you, NOT your actual position. This means that a great deal depends on your attitude, which should be confident, your stance, which should be fast moving and dominating, the information that you spread about your position of strength, the faints and bluffs that you execute during the preliminaty discussions. It is important to realise that, if he is afraid of your retaliations, he believes that your are capable of inflicting 10 times more harm than you actually are: fear always maximises my adversary's perceived capabilities.

Next time you go into negotiations, remember: spend some time to build a good position of strength, prior to the actual discussions, and, on the flip-side, deflate HIS position of strength. It will prove invaluable during the actual give-and-take phase.

Go make it happen

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Increasing Your Website Traffic

Marketing Your Blog
Every online publisher needs traffic to their site, but how do you get a steady increase of traffic each month? How do you even get traffic started coming to your site?

Blogs automatically get traffic coming as soon as you make your first post. With a good ping list, each time you make a post to your blog dozens of sites are notified and traffic starts coming in. Therefore the first step in getting traffic to your blog is to post regularly. Posting once or twice a day is fantastic.

Article Syndication
Writing articles and syndicating them to article directories is a powerful technique to grow your traffic. Try to write at least one article a week (or have a unique article written for you), post it to your site, wait a week for the search engines to index it, and then submit the article to article directories. For a nominal fee will submit it to hundreds of article directories, saving you a lot of time and effort.

Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking is another very powerful tool. It takes less than a minute to submit your article to Once submitted they take it and submit it to about fifteen other social bookmarking sites.

Imagine if you bookmarked one article a day and submitted each to fifteen social bookmarking sites for one year. That would add up to over 15,000 backlinks for your one site! Incredible! But there's even more you can do.

Pay Pay Click and More
Pay per click, email marketing, viral marketing, and commenting in forums are all great ways to get more traffic. For instance, is a site where people post questions and wait for an answer.

For instance, if you have a site about dogs and someone asks about what to feed their puppy, you can post an answer and include your URL in the signature. As people read the question and your answer, some will click on your URL to see what else you might say about taking care of dogs.

Tracking and Statistics
Track the visitors to your site by using tools such as, Google Analytics, and the tracking tools found in your site's cpanel under Stats. Google Analytics is a plugin for Wordpress. It takes a minute to set up and gives you vital information to help you focus on what your visitors want.

By looking at your stats a few minutes a week you can see what articles are most popular, what topics are most popular, how long people are staying at the site, and what links they click on to leave the site. You can use this information to make changes to your site, increase the number of posts you make on popular topics, and anything else that will encourage people to stay longer and to come back.

It is not hard to get traffic to a blog. Set aside some time each day to write an article or to post to your blog, submit it to the social bookmarking sites, and submit your articles to article directories. Follow these basic tips and traffic to your site should increase significantly each month.

Five Top Ways to Market Your Online Business

Marketing your online business can be a huge part of your budget especially when you're first starting out. Finding ways to get your name in front of your customer that doesn't cost a fortune will help you draw sales while you're working on getting ranked in the search engines.

Below are the top five ways to market your business on the internet. The ideas listed are not only inexpensive but are highly effective as well. However, before you even consider using one of these strategies, there are two things you must first do.

The first is to write a formal marketing plan. If you're getting close to opening your business, a marketing plan should already be done as part of your company's business plan. However, it's true that many who start online businesses fail to write a business plan. If this is the case, just be sure to at least get your marketing plan formalized before you start doing business. Getting your marketing plan thought through and documented is the minimum you should do for your business. When writing your marketing plan, consider the who, what, when, and how you will do your selling and get your brand in front of your customer. Then decide which of the following strategies you will implement in that plan and explain how you plan to carry out those strategies.
The other thing you need to consider is search engine optimization. It is essential to learn how to optimize your website so it will eventually get ranked in the top three search engines, Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The sooner you get started with optimizing your site, the faster it will get ranked. Until some of your pages are ranked in the search engines, your traffic will remain minimal. Consider investing in a book, ebook, ecourse, or program of some sort to learn how to optimize your site so you can use the information as you are building it and adding your content. Be sure you're learning the most recent information because the rules change frequently.

Now on to the Top 5 Ways to Market Your Online Business.

1. Find Your Niche.
Imagine trying to sell your product or service to the entire world. Consider the marketing budgets of companies like Coca-Cola and McDonalds, these are companies that are trying to appeal to everyone. Selling your product or service to a small but focused group of people will allow you the luxury of advertising to a smaller but more interested group of people. Since they are more interested, a higher percentage of the group will buy but you will have spent less money pursuing the smaller group. Once you are successful selling to one niche, if your product or service is appealing to another niche, you can create another website and repeat your success using the same strategies you used on the first website.

2. Link Exchanges.
Exchanging links with other websites that have complimentary products or services will not only give you direct traffic from the link but it will also help you with your pursuit to get ranked in the search engines. At the time of this writing, Google is the most widely used search engine, and it's widely known that they consider the number of links pointing to your website as part of the determination where to rank your website.

3. Write Articles.
Writing articles with information that is interesting and useful for your niche market will help you gain traffic to your site. When writing an article, include a resource box at the end of the article that includes information about the author (that's you) and a link to your website. Then distribute the article to article directories for other website owners to use on their site or in their newsletters and ezines. This does two things, you gain traffic when someone sees your article on another website and clicks your link and you get a link that points back to your site for the search engines to use to rank your site higher.

4. Using a Signature Line in Online Forums.
This is a strategy that could be quite time consuming so don't let it take up huge amounts of your time, however it is quite effective in drawing traffic to your website. Join forums and messageboards that are useful to your niche market and then become part of the community. When you make a post, be sure it's useful and relevant to the information that is being discussed, then at the bottom of your post, sign-off with your name and little blurb about your company with a link to your website. These are often referred to as "sig lines". Be sure to read the forum's guidelines to be sure you're using the proper etiquette in the forum and to be sure signature lines are allowed. If they are not allowed, do not use this strategy in that forum as it could cause you to be banned from that forum.

5. Start A Newsletter.
Having a newsletter is one of the best ways to market to your customers and potential customers. You will need to have a service that will host your list and allow you to send your newsletter. Then you put a sign-up box on your website and your visitors will sign-up. Periodically, you decide how often, you send those who have signed up an email with information that is relevant to your niche. This information could be general info or it could be specifically about your product. To get your visitors to sign-up you can offer a special report, e-course, ebook or anything that would entice them to give you their email address. When you choose the service that will host your email list, be sure they do a double opt-in confirmation of those who subscribe, it's now the law.

In this article we covered the top five ways to market your website and a couple of things you need to do before you ever even start. Now it's time to get out there and implement some of these strategies.