The 8 P’s of Success


Every time I try to cook rice, I either end up having mini popcorns or my rice end up turning into a thick paste of porridge. Trust me, I have tried and you can say I haven’t succeeded yet. Success, according to Oxford dictionary, is achieving something that you have been trying to do or get. Though this is not exhaustive, here are the 8 P’s of Success.

1. Purpose

Find and have something worth living and dying for. Your purpose could be raising your children or making a difference in other people’s lives. When you find your purpose, life takes on a new and different meaning.

2. Passion

Sleep, walk, talk and see yourself achieving your vision and goals. Say you want to be a better parent or salesperson, the more you repeat and affirm this to yourself and those near you, the better off you are. Constant affirmations help to remind us of our goals.

3. Persistence

Don’t give up even when you don’t see results. Most of the time, results don’t appear in relation to the efforts you might be putting into achieving your desired goals. The good thing is; something is happening beneath the surface and you need to keep doing your best in order to see your desired results.

4. Practice

Keep working. We have all heard the saying, if at first you don’t succeed; keep trying, again and again. Constant practice helps teach us how to do it better. Make sure you keep going whether there are results or not.

5. Patience

Be patient with those who should (but don’t understand) your vision or goal. And above all, be patient with yourself. Often when people don’t affirm us or fail to recognize and appreciate our efforts, it isn’t cause we are failures. It could be because they don’t understand know how best to encourage or affirm us. Look at it this way. The fact that you are having an umbrella doesn’t stop the rain from falling from the skies! You should, in like manner keep going.

6. People

Have people around you, even those you cannot stand because they will help you to improve. Seek their opinion, listen and soldier on knowing that no man has succeeded in becoming an island. Read books, listen to audio tapes, ask questions and attend motivational speaking engagements.

7. Prayer

Involve God in everything you do by seeking His guidance, provision, wisdom and the grace to keep going on.

8. Plunge in

Launch into what you want to do and just get it done. Do not give procrastination a foothold in your life. Do not wait for the perfect and ideal situation, environment or time. Just go for it and give it your best. Remember, you don’t have to see it on your family tree to attempt it.

The person you struggle with the most, has the most to teach you… about yourself.” – Shawne Duperon

Your Homeowners Insurance May Not Cover Woodpecker Damage


Meet Amy, City Girl that became a small town resident upon her marriage to George. The stark difference between living in the very center of urbanized civilization and township dwelling was somewhat of an adjustment for Amy. Sure she loved the sights and sounds of nature exposed: the lake, the trees, grass, flowers and the vibrant color of winged birds. Nonetheless, how she missed the hustle and bustle and – yes – even the noise of what she had always recognized as the center of commercial shopping, auto and bus traffic – honking included – and life as she had been bred to appreciate!

Though noise has always been the core of her existence, the incessant pecking on the side of her roof in small town America where she currently had set up residence did absolutely no good for her nerves. Five o’clock in the morning, you see was far too early for a woman of the world such as she to be rudely awoken from her slumbering state. And the fact that the pecking was coming from a fine feathered ‘friend’ known most commonly as the woodpecker did little to placate her uneasiness.

Then came the crunch that really threw Amy off. It appeared as the bothersome woodpecker had begun to incur damage on her lovely home! But nothing could appease Amy when she discovered that her standard homeowners insurance policy did not even cover the damages and losses she now suffered!

“You see, Ma’am,” explained the nice insurance agent, “insurance companies simply do not cover general home liability that has been wrought through negligence. In fact, they view woodpecker damage as something that could have been avoided through proper home maintenance.”

If only Amy had known! She most certainly would have confronted the little peril with a vengeance. Now it appeared that it was too late and she and her husband would have to bear the losses through out of the pocket expenditures.

They say life is a great teacher. Amy knows better than most.

“Learn from me,” says Amy, former city dweller. “Don’t let pests get the better of you or your home risks will!”

How does one tackle a woodpecker problem? There are a number of hands-on methods:

• Go out and purchase a tool that’s on the market in regard to woodpecker deterrence.

• Surround outside home spots that connect to the roof with wired fencing.

• Attach colorful tape below roof and around the roof’s gutters.

• Seal attic holes and house siding with caulk or other materials.

• Hire a pest eliminating firm to take care of the problem.

• Explore your own creative to tackle the nasty wood-pecking problem.

Ask Amy. She’ll tell you forearmed is indeed forewarned: speak to an independent insurance agent about your homeowners insurance policy to make sure it is tailored to your needs.

What Are the Advantages of Using Custom Stickers?


Many people degrade the importance of custom stickers for product promotion. Probably, small-sized stickers don’t have any practical use for them. Due to this concept, only few businesses use promotional labels to create their brand advertisement. They don’t even realize that these little ornaments can in fact do great things for them. The use of printed stickers will definitely escalate the popularity of their services and products.

Benefits of custom-tailored stickers

1. The use of tailored stickers for business logo provides the effective tool of marketing. They can be seen and found everywhere and anywhere. You can stick them on mugs, bags, books, laptops, notebooks, and on other things. Compared to other popular marketing items, these stickers are unlimited. They can market your product, brand, and business in unthinkable ways. You can stick them on any visible product you want.

2. Because custom-made stickers are neither handy tokens nor gadgets, the cost is not really expensive. Furthermore, stickers and decals will last for years compared to other corporate giveaways like calendars, hats, and umbrellas that get worn out in time. Once these labels are attached to any item, they will stay there for a long time and can’t be easily destroyed.

3. They can be used on any matching product you like. Never underestimate what they can do to advertise your products successfully. What is required is a small amount only and you can already produce huge marketing materials, allowing your product to be recognized for years. Indeed, giveaway marketing items like stickers is a perfect way to spread out your business brand name instantly.

4. Personalized stickers are also useful during political campaigns. The greatest benefit they provide is that they are not wasted when being used. The moment they are glued at one area, they start doing your promotion and will be kept in place for some time.

How to make your own stickers?

Making your own production of stickers is not even hard to do. Most printers have options to produce custom labels and stickers just instantly. There are even free templates available to create your own design.

First, avoid cluttering your labels with bunch of photos and words. The human eye can understand the information fast if there is a white space surrounding the graphic design. Also, people will not forget what message is set on, rather than packing them with loads of information. Be sure that the purpose of the marketing is conveyed on the label. If you want to promote a certain product, concentrate on that particular product. Avoid combining irrelevant messages that will bring confusion to the people. If you wish to stick them to a certain surface, have matching colors and designs to complement the item.

Many online companies have presented stickers as a tool for sales and marketing. They have different types of printing for various kinds of advertising purposes. They have decals designed for walls, doors, automobiles, and outdoor and indoor promotions. Stickers are also durable and can withstand the environmental effects like the cold, wet, and hot climate conditions.

People have always been using stickers for personal needs and business requirements. Their use and application are both domestic and commercial. Who wouldn’t use them for inexpensive marketing and yet giving effective approach for sales and marketing!

Christmas – Unique Celebrations & Traditions in Alaska, Africa & Australia!


Christmas is a celebrated event in many countries world-wide. Here are three countries, Alaska, Africa and Australia all located in vastly different regions of the world and each has their own unique traditions and celebrations. Here are some of their fascinating traditions and celebrations.

Alaska – “Carrying the Star” is a traditional Christmas procession. Young and old carry elaborately decorated tinsel trimmed wheels with eight points, usually as big as umbrellas. They are highlighted with a centre picture of either an angel or the nativity scene. They are carried for three nights from January 7th over icy snow topped roads. The stars represent the angels who announced the birth of Christ. Families lovingly maintain the stars. Some are more than a hundred years old!

Africa – There are approximately 350 million Christians in Africa who celebrate Christmas. Emphasis is more on the religious celebrations of Christ’s birth rather than gift giving. Although the most common gift (if nothing else) is new clothes which will be worn to the church service. People in many countries of Africa such as Central African Republic (CAR), Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo believe it is an absolute must to attend church on Christmas day, even if they never attend the rest of the year. An annual Christmas pageant as well as groups of carolers singing Christmas carols within villages is now part of the festivities.

Churches in Africa start intense preparations for Christmas many months prior. Nobody escapes the yuletide feeling as it has been said that it feels like the whole country is preparing for the birth of the baby Jesus with so much joyful and active community preparation taking place! The streets are alive with music as well as on the radio, television and just about where ever you look! People joyously visit their friends and relatives in the spirit of community celebration regardless of religious persuasion. It is usual to see brightly colored and decorated trucks, cars and buses as well as homes, schools, churches and neighborhoods often boasting creative festive displays made with colored crepe papers. Colorful and alive with joyous celebration is Africa! Ancient and spectacular masquerades locally called “Agugu” now play a major part in Christmas celebrations. Usually held after the Christmas Eve service is a joyous procession of dance and music through the streets lead by local bands with dancing masqueraders (usually young boys dressed in fancy and colorful costumes) and Christmas revelers. People parade with large intricately made lanterns called “fanals” usually in the shape of houses or boats.

In Ghana Christmas dinner is not complete without fufu (a thick dough like food) and okra soup and in Liberia rice, beef and biscuits are the order of the day. Zimbabwean’s make sure there’s plenty of bread, jam and tea to eat with their prized goat meat which is their traditional Christmas roast. On the west coast of Africa most homes have an oil palm for a Christmas tree.

Austria – St Nicholas is widely honored and appears on his feast day December 6th. In Austria this is a holiday separate from Christmas. He appears in his traditional dress of flowing robe and tall Bishop’s miter carrying a shepherd’s staff and a thick book. It is believed the good and bad deeds of children are recorded in his book! It was once tradition to hold an elaborate Christmas Eve ceremony where St Nicholas and the feared Ruprecht (demonic creature, who wears a hide, has glowing eyes and a long red tongue) both appear on Christmas Eve. Children gather together and sing a hymn to welcome the Saint. Then one by one the children join the Saint at a family table where he checks their lesson books then asks them to repeat a prayer he says. This ends with the children kissing his Bishops ring while he tells them to go place their shoes outside then look at them when the clock strikes ten! Ruprecht stands over the door watching the childrens every move! Before St Nicholas leaves he blesses the children as he sprinkles them with holy water then quietly and swiftly departs. The children with great excitement then hurriedly run to place their shoes outside their homes. At the stroke of ten children run outside to find their shoes filled with treats of apples and nuts!

Austria is a predominantly Catholic country renowned as the land of the sound of music and home of Mozart, Strauss and Schubert. Included in Christmas celebrations is the “Advent Concert Series” in Innsbruck. It features groups of family singers and instrumentalists similar to the famous “Trapp Family” from “The Sound of Music”. Another famous Christmas festivity is in Salzburg where the hottest ticket for the season is for the “Salburger Adventsingen”. It is a program of advent music and folk lore which began more than half a century ago. They get more than a 100,000 requests each year for the prized 30,000 tickets available for admission. The fish carp is served for the traditional Christmas dinner.

Austria is famous for its miniature crèche figures. Nearly all families have a crèche with miniature figures of the holy family and often a few animals are included. Many creches are hundreds of years old, treasured heirlooms handed down from one generation to the next!

Austria’s Epiphany celebrations – boys and Girls on the day of the Epiphany (which remembers the Three Wise Men from the east who were looking for the newly born Jesus) dress in oriental costumes and sing traditional songs. They move from house to house receiving small gifts including gifts of money. They carry a lantern referred to as the “lighted star of Bethlehem” to guide them on their way. It is popular to see people chalk the initials of the wise men “CMB” (Casper, Melchior, Balthasar) on the transoms of their doorways!

Austria’s fun Krampus Day tradition – in Salzburg December 5th is known as Krampus Day. Krampus is believed to be an evil spirit. He is usually clad in frightening fur, wearing deer horns, a mask with a long red tongue and bulging red eyes and carries a birchwood rod. He storms down the street with a loud racket using huge cowbells and rattling chains as he shouts menacingly at the onlookers. Thousands, including many children crowd the streets to watch the medieval event. With much laughter and merry making, whenever children and adults see Krampus, they throw snow balls at this menacing figure. In the city each year a “Krampus Run” is held with fun and much teasing, poking and laughter. It is said that the purpose of Krampus is to remind children to be good!

In recent times in some communities the Krampus actors have to wear a number so they can be identified under their masks in case they loose control. It has been known for some to get carried away after downing a few too many schnapps or beers. A prominent Austrian child psychiatrist has been arguing for a ban on Krampus. He suggests he’s “a jolly old fright” for children. However there have been few known cases of “Krampus trauma”!

Australia – Christmas falls in the middle of summer and the heat can be more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is common for people to hold out-door barbecues for the main Christmas feast and often parks and beaches are alive with family feasting taking place. It is not uncommon to see thongs, shorts, a beer in hand and a Santa hat on the head chef (usually the father in a family) at the Christmas day BBQ which is almost always followed by Australia’s best loved desert “Pavlova”. It is as light and delicate as Anna Pavlova the famous Russian ballerina for which it is named after.

Australian Carols by Candlelight – an Australian Christmas Eve carol service started in 1937 by radio announcer Norman Banks. Famous performers gather to sing at “Carols by Candlelight” held in Melbourne each year. A hugely popular annual event televised throughout the nation. Carols are performed on a stage to a huge audience where thousands attend outdoors holding lit candles.

Beach visits Christmas Day in Australia – up to 40,000 people visit Bondi Beach in Sydney on Christmas day! It is the middle of summer in Australia and with soaring heat levels beach barbecue lunches and swimming is popular while waiting for Santa to arrive on a boat on Christmas day!

Chinese Customs In Gift Giving


Purchasing a gift is not always easy especially it is for someone from a different culture. This article provides some interesting information if the gift is for a Chinese.

As China is a big place with many provinces, the culture can vary depending on which province the person comes from; but there are some general themes that can be followed to avoid some embarrassments.

What you need to know?

To the Chinese, anything that brings prosperity, longevity or good fortune are fine and anything related or ‘sounds like’ death must be avoided. This rule applies to both numbers and colors that are being used in almost any occasions.

Note: The pronunciation is referring to Cantonese.

Bad numbers – number 4 is the most unwelcome number simply because it has a similar pronunciation as ‘death’.

Good numbers – number 8 sounds like prosperity and number 9 for longevity. Series of 8’s or 9’s such as ‘888’, ’99’ are even better. Numbers ‘168’ and ‘138’ are also very popular for they sound like ‘continuous fortune’.

Bad colors – black and white are usually for funeral or mourning. Therefore, you should only send white flowers to a funeral and the gift wrapping paper should not be plain white or black.

Good colors – red and gold are for celebrations such as birthday and wedding.

Items to avoid – sharp objects such as knives or scissors as they would ‘cut-off’ a relationship. Umbrellas resemble separation. Clock sounds like “attend a funeral”. Handkerchiefs are for mourning. Books are not for Cantonese people who love gambling because it sounds like “loss”, otherwise is fine.

Exceptions: although wearing black or white to a wedding is not a tradition, it is acceptable if the wedding ceremony is held in a church which follows the western style.

Do not be offended if your hosts do not open the gift in front of you as it is not polite in the Chinese culture unless you insist. Also, they do not normally accept your gift immediately in case you feel they are greedy.

What are the popular items?

Cash

Cash can be used in almost all occasions. For happy occasions, it should be put inside a ‘red envelope’ that has some words of blessing pre-printed on it. Red envelopes can easily be found at most Chinese grocery stores; always check with the staff to find one for the occasion you want if you do not understand the Chinese characters on the envelope otherwise you might give away one for the wrong occasion.

The amount inside the envelope should follows the numbering rules as mentioned before i.e. use even numbers except number 4. Also, if you are a couple then you should give two envelopes instead of one to cover for both.

If it is used in a funeral, which is normally used for donation to the charity or assist the grieving family financially, you can put small amount of cash in ‘odd’ number in a normal ‘white envelope’.

Food

There is no doubt that Chinese love foods, this is always a good bet especially for older people. When visiting someone in person, it is always a good manner to bring a food basket containing fruits, biscuits or nice table wine. If he or she is a smoker then a good brand cigarettes is also fine. In the upper range you can give away food such as dried oysters, dried seafood, mushrooms or bird’s nests. For individual fruits such as oranges or apples, count them in even numbers e.g. 6, 8 or 10 pieces.

Jewellery or ornament

Normally given in big celebrations such as wedding, new born baby, 21st birthday, 60th birthday, 90th birthday and so forth.

Baby – parents like to host a banquet for their new born baby after one month of birth. Jade, gold or silver bracelet or necklace is a good gift, otherwise baby clothes.

Birthday – If you know the person’s Chinese zodiac sign, another hot item is a gold plated Chinese zodiac figurine represents the animal sign of the person.

Wedding – jade or gold bracelet or necklace resembles long lasting relationship.

What sort of gifts for festivals?

There are many festivals in China, but you will most likely be invited to join a family celebration in the following festivals:

Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) – this is the most important festival for the Chinese people which brings family members, friends and relatives together. It is a custom to give money in a red packet from married couple to single people or children. If you are single it is considered to be polite to bring a food/fruit basket to your hosts.

Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival – This is the day when people would sit down with family and friends to watch the full moon and serve moon cakes and other type of food. Therefore, bring some moon cakes or food along to your hosts is the best gift you can offer.

Dragon Boat Festival – Rice parcels as big as a purse are made during this festival to honor a patriotic scholar named Chu Yuan who drowned himself to protest against the emperor. Before his body was recovered, people make the rice parcels and threw them into the water to stop any fish eating his fresh. Another saying is dragon boats were used to scare away ‘water spirits’ because dragon is the God of the oceans. Rice parcels are made out of glutinous rice, pork and egg yolk wrapped with bamboo leaves which are sold in most shops during the festival.

If you are interested in cooking, bring along some home made rice parcels will surely impress your hosts.

Other occasions

Return from a vacation – small souvenirs to your neighbors, friends, colleagues and relatives when returning from a trip.

Farewell – cash in a red packet or small gift such as a sailing boat meaning smooth sailing to the new destination.

Visiting someone at home – food basket.

Visiting someone in the hospital – food plus health drinks (e.g. Ginseng) that will help speedy recovery.

Conclusion

Generally speaking, dealing with people from a difficult culture requires understanding. Some of the traditions have been practiced for a long time but are diminishing in the new generations. Chinese people are normally understandable in terms of culture conflict since they have over 2000 years of history and have different culture from different province. It is beneficial to know the customs but do not need to be strictly followed so long you stay away from the ‘death’ business you should be safe.

Secret Mission Impossible Theme Party Ideas for Kids and Adults


Want to hear a secret? Mission Impossible is all the rage. Ever since the Mission Impossible series of movies, the secret agent genre has seen a revival. James Bond had become dead and dull, no one had thought of making Frederick Forsythe’s Bourne series into movies yet and there was no action in the secret agent game. But ever since Tom Cruise toned up and put on a wireless headset, a tight black tee and slick smile, secret agent movies are everywhere. Spies never had it so good. And people love it – for teenagers and adults, the secret agent Mission Impossible lifestyle is the definition of cool.

For your Secret Mission Impossible party, make sure you get everyone to wear ultra-fitted clothes – tight long pants or pencil skirts and fitted shirts or tees for both the men and women. If you go to a spy party, you have to dress the part. Slick back hair or tie it in a simple pony tail. Food should be classy and casual, such as cocktails with little umbrellas and plates of cucumber sandwiches.

Try a party game for your secret Mission Impossible party – invent one or buy one at your department store. Make sure that everyone participates. Invites should be cryptic and give only enough information for your guest to get there. Choose a simple theme like black and white. Play the theme from spy movies as a soundtrack to your party and to stand out as the host, you can even wear dark glasses (as long as you don’t trip over something indoors). Use your mobile phone headset to look more like a cool secret agent from Mission Impossible.

If you pull it off well, a Secret Mission Impossible party has the potential to be a great night. It doesn’t take much to capture the atmosphere and plan a fantastic party.

Mad Dogs by Vettriano


Mad Dogs by Jack Vettriano is a famous oil painting by this Scottish painter who has risen in recent years to become one of the most popular contemporary artists within Europe and has a large fan base right across this continent plus North America. This article discusses the Mad Dogs painting and puts it into context within the career of Jack Vettriano up to now.

Mad Dogs follows a similar style to Vettriano’s best known painting of the Singing Butler which has itself become one of the most frequent reproduction art prints of any in the world currently. Both these paintings feature classically dressed characters relaxing on a beach, some holding umbrellas which is another symbol that Vettriano has become well remembered for.

Besides Mad Dogs, Vettriano used produced other classic prints and paintings such as The Singing Butler, And So to Bed, Bad Boy, Her Secret Life, Just Another Day, Blades, In Thoughts of You, The Temptress, On Parade, Beautiful Dreamer, Queen of Diamonds II, Dance Me to the End of Love and The Missing Man II.

For those who appreciate reproductions for their own homes of Vettriano’s classic paintings, this Dogs would perfectly suit a framed art print or poster because of his own particular style. Some Vettriano prints are also available as limited editions and they themselves could make good investments for the future.

In conclusion, Mad Dogs will remain one of the most charming and popular paintings from the career of Jack Vettriano for many years to come even as more great works are added to his back catalogue over the coming years when many expect the Scottish painter to go from strength to strength and build an even more impressive and respected reputation within the art world.

What Is COBIT? Importance and Framework


COBIT is an IT governance framework and supportive toolset that permits managers to bridge the gap between control requirements, technical challenges and business risks. COBIT empowers clear policy development and good practice for IT control all through firms. COBIT emphasizes regulatory compliance, helps firms to enhance the value acquired from IT, empowers alignment and simplifies application of the enterprises’ IT governance and control framework.

COBIT stances for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology. It is a standard framework for IT governance and management. It is meant to be a supportive instrument for managers and consents bridging the central breach between technical challenges, business risks and control requirements. Business managers are equipped with a model to deliver value to the firm and practice better risk management practices connected with the IT processes.

As a framework that can be utilized to calculate and monitor IT services and implement preeminent practices for those services, ITIL3 offers an operational mode of service management. The ISO/IEC 27000 series4 contains the preferred standards utilized by IT security specialists.

For individuals who are trying to shift their career to COBIT, COBIT 5 Foundation Certification Training is the ideal training. For most firms, the answers to these queries come from understanding the underlying multiple frameworks utilized across operations. COBIT enables firms to improve IT governance by ensuring that appropriate process, governance and management enablers are utilized to build IT capabilities to attain stakeholder goals.

For firms that compete in structured segments such as banking, insurance, utilities or healthcare, additional industry precise standards, frameworks and recommendations may be in utilization. The COBIT Certification Course Online is becoming a requisite course for professionals working in this space for enhancing their skill sets.

When a business leverages multiple standards, frameworks and strategies, it may end up creating separate controls recommended by each that are managed separately. Consequently, it not only creates duplicate work, as controls may be overlapping, but more significant, it becomes challenging for administrators to get a comprehensive understanding of their firm’s IT risk exposure and governance process.

Current tools that enable firms to create a shared library of common controls across frameworks are burdensome to use and manage. Control libraries often become vast and complex to use for most companywide governance, risk and compliance (GRC) initiatives.

COBIT® 5, the cutting-edge edition of ISACA’s globally accepted structure for governance and management of enterprise IT (GEIT), tackles this issue. It provides an end-to-end business view that integrates other standards, frameworks and strategies, such as ITIL and ISO/IEC 27001, into a complete enterprise governance and management framework.

With a COBIT 5-motivated model, stakeholders such as security professionals, IT operations administrators and IT auditors can see how their work relates to the whole scope of governance and management. COBIT 5 does not substitute these other sources of reference. Instead, it is an all-embracing umbrella framework that helps them all fit together. The COBIT Certification Course Online is a sure thing for working professionals who want to get updated with the newest certification.

How Insurance Customers Can Save on Home, Car and Boat Coverage


Do you know anyone that enjoys dealing with the stream of daily bills? I don’t.

For the average person, home and car expenses are enough of a headache. When insurance policy premiums join the list of associated costs, the payout hassles become even more of a colossal hassle.

You may think there is no alternative. But I’ll let you into a little secret. Think you have no choice in the matter? You bet you do. And it comes in the form of bundled insurance!

Bundled insurance? You ask. What’s that?

Although doing your part in investigating the varying forms of coverage and the attached price tags that come along with them can get you a policy that may be cheaper than others, there is another way to find even more significant discounts. According to most insurance companies, you can save big bucks by combining two different forms of coverage under one plan. If you ‘bundle’ your home insurance, for instance, together with your auto plan, you can take advantage of this phenomenal option.

Why do the insurance providers offer such motivation?

The insurance industry is like others. Competition breeds ideas to get clients to stay with them. By presenting a plan that covers your home and car – as well as your boat if you happen to own one – at a great price, the particular company will be buying your loyalty. To them, the offered savings are worth the price of customer fidelity. Naturally then, everyone becomes a winner. The company by securing your as their customer, and you by locking in a great quote.

But there’s more to the deal that meets the average eye. By signing the dotted line of a bundled home and auto policy, you glean additional bonuses. Not only do you win by saving a bundle of money, but you get the comprehensive coverage needed and the multitude of bills that generally were part of your daily mail is reduced to one simple bill that incorporates the cost of home and auto insurance. Of course, keeping track of renewal dates also is simplified this way. Because you will have combined what technically can be classified as two different forms of protective coverage into one all-inclusive plan, you will have condensed two dates into one renewal date: home and auto are renewed together!

Need further evidence that this is the money-saving way to go?

Home-Auto Insurance with a Bundle of Cost-Cutting Savings

Examples:

A home and vehicle owner decided to go with a bundled plan. He was overjoyed to discover this saved him $1,200 for the year!

A condo owner went for a combined condo-auto insurance policy, giving him savings of $500 for the year!

Another homeowner listened to his independent insurance agent and opted for a bundled home-auto plan. He raked in a year’s savings of $900.

Incidentally, you can get a bundled policy for your home and car, as well as your truck, motorcycle, boat or any other vehicle or watercraft, as well as a life or financial plan.

Learn more about bundled insurance from your independent insurance agency.

20 Rainy Season Businesses You Can Start Now


Let’s take advantage of these seasonal needs and offer the appropriate business services. You will find below a list of 20 profitable rainy season business ideas.

  • Cold Weather Apparels and Accessories: Starting a cold-weather apparel store can be a great option for those looking for a seasonal business. You can buy products in large quantities and start selling to retail fashion shops and corporate offices. You can even hire sales canvassers and pay them on a commission basis.
  • Lawn care business: Contrary to popular beliefs, the rainy season is a great time to start a lawn care business. Lots of individuals and large companies seek for services of lawn care maintainers to help them take care and beautify their environment. You will need to advertise your services in local newspapers, or write an introductory letter to the ministry of environment either at local or state level. You can also write to property managers. Who says you can’t go out and knock on doors of commercial businesses and property managements? They have a long list of clients that will need the services of lawn care service providers. You can start with two or three staff.
  • Roadside snacks: In this rainy season, snacks like roasted corn, cooked corn and cooked groundnuts are in demand. Passersby, pedestrians and drivers alike would always want to buy hot snacks to heat up their body and quell their hunger. Your target market should be in densely populated areas of streets with big pot holes that could delay traffic. As drivers slow down, they notice you and buy your snacks. Herbs and Flower Farming/Gardening: Flowers survive better during the rainy season. Plants are the basis for all landscapes, homes, gardens and even for brightening offices. You will pay small amounts for packets of seeds and make way more when selling starter plants. The more space you have, the better you will be at it. If you have the space in your landscape and outdoor garden, you can create gardens where you will grow the plants and dry them out after. This will add much to your inventory and you can make lots of money selling dried flowers to retailers, wholesalers, and even flower shops.
  • Make Mosquito Nets: Mosquito nets are simple to make and easy to use. They eliminate the need for repeated use of dangerous chemicals. Mosquito nets can be institutional and attractive. By using pretty flowing fabric and a few household objects, it is possible to make a beautiful yet functional mosquito net. Things you will for construction of a mosquito net are; stud finger, 4-inch metal “O” ring, cup hook, 2-feet diameter embroidery hoop, 20 yards of tight weave chiffon fabric, 4 feet of stain cord or ribbon, hot melt glue and clear hot melt glue sticks.
  • Tea Café: This market is not likely to be saturated if you decide to start this business. What innovations do you need to do this business? Simply make your tea joint look neat and attractive. Guys will park their cars, jeeps; roll up their sleeves and squat for a cup of steaming tea. You can entertain them with music. Your major target will include bachelors and spinsters, and also from the married groups and workers in general. Most of these people leave their homes early enough for work without having breakfast. Make sure your shop is situated where there is high concentration of people. Also make sure your customers have varieties of beverages to choose from e.g. beverages like bournvita, Milo, ovaltine, top tea etc. Other add-on for your tea café can include bread, canned fish, sardine, noodles, soft drinks and water. As a starter you require fire heating gadgets, tables and chairs, cups, plates, spoons, knives, forks and so on. You may require a small accommodation or a table space in a busy area, which wont be difficult to get if you meet the right authorities. You just need to part with a few cash to get this space. As you start operation, set aside some specified amount that the government may require as levies. Never mind the levies because you can record over 40 clients per day especially when you start very early in the morning and evenings. If you are innovative, entrepreneurial and exceptional, you will discover that there is no limit to what you can earn.
  • Catch and Sell Snail Meat: Snail meat has been severally affirmed as a safe and nutritious delicacy. If you place a blanched piece of romaine lettuce, zucchini or cucumber into a small tank, in no time snails will gather around it. You have to be patient though, because it will take a while to catch a whole bunch of them. The best period to commence snail farming is the raining season. You can start with about 50 – 60 snails to have a good knowledge of how snail breeding works. Snails are sold in bunches of 20 pieces each and the price depends on the size. The bigger sizes are sold between N2, 500 and N3, 000 per bunch. It is better to buy the big ones so you can expect to produce more after about 35 days on location. As a starter, you can start with as low as N10, 000 in this business. You can sell your products to hotels, restaurants, individuals and market women. You can even export them if you have large quantities in stock.
  • Umbrella Stocks and Sales: Since there is no notable umbrella manufacturer in Nigeria, prospective investors are advised to buy in wholesale and start selling branded umbrellas to corporate organizations. Don’t forget companies will like choose the colors that match their company. Modern rain umbrellas are made with fabrics (commonly nylon) that can withstand a drenching rain and one that can dry quickly and fold easily. They are available in varieties of colors and designs. You can get it in large quantities for retail at Idumota in Lagos and the prices ranges from N150 to N250 depending on the size.
  • Tarpaulin Hire Business: Many people organizing outdoor parties are most likely to hire tarpaulin to shield them from the rain. You can make money by engaging in the tarpaulin hire business. If you don’t have enough money to buy a brand new one, you can lease it from sellers and hire out to those who need it, taking the commission as your gain.
  • Pest Control: A pest control home based business can provide you an healthy income. There are various types of pest controls such as insect or rodent control, or the business can specialize in providing all pest control services. There are also various methods now being used to control pests, such as chemical-based sprays and organic-based sprays. This will also have to be a consideration in terms of the types of methods your business will utilize. Overall, a pest control service can be very profitable business venture during the rainy season and can generate profits of N5million per year. You can write a proposal to big corporate organizations stressing the advantage of pest control and healthy living can have for them.
  • Yam planting and Sales: Turning yam into an exportable product is considered a remarkable achievement in Nigeria. Although the country is rated as the largest producer of yams in the world, it didn’t find the means to take advantage of this huge potential for export until the formal launch of the Nigerian Yam Export to U.K in July 2009. You can take advantage of the rainy season, which is best for yam planting and sales. You can buy yam in large quantities and sell to exporters, and you can also sell to local manufacturers who process yam to pounded yam and flour.
  • Maize Cultivation and Processing: Investors have the opportunity to capitalize on the current high demand for staple foods by investing in the cultivation and processing of maize and corn. Maize is commonly grown in the middle and southern part of the country where heavier rainfall permits two corn crop seasons per year. A well drained loamy soil can be used for maize plantation.
  • Gutter Cleaning: A lot of gutters are blocked during the rainy season preventing the free flow of water. You can start making money by offering the service of Cleaning Gutters. Don’t shy away from this business because it’s a money earner in the rainy season. You can employ two to three people to leverage on. You will need to assemble items such as large wooden spoon, a simple garden trowel, and a sturdy pair of garden gloves. You can find work with landlords or landlords associations. Some will prefer you clear it for them weekly while some will want their gutters to be cleared once or twice in a month. You can charge between N5, 000 to N20, 000 depending on the clients and the intensity of the work to be done.
  • Hire Water Pumping Machines: A lot of houses will get flooded during the rainy season. This will create a business opportunity for you to own a water pumping machine and hire out to these houses to clear the flooded area and pour the water to the gutters. Some water pumping machine owners charge as much as N5, 000 per day. During emergencies when there is no entrance to a whole street a water pumping machine owner can charge more. All you need to do is to identify such flooded areas, move in with your pumping machines and charge appropriately.
  • Sell Rain Coats: Modern raincoats are often constructed of breathable, waterproof fabrics such as gore-tex and coated nylons. These fabrics allow some air to pass through, thereby allowing the garment to “breathe” so that sweat vapor can escape. You can commission a tailor to sew in different sizes and designs to meet the demand of different customers; you can also buy in some retail stores and sell directly to individual and corporate organizations. Or you can recruit sales canvassers who can help you get it to the markets, especially when it rains.
  • Start a Car Wash Business: A lot of cars will get dirty in the rainy season because of splashes by mud. You are going to make cool money in the rainy season with this business. There is some equipment you need to start this business. Most importantly you need a pressure washer, if you want a proper washing to make your customer appreciate your service and always come back. The pressure washer brings out the water with pressure. It removes all the dirt and makes the cars to glitter. The pressure washer is also used to wash the car radiators, no matter the amount of dirt that blocks the vent of your radiator, the pressure washer removes all and opens up the vent again. The pressure washer consumes less water. The amount you can charge to wash cars and trucks will vary with location and to how dirty the car or truck is. Normal car wash costs N300, but for interior wash, it can cost up to N800. Washing of engines cost up to N1, 000 which is also the cost for normal washing of Jeep. The cost for washing a truck can be around N3, 000 and a very dirty trucked can be charged N5, 000. If the engine is extremely dirty, you will have to apply chemicals which are a mixture of diesel, detergent, kerosene, petrol and acid, which should be mixed very well. Sprinkle on the engine and leave for about five minutes. Now when you use a pressure washer to rinse, the engine would look as clean as new. You can get to major car parks, negotiate with car owners and get their cars washed before they get back to the car park
  • Repair Pot-holes: You can start a mini-road-construction business repairing pot holes. A lot of pot holes will continue to increase in size during the rainy season. Some products make potholes repair easier than others. Asphalt makes the process significantly easier. No special equipment is needed with asphalt. You can start making money with the local government area in your locality. You can even negotiate with the unit or National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in your area or discuss with the landlords association or the local government chairman. You can charge as much as N20, 000 to N100, 000 or more, depending on the intensity of the project.
  • Own a Warehouse: A lot of retailers have been keeping goods in shops before now but during the rainy season, most of them will be forced to take their goods to warehouses to protect their goods from unexpected rainfall. Prior to opening a warehouse business in your area, it is paramount to find out how many competitors you have. Gain knowledge of how existing firms have positioned themselves in the market place and then design your business in a way that sets you apart from others. You can charge daily, weekly or monthly. However, make sure you inform your retailers in your areas that don’t have a shop before now that you can provide them a secured place for their goods in your warehouse. They would be ready to pay for your services
  • Produce Shower Caps for Women: This business can be started with very low capital. Purchase some yards of plastic materials which are clear, opaque or semi-transparent or can have pretty designs on them. Measure the distance around the head where the shower cap is expected to end. Add one inch to this figure for overlapping purposes. This will be the shower cap circumference. Purchase elastic, less than one inch wide, and cut to the shower cap circumference. The elastic can be sewn on the outside or inside of the shower cap edge, or the elastic can be pinned down, sewn, and then one or two folds (or rolls) made, then sewn again to “case in” the elastic inside the edge of the plastic cap. You can sell for N50 or more depending on the quality of the nylon you are using.
  • Set Up an NGO for Climate Change Disaster and Relief Services: This type of NGO is going to be busy in the rainy season, providing supportive services for Nigerians who live in flood prone areas. The NGOs in this sector will be responsible for educating Nigerians in these areas on how to avoid flood disasters and also provide weather report and analysis so that they will prevent flood occurrences in their regions. Such an NGO will receive regular funds from foreign donors. You can make money from this by affiliating with already existing NGOs abroad. They have regular source of funding and they will be happy to have an affiliate agency here in Nigeria or Africa.
  • Make Mosquito Repellant Lotions: Earlier on we talked about Making Mosquito nets for sale. But you can also produce mosquito repellant lotions so repell mosquitoes which are in abundance in the rainy season. There a couple of different formulations you can make for your natural mosquito repellant. In general, what you are doing is diluting an essential oil that the mosquitoes find distasteful or which confuses them so they can’t bite you. The oil doesn’t mix with water, so you need to add them to other oils or to alcohol. It is important to use an oil or alcohol that is safe for your skin. You can sell in a small bottle after production for N100 to N300 depending on the size.
  • Produce Agro Products for Local and Foreign Consumption: Local products like cocoa, kola nut, banana, chili pepper, shea nut, okro, melon are products that you can start selling during this rainy season. All you need to do is to locate the exporters and start earning finders fee. If you have a small farmland, you can sell to retailers and start making money that exceeds your imagination.

The rainy season is an all year round event, so if you have the time and some money to invest in a business idea then check above the one that best describes your dream business or starting point. Discover the money making possibilities of each one and use them as your keys to success.