Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Join the revolution!

Friday September 3rd 2010 is officially Random Act of Kidness Day, better known as RAKD.

Do something kind for a complete stranger without the expectation of anything in return.  Buy someone a coffee, mow someone's lawn, wash a car, pay for someone's petrol.  There are heaps of ways you can help someone visit to download and print your vervy own RAKD card or to read the great strories of how people in Newcastle RAK others.

We would love to hear your stories too, so don't forget to share once you have RAKD a stranger!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The new way to communicate with customers

Most people have heard of Facebook and while some people may still not understand Facebook there is no denying it is changing the way business communicates with the public.  In fact there is a significant swing towards using a business Facebook page as a first point of online contact. Instead of businesses advertising their URL (website) businesses both big and small are advertising they are on Facebook.

So what does it mean if your a business and your not on Facebook?  It's okay, you business is not going to collapse tomorrow, but you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to grow your business.  While Facebook is not the be all and end all of your marketing strategy it can be an important and very successful tool for creating customer loyalty and building your brand and best of all it is free!

For the small business that maybe can't afford a traditional website Facebook business pages offer a cheap alternative.  For large business it is a great way to reach the masses.  Some great Facebook business pages to check out include Coke, Nike and Cadbury.  Some smaller local pages include Asimus Business Coaching, Absolute Infinity and of course mine (Wayne W Lennan Financial Services), which as I am learning is a work in progress.

Now setting up a basic page is not as difficult as the prospect of doing it seems and once you get started you can get tips and advice on how to tweak it to give it that corporate look. 

To help any businesses in Newcastle get started Lindy Asimus and I are going to be running some short workshops over the next few weeks that will offer practical advice for getting your Facebook business page up and running.  Lindy is a dedicated social media expert (junkie...) with great tips to not only set up your page but practical ideas for how you can use it to promote your business.  While there is a small cost involved, $10 Lindy has kindly offered to do this and donate all proceeds to our Light the Night team for the Leukaemia foundation.

Groups for these Facebook sessions will be kept to a maximum of 6 people at a time so everyone will get the opportunity for some one on one time with Lindy.

If you are interested in attending one of these sessions please click here to register and recieve your free guide "7 steps to a healthy growing business".

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good Mental Health is an important part of your overall health

Having worked in the life insurance industry for more than 20 years now, I have seen the increase in mental health claims.  In fact 1 out of every 5 Australians will suffer depression in their lifetime.  In fact mental health has become so widespread that the insurance industry has had to add it to their risk assessment when processing an application for insurance, especially for income protection.

So how can you maintain good mental health?

Obviously some things are beyond our control, the death of loved one, long term unemployment, an accident or illness, divorce, even moving house or losing a pet can trigger an episode of depression or anxiety.  The good new is though that you can proactively help your state of mental health, there are things in everyone's power to decrease your chances of being one of the statistics.

This doesn't mean you need to train for a triathalon or marathon.  All you need is a couple of hours of activity every week, whether it is going for a walk or playing a sport it doesn't really matter you just need to move!

The food you are eating can affect your mood, energy levels and concentration.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are an important part of maintaining good mental health.  It is recommend you eat 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegies a day.  It is also important to get enough protein, afterall protein is the building blocks for your entire body including your brain.

Medical experts agree that everyone should aim for between 6 and 8 hours of good sleep every night.  Lack of sleep can affect the brains production of important hormones and chemicals that control your mood and energy levels.  Sleep is so important to our body's ability to function that going without sleep for a prolonged period can cause death.

Stress Management
We all suffer from stress from time to time.  Trying to get the kids organised for school while they are fighting over the bathroom and get to work on time, all at the same time - very stressful!  Stress will be a part of normal life and we can't always control stress triggers but we can learn how to cope with them or reduce them.  For example mornings in a house with children who have to go to day care or school and both parents have to get to work too, you can't change the situation you need to go to work and the kids have to go to school but you can minimise the stress by preparing the kids the night before.  Making lunches, setting the table for breakfast the night before, having uniforms etc organised the night before and having a schedule for the bathroom will all help make the situation less stressful.  Learning to recognise stress will help you manage it and most importantly take time out to relax!

I think the secret to good mental health is living a balanced life, it's not easy finding that balance and maintaining it but following the guidelines above will give you a starting point.


Click her for more information on Mental Health


Proposed changes in the Superannuation laws regarding lost super mean that any super account that has less than $200 and is unclaimed will be transferred to the Commonwealth.  You will then need to lodge an application to the ATO to reclaim your lost super. 

This proposed law will also affect accounts with higher values if the members are deemed lost and the accounts have been inactive for more than 5 years.  These laws if passed will commence in December 2010, so now is the time to look for any lost super.

Most people don't even know when they have lost super, but you can check by visiting the ATO website and using their online Superseeker program to see if you have any.  You need to provide some personal information and your Tax File Number so they can cross reference it with the fund databases.

I found some lost super, what do I do next?

If you have a super account that is currently recieving contributions you can rollover the funds into that account.  If you don't have another super account because you don't work you will need to set one up to roll the super into or you can advise the fund that is currently holding your super and advise them of your new contact details.  They will explain what your options are in regards to withdrawing the money or rolling it over.

By locating and consolidating any lost super you will reduce your management fees and associated costs, plus you will know where all your super is!

Visit the SuperSeeker or the ATO for more details.