Sunday, November 27, 2011

Melanoma - The dark side of summer

As temperatures and UV levels rise towards summer, sunburn and skin cancer climb up our 'worry lists' - and for good reason: excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, melanoma is Australia's fourth most common cancer.

So it comes as good news that recent studies have found four new genes associated with skin cancer which may lead to improved diagnosis and treatment. The studies, conducted by GenoMEL Consortium and Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), also improve the prospect of identifying people at increased risk of developing melanoma so they can take action to minimise their chance of developing it in the first place.

Did you know?

  • Off all cancers, melanoma makes up 9.5% of all cancers, with more than 10,300 cases diagnosed annually.
  • The risk of being diagnosed by age 85 is 1 in 15 for men and 1 in 24 for women.
  • In 2008, there were 1,430 deaths from melanoma.
  • Melanoma risk increases with UV exposure - particularly with sunburn, and especially during childhood,
  • The chance of getting melanoma rises for people with:
                        - increased numbers of unusual moles
                        - depresses immunity
                        - a first degree relative who's had melanoma
                        - a history of melanoma or non-melanoma skin caner
                        - fair skin, freckles, light eye colouring, light or red hair and burn easily

As well as slip, slop, slapping, it's important to cover ourselves against illnesses like melanoma by having comprehensive trauma insurance. Trauma Insurance offers cover for skin caners like melanoma, making it ideal for the people of this sunburned country.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

5 Ways to Ensure Your Website Doesn't Turn Into a Lemon

1. Make sure your website isn't leaking customers

Check your website statistics and look specifically at how many visitors leave shortly after arriving on your homepage. This may mean they do not like what they see and you should consider making changes.

2. Make sure you know exactly how many leads or sales your website is delivering

Your website should have clear business objectives, like delivering leads or online sales. If you don't measure how many calls, enquiries or sales your website is generating you won't know if you need to take action.

3. If you build it (your website) they won't just come

Unlike a physical shop front it is very unlikely that anyone will ever just stumble across your website. It needs to be visible to the major search engines or you can forget about getting new customers. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) are very effective ways you can get your online shop on front of millions of potential customers.

4. Don't let your website be the ugly duckling

Do you wince when you compare your website with competitor sites? Too many business people accept and even acknowledge that their website is ugly and not all what is should be. With advancements in technology over the last few years, in most cases you can now get a brand new website for less than it would normally cost to rebuild your old one.

5. Make sure the information on your website is up-to-date. Shout yourself a CMS!

Remember the days when you had to chase your brother's best friend's uncle just so you could make a small text change to your website? Well, with a content management system (CMS) those days are over. Nearly every new website developed today comes standard with a CMS. This means you can change your website by yourself whenever you want and your website will never be out-of-date.

Need to know more? Visit to request a free 15min website evaluation

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Healthy Workplace Challenge

Full time workers spend half of their waking hours at work on 5 or more days of the week.  They will usually eat at least one meal and 2 snacks at work and as many of us are finding ourselves in more sedentary jobs, finding time to be physically active can be a challenge.

Simple changes at work can make all the difference to our overall health and well being.  The trick is for employees and employers to be part of the solution when it comes to healthy work places.  Healthy, active workers have more energy, improved job satisfaction and a better quality of life.  The workplace benefits from improved productivity, reduced staff sick leave, reduced staff turnover and better moral in the workplace.

Workplace Tips for Employees

Eat breakfast everyday.  If you don't have time at home in the morning then make sure you eat at work.  Good choices that are also quick are wholegrain toast, fruit bread, fresh fruit, low fat yoghurt and high fibre cereal with skim milk.

Keep healthy snacks at work. Good snacks include low fat yoghurt, fresh fruit or fruit cups, snack size tin of tuna and low fat crackers.

Choose low fat milk. Especially if you are drinking lattes or cappuccinos where the milk content is much higher.

Take time to move. Remember if you are in front of a computer all day to move around as much as you can.  Getting up to go and speak in person to a colleague instead of using email or the phone.  Standing up while on the phone and make sure you have a couple of stretch breaks throughout the day and if you have time try to squeeze in a quick walk around the block at lunch.

Promote healthy choices at work. Become a workplace health advocate by encouraging others to make healthy choices or providing a poster promoting good health tips in the staff lunch room or rest rooms.

Workplace tips for employers

Offer healthy food at meetings, functions and events.  If your workplace has a cafe or canteen provide some healthy options at competitive prices.  Identify healthy food choices in vending machines.

Make water the drink of choice by ensuring it is readily available throughout the day.

Promote healthy living through your communication channels, such as company newsletters and websites.

Promote cycling to work by providing bike racks.

Offer flexible work hours to allow for physical activity during the day.

Organise a special event to show you support healthy living like a walkathon or healthy BBQ challenge

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lessons From Steve Jobs

The recent passing of Steve Jobs got me wondering what the rest of us mere mortals could learn from such a visionary businessman and creative genius...18 October 2011 Jayne Tancred

Carmine Gallo's book The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, distils Jobs' philosophy down to seven principles.

1. Do what you love: Think differently about your career

After a recent period of stress, I'm keen for the next phase of my business-life to be all about flow, fun and good vibes.

2. Put a dent in the universe: Think differently about your vision

Can a couple of humble small business owners from Sydney put a dent in the universe too?
3. Kick-start your brain: Think differently about how you think

I'm so passionate and excited about the new business that I've noticed a huge burst in creative energy and I'm now actively looking out for new ways to do things differently, just to see what unfolds.

4. Sell dreams, not products: Think differently about your customers

As a marketer and copy writer, I've long been familiar with the principle of selling in a way that solves a problem or relieves a pain.

5. Say 'No' to 1000 things: Think differently about design

Design applies to more than just the look and feel of a product or page. I'm applying this principle to our marketing plan to ensure we don't try to be all things to all people with our new products.

6. Create insanely great experiences: Think differently about your brand experience

How awesome would it be for someone to describe their experience of our bran as 'insanely great'? So far I've only got the tiniest inkling about how we're going to achieve this, but I love the idea, and am going to try to weave it into everything we do.

7. Master the message: Think differently about your story

The way we tell the stories of our products, and the way people respond to those stories is what sets one business apart from another. 

Have you been inspired by Jobs' legacy too or perhaps you're suffering from fawning fatigue? Please share your thoughts.

Monday, November 14, 2011


1. Switch off stand-by power - Save up to $80 per year. Entertainment systems are the worst offenders so switch appliances off at the power button or at the wall were practical.

2. Use energy efficient light bulbs - Save more than $60. They use about 80 per cent less energy and last up to fifteen times longer compared to standard incandescent bulbs.

3. Don't over heat or over cool rooms - Save over $80 per year. Only heat or cool the room you're using and close blinds and curtains to help keep the heat out in summer or in during winter.

4. Use the clothes line instead of a dryer - Save up to $60 per year. Apartment dwellers can now dry clothes on the balcony with strata approval.

5. Get rid of that second fridge - Save up to $250 per year. Fridges older than 15 years can use 2-3 times the electricity of an equivalent new model.

6. Shave two minutes off your shower - Save up to $100 per year. Hot water is the biggest energy user in the average home and two minutes less in the shower saves enough electricity to run a standard TV for 8 hours.

7. Install a triple star shower head - Save up to $140 a year on energy and water bills. Prices start at less than $20.

8. Buy high star rating appliances - You will save on running costs. Each extra star on a new air conditioner will reduce running costs by around 10 per cent per year.

9. Wash clothes in cold water - Save around $60 per year. The cost per cycle on a warm wash can be five times more than on a cold wash.

10. Don't run your pool pump for too long - Save up to $120 per year. Households with smart meters can save up to $374 a year, by running their pool pump outside the peak times.

*NOTE: These estimates are based on Energy Australia NSW regulated retail pricing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


There are many things people purchase online. It may be cheaper to purchase online but there is probably a reason why it is cheaper. It may not meet all your needs and expectations and when it comes to the crunch you may not be covered. The money you may save buying a cheaper product online will not cover the greater loss you may encounter. 

A recent example was a Newcastle lady who bought travel insurance online and they said that her and her dependants are covered for travel. Her daughter got sick while on holidays and had to be flown back to Newcastle. She thought she would be covered through travel insurance but it cost her $42,000 to find out that her daughter was not classified as a dependent so she was not covered!

Another example is the recent floods in Queensland. People bought their house insurance online because it was cheaper but no-one told them it doesn't cover flood damage! So the cheaper policy did not save them money only cost them more.  

I was recently referred to a person to review their insurance policies and they advised my policies were more expensive than their existing policies. They thought they had death cover for each other but it was only accidental death. Imagine the distress and trauma caused if your loved one died and you thought you had life insurance but it only paid out accidental death. How would you tell your family?  

It's better to be sure and talk to a professional who can explain the fine print! If you would like a review of your own personal insurance policies to check you are covered for what you think you are, please give me a call, just for your own piece of mind!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Did you know that every day, 32 men learn that they have prostate cancer?

Movember, the official moustache season, kicks off this week. The initiative raises awareness around men's health issues with a focus on prostate cancer and depression.

With this in mind, these's no better time to talk to your financial planner about the importance of Critical Illness and Income Protection cover.
  • FACT: One in 9 Australian men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime
  • FACT: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men and the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men
  • FACT: Simple testing by a GP can detect prostate cancer
As an insurance expert, i also play a role in raising awareness about health risks and their consequences. In addition to raising awareness, you can provide my clients with security, assurance and support by ensuring they are adequately covered.

Contact me now for a free appointment or a free quote. Or contact your financial planner to discuss further.

If you would like more information on Movember, head to