A Brand New Recipe For Branding

In a recent article, I told the story of when I was a young whippersnapper, attaining classes at what was then and still is called "one of the more famous hotel schools in North America", the marketing professor gave us an interesting, but quite challenging assignment.

We were to find a hospitality business that marketed itself by using the participation of the owner as part of the "distinctiveness" of the business. At the time, this seemed like a most difficult assignment, because in those days, it seemed that not too many people really stood out in this field. At least that what it seemed like to me in my youth. Or maybe it was just that they did not want to either make a fool of themselves. There seemed little need to drive the world to their door. I chose a very different restaurant enclosed within an old 19th century Mansion in this very cosmopolitan city. It was called Julie's Mansion and was owned and operated by a very eccentric, but wonderful showman who knew that he had to differentiate his restaurant from all the rest. He knew that the best way to do that – after the assumption of great food, entertainment and service – was to turn himself into the "brand."

My job, as a young hospitality student, was to watch him carefully and learn as much as I could. One Saturday night I showed up and Julie was trying to 'insert' himself into the home team's pro hockey uniform. It was immediately obvious that Julie had never played hockey. To see a middle-aged man struggling to get into and then have to have me extricate him from the jersey, equipment, elbow pads et al, was hilarious for a young guy like me, who had been on skates and playing the game since age four. He certainly was not afraid to make a fool of himself. When I showed up that night, he had less than no idea what piece of equipment went where, and was struggling with the shin guards. He had got himself all tangled up with what he thought were hip guards, when in fact they were shoulder pads, worn over the shoulders. It was indeed the first time I had ever seen a 'player' wearing shoulder pads, stretched around his butt.

I helped him get 'dressed'. Next came the taping of the hockey stick. This was really hilarious, watching this fellow trying to figure out the right way to tape a hockey stick without making a mess of it and looking foolish to his customers. He had a special plan for that stick.

I taped his stick and now he was ready. He had on his uniform, equipment and helmet, borrowed from one of the local NHL players who were a frequent guest at the mansion. Now, he actually looked like a real NHL hockey player … in black and white running shoes, sans skates!

Then Julie 'flew through' the different alcoves and floors of the restaurant with a big ball of foodservice aluminum foil as his 'puck'. He stick-handled in and out and between tables, took shots with the aluminum ball off the walls, cross-checked his own waiters trying to serve tables, all the while yelling cheers and the phrase made famous' round the world, by Foster Hewitt : "he shoots …. he scores!" All this, at the top of his lungs. Then he had planned for a horn to sound loudly indicating that the 'period of play' in his imaginary 'game' was over. It was now time to go to the dressing room. In a flash, just like an on-stage magician, he quickly disappeared into thin air, hidden in his office.

My face was covered in tears. I could not stop laughing! The restaurant was in an uproar. Guests were laughing so hard … one guy literally fell off his chair. The waiters were laughing, the guests were laughing, I was laughing and all the while Julie was having a ball too. Here was a restaurateur who made his work fun.

I had not met one of these types before. I really liked and respected this fellow. But I figured then, and still today, that anyone who had that much fun … and made that much money … must know something the others did not. And he did. He became his own brand. 'Distinctive. 'Differentiated. 'There is attractive to people who are sick of seeing the same old, same old every day. People are attracted to differences not similarities. Take a look at what you can do with yours. It's right under your own nose.

© Copyright, Roy W. MacNaughton, 2006

Video Professor

Video Professor Review

Whether you are trying to learn how to work with popular word processing programs, or navigate the difficult paths towards selling items on eBay, video professor is there to teach you everything you need to know about computer applications and the internet. With over fifty tutorials available on an easy to view disc, it is easy to learn everything that you need to know.

Never again will you be accused of being non-computer friendly, or be behind the times with the applications you are expected to use in the office on a daily basis. You can learn at your own pace, on your own schedule – about programs that you want to learn about. Whether you are trying to learn a program without any background knowledge, or just brush-up on the techniques of the program – these tutorials are suited for beginners to those with novice experience.

With interactive lessons, many find themselves learning sooner than they have with other programs – which they spent hundreds of dollars, and hours upon hours of study on. Now, the courses are available on the internet, so even those with the most basic of internet skill are able to learn with ease, on their own schedule, through the use of the convenient internet applications that demonstrate examples and teach lessons as each tutorial evolves.

How do you know these lessons are right for you? An hour is the average length of the video professor tutorials, and people are always shocked at how much they were able to learn within one short hour. Although many of the lessons go over an hour, the information presented is organized in such a fashion that it teaches as much as possible in the shortest period of time. Each lesson has been fine-tuned to be as effective as possible, and can be watched again and again to brush up on the skills learned within the interactive tutorial. Even one of the most difficult programs to master, Microsoft Excel, sees success when students are taught by video professor.

Programs difficult to master, like Photoshop could cost up to five hundred dollars to learn in a classroom environment. Considering, that lessons can be obtained for a percentage of that price, why wouldn’t you want to try that out? Whether you are an aspiring photographer or an amateur trying to brush up your photo retouching skills – video professor is for everyone! With detailed tutorials, learning tools and interactive features that debunk the myths of the internet, it is possible to learn any program within the program!

There are many benefits to taking these tutorials on the internet. Not only can you take them when you have the time, but you can get the same information that is taught in many college classrooms throughout the country, for a fraction of the price.

Video professor is so sure about their services that they offer a free tutorial to new customers, to gauge how much can be learned from only one session of video professor. These samples are well-placed and should be tried before you choose which program you are going to learn about next. Get a free trial of the Video Professor [http://couponredeemer.com/videoprofessor] program with our coupon plan.

Engagement Photography Tips, Article 2

Are You Serious?

If you are — don’t be! When you go out to have your engagement photos taken by a friend, you need to have a good time. Focus solely on your fiancé and your love for them. Enjoy spending time with them! Too many people focus on the camera and get nervous and uptight: and it shows in the photos.

Hopefully your fiancé is the only person in the world that can help you forget about everything else – which would include the camera…

Do Your Homework

Planning for an engagement session will usually improve the quality of the results. Here are a few steps I would suggest you take as you begin planning:

Run Google searches for “engagement photography” and “engagement photos.” Look for images that you think you and fiancé could imitate. Print off about 20 of your favorite images. Go over them with your fiancé and narrow the list down to the ones that both of you really like and think will be possible. Then, show those to your friend who will be taking your pictures. Whittle the samples down even further based upon their thoughts and feedback. Try to end up with 5 or 10 sample images that everyone is excited about.

Look closely at those sample photos to see what types of location are being used and what the lighting looks like. A lot of engagement photos are taken in either a park or city location. I would suggest driving around and scouting possible photo locations for the session. But don’t just do a “drive-by scouting”! Get out of your car with your camera and take actual photos inside each park of the locations you think would work best. Compare your snapshots with the sample photos you printed off.

You can also do internet research by looking at the web sites of local wedding photographers. While your previous search for engagement photography would have returned nation-wide results, the goal of this research is to see where the local wedding pros are shooting their engagement sessions. You’ll likely recognize some of the parks and buildings that they are working in and near.

Lots of Photos

Hopefully your friend will be using a digital camera. That way they can take lots of images without worry about film expense. Sometimes the difference between an average photo and a great photo is simply changing the angle and perspective of the camera!

This point was really driven home to me with some recent engagement photo sessions I have done. I am in the process of creating an eBook to help couples take top-notch engagement photos. I had another photographer help me out with several engagement sessions. Together, we shot about 600 photos during each two-hour engagement session. During the session, I would often setup and take photos of the couple. While I was doing so my assistant would be moving around and photographing the same scene at different angles. Afterwards, I would look at the photos I took and also some of the side-angles my assistant shot at those same times–and there is often a night and day difference between the two. The couple didn’t move or change their pose; the only difference was the angle at which the image was taken!

So, once you have found a good location for your photo session and you and your fiancé are in position — let your photographer snap away! Don’t limit the shots they’re taking!

And again: have fun with the session. Smile a ton. Laugh a lot. Make the photo session a special memory that you and your fiancé will share for a lifetime.

Training in Traditional Chinese Medicine

When you're ready to achieve your degree or certificate in one of the world's most ancient healing arts, then you should acquire training in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). With programs ranging from certification in Tuina (Chinese medical massage) to a doctorate in Oriental medicine, the educational options are wide open.

To earn your masters in acupuncture and Oriental medicine (MSTOM), training in traditional Chinese medicine entails anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, acupuncture and oriental medicine (fundamentals, diagnosis, and treatment); acupuncture point locations, applications and theory; acupuncture and needling techniques; auricular acupuncture (ear acupuncture), Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Chinese herbology, Eastern nutrition, Tuina, moxibustion, cupping, and more.

If you're interested in becoming a professional doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (DAOM) practiceer, comprehensive training in traditional Chinese medicine is critical. While courses vary with respect to prerequisites, general doctrine programs require a great deal of commitment; usually over 1,200 training hours. In addition to philosophies, principles and training in traditional Chinese medicine (and advanced studies of the masters program), coursework includes family medicine, medical Chinese language, and application of Chinese classics, among others.

Some training in traditional Chinese medicine colleges includes associate and bachelor degree programs as well. These courses are often geared towards Eastern holistic health, nutrition, and herbal medicine.

If you're strapped for time but want to acquire some training in traditional Chinese medicine, you can apply to one of the many Asian bodywork or Tuina certification programs. In addition to learning about anatomy and physiology, students enrolled in these programs gain training in traditional Chinese medicine theories and philosophies, instrumental Tuina hand and structural techniques, Shiatsu, acupressure, Qi Gong, as well as basic CPR and first aid.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in learning more about these or other TCM programs, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore training in traditional Chinese medicine [http://school.holisticjunction.com/clickcount.php?id=6634739&goto=http://www.holisticjunction.com/search.cfm] near you.

Training in Traditional Chinese Medicine
© Copyright 2008
The CollegeBound Network
All Rights Reserved

NOTICE: Article (s) may be republished free of charge to relevant websites, as long as Copyright and Author Resource Box are included; and ALL Hyperlinks REMAIN intact and active.