Why Is a Puppy a Bad Christmas Present?

Even though it is the stuff that makes us tear up in movies and television shows, giving a puppy as a Christmas present is rarely a good idea. Despite all of your best intentions, adding a furry family member needs very careful consideration.

The holidays are a stressful time for most people. There is a ton of hustle and bustle about the home every day. There may be family traveling in, or you may need to travel to them. There are presents to wrap and food to cook. Now, add an 8 week old puppy to the mix and someone is going to howl for sure!

Having a new puppy is, well, expensive. There are the costs of acquiring the puppy, plus all the “must-haves” that need to be purchased. There are the expenses for Veterinary care and puppy-proofing the home. Not too mention, replacing anything that little Marmaduke happens to chew on with those baby teeth. Christmas is probably not the best time of year to add on a list of expenses.

Then, there is the little-known issue of whether or not the puppy will be healthy. See, most reputable breeders actually will refuse to sell puppies at Christmas, for fear they will not be accepted or cared for properly. Or, the fact that someone may end up allergic and that would break everyone’s heart. Unfortunately, puppy mills breed their dogs to make money around the holidays. It seems that pet stores make a lot of money and most of it is off of puppies bred solely for profit. The saddest part here is that many are in-bred and come to their new homes with genetic defects, illnesses and many other ailments. And, way too many times, they end up at shelters.

So, before purchasing a puppy as a gift this Christmas here are some ideas that should help:

  • Check with your local shelter about a gift certificate-then, go AFTER the holidays are over.
  • Buy a few books on dogs—fun and interesting for the children to read. This way, they can learn about how to raise a puppy and get ready for the big day.
  • Pet-sit for a day. Borrow a friend’s dog for the day. This will allow the children to have all the fun of playing with a friendly dog, but not necessarily the hard work of it all. Just be sure the dog is kid-friendly
  • Plan for the puppy. Make a calendar of when you plan to go look at puppies. Discuss shelters vs. breeders with the family. Figure out where he or she will sleep, what they will eat, etc. Make it a family affair!
  • Visit your local Veterinarian. Get to know the doctor who will be taking care of your pet. This way, the children get to ask questions, maybe even see some animals, and the whole family is comfortable with their puppy’s new doctor.

These are just some basic ideas. Try to remember that bringing home a pet is almost as important as bringing home a baby. With children, we get 9 months or so to prepare. For your new puppy, at least take a month or two to prepare. In the long run, your holidays will go smoother and everyone will end up with a family member that is loved and cherished for many Christmas’ to come.

Before Negotiation

I was recently the fly on the wall at a negotiation. The negotiation itself is a result of longterm planning in most cases. This article details what to do before entering a business negotiation.

Step One:

Do your homework. That means research anything that may come up in advance of the business negotiation. Absolutely, have a few notes there to back up your viewpoint. If you don’t have that research, you are at a disadvantage.

Step Two:

Consider jotting down notes of what you intend to get out of the negotiation. Include things like points that are absolute deal breakers. Include points that you are likely to compromise on.

Additionally, draw or sketch out what the final deal will look like. Include financial numbers to give you an idea of what ballpark you want to end up in as a result of this business negotiation. Ie. People who are successful at business can see into the future for longterm rewards as much as they can see into the future for shortterm rewards. But clearly, having a map drawn of where your headed is valid before entering negotiation. It will also help you to be firm in your negotiation, knowing what you may be foregoing.

Step Three:

Do some market research. I know that companies can charge you millions of dollars for a simple study of getting people’s opinion on something. If this business negotiation affects people, find out from people what they think. Don’t limit yourself to two or three of your closest managers or friends. Extend that. Show up at a mall. Ask if you can have a minute with people. Dress appropriately to break down the barriers. People are flattered when you are seeking their opinion so to be fair, treat them appropriately and explain how their opinion will have some affect.

I have a friend in the natural concoction business. Before working on a new product, she phones up a list of customers who are agreeable and asks them about the future product. It may be well into the future but she gets the goods on the interest long before she undertakes it. Such is the case with a negotiation.

Absolutely, do your market research. Some things look good on paper but never go anywhere in the real world. For example, if you’re the marketing guru behind The Clapper you would have researched this product in advance and how agreeable people would be to buying it. But say, you invented something similar like The Sneezer, then tried to market it without asking people how hard it would be, how useful it would be to them. You would undoubtedly lose your shirt.

Step Four:

Set down in advance what you as a company stand for and who you’re willing to negotiate with well in advance. For example, if you believe in only dealing with union shops, then make sure you write that down and stick to it before any negotiation. There’s a phrase that if you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything. By having principles, you are already on your way.

Step Five:

Enter the negotiation with a window of time that you will allow before making any final decisions. This prevents an emotional response to the negotiation.

Best 3 Techniques for Improving Presentation Skills

Almost anything that is worth doing will be worth doing right. That is certainly true for succeeding at improving your presentation skills. Planning carefully beforehand, getting advice and following it, might make a major difference in your chances for achievement or failure. If you don’t do it right, the end results tend to be very disastrous. You could wind up embarrassing yourself, and in many cases cutting short your career advancement.

Allow me to share three great tips to avert that kind of failure, and succeed.

First of all, you need to understand presentation structure.

You will need to create a strong introduction, body paragraphs and powerful conclusion because it aids in preventing confusion on the part of the audience. Neglecting to get this done may make your presentation impossible to follow. You want to give the audience a road map of where you are in the presentation. Please avoid the error of disregarding or slighting this important step!

Secondly, you want to limit public speaking fear and nervousness.

Almost as essential as needing to understand presentation structure while you’re attempting to succeed at presentation skills will likely be you want to limit public speaking fear and nervousness. I’m letting you know, this is not something to overlook. It can help to make your presentation go from being mediocre and slightly boring to powerful and exciting, and everyone involved in presentation skills wants that.

Lastly, you want to concentrate on improving your body language. By some estimates, 65% of a message is transmitted by body language

And ultimately, when you’re dealing with presentation skills, just be sure to breath and learn to manage your own anxieties. This would assist with having a confident delivery, that’s an essential part of any effective presentation. Should you not, you could possibly come across as someone who is not an expert on the presentation topic — and I think we will agree that would not be a good thing!

As stated earlier, should you aspire to succeed at presentation skills, then you definitely will need to steer clear of the kinds of mistakes that might mean you wind up embarrassing yourself, or perhaps cutting short your career advancement. What you really want is to focus on your weakest area of the three areas mentioned above. You can easily attain presentation mastery by carefully pursuing the three steps outlined above.