Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Love to Travel but not to Fly?

To be honest I have no issue with flying. 

I think its amazing that folk have created a machine that can get us from the UK to Australia in around a day.

So what is the point in this blog you ask?
Well my issue is not flying itself, but the sudden and explosive lack of flying, which occurs when stuff hits the fan and the plane hits the ground.

This blog asks the question should we pay more attention to who is flying us?

"Who is the pilot?"

Have you ever asked that question?

Now, when you want a cleaner, you interview potential candidates.

You do this for a person who is going to clean your house and maybe do some ironing, but realistically what’s the worst they can do? To date I have not heard of a single person slam into a mountain due to poor ironing.

On the other hand you have a pilot. Now this person’s job is to fly you around at hundreds of miles an hour in what can only be described as a highly explosive metal tube.

Now said person, who you are trusting with this massively dangerous task, only bothers to pipe up once you are in the air and by then it’s too bloody late!

I’m don’t have an irrational fear of flying…

I actually have a totally rational fear of strangers balls-ing things up!

Until the day comes when I get to see the CV of the pilot prior to travel I'm much happier on the train! Yes... I admit I don't know if the train driver is any good either but on a train the driver only has to deal with forward and back. Unlike a pilot who needs to deal with 360 degrees of trouble.

If you want more info on making traveling by train work better for you try out our travel blogs...

Making the Quiet Coach Quieter. 

Or Listen to The MYOB-Player

Happy travels,

Dom O'Neill

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Friday, 26 April 2013

Watch out for Wet Seasons

We all love to travel here at MYOB Show. There is nothing better than taking a well earned break somewhere exotic and warm. 

However you do need to watch out for wet seasons. With spring on the way, it may be getting warmer in Europe but that is not always the case in other parts of the world.

You go for this...

But you get this!
You can be disappointed by the weather for free at home... You have no need to travel half way round the world for that kind of disappointment. If you want to avoid a depressingly damp holiday you need to watch out for wet seasons!

Where to watch out for?

Australia's wet season (on the popular back packer trail - Sydney to Cairns) is during their summer - in and around January.

The Gambia and many areas in Africa (where many of us like to go on safari) have a wet season in the Spring.
Plus I've found that the Mediterranean area (eg. Spain, Spanish Island and even Cyprus) do not have reliable weather in October - it can rain hard and consistently.

How can I spot a wet season?

A quick Google or Bing search will bring up average temperatures and rainfall charts for most places in the world. Its probably obvious but if the charts show a peak in rain and a drop in average temperatures then you can guess that is the wet season.

Lonely Planet Guides and The Rough Guide books (specific to the places where you want to visit) will help you decide when you should and shouldn't travel. 

For more travel advice check out our travel blogs...
Invest In Rest
Why Travel Off Season? 
How to Bag a Bargain Holiday  

Have happy warm travels folks.

Dom O'Neill

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Brief History of the UK Radio Market

Do you want to work in radio? It is a very exciting (but not very well paid) time to work in radio as there is so much change at the moment.

  However before you can be part of the future of radio it's useful to see where radio has come from. Today's blog is a brief look at the history of UK radio. This blog is based on the research I undertook for a recent Masters Degree in Radio Production (and Management) at The University of Sunderland.

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The Past

Radio hasn't always had to fight to survive. In 1922 the BBC started broadcasting radio programmes in the UK. In the early days there was no competition, the BBC being the sole broadcaster; however in 1929 the climate began to change when John Logie Baird began testing the first television broadcasts. Surprisingly, TV was initially thought of as being an auxiliary service to radio. However, the power and popularity of TV rapidly increased.  Following World War 2 TV's reach extended to more and more areas of the UK, overtaking radio's hold on the media landscape. 

Photo by By Joxemai
All change

The launch of ITV in 1955 was the first of many significant changes to follow. 1967  saw the launch of the  "first BBC Local Radio station, BBC Radio Leicester" and by 1973 the first independent local radio stations were set up "to provide public service programming carrying advertising"(Short and Waghorn, 1993: 9)

What now?

The media market place soon became an increasingly competitive arena, a trend which has continued from the 80's through to today as multi-channel cable, Freeview and satellite TV all vie for a share of the media marketplace. Now, all UK based analogue TV transmitters have been turned off as part of the government initiative "The Digital Switchover". This allows (or forces) all TV users in the UK to become multi-channel enabled.  Today's media market place is a very different and difficult place to survive. 

The Future

Despite its highs and lows, radio so far throughout its history has managed to defend itself against threats from traditional mediums e.g. TV, Film, and Video/DVD. 

Photo by Smiker

But what about the future? Will radio be able to fend of its newest threat... the threat of softwear, the internet and the digital age? We will discuss that over the next few weeks right here on MYOB Show.

If you want to know more about what radio is up against check out the blogs...

What is web streaming?

What is a Podcast & How Can I Benefit?

 Many thanks,

Dom O'Neill

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Podcast: Series 4 EP9 - Web Video

This weeks MYOB Show is the final one of the series and we are finding out how to make the online digital world work better for you!

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Feature 1:

We chat to photographer Laura Pearman of Pearman photography about the benefits of learning to shoot on film rather than a digital camera. Plus we found out if the skills you learn when working with film help you get the most out of your digital tech?

Want to be a professional photographer? Check out these Podcasts and blogs...

Podcast - Episode 2: Image  
Blog - Snapshot of a Pro-Photographer 
Podcast - Episode 6: Creative 

Feature 2:

Film is great but realistically digital is better for basic day to day web videos. 

Do you create web videos? 

If not you might want to think about it as video blogs and web virals are great inexpensive ways to spread your message. 

With that in mind Alistair and Dom found out how to create great looking video content. It's not about what kit you have or how much cash you have to throw at a project but how you use the equipment which you can afford!

You can find out more about online broadcasting via the blogs:

6 Tips for Great Sounding Video Blogs

Feature 3:

In the Entertainment section we are reviewing the weeks best Podcasts and audio books to make your dead time (such as commuting) more entertaining.

Read more about Podcasting via the blog:
What is a Podcast & How Can I Benefit?

Geoff and Annable from Geoff Lloyd's Home Time Show Podcast

 Want some ideas on what to download this week? 

find out on The MYOB Show!

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Take care

Dom O'Neill

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Monday, 22 April 2013

How to Bag a Bargain Holiday!

Do you ever get those emails from holiday companies which contain all their wow deals and headline grabbing holidays? Then you click on the link in the email and all the bargain holidays are no-where to be seen?! In today's blog we'll discover how you get your hands on those deals.

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The first step

Sign up for as many holiday company email alerts and e-magazines as you can. I have an email specifically for online deals and subscriptions - that way my important email addresses don't get clogged with spam.

Learn what you are up against

Many of these wow deals are to grab your attention and draw you to a holiday companies web site. Some of the deals will be so good the holiday company will make little to no money out of them. These are known as loss leaders. There wont be many of each holiday going for the low price. Once the cheap prices are gone everyone else who visits the web site for a holiday will need to pay more. 

You could be here!

Get in early

Learn when each holiday company sends its emails (check previous emails - look at time and day they were sent). Many of these emails and ezines will be sent out at similar times and days each week. Most are sent in the evening or dead of night when servers are less busy.  

For example Directline Holidays usually email me on Tuesdays Wednesdays and Fridays, while Jet 2 send emails out most Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday's mostly after 16:00. 

Once you have received the email, read it strait away to find the best deals. When you see a holiday you want (and can afford it) book it there and then don't sleep on it. Don't wait till the morning to find your dream trip away. The holiday may be there in the morning but the value price may not! 

Warning: Make sure you can afford to pay for your holiday - set yourself a price limit before you read the emails and don't go for holidays out of that price budget! For advice on how to save for a holiday check out the Podcast - Episode 7: Start Up

To sum up

To get your bargain holiday you need to do your research. Find the deals early and book as soon as you have found the holiday that is right for you (and that you can afford). When it comes to booking cheap vacations the early bird catches the worm, then that bird goes on holiday for cheap (bad pun I know)!
If you want more ideas on how to afford a holiday this year check out MYOB Shows travel blogs and Podcasts...

Why Travel Off Season? 

Take care,

Dom O'Neill

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Friday, 19 April 2013

Organic & Natural Stress Beating Advice

Having a long day? Things not bad but not good either? At a loose end but not sure why?

You need non-specific sighing.

In today's blog we take a non-scientific look at a stress reliving technique which I find work wonders - I call it "non specific sighing".

Non specific sighing is 100% natural, organic and home made. It uses no harmful chemicals and no animals are harmed because of it.

Me in need of a non specific sigh

What is non-specific sighing?

A TV production manager friend introduced me too it a couple of years ago. 

While in the office I would from time to time hear her sigh. When I asked her what was up she would say "oh just sighing". When I asked why? She would say "nothing... I'm just having a sigh".

 I tried it and you know, its a great idea! I find a good sigh is great for the soul and surprisingly relaxing. Plus it draws more oxygen into the body and brain (which can help you think)

Which means you are in a much better position mentally when inevitably life hands you yet another challenge.

Non-specific sighing is all about pre-empting and preparing for life's little disappointments to allow you to be in a better position to deal with them successfully.

Try non-specific sighing today, its free to do and requires no training. It can get you in the right frame of mind to take on the world one problem at a time.

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If you need more help relaxing why not read of our Travel blogs including 

Plus on Monday's blog we find out How to Bag a Bargain Holiday.

 Take care

Dom O'Neill

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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Why Travel Off Season?

This week on the Podcast we talked about why you need to Invest in Rest. One of the major reasons so many of us don't take time off is money and more specifically not having enough of it. In today's blog we find out how even with very little cash you can travel, go on holiday and invest in rest - that is because you can travel off season.

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Why travel off season?

Plane, train and boat prices are cheaper.
Accommodation is cheaper.

Hotels and popular attractions are less busy.

Temperatures will be hot but not too hot.

There is more choice for the late booker and there are also great prices if you like to be organised and book early.

How do you know when off season will be?

As a rule of thumb off season for many European holiday destinations usually starts late April till mid July. Then mid September till late October.

To get exact dates check your local authorities web site for information about school term times. 

Alternatively pop into a travel agent and pick up a brochure. Look at the cost per week chart, you will easily be able to tell when peak holiday time starts as prices will rocket from on week to the next. 

If you want a holiday to give yourself a well deserved break companies such as Superbreaks and Jet 2 Holidays can offer great deals on off peak travel. While websites such as Skyscanner can throw up cheap air travel prices.

If you want more info on keeping cost down while traveling you can read of MYOB Show Travel blogs including...  

What is a Staycation?

Take care,
Dom O'Neill 

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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Top 10 Tips for Working from Home

This week our guest blogger Ed O'Neill (MD of English in Newcastle) gives us his 10 top tips for those of us who are wanting to make a success out of working from home.

Ed O'Neill from English in Newcastle
Working at home can be a dream come true, real freedom for you from the daily commute, as well as the opportunity to organise your working life the way you want it. However, it can easily become a nightmare which can spiral out of control and leave you depressed, de-motivated and demoralised. Before reading the notes I have written underneath I suggest stopping for 30 seconds each time and thinking how you can apply each tip to your own circumstances, write it down if you need to. I have personally been working from home for the last 4 years, here are some pearls of wisdom which have kept me from going mad.

One: Have a Clearly Defined ‘Office’ 

    • Have a room or part of a room that is only for you and your office. Being able to ‘close the door’ and leave at the end of the day is a must.
Two: Treat Your office like a workplace

    • That’s because it is a workplace! Remove all distractions such as kids, pets, games consoles, televisions, DVD players, anything that could tempt you to ‘have a little break from work’. Have them in the house, just not in your office, you can always make use of them during your breaks. (See point 3)
Three: Be Disciplined – Plan Your Time

    • Create a ‘to do’ list before you go to bed the previous night, your mind will ‘mull over’ what you have to do while you’re asleep.
    • Decide when you will start, finish and have lunch.
    • Play to your strengths, if you are a night-owl then work at night. Personally, I usually start work around 6.45am and finish around 5 or 5.30pm.
    • Take a break after each hour or so – Maximise this ‘break time’ - play Xbox, spend it with the kids, sit the cat on your lap, anything which isn’t possible to do while in a ‘normal office’, you’ll feel privileged that you can do this.
Four: Exploit Being at Home to the Max – Seize every benefit you can

    • Here are things I like to do while working from home, before reading more think of 5 ways you can exploit working from home.
i.      On a sunny day, I take the office into the garden or the beach

ii.      If I feel in a cooking mood I take my office with me to the kitchen and cook a meal for the evening. That also gives me brownie points from my girlfriend when she gets back from her 9 – 5 job thereby benefiting my home life
iii.      I can get parcels delivered to my home and not miss them!
iv.      Public facilities such as gyms, shops and restaurants are not busy during the ‘working day’ so if I feel like a change I go for a swim or do a bit of shopping in the middle of the working day
v.      Sometimes I take days off on the spur of the moment

Five: Vary Your Days – Every Day
    • Plan your day to include as wide a variety of tasks as possible. Visit clients or prospects, go to the post office to post a letter if you need to, book in a networking session, pop in and see a supplier. Productivity increases if tasks are more varied
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Six: Divide Your ‘Work’ and ‘Home’ life Clearly

    • Planning and managing your time will help immensely with this division between ‘work’ and ‘home’ life. Some other tricks which can work:
i.      Get changed before/after the ‘working day’
ii.     Leave the house after the ‘working day’
iii.    Have a bath/shower before/after the ‘working day’
iv.    Mark’ the end of the day with a beer/wine, ice-cream, a game of Grand Theft Auto, or something that really signifies you are in ‘home’ mode.
v.     Switch off computer and business phone after work (not one for control freaks like me!) 

Seven: You’ve Gotta Love It
    • Ensure that you genuinely enjoy your business and your work. From this enjoyment of what you do will come the motivation and persistence to go on indefinitely. Enjoying what you do will help to enhance your work life and also your home life. If you don’t enjoy it stop doing it, move on quickly, life is very short and you can never get that time back.
Eight: Go Out and Be Sociable

    • Go out with friends once work has finished, take part in activities you enjoy with others, attend business events and speak to other people in the same boat. Make all of these ‘social events’ a part of your work and home life. They will also help you to vary your day (See point 5)
Nine: Be Strict with Your Family and Friends during ‘Working Hours’

    • It is absolutely essential that others sharing the house (including pets) know that they can only interrupt for emergencies. After all, if you went to work in a regular office, they wouldn’t be able to interrupt you there.
Ten: Don’t Always Work from Home!

    • Sometimes I have tasks that I can easily do in a cafĂ©, library, or even on the beach. In North East England the weather is not usually that good but on the odd occasion I have taken my towel and my mobile and sat on the beach to make sales calls or just relax. As you feel relaxed and comfortable lying on the beach the people you are calling can feel it too.
domain names

What Next?
To make the most out of these tips, write them on a fresh piece of paper and apply them to your situation. Tick each tip if it is something you already do, make sure you implement it if you don’t already do it. If you have 10 ticks you have a seriously good chance of succeeding, whatever your business or job. I would love to hear stories of how people have got on using my tips. Comments welcomed!

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