The Precious Present

The Tibetans have a saying;

You will have to stand for a very long time

with your mouth wide open

before a roasted partridge will fly into it…

It is a rather droll way of expressing high levels of improbability, but nevertheless useful, in reminding us that some things that we may pine and hope for are simply ‘unrealistic.’

The fact is that we could stand outside ‘forever,’ with our mouths agape and there is no way in the world that a ‘roasted partridge’ will ever fly in!

The odds are completely against this ever happening and it is like this also with a lot of things that we may cling very vehemently to as aspirations, hopes, dreams and wishes.

This is not to say that we should not have any. It is only to point out that it is wiser to actually get out and take the needed steps that would enable an ‘outcome’ to eventuate.

We must measure our wishes against our ability to create the causes that will engender the hoped for ‘conditions.’

When we wait too long, the chances are we may miss out altogether.

If you are into ‘roasted partridges’ it makes more sense to scour the markets.

There is a huge advantage in learning to ‘surrender’ to life and accept what actually ‘is.’ Instead of dancing through our days like animated ‘puppets,’ tossed about here and there, in a relentless cycle of ‘hope and fear,’ we can simply learn to relax and allow our attention to fully greet exactly whatever arises before us.

Most of the time, we do exactly the opposite. Our ‘attention’ is fixed elsewhere; any where, but right ‘here’ and right ‘now.’

We need not live our lives as slaves to longings, hopes, desires or fear. We ALWAYS have a choice.

We can do ourselves the greatest possible favor and recognize the treasure of the ‘present moment.’

The ‘present moment’ deserves our closest attention, gratitude and even devotion.

Take the hint and look again more carefully at the very thing that you routinely take for granted. Things are seldom ever quite as they ‘appear’ to be.

This present moment, when it is just lived out for what it is, provides us with the supreme opportunity to discover an incredibly important truth.

If it were not for the present moment we could not exist at all.

Truly this present moment is precious indeed!

Your Present Credit Card May Not Be Suitable While Traveling Abroad

When you travel abroad, credit card is the most effective method of carrying money which you. However, your present card may not be financially convenient for such use. Check on these important tips to get the things right -

1. Inform your card company about your travel as a precaution – If the card company sees use of your card at a strange place, it may suspend your account and will try to contact you. In the possibility of no contact, the credit card will remain suspended. You will never know why your credit card is refused and with this first jerk in your travel, you will have to run around for arranging money! It takes only a phone call to inform your credit card company about your travel plan.

2. Check the acceptability of the card – You should ensure that your card will be accepted in the region where you are traveling.

3. Read the cardholder agreement carefully – You should understand the fine print in the agreement. You may not have the agreement in the first place and will have to call your card issuer to get a copy. You can clear all the uncertainties about the transactions abroad.

4. Ask all your doubts to their customer service representative – This is very important because it will give you confidence while using the card abroad. There will be certain amount fees which your card issuers may charge. There may be huge fees for withdrawing cash from ATMs abroad. There is no use asking these questions when you come back. You should also know what to do when your card is lost. Also, make sure about the cover your card issuer is offering for fraudulent transactions.

5. Understand the rate of exchange – You should be clear about the basis on which your company will charge you for conversion of currency. This is a common mistake by most of the international travelers because spending becomes very expensive on an adverse rate of exchange.

6. Carry with you the contact numbers of customer service – If anything goes wrong, you should have a number to call to your card company to get help. The normal number which you use regularly may not be useful for international calls.

7. Check the expiry dates – You should check the date of expiry of your card and the limit available to you on the card. You cannot increase the limit while you are traveling.

8. Preserve all the receipts – If you are overcharged in a particular transaction, you should be able to produce a receipt is to your card company so that you can prove the details.

9. Always check carefully any bill before you sign it. If the bill is in US dollars, you may ask for the bill in the local currency of that country.

If you feel that the present card will prove expensive and inconvenient, you can switch to another card temporarily. It is very convenient feeling to swipe your card while traveling overseas, but when you come back and receive a statement from your card company, the shock should not spoil your entire travel pleasure.

Traveling abroad with ‘loaded’ credit cards is everybody’s dream. But with exorbitant fees and conversion charges, the trip may leave a bitter test at the end. How to avoid it? Well you can do it very easily. Chintamani Abhyankar provides useful tips and advice on precautions while using your credit card abroad.

How to Price Your Product for Retailers

Millions of inventors and entrepreneurs set out every year with good ideas and great products, but what separates the many from the few is executing the fundamentals. One of these basic tenants that many businesses struggle with is setting the right price on your product and achieving the delicate balance between making a profit and keeping merchandise competitive.

There are many factors that go into pricing your product. Many companies will over-estimate or under-estimate how much a retailer is willing to pay for a quality product, as well as what the end-consumer will pay.

Here are a few key tips to competitively pricing your product to retailers:

1. Know your target consumer – Who are you selling to and why would they want your product? Take your time to do thorough market research before deciding the value of your product. Many companies will hire outside companies to help in this crucial step.

2. Know all your costs – This includes expenses like your sales and marketing team, cost of labor and materials, salary expenses, as well as your company’s future growth plans, your expected profit margin, and a realistic revenue goal.

3. Know your competition -Making a head-to-head comparison between your competition’s prices and costs can be very helpful when determining how to price your product. You can bet that any retailer you are selling to will check out your competition to gauge your prices.

4. Know your market – Are there new laws being considered that may affect your business? Or maybe the price of your materials has been on the rise? Consider the future stability of your market when making price decisions.

Everyone wants to sell to big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy, but don’t forget that bigger retailers might mean a higher sales volume, but don’t expect to make a high profit off of them. Smaller retailers, on the other hand, will accept higher prices, but offer small sales revenue. Knowing who you are selling to is key to setting the right price for your products.

Lastly, after you set the right price, don’t forget to continuously monitor your prices after you get into stores. Keep an eye on the market, your competitors and the profit of your products. Be ready to shift the price of your product when it is necessary.

Striking the right balance between earning a profit and remaining competitive can be difficult, but with the right tools and know-how the task can become a little less daunting and help set your business up for success.