A lot of people have been arguing for decades why direct selling businesses cannot or will not work. But the fact remains that it is one of the most prominent types of businesses and it has existed for almost a century. In fact companies like Amway and Tupperware are actually older than Microsoft and Apple. Even after all those nay-sayers running amok, several MLM and direct selling companies are listing growth and profit every year. This made me question the basic premises on which the negative arguments stand.
Before I delve deeper into the discussion, let’s understand a fact that there are many cheat and fraud MLM and direct selling companies out there. The points I am going to make will help you find the companies which are legitimate and actually make the partners gain profit. A basic observation though. There have been several Ponzi schemes and fraud “chit funds” that have swindled common people out of their heard earned money for centuries. But there seems to be much less awareness about these fraud financial companies than the direct selling businesses.
1) Legitimate Direct Selling Businesses Require Small Fees To Join:
On an average, it does not take more than 30 to 100 USD to join a direct selling business. At least that is what the legitimate ones charge. If a company is asking for more than that, there is a high chance of fraudulent activity. The more money you invest in a business, the harder it is to break even and it is true for all forms of businesses. MLMs that require a small fee to join allows people to recover their amounts fast and easily.
2) Only 3% People Succeed In Direct Selling Business For A Reason:
It is one of the pet figures of anti-MLM people who use it as a tool to prove that this type of business is not for common people (read honest people). However, this low percentage is there for a reason. Do we know how many shops, restaurants and other businesses open and close each year? The numbers are surely staggering. The best thing about MLM businesses is that anybody can join the business for a small fee without any interviews, exams and such. Hence, a lot of people join these companies out of a whim and then do not follow through. If there were stringent joining procedures in place, the percentage of successful people in MLMs would have been much higher.
3) People Do Not Use Their Common Senses:
I have seen many people buy a huge number of products after joining a direct selling business in the hopes of selling it for profit. But the funny thing is that a business does not run on hope, it runs on calculation. I have seen many people lose large amounts of money by doing this and then blame the business. Well, play it smart and buy only the amount you are sure you can move or buy them when someone places an order.
4) Don’t Fall For Fake Promises:
If you are promised that you will make thousands of dollars within just a couple of months of joining the business and roll in money within a year, there is plenty to be suspicious about. If you still decide to join that business and then the business turns out to be a scam, do not go blaming all the direct selling businesses. Only join those which guarantee profit through hard work and dedicated effort and that too in believable amounts.
5) Pyramid Schemes And MLMs Are Not Same:
Pyramid schemes pay you money for presenting the business plan to someone and inspiring him to be a part of the business. Legitimate direct selling business will never offer you money if someone joins the business using your recommendation. Profits in the real ones are always linked to the amount of products you move or amount of business you generate for the company. There are no freebies.
6) Make Sure That The Products Are Genuine And Marketable:
If you are approached by two business where one has a “Wonder Disk” that purifies water, increases energy when someone holds it and calms the mind when placed on head and another company that has a “Health Drink” which is bio-organically manufactured and has all the nutrients clearly mentioned on the label, which company do you trust or join? The decision is simple right? Well, the reality is quite different. A lot of people join companies with suspicious products and when they fail, they blame the direct selling business on a whole.
It does not take much money to join a direct selling business or to become successful in it. All it take is to tread a bit carefully and apply some common sense. In a study, almost 90% business owners of legitimate direct selling companies expressed that they were happy with the business model and experience. So next time you come across a negative article about direct selling, use your brain and question the points with an open mind.
Heart disease is one of the most dangerous health issues of modern world. Almost 2 in every 5 males over 40 suffer from heart related complications and the numbers are increasing with each passing day. There are numerous medications and drugs available in the market but their effects are definitely limited by the lifestyle we lead and the food we take. Bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking have not done the situation any good. Add the increasing stress of work life and you will get an idea.
Thankfully, there are some very high quality supplements in the market that can aid the medications to decrease risks of heart diseases. These supplements mainly work by decreasing the levels of bad LDL cholesterol and reducing blockages in the arteries. Some of the supplements are readily available in the market while others may take some searching. Here we list the top 6 supplements that can improve heart health and reduce risks of heart attacks.
1) Omega 3 Fatty Acid:
An all time favourite when it comes to heart health. Omega 3 fatty acid contains good HDL cholesterol and decreases LDL levels in the body. Omega 3 is abundant in Fish Oil and Flaxseed oil. Usually 1 to 5 Grams of fish oil per day should do the trick. Now-a-days Omega 3 is often included in refined cooking oils. But too much Omega 3 can cause bleeding so get the dosage you require after approval from a doctor. Also only use this supplement from vendors who clearly mention Mercury levels in the fatty acid supplement.
2) Niacin Or Vitamin B3:
Studies show that when taken with standard Statin drugs, Niacin helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 50% while increasing HDL levels by up to 20%. According a recent study, a control group of 500 people with heart diseases showed almost 25% less chances of heart attacks when treated with 500 Mgs of Niacin daily.
Garlic has an Amino Acid called Alliin which is broken into Allicin inside the body once consumed. Studies has proven that Garlic actively reduces blood pressure and hypertension. Garlic is readily available in the market and adding some of it in the daily diet can help heart patients on medication.
4) Quenzyme Q10 Or CoQ10:
Proven to reduce levels of blood pressure, CoQ10 increases the energy production at cellular level and reduces blood clots which is a direct result of increase in LDL levels. It is shown to reduce chances of second heart attacks and heart related discomforts. In many parts of US and Europe special CoQ10 enriched food is available for heart patients.
5) Red Yeast Rice:
Another hot favourite heart supplement. This food item has a number of elements that actively reduce LDL levels in blood. Reduced LDL slows down accumulation of fat inside arteries and blockage. This helps removing chances of Angioplasty or Bypass operation and heart failures.
6) Vitamin D And Magnesium:
Both these elements help reduce blood pressure. Magnesium also reduces the chances of Type-2 Diabetes and medical science has established the link between Diabetes and heart diseases. Keeping Diabetes in control can not only help prevent future heart related complications but it can also help people with existing heart conditions. Vitamin D deficiency can increase the chances of subsequent heart attacks and strokes.
These supplements are always to be taken with the medications prescribed by your doctor. They work best when coupled with a healthy lifestyle and controlled food intake. Failure to practice such healthy activities will surely damage the heart health in the long run. Eat healthy, stay healthy and enjoy an active and fulfilling life.
A Word Of Caution: Some of these supplements can interfere with your current heart medication or some other drugs you might be taking. Also ensure that you only take the amount suggested by your doctor.
Fear of failing exams has plagued innumerable students throughout the course of modern education system. As the exam day in school comes near, students start lamenting on the golden time they have wasted through the year or the semester and start frantically preparing for the exam. The situation is even worse in colleges where students hardly start preparation before the last day before exam. But there are some highly efficient tips and tricks that can help you do well in those exams even after all the mischief throughout the year. Some of these techniques are universally applicable while some I devised on my own. So here they are:
1) Do Not Memorize, Understand:
Understanding a subject helps you remember it without breaking a sweat as information flows in your brain from one logical end to another. During the classes, if you do not understand anything, ask the teacher over and over. At least in the classes that you attend. If that boy sitting beside you calls you teacher’s pet or something, do not bother. He is not going to help you during the exams.
It is easy for mathematical subjects but there are things to understand in subjects like history too. Often the reason behind a couple of 17th century wars is because someone did something in 16th century. Once you get those facts straight, you won’t have to blindly memorize and hope for the best.
2) Take Breaks While Studying:
When you finally get down to exam preparation, the exam will be only 24 to 36 hours away. So, every second will feel like gold dust and you will most likely not take any breaks. But that is not a good strategy. Even during such tight situations, you must take 10-15 minutes break every 45 – 60 minutes of studying. It will refresh your mind and allow the brain to process the unrelenting flood of information. Just do not overdo it.
3) Squeeze In At Least 4 – 5 Hours Of Sleep:
It might seem like a lot of time but it will come in handy. I was one of those people who like to study through the night and morning and sleep once the exam is over. But once in college I experienced a complete memory whitewash. I read the whole night before, was amply prepared and paper was quite easy too. But once in the exam hall, I forgot the answers to the easiest questions. That I believe was the direct result of staying up the whole night. I passed the subject but got much less than I should have. Since then, I never forget to sleep a few hours.
4) Make Bullet Points Of Topics:
As you study topics of the syllabus, make bullet points of the important information as you go. This will make the job the easier when you revise. You will then have to study only the important information and not rummage through the unimportant junk in your textbook. This way, you might even be able to squeeze in a second revision before the exam starts.
5) Try To Gauge The Type Of Questions In The Exam:
Often times, you teachers will set the paper themselves. Analyzing their teaching pattern and the topics they stressed on during the year will help you guess the more important questions in the exam. You can even ask them for some pointers before the exam. More often than not, they will drop a few hints about the chapters to concentrate on. Otherwise you can refer the yesteryear’s questions and get an idea.
6) Ask The Teacher About The Marking Scheme:
You can easily ask the teacher about how they mark answers. It is perfectly OK to ask this question and they are obligated to tell you. After all, if writing 3 points to a 5 marks question earns you full marks, why would you try and write 5 points. Similarly, information about the marking on all types of question will get your efforts more focused and yield better results.
7) Read The Questions Thoroughly:
It’s a basic rule that we forget to abide by throughout our academic career. Set aside at least 10 – 15 minutes to read the questions properly. Often a question might seem to have one meaning but after careful reading might reveal another. If you have a good understanding of all the questions, you can easily make up for these 15 minutes later in the exam.
8) Start With The Question You Can Answer Best:
This is only possible if you read the question properly. Answering the easiest question first helps you in many ways. First, it will increase your confidence and jump start your brain. Secondly, it usually takes some time for you to pick up speed during exam. It takes around an hour before you start writing first and your brain starts working at full capacity. It is best that you write the easiest answer when your brain is still getting warmed up.
9) Do Not Dwell On once Th Exam Is Over:
If you keep thinking about the questions you missed or answered wrong long after the exam is over, you will hamper the preparation for the next exam. The first thing to do after the exam is over is to take a deep sleep. It will clear you mind and get you ready for the next exam.
These are some of the steps I learnt and implemented to some success. There is replacement for studying all year but very few of us actually do that. So if the preparation has boiled down to the last moment, prepare smart and you should be able to pass the exam if not actually ace it. All the best!
Bedse caves near Pune is a tourist place very few people know. It is comparatively closer to Pune as well. The internet mentioned only a couple of Budhist caves there and nothing else. So on the morning of 24th July, Sunday, 2011, we started on our bikes thinking it will be just one of those short trips, just to break the monotony of the daily life. But when we reached there we found out internet barely did any justice to the place. And it became one of the best trips I have ever had.
Bedse Caves are about 45 Kilometers from Pune in Bedse Village and on the old Pune-Mumbai highway (National Highway 4). So after we started off from Wakad , we took the road to Nigdi and was soon on the NH4. It started raining after about 15 minutes on the highway and it made the journey interesting. We were hoping for rain and got loads of it. Had to stop quite a few times because of heavy rain but the scenic beauty on both sides of the roads was awesome so it was really enjoyable. Clouds hovering over distant hills are my all time favorites and we got plenty of it on the way to Bedse caves.
Going straight along the highway for around an hour or so we reached Kamshet chowk. We had to take a left from there and went under a metal arch. Road was bad from there and Bedse village is around 9 KM on the inside. On the way towards village the scenic beauty of the route was mind blowing. The hills had come down to the roads at some places and at some places it really felt like we were riding through the lap of nature. Rains kept the hills lush green and the waterfalls gushing. There is a ghat called Bore Ghat on the way to village which is one of the most beautiful ghats I have ever seen. The roadsides can be great picnic spots if one is interested.
After the sign of Bedse village, the village is another 1.5-2 KMS inside from the main road and you have to do some off-roading over there. Once we reached the village we parked our bikes outside a temple. The road towards the hill starts just to the right. There is no designated road from the temple to the foot of the village and sometimes non-existent. We had to walk through mud and water to reach the foot of the hill. There are farms on the both side of the muddy road. The view of the distance hills from here was quite breathtaking. The waterfalls coming down from the top of the hills makes one feel like running to that place.
After reaching the foot of the hill, there are well laid out stairs to the top making the climb quite easy. We were at the top in 20 minutes. However there are small waterfalls and lush greenery on both sides of the stairs (thanks to the rainy season) so we stopped and took in some of that beauty as well. I strongly suggest visiting Bedse Caves during the rainy season. Otherwise I am pretty sure you will miss at least 60% of its charm. The water is drinkable as well. These small waterfalls can be tracked back upwards to some extent as we did but the rocks being wet and slippery you have to be extremely careful.
There are two caves at the top. One is a ‘Chaitya’ or meditation room and the other is ‘Vihara’ or quarters of the Buddhist monks. The Chaitya has very close resemblance to the Buddhist architecture seen in Ajanta caves. The sculptural prowess is just as graceful and attention to minuscule details just as scrupulous. The cave and surroundings are litter free as not many tourists visit these Caves. The meditation room really calms the mind and makes one feel he is thousand miles away from civilization. If you really want to meditate, it is the place for it. Next to the ‘Chaitya’ is the ‘Vihara’. There are 9 small rooms 7 of which accommodate 2 persons each. It is almost unbelievable that people can stay in such places day in, day out only meditating and thinking of Lord Buddha. And it shows what the human mind and body can achieve once it has set its mind upon something.
There is a small ‘Stupa’ next to the ‘Chaitya’. Small statues and interesting carvings are visible in and around the meditation cave. They resemble the ‘Kinnar’ and ‘Gandharva’ statues of the Ellora caves in Aurangabad . However according to local legend, many of the carvings were destroyed due to human foolishness. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it-”Until around 1861 the caves were regularly maintained – even painted. These works were ordered by local authorities in order to please British officers who often visited caves. This has caused loss of the remnants of plaster with murals on it.”
The view of the valley from the top of the hill is breathtaking. The constant drizzle made it look even better. One can stand there for hours and feast his eyes on this splendid scenery. I was certainly feeling like going to the top of those hills and sitting there for hours. It reminded me that mother nature has given us so much to cherish but we spend our days running after goals that do not really matter, and leave a bad taste in our mouths even as we achieve them. Rain was coming down with full force by that time so we decided to delay our return. We went inside the small rooms of the Vihara and sat on the rocky beds that belonged to the people who created these caves from nothing many thousand years ago. We were lucky to feel a little of what they might have felt spending their time there on those stony beds, talking among themselves and listening to the rain drops outside.
On the way down we almost camped at a small waterfall. The water was fresh and warm, the force was strong and letting it flow over our legs was utterly satisfying. Not bringing extra clothes was lamented as we really wanted to roll into the flowing water. We spent considerable time there as our legs were pretty tired. Just sitting on the rocks and dipping our feet into the flowing water did wonders. I ventured a little upward to find the root of the stream, but thick foliage prevented my climb in short course. The rain had slowed down to a drizzle by that time and chirping of birds had started. The calmness,pleasure and relaxation almost hypnotized me. I started to feel if there was ever any nice way to die, it will be sitting here like this and slowly drifting of to that eternal sleep. Alas! all good things must come to an end and so was this beautiful trip was coming to. We started descending drenched on the outside but warm inside, tired but satisfied, hungry but calm. The descent was a little difficult as the stairs were slippery from constant water flow over them. But we were at the foot of the hill pretty quickly.
It would have been nice if our trip experiences ended there. But that day had something else to offer. On the way back through NH4 , to the right of the road there is a Ganapati temple made by the Birlas. We decided to pay a visit to that as well. The statue situated at the top of a small hill. Ganapati here is called ‘Mangalmurti Morya’. The statue is huge and the detailing are unbelievable. According to the notes there, the statue took 2 years to finish. As ’9′ is considered lucky and auspicious number in Hindu Religion, the statue is 72 feet tall(7+2=9), the seat of the statue is 18 feet high(1+8=9) and the seat is 45 feet in width(4+5=9). It is a really nice place to spend your evening at. The unhindered 360 degree view of the city below is something to cherish as well. We spent around half an hour there before deciding it was really time to leave.
Evening fell as we rode into our places. It was time for a little snack and to start preparing for next day which was a Monday of course. But even as I got busy in my daily chores, I knew inside that, that day I saw a rare beauty of the nature that I will remember for a long time to come.