Showing posts from August, 2013

Traits young entrepreneurs need to succeed

It is true that limited access to funds has been a major setback for businesses in Nigeria. The situation is particularly bad for small-sized firms. “Nigerian small and medium-sized enterprises’ access to finance is low compared to other African countries like Kenya. Most working capital is financed through internal funds,” the Head, Finance and Private Sector Development, World Bank, Michael Wong, said at a meeting organised by the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises in Lagos on Wednesday. Several entrepreneurs with tales of failure have often blamed their inability to transform their business ideas to thriving companies on this. Experts are, however, quick to note that access to funds and a great business idea are not all it takes for a business to succeed. Successful entrepreneurs admit that such things as hard work and passion are equally important. According to the Chief Executive Officer, Zanibal On-Demand Business Solutions, an

Be kind to your heart

The holy book says, “Guard your heart jealously, because out of it comes the good things of life.” Medical experts agree with this golden advice. They say these words of wisdom apply literally and figuratively to how we should protect our heart from danger in our day-to-day activities. They note that protecting your heart goes beyond avoiding heartbreak or running away from sin and Satan; and stress that a healthy lifestyle is the ultimate way to reduce one’s chances of developing heart-related diseases.  A cardiologist (heart specialist) with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Dr. Jane Ajuluchukwu, says what an individual does daily would determine whether he/she would develop health complications like diabetes, stroke or kidney failure in future. She notes that protecting your heart involves reducing your risks for cardiovascular diseases that could kill you before your time. Doctors on say if you want to enjoy your pension allowance

Tips for better customer service

After toiling for years, you have set up your dream business, albeit on a small scale. You have even come up with an excellent marketing strategy and it is rewarding you with patronage, causing you to show up at ‘work’ every day with a smile on your face. But how long will the good times last? Will the customers come back? Will they multiply? These are questions experts say an entrepreneur needs to keep in mind. Doing that, they explain, will help them to avoid suffering the same fate as small businesses that succeed in attracting huge patronage only to realise that they are ill-prepared to cope with the pressure of a huge clientele.  For a business to succeed and to keep customers coming back while attracting more patronage, experts say it requires an excellent customer service. They add that, no matter how good the service is, there is the need for it to be improved upon regularly. Doing so will prevent them from inadvertently causing their customers to patronise th

Foods you should eat with the peel on

We regularly discard the peels and skins of whole foods, not realising how beneficial they can be for us. The next time you eat these four foods, keep the peel on. Almonds: Next time you buy almonds, don’t go for the slivered variety. The brown skin of almonds promotes good bacteria in the gut, thus helping the digestive process. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition reports that the skin of almond has essential flavonoids that combine with the Vitamin E in the meat of the nut to deliver powerful cholesterol-lowering benefits. When you eat an almond without the skin, the nut’s LDL-reducing power is diminished. Citrus fruit: Grate organic orange zest onto desserts. Try some lemon zest in your pasta. Let the grated skin of grapefruit add flavour to your salads. Orange peel covered in dark chocolate is not only delicious but good for you. That’s because the skin of citrus fruit contains about four times more fibre than the fruit itself. Furthermore, a 200

Home remedies for stretch marks

Stretch marks are not a medical cause for concern, but they can be unsightly and lead to embarrassment. Although there are a number of treatments for stretch marks, including laser removal, dermabrasion, and retinoid creams, these can be prohibitively expensive and are not altogether natural. Fortunately, there are also a number of home remedies for stretch marks, which can deal with the scars in a less aggressive manner. Let’s take a look at the best of those remedies now. Tea tree oil Due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antibiotic properties, tea tree oil is a popular home remedy for a number of ailments. For the best results, apply tea tree oil to the affected areas every night. Although it has a strong medicinal smell, bear with it and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your stretch marks. Aloe vera Apply the aloe vera gel directly to the affected area every morning. Allow it to soak into the skin until it completely dries. Although it won’t

How debt can affect your health

When debts become a serious problem, it’s not only financial stability that suffers. Debt worries can have a significant impact on health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically. Debts can become a symptom of illness Medical experts agree that worrying about debt can lead to illness. The term ‘worried sick over debts’ is not just a saying, it is a reality that affects thousands of debtors. Debt stress can lead to physical and mental illness that can strike without warning. Doctors have reported rising levels in debt-related illness due to the recent credit crunch. It seems that eliminating debts may be one of the only ways to help alleviate this type of illness. Common illnesses caused by debt stress Debt related stress can be the cause of a number of health problems. Anxiety, back pain and migraines are three of the most common health complaints. Depression and ulcers are also known to be associated with debt stress. Doctors have also reported a rise in pat

Eat soya for healing and nutrition

More often than not, when you have the opportunity to speak with aged people — say people in their 80s, the most important question that usually comes to mind is the secret of their longevity, especially in this part of the world where life expectancy is less than 50. One thing usually stands out in their answers, and it’s the fact that they eat more plant foods and less of animal protein — in addition to other healthy habits that they have maintained over the years, such as not smoking, and not taking alcoholic or sugary beverages. And in these days of ‘preventive medicine’ which aims at nipping diseases in the bud before they find time to thrive in the human body, physicians also encourage us to dump junk and processed foods in favour of natural, lightly cooked foods. There are many foods which, when taken in reasonable quantity, can yield maximum health benefits in a lifetime. One of such foods is soya beans, which nutritionists describe as not only versatile

Parents, know the signs of autism

Autism is a group of serious developmental problems called autism spectrum disorders. They appear in early childhood, usually before age three. This brain disorder, which slows down physical, locomotive and mental development in a child till adulthood, if not managed earlier, is no more a rare development. In fact, a recent study by the International Society of Paediatrics states that autism affects at least one out of every 88 children globally. The condition, which has no symptoms at birth but manifests a few years after, also limits a person’s ability to communicate and relate to other people. Adults living with autism struggle with speech and majorly have to be assisted to do things that other kids take for granted. For instance, according to child care experts on WebMD . com , a three-year old boy who has  one of the autism spectrum disorders may need a year with  intense private teaching to be able to write or say the first five letters of the al

Lending money to friends who hardly pay back

A friend recently complained about a colleague who cried that his wife was going into labour and needed a loan of N100, 000 with a promise to repay by month end. One year down the line and the stories keep changing. In fact, the matter has threatened to ruin their relationship with my friend considering taking the matter to the Human Resource Department. How often do you find yourself in a position where you lend money to a friend or family member and never get it back? They approach you with cries of desperation and promise to pay back after a specified period only to come up with stories when its time to repay. I get approached too and often fall victim. I have learnt from been a victim and often use this tips to avoid falling again. Number one rule is to remember it is easier to borrow and lend than to return after lending If you have this at the back of your mind all the time then your default response will always be a NO. But there are cases that require compa

Till debt do us part

The author of ‘Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence’, Mr. Usiere Uko , writes about how families can manage their debts. Taking a loan simply means accessing money you are yet to earn, and spending tomorrow’s money today. What makes the difference is what you use the money for. Spending more than you earn has put many families in financial difficulty. Among the poor and middle class, money is the biggest cause of marital discord and eventual break up. Since most couples hardly discuss money, most money battles are fought in other arenas – in-laws, marital bed, friends, child discipline etc.  Financial frustrations are vented in the wrong places. Love does not solve money problems Most couples dive headlong into marriage without discussing and agreeing on how they intend to manage money as a couple. Most believe that love conquers all; once there is love, the money will take care of itself. Most have found out rather late in the game that love d

Benefits of male circumcision

When I received a phone call from a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who is in private practice, I thought it was a call for assistance to resuscitate an asphyxiated baby; but I was wrong. It was meant to inform me of a dying male neonate bleeding from complications of circumcision. After all the interventions to stop the bleeding proved abortive, the doctor decided to refer the patient via a phone call due to the urgency involved. The baby and the parents were well received, as I had prepared for them, based on all the information from the telephone conversation between me and the obstetrician. Immediately they arrived, I placed the baby on admission in the paediatric centre where I was working. We nursed him by placing him head down in order to maintain blood flow to the brain. We also placed him on fluid and a drug to control the bleeding. We obtained his blood sample, which we took to the laboratory for urgent blood level, group and cross-matchi

Securing your WordPress blog

Is your WordPress blog safe from malicious people? Would you like to make your WordPress blog more secure? Most often, people don’t think about security measures until it’s too late. But there are some simple steps you can take to keep your blog safe. Why Secure Your WordPress Blog? A blog that has been hacked can suffer from loss of content, stolen data and expensive downtime. Maintaining the security of your blog helps you protect your reputation and provide your visitors with the best service possible. Because WordPress is such a popular platform for blogging, it’s a regular target for hacking attacks launched by people who find and exploit weaknesses and vulnerabilities in websites. Here are five simple security measures that you should implement on your blog today to protect it from hacking attacks: Delete the “Admin” username Hackers look for blogs that use the default WordPress admin username because it’s half of the information they need to ga

20 things 20-year-olds don’t get

I started Docstoc in my 20’s, made the cover of one of those cliché “20 Under 20” lists, and today I employ an amazing group of 20-somethings.  Call me a curmudgeon, but at 34, how I came up seems so different from what this millennial generation expects.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and I see this generation making their own.  In response, here are my 20 things 20-year-olds don’t get. Time is not a limitless commodity  I so rarely find young professionals that have a heightened sense of urgency to get to the next level.  In our 20s we think we have all the time in the world to A) figure it out and B) get what we want.  Time is the only treasure we start off with in abundance, and can never get back.  Make the most of the opportunities you have today, because there will be a time when you have no more of it. You’re talented, but talent is overrated Congratulations, you may be the most capable, creative, knowledgeable & multi-tasking generatio

Don’t overdose on dietary supplements

Nothing beats eating a balanced diet all the time. For one, experts say, a healthy diet may help to prevent certain chronic (long-term) diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Eating good meals that are rich in essential minerals and vitamins may also help in reducing the risk of developing some cancers, as well as help keep a healthy weight. Physicians also say that in the event of sickness, eating a healthy diet may help you to recover more quickly. Nutritionists say eating a healthy diet regularly is one proven way of preventing obesity and overweight; and for those who are already making the scale to groan under their unwieldy weight, experts say eating a healthy diet can help you lose weight. Gastroenterologists advise that as humans, the body needs energy to work normally and keep you alive. We derive necessary energy from nutrients in the food we eat, mostly made up of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Physicians

Live right, prevent heart defects in babies

Open the pages of newspapers these days, and you are likely to find beleaguered parents — mostly mothers — soliciting financial help for their babies who were born with holes in the heart. Physicians say holes in the heart — aka congenital heart defects — is a problem with the heart’s structure that is present at birth. They note that these defects change the normal flow of blood through the heart. A study led by Prof. Bernard Keavney of the University of Manchester, and published in Nature Genetics, submits that CHDs occur in seven out of 1,000 babies born, and that it is one of the major causes of childhood death and illness. “CHDs change the normal flow of blood through the heart,” experts say. Scientists say the heart has two sides, separated by an inner wall called the septum. They explain as follows: “With each heartbeat, the right side of the heart receives oxygen-poor blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs. The left side of the heart receives o