As I took out my “card” to pay for groceries, I thought back to when I actually used paper money more than plastic. In fact as I thought about it, it really wasn’t that long ago. I decided to research the evolution of the credit card and here’s what I found out – credit cards are nothing new.
 

Photo:Freedigitialphotos.net

Photo:Freedigitialphotos.net

Here are some interesting facts and figures about credit cards:

Earliest History –
Some form of credit has been in existence since Babylonian time. In early archeological digs, geologist found documents outlining a “bill of exchange.”

The payment plan arose sometime in the 1700’s when a merchant offered larger items such as furniture to be purchased on weekly payments.

Have you heard of “tallymen?” They sold food, clothing etc. by using a large stick with notches to tally purchases. There was another stick that showed payments. Customers could then make weekly payments and the tallymen would adjust their tally sticks accordingly.

More Recent History –
In the 1800’s local town shops began issuing something known as the credit token. It was developed to save time for sales clerks. Instead of writing all the customer information on the sales slip every time they only had to record the number that was on the back of that customers credit token. Another clerk would transfer the purchase information into the accounts book.

Going one step further, local merchants began offering credit through their own issued cards. They could be used only at their shop. It was basically to attract and keep loyal customers.

Use of credit cards originated in the United States sometime in the 1920’s.
 
 
Recent History –
1950 The idea of paying multiple businesses using one single card seems to be traced back to Frank McNamara. He used a single cardboard card with his signature on to pay for his meals at several Manhattan New York restaurants. He went on to form Diners Club.

1952 Franklin National Bank of New York introduced the first bank credit card. So was born the buy now, pay it off in increments.

1955 Over 100 banks are now offering credit cards.

1958 The American Express Card is launched. And in 1959 they introduce the first plastic charge card.

1958 Bank of America introduces BankAmericacard

1966 Bank of America begins to license BankAmericard across the United States.

1966 Competitors of the new BankAmericard credit card begin designing an agreement that will allow banks across the United States to accept each other’s local credit cards. MasterCharge is launched and 36.5 million cards are issued.

1966 The debit card in introduced by The Bank of Delaware.

1977 BankAmericard changes its name to Visa.

1979 MasterCharge becomes MasterCard. The first “gold” card is launched in 1981.

1986 Discover Card is unveiled.
 
 
Most Recent Statistics:

Total number of credit card transactions in the U.S. in 2012: 26.2 billion.

Total number of credit card accounts in the U.S. as of Q3 2013: 391.24 million

Average value of a credit card transaction in the U.S. in 2012: $94.
 
 
Information Sources: Each credit company has a history and/or timeline you can read.
 
 
© Copyright 2009-2014 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved

Be sure to purchase your copy of Sharon’s goal setting and achieving paperback and Kindle book, 21 Days to Living Your Dreams on Amazon.com
 
I’m Sharon Michaels and I teach you how to do business successfully. http://SharonMichaels.com
sharon michaels photo
 
I invite you to stop by and check out my Author page on Amazon.com – learn more about all my Amazon books Sharon Michaels Amazon.com Author page
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: I am the author of the paperback and Kindle ebook and an affiliate of Amazon.com – if you purchase the book through this link, I will receive a commission.

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In my opinion, learning never stops. I honestly believe learning, growing and exploring new things is a life-long process. Is there something you’ve wanted to learn? If yes, what’s stopping you?

learning

You’re never too old, too smart or too experienced to stop learning!

Here are a few websites offering online courses:

Writer’s Digest University: Learn to Write Fiction, Non Fiction Poetry, Novels Online.
http://www.writersonlineworkshops.com

Tilly and Buttons: Learn to sew.
http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com/p/learn-to-sew.html

Craftsy: Learn to quilt.
http://www.craftsy.com/classes/quilting

Online College Courses: Get a degree or sharpen your skills.
http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses

Popular Woodworking: Learn woodworking.
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/basics

Organic Gardening: Learn to grow and cook organic food.
http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow

Chef2Chef: Learn to cook.
http://www.chef2chef.net/learn-to-cook

American School of Jewelry: Learn to make jewelry.
http://www.jewelryschool.net

The Virtual Instructor: Learn to paint.
http://thevirtualinstructor.com

Scrapbook.com: Learn scrapbooking
http://www.scrapbook.com

***I am not endorsing or recommending any of these websites or courses – they are merely suggestions.***

I suggest you search the Internet until you find a site and course that interests you. Do your research before making any “buying” decisions.
 
 
© Copyright 2014 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved

Be sure to purchase your copy of Sharon’s goal setting and achieving paperback and Kindle book, 21 Days to Living Your Dreams on Amazon.com
 
I’m Sharon Michaels and I teach you how to do business successfully. http://SharonMichaels.com
sharon michaels photo
 
I invite you to stop by and check out my Author page on Amazon.com – learn more about all my Amazon books Sharon Michaels Amazon.com Author page
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: I am the author of the paperback and Kindle ebook and an affiliate of Amazon.com – if you purchase the book through this link, I will receive a commission.

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If you could learn the secrets for delivering sensational customer service from a former executive vice president of operations at Walt Disney World, would you make the time to read his book? If the answer is “yes,” then you’ll want to read David Cackerell’s book, The Customer Rules.

Customer Rules Book Cover

In The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service you will find the chapters to be short and practical. The information is important and significant. The customer service concepts can make you money and provide you with loyal customers.

There’s nothing new or earth shattering in this book but, David Cackerell shares good, simple and practical common sense concepts for delivering the type of customer-oriented service that will have you and your company enjoying repeat business and referrals.

Honestly, when I first received this book to review I thought to myself, “Yet another book on customer service, aren’t there enough already?” Then, I started reading and my skepticism began changing. Before I knew it, I was reading excerpts to my husband. For me, wanting to share what I’m reading is a sign of a good book.

This is an easy to read and thoughtfully written book. The author shares great examples based on his forty-plus-year career in the hospitality industry – Walt Disney World, Hilton Hotels and Marriott.

Let me give you a few examples of the “39 Essential Rules”:

Rule #5 – Ask Yourself, “What Would Mom Do?
“Never ask for something without saying ‘please’ or receive something from another person without saying ‘thank you’.”

Rule #17 – Listen Up
“Like all of us, your customers want to be understood. But emotionally, what’s even more important is that they feel you want to understand them and you’re genuinely trying to grasp what they want, need, think and feel.”

Rule #28 – Know the Difference Between Needs and Wants

“What do you expect when you come to Walt Disney World? Their top four wants were these: Make us feel special. Treat us as individuals. Show respect to us. Be knowledgeable.”

These three examples should give you a good idea about the practical material David Cockerell covers – material you can begin using in your business immediately. It sounds cliché to say that this book is filled with valuable “pearls of wisdom” but honestly, this book is filled with valuable “pearls of wisdom.”

I highly recommend The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service, to everyone who works with the public. It may be well worth your effort to make this book a company-wide customer service read!
 
 
© Copyright 2013-2014 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved

Be sure to purchase your copy of Sharon’s goal setting and achieving paperback and Kindle book, 21 Days to Living Your Dreams on Amazon.com
 
I’m Sharon Michaels and I teach you how to do business successfully. http://SharonMichaels.com
sharon michaels photo
 
I invite you to stop by and check out my Author page on Amazon.com – learn more about all my Amazon books Sharon Michaels Amazon.com Author page
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: I am the author of the paperback and Kindle ebook and an affiliate of Amazon.com – if you purchase the book through this link, I will receive a commission.

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Self-empowerment begins with self-understanding. Personal power comes from understanding and making peace with yourself, your past and your present. The future is bright when you believe you have the power to go forward in positive ways. Here are seven positive and powerful self-empowering suggestions.

fortune cookies success

1. The next time you’re feeling down, take five minutes and write the first thoughts that come to mind. Could your thoughts be making you disempowered?

Keeping a journal is an excellent way to stay in touch with your feelings. Writing a journal can help identify patterns of negative and self-sabotaging behaviors. Your journal is also a way to monitor progress. You never know, your writings may turn into a best selling book some day.

2. Limiting beliefs produce limiting results. Self-sabotage and discouragement goes hand-in-hand with limiting beliefs. To begin to intelligently and rationally conquer negativity and self-sabotaging behaviors, it is time to become fully aware of the disempowering beliefs that may be lurking in your unconscious mind.

Ask yourself these questions:
When I try something new, what’s one of the first things I say to myself? Is it positive or negative?

When something goes wrong, what’s one of the first things I say to myself? Is it positive or negative?

3. Begin enhancing self-esteem by writing down an entire page of your positive qualities. Fill the whole page with words, phrases and sentences. You’ll spend less time focusing on the negatives when you concentrate energy on the strong points.

4. Start acting the way you’d like to see yourself in the future. For example, if you’d like to be more outgoing, start taking social risks. Go places where you will meet new people. Once you begin acting more outgoing, you’ll actually become more outgoing.

5. Take out a photo album and look at yourself. Are you smiling? Are your arms folded defensively across your chest? Is your posture slouched? Use the photographs to help see yourself as others see you.

6. Make time to understand what makes you tick. You’ll accomplish more in less time if you truly understand what motivates you to achieve and succeed. Can you sit down and explain what really makes you excited and self-satisfied about your personal and professional life?

7. Laugh and smile often. Life is meant to be enjoyable, exciting and beautiful. Sit back and appreciate the experience. Taking everything seriously, and even personally, turns life into an insurmountable mountain of one crisis after another. All this mountain climbing can keep you emotionally off-balance and physically drained.

Being in control of your feelings and emotions doesn’t happen by accident. Self-empowerment is an ongoing lifestyle. Read these seven suggestions again and choose the one you’d like to begin working on today. The future is bright when you choose to go forward in positive ways. Live each day knowing and believing you have the power to create great things for yourself!
 
 
© Copyright 2011-2014 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved

Be sure to purchase your copy of Sharon’s goal setting and achieving paperback and Kindle book, 21 Days to Living Your Dreams on Amazon.com
 
I’m Sharon Michaels and I teach you how to do business successfully. http://SharonMichaels.com
sharon michaels photo
 
I invite you to stop by and check out my Author page on Amazon.com – learn more about all my Amazon books Sharon Michaels Amazon.com Author page
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: I am the author of the paperback and Kindle ebook and an affiliate of Amazon.com – if you purchase the book through this link, I will receive a commission.

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A few years ago I self-published my first Kindle eBook on Amazon.com. I have to say it was a learning experience and took some time and patience. I’m glad I did for many reasons: income, publicity, marketing opportunities and more.

Photo:Freedigitalphotos.net

Photo:Freedigitalphotos.net

Maybe writing eBooks and self-publishing is something you should consider. If you write regular blog posts, submit articles to eZine directories or have finished manuscripts you’ve been waiting to publish, then this could be the perfect time to consider self-publishing your own eBooks. Here are several “aha’s” I’ve discovered while writing, formatting and uploading my own eBooks.

1. Just because you are self-publishing doesn’t mean you can skip the proofing and editing stage of fine-tuning your book. Proper grammar, punctuation and words that are spelled correctly are still an important and necessary of a well-written manuscript. It is so difficult to proof your own materials. I suggest you have two or three proof readers edit and read your book before you upload it as an eBook ready for sale.

2. Make time to learn the “in’s and out’s” of eBook publishing. The way you format your pages for Kindle and Nook are different than if you were formatting a manuscript for a paperback edition. I recommend Lisa Shea’s website as she has many suggestions about writing your book and preparing it for uploading to Kindle, etc. http://www.lisashea.com/lisabase/writing/gettingyourbookpublished/ (off site link)

3. Prepare an inviting and professional looking cover for your book. Covers are the first impression your potential reader will have of your book. Remember, you never get a second chance at a good first impression and the same holds true for an eBook cover.

4. Write a thought-provoking and interesting summary to appear on your product page. Let your readers know why they should be buying and reading your book. Draw them into the story if it is fiction. If it is nonfiction, let them know how the how-to information you are sharing can change and/or improve their lives. Get them excited about buying and reading your book.

5. Even before you upload your book for sale, you should begin the promoting and marketing process. Develop a workable week-to-week marketing plan. How will you let your potential audience know that you have written a “must read” book? Here are a few suggestions:

*Start your own BlogTalk Radio show where you can highlight parts of your book. Your radio shows can also be downloaded to your website or blog as a way to promote your book.

*Contact radio hosts and ask to speak on their show about your new book.

*Begin a blog just about writing your books – write about your writing process, why chose to write on this subject, have excerpts from chapters, etc.

*Become a guest blogger on blogs read by your target market. You can mention your book in the author box at the end of your guest blog post.

*Create YouTube videos about writing your book.

There is money to be made by self-publishing an eBook. The tech savvy population of readers purchasing eReaders is expanding rapidly and that means a potential ready-made market for your next book.

By the way, Kindle doesn’t charge you to upload your book and begin selling it on Amazon.com – they take a percentage of the sale of each book.

I recommend you start with a small book and test your wings. You never know, this could become an entire business for you or a great way to grow your hobby. I also believe that having a book in print is a powerful way to market yourself as an expert in your field. Happy writing and eBook publishing!
 
 
© Copyright 2012-2014 SharonMichaels.com – All Rights Reserved

Be sure to purchase your copy of Sharon’s goal setting and achieving paperback and Kindle book, 21 Days to Living Your Dreams on Amazon.com
 
I’m Sharon Michaels and I teach you how to do business successfully. http://SharonMichaels.com
sharon michaels photo
 
I invite you to stop by and check out my Author page on Amazon.com – learn more about all my Amazon books Sharon Michaels Amazon.com Author page
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: I am the author of the paperback and Kindle ebook and an affiliate of Amazon.com – if you purchase the book through this link, I will receive a commission.

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