Anthony McCune – Writer For Hire

Ghostwriting, Copywriting, Grant Writing, Technical Writing, Research, SEO, Expert Resumes

Belisi – How It Started

Posted by writerforhire on March 6, 2007

I love learning the stories of how successful people or companies got their start. I find that it can be a personal inspiration; and a good start-up story is gold for a company.

That is what attracted me to blog about Belisi – How it Started.

Peter Belisi was a man with a dream. He had a dream of giving his wife and newborn child a better life.Working as a bartender in Palm Beach, what could be a fun job in a great city, Peter saw people who had it all. They were people who would not accept any less.

There was something else about the people though, they had a charitable spirit.

I believe without question that people succeed in life, one way or another, because of other people. For Peter Belisi, it was the image of the well to do customers that provided inspiration.

I also believe that anyone who succeeds takes a chance. Peter Belisi invested what little extra money he had in neckties. It wasn’t long before co-workers and customers began to compliment him on the ties. This inspired Belisi to pursue a business in fashion.

The thing that stands out as much as anything in this story is the philosophy of giving among the wealthy Palm Beach crowd. This is something that had an impact on Peter Belisi. Today an integral part of his company is “Luxury with Meaning”. A portion of every puchase, regardless of size, is given to charity.

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HotelReservations.com

Posted by writerforhire on March 6, 2007

There has been a lot of time to think lately; one of the things we have been thinking about is taking a vacation.

It sounds easy enough. In truth, though, arranging a trip to a place you want to visit at a price you are comfortable paying can be a challenge.

Exploring various choices, I’ve decided to check out options to make Hotel Reservations using HotelReservations.com.

The site is loaded with features. So much so, it’s difficult to know where to start. You can obtain information on hotels, flights and cars. There are vacation rentals and vacation packages. Also Bed & Breakfasts and Condo Rentals. You can even arrange cruises through HotelReservations.com!

If that’s not enough, there are links for Family Fun, Beach Hotels, Gambling, Golf and Spa deals. It would be safe to say, if you want to arrange a trip for yourself or for a group you can do it at HotelReservations.com. In fact they have a service for Group Bookings with nine or more rooms per day.

Of course, the $100 Rebate grabbed my eye. As did the link reading “Guaranteed Lower Rates”.

An interesting tool is a Destination Guide where you can research the city you want to visit. Another thing I had to check out is the Road Trip Search where you can find deals at places near where you are!

Logging into the website, my first inclination was to check out the places I most want to visit without consideration of cost. There are about 40 countries to which you can arrange travel. But I kept my choices to the United States.

I thought the logical place to start was the Destination Guide. I think it’s impossible to use this tool and not know exactly what you’re going to find when you reach your destination. It even helps you decide when to go!

I’m not sure what research you’ll have left to do once you’ve checked out the details on:

  • Costs and Money
  • Telephones, Mail, Email and Time Zones
  • Getting Around
  • Best Of
  • Food And Drink
  • Festivals and Public Holidays
  • History
  • Outdoors
  • Crime and Personal Safety
  • Health Advice

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Designing On A Budget

Posted by writerforhire on March 6, 2007

It’s not that difficult. Be it traditional, country or contemporary.

Select the focal point around which you want to design a space. Or pick a theme and work with that.

Choose a nice accent piece. A splash of color here. The right fabric there.

Interior design is something that is frequently taken lightly. Truth be told it’s more than about how things look; it’s the way being in the space makes you feel.

Cost can be an issue to create the surroundings you want. That’s where Designing on a Budget comes in.

This text will assist you to achieve extraordinary results while not spending lavishly. This approach to interior design contributes to a higher quality life; whatever your bank balance may be.

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American Tragedy Brings Home Importance of Mental Health

Posted by writerforhire on March 5, 2007

Article was originally published by FORTE in October, 2001.

American Tragedy Brings Home Importance of Mental Health
By Anthony McCune

Facing personal tragedy is a well known trigger for the onset of depression.

Experiencing a high level of stress over an extended period of time is associated with developing anxiety disorders.

These issues came to the forefront of the American consciousness on September 11, 2001. Horrific terrorist attacks were executed against civilians working in one of America’s landmarks, the World Trade Center in New York City, and the heart of the nation’s defense establishment, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

More than 11,000 people were killed or injured in New York City including police and firefighters.

Howard Lutnik, President and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, {the world’s leading bond trading firm} wept openly on national television as he spoke of his 700 employees who’d lost their lives. Mr. Lutnik did not understand how the surviving members of his firm voted to return to work. It had nothing to do with their making money; it is the importance of work to all of us. It is part of the healing process people need to go through. Work is vital to recovery.

In the days and weeks that followed there were airplane pilots and flight attendants talking about the anxiety they were experiencing when considering returning to work. They also experienced the fear many Americans have felt, and continue to feel, about returning to the air.

People working at the Sears Tower in Chicago, America’s tallest building, spoke of the anxiety they felt about returning to their offices in the sky. Similar fears were expressed by other workers from offices in skyscrapers across the nation.

A month later, and for months to come, workers are cleaning up the devastation in the area which was the World Trade Center…now referred to as Ground Zero.

This raises the issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There was a well known picture of a firefighter at the scene of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building; he was holding an injured child who had been at the on-site day-care center. The stress and depression related to this event led to this firefighter committing suicide.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency {FEMA} has allocated $38 million for provision of mental health counseling services in New York City and Washington, D.C.

America will never be quite the same after the unprecedented attack on our homeland.

While Americans are working to return a bit of normalcy to their lives…there is fear lurking in the back of people’s minds. There is anxiety we haven’t felt before.

The terrorists’ infiltration of our society has made people re-think the value of a totally “open” culture. There is not so much of an objection at having our personal freedoms infringed upon a bit.

Many people experience feelings or exhibit behaviors that could be considered symptoms of one or another mental illness. It depends on the degree to which a person’s life is impacted whether they are diagnosed.

People from around the world were in the World Trade Center the day of the terrorist strikes. People from coast to coast knew individuals who were killed, injured or experienced unspeakable horror that day in New York City, Washington and rural Pennsylvania.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is something “survivors” of September 11, along with rescue workers, are going to have to face.

What must be realized is that you did not have to personally know anyone who was touched by the tragedy of September 11th; in reality it has touched us all. The need for mental health intervention is not going to end with the $38 million FEMA has allocated to victims and families.

Watching the events unfold night after night on television has an effect on us.

People are anxious about the possibility of a wide-spread chemical or biological attack. Nuclear power plants have been targets of what have been called “creditable threats”.

Terrorists, not yet known to be domestic or linked to the group responsible for September 11 attacks, are spreading anthrax through the postal system; disrupting business and government.

There is fear about the security and safety of the nation’s water supply.

One of the main lessons that September 11, 2001 must teach us is that mental illness is not an us and them issue. It is a WE issue. More money is needed to address the mental health issues we face.

Posted in Commentary, health | Leave a Comment »

Thinking of Starting a Business? The Top 10 Tips

Posted by writerforhire on March 2, 2007

Thinking of Starting a Business? The Top 10 Tips
By Anthony McCune

1. Be brutally honest in assessing your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Accept that you will need assistance to make your company successful.
3. Understand the need to focus on your area of expertise; identify sources of assistance for other operational areas.
4. Establish realistic goals that include measurable results.
5. Thoroughly research the industry including details about your competition.
6. Keep in mind, you are not going to reinvent the wheel. Successful companies – i.e. Microsoft and Wal*Mart – take existing ideas, adapt them as necessary and make them their own.
7. Project things to take longer than you believe they will and to cost more than you want or believe they will.
8. Develop a strategy that includes a reasonable number of contingencies.
9. Take an approach that is proactive, not reactive.
10. Plan your work and work your plan.

Posted in business, consulting, entrepreneur, management | Leave a Comment »

Infectious Awareables

Posted by writerforhire on February 24, 2007

I found a great affiliate program. I will have a page of my new business website dedicated to sales; this is one that will get high profile placement.

Infectious Awareables is a company already near and dear to my heart. They, soon I’ll be able to say we, sell products that bring attention to health issues and they donate a portion of every sale to charity.

It’s an interesting opportunity, becoming what they refer to as a joint venture partner. The best thing about this is there is no investment to make and no inventory to carry.

Working with Infectious Awareables doesn’t require anything other than making people aware of the product; it sells itself.

What attracted me to this was not the affiliate opportunity; it’s the product. They describe it as “science-based products designed to promote awareness of important public health issues”. I appreciate the way they go about things, “a light-hearted, infectious approach to some serious stuff”.

I found this aspect of the company especially attractive. A portion of all proceeds is donated to disease research/education. In terms of awareness, I thought this was innovative, there’s a “learning note” and source credentials on the reverse side of the ties.

In addition to ties – both neckties and bowties – there are scarves, boxers, scrubs, teeshirts and caps.

There’s a collection of other stuff too; notecards, a book (the Germ Freak’s Guide), educational posters and a video on preventing the spread of infection.

I think there can be some real potential with this. (Product Directory)

Product shown: a silk tie; testosterone in blue and red

Posted in Affiliate Progams, entrepreneur, health | Leave a Comment »

7 Keys to Customer Service Excellence

Posted by writerforhire on February 19, 2007

7 Keys to Customer Service Excellence
by Anthony McCune

I have had great customer service experiences recently and others than have been absolute nightmares.

Boiling it down I would suggest these are 7 Keys To Customer Service Excellence:

1. Focus on the wants of the customer
2. Make your effort about fulfilling their need, not having them do what you want
3. Listen don’t hear
4. Determine what action(s) you need to perform to fulfill the customer’s expectations
5. Go above and beyond what is necessary to get the job done
6. Follow-up to ensure the customer is satisfied with the result you have achieved
7. Determine if there is there anything else you can do to make the customer happier?

Posted in business, Customer Service | Leave a Comment »

Thoughts On Living A Happy Life

Posted by writerforhire on February 17, 2007

Thoughts on Living a Happy Life
By Anthony McCune

I offer you 10 thoughts on having a happy life. Originally I thought of numbering these. They should be thought of, I concluded, as having equal importance.

  • Find your life’s passion.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Do kind things for other people, only because it’s the right thing to do.
  • Understand spirituality; make it an important aspect of your life.
  • Embrace opportunities for learning.
  • Always remember that your worth is not determined by anyone else.
  • Do not settle for less than you deserve.
  • Do not hesitate to show love to those who love you.
  • Acknowledge the good instead of dwelling on the bad.
  • Understand the value of true friendship.

Posted in Perspective, Philosophy, spirituality | Leave a Comment »

The Process of Change

Posted by writerforhire on January 25, 2007

The Process of Change
By Anthony McCune

Change is an issue we face every day. Can I go about this differently; is there a way I can do this better; will leaving the old behind or embracing the new improve the quality of my life?

People may recognize the need to make changes. They may understand the benefits change will bring. They may truly want to see the process happen. A basic problem is understanding how to change.

Our behavior is largely based on habits. We don’t think; we do. Understanding that is the first step leading to change.

Change begins with the way you think about something.

A concerted effort is required. Practice, learn to think differently about the behavior you wish to change. Don’t expect to fully achieve the change instantly or even over a short-time. It is a process built upon the foundation of acceptance.

It is necessary to maintain a level of awareness regarding what you have done, the way you have done it and the result you are seeking to accomplish. Some days you’ll be more successful than others. The key is recognition.

If your actions do not reflect the change in behavior you want to accomplish, you need to recognize it. Accept that will happen at times and then continue the process. Habits are developed over time; change requires time as well. As long as you know when you’re falling back into the old habit it will be easier to change.

Given time, and practice, you will begin to think differently about that behavior. The change of thinking will bring a change in your action. The action will achieve a result that you desire. Success will reinforce that behavior. The behavior you wanted when you identified the need for change.

Changing the way you think, acting in a different way will change the way you feel about that particular behavior. That positive outcome will reinforce the importance of carrying forth the new attitude, the new belief you have developed in terms of that behavior.

Change the way you think; to change the way you act; to change the way you feel. That, in a nutshell, is the process of change.

Posted in decisions, education, Perspective, Philosophy, self help | Leave a Comment »

A Landmark Week For The Rooney Rule

Posted by writerforhire on January 24, 2007

A Landmark Week For The Rooney Rule
By Anthony McCune

What a week it’s been in the National Football League. Two teams won their way into the Super Bowl with coaches of color and the Pittsburgh Steelers hired their first African-American Head Coach!

Being the head coach of the Steelers is one of the marquee positions in the league. Even more than that, though, because of “The Rooney Rule” the hire in Pittsburgh was watched closely.

It all started in 2002. Attorneys Johnnie Cochran Jr.and Cyrus Mehri, a labor law attorney in Washington, D.C., released a report calling attention to the “dismal record of minority hiring” of head coaches in the National Football League.

The study – titled Black Coaches in the National Football League: Superior Performances, Inferior Opportunities – noted that over 400 head coaches had been hired since 1920. Six of them were African-Americans and five of the six had been hired since 1989.

Using statistical evidence from the proceeding 15 years, the report indicated that the black coaches outperformed their white counterparts. Notably, the study determined that these same coaches were often the first fired by the team’s owners.

Cochran declared at a news conference in September, 2002 that black coaches were being held to a higher standard than their white counterparts. He threatened to take the NFL to court.

There were several interesting findings in the report commissioned by Cochran and Mehri. Analyzing the data, Dr. Janice Madden of the University of Pennsylvania found that:

  • 70 percent of all NFL players were black
  • 28 percent of the assistants and coordinators were African-American
  • Six percent of all head coaches were people of color
  • Whites accounted for 30 percent of all NFL players
  • 72 percent of the assistant coaches and coordinators and 94 percent of the head coaching positions were white

Win and loss records of the five African-American coaches from 1986-2001 {Dennis Green, Art Shell, Tony Dungy, Ray Rhodes, and Herman Edwards} were compared with the 86 white coaches during that same time period.

Dr. Madden concluded that black coaches averaged 1.1 more wins per season than white coaches. White that may not seem to be a significant difference, winning nine wins instead of eight could realistically be the difference between a team making the playoffs or not.

Teams during that period who had white coaches made the playoffs 39 percent of the time. 67 percent of the time teams with African-American coaches played in the playoffs.

Some teams had both black and white coaches during the time period studied. Dr. Madden found that the African-American coaches increased the average wins from 7.4 to 9.1.

While all indications were that the black head coaches consistently outperformed their white counterparts, the report does conceded that “there were too few black coaches to apply formal statistical analyses.” Success of African-American coaches during the period did not lead to other minority candidates being hired.The report showed that nine new coaches were hired in 2002; They were all white with either losing records, little experience as a head coach or no experience.

The Cochran/Mehri report proposed a Fair Competition Resolution to “promote an atmosphere in which African-American coaches are fairly and equally considered for head coaching positions.” The study proposed incentives and penalties to motivate NFL owners toward a more open selection process.

According to the resolution, the NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue could award teams an extra draft pick for hiring minorities in management positions. All teams would select coaching and coordinator positions from a group of candidates who were racially diverse and interviewed in person. Finally, a team could opt out of the process by forfeiting a first-round draft pick for head coaching positions, or a third-round draft pick for assistant coaching and coordinator positions.

The NFL responded to the Cochran/Mehri report by establishing a committee of owners to investigate diversity. The committee was chaired by by Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As a result of the work done by the committee, the NFL enacted “The Rooney Rule”.

The Rooney Rule required each team to interview at least one minority candidate when filling a head coach position. Failure to do so would result in a fine. The committee did not adopt the proposed Fair Competition Resolution.

In January 2004, two black coaches were hired among seven vacancies. Two years after the Cochran/Mehri report, there were five African-American head coaches in the 32-team NFL. It was, at that time, more than any other season in league history.

In July 2003, the NFL invoked the Rooney Rule. Matt Millen, president of the Detroit Lions, was fined $200,000 for violating the new rule because he hired a white head coach without interviewing any black candidates.

Millen had long wanted his old friend Steve Mariucci to be his head coach. When San Francisco let Mariucci go, Detroit went after him. The Lions president tried to give the appearance that he was following the Rooney Rule. He contacted five different assistant black coaches for an interview. It was common knowledge in the league that Millen would hire Mariucci; the coaches declined to be interviewed. Millen paid the fine and received a great deal of negative attention both from the media and community groups.

Dan Rooney is now the chairman of the NFL’s committee on workplace diversity.

In December, Rooney was given a list of about a dozen qualified minority candidates to replace recently resigned Bill Cowher. {In the past 38 years there have been only two head coaches in Pittsburgh.} Minnesota Defense Coordinator Mike Tomlin’s name was on it.

Tomlin had what has been characterized as “two strong interviews” with Rooney, Art Rooney II and the Steelers’ director of football operations Kevin Colbert. He was chosen, it’s been reported, largely because of the motivation, enthusiasm and organizational skills he showed.

Look around the league and things have markedly changed. Four years after the Cochran/Mehri report, The Rooney Rule is a success.

Posted in Commentary, sports | Leave a Comment »

 
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