Archive for: April 2013

Four Business Ideas for Pilots Who Are Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Pilots love to be up in the air flying, but there comes a time when most airline pilots start to consider making a career move that that will get them away from the hectic life that an airline pilot leads. Pilots learn a lot of useful attributes from their flying experience, including things like courage, levelheadedness  patience and persistence. These are all useful attributes that will allow them to successfully transition into a different career. One of the best ways for pilots to use their skills is to start up their own businesses. For pilots looking to make a career change, here are four different entrepreneurial ideas for them to consider.

1. Private Charter Business

This is probably the most popular career choice for pilots looking to move away from the airlines. There are many ways to get into the charter flight world. Pilots can use their savings or retirement funds to purchase a small plane to offer charter flights to businessmen and others who want to avoid flying commercial. Other pilots decide to use their small planes to offer tours of natural wonders like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls. This is one of the most exciting and profitable ways for pilots to become entrepreneurs. It takes a lot of hard work and a good sense for finance to pull this off.

airplane-broker2. Airplane Broker

This is an ideal entrepreneurial opportunity for pilots who are sick of the constant travel demands that their careers have placed upon them in the past. Airplane brokers can work out of their homes or a small office, and they don’t have many expenses to worry about. This is a job that pilots will find they have a lot of success in. When a client is looking to purchase an airplane, they will definitely listen to and respect the advice that comes from pilots who have made their living flying in the past.

3. Motivational Speaker

One of the keys to being a great motivational speaker is to have a lot of life experience to draw important lessons from. Well, former airline pilots have these life experiences in spades. Every pilot will have a host of stories that relate to their audiences about the importance of staying calm under pressure and overcoming obstacles. This can be one of the most profitable business ideas for pilots to consider. Popular motivational speakers can earn huge sums for brief speeches, and it is a very rewarding and fun way to make a living.

4. Other Ideas

Of course, many pilots don’t want to stop flying regularly, but they also don’t want to keep traveling all the time. There are many small business ideas that pilots like this can consider. Some examples of these business ideas include running a skydiving school, partnering up with an aviation superstore and running an affiliate business with them, crop-dusting, training pilots at a flight school and running an aerial photography firm. Creative pilots can always find a career path that will allow them to cut down their travel and still keep their wings.

Have Faith

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It is always a little scary to leave a regular paycheck for the uncertain world of an entrepreneur. However, any pilot who has courage and faith will make it happen. The rewards are immense. Not only are the financial rewards incredible, but the joy of becoming your own boss is a reward that every pilot will love.

Bill in North Carolina Senate splits Auto Insurance Industry

Aimed at increasing competition within the automobile insurance industry, a senator in North Carolina has recently introduced a bill that he hopes would help to save insurance customers money. Certain insurance carriers, and the insurance commissioner for the state of North Carolina, have suggested that the legislation would actually do the opposite of what was intended, and would make rates go up.

North CarolinaThe insurance industry has come down on two sides of the issue with a coalition named Fair Automobile Insurance Rates supporting the bill. Referred to as FAIR, this coalition counted members including Geico, Allstate, State Farm, and Farmers. Against the bill is another group of insurance companies with members like Nationwide, GMAC, N.C. Farm Bureau, and Discovery Insurance.

Thus far, the increases for insurance rates in the state were guided by a department of the government called the North Carolina Rate Bureau. Much like senators might request too much funding for their state only to receive a lower amount of money, the same methods are used by the insurance companies to obtain state-condoned rate increases.

The way in which the N.C. Rate Bureau would operate would include taking a number from the insurance industry and its carriers, and using it to negotiate with state lawmakers on what rate increases would be appropriate. The rates approved by the government were very nearly always less than what was requested by the insurance companies.

The senator who introduced the new bill, Wesley Meredith, suggests that his bill would make it easier for insurance companies to give people living in high rate areas a lower rate based upon good driving habits. The bill would also make it possible for insurance carriers to hike rates up on unsafe drivers.

Current methods for determining insurance rates ensure that about three-quarters of residents in the state have to pay a premium to cover the increased costs of covering a high-risk driver. Some lawmakers within the state have suggested that this method of charging premiums has forced good drivers to pay for the mistakes and poor driving habits of high-risk drivers.

Some in the state have even suggested that the current design of insurance premiums has made it more expensive for women drivers and older drivers, and has also made it hard for any change to come about within the industry as a whole. Numbers suggest that drivers who have to pay more to cover bad drivers end up with about $16 in additional charges on their bill.

One interesting element of this bill is that one of the companies that are in opposition to the bill, Nationwide, donated money in the past to the senator’s campaign fund. The senator has suggested that funding from insurance companies in the past did not influence his decision to put the bill through the government.

Insurance consumers in North Carolina are worried and whatever the outcome, they just don’t want to have this impact their rates in a negative way. One person with spoke with, says his happy with his current auto insurance provider First Acceptance, but that he is tired of being misrepresented:

“…I’m tired of politics affecting my bottom line! It’s time our elected officials represented their people instead of the lobbyists.”

There are other bills currently working their way through the senate chamber that would also impact the state’s insurance industry. The senator who introduced those bills, Tom Apodaca, suggested that his bills would offer a better approach to the issue of making insurance rates fair across all drivers in the state. Passage of any of the bills might come down to which bill the Republican-majority senate would favor.

How Antibodies Can Help Those with Graves’ Diesease

Have you experienced problems with a rapid heartbeat, hair loss, dry skin, a feeling of fullness in your eyes, swelling in the front of your neck, weight loss, or brittle nails? All of these could be symptoms of Graves’ disease, and it is important to see your doctor for a complete health evaluation.

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Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition where the body’s own antibodies start to attack the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located right below our Adam’s apple, and it helps regulate our metabolism. When the antibodies affect the thyroid in Graves’ disease, the thyroid becomes overactive and starts to produce too much thyroid hormone. This can cause weight loss, nails that break easily, swelling of the thyroid gland, and hair loss.

Sometimes the condition can affect the eyes. The muscles that control eye movements can begin to swell, pushing the eyes forward in the eye socket and causing eye bulging. The swelling can become so severe that patients can’t move their eyes.

Graves’ disease can also affect the heart and blood pressure. An over-active thyroid causes the heart to beat too fast. This can also increase the blood pressure. The heart has to work harder than normal, creating a risk of heart problems, like irregular heart beat and even heart attacks.

Fortunately, it is very easy to measure these antibodies. Doctors and other health care providers can order a simple blood test to see if the thyroid antibodies are present and in what amount. The most common antibody blood tests for Graves’ disease are for the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) antibodies and the TSH receptor binding antibodies. Some health care providers may also order tests to check for the thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies. Health care providers will sometimes do imaging tests such as an ultrasound or scintigraphy to make sure there are no other causes for the overactive thyroid.

Once the levels of the thyroid hormone and antibodies are determined, your health care provider will discuss several treatment options with you. The three main options include medication, radioactive iodine, and surgery. Medication is used to decrease the amount of thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Blood tests to measure your thyroid antibodies will be done regularly to make sure the medication is effective and isn’t making the thyroid hormone drop below normal.

In situations where medication doesn’t work, radioactive iodine to destroy the overactive thyroid cells is an option. The radioactive iodine is taken up by the thyroid in particular and is a very effective non-surgical treatment. Once the short course of treatment is done, your doctor or other provider will monitor the levels of antibodies in your blood to make sure that the treatment was effective. Since your thyroid doesn’t function after this treatment, you’ll usually take a thyroid hormone replacement.

Surgery to remove the thyroid, called a thyroidectomy, is the final option. Since there is no thyroid for the antibodies to attack, thyroid hormone is no longer produced in excess. There is more recovery time with surgery than the radiation treatment.

Measuring thyroid antibodies can be extremely helpful in diagnosing thyroid problems. If you suspect you have Graves’ disease or another thyroid problem, please contact your primary care provider today.