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What the Most HATED Cell Phone Company in America Can Teach You About Building Your Online Business

That’s right, Sprint. One of the most hated cellular carriers in America can teach you a shitload about building your online business.

Now I’ll tell you up front that I’ve worked for Sprint for years, but that has nothing to do with what they can teach you.

I’ll also tell you up front that I have Verizon as my personal carrier. Again, nothing to do with helping you, just a little full disclosure. Now, first things first.

Why is Sprint so seemingly hated by customers? I have no idea. Their plans are the best, their coverage is great and they have some of the most innovative phones available. But none of those things are the secrets to growing your business.

SPRINT’S BUSINESS BUILDING SECRET

Over delivering. The old saying is to under promise and over deliver and Sprint does that in every way. Their plans offer more features for less money than comparable Verizon or AT&T plans.

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The Cycle Begins Again

Today is the last day of my four day weekend. Was I productive? Not in the least. I only did one “fun” thing, which was going to see an extremely horrible movie.. Max Payne.

The rest of the time I spent sleeping, on the computer or.. eating. How pathetic could my life get. I didn’t even attempt to study, or do homework. I should have read my book so I can do the project that’s due on the 24th.

I still have 150+ pages to go, a review to write and 3 sentence summaries on every single page. YES! Every single page. IB Teachers go a little over board. Reading is fun and all, but the writing part is what made me procrastinate.

Now I’m going to be rushing and staying up in the wee hours since I have practice every day the rest of the week, as well as today in just a few hours.

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What to expect from your college freshman orientation

My little brother ( who is looking like a giraffe) and I just got back from my orientation, so I’m a little fresh about this. I keep him company to make sure he stayed motivated.  So now going to college for an orientation program was a huge thing for both of us.. If you’re debating whether or not to attend it, you definitely should as it’s a great source of any information that you need.

Every school’s freshman orientation program is different, but here are some things to expect:

  1. A long speech. The school will likely give an introductory speech from some esteemed member of the staff.
  2. Information about requirements. You’ll probably be given information about general ed and/or major requirements to help you pick your classes.
  3. Dorm information. My freshman orientation didn’t do this (and I wish it had), but your school might show you in a few of the dorms and talk about them. Some orientation programs have you stay the night in the dorm to get a feel for it.
  4. Stuff for parents. The school is going to try to persuade your parents that their money is well-spent and that you’re going to be safe. If the orientation program keeps you there with your parents, be ready for a long talk about the school’s boasting points and the like.
  5. Tour of the campus. Another thing I didn’t have, but I know some schools do. They might take you around and show you more of the school. You might find out more about what the cafeterias are like, you might find out where the library is, and so forth. The school wants to start introducing you to where you’re going to be living.

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Wow! My Site Tune-up Is Showing Results

Alexa is a Web information company that tracks and ranks Web sites worldwide. On their homepage, you can enter a Web address and see where that site ranks in relation to millions of other sites.

When I began my site tune-up last month, my site was way down into the two million. Ignoring my site for several years had done a lot of damage and this low ranking was the result.

Over the last few weeks, I got to work revamping elements of my site. I didn’t think there would be any quick or radical effect, but when I checked my rank on Alexa today I was surprised to find that my site had rocketed up to the 1.3 million spot. That’s an increase of well over a million positions.

This rank isn’t exactly newsworthy since it means there are over a million sites with more traffic or a higher rank than mine. But it is noteworthy given that this represents an increase in rank of around 50 percent in a few short weeks. So if you have ever doubted whether optimization of your site was worthwhile, put your doubts to rest.

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14 Reasons You’re Living On The Financial Edge

Together we’ve examined ways to know that you’re on the edge of a financial cliff.

Whether living paycheck to paycheck, knowing that just one more payment would be the final straw, or having nothing in a savings account or emergency fund, moving back away from the edge begins with knowing how close you really are.

But what are the things or situations that pull people to the edge of a financial cliff in the first place?

Pull? Don’t you mean PUSH? No, you read that right. If something pushes you, it probably wasn’t in your control. I’m thinking of medical bills, an extended job layoff, or some other true emergency. In these cases, even a well funded emergency fund can be quickly depleted.

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Trusting Others Too Much?

A life of presuming that everyone is out to get you is not Woody Allen-funny, it is Stephen King-misery.

I had my annual skin examination yesterday. Given my ethnicity and some bad sunburns in the past, I always approach the visit with some trepidation. After a 20-minute scalp to soles exam, I left reassured that those scattered paint dots of extra pigmentation were innocent.

But am I wise to be reassured? What guarantee do I have that my dermatologist is well trained, thorough and up to date? And, if I, experienced in medicine must accept her reassurances as valid, how much more trusting must a lay person be?

I’m a complete lay person in another active sphere of my life currently, as we buy and sell a home. I speak to my realtor daily. Yesterday, I spent 3 hours in the company of a building inspector as he examined a house we propose buying. I read, research the web, talk to friends and colleagues, yet, ultimately, I have to trust that these varied individuals who advise me to know their field, are conscientious, and are committed to their long-term reputation.

 

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Do you think a corporate uniform matters?

There are extensive benefits associated with having a corporate uniform. Among these, some of the strongest benefits include a sense of belonging for employees, and brand identification for customers. Corporate uniforms also tend to be very practical for the workplace, and can be quickly washed and dried by employees to make it easier to stay on top of the working week. These benefits, and a few more, are explored in more detail below:

Community and Belonging

In general, corporate uniforms are able to convey a sense of community and team spirit amongst employees. A shared appearance will foster pride in the company that employees work for, and will help to establish familiarity and confidence for new employees. Having a well designed uniform is particularly important, as staff that feel they are being given poorly fitted and poorly designed materials can lose their motivation. Having a dress code among employees, even in a loose sense, can, however, work to create the kind of community that is essential for any business to thrive.

Increased Productivity and Brand Loyalty

A corporate uniform is also important as a way to convey strong brand values to customers. Anyone visiting a workplace will be able to quickly identify staff by their uniforms, and will come to expect a certain level of professionalism. Being able to make a quick association with a brand through a well designed uniform ultimately boosts trusts in the reputation of a business, and helps to speed up customer service in busy shops and workplaces. (more…)

Review of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

I resisted reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Remarkable Story About Living Your Dreams by Robin Sharma for a long time because I thought the title was gimmicky. I realized that I was being closed to new ideas by literally judging a book by its cover and title so I picked up the book. I’m glad that I read it as it gave me access to age-old wisdom in a easy-to-read fable. The book is about Julian Mantle, a high-profile lawyer who collapses in the middle of a trial and decides to find the purpose of life by traveling to the Himalayas where he meets a group of sages who impart their wisdom to him via a fable. The fable starts in a magnificent garden with a lighthouse in the middle of the grounds. Out of the lighthouse walks a 9 foot tall 900-pound Sumo wrestler who is naked except for a pink wire cable covering his privates. He slips and falls on a stopwatch that’s been lying on the floor and loses consciousness. However, the wrestler wakes up to the fresh fragrance of yellow roses coming from a distance. He looks over and then discovers that there is a diamond-studded pathway which he takes.

The Magnificent Garden Represents Our Mind

  • Nurture the mind daily. Only let positive thoughts into your mind. Mind can be mastered through concentration and a useful technique is to practice the “heart of the rose” every morning. This entails focusing on the heart of a fresh rose and improving concentration of mind everyday. Spend time in the morning visualizing what you plan to become.

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Poke The Box by Seth Godin – Review

As usual, I’ll start off with a quote that I feel best encapsulates the idea of the book. Since this book is about starting, I found the quote at the end of the book most apt.

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. Not going all the way, and not starting. – Siddhartha Gautama.
Initiate Don’t Wait.
The core message of the book (manifesto actually) is to start and get to the point of no return. Make things happen. To ship your finished work. That takes guts and passion. It is not always easy to ship but a cursory study of successful people will prove that successful people always ship. For example, world class programmers do not become masters of their fields until they start to learn through poking and observing/studying how the box reacts to their pokes. The thing to start does not have to be earth shattering or world changing. In face, it can be simple things. Obvious things. And NOW is the time to start. Start. Don’t stall. (more…)

Six Steps to Emulate TOMS Business Model Review

Blake Mycoskie is nothing but inspirational in Start Something That Matters  and in line of my goal of reading one book a week in 2012 (inspired by a Julien Smith post), here’s the mindmap summary of Start Something That Matters.
1. TOMS Story
Origins of TOMS
Blake Mycoskie, a serial entrepreneur and Amazing Race finalist got the idea for TOMS (Tomorrows Shoes) during a vacation in Argentina. He discovered the comfy alpargatas (the national shoe of Argentina) as well as the need for shoes for underprivileged kids. His first instinct was to start a shoe charity but he aborted the idea as not being feasible. His entrepreneurial brain kicked in and the idea for a for-profit business TOMS was born. It was a simple but untested business model where the company would donate a pair of shoes for each pair sold. One-for-one. (more…)