OBAL 030: Create a Badass Resume That Gets you That Dream Job!

one Baddass Life Podcast Badass ResumeIf you recall our discussion back in March about Job Search Strategies that Really Work (OBAL 012), we began with the importance of a resume. Resumes are so important that we wanted to dedicate this episode to make sure your resume is Badass! A resume is your calling card to everything that you have done professionally. Careful consideration must go into telling your story. A poorly developed resume will get you a one-way ticket to the recycle bin and you don’t want that!

An employer, in today’s work environment, is going to easily get a stack of resumes for each position they are hiring for. Your time to shine begins when the reviewer moves the resume above yours and ends when they have decided to keep or recycle your resume. We are here to help you maximize this time with our six essential elements to creating a Badass Resume!

The first element is Formatting. I know boring right? There are expectations for what information an employer is looking for and formatting your resume to present your information in the most optimal way is always key. I have seen some drab and boring resumes in my past but I have also seen some amazing ones. The formatting was one of the major differences. Consider the following when you are formatting your resume:

  • Contact info – the worst thing you can do is to give a potential employer bad info. You are guaranteeing that you will not get the job. Make sure you have the right phone number, e-mail and social media credentials on your resume.
  • Length – More than likely your first page is going to be the only thing they look at when they are making their initial decision. Make sure you have the good stuff viewable on that page.
  • Order – A presumed order for a resume is your contact info, objective, experience, certifications and awards, and then references. Anything outside of this is atypical.
  • Structure – Presentation is key and a proper structure makes the resume present well. Utilize indents, bullets and font characteristics to assist the reviewer in digesting your resume.

The second element is Customization. If you are truly looking for your dream job, then it’s likely going to be different that you’re current job or those in your past. An effective strategy to finding your dream job is to apply to different type of jobs, all utilizing your awesome skills. However, to stand out amongst the other applicants, you need to customize your resume to speak to that job. Customization involves the following:

  • Tailored experience– You will want to personalize your experience to best sell how your experience shows your strengths for this particular position.
  • Modify your objective - more than likely you will want to modify your object to speak to the needs of the position you are applying for.
  • Re-organize you experience – The position you are applying for could change your emphasis on the order of your experiences. You should always consider showing the most relevant one first.
  • Title-smithing – A simple change to your job title can make the difference.
  • Match the job description –You are staring right at it. They spent time putting that job description together. Milk it for everything to make your resume stand out.

The third element is a Badass Objective. Your objective is your elevator speech. You have the reviewer’s attention for a short moment. Your objective needs to be concise but meaningful and leave them wanting to read the rest of your resume. Four major hurdles that you need to avoid are:

  • Vague – Don’t get lazy on me. A vague objective does nothing for you. Customize it along with your resume.
  • Listing your responsibilities – The objective is not the time to list what your responsibilities are. Instead focus on the impacts that you will have due to your experience.
  • Too self-focused – You need to put the reviewer in the mindset of you as an employee of their company, not an individual who has done great things.
  • Length – Make sure your objective is concise and relevant.

The fourth element is Relevant Experience. As you reflect back on the work you have done for your current and past employers, you can always find elements of that job that made you awesome at a certain task. For example, you may have never had a title of project manager; however I am confident that you have been placed in a position as a leader of a group working on a task or project. Poof, you were a project manager! To stand out, you must make your experience relevant by doing the following:

  • Adjust roles – as the example shows, you need to find the parts of your past work that convey your experience to match the position you are applying for.
  • Order of your experience – the current of past jobs that convey more expertise to the position you are applying to should be at the top. Remember that the reviewer may not get to the second page if you have one.
  • Explain your role – Make sure that you are descriptive enough that the reviewer believes that you are authentic with your experience.

The fifth element is Awards and Certifications. If you have worked at a company the values recognition and awards, you are lucky. Unfortunately I don’t think recognition has been properly valued in the workplace. If you got it though, share it. In comparing resumes of similar applicants, awards and certifications may be what set you apart.

The sixth and final element is Wow Factor. In a crowded space of hundreds of applicants, you need to stand out. You need to shine where others don’t. One of the best examples I have ever seen of this was done by Tracie. She created a video that we will share on our website, which set her apart from everybody else. You must create this WOW for yourself and you will experience the difference.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 029: Marco….Making Pool Time Fun with Some Different Ideas!

One Badass Life Podcast making pool time funIt’s the middle of July right now and I feel safe saying it is hot everywhere! I am sure we have most of you beaten in temperature, as we live in Phoenix. However I have lived back east when I was a kid and can appreciate the effect that the extreme humidity can have on your comfort level.

As a way to combat the heat, many of us resort to swimming pools to cool us off. Be it your own pool, your community pool or your friend’s pool they all feel equally refreshing in the summer heat. With two boys, just having a pool isn’t entertaining enough. They must engage in some game or competition to keep their interest in the pool. I remember all the old stalwarts of pool games like Marco polo, tag, chicken, diving for stuff. However these are boring in their eyes. Thank you again XBOX!

To solve this issue, I do what every parent does when they are looking for something new. I Googled it. After wading through some of the same stuff I just mentioned, I found a group of games that were very fun and entertaining. So, here is our list of six different pool games that you can try to make pool time fun.

Before we get into the games, we want to give you a tool to help with picking teams. This is very helpful if you plan on using these games for a pool party. Breaking down the cliques and making sure everybody has fun is just as important. A good tool to use is the following:

  • Purchase beach balls matching the amount of people expected for the party.
  • If you can, get different colors to match the amount of teams you want.
  • Prior to the party, write each person’s name on the beach balls. If you are hosting a party for your kid then have them participate in the team selections making sure to keep them equal as possible.
  • Inflate the beach balls and place them in your pool. As an ice breaker to the party, guests need to find their beach ball which will tell them the team they are on.

Hopefully this will help with the teams. Now let’s talk games!

The first game is called Categories. I actually participated in this one last summer with Dakota’s little league team. It goes by colors as well but the general premise is this:

  • The category needs to be selected to start the game. It can be changed each time the game starts. For the purpose of this discussion we will stick with colors.
  • All participants line up in the pool on one side of the pool. Preferably you want them facing the long part of your pool.
  • Then designate a catcher. This person gets out of the pool and turns, facing away from the pool.
  • The catcher then asks the other swimmers if they have picked their color.
  • The other swimmers need to respond yes.
  • The catcher then begins yelling out different colors. Once the color that any of the swimmers have chosen is yelled out, they then must try and swim across the pool.
  • The catcher, upon hearing the swimmers swimming can then turn around and jump in. The goal is to tag them before they get to the other side.
  • Those that are tagged are out until all but one of the swimmers is left.
  • Then the next round begins, repeating the process until there is one remaining swimmer.

The second game is called Tennis Ball Scramble. This one actually sounded real fun. In order to play this, you will need two hoola-hoops and a bunch of old tennis balls. Any type of ball will work, but what else are you using old tennis balls for? This is a team game so you will need to divide up your swimmers. The game goes like this:

  • Place two hoola-hoops in the middle of the pool.
  • Then split the tennis balls evenly between the two hoola-hoops.
  • Each team will need a bucket to hold their recovered tennis balls.
  • Upon starting, one team member from each team swims out to their hoola hoop and recovers one ball and brings it back to their bucket.
  • Once the tennis ball has been placed in the bucket the second team member goes.
  • The relay continues until the first team has recovered all of their tennis balls.
  • An optional spin on this is to have one hoola-hoop and write different point values on the tennis balls. The winning team is the one with the highest point total.

The third game is called the Frozen Shirt Game. This game will actually tie into the fourth game we will explain next. You need two shirts. The shirts should be large enough to fit everybody with some room to spare. Prior to the party or swimming day, freeze them so they will be in a large block of ice.

  • Each team will get their frozen shirt.
  • They have to use whatever means you say is okay to melt the ice and retrieve the shirt.
  • Once the shirt is thawed and wearable the team can proceed to the fourth game which is…

The fourth game is called the Soaked Shirt Relay. This can be done in conjunction with the frozen shirt game or you can skip right to this game without freezing the shirt. The physics behind this game is the effect of drag on your swimming. The game is a simple relay race.

  • Split your swimmers into two teams.
  • Provide one adequate sized shirt for each team.
  • The first swimmer for each team puts the shirt on over their swimsuit.
  • The relay will start with both swimmers swimming the length of the pool and back.
  • The shirt is then removed from the first swimmer and the second team member puts the shirt on before beginning their leg of the race.
  • The winning team is the first to have all their team members swim their leg of the race.

The fifth and final game is called The Watermelon Relay. This one is fun! Watermelons are on sale too! This again plays with physics. You are trying to push a watermelon back and forth through the pool without touching the ground.

  • Split your swimmers into two teams.
  • Each team has a watermelon in the pool. You can mark them to make sure they are pushing the right one.
  • As in the other relay games, one swimmer at a time for each team pushes the watermelon up and back the length of the pool.
  • The swimmers should only be pushing the watermelon while they are swimming. Standing and pushing requires them to start over.
  • The winning team is the first to have all their team members swim their leg of the race.
  • To add a degree of difficulty, cover the watermelons with petroleum jelly. This will make them harder to push.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 028: Let’s Make a Deal! Tips on How Negotiating Can Save You Money.

one badass life podcast How Negotiating Can Save You MoneyWe have talked over the last few months about different ways to save money. Our discussions have ranged from budgeting to saving on groceries. In thinking about our discussion today, I wanted to talk about a different aspect that many overlook. As consumers we naturally want a deal, but sometimes we believe the price printed on the tag is the price that we must pay.

However you should consider whether or not that is a truly accurate statement. You can negotiate pricing anywhere. So let’s begin talking about the five tips on how negotiating can save you money.

The first tip is to know Where Negotiating Works. As we briefly discussed, negotiating won’t work everywhere. It will work at establishments that have sales people that work on commission and driven by quotas. Negotiating works best at these types of businesses:

  • Construction/ maintenance – This covers your yard maintenance and construction projects in and around your house. They are hungry for work and you should get a deal that you are comfortable with.
  • Car Dealerships – It is amazing how much you can save if you are persistent enough.
  • Appliance/ Furniture Dealers – The larger purchases typically have more wiggle room as you buy more.
  • Flea markets/ Farmers Markets – If you haven’t been to these, you need to go.

The second tip is to Know Your Price Point. Once you have an idea of what you want to buy, you need to be prepared for how much their asking price is going to be and how close that is to what you want to spend. The best resources to do your research before you begin negotiating are:

  • The internet – this is the obvious one. It is also the most powerful. Depending on what you are trying to buy, you will be able to find out how much your product or service should cost if you bought it from somebody else. What you find however isn’t necessarily the lowest you can get.
  • Quotes – Getting competing quotes from multiple vendors/ companies is a great way to make them feel they are competing for your business. The gamification of winning your business can be to your advantage.
  • Advertisements/sales – Most companies are keeping up with their competition’s pricing. You will find that time to time you can use a sale price to get the other company to do better.
  • Referrals/ word of mouth - If you know someone who has purchased a similar product or service recently, discover what their process and research discovered. This shouldn’t replace your own research though!

The third tip is to Be Prepared for Hidden Costs. Car dealerships are the worst at this. If you aren’t careful, you may be negotiating down one price while they are in turn increasing another cost that you will have to pay anyways. Hidden costs need to be research just as thoroughly as the price of the product or service. Hidden costs that typically go unnoticed until it is too late area:

  • Free trials – The trick here is that you have committed to the service, but the first 30 or 90 days are free. What they don’t explain is that after the trial period, your credit card is charged for the reoccurring monthly fee. You have to go through a process to stop this. It doesn’t stop on its own.
  • Warranties – I am not saying that warranties or extended warranties are bad. However you need to be prepared for the question and the associated cost prior to them asking. Do you really need to spend $30 for a two-year warranty on a DVD player that you paid $50 for? No! However, they will ask you.
  • OnStar/ Sirius – When you purchase a car now, they have made deals with some companies to preload your vehicle with their product. You typically get it free to try it out, but make sure you will actually use it before you start paying for it.
  • Delivery charges – I have found that occasionally the discrepancy of delivery charges between two companies could change by decision.

The fourth tip is to Let Them Set the Price First. This is the stare down at OK Corral. They want you to name the price because you may be higher which would give them more of a profit. Don’t get trapped into that. If you have done your research, you will know where they should be starting from. This is important because:

  • Anchor price – Their first price becomes the anchor by which you can go down from.
  • Negotiating parameters – By doing this you have given them notice that you are here to negotiate the deal that you want.
  • Confirms your research – You can devise your negotiating based on where their pricing is to what you found in your research.

The fifth and final tip is to Be Ready to Walk Away. To all you potential buyers out there, the number one key to any purchase is to not get emotionally attached to a purchase. Doing so will set you down a path of an impulse buy. You must always be willing to walk away from any deal. Consider the following:

  • The deal has to be right for you – They will always make money on a deal or they won’t make it! So don’t worry about them. Instead make sure the deal works for you.
  • Emotional attachment puts money in their pocket – If you fall in love with that car and openly express how much you want it, they will pounce. This will trigger them to be tougher on their negotiating, knowing that you won’t leave without your dream car.
  • Time – The backyard makeover is going to be costly, but you need the right deal. Making a fast decision may leave tons of potential savings in the contractor’s pocket. Take your time to consider it. Most times, they need your project more than you need it and they will come down to your price.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

 

OBAL 027: Parents’ Call of Duty: How to Manage Video Games with Your Kids!

Tracie and I both grew up with video games. In fact, our generation experienced the birth of video games. Do you remember the pong game? Who knew you could have so much fun with two lines and a dot. The magic was in the ability to move them on our televisions. Never before had there been that level of interaction. Then fast forward to computers like the Commodore 64 and the early IBM models that gave provided the power of the arcades without having to leave the house. Atari, SEGA, Nintendo, Nintendo 64, SEGA Genesis…the list goes on. Who better to parent today’s generation of gamers than us right?One Badass Life Podcast How to manage video games with your kids

Not so fast. Have you seen what today’s video games are like? They are graphic in nature; look as real as watching a movie and the speed is amazing. There is a fine line in what you feel is appropriate for your kids to see and this line is going to be different for every parent. However, there is a line and as parents, it is your Call of Duty to make sure you engage through video games with your kids. As parents of two avid video gamers, we want to share our five goals to keep our kids video gaming under control.

The first goal is Priorities. Our boys are well versed in their priorities and can list them out when requested. Setting priorities before you have a gamer is easier but requires constant reinforcement. Converting an avid gamer takes more persistent and may require some “cold-turkey” moments. Priorities will vary between houses, however our boys’ priorities in order are:

  • School – They must go to school. Odd that we have to clarify that but it happens. School is their job and they have a responsibility to learn.
  • School work – Any homework, projects and daily reading needs to be completed prior to any gaming.
  • Chores – They have a daily list of chores that must be tended to. Ignoring these chores will result in gaming restrictions.
  • Sports/ Activities – Commitments to a sports team or other activities will always take precedence over gaming.
  • Family Events – These are not optional. This includes everyday events like dinner to birthdays and parties.
  • Sleep – As we talked in an earlier episode, kids need sufficient sleep. Lack of sleep due to gaming is not acceptable.
  • Gaming – Bottom priority. If everything above is considered and handled, then they can play their video games.

The second goal is Game Selection. There are a lot of different games out there. Each game is going to have elements that you like and dislike. The system that your kids have will also drive which games they can get. I tend to separate the games into four groups:

  • Family Friendly – This would be the fun interactive games with a cute little cartoon animal that jumps around or the dancing games that are actually a great workout. These are not even on my radar. If the kids want to play these, let them.
  • Shooters – Now we are getting graphic. You can have blood, guts limbs falling off, people dying all wrapped up into one fun game. Game play within the shooter games can vary as well. A typical game will have an offline campaign as well as an online multi-player match.
  • Sports Games – Every sport out there has a game designed after it, even fishing! This type of game may actually pique you kid’s interest in the game and actually help them understand the positions, plays and terminology better. The only concern here focuses on our third goal, so I will wait until then.
  • Violent Games – You might say that the shooters are violent and you would be correct. However there is another group of games that takes the violence to a potential unhealthy place. The star of this group is GTA. Portions of this game are unacceptable because they include shooting people in a free-roam environment without any objectives.

The third goal is Online Interaction. As mentioned before, most games have two modes, offline and online. One of the cool features with online gaming is the ability to talk with others who are online as well as those playing the game. As with most things with our kids and interaction, there are good and bad circumstances that they can get in.

  • Good – The systems allow your kids to create a friend network. Once they are friends they can see what games each other are playing when they are online. This can be a great social outlet for kids to react in an arena that doesn’t require them to be face to face.
    • Rules about friending – our rules on friends are that people from school are always okay. Friends that they meet online have to be handled differently and can be removed at our discretion.
  • Bad – Just as any other space in this world, there are predators in online gaming. Tech savvy people can interact with our kids in a short amount of time to figure out their login and gain access to their account and your credit card. Even worse they could find out where you live and you don’t want that.
    • Rules about online interaction – Our kids know to not discuss the following online:
      • Name – they use their gamer tag
      • Where they live – stop at state
      • Age – Why do they need to know this?
      • Activities – don’t share that we are leaving the house or that we are out and they are home with a sitter.

The fourth goal is Gaming Etiquette. Does it seem odd that we teach our kids etiquette for gaming? No. This is an avenue that they use to interact with their friends, family and total strangers. They should be respectful within gaming as well. Who knows how technology will evolve in their lifetime. We focus on:

  • Language – a lot of these games will have some language that you don’t like. We make certain that our boys know that this language is not acceptable outside or inside of gaming.
  • Yelling – There is nothing I don’t understand more, when my boys are yelling at each other through their online game when they share a wall. The root cause of this is simply that the volume on their headphones is too high.
  • Golden Rule – Yep it applies to gaming too!

The fifth and final goal is Be a Gamer Too. Now this can be hard and demoralizing. They are younger, have faster reactions and reflexes. They will beat you into a pulp. So what! Join them in their space every once in a while. Of course we don’t have the time or patience to be good at these games, but that is not the point. Try it for these reasons:

  • Time – it is not on your side and forcing them to do something you want to do isn’t always going to work. They will be adults sooner than you want and you will have missed this opportunity.
  • Fun – Watch out and you might have fun. As they focus so much on their score, I am just running around trying not the die so many times and it turns out being fun.
  • Relate – Gaming is a part of most of our kids’ lives. They are going to relate a lot of their real life interaction to their games. Better to understand what they are saying so you can communicate with them.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 026: Help Wanted! Getting your Teenager a Summer Job.

One Badass Life Podcast - Teenagers Getting a JobAs summer approaches, your teenager is preparing for a nice lazy ten weeks of sitting on the couch watching movies and playing video games. NOT!!! They are getting dangerously close to adulthood and their level of responsibility is resembling that of a 5th grader. As parents we need to provide a little bit of hard love and get them off that couch and looking for a J.O.B. As it is the end of June, a lot of the typical jobs may be taken. However that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.

A point to discuss quickly as well is that the current job market is pretty rough on teens. In a study released in March of 2014 by Statista.com, the monthly unemployment rate for teenagers in the US dropped from 24% in March of 2013 to 21% in March of 2014. As a comparison to the overall national unemployment, the same time period saw a drop from 7.6% to 6.7%. So the jobs for teenagers are recovering quicker but the overall discrepancy is staggering. That is all the reason more to get our teenagers out there and we are here to help you get started. Today we are going to discuss five strategies to get your teenager a summer job.

  • The first strategy is to Get them Prepared. The first job is always the hardest to stand out from others. Most of the typical employers they are applying to understand this. We talk about the top four items they will need to be prepared.
  • The second strategy is to Hit the Streets. Time for all the preparation to come to fruition. Teenagers have no idea how hard this is going to be. We have to keep them going.
  • The third strategy is to Think Outside the Box. The first choices that a teenager is going to gravitate to will be based on their interests. To help our teenagers to think outside the box talk to them about other jobs that they aren’t thinking about.
  • The fourth strategy is to Get their Entrepreneur On. What better time for teenager to create their own business. The opportunities are large and limited only by their imagination. We talk about a few places that they can start with.
  • The fifth strategy is to Think Beyond This Summer. If your teenager is eating up the entrepreneur work, don’t let it stop once summer is done. Our next generation is going to be led by these young minds as innovators not employee.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 025: Time to Shine! The First Three Months at a New Job will Make or Break You

One Badass Life Podcast - New JobIf you are starting a new job, odds are you have been really working hard to get to this point. Our series of freedom episodes have been focusing on getting you to this point. First we worked hard to get those search strategies in place that really work (OBAL 012). Then we worked on creating awesome interviewing skills (OBAL 017). Regardless if you are starting a new job or still hustling to get your next job, it is important to discuss how you need to approach the first three months in order to keep that job. It is imperative to realize that you understand that all the hard work is not over. Listen in as we give you four points to focus on that can make this opportunity last.

Five Points to Shine at Your New Job

  • The first point is to Understand the Business. Of course you know something about the company and their business or they wouldn’t have hired you. We are talking about going deeper here.
  • The second point is to Understand Your Role. This is even more important than understanding the business. How does your role make an impact to what the company does?
  • The third point is to Understand Your Boss. It would seem to reason that you made an impression with your new boss or you wouldn’t have been hired. Now is the time to make him or her look great.
  • The fourth point is to Make the Right Impression. You have three months, so make them count. Quickly assess the project(s) you are given and make them shine. Regardless of the project, this needs to be your target.
  • The fifth and final point is to Ask For Feedback. How will you know that you did well or utterly failed? Asking for feedback is not fun but it will make an impression with your boss.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 024: Start a Family Tradition with Family Game Night!

One Badass Life Podcast - Family Game NightEvery family has its traditions. We are no exception. One of our traditions is to set aside Sunday nights for our family of four to have some focused fun together. We call it our family game night! This is intentional to allow us to wrap up the weekend and focus on each other before the next week begins. A good thirty to forty minutes before bedtime is a good rule of thumb. Listen in as we breakdown our four keys to a family game night.

Four Keys to a Fun Family Game Night

  • The first key is Schedule it. We don’t just say Sunday nights. In order for this to work you need to write it down where everything else on your family’s schedule goes.
  • The second key is a Rotating Game Selection. You will get so much more by in if each member of the family gets their choice of a game. It is nearly impossible to satisfy everybody, but that should not be the focus of this time. If the younger kids want to play Chutes and Ladders, then so be it.
  • The third key is Keep it Fun. These events can go sour quick! As much as everybody wants to win, you have to keep the competitive juices at an even level. If you lose control of it, you are going to have hurt feelings, yelling and ultimately you are going to have to step in and discipline someone, therefore ending family game night.
  • The fourth and final key is Remove Distractions. This goes for us parents too. Nothing squashes the fun out of game night more than distractions.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 023: The Badass Bootcamp for Saving Money

One Badass Life Podcast - Saving MoneyIn prior podcasts we have discussed budgeting and finances around travel, college savings, etc. We figured it was a good time to have a talk about saving money in the everyday things you do. Who doesn’t like saving money, right? I know we like to. As with everything there is a tradeoff of effort versus savings. Our hope is that the tools we discuss in this podcast, if implemented, will help you save money so that you can do badass stuff that you couldn’t afford before. Join our Badass Boot camp to Saving Money with the four tools that we use in our everyday life.

Four Tools for Saving Money

  • The first tool is the Internet. You can find everything you need on the internet. As far as saving goes, we have our stash of money saving sites and tricks to make our purchases just a little bit cheaper.
  • The second tool is utilizing a reward credit card. We must first discern that this tool is only effective if you pay off your card monthly. Any rewards you may gain will never be sufficient to offset interest you would have to pay if you kept a balance for more than a month. With that being said the strategy is two-fold.
  • The third tool is the use of Coupons and Sales. This is where you really have to be careful with the amount of time you invest in comparison to what you can save. To best optimize the savings here, we tend to bundle both sales and coupons.
  • The fourth and final tool is a Budget Audit. Don’t get scared by this. What we mean by this is reviewing what you are spending money on and truly assessing if the cost is worth it.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

 

OBAL 022: Disciplining Kids Without it Being a Pain in the….!

One Badass Life Podcast - Disciplining kidsNobody likes disciplining kids. That goes without saying.  As parents though, we have a charge to help our kids grow into amazing people and guide them in the ways of right and wrong.  I would have to guess that most people discipline their kids in a similar fashion that their parents did. I can only speak from my experience.

The perception of discipline changes with the generations. I remember as a kid that spanking in public was acceptable. Today you would have CPS called on you and probably try and kick your ass. For the record we don’t spank, unless it is their birthday! Disciplining kids should be more about helping them. Listen to our discussion about four constructive methods to disciplining kids without it being a pain in the ass!

Methods for Disciplining Kids

  • The first method is Time Out. This method has deteriorating results with age. That means it works better on the younger kids. As they get older, you will be fighting to get them out of their rooms.
  • The second method is Finding Collateral. This worked for us for some time. It will be different for each kid and will change as they grow up.
  • The third method is Consequences. This one will take some effort on your part. So if your kids breaks something that they use, you have to let them live without it. Don’t go replace it immediately. Seems easy right?
  • The fourth and final method is Grounding. This is the big one in our house. Grounding is the big house. If the kids do something that is beyond small stuff, they will be grounded. I like to give the analogy of professional athletes. When they get arrested for a DUI they are first punished by the local authorities. Once that is resolved, they typically get punished by their respective sports league. We are the sports league.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

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OBAL 021: Insights Into the Life of a Military Wife

As we approach Memorial Day, we want to take a pause and pay our due respect to our soldiers. These soldiers continually put their lifes on the line to protect our freedom. Just as important, we must recognize their families that remain behind, trying to keep their life’s going while they are missing an integral part of their family. As a tribute toOne-Badass-Life-Podcast-Insights-into-a-military-wife our soldiers, we were able sit down and discuss the insights into the life of a military wife with Tracie’s sister Sherry Lewis.  What is amazing about this discussion is that it is very applicable to families that are planning on an extended separation from one of the parents, regardless if they are in the military or not.

Insight of a Military Wife

  • Strategies in preparing for a deployment or a long time away from the family. She will talk about:
    • Finances
    • Insurance
    • Account responsibilities
  • Managing and Planning the family’s day-to-day activities during a deployment.
  • Communication. One advantage to our technologies advancement is the ability to communicate better with our soldiers at-large. Sherry discusses how she uses:
    • Face Time
    • Texting
    • Social Media
    • Phone calls
  • Getting Help. This is always a struggle to ask for help. However, consider the following advice
    • Know when its too much and you are stressing out
    • Save your time for important things
    • Managing your balance
  • Implementing Open Dialogue. Sherry has amazing insight to how she keeps plugged in with her kids during a deployment.
  • When they Come Back. The process to bring a recently deployed soldier back into normal life is not easy. Sherry will discuss some of the challenges and her approach.
  • Tips on how to provide support to families going through separation.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 020: No More Headaches! Vacations are Supposed to be Fun

One Badass Life Podcast - vacation is fun

With all the hard work and long hours you have been putting in, your upcoming vacation is coming at just the right moment. Wherever you are going, this is your time to break from the normal grind and get away. You get everything together. You travel to your destination, wherever it may be. You arrive, ready to decompress. You have plans for three of your seven day vacation, with the other days tagged for relaxation. Within the first day your kids are bored or arguing, the dinner at the restaurant didn’t go well and you were just angry and wanted to go to sleep. On and on and on…. That is the worst. When you are on vacation and the fun meter is pegging out in the negative range. Don’t let this happen to you. Vacations are supposed to be fun! Instead, listen in on our conversation on the four ideas that will keep your vacation fun.

Your Four Ideas to Keep Vacation Fun

  • The first idea is Local Food.  If you decided to visit any place other than your own town, you should make a point to try some of the different foods available in your area. More than likely everybody will be hungry, and trying new things is always fun.
  • The second idea is Mix it up. Nothing wears a kid out more than four days straight of Disneyland. Your intentions are great and you want them to experience everything. But slow down man! We like to mix up our days with some less intense activities.
  • The third idea is Engage with your Kids. Amazingly, a 2006 study by careerbuildier.com found that one in four workers plan to work while on vacation. Unplug folks.
  • The fourth and final idea is Save the Wasted Time. You may be reluctant to buy the upgraded passes but consider it!

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 019: Start Saving for Your Kid’s College Fund Now!

One Badass Life Podcast - Kids College Fund

College is just around the corner. Every year, most people tell themselves that they have plenty of time to save for their kid’s college fund next year…and next year…. The National Center for Education Statistics compiled costs for tuition, room and board from the US Dept. of Education and found that between 2000 to 2011 prices rose 42% at public institutions and 31% at private institutions. The average cost for attending college, according to the Dept. of Education, was $18,500 per year. I remember when mine was under $5k per year! Hopefully we can help you get on the right track. In this episode , we discussed the five steps we recommend to get you there.

Five Steps to Start Your Kid’s College Fund

  • The first step is Who. Your kids may be young and you will just assume they are going to an in-state university or community college and figure out the who later. However if your kid is into their teens, you need to start asking them questions on who they want to be.
  • The second step is Where. Talking about who should help you narrow down this next step. At this point you will start considering finances and how the where may have to adjust their path but not their destination. 
  • The third step is How Much. Time to talk about the costs associate with all of this.  We discussed the five biggest cost contributors you need to get ready for.
  • The fourth and final step is to Save. I am not looking forward to the overall cost of school, but we are committed to our boys’ education and therefore we need to plan and prepare for 2019 when our first will be going to college. There are many ways you can save.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 018: Keeping your Kids Focused on School with Summer Near

One Badass Life - kids focused on schoolWe have all been there, staring at the clock in the classroom, counting down the last few minutes until summer. The last month of school is the hardest month  to keep your kids focused on school. Now as a parent, I have a lot of empathy for them. They are so ready to be done with school. Their brains are mush. However, we as parents must stay strong. May is filled with final projects and tests that could weigh heavily on their end of year grades. So how do we do this? In this episode, we discussed four areas that can help them get through this last month of school.

Areas to Keep your Kids Focused on School

  • The first area is Organization. This is not natural for most kids. Especially by the end of the year. In the mad dash to the end though, a little organization can keep them sane. You need to be careful to not overdo it though.
  • The second area is Priorities. Their young minds sure do like to de-prioritize school work at every turn. We need to step in and fine tune them periodically.
  • The third area is Health. School is stressful for our kids and carrying stress is not healthy. We need to help them in making better decisions about their health because we can’t be there for them forever.
  • The fourth and final area is Communication.  Through everything that is discussed in this episode, one common theme is communication.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 017: Making Your Interviewing Skills Awesome!

One Badass Life Podcast - interviewing skillsLast month, we discussed job search strategies that really work. Hopefully, with perseverance you have gotten your first set of interviews lined up. Nervous? That’s natural. Up until now, you have been working hard rocking your resume, and networking like a mad person. You have hit pay dirt. You got a bite. Now is not the time to have doubts. You can do this! We are here to Make your Interviewing Skills Awesome! It is easier than you think. In this episode, we are going to break it down into four skills to making you an interviewing rock star.

Four Interviewing Skills to Make You Awesome 

  • The first skill is to Know Yourself. Seems simple right? Try talking about yourself to a mirror? Weird? You must be an expert on you. Nobody else is going to know more in your interview. In order to be the expert on yourself and be able to share it in an interview you need to practice.
  • The second skill is to Know the Position. As much as you may be just wanting a job, hopefully you are applying for a specific position. You need to come across in your interview as if you could start tomorrow without training.
  • The third skill is to Know the Company. You can look really bad if you go into an interview and you don’t know what type of business the company is in.
  • The fourth and final skill is Your Game Plan. With everything else you have worked on to this point is about knowing your shit. This last step is more focused on how you are going to dress, interact, and carry yourself in your interview.

As you get ready for all those interviews you have lined up, take the time to listen in as we discuss these four steps in greater detail. Best of luck!

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 016: Staying Ahead of Your Kids Fun Filled Summer Starts Now!

One Badass Life Podcast - fun filled summerOh summer, how you can sneak up on us! As parents, with the exception of the teachers out there, we no longer get to experience the break during the summer like our kids do. Those ten weeks, this can vary, are tough to plan for. They can cost a lot as well. Your comfort level for leaving the kids at home unsupervised will vary depending on your kid’s age, maturity level as well as your ability to find some stuff for them to do. The majority of us are scrambling to get these ten weeks covered somehow, someway. The reason for the rush, as you will hear in this episode, is that everything books up quick. Vacations can cover a week or two but that’s it. We have to work! So join us in our discussion about how we all need to stay ahead of our kid’s fun filled summer by planning today with our top five destinations for our kids this summer.

Top Five Fun Filled Summer Destinations

  • The first destination is Sports/Activities Camps. These camps can vary in length. These book up quick. You are typically working on this three to six months in advance.
  • The second destination is Your Local School District. It is amazing what your local schools can put together.
  • The third destination is Technology Camps. As technology advances so quickly, there are great opportunities out there for you kids to become experts.
  • The fourth destination is Family Visits. There is nothing better than getting time to hang out with the grandparents. Our boys happened to be blessed with awesome grandparents.

As you can see, we are planning summer way in advance. The long lead camps are taken care of by December, the school camps are done by April, and the extra time is coordinated between your vacation and time with the grandparents. It is only done when your summer weeks are allocated for. Done! Another fun filled summer all ready for your kids!

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

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We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 015: Your Badass Guide to Tax Season

One Badass Life Podcast - Guide to Tax SeasonOutside of the folks at H&R, I am pretty sure most people don’t enjoy tax season, us included! It is a necessary evil. “Did you properly fill out your schedule C? How about your 1065?” Crazy paperwork overload. There is no escaping it though. In this episode, we talk you through taxes and how we prepare ourselves to get through this process each and every year. We break this down into four questions that you can’t overlook to survive the tax season.

Four Questions for Tax Season Survival

  • The first question is Where is the paperwork? It seems like you need to hire a secretary to keep everything in order.
  • The second question is Who is doing your taxes? This may be a function of cost or of your level of comfort.
  • The third question is Are you getting all the credits and deductions? If there is one thing that the professionals know, or should know, are all the different credits and deductions that you need claim.
  • The fourth question is What can I do different this year? However your taxes turned out, short of a near balance, you have some adjusting to do. Some people feel that getting a check around tax time is great and others don’t like lending money for free to the government.

So listen in as we discuss these four questions in further detail, and lay out your Badass Guide to Tax Season.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 014: Save Your Marriage with Date Night

One Badass Life - date nightIf someone was to ask us the top three things that keeps our marriage going, in no specific order, they would be:

  • Open and real communication
  • Eternal love
  • And Date nights

That’s right, date nights!

We love our date nights! They don’t have to be over the top, although those rock too. Setting aside time for the two of us to reconnect without the boys helps us to rekindle our relationship. Now I know the initial reaction is going to be “date nights are great but making time is the biggest roadblock.” We totally understand. In this episode, we break this down into four tasks that you need to accomplish to make your date nights awesome.

Four Tasks to Awesome Date Nights

  • The first task is kid logisitics.  Every successful date night will come down to kid logistics. If you can’t check this task off your list, you are not going to have fun.
  • The second task is the Itinerary.  Now that you know that the kids are taken care of, you can move to the main event.  Date nights can vary, so you need a plan!
  • The third task is to Focus.  Date nights are your time to focus on each other. Not your work emails, not fantasy football, not Candy Crush. This is so important in our date nights! This gives you the ultimate time to talk to each other.
  • The fourth and final task is Enjoy.  This should go without saying but the whole point of this night is for the two of you to have fun TOGETHER.

According to a study by the National Marriage Project called the Date Night Opportunity, Couples are 21% more likely to get divorced if they rarely have couple time.  I will give you a link to this report in our April Resources Page.

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OBAL 013: Urban Farming, Rollins Style!

One Badass Life Podcast - Urban FarmingWe have ourselves a bonus episode. To properly celebrate, we decided to talk about something that involves our entire family, can be really fun and helps us eat healthier. That’s right, Urban Farming! Chickens and fresh produce right out of your backyard. Tune in to our discussion about the four questions your family needs to consider before you start an urban farm:

  • What do you want to grow and/or raise in your urban farm?
  • What can or can’t you do in your backyard?
  • Does your family Understand the amount of work involved?
  • Are you going to have fun with it?

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 012: Job Search Strategies that Really Work!

One Badass Life Podcast - job search strategies that really workLooking for a job can be one of the toughest things you will ever do. What is the most difficult part of your job search? Have you got your resume built for all the different jobs you want to apply for? Do you know how to network with the right people to get noticed? Is your social media platforms ready for the visitors it is going to get from your job search?

You need a plan and we are here to help. In this episode, we discussed the four tools that will make your job search really work! Our four tools are:

  • Resume
  • Networking
  • Social Media
  • Research

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 011: Making Spring Break Fun at Home!

One Badass Life Podcast - Spring Break Fun at HomeThere will be years that for one reason or another, your family won’t have a vacationed planned. This doesn’t mean that your family still can’t have fun. You just need to be creative. When you put your mind to it, you will be amazed at the great times and memories you have made. We have had many spring breaks that schedules and/or budget have given us this opportunity. In this episode, we discussed the three keys to a fun spring break at home:

  • Make family time
  • Local camps while you are at work
  • A family project

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 010: Rock Your Vacation and Afford it!

Cruise Ship On A Cruise Near The SeashoreIt’s spring break season! Time for a much needed vacation. We always want the best vacation, free of stress and full of fun. However vacationing can be very expensive. Are you concerned on how you are going to afford everything you want to do?

In this episode, we discussed the three factors to an affordable vacation;

  • what type of vacation do we want
  • where your money goes while on vacation
  • how you can save enough money to keep your vacation within your budget.

So, tune in to get your vacation finances in order!

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 009: How to get Your Kids Asking to do Chores

Family Picking Up Litter In Suburban StreetDo you struggle with getting your kids to do help with chores around the house? Maybe you can get them to help, but it becomes more of a headache for you because your kids lack the drive to do a good job. In this episode, we discussed just that. As parents, we must help our kids build good habits. Our three step approach has us in an enviable position of having our kids ASK us to do chores.

  • Step 1: Getting them engaged and learning their chores
  • Step 2: Building and expanding
  • Step 3: Rewards

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 008: How to Tell Your Boss to Suck It in a Nice Way!

Change Same Signpost Showing That We Should Do Things DifferentlyThere comes a time in everybody’s career where you have had it with your current career or job and are ready to make a move to change to something better. Is it the right time for you? Your Family? Are you ready for the change? Do you want to tell your boss to suck it? In this episode on freedom, we discussed our approach to a career change and these four tips to get to think about:

  • Plan how your life is going to transition with the career or job change
  • Make sure you understand how the change will affect others
  • Strategize on what you need to do between now and when you leave
  • Prepare yourself for the change

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 007: Fun Places that are Easy on the Wallet

kids-watching-aquarium-1113tm-pic-632From visiting the local parks to matinee movies, there are thousands of fun things you can do without spending a fortune. In this episode, we discussed some of the fun places that our family has enjoyed over the years. So, tune in while we talk about:

  • What makes a good outing with your family.
  • Outdoor activities that cost next to nothing.
  • Who knew that learning could be fun too!
  • Get your exercise in while having fun.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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Don’t forget to check out the resources page to get access to some of the tools we have made available to our audience.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 006: How to Spend Thousands Less on Groceries

Food Prices High Monitor Showing Expensive Grocery Costs

Groceries can dominate your budget. But where do you start? Listen in to our discussion on how to save thousands on your groceries.

In the last four years people have increase their spending on groceries by 17%. According to the USDA, the average household groceries budget in the United States is $150-$200 per week. That’s $7,800-$$10,400 per year! Through a lot of planning and budgeting we have been able to get ours down to $50-$75 per week! We discussed the following four tips that got us where we are:

  • Groceries can dominate your budget excluding your mortgage
  • Making a plan
  • Stocking up for rainy day
  • Sticking to the list!

Be sure to download our Save Thousand on Groceries premium content mentioned in this podcast. This download will give you all the sites that Tracie uses to help put together our master shopping list. This premium download is available for free for a limited time. Download it at our resources page and join our Badass Membership!

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 005: A Teen’s Perspective on Social Media and Parents

social-network10-01-111413-2421.epsIf you have teens, it’s likely they engage with their friends through social media. Parenting is hard enough without the internet. So we have brought in a special guest to guide us on:

  • Top five social media sites used by teens
  • How and why these sites are being used by teens
  • Advice and tips on how we as parents can engage with teens through social media
  • How do parents keep awareness up on what their teens are doing
  • Five things parents should not be doing on social media
  • Secrets that your kids don’t want you to know about!

We have a special giveaway for you this month. Be sure to visit our website to learn how you can get your free copy of A Busy Parent’s Guide to Social Media-Facebook Edition. Go to our resources page to download it today.

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

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We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 004: Building a Passive Income Business

passive income word cloudAre you stuck trying to pay your bills without ever having the opportunity to get ahead? Sometimes there isn’t an option to get that promotion or change careers. In this episode, we discuss a possible alternative to help your finances, passive income. We discuss the following four tips to get you started:

  • Examples of a passive income business
  • What are the benefits of a passive income business
  • How does someone get started with creating a passive income business?
  • Getting traffic to your site

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page for tools mentioned in our podcasts.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live one badass life!

OBAL 003: Operation FUN! Kids Night Out.

Family Preparing meal,mealtime TogetherKids sure do grow up quick, right? You have to make the time you have with them count. In this episode we introduce you to our Kids Night Out! One minute you are holding them in your arms, their eyes solely on you and nothing else. The next minute they are asking to borrow your keys. You have to make the time you have with them count.  We discussed the following items to get you and your kids on the path to Fun:

  • The story of how we came upon this concept of mom and dad time with the kids
  • How to keep the events unique and interesting without blowing the budget
  • Conversations Starters with your kids

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

Don’t forget, download the Conversation Starters tool in our resources page to help you break the ice with your kids.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please provide your comments at the bottom of this post. We look forward to reading your comments.

 We are glad you joined us. Now go live onebadass life!

OBAL 002: Your Road to Debt-Free Living!

Debt concept.The road to debt-free living starts with acknowledging your debt, making a decision to stop, identifying why you make purchases, making a plan to get out of debt, and living a debt free life!

Debt can impact your family in so many ways. Over 40% of US families spend more than they earn and the average American carries over $8,400 in credit card debt. This has to stop! You have to make a change and we want to help you start. In this episode we discussed these five steps that will get you on the road to deb-free living:

  • How we got out of our debt.
  • Making a decision to stop
  • Identifying our purchase behavior and understanding why we make purchases
  • Making a plan to correct it
  • How to keep your debt-free living

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

Don’t forget to check out the resources page for access to tools that we have created for our audience.

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please provide your comments at the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live onebadass life!

OBAL 001: Ignite Your Marriage

Enamoured couple is playedWe’re excited to bring you the first episode of the One Badass Life podcast where we’re sharing the things we’ve done in our 16 years of marriage and how we can help you ignite your marriage.

It’s our mission to bring the latest and greatest tips and tricks that will help you achieve solid F’s in life. These F’s include family, finance, fun, and freedom.

In this episode, we discussed the following:

  • How we met
  • The highlights of what things we have done to keep our marriage interesting.
  • What tips we can share that might help our listeners create a strong relationship?

Be sure to support our podcast by sharing it with others and rating our podcast on iTunes. Ratings helps us keep our podcast visible, giving other a chance to check our podcast out. A special thanks to those that have already provided a rating.

Make sure to download our Zombie Tag Rules on our resources page. You and your kids will have so much fun with it!

If you’d like to comment in this episode, please go to the bottom of this podcast. We look forward to reading your comments.

We are glad you joined us. Now go live onebadass life!

Free 2014 New Years Resolutions Worksheet

New Years Resolutions worksheetThe new year brings new hope and new beginnings. It’s a  chance to reflect on the past, be thankful for progress made, and to resolve to make this year even better.

Free 2014 New Years Resolutions Worksheet

This worksheet is designed to step you through the process of developing realistic and achievable resolutions. You’ll step through your 2013 successes and opportunities to identify resolutions that will make 2014 a great new year. You’ll also identify other areas to focus on as you create your New Year’s resolutions. Take a few minutes to fill it out and post it somewhere visible so that you can track your progress throughout the year.

Celebrate Success
Take a look back at 2013. What did you do that was really great? What do you consider your successes from last year?

Identify Strengths
Review your successes and highlight reoccurring themes. What strengths do you see that tend to repeat over and over in your successes? What do you consider your strengths?

Learn
It’s important to identify what you didn’t accomplish last year and why you didn’t succeed in that area. This helps you identify what you want to work on this year and mitigate the risk of failure.
Were there areas that you wanted to improve upon that you didn’t get to last year? What resolutions didn’t get checked off?

Opportunities
Identify weaknesses that you want to improve on in 2014. These are opportunities for growth.

Planning
What stood in your way of accomplishing what you set out to do last year? How will you stay ahead of those risks this year? What reminders, systems, or accountability partners do you need to put in place to help you achieve your goals for 2014.

Resolve
Resolve to grow by improving upon your weaknesses

Resolutions
Now it’s time to make that infamous New Years Resolution list. Take some time to think outside of the box and come up with other resolutions that will surely make 2014 the best year of your life.
List them in the space provided and post it on your refrigerator, mirror, or workspace.

Other Areas
In addition to strengths and opportunities, other areas that you might want to add to your list include family, fun, finances, freedom.

Word of the Year
Once you’ve put your resolution list together. Think about one word that describes your focus for the year. Keep that word close to your heart an remind yourself each and every day to encourage you to have a fantastic year.

My word for 2013 was CHANGE and boy did that happen in a really big way.  I quit my job, moved on towards a better one, started a business, a blog, and relished every bit of family time I could possibly steal in a day. Remembering my word each day helped me to persevere during the tough trials of everyday life. My word for 2014 is LIVE.  I’m excited to share the events of the year with you. What’s your word for the year?

8 Tips for Conference Attendees: Get the Most Out of Your Conference Experience

8 Tips for Conference Attendees

Image courtesy of Phil Whitehouse under Creative Commons License

Conferences are a great way to learn a ton of information in a short amount of time. They’re also a great way to reenergize your business, make new connections and establish life-long relationships. Here are 8 tips for conference attendees to ensure you get the most of out of your conference attendance.

8 Tips for Conference Attendees

1. Get the Best Seat

Sit a close to the front as possible. This is where all of the serious people sit. There are less distractions, less opportunities to checkout, and more chances to engage with the speaker. I treat conferences like I do a Depeche Mode concert. I make my way to the front row and take in every single word.

2. Do Your Homework

Learn everything you can about the speakers and their topics before the conference. Engage with them on social media and let them know you’re looking forward to their lecture. This makes the transfer of learning easier since you’re already familiar with their speaking style and topic.

3. Engage with the Speakers

Listen attentively and write down questions. If there’s a chance to ask questions after the lecture be sure to take advantage of that opportunity. While everyone is rushing to get to the next lecture, pause for a moment and let the speakers know what you enjoyed about the lecture. If you learned something, follow up with them and let them know how you’ll apply the technique they mentioned.  Speakers love to hear how you’re implementing the tips and tricks they’ve shared with you.

4. Buy the Video Library

Often times the video library is a few hundred dollars. This is a cheap way to make sure you get all of the information, rather than having to miss out on concurrent sessions. This also saves you the hassle and stress of trying to make sure you don’t miss a thing. You’re hands will also appreciate not having to write or type so much.

5. Purchase Materials

Often times you’ll get an attendee discount on books and training when you attend a conference. If you’ve done your homework and know the speaker and their offerings, you’ll be prepared to take advantage of a special deal and reduce the changes of buyers remorse.

6. Stay Healthy

Ensure that you stay hydrated and fed. Learning transfer is less likely to occur on an empty stomach. Be sure that you take a protein bar or granola bar with you just in case you need it. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the conference.

It’s best if you can focus on the conference and leave you work at the office. However, often times you’ll need to work during the night after a long day at the conference. Try not to work too much. Remember to get some sleep so that you can be alert and ready to go the next day.

7. Bring Breath Mints

There’s nothing like stinky breath to make a gal want to grab your card an move on to the next conference attendee. Bring a pack of breath mints to keep the conversation going.

8. Business Cards

Business cards are still a great way to stay in contact and they’re pretty cheap. Bring them with you so that you can hand them out. Be sure to follow up with all of the attendees that gave you one. This will jump start the development of a great business relationship.

What are your tips for a successful conference?

 

 

 

Uncover Your Buried Dreams

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean {Tweet That}

Your Squashed Childhood Dreams

When you were a child, you saw the endless possibilities that our world has to offer. You made declarations of greatness like becoming the president, a rockstar, a famous actor or an artist. You described adventures like exploring the world, flying like a bird, being a hero, and slaying a dragon. Your plans were great, but life got in the way and they became buried in the sea filled with other priorities, negativity, pessimism, and lack of resources.
You continued your journey through life accumulating just the right mix of information and advice that beckoned you along a different path. A path far from your dreams. Maybe you faced a difficult event that left you without resources to move forward or forced you in a different direction. Perhaps your greatest influencer, parent, or teacher laughed at you, petted you on the head, or simply stated that your dream was stupid. Maybe you told yourself that it would never happen, and that you should grow up, stop dreaming, and consider something more realistic. Whatever the reason, it’s time to pause, assess where you’re headed, and give yourself permission to dream again.

Uncover Your Buried Dreams

You might be thinking that you have no dreams, have too many dreams, or have no time or money to pursue them. That’s fine. You don’t have to accomplish your dream in one day. Just take one small step to remember what you wanted to do or be when you were young. Who did you pretend to be?  What did you pretend to do? What was it about that experience that made you happy? Write down your childhood dreams in a journal. All of them.

Today’s Dreams

Once you’ve accumulated a list of childhood dreams, review them to determine if they are still relevant. Move the dreams that you still want to accomplish to the top of your list. Then think about dreams that you have today that you want to fulfill. Write them down.

Once you have a comprehensive list of your dreams, group like items together. Then prioritize them. A good rule of thumb is to start with one dream that you can easily achieve because success with one dream leads to success with another.

Writing down your dreams is the first step in uncovering your purpose. Your dreams, combined with your passion and native genius will bring clarity to your life. {Tweet That} You can start taking steps towards fulfilling your dreams today.  In doing so, you’ll discover more about yourself and your purpose along the way.

What did you discover about yourself as you began to uncover your dreams?

Uncover Your Buried Dreams

Seven Steps Towards Identifying Your Purpose

Seven Steps Towards Identifying Your Purpose

Identify Your Purpose
In my last post I shared seven steps towards identifying your purpose. In this post I’ll break them down.
1.    Uncover buried dreams
2.    Articulate your passions
3.    Discover your native genius
4.    Identify your unique characteristics
5.    Review the activities above for similarities and commonalities
6.    Choose the activities that are key to driving your purpose
7.    Define your story based on these activities

Uncover Your Buried Dreams

In this step you’ll search your past for the dreams that you’ve buried as a child. Who did you pretend to be?  What did you do? What was it about that experience that made you happy?  It’s likely that someone in your life discouraged you from pursuing that dream because it wasn’t practical or because they wanted to influence you to choose a different path. It’s time to bubble up that dream and write it down.

Articulate Your Passions

Understanding your passions helps you identify the things that you like to do that bring you joy. Think about the things you love to do at work, during your personal life, and when you volunteer. These are your passions. Write them down.

Discover Your Native Genius

In the book, Multipliers, Liz Wisman and Greg McKeown identify native genius as something that you do naturally and exceptionally well.  It takes little effort on your part and you often find yourself doing it without reason, payment, or condition.  When you are doing something related to your native genius, you get results that are head-and-shoulders above others and you do it without breaking a sweat.
What’s your native genius? Discover yours by answering these questions:
•    What do I do better than anything else I do?
•    What do I do better than the people around me?
•    What do I do without effort?
•    What do I do without being asked?
•    What do I do readily without being paid?

Identify Your Unique Characteristics

Think about all of the things that you love or admire about yourself. Consider the positive statements or titles that the people in your life assign to you. Think about what people will say about you when you’re gone. These characteristics  are part of your purpose.

Find Similarities and Commonalities

After you’ve spent some time journaling your responses, take some time to discover the similarities and commonalities. The activities that occur most frequently help you fulfill your purpose.

Define Your Story

Now that you have an idea of the activities that make up your purpose. It’s time to imagine your life as a journey with you as the hero or heroine. Think about the activities that you listed above. Who are you helping by performing those activities? Why do you need to help them? If you rescue them, what will happen?  Define the story that you need to live; this story is your purpose.

Discovering your purpose takes time, self-reflection, and intention. Spending 30 minutes answering the questions posed in this article will help you identify it and take the first step towards personal mastery.  What’s your purpose?  Share it in the comments below and if you have a website or blog be sure to let me know about it too!

How to Discover Your Purpose

How do you discover your purpose? Each of us seeks the answer to this question at one point in our lives. We strive for a deeper understanding of why we’re here on this earth. We seek the one answer that explains our existence and seems to beckon a life that’s more meaningful than without it. We read self-help books and look within ourselves, to God, to our friends, family and co-workers to shed light on what seems like a complicated mission statement just outside our reach. We seek that one thiDiscover Your Purposeng that makes sense and leads us on the path to greatness.

If you’re looking for the one thing that you can define as your purpose, you might as well forget it. Your purpose is  more than just one thing, action, task or goal. To believe that you are here on earth to fulfill one purpose simplifies the entire journey of life into a moment of achievement that when accomplished leaves you asking…”now what?” The truth is that you have many reasons for being on this earth. Discovering your purpose is about articulating them.

More than One Purpose

Historical figures,  leaders, influencers, and Jesus had more than one life purpose. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s purpose was to lead India to independence, and inspire worldwide movements to reduce poverty, inspire civil rights movements, expand on women’s rights, and allow for religious freedom. Mother Teresa’s purpose was to teach children, care for the poor, help heal the sick, and advocate for the disadvantaged. Jesus had at least many reasons for coming to this earth, one of which was to bridge the path to God through his sacrifice for our sins, but there are at least 20 reasons listed in the bible by my count.

How to Discover Your Purpose

Your purpose in life isn’t just a statement. It’s the set of actions that you take that leave the world better than when you came into it. There are seven steps that you can take to identify your purpose.
1.    Uncover buried dreams
2.    Articulate your passions
3.    Discover your native genius
4.    Identify your unique characteristics
5.    Review the activities above for similarities and commonalities
6.    Choose the activities that are key to driving your purpose
7.    Define your story based on these activities

In my next post I’ll unpack each of these steps. Have you taken any time to discover your purpose?  What tools, processes, or methods did you use?

How to Apply For Coverage Through the Health Insurance Marketplace

In this post, I’ll show you how to apply for coverage through the health insurance marketplace {Tweet That}.

A Brief History

By 2014 all non-exempt Americans must have health insurance according to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. This act was passed and signed into law on March 23, 2010. The purpose of the ACA is to increase the quality of health care and lower the uninsured rate.  Only God knows whether or not it will actually fulfill its promise, and if past behavior is an indicator of  future success the chances are unlikely. For the sake of this article, let’s just assume its everything it promises to be.

If you have health care through our employer, you probably don’t need to read this article unless you want to marvel at the beauty of a site that requires multiple redundant requests for information,  long wait times, and no immediate answers.  {Tweet That} Wait, that’s normal…right?

Health Insurance Marketplace

If you are an American or immigrant with a certain status as defined here, you can get insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace assuming that you can actually get to the log into the site. The government (these are not the furloughed employees who were declared non-essential and sent home on the day of the launch) is working over the weekend to fix the glitches that have plagued the site since its debut on October 1, 2013.

Having worked in both the public and private sector, the lack luster launch doesn’t surprise me. However, once you get to the front of the virtual line, you can start enrolling and receiving the benefits that this system provides.

Benefits of ACA

It’s important to note that the ACA doesn’t actually provide the insurance. It simply facilitates the purchase of affordable health care coverage. Each state can determine if they want to use the federal program or if they are providing their own. Some of the benefits that the ACA provide include:

  • Prohibiting insurance companies from dropping your coverage
  • Eliminating discrimination based on gender and existing health conditions
  • Increasing the age of coverage eligibility to 26 for young adults who are on their parent’s plan
  • Protecting rights to appeal insurance decisions
  • Protecting against unjustified rate hikes

How to Apply For Coverage Through the Health Insurance Marketplace

How to Apply For Coverage Through the Health Insurance Marketplace

To apply for coverage through the health Insurance Marketplace, you’ll need to visit www.healthcare.gov. Make sure that the https and .gov are in the url. If the extension is not .gov, you’re likely at the wrong site or perhaps even a phishing site that wants your personal information. Be careful and report any suspicious sites to the United Sates Computer Emergency Readiness Team site here. There are four parts to the application process:

  1. Setting up your account
  2. Verifying your identity through your state application process
  3. Applying for coverage and help with payment
  4. Waiting for your options

Setting Up Your Account

Once you’re on the site you’ll follow these steps:How to Apply For Coverage Through the Health Insurance Marketplace Queue Page

  1. Select the Apply Now button
  2. Select your state
  3. Wait your turn
  4. Set up your account with basic information (note that you’ll have to enter your state again as the only information that carries to other pages is your name)
  5. Create a username and password
  6. Select three security questions
  7. Check your inbox to complete the account setup

 Verify Your Identity

How to Apply For Coverage Through the Health Insurance Marketplace State ApplicationOnce you’ve clicked the confirmation link in your email, you’ll proceed to apply for coverage through your state application process.

To complete this step you’ll:

  1. Click the Next button
  2. Enter your contact information again, including your state (Is it just odd to me that I need to enter in my state on the Arizona application page?)
  3. Answer identity verification questions such as, residences, credit card numbers, and phone numbers

 

Applying for Coverage

Once you’ve verified your information, you can apply for coverage.

How to Apply For Coverage Through the Health Insurance Marketplace application startTo complete this step:

  1. Click the Get Started button
  2. Agree to the privacy policy
  3. Enter your contact information (Are you counting  how many times you’ve entered the same information in the system yet? Hmmm…..I suspect that the Health Insurance Marketplace links many systems to one user interface, which is why they don’t talk to each other nicely. Sound familiar?)
  4. Note who’s helping you in this process (Please don’t say me. I’m not a  health insurance expert by any means.)
  5. Apply for payment assistance (If you apply for payment assistance, you’ll need to enter your contact information…again. You’ll also need to disclose your immigration status. )
  6. Add additional family members
  7. Review your information and virtually sign the document

Waiting for Options

Once you’ve completed the three main steps, you’ll wait to hear back on what type of coverage you qualify for. This process could take days or weeks.  It’s not instantaneous. You’ll get a notification, pick from the options, complete the process, and make a payment.  I anticipate that there will be many opportunities for you to wait in this process. Just be patient. Insurance doesn’t kick in until January 1, 2014 anyway.

Live Chat Functionality

I was pleasantly surprise at the live chat functionality that was available in the process. Anyone may ask questions through the live chat. However, be prepared for a decent wait time. I was in line for 18 minutes before it was my turn. Unfortunately, I navigated away from the page to write this post and was disconnected within 2 minutes.

According to CNBC, 99% of Obamacare applications don’t have enough information in order to enroll the applicant into a plan. We’ll have to wait to see if my application has enough. I’m looking forward to seeing the options that are available to me and comparing them with what’s available through my employer.  Have you applied for health care coverage?  What was your experience?

11 Steps That Help You Spend Less and Save Thousands

Saving money on the things you need is a skill that’s easy to perfect. In this post I’ll share 11 steps that help you spend less and save thousands on items that you’re buying anyway. I’ll even show you how I saved a thousand dollars in one shopping trip.

How I Saved a Thousand Dollars in One Shopping Trip

11 Steps That Help You Spend Less and Save ThousandsOver the years saving money has become automatic to me. I owe a lot of my frugality to my mom, who loves to splurge but does so strategically. When I pay full retail price for an item, it’s painful but there is always a good reason and I usually come out ahead in the long run.

I’m always searching for what I need or want at the lowest price. I combine coupons and rewards to get what I need at a fraction of the price others pay for the same items. The key is to combine sale items with one or more of the following:credit card rewards, manufacturer coupons, store coupons, store rewards and bonuses, shopping cards, shopping apps, and online websites, such as Ebates. You can get $10 from Ebates by using my referral link here. I usually get at least two discounts in for each item, but three or more is the norm.

Yesterday, I went to Kohls because I had a few items that I needed to purchase. I worked a few extra gigs this month, which also freed up money for some non-essential want items as well. Armed with my 30% off coupon and their Kohls cash promotion, I headed out to knock some of the items off my shopping list. Shopping the clearance and sales racks, I found 30 items of clothing, 2 pairs of shoes, and one Mint floor cleaner all at 75 – 90% off. The sales representative looked at my receipt and said, “I’ve never seen this before. You saved over a thousand dollars. That’s amazing”. She handed over $40 in Kohls cash to spend next week, and I smiled and replied with a thank you.

I’ve wanted the Mint cleaner since it debuted, but the $250-$320 retail price tag was a bit high for an item that wasn’t a necessity. After my coupons, it ended up costing $90 and I received $10 in Kohls cash to spend later. For $90, it’s well worth it! On a side note, the Mint is working beautifully. I plugged it in overnight and it cleaned my floors for over an hour today, putting my mopping (which was done yesterday) to shame.

11 Steps That Help You Spend Less and Save Thousands

  1. Plan Ahead – Planning ahead is essential so that you get the best price on items that bring value to your life. Buying items that you want, but will never use is called wasting money. It’s not saving money. I’m not suggesting that you can never have something that you want. However, I am suggesting that everything you buy works to provide value. You should absolutely buy something that you want if your budget permits it.
  2. Make a List – Grab a journal or a piece of paper and write down the items that you need in one column and items that you want in another column. Write down the name of your favorite stores that carry the item.
  3. Assign Dates – Necessities have dates. If you truly need the item then it’s likely that you need it by a certain date.  For the items that you need, write down the date that you need it by. For example, if you need a dress for your Christmas party on the 10th of December write down December 9th. For items that you want, use a key milestone. Milestones can be  key events such as, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, a weight loss goal,  or a promotion.
  4. Budget – Allocate a set amount of money each month to save towards your  needs. You don’t have to spend the allocated budget each month. In fact, you shouldn’t. Use the strategies below to get what you need for cheap, and save any extra money for more expensive necessities and want items.
  5. Wait – Wait for the item to go on sale. This is probably the hardest step. The more you practice this step, the better results you’ll have. Almost everything you’ll purchase in your life will go on sale at one point or another. The key is to plan ahead so that you can snag what you need when it’s at a great price.
  6. Compare – Compare resale with new items and brand name items with similar off label brands. If the off label brand is comparable, consider purchasing it in lieu of the brand name. If the brand name is the reason why you’re purchasing the item, take a step back and assess who is influencing you and why you believe you need that brand. Then think about  the statement that you’re making to the world and those close to you when you wear the brand name item. If this statement supports who you are, then by all means stick with the brand label.
  7. Off Season – Consider purchasing items that are off season for next season. The best time to purchase swimsuits, shorts, sandals, and t-shirts is during the fall. Late in September or early October stores begin slashing prices because they are trying to make room for the Christmas merchandise and winter wear. If you have growing kids like me, purchase a few sizes up and make sure pants can be adjusted.
  8. Inspect – Make sure that the item that you’re purchasing is worth what you’re paying. Inspect it. Are there any holes, stains, or imperfections? Is the stitching tight or easily unraveled? Does the item function as intended? Never purchase low quality items just because they are cheaper. There’s a reason why some items are significantly less than others.
  9. Coupons – Keep an eye out of coupons. Many stores will offer percentages off, buy one get one, free items, and dollars off coupons. When you find a high value coupon and have budget available, it’s time to shop!
  10. Rewards – Combine rewards with coupons. Rewards can be cash back or points. I’ll post more on rewards programs in a future post, because there are great online and offline shopping strategies that you can use to get more for your dollar.
  11. Clearance – Keep an eye on the clearance section of the store. Occasionally, you’ll find an item on your list drastically reduced. When this happens you can swoop in and snag it for a fraction of the price.

What other tips do you have for saving money on necessities? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

How to Propose Budget Allocation for Your Professional Development

Personal and professional development can be costly, but it doesn’t have to impact your bottom line if you can learn how to propose budget allocation for your professional development. Professional development is key to keeping happy and productive employees. Successful leaders are constantly learning, gathering insight, and helping the company thrive.  Many employers know this and often will provide programs and training to support this. Large companies typically have formal programs and application processes, but small companies often have some funding allocated for this as well.

Over the course of my career, I’ve received tens of thousands of dollars towards my development, including professional organization memberships, conferences, certifications, and a Masters in Business Administration. Some of these were part of a company wide initiative or program, but all of them required a pitch of varying degrees. You can do this too by simply including a few key elements in your pitch.

Propose Budget Allocation for Your Professional Development

Having a plan that you can step through with your manager is the best way to  begin the conversation to propose budget allocation for your professional development. It’s your best shot at getting approval. Here are 9 essential elements to include in your proposal:

  • Pain Points that specifically describe the issue that you’re trying to solve
  • Relevant facts that make a compelling argument for your education
  • Ideas and plans for implementing what you learn
  • Benefit statements that explain the value of the education
  • Value added offer to help others in the company
  • Alternative options so that you provide your manager with choices
  • Details such as location and expense
  • Your option preference
  • Request for funding presented in a way that doesn’t provide a no option

Professional Development Proposal Example

Here’s an example of  each of these points laid out on a pitch to to attend an educational content marketing conference.

  • Pain Points-The market is changing. Our sales are flat, and our market share is diminishing. Consumers have adapted to the multitude of marketing messages that they encounter each day, and they’re no longer listening.
  • Your Idea-We need to change our marketing strategy, and I’d like to explore the use of educational content marketing in our campaigns next year.
  • Relevant Facts-Educational content marketing is significantly less expensive than paid advertising, often times 31-41% less according to Kapost.
  • Your Plan-Therefore, in order to ensure we stay competitive in our environment, I’m requesting funding to attend the next marketing conference to learn how we can effectively implement educational content marketing in our organization.
  • Benefit Statement-Funding this conference will allow me to get up to speed faster than our competitors, customize a plan for our company, and begin taking steps toward implementing our content strategy.
  • Value Add-Further more, I’d be happy to present my top ten learnings during the next lunch and learn so that anyone from the company can learn.
  • Options-There are two conferences that present best practices for educational content marketing. They are Content Marketing Universe and Social Media Universe.
  • Location-Content Marketing Universe is  being held  in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 6-9 of next year and Social Media Universe is being held in Orlando, Florida on May 28-30.
  • Cost-The cost of the conferences are $10,000 and $7,000, respectively. This include conference registration and travel expenses.
  • Preference-I can attend either conference or both. However, my preference is to attend Content Marketing Universe because of the keynote speaker lineup and Chief Content Officer track.
  • Request-Which of these two options works best in your opinion?

What other strategies do you employ when you propose budget allocation for your professional development? Let me know in the comments below.
Propose Budget Allocation for Your Professional Development

How to Get Your Education for Free

This post isn’t about how to get your education for free through scholarships. Rather, it’s about how to get your education for free through unconventional methods.

You see, my co-worker Jamie is leaving this week. She’s moving to follow her husband around the globe. She’s leaving her career as a copywriter to pursue her love for her husband and to focus on her small children.   She’ll freelance to help make ends meet, but besides that she doesn’t really have a plan. I admire her for her free bird approach to life, but wonder about her journey.  Will the stress of reducing the family income by 40% overburden her husband?

I can’t predict the future, but I can encourage her to plan. I took her out to lunch to chat about her preparation and plans for the future.

What Have You Done to Enhance Your Skills?

I asked Jamie if she had taken any classes, gone to many conferences, or joined professional groups during her time with our company. Sadly, she replied no.  Apparently no one had ever asked her if she was interested, and she was too busy with work to ask. In the five years that she worked for our company, she never asked for a single learning opportunity because she didn’t think she could. She felt sad and disappointed by her lack of initiative, and asked me if there was anything she could do to get started in the right direction. It was getting late so I gave her a few pointers and promised to follow up soon. Here’s what I said.

How to Get Your Education For Free

There are many sites that provide a way to get your education for free. The key is wading through the noise and finding one with content that helps you grow. Blogs are a great start and its often easy to find the leader in your space with a little bit of research, asking your peer and co-workers, participating in forums or in online groups, or picking up a copy of the latest professional magazine and following the writers on Twitter. Then read, watch, learn, and take one action towards implementing what you’ve learned.

These are my favorites:

  • Coursera-I’ve taken classes online at Coursera, from writing to marketing to psychology there are hundreds of college level courses to choose from. Sign up for a class and check it out.  There’s no charge and you can always un-enroll if you find it’s not your thing.
  • iTunes Podcasts-I always have at least four podcasts queued in my phone. Most of them involve something business related and they keep me up to date on the latest trends and business tips. Visit the iTunes Podcast store to find a podcast that interests you. If you don’t like it, you can always unsubscribe. You’ll need to download the Podcast app to play it on your phone.
  • Overdrive Audiobooks-I use the Overdrive media app to check out audiobooks from my library for free.  I can’t tell you how many hundreds of dollars I have saved on audiobooks using this tool. You can also checkout e-books as well, but check with your library first to see if they participate.
  • Noise Trade Audiobooks and MP3 Albums-I’ve recently snagged a few great audio books from Noisetrade. It’s perfect for giving new authors and artists a try.
  • Amazon Kindle-Amazon offers free books all the time. The key is to find one that’s worth reading. The best tip I have here is to follow your favorite author or tribe leader by blog or Twitter. Occasionally, they will give a away their books for free to attract more readership and increase their brand recognition. Here’s my affiliate link to the free book list: Amazon.

Upgrade to the Cheap Seats

Once you’ve saturated your brain with all of the free information that you can stand, it’s time to upgrade to the cheap seats. You can only get so far by reading what you can find for free. {Tweet That} At this point you’ll want to invest in more formal education specific to the skill you want to acquire. This might include joining a professional society, visiting your local recreation center or library, joining a niche membership site, or taking a course online that you can’t get anywhere else.

Often times the cheap seats are so affordable that you could pay for them yourself. If you are working for a company that utilizes your skills, I would ask them to pay for it first. You might be surprised to see your manager sigh with relief at the $30/month membership or the $200 small business conference. After all, the rest of management just got back from spending $10,000 each to attend the I’m An Awesome Manager conference. The $30/month will pretty much feel like free after that.

Front Row and Center

Once you’ve gotten the OK from your manager to pursue your education in the cheap seats, you’ll want to explore conferences and other premium opportunities to take you to the super star level. I’ll give you some tips on how to propose budget for this activity in the next post.

Take Your Steps

If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for my free Best Version of You program, it’s not too late.  I’d love to help you get started on your journey by helping you identify your native genius, discover your dreams, and take actionable steps to achieve them.  This is not your mama’s coaching program. {Tweet That} There is no cost to go through this program, and I think you’ll find it worth your time.  Click here to get started.

At the end of our lunch Jamie looked at me with a little sadness in her sky blue eyes and explained that no one had ever posed the questions that I just did. She had a lot to think about. She promised me she’d look into free education when she got settled in and then we parted ways. I wonder if she’ll take those steps. What do you think?

How to Get Your Education for Free

Pursue the Best Version of You Online Dream Program Launch

I’m excited to launch my Pursue the Best Version of You online dream program today. Click here to give it a go.

Online Dream Program Launch

Dream Program

This seven day email series will explore your passions and help you to take steps to become the best version of you. Imagine, in seven days you’ll be on your way to pursuing the best version of you!

Within the dream program, I’ve included my Dream Identification path for those of you who don’t already know what your passions and dreams are.  There is no cost to sign up for the Dream Identification path either. It’s absolutely free. If you select the Dream Identification path on day one, the entire experience will take slightly over two weeks.

Why Provide the Dream Program for Free?

Why am I making this free? That’s a great question! I believe that everyone should have access to a dream program. It’s our dreams that inspire us to action. Our actions change the landscape of those around us. They tell the story of who we are and why we are here. When we live our lives with intention, the world becomes (quite frankly) a little bit brighter. {Tweet That}

What are My Dream Program Qualifications?

What makes me qualified to provide an online dream program? I think the best answer to this question is Experience and almost two decades in curriculum development and training. I’ve also coached many start-up businesses, mompreneurs, and friends on how to pursue the best version of themselves, their businesses, and their lives. I’ve successfully lived through some very dark times, including having no income in 2009 to support my family, 11 weeks in the NICU praying for the chance to take my baby home, and so much more.

Start Now

It’s time to take steps towards your dream.
Sign up for my FREE Pursue the Best Version of You online dream program to receive specific actionable steps that will help you:

  • Discover your dreams
  • Create action plans to achieve breakthrough results
  • Become the BEST VERSION of YOU

Don’t waste another second.  Start now, and while you’re at it tell a friend. The journey is always better with a friend.

Mompreneur Theme Genesis Framework for WordPress

Mompreneur Theme Genesis Framework

I have to say that I’m super impressed by the MomPreneur Theme. Mompreneur theme Genesis Framework. The Mompreneur theme runs on the Genesis Framework and is super chic, has great colors, and it’s so easy to set up.  I might have to snag this for my website soon – what do you think?

The colors in the Mompreneur theme Genesis framework are basically pink and gray. More specifically they are gray and chartreuse, gray and coral, and gray and yellow and navy. There are two page layouts. One with full width content and the other with sidebar content. With the click of a button, you can add all of your products and have a fantastic chic storefront.  So easy! I love how the banner can display a shopping cart along with your social media buttons. The polka dots and stripes go really well together, making this theme perfect for mommy bloggers, crafters, and anyone with style.

Targeting Your Customers: It’s Not Just About Demographics

New research from Infusionsoft suggests that it’s not just about demographics when targeting your customers. You also need to have a good understanding of your customers attitudes, beliefs, and corresponding behaviors. In the whitepaper published by Infusionsoft this month, I discuss the four types of buyers: Strivers, Customizers, Maximizers, and Supporters and how vendors can work with each buyer to increase the probability of success.

Targeting Your Customers

Once you know the customer type, you can begin to customize your conversation with them.

  • Strivers-For Strivers, you’ll need to focus on the processes that are necessary for your product to function well. Help Strivers discover and implement good business processes by providing tools, education, and recommendations. This should be seen as complementary to your business and can be implemented through blog posts, online learning, and recorded webinars to reduce the resources required.
  • Customizers-Customizers believe that what they do is so boutique that infrastructure may end up hindering their business instead of helping it. Demonstrated success in similar businesses and provide success stories to help Customizers bridge the gap between apprehension and implementation.
  • Maximizers-Everyone loves a positive return on investment and Maximizers are no different.  What’s unique about Maximizers is that they tend to fully utilize the capabilities that they purchase.  Show Maximizers how they can improve their business through increasing sales while reducing costs and headcount. They’ll love you for it.
  • Supporters-Supporters appreciate businesses that understand the uniqueness of their niche. For small businesses, that means being in touch with the difficulties, such as long work days, weekends at the office, and the never ending to do list. Show supporters that you’ve walked in their shoes and can relate to their business. Build trust through your trials and show them how you’ve persevered. Take time to nurture the relationship and you’ll win their support.

When you speak to customers as individuals, you’ll begin to build a relationship that lasts.  Knowing who they are is the first step. When targeting your customers always be aware that it’s not just about demographics. They’re a whole other layer to consider.

Targeting Your Customers

Save Money at Target with the Target Cartwheel App

 target cartwheel appToday I decided I would save money  with the Target Cartwheel App. I stumbled across it by accident really, but I thought I’d give it a try since I had some lunchbox shopping to do anyway. I downloaded the app, synced it to my Facebook account, and then clicked up to 16 offers that I wanted to use on my shopping trip.

Saving Money at Target with the Target Cartwheel App

One of the best things about this app is that you can combine discounts with your Redcard, target printable coupons,  manufacturers coupons, and sale items. For example, I needed to purchase some Vitamin Waters this week that were on sale for .88 each. I had 1 target printable coupon for buy 4 get 1 free, 4 vitamin water manufacturer coupons for .75/2, and 10% off in the Target Cartwheel app:

  • 8 x .88=7.04
  • - .88 (target printable free coupon) = 6.16
  • -$3 (manufacturer coupons) = 3.16
  • -.70 (Target Cartwheel app coupon) = 2.46
  • and if you have a redcard another 5% off (-.12) = 2.34

That works out to be about .30 per 20oz bottle, which is pretty good for vitamin water. It’s cheaper than Costco anyway. I’m sure some of my brilliant money saving friends could have come out getting paid for these waters, but I’m not that intense about couponing.  Long gone are my binder days.  I miss those days, but I just don’t have the time anymore.

Stack Six Levels of Savings at Target

Anytime I go shopping I always have a trifecta of savings by using store rewards cards, digital coupons, and sale items. That way I get discounts without much effort. I try to pay with cash so that I don’t overspend, but many savvy shoppers use rewards or points credit cards for additional savings.  With the Target Cartwheel app, you can combine up to 6 levels of savings:

  • Sale items
  • Target printable coupons
  • Manufacturer coupons
  • Redcard 5% discount
  • In store promotions: buy x get $x Target gift cards
  • and the Target Cartwheel App discount

On my shopping trip I saved $3 using the target cartwheel app and about $30 in other coupons and discounts on items I was going to purchase anyway. For the few minutes it took me to familiarize myself with the app, it was worth the time.

You can find the Target cartwheel app in iTunes and in Google play. Just search for Target Cartwheel and it should come right up.

Living in the In-Between – A Review of The In-Between by Jeff Goins

Last week I  introduced to the writings of Jeff Goins, who recently published a book called the The In-Between:Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing.the in-between I love books like this because they inspire me to remember to live in the moment of each day. I’ve spend so much time waiting for the next big thing to happen, that I sometimes forget about the now.

In The In-Between, Jeff encourages readers to focus on the moment. Focusing on living in the now doesn’t come easy to me. I’m a planner, a gal who always thinks two steps in front of the current situation, who identifies and (trys to) mitigate risks and leave no stone unturned. I feel that I have to always be productive because time is short.  These are all good traits, except when I forget to look up. I find myself trying to fill the time void. So instead of enjoying a cup of coffee while I wait for my team members to show up to a meeting, I respond to e-mail, return a call, or check another thing off my to-do list. Instead of enjoying the food that I eat, I mindlessly eat while creating a marketing campaign, managing my project, or reading email. I battle with living in the in-between each and every day.

It’s hard for me to embrace the boring parts of life. The wait at the doctor office, the wait at the checkout line, or the wait until my kid gets on stage to perform his next hip hop routine. So I fill the wait times with activity, because life’s too short and things have to get done. But in that hurried activity,  I miss the beauty in my son’s face as he takes in the latest adventure of Sponge Bob Square Pants. I miss the glance that my husband gave me that was supposed to say I love you. I miss the goofiness of my dog as he chases his tail.

It takes a huge effort for me to live in the moment, but I try to each and every day.  I know that if I simply take in the joy of life, I will find what I’m desperately searching for. The love that I already have, the joy that’s in every moment, the peace that contentment brings. When I embrace living in the in-between, I realize that I’m already living one badass life.

Tammy Helfrich interviewed Jeff on her Right Where You Are podcast.  Be sure to stop by and listen to it. If you want to purchase Jeff’s new book (which is awesome by the way) you can buy it on Amazon using this affiliate link: The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing [A Spiritual Memoir]

A Couple’s Journey to Escape Average with the START Experiment

If you want to know what a couple’s journey to escape average looks like, then you’ve come to the right place. In June of this year I read a blog post from Jon Acuff who invited the world to escape average with the START Experiment, and join him on an adventure. I like to try new things, and this was just the motivation that I needed to get started on my second (and apparently third) book. I was so excited about the START Experiment that I invited my friends and husband to join me as well. To my surprise, Lonny decided he’d join me on this journey.

A Couple’s Journey to Escape Average

Lonny and I have been married for over 15 years, and we’ve been together since high school. He works for the government and I work for a software company.

Couple's Journey to Escape Average

Our days consist of getting up, heading to work, coming home, getting dinner on the table, shuffling the kids to practices, homework, bed, rinse, and repeat. We lead a pretty average, but blessed life. It’s time to escape average.

We each chose 1 risk (or challenge) to complete during the Start Experiment. Mine is to complete a draft of my next book. I knew it would be a challenging to pump out an entire draft in 24 days, but I’m focused and doing well so far.  Lonny’s risk is to complete a marketing campaign for our business www.MyVideoScribe.com. That meant that he needed to get up to speed in two software programs, draft a campaign, and include all assets within the campaign.  Not only that, but guess who’s not the marketing person in the house (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not Lonny).

Daily Accountability

Each day we receive an email from Jon Acuff that lists the challenge for the day. One challenge might be to write our our goals, ignore haters, or thank someone. We are in groups of 24 and in that group we each have a partner. Mine is Tammy Helfrich and Lonny’s is David Burns. We check in with our partners at least twice a week, and post to the group’s closed Facebook page. This is great for accountability.

On our couple’s journey to escape average we are accountable to each other. Every night we talk about our day, and how we’re progressing with the START Experiment.  We help each other out when we are stuck or out of ideas. This daily accountability helps us complete our challenges, but more importantly it brings us closer together.

Goodbye Average

One of my favorite moments of our journey was when my husband told me that he wanted to continue to progress in his career. I had given up pushing him in this area after he was laid off in 2009. He needed some time to just have a job, come home, and focus on his family and himself. When he told me that he wanted to start working towards a promotion, I think my jaw dropped. In our house a job is much different than a career, and to hear him tell me that he was ready to become awesome was…well…awesome.

I’m so proud of all of the accomplishments that he has been able to achieve over the last 20ish days. He was an amazing husband and father before we started, but now he’s finding dreams that he never knew he had. That’s the thing about dreams. You get started on one and another one appears that you didn’t even know you had.

It’s Not Over

The first round of the START Experiment ends this week. I’m not sure what’s next, but I can tell you that it’s not over for us. Lonny and I add this daily accountability to escape average and continue on our journey. We’ll talk about our dreams and the steps that we take each day to work toward being the best we can be as a couple, as parents, as siblings, as children.

My Start Experiment “Pick Me” Video

If you know me and my obsession with Quitter and now Start then you know that I wasn’t about to miss out on this adventure with one of my favorite authors. I was one of the first to sign up, and submitted this video in hopes that my email would get some attention. I’m so glad that it did. Along our couple’s journey to escape average we grew a little bit closer, got a heck of a lot done, and became better versions of ourselves.

If you were part of the Start Experiment, comment below and let me know how you did. I’d love to hear how you escaped average too!

 

How to use Instagram for Small Business Marketing

Instagram for Small Business MarketingEvery business has tried out Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. as marketing tools to promote themselves. Yet another marketing tool that has been gaining importance and is equally or even more powerful than others is Instagram for small business marketing.  Ever since the application has been launched, it has lured many people because of the ease with which photos can be taken and the cool filters that can be applied. Sharing pictures on social media has never been this easy or fun.

Initially, this mobile app was only accessible to iPhone users. Now, it has moved into the world of people using Android too. With the growing popularity, Instagram surely has a long way to go.

Statistics have shown that people respond more to pictures than texts. That is why businesses try to incorporate images in their promotional tools. The best part about using Instagram is that even small businesses can incorporate this app in their marketing efforts because the photo sharing program is absolutely free. What’s more is that you can also interact and connect with other users through web generated Instagram profiles. Given its active user base and recognition, Facebook acquired the app in April 2012.  So, if you are running a small business, make the most of Instagram and reach a widespread audience within your budget. Here is how you can use Instagram for small business marketing:

Instagram for Small Business Marketing

  • Before getting started, the first step should be to do some planning. Think about how and what types of images will you are sharing. How will the message of your business be communicated via these graphics? You are not using Instagram for personal profiles but for business purposes. Hence, be more strategic.
  • It would be in your best interest to check out the strategies of your competitors. Keep a look on how their fans are responding to the content they share. Ask yourself: What kind of pictures do their fans like? How will the potential followers begin to prefer your content over others? Doing so will help you to enhance your own business strategy.
  • Since Instagram is a photo sharing app, you may want to consider using it with other social media sites for greater impact on your audience. In this way, your business message will be easily communicated.
  • Using Instagram for marketing your business means that you will have to be really good pictures. Good enough to attract potential customers. Either learn about some photography tricks or hire a professional for the task. Taking classes or working with art students or qualified photographers will help you enhance your photography skills. You should also not hesitate from using Instagram filters that would add more charm to the images taken. Make sure that the pictures you share are quite appealing because Instagram users are creative and savvy. Thus, posting aesthetically engaging pictures should be one of your priorities.
  • A very important tip that you must not forget is the usage of hashtags. Just like Twitter, even Instagram users use hashtags to search for content they are concerned with. For this purpose you can use two types of hashtags:
    • Brand specific hashtags – These hashtags are specifically related to your business name, your products, services or anything else that is associated with your business.
    • Generic hashtags – These hashtags are not brand specific and are general in nature. These hashtags will allow your business to gain attention among people who may not be aware of your business.

Whether you choose to use generic hashtags or brand specific hashtags, you are providing an easy way to users to search for your images.Instagram also offers another amazing feature of geolocation. The geolocation feature, popularly recognized as “Photo Map”, provides yet another opportunity that will engage your followers. With the help of this feature you can tie your pictures to specific location. This in turn will alert users of this particular area about your presence.

Apart from the above, you can post pictures to inform people about the following:

  • Your latest products
  • How your products were made
  • Offer sneak previews of what will be available soon
  • Give the users some tips on how your products can be used.
  • Share pictures from PR actions like brand endorsement activities, product launch events and the like.

Are you read to use Instagram?

Five Awesome Android Small Business Productivity Apps

Android small business productivity appsTechnology continues to make our lives easier each day, and I’m always on the look out for awesome Android small business productivity apps. Today, I’m sharing five of them.  I download most of mine through the Google Play store, but there are many available on Amazon as well.

Android Small Business Productivity Apps

The first one to is the app called Evernote. I use this app to take notes during meetings and when I think of ideas to write about. It’s not just for writing down your notes, it can also facilitate synching, sharing, and recording reminders for later reference. I highly recommend this free app.

Dropbox is my second favorite. Dropbox is a file storage and sharing system, where the files are stored in a cloud (e.g., a server located somewhere that you access with your computer).  You can store files, image, videos or any type file, and share files or folders with your co-workers.

Google drive is similar to Dropbox.  It has the same cloud base sharing and document collaboration functionality. Once you upload a file, you can share the link with your co-workers. If you document is private, it will require that they request access from you. Google will send the request to your Gmail account. Once you approve it, your co-worker will have the access that you granted.

Hootsuite keeps all of your social media streams in one location.  I use it to view my Facebook pages, Twitter, and LinkedIn updates. It helps keep me organized and in the know.

Cozi Calendar and Shopping Lists is a must have.  I can organize my entire family calendar and send reminders to my phone before I’m supposed to be somewhere.  It really keeps me on track! This app stores shopping lists, to do lists, and journaling as well.  I LOVE THIS APP!

So there you have it! My top five awesome Android small business productivity apps. Now, let’s get productive!

How to Grow Your Email List with Videos

It’s  time to grow your email list with videos. Grow Your Email List with VideosVideos are fun, entertaining, and feasible for small businesses on a tight budget. There are four ways that you can grow your email list with videos, and we’ll unpack each of them below:

  • Tell Stories
  • Educate
  • Entertain
  • Humanize Your Brand

Tell Stories with Videos

Let’s face it. We’ve been watching stories on video since the early 1900s when the television was introduced to United States. With stories we can visit new places, experience new things, and become the individuals we secretly want to be. Ordinary people can watch actors who exhibit similar characteristics and imagine that they too can be the celebrity or successful tycoon. In a study titled Why Americans Love Reality TV, Psychology Today concluded that fans of reality shows value status because they measure it by level of attention. The more attention they receive, even if it’s not good, the higher the prestige. We as fans will watch theses stories with attention and commitment like no other.

Share a testimonial from your greatest fans. Let us envision how we can use your product or service to become your next success case. Here’s an example of a video scribe that I produced on the successful launch of my blog.

Educate with Videos

Videos that Educate are also trending in popularity. This is primarily due to our increasing need for answers now. We want the information today, and can’t wait for the next class to be scheduled or the next book to be released. Look at the popularity of TED talks, a place where anyone can digest content from the “greatest minds” on technology, entertainment, and design (actually it’s grown way past those topics). We want to grow and experience success. Sometimes we just need someone to show us how to get from point A to point B.

Teach us something that we can use to further our dream or challenges our beliefs. It doesn’t have to take long. In fact, the more succinct and creative you are, the happier we’ll be. Here’s a great example.

Entertain with Videos

Videos that entertain provide great value to our society, and can be somewhat categorized as an addiction. Generally, we tend to relax and become passive watchers as the events unfold before our eyes. With a fluctuating economy and stress-filled days the norm, it’s no wonder why we gravitate to a world that takes us away from the normalcy of our hectic lives. We simply need a break from reality sometimes.

Give us a chance to laugh, cry, and connect with your brand. Even if the only time we see your brand is in the “sponsored by” section.

Humanize Your Brand with Videos

For years we’ve been bombarded with messages that speak, “buy me now” in volumes. We are answering the advertising call less and less. Instead, we’re  increasingly  using social media to validate performing companies prior to engaging in a purchase transaction. It’s more important than ever to show your prospects and customers that your business is more than just an entity.

Show us your company, culture, and process. Soon we’ll begin to realize that your product is more than something we need, it’s something that does good for our society because it creates jobs, happiness, and freedom. We all want a little bit of freedom.

Grow Your Email List with Videos

Now it’s time to grow your email list with videos. It’s time to show them that you’re human, and that you care. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth so much more. Video scribing is a great way to get started. Click here learn more.

Four Fantastic Resources for Cheap Books

I’m an avid reader of all sorts: history, self-help, fiction, religious, you name it. I’m always looking for resources for cheap books, and I’ve saved thousands of dollars by being smart about my purchases. Of course, the library is a great resource for borrowing books, but sometimes I forget to return my borrowed books. I prefer to pick up a book for my collection if I can get it at a great price.

Four of my favorite resources for cheap books are the library, Goodwill (or any thrift store), Amazon, and Paperbackswap.com. I get most of my books from one of these four locations.

Cheap Books at the Library

Resources for cheap booksOne of my favorite places for cheap books is the library. Almost every library that I’ve been to has a free or cheap books-for-sale section.

Recently, I traveled to Alpine, Arizona and stopped in at the local library branch. I was impressed by the assortment of magazines and books all for only .25 each. Since I have a growing pile of books, I chose to purchase All You and Woman’s World magazines for the ride home. While my kids were in the free Wifi room, I read a few chapters from Survival Mom, by Lisa Bedford and got a few tips for food storage.

Cheap Books at Paperback Swap

Paperback swap is an online book swap community. It’s free to join and you get 2 free books to start. You post the books that you have available for sale, and request books that you want.  When a member requests your book, you’ll send it to them and receive a credit for your efforts. Once you find a book that you want, you simply use one of your credits and a member will send it to you. Click here to learn more.

Cheap books at Goodwill

Goodwill is resource for cheap books. If you have a Goodwill, check with them to find out when  they have sales, such as 1/2 price Saturdays or 1/2 price colored tags. I’ve wanted to read Escape by Cubical Nation by Pam Slim for about a month now. Luckily for me, I picked it up during the last 1/2 price sale for $1.50. I’ve also picked up a few Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, and other great reads there.

Cheap Books at Amazon

If you have the Kindle App you can download free or cheap e-books on Amazon.com. Last year I picked up Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey for $1.99. That’s one great business book.

Share Your Resources for Cheap Books

I’m always on the hunt for more resources for cheap books. I’ve seen great deals at library fundraisers, yard sales, second-hand book stores, dollar stores, and sometimes at the local grocery store. Where do you get your cheap books at?