How to get into Bitcoin trading

Want to get into Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies? This is a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Buy Bitcoin – the universal currency

  1. Open a Coinbase account. Why Coinbase? Because they’re based out of the US and have a good reputation. Transaction fees are about 1.49%.
  2. Connect it to your bank. Only have one bank account and you’re scared to connect anything to it? Fine, create a Capital One or Aspiration account. They are FDIC-insured banks. Transfer a small amount from your primary back there then go ahead and transfer it over to Coinbase and buy Bitcoin – BTC.
  3. Deposit a fair amount. Don’t want to risk too much? Just deposit $20 and start with that. According to today (July 4, 2017) that would amount to 0.007 BTC. It doesn’t take much to get started.
  4. Once you have your money deposited, just sit back and wait on how Bitcoin performs.

Step 2: Invest in other crypto-currencies further down the rabbit hole

Now that you understand how this works, consider instead of purchasing bitcoin, you can go ahead and purchase less-expensive coins. The BTC value today (July 4, 2017) is way over $2,500 so it would require quite the investment if you wanted to purchase 1 (if even more) Bitcoin. There are smaller valued coins that could go up in value as well. We’ve seen this before with crypto-currency like LiteCoin and Ethereum. Interested in purchasing a different kind of crypto-currency?

  1. Open a Poloniex account. Why Poloniex? Again, they’re based out of the US and have a good reputation.
  2. Go to Balances – Deposits & Withdrawals
  3. Find BTC / Bitcoin on the list.
  4. Click Deposit on that line. It will provide you with an address to send the Bitcoin to.
  5. Copy that address.
  6. Go back to Coinbase.com and click on Send/Request and click Send
  7. Paste the address that Poloniex provided in the box that reads “Recipient – Email or Bitcoin address”
  8. Choose an amount. For example, just click “Max” and move over all the BTC that you just added to your Coinbase account or a fraction of it. Say for the example provided above of $20 that would be moving over 0.01 BTC.
  9. Click Send Funds.
  10. Go back to Poloniex and click on Balances > History and wait a few minutes for the money to get transferred. WAY FASTER THAN ANY BANK TO BANK TRANSFER, HUH?!

Once you see that the transaction has come through and is “Confirmed” you are ready to trade.

  1. On Poloniex, click Exchange
  2. Click on the chart on the right, the tab labeled “BTC” to see all the currencies you can purchase using the Bitcoin you just deposited.
  3. Click on any crypto-currency you’d like and scroll to the bottom of the screen where it says “BUY XXX” – XXX obviously is the acronym of whichever currency you chose. For example, if you choose, Ethereum, then it will read “BUY ETH”.
  4. Type in the amount of the currency you want to buy and it will tell you how much BTC it will cost you. If it’s too complicated, just copy the amount where it states: “You have x.xxxxxxx BTC” into the Total field. It will automatically convert that to the amount you can afford.
  5. Click Buy.

That’s it. Once you do that, you are now a proud owner of crypto-currency. Now it’s up to you if you want to keep your money there or pull it out and put it in a wallet for safekeeping. Either way, hold on to it and let’s see where this goes.

Which currencies should you buy?

That’s up to you, but if you want to learn more, check these out:

Watch this video to have a basic understanding of 5 hot crypto-currencies out right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgiNyyzIWuo

Here is a list of currencies to check out:

 

Will an IT Certification lead me to a job that I will enjoy?

USS Enterprise Flight Deck Certificate
Most people are not satisfied with their jobs and are looking to “move on”. Will getting you a Certification lead to a better job?

Job satisfaction can be based on how much you make, what kind of perks you have, work/life balance or even pride in what you do. Recently Lifehacker posted an article called “Will a Certification Really Help Me Get a Better Job?” where the conclusion was that Certifications could offer you useful knowledge that could one day help lead you to greater things. In order to bring balance to the Force on this topic, let’s propose a different question which is “Will an IT Certification lead me to a job that I will enjoy?” I’m focusing on IT Certs here rather than electrical engineering, architectural or a variety of other Certs as many fields require these Certs – end of. Now that we’ve cleared the air – let’s talk IT.

Here’s 5 minutes of the truth and I’ll jump right to it. This crap is invented by “boards” that spit out new questions on a yearly basis and fool you into taking their Certs and paying hundreds – if not – thousands of dollars to “pass” it. Then…after you pass it…they have the audacity to ask you to stay current and attend seminars, do online classes, attend their boring get-togethers and yada, yada, yada. I can prove it with the PMP as an example where they specifically TELL YOU as you study for it – that you should not answer the questions factually – as you would in the real world, but rather you should answer it based on the PMI’s standards. Right…..real-world here!

I understand, being in IT makes you feel kind of important. I’ve worked in Marketing & IT and I can tell you it’s a huge waste of time. Chances are if you need the Cert – it’s going to be one hell of a boring de-humanizing job. Yes…I said it – dehumanizing. You know, the ones that they expect you to be available for long migrations, sitting at a desk all the time, constantly answering your instant messaging app, giving you a phone!!!, weekend support and all those other things that are “on-call” based (you know…like a doctor, or a cop, or a firefighter – you know – serious life and death stuff).

You’ll struggle really hard to get it. You will eventually get it. Then you’ll take 2 paths:
Path #1: Contractor. Your life will be jumping around year after year. Unstable, unsteady, paycheck commission going to your recruiter, little-to-no benefits, no vacation but hey…you get overtime (who needs vacation?).

Path #2 – Career Lifer. “Where did those 25 years go?” Problem is that if you don’t jump ship from your company after 5 years – guess what – the world has changed big time and you’re still using Lotus Notes and are completely lost asking “What the Hell is Ruby on Rails?” Funniest thing is you probably will have gained a bunch of weight. Sorry buddy, 7 minute workouts with your fellow co-workers ain’t gonna do the job. If you’re sitting 8-10 hours a day – you gotta hustle a bit. And you skinny folks out there that have been skinny your whole life, guess what, you can still die of heart disease packing all those energy / sugary drinks into your system.

What Really Matters

Certificate of Awesomeness

Experience, kids. That’s the only thing that matters. I’ve worked with the top PMPs in my profession and guess what’s one thing most of them lacked – people skills. Hilarious right? They can drill the SDLC down your throat and verify their requirements utilizing a Requirements Matrix. Intuition – zero!

All that work and they still don’t make as much as an accountant, or a lawyer. It’s a sense of self-importance and boasting that offers nothing – really. What I think is most charming about the entire affair is that chances are if you’re in IT and you worked hard to get all those Certs – the decisions are made by Marketing, “the Business” or Execs who have no clue what you’re talking about, could care less about process and want it yesterday without providing more budget or time (so take your triple constraint and shove it).

To provide some background, not only have I worked in and out of fields that required Certs but I also taught at one of these technical colleges for years to help people get jobs. Single-moms, ex-cons, GED-ers, college drop-outs, graduate students, folks with professional careers looking for a new path – you name it. All walks of life. It was my job to convince these people that they needed these Certs to be hirable and if they were lucky it could land them jobs that paid $60K starting. It was my job to tell them that we had a high exit success rate with most of our students being hired shortly after graduation. Were the numbers accurate? Of course not. Was the salary figure real? Again – no. These schools are a business – just like these organizations that offer these Certs. The only way they’re staying in business is by “selling a product” – and that’s what these are – Products.

A Better Job

I understand that there’s this idea that getting a certification will qualify you or lead you to a “better job” – but what’s a “better job”? A higher paying job? If that’s the case then I disagree. You can start a business without a Cert and make more money working for yourself (if your idea is good enough) with it. Hell, you can work in various departments of major Fortune 500 companies without these Certs – from Operations, HR, Marketing, Accounting, Supply Chain – all the way to the CEO. For many of these companies – it doesn’t matter what your Certs are; what matters is your time in the company. 1st year as a Software Engineer in most companies will get you a Contractor’s ID. When the bottom drops – guess what – you’re out the door. Most companies that keep you onboard for 5+ years will hook up those bonuses, vacation time (priceless) and benefits (remember those?).

Truly, it’s all about experience and references. If you work with a recruiter (who most likely has no clue what those certs teach but has the “selling” ability to get you in the door and is kind enough to screw you out of 25% or more of your paycheck to pay for their haircuts) then buddy, you need a lesson in wisdom and you have got to wake up. Get out of your house, drop off your mighty-tomes-of-worthless-limited-timed-knowledge at a nearby homeless shelter to give those people a second chance. Next, use that fancy brain of yours to learn how to adapt to your current job and pick up new skills online, reading books or on the job to move on. Sure, attend networking events, get involved with sports or yoga or something else that helps people bond. Make “connections” because as we all know – it’s not what you know – it’s who you know. Sorry, sad truth…too bad, so sad. Hell, use that time to learn something special and meaningful to you – maybe learn the piano, teach your kid how to hit a ball or use that time for that special road-trip you always wanted to do and find yourself.

Before considering a Cert – y’all should pick up “The Happiness Trap” or “Being Happy”. Look it up, you’ll thank me in 5 years. Hopefully you’ll be in shape, have a weekend and will be enjoying your life.

photo by: JD Hancock

The 1 Year Rule to remove your Clutter

The 1 year rule

“May the 4th be with you”

Here’s a quick rule you can

apply real easily. Look around you. Look at all the stuff that you have. Go ahead – do it now. Did you notice the amount of stuff that you have? Mr. Smith recommends the Rule of 1 year which is if you haven’t used it in a year – I’m talking 4 seasons have passed – get rid of it! Whether it’s recycling it, giving it charity, putting it on ebay or craigslist – get rid of it. I don’t mean store it away and find someplace it should be. That’s organizing – which is another article – this is more about removing clutter from your life.

I’m always astounded by the number of friends and family that have asked me to help them move in the past and one thing that really is a killer are media collections. Whether it’s their Wired Magazine collection that goes back to 1999 or their CD collection that is making a dent in the floor or even perhaps the book collection that goes back to the age of 4 – if you haven’t used it in a year – get rid of it. Now, all things being fare – if you collect it and it’s your prized collection – then NO – don’t get rid of it. But if you have happen to have a comic book collection, a collection of costumes, shoes, CDs, college and favorite books along with other non-media collections – shot glasses, Steelers memoribila, toys, video games – things are bound to get under control. Prized collections should be unique items that say alot about you. It’s something that you truly care about – NOW. Not 10 years ago. Now. Now is such a short time in our lives yet we hold on to these past sentiments. These past beliefs we had and still follow to this day. I can’t tell

you the number of friends I have in their late 30s who haven’t reduced their book or CD collection (what are those) since college.

Let’s start with music. Unless you have a prized vinyl collection that you would rather be

buried with than sell or give away – your music should be digitally available. In other words, if you have an actual bookshelf covered with CDs and take pride in how it provides decoration – you’re kidding yourself. You probably haven’t opened one of those cases since 2008. Yeah, remember 2008 – the Chinese olympics. Yeah, that long ago. If you have a folder filled with CDs – you better get rid of that right now. How?

How to get rid of your CD collection in 30 days or less:

  1. Take out all your CDs and put a stack right next to your computer.
  2. Count the total number and divide it by the number of days you want to accomplish the task by – or simply (#_of_CDs/#_of_days) . So if you have 300 CDs in your collection and want to finish this in a month – just divide 300 (cds) by 30 (days) (300 / 30) and you get 10. That is your daily goal – 10 CDs a day. Weekends or what have you. Is the math simple, yes – but when you see a stash of hundeds of CDs –

    you just give up. When you break it down to a number at 10 or less – it becomes easily understood. “Hmmm, rip 10 CDs, that’s like 20 minutes, I’ll do that while I’m doing my last emails for the day. If you have a cool company that you work at with a little privacy – do it there. Pack it with your lunch.

  3. Each day as soon as you sit at your computer – dedicate the time it takes to rip/copy that daily goal (10 CDs) into your digital music collections be it iTunes or Windows media or what have you.
  4. Every time you sit at your computer take out 10 CDs and put them in another pile. Neatly stacked.
  5. When you are done. Take a picture of that stack and post it in the comments below.
  6. Take those CDs and you make the call, either sell them on craigslist or Amazon, give them to someone, or give them to charity by either donating them to your local library or local homeless shelter. Last but not least, you can always

    give them away to The Salvation Army or Goodwill. You can also arrange for them to come by and pick it up!

The same can be said for books, paperwork, comic books, or any collectibles that you’ve outgrown. There I said it – “outgrown”. If you were into something from the ages of 22-28 but it’s been 5 years since you actually did something related that you enjoyed – then you’ve outgrown it. That doesn’t mean it’s a childish past time but rather – it’s not a priority now.

Consider the alternative:

  1. This is stuff that will weigh you down. The Buddha said, “People cleave to their worldly possessions and selfish passions so blindly as to sacrifice their own lives for them.”
  2. Every time you move, those are additional boxes, additional runs, additional weight to bear you

    down.

  3. The more stuff you have – the more boxes you’ll need. Boxes are a pure expense when moving. Oh, thinking about free boxes from local stores and restaurants and work? Better idea. Regardless – more boxes to move.
  4. Your friends will dislike moving these boxes over and over.
  5. You don’t have space for them so you put them in storage. Now it costs you money every month.
  6. Lastly, you find a place, you settle into it, you unpack all your CDs, books, DVDs – what have you – and organize them. Now every month – don’t forget to dust in that area if not you’re going to get that sick layer of dust after time. You’ll be reminded when you pull that yearbook from 15 years ago and when you look at your finger, you’ll be reminded what all this is – dust.
Jawas and their toys

Jawas and their toys. Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press: http://bit.ly/16CeE7q

Consider technology: Every year it goes down in value. If you have a piece of hardware that’s 5 years old and you don’t use – get rid of it now or you’re going to wind up someday feeling like you’re a Jawa in Star Wars surrounded by your old junk.

Lastly, reduce it if you can’t get rid of it. If you have a large collection, consider the pieces most prized and all else – bonus.

  • Comic Book Collection: Keep the 1-3 titles you really enjoyed. Download entire comic book collection torrents.
  • Shoe Collection: Consider what’s in style, and what you can reuse with your wardrobe.
  • Clothes: If your closet is packed, time for some spring cleaning. If it doesn’t fit you anymore – get rid of it or lose the weight. Give yourself a deadline – “I have 90 days to fit in these jeans or they’re gone.” (Learn to love yourself a little more. There’s a time and a place for everything and if right now you don’t fit into these clothes – worry about that some other time.)
  • CDs: Convert them all to Digital MP3s, please. Even if you love the artwork – keep the books if you’d like – but reduce the CD boxes and clutter.
  • DVDs: Who buys these? Consider Netflix, Amazon On-Demand (30-day free trial) or your very own Cable provider. Otherwise you can purchase the digital download from iTunes.
  • College Textbooks: These are the modern day encyclopedia sets. Nobody ever references them and yet they keep them “just in case one day I have to look something up”. It’s why God gave us the Internet, people!
  • Old Cellphones no matter how scratched or beaten they

    are: Sell them online at Gazelle, or better yet, donate them.

  • Old Laptops, Video Game Systems, Navigation Systems or MP3 players: Sell them online on ebay or donate them.
  • Photos: Scan them or use a scanning services such as DittoBee. DO NOT USE CVS. Local photo places can charge a ridiculous sum of money running at about $0.40 a print. I highly recommend DittoBee because you can spend $180 and scan a collection of 1,000 photos (at CVS this will run you $400!). You don’t look at them in their folders or boxes anymore anyways. Think about it – you pay this small service fee for a new life for your photos that you can now upload to your favorite social media tool – Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, etc… The look on your sister’s face when you show her that picture of her hair in the 80s and post it on Facebook – Priceless.
  • Toys: Pick the prizes. Donate the rest to your local family homeless shelter, send them to a global agency like Turnaround Toys or sell it on eBay.

Hopefully this article jogs something in your life. Less is more – more opportunity for growth. You’re an ever evolving spirit – give yourself that room you need move on.
Want to read about other methods of de-cluttering your life:

photo by: Jim Bauer

A blog in 30 days: Challenges and Lessons from a project oriented mind

Challenges that even an army of stormtroopers couldn't handle.

Challenges for stormtroopers of all ages and sizes.

Life is filled with personal challenges. You know those little resolutions that we give ourselves. Among which you can hear yourself saying, “I’m going to gain/loose “x” number of pounds this year”, “This is the year I’m going to < insert country here >” or best one yet, “I gotta get out of debt by this time next year or I’m screwed.”

These personal challenges, though often self-imposed, show what kind of character we are and what we’re made of. When you take one of these inner voice adventures you just never know how it’s going to end. But in an effort to really believe that what I have to offer can entertain or even enlighten others is what this web journal is all about.

Throughout my life, I’ve set up minor challenges in my mind: I’m going to Graduate School, I’m going to get out of debt within 3 months, I’m going to help my mother’s retirement, I’m going to pay for my nephew’s education, I’m going to Egypt, China, Japan, fly an airplane, learn to ride a motorcycle, head a volunteer group, start my own web audience, etc.. Each challenge has brought some reward and I’ll use this soapbox to talk about what I did – what worked and what didn’t. But with each one, it started with a personal challenge. This blog is a personal challenge. It’s a blog in 30 days to share my young wisdom to an audience that’s seeking.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7

Your mission should you choose

to accept it:

Interested in taking a personal challenge, here are a couple of simple rules & hacks.

1. Define the task and give it a time limit.

Take the mission

Take the mission

First consider the task, say it’s exercising, then

define, who, what, when, where, why and how. Get granular.

Formula: [who] is going to [what] [when] at [where] [how].

[I’m] going to [exercise] [every day] at [home] in the [morning] right [before my shower] with [this routine].

[I’m] going to [make music] [every other day] at [school] in the [afternoon] from [3-4pm] with [a guitar and a laptop].

2. Do it and do it consistently.

Revoltech 019 Optimus Prime

You can do it!

Whether it’s 10 minutes or 2 hours – do it. But do it daily. Take a day off when you want to but never more than 2 days in a row. The third day getting back on track will be difficult but if you do it you will persist. Wait more than 3 days to get back to a task – forget it – it’s gone and your interest in it has withered and died. To get back on you’ll either put yourself in a world of personal shameful guilt (telling yourself, “Really? Pizza? I haven’t worked out since Sunday and I’m eating a pizza?”) or inspiration (“Yeah, I’m hitting the gym tonight because I miss the personal ‘me’ time!”). Bottom line – do it everyday if you want. 2 day max limit off. This blog is written by an article every other day until I get to

3. Find an audience

Check this out!Nothing works better than personal shame. Tell a number of your closes friends and confidants your challenge and have them hold you to your challenge. Keep reminding them and at a certain point they’re going to remember you with your task raising your personal value. Say it’s exercising, it won’t be long after 14 days that it’ll go from “How’s the working out coming along?” to “Wow, I noticed, you’re looking better! It’s working, huh?” The guilt sucks the life from you when you know you’ve been slacking. Find an audience

and have them come along for your ride.

4. Help someone else

What are you doing Saturday?“If you want to learn how to do something well, then teach others how to do it.” As a teacher for over 7 years I can tell you I learned the basic essentials of coding, graphic design, public speaking and presenting by doing it. Better yet, teaching people how to. Understanding your talent/skill is one thing, but helping someone of a different

mindset to understand how to do the same thing is as gratifying as

planting a tree and watching it grow. The positive appreciation does wonders to one’s self value. Like your finances, 10% of your time should be contributed in some form of charity – and by that I mean is that you take the time to offer your time to someone who wants to learn what you’ve been doing. If it’s exercising – spread the challenge and challenge one of your friends who needs it to join you at the gym or that you’ll come to their place and run in their hood. If it’s belly-dancing, offer to pay a class or 2 to get them into it. Why do it alone when you can take a partner along for the ride. Like drinking – it’s better with a buddy.

Been bored lately. Feel like your job isn’t fulfilling your life? Then what’s your challenge? If you have a successful challenge to share, please comment below. Any that are 30 days or less – please contribute!!!!

Time travel and making side money

Old Belongings

Time Travel into your past

Earn money on the side while spreading your message and build a fan base. All you have to do is check your closets.

It was 2007, Barb and I were getting on

the stage and performing to a bunch of Florida festival-goers for this gig called Earthdance. It was the first time we were playing together live in front of an audience. I’d done it before but it was at least 4 years earlier. Dressed in

our lab coats we hit the stage and jammed it! Spinning from 2 laptops, mixer, guitar, bass, keys and, drum-roll please, a theramin! The crowd jammed along to the electronic downtempo rhythm as “Strange Particles” took the crowd on a musical epic journey

Fast-forward to

today, Sept – 2013. It was a very creative time in my life and I still rock the guitar from time to time but with excuses in the

way – who’s got time. I’ve decided to rehash my tracks from 2007 and put them up on CD Baby. I just did a comparison
between a number of services and figured that CD Baby was the way to go because I prefer paying anything up front and NO Yearly Service Fee!

Publish your past

Rather than discard the past and put it in the attic waiting for 20 years from now to come across it, I’ve decided to publish it legitimately through CD Baby so my friends can hear it on Pandora, Rhapsody, Itunes, Amazon Store and more. How cool is that?

Keep in mind that with Net 2.0 – Content is King. The more content you produce – the more you can set it out there for the global market to buy. There’s over 5 billion people on the planet. All of them have tastes based on trends but their experiences are unique. You might be surprised how some of your past intellectual work (college papers, research, music, art, photography) you can rip or scan and re-distribute it.

Need some side cash from nowhere?

Who doesn’t like surpise checks in the mail? It’s my habit to figure out as many possible ways that I can make money

on the side that one day I can just sit back and let these various avenues support my life! Who wants to work a 9-5 for 35+ years? What if you could re-sell some old fiction that you wrote back in High School? You had a voice back then and chances are it’s not far off from the thoughts of a High-Schooler today. You can be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. Who knows if the music you wrote to your Freshman year girl-friend back in college can sing the same song today in the dorms of NYU or UM?

 

Time is irrelavent with content. Everything is dated – from instagram to the Library of Congress. We all are constantly living in the past, present and future. Consider going back in your closet of stuff you never look at and see if you can find some of this old work when you had imagination and put it to use (thank you High-School/College!). It’s time to bring it back to life.

Maybe there might be a day to get the band back together. Ah….road life! Trade it all in. The Project Manager role at Royal Caribbean. Spend my nights writing and sleeping my days. I’m going to start envisioning that again. I’d like to see what the universe throws my way.

If you want to learn more about my music: Strange Particles.

 

 

photo by: striatic

How to get an iPhone for about $50 or How I learned to properly recycle technology

Affordable phone upgrade

Upgrade your phone at minimal cost

Looking for a new iPhone for about $50? It’s not a gimmick but rather a lesson. The

answer is simple – sell your old

iPhone on ebay and with the profit upgrade to

a new iPhone.In life, it’s common to hoard objects such as photos, keepsakes and relics we tie with our past. Technology is not meant to be hoarded as keepsakes simply because they devalue immensely with each passing year. Many of us are still in the mindset that the technology that we’re getting rid of should be thrown in a drawer somewhere where it will be uncovered many years from now.

It’s important to recycle your goods so you don’t accumulate waste. To keep a clean and active life, it’s best not to drag yourself down with old objects that just create clutter.

I just sold 2 iPhones on ebay 3 days ago. The first iphone was my original iPhone 3G that went swimming with me in a pool. This poor phone has been submerged in water, had a cracked touchscreen and the headphones were destroyed. I sold my broken 3G iPhone for $70 all while donating 10% to the American Red Cross (thanks for the offer ebay). Why would someone by a damaged iPhone for so much – simple – with a little more than $35 and some know-how you could repair it and sell it unlocked and oversees for about $400! I’m doing someone out there a big favor by selling it for $70 even though it’s useless for me.

With that $70 and a little patience I was able to buy another iPhone 3G for the same money and used it for a year. This iPhone was practically brand new. No scratches or dents. The box was perfectly intact as well.

Recently I was considering upgrading to an iPhone 4 White and I put my current iPhone 3G on ebay. Seven days later I learned that I got $143.00 for it. I opened a new browser window and immediately upgraded on AT&T’s website. I received my phone 3 days later and that same day I put my original iPhone in the box it arrived just a year ago and out the door it went.

The Buyer paid for the shipping cost and got a Hell of a deal considering what they can turn that around for and sell it elsewhere. Total cost – $57 (ok, so it’s not exactly $50 but you get it).

Why not sell it for more?
You can sell your iPhone oversees for a lot more money yourself. In order to do that, you should look more online into unlocking your phone.

Selling Internationally
Following the 80/20 Principle, I’d be dedicating more time having to pack the item, declare a customs form, pay additional shipping and spend more time on the sale. Rather, I prefer to think Locally and just sell it only in the

US. If you use a Flat Rate Box and just apply that to your asking price – you can label it as FREE SHIPPING which attracts a larger audience.

Insurance?
Another reason to sell your phone on eBay is because many users are looking to keep their exact same plan without upgrading their phone so rather than buy insurance, they can buy a replica of their phone without having to upgrade and spend any additional money. Help people save money and get rid of your old hardware.

How to do it:
1. Sell your phone on eBay.
2. Upgrade your current plan or sign-up for a new plan: AT&T or Verizon

 

photo by: Yutaka Tsutano

Emergency Plan for Lost Credit Cards

Credit Card Emergencies

Emergency Planning

Total Time: 15 minutes. Goal: Total Security in the event of a disaster.

Here’s a tip that’ll take you 15 minutes to do and will save you endless hours in case your identity or credit cards get stolen in the future. Take a look at the back of your credit cards and you

see that 800 number for customer service

– take a moment and jot all of them down in a quick list that you can access in case the worst were to happen.

  1. Collect all your active credit and debit cards (even the ones that you never carry with you)
  2. Create a new file where to place all the phone. My suggestion would be to open a Google Doc Spreadsheet and title it “Credit Cards Information”. You can also just create an Excel spreadsheet and save it to your Dropbox account. The point is, you need this file available from anywhere and not saved to a machine located in your house.
  3. Create 2 columns:
    1. Credit Card Name – which is the name of the bank/institution that offers the card (e.g. Chase, American Express, your bank)
    2. Customer Service Phone – this is the 800 number labeled “24-h0ur customer service” that will be printed on the back of the card.
    3. Customer Service Local – some banks offer a local number in your area as a secondary number
    4. Account (optional) – if you got an extra 20 minutes, you can go online and get your account numbers really quickly and just add that too.
  4. The list all the credit cards you have in the first column and the corresponding customer phone number in the adjacent column.

In the event you misplace your wallet/purse, your card gets stolen or your identity gets stolen, you have a quick list where you can deactivate all your cards in

one place without having to scramble everywhere for it.

Simple Budget Template

Simple Budget

How to properly spend your money

Are you interested in having a balanced budget at the end of the month? Is budgeting and personal finances new to you? Then, this Excel spreadsheet might be able to help you out.

Back when I was living paycheck to paycheck I have to budget out how much I have every single month and they can advance on my expenses and how much I like to have in my pocket daily. So, I started thinking about what do I use use pocket cash for?

I put together a quick list of my credit cards, my rent, car insurance, car payment, student loans and other items that I knew how much I have to pay monthly. Lastly, I considered how much I wanted to save each month. So, what I ended up doing was thinking about paycheck to paycheck – what my income was, how much I had to pay in expenses, and how much I wanted to save. The result would tell me how much money I would have left over and then it would divide it by 15 days – for that pay period.

The most important thing I have to consider was what was Left per Day. This is the amount that I had in my pocket

that I could spend daily. So, if I wanted to eat out for lunch, meet up with friends at a bar later on or have some

extra spending cash for the next day I could consider how much I had in my pocket for that day.

Feel free to download this helpful EXCEL file that I

put together for a monthly budget. If you are a student in high school or in college and want to consider how much money you should be spending when you’re out – this budgeting tool will really help you out. Parents and teachers are welcome to download this file to demonstrate a simple budgeting plan.

Download

a Simple Budget Template.

photo by: MrVJTod

Outline 2: The New Method – a parable.

Note: This story has been written so it can be produced on a

stage. The entire story will be outlined here as a seperate outline.

Set: Eleveator, Office, Downstairs Cafeteria/Subway

Characters: 3 Executives
Chris – a powerhouse of energy but always stressed (he’s a go-getter) – manufacturing company
Sam – cool and hip and not a worry in the world (he’s very calculated) – works for a logistics company
Alex…maybe Sofie? – the reader (seeing wisdom) – marketing company, sales
Synopses: This is a story about 3 friends that work in different companies doing different lines of management that will eventually lead them all to one day work together and build their company.

Chapter 1: Footprint – Cost Reduction
Big Office; Small Office
Lots of paper and documentation; Everything is electronic
Office phone, cell phone, blackberry, computer, laptop, breifcase, notebook, new tablet, rolls it in to work, it takes up a part of the elevator; Cell phone – laptop – tablet
Desk filled with files, desktop filled with papers in the outbox, copier runing constantly, goes to print something for a meeting he’s late to and has to wait by the printer because 15 copies of PPTs are printing; 1 File cabinet, clear desk with an outbox, laptop station,

photos and knick-nacks he loves, prints to PDF and is off to a meeting

Communication
Time: Lunch
then he goes to the Elevator and uses blackberry in the elevator;

Email arrives and he glances at it on the way into the elevator
Elevator stops at 3rd floor, in walks Jenny (makes eye contact with both – more with Sam because he puts away his phone
Small talk in elevator (Sam and Jenny converse but Tim ticks away at his blackberry). The doors open and they head out to lunch. Jenny asks them if they want to get lunch. Tim walks away saying he has a lot to take care of and looks like he’s loosing his lunch; Sam goes to lunch with Jenny.
As they eat, they see outside to see Tim talking on the phone like a madman as he’s talking into his cell phone with his earplugs while texting on the blackberry. As he finishes he walks into the restaurant and Jenny and Sam are there. He joins them as they’re done but they stick around to enjoy time with Tim.
After staying for 5 minutes, Tim’s phone goes off and he looks and it and just grabs his food and goes apolagetically feeling guilty!; Tim and Jenny head back into the office.
Tim checks his email throughout the entire day and by the time he gets back to his desk (even though he’s completely wired all the time) he still has a ton of emails to go through. The

ticket system sends emails with the same title and same sender and accounts for 40% of his mail. Yet he has to sift through it because each message contains a log of all the messages back and forth. This is why hashtags are so important.; Sam gets back to his desk later on he handles his work when a timer goes off reminding him it’s time to check his

email. He whips through it in 40 minutes and gets back to work.

Collaborating
Tim, Sam and Jenny will start working on a project together and Sam gets invited to a lot of meetings as he’s learning what Tim puts up with. Tim hands over to Sam and Jenny boxes of paperwork and folders that have been printed (full color with previous revisions “just in case”) and a myriad of papers with hand-drawn notes, an abundance of photocopies. So much so that Jenny has trouble carrying them. Walking to her office she almost twists her anckle as she attepts

to carry the paperwork with her high-heel shoes on. Tim gets there in time to realize what he’s done and feels bad. Jenny in turn vocalizes her apology making Sam feel worse (more Guilt). Sam arrives as Jenny and Tim are wrapping up and they head out to dinner that night.

Finding the Right Team
Sam realizes that maybe one day in the future, all 3 of them can work together.
——to be filled in——-

Time Management Essentials
——to be filled in——-

Project Management Essentals
Tim will “get stuck” in meetings and will miss dinner a couple of times and cause issues with their friendship. He’s working with a team in another building and having issues just setting up meetings. Constantly having to drive back and forth and loosing time in the day whether he’s on the phone, driving to a location or documenting something so his services aren’t needed.; Sam devotes his time to meeting.

Business Management
Location: Meeting room
Cell phone in Conference Room
Tim has constant late evenings and early mornings. He doesn’t like his job at all and finds that his office co-workers don’t value his time. Sam loves where he works and he thinks he works with a great team. When they participate in a meeting, they understand the value of time – not just for the stakeholders, but also for the entire team including those who shouldn’t be in the meeting. Sam calculates the cost of the meeting and shares that with Tim. Tim is floored. They go out to dinner that night and Jenny joins them when Sam gets to talk to Tim about some changes he can make and it all comes back to to Cost Reduction. The cost is not just money – it’s time – that which is most precious to us all. Sam introduces Scrum and re-arranges the schedule from a patchwork of chaos – to a streamlined daily office agenda. Sometimes all you need is a little perspective from the outside.

Storefront
Time: Fast forward to 3 years in the future
Sam, Jenny and Tim have started a new business with a team of 12 people. Together they run an operation more streamlined than all three places they worked at originally and are planning on going public next year. They have a manufacturing team in Taiwan, an agency in Argentina, a designer in Germany and

a developer in Canada. They use VPN to migrate files,

General Notes

Put in any ideas or thoughts that perhaps we should incorporate before, during of after the book is written.

Ideas:

  • We should package up this blog as a template

    and sell it for collaborating writers. What we could do is offer it as part of the website subscription for free.
  • To do:video of writing a note to yourself in a car