Was Santa Claus good to you this year? (“Since when ISN’T Santa good to you…” “Hush, Mama, that was a rhetorical question… Just let me finish!”)
Did you get a new cell phone or tablet for Christmas? So you’re looking at the new one and the old one looks pretty shabby but it still works…. Did you know you can DONATE that old cellphone or tablet, in working order or not, and get a tax credit? That sure would be better than trashing it or selling it for $20 somewhere.
There is an awesome non-profit group called “Cellphones for Soldiers” that will take old cellphones and tablets and turn them into phones, tablets and minutes for our soldiers!
There are easy directions right on the site with the necessary shipping labels to print out.. Just pay postage (that’s tax deductible also) and drop it in the mail.
Cell Phones For Soldiers began in 2004 as the idea of two patriotic kids who wanted to give back to the men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting us each and every day. To date the charity has provided more than 300 million Minutes That Matter to our troops serving around the world, and it continues Helping Heroes Home via emergency funds that so far has assisted more than 3,100 veterans and their families.
You can get details on their main website or go to their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JoinCellPhonesForSoldiers.
It’s that time of the year… Christmas is over and New Year’s is coming and you’re so busy you’ve almost lost track of what day it is… (“Bless yer heart,” Mama sez, “jus’ look at the date on the newspaper!” “I know, Mama, it is just a figure of speech.” “I didn’t figure y’all been that fur round the bend..” “Mama!!!”)
Ok, now as I was thinking before I was so rudely interrupted…. You probably all saw the meme on Facebook… but it’s true. It’s the holidays… the kids are out of school… distant relatives are here for a visit and the days all jumble together…
It’s true if you think about it… we are over-fed, over-partied and over tired… at least I know I am. Urged to make New Year Resolutions by advertising, I just want to kick back and not think about anything of importance.
But not everyone around the world has that luxury… in most countries, there is no time to party, overeat or just plain goof off… you don’t work, you don’t eat. And in some countries, even working 12 hours a day or more is still no guarantee that you can feed yourself and your family or keep clothes on your back or a roof over your head…
But there is a group where I have been loaning to individuals for several years now that can make a huge difference in their lives. No, you aren’t assigned someone, you get to chose where you want the loan to go and to whom. Maybe it is a woman in the Philippines who makes her living on a fishing boat and her story touches your heart… BAM…you send her $25 and, with others who have chosen her also, she reaches her goal and is able to buy new nets. This is just one example of the people you can help directly. Hard-working people who labor from dawn (sometimes before) until dusk and can barely make ends meet… not for lack of trying but for lack of resources or opportunities.
Instead of making some silly resolution for New Year’s, resolve now to get one less pizza delivered to your home and give someone somewhere around the world… a HAND UP, not a handout… You can use my reflink….
Then on New Year’s Day, you can know that you have already made a difference in the world… you can’t save the whole world… but if we all do our part, we can save a huge chunk of it….
I’ve always cooked for my family… good wholesome nutritious food, mostly from scratch, and I have a reputation for being an excellent cook. I was the head cook at a Meals on Wheels program for a while, 80 main meals and 80 lunches and another 40 lunches for an adult day care program… five days a week with frozen dinners we made, going out on Fridays for the weekends.
The recipe “book” was a bunch of recipes, heavy on salt, margarine, roux and other not-so-good for you stuff… My first task was to rewrite the recipes, using their amounts as I had never cooked for 80 at a time before, into more nutritious meals for the mostly senior shut-ins, many with medical issues… (“Most y’all ever cooked fer wuz eight… leastwise y’all didn’t be makin’ the cookin’ times multiplied by ten!” Mama joked. “Hush Mama, I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t LAST night. I know how to multiply recipes! Can I finish?”)
So I went from cooking for four (two adults and two children) to cooking for 80 with only a baker to help. She made all the cakes, cookies, biscuits, muffins and pies from scratch, while I did the rest. I created the menus and many of the recipes, ordered the food, stored it when the shoppers brought it and prepared it. Our volunteers delivered it so every client had a hot meal by noon and a sandwich meal for later.
When we moved, I had to go from cooking for masses, back to cooking for four and later for two. But I still kept the same recipes, although pared down, and found ways to vary them. Except for my chocolate cake cravings…
Fast forward to this past year… my life has been a little crazed and I woke up one Sunday, realizing that I had promised a chocolate cake for a church luncheon… I had this new recipe I hadn’t tried yet and I had the ingredients… made it up, put it in to bake while I had breakfast and a shower.. and it was ready to go when I was… totally new recipe, untried… lol.. but it would get a good test!!
EASY PEASY SHEET CAKE
1 box cake mix (chocolate fudge)
1 can pie filling (cherry)
Combine the three ingredients well, pour into 9″ X 13″ glass dish and bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
Dude, that cake disappeared like Grant took Richmond (historical reference meaning it went FAST!)
No need to frost/ice it but you can if you wish…. you can also do any combination of cake mix and pie filling flavors… e.g. vanilla cake mix and apple pie filling or blueberry pie filling. Nothing can be easier or simpler… (“Unless y’all had stopped at the store and bought one of them ready-made jobs… ” “Hush, Mama, you’re missing the point!”)
The point is you don’t always have to do a lot of extra work if you can find a shortcut! For example, do you want to know how to make the best of your time online without doing the trial and error method? Try the lesson plans at ClickTrackProfit or learn how to make lists that pay for themselves in a few short weeks at TE ListBuilder. If you still need help, you can get it at the NetMarketingForum free to join with all kinds of help available!! I’ve been around for a few years and I am STILL learning on a daily basis!
There is always a big dog and pony show when a site or program launches…. Everyone jumps on board, reacting to the enthusiasm of site or program owners… It’s always the biggest… best… newest… most wonderful thing since sliced bread… (All y’all be needing is a nice sharp knife to slice bread…. Hush, Mama, it is just an expression… Hurumpf! Don’t make no sense to me… Ok, Mama, please give me a chance to explain!!)
But every once in a while, something new and good DOES come along.. and after the original furor (and dust) settles, you begin to see the value of this newest “big deal”…
For example, this TE ListBuilder… Blain has been working on for “years”, but it recently came into fruition.. Sure it exploded on the TE scene with all the customary celebration.. Many people joined immediately, joined teams and started advertising and heaping praise on it… But, as the dust settles, some people are finding the concept difficult.. others are not willing to put in the work it takes… and others, not making a million in the first week, have lost interest…
Seriously? Did you learn to talk in a couple of weeks… or how about learn to walk in a couple of weeks… learn a new language in a couple of weeks??? Nope, not unless you are some kind of freaky genius…
Do you want to be a “penny clicker” all your life, or are you serious about actually making some money, paying some bills, following some dreams?
The TE ListBuilder is a site to join. Blain has a ton of videos to teach you ALL you need to know in simple little bursts, TASKS, if you will, to learn at your own pace… It’s NOT rocket science… you don’t need a degree in computer technology… you just have to follow the path that Blain has set for you….
Well, what are you waiting for… get off the fence, go sign up and learn to use TEs the way they are supposed to be used!!!
It’s true…. show Mama a “hard sell” and she’ll turn the channel… (“Yup, don’t nobody pushes Mama to buy ANYthing…” Hush, Mama, I’ll tell them….)
But even Mama likes to do things the easy way… and what could be easier than following a list? And when that list is almost handed to you on a silver platter, what could be easier… maybe an “easy button” like the old Staples “easy button”? You got it…Sign up is a breeze and it won’t cost you a thin dime or even a fat nickel… it is THAT easy to learn to build your lists and actually make more than dimes or nickels with traffic exchanges… well, maybe all y’all need more than an easy button… how about a YES button…
So there ya be…. that was easy enough… Wait? You want to know what you just signed up for, even if it is free?
Fair enough… two quiet movers and shakers in the TE industry (Blain Jones and Shane Bost) have put together a new program, evolved from their old TePays, and have named it, TEListBuilder…. You follow their training and tasks, and before you know it.. you will be rocking listbuilding and wondering why you ever thought it was so hard….
There are three levels of membership, so you can grow with your knowledge and lists… Just hit the easy button below and get started now!!
Murphy’s Law.. anything that CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong… followed by Sadie’s corollary: And it will go wrong at the worst possible moment! (“Y’all can’t just lay that out there like dead rat, you gotta tell ’em what happened…” Okay, Mama, give me a minute.. it’s just a little embarrassing…)
Why is it so hard to admit that you have made a mistake? Does it hurt our self-image that we screwed up? Are we afraid people will think less of us if we admit to making a mistake?
So, this is what happened… Late (probably my first mistake) last night, I went to install a new mod on Pistol-Packing-Mama… Get the Spot… a nice way for y’all to get a banner seen right then and there.. in the middle of the surf window!! Got a new program you want to advertise.. awesome.. BAM.. right in everyone’s face as they surf…
In theory, it is an excellent idea… Each member level gets its own special bonus… view someone else’s banner and get the opportunity buy that spot for themselves…
*sigh* In theory.. one puts in the correct numbers and every one is happy… *sigh* So did I do that??? I wish… one upgrade got 150 banners and $150 for viewing a 10 second ad… Did I realize that? NO… I had some one check it to make sure it worked.. it worked but she was NOT the upgrade level with the mistake… So, I blithely went to bed…
Early this morning before church, I hopped on the computer to check and almost fainted with requests for withdrawals of up to $600!!! Yikes!!! I also found a whole bunch of tickets telling me I had screwed up… lol Fortunately there were more tickets than withdrawal requests.
Found my mistake immediately and corrected it.. HOW did I miss an OBVIOUS error last night??? So I answered tickets and requests and took myself off to church. Then afterwards, I spent the afternoon fixing all the errors and apologizing to members. Most all of them laughed with/at me and together we got their accounts back to normal.
I swear if I ever install a new mod at 3 a.m. again, Mama will be beating me with a stick…. (“Y’all gots THAT right, Missy” “Hush, Mama, I didn’t do it on purpose!)
Happily my members are not unhappy with me.. well, except for two I haven’t heard from yet… but the rest appreciated my honesty and apology. No one is perfect, they all told me, and mistakes happen… The ancient Romans had a phrase for it… Mea culpa..
Mea culpa, mea culpa… it’s much easier to say the older you get.. lol.. don’t be afraid to do something for fear of making a mistake.. We LEARN from our mistakes and we GROW from our mistakes. Keep learning and keep growing!
Sadly, my Mr. Neato has sucked up his last dust bunny and I have a new resident robot vacuum cleaner. This one must be female though, and prolly a ditzy blonde at that… Have to name this one, it’s a roomba… maybe MizBot…
Whereas Mr. Neato ran in nice neat rows, MizBot runs in ditzy circles all around the room… I keep checking on her to make sure she isn’t missing anything. I will say she is faster and quieter than Mr. Neato was.. (“Typical man,” Mama sez, “always makin’ noise!” “Hush, Mama, that’s rude and we have a lot of male readers!” “Humfph,” Mama replied but settled down…) And until I can get her synced to my phone so I can set her schedule, I will have to push her buttons, manually… no biggie!!
And I have to learn her language of beeps and bips and tones, she apparently doesn’t understand my language when I tell her, “You got caught under that dresser two minutes ago, so go clean elsewhere”…. Life! Always a learning experience!
But isn’t that true? We are always learning from even before we are born (hearing our mother’s heart beat and tummy rumbles from the inside and being comforted by the sounds) until the day we die! No one starts as an expert, we are all newbies at some point, and if we don’t continue to learn we will stagnate!!!
We all need to learn… many of the TEs have member chats in Skype at no cost that you can sign up for through the individual sites. Most of the TEs have chats activated so you can ask for help while you are surfing… and there are specialized chats for TE owners and CTP team members and Zubee teams. Never be in the dark about something, find a chat, ask your questions and keep learning!!
Seriously… Whom do you trust on the internet? The guy with the toothpaste commercial smile, coiffed hair and slick patter… who puts up a Hollywood production ad promising thousands of dollars a day for just one little payment of $7.. or $4… or $12… and you don’t have to do anything but send him the money? Seriously?
How about the one who gives you a little box for your name and email and promises to make you rich without giving you any details until you have relinquished all your details which are promptly sold to 43 spammers… seriously?
Personally, I prefer the the guy who puts his “real” face in a video, glasses askew, hair in all directions, waving his hands around like a frenetic Italian…. pushing his site with a REAL fervor… HE is believable.. HE is real… seriously!!
As a relative newbie as an owner of a TE, I am in awe of these guys… I mean, if they say something… you can probably take it to the bank. (“God willin’ and the creek don’t rise!” Hush, Mama, you know what I mean.) These guys (and gals) are the real deal. Back in the day before the internet, these would be the guys you would trust with a handshake to seal a deal. No 40-page documents, notarized and filed. A handshake would be enough….
On the internet, our most important asset is our reputation… If your “rep” goes in the dumpster, so does your site and your business. The internet is international… members at Mama’s come from every continent, speaking every language imaginable, but basically forced to use English to communicate. They sign up and learn to surf, play the games, watch the ads and, hopefully, advertise their own business… eventually earning enough to cash out.
And there comes the… “Whom do you trust” issue… HOW do you know after all your hard work of collecting pennies that you will actually be able to cash out? Should that be an issue? Not really.. word gets around if an owner is not paying.. but is THAT all you want from a TE? Pennies??
Originally, TEs were used to advertise BUSINESSES, not collect pennies… we have gotten too far from the original plan and that has been the downfall of many TEs, especially when certain payment processors started arbitrarily purging accounts leaving them with no options to pay their members.
On Mama’s alone, one member is advertising herself as a writer, a professional knitter, a seller of essential oils, another sells nutritional drinks and supplements, another sells inexpensive jewelry, another sells beef jerky, another sells spices.. the list is endless. If you can sell it, you can advertise it on the internet. Only sell locally? That’s fine, put it in your ad that sales are limited to certain countries…
We as an industry must make a concerted effort to put business back into TEs… yes, keep the games, they are fun things… keep badges to show what you have achieved.. but start looking to promote yourself and your own business.
“We are so scared of being judged that we look for every excuse to procrastinate.”
― Erica Jong, Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life
There comes a time in every writer’s life when no matter how hard one tries, the words in one’s brain refuse to go any further… I would think after 15 years in the newspaper business… writing on deadline, pushing out stories, features and breaking news… that I am beyond that issue. Apparently there is no vaccine or immunity to writer’s block…
Sure, my first two blog posts got good reviews but then the doubts creep in… what if they were only being nice… what if they thought they could have done better but didn’t want to discourage me….. So then, I wondered about topics… I know this blog is supposed to be eclectic… but I am seriously glad this is NOT a weekly or daily blog….
“The best part about procrastination is that you are never bored, because you have all kinds of things that you should be doing.”
Just as I thought about sitting down to write, a dear friend asked if I would proof HER blog… Oh joy, I thought, I can do that and justify NOT working on MY blog… Awesome!
(“I was going to the Procrastinator Club meeting but it was postponed…” sez Mama… Hush I say, Mama, you just broke my train of thought… “Fiddlesticks,” Mama huffed, “Yer train never got out the station!” MAMA!!)
It’s always something, isn’t it, something that needs to be done NOW…. The dog needs to be walked, you need to start/eat dinner, the kids need their bath and bedtime story, the cat just hacked up a hairball on the antique braided rug… Mark Twain was fond of saying, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
Not only must you have the time to blog, you must have the inspiration, the creativity, the depth of thought to take it from your brain to paper or screen. You must have a plan, a justification…raison d’écrire…
And that goes for anything you do in your life… if it is important… DON’T put it off until later… DO IT NOW… You want to continue your education… Oh I can’t, you say. That would take me four years… If you don’t, where will you be in four years? Four years older and still without that degree. You want to get in better shape? Okay, I’ll finish this bowl of ice cream and start exercising tomorrow…. NO, start today because tomorrow is not promised, only today and now is certain. Give someone a hug… Tell someone you love them…. No more procrastinating!!
I frequently get support tickets from new members, bemoaning the fact that they are newbies and are not quite sure how to do this, that or something else, and are embarassed to post in a chat somewhere for fear of being teased about their questions… Seriously?
We were ALL newbies at one point!!! In 1995, I thought the internet was a “cute little thing,” in my mind like a pet rock… here today and gone tomorrow….
I had been working with computers at my newspaper job beginning in 1976, but it was a mainframe the size of most bathrooms, and monitors and keyboards attached to the mainframe by a snake-like pile of cables.
Then, 20 years later, my daughter came home from college and told me how the computers at her school were all connected and you could talk to people elsewhere…. Who of us is old enough to remember trying to connect… the interminable BEEP bahh BEEP bahh… as we tried to connect by phone line to the internet and if someone called us, it would kick us offline…
It opened a whole new world for us computer pioneers and we went nuts, trying every kind of program and chat… trying to keep track of it all was kind of like herding cats (Mama says, “Now you be talkin’ my language!)
Get the picture….
I’ve only been in TE ownership for coming-up three years… and I made all the mistakes newbies make… working my way through PTRs, PTCs and the early TEs… joining every program that came across my desk. (And she didn’t always make them good choices… lost big bucks in scams and programs that jus’ disappeared… Hush, Mama, don’t be telling all our secrets!)
So I tell those who ask, start slow… find a couple of programs you REALLY like… get comfortable with the INs and OUTs of how it works… play the games and do the promos… use your credits to advertise, build a downline, and slowly find new sites to join. Then, if you like what you see, invest in that site and upgrade. Upgrades can bring you additional opportunities to earn and credits to spend. Look for sites that don’t promise the world by doing nothing, and most definitely, READ THE TERMS OF SERVICE (TOS)!!!
Look for programs that are NOT generic… I cringe every time I open an email and it says “Welcome to all New Members, Welcome Back To All Existing Members
“Thank you to all for choosing (insert TE name here) for your advertising needs.”
I tell them to look for sites that put some of the owners feelings and personality into their site. My early models were TopFlightTraffic with the late great Randy Ritter and Tezak’s (now Tezzers) with Tony Tezak, not late but still great!
I recently saw a meme on facebook and have shared it widely:
If you FAIL, never give up because it means “First Attempt In Learning”
END is not the end, it just means “Effort Never Dies”
If you get NO as an answer, remember it means “Next Opportunity”