Saturday, February 23, 2008

Making a living online legitimately

The title of this post along with the content is copied directly from Kim Komando's weekly newsletter. You may have noticed that I have several references to her material on this site. Here's why:

I have followed advice from others and either I was too ambitious and got carried away with my computer tweaking, or perhaps it was bad advice to begin with. That hasn't happened yet with the tips I have followed from Kim.

Her picture's on the right hand side of this page. You can subscribe to her free newsletters by clicking on the link at the end of this post. Now here's Kim:

Jason wrote in from Spring Hill, TN. He’s looking for work and heard me mention freelancing sites. He’d like me to recommend some legitimate sites again.

Over the years, many readers have asked about making money online. So I’ve written quite a bit about it. You’ll want to start with my recent column. Find out about legitimate freelancing opportunities. It also covers other online opportunities that you won’t learn about anywhere else.

Many people dream of freelancing. But are you sure it is right for you? Will you be able to handle the constant search for more work? If not, consider full-time employment in your field instead. You can start on Monster or CareerBuilder. But to find the best opportunities, there are better places to search.

Or, you may want to take things a step beyond freelancing. Maybe you’ll decide to start your own business. This will be a lot of work, but it is worth it. You’ll need some help getting started. Fortunately, I can point you in the right direction.

If you’re going to freelance, you should create your own Web site. This will help potential clients find you. You can also use it to showcase your work. A Web site is also essential for a business. I have some awesome advice and freebies that will help you:
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Overheard the other day...

"...We've been married 25 years, but it only feels like 10 minutes,


"Is a bullfrog waterproof?"

"...well enough about me. Tell me, what do you think about me?"

"...but what I'm most proud of, is my humility..."

I'm not telling who said what.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Free Computer Programs

Kim Komando has a list with links of 7 programs you should at least take a look at as possible add ons to your computer. This is from one of her daily emails:

...You can find plenty of programs on the Internet. Many carry a price tag. Some will damage your computer. Others simply don’t work. But I’ve got a list of seven great programs. And they won't cost you a penny. (READ MORE)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Only watch this once

Could this be one of the most annoying music video?

Additions to our house

In the mail yesterday was a notice that the accessed value of our home on Thames Drive has gone up $9,000. Maybe because of the dock?!?! we put in last summer!?!?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How Not to Multi-task

Go to their website.

Give yourself a raise with these tips

From a recent email:

How Committed Are You?
by: Curt Fletcher (The Likeability Guy)

As I think about the different choices we make and how we decide what fork to take on the road of life, Robert Frost’s “Road Less Traveled” keeps popping up in my mind. I can't seem to shake his title. And in thinking about the meaning behind his words, I began to reflect on my life.

Life is full of so many choices and so many opportunities. You hold the key to each door that you choose to open. Throughout your life, you will face with many challenges, choices, opportunities, and hardships. It’s in those moments of decision that you define your future.

When faced with a challenge, how do you respond? Do you step up, get focused and meet the challenge head on with confidence and excitement? Or do you grow cautious with anxiety over the fear of failure?

Fear of failure is the leading reason that most people settle for a life of mediocrity. The fear eats away at confidence, leaving you stripped of hope and desire. Fear of failure is something that every person has; it just may mean different things for different people. Fear of failure prevents many from attempting to improve themselves -- from applying for a new job, attempting new things, embracing change, or pursuing their dreams.

The road less traveled defines those individuals that when faced with adversity, hardship, and change, they overcame their fear of failure, and responded with courage, confidence, and charisma.

As I think back on my life, I remember always wanting to do the opposite of what everyone else was doing. If my co-workers arrived at work on time or a few minutes late, I would arrive an hour early. When nobody would volunteer for an activity, I would be the first to stand. If everyone was being negative, I would be positive.

In my teenage years, I often had to travel the longer, more difficult path to my desired destination, not because I sought that out, but because the easy road never seemed to come my way. I believe those years were the springboard for my determination to succeed.

We all face adversity and go through hard times. It is important to rise up from the moments that test our will. Stare down the anger, sadness, and frustration that you feel. Use these moments as fuel to ignite your fire to future success. It’s in the hard moments that you will gain the strength to persevere with new knowledge and experience.

So how do you gain this strength?

The answer is one simple little word that carries a big meaning and takes your maximum effort. Desire. Zig Ziglar defines desire as “the ingredient that changes the hot water of mediocrity to the steam of outstanding success.”

Desire is making an extra effort to create a small difference in a given circumstance. The extra effort creates enough small successes to generate huge success over the course of your lifetime.

Take a look around you at work. What do you see? A group full of future CEO's or a group of dazed individuals going through the motions of the day?

Many people dislike the very thought of getting out of bed to begin their day. They dread going to work and do as little work as they can to get by. Then, when they get home, they plop on the couch, watch some TV and go to bed. It's no wonder depression is at an all time high.

I challenge you to “take the road less traveled.” To be successful, you have to want it bad enough and challenge yourself to be different. Wake up each day with a positive outlook, do what other people don't want to, volunteer yourself for a difficult job task, and most of all allow yourself to dream. If you believe it, YOU can achieve it.

Curt Fletcher aka The Likeability Guy is the author of the New Real Estate Sales book, “How To Sell More Homes and Increase Your Income.” Curt has been a leader in Real Estate Sales by building relationships and providing value. He is a Sales Trainer and Speaker that focuses on Creating Relationships, Building Rapport, and Improving your Likeability to increase opportunities for success. To subscribe to Curt’s Monthly Newsletter, click here. If you want to sell more homes, click here! To contact Curt, send an email to

How to get a raise

From my email:

How To Ask For (And Get) A Raise Like a Man

Posted: 18 Feb 2008 12:31 AM CST


Editor’s note: This is a guest post from The Art of Manliness reader and my good friend, Josh Wilsie.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your income is to ask for a raise. But some men’s palms get clammy just thinking about doing so. Here are five tips on how to ask (and get) the raise you deserve.

1. Just ask

Just like anything in life, you aren’t going to get what you want if you don’t ask for it. It’s the same principal as asking girls out on dates (instead of “hanging out”). You will never make any sales if you don’t make any calls. I am constantly surprised by how many of my friends and coworkers are fearful of asking for a raise because they don’t want to seem ungrateful or are afraid of getting turned down and feeling rejected.

People don’t seem to grasp the concept that you are simply selling a service to your company by being employed with them. That service is your time and your labor. If you’ve been with your company for over 6 months or up to a year and haven’t received any pay adjustments, I’d say just asking will work 75% of the time (if you’re good at your job). Learn these magic words: “I’d like to talk to you about a salary adjustment.”

2. No ultimatums

A big mistake I have heard a few people make when asking for a raise is giving ultimatums to their employers. I can’t stress enough that the workplace is a competitive environment, and while there is nothing wrong with asking for a raise, demanding one can backfire in the worst kind of way. Many managers, faced with this situation, will simply call your bluff.

Obviously if you suck at your job, or the company is losing money hand over fist, you don’t stand a snowballs chance, ultimatum or no ultimatum. If you aren’t yet sure if you are worth more, then read on, as you can do something about that too.

3. Determine your value by job browsing.

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what a fair and competitive wage is in your industry. Recruiters and online job websites can be great resources for determining what you can expect to make. Even if you aren’t looking for a new job, check out,, and other job boards (not at work preferably). Find a similar job suited to your talents and send them your resume.

Feel them out, and if given a phone interview, ask for specifics with regard to salary range. If you know you aren’t interested because they’re not paying enough or you’re comfortable with your existing job, be upfront and courteous. Inform the person with whom you’re speaking that you’re happy with your current position (if you are) and be sure to thank them for their consideration. Hopefully you have wasted as little of their time as possible.

Remember that you aren’t indebted to your employer. You entered a business arrangement with them when you were hired. You sell them your time and labor in return for your salary. Shopping around isn’t unethical. It’s good business. Who knows? You might even go on an interview and land a great new gig.

4. Ensure people know your value

Everybody knows the brash and obnoxious “hot-shot” type at work that needs to validate his worth publicly. Everybody resents that person for it too. A real man knows the thin line between confident and cocky. Mastery of this line at work is key to proving your worth to those around you. Just as Teddy Roosevelt was famously quoted, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick, and you will go far.” Instead of trumpeting every small success you have every day, quietly get everything assigned to you done and done well.

When people around you struggle with their work, give them the help they need to get it done, unless of course you work in some ultra-competitive Glengarry Glen Ross type boiler room (Third place is: You’re fired). In that case, get a new job.

Having a “go-to” and “willing to help” attitude has a strange way of uplifting everyone around you. It increases morale and productivity. If your boss or supervisor doesn’t pick up on this and recognize this kind of leadership, get a new job.

5. Increase your value

If you are still having trouble establishing value in your position, consider learning something relevant in your free time. Not everything requires a class or course to be learned. Often times it only takes putting down Call of Duty 4 and reading about the subject. If your employer ever offers optional training or certifications, do not pass up on the opportunity. For example, I was offered an optional training course in Asterisk, an open source PBX (like Linux for phone systems) in 2006. With that course and a bit of tinkering in my free time, I became an authority on the subject. Ever since our company moved our software platform onto Asterisk, I’ve received three separate pay increases. Seriously, do everything you can to improve your worth.

Once you’re sure you have established your value as a go-to guy, it’s time to seek your reward for all that hard work. Without sounding accusatory or argumentative, let your employer know about the successes you’ve had since you’ve been at your current position. Show them projects you have spearheaded and people you have helped. Make sure they know about all the relevant job skills you’ve picked up while working there. If through conversations with others in your industry, you’ve discovered your salary isn’t competitive, let your current employer know. Win them over to your side and you’re almost guaranteed to be earning more.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Are you smarter than the mailman?

Not really picking on the mailman today, but it is Presidents day and so there is no mail delivery. The rest of the world has to work, so I wonder who is smarter!?!?!?

I got this link to a Prez Day Quiz. Here's a sample question or two.

Which former president ran for president in 1856 on the ticket of the Know-Nothing Party? Who is the only president to have been denied renomination by his own party?

Answers are multiple choice, so you might be able to guess your way through.

I'll try it tonight. Right now, I've got work to do since I don't work for the post office.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Living the Fort Wayne lifestyle

Just a recap and look forward to what you can do here in Fort Wayne.

Friday night my wife and I visited Triangle Park, one of our restaurant hang outs where they make you feel very welcome. We also ran into Dr Vic Fitch and his wife who were dining with friends. I first met Vic through the Fort Wayne Central Lions Club, where we are both members.

They just returned from a trip to Honduras with other Lions, where they had spent several days helping the poor with medical care and dispensing eye glasses and doing vision screenings. This is an example of some of the caring people we have in our community that give their time.

Saturday, Kathy and I traveled to Waynedale to visit Hill's Market on Lower Huntington Road to pick up some steaks that I'll be cooking tonight. We both work in Waynedale, and she noticed the sale price Friday and we decided to pick some up for the weekend. A stop in the Waynedale Bakery and Dragons Keep Cafe Coffee Shop completed our trip to that corner of Fort Wayne. We also grabbed breakfast at the Hall's on Bluffton Road, where again, they did a fine job. If you haven't been to a Hall's, you need to.

Our church has a Saturday contemporary service that we usually go to around 5pm. It was packed, and yesterday we had a husband/wife duo as special musical artists.

At 6:30 we caught up with friends and saw the movie, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly at the Cinema Center, followed by a late dinner at Henry's.

On Friday and Saturday night at Henry's, there's a guy that sells ala carte seafood appetizers such as jumbo shrimp, and scallops for a buck apiece. I usually get a few of each. Bob mentioned that Henry's has more than "bar food" which is so true. Henry's is one of those spots in town that I was unaware of until I married Kathy. Steaks, sea food, pasta, and ask if they have any of "Grandma's Chocolate Cake".

Today, Kathy's off to work, and I'm off to visit The Firefly Coffee Shop where I often hang on Sunday mornings for coffee, a bagel and great conversation with a unique collection of people who have become friends. (Kathy and I were at the Firefly Friday night too, splitting a piece of 6 layer chocolate cake).

One final note about living in Fort Wayne. Next month is Kathy's birthday and our Anniversary. We will take some time for a get away and we are close to so many places including Ohio, Chicago, Indianapolis and some lesser known locations within a few hours drive. Just another Plus about living in my home town.