Saturday, July 05, 2008

Name This Website-28

Have you checked out all the previous 27? Click here for the answer to #28.

A Run for the White House

Yeah, right. As if I don't have enough to do.

Not a TeenWolf

Monday night AMC was showing Teenwolf which features my name sake, Scott Howard, played by Michael J Fox.

I fell asleep during it.

I have seen about 45 minutes of the movie now, this is the second time I have dozed off during the film. One day I may see the whole film.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Name This Website-27

Colorful, like the Fireworks! Click here for the answer.

Happy Birthday Uncle Sam

I remember our bicentennial like it was just a few years ago. It was 36 years ago!

15 of 50 Things

This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

15. Relocate Living Spaces – Relocating is always a little tougher than you originaly imagined.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Name This Website-26

Yet ANOTHER, local web-log for you to discover. The answer is here.


As our brains and bodies go into Holiday Mode, (even though it is raining right now), Here's an interesting article from the DLM Blog:

How to Really Become the Boss of Your Life

Posted: 30 Jun 2008 08:15 AM CDT

Written on 6/30/2008 by Alex Shalman, creator of the Practical Personal Development blog.

It is of utmost importance for you to be the determining force of how you live your life. That's why the first thing you should probably do is stop reading this article, because it will influence your mind. However, if you do choose to keep reading, you're going to discover the power of personal freedom.

In this life I am free. How is that possible? How can that be when the laws of government and gravity, and the need for food, love, and oxygen bind me? The freedom lives in a place called my mind - boy doesn't that sound weird?
"Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change." ~Stephen R. Covey
Free Yourself In Seven Ways

1. Freedom from food. Delectable pastries, succulent flavors, and savory foods of all kinds keep us at their mercy. Even the ones that don't taste so good, but are necessary for our survival, induce us into a slave-like dependence. It doesn't have to be so.

Solution: Great men by the likes of Gandhi and Buddha were masters of the fast. They would be able to go days, weeks, and even months without food. One time, Gandhi changed the course of peace in India, and the history of the world as we know it, because his mind allowed his body to endure a fast. He was free.

2. Freedom from money.
Clothes, cars, houses, jewelry, and gadgets are all interesting little items that people are willing to directly exchange for their freedom. Credit cards expedite this process by holding us accountable, and thus slaves, to the money that we've spend before we had.

Solution: Buy only that which is essential. Better yet, live off of the land. When you stop desiring and consuming, and you start living and producing, you quickly lose money as a personal oppressor and begin to use it, instead of it using you. Being a valuable person, and creating value for the world will take you far.

3. Freedom from government.
They can control our education system, our taxes, and our economy, but it is our choice if we hand our freedom over to them - our government.

One solution would be not to vote, but it would be more useful if it were a unanimous decision. One in which each person decided to do what's right, live in harmony, peace, and use their natural-born-morals to govern themselves. Another solution? Let your voice be heard. The written word is more powerful than any government in the land.

4. Freedom from love. Love can really put a choke hold on an individual. Most people have experienced, or have seen a clingy relationship in their life. One where one person "cannot live" without the other. Bards have sung songs as such, and epic battles have been fought for such love.

Solution: Freedom from love comes when we let ourselves truly experience and accept it. It is as natural as drinking water, and when we allow ourselves to love another human being, truly, and to love ourselves, truly, we disregard our capability to be a slave to love. Instead, we become a vehicle of love, and love itself.

5. Freedom from guilt. This powerful emotion can lead us to do just about anything. Guilt has been known to create marriages and break them. Seen to make people overeat, do drugs, and become violent. In the worst of times man has taken his own life due to feelings of guilt.

Solution: It's going to take you feeling the pain of the guilt, fully embracing it, and then letting it go in order to rip of the shackles of this emotion. It's helpful to concentrate on what you can do right now, versus what has happened and what is not an option for you.

6. Freedom from oxygen. The need for oxygen, and our subsequent lack of freedom due to our dependence on it, is based on the concept that we are afraid to die. Death is an integral, unavoidable, and lasting part of our life cycle.

Solution: Freedom comes when we embrace that death will come. Accept it, and live our life to the fullest while it is still within our ability to do so.

7. Freedom from ignorance. Perhaps the worst restraints that we can experience in life are those imposed on us by our own mind. The only thing holding us back in life, really, is that which we know. Those opinions and viewpoints that we have established at some moment define how we think and the methods that we use to interpret what we experience.

Solution: Educate yourself. Pick up as many books as you can, read them all, and don't believe a word of it.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be."~Voltaire
Freedom: Is it practical?

Is freedom practical? No, not if we're looking through the eyes of society, our consumerist group-think collective. Society would have trained you to think that what I am saying is wrong, ludicrous, or even disgusting.

Such is expected. By being a mindless drone of the collective, one is suppressing their ability to think freely, consciously, and individually. That's fine, I accept that for you, and you can too. However, if you choose to be a proactive person of freedom, liberty, and justice - both for yourself and for all - then perhaps putting your self-thinking-cap on will be the greatest gift you can ever give yourself.

"To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one's freedom"~Andre Gide

Thought's from Uncle Harvey

10 years ago, I returned to Ft. Wayne after my dad, Don Howard passed away. I lived about an hour away near Warsaw, Indiana.

During the months leading up to my dad's death, he was visited by his brothers and their wives. Uncle Dean & Aunt Jean who live in Maine & Florida are the oldest. Uncle Carl and Aunt Lorraine were the youngest, with my folks in between.

A connection developed between my Uncle Carl and myself and remained until he passed away recently. They lived in Georgia and we would trade stories and I apprecited his wisdom and humor.

Recently I recieved a box with books from Harvey Mackay, and I am re-reading one of them right now. Harvey is old enough to be my Uncle, and wise enough too.

Click here to read about how I ended up with a box of books.

Here's the latest from Harvey:
Harvey Mackay's Column This Week

Those who itch for success must keep scratching

One of the questions I am asked most often is how to attain success. That's a tough question to answer because success is different for each individual.

I still remember one of my college professors who was asked how he judged whether his students were successful. He always said, "If they are happy, they are successful."

Years ago, I wrote about a formula for success: Determination + goal setting + concentration = success. I received a letter from a Harvard graduate saying that I was missing a fourth quality—courage. His point was that determination could be undermined by the fear that comes with a new venture.

Let me take that one step further. In my opinion, many people fail to achieve their goals not because they are afraid of the job at hand, but because they have grown so familiar in the comfort zone of their job, they are afraid to meet the challenge of a new job. I once heard someone joke that the road to success is marked with many tempting parking places.

Great acts of courage tend to be committed by entrepreneurs. I have seldom met anyone who left his or her job, whether fired or voluntarily, who started their own business and regretted it. What these people always regret is not having done it sooner. Even people who started a business and failed are satisfied because they tried.

I watched a fascinating television program on the education channel about "Why do men die for their country?" They examined the U.S. Marines, the French Foreign Legion and the British Commandos. They discussed the importance of discipline and tradition.

However, the most important reason why men died for their country was their love for their fellow man. They interviewed a soldier who related a most revealing story. He was wounded in combat and was convalescing in a hospital when he discovered that his fellow soldiers were going on a dangerous mission. He escaped from the hospital and went with them. Then, while participating in this mission, he was wounded once again.

When they interviewed him, he said, "You work with people and you live with them, and you soon realize that your survival depends on one another."

Whether it is a military battle, a basketball game or work, we can only enjoy success when we realize that we must be able to count on one another.

Napoleon Hill, one of my favorite authors, started out in the early 1900s as a young newsman and interviewed steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, then one of the wealthiest men alive. Carnegie convinced Hill to devote 20 years of his life to a study of what made men successful, according to William A. Cohen in "The Art of the Leader."

Carnegie helped Hill by giving him introductions to the mightiest, wealthiest and best-known men of his day. These included Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Schwab, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Clarence Darrow and many others.

Not a single person interviewed by Hill said they would have become successful without the people around them—bosses, colleagues and subordinates. Carnegie himself must have recognized this, because on his tombstone is engraved a single sentence: "Here lies one who knew how to get around him men who were cleverer than himself."

Not only do you need to surround yourself with a winning team to be successful, but you need to develop your own network that can help you deal with some of life's minor annoyances, as well as your most challenging problems. Your network can act as role models, advise you and comfort you. They can also provide you with financial assistance, intellectual and social resources, entertainment and a ride to work in the morning.

Without a network you'll have a hard time finding a client, making a sale, getting a job or hiring the right employee.

But even with all the help in the world, the quest for success ultimately boils down to your desire. As boxer/entrepreneur George Foreman would tell you, "Don't have that conversation with yourself where you say, 'He's got more talent that I do,' or 'She's faster than I am.' Success depends on what's in your mind. Success is about your spirit."

Mackay's Moral: Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to.

Miss a column? The last three weeks of Harvey's columns are always archived online.

More information and learning tools can be found online at

14 of 50 things

This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

14. Remember Names – Do you like when someone tries to get your attention by screaming “hey you”?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Name This Website-25

This one looks like fun.

Click here for the answer!

The Truth About our Pets

As a former dog owner and current cat owner, okay 2 cats, I've always had my suspicions that my animals had the intelligence but lacked the language skills, (and thumbs) to be our equals....

But what if that wasn't so....

13 of 50 Things

This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

13. Speed Read – Sometimes you just need the basic gist, and you needed it 5 minutes ago.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Name this Website-24

Yeah, I've found a few more. If you don't know who this belongs to, click here.

12 of 50 Things

This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

12. Manage Time – Not doing so is called wasting time, which is okay sometimes, but not all the time.

Monday, June 30, 2008


This came in my email recently from Steve Clark. His contact info is below:

Life Is A Lot Better Than Many Would Have You Believe

The latest form of political incorrectness is positive thinking. Politicians and the media both would have you believe that the economy is going to hell in a hand basket. That kind of thinking is utter rubbish when you analyze and study the economic data.

The mental attitude of a large portion of the population thinks things are awful, terrible, horrible or worse. The data would indicate that they are wrong.

The Data

Unemployment is at 5.5%, low by historical standards; income is rising slightly ahead of inflation; housing prices are down but the typical house is still worth 30% more than it was worth in 2000; 94% of Americans are paying their mortgages on time and most of the other 6% will find ways to keep their homes.

Inflation was up in 2007, but for the last 16 years it has been low or almost non existent. Living standards for all economic classes, including the middle class and the low income group, is at an all time high.

All forms of pollution, other than greenhouse gases are in decline; cancer, heart disease, stroke incidence are declining; crime is in decline and education levels are at an all time high.

Sure gas prices are up, the dollar is weak and credit is tight but these are minor issues in an otherwise healthy economy.

In the late 70's and early 80's there was double digit interest rates, unemployment and runaway inflation. Personal income, as adjusted for inflation is up 20% since the 1960s. While there are still racial issues they are nothing like they were in the 1950's. When you compare those issues to the issues of today there is no comparison.

Why All the Pessimism

In order to understand what is going on you have to take a really hard look at who the purveyors of negativity are and then drill down to understand their agenda. Without a doubt the purveyors of negativity are the media - both electronic and print. The volume of their message and the size of their audience make it easy for them to influence, persuade and downright "brainwash" the uneducated, intellectually lazy, mass of humanity.

When one drills down on the stories that appear on the nightly news and the front pages of morning newspapers there is an unmistakable trend and it is all negative. Why the negative you might ask.

Good question

The simple answer is that negative news sells newspapers and network airtime. And newspapers and networks make their money from advertising. The more viewers or readers the more the cost of the advertising space. The media knows all too well that the best way to drawn a crowd is to promote negative by showing natural disasters of epic proportion, gruesome murders, rapes, kidnappings, celebrity misfortunes, etc.

Politicians of all stripes know, just as well, that when people are stirred up and fearful they are more easily controlled. They then capitalize on this fear by promoting themselves as some sort of hero with a magic solution to a multitude of societal ills. It is in their best interest to do so. It is not in their best interest - unless they are in power- to promote optimism. All of this is very carefully controlled and orchestrated. If you think otherwise you are indeed naïve.

About Steve

Steve Clark is the CEO of New School Selling, Inc., an international business development and marketing company. He consults and coaches business owners, sales executives and entrepreneurs to develop and implement more effective sales and marketing strategies that increase revenues and improve profit margins.

Want to See More Articles Like This One?

See Steve's New School Selling Blog.

"Entrepreneur and Executive Sales Coach, Steve Clark publishes the highly acclaimed "Tips for Profitable Persuasion" weekly ezine. If you're ready to explode your sales and skyrocket your income while working less get your FREE copy"

Steve Clark
PO Box 5848
Navarre, Fl. 32566

100 Free Software links

There is so much free software and applications available on the internet these days, that you really should pay cash for very little.

However, you need to be cautious that some of the programs are not spyware or could otherwise compromise your system, your credit, or your identity.

I read recently that the "Lifelock" system that was heavily promoted on radio, tv and the web turned out to be a scam. That's where the founder was giving out his own social security number.

So be careful out there.

With those words of warning, I also want to share with you a list that I came across during lunch today.

I have not personally checked each of these out although I have used 21 of the 100, so heed the previous warning.

100 Free Web Apps for Everything You Will Possibly Need


If you’re busy with lots of client work, it’s easy for things to get out of hand. Don’t let your work get away from you; organize information and projects with these tools.

  1. Backpack: Get your projects organized by using Backpack. Create to-do lists, notes, files, images and a calendar with reminders that can be sent via email or to your mobile device.
  2. Central Desktop: Collaborate, communicate and share files with clients and coworkers using Central Desktop.
  3. iOrganize: With iOrganize, freelancers can organize work by keeping notes, ideas and bookmarks in one place.
  4. Viapoint: Viapoint makes it easy for freelancers to store emails and files by client or project.
  5. Stikkit: Use Stikkit’s “little yellow notes that think” to keep in touch, plan and collaborate with clients and coworkers.
  6. Webnote: Webnote users can take notes using a web browser, then save and return to the notes on any computer. This is especially helpful if you’re working on-site with a client and have to use a computer other than your own.
  7. Netvibes: Spend less time searching and more time working by customizing your browser’s start page with email, feeds, messaging, job boards and much, much more.

Calendars & To-Do Lists

Client meetings, important events and a never-ending list of things to do can wear you down if you can’t make them manageable. Use these handy calendars and to-do lists to keep your schedule from taking over your business.

  1. Remember The Milk: Remember The Milk reminds you to take care of important tasks, so you’ll never forget when a project is due.
  2. CalendarHub: Use CalendarHub’s web-based calendar to keep track of deadlines and set goals for your business.
  3. Google Calendar: Google Calendar is a web based tool that allows users to organize their schedule, so you’ll always know exactly what you need to be working on.
  4. Planzo: Planzo’s online calendar keeps freelancers connected to events and things to do. It lets you share your events just about anywhere, get a daily digest and receive text message reminders.
  5. Spongecell: Spongecell is an online calendar made for freelancers with lots of meetings and engagements. Plan events, spread the word and allow guests to add content to your calendar.
  6. Neptune: Neptune’s web based to do list tool helps you keep track of the things you need to take care of every day. It lets you email yourself new tasks, get an email report every morning and upload files to store with your projects.
  7. Ta-da List: When you’re busy with lots of projects, it can be hard to keep track of what you’ve accomplished. Make web-based ta-da lists for yourself or other people, then share them and check items off as you go.

Your Money

Money is what keeps your freelance business going, but managing it can be tedious and time consuming. Sure, it’s fun to see money come in, but does anyone really like sending out invoices? Use these tools to make the process of managing your income easier and more enjoyable.

  1. Wesabe: Use Wesabe to keep tabs on where the money in your business goes, helping you to make better financial decisions.
  2. InstaCalc: InstaCalc is a web based calculator with lots of bells and whistles including spreadsheet capabilities, unit conversions and programming commands. It’s great for freelancers because you can send clients links to any of your calculations, put a calculator on your website or create charts and graphs from your calculations.
  3. XE: If you’re working with an overseas client, you may need to handle foreign currencies. Use XE’s currency converter for accurate calculations with up-to-the-minute currency rates.
  4. Dimewise: Use Dimewise’s web-based convenience to manage your business transactions wherever you are.
  5. FreshBooks: FreshBooks offers a program for “painless billing,” so you’ll never have to spend hours sending client invoices out. Designed with service-based businesses in mind, this software provides a method to manage and send invoices, handle work orders and generate reports with ease.


Do you have too many client files clogging up your hard drive? Use these services to take a load off.

  1. openonmy: openonmy’s website offers storage for files up to 1GB. These files are made to be accessible from any computer, so you can open them up even when on-site with a client.
  2. Xdrive: Xdrive offers 5GB of online storage. Use their service to share files with your clients and coworkers.
  3. YouSendIt: Have you ever had to clean out your inbox just so you’d have room to send out an email? YouSendIt puts and end to that trouble by sending files up to 2GB to your clients.
  4. Flickr: Save space on your hard drive by uploading your photos to Flickr. It’s a great way to store, share and organize photos for your business.
  5. Box: Create an online file-sharing location for you and your clients on Box.
  6. MediaTemple: Keep your important client files safe on MediaTemple’s servers. They offer innovative hosting solutions for all kinds of websites.
  7. DivShare: Use DivShare’s file hosting service to email files to clients or store them in a folder for shared access later.

Project Management & Productivity

Do you wonder where all of your time goes? Do your clients want frequent status updates? Keep tabs on your time and projects with these tools.

  1. Harvest: Harvest offers web-based time tracking software with simplicity. Track your progress and inform your clients using Harvest’s reports.
  2. Side Job Track: Side Job Track, designed with freelancers in mind, provides software that lets you track and manage project information. Features include job tracking, invoicing and reporting.
  3. Basecamp: Basecamp offers a way to improve project communication. Use it to keep your teammates and clients informed about what’s going on with your projects.
  4. ConceptShare: ConceptShare provides online design collaboration. Invite clients and coworkers to view your design and make comments on your work.
  5. Instead of fielding constant calls about the status of a project, let your customers view the status of their project online with

Writing & Design Tools

Being creative can get expensive. Purchasing icons, stock photos, book publishing and the like can add up fast and eat into your profit margin. Check out these free and inexpensive tools designed to make the lives of freelance writers and designers cheaper and easier.

  1. Writeboard: Have you ever had a client or coworker revise a document and end up wiping out your work? Use Writeboard to share and collaborate while saving separate versions each step of the way.
  2. Lulu: Lulu gives fledgling writers an easy way to get published. Each product is printed as it’s ordered, so you don’t have to build an expensive inventory.
  3. MailBuild: Built for web designers, MailBuild allows users to set up a template for client email campaigns.
  4. MyFonts: Do you want to see how fonts will look on your design before committing to a purchase? MyFonts provides a source for trying out and buying new fonts.
  5. IconBuffet: Find and trade stock icons for your web designs on IconBuffet.
  6. stock.xchng: Add photos to your writing or web design at low or no cost. stock.xchng provides tons of stock photos, many of them royalty-free.
  7. Google Docs & Spreadsheets: Don’t bother spending hard-earned money for the latest version of MS Word. Create, upload, share and edit word and spreadsheet documents online using Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
  8. MorgueFile: MorgueFile’s high resolution photos are has-beens in the stock photography world, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do a great job spicing up your work.

Security & Privacy

Don’t let your work get stolen or compromised. Can you imagine how your business would suffer if you lost files due to a virus? Or worse, if the financial information of your clients got exposed to spyware? These services help you stay safe and secure.

  1. SpamSieve: Fighting spam takes time away from your business and opens your system up to intruders. Use SpamSieve to keep spam out of your Mac email client.
  2. Escrow: Don’t get burned by clients that make fraudulent payments. Use Escrow to protect yourself and your clients from payment fraud.
  3. Cloudmark Desktop: Cloudmark protects your Outlook inbox from spam, phishing and viruses, so you’ll never have to worry about compromising business files when reading your email.
  4. PayPal: Give your clients a way to pay without sharing their financial information by using PayPal.
  5. Moneybookers: Open your business to the worldwide market safely. Use Moneybookers for secure worldwide payment and acceptance.
  6. Spamato: Keep your business email secure by using Spamato with Outlook, Thunderbird or Mozilla Mail.
  7. Spybot Search & Destroy: Make sure your confidential client information is safe from prying eyes by scanning for spyware with Spybot Search & Destroy.
  8. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition: Protect your business files with a good antivirus program. AVG Anti-Virus offers a free solution for protecting your computer from viruses.

Mobility & Contact

When running a business, it’s essential that you’re able to keep in contact with clients, vendors, coworkers and other important acquaintances. Use these tools to communicate with ease.

  1. Campfire: Campfire is a web-based chat tool that’s ideal for online meetings with clients or coworkers.
  2. Meebo: Don’t miss out on a client just because you don’t use the same instant messaging tool. Get access to every major messaging service on Meebo’s website without having to download anything.
  3. FaxZERO: Online communication is popular, but sometimes you just have to send a fax. But who wants to invest in a fax machine and phone line for something that happens only on a rare occasion? Instead, use FaxZERO to send a fax anywhere in the US or Canada for free.
  4. eBuddy: Don’t miss out on important messages while you’re away from your base of operations. Log on to eBuddy to sign on to online messengers using your mobile device.
  5. K7: FaxZERO lets you send out a fax for free online, but what if a client wants to fax something to you? Enlist the help of K7, a service that assigns users a phone number that accepts fax and voicemail messages, which are then sent to your email.
  6. GoToMeeting: Use GoToMeeting to keep in touch with clients and coworkers via online meetings.
  7. LogMeIn: Don’t let your business suffer because you can’t take your computer on the road. Use LogMeIn to get access to your computer’s desktop anywhere.

Marketing & Networking

You provide a great service and offer awesome rates, so why isn’t the world knocking down your door with business? Perhaps it’s because they have no idea you exist. Get your name out there and find new clients with these tools.

  1. LinkedIn: LinkedIn offers online networking at its best. Find opportunities and contacts based on your work and the people you already know.
  2. askCHARITY: Take advantage of askCHARITY’s database of key media contacts to get the word out about your business.
  3. Craigslist: Craigslist is an invaluable tool for any freelancer. Find clients, sell your work, buy supplies, network and more using Craigslist.
  4. Coroflot: Use Coroflot to post an online portfolio and find design jobs.
  5. ProfessionalOnTheWeb: ProfessionalOnTheWeb hosts a directory of portfolios. Make sure yours is there when clients search for help.
  6. Elance: Use Elance to get connected with clients that need your services on a project.
  7. 37signals Gig Board: Use the 37signals Gig Board to find freelance jobs in programming, design and more.
  8. WebProJobs: Find full-time and freelance web professional jobs on WebProJobs.
  9. Job Pile: Job Pile aggregates popular freelance job boards, so you can spend time working instead of searching.
  10. YouTube: Use YouTube’s viral video to get the word out about your creativity.
  11. CafePress: CafePress offers on-demand printing for promotional items as well as a place to sell your design.
  12. Spot Runner: Use Spot Runner to build a TV advertising campaign.

Business & Legal

Paperwork isn’t always fun, but it is necessary. Forms and agreements can provide legal protection and help you avoid disputes down the road. Check out these tools that help you protect yourself and spend less time on the boring stuff.

  1. MyNewCompany: Get legal and tax protection for your freelance business by making things official. Use MyNewCompany to incorporate or form an LLC online.
  2. Help Me Work: Get the stability of corporate life while still working as an independent consultant. Help Me Work takes care of taxes, client billing, paychecks, benefits, retirement plans and more.
  3. Designers Toolbox: Get set up with all the legal forms your design business may need with Designers Toolbox.
  4. Creative Commons: Use Creative Commons to specify how much or how little legal restrictions you want your work to carry.
  5. AIGA: Protect your business with AIGA’s standard form of agreement for design services.
  6. Nolo: If you’ve got a legal question about your business, head to Nolo. Experts there offer legal advice for independent contractors and consultants.
  7. Creative Public: Head to Creative Public for forms, contracts, pricing guides and more for your design business.

Client Contact & Feedback

Your clients are what keep you in business, so it’s important to check in with them and make sure they’re satisfied. Use these programs to keep in touch with your clients and find out what they have to say about your work.

  1. Breeze: Send out email campaigns to your clients with Breeze’s easy tool.
  2. Wufoo: Use Woofoo to make forms, surveys and invitations for your customers with ease.
  3. Relenta CRM: Keep track of customer relationships using email, contact, document and activity management with Relenta.
  4. Highrise: Don’t lose track of your customers: keep in touch with Highrise’s online contact management system.
  5. ScratchnScribble: Use ScratchnScribble’s service to have handwritten or printed greeting cards sent to your clients.

Website Tools

Clients are looking for your business online. Will you be there? Check out these applications to make sure your business has an excellent online presence.

  1. Big Cartel: Set up an online store to sell your products using Big Cartel’s service.
  2. WordPress: Blog about your business and industry with WordPress.
  3. Inblogit: If you’re a design professional, your blog should be attractive. Use Inblogit for blog functionality with more flexbility in design.
  4. Icebrrg: Create web forms with Icebrrg so that your website can generate customer inquiry and feedback.
  5. XHTMLized: If you’re too busy to build a website yourself, use XHTMLized. They take your design and turn it into a web page that is browser and search engine friendly.
  6. XHTMLiT: XHTMLit offers freelancers another time-saving solution for converting design into HTML.
  7. Userplane: Make your website interactive for your clients by bundling chat, messaging, video, search and live presence with Userplane.
  8. Ning: Let your clients network with each other by creating your own Ning social network.
  9. ExpressionEngine: Impress your customers by having a website with lots of features. Use ExpressionEngine to publish just about anything on your website.
  10. FlashDen: Build a great-looking website that your clients will want to visit. Buy Flash, audio, video and fonts to make your website look good at FlashDen.

Printing & Packaging

When your products look good, your business does too. Presentation makes a difference, so be sure to make a good impression by using these innovative printing and packaging tools.

  1. Jewelboxing: Impress your customers with Jewelboxing’s customized, professional-grade DVD and CD packages.
  2. Qoop: Qoop prints everything freelancers might need: business cards, apparel, promotional items, posters and more.
  3. Moo: Moo prints note cards and mini cards from your photos and design. These can be used for promotional materials or business cards.

Tools to Give & Take

These tools pack a double-whammy of functionality. Use them to get the resources you need or as an alternative revenue stream.

  1. Google AdWords: Use Google AdWords to advertise your business or make money by putting AdWords on your website.
  2. Prosper: Using Prosper’s people-to-people lending website, you can borrow money for business expenses from real people. If you have extra cash, use Prosper to earn interest by lending to others.
  3. Text Link Ads: Generate interest in your website and attract clients with Text Link Ads or earn money by selling space for others on your site.
  4. PayPerPost: Use PayPerPost to have a blogger write about your product or service. Alternately, you can earn money by writing about someone else’s business.
  5. Guruza: Find answers to your business questions or earn money by giving expert advice on Guruza.


From office suites to creative stimulation, these tools have a lot to offer for freelancers. Check out these applications that cover anything and everything else you might need for your business.

  1. Zoho: Zoho’s Office Suite includes a variety of software solutions for freelancers: a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, wiki writer, notebook, project management, CRM solution, database creator, calendar, web conferencing, email and chat.
  2. Veetro: Veetro offers another all-in-one solution that specializes in the tools freelancers need the most. This program combines money, document, task and customer management with email marketing, reporting and blog publishing.
  3. Work: Are you clueless about what it takes to run a business in your industry? Work offers guides that show you how.
  4. Pandora: Get your creative juices flowing with Pandora’s fully customizable internet radio.

11 of 50 Things

Today I'm kicking off the 3rd week of 10 weeks of 50 things.

I'll add 5 tips each week. This is from

Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life. To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.

While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

11. Handle a Job Interview – I promise, sweating yourself into a nervous panic won’t land you the job.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Reunions, Connections, and Life

Over the weekend, I had a former co-worker of mine come up to me at Meijer's when Doc West of Rock 104, Shannon White of the Three Rivers Festival and I were handing out free 3RF Buttons.

Jerry and I worked together at WFWI, 92.3 back in 1993 or so. I was living in Warsaw and driving to Fort Wayne to go on the air at 5am and do mornings, and Jerry did the overnight shift.

I sometimes find it amazing that I am recognizable after 10, 15, even 25 or more years.

I had a friend named Jorge call out my name a couple years ago when I was riding in the 3 Rivers Festival parade. My eyes went to the direction of the voice and I saw the eyes of an old friend from my high school years, whom I had not seen in 30 years.

I called him up later that day and we have met a couple times since then.

I don't do MySpace or Facebook, although I did set up a profile on each of those sites.

We have a 30 year class reunion coming up in a couple of months and so the reconnecting is going on.

Do you stay in touch with old friends? Do you want to?

Life is better when you have others to share it with.

(By the way, I was not born yet when that picture was taken)

More Blog Clean Up

I took all the political blogs listed on the right side of this page and added them to the more general catagory of Local Bloggers. And I'm open to suggestions for more local blogs.

One caveat, the blog needs to be active, updated monthly or it will risk being knocked off this list.

Free Directory Assistance from Google

Yesterday, Kathy and I were sitting outside at Munchie (Officially known as Dickey's), wondering about the start time for a movie across the street.

A few weeks ago I saved the number for Google's free telephone number information service in my cell phone. So I called, and discovered we had about 8 minutes before the movie started.

Save this number in your cell phone and you will never have to pay for information services again:

1-800-466-4411 That's 1-800-GOOG-411. It will give you various options and even call the number for you.

Try it out!

The opposite of Googling

Google has become a generic term for searching on the internet, similar to the way Kleenex has become a generic name for facial tissue.

Except Google, really is the king of internet search, with 60 to 70% of the market, while Kleenex is just one of a dozen brands that divide the market.

To Google is to search on the internet, (and 7 out of 10 of your friends are actually using Google).

Imagine though, that instead of searching for items, you could tell a search engine to notify you whenever something new was found on the internet pertaining to a subject you had interest in.

Google will do it.

Yep, it's called Google Alerts. Click here and you can do it.

You need a G-mail account, (which is free), and then you have access to the entire world of Google.

A friend of mine, Shannon White, the Executive Director of the Three Rivers Festival, had set up a Google Alert of for the Three Rivers Festival and a story I wrote a couple days ago appeared in his email, courtesy of the Google Alert system.