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from storytelling

“Just gonna stand there and watch me burn.”

My friend once told me he thought this song was awful.

I agreed.

I couldn't tell him I understood every word.

 
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from storytelling

Unspoken.

6:42.

Will she be there?

I see the flag and feel a sigh of relief escape my lips.

I smile and lift my hand.

Not one word spoken.

Our routine.

 
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from Crownless Princesses

Originally, my post for this blog was going to be about the general lack of stock and difficulty obtaining sufficient stock to sell.

After this weekend, it's much more.

I've come to realize this company is a pyramid scheme that preys upon the most vulnerable. The single moms, hard working females barely making ends meet and military families that don't have an extra $750 laying around each month. $55 to join and you're in business sounds SO simple. And that's how they truly sell it.

No mention you really need to purchase 36 LipSense colors. And let's face it. It's never just $750 a month to get the magical 50% discount. Once they add taxes, shipping &handling, etc. it quickly becomes $840 plus.

I don't know about you, but that's my mortgage and car payment. Unless you're well-to-do, you need for that investment to turn over in 30 days to pay those bills.

Then add in the costs of doing business they didn't mention — mailers, thank you notes, business cards, etc.

And my Upline, like so many others, was clueless. She told me, after I'd joined, of course, that she hadn't really read or studied the Back Office info or videos. Her customers were really a few friends and family. 👺

That would have been nice to know. She also lives another state away. Not helpful when the color(s) I need are OOS and driving across town to trade isn't an option.

Let's talk about having to pay shipping to trade 2-3 times to get a color you need to hang onto a client who's threatening to order off eBay or another outlet?

I'm so tired of hearing, “What's your best discounted price?” Seriously? Would you go into a grocery store and ask that? How rude. Do other reps in other markets such as LuLaRoe and Avon suffer this? I'm guessing not!

But my worst gripe with this company has been the outright backstabbing and lack of support for fellow SeneSisters. I've literally seen 75% negative vs 25% positive posts since my start. I've been in almost 90 days. How disheartening. Even customers are seeing it and making comments on the Facebook sales pages.

I don't want to be associated with this type of company. Period. Sorry for the ramble, but you get the gist. ❤️ Thanks for your support.

#senegence #senesisters #debunked #pyramid #lipsense

 
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from storytelling

Do you think I'd be a bad mom and shouldn't have kids because I said I hoped he got struck by lightening?

No, because you only want bad kids to be struck by lightening.

 
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from processimagining

Been writing on Whitehead today, primarily on the subject of the Bifurcation of Nature in his The Concept of Nature. In one of the text he writes that the problem is not that there is a spiritual world of unrealized ideals and an world of unspiritual facts. Rather, it is the common sense coupled with limiited knowledge put together by the imagination.

This is really interesting. He resists any form of bifurcation (spirit/matter), by relegating the issue to the limit of knowledge. But one would think he is also belittling the imagination, when he, in my opinion, is not. In Process and Reality he states we need an imaginative leap. Hardly a removal or problem of the imagination. And yet I think he is not talking about the imagination that is commonly understood in the Kantian sense.

The Kantian concept of the imagination, at least in his anthropological understanding of it, is that there are two forms of the imagination: the first the reproductive imagination, the second the productive imagination. He also writes that the productive requires the reproductive in some way because we can never create without images to work with. But the productive seems a sort of postmodern rehashing, in where we are creating from what is already there, and therefore not really new, but the same in a different way. Not that I find that an issue.

The reproductive imagination just brings back from memory what is desired, the productive makes what is desired. Whitehead doesn't want to bifurcate anything, but show the relations of all things. So, the imagination should not be disconnected from one another, but rather be an imagination with relations of things. There can be no reproductive with a productive imagination, and there can be no productive without some form of reproductive (I'm thinking creatio ex profundis) imagination. The imagination is like the receptacle, a space by which things become. A holding place, a place of becoming.

And yet, this is not solely a mental conceptual thing going on. The images are not, so to speak, like the representations as gone against by Foucault or Derrida. Even Deleuze shows the limits of a certain imagination in the image of thought. Imagination is the faculty, the space, of the becoming, and is not held by an image of thought, but emerges from the process itself. It hides and shows when necessary, it creates and disappears in the blink of an eye, and yet one cannot, in some way function without it.

The imagination must be processual, that is, it comes from the relations of things and thus the necessity of an emergence, a possibility. It can be neither productive, nor reproductive, but must be both. In its reproductive sense, it lures one into productivity; in its productive sense, it lures one into reproductive rememberance. It is the integration, gazing, and emergence of the thing. Nature, for Whitehead, should not be bifurcated between matter and spirit, neither should the function of the imagination, which feels and relates the connectivity of things into us, a prehension of things, for feeling.

#whitehead #imagination #kant #productiveimagination #reproductiveimagination #processimagination

 
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from storytelling

It rolls so easy off my tongue; the lies.

I look at myself in the mirror and I recognize the face everyone sees.

I got it, I'm good, baby let's go.

Smile, I know what's behind those eyes.

 
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from storytelling

“Or work. Work hard.

Work will save you. Work is the only thing that will see you through this.”

 
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from smileytraveler

Fear drives a lot of our actions. And like anything in this world, it can be good and bad at the same time.

The fear we feel when the kids go out to play is good fear. Our fear serves to protect them from things they're not yet aware are dangerous. It keeps them alive.

Some fear, however, is bad. Well, maybe not “bad”...let's just say misunderstood. It causes some of us to lose sleep at night. I suffer from this kind of fear daily.

During my 20's I worked my little lady nuts off and socked away money like it was going out of style. It was the era of Enron and Bernie Madoff, so I didn't dare invest it in the markets. No, instead I let it rot away in savings accounts and real estate. I was married at the time and we both worked hard on our own businesses, lived simply, bought everything with cash and managed to each save quite impressive little nest eggs for ourselves.

Yeah, there were a couple of years where I succumbed to the I earned this! mentality, so I bought some fancy things, lived in a fancy house, and basked in all the dumb shit people do to feel successful. It really wasn't that great.

I quickly grew bored, and maintaining all that shit was a real pain. Not to mention, really expensive. I didn't work so hard to support all that crap. It was like having a brood of full-grown adult kids living with me at home and draining my bank account and will to live.

So slowly and steadily we sold off all the nonsense and rejoined the simple life. The savings now had to go somewhere.

I was so exhausted from “investing” for myself, and furthermore, horrified at the amount of money I'd lost. I'm a terrible investor. Terrible! It would make your head spin if I told you how much money I incinerated because I thought I was smart. Nope, I needed an adult to step in and save me from myself.

Time to join the markets.

Get Your Geek On

Being a childless wanderer means I have a lot more free time than most. A lot of time to read and a lot of time to think. I spend most of this time reading books on sociology, economics, history, and all sorts of topics in between.

I'm fascinated by economics and economic theory. It's like being able to look under society's hood and understand what all those weird little wires, valves, and belts are doing, and how they work together to make the engine run.

Once I got the basics of economics down, I ventured into economic history and all of the crazy stuff that our forefathers went through. The booms and busts, the bubbles, the famines, the regulation, the groundwork for our current financial laws. Good stuff.

There has been and are some really awful people responsible for a lot of money. The life savings of teachers, firefighters, and broken blue collar workers which made its way into their accounts drip by drip over many, many years. Since none of us know much what to do with these savings, we have to sit back and pray that those we entrust to invest it for us are not complete psychopaths.

The good news is, 99% of them are not. They are honest, skilled, educated folks who've studied money and how to grow it and know how to keep their hands out of the cookie jar.

But what if that one little steaming turd gets his hands on your retirement account? Oh man.

It took me a long time to develop trust in fiduciaries and markets. And, honestly, I had no choice...I would have driven myself into the poorhouse. I had to grit my teeth and send my precious little dollars out into the world, hoping they'd return to me someday...and bring friends.

Ever since I did this I've spent a lot of time worrying that my retirement fund would be stolen or disappear in some kind of horrific market event. I would be so, so incredibly screwed.

But what am I supposed to do? There's nothing I can do. I have to sit on this plane and let the pilots do their thing. Worrying all the time won't make a crash less likely, so I try my best not to.

What I fear, and what I'm sure a lot of others fear is not necessarily the loss of money. It's the result of that loss. What we fear is poverty.

I love sharing stories that changed my life here. And this is one of my best. Hope it helps somebody else out there deal with fear...even in a small way.

Getting to the Bottom of Fear

I'm sure we all can recall a handful of moments in our lives that changed the course of our thinking. One of these moments for me was about eight months ago when I was listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast.

Tim doesn't really have a “schtick”. His topics range from working out, to entrepreneurship, to relationships, to philosophy. He's just a really interesting dude. He's what I call a “macro-thinker”. He's brilliant at looking at a ton of different life themes and being able to weave them all together. I imagine macro thinkers are like winged souls who are able to rise above the world, look down, and see the human condition as a whole.

On this particular day, I believe he was doing some sort of random question show in which listeners ask whatever they want. I had headphones on and was probably cleaning or something, vaguely listening to his voice in the background.

As I recall, the question had something to do with a listener wanting to start a business and being afraid. Afraid that it would blow up and he'd end up in the poorhouse.

Tim's response was so wise and profound, I had to stop, sit down, stare out the window and process it for quite a while.

I'm absolutely paraphrasing here, not quoting him, but it went something like this:

*“Ok, so you're afraid. That's cool. Let's think about this for a minute. What are you actually afraid of? Let's assume the absolute worst-case scenario. This business doesn't work, you lose everything. Ok. What does that look like? Again, imagine the most terrible outcome.*

Are you homeless? Are you starving? Do you have zero options? Will nobody you know take you in? Will you be unable to procure food and shelter under any circumstance? Will you die in the streets?

My guess is none of these things will happen. Even if you lose every last penny to your name.”

What I gathered from his answer was that we tend to imagine things will be a whole lot worse (or better) than they actually will be. Our brain really doesn't know the difference between “bodily harm” fear and “fear of poverty” fear. It's all the same: nauseatingly uncomfortable.

But what Tim said next was the real gem (again, paraphrasing from memory):

*“If you've imagined the worst case scenario and you are still afraid, think about this: try living your fears. If you are afraid of the electricity getting shut off, shut it off yourself. What do you do?”*

I followed along with this thought experiment. Perhaps I'd do all the things that required light during the day, when abundant light streams in for free. I could read at night by candlelight, or with the headlight from my bike. I could cook on my camping stove, wash laundry by hand, and leave it to dry outside when the hot sun came back.

No matter which scenario I ran, I was never defeated, destitute or naked.

If I needed to work on my laptop I could go to the library and use their electricity and internet. My work would not have to stop.

Even if I cut myself and needed stitches, perhaps I could work out a trade with the local doctor. I have many valuable skills. I know I could produce something worthy of my medical bill.

I ran what-if? after “what-if?* and couldn't seem to get to death or nakedness no matter how hard I tried.

The exception was a life-threatening accident requiring hospitalization. That scenario meant death. So a few days later I purchased a cheap, high-deductable medical policy that would cover that and a separate policy that would cover devastating chronic conditions such as cancer, heart attack, or stroke. As long as I could make $74 a month to cover the premiums, and had $7500 in the bank to cover the decuctables, I wouldn't die. I was pretty certain I could find a way to make $74 a month in cash, so a crazy thing happened...I was feeling alright for the first time in years.

This experiment was indeed liberating. But, as a weirdo who's never satisfied, I had to go further.

My January was looking a little barren. (I have a business at the moment that's feast or famine. When the work rains, it pours. Otherwise, crickets. Maybe my clients all conspire to dump work on me at the same time?)

So I'm looking at my calendar and the crazy starts flying. Above all, my biggest fear about poverty is losing the ability to travel like I have for so long. So I'll take Tim's advice:

I will become voluntarily homeless. Additionally, I will travel with only the equipment I have. My bicycle and my legs.

If I can do this, I don't have to be afraid anymore.

It's winter in Florida and Key West is calling.

 
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from smileytraveler

I really wanted to write a serious post on Universal Basic Income, since there's been much sniveling about it lately from our overlords in Silicon Valley.

Y'all, it's awesome! Basically, this group of rich nerds are feeling guilty. Guilty that they are building robots to replace human jobs. Their logic is: with so many robots, we won't need humans to do these jobs anymore. Our robots will cause their jobs to go away. We need to make sure they are taken care of. So let's tax the robots and give that tax money to the less fortunate humans! We'll decide on an amount that will eliminate poverty and everyone will be equal! Free!

Years ago I would have been horrified by a proposal like this. But now, I think it's freakin' awesome. If some dumbass wants to volunteer to give me money, why be so principled?

They want to give me money. I'm ready to take the money.

I've spent a lot of time and tears in life fighting lefties. I'm tired. They are going to make me a victim whether or not I agree with them. So...why the hell not?

For example: if somebody says something I don't like, I can just call them a sexist. Or, better yet, a misogynist. My great awakening (coming soon) made me realize I don't have to muster the energy to argue a well thought out, logical, historical and factually accurate reason as to why women can “do things”! It's so much easier to just call them one of a grab bag full of names, make them feel guilty, and get them to shut up, thereby winning the argument by technical knockout.

People don't want to hear that you are strong, capable, smart, tough and you'll figure shit out because you're a badass. People want to make themselves feel good. So I say let's let them do that.

I love seeing narcissists at work.

“My [insert Silicon Valley cliché du jour] is going to change the world. It's going to “disrupt” your livelihood. Truth is, I feel bad that I'm awesome and you're not. Understand this: you are the poor schmuck and I am the awesome one. Well, that's unfair, man. So, tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to lobby for a tax on my WORLD CHANGING THING to throw you some scraps so you can feel good. Better yet, so I feel good and remain awesome and admired for being so compassionate. Don't worry, mortals, you will be fed.”

I love this. We can live out our days on the farm. Frolicking and chasing birds while the smart people make their robots.

Would Henry Flagler ever have proposed such nonsense? Hell no. But that's okay...he didn't know any better. The fact that our modern-day tycoons have thought of this for us proves we've evolved. They see our future selves, digging around in the mud for our supper after their awesome “apps” have disrupted our lives and are just doing the right thing. They're just trying to save us.

I say bring it on! I'm tired of working for my food. These robots are obviously so superior I don't know if I'll ever be able to keep up.

For the low, low price of $1500-$2000 a month, I, a peasant without robots, can finally be secure in the world. That means I can finally stop struggling and still eat. I can finally rid my mind of the ideas, the dreams, the anxiety of where I'll be in five years. My food will just appear.

I will be able to wander off into the wilderness and make art. Ponder things. Be without poverty and without worry. All while my patrons in the dusty valleys do their world-changing things to benefit the poor saps who are still compelled to work for their living and dignity.

I say. Bring. It. On!

 
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from specious pretexts

After a few conversations tonight, I understand why people like being authoritarian-leaning. Today was a “free speech” rally in Boston that, despite constantly coming with quotes on cable news, actually was a free speech rally — not a euphemism for white supremacist rally.

It was hard to tell, especially since over 40,000 people showed up to protest white supremacy and Nazism. If they're the counter-protesters, well I guess the others are the protesters in support of white supremacy!

So after I started arguing with someone on the internet, I found out it wasn't actually a white supremacy rally. I had to admit I was wrong after really digging my heels in to my very righteous argument, and that was my moment of realization.

This shit is hard.

Especially in this political climate, and as someone entirely unaccustomed to the political world before this last election, it's hard to keep your head. There's no doubt this administration skews reality and gaslights us all to a new extreme, but it really is tough knowing who to trust, where to fight, who's the real enemy, what the real facts are, what the argumentative frames are, etc. As a non-Trumper we have no leadership telling us what to think, really. The right has their dictator, and all the talking points nailed down and widely distributed. They're all on the same page.

But us others are left to crawl and feel our way out of the dark. We have to decipher what Russia is doing, and how the administration is employing their tactics to dismantle the country. We have to parse propaganda from Fox News, Sinclair-backed local news, online blogs, social media trolls, right-wing personalities, Trump supporters, crony capitalists, and the White House itself. We have to know what ball to keep our eyes on. We have to know what tactics are going to work to fight the enemy-of-the-day (e.g. do we punch Nazis? Use non-violence? Mockery? Compassion?). We have to not chase every enemy ball thrown our way.

I have no doubt we're all figuring these things out as we go, and no one group has all the answers. That's what happens when you don't have a demagogue, I guess — you're all on your own, out in the middle of nowhere, in infinite gray instead of a world of comforting black and white. You are forced to dig deep and search and refine and discover all the nuances to all the issues so you can reach a conclusion that provides and codifies some core American values for everyone. The answers aren't simple, like the authoritarian followers trust and believe they are.

You have to invent democracy, I guess.

And maybe that's what we're doing right now. My complaint is that we're all spread out — I can barely find groups in my area that I feel are tackling the big, overarching issues. They're all focused on smaller subsets of problems. But I guess that's how it should work — the bottom-up. Diverse groups of people addressing their particular issues and then coming together into larger and larger groups, until it reaches the top.

But finally seeing what true democracy looks like (or needs to look like) has me concerned for all these distractions we have right now. Obviously democracy has been on the decline in America for long before Trump, but the White House agenda and constant drama is making it seriously difficult to build a stronger democracy at the very moment we're all realizing how badly we need one. We know a weak democracy is Russia's goal, but how much our own regime is assisting in that weakening is especially ominous to me.

Things have been messy this year, for the country and for me. I've struggled a lot to grasp what the hell is happening, and have put myself out into the world more, often to get smacked in the face by missing facts or overlooked points or inane arguments or realizations of my own emotions getting the best of me. But it's served to stretch my mind and teach me, and I think finally I'm starting to see what prize to keep my eyes on.

 
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from kittyfireball

It had been a long night: danced up a storm, blew a virgin, and finally got home around 5:00 in the morning. I was wide awake so changed into my pj's and started playing some computer games. I'd left my phone in my purse but went to fetch it when I vaguely recalled getting a Tinder message sometime during or after blowing said virgin. The message was a couple of hours old by now but I responded anyway, thinking he'd probably not see it for awhile; most people would be asleep at this hour. He surprised me by responding right away. We chitchatted for a bit and had a good rapport. He had to drive out to the desert that afternoon but wanted some company before then. He was willing to get a motel room for just a few hours.

      It was tempting although completely ludicrous. He was a good 25 miles away, it was 6:am, and I hadn't slept. While I might drive 25 miles for a good fuck, he was pretty honest about just wanting a blow job. I'd told him of my earlier (mis)adventure and I think it intrigued him into wanting to experience my skills. I truly had no intention of meeting up with him but he was relentlessly persistent. Now, I've been implored, cajoled, nagged, and straight up begged by some serious Masters of Please (MoPs). When Jay needed a drink or a crack rock, the begging ripped my soul to shreds and against my better judgement, I'd capitulate. Jeremy's bratty cacophony of Pleases invariably led to his getting his way. Lately, Greg's repeated requests for a threesome were driving me bananas and tempted me to cut him loose altogether.

As for Drew, he was quite gifted in the MoP department. He wasn't aggressive. He wasn't annoying. He was like a smooth, persuasive car salesman. What can I do to put you in this car today....Around 7:am, it reached the tipping point and just like that, I knew I was going. I threw on my clothes and hit the road, updating Drew along the way. Halfway into my drive he mentioned that I might have my work cut out for me because he'd been up for 24 hours, was high (he used a snowflake emoji so I assumed he meant crystal meth) and might have a hard time climaxing. Screech....brakes. Wtf? Goddammit, no wonder he was so determined, horny and talkative. He's fucking tweaking. When Jay was high on meth, he said all he wanted to do was jack off all day. It also turned him into a rage-filled asshole, but that's another story. But I was already halfway to the motel so what the hell...

The door was unlocked when I arrived and I greeted Drew, who was lying on the bed, with a “mobile bj...” and he really enjoyed that. I told him he should have told me he was tweaking and he set me straight. He was no meth head. He was doing some very high-quality cocaine. Ohh, okay. I was vaguely surprised that he wasn't quite as cute as his Tinder pics. But that's not uncommon; of course people will post their most flattering pictures. I got to work right away. We'd discussed via text how it would be hot if I just came in and started sucking his cock right away. I made short work of his belt, pants, and boxers then proceeded to try to make short work of him. Everything was going as it should. I was working my magic with my mouth, he was moaning softly. I was thinking the cumslut in me was close to getting her reward when, boom. He wanted to take a break and do more coke. What an unprecedented turn of events.

As he did more lines, we started talking. He was very easy to talk to and had an unnerving way of looking right into my eyes as he spoke. Looking right into me. It made me uneasy and I had to force myself to not let my eyes dart around the room as he spoke. He commanded my complete attention just by giving me his. I sat on the edge of the bed and he folded his 6'2” into the rickety motel chair. He leaned forward, resting his forearms on his thighs, lifted his head to look at me and I was struck by how different he looked in this particular position and patch of lighting.

“Are you a shapeshifter?,” I blurted out, only semi-kidding. He seemed a bit taken aback; apparently someone had just recently made a similar observation. Over the course of the next few hours, he went from boy-next-door, to average cute guy, to breathtakingly beautiful depending on where he stood and which position he was in. I really wanted to take his picture, but he vetoed that idea. He was a bit paranoid about the texts and pics we'd already exchanged and asked if I would delete them. He eventually asked if he could do it himself and I let him. When he asked in bafflement, “why do you want to take my picture?”, I told him about my hobby of styling and photographing my friends and family and that in this particular position, he was quite beautiful. And then finally, simply told him, “because I'll never see you again”. Although this is par for the course with hook-ups, it had never bothered me as much as it did now. Looking at him I realized he would shut down his Tinder account and I wouldn't even have those pictures to remember him by. When I said that to him he responded rather gently, “I already have.”

(To be continued...)   

 
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from smileytraveler

I feel bad. Bad for sitting there in silence. Bad for the patronizing smile I gave them when they came over and waved “hi” with little hands. Bad for looking bored. Bad for feeling bored while looking bored. Bad for thinking over and over again, I don't belong here. Bad for smiling genuinely only when the doggies came out to play. Bad for cringing at the chaos. Bad for imagining that every waking moment is chaos. Bad for getting up to take a walk so I could think about something else. Bad for getting utterly depressed on my walk to think this is what my life would be. Bad for getting grossed out when the baby licked me. Bad for wishing desperately that we could talk about something else besides babysitters, schools, and all the cool things the kids do. Bad I didn't really care what cool things other people's kids could do. Bad for wanting to get to know them better without being interrupted every two seconds by someone waddling off, someone falling, someone needing more food to stuff into their face, someone crying, someone hitting, someone...

Bad that I'd go insane. Bad I couldn't stare at the flowers, trees, and playing doggies and just drift off. Bad that I'd not know quiet and peace for a long, long time. Bad that I'd have to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again. Bad that we'd be expected to go to a special place to play where everything is powder-coated and perfectly geometric.

Bad that I probably look like such a bitch right now and I'm probably embarrassing my best friend in front of her friends. Bad that I wish this blanket weren't covered in Cheerios and cheese.

Bad that I feel like I'll have to practice for next time...in front of a mirror.

Me: Wow! How old is he? Her: He's sixteen months! Me: (Big smile, head tilt.) Wow! That's so interesting!

But I really have nothing to say, nothing to add. I can't relate. I can't ask questions because what if I accidentally give away my insincerity? I can't ask questions because the answers aren't interesting.

I tell people there are very good reasons I'm not a mother. They don't seem to take me seriously. Just going to a park and watching the dozens of little bodies (and their moms) depresses me.

I'm the broken one. Not them. Not you.

 
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from Manoj M

There’s a lot employees don’t know about me. Here are 10 things I wish I could tell to my colleagues / employees:

I care about whether you like me. I want you to like me. When I come off like a hard-ass who doesn’t care about your opinion of me, it’s an act. My business is an extension of myself. I want you to like it. And me.

I don’t think I know everything. A few people stepped in, without being asked, and made a huge difference in my professional life. I will always be grateful to them. I don’t offer you advice because I think I’m all knowing or all-powerful. I see something special in you, and I’m repaying the debt I owe to the people who helped me.

I think it’s great when you’re having fun. You don’t have to lower your voice and pretend to be working hard when I walk by. I know it’s possible to work hard and have a little fun at the same time. Before I got all serious, I used to work that way.

When you enjoy what you do, it makes me feel a little better about my company and myself. I get to feel like I’ve created something more than just a business.

I want to pay you more. I would love to be the employer of choice in the industry or the area. I can’t, mostly due to financial constraints but partly because the risks I’ve taken require a reasonable reward. If I go out of business tomorrow, you lose your job. That’s terrible, I know. But I lose my business, my investment, my credit, my house… sometimes I lose everything.

Someday, when you start your business, I promise you’ll understand.

I want you to work here forever. Job-hopping may be a fact of business life, but as an owner it’s a fact I hate. I don’t see you as a disposable part. When you leave, it hurts. A part of me feels like I’ve failed.

I want to own the kind of business people hope to retire from.

Sales don’t appear by magic. I know you despise filling certain types of orders. They’re aggravating, they cause you to fall behind… they’re a pain. You wish we would sell other work. Unfortunately (from your point of view at least) sometimes the orders that take the most time are actually the most profitable.

And even if they aren’t, sometimes those orders are the only thing we can sell.

Sometimes I even take terrible work because it’s the only way to keep the lights on.

I would love to turn you loose. You can’t stand to be micromanaged. That’s good because I hate micromanaging. But freedom is earned, not given. Show me you can fly on your own and I’ll gladly focus on something or someone else.

In fact, if you feel I’m micromanaging you, step forward. Say, “Jeff, I can tell you don’t quite trust me to handle this well. I understand, so I’m going to prove you can trust me.”

Do it and I’ll get off your back and respect you even more.

I notice when others don’t pull their weight. I’m not blind. But I won’t discipline those individuals in front of you. No employees, no matter how poorly they perform, loses their right to confidentiality and privacy.

And sometimes I won’t discipline them at all, because occasionally more is going on than you know. You wouldn’t realize that, though, because oftentimes…

There are things I just can’t tell you. Even though I would love to, and even though you and I have become friends.

Ownership is the smorgasbord of insecurity. I worry about sales. I worry about costs. I worry about facilities and employees and vendors and customers and… you name it, I worry about it.

So occasionally I’m snappy. Occasionally I’m distracted. Occasionally I’m tense and irritable and short-tempered. It’s not your fault. I’m just worried.

More than anything, I’m worried about whether I can fulfill the trust you placed in me as your employer.

 
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from Manoj M

I’m usually touting the benefits of domain names in many articles. In this post I’d like to analyze another common domain name type, brandables. A brandable domain is often thought of as a short, made-up word such as Google or Twitter, however this isn’t always the norm. There are different types of brandable domains, even those that do use keywords, so let’s dive in and see what they are all about.

First, a quick word on why a quality brand is important. A recent study found that just 3% of traffic to eCommerce websites comes from social media, while a staggering 46% comes from brand familiarity. Your domain is your brand.

Brand familiarity boosts web traffic

Brandable: What You Don’t Need to Worry About

Keywords For once, you can throw Google AdWords keyword data out the window–well, almost. You may still be interested in targeting a specific keyword to be a part of your brand name, particularly if you will be using a two-word domain as a keyword/brand-word combination. You can now create your own words successfully if you follow a few guidelines featured below.

Definitions The language of the internet evolves much faster than Merriam Webster can keep up. Your brand does not necessarily need to have a known definition.

What Makes a Domain Brandable?

Pronunciation How a domain name is spoken aloud is one of the most important factors in determining brandability. Often called the “radio test,” you can simply ask a few friends to spell out a domain name over the phone or in person. If your domain name can not be understood clearly and remembered through word-of-mouth marketing that will hurt your brandability.

Length While many brands use three-words I recommend first researching two-word options. When it comes to the internet, shorter is always better.

I would estimate the majority of valuable brandable domain sales are between 4 and 8 characters. Virtually all four-letter domains and quality, pronounceable five-letter domains have been claimed, so you’ll need to browse the aftermarket for extremely short brands.

Meaning Not to be confused with a definition, meaning lends some since of relation to a particular product, service or industry. Use an industry term, relevant word, idea, color, or some other identifier that the target audience will associate with.

Appeal When looking for brandable domains to potentially resell, you’ll want to make sure that you have meaning, as described above, but you also want to be sure that there is a possibility that the domain will actually sell. It helps to get into the mind of an entrepreneur working in a particular industry; would they find this domain a viable or premium option to build their business on versus a keyword or longer domain?

Discriptors Some words are simply great or must-haves for certain industries which can make it hard to find suitable brand options. If you’re looking to go the discovery route, you may find the Bust-A-Name tool with built in thesaurus very helpful for finding related words and descriptors for your brand names.

Pull out a sheet of paper and take a few minutes to jot down any quality keywords that may describe your area of interest. You can then plug those keywords into Bust-A-Name along with the other root word you would also like included to see what is available.

Detractors Now that you know what elements contribute to a great brand, there are a few things you definitely want to consider avoiding when selecting quality brandable domains.

Doubled up letters (‘SportSShop,’ ‘KinGGames’) — Domains like this do not do well with the “radio test” mentioned previously and it opens up the possibility of losing traffic to typos.

Intentional misspellings (Flickr) — Dropping vowels, replacing S with Z or doubling up certain letters just looks plain unprofessional and is not good for memorability or usability.

Unintended meanings — I’m sure everyone has seen the list of unfortunate domains like PenIsland.com. Watch out for hidden meanings you might not want to associate your identity with.

Domain hacks (Del.icio.us) — Some people are fans of these quirky brands that use the TLD extension as part of the brand name itself to create a word. I believe this can hurt memorability and marketing efforts online and in person.

Researching and flipping brandable domain names is not a walk in the park and it certainly pays to be patient. The right end-user may not come along for a year or more. Now is a great time to start investing in quality .com brands as they are becoming increasingly rare and domain prices are trending upward.

 
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from Manoj M

Welcome to my world. I am writing mostly on my experiences as an entrepreneur here.

I am the founder of Ipfy Enterprise Private Limited. A company based in India which deals with WordPress based services.

 
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from smileytraveler

The best part about traveling isn't the adventure. I'd say, without hesitation, that it's the exposure to all kinds of different people, cultures, and ideas. If I'd stayed in my hometown I would be a radically different individual than I am today. Traveling has made me a human sponge, absorbing ideas and ways of life that I then mish-mash and morph into my own worldview and personality.

The biggest reason to start writing things down is to document how I've changed as a person. I no longer hold many of the ideas I did when I was 24. Had I remained in the “monoculture of ideas” of my hometown...well, you get the point.

Hopefully writing down old travel stories will help me remember where I was mentally when they happened. I have a lot of projects going now, but I have a feeling this one, purely out of desire to reflect on the last 13 years, will turn out to be one of the best.

Traveling physically is phenomenal for developing into a well-rounded person, but time-traveling might be even more important. I've recently come to believe that if one has x hours in a day to consume words/ideas, at least 50% should be spent on consuming the stories and lessons of those who came before us.

When I think about what a small blip of nothingness my life is compared to the whole of the human experience, instant humility sets in. To list all the examples would be impossible. There are too many.

Nothing has done more to help me understand others and take a more compassionate view of the world than has the study of history. Full stop.

I've always been a fiercely independent person, even as a child. And for reasons I may or may not discuss in the future, self reliance, toughness, and creativity in navigating the world have been an absolute necessity.

As such, I became drawn to libertarian ideology as soon as I was old enough to “take a side”. (If you're not from the US, basically you are either a Republican or Democrat. You need that “D” or “R” after your name, otherwise other Americans have no idea whether or not they're supposed to hate you. So you help 'em out a little.)

So growing up I observed that one was expected to flock with one's fellow birds, right? Lutherans hang out with fellow Lutherans. Goths hang out with fellow goths. Nerds hang out with fellow nerds. Bored soccer moms hang out with fellow bored soccer moms. This makes complete and total sense when you think about it: we want to be in the company of people who are like us. Additionally, we tend to like and trust people who are like us. It ain't bad...it just is.

So as a fresh-faced, fiercely independent adventurer, for the first time in my life I was charged with “finding my tribe”. I was no longer under the spell of the homeland and could now choose who “my people” would be.

I chose the libertarians. After all, I desperately wanted to meet more open-minded, freedom loving, accepting, self-reliant, tough individuals. I wanted those types of people as my friends and adopted family. (That's another really cool thing about being a single, childless wanderer...you can choose your family. You'd be surprised how many other single, childless wanderers there are out there. We all need someone to have barbecues with.)

So, after a very short time I had my tribe, but it was an interesting one. For one, the tribe is big and its scattered all over the globe. When ex-hubby and I lived on the sailboat, for example, we'd meet all kinds of fascinating characters while on shore in marina lounges and picnic areas. We'd have drinks, share travel stories, and break bread together. I adored quite a few of them. But then, for the first time, it struck me: we're probably never going to see this person again. It was a feeling unlike any I've had before. Making a new friend and then losing them the next day.

This happened over and over for several years. We always stayed in touch, and promised to visit each other should our paths ever cross again. And sometimes we did. We developed a large network of kindred souls scattered all over the globe. I'm still in touch with many, many of them to this day. (I really want to share this part of my journey in more depth, as its important to the way I view friends and loss.)

Alrighty, I'm way off topic. Back to libertarians.

A year into the globetrotting, I meet future hubby, and a few years later we settle down (whatever that means) for a while in South America. We find our local tribe, which is held tightly together by ideology, nothing more. There are Germans, Canadians, Italians, Hungarians, South Americans, Australians, Lebanese. There are black, white, and every shade of brown in between. There are rich, not so rich, and poor. There are families and singles. Ideas are what bound this disparate crew together...and I. Was. Hooked.

Like any group bound by ideology, this one had its “radicals” and its “moderates”. I always believed myself to be pretty radical. That's until I met actual radicals.

So I'm humbly back in the “moderate” bucket. I mostly want to engage with those who mind their own f'n business, do for themselves, try not to legislate others lives, and base their existence on untethered freedom.

Now, to be fair, most of them were normal, sweet, moderates. But there were also those who would bite my head off if I said I didn't believe 9/11 was an inside job. Not in this group, but some of them had friends (or were members of online groups, I can't remember) who believed it was morally wrong to break into a neighbor's apartment to escape a burning building. In other words it would be considered a violation of said neighbor's rights or freedom or whatever to force your way into their property to access their window through which to escape. (Geez, those last two sentences are abominations...apologies.)

Some of these more radical libertarian principles were hard to deal with at first. But I didn't dispute them or condemn them. I was open-minded after all! What I did do was think a lot about them – ponder, if you will – and a whole LOT of reading.

Trying to learn more about these mysterious and fascinating libertarian principles was a noble venture, I assure you. In my innocence, I did what any rational person would do when they want to learn more about a subject. In my case, I read more libertarian authors and thinkers. And then some more. And more, and more. And, lucky for me, I had a tightly-knit tribe of comrades, real and virtual, to reinforce and stoke the embers of my newfound ideas.

And just like the real world, a good percentage of these authors were rational, moderate people with well-considered beliefs. Others, however, were angry. Very angry. And very frightened. And they shared their anger and fear freely and passionately. The more angry and fearful they were, the more anger and fear they spewed. Anger and fear: two of the most potent human emotions that exist. They're riveting, they're highly addictive.

They're so powerful and addictive, they can take the strongest, most logical human being under their spell.

I can't claim to have never been a drug addict, because many years ago anger and fear, dealt by captivating, trusted drug pushers got me real good.

I have to wrap up for today, but I'm sure you can see where this is going. I'll continue with my unfortunate descent into the “monoculture of ideas” in a future essay, as well as how reading history and traveling saved my blighted little mind.

 
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