Don’t Sell Your Product Short With Mediocre Packaging

The job of an entrepreneur especially those involved in manufacturing goods is not one to envy. There are plenty of things that have to be taken into consideration. In developing the product alone, it could take thousands of dollars in research and development alone. Then, there’s also the matter of fine tuning the product after prototypes have been made. The investment during this early stage is substantial as it can make or break any product launch.

After all that investment, it is therefore that you do not skimp on the development of the perfect packaging for your products. Even if you have developed a product that thousands of people would love to have, it could end up performing slowly in the sales department. This could happen if it is packaged in such a way that potential buyers would not even give it a second look.

When designing a package for your product or line of products, there are several things that you have to consider. First of all, determine your market. The demographic you are targeting would dictate the overall look of the package. If you are marketing your products to the elderly, you would want to have important labels in large letters to make it easier to attract their attention. If you are targeting the youth market, it would not hurt if you experiment with loud colors and edgy design. If your product is for women, then a feminine color would be a wise choice.

During the development of your company’s product, you should already know what your unique proposition is. Determine the strongest selling point of your product and make sure that it is properly emphasized on the packaging. The right placement would also determine whether the product would attract the attention of buyers or turn them off from the product completely.

Just because you want your product to stand out does not necessarily mean that you have to have an over the top design. Take Apple for example, they do not have the fanciest packaging but they have built a strong buyer base and wide brand recognition because they focused on one direction and kept at it until their brand has seeped into all market demographics.

In closing, before you go ahead and have the product packaging manufactured, ask yourself what kind of experience your buyers would have with the container. Is it convenient? Does it keep the product safe during handling and transport? Does it have what it takes to attract buyers’ attention?

The Unfinished Saga of Rafer Alston, Aka Skip To My Lou

On February 3rd, 2012, it was announced that Rafer Alston, also known by his legendary playground basketball nickname, Skip To My Lou, would return to the professional basketball scene. The NBA Development League team L.A. D-Fenders, decided to add him to their roster. A former playground basketball legend who helped And1 launch a “streetball” empire that defined a generation, Rafer’s story starts in Queens, NY with stops in Las Vegas, the NBA, China and any other city, town or driveway with a basketball net.

Few basketball players today can rival the incredible rise to stardom as that of Rafer Alston. Having his talents first covered in the 8th grade before starting his epic career at Cardozo High School in Queens, NY, Rafer was soon seen on the famed courts of Rucker Park, breaking ankles and embarrassing guys twice his age and double his size. He was soon given the nickname “Skip To My Lou” in honor of his patented skip-like dance he would do as he would dribble the ball up the court. Crowds of all ages would go wild as they hung from tree limbs, perched on rooftops and fought the elbowing crowds just to get a glimpse of the skinny kid with the sleep eyes playing basketball.

Rafer tried the college basketball scene but was not very successful, after a year long stint at Venura College, Fresno City College and then Fresno State. Skip To My Lou was not the same when facing college competition off the asphalt and soon made his way back to the east coast to follow his dreams to the NBA by other means. Rafer would soon be offered a stage on the international scene of streetball, as promoted by the trash-talking, in-your-face basketball apparel brand, And1. Rafer helped pioneer the And1 Mixtapes, a 6-part series which soon led to the And1 Mixtape Tour, an entertaining, action-packed showcase of the elite of streetball talents, antics and swagger.

Quickly becoming an international icon, Rafer was first given the shot to perform in the NBA by the Milwaukee Bucks. Never given a real shot by the hard-headed coach George Karl, Rafer would begin his NBA career bouncing around from team to team, like many other journeymen veterans. Rafer had short stints in Toronto and Miami before settling into his first real opportunity to perform with the Houston Rockets. An effective point guard who started a handful of games and played well next to Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, Rafer would prove himself, as a solid leader. He would bounce around from Houston to Orlando to New Jersey and eventually back to Miami where he was released after missing a practice and a game.

Applying For A Film School

If you want to apply for film school it is important to bear in mind that it is likely to be very competitive. Standing out from the other applicants can be very difficult, so it pays to know what to do. It takes some resourcefulness but the right approach will impress the institution you are applying for.

The first thing you should do is carefully research the school you wish to apply for. While you may want to go for the biggest ones in the local area, they may be outside your budget. If possible try to visit them to see if they suit your individual needs. Some bigger institutions may not necessarily suit you.

It is also worth talking to people who currently study there. You may know them in person or talk to them on a forum or message board. Try and get a range of viewpoints and see if you can gauge an overall point of view rather than one person in particular.

Another thing is the type of skills you have. You may want a broad range of film making skills or prefer a particular specialty such as screenwriting or 3D animation courses. It is generally worth seeing what you particularly enjoy. Given that you will be spending a long time working on this it is best to choose something that you will be prepared to work hard for.

Most schools will ask for a show reel. This is a demonstration of the work you have done. This may be something you have done in a class or in your own free time. If you are truly passionate about film the likelihood is you have made your own. Hopefully you have made enough for a range of material.

The key is to develop this further. Join an acting class or an amateur theatre group. Taking part in acting will help you learn how to work with actors and understand the pressures they are going through. It also helps when writing a script as you will be more aware of how lines are delivered by actors. Hearing work read out loud often makes you realise what works and what does not.

Having interests outside of film will help as well. Volunteering often looks good as well as being part of a group such as an athletics team. This will also help you learn how to socially interact with a group and work together. Make sure you emphasise this in an application!

When choosing a film school make sure you get the application details as soon as possible. Note any deadline for applications and get your entry in long before, bearing in mind the time it takes to get it sent off. However you should also be sure to check it carefully, making sure it is clear and legible with all the information available and a professional looking showreel. While you are looking for a school to improve your skills it is a good idea to do as much as you can for yourself to make sure you get in!

Ramp Etiquette Rules Apply During Summer

Most anglers have seen a lot of strange stuff at boat launch ramps, some of it funny and some infuriating.

The experience is similar to driving on the Interstate where one routinely sees impolite, self-centered behavior more appropriate in a sandbox or dirt track. The result often is total mayhem with motor vehicles, and the same often happens to boaters at ramps.

With summer boating season here, more people will line up to take their turns launching boats for a day of fishing or fun.

The Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) wondered if the famed etiquette expert Miss Manners were to visit a ramp, what lacks of courtesy would she find? BoatUS came up with five launch-ramp etiquette rules that can make the task a lot easier, safer and faster for all.

• Be talkative: A sure-fire way to cause ramp snafus is to be silent with your guests. Speak up. Let them know they should avoid parking in spaces reserved for trailers and tow vehicles. Tell them how you’ll load and unload the boat, and before your return to the launch ramp dock, let your crew know what they can do to help. One more tip: Don’t yell.

• Know where to load and unload: Loading gear at the bottom of the boat launch ramp, which could have been done while waiting in line, shows a tremendous lack of courtesy. It also is an all-too-common mistake boaters make when launching and one of the biggest causes of delays. So plan ahead and put a checklist on your sun visor.

• Don’t be a launch-ramp hog: Tying up a boat at the dock right next to the ramp, then going to park the tow vehicle means the next person in line can’t put his boat in the water until you get back. Save everyone time by immediately moving your boat to the far end of the dock or even to the shoreline so there’s room for the next person to launch or retrieve.

• Delay-of-launch penalty: Not launching the boat immediately when it’s off the trailer and, instead, waiting for the crew to return from the bathroom again adds unnecessary delays and boils tempers. This faux pas is true at the gas dock, too. Tie up at the dock, refuel the boat and leave as quickly and safely as possible. Don’t keep others waiting to refuel because your crew has walked to a nearby restaurant – that will earn a serious “delay-of-launch” penalty.

• Lend a hand: Every boater needs help from time to time. Be kind to your boating neighbors.

• Lastly, if you’re alone and before you back a trailer down a ramp, be sure the wench line is attached so the boat won’t float away. If you have someone on the boat who can start the engine and guide it away from the ramp, it’s OK to unsnap the wench rope.

On the other hand, you’ll be embarrassed and may have some large expenses if you’re getting ready to leave the water and gun the tow vehicle up the ramp but haven’t attached the wench rope. Many trailers have rollers that work well or slick skids. If you go too fast up the incline, an unsecured boat may slide off the trailer and land on the concrete – making a loud noise that will tear up your pocketbook, close the ramp and cause impolite comments to be hurled in your direction.

Infoprenuer Ideas: Little Niche Sites Will Keep You Poor

I’m not quite sure where it came from, but someone started spreading a lie about the possibility of little niche sites. Have you ever read a headline like this?

Little niche sites create massive profits! Go to a keyword search tool and look for long tail keyword phrases that represent a group of underserved, passionate, and rabid buyers. Just create a small site dedicated to their needs and you will have a business for life!

Take a second and re-read that section out loud. Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me either. If you are like me, you are in the information product business. You are not the make-a-little-niche-site-and-see-what-happens business. If you want to create a scalable business around your expertise, you are going to have to think bigger. Here are two frequently asked questions that show the danger of these little sites and a solution to help solve for it.

Q: What is wrong with my little niche site? I love my site that gives cooking advice to one-armed pilots that used to fly private jets!

A: If you are having success with your site, more power to you. If organic search is able to send you enough one-armed pilots who are willing to purchase your cooking advice, I’d say you have a winner! I would also say that most aren’t so lucky.

For most, a little niche site looks a lot more like an experiment than a business. It is based around three or four low-competition, long tail (and probably low volume) keyword search phrases. If not constantly monitored and developed, the site never grows any real traffic or sustainable revenue.

A: How can product launches elevate my niche marketing site into a full information product business?

A: One of the hidden benefits of a product launch is the stacking effect. If you run a little niche site, your first product launch will be small. But while you are executing your first launch you will be preparing for your second (and bigger) launch. And while you are executing on your second launch, you will be preparing for your third (and even bigger) launch. The goal is to increase the number of customers in your business with each launch. You no longer have to depend on organic search and now your have a business plan for growth.

I’m not sure how this little niche site thinking got started. Unfortunately, it has caused the creation of many frustrated infopreneurs and even more sputtering websites. The good news is, there are systems that will scale your small site into a more productive business. What is your plan to grow your little niche site?

How To Create Less Stressful Mornings

Are your mornings complicated, frustrating, stressful? They don’t have to be. Just incorporate some of these ideas to create happier starts to your day.

Some of the first ideas that come to mind about creating lower-stress mornings are to…

* create “lunch units” (little lunch-sized packages of food) and store them in your refrigerator for quick lunch-making

* pack those lunches the night before you need them

* use a Crockpot

* set out as much of breakfast as you can the night before

* decide what you (and your kids) will wear the next day, and make sure that every component is wearable and presentable

* stop buying clothes that need ironing

But, let’s think a little more broadly about larger systems for easier mornings. Therefore, if you don’t have one already…

Create a “launching pad”

What I call a launching pad is a defined place near the door that you use the most that captures everything that you bring home, and holds what you plan to take with you the next time you leave. The launching pad could be a shelf, small table, laundry basket, box, small rug, carpet square, series of wall hooks, or whatever else works for you.

Chances are that you and your family members are dropping your stuff somewhere already, so I’m merely suggesting that you formalize that spot, define it as the launching pad (or whatever you want to call it), and make it the target to aim for. It becomes the one, stated home for objects that are coming and going.

When you bring things home, put them there, and then they won’t migrate all over during the evening. This includes big things like gym bags and backpacks, and small things (contained in a dish or bowl) such as cell phones, eyeglasses, wallets, and keys. Also put things there during the evening that you plan to take with you the next time you leave, and then you’ll have what you need when the time comes — with no frantic antics.

Establish and schedule daily (if possible) “administrative sessions”

Ideally, we would all make time every day to work through — to process — the paper that comes our way so relentlessly. And, I do suggest that ideal: make it a priority to schedule time every day to process your paper. But, if you honestly can’t get to it every day, or if that notion is just too daunting, then try every other day, every third day, or every week — but make a plan, schedule it, and stick to it. The alternative, plain and simple, is that the paper will pile up and possibly become overwhelming. (That may sound obvious, yet it surprises some folks that paper doesn’t go away if they don’t do anything with it.)

Once you’re ready to carry out your planned administrative session, make it as pleasant as you can. Sit in a place you like, with all the supplies right at your side that you’ll need to process your paper. Put on some music if you want to, and have a beverage or snack if it helps. Then gather all of the paper that needs processing — which, if you deal with it daily, shouldn’t be so very challenging on any particular day. This paper could come from (among other sources) your tickler file, your in-box, the mail, items you picked up during your travels that day, and things your family gave you.

Toss, recycle, or shred as much as you can, as quickly as you can. Invest the time to get off of mailing lists for good when you encounter mail that you don’t want. Recycling it is great, but the root cause is still there because you’re still on that direct mailer’s mailing list. So take the few extra minutes to write, e-mail, or call to actually get off the list permanently. It will (eventually) stop future mail from that mailer, save some trees, and prevent that mailer from selling your name to other direct mailers, which just causes a big, ugly snowball effect.

Also pass things on to your family members or others if they should legitimately be sent on. Act on things if you can do them in fewer than two minutes. File as needed (but be sparing), right then during your administrative session. Don’t file things in a “to file” file — just file them and be done with it! And, if something is going to take more than two (or five or 10) minutes to complete, schedule a time to do it. Scheduled things tend to get done because they’ve been made into priority tasks, while things that aren’t scheduled tend not to get done — it’s just too easy to ignore them or assume you’ll get to them “someday.”

Daily (or even frequent) administrative sessions are not necessarily easy to commit to and schedule, but they’re lifesavers because there will just be twice as much paper to process tomorrow. However, if you really can’t fit in a full session on any given day, then at minimum, do a quick scan of your papers, take care of anything urgent, and put anything from that pile that you’ll need tomorrow at your launching pad today.

Now, how do administrative sessions help your mornings? By knowing that you’ve scheduled times to work on your papers later, you can be confident that you’re planning rather than procrastinating, and that allows you to leave for your day knowing that the paper items in your world are under control.

Review today and plan for tomorrow

Whether you use a paper or electronic planner, at the end of each day, review everything that you had planned for that day and ask yourself some questions:

* “Did I complete everything I had planned?”

If you did, you deserve a big high-five and a loud “Wahoo!” If you didn’t, that’s very normal. Consider, though, why you didn’t: did life conspire against you, or did you have unrealistic expectations for how long things would take and how many you could accomplish? Or, did you almost achieve something but then didn’t have the necessary tools or materials to make it happen?

If you didn’t get everything done, reschedule those tasks for another day. But, if you find one in particular that you keep moving from day to day and week to week, that’s a clue that you don’t want to do it — or perhaps you don’t know how to do it — and you’re procrastinating. This might seem revolutionary, but could you just not do it? It’s not getting done now under your current system, so what if you accepted that reality and decided not to do it at all — ever? Or, could you delegate it? Or conscientiously delay it until a day when you will definitely do it? Or take a shortcut so that it gets done more quickly, but still well enough?

For the things that you did accomplish, ask yourself if they should be scheduled again for tomorrow, next week, or next month. In other words, are they recurring events or tasks that you need to schedule automatically at certain intervals so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time they come up?

And finally, did any events or tasks result in follow-up actions that you need to take? Schedule them now.

* “What’s on tap for tomorrow?”

Look at what you have lined up and consider the chronological order in which you’ll do each thing. What’s the most efficient order and route? Also estimate how long it will take to do each thing and consider whether you’re being realistic in your expectations. If you have too much on your plate, you might as well admit it now, make changes in your plan, and skip the inevitable stress and frustration that you’ll go through tomorrow when you find out that you can’t do it all.

* “What supplies, materials, or equipment will I need to make tomorrow’s plans happen effectively and efficiently?”

Once you have a schedule that you think you can realistically manage, look at each event and task and figure out what you’ll need to have with you to do what you need to do. Put all of those things at your launching pad tonight. If there’s something that can’t be put there overnight — your refrigerated lunch or the giant science-fair volcano that’s drying in the basement — then put a note there to remind yourself to take it with you in the morning.

Create “on-the-go bags”

A diaper bag is a great example of an “on-the-go bag” — one that contains, always and everywhere, all that you need under stress to care for or pacify a crying child. Apply the same concept to every kind of activity that you do on a routine basis: dedicate a tote or duffel bag that you keep stocked at all times so that you’re ready to go to the gym, pool, or yoga class; your kid’s music lesson, soccer game, or dance class; the dog’s daycare center; your office; or those committee meetings that require lots of paperwork and binders.

If the bag holds many items, store an inventory list inside so that you never forget any contents. Restock it as soon as you get home if you use — or use up — something. That way, it will always be fully stocked and ready to go when you are. Lastly, be sure to have a separate bag for each activity — shuffling stuff among different ones will get too complicated — and store them at (or at least near) your launching pad.

A good tomorrow starts today. I read that somewhere once, and it’s so true. Planning for tomorrow a day in advance makes a giant difference when tomorrow comes. You deserve a kindler, gentler, easier start tomorrow morning, and you can achieve it.

The History of One Republic

Conceived by two high-school buddies, Ryan Tedder and Zach Filkins in Colorado, the genesis of future hit-maker, One Republic, drew from elements of classic rock and pop and would go on to become an internet sensation, crossing the 16 million mark in downloads and essentially launching an enormous career.

But before any of that, the high-school duo recruited some friends in their neighborhood and played local Colorado gigs as This Beautiful Mess, comparing notes on their favorite artists including Peter Gabriel and U2. As is the case with many young bands, they then called it a day and went off to college.

With Tedder building a reputation as a songwriter and producer out in LA, he convinced Filkins to make his way west. Putting together a new lineup under the name, Republic, the band was signed to Columbia Records and changed their name to One Republic after the record company suggested Republic might be problematic in light of other bands who shared the same name. After a lenghty stint in the studio to create their debut, as with many young bands, they got dropped from their record label. In the meantime, it was 2005 and the band was gaining an enormous following online, specifically on Myspace, where they were the number one downloaded indie act.

This popularity once again drew the attention of labels like Interscope and even SubPop, but the band felt a creative kinship with Timbaland and his Mosley Music Group. The band signed to Timbaland’s label, while their first single ‘Apologize’ would go on to be a monster international hit, both from the band’s Dreaming Out Loud release, and then remixed for Timbaland’s Shock Value. Dominating the airwaves for much of 2006 and setting airplay records, ‘Apologize’ would be followed up with the successful ‘Stop and Stare’, as well as the singles: ‘Say (All I Need)’ and ‘Mercy’, with the band gaining appearing on the tv show, Smallville and gaining fans worldwide.

Critical success was another story. The album was largely slagged as being derivative, with obvious but savvy nods to 80s sounds like those from Simple Minds and Big Country. Fans didn’t care, and One Republic would go on to sell two million units of their debut worldwide. While corporate rags like Rolling Stone would go on to blast the band (as they had acts like Rush, Van Halen and others over their storied careers), One Republic would connect with listeners with incisive hooks beautifully executed with Tedder’s upper-register vocals.

Are Your Clients Missing Out Because You’re A Marketing Perfectionist?

Are Your Clients Missing Out Because You’re A Marketing Perfectionist? My friend and colleague Helen Graves, founder of the International Association for Spirit and Energy Practitioners has a saying that I just love. “Imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time.”

I love it because the idea of “perfect inaction” totally cracks me up. I mean, really – when you really think about it, “perfect inaction” is pretty ridiculous, no? And also because it speaks to a challenge that just about all of us spirited, heart-centered entrepreneurs have struggled with: waiting until something is perfect before taking action. (Also known as “the perfectionist trap”.)

Helen also calls it the “just one more” cycle. Just one more tweak to the website, just one more training, just one more revision, just one more whatever until… your program, your product, or your marketing is finally ready “for prime time” and you can get out there and get results.

Here’s the thing about the perfectionist trap and the “just one more” cycle. Not only is there always “one more,” the reality is you’ll discover the tweaks that actually matter only AFTER you bring “your baby” into the world. More importantly, when you’re stuck in the perfectionist trap, you’re not helping clients. You’re not changing lives. You’re not having an impact. You’re not living your dream. (That’s a pretty high price to pay, no?)

Bottom line: When you’re a marketing perfectionist, your clients are missing out… and so are you. Here are some simple tips that make taking purposeful, impactful, and yes, imperfect action a snap…

1. Focus on one thing at a time. You may have heard about what I like to call “the power of one” or “the rule of one” in marketing. Just as you will get much better results when you make only ONE offer at a time (because a confused mind always says no), you’ll fly by the stumbling blocks in your marketing tasks when you focus and just get ‘er done.

2. Break it down. Find yourself in a project that’s even mildly big, let’s say, and what’s the first thing that happens? Well, if you’re like most entrepreneurs (me included), you get overwhelmed. Perfection follows overwhelm, just as sure as night follows day. And then you’re stuck. Yuck! Instead, break it down into small chunks and focus on the chunks. Success creates momentum and leads to more success, so be sure to celebrate each one!

3. Realize that nobody is looking at this thing as closely as you are. When I was a little girl, I used to live in mortal fear of being publicly scolded or called out – like if I was talking too loudly in class, say. I have a voice that carries, and often adults would tell me that I was “too loud.” I would be so embarrassed, so humiliated! And then I realized that the kids in my class were waaay too busy passing notes and snapping rubber bands at each other to even notice the teacher “yelled” at me. The truth is, nobody looks as closely at your stuff as you do. Yes, your clients take note… but 9 times out of 10, the those little niggling things YOU notice are not the ones THEY notice. Which leads me to the next point…

4. Choose to view your project as an opportunity to get valuable feedback from the people who matter most. If there’s one thing that never, ever ceases to amaze me, it’s that the feedback I get from my clients is rarely what I expect. You will learn so much from “getting it out there” that you ever will from hanging out in your own head, churning over how to make something perfect. Instead of sweating the details, choose to focus on how cool it’s going to be when you get real feedback from real clients… which you can then use to make the next go-round even more life-changing for them.

5. Get in touch with your why. Remember, you’re not in business just for the heck of it – there’s a reason why it’s so important to you. For many of us soul-centered business owners, it’s about living our purpose: making a difference for our clients and the world while creating a lifestyle that truly supports us.

Every project you complete pulls you forward, no matter how it turns out! Your “why” is so much bigger… and so much more important… than any tiny imperfection.

A Rainbow Reminder Series Article: “God Revealed My ‘Real’ Name – Rascal”

My “Real” name is “Rascal”

Current mood: mischievous

Category: Romance and Relationships

It’s time that we blog, Russ…

Yup, Good Buddy! It’s been 12 days since we last did. We’ve been so very busy that I haven’t even managed to work in any ladies…LOL

It’s true what the scripture says, Russ: Galatians 5:16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Yeah, Buddy, I guess that it is. Ya just can’t find the time… I suppose I should start calling you by our “Real” name, “Rascal”?

Well, that’s who we are. Yet, I’m going to continue calling you Russ however, because that’s who you thought that you were. And, that’s what you expected me ~ and everyone else ~ to call you, Russ, for the last 58 years.

That’s not entirely true, Rascal. I was only called Russ for our “1st” 58 years…LOL… As we are approaching “Mid~life” now, we will be called Rascal for the “Next” 58 plus years ~ or until Our Master calls us home.

You got me on that one, Russ…LOL… Yet, what we’ve really got is each other. We’ll be much more happy now that you know our “Real” name too.

Hey, Rascal! If you knew our “Real” name, knew who we were, why didn’t you tell me?

It wasn’t my job to tell you, Russ. It was God’s job ~ at His time ~ when you were ready.

Well, God, I’m glad that He has!

Don’t call me that, Russ… Call me Rascal.

Right, Rascal. Anyway, it is sure good to know that I got over the Multiple Sclerosis, this week. I’m really proud of that!

Careful Russ. God humbles the proud but gives grace to the humble.

1 Peter 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

Thanks, Rascal. I guess, that I needed to hear that?

You’re welcome, Russ. Now, let’s tell our readers who we are and why Our Master revealed our name to you. Then, later today ~ we’ll publish an ezine article about it so others in need of health, healing, money, and “Truth” can find out how and where to find us too.

Rascal is the owner of several websites, including the website. Born nearly deaf, he was too busy, to even take notice. ” Ready ~ Fire ~ Aim!” He did take notice when, at 53 years of age, Rascal was disabled by Multiple Sclerosis. When asked (in a word) to describe himself, Rascal replied, “Rascal! My name says it all.”

Rascal explains why God revealed his ‘Real’ name. “For years, I’d been bothered by a scripture. Revelation 2:17 `He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’ I knew that we were living in the Book of Revelation, or ‘End times.’ I also knew that I had two ears, yet I couldn’t hear what my new name was.” LOL “Yes, when God told me ‘Rascal’, I Laughed Out Loud.”

When my mother had given me my earthly name, she had come pretty close. Wanting a name that started with an ‘R’ ~ to go with her other two children’s names ~ Rita and Robert. Mom knew that it didn’t sound quite right. So, she used the ‘R’ name as my middle one. Well, she had her ‘3 Rs.’

Yet, when delighted or amused, she always called me by some variation of that name. “You little Rascal,” Mother would say. Frequently, she called me by one of the noun names that are synonymous with my ‘Real’ name, Rascal. “You little…” ‘Scamp,’ ‘Monkey,’ or ‘Imp.’ ”

Never really comfortable with my name however, I determined to make one for myself based on success and personal triumphs. I’ve sold just about everything that is legal. Yes, I’ve held many licenses and professional designations, owned several businesses, and all of that. Yet, the reason that I’ve been successful, is that I am a ‘Rascal’ ~ one who is playfully mischievous.’ I love people. That’s why, in a word, I really am a ‘Rascal.’

Retired from real estate in SW Washington, Rascal now writes books & articles on a wide variety of subjects. With his varied interests, charmed life, and a background in several industries, Rascal has derived the experience needed to provide the “Inside information” for his forceful EzineArticles and books. An advocate for the hearing impaired, disabled, crippled, abuse victims, and all people with disabilities, Rascal feels strongly that there is always something that we can do to encourage and assist survivors to live healthier, happier, and more self-empowered lifestyles.

He believes in helping each other in whatever ways that we can, no matter how small a gesture it may be. “We always get more back than we can possibly give. It’s a spiritual principle.”

In the same week that God revealed my ‘Rascal’ name to me, He also asked me to launch ‘A rainbow Reminder’ cyber-space vessel to deliver earth-bound survivors from disease, financial lack, and confusion. ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’

God’s latest work of grace in my life happened the following week. He “Cured” Me of MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Yet, this is another ‘A Rainbow Reminder’ series ezine article which I will publish very soon …


Tips to Create a Great Money Making Product

The best way to make money blogging is in fact releasing your own product and pray for it to be a best seller / a total success.

Once you have created something of your own, with your own and unique signature on it, there’s something more to do apart from pray to transform an unknown product onto a hit on the market, and that’s what today’s post is all about.

Tips to reach success when launching your own product.

Well, to be precise, when releasing a product there are two key phases that will determine whether you’ll accomplish all your goals or you’ll just have some lucky sales.

These two phases are the pre-launch (VERY important) and the ‘work already done’ launch phase. Let’s split them and observe them individually

Tips to conquer the pre-launch phase:

I said that the pre-launch phase is very important because if you make wise use of marketing you will have some ‘assured sales’ even before you finish your product because if you know how to expose your coming product’s qualities, you will already have the half of the work done.

I’ve thought about some tips that can help you:

1) Start working on it right now:

Unless this point may look like silly, it’s very important. For some reason we use to delay what we want to do. We delay a day, and then delay it again another day and we end by not doing anything at all.

So, first advice is to start working on it right now

2) Take your time:

It’s better to take a huge amount of money to deliver a quality product rather than wanting to release it pretty soon and do it badly.

Creating something of your own, from scratch, takes a considerable amount of time, so the second advice is to take your time and be patient.

Be mind-ready that it will take you loads of work. Be prepared for that before starting.

3) Analyzing the market – the key to succeed:

Part one of a good marketing plan.

If you just create your product based on what YOU think it’s ok, it will just be another product, like the other thousands of failed programs / ebooks out there.

What you should really do is to check on the net, to check other bloggers products to see what they missed and FOCUS on what they missed out.

Apart from checking other bloggers work, surf around some forums or use Yahoo Answer to know about readers demands and build your work around that.

If you do it well, you’ll have the other half of the work done.

4) Associations – Part I:

If you want some help to do the work you can always nicely ask for it shouting loud at the blogosphere.

You won’t obviously get any answer from a top blogger, but there will be for sure more bloggers ready to assist you -in exchange of some profits, of course-

This will reduce your amount of work and you will have a more complete project.

Associations are really profitable when they are applied on the right way.

Tips to conquer the ‘work already done’ – phase

Once we’ve conquered the pre-launch, it’s time to go for the after launch phase, which is, basically, the launch of the product itself.

1) Think about whether is the right moment or not:

The fact that you have a product doesn’t really necessary means that you should release it right away.

I wouldn’t release it if I’ve just launched my blog. I’d wait until I gain some reputation around and generate some buzz, else, you’ll be losing a bit of potential.

Think if it’s the right moment to launch it or if you should wait a bit before jumping to the pool.

Sometimes, the quicker runner doesn’t win the race.

2) Ask for help again but to top bloggers this time:

We saw on point number 4 of the pre-launch phase that it would be great if you could get other bloggers help to build your work.

I wrote you shouldn’t expect any top bloggers help but at this point it won’t hurt if you send them a quick email asking for a little review, a quick overview over your creation to see if it’s really ready to hit the market.

Be careful though. There’s always a right way to do it.

Tip: First ask nicely and DON’T send any URL/attached file. You should first ask, wait for the feedback and then, if you received a positive feedback, send the url or file.

Don’t look like a spammer. Remember you need its help and not the opposite.

3) Associations part II – Expand yourself:

Like on part number 4 again but now applied to the ‘work already done’ phase.

Building an association will not only make your work “easier” but it will also be great to expand both you and your work, generate some buzz and reach more visitors.

Obviously although associating with a problogger would be as great as hard to achieve, you should try to get a partner who’s at the same ‘blogging level’ you currently are.

Little note: you could try, when sending an email to a top blogger to see whether he/she could make a quick overview, to nicely ask if he/she would want to take part of the project, without forcing or even offering… just ‘asking’.

Who knows? If you have an excellent work and it’s your lucky day you might be the next lottery winner!

4) Free reviews pays off:

For a newbie, giving away free reviews to regular visitors of a product you want to make money from may sound stupid, but it’s actually a great tool to generate something you can’t buy even if you’ve all the money of the world: trust and reputation.