New YouTube Channel

After months of deliberation, countless excuses of why I was too busy, and hundreds of hours of watching YouTube beauty bloggers, I finally took the plunge and created my first YouTube beauty video. I actually invented a brand new technique to tie up your hair in a man bun.  Or woman bun if it is a lady. It is actually genius and doesn’t rip out your hair when you take it down. For weeks I have been demonstrating it to women with long hair. And every single one of them tell me they do a bun, by making a pony tail first. Ouch. And when I ask them if they rip out hairs the answer is always yes. So, voila, introducing the Bow Tie hair tie man bun by Aaron M. Stephens. I have one subscriber, whom I thought was my mom, but she said it wasn’t. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goVM_nf7EcE&feature=youtu.be

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I will be doing more videos as we are forced into lockdown. It’s not like we have anywhere we can go, and if we did, there wouldn’t be any bars or restaurants to enjoy it. I’m new to the whole YouTube world/community, but my plan is to do more impromptu videos instead of “trying” to write something. For now it will be hair and beauty products that I use to stay young and beautiful.  47 years of age and proud of it. Thankfully I don’t look or act my age.

 

If you like my blogs/writings,  I’m sure you’ll enjoy my new YouTube channel. I plan on chatting about all kinds of things. Give my Facebook and Instagram a “like/follow” and I’ll be sure to post more. A thousand thank you’s!

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Hair Expert

If you know me personally, or you have been following my social media — back to the days of MySpace, then you know I have had short hair most of my life. In fact, I taught myself how to cut my own hair — with clippers, and I have also been cutting hair, unofficially since I don’t hold a license to use a pair of scissors. Crazy right?

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One thing that has remained true my entire life it that my hair grows super fast, at in incredible rate. If I had to pay a barber or stylist to cut my hair I would literally be paying thousands of dollars a year to keep my “high and tight” military haircut. Even when I would go on base, it was $10 for a haircut, and I would need one every week. I had to cut my hair as frequently as guys had to shave their beard/face. So when I approached my 40’s, like most men out there I started losing my hair. Mostly on the top and not at the back or sides. Why is this? There HAD to be a logical, scientific reason why this happened to billions of people. Men, women, teens, kids … no one was immune to hair loss. So, … what are some of the causes of hair loss?

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Well, I am not going to bore you with all the research that I have done, but I will give you one piece of really good advice. Oh yeah? What is that you wonder? Stop washing your hair with hot water, and take better care of your scalp. Hot water as we all know, causes the pores of your skin and scalp to open, making it very vulnerable. When you drown those pores with shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, styling products, you essentially are slowly killing your hair follicles. It’s not your fault. When you were a toddler sitting in a bathtub your mommy put “baby safe” shampoo on your head and let it soak. And then you continued to do that for your entire life. After so many years of abuse, your hair just gives up and dies.

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A few years ago I stopped with the weekly haircuts and focused on letting it grow. My instagram has the latest photos of me, and I have some incredible hair growth pictures. There are many things I did to live a new lifestyle that included a high protein nutritional diet, exercise, lots of sleep and being very gentle with my hair. I would cover it in public, little to no product, and only carefully washing with cold water and never letting my scalp get any “poison” on it. There actually is a whole movement called the “No Poo”, which people have ditched shampoo all together. I actually use Kerastase products, a company from Paris, the parent company is Loreal. It is kind of expensive, but at this point, my hair is totally worth it. So why am I calling myself a hair expert? Well, if you look at my hair where it is now, where it was when I hit my 40’s, you would be asking what did I do? In addition, I have an identical twin brother who does NOT have my luscious locks of hair. I am 47 1/2  years of age, and I don’t look it. I actually am proud to share my real age with people. So, with my youthful appearance and long hair, it has motivated me to begin planning my YouTube channel. Sure anyone can hit the record button the their smartphone and then upload it to Youtube. After watching hundreds of … less than entertaining videos, I have determined that there are several things that makes a video successful. It has to be pleasant to listen to, as well as look at. With lockdown and covid, it doesn’t take too long and you have watched every video of your favorite YouTube artist and you are hungry for more. I know, as I have watched every video of some beauty bloggers/vloggers/artists. Just like you, I’m sort of bored at times, so I think that there are some of my own friends … and fans that would love to see/hear/learn what I have learned about hair, skincare and make-up. I have learned a TON of things that I know other people would appreciate knowing as well. Guys can wear make-up and not look like a clown. They can wear it to just look amazing, so people notice them, and not their flaws. Discolored, UV abused skin is a flaw. Redness, dryness, and wrinkles are not exactly poster child material. So what products do I use and which ones do I like? A lot. And I am not on any PR lists, so everything that I try/use, I buy with my hard earned money.

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I have been a content creator for a really long time. Some of my readers hit my blog daily on MySpace and Xanga. Yes, I know I was much more active writing back then. I have also contemplated using video to maybe read some of my book. It is the one thing that is copyrighted that I have the right to read without getting sued by someone. Maybe I will do different channels — storytime, beauty/hair, educational, HR stuff. I don’t know how other artists do it, but I would like to be organized and have like an outline of the things I am going to talk about and cover. I guess you could say this was sort of my next level of teaching. I used to teach at an online college. This blog probably teaches people in a different way.

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If you are an artist or creator, can you make something that you can sell on Etsy as additional income? I know I will be buying on Etsy as it supports individuals versus the big box Fortune 500 companies. For those from the United States, they will be celebrating Thanksgiving. The day that they stole the land from the native american indians. Yeah, I have mixed feelings about that too. I like to be thankful every day. Thankful my family is still alive and safe. Thankful I am healthy and happy. There are many people who are grieving and my heart goes out to them. Personally I don’t think that people are taking the pandemic as seriously as they should. Stay home. Stay safe. Don’t touch anything in public. I open doors when my butt now, so I don’t have to touch the door handle. Hey, maybe YOU could be a content creator too. Maybe you could launch a YouTube channel on something you know a lot about. Everyone has something they can share. Maybe you have an awesome Thanksgiving recipe you want to share. My sweet potato souffle is always a show stopper.

 

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Your voting dollars could actually be a lifeline for a family in need. Go buy something or a lot of things on Etsy today. Take one day of NOT going to Walmart or Amazon and instead go to Etsy. A thousand thank you’s from every artist. You can also buy gift certificates from you local small businesses as holiday gifts that will totally help that business make it through the pandemic.

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YouTube TV

In the world of sales and marketing, it is a proven fact that is is easier to sell more to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. When I was a sales leader at Best Buy, we focused on organic growth.  That is, taking the existing customer base and simply increase the average sale by $10. Which would result in millions of additional revenue company wide. In theory if a customer is already happy, then they will also explore other products and services.

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So as you know I have been a regular subscriber to YouTube Premium (no commercials), and I decided to explore their other product, YouTube TV. Why you may wonder? I decided it was a better alternative to traditional cable. In my case, it was Dish Network, Echostar. It was years and years go that I initially signed up with them, and my technology was old, my dvr was full, and I was being charged WAY too much for what I was getting. I was paying over $150 a month for cable channels that do not have any new programming due to COVID. Not their fault, but I find myself reaching for other online entertainment, including my recently renewed Netflix DVD movies that now show up in my mailbox twice a week.

I no longer go to Redbox as the DVD feature is so much easier than having to leave the house to go to an actual physical Redbox. YouTube TV gives you a DVR library for cable channels like HGTV, and all the local channels like abc, nbc, cbs, fox, and a ton of other cable channels, all for just $64.99 a month. I also get live streaming for almost all the sports channels. I get college football live, and it saves all the Husker games for me to watch whenever. If you weren’t aware, the Mandalorian season 2 has started again on Disney+.  I make sure to watch a couple of movies a month so I get my moneys worth. American Express platinum members get $20 a month credit for streaming services. So, technically I’m not paying for it, but I still want to use it on a regular basis. You can stream YouTube TV on 3 devices at a time, so that really isn’t a problem, since who watches tv in three rooms at once? I mean, if you have a large family, then some people just might have to share. Darn. When I was a kid, everyone in the house watched ONE tv and we argued and fought over what we watched. Kids these days are just spoiled.

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Colorado Election 2020

Welcome to the twenty twenty shit show! As if things in life aren’t already frustrating, confusing and full of wonder, we also have to deal with things on a huge economic scale, and for a majority of the general population, have no clue on what impact they have on the overall general health of the economy. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. Let me back up to the last election, and remind everyone what devastating effects of “not giving a shit” and basically letting the old minded generations take over the United States government with the idol they elected. Yes, we are talking about ALL of the elected officials, not just the one allegedly running the country.

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People are quick to point fingers and place blame, but the one thing they they selectively forget, is it is those same people who didn’t vote, that are now causing the shit show. Wow, bet you never thought of it that way. When that “Karen” is being a bitch in line, and you stand there and allow that hourly retail cashier or worse, the hourly manager to take that abuse, YOU are allowing and in one way or another endorsing that type of behavior. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could actually see a visual warning of those people who didn’t vote/give a shit? Now those same people act like their actions didn’t have repercussions.

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If you are a registered Colorado voter, there are some “things” that you need to know. First of all, if you are not registered as a republican or a democrat you REALLY need to pay attention. You have been mailed TWO ballots. Yes, that is correct. One is for a republican and one is for a democrat, and since you don’t fall into one of those boxes, you get to choose ONE ballot that you can submit as your official vote. Do NOT think you can outsmart the system and vote twice, or even three times. Newsflash Einstein, you have to sign your ballot, and it goes into a computer system to verify your official signature on file, usually from the DMV. An actual person looks at both signatures, and if it is flagged as possible non-match, the ballot may get thrown out all together. Those are all barcoded, and when your second ballot comes in, the first ballot is flagged and cancelled. Ouch. If voting polls were open, then you could try and vote in person, for a third time. Guess what happens when your government issued id bar code is scanned into the system. Yep, not good, as you are detained. If you didn’t know, Colorado has been described as a model voting system for other states. So, yeah, we have this voting thing down. It is a federal offense to forge someone’s signature on a ballot. So don’t even think of stealing someone’s ballot if you somehow have access to an open mailbox. The signature HAS to match.

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And if you didn’t already know that we are one of the most progressive states in the nation, with Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor, paving the way for other states. Cannabis, insulin regulation are just a couple of things that we are known for lately. Our former governor John W. Hickenlooper is running for a senate seat, basically taking Polis’s previous elected position, as he was senator when John was governor. Currently Cory Gardner, a republican holds the senate seat. Hickenlooper has my vote and should have yours also. Residents voted for him for governor — at least the majority of the state did.

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So let us take a look at some of the Colorado ballot issues, and let me provide some guidance. If you already voted, or feel you are highly qualified in all these issues, then just keep scrolling. However, there are thousands of my readers who are not experts, and many of them do not even have a high school diploma or a college degree. So who do you know who has a masters degree in business who is freely sharing those thoughts to the general public? I would really like to know. So … just me. And if you are like me, you want fresh new content, that is not riddled with argumentative opinions and advertisements.

 

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So first glance, like all past ballots, it is full of long winded, run on sentences that make you just want to scream. And you can say that you are “Today year’s old” when you learned that ALL CAPS means that it involves some sort of a tax/debt issue that is going to somehow cost you money. Yes the government is yelling at you to pay attention. So for Amendment B (to the state constitution) wants to change the assessment rate for property taxes. I say NO. It ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 29% property tax assessment rate seems high.  Amendment C – asks if bingo halls can hire managers. WTF? Why can’t they is the real question. So I say YES. Here is the big one that is going to have people in tantrums. Amendment 76 changes voters to be required to be a US citizen to vote. Remember, there are 800,000+ DACA babies that are in our system as well as millions of others who are voters. Hmmm. So based on how it is worded, I am assuming you currently do NOT have to be a citizen to vote in Colorado. Dude, … what the heck? I think it is fine the way it is, and vote NO/AGAINST. Amendment 77 – Changes the CRS to allow casinos to add new games. Sure, I vote YES/FOR.

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Proposition EE – This is a new smokers tax on vape products. This appears to be just on nicotine vape products of a 22% increase. I don’t smoke nicotine products so this really doesn’t affect me. HOWEVER, the overall economic long-term repercussions could hurt an already down unemployed economy. Why punish the smokers? Don’t they pay enough with losing their health already? So, I vote NO.

Proposition 113 – Do we give our electoral votes to the popular vote? I say yes. It should be WE the people, not the fucking elected official who has the power. Proposition 114 – Releasing gray wolves into the wild. You know I saw a video about how releasing natural predators into the wild had positive effects. I don’t remember all of the details, but I am going to go with YES on this one. Proposition 115 – Abortion issue. If the baby is 21 weeks the the abortion is illegal. Yeah, so I don’t have an ovary or uterus, so I don’t really think I should be voting on this. So I’ll say against, and leave it the way it is. Proposition 116 – lowers the state tax rate to 4.55% Sure, why not. I’ll vote yes. Proposition 117- change the CRS to make an entity tax exempt. Uh, no on that one also. Prop 118 – creating family medical leave. This forces an employer into giving this “benefit” to employees. Hey, as a business owner, I might not want that or can afford it. Government should mind their own business, unless they are going to pay for it. So I vote no. As far as the judges go, let me ask you this question. When you had ANY interaction with a judge, which btw, is a glorified bullied attorney who got promoted, did you get a nice little slap on the wrist? Did you get off with a warning and some community service? Or did they throw the book at you? Make you an example? Stress you out emotionally and financially? Hmm, yeah me too. So I say vote that judge out and put in some new fresh blood. Guess what? Your vote DOES matter. And that nasty judge who sat all high and mighty can go get a job somewhere else.

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Alrighty kids, if mom and dad haven’t sat down with you and gone over these important ballot issues for Colorado, and for the nation, then hopefully this gave you some insight. Of course you can vote for whomever you choose, but remember that what do today will have an impact on generations to come. Millions of newly registered voters since the last election are ready to cast their first vote.

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Credit Cards

So after watching a ludicrous but somewhat thought-provoking video from Jake Paul, I thought I would elaborate on his idea. He says that formal school sucks, and that kids need a better education on real life “stuff”. That is the short version, however, he nor any of his “peers” are qualified to educate his millions of followers. One of the things he discusses (sort of as he throws money from a balcony) is the concept of credit. Which is ironic, since he so young it is unlikely he secured any on his own merit. Do people need an education in credit management/debt management? Absolutely. Do they need a full semester in learning all about how to borrow money and pay it back on time? No. I think maybe a mini-workshop within a conference for young new small business owners would maybe be a better venue.

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In this day and age, it is not so easy for a young person to get a credit card, store credit card, or a charge card. From what I gather from small business owners it is also not very easy for them either. So a class in credit, how to get it, how to keep it, what is the credit score and why you need to pay attention to it. What the heck is a credit inquiry? Who are the players and how do you win in the losing game of interest rates? Damn, all those things could make for a really good book, seminar, or Youtube video.

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Because of Covid19, no one is going to go to any seminar, workshop anytime soon.  So for the sake of today’s lesson, I will pretend that you are my 18 year old nephew who just graduated from high school and knows absolutely nothing about credit. Cool? First off, let me ask you some questions. Why do you want credit? Answer: I don’t have the amount of money required to purchase ______ and due to my current financial situation ($ ____ per month/week/hour) I can afford to allocate ____% of that toward my goal of ______. This “should” be the main answer when asked why they want to borrow the money they don’t have. Other reasons, which come up are things like renting a car, hotel room, buying a plane ticket, or maybe it is simply earning rewards points or getting things like extended warranty. All these things come up and are credit card/bank based.
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In order for an entity like a bank to loan you money, you have to prove that you are going to pay it back, on time – every month, until it is paid off in full, plus interest, the additional money the bank is making by loaning the money to you. There has to be something in it for them. How they determine if you are a risk is based on you payment history. We call this a credit score, a complicated report of numbers, accounts, dates, and historical record of YOU paying back an entity. Understanding how this report/credit number is generated is not what this article is about — you can go read about it from another expert. But in a nutshell, you as a consumer, need to pay back any money you borrow on time, every month. That’s it. You would think that was pretty simple, but guess what? Life happens, and some bills don’t get paid on time because there isn’t enough money. We call that being overextended, and that is a reason why banks want to know what your discretionary income is each month.

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A long, LONG time ago, credit card companies all charged an annual fee, just for the privilege of having/using the card. I think my first Chase Manhattan Bank card, billed me $19 a year! Credit cards today are mostly free, and if you get one from your local bank or credit union, there should be no fee. Prestige cards, such as the American Express charge card (green, gold, platinum) offer premium benefits and as such, charge fees to cover those benefits.
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So how did I get my first credit card, you might ask? Well, back in the 80’s I wanted a credit card and my mom understood the power of credit said okay. I was only 15 and at that time you had to be at least 18 to apply for any type of credit. Mom knew that one day I would want to buy a car and I would need to finance it, so starting a credit file of my own was going to be monumental. So mom “co-signed” a department store card, Herbergers, which went out of business prior to the coronavirus pandemic. What this actually means, is that my mom told Herbergers that if I failed to make a payment, that she would be responsible, and if she didn’t it would be bad for her credit report. The account was approved and they gave me a $5,000 credit line, which was all based on my mom’s credit file. THAT was not going to happen, as mom could easily see me going crazy and she called the bank and lowered the credit limit to $100. Yes, seriously. Why? Well, if I maxed out $100, she knew my hourly paycheck job, at $3.35 per hour would cover it. Very smart lady. NEVER give a minor a big credit line. Why? It is super easy to max out a grand, or two, and then not even have enough to make the minimum payment.
Eventually my credit limit got raised due to my excellent payment history. After doing this for almost 2 years, it was enough for me to get a car loan on my own merit. It usually takes about six months to establish a credit file, and then another year to start a payment history. An established payment history of making payments consistently on time, more than the minimum is important when granting someone a line of credit. Think about it, if you loaned a friend $20 and he paid you back the next day, you would be more likely to loan him money the next time he asked. If another friend never paid you back, would you loan him money the next time he asked? Doubtful.

 

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Now that is how “I” did it back in the 80’s, but in 2020, credit cards don’t really work that way. Instead what you can do, is simply add your child to your account as an authorized user. This “does” technically start a credit file for the child, however, most bank officers are aware of this alternative move and take than into consideration before loaning a minor tens of thousands of dollars. As Dave Ramsey says, credit lines are demonstrations of how you borrow money. If you are debt free, you don’t need to borrow or have a credit score. I am totally with Dave on this one. I use the American Express card as it grants a lot of benefits, such as extended warranty, and it has to be paid in full every month. So it is unlikely you will go crazy knowing how much your monthly income is, and where is has to go. I always encourage people to have a monthly budget. Know how much is coming in from work and other sources, and know where it is going — bills, rent, groceries, and so on. When I was younger I used a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to budget wisely. If you are going to go gamble $100, it has to come from somewhere … less gas, groceries, entertainment or something.

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Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved. http://refer.amex.us/AaRONSPFre?xl=cp33 It is in the form of membership rewards points, which you can literally cash in for gift cards, prizes, credit statements or even as currency on Amazon.

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ICYMI – Tech Update – Sony Nintendo Apple

Sony has announced two different versions of the Sony Playstation 5. One will be a digital download only, and the other will include a blu ray disc drive. The biggest accomplishment, yet one that is well long overdue, is the upgrade to the SSD – solid state drive – removing the old spinning technology that was the sad result of gamers sitting “LOADING” screen.  This feature alone has already caused pre-order big box giants to crash. Unlike Nintendo who has proprietary games, like The Legend of Zelda, Sony does not have anything for at least a year. Xbox had Fable, … and most license their games/software to make more money.
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With billions of gamers confined to their already safe man caves and basements, Chinese based Nintendo giant has reaped huge profits with their revolutionary Nintendo Switch. If you are unfamiliar with this little gaming genius piece of hardware, it triples as a handheld, small tabletop viewscreen, and also connects to a big screen via HDMI. Computer monitors can easily be converted as previously they only served VGA. This can be a big thing if kids are in their own rooms with no tv. Crazy as it sounds, not all kids are so privileged to have those luxuries. The Switch has a plethora of games via their download e-store, however, you will quickly fill up the 32 gigs that the device comes standard. I personally have been rocking my Wii U, as it has been impossible to find one in a store. So naturally it put me on a mission to find one in a retail store. After months of hitting every discount store in the Rocky Mountains, I did find one. No, I’m not kidding. I’m totally serious. It was in Rawlins Wyoming, last one of course. And THAT was the day I forgot my credit cards, so unfortunately I would not be able to get the extra year warranty from American Express. I did have just enough cash to buy the last one, and the latest Super Mario game.

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Members of the Cult of Mac:
Is your phone nagging you to upgrade like mine? It should be, and after watching some YouTube launch release videos, I decided it might be a good idea. I have the iPhone 11 Max Pro, in green, so decided I wanted my device to feel all shiny and new again. It is downloading the update as I type. One of the cool new features is sending a voice memo to someone via Siri. I’m not a iOs reviewer, there are already dozens of guys that do that. I do love my iPhone, and as a veteran in the wireless industry, I can say it will always be one of my wireless devices.

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As you know, I am not sponsored by anyone, and I only recommend products and services that I endorse. I do not own a PS4, but I am still rocking my PS3!  Rumor has it the PS5 may be backwards compatible, so you will want the disc drive model.

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Career Coaching

Check out the livestream feed from Denver! Yesterday it was smokey and 99 degrees, and today it is 34 degrees and raining in the metro. Up in the high country (the mountains) they are experiencing snow! So if you were praying for some cooler weather and precipitation also, our prayers have been answered. If you can see the video, it is a shot from what appears to be Bronco Stadium, at Mile High Field, overlooking I-25 traffic and the downtown skyline. As I a writing, the lens is kind of blurry due to the rain so I can’t say for sure.

 

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So the post today is about career coaching, and I think that this actually should be something that is used with high school students at an early stage. I’m not a high school teacher, but I was a college professor. Having a background in sales and marketing is super advantageous when looking for a job. So how do you choose a career when you are young and impressionable? My favorite question as a kid, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Hmmm, good question right? How the F would a five year old know the answer to that? Well, I suppose your parents could have your career trajectory all planned out for you, but for the rest of us, it was a — fly by the seat of my pants — kind of moment, and I just made something up everything I was asked. If you have kids, did you encourage the talents shown by your little students and introduce them to someone who is actually doing it? Because no one in their right mind is going to say, “Gee, I think one day I want to be a middle manager sitting in a cubicle staring at a computer screen all day.”

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So for years I have had the idea of doing something with all the human resource knowledge that I have acquired over the years and put it to good use. Sure I talk with individuals and help them along, but nothing on a large scale magnitude. I am pretty sure there are a lot of HR professionals who read these blogs. I did start a manuscript years ago, but I would rather just publish on my website to my readers, rather than doing an e-book or hardcopy. Why? Well, you can always load my blog on your phone easily and take me with you to read later. And it is SFW (safe for work). Although I am going to divulge some secrets from the industry that you won’t hear anywhere else. These are some things you need to know, and remember.

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Human Resources is NOT your friend. Wait, what? They are always so nice. Uh huh. We are trained to be nice. We smile at you when we recruit you and we smile at you when you sign your separation notice. We, as in HR, are here for the owner and the shareholders best profitable interest. We are here to mitigate risk, and assess talent to make money for the company. When you F up, we are here to performance manage you so we can fire you later. Yep, seriously, that is how it works. And when you file unemployment and try to sue us, we are there to show documentation that we are in the right and you are just a bad employee. Wow, that is quite a bit to take in — isn’t it?
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When I was in college, I was involved in the American Marketing Association. I actually was an officer and was in charge of fundraising and finance. Both of these roles are super important in the corporate world. We had a big name speaker, which I can’t remember now, come to campus to teach us all about the “hidden job market”. It was kind of a big deal. Looking back, there was some nuggets from that seminar. If you are an HR person, you know what I mean, and if you are not — then I am going to shed some light on the subject. If you are looking for a job in your field, I strongly encourage you to interview someone who is doing it now, as an active job. Why? Well, there is a lot of hidden wisdom here and when I worked with my college students, I made them, interview 3. 10 questions that included what they liked, loved and hated about their current profession. It was just for information and to determine if this was an actual fit for the individual. Hey you want to be a nurse? Did you know you have some shitty situations, and until you get those little letters behind your name, you will have to pay your dues. While not usually suggested for the interview, it is a really good idea  to know what your entry level to high level manager salary is going to be. You need to be able to translate what $15 an hour is annually, and know the reverse. So when HR calls and says we would like to extend an offer of $25,000 a year, that is actually only $12.02 an hour. Hmmm, not so appealing now. Take the annual divided 2080, which is the number of hours worked a year. Now keep in mind, HR usually is not the key decision maker and when you balk at it or sit in silence, know that they can’t and won’t just up the offer. You will need to thankfully accept the offer and let them know you will give them an answer in 24 hours. Now, you should have the email, and business card of the person who decides your salary. Talk to that person.

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I am not going to go over information interview protocols, as I am sure they are dozens of articles already out there. Keep in mind that at some point in your in person discussion, you may spark the interest of your interviewee. Like, as in, he/she may see the talent and potential in you and may want to recruit you at a later date. DO NOT take or give this person a resume at this point. Why? You will lose trust. You said you were there just for information and you secretly were trying to get a job. So inform him/her that you don’t have it, but you would be happy to talk about some of your most recent wins/achievements … now. Example: “As you know I am a big blogger with thousands of readers, and writing is sort of my thing. I’d really like to work for an editorial group like yours one day. A lot of your core goals and objectives align with my own, such as ______.” So you get the idea. You will be much more effective talking to someone in person, rather than having them read a bunch of very well written action statements. Like what you say? How about “High performing sales manager who consistently met or exceeded sales objectives and is the top  performing in the region.” Yes, well, now this is very nicely well written claim, can it be proven? Besides, you are much more charming and convincing in person that a black and white piece of paper.

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So practice on some of your friends and coworkers (from other departments) and see what the answers are. Who knows you might learn something from that person, or maybe he/she will help you look for new jobs that haven’t been posted on the internet.
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YouTube Premium – Network Marketing

I would have to think that most people have an idea of what YouTube is, and probably have watched a few videos. If you don’t know what it is, (it happens) it is a video platform that allows people and businesses to share videos for free. There is no fee to watch or a membership to join, however, if you don’t join their premium plan with a monthly fee, you will be inundated with annoying ads. You literally cannot watch an entire video without it interrupted multiple times.
So if you were not aware, those ads are what keep YouTube semi-free. Manufacturers spend millions of dollars to get you to buy their product or service. The same model that is used for television, however, now things have changed around a bit, as literally ANYONE can start a YouTube channel. Due to this aspect, the internet has brought forth a plethora of knowledge, educating and informing millions. Remember back in the day when you wanted to hear a song, you waited until it came on the radio? Then Mtv debuted and you could watch the videos. It was awesome. YouTube allowed budding artists, and well known musicians the ability to broadcast to anyone, for free. How awesome is it to listen to all your favorite songs, and cover bands for free? I love it. I dealt with the ads for years, tolerating them, watching them, understanding that those ads are what keep those videos free. But wait a second … most of those ads, probably all of them were created by individual artists, NOT YouTube. Yet it is YouTube that is collecting all the money. Sort of, … YouTube stars are paid real money for people watching those ads. However, you have to have a lot of subscribers in order for that to happen. So enough advertisements for me, and I joined premium and it is so nice. One thing that I like is I can play background music, and I don’t get interrupted, or stopped with a message asking if I am still there. Netflix, I am talking to you.

 

New Favorite Channels

I have to say I really enjoy the chakra healing reiki meditation music. Evidently some of these channels play at a harmonic frequency that is enlightening to your soul. There are also channels that play soundtrack music, so Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings can be your soundtrack. There literally is a YouTube about anything you could want to learn more about — like how to light your pilot light on your furnace. I also found some channel on guys growing their hair long. As you know I am on a long hair journey, and for the first time in my life found myself in an area that I wasn’t very educated. The wash and go days are over. There is also a channel by iiLuminaughtii, hosted by Blair who debunks a lot of “things”. I seriously have laughed so much listening to her talk about everything from the fall of Monsanto to the pyramid antics of multi-level marketing. She can be a little uncouth at times so be prepared for an earful. If you are involved in an MLM, I have nothing against them, and by no means am I trying to offend anyone. The reality is that those types of companies are sneaking around labor laws, and technically – unofficially breaking the law. What? What do you mean? Well, in the United States of America, if you work a job, you get paid an hourly wage. UNLESS, you are the owner, a contract employee, or family. Network marketing companies trick people into working hundreds of hours …. for free. They call it “investing in your business”. Many try to convince you it is like being a realtor and you get paid when you make the sale. Real estate agents work countless hours and may never sell the house. Is that fair? Is it legal? Yes, and no. Are you a real estate agent? Well, if you are, then you get a semi-fat commission check one day if/when you sell that house. In network marketing, you get pennies on the hours you spent trying to get that one sale. Now if you are in that company simply to get a discount, they Hey! I applaud, you … you are smarter than most consumers who pay retail prices for products they desire. What you do with your free time is totally your thing.

 

It is Labor Day in the USA, and most people have the day off. But since most people are at home 24/7 it’s not like a real holiday other than there is no bank or mail services.  Colorado is still on fire and the air outside hazy and hard to breathe. And to top it off, yesterday it was 100 degrees and today it is going to snow. Yeah, cray cray. I think God just got tired of no one listening to him since they aren’t going to church and decided to shut everything down. I asked him for the snow, which will turn to rain and put out the fires. Let’s cross our fingers and hope it works.

 

Check out the hazy Colorado sky.

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WordPress Security – SSL – Tax Deductions

Two Factor Authentication

You may have noticed some websites now make you verify it is actually you by sending you a text message to your cellphone. For your website, you should implement this type of security. I have it on this site, and when I attempt to login, it will require me to use the Microsoft Authenticator app before granting access.  This will prevent any hackers from getting unauthorized access to your files. If you use Wordfence, like I do, then it is already in your arsenal of weapons against hackers. Activate it and use your favorite app to verify you. It is pretty easy. Once activated there is a QR code you scan and it then puts everything  into motion.

Jetpack

This is an awesome plugin that I install on every website I build. It has a plethora of utilities that make your life as a webmaster easier. It has had a boatload of updates over the years, and actually is the tool that I used to notify users of a new posting. Personally I think that it is the coolest feature of all. Almost everyone has their email attached to their smartphone. So it is cool that I know thousands of people are casually sipping their coffee and reading their Aaron update. Today, which actually happens to contain some useful information that may save your site one day.

Another cool feature is the “prevent brute attacks” which blocks out thousands of hacker using software – that are trying to log into your site as “admin”. As a rule of thumb, I tell clients to just delete that login and then set Wordfence to automatically ban that IP from the site, if someone tries to login as “admin”, which of course, doesn’t even exist. Also, NEVER use admin as the login and password. Speaking of passwords, a cool trick I learned as a freshman in college — from a buddy who I met online, is to always start and end your password with a space character.  You know the long button that you use in between words. Why? Because it is a non-printing invisible to the eye character that a hacker would not be able to distinguish, if he was using like, a keystroke device to capture all your passwords. AH! Another trick, is to use the number 1, and the letter l, “L”, lowercase, as they look the same when printed, and you can also use that weird | symbol. lll|||lll||| is kind of goofy but it is something no one is every going to guess.

SSL certificate

The next layer of protection I advise all website owners is to install the security certificate. For one, you will need it when you are selling products or services directly from your site. Even if you use Paypal as your checkout gateway, you still want to assure your customers/clients that it is safe to enter in a credit card number from you site.  Paypal is super easy to use, install, and bill your clients. In fact, I send all my invoices to clients through a template invoice, and they can pay with their credit card or bank account immediately. Contact your website  host about installing this security certificate. You are less likely to be hacked if you have this simple, cost effective gatekeeper. My hosting package actually included it for free. Otherwise I think it is as low as $20 a year.

Tax Deductions for Website Owners

If you file your taxes as self-employed or owner of a business, then you already know that your website expenses and all hosting associated with it are deducted from the gross income, hence lowering your tax liability. So there really is NO reason at all that you don’t have some of these extras. Dropbox, you need it. It’s deductible. Graphics, (from Photodune) are cheap, and grant you copyright. You need it. Deductible. The web designer who is able to direct your potential customers to a sale and creates a new revenue stream for your business … you need it. People can’t buy what they can’t see. I can’t tell you how many times I see a site and I am left wondering, “What is it you are selling, because I can’t figure it out from your site.” No call to action is very common, and ultimately it is abandoned by possible new readers/subscribers. This site sells things. It sells books, and has a menu directing people to the rest. Mostly it sells ideas. People don’t come to this website to “buy” something. Usually they come to learn something. Probably 80% of new visitors come from Google, Bing and MSN. Most of my long time readers just subscribe to get the blogs and know they really don’t have to go to the main site unless they want to read older blogs.

If everything I just wrote means nothing to you, then you must not be a website owner. So, on a side note, Disney+ just released the movie Mulan, for $29.99, and unlike Trolls that only allowed 48 hour playback, you can play it as long as you are a Disney+ subscriber. So Disney actually listened to feedback from Trolls and grants you forever access without buying it again when it comes out next year on digital and disc for the rest of the world. HOWEVER, if you cancel Disney+, then you lost it.

Also, for American Express platinum cardmembers, they receive up to $20 a month on streaming services. So my Netflix, and Disney+ are free for me, and then I also get $20 a month credit on cell phone services. So for cardmembers it would work out to like, $21 to get the new Mulan. I’m actually watching it right now in the background and it is surprisingly pretty good. I haven’t written an actual movie review in years, but who knows? It could happen.

If you like my posts, please like my Facebook page. You can click like at the footer of any page on the site, or subscribe, also in the footer, and get my posts by email. I strive to post on a regular basis. Especially now that everyone is in lockdown.

 

In the United States, it is Friday, the beginning of the Labor Day weekend! I am guessing there will be millions of backyard bbq’s. Have a fun and safe weekend friends!

 

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What is going to happen to our world?

The Global Economic State

Many of my fans and followers have been spending a lot of time reading the blogs, mostly as an escape, but many are also here to learn. Education at this point, is not so grand. I had a student tell me he learned more in my blogs than he ever did in school. Wow, that is quite the compliment, and warms my heart. Yes, I am a repository of a boatload of information. I totally get it. I mean, who wants to learn about history and math? Not me.
So, to address my topic, I was asked to shed some light as to my perspective of what is going on in the world with the coronavirus as well as the United States political economy. I have also had a large number of young voters who are looking to me for some guidance as to whom he/she should vote for this election in November. You would think that a lot of kids would look to their parents for guidance, but you also have to remember, there are thousands and thousands of children who have no such parent or role model. Whom do YOU look up to for advice about life decisions? If there is no mom or dad, then what? Did you see the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why? Wow, talk about some kids who have really bad role models. What if your dad left your mom and she was junkie bringing home nasty guys from the bar to have sex with while you are in the next room? Exactly. The world is a beautiful ugly place to live right now. There is fear, terror and most of, evil in this world. Let me repeat that. There is evil in this world. Now you can try to go around and point fingers and attempt to place blame on one person, or conspiracy theory.  But at the end of the day, what does that exactly accomplish? You are still you.

What Would Aaron Do?

So, a long time ago, I had a padewan/student who said I was a great role model. And rather than losing a temper, would pause and think what my response/reaction would be to the situation. Wow. That is pretty cool. I like to think I make the smart right choices in life, relationships, work, and friendships. First of all, I have watch Contagion, like a dozen times. If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch it. I also watched Carriers, with Chris Pine a few times. Needless to say, I am sort of a germaphobe. I carry Clorox wipes and spray everywhere I go. Not to gross you out, but there literally millions of men that never wash their hands after using the toilet. Disgusting. If you just imagined one of those guys touched what you are about to touch, you would wipe it off too. So, keeping things I touch clean and not going out in public very often. Okay, I need things. Groceries, so I go when the store opens at 6 or 7 am when there is no one there and I am in and out. Boom. Nothing dirty to touch or get sick or infected. Now there are a lot of media outlets and even some well known celebrities that are posting things on social media that the virus is fake, that people aren’t really dying from it, the flu is more dangerous, …. you get the idea. Well, what do “I” think? I think I need to do everything in MY power to stay safe, keep living this sabbatical, and use the time wisely to create some terrific content for future events.
The reality is, people are going to die. Do you really need to be one of them? I don’t want to die. Is it so difficult to cherish the time in my castle and pick up an old book to read, or revisit an old manuscript? As I type this blog I have soft meditation music playing in the background to raise my harmonic vibration.

Rock the Vote

So if you were living under a rock, just got out of jail, woke up from a coma, or just landed on earth, … welcome!  I just wanted to share with you that in the last three years or so, there has been all kinds of ruckus in the United States, and unfortunately the school shootings have transferred to blacks being killed by police officers. Now that is not exactly everything, but it has caused all kinds of protests and marches. The leadership in this country hasn’t exactly been remarkable and the President was impeached this year, but due to dirty politicians, the Senate, did not approve it as there are more republicans than democrats. So basically the president is a liar, cheater, thief, and is immoral, and most of America seems to be okay with it. At least the racist hating republicans anyway. Hey there are racist democrats and independents too, so I’m not calling out one group over the other.
Hate is hate, and if you know me, then you know that sort of negative energy is self destructive. I like to focus on the love, not the hate. I love that I will get a tax return someday. I love that I can drive around with expired new car tags. I love that I still am healthy and keeping a positive mindset. I love that my readers leave me comments how I have inspired or helped them. Or in some cases, gotten a free lunch due to my content/articles.
So if you are undecided as to whether you should vote republican or democrat this November, I am going to tell you I am voting for Joe Biden. As you know, I am from Nebraska. Last year when the floods hit Nebraska, Trump did nothing for my fellow friends in the next state. When I was in the Walmart shooting in Thornton, Trump did not even acknowledge it or even tweet shit about it. So yes, I have personal feelings towards the serial pathological liar.
Alrighty, so here comes the hot stepper. Many of you were wondering when I was going to throw out some marketing statistics and “things”. First off, let’s talk about the thousands of voters dying everyday. We all know that old people are dying way faster. Cancer I think is still up there for high number of deaths. And I am only focusing on registered voters. I am not going to even GO there — kids missing. So first off, at a local level, we all know we vote for local issues. School bonds, funding, judges, and also some bigger issues, like senators and congress representatives. Oh yes, and this year, is THE commander in chief, mister president. Most people don’t understand economics or politics or government. Shit, most people can’t balance a checkbook or even have a monthly or yearly budget. Perhaps another day for an article on those topics.
For now I want those young  people to understand that in order for good and evil to balance each other out, those local senators votes are more important. It is BULLshit that one man is above the law. So it is my duty to come forward, speak out to young impressionable minds and tell you that regardless  who you vote for as president, the democrat senators must get your vote.  Now in Colorado that is a done deal. Former governor John Hickenlooper is running against askhole Corey Gardner. Basically he and Governor Jared Polis changed positions. Since the last election, there are less voting registered republicans and thousands more democrats keep moving to the state. Last election, millions of voters decided to sit it out and not vote. And now this is what happened.
Every day hundreds of minors turns 18. Every day an old dying baby boomer republican also dies. With the virus I bet the number is even higher, but they don’t report on what political parties are dying and at what rate.

Well that is all for now, I hope you enjoyed it. If you are not registered to vote, do it now.

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