Archive for category Miscellaneous

In Honour of Steve Jobs

 

A brilliant light flickered, dimmed and died today.  Your hunger fed us, your

foolishness enlightened us. 

Rest in Peace, Steve.

“…Stay hungry, stay foolish.”  Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

 

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Summer’s Sabbatical Gone – Blogging’s On!

Blog Income Sabbatical FinishedThe Blog Income Life summer sabbatical is over, after all anything summer was officially over a week ago and the fourth quarter of the year is upon us.

I  took the summer off of blogging and called it my summer sabbatical ‘cause it just sounded better that way.  Taking the three months off was good.  It was one of chose choices that was made for me.   Have you ever had this happen to you?  Suddenly too much is coming at you, most of it good and most of it means an income, either right away or in the pipeline?   Now that’s not a bad place to be, but suddenly you’re caught up in a whirlwind and you don’t which way to go, what to do?  So you get the picture  and although a lot was happening precious little was actually being done.

That’s when I decided that I needed to pull back.  It happens to all of us.  When caught in a vortex the best thing to do is suspend yourself outside of the milieu and take a bird’s eye view of the maelstrom below.

It’s not something I recommend for everyone or every situation.  The sabbatical has cost me – it’s cost me traffic, growth and lovely Alexa has dropped Blog Income Life like a hot potato from a one time 239,072 to an embarrassing 1,560,842 (and possibly worse at press time). Testament to the importance of consistency and fresh content.  Google on the other hand has allowed my PR2 to remain.   I hope that my regular readers return and perhaps the search engines will once again take an interest in what is going on in this little corner of the blogosphere.

On the other hand the sabbatical allowed me time to take a breath and examine what was on the table. Sometimes we don’t see the forest for the trees, in my case opportunities.   It`s not as though I sat at the top of a mountain meditating, waiting for the universe to deliver  …what?  Something.   What I did was to engage myself in activities of a different sort from blogging but still within the sphere of internet marketing.

The result is exhilarating.  A new business partnership for one and another that is a joint venture.

While the money made from this site is negligible at best, neither of the two would have happened without this blog.  I thought I would share some of my experiences with you, perhaps there is something there that might resonate with you.

First and foremost the purpose of this site was to apply that which I knew, learn and grow.  This is an ongoing process.  The main thing is that by applying one learns a lot more than by just knowing.  Trust me.  It’s true.   You find holes in what you know.  You begin to know how little you know.  Sometimes that is discouraging but then you look at where you’ve come from and there is renewed zeal.  But sometimes that isn’t enough.

There were signs already in May … signs that pretty much said I’d need to clone myself, decline opportunities or do a half assed job of everything.  One morning I sat down and reviewed the state of Valentina  – the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good was obvious. The bad was that I had no time.  The ugly was specific to this site – once again it seemed to be in a stall.  So I made some decisions.

Sometimes the best cure is a change of scenery.  I decided to take a leave of absence from Blog Income and concentrate on some of the other areas that needed addressing.

One:  Clean House –  Pocket Some Money.
On several occasions I made mention that my dog sites are the ones that are at least giving me some income off the net.  I have several dog related sites.  The thing is I no longer have a dog.  Dear Darby went to doggie heaven.  For personal reasons I decided not to get another dog.  Even though the mere sight of a dog tugs at my heartstrings, my heart was no longer into the dog sites.  I put them up to auction and sold them – well at least a few.  Someone I know locally has offered a deal for the rest of them with a revenue share component.  We’re talking.

If you have stale blogs that are just gathering dust, you just might want to polish them up and put them up for sale.  You’re not likely to get a lot of money for them, but chances are you’re not getting much of it anyway if the blogs have gone into a catatonic state.  Clean house – pocket some money.

Two:   Navigating the Rabbit Trail.
Through a convoluted set of circumstances I was asked If I would help promote an early stage company going to IPO (Initial Public Offering).  Coincidentally this is a digital media company and wow!  Did I learn a lot about the importance of video in online marketing.   Here’s a statistic for you:  companies with websites that have a video are 51 times (that is times, not percent) more likely to end up on page one of Google for their product over companies that don’t have videos .  What that means is that a site that does not have one will be lost in the maze of a rabbit trail. Now that statistic is tumbling fast as I see an increasing number of businesses adding videos to their sites.

Three:  Joint Venture
Through my internet mastermind group I am now a legal  equal revenue sharing partner in a startup internet project – a site which is part of a bigger scheme.  Development costs in terms of time and money have been significant to date – none out of my pocket.  How good is that?

Four:  New Online Business
This one was an incubator for several months, inching along step by step.   Big change as someone with depth of online experience and offline business success expressed interest in a partnership – would I be interested ?  Oh Yes!

I know there are bloggers out there that are busting their butts trying to make their blogs fly, to make a bit of money, maybe that’s you.  All I can say is don’t give up … you just don’t know what and how your efforts will pay off.  Keep on keeping.

Odds and Sods

The challenge Just some odds and sods today … a little bit of housekeeping at Blog Income.

To those who asked (thank you for asking) and those who are wondering –  I am taking a short hiatus and will be back full steam in four to six weeks … that is not to say that this will be a completely silent blog for that length of time, but certainly the posting will be somewhat sporadic.

Tonight is one of those sporadic moments … I just had to let you know that Ed Dale’s annual 30 Day Challenge is just days away only the name has changed and it is no longer 30 days – this year it is simply THE CHALLENGE and starts July 01.

If you take only one internet marketing course this year, this is THE ONE no matter where your level of internet marketing competence lies … best thing is that it is FREE!  Hop on over to

http://challenge.co

No.  That .co is not an error.  You may already know this but just in case you don’t this is a great time to go and grab yourself some awesome domain names ending in .co … how often have you gone to get a .com or even a .net or .org and found that the simple and most effective names are gone.  The assignment of .co domain names is not live as yet but you can go over pre-register at

www.domainmonster.com

I have pre-registered for a few … they’re not cheap at $24.95 but I think they’ll fly. This is your chance to get the domain that got away and your opportunity to register a truly global, credible and recognisable domain name. The flexibility that comes with .CO domains means they can be associated with companies, corporations or even other commercial endeavors.

Even if you don’t want to pre-register it is worth the visit to the site, I like the way they are positioning the launch.  The message is compelling, of course by now the obligatory video is there but I like that they have a “landrush” option which is an auction format – so if you have the shekels you could bid for say www.internetmarketing.co and any other “good” web address that suits your business.  Another feature that I like is aimed at those who have trademarks … the pre-registration requests are filled only after the landrush and trademarks are filled.  You do not pay anything up front.

The last item today … why the absence?  The reasons are several but they all revolve around working ON my business.  Sometimes one gets so entrenched working in the business that you find yourself doing the same things over and over again – that is good to a degree because it is an excellent way to become familiar with what it is that you do, but if you don’t step away for a while and take a bird’s eye view you’ll just stay where you are.  I’m going to take this time to go and do some eagle soaring (and there are plenty of them but literally and figuratively).

If I come across something whilst soaring out there that I think would be of value to you, I’ll quickly make a post here – till then ciao!

Sunday Morn Musings: On Money, Taxes and the Rich

income tax chartMoney, money, money
Always sunny
It’s a rich man’s world

… so the song goes.

Money’s a funny thing – it seems that everyone wants it but at the same time they have a low opinion of the rich.  It’s not uncommon to hear “…those filthy money grubbing bastards!” and lately with all the shenanigans on Wall Street it’s open season on the rich.

Now I am not rushing to the defense of the rich, but really, isn’t it time we stopped all this rich bashing?  I think it’s a good thing that there are rich people and truth be told yes, I’d love to join their ranks, I mean, let’s be honest, why else do we buy lottery tickets and even line up to plonk down our precious after tax earnings in exchange for a little scrap of paper that, odds against odds, will be the winning number and thus  open the magic door to the vault of wealth to us?  The larger the pot, the more people buy.

I like money.  There I said it!

Somehow in our society it is considered somewhat gauche to own up to liking money.  Money is evil, money is crass, money is bad, money does not bring happiness, money corrupts … the list is endless.  It’s usually people who don’t have money who say these things, but I find that it really isn’t entirely their fault; as much as I can figure it out they were brought up that way.

I wasn’t.  I was not born in North America nor did I grow up here.  True, in my family we did not discuss money but inherently we knew it was a desirable instrument to have.  When dad would come home from his business trips, he would sit at the table counting the money he got paid by his customers.  I loved watching him count it.  He would place a pack in one hand and then much like a croupier sorting his deck of cards, he counted  and placed different amounts into different bundles.  One bundle was for mom to run the household.  I always knew from the size of that bundle whether the business trip was a successful one or not.  The size of “mom’s” packet often determined how we ate and whether the shoes had to wait for another month or not.  If it was a good trip I would get a money note to spend.   So to me, money was always good.

Later, when I went to work in the corporate world, my pay packet was always delivered to me at my desk by a clerk from accounting and it was always in cash.   I did my own counting when I got home.  I loved it.   It was only when I came to Canada that payment was by check.  To his day, I prefer to have cash in my wallet and use it for my day to day purchases, leaving the credit card for big ticket items.

But the rich?  Oh yes.

The people we love to hate and secretly wish to be.

Why?

I did a little bit of snooping and Googling.  I think it’s a very good thing that there are rich people, you see, if it weren’t for them you can bet your bottom dollar that the rest of us  would be paying higher taxes.  I have always suspected this but now there is empirical data to support my suspicions.

The top 1 percent of income earners paid 40 percent of all federal income taxes in 2007, while the bottom 50 percent paid only 3 percent. More than one-third of U.S. earners paid no federal income tax at all.

Source:  Internal Revenue Service

Another interesting statistic is that the top 10% earners paid 71% of all income taxes.  Now the 10% includes the merely high income earners at $100K and above .  Depending on where you live that can merely be a good income or put you into the upper middle class category, but still it is above the  U.S. household median of $60K.

As with everything in life, there are some who are better, better at sports, better at math, better at sciences, better, better and more better – and there are some that are better at making money.   I read that if all the wealth in the world were equally dispersed amongst the 6 billion on earth, each man, woman and child would have $1.6 billion in his back pocket.  That was a while back.  The total wealth of the world in terms of money has increased since then.  What was interesting about that read was the observation by the author that within 6 years or less, the money would return to the same concentration levels as before the division.

The main reason being is that not only are some people better at making money, they are also better managers of money.  Think about lottery winners.  While there appears to be no real hard data as to the exact figures, most lottery winners return to their previous financial status whether that be comfortable middle class or below broke.  The most common soft figure is 70% return to their previous status sometimes within as short a time as one year.  Lottery is a regressive tax. You generally have to understand money in order to accumulate it. The same goes for the redistribution of world wealth.

I also think that stewardship of money is given to those who do more with it.  The rich get a bum rap.   They support charities, fund cultural events, help educate the less fortunate, set up foundations and serve as valuable mentors.  Before the cynical jump on the soapbox and say that the disadvantaged would not need the largesse of the rich if  they had the $1.6 B in their back pocket – I point again to the lotto winners.  Others will point to the tax benefits that such donations give to the rich – yeah?  What’s the point?  I don’t think that governments would put the money to the same good use but then I again cite the statistic that 1% pay 40% of  all federal income taxes collected.   Seems to me like they’re paying well enough.

I think the next best thing to being a rich person is having rich people in our society.

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Sunday Morn Musings: Parting of Ways

The Thinker by RodinSlept in late this morning. Perhaps it’s just my body telling me that it needed some catch up, although I recently read that lost sleep like time is lost forever and that you cannot “catch up” on sleep and yet, if you go to bed early and sleep in late, what could be it but catch up?

Lots on my mind this morning. How do I choose which of the many thoughts swirling in my head should be written about? Should it be about money? Should it be about the environment? Should it be about parting? All separate but somehow like a vine they intertwine. I know. I’ll take a stab and see if I can make sense of that which my brain seems to be dwelling on this overcast Sunday morning.

Parting. Whilst sitting in a grouping listening to one after another of my colleagues speak I was suddenly acutely aware that I no longer enjoyed being here. I felt a sense of discomfort not with what was being said but with my feelings. Betrayal came to mind. How could this be? This is the group that I started. The dissonant and discordant energy was exactly what I wanted, no make that thrived on: contentious, mind disturbing, thought provoking, irreverent – political correctness be damned. It was all there. How could I now no longer want to be part of something I created?

This niggling thought followed me around all day yesterday and here it is again this morning. I am reminded of how people who break out of their bearings are often criticized for being “too good for their britches” – an observation often lobbed by the status quo at a usually successful friend who no longer spends time with them. I can understand that.

Not that the situation I speak of has anything to do with any newly acquired riches. Rather it has to do with a dull but insistent knocking in my cranium, each dull thud sending a message “…these are not your people.”

Indeed the rhetoric is palling. It assaults my values and frankly I am tired of the same old same old Robin Hood mentality that the rich are corrupt and should be taxed (even more)that seems to dominate these meetings. There is more. At one time there was a balance present and the bantering back and forth was fun, sharpening not only the tongue but one’s own appreciation of and respect for how others think.

With time the members changed. Being the lone wolf is not only no fun but it sinks you into a funk. I am not there to change anyone’s mind – that was never the intention. There are still some who present opposing views with some forethought and intelligence. I do not have to agree to enjoy a mind expanding experience.

No. That is not the reason my brain is going thud, thud. Lately, on my drive home from these gatherings I cannot help but question the knee jerk reactions that are being presented … and you know, even if they were knee jerk with substance, it might be ok. But its mostly rhetoric that is riding high on hype and for that I have little tolerance.

There is a side of me that says that I should soldier on and another that keeps telling me to surround myself with like minded people. These are not them.  Have you ever found yourself in such a situation?  Is it outgrowing your friends, associates, colleagues – your position?   Has your thinking changed?  Your circumstances?

I’ll sleep on it but I think that I am at a fork in the road and right now it is the road that takes me on a different path that beckons.  It is sad.  This was my baby – somehow, I don’t think I will be missed.  Oh, the money and environment?  I’ll save that for another Sunday … the sun is just beginning to peep, time to go out and have some fun!

Sunday Morn Musings: The Ordinary Man

"The Little Engine That Could"

The Little Engine That Could

Welcome to Sunday Morn Musings.  This is my weekly free fall – writing about whatever it is that occupies the mind on a Sunday Morn.  The idea of a “no topic” posting is the stepchild to a blog I used to write:  Four O’Clock Thursdays which is still up there if you want to check it out – more likely, I will repurpose and republish some of those posts here over time.  On Sunday Morn Musings the topic may be about blogging but just as likely it may not.


My last post here was on Frank Kern’s State of the internet address.  Today  I republish an article which first appeared on my Four O’Clock Thursdays.  That was a year ago.   The words were about the man.  The article about life.  I hope you enjoy the read:


Dateline:  May 07 2009


…The trip to San Diego was fabulous.  I had dinner with a friend I have not seen since my days in Japan and it was just so cool to do catch up…we were just like kids!  So much fun.


The reason I went to San Diego however, was to attend an internet marketing seminar.  If I have never mentioned it here, that is what I do: internet marketing.  As with any profession it is important to keep up, learn new things and meet colleagues and peers in your line of work. To that end the weekend did not disappoint.


I loved the venue which was at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego.  The whole area is uber chi chi. At the seminar of 500 or maybe 600, I met a lot of people from all parts of the world.  We had time to chat, and scope out business opportunities and joint venture options and just make new friends.  Life is good.


What completely blew me away at this seminar however, was the opening address by the host.  Frank Kern is a surf dude, extraordinarily successful in internet marketing and showed a side of human depth that he does not often display – at least not publicly.  I had the privilege to briefly chat with him and you know how you get a certain feeling about someone?  The feeling I got was that this young man is a very kind human being.


In his opening address Frank spoke of the Average Man and how the average man is no longer average. Summarized in my own words, which do little justice to the original:


Back when the average man went out to work, to get a job done, to feed, clothe and house his family, being an average man meant something.  The average man took responsibility  for his well being and did not sit around listening to excuses as to why he was no further along in his life than he was.  He put in an honest day’s work and looked forward to putting in another with the hope in his heart to do better and to give more tomorrow.  Being average was something to be proud of.


Yes there was always more to aspire to.  The average man in those days did not buy into excuses peddled by feel good professionals.  He did not think there was anything wrong with him and if occasionally the world was not rosy, well that was life and in time things improved.


Today a new industry has blossomed – the feel good industry, the instant fix for whatever is wrong with you.   The media is awash with psychiatrists, psychologists, and self anointed professionals who tell the average man that indeed  there is much that is wrong with him but not to worry, it is not his fault and if he but listen to them they will fix that which is wrong with him.  He is sat down to an aptitude test which tells him what he can be when he grows up:  a doctor, lawyer, garbage collector.  Don’t worry, nothing wrong with garbage collector – it is not your fault if this is all that you are suited for, it is not your fault if:


-  You can’t read – In the US 27% are functionally illiterate

-  You are able to read just enough to get by – 25% – 30% in the US fall into this category.


That makes more than 50% of Americans who can barely read. But that’s not their fault.  They are probably dyslexic, have ADD or ADHD or their parents did not love them enough.


Today the average man

- spends 20% of his time at work making non-work related phone calls

- 38% of those calls are job hunting (now that makes for an excellent employee)


But that’s ok … it’s not the average man’s fault.  The job is not meaningful, the boss demands too much and pays too little.  Why would the average man not steal some time from the man who pays him for a job he hates to look for another job?


And get this … the average American household watches on average 8.35 hours of TV every day.  Needed escapist therapy to handle the boredom and tedium of a life that seems to be going nowhere.


Systemically the feel good industry of “Hey you’re OK, I’m OK – its not your fault that yada, yada, yada”  … systemically the average man has succumbed to a litany of lies that say


“it is not your fault…”

“..you are entitled to”

“…it is your right…”


and so the  standards of the average man have been dumbed  down.   Today the average man is no longer proud of who he is and is not willing to do anything about it.  The average man is no longer average, is bereft of the values of his forebears.


This is not who we want to be, to aspire to.  Today’s average man is not who we want to hang out with.


“If you want to do the things that other people can’t do, simply do the few things that other people won’t do”


Frank was diagnosed as being dyslexic, and to compound that “problem” he was pronounced to be ADD which, when the experts became even more knowledgeable, was upgraded to ADHD!  Meds were the answer.  For a while life was absent of chaos and internal turmoil, it flowed smoothly if somewhat artificially.  The rose  colored glasses he was given to wear, were, hey, OK!


Got him into college. Performed abysmally.  Sure enough the aptitude test confirmed that he was not suited for higher learning, indeed collecting garbage was more like the kind of life he should be aspiring to.


Fortunately there was enough of a contrarian still lurking in Frank’s body.  He took off the rose colored glasses.  Collecting garbage did not appeal to him.  He refused to accept what others had decided for him and made his own decision:  to take responsibility for himself.


Today Frank is not only wildly successful, but a bright and articulate man and all because he refused to be an average man nor to accept the pablum that was being fed to him.

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Frank Kern’s State of the Internet Address

With Frank Kern at Mass Control

With Frank Kern at Mass Control

Have you seen Frank Kern’s State of the Internet Address?   It is on video that is several months old now – in fact Frank put it up in December of last year.  One of the members of an online mastermind group I belong to brought it to our attention.


I just watched it this morning.  Excellent.


Frank is one cool dude and really knows his internet marketing stuff – he’s been in it since 1999 and has become an acknowledged master at the art of the game.  Not bad for a kid who was once told by a professor that his chances of success in life were none and none.


In his State of the Internet Address Frank talks about his vision of where the internet is going, his predictions and how we as internet marketers are in the perfect place at the perfect time to ride the perfect wave of money that is coming our way.


Currently only 10% of brick and mortar businesses have an online presence, mostly in the form of a brochure rather than an ecommerce/marketing site.   Frank predicts that within the next decade 100% of bricks and mortar businesses will have an online presence and that an ever growing number of these business owners will be looking at having more than a “brochure” presence, but rather as a means of attracting and retaining customers.


As online shopping grows and customers become increasingly comfortable with pulling out their plastic or using alternate forms of payment such as PayPal, there will be areas of commerce where online shopping will eclipse that of traditional bricks and mortar.


We as internet marketers are standing in front of a tsunami!  Those of us that take advantage of this phenomena will be riding the wave, those of us who dither around looking to perfect our art will be swamped.


I love the way that Frank simplifies everything.  Commerce?


B has money
B hands money to A
A hands B a product of greater value  than the funds he received.

Note the word “greater” …  that’s what Frank calls outcooling your competition.


More on that same note:


-          Give away things that make people happy (solve  problem)

-          Sell people things that make them happier

-          Repeat


Frank also talks about forming your own mastermind group.  You can’t be a lone wolf in the internet and hope to succeed.   The gurus all work together.   They support each other.  They were there for each other when they first started and grew together.  They have formed a mastermind.  They are competitors but they work in harmony with each other and that in part is what makes them successful.


He ends with an old saying:

“Always leave it better than you found it”  … that we should

-          be kind to our customers

-          serve our customers

-          produce and deliver the absolute best product(s)


I have just given you some of the highlights.  The video is about 40 minutes long and is worth every minute of it.



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Sunday Morn Musings: Learning to Dance in the Rain

Learning to Dance in the Rain … I came across this video, it made the shivers run up my spine.  The title gives more than  enough to the imagination  to write a post on learning to dance in the rain, but the more I watched the video, the more I realized that the best post would simply be to put up the video here.

Sunday Morn Musings: Road Warriors

"Terry Fox" road warrior

Terry Fox

Welcome to Sunday Morn Musings.  This is my weekly free fall – writing about whatever it is that occupies the mind on a Sunday Morn.  The idea of a “no topic” posting is the stepchild to a blog I used to write:  Four O’Clock Thursdays which is still up there if you want to check it out – more likely, I will repurpose and republish some of those posts here over time.  On Sunday Morn Musings the topic may be about blogging but just as likely it may not.

Today’s post was first published on Four O’Clock Thursdays on February 06 ’09


Earlier this week I was driving down one of the many country roads in the area that I live. I smiled.  Ahead of me was a runner.  Now this is not an ordinary runner.  I have driven down this road many, many times over the years and the first time I noticed this man running on the road was perhaps five, maybe six years ago.  He has become a fixture on the road.  I see him often.


The man is young, but his gait and something about him makes me think that he had a date with fate and the run was a mere therapeutic exercise.  What is strange, to me at least, is that he still runs at the same pace, with the same small mincing type of steps, as he did when I first saw him all those years ago.  His lean and muscular legs could surely cover more ground with each step, I am certain that he could even pick up the pace.  In my mind’s eye view I see him running a marathon – he’s a road warrior, after all! Seeing him this week got me wondering, is it his mind that has him trapped on this familiar treadmill or is it my mind that is trapped into thinking that he can do better?


Today at four o’clock I thought about this man, a road warrior of sorts – funny, I’ve never given him a name – and other images of road warriors I’ve come across flooded my mind.  One of the most notable ones goes back to when I was still commuting to a day job.  I would drive in on the freeway and enter the city over the Oak Street Bridge.


Typically it would be about 8.00 a.m. Every day without fail, was this young man, suited for work, earplugs in his ears attached to I gather a Walkman (in those days the ipod was a mere twinkle in Job’s eye, if that). He was Asian and, I surmised, on his way to work.  I imagined that he worked for one of the hotels that were clustered on either side of the freeway just where the bridge ended and the freeway begins – certainly there were no other types of businesses that would require one to dress in a suit.


He was a joy to watch.  Listening to the music from his Walkman, he would be singing along with whatever it was that was playing, but he did more, his walk was more like a dance of a sort.  His arms flailed and he punched into the air.  Everyone driving gawked at him, but he didn’t care, and soon no one else did either, they just smiled. He became a fixture and I looked forward to seeing him.  Somehow the sight of someone so energized gave me a lift and I too looked forward to the day.  I wonder where this road warrior is these days.  Perhaps managing a 5 star hotel or speaking in front of thousands as a motivational speaker?


Then there is the iconic image of a young man, hopping along on one good leg and on one that is a prosthesis.  The ultimate road warrior. I speak of course of young Terry Fox who embarked on a cross Canada run to raise awareness of cancer.  He never made it.  The disease he was fighting took him before he could complete the run.  Today there are Terry Fox Runs for Cancer all over Canada and each year millions of dollars are raised for cancer research.  Ironically, with the advancements that medical scientists have made in this disease, had Terry lived today, he would have completed that run.


I wonder how many other road warriors there are out there? Is there someone you see on the road?  Often?  Is there something that sets them apart from others on the road?   Have you wondered what they might be running for?  Do you see road warriors running a different road?  To personal fulfillment?  To end each day ahead of where you began it that morning?    Is that road warrior you?

Gather Success Challenge II – Red Cross Receipt

Further to my post of yesterday re my saga of donating to the Red Cross – it’s here!  The receipt by email has arrived in my Inbox and here it is

gather success red cross receipt

red cross receipt

Just as an aside – if you ever need an instant econfirmation on a purchase (or donation), do it online, not by phone.

Once again … Thank You.

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