Purple Cow

 

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“The hard part isn’t charging more. It’s delivering more than the person paid for.”

Seth Godin

He published Purple Cow in 2003 and his message, “Be remarkable to cut through the noise” rings truer than ever. Snake oil and social media are ubiquitous. There’s too much information, noise, and duplicity out there. You can stand out by providing outstanding value.

 

 

I’m a Teacher, Not a Martyr

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Mr. Wright is leaving. He’s my daughters’ high school orchestra teacher. Everyone is deeply saddened because he’s an exceptional teacher and person. In fact, he just won the district’s exemplary teacher’s award. His students were crestfallen – he’s such an amazing teacher! This is his dream job. So why is he leaving?

Because he can’t afford to stay: His wife stays at home and he has children he must support and can’t with a teacher’s salary.

This is wrong.

One of my co-workers is a single mom and her two sons are not covered under health insurance because she can’t afford it. Every sniffle, ache and potential accident gives her great cause to worry.

This is wrong.

Arizona has been identified as the worst for teacher pay and teacher friendliness by at least two separate studies. More teachers are leaving than entering with each year. Even substitute teachers are in great shortage.

This is wrong.

It’s time to make things right in Arizona’s education system. You can ignore the symptoms of any illness, but that doesn’t mean it will go away.

Your Checking Account

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The poor, misunderstood ostrich!

The “head in the sand” saying originated as a reference to ostriches hiding their heads in the sand. It alludes to a belief that if you can’t see a predator, they can’t see you. Or, more figuratively, that you refuse to see a problem. However, ostriches do not do that. They lower their heads to eat, but they don’t hide in bushes or in sand.

Another misfortune for the ostrich: though they are birds, they cannot fly.

However, they have such strong legs, that they can kill a lion just by kicking him! (Kids National Geographic) In running, their stride can be as long as 16 feet and – they are the world’s fastest land animal.

Did you know that the ostrich’s eye is the largest of any land animal? (awf.org)

I listened to a podcast the other day. One sentence big takeaway: “If you want to know where your priorities are, take a look at your checking account.”

I realized I spend quite a bit on groceries and dining out. I love animals and I want to help, so I just made a donation to the African Wildlife Foundation. They are accredited by the BBB. I invite you to consider acting on your “priorities.”

Locals: There will be an Ostrich Festival in Chandler, AZ March 9 – 11!

 

 

 

Busy, Busy Bee

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Drawing practice #50

Feeling stressed and anxious about the holidays is a choice. Yes, it is.

Don’t succumb to the pressure to buy.

“This year, shoppers plan on spending $660 on average for the holiday season. 27% report they did not create a budget at all and 24% say they overspent last year.” (USA Today)

Create a budget. Stick to it. If anyone has a problem with it, it’s exactly that – their problem.

Focus, instead, on expressing love for friends and family. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. That is the true spirit of the holidays, no matter what your faith.

Here is an interesting graphic from USA Today:

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Time is Money

 

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Photo by Ales Krivec

 

My biggest inefficient use of time: preparing food for the family.

I grocery shop, of course, but I rarely think past the next meal or two. Consequently, I stress out a bit 5x/week, deciding what to cook for dinner and what to pack for lunch. We get  Blue Apron delivered 2x/week (skipping weeks where the recipes are not to our family’s liking), but then we’re either out and about and I buy the kids dinner (can’t be helped – they go to symphony practice straight from school and don’t get home until 8 or 9pm.) Or I am too tired and fussy and we eat something which I cook in a groggy state. Sometimes, it tastes halfway decent.

This Sunday, I am going to plan the entire week ahead of time, prepare it, and freeze it.

This will free up time during the weekdays (our busiest days!) and lessen stress.

I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for a long time, but I’ve always countered it with I don’t want to cook all day Sunday.  However, I’m using those hours (Monday – Friday) when I’m at my most fatigued.

I am going to use recipes from this book:

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But I’m not sharing the title with my family. Knowing it’s healthy, they’ll decide they don’t like the meals before they even eat!

Want to be a Millionaire?

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W is for Wealth and Wisdom*

What I know through years of experience:

 

 

*Part of my alphabiography project

 

 

Podcasts & Productivity

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Photo by Jonathan Velasquez

A year ago,  I read the book “The $100 Startup.”

I hardly remembered what I read, but I recently listened to a podcast (Optimal Living Daily) where the podcaster reviewed this book. The big takeaway (among many) is that people spend an awful lot of time trying to blaze their own trails to success when they can simply follow someone who has already achieved what they want.

The reasoning, Justin (podcast host) believes, is because it feels good to try to create our own means and methods. But if you really want to achieve your goal(s), the most efficient way is to simply follow what someone already did.

This makes sense! Why reinvent the wheel?

We feel good and effective as we blaze our own trail, because we feel so busy.

But do not confuse “busy” with “productive.”

Check the podcast out, he covers many great writers and entrepreneurs. Justin’s voice is very even and mellow. It was easy to listen to as I walked my dog.