LEGO: The End of Life Is the Start of Profits

As a casual LEGO collector I always keep an eye out for sets that are worth investing in. Obviously the intention and goal of LEGO investing is ultimately to make a profit. Therefore it is crucial for the casual investor to maximize their investment dollar which is usually achieved only after a set is retired, or in LEGO parlance, reached its end of life (EOL). It is no secret that the single biggest factor in LEGO investing and set appreciation is EOL. In simplest terms, no EOL no profit.

For the LEGO investor nothing is more eagerly anticipated and perhaps simultaneously dreaded than the three letters: EOL. For many casual LEGO investors EOL comes far too fast and for others far too late. Many times EOL comes quite unexpectedly. One day a set is seemingly there and the next it is “Out of Stock” or “Call for Availability”. Neither is good if you are the LEGO investor on the outside looking in. There are many EOL theories and prognosticators to be found online with varying claims of purported LEGO sources and inside information. Amidst all the speculation one thing is sure: unless you work for The LEGO Group (TLG) and have actual product life cycle knowledge, it is all just pure speculation and educated guesses. Regardless of this fact, it is nevertheless fun and potentially profitable to engage in this activity. Virtually every LEGO investor does it. Historically TLG uses a maddeningly and infinitely flexible two year EOL rule where many sets see their production run end. I like to sum up the phenomenon with three main EOL categories or scenarios which I call: exception, perception, and deception.

Missing out on a great LEGO set is a gut wrenching feeling that happens all too often for the casual LEGO investor. The two year rule is nothing more than a vague LEGO barometer for when a set might go EOL. As with almost every rule there are exceptions-in this case many exceptions! Attempting to identify a bright line EOL rule is a true fool’s errand. The following examples are but a few exceptions to the LEGO two year EOL rule. The first and perhaps most extreme EOL exception would be the Holiday Train set (10173). It was available for only one meager holiday season in 2006 and then poof. The original RRP in 2006 was $89 and today it is valued at upwards of $300. Granted this was special occasion set, but still that short a lifespan is a tough pill to swallow if you had any hope of acquiring it. Another notable exception set that many casual investors may have missed out on is the Trade Federation MTT (7662) which was released in late 2007 for $99 and went EOL in late 2008 with just a little over one year in production. The value of this set today is nearly $400, which is whopping 285% increase. One other lofty example of an EOL set exception to the two year rule is the VW Beetle (10187) released in 2008 and reached EOL status in December of 2009 for a total lifespan of less than 20 months. The original RRP was $119 and the current value today is listed at about $350, a nearly 200% increase. Unfortunately there are many more sets that fit into the exception category, like Market Street (10190) and Grand Carousel (10188) to name just two. Both of which make me feel like kicking myself for missing! These exceptions to the EOL rule highlight the perils and pitfalls of LEGO investing and any investors that snatched up these exceptions to the two year EOL rule were very fortunate indeed.

So we looked at a few exceptions to the two year EOL guideline, now onto the bulk of the rule. It stands to reason that a rule should have a large number of examples that support it. In other words for exceptions to exist there must be a collective perception of what is supposed to happen. There are numerous examples of the two year EOL rule that, if observed, still allowed casual investors to make a tidy profit. A favorite set of mine that falls into this category is The Eiffel Tower (10181). Released in late 2007 and going EOL in late 2009, this set is a great example of an almost exact two year production run. The original RRP for The Eiffel Tower was $199. The current value now stands at an impressively tall $850 which translates to a not too shabby 326% increase. Another fine example of a great investment set with a routine two year production life is Jabba’s Sail Barge (6210). This awesome set was released in 2006 with a modest RRP of $75. Today this set typically commands a price exceeding $400 which equates to a 445% increase on investment. Perhaps the holy grail of the LEGO modular world and the best example of the two year production life cylce was set 10182 Café Corner. Café Corner lasted a full two years from 2007 to 2009. The mind boggling original bargain RRP of $139 has now ballooned to a staggering $1,136, for a 700%+ increase in value! Other notable sets that fall squarely within the two year EOL sweet spot are the Taj Mahal (10189); the Green Grocer (10185); The Millennium Falcon (10179); Vader’s TIE Advanced (10175) and loads more. It is hard to claim any surprise or generate much sympathy for missing out on any set that stuck around for at least two years. Two years represents the common perception of the average LEGO production lifespan and is often the determining factor when facing an investment purchase of different sets: go for the set that is the furthest along in its production run and you are usually safe. That is unless you are the victim of LEGO deception.

LEGO deception is nothing more than those sets that have outlived their welcome for the casual investor yet simply refuse to die a natural death. That is not to say that the general public agrees with that sentiment; in fact they obviously do not or else these sets would not still be hanging around years after their debuts. A perfect example of EOL deception is the Medieval Market Village (10193). This set came out in 2008 and is still available today. Currently LEGO Shop at Home (S&H) lists this set as not being available until August of this year. Does this mean it is finally nearing EOL? The two year EOL rule would dictate this result but this set seems to have some strong legs and remains very popular. It may still have some life left in it. The original RRP of $99 is still an outstanding deal. The current value is listed at about $92 which is a 6% decrease from RRP. Interestingly the value of this set has actually increased 6% over the last month. It seems like investors might start to realize some modest gains in the next 6 months if it does end up going EOL this summer or fall. Another set that is still available long past the two year EOL rule is the Fire Brigade (10197). This set was released in September 2009 and was thought to be a likely candidate for EOL at Christmas 2011! As of today it is still going strong with no signs of letting up, even after the release of the modular Town Hall in March. There has been much speculation surrounding the modular theme and how many different active sets it can support at any given time. For several weeks this spring most major outlets did not have the Fire Brigade in stock, including [email protected] and Amazon. This led to a small bubble in value that has since popped and has now returned to near original RRP. Finally, one cannot ignore the biggest and most extreme example of LEGO EOL deception: The Death Star (10188). For many casual LEGO investors it was this set that brought them out of their Dark Ages. So it is somewhat ironic that this set is still available four years later! In fact it is still a LEGO best seller on Amazon, even with a massive RRP of $399. Unfortunately the current value is “just” $383 and certainly does not mirror the impressive fire power of the real and fully operational Death Star it so wonderfully emulates.

Many factors play a role in applying the LEGO two year EOL guideline. Certainly popularity, profit, theme and price all help to dictate the lifespan of a specific set and each one of those factors could be analyzed in great detail. For most casual LEGO investors that is just not particularly practical or productive. For now it is best to keep an eye out for sets that are nearing the two year mark and use your best LEGO judgment. As with any investment there is a large element of chance involved. Jump too early and you may sit around with many large boxes in every room of your home. Wait too long and you will only wish you had many large boxes in every room of your home.

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How to Make Money Collecting Copper Pennies

Many investors who buy gold and silver bullion coins and coin collectors who study coins, have probably never considered collecting copper pennies to make a worthwhile profit. You’ve probably heard “a penny saved is a penny earned,” because the lowly penny is worth one cent. While most pennies are worth a meager face value, did you know that all copper pennies are worth double their face value?

Pennies minted from 1909 to 1982 were made of 95% copper, and 5% zinc. You might not think of copper as worth much monetarily, but it is an extremely important metal. Copper is widely used in industry, especially in electrical, construction, transport, and many others areas. This is why copper fetches a fairly good price because it is also the best conductor of electricity, doesn’t tarnish and is malleable. To find copper’s melt value, we need to know that a pound of copper is currently worth about $3.12. 154 copper pennies equal one pound. So 3.12 divided by 154 is about 2 cents for each penny.

Since every copper penny’s value is 2 cents, it can be a small investment. The more copper pennies you have, the greater the investment. So, how do you still get a copper penny for its face value? First, you can find pennies prior to 1982 by examining your everyday change, or you can buy rolls from banks.

In addition to the fact that each copper cent is worth twice as much, its numismatic value is also important. Examining the dates and conditions of each coin the way a coin collector would, might give your copper even more value. But you don’t necessarily need to have the knowledge of a seasoned coin collector. Many rolls contain older “wheat” cents which were minted before the modern Lincoln cent (1959 – now). It’s easy to spot a wheat cent – look at the dates, minted between 1909 and 1959 and the reverse side on which the words “ONE CENT” are centered between two stalks of wheat.

Depending on condition, wheat cents are rarer and more valuable. The better the condition, the more they will be worth. When I hunt rolls, I usually find wheat cents in “good” to “very good” condition. These could fetch a price of 10-15 cents on eBay. It’s not uncommon to find many old wheat cents and copper Lincoln/Memorials in a bank box of 50 rolls. To get a better knowledge about conditions and prices I would go online and search for “value of pennies by year”, or “what’s my coin worth.” You can also buy the latest “Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins” which are available at bookstores or on Amazon.com.

Boxes of pennies you buy from the bank contain $25 of pennies in 50 rolls, which totals to 2,500 pennies. Unless you want to go through each roll and examine each one by one, you can buy a copper penny sorting machine that lets you separate the coppers from the zincs. If you’re not in a hurry to separate them, you can purchase a basic “E-Z Copper Penny Sorter” from $30 to $60. For quick sorting of lots of pennies, you will need a “Ryedale Apprentice Penny Sorter” which sells for $500.

Another reason to collect copper pennies is that someday when the Mint takes them out of circulation, it will be legal to melt them into bars. Bars are much more manageable to put aside instead of holding on to huge jars or bins that can contain hundreds or even thousands of pennies.

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Investment Lessons Learned From Warren Buffet

Most people try to invest and make money but they often end up suffering losses as they make the same mistakes over and over again. Wannabe investors should try to learn and emulate the mind sets of rich people such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell and Warren Buffet. Let us focus on Warren Buffet, who has been described as the best investor on the planet. These are some of the investment tips he sticks to:

1. Developer your investment mindset

Not all people are business oriented but we can improve our business minds by reading business related books. Warren Buffet invests a lot of his time studying business-related books.

2. Practicing patience in your investments

Whenever Buffett buys a stock, he buys into the company. This means he doesn’t sell the stock at every market boom or bust. He believes in the companies that he invests in for the long term and holds on to stocks until he longer believes or sees value in these companies. One of Buffett’s celebrated quotes, which illustrates his inclination for long-haul investments is, “Regardless of how awesome the ability or endeavors, a few things simply require significant investment. You can’t create a child in one month by getting nine ladies pregnant.”

3. Prioritize value

Sometimes, the amount we spend on something and the value we get from our purchase don’t relate. Buffett believes that investors need to understand that markets are driven by supply and demand and that buying into a company with solid growth during market down-turns are great opportunities to gain value. Buy a good stock at a great price.

4. Check your emotions when investing

Human emotions influence the market considerably more than any monetary model. Emotions can make people hopeful for something that has never happened or rarely occur. Buffett has recommended that controlling your emotions is considerably more imperative than your IQ. According to him, “Accomplishment in investing doesn’t associate with IQ. What you require is the demeanor to control the urges that cause other individuals harm in investing”.

5. Invest in what you are knowledgeable and passionate about

Buffett exhorts that you “never put resources into a business you don’t get.” Don’t put money into companies whose business you don’t understand.

If you don’t have adequate information about a company, it is much more difficult to understand how a company will perform in the long run and foresee what the company will become a couple of years down the line.

6. Live below your means

Despite a net worth of $87 billion dollars, Buffett lives in a shockingly unassuming home. He purchased his current home in Omaha, Nebraska for $31,500 in 1958 and, today, he calls it the 3rd best investment he’s ever made. Rather than wasting money to live lavishly, Buffett lives frugally and has reaped the benefits.

7. Save first then spend the rest

People tend to pay bills first, spend the rest, and save for last. According to Buffett, this is the wrong approach. Buffet prescribes that you should put aside a set amount of money each month as savings first, then pay your bills, then spend whatever is left over after paying bills.

8. Remember your roots

When he was in middle school, Buffett found a job as a paperboy delivering The Washington Post. He expanded that early activity into a deep-rooted association with the daily paper. Years later, his company, Berkshire Hathaway, became The Washington Posts’ biggest investor. Remember where you came from, your values, and you may discover unique opportunities for great investments.

BiggieTips – Tips and Tricks for your daily life ( http://www.biggietips.com )

We are dedicated to BIG TIPS to help you get things done more efficiently. You will master how to do everything in a bigger way and live smarter. Topics include Home, Health, Lifestyle, Travel, Technology, Entertainment, Business and Video.

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Image Optimization for SEO – Best Practices

Quality content is the key to SEO success. Content doesn’t just mean your text contents. Images must be an integral part of your content strategy. At times, single images can be far more effective than your 1000 word blog post. It also helps you improve blog post quality and performance.

Images, Infographics, Videos and all other multimedia contents on your web page will help you in increasing the user engagement on your site and makes the visitors stay on your site for longer duration which helps in reducing the bounce rate.

Not just adding images to your contents, you should also optimize those images for better SEO performance. Optimization of images must be the one important aspect of your on-page SEO process.

If you are using images in your content, there are many aspects to be considered related to SEO.

Relevancy

Using images doesn’t mean that you should fill up your content with loads of pictures. You should use it only when it is required and also you should use images that are more relevant to your content.

Placement of your images is an another important aspect. It should be placed at a relevant location in your content according to your text content.

Use original images

Originality always helps in improving your user experience and your authority. Usage of original images will be helpful in improving your SEO performance. You can create original images with a graphic designer or you can take your own photographs with a quality camera. It is the reason top White hat SEO companies employ talented graphic designers for creating quality images.

If you are not able to employ an in-house graphic designer or if you are running out of time, you can always use high quality images from the web. But the important factor to be considered is it should be copyright free.

There are many tools available for getting copyright free images without any cost. The most popular ones are Unsplash, Flicker, Freeimages.

Image Size

Images are the main source for damping your site’s speed. And site speed is a crucial factor in your SEO performance. So, you should be extra cautious in using images without compromising your page speed.

It should not also affect your image quality, you should have a correct balance between. You can achieve this by reducing the file size by compression. You can use tools like Photoshop for compression.

File name

Search engine crawlers are visually impaired, it can even interrupt a 5000 word text content, but it cannot interrupt a single image and what the image is about. It is the reason using a keyword rich file names for your images is an important aspect in image optimization.

Google bots and other search engine crawlers can read your image’s file name and if it is named with your target keyword, it gives a signal to search engines about the image topic and thus helps your SEO performance.

For example, if your image is related to selling sports shoes, rather than using the file name as “IMG_89868″ you can use it as “Black_Tennis_Shoes”.

Alt text

Similar to the file name, search engines can read Alt text of the images. Alt text is known as “Aleternative Text”, is an HTML attribute used to describe the content of images.

You should use Alt text which is relevant to your images and it should be clear and descriptive. You can use your target keywords in the Alt text but be cautious about Keyword stuffing.

If you are not focusing on Image optimization, you are missing a huge opportunity in improving your SEO performance. You can use above mentioned best practices in your on-page optimization process.

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Best Support And Opportunities For All Youth

American youth currently face challenging realities along their way to adulthood. With parents working longer hours and the absence of grandparents and other community adults who used to make up support systems, the intergenerational fabric of community has been frayed. Youth development strategies aim to reweave community fabric in a new way – one that takes the supports and opportunities young people should have, and re-institutes them in the context of young people’s realities today. While many of these realities are harsh ones, we know that young people themselves want to be involved in their communities. The importance of building positive youth/adult partnerships in this process cannot be stressed enough.

The mobilization effort is based on influencing three critical elements: information, attitudes, involvement. The transformation of each of these areas, both in the public and private domains, is a necessary condition for change. For example, in the area of information, the country is currently focused on collecting primarily negative youth information, e.g., teenage births, dropouts, and juvenile arrest rate. Inspiring a 180 degree shift, we need to collect information such as: average number of hours youth participate in after-school activities, computer to youth ratio in non-school hours, and the percentage of youth who hold part-time jobs. The three elements are intertwined, for how information is gathered and communicated impacts attitudes as well as how and if people choose to become involved.

Only through broad community commitment, strong public will, and diverse partnerships can youth development take root, go to scale, and be sustained over time. Ultimately, the mobilization must be supported by partnerships among all of the systems in a community that affect young people (i.e., education, corporations, health care, juvenile justice, religious groups, and recreation). To build these relationships and establish youth development infrastructures to improve developmental paths of adolescents will take at least 10 years.

Localities currently spending their resources on efforts to “fix youth” will need to pool, redirect, and increase their financial commitment to youth development. These additional dollars will ensure all youth equal access to supports and opportunities, especially youth living in economically distressed areas.

Our information on the services young people need, and use, is still hit or miss. Communities do not know what they have or what they need. They usually have no way to tell how well services are being used and what services need to be improved.

Good information is important for youth services for exactly the same reasons it is important for everything else. Accurate, accessible standardized information lets people find the services they need and use them effectively. It lets communities manage, evaluate and improve their services and determine the need for changing them, eliminating them, or developing new ones.

Many national efforts to measure outcomes presently use deficit-driven indicators to assess young people’s condition in society, such as teen pregnancy rates, juvenile crime numbers, and percentages of high school dropouts. Although these measures are important, they do not tell the whole story about young people’s experiences. Measures that reflect positive conditions and experiences of young people are also important.

The accelerated trend of the past decade toward empowering our nation’s young people to succeed has fostered a new awareness and commitment to this most valuable resource. Some basic questions are:

- How much do we currently spend?

- How much should we spend?

Some progress has been made through new initiatives in education finance reform and services integration, providing more effective delivery of social, health and educational services for children and youth from the classroom up to the government. This document establishes an initial framework and formula for assessing the financial resources and mechanisms necessary to move American society closer to this ideal. The following were found to be potential root causes of these trends in spending:

- Devaluation of adolescents.

- Lack of consensus on youth development.

- Lack of adequate and protected funding. Funds are not protected and dedicated in the manner necessary to sustain the long-term, comprehensive process that is youth development.

We can support the move toward the ideal by:

- Seeking new types of information.

- Building on the after-school momentum.

- Making a sustainable public investment.

Youth development is an investment that must be made by each sector of the wider community – public and private. Examination of the federal-state matching, local dedicated taxes an incentives for business and philanthropy could lead to models for providing adequate and sustainable funding for youth development. National intermediaries must work to cultivate this leadership at all levels of government, and at the grassroots, by creating constituencies.

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State Sponsored Retirement Plans Continue to Expand

Several states are taking the lead from California, Oregon and Illinois by offering state-sponsored retirement plans that encourage or require private sector employers to participate.

The plans are referred to as auto-IRAs because eligible workers are automatically enrolled, generally within 30 days of employment. The default contribution rate is typically 3-5% of a paycheck and the employee can stop, restart or transfer plan assets depending on their needs. Referred to as “public-private partnerships” by the Pew Charitable Trust, there is no cost to the employer. Proceeds are managed by a private financial firm management for a pre-determined fee. The plans are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) like other sponsored pension and benefit plans.

This article provides an overview of the states that currently offer savings programs, as well as those that plan to do so in the future.

OregonSaves

Oregon was one of the first states to implement a savings program for employees of small businesses who are not otherwise eligible for a workplace sponsored pension plan. Titled OregonSaves, it is a state retirement program that is available to an employer or an individual planning for the future.

OregonSaves had almost $57 million in assets as of mid-2020. Employee contributions averaged $127 to $135 per month as of that time.

Enrollment is automatic for employees, with contributions being made through payroll deductions. Each employee account is portable and can be moved from one job to another.

All Oregon employers, regardless of employee size, must facilitate the State’s program for their employees if they do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The plan is working with small employers to make the process as simple as possible.

CalSavers

CalSavers is available to California workers whose employers do not offer a workplace retirement plan, self-employed individuals, and others who want to increase their savings. Plan participants contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that belongs to them.

California employers with more than 50 employees must register with CalSavers by June 30, 2021 if they do not already sponsor a retirement plan. Registration is available to all California employers with at least five employees.

The CalSavers program opened statewide in July 2019 and had $4.3 million in assets as of mid-2020. On average, participating employees contribute $105 to $120 monthly. Like the Oregon plan, the default savings rate is 5% of the employee’s pay and employees are automatically enrolled after 30 days of employment. They can stop, restart or transfer plan participation at any time if they change employers.

CalSavers Retirement Savings Program is designed to simplify employer participation with no employer fees, no fiduciary responsibility, and minimal ongoing responsibilities. Employers that fail to offer participation in the plan as required are subject to fines.

In May 2021, a federal appeals court in San Francisco dismissed a legal challenge to the CalSavers plan.

Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program

Illinois launched its Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program in 2018. It is a state-facilitated retirement program that is open to employees who work for an eligible employer as well as other employees who want to enroll independent of their employer. Approximately 32,000 Illinois employees saved $8.5 million in the first year of the Illinois Secure Choice program, according to state reports.

The Illinois Secure Choice account is a Roth IRA for the employee. The default savings rate is 5% of gross pay. Employees are automatically enrolled through payroll contributions after 30 days of employment. An employee can opt out at any time. Plan participants are charged a fee of 0.75% of assets per year ($0.75 for every $100 saved), which pays for program administration and operating expenses.

The Illinois Secure Choice had 5,544 registered employers as of May 2020. There are no fees for employers to facilitate the program and employers cannot make contributions to their employee accounts. Employers serve a limited role as a facilitator. As of November, 2019, employers with 25 or more employees that have been in business for two years or more are required to participate in the program. Employers that already offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan are exempt from this legislation.

New Jersey Secure Choice Savings

The “New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Act,” was signed into law in March 2019, with a two-year time frame scheduled to take effect in March 2021.

The Act requires employers that have been in business for two years and have 25 or more employees to participate in a retirement savings program administered through automatic payroll deductions. Private sector employees of businesses of any size are able to participate in the retirement savings program. Smaller or newer employers could join voluntarily. Failure to comply will result in fines to the employer.

Employees will be automatically enrolled at the leve of a 3% paycheck contribution. The annual contribution maximum is $6,000 for those under 50 years old, and $7,000 for those 50 or older.

Connecticut Secure Choice Savings Plan

Connecticut employers with five or more employees must offer a retirement plan to employees, and private employers with four or fewer employees may choose to do so. Employees are auto-enrolled within 120 days of employment, and employees must be notified of their rights within 30 days. Employers are not permitted to make contributions to the program.

The Connecticut Retirement Security Authority, a quasi-public agency, was formed in 2016 to oversee the program. The state estimates that as many as 600,000 employees may benefit from the plan.

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How This One Thing Can Destroy a Client Relationship

Tales from the Online Marketing Crypt #18

Why being mindful of clients’ perspectives can keep them supporting your business

We all have them.

Days when everything pisses us off.

In fact, I doubt there’s a human being on this planet who hasn’t been in a bad mood every now and then.

I know I sure have my fair share of them!

And for a variety of reasons too.

But there’s one thing we business owners have an unwritten rule about (well probably it’s written somewhere by someone) is that no matter what, we don’t bring our bad mood with us when communicating with clients.

Would you agree with that fundamental principle?

But how many times have you, as a client or customer, been on the receiving end of someone’s bad mood?

It happened to me recently and that single instance literally destroyed a 30 year working relationship.

I had a hair appointment with the same gal that I’ve been seeing for decades. She works out of her home and lives about 25 minutes away from me.

I know exactly how long it takes for me to get to her place and am typically on time, every time.

Except the last two appointments.

The time previous to this last visit, I had an emergency come up just before heading out the door. It was something I had to take care of or faced dire consequences (as in having a very angry client on my hands!)

It meant I was going to be about 5 minutes late for my appointment. I texted her when I was leaving stating I was hurrying over and will be a few minutes late.

She didn’t reply and never said anything when I got there. We had our usual girl talk that I very much looked forward to.

This recent time I needed to do a quick errand before my appointment. I completely misjudged how much time it would take me to get from that other location to my stylist’s place. Plus… I got lost finding my way there since I was coming from a different direction.

I didn’t want to risk taking any time to stop and text her and honestly thought I was just a minute away… except it was more like 15 minutes before I finally got there.

I’ve never been 15 minutes late for anything and I felt terrible. I apologized profusely but unfortunately, she wouldn’t hear any of it.

She was pissed.

So angry in fact, she first lectured me on “always” being late, citing my text from the previous appointment, and that she was sick and tired of constantly hearing, “sorry I’m late” as if I’m the only one that says that every time I walk into her room.

Disclaimer: I’m a Canadian. We apologize for everything, even if we’re 1 minute late!

Stunned at how mad she was, especially knowing I was the last appointment of the day, I apologized again and tried to explain why I was late and even offered to leave with my hair wet to make up for the lateness so we would still end in time.

I didn’t know what else to do to rectify my error.

She was so angry, she gave me the silent treatment and only grunted her “hold your head here” and “move to the sink” commands throughout the entire time there.

I did leave with wet hair, 15 minutes earlier than what our appointment time would have ended at had I been on time, vowing to never return again.

I fully realize I was the catalyst that set off her anger, and I also realize she had to have been having one helluva a bad day before I arrived, and I got the brunt of her wrath.

I get it.

But as a customer, a loyal one for 30 years at that, there’s no excuse whatsoever to be treated like that.

Never.

When I have bad days like what she must have experienced, I set aside whatever is going on and treat anyone who I speak with that day, whether it’s one of our team members, a client, a lead or even chatting on social media, with the utmost respect and kindness.

Even if they are the reason for my having a bad day.

It serves no purpose whatsoever to make the other person feel worse than what I am feeling.

I found this experience to be so distressing, I posted about it on Facebook.

I received a variety of responses, ranging from my owing her an apology (which I did) to justifying why she blew up, right over to demanding I fire her on the spot (which I ended up doing).

These kinds of responses go to show how we are all human and all look at experiences from our own lens and past history.

For me, I was taken straight back to elementary school when I was the victim of bullying quite a bit. A feeling I never want to experience again!

For others, they empathized with her where time is very important to them and get angry themselves when someone disrespects it. (I’m actually the same way – being punctual is a huge deal for me.)

One thing I have done as a result of this experience is to find the lesson behind it all. For one, I will definitely plan my time better and ensure I give myself enough time to do what needs to be done in time!

I also learned just how fragile our relationships can be.

She lost a client of 30 years – and I lost any further opportunities to visit with someone I’ve known a long time to get some of the much valued girl time I look forward to with each visit.

It doesn’t take much to destroy a 30 year working relationship.

Yes I realize I could reach out and try to mend the fences but I am choosing not to. At least not right now.

At the end of the day, this lesson goes to show how important it is for us all to keep our anger in check. To realize our anger is being received by the other person, and be aware of how they are receiving it with their own personal response. They won’t always understand where you are coming from because they’re looking at things from a different perspective.

So what do we do when we’re having a bad day and business must go on?

If you ever find yourself feeling angry, whether justified or not, here’s eight tips on what you can do to avoid creating irreparable situations with your clients:

Exercise. Go for a walk, head to the gym, box with a punching bag. Whatever works for you to do some venting.
Meditate. Or just sit quietly and practice deep breathing.
Yoga. Nothing is better at centering our emotions and getting back in touch with our bodies than practicing yoga.
Watch a funny show or listen to a positive podcast. It’s amazing how quickly your anger can turn around when you’re laughing or receiving positive energy from someone else!
Use the anger as motivation. If you can control the scenario that’s causing your anger, then you can do something about it!
Focus on something more positive. A great thing to do here is think of something you are grateful for and focus on why you’re so grateful about it. Putting yourself in a state of gratefulness will trigger those happy endorphins and will get you out of that pissy mood fast.
Get productive. Feeling on purpose can be quite energizing. If you have something that’s calling your name, get busy and shift your attention to that.
Write in a journal. A great way to release that negative vibe from your body is to write it out. Keep writing until you’ve vented everything that comes to mind. Even if it’s not the same thing that got you angry in the first place – just let it all out!

I’m curious if you have ever experienced someone either getting angry with you in a business relationship or did you lose your cool and get angry with a client or service provider? How did it turn out? What lesson did you learn? And do you have any other tips on how to let go of anger to share?

To your business success,

Susan

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

READ: Learn effective communication principles from an expert. This book from communications specialist Yvonne Douma is a must-read. It will be available on June 8th but you can get yourself on her notification list and grab some great bonuses if you purchase on launch day: REFRAME: How to Change Your Conversations to Resolve Those Messy Conflicts.
WATCH: Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of customer service from another company and vowed to never do business with them again? And most certainly never told anyone else about them? This is why customer service is so vital to business success as I explain in this eTip episode on why it’s the primary reason we have such a high referral rate: How Great Customer Service Gets You Business Referrals (on our website)
READ: I guess all of us have been on the receiving end of a situation where we are not satisfied with customer service. But how do you respond? Read this great piece from Kindi Gill who shares excellent insights on managing difficult client situations: Five Tips for Managing Customer Complaints (on our website)

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

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Custom CMS Development Services With Amazing Features

An impressive, informative, user-friendly and search-Engine friendly website is the key to success in today’s competitive world. You need to focus on each and every part of website design or web development – mainly the right one that you can manage easily without any assistance from professionals. If you are looking for such development platforms, where you can upload image or content without any command over specific language or technology, custom CMS development is the right platform for you – designed and developed on WordPress to provide you seamless web design experience.

Because of having endless possibilities for integrating Plugins, add-ons and custom features for your website or apps, WordPress is counted as the right custom CMS development platform. However, Drupal, Joomla and Sitecore are other options to choose – mainly to get optimized workflow.

WordPress CMS Development Services by Experienced Professionals

WP CMS development services are offered by experts from a recognized web application and software development company. It is based on innovations, adding new frameworks, Plugins and customizing themes to transform your web presence. Professionals use this platform to make necessary changes, adding real time information pop-ups, Live Twitter Feed and updating module. They deliver high-performance web solutions that you need for a better standing. They help you with a seamless CMS installation and configuration; while you will get a gamut of solutions – from installation to configuration like:

WordPress Design & Development
WordPress Websites & Blog Setup
Free & Paid WordPress Theme Configurations
Web Forms, Email Notification and different automation

You will get complete solutions from WordPress theme development to WordPress Plugin Development and WordPress Migration and Maintenance Services. They also provide you with API Integration and module management.

Custom CMS Development Services with Customizable Features and Modules

Because of endless possibilities of integrating Plugins, add-ons and custom features for your website applications, custom CMS development services have become the most vital need amid developers and programmers to develop websites with amazing customizable features. Professionals, who are offering you such services, help you integrate your CMS by following a few simple steps. Professional developers, who are offering you custom CMS development services, implement customizable features, modules, plugins and extensions within existing CMS platform like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Sitecore to optimize workflow.

Racketail Offers Custom CMS Development Services

If you are looking for custom CMS development services, you will get precise solutions from Racketail – offering cutting-edge enterprise CMS development and Open-Source solutions – developed from scratch and implemented within your existing workflows through custom feature integrations. Racketail’s custom CMS solutions are SEO-friendly and success-driven that is designed to incorporate with existing content management system – mainly to enhance and lift up your website, application, social media network and e-commerce store or blog.

From experts at Racketail, you will get flexible and customizable CMS solution with integrated features, modules, themes, plugins and extensions. Their service process will help you to enhance existing solutions and to create a brand new custom-tailored system – enabling effective content and workflow management. Racketail offers you enterprise CMS solutions and Secure CMS solutions too.

Experienced professionals at this leading web and app Development Company can develop new Open-Source CMS solutions like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla; while integrating customizable features and modifications within your existing platform – mainly to provide you with added functionality, interoperability and workflow efficiency.

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What a Rank Tracker Can Do for You

If you can find a tracker that can be customized, the better. You may need to track your position ranking globally or even locally so as to make some decisions. You can also monitor universal listings and map listings, and even the rank of your competitors very easily. You would be better placed when you choose a tracker that gives you unlimited access.

Geo-specific kind of rankings

There are trackers that can give you Geo-specific rankings even if not in the area you reside in. A tool, which is able to track the positions accurately regardless of what you choose, is, ideal, as it will give you so much more than bargained for.

The keyword tools

The best trackers make it possible to have all research tools in the same place. When the sources are used together, they can come up with the wide range of keywords that you may not have been able to find anywhere else. When new keyword ideas come up, they are automatically grouped according to the topics. You can analyze and to target whole keyword groups without the need to go through all the terms.

Reinvention of keyword analysis

Apart from finding many keywords that you can use, you will be able to pick the very best ones and give them the priority they need for the targeted audience. A rank tracker can also calculate the difficulty of a keyword. All SEO strengths are assessed and compared to your competitors. This helps you pick keywords that stand out and definitely attract traffic.

Custom reports

The best trackers have customizable reports and they are designed to support different devices. Sharing such reports should be easy and they should be easy to upload. You can even automate some trackers where you set up some tasks for a scheduled time and the tracker will come up with reports and have them delivered to the clients as an attachment or a direct link.

Why you should use trackers

Keyword trackers are important in today’s marketing which is mainly done online. A good tracker is able to give the most accurate ranking information as well as intelligence. This means that you will receive some very clean reports that are very easy to customize including the data which is relevant to every client.

You should choose a fast rank tracker. It is always so frustrating to have to wait for a long time for the tracker to load and give results from different search engines.

What to do after you get the ranking results

After you have done the keyword research successfully and you have a list of the best keywords in hand, you should start tracking the site’s rankings. Even though it seems easy, some preparations need to be done so as to ensure that you do not track the correct things and in the correct manner.

You need to select the target search engines, specify the location, choose landing pages, set up the tracking for universal results, add competitors, and the preferences. When this is done, rank tracking becomes very easy.

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Detailed Insight of Online Trading

Introduction:

Online trading has become very popular nowadays. Millions of people worldwide are engaged in this form of trading. It usually meant trading off stocks. It has become as common as doing shopping. There are three things that one needs to start doing this trading:

A device (mobile or computer)
A stable internet connection
A banking application
Enough funds and balance in a bank’s account

If someone has sound knowledge about the stock market and related formation, they can make amazing profits from it.

The functions of a broker:

An important part of online trading is a broker. He is someone who buys and sells things (assets) on behalf of others. Due to the advancement of technology, online brokerage has come into the picture. Online brokers are similar to normal brokers. They too buy and sell assets and do transactions between a buyer and a seller, but just on the internet.

A broker is an intermediary between the two individuals (buyers and sellers). A brokerage can be broadly classified into three types: Online brokerage, discount brokerage, and full-service brokerage. A discount brokerage usually helps to buy and sell assets but at a reduced commissioned rate. The third type is the full-service brokerage provides detailed information and assistance regarding online trading and the stock market, and everything else related to it. A broker has various functions to perform. Following is the list of functions of a broker explained in detail.

The primary function of a broker is to do something for an individual on his or her behalf on the financial side. It mostly includes buying and selling assets and looking after other transactions. There are other functions too, like providing information regarding trading.

Advantages of an online trading platform:

There are various advantages of this trading. It is usually simple and does not cost a lot of money. One has complete control over what they want to do on the platform. It is quick and convenient. Chances of errors are pretty less when it comes to online trading and using online trade apps. The user has the option to keep a check on the investment at all times. One of the most significant advantages of trading on online platforms is that users can get notifications regarding prices and other information via emails or messages. There are lots of trustworthy online trading platforms. Some of the popular ones are eToro, Upstox Pro, Zerodha KITE, Fidelity, and many more.

Some safety measures while doing trading:

One must not make a transaction using a public device or sitting in a cybercafé. One should log out every time after the job is done. Personal computers and mobile phones need to be secured from viruses by anti-virus software. Online trading can be very convenient, quick, and lucrative only if done properly, keeping in mind all the safety measures and being very careful during the transactions. Otherwise, one might end up losing a lot of money or funds in it.

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