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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

PRODUCT REVIEW: Metal Prints, Wall Art, And Collage Maker

Time for some #RealTalk (brace yourselves)!

NOTE:  I'm about to share a web site that has a product PERFECT for photographers, artists, resellers, Twitch/YouTube personalities, resellers, and affiliate marketers.  Read on for the full deets!

We haven't done a product review on here for a while.  Part of it is due to the silly local restrictions in select markets with Amazon Associates.  Product reviews used to be a steady source of income for many online marketers and content creators but it's become increasingly more difficult to earn an honest living or at least some supplemental income.  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer..  You know the struggle.  It's quite "real", as the kids say.
That said, I have a product today that I am too excited about not to share.  Full disclosure: this is for a client of mine and I have been paid to promote, build backlinks, and get customers.  Truth be told, ShinyPrints is a mama-and-papa shop based out of Jupiter, Florida and they can't afford the full scope of my services (then again, who really gets paid what they're worth - no one, I say!) so this one is kind of on the house .  As such, I am sharing this for the most important reason: this is a product I have used, love, and want to share with everyone. has offers unique, amazing products that I believe in and think everyone should try out.
Now that I've poured my heart and soul out as I am known to do, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. offers two flagship products right now:
Now that you know what and what they offer, let's get into the why and how.  ShinyPrints offers solutions for all types of creative and generous individuals.  Rather than regurgitate all the benefits of going with ShinyPrints, here's a screen cap:

There are tons of reasons you'll love the solution!
I'd say these are all wonderful benefits but the value is far greater.  Check out the new page "Top 4 Reason To Use"  for the details on what us business folks call "unique selling propositions".

Now that we have all the salesy talk out of the way, let's get into what I feel will resonate with people..  You know, beyond the fact that having a huge multi-panel art piece hanging up in your office or home would be FANTASTIC!

64x24 Multi-Panel Metal Print Metal Wall Art | LuxWallArt Etsy Shop
Sample from the ShinyPrints Etsy shop - LuxWallArt - one of the highest rated shops on Etsy!

Shiny Prints For Loved Ones
Gifting has become a rather robotic, perhaps thoughtless process.  It used to be that you would get a guy a wallet or neck tie and a girl a purse or make-up.  Oh, and then there are the ugly knit sweaters that we only wear around family so they don't feel bad.  Now, people don't even bother with the fall-back, cliche gifts.  It's all gift cards or PayPal.  Where's the love and thought behind that?

Imagine getting loved ones a personalized gift that shows you truly get what inspires and excites them.  Imagine if that personalized gift was built to last a lifetime.  Imagine if the only limit to what you could create is your imagination.

For this and many reasons, ShinyPrints make excellent gifts.  The creative component of metal prints ensures that no two prints are alike, unless maybe you are buying them from an metal prints eShop like LuxWallArt.  Even so, chances are no one amongst your circles of friends and family will have the same piece so everyone can feel special!

Shiny Prints For Photographers
I know lots of photographers that stay on the grind full-time.  They struggle because, unless they're working weddings or huge events where they can charge a higher premium, they're desperately seeking work.  I reckon they could do a lot more with their talents if they considered offering metal prints.
With metal prints, you can make a landscape like this come to life.

Let's say you're a landscape, wild life, or, heck, still life photographer.  You get some great shots and then you do what with them?  Place them on your web site and portfolio?  Then what?

If you have great content, why not re-purpose it?  Take those photos and offer them as prints.  Do some commissioned work and sell the prints at a profit.  It's really that simple.

Now, when you take photos of an event you can upsell customers to the better value and more luxurious option: ShinyPrints!  Now those paper prints won't go into some photo album or scrapbook where they'll collect dust.  Your customers can show off the pieces and get people talking about your work.  That's a natural selling opportunity and huge boost to WOMM and referrals!

Batgirl sexy yet classy cosplay.  Beautiful brunette with light eyes!
Batgirl sexy yet classy cosplay.

Another niche I have seen REALLY take off is cosplay.  If you snag some good photos of cosplayers, they'll be sure to pay for them or at least give you permission to sell them and post them elsewhere (very important to bring those release forms with you).  Cosplayers are all over Twitch, YouTube, Vines, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.  The opportunity there is still ripe for the taking, too.

Cosplay may seem silly to some but it just goes to show how passionate we geeks and nerds are about our fandoms.  Folks will cosplay characters from video games, books, movies, TV shows, and more.  The magic happens when people recognize the characters and they make new friends.  Photographers can help spread the love and help professional cosplayers build their brand while tapping into a major growth sector.

One of the most detailed, well thought-out, and likely super expensive Mass Effect cosplays EVER!
A more complex, detailed Mass Effect cosplay.
Shiny Prints For Artists
Artists run into the same problems as photographers.  If you have a strong niche or unique art style, you may be able to keep a steady flow of work and sell your best pieces at a luxury price tag.  For the rest of us, a sustainable income source is the only way we can keep pursuing our true passions.

With ShinyPrints, you can offer customers requested commissioned work a much more exciting product.  With the prominence of Twitch and YouTube these days, I see artists having the greatest opportunity because they can sell rights to their designs or go direct, supplying online personalities with backdrops that will wow their audience and give them a greater professional look.

Anime/cartoon collage featuring Yu-Gi-Oh!, X-Men, DBZ, Pokemon, Tomb Raider, and Disney favorites!
Anime/cartoon collage featuring Yu-Gi-Oh!, X-Men, DBZ, Pokemon, Tomb Raider, and Disney favorites!

If you're particularly gifted as an artist but are not a very good graphic designer (it happens), the Fun Photo Maker collage app will be a great benefit.  Anime and cartoons as a whole are always great conversation starters because you'd be surprised how many different people of various ages, backgrounds, and social circles enjoy these fictional works.

I find that, as big as Japanese (or Japanese-stylized) animation has become, there is still a lack of artists that will do commissioned work.  This leaves the opportunity ripe for the taking.  You could be the one that brings fan art to life.

SEGA video game tribute collage featuring Sonic, Nights, Shenmue, Virtua Fighter, Super Monkey Ball, Kid Chameleon, and more!
SEGA tribute collage featuring Sonic, Nights, Shenmue, Virtua Fighter, Super Money Ball, Kid Chameleon, etc.

One of my personal favorite fandoms is video games, particularly SEGA and retro gaming.  I see collages with my favorite characters, particularly ones from obscure sleeper games, and I just about lose it.  As artists, you have the ability to stir emotion in others like few others can.  Even writers, game designers, and photographers lack this ability because it takes more commitment to get that sort of impact.  As they old adage says...
A picture is worth a thousand words.

I'd take that further and say that an original art piece is worth a million words.  You brilliant artists out there have an amazing power.  Use it for good!  As for me, I can only draw silly cartoons and doodles like this....

"Pirate With Bad Hair" doodle by Yogizilla a.k.a. Yomar Lopez.

HorsePLAY! LIVE (Geeky Antics Network) interactive geek culture talk show - official iTunes podcast cover!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Corruption In The RCBOE & The Broken Tribunal System

If you are a parent or high school student, particularly in Georgia, you need to read this. What you will find is quite shocking and appalling.

On Thursday, January 16th 2014, I had the displeasure of witnessing what could best be described as a legalized lynch mob or, better yet, witch hunt - an RCBOE (Richmond County Board of Education) tribunal. I feel it is my duty to reveal to public what goes on during tribunals, at least here in Georgia. Tribunals function under the pretense of serving justice and determine if disciplinary (and what degree of) action is necessary when students are found in violation of the elusive Code of Conduct. It promises to separate negative influences from student bodies. In execution, the tribunal serves to shield the Board of Education from legal action and rule in favor of educators, regardless of what evidence is provided.
According to the above-linked Greg Gelpi article from the Augusta Chronicle (2009), roughly 90% of all tribunals end in a guilty sentence. Veterans in law, education, and parenting all agree that it is not very likely that these rulings are right most of the time. It could be said that BOE (Board of Education) tribunals in Georgia merely seek to make examples of random students and scare everyone into playing by their rules, rather than doing what is truly just.
Here is the format and  [extremely] loose guidelines followed by the tribunal:
  • Parents/students receive a packet providing the tribunal date, the charges/allegations in question, and, if you're lucky, all written statement.
  • Students can be represented by parents, attorneys, or themselves.
  • Students can give testimonies but must stick to the "facts".
  • Only the designated representatives can question witnesses or speak during the proceedings.
  • Only family and witnesses can attend, with no exceptions.
  • Witnesses must be subpoenaed.
  • School records and "priors" are taken into account after testimonies are given.
  • All tribunal proceedings are recorded.
  • Appeals must be filed within a few days of any hearings.
Sadly, this system sets up students and their representatives for failure. According to parents and educators, written statements are often not provided until the day of the hearing though otherwise is falsely guaranteed. Participants are not made aware of the standards evidence must meet nor are they provided with links or copies to tribunal guidelines beyond the bare minimum. Thus, all evidence can be thrown out at the discretion of the tribunal. Much like everything else, those charged in the tribunals are at the mercy of the panel. What's worse is that the tribunal members are often very old, retired educators, so they are out of touch with the world around them, making decisions based almost exclusively upon old biases and ways.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Get A [Real] Job... Or Change The World?

People often ask me the familiar question, "What do you do?"  They see me at home a lot, often in pajamas (hey, I dress for comfort), seemingly care-free.  I work from home, that's the simple answer, but a real look at what I do, why I do it, and how I do it, well, that can be quite a loaded question to tackle.  The reality is that I am working from home and enjoying it, but I have not quite found the level of success I desire for me and my family - but I am getting there!

Sadly, when you do anything unusual, there are those that will scoff, if not ridicule.
"Get a real job!"
Now, I could let the New Yorker in me come out and respond, "Screw you, buddy!"  That sort of behavior, however, is unproductive.

 What I do *is* a real job.  I pay the bills, my family does not ever go without, and we have more time to share together.  Of course, it's not easy and there are days when I contemplate taking an offer for a traditional job, where I can easily go into autopilot but never have the free time to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

In this diatribe of sorts, I would like to share my logic behind working from home and doing business online/virtually.  I hope I can provide some inspiration for those experiencing my very same struggles!

How you define a real job and success can lead to contentment or dismay.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Savings and Freebies AFTER Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2012!

You may have noticed we've been rather quiet here on "The Practical Life" (TPL).  Our team of guest bloggers and contributors have all been busy with their own wonderful pursuits but we're still alive and strong!

We're also excited about all the joy, scents, and fun of the season!  How about you?  (Hopefully, Black Friday and Cyber Monday didn't drain y'all too much..  We know how rough it can be!)

Today, we'd like to kick off a series of content revolving around Christmas and the wonderful holiday season.  We'll share freebies such as sweepstakes and contests, great deals and offers, and money-saving tips and advice.  We think this is crucial because few people talk about the bad side of the holiday season:
All the gift shopping and generosity leaves many of us struggling financially.
Of course, you can't tell the kids and loved ones that their birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays are cancelled.  What fun is that?

Never fear - we have tons of goodies and help coming!

Kicking off our new content and dedication to helping single moms, struggling families, and believers in crisis, here are some wonderful sweepstakes and deals to check out, courtesy of Social Prize (I am co-founder of this startup, BTW) and their fantastic sponsors:

sneakpeeq Sells In Style! Diamond Candles, Sweepstakes, and Cyber Monday Fun | Social Prize | Engage & Win Blog

Spirited Prosperity: Cholla Cactus Skeleton Cross from Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, AZ

sneakpeeq, Diamond Candles, and Spirited Prosperity are each brands and organizations that have some powerful stories to share.  We particularly love what Rachel Kerr Schneider is doing with Spirited Prosperity.  She shares a story of great tragedy and how her faith transformed pain into triumph.

Spirited Prosperity sets out with the mission to help women triumph over tragedy.  This is a cause that hits home for all of us as very few can say they've never experienced true loss, heart ache, and struggle.  The cross being given away in the sweepstakes is beautiful and would make a great gift for any Christian!

If you're like many of us and are still wondering how you can finish up all your Christmas shopping and NOT go crazy, sneakpeeq is a particular treat.  They're extending their Cyber Monday sales, which means 20% off Diamond Candles.  15% off everything else plus FREE shipping on orders over $49.  You can find more details about what sort of gifts and goodies you'll find at sneakpeeq by visiting the Social Prize Engage & Win Blog.

And, if you haven't heard about Diamond Candles, here's a small company that has grown rapidly since early 2012.  They sell all-natural scented soy candles.  Diamond Candles come in many varieties, too, including holiday scents to get you in the right spirit!

What makes Diamond Candles even more exciting is the fact each candle comes with a ring worth up to $5,000!  This is completely legitimate.  Just Google it and you'll find videos of people revealing their rings and sharing their excitement with the world.  Click the image below to enter the sneakpeeq Diamond Candles sweepstakes and pick up some at deep discounts before they're all gone!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Winter Blues: Recognizing Depression & Despair In Your Life

I hope this piece on depression and how it impacts us all will help create more open dialogues about what it really looks like.  I have ongoing battles with depression myself and I can tell you it's a slippery slope once you start isolating yourself.  If you take away nothing else from this article, please remember: lean on your loved ones and don't shut them out!

If you have a pulse and have lived beyond the care free innocent years (for our purposes, we'll say the age of eleven or so), chances are you've lived long enough to experience what I call the Winter Blues.  It's that time that always seems to start somewhere before or after Christmas..  or right after the new year comes in.

Source: (Not exactly rocket science.)
I guess it's something about the cold weather and spending more time indoors (unless you're a member of the Polar Bear Club, officially or not)..  Spending lots of hard-earned money on gifts meant to spread goodwill can also be part of it.  Then there's the worries of the coming new year and all that jazz...

The symptoms are simple: you feel uninspired or unmotivated (in geek terms, your feelings can be expressed as "blah" or "meh").  The slightest things can make you want to mope around, cry, or just stay in bed.  Most won't want to admit it in public but I've been there plenty of times.  Heck, as great as 2011 was for my business efforts, spirituality, and personal development, I must say other areas left a bit to be desired...

But, hey, that's life...  Just deal with it, right?

Getting a bit more intimate with the adversity I have encountered, the end of 2011 saw many great things on the horizon and a boom in business, off-set by heart break, family drama, health issues, and other not-so-fun things for me.  But, as bad as it got in the final stretch of 2011, I saw some of my close friends and colleagues take on even greater adversity.  I can't tell you how many people I know just reached out to say hello..  but there was a deeper message.

For some, the outreach becomes a desperate cry for help..  or simple despair.  Of course, popular opinion would have us believe that no one gets bummed out around the holidays and certainly not at the beginning of the new year.

If you've really been down in the dumps, you know otherwise..  Sometimes all the merriment around you just makes you more annoyed or depressed.

All around us, there are people suffering from these elusive Winter blues..  You may not know it but there's that feeling of being weighed down by issues you can't quite put your finger on.  It's a lack of satisfaction..  a longing for more..  a need for change when nothing seems to give.

Perhaps you are trying hard to look forward to better days but all you see is darkness or nothingness...

Source:  (You can do it yourself, but you don't have to do it alone.)

I've toiled with this concept for over a month now but the right words still escape me.  I can only say that, if any of this sounds vaguely familiar, you are not alone.  Here is what I've found and I hope it encourages you, as we know encouragement often lacks in today's negativity-plagued world...

Before anything, I will reiterate that you are not alone..  And don't isolate yourself, either, because we can draw strength from others when we lack it ourselves.

Christmas Could Have Been More
It's all too easy to get stuck in the trap of feeling that Christmas (or your holiday of preference) is all about the quality of gifts given and/or received..  But what about the spirit of the season?  I think we all forget what it really means.  We rediscover and reinforce old bonds, finding new ways to express our love, appreciation, and gratitude..  or that is how it should be.

Alas, I see so many people, especially parents, throwing money at problems.  They figure really great gifts can make up for lack of warmth or mistakes made, yet they forget that love is the most wonderful gift and it is free (well, monetarily speaking, of course).  Even the coolest gifts will do little to strengthen bonds if the warmth and connections are not there.

What I have also seen is that we often get into a silly competition, whereas we feel our gifts must exceed everyone else's.  That is how people spend their very last dime, just to one-up each other.  But what does that really do for us?

Instead of worrying about the things or money you lack, think about the blessings you have now and how you can share those things with others.  Think about the things you can enjoy today..  for free!

This Is Where I Was Last Year
Oh the sorrows of another year with little gained..  or much lost!
That feeling of inertia in life can be daunting indeed yet it goes back to these material and superficial wants that overshadow the needs of our hearts, souls, and minds.  Quite simply, we spend so much time looking at our pasts that our futures end up looking the same or worse.

Really, are things so bad right now?  I bet you can think of times you were much worse off.  You may also find that the so-called "good old days" are all nostalgic spin.

You can't change the past and regret is really tough to wrestle.  Why not use all that energy to set good things in motion going forward?  Besides, inventing a functional time machine may take much more than your life time, no matter how brilliant you may be!

Nothing Really Matters
You went to school, got your certifications, networked with all the right people, said all the right things..  but you still end up in the same place.  You do onto others as you would like done onto you.  You're kind, generous, considerate..  all that good stuff..  yet you're still abandoned and betrayed.

It seems like nothing you do really matters.  You're a victim to circumstance.  Why even bother trying??

Oh BOY is that a dangerous line of thought and, believe me, I have been there before!  Adversity will strike and, yes, some do get it easier than others but that does that not mean they have it better than us.  Having a victim mentality only keeps us from releasing the junk in our lives and being the best we can be.

Take control.  Realize that we don't know what others will do or go through, nor can we control others.  We can control our thoughts and what we fill our cups with.  If you fill yourself with good things, good things will come..  But it doesn't always happen when we expect it so be patient.  Believe me, it will get better!

Empty your cup and get rid of the junk that does nothing for you but bog you down.  Fill your cup with good things and realize the awesome stuff that you have to offer.  You have accomplished much and you will be even better and do more good if you believe it with unrelenting faith.
YOU are awesome! 

I Am So Alone
Loneliness is a tough one.  We often make the mistake of surrounding ourselves with many people and thinking that will dispel the feeling of loneliness but what it really takes to avoid that terrible feeling is surrounding ourselves with good people.

Relationships of any kind are always tough and there is no amount of science or logic that can make it easier.  The one thing I can say for certain is that we should hold on to relationships that are mutually beneficial but realize that the reciprocation will not ever be 50/50.  That said, avoid toxic relationships with people that are negative, love drama, or selfish.
Whoever first said "misery loves company" needs to be given a monument already!

Sometimes, we're too worried about being validated by the wrong people, yet the people that really care have accepted us just the way we are.

So what do we do to get out of this rut?

I don't have a magic solution or a pithy quote to magically fix it all.  The truth is that hurt takes a while to heal and depressiin is even tougher to deal with.

What I can offer in addition to the other tips we have shared here is this: spend more time around and interacting with positive people.  Pity parties don't fix anything, they just get you more stuck, drowning you in your pain.

It's taken me weeks to find the words that would touch you the most..  That's quite the feat since I am never at a loss for words.  I hope I have succeeded in giving the gift of hope and love.  You matter.

I faced my storms recently and things are better than ever.  I believe we're each on the brink of a major break-through but, sadly, we may give up before our time comes.  It seems my fellow blogger, Bonnie67, is thinking about the same things..  Go visit Bonnie's blog and share some love!

Bonnie67 needs your love!

#fosteringhope *

* Great reading plan on YouVersion (available for iPad, iPhone, Android, and web).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Do We Reward Lazy Behavior As Parents? (A Rant)

Now, I know I have not been blogging much as of late but it's certainly not due to a lack of ideas.  In fact, I have tons of ideas but lately I find myself thinking quite a bit.  One thing I think about tons as a parent is how we can better influences for our youth and help shape a better tomorrow.

I particularly find it strange how we sometimes reward or accommodate negative or lazy behavior.  I say "we" because I am guilty of this myself.  Sometimes, as parents, we figure positive reinforcement and encouragement may bring about better things yet it doesn't always work out that way.

Check out the images below and I bet they may hit home for many of you out there.

The reality is that we are doing a huge disservice to our communities and our youth.  Think about it: when we grow up, employers don't care about excuses an are not going to bargain with us to get us to do what we are expected (and obligated to do).  Yet, somehow, we bend the rules completely for our kids.  Allow me to illustrate...

Kid:  "I am too tired.  Have someone else do it."


Kid:  "I already did it last time..  It's not my turn."

How do we respond to this?  Is it something like this perhaps?

Door Mat:  "If you do it, I will buy you or let you do whatever you want!"

Of course, the exchange is usually much more involved than that.  There may be the usually "but why", "that's not fair", "this suck", and similar statements accompanied by teeth sucking, groaning, dragging of feet, and other pitiful gestures.  What is entertaining is that today's youth actually thinks they have it rough.

Little do they know just how much harder it gets!

Surely, having open an honest communicaton with our teens and tweens helps but they rarely want to admit that they are wrong, we know better, and they are just exaggerating.  I mean, today's kids are smarter and more mature..  After all, they carry cell phones! *sarcasm*

In the imaginary world of our youth, they will magically "grow up" and their bosses will be just as understanding, friendy, and accommodating as mommy and daddy.  Let's see how that works...

Big Kid:  "I am not in the mood to do any work today, boss..  Can I just watch some YouTube or go home?"

Imaginary Boss:  "Well, we really need those TPS reports today..  Tell you what, if you do this one thing today, I will double your pay rate AND buy you some Zaxby's!"

Big Kid:  "Okay, fine..  But next time find someone else to do it.  I already worked last month and now I have lots of slacking to catch up on!"

Certainly, it does not work that way in the real world so coddling our kids now is only going to prepare them for a real rude awakening.  You see, the real-life version of that exchange looks ore like this...

Big Kid:  "I know the TPS reports are late but I have already put in three 18-hour days and, with my two-hour commute each way, I am just going home to take a shower and leave again..  I'm working as hard as I can, sir!"

Impossible-To-Please Boss:  "Maybe this is not the job for you then."

Big Kid:  "No, sir..  I love working here.  I just wanted to assure you that I am making this my top priority!"

Impossible-To-Please Boss:  "Then you have two options now: get this done today or pack up your things and leave..  And don't think I will approve you for unemployment, either.  We pride ourselves at penny-pinching and screwing over our true company assets here, you know!"

The reality check of adult life is that not only are we expected to more, but there are often far less rewards and thank-yous going out, which means we have to find motivation within ourselves.  There is no negotiation, excuse-making, or trickery that works in the real world..  Well, I suppose SOME find ways to coast along their entire lives but that's besides the point!

This is why I really want to release a series of new content centered around business success an the lessons therein for kids.  Believe me, I am not some grumpy old fogey but today's youth seems might pitiful and we need to do something about it, for their sake and our own.  It all goes back to achieving that elusive work-life balance.  After all, we may wish that we could sit or lay down all day, but what sort of life is THAT?  Where's the achievemen and fufillment there?  Certainly, that's not what we want for our youth - lazy bums are not cool by any standards!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blood Doesn't Make A Family, Caring Does

~There is so much to aim for. So much more in reach, it seems and feels to me. The online capabilities available to each one of us, from my techno-challenged Mom in New Hampshire learning to use FaceBook to stay in touch and learning to Skype to be able to see her Grandkids all the way across the country to folks blogging for an endless number of reasons and businesses, small and large, using the internet to make their products more easily available to us all.

For me, as the Manager and Chief Bottle-Washer (no pun intended, to those of you familiar with the fact that THAT, could mean just about anything!) it fell to me to put Pioneer Outfitters into “cyber-space” as Master Guide Terry Overly of Pioneer Outfitters puts it.

At first, it was exciting for me to be able to put the photos I have taken, in the years I have been here, in the mix to be seen and appreciated. Then was the incredible feeling of accomplishment (and pride) as the website took shape. Learning even more, I see that there is way more to learn before I get too excited!

We, here in Chisana, have been having a terrible time of late, with our internet connection, so the news I have been receiving from the “outside” world comes only in small broken pieces of the whole.

I have real-life friends spread all over this great big beautiful world now. Real-life friends that I met through Social Media, who care about me and mine. Who would put the effort into finding our phone numbers and calling about my little girl when she was sick with positive thoughts, advice and prayers. All this from people who have never been in Chisana, Alaska, people who have never met me or my children in any physical sense. So the answer to one of Social Media’s big and debated questions, Are Friends You Meet Online, Real?

Yes. Yes, they are.

All the wonderful feelings and teachings I have absorbed from my explorations online have given me a pretty clear set of base-rules. In consideration for those of you that have been with me for awhile, (yes, I do tend to repeat myself!) I’ll just sum them up for you, Everything you need to know about your own behavior online, in business and in your life, you learned when you were between 4 and 6 years old. Be nice. Share. Tell the truth. Be helpful. Say you are sorry. Forgive each other. Go play.

One of my online friends (and teacher) caught my eye one morning right before I lost internet connection as well having to head back out to the field this Fall. Power Blogger Bullies Baby Blogger, Threatens Lawsuit. Wow. Shame on Power Dude. I am sure that this “Baby Blogger” will come out right where she is supposed to. I only got to read a bit of what was happening, (sheesh, what have I told you? High-school FOREVER) but Mr. Bully wont get his thrills there, I am sure. “Baby” isn’t naive, shy or ignorant of the ways of the online world or the business world. (AND she follows those pesky remember, the ones you learned in Kindergarten?)

Back to the point. Oh, the point? Life continues. Life goes on. Whether we are online or not. Whether you are having a great day...or not so much. Life just continues. So why not help someone out today? Hold the door open for that lady a half a step ahead of you, smile at that guy (he might need one- you never know), answer a tweet of someone you haven’t really taken the time to get to know, let the next car pull out onto the road ahead of you (with a smile), tell your kids you love them, run your hand over a dear one’s shoulder, shoot off a message to your mom or dad and just say “hey.”

It’s all about us. Each and every single one of us can change things, and do quite often, for someone else. Just a smile can help someone remember that life is a great gift and tough shit doesn’t last forever. We are in this together (like it or not) so we hold the power. Us, together. I think we’d make a fairly incredible team.

How about you?