Toy tow trucks for kids feat
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13 Top Toy Tow Trucks for Kids

Big kids and little kids love to play with toy tow trucks. Just like you did when you were knee-high to a grasshopper. It’s great fun pushing around a toy truck in the dirt, picking up […]
Build a life
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Don’t Invest In a Career. Here Is Everything You Can Do To Build a Life

The world is changing rapidly. The way we live has already changed. The way we work keeps changing. Entire industries are crumbling. Robots are eating jobs. People are scared of losing their jobs. Nobody is safe.

But people are empowered to express themselves more than ever. The opportunities to create, to become a part of a global conversation and transformation are now more than you can ever imagine. There are now more free online resources to help you start and pursue your life’s work.

You can take your idea, business, or career, and turn it into something truly successful and amazing. It’s easier to transform your passion into your job than finding a job that matches your what you love to do.

What will you do with that?

What will your place be in this new, interesting world? Will you have a voice? Will you be a creator, or just a consumer?

You can do something.

Do something interesting, meaningful, different, amazing and truly remarkable. You have a choice. Choose to show your most amazing work to the world.

Inappropriate attention to detail is the reason why you have not launched your work. By all means, get it right but don’t aim for perfection.

Constantly push to evolve your ideas, even if you are not ready to launch your life’s work yet. Don’t get stuck!

“Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”  Goethe

Be a part of the conversation, and say something remarkable. Create something unique, new, beautiful. Build upon the works of others and transform it into your own.

Don’t be subject to the tyranny of “how things have always been done”. Find your true north and push past the default.

Here is everything you can choose to do to build a life that matters to you

Start a blog, write at least a little each day. Write a book. Or an ebook. Share your tips with others online or through a free ebook. Write poetry and publish it on the web. Create interesting, lovely or funny videos, put them on You Tube.

Create an app that will solve a problem in people’s lives. Become a watchdog to replace the faltering newspapers. Explore the world, and blog about it.

Try something you’ve always been afraid to try, and put it on video. Be yourself, loudly. Start a new company, doing only one thing, but doing it very well.

Start a business that does a service you’ve always wanted, or that you are frustrated with in other companies because the service sucks. Put your heart into something.

Say something that no one else dares to say. Do something others are afraid to do. Help someone no one else cares to help. Make the lives of others better.

Make music that makes others want to weep, to laugh, to create. Inspire others by being inspiring. Teach young people to do amazing things. Write a play, get others to act in it, record it. Empower others to do things they’ve never been able to do before.

Read, and read, and then write. Love, and love, and then help others to love. Do something good and ask others to pass it on. Be profound. Find focus in a world without it.

Become minimalist in a world of dizzying complexity. Reach out to those who are frustrated, depressed, angry, confused, sad, hurt. Be the voice for those without one. Learn, do, then teach.

Meet new people, become fast friends. Dare to be wrong. Take lots and lots of pictures. Explore new cultures. Be different. Paint a huge mural. Create a web comic. Be a dork, but do it boldly.

Interview people. Observe people. Create new clothes. Take old stuff and make new stuff from it. Read weird stuff. Study the greats, and emulate them.

Be interested in others. Surprise people. Cook great food, and share it. Be open-minded. Help someone else start a small business. Focus on less but do it better.

Give people a ride in your car. Use Uber to your advantage. Start an online shop on Shopify. Create and sell stuff on Etsy.

Help others achieve their dreams. Put a smile on someone’s face, every day. Start an open-source project. Make a podcast. Start a movement. Be brave. Be honest. Be hilarious. Get really, really good at something. Practice a lot. A lot. Start now. Try.

If you’re willing to take the risk of sharing yourself and your ideas with the world, you can create value you will be proud of.

Show up everyday and work on your most important life work. Whether the outcome is magnificent or eternal, whether it changes people’s lives, changes the world, changes you or groundbreaking, it matters that you show up.

By focusing on doing the one thing that excites you, you not only give yourself a shot at putting in the effort to become amazingly great at something, but you also make it easier for potential customers or employers to see you as “the guy who’s really great at that thing.”

If you pursue your dreams long enough, compounding takes effect. Momentum will surge. Don’t give up just yet.  Action begets outcome. Outcome begets action. Rinse, lather and repeat and you have momentum. You’ll become unstoppable.

Start. Move, make, create, ship, do. Just start. That’s what entrepreneurs do. They start. They start something. Sometimes it is something big. Sometimes it is a big failure. Either way, they got stuff done.

Don’t invest in a career. Build a life. Take your dreams seriously.

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Apps for business
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How Apps Can Help Your Business Thrive

There are many things you can use to help your business thrive, but apps are certainly up there. They represent how powerful technology has become, and how much it matters to our businesses. So, check out how apps can help your company thrive and grow as much as possible.

Connecting with more people

As a business owner, you should always be looking for ways to connect with as many people as possible. And the way to do this is to ensure that you use apps to your advantage. For instance, you might consider creating a business app.

This will allow you to interface and connect with a whole new set of customers. You will be able to appeal to them through their smartphones wherever they may be. And this is an excellent way of raising brand awareness, and connecting with more people.

Do work on the move

When you run a modern business, you’re going to find you’re a busy person. You will be moving around a lot and traveling quite a bit. And this is where you need to make sure you have plenty of apps.

You see, there are certain apps these days that allow you to work remotely. No matter where you are, you can still be sure you’re running your business.

And this is vital for ensuring you are always connected and constantly evolving. Working on the move is a vital part of contemporary business, and you need to make sure you do it as much as possible.

Payments

One of the best things that apps can do to help your business thrive is through payment methods. The best businesses are the ones who offer the most amount of payment methods.

Customers hate having to wait around to get what they want. And the fact is that you could easily lose sales as a result. So, you need to use any sort of small business app that can help with payments.

That way you can process multiple transactions at once, and increase the sales you make. Instead of simply enjoying a lot of leads and a few sales you will be able to convert every lead into a sale on the spot.

Marketing

It’s vital to look at every possible avenue you can to market your business. That means you need to think about using apps to help you promote and advertise your brand.

There are so many things you can do in this respect, and it’s really a case of deciding which to use. The best thing to do would be to get social media apps on your laptop or smartphone. Things like Twitter and Facebook are vital for marketing the brand.

And you can use the apps for instant connectivity and interaction. These allow you to update and promote your business at any time of day or night, wherever you are.

The good thing about owning and running a business these days is that there is so much out there to help you. Indeed, technology has developed to such a degree that we can use it to help our businesses so much.

If you harbour ambitions of developing a successful and thriving brand, you will need to make use of technology. And smartphone apps are one of the best formed of technology you can use these days.

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Best Apps to Train and Boost Your Brain
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7 of The Best Apps to Train and Boost Your Brain (Put Your Mind to the Test)

There are hundreds if not thousands of apps out there for boosting your brain. Most of them aim to increase cognitive functioning, helping you improve memory, problem solving skills and processing speed. Others can help you recall words faster or improve your reading comprehension.

Keeping your mind active is as important as any physical exercise and these apps can help you stay fit mentally. If you want to dedicate time to improving your brain’s health, some of these apps can get you started quickly.

1/ Peak

Peak is brain training redesigned for the mobile you. Challenge your cognitive skills and build healthy training habits with fun but stimulating games, goals and workouts.

Peak

2/ Elevate

Elevate is a brain training program designed to improve attention, speaking skills, processing speed, memory, math skills, and more. Members are provided with a personalized game-based training program that adjusts over time based on performance.

3/ Fit Brains

Fit Brains helps you train crucial brain skills such as memory, concentration, problem-solving, processing speed, language, and visual-spatial recognition. Fit Brains feels a lot more like a video game, which may be just what you need to stay motivated and on track.

Fit Brains

4/ Personal Zen

Built by a team of leading neuroscientists and mobile developers, playing Personal Zen retrains your brain to lower stress and anxiety. Just like exercising for physical health, we can exercise our brain for better mental health and wellness!

5/ Happify

How we feel matters. Whether you’re feeling sad, anxious and stressed, or you’re dealing with constant negative thoughts, Happify brings you effective tools and programs to take control of your emotional wellbeing.

Happify

6/ Lumosity

Challenge your Memory, Attention, and more. Lumosity combines 25+ cognitive games into a daily training program that challenges your brain. Games adapt to your unique performances — helping you stay challenged in a wide variety of cognitive tasks.

7/ Headspace

Headspace is a gym membership for the mind. A course of guided meditation, delivered via an app or online. The starter course, Take10, is free. If you enjoy Take10 and want to learn more, you can choose to continue and get access to hundreds of hours of meditations.

Headspace

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Do apps still make money
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Do Apps Still Make Money? Here is What 6 Developers Think

The app market is extremely saturated. But the mobile market is still gathering momentum..fast. Mobile apps have changed how we work, live, connect and what we do for entertainment. Mobile apps will continue to shape the thoughts consumers, small businesses, enterprises, and even the government.

Forrester expects that more than 25% of companies will use mobile not as a channel, but as a fully integrated part of their overall strategy. They believe 2016 will be the most consequential year for companies on the path to customer obsession, and that includes adapting empowered customers who expect to get anything they want immediately, in context on their mobile devices.

There is still a lot of demand for apps. Mobile apps have evolved beyond providing just information. Artificial intelligent and voice-based personal assistants are inspiring conversational and smart apps.

But most app developers are struggling to get attention. Majority of app developers don’t get rewarded for their efforts. Most apps don’t generate profits but serve as an extension of an existing business. And he vast majority of apps are free.

In-app purchases and advertising allow app creators to make money off their free apps. There are only few hits though. Here is what some redditors think about the prospects ofaunching an app.

1. kevinbracken

Absolutely, yes they do. I sold my fitness app last year to a larger company, and know many people whose app-based companies are making money.

However, the thing that many people fail to realize is that you are not building “an app,” you are building a business, and mobile is simply the fastest-growing channel in the world. You can do your own research but in the not-so-distant future, mobile will make up the vast majority of all web traffic and online sales.

To answer the second part of your question, if you have limited resources, absolutely target iOS. Notice how when new, serious companies with venture financing and previously successful founders start companies, they launch iOS apps first. Reasons:

  • iOS users download more apps
  • iOS users spend considerably more through their phones
  • iOS users know they are iOS users. Don’t underestimate the importance of this: many Android users simply buy the cheapest phone and don’t spend much time thinking about downloading apps, would never put their credit card number in a phone, etc.

2. austincha

I created some apps for both the App Store and the Google Play store. The App Store is strict on the quality of apps they allow to be uploaded, so I then just focused on Android apps. I made simple games and even some Live Wallpaper apps. My best games only made a couple hundred dollars and the LWPs made about a hundred.

I’ve stopped creating apps because the payout wasn’t worth the time and effort I put into coding the apps. I’ll have to say 99% of the app developers out there are not making money for the time and effort they put into the apps.

3. ZeikCallaway

Android developer here. As others have pointed out, apps can still make money, but the days of just having an app for money are pretty much over. Apps become exponentially more powerful, and likely to be used if they’re complimentary to a bigger software or service.

Also when deciding Android vs iOS, if you can, you should target both because they’re pretty even as far as market share. If you had to pick just one to start, I can’t tell you which is better but from my perspective and experience, Android seems to be gaining more market share albeit very slowly but, iOS will have a more consistent experience.

In other words, some Android devices may not work with your app the way you expect, so even they do take a strong lead over iOS devices there will still be a number of them that have problems.

4. RPN

Of course they still make money. Actually now more than ever as every year the worldwide app revenue grows exponentially. AppAnnie predicts that gross revenue across all app stores will eclipse $100 Billion in 2020.

The problem is that it’s now more competitive than ever. For an independent developer it is getting increasingly difficult to make a living building apps.

5. EatSafeUK

A lot of people have a weird view on apps as if they are magical no effort cash cows. But you have to see it for what it is, simply a distribution platform.

Can you build an app, throw it out there and effortlessly get millions of downloads and rake on money? No.

But if you are developing a solution to a problem that is best served with mobile then an app is appropriate. My research for my current project showed that the problem was biggest when people were out and about, so a mobile app works best.

But it’s just the distribution method. The rest of the business is the same as before; you need to identify customers, you need to effectively promote, you need to push yourself in front of people.

The app store is too saturated to expect to be discovered there. But just like a real store, the brands on the shelves do everything they can to get you to want to buy their products before you ever get through the door. Its the same in the app world.

iOS does seem to have a less price sensitive user base though, so if you want to charge for the app they’re the best people to target.

6. the_brizzler

They haven’t died down. It is just harder for the average guy or gal to make sure it is discovered. Sort of like websites…anyone can build a website…but how do you get visitors?…well that takes some marketing and strategy.

There are plenty of people making a decent living making niche apps that serve a specific purpose. But if you are trying to make a flashlight app…forget about it…apple won’t even let you publish it since there are already too many. So you just have to be smart about what you make and how you get people to find your app.

Related: 6 Easy Steps to Get Funding for Your App Startup

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Time To Get Goen for Spring
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Time To Get “Goen” for Spring!

 As you’re beginning to get your spring/summer wardrobe in order we’re excited to share a designer we absolutely love; Goen J, known for her signature ruffles, slits and “feminine-architectural” style. Our very favorite pieces, being the off-the-shoulder navy shirt with the ruffled sleeves paired with the black split crepe de chine wide-leg pants. (see above) […]

The post Time To Get “Goen” for Spring! appeared first on A Few Goody Gumdrops.

Entrepreneur skills
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6 Most Useful Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Starting a business – and being successful at it – requires the right amount of talent, knowledge and skills. You must have the knowledge about your industry, about general business principles, as well as about the laws and regulations that affect your operation.

Additionally, you must have nerves of steel and a heavy dose of patience to take chances and navigate the ups and downs that come with any new venture.

Although success often requires you to have ambition and clear goals, it also requires a certain set of personal skills. Here you will read about six useful skills that entrepreneurs need on their way to success.

1. Ability to listen

Great communicators make great businesspeople. In the business world, you must establish rapport with partners and suppliers. You also need to be there for your employees.

Of course, in order to succeed, you need to commit to customer service excellence, which involves hearing what your customers have to say. All these types of interaction involve one common skill – the ability to listen.

Without the capacity to interact with other people, you will have difficulty getting your new business off the ground. If you have little practice with interpersonal relationships, don’t lose hope.

By learning how to listen, you take one of the best shortcuts available on the path to becoming a great communicator.

When people have something to say, never interrupt them. People often have feelings, opinions, and interests that differ from yours, but if you learn to hear them out, you can quickly win people over.

As you listen attentively, notice the non-verbal cues that contribute to the conversation. When you intentionally communicate with customers and other people through listening, you gain their trust, loyalty, and admiration.

2. Assertiveness and confidence

Though listening skills are undeniably important, that doesn’t mean you have to keep quiet. Quite the contrary, being a good businessperson implies believing in yourself and being able to speak your mind with confidence. After all, communication goes two ways.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, you will often find yourself in situations that require assertiveness. Whether you are dealing with a pushy business partner or a demanding employee, you should never let others dictate your actions.

So, when you need to express your opinion – even if it includes disagreeing with the other party – try to do it assertively and confidently.

Take a deep breath, and articulate your thoughts. Sometimes it might seem overwhelming, as if you are on the verge of a conflict, but eventually you will learn to relax and project self-assurance. You will also gain the trust and respect of those around you.

3. Willingness to Learn

Being a businessperson requires an ongoing willingness to learn. Even after building a successful business, you have not finished your job. In fact, when it comes to learning and improving, you are never quite finished.

Continuous learning will help you evolve both personally and professionally. An insatiable appetite for learning through the Internet, books, documentaries, and seminars will deepen your knowledge and help you maintain your creative edge.

You should also remember to stay up-to-date with all the relevant development in your industry. Pay attention to trends and issues that affect your line of business and learn from the people who have already succeeded in businesses similar to yours.

Talk to industry leaders to get their advice, and apply their insight to your own business. Whatever you do, make learning an ongoing process both in your personal and professional life.

4. Creativity 

When it comes to keeping your business fresh and competitive, creativity is an essential skill. To innovate, you need to be creative. Being creative means doing things differently and thinking not only outside the box but also without that box!

This goes for both your personal life and business. In fact, those two are interconnected – when you spark creativity in your personal life, it will inevitably reflect on your business. So, what can you do?

What you can do is shake up your routine by trying new ways of doing things. Even small changes such as rearranging your office, driving home via a new route, ordering an unusual meal and talking to strangers can help you develop habits that can lead to innovation.

You should also attempt to think about things from new perspectives and apply new ways of solving problems. A little bit of creativity can go a long way in terms of your business growth, so do everything you can not to stifle it with convention and routine.

5. Courage and risk taking 

Entrepreneurs take risks, and you will surely find yourself in situations that require quick and risky decision making. You should never act recklessly, but you should always have the courage to try new ideas and to take little risks. If you don’t try, you will not succeed – it is that simple.

People are often held back by the fear of failure. Rather than fearing failure, embrace it. Sometimes the best experiences in business come from ideas that didn’t work.

Follow your creativity by implementing new ideas and making bold decisions even when you lack clear direction. As an entrepreneur, you should have the guts to take chances and have faith. As John Burroughs once said, “Leap, and the net will appear.”

6. Perseverance 

Last but not least, entrepreneurs must never give up. Remember this – never give up! There will be numerous obstacles and challenges along your way, but if you persevere in spite of them, you will reap success.

Sometimes this means having to accept failure. Even when your failures are expensive and embarrassing, they can still lead to success. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and look for lessons you can learn from every seemingly negative experience.

As a business owner, you must also develop patience. Success usually does not come overnight, and setbacks do not magically resolve themselves. In the face of adversity, maintain optimism. When you believe in yourself and persevere, you become a prime candidate for success.

Difficulties along the road to entrepreneurial success can seem discouraging. However, if you regard every situation as a learning experience, you can develop the much needed personal skills that will help you build a successful business when you combine them with your expert knowledge.

Begin with the six useful skills listed here, and look for other tips for personal and professional growth along your pathway to success. Most importantly, remember to always improve and challenge yourself – there is no success for those who stand still.

Author bio: Natalie Smith, a freelance writer from Seattle, follows topics related to entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, social media, and business in general. You can reach her @Natalie Smith

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hosting foreign exchange student
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Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

Every year, a host of students come from all over the globe to attend a school exchange program in the United States. If you’ve chosen to host an exchange student, prepare for a life-changing experience that […]
Flip or not to flip
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To Flip or Not to Flip? That is the Question!

Canadian philosopher and author Marshall McLuhan introduced the popular phrase “the medium is the message” in his groundbreaking book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man in 1964. McLuhan suggested that mediums carry more than just a message, […]
Rick Owen Lilies
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Rick Owen Lilies…a Collection That’s Strikingly Cool

Although I’m a huge Rick Owens fan I can honestly say his outlandish fashion shows do nothing for his collections! (feel free to google his runway shows) You may remember the runway show two years ago where the male model’s “privates” were hanging out of the clothes. (took balls to do that!!) Anyway, I’ve always […]

The post Rick Owen Lilies…a Collection That’s Strikingly Cool appeared first on A Few Goody Gumdrops.