What An Amazing Week!

939b8c7b4ccd4b9abf3e9a4e87a38893In case you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t read my blog, you’ll probably know that on Monday I started my new job as manager of a lovely little Spar just down the road from my house. Since Monday I don’t think that my feet have hit the ground at all. I’ve been off for one day, and even then I ended up in the shop so that I could transfer stock down to my old shop to get rid of it.

It’s been an eye-opener. It’s a fantastic little shop and the sheer volume of customers and sales is shockingly high. I can’t believe so much stock can move off the shelves that quickly. It’s certainly going to be a challenge improving on what’s already a fantastic little store, but I’m sure I will manage it.

Holy Awkwardness

Saturday is my sister’s bachelorette party. I have been planning for weeks. I have a pre-fixe menu at a really nice restaurant for an amazing price. We are going clubbing/dancing afterward. And I am going to the hairdresser on Saturday so I don’t have to worry about styling my hair!

Back up about 18 months to my bachelorette party. As my sister and I get out of our car to go into the restaurant we run into my cousins going to a restaurant next door. They ask why we are there and my sister says it’s for my bachelorette party. She then opens the gift bag she was carrying and shows them (I can’t see) some of the “stuff” she bought for the party in my honor. Stuff to make me wear during the party.

The Best Thing Ever

As luck would have it, two kids – Neighbor Boy, eight and Neighbor Girl, five – live just down the road from us. They’ve come over several times to play and on Friday, Julia went over to their house for the first time. I stood at the gate and watched her dash excitedly across the driveway and into their yard while my emotions went to battle.

The proud parent in me was swelling, all, “My little girl, playing at someone else’s house for the first time…a childhood rite of passage. She’s growing up!” The rest of me, however, was screaming, “This growing up business is happening too f**** fast! Stop growing up, dammit!”

6 Ways to Financially Deal with Job Loss

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There is no doubt that losing your job would have a significant effect on you and your family emotionally, and you want to be able to deal with your feelings and look at the situation to find a way to recover professionally and get back to work, and you can’t do that if you are also worried about money. Therefore, it is smart to have an emergency plan in place in case the worst does happen, and make sure you know the steps to take to financially deal with a job loss.

Continue Education. Even if you have a job now but you are aware that your professional skills can be polished don’t hesitate to sign up for educational courses. For example, my friend Alice had a good job even though she didn’t have a high school diploma. She learned about the website Covcell.com that provides free GED courses online and decided to use them. She got her GED certificate, however, these online classes are not for everybody, and some people will not benefit from them. It took her in all 6 months, and then she applied to college.  When she lost her job she was in the position to find another one because she took care of her education.

Help a Reporter Out, a Simple Microbusiness

Peter Shankman, a PR and media guy, has created an elegant, profitable business called Help a Reporter Out, or HARO. It’s a newsletter that connects journalists with sources.

Here’s how it works. When a journalist is writing a story and needs a source for the article, they submit a request to Peter. Peter compiles the requests and emails them to his contact list 3 times per day. You can become a contact by signing up at helpareporter.com. If you can help a reporter out, you do, either because you’re a nice guy, or because you want to get yourself or your business mentioned in the journalist’s write up.

So how does Peter make money? He runs a small text-only advertisement at the top of each email. These bring in around $3,000 per day for a couple hours’ work. That’s 800k per year — not too shabby.

This is a great example of adding value by connecting people together.

Five Essential Product Traits

Copyblogger has a good list of 5 essential traits your product should have if you want it to sell.

1. It must solve a problem.
2. It must have mass appeal.
3. It must be unique.
4. It must offer instant gratification.
5. It must be demonstrable.

They call this the “Billy Mays 5-Step Guide to Selling”, though they give no proof that the legendary pitchman endorses this list. I still think it’s a good one though.

What is Crapensta and other stuff

New York City neighborhoods are often named using acronyms. For example, there’s Tribeca (Triangle Below Canal Street) and SoHo (South of Houston Street).

New on the scene is Crapensta, or the Crap Around Penn Station. When you’re in Crapensta, you’ll know it.

Check out Crapensta twitter for more information about this neighborhood. They seem to have coined the term Crapensta. Brilliant. I think they should create and sell an illustrated map that helps people who live or work in Crapensta find decent places to eat or chill. It could be something whimsical along the lines of Nancy Chandler’s map of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Buying a Used Car Seems Less Daunting

The idea of buying a used car is daunting to me. Because I live in New York, I have never bought a car. If I were going to buy one, I’d probably look for a used car, but I would have no idea how to evaluate one in a savvy manner. The whole process seems daunting.

High school graduation gift ideas

My little brother has just graduated from high school and I was getting crazy about finding a good gift so it’s a topic of my blog post today.
If someone close to you has recently graduated high school, then you might be looking to find a good present to buy the new graduate. While what you can buy will depend on what you can afford and your relationship to the student, you have many options.
If the student is going to college next year, anything that could be useful in college is a great choice, ranging from dorm accessories to entertainment. If the student is not attending college after graduating high school, anything that he or she could use otherwise would make a great gift.

I would also make sure that the student doesn’t have any of these beforehand… there’s nothing more awkward than giving a gift and finding out the person already has it!
Here are a few general areas to think of when deciding what to get:

What to expect when you are 27 years old

I always knew that 27 was going to be a huge year in my life, the one where I would crystallize my future. I mean Van Gogh started painting at 27; Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix were all immortalized at 27. Here I am, about to end a year of self-discovery and let me tell you, I found my muse. I conquered 27 as I am officially about to conquer 28!

A Year Of 27:

  • Loving myself
  • Truly falling in love (again)
  • Tripling my savings
  • Traveling and working for one month in the US
  • Paying off my car (part of my student’s loans)
  • Finding myself
  • Flying out to help someone move
  • Becoming a Godmother for the first time
  • Learning patience in teaching people how to solve the GED practice tests
  • Running a mile under 9 minutes
  •  Meeting and befriending incredible people

Expat Life? I’m moving to Houston

Big news, I decided to move to  Houston, I have a job already, I will be leading GED courses there in Houston and helping people to pass the GED exam. So it’s time to say goodbye to my many friends. Who doesn’t know how to say goodbye? It’s the polar opposite of hello; one of the first words that we learn as children. We don’t feel threatened by the feeling when we say goodbye to our parents at school because we know at 3:00 pm sharp, we are en route to say hello again. When do we make this shift of blissful ‘goodbye’ innocence to cognitive ‘goodbye’ awareness?

Somewhere along the line of our relationships that extend beyond family, we learn that goodbye doesn’t have any guarantees. We may or may not ever say hello to that person, that place or that thing again. Accepting this reality is perhaps one of the toughest things I am learning today.

My life is full of goodbyes. I started moving around the world when I was 14 years old. From that moment, I knew that every hello needed to be more passionate, more sincere, more welcoming. I would inevitably be leaving my friends, my new favorite city, and my new life. This has been both a blessing and curse as I’ve grown older.