How to Read 20 Books in a Year

Posted by | Small Business Solutions | One Comment

Books BlogI have heard from several business leaders and from a few Christian pastors time and time again that one of the ways a person can be successful in his or her field or life is by reading good books. One man, a CEO of a successful hospital in San Diego, told me to read at least 1 good business book per month. If you are like me, you love learning new things but find that reading a book from cover to cover can be quite difficult to do while running a small business. There are times you’ll find me having 3-4 good books by my bedside but will stay there for months! I get through the first few chapters, get distracted by another good book and add that to my stack of books “I’m currently reading.” Before I know it, I’m reading 12 books a year like I was told but have only tapped into the first few chapters of all 12 books!!!!

Why is it that I cannot finish these books? You can call it laziness if you’d like. Maybe I’m too easily distracted or find some books boring. I would say that my number one reason or excuse is simply, “I don’t have the time!” Can you relate?

So, how can I (and you) overcome such a hurdle and read good books? Last week, I heard an online sermon from author and pastor John Piper that told his hearers how to read 20 books in a year!

The facts

  • Lets say the average person can read 250 words per minute, which is around 2 normal-size paragraphs.
  • The average book is around 200 pages.

The solution

  • Important: Read 15 minutes per day.
  • Don’t read more than 15 minutes a day or you’ll burn out!
  • Reading for 15 minutes a day will result in reading a minimum of 3,750 words
  • Reading for 15 minutes a day for 365 days will result in having read at least 1,368,750 words
  • If an average book as around 350 words per page, you will have read 3,910 pages or 20 (2oo page) books

So, can you read 20 books a year? Will you take the challenge? If you are a fast reader, read for no more than 15 minutes a day, you might be able to read 30-40 books a year! You can even accomplish this task even easier by listening to audiobooks! Give it a try. I am!

  • The average book

Advanced Shop Talk for Paint Contractors in Portland

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PDCA logo

I just finished up the first day at the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) conference called “Residential Forum: Advanced Shop Talk” in Portland, OR. This is a once a year even of 50+ professional residential painting contractors who collaborate ideas on how to have a successful house painting business.

I have served 2 years as the “secretary” and a director for the Residential Forum and have enjoyed being apart of such a great group of professional painters. During this years conference, I had 1 main presentation and 2 presentations where I assisted the presenter. The first presentation was on having a good website and the other two were on the latest in technology for paint contractors and estimating software.

To learn more about the PDCA or the Residential Forum, visit their websites!

The New Blackberry Tour from Verizon

Posted by | Small Business Solutions | No Comments

BlBlackberry Tourackberry recently came out with another new Blackberry for Verizon customers. It is called the Blackberry 9630 Tour. You are probably wondering why they would introduce a new non touch-screen when they came out with the beautiful looking Blackberry Storm late last year. The main feature of the Blackberry Tour is that it is a “world” phone. (This means you can travel in over 100 countries and use this phone to make calls, send emails, search the web and text.) I believe it is replacing the 2 year old “World Edition” Blackberry from Verizon. That too was a wonderful device but lacked the camera feature.

The Blackberry Tour also looks very similar to ATT’s Blackberry Bold. The bold is a little easier to type on and has a better quality screen than Verizon’s World Edition and Curve. The new Tour device has a really nice look and feel to it and has a similar interface as the touch-screen Storm. The screen quality is far superior than the BB Curve too. If you own a Curve or World Edition from Verizon, it will be very tempting to break your contract and buy the new Tour once you get your hands on it. The typing is easier, the screen quality and has a 3.2 Mega Pixel camera!

The only downside I can see to the Tour is the size! Why is the world would Blackberry build a new phone this late in the game that is so heavy and bulky? It is almost the same size as the Blackberry Storm, which has always looked way to big to me. Why do I think it is big? Because the iPhone’s thickness is half the size! If Research in Motion can cut their thickness in half, they will have a phone that might get closer to competing with the appearance of the iPhone. However, the applications on the iPhone are still far easier to use and don’t lock up as much as the Blackberry. The Blackberry still has a rough time with its browser, while the iPhone loads with ease.

If you are a small business owner and need help with your mobile devices, I’m hear to help. I can help decide what device might be best for you and your staff.

SyncMyCal

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SyncMyCalIf you are wondering how to sync your smartphone with Outlook on the go without plugging your phone into your computer daily, consider using SyncMyCal. This wonderful little program works to transfer your calendar and contacts from Microsoft Outlook to Google Calendar and Google Contacts. I have used it with a Blackberry for almost two years now, and it has been fantastic. The program cost $25 and is well worth it.

The best thing about SyncMyCal is that it can be installed on multiple computers, eliminating the need for a Microsoft Exchange Server. Why is that a good thing? It saves you the headache of having Exchange! If you install SyncMyCal on each machine and connect SyncMyCal with Google Calendar (very easy setup) then all your office computers can have your calendar updated wirelessly every 15 minutes. This is a great tool for your office manager to have and your sales staff! A salesperson can be almost completely mobile when using SyncMyCal while the office manager can keep tabs and schedule appointments for the salesperson.

If you have further questions on how this program can save you lots of time and money, I would be happy to help. To learn more, visit their website.

You Can Text While Driving!?

Posted by | Marketing Advice | 2 Comments

logo_VlingoWe all know it is dangerous to text and drive! We frown at those who still do such foolishness. We’ve been told to not do it and even state laws prohibit us from texting in the car! So why am I advocating we can still text while driving?

I’m not! I found an alternative!

I stumbled upon a handy little application for a smart phone called Vlingo a few months ago. It has its quirks but is a very helpful at times. It is a software program that is for “voice texting” not finger texting. Vlingo was designed for Blackberry, iPhone and other Smartphone devices to use voice to text technology. Voice to text has been out for quite a few years but has not been very well received by consumers. However, the latest version of Vlingo is well worth giving it a try if you do a lot of texting and emailing. The Vlingo Plus cost $17.99 and is virtually hands free. If you speak very carefully and with simple sentences, Vlingo is very accurate. The Plus version gives you access to Voice to Text emailing, text and to-do list. I actually really like the to task function. Sometimes I am driving, I remember something and cannot write it down. Now, I push a button while looking straight ahead and say, “Task: Pick up Coffee.” Done! It is that easy.

The program is not perfect, and I am not giving it a five star rating. However, it really is the best on the market and is VERY safe while driving.

CAUTION: I do advise that you avoid distractions while driving and always keep your eyes on the road, not your phone! If Vlingo is a distraction, don’t use it.

Why Is There a Butterfly on My Logo

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Blog_ButterfliesMy specialty is marketing and creative work for service businesses, especially painters and contractors. When you think of a service company or a contractor, you don’t typically think of a butterfly! So why do I have a butterfly on my logo?

A butterfly is a very interesting creature. It is a great example of creativity in my opinion. It does not start as a beautiful butterfly. Instead, it starts out life as an ugly caterpillar. It goes through life eating the same thing day after day: life is boring and dull. However, once it is time to enter the cocoon, it is ready for change. God, with his amazing creative hand, transforms that tiny and weird looking caterpillar in to a colorful and elegant-looking butterfly in a few weeks. The once ugly creature now brings smiles to just about everyone who sees it fluttering around.

Most small business contractors and services companies typically lack creativity or the desire to change. They are stuck doing the same thing day after day, and they think of their business as just a job. They cannot imagine the possibilities that come from stepping outside their comfort zone to be creative. I believe that with a little help and guidance, I can take a small business stuck in a rut, and help them organize their marketing so that it is creative and successful! My goal is to put a smile on a business owner’s face that will not go away.

Freshbooks: An easy to use Online Invoicing program

Posted by | Cool Software | 5 Comments

If you are a small business owner who wants to make your invoicing easier to create, send and track, Freshbooks is probably the coolest and easiest to use on the market today. You can sign up for a free account (up to 3 client) to give it a try. When you sign up you get your own business URL (example: http://yourcompany.freshbooks.com) which is customized with your company colors and logo. You can also track expenses and keep track of your time while working on a project.

To learn more about this amazing little software program, check out Freshbooks. One final thing that I personally like is how Freshbooks integrates with a number of other quality online programs such as: Outright.com, Clarity Accounting, iPhone, etc. For a list of the programs Freshbooks integrates with: Check the Add-On list.

Schedule your free 30 minute marketing call. Contact David Today!