Saturday, January 4, 2014

Getting Straight About Writing

Two good posts for the writers out there:



One of the most important parts of being a writer is having readers.  Early readers are very important to career.  This post talks about it:
http://sunsingerstravels.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/are-your-beta-readers-holding-you-back/

This next post talks about the next part of the process of a professional writer.  There is great advice here about the business of being published:

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/04/publish-and-perish/

And if you're a writer with an online presence, this is some good advice on getting your online readership growing:

http://ourthreepeas.com/5-tricks-used-triple-page-views-3-months/

Finally, I just want to show a writer's blog that I think is a good example of a good writer's blog:

http://kathy-fish.com/

Let me know what you think about these and if any of them help you out on your writer's path!  Happy writing in 2014!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

How To Help Your Grown-up Child

Got a job/career?  Let your teen or adult child help you or learn from you or a co-worker.

Got a business?  Train your child and let them take some control.

Lately this is something I've been thinking about a lot.  With the economy the way it is, it's tough to not notice a lot of relationship struggles taking place alongside the economic.

A lot of adult children live with their parents, and while I don't think that in itself is an issue at all, it can be when either of the following is true:
1. The child is under or unemployed
2. The child has been out on their own before and would rather not live with parents
3. The parents want the child to move out
4. The parents want the child to learn, work or "apply themselves" in a way the child doesn't want to
5. The child is starting a business
6. The child has children
7. The parents are starting a business or work from home
8. There's massive debt and bills between them
9. There are other adult children or dependents living in the house

You get it.  Some families choose to live together past the standard 18-22 because it works well and they all want it to be that way.  Sometimes this is not the case.  Sometimes the adult child isn't even living in the house but is still somehow a dependent.

The issues regarding these situations be balanced.  I certainly don't have all the answers but I know that underemployed, unemployed, self-employed, entrepreneurs, single parents, one-income families, etc. are full of experiences and skills.  Any moderately healthy adult has lived long enough to do something of help to the family.

If the adult child is not bringing in any or enough money, I think it's a good idea as a parent to give them some extra support.  More than likely you know some opportunities, you know people, you have skills and resources that your children are unaware of, so why not make the connections?

If you help your child get training to do something you're familiar with or someone you know and trust is an expert on for free, that may be the thing that helps your child get ahead of their current struggles.

Without naming any names I know a few families.
One of those families owns a business.  A local business.  They trained their children to work for them when they were teenagers, but they barely paid them, it was more of a family demand than a job, so their children also worked various fast food and retail jobs as teens.

The parents also work regular 9-5 jobs.  Two of the kids are now in college and one graduated from college a few years ago.

When one child comes home from school, he works a menial job.  The older graduated child got a regular 9-5 job but then was fired.  He wants to help his parents business but they won't let him.  He also wants to go back to school or somehow learn to take this skill that the family business is based on and make it more of an artistic and professionally opportunity for himself.  He wants to take the business and his skills to the next level and make it more than local, but he needs a little support and permission from his parents.

They encouraged him to get another job in another field that is uninteresting to him.  Why are jobs somehow better than self-led work for so many people?  Why not encourage people to make their own way?

Anyway, on the other hand there is another family member in this family who tried to come up with a plan with the son who wanted to take over a part of the family business. This family member has a lot of skills in growing businesses and marketing, though none of the technical skills.  The parents also shot down this member of the family (who was like a child to them).

I know a couple other families with very similar stories.  It leaves me wondering, if parents want to help their adult children to be more financially stable, why not start at home, where they are, with what they already know or can be learned easily through regular family interactions?

How helpful is it to continuously hold on to the ideas of testing children with independence with small bits of abandonment poured on top of each other.  Parenting doesn't end at the age of 18 or 22 or whenever the child graduates.  Rather they are financially stable or not, children will still need their parents support, especially during those first years of working and trying to support themselves, switching careers, losing jobs, finally finding your passion, trying to make your own way.

Do your kids have something to fall back on, if and probably when their first course of financial independence falls through?  Something you can and will support them in developing, training or starting of their own volition and by allowing them to share their own skills to make a project uniquely their own?

If you have work or resources, would you encourage your child to share their solutions, expertise and learn enough to give them a grounded approach to starting something where it's most comfortable to start...with people you know, love, trust.  Parents, grandparents, family friends? I don't suggest parents go out of their way to hold their child's hand step-by-step, but to maybe walk together to that place where they can discover and make an impact.

Maybe, we should start doing these things long before children reach adulthood.  Maybe that first 5-year-old business idea should be thought of as more than a dream, but as an opportunity to learn, make an impact, to make their own way.  Why not indulge these tiny pieces of trust, rather than push them away leaving holes of abandonment that may eventually leave a huge gash in your relationship?

What would you suggest to families in this situation?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 Ideas for Starbucks to Grow its Business

1. Starbucks offers Ipad's that customers can use to read book with a huge number and variety of books and even play games.
I.E. A customer walks in and buy a drink and then they can go take the Ipad and sit down and read something or even play a game on it. When they are ready to leave they put the Ipad back and leave the store. You will need some sort of security system for this but it shouldn't be too hard to work out.

2. Starbucks can sell their coffee and tea by the pot. 
I.E.  5 Friends can come into a Starbucks and buy a pot of coffee that they can all enjoy.

3. Starbucks makes "favorite drink clubs." This idea ties in with idea number 2.
I.E. Some members of the Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha club can decide to go to a Starbucks and buy a pot of White Chocolate Mocha. The club can be made on the Facebook, or have its own website part of the Starbucks website, or be a smartphone app that people can download and use. This would be a great way for people with the same Starbucks taste to meet each other.

4. Starbucks makes a volunteer to work program for people interested in working there. The program is for people in stores and in roasting facilities.
I.E. Someone is interested in working at Starbucks and they volunteer for a certain amount of time, after that time if Starbucks views them as good enough to hire for pay, they hire them. 

5. Starbucks offers a large selection of vegan and lacto-vegetarian food options at the food bar.
I.E. Vegan subs, vegan baklava, lacto-vegetarian baklava, vegan and vegetarian cakes.

6. Starbucks offers huge farm fresh salads.
Only in select locations that have a farm close enough to supply the Starbucks with a salad.

7. Starbucks offers major prizes in their reward program once a year like car, house, vacation, cruise.

8. Starbucks makes it's own library with books and Ipads.
I.E Most people in a bookstore don't buy books anyways, they just read with their cup of coffee and leave, so they might as well have a library.

9. Kind of like idea 8, Starbucks opens up in Libraries nationwide.

10. Starbucks introduces real fruit smoothies.
I.E. Banana Strawberry Smoothie consisting of 8 ripe frozen bananas and 1 cup of frozen strawberries. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Do Your Children Really Need To Go To College?

Right after I quit college I magically met tons of people, many successful, some not, who didn't go to college or quit college and were absolutely ecstatic about it.

Most of the happily, healthfully successful people I know now, 10 years later, didn't go to college.  It's not that not going to college automatically makes you successful or happy, just like going to college doesn't magically create financial success, intelligence or happiness.   It's more a mindset, as well as some tactical and practical components.

So what should we gift or invest in for our children?  What do we mean when we talk about a good education?  Is 12+ years of the same stuff, leveled up, over and over again, really intelligence?  Is it even education?  Or is it monotonous, inefficient and passion-killing?  Shouldn't we all, if we're really interested and capable of any given subject, be able to learn about those things, with our own effort, abilities, resources and leadership?

Should we be able to hire or trade with teachers we respect and choose for ourselves, or programs and opportunities we choose to learn from?

Maybe, instead of forcing or coercing children to go to college and guilting them into this absolute law that they must go to college or hell will freeze over.  Maybe we should open up our minds and think of the many different ways our children could use our support and experience to do things they want to do, things they could learn from in ways compatible to their own ability to master skills and information.

Maybe we should allow, encourage health, exploration/travel, spirituality, volunteering, entrepreneurship, self-led projects.  Maybe if our children are sick, we should encourage them and support them (even financially) on finding a serious health program to holistically address their issues, rather than going to school sick and occasionally having doctors appointments, going years with the same issues and just accepting ill health as a normality.

Maybe we should allow and encourage them to travel for extended periods of time, doing volunteer work with organizations like 7interchange.org, or mentor with teachers like Dr. Doug Graham, encourage them to do yoga teacher trainings or dance or acting or permaculture trainings.

If you or your children are interested in self-led education, by all means support it and if you want more support join here.  That's what this website is all about, d.i.y education and work/careers.  Rather you want to teach, learn or explore topics that aren't covered in the pre-designed schools or programs you or your children are taking, or you want support in creating and carrying out your own program.  Let us know!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Karma Yoga & Yogi Scouts Updates August

So...just some details as things are crazy busy right now.

The Yogi Scouts and Karma Is A Biz programs launch officially in October.  We have a facebook page here: http://facebook.com/karmaisabiz

In the meantime we'll be setting authors up on this blog who are interested in exploring, experimenting and supporting these ideas.  If you're one of those people feel free to post a comment or send us a message with a way to talk about the programs.

Anyone is also free to join the intro e-course, which will be offered in a couple weeks, up until the official launch date.

We'll be creating a lot of new content including monthly newsletter with opportunities for sustainable jobs and business, education, lifestyle and health.

We're happy to accept guest posts.  We have a network connecting several different blogs, websites and social media pages which will be linked on this page.

We are also offering healthy weight and vitality coaching, as well as karma yoga coaching and more.  You can join the mailing list where you get information and a free intro into the different courses we're offering at this link: http://eepurl.com/Cnz8z  You pick your path, but you'll get information on choosing or changing your path after you sign up, so no worries if you don't understand, just pick anything!

Other than that there will be follow-ups on every post created on this site so far, next week and we'll be hightlighting some discussions from our other blogs and websites to help you understand the full scope of our plans, so you can get involved.

I look forward to sharing with you more and hearing more from you in the not-so-distant future.

~With Pleasure
Mera

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

World Breastfeeding Week, A 5 Year Old's Perspective

I am 5 years old, almost 6.  My mom is typing this for me.  She told me today is World Breastfeeding Week. This is what I have to say about breastfeeding:

Why can't really big kids have breasts and teenagers? Why can't big kids have breastmilk from teenagers?

It makes me sad that I don't breastfeed anymore, because I never get some and I don't get any at night anymore, because I'm 5, that means I don't get anymore at all.

Tell me what you know about breastfeeding?
Nothing.
Do you want to learn about breastfeeding?
Yes.

When my mommy eats a lot of food, I can have some sukh from her.

Do you have any questions about breastfeeding?
Why does a grown-up have to eat kids so big kids can have some?

So when a mom eats, the food goes into her blood and makes breastmilk.

I want to eat no food, so I don't grow, cause I want to be a kid forever.  I don't want to talk about breastfeeding anymore.


As a breastfeeding counselor, I suppose I'm a little disappointed that my kid didn't want to talk much about breastfeeding and claimed to know nothing about it...but maybe that's an appropriate reminder of the importance of World Breastfeeding Week.

Should we be educated about breastfeeding as children?  Would it make it easier for more of us to have success with breastfeeding when we're adults and to accept and support breastfeeding?  I wonder...what do you think?

I sensed my daughter's conflicting thoughts about breastfeeding and realize I definitely want to share more discussions with her about it. 




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Letting children learn early

I was showering when the 2 year old walked in and saw me. She asked what that, pointing to my penis and I told her it was my penis. She asked why it was in my but, I told her it wasn't. Apparently she thinks since her privates are next to her but that they are in her but, therefore mine must be in my but as well, even though they are obviously in the front. She asked me why was it there. I told her that's how men's and boy's privates are. She also asked what's that pointing to my balls and I told her that is my sack and that it has balls in it and it makes seeds. I also told her that is where I pee from. I told her I pee from the hole, pointing to it. She said "there is hole in there?" and I said "Yes."

She has done this a few times. Why is it she always asks the same questions? Is she trying to get some sort of confirmation that what I said before is true?Is the memory bank of her brain so underdeveloped that she doesn't remember doing this before? Her mother said she is playing a game. She told her mom she doesn't have one or as she says it "fwan." She told her mom that repeatedly and I told her she isn't supposed to have one. Children are naturally curious about almost everything around them. We should help them to learn especially about the human body so later on in life they are not confused. Better for their parents to teach the kids than some stranger in Biology class or "sex-ed" class.