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I want to take the time to thank those of you who have subscribed to my blog and enjoy the Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook posts. Over the past couple of years, it’s been a real pleasure to get to meet many of you. And hearing stories about how it’s made a real difference to several direct sales husbands (Husbands of Thirty-One to be exact) has been humbling, to say the least. 

Thank you.

Although I’ve slowed down in my DSHH posting in the last year, most of that has been due to time constraints with my “real job” which changed in April. Thank you for being patient with me. During this time, I’ve still been collecting ideas for posts and how to make the Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook even better. 

And it’s time to unveil the first step I’m taking in that direction:

Direct Sales Tips.net

As many of you know, I do a lot of reading. Recently what I’ve been reading regarding blogging is that it is a good idea to keep a blog branded and focused, and that makes all the sense in the world to me. One of the troubles with JasonECox.org (this site) is that it is my personal blog. That’s how it started years ago, and it’s my outlet for things like book reviews, product reviews, various geeky interests and endeavors. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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The Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook posts are important to me. And I sense that keeping them on my blog somewhat limits the visibility they could otherwise achieve. And I doubt many of the readers of that series have much interest in the other stuff I like to write about. So it’s time for a break. Or, more accurately, a re-organization of the content and direction. 

Over the next weeks and months I’ll be adding all of my Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook posts to DirectSalesTips.net. As I do this, I’m updating and refreshing the content as well. Some posts I will probably break into multiple segments to go a little deeper into the topics. New DSHH posts will be posted on the new site, though I will probably either post them here as well, or at least post links to the other site.

My goal with DirectSalesTips.net is to help as many people in the direct sales business as possible. My primary focus will still be on the DSHH posts, but I will also post other general direct sales tip posts as well. Many people in the Thirty-One community know of my through my wife, Holley. But I’d love the DSHH to impact guys whose wife’s are involved in every direct sales company out there. And I’d love to get posts from other folks as well. Read the first post on DST.net to get an idea of what my goals are. 

 

Finally, I’m going to continue posting my Various Ramblings here. But right now I’m thinking it’s going to get a lot geekier than it has been :) 

 

Please let me know what you think. And if you think you’d like to try your hand at posting to a blog about direct sales, let me know!

One thing about me is that I have something of a creative streak. It’s not necessarily always there or always active (is it for anyone?) but every so often I just feel the “urge” to get creative. When this happens, sometimes I’ll break out one of my sketchbooks (I probably should consolidate to using one at a time so I can actually finish one.) At other times, I’ll open a creative app like Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro, or Illustrator and just start drawing. 

If you ever get that “creative urge,” I highly recommend getting yourself a sketchbook. You don’t need any training. Just draw. Draw what you see. Draw what you can imagine. It really doesn’t matter. Don’t be critical of your drawings. There is no place for criticism in your sketchbook. It’s just a creative outlet. And you never know what may come of it. The criticism will only serve to keep you from exercising your creativity. Fear of criticism will do the same, so don’t let that stand in your way. It’s not about being perfect or professional. It’s about “getting it out.”

Remember, sketching is for you. It helps the creative process, getting ideas down on paper can help them develop into something bigger, cooler, or better. Sketch anything you think about. Ideas. Things you see. Dreams. Designs. Over time you’ll develop a style. Just have fun with it!

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Recently our local Blockbuster has started their going-out-of-business clearance sale. Literally everything in the building is for sale, including the DVD shelves and racks. I was worried that would happen because the other 2 in the area have closed up shop in the last 2-3 years. Having been a Blockbuster Total Access subscriber (they send me Blu-Rays in my queue and I can turn them in locally in exchange for something immediately), I had been pretty spoiled by the access and the ability to always have an awesome selection. 

On the other hand, 3 years ago I married my dream girl and now have a full household most all the time and all sorts of activities to occupy my time, so I haven’t been watching movies anywhere close to the same rate as when I was on my own. Still, the imminent closure of Blockbuster means a change in my home entertainment setup.

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A Short Note

JasonC —  April 22, 2013 — 4 Comments

Just a quick note:

You may have noticed that I’ve cut back on my posting in the last couple of months. I just wanted to give an update on what’s going on to cause this. Here are the main factors:

1. I took 2 months off between hospitalist positions. I posted a lot in the first month (February) but burnt out a little and took March as a slack period.

2. In April I started my new full-time position and promptly worked 11 of 14 days.

3. Lack of feedback on the posts.

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The Portable Car Medical Kit

JasonC —  February 5, 2013 — 2 Comments

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So you’ve put together your full-sized home medical kit and you feel pretty good about it. What’s next?

Well, where else do you spend a large amount of time? Work, of course (try to get them to put together a kit similar to the Home Medical Kit). Otherwise, you probably spend a fair amount of time in your car driving and at activities (sporting events for yourself and kids). What if you have an accident while traveling? What if your daughter has a huge abrasion during a soccer game?

The Portable/Car Medical Kit to the Rescue!

The key purpose of the Car Medical Kit is to be prepared for the types of minor emergencies you might encounter while traveling or at frequent destinations away from home. So, if you commute 2 hours (one way!) to work as my friend Ethan does, if something happens along the way you’ll have a kit ready. What if you’re a soccer mom (or dad)? Or a Boy Scout troop leader? Think about the types of situations you’re likely to benefit from having a kit of some sort.

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As mentioned in my set-up post for this series, you should strongly consider buying or making a medical kit for your home. When the need arises, it will be easy to find, accessible, and should have the items you’re likely to need for 80% (or more) of your household emergency needs.

This post will cover the Home Medical Kit.

Why do you need a home medical kit? Chances are good you have some personal experience or insight into the reasons, so I’m not going into detail here. When it comes to a household “emergency” a kit puts what you’re going to need in one place. If you have kids, it’s just a matter of time before one of them runs in the house screaming with a cut, abrasion, bite, burn, or some other injury. Not every such injury can be handled at home, but most of them can. When it happens, you don’t want to have to run all over the house looking for bandages, gauze, medicine, and the rest.

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2012 Year In Review

JasonC —  December 31, 2012 — Leave a comment

Here we are at the end of 2012. It’s been a good year for the most part, so I thought I’d take a little time to review:

State of The Blog:

This was by far my most successful year blogging. In the past, it’s been rather spotty, but for the past 5-6 months I’ve been able to maintain a couple of posts a week with some consistency. 

When I started blogging regularly in June after “rebooting” my site in May, I averaged something around 30 visits monthly to the site. As of this month (December), my monthly page loads totaled over 1300 with about 1100 unique visits and 978 first time visitors. That’s 35 unique visits per day (more than my monthly total previously!). Hopefully that trend will continue as my aim is to provide useful information to as many people as possible. I’ve been both pleased and proud of my Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook series.

For those of you who think blogging = profit, let me assure you otherwise. As of this time, there hasn’t been a single cent in revenue from sharing this information with people. Maybe it could become self-sustaining eventually. Right now the only potential revenue stream is Amazon links. If you purchase an item after clicking on my link, you will still get the best Amazon deal possible, but I would potentially get 3% (I believe) credited to my burdensome Amazon habit. 

Jason’s Blog Top 10 Posts of the Year:

A User’s Review of YNAB 4

$10-20 Gifts You Should Consider Getting Your Guy For Christmas

How to Help Her Direct Sales Business Day-to-Day

Incentive Trips ROCK!

Gift Guide for your Guy – $5-10

Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook – Part 6 – Debunking The Pyramid Scheme Thing

$20-40 Gifts Your Guy Will Love for Christmas

The 7 Keys to Direct Sales Business Accountability

About Me – Jason Cox

Live It Up! Thirty-One Gifts National Conference 2012 Photo Gallery

Business Tax Basics (technically #11, but About Me isn’t a post!)

State of Social Media (for me):

One of my first blog posts was to commemorate my starting point: 33 twitter followers. Heheh. I still can’t get the Social Influence widget to update to any degree, but I’m now at 275 followers on twitter. 

I believe most of the followers there are from people I’ve followed, but I follow something like 660, so it’s not something to do in order to get people to follow back. For me, I just decided to follow twitter feeds that appeared to offer something of direct interest to me. Generally this means it’s someone in the realms of leadership/personal development, photoshop/photography, computing/technology, Christian living, blogging, conservative/libertarian thought leaders, or sports.

I have no idea how many of the 275 who follow me are “real people.” I’m not worried about it. It’s not something I pay for (nor would I ever).

My primary goal with Twitter is to continue to share things I find interesting (generally from the same categories mentioned above). Probably all the people on Facebook who are my “friends” will get tired of this and unfriend me. Hey, it’s a Win-Win!

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Personal Goals:

I spent more time with family this year and made it to more of the kids’ sporting events.

Sadly, I hardly spent any time with my tennis buddies playing tennis.

Our small group grew and we have such an awesome crew in our group! Such a blessing there!

Reading: 

According to Shelfari, I “read” 20 books this year (goal was 20). I’m not sure that’s accurate, but it’s as close as I’ve got, and I think I did a better job of recording it this year than in years past. While 20 books isn’t horrible, I think I’ll shoot for 24 next year.

I reviewed several of the books I read this past year. In the future that will continue to be a purpose of this blog – reviewing worthy books

In Closing:

I hope that you’ve all had an excellent year and have an even better 2013. If you get a chance, leave me some feedback on which of my posts were your favorites and why.

Happy New Year!

Today is my birthday. My 42nd birthday, to be exact, and it’s been quite an excellent birthday.

I suppose as I am forced by all the well-wishers to face the fact that I’m yet another year older that it makes me turn a little introspective. It’s a good thing to spend a little time (not too much) assessing or analyzing where you are at any point in your life and where you want to be.  And where you want to go.

Some Random Thoughts (Some Deep, Some Not):

Warning: These are my personal opinions. Politics are discussed. I will never force my opinion on you in any way. Be respectful of mine.

1. I am amazed at how many new friends I have this year. Being married to Holley Cox, undoubtedly one of the greatest women in the world, helps in this regard. I’ve never considered myself to be all that great of a friend. But I strive to get better and better at it. Being busy makes it hard. This year, though, it seems, has been particularly fruitful of friendships. Many are with people I’ve met through Thirty-One. Some of my best guy friends are Husbands of Thirty One. I think about these guys daily and we communicate regularly. It stinks that we all live so far apart.

2. I’m so glad I started blogging regularly. I know I can do better with this, but it’s been an awesome creative vent for me. If you don’t blog, you should. It’s better than Facebook, I promise. There’s been a tremendous amount of support and encouragement for my Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook posts. I plan to keep ‘em coming.

3. I’m changing jobs. This amounts to taking a stand for my family. My current position as a hospitalist and medical director of the hospitalist program at Morristown Hamblen Hospital has been fine. I feel I’ve made some tremendous improvements during my time there. My physician team agrees with me. But administration has decided (arbitrarily) to go to a 7-on 7-off scheduling model with no exceptions. As I have my kids on the weekends, this jeopardizes my time with them and no job is worth that. This is an opportunity for me to spend MORE time with my family and show them how important they are to me. Please pray for us during this time. There are tons of options out there for me. Almost too many, really, because making sure I choose the “right one” is stressful. Trying to leave it in God’s hand is my tact with that, though. He will take care of it.

4. The end of the world stresses me out. Over the last 18 months, I’ve had a profound fascination with almost everything to do with all this “end of the world” talk. The book of Revelation. Doomsday Preppers. The whole Mayan calendar thing. The movie 2012. Maybe it’s compounded by the whole job situation, but it has literally been a weight on me (don’t laugh, I’m serious!) Oh, and it continues to be. All this mess in the Middle East is about to blow up and that is right in line with Biblical Prophecy. America is a different country than the one in which I was raised. The future for our children is NOT as bright as it was for us. Raising children in a world where so many people don’t care to work and the government is all too happy to support them at your expense (in exchange for votes)… ugh. It’s just nasty to think about it. 

5. The politics of America are absolutely crazy. And it’s just going to get worse. The Dems are unashamedly socialist now. And the majority of people are totally OK with that. The GOP has gone from being socially progressive (abolishing slavery!) to faux-evangelical (in an offensive sort of way). And the only thing that the GOP really seems to care about is corporate welfare. There is no party that actually represents the citizens of this once great country. And yet so few people actually look at their party politics and think “is this what’s really right for me and my children? And their children?”

6. The world financial market is so tenuous and the media ignores it. Most economists can see what’s coming. Educate yourself on the macroeconomics of sovereign debt. I’m not saying the financial world is about to end. Just that there’s about an 80% chance of it if you really look at what is going on in Europe and the USA. Ignorance is bliss, and I wish I could get mine back, because watching all this go on is very much like watching a train wreck and contributes to nos. 4 & 5 above. 

Put all of this together and what you get is a LOT of life change. Change is stressful, but change is also opportunity. Of my good guy friends from Thirty-One, every single one of us is either going through a job change, loss of job, or moving to a new city. I hope they have for themselves the same aces in hand that I do:

Two things I’m so incredibly grateful for:

1. My trust in Jesus Christ – He’s got it all under control. 

2. My wife Holley Cox – going through massive life change isn’t something new to me. But going through it with the support and love of an amazing woman certainly is. It makes it all worthwhile.

If you’re still reading at this point, leave me a comment so I know who you are.