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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!

A Whole New Mind

JasonC —  May 13, 2012 — Leave a comment

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the FutureA Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is an excellent overview of likely changes coming to our society from a world-view perspective. In generations past, there have been wholesale societal shifts in “direction.” For instance, moving from into the industrial age, there was a shift from a family-based agrarian societal structure. That had profound effects throughout society. People left the rural areas and congregated in cities to find production jobs. Capacity of production was limited by the workers available so the educational system was changed to educate our children to a degree that they would be capable of succeeding in those types of jobs. That required left brain thinking. Over the past 150 years, that has been an extremely successful and productive model for western countries. But in modern times, there is another shift that is currently in full swing: a new renaissance, wherein those jobs & professions that require left-brain thought and training are better handled by computers or low-paid workers in other countries.

If you have been exposed to Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence or Social Intelligence books and Friedman’s The World is Flat (or even Hot, Flat & Crowded), you’ll have something of an idea of how this book reads. The writing style is very similar to Friedman’s, though not as densely packed. There is certainly some conceptual content overlap among all of these books as well. I found them all to be quite interesting. Or maybe “thought-provoking” would be the more appropriate term.

The focus of AWNM is on the new renaissance and how this could affect our future and that of our children. Is the current education system going to serve our children, or will it adequately outfit them to enter a job market in which they have no chance of competing with someone who works for 1/2 or less the wages? What types of skills and perspectives do we need to educate and train our future generations in order to make the next economic leap? There are some specifics and a lot of general ideas to digest. And probably act upon through groundswells of pressure and support on our educational system in order to make the necessary changes to best serve our next generations.

My primary criticism of the book is there isn’t enough specific application discussed. The topics covered are huge and will probably affect our next several generations to such a large degree that not acting on this is foolish. Probably even downright negligent. So what are the “next steps” to take as (a) individuals, (b) local thought-leaders, (c) people on educational boards, (d) people involved in various strata of government or even politics? Speaking of politics, I’m essentially straight-up libertarian, and this book read as having a significantly liberal bias. To me, that felt unnecessary as these topics are really non-partisan. Perhaps it was hard to contain as many current right-brain-dominant individuals find themselves in liberal fields of work. Still, it needs to be noted as the topics should be equally important to conservatives, liberals, or anyone in our country. And for those reading it from outside of the western world, it really gives a good thought-platform on skipping straight past “equality” with the western world to a position of dominance quickly.

Definitely a recommended read. Start up a conversation if you do.



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Flipping The Switch

JasonC —  May 13, 2012 — Leave a comment

Flipping the Switch...: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability Using the QBQ!Flipping the Switch…: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability Using the QBQ! by John G. Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty good book overall. Definitely start with the previous book – QBQ, which discusses the fundamental concept of making sure you’re asking the right questions to make forward progress.

Flipping the Switch takes it to the next level, though, discussing Application Principles that add to the QBQ. The application principles are Learning, Ownership, Creativity, Service, and Trust. Each section gives a relatively brief discussion of the principle, how it relates the the QBQ concept, and an entertaining anecdote to visualize the concept in action.

This is a brief book with simple concepts that should still help keep you more focused and productive in your work and personal life. Well worth the read.



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Changes coming!

JasonC —  May 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

Needless to say, I’m in the process of updating/changing my website. All of this stems from the need to update to the newest version of WordPress and that necessitated PHP5 instead of PHP4, which was the database I had used previously.  What a pain!