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Archives for July 2008

Home Painting Tips From The Pros

Paint Can

It’s amazing how much easier it is to do anything when you have the right information.

I did some painting around my place last week, and luckily a friend of mine owns a painting company. And even though I’ve done a little painting here and there before, a little supervisory consultation with him made the job a lot easier.

So if you’re thinking of painting your house, these pro tips will come in handy …

1. Surface Preparation. First, wash your walls with TSP (Trisodium Phosphate). This is what most painters use but it’s also rather harsh. A good alternative is to use dish detergent and warm water. Just make sure you rinse the detergent residue off with a second washing of fresh water. If you’re painting a surface with a semi-gloss finish, then give it a light sanding.

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Be Wary of Strategic Partnerships. Be Very, Very Wary

Fire and Ice Handshake

Building strategic partnerships is a very important part of building a strong and enduring business. But these waters are also filled with sharks, and you have to be very careful about who you get involved with. Of course, sometimes you don’t have a choice.

Case in point … last year, my neighbor had a massive problem with a partnership deal that almost ruined his business. All because he failed to isolate the deal process.

And when it comes to playing with billion dollar companies; the market leaders … the rules they play by are pretty simple. Sooner or later, they will own you or kill you. That’s their goal plain and simple, and I saw a lot of that when I was in the water bottling industry.

So let’s look at a really big deal that’s unfolding right now …

The Microsoft-Yahoo Chess Game

When Microsoft first made a bid to buy Yahoo, there was something nagging at me that I just couldn’t put my finger on. As more details surfaced it became abundantly clear; Microsoft is playing an own-it-or-kill-it game.

Emphasis on the kill-it part.

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How to Write a Screenplay Hollywood Will Love

Screenwriting Books

I love movies. Always have. And every great movie, whether it’s a big Hollywood production or an indie cult classic starts with a great screenplay. The script is what attracts talent and investment, inspires genius, and ultimately just tells a great story worth watching.

And there’s a formula to storytelling that makes great movies great. A formula that never fails to rise to the challenge because it educates and entertains by grasping at the very roots of the human condition.

That formula is classical mythological story structure. And it’s allowed stories like Homer’s Odyssey to persevere for literally thousands of years. And you can play with the formula quite a bit. After all, it’s just a framework.

But there are some key ingredients you have to have to make a great screenplay. No matter what the genre, you’ll find that the best movies have these things. And the worst, don’t.

The Key Ingredients in Great Screenwriting

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4 Ways to Invest in a Bear Market

Scared Bear

Thanks to the rising price of oil and the mortgage meltdown the stock market has been what the British would call “dodgy”. There’s a lack of confidence in the ability for companies to perform and earn, and that’s driving the markets down.

But it’s not all bad news. Bear markets can bring good investing opportunities and there are numerous strategies you can employ to minimize the erosion of your portfolio and even make some money …

1. Don’t invest. A lot of investment funds are holding a larger than normal cash position right now. This is simple cash preservation and the idea is to wait out the bear; when the markets are going up, it’s because stocks in general are going up, and your chances of picking the winners are much better.

2. Go short. Shorting a stock is betting the stock will go down. You can place your bet by buying put options which is the option to sell a stock at a price in the future that you think will be higher than it will cost to buy. You can aso write call options. By writing a call, you’re giving someone else an opportunity to buy your stocks at a specific price and if the stock goes lower, the option is useless and you keep the premium (the price of the option) when it expires.

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Marketing: How Men Think Vs. How Women Think

Mark Gungor is a very good lecturer and very funny. In this video he illustrates the difference between how men think vs. how women think.

It’s really important to think about gender when you’re building a marketing campaign. Most products and services have a very specific demographic that’s either male or female. And your marketing has to appeal to the gender you’re selling to.

For example, pink and fluffy power tools … probably not a big seller.

Mark makes some important points that every marketer should take note of. When you’re marketing to men, keep it simple. Very simple. Show them how your product fixes a problem. When you’re marketing to women, build a connection; connect your product to other things in their lives. Lots of other things.

Very funny and entertaining. And insightful.

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