A Moment of Silence

tree (moment of silence)

Do you remember the time you left your phone behind on accident? Your day is going well and you are heading over to have lunch. Then you realize that your communication tool to connect with the world is at your desk. At first, it feels weird not having a communication device. You start to wonder if anyone is calling or sent over an email.

I had this moment happen many times. Every time this would happen the mind would wonder into areas and start analyzing everything that crosses its path. But then, there is a moment that I’ve learned to achieve over the course of accidently leaving the phone behind. This is a simple process that anyone can achieve. Let me share the process in how to achieve a moment of silence.

Focus your attentions on a natural object

If you are at a restaurant during lunch, it can be anymore. Take the time to look outside and find a natural plant or tree. Focus your attentions on that natural object. Look into its detail texture and really begin to follow how it flows with the wind. Don’t think about the whys, hows, and whats. Just stare at the object and observe. The idea of focusing your attention to an object is to releave your mind from thoughts and get into a moment of silence.

Relax the body

We don’t realize how often we don’t take in good inhale/exhale breaths. Add this to your focus attentions as you observe an object. Begin listening to your breathing pattern. Slowly progress in inhaling air to your lungs. Progressively, continue to intake more air, slowly. If you begin to feel your body is moving to a relax state, then you are on right path to achieve a moment of silence.

A Moment of Silence

Releaving your mind and body from all the noise that goes around helps refresh your current state (like working out). We live in an exciting time where technology is pioneering us to a whole new era of living. It is a fast pace lifestyle. But remember to give yourself a moment to realign yourself.

If you have any suggestions. Please leave a comment below.

Benefits in Making Connections

making connections

Connections

Making a connection is a valuable asset to your business and future projects (also personal growth). You never know when that person can lead you to an opportunity. It’s not all work and developing services. Put the time to get out there.

Opportunities

There are always lots of opportunities that come from just networking with people. It’s knowing which opportunity to jump onto that align with your personal goals and business. Opportunities come from referrals of clients you worked for in the past. Attending conferences or meetings, finding the like-minded folks who are also trying achieve their personal goals.

Positive Influence

Look around you when attending a social event. Ask yourself if they are feeding off positive energy. Look for ways to surround yourself with uplifting people.  Keep your mind focused and positive.

Confidence

Get out of the comfort zone. As Steve Blank says on a constant basis “get out there” and see what works and what doesn’t. At first, connecting with someone at an event can be tough. But once you get two or more conversions in, it becomes a breeze to introduce yourself or have others introduce you to them.

Give

Helping others is the ultimate satisfaction as a human being. Get involved with your community. You will be surprised by how much of an impact you will be to someone just by lending a hand.

Friendship

Making lasting connections that will go beyond the past projects or business. Friendship is created from liked minded and similar interest. This is where comes the phrase “It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”. This is where opportunities are created and ideas are started. Because of the trusting relationship you have with that person.

If you have suggestions on how to make connections. Please share a comment below.

I Participated In A Hackathon

My friend Anthony and I participated in a hackathon. We didn’t win, but we certainly did not lose. Let me elaborate. First and foremost I want to thank the folks at Valleyhackathon.com for having us at the event. It was a great experience.

 

What is a Hackathon? 

There are several formats of this type of competitions, but the dominant characteristic is that they involve technology. What do we hack, the Pentagon? No, not at all. It’s not like that. To participate in a hackathon you have to come up with a project/idea and complete it within the deadline. Some hackathons are 72 hours, some are 48 hours, but the one we participated on was 24 hours. In this instance, the entry required that you had a project that involved writing software and our team could have up to four members. We could have a hardware component in our project, but a significant software portion was required. Once the clock started ticking and we had 24 hours to finish a working product.

 

What was the product idea? 

It was Anthony who originally came up with the idea and we thought it was would be a perfect fit for the hackathon. Our goal was to create a web application that would allow people to know a bit more about what is going on in their towns. Local businesses would be able to register on the application, share the name of their business address and a short description of the services or products they offer. On the other hand, end-users could also register and choose the businesses they would like to receive notifications from. Notifications would be a way for businesses to let town folks know about a promotion or a new upcoming event. Registered businesses could schedule their announcements to be sent out to all subscribers at any specific time. We knew that this was not a novelty. I’m pretty sure that there are similar services out there, but we thought our grassroots approach would set as apart.

 

Why did we not win? 

We bit more than we could chew. For one, we underestimated the amount of work required to complete two portals, one for the businesses and another for the end users. The second factor was that we did not stick to what we knew best. We set out to try a new code library that we were not completely proficient on. The hackathon started on a Friday roughly around 6:30 PM and it ended the following day at 6:30 PM. On Saturday around noon, I began to realize there was no way we were going to be able to finish the project by 6:30 PM. I had slept only 30 minutes since the competition had started and my thoughts we were getting blurred. Long story short, we did not have a project to present by the time judging came around.

 

Why did we not lose?

Even though we did not place in the event we were able to reconnect with fellow “hackers” from previous and events and met new faces. We were exposed to what other programmers are doing here in the Central Valley. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been nice to walk away with a prize, but the experience of being there was all worth it. I’m really looking forward to next year’s hackathon.

In A Stormy Weather (Productive Environment)

productivity rain window

Productive Environment

We have gotten in moments where we are being productive at work and all of a sudden…!Boom! rain comes pouring down. It makes us stop for a moment and appreciate the pleasant sound of rain. The reason I bring up rain and productivity is because at work we tend to create a work environment that feels calming and pleasant. And I wanted to share my work environment. Usually at work in order to work in a peace-minded environment, there is always background being played. The beat of a song tends to keep me in a momentum while developing applications, such as Cloud Time Cards.

Positive Energy

Having a good energy within in your organizations makes it welcoming for any type of idea to be shared. It usually takes one person to start this trend within an organization and it just spreads like wildfire.

Inspiration

Take a moment to talk and listen to your co-workers about life inspirations. This usually happens on a Monday morning when everybody has a thing or two shares about their weekend with an emphasize on how they could have improved their weekend a little better.

Real Plant

What do you mean a real plant? Yes, a real plant place in your office space. I have one on my desk to the right of me. At first, I thought it was just a nice gift from my parents, they felt like they haven’t seen me for while so they sent over a plant. Over the course of the weeks at work, I found myself taking care of the plant (in a good way). It gave me a consistent responsibility to give it water and care. Co-workers would come by and compliment the plant on how nice it looks. This plant has given me the environment of peace and tranquility while working on projects.

In Closure

Find ways that you create a pleasant environment space for yourself and co-workers. It doesn’t have to be a dozen plant place throughout the office. Look into ways you create by listening in to your peers at work.

If you have any suggestions about this topic, please share your thoughts below. Thanks!

Growing up on a farm

cow farm life

What I learned living on a farm

Many friends and family members have asked what’s it like growing up on a farm. And the answer comes to them as a surprise, because they see it as a get-a-way from all the noise in urban areas, an approach to reveal stress and anxiety.

Believe it or not, when I first moved to a farm it was hard to adapt into its constant everyday maintenance. There were daily TODO’s that had to be done before proceeding into my personal ambitions. For instance, we had farm animals to feed every morning! And I couldn’t just leave it for tomorrow because those animals had to eat. This was one of the toughest things to adjust because my weekdays and weekends revolved around farm animals and cleaning horse stables. It took a few months to adjust to this lifestyle. You know when you first started going to the gym and your body is in pain after every workout. But, you don’t shake that pain off for a few months. That is how I felt for months trying to adjust to farm living.

Eventually, I reached a point where feeding the animals became automatic. I would wake up and just get out there and start feeding them. I got good at feeding the animals that I started finding shortcuts in reducing the time feeding them.

This free time gave me an opportunity to try stuff out or experiment. Meaning, I would find ways to improve my productivity in how I fed animals. For example, by placing haystacks in certain areas of the farm it would save me time in having to return back to the barn for more hay.

farm

Apply it to your personal or work lifestyle

I started to apply my learnings from working on the farm out in the workforce. Once I caught myself doing something over and over, I would stop and begin in how to cut its time in half.

I’ve shared this with my family and friends about how not to get comfortable in their current situation, always challenge yourself. Einstein has a quote “Once you stop learning, you start dying”.

If you feel that you can change in how you do things in your daily routines, whether it’s personal or work. I challenge you to take the initiative in doing so.

If you have experienced this before. Please share by leaving a comment below.

Looking for free images?(Unsplash)

by Massimo Mancini

A website that you will love!

I believe we have a post regarding information on how to obtain free photos. But, I just can’t stop bragging about a particular online service that truly lets you download free pictures! I have shared this information with my friends and family since I first laid eyes on this site. The site is called Unsplash – “Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos” website. Many of the photos on this blog come from their website. This site has truly saved us time when searching for images to display for our online material.

This is a great resource for any online developer/marketer needing fresh photos to display on their site. If you are running an online e-commerce site and looking to make your homepage visually appealing, why not try a photo from Unsplash?

Why and how are they free?

“All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.” – https://unsplash.com/license

If you are someone that is constantly struggling to find eye-catching photos, check out the website. Make sure to give credit to the photographer if you ever intend in using their photos.

If you have experienced in using the site. Please share by leaving a comment below.

TED Talks For The Soul

Earth Pic

TED talks

You probably heard of this website and watch few of them or none. They share an array of topics that can leave you informed and inspired. But, today’s post topic is looking at these 5 videos if you are someone who needs some enlightenment and inspiration.

Here are the 5 Talks you should look into:

  1. Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

    “Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he’s never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on before we run out of time.” – TED Talks

  2. Meet the dazzling flying machines of the future


    “When you hear the word “drone,” you probably think of something either very useful or very scary. But could they have aesthetic value? Autonomous systems expert Raffaello D’Andrea develops flying machines, and his latest projects are pushing the boundaries of autonomous flight — from a flying wing that can hover and recover from disturbance to an eight-propeller craft that’s ambivalent to orientation … to a swarm of tiny coordinated micro-quadcopters. Prepare to be dazzled by a dreamy, swirling array of flying machines as they dance like fireflies above the TED stage.” – TED Talks

  3. What it takes to be a great leader


    “The world is full of leadership programs, but the best way to learn how to lead might be right under your nose. In this clear, candid talk, Roselinde Torres describes 25 years observing truly great leaders at work, and shares the three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future.” – TED Talks

  4. How to succeed? Get more sleep


    “In this short talk, Arianna Huffington shares a small idea that can awaken much bigger ones: the power of a good night’s sleep. Instead of bragging about our sleep deficits, she urges us to shut our eyes and see the big picture: We can sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness — and smarter decision-making.” – TED Talks

  5. What happened when I open-sourced my brain cancer

    “When artist Salvatore Iaconesi was diagnosed with brain cancer, he refused to be a passive patient — which, he points out, means “one who waits.” So he hacked his brain scans, posted them online, and invited a global community to pitch in on a “cure.” This sometimes meant medical advice, and it sometimes meant art, music, emotional support — from more than half a million people.” – TED Talks

2017 New Year Resolution (Again)

New Year

Resolution – the act of resolving or determining upon an action, a course of action, method, procedure, etc.

We are on a yearly minded cycle, meaning once we get close to the end of the year we begin to reflect on the past and start to develop resolutions for the future. Meanwhile, your present state continues the usual routine (habit).

Why do we look for a resolution? What is a resolution going to do in return? Have your heard this phrase before “It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it?”. Before you jump ship onto your resolution, I recommend you look closely at why you need to resolve a current habit or situation. Look into understanding its core reason.

Depending on the resolution it can be an instant gratification, like cleaning out your personal email inbox from junk/promotion mail. And bam! Instant gratification! But, if you are deciding to lose weight and expecting major results in a two-week turnaround, forget about it. If you read the first sentence of this blog post. Resolution is a procedure oriented process, take small steps into resolving your situation (but, be consistent).

Buying! If you think by just buying a product or service it’s going to magically resolve your situation, forget it too! We expect things to work right out of the box. Take the time to learn exactly what the product or service will do for you. Don’t just pull the trigger because you see others with it and you need that as well. Again, learn exactly what your needs are.

Whatever you decide to change or improve. Take the time to find its core purpose, put meaning into your course of action.

If you have suggestions about to execute a new year resolution. Please leave a comment below.

Why Does Cloudtimecards Exist?

The journey started when we decided to start Edifica. I have written a post about the story of Edifica here, but I’ll do a short recap. I come from a background in construction. I worked for a drywall contractor for more than 10 years and one of the biggest challenges we had at that time was to be able to keep all information pertaining to contracted jobs in one place. I’m sure that to this day contractors still have this problem. In addition to that, when contractors are shopping for a software solution to solve this problem, they find software packages that claim to be suited for specialty contractors, but in reality they are not. Most of the project management software available is designed for general contractors and do not make a distinction between general contractors and subcontractors. Edifica’s goal is to provide a project management software solution genuinely designed for subcontractors in the construction industry and one of our main advantages is that we have experience in the construction field.

 

While Edifica was in the beta stages, feedback from companies who we presented the software to and although they liked the features Edifica provided. We kept finding a common denominator on most of the feedback. People really liked the time tracking capabilities offered by Edifica. Let me explain how the process works. Let’s assume that a construction company has foreman out at a job site overseeing 10 employees. Using Edifica that foreman can create timesheet entries for each of those employees daily which are sent to the cloud in real time and the main office can have access to this data immediately. At the end of the week or pay period, timecards are generated digitally and a text message is sent out automatically to each of the employees with a link which gives them private access to review and digitally sign their time card using their smartphone. No smartphone, no problem. The foreman can share their smartphone or tablet to let any employee review and sign his or her time card. All signatures are time-stamped, stored digitally and paired with their corresponding time tracking data. The company can also use this data to generate a flat file that can be forwarded to their payroll company to significantly reduce the time required to process payroll. Edifica also eliminates unnecessary trips to the office to drop timecards off and we stored time cards digitally for record keeping.

 

Soon after receiving all this feedback we realized that the time tracking features of Edifica could be useful to other industries other than the construction industry. We set out to extract the time tracking capabilities to create a new product and that’s how Cloudtimecards was born. We rushed to come up with a working product to get it into people’s hands and start gathering their thoughts about the product. Towards the end of 2016, we started working on a missing piece. Cloudtimecards needed a mobile application to allow individual employees to punch in and to share location data with their employers, so we created Android and iOS versions of the mobile application, which you can find here.

Have you heard of Drip Campaigns?

 

Drip Campaigns is an automation system that allows you to send out email content at exactly the day you set it to release. This tool is great for sending out emails in the right moment of sale cycles. You ever wonder how other businesses send you the right email at the right time of the day? That is because over the course of the period they have collected data, consumer behavior, from their customers in when they are more likely to check their emails. No, it does not mean they hacked your email account, trust me.

How to apply to any business

Wondering how you can apply it to your business? This method in how you send out mass emails can be applied to in type of business. First, you should think how to collect emails for example, are they signing to a service, buying a product, subscribing to an eNotification, or giving away some sort free information. Forever you are collecting emails, just make sure you have that set up first. Next, what type of emails do you want to send out to your subscribers? For instance, educational information, how-to tips, or promotional coupons that let your customer know about a sweet deal! However you do it, just look into setting up an email timeline to disburse various types of emails, let say, through the course of at least a month. So your drip campaign can automatically send out two emails a week, giving you the ability to check if your strategy is working.

Look it up online

Remember, this post is just to make you aware of an awesome email tool for your business. There are many video tutorials that show how to get the most out of Drip Campaigns. If you have some sort of email service that takes care of your email blasts, like MailChimp or Constant Contact, check if they offer Drip services. Just by searching online you will find a vast amount of information on Drip Campaigns.

If you have experienced in using tools like Drip. Please share by leaving a comment below.