3 Great Benefits of Using an Electric Skateboard

The electric skateboard is very versatile, portable, and easy to ride with minimal effort. Also, they are an environmentally friendly way to travel. Let’s take a look at a few of the positives of having an electric skateboard:

Use less effort

With no need to constantly push, you are less likely to get worn out after traveling across town. The travel distance for a single charge of the battery can vary with the different models, but they do have the potential go as far as 25 miles or more. Also, they are just as easy to charge between each use as a smartphone or similar device. Because there is no need to use a lot of effort, you won’t feel worn out even after making a relatively long trip.

A further great thing is the fact they are built with rubberized, wide wheels that give a very reliable grip that leads to a smooth and comfortable ride.

Control the speed

It is possible to have a lot of control over the speed of the electric skateboard. For instance, the conventional model has the potential to go extremely fast downhill, while its flat speed over a sidewalk is only as fast as your leg power. The majority of the electric models give the option to travel at a steady speed, which can be in the region of 11 MPH. There speed will stay consistent on both a flat road and a hill with an incline that has an angle of about 15 degrees. Also, with the ability to travel at a consist speed it will be easy to arrive at a planned destination on time. Similar to having more control over the speed of the skateboard, there is also the option to slow it down and even use a reliable braking system.

Electric or manual

The electric skateboard is a highly versatile product and often gives the option to switch between an electric and manual unit. For instance, the ability to perform tricks at a skate park is likely to be a lot easier with the manual push style mode. After the fun action at the park, the electric feature can be reactivated to make the trip home faster and easier.

Overall, the electric skateboard is a lot of fun and is a great way to really embrace the future of this activity. Also, with the more leisurely way to travel, there is a greater opportunity to appreciate a journey and take in the local surroundings.

10 Ways to Declutter Your Home Like KonMari

There is a Japanese way of decluttering that boils down to finding a specific place “for the leftover” stuff once you’ve completed all other home decluttering methods. This is a tried-and-proven method according to the Japanese cleaning professional, Marie Kondo. It’s named after her and is called the KonMari Method.

The KonMari method of decluttering homes is one of the simplest, yet unique, ways to eliminate messes and organize an individual’s life by way of decluttering their home. There are so many areas that can be decluttered, whether it’s a room, the bathroom, or even the kitchen. In fact, there are many other places, such as the closet, and the garage, where you can follow these steps on decluttering and tidying up. It doesn’t matter if you have an apartment, or a home, you can follow these steps fairly easily with a little patience and time. Yes, even you can learn them quickly once you get the hang of it.

Detach yourself from objects

The philosophy focuses on detaching ourselves from specific possessions which we tie ourselves to mentally. There are certain ways an individual may want to clean their house or apartment, but it’s when we “bump” into those things that we find difficulty in throwing them away, even if we don’t use, or need them! Maybe it’s because it becomes a painstaking task and that keeps us from wanting to clean after we have accumulated so much. The step to take is to detach ourselves from these mental attachments we seem to have with various things. This, in fact, can be very difficult, mainly because we’ve convinced ourselves we need to have these things. Also, the best approach in decluttering your home is to start with one room at a time.

Main rule applies to everything

KonMari has one rule that she applies to everything. Some of the easiest rules can also help you with the tedious tasks you must do around the house. When you collect all your stuff, or tidy up each room, you will have a lot of extra things that you didn’t realize you had, such as: papers, pencils, books, plates, cups, clothes,… etc..

These things seem to multiply in amount so, KonMari devised a simple way to “tidy up” any place regardless of which room it is in the house. You’ll be able to do it too with a “yes, or no” answer to this question, “Does it spark joy for me?” This simple rule can be applied to everything!

The answer to KonMari’s question

KonMari’s simple rule applies to anything you either keep or get rid of. In fact, if you answer “yes” to every single item while you are tidying up, you’ll be able to sort out everything easier.

On the other hand, if you answer “no,” then you throw it out. Gone are those days of asking yourself, “Have I used this in a year?”

Here’s KonMari’s way as a step-by-step implementing of cleaning, while you declutter.

You should start right away to clean, or tidy up your home or apartment.

Simply focus on the “discarding phase,” which KonMari calls the “tidy marathon.” You can make it a special event with music in the background, take-out food, and soft drinks to make it an enjoyable experience as you complete your “tidy marathon.”
Miscellaneous items can be done first, since these are the most tedious. These include: books, papers, clips, miscellaneous things, knick-knacks, and whatever else you have on your shelves, in your drawers, and on your countertops.
The next step is called the “sentimental” step which applies to those things that, for some reason or another, you can’t depart from. These can be stuffed animals, roses, or gifts from exes, specific clothes… etc.
Do not store these items at your friends, partner’s or parent’s home. Why burden them when you can simply throw them out, or keep them, if you are going to need or use them.
Empty your closet. Take out everything including hangers and all miscellaneous things (i.e. caps, scarves, belts, and hanging accessories,… )
Dump ALL this stuff (clothes, knick- knacks, and junk you may have collected throughout the years), in the center of the floor, or on top of your bed.
For shelving ideas, you can add 2 or 3 pieces of art deco such as vases, framed photos, a lamp, a plant, but that is it! No need to clutter your shelves with things that will ultimately collect dust.
Canisters in the kitchen may hold your basics, such as: flour, sugar, and blended coffee. You can simply place this set of basics near the counter after you’ve cleaned the counter space by wiping it down. If you put this simple set of canisters near the kitchen sink, you’ll benefit by having them close-at-hand. This is going back to the KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) technique.
Simplify your life by keeping each category of things in the same place instead of scattering them all over the place. For example, you can keep all your cleaning products in the same spot in the kitchen and the same goes for all your shoes which are best stored in the same spot in your closet.
Use a cheat sheet and itemize categories. While you are going through the pile of stuff, mark off what category you’ve worked on so that it is eliminated from your list.

Go through the extra stuff, and throw it out

These steps tell you to “go through every item” you have. When you do go through everything, you’re probably going to have some things that you simply can’t answer yes or no to. Simply put those items in their own box with a question mark label on it, and then, when you have finished sorting everything out, you can come back to this box and try again. This box of stuff is representative of the “extra stuff” you have accumulated throughout the years. Somehow, you must mentally detach yourself from these items. When in doubt, throw it out!

Finally, just try to answer truthfully the main question that the KonMari method suggests. “Does it bring joy or spark joy to me?” Decide if you feel any type of “spark” or enthusiasm when you have it in your hands. This is the KonMari method at its finest. The core of her method in cleaning and tidying up is just this. You’ll see, over time, that your place will look a lot neater.

Also, when you feel you need to clean up your home you can also declutter by adding shelves if you do not have any. Shelves work wonders for homeowners and those living in small apartments. You can utilize the KonMari method with shelving while at the same time decluttering your living space. Tidying up everything initially is the first step in the KonMari method.

For most of us, clutter accumulates over time, and with these methods, or steps, as suggested by KonMari, you will be better organized. Time and patience are two of the main things that people should have when they start this type of project. After successfully completing this project, you’ll find that you can do it quicker and much better the next time around. Every time you work at it, you’ll find your place that much more organized and neater.

Writing Resources You NEED to Know About

Many aspiring authors spend hours and hours, alone behind their computers tap, tap, tapping away. Then those hours turn into months, and of course, the months slip into years.

This is admirable. If I’m confident of anything, it’s that to be an author you have to be willing to spend hours of your life equivalent to entire years out of your life slaving away writing. I’m just for sure that you need to read at least just as much.

One thing that gets unfortunately overlooked by many is that you also have to be willing to leave your books and your computer behind sometimes. To engage others.

Not that you can’t be an introvert. Thousands of widely regarded successful authors were introverts. That’s is because in some way or another they were able to overcome, albeit sometimes only briefly, their restrictions and step outside of their comfort zones.

That’s because while writing can take many forms; journaling, hobbies writing, personal letter writing. Authorship is a profession, and that means that it falls within a business structure. No matter how sincerely you believe that Jack Kerouac went from nothing to a fantastic book within two weeks of boozing (which FYI, in reality, he didn’t). If you want to move books from shelves, you will need to approach the task earnestly. With a humble attitude that is open to working with others.

The business of writing, designing, editing, publishing, marketing, and selling your books requires a multitude of strangers. Regardless of whether you have a small budget, or you’re JK Rowling.

In fact, the small your budget, the approach is better suited to involving a large number of people each with small, potentially volunteer style task. For instance, having friends complete a narrative edit before giving it to a professional editor, to reduce the amount of paid time the editor has to spend on the manuscript.

For your first book, I highly suggest having a strong group of people who can offer various products, services, and insights to help you stay focused, motivated, and up-to-speed on the ever-changing self-publishing landscape.

Being a successful author requires a lot more than just writing a great book. You have to get into the weeds, be willing to change out of your writer’s cap and into a variety of other hats depending on where you are in the process.

You may not have the skills or willingness to tackle everything with your own two hands, and that’s why it’s so important to develop your own file of go-to resources along the way.

Here are 30 more resources to tap into along the way!

While this list is mostly self-publishing focused, if you’re going the traditional publishing route, you should still have a rigorous shift through them to make sure you are familiar with what is out there.

Useful Blogs and Sites

1. The Write Life

This workhorse blog is a one-stop-shop offering all you need to figure out how to work with clients, navigate the changing landscape of publishing, learn the ins and outs of social media, grow a following for your blog and find a community that will support you along the way. You’ll always find something useful for your book business here. Try not to get lost in the rabbit hole though. There is so much helpful information here I try to time my visits to make sure I’m not eating into my writing time!

2. Kindlepreneur

If you want to dig deep into the goulash of marketing your books, Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur is your man. His strategies are groundbreaking. Every successful author has to wear many hats, and Dave shares his years of marketing experience and success to show you how to promote the heck out of your books.

3. The Book Designer

Joel Friedlander, the creator of The Book Designer, says “Writers change the world one reader at a time. But you can’t change the world with a book that’s still on your hard drive or in a box under your bed.” This embodies the Community Writer mentality. Joel gives you everything you need to get your book out of the box with a variety of self-publishing guides, advice, templates, and toolkits. With his experience in book design and advertising, Joel has the creds to help you produce and sell a great-looking book.

4. The Creative Penn

The Creative Penn is run by Joanna Penn, who has been wildly successful with fiction and nonfiction. In her blog and podcast, she covers every aspect of what it takes to start and run a successful author business. She also has a grab bag of books on various self-publishing topics if you can’t get enough on her blog.

5. Jane Friedman’s website

Jane has more than 20 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry, with expertise in digital media and the future of authorship. Her site is full of actionable content and detailed strategies for the aspiring author from someone who’s been there and done that many times over.

Podcasts Worth Your Time

6. Podcast – Neuralle (Uncommon)

Please forgive the shameless self-promotion here, but aside from the fact that I will be most likely appearing on this podcast at some point, Neuralle is a fantastic self-development podcast and in my humble opinion a must for any aspiring author or entrepreneur.

Past guests have included Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs, Chefs, Restaurant Owners, Body Builders, Strength Coaches, Activists, Winemakers, Filmmakers and many, many more.

7. Tim Ferris Podcast

This show is the first publishing-related podcast that I followed, and it’s still an all-time favourite. It’s hosted by Tim Ferris an American best-selling author, entrepreneur, self-proclaimed “human guinea pig”, and public speaker.

8. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Every green writer should bookmark this podcast. With helpful and insightful tips on grammar and storytelling, Mignon Fogarty’s podcast is sure to help you improve your narrative and technical writing skills.

9. The Writer Files

Hosted by Kelton Reid, The Writer Files is a long-running podcast that delves deep into habits and habitats of famed writers. Reid interviews writers from a broad spectrum, giving each listener a chance to see into the mind of an accomplished wordsmith within their genre or interest.

Forums

10. Neil Gaiman Board

Neil Gaiman’s Official Message Board. Enough said.

11. Goodreads Groups

Goodreads is the mega-site (with over 20 million members) for authors and readers. They have more specific groups than you can count, and if you can’t find an answer or inspiration here, then it doesn’t exist. You might feel a bit overwhelmed, but here’s a smart article on using Goodreads to support your author business.

12. Scribophile

There are tons of writing forums out there to choose from, so I suggest you have a play with a few of them. This one works a bit differently which is why I like it though. Scribophile provides detailed and helpful critiques from a member exchange. The analyses you’ll get are so much more than just a pat on the back – you’ll get actionable ways to improve your writing.

Writing Tools

13. Scrivener

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool for authors that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring your documents. Get a free 30-day trial and watch some brief YouTube tutorials to get acquainted with the system quickly.

14. Grammarly

This proofreading application is an improved version of your standard spellchecking program. Just copy and paste blocks of text into Grammarly, and it will check your writing for common mistakes. The reason it’s better than most spellcheckers is that it provides useful feedback that will improve the overall quality of your book. You will learn a lot very quickly by taking heed of the side bar suggestions and explanations.

15. Hemingway Editor

Excellent writing is quite often straightforward writing, and Hemingway was the master at that. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, your narrative should get to the point with simple language. With the Hemingway software, you will learn how to simplify your writing.

Book Publishing and Freelance Help

16. Archangel Ink

Archangel Ink is a one-stop solution for getting your book ready to publish. Archangel offers a range of services to help you with cover design, editing, formatting, audiobook production and much more. I feel that if you haven’t published before you learn a lot by manually going through the process of completing your manuscript via Scrivner, finding editors/cover creators via say Reedsy/Freelancer and then uploading it to KDP/Createspace. However it can be frustrating, so I completely understand throwing down some cash and handing of some or all of this to someone else. I’m currently considering using Archangel Ink to produce and audiobook for me.

17. 99 Designs

This is a service where you post a design project, like your book cover, and dozens of freelancers submit mock-up examples. You then select finalists based on the submissions and choose the winner to work with you to create a finalised version. 99Designs can be pricey, but it’s a great option if you want a professional cover design for your book.

18. Grammarly

I won’t rant on this too much as already do that frequently enough if you don’t have the free version of this you need to get it now. What some of you might not know, is that via the paid version they have an option to connect you with a professional proof reader. I haven’t used this before but considering the calibre of everything else they do I think it’s worth investigating.

19. Freelancer

One the most significant websites for hiring freelance talent. If you want to find the largest pool of people, then this is a great place to look. The app makes chatting with prospective freelancers seamless so you can manage your project and selection of the perfect candidate on the go.

20. Reedsy

Reedsy offers a boutique experience in editing and cover design. Most freelancers here have worked in the publishing industry, so they have a thorough understanding of what will work for your books. But you should also expect to pay more for the freelancers you find here. If you’re going the self-publishing route within fiction, a professional editor is a must, an absolute necessity, seriously. Reedsy is a great way to find one, with almost every budget available. If you can’t afford the lower tier, I suggest saving your pennies or going the traditional publishing route, where a publisher will provide you a professional editor to work with.

Getting Feedback

21. Survey Monkey

Is an easy to use survey builder; ask multiple choice questions and get demographic information about your audiences, like age, sex, or occupation. You can use it for your current email list, or post a survey with a lead magnet somewhere your target audience will see it (forums, pay-per-click ad etc.)

22. PickFu

PickFu allows authors to get instant feedback on your book before you publish using audience polls. This is a more advanced option for those who already have income streams, again I don’t suggest paying for a resource unless you’ve used a free version and had equitable success with it.

Email Marketing

23. AWeber

With a drag and drop email builder, unlimited image storage and an easy to use interface, AWeber is a great option to manage your email marketing communication.

24. MailChimp

MailChimp offers 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers – free. That’s what MailChimp can do for you. A great email marketing resource if you’re just getting started. MailChimp is easy to set up, easy to manage and offers an easy to scale pricing plan as your list grows. As the Wix email option ‘Shoutout’ has a capped number of emails you can send but an exportable email list. You can use MailChimp to send additional emails if you are pushing the boundaries of the free Wix option.

25. Constant Contact

You can’t call yourself constant contact and then not be available to your customers. And that’s just what makes this email automation company shine. They offer round the clock support 7 days a week. They also offer 60-day FREE trial.

26. SpyFU

Search for any domain and see every place they’ve shown up on Google: every keyword they’ve bought on AdWords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 11 years. This combined with Wix’s seamless SEO makes key words unbelievably easy. You don’t need to have some ten years long.

Learn how to connect with these domains, too. Find online and traditional leads methods — social media, email, phone, and address — you can’t find anywhere else. So you can look at other authors within your niche and find out exactly where readers are going to find them.

Staying Organized

27. Google Keep

Keep is an excellent organisation tool. It stores every idea, research plan and content structure. Which can quickly be dumped into Scrivner later.

28. Evernote

Another option this is with a few more features is Evernote, you can save snippets of content you find online and go back to all of it in a searchable, taggable easy to find notebooks on Evernote. It also connects to my Google Home via IFTTT which frustratingly Google Keep doesn’t seem to, so I can handsfree keep notes easily.

29. Google Drive

Accessible from anywhere with internet, Google Drive is a great collaborative tool for teams to use when you’re working with content, files, or images in tandem. Google Sheets and Google Docs makes group work seamless, and all work can easily be shared with hyperlinks.

30. Tomato Timer

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management strategy preferred by many authors. It’s not always easy to keep track of the non-writing tasks related to your book projects. With Brain Focus Productivity Timer, an excel sheet (or just pen and paper) and Scrivner’s session tracking you can keep motivated with tangible evidence of how hard you’re working. Not only time associated with the project. Team Viz is another excellent paid alternative to this method, and you can’t forget the simple Tomato Timer (tomato-timer.com)

31. Slack

It’s like super chat. Instant communication. Instant file transfer. Indexed and Searchable. It is fantastic for collaboration if you have a specific project you are working on. Again, use wisely, if you are co-authoring for example. Not if you’re just working with a freelancer for a short time, instead use the platform’s chat for content protection!

Fight Off Enemies by Becoming More Successful

If you have a great reputation in your community how can you protect it from those who wish to defame you? Success is hard to get and the last thing you want is for some person to take it from you. If someone attacks you with a negative statement to make you look bad how do you fight back? There is a simple solution to this problem.

What you can do is wait for the attacker to stop attacking. Then go on the offensive. This works very well when something bad happens to the person who attacked you. This is when you let them have it. However there is a better solution to this problem.

Instead of attacking the person back directly or indirectly what you can do is simply become more successful at what you do. You have to be better than
the competition. You have to be bigger than the enemies who wish to destroy you. If your reputation is larger than your rivals then their voice does not matter as much as yours. You have to defeat your enemies by becoming more successful at what you do than your enemies are at what they do.

You have to push yourself out there so far ahead of your enemies that they cannot catch up with you. By becoming more successful a large number of people know about you as a highly successful person. Your enemies cannot keep up with you because they are way too small to persuade the public against you. When you grow bigger your enemies will look small and petty.

There is board game called go. It is different from the game chess. In the game go the objective is to dominate the board by taking up the most space on the game board. In life successful people dominate the public perception of them. The more success a person has and the more well-known the successful person is the more protected this person is from their enemies.

Have you noticed how hard it is to criticize a highly successful and popular person and get away with it. Some people have such a good reputation that you would look like a fool criticizing this person. That’s The Power of success and a big reputation. Superstars are more well-known than critics. A critic tries to make a name for himself by attacking someone who is highly successful.

Like the old saying goes, there has never been a statute erected to a critic. So keep on pushing and keep on striving for higher Heights. That way you will leave your enemies in the dust.

Innovative Mindset in Society Is America Losing the Edge in Innovation?

Is America losing the edge in innovation? How can this be? Where did we go wrong? What happened? Could it be that we’ve changed our education system and society in a way that gives less incentive to innovators? That would be a travesty since our entire national identity is in part founded on the ‘can do attitude’. Let’s discuss this briefly and you tell me if you see it too.

Are we losing our ability to think creatively and innovatively solve problems? I believe so. We also seem to be losing self-reliance, no need to solve problems – all the problems have already been solved. No need to think, just look up the answer on Google. Suddenly, there is no accountability or integrity – passing off copied ideas and plagiarism for innovation.

Look, I am not Luddite, and I don’t live in a cave, I know there is innovation out there – it’s just that I see an ocean of imitation and very few pearls of innovation in comparison. Everyone is busy liking, friending and forwarding – searching online for the daily highlighted viral original concepts rather than coming up with new ideas themselves. Maybe that instant gratification of a dopamine blast is as good as that “Ah-Ha Moment” when you solve a problem or when the light-bulb of innovation dings that bell inside your brain?

There seems to be a deep desire among members of our society to be creative and innovative, just as companies know there is a distinct advantage to the having a robust Research and Development Department and maintaining an innovative edge in their sector. Perhaps that’s why everyone and their brother claims to be an Innovation Expert Consultant. It’s rather hilarious how many of these ‘innovation coaches’ promise to teach us how to innovate, yet, I dare to ask; how many of them have original thoughts themselves. Is this yet another case of; ‘those who can’t teach’.

As an innovator myself, I find it amazing what is passed off as creative or innovative in this day and age. I guess we all have free speech in America and one is free to call themselves an innovator if they wish without any proof or examples of creativity of innovative attributes – but that doesn’t make it so. There is no honor in continuing this façade, we are only hurting ourselves and we cannot fix the problem until we address the reality and the problem here. Do you see it too? What should we do? Please consider all this and think on it.