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Product Manager – What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

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So here’s a minor topic that might have some real significance for all product managers: what do you put on your business card? Yeah, yeah, I know that we’re living in the age of Facebook and LinkedIn but business cards are still what we exchange when we meet people face-to-face. What this means is that business cards still matter. What’s on your business card?

At this point in my career I must have had no less than 20 different business cards. Every once in awhile I’ll see a collection of them huddled together in the bottom of some drawer somewhere and I’ll have to smile as I realize just how much my description of myself and what I do has changed over time.

I’ll never forget when I got my first opportunity to sign up for business cards. This was it, I had made the big time. Despite being a lowly software engineer now I was finally going to have an “adult” way to communicate to others just how important I was. As with all large firms, most of the format of the business card was pre-established. However, I was given free rein to add my job title just under my name. Hmm, what to put? The first time out of the gate I put what the company listed for me in the corporate directory: “Software Engineer IV” or whatever.

It turns out that this was a big mistake. Outside of people who worked for my company, nobody else in the real world knew what a Software Engineer IV was! I’d get polite smiles and then the card would quickly disapper into someone’s pocket to probably be thrown away when it came time to do laundry.

A few business card iterations later, I started to get smarter. By this time I had moved over into the world of Product Management and so I changed my job title to “Product Manger”. This was much better. I don’t think very many people knew what a Product Manger was or did, but they sure thought that they knew what a manager did and so upon receiving my card they slotted me as a mid-level manager and left it at that.

The promotions came over time and whereas I was not yet a Vice President or a CIO yet, I had become a Senior Product Manger. At the next opportunity I updated the business card title to read “Senior Product Manger”. This seemed to garner me just a little bit more respect when I handed the card out. Once again, I don’t think that very many people knew what I did; however, they seemed to believe that I was now in the upper echelons of mid-level managers.

I was still finding that since folks didn’t actually know what a Product Manger does, they were struggling to pigeonhole me based on my title. The trick here is that if people can’t figure out quickly where you fit in the totem pole of responsibility, then they will end up not even bothering to try. I felt that one more evolution was required. I ended up dropping the “Product” and so today my business card reads simply “Senior Manger”.

Although less descriptive, I’ve found this title to be of great use at trade shows and when meeting with vendors. No, they still really don’t seem to know what I do for the company; however, they are easily able to realize that a “Senior Manager” is someone who must be very important. This means that they treat me as being someone important because they don’t have any reason not to.

One final note, with my obtuse title the very first question that I get asked is “what do you do?” This is a make-or-break question. If I identify myself as a Product Manager, this will get me classified as a low-level worker bee because nobody really knows what a Product Manager does. Over countless encounters like this I have honed my response to reply with a quick “I make problems go away.” In most cases, this generates quiet respect and there are no more probing questions.

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How Much Does It Cost To Start a Snow Cone Business?

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The snow cart business might sound great, but any smart person’s going to ask the same question whether it’s snow cones or any other business: how much does it cost to start? This is a big question since not many of us have a ton of cash on the side…if we did we wouldn’t be looking for an awesome cash business like snow cone stands!

Licenses

In most states, and even in some counties and cities, you will need to make sure you have all the business licenses available to operate. In some states these cost as little as $50 total, while in many others it may run up to a couple hundred, but it shouldn’t run any more than that. The cost also varies if you have a lawyer draw up business papers for you, or if you choose to do it yourself and hand the application into the courthouse personally. These fees can usually be made up with one or two good days.

The Snow Cone Cart

Prices can vary greatly depending on what type of a cart you buy to get started with. In fact, this expense is the single biggest factor in determining start up costs. Snow carts range anywhere from $400 to $4,000 for brand new shaved ice carts. There is also a ton of variety between these two extremes, but many people decide to start out with snow cone carts that are well under $1,000 starting out, and many make their money back in short time with just a few really good cash days.

While many people will do very well starting out with a small cart, don’t rely on price alone. There’s nothing wrong with starting cheap and working your way up (especially with how often the shaved ice business doesn’t even feel like work), but what if the early demand for your snow cones is three or four times what you can provide? Not only do all those profits walk away, but you will end up having to buy a larger and more expensive snow cone stand anyway. Take the time to make sure you’re making the right decision on this one.

The Shaved Ice Machine

The next most expensive piece of equipment is the shaved ice machine itself. The machine, along with your stand, is one of the cornerstones of your business starting out, and entry level machines are most commonly found in the $400-$600 range. The best place to find a good shaved ice machine is from an actual vendor or online website that specializes in them. Many of these sites will actually have several machines for easy comparison, making it easier for you to look at the deals available and decide on the best one for you.

Buy Supplies Wholesale

While prices can vary for the supplies you need to run the snow cone business, most of these will at least be in the same price range. For materials like paper cups, plastic spoons, or Styrofoam cups, never be afraid to look around locally for a Sam’s Club, Costco, or other wholesale store that might give you the best deal. These types of overhead materials are cheap, and when bought wholesale they often cost only pennies per snow cone sold.

Snow Cone Syrup

Out of the actual overhead supplies, the concentrate syrup for mixing ingredients will cost the most, and a gallon of this can run anywhere from $30-50 depending on flavor and vendor. The good news is that one gallon of concentrate can make 8 gallons of syrup, or anywhere from 640-800 snow cones, leaving tons of room to make a boatload of profit. Look around for sales, especially when buying in bulk as some places offer steep discounts for bulk orders.

What’s This All Mean?

The up-front costs do add up, but a snow cone business has some really amazing profit margins, and it doesn’t take that many little league games, flea markets, or big days to make up a good chunk of that initial investment. It only takes a few good days to bring in enough cash to make up for all your investment, and after that it’s pure profit.

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How to Make Professional Presentations

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It has always been frustrating when a teacher announces a project that needs to be done within a week. Moreover, it isn’t as simple as writing a 500 word essay about the previous summer but a public presentation in front of the entire class. For students who are not so comfortable when it comes to public relations, projects and presentations like these mark the highest worries of the week. Is it possible to prepare a professional-like presentation? The answer is an absolute yes. Preparing a professional presentation is more than possible for anyone. Preparation and repetition of practices are highly recommended as they will aid in confidence and will make sure an individual is ready to begin the presentation on the d-day.

Catch the News

The news report available both in the television and in the radio will greatly become a positive influence when preparing for a public presentation. A news reporter or even a news anchor practices their lines to master the news content within a limited on-air time. The ability to master the content and communicate within a limited period of time makes the presentation formal and professional. In order to prepare and present well to the entire class, watching or listening to how the reporters communicate will make a big difference in further presentations.

Grab a Mirror

A mirror is always a big help for students during public presentations and performances that require the presence of an audience. Looking into the mirror and practice how to make appropriate facial expressions can improve the overall mood as well as the atmosphere of the presentation. Repetition of practices will gradually master the content of the topic and will highly increase the confidence level of an individual without building up stress. It is also preferable to look into the mirror and practice how words or sentences are correctly pronounced to earn additional points.

The Visuals

The visuals or the objects displayed within a presentation needs to be neat and clean. The visuals might include something similar to: boards, power point presentations, word documents, bar graphs, and so much more. In order to communicate like a professional, the visuals and accessories needed to aid the presentation itself should be neatly done and arranged. For instance, a bar graph is depicted as it shows the interest high school students have on five major subjects. It is important to clearly show the numerical amounts, the bars, and the detailed information explaining the graph. If a power point presentation is needed in any case, make sure the background and the text colors match well and that they are not going to hurt the eyes of the viewers.

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The Law of Attraction – When I Reach For Joy, All Else Follows

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Joy is the vibration of source energy. It is the energy frequency that creates worlds. When we are in joy, everything else comes forth into our experience that we have been asking for.  This is the nature of the law of attraction.

To find a way to each and every day reach for the high feeling emotion of joy would be a way to have the most abundant life you could ever imagine. The universe is abundant in all ways.  All that we ask for is given, when we are in the vibrational frequency of joy.

People often think that it takes hard work and struggle to get what one wants in life. Nothing is farther from the truth.  Life is suppose to be fun and effortless.  When it feels like a struggle, that is a clue to us that we are going in the wrong direction to what we are wanting.  There are so many people out there working so hard, never relaxing, never taking a break or feeling like they can play.

This is not the way towards what you want. Imagine your way to whatever you want. FEEL your way to what you want.  Live each day with your emotions front and center as your guide. Oh this feels good and this feels good and this is what feels good now. Always reaching for that which feels good. 

For many people this would feel so strange at first because it is not their usual practice but it could be. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more fun? Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to relax? Wouldn’t it be nice to feel so worthy of a joyful life that you just expected it and it was? 

Take some time each and every day to increase those things that bring you joy.  Do not wait for when you retire or when the weekend comes, do it today.  And then tomorrow increase that time, give yourself more time to do joyful things.  And then the next day continue increasing your joyful experience.  Within 30 days you will find a life experience that is very different than you are living right now.

Trust me on this. This feeling universe that is governed by the law of attraction responds to how you feel and when you feel happy and joyful, it is a glorious ride.

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