It’s Time for Silence on This 911DAY

September 11, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

You can’t help but feel your heart ache and then be reborn all over again…. I’ll always remember 911DAY. #NeverForget….

4 of the Best Cloud Based Freebies in the World!

August 13, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

Look…. I love me some freebies, too. They’re hard to come by (especially when most coupons and stuff end up with expiration dates. You lose those pieces of paper underneath all the clothes you’re washing at home, kids go crazy, you’re too busy cleaning the kitchen, and before you know it, you did remember to bring the coupons in your purse, but because your brain’s fried you forgot to pull out those coupons and save some bucks on your groceries.

I Feel You. Believe Me. But Guess What:

There’s the type of freebie out there that can last a lifetime! And you just need to know where to look: Cloud Based Freebies has it all, and this isn’t your everyday cut-up coupon out of the newspaper or magazine. That being said, they do have the best coupons out there, but if you really want to get access to the best offers out there, you have to think about what you really need in your life and for a prolonged period of time.Cloud Based Freebies screenshot

Longevity. Maximized return on your investment. Sure, that candy bar coupon’s great (for saving, what, a couple bucks??). But what about these?

  • How About a Sweepstakes on Free Gasoline for Your Car? — Need I even explain this one? Think about it. Just how much money do you spend on filling the tank every week? This offer on Cloud Based Freebies can move mountains!
  • Everybody Loves a Free American Express Gift Card — It’s this kind of offer that’s hard to come by, and I can guarantee you won’t find any grocery store ad offering this one for use. Cloud Based Freebies, however, has it right here.
  • Market Research Goes a Long Way for You, Too — That is, a way to get access to companies looking for people to try out their products. And even get paid for it! We’re not joking. Cloud Based Freebies certainly isn’t either.
  • Lastly, We All Need Constant Replenishment on Household Stuff — A coupon here, a coupon there. Sure. But what about a bulk of funds to provide for anything you could possibly need for your home? Yes, indeed. Cloud Based Freebies even has that offer!

And the Best Part About Cloud Based Freebies?

Take a little bit of your time to simply fill out a survey, and you’re golden. Coupons galore. Free stuff. Some sort of compensation just for giving your time.

Now I ask you: isn’t that better than sitting at the dining table clipping coupons until your brain falls asleep? I would say so. Register with Cloud Based Freebies right now and start saving!

How to Maintain Strong Relationships: Not Bubble Baths, But Balance

July 7, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

Keeping your relationship strong is about more than just running the suds, essential oils and sensual music. Forming a positive partnership takes time and effort, and unfortunately it does not happen overnight. In order for a relationship to grow stronger, you need to put in some work.

If you are looking for ways to make your relationship strong, here are some quick tips that will lead you to a better future together with your partner:

Addressing Old Relationship Issues

Fights and jealousy can affect the bubble of romance, and sometimes it can destroy strong relationships. If you and your partner are constantly arguing over the same issues or blowing up in anger over the smallest thing, it may be because both of you are not addressing the old problems, shriveling up your bubble from the inside out.

A simple talk will help to understand everything; the next time this happens, try to stay calm and be brave to sit down with your partner and discuss it. Maybe it takes time to heal this unresolved issue, but strong relationships bubblesworking out together to find a solution is a great way to start again and let that romance bubble get bigger and bigger.

Building Good Communication Builds Strong Relationships

Talk. Talk about anything. Everything. All things. It’s all about content. Even when it’s stupid or nonsensical! It is one of the most important things to consider in order to maintain strong relationships. Some may not know how to communicate properly or even communicate at all.

Happy and healthy couples don’t know the word “reasons” and instead have their own communication game. They talk all the good and bad things about their strong relationships; this is one way of avoiding repetitive problems. In order for the couple to move forward, you two need to take all the things in the past, your future plans and true feelings toward one another.

Having Quality Time and Not Quantity Time

It is not necessary to spend time together all the time to make strong relationships even stronger; there are instances that both of you need to work out from being apart from one another for some time. It is a kind of test for your relationship, considering the value and quality of the time over the quantity is the most important part.

It is fine to enjoy your own distractions, but it is necessary that you two are still engaging and spending quality time together in order to maintain strong relationships. Think of it as a lamp. You don’t want it to burn out. So turn it off every now and then to save some energy.

In Reality, Once You Have Learned to Love, You Will Learn How to Live and How to Understand

Relationship building is basic wisdom. Plain and simple. Now if you were the only person living in the world, this wouldn’t be an issue. But because you share the roads with other drivers and are faced with everything from roadside assistance to talking with an auto dealer about which car to drive, going to school and finding a job, you can see that something this basic would apply to every facet of your life, even your own resume!

So take this to heart. How you maintain a personal relationship just might make your world a much better place!

Watch Out, GM and Chrysler: Apple’s Getting Into the Auto Industry

June 29, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

Yes, Macintosh is making its first automobile for production as early as the year 2020 — just five years after Marty McFly traveled to the future and almost got eaten by a 3D animated shark. Crazy, right? As far-fetched as it may sound that the maker of Apple computers is now thinking about an internal combustion engine and a chassis, it just so happens that the word has been out along with some competition between two other massive corporations that are a bit more knowledgeable in the arena of automotive manufacturing innovationTesla Motors Inc. and General Motors Co. This is heavy, Doc….

However, as Far as the Auto Industry Is Concerned, Apple Might Have an Edge, and Here’s Why….auto industry back to the future

It only makes sense that Apple focus on the innovation in the auto industry that’s sweeping the nation: electric vehicles. We’re starting to see a lot of them these days. As it stands right now, Tesla and GM are focusing on a 2017 release for a prototype designed to go more than 200 miles on just one charge, a prototype that would cost less than $40K to the average consumer. I’m smelling cost innovations here as well, something that would make it easier to select your vehicle without getting any financial headaches.

But do you think Apple Inc. can do this number better? Very possibly. After all, this is a whole other arena of manufacturing where electrics play more of a role over fuel combustion. And when you take into account Apple’s record profit of $18 billion this past quarter and another $178 billion to boot in cold, hard cash, you’d wonder if the computer company would even need to get their hands on that Grey’s Sports Almanac and make their millions. That’s just not the case.

This is a trend for Apple anyway. They’ve broken into other industries as well, so the auto industry just might be the next notch on their belt. Think about it. Apple wasn’t the first company to design a digital music player, or even a smartphone — they simply broke into those markets. They’ll probably do the same just fine by 2020 for the auto industry.

We May Not See a Delorean Any Time Soon, But We’ll Certainly See Some ‘Flying’ Apple Cars

Well, maybe not ‘flying’. And maybe not the Mr. Fusion fuel systems. But at least we’ll be even closer still to a future of our own making. We’re just not going to let old Biff get into our car this time.


It’s Okay to Ask About Cost for Financial Advisement

April 29, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

Why so timid? You are, after all, interviewing that potential candidate for financial advisement! You need to know the goods, just like you would the skinny on any attorney-at-law about anything regarding your family, business, real estate, home improvement or even employment. It’s your livelihood. Your money. Your finances. Heck, you’re looking to hire a financial advisor who will be in charge of your actual finances! Hence you better ask the ultimate question of questions during a consultation for financial advisement:

How Much Do You Cost? I Need to Know!financial advisor panic

You have a budget. You have obligations. You can’t spend too much money just to have someone manage your money. But there’s an even more important reason as to why you need to ask about cost when it comes to financial advisement, and it’s simply this — prices vary.

Your first clue to asking this question is whether or not pricing is transparent enough for you to grasp it even before you ask about it. If it’s generally very vague on how the financial advisor gets compensation, beware: you just might be dealing with a scammer, possibly someone who just might steal your identity. Hit the panic button right away. That’s especially the case if you’re motivated enough to find out but are not getting very far with a definitive answer.

The price range can get pretty insane — competitive. It’s important to then start shopping around if you’re on a strict budget. Don’t skimp on quality over pricing, though, but you get the picture; gauge just how much wiggle room you have and examine the benefits and weaknesses of each and every professional during consultations for financial advisement.

You Want to Make the Best Possible Choice for Financial Advisement

You may never make a choice in this matter ever again when you think about. Your financial advisor will be your gatekeeper. Your money manager. Your financial freedom fighter. So go through all the necessary motions — even if it’s time consuming. Trust me. It’ll be the smartest thing you’ll ever do.

Truly Customizable Housing in the Forefront and “Off the Shelf”

March 5, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

This is about as close as we can get to having “Legos,” man! For the first time, it seems that the real estate market actually got a lot more fun than it already is. How so? Customizable housing. That’s how.

But I Thought We Already Have Customizable Housing, so to Speak….

Not like this. Not like this at all. Times do, in fact, evolve constantly, specifically in the real estate industry.legos real estate

While buyers can go ahead and fork over the blood, sweat, tears, time and money to customize a house they already purchased, you can actually go for another option and have a house built the way you want it with the real estate you’ve purchased. Flexibility is the name of the game in the real estate market these days, one of the many real estate trends we’re seeing in 2015.

Sounds like too much of a stretch, though? Do the research on house plan companies, and you might be pleasantly surprised. What they do for you is offer a plethora of blueprint options for modification of all sorts of possibilities to consider, about 40K choices to be exact. Whichever you prefer:

  • Site Location
  • Code Compliance
  • Budget Requirements
  • Climate Conditions
  • And Much, Much More

You could even set your customizable housing to emphasize open floor plans, something going mainstream these days, better energy efficiency and bonus rooms. Prepare as well for other trends such as the average square footage; for instance, plans seem to be hitting an average of 2.3K square feet today versus a few years ago when it was around 3.5K.

The possibilities are truly endless.

It Now Seems That Renovation Can Happen Before You Buy

This is all thanks to customizable housing. Do the research and even check out the H.O.P.E. Program for all the options you might have. Who knows — you just might land the home you want!

Knowing How to Advance Your Corporate Culture With Class

March 3, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

It’s both an art and a science, mind you: take note of that and take it with you to the bank. Corporate culture isn’t something that just grows by osmosis, nor does it develop through sales and profit. Corporate culture has to be planned specifically, with decisions made by the higher-ups determining just what the company should be. In fact, that literally should be the first question board members should ask regarding the identity of their corporation:

“What Do We Want to Be? The Cornerstone of Corporate Culture”

Notice that we’re not asking “what do we want to do?” or “what do we want to sell?” or anything like that. It’s all about being. This is all internal. Consider community as a focal point, and you’ll know collaboration is key. Yes, in other words: the “board” of any company aren’t simply the higher-ups calling the shots; they’re very much like a neighborhood association, serving the lower-downs (only they’re not really lower-downs at all!).

Someone has to lead the charge, though. That is, you have to have someone who’s directly responsible for the corporate culture, pushing everyone in the right direction in the way the ELNC of Grand Rapids, Michigan, would. That being said, that leader has to decide what the tone of the business direction would be: is it going to be about teamwork? Transparency? Social media marketing? Whatever the case, that has to be decided from the top — to the bottom — for corporate culture to show through.

Whether it’s with following a real estate guide of do’s and don’t’s, or if it’s about a manual for corporate culture King Arthurengineering skyscrapers, it all translates: everyone has to be on the same page, and from there, corporate culture develops organically.

As always, the identity of the owners, the board, the very founders of a business, will translate to the true owners of the company: the employees. They keep the corporation going, mimicking the “personality,” if you will, of the company as founded by the board and the corporate culture “cheerleader” (that’s right, I said “cheerleader”) as the springboard. Having the employees take a bit of ownership in the identity is crucial, as any new age CEO will tell you straight out, because it’s all about a “family” atmosphere. Sort of like the Knights of the Round Table. And you’re King Arthur.

But know this: it’s your job then to continually keep your employees motivated to not only complete their projects and initiatives, but to do so with gusto and pride. Personality and pride hold hands.

Dare I Say — a Corporation Is Like a “Family”?

I would say yes. A team. A daily get-together with people focusing on the same goals. In that way, it’s not like someone develops a business, and other people simply “buy into it” without any say in the matter. An entire workforce has to put their two cents in, figuring out which corporate culture would work best, then design the corporate structure to fit that layout exactly. What’s the ultimate benefit?

Happy employees. Happy staff. Increased revenue. Continual growth and expansion. Substantial profits.

Hard to believe that all it took was a way of leadership, from a personality standpoint, a mission statement, and perhaps a certain activity to help foster teamwork outside the business! But that’s how corporate culture works.

Delfgauw’s Superhero Teamwork Workshop: the Fantastic Four

February 26, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

Welcome back to the workshop, and suit up, polish your laser beams, and make sure you’ve got your spidey senses tingling, because this will ensure you’re not beating yourself up when it comes to teamwork — either personally or professionally. We’re going to now look at one remarkable team — a unique team — from the Marvel comics universe, exemplifying some things about teamwork that’s often not ever addressed in the real world. You ready?

The Fantastic Four: Heroes With Hangups?Fantastic Four teamwork

You betcha. That’s, in fact, part of their remarkable charm and why Stan Lee was about to hang up his pen and cape for good until the first issue of this superhero team had hit the stands with very promising feedback from comic book aficionados. It was official: the Fantastic Four was a hit. Why? Because they really weren’t your traditional superhero team, and we can take a few cues on that when dealing with work or personal development.

Let’s say you’re a dysfunctional family considering a home equity loan, for instance, but no one can agree. It happens. What made the Fantastic Four that much more interesting was that the team was, in fact, to a certain degree, a family. And they argued a lot. They had problems. They bickered. They, as Bruce Banner of the Avengers would put it, a “chemical mixture.”

Ironically, though, it was that exact “chemical mixture” making the team work that much better — at least for the Fantastic Four.

Don’t Get “Hung Up” on Disagreements

Team players will bicker. The goal, though, is to get to a resolution and supercharge productivity. If you notice with the Fantastic Four, they do finally come together to take on Doctor Doom and save the day just fine. Sure, the Thing hates that he’s bricks laid in orange, and Johnny gets too hot, and Sue somehow get invisible while Mr. Fantastic feels a bit stretched, and that’s a lot to take for any family —

But when push comes to shove, you get those differences out, you pow-wow, you find a solution, and because you found that hard-earned solution, your team actually functions better than most! I’d say Superman would applaud on that front, especially regarding workload management.

Why Rapunzel May Be the Best CEO for Your Company

February 23, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

When it comes to being a CEO, the preconceived notions of a person who can direct others, or have a grand corporate scheme of things, or even a knack for generating revenue and profit, are far beyond that of the norm and reality, as much of a surprise as that may be to the typical executive. The CEO may be the boss; that much is true. But by no means is the CEO better than any employee. Talk to the housekeeping service of the Marriott, for example; would they say their CEO knows how to clean X amount of rooms in X amount of time? I think not.persuasion negotiation Snow White

That being said, I’m sure that Jack Bauer in his infinite wisdom of persuasion and negotiation would say the same about his boss over at Division, thinking that the suit wouldn’t know how to interrogate a suspect for a nuclear bomb threat. He’s right. A true CEO — one who’s an asset not only to the corporation, but to the employees — not only understands the workers, but (and brace yourself for this whopper of a statement) must be a “Disney princess.” a damsel in distress. Yes, you heard me — I said it. Snow White will run your company.

This Has to Be a Joke — No CEO Would Be Like Cinderella

Oh, but it’s true. A CEO has to be like Sleeping Beauty. So fragile, delicate, and sweet like honey. I jest too much, because there’s a point behind the stipulation that the House of Mouse has made many a CEO and successful company, and it’s simply this: conversations, pitches, negotiations, they all have to have some need or wonder about another person’s expertise.

By expertise, I mean knowledge that a CEO wouldn’t necessarily know about, but can persuade an expert to either teach him/her or do the job for him/her with excellence. That’s the measure of a successful boss. That’s teamwork. It’s the buy-in factor. You have to somehow persuade that prince to want to rescue you from the fierce dragon.

How Else Would a CEO Garner a Team?

persuasion negotiation Tinker BellIt’s that sense of wonder that will get people interested in your endeavor. Your project. Your idea. This is basic conversation skill; when you ask the question, “can you help me?”, you’re inviting someone to give you some insight and perhaps help you out with it to the point that they’ve partnered with you on your idea. Guess what: you’ve just earned yourself a “worker.”

It’s the fact that you’re prostrating yourself before this ‘expert,’ asking for a hand, and almost magically — like Tinker Bell’s fairy dust — you’ve somehow subliminally implanted that message in the expert’s brain that the expert must charge you X amount of money to do the service — perhaps reoccurring, like a paycheck, in fact. See what you did? You turned that “worker” into a veritable employee. And the best part? That employee’s happy about it!

The Best CEO Will Always Be in “Need”

Save me, my fair prince! Ooooooh…. (Puts hand over the eyes and faints). Yes, it’s a tactic. Yes, it’s shameless. But that’s how businesses — successful businesses — are managed. So the next time you feel that urge to start a business, remember: you’re a damsel in distress.

And there are plenty of princes out there ready to save you (and help you run your corporation).

Why the ELNC of Grand Rapids, MI, Will Marry Culture and Community Together

February 19, 2015 by Joe Delfgauw

Is it any wonder that learning is the forefront of our city of Grand Rapids, Michigan? Ask any parent, family or community out there; they’ll tell you. Moreover, if you want to learn more about what the ELNC is, you could easily just visit their website; but just in case you want a little insider look as to why the ELNC will be for many the saving grace of all, read on:

The Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborativeschools ELNC

Did I say ‘collaborative’? That’s a big word. A good word. And there’s no wonder that this W.K. Kellogg Foundation-founded organization sits on that word at the very end of the name, as this is an initiative designed to start at the very beginning of education, where it all matters. Our neighborhoods need it. That’s the start of the voice of the people in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when you think about it.

The ELNC basically takes the classroom and brings it into the home, metaphorically speaking, of course. For these kids in our city, education’s not limited to lockers and notebooks. You see these kids learning out on the sidewalks, participating in community events, extracurricular activities, block parties even perhaps, and other collaborative efforts that not only will nourish just one, or two, or maybe even three students, but a whole gaggle of students!

That’s not a flippant thing to say, though; sure, it’s a great thing to bring a bunch of students together for the common good, but the ELNC goes one step further — it’s about bringing students from all walks of society and culture together. Doing something together.

Think About It: It’s About Teamwork

How do businesses achieve growth? How does the economy flourish? How does profit increase for many corporations? It’s all about collaboration and teamwork. We start at the roots of a tree. And it grows.

The ELNC is that farmer, sowing the seeds, growing the trees, and making sure they grow pretty tall. It all starts with kids. Get them involved. Get them working together. And you know what you get?

You get the next corporation leading Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the nation.