26
Jun
2014

“Operation Angelica” debuts July 22, 2014

I’m proud, relieved and down right excited to announce the release date of “Operation Angelica” on July 22, 14.  Links to purchase coming soon!

11
May
2014

A Mother’s Blessing, From To Bless The Space Between Us

For A Mother
Mother,
Your voice learning to soothe
Your new child
Was the first home-sound…
We heard before we could see.
Your young eyes
Gazing on us
Was the first mirror
Where we glimpsed
What could be seen
Could mean.
-John O’ Donohue, To Bless The Space Between Us

29
Apr
2014

Review of Irradiance by David Bruns

Irradiance is a great sci-fi escapist read. Well written detailed scenes draw the reader into a future where everyone’s mind is connected and speech forbidden. A cautionary tale about listening to what the planet is saying, Irradiance reminds us to cherish books, silence, and the simple joys of family life. Author David Bruns skillfully images a world in which space travel is activated by the mind and people travel to space via elevators. His characters are well-developed with both hopes and faults. I highly recommend this book.

Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Irradiance-Dream-Guild-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00IRG97SK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398782907&sr=8-1&keywords=irradiance+bruns

 

25
Mar
2014

Analysis Paralysis

Analysis Paralysis is one of the, the not the, biggest reasons that people fail to reach their goals. In business, particularly growing your business, the inability to make even the smallest of choices will derail your company faster than lack of money. “But it’s because I don’t have much money to work with that I can’t afford a mistake.” You can tell yourself that, but really think about it. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you make a mistake? Let’s look at some examples:

A)     A software start-up founded by three graduate students from a prestigious university took 6 months to, wait for it, choose a logo. Would you like to wager on if that company is still in business? It’s not. The founding team’s inability to agree and act on the simple things was a symptom of their unpreparedness to address the important issues of their business.

B)      A provider of custom car parts had very limited funds to set up an e-commerce web site. A friend of his offered such services, so he chose him that week. The site went up and worked well, for a while until the friend stopped offering the service. Was this a failure? The retailer had made enough profit from his time in business that he hired another service right away to transfer his web-store. Most of the work was already done anyway. AND he had a good reason to send out a fancy marketing messages announcing the new and improved store.

We’ve all (author raises her hand) fallen into the Analysis Paralysis trap at one time, OK many times. The key is getting out of it.

Step 1: Admit you have it.

Step 2: Lock all that data, research and what not in a drawer, real or virtual.

Step 3: Do one thing today that moves your business forward.

By tomorrow, I’d bet my favorite coffee cup that you’ll feel more confident in doing one more little thing, and more the next day and so on.

After a few weeks, you have permission to do more analysis. Pull out all that old data and get new data on where you are now. Have things improved? Have you moved closer to your goal?

I love to hear success stories! Make a comment below or drop me a note.

25
Mar
2014

Great Emotions Chart For Writers

I have NO idea who created this, but it’s making rounds on Facebook and I had to share it. To the anonymous muse: Thank You.

emotions chart

20
Mar
2014

Adventures in Social Media

Post Subtitle: “Why engaging in social media marketing on less than one cup of coffee is a bad idea.”

It started innocently. My daughter and I sat on the couch while she watched Mickey Mouse Club House and I checked morning emails and social media messages. I hadn’t visited Goodreads in a few a weeks, so I logged in and browsed a bit. “I should add more friends,” I thought. I hit the add friends button for Facebook, which requires you to send individual requests. So I sent a few – to actual people I know who also like books.

This is the point in the story where I should have finished that first cup of coffee. I noticed the Twitter button. “Let’s see what this does?”

HMMMM, it loads every Twitter account you follow, not the ones that follow you, but the ones you follow – ALL OF THEM.

AND I (kind of, must have, obviously) clicked the button, the one that sent a Goodreads Friend Request to all 1999 people I follow on Twitter.

The application spun its little circle for a while, and then timed out. “Whew!” I got out of that one,” I thought with satisfaction while sipping my coffee.

And then I saw the little message in red letters “You Have Sent 569 Friend Requests”

OMGEEEEEE. But wait, there’s more.

As the morning went on, my inbox exploded with alerts from Goodreads telling me that yet another person is now my friend on the site. Here’s the truth folks: I really do want to connect with you on Goodreads. I like books. I like writers. I write honest reviews. I recommend books that have impacted my life.

So, the takeaway from this little tale is: be careful what buttons you hit online at 7:30a.m., but embrace all the new people you might meet if you do!

p.s. find me on Goodreads at L.J.Lloyd

12
Feb
2014

Risk Is Not A Four-letter Word

What do you think of when you hear the word risk? It’s probably not good, is it? The first two entries in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for risk are ‘(1) possibility of loss or injury, or (2) someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard.’ But, the little word risk does not deserve its gloomy reputation.

In statistical terms, risk is the degree of uncertainty between an expected outcome and the actual outcome. Modern business definitions of risk take into account the possibility of a positive outcome. The ISO 31000 (2009) Guide defines risk as the ‘effect of uncertainty on objectives.’

The higher the uncertainty, the higher the risk. Events with low uncertainty, like snow at higher latitudes in January, have low risk. So that’s why you’ll find a thriving ski resort industry in the Northeast and Rocky Mountains. Events with high uncertainty, like it snowing in Florida, have high risk. Ever ski in Orlando?

All businesses face risks or uncertainty. But start-ups and new business ventures tend to get labeled as risky in big red letters. Tell your family and friends that you’re starting a business and the responses will likely resemble one of the following: “Isn’t that risky?” “What happens if it fails?” These well-meaning glass half empty folks only think in terms of negative outcomes. Why? No, they are not pessimists. They don’t know enough about your venture to properly assess the degree of uncertainty of you achieving your goals.

The key to managing risk is information. Information is the sword against which uncertainty falls. Merriam-Webster defines information as a ‘knowledge obtained from investigation, study, or instruction.’ Investor Warren Buffett has been quoted as saying “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.”

Entrepreneurs and investors approach risk by continually gathering and using as much information as possible to make the best decisions possible. My company, Dangos, builds mobile applications for travel and tourism. When faced with the decision of which market niche to pursue first, our choices were: Large Parks, Theme Parks or Large Events. Sometimes if felt like trying to guess under which cup the magic ball was hidden. We eliminated Large Events, like music festivals, as our first venture. Why? I, and no one else I’ve met yet, know enough about the industry. I don’t have enough information. We considered the next two options. OK, time to get more information. Which option will allow us to generate revenue quicker? Which option is sustainable on its own? Armed with more information, we decided on a path and are committed to that niche for the next year.

There are some types of risk that simply do not allow for information gathering: changes in the labor pool, political instability, the availability of raw materials and/or natural disasters. Wise entrepreneurs either accept risk or attempt to avoid it altogether.

While risk is certainly an important factor to consider in any business venture, it’s important to understand what risk truly is: the difference between what you think will happen and what actually happens.

19
Jan
2014

Review of “Riddick”

Rented “Riddick” last night with the husband. I was looking for an entertaining movie, and “Riddick” did not disappoint. “Odysseus in Space”, the movie showcases Vin Diesel’s best growling persona. Abandoned on a hostile planet, Richard B. Riddick battles beasts and mercenaries in an attempt to hijack a spaceship and return to his home planet. Like other good science fiction stories, “Riddick” doesn’t explain everything, just expecting the viewer to accept Riddick’s super hero abilities, the alien environment, and why these people are so darned violent. Oh, and there are jet engine powered motorcycles, a must have for any bad-ass space mercenary. What I liked most about Riddick is that it actually told a story with well-acted supporting characters. Katee Sackhoff always shines as the tough chick and Aussie Matt Nable kinda stole the movie for me. I recommend “Riddick” as a great veg-on-the-couch rental.

08
Jan
2014

Review of “Captain Phillips”

The fact that most viewers know how the story of Captain Phillips ends is inconsequential. This movie grabs you from the time Captain Richard Phillips, played by Tom Hanks, boards the Maersk Alabama until the nail biting end. The hand-held camera device made me dizzy at first, but half way through the movie, I didn’t care anymore. Hanks shines as the tough as nails Yankee captain who repeatedly risks his own life in an attempt to stall desperate Somali pirates. Director Paul Greengrass shows, rather than tells, the utter hopelessness of the kidnappers’ plans. From the sweeping aerial view of the enormous cargo ship being pursued by tiny skiffs, to the harrowed faces of the drug addicted Somalis, to the “Holy crap, are they ‘gonna shoot or not?” climax, you won’t move past the edge of your seat. By the end of the movie, the viewer is emotionally drained, but left thinking, “What would I have done in his place?” I highly recommend “Captain Phillips.”

25
Aug
2013

Get outside with your kids!

From www.nwf.org

When it comes to the whole child, nature may indeed be the best kind of nurture.

The nature of childhood has changed: There’s not much nature in it. American childhood’s move indoors profoundly impacts the health and wellness of our nation’s kids. It is not just a sad loss of innocence; a detachment from all things growing and green. It is a serious public health issue that all Americans need to care about.

In the last twenty years, childhood obesity rates have more than doubled; the United States has become the largest consumer of ADHD medications in the world; and the use of antidepressants in pediatric patients has risen sharply. American kids are out of shape, tuned out and stressed out because they’re missing something essential to their health and development: unstructured outdoor play.

National Wildlife Federation’s report, Whole Child: Developing Mind, Body and Spirit through Outdoor Play, is the first in a series of reports illuminating the critical issues and societal costs surrounding America’s indoor childhood. Here, we offer insight into the health benefits associated with how daily unstructured play time in nature nurtures a child’s body, mind and spirit.

Whole Child: Developing Mind, Body and Spirit through Outdoor Play report.