South Carolina – Several years ago, with the help of a family friend and the support of her family, Melissa George put her story out to the public. This was a story of heart break, ill-health, fear, anger, and finally triumph. She tells a story of a family’s struggle and the facing of a demon who had taken possession of their home. The family suffered for years and watched the paranormal become the normal for them. After several house blessings, the family found peace and could sleep at night once again. Writing the book, Melissa found a closure that she did not think possible. After a few more books, one about the paranormal and a couple of Bigfoot books, Melissa knew what she had to do. She decided to help others tell their stories. She knew that if putting her story out for the public to read could help her in such a way, it would be the same for others.

Melissa has offered her keyboard as an outlet for those who have had terrifying encounters with the paranormal. Melissa has helped people tell their stories of Bigfoot, Black Eyed Kids, Dogman, and even of a paranormal investigator who was followed home by a dark entity. Melissa works with her client over a length of time that is conducive to their comfort level. She has a researcher that confirms the story with the others involved, and asks the tough questions. There are questions that will be uncomfortable for people to answer, but having lived it herself, she understands. She works with the clients’ pace, and allows it to be a form of therapy for them. So far, the people who have allowed Melissa to tell their stories have been happy with the results of the book, as well as their mental state.

Learn more at http://melissageorge.net

Melissa George is available for interviews, advice, and certain speaking engagements upon request. Melissa is also taking more book submissions at the moment. If you are interested in scheduling an interview, reviewing a digital copy of one of her books, or submitting your story, you can contact Cari at carionmedia@gmail.com or call (864) 280-7145

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-New interactive mobile app aims to spotlight the local music scene by providing a way for artists to book gigs and fans to discover new music-

San Diego (May 3, 2016) – GigTown, a free local music discovery mobile app, is revolutionizing the music industry for artists, concertgoers and venues in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Austin and New York City. GigTown, founded by father and son duo, Steve and Andy Altman, is a one-stop-shop for everything local music. The app is transforming the way local music is consumed through the interactive features including: discovering upcoming shows in the area, instantaneously booking artists for gigs, listening to original songs and finding new music venues.

“GigTown is a unique platform that allows musicians, venues and consumers to have a win-win-win opportunity,” said Andy Altman, CEO, co-founder and grand poobah of GigTown. “The app is creating a local music economy that’s supporting local artists while also giving consumers streamlined access to new music they probably wouldn’t have discovered elsewhere. There is an array of great talent in the local music community and we are here to display it in a free, easy-to-use platform for all to experience.”

The one-of-a-kind app allows artists to submit interest to play gigs and receive notification of newly posted gigs in their area. For music fans and venue managers, GigTown makes it simple to post a gig and find talent in as little as one hour. Venues, including restaurants, bars, and hotels to name a few, can use the app to book local musicians and bring in customers – and with a simple click of a button, people are able to directly chat with artists and sample their music before booking. GigTown makes the entire booking and transaction process seamless and hassle-free.

To further support the artists using the app, GigTown has allocated a portion of its marketing dollars towards musicians by tipping artist $5 when a fan “Checks In” to their shows on the app. In the month of April, $20,000 in tips were paid to local artists and over 3,500 artists have signed up nationwide to date.

GigTown allows listeners to discover new music by exploring a large library of original songs and music videos from local artists that are available through the app. People can also listen to the artists’ music on GigTown Radio, which streams directly from the app. Fans can immediately find out when their favorite artists are playing and discover local music hotspots at some of the best places in town. By allowing users to connect with new fans and discover up and coming artists, GigTown is creating a platform that supports all avenues of the local music scene.

To download and sign up for GigTown for free on iOS and Android devices, please visit the App Store and Google Play. For more information on GigTown, please visit www.gigtown.com.

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About GigTown:

GigTown is an all-in-one local music app that allows users to discover local musicians, post a gig to book live music, listen to original songs by your local musicians and more – it truly is a revolutionary platform that supports all avenues of the local music scene. The San Diego-based music technology startup launched in January 2015 by Andy and Steve Altman (former President and Vice Chairman of Qualcomm). The free app, available everywhere but currently focused in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Nashville, Austin and New York City, is customized to meet the personalized needs of artists, consumers, and venues around town. Easily downloadable and available on iOS and Android devices, GigTown is equipped with unique features and is a place for people to plug-in to local music, anywhere and anytime. The GigTown team has plans to launch in new cities as it continues to grow and is passionate about creating a win-win-win for local musicians, venues and music fans across the nation.

Website: www.gigtown.com

Facebook: gigtownmusic Twitter: @gigtownmusic

The Male Tendency To Keep Shaking Things Up
Can Lead To Bad Results, Says Financial Advisor

When it comes to investing, many women take a stay-the-course approach that research shows can give them an advantage over their male counterparts.

Typically, men are more likely to want to shake things up with their investments, and that can be counterproductive, says Mark Chandik, president of FDP Wealth Management and author of “10 Financial Strategies for the Smart Investor” (www.fdpwm.com).

“Men love to tinker with things,” he says. “Risk stimulates them. Their buddies give them tips or they read an article in the Wall Street Journal, and they want to do something.

“Women tend to make careful choices up front, and then leave their money alone. Often, when I look at a husband and wife’s IRAs, I’ll see that after 20 years she has accrued substantially more capital than he has, and he was the one doing all the active management.”

One study by SigFig, an online portfolio manager, showed that over a 12-month period ending in early 2015, women investors beat men by a 12 percent average. Men were also 25 percent more likely to lose money in the market, the study reported.

“Many active investors brag about their latest wins, but just like gamblers, they don’t talk about their losses,” Chandik says. “If you look at the tax return of a typical active investor, and see how much money their investments made for them after taxes, you often find a story that’s not so compelling.”

Several factors probably lure men into thinking that constant churning of the portfolio is the smart investing option, he says. For whatever reason, the same factors don’t entice women to a similar degree.
Among those factors are:

  • Misunderstanding gains and losses. A major reason many investors – and men in particular – fall in love with active investing is that they have a misguided notion about gain and loss, Chandik says. For example, he says, from 2009 to 2015, many people saw double-digit annual returns and came to regard that as the norm. They expect it to continue, but such growth is not sustainable. When weak or negative years occur, they need to resist the temptation to abandon a patient approach, Chandik says.
  • Timing the market. Some investors become convinced that the secret to good investing is timing – buying and selling a stock at just the right moment. “Market timers may score big once in a while, but not repeatedly and not over time,” Chandik says. “There are too many factors involved, too many things you can’t know or control. You not only have to buy a stock at the right time – just before or after it hits bottom – but you also have to sell it at the right time, dumping it while it’s still hot.”
  • Technology encourages bad habits. One reason that timing the market has become such a temptation is technology has made buying and selling quicker and easier than ever, Chandik says. “Today, a client can pull up an app on his iPhone while he’s on the phone with me, buy something and then turn around and sell it by the end of our conversation,” he says. “The liquidity is crazy and it leads to some very bad habits.”

Chandik says working with a skilled advisor can go a long way toward curbing these bad habits, but that in and of itself isn’t a cure.

“It’s essential that both the client and the advisor have clear expectations from the start,” he says. “Many people, for example, are under the impression that it’s the financial advisor’s job to beat the market. Not so. No advisor – at least no ethical one – can promise market-beating returns.”

Instead, Chandik says, the advisor’s role includes understanding a client’s life goals, assessing risk factors and putting together a blueprint that addresses the client’s needs.

“The advisor also acts as a support system,” he says. “In times of stress or down markets, the advisor can say, ‘Just hang tight. Be patient. Stick to the plan.’ ”

About Mark Chandik

Mark Chandik, president and chief investment officer of FDP Wealth Management, is the author of “10 Financial Strategies for the Smart Investor” (www.fdpwm.com). He has more than 30 years of wealth-advising experience. He began his career in 1983, working for an established firm, and in 1999 founded FDP, a thriving independent practice in Orange County, Calif., that serves corporate executives, professionals, business owner/operators, affluent families and private individuals with investing needs. Chandik is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF). He currently serves as chairman of the Professional Advisory Council for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and speaks at industry meetings throughout the U.S. on topics such as advanced life insurance planning, multi-disciplinary practice and the role of the financial advisor.

Career stability isn’t what it once was.

That’s why many workers frustrated with today’s corporate climate are venturing out on their own, offering their skills and experience to those very same corporations, but on a consulting rather than full-time basis.

Certainly, there’s a lot to be said for going independent, says Aaron Zwas, a consultant and author of “Transition to Independence” (www.t2iplan.com), a book that serves as a guide to making such a change.

“You have more freedom and a healthier balance between work and family,” Zwas says. “It’s the be-your-own-boss opportunity many people crave.”

But not so fast.

Before you take the plunge, there are drawbacks worth knowing about.

“When I made the transition about 15 years ago, I didn’t have a lot of guidance,” Zwas says. “I didn’t really understand what I was getting into, so there was a bit of trial and error. The good news is that others can learn from my mistakes.”

If you’re considering going it alone, Zwas lists at least four pitfalls you’ll want to avoid:

  1. Prepare yourself financially. The transition from working for someone else to being independent almost certainly will require you to dip into savings. Take every precaution as you prepare yourself financially. A conversation with an accountant is a good start and so is reviewing your monthly budget to see if you can cut spending. Build up savings – preferably enough to sustain you through one year of expenses – before ending full-time employment.
  2. Set your social calendar. When you’re independent, you have no co-workers to chat with, bounce ideas off of or play tennis with on the weekend. If you’re not careful, it can be a lonely existence. To compensate, Zwas recommends setting up regular dates with friends and family. You can also take up new interests or hobbies. “Get out of the house and be with other people,” he says.
  3. Stay focused on your expertise. Being a one-person team has its advantages, but it can also be a double-edged sword because many independents get pulled in too many directions by spending time on activities unrelated to their expertise. There’s no problem in admitting you don’t want to take on certain activities, Zwas says. For example, bookkeeping could be a chore you despise or aren’t suited for. You might want to contract out and let someone else handle it.
  4. Spend time on your personal brand. Some independents thrive without any branding efforts, but most need to do at least a little branding. A logo, a website, business cards, a presentation template, social media accounts and a blog can help you create a professional image.

“A little advance preparation can go a long way in helping you become a successful independent,” Zwas says. “The most important lesson I’ve learned is that consulting is more than a job – it’s a lifestyle. Even on my worst days, I’m grateful for the freedom I have.”

About Aaron Zwas

Aaron Zwas, the author of “Transition to Independence” (www.t2iplan.com), is a consulting journeyman with 15 years of independent experience as a strategic technology advisor. His T2I Plan (for “Transition to Independence”) provides a step-by-step approach that helps people move from traditional employment to a career as an independent consultant while minimizing the risks.

One thing is clear: millennials – those born after 1980 – are the world’s future, and they’ve already made significant contributions.

Social media alone wouldn’t be what it is today without millennial entrepreneurs, for example.

“It’s not just technology defining the youngest working-age population, it’s also a distinct optimism and a desire to do work that matters,” says youth psychologist Dr. Jason Richardson.

“I don’t think millennials lack the work ethic and soft skills that others say they do. Many of those things come with age regardless of when you were born. But I do think millennials have been coddled. Many have an aversion to seek resolutions to problems within themselves – outside of technology.”

Richardson, author of “It’s All BS! We’re All Wrong, And You’re All Right!” (www.drjasonrichardson.com), offers millennials suggestions for expanding their skillset.

  • Try more authentic “connections.” Competition among millennials can be fierce, especially when it comes to how your social media profile looks. You can have a thousand friends, “Like” the cool, trendy items and have an impressive bio with the right degree from the right school. More one-on-one time with your peers, however, helps with truly interpersonal settings, including working with people from older generations.
  • Distinguish yourself by offering your full attention – a rare commodity nowadays. People never have to be bored anymore. If we must wait for anything, we can find distraction in our smartphones, which are on-demand boredom-killers. On the job, dividing your attention while on your phone with clients, management, during conference calls, etc. will not be appreciated. It’s not multitasking when your attention is compromised – a major hindrance in communication.
  • Take a cue from older generations; grow thicker skin. Today, colleges are catering to students with “safe spaces” in case their feelings are hurt. Professors often warn students of “trigger warnings” in case academic content could be seen as offensive. Older generations were not as coddled, which helps them accept criticism at work. Thin skin can keep you from finding solutions to problems. Learn to accept professional criticism graciously so you may think more clearly on possible solutions.
  • Base progress on doing good and less on feeling good. Doing good and feeling good don’t always coincide. Remember, you’re the baby who learned to walk despite many failed attempts. You didn’t need to feel good to be successful. Place value in the work and personal gains made as you move forward. Think of yourself as continually developing or becoming. You are more than what’s written on your social media profile.

“We can’t always control the conditions of this amazing world,” Richardson says, “but you can take control of the amazing you if you believe you can.”

About Jason Richardson, Psy.D., MBA

Dr. Jason Richardson (www.drjasonrichardson.com) is a psychologist who earned his principles for self-improvement as a world-traveling athlete, doctoral student, and student of life. He maintained top-10 status on the professional BMX circuit for most of his 15-year career, retiring with a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games.

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Owl Creek Academy

Our homeschool, Owl Creek Academy, needed a home. I created this blog, although it is not active, as a way to track and share our homeschool projects and progress. It will be more active as the kids get older.

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I created this logo for a long time client, GiGi Rena. She has a passion for all things bulldog and wanted a place to share her love with others that love this beautiful breed known as the English Bulldog. The logo is actually drawin from a photo of her sweet Bella!

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By now, you guys know I love doing a play on words with my name. This is a blog I had started, but abandoned for my Paranormal Sass quest. It was cute branding and got attention.

bigfoot babes

 

Bigfoot Babes is a new organization that I am helping to get off the ground. Its purpose is to encourage women everywhere to get involved, even if it seems like a man’s world. I have created the designs and handling social media and publicity. I am looking forward to working with these wonderful women and helping them achieve their dreams.

 

Sometimes when you run your own business or work at home, it can be hard to stay productive. Things come up and since you aren’t actually punching a time clock, time can get away with you. There is also the little problem of people thinking you have all the time in the world and that you can stop what you are doing and do for them whenever. This is simply not the case, especially if you want to stay on track and get things done. Here are some tips to help you out with this.

10 Productivity TipsTo Keep YouWorking

 

1. Create A Workspace

Even if you work out and about visiting clients and such, you need a work space at your home or office. This is the place you check email, make phone calls, do paperwork, etc. When you are here, you are working.

2. Set Working Hours

This can be a hard one, it is for me anyway. When I am working, the kids have their own things to do and I do not answer personal phone calls. I basically pretend that I am at an office and I cannot be disturbed.

3. Forget You Are Not On A Timeclock

Act as if your hours are being monitored, which when you think about it- they are. Get it in your mind that your clients are your employers and that you have to be productive while you are at work.

4. Get Yourself Ready

Take time in the morning for coffee, changing clothes, getting the kids settled, etc.- just like you would be going in to work. This will get your day started right and you’ll be more in the work mode.

5. Invest In A Planner

You need a planner that works for you. It doesn’t matter what kind, just make sure you can put your appointments, due dates, and to do list in it. Using Google Calendar to help plan meetings, keep track of repetative dates, and schedule due dates then syncing with your paper planner works well.

6. Take Care of You

Don’t neglect your health, or you will be in the bed sick. Be sure to take lunch breaks, snack breaks, drink water, and get up and move around througout the day- just like you would do in an office setting.

7. Create A Brainstorming Area

Because I work from the kitchen table (yes, not ideal but it works for now), I have a post-it large board that I can use for brainstorming. It allows me the same freedom as a white or idea board, yet I can put it away when I’m not using it. You need a place to let your ideas flow. In my ideal office, an entire wall would be devoted to this (magnetic with idea paint on it).

8. Minimize Home Distractions

Stay on top of chores while you are not working. This way, you will not have a pile of laundry, dirty dishes, or floors that need vacuming calling you and making you feel guilty. When you feel guilty, you cannot be productive.

9. Embrace Technology

There is amazing technology these days. You have computers that will blow your mind, tablets, smart phones, and so much more. Embrace it, without it becoming a distraction. Find the technology that works for you and use it. Have a good many meetings- have conference calls, but invest in the proper equipment. Constantly switching screens on your computer? Get another monitor or use a tablet for what you are referencing (that’s what I do).

10. Socialize

When you are working at home, your social life can suffer. I’m at home all day with the kids. Then, the hubby gets home and I’m still doing kid stuff and planning school, while there is dinner to be made. There isn’t a whole lot of time there. What do I do? I plan a movie night with the girls, take the kids on a picnic, or a date night with my husband. Even if it is done at home, schedule the time and follow through. You will be healthier and happier, making you more productive.

 

Do you have productivity tips you would like to share? I would love to hear them.

 

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