Happy Mother’s Day

“There will be so many times you fell like you failed, but in the eyes, heart, and mind of your child you will always be Super Mom!”
                                                                                    ~Stephanie Precourt

Mother’s Day, it’s the one day of the year that you get to cherish the only one person whose influence has made you who you are today.

Mothers are not only important but have a special ingenuity that makes them the irrefutable nurturers of children right from the womb. They spend a significant part of their lives caring, protecting, and nurturing their children. It is a hard job, but gratifying and fulfilling when you see what your sons and daughters have finally become.

Nevertheless, the objective of writing this post is to attest to the hard work that mothers put to ensure the success of their children over time.  It’s quite understood that there’s no subject that people differ so much as to who plays an influential role in the success of their children – and without a doubt, this topic invites arguments. One thing is true though; while no one parent can be pronounced as superior in child rearing, women have surely demonstrated their motherhood role as a spirited influence that stimulates children physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually.

In the first three to five years of life, a child learns more than any other time. At this early stage, mothers are not only involved in caring and protecting their children, but also instil knowledge, values, purpose, and responsibility which enables children to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Child development experts indicate that every mother’s love, care and teachings create a permanent impression in the heart and mind of the child. The influence a mother has on her child is considered the primary factor that determines whether a child will be able to thrive and flourish with other people successfully.  Her love and attention is not only needed for a child’s physical growth but also helps in a child’s personal development and success. According to studies, children who spent quality time with their mothers tend to fare better than children who were put into a substitute care program. Yes, mothers teach kids how to think, love, care and work together with other people in life – and that’s success.

So, as you’ll be busy celebrating this Mother’s Day, remember moms carry out and accomplish the toughest job, and their role in the success of our lives needs recognition since we owe them a massive debt of gratitude.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms – you are irreplaceable gifts from God, and you deserve all the accolades.

“Successful Mother’s are not the ones that have never struggled, they are the ones that never give up despite the struggles.”
                                                                                            ~ Sharon Jaynes

The Everyday Super Hero

The Everyday Super Hero

“Teaching is the most powerful weapon which you
can use to change the world.”
                                                                      ~Nelson Mandela

If you can solve a mathematical problem, read a book, write a letter, calculate distance, or even cook a meal, then you know who you should be thanking. One of the most important professions across the world, that of a teacher, is one that commonly comes with little thanks or acknowledgement.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of community you are talking about, they all have teachers.  If you think about it, teachers have the ability to make an extreme impression and contribution to society, even changing the world.  Educating, not just our future but our present, is what allows us to function as a blooming society.  They inspire success and encourage us to venture out of our element, allowing us to prove to ourselves that “yes, we can.”

I have had many inspirational teachers throughout my life that I think of often and thank constantly.  Like many good teachers a few I had cleared the cobwebs from my brain and made the completely incomprehensive suddenly understandable.  This gave me the confidence to push myself farther and excel.  Their excitement for the subject and creativeness to make it interesting, passed to me and in turn made me interested and excited as well.  Really? Excited about Algebra? Me? Yes! My professor in college completely turned around my confidence.  Mathematics was never my strong suit in school but after learning from my college professor, I realized it takes that special person that loves what they teach to inspire you to love it as well.

Sometimes teachers are the only constant in our lives.  Someone we see on a daily basis and that you can count on will always be there.  Not just to teach but to listen, coach, guide, console, encourage, and mentor us for our future goals and aspirations.  A good teacher knows that no dream is too big or small for their students and they take the time to encourage those dreams.

Teachers also understand the importance of life skills and work at introducing those skills within their teachings which is a creative and necessary way to educate our youth on important life lessons that would be very hard to learn any other way.  A teacher usually does not ask for any thanks, they are humble and quiet.  When I tried to thank her, that college professor I spoke of earlier, told me  “no thank you was necessary.” Her thank you was seeing me succeed and enjoy Algebra and mathematics in general.

This, being teacher appreciation week, remember to thank all of our teachers.  Without them we would not be who we were yesterday, who we are now, or who we will become in the future.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember,
involve me and I learn.”

                                                                                          ~Ben Franklin

Mail Chimp

Email Marketing with MailChimp

With the use of social media on the rise, you would think email marketing might be dead…. WRONG, email marketing is alive and well and perhaps still one of the most effective marketing methods.

Email marketing means keeping in touch with your customers.  Are you collecting email addresses of your customers, prospective customers and site visitors?  If not, you should be.

There are many solutions to not only help you collect the email addresses, but also design and send first class email newsletters and announcements.   Today I’m going to talk about MailChimp.

MailChimp (www.MailChimp.com) is one of my favorite services, not only because it does the job remarkably well, but because it’s free to get started, giving you the opportunity to start small, and on the cheap, and grow into a paid plan.

Their “Forever Free” plan allows you to have a substantial 2,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month.   That is typically quite enough for most websites starting up.  When you go above 2,000 subscribers or need to send an unlimited amount of emails per month, they have plans that start at just $20/month.  Or they offer “Pay as you go” plans where you buy email credits for .02 or .03 cents each for each email you send.  Think of email credits like postage stamps and you simply buy a pack of credits and use them as you send messages.

After creating a free account, the first thing you’ll need to do is create a “List”.  This is a mailing list.  This might be something like “Newsletter List” or “Current Customers” or “Prospective Clients”.  You can create as many lists as you like, and send messages to specific lists.

Whereas you might send your monthly newsletter to everyone, you might send different offers and specials to existing customers and different offers and specials to prospective customers.

Once you create a list, you can add subscribers any number of ways.  You can manually enter them into the system, or you can import and copy and paste from a spreadsheet or text file.  In my experience MailChimp offers the best and most-versatile import options compared to other services.  You can even generate a signup form that you can embed in your website so people can signup for your newsletter themselves online.

Once you’ve built a list, you’re ready to create a Campaign.  A campaign is just a fancy word for an email.  This could be a newsletter, note to your customers, or some kind of promotion. The possibilities are endless.  They offer a wide variety of templates to get you started, from very simple emails, to multi-column newsletters.

You can create your content without any technical knowledge of HTML, using a WYSIWYG (What you See is What You Get) editor that allows you full control of your design and the ability to insert graphics and images.

When you’re ready to send, you have various options to send immediately, or schedule it to send later. With paid accounts, you have even more options, like options to split your mailing or let MailChimp tell you the best time to send your email to ensure the most engagement.

The emails are delivered quickly and you’ll have access to full reports, like how many were sent, how many people opened it, how many people clicked on something in your email and how many bounced or could not be delivered.

They are fully CAN-SPAM compliant, so at the bottom of each email, it reminds them why they are on your list, and gives them a one-click option to unsubscribe.

If you’re looking for a way to get started with email marketing, check out MailChimp!

Stripe – A Newcomer in Payment Processing

In my last piece I talked about the ease and simplicity of using PayPal to collect payments on your website.  In this piece I’m going to talk about a newcomer to the payment processing game… Stripe.

Stripe (Stripe.com) began in 2010 and was funded by some of the original founders of PayPal.  Stripe set out to become the next PayPal, and while PayPal still holds the market share, Stripe is quickly gaining ground.

Even though they are built a bit more for the developer in mind, they do make integrating a payment button in your website.  Customers can make payments quickly and easily, without having to have a Stripe account, using a credit card.

You can setup a Stripe account in minutes and you’ll immediately be in “Test mode” where you can create your buttons, develop your software and integrate however you like.  They have great tutorials, and if you’re using WordPress there are countless plugins available to work with Stripe.   Once you’re ready to go live, a few simple steps to verify your account and your bank account and you’re off and running collecting payments.

Their fee structure is remarkably identical to PayPal, simply 2.9% of each transaction and .30 cents per transaction.   They don’t offer any kind of Pro plan with a monthly subscription, however they do ask you to contact sales for Enterprise (aka high-volume) solutions.

They offer some more cutting edge bells as whistles, such as integration with Apple Pay, Alipay and also supporting Bitcoin payments.  They work with over 100 global currencies so you can instantly charge your customers in their local currency.

If you’re looking for a slightly more technical solution to accepting payments via PayPal, check out Stripe!